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RECAP: Amazon & Pandora Launch New Music Services, Songwriters Struggle With Production Costs, Jimmy Iovine Interview

Posted by Glen Sears | October 17, 2016 9:40 am | No Comments

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Amazon Launches Three-Tiered Music Unlimited Streaming Service

Story of the Week
Amazon already had a music streaming service, Prime Music, which launched two years ago with a relatively small catalog — around two million songs compared to the 35-million-plus available on Spotify, for example. Music Unlimited, however, will expand that catalog to the level of Spotify and its other competitors — and presents a significant uphill battle for “Big Green” and the others when trying to woo Echo owners.

Music Unlimited arrives at an auspicious time for the streaming market. Just two weeks ago, it was validated stateside by a report from the RIAA, which attributed an 8.1 percent growth for the overall recording industry to the sector. As well, competition between its major players has gone from a simmer to a boil over both exclusives — now outlawed by Universal Music — and helping casual listeners with new music discovery, a perennial problem when your catalog would take at least 171 years to listen to (if you listened non-stop).

“From our perspective, with Prime we helped push the music industry away from the one-size-fits all approach to music streaming, and to go after different customer segments,” Boom says when asked about negotiations around that $3.99 price point. “But more important than that, [the industry] sees the importance and the promise of the voice interface in the home.

Read the full story on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

What Do Amazon’s New Deals With Labels & Publishers Look Like?While Amazon is not eating the cost of the $3.99-per-month Echo-only subscription, it is paying for the difference on the $7.99-per-month option available to Prime subscribers, meaning its “losing” $2 on each subscription.

Lefsetz And Mulligan Assess Amazon Music Unlimited. “More and more of music consumption will be voice and gesture driven and Amazon is setting the pace for the voice side of the ‘Zero UI’ equation,” they wrote. “There is less friction between the listener and the music. The music becomes the experience.”

Pandora Rebrands As Its Plus Radio Subscription Rolls Out. Importantly for Pandora’s future is the launch of Pandora Plus, its new subscription tier, which itself is effectively a rebranding of the existing Pandora One with some new features — the $4.99-a-month subscription will be a step towards Pandora’s full $9.99 on-demand service, which will debut later in the year.

How Production Costs Are Affecting Songwriters. In this fresh piece off of MusicThinkTank, Mylène Besançon takes a look at how high production costs are negatively affecting songwriters.

Infographic: A Basic Explanation of Streaming Money. Jordan Bromley and Nicole Sollberger, a partner and associate respectively in the Music Group of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP did a pretty great job of explaining how this plate of spaghetti gets made.

Spotify Paid Out Over A Billion To Labels This Year. Bobby Owsinski claims the streaming platform has already shelled out $1.2 billion in royalties this year, suggesting it may be benefiting the industry more than previously thought.

Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize For Literature. Dylan, 75, is the first musician to win the award, and his selection on Thursday is perhaps the most radical choice in a history stretching back to 1901.

Apple Music Tops J.D. Power Streaming Satisfaction Study. The results were good news for Apple Music, which topped the rankings with an index ranking of 834 based on a 1,000-point scale. Rhapsody (826), Pandora (825) and Spotify (824) were all above the industry average of 822 points, with TuneIn (820), Amazon Prime Music (818) and Google Play Music (818) only slightly behind.

Jimmy Iovine on the Future of Apple Music. “We are an adjunct to labels and artists. We are building something that can help labels and artists and undiscovered artists. Yeah, it’s a popular culture company, but it’s also a tool. And that’s what we’re building. We’re not in the record business.”

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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