In 2014, the European music industry lost 5.2% of its total annual sales to piracy, according to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). EurActiv Spain reports.
A recent report has revealed that CD piracy cost the EU’s music industry €57 million in lost sales in 2014, while digital piracy cost the industry €113 million. These figures are equal to 2.9% and 8.8% of total sales respectively.
Dig into the IFPI’s Global Music Report and you’re likely to find reasons for optimism and concern about the global music business. Some markets are thriving; other markets seem to be in jeopardy of falling behind.
The ‘HD Vinyl’ name is a working title, though the basic idea is this: instead of the manual and time-consuming process currently used for creating vinyl LPs, the ‘HD Vinyl’ process involves 3D-based topographical mapping combined with laser inscription technology to more quickly generate a far superior product. Not only will the end product be vastly improved, but the time required to produce the LPs will also be radically reduced.
“…you don’t need to buy a new system…”
The result is a record that looks like the LPs being sold today, and more importantly, plays like them. According to the companies involved, the HD Vinyl disc will play on all currently manufactured turntables, though enhanced features will be better realized on upcoming, HD-compatible turntables. “This is a completely backwards-compatible technology,” said Guenter Loibl, Rebeat CEO. “It will play on any existing turntable, you don’t need to buy a new system to enjoy the benefits.”
Online music users are to benefit from a pioneering new way of discovering lesser known artists and songs developed by researchers at Robert Gordon University (RGU).
Researchers from RGU’s Smart Data Technologies Centre and the School of Computing Science and Digital Media have introduced a new approach to online music recommenders based on a more comprehensive form of social tagging that learns from both human tagging and audio content.
The new recommender exploits the combined knowledge from audio and tagging to extend a track’s social tagging by adding tag-based knowledge from similar music tracks.
Professor Craw continues: “We conducted an online study with real users as well as a larger experiment using Last.fm user data. Both show that our new recommender system provides better quality recommendations than when only social tags are used, and increases the discovery of new, unknown and niche music.
“This approach of using information from similar songs may offer opportunities to improve other online services such as image browsing, movie recommendation and online shopping.”
The new approach has been developed by Professor Susan Craw, RGU Research Fellow Dr Stewart Massie, and Dr Ben Horsburgh who previously had been a Computer Science undergraduate, PhD student and research fellow at RGU, and is now a senior data scientist at Tesco PLC.
The once-doomed BBC Radio 6 Music has achieved the highest ever listening figures for a digital only station in the UK.
Earmarked for closure and then reprieved six years ago, the station has now reached a new milestone, according to the BBC, after the latest figures were released by audience research body Rajar.
With 2.202 million listeners per week, up from a previous record of 2.19 million in the last quarter and 2.08 million in the same period in 2014, the station reached both its own record listening figure as well as the highest listening figure a digital only station has achieved in the UK since Rajar analysis began.
In early 2010, when 6 Music was threatened with the axe its audience stood at 695,000. But the proposed closure - rejected by the BBC Trust - had the effect of boosting its profile and its audience.
The station's Steve Lamacq pulls in 1.08 million listeners, Lauren Laverne gets 875,000 listeners, and Jarvis Cocker gets 305,000 listeners, a spokeswoman for the station said.
The blockchain is a decentralized system, with no single entity controlling it. The servers keeping its backbone upright are scattered across the globe, and for that reason the technology is transparent; everyone can see its anonymized data. It could also replace notaries, as every transaction is time stamped automatically and receives a unique ID. No exchange rates apply either, because cryptocurrencies are oblivious to borders. And because there are no intermediaries involved, monies are transferred instantly.
Two companies, both still in development, show the technology's potential for the music business. PeerTracks, which plans to launch in about two months, plans to use the technology to create a type of artist equity trading system. Another, Ujo ('container' in Esperanto, the international auxiliary language made semi-infamous by William Shatner) is building a system designed to address two major problems in global royalty distribution and licensing.
Apparently, Americans still feel right at home with the radio dial. According to Nielsen, 91.3 percent of people over age twelve still listen in every week.
Seriously? What about all this big-time streaming radio? Spotify? Pandora? Satellite radio? MP3s?
Well, “on-demand” streaming radio is rocking it, with 54 percent of people streaming more music last year than in 2013. Altogether, 59 percent of people listen to both streams and traditional radio for their tunes. But streaming, satellite radio and MP3s have by no means knocked out AM/FM airwaves.
Of course there are a few caveats. The car is the primary place for radio, driving 25 percent of Americans’ listening time. It just feels right to listen to radio in the car, and no other listening format has the ubiquity of the car stereo. As far as new(er) music on a casual, on-the-fly-level, radio’s got it—for free. Fifty-one percent of people use radio to discover new stuff (but they don’t necessarily buy it).
The week of October 19 is the week digital music met its future. Long dominated by early entrants and standalone companies, the music subscription market was rocked by the world's two largest technology companies, Apple and Google.
Nielsen’s fourth annual study of U.S. music listeners, 91% of the national population listens to music, spending more than 24 hours each week tuning into their favorite tunes. While total listening figures are roughly the same as last year, how we access and engage with musicis changing.
