Tag Archives for " Pandora "

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 3/17/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of March 17th, 2017. There’s lots of interesting speculation on new services, and not a mention of Spotify for once. Let’s get into it.

Facebook trying to solve “social music.” No one else has cracked it, but the company is taking music very seriously.

Will AI and chatbots disrupt the music industry? AI is already being used for streaming recommendations, but there may be other places for it as well.

Ed Sheeran claimed 9 of the top 10 chart spots in the UK. And 16 of the top 20, and that’s worrying a lot of people. Are free streams are screwing up the charts because they’re weighted the same as paid streams? Apple’s Jimmy Iovine has a lot to say on this.

Is Taylor Swift getting into the streaming business.  She just filed for 9 trademarks for “Swifties,” but all we know is that it’s for a website. Speculation runs high here.

Pandora finally launched its premium tier. The company tries to capitalize on its 175 million users, but is this too little too late?

Alibaba to launch an artist management company. The Chinese company is going global and has committed to spending more than $7 billion on entertainment in the next 3 years. Look out Google, Apple and Amazon.

Airbnb is getting into the music business. It’s launched its “Music Experience” which provides not only accommodations, but prime tickets as well. Now available in 12 cities but soon expanding to 40 globally.

And Amazon is getting into the festival business. No announcement, just a job posting about wanting to dramatically improve the festival experience. Who wouldn’t be for that?

Google Play Music has new audio playback options. You can now change between 4 different levels of audio quality, which suggest some hi-res music in the future. The problem is there’s no explanation about the specs.

You’ll be shocked at the top vinyl records in each state. Classic rock still rules, which is kind of sad in a way. I like the fact that vinyl buyers understand the quality of the musical period, but it’s time for some new blood.

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

OWC’s Larry O’Connor On My Latest Inner Circle Podcast

Larry O'Connor OWCIf you’re a Mac computer owner then there’s a good chance that you’ve purchased hard drives, memory or accessories from Other World Computing or OWC (I know I have – a lot).

OWC founder and CEO Larry O’Connor joins me for a conversation about new and old Macs, upgrades, and performance enhancements on this week’s podcast. He’ll also tell us some surprising facts about hard drives that every computer owner (and that includes PC people) should know.

In the intro I’ll take a look how the fate of both Pandora and SoundCloud are now hanging in the balance, and at the increasing incidence of hearing loss in adults.

You can listen to it at bobbyoinnercircle.com, or via iTunesStitcher, Mixcloud or Google Play.

Big Changes Are Coming To Pandora Soon

Pandora being sold?If you’re a Pandora user, the service that you know and hopefully love may very well be different in the next month. That’s because an investor revolt looks to be forcing the company’s sale, according to an enlightening expose’ by Music Business Worldwide, and that could come within the next two weeks by the way things are shaping up within the company.

Apparently on last Friday March 3rd new directors were scheduled to be nominated, and founder and CEO Tim Westergren’s tenure as a director was coming to an end. Since it was most unlikely that he would be renominated due to investor unhappiness, he managed to postpone the meeting was two weeks in order to gain some breathing room, which doesn’t normally happen in a publicly traded company.

The thought is that that newly appointed directors would force a sale (most likely to suitor Sirius XM) and force Westergren out as CEO. By postponing the meeting, Westergren has a chance to sell the company in that time period and keep his job, or that’s what the speculation would leave you to believe.

Pandora’s share price has taken a beating, dropping 22% since it’s IPO. It dropped 6% just in the last week after the chairman of Sirius XM parent company Liberty Media made a statement about Pandora being overvalued thanks to its operating loss of $343 million last year.

The big investors in Pandora no longer see a way to make the big money they were betting on and just want to get at least some of their money back as soon as possible, so they’re forcing the issue. That’s why you’ll see a change coming to Pandora one way or another very soon. It probably won’t go away as a company, but you can bet that by the end of the year it will be a far different service than it is right now.

You Won’t Believe What The Most Popular Music Platform Is

Most popular music platformStreaming gets all of our attention these days but there’s more to music distribution than that. Business Insider conducted a survey of adults in the United States and found some very interesting data about our very favorite music platform, Here’s what it found.

iTunes – 30%

Pandora – 23%

Spotify – 13%

Google Play – 12%

Amazon Prime Music – 9%

Apple Music – 7%

Other – 6%

Now don’t misunderstand these numbers. It doesn’t mean that people are buying songs from iTunes, just that they’re consuming what they’ve already purchased there.

There are some total surprises with these numbers though. First of all, Pandora rates almost twice as high as Spotify, and Google Play and Amazon Prime Music have similar usage numbers as Spotify. Apple Music still lags behind.

When we look at the year end streaming numbers from Nielsen and the IFPI it’s very easy to think that streaming is all everyone does these days, but as this study shows, there’s more to music consumption than that.

