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MEPs to vote on easier licensing rules for online music providers

MEPs to vote on easier licensing rules for online music providers | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

More than 500 licensed digital music services operate worldwide, but only one of them is available in all EU member states. The multitude of licences and collecting societies makes it hard for service providers to offer their services across the whole of Europe.

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Colu Announces Beta Launch and Collaboration with Revelator to Bring Blockchain Technology to the Music Industry | Business Wire

Colu Announces Beta Launch and Collaboration with Revelator to Bring Blockchain Technology to the Music Industry | Business Wire | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

Colu, a platform using Bitcoin blockchain technology, today announced that it has beta launched its platform for developers. Individual developers and companies are now welcome to build on the Colu platform. In addition, Colu has announced Revelator as its first partner. Revelatoris a cloud-based provider of sales and marketing intelligence for independent music businesses.

“Colu has made the complex technology of the blockchain accessible for integrations into platforms like ours, and we’re looking forward to exploring all the ways it can improve service to our clients.”

Colu has developed a platform based on Bitcoin blockchain technology which for the first time can be used by developers and consumers with little to no bitcoin knowledge to build and exchange digital assets for everything from financial industry (shares, bonds, stocks), records (certificates, copyrights, documentation) to ownership (event tickets, vouchers, gift cards).

 

Colu is working with music-tech industry leader, Revelator, to build a Rights Management API. Today, there remains a complicated chain of rights ownership and usage in the digital distribution of music. This API will provide the secure issuance and distribution of digital assets, including listing and registration of musical works for its clients and helping collecting societies provide more transparency and efficiency to all market participants.

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Transparency in the Music Industry | Music Business Journal | Berklee College of Music

Transparency in the Music Industry | Music Business Journal | Berklee College of Music | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Of the issues that have bedeviled the music industry, perhaps the most insidious has been that of transparency, or, more accurately, a lack thereof. In fact there really has not ever been a time when the modern music industry, meaning the industry that developed around the distribution and use of sound recordings, has been truly transparent. - See more at: http://www.thembj.org/2015/08/transparency-in-the-music-industry/#sthash.9rFSnmD9.dpufOf the issues that have bedeviled the music industry, perhaps the most insidious has been that of transparency, or, more accurately, a lack thereof. In fact there really has not ever been a time when the modern music industry, meaning the industry that developed around the distribution and use of sound recordings, has been truly transparent. - See more at: http://www.thembj.org/2015/08/transparency-in-the-music-industry/#sthash.9rFSnmD9.dpuf
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Of the issues that have bedeviled the music industry, perhaps the most insidious has been that of transparency, or, more accurately, a lack thereof. In fact there really has not ever been a time when the modern music industry, meaning the industry that developed around the distribution and use of sound recordings, has been truly transparent. - See more at: http://www.thembj.org/2015/08/transparency-in-the-music-industry/#sthash.9rFSnmD9.dpuf
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Is Apple Music having 'no meaningful impact' on streaming market? - Music Business Worldwide

Is Apple Music having 'no meaningful impact' on streaming market? - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Pandora boss dismisses new rival; MBW analysis backs him up
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Google loves Spotify, which is hurting Apple, which is in a war for global domination against... Google. And people say music's lost its value. - Music Business Worldwide

Google loves Spotify, which is hurting Apple, which is in a war for global domination against... Google. And people say music's lost its value. - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

On one level, this is a battle of two similar products simply trying to out-do each other: see Spotify’s new Discover Weekly feature – a trenchant riposte to Apple’s popular ‘For You’ playlist picker.

 

On the other side, witness Apple’s insistence that its human-based music curation can trump anything Spotify’s Echo Nest machine-makers have up their sleeve.

 

It’s some contest.

 

But compared to what’s going on behind the scenes, it’s small fry.

The real Battle Royal is taking place in the judicial and legislative arena of the United States.

 

Apple is now facing tangible pressure from the US’s Federal Trade Commissionfor something it’s been doing for ages: taking a 30% cut of app and in-app purchases – including music subscription services – within iOS and iTunes.

 

This is hardwired into Apple’s technological DNA: in-app purchases on iOS have to be collected using Apple’s own API.

 

There are two arguments over the right and wrongs of this practice.

Apple supporters say it’s a godsend for startup app developers as it removes any initial monetary risk.

 

You don’t have to pay Apple anything upfront, and they don’t take any equity in your company (which, funnily enough, appears to be the de facto major label approach to such relationships).

 

But Apple detractors say this system is deeply unfair. Some refer to it as the ‘Apple tax’.

