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Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 23rd, 2016. Surprisingly enough, there’s a lot of music business-related and social news this week, despite the Holiday season.
iHeart Radio is in big financial trouble. Radio is dying in general, and a few years ago when the hedge funds bought in they didn’t realize that fact. The company probably won’t change much because of the problems (at least in the short term) but the investors will take a haircut soon.
Apple Music is trying to become more than a streaming platform. It’s now more of a quasi-label, offering lots of promotion in addition to streaming. This interview with two Apple Music execs is revealing.
Not to be outdone, YouTube is quietly beefing up promotion for some artists as well. Not that it helps the indie artist much, but you can see where all this going. [subscription required]
There are indie artists making it on streaming alone though. Yes, it’s not only possible, but this article outline a number of indie artists in different countries with massive streaming numbers.
The VR revolution is here, but it has yet to break with consumers. Many think that this will change in 2017, but the consumer uptake so far is disappointing, and understandable.
Dance music hit a big speed bump in 2016. This article outlines 11 things that broke the hearts of EDM aficionados.
The album cycle is pretty much dying, with Drake the perfect example of the new singles paradigm. But playlisting plays a big part in streaming success as well, and this interview with Spotify’s Troy Carter is enlightening.
Streaming is changing music again, finally making the Long Tail concept viable. This Harvard Business Review article shows how streaming is turning the music industry into a singles business, and is killing the album. Oh, and more people are listening to music other than the hits along the way.
Streaming apps aren’t keeping pace, and user experience is the thing to concentrate on. Industry analyst Mark Mulligan makes a number of good points about music falling behind in engagement to non-music apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Buzzfeed.
Twitter is toast, according to one financial analyst. The company is experiencing plateaued growth and a brain drain, and the stock is expected to take a dive soon.
Finally, Facebook is correcting its metrics for ad reach, streaming reactions, Likes and Shares. It looks like the numbers we were seeing weren’t really true after all. If you advertise on Facebook, you should read this article before placing another ad.
That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.
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.