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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.
Just when you thought music piracy was dead and buried it comes roaring back as alive as ever. The reason? Exclusives by Kanye West, Beyonce and Prince on Tidal.
These exclusives have been great for Tidal, as they have helped it to jump more than 100 places on the App Store most downloaded app chart, where it now sits at #3 on the iOS list.
As a result, Tidal is now the most popular music app in the US, even above Pandora and Spotify (Apple Music doesn’t chart since it’s a native app).
That’s the good part of the story. The bad part is that some people just don’t want to pay a monthly fee to stream a single album, they’re not fond of Tidal, or they already subscribe to another service, so they resort to piracy instead. As a result, it’s been estimated that West’s The Life Of Pablo was torrented over 500,000 times in just its first day of release!
It looks like the same thing all over again in the initial hours after the release of Beyonce’s Lemonade, as it’s already on top of the the charts of both Kick Ass Torrents and The Pirate Bay.
And while Lemonade may be getting all the credit for Tidal’s sudden ascendancy, the fact of the matter is that it’s the only place online (other than YouTube, of course) where you can stream Prince’s entire catalog. After his passing last week, there’s been a tremendous appetite for his music, again helping Tidal tremendously.
So it looks like the only one making out on these exclusive’s is Jay-Z and his Tidal service. The artists lose sales and streaming royalties to piracy, and the entire industry loses a chance to further the streaming cause. It’s a missed opportunity.
The real smart move here would have been to make the exclusive’s available only on the paid premium tiers of every service to give consumers a reason to sign up or upgrade. It could have happened with Adele’s 25, it could have happened with The Life Of Pablo, and it could have happened with Lemonade.
Instead they’ve resurrected a scourge to the music industry where no one benefits except the pirates.
Here’s an interesting twist in the Kanye West/Tidal story. He’s getting sued by Tidal subscribers who claimed they were duped into paying for the service.
It all stems from when the performer released his latest album The Life of Pablo exclusively on Tidal. At the time, West claimed that the album would never appear on another streaming services, and as a result, some two million people flocked to Tidal to pay at least $9.99 a month to have a listen.
Alas, that exclusivity was to be short lived as TLOP is now available on both Apple Music and Spotify – for free.
That’s part of the reason why West has been named in a class action suit against him. Perhaps because that might be a flimsy case to present, the plaintiff’s attorneys are leaning more heavily on a privacy issue instead.
“Mr. West’s promise of exclusivity also had a grave impact on consumer privacy,” the lawsuit states, mostly because user credit card information, music preferences and other personal information were collected.
The lawsuit contends the value of new subscribers and their personal information could be as much as $84 million for Tidal.
The album was reportedly streamed some 250 million times within 10 days of its release.
This will be an interesting one to watch.