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Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 2/24/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of February 24th, 2017. It was a rather quiet week, but still lots to talk about. Let’s get into it.

This may be the last easy year for streaming music. It needs new innovations and pricing if it wants to grow.

Users are leaving Snapchat for Instagram. It now has the same features, and this poster tells you why.

Old fashioned TV still drives the music business. But a lot less than in the past Remember when an appearance on Saturday Night Live was worth 150,000 album sales?

Universal Music And MQA make a deal. MQA may be the future format for streaming high-resolution music, and Universal is getting in on it early.

Alex Da Kid thinks there a new resurgence of indie labels coming. And he hopes his label leads the way.

Does owning your music matter anymore? Millions of streaming users say no but this article thinks differently. I’m not so sure I agree.

The big tech companies are still coming after the music business. Good or bad thing? Time will tell, but it looks inevitable.

And maybe Apple will end up with a music monopoly. It’s a long shot, but could happen.

Ed Sheeran is the biggest artist on Spotify worldwide. This is a bit of a surprise, but he’s killing it on the platform.

Look for more personalized ads coming from Pandora. Or just buy a subscription and go ad-free.

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 2/3/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of February 3rd, 2017. This has been a big week for social media changes, but there are still some interesting record label-related developments. Let’s get into it.

Sony earned $1.2 billion from streaming last year. It still made more from physical sales, but not by much.

Streaming is changing music consumption, but is that good? Well, the measurements are no different, and this article doesn’t think they’re as fair and equal as they should be.

Investors are putting more money in the music business. That’s because they believe it’s finally coming back, and owning music publishing is an appreciating asset (which it’s always proven to be).

Vevo has now reached 100 million users. The music video network partially owned my Universal Music was seen by 43% of all viewers who watched YouTube in December. The funny thing is, most of them aren’t even aware that they’re watching it.

Speaking of Vevo, MBW thinks Facebook should poach it from YouTube. The article says that it could make approximately $32 billion a year if it did, which sounds a bit far-fetched to me. Still a good idea though.

Soundcloud’s getting deeper into advertising. Users don’t want to hear this, but the company is trying to increase revenue to look like a better acquisition target.

Snapchat is adding augmented reality. A new lense will allow users to identify environmental elements and superimpose digital effects on top. It’s still experimental so we won’t see it for a while, but it’s cool that it’s in development.

Hulu launched its virtual reality show On Stage. You need the service’s VR app in order to get the full effect, but it’s good to see the technology getting off the ground in music.

Facebook is going to start paying for videos. Both up front and revenue sharing from ads will make video content creators happy. It’s also a shot across the bow of YouTube.

People are upset that Instagram now does groups of photos. They feel it’s trying to become all things to all people and losing its focus.

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!

Facebook Video Chat A New Promotional Tool

Facebook video chatVideo is an important part of every artist’s tool box these days. While many prefer to stay within the confines of produced videos uploaded to YouTube or Facebook, live streaming video can be extremely effective as well. Google Hangouts and Facebook Live have been the predominant ways to broadcast to fans and followers, but Facebook has now introduced an alternative with Messenger Video Chat.

Video Chat is similar to Google Hangouts in that you can interact with others that are streaming on the same call. It beats Hangouts though, in that up to 50 people can stream both video and audio simultaneously (Hangouts is limited to 10, as is Skype). The limitation (although it may not be if you’re using it for promotion) is that after 1o people, Messenger will display only the dominant speaker’s feed.

There are other alternatives to Messenger Video Chat. Both Slack and Snapchat also introduced this same feature recently. The difference is that pretty much everyone is on Facebook, so it’s as universal as you’d want if you need to get your message out.

Live streaming can be an easy alternative to produced videos when it comes to promotion from the standpoint of ease of use and timeliness. As with everything social, consistency is important, and if fans and followers expect a video at a certain time, sometimes the only way to deliver is with a live stream. Not only that, it’s the perfect tool to be able to broadcast from events like gigs, backstage, release parties, in-store signings, and just about anything else that you can think of.

While video chatting, Messenger’s other functions still operate, which means you can still send texts, stickers, and other animations while video and audio are transmitting.  iOS also has one additional exclusive feature called Live Masks, which is similar to Snapchat filters that animate a visual overlay over your face in real time, Facebook’s live masks tale this a step further and allow the user to overlay animation to the live video chat. The feature should also be arriving on Android soon.

Give it a try and let us know how it works out.

How Video Views On Various Platforms Are Counted

video viewsVideo views are an important measurement for not only artists and bands, but record labels, advertisers and sponsors. A high number of views can lead to not only to label and sponsor interest, but also has a snowball effect of more viewers wanting to watch as well. When it comes to monetizing video views though, the problem is that most services like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all measure what they consider a “view” differently.

According to an article on Business Insider, there are 4 factors that determine a view:

1. Whether the video autoplays or was user initiated

2. The required amount of time spent watching the video

3. The amount of video that’s on the screen

4. Whether the video is played in the app or embedded in another site

Let’s look at what the qualifications for a view are on some popular platforms:

  • Facebook is the most liberal with what it considers a view. If a video is autoplayed for just 3 seconds, and it’s 100% on the screen for desktop or 50% for mobile, it’s considered a view.
  • For Snapchat, as soon as a video is played, even with autoplay, it’s considered a view if it’s 100% in view and played in the app.
  • With Instagram, if the video is played for 3 seconds either in the feed or upon opening a story, and it’s 100% in view in the app only, it’s considered a view.
  • For Twitter, the video can be autoplayed, and as long as it’s watched for 3 seconds and is 100% in view either on mobile or desktop, it’s considered a view. This counts across all platforms and embedded posts as well.
  • For Vine, autoplayed Vines that are watched all the way through are considered a view, but only user-initated are counted for longer videos as long as a certain % of the total video is spent watching. The videos must be 50% in view for Vine, and 100% on Twitter.
  • YouTube is much tougher than any of the above. The video has to be user initiated, and it has to be viewed an indeterminate % of the total video length. For advertisers, it has to be 50% in view, but that includes all devices, all platforms, and embedded posts.

As you can see, not all views are equal and some of the view numbers you see can be taken with a grain of salt as a result.

March 23, 2016

Twitter Can’t Get Young Users

Twitter not for Gen ZIf you’re an artist or in a band then you’re probably on social media to reach your existing fans and to expand your fanbase. There’s a problem though, in that it’s getting a lot harder to do that, especially with the biggest social platforms available.

This is especially evident with Twitter, which still has 320 million monthly users, but most of those seem to be business, sports and celebrity users or journalists. Gen Z and younger millennials are staying away like the plague.

It seems that, unlike Facebook (which they reluctantly use), younger users really don’t have a good reason to use Twitter when other alternatives like Snapchat, Instagram and Kik fulfill their needs in a better way.

Twitter is hard to define and even harder to describe why you need it, but any social network is in trouble if the user doesn’t have any friends on it, as is currently the case with Twitter and the Gen Z and millennial crowd.

Brands are beginning to recognize this as well and spending less on the platform, understanding that it probably won’t be growing much in the future, and that you’re buying current users, not future ones.

That’s why it’s important that you know exactly where your fans are before you invest your time in a social platform. You only have a limited amount of energy and as a result, can’t be everywhere, so go where you can get the most bang for your buck in terms of time invested. If you know that your fans are on Twitter, spend your social capital there, but if more are on Instagram (for instance), that’s where you have to be.

Also, be aware of the ebb and flow of social media platforms, because they change every year both in terms of users and features. What works this year might not work next, and vice versa.