Music Industry News


 
  Spotify Surpasses 140M Active Users – Up By 100M In Just Three Years
June 20

Spotify Vice President Brian Benedik revealed in a blog post last Thursday that the streaming service has reached 140 million monthly active users. The figure represents a 40m climb on the figure Daniel Ek announced this time last year – and is up by a very impressive 100m people compared to May 2014.

The streaming service pulled in $3.3 billion revenue last year......

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  Here Is the Complete List of Winners From the 2017 Billboard Music Awards
May 22

Drake was the big winner at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards.

The rapper took home 13 trophies, beating Adele's record of 12 awards from last year's Billboard Music Awards. Drake now holds the record of most awards won in one night.

See the rest of the winners here......

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  U.S. Music Industry Sees First Double Digit Growth in Almost 20 Years as Streaming Takes Over
April 11

U.S. recorded music sales grew 11.4 percent from $6.9 billion in 2015 to $7.7 billion in 2016. The primary driver of that growth was a doubling of paid streaming music subscriptions which helped the American music business experience its biggest gain since 1998. Back then, the industry enjoyed revenue of $13.7 billion.

The revenues from streaming platforms were up 68.5 percent to $3.93 billion, up from $2.33 billion......

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  UMG Alone Earns $4.5 Million a Day from Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube
February 25

The huge growth in streaming and subscription services again helped Universal Music Group offset steep declines in physical and download sales during 2016.

Under Vivendi ownership, UMG posted their best financial performance thus far. UMG’s overall revenues rose to $5.57 billion, which is 4.4% more than 2015’s $5.41 billion.

The label group's earnings before interest......

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  Facebook Developing Copyright ID System to Stem Music Rights Infringement
December 30

Facebook is working to develop a copyright identification system - similar to YouTube's Content ID - that would find and remove videos containing copyrighted music.

In a recent snapshot search of 33 of today’s top songs, the National Music Publisher’s Association identified 887 videos using those songs with over......

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  Streaming Price War Breaks Out As Google Offers 4 Free Months Of Play
November 28

A four month free trial subscription – this is the offer from Google Play Music for the 'Cyber Week', which began last Friday (November 24). The trial is available in the US and UK, and when it ends, the subscribers will be asked to pay $/£ 9.99 per month for their unlimited access to the service. For the whole year, including these 4 free months, the cost per month will average just $6.66.

A day before (November 23), Spotify reintroduced an offer which charges new customers......

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  YouTube, GEMA Deal Finally Brings Music Videos To Germany
November 8

An ongoing royalty dispute that reaches back to 2009 has kept music videos off YouTube. A new deal with German collecting society GEMA will finally change that. GEMA and YouTube have reached a deal that makes sure GEMA members get paid for video streams. Also, YouTube users in Germany will no longer see a blocking message......

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  Streaming Helps Drive 8.1 Percent Growth in Revenue for U.S. Recording Industry
October 4

After almost 20 years of constant decline caused by piracy and falling prices, the music business is enjoying a weak recovery thanks to the growth of paid streaming services.

The U.S. music industry experienced an 8.1 percent growth in overall revenue during the first half of this year, the Recording Industry Assn. of America (RIAA) has reported last month. Total music industry revenue hit $3.4 billion, up from $3.17 billion in the first half of 2015, representing......

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  Amazon and Pandora set to launch new music streaming services
September 12

Amazon.com and Pandora Media are planning to launch new versions of their streaming music services in coming weeks, the New York Times reported.

The music streaming business has become a rather aggressive one, especially after Apple joined in. But pricing for monthly subscription hasn’t substantially changed among the very few major players in that market. The monthly fee of $9.99 is more or less standard everywhere. Amazon and Pandora, however, are planning to undercut competitors like Spotify and Apple Music by charging as little as......

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  Apple Proposes Simplified Royalty Scheme for Music
August 08

Last month Apple proposed a radical change to the way musicians are paid when their music is streamed online, and the suggestion could hurt rivals like Spotify and YouTube which are offering free streaming.

Right now it is not very clear how royalties are calculated......

