Y Viva España! Spanish music revenues up 27% in first half of 2019

Remember when Spain was one of the world’s recorded-music basket cases, thanks to piracy? No more. The years between 2014 and 2018 saw steady growth (5.4%, 10%, 6.7%, 6.1% and 5.9% respectively according to the IFPI) of total revenues, but things have stepped up a couple of notches in the first half of 2019. According […]

Indian telco Airtel launches TV, video and music bundle

We’ve been talking about the prospect of music-streaming services being bundled with video and other services for some time now, often through the lens of what the big, global technology companies like Apple, Google and Amazon will be doing. However, in India there’s another angle to this debate: telcos. Witness Bharti Airtel (Airtel for short), […]

African music-streaming service Boomplay now has 53m users

Boomplay has become one of the most prominent music-streaming services to have launched in Africa, and now it has announced a new figure for its growth. It now claims to have more than 53 million users, up from 42 million in April this year, when the company raised a $20m funding round. Boomplay also says that […]

No, ‘Old Town Road’ may not have been THE summer smash of 2019

It seems silly to raise the question of what was the biggest hit of summer 2019, given the chart dominance of ‘Old Town Road’ in various parts of the world in recent months. Yet here’s the thing: it wasn’t the most-streamed song of the summer on Spotify or on YouTube. Both services have put out their global charts […]

Chance the Rapper reaches 1bn-streams milestone on SoundCloud

Eight years after uploading his first track to SoundCloud, Chance the Rapper has passed the milestone of 1bn streams on the service. It’s no surprise that SoundCloud is shouting about it: Chance is ‘the first independent SoundCloud Premier creator’ to reach that total on its platform. It’s a reminder of an artist that SoundCloud considers […]

Hi-res streaming service Qobuz says it has 25k US listeners

Despite all the industry-conference panels predicting that high-resolution music is the next big leap for our industry, the idea has yet to really catch fire with mainstream listeners. For sure, artists and labels like the idea of music sounding like it did in the recording studio; companies like MQA have been working hard to put […]

DiMA and RLMC warn DoJ off hasty removal of US consent decrees

Just the latest potential shakeup to the US system of music-licensing is the Department of Justice’s antitrust division’s review of the ‘consent decrees’ which govern collecting societies ASCAP and BMI. Now the body that represents streaming services, the Digital Media Association (DiMA) has teamed up with radio-industry body the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) to […]

African streaming service Playfre wants to raise $500k-$1m

Nigerian music-streaming service Playfre launched earlier this year, although rather than licensing music directly, it was more of a curatorial/social layer on top of YouTube, from which its music is sourced. CEO Chika Nwaogu has been talking to VentureBurn about the startup’s plans, which include the goal of raising between $500k and $1m of funding. “It will be mainly […]

9128 is a streaming service focused on ambient/electronic music

One of the interesting industry questions in 2019 concerns the outlook for niche music-streaming services: for example those focused on specific categories like classical, jazz or metal, which are often seen as being under-served by the big global streaming services. Now add ambient/electronic music to the list. There’s a new service called 9128, which is the […]

The ‘unintended consequences’ of user-centric streaming payouts

Here’s the thing about the ‘user-centric’ model of music-streaming payouts: it’s nowhere near as simple as a lot of people think it is, on several levels. The idea of each streaming subscriber’s monthly payment (well, the portion of it that is paid out in royalties) being divided only between the artists they have listened to […]

Deezer adds more Spanish ‘Deezer Originals’ to its Latin channel

Spotify and YouTube have both staked their claims to be driving the boom in global listening to Latin American music, but other music-streaming services are making plenty of efforts to promote Latin artists too. Deezer’s latest move is the launch of a ‘Deezer Originals’ channel in Spanish, offering exclusive content and artist commentaries. For example, […]

