Month: mars 2018

Report claims Apple’s music app has 49.5m users in the US

Research firm Verto Analytics has put out some new numbers comparing Apple Music and Spotify in the US, but it’s important to understand exactly what it’s measuring. And what it isn’t.
“This month’s Verto Index looks at the top streaming music properties, from Apple Music to TuneIn Radio, among U.S. adults (ages 18 and above)” explains the company.
“Despite being a relative latecomer to the scene, Apple Music is the top streaming music property on our Verto Index, with 49.5 million monthly users (most of them paying subscribers). Spotify is a close second, with 47.7 million monthly users, although the two services have been jockeying for the top position over the past year.”
Is this true? It can’t be, for Apple Music.
The post Report claims Apple’s music app has 49.5m users in the US appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Apple adds music videos to its Apple Music streaming service

Apple Music is expanding its catalogue… with music videos. From today, Apple will have a catalogue of music videos – including curated playlists – sitting within its subscription service.
Apple is describing this as “one of the most extensive music-video catalogues available” – although without a specific number on that – and will make it available through its iOS and Android Apple Music apps, as well as through its Apple TV box.
The company is kicking off with some exclusive premieres of videos from A Tribe Called Quest, Beck, Kylie Minogue, and Sabrina Carpenter and Jonas Blue, as well as emerging artist Yebba.
The curated playlists, meanwhile, include Today’s Video Hits, The A-List: Pop Videos, and Classic Dance Moves. Apple says its subscribers will also be able to build their own video playlists.
The post Apple adds music videos to its Apple Music streaming service appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Facebook shuts down its ‘partner categories’ for ad-targeting

Facebook has announced that it’s shutting down its ‘partner categories’ ad-targeting feature. “This product enables third party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook,” explained the social network in a brief blog post.
“While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”
The feature had involved using data from third-party aggregators, like Experian and Acxiom, to complement Facebook’s own data from/on its users.
The post Facebook shuts down its ‘partner categories’ for ad-targeting appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify and Genius team up for Déjà Vu music podcast

Spotify’s latest podcasts move is a partnership with lyrics-focused firm Genius. The companies have collaborated on a podcast called Déjà Vu, which launched yesterday.
It’s a panel-based podcast discussing “the ways that modern hitmakers connect to the iconic musicians from the past who paved the way”, focusing on a different current star each episode.
“Does Madonna’s influence shine through in Rihanna’s music? How is Bruno Mars’ trajectory similar to Lenny Kravitz’s?” and so on, with the first episode asking “Is Kendrick Lamar the new 2Pac?” The first series will consist of eight episodes, debuting every other Wednesday on Spotify.
The post Spotify and Genius team up for Déjà Vu music podcast appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

First BTS ‘Burn the Stage’ episode does 3.9m views in 15 hours

The first two episodes of K-Pop stars BTS’ new ‘Burn the Stage’ documentary series went live on YouTube overnight.
The first episode was made available for free on the band’s own channel, with the second (and future) episodes being kept behind the YouTube Red subscription paywall.
That first instalment is already proving popular: the 21-minute episode has been watched more than 3.9m times in its first 15 hours after going live. (Update: after 20 hours it’s up to 4.6m views).
The post First BTS ‘Burn the Stage’ episode does 3.9m views in 15 hours appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Indian firm T-Series is adding 3m YouTube subscribers a month

Indian music giant T-Series has long been one of the most popular channels on YouTube, and its growth is continuing apace. Its film-music focused catalogue has just reached a new milestone on Google’s video service: more than 40 million subscribers.
Indian news site RadioAndMusicBiz notes that this is up from 30 million in December 2017, meaning that T-Series has been adding around three million new subscribers a month.
The channel is also now up to 34.36bn lifetime views for its videos, a total that’s well spread out between its catalogue given that the most popular upload – ‘Badri Ki Dulhania’ – has only 380m views. In fact, T-Series has 37 videos with more than 100m views since its YouTube launch in 2011.
The post Indian firm T-Series is adding 3m YouTube subscribers a month appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

More British 15-34s stream music than listen to BBC radio (says the BBC)

British broadcaster the BBC has published its latest ‘annual plan’ report setting out its creative plans for the year, and its wider strategy. There are some interesting bits on music.
Like this: “For the first time, in October-December 2017 we estimate 15-34s listened more to streaming music services than all BBC Radio (5 hrs vs. 4 hrs 30 mins a week)” explains the report, as part of a section on competition from online providers.
Similarly, 16-24s “spend more time with Netflix than all of BBC TV” according to the report. The BBC also claims that “music streaming has gone from around 10% to around 30% of listening” among young adults in the UK.
The post More British 15-34s stream music than listen to BBC radio (says the BBC) appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Pandora starts testing its own personalised playlists

Spotify has Discover Weekly, Release Radar and Daily Mix. Apple Music has My New Music Mix and My Favourites Mix. Now Pandora is launching its own personalised playlists for listeners.
Well, it’s testing them with a “small group” of its Premium subscribers anyway. And Pandora is going bigger with the number of playlists: more than 60 algorithmically-curated mixes from activity and mood-based (Your Party Soundtrack, Your Chill Soundtrack and Your Focus Soundtrack) to genre-based (Your Alternative Soundtrack, Your Reggaeton Soundtrack and Your Hip Hop Soundtrack).
Pandora says the playlists are generated using a blend of human curation and its famous ‘Music Genome’ classification system, and machine learning. Listeners will be able to save their soundtracks to their collections, and also to share them with friends.
The post Pandora starts testing its own personalised playlists appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

