Tag Archives for " Mark Mulligan "

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 4/7/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week ending on April 7th, 2017. It’s been another big week in the world of streaming, but there’s other news as well. Let’s get into it.

Streaming is now making more money than downloads ever did. And Steve Jobs said it would never happen. Some good charts and comparisons here, but it just goes to show how much the music business has changed in 10 years.

The music business is still unsure about it though. That’s basically because it’s still run by execs that may be a little too “old school” for their own good.

But streaming may be overtaken by artificial intelligence. Don’t bet on it being soon however.

There are 4 ways it could happen. And the article is probably right – it’s just the timing that we don’t know about.

The UMG/Spotify deal is a bigger deal than you think. Mark Mulligan outlines why this is really a big deal for both parties other than what’s been publicized. He says it ushers in a new era of licensing agreements.

The windowing part of the deal is bogus. Bob Lefsetz makes a great point that it will only alienate users, and he has a point.

Pandora is losing audience. Fewer visits and less time spent is a bad sign as it loses users to Spotify.

Spotify may be looking to become a label. But despite what this article says it can’t go into competition with the major labels yet.

You can’t trust Facebook’s numbers. It seems to fudge things by 10 to 15%. But advertisers (the lifeblood of the service) are catching on.

And Beats 1 is not the biggest radio station in the world. Apple fudges the facts as well.

YouTube is changing its advertising and everyone is making less money. Advertisers aren’t happy and content creators big and small are besides themselves. Mark my words, we have now passed “Peak YouTube.”

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!

Spotify May Now Be Looking For A Buyer

Spotify looking for a buyerIt looked like Spotify’s strategy was to go public this year, but recent announcements have pretty much put that aside. The IPO (Initial Public Offering) market has changed recently, and tech companies can no longer be assured of the big paydays of just a few years ago. As a result it looks like the company’s new plan is to look for a buyer instead.

Now to be sure, Spotify has over $3 billion in revenue, but it also has been losing money as well. It currently has a lot of investors that want to cash out, and if an IPO is risky, then those investors are going to push for another way to get their money, which is through an acquisition.

Industry consultant Mark Mulligan thinks that a buyer probably won’t be Western. All the deep pocket companies like Amazon, Apple and Google already have their own services. Facebook is a possibility, but still not a good fit. Mulligan thinks that the only reason why Apple might be interested is to use up some of its off-shore cash reserves before it gets repatriated by the Trump administration, but that’s still a long shot. European companies don’t seem to be interested either.

That leaves Eastern companies and there are a number of them that could be potential suitors. China’s Tencent is already the streaming leader in the Asian market and the company has the money and the will for an acquisition. It would give the company an entrance into the West and immediately make it the 800 pound gorilla of music streaming.

There are a number of other Chinese companies also on Spotify’s radar. Alibaba, Dalian Wanda, and Baidu all have pockets deep enough to pull off an acquisition. Mulligan also suggests that a couple of telecommunications giants could also be in the running with SoftBank and India’s Reliance Communications being the most likely, although 21st Century Fox and Liberty Global may also see some synergy with Spotify in the fold.

One way or the other, it looks like Spotify is going to be going through some changes soon. How will that change its service? Probably not much actually. Until the license agreements with the major labels are renegotiated so the company can offer lower prices, things should still remain the same for some time to come.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 12/23/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 23rd, 2016. Surprisingly enough, there’s a lot of music business-related and social news this week, despite the Holiday season.

iHeart Radio is in big financial trouble. Radio is dying in general, and a few years ago when the hedge funds bought in they didn’t realize that fact. The company probably won’t change much because of the problems (at least in the short term) but the investors will take a haircut soon.

Apple Music is trying to become more than a streaming platform. It’s now more of a quasi-label, offering lots of promotion in addition to streaming. This interview with two Apple Music execs is revealing.

Not to be outdone, YouTube is quietly beefing up promotion for some artists as well. Not that it helps the indie artist much, but you can see where all this going. [subscription required]

There are indie artists making it on streaming alone though. Yes, it’s not only possible, but this article outline a number of indie artists in different countries with massive streaming numbers.

The VR revolution is here, but it has yet to break with consumers. Many think that this will change in 2017, but the consumer uptake so far is disappointing, and understandable.

Dance music hit a big speed bump in 2016. This article outlines 11 things that broke the hearts of EDM aficionados.

The album cycle is pretty much dying, with Drake the perfect example of the new singles paradigm. But playlisting plays a big part in streaming success as well, and this interview with Spotify’s Troy Carter is enlightening.

Streaming is changing music again, finally making the Long Tail concept viable. This Harvard Business Review article shows how streaming is turning the music industry into a singles business, and is killing the album. Oh, and more people are listening to music other than the hits along the way.

Streaming apps aren’t keeping pace, and user experience is the thing to concentrate on. Industry analyst Mark Mulligan makes a number of good points about music falling behind in engagement to non-music apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Buzzfeed.

Twitter is toast, according to one financial analyst. The company is experiencing plateaued growth and a brain drain, and the stock is expected to take a dive soon.

Finally, Facebook is correcting its metrics for ad reach, streaming reactions, Likes and Shares. It looks like the numbers we were seeing weren’t really true after all. If you advertise on Facebook, you should read this article before placing another ad.

That’s the Music 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 11/18/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of November 18th, 2016. Lots on the legal front this week, and streaming news is back strong again. Let’s get into it.

The Justice Department wants BMI to collect fees in a different way. It asked for “full work licenses” where all songwriters must agree to a license, but lost the argument in court recently. It has now announced that it will appeal. Not good for the publishing business if it wins as licensing will get a lot harder if there are multiple songwriters involved.

A long list of music industry associations have asked the US government to support European copyright actions aimed at YouTube. They’re hoping that the royalty payout from YouTube ultimately rises to that of Spotify or Apple Music. This is a long shot at best, but certainly worthy of continued discussion.

Some insiders think that Trump might be good for business. They site the close ties of the Obama administration to Google. Good luck with that one.

Prince’s estate is suing Tidal. It says that the streaming service has been illegally streaming a number of the superstar’s albums without a license. This could end up being the death knell for the service.

Google Play Music rolled out some new features. Improvements to the user interface include contextual song recommendations, which are garnering kudos all around. This could end up being a big deal, as Apple Music is generally thought of as clunky to use, while Spotify as a little stodgy in its UI.

Amazon launched Amazon Music Unlimited in Europe to much fanfare. It’s now available in the UK, Germany, and Austria. And the service rolled out a Family Plan as well.

More than a quarter of all music streaming subscribers hop around. They go from service to service on the free plans with different email addresses, according analyst Mark Mullligan. Not good that they can’t be converted.

Spotify now driving concert ticket sales. It’s now sending out emails to subscribers with ticket offers.

BMG going all in with Alibaba in China. It had signed a 2 year deal to supply music to the Chinese giant, and now extended the agreement for 3 more years.

Metallica’s music returns to Napster. 17 years after the group had a collective thrombo over the music service, their music is back on the platform. We’ve come full circle on that one, haven’t we?

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.