Apple’s Upcoming Beats Music Relaunch Has Spotify In Sight

Apple’s revamped Beats Music streaming service will debut later this year and will be looking to take on other popular streaming services such as Spotify. Originally, Apple intended to offer Beats Music at $8 per month, instead of the competition’s standard $10 per month, by using its leverage in the music industry to secure cheaper rights. The negotiations fell through, and with no plans for a free version of Beats Music, Apple may have to work harder to attract customers. Continue reading Apple’s Upcoming Beats Music Relaunch Has Spotify In Sight

Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

After several months of discussions, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has officially declared Fridays as the release day for all new music albums. In today’s digital era, music listeners want to have access to albums the moment they are available anywhere in the world. Rather than staggering the releases on different days in different countries, the universal release approach aims to combat piracy. There is no word yet on when this new distribution model will take effect. Continue reading Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

YouTube Music Key: A New Player in Subscription Streaming

For years, Google’s YouTube has been the most visited online destination for free music. And while other companies such as Pandora and Spotify have opted for a pay model to provide consumers with unlimited, uninterrupted music content, YouTube remained out of the subscription streaming business — until now. Last week, YouTube unveiled YouTube Music Key, a music streaming service that offers higher quality, access anywhere, ad-free music for $10 per month. Continue reading YouTube Music Key: A New Player in Subscription Streaming

Bandcamp Gives Artists More Control with Subscription Service

Bandcamp, an online music store that supports promotion of independent artists, will now offer individual subscription platforms. Artists will be able to share content, merchandise, and other offers, choosing their own subscription rate. Music will be available to subscribers through downloads or streaming via the mobile app. As a bonus for new subscribers, artists can choose to give items from their back catalog. Bandcamp currently features 12 million tracks and 1.6 million albums. Continue reading Bandcamp Gives Artists More Control with Subscription Service

Warner Music Group Partners with SoundCloud for Digital Edge

With about 175 million current users, SoundCloud far exceeds Spotify and Pandora, which combine for a total of about 116 million users. And while SoundCloud has yet to build any sort of real business with these numbers, it recently agreed to partner with a major record label. Rather than taking a traditional licensing route with its new Warner Music Group deal, the music-streaming site will offer WMG the option to advertise on some of its songs and share revenue with SoundCloud. Continue reading Warner Music Group Partners with SoundCloud for Digital Edge

Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Music sales via Apple’s iTunes Store have dropped about 14 percent since the start of the year. Meanwhile, streaming services now supply one-third of the recorded music revenue in the U.S. The total number of streams reported for services such as Spotify and Pandora have increased 46 percent this year over 2013. This shift may be one reason behind Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics. The company is reportedly planning to relaunch Beats next year as a part of iTunes. Continue reading Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Musician Releases Album via BitTorrent Bundle with Pay Gate

Thom Yorke, the lead singer of the rock band Radiohead, recently partnered with file-sharing company BitTorrent to release his new solo album directly to fans. Yorke’s album, “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” is the first record to be released as part of a BitTorrent Bundle with a pay gate, a feature that BitTorrent is testing as it tries to shed its reputation for pirated content. So far, the gamble for BitTorrent and Yorke has proved successful with 400,000 downloads in the first three days. Continue reading Musician Releases Album via BitTorrent Bundle with Pay Gate

CD and Download Sales Drop as Music Fans Turn to Streaming

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, less than $3.2 billion in music sales was recorded for the first half of 2014, a 4.9 percent drop from the same period last year. While the growth of online streaming services continues to generate revenue for artists and record companies, it may not be enough to offset the reduction in sales of CDs and downloads. While downloads and streaming together totaled $2.2 billion (a similar total to last year), downloads dropped by 9 percent. Continue reading CD and Download Sales Drop as Music Fans Turn to Streaming

GhostTunes: Cloud-Based Digital Locker Alternative for Music

Country music entertainer Garth Brooks has launched a new online music store called GhostTunes. Brooks is one of the few artists that has rejected iTunes and other electronic commerce methods that rely largely on individual track sales. Through GhostTunes, artists can sell their albums the way they want to at prices similar to those of iTunes. While Brooks made his first digital bundle available for just $29.99, millions of other songs are available, from performers such as Coldplay and Eminem.  Continue reading GhostTunes: Cloud-Based Digital Locker Alternative for Music

YouTube Music Key: Google’s Upcoming Subscription Service

YouTube’s anticipated premium music service will likely cost $10 per month and be called “YouTube Music Key,” although the Google-owned company has yet to confirm. YouTube is already one of the biggest sources for free online music, but since it requires video, it has not taken the place of services such as Beats Music, Rdio or Spotify. The planned premium music service could change that by making the audio easier to access on mobile devices and providing an offline way to hear songs. Continue reading YouTube Music Key: Google’s Upcoming Subscription Service

Indie Labels Adjust to Growing Popularity of Music Streaming

To battle the increasing challenges that music labels have experienced with selling albums, some independent labels and their artists have decided to embrace streaming. Drip.fm, a two-year-old subscription streaming and download service, has partnered with Sub Pop Records to provide subscribers with the label’s albums, singles and special exclusives for $10 per month. The idea is to cultivate and monetize the most loyal fans as streaming continues to popularize. Continue reading Indie Labels Adjust to Growing Popularity of Music Streaming

Music Streaming Up 42 Percent While Digital Downloads Fall

Streaming is the new face of digital music consumption, according to Nielsen’s 2014 Mid-Year Music Industry Report. In the U.S., on-demand streaming was up 42 percent from last year with over 70 billion songs (audio and video) streamed in the first half of 2014. Digital track downloads fell 13 percent to 593.6 million, compared with 682.2 million last year. The entire music industry’s sales, including albums, streaming, and downloads, dropped 3.3 percent. Continue reading Music Streaming Up 42 Percent While Digital Downloads Fall

After a Decade, iTunes Continues its Market Dominance

According to fourth quarter estimates released this week by the NPD Group, Apple’s iTunes continues its stronghold with a 63 percent unit share of the U.S. market for digital music downloads. Amazon.com’s MP3 store held second place at 22 percent. Notably, the NPD “Annual Music Study 2012” indicates that eight out of 10 consumers downloaded digital albums or tracks during the fourth quarter from iTunes. Continue reading After a Decade, iTunes Continues its Market Dominance

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