A&R’s data moment: Sodatone acquisition and Instrumental funding

Two separate announcements yesterday highlight the fact that big-data and machine-learning for A&R purposes are enjoying a bit of a moment – after years of being mostly seen as a controversial niche when they cropped up in the on-stage conversations at industry conferences.
Music Ally has been to countless panel sessions where A&R veterans scoffed at the idea that any kind of algorithm could ever rival the “gut feeling” of experienced human talent-spotters.
The counter-argument has always been that this isn’t the goal: but that these kind of systems can complement those skills, and perhaps also provide solid support for those talent-spotting guts.
The post A&R’s data moment: Sodatone acquisition and Instrumental funding appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Live Music Loyalty wants to create a ‘concert community’

The latest startup trying to create a business out of gig-goers social-media habits is Live Music Loyalty.
The New Jersey-based company has launched a free iOS app billed as a “concert photo community” that encourages people to share their gig photos, mark their upcoming concerts, and follow artist profiles.
There are also rewards and rankings – leaderboards for the top fans for each artist – plus the ability to synchronise a profile with Spotify to ensure Live Music Loyalty knows what artists someone has been listening to.
The post Live Music Loyalty wants to create a ‘concert community’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Blockchain music startup Opus is ‘ready to conquer’ in May

Music Ally is in the process of compiling a list of current blockchain-music startups, and at the time of writing we’re up to 31.
One of them is Opus, which has been developing an “open-source decentralised music-sharing platform” with a demo based on the Ethereum blockchain and peer-to-peer technology IPFS.
The company is one of the startups focusing on music distribution: artists upload their music, and get 90% of the revenues generated from people streaming it. This comes with its own Opus tokens (OPTs) that reward artists, curators and fans alike for their activity on the platform.
The post Blockchain music startup Opus is ‘ready to conquer’ in May appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Facebook reportedly delays unveiling its smart speakers

More Facebook/privacy news – and stop us if this sounds familiar – the social network reportedly WON’T be unveiling its new hardware products at its f8 developer conference in May, as planned.
As we predicted earlier this week, the ongoing revelations about how startup Cambridge Analytica accessed and used data on up to 50 million Facebook users appears to have sparked a change of plan.
“The company’s new hardware products, connected speakers with digital-assistant and video-chat capabilities, are undergoing a deeper review to ensure that they make the right trade-offs regarding user data,” is the way Bloomberg put it in a report.
The post Facebook reportedly delays unveiling its smart speakers appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Messenger bot makers reveal ‘pause’ in new bot launches

Want to launch a new Facebook Messenger bot in the next few weeks? Good luck with that.
As part of the fallout from the ongoing Cambridge Analytica revelations, the social network has “paused” app reviews while it implements changes to its platform. It has now emerged that this also applies to the approval of all new bots launched for its Messenger app.
Startup Botsify alerted its customers to the news yesterday. “Basically, all the pages and chatbots that are connected to Botsify will be working fine, but you cannot connect new pages until Facebook updates their policies or resume the app-review process,” it explained in an email. “We expect this process should not take more than 1-2 weeks.”
The post Messenger bot makers reveal ‘pause’ in new bot launches appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sandbox Summit 2018 | NYC #MarketMusicBetter

Music Ally is pleased to announce some of the key speakers for Sandbox Summit NYC – the one-day music marketing conference sponsored by Linkfire and Push Entertainment which takes place at Opry City Stage, Times Square, New York on Wednesday 25th April. After the hugely successful inaugural Sandbox Summit in London, we have responded to demand in the US […]
The post Sandbox Summit 2018 | NYC #MarketMusicBetter appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify ‘super trials’ boost its quarterly subscriber gains

It’s hardly a shock to suggest that Spotify’s $1-for-three-months premium trials increase its subscribers. But Midia Research has calculated how much this boost is worth.
“On average, Spotify’s global subscriber base grew by a net total of 2.8 million each quarter between Q4 2015 and Q4 2017 in the quarters that these ‘super trials’ were not running, but by 7.5 million in the quarters that they did,” reported the research firm on Friday.
“In 2016 and 2017, Spotify’s European and North American subscriber bases each grew at an average of one million subscribers in quarters without trials and three million and two million respectively in quarters with them.”
The post Spotify ‘super trials’ boost its quarterly subscriber gains appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Reliance claims $1bn valuation for Saavn and JioMusic merger

Indian telco Reliance Industries is merging its own music-streaming service JioMusic with independent player Saavn, in a deal that it says values the merged entity at more than $1bn.
It’s promising that the resulting business will offer “global reach, cross-border original content, an independent artist marketplace, consolidated data and one of the largest mobile advertising mediums”, with Reliance investing a further $100m to fuel that growth and expansion.
Saavn’s three co-founders are staying on to oversee the business, for now at least, while shareholders including Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media and Bertelsmann have sold their stakes to Reliance, which says it paid $104m for those stakes plus part of the shares owned by the co-founders. The telco claims that the deal values JioMusic at $670m.
The post Reliance claims $1bn valuation for Saavn and JioMusic merger appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify expects to have up to 96m subscribers by Christmas

