When it comes to discovering music you’ll love, few companies do it better than Pandora. From the core of its Music Genome Project, which studies over 450 different musical attributes to find songs according to each listener’s unique tastes, to its Thumbprint Radio, which creates a station based on other songs you’ve liked, Pandora leverages its data to the fullest. But how does it do it, and what are the end results? Here’s what we learned about how Pandora uses Big Data to keep your playlist pumping. The Convergence of Science and Music The beating heart of Pandora — its Music Genome Project — was originally a commercial failure. The idea was to have musicians listen to and decode a song’s “DNA” and then categorize it according to different musical qualities such as meter and tonality. Numbers are assigned to the over 450 different attributes, and Pandora’s algorithm went to work, finding other songs that match these same qualities. Originally, the plan was to license the Music Genome Project commercially, but when that was met with a tepid response, Pandora itself was founded – creating the foundation for the music streaming service we all know and love. But that’s […]
Au début du mois de mars, Spotify annoncait avoir dépassé les 50 millions d’abonnés. Le site de musique en streaming se place donc en leader mondial loin devant Apple Music (20 millions d’abonnés), le Français Deezer (7 millions) et Pandora (4 millions d’abonnés). Apple Music, avec iTunes, dépasse déjà les 20 millions d’abonnés alors que le service n’a été lancé qu’en juin 2016. Thank you to our 50 million subscribers. #Spotify50 pic.twitter.com/eXkOV71bwu — Spotify (@Spotify) 2 mars 2017 Le Suèdois Spotify revendique plus de 100 millions d’utilisateurs contre 820 millions de personnes écoutant de la musique sur YouTube qui, pour l’heure actuelle, ne propose aucun service payant. Le site de radio en ligne Pandora lance mercredi 15 mars une nouvelle offre de musique à la demande. Le service intitulé Pandora Premium sera disponible au prix de 9,99 euros. Ce prix est le même pour toutes les plateformes de musique en ligne. Entreprises Nombre d’abonnés Spotify 50 millions Apple Music 20 millions Deezer 7 millions Pandora 4 millions YouTube 820 millions (non payants) En 2016, le chiffre d’affaires de l’industrie musicale a augmenté de 5,4% selon le Snep, principal syndicat des producteurs. Les sites de musique en ligne représentent aujourd’hui […]
David Israelite In the midst of record labels reporting revenue growth, and with music streaming companies like Spotify and Apple Music touting more paid subscribers, songwriters and music publishers are continuing their lengthy fight to be paid a fair share of royalties. We thought this would be a good time to speak again with David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), about the latest developments in music streaming royalties, and the laws that control how songwriters and music publishers are paid. Israelite recently attended the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) hearings in Washington DC, where three judges heard arguments from music publishers & songwriters on one side, versus the music streaming companies (Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora) on the other side. The three judges will be determining the mechanical royalty rates for a new, five-year period that begins January 1, 2018. Israelite was also a witness at the trial, testifying for eight hours. In this new interview, Israelite discusses the CRB hearings, and when the judges are expected to announce their decision. He also discusses the latest status of the Department of Justice’s decision last summer to uphold the old consent decrees (from 1941), […]
“Today, outside of the vinyl LP resurgence, there are no indications the playlist won’t be streaming’s standard unit for the foreseeable future,” writes Pandora’s music insights and analytics man Glenn Peoples in his latest blog post on Medium . The post is flagging up Pandora’s ‘Add Similar Songs’ feature on its new Premium tier, which aims to stop people abandoning the playlist-creation process if they can’t decide what to add next. As we’ve noted before, this mirrors a feature launched quietly by Spotify last year. There are some interesting stats in Peoples’ article though. “In a survey of 1,500 people in the US, UK and France, MIDiA Research found 68 percent of streaming service subscribers listen mainly to playlists while 60 percent also listen to albums,” he writes. We’d be interested to see some more data on the next step: what percentage of people create their own playlists, and what kind of uplift do features like ‘Add Similar Songs’ on Pandora and Spotify provide to the length of those playlists, and the amount of time the creator then spends listening to them?
Sprint has announced that it has forged a deal for 33 percent ownership of music streaming service Tidal, and as part of the deal, Sprint customers will receive “exclusive artist content” not available anywhere else.
