Category Archives for "Music Industry Roundup"

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 1/13/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of January 13th, 2017. Everyone is back from holiday vacation and the year is starting to get busy. Let’s see what’s in the news.

Pandora lays off 7% of its workforce. Things are getting tough in streaming land as the company tries to overcome a cash crunch.

Deezer’s Chief International Officer jumps ship to newspaper publisher and SoundCloud’s co-founder takes a new position as well. The big shakeup in streaming is beginning now. There will be far fewer players by mid-year.

Instagram is dropping ads into stories. Not a lot of people are happy about it. Will it kill what until now has been the golden goose? Will musicians make money?

Snapchat is trying hard to make itself important to the music business. You know what? It’s succeeding.

YouTube is running a contest to find someone to create the official music videos for some of Elton John’s biggest songs. “Bennie And The Jets,” “Rocket Man,” and “Tiny Dancer” never had videos but now they will. Don’t forget that Elton recently publicly railed against YouTube for its tiny payout, but he’s in bed with them now.

iHeart Radio officially launched it’s subscription service. $5 and $10 per month tiers, but will people actually pay a monthly fee for radio that they can get free?

Universal and Sony Music lead in streaming market share. Tunecore leads in indies, which is the only surprise here.

Ed Sheeran breaks the all time Spotify record 3 times in 2 days. 46.5 million streams from latest two releases in just 4 days. Boy, that guy is scorching hot.

Labels are rereleasing classic albums to try to skirt copyright law. In the EU, older albums can go to the public domain under the right conditions, and the major labels are exploiting it.

It looks like the era of print music critics has come to an end. The few that are left (it’s estimated there are only 10) are given multiple jobs on the paper or magazine outside the arts. There’s no sense trying to get a magazine or newspaper review anymore.

Pandora’s stock dropped like a rock after reports that Sirius XM’s acquisition was unlikely. This is a company in trouble, and it doesn’t look like any help is on the way.

Music is the fastest growing form of entertainment in the UK. Streaming is leading the way, but I’m not sure what that actually says about the health of the industry.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 1/6/17

Music Industry News Roundup Happy New Year, and here’s the first Music Industry News Roundup of the year for the week of January 6th, 2017. We’re just coming off a major holiday and things are slowly ramping back up. Let’s see what happened.

The Blackstone Group acquires SESAC. Just think about that for a second. A big investment group now owns a performing rights organization.

SoundExchange could lose a lot of revenue this year. The government collection agency is losing out thanks to direct deals with labels and publishers by Pandora

Chinese giant Alibaba is about to spend over $7 billion on entertainment content. Move over Apple, Google, Amazon and Spotify – you’ve got competition and it has deep pockets.

It looks like Facebook is getting close to their own version of Content ID. That means that content creators can finally get paid for their music and videos playing on the service. Word is that it won’t actually be released until the Spring though.

Indie labels claimed 35% of the market last year. Good news for DIY artists and labels not affiliated with majors, but this is based on rights ownership, not revenue.

A vinyl pressing plant is going out of business. It’s pretty hard to do in this market environment, but Canada Boy Vinyl can’t make a go of it.

YouTube lost it’s dominance to streaming music. People are now finding streaming networks way more convenient than the YouTube experience.

A full-time YouTuber shows how much money he makes.  And of course he does it on YouTube. Doesn’t make all that much, but he’s not a very big channel either.

George Michael Best-Of Sales skyrocket. They improve by over 5,000% in the UK alone.

Speaking of the UK, the biggest album seller last year wasn’t a musical artist. It turns out it was a 56 year old game show host. Well, that’s probably the demo that still buys physical product.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great 2017!

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 12/30/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 30th, 2016, the last week of the year. As expected, there hasn’t been much in the way of blockbuster news, but there have been some interesting pieces.

Mozart was not #1 in album sales. A story made the rounds that a box set by the composer outsold even Drake, but the measurements have proven to be specious at best. It was a bad year for the physical album as a whole though, as the article points out – even for Drake.

Here’s a list of the top 50 biggest songs on Beats 1 radio last year. There are many that are expected, but a few surprises as well.