Spotify has published some guidance on its financial outlook for 2018, including predicting that it will have 92-96 million premium subscribers by the end of the year.
That would represent annual growth of between 30% and 36% from the 71 million subscribers that Spotify ended 2017 with.
The new guidance also suggests that Spotify is likely to break the 200 million overall monthly-active users (MAUs) milestone by the end of 2018, with a prediction of 198-208 million MAUs.
The post Spotify expects to have up to 96m subscribers by Christmas appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Instagram music’s Lauren Wirtzer Seawood talks artists, fans, stories

“The reality, particularly for artists, is that people want to feel like they can connect with you. And it’s really hard to connect when you’re perfect all the time…”
It’s interesting that Lauren Wirtzer Seawood is saying this, given that she’s the head of music partnerships at Instagram – a social-media platform that’s still seen by many people as a place dominated by ‘perfect’ (i.e. unattainable) lifestyle shots from established stars and its own crop of influencers alike.
But what Seawood is talking about is the impact of Instagram’s ‘Stories’: the ability to post off-the-cuff, ephemeral photos and videos, which launched in August 2016 after the same feature proved a huge success on rival app Snapchat.
The post Instagram music’s Lauren Wirtzer Seawood talks artists, fans, stories appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

‘First on SoundCloud’ program will celebrate early creators

For all its troubles in the last year, SoundCloud still elicits affection from a lot of artists who made their first moves on the platform – including some who’ve since become global stars.
Now the streaming service is flagging that up much more prominently with a new initiative called ‘First on SoundCloud’.
It’s partly about telling the origin stories of artists who found their first audiences on SoundCloud, starting off with 10: Kehlani, Galimatias, Taylor Bennett, Lorine Chia, Melo Makes Music, Party Pupils, Jay Prince, Cathedrals, starRo, and Witt Lowry.
The post ‘First on SoundCloud’ program will celebrate early creators appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music-discovery app Cymbal to shut down in June

There’s another once-promising music startup heading for the deadpool, and this one’s a shame, because when it first emerged, Cymbal was one of our favourite music-discovery apps.
The app was a way to search for songs and see what ‘likeminded’ people were listening to, but like its closest equivalent Soundwave (later bought by Spotify in an ‘acquihire’ for its team) it didn’t quite manage to find a mass-audience or successful business model.
“Cymbal is shutting down on June 1st, 2018,” explained an email to users yesterday. “To the hundreds of thousands of you that gave this project a chance, thank you for everything. We hope more tools come after Cymbal that succeed in the ways we didn’t.”
The post Music-discovery app Cymbal to shut down in June appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify gets a new in-car integration with Cadillac

I love you for your pink Cadillac, crushed velvet seats, riding in the back, streaming Discover Weekly down the street… Spotify’s latest partnership will put its service onto the dashboards of Cadillacs (not just pink ones) through their ‘infotainment’ systems.
Spotify and Cadillac have designed the app with a car-friendly interface, as well as prioritising playlist recommendations for driving to. For now, this is for select Cadillac cars in the US only, although it’ll soon be available for all new models there, and for Premium Spotify subscribers only.
The post Spotify gets a new in-car integration with Cadillac appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Apple’s Jimmy Iovine to ‘transition’ out in August says WSJ

That speculation that Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine is on his way out of the streaming service – and its parent company – won’t go away.
This time it’s the Wall Street Journal reporting that Iovine “will transition into a consulting role in August and step back from daily involvement with the company’s streaming-music business”.
The last time this rumour emerged, in January, Iovine slapped it down as “fake news”, saying that “I am committed to doing whatever Eddy, Tim and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band… My contract is up in August, but the funny thing is, I don’t have a contract. I have a deal, and certain things happen along that deal. The bottom line is I’m loyal to the guys at Apple.”
The post Apple’s Jimmy Iovine to ‘transition’ out in August says WSJ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify and Deezer reveal latest artist partnerships

Spotify and Deezer have announced their latest artist-focused partnerships. For Spotify, that’s an initiative called ‘Louder Together’ which is an extension of its Spotify Singles program.
The new thing isn’t just about getting artists in the studio to record covers, but rather about organising collaborations between different artists on original songs.
Artists Sasha Sloan, Nina Nesbitt and Charlotte Lawrence worked with producer King Henry to create a track called ‘Psychopath’ which is available on Spotify today with a b-side cover of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’.
The post Spotify and Deezer reveal latest artist partnerships appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Huawei to launch a music-streaming service in South Africa

Chinese technology company Huawei may be best known in the west for its hardware, but it’s also gearing up to launch a music-streaming service in South Africa.
Huawei Music will launch this year, with a catalogue initially made up of 80% South African music, with plans to add international content later.
According to local news site Tech Central, at the launch event Huawei said that in China, Huawei Music has 32 million daily active users playing 3.6bn songs a month.
The post Huawei to launch a music-streaming service in South Africa appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Smart speakers’ impact on music: ‘I don’t think it can be overhyped…’

