Spotify Promotes Potential Growth as It Prepares to Go Public

As Spotify Technology SA prepares to go public, co-founder and chief executive officer Daniel Ek has some convincing to do. Not necessarily about the company’s numbers, which are impressive (70 million paying subscribers, for starters), but about the potential for growth and revenue. On the one hand, with Spotify’s help, the music business has seen three years of global growth after 15 years of decline — but on the other hand, Spotify isn’t making money, having to contend with music-rights holders collecting over 75 cents per dollar.

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EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy Concerns Film/TV Industry

To help create a unified digital market, the European Union just agreed to so-called portability, which will allow subscribers to access their online services as they travel from one EU country to another. When the EU introduced its Digital Single Market (DSM) in May 2015, Europe’s film/TV industry, which licenses its content territory-by-territory, promptly opposed it, especially the provision that would allow people in the EU to buy content on other countries’ digital platforms. The Motion Picture Association of America shares these concerns. Continue reading EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy Concerns Film/TV Industry

Amazon, Pandora Ready Launch of Music Streaming Services

This year, for the first time, streaming music topped digital downloads as the largest source of music revenue in the U.S. The two biggest sources are Spotify and Apple Music, but SoundCloud, Deezer, Tidal and Google Play are also active. Now, both Amazon and Pandora are readying their entries into this crowded market. Both companies have almost locked-up licensing deals with the largest record labels. Amazon plans to launch its on-demand service as early as September, and Pandora will unveil its service later this year. Continue reading Amazon, Pandora Ready Launch of Music Streaming Services

Scripps Buys Popular Stitcher Podcast Service for $4.5 Million

Podcast platform Stitcher, purchased by streaming music service Deezer in 2014, has now been acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company for $4.5 million. Scripps owns 34 radio stations in eight markets, while Stitcher provides streaming for more than 65,000 podcasts. “Stitcher will operate as part of Midroll Media, which Scripps purchased about a year ago,” reports Radio Ink. Stitcher employees joining Midroll will operate out of San Francisco. Stitcher’s GM and VP of product Todd Pringle will lead product development. Continue reading Scripps Buys Popular Stitcher Podcast Service for $4.5 Million

Spotify Now Producing Original Music-Focused Video Content

Music streaming service Spotify, which boasts 75 million users, plans to debut 12 new original video programs around music themes. The new programs, which will feature performances, pop culture, musical storytelling, animation and videos about music culture, will be produced and streamed beginning this summer. Spotify had announced a year ago that it planned to move into video. The content will initially be available in four regions — the U.S., U.K., Germany and its home market Sweden — out of the company’s 59 markets. Continue reading Spotify Now Producing Original Music-Focused Video Content

Streaming Music Services Thrive But Free On-Demand a Threat

Depending on where you live, the top music-streaming site might be Spotify, Pandora or even Saavn. A new music-focused report from App Annie crowns Spotify as “the world’s top streaming music service” in terms of active users, downloads and revenue. But, in the U.S., the No. 1 spot goes to Pandora Radio, a hit among active users on iPhone and Android. And in other markets, local providers are topping the charts, including Saavn and Gaana in India, Deezer in France and South Korea’s MelOn, among others. Continue reading Streaming Music Services Thrive But Free On-Demand a Threat

Adele’s Latest Album Breaks Sales Records Without Streaming

With her latest album, “25,” Adele has erased any doubt about her preeminent position in the music world. The new album, which showcases her signature torch songs and ballads, had a record-breaking first week of sales — $3.38 million in the U.S. — despite the fact that Adele withholds her music from streaming sites and largely eschews a social media presence (although she did appear on “Saturday Night Live” and promotions for Target). Adele’s previous album, “21,” sold 30 million copies worldwide. Continue reading Adele’s Latest Album Breaks Sales Records Without Streaming

