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RECAP: MiDiA Research Uncovers Trove of YouTube Intelligence, Guvera Shutters in Australia, WMG & Vevo Close to Deal

Posted by Glen Sears | August 1, 2016 9:40 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

MIDiA Takes A Deep Dive Into YouTube As A Music Business
MIDiA Research has released a report on YouTube and the video platform’s impact on the music economy. With YouTube commanding a massive audience, but still drawing criticism and skepticism from artists and labels, the report adds much-needed data to explain the service’s role.

“Safe Harbour-enabled UGC is no longer the threat it once was, with just 2% of music video views from unofficial uploads,” MIDiA Research says. That statement, backed by research detailed in the report, is an interesting contradiction of some rights-holder complaints that UGC (user-generated content), and the regulation surrounding UGC platforms, do not adequately protect artists, labels, and songwriters.

The report examines several facets of YouTube’s business, including details about the most popular videos and distinct trends in listener behaviors. It revealed that three-quarters of music video views happen through official sources, and a further 76% of those are uploads from distributor Vevo. It also found that audience behaviors are quite sophisticated, with sizable listener groups only listening to the audio or navigating directly to an artist’s channel.

Read the full story on RAIN News

Top Music News Stories

Warner Music Group and Vevo Close to Reaching Content Deal. For Warner Music Group, this comes in a year when the company seems to be focusing its efforts in making more licensing deals, having partnered with Facebook, and signing a deal with social video sharing app musical.ly to let its music be licensed for the platform.

Canadian Music Industry Reaches $66M Settlement With Piracy Site isoHunt. The court found that isoHunt and Fung were liable for $55 million in damages and an additional $10 million in punitive damages, plus another million in court costs.

SOCAN And Audiam Talk Tech, Streaming And 21st-Century PROs. It’s unusual to see a PRO acquiring a music/tech company, let alone two in quick succession; Music Ally spoke to SOCAN chief executive Eric Baptiste and Audiam boss Jeff Price [paywall] to explore its strategy.

Troubled Music Streaming Startup Guvera Closes Up Shop in Australia. “Born and launched into Australia in 2008, we have had the best time bringing all the latest tunes to the ears of our listeners here; unfortunately, and with a heavy heart, the time has come to pull back from our operations in the country.”

SoundCloud Is For Sale, But They’re Having Trouble Finding A Buyer. In June, SoundCloud raised $70 million from Twitter in a $100 million funding round at reported valuation of $700 million — now Soundcloud is for sale.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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RECAP: Google & Music Industry Spar Over Piracy Report, Apple Wants To Simplify Licensing, Crowdmix Goes Bust

Posted by Glen Sears | July 18, 2016 9:42 am | No Comments

googlepiracy

Story of the Week

“How Google Fights Piracy” Report Makes Youtube, Search Defense
Google has published a new version of its ‘How Google Fights Piracy Report.’ It’s the third revision in four years for the report, which makes the company’s defence against creative industry attacks on its approach to copyright, from user-generated content on YouTube to piracy sites’ ranking on Google’s search engine.

“Google takes the challenge of online piracy seriously – we continue to invest significant resources in the development of tools to report and manage copyrighted content, and we work with other industry leaders to set the standard for how tech companies fight piracy.”

Some new figures: there are now more than 50m active reference files in the Content ID database, and more than 8,000 partners using the system – “a 38% increase since our 2014 report”. Meanwhile, Google says that 98% of copyright issues on YouTube are resolved using Content ID, with 90% resulting in monetisation for the original rightsholder.

Read the full story on Music Ally.

Top Music News Stories

BPI and IFPI Say Google’s Fight Piracy Report is ‘Greenwash.’ “Although we welcome the measures Google has taken so far, it is still one of the key enablers of piracy on the planet. Google has the resources and the tech expertise to do much more to get rid of the illegal content on its services.”

YouTube’s Payment Rate to Labels Halved in 2015, Analyst Finds. According to findings by Midia Research provided to the Financial Times, the site increased payments to rights holders by 15 percent last year (to $740 million), but at the same time streams on YouTube and Vevo jumped 132 percent, totaling 751 billion.