WMG boss: streaming isn’t the only reason for industry growth

Warner Music Group published its latest quarterly financials yesterday, with its revenues up 10.4% year-on-year to $1.06bn, including 12.5% growth in its digital revenue to $648m – 61.2% of the total. Within that, WMG’s recorded-music revenue grew by 13.8% to $913m, but its publishing revenue actually fell by 7.5% to $147m – “lower market share and loss […]

Slipknot’s Corey Taylor criticises music-streaming payouts

Slipknot are back with a new album, a big tour and some nifty Facebook camera effects (as we reported yesterday). But the band’s Corey Taylor has also been having his say on the topic of music-streaming royalties, in a series of tweets. He was responding to a tweet from fellow musician Nils Lofgren criticising Spotify over […]

Primephonic-commissioned study explores streaming attitudes

Classical music-streaming service Primephonic has commissioned a survey of nearly 1,300 American adults to find out what they think about streaming. No surprises for guessing that some of the results back up the company’s own business model: for example, 9% of respondents “would pay for a streaming service specifically dedicated to their favourite genre, suggesting […]

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: […]

Podcasts set to overtake music-downloads listening in UK

It won’t be long before more Brits are listening to podcasts than are listening to music downloads, judging by the latest figures published by UK radio-industry body Rajar. Its latest survey suggests that 16% of Brits aged 15+ now listen to podcasts, compared to 18% who listen to digital music tracks. The tipping point has already been […]

TrackDrip launches its music-streaming service in Suriname

With a population of fewer than 600,000 people, Suriname might not be a priority for the big music-streaming services, but that leaves an opportunity for local competitors. TrackDrip being a brand new example. It’s an on-demand music-streaming service that launched in Suriname (which is off the coast of South America, if you were about to Google it) […]

JioSaavn’s owner is now the largest telco in India

Indian telco Reliance Jio appears to have overtaken rival Vodafone Idea to become the biggest mobile operator in India, with 331.3 million subscribers. TheNextWeb reports that this compares to 320 million people using Vodafone Idea, and the most recent figure of 320.6 million for the other big telco in India, Airtel. What’s the Music Ally relevance for […]

Streaming fuels interest in jazz from younger UK music fans

This will come as little surprise if you’ve watched a jazz artist at a recent festival in the UK and taken a look at the audience around you, but young listeners are flocking to the genre. The Guardian has an article on the trend, with some figures from music-streaming services as backup. “Spotify told the Guardian […]

Streaming still paying off for UMG with 18.6% revenue growth

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: streaming is paying off rather well for the world’s largest music company. Universal Music’s revenues grew by 18.6% year-on-year for the first half of 2019, according to yesterday’s financial results from its parent company Vivendi. The company’s revenues were €3.26bn (around $3.68bn), with UMG’s recorded-music revenues growing […]

Boomy will help people upload AI-made music to streaming services

Boomy is one of the startups exploring AI-generated music, and launched in beta earlier this year. Now it’s emerging from that beta period, with test users having already created more than 100k songs using its technology. The general public is now being invited to sign in at Boomy’s website and start creating songs. “Our data shows […]

Fortnite players can stream its World Cup… from within the game

Here in the UK, the school summer holidays have started just in time for the first ever Fortnite World Cup – a big bet on esports by the game’s publisher Epic Games. And here’s some even better news for all those demob-happy children: they’ll be able to watch the Fortnite World Cup from within Fortnite […]

Motown boss praises streaming (in interview for Spotify blog)

Adding that qualifier to the headline isn’t meant to be snarky: it’s just that Motown Records head Ethiopia Habtemariam was hardly likely to open up about any headaches she sees with streaming in an interview with Spotify’s own blog. Still, the interview – to mark the 60th anniversary this year of Motown – is worth a […]

Mexican music industry optimistic for more growth ahead

We’ve all heard of the smartphone as a driver of digital music consumption. Well how about music as a driver of smartphone adoption? That, according to Tomás Rodriguez, managing director of Warner Music Mexico, is what we are seeing in Mexico, as the country continues a hot digital streak that has seen recorded music revenue […]