YouTube Music Aims Spotlight on Personalization, Discovery

After a year in beta testing, YouTube Music is finally available for Android and iOS. The app — meant to compete with streaming music offerings such as Apple Music, Pandora, Rdio, Spotify and Tidal — emphasizes music videos and amateur recordings. YouTube’s catalog of 50 million songs does not mean a video for every song, since the collection mixes video, audio-only, fan covers, emerging indie artists and much more. Discovery continues to be the underlying focus, and each song is connected to an auto-generated station of related songs. YouTube Music also blends human and algorithmic curation, similar to Apple Music’s approach. Continue reading YouTube Music Aims Spotlight on Personalization, Discovery

Streaming Services, Artists Forge Ties Based on Data, Touring

The deep connection between streaming music services and ticket sales is becoming increasingly clear. Streaming not only introduces an artist’s music to potentially millions more listeners, but makes it easy for fans to learn about upcoming concerts. Some experts believe that in the not-so-distant future, fans will actually be able to purchase tickets to local concerts within the streaming music service. That’s good news for musicians who, although they get a small percentage of record sales, are making real money from touring. Continue reading Streaming Services, Artists Forge Ties Based on Data, Touring

Discover Weekly: Spotify Debuts Personalized Music Playlists

Spotify’s new feature, Discover Weekly, is a two-hour personalized music selection based on users’ listening habits, delivered every Monday morning. It aims to introduce new music and artists to subscribers based on newly created case profiles. The playlists are much like recommended mixtapes generated by algorithms that evolve over time, relative to user data. The new feature is an attempt by Spotify to maintain its subscriber base as it faces growing competition from rival services such as Rdio, Deezer, Apple Music and others. Continue reading Discover Weekly: Spotify Debuts Personalized Music Playlists

FTC Examines Apple’s 30 Percent Charge for Rival Music Apps

Antitrust regulators are reportedly taking a preliminary look at whether Apple’s business model for selling streaming music apps may be illegal under current antitrust law. While the company now has its own music streaming service, Apple also takes a 30 percent cut of in-app purchases through its App Store for competing services such as Jango, Rhapsody and Spotify. According to industry sources, the Federal Trade Commission has not announced a formal investigation, but has started to look into the issue by meeting with concerned parties. Continue reading FTC Examines Apple’s 30 Percent Charge for Rival Music Apps

Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

Despite the rise of online streaming music services, the “local nature” of radio makes it the most popular platform for music discovery. According to Nielsen, some 243 million people still tune in to radio each week and 51 percent of listeners use radio to discover new music. That’s more than the number of people that find new music on services like YouTube or Spotify, but many music consumers use a combination of both traditional radio and online services to listen to their favorite tunes. Continue reading Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

Deezer Plans to Add Podcast Support with Stitcher Acquisition

Deezer, one of the most comprehensive music streaming services, operates in more than 180 countries with an active user base of around 16 million. Deezer has yet to launch in the U.S., but its arrival is expected soon. When it does, the streaming service will feature podcast support, now that Deezer has acquired podcast and talk radio platform Stitcher, which currently carries 35,000+ shows from ABC News, AP Radio, BBC, CBS Sports, KROQ, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, TED, WNYC and many others. Continue reading Deezer Plans to Add Podcast Support with Stitcher Acquisition

Deezer Plans to Bring High-Fidelity Elite Music Service to U.S.

Deezer, a French subscription service available in 180 countries, announced its plans for availability in the U.S. In a partnership with Sonos, the company plans for a high-fidelity version called Deezer Elite. Deezer reaches five million paying subscribers in a model similar to Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats Music. However, Deezer plans to offer songs at a faster bit rate in order to create smaller file sizes for computer storing and transferring, and in the process attract a more affluent group of audiophiles.  Continue reading Deezer Plans to Bring High-Fidelity Elite Music Service to U.S.

Nokia Plans to Spin-Off MixRadio Music Service as Standalone

As a result of Microsoft’s recent downsizing, Nokia has plans for its MixRadio streaming service to become a standalone company. While the app will still be included in handsets running Windows Phone software, MixRadio will now have the opportunity to pursue other platforms including iOS and Android. MixRadio offers themed playlists — online and through an app — free with no advertising. The service also provides users with an option to pay monthly for enhanced features. Continue reading Nokia Plans to Spin-Off MixRadio Music Service as Standalone

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