Dealing with the ‘dry streams’ paradox in the playlists era

Have you heard about ‘dry streams’ yet? They’re streams that come without a great deal of interest in the artist themselves: for example, on mood or activity-driven playlists on streaming services where listeners aren’t necessarily noticing who made the tracks. We’ve been exploring the phenomenon in our latest Sandbox digital-marketing report. “Being featured in large […]

BTS success fuelled record year for Big Hit Entertainment

You may have noticed that K-Pop band BTS are just a little bit popular around the world. That’s now translating into financial success for the company behind them, Big Hit Entertainment. The firm reported a 132% growth in its annual revenues to 214bn won (around $190m) in 2018, with an operating profit of 64.1bn won […]

Google wants musicians to play with its new AI-music tool

Google has been exploring the potential for AI-created music for a while now. Today, it’s making its latest experiment public, and in a high-profile way: in one of the ‘Doodles’ promoted on the homepage of its search engine. It’s an AI-powered Doodle that celebrates composer Johann Sebastian Bach. “An interactive experience encouraging players to compose a […]

Music-making firm Splice raises a $57.5m funding round

Splice is one of the most popular online tools for creating music – and accessing samples – with more than 2.5 million users according to its latest figures. That growth, having added a million in the last year, is exciting investors too. Splice has just raised a $57.5m Series C funding round, with VC firms […]

Subscription streaming now more than half UK labels’ income

New figures from industry body the BPI show that streaming subscriptions accounted for 54% of British labels’ income in 2018, as the revenue from these subscriptions grew by 34.9% year-on-year to £467.6m (around $615m). That contributed to a 32.8% rise in all music-streaming revenues for labels to £516.4m, with ad-funded audio-streams generating £19.1m (up 25.8%) […]

Google takes the wrappers off game-streaming service Stadia

Google was rumoured to be launching its own games console at the GDC event this week. Actually, the big reveal was something slightly different: but still a big move in the games world. Google’s new thing is called Stadia: a new cloud-gaming service that will let people play games by streaming them on TVs, laptops, […]

Patreon shifts to tiered pricing for crowdfunding services

Ever since it was founded, crowdfunding platform Patreon has charged its creators 5% of the revenues they make from their fans (or ‘patrons’). Now the company is upping its share on some campaigns, with a new tiered system. A basic ‘Lite’ tier will still have a 5% revenue share for Patreon, but people who want […]

Instagram adds ‘Checkout’ feature for in-app shopping

Rumours that Instagram was going to do more with e-commerce have been bubbling for a while. Yesterday, the Facebook subsidiary revealed its latest moves. “Today, we’re introducing checkout on Instagram. When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app,” explained Instagram. For now, this is based around products […]

Tuner app will build on Spotify to offer ‘the new radio’

There’s a little bit of confusion around the name of this new app: its profile on investment site AngelList refers to it as Tuner, while its website refers to it as Brassroots. We’ll surmise that a rebranding is underway, although from what to what we’re still unsure about – it’s also possible that Tuner is the company name and […]

Blackpink are first K-Pop artist with 20m YouTube subscribers

Chances are, when asked who the first K-Pop artist with 20 million YouTube subscribers was, many people would guess BTS. But no: their BangtanTV channel currently has 16.2 million subscribers, while the first Korean star to break through on YouTube, Psy, has 12.7 million. So take a bow girl-band Blackpink, whose channel has just crossed the […]

Dean Lewis is the next Apple Music ‘Up Next’ artist

Australian singer/songwriter Dean Lewis is the latest artist to get Apple’s ‘Up Next’ seal of approval. The nod comes ahead of the release of his debut album ‘A Place We Knew’, although Lewis’ music has already notched up more than 1bn streams globally, of which 750m-plus were for his track ‘Be Alright’, and another 200m […]

Anghami adds more than 250 local podcasts to its catalogue

Soon, it’ll be quicker to list the music-streaming services that *aren’t* streaming into podcasts as an additional content format. Middle Eastern / North African service Anghami is the latest, having added more than 250 shows from more than 40 local podcast studios, as well as global shows from outside the MENA region. “The local podcasting community is […]

Report on UK live market has lessons for other countries too

The UK’s Commons Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published its report on the future for the UK’s live-music industry, suggesting that despite a “boom” in concert and festival attendance, there are “stark challenges” for the market. While the report is focused on this one particular country, we think there are plenty […]

Snapchat tipped to launch its own gaming platform in April

Google might be launching a games console this month, but it’s not the only tech company ramping up its gaming activities. Snapchat may be on the verge of launching its own games platform, albeit one within its app rather than on a physical piece of hardware. “The mobile game platform, internally codenamed ‘Project Cognac,’ will […]

T Bone Burnett takes on big-tech companies in SXSW speech

Musician and producer T Bone Burnett has spoken out before on the relationship between technology companies and artists. Last week at SXSW, he gave a speech outlining how he feels about all this in 2019. “It must be becoming obvious to most people by now: the fact that we are in a battle. A battle […]

AI-music startup Boomy is ‘the magic instant music robot’

We wrote about AI-music-creation startup Boomy in January, after spotting its profile on an investment website. The company then opened up its private beta-test earlier this month, enabling people to play with its system to “generate beautiful, creative songs in seconds with artificial intelligence”. Now founder Alex Mitchell has published a blog post explaining a bit more […]

Crush app wants to help superfans keep up with fave artists

There’s a long line of standalone apps that tried to help people discover music and artists, and/or offered social features around that. It’s hard to think of any that became sustainable businesses, but the better ideas *did* ultimately become part of music-streaming services’ core features. That’s why Music Ally is always keen to explore new […]

Pro-Article-13 bodies ask for access to YouTube promo tools

Creative-industries group Europe for Creators is raising a rumpus about the way YouTube has been promoting its campaign to change the proposed European copyright directive on its own platform. The body published an open letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki claiming that “YouTube has been actively using its own services to influence public opinion, often […]

New Moby album is exclusive on… meditation app Calm

Moby has a new album out, and it’s streaming exclusively on one service: but NOT a music-streaming service. Although we rather gave that away in the headline, didn’t we… Yes, ‘Long Ambients 2’ is being made available exclusively through meditation app Calm, with six tracks designed to help people relax and get to sleep. Calm has […]

Sound Diplomacy launches its Music Cities Manual

Sound Diplomacy has been working with a range of cities to improve their musical infrastructure. Now the company has published a manual setting out the principles of its process, boiling them down into 13 points. The topline pitch: “Cities can be made richer through enhancing education and supporting live venues, investing in music-tech and including music in […]

Warner Music signs licensing deal with Boomplay in Africa

Warner Music Group has become the second major label to sign a direct licensing deal with African digital-music service Boomplay, following Universal Music’s deal in November 2018. WMG’s deal covers a catalogue of 1m songs for 10 countries: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Boomplay will make the music […]

Germany has 9m music subscribers. BVMI boss: ‘Let’s double it’

We wrote about the latest figures from Germany earlier this month: recorded-music revenues fell slightly in 2018, according to industry body BVMI, but it described this as a “steady plateau” as the industry there transitions from physical sales to streaming. Now BVMI boss Dr Florian Drücke has been talking to Music Ally for our latest […]

France recorded-music market grew by 1.8% in 2018

The latest country to declare its recorded-music figures for 2018 is France, through industry body SNEP. It’s positive news too: a third consecutive year of growth, albeit a “modest” 1.8% rise in 2018. “For the first time, the revenue generated by digital has exceeded that of physical sales and now accounts for 57% of global sales,” […]

Apple hits back at ‘misleading rhetoric’ of Spotify anti-trust complaint

Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission over Apple’s stewardship of its App Store earlier this week, but now Apple has hit back with a statement criticising Spotify’s “misleading rhetoric” – including jabs at the streaming service’s recent appeal against new songwriter-royalty rates in the US. “At its core, the App Store is a […]

Stormzy’s book imprint launches contest for emerging writers

Stormzy isn’t just an award-winning grime rapper: he’s also a book-publishing mogul. Well, he has his own books imprint anyway: #Merky Books, which is part of the Penguin Random House empire, and published his own ‘Rise Up’ book last year. Now the imprint is looking to highlight some emerging writers. It’s launching the #Merky Books New […]

UMG gets a new CIO while Deezer appoints a new COO

In today’s data-rich (some would say data-overloaded) music industry, the role of chief information officer – CIO – is increasingly important for large music companies. So Universal Music Group’s appointment of Dan Morales as its CIO is notable news. He joins from a similar role at eBay. “With Dan as CIO, we are adding an […]

Gimlet Media staff plan to unionise after Spotify acquisition

Fresh from being bought by Spotify, the staff of podcasting firm Gimlet Media have announced plans to unionise – which would make them the first US podcasting company to do so. “As Spotify’s reported $230 million acquisition of Gimlet makes clear, however, Gimlet is no longer the small, scrappy operation memorably documented on the first […]

UK’s Musicians Union launches mentoring scheme for women

The UK’s Musicians Union (MU) is the latest industry entity to launch a mentoring scheme for women. It’s working with SheSaid.so, the group which has already been active in this field. In the MU’s case, its scheme will see 20 women chosen: 10 mentors and 10 mentees, who’ll meet every month, while also attending bi-monthly […]

Japan goes back to square one with planned anti-piracy law

Japan was set to introduce a new law cracking down on illegal downloading of copyrighted content, but the government is now going back to the drawing board, after complaints from both sides of the debate around online piracy. “We have yet to eliminate the worries of both copyright holders and users. We should work on […]

Report claims label-free artists made $643m in 2018

The IFPI is due to publish its Global Music Report for 2018 next month, but as usual, consultancy firm Midia Research is getting in early with its own estimates – although perhaps in an effort to avoid any tensions with the music body, this year its figures aren’t coming out the same week as the […]

Analyst thinks Apple can sign up 100m video-streaming subs

Apple’s next press event is on 25 March, and it’s expected to focus on services – including the long-rumoured launch of a Netflix-style video-streaming service. Analyst Wedbush has published its thoughts on what this could mean. “If Apple executes with minimal speed bumps and aggressively acquires content given the company’s massive installed base and unmatched brand loyalty […]

Red Hot Chili Peppers to live-stream their pyramids concert

What I’ve got you’ve got to give it to your mummy… even if you have to break in to an ancient sarcophagus to do it. Yes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are heading to Egypt to play a concert at the Great Pyramids of Giza later this week, and it’s just been announced that the gig will […]

MelodyVR signs four more music-publishing licensing deals

Music virtual-reality startup MelodyVR has announced four new licensing agreements, focusing on the publishing world. The deals include UMPI (part of Universal Music Publishing Group); Sacem; Ascap and BMI. “As MelodyVR continues to expand, these four music licensing deals enhance our opportunities for content creation and distribution on a global basis. Following a successful 2018 and with […]

Should streaming services ban R. Kelly and Michael Jackson?

