Spotify Q2 2020 financial results reveal Covid-19 impact

The early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic’s global spread didn’t hamper Spotify’s growth in the first quarter of this year. But how about Q2, the first full quarter (near enough) of lockdowns, furloughs and financial uncertainties across much of the world? Today we have our answer, with Spotify’s latest quarterly financial results. The post Spotify […]

Twitter in ‘very early’ phase of exploring subscriptions

The key Covid-19 trends for social media seem clear: spikes in users and engagement (because lots more people are at home doomscrolling through their feeds) but big challenges to ad revenues, with brands holding back their budgets. Twitter’s latest financial results are the latest evidence for both. The company averaged 186 ‘monetisable daily active users’ (mDAUs) in the […]

Music Ally Report :: Q2 2020 Edition

Our main feature explores the evolution of live music, as we look towards a time when concerts are able to resume safely. What have we learned from the livestreaming boom during the Covid-19 lockdown, and what are the prospects for ‘hybrid’ online/offline concerts in the coming months? We’ve also got a feature recapping two thought-provoking […]

Live concerts are opening up again in Japan and Germany

It’s important that the industry (us included) starts to move away from talking about the ‘live concerts shutdown’ as a global trend, now that a growing number of countries are tentatively opening up their live industries again. In Japan, for example, the government has further relaxed its restrictions on mass gatherings. Having previously capped indoor events […]

IAB report quantifies Covid-19 hit to US podcast ad revenues

Advertising industry body the IAB has published its latest figures on the podcast ads market in the US. “With an expected growth rate of 14.7%, US podcast advertising revenues are nearing the $1bn mark,” it claimed. Are they really, though? The report doesn’t actually give a figure for its 2020 revenue prediction, but it does […]

PRS for Music warns of royalties hit to come from Covid-19

British collecting society PRS for Music has offered another warning that the Covid-19 pandemic will be delivering its biggest hit to songwriter royalties later this year. PRS has just paid out its July 2020 distribution, £132.4m, which was up by 3% year-on-year. However, CEO Andrea Martin warned the society’s members that there are tough times […]

Sandbox Issue 256: PRIMAL STREAM 📱🎧 Making lockdown concerts work

Lead: Livestreams have moved to try and fill the massive hole left by the total cancellation of tours and festivals around the world. As more acts do them, however, it becomes incrementally harder to stand out and draw in big enough audiences to make them worthwhile. We speak to those building a whole new gig economy here […]

Covid-19: US music industry ‘missed out on nearly 900m streams’

Research firm Nielsen Music/MRC Data has published the ‘fifth wave’ of its ongoing study of Covid-19’s impact on the music and entertainment industries, based on surveys in the US up to the week of 10-14 June. Among the findings: audio and video music streams have recovered from their initial decline in the early weeks of […]

British music industry unites for #LetTheMusicPlay campaign

For every social-media hashtag campaign that takes off, many more wither and die without anyone noticing. So hats off to the British music industry for avoiding the latter fate with its #LetTheMusicPlay campaign this week across Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. Artists, industry folk and fans alike were sharing their memories of live music, and the campaign undoubtedly […]

Survey: Covid-19 is sparking music streaming growth in Japan

More Japanese people are willing to engage with music via streaming during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey of Japan’s music industry conducted by Music Ally. Music Ally Japan surveyed labels, managers, producers and other industry figures in the months of April and May, asking them about the impact that Covid-19 has had […]

Covid-19 tipped to spark €4.5bn loss for French music industry

In June, we reported on a claim by French industry body SNEP that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic could deliver a €235m blow to recorded music revenues in France this year. But that’s just a fraction of the anticipated losses, it turns out. Another industry body, TPLM (Tous Pour La Musique) which represents all aspects of the French […]

Sonos to lay off 12% of staff due to Covid-19 pandemic

Connected audio firm Sonos is the latest company to announced plans for layoffs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The Company initiated a plan on June 23, 2020 to eliminate approximately 12% of its global headcount. In addition, the Company is closing its New York retail store and six satellite offices,” revealed Sonos in a regulatory […]

Grid app aims to help events return with social distancing

Concerts are returning in some countries as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease, but with a variety of social distancing measures. Grid is a new app that’s positioning itself as helping: not just music concerts, but other kinds of hospitality and events businesses too. The app can be used for mobile ticketing and checking in to events; to […]

Move the Record event to raise money for independent stores

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a grim period for independent music venues and record stores alike, as they ponder not just when they’ll be able to reopen, but whether. It’s been heartening, at least, to see the success of several campaigns to support these businesses with artists and fans chipping in. The latest initiative sounds […]

Artists chip in for The Circle’s Covid-19 relief auction

Charity The Circle, which was founded by artist and activist Annie Lennox, has launched a global music auction to raise money for its Covid-19 Emergency Appeal. The charity is raising funds for women and girls who’ve been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus crisis this year. The auction is taking place on the Charity Stars platform, […]