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  Music Downloads Will Not Be Dead In 5 Years
July 15

Over the past few days, there have been a number of publications on music news websites claiming that the death of the digital download is coming fast.

According to Nielsen's research, download rates of singles have dropped by 42% over the past four years, and if this trend continues the music download might be dead by as early as 2020.

More importantly, the rate of decline appears to be......

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  Music Downloads Are Collapsing at a Faster Rate Than CDs
June 20

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers projected figures shared with Digital Music News, revenue from physical formats is falling at a (compound annual) rate of —12.3%. That’s a drop from $1.8 billion in 2015 to just under $1 billion in 2020. But that’s nothing compared to paid download: according to the forecasted figures, paid music downloads will fall at a (compound annual) rate of —14.3%, from $2.3 billion in 2015 to just over $1 billion in 2020.
These projections suggest that by 2020, the revenue that paid downloads and physical music generate for the music business......

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  Twitter will serve up Spotify links as 30-second clips
May 30

Twitter will now let you listen to Spotify music clips right from your timeline.

The social media first launched audio cards in 2014 with iTunes previews and later worked with SoundCloud, but Spotify's music wasn't included till now.

The new partnership between Twitter and Spotify allows......

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  Apple Music Gives 50% Discount to Students
May 09

Apple launched a new plan to boost subscribers to its streaming music service and competitor to Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal and others. It's introducing an Apple Music student plan which will discount the service by 50 percent for those who are......

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  U.S. Judge Rules Copyright for 'Happy Birthday to You' Invalid
February 11

A federal judge has ruled that the music publishing company that has been collecting royalties for the song 'Happy Birthday to You' for decades does not hold a valid copyright to the popular celebratory song.

U.S. District Judge George H. King ruled that the copyright......

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  Lady Gaga Refuses to Play Along
December 17

No one will argue, that there are many artificial things in the music industry. What is presented to us from the musicians on and off the stage is so fabricated, that we can’t help but feel like that’s not who they truly are. The camera and the online world show similar picture - inauthenticity is seen from a mile away. This is what Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, AKA Lady Gaga, points in her talk at Yale University’s Emotion Revolution Summit, which was organized by the Born This Way Foundation and the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence.

Lady Gaga is a star who “has it all.” Fame, money, fortune, legacy and more, but in the video (below), we are seeing that she is not satisfied with......

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  Apple Music launches on Android
November 18

Apple has launched an official Android app for its Apple Music streaming service, just over four months after its debut on iOS. The new app is available for download here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.apple.android.music&hl=en

The Spotify rival's core features have survived the translation, including its ......

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  Bandcamp Opens Up Artist Patronage (You Can Call Them Subscriptions) to Everyone
September 29

Bandcamp, probably the best-known independent music streaming website, has made its artist subscription service available to all its users.

In November 2014 the concept was first revealed, and the function was launched as a beta in early 2015. With the service, artists can charge their fans an annual or monthly fee of any price, giving those fans access to all future music they upload. They can also restrict special features to subscribers, including a subscriber-only blog, demos or ......

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  Bon Jovi Leaves Mercury Records After 32 Years
August 25

"Here's the last song you can sell," Bon Jovi sings on Burning Bridges - his farewell song to Mercury Records, who he's been with for 32 years (one of the longest label marriages in music history).

The title track of Burning Bridges, is a sing-along directed at Mercury Records with some pretty harsh lines: "After 30 years of loyalty/they let you dig the grave/now maybe you can learn to sing or ......

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  David Byrne calls for transparency from labels and streaming services
August 05

David Byrne has been a strong critic of the insignificant royalties artists receive from both streaming platforms like Spotify and commercial radio broadcasts. In a new op-ed for The New York Times, he's calling for transparency in how streaming revenues are divided.

Byrne's piece, titled "Open the Music Industry's Black Box", outlines that no one of the major labels and streaming services gives a clear view of how royalties are paid and ......

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  The Value of a Single Music Stream: Infographic
July 08

How much money will a single stream of your song generate?

