Category Archives for "Music Industry Roundup"

Music Industry News Roundup #4

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s some interesting music business news from the last week. There’s a lot going on in the streaming world, but as usual, that’s not all.

Warner Music had it’s best quarter in a long time. Streaming agrees with this major label, and it’s up around 14% over the same time last year. Guest what? It’s all due to streaming.

“Happy Birthday” is copyright free, but what about “We Shall Overcome” and “This Land Is Your Land?” Both are considered national treasures and thought to be in the public domain, but are instead controlled by the daughter of Woody Guthrie. New lawsuits attempt to change that, but what does it mean for copyright law?

Many superstars are going it alone without a manager. Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Beyonce and Ariana Grande are using a close tight nit team to guide their careers instead of traditional management companies. Prince was notorious for doing the same thing, and Mick Jagger has essentially guided the Rolling Stones since early in their career. Works for some, not so much for others as Queen and Billy Joel had a rough time after trying the strategy.

Drake’s Views chart dominance is mainly due to streaming. It seems that sales aren’t what they used to be, but I’ve been making that point for a long time.

Spotify is trying to program ads based on your musical tastes. The company is now asking advertisers to submit ads that fit specific profiles to better target listeners on its free ad-supported tier. Creepy or smart?

Song pluggers now target playlists. Song “pluggers” or promoters used to target just radio in order to raise the profile of a song and make it a hit, now they target various playlists instead.

Apple has fixed a big problem with Apple Music. It has moved to fingerprinting technology to help better match your personal music collection to its online catalog. User have been frustrated with inaccurate matches, but this promises to kill the bug.

Downloads will be dead by 2020. That’s what this article predicts as it looks at the downward spiral down of downloadable music consumption. Not analysts believe it will happen this quickly, by the way.

Has streaming broken the UK singles charts? A better question might be, what dos the singles chart now measure, because it certainly isn’t sales.

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 #3

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s some interesting music business news from the last week. As always, it’s surprising how some old topics keep on coming back to life, and the new topics that we never expected pop up.

Streaming music has surpassed YouTube music views. They said it would never happen, but streaming music is now more popular that YouTube for listening to music. This is extremely important because it’s really a paradigm shift happening right before our eyes, as music streaming becomes the big dog of music distribution. Watch the financial pie get bigger for everyone in the food chain!

Spotify and Apple Music are beating YouTube with blockbuster hits. Huge hits like Drake’s “One Dance,” Rihanna’s “Work,” Desiigner’s “Panda” and Zayn’s “Pillowtalk” don’t appear as much on YouTube as on the streaming services.

Spotify paid subscribers now at 37 million. That’s a good strong metric for success, except that so many of subscribers are on a discounted $0.99 per month or 3 months for $10 plans, so there’s no telling what will happen when those run out. Spotify figures they’ll lose between 1 and 1.5 million subs, but experts figure it will be higher. Still, the streaming service continues to grow at a faster rate that the competition.

Sony/ATV’s purchase of the other 50% of Michael Jackson’s catalog is in jeopardy. It appears that European regulators may block the acquisition because it will give Sony too much control of the publishing world. I guess that owning 60% of any industry would get anti-trust regulators to open their eyes.

Speaking of Sony, it’s being investigated in the U.S. for colluding against Rdio. The streaming service filed for bankruptcy last year (a lot of its assets were purchased by Pandora), but Rdio’s 3 founders are filing an anti-trust suit saying that Sony colluded with Warner Bros and Universal in licensing issues to force them into bankruptcy.

The music and tech industries are out of touch when it comes to copyright laws. That’s the conclusion from an article in the Wall Street Journal, but most industry experts think that the existing copyright laws need a serious updating since they apply more to a time before the high-tech age we live in today.

A classical composer has a similar viewpoint. It’s not only pop and rock songwriters that are suffering from existing copyright laws. Jennifer Higdon feels she’s not getting free market value for her compositions, which are played by orchestras worldwide.

Distrokid has created a new system for getting artists paid. This allows for multiple people to get paid, even with different percentages of ownership, instead of the current system of a single payment to one person that has to be divided after the fact.

Soundcloud is taking another step to becoming a full-fledged streaming service. It’s added a new radio-like feature similar to what other services have. Users have said it’s very “Pandora-like,” although I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.

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 #2

Music Industry News Roundup It appears that Music 3.0 blog readers liked the News Roundup concept, so here’s the second addition, although it’s a bit abbreviated because of the July 4th holiday.

Google Play offers 4 free months. If you’re a brand new subscriber, you can get Google Play and YouTube Red bundled together for what amounts to $40 value for a free trial. There is a catch though. If you’ve ever been a subscriber, even for a free trial, you’re not eligible.