Apple Proposes Simplified Statutory Licensing Scheme to D.C. The company’s proposal to the Copyright Royalty Board suggests a simple, “all-in” statutory rate that would be “fair, simple and transparent, unlike the incredibly complicated structure that currently exists” — a rate of $0.00091 per interactive stream, or 9.1 cents per hundred plays.

Indie Music Trade Groups A2IM, AIMP, CMPA Issue Joint Response To DoJ 100% Licensing Position. Condemnation of a new U.S. Department of Justice position allowing 100% licencing of songs has been nearly universal within the music publishing community.

Songwriters: The DOJ Got It Right. Your Sky Is Not Falling. Jody Dunitz, ex-EVP of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, calls 100% licensing “another gift from the DOJ to songwriters.”

Omnifone Business and Assets To Be Sold For $10M To Mystery U.S. Firm. The administrator’s report also outlines the key moments in Omnifone’s slide into administration, including the cancellation of contracts with Sony and SiriusXM, as well as another client, streaming service Guvera – currently facing troubles of its own – stopping paying Omnifone for its services.

Quick Take: Crowdmix Bites The Dust. Analyst Mark Mulligan claims Crowdmix failed because “music is fundamentally not important enough to enough people to build any sort of scale of social network around it.”

VKontakte and Universal Music Near Licensing Deal. The leading Russian business daily Vedomosti quoted two people close to the negotiations as saying that a deal between VKontakte and UMG could be signed within days, covering, in addition to VKontakte, Mail.ru Group’s two other social networks, Odnoklassniki and Moi mir.

U.S. Teens Love On-Demand Music Streaming — Especially YouTube. The Music Business Association claims that for this age group, on-demand streaming accounts for 51% of their daily listening time, compared to 20% for downloads/files, 12% for AM/FM radio and 9% to internet radio like Pandora.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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RECAP: U.K. Digital Economy & Piracy Reports, Rdio Goes After Sony, Spotify May Abandon Freemium

Posted by Glen Sears | July 11, 2016 10:02 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

U.K.’s Digital Economy Bill Introduced, Would Allow Retransmission Fees
The U.K. government on Tuesday unveiled its Digital Economy Bill, which includes a part that could pave the way to U.S.-style retransmission consent fees and which wants to make the U.K. “the most digital nation in the world.”

The new bill also includes measures designed to strengthen protections for citizens. Among others, it will “protect children from online pornography by requiring age verification for access to all pornographic sites and applications” and “increase the sentencing options for people who infringe [on] copyright laws online, bringing sentences into line with the current penalties available for ‘physical infringement’.”

“We have consistently called for major pay-TV platforms to pay U.K. public service broadcasters (PSBs) fairly for the ‘transmission’ of their channels ending what is effectively a multi-million pound subsidy — and this is clearly a welcome first step in that direction,” an ITV spokesman said. “This is simply about ITV, and other PSBs, being paid fairly for their investment in original U.K. content so that we can continue to invest in the programs viewers love.”

Read the full story on Billboard.

Top Music News

Concerns Loom Over U.K. Music Business’ Future in Wake of Brexit Vote. Two weeks on from the U.K.’s historic decision to leave the European Union, no one is any the wiser about what or how big an impact it will have on the nation’s economy, 64 million population or future.

YouTube Leads Music Consumption While Piracy Dips, According to U.K. Government Survey. An estimated 78 million music tracks were accessed illegally online in the United Kingdom in a three month period, but levels of digital piracy are gradually beginning to decline, according to new research from the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

What the Dept. of Justice’s Decision Means for Music Publishing. Almost everyone in the music-publishing business has expressed frustration with the Department of Justice’s recent decision not to amend the antitrust consent decree, but they don’t seem to agree on how this decision will affect the music industry — or even exactly what it means.

Sony Music Investigated by Rdio for Alleged Collusion in Streaming Music. The label responds that the suggestion of antitrust violations are “nothing but speculation and conjecture” and pretext for avoiding $17 million claims plus allegations of fraud.

Soundcloud Aims Straight At Spotify, Apple Music With “Artist Stations.” “The algorithm behind Stations serves content in a different way than the Suggested Tracks feature we recently launched — Stations serve a longer queue of songs that are a mixture of similar, new, and popular tracks related to the track or artist you started the Station from, for an experience closer to listening to the radio.