 

Their argument: Why should companies have to pay Cupertino’s finest such an arbitrary, hefty cut of their proceeds?

 

Especially when Apple’s main device rival, Android, from Google (remember that name, people, for a stunning callback – coming soon) doesn’t place such restrictions on its partners?

 

Enter the launch of Apple Music, and a fuller explanation of why 2015 is hosting an era-defining skirmish in the world of digital entertainment.

Since June 30, Spotify, Tidal, Rdio, Deezer and the rest have faced a painful headache.

 

They either maintain their standard pricing on iOS and swallow Apple’s share (so, charge $9.99 a month to the consumer but give away $3 of this payment to Apple) or increase their public-facing price by 30% (to, say $12.99) to make an allowance for Apple’s slice of the pie.

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App Revenue: How Artists Can Profit From Video Gaming's Recent Lessons

App Revenue: How Artists Can Profit From Video Gaming's Recent Lessons | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Do musicians need to sign to a major label to make it in 2015? Do they need Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote themselves, their music and that super exclusive behind-the-scenes selfie with their dog? Increasingly not, and a wave of new apps look set to make it even easier to sustain a direct-to-fan eco-system.
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What YouTube, Apple, Spotify, Deezer, and TIDAL Are Paying Artists... - Digital Music News

What YouTube, Apple, Spotify, Deezer, and TIDAL Are Paying Artists... - Digital Music News | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Data from the just-released ‘Fair Music: Transparency and Payment Flows In the Music Industry’ by Rethink Music, an initiative of BerkleeICE (Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship)....
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EXCLUSIVE: BuzzAngle Music Takes On Billboard, Nielsen With Dynamic Daily Charts - hypebot

EXCLUSIVE: BuzzAngle Music Takes On Billboard, Nielsen With Dynamic Daily Charts - hypebot | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

What constitutes a hit used to be just about weekly airplay and sales; and for decades Nielsen/Billboard produced the only charts that mattered. Now, upstart BuzzAngle Music is challenging both Billboard's chart supremacy and the frequency at which it measures data. 

 

Rather than supply static weekly charts, Border City Media is providing a tool that produces charts according to the user's chosen selections - dynamic charts -  one for albums, one for songs and one for artists. There are over 230,000 different chart combinations possible for each week in the album and song charts, and over 400 chart combinations each week in the artist charts.

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U.S. Music Streaming Market Worth $2.7 Billion By 2019 - hypebot

U.S. Music Streaming Market Worth $2.7 Billion By 2019 - hypebot | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

MarketResearch.com has just released a report which forecasts the U.S. music streaming market to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.5% between 2014-2019, driving market value to $2,780.1 million by the end of 2019.

 

With last week's publicity on Taylor Swift and Apple, it's no surprise that online music streaming gained more attention. According to a report by publisher TechNavio, global music streaming by key vendors such as Apple, Deezer, iHeart Media, Spotify, Pandora, and more is expected to grow globally at a CAGR of 12.57% over the period of 2014-2019.

 

The U.S. has an anticipated CAGR of 20.5% for the period of 2014-2019.

For 2014, the subscription services segment of online music streaming reached revenues of $799.0 million, equivalent to 73% of the market's overall value.

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Taylor Swift's '1989' won't be on Apple Music, and that's the point

Taylor Swift's '1989' won't be on Apple Music, and that's the point | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Taylor Swift's "1989" won't be available on Apple Music, but the service still has benefits and synergies that will make it different than Spotify or Tidal.
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Is the Long War Between American Radio and the Record Business About to End?

Is the Long War Between American Radio and the Record Business About to End? | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
It's just like old times. In a skirmish nearly a century old, the broadcast radio and recording industries are squaring off once again, over master recording performance rights.
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What Live Nation's Bonnaroo Buy Means for Indie Festivals

What Live Nation's Bonnaroo Buy Means for Indie Festivals | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
The large festival business, once an opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter the game, has become increasingly devoid of independent players as as the live music business shifts to tours bankrolled by global promoters.
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Senate Examines Songwriter Compensation In Effort To Determine The Worth Of A Song - hypebot

Senate Examines Songwriter Compensation In Effort To Determine The Worth Of A Song - hypebot | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

Since May 2013, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet has undertaken a comprehensive review of the entire Copyright Act, including many issues of importance to musicians and songwriters.


