Category Archives for "Music Industry Roundup"

September 30, 2016

Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 9/30/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of Sept 30th, 2016. There’s a wide range of topics this week that run the gamut from album sales to social networks to acquisitions to bankruptcy, so let’s get to it.

Adele gets her second Diamond album in the US. Her album 25 just went past the 10 million mark, making her only the third woman to do so. The other ones? You’ll never guess – Britney Spears and Celine Dion!

Drake makes history too. He’s the first artist with an album (Views) that reached 1 billion streams on Apple Music. Image what his totals are when you add the other streaming platforms in.

Spotify may be buying Soundcloud. The reasoning is that SC could make it easier for young artists to get on Spotify, but it seems like too much money (probably over $1 billion) for a service that has already peaked.

The music industry comes down hard on Youtube-mp3.org. It’s a website that allows people to rip the audio from YouTube videos into downloadable files. The site is based in Germany and makes money from advertising, but record labels all over the world have banded together to file a lawsuit to shut it down.

A bid for Twitter looks to be coming soon. The suitors for the social network are said to include Google and Salesforce.com, as well as other technology companies. Could this mean the eventual end of the platform?

Everyone’s angry at Facebook for overestimating video view time. The company’s been doing it for a couple of years, and taking advertisers to the cleaners in the meantime. Those figures always looked too good to be true.

Rdio’s bankruptcy is messy. Here’s what happens when a music streaming network goes belly-up. There’s a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth over money, which is no surprise.

Rolling Stone Magazine partially acquired by BandLab. Doesn’t make much sense on the surface, but Mark Mulligan’s always insightful blog sees the strategy in it, although he doesn’t think the pairing will last.

A Blockchain editor proves the technology won’t be savior of the music business. The tech behind Bitcoin defeats the purpose of how it works if it can be edited. Many companies have popped up recently with hopes of all music being coded with Blockchain, but none could gain industry traction. Their chances are much worse today.

Don’t look now, but Snapchat has some new hardware. The company is trying to go one-up on Google Glass with pair of sunglasses that can record short videos to upload to the platform. They look pretty cool, while Google Glass was just creepy.

Radio’s dying because it’s stuck in the past. It can’t seem to find a way to transition to mobile the way that the music and television industries have.

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

September 23, 2016

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 9/23/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of Sept 23rd, 2016. Streaming in the news again, but what else is new. It at the heart of the music industry’s evolution right now

Will “flexible pricing” be in our streaming future? Don’t be surprised to see cheaper pricing tiers at all of the services, not that the barriers have been broken.

Universal and Sony are launching their own streaming service. It’s called NOW Music+, but if history tells us anything, these label collaborations never work out.

One of Spotify’s investors wants it to sell to Facebook. Not that Facebook wants it, but at least Spotify Daniel Ek and Facebook Mark Zuckerberg know each other.

Streaming revenue really grew in the first half of 2016. And this article says that Apple Music was responsible. Maybe so, but Spotify still has more than twice as many users.

Don’t look now, but iHeartRadio may launch it’s own streaming network. Seems like a death wish, since the company is so deep in debt. Could it be a Hail Mary play?

Tidal is in trouble because of subscriber churn. The minute an exclusive is over, the subscriber drops the service. Bad news for Jay-Z.

Does radio have to be live? Radio futurologist says no, and live can even be a hinderance to a station.

A third of all people under 25 now pay for music streaming. This according to the latest study from the IFPI. That’s up 40% over last year.

Frank Ocean is looking for a distribution deal. Apparently he’s a handful to work with, so even though he’s hot, negotiations are slow.

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

September 16, 2016

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

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of Sept 16th, 2016. There’s a lot of news in the streaming space, but also some interesting news with club music in Australia and the UK charts as well.

Tidal had huge loses last year. It appears that the streaming service is not doing well and burning around $2 mil per month. No wonder Jay-Z is looking for a buyer.

And it has a lot of unpaid bills. Over 100 in fact, including rent, accountants, recording labels, advertising agencies, and just about everything else you can think of. Tidal was never a serious streaming contender, and was only a money play for Jay-Z that looks like it’s not going to turn out well.

Why hasn’t Apple Music introduced hi-res music yet? It seems that the introduction of the iPhone 7 would have been the perfect time, since the transition over to digital earphones is now underway and audio reproduction is a big feature.

Pandora announced a number of licensing deals. With everyone except Warner Music, that is. Even most of the indie labels are now licensed, which leads you to believe that its new service will be launched just about any time now.