Users Leave Apple Music 3X Faster Than They Do Spotify. Apple Music has a problem with users dropping the service called their churn rate – “the annual percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service” – and Apple Music’s is three times that of Spotify.

The End Of Freemium For Spotify? Analyst Mark Mulligan argues “that mid-priced subscriptions are crucial to driving the streaming market, and the burgeoning success of Spotify’s mid-priced-subscriptions-by-stealth strategy provides a bulging corpus of supporting evidence.”

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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RECAP: ASCAP Settles With DOJ, SOCAN Acquires MediaNet, U.K. Announces Safe Harbor Review

Posted by Glen Sears | May 16, 2016 9:27 am | No Comments

article-doc-ak3b2-2gqALY4vPZ08bdc60e863f051ba5-408_634x421

Story of the Week

ASCAP Pays $1.75 Million To Settle DoJ Investigation
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has agreed to pay $1.75 million to settle allegations that they had engaged in anti-competitive practices in violation of a court order. According to DoJ, ASCAP signed contracts with approximately 150 songwriters and publisher members that made ASCAP the exclusive licensor of their performance rights, despite provisions in a court order prohibiting ASCAP from interfering with its members’ ability to directly license their songs.

As part of the settlement, ASCAP has also promised not to enter into further exclusive contracts and agreed to reform its licensing practices to remove music publishers from overseeing ASCAP’s licensing.

“Settling this matter was the right thing to do for our members,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews in a statement announcing the settlement. “With these issues resolved, we continue our focus on leading the way towards a more efficient, effective and transparent music licensing system and advocating for key reforms to the laws that govern music creator compensation.”

Read the full story on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

SOCAN Predicts Dramatic YouTube Revenue Uplift As It Acquires Medianet. Canada-based collection society SOCAN has acquired B2B music tech provider Medianet in a bid to ‘ensure that creators and music publishers, including artists and all relevant rights owners, are properly compensated for their work.’

Medianet, SOCAN, YouTube And The Kobalt Effect. “SOCAN has seized the initiative with the Medianet acquisition, setting out its stall as a rights society that puts tech innovation, effective reporting and accountability at the centre of what it does for its members.” says Mark Mulligan, “It has also positioned itself as a contender for global successor of the GRD—consider this the first major repercussion of the innovation and transparency agenda that Kobalt set in motion.”

U.K. Government Announces Anti-Piracy Strategy, Safe Harbor Review. Published today, the “Protecting Creativity, Supporting Innovation: IP Enforcement 2020” policy paper sets out its four year strategy “to address the multiple and growing challenges posed by IP infringement and counterfeiting” across multiple creative and retail industries.

$300 Million – $600 Million US IPO Planned For China Based Streaming Music Service. China Music Corp, which is backed by Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings and operates Chinese digital music services Kugou and Kuwo, has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to prep a US IPO that could take place later this year, sources are telling the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook Working with WMG on ’Slideshows’ Music Feature. Within the past few weeks, the social network has quietly initiated talks with music labels about licensing a limited amount of songs that users can upload to, say, summer vacation videos or birthday parties, sources said.

Beatport Suspends Auction and Shuts Down Streaming, News and Events Divisions. “Beatport has made a strategic decision to return to its roots, focusing its efforts on its flagship Beatport Store, the leading global source of electronic music for DJs and consumers,” SFX wrote in a statement provided to Billboard.

Irving Azoff Pens An Open Letter To YouTube: ‘The Root Of The Problem Here Is You.’ “You have built a business that works really well for you and for Google, but it doesn’t work well for artists. If you think it is just the labels and publishers who are complaining, you are wrong. The music community is traditionally a very fractured one, but on this we are united.”

Amazon Launches a New Rival for YouTube. Amazon Video Direct, which kicked off Tuesday, shares money with video creators through the method they choose: ads, subscriptions, rentals, or simply by the number of hours streamed to tens of millions of subscribers of Amazon Prime, its two-day shipping service.