Laura Marling sold 6,500 tickets for Union Chapel livestreams

Livestreamed concerts can be great for reach as free events, but can they be money-spinners for artists as paid events? There’s a lot of experimentation going on around this, and Laura Marling’s recent concerts broadcast from London’s Union Chappel venue were being watched as a key case study: the £12 tickets were sold through the […]

Covid-19 tipped to spur 21% drop for French recorded music biz

Earlier this year, Spanish industry body Promusicae predicted a €100m hit to recorded music revenues in Spain this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now French body SNEP has come out with a comparable prediction for its own market, suggesting that recorded music revenues will fall by €235m this year due to Covid-19 – a drop of […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (15 June)

Independent musicians, especially the ones who made the majority of their income, are having a very tough 2020. In the US, there’s a new body aiming to protect their interests, though. It’s called the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) and it’s been formed by a group of talent agencies to create a “broader coalition of the live […]

The Best Music Marketing Campaigns During Lockdown

*Check some of the best music marketing campaigns of 2019 here *Take inspiration from the best music marketing campaigns in recent history   The initial response within music marketing to lockdown was to charge into livestreaming – seeing it as a way to plug at least part of the hole created by mass concert cancellations. […]

Vivendi survey examines post-lockdown entertainment plans

Vivendi’s Brand Marketing division has been talking about its latest study: a survey of more than 7,200 people about their entertainment habits during the Covid-19 lockdown – and their plans once it eases. There’s another encouraging data point about digital subscription services (including, but not exclusively, music): according to Pollstar, 60% said they used more paid […]

How can classical music return after Covid-19?

We’ve been writing a lot about live venues in the context of the contemporary music scene, but classical music certainly isn’t immune from the impact of Covid-19. The Guardian has a feature on the challenges facing the classical scene as it tries to bring back concerts post-pandemic. The headline suggests an existential threat: ‘We could go […]

90% of independent US venues fear they’ll shut permanently

We’ve been reporting recently on the #saveourvenues campaign in the UK, which identified 556 venues that were in danger of permanent closure as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. Last we heard, its fundraising had enabled 140 of them to be taken off its ‘critical’ list, which was a positive step. There’s a similar campaign underway […]

Is Sweden a saturated music streaming market? Not just yet…

The question of when the Swedish music industry will plateau is a crucial one for the global industry, which looks to Spotify’s homeland for an indication as too how far streaming-led growth can go. Before Covid-19, at least, the signs were promising for Sweden’s continued growth: in 2019 recorded music income in Sweden grew 3.5% […]

Australia and Germany’s plans to rebuild live music business

The easing of lockdown restrictions on music concerts has begun in some countries, but others are still looking ahead and making plans for what’s needed when this happens in the future. Australian live-industry body Live Performance Australia published its AU$345m plan to rebuild the ‘restart’ of the live performances industry – not just music, but theatres, arts […]

MMF GM: ‘We need to train people to value online content’

Jayne Stynes, general manager at management body the MMF, hopes that some of the innovation around livestreams during the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to lasting change. “At my most optimistic, I would love to believe that what is happening right now will open up a huge cultural shift towards consumers valuing online content beyond its […]

London set to get ‘first socially distanced immersive event’

Livestreams are plugging some of the gap left by the shutdown of live concerts, but people are already looking ahead to what those physical gigs might be like as the lockdown eases. One Night Records is the latest idea. Opening in October at “a secret London Bridge location” in London, it’ll be a musical installation “designed as […]

Kobalt chairman thinks publishing revenues will dip in 2020

Recently, Goldman Sachs published a report with new predictions for music industry revenues in 2020, Covid-19 impact included. It forecast a 75% drop for live music revenues, but growth of 3% for recorded music and 3.5% for music publishing in 2020. Kobalt founder and chairman Willard Ahdritz isn’t so sure. “Overall I do believe that […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry stories (29 May)

We’ve been running a series of stories (you can find the archive link below) about some of the positive news in our industry relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as relief efforts for and from the music community, and tools to help artists adapt to the situation. Start today with a new campaign from Global […]

StubHub president to leave as company announces more layoffs

Secondary ticketing company StubHub isn’t having a good 2020, by any stretch of the imagination. Not only has the live industry shut down in many countries, but the eBay subsidiary’s planned $4bn acquisition by Viagogo has yet to see the two companies actually merge, amid regulatory investigation. Given past controversies around Viagogo and secondary ticketing more […]

Sandbox Issue 253: Music Marketing in Lockdown

Lead: We are now several weeks into lockdown and have moved far, far beyond just “doing a livestream”. There was some wavering at the start as to whether albums should be delayed by several weeks or brought forward, but now everyone is having to roll their sleeves up and get on with it. The music […]

