At SXSW, Pragmatism Replaces Panic About Streaming Services

Casual, off-the-record conversations at SXSW reveal people are less panicky and more optimistic about streaming than ever before. Artists are starting to make good money from streaming.

Labels are figuring out how to monetize their catalogs — building their brands, utilizing playlists — in new ways. And although there can be improvements in how royalties are collected and distributed, the problems don’t overshadow the fact that streaming’s prominent place in the industry has become settled law.

There are three types of music industry professionals. One type knows only a world of streaming, brand sponsorships and piracy. They might sell vinyl but don’t think much of the CD. Another type of professional remembers a time before Napster, compares current industry revenues to the peak of the CD in 2011, and obsesses over the amount of streaming royalties rather than the revenue the services generate.

Source: Billboard

Sony Develops App for Artists Which Shows Daily Streaming Earnings

money-e-commerce-billboard-650Former Spotify exec Michelle Kadir led development of the platform, which shows acts their daily royalty earnings – including information pertaining to their label advance.

In addition, the app pulls together other key information for Sony Music Sweden artists (such as Molly Sandén, pictured), including streaming volume across all platforms, plus airplay data and profiles by age/gender/location of their listeners. A “heat map” highlights the areas in the world where the artist is currently popular – information which could, for instance, help inform an act’s touring plans.

Source: Music Business Worldwide

If Playlists are the New Currency, Spotify Is Doubling Down

The playlists are genre-specific, and Spotify promises to update the lists every Wednesday.  Anchoring the collection is a ‘Fresh Finds’ playlist, which sits alongside five other, genre-targeted collections.  That consists of a hip-hop focused playlist; Fire Emoji, a rock playlist; Six strings, an electronic music playlist; Basement, a pop-driven playlist; Hiptronix, and an experimental music playlist; Cyclone.

This new feature allows Spotify to not only improve its music discovery for the listener, but also helps to showcase the music of new emerging artists.  Critically, lesser-known tracks will be shuffled in with the more accessible and mainstream music available in Spotify’s catalog of songs.


Source: Digital Music News

The Life of Pablo, the Death of Streaming Music as We Know it

The release of Kanye West’s new album was a monumental event, but not because of the fashion show, the Twitter controversy or the insane level of anticipation. The Life of Pablo has hastened the death of the first golden era of music streaming.

The music streaming landscape is now effectively segmented to the point where, as a consumer, it’s inconvenient to have just one streaming service. Having to pay for more than one streaming service is of course par for the course in video—long gone are the days where it makes any sense to make do with just Netflix.

Likewise, gone are the day where you can fire up Spotify and play basically any song. Spotify has no Taylor Swift albums and only a handful of songs from various soundtracks she’s done. Some of the Taylor Swift albums are on Tidal, but not 1989. All of her albums are available on Apple Music. Prince’s new single (but almost nothing else) is available on Spotify, all of his music is available on Tidal, and a random smattering of his songs are available on Apple Music.

Source: Motherboard

[Ed. Spotify has Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, and Loretta Lynn. My Spotify is just fine, thank you, without T. Swift.]