We can learn a lot about the Internet from its artifacts—the websites that seemed exciting and innovative at the time, but have since been abandoned by both their users and their creators due to a lack of novelty, accuracy and/or relevance.
One such artifact happens to be music.twitter.com.Visitors to music.twitter.com expecting a thorough, up-to-date education of Twitter’s undeniable influence on the music industry (and vice versa) will be disappointed. The one featured tweet on the site, a promotion for Dan + Shay’s album Where It All Began, dates back to 2014. Below this tweet, there are links to Twitter’s nonexistent apps on Spotify and the now-defunct Rdio and iTunes Radio.
More alarmingly, the “For Artists” link at the bottom of the page redirects to the general Twitter blog, perhaps inciting the claim that “Twitter has nothing for artists.”
There’s no shortage of podcasts about sports, but The Football Ramble sees an opening to get people to pay for its podcast.
The Football Ramble started in 2007 from presenter Luke Moore’s kitchen. Nearly 10 years later, it has attracted monthly download figures of a respectable 1.7 million. Each week, people tune in to hear the irreverent football commentary of co-hosts Jim Campbell, Pete Donaldson and Marcus Speller. The Football Ramble is one of five U.K. podcasts that has started charging for content in the last week. Podcasts remain a mostly ad-supported medium, but Swedish podcast platform Acast is now letting creators on its platform sell ad-free content directly to listeners with Acast+.
There used to be nothing appealing about the arrival of Monday mornings. After a too-short weekend, all that awaited was an hour-long commute and a busy week of work.
But a few months ago, during said commute, I stumbled upon a playlist while listening to Spotify on my phone. Well into my ride, I realized I hadn’t once skipped a track, something that rarely happened when I decided to try new music.
While I had never heard any of the songs that were playing, strangely enough, the mix was exactly the kind of music I loved to listen to.That was my first encounter with Discover Weekly, an algorithm-made playlist of 30 songs released every Monday morning on Spotify. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked on it—and I found out I wasn’t alone.
Since Discover Weekly launched last July, it has become one of the most successful features of the company. Last week, Spotify shared that more than 40 million listeners had subscribed to the weekly-curated mixtapes. And more than half of those listeners, like myself, were returning every week for more.
Every Monday, Spotify delivers a new Discover Weekly playlist to all its listeners. The weekly arrival of a fresh 30 songs has become a widely-anticipated event for many of Spotify’s 75 million active users and serves as a sign that Spotify has nailed a very tough assignment.
Personalized engagement has long posed a challenge for all the big streaming services, but new data released this week signals that Spotify may have already won the battle against some very fierce competition.
Since the launch of Discover Weekly in July of last year, it has streamed nearly five billion tracks, and some 40 million subscribers have used the feature. For comparison, Apple Music—Spotify’s main competitor—only has 13 million subscribers total. Tidal has just three million.
The company’s gross margin per user has fallen from $4.20 in 2013 to $3.45 in 2015: “Particularly challenging for a model with already wafer thin margins,” according to Mulligan. “It is rising rights costs that are keeping Spotify from commercial sustainability.
”It’s an alternative view to Spotify’s official line, which is that its model will be profitable at scale, so the costs (and heavy losses) of getting to that scale are worthwhile.Mulligan’s other point, however, is that Spotify is no longer a $9.99-a-month service in real terms: he suggests that its effective monthly retail price is now $6.49 thanks to promotions, carrier deals and student discounts.
“It is about time that the music industry stopped pretending that this isn’t the reality of the market and instead starts pursuing proper pricing innovation rather than by stealth via discounting,” he wrote.
Source: Music Ally
A few days ago, streaming service Rhapsody announced it was launching a VR app, with the initial content consisting mostly of performances shot at SXSW. The quality of the performances is fairly solid, and while the requirement that all videos be downloaded before being played means that live-streaming shows in the app is still not possible, it’s certainly a pleasant diversion and value add to be able to watch some shows and see what new artists might be like live. But while this venture feels like a fun experiment, it also leads to much bigger questions — namely, is embracing VR the future of music streaming services?
And if services get into the VR game, what does that mean for artists who planned on building and monetizing their own VR content? Can streaming help bring VR to the masses, just like it brought, well, streaming to the masses?
For those with insatiable appetites for music, digital streaming seems like a dream come true. Music fans can simply select artists and genres, and then press play. They see what other fans listen to, and consume a seemingly endless supply of tunes.
Digital music services are like 24-hour all-you-can-eat (and whatever-you-want) restaurants of sound. And yet the digital music landscape continues to narrow. Independent providers that once served a broad range of artists and fans have been snapped up by big companies with deep pockets and ties to major labels. Google has owned YouTube—named the number one music-streaming platform since 2006. In February, YouTube spent $8m to acquire BandPage, a San Francisco start-up that helps artists sell merchandise, concert tickets and fan experiences.
In 2014, Beats Music, a subscription-based streaming service, bought Topspin Media, another innovative platform that helped artists sell merchandise and albums directly to fans. A year later, Apple bought Beats Music (along with Beats’ electronic-gadget business), and then discontinued the streaming service when it launched Apple Music.
Source: The Economist