MediaNet Blog

YouTube Finally Launches ‘YouTube Red’ Paid Subscription

Posted by Glen Sears | October 21, 2015 12:23 pm | No Comments

YouTube Red paid subscription launched
It’s been a lot of years coming, but today YouTube finally announced its landmark new paid subscription service, ‘YouTube Red.’ The service will cost $9.99/month, and it launches on October 28th in the U.S. with other territories to follow. The move promises to be excellent news for rights owners, especially as YouTube also announced a standalone ‘YouTube Music’ app that will compete directly with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

One primary advantage for end-users will be the removal of ads for all Red subscribers. While this is an exciting and oft-lauded feature of paid services, it’s worth remembering that the majority of YouTube’s ads can already be skipped after 5 seconds. Whether this will be a killer feature for the new service has yet to be seen.

Additionally for end-users, YouTube’s Red-enabled apps will now support better background playing and offline features. Videos and songs will be available for offline use in a variety of qualities (for storage management), and even playlists will be included in the fun.

For musical artists and rights holders the most exciting aspect is YouTube Music, the public version of YouTube’s beta Music Key service. YouTube Music will integrate with Google Play Music, so subscribers to one service will automatically have access to the other. Additionally, YouTube is touting its “discovery” features, which appear to mirror the set-it-and-forget-it functionality of Pandora. YouTube Music is clearly intended to follow the pathway set out by Apple Music, wherein a gigantic installed base will be expected to lead to increased member numbers.

Rights owners should be excited as well, as The Verge claims YouTube has fully “convinced its big music label, television network, and movie studio partners. Many of these big media companies requested a more favorable cut of the subscription revenue than the service was offering to the average YouTuber, on the grounds that their premium content would be the main driver of subscriptions. But YouTube held out, and in the end almost all the big players came along. The only one that hasn’t is Disney, but YouTube plans to forge ahead regardless, saying it has 98 percent of its content covered by agreements with rights holders.”

Finally, a lion’s share of the money collected from Red subscriptions will likely be poured into “Originals,” YouTube’s new exclusive content offering. By partnering top YouTube stars with television and movie producers, YouTube will attempt to capture a part of the market currently being owned by online content providers like Netflix and Hulu.

The real question: will people start paying for a service that’s been free for over a decade? We have to wait and see.

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MediaNet to Plant 50 Trees to Offset Global Carbon Emissions

Posted by Glen Sears | October 20, 2015 9:35 am | No Comments

MediaNet eCO2 Greetings 50 trees

MediaNet loves the holidays. We love the cold and rain (and when we get it, the snow). We love sending out holiday cards to our friends, loved ones, and valued business partners. And we love giving back.

Global waste is a huge problem, with almost 6 million tons of extra home waste generated per holiday season. Additionally, in 2014 energy-related carbon emissions increased for the second consecutive year according to the USIEA. While we love to celebrate the holidays, we also want to make sure we’re doing it in a responsible, sustainable way.

Since 2012 MediaNet has used the e-card service eCO2 Greetings for our electronic holiday greetings. These e-cards produce no paper waste, and give back to the environment by planting trees worldwide to help offset carbon emissions. MediaNet is proud to announce that through our partners eCO2 Greetings and American Forests, this year we will be contributing 50 trees to the worldwide Global Releaf campaign.

E-cards are a fantastic way to spread holiday cheer without making a negative impact on the environment. 46,852,306 trees have already been planted through American Forests. We encourage all our partners to consider using a service like eCO2 that not only eliminates card waste, but plants new trees to further strengthen the environment we share.

Global Record Release Day Changes To Friday

Posted by Glen Sears | July 9, 2015 11:06 am | No Comments

global record day changes to friday
After many long discussions from industry groups worldwide, in February the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced it would be adopting a global album release date. According to the IFPI, Friday (not Tuesday, as it is in the U.S.) is the day most global music fans want to receive their new music.

“Their love for new music doesn’t recognise national borders. They want music when it’s available on the internet — not when it’s ready to be released in their country. An aligned global release day puts an end to the frustration of not being able to access releases in their country when the music is available in another country.” – Frances Moore, IFPI

Well music fans, that day is tomorrow. On Friday July 10th 2015, major and major independent labels will begin to release new music on Fridays, instead of the traditional Tuesday. What does this mean for you?

