It's been almost 2 years since Apple released iTunes 11, so expectations were high for the unveiling of iTunes 12. While there are some major changes, users won't find anything radical in iTunes 12, but its all wrapped in a redesigned package that more closely resembles Apple's current design sensibilities. the release coincides with the debut of Apple's OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
Playlists.net, originally ShareMyPlaylists, is basically a giant database of Spotify playlists. The company was acquired this week by Warner Music Group's WEA for an undisclosed sum. It will continue operating on its own as well as going further with the use of playlists for marketing new music. Apparently that's something all the major labels are doing these days.
SiriusXM has lost another round in their battle to not pay royalties on music recorded prior to 1972. This time, in a lawsuit brought by the RIAA on behalf of member labels, another California judge, who had previously signaled she would side with SiriusXM, concurred with a recent ruling in that class-action suit brought by The Turtles' Flo & Eddie that heritage artists musty be paid.
By Jason Phillips and Parking Games 365.
One of the most popular uses for a smartphone, besides web browsing and, well, the phone feature, is using it as a music player. You no longer need to carry a separate device in order to listen to music on your daily commute, because whether it’s your personal music collection that you prefer, or a radio station, your smartphone has you covered. You just need a good app to get the job done. Here are some of the finest music apps for your smartphone.
Op-ed by David Lowery of The Trichordist.
It’s not that streaming can’t work. It can. It’s that Spotify is a bad business model that has unsustainable economics and exploits artists because it is a wall street financial instrument and not a music company.
SoundCloud, the platform for sounds, has had quite a rough few months starting around June. First they alienated large swathes of what appears to be their core user base with site changes. Then they entered into and are apparently failing at negotiations with major labels. Now it looks like they're losing more money than ever and will soon need more based on a new financial filing.
By Mark Mulligan from Music Industry Blog.
The plight of artists and songwriters grappling with download dollars transforming into streaming cents is well documented and a series of long term, sustainable solutions are needed (I wrote about some here). The debate occurs alongside an assumption that there is widespread concern for the creators’ and their livelihood. Unfortunately the general sympathy that is apparent within the echo chamber of the online press and social media does not translate to the broader population
Social music platform SoundCloud's efforts to find a sustainable business model have hit a major roadblock. Talks with the three major label groups have stalled, according to new reports, because rightsholders are not satisfied with the royalties that SoundCloud is offering. Communications with Universal were reportedly cut off more than two weeks ago.
The Pressure Mounts
Spotify is conducting a artist relations charm offensive in New York, Nashville and Los Angeles. (This is a time to be thankful I live in a flyover state–they won’t be coming to Austin!)
The idea was there would be a meeting at the toney Soho House in New York, a membership only location that costs more to join than most artists make in a year or two. Of course, Spotify no doubt has a corporate membership for impressing…business people. Right. Business people.
1. Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" (Big Machine)
2. Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass" (Epic Records)
3. Jessie J, "Bang Bang" (Republic Records)
4. Echosmith, "Cool Kids" (Warner Bros. Records)
By Mark Mulligan from Music Industry Blog.
Regular readers will be familiar with my concept of the ‘Tyranny of Choice’ namely that there is so much music choice now as to be counter productive. 30 million tracks (and counting) is a meaningless quantity of music. It would take three lifetimes to listen to every track once. There is so much choice that there is effectively no choice at all.
The number of artists who don't make the bulk of their music available on streaming music services continues to shrink. Over the last few days the catalog of John Lennon become available on Spotify. But will the Beatles be next? Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr's catalog can both be found on Spotify and most other music streamers. But The Beatles cut an exclusive digital deal with Apple way back in 2010 which must be running out soon.
By Will Page, Jomar Perez, and Chris Tynan from Spotify Insights.
Dutch rapper Mr Probz self-released his song ‘Waves’ late last year. Soon afterwards, German house producer Robin Schulz remixed the song on Soundcloud. Ultra Music and Sony Music Entertainment (SME) co-signed the track and it immediately topped charts in all major EU markets.