ICMP boss warns of Covid-19 financial hit to come in Q1 2021

When people in the music industry talk about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, they’re often thinking about the immediate hit that artists have taken to their live revenues. It’s worth remembering that there’s another sucker-punch lying ahead for musicians and rightsholders alike though. “The particular challenge for the music industry is surmounting the delayed […]

Music Biz 2020 conference moves online due to Covid-19

We’re sorry to report that another physical music industry conference has bitten the dust in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Music Biz 2020 was due to be held in August in Nashville, but has now been cancelled by organiser the Music Business Association. Well, the physical event has. “We plan to follow up the success […]

Colombian industry hopeful of growth despite Covid-19

The number one question for anyone in the music industry now – recorded or live – is what shape the business will be in when we finally emerge from the lockdown. Anything close to certainty is, of course, impossible but it some countries will inevitably emerge stronger than others. Colombia – the subject of our latest […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (18 May)

Industry body Songwriters of North America (SONA) has launched a new hardship fund for songwriters, which will distribute emergency grants of $1k to creators hit by the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic impact. The new fund was set up thanks to a donation from publisher Sony/ATV last month, reported Billboard. Also in the US, collecting society BMI partnered […]

Goldman Sachs: ‘Global music revenue will drop by 25% in 2020’

Nobody can know exactly what the overall financial impact of Covid-19 will be on the music industry in 2020, but that isn’t stopping analysts from guessing. Goldman Sachs made its prediction last week, and it’s a sobering one. “Global music revenue will drop by 25% in 2020 on our estimates, largely due to the widespread […]

What can we learn from Covid-19’s impact on China’s music industry?

The Chinese music industry saw 16% growth in its recorded music revenues in 2019 according to the IFPI, but it was also the first country to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Does that make it a canary in the coalmine for the global music industry, in terms of learning lessons from the coronavirus impact, […]

Eventbrite thinks that smaller concerts will return sooner

Ticketing firm Eventbrite has published its quarterly shareholder letter accompanying its financial results. Unsurprisingly it focuses heavily on the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the live industry. In Q1, its revenues fell by 40% year-on-year to $49.1m, leading to a net loss of $146.5m compared to $10m a year ago. “First quarter net loss […]

Peloton recently added music from ‘thousands’ of publishers

Fitness firm Peloton is one of the businesses for whom the Covid-19 pandemic has a silver lining, with many people unable to visit gyms and thus working out at home. The company’s latest quarterly financial results reveal that its number of ‘connected fitness subscribers’ (people paying for a Peloton subscription) grew by 94% year-on-year to more than […]

Music Tectonics to hold ‘Isolate or Innovate’ online event

Music Tectonics is one of our favourite music industry podcasts (and not just because they’ve had us on), and it’s also held well-regarded conferences. Like everyone else in the conference industry, it’s being forced to go virtual this year. On 19-20 May, it’ll hold Isolate or Innovate, a Zoom form that will “bring together prominent industry […]

Wicksteed Works launches ‘Getting Started with Fan Clubs’ guide

At the recent superfans event we held with the BPI and ERA, Wicksteed Works’ Jessie Scoullar was one of our experts, explaining how artists can make better use of mailing lists. Now she has launched a separate guide offering musicians and their teams an introduction to setting up a fan club or membership scheme for […]

Travis McCready and Marc Rebillet set for socially-distanced gigs

There’s plenty of uncertainty around when live concerts will resume in different parts of the world, but don’t forget the related question of what they’ll be like. Specifically: how will music concerts comply with whatever social distancing rules remain, as the lockdown eases. We’re getting some early hints in the US. Artist Travis McCready will […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (6 May)

It’s back! Some days we’re not running a ‘positive news’ roundup, which doesn’t necessarily mean everything’s bleak and terrible: it might be that we’ve broken out a bigger positive story on its own, or just that there’s a lull in announcements. Good things to tell you about today, however, include Bandcamp’s announcement that last Friday’s revenue-share-waiving sale […]

MusiCares forced to pause new applications for Covid-19 relief

We’ve been looking for the positive news around the Covid-19 pandemic in our industry, but we can’t avoid the challenges. That includes the news that one of those positive developments, the rapid raising of nearly $14m for the US-focused MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund, is rapidly being depleted. “It is the largest amount of money raised, […]

New Smart Audio Report explores Covid-19 smart speaker habits

US radio group NPR and research firm Edison Research have published their latest Smart Audio Report, which usually has plenty of interesting data on digital listening habits in the US. The new edition, for spring 2020, has added interest because it’s been asking people how Covid-19 and its accompanying lockdown has changed those habits. 26% of […]

Amazon Music’s Steve Boom talks Covid-19, MusiCares and lockdown listening trends

“It’s been very gratifying to see the music community pull together… It’s gone really well: we’ve raised over $10m now. Unfortunately, the need is enormous. We’ve had over 10,000 applications for aid already, and we’re only six weeks into this thing. The crisis is going to be long lasting…” Steve Boom is VP of Amazon […]