Spotify wants to go public, which means a change in service. The streaming leader may get rid of the free tier to make itself look better to the market, which the major labels will love as well.

YouTube told it has to pay more in the EU. The EU is going to reform copyright laws and video sites like YouTube will have to pay more to be in compliance. Very cool.

Is stream-ripping a real thing? It seems like it’s something that the music industry made up so everyone thinks piracy isn’t dead. People just aren’t a serious threat to pirate music from YouTube, not matter what the article says.

Sydney’s lockout laws are causing a dustup. The bars now have to close by 2AM instead of 3:3oAM, but just how much business can you lose at that time of the morning? Then again, those Aussies do like to party.

A change in the UK charts could influence the US as well. Top 40 charts don’t turn over much any more since they reflect streams of songs that are listened to over and over. The UK wants to reward new discovery, which might change how charts are determined.

Ameba Records in Hollywood will not see the wrecking ball. At least not until its lease runs out. Ameba sold its prime real estate on Sunset Blvd last year, so this might not end well, but at least any ending won’t happen in the near future.

That’s the 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 9/9/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of Sept 2nd, 2016. Lots of big news this week so lets get into it.

Apple Music now over 17 million subscribers. It still trails Spotify by a lot, but that service has a 5 year head start. The future still looks bright in Apple-land.

Pandora about to offer new low cost service. But it won’t be this week like every thought. The $5 service would make a huge difference to many consumers, but the major labels have to sign off first.

You’ll never guess who had the first exclusive 15 years ago. Believe it or not, it was The Beatles with their Anthology 1 release and it was really effective.

YouTube Red looks like it’s actually beginning to be used. It looks like the service has already turned 3% of users into paid subscribers, which doesn’t sound like much but is a big deal.

Here’s a new one. YouTube demonetization. You better play nice or YouTube is going to penalize you; and this can happen even if you’re one of the platform best performers.

Drake racks up insane listener numbers during the summer. Drake has been the king of Spotify, and he has some wild numbers to back it up. If this is what we have to look forward to in the future, then the music industry should be okay.

If you’re a superstar, you’ll like these “20 ways to release an album.” Yes, there are a lot of strategies when it comes to releases a new album, but most of them only apply if you’re already a superstar. That said, there are some good tips here.

Streaming service Deezer has a new owner. It’s Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, which owns Warner Music. Conflict of interest for a label to own a streaming service?

That’s the 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 9/2/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of Sept 2nd, 2016. As it happens just about every week, Spotify is in the news again, but there were lots of other great news articles this week as well. Let’s get into it.

Spotify is making its own records. Yes, it’s commissioning releases from different producers especially for its Chill, Dinner and Focus playlists. Unethical? No different than Netflix creating their own shows. Controversial? You bet, since it controls those playlists and will force legit producers off, and the record labels can’t be happy at this development either.

Playlists are a big deal. They’re how many discover new music and this post looks in depth at them.

Katy Perry takes a hit over exclusives. It looks like she’s been blackballed by Spotify because of her Apple Music exclusive. Of course, it could be that her last release wasn’t that great and this is a convenient excuse.

Is Bandcamp the best online music store? This New York Times article says it is, but from who’s perspective – the company, the investors or the artists?

A look at how much Frank Ocean with make. Here’s some great insight into what a hit artist can make today and the multiple revenue streams it takes to make it. It might be more than you think, or less, depending on how you look at the industry.

Do you know what the “Millennial Whoop” is? It’s the same exact whooping, melodic sequence that’s been showing up in a surprisingly high number of recent pop songs, and this article takes a close look at it.

The VMA’s were down 34% this year. MTV’s Video Music Awards once were a must watch show for not only the United States, but the rest of the world as well. Not so today and viewership is plummeting. The show really took a big hit this year despite a lot of pre-show hype.

Want an example of a hit DIY artist? Look to Jonathan Coulton. A good overview of a geek programmer who left his job to explore his musical passion. The move worked out well, yet so very under the radar.

What blockchain for music really means. Many believe that blockchain technology will be the savior of the music business, making everyone pay for music again. This blockchain expert explains why that could, or could not happen.

That’s the 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 8/25/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the week of August 25th, 2016. It’s a little more diverse this week, but there are a few blockbuster topics (Spotify never fails to excite). Let’s get into it.