It depends on the service, but in any scenario many different parties end up splitting fractions of a penny. Below you will find the data from Spotify and Pandora, two of the most popular music streaming services in the United States. Spotify has upped its public numbers, announcing that it now has 75 million active users, with 20 million of them paying for its premium subscription tier. Pandora’s active listeners are 79.2 mission at the end of......

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  Apple Music revealed
June 11

Apple has stepped into the music streaming world, with the unveiling of its long-awaited streaming service at WWDC 2015 this Monday.

Apple Music, as it’s known, was built by the team behind the Beats Music service that Apple acquired in 2014.

“We love music, and the new Apple Music service puts an incredible experience at every fan’s fingertips,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “All the ways people love enjoying music come together in one app — a revolutionary streaming service, live worldwide radio and......

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  Billboard Music Awards 2015: Winners
May 19

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 17.

The show was hosted by Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen with Taylor Swift, Sam Smith and Iggy Azalea amongst the biggest winners.

Taylor Swift won eight out of her 14 nominations, including top artist, top female artist and top Billboard 200 Artist for 1989. Other winners included Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea and Pharrell Williams scoring three trophies each.

Full list of winners:.....

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  What is Tidal?
April 28

At the end of March some of the biggest names in music joined Jay Z for the launch of his premium music streaming service Tidal.

Here are some facts about it.

Tidal is membership-based streaming service, similar to Spotify, which offers music and exclusive video content.

Tidal currently has more than 25 million songs and 75,000 music videos in its library......

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  Spotify Is Now Worth More Than the Entire US Recording Industry…
April 23

Last month the revenue from streaming services had surpassed CD sales for the first time in history. Now, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that after securing $400 million in fresh funding, Spotify is now valued for $8.4 billion and worth more than the entire US recorded music industry.

The nearest competitor – Pandora, sits at around $3.5 billion. According to the RIAA, the revenue of the entire industry as of 2014 was.....

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  Industry Sets Friday as Global Record Release Day
March 6

Starting this summer, the new music will be released on same day of the week worldwide. The music industry has decided to streamline the process by making Friday the global release day for new records.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPA) posted on their website: “Release days currently vary from one country to another, causing frustration for consumers when music fans in other parts of the world can access new releases before them. As well as helping music fans, the move will benefit artists who want to harness social media to promote their new music. It also creates the opportunity to reignite excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new music.”

They believe it will have an added benefit.....

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  Indies labels' fear over iTunes changes
February 19

According to Billboard, indie labels have fears about some of the recent changes to the Apple's download store.

One of these changes is in the carrousels at the top of pages. (These are the sections with rotating graphics that cycle through a half-dozen artists or albums.) Previously chosen by editorial iTunes staff, what is featured is now determined by sales velocity.....

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  Americans Streamed 164 Billion Songs Last Year, And That Could Help The Music Industry
January 20

Year 2014 has gone and we can say that streaming music is taking over the world. Is this good or bad for the music industry?

The final numbers show that last year Americans streamed 164 billion songs. Yes, billion. This equals half a billion per day. The growth of streaming music is 54% and it seems that this trend will continue in 2015. It is obvious that the way in which people listen music has changed.

On the other side, the album sales (both physical and downloads) have 11.2% decline. From 1.34 billion in 2012, the sales drop to.......

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  Spotify's Year in Music 2014
December 19

The end of year 2014 is almost here and Spotify reveals the most popular songs and artists across its more than 50 million global users.

No.1 streamed artist is Ed Sheeran with more than 860 million listens, followed by Eminem and Coldplay.

The most streamed track in the world for 2014 is.......

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  How the music industry uses your data to create a hit
December 8

The data created by music streaming, sharing and buying is gathered by the music industry and then carefully analyzed, to be used for creation of music and discovering the next “big hits”. Applications like the ancient Shazam, are the industry best tools for predicting the new hit songs and future stars. Shazam’s searches, as opposed to song streams or YouTube plays, show interest. They show that the listener likes a song and wants to hear it again. According to a latest article in the Atlantic online magazine.......

