Music Ally http://musically.com Music industry consultancy covering digital music marketing and strategy Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:19:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=102 Will Jay Z’s Aspiro acquisition be the blueprint for streaming success? http://musically.com/2015/01/30/jay-z-aspiro-acquisition-streaming/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/jay-z-aspiro-acquisition-streaming/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:23:48 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56481 d93530471e4401511ff1740dbd4a7d65It's a good day if you like streaming music surprises: Jay Z is buying Aspiro, the Scandinavian company behind streaming services WiMP and Tidal.
Project Panther, a company owned by the rapper's S. Carter Enterprises, has tabled a bid of $56m for the company.

The offer has been recommended to shareholders by Aspiro's board of directors, and the largest of those shareholders – media group Schibsted, which owns 75% of Aspiro – has already accepted.

The post Will Jay Z’s Aspiro acquisition be the blueprint for streaming success? appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/jay-z-aspiro-acquisition-streaming/feed/ 0
Messaging app Line’s revenues up 126% in 2014 http://musically.com/2015/01/30/messaging-app-lines-revenues-126-2014/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/messaging-app-lines-revenues-126-2014/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:47:33 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56480 The company behind messaging app Line published its latest financial results yesterday, with the app’s revenues up 126% year-on-year to ¥77.4bn ($656m). The company said that Line ended 2014 with 181 million monthly active users, although 92 million of those are in three countries: Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Line has big ambitions in the west – particularly the US – but for now it remains mainly big in its home country and south east Asia. The results outline Line’s ambitions to also become much more than a messaging app: its mobile games business has been a big part of its financial growth, but Line is also expanding into payments, food delivery and online video. And music, of course: it’s buying MixRadio from Microsoft, while launching a separate Line Music service in Japan.

The post Messaging app Line’s revenues up 126% in 2014 appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/messaging-app-lines-revenues-126-2014/feed/ 0
Game-streaming service Twitch now has 100m viewers http://musically.com/2015/01/30/game-streaming-service-twitch-now-100m-viewers/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/game-streaming-service-twitch-now-100m-viewers/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:42:52 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56479 At the end of 2013, Twitch had 45 million monthly unique viewers watching other people play games and stream the footage online. That’s why Amazon bought the company for $1.1bn last year. It turns out that 2014 was also a year of rapid growth for Twitch: in its end-of-year report, it says that in December 2014 its viewership had more than doubled to 100 million unique users. Twitch also said that it had 1.5 million people broadcasting video on its platform by the end of 2014, although only 10,000 of them were sharing advertising revenues with Twitch through its partnership program. As we’ve been reporting, Twitch has ambitions that touch on music too, from attracting artists to broadcast live on its platform, to licensing music for gamers to use for their soundtracks.

The post Game-streaming service Twitch now has 100m viewers appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/game-streaming-service-twitch-now-100m-viewers/feed/ 0
Radio veteran James Cridland on ‘clearly unloved’ Google+ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/radio-veteran-james-cridland-clearly-unloved-google/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/radio-veteran-james-cridland-clearly-unloved-google/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:35:48 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56478 Former BBC exec and current consultant and Radioplayer evangelist James Cridland has lost his love for Google+, and penned a blog post explaining why. “It’s so clearly unloved by Google, with no major updates for some time, that I doubt it is worth investing in a product which is so clearly in maintenance mode,” wrote Cridland. “Many of the people I follow are no longer posting here. Blogger blogposts, automatically thrown in here, make up much of the remainder of things I see. Comments were once thoughtful, but are now mostly full of idiots; communities are either empty or full of spam.” He also noted that Google’s own communities within Google+ are often abandoned. “If Google doesn’t care about Google+, why should I?” Google certainly still has a team actively encouraging musicians to use the service, but the questions about its overall commitment to Google+ as a distinct platform (as opposed to a social layer across all its services) will only increase, we suspect.