Rolling Stone has 6 reasons why 2016 was a great music year. There are a few that I don’t quite agree with, like radio being healthy and album releases being events, but other than that its spot on.

6 music tech predictions for 2017. Culled from 20 industry tastemakers, these are mostly out-of-the-box in that you probably haven’t heard about them before. They also lean towards live music rather than recorded.

Warners is getting back into compilation albums. This is spurred on by the fact that singles are hot again thanks to streaming [subscription required].

Deezer plans to take over the streaming world. The streaming universe is still young and will be expanding for some time yet, so why not?

Tencent is a big threat to Apple Music and Spotify. It already dominates Asian streaming and has the money to come West [subscription required].

Billboard looked at the 10 best music memes. I must admit that I missed these during the year, but don’t feel too bad about it.

PC World looks at what went right and wrong with VR in 2016. Virtual Reality still hasn’t caught on the way everyone had hoped, but it did make some progress.

Warners is going head first into VR though. It plans “hundreds” of VR music releases in 2017.

Many Top 40 hits had ambiguous key centers. This is a little music geeky but interesting. It shows the evolution of the hit song and consumer tastes.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Happy New Year everyone. See you next year!

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 12/23/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 23rd, 2016. Surprisingly enough, there’s a lot of music business-related and social news this week, despite the Holiday season.

iHeart Radio is in big financial trouble. Radio is dying in general, and a few years ago when the hedge funds bought in they didn’t realize that fact. The company probably won’t change much because of the problems (at least in the short term) but the investors will take a haircut soon.

Apple Music is trying to become more than a streaming platform. It’s now more of a quasi-label, offering lots of promotion in addition to streaming. This interview with two Apple Music execs is revealing.

Not to be outdone, YouTube is quietly beefing up promotion for some artists as well. Not that it helps the indie artist much, but you can see where all this going. [subscription required]

There are indie artists making it on streaming alone though. Yes, it’s not only possible, but this article outline a number of indie artists in different countries with massive streaming numbers.

The VR revolution is here, but it has yet to break with consumers. Many think that this will change in 2017, but the consumer uptake so far is disappointing, and understandable.

Dance music hit a big speed bump in 2016. This article outlines 11 things that broke the hearts of EDM aficionados.

The album cycle is pretty much dying, with Drake the perfect example of the new singles paradigm. But playlisting plays a big part in streaming success as well, and this interview with Spotify’s Troy Carter is enlightening.

Streaming is changing music again, finally making the Long Tail concept viable. This Harvard Business Review article shows how streaming is turning the music industry into a singles business, and is killing the album. Oh, and more people are listening to music other than the hits along the way.

Streaming apps aren’t keeping pace, and user experience is the thing to concentrate on. Industry analyst Mark Mulligan makes a number of good points about music falling behind in engagement to non-music apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Buzzfeed.

Twitter is toast, according to one financial analyst. The company is experiencing plateaued growth and a brain drain, and the stock is expected to take a dive soon.

Finally, Facebook is correcting its metrics for ad reach, streaming reactions, Likes and Shares. It looks like the numbers we were seeing weren’t really true after all. If you advertise on Facebook, you should read this article before placing another ad.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 12/16/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 16th, 2016. There are a lot of interesting news items again this week (more than usual for so late in the Holiday season), so let’s get right into it.

Global music grew by a billion dollars in 2016. That’s a big deal because it was at $15 bil last year, and this year it’s at around $16 billion – a significant upswing. The big question – how much will actually trickle down to artists and songwriters?

Almost every country except Japan saw some growth. Japan is still tied to physical product by both customs and laws, so it hasn’t really experienced digital music yet. Good news for the rest of the world though.

Pandora is now open to selling to SiriusXM. This might be good for Pandora, but not so much for Sirius. Does Sirius even care? Do you?

Apple should by both Sirius and Pandora. This Barron’s article makes a case for it. I can see the Sirius part, but not Pandora, since Apple Music is doing just fine without it. Subscription required.

The music industry is asking president-elect Trump to get tough with pirates and YouTube. No idea how this will go down, but it’s worth a try.

