Here a music industry lawyer lays out exactly what went down with the recent consent decree review, and how the decision put forth by the Department of Justice is bad news for writers and publishers alike. ______________________ Guest Post by Erin M. Jacobson on The Music Industry Lawyer Th
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%).
n even more good news for the music industry as a whole, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or just plain IFPI, reported that music sales in Norway grew 7.8% over last year. For the first half of 2016, there was a reported growth of 333 million NOK, or $40.3 million from music sales alone. This is a solid change from last year, when in the same period, the Norwegian music industry reported 309 million NOK, or $37.4 million.
There are actually a few surprising details worth checking out in IFPI’s report. Downloads sales are actually “significantly reduced”, now bringing in only 4% of overall revenue at 14 million NOK, or $1.7 million. This is a 32% drop from last year, when downloads brought in 21 million NOK, or $2.5 million, about 7% of revenue in the first half of 2015.
Essentially, streaming has now totally overtaken downloading, with very few music fans purchasing one-off songs.
Another interesting bit is that at this same time last year, YouTube and other video streaming services brought in 4.9 million NOK, or $0.57 million, roughly around 1.6% of overall revenue. This year, these same services, taking into consideration the 24 million NOK jump, only brought in 1.5% of revenue 4.7 million NOK, or $0.57 million, down about just .1%.
A final tidbit to notice is that vinyl sales continue to experience growth, with sales “increased by 4.3 [million] NOK, from 9.9 MNOK in 2015 to 14.2 MNOK in 2016, an increase of as much as 43%.”
The past two years have been very good for the Norwegian music industry. In 2014, overall revenue growth came to a screeching halt when, thanks to falling CD sales, which contributed only to 86 million NOK, or $1.1 million. In just one year, CD sales fell 42%, causing one news site to signal the CD format in Norway on “the verge of death”.
What’s leading the rise in music sales? Like other music groups have reported in their first quarterly reports, music streaming seems to be the huge factor once again in driving up music revenue, and subsequently, the fall in digital downloads. The report states,
“Revenue from streaming services such as Spotify, Wimp / Tidal and Apple Music is still the major drivers behind the significant rise in music sales so far this year.”
This year, music streaming came to 278 million NOK, or $34.6 million, making up slightly over 83% of overall income, up from last year’s 248 million NOK, or $30 million, when music streaming accounted for a bit over 80% of music revenue. IFPI CEO Marte Thorsby said in the report,
“Continued revenue growth in streaming services shows that the market is still not saturated and we believe in continued increase in sales in the years to come.”
He also expressed the following concern: +Is Your Music Being Pirated? Find Out And Do Something About It!
“Our concern is that the income from the video stream incl. Youtube is still so low. Knowing that 25% of the population daily use YouTube, it is far from reasonable that they only pay a fraction of what competitors Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music pays to artists and record companies. “It is necessary that we get a legal amendment that secures fair conditions of competition between these players.”
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.
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