The post Radio veteran James Cridland on ‘clearly unloved’ Google+ appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/radio-veteran-james-cridland-clearly-unloved-google/feed/ 0
Aphex Twin takes his unreleased recordings to SoundCloud http://musically.com/2015/01/30/aphex-twin-takes-unreleased-recordings-soundcloud/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/aphex-twin-takes-unreleased-recordings-soundcloud/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:27:33 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56477 Who is the mysterious ‘user48736353001’ who’s been releasing a host of unreleased Aphex Twin demos on SoundCloud? Yep, it’s Richard D. James himself. Well, SoundCloud has been pointing journalists to a tweet from his official Twitter account as proof that it’s him, although the tweet was merely a link to the SoundCloud account. Anyway, it’s a fascinating drop for fans, with 109 tracks having been uploaded at the time of writing. “none of these uploads have been mastered by the way so you might need to tweak the eq a bit,” he commented on one track, seemingly confirming that this is a tubes-clearing exercise for new material to come. “Might re-do the most popular ones but rather be makin new stuff.” More than 21,000 people have followed the account so far.

The post Aphex Twin takes his unreleased recordings to SoundCloud appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/aphex-twin-takes-unreleased-recordings-soundcloud/feed/ 0
Spotify’s latest app integration is with RunKeeper http://musically.com/2015/01/30/spotifys-latest-app-integration-runkeeper/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/spotifys-latest-app-integration-runkeeper/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:21:26 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56476 We’ve thought for some time that there’d be a fertile crossover between fitness apps and music apps, but only a handful of companies or brands have tried it – the running apps from Ministry of Sound and NOW, for example. Here’s an interesting new partnership, then: Spotify and workouts-tracking app RunKeeper. “Now, Spotify premium users can fire up Spotify music right from the RunKeeper start screen,” explained the latter company. “All your favorite playlists are just a click away, plus Spotify will be serving up its top workout playlists so you can listen to full songs, all without having to leave RunKeeper.” It’s a sign of Spotify’s shifted priorities in the world of third-party apps: rather than getting people to make services for its desktop ‘App Finder’ – now winding down – it’s putting Spotify into as many other mobile apps as possible, from DJ apps and Uber to RunKeeper.

The post Spotify’s latest app integration is with RunKeeper appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/spotifys-latest-app-integration-runkeeper/feed/ 0
Guvera says it’ll be live in 100 countries by Christmas http://musically.com/2015/01/30/guvera-says-itll-live-100-countries-christmas/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/guvera-says-itll-live-100-countries-christmas/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:16:00 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56475 Australian streaming music firm Guvera has been signalling aggressive global expansion plans, following its acquisition of Blinkbox Music in the UK. “We plan to be in up to 20 new markets by June, and up to 100 markets by the end of the year,” the company’s global chief operating officer Michael de Vere told Music Week. He added that in five years’ time “Guvera should be the biggest music streaming company in the world with an ad-funded model as its base”. That’s going to be a hugely expensive business, though: think of Spotify’s $350m of funding in the last two years alone, with another $500m rumoured to be on the way soon. Still, Guvera is certainly bullish about the prospects for its model, despite industry chatter around the merits of free streaming. “We believe the ad-funded model is the future of the business,” said Vere.

The post Guvera says it’ll be live in 100 countries by Christmas appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/guvera-says-itll-live-100-countries-christmas/feed/ 0
YouTube responds to Zoe Keating contract criticism http://musically.com/2015/01/30/youtube-responds-zoe-keating-contract-criticism/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/youtube-responds-zoe-keating-contract-criticism/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:11:00 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56474 Not on the record, yet, but YouTube has clearly given a detailed briefing to Billboard on background, in an effort to regain the initiative in the public row surrounding independent musician Zoe Keating’s concerns about its YouTube Music Key contract. Among YouTube’s key claims: even if a musician like Keating declines to sign its Music Key contract, they will still be able to use its Content ID system to allow or block other videos using their music. They just won’t be able to choose the ‘monetise’ option to get a share of ad revenues. YouTube also claims that it is not blocking artists from doing exclusive and early-access promotions with rival services, despite that being one of the terms in the contract sent to Keating.