Warner Classics launches new website with streaming built in

Warner Music Group has a revamped website for its Warner Classics & Erato arm, which it hopes will capitalise on the potential of streaming for the classical-music audience. So much so, that Warner has built streaming directly in to the new website. Visitors will be able to stream 30-second clips from the Warner Classics & Erato […]

Tech body predicts 33% growth for US music subscriptions in 2019

The US recorded-music market enjoyed healthy growth in 2018, with retail revenues up by 12% to $9.8bn, while on the industry-revenues side, music subscription income grew by 32% to $5.4bn. It was the third straight year of double-digit growth overall for the world’s biggest music market, as the US averaged 50.2m paid subscriptions for the year. […]

Music-streaming service Roxi plans to go public later this year

In June, Music Ally reported on the ambitions of British music-streaming firm Roxi (formerly Electric Jukebox) to go public. Now the company has confirmed how it plans to do that. Roxi announced this morning that it has appointed advisers for an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange in the final quarter of 2019. The […]

East African streaming service Smubu has 200k active users

As the big global music-streaming services continue to mull their strategies for sub-Saharan Africa, local players are springing up to stake their claim to a piece of the nascent streaming market. The latest is Smubu, a music-streaming startup headquartered in Kenya, but focusing on a group of countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. It has […]

Sandbox issue 232: Music Marketing in Trigger Cities

Lead: This issue we have a special extended feature looking into the phenomenon of Trigger Cities. These are places outside of the obvious music markets that are now – due to streaming and how algorithms are fed – playing a key role in helping break artists and genres. This represents a whole new dynamic for […]

Report: Big Hit Entertainment may launch own streaming platform

Music Ally has been reporting recently on BTS World, the mobile game launched as a partnership between BTS’ management company Big Hit Entertainment and gaming firm Netmarble. Now a report claims the companies may be looking to do something even more ambitious together: “to launch a brand-new music-streaming platform”. That’s according to the Korea Herald, citing […]

Line Music service set to launch in Taiwan this week

We’re used to referring to Line Music as a Japanese music-streaming service, but this week it’s set to expand to Taiwan, according to the Taiwan News. “According to Central News Agency, Line Music will provide a free, 30-day trial to first-time users,” it reported, noting that Hong Kong-born Mandopop singer Coco Lee will be the ‘brand […]

South African music-streaming app My Muze reaches 1m downloads

South African telco Vodacom’s My Muze music-streaming app has been downloaded more than 1m times since its launch in April this year. Those downloads have come on Android alone, although the service is available in a web-browser version for Apple devices, according to the Financial Mail. It also reported on how Vodacom has been pricing the […]

Because Music boss backs ‘user-centric’ music-streaming model

The latest industry figure to come out batting for the ‘user-centric’ model of streaming royalties is Emmanuel De Buretel, in an interview with French newspaper Les Échos, subsequently spotted by MBW. De Buretel warned that the current system of dividing up royalties risks “a drying up of income for many artists outside urban and electro music, and the […]

Tidal adds ‘interactive credit pages’ for listeners to explore

The latest streaming service upping its efforts to credit more people who worked on recorded music is Tidal. It has launched a new feature that it’s describing as “interactive credit pages” which it promises will help listeners “explore everyone, from the unheralded background singers and lyricists, to the producers, and mixing engineers’ who are instrumental […]

Line Music to add freemium tier and music videos this year

Japanese music-streaming service Line Music has just celebrated its fourth anniversary, and it’s promising some significant new features over the coming months. The service, run by social-media firm Line, now has 11 million monthly active users, with more than 32 million downloads of its app so far. Anyway, those new features include the introduction of a freemium […]