The MBW Review gives our take on some of the music biz’s biggest recent goings-on. This time, we look at Apple’s ridiculous mountain of money, while ponder what it might splash it on. The MBW Review is supported by FUGA . Apple has enough spare money to buy the entire music business. Just like that. According to its latest financial results, Apple Inc currently has a fictional-sounding cash position of $246.1bn – 94% of which ($231.3bn) is held outside the US. Judging by market caps and public valuations, Apple could snap up Vivendi ( $23bn ), Sony Corp ( $38bn ), ,
( $6bn ), Pandora ( $3bn ) and Spotify ( $8bn ) for less than a third of its current savings – and still leave change on the table. One of the few companies Apple couldn’t hypothetically afford for that kind of money is… Apple, whose current market cap ( $624bn ) makes it worth approximately 7,700% more than Daniel Ek’s IPO-chasing green machine, Spotify. So what’s Tim Cook going to do with this mountain of money? That’s a less important question right now than what he’s willing to do with it – especially in the […]
Tencent Holdings is China’s largest company – with an imperious market cap valuation of more than $250bn . It also happens to be the world’s third-biggest music subscription business – one which poses a serious threat to the global ambitions of Spotify and Apple Music . Last year, Tencent spent big to acquire a majority stake in $2.7bn -valued China Music Corp, taking control of two key music platforms – Kuwo and KuGou . Added together with its own QQ Music , which boasts 200m monthly active users, Tencent now services over 15m paying music subscribers – with an estimated digital music market-share in China of over 77% . And get this: unlike Spotify , Deezer , TIDAL , Pandora and pretty much any other standalone music streaming service in existence, QQ Music is consistently profitable (just like its parent company). Tencent is in an especially strong position, because bright people are expecting very big things from its home nation. Universal’s SVP Jonathan Dworkin predicted this week said that China could become the largest recorded music market in the world over the next decade – surpassing the USA, Japan, the UK and Germany. Right now, with a population of […]
Zacks Equity Research Pandora Media Inc. ( P – Free Report ) has been in trouble for quite some time now. Despite the fact that Pandora holds a prime position in the online radio market, the company has been struggling with profitability. Further, rising costs related to licensing, footprint expansion and higher operating expenses will add to its woes. As the company provides music streaming services on the Internet, it has to pay hefty music royalties and licensing fees, which makes its operations much more expensive. Additionally, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) raised the royalty rates by 15% last December. This added to the already high content costs. Things went further downhill last year as there were questions about the standalone status of the company. There were numerous speculations, the most notable among them being that of satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) making a fresh offer to acquire music streaming services provider. Pandora Media, Inc. Price Pandora Media, Inc. Price | Pandora Media, Inc. Quote However, Pandora has taken strategic measures to post a turnaround. Last year, the company announced Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium services. While Plus is a “one-of-a-kind, ad-free radio experience” available for […]
The last time we did this was back in 2014 , so we thought it was time for an update. Not a lot of surprises but as we predicted when streaming numbers grow, the per stream rate will drop. This data set is isolated to the calendar year 2016 and represents an indie label with an approximately 150 album catalog generating over 115m streams. That’s a pretty good sample size. All rates are gross before distribution fees. Spotify was paying .00521 back in 2014, two years later the aggregate net average per play has dropped to .00437 a reduction of 16%. YouTube now has their licensed, subscription service (formerly YouTube Red?) represented in these numbers as opposed to the Artist Channel and Content ID numbers we used last time. Just looking at the new YouTube subscription service numbers isolated here, they generate over 21% of all licensed audio streams, but less than 4% of revenue! By comparison Apple Music generates 7% of all streams and 13% of revenue. Speaking of Apple, they sit in the sweet spot generating the second largest amount of streaming revenue with a per stream rate .00735, nearly double what Spotify is paying. But, Spotify […]
Pandora’s insights and analytics guy – aka Billboard contributor Glenn Peoples – has confirmed in a blog post that artists will continue to receive their royalties from the free version of the US personalised radio service via SoundExchange, even though the digital firm has shifted over to direct licensing arrangements with the labels. Though all the monies due on Pandora’s paid-for packages – both the existing ad-free personalised radio set up and the soon-to-launch fully on-demand option – will flow through the labels. Pandora originally licensed its entire operation via the compulsory licence that exists under US copyright law for online radio. This meant that it could get a single licence from collecting society SoundExchange that covered all sound recordings, with no need to do individual deals with each record company. Which was handy, given that when Pandora was launching the labels were in the habit of saying “fuck no” to any digital business model that wasn’t an iTunes clone. The existence of the SoundExchange licence is why Pandora could be so early to market, and why it – and its personalised radio model – is so big Stateside. It’s also why, for a number of years, Pandora was […]
In a peculiar mix of pain and gain, Pandora released news that encompassed significant staff layoffs and upbeat earning guidance. Timed after market close on Thursday, the double message caused an eight percent stock rise at one point after-hours. (Note: Pandora stock is up nearly nine percent in pre-market trading at 8:00am Friday morning.) “Hard Decisions” Pandora cut 7% of its staff on Thursday — that’s the pain part. “We said goodbye to colleagues who have worked tirelessly to make Pandora the force it is today,” Founder and CEO Tim Westergren wrote in a stockholder letter on Pandora’s investor site. (A separate press release indicates that the layoffs will be completed by the end of Q1.) Wall Street likes layoffs, generally, especially if there is an underlying rationale that speaks to productive restructuring and growth. On that point Westergren spoke in a general way: “We took a comprehensive look at our operations and made the hard decisions necessary to focus the company on the most significant opportunities in front of us.” That’s boilerplate, of course, but not without basic logic, given Pandora’s significant change of business model starting later this quarter with the launch of the Pandora Premium on-demand […]
Last month, iHeartRadio’s entry to on-demand music streaming finally went live as a beta service on mobile. Today, that service is officially out of beta testing and available for everyone on mobile, desktop and certain compatible devices. Although iHeartRadio is a little late to the on-demand streaming music party, they’ve brought along Napster’s music library to power the $9.99-per-month iHeartRadio All Access service. The All Access tier offers the ability to save tracks for offline listening and build out a proper music library. There’s also a $4.99-per-month iHeartRadio Plus plan that works more like Pandora, with unlimited skips, and allows users to save songs from the radio, instantly replay radio tracks and jump to any song in the library, although you don’t get the same library management features as with All Access. The system also ties into local radio stations so you can keep up with top checks and playlists curated by radio personalities you already know. So, if you’re having a hard time breaking your terrestrial radio habit, iHeartRadio’s options are enticing, especially if you’re not already plunking down ten bucks a month for a similar service. If you’d like to try it out, iHeartRadio is offering a […]