Apple Music Set To Receive A Facelift. Although the service has certainly been picking up users, Apple Music has received some complaints about its less-than-stellar interface. It looks like this is about to change, however, with Apple set to give its streaming service a much needed facelift, in hopes of catching up with Spotify.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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Consumer Spending On Digital Music Actually Fell In 2014 + Your Top Music News

Posted by Glen Sears | December 7, 2015 11:04 am | No Comments

Digital music spending actually fell in 2014 soundcheck

Story of the Week

Consumer Spending On Digital Music Actually Fell In 2014 (Yes You Read That Right)
Though the drop was small – 1% – it was still nonetheless a drop at a period when digital spending should be booming.

In some key markets the consumer spending decline was significantly larger, such as a 3% fall in the UK. Of course, overall digital music revenue grew globally in 2014 but all of that growth came from the 37% increase in digital music B2B revenues, such as advertising income and telco bundles. In short, the music industry is getting better at selling to businesses and worse at selling to consumers in the digital arena.

Read more on the Midia Blog: http://bit.ly/1TU2ElI

Top News Stories

YouTube Outgrossing Pandora and Candy Crush Saga On The U.S. App Store – People are starting to pay their monthly subscriptions for YouTube Red, the new subscription tier to YouTube, and the early indications are that plenty have paid for at least one month. Read More

Google Retires the Songza Brand – On January 31, over a year and a half after being acquired by Google, Songza will finally retire its website and app, marking an end to a small yet innovative Internet radio service. Read More

MediaNet is proud to have supported Songza from its early startup days, powering the backend of the Songza Platform with our catalog and streaming services, helping it grow to the scale and popularity it attained on the Web and with its mobile apps. We look forward to the impact its industry-leading, human-curated playlists will have on Google Play. See our many customers here.

Pandora Shares Fell 11.5% Thursday After Music Streamer Announces Plan To Borrow $300 Million – Pandora has announced its intention to offer $300 million in convertible senior notes due in 2020 in a private placement to institutional buyers. Read More

Jay Z’s Tidal Gets New CEO: Former SoundCloud Exec Jeff Toig – Before he was SoundCloud’s Chief Business Officer, Toig was a founder and svp at Muve Music, Cricket Wireless’s innovative music service, and was on the Virgin Mobile USA founding team. Read More

Live Nation’s James Barton Is In ‘Serious Talks’ For A Leadership Role At SFX Entertainment – Barton’s arrival at SFX comes amid talk that its directors are unhappy with CEO Bob Sillerman’s performance to date and the state of SFXE’s teetering finances. Read More

Tunecore Has Been Hacked, Sensitive Data Revealed, All User Passwords Invalidated – “We recently discovered suspicious activity on TuneCore’s servers in November, and that on November 17th an individual illegally collected information from our servers.” Read More

Facebook Adds Concert Ticketing and Opens Up Live Streaming – News of the ticketing pilot came as Facebook opened up its live-streaming video to all users – well, all users in the US at least – having previously made it only available to verified users. Read More

Surprising Discoveries

Rdio May Have 100k U.S. Subscribers “Up For Grabs” By Rivals – Rhapsody’s senior director of traffic and demand Greg Spils told Billboard that Rdio’s closure may leave around 100,000 US subscribers “up for grabs”, with his company keen to attract as many of them as possible. Read More

Spotify Tops Pandora as World’s Most Popular Music Streaming App – In the past year Spotify moved to the top of the game in revenue, active users, and app downloads, according to a new report from app analytics firm App Annie. Read More

Coldplay Rejects Freemium: New Album Not On Spotify, But Is Streaming On Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon, Rhapsody – The decision is a clear rejection of free and freemium by the multi-platinum rockers. Read More

First-of-Its-Kind Report Assembles Hard Numbers on the World’s Creative Industries – Creative industries contributed $2.25 trillion to the global economy, according to the report by CISAC president Jean-Michel Jarre and director general Gadi Oron, UNESCO director general Irina Bokov and EY consultant Marc Lhermitte. Read More

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Pandora Acquires Rdio For $75 Million + Your Top Music News

Posted by Glen Sears | November 23, 2015 11:38 am | No Comments

pandora rdio medianet soundcheck

Story of the Week

Pandora Acquires Bankrupt Rdio For $75 Million, Plans Global Expansion
Consolidation in streaming music has begun, though perhaps a bit earlier than expected. Pandora is acquiring “the technology and intellectual property” of streaming music service Rdio for $75 million, and will use the assets to compete with Spotify, Apple Music and others.