Film soundtracks are still 80% of music consumption in India

There are lots of exciting green shoots for an independent music scene in India, but music from films continues to be the dominant factor in what people are listening to there. That was one of the talking points at the recent Music Inc conference, as reported on by journalist Amit Gurbaxani for Firstpost. He notes that Spotify […]

Chance The Rapper’s streaming mixtape is missing a track

Chance The Rapper has re-released a pair of old mixtapes for the first time on streaming services, but while 2012’s ’10 Day’ remains unchanged, 2013’s ‘Acid Rap’ is missing one of its big tracks: ‘Juice’. It’s been replaced with Chance’s voice explaining why it’s missing (“I really wanted ‘Juice’ to be on the mixtape, but […]

Chartmetric explores the ‘trigger cities’ of south-east Asia

Earlier this year we wrote about music-analytics firm Chartmetrics’ theory of ‘trigger cities’ capable of propelling tracks to become global hits. Now the company has published a second in its series of blog posts focusing on the region of south-east Asia in this regard. There’s some good data on how Spotify is functioning as a platform in […]

Afriquency launches Africa-focused music-streaming playlists

A team working within African music distributor Africori has launched a series of playlists for global streaming services, which focus on music from Africa. The team is Afriquency, and its playlists include Afro Fresh Friday, Afro Vybz, La Fête (focusing on Francophone African music) and The New Collective (which focuses on emerging artists. “Africa is […]

Music industry comes together to tackle ‘stream manipulation’

Music Ally really has been trying not to go too far down the Donald Trump road of slinging the word ‘fake’ willy-nilly. That said, in the last two years we’ve ended up reporting on ‘fake artists’ (who turned out to be production-music artists releasing their work commercially); ‘fake uploads’ (from people repackaging old and/or unreleased […]

Gaana may split premium features into cheaper subscriptions

Indian music-streaming service Gaana is planning to test cheaper subscription options that separate out some of the features from its current premium tier. That’s according to CEO Prashan Agarwal, in an interview with the BusinessLine website. “We need to de-couple Gaana Plus offerings. Currently, there are three key benefits that a user gets from Gaana Plus: ad-free […]

Idagio-commissioned study explores classical streaming potential

A report claiming that classical music could be ‘streaming’s next genre’ comes with an important caveat – to its credit, one that’s openly stated – that it was commissioned by a classical-music streaming service. Idagio enlisted research company Midia Research to survey 8,000 adult music consumers across eight countries, including the US, UK and Germany. […]

Hopeless Records boss claims fake streams may cost $300m a year

A Rolling Stone headline claiming that ‘fake streams could be costing artists $300 million a year’ could be seen as over-egging its story, given that the source is a single indie-label boss citing anonymous sources. Still, Hopeless Records founder Louis Posen *is* making a useful contribution to the debate about the scale of ‘fake streams’ […]

Skepta gets his own streaming heat-map for fans to see

One of the features artists and labels have most appreciated in Apple Music’s beta analytics are the ‘heat-maps’ of their streams, showing activity around the world. Now The Orchard is taking the idea and using it in a fan-facing marketing campaign for British grime star Skepta. His “streaming heat map” website is available to all, […]

Mobile phones will beat TV for Americans’ time this year

Research firm eMarketer has predicted a tipping point for Americans’ entertainment habits this year. “For the first time ever, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching TV, with smartphone use dominating that time spent,” claimed the company, in its latest data-release. “The average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes […]

Universal Music inks strategic deal with AI startup Super Hi-Fi

Music Ally first wrote about startup Super Hi-Fi in September 2018, when it announced a partnership with The Associated Press “to transform AP’s daily global news content into audio-based stories that can be seamlessly embedded into any digital music service partner”. The company’s focus is on “the space between the songs” on streaming services, with technology […]

Goldman Sachs: annual streaming revenues will be $37.2bn in 2030

When Goldman Sachs published its ‘Music In The Air’ report in 2017, predicting trade revenues from paid streaming of $28bn by 2030, it sparked excitement and controversy in equal measure – the latter once people wondered which Goldman Sachs clients would most benefit from sky-high predictions. Keep your pinch of salt handy, then, for the […]

Tidal has lots of things up its sleeve for the exclusive on Prince’s new album.

