Tag Archives for " Amazon Music Unlimited "

The Streaming Music Price Wars Have Begun

streaming music price warsIt was probably only a matter of time, but it now looks like the first of many streaming music price wars has truly broken out. In a reaction to Amazon entering the streaming market with its Music Unlimited service, Google has extended the free trial period for its Play Music service to 4 months, making a new subscription average of about $6.66 over the course of the first year.

In response, Spotify reintroduced its offer of just $0.99 for the first 3 months of premium streaming access. This deal was previously offered during the summer and resulted in about 2 million new subscribers per month. The problem, of course, is keeping the paid users after they subscribe, and as noted in previous posts, as many as 25% of streaming subscribers jump from free plan to free plan when their trial period is up. In order to counter that, Spotify has also introduced a $9.99 for 3 month play to lapsed users in order to entice them to reapply.

Apple Music is the only service that hasn’t deviated from its normal plan of a free 3 month trial period before the user is charged $9.99 per month.

This pricing war started last month when Amazon introduced it’s service at $7.99 to Prime members, and $3.99 if locked to one of its Echo devices. The catch, of course, is that you need a $99 per year Prime subscription, so it was really more expensive than the other services, but the perception by the public was that it was cheaper on a per month basis.

The trial period is the only bit of leeway that the streaming service actually have to play with, since the monthly price of $9.99 is locked in by their agreements with the major record labels. Despite many in the industry calling for a decrease in the monthly price in order to attract more paying subscribers, the labels have refused to budge. We’ll see if the current round of deals is enough to boost the subscription rate to the anticipated level, or just leads to more price wars down the road.

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 10/21/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup from the week of October 21th, 2016. It’s some pretty good news for the recorded music industry, more on music subscriptions and some interesting lawsuits. Let’s get to it.

The music business has seen a lot of growth this year. Up 3.2% globally and more than 8% in the U.S.. That’s great news for an industry that’s had quite a few bad years lately.

Garth Brooks becomes Amazon Music Unlimited’s first exclusive. Good for Amazon but will it work for Garth in the end?

Grooveshark’s creator has a new platform. And this time it just might be endorsed by the major labels.

Radio is giving live streaming a try. Finally, radio’s doing something to try to increase its relevancy.

Spinal Tap sues Universal. Harry Shearer sues the media giant for $125 million, stating that he’s received less than $100 for record sales in 30 years. Merchandise income only a little better.

Will there be more device restricted music subscriptions in our future? The low-priced Amazon Music Unlimited tier with Echo and Dot may be just the first of many.

Kanye West thinks the feud between Jay-Z and Apple has hurt his latest release. I think he just backed the wrong horse when he went all in with Tidal exclusives.

You won’t believe the music service that has half the teens in America signed up. Musical.ly may the industry’s secret weapon.

A brief look at the history of Pop music. You probably could guess what’s the most popular pop song of all time.

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

October 18, 2016

Mike Dias From Ultimate Ears On Episode #131 Of My Inner Circle Podcast

Mike DiasIf you’re like me, you don’t have a huge amount of experience with in-ear monitors. I’d just gotten fitted for a set, and thought it would be a great idea to find out as much as I could about them, so I asked Ultimate Ears sales director Mike Dias to come on this week’s podcast to fill us in.

In this episode we’ll talk about all the nuances of in-ears, as well as the laser scanning process for the ear molds, and the fact that these tiny earpieces hold as many as 18 drivers!

On the intro we’ll look at Amazon’s new Music Unlimited streaming service and it’s deceptive low prices, and some out-of-the-box thinking of putting music venue sound systems in the ceiling instead of on the stage.

You can listen to it at bobbyoinnercircle.com, or via iTunesStitcher, Mixcloud or Google Play.

Don’t Be Fooled By Amazon Music Unlimited’s Price

amazon music unlimitedAmazon has finally launched it’s long awaited stand-alone streaming music service and it’s called Amazon Music Unlimited. On the surface it has a number of interesting features that differentiate it from the other major streaming services, but one has to wonder whether potential users will find them compelling enough to subscribe.

Perhaps the service’s biggest feature is price. If you’re already an Amazon Prime customer, Amazon Music Unlimited is available for just $7.99 per month or $79 per year, undercutting the norm of $9.99 per month charged by most other services. If you’re not a Prime customer however, you’ll still be charged the customary $9.99 per month.

If you happen to own an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap device, the price is even lower at $3.99 per month, but music playback only works on that device. If you want to receive the full Amazon Music service on your phone, for instance, you’ll still need to pony up for the full Unlimited tier at either $7.99 monthly if you’re a Prime member, or $9.99 if you’re not.

On the surface this seems pretty interesting in that a lower price for streaming is what major industry consultants have been advising for years. Even back at the peak of the CD boom, the average music buyer never purchased $120 worth of music per year, as is the case now with a $9.99 per month streaming plan. Though there’s been a decent amount of streaming penetration at that price point, it’s still only 10% or less in some territories, according to industry pundit Mark Mulligan. Potential subscribers that might not ever buy at $9.99 are more likely to change their minds if that monthly threshold was lower.

That’s why Amazon Music Unlimited’s $7.99 per month price point looks so inviting. It’s a step in bringing that monthly fee more in line with the expectations of the greatest number of users.

The problem is that this price is really a mirage.

You have to be an Amazon Prime member in order to have access to the $7.99 price, and this is after you’ve already payed $99 for your Amazon Prime subscription for the year. And, as a Prime member, you already have Amazon’s Prime Music service available to you for free, so why would you want to pay the extra 8 bucks a month for something that you’ve already paid for?

To be fair, Amazon Music Unlimited is different from Prime Music in a number of ways. There are a lot more songs available (Amazon will only say its in the “tens of millions” as compared to Prime Music’s two million), there are curated playlists, behind-the-scenes artist commentaries, and a new app. Is that worth the extra money per month? It will be interesting to see just how many of the estimated 60 million Prime members say, “Yes it is!” [Read more on Forbes]