YouTube is about to pay a lot of back royalties to publishers. Not only that, it provides more protection and opportunities to make more money. Too little too late?

YouTube still has a lot of unclaimed royalties. Although the above deal might take care of most of that. Can some of it be yours?

Elton John is both for and against YouTube. The superstar rails against the platform for inadequate copyright protection, then turns around and signs an exclusive deal with it. Talk about mixed messages.

Fashwave is the new music of the alt-right. Fash stands for “fascism” and the music is Synthwave, mostly out of Sweden. The artist’s music is co-opted and they have nothing to do with the movement, but what’s happened to it is pretty creepy.

This app makes all songs into Christmas songs. Can’t get enough Christmas carols? Then this might be for you.

Radio has forgotten about Millennials. It figured that it lost them to downloads 10 years ago and hasn’t worried about them since. Since like an opportunity lost.

The high-powered Irving Azoff is suing a large radio association. He’s trying to get more money for artists from radio play, but after 2 years there’s been no movement.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 12/9/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 9th, 2016. There’s a lot of news this week, especially on the streaming side of things, so let’s get right into it.

The three major labels experienced growth this year, all thanks to streaming. Many feel that the industry has finally turned the corner on revenue, especially with Amazon Music finally launched.

Apple Music has topped 20 million users. A milestone for sure, but it still trails Spotify by a lot.

Pandora’s new interactive service has finally launched. Pandora Premium is here, but will anyone really care?

This Quartz article thinks that Apple Music and Spotify are too far ahead for Pandora Premium to matter. Maybe so, but this is more for shareholders than users at the moment.

Will users actually want the $4.99 light subscriptions? This survey says yes, at least for the new iHeartRadio Plus service, pegging the potential subscribers at around 4 million.

Speaking of streaming numbers, there’s a new king of Spotify streams. Drake loses his crown to The Weeknd.

YouTube announced it’s paid over $1 billion in royalties to artists, labels and songwriters this year. This is strictly from advertising revenue as the YouTube Red subscription service has yielded essentially zilch in terms of users or royalties.

YouTube offers some big numbers, but the music industry claims that’s not enough. The royalty split still doesn’t work, but there no immediate relief in sight.

Brits now spend more money on vinyl than on downloads. No surprise here, except for how quickly downloads are slipping from our digital vocabulary.

A US court ruled against Duran Duran in regards to reclaiming the rights to their first 3 albums. It claims they are bound by an English contract, not an American one.

Finally, a law against ticket bots. New York signed into law legislation against unfair ticket purchasing and reselling practices, which could soon mean better seats and better prices for everyone if the law spreads to other states.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 12/2/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 2nd, 2016. We’re still in Holiday Hangover so news is light again this week. The fact of the matter is that activity drops off substantially from Thanksgiving through about the 2nd week of January. There is some news to report though, so let’s get into it.

iHeartRadio is releasing its new music service. It’s pretty innovative in that it allows you to replay any song you hear from a radio station in the app. There’s also a Save button that allows you to save a song to a playlist to listen to latter. Just $4.99 per month.

Pandora hasn’t launched its interactive service yet, but it’s trying hard on the non-interactive side. The problem is, will anyone notice or care?

Soundcharts is a new service that measures music consumption across 2600 charts. This includes streaming services and radio stations across the world. The first month is free, but they have plans down to the artist level.

Music can make us sick. This is a paper on the surprising number of artists and musicians that suffer from depression or similar mental illness.

The impact of social media on the music industry looks at the obvious, but it’s still a worthwhile read. The problem is that it looks at exclusively on big names, when a little down market focus would have been nice.

Autonomous cars are coming, and the music industry should take notice. We’ll have a lot more time to concentrate on listening when we don’t have to worry about driving.

Artist’s are making a lot of money from Spotify plays, and this article shows you just how much. Go to the bottom and check out the list of the top 25.

Some public radio powerhouses have banded together to launch VuHaus. It’s a non-profit video streaming site filled with music performances. Seems like a great idea.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 11/25/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of November 25th, 2016. It’s the beginning of the holiday’s, so this week’s news is a bit light. Let’s get into it.