Singer and songwriter Roseanne Cash has testified passionately before Congress on the need for copyright reform. But Johnny Cash's little girl also has some strong opinions about music streaming - including paid services like Spotify. She took to Facebook this week to throw a few bombs at what she sees as pirates dressed in new clothing.
Spotify quietly launched a new version of its desktop app in beta on Wednesday. The new app is such a work in progress that Spotify warns users that not all desktop features are even included yet. "You might find that some of the things you use in the current Desktop application are missing," says Spotify. "We are working on improving the Beta and will be releasing upgrades to it regularly so keep a look out for the upgrade message.
Want to upgrade?
It's not a new argument. If monthly subscription prices for music were lower - say $5 instead of $10 - more people would be willing to pay' thus, leading to more revenue for artists and labels. No one know if it really would lead to more net revenues. But now, the powerful party pushing lower pricing is the mighty Apple; and that means we may be about to find out.
Tweeting "the music industry hates me," making many headline writers happy, Kim Dotcom said good bye to Baboom. The high profile, high stakes approach wasn't working and Baboom's CEO says that now they can focus on the Baboom brand rather than the Dotcom brand. Plans are still in the works to launch the much delayed music service 4th quarter 2014.
Despite a defiant response yesterday, Grooveshark appears to be a company on the brink of failure. New York Judge Thomas Griesa all but negated the company's Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor defense that has protected YouTube and others, ruling on Monday that Grooveshark and parent company Escape Media were liable for copyright infringement by its employees who were encouraged to upload 5,977 tracks without proper licencing.
The court's decision came after an email from Grooveshark CTO and co-founder Joshua Greenberg was revealed.
By Mark Mulligan from Music Industry Blog.
Disruptive technology and the change it brings can be overwhelming, particularly when it threatens to change forever all that we have known. Streaming clearly fits this bill. But the impact of change is as much in the eye of the beholder as the disruption itself. While it would be bland and disingenuous to say that change is merely a state of mind, a positive outlook that is focused on the opportunities can make the world of difference.
Streaming music service Grooveshark, which has been in court with labels and other rights holders since launching, is trying to dismiss this week's legal defeat old news. "This latest news dealt specifically with an early version of Grooveshark which we dispensed of in 2008 in favor of our current music streaming service," claims Grooveshark. "As such, we will continue to work with all parties to ensure we respect all artist and songwriter copyrights."
It's unclear if the major labels agree.
Spotify finally launched in Canadan this morning with a 20 million track library and an emphasis on local music including Quebecois. “Spotify is launching in Canada with a comprehensive catalogue featuring the best local music from every genre, region and generation,” said Ken Parks, Chief Content Officer, Spotify. “This is a Spotify that has been tailor made for Canadian music fans.”
Pandora's new #ThumbMoments campaign may be awkwardly named but it's a pretty cool effort to delight individual fans. Basically a fan hits the thumbs up like button on an artist's song and they're surprised with a FaceTime video chat and personal concert by that artist. The program kicked off with Lindsey Stirling surprising some of her fans who then had a couple of ways to participate while Stirling played so they didn't just sit there. What a great #ThumbMoment!
When fans were buying tickets to select Belgian festivals this summer, they were asked to add their favorite song to special Spotify playlist. Upon arrival at the venue to claim their tickets, they were identified and a hexacopter drone deployed to follow them while flashing it lights and playing their favorite song as they entered the festival area. The stunt was sponsored by mobile carrier BASE, which offers subscribers discounted access to Spotify Premium. WATCH:
As Garth Brooks' GhostTunes moves forward with its digital music sales and streaming locker service, they've got their second big digital exclusive. GhostTunes launched and is said to be founded by Garth Brooks who gave them their first. Now Trisha Yearwood, his wife, is offering presales of her next album as a GhostTunes digital exclusive with physical sales presumably handled as normal. It's a good look for GhostTunes which hasn't yet delivered on Brooks social promises but could make big moves with digital exclusives.