How well is YouTube Red doing? Much better than you think, according to analyst Mark Mulligan. He says it’s reaching between 5 and 10% month over month growth, and there’s an appetite for the service, especially in the U.S. That said, it’s still only reaching slightly less than 90% of the current YouTube users, so some aggressive marketing is needed.

YouTube Red is going cheap. As a result, Red is trying to drum up business with a $0.99 for 3 months. The catch? The Christmas holiday season doesn’t apply. These 3 articles show that Google/YouTube is starting to get more aggressive in the marketplace, which will affect both Spotify and Apple Music. Price war, anyone?

People still refuse to pay for music. According to a BPI Briefing study, 2/3rds of adult Internet users stream music at least once a month. The bad news? Only 1 in 10 are willing to pay for it. Most surprising? It’s people between 16 and 24 that are more likely to pay for it.

Facebook changes its Newsfeed again. Everyone but consumers seem to be up in arms about Facebook’s new Newsfeed algorithm. The new one places more emphasis on posts from family and friends first, and posts that entertain and inform second. Ads and commercials come in last.

When music becomes more popular faster. An interesting article on Poly-Graph shows how there have been more music videos that exceed a billion views recently. How much so? Out of the 17 that have passed a billion, 15 have come in the last year. Adele’s “Hello” made it in only 87 days!

Automated rights might not be the way to go. Anti-piracy firm Rightscorp is questioning its own viability after some dismal first-quarter financial results. The company is hired by record labels and publishers to collect money from copyright infringers, but the pirates are either getting better at it, or it maybe piracy just isn’t as bad as it used to be.

The Consent Decree still stands. What may be the biggest story of last week, the U.S. Department of Justice refused to change what’s known as the Consent Decree. Music publishers want to be allowed to negotiate their US digital rights outside of the blanket licences offered by ASCAP and BMI, but the DoJ ruled against it. What more, the DoJ ruled that both ASCAP and BMI must accept 100% licensing – meaning that if a licensee clears a track with one writer, it doesn’t need to bother doing so with his or her co-writers or co-publishers. Publishers and songwriters aren’t happy, to say the least.

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

Music Industry News Roundup

Music Industry News Roundup Today begins a new  series on the Music 3.0 blog. One day every week I’ll provide a post with links to a number of interesting music business-related stories. Some will be about social media, some about music distribution, some about royalties, and some about record labels, but all will be connected to the industry in some way (or at least you can take the information and use it for the music business). Let’s get started.

Does YouTube change your listening habits? The article thinks it does. In fact, it states that many listeners don’t even enjoy what they’re listening to and are just dialing up sounds for a particular situation. It says that we watch groups of videos clustered into categories, but I’m not so sure why that should surprise anyone.

Spotify lost more money in 2015. It’s making a bunch, but it’s paying out more than it’s taking in. How much longer can its investors stay in the game? Still, it’s the streaming service to beat as it has more paying subscribers than any other at the moment.

Spotify’s playlists are responsible for a billion streams a week. Speaking of Spotify, their playlists are killing it as they’re now responsible for about 4% of all streams on the service. Not only that, they’re paying out around $1 million per day in royalties!

7 digital advertising trends. This is an Adweek post, so it’s written mostly for brands instead of bands, but it still has some useful information. Like you see elsewhere, it predicts that mobile is the way to go and chat is the future, but it also looks at ad blocking and annoying online ads.

We’re spending less time on social media. Especially on Twitter and Instagram. People are spending less time on Facebook too, but still spend over 45 minutes on the service every day.

Facebook is preferred for video viewing. It didn’t take long for the service to catch up to and surpass YouTube, but it’s now the platform of choice for viewing. Only millennials prefer YouTube now, according to this survey.

A key part of digital copyright licensing law is being streamlined. Right now there are multiple lawsuits against Spotify and other services by songwriters because they weren’t notified that their songs were available on the service, which is required by law. The problem is, it’s not really an easy chore for a service as it’s set up right now, and it’s costly, so a new and improved way of doing it online can make a big difference going forward.

Rights that no one talks about. There’s a lot of money being made when an artist’s songs are publicly performed, but they’re not always discussed outside of an attorney’s office. These “neighboring rights” are important though, and are finally getting more attention.

Classic artists are more popular than ever. Even dead artists like Tupac, Prince, Michael Jackson and Elvis are making more money than ever, and superstar artists over 60 like Paul Simon and Bob Dylan are even having hit albums again. What does that mean for the health of the music industry?

Metal still sells. Attendance is still strong for metal concerts, and the earnings for superstars and newcomers alike are surprising.

Each of these posts contain some useful and interesting information that I hope you’ll enjoy. Let me know if you like this format, and I’ll do more in the future.

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