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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.

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 #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.