Music Ally http://musically.com Music industry consultancy covering digital music marketing and strategy Thu, 30 Jul 2015 05:27:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=459 Sandbox 138 – Hook Up: Dating apps and music http://musically.com/2015/07/29/sandbox-138-hook-dating-apps-music/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/sandbox-138-hook-dating-apps-music/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:26:47 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57993 Sandbox 138 cover imageLead: Music is no longer acting coyly around dating apps and has fully charged into that world as a marketing channel. We look at who the most adventurous have been here and also explain where these relationships can turn sour.

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Major label playlisting brands building their profiles on Apple Music http://musically.com/2015/07/29/major-label-playlisting-brands-building-profiles-apple-music/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/major-label-playlisting-brands-building-profiles-apple-music/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:56:18 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57984 A new industry maxim should be to judge a streaming service by how much traction it is getting among playlisters. Recently Kieron Donoghue (VP of playlists strategy and curation at Warner Music) tweeted that he was building some Apple Music playlists. Chris Price (@chrispricey) asked him which playlist brand this was for and he revealed that it was for Topsify. A little bit of digging around on Apple Music reveals that at all three of the major labels’ playlisting brands – Topsify (Warner), Filtr (Sony) and THIS IS (Universal) – have just been listed on the service and they are currently populating their sections. Towards the bottom of the Filtr list, for example, there are six unfilled categories titled “Placeholder 1” through to “Placeholder 6”, suggesting this is still very much a work in progress. The main playlists on Filtr include “New Music”, “New R&B”, “New Dance” and “New Pop” alongside ones for running and other mood-based collections (“Sunny Afternoon”, “Smooth Operator”). Most incredibly there is one called “I Drank A Jar Of Coffee & I Took Some Of These” (lyrics from The Fall’s ‘Totally Wired’, fact-fans) that includes songs like ‘White Rabbit’, ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ and ‘Hash Pipe’. (Music […]

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Twitter Q2 revenues up 61% but net loss stands at $137m http://musically.com/2015/07/29/twitter-q2-revenues-61-net-loss-stands-137m/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/twitter-q2-revenues-61-net-loss-stands-137m/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:52:30 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57983 Like with SiriusXM (above), Twitter’s Q2 results were the classic “mixed bag”. Revenues were up by 61% to $502m in the period. HURRAH. Ad revenue was up by 63% to $452m, with mobile accounting for 88% of that. ALSO HURRAH. Net losses in the quarter were $137m. NOT HURRAH. It had 304m monthly active users in the period, a slight increase of 2m from the previous quarter. Anthony Noto, the company’s CFO, hinted at huge barriers for future growth in an earnings call. He said the service is still somewhat restricted to “early adopters and technology enthusiasts” and that it has “not yet reached the cohort of users known as the mass market”. That is a pretty bold statement to make in an earnings call – i.e. saying that a service running on VC money and racking up losses is struggling to hit scale, the very thing its backers are praying it does in order to see a healthy return on their investment. The company is suggesting it is looking at ways to simplify the product, but that might not be enough to take it into the heart of the mainstream. Last month, Dick Costolo – Twitter’s CEO – announced […]

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BroadbandTV and BMG create Windfall to push YouTube acts http://musically.com/2015/07/29/broadbandtv-bmg-create-windfall-push-youtube-acts/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/broadbandtv-bmg-create-windfall-push-youtube-acts/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:48:51 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57982 MCN BroadbandTV and BMG have “joined forces” (e.g. done a JV deal of some description) to launch the optimistically titled Windfall to help push and break YouTube acts. Pooling their resources and expertise, BMG will handle the music publishing, rights management, promotion and distribution side of things while BroadbandTV will be in charge of online video production, premium channels and UGC content management. BroadbandTV already operates two genre-specific MCNS – Opposition (hip-hop) and WIMSIC (EDM (they mean “pretty terrible dance music”)). BroadbandTV has been running for a decade and has 36,000 content partners across MCN “verticals” (they mean “categories”), which include games, music, lifestyle, entertainment, kids/family and news.