More than 26m smart speakers were shipped globally in 2017 according to research firm Futuresource, with the Amazon Echo and Google Home ranges proving popular devices.
That was the spur for an event hosted by British music-industry bodies the BPI and ERA last night in London, and a report exploring the impact for music, published by Music Ally in partnership with the two organisations.
You can read the report here: it’s part primer on the devices and market figures, and part analysis of what the growth of this hardware category means for musicians, fans and music rightsholders.
The post Smart speakers’ impact on music: ‘I don’t think it can be overhyped…’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Cambridge Analytica exposés put Facebook in the spotlight

If you haven’t read this weekend’s articles about data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, it’s well worth spending 10 minutes with this piece from the Guardian and/or this piece from the New York Times.
Then, perhaps, another five minutes revoking the access to your Facebook account for every unknown-developer personality test app you’ve ever completed on the social network.
The analytics company is accused of harvesting information on more than 50 million people via a personality-test app called thisisyourdigitallife, which hundreds of thousands of people signed up to and, in so doing, gave the company access to information on their Facebook friends.
The post Cambridge Analytica exposés put Facebook in the spotlight appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Google and OK Go launch ‘sandbox’ for use in classrooms

US band OK Go’s latest brand partnership is with Google, and it has an educational focus.
The pair have launched something called the OK Go Sandbox, which they describe as “a collection of materials created for and with K-12 educators: design challenges, educator guides, and more”. K-12 meaning primary and secondary education: so the full gamut of 4-18 year-olds.
The sandbox is based on OK Go’s videos – many of which had a scientific focus – and music.
The post Google and OK Go launch ‘sandbox’ for use in classrooms appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sony shows off virtual-reality music video for Khalid

When it comes to experimenting with virtual-reality technology, Sony Music has one advantage over other labels: its relationship with Sony’s consumer-electronics division, with its PlayStation VR headset.
We’ve seen that relationship work last year with a VR experience for classical musician Joshua Bell, but now in 2018 it’s rising star Khalid getting the virtual treatment.
Sony has created a VR video for his ‘Young, Dumb and Broke’ track, which projects the track’s original video onto various objects and surfaces within the virtual environment. Sony showed all this off at a ‘Lost In Music’ event at SXSW in Austin, with the Khalid app due to be made available for PlayStation VR owners in the coming months.
The post Sony shows off virtual-reality music video for Khalid appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Facebook signs licensing deals with Sacem, Socan and Wixen

Facebook’s music-licensing efforts continue apace, with the announcement of three more deals this weekend. The social network now has agreements with French collecting society Sacem; Canadian PRO Socan; and music publisher Wixen Music Publishing.
As with Facebook’s other recent deals, these are licensing agreements covering user-generated content across Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Oculus VR. Another day, another three deals then, but the inclusion of Wixen is interesting, given that publisher’s recent history.
The post Facebook signs licensing deals with Sacem, Socan and Wixen appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

10 key talking points from the Spotify investor day

Spotify held its ‘investor day’ event earlier this evening, revealing that it will go public on 3 April in the process. You can read our liveblog of the event here. But what did we learn from the nearly-three-hour series of presentations from Spotify’s management? Here are some takeaways to chew on.
The post 10 key talking points from the Spotify investor day appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Merlin signs deals with NetEase, Tencent and Alibaba in China

Indie licensing agency Merlin has announced agreements with the three biggest music-streaming service owners in China: Tencent, NetEase and Alibaba.
The deals will see the catalogue represented by Merlin – music from more than 20,000 independent labels and distributors – made available on Chinese streaming services including NetEase Cloud Music, Xiami, QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo.
The important point here is that these deals are non-exclusive. They buck the existing trend for western music companies to sign a single, exclusive deal with one of these companies. For example Universal Music’s Tencent partnership in May 2017, or Cooking Vinyl’s Alibaba deal in August.
The post Merlin signs deals with NetEase, Tencent and Alibaba in China appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Indie labels see boom in payouts from Latin American streaming services

Indie-labels licensing agency Merlin says that its members’ earnings from Latin America have grown five-fold in the last three years, fuelled by music-streaming services.
The company expects to generate more than $60m of audio-streaming revenues from Latin America for its member labels in 2018.
Merlin CEO Charles Caldas will be flagging up the Latin American growth in his appearance at the SXSW conference in Austin later today.
The post Indie labels see boom in payouts from Latin American streaming services appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Linkfire gets a deeper data partnership with Pandora

Linkfire has become a popular tool for music marketers using ‘smart links’ to direct fans to artists’ music on digital services, while getting analytics back from those clicks.
Now the company has announced a deeper partnership with one of those services, Pandora, which will be providing Linkfire with “advanced attribution data” for its customers to use.
It’s the first such deal for the startup. Artists will now be able to see whether fans have played, saved or shared their songs, albums and playlists within Pandora.
The post Linkfire gets a deeper data partnership with Pandora appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Lyor Cohen wants YouTube to break ‘two-horse race’ of Apple and Spotify

Why did Lyor Cohen take the job as head of music at YouTube in 2016? In his keynote speech at SXSW today, the music-industry veteran explained.
“My greatest fear at the time was that distribution was going to be too highly consolidated between Apple and Spotify. It was scary that this could be a two-horse race,” said Cohen. “I wanted YouTube and Google to be successful in the music business in order to bring diversification to distribution.”
Cohen also provided some more details of YouTube and Google’s plan to merge their music services into a new offering, combining ad-supported and paid-subscription tiers.
The post Lyor Cohen wants YouTube to break ‘two-horse race’ of Apple and Spotify appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

