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

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of March 3rd, 2017. A lot went down this week in a few related areas. Let’s get into it.

Good news – recorded music grew by 7% last year. It’s actually up $1.1 billion over last year, which is a heck of a good year of growth.

Indie labels say their share grew by more than 6%. That’s good news for the DIYers out there.

And indie publishers saw their revenue grow by 60%. The business may never reach it’s previous heights, but it’s definitely coming back.

Facebook is about to go after YouTube big time. And that means paying creators for things like music, if the hire outlined in this article means anything. A lot of people in the industry are very excited about this potential new source of revenue.

Artists are banding together to try to influence the US Copyright Office to force YouTube to pay more. Good for them for trying, but I don’t think it will mean much.

There’s over a billion hours of YouTube watched every single day. That means it’s 10 times as popular as Netflix or Facebook video and almost approaches broadcast TV’s numbers.

And YouTube has millions of dollars for artists in an escrow account. If you’re Canadian, you probably haven’t been paid some royalties owed to you, but you only have 3 months to make a claim.

The Austin live music scene is really struggling. Just like in other cities around the world, venues are closing at what seems to be a record rate. The festival scene is still strong, but SXSW now has a problem with not enough venues for it typical showcases.

Radio is not the place to listen to music, according to Jay-Z. OK, he’s biased but what he’s saying is totally true and it’s been something that I’ve been repeating for years on this blog and in my Music 4.1 book – Madison Avenue really runs radio, meaning that it’s all about the advertiser, not the listener.

That said, the number of radio listeners hasn’t changed much. People talk about the technology as being old and obsolete (it is), yet we all continue to use it more than we think.

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

How We Listen To Music In Our Cars

music in carsOnce upon a time the only way to hear music while driving was through the radio. Of course you were at the mercy of the station of what you were listening to, but thanks to the 8 track tape, cassette tape, and then the CD player, you could personalize your listening experience. Today there are many more choices for music listening available in the car, and a new study by Music Biz Consumer Insights and LOOP gives us more details into not only the technology choices, but the listener ages as well.

Interestingly, 75% of respondents said they still listen to AM/FM radio, while CD listening came in second at 38%. Digital music files had 18% and streaming Internet radio had 15%, while podcasts were at just 6%.

Age has a lot to do with how we listen however, and the younger you are, the less you rely on traditional in-car technology. The study found that 29% of ages 20 to 24 listen to digital music files and 26% listen to streaming Internet radio. That’s almost the same for the 25-34 group, which come in at 28% and 29%, respectively, while teens aged 15-19 posted 23% and 22%. Digital music files were somewhat common for the 35-44 group as well, as 26% listened to digital music files, but older than that dropped below 20%.

The traditional auto CD player seems to be falling by the wayside as 60% had an in-car CD player, but it really depends upon the age group. CD player ownership was most common for the 25-34 group and older, while ages 16 to 19 had just 38% CD player ownership and the 20-24 group reported 41% ownership. Just 31% had some sort of in-car phone audio connection, such as a wired or wireless aux input, and millennials are most likely to own phone adaptors at 43% for the 20-24 age group and 44% for ages 25-34.

But here’s the thing, even though CD players in autos are somewhat common, they aren’t regularly used. Just 23% said they use their in-car CD player daily, compared with 48% daily using their phone audio connection.

The study also looked at Sirius XM’s satellite radio use. Just 17% of all respondents said their cars could stream Sirius XM, but 76% of those listen to it at least once a week and 54% listen daily.

The bottom line: music consumption in our cars is slowly changing, even for the older age groups, and it won’t be long until we’re in a two choice world – radio or digital.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 10/28/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup from the week of October 28th, 2016. As always, it’s a mixed bag of different industry items that caught my eye. Let’s do it.

Pandora lost a lot of money and listeners in the last year. The company may be transitioning to a full interactive platform, but it could be too late to be a real competitor in the space by the time it finally gets it done.

Spotify video isn’t doing too well. It got almost no traction, so the company is cutting ties with some of its providers, while claiming that it’s still in the game.

Soundcloud grows a bit. And it claims it’s all thanks to getting people to pay.

Twitter is discontinuing Vine. Could this be a sigh of things to come, now it’s killing is short-form video app?

Georgia is trying to bring in more music projects. It may pass a law that will provide incentives to producers and artists to record there. Sounds like a good thing, but other states have tried this as well and have halted it after a few years. It never has the effect that either the state or the producers hope it will have.