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  Vinyl Records Are Back
November 28

This year vinyl record sales will hit 18-year high in UK, and the rise is matching the US sales also. Are the vinyl records back? Here are some stats – more than 1 million records are sold in UK so far this year, and it is expected that number to hit 1.2 million. This will be the highest level since 1997. And this is not only UK phenomenon. According to the latest numbers from Nielsen Soundscan’s mid-year report, vinyl record sales in the US were up more than 40% in the first six months of 2014, with 4 million units sold. In 2013, vinyl sales hit their highest level since at least 1991, with 6 million units sold. At the current pace, this year’s sales are on track to beat.......

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  Taylor Swift Removes Her Entire Catalog from Spotify
November 11

The latest album of Taylor Swift – 1989, sold an astonishing 1.287 million copies last week, making it the biggest debut of the year and her third album to sell more than a million copies in its first week. That crown is still worn by Britney Spears, who sold 1.319 million.

1989 hasn’t been available on Spotify, which is proof enough for Swift and her management agency that Spotify isn’t helping the sales at all, but even hurting them. Swift has pulled all of her albums from Spotify. The only track still available is ‘Safe & Sound,’ licensed separately as part of the Hunger Games Soundtrack. .......

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  Music Creators Call for Fairer Digital Revenues Distribution Model
October 28

A group of music creators join to call for fairer rules and greater transparency in the distribution of royalties by digital music services - asking for 80% of streaming services' gross revenues to be paid to rights holders.

The International Council of Creators of Music (CIAM) released a report called "Fair Compensation for Music Creators in the Digital Age”, which reveals market imbalances in the use and remuneration of music by digital platforms. The author of the report, Professor Pierre-E. Lalonde, says that the current level of remuneration is inadequate given the dependency of these services on music content.......

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  Nielson Survey Shows Music Still Trumps All Forms Of Entertainment
October 9

Nielsen's Music 360° 2014 survey (an annual study of consumer habits and spending) reveals that music is the top form of entertainment for hundreds of millions of Americans. 93% of the people in U.S. listen to music more than 25 hours each week, the survey says.

The study also shows that the top platform for music consumption is still......

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  Barbra Streisand makes US chart history
October 1

The singer Barbara Streisand has made a history in US chart with her latest album – Partners. After selling 196,000 copies and topped the Billboard rundown, she became the first artist which has number one albums in each of the last six decades.

50 years ago, in October 1964, the 72-year-old star has her first number one album, People.......

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  What Does Free Streaming Mean for the Music Industry?
September 16

Great news for the music lovers! Last month T-Mobile announced that customers owning the latest T-Mobile phones and tablets will not have to worry about going over their data when streaming music. Users will be able to use apps like Pandora, Slacker Radio, iHeart Radio and Spotify whenever and wherever they want. This is really great for the customer. But will the musicians benefit from this? Or the industry?

Here are some possible implications......

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  Pandora Strikes First Partnership Deal With Music Agency
September 11

Pandora, the pioneer in Internet radio services, have signed a partnership agreement with Merlin, the rights agency that represents many independent record companies, in its first direct deal with music labels.

There are likely be some really good benefits from this deal..............

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  SoundCloud starts paying musicians and other creators
August 30

The second biggest streaming music service after YouTube – SoundCloud, hasn’t paid royalties to the creators and rightsholders of the music for their plays on its site and apps yet. The benefits of the artists were that they can build audience of fans and gather data how and where their tracks are being listened to.

But SoundCloud has grown (the company is valued at $700m) and is faced the question when will start paying royalties to the artists..............

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  How the music royalties work?
August 20

The business side of the music seems to be very complicated these days. The royalties aren’t derived just from music sales, but depend on how the music is consumed - physical sales or digital downloads, through traditional or online radio, or through streaming services. How the royalties are determined? Who monitors these revenue streams? Every artist and songwriter needs to know in details how the processes of gathering music royalties work and how these earnings can be maximized.............

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  Will illegal streaming become a felony?
August 13

A recent research showed that bandwidth consumed by illegal video streaming grew 470% between 2010 and 2012. Under current copyright law, illegal streaming is classed as a “public performance” and is not treated as a felony, but as a misdemeanor.