A digital-music decade ago… Music Ally stories from March 2008

As part of our research service for Music Ally subscribers, we publish a daily news bulletin, sent out by email every morning. It celebrated its 15th birthday last year, which means we’ve got archives covering the bulk of digital music’s history.
It can be fun looking back through those archives, so we thought we’d share a snapshot of our bulletins from a decade ago: a week’s worth of newsletters from March 2018 – seven months before Spotify launched.
The post A digital-music decade ago… Music Ally stories from March 2008 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Google publishes latest report on how it tackles ‘bad ads’

Among the areas of historical tension between music rightsholders and Google has been the use of its advertising network on piracy sites.
Although in this case, Google has been pretty responsive, regularly providing updates on how it’s cracking down on ‘bad ads’ and advertisers across that network – something that’s not just about piracy.
The latest update was published yesterday. “In 2017, we took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated our advertising policies. That’s more than 100 bad ads per second,” wrote Google’s director of sustainable ads Scott Spencer.
The post Google publishes latest report on how it tackles ‘bad ads’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

K-Pop stars BTS are getting their own YouTube Red series

YouTube has been one of the main engines behind the global success of K-Pop band BTS in the last year. Now they’re getting their own series on its YouTube Red subscription service.
The eight-episode series is called BTS: Burn The Stage, and will launch on 28 March, offering fans an “intimate, personal portrayal” of the band’s 2017 world tour.
The structure of the series is interesting. Its first two episodes will both be released on 28 March through the band’s YouTube channel, with the first episode free for anyone to watch, but the second behind the YouTube Red paywall. After that, new episodes will be released on a weekly basis.
The post K-Pop stars BTS are getting their own YouTube Red series appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Google shows off NSynth Super neural synthesizer instrument

Last year, we wrote about a Google research project called Magenta, which is exploring the intersection of machine-learning / AI and creativity, music included.
Among its releases was a ‘neural synthesizer’ called NSynth, which used AI technology to “learn the characteristics of sounds, and then create a completely new sound based on these characteristics”.
Now Google’s team has taken that research to the next logical step, turning NSynth into a physical instrument called NSynth Super.
The post Google shows off NSynth Super neural synthesizer instrument appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Classical streaming service Grammofy returns – using Spotify

Grammofy was a classical music-focused subscription-streaming service that launched in May 2016 in the UK and Germany, but then shut down in November 2017.
At the time, the company said that despite “continued growth and vigorous efforts” it hadn’t been able to “build the necessary mid-term financial solidity to fund the man-hours needed to continue delivering a high-quality product”.
Four months on, the service has returned, but this time as a free service, without its own licensing deals.
The post Classical streaming service Grammofy returns – using Spotify appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Apple Music now has 38m subscribers and 8m trial users

In early February, Apple revealed that its Apple Music streaming service had 36 million subscribers. A month on, and that figure has increased to 38 million.
The new figure was provided by the company’s SVP of internet software and services Eddy Cue during his appearance at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.
It’s a significant announcement, because adding two million subscribers in a month suggests Apple Music is now matching the growth-rate of Spotify.
The post Apple Music now has 38m subscribers and 8m trial users appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Bose shows off audio-only augmented-reality sunglasses

Augmented reality (AR) technology is about seeing virtual content and information in the real world around you, whether you’re looking through a smartphone or a pair of smart glasses.
But can there be augmented reality without a visual element? Audio-hardware firm Bose hopes so. It has been showing off a pair of AR sunglasses that use audio rather than visuals, with buzzphrases like “audio augmented platform” and “glasses to hear”.
What this means is a concept pair of specs with technology to project audio into the wearer’s ears (rather than making them wear an earbud attachment).
The post Bose shows off audio-only augmented-reality sunglasses appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Humble Angel boss wants self-serve artist ads on Spotify

As the founder of Playlists.net and subsequently a playlists/streaming-focused executive at Warner Music, Kieron Donoghue knows a thing or two about the streaming ecosystem.
Now running indie label Humble Angel Records, he’s published a blog post calling for Spotify to offer better and more-affordable self-serve advertising options for artists on its platform.
Donoghue compares Spotify (unflatteringly) with Facebook, where “I’m inundated daily with highly personalised offers of how to reach another 500 fans for just £10 or why I should boost a high performing post”.
The post Humble Angel boss wants self-serve artist ads on Spotify appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

DeepMusic Alexa skill serves up AI-generated songs

Amid all the industry conversation about how smart speakers will affect the way people listen to music, the assumption has been that the music in question will be made by humans.
Here’s a new Alexa skill to make you think, though. It’s called DeepMusic, and has just launched for Alexa-powered devices like the Echo speakers.
“DeepMusic is an Alexa skill that enables you to listen to songs generated by artificial intelligence (AI). Each song was composed entirely using AI. The songs were generated using a collection of audio samples and a deep recurrent neural network. There has been no post-production editing by a human,” explains its description on Amazon’s store.
The post DeepMusic Alexa skill serves up AI-generated songs appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Qwant Music is a dedicated search-engine for music

