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Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 11/4/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of November 4rth, 2016. We’re coming to the end of the year, and as a result, starting to see a number of year-end stories. And it looks like the piracy argument will never die. Check it out.

YouTube Red is a bomb. It only managed to sign up 1.5 million subscribers in its first year, a pitifully small number.

On the other hand, Apple Music is coming on strong. Mostly because its users have more disposable income and trust the iOS environment.

The rumor is that Apple Music will soon be cheaper. Inside sources say that it will decrease to $8 a month by the holiday season.

Do A&R people follow online metrics of artists? Not as much as you might think, it turns out. When it comes right down to it, a real show with a real audience is a much better indicator of how good you are than an edited video.

Make way for the new hybrid record labels. Irving Azoff started the trend on the high end, but now there are indie labels attempting to do the same thing and build a label around today’s technology and mindset.

Pirated CDs are showing up on Amazon. The industry brings the pirated music issue up again, but the fact of the matter is that streaming has won, and this is a drop in the bucket revenue-wise.

Speaking of piracy, Facebook has banned several music sharing groups. That’s such an easy thing to do. Piracy may not be that big of a deal these days, but it’s still best to cut it off when you can.

YouTube makes a deal with GEMA. Good news for artists, labels and songwriters to get paid for their video views in Germany.

There’s a reason why tech companies are importing music execs. They just don’t know how to deal with artists and creatives, it seems. Whether this idea will work is yet to be seen.

The highest paid women artists – Forbes knows. And it’s exactly who expect them to be, but the amount they made last year is still staggering.

And finally, for the first time in long time, NPR has seen a large ratings increase. Politics may have something to do with it, but the state of radio in general is deteriorating as streaming takes over and the ad revenue dries up.

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

Tidal Exclusives Bring Back Piracy

Tidal Exclusives PiracyJust 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.

(This post was first posted on Forbes)