Facebook financials reveal ‘significant’ Covid-19 impact

You’d be forgiven for the tart reply ‘Well of course they do’ – even the world’s largest social network can’t be immune from the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic impact. “We experienced a significant reduction in the demand for advertising, as well as a related decline in the pricing of our ads, over the last three weeks […]

Spotify’s mantra for radio vs on-demand streaming: ‘Everything linear dies’

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and CFO Paul Vogel have been fielding questions from analysts following the company’s publication of its Q1 2020 financial results earlier today, and their interview with Music Ally shortly afterwards. There were not many surprises, but Ek’s desire to (as he described it several times) “uplevel” the conversation around Spotify and […]

Report: TikTok app added 5.6m US users in March alone

It won’t come as a big surprise to learn that TikTok is one of the digital services benefitting from the Covid-19 lockdown – in usage, if not necessarily in revenues. According to eMarketer, in March TikTok added more than 12 million unique visitors in the US alone. Wait: ‘visitors’? These are based on figures from comScore, […]

Impala publishes 10-step ‘recovery roadmap’ for music in Europe

European indie body Impala has published its latest thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the music industry. It’s a ten-step ‘recovery roadmap’ that sets out what it would like to see governments across the European Union doing in the coming months. Immediate steps that Impala would like to see include EU states recognising music and culture […]

Spotify’s Daniel Ek talks churn, fan funding and why Covid-19 ‘might be a much better time to release music’

The Covid-19 pandemic is leading some labels to postpone big album releases, especially those for which tours were a big part of the marketing plans. Some big artists, like Dua Lipa and The Weeknd, have put out their albums as planned. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek thinks they may offer encouragement to other artists and labels […]

Despite Covid-19 Spotify grew its subscribers to 130m in Q1 2020

With recent reports that audio music streams had fallen during the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been waiting for Spotify’s Q1 2020 financial results with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. Would they reveal a decline in listening, but more importantly, about an impact on paid subscriptions? The figures are out, and it’s good news – for now […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry stories (28 April)

TikTok is launching a new feature, ‘Donation Stickers’, that will enable creators on the app to encourage their followers to donate to charities. This isn’t only about music, but music industry charities MusiCares and Help Musicians are two of the first to be supported through the feature. The stickers can be added to videos, and […]

Report: subscriptions growth ‘relatively unaffected’ by Covid-19

We’ll put the big caveat up front: predicting the impact that the Covid-19 coronavirus will have on any industry or sector this year rests on the supremely shaky notion that anyone can predict what will happen with the pandemic itself over the next eight months. Some countries are getting back to work and easing social […]

Lion Babe used Instagram for ‘Around The World At Home’ tour

We wrote earlier this month about L Devine’s inventive ‘URL Tour’ in which she held livestreams on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube, as if each platform was a stop on a tour. Now US duo Lion Babe have put their own spin on a digital tour with ‘Around The World At Home‘. It’s based on only […]

Carlos Vives launches #NoTeVayasDeTuCasa video-call campaign

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we’re seeing a growing number of artist marketing campaigns – and even the music that’s at the centre of them – address the crisis. The latest marketing example is from Colombian artist Carlos Vives, whose latest single is called ‘No Te Vayas’ (translation: ‘Don’t Go’). That theme has been adapted for […]

Today’s positive music industry-related coronavirus news (27 April)

The UK’s Music Venue Trust (MVT) is launching a campaign called #saveourvenues, which aims to drum up support for 556 ‘grassroots music venues’ that it says are in danger of permanent closure in the UK. “The situation is dire, government support has been exhausted, and it now falls to artists, music fans, local communities and the […]

Report: UK physical music sales halved during Covid-19 crisis

It’s hardly a surprise that physical music sales have taken a big hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, through a mixture of physical stores being closed, and Amazon prioritising other products for its online store. Now the Financial Times has been talking to some companies in the UK to quantify the decline, suggesting that “sales of vinyl records […]

UMG’s Michael Nash thinks music subscriptions will be resilient to Covid-19 impact

A flurry of recent reports have noted that in the initial weeks of the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown, music streams declined. Should the industry be worried? Universal Music Group’s EVP of digital strategy Michael Nash has dampened down those fears. “The subscription business, which is the big driver for revenue, is relatively stable based on its […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (23 April)

Start today with YouTube’s announcement of a slate of Covid-19 related original shows, with several involving music. Stay Home With: Yungblud will explore the UK artist’s quarantine life, with viewers encouraged to donate to the No Kid Hungry charity, for example. Also positive is Abbey Road Studios’ new Topline Songwriting Competition, with songwriters, artists and producers invited to […]