There’s already a couple of powerful search engines for music: they’re called Google and YouTube, and they’ve sparked the odd controversy, as Music Ally readers will know.
But is there room for a *dedicated* music search engine? Startup Quant hopes so: it’s launching Quant Music at SXSW this week with the ambition of becoming “the IMDb of music”.
At its simplest, the site enables fans to search for an artist then browse their bio, discography, social feeds, related news articles and videos, as well as links to stream their music from YouTube, Spotify or Deezer, with Apple Music on the way.
The post Qwant Music is a dedicated search-engine for music appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Clickamix sees $670m opportunity in sports music-licensing

A $670m pot of music-licensing revenue that hasn’t been tapped? That’s the kind of claim that gets rightsholders’ interest, although there’s a natural scepticism too when the goldmine is being quantified by a company whose business is focused on tapping that revenue stream.
Still, Clickamix is definitely worth investigating: it wants to work with publishers, artist managers and industry bodies to pre-clear music mixes for use in competitive sports.
Cheerleading is its first area of focus, and before sporting snobs snort, it’s been provisionally recognised as an Olympic sport, and could be part of the 2020 games in Tokyo.
The post Clickamix sees $670m opportunity in sports music-licensing appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

India music trends: Transparency, independent artists and more

India has long been one of the most interesting music markets in the world, and one that dances to its own rules, particularly with the influence of the film industry – Bollywood included. So how is the Indian market evolving in the streaming age?
A panel at Music Biz and Music Ally’s NY:LON Connect conference in New York this January offered some thoughts on that.
The panel included Priyanka Khimani, who leads the Mumbai-based practice of law firm Anand and Andand & Khimani; Neeta Ragoowansi, SVP of business development and legal affairs at NPREX; Gaurav Sharma, COO of Saavn; and Tom Rettig; VP of product at Gracenote. The moderator was Outdustry’s Ed Peto.
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Source: Music ally

Google’s latest search feature is official posts from musicians

The question of what appears in Google search results when people look for their favourite music artists has sparked controversy in the past: rightsholders regularly attacked Google for returning links to illegal downloads.
They’ll be happier about Google’s latest search feature, which has been announced tonight. It’s called ‘search posts’, and will offer social network-style updates from musicians that appear when they are searched for.
“The next time you’re wondering about Lorde’s upcoming tour dates or Steve Aoki’s new music video, you can hear the update directly from them – plus Sia, Son Little, Sofi Tukker, Shakira, and Kygo – through a post in Search,” explained Google’s blog post.
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Source: Music ally

Kobalt promises $150m investment for AWAL recordings business

Kobalt is making AWAL the brand for its entire recordings division, while promising to invest $150m and hire 100 more staff to build up that side of the business.
Kobalt acquired digital distributor AWAL in 2012, as it prepared to launch its own label-services division.
Since then, AWAL has been the entry level for Kobalt’s recordings business, while more established artists operated through its Kobalt Music Recordings arm (previously known as Kobalt Label Services.)
The strategy in recent years has been to identify talented artists showing momentum through AWAL, and migrate them upwards to the label-services part of the business: Lauv being one of the examples Kobalt has shouted about in recent times.
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Source: Music ally

Can an artificial-intelligence DJ outmix Steve Aoki?

Startup Pacemaker has been putting its artificial-intelligence DJ technology through its paces, in what it’s describing as a ‘DJ Turing Test’ against dance star Steve Aoki.
Pacemaker’s AI DJ is part of its iOS app, where it automatically turns people’s Spotify playlists into flowing mixes.
The company has run a test in which 100 people listened to 20 mixed song transitions, half chosen at random from Aoki’s ‘The Retrospective Mix: 2011 –2017’, and half randomly selected from a mix that Pacemaker’s AI DJ created using the same tracks as Aoki’s set.
The post Can an artificial-intelligence DJ outmix Steve Aoki? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Launching Stationhead–The First ‘Stories’ Format for the Music Industry

A year ago, Music Ally ran the first-ever interview on New York startup Stationhead as the company emerged from stealth mode. Since that first interview, publications including Billboard, TechCrunch and Forbes have followed up with positive takes on the potential of Stationhead’s app. This week, its team is going through the final stages of design tweaks and […]
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Source: Music ally

Roxanne de Bastion: ‘What I learned crowdfunding from my own website’

“You’d be surprised by who’s willing to support your music.”


These were the words of my singer songwriter friend E.W. Harris back in 2010 (insert a thick US Southern drawl for a more accurate quote). He had just financed his new album via a crowdfunding campaign, a concept still alien to me at the time.


Fast forward six years and here in the UK, PledgeMusic has almost become synonymous with crowdfunding, much like a hoover for vacuum cleaners. While I wanted to offer a pre-order to my fanbase with some added extras in order to help cover manufacturing costs for my new album, I was still unsure as to what value a third party platform was actually adding. So, after much deliberation and a little bit of research, I decided to build a crowdfunding page within my own website. I set up a shop using PayPal, creating items specific to the campaign (I wanted to keep it simple – a signed CD, signed Vinyl, test pressings and the option to book me for a living room show), added a little explanatory blurb to the page and, with a little help from a web developer friend (everyone should have one!), created a little status bar to show how much we’d raised.
The post Roxanne de Bastion: ‘What I learned crowdfunding from my own website’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report claims Apple is mulling high-end headphones move

