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At SXSW, it's an iTunes world - Apple 2.0 -Fortune Tech

At SXSW, it's an iTunes world - Apple 2.0 -Fortune Tech | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

FORTUNE -- You might think that the music album died when iTunes caught on, letting customers buy the songs they want -- and only those songs -- for $0.99 apiece. But that's not how the headliners at Apple's (AAPL) iTunes Festival in Austin, Texas, see it.

 

I've spoken to a number of musicians this week about the digital music market and what it's like selling their songs on iTunes, and to my surprise they are still focused on the album. They see it as a collection of work from a particular period in their career.

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Streaming playlists becoming ‘closed shop' to independent labels - Music Business Worldwide

Streaming playlists becoming ‘closed shop' to independent labels - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

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.”


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Who's Crazy Enough To Start A Record Label Today? Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, And Others...Here's Why - hypebot

Who's Crazy Enough To Start A Record Label Today? Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, And Others...Here's Why - hypebot | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

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.

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Why aren't people paying for music streaming subscriptions? - Music Business Worldwide

Why aren't people paying for music streaming subscriptions? - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

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%).

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iTunes, Google Play Music face a surprise rival – an Israeli start-up

iTunes, Google Play Music face a surprise rival – an Israeli start-up | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
TriPlay’s acquisition of eMusic now makes it one of the largest music services in the world
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I Built a Botnet that Could Destroy Spotify with Fake Listens

I Built a Botnet that Could Destroy Spotify with Fake Listens | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Automated streaming is the next frontier of click fraud.
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The Music Industry Desperately Needs A Global Rights Database, But No One Knows Who Will Pay For It

The Music Industry Desperately Needs A Global Rights Database, But No One Knows Who Will Pay For It | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

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.”

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Lovell Cooper's curator insight, November 8, 2015 7:51 PM

If we only can get this plan rolling everyone involved will get their due share. 

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Streaming's Poised to Save the Music Business. Now Apple's Ready to Take Over

Streaming's Poised to Save the Music Business. Now Apple's Ready to Take Over | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
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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Why Norway and the UK produce the world's most valuable music fans - Music Business Worldwide

Why Norway and the UK produce the world's most valuable music fans - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

Ask those in the record business about the markets that really matter to the global industry’s bottom line, and they’ll tell you about ‘the big three’.

A few years ago, that would have meant the US, Japan and the UK.

But these days, it’s the US, Japan and Germany –  the outstanding trio in terms of annual cash spent on music.

 

Last year, across record sales, sync and performance rights, these nations generated $8.9bn between them, according to the IFPI.

To put this dominance in context, let’s look at the US alone.

 

In 2014, says the IFPI, the country’s record business attracted US $4.9bn – a third of the global business’s entire revenue.

 

The US haul was close to double the $2.63bn pulled in by Japan in 2014 and not far off quadruple Germany’s $1.4bn.

 

But here’s a bit of a shocker – the US market also turned over more than all of the following markets combined:

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Independents join forces to battle major label streaming playlists - Music Business Worldwide

Independents join forces to battle major label streaming playlists - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

A project is underway to launch a new playlist brand on Spotify and other streaming services which represents independent labels worldwide.

 

The major labels own successful playlist brands including Digster (Universal), Topsify (Warner) and Filtr (Sony), which boast more than 7m followers between them.

 

(Update: To clarify, that 7m figure refers to profile followers. Across all of its playlists combined, Filtr alone has more than 21m followers.)


Today, the Association of Independent Music (AIM) has released an official Request For Proposals (RFP) to organisations and individuals interested in helping creating a comparable playlist brand for the independents.

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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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Radio 6 Music scores highest ever figures for digital only station - Independent.ie

Radio 6 Music scores highest ever figures for digital only station - Independent.ie | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
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.

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How 'the Blockchain' Could Actually Change the Music Industry

How 'the Blockchain' Could Actually Change the Music Industry | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

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.

 

 

 

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Forget What Ya Heard, Radio Isn't Dead Yet

Forget What Ya Heard, Radio Isn't Dead Yet | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

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).

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Apple Music, YouTube Red Mark a Momentous Week for Digital Music

Apple Music, YouTube Red Mark a Momentous Week for Digital Music | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.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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£200,000 to boost UK independent music companies' global reach - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

£200,000 to boost UK independent music companies' global reach - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
The Music Export Growth Scheme has granted a further £200,000 to UK-based independent music companies.
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The Music Industry Desperately Needs A Global Rights Database, But No One Knows Who Will Pay For It

The Music Industry Desperately Needs A Global Rights Database, But No One Knows Who Will Pay For It | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Music industry stakeholders agree on the need for a global rights database, but building and maintaining one won't be cheap.
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Music Is Still the Soundtrack to Our Lives

Music Is Still the Soundtrack to Our Lives | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it

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%.

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Streaming now accounts for 72% of recorded music market in Denmark - Music Business Worldwide

Streaming now accounts for 72% of recorded music market in Denmark - Music Business Worldwide | Music Business - What's Up? | Scoop.it
Digital music now claims 88% of the market by value
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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
Catherine Hol's insight:
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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