The controversy last year around de-playlisting R. Kelly and XXXTentacion has likely put Spotify off the idea of going further and removing artists’ music from its platform unless the content itself is hateful (e.g. neo-Nazi lyrics). But the recent documentaries about R. Kelly and Michael Jackson is spurring a debate about what role (if any) […]

UN human-rights expert delivers warning about Article 13

There’s some new criticism of the proposed European copyright directive from an unexpected source: the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression. David Kaye holds that post, and he’s published his concerns about the Article 13 section of the legislation, which relates to copyrighted material on user-uploaded-content platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud. “Article 13 of the […]

InChorus Group to measure bias and harassment in the music biz

Startup InChorus Group is launching a platform that it hopes will help to measure incidents of bias and harassment within the music industry. The company wants to help people report “microaggressions” within their workplaces, before providing those companies with anonymised feedback – the idea being that people can blow the whistle on such behaviour without fear of […]

Spotify files complaint with European Commission against Apple

Spotify is filing a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, accusing the latter company of anticompetitive behaviour in the way it manages its App Store, and thus gives its own Apple Music streaming service an advantage over rivals. “In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and […]

Almost Tangible wants to make audiobooks more immersive

Yesterday, Music Ally was at the Quantum conference in London. It’s a one-day event within the London Book Fair with a focus partly on new technologies and trends. One of the companies speaking was a startup called Almost Tangible which, in the light of Spotify’s push into non-music content, we found interesting. The company is trying to […]

Instagram co-founder isn’t sold on big-tech breakup plans

Of all the things Facebook could have done in response to Democrat politician Elizabeth Warren’s suggestion that it should be broken up for abuse of its power, temporarily blocking the Facebook ads that she’d booked to promote her plan was probably the most foolish. The social network claimed it was because “they violated our policies against use […]

Fan-messaging startup I Am Pop raises €2m in funding

I Am Pop is one of the startups trying to help musicians and music brands make better use of messaging apps in their marketing. It’s already working with artists signed to labels including Sony Music, Warner Music, AWAL and PIAS, and now the company has a new €2m funding round to help grow its business. I […]

YouTube stories get their own Snapchat-style AR features

Snapchat has its lenses, Instagram has its face-filters, and now YouTube has its own augmented-reality effects, which can be used in ‘stories’ posted to the video service. They’re a mixture of animated face-masks, hats and sunglasses that can be used in short videos posted by YouTube creators who have access to the ‘stories’ tool – which […]

Report claims Apple’s first AR headset could launch in 2020

It’s been a few months, so it’s time for another rumour about Apple making an augmented-reality headset or goggles or similar face-worn device. This time it’s KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s often quoted making predictions about future Apple products, with a decent record of accuracy (or at least: better than Music Ally’s record – […]

Apple is giving playlists the album-artwork treatment

We’re ashamed to confess that we haven’t given that much thought to the artwork for the programmed playlists on music-streaming services. That said, we suspect a fair few of those services haven’t really made it a priority either, beyond ensuring the right artist or mood-signalling image is present with the correct corporate branding. So it’s […]

Stage is the latest startup planning live concerts in VR

Things have gone a little quiet around music and virtual-reality technology in recent months, don’t you think? There are still startups developing the technology with apps and services up and running, but the hype around VR possibly being The Next Big Innovation for live music has certainly died down. Perhaps partly as the interest in […]

DotBlockchain founder Benji Rogers is leaving the company

Benji Rogers was one of the earliest people in the music industry talking about the potential of blockchain technology, and he founded a company – DotBlockchain – to try to deliver some of that potential. Now he’s moving on. “As of today, I will be departing the epic and amazing company that I co-founded, DotBlockchain […]

Albums in the streaming era: ‘Put the best six songs up front’

We’re well aware of the ‘don’t bore us – get to the chorus!’ maxim (cheers, Roxette!) for popular music in the modern streaming era. But that can now seemingly be extended to ‘don’t bore us – get to all the songs with good choruses quickly on the album please!’ At least, that’s the gist of an […]

Elizabeth Warren’s big-tech breakup could affect music-streaming

We’ll be honest: there are lots of reasons that US Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren thinks the biggest technology companies should be broken up: and none of them are directly about what the benefits might be for music listeners, artists and the music industry. But given the ongoing debate about ‘platform-to-business’ regulation – how the […]

Instagram may be working on a ‘co-watching’ video feature

The idea of ‘co-viewing’ online video is a good one: people watching simultaneously around the world while text-chatting with friends and/or strangers. It’s one reason YouTube’s new ‘Premieres’ feature is working well for artists and other creators, and it was also a good idea when Vevo invented it as ‘Watch Party’ a few years ago […]

Chemical Brothers create ‘fastest remix’ for Formula 1

The Chemical Brothers have a new track out today, called ‘We’ve Got To Try’, which is marvellous. But the veteran dance duo also released another track this week called ‘WGTT15000BPM F1 NEEEUM MIX’ that’s more curious. Not least because it’s only three seconds long (and thus won’t be earning any royalties on streaming services, which […]

Spotify sees label-relations and editorial teams working closer

Spotify wants its editorial and artist and label-relations teams to work “more in alignment” in the future, at least in the Nordic territories: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. That’s according to Johan Seidefors, head of content, Nordic, at Spotify. He was talking in the streaming service’s session at the by:Larm conference in Oslo last […]

Happy International Women’s Day 2019

It’s Friday 8 March, which means it’s the annual International Women’s Day. Expect plenty of activity from pretty much every digital music service, with curated playlists and other content galore. Which is great, albeit also may raise questions about how today’s celebration can be carried through to the playlist-curation and artist-partnership decisions taken by these […]

US publishers slam streaming services over CRB rates appeal

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in the US has given Amazon and Spotify both barrels over their decision to appeal against the recent songwriter royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board. Yet it seems other companies are also appealing. Spotify, Google and Pandora have confirmed that they have asked the US Court of […]

Report claims 2.4bn people will play mobile games in 2019

The phrase ‘attention economy’ has been on the lips of plenty of music-industry people for years now, as we recognise that music is competing for attention with games, video-streaming and other forms of digital entertainment. That’s one of the reasons Music Ally writes regularly about the mobile games market – another being that there are […]

Mark Zuckerberg says privacy is Facebook’s new watchword

Facebook’s relationship with privacy? It’s complicated, although critics of the company (like Tim Cook, who’s just been rebranded by Donald Trump as ‘Tim Apple’) might use a few other words. Yet after a bruising period of controversies surrounding privacy and user-data on its platform, Facebook appears to be pulling something of a pivot. “As I think […]

Twitter’s new video analytics tool helps marketers with timing

Twitter has launched a new analytics tool for people and companies posting video on its platform. It’s called Timing is Everything, and we think it could be quite useful for musicians. “Timing is Everything displays historical data showing when audiences are on Twitter watching and engaging with video,” explained Twitter in an announcement blogpost. That means whoever […]

Louis Tomlinson debuts Landmrk-powered scavenger hunt for fans

The latest artist to benefit from a partnership with location-based marketing startup Landmrk is former One Direction star Louis Tomlinson. He’s promoting a new single called ‘Two Of Us’ with a digital scavenger hunt using the Landmrk for Music platform that the British startup unveiled in December 2018. “I’ve hidden some video clips in hotspots around the […]

AI-music startup Boomy opens up its private beta

In January, we discovered a new startup trying to use artificial intelligence to create music: Boomy. It was touting technology to “generate beautiful, creative songs in seconds with artificial intelligence – for your fans, your friends, your business, or just for you” with the promise of a web-based private beta, and mobile apps to follow. Yesterday, Boomy opened […]

UK broadcaster Fearne Cotton turns curator for Apple Music

We’re not sure how well-known Fearne Cotton is outside the UK: in Music Ally’s homeland she’s become a familiar face and voice through her TV and radio broadcasting. Now she’s become the latest curator on Apple Music. This is a proper partnership: Cotton is maintaining four different playlists on the streaming service, which is promoting […]

Scott Cohen confirmed as new ‘chief innovation officer’ for WMG

The news had already leaked that The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen had been poached by Warner Music Group, but there has been speculation about what, exactly, his role would entail. Yesterday, WMG dished the details: Cohen will be its new chief innovation officer, recorded music, reporting directly to the label group’s recorded-music boss Max Lousada. […]

Western artists prove popular in Spotify’s early days in India

Spotify had more than one million people using its service in India a week after launch, but what were they listening to? The company shed some light on that last night in a blog post. “What we found is that Indians are starting off strong by listening to musicians and tracks from around the globe, with […]

Report: TikTok’s parent company lost $1.2bn in 2018

The recent $5.7m settlement between TikTok and the US Federal Trade Commission was the biggest ever fine in a child-privacy case. But the amount pales next to the amount TikTok’s parent company Bytedance lost in 2018, according to a report by tech site The Information. It claims that Bytedance’s losses were $1.2bn last year, after making […]

IFPI’s 2018 singles chart is heavy on tracks from 2017

Global music body the IFPI has named the top 10 ‘best-selling digital singles’ of 2018. And in a sign of how streaming is changing the dynamics of the biggest hits, six of them were actually released in 2017. For example, the top track of 2018 was ‘Havana’ by Camila Cabello, which came out in September 2017. […]

Spotify talks pitching, artists and podcasts in the Nordics

Spotify wants its editorial and artist and label-relations teams to work “more in alignment” in the future, at least in the Nordic territories: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. That’s according to Johan Seidefors, head of content, Nordic, at Spotify. He was talking in the streaming service’s session at the by:Larm conference in Oslo last […]

SiriusXM creates a new ‘original content’ team at Pandora

Original content is all the rage at Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services, so why shouldn’t Pandora join the party? Its new parent company SiriusXM has created a dedicated ‘content team’ at Pandora to focus on music, sports, comedy, politics and entertainment. That said, this new team is made up of existing execs: Pandora’s VP of […]

German recorded-music revenues fell slightly in 2018

In lots of countries around the world, the recorded-music industry has bounced back to growth. Last week, for example, the RIAA announced that US revenues grew by 12% in 2018. In the UK, the growth last year was 8.9% according to the BPI and ERA. The story in these countries is that the growth in […]

Education, marketing and digital $$$ on The Great Escape agenda

This year’s The Great Escape festival and conference will take place in Brighton, UK, from 9-11 May. The conference part will include three dedicated strands run by CMU: focusing on music education, digital dollars and digital music-marketing. The latter will include a keynote with Cassandra Gracey, president of Sony Music’s 4th Floor Creative division. Speakers […]

Music Memory Box aims to help people with dementia

This isn’t really an industry story, it just seems like a marvellous project that we wanted to flag up. Music Memory Box is, according to its Kickstarter listing, “a simple kit that you can fill together with meaningful objects, music and photographs. All three combine together to help unlock and recall memories in a simple and […]

Blossoms get the pints in for their very own ‘pubcast’

If you’re reading this, Daniel Ek and team, we have another idea for what the existing podcasts ecosystem is missing: traditional British boozers! But UK band Blossoms are here to change that with the launch of their own ‘Blossoms Pubcast’, recorded in the pub in Stockport that inspired the band’s name. “In the first episode Tom, […]

Secondary-ticketing firm Viagogo faces more UK legal action

Earlier this year, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) set a deadline for secondary-ticketing sites to improve the information they provided about tickets listed for resale. Most complied, but Viagogo has been under scrutiny on this point: on 24 January, the CMA raised concerns and told the company to “make any necessary changes without […]

Sound Diplomacy opens US office to help new ‘music cities’

Sound Diplomacy has been working for some time with a range of entities to help cities build better music strategies. Now it’s expanding its activities to the US, with a new office in New Orleans. “I believe Trump’s election has made people think more about how they want to express themselves separately from the federal […]

Spotify podcast plans: discovery, experiments and ‘superpowers’

We know Spotify is splashing up to $500m on podcast acquisitions this year, but the company’s wider strategy around spoken-word content is also coming together. The Verge has done a good job of bringing together the various strands of Spotify’s plans, including recent comments from various executives. It includes the company’s determination to bring its music-discovery algorithms […]

Publishing body ICMP backs WMG over Spotify India dispute

Spotify is live in India, but its dispute with Warner Music Group continues, over the way it sought a statutory licence for works owned (partially or wholly) by publisher Warner/Chappell. Now the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) has weighed in to the row, firmly on the side of Warner/Chappell. “Music publishers worldwide work in […]

Middle-Eastern streaming service Anghami has 1m+ subscribers

The Middle East is currently a big strategic focus for global streaming services like Spotify and Deezer, but they face competition from established local service Anghami. Now it has released some new figures on its business, in an interview with MBW. “A significant number over 1m are paying for Anghami, which is, as my memory serves, […]

MusicWatch puts out more figures for US streaming market

Last week, Music Ally reported on the latest figures from US industry body the RIAA, including the fact that the number of paid music subscriptions in the US grew by 42% to 50.2 million in 2018. That was an annual-average figure, rather than a year-end figure. Anyway, research firm MusicWatch has now published its own figures […]

What’s next for playlists? Perhaps more context for the music

Former BPI and Spotify research exec Keith Jopling is now working with Midia Research among other music companies, thinking about big-picture strategy. His latest blog post, published for Midia, explores what the next evolution might be for music-streaming playlists. “There is plenty of scope for further creative development of the format. We are far from ‘peak […]

K-Pop star Jung Chan-woo to get his own skin in Fortnite

The crossover between video-game Fortnite and music artists is beginning to pick up pace. We’ve seen Marshmello’s Fortnite concert and Weezer’s in-game island, but now K-Pop star Jung Chan-woo is getting the treatment. Chan-woo is a member of popular band iKON, and he’ll now be getting his own ‘skin’ (a playable character/outfit) plus ‘emote’ (dance […]

Indian streaming service Gaana to hold another US festival

We recently wrote about music-streaming service Gaana’s growth to 80 million active users, making it a leading service in its home country India. Yet Gaana is keen to build its brand around the world, including the US. This June, it’ll hold its second Gaana Music Festival Stateside, in Holmdel, New Jersey and Mountain View, California. RadioAndMusic reported that […]

eBay launches ‘strategic review’ that includes StubHub

Ticketmaster recently shut down its secondary-ticketing websites GetMeIn and Seatwave in Europe last year, shifting the option for fans to resell tickets to its own platform instead. Now could eBay be getting rid of its secondary-ticketing division StubHub? It’s possible, albeit with a sale an option rather than a shutdown. eBay has announced “a strategic review” […]

