Tag Archives for " Spotify "

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 3/24/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of March 24th, 2017. Spotify gets a lot of attention because it’s getting serious about its upcoming public offering, but lots of other news as well. Let’s get into it.

Spotify is nearing a new licensing deal with the major labels. It’s been out of contract for the last 2 years, but needs to reup before its IPO this year.

The Street takes a grownup look at Spotify’s current financial situation. There are a lot of forces currently at work here that are pushing Spotify to make deals that it might not want.

Speaking of Spotify, it’s collecting a huge amount of data from you. It doesn’t care much if you stream for free because it’s learning so much about you that it’s turning into cash.

Voltra has a different approach to monetizing music, both for the consumer and artist. The question is, will it survive against the deep pocketed services that have a big head start?

Just after you thought no one can top Ed Sheeran, here comes Drake again. He breaks both Apple Music and Spotify records with 90 million streams in 24 hours for his latest release.

Vinyl versus streaming – the future. Experts predict what may happen to both, but they’re actually pretty vague, and I think off the mark.

Discogs is bringing record collecting into the 21st century. Although there are many who go along kicking and screaming.

Google Hangouts gets a makeover. It’s not only going after Slack, but WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as well.

LiveNation has acquired 13 companies in 13 months. The latest is the UK’s Isle of Wight festival. Talk about a rollup.

Radio is listened to at the same rate in all age groups. Surprising numbers from Nielsen, but these numbers have been holding steady for years.

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

March 16, 2017

5 Steps To Get On Spotify And Apple Music Playlists

spotify playlistsGetting your music placed on playlists is now an important part of an artist’s release strategy. If a track is added to a popular playlist, its streams will spike and listeners will add it to their personal playlists, which sometimes adds a viral element that spreads to playlists on other networks as well. What’s more, hot playlists are now watched by radio programmers to see both what’s trending and what’s not. That being said, Spotify and Apple Music playlists are getting harder and harder to crack, especially if you’re not on a major label. Here are a few tips that can land you a spot on a playlist from Spotify or any other playlist.

1. Verify your profiles with Spotify and Apple Connect
The first thing you have to do is make sure you have a presence on the service itself. Playlist curators, especially if they’re in-house, are reluctant to feature anything by artists who’ve not verified their profiles on the streaming platforms.

2. Get as many of your fans as possible to follow you on the streaming platform
You don’t need millions of followers or streams, but you don’t need enough to get a curator interested. They want to know that you have a buzz around you before they take a chance.

3. Get the rest of your digital house in order
If a curator is interested in your music, he or she will probably check you out further by looking at your website, photos, social media, upcoming gigs and all the things that we’ve talking about on this blog. Here’s where that all comes into play.

4. Find some playlists to follow
Find some playlists that you love and begin to follow them with the idea of learning if your music is a fit. Don’t limit yourself to Spotify’s in-house curators. In this game, everyone counts because the idea is to ultimately get on a number of smaller playlists first so you’ll be noticed by the Spotify team. Also make sure to follow them on social media, and make comments where and when you can.

5. Make your pitch
Make sure that the playlist owner is well aware of you before you begin your pitch. You’ll be taken much more seriously if you’re recognized as a supporter rather than someone just cold-calling. Send a personally crafted email to the playlist owner or curator. Make it brief and to the point and tell them why you think you song is perfect for their list. Be as specific as you can and avoid being long-winded. If a curator has a submission policy, make sure that you follow it to the letter or chances are your submission won’t even be read.

Remember that some curators for the larger lists make their selections in a closed system, so they don’t want pitches and they’ll usually make that clear in their submission policy. If that’s the case, respect their wishes and don’t hassle them. The only way you’re going to get to them is if you begin to get on a lot of other playlists so your buzz will be noticed.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 3/10/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of March 10th, 2017. Nothing major, but a lot of interesting business tidbits this week. Let’s get into it.

Streaming music is a bad business according to this article. It is if that’s the only product you have. As I’ve explained before, it’s a loss-leader for Apple, Amazon and Google.

