While checking out Apple Music after it launched this morning, I noticed a link targeting undistributed independent artists that points straight to CD Baby. While another link below it leads to a full list of approved providers, Apple, which seems to be making a real effort to support indie music, chose to highlight CD Baby as an onramp.
Today is a big day for the music industry. While there's little radically different about the core of Apple Music's streaming service, will it do what Apple usually does with product launches - borrow the best from others, but do it better? We'll be blogging and tweeting throughout the day and we want to hear what you think, as well.
Responding to criticism over royalty rates and aggressive efforts to lower them further, Pandora has worked to forge better relations with artists and labels. After launching free analytics, they recently began experimenting with in-stream messaging and purchased music analytics provider Next Big Sound. Now, a veteran of D2F sales and marketing has joined Pandora as VP.
[UPDATED] Apple execs were particularly active on social media over the weekend , ahead of Tuesday's launch of Apple Music, Beats 1 radio and iOS8.4. Ian Rogers shared more exact launch times and Eddy Cue announced a 4X increase in library song storage and streams.
The money that artists make when music is played online is very slowly inching upward. That pace should accelerate when Apple launches, or will after it gets past a controversial 90 date free trial. Today, Beatport did their part to both set music free and making certain that artists are compensated.
The headlines herald music streaming subscriber numbers, but another important metric is how much fans are actually using each service. Its no surprise that Pandora is out front, but other less written about streamers are also attracting loyal listeners - enough to push Spotify despite its free tier, down to #4.