The post YouTube responds to Zoe Keating contract criticism appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/youtube-responds-zoe-keating-contract-criticism/feed/ 0
Spotify tipped for monster $500m funding round http://musically.com/2015/01/30/spotify-tipped-monster-500m-funding-round/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/spotify-tipped-monster-500m-funding-round/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:04:07 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56473 With Spotify having raised $100m in 2012, then $250m in 2013, an IPO has been widely expected as the streaming service’s next step. The company may be buying itself more time before going public, though: the Wall Street Journal claimed yesterday that Spotify is seeking an even bigger funding round of $500m, which could value the company at more than $7bn. “The company is talking with investors who typically buy into companies ahead of an IPO, including mutual-fund operator T. Rowe Price Group,” claimed its report, which fingered Goldman Sachs as working with Spotify on a round that could put off an IPO for another year. It would also give Spotify a cash injection just as competition from Apple and Google/YouTube in the streaming market intensifies, with an expensive battle (both in marketing and exclusives terms) ahead. Spotify has declined to comment on its fundraising plans.

The post Spotify tipped for monster $500m funding round appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/spotify-tipped-monster-500m-funding-round/feed/ 0
Samsung and Apple are neck-and-neck for smartphone shipments http://musically.com/2015/01/30/samsung-apple-neck-neck-smartphone-shipments/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/samsung-apple-neck-neck-smartphone-shipments/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:44:25 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56472 Is Apple about to overtake Samsung for smartphone shipments? It would have seemed hugely unlikely even half a year ago, but figures released by both companies suggest they were neck-and-neck in the final quarter of 2014. We reported on Apple’s 74.5m iPhone shipments in Q4 yesterday, but then Samsung came out with its own figures: 95m overall mobile phones sold that quarter, with smartphones accounting for a “high 70 percent” proportion of them – in other words, between 71m and 75m. So, where Apple’s numbers have been seen as a triumph, Samsung’s have been seen as a sign of that company’s smartphone dominance sliding – aided by news yesterday that its mobile division’s earnings were down 64% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2014. Both companies are selling a shedload of smartphones, but the market momentum appears to be with Apple now.

The post Samsung and Apple are neck-and-neck for smartphone shipments appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/samsung-apple-neck-neck-smartphone-shipments/feed/ 0
Facebook financials reveal sharp growth – including video http://musically.com/2015/01/30/facebook-financials-reveal-sharp-growth-including-video/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/facebook-financials-reveal-sharp-growth-including-video/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:41:09 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56471 Facebook reported its financial results for the final quarter of 2014 yesterday, with revenues up 58% year-on-year to $12.47bn, with a net profit of $701m. The social network now has 1.39bn monthly active users (up 13%) and 890m daily active users (up 18%), with 1.19bn mobile monthly active users. Mobile continues to drive Facebook’s business, accounting for 69% of the company’s $3.59bn of advertising revenues in Q4. A big point of interest from Facebook’s analyst earnings call last night: growth in the number of native video views on the social network. In September, Facebook had 1bn native video views a day, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that has now tripled to 3bn. “Today, over 50% of people in the US who come to Facebook daily are watching at least one video per day and globally over 65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile,” added COO Sheryl Sandberg. “One of the big trends over the next three to five years is the growth in video and richer content in our service,” said CFO Dave Wehner. Watch out YouTube.

The post Facebook financials reveal sharp growth – including video appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/facebook-financials-reveal-sharp-growth-including-video/feed/ 0
Messaging app Kik has 200m users (but won’t talk MAUs) http://musically.com/2015/01/30/messaging-app-kik-200m-users-wont-talk-maus/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/messaging-app-kik-200m-users-wont-talk-maus/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:27:54 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56470 Kik is one of the messaging apps battling for a space on teenagers’ smartphone homescreens, and yesterday it published some stats. They included the milestone of 200 million registered users, although unlike rivals like WeChat and WhatsApp, Kik isn’t saying how many of them are monthly active users (MAUs). “Other companies make a big deal about MAU, but we think they might as well be called ‘minimally active users’. It’s a metric so easy to game that it becomes almost meaningless,” wrote CEO Ted Livingston. “For example, push notifications are so powerful for mobile that you can drastically increase MAUs just by blasting out a ‘Happy holidays!’ and counting everyone who opened the app in response as ‘active’. That’s not for us.” Kik is pushing different metrics instead: a self-commissioned study showing its users spend 35 minutes per session in Kik’s app, compared to 37 minutes for Facebook, 27 for Instagram and 21 for Snapchat. “Two hundred million is a great number, but 35 minutes is where the real action is. The next task is to get that up to 38…”

