The Rise and Rise of Music Podcasts

Podcasts are firmly part of our media diet – with some turning into huge brands and others happy to cater to the most niche of interests.  The podcast economy boom is now so great that not only did Spotify pay $100m to secure the exclusive licensing deal for the enormously popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast, […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Radiant’s Spotify-powered DJ is an AI

Squeezing new uses from existing technology sparks creative revolutions. Dancing to recorded music was weird until someone who understood the crowd started to link the right songs together in the right place, and created the nightclub. (It’s probably best not to dwell on one of the main claimants of that innovation, mind…) Fast forward to […]

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

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

Sonos launches its own ad-supported radio service

Connected-audio firm Sonos has always taken a Switzerland approach to supporting the various music streaming services, but it’s easy to forget that radio has been a big use case for its devices too, thanks to integrations with the likes of TuneIn and iHeartRadio as well as individual radio groups’ apps. “Today, nearly half of all […]

Opposition filed to Liberty Media plans to increase iHeartMedia stake

In December 2019, it was reported that media group Liberty Media was seeking to increase its stake in radio and streaming group iHeartMedia – possibly to a level that would give it control of the latter company. Now a range of artist rights and consumer groups have written to the US Department of Justice outlining their opposition to […]

Some iHeartMedia staff furloughed as CEO foregoes his salary

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

Study suggests country radio listeners DO want more women

Country radio stations in the US have been criticised strongly in recent times for their male-dominated playlists. A study published earlier this month by SongData’s Jada Watson showed why: women accounted for just 10% of daily spins and slots in Billboard’s year-end country airplay chart. But now a separate study commissioned by country media brand CMT suggests […]

Radiant app taps Spotify for ‘digital radio hosted by AI’

There’s a theory that if music streaming wants to grab more listeners and advertising revenues from radio, it needs to become a bit more radio-like. From Spotify’s ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist blending podcast clips and music to startups like Stationhead and Super Hi-Fi, there have been various moves on this front. Now another startup is […]

BMI and RMLC settle their radio rates dispute in the US

US performing rights organisation BMI has settled its rates dispute with the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and signed a deal that will cover radio royalties from 2017 to 2021 – a date span that clearly illustrates how long the dispute has lasted so far. “The new license carries a rate that reflects the strength of […]

U2 to launch their own radio channel on SiriusXM and Pandora

U2 are the latest artist to ink a partnership with both SiriusXM and its Pandora subsidiary. The band are launching something called U2X Radio, which will include their own station on SiriusXM’s satellite-radio service playing recorded and live music, interviews and other content. There’ll also be exclusive stuff available for Pandora listeners. The news follows SiriusXM’s creative […]

US digital-audio listening tipped to overtake radio in 2020

Research firm eMarketer has published some new estimates and predictions for the size of the US digital-audio market – music-streaming, podcasts, online and satellite radio. The big claim is that by 2020, American adults will be spending more time listening to that than to traditional radio for the first time – averages of 83.9 daily minutes and […]

Flagship country streaming playlists outdo radio for diversity

Does country radio in the US have a diversity problem? The debate has already been rumbling for a while, but a new research study puts some numbers to the lack of women on mainstream country radio – as reflected by Billboard’s official Country Airplay Chart between January 2018 and July 2019. “This study’s findings are not surprising: […]

Music streaming in 2019: radio rivalry, Spotify sustainability and ‘west versus east’

Streaming was the big driver behind the recorded-music industry’s 9.7% growth in 2018, according to the IFPI. In fact, streaming revenues grew by 34% to $8.9bn, accounting for 47% of the global total. At the end of 2018, there were 255 million users of paid streaming subscriptions, up from 176 million at the end of 2017. […]

Billie Eilish’s managers on the future of the album in the streaming age and why radio is far from dead

Danny Rukasin and Brandon Goodman co-manage Billie Eilish and they have been talking to MBW about the stealth development underpinning her career and how her debut album – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – is having to work in the streaming and playlisting era. “While playlists drive single consumption, albums can be […]

Research project compares Spotify and radio for breaking hits

A few years ago, Spotify UK was urging labels to adopt an ‘on air, on stream’ policy with new tracks – meaning that as soon as they were played on the radio, they should be available on streaming services too. In 2019, the notion that this was ever even a debate may seem bizarre, but […]

iHeartMedia boss on streaming: ‘We keep it in perspective’

There’s a view being put about that on-demand music-streaming services will ultimately kill radio – admittedly, it’s being put about mainly by on-demand music-streaming services for now. What do radio moguls think about it all? Bob Pittman, CEO of iHeartMedia, has been offering a counter-view. “Between 70 and 80 percent of Spotify users say the […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 – […]

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 […]

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. […]

Report 420: #2019Goals. The music industry’s key challenges this year… and how we can tackle them

Welcome to the first Music Ally Report of 2019. We’re taking a look at some of the key challenges that lie ahead for our industry this year – and how they might be tackled. From diversity to startups via fake music and taking a bite out of radio, we hope it’s a constructive take on […]

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 […]

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 […]

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