Ticketing app Dice launches in the US – in LA and New York

British ticketing app Dice has been expanding in Europe for some time, but now it’s targeting the biggest music market of all: the US. The app is now available in the US with a roster of concerts initially in Los Angeles and New York, including exclusive partnerships with a selection of venues. The launch isn’t […]

Rihanna is the latest artist hit by a ‘fake album’ release

SZA, Beyoncé and now Rihanna. Yes, the ‘fake album’ scam hasn’t been wiped out just yet: fans got overexcited this weekend at the surprise release of an album called ‘Angel’ released by an artist called ‘Fenty Fantasia’. Fenty, of course, being Rihanna’s own fashion and beauty brand. “While Rihanna was indeed the singer on the […]

Spotify has 1m users in India one week after launch

Spotify launched in India last week, amid a controversy surrounding its licensing – and a legal injunction filed by Warner Music Group. That row continues, but how is the Indian launch going otherwise? Spotify has confirmed to Music Ally that a week after launch, it now has more than one million users in India. That’s […]

Podcasts startup Luminary launches with $100m of funding

Another day, another podcasts startup attracting significant investment, amid the wider excitement around the spoken-word format. This time it’s a Los Angeles-based startup called Luminary, which is launching a slate of more than 40 podcasts including the likes of Lena Dunham, Malcolm Gladwell, Trevor Noah and Conan O’Brien as hosts. What’s more, the New York Times reports that […]

Ludovico Einaudi to release seven albums in seven months

Classical-music composer Ludovico Einaudi clearly isn’t afeared of hard work: he’s just signed a new deal with UMG’s Decca Records to release seven albums in seven months. The project is called ‘Seven Days Walking’, and kicks off with the 15 March release of an album called ‘Seven Days Walking: Day One’. The other six albums […]

Amazon gets artist-curated International Women’s Day playlists

This Friday (8 March) is International Women’s Day, which has become something that pretty much every music-streaming service throws its weight behind in some way, particularly curated playlists. Amazon Music, for example, has roped in a bunch of ‘guest curators’ from the artist world this year, and it’s a super selection: *takes deep breath* Jess […]

7digital reaches €4m settlement over Juke music service

There has been some uncertainty around the relationship between B2B digital-music firm 7digital and retail group MediaMarktSaturn in recent months. In January it emerged that the companies were in talks over the future of MediaMarktSaturn’s Juke music service, which 7digital powers. Now that’s been settled. “Under the Agreement, 7digital has accepted settlement of, and release […]

Spotify publishes diversity stats for Norwegian popular music

As part of the by:Larm festival last week, Spotify published some stats on the gender diversity of the 50 most-streamed songs in Norway last year. Spoiler: the stats were pretty discouraging. “Of 203 songwriters behind the 50 most streamed songs of 2018, only 11,3% were women, and only one of the 83 producers behind the […]

YouTube disables comments on videos that feature children

YouTube has a big problem this week, and it’s nothing to do with European copyright reform. The video service has been under fire for its policies around protecting children who feature in videos on its platform. Why? Because of reports about child predators leaving suggestive (or worse) comments on such videos. Yesterday, YouTube outlined how it’s trying to […]

Weezer get a Fortnite island where their new album is streaming

If you’d asked us who the next music artist would be to work with Fortnite after Marshmello’s recent in-game concert, it’s fair to say Weezer wouldn’t have been our obvious choice. Yet Weezer it is: the band have their very own island in the latest season of the popular game, called Weezer World. Mashable reports that it’s […]

Another TV veteran joins Spotify to focus on original content

Spotify continues to look towards the television industry for executives capable of supercharging its push into podcasts and other non-music content. Having Dawn Ostroff from TV network Lifetime to be its chief content officer, Spotify has now returned to that company to recruit programming executive Liz Gately. Billboard reports that she’ll take a role as head of […]

BMI and ASCAP publish thoughts on replacing US consent decrees

We reported earlier this week on moves afoot in the US to modernise / replace the longstanding ‘consent decrees’ governing licensing in the US. Now collecting societies BMI and ASCAP have published an open letter setting out their views on what should happen. They are calling for an “orderly transition” with new decrees that would […]

Tommy Boy postpones digital release of De La Soul back catalogue

De La Soul’s classic albums were due to be released digitally for the first time this week, but the launch has now been postponed by label Tommy Boy after a succession of critical social-media posts from the rap trio. “Because Tommy Boy has not had the opportunity to sit down together with De La Soul […]

In India ‘the scale opportunity is telco bundles’

Reading a report about India earlier this week, we spotted a reference to the music-streaming market there needing to go beyond subscriptions and advertising for its revenues. How, though? Consultancy firm Midia Research has published its answer: telcos. “To unlock the scale opportunity, streaming has to look beyond subscriptions, and also beyond ad supported,” claimed founder […]

Podcasts app Pocket Casts is launching an Amazon Alexa skill

For people who aren’t using iTunes or Spotify to get their podcasts, Pocket Casts is one of the better independent podcast apps. Now it’s making an interesting leap from smartphones to smart speakers, courtesy of its new Alexa skill. “You can play any of your podcasts by name, ‘Alexa, ask Pocket Casts to play the latest […]

Midemlab startups contest opens call for entries in 2019

Music/tech startups are being invited to apply for this year’s Midemlab competition, which will see its final pitch sessions take place at the Midem conference in Cannes this June. Deezer and Japanese service Recochoku are the official partners for this year’s event, with jury members from companies including Google, Sony Music, The Orchard and Warner […]

Spotify cites Conner Youngblood as playlist-submission success

Spotify was recently under fire for the way playlist-pitching works for labels on its platform, but the company sees the playlists-submission tool it launched in July 2018 as a positive for artists. Its latest blog post outlines how the tool has worked for one artist, Nashville-based Conner Youngblood. After submitting his track ‘The Birds of Finland’ using Spotify’s tool, it […]

Hungama ‘Sound of Fame’ report explores Indian listening trends

Indian digital-music service Hungama has published a report – Sound of Fame – which outlines some of the trends on its platform in 2018. The company said that its user base grew by 48% last year, with a 22% increase in average listening-time per user. The number of streams on Hungama Music tripled in 2018, but the […]

Lost Girls open by:Larm with ‘Chill List’ critique of music-streaming culture

Lost Girls is the musical duo formed by artists Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden. They opened the by:Larm conference in Oslo today with an original commission, ‘Chill List’, which zeroed in on the impact streaming-playlist culture is having on artists and their music. The piece blended music with Hval’s (spoken) words, which were also shown […]

TikTok pays $5.7m in FTC settlement over children’s privacy

Early on in our coverage social-video app Musical.ly, we warned that its large audience of pre-teens represented a big risk for the company, in terms of staying on the right side of children’s privacy legislation like COPPA in the US. Yesterday, that particular hammer dropped – on TikTok, whose parent company Bytedance acquired Musical.ly before […]

Terms revealed for Facebook’s fan-subscriptions feature

Facebook is launching a ‘Fan Subscription’ feature where creators (including, potentially, musicians) will be able to charge fans for access to some of their content. Now the terms of the deals that creators will be expected to sign have been revealed, in a document leaked to TechCrunch. It shows that Facebook will take up to 30% […]

FTC to focus more attention on competition in tech industry

US regulator the Federal Trade Commission has created a new task force which it says will be “monitoring competition in US technology markets, investigating any potential anticompetitive conduct in those markets, and taking enforcement actions when warranted”. This, after a succession of news stories about how the biggest US technology companies are running their businesses […]

Mahershala Ali launches Black History Month Apple Music playlist

Apple Music execs will have been cheering the Oscars ceremony on Sunday. Not because they all love Sophie from Peep Show (well, not just that) but because another winner on the night has just curated a playlist on the music-streaming service. Double Best-Supporting-Actor winner Mahershala Ali is behind the ‘Represent: Mahershala Ali’ playlist on Apple […]

Giggs gets his own augmented-reality experience in London

British rapper Giggs is the latest artist to experiment with augmented-reality (AR) technology. In this case, Island Records has created an AR experience with a rooted physical location: a mural on a wall in Shoreditch, London. The idea is that fans download an app called AR E2 (QR codes will be provided on the wall […]

WIN reveals its new leader is COO Charlie Phillips

In December, independent trade body WIN announced that its CEO Alison Wenham was stepping down, but no replacement was announced at the time. Now that gap has been filled, albeit without the same job title. WIN’s director of legal and business affairs Charlie Phillips is stepping up to a new role as chief operating officer, […]

Startup AI Music has launched its first app: Ossia

British startup AI Music has been talking since last year about its plans for ‘shapeshifting’ music – using AI to shift recordings between different genres and moods. Recently, the company released its first demonstration app, showing how music listeners can interact with its technology. The app is called Ossia, and for now it’s available as […]

UMG boss on smart speakers: ‘Have the title in the chorus’

We reported yesterday on UMG boss Sir Lucian Grainge’s keynote at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. Now more details are emerging about what he talked about, including non-mobile devices like smart speakers. Grainge talked about the challenges for labels of a voice-driven world. “Our experience is people can’t ask for a song when […]

iHeartMedia buys Radiojar to power ‘pop-up’ broadcasting

US radio group iHeartMedia has announced its latest acquisition: a Greek company called Radiojar, which offers “a centralised, cloud-based audio playout platform”. According to iHeartMedia, the deal gives it “a platform to easily combine or parse individual audio elements such as DJ voice tracks, music and broadcast spots to create, manage, distribute and monetise streams, […]

Article 13’s final push will come at the end of March

Crunch time for Europe’s new copyright directive will come sometime between 25 March and 28 March, it was revealed yesterday. That’s because the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee has approved the final text of the directive, as agreed by the ‘trilogue’ between the three key European political institutions. That means the draft legislation will now be put […]

Pandora launches ‘stories’ as a blend of podcasts and playlists

Pretty much every social-media service now has ‘stories’ as a format, so why shouldn’t music-streaming services? However, Pandora’s launch of a ‘stories’ feature isn’t what you might expect (i.e. short video clips that expire after 24 hours). Instead, it’s a format that blends podcasts with playlists. “Podcasts can tell stories about music, but generally don’t include full […]

US could overhaul its music-licensing rules for publishing

Even as the row over Spotify’s publishing licensing in India rages, so attention is switching back to the US, where the Department of Justice is mulling a shakeup of the long-established ‘consent decrees’. “The Justice Department in the coming weeks is expected to call for public input on whether it should modify or terminate two […]

Court ruling emerges as Warner Music calls Spotify’s comments ‘appalling’

An Indian court has made its ruling on Warner Music Group’s application for an injunction as part of its dispute with Spotify over publishing licensing in the country. Does the ruling settle the matter one way or the other? Unsurprisingly, it’s complicated. Here’s Spotify’s statement, sent out to journalists this morning: “We’re pleased with today’s […]

Fortnite is holding its first World Cup – with $30m of prizes

Epic Games, the publisher of Fortnite, has announced plans of its first ‘World Cup’ esports event for the popular game. It’s due to take place in New York this July, with the top 100 solo players as well as 50 ‘duo’ teams competing for a prize pool of $30m over the three-day tournament. “Each one […]

Around 91m Americans may be listening to podcasts every week

“We’re entering the Golden Age of Podcasts” claims a headline on a blog post by Chartable, a company that focuses on podcast analytics. This is based on an online survey conducted by the company recently, which aims to track some trends in the US podcasting market. Among them: 10.8% of respondents report listening to podcasts every […]

Artist Nils Frahm explains why he’s closing his Facebook page

German artist Nils Frahm made his name exploring a blend of classical and electronic music, but now he’s making headlines for another reason: shutting down his Facebook page – “the first of many social media accounts I am going to close,” according to his farewell post. “Facebook et. al. have become unwanted companions in my life, […]

Billie Eilish is first artist for YouTube mini-series format

The latest video on artist Billie Eilish’s YouTube channel sees her rifling through her notebook: “an audio visual journey into the thoughts of Billie Eilish, exploring the inspiration behind songs” from her new album, according to its blurb. This is actually the first of a new format on YouTube under the banner of ‘mini series’ – three-to-five […]

MyMusicTokens keeps tabs on blockchain-music startups

AudioCoin, Musicoin, Opus, Aventus, Musiconomi and more… Music Ally has written about a variety of startups exploring the crossover between blockchain technology and the music industry, with several of these companies having launched their own ‘tokens’. Now there’s a site for keeping track of AND trading those tokens. It’s called (sensibly enough) MyMusicTokens, and is billing […]

Report claims there are now 150m ‘audio OTT’ users in India

A figure that’s been bandied around about the Indian digital-music market is ‘100 million’ – that’s how many people were thought to be using music-streaming services in India last year. Now there’s an update in a report published by Deloitte and Indian music-industry body IMI about the ‘Audio OTT economy in India’ – Audio OTT being ‘over-the-top’ […]

