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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Netflix ditches in-app purchases for new subscribers on iOS

In August 2018, it emerged that Netflix was testing a new subscription method for its iOS app, with people directed towards its mobile website to enter their payment details. That avoided Apple’s system of in-app purchases, and thus the company’s 30% cut of subscriptions (which falls to 15% after a subscriber has been paying for […]

Esports agency Hurrah explains how it cultivates diversity

There has been a lot of discussion about why music-industry companies could benefit from more diversity in their teams, but it’s as important to talk about how they can achieve this. A blog post from French esports agency Hurrah this week may offer some useful ideas, with its ambition of being “50% minority-driven” by the […]

Chainsmokers, A$AP Rocky and other artists invest in Genies

A startup getting popular from a tool that helps people create avatars of themselves for social sharing? We’ve been here before: Canadian startup Bitstrips had an app hit with its Bitmoji avatars in 2015, and was acquired by Snapchat’s parent company Snap in March 2016 for $64.2m. Bitmoji are now a core part of Snapchat […]

Startup Mojo Vision raises $50m for ‘invisible computing’ AR

It’s not bad going for a tech startup to emerge from stealth mode armed with a $50m funding round. That’s what US startup Mojo Vision has done, with a founding team drawn from companies including Apple, Google and Amazon, and the ambition to create a ‘hands-free’ augmented-reality platform that it’s pitching as “invisible computing”. CEO Drew Perkins […]

Study claims social media ‘increases depression and loneliness’

You know what makes us feel sad? Studies about how social media makes people feel sad. The latest comes from the University of Pennsylvania, based on an experiment involving 143 people completing a survey about their mood and wellbeing, while also sharing screenshots of their iPhone battery screens (which shows how long they’ve been spending on […]

Report predicts that 2018 will be a $1.24bn year for esports

In our recent talk on esports at our Sandbox Summit conference, we noted that most of the figures cited about the competitive-gaming industry come from the same report – published earlier this year by research firm Newzoo. Now another company has come out with some numbers, which are worth a look. Idate ups the figures, claiming that esports […]

Netflix to test lower subscription prices in some markets

Since going public, Spotify’s senior execs (and former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy in particular) have regularly been asked whether the company will take any inspiration from Netflix in its pricing strategy. The post Netflix to test lower subscription prices in some markets appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

iHeartMedia is launching its own podcast awards

Every music-streaming service worth its salt wants a catalogue of podcasts in 2018 – and ideally to shout about its association with podcasts too. US radio group iHeartMedia (which owns the iHeartRadio streaming service) has come up with a new spin on the latter by announcing its first podcast awards. Due to be held on 18 January […]

Report explores the lucrative growth of ‘games as a service’

The concept of ‘games as a service’ isn’t a new one: it’s been around since the early days of Facebook gaming with FarmVille and its like, where games resided on their developers’ servers to be constantly tweaked and updated, and made money from in-game purchases of virtual currency. And the business model – although it […]

Indian telco Jio added 37m subscribers in the last quarter alone

Our lead story in today’s bulletin talks about the Indian music industry’s ambitions to be a top-10 global market by 2022. Telcos are going to play a crucial role in that, so our attention was grabbed this morning by the latest financial results from Reliance Industries, the parent company of mobile network Jio – which is […]

Facebook accused of misleading advertisers over growth in video usage

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a new problem has come knocking at the door of Facebook. Online marketing agency Crowd Siren is taking legal action against the social networking and, based on reviewing 80,000 pages of internal Facebook records, is claiming it knew about inflated metrics around video view times as early as 2015. “[Facebook] […]

Netflix subscriber numbers rise but it faces “poaching” lawsuit from Viacom

New to Netflix Originals, it’s The Good & The Bad Place… that’s where the subscription TV- and movie-streaming service finds itself this week. It now has 137m subscribers globally, growing by 7m in the three months to September. This was above projections and the company’s biggest quarterly growth to date. Revenue in the quarter grew 34% […]

eMarketer breaks down US digital-video advertising predictions

Research firm eMarketer has published its latest predictions for digital video advertising in the US, which includes a new number for YouTube. “This year, YouTube will generate $3.36 billion in net US video ad revenues, up 17.1% over last year,” claimed eMarketer. “YouTube now derives 73% of its ad revenues from video in the US. YouTube […]