But the Act is not the only regulatory structure that impacts how creators are compensated. On Tuesday March 10, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rightstook a look at another piece of the puzzle: the “consent decrees” that govern America’s two largest Performance Rights Organizations (PROs), ASCAP & BMI


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One Third of US Consumers Still Buy Music Downloads, Despite Streaming's Gained Momentum - hypebot

One Third of US Consumers Still Buy Music Downloads, Despite Streaming's Gained Momentum - hypebot | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

Although music streaming is getting the biggest headlines these days, recent research from MusicWatch, a company providing consumer research for the music industry, indicates that consumers have not entirely given up on paid music downloads. In fact, one third of U.S. consumers purchased music downloads last year. 

 

According to recently released data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), paid downloads accounted for 37 percent of U.S. music revenues, while streaming contributed 27 percent.

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Kobalt's AMRA Relaunch Announced Global Royalty Collections Around Apple Music

Kobalt's AMRA Relaunch Announced Global Royalty Collections Around Apple Music | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
AMRA, the collections society formerly known as the American Mechanical Rights Agency, has announced an agreement to handle royalty collections for its clients music within Apple Music.
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PRS spent £35.7m on People in 2014 - here's where the cash went - Music Business Worldwide

PRS spent £35.7m on People in 2014 - here's where the cash went - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
615 staff, with a £56k average wage, drag up costs
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The vast majority of this remuneration (77%) was taken home by PRS For Music CEO Robert Ashcroft, who received a £765,000 basic salary – a £15k annual increase compared to 2013.

 

As Executive Director, Ashcroft was also the only director to receive a pension contribution, which amounted to a further £19,000. He received the same pension contribution in 2013.

 

Additionally, Ashcroft was attributed a deferred annual bonus of £223,032 last year. The aggregate amount of this bonus now deferred for future payment is £433,236.

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Independent labels trounce UMG, Sony and Warner in US market shares - Music Business Worldwide

Independent labels trounce UMG, Sony and Warner in US market shares - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
But indies heavily reliant on majors for distribution
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CD sales remain rock solid in Japan - but J-Pop has a stranglehold - Music Business Worldwide

CD sales remain rock solid in Japan - but J-Pop has a stranglehold - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Domestic sales claim almost 90% of all money taken
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Live Concert Streaming's Journey To Success - hypebot

Live Concert Streaming's Journey To Success - hypebot | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

Live music has been on a bit of an over-the-top roll lately. The five shows in the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well tour, which wrapped up in Chicago over the weekend, together racked up more than 175,000 paid live streams, making it easily one of the largest paid live music events ever to go over the top. Archived shows will be available through August 5, which will push the combined live and on-demand numbers even higher.

 

This week brought word of a partnership between Verizon Digital Media Services and LiveXLive to live stream at least three day-long festivals this fall in the U.S. and internationally.


Launched in May, LiveXLive is a subsidiary of hedge-fund backed Loton Corp., created to pursue what its founders believe is a growing opportunity in live music streaming.  While live-streaming music festivals obviously is not new, LiveXLive’s is thinking much more ambitiously.


According to the launch press release, LiveXLive wants to create a 24-hour over-the-top linear network around live music modeled on what ESPN is to sports and CNN is to news.

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What Apple’s Content Rethink Could Mean For The Music Industry | StrategyEye

What Apple’s Content Rethink Could Mean For The Music Industry | StrategyEye | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

Apple Music is expected to make a significant impact on the music landscape in introducing potentially millions more consumers to streaming and crushing incumbent players. Now the company is also creating music video content in-house in a move that could hint at huge plans for further disruption of the established music industry. US music publication Pitchfork claims that the iPhone maker is responsible for creating the videos for Drake’s Energy, Pharrell’s Freedom and Eminem’s Phenomenal. MIA’s Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than a Border is next on the agenda, with future plans to work with P Diddy and James Bay, as well as the less well-known pop outfit Purity Ring.

 

This is not the first time that Apple has dabbled in creating original content and the firm last year split with long-time ad partner TBWA – the agency behind Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial – to bring advertising in-house. The company’s increased moves in original video content could also hint at some interesting TV plans. With a new Apple TV long-expected, it’s possible that Apple could follow Netflix and Amazon’s lead and develop original TV series to on-board users.

 

However, the fact that the iPhone maker is making these moves in the music industry suggests greater ambitions to develop original content for Apple Music – potentially even establishing a fully-fledged record label. Relationships between streaming services, labels and artists are strained, with artists unhappy with how much money trickles down to them from streaming services after labels have taken their cut of the cash. It’s a system designed for a time long before the digital upheaval of music took place and one that’s ripe for disruption, but that realistically only a company with the influence of Apple, Google, or perhaps Facebook, could seriously fix.

