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Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 1/27/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of January 27th, 2017. There’s lots of varied news that covers the spectrum of the music business. Here are some of the news highlights for the week.

Spotify wants to pay a lower royalty rate. It’s contract with the major labels is up, but it’s offer is to pay 14% less than it’s paying now. Good luck with that.

Spotify also has some big loan payments soon. Which is why the rush for the company to go public this year.

Pandora thinks it can take on Apple Music and Spotify. Maybe, but it has a long way to go. This article provides its plans.

32 online music services have shut down in the last 5 years. It’s getting tough out there unless you’re one of the big boys.

Sony wants to keep its music division. It plans on selling the film studio, but music is making too much money to cut loose.

Artists can make money from YouTube’s new Super Chat feature. It’s a pay-to-comment feature that the service hopes will add some revenue to the artist’s coffers. It’s also killing the Fan Funding feature in the process.

Google Play Music is testing an auto-play option.  It’s unique in that it resumes play at the spot where you left off when you launch an app.

Music has to lead the way for VR to succeed. That’s going to be difficult, as most creators still view audio (let alone music) as the poor step-child to the picture.

Movie trailers may be the best marketing for an artist. At least that’s what this Atlantic Records exec thinks.

It looks like protest music is making a comeback. We can thank our new president for that.

Some of the copyright changes that the industry hoped for might not happen. The new administration is strangely silent on the matter, which scares music insiders.

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

Yeah, People Still Buy Songs, Especially When They’re 69 Cents

69 cents itunesThere’s an experiment going on in Apple’s iTunes Store that not many are paying attention to, but it just might prolong the download side of the music business for a few more years. It’s true that streaming is all the rage, with subscription numbers increasing at a steady pace while the download business is falling like a rock. But not so fast – price is an issue here, just like with everything else.

As I illustrated in my article last week about the upcoming $5 streaming tiers for Pandora and Amazon, price is the way into a music consumer’s heart, and downloads are no different in that regard. As a prime example, few months ago iTunes launched a “Great 69 cents Songs” section, and while that hasn’t caused the music loving public to buy downloads in record numbers again, something else did happen that might be even more appealing to both artist and label. Yes, there were some additional sales, but what’s really interesting is that radio airplay and streams actually went up for songs in this discount section.

Hit songs are now usually priced at $1.29 on iTunes, which seems to be beyond the price resistance point for most consumers, so it’s no surprise that download sales are accelerating in the wrong direction. Even at $0.99, download numbers would continue to fall, but a 69 cents price point is appealing in that it’s almost approaching an impulse buy.

That said, the major record labels tend to only keep the songs in this section at this price for a short period of time and then return them to $1.29. Guess what? The sales then drop off.

There’s some additional strategy to placing a release in this section though, as it’s a way to keep a song on the charts when its popularity begins to wane, or to give it a boost if it’s bubbling just under the top tier of one of the various charts. [Read more on Forbes…]