Some caveats with this data though. First, it’s from September of last year, and second, it takes into account all US adults. These numbers would be very skewed towards streaming if it looked at only Millennials and younger (those that listen to music much more than older adults). Still it’s important to keep in mind that as a popular music platform, iTunes isn’t dead yet.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 2/17/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of February 17th, 2017. A lot went on in the streaming world, although nothing that you’d classify as major.. Let’s get into it.

Spotify just signed a big new lease in NYC and plans to add 1,000 jobs. The is a curious move given recent rumors about its IPO running aground. Could an acquisition be in the works?

Spotify also made a deal with the New York Times. You now get a free Spotify account with every Times digital subscription. That means the company should break 50 mil subscribers by the end of the year.

Apple Music is “well past 20 million” now. Of course, they didn’t say how much past. The last figure was estimated at 20.9 million paid subscribers.

SoundCloud lost 2 top executives. That’s not a good sign for streaming service that’s the backbone of most indie musicians.

Pandora is really trying hard to become a premium product with paying subscribers. It’s hoping to get to 9 million subs by the end of the year. It might be a futile effort as it has a lot going against it at the moment, not to mention fierce competition.

Facebook ads will now play automatically with audio. Ads used to be muted and you had the option to unmute if you wanted. Now we go to the dreaded autoplay with audio, so we’ll all have noisier news feeds. Why? Facebook says the mobile uses want it that way!?#!

Facebook also wants to steal music away from YouTube. It’s trying to make the labels an offer they can’t refuse.

It looks like big changes are coming to music videos either way. Industry analyst Mark Mulligan points out the many ways this sector is changing.

The movement to have radio pay music artists may be coming to a head. The hope is that the new administration will take the side of the artists instead of the radio industry so artists will finally get paid for airplay (only the songwriters get paid currently).

Prince’s music is back on most streaming services. There’s no reason to hold it back if the estate could be making money.

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

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!

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 1/20/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of January 20th, 2017. We’re back in the swing of things as everyone hits the ground running in the new year. Here are some of the news highlights for the week.

There’s speculation that Sony Japan is tiring of the entertainment business and might now want to sell out. That means Sony Music and Sony/ATV publishing as well. Could the 3 major labels soon be down to 2?

It looks like Sirius XM is still interested in buying Pandora. But only at the right price. Pandora is in trouble, so that price is sure to be coming down to where Sirius likes it soon.

There are predictions that the US radio industry is going to change big time soon. Back to local and away from big station groups, as iHeartRadio is in big financial trouble that could start the change. This is a good thing.

The long term trends in radio don’t look good. Despite what you might read, fewer people are listening to radio, a figure that looks like it will only decrease. Is it because of the product (too many commercials) or the format? Could a big industry shakeup change the trend?

Norway shuts down its analog radio system. It’s trying to make a clean shift to digital. This is for national stations only though, as lots of independent analog stations will still stay on the air.

Facebook has decided to stop paying publishers for live videos. It seems like this was just a short term deal to establish the format and now it wants to put more emphasis on long-form videos instead. This is no-doubt because it will soon be inserting mid-roll ads after 20 seconds, so the longer the video, the better.

Apple is looking to produce TV content. Could this be Netflix/Amazon envy, or has it just lost confidence in the core product of Apple Music?

The hottest selling metal records of 2016 holds a surprise. Metallica holds 6 of the top 10 spots and is still selling physical product like crazy.

Music streaming now has more paying users than Netflix. Of course, Netflix is only one company, while the more than 100 million music streaming subscribers is across all the streaming networks world-wide.

10 virtual reality observations. Will it be the next big thing? It could be, but probably not in the way you think.

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

 

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 1/13/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of January 13th, 2017. Everyone is back from holiday vacation and the year is starting to get busy. Let’s see what’s in the news.

Pandora lays off 7% of its workforce. Things are getting tough in streaming land as the company tries to overcome a cash crunch.

Deezer’s Chief International Officer jumps ship to newspaper publisher and SoundCloud’s co-founder takes a new position as well. The big shakeup in streaming is beginning now. There will be far fewer players by mid-year.

Instagram is dropping ads into stories. Not a lot of people are happy about it. Will it kill what until now has been the golden goose? Will musicians make money?

Snapchat is trying hard to make itself important to the music business. You know what? It’s succeeding.

YouTube is running a contest to find someone to create the official music videos for some of Elton John’s biggest songs. “Bennie And The Jets,” “Rocket Man,” and “Tiny Dancer” never had videos but now they will. Don’t forget that Elton recently publicly railed against YouTube for its tiny payout, but he’s in bed with them now.

iHeart Radio officially launched it’s subscription service. $5 and $10 per month tiers, but will people actually pay a monthly fee for radio that they can get free?

Universal and Sony Music lead in streaming market share. Tunecore leads in indies, which is the only surprise here.