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Apple Music joins T-Mobile’s Music Freedom package http://musically.com/2015/07/29/apple-music-joins-t-mobiles-music-freedom-package/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/apple-music-joins-t-mobiles-music-freedom-package/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:45:48 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57981 T-Mobile in the US has announced that its customers who are Apple Music users will be able to stream music over 4G for free. It already does the same for users of 33 different streaming services (up from seven a year ago), with the music-centric ones including Pandora, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, Slacker, and Spotify – but not (for now) Amazon Music. This is part of its Music Freedom feature and the addition of Apple Music to the “safe” list was down to, apparently, 80% of requests from T-Mobile on its Twitter account. John Legere, T-Mobile’s president & CEO, blogged about this, saying, “Music Freedom is open and free to every legal music streaming service out there. As I’ve said from the start, our goal is to set ALL your music free, and we won’t stop until we do. As of now, the services in Music Freedom cover 95% of all music streamed on mobile in the US. I’d call that a damn good start.” He added that Music Freedom users stream 131m songs a day, using that to have a pop at rival networks. “If AT&T customers streamed that much music, they could be paying upwards of $2.3 billion a year […]

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Imogen Heap talks about Mycelia and how blockchain can help the music business http://musically.com/2015/07/29/imogen-heap-talks-mycelia-blockchain-can-help-music-business/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/imogen-heap-talks-mycelia-blockchain-can-help-music-business/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:41:23 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57980 There is clearly “something in the air” (well, on the web). Yesterday we covered Zoë Keating talking about how blockchain and Bitcoin could bring greater transparency to the digital music industry. Now Forbes has run a lengthy interview with Imogen Heap on the same thing and, more specifically, Mycelia – which she describes as “a working idea space” but not something she is “actively bringing to life just yet”. So what is Mycelia? Heap offers this explanation, “Mycelia – the system/ library/database – hosts hundreds of millions of Spores, which hold the creative content. In this case, music and its related data (but not limited to Music, as I see this as a model for all creative content and Mycelia would benefit hugely from their living together). Upon their collective foundation, the services – that both the artists and those who engage with it so desperately need – can grow above ground. These services I refer to as ‘Mushrooms’.” She adds, “Those which are taxing, inefficient or ‘closed’, as they do in nature, are rejected, wither and die. A hashtag, linked to each Spore, tracks its movements, and keeps its trail intact on the blockchain, while the Spore itself is […]

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SiriusXM users up but earnings down http://musically.com/2015/07/29/siriusxm-users-earnings/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/siriusxm-users-earnings/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:33:29 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57979 A mixed bag in Q2 for US satellite broadcaster SiriusXM. Earnings for the period were $103m, a drop from $120 a year ago – which was partly down to payments to settle recent litigation over recordings for pre-1972 recordings. In a click-click-finger-snap-stop-looking-at-that-look-at-THIS movement, the company has trumpet-tootled about an 8% increase in revenues to $1.12bn as well as a bump of 692k new subscribers in the period, a 46% improvement from the 475k added in Q2 2014. This brings its total subscriber base to 28.4m. CEO Jim Meyer prated on about how tremendous the music industry (the same one that was chasing it, like a litigious Dick Dastardly after that pigeon, around the courts for pre-1972 royalties) is as a partner. He also hinted that in “the fall” (he means “the autumn”) it would be working more closely with the TV industry. That will include a 24-hour news channel with Fox News.

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VKontakte and Sony Music reach goodwill agreement in Russia; licensed streaming service pokes nose over the horizon http://musically.com/2015/07/29/vkontakte-sony-music-reach-goodwill-agreement-russia-licensed-streaming-service-pokes-nose-horizon/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/vkontakte-sony-music-reach-goodwill-agreement-russia-licensed-streaming-service-pokes-nose-horizon/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:27:36 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57978 Sony Music has signed a goodwill agreement with VKontakte, the social network that everyone is apparently legally obliged to refer to as “the Russian Facebook”, as it looks to become a proper, licensed partner for the record industry. The terms of the Sony deal were not published but it was part of a wave of lawsuits filed against it in St Petersburg by all three major labels. The outcome of the cases brought by Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group are, currently, unknown. VKontakte has been a target for rightsholders as it is viewed as a platform for mass copyright infringement by its users. The labels, in their actions, were also seeking 50m rubles in compensation. It is not clear what is happening about that but reports are suggesting that VKontakte will now move to finally launch its long-rumoured (and fully licensed) subscription streaming service. Back in November, it claimed to be in talks with major publishers to launch this service but nothing was heard about it since. It will be interesting to see if it can launch its own music service before Facebook (“the American VKontakte”) launches its.