Global smartphone sales ‘stalled’ in final quarter of 2018

Research firm Gartner has published its latest figures for smartphone sales, suggesting that they ‘stalled’ in the final quarter of 2018. And note, this really is sales – “sales to end users” – rather than shipments to retailers, which is the stat more-often seen in these kinds of reports. Gartner estimates that 408.4m smartphones were sold […]

K-Pop music sparked 5.3bn tweets on Twitter in 2018

Twitter is shouting proudly about the popularity of Korean pop music within its community: “With a new global record of 5.3 billion tweets last year” according to a blog post yesterday. Naturally, this is about K-Pop’s popularity outside South Korea continuing to grow, but Twitter is keen to stress the efforts it has been making […]

10.7m people showed up for Marshmello Fortnite concert

We knew that more than 10 million people watched Marshmello’s recent concert within video-game Fortnite. Now we’ve got a specific figure from the game’s publisher Epic Games. “On February 2nd, Fortnite had its best event day ever with 10.7 million players showing up for the Marshmello concert,” it told The Verge. It’s interesting to note how […]

Tidal launches $1m initiative aimed at emerging artists

Tidal’s latest initiative for emerging artists will see the streaming service distribute $1m in grants, supported by venture-capital veterans Mark Lampert and Robert Nelsen. Starting in Detroit, artists will apply for ‘Tidal Unplugged’ grants by submitting their music to the streaming service, then working with its team. “All local artists are welcome to submit an […]

Soundcharts revamps its pricing to boost in-team data-sharing

Music-analytics platform Soundcharts is shaking up the way it charges for its service. Its subscription plans will now allow unlimited users, with the cost varying instead by how many artists are being tracked. “The music industry is a network of interconnected teams working on separate artist’s careers. Record labels, agents, promoters and managers constantly need to share […]

Spotify launches exclusive black-history merchandise line

Spotify is launching a line of merchandise around its Black History is Happening Now initiative. “Rooted in modern music merch culture, the line is made up of a hoodie, jogger, pin, messenger bag, and several t-shirts,” explained the announcement of the limited-edition collection. It’ll be shown off this weekend at a pop-up exhibition in New York, with […]

Apple Music makes Tierra Whack its latest ‘Up Next’ artist

Interscope Records’ Tierra Whack is the latest artist to be given the ‘Up Next’ treatment by Apple Music. An interview with her aired on Apple’s Beats 1 radio station yesterday; she’ll perform on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show on 4 March as part of its partnership with Apple Music; and there’s an Up Next film […]

Spotify’s ‘Word’ category highlights spoken-word content

Spotify has made it clear that podcasts are just its first push into non-music content, so what’s next? A blog post by the company highlighting its ‘Word’ category offers some hints. “A category home to recordings of everything from poetry to guided meditation, audiobooks, and short stories,” as the post puts it.  We floated the idea of […]

Tencent Music invests in music-streaming service Douban FM

Tencent already owns three of the main music-streaming services in China. Now it has invested in a fourth: Douban FM. However, the deal is being described (by TechNode) as a strategic investment that will see Tencent providing support in the form of ‘product design and copyright authorisation’ rather than cash. The report notes that Douban FM […]

YouTube simplifies its Community Guidelines strikes system

While the dust continues to settle from the Article 13 battle in Europe – at least temporarily – YouTube has announced a revamp of how its Community Guidelines strikes work. This is the system by which channels get three strikes before facing “more severe consequences” for breaking YouTube’s guidelines. In a blog post announcing the changes, YouTube […]

Dubsmash has relaunched as an app focused on dance challenges

The last time Music Ally wrote about social-music app Dubsmash was in December 2016, when it had just raised a $9.6m funding round in order to fight back against fast-rising rival Musical.ly, which was gaining more traction with a similar app for shooting and sharing lip-sync videos. We know how that story ended: Musical.ly’s user-base continued to […]

Classical-music accompaniment startup Antescofo raises $4.5m

Music Ally first encountered French startup Antescofo in 2016, when the company was a finalist in the Midemlab startups competition. It was touting technology that would let amateur musicians playing at home be accompanied by a full orchestra. The company went on to launch its app, called Metronaut, to do exactly that. Now Antescofo has announced a $4.5m […]

Songtradr buys music-licensing agency Big Sync Music

There is more consolidation afoot in the music-licensing world, with Songtradr announcing yesterday that it has acquired British firm Big Sync Music. The latter company focuses on sourcing music for brand campaigns, and counts Dove, Samsung, Amazon, Johnnie Walker and Axe among its clients. Songtradr intends to combine the agency’s contacts and knowledge with its […]

EMI.com: ‘It would have been the first real streaming platform…’

A new book by Music Ally’s Eamonn Forde digs deep into the demise of EMI as a standalone major-label, following its £4.2bn acquisition by private-equity company Terra Firma in 2007. This extract details the ambitious – but ultimately unfulfilled – plans to relaunch the EMI.com website as a digital-music service. Going into its acquisition, Terra […]

Gender gap in UK chart hits has grown over past decade

Ariana Grande may be setting the US charts alight, but there’s  a less-positive story about how women are faring in the UK charts, published by BBC News. “Three times as many male as female pop stars appeared on last year’s biggest hit singles… Ninety-one men or all-male groups were credited on the Official Chart Company’s top […]

SoundCloud will now distribute music to other streaming services

Musicians have always been able to upload their tracks directly to SoundCloud without needing a distributor or label. Now the company is adding a new feature: distribution of those tracks to rival music-streaming services. This is part of the SoundCloud Premier program, which has so far focused mainly on getting artists paid for usage of […]

Analyst questions impact of Apple’s rumoured video service

Apple may be announcing its long-rumoured video-streaming service next month, and analysts are chewing over the implications. One, Tim O’Shea of Jefferies, has published a report with some big numbers – but also some questions about the impact such a service would really have on Apple’s wider business. O’Shea suggested that Apple will charge $15 a month […]

Will the next big tech platform be a ’mirrorworld’ using AR?

Wired Magazine’s Kevin Kelly has form when it comes to big tech ideas: he came up with the ‘1,000 True Fans’ concept in 2008, for example, positing that for artists and creators to make a sustainable living online, the core fans who’d pay $100 a year to support them were the key. Anyway, now he’s […]

Would you trust a bot to handle your Twitter feed?

We’ve written a fair bit about the use of bots to automatically respond to fans on Facebook Messenger. But what about turning your tweets and (if you’re a company) LinkedIn posts over to a bot? That’s the gist of Swiss startup Twinybots. “Our service will post content on socials networks without your intervention. But you can […]

Little Simz to tease new tracks using Instagram music stickers

British artist Little Simz is preparing for the release of her third album ‘GREY Area’ through AWAL, and as part of its marketing campaign is using music stickers on Instagram. The album comes out on 1 March, but every day between now and its release, a new 10-second snippet of one of its tracks will […]

Chatty Penguin’s Cally Hocknell talks marketing, stories and Insta-famous eggs

“What’s the point of marketers like me, why would you commission research, when an egg knocks Kylie Jenner off the top spot on Instagram?!” There were jokes and sharp insight in equal measures in music marketer and Chatty Penguin founder Cally Hocknell’s presentation at the FastForward conference in Amsterdam on Friday. She was referring to the […]

Rhapsody to pay up to $10m in songwriter-lawsuit settlement

It wasn’t just Spotify facing the prospect of class-action lawsuits from songwriters over streaming royalties in recent years. Rhapsody (now operating as Napster) was also on the wrong end of a case brought by David Lowery, Victor Krummenacher and David Faragher. Now the company has released details of a settlement that will see it paying […]

Report claims indie US creators earned $6.8bn online in 2018

A year ago, Music Ally reported on a study calculating the value of the ‘independent creator economy’ in the US, from an organisation called the Re:Create Coalition. It claimed that musicians, filmmakers, artists and other creators earned nearly $6bn from online platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, eBay and Etsy in 2016. We also noted that the coalition […]

Esports economy tipped to pass $1bn for first time in 2019

When we wrote about the competitive-gaming (esports) market last year, we noted that many of the reports about that market’s size quoted from a February 2018 study by research firm Newzoo. Now it’s back again with some new predictions for 2019. “Revenues will reach an impressive $1.1 billion in 2019, a year-on-year growth of +26.7%,” claimed the company. […]

Apple Music lets subscribers give a free month to a friend

Here’s an interesting new tactic for music-streaming marketing: Apple Music is encouraging subscribers to get their mates onto the service too. “Give Apple Music to your friends,” explained a promotion that was push-notified to subscribers, according to news site AppleInsider. “Apple Music is better with friends. So give one of yours a free month.” The deal […]

Mumford & Sons launch ‘reimagined’ songs for Amazon Music

British band Mumford & Sons have become the latest artist to produce some exclusive music for Amazon Music. Although in this case, the songs are already well-known: what’s exclusive are new ‘reimagined’ versions of ‘White Blank Page’ and ‘Forever’. Amazon is suggesting that fans say ‘Alexa, play the Amazon Original by Mumford and Sons’ to […]

Classical streaming app Idagio has passed 1m downloads

Idagio is one of the companies (see also: Primephonic) trying to build a business out of a music-streaming service focused purely on classical music. It has a new milestone to report: more than 1m app downloads globally, with an admittedly-less-useful stat that it now has subscribers in 180 countries. It’s taken four years to reach the […]

Spotify paid €300m for Gimlet Media and Anchor acquisitions

When Spotify announced that it was buying podcast companies Gimlet Media and Anchor, it declined to say how much it was paying, other than that they were part of a wider $400m-$500m earmarked for podcast acquisitions. “We’re not commenting on that today, because we have other transactions in the works, and I don’t want transactions […]

Vinyl in 2019: ‘We’re coming back to the joy, the addiction…’

The vinyl revival continues, and is still warmly welcomed by artists, labels and record stores alike. A panel at the FastForward conference in Amsterdam last week explored some of the trends around the format. The panel included Giancarlo Sciama, former EMI/Universal exec turned catalogue marketing consultant; Karen Emanuel, founder and CEO at Key Production; Claire […]

Interscope EVP: streaming spurs creative exploration in hip-hop / R&B signings

The current popularity of hip-hop and R&B on music-streaming services is enabling labels to sign more artists, and thus take more creative risks, according to Nicole Wyskoarko, EVP of urban operations at Interscope Geffen A&M. “This is an amazing time to be in urban music. We’re able to really monetise urban music on a scale […]

AI fake-text generator may be ‘too dangerous’ to release

We’ve been writing and thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) creativity in the context of music for a while now. There’s a fascinating story at the moment about another facet though: AI’s ability to write news stories and fiction. Nonprofit research company OpenAI has created a new AI model called GPT2, which is (according to the […]

Report: Snap will pay up to $50k per episode for Snapchat shows

Snap is one of the companies commissioning original short-form video ‘shows’ for its platform. News site Digiday has some good gossip about the numbers involved in Snapchat commissions. “Snap is offering to pay companies $40,000 to $50,000 per episode for original series to premiere on Snapchat, according to four entertainment execs with knowledge of the matter,” it […]

Brit Awards reveal plans for digital activations next week

Next Wednesday is the Brit Awards, the flagship annual awards show for the British music industry. It’s fair to say the organisers are leaving no stops un-pulled out when it comes to the digital activity around the event. There’ll be a live stream on YouTube of the show to viewers outside the UK, fronted by […]

Pitch imperfect: ‘This process of trying to get on playlists is becoming borderline farcical’

Playlists continue to grow in prominence (within the music-streaming world) and importance (for artists looking for their breakout moment). So what are the latest trends that artists, managers and labels should be thinking about and responding to? A panel at the FastForward conference in Amsterdam today explored them. The panelists included Aditi Arora, director of […]

Kiss are launching their own brand of emoji

Never slow to spot a new branding opportunity, Kiss have teamed up with The Emoji Company to create their own line of emoji, which will be splashed across *consults press release* “Apparel, Accessories, Footwear, Electronics, Figures and Collectibles, Drinkware, Fan Merch, Home Goods, Stationery, and more”. The deal for ‘KISS x emoji®’ was brokered by […]

Loop Media to launch short-form video-streaming service

A new US startup called Loop Media plans to launch a video-streaming service focusing on short-form content, including music videos. The company will also focus on film trailers, game trailers and TV clips, with plans to make all this content available in public spaces, as well as on people’s smartphones. “Loop plans to link in-home […]