Ed Sheeran breaks the all time Spotify record 3 times in 2 days. 46.5 million streams from latest two releases in just 4 days. Boy, that guy is scorching hot.

Labels are rereleasing classic albums to try to skirt copyright law. In the EU, older albums can go to the public domain under the right conditions, and the major labels are exploiting it.

It looks like the era of print music critics has come to an end. The few that are left (it’s estimated there are only 10) are given multiple jobs on the paper or magazine outside the arts. There’s no sense trying to get a magazine or newspaper review anymore.

Pandora’s stock dropped like a rock after reports that Sirius XM’s acquisition was unlikely. This is a company in trouble, and it doesn’t look like any help is on the way.

Music is the fastest growing form of entertainment in the UK. Streaming is leading the way, but I’m not sure what that actually says about the health of the industry.

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

5 Marketing Takeaways From Streaming Music

Marketing TakeawaysIf you look closely, streaming is teaching us all some marketing lessons, according to analytics service Next Big Sound (now owned by Pandora), a company that looks at social, streaming and event data as well as the interaction between an artist and a fan. While many look at it as just a way to get their music to the public, there’s actually a lot more to it than that. Here’s what the company found.

1. Streaming platforms provide a path to niche audiences

When you’re trying to reach a specific demographic, streaming music platforms coupled with social media channels provide the most direct path. For example, according to the report, “latin artists now account for one-third of the most popular artists on YouTube. Half of the top 20 artists on Pandora are most popular with 25- to 34-year-old women.” Streaming, along with social media, allows you to specifically target the group that you’re interested in reaching.

2. Underground EDM and hip-hop fans are the most engaged

Some of the biggest top 40 artists may have larger followings, but that doesn’t mean they’re the most engaged. Artists like Vinny Cha$e, Marshmello, and Logic haven’t even sniffed radio or the Top 40 but have extremely strong audiences, in some cases more loyal than the superstars.

3. People still listen to older hits

Believe it or not, in America people are is still listening to bands like Nickelback—a lot. On Pandora, legacy rock artists like Journey and the Eagles perform just as well as Katy Perry and Kanye West.

4. Some musical genres resonate more with listeners

If you look to the Top 40 as a barometer for what’s popular, you’d come to a wrong conclusion as you’d probably get the idea that pop or country ruled. On Pandora, 60% of the top artists are hip-hop artists, compared to just 15% on the top 40.

5. Emerging artists can be social influencers too

Once again, it’s easy to think that Beyonce or Katy Perry rule because they seem to dominate the streaming and social networks but that’s not the case. Young electro pop artist Halsey, for instance, has a follower growth on Twitter that outranks the Top 40 artists like Iggy Azalea, Adele, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears.

The bottom line is that we tend to think that the world revolves around music’s 1 percenters, but that’s not the case at all. Maybe in radio and on the Top 40, but not across all streaming networks, which gives hope to indie artists everywhere that are trying to improve their marketing .

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

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 16th, 2016. There are a lot of interesting news items again this week (more than usual for so late in the Holiday season), so let’s get right into it.

Global music grew by a billion dollars in 2016. That’s a big deal because it was at $15 bil last year, and this year it’s at around $16 billion – a significant upswing. The big question – how much will actually trickle down to artists and songwriters?

Almost every country except Japan saw some growth. Japan is still tied to physical product by both customs and laws, so it hasn’t really experienced digital music yet. Good news for the rest of the world though.

Pandora is now open to selling to SiriusXM. This might be good for Pandora, but not so much for Sirius. Does Sirius even care? Do you?

Apple should by both Sirius and Pandora. This Barron’s article makes a case for it. I can see the Sirius part, but not Pandora, since Apple Music is doing just fine without it. Subscription required.

The music industry is asking president-elect Trump to get tough with pirates and YouTube. No idea how this will go down, but it’s worth a try.

YouTube is about to pay a lot of back royalties to publishers. Not only that, it provides more protection and opportunities to make more money. Too little too late?

YouTube still has a lot of unclaimed royalties. Although the above deal might take care of most of that. Can some of it be yours?

Elton John is both for and against YouTube. The superstar rails against the platform for inadequate copyright protection, then turns around and signs an exclusive deal with it. Talk about mixed messages.

Fashwave is the new music of the alt-right. Fash stands for “fascism” and the music is Synthwave, mostly out of Sweden. The artist’s music is co-opted and they have nothing to do with the movement, but what’s happened to it is pretty creepy.

This app makes all songs into Christmas songs. Can’t get enough Christmas carols? Then this might be for you.

Radio has forgotten about Millennials. It figured that it lost them to downloads 10 years ago and hasn’t worried about them since. Since like an opportunity lost.

The high-powered Irving Azoff is suing a large radio association. He’s trying to get more money for artists from radio play, but after 2 years there’s been no movement.

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