Remember streaming exclusives? Everyone seems to have given up on them. Well, everyone except Tidal. It has announced that it has the exclusive on Originals, a posthumous album from Prince containing a number of unheard demos from the legendary artist, and it will be on the streaming service from 7th June. It appears this will […]

How can labels and musicians avoid the ‘dry streams paradox’ in 2019?

Music Ally wrote about the ‘dry streams paradox’ earlier this year in our Sandbox music-marketing report: it refers to the situation where millions of streams for a song driven by a popular playlist on Spotify or Apple Music doesn’t translate into engaged fans for the artist who recorded it. The topic was the subject for […]

Report: Bytedance has Indian label deals for new music service

New details have emerged on TikTok’s parent company Bytedance’s plans to launch its own music-streaming service. Bloomberg reports that the new service will launch this autumn “in a handful of territories, mostly poorer countries where paid services have yet to garner large audiences”. The countries aren’t named, but one clue comes from the news that Bytedance has […]

Tencent Music now has 28.4m paying users for online music

Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2019 overnight, and there are plenty of big numbers as you’d expect. Overall revenues grew by 39.4% year-on-year to RMB 5.74bn ($855m) as TME recorded an RMB 987m ($147m) net profit – as usual benefitting from the fact that a significant chunk of its […]

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber break Spotify daily-streams record

This is one of those figures we’re slightly cautious about, as it doesn’t come directly from the streaming service in question. But it does seem as if ‘I Don’t Care’, the new track from Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, has set a new record for single-day streams on Spotify. That’s based on a figure shown this […]

How music companies are gaming streaming with “playlist stuffing”

Kieron Donoghue – founder of Humble Angel Records and former VP of global playlists strategy and curation at Warner Music – has been blogging about the trend of “playlist stuffing” that he has been spotting on streaming services. As songs qualify as a stream and, therefore, a payment after 30 seconds, he says a key tactic has […]

WMG sees streaming push up recorded numbers but publishing slips

Warner Music Group has published its numbers for the fiscal second quarter (ending 31st March 2019) and the headlines are that total revenue across all parts of the business was up 13.2% and that it saw net income of $67m compared to a net loss of $1m in the same period last year. Digital was, […]

Music service Wynk loses statutory licensing case in India

A judge in the Bombay High Court in India has ruled against streaming and download service Wynk in its long-running licensing dispute with record company Tips Industries. It is a protracted story but, in brief, Tips and Wynk had failed to agree licensing terms back in 2017 and this saw Tips requesting that its catalogue of […]

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 […]

ERA boss defends streaming services against the “insidious rise in name-calling”

Any discussion of what streaming services do (or don’t) pay out is always going to get people’s blood pressure up. Are streaming services saving the business? Or are they part of a Big Tech turbo-conspiracy to exploit (and rip off) creators? Kim Bayley, CEO of ERA, has waded into the debate and argues that accusations […]

Gaana CEO targets 600m Indian music-streamers by 2022

Gaana’s chief executive Prashan Agarwal isn’t content with the impressive growth so far in the number of Indian people streaming music. “The penetration of music streaming is only 10% in the Indian market with around 150 million users. The market needs to grow to 600 million in the next 2-3 years,” he told the Business Standard this […]

Artists need ‘meaningful patronage’ in 2019 beyond streams

Marketing agency Motive Unknown boss Darren Hemmings’ latest blog post goes in hard on the world of streaming right from its title: ‘Music Streaming Services Are Gaslighting Us’. His argument: “At every step of the way, streaming services are essentially gaslighting us that this ecosystem is an amazing new development. Just like Silicon Valley in […]

Could streaming services offer ‘creator support’ for artists?