Former Echo Nest CEO Lucchese takes the reins at Sofar Sounds

Sofar Sounds is the startup that’s behind a global network of music concerts held in people’s homes and other interesting locations – according to Billboard it now has shows running in 428 cities around the world. It also has a new CEO: Jim Lucchese, the former CEO of The Echo Nest, and (after that company was […]

Study: Spotify is now installed on 33% of Dutch smartphones

Mobile-industry research site Telecompaper has published some new figures on the popularity of music-streaming apps in the Netherlands. It pegs Spotify as the leader, with its app now installed on 33% of Dutch smartphones, according to the company’s latest Dutch Apps Market report. It suggests that Apple Music, on 5%, is some way behind. Telecompaper also […]

Hi-res streaming service Qobuz launches in the US today

Music-streaming service Qobuz will go live in the US today: a launch that the company has been teasing for several months. The company will be offering its established blend of hi-res streams AND downloads to American users for the first time. “Nobody else is offering high-res music like this,” its US managing director Dan Mackta […]

Supercell’s two ‘Clash’ mobile games have grossed $10bn so far

Supercell is the Finnish mobile-games publisher behind monster hits like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale – so popular that Tencent acquired an 84.3% stake in the company in 2016 for $8.6bn. The company’s CEO Ilkka Paananen has just published some figures for Supercell’s 2018, as well as milestones for its biggest games. The bad news: […]

Apple’s news-subscription service nears – but publishers grumbling

Apple will reportedly hold its next big press event on 25 March at its Steve Jobs Theater venue. BuzzFeed described the event as “subscription-services focused”, which is thought to point towards the launch of a news-subscription service – although perhaps also an announcement about Apple’s video strategy. The news-subscription plans are making headlines though, and not entirely […]

Deezer chooses Sam Fender and Lewis Capaldi for ‘Next’ promo

Deezer has announced the next swathe of artists who’ll benefit from its ‘Deezer Next’ promotion in 2019. British artists Sam Fender and Lewis Capaldi will be global priorities for the streaming service this year, with Capaldi having stepped up from being a Deezer Next artist in the UK last year. They follow Deezer’s global artists […]

Former Sony exec Michael Lynton joins board of WMG

Warner Music Group is making some interesting appointments at the moment. We reported on its hiring of The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen earlier this week. Now WMG has appointed former Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton as non-executive chairman of its board. He’ll combine the job with his current role as chairman of Snapchat’s parent company […]

Spotify Teardown authors call for Facebook-style scrutiny

The team of Swedish researchers behind new book ‘Spotify Teardown’ have already roused the ire of the streaming service, which criticised their methods of digging in to its system. But with the book on the verge of release, the authors have given an interview to Rolling Stone that puts forward their view. “The issue became: How does one […]

Indian music industry keen for safe-harbour clampdown

The ‘value gap’ debate isn’t just a European or American thing. In India, too, there is a discussion going on (and, indeed, a fully-fledged political consultation exercise) on how safe harbours should operate. The Indian government is considering new legislation – the  Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules – and Indian music-industry body IMI has published […]

Pitchfork calls TikTok ‘the great music meme scam’

Pitchfork spares no punches in its profile of social-video app TikTok, drawing an unflattering comparison between the value of its parent company Bytedance, and the level of royalties being paid to musicians for use of their work. That said, a tale does emerge of viral TikTok videos sparking streams of music on YouTube and other platforms […]

Steve Aoki joins Star Trek Fleet Command mobile game

Dance artist and DJ Steve Aoki was early in to esports, and now he’s become the first artist to nab a starring role in the latest mobile game based on Star Trek. Aoki is appearing in Star Trek Fleet Command as a character called Officer D’Jaoki, joining the game yesterday. This isn’t a brand new relationship with […]

The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen to join Warner Music

Earlier this month, distributor The Orchard’s co-founder Scott Cohen announced that he was ‘retiring’. It seems that this will involve very little golf, gardening and/or complaining about the buses though. He’s been hired for an as-yet undisclosed role at Warner Music Group, working on what MBW describes as ‘innovation’ (as opposed to working for WMG’s in-house equivalents […]

Tracklib publishes its latest ‘State of Sampling’ report

A fifth of songs that made Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 chart in the US used samples, according to a report published by Tracklib – a company that focuses on sample-clearance. “It’s been fairly consistent the last few years: usually between 20-25%. Looking back 10 years, the number was 14%,” explains its ‘State of Sampling’ report. “The increasing […]

Spotify and Deezer attack ‘unfair practices’ of tech firms’

Much of the limelight in terms of European policy is being hogged by the new copyright directive and Article 13 this week. However, a group of European tech firms and industry bodies want to remind policymakers of another area for modernisation: that covering ‘platform-to-business’ – how large internet platform-owners like Google, Apple and Amazon treat European businesses […]

Video-streaming service Vimeo now has 952k paying subscribers

It’s a long time since, scale-wise, Vimeo was in anywhere near the same league as YouTube in the video-streaming world. Still, the company – now owned by media group IAC – continues to grow its business. Vimeo’s revenues grew by 54% to $160m in 2018, according to IAC (as reported by Reuters) while the service’s […]

Spotify gets Chuck D for eight-part podcast about The Clash

It was clear last week just how much welly Spotify is willing to put behind podcasts in the year ahead, with up to $500m earmarked for acquisitions of tech and content – including its deals for Gimlet Media and Anchor. Now Spotify has announced details of its next original, exclusive podcast: an eight-part documentary called […]

Childish Gambino dances his way onto Google Pixel smartphones

One of the points we’ve been making about augmented-reality (AR) technology over the past year is that the biggest impact for artists from it will come from campaigns using the big social/tech platforms with AR features: Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook etc. Now Childish Gambino is testing another angle: appearing as an animated character in the ‘Playground’ […]

Marshmello YouTube channel got 164% boost from Fortnite concert

We wrote last week that we were waiting for the latest weekly YouTube Music charts to go live, so that we could gauge the bump that dance artist Marshmello got from his concert in YouTube. Not least because anecdotally, nearly every child aged 8-13 we know has been hammering his tracks on YouTube ever since […]

Israel and Wales get new local-focused music-streaming services

Shiri? Isn’t that what you talk to on your iPhone when you’ve had a few-too-many gins? But no: Shiri is actually a new music app launched by the National Library of Israel, with a catalogue of more than 400k tracks by Israeli artists. It’s been launched to promote local musicians, as well as to make […]

Vodafone Idea mulls new music-streaming strategy in India

We’ve written a lot about Indian streaming services Gaana, Saavn (now JioSaavn) and Wynk Music over the last couple of years. Their next source of competition may come from telco Vodafone, which recently merged with another Indian mobile operator, Idea Cellular. The latter company already has its Idea Music app, which combines streaming, downloading, playlists […]

Apple Music used Shazam for extended-trial Grammys promotion

We’re getting a sense of how music-identification app Shazam, acquired by Apple in September 2018, will be used by the company to promote Apple Music. Last night, anyone tagging a track during the Grammys ceremony unlocked a ‘Grammy Awards experience’ listing the songs performed during the event. There was also a special offer: new subscribers (to Apple […]

Music’s Article 13 meltdown: read the two industry-body letters in full

Two open letters published this week have laid bare new divisions within the music industry over the proposed new European copyright directive – and its Article 13 section dealing with user-uploaded content platforms like YouTube. Yesterday, a letter whose signatories included the IFPI and Impala (representing labels) and ICMP (representing publishers) called for the directive […]

UK music-maker bodies slam labels and publishers over Article 13

Yesterday, music-industry bodies the IFPI, Impala and ICMP published a letter calling for the European copyright directive to be scrapped. Now a group of bodies representing musicians, songwriters, managers and producers have criticised the intervention, and the gloves are truly off. “It is hugely disappointing to see the music labels and publishers disregard the interests […]

Marshmello Fortnite gig sent his YouTube views soaring

More than 10 million people watched Marshmello’s first concert in video-game Fortnite last weekend. Now Nielsen has put out some figures showing how the event caused a big spike in his on-demand video (i.e. YouTube) streams. Billboard reports that his track ‘Check This Out’ saw a nearly 24,000% increase in views on the day of the concert, […]

Abbey Road Red seeks more diversity in startup founders

Abbey Road Studios wants to recruit more teams with women founders to its Abbey Road Red startup accelerator, according to the studios’ MD Isabel Garvey. “We are acutely aware that we have no female founders, and very few women in our founder teams, and we are trying to be a little more diverse,” said Garvey, […]

Spotify to crack down on listeners using ad-blocking tools

Spotify’s latest update to its terms and conditions of use was published yesterday (7 February), and one of the new clauses is picking up some interest from tech-news sites. New to the list of forbidden activities for Spotify users: “circumventing or blocking advertisements in the Spotify Service, or creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements in […]

Siri co-founder Tom Gruber talks about his new AI-music startup LifeScore

“I think we’re looking at a new way of doing music, which is a collaboration between human expertise, human taste, and human raw talent in creating music and recording it, with the machine’s ability to combine those things and generate music all day long. And make it sound like a human made it.” “Just imagine […]

Podcasting startup Himalaya Media raises $100m funding round

It’s the week for big podcasting news. Spotify has made waves with its acquisitions of Gimlet Media and Anchor, but other podcasting firms are also capitalising on current interest in the medium. US startup Himalaya Media, for example, has raised $100m in funding to push its podcast-listening app and distribution platform. The app launched in […]

Calm raises $88m: should meditation be on Spotify’s audio radar?

Spotify said yesterday that podcasts are just the ‘start’ of its ambitions to focus on all forms of audio. What next? We’d suggest that meditation / mindfulness will be high on the company’s radar – and not just because one of its first subscription-bundle partnerships was with meditation app Headspace back in 2016. Investor interest […]

88% of British adults are still listening to radio stations

Taking a bite out of broadcast radio is at the heart of Spotify’s move into spoken-word content – and is high on the agenda for other streaming services too. The opportunity (but also the challenge) is illustrated by the latest figures from British radio-measurement body Rajar. It says that 88% of the UK population – […]

Sonos share-price plunges after it reveals CFO to step down

It’s a compliment, of sorts, if your company’s share-price falls by 15% after you announce plans to step down. Although we doubt Mike Giannetto will be celebrating: he won’t quit as Sonos’ chief financial officer until later in 2019, so for now, that share-price remains his problem to worry about. In fairness, the plunge wasn’t […]

Gimme Radio launches crowdfunding and plans country expansion

Metal-focused streaming-radio startup Gimme Radio is raising money, but through equity-crowdfunding rather than turning to VC firms. The company has launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform SeedInvest. It’s trying to raise $1.5m with a minimum amount of $500 per investor, and if it succeeds, Gimme Radio would be valued at $6m. The campaign also offers […]

PledgeMusic suspends contributions to its active campaigns

Crowdfunding firm PledgeMusic’s efforts to dig itself out of its current financial troubles continues: this time with a suspension of all active campaigns running on its platform. Billboard reported that PledgeMusic announced the news in an email sent to artists. It follows the company’s public statement last week apologising for delays in paying artists. “The […]

Music/tech startup Musiio raises $1m seed-funding round

Singapore-based music/tech startup Musiio has raised $1m in seed fundingfrom investors including Wavemaker Partners, Exponential Creativity Ventures and other angel investors. The startup uses artificial-intelligence technology to analyse catalogues of music for a range of clients. As its CEO Hazel Savage explained at the recent NY:LON Connect conference, the company can power automated search through […]

Major label WMG now has… a president of independent music?