But the music business is a model for non-music businesses. Which means, learn by our mistakes.

Spotify is quietly A/B testing the pricing for a high-resolution tier. It’s called Spotify Hifi, and it will be either $5 or $10 more than the normal paid subscription.

And Spotify has hit 50 million paid subscribers. That said, it’s beginning to look like the streaming business is slowing down. Time to lower the price? That will give it the kick it needs.

Ed Sheeran is dominating Spotify. He breaks a single day record for streams with his new album, then tops a billion views on YouTube.

Nirvana’s Nevermind is still on the charts 350 weeks later. It has a way to go to top Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon ( 741 weeks), but that’s still pretty impressive.

Another indie artist goes #1. Move over Chance the Rapper, Stormzy hit the top of the charts in the UK.

Indie artists should not skip streaming. CD Baby’s CEO gives some pretty interesting numbers that just backs up what we all know – the music industry is quickly become all about the stream.

Songwriters are pushing hard for increased royalties from interactive streaming. It’s currently a pittance of a pittance, and they deserve more.

New York City is the center of the music universe. More ticket sales there than anywhere else, and it even has twice as many digital music startups than Silicon Valley or Los Angeles.

Iron Maiden is beating the scalpers. They’ve managed to bypass 3 of the top secondary ticket sellers in the UK. Quite an achievement!

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

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!

Spotify May Now Be Looking For A Buyer

Spotify looking for a buyerIt looked like Spotify’s strategy was to go public this year, but recent announcements have pretty much put that aside. The IPO (Initial Public Offering) market has changed recently, and tech companies can no longer be assured of the big paydays of just a few years ago. As a result it looks like the company’s new plan is to look for a buyer instead.

Now to be sure, Spotify has over $3 billion in revenue, but it also has been losing money as well. It currently has a lot of investors that want to cash out, and if an IPO is risky, then those investors are going to push for another way to get their money, which is through an acquisition.

Industry consultant Mark Mulligan thinks that a buyer probably won’t be Western. All the deep pocket companies like Amazon, Apple and Google already have their own services. Facebook is a possibility, but still not a good fit. Mulligan thinks that the only reason why Apple might be interested is to use up some of its off-shore cash reserves before it gets repatriated by the Trump administration, but that’s still a long shot. European companies don’t seem to be interested either.

That leaves Eastern companies and there are a number of them that could be potential suitors. China’s Tencent is already the streaming leader in the Asian market and the company has the money and the will for an acquisition. It would give the company an entrance into the West and immediately make it the 800 pound gorilla of music streaming.

There are a number of other Chinese companies also on Spotify’s radar. Alibaba, Dalian Wanda, and Baidu all have pockets deep enough to pull off an acquisition. Mulligan also suggests that a couple of telecommunications giants could also be in the running with SoftBank and India’s Reliance Communications being the most likely, although 21st Century Fox and Liberty Global may also see some synergy with Spotify in the fold.

One way or the other, it looks like Spotify is going to be going through some changes soon. How will that change its service? Probably not much actually. Until the license agreements with the major labels are renegotiated so the company can offer lower prices, things should still remain the same for some time to come.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 2/10/17

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of February 10th, 2017. It’s been a busy week in the music world this week. Let’s get into it.

Google and YouTube merge their music teams. There’s confusion between Google Play and YouTube Red services, so look for these to become just a single service soon.

Warner Music joined the $1 billion streaming club. Now all 3 major labels make more than a bill from streaming.

FM radio is now enabled in half the smartphones in the US. The question is, how many are actually listening?

Ticketing is a broken industry that needs to be fixed. The latest incident with Ed Sheeran may bring things to a head in the UK.

Trump’s presidency will affect music in some way. Here are 5 scenarios of what could happen.

Chance the Rapper gives all his music away for free and still does pretty well. So he doesn’t need a label as a result. Here’s how he does it.