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How Many New Listeners Does Streaming Deliver For Each Lost Music Buyer? [Mark Mulligan] - hypebot

How Many New Listeners Does Streaming Deliver For Each Lost Music Buyer? [Mark Mulligan] - hypebot | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

The next 6 to 12 months could prove to be some of the most disruptive record labels have ever experienced, and nowhere will this pain be felt more than among smaller independent record labels with strong digital sales.   At the heart of this disruption will be Apple Music and the wider continuedramping up of streaming. If Apple Music is a success over the coming year it will do one or both of the following:

 

It will convert / cannibalize non-subscribing download buyersIt will convert / cannibalize existing subscribers

 

-The probability is that it will do a bit of both with an emphasis on #1. The market level net impact of #1 will depend on the degree to which Apple converts lower spending iTunes buyers versus higher spending ones i.e. whether it increases or lowers the average spend.   But even if it is the latter the effect for smaller labels could still be net negative over the coming year. If you are a big label with hundreds of thousands or millions of tracks then you have enough catalogue to quickly feel major revenue uplift from 5 or 10 million new subscribers. If you only have a few hundred or a few thousand tracks though then the picture is less rosy.

 

The Listener-to-Buyer Ratio

At the core is the listener-to-buyer ratio i.e. how many new listeners you get for each ‘lost’ buyer. Let’s say that for every download sale lost due to an iTunes customer becoming an Apple Music subscriber transforms into 10 listens by 3 people within 12 months. So 30 streams instead of one download. The listener-to-buyer ratio here is 3:1. A generous assumption perhaps but let’s work with it. Against a base of $25,000 of download revenue that would translate into $6,250 less download revenue and $2,365 more streaming revenue. So a net loss of $3,885, a 16% decline.

If we reduce the average plays to 5 per user the revenue decline becomes 20%. In order for the revenue impact to be neutral the total new streams would have to be 80, which with a listener-to-buyer ratio of 3:1 would require each person to stream the track 27 times. Or alternatively a 8:1 listener-to-buyer ratio with 10 plays per user would also deliver no change in revenue. A great track could feasibly have an average of 27 plays per user per year, a good track could have 10. But an average track is going to be below both. So realistically, more than an 8:1 ratio is going to be required.

 

Scale Looks Different Depending On Where You Are Sat

What quickly becomes apparent is that the most viable route to ensuring Apple Music streaming revenue offsets the impact of lost iTunes sales revenue is as big an installed base of streaming users as possible. The more Apple Music users there are, the more likely more of them will find and listen to your music. This is why the scale argument so is so important for streaming and also why small labels feel the effect less quickly. If you have a vast catalogue you don’t need to worry too much about the listener-to-buyer ratio because you have so many tracks that you are a much bigger target to hit. The laws of probability mean that most users are going to listen to some of your catalogue.

 

Let’s say you are a big major with 1 million tracks out of the 5 million tracks that get played to any meaningful degree in streaming services. That gives you a 20% market share. But if you are an independent with 50,000 tracks that gives you 1%, 20 times less than the major. Which means that you are 20 times less likely to have your music listened to. And that is without even considering the biases that work in favour of the majors such as dominating charts and playlists, and other key discovery points. So in effect the major record label in this example could be 30 to 40 times more likely to have its music listened to. Which is why the listener-to-buyer ratio is unlikely to keep the major label’s exec up at night but could be the difference between sinking or swimming for the independent.

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Digital now over half of many indie labels’ income

Digital now over half of many indie labels’ income | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

A new study by independent rights body Merlin has found that digital income now makes up over 50% of the income of over half of its members. For a third of its members, digital accounts for 75% of overall revenue.


It has found that streaming is a key driver of growth for labels and is making up for the decline in download revenues that 36% of members reported experiencing. Three-quarters of respondents said that their digital revenues overall increased in 2014 – with 17% saying that digital income was up by over 50%. A significant number of members (8.6%) actually said their digital revenue had doubled from the previous year).

A third of respondents said that streaming is now their primary source of digital income. That said, 11.2% of respondents said they saw a decline in total digital revenues last year.


Some 17.9% of members said their streaming income has doubled and 44.5% said it has grown by 50% or more. Against this, however, 1.75% said they witnessed a decrease in streaming income.


Earlier this year, the IFPI published in Digital Music Report and found that, on a global level in 2014, digital income was exactly the same as physical income for labels (46% each with the remaining 8% coming from performance rights and sync).