10,000 radio stations sue Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights company. GMR is charging stations separate license fees from ASCAP and BMI, so artists are making more. Radio isn’t too happy with that.

Universal Music’s market share has actually dropped since it acquired EMI. No one saw that one coming as reality as defied expert predictions once again.

Vevo is the #1 music video platform, but do you even know you’re watching it? Everyone thinks they’re still watching YouTube, but in the end, does it really matter?

The music industry is set for its best year since 2009. That said, the predictions is based on some iffy measurements that might be meaningless in today’s streaming world.

Bank of America is pessimistic about Pandora. The company claims it can hit 15 million subscribers soon, but analysts at the bank don’t buy it.

An explanation of streaming money. I’m not so sure that this infographic isn’t more confusing than helpful, but it’s worth checking out.

More on breaking an artist in the streaming age. Record labels seem to rely on the viral, quick hit, but artists careers that have lasted have always been built slowly, so this strategy seems at odds with what’s been proven to work.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 11/18/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of November 18th, 2016. Lots on the legal front this week, and streaming news is back strong again. Let’s get into it.

The Justice Department wants BMI to collect fees in a different way. It asked for “full work licenses” where all songwriters must agree to a license, but lost the argument in court recently. It has now announced that it will appeal. Not good for the publishing business if it wins as licensing will get a lot harder if there are multiple songwriters involved.

A long list of music industry associations have asked the US government to support European copyright actions aimed at YouTube. They’re hoping that the royalty payout from YouTube ultimately rises to that of Spotify or Apple Music. This is a long shot at best, but certainly worthy of continued discussion.

Some insiders think that Trump might be good for business. They site the close ties of the Obama administration to Google. Good luck with that one.

Prince’s estate is suing Tidal. It says that the streaming service has been illegally streaming a number of the superstar’s albums without a license. This could end up being the death knell for the service.

Google Play Music rolled out some new features. Improvements to the user interface include contextual song recommendations, which are garnering kudos all around. This could end up being a big deal, as Apple Music is generally thought of as clunky to use, while Spotify as a little stodgy in its UI.

Amazon launched Amazon Music Unlimited in Europe to much fanfare. It’s now available in the UK, Germany, and Austria. And the service rolled out a Family Plan as well.

More than a quarter of all music streaming subscribers hop around. They go from service to service on the free plans with different email addresses, according analyst Mark Mullligan. Not good that they can’t be converted.

Spotify now driving concert ticket sales. It’s now sending out emails to subscribers with ticket offers.

BMG going all in with Alibaba in China. It had signed a 2 year deal to supply music to the Chinese giant, and now extended the agreement for 3 more years.

Metallica’s music returns to Napster. 17 years after the group had a collective thrombo over the music service, their music is back on the platform. We’ve come full circle on that one, haven’t we?

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 11/11/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of November 11th, 2016. The news was rather slow this week, probably due to the election. That said, there’s still plenty of news, especially on the record label front. Let’s get into it.

Universal Music’s streaming revenue has topped $1 billion this year already. And streaming is just getting going. The problem is, how much of that is trickling down to the artist and songwriter?

Sony Music wants the crown as the biggest. So it’s planning more acquisitions this year. Check out the executive slide show that Music Business Worldwide managed to get.

Sony’s streaming income increased as well. Not as much as Universal, but growing nonetheless.

Capitol Records celebrates its 75th anniversary. It drops a unique anniversary collection series of 75 albums by some of it’s greatest artists, including The Beatles, Sinatra, Coldplay, Katy Perry and many more.

Facebook is morphing into a next generation media company. That’s the only way left to grow, according to analyst Mark Mulligan, but there seems to be a clear vision on the way forward.

Record Store Day is expanding to Black Friday. New releases coming from Jimi Hendrix, Run-DMC, Bob Dylan and South Park.

Vevo let users turn music videos into GIFs. YouTube’s biggest competitor rolls out a new feature. I don’t think that anyone will particularly care.

The iPod launched 15 years ago last week. Boy, it changed a lot and here’s how.

9 things we learned about the future of the music business. Don’t know if I agree with them all, but they’re worth considering.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.