In looking at the report data, 75% of Americans listen to music online in a typical week, up nearly 12% from last year. And online listening trends are having a significant impact on our on-demand listening habits. While Americans streamed more than 164 billion on-demand tracks across audio and video platforms in 2014, they streamed 135 billion in the first half of 2015 alone – up more than 90% from the same period last year. And our music listening isn’t just becoming increasingly digital, it’s becoming more mobile. In fact, 44% of us report using our smartphones to listen to music in a typical week, a 7% increase over last year, while we’re listening on our desktop computers less.
Radio continues to be the No. 1 source of music discovery in the U.S, with 61% of respondents saying they find out about new music from AM/FM or satellite radio, a 7% increase over last year. Word of mouth is also important, particularly for teens: 65% say they discover new music through family and friends, well above the average of 45%.
As long as there are fans who want to own, not rent, their music, that is a service we will continue to provide, and that is a model whose benefits we will continue to champion," the service reassured customers.
"Subscription-based music streaming ... has yet to prove itself to be a viable model, even after hundreds of millions of investment dollars raised and spent. For our part, we are committed to offering an alternative that we know works," says Bandcamp, which also takes some digs at competing music delivery services like Spotify and Apple Music.
The company also pointed out that unlike its rivals, it has been profitable since 2012 and that sales of digital albums and individual tracks on Bandcamp both increased by double digits in 2015 despite an overall industry-wide decline in such sales.
Catherine Hol's insight:
Seems like Bandcamp could really benefit if Apple decides to jettison its' download business ...
The growing playlist scene on streaming services is becoming a “closed shop” to independent labels, that are finding it increasingly difficult to infiltrate the major label-dominated playlists on Spotify, Apple Music et al.
That was a key message from AIM’s annual Indie-Con in London on Friday (Jan 29), which hosted a day of panels debating the health of the independent sector worldwide, featuring execs from labels
including BMG, Play It Again Sam, !K7, Secretly Group and Inertia.
Having a spot on an influential playlist can rocket a track up the charts, as was seen recently with Jonas Blue’s cover of Fast Car (Virgin EMI), that shot 58 places to reach #3 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart after appearing on multiple Spotify playlists worldwide. However, those opportunities seem few and far between for the indie sector.
As well as the streaming services’ in-house curated lists, the major labels all have their own regularly updated playlist brands on services such as Spotify and Deezer. Universal owns Digster, Sony owns Filtr and, in 2014, Warner bought Playlists.net and took it in-house.
The big three are said to have inter-company arrangements where they trade spots on each other’s lists, with some management companies doing the same. “It’s a closed shop,” said Marshall. “It’s a fascinating landscape and at the moment it’s quite controlled, it needs to be opened up and made a more level playing field.”
While for many the idea of a record label has become antiquated and anachronistic, Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, and Jack White appear to disagree. Here George Howard speaks with John Simson (one of the founders of SoundExchange) about the economic incentives, both current and potential, for artists who own their own labels.
Did you know less than 1% of the world’s population are currently paying for on-demand music streaming services?
The wider industry continues to hope that the likes of Spotify and Apple Music will provide salvation – and early signs from the Nordics and other territories certainly provide reason for hope.
But why are the vast majority of people refusing to put their hand in their pocket for ‘all the music in the world’?
New research out of the US from Nielsen Music brings us closer to the answer.
The research company has conducted what it calls ‘a comprehensive, in-depth study of consumer interaction with music in the United States’ for its Nielsen Music 360 Report – analysing the responses of more than 3,300 US music fans.
The Report covers a range of topics and provides reason to be cheerful: apparently 75% of US consumers now listen to music online in a typical week, for example.
There’s also a shot in the arm for radio.
According to Nielsen’s respondents, 61% of people say they discover new music on the wireless today, which has actually increased from the 57% who agreed in 2014.
Meanwhile, streaming services, including YouTube, inform 27% of people about new music.
That’s less than a third of radio’s influence, but also behind the recommendations of friends and family (45%) and movies / movie soundtracks (31%).
Regulators and other entities have been looking to create a new system since 2000, when a group of European collection entities sought to build something called the International Music Joint Venture. Most recently, at the direction of the European Union, a number of performance rights organizations and technology companies worked in Europe to try to create something called the Global Repertoire Database, which would have solved this problem for publishers and the songwriters they represent.
But after spending more than $13 million trying to figure out the logistics of such a system, a number of large organizations, including ASCAP and BMI, abandoned the project, effectively putting the Global Repertoire Database on ice. Questions remain about who could pay to maintain a system involved in trillions of transactions every year. A separate initiative, the International Music Registry, which would pay for itself through taxes on transfers of money between performance rights organizations, also is stalled.
Music industry stakeholders say creating something that works for everybody will require an unprecedented amount of wrangling and politicking. But as more and more people begin using these kinds of services, that cooperation will become necessary. “The data’s available,” Omnifone founder Sant said during a panel at last week’s Rethink Music forum. “It’s just spread out in thousands of places.”
Since its 1998 peak, the music industry has been tanking. Global revenue from recorded music has halved from nearly $30 billion before leveling off to about $15 billion in the past few years. In the United States, recorded-music revenue suffered a similar free fall, cratering in 2011 at $4.5 billion...
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