Distinguishing Amazon Music Unlimited, which was to launch Wednesday: Customers using the retail giant’s voice-activated Echo speakers will pay just $3.99 a month—less than half the $9.99 charged by most rivals—and will be able to stream music in a markedly different way.
Apple Music and Spotify have added unofficial mixes, thanks to deals cut several months ago with Dubset. An unofficial DJ Jazzy Jeff remix of Anderson. Paak was the first unofficial mix spotted by fans.
Dubset’s technology identifies each song within an uploaded mix or remix and attaches it to the right publishers and labels so everyone gets paid. Thus far neither Spotify or Apple Music have commented officially.
For years, there was bound to be a moment of large scale consolidation in the music streaming space. This has a lot to do with the way streaming is licensed, resulting in services with very similar product offerings and price points.
This year we’ve seen intensified competition between streaming services through music exclusives and discounting, resulting in Universal Music Group’s CEO reportedly restricting the practice. 2016 may go down as the year that will be known as the end of the beginning for music streaming.
To launch the new services, iHeartRadio has reached licensing agreements with Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group and Universal Music Group, and indie labels and distributors including The Orchard, Entertainment One, INgrooves, DashGo, Naxos and CD Baby.
Last week Pandora announced direct licensing deals with all 3 major label groups, Merlin and more than 30 independent distributors and labels, including The Orchard and CD Baby. These deals enabled Pandora to launch new interactive features and a new $5 tier last week, and paved the way for a full Spotify-like Pandora on-demand streaming music service later this year.
A major side effect of these direct deals is that streaming on Pandora is no longer subject to the statutory rates set by the U.S. government and payable via SoundExchange. Not only is this a major loss of income for SoundExchange, it also removes an important layer of protection and oversight that the not-for- profit performing rights organization provided artists.
The paid streaming service, the first of its kind for a traditional radio outfit, will include a $5-a-month ad-free radio station and a $10-a-month on-demand music service, according to people familiar with iHeartMedia’s plans.
Two major record labels are rolling out a low-priced music streaming service in the United Kingdom, a rare foray by record companies directly into the field and another sign the industry is finally moving toward more flexible pricing.
Now That’s What I Call Music, a joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment that releases a popular series of compilation albums, is finalizing a streaming app called NOW Music+ that will offer playlists of hit songs for $6.62 a month, or 5.99 pounds if purchased in Apple’s App Store, people familiar with the matter said.