The first virtual reality music release is here. Universal Music jumps in the game first with something new from Avenged Sevenfold.

MTV adds fan livestreams. In an effort to stay relevant, MTV will allow fans to livestream starting with a full-time show on MTV Australia (although it was tested in the US this last year as well).

Radio tries some audio sharing. One of the things that bums people out about radio is that they can’t share something they like with their friends. Maybe they now can with these new apps.

Radio online made easier. A better way to listen to radio streaming as well with something called Radioplayer.

Piracy is supposedly up again. How? Streaming ripped off of YouTube. I don’t believe it, personally. Piracy is always going to be there, but for most people it’s far more convenient to get it for free from Spotify or a similar service, so why bother with the hassle.

Selling songs without selling out. You don’t always have to be aggressive with your networking and marketing to get your songs placed.

That’s the 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 10/21/16

Music Industry News Roundup 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.

September 27, 2016

Patreon CEO Jack Conte On Inner Circle Podcast Episode #128

patreon-ceo-jack-contePamplamoose showed the world just how powerful some DIY YouTube videos could be, garnering millions of views that eventually landed the duo some national television commercials. Jack Conte, half of the duo, built on that success to form Patreon, a way for creators to make a living from their work through subscription payments from their fans.

In this week’s Inner Circle Podcast, Jack talks about how Patreon got started and some of the surprising successes of the platform’s users.

On the intro I’ll take a look at how radio as we know it is dying right before our eyes, and a quick overview of Pro Tools 12.6 and some features that we should have had a long time ago (as many other workstations have had).

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

iHeartRadio Needs $6 Billion To Pay Back Loans

iheartradioThe largest radio station ownership group is in big financial trouble. iHeartRadio, which owns over 850 terrestrial radio stations, is struggling as it’s projected to lose more than $80 million this year and has threatened bankruptcy. That has spooked the investors that loaned the company more than $6 billion, and now they want their money.

Actually, the company is more than $21 billion in debt, and it’s been that way for more than 8 years since it changed it’s name from Clear Channel. At that time, the company made a big push into Internet radio by aggregating programming from all of its terrestrial stations, although that seems like a moot point since from a music perspective it’s all pretty much the same.

Clear Channel has often been blamed for the demise of the healthy radio business as it scooped up stations across the country, laid off DJs and newsroom employees, and automated the stations with a homogenized brand of pop music and news designed to sell ads more than please listeners. In the process, local radio was decimated as most of the programming came from a central office in San Antonio.

The fact of the matter is that radio is currently in big trouble, and one of the reasons is because of station groups like iHeartRadio have squeezed the originality out of it. Listenership is dropping like a rock as people tune in to Spotify or Apple Music to be entertained instead, which will continue to increase as cars become more connected.

Take AM radio, for instance. Even during prime time (drive-time), it’s not uncommon to hear free public service announcements because the ad slot couldn’t be sold. FM fares a little better, but advertising rates have dropped in recent years, which is a prime reason why iHeartRadio is in trouble.

This is another case of greed in the entertainment business, where private equity investors take over an industry with the express intent of squeezing as much profit from it as possible. It’s actually nice to see that backfire for once, as iHeartRadio will undoubtedly be broken up and sold for pennies on the dollar if it enters bankruptcy, or the investors get their way in court. Sadly, that probably won’t change radio in the foreseeable future.

What Do People Listen To On Their Smartphones?

Smartphone listeningSmartphone listeningEdison Research recently completed a study on smartphone usage and discovered that the listening habits of users isn’t quite what we believed it to be. in fact, the results were pretty surprising.

  • 54% listened to a radio channel
  • 16% listened to music they own
  • 15% listened to Pandora or other radio-like streaming services
  • 7% listen to Sirius XM
  • 5% to TV music channels
  • 2% listen to podcasting

Heavy listeners (those defined by listening to 2 hours or more per day) have a slightly different consumption pattern.

  • 43% listen to music they’ve downloaded and own
  • 37% listen to streaming audio
  • 9% listen to AM/FM radio
  • 7% listen to podcasts

Finally, 87% of adults from 18 to 34 never let their smartphones leave their sides.

All that said, we’re under the impression that the listening world belongs to exclusively to streaming, but that’s far from the case, according to the study. While radio listening and downloads may be dropping, they’re still a vital portion of our listening day.