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IFPI head defends labels’ streaming payments while firing shots at SoundCloud and YouTube http://musically.com/2015/07/29/ifpi-head-defends-labels-streaming-payments-firing-shots-soundcloud-youtube/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/ifpi-head-defends-labels-streaming-payments-firing-shots-soundcloud-youtube/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:11:23 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57967 Frances Moore, the chief executive of the IFPI, has posted a blog about artist payments from streaming services. She opens by saying that artists are right when they claim they are seeing less money in royalty payments than they did a decade ago. “[B]ut,” she says, “it needs to be placed in the context of a decline in the value of the recorded music industry of more than one-third over that period.” She goes on to say that the organisation has conducted some research into the area (and points out that it was independently verified by BDO LLP) to try and bring more clarity to the debate. She says that the results reveal that record producers, while moving to rebuild their businesses to be match fit for the digital age, “have actually safeguarded artists’ incomes as best they can”. Critics of label payments to artists can now play their Mandy Rice-Davies Card (i.e. “Well, she would say that, wouldn’t she?”). Moore adds, “IFPI found that while payments to artists have declined over the past five years, the decline was substantially smaller than the reduction in corresponding sales revenue. This means that artist remuneration has actually increased as a proportion of record […]

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The 15 Music Industry Books You Must Read http://musically.com/2015/07/29/15-music-industry-books-must-read/ http://musically.com/2015/07/29/15-music-industry-books-must-read/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:47:23 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57949 In last week’s Music Ally Report, we spoke to Stephen Witt, author of How Music Got Free. As an appendix to the feature, we listed the 15 books about the music industry you need to read. Here they are (presented in chronological order of publication). Are there others you would like to have seen on the list? Add your suggestions in the comments section below. Hit Men: Power Brokers & Fast Money Inside The Music BusinessFredric Dannen(1990) Towering over every music industry book that has followed it, this is investigative journalism at its finest (the flashpoint being around the payola scandals of the 1970s and 1980s). The subject matter – the record business freewheeling out of control during its most indulgent decades – is ripe for the picking and salacious tabloidisation but Dannen’s eye for detail takes it to a much more intellectual level. ___________________________________________________ Producing Pop: Culture & Conflict In The Popular Music Industry Keith Negus (1993) The academic dissection of popular music had, by the 1980s, drifted into Cultural Studies and textual analysis, but Negus brought it back to its sociological roots with this book which remains (rightly so) required reading on all music business courses. A detailed dissection […]

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Instagram mobile ad revenue to reach $2.81bn by 2017 http://musically.com/2015/07/28/instagram-mobile-ad-revenue-reach-2-81bn-2017/ http://musically.com/2015/07/28/instagram-mobile-ad-revenue-reach-2-81bn-2017/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:17:18 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57977 A new forecast by eMarketer says that Instagram will grow its mobile ad revenue from $595m this year to $2.81bn. To put that in context, that will be equal to 10% of parent company Facebook’s total global ad revenue. “Now that Instagram is opening up, there is a lot of pent-up demand,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer’s principal analyst. “The rollout of new features over the next several months means that by the end of 2015, Instagram will have a host of new ad products for advertisers large and small. In particular, Instagram advertisers will be able to use a full slate of Facebook targeting tools, including the popular Custom Audiences feature. That will be a key drawing card.” The major market for Instagram’s ad income will be the US – accounting for 95% of global revenue this year, dropping slightly to 85% by 2017. The report also suggests the photo-sharing platform will grow its US userbase from 64.2m in 2014 to 111.6m (a third of the US population) by 2019.

