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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:

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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Surprising Takeaways From The Billboard Music Industry Executive Survey

Posted by Glen Sears | August 27, 2015 11:53 am | No Comments

billboard music industry executive survey
People often think of music, label, and technology executives as disconnected and greedy, but a report out yesterday from Billboard shows they might not think as differently as consumers.

The survey, given to 50-something anonymous music industry executives, had a few unexpected bits of information inside. We don’t know which executives were polled and what their industry position is. They might be from labels, publishers, distributors, techs, PROs, or others. Let’s assume they’re evenly distributed, being totally honest, and let’s have some fun.


Even A-List Execs Don’t Think Artists Are Treated Fairly.

In a 3:2 ratio, industry executives stated clearly that the industry isn’t favorable to artists. While it’s a fairly ambiguous question, it does highlight the shifting landscape of opinions on artist treatment. We’ve said recently ourselves that artists aren’t the only ones that “being left behind” by the music industry, but they are certainly one of the many. Everyone deserves to get paid for the music they helped create, and the belief that artists aren’t given proper fairness is a good step forward.


Everyone Continues to Hate on EDM, but Also on Rap.

It’s no secret that EDM has a tough time gaining legitimacy in the broader music industry. Despite its massive revenue-generating power, EDM behemoth SFX Entertainment is poised for bankruptcy in just a few short weeks. What’s more surprising is that hip-hop, currently enjoying yet another pop culture resurgence thanks to the movie Straight Outta Compton, is the music industry’s least favorite genre. What would Drake think of that?


Boomers and Gen X’ers Think They Understand Technology Better Than Millennials.

In another 3:2 ratio, music industry executives claim they understand technology better than their teenager. On the one hand that makes sense. No average teen knows how to deploy a global music catalog in 13 formats across more than 50 services. On the other hand, until we see more major brands using GroupMe and participating in hack weeks maybe some 14 year olds might be more familiar with emergent technologies and social platforms.


Wherever You Work, You Might Wish It Was Apple or Spotify.

This one isn’t a huge surprise. In the music technology world, it doesn’t get much loftier than Apple or Spotify. Even so, it’s still a little surprising that over half of music industry executives (not associates) might leave their current posts to work at a different company. Even after the very public denigration of Apple Music. Good thing these surveys were totally anonymous, huh?


Nobody Believes In Tidal.

Poor Tidal. The Jay-Z owned high-definition music streaming service has had a really rough go. First their launch is a PR nightmare. Then multiple CEOs are fired or jump ship. Additionally, we’ve covered in great detail how difficult and expensive it can be to run a high-definition music service. It turns out, most music industry execs don’t believe Tidal has more than a year left in it. Whether or not this is true (analysts regularly predict the fall of Apple Music, too) it does prove that Tidal still has a major public opinion mountain to climb.

What Does It All Mean?

Public opinion is generally shaped by trends in ideas, money, and current events. In many ways these surveys are only surprising because we expect music industry executives to be pretty stalwart and seemingly less susceptible to trends and flashes in the pan.


Everybody loves Taylor Swift, but will they always? Does she have another 10 years in her? Are we all just jumping from ship-to-ship, hoping the tide will rise long enough to make the next musical leap? It’s worth noting that one music executive thought it possible.

“I’m sure everybody will answer Taylor [Swift], but the big question I ask myself is can she sustain this for more than another album or two? I lean towards betting on her, but I’m sure the cost that comes with it becomes exponential over the next few campaigns.”

Billboard seems to have proven that music industry executives are more like us in many ways than we might think. Is that a recent trend? Is that good or bad? We believe music industry executives are key influencers, critical to renewed growth and revenue for the entire musical supply chain. We encourage everyone, from executives all the way to consumers, to think about the future of music, instead of reacting to the present.

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Have questions about how Medianet can help your digital music business? Ask us here. Want a topic or insight published on this blog? Ask us here. Other questions or comments? Let us know!

Soundcheck: Your 5-Minute Recap Of Last Week’s Most Important Music News

Posted by Glen Sears | July 6, 2015 9:34 am | No Comments

facebook music video label talks

Story Of The Week

Facebook In Talks with Major Labels for Music Video Trial
Music videos are Facebook is looking to pull music video views away from YouTube as it pilots a new video platform. As Variety reported, the ad revenue split would mirror YouTube’s — 45 percent to Facebook, 55 percent to rights holders.

A source with knowledge of the talks told Billboard the social networking giant wants to conduct a test run through the end of this year, with selected music videos — chosen by the labels — being presented in the main news feed of users. Facebook is, of course, trying to siphon ad revenue away from Google by offering content creators its own native option.

Billions of videos are viewed online each day. Using social data gathered from its network, video-based ads on its site could prove more lucrative than YouTube ads. If so, it likely won’t take long before all the major and independent labels are on board.

Other Important Headlines

Apple Music Launches To Great Applause On Its First Day… The music streaming platform impresses with human-curated playlists, the Zane Lowe-headed Beats 1 radio station, and artist social connectivity. Read More

…And Then Is Quickly Judged Unimpressive By Many Pundits – Tech writers and industry alums generally point out Apple Music’s desire to be all things music as a flaw rather than a strength. “Subscription services have to make it braindead simple to discover new music and build or replicate a beloved collection.” Read More

UMG-backed Study Finds Recording Sales Would Be 17x Higher Without Piracy – Even with Apple Music’s launch and the success of music streaming overall, record company revenue is still a fraction of what it once was. The study found that a “Piracy D-Day” would lead to an explosive renewal of record sales if successful. Read More

U.S. Music Streaming Market Worth $2.7 Billion By 2019 – As physical and digital album and track sales are plummeting, the music streaming market is growing by leaps and bounds, reaching revenues of $799.0 million, equivalent to 73% of the market’s overall value. Read More

Prince Removes Music From Most On-Demand Streaming Services, Except TIDAL – Prince, an outspoken anti-streaming advocate, quietly removed his entire catalog from major streaming services, with one notable exception: TIDAL. It isn’t immediately clear why it (or Pandora) still carry his catalog. Read More

On Saturday June 27th, music lost one of its most provocative and pioneering bassists in Yes’ Chris Squire. He was a transformative player who redefined bass for a generation of players. He will be missed.

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