It may raise a few eyebrows to learn that major-label Warner Music Group now has an executive role whose title includes ‘president of independent music’. Actually, it’s not a surprise: the company’s new president of independent music and creator services is Eliah Seton, who’s been promoted from his previous position as president of ADA Worldwide, […]

Study explores how smartphone ownership trends vary globally

“Today, it is estimated that more than 5 billion people have mobile devices, and over half of these connections are smartphones,” explains the latest study from the US-based Pew Research Center. It proceeds to explore some of the differences between countries: fertile material for anyone in the music industry thinking about smartphone habits around the […]

Snapchat narrows losses but daily-user growth is still flat

Snapchat’s parent company Snap, Inc published its latest quarterly financial results yesterday, and while there are still headaches for the company, the actual business is growing well. Snap’s Q4 revenues were up by 36% to a record $390m, while its losses narrowed from $350m in Q4 2017 to $192m a year later. However, Snapchat’s daily […]

Swizz Beatz on streaming: ‘The creatives should be 50/50’

Producer and artist Swizz Beatz has called for artists to get a bigger share of streaming royalties. “I’m friends with all the streaming companies, but what I will say on record to them is we’re not getting enough money for those services and those companies to be trading for billions of dollars,” he told MarketWatch. […]

Deezer bags former Turner exec to be its MENA CEO

As music-streaming competition heats up in the Middle East, Deezer has announced a new boss for the region: Tarek Mounir. He will join the company on 1 April as CEO for MENA and Turkey, with a focus on ‘growing Deezer’s B2B and advertising business’ in the region, as well as working with its global team […]

Former BMG exec Zach Katz launches music-tech investment fund

Until December 2018, Zach Katz was BMG’s president of US repertoire. Now he’s turning music/tech investor, in partnership with manager Scooter Braun, cryptocurrency firm Ripple, and Something Gold boss Shara Senderoff. They’ve co-founded an investment firm called Raised in Space Enterprises, which will focus on music/tech startups. Billboard reported that the company will look to […]

There are 66m smart speakers in the US – and 70% are Echos

Research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) has issued its latest estimates on the smart-speaker market in the US. It claims the number of speakers in use grew from 37m at the end of 2017 to 66m at the end of 2018, including 13m bought in the fourth quarter of the year. The relative market-shares […]

Universal Music and Sony Music face new artist lawsuits

Two of the three major labels are facing new class-action lawsuits filed in New York, which focus on the right of artists under the so-called ’35-year law’ there. That’s the legislation that in theory allows artists to file Notices of Termination to regain ownership and control of their copyrights 35 years after that music was […]

Spotify buys podcasting firms Gimlet Media and Anchor

Rumours that Spotify was about to shell out $200m-plus on podcast production company Gimlet Media were correct: the acquisition was announced today. But Spotify is also buying a second company, Anchor, which makes an app that people can use to create their own podcasts. The value of the acquisitions has not yet been announced (Spotify […]

Spotify financial results: revenues up by 30% as premium subs reach 96m

Spotify has published its latest quarterly financial results, covering the final quarter of 2018. The post Spotify financial results: revenues up by 30% as premium subs reach 96m appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Amuse to pay artists up to six months of royalties in advance

Amuse is the Swedish music company that’s part distributor – a platform for artists to upload their music to streaming and download services – and part record label, working more closely with talent that’s emerged from its distribution arm. Launched internationally in 2017, the model is similar to that of Kobalt’s AWAL with its combination of […]

Warner Music Group revenues grew by 15.1% last quarter

Warner Music Group has published its latest quarterly financial results, which reveal that the company’s revenues grew by 15.1% year-on-year. That was just over $1.2bn in the fourth quarter of 2018 (WMG’s fiscal Q1). Of that, digital revenues grew by 17.6% to $627m, with the company reporting an operating profit of $147m and a net […]

Two groups vying to oversee MMA’s blanket mechanical licence

One of the key parts of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) was the plan to create a new collective to license and administer mechanical rights in the US. Yesterday we got more details on the pitch from the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and Songwriters of North America (SONA) for their ‘Mechanical Licensing Collective’ (MLC), […]

India draws up new rules for ‘intermediary’ apps like TikTok

Social apps from overseas, particularly China, have been dominating the upper reaches of app stores in India. Now the government is responding, with new regulations aimed at ‘intermediary’ apps that get their content from users. The Financial Times reported that any such apps with more than five million users in India ‘need to set up […]

Emma McGann talks music, live video and finding fans on YouNow

Live video is an increasingly common way for musicians to interact with their fans, from album and tour launches on Facebook to fan Q&As on Instagram and even streaming gaming sessions on Twitch or YouTube. One aspect of livestreaming that still flies under the western music industry’s radar, though, are standalone live-video apps like YouNow, […]

Study tips YouTube to decline in popularity with British kids

Will children ever tire of YouTube? Surely not! Yet that’s the suggestion being made in a new report published by research firm Kids Insights, which is out today. “According to our data across all ages 4-18 the number of children spending time each day watching YouTube has declined from 61% to 51% in a persistent […]

Startup Steereo pays Uber / Lyft drivers to promote music

We know that in-car radio has historically been a key source of music discovery. And we also know that rideshare services (Uber and Lyft included) are very-popular ways to get around cities. Startup Steereo is bringing those two ideas together, with a music-promotion service based around paying drivers to play new music to their passengers. […]

PledgeMusic asks for patience amid acquisition talks

After a troubling start to 2019 (and to be honest, a pretty worrying 2018 for artists whose payments were delayed) PledgeMusic is asking for patience as it sorts out its financial issues. “The situation that PledgeMusic has found itself in is unacceptable and to all of the artists, managers, labels and fans who have put […]

Campaign for producer and engineering inclusion launches in US

This time last year, the US Recording Academy was facing strong (and deserved) criticism for poorly-worded comments by its boss Neil Portnow about how women needed to “step up” in the music industry. 12 months on, the Academy is offering something more constructive: a ‘Producer and Engineering Inclusion Initiative’ which aims to increase the opportunities […]

Marshmello Fortnite concert thought to have attracted 10m fans

Those rumours that dance artist Marshmello was going to play a concert within video-game Fortnite were right: it happened on Saturday. In fact, he played two concerts, 12 hours apart, to ensure people could attend at a suitable moment for their timezone. What’s startling is how many people the first of those concerts attracted. Pollstar […]

What happens if you quit Facebook for a month?

Quitting specific social networks – temporarily or permanently – is an increasingly-common pastime. But does it improve your life? A study at Stanford University has been finding out, focusing on Facebook with a study of 2,844 of its users in the US. A subset of them deactivated their accounts for four weeks. And the main […]

Artist-collab platform HitRecord raises $6.4m funding round

We wrote about startup HitRecord for the first time last October, when it launched a project with artist Logic. He was the highest-profile musician so far to take advantage of HitRecord’s platform for creative collaborations: posting the bones of a new track and inviting fans to flesh it out with their own contributions – with […]

Research firm predicts Spotify added 2m US subscribers in Q4

Spotify announces its latest quarterly financial results on 6 February, but research firm CIRP has got in early with some predictions – based on (caveat alert!) a survey of 500 Spotify listeners in the US. It reckons that Spotify added two million paying premium subscribers in the US during the final quarter of 2018, while […]

Facebook financials impress but Apple row is getting serious

Facebook published its latest financial results yesterday, with quarterly revenues up 30% year-on-year to $16.91bn, leading to a net profit of $6.88bn in the fourth quarter of 2018. Mobile advertisements accounted for around 93.5% of Facebook’s overall revenues last quarter. For the year as a whole, Facebook generated just over $55.8bn in revenues, up 37% […]

New York cracks down on companies selling fake socials activity

If you’ve ever been tempted to spend money inflating your Instagram followers, SoundCloud streams or other social metrics, here’s the latest useful warning not to. The state of New York has reached a settlement with a now-defunct firm called Devumi, after attorney general Letitia James launched an investigation into the company last year. In an […]

Apple Music announces Wi-Fi partnership with American Airlines

In January, United Airlines caused a stir with a promotional banner at one of its events, announcing that Apple was its biggest corporate customer, spending $150m a year with the airline – including $35m on flights to Shanghai in particular. When a photograph of the banner leaked, it was widely reported, sparking a swift statement […]

German court makes key ruling on secondary-ticketing prices

Attention in the debate about secondary ticketing and touting has shifted to Germany this week, where the Hanover regional court has made an important ruling. According to the court, it is officially anti-competitive to sell concert tickets at a price more than 25% above the original cost. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by […]

PledgeMusic co-founder returns in effort to get artists paid

Benji Rogers is returning to the company he co-founded, PledgeMusic, as a ‘volunteer strategic advisor and observer to the board’ in an effort to help the crowdfunding company deal with its financial troubles and get artists paid. “I have been in discussions with the management team and board of Pledge over the last few days […]

Could China be the model for music-streaming growth in Japan?

Japan may be the world’s second-largest recorded-music market, but in terms of music-streaming, it is still early days for a country where CD is still the prime format. Midia Research has raised some concerns about the rate of streaming growth in Japan: “Up 30% in 2018, which puts it on a par with US for […]

SoundExchange reveals record royalty payouts in 2018

US firm SoundExchange has published its year-end numbers for 2018, and like other bodies collecting and distributing royalties for musicians and rightsholders, it enjoyed a record year. “We distributed more sound recording performance royalties to recording artists and rights owners than in any other year of our 15-year existence – a record $953m,” announced SoundExchange […]

SiriusXM reveals more on its plans for Pandora

As it prepares to close its acquisition of Pandora, satellite-radio service SiriusXM has published its latest quarterly financials. We already new from the company’s trading update earlier this month that it ended 2018 with 34 million subscribers in the US. Now we also know that SiriusXM’s revenues grew by 6% to $5.8bn last year – […]

Community takes on SuperPhone with text-marketing for celebs

We’ve been writing about text-marketing startup SuperPhone since 2016, when musician Ryan Leslie raised $1.5m to build a tool for artists to communicate with fans via SMS. Now it’s got some competition from a startup called Community, discovered by Wired when actor and investor Ashton Kutcher promoted it to his fans. “I miss having a […]

Marshmello may be playing a gig within Fortnite this weekend

The popularity of video-game Fortnite has recently sparked a series of lawsuits from rappers and dancers, angry at the game including some of their signature moves without asking for permission or paying any kind of licensing fee. Some musicians have a more positive relationship with Fortnite though: EDM star Marshmello, for example, who’s broken online-viewing […]

RIAA appeals dismissal of case against stream-ripping site

We reported earlier this month on the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by US labels against Russian stream-ripping site FLVTO. Now the RIAA is launching an appeal against the decision, which was based on whether a US court had jurisdiction over the site. “The court got it wrong. Its decision represents a big step backward […]

Spotify’s Ad Studio is its fastest-growing advertising channel

Spotify has been banging the drum this week for Spotify Ad Studio, its self-serve advertising platform that launched in September 2017, and is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The company now says it’s Spotify’s “fastest-growing advertising channel” (based on quarterly revenue and advertiser growth). “We’ve already seen success with a variety of […]

WMG doubles down on Turkey with Doğan Group partnership

Warner Music Group’s latest partnership is with Doğan Group in Turkey: owner of the country’s biggest independent label, and also of online-video channel NetD. The deal will see Doğan Music Company (the label) distribute WMG’s physical catalogue in Turkey, as well as “represent its repertoire to Turkish-owned digital music platforms”. That will also see the […]

PPL’s international collections grew by 43% in 2018

British collecting-society PPL has reported some figures for 2018: its international collections, for public and TV/radio performances (plus private copying) of its members’ tracks. The organisation collected £70.9m ($93.3m) in 2018, up 43% year-on-year, and a new record for PPL, which now has 92 international collection agreements in place. Those include deals signed in 2018 […]

Artist Fastball has been paid by PledgeMusic this month

Crowdfunding service PledgeMusic has been taking more criticism this week for delays in its payments to artists using its platform. One of those artists were rock band Fastball, who as a post from industry-blogger Bob Lefsetz explained earlier this month, were owed $20k by the company. Now, according to Variety, they have been paid more […]

Spotify CEO joins protest against EU digital-revenues tax

It’s not just Article 13 and new copyright legislation causing controversy within the European Union. The EU could also be in line for a new law involving a 3% tax on the European revenues of technology companies, although as Bloomberg reports, several countries are resisting the idea. As is Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, according to […]

Apple clarifies rules for iOS in-app subscriptions

Apple has published some new rules for how in-app subscriptions should be advertised to people using iOS apps. Those rules include clearly explaining the terms of a subscription to new customers, including the billing amount. “In the purchase flow, the amount that will be billed must be the most prominent pricing element in the layout. […]

Facebook tipped to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger

Why DID Instagram’s co-founders and the remaining co-founder of WhatsApp leave Facebook in 2018? More fuel for the gossip was provided by a New York Times report this weekend reporting that CEO Mark Zuckerberg “plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger… The services will continue to operate as […]

Frank Ocean Endless video-album spreads wings beyond Apple Music

Remember Frank Ocean’s ‘Endless’ album? It’s okay if you don’t: its release in August 2016 was rather trumped by the launch a day later by ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ – the latter on his own label, with ‘Endless’ having seen out his contract with UMG subsidiary Def Jam. At the time, the move was thought to […]

Zee Music Company reaches 30m-subscribers YouTube milestone

It’s not just T-Series doing well at signing subscribers up for Indian-music YouTube channels. Zee Music Company has announced its own milestone: 30 million subscribers for its flagship YouTube channel, which mixes film and non-film music. “Zee Music Company is now 30 million subscribers strong on YouTube India. A big THANK YOU to all for […]

Spotify bars ads from right-wing organisation PragerU

Thought for the day: “Women want real men, men they can count on and yes, look up to. No amount of feminist theory will change that.” Or here’s another one: “Intersectionality is a form of identity politics, in which the value of your opinion depends on how many victim groups you belong to.” And just […]