Concurrent analysis of 9bn streams has found that indie repertoire is 35% higher on paid tiers on streaming services compared to ad-supported tiers. This puts the importance of the standoff last week with Apple Music (over planned non-payment of royalties during its three-month trial) into sharp relief and reinforces previous studies by Merlin that indie label content punches above its weight on streaming services.

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Record labels back indie muso's bid to snatch .music from web giants

Record labels back indie muso's bid to snatch .music from web giants | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

Roussos application was developed to provide a voice and outlet for musicians and his company has spent years building endorsements from more than 100 global music organizations large and small.

 

"Our community-based initiative for .music has assembled the largest global music coalition in the history of music to support a music cause," he told El Reg. "It represents over 95 per cent of music consumed globally."

 

That combination of artist-led organizations - and now music industry support - will put significant pressure on the independent company that ICANN pays to evaluate community applications to approve the application given its previous report. According to Roussos, the bid will "exceed all ICANN community requirements".

 

Roussos has himself exceeded all expectations with his bid, having been written off almost from the start. The amateur musician and entrepreneur was passionate about his bid, but faced with well-organized and deep-pocketed competitors, many of whom have already spent tens of millions of dollars on acquiring new internet extensions (Google paid $25m alone for '.app'), few gave him much chance of success.

 

It is that focus on the musicians themselves that has led to the music industry's decision to back him: all the other applicants for the name will make the extension available to anyone that wants a '.music' address, whereas DotMusic will limit addresses to musicians and the broader music industry. The company has also taken a strong stance on piracy.

 

"The DotMusic mission is create a safe haven for legal music consumption under a trusted, secure and authentic .music top-level domain," Roussos told us. "Our objective is to create the standard for validated music websites operating under music-tailored policies that enhance legal music consumption, protect copyright and eliminate cybersquatting."

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Apple Wants Us to Pay for Music All Over Again

Apple Wants Us to Pay for Music All Over Again | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

After buying Beats, Apple’s made a few recent moves that show the company may be set to change how users stream music. One of the latest moves, reported by The Verge, is that Apple is trying to convince music labels to not to renew their free music streaming licenses with Spotify. Apple’s reportedly trying to convince labels that offering up their music for free is a bad idea, and that it’s about to have a much better option.

 

And that’s a pretty easy sell these days. Ad-based streaming services don’t provide much revenue for artists, and music labels prefer that music listeners access music through a paywall.


The biggest example of this so far has come from Taylor Swift, who pulled her music off of Spotify earlier this year. According to Quartz, Swift’s move away from Spotify has encouraged Universal and Sony — which control more than half of the music market — to doubt the benefits of the freemium (ad-based) music streaming model.

 

The same article said that Sony Music CEO, Doug Morris, told Hits Daily Double that, “In general, free is death,” meaning that the music industry can’t survive if free music steaming persists.

 

If Apple can convince labels that its new service will bring the labels more revenue, then it could launch its new service with the backing of the industry (something which it appears Spotify might be losing right now).

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TuneCore Revenue Up in First Quarter

TuneCore Revenue Up in First Quarter | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Digital distributor TuneCore's revenues rose 5 percent to $36 million in the first quarter, mirroring the slowed growth in the digital music markets of the United States and other large markets. The U.S. digital recorded music market climbed 6 percent last year while the U.K. market rose just 0.5 percent, according to IFPI figures released last week.
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The Past Year For Music Startups, The Success of Nexflix, And The Niche Side of Music Streaming - hypebot

The Past Year For Music Startups, The Success of Nexflix, And The Niche Side of Music Streaming - hypebot | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

One of the things that has troubled Spotify, and Deezer, and Rdio, and pretty much everyone, is the fact that people don't — and we've said this time and time again — people don't want 20 million songs. They want the 20 songs that they want to listen to right now, or the 20 songs that they're going to listen to and going to like. In December, news broke that SFX is relaunching Beatport as an EDM streaming service. It's still a pretty huge range, but it's much more genre specific. Then, yesterday it was announced that a service company called the Overflow that is going focus on streaming Christian music. Do you think these services provide any sort of interesting solution to this problem of going to Spotify and seeing just way too much content?


Maples: Absolutely. I think there's no doubt that a genre-specific or styles-specific service would do a lot better because they can differentiate on catalog. It's not so much that they have it or they don't. With most of these all-access, 20 million track, on demand services having a search button and a warehouse, they can differentiate on it by the way that they're able to curate, and bring the content directly to the person that cares about that.

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