Spanish body Promusicae breaks down potential Covid-19 impact

Spain was once seen as one of the toughest markets for recorded music thanks to the popularity of piracy. The country’s turnaround, fuelled by streaming, has been a big positive story for the music industry in the past decade. Recent figures published by industry body Promusicae revealed that the Spanish market grew by 22.5% in […]

Spotify ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ tool is going live today

Last month, we reported on Spotify’s announcement that artists would soon be able to “link out to a verified funding page for themselves, for another artist in need, or for a separate initiative of their choice” from their profiles on the streaming service. The new feature – named ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ – goes live today, […]

Netflix added 15.8m paying subscribers in first quarter of 2020

We’re still waiting to find out what effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on music streaming subscriptions. All eyes on Spotify’s Q1 financials next week for that. But Netflix’s first-quarter figures were published yesterday, giving us a glimpse at the impact on video subscriptions. Netflix added 15.8 million net new paid subscribers in Q1, benefiting from […]

Patreon lays off 13% of staff amid Covid-19 uncertainties

Fan-funding firm Patreon is laying off 13% of its staff, which according to TechCrunch is 30 employees. The company cited the Covid-19 pandemic as the cause. “It is unclear how long this economic uncertainty will last and therefore, to prepare accordingly, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with 13% of Patreon’s workforce,” said a […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (21 April)

Spotify has added more partners to its Covid-19 Music Relief project. Having started with donations to MusiCares, PRS Foundation and Help Musicians, it is now also donating to funds and charities in France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Australia, Brazil and Canada. Meanwhile, David Guetta’s livestreamed concert at the weekend generated 9m views on Facebook and nearly […]

One World: Together At Home raises $127.9m for Covid-19 relief

This weekend, a parade of stars teamed up for the One World: Together At Home livestream, organised and curated by Global Citizen and Lady Gaga to benefit the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. How did the event do? By yesterday it had already raised a total of $127.9m, of which $55.1m will go […]

Taylor Swift cancels all her live performances in 2020

There are some tough conversations going on behind the scenes at the moment about when the live music scene might get back to any semblance of normality. If you’re still hoping for this autumn, Taylor Swift’s announcement that she’s cancelling all remaining concerts for 2020 isn’t good news. “Health organizations and governments around the world […]

Amazon to begin testing its staff for Covid-19 infection

Amazon has announced that it will begin testing some of its ‘frontline’ workers for Covid-19, even if they are not showing any symptoms. “Regular testing on a global scale, across all industries, would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running,” wrote CEO Jeff Bezos in his annual letter to […]

More data emerges on Covid-19 impact on YouTube ad rates

In terms of traffic, YouTube is getting an almighty battering at the moment, with people working from home (and just as importantly, children’s schools closed). But we’ve reported already on talk of the advertising rates on YouTube falling, as brands pause or pull their advertising budgets as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now there’s some more […]

Country Profile – United Kingdom 2020

The BPI and ERA remain positive about the outlook for the UK’s recorded music industry, despite COVID-19 and Brexit representing extremely tough challenges for the business The post Country Profile – United Kingdom 2020 appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Houseparty video-chat app signed up 50m new users in last month

50 million people have signed up to video-chatting app Houseparty in the last month alone, according to its CEO Sima Sistani, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg. The app is riding the same stay-at-home wave as Zoom (which has grown from 10 million daily active users at the end of 2019 to more than 200 million […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (16 April)

There’s more news from the MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund in the US, which has now secured contributions from collecting societies ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The fund is now past the $10m mark on the back of support from all quarters of the music industry. Meanwhile, in the UK another collecting society, PPL, is donating £700k to […]

Scott Cohen: Covid-19 could be live industry’s ‘Napster moment’

Warner Music Group’s chief innovation officer for recorded music, Scott Cohen, thinks that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic could be a ‘Napster moment’ for the live music industry. Cohen was speaking in a ‘From Holograms to the Holodeck’ online panel last night convened by the Social Broadcasting Company. “With this Covid-19 disruption, is this doing to […]

#NextStageChallenge seeks tech solutions for music industry’s Covid-19 challenges

A group of European music companies and organisations are launching a two-week hackathon called #NextStageChallenge, which aims to find inventive solutions to some of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for musicians and the music industry. There’s a open call for submissions until 24 April, with the hackathon kicking off on 27 April […]

COVID-19: Time to turn disruption into innovation (guest column)

This is a guest column from Pieter van Rijn, CEO of FUGA: “All around the world we are facing an unprecedented crisis, the likes of which haven’t been seen on this scale since before most of us were born. Like most industries, this also has also had implications for the music business, some parts more […]

Music Ally Report :: Q1 2020 Edition

Our main Music Ally report is getting bigger and going quarterly! This is the first edition of the new report including some of the new elements we’ve been planning, with more to be added in the Q2 report in early July. We couldn’t ignore the coronavirus pandemic, of course, so there’s a feature exploring some […]