After the AirPods earphones and HomePod smart-speaker, what next for Apple’s audio-hardware ambitions? According to Bloomberg’s resident Cupertino-whisperer Mark Gurman, a pair of noise-cancelling, over-ear headphones could launch as early as the end of 2018.
Or not. “It’s possible Apple will redesign the headphones again before launch, or scrap the project altogether,” warned the sources tipping Gurman off about the plans.
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Source: Music ally

Die Fantastischen Vier launch an augmented-reality video app

German hip-hop group Die Fantastischen Vier is the latest example of an artist exploring the potential of augmented reality (AR) technology.
The band have launched a free iPhone app called Tunnel AR, which is an interactive music video for their recent single ‘Tunnel’. The app enables fans to project the video onto a nearby table, floor or other flat surface, then share the footage with the wider world via social networks.
“Accompanying the lyrics, a drill bit made of Die Fantastischen Vier’s heads, shatters through four spectacular layers. Afterwards the drill bit pushes forward into space, circles the earth, flies past comets and planets, and eventually re-enters the orbit and returns back to the surface,” explains its App Store listing.
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Source: Music ally

Palo Santo Messenger bot kicks off Years & Years album campaign

What is Palo Santo? It’s a fictional city where androids and humans live side-by-side, of course. But don’t worry if you didn’t know that: this is only just being revealed, bit-by-bit, to fans of British band Years & Years.
Or perhaps we should say bit-by-bot, since one of the initial planks in the campaign for the band’s upcoming second album is a Messenger bot launched by label Polydor Records UK.
Called the Palo Santo Entertainment Network Server (PSEN for short) it promises “a range of civic services for androids and the non-organic” – a mixture of cryptic clues and video clips, which signed up more than 5,000 subscribers in two days after its launch.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify and Smirnoff launch ‘unconscious gender bias’ campaign

Like us, you’ve probably been wondering when a prominent vodka brand would weigh in to 2018’s music-industry debates around diversity and inclusion.
Congrats if you had ‘early March’ in the sweepstake: Smirnoff has teamed up with Spotify on a marketing campaign called the Smirnoff Equaliser. It’s based on the fact that the top 10 tracks on Spotify in 2017 were all by men.
“How much of your listening is made up of men vs women artists? Connect to your Spotify to discover more amazing music from women artists,” invites Smirnoff’s micro-site.
The post Spotify and Smirnoff launch ‘unconscious gender bias’ campaign appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Pew Research: 73% of US adults use YouTube, while 68% use Facebook

The Pew Research Center’s surveys of Americans are well-respected, so its new study of social-media habits is well worth perusing today, to see some of the trends at work.
Facebook remains the top platform overall, used by 68% of American adults according to the survey, with around three quarters of them logging in every day. In terms of overall penetration, though, YouTube is bigger than Facebook: it’s used by 73% of US adults, with Instagram (35%), Pinterest (29%), Snapchat (27%), LinkedIn (25%), Twitter (24%) and WhatsApp (22%) rounding out the list published by Pew.
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Source: Music ally

Former Spotify man Tuma Basa may be heading to YouTube

Last week brought confirmation that Spotify’s hip-hop boss Tuma Basa was leaving the company, having helped to make its RapCaviar playlist a well-known standalone music brand.
So why is he leaving and where will he end up next? The answer to both questions, according to Billboard, is a new job at YouTube. The trade site noted that sources had told it about Basa’s next job, with neither he nor YouTube commenting.
He would certainly be a big catch as YouTube prepares to relaunch its music-subscription business – possibly under the brand YouTube Remix – with a greater emphasis on curation and recommendations.
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Source: Music ally

Nearly 8.3m Brits were music-streaming subscribers in January

While recent ERA and BPI figures have made much of the growth in revenue and consumption of music streaming services in the UK, they didn’t explains how many people in Britain pay for a music subscription.
Now we have a – tentative – answer: ERA consumer tracking figures – which are based on 2.5k people in the UK and included in Music Ally’s latest Country Focus (available to our subscribers) – suggest that between between 8.1m and 8.3m people in Britain subscribed to a music streaming service at the start of 2018, although this figure counts each individual on a family subscription.
Interviewed for the same piece, Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI and BRIT Awards, cited a slightly lower figure of 7.5m to 8m subscribers, based on industry sources.
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Source: Music ally

New study explores impact of user-centric music-streaming payouts

‘User-centric’ streaming payouts refers to a proposed system where the royalties generated by someone’s subscription would be divided only between the artists that they listen to, rather than going into a central pool divided by market-share on the platform as a whole.
‘If you only listen to Ed Sheeran, your money only goes to Ed Sheeran’ is the high-concept pitch for it, although in truth, it’s seen more as a way for fans of smaller artists and niche genres to be sure that their money *isn’t* going to Ed Sheeran, as it would under the current ‘pro rata’ systems of payouts on services like Spotify. No offence to Ed!
None of the major streaming services currently operate a user-centric model, although Deezer said in 2017 that it was exploring the idea.
The post New study explores impact of user-centric music-streaming payouts appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Q&A: BPI boss Geoff Taylor on the UK’s streaming-fuelled music growth

Music Ally recently interviewed BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor about the UK’s recorded-music market trends in 2017: from the growth of subscription streaming and safe harbours to Brexit and diversity.
Recent BPI and ERA figures show a big increase in music streaming in the UK in 2017 – why was this?
This increase is being driven by a number of factors, but a key element is that streaming is becoming ever more accessible and familiar to a more mainstream audience. It isn’t just millennials and Generation Z fuelling growth – important though they are to the market – the number of older consumers becoming subscribers is growing fast, helped by free trials and telco deals.
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Source: Music ally

How would user-centric payouts affect the music-streaming world?