Consumers: New releases will be available for download, purchase, and streaming on Fridays instead of Tuesdays.

Labels: Most digital music providers (MediaNet included) require a week lead time for releases. This means the ideal time to submit your new tracks and albums is the Friday prior to the release date.

Despite opposition from various independent labels on choosing Friday, support is generally high for a global release date. The IFPI has released a viewpoint article detailing the rationale behind the switch. We encourage all labels and consumers to read it.

Have more questions about what the switch means for your catalog? Email us here!

Everything You Need To Know About Apple Music

Posted by Glen Sears | June 8, 2015 12:30 pm | No Comments

apple-wwdc-2015_2588

Apple’s WWDC 2015 is already in full steam, announcing sweeping changes to OSX, iOS, the iPad, and Apple’s integration into digital life.

But no announcement has been more anticipated than the relaunch of Apple’s new music service, now confirmed to be named Apple Music. The event brought in industry heavy-hitters Jimmy Iovine, Drake, Trent Reznor, The Weeknd, and Eddy Cue. For those of you that weren’t able to catch the live blogs, here are the most pertinent details.

Jimmy Iovine’s intro

“It’s really an honor to be here. I’m here because in 2003 the record industry was confused…we had this giant invader from the north: technology…These guys really do think different. Technology and art can work together, at least at Apple. In 2015, the music industry is a fragmented mess. If you want to stream music, you can go over here! If you want to stream video, you can check this out! There needs to be a place where music can be treated less like digital bits and more like the art it is…not just the top tier artists but the kids at home too.”

Overview

Apple Music attempts to combine many digital music services into one app. Music contains a streaming service (similar to Spotify or Beats), a 24/7 global radio station, and Beats Connect, an integrated social service for artists to connect with fans and vice versa. The move comes at a time when services like TIDAL are also consolidating services like ticket purchasing and exclusive releases. Apple may be late to the game, but their enormous influence in both the music industry and consumer electronics market may give them an advantage.

The service will be available June 30th, available for both iOS and Android. The first three months of Apple Music are free to all subscribers. Membership will then cost $9.99/month or $14.99/month for up to six family members.

*Apple Music is available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC starting June 30. Apple Music will be coming to Apple TV and Android phones this fall.

—–

Music Streaming Service

Imagine iTunes if it could stream. The entire Apple Music catalog contains “over 30 million songs” and includes all your iTunes purchases and ripped CDs (via iCloud). Along with self-serve streaming, Apple has doubled down on human-curated playlists “not based on genre, beats, or research.” There is also a new “For You” category of Music, which combines human playlists with more traditional algorithmic playlists. In addition, Siri’s new features will allow complex commands such as “Play me the best songs from 1994.”

Beats 1 Radio

Beats 1 radio is a 24/7 station broadcasting in 100 countries. The service employs three influential DJs: Zane Lowe in Los Angeles, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London. The service will feature all genres “from indie rock to classical to folk to funk.” It also allows users to skip as many songs as they like. The service will offer more than just music, employing its star DJs for interviews, guest hosts, and music industry news–likely related to exclusive content offered on the service.

Beats Connect

Lets unsigned artists connect with fans. In essence it’s a miniature version of Apple’s failed music/social network Ping. Artists can share information and updates with fans, and fans in turn can interact with those updates. Artists will reportedly be sharing lyrics, backstage and studio photos, or videos. According to Apple’s press release, artists may even release new tracks directly to fans via the social platform.

—–

The Apple Music announcements today put Apple in direct competition with Spotify, TIDAL, Soundcloud, Pandora, and more. Beyond Apple’s influence and market cap, the greatest advantage Apple Music has is its integration. Not only is Apple Music offering a multitude of services (with most of its competitors having similar but incomplete offerings), but Apple Music is deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem. Siri integration, use of your existing iTunes library, family sharing via iCloud, and direct connection to your Apple ID make Apple Music a serious contender.

All photos courtesy of The Verge

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