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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 #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.

Taishi Fukuyama Of Qrates On My Latest Inner Circle Podcast

Taishi FukuyamaWe all love vinyl and if you’re an artist you’d like to release your next album on it. The problem is the long 6 month+ wait times at the pressing plants and the big orders that you have to place just to get in line.

Qrates.com offers vinyl orders for as few as 100 copies, has a unique online ordering system, and provides built-in crowdfunding for the product as well all on one site. Chief Marketing Officer Taishi Fukuyama joined me on this week’s podcast to discuss the Qrates business model, as well as a little bit about the music scene in Japan at the moment.

In the intro I’ll discuss Deezer’s launch in the United States (finally) as well as Fairlight leaving the audio business (now that’s a piece of audio and studio history).

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

Deezer Launches In The U.S., But Does Anybody Care?

Deezer-logoAfter a year run up, the streaming service Deezer has finally launched in the United States. Spotify’s major competitor in Europe is now in the world’s largest market, but the question is, does it have enough to differentiate itself from the rest of the current streaming contenders in the space? The Paris-based service launched in 2007 and is already live in 180 countries and has 3 million paid subscribers.

Deezer is available on iOS, Android and Windows phone apps and features a catalog of 40 million songs and 40,000 podcasts, but most significant is that it won’t have a free, ad-supported tier. The service is instead opting for a free 30 day trial period with no ads and no usage limitations. That should make artists, their managers and their labels happy, but it may not be much of an incentive to get people to jump from an existing service of choice.

The platform allows users to create multiple playlists, import MP3s of songs they already own so all their music can be found in one place, and even listen while offline. A feature called Flow also provides song recommendations based upon the user’s listening experience and existing library, and something called Deezer Sessions features live music from festivals and other venues. There are also curated playlists and recommendations, and lyrics are available for the songs you listen to.

Deezer is rolling out its U.S. service without a top Stateside executive though, as former CEO Tyler Goldman is apparently no longer with the company, according to TechCrunch. You can hear Goldman discuss Deezer on my Inner Circle podcast from September 13, 2015.

The company postponed its IPO last year after receiving only lukewarm interest, but raised an additional round of funding worth $109 million this year that made the U.S. launch possible. Deezer has been active in the territory for a while though, as it had previously acquired Muve Music from AT&T as well as the podcast service Stitcher, and also partnered with Sonos last year to support its $19.95 per month high-resolution tier. [Read more on Forbes...]