The curious tale of Spotify, ‘mysterycore’ artists and (possibly) fake streams

Spotify’s ‘2018 Wrapped’ promotion had plenty of people boasting about how much time they’d spent listening to their favourite artists last year. But for some Spotify users, the Wrapped microsite was more baffling: if some of their ‘favourite’ artists were acts they had no memory of listening to. An investigation by the BBC Trending team […]

TV, games, esports… lessons from outside the music-industry bubble

Panels where people from the music industry talk about the music industry in front of people from the music industry are obviously useful in terms of exchanging ideas and taking the temperature of the business. But equally it is important – especially in an age of discovery algorithms, big data, targeted marketing, in-app revenue opportunities […]

Music-streaming in the Middle East: ‘There is a space and place for everyone’

Spotify and Deezer’s recent launches in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have highlighted the region’s status as a strategic priority for the music industry – although these companies (and Apple Music) are facing strong competition from local streaming service Anghami. Trends in the MENA region were the focus for a panel session at Music […]

ClicknClear wins startup pitch contest at NY:LON Connect conference

Five music/tech startups pitched their wares at the NY:LON Connect conference this afternoon in London: Amadeus Code, Musiio, Rootnote, Scored and ClicknClear. The audience voted on which was their favourite, and ClicknClear prevailed. An achievement more impressive because of the high quality of all the pitches, and the technology they showcased. Here’s our roundup of each […]

Analyst claims Instagram will make $14bn of revenues this year

Facebook doesn’t break out revenues for Instagram when publishing its financial results – just like Alphabet doesn’t give standalone figures for YouTube. That leaves a gap for analysts to fill with their own estimates. One, Jefferies, has put out a figure for Instagram. “We believe that Instagram is a material driver for growth in ’19 and […]

Universal Music snaps up merch/branding firm Epic Rights

Universal Music Group’s Bravado division has been bolstered this week by the acquisition of merchandise and branding firm Epic Rights, for an undisclosed amount. Epic Rights works with the likes of Kiss, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, AC/DC and Britney Spears among other artists. CEO Dell Furano will be staying on as part of the acquisition. “I’m very proud […]

CD Baby becomes ‘preferred’ distributor for SACM in Mexico

Distribution firm CD Baby has inked an interesting deal with publishing-rights organisation SACM in Mexico. “CD Baby will be offering free standard submissions to all registered SACM members,” explained the distributor. “SACM is equally honoured to recognise CD Baby as their “preferred” and recommended distributor. Representing more than half of all Mexican artists, this is […]

MelodyVR to launch new app for upcoming Oculus VR device

Virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR launched its app last year, timing it around the launch of Facebook’s Oculus Go VR headset. Now the companies are taking their partnership to a new level. MelodyVR “will release a new version of the MelodyVR music platform, featuring updated features and functionality, for use on a forthcoming Oculus device” according […]

Hungama Music launches radio-style ‘original audio programming’

It’s not just the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Pandora trying to take a bite out of traditional radio by moving into podcasts. Indian streaming service Hungama Music is following suit with the launch of what it’s terming ‘original audio programming’. That means radio-style shows in languages including Hindi, Telegu, Punjabi, Bengali and Marathi, but starting […]

RealNetworks doubles its stake in Napster for up to $40m

RealNetworks has announced that it has doubled its stake in music-streaming service Napster to 84%, after agreeing a deal with co-owner Columbus Nova Technology Partners. RealNetworks is paying $1m in cash up-front, a further $14m “over time subject to certain conditions”, although the final bill could reach $40m if Napster is sold (or has a “similar liquidity […]

The top three artists on YouTube last week were all from India

Guess who the most popular musician in the world was last week based on YouTube views? Not Ariana Grande, who’s currently Spotify’s top artist: she was only 21st in YouTube’s weekly rankings for 11-17 January – admittedly before the release of her latest track ‘7 Rings’, which has done 60m+ views in its first five days on […]

MQA talks music and the future of in-car entertainment

This week, rumours that Spotify is preparing to launch a $100 in-car speaker as its first hardware resurfaced. It’s a sign of the wider excitement around the potential for music-streaming in cars. Hi-res music-technology firm MQA is part of that trend: earlier this month, it showed off how its studio-quality music can be experienced in […]

Downtown Music boss: ‘Music is everywhere… Music licensing tries to keep up’

From songwriters suing streaming services to big-bucks catalogue acquisitions, the music-publishing world has made plenty of headlines in recent years. Downtown Music Publishing CEO Justin Kalifowitz suggested that publishing is “the biggest piece of the pie” for most musicians and that it is seeing “stable and steady growth in established markets”. But, however, he felt […]

Wellbeing: from alcohol and sleep to holidays and hobbies

Darren Hemmings is the head of British marketing agency Motive Unknown, but he’s also been prominent in the public discussions about wellbeing in the music industry, and some of the pressures that people face. Now he’s written a blog post about his personal experience of 2018 as “the year when I finally decided to Get My Shit […]

Global music-streaming: ‘For growth you have to look outside of the Western markets’

Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon may dominate many of the discussions about music-streaming, but there is more to the global streaming market than the biggest players. A strand at Music Ally and Music Biz’s NY:LON Connect conference in London today explored life beyond the big beasts, although it started with Nielsen Music’s VP global Helena […]

Run The Jewels manager Amaechi Uzoigwe: ‘Build the right spaceship!’

Amaechi Uzoigwe, manager of hip-hop stars Run The Jewels, thinks that artists can make their own luck in the streaming era, despite the challenges of breaking through the noise. “Streaming is one of the greatest things to happen to music. Streaming media is one of the greatest things to happen to entertainment. And the accessibility […]

Centtrip launches ‘Brexit desk’ for advice to music industry

It is still, frankly, anyone’s guess what form the UK’s upcoming exit from the European Union will take – and the chaotic state of the British government right means it’s still possible ‘Brexit’ won’t happen at all. For musicians and music companies this is all worrying: particularly those trying to plan tours in Europe after […]

Turkey music market still growing, with 1m paying subscribers

In 2018, Turkish recorded music association Mü-Yap expects digital music revenue in Turkey to grow by about 25%, while Metin Uzelli, a veteran of the Turkish music industry, predicts that the overall market will grow by 10-15% as the streaming boom there slows slightly. These views come from our latest country profile, on Turkey. Bülent […]

Spotify’s artist-block feature isn’t just about R. Kelly

When news emerged that Sony’s RCA label had parted ways with R. Kelly, campaigning group UltraViolet called on Spotify and other streaming services to (once again) take action against this particular star. Yet the memory of last year’s controversy when Spotify *did* de-playlist Kelly (and rapper XXXTentacion) for ‘hateful conduct’ outside their music remains fresh. […]

FastForward conference reveals latest round of speakers

The latest FastForward music-industry conference will take place in Amsterdam on 14-15 February, and curator Media Insight Consulting has announced a wave of new speakers for the event. They include keynotes from Sofar Sounds CEO Rafe Offer; Interscope Geffen A&M EVP of urban operations Nicole Wyskoarko; and sports-data analytics firm OptaPro’s EVP Ben Mackriell. Other […]

Smart-speaker startup Whyd pivots to focus on software

Music Ally first wrote about French startup Whyd back in 2012, when it was a discovery website for people to collect music from YouTube, SoundCloud and other sources in one place. By 2016, the company had pivoted to focus on building its own smart speaker as a rival to Amazon’s Echo. Now it’s shifting again, […]

Viagogo ‘compliant’ with new UK rules on secondary ticketing

Last Thursday (17 January) was the deadline set by the UK’s competition watchdog the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) for secondary-ticketing sites to change the way they listed tickets offered for resale. New rules included the requirement to show what seat in a venue a ticket is for, as well as the identity of the seller […]

Sony cuts its ties with R. Kelly – as did UMPG

There has been a steady build-up of pressure on Sony and its RCA Records subsidiary to drop R. Kelly, in the wake of the latest set of allegations about his personal life. It has now emerged that Sony and R. Kelly, in Billboard’s words, “have agreed to part ways”. The news comes after several artists […]

Ariana Grande takes Spotify single-day streams record

It ain’t Christmas any more, Mariah! Ariana Grande has seized the Spotify 24-hour-streams record that Mariah Carey snaffled in December. The latter’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ was streamed 10.8m times on Christmas Eve, but now Grande’s new track ‘7 Rings’ has the record, after nearly 15m streams in the 24 hours after […]

Revelator’s Original Works to handle rights and daily payments

Israeli music/tech firm Revelator is launching a new spin-off called Original Works, whose ambitions include processing and paying out streaming royalties to musicians and rightsholders on a daily basis. The post Revelator’s Original Works to handle rights and daily payments appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Netflix annual revenues grew by 35% in 2018 to $16bn

Video-streaming service Netflix published its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2018 yesterday, and thus also the full calendar year. The company ended 2018 with 139 million paying members, having added 29 million of them during the year. Its revenues grew by 35% year-on-year to $16bn, while its operating profits nearly doubled to $1.6bn. […]

Bandcamp opens its own record store in Oakland

Bandcamp has long been the platform for a host of independent artists and labels to sell physical music and merchandise, as well as downloads. Now the company itself is getting a physical manifestation: it has opened a record store in Oakland, California. It’s more than just a shop, though. “We’ll feature a selection of records that […]

Independent labels optimistic about sync opportunities in 2019

The UK’s independent-music trade body AIM is preparing for its first AIM Sync global sync-licensing conference, which takes place in London on 28 January. Ahead of the event, some of the speakers told Music Ally about their hopes for sync-licensing in 2019, from an independent perspective. The tone was one of optimism, with labels seeing […]

ClicknClear gets approval from International Cheer Union

We first wrote about British startup ClicknClear last year (when it was known as Clickamix) with its plans to license music for use in performance sports like cheerleading, figure skating and gymnastics. The company has since started working with more than 100 music rightsholders, including Universal Music Publishing, Warner Music and BMG. Now ClicknClear has […]

WaveAI launches its Alysia app as an AI ‘singer-songwriter’

We’ve written about startup WaveAI in recent months, with its plans to launch an AI-music-creation app called Alysia. This week, the app went live on Apple’s App Store for iPhones and iPads. It’s pitched at music fans as well as musicians: they can choose background music in a range of styles and genres, then generate […]

As streaming grows, so songs appear to be getting shorter

News site Quartz has an interesting article analysing the song lengths on the last few albums by artists including Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Kanye West. Its conclusion: “Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and […]

New organisation takes aim at ticket-touting across Europe

Europe has a new campaigning group taking aim at inflated ticket-reselling. It’s called the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT for short) and has been founded by a group of promoters who’ve worked with artists including Adele, Björk, Bruce Springsteen, Ed Sheeran, Iron Maiden, the Rolling Stones and Radiohead among other artists. The new body […]

Podcast listening on Spotify grew by 175% in 2018

Spotify’s push around podcasts at the CES technology show last week included the release of some new figures about how people are listening to this content on its service. “On Spotify, we saw listening increase by 175% over the last year,” explained the company in a post on its Spotify for Brands blog. And yes, […]

Music rightsholders call for ‘urgent’ changes to Article 13

The music industry was celebrating on 12 September 2018 when the European Parliament voted (by 438 votes to 226) to pass the Article 13 section of the proposed new European Copyright Directive. The wording of the legislation seemed to back the position taken by the music industry over the liability of platforms like YouTube for […]

Report claims voice assistants are ‘bigger in the car’

When we write about voice assistants and smart speakers, we tend to assume that these trends are happening first in the home, and will then move to cars. Actually, a new study from Voicebot suggests that this may be muddled thinking. “Smart speakers and other devices with embedded voice assistants get a lot of media […]

AR tech firm Ubiquity6 buys music/tech startup Wavy

Wavy is a music/tech startup that we have to admit slipped through our net: an iPhone app using augmented-reality technology to create ‘experiences’ around music tracks. The idea was that it would collaborate with musicians on AR videos, which fans could then use to create their own clips for sharing. Anyway, Wavy has now been […]

Research firms publish apps and games market data for 2018

If you’re following the mobile apps and gaming markets, a couple of reports published yesterday will make interesting reading. App Annie has put out its annual ‘The State of Mobile’ report, which claims that across Apple’s App Store, Android’s Google Play and third-party Android app stores in China, there were 194bn worldwide downloads in 2018. […]

Sample libraries and virtual-instruments firm Spitfire Audio launches a label

British company Spitfire Audio has built a business around sample libraries and virtual instruments for artists and producers to use when making music. Now the company is branching out with the creation of its own label, SA Recordings. The label launches today with an EP by Spitfire’s lead composer Oliver Patrice Weder, which will be […]