Spotify’s label deals are now out of contract. The company is going month to month, and trying to negotiate a lower royalty rate, meaning that it wants to pay even less to artists and labels. Spotify already has a “soft” deal, but the labels are now pushing for something better. Not a good strategy for Spotify when its IPO is looming, in my opinion.

London’s looking for a “night czar.” The city is looking for a person to help rebuild it’s fading nightlife. It pays about $46,000 for 2 1/2 days work per week. This is a government gig, but there’s probably not a lot of power to change much, as the reason why clubs are dying has more to do with finances than regulation.

A former Apple Music exec defends exclusives. This is a hot topic, as some say it’s really hurting the music business while others think it’s saving it. Sean Glass makes some good points about why it’s a positive.

AM radio doesn’t seem to have much future. This radio consultant sees there’s a need for it and a few stations are thriving, but more and more AM stations are closing all over the world and the trend will probably continue.

Samsung’s free Milk Music service will close in September. It seemed like a good idea in 2014 when it was launched, but never caught on with Galaxy users. The company is urging users to switch to Slacker instead.

Forbes highest paid DJs. EDM has peaked, especially in the US, but the top DJs are still raking it in.

Tencent is the biggest company in China, and wants to be everywhere else too. The digital entertainment company has the financial backing of the Chinese government, and content deals with all the big players in the world.

Want to invest in music, there’s a fund for that. 10 years ago everyone wanted to be in the recorded music business, now it’s touring and and merch, which is booming. This investment fund specializes in that area.

Is sleep a musical genre? It is to some people that specialize in sleep music creation and sleep enhancement products. Don’t be surprised to start seeing this show up in playlists.

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

Music Industry News Roundup #8

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the last week. As always, streaming and streaming services are in the news, but so are a number of huge artists, as well as some cool speculation on the future. Let’s get into it.

Apple Music is seriously getting into song lyrics. Reports are that it’s hired a new team to curate lyrics rather than use a third party to do it. The feature is supposed to be part of iOS 10, which hasn’t been released yet.

The Ed Sheeran plagiarism lawsuit is causing a bit of a dustup. Billboard rants a bit about the bad journalism surrounding the suit (that “Thinking Out Loud” is too close to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”), and on the surface, this one feels frivolous, but we’ve been surprised by the results before. This could be a bombshell for songwriters and music publishers alike if it goes against Sheeran.

Chance The Rapper turned down all the major labels and signed an exclusive with Apple instead. That’s the way the new music business works, although I’d bet that he ends up on a major sometime in the future.

Speaking of exclusives, Frank Ocean also went with Apple Music. Starting to see a trend here? First it was Tidal, then Spotify, now it looks like Apple is putting on the serious push for exclusives. It will be interesting to see its latest subscriber numbers.

In the meantime, Spotify is diversifying into gaming. It launched a new portal dedicated to game soundtracks, which is a great idea, given that gaming is a far larger business than music.

Pandora’s doing the same thing. Diversifying, that is. The company has added more comedy and podcast content, in a move that might be too little too late. Notice how little press the company is getting lately?

People can’t tell what fidelity they’re listening to. That’s what an informal study by CNBC says. Only 1 in 3 could identify the hi-res stream in a test that included streams from Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music. I’m not sure if that means the codecs have all gotten better or the basic quality of the tracks have gotten worse (probably a little of both).

Will Google suffer Yahoo’s fate? It wasn’t all that long ago when Yahoo was the search engine of choice, and this article shows how it could also happen to the current king of the mountain.

How Drake conquered streaming. First you conquer social media, then the streaming comes with that, according to this article. Yeah, it also helps when you’ve had success before a great team to work with.

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

Music Industry News Roundup #7

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the last week. There’s good news and bad news, and some things to keep an eye out for to see how they play out in the future. Let’s get into it.

Sony Music buys Ministry of Sound. MoS is known for their compilations, which don’t play well in the streaming world since all the money goes back to the original label. This should play better on a major label that already owns many of the licenses.

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) are going to war against Sony Music Entertainment. Speaking of Sony, music publishers feel that the label and publishing giant is taking the side of the streaming services instead of songwriters when it comes to the mechanical royalty rate ruling from the Copyright Royalty Board.

Can Deezer’s personal music assistant Flow differentiate it from the competition? That’s what the company is hoping, as it tries to wean users away from the free to a paid tier. It’s going to be an uphill battle though.

