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MelodyVR ended 2020 with 325k users… and a £26m operating loss

Since completing its merger with Napster, music startup MelodyVR has adopted that company’s brand. However, this morning it published financial results for its last full year before the deal, to 28 December 2020.

Bright spots included nearly doubling its users to 325,000, and selling around 40,000 tickets for a streamed Liam Gallagher concert. Less bright spots include, well, the financial results.

MelodyVR’s revenues did grow sharply, from £195k in 2019 to £988k in 2020 (around $1.4m). However, its cost of sales also grew from £1.8m to £5.6m, while administrative expenses grew from £14.2m to £21.5m.

In other words, those costs and expenses combined were more than 27 times the company’s revenues, leading to an operating loss of £26m. However, the newly-merged business remains optimistic.

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Sonos goes HD with subscription-based radio service

Sonos is kicking its streaming ambitions up a notch, with the launch of a subscription-based radio service called Sonos Radio HD.

Available in the US and UK, it costs $7.99 / £7.99 a month, and promises ‘high-fidelity audio’ of the Sonos Sound System radio station. There will also be exclusive artist-curated stations (Dolly Parton being the first) and a range of genre and activity-based stations that won’t be available on the existing, ad-supported Sonos Radio service that launched in April this year.

This is an extension of Sonos’s partnership with Napster – Sonos Radio HD is a ‘Powered by Napster’ service – but there’s another partner involved that’s interesting. Startup Super Hi-Fi’s technology is being used across the free and paid tiers of Sonos Radio, and heralds the company’s rebranding of its AI-powered tech as a package called ‘Conductor’.