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Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup from the week of October 14th, 2016. Streaming is back in the news this week as Amazon and Pandora both launched new services. There’s so much more though that you could easily have missed. Let’s get to it.
Amazon finally launched its stand-alone streaming service. But is the company taking after Apple and using it to sell hardware?
Pandora launches it’s new service too. Not to be outdone, Pandora finally launched its interactive service as well as a total rebranding. It was curious that it launched on the same day as Amazon though. It was pushed down the list of news as a result.
Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine hints at things to come. He’s claiming that we’re going to love the upcoming features and upgrades to Apple Music, but then again, he’s always been a salesman.
Doing an artist deal with Apple may not be what’s it’s cracked up to be. It seemed like a good deal at first, and the money was good, but in the end Anohni feels that the company tempered her political style.
Is canned music on the way out? An organization in the UK is trying to ban elevator music, blaming it for noise pollution and world-wide hearing loss.
Michael Jackson topped the list of dead celebrity earners. That was mostly because of the sale of his publishing to Sony Music so this might be a one time only thing.
Will Emotional Radio save the medium? This new smart radio senses your mood via artificial intelligence and programs it accordingly.
Speaking of radio, BBC 1 is losing all its best DJs. It’s shaping up as a big problem as it’s affecting the ratings.
Streaming exclusives may be here to stay. Labels hate them and there’s evidence that they don’t actually boost an artist’s album, but the evidence says they’re not going way.
A new agreement opens the door to unofficial mixes on Spotify and Apple Music. The contract with Dubset sets the stage for more indie artists and more music that haven’t been able to get on the platforms before.
That’s the News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.
It’s been rumored for months, and it’s finally happened. SoundCloud has launched a subscription tier to its streaming service called SoundCloud Go and it’s priced at what’s now become the standard – $9.99 per month ($12.99 for iOS).
The fact of the matter is that SoundCloud Go seems like it’s more to appease the major labels than anything. All 3 majors have now licensed their catalogs to SoundCloud in an effort to get a piece of the DJ remix space they’d been missing.
As for the consumer, there’s not all that much of an advantage. The free tier provides 125+ million tracks while the SoundCloud Go offers the same plus an “expanded catalog” (no idea what that means), offline listening, and it’s ad free.
One of the big problems for consumers is the lack of big names on the platform, or extensive catalog from major label artists, although the platform seems to be adding more content to Go today. Still, the majority of available songs consists of remixes or user uploaded tracks.
SoundCloud has had a major problem with DJ remixes using unlicensed material, and has had to revoke the subscriptions of many of them as a result, which has led to bad blood in the community and mass defections to MixCloud and Dubset. It’s going to be difficult to get them back, if for no other reason than from a logistics standpoint of moving a catalog to a new service.
It appears that SoundCloud Go will pay artists according to their market share, which means that the top 1% will continue to enjoy a higher revenue stream regardless of whether they own the copyright of their material or not.
SoundCloud currently has 175 million active users, so even a conversion rate of 5% would make it a player in the streaming space with nearly 9 million subscribers. SoundCloud Go is only available in the U.S. market for now, but will roll out globally later this year.
By the way, you can avoid the extra $3 iOS charge by signing up on your desktop instead of your iPhone.