The idea of ‘top-up’ crowdfunding-style payments within music-streaming subscription services is something Music Ally has floated in the past: the idea that (for example) Spotify’s billing relationship with its subscribers could be used to help them spend a dollar or two a month more on individual musicians, likely in exchange for exclusive content and other […]

The Dirt biopic fuelled surge in streams of Mötley Crüe music

There are plenty of opinions about Netflix’s Mötley Crüe biopic ‘The Dirt’, based on our social feeds. But what impact has the film had on demand for the band’s music? A press release for the band suggests that it’s paying off. “The age demo for fans streaming Mötley Crüe’s music includes a much younger demographic. […]

The Dry Streams Paradox

Are you frustrated with the size of your fanbase? Tired of banging your head against a brick wall with ticket and merchandise sales? Unable to reconcile your streaming figures with the number of genuine fans? Then you might be suffering from The Dry Streams Paradox. What’s that? It’s the challenge that a growing number of […]

Napster wants to power more music-streaming services in Asia

Napster remains a consumer-brand streaming service, but the company’s energies are focusing ever-more keenly on its B2B business, and ‘powered by Napster’ services launched by brands and other partners. Now Napster’s parent company Rhapsody International is making a new push with that strategy in Asia, via a partnership with Vietnamese tech company GNT. The pair […]

Amazon’s ad-supported music service launched in the US first

Some of its thunder may have been stolen by YouTube Music’s free, ad-supported launch on Google Home and other smart speakers, but Amazon has nevertheless launched its own free tier for Alexa-enabled devices. As reported prior to the launch, the tier is supported by advertising, and can be used by people without a Prime membership. […]

Reminder: the perils of marketing singles to free streamers

If you’re directing fans to stream a new track by an artist, what happens if they’re tapping on that link on their smartphone, but are on the free tier of a service like Spotify? That’s one of the questions raised in our latest Sandbox music-marketing report – and answered by Cindy James, VP of streaming […]

Former Sony Music exec talks streaming: ‘Focus on the whales’

Thomas Hesse used to be the digital-business boss at Sony Music, but nowadays is an angel investor and startup founder (of still-stealthy Jamm Music) in his own right. He’s also written a column for Billboard that may hint at what the latter company is planning. His focus is on the music-streaming world’s equivalent of “whales” in casinos: […]

BTS smash YouTube record with 78m first-day views of ‘Boy With Luv’

2019 is going to be a very big year for K-Pop stars BTS, spurred by their new mini-album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’. Milestones are already tumbling. The band’s ‘Boy With Luv’ video smashed YouTube’s single-day viewing record, notching up 78m views in its first 24 hours last week. That takes the record from another K-Pop band, […]

Disney+ video-streaming service will cost $6.99 a month

In the music industry, we’re now fairly comfortable with the fact that every major streaming service has pretty much all the recorded music: exclusives are increasingly rare. In the streaming-video world, of course, it’s a very different story: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other services have access to different portions of the catalogue of TV shows […]

Julian Casablancas discards Spotify and Apple Music utterly, begrudgingly praises YouTube

Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Cult Records has been speaking to Billboard about his various music projects, his record label and dealing with the creative process. But buried in the middle of the interview he talks about his dislike and distrust of most streaming services – and what their rise means for artists and labels. “In […]

UMG licenses to uduX, a new Nigerian music streaming service

Yesterday we reported on music streaming service Boomplay raising $20m to expand across the African continent having signed a licensing deal with Warner Music Group last month. Now uduX, a new streaming service based in Nigeria, has signed its first licensing deal with a major label – Universal Music Group. (UMG was also the first […]

Deezer launches dedicated K-Pop channel after 157% growth

Deezer is launching a new hub for Korean pop music on its streaming service. The new K-Pop channel will feature programmed playlists (including some from guest artists like iKON and Stray Kids). “K-Pop is one of the world’s fastest growing genres and is resonating with more and more fans. Deezer’s streams of the genre have already increased […]