Study outlines internet-access growth in sub-Saharan Africa

The music industry’s excitement about the potential of countries in sub-Saharan Africa is underpinned by the awareness that internet access – particularly through smartphones – is growing rapidly in those markets. Now the US-based Pew Research Center has published some new data on that growth in six countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. […]

Google+ to shut down after Google reveals user-data leak

It seems a long time since Music Ally was writing articles about what the Google+ social network might mean for music marketing. Google stopped promoting it as a social network some time ago, although Google+ lived on. Not any more: it’s being shut down in the wake of a data leak affecting up to 500k accounts on […]

New study explores the clout of modern ‘power gamers’

Online-video network Fullscreen has teamed up with research firm Magid to explore the changing demographics – and the purchasing power – of modern gamers. Obligatory caveat: Fullscreen owns a number of gaming brands, so the goal here is clearly to offer brands more evidence to spend money with them. Still, the survey of 1,300 Americans threw up […]

US ‘plateaued’ in internet, social media and device ownership

US research organisation the Pew Research Center is on a run of interesting reports this autumn, with its latest focusing on internet and social media usage, as well as device ownership in the US. The headline: all three metrics have “plateaued”. “The shares of U.S. adults who say they use the internet, use social media, own […]

WhatsApp co-founder joins the fray over Facebook culture

This week’s news that Instagram’s two co-founders are leaving the company sparked several reports on the tensions between them and parent company Facebook. Now the co-founder of another prominent Facebook acquisition, WhatsApp, has joined the fray. Brian Acton left Facebook 10 months ago, and has already made his feelings clear on the social network with […]

Bandcamp to hold fundraiser to protect voting rights in the US

Bandcamp has announced the details for its next day-long fundraiser, which will take place this Friday, seven weeks ahead of the US mid-term elections. The focus this time round is on voting rights, with Bandcamp planning to donate 100% of its share of sales on its site to a program called the Voting Rights Project. “We […]

YouTube’s gaming audience is now 200m+ people a month

YouTube has announced some changes in the way it presents games videos on its service, folding its standalone YouTube Gaming app back in to the main service. Not just yet: the app will be ‘retired’ in March 2019 so that the company can “focus all of our gaming efforts on YouTube where we can reach […]

Apple’s iOS 12 is live, including Apple Music changes and Siri shortcuts

Apple’s new iPhones will inevitably hog the limelight this week, but it’s just as important (from the music industry’s perspective, anyway) that the company’s latest iOS software is being released commercially too. The post Apple’s iOS 12 is live, including Apple Music changes and Siri shortcuts appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Report predicts 4.4bn mobile-broadband users by end of 2018

UN agency the International Telecommuncation Union knows its onions when it comes to mobile statistics, so its latest report comes with plenty of credibility. It claims that by the end of this year, there will be 4.4 billion mobile broadband users globally, up from 4.2 billion at the end of 2017, and 3.2 billion at the end […]

Global smartphone shipments down as Huawei overtakes Apple

Apple’s quarterly financial results are always the trigger for a new round of figures on the global smartphone market, and such was the case yesterday. Research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics agree on the key trend: smartphone shipments are down slightly year-on-year. IDC claimed a fall of 1.8% to 342m smartphone units shipped in the second quarter […]

Facebook opens China ‘innovation hub’ despite being blocked

“There are three reasons I decided to learn Chinese,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a Chinese audience (in Mandarin) back in October 2014. “The first, my wife is Chinese. Her grandmother can only speak Chinese. When I told her in Chinese I was going to marry Priscilla, she was very shocked. Then I want to study Chinese […]

YouTube reaches new milestone: 1.9bn logged-in monthly users

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has revealed a new milestone for the service: 1.9 billion logged-in users a month, up from 1.5 billion in June 2017. Wojcicki published the figure in a blog post giving YouTube channel-owners an update on its ‘five creator priorities’ in 2018, with another stat noting that “on average, users now watch over 180 […]