The bid comes as Pandora, whose user growth has slowed to just 3%, searches for new avenues of expansion. “We seek to be the definitive source for music discovery and enjoyment globally,” Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews told Variety. The music streamer plans to offer “full on-demand paid subscription” over time. “We plan to substantially broaden our subscription business.”

McAndrews said that Pandora chose Rdio because it had “the best product” in subscription streaming. “We just were really enamored with their product.”
Read more on Hypebot: http://bit.ly/1XmbxV5

Top News Stories

Pandora Didn’t Buy Rdio Because It Was $220m In Debt – “The business was challenged, and financially would have been a drain for us,” Pandora CFO Mike Herring told analysts. The scale of that challenge was revealed overnight in Rdio’s bankruptcy filing. Read More

The Pros And Cons Of Pandora’s Rdio Acquisition – On the surface it seems like a huge positive for the company, but there are also a few potential land mines that come with the deal. Read More

Spotify Claims Users Listen 1.7bn Hours Each Month – The listening statistics closely match those published by Pandora. Once Pandora moves into on-demand in 2016 – licensing deals allowing – the two companies could become fierce rivals. Read More

Bye Bye Beats, So Long Zune – Apple, Microsoft Retire Major Digital Music Brands – Two major digital music brands are being retired. Apple is shuttering its Beats Music service and pushing users to Apple Music; and Microsoft is shuttering one of the original digital music services Zune. Read More

New Board Elected For Digital Rights Group Merlin – North American reps include Epitaph, CV America, Secret City Records, Tommy Boy and the Secretly Group. “[We are] delighted that so many of our members took the opportunity to vote in this election.” Read More

Surprising Discoveries

Adele’s ’25’ Won’t Be On Streaming Services – This is sure to increase 25’s chances of breaking *NSYNC’s record for the biggest first-week sales of the Nielsen/SoundScan era (1991-present). Read More

Robert Sillerman Pulls Third Bid to Buy Back SFX – In a company memo acquired by The Wall Street Journal, he explained that with prices so low ($0.41/share as of Thursday morning), “the time is not right to go forward on this path.” Read More

YouTube To Pay Fees For Some Video Makers To Fight Takedowns – The video giant said on Thursday that it would pick up the legal costs of a handful of video creators that the company thinks are the targets of unfair takedown demands. Read More

RIAA Introduces A Hi-Res Music Logo – The logo, and a definition of what constitutes hi-res, are intended to be displayed by distributors so music consumers will have no confusion over what kind of fidelity to expect. Read More

Curious why all music streaming services aren’t ‘high-definition?’ Read our explanation of the huge infrastructure costs on Medium.

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YouTube Finally Launches a Music App + Your Top Music News

Posted by Glen Sears | November 16, 2015 11:12 am | No Comments

youtube red music apple spotify

Story of the Week

YouTube (Finally) Releases Its Music App
YouTube is already, not-so-secretly, the king of the music streaming hill, with 60 percent of people saying they use YouTube to listen to music some or most of the time, according to Edison Research’s “Infinite Dial 2015” report. The majority — 83 percent — of 12-24 year-olds say YouTube is how they keep up-to-date with music. “YouTube as a music channel is as mainstream as all of online audio put together,” the report says.

YouTube has been the subject of scrutiny over its pay to creators and rights holders, though those figures seem to be rising sharply, having paid $3 billion to rights holders since the company’s launch in 2005, a figure that stood at $1 billion in February 2014. With subscriptions bringing in additional revenue that volume will continue to tick upwards. (Randomly, the company’s blog post on the app launch points out that a windowing strategy for new releases — or at least, singles — isn’t encouraged. “Just this month,” Fowler writes, “Adele’s ‘Hello’ became the fastest rising video of the year on YouTube, while also breaking the record for first week download sales.” Whether that could be true for any other artist in the world remains to be seen.) The company says it has solved the problem of monetizing user-generated content — Billboard is still awaiting an answer on the complicated question of payouts on derivative works like Boiler Room sets.

