Music Subscribers Drop
April 10, 2015
"The RIAA in its midyear report had paid subscribers at 7.8 million, but by the time we got to the end of the year, it was only 7.7, a loss of 100k subs. So what gives?"
Last year was a banner year for music subscription in the U.S. The RIAA reported big-time growth, primarily driven by Spotify's gains in paying subscribers.
But at the same time, the market stalled a bit in terms of actual subscribers. The RIAA in its midyear report had paid subscribers at 7.8 million, but by the time we got to the end of the year, it was only 7.7, a loss of 100k subs. So what gives?
AN OPEN LETTER TO MUSIC BIZ FROM SOME RHAPSODY, SONY EXECS
Dear Music Biz, It's been a good, close, intimate and mostly wonderful 15 years ... but I think we need some time apart. It's not me. It's you. You've changed. Digital music business, you used to be the scrappy underdog. They ignored you. Then they laughed at you. Then they fought you. You know what comes next: You win.
But somehow you turned into the rich kid from an '80s teen movie. You might be about to win, but nobody seems to like you. The venture capitalists are pissed because you don't make any money, and you keep promising that's going to change. The artists think you're robbing them, and your PR response and outreach has ranged from tone-deaf to nonexistent. The listeners don't want to pay, or worse, they don't even want to come back for free music after a month. Even the labels and publishers don't want you to succeed (don't feel too bad about it, they hate everyone). Billboard. Publishers would still use the performing rights organizations to administer payments to songwriters.
U.S. Dept. Of Justices Expected To Approve Changes That Would Change ASCAP, BMI Forever
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
LILY ALLEN NOT LIKING JAY Z'S TIDAL
Lily Allen have never been once to mince words when she see's injustice. What makes her refreshing is that she's both smart and unfiltered without becoming a hater. Her latest target? Jay Z's TIDAL streaming music service.
Musicians Lilly Allen let loose on Twitter over the weekend questioning the purpose, value and effect of Jay-Z new exclusive driven paid music streaming service TIDAL.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
FROM THE VERGE…
A great article…the album is NOT going away.
The Internet took the album away, and now it's giving it back
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
GOING MOBILE MORE:
Mobile's share of total online video viewing is set to soar from 26% last year to 40% this year and just over 50% by the end of 2016, surpassing desktop viewing, according to a new report and forecast from Adobe Systems. Turning to specific device categories, smartphones accounted for 14% of all online video viewing in 2014, while tablets accounted for 12%. Read the whole story
APPLE WATCH ALREADY SELLING OUT:
Perhaps boding well for Apple's watch business, nearly all models have sold out in pre-orders, 9To5Mac reports. "However, it is not clear whether this is due to relatively high demand or low production," it notes. Regardless, "In the U.S., the 38 mm Stainless Steel Case with Black Classic Buckle is the only model still on offer with a 'April 24th -- May 8th' shipping date." Read the whole story and more ... It's the most anticipated new product from the world's largest tech company. But will the wearable be as successful as the iPhone or the iPad? The debate begins. READ MORE
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Meryl Streep Covers Springsteen, Petty, Gaga in New Movie
Rolling Stones to Issue Rare 1971 Club Concert on Video
How Starbomb Used YouTube To Drive 6000 CD Sales In One Week
Black Sabbath's Supposed Farewell Concert Is Just an Ozzy Osbourne Solo Set
Jeff Beck Preps Live Album, Two New Studio Tracks
Jay Z's Debut Album Disappears From Spotify, But You Can Still Find It On TIDAL
New on Amazon and free TV on iTunes for April 2015
Brian Wilson Reflects on a 'Lifetime of Storms' and His Present State of Mind: 'Thank You, God, for Another Day'
Capitol Records has spent over $12 million in attorneys fees in Capitol v. MP3Tunes
Katy Perry Accidentally Gave Out Her Phone Number To Everyone
An Oral History Of How Game Of Thrones Went From Crazy Idea To HBO's Biggest Hit
Grooveshark Loses in Court Again, EMI Wins Summary Judgment in Copyright Case
Madame Tussauds Hires Tissue Attendants for Distraught One Direction/Zayn Malik Fans
7 Recurring Movie Props You Won't Believe You Never Noticed
A minimalist MacBook that proves less can be more
'Star Wars' film saga finally to be released digitally
HBO To Netflix: Bring It On
The iPad's Next Frontier: Creativity For The Masses
David Packman: What Jay-Z Should Have Launched With Tidal
Does a high-res music player make sense for you?
Jay Z's Tidal music service makes star-studded splash
Short News Items ...
GROHL DIGS FOR RECORD STORE DAY:
To celebrate Foo Fighters' 20th anniversary, Dave Grohl has dug up some previously unheard songs for a special Record Store Day release. Grohl tells Rolling Stone he thinks of the guy he recorded the demos with as "the Quincy Jones of Arlington, VA." Read More
KEITH ROLLING ON:
The next year will be busy for Keith Richards. In addition to the Rolling Stones' 15-date U.S. stadium tour, he's got a solo album and possible tour on the books. Will the Stones play 'Sticky Fingers' in its entirety? "Anything can happen," he says. Read More
AND SO IS MICK:
Mick Jagger may be a great-grandfather, but slowing down doesn't seem to have crossed his mind. He's getting in shape for the Rolling Stones' upcoming 15-date U.S. stadium tour, he says: "I'll be cross-training and my trainer will say, 'Now try and sing!'" Read More
For the 16th year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is planning to throw a desert party that serves as the unofficial kickoff of the summer concert season. Here's 25 acts, from huge names to upcoming talents, which could set the tone. Read More
Could there be anything left to learn about Kurt Cobain, one of the greatest musicians of our time? As Brett Morgen demonstrates in his documentary, 'Montage of Heck,' the answer is a definite yes. Listen to a previously unheard song here. Read More
If Matthew Weiner learned one thing from 'The Sopranos,' writes Rob Sheffield, it's to leave some plot lines hanging, like the Russians in the woods. As 'Mad Men' heads into its final stretch, Don Draper's head is full of dangerous characters we could see again. Read More
JAY Z'S TIDAL:
Tidal's key assets are the world's biggest pop stars, from Jay Z and Beyonce to Madonna, Rihanna and Kanye West. But does the relaunched streaming service have anything else to compete with Spotify or Apple's upcoming Beats Music? Read More
WHO'S MANAGING WHO?
In 1964, two aspiring filmmakers stumbled upon a band called the High Numbers playing in a London club. Declaring themselves the group's managers, their first move was to reclaim the group's original name: the Who. A new doc tells their unruly story. Read More
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Engineers Unveil New Driverless Car Capable Of Committing Hit-And-Run
PLANO, TX -- Describing the prototype as a major technological breakthrough for autonomous vehicles, engineers at Toyota unveiled the first driverless car Thursday capable of committing a hit-and-run.
Members of the design team told reporters that the innovative autonomous car, which relies on a system of sensors and sophisticated algorithms to provide it with a split-second reaction after being involved in a collision, has successfully demonstrated the capacity to immediately flee the scene of an accident to avoid legal repercussions without any human intervention.
Read the rest and laugh
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
Smart Marketing Consulting Services
Smart Marketing Consulting Services has been in business sixteen years, and consults clients in the music, entertainment, attraction, media, and technology industry on branding, marketing, online exploitation, maximizing new media, and more.
"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon
"When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people becomes an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk: culture-death is a clear possibility." -- Neil Postman