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Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of March 3rd, 2017. A lot went down this week in a few related areas. Let’s get into it.
Good news – recorded music grew by 7% last year. It’s actually up $1.1 billion over last year, which is a heck of a good year of growth.
Indie labels say their share grew by more than 6%. That’s good news for the DIYers out there.
And indie publishers saw their revenue grow by 60%. The business may never reach it’s previous heights, but it’s definitely coming back.
Facebook is about to go after YouTube big time. And that means paying creators for things like music, if the hire outlined in this article means anything. A lot of people in the industry are very excited about this potential new source of revenue.
Artists are banding together to try to influence the US Copyright Office to force YouTube to pay more. Good for them for trying, but I don’t think it will mean much.
There’s over a billion hours of YouTube watched every single day. That means it’s 10 times as popular as Netflix or Facebook video and almost approaches broadcast TV’s numbers.
And YouTube has millions of dollars for artists in an escrow account. If you’re Canadian, you probably haven’t been paid some royalties owed to you, but you only have 3 months to make a claim.
The Austin live music scene is really struggling. Just like in other cities around the world, venues are closing at what seems to be a record rate. The festival scene is still strong, but SXSW now has a problem with not enough venues for it typical showcases.
Radio is not the place to listen to music, according to Jay-Z. OK, he’s biased but what he’s saying is totally true and it’s been something that I’ve been repeating for years on this blog and in my Music 4.1 book – Madison Avenue really runs radio, meaning that it’s all about the advertiser, not the listener.
That said, the number of radio listeners hasn’t changed much. People talk about the technology as being old and obsolete (it is), yet we all continue to use it more than we think.
That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!
Recently there’s been a lot of speculation on how long Tidal could financially hold on before it would have do something drastic. Today those fears are allayed with the news that telco Sprint has bought a 33% interest in the music streaming service for $200 million. Each of the company’s much celebrated two dozen artist-owners will remain as partners.
A big part of the deal is that Sprint reportedly contributed another $75 million just for future artist exclusives and marketing, which had been lacking in recent months.
Sprint is owned by the Japanese giant Softbank and has about 45 million paying customers, which will reportedly now get access to Tidal as part of their cell phone service agreement.
Tidal is reported to only have about 1 million paying customers, but it is available in 52 countries and has more than 42 million songs in its catalog, as well as 140,000 videos. It’s not known how many of those are on the premium high-definition tier, but it’s presumed to be only a small portion. The press release sent out about the investment states that there will be no change in service for Tidal’s current customers.
Tidal has had a relationship with Sprint that goes back a couple of years, and owner Jay-Z has been courting the company since then. That said, Tidal was burning through money while its paid subscribers weren’t rising at a fast enough rate to compensate. Something had to give, and after overtures to other large companies like Apple, the company pulled off the surprise Sprint deal.
This should at least buy the company some time, give it some money to market with, and gain a new customer base from Sprint customers. Tidal gives Sprint its entry into the music world, which it’s been looking for for some time. At the moment its a win/win scenario for both companies.
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.
A report from the Wall Street Journal yesterday has Apple in talks to buy Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service, and even though Tim Cook’s company has a truck load of cash on hand, this is one acquisition that seems to be a waste of money.
When Apple purchased Beats two years ago for around $3 billion, the company received not only infrastructure that was later used to launch Apple Music, but also executive talent in Jimmy Iovine and Ian Rogers (who has since departed), and branding recognition from Dr. Dre. The general consensus is that the company vastly overpaid for what it received, but at least you could look at the deal and see that it made some sense because a few pieces fit into the larger picture of what Apple was trying to do.
Not so with Tidal. It’s a company reportedly in executive disarray, so there’s no operational talent to acquire. Apple already has all the infrastructure it needs for streaming delivery, so there’s nothing to be gained there either. Tidal does have a high resolution CD quality audio tier, but Apple has been collecting hi-res masters for its Mastered For iTunes program for more than three years now, so it’s even ahead of Tidal in this area, so that’s not a fit either.
Maybe the one thing that might be interesting to Apple is that fact that Tidal has 4.2 million paid subscribers, many of them attracted to the service because of Jay-Z’s brand, and exclusives from Beyonce, Rhianna, Kenye West and Prince. Buy Tidal and you get the users, but who’s to say that those subscribers can easily be retained?
Granted, if the price was right (meaning very low – $100 million or less feels right), it may be a worthwhile gamble for Apple, if for no other reason in that it takes it off the market (although none of Apple’s deep pocket competitors seem to be interested). [Read more on Forbes…]