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 […]

Billie Eilish album on course for impressive first-week streams

Who knew? Billie Eilish is quite popular with music-streamers, as well as with the streaming services. Billboard reports that her album ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ is on course for more than 170m on-demand audio streams in the US alone in its first week. Although just as impressive is its predicted total of […]

Lang Lang deploys digital tactics for ‘Piano Book’ album

Pianist Lang Lang likes to have fun with technology: we remember him playing ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ on-stage using an iPad and the Magic Piano app back in 2010, for example. On Friday, he released his latest album ‘Piano Book’ through UMG subsidiary Deutsche Grammophon, and there’s some inventive digital shizzle going on around it. […]

Sony/ATV boss thinks labels ‘more vulnerable’ to DSP competition

Music publishers are currently engaged in verbal fisticuffs with a group of music-streaming services, and Spotify in particular, over the group’s plans to appeal against new songwriter royalty-rates set by the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB). But in a valedictory interview with Variety on his last day as chairman and CEO of publisher Sony/ATV, Martin Bandier suggested […]

Report: Amazon Music will grow faster than rivals in the US

Earlier this week, we reported on figures published by research firm eMarketer, suggesting that Spotify might overtake Pandora for US listeners by 2021. Now the company has broken out some more of its predictions for the US market, this time focusing on Amazon’s music-streaming business. “Amazon Music will cross 35 million monthly listeners in the US this […]

Apple announcements: TV, news, games… and a credit card

Apple held its services-focused press launch last night, and as predicted there were announcements of new subscription-based video, news and games products. Apple TV+ will launch later in the year with original shows from the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams, as well as the ability to subscribe to other providers (through […]

Report predicts $45.3bn of global streaming revenue by 2026

The rate of growth in global streaming revenues (retail, not trade) is going to slow down every year between now and 2026. Boo! But wait: those revenues are going to more than double between 2018 and 2026. Hurray! This is all according to Midia Research’s latest report, which forecasts that global streaming spending will grow from […]

Report: JioSaavn slashes annual subscription price by 75%

Will Spotify’s launch in India trigger a price war among competing music-subscription services? It’s possible: JioSaavn has just slashed the price of its annual JioSaavn Pro subscription by as much as 75%. That’s according to a report on the website NewsBytes. “Previously, the plan was available at Rs. 999/year, but now, you can get the same […]

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 […]

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%) […]

Sandbox Issue 224: Up Hit Creek. THE DRY STREAMS PARADOX

Lead: The Dry Streams Paradox is when there is a huge gap between the number of streams an act gets and the number of fans they have or can reach. Just because someone plays one of your songs, it does not follow that they even know what your name is. Does this all mean that […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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) […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Legal & Business Affairs Manager – Primephonic – Amsterdam

Job description Who are we? Primephonic is a digital music start-up that has been dubbed by the media as ‘the Spotify of classical music’. With the best 100% classical music streaming service we are reinventing the digital classical music experience and reigniting a global passion for the genre. Classical music lovers are currently heavily underserved […]

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’ […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 – […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sandbox Issue 220: Vault-ing Ambitions

Lead: While Netflix viewers are currently obsessing over Marie Kondo and her rules on de-cluttering the home (instructing viewers to only hold onto the things that “spark joy”), a different approach needs to happen in digital marketing. Rather than binning everything but the essentials, archivists and markets should be retaining as much as they can […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

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 […]

Soundrop is investigating fake Beyoncé and SZA album-uploads

More details are emerging about the fake Beyoncé and SZA albums uploaded to streaming services just before Christmas, which gathered old tracks and unreleased demos from the artists under different artist names (Queen Carter and Sister Solana respectively). Music distributor Soundrop has revealed that the albums were uploaded through its pipeline, telling Rolling Stone that it took […]

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