Netflix increases its subscription prices in the US

Expect another day of ‘If Netflix can increase its prices why can’t Spotify?’ headlines, after the video-streaming service announced plans for a 13-18% increase in the US. That includes a two-dollar rise for Netflix’s most-popular subscription plan in the US, which will now cost $13 a month rather than $11. The cheapest $8 plan will […]

Report claims Spotify could launch in India this month

We’ve been expecting Spotify to launch in India sometime in the spring, based on previous gossip from industry sources. However, Variety reckons the streaming service could go live even earlier than that – as soon as this month. “Spotify is rumored to be hosting a launch party in Mumbai on January 31, which means they’re […]

The Cinematic Orchestra launch website designed for offline use

Ninja Tune artist The Cinematic Orchestra have relaunched their website with a fun twist: it wants fans to use it offline. “To Believe… disable your internet connection now,” it explains, when they land on its homepage. If they do, the screen fades to black and then provides details about ‘A Caged Bird / Imitations of […]

Michael Bublé is the latest artist to get his own Alexa skill

Paloma Faith, then Little Mix, and now Michael Bublé. The Canadian crooner is the latest artist to get his own Alexa skill – a voice-controlled app for Echo smart speakers and other devices using Amazon’s virtual assistant. Fans saying ‘Alexa, open Bublé Daily’ will get access to the skill, which has launched in the UK, […]

YouTube backs Maggie Rogers as first Artist On The Rise of 2019

Capitol Records artist Maggie Rogers is the first musician that YouTube has chosen for its Artist On The Rise marketing program in 2019. The initiative is focused on ‘up-and-coming’ talent, with Rogers having first come to prominence in 2016 in a video of a masterclass held by Pharrell Williams in New York, when one of […]

British DJ Charlie Sloth confirms he’s joining Apple Music

Hip-hop DJ Charlie Sloth left the BBC’s Radio 1 under a cloud last year, having invaded the stage at an industry-awards ceremony when another broadcaster won the category he was nominated in. At the time, Sloth had already announced plans to depart – the controversy meant that happened 10 shows earlier than expected – with […]

Spotify India launch plans heat up with T-Series… and Samsung?

Indian music company T-Series still hasn’t managed to knock gamer PewDiePie off his perch as YouTube’s most-subscribed-to channel: it’s on 80.5 million subs at the time of writing, compared to PewDiePie’s 80.9 million. Given their respective growth over the past year, it seems only a matter of time before T-Series is top dog – but […]

Chinese government clamps down on short-video apps’ content

There may be trouble brewing for TikTok and the other ‘short-video’ apps that have proven so popular in China over the last year. The Financial Times reported on a new set of industry guidelines, directed by the Chinese government, which will hold these apps responsible for all content posted by their users. Examples of content […]

Watch your profanity! YouTube explains how swearing affects ads

YouTube’s latest educational video is aimed at all creators, not just musicians, but for any artists who like to turn the air blue with ‘industrial language’ it’s worth a watch. It explains how “vulgarity or inappropriate language” affects whether a video can be monetised with advertising or not. Ads are fine for “light profanity (shit, […]

Music4EU group delivers Brexit petition to British government

A petition signed by more than 1,200 artists and music-industry people calling on the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May to ‘reconsider Brexit’ has been delivered to her official residence, 10 Downing Street. The petition was drawn up by the Music4EU campaigning group, with signatories including Spotify UK MD Tom Connaughton; Annie Lennox; Fatboy Slim; Snow […]

Tencent Xiaowei virtual-assistant will link to QQ Music

Just as Apple gets set to launch its HomePod (Siri voice-assistant included) in China, so local tech giant Tencent is preparing to launch a new smart-assistant of its own. It’s called Xiaowei, and according to Bloomberg will make its debut within Tencent’s hugely-popular WeChat messaging app. “The assistant will link to a plethora of Tencent’s […]

BPI says there was a ‘surge’ in classical streaming in 2018

Like jazz, classical music is a sector that is often described as being under-served by the big, global streaming services, thanks to challenges including its extra layers of metadata, not to mention the length of its tracks – a half-hour performance doesn’t monetise well in a per-stream environment built for single songs. Anyway, British industry […]

Ex-Facebook man founds startup to ‘structure the world’s audio’

It’s very early days for San Francisco-based startup Wavecut: its website isn’t up and running yet, and its profile on investment site AngelList (which is how we found it) merely says that the company is “structuring the world’s audio”. Oh, and that its CEO is Dave Goldblatt, a former product operations specialist at Facebook and […]

Australian music industry wants to block stream-ripping sites

The latest front in the music industry’s battle against ‘stream-ripping’ sites is in Australia. These sites, which enable people to convert (for example) YouTube videos into downloadable MP3s, have been a bugbear for the global industry for some time now. News site The Industry Observer reports that the Music Rights Australia body is applying for […]

Spotify reveals more about its podcast plans in 2019

Besides having a party with posh food and Rita Ora, Spotify’s presence at the CES technology show in Las Vegas this week has seen podcasts loom large. We reported earlier this week on its announcement of a new, exclusive deal with journalist and broadcaster Jemele Hill to launch a new podcast on Spotify. Now the […]

RIAA-backed report explores labels’ changing role in music

We’ll be blunt: anyone who tells you that labels are dead is talking out of their trumpet. But anyone who tells you that an artist can’t succeed without a label is just as big a fibber. The truth of the matter is that the ability for artists to thrive outside the traditional labels system in […]

VC firms predict that startup valuations may fall this year

One of the aspects of the music industry’s return to growth is the willingness of music companies (and, indeed, individual artists) to invest in music/tech startups. With that in mind, a feature in the New York Times interviewing venture-capital firms about the investment market makes for interesting reading. Its proposition is that the startup-funding market […]

TikTok culture is wider (and possibly crueller) than its app

Many people in the music industry are trying to get a handle on social-video app TikTok: particularly how young people are using it, and what kind of culture is growing around their shared clips. If you’re one of those people, New York magazine’s exploration of TikTok is well worth a read – especially because it […]

Simon Fuller ‘couldn’t give a monkey’s’ about streaming metrics

Former Spice Girls manager and American Idol creator Simon Fuller is hard at work with a new band in 2019, Now United, which includes members drawn from a host of countries. He’s been talking to Billboard about why (audio) streaming hasn’t been playing a role in the band’s early days. “[Today’s] music industry is all about: […]

Spotify signs former ESPN host Jemele Hill for new podcast

Jemele Hill used to be a host on sports TV network ESPN, and was in the news herself last year when she tweeted that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists”. Hill left ESPN in September and subsequently joined The Atlantic, but now she’s also signed a […]

Intel and Warner Bros test self-driving car entertainment ideas

The entertainment industries are very interested in a future of autonomous (self-driving) cars, because if we’re not driving our cars, that may free us up for other kinds of entertainment experience beyond audio. Music, TV/film and games companies alike are keen to understand the opportunities this may bring. If you’re thinking about this from a […]

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveals personal challenge for 2019

Imagine being Mark Zuckerberg, trying to think of your annual ‘personal challenge’ for 2019, after the 2018 that Facebook had. Yet the social network’s CEO is sticking to his guns of choosing a new challenge every January (in the past that’s included learning Mandarin, building an AI for his home and running 365 miles). And […]

AR-powered ‘David Bowie is’ app launches as $7.99 download

The ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition was a real treat for keen (and even casual) Bowie fans, debuting at the V&A Museum in London in 2013 before touring the world. Last year, plans were revealed to turn the exhibition into an augmented-reality app, and this week it’s been released for Android and for iOS by Sony […]

CD Baby paid out more than $100m in royalties in 2018

Distributor CD Baby has published a big figure for its business in 2018: “well over” $100m of payouts to the independent artists who use its service. The company released the figure in a blog post in which it promised that “we’re expecting to pay out even more for the coming year as we open up […]

US satellite-radio service SiriusXM now has 34m subscribers

SiriusXM ended last year with around 34 million subscribers for its US satellite-radio service, including 28.9 million classed as ‘self-pay’ subscribers (as opposed to being on a trial or having it bundled with their car). The latter figure was 40% more than SiriusXM had predicted in its original financial guidance for 2018, so it was […]

Tidal takes MQA-powered ‘Masters’ hi-res music to Android

It’s a year since streaming service Tidal unveiled its ‘Masters’ feature, offering studio-quality hi-res music for subscribers to its top-end ‘HiFi’ tier. That was a partnership with hi-res music firm MQA, but it was only available from Tidal’s desktop client, rather than its mobile app. Until now, that is. At the CES show in Las […]

Report: 14m Americans got their first smart speaker in 2018

NPR and Edison Research have published their latest ‘Smart Audio Report’about the growth of smart speakers in the US. It claims that around 53 million Americans now own these devices – 21% of the adult population. 14 million of those got their first smart speaker in 2018, according to the survey. The study also tracks […]

Spotify opens Discover Weekly playlist up to brand sponsorship

Spotify has a new way for brands to spend money with the company: by sponsoring its Discover Weekly algo-personalised playlist on the streaming service’s free tier. “For the first time, we are unlocking Discover Weekly for brands to sponsor this personalised moment end-to-end,” is how Spotify described the move. Microsoft is one of the first […]

Deutsche Bank slaps €29bn valuation on Universal Music Group

Trebles all round at Universal Music Group: the company is worth €29bn ($33.2bn) now! Although perhaps hold off on the company-wide conga for now, since this is just an estimate from Deutsche Bank, as UMG’s parent company Vivendi prepares to sell off up to 50% of its music group. “With the hype around UMG stake […]

How Gaana became India’s top audio-streaming music service

There has been some debate over the title of India’s top music audio-streaming service, with multiple companies staking their claim. Most recently, in December 2018, Gaana said that it now had 80 million monthly active users (MAUs), which would make it the country’s top service “with a fair margin” according to CEO Prashan Agarwal. So […]

Consumer-tech body predicts $398bn of US tech sales in 2019

This week, it’s the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Get ready for a blizzard of new-gadget announcements, from TVs and speakers through to robots and smart toilets. The show’s organiser is industry body the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), and every year it publishes its predictions for tech sales in the year ahead, as […]

Beyoncé’s company sued over the accessibility of her website

A new class-action lawsuit filed in the US against Beyoncé’s company Parkwood Entertainment will be triggering a few urgent meetings within management companies and labels in the week ahead, we suspect. The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a fan in New York called Mary Conner, who is blind. It argues that Beyoncé’s own […]

Manager Jake Udell thinks artist subscriptions WILL work

Monthly subscriptions are doing a pretty good job for the music industry in the context of Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services. The idea of individual artist subscriptions has been tested regularly by startups and crowdfunding platforms, without yet catching on. Something admitted by manager Jake Udell in his latest blog post, which focuses on […]

MediaMarktSaturn mulls future for its Juke music-streaming service

B2B digital-music service 7digital published an update on its business on Friday, with three separate pieces of news. Among them, the news that 7digital is in talks with European retailer MediaMarktSaturn about the future of its Juke music-streaming service, which 7digital powers. “MMS has indicated that it may wish to change the current arrangements and this […]

TikTok ‘Lite’ apps have been installed 12m times already

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify are among the apps that have launched ‘lite’ versions aimed mainly at markets where mobile networks are slower, and/or where mobile data is more expensive. Now social-video app TikTok has quietly followed suit, launching a pair of ‘Lite’ apps (one with a lower-case ‘l’ in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and other […]

Deezer targets more growth with local focus and ‘humbleness’

Music-streaming service Deezer ended 2018 with seven million subscribers: half of its 14 million monthly active users. CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht revealed the figure in an interview with Music Ally, as he explained how Deezer’s business has evolved since he joined the company in December 2014, at a time when its business was heavily dependent on […]

Apple says App Store customers spent $1.22bn over Christmas

The fallout from Apple’s announcement earlier this week that its quarterly revenues would be lower than predicted continues: the company’s share price tumbled by nearly 10% yesterday as markets reacted to the news. Apple did put out some good news yesterday though: the latest festive figures for its App Store. “App Store spending topped $1.22bn […]

YouTube continues its livestreaming partnership with Coachella

YouTube will be the exclusive livestreaming partner for American music-festival Coachella this year – the ninth year for the partnership. In fact, the deal is expanding, with YouTube now the exclusive playlists and livestreaming partner for both weekends of the festival – previously it only streamed the first weekend. “Additionally, YouTube Music and YouTube Premium […]

Taylor Swift’s app The Swift Life is shutting down

Just over a year ago, Taylor Swift teamed up with mobile-games publisher Glu Mobile to launch The Swift Life, her own app for fans to connect with one another, share their own content, and get her latest news, photos and videos. Now it’s shutting down, which the official announcement suggests is because the app was […]

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