Covid-19 advertising slump is hitting YouTube channels

In terms of viewing, YouTube is thought to be having a big moment amid the Covid-19 pandemic. But are its advertising revenues also climbing? A story on Medium’s OneZero suggests that there may be something to worry about on that front. “YouTubers say that the rates companies pay to advertise on their videos are dropping significantly. That […]

Safe In Our World launches mental health hub for Covid-19

We haven’t written about Safe In Our World before, but it’s essentially the British games industry’s equivalent of Help Musicians: a charity focusing on mental health and wellbeing for people in that industry. Like that organisation, Safe In Our World has launched a ‘hub’ focused on Covid-19 / coronavirus, and while it’s aimed at games-industry people, […]

Tracking the trends of the ‘self-isolation entertainment boom’

Midia Research has published a report on the entertainment categories benefiting from what it is terming ‘The Self-Isolation Entertainment Boom’. Traditional media, notably TV and especially radio, is growing, with the report noting that in Italy 72% of respondents say they are currently watching more TV. Given radio has been slipping in importance in recent years, Midia […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry stories (8 April)

We’ve broken the big positive story out as our lead today, but there are other good things to report on too. Variety has a report on how ticketed-livestreams platform StageIt is growing during the pandemic: it made $884k in the last two weeks alone, compared to $500k in the whole of 2019. That translates into revenues […]

How closed venues can help the vulnerable during the pandemic

So many concert and cultural venues are closed at the moment, with their owners wondering whether they’ll be able to ride out the period until lockdowns end and punters can return. Here’s something that could be interesting to think about in the meantime though: a guide for cultural venues on how they can support homeless and […]

Vinyl sales ‘expected to drop heavily’ says Vinyl Alliance

Industry body the Vinyl Alliance has been surveying its members about the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on their businesses. Spoiler: it’s not good. Its findings note that “even though many brick and mortar stores divert to online sales, sales are expected to drop heavily” – not least because Amazon has “temporarily moved its focus […]

StubHub faces class action lawsuit over coronavirus refunds

With a huge number of festivals and concerts postponed or cancelled entirely amid the coronavirus pandemic, event organisers and ticketing companies have been mulling their options. One solution is to offer customers ticket vouchers (for when events are rescheduled) rather than cash refunds, as a way to stay financially afloat during the current period of […]

Zoom has 200m daily users, but CEO promises to fix its problems

A month ago, most of us had never even heard of video-conferencing app Zoom. Now it feels like we’re all on it having work meetings and catching up with friends and family. The company behind it has revealed that Zoom was being used by 200 million daily users in March – up from an average of […]

European music orgs call for more pandemic-tackling investment

A collective of 40 European music bodies are calling for the European Union and also national governments to deliver more support to the music industry and its creators, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “In light of this dire situation, we call for emergency as well as sustainable public support and structural policies at EU, […]

Sandbox Issue 249: What music can learn from YouTube’s biggest channels

Lead: Music is critical to YouTube while the music industry (beyond the politics of the value gap debate) is hugely reliant on the platform. But so too are other content types. We look at the biggest channels on YouTube generally – including categories such as comedy, education, film, sports and gaming (as well as music […]

Calm and Headspace lead list of top meditation apps in the US

Meditation apps is a space that we’ve been following for a while now, as more of those apps license music and form partnerships with the music industry in other ways. Given the current global situation, it should come as no surprise that mindfulness apps of all kinds are seeing a spike in downloads. Analytics firm […]

Startups battered by a coronavirus-driven ‘great unwinding’

The New York Times has published an interesting (if also bleak) article exploring the challenges that the coronavirus pandemic is presenting for tech startups in particular. It’s a good read, especially for people within the music industry who work with music-tech startups. One Silicon Valley exec who specialises in restructuring failed startups describes the current period as […]

Some iHeartMedia staff furloughed as CEO foregoes his salary

Last week, we reported on US radio, live and streaming group iHeartMedia withdrawing its financial guidance for 2020 and drawing on $350m of a pre-agreed credit facility to tide it through the coronavirus pandemic. However, yesterday there were some more developments. Radio industry site RAMP got its hands on an internal memo revealing a range of cost-cutting measures to […]

Despite 2019 growth, Spanish industry braces for slump in 2020

There’s good news from Spain about the growth of its recorded music market in 2019, but very bad news expected for the rest of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Industry body Promusicae announced both yesterday. Recorded music revenues grew by 22.5% to €296.4m (around $324.5m) in 2019 in a market that is now three quarters […]

SuperAwesome report: ‘Everyone is a kids and family brand now’

Just as many parents are teachers now, so when it comes to the world of technology and digital services “everyone is a kids and family brand now”. That’s the tagline for a report by kid-tech firm SuperAwesome, which explores what the coronavirus pandemic (and the stay-at-home measures being deployed to battle it) mean for businesses. […]

