Sandbox Issue 210: Bounty Hunters. The Buried Treasure of Affiliate Marketing

Lead: Affiliate marketing in music used to mean taking a few pennies from download sales that you drove on iTunes or CDs that you pushed on Amazon. But with Apple Music offering significant bounties for driving subscriptions – one factor behind its reported overtaking of paying Spotify users in the US – the stakes have […]

UMG goes deeper with Apple on Deutsche Grammophon playlist initiative

  It is not quite picking favourites between Spotify and Apple Music, especially when it has equity in the former, but Universal Music Group has certainly been getting a lot closer with Apple Music in recent months. Its latest move is around classical, a genre that has been dramatically underserved by streaming to date. As […]

What is Social Music in the Streaming Age?

Music IS social, and it always has been. We talk (and argue!) about it; we watch concerts together; go clubbing together; experience it as a communal soundtrack for birthday parties and religious worship and much, much more… Any over-confident tech startup promising to ‘make music social’ is drunk on their own disruption. But of course, […]

Drake hits 50bn streams milestone: here’s how that breaks down for Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube

Universal Music’s Republic Records has announced the latest digital milestone for Drake: he’s “the first artist to surpass 50 billion streams across all global streaming platforms”. The news comes just a month after his latest album ‘Scorpion’ became the first album to rack up more than one billion streams in a single week. “Additional details […]

Amazon Prime Music may have overtaken Apple Music in UK

It’s been clear for some time that in terms of music subscribers, Amazon is now the third player globally behind Spotify and Apple Music. Could it have vaulted Apple Music into second place in the UK however? That’s the conclusion of the latest report from research firm Kantar Worldpanel as reported by Music Week. Its Entertainment Retail […]

Universal Music launches Peaceful Music playlist on Apple Music

Music for relaxation has quietly (well, it wouldn’t be loudly…) become one of the big playlist genres on music-streaming services. Now Universal Music Group is hoping to capitalise by launching a playlist called Peaceful Music. For now, it’s only available on one streaming service: Apple Music. Universal says that the playlist has been “co-created” with […]

Sandbox Issue 209: Storylines, Music’s next chapter with Instagram Stories

Lead: There are 400m people using Instagram Stories every day and musicians are among the heaviest lifters here. Until recently, however, it was a curiously music-free set up; but new licensing deals with parent company Facebook  have seen audio being incorporated into posts. This is, in part, a move by the photo-sharing app to hold existing […]

Sandbox Issue 207: God Save The Streams

Lead: Just 18 months ago, pre-saves were a breath of fresh air for marketers struggling to stand above the cattle run of global releases on a Friday. But as they become ubiquitous, it is almost back to square one with everyone finding themselves lost again in the tumult. We look at what needs to be done […]

Apple Music quietly launches “pre-adds” for albums

If you browse the Apple Music app this morning, you’ll notice it has quietly added a pre-save mechanic for upcoming albums. Except they are not called pre-saves; they’re termed “pre-adds”. You do, however, have to do a little bit of digging to find it. Tap on the “Browse” tab and scroll down – all the […]

Apple hails 26m first-day streams for The Weeknd’s new EP

If Spotify needed a reminder yesterday to focus on the music-streaming competition rather than swinging share prices, Apple provided it. The latter company announced that The Weeknd’s new EP ‘My Dear Melancholy’ was streamed more than 26m times in its first 24 hours on Apple Music, including 6m streams for its lead track ‘Call Out […]

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)” […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Expansion on the agenda for YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify

Three separate stories this morning come together into a strand illustrating 2018’s status as a continued landgrab for new music-streaming subscribers. YouTube is finally readying a global push for its YouTube Red tier; Apple Music is launching its student membership plan much more widely across the world; and Spotify is offering lovebirds a Valentine’s-themed two-month […]

Apple HomePod reviews: sounds great, could be smarter

Apple’s HomePod smart speaker goes on sale this Friday (9 February) in the US, UK and Australia, with the first wave of reviews published yesterday. How does it compare to the Amazon Echo and Google Home ranges? Reviewers have been broadly positive, with the HomePod’s audio quality coming in for particular praise. “From dance pop […]

Apple Music’s latest milestone is 36m paying customers

Apple says its Apple Music service now has 36 million subscribers, up from “well over” 30 million in late September 2017. The milestone was shared with the Wall Street Journal as part of a wider piece on Apple Music’s progress – including the claim that it’s growing faster than Spotify in the US. “Apple’s subscriber-account […]

Dubset debuts three more DJ mixes on Apple Music

Mix-licensing startup Dubset Media Holdings has announced its three latest pieces of content, which appear to be exclusive to Apple Music. At least it’s getting first dibs on the DJ mixes by Steve Aoki, Sigala and DJ Suss One, which have been released on Apple’s streaming service this week. Dubset says it’s part of a deal to deliver “hundreds” […]

David Lowery publishes 2018 ‘streaming price bible’

Musician David Lowery has published the latest data on payouts from a range of streaming services, sourced from “a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 200+ album catalog now generating over 200m+ streams annually”. It’s a very interesting snapshot as ever: both of average per-stream payouts and of the market shares of the various services. […]

Sandbox 193: Playlisten without prejudice

Lead: Labels and artists spent 2017 getting their heads around how playlists have created a new centre of gravity for the record business. The old ways of promoting a record (discounting at retail, plugging at radio, pitching to the specialist music press) have all gone and now playlists are the conundrum everyone wants – and […]

Report claims Apple HomePod is ‘a huge missed opportunity’

Apple has just announced that its HomePod smart speaker won’t be on sale until early in 2018. Now Bloomberg has been shedding more details on the backstory of the product, which if the article is true, paints a picture very different from the finely-honed R&D machine that Apple is often seen as. Among its claims: […]

Beats 1 launches its first Spanish-language radio show

Beats 1 tiene un nuevo programa de radio que es en español y se enfoca en la música latinoamericana. Or to switch back into English: Beats 1 has a new Spanish-language radio show, focusing on Latin American music. The post Beats 1 launches its first Spanish-language radio show appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music […]

Apple Watch software update brings more music features

Apple has pushed out its latest software update for its Watch smartwatch, and watchOS 4.1 has some notable features for music fans. Apple Music subscribers will now be able to browse and stream the entire catalogue from their watch, rather than having to download specific playlists to it for offline listening. The post Apple Watch […]

Sam Smith swaps Spotify for Apple Music in new video project

With every music-streaming service now keen on making original video projects with artists, should the latter pick one partner or find different creative treatments with several? Sam Smith is taking the latter path. Having worked with Spotify on a vertical video for his comeback single ‘Too Good at Goodbyes’ which was embedded in a swathe […]

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