- Move over Spotify and Rdio. YouTube Music Key is finally here.
- Rdio CEO On Taylor Swift and the Spotify vs. YouTube Payment Conondrum
BitTorrent has tasked themselves with the building of a sustainable ecosystem for artists and fans alike. Fostering a community where fans can connect directly with artists and vice versa, BitTorrent demonstrated their commitment to sustainable art with the launch of BitTorrent Bundles, a publishing project that allows fans to access content via a key that becomes available when users provide an email address or a direct payment to the artist. In September, BitTorrrent asked 2,500 users about the presence of and interaction with content, creativity, music and film in their daily lives. Despite the recent manifestation of streaming as the enemy and the thought that if music isn't available for free it won't be heard, 50% of users still purchase music monthly and 52% buy films. Streaming is holding its position as an inevitability, but according to the BitTorrent survey, their average user still wants more.
The world was abuzz this week with reports that Taylor Swift removed her music from Spotify. She called the service “a grand experiment” and said she wanted no part of it. Music writer Bob Lefsetz said it’s just a PR stunt. 80's rocker Sebastian Bach (who looks kinda like Taylor Swift) said that fans appreciate music more when they have to pay for it.
By Olsy Sorokina on Hootsuite Blog
A revolution is underway in the music industry, and it will not be televised. It will be streamed on YouTube. Then, someone will write a song about it, leading to the subsequent creation of lyric videos, remixes, or maybe an acoustic cover. The importance of YouTube in the distribution and discovery of music in the digital world is undeniable. Over half of top 50 YouTube channels with the highest view count are dedicated to music, mostly made up of official artist and record label channels. On Wednesday, YouTube made the network’s strong connection to the music industry and the listening habits of their users official: they launched a separate music streaming channel along with a beta version of their own music subscription service.
[UPDATED] As rumored, Spotfy and Uber have partnered to add a personalized music experience to the popular ride service. The new offering is launching this Friday, November 21 with special promotions and events in 10 cities – London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Nashville, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney. A worldwide launch will follow in the coming weeks.
While the initial burn of Taylor Swift pulling her music from one of the industry's leading streaming services may be cooling slightly, the long distance conversation between Scott Borchetta, the CEO of Swift’s record label, and Spotify's CEO, David Ek remains heated. After Borchetta pointed out on a radio show aired November 7 that other major artists were toying with the idea of making moves comparable to Swift, Ek was quick to defend the company's model and its value to artists.
This infographic was originally posted by Yiannis Stathoyiannis on Infographicsmania.com
Taste in music can vary drastically among the closest of friends, so seeing that there is a large amount of musical diversity throughout the world probably doesn't come as a surprise. What may surprise you is what regions favor which genres. Using data compiled by the International Music Summit, people from Jacamo has taken a closer look at what people all around the world are listening to and has illustrated the findings in the infographic below.
Young people prize “access over ownership”. This sounds like the kind of thing a digital music strategist like myself would be saying to support streaming services like Spotify. However, that’s not where the quote comes from. This was said by Sheryl Connelly, who is the head of Global Trends and Futuring for the Ford Motor Company. That quote was in reference to cars and was made two years ago in an article in The Atlantic. If the access model is affecting the business model of automobiles, what chance does the music business have to change that tide?
By FMC's Casey Rae on FutureOfMusic.org
Who gets paid, how much and under what terms when music is played on digital and AM/FMradio? Answering those questions isn’t easy, even for experts. But one thing is clear: 2014 has been a big year for the laws and policies that determine royalty rates for all forms of radio, and the intrigue will likely continue into 2015. There are a few proceedings and court cases currently underway that will impact radio and creators—from legal questions around recordings made before 1972 to the rules that govern the public performances of musical works to royalty rates for sound recordings played on Internet and satellite radio.
Apple introduced the first iPod 13 years ago today on October 23, 2001. It was 8 1/2 months after the Mac only version of iTunes had been released. While there were other digital music services and players already on the market, the seamless coupling of iTunes and the iPod marked the official beginning or the digital music revolution. As Steve Jobs said that day:
Infamous hacker cooperative Anonymous appears to have forced Warner Music Group's Atlantic Records to set a release date for Lupe Fiasco's long delayed album "Tetsuo And Youthor;" and some evidence hints at Lupe being in on the plan. Thursday, Anonymous went on Twitter and gave Atlantic an ultimatum - either give the album a release date within 24 hours watch out. Then, just before 8PM, Atlantic tweeted this:
Direct to fan platform Bandcamp continues its impressive evolution with the addition of a robust HD video feature to its PRO subscription plan that includesmultiple options to display videos on artist pages. The company is also testing yet be be announced Patreon-style artist subscription options, with at least one example currently live on the site.