Giant torrent sites might disappear. Once the scourge of the music business, torrent sites like Torrentz and Kickass Torrents are gone and the future of other large torrent sites are cloudy at best. You can thank streaming for that.

Nigerian musicians a big influence on the British music scene. They used to lie and say they were from Jamaica, but no more, as Nigerians leave their mark on every corner of the British music business.

Music for apps is becoming a larger revenue stream for artists and songwriters. More app developers realize that hit music can make people play longer, but now record labels are making it easier than ever to license the music they want.

Spotify’s new Release Radar feature provides a new way to discover new music. It provides a playlist of songs from newly released albums. Discover Weekly, which looks at songs released over the last 6 months, starts the week off on Monday, while Release Radar, which only looks back to the last 2 or 3 weeks, hits the weekend on Friday.

Ringo explains why The Beatles benefited from being late to CDs, late to iTunes and late to streaming. It doesn’t matter what the format is, the band continues to sell exceptionally well.

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

Music Industry News Roundup #6

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the last week. Warner Music was in the spotlight, as was Sony/ATV publishing, but Spotify and YouTube couldn’t stay out of the news if they tried.

Warner Music signs with Vevo. Warners is the last of the big 3 major labels to do a deal with Vevo, but it finally happened, mostly because of Vevo’s “reboot” with a a redesigned logo and interface, new user profiles with social components, and a personalized video player offering recommendations.

Warners also partners with Vadio. Vadio’s curation platform, ChannelMaker, allows its clients to curate music video channels from a library of videos, and WMG is the first major to sign on.

How millennials act online. If your target demographic is millennials, then you’ll want to check out this infographic that shows when they’re most likely to buy and what content types they prefer, among other things.

Political campaigns and music licensing. Curious about what music a campaign can legally use? This is a great overview of the many possibilities (it’s not as cut and dried as you might think).

BuzzAngle’s mid-year music report.  Music has changed a lot from last year to this year, and you can check out just how much in this report.

Google’s report defends YouTube. The major labels are at war with the platform, so Google put out his report to defend itself. As with everything, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Spotify is starting to beat YouTube. When it comes to streaming music, people are beginning to prefer Spotify over Youtube, a trend that looks to continue. Remember, throughout history, convenience always wins in the music industry, and Spotify is way more convenient to use.

YouTube multi-channel networks were once hot, now they’re not. Disney-owned Maker Studios, home to PewDiePie, laid off staff last week, and the executive brain drain continues. YouTube once seemed unbeatable, but now seems very vulnerable.

Sony/ATV publishing gets permission from the EU to complete the Michael Jackson buyout. The speculation is that this won’t be good for songwriters in the long run. Also, expect it to change its name to simply Sony Publishing, as the company becomes a closer rival to Universal.

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

Music Industry News Roundup #5

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the music industry news roundup from the last week. There’s much more diverse news than previous weeks, but streaming continues to dominate the conversation.

Taylor Swift is the highest earning celebrity. The thing is, she didn’t get that way from selling music. She learned early that it’s the brand that sells.

Elizabeth Warren has it in for music monopolies. She has her eye keenly on Apple, Google and Amazon. This is not the person to have angry with you, regardless how large the enterprise.

Spotify’s trying some hosted radio shows. It seems like Apple Music’s Beats 1 is making an impact, so Spotify’s trying something similar, but without the big name DJs.

Spotify looks to go public this year. In related news, 5 sources have stated that the company will file an IPO soon. I bet the investors are happy at the prospect of getting some money back, but what will the market say?

Sirius XM subscribers pass 30 million. Everyone thought that the satellite business was dying, but that’s not the case at all. You know what? It’s all about the programming (something that terrestrial radio should learn).

Pandora is teetering. The major shareholders aren’t happy and they’ve brought in a high-powered consultant to explore a sale.

Artists not seeing much from secondary ticketing. Not much of the money made by Stubhub, Viagogo or Ticketmaster seems to be making its way back into the pocketbooks of the artists. Isn’t this a bigger issue than YouTube royalty rates?

Selena Gomez social media posts are worth $550,000 a piece. Astonishing but apparently true, Ms Gomez ranks #1 with sponsors who are willing to pay to be included in her posts.

Nielsen’s mid-year charts. Drake, Adele, Rhianna dominate. No surprises here except for Bowie’s Blackstar being the #1 vinyl album so far (but with only 57,000 copies sold). Sales are still falling, with Adele’s 25 leading the pack with only 1.4 million in sales.

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