In a congested market, YouTube has every advantage, and the two that matter most especially: money and ubiquity. Now they have a useful music app, too — as long as you pay.
Read more on Billboard: http://bit.ly/1ONpkVo
(more…)

Hard Questions About the ‘Revenue-Neutral Spotify’ Paper, and Other Top News

Posted by Glen Sears | November 2, 2015 1:15 pm | No Comments

spotify revenue neutral medianet soundcheck

Story of the Week

That Study on Spotify Everyone’s Talking About? It’s Wrong, and That’s Not Even the Point
The working paper — a collaboration between the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (a division of the Europen Commission’s Joint Research Center — was written by Luis Aguiar (of IPTS) and Joel Waldfogel (of the NBER and the University of Minnesota), received a great amount of attention after an article appeared on Slate on October 30. (Because it’s a working paper, it has not been peer reviewed and hasn’t been published.) It searches for a relationship between streaming and music industry revenues by examining Spotify streams, music piracy and music sales across multiple countries.

The study was unable to differentiate between Spotify’s free and premium tiers. It’s possible free streams affect track sales differently than streams by subscribers. What’s more, it’s possible — as some labels allege — that Spotify’s unlimited free tier, supported by advertisements and meant to encourage listeners to upgrade to the premium service, discourage listeners from becoming subscribers. (Spotify would undoubtedly argue differently.)

“In other words, we don’t know which portion of any lost revenue in the sales market could be attributed to Spotify, exclusively,” Touve writes. “And yet, the… paper essentially treats the situation as if the entirety of any decrease in unit sales can be explained by adoption of Spotify alone.”
Read more on Billboard: http://bit.ly/1P6uZ8U

Other Top News

Deezer Abandons IPO Plans – Apple Music’s damage to Pandora contributed to Deezer’s decision Tuesday to pull its initial public stock offering. Read More

YouTube Red Is Now Live! – Creators To Be Paid During Free Trials – Google’s YouTube launched its paid video and music subscription service today. YouTube Red ad free $9.99 per month subscriptions extend across devices and platforms. Read More

Apple Music By The Numbers [Mark Mulligan] – Apple CEO Tim Cook recently announced that Apple Music has 6.5 millions paid subscribers. While a promising figure on its face, it seems unlikely that all these listeners will continue paying past the first month. This article breaks down Apple Music’s most recent statistics, offering us some idea of where the streaming service is headed financially. Read More

European Parliament Rejects Net Neutrality Protections – Proponents of net neutrality suffered a major setback Tuesday when European politicians voted against enshrining in law the concept of treating all online data equally. Read More

SXSW Responds to Panel Cancellation Backlash, Announces Day-Long Summit – “By canceling two sessions we sent an unintended message that SXSW not only tolerates online harassment but condones it, and for that we are truly sorry. While we made the decision in the interest of safety for all of our attendees, canceling sessions was not an appropriate response… It is clear that online harassment is a problem that requires more than two panel discussions to address. To that end, we’ve added a day-long summit to examine this topic.” Read More

Could Adele Be The Last Hurrah Of The Album Era? – As the listening public waits with bated breath for the release of Adele’s upcoming album ’25,’ the question is being raised as to how much longer even superstar artists like Adele can expect to achieve blockbuster success when it comes to selling their albums. Read More

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Apple Music Becomes the 2nd Largest Digital Music Service, and Last Week’s Top News

Posted by Glen Sears | October 26, 2015 1:51 pm | No Comments

apple music youtube red tim cook

Story of the Week

Apple Music, YouTube Red Mark a Momentous Week for Digital Music
The week of October 19 is the week digital music met its future. Long dominated by early entrants and standalone companies, the music subscription market was rocked by the world’s two largest technology companies, Apple and Google.

Monday’s news that Apple Music has 6.5 million subscribers and Wednesday’s unveiling of YouTube Red, the company’s upcoming subscription service, are two hugely important steps in helping, or properly enticing, consumers to make the transition from buying music to streaming for free to paying a monthly fee to access — but not own outright — a large collection of audio tracks and videos. If the jump from cassettes to CDs crossed over a hurdle, going from downloads to paid streaming requires scaling a 10-foot wall.

Read more on Billboard: http://bit.ly/1NwNsbD

Top News Stories

Pandora Stock Falls 36% Friday As Investors Lose Faith – Investors reacted poorly to another bad earnings report and slowing listener growth amidst increased competition. The company reported a third quarter loss of $85 million or 40 cents a share. Read More
(more…)

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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