Thanks to the Super BowlLady Gaga’s sales surge over 1,000%. In the grand scheme of things, her sales still aren’t that great though.

A million plays isn’t enough to break an artist any more. I keep saying that the metrics have changed. You need at least 10 million to even get in the ballgame, and 50 mil for a minor hit.

The reason why so many music tech startups fail. They don’t analyze the market to see if there’s really one there. But they’re musicians, what else do you expect (musicians know what I’m talking about)?

Sir Paul McCartney is suing Sony/ATV publishing to get his Beatles songs back. And there’s a good reason why he’s done it in the US, according to this article.

The New York Times is bundling a free Spotify account with a subscription. That should push Spotify over 50 million paid users soon.

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!

High-Resolution Streaming Might Be Getting Closer

high-resolution music logoI’ve been predicting for over a year that the streaming world would eventually move to high-resolution audio, and a recent announcement from a group of large industry players makes it look like things are finally moving in the right direction. All 3 major labels, Pandora, Rhapsody/Napster, HD Trax and the RIAA announced their support for the high-quality format through the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), an industry association dedicated to hi-res releases. Interestingly, Apple Music and Spotify were absent from the announcement.

While the DEG didn’t specify exactly what “hi-res” meant, Apple has been collecting high-resolution masters for its Mastered For iTunes program for the last 4 years. Although Apple would prefer masters at a 96kHz/24 bit resolution, it considers any master that’s 24 bit to be hi-res, regardless of the sample rate.

Since Apple has been at the forefront in collecting high quality masters, it would stand to reason that Apple Music would have no problem implementing a new hi-res tier. There’s been no hint of that, however, although the company is notoriously tight-lipped about new developments. Spotify doesn’t seem to want to go that route yet, having enough trouble getting people to buy up to the $9.99 per month paid subscription tier, although it does have 41 million current subscribers, about twice that of its nearest competitor Apple Music.

Tidal and Deezer both have hi-res tiers, but neither has made much of a impact on music consumers. That said, there are numerous online services like HD Trax that specialize in 96/24 and higher products available for download at a premium price. These are more for the audiophile sector, however, and don’t get much traction from mainstream consumers.

That said, the natural progression is to high-resolution streaming, and all services will eventually go that way (you’ve heard it here first). I predict that what we’ll eventually see is the standard subscription tier at $4.99-5.99, and the hi-res premium tier at $9.99 per month. That’s not going to happen soon though, but 5 years from now there’s a good chance that it will be the norm when it comes to streaming.

Spotify’s Acquisition Of SoundCloud Look Like It’s Off

SoundCloudIt looks like all of those rumors about Spotify buying SoundCloud have turned into nothing more than words on paper. Word is now out that any hopes of a deal between the two companies has been squashed, although months of talks almost lead to a deal.

Why? Although it hasn’t been officially announced, Spotify is planning on a public offering in 2017, and there were fears that this particular acquisition could negatively impact the IPO. The fact that Spotify hasn’t turned a profit yet and owes loads of money is bad enough, but at least it’s generating lots of cash and growing. You can’t say the same thing for SoundCloud, however. Despite many different attempts to both gain more users and get them to pay for the premium service, that hasn’t happened, so the company’s health is definitely in question.

The other question that potential investors and underwriters had was about the synergy between the companies. For SoundCloud, the acquisition would be a life preserver. For Spotify, it would gain some potential users, and perhaps provide them with an easy path to post their music on Spotify, but it’s difficult to see how that helps Spotify enough to justify a potential billion dollar investment.

Another negative is the fact that Spotify would have to enter into another round of negotiations with record labels and publishers for new SoundCloud license agreements. These licenses are the biggest hurdle for any company either trying to get into, or already in the music distribution business, and investors know how difficult they can be. As a result, it’s a headache that Spotify can’t afford to take at the moment.

If Spotify does go public next year and is flush with cash (after paying off investors that is), look for the company to revisit the SoundCloud acquisition again. Until that time, SoundCloud has to hang on.

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