Netflix sees its next 100m subscribers coming from India

The Financial Times has a good piece on video-streaming service Netflix’s ambitions in India where it’s starting to invest more money in original shows and films. It quotes CEO Reed Hastings speaking at a Delhi conference, saying “Even we couldn’t have predicted the last two years of Indian internet growth” and adding that in terms of Netflix […]

Facebook makes its case for not being a social monopoly

US Senate and House committees recently sent Facebook more than 2,000 questions about how it operates its business, as part of the fallout from the recent Cambridge Analytics revelations. Overnight, the social network provided its answers, with the full document well worth a read (alright: a scan, if you’re busy). One answer is particularly interesting: Facebook making […]

‘Battle royale’ game Fortnite is generating $100m a month

We first wrote about Fortnite: Battle Royale last month, when Drake popped up on Twitch playing the game against a popular streamer. But the rise of Fortnite is well worth following for its own merits: a gaming brand that’s come from nowhere to generate more than $100m a month from in-game purchases, and become a […]

Research claims 3% of YouTube channels get 90% of views

Views are no longer the most important currency on YouTube: it’s been watch-time for a while now – as shown by the fact that the platform’s new minimum requirements for ‘partner’ status include 4,000 hours of watch-time in the last year, rather than a certain number of views. So, a new study of YouTube based […]

Mobile World Congress kicks off with Android Go and Galaxy S9

The mobile-phone industry has swooped in to Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress event this week. Expect all manner of new smartphones to be announced, as well as related technologies. The news got underway this weekend with a pair of Android handsets at opposite ends of the smartphone spectrum. The Alcatel 1X is a […]

Mobile games developer Supercell made $2.03bn in 2017

Finnish mobile games firm Supercell has published its financial results for 2017, revealing that it made $2.03bn of revenues, and a profit of $810m. The twist: the company did that without even releasing a new game that year. Supercell only has four games available: Hay Day and Clash of Clans were originally released in 2012, […]

Music/tech people share book tips and advice for younger selves

A pair of interesting articles on blogging platform Medium may provide some industry inspiration today. First, there’s Idagio product director Bas Grasmayer’s piece asking “what people in music tech would tell their 18 year-old selves”. From former Geffen CTO Jim Griffin (“Get 8+ hours of regular sleep a night. Doing it right is like the […]

eMarketer claims Facebook is losing more younger users

‘Young people are ditching Facebook’ is a tech-industry trope that’s been running for at least five years now, without yet having an obvious impact on the social network’s growth or revenues. However, eMarketer’s latest report at least has data to back up its claim: “This year, for the first time, less than half of US […]

Deloitte makes tech, media and telecoms predictions for 2018

What does the year ahead hold for technology, media and telecoms? Consultancy firm Deloitte has published its annual ‘TMT’ trends report with plenty of topics to chew on. Here’s a grab-bag of some of its most interesting predictions: More than one billion smartphone users will create augmented-reality content at least once in 2018, with 300 […]

Hulu now has 17m subscribers after adding 5m since 2016

Video-streaming service Hulu has announced its latest milestone: 17 million subscribers. That’s up from 12 million in May 2016, which means the service has averaged just 263,000 net new subscribers a month over that period. Compare that to Netflix, which has been adding around five million subscribers a quarter in recent times, albeit with a […]

Data suggests Snapchat is still mainly a messaging app

We know from Snapchat’s last quarterly financial results that the social app had 178 million daily active users, but the company hasn’t broken down what those people are doing within its app. The Daily Beast has now got its hands on some internal metrics that show how popular – or unpopular – individual sections of […]

Report: Apple’s ARKit has been used by 825 apps so far

App analytics firm Apptopia claims that 825 iOS apps released in 2017 used Apple’s ARKit augmented-reality framework. That included around 300 when the technology went live in Apple’s iOS 11 software in September, plus another 525 over the final three months of 2017. The post Report: Apple’s ARKit has been used by 825 apps so […]