‘User-centric’ licensing is where the royalties from a streaming subscription only go to the artists who that subscriber listens to, rather than into a bigger pool split by overall share of all the streams on the platform.
There have been calls for streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music to switch to user-centric systems, partly because it might be a good thing for smaller artists and labels, and (recently) because it might help them to tackle stream-fraud.
But what is really the difference between the existing and user-centric models? A panel at the by:Larm conference in Oslo today explored the topic.
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Source: Music ally

‘By definition the creative industry is not scaleable’ – but is this a problem?

Silicon Valley is always keen to understand how scaleable a startup’s business model is: what will make them the next billion-dollar unicorn and beyond? But in music, is that line of thinking problematic?
A panel run by Music Ally at the by:Larm conference in Oslo today explored the question of whether the search for the ultimate scaleable global music-platform risks a race to the bottom, devaluing music and stripping jobs and value creation from the creative community.
The panel included Helienne Lindvall from Auddly; Henriette Heimdal from WIN; and Thierry Baujard, investor with Media Deals and Peacefulfish, and chairman of Musimap. The moderator was Music Ally’s Patrick Ross.
The post ‘By definition the creative industry is not scaleable’ – but is this a problem? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

City Slang boss calls for governments to close the ‘value gap’

Christof Ellinghaus, founder of Berlin-based indie label City Slang, is keen for governments to take action to remove YouTube’s safe harbours, and thus address the ‘value gap’.
“We’re all stopping to sell records at this moment. Our bands are getting bigger and bigger, but we are selling less and less of their music,” said Ellinghaus, citing the example of a City Slang band that recently played to a crowd of 2,500 people in Warsaw.
“That stands in no relation to our sales or streams.. Everybody is just on YouTube. And so as long as YouTube gets away with this – and that’s one of the things that the governments of the entire world really need to figure out – it’s going to hinder Spotify,” he said.
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Source: Music ally

Music journalism: ‘It’s not dying. Actually, it’s changing…’

There’s been a lot of public worrying about the future for magazine journalism in recent times, with magazines and blogs shutting down, freelance journalists scratching around for work, and tensions around issues like clickbait and sponsored content.
The panel was moderated by Roisin O’Connor from The Independent, and included Tshepo Mokoena from Noisey in the UK; Catherine Davis from Interview Magazine in the US; and Julia Brummert from Intro Magazine in Germany.
“I think we all agree that it’s not dying: actually, it’s changing,” said O’Connor as an introduction. Davis talked about how magazines divided by community: indie, hip-hop, rock’n’roll etc. “It seems to me now, that’s not how your average reader goes about finding what they’re interested in reading about a musician and tastes in music. It seems it would be much more broad rather than going to Spin Magazine because you like indie and rock,” she said.
The post Music journalism: ‘It’s not dying. Actually, it’s changing…’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

How can blockchain make a real impact on music?

Today’s by:Larm conference in Oslo included a panel on blockchain technology and the music industry. No wait, stop! Don’t click away! Come back!
In fact, there have been so many blockchain panels at music-industry conferences in the last two years, we’ve probably used that intro joke before. It’s true, though, that there’s a bit of a backlash at the moment – not against blockchain tech itself, as such, but around over-promising what it can do for the industry and musicians.
Today’s panel aimed to talk about some of the more practical implementations of this technology around music, and how blockchain can make a meaningful impact for musicians. Speakers included Jaak’s Becky Brook; Reed Smith’s Sophie Goossens; and DBTH’s Virginie Berger. The moderator was Music Ally’s Steve Mayall.
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Source: Music ally

AI creating music: can we learn to love the algorithms?

Are the new wave of artificial-intelligence startups here to eat musicians’ lunch, or to help them become even more creative? A panel run by Music Ally at the by:Larm conference in Oslo today explored the sometimes-sensitive issues around AI and music.
The panel included Scott Cohen from The Orchard, Sophie Goossens from Reed Smith and Helienne Lindvall from Auddly, and was moderated by Music Ally’s Patrick Ross, who kicked off the session by playing Beatles-ish song ‘Daddy’s Car’, which came out of Sony’s AI labs in Paris (with the help of some humans).
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Source: Music ally

Spotify files for its DPO: so what do you need to know?

“Feels great to have the cat out of the bag. Transparency breeds trust,” tweeted Spotify CEO Daniel Ek last night. The cat in this instance being Spotify’s long-awaited filing for its direct public offering (DPO), which was published last night.
The document offers the most detailed insight yet into Spotify’s current business and future prospects. We’ve been filleting the filing for the key data and a few surprises.
– Spotify ended 2017 with 159 monthly active users, including 71 million premium subscribers, up 29% and 46% respectively year-on-year. On average, each active user streams 25 ‘content hours’ (music and video) a month – just under 4bn total hours a month, and 40.3bn for 2017 as a whole. “Historically, our premium subscribers have streamed more than three times the amount of content per month than ad-supported Users,” noted Spotify.
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Source: Music ally

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