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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.
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.
Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 30th, 2016, the last week of the year. As expected, there hasn’t been much in the way of blockbuster news, but there have been some interesting pieces.
Mozart was not #1 in album sales. A story made the rounds that a box set by the composer outsold even Drake, but the measurements have proven to be specious at best. It was a bad year for the physical album as a whole though, as the article points out – even for Drake.
Here’s a list of the top 50 biggest songs on Beats 1 radio last year. There are many that are expected, but a few surprises as well.
Rolling Stone has 6 reasons why 2016 was a great music year. There are a few that I don’t quite agree with, like radio being healthy and album releases being events, but other than that its spot on.
6 music tech predictions for 2017. Culled from 20 industry tastemakers, these are mostly out-of-the-box in that you probably haven’t heard about them before. They also lean towards live music rather than recorded.
Warners is getting back into compilation albums. This is spurred on by the fact that singles are hot again thanks to streaming [subscription required].
Deezer plans to take over the streaming world. The streaming universe is still young and will be expanding for some time yet, so why not?
Tencent is a big threat to Apple Music and Spotify. It already dominates Asian streaming and has the money to come West [subscription required].
Billboard looked at the 10 best music memes. I must admit that I missed these during the year, but don’t feel too bad about it.
PC World looks at what went right and wrong with VR in 2016. Virtual Reality still hasn’t caught on the way everyone had hoped, but it did make some progress.
Warners is going head first into VR though. It plans “hundreds” of VR music releases in 2017.
Many Top 40 hits had ambiguous key centers. This is a little music geeky but interesting. It shows the evolution of the hit song and consumer tastes.
That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Happy New Year everyone. See you next year!
One of the downsides of live music is that only so many people can experience it at any one time. Whether it’s a club, concert or festival, attendance is limited to only the people that are able to make it to the venue, even though many more may desire to do so. Live video feeds and broadcasts changed this somewhat, but haven’t caught on to the level that was expected, mostly because the experience is fairly limited from a viewership point of view. It’s not all that realistic, after all. This could all change thanks to virtual reality though, as was recently pointed out in an NBC post.
VR, even if it’s cheaply created and delivered, is a much more enjoyable experience as it gives you the feeling that you’re actually in the venue. Turn you head to either side and you see the people in the crowd. Turn to the rear and you see the bar. Turn forward left to right and you either see the individual band members on stage, or the expanse of the DJ booth. Look up and you see the ceiling, lighting and sound system. Look down and you may see a lighted dance floor. For all intense and purposes, you are there and you have the best seat in the house.
The picture portion of VR is way ahead of the audio however, which is the missing link in the experience. There’s not enough attention being paid to the this aspect and it’s the final piece of the puzzle for a truly live experience. The tools are available, but the integration with those high quality tools isn’t seamless at the moment, and it adds a level of expense that many club owners don’t want to absorb, although the bigger the venue, the less this becomes an issue.
Make no mistake about it, virtual reality may become a significant revenue source for both artists and venues in the future as soon as the kinks are worked out. That said, there’s a fear among venue owners that the experience can potentially be so good that it’s actually better than being present live in the venue. We’re not close to that yet, as VR is still in it’s infancy, but look for it to make its mark on live music in a big way in the near future.
I’m a big proponent of virtual reality, especially when the audio is done well, and many have predicted that the technology will eventually be a boon to concerts. We’re going to see soon enough as virtual reality concerts will actually begin to roll out this summer.
NextVR, which has been a leader in VR broadcasting of sporting events, has teamed up with LiveNation to broadcast a series of concerts, although no artists have been named as of yet. There will be a limited number of VR music events this summer, with a full schedule planned for 2017.
The NextVR broadcast will be available via Samsung’s Gear VR using the Oculus Home app, although they will also most likely be available on other VR platforms as well.
LiveNation/NextVR aren’t the only companies jumping into the concert broadcast game. iHeartRadio and Universal Music Group previously announced that they would also broadcast VR concerts this year.
Virtual reality concerts hold great promise because it gives the viewer a feeling of actually being there and watching from the best seat in the house, which many feel may eventually eclipse attending an event. Paying $200 for a nosebleed seat might not be a suitable option when you can get a better view from your home while still feeling immersed in the event.
The same can be said for sporting events as well, as NextVR recently signed a 5 year deal with Fox Sports, although there may be more technical challenges in this niche than with music as the best seat in the house may not apply, although it’s probably too soon to really tell. VR users will ultimately decide.
One thing’s for sure, VR is taking beginning to take off, even though it still hasn’t hit the general public yet, as more and more companies are jockeying for position.