The post Messaging app Kik has 200m users (but won’t talk MAUs) appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/messaging-app-kik-200m-users-wont-talk-maus/feed/ 0
Bad news, musicians: funny cow YouTube videos aren’t an income http://musically.com/2015/01/30/bad-news-musicians-funny-cow-youtube-videos-arent-income/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/bad-news-musicians-funny-cow-youtube-videos-arent-income/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:19:59 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56469 Musician PJ Wassermann is shocked at how much (well, how little) money he’s getting paid by YouTube. “151,781 views with 681,104 minutes playtime in eleven months generated an income of $10.02!” he writes in an op-ed for Digital Music News. “One million views would generate about $65, one single view boils down to $0.000065. How is a musician supposed to make a living with this kind of payout?” In truth, few musicians have expectations of making a living solely from YouTube royalties – the debate is more about how that service impacts on the other ways they make money, for better or worse. Even so, some of the details provided by Wassermann are fun. “Why do 20,926 views of ‘9. Best of Chillout…’ pay $2.96 but 17,594 views of ‘funny cows singing mix’ pay only $0.28? I don’t know. The same song under the name of ‘La chanson de la vache Techno remix’ pays $2.20 for 24,908 views…”

The post Bad news, musicians: funny cow YouTube videos aren’t an income appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/bad-news-musicians-funny-cow-youtube-videos-arent-income/feed/ 0
Amazon boots FrostWire out of its Android app store http://musically.com/2015/01/30/amazon-boots-frostwire-android-app-store/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/amazon-boots-frostwire-android-app-store/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:12:01 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56467 Amazon appears to be having a crackdown of sorts on torrenting apps within its Android ‘Appstore’, judging by its decision to boot out the FrostWire app. “In reviewing your app, we determined that it can be used to facilitate the piracy or illegal download of content. Any facilitation of piracy or illegal downloads is not allowed in our program,” explained an email sent to the app’s developer Angel Leon. The decision could prove controversial if Leon’s claims that FrostWire was only promoting legal downloads rather than copyrighted content: “We have never promoted illegal file sharing, we actually promote creative commons downloads, and free legal downloads from soundcloud, archive.org.” The ban’s effect is likely to be limited, though: keen FrostWire users can still get updates direct from the developer, so all this means is casual Appstore browsers won’t come across it.

The post Amazon boots FrostWire out of its Android app store appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/amazon-boots-frostwire-android-app-store/feed/ 0
Russell Simmons’ ADD has sold 64k singles so far http://musically.com/2015/01/30/russell-simmons-add-sold-64k-singles-far/ http://musically.com/2015/01/30/russell-simmons-add-sold-64k-singles-far/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:07:23 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=56466 All Def Digital (ADD) is the digital label launched by Russell Simmons last year in partnership with Samsung and Universal Music. Its aim: to build a platform for unsigned artists to compete for attention, then release one track a week by the ones that cut through the noise, choosing them by analysing their metrics, from Instagram followers and YouTube views to the length of time people on ADD’s site listen to their songs. Since its launch in May “64,000 singles popularised through the platform have been sold for an average of 99 cents or less” according to AdAge, with 11,000 artists having uploaded 15,000 tracks so far. Small beans in terms of revenue so far, then: around $44k, of which Universal takes a 50% share. But the value of this platform is more about discovering talented artists whose earnings for ADD and Universal could dwarf that income in the future.

The post Russell Simmons’ ADD has sold 64k singles so far appeared first on Music Ally.

]]>
http://musically.com/2015/01/30/russell-simmons-add-sold-64k-singles-far/feed/ 0