Are ASCAP and BMI obsolete? Sony/ATV, arguably the world's #1 publishing company, seems to think so, and is preparing to pull out of both before the end of the year, according to reports surfacing yesterday. Sony/ATV head Martin Bandier had told members in July that he was considering such a move as a way to open direct negotiations with digital and broadcast outlets. But now it appears all but certain.
The loss of one or more top publishers could cripple both ASCAP and BMI financially, and would likely lead to more defections.
By Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.
Increasingly, music producers are looking for State tax credits before embarking on a project. While this has been a big part of television and movie production for some time, music is now seeing the light in how cost-effective it could be to go somewhere besides Los Angeles and New York to make a new record. And since it's easier than ever to record just about anywhere, the tax credits now loom large for many a budget-minded producer.
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.
Following last week's defiant response to its major loss in court, embattled music streamer Grooveshark is now promising to appeal the ruling, saying it is “preparing for the appeal process.” Appeal may be the company's last best option. As I wrote last week, paying the likely penalties and fighting of the inevitable lawsuits from other labels, publishers and artists would likely cripple the company. Industry observers are asking:
[UPDATED] Nielsen's Music 360° 2014, an annual study of consumer habits and spending, revealed that 93% of the U.S. population listens to music, spending more than 25 hours each week tuning into their favorite tunes. For hundreds of millions of Americans, this means that music is their top form of entertainment. When surveyed about their activities in the past year, 75% of respondents said they actively chose to listen to music, even ahead of watching television at 73%.
Blend is a music collaboration platform that allows you to upload your music publicly or privately and to collaborate with and remix the music of others. They've been in private beta but are now open to the general public. In addition, they're launching a label for their user community which starts with digital distribution for releases from community-selected artists. Label manager Guy Licata shared with me some of the details of this unique opportunity.
By Michael E. Spinelli, founder of Eventsnype.
In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook dubbed Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre “creative geniuses.” The justification CEO Tim Cook gave for acquiring Beats for $3 billion was the recognition that “human curation was important in the subscription service – that the sequencing of songs that you listen to affect how you feel.”  Given the questionable activity level of Beats’ record amount of users and the leaked royalty statements showing small margins of profitability this past summer, human curated playlist is not where streaming services are headed. 
If you read Hypebot, you know music technology writer and user experience researcher Kyle Bylin. Whether in his writings or on the Upward Spiral podcast, Kyle has always sought to understand not just how music consumption and the music industry are changing, but why. Now he's published a much anticipated collection of his best essays. I've read it, and it is unequivocally a 'must read' for anyone who cares about music and its future. - Bruce Houghton
From the book: The most interesting thing about this book is that it’s written by a North Dakota kid who dreamed of being a songwriter and used his writing skills to break into the music business. The irony is that I failed out of College English at Mayville State University because I never read the class-assigned book, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, which I learned counted as a large percentage of your grade.
Guest post by Peter Getty.
In 1991, Nielsen Soundscan started tracking album sales around the world. Back then, this data gave us valuable insight into current tastemakers, what genres were growing in cultural significance, and generally who the world was listening to. Lately, Soundscan’s reports are nothing more than a simple reminder that the music industry is, well…f’d.
Venice Beach-based music streamer Radical.FM is now accepting payments via Bitcoin. Adding the digital currency is in keeping with the sartups ethos as an ad-free, pay-what-want streaming music service. Grooveshark began taking Bitcoin a few weeks ago. But with a library of 25 million songs, Radical.fm is the largest streamer to accept the alternative currency.
Asian-Americans represent about 6% percent of the total U.S. population, up 59% since 2000. The 19 million strong and culturally diverse Asian-American community are driving some trends, according to the study. Online digital music is increasingly popular with Asian-Americans, according to a new Nielsen study.
Spotify Is The Winner
Muzooka, a social music discovery and technology platform, today announced a $3 million Series A-1 financing round. Combined with earlier angel investment, it brings total raised to just over $3.6 million. While no details were provided, the company says the round represents the funding of a music tech startup through non-traditional sources outside of Silicon Valley.
A new infographic from trade group Music Biz, “Music Royalties USA Quick Start Guide,” offers songwriters and performing musicians a simpler way to understand the complex framework they must navigate to receive full payment for their work. Included are how royalties are handled for songwriters, publishers, and performers in various media ranging from physical and download sales, radio, tv, satellite, the various forms of streaming, and synchronization.
With his usual bravado, West declared victory Friday over digital currency Coinye for using his likeness and name without permission. West's claim came after his attorneys filed for a summary judgement in NYC since most of the defendants - many of them 'John Does' - failed to answer his complaint.
But, it's not over yet...