Study: Streaming Music Services Continue Worldwide Growth

According to a new report from MIDiA Research and digital media association DiMA, 2017 marked the third consecutive year of revenue growth for streaming music and subscription services. Worldwide recorded music revenue increased from $16 billion in 2016 to $17.4 billion last year. Streaming revenues reached $7.4 billion, representing 43 percent of all revenue. Meanwhile, legacy music formats — including downloads and physical albums — dropped by $783 million. Streaming music subscriptions experienced significant growth in the U.S., up 63 percent from 2016 to $4 billion in 2017. Continue reading Study: Streaming Music Services Continue Worldwide Growth

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.

Continue reading Spotify Promotes Potential Growth as It Prepares to Go Public

Westergren to Step Down as CEO of Music Service Pandora

Pandora co-founder and CEO Tim Westergren plans to step down from his position running the 17-year-old streaming music pioneer. The company has yet to select a replacement. Earlier this month, satellite company Sirius XM announced it would invest $480 million in the web radio service for a 19 percent stake in the company and three board seats. Despite a user base of 80 million, “Pandora has struggled to generate enough advertising revenue to cover the cost of the free service,” reports Recode. “Meanwhile, music listeners have begun gravitating to the on-demand subscription services of Spotify, Apple and others, which offer ad-free access.” Continue reading Westergren to Step Down as CEO of Music Service Pandora

Pandora Premium Looks to Take On Spotify and Apple Music

Fifteen months after Pandora acquired Rdio’s key assets, the company is launching its anticipated $10-a-month on-demand music service. Pandora Premium, which begins rolling out in the U.S. today, offers access to tens of millions of songs and the ability to save tracks offline. While it still touts the playlisting engine powered by data and people that made its curation approach famous, the service is aiming to distinguish itself from other offerings such as Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud by focusing on personalization features, a new design and ease-of-use. Continue reading Pandora Premium Looks to Take On Spotify and Apple Music

Pandora Expands, Adds Questlove as First Artist Ambassador

Pandora took a major step as its service expands to directly compete with Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal: bringing on musician Questlove as its first artist ambassador. Questlove, whose Roots is the house band for NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” originally visited Pandora for non-specific discussions but, when its co-founder Tim Westergren showed him its Music Genome Project for categorizing songs by minute attributes, he was immediately hooked and accepted Westergren’s offer to join as a strategic adviser and ambassador. Continue reading Pandora Expands, Adds Questlove as First Artist Ambassador

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

Pandora, Spotify Explore On-Demand Music and Ticket Sales

Pandora just acquired Rdio for its technology and talent, and Spotify is unrolling Fan Insights to offer its musicians a way to research its fan base and plan smarter tours. In both cases, these popular streaming music services are expanding beyond their core expertise — and their unstable revenue — by uniting radio, on demand and even live shows. As bigger players such as Apple, Google and Amazon create music services, Pandora and Spotify must offer more services to survive. Continue reading Pandora, Spotify Explore On-Demand Music and Ticket Sales

Pandora Media to Acquire Rdio Assets Following Bankruptcy

Pandora has largely been focused on Internet radio since its inception, but has also been increasingly competing with on-demand music services such as Spotify and Apple Music. The company announced yesterday that it plans to spend $75 million for the assets of struggling online service Rdio, which is filing for bankruptcy. The move could help Pandora significantly expand the way it delivers music. While the company presently touts 78 million customers, most of them listen for free, and the current Pandora model involves a feed of songs based on a user’s tastes, but with limited control. Rdio’s tech could offer Pandora users more control over their selections. Continue reading Pandora Media to Acquire Rdio Assets Following Bankruptcy

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

Vrse Envisions a Cinematic Future for Virtual Reality Content

Vrse, a virtual reality content company headquartered in Los Angeles, recently brought on former Rdio chief executive Drew Larner as its chief operating officer. The company has also drawn investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Live Nation, Vice Media and Annapurna Pictures. It’s all about creating content that goes beyond gaming, notes chief executive Chris Milk. To that end, the company plans to produce its own content, through Vrse Works, and distribute its own and others’ through the Vrse app for VR headsets. Continue reading Vrse Envisions a Cinematic Future for Virtual Reality Content

Music Fans Have Already Streamed One Trillion Songs in 2015

According to a new report from music analytics firm Next Big Sound, consumers streamed more than one trillion songs during the first six months of this year. The report acquired data from Pandora, Rdio, SoundCloud, Spotify, Vevo, Vimeo and YouTube. While digital downloads and CDs continue to experience a decline, streaming music generated $1.87 billion last year. Streaming music is clearly on the rise (Next Big Sound cites only 450 billion streams for all of 2014), yet companies are still looking for opportunities to profit. Continue reading Music Fans Have Already Streamed One Trillion Songs in 2015

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

Apple Blends Streaming, Social, Radio for New Music Service

The new Apple Music service, unveiled during yesterday’s WWDC in San Francisco, will be released for iOS the end of this month and will be coming to Android devices this fall. The service will allow subscribers to stream their favorite music, access curated playlists, and watch music videos and exclusive clips in HD for $9.99 per month. The company is also offering a $14.99 family plan for sharing Apple Music with up to five other people. Apple is adding a global radio station called Beats 1 that will be run by DJ and music producer Zane Lowe. Continue reading Apple Blends Streaming, Social, Radio for New Music Service

Tidal Could Come Through on Promise to Change Music Industry

Tidal, Jay Z’s new artist-backed music streaming service, is the latest addition to a crowded field of companies offering music online. Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and others have featured similar music libraries — until now. Jay Z’s hit album “Reasonable Doubt” disappeared from Spotify earlier this week, while several top artists started to release content exclusively on Tidal. The competition puts increased pressure on music fans to subscribe to one or more streaming services. Continue reading Tidal Could Come Through on Promise to Change Music Industry

Jay Z Has Major Plans for Artist-Backed Streaming Music Service

Rap star and mogul Jay Z is giving artists unprecedented control over their music by owning a piece of his new music streaming service. Jay Z bought Tidal, a subscription streaming service, for $56 million and plans to go head-to-head with other streaming services such as Spotify. The platform is a new alternative for artists and labels frustrated with the free streaming model. Tidal will feature $10 and $20 subscription options that provide access to millions of songs and videos. Continue reading Jay Z Has Major Plans for Artist-Backed Streaming Music Service

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