StubHub is offering credit, not refunds, for cancelled events

The next big controversy around secondary ticketing has arrived, and it concerns whether buyers will get refunds for events that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. If they bought through StubHub, the answer is now ‘no’ in the US and Canada – unless they were bought in areas where such refunds are legally required. […]

Midem 2020 conference cancelled, replaced by ‘digital edition’

Conference organiser Reed Midem has confirmed that its Midem event, which was due to take place on 2-5 June, has been cancelled – in its physical form, at least. The next Midem will be in June 2021. “The situation related to the coronavirus is changing daily, as are government announcements and restrictions… Given the uncertainty surrounding the virus […]

Internet Archive’s ‘National Emergency Library’ sparks row

There’s a copyright row breaking out in the US after the launch last week by the Internet Archive of something called the ‘National Emergency Library’. It’s not actually a brand new thing: it’s a change of policy for its existing ‘lending library’ for ebooks. The change is that people don’t have to join a waitlist […]

Podcast listening may be falling amid coronavirus pandemic

There’s been a certain amount of debate in the last fortnite about whether music streaming isn’t, in fact, getting a spike in usage as more people work from home. Here’s some more possible context for that: perhaps non-radio audio is what’s getting a bit of a hit. Podcast analytics firm Podtrac has been looking at […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (30 March)

There’s something of a domino effect happening as collecting societies sign off their plans for hardship funds and other measures designed to support songwriters and composers during the current pandemic. French society Sacem has announced a €6m ‘rescue fund’ for hard-hit musicians, with grants of €1.5k, €3k and €5k available depending on the situation. Sacem has also […]

MMF and FAC call for ‘recoupment holidays’ for artists

UK industry bodies the MMF and FAC have published some results from a survey of more than 150 managers and artists about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on their incomes. They have extrapolated the data to suggest that “over £50m has already been lost to the wider music economy” with live cancellations the main reason. […]

iHeartMedia withdraws its financial guidance for 2020

It’s not so long since US radio firm iHeartMedia was in deep financial troubles, and while it pulled itself out of those last year, it’s understandably one of the companies being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Now the company has followed Twitter in withdrawing its guidance for analysts (financial predictions) for 2020. “Given the ongoing uncertainty […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (27 March)

Let’s start today with Germany, at a time when bodies representing musicians and the music industry are pressing governments around the world for relief and support. The post Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (27 March) appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Analyst predicts big hit to Facebook and Google ad revenues

We’re trying to report on all the positive news amid the coronavirus pandemic, but we can’t ignore the bad news. For example, the likely impact on digital advertising spending, with the giants of that space – Google and Facebook – likely to take the biggest hits. “The two internet giants together could see more than $44 billion […]

Apple Music Browse page is tuned for self-isolating listeners

We’ve been writing about what streaming services are doing to support music-industry relief efforts and artists, but the coronavirus pandemic is also having an impact in how they’re recommending music (and other content) to their listeners. We wrote about Deezer’s new ‘Stay at Home’ hub earlier this week, but Apple Music is also adapting to the time […]

StubHub furloughs staff due to coronavirus impact

StubHub has become one of the first ticketing firms to confirm plans to ‘furlough’ staff (the term means to put staff on mandatory leave, often unpaid – it’s not clear whether that applies here – as a temporary measure). “Given the impact of the coronavirus on the live-events industry, we have made the difficult but responsible decision […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (26 March)

We’re keeping this going, not least because positive news is keeping us going, personally… British collecting society PRS for Music has launched an Emergency Relief Fund for its members, created with the PRS Members’ Fund and PRS Foundation. To qualify, applicants have to have been members of PRS for at least two years and earned over £500 […]

Spotify coronavirus response includes letting artists add fundraising links to their profiles

Spotify has just announced some of the things it’s doing in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. They include launching a music relief project where the streaming service will match donations up to a total Spotify contribution of $10m, and a feature enabling artists to fundraise from fans via their Spotify profiles. The Spotify COVID-19 […]

YouTube’s Stay Home #WithMe hub gathers music livestreams

YouTube’s latest initiative to encourage people to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic’s current phase is a hub called StayHome #WithMe that gathers videos that it thinks will keep people entertained, active and informed while staying home. The top shelf on the page is called ‘Jam With Me’ and spotlights the latest livestreams from artists – at the time […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (25 March)

Start today with the group of streaming services and tech companies announcing contributions to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund in the US. Amazon Music, Facebook, SiriusXM and Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube Music are the services, and while no amount has been given for their contributions, MusiCares said that in less than a week it has raised “millions […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (24 March)

Music Ally is trying to write a story every working day, rounding up the good, practical things happening in and around our industry: focusing on relief efforts and other initiatives from the music industry and music / tech communities. Start today with Bandcamp’s update on how last Friday’s big music sale went. “On a typical Friday, […]