Some big YouTubers may be seeing a decline in views

Business Insider has been mining some stats for some of the most well-known YouTubers, and has identified a decline in their monthly views during 2017. PewDiePie, Zoella and DanTDM all saw their monthly views fall in the last year, as well as the number of new subscribers to their channels every month. The piece notes […]

Apple tipped to merge Mac and iOS apps starting in 2018

Bloomberg has an interesting piece about Apple’s potential plans to bring its iOS and MacOS app ecosystems together. “Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it’s running on the iPhone and iPad operating system […]

Apple changes its guidelines on template-based iOS apps

We reported earlier this month on new Apple guidelines that seemed to squash iOS apps created using template-based tools – for example, the various platforms that help musicians create and release their own mobile apps. After protests, Apple has changed the guidelines, which should mean these platforms can continue operating. The rules did say that […]

Pioneer Jaron Lanier on the difference between VR and AR

While we’re on the subject of different kinds of reality, Jaron Lanier is a useful man to listen to, having been one of the original pioneers of virtual reality technology. Wired has been talking to him about the difference between VR and ‘mixed reality’ (MR), and his thoughts may prove handy for any music companies […]

EA forced into last-minute changes by ‘loot box’ controversy

We write and think a lot about how music companies and artists could be interacting with their keenest ‘superfans’, including the fine line between offering them more ways to support an artist without seeming to be ‘milking’ them of their money. Other industries are thinking about this too, of course, and not always getting it […]

Snap stock drops after disappointing quarterly results for Snapchat

Are the wheels well and truly coming off the Snapchat bandwagon? Parent company Snap, Inc published its latest quarterly financial results last night, and while its revenues grew by 62% year-on-year to $207.9m, the company’s net loss ballooned to $443.2m compared to $124.2m this time last year. The post Snap stock drops after disappointing quarterly […]

Social stars launch their own video-streaming service

There’s a new video-streaming service in town, called Zeus, but its founders are social-media stars rather than tech entrepreneurs or media companies. Zeus is due to launch in early 2018, co-founded by Andrew ‘King Bach’ Bachelor, Amanda Cerny and DeStorm Power. According to Variety, the service will focus on categories including comedy, beauty, fashion and […]

Games firm CCP pulls back from virtual reality investment

Many people in the music industry have high hopes for virtual reality technology, and Universal Music’s announcement this week of a partnership with startup Within is an example of the partnerships being struck around VR. But here’s some news from the games industry that may spark caution: one of the key evangelists for VR in […]

Former WMG boss Edgar Bronfman Jr starts new VC firm

We haven’t heard much (in a music-industry sense) from Edgar Bronfman Jr since he sold Warner Music Group to Access Industries in 2011, then stepped down as chairman a few months later. Some interesting news this morning though: Bronfman is starting a new venture-capital company called Waverley Capital, which Bloomberg reports will be raising a […]

India becomes world’s second-biggest smartphones market

China is the country with the highest smartphone shipments in the world, followed until now by the US in second place. Two different research companies reckon that India has just overtaken the latter country. Canalys claims that more than 40m smartphones shipped in India in the third quarter of this year, representing growth of 23% […]

Netflix raises $1.6bn for content acquisitions and originals

Netflix had already announced plans to spend between $7bn and $8bn on content in 2018, but there was a question about how the publicly-listed company planned to finance that investment in licensed shows and films, plus its own originals. Now that question has been partially answered: yesterday Netflix raised $1.6bn of debt funding through a […]

Apple and Google app stores reached new heights in Q3 2017

The latest report from research firm App Annie claims that combined app downloads on iOS’ App Store and Android’s Google Play were nearly 26bn in the third quarter of this year. That’s up 8% year-on-year, and as App Annie points out, the figure relates to new app installs, not reinstalls or app updates. The post […]

Smartphones reaching usage tipping-point in the UK

2017 is set to be a tipping point in the UK for the way people access the internet, with smartphones overtaking desktop and laptop computers for the first time. That’s in terms of time spent a day, according to research firm eMarketer. It claims that this year, Brits will average one hour 59 minutes on […]

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