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BBC to offer paid downloads of its shows http://musically.com/2015/07/28/bbc-offer-paid-downloads-shows/ http://musically.com/2015/07/28/bbc-offer-paid-downloads-shows/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:12:02 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57976 The BBC recently saw a massive £750m-shaped hole appear in its budget, partly because it had to agree to offer those aged 75+ in the UK a free licence fee. That means it has to find new ways to commercialise its assets. One way it plans to do that is to sell downloads of its new and catalogue shows (up to 10,000 hours of programming to start with) from the autumn. The Times broke the story but the BBC has denied this is the first step in a move to set up a subscription service. Much has been made of this being the BBC going toe to toe with iTunes (which does indeed sell downloads of some of the BBC’s biggest shows like Top Gear and Doctor Who) but really it says more about it having to understanding its audience is not going to buy DVDs for ever and that, given its exceptional work with the iPlayer, it should use its muscle and insight as a digital innovator to take control of as much of the production-exhibition-distribution-retail chain as possible.

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iHeartRadio launches on Snapchat as Warner Music is pushed out http://musically.com/2015/07/28/iheartradio-launches-snapchat-warner-music-pushed/ http://musically.com/2015/07/28/iheartradio-launches-snapchat-warner-music-pushed/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:08:30 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57975 Snapchat has updated its Discover portal by adding both iHeartRadio and BuzzFeed but – seemingly in a one in, one out strategy – it is dropping Yahoo and Warner Music Group. Discover lets partners share up to 20 stories a day via the Snapchat app and it debuted six months ago with Yahoo and Warner as launch partners. In a very “It’s not you, it’s us” gentle let down, Snapchat has said “we continue to look at different ways we can work with Yahoo and Warner Music Group […] in the future”. Snapchat permits partners to sell ads against their Discover profiles and takes a 30% cut of resulting revenues. In a separate press release, iHeartRadio said its channel on the platform will feature “custom-created music, pop culture and entertainment news content updated every day”.

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Pandora unlocks Sponsored Listening for all brands http://musically.com/2015/07/28/pandora-unlocks-sponsored-listening-brands/ http://musically.com/2015/07/28/pandora-unlocks-sponsored-listening-brands/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:05:28 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57974 Pandora has opened up its Sponsored Listening ad programme to all brands after it launched with select partners last year. The scheme works where users can ‘earn’ an hour of ad-free listening if clicking on and watching a video or rich media ad (of anywhere between 15 and 150 seconds). It is selling it to companies in terms of its effectiveness, claiming it raises brand awareness by 12% and intent to purchase by 30%. A total of 20 major brands got on board in the initial testing stage included Land Rover, Corona and Gatorade. The telling thing about Pandora’s userbase is that Sponsored Listening only works on mobile – primarily because that is where 80% of Pandora listening happens. Last week the company reported that its revenue for Q2 increased by 30% to $285.6m year on year but its listener growth has slowed down in that period. On top of that, its net loss stood at $16.1m, up from $11.7m in Q2 2014.

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Tidal has too many kinks http://musically.com/2015/07/28/tidal-many-kinks/ http://musically.com/2015/07/28/tidal-many-kinks/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:00:42 +0000 http://musically.com/?p=57973 No, not the village green-preserving Muswell Hill–based battling brothers – but rather continuing teething problems. Madonna, one of the artists who owns a stake in Tidal, has been defending it against mounting criticism. She played the “Give it time” card, saying that it is a relatively new service and they are currently “working out a lot of kinks”. She was especially defensive about the idea – not helped by THAT press event in March – that the service is a vanity project for cosseted pop stars who long ago left the real world. “It’s important that people understand we didn’t create Tidal, we didn’t put this together, we didn’t all join forces because we’re broke and we want more money,” she said. She is one of the marquee artists who jumped in and gave Tidal exclusive content to help it out of the gates, but her video debut for ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ was a technical mess. This only further fuelled its critics’ belief that Tidal’s owners were telling everyone they had bought a BMW when in actual fact they’d been handed the keys to a clown car. “We live in a society now where everybody just expects everything to be […]

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