Twitter users up but revenues hit due to coronavirus

Earlier this year, Twitter provided analysts with its financial guidance for the first quarter of 2020, predicting revenue of between $825m and $885m, and operating income between $0m and $30m. Yesterday, though, Twitter withdrew that guidance, due to the coronavirus pandemic. “While the near-term financial impact of this pandemic is rapidly evolving and difficult to measure, based on […]

Music Ally to hold free webinar: ‘Bringing Live Online’

As you’ll have noticed, livestreams are all the rage right now, as artists look for a way to perform for and chat to fans (and perhaps to find a new income stream) in lieu of cancelled tours and festivals. This Thursday, Music Ally is holding a free webinar called ‘Bringing Live Online’ – kindly supported by […]

Struggling with isolation? An astronaut might be able to help

Some people have been working from home regularly for years, and others take to it like ducks to water. But others may struggle, especially if they’re cooped up alone (or with housemates / family) for what’s looking like an indeterminate period of time. In the knowledge that many of our readers will be thinking hard […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news

Stuff we’re heartened by today includes Resident Advisor’s ‘Save Our Scene‘ campaign, which is mustering collecting action from the electronic music community. There’s an open letter that fans, musicians and other people in the industry can sign – more than 3,000 people so far have – with encouragement for people who want to do their […]

It’s too early to tell what coronavirus means for streaming

It’s not great for your work/life balance to spend the weekend feeling grumpy every time you spot that ‘people are streaming music less due to coronavirus’ story doing the rounds – based on a limited comparison of stream counts from the Spotify charts. It’s true that other forms of media may be more appealing to […]

Netflix reduces streaming quality in Europe to save bandwidth

Netflix is making some changes to the way its service runs in Europe, in response to a request from the European Union’s internal market commissioner Thierry Breton. He asked the video streaming service what it could do to reduce its load on the continent’s internet networks, with populations working at home en masse. “Streaming platforms, telecom operators […]

Music companies share their lessons on remote working

Many of us (Music Ally included) are now figuring out how to run our companies as entirely remote-working businesses. A couple of music companies with more experience of this have been sharing their lessons, which may be useful. Merch firm Push Entertainment’s Simon Scott has published a post of “real world things that work for highly functioning […]

Charli XCX kicks off ‘self-isolating’ livestreams series on Instagram

Everyone and their artist auntie is livestreaming now, it seems – our RSS feed was overwhelmed by a blizzard of media articles commenting on the trend this morning too. Some of the more notable examples from the past 24 hours include: Charli XCX kicking off a series of Instagram livestreams, patching in fellow artists like Christine and […]

Glastonbury Festival and Eurovision both cancelled for 2020

Spring and summer music events getting cancelled is now expected, rather than a surprise, but for Europeans yesterday still managed to deliver something of a hammer blow with the cancellation of the 2020 editions of both the Glastonbury Festival and the Eurovision Song Contest. By now, neither is news, so the aspect we’ll pull out […]

UK music industry concerned for venues closing for coronavirus

The COVID-19 situation is certainly fast-moving. Yesterday afternoon, various UK music bodies criticised the British government heavily for advising people not to go to public venues including pubs, clubs and concert venues without actually ordering those places to close – the concern being that this would not enable them to claim on their insurance policies. “The […]

Eventbrite tears up its financial predictions for 2020

Ticketing firm Eventbrite has withdrawn its business outlook – the predictions for revenues, profits etc that public companies provide to analysts – in the light of the coronavirus-fuelled uncertainty around the live entertainment business. CEO Julia Hartz described the situation as “unprecedented”. “The year started off strong across the board and we are now seeing a […]

Live music affected by latest coronavirus event restrictions

Having said last week that we’re going to try not to stoke your anxiety over the novel-coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak with long, scary stories, this morning we can’t ignore the latest developments and their implications for our industry. You may have already seen the reports that Universal Music Group boss Sir Lucian Grainge has been hospitalised […]

Cocooning, downgrading… what will Coronavirus mean for music?

The short term impact of the novel-Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, in the US at least, is this: no big tours. AEG and Live Nation both announced yesterday that they are postponing all arena tours scheduled for March, having set up a task force together with talent agencies CAA, WME, Paradigm and UTA to figure out a collective […]

SXSW and Ultra Music Festival both have ‘no refunds’ policies

We gasped the other day when it emerged that SXSW didn’t have an insurance policy that would cover cancellation due to “communicable diseases, viruses and pandemics” – like the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). If that was the shot, here’s the chaser: it appears that both SXSW and the also-cancelled Ultra Music Festival will not be refunding people […]

Could the coronavirus outbreak affect music conferences?

Mobile industry conference Mobile World Congress is huge: according to the Guardian, it now attracts more than 100,000 delegates to Barcelona, and is worth around €500m to the city every year. So the news that this year’s event has been cancelled less than a fortnight before it was due to kick off is big news, if […]

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