What Happened To Twitter’s Music Strategy?

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.”

Source: Forbes


Will People Pay for Podcasts?

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+.

Source: Digiday

Why Spotify’s Discover Weekly Is So Addictive

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.

Source: Vogue

The Playlist That’s Helping Spotify Win The Streaming Music Battle

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.

Source: Vocativ

‘Something Needs to Give’ for Spotify Model. But What?

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

Will Embracing VR Help Streaming Services Move Forward?

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?

Source: Medium

Digital music: Stuck in the middle with Spotify

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

Music Festival Season Is Here – And So Are These New Technologies

For the first time ever, Coachella leveraged virtual reality as a way for remote attendees to experience live acts from a remote location. While it’s not commonplace for the general population to have VR headsets readily available, Coachella absentees now have this option given they have the appropriate technology. When remote festival attendees use the app, data points such as where users are located, their motion and how long they engaged with the app can be captured for future use.

YouTube also continues to stream music festivals, however this year they announced that they will incorporate a 360 degree view and spatial audio making the experience multi-dimensional. Depending on where the at home audience is “standing,” the sound and view will reflect accordingly by depth, distance and intensity.

Source: Umbel

Twitter Now Lets Users Stream Spotify Tracks Without Leaving Their Timeline

Twitter users can now play clips of their favourite songs without leaving their Twitter timeline. The social giant has announced a new Audio Card integration with the streaming company, which will let users listen to 30-second previews of tracks without leaving Twitter’s walls.

The microblogging site first introduced its Audio Card format in 2014, and has since teamed up with platforms like SoundCloud and iTunes to bring music directly to fans’ feeds.

Source: The Drum

Cloud Not Computing: The Generation Gap That’s Proving a Big Problem for Streaming

“The future of music consumption is streaming.”

There’s a statement most readers would probably agree with, a fact, something that anyone, from expert observer to random fan, would probably find it hard to argue with.And the figures do back it up, with streams accounting for more than 27 per cent of UK album sales in 2015, and 66 per cent when it comes to singles.When a major artist releases a new work, it’s all about streaming first and foremost.

Well, unless you’re Adele, with your £90 million fancy-schmancy record deal and you can afford to say no. Otherwise, the future is streaming.But there’s always a “but”.

Source: Irish Times

Beyonce, Drake and the ‘Exclusives’ Explosion: How Streaming Has Changed the Way Albums Are Released

This fundamental shift in strategy has happened, in broad terms, because of the ongoing transition from owning music to renting it.

Streaming clearly represents the future, but for now, artists frustrated with their minuscule royalty payments have turned to tech giants for big-time ­marketing dollars for video or tour ­funding, even if it means their music is limited to users of just one service.

And labels, which lack the bottomless ad budgets of Apple and Samsung, are often the beneficiaries of these kinds of money grabs. “If you look at what’s happening in the film and TV world with Amazon and Netflix and Apple, there’s an incredible war over good content,” says a major-label source. “We’re in a very good position that way. It’s going to escalate in the short term.”

Source: Billboard

Spotify Will Now Let Brands Sponsor the Most Popular Playlists

Remember the old days when you’d give a girl or guy a playlist in the hopes of winning them over?

Now, Spotify is letting brands try the same trick. Spotify has begun letting brands sponsor the most popular playlists curated by the music streaming service, offering advertisers a way to match music with a message. Sponsored Playlists, as they’re called, match a marketer with a playlist that lines up with a certain audience they have in mind based on campaign objectives. In a blog post today announcing the new offering, Spotify said it will work with advertisers to drive streams to a playlist during the sponsorship through native promotion, brand marketing and social media.

Source: Adweek