In order to protect the copyright owners, Congress is moving to create a legislation establishing a felony charge for violation through unauthorized public performances.............

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  Will the album become extinct as a format?
August 4

During the course of recent years, sales of albums have been going down, dominated by streamed tracks and playlists. What the stats are showing is that in 2013 in UK there were 30 million fewer albums sold than in 2009, while UK fans streamed an estimated 7.4 billion songs. There are 1.5 billion playlists just on Spotify, against compared to only 1.4 million albums. More and more bands and musicians are stating that they will not make new albums, because the format is dead.

What is happening with the dominator of the music industry during the last few decades?

The answer is simple – the online digital streaming services provides customers more flexibility.............

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  YouTube's Streaming Music Contract Leaks, Ruffles Indie Label Feathers
July 9

A copy of a contract offered by Google's YouTube to music labels for participation in an upcoming streaming music service was leaked online this week, aggravating independent labels who claim the terms are highly unfavorable to them. Posted in its entirety by Digital Music News and summarized by Billboard, the contract includes clauses that could be construed as damaging to indie artists............

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  How much streaming services pay artists per play
June 26

Streaming services from Nokia, Google and Microsoft pay artists the highest royalty rates per stream, according to a data set obtained by The Trichordest, a website which aims to protect artist rights in the digital age.

The information was provided by an anonymous independent label with a catalogue of roughly 1,500 songs, and is based on flat royalties before distribution fees and the like are deducted. The streams occurred between Jan 2012 and February 1, 2014...........

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  Indie music labels slam YouTube streaming plans
June 11

The independent music community lashed out at YouTube over proposals for a subscription music streaming service, which the Silicon Valley giant is expected to launch soon.

It appears that in an attempt to dominate the audio streaming market in the future, YouTube is now using its near-monopoly in the video streaming space to force down royalty rates for its planned subscription service to a level that would undercut all other subscription music services – including Spotify, Deezer and Rdio – severely, according to the independent label community...........

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  Spotify reaches 10m paying subscribers since launch
May 29

Spotify has announced that it has reached 10 million premium subscribers.

The music streaming company, now the world's largest, also has 40 million monthly active users in 56 countries. Three-quarters use the free service rather than a premium or paid-for subscription, which costs $9.99 a month and gives ad-free music..........

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  You have purchased your ISRC and UPC/EAN Codes for registering with SoundScan. What next?
March 24

First, register your album on this form: http://titlereg.soundscan.com/soundscantitlereg/.

Here you will have to enter the UPC/EAN Code of your album, label details, and release information.

You will notice that the fields “Label:” and “Distribution Company:” are marked as required. We have spoken to SoundScan about the fact that many of our independent artists do NOT have a label and/or a distribution company. In that case, SoundScan would like you to write the word “Independent” in those fields.........

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  What is SoundScan and why does it matter?
March 4

SoundScan is a tracking system operated by the ACNielsen, that tracks sales of music and music video products throughout the United States and Canada. Any music product that carries a barcode or ISRC code is eligible to be tracked by SoundScan. According to their website, “Sales data from point-of-sale cash registers is collected weekly from over 14,000 retail, mass merchant and non-traditional (on-line stores, venues, etc.) outlets........

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  How much money are top musicians making from streaming their music on Spotify?
February 24

Spotify, the on-demand music streaming service, has launched a new Spotify Artists page which explains its business model and how royalties are distributed in extreme detail. Spotify has paid out $500 million in royalties to rights holders so far in 2013 and $1 billion total since 2009, about 70 percent of its total revenue. These rights holders, typically music labels and publishers, then pay artists a portion of the royalties, an amount that varies depending on individual record contracts.......

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  Digital Music Sales in U.S. Decrease For First Time in 2013
February 8

For the first time since the iTunes store opened its doors, the U.S. music industry finished the year with a decrease in digital music sales.

Here are the facts for the full year 2013, according to Nielsen SoundScan:
  • Digital track sales fell 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units
  • Digital album sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from the previous year’s total of 117.7 million.......
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