Study: Download Revenue To Shrink 50% As Streaming Music Grows To 950 Million Users

The number of streaming music users will more than double to in four years  to reach 950 million according to the latest forecast by Strategy Analytics.  Streaming will account for 95% of all mobile music use, and that will grow the market to $12 billion by 2022.

Full track download will almost halve from $1.1 billion in 2015 to $600 million in 2022.

Source: Download Revenue To Shrink 50% As Streaming Music Grows To 950 Million Users, Says New Analysis – hypebot

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Judge Finds Sony-Spotify Agreement to Be Ambiguous in Big Royalties Lawsuit 

When listeners hear “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson on Spotify, they might not care too greatly how the exploitation of this song is characterized in contracts. But a judge’s interpretation could upend the record industry as streaming platforms continue to grab greater market share.

On Wednesday, New York federal judge Ronnie Abrams delivered a new opinion in an important lawsuit. She finds that many of the licensing agreements that Sony Music have struck with streaming outlets like Spotify, Rhapsody and Last.FM are ambiguous as to how they describe streamed music. The result is that the case will continue — perhaps eventually to trial — and heretofore confidential contracts will be dissected at length.

Source: Judge Finds Sony-Spotify Agreement to Be Ambiguous in Big Royalties Lawsuit | Billboard

Projecting Trends: Understanding the Price of Music

When approaching price points as a representation of the value of a product, nobody’s going to feel satisfied with the price of music. A song is worth more than a dollar. And more music than you can ever listen to is worth more than $10 per month.

Yet to price a song at its value is an impossible task. To the creator, a song can be worth more than any sum of money. To potential listeners, the value differs and changes over time. Your all-time favourite song has more value to you now, than it did when you first heard it.

Source: Projecting Trends: Understanding the Price of Music

It took a couple decades, but the music business looks like it’s okay again

The music business peaked in 1999, and it has been tumbling ever since. Now it looks like it’s starting to climb back up: Music sales in the first half of the year were up 8.4 percent, to $3.4 billion — the industry’s best performance since the height of the CD era.

That boom is fueled entirely by the growth of paid subscription services. This year’s numbers include Apple Music, which didn’t exist a year ago but has 17 million worldwide subscribers today, as well as Spotify, which has been growing faster than Apple and has 40 million global subs.

Source: It took a couple decades, but the music business looks like it’s okay again – Recode

Frank Ocean’s Bombastic Blond Moment And What It Can Tell Us About The Future Of Artists And Labels 

Just as labels had started to successfully co-opt the label services marketplace by launching their own – e.g. Universal’s Caroline – or by buying up the competition – e.g.Sony’s acquisition of Essential Music & Marketing – along come streaming services giving artists another non-label route to market. In truth, the threat has remained largely unrealised. Exclusives on Tidal have most often proved to be laced with caveats and get out clauses (e.g. Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ arriving on iTunes 24 hours after landing ‘exclusively’ on Tidal). Chance The Rapper’s (in name only) mixtape ‘Colouring Book’ and Ocean’s ‘Blond’ are exceptions rather than the rule. So all that’s about to change now right? Not necessarily

In practice, exclusives are likely to be limited to being the crown jewels of streaming services, their most valuable players, creative playmakers if you like. Even for Netflix, that pioneering exemplar of the streaming originals strategy, only spends 15% of its $3 billion content budget on originals and probably won’t break 20% even by 2020. What Apple and Netflix have in common is that they are using exclusives as a customer acquisition strategy, achieving their aims by making a big noise about each one. But if you’re releasing exclusives every week or two the shine soon wears off. And suddenly the return on investment diminishes.

Source: Frank Ocean’s Bombastic Blond Moment And What It Can Tell Us About The Future Of Artists And Labels – hypebot

Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ Amplifies Discord in the Music Business 

The shoo-in for No. 1 on Billboard’s next album chart is Frank Ocean’s “Blonde,” which has charmed critics and enthralled fans who had waited four years since his last record.

But the release of the album last weekend, through an exclusive deal with Apple, has also roiled the industry, bringing to the surface long-simmering tensions that record companies have with streaming music services, and sometimes even with their own artists.

Source: Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ Amplifies Discord in the Music Business – The New York Times

Copyright Royalty Board? Statutory, Mechanical Performance? A Primer for the World of Music Licensing and Its Pricing

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is currently fielding proposals from stakeholders around a new rate-setting process that will cover 2018-22, a process that is causing high drama in the music industry as stakeholders debate publicly over each others’ proposals.

The highest-profile of these disagreements stems from the National Music Publishers’ Assn. (NMPA) and the Nashville Songwriters Assn. International (NSAI), which have jointly criticized Sony Music Entertainment for its participation in the rate-setting process. Essentially, publishers and songwriters are on one side, and on-demand (or “interactive”) digital music services like Spotify are on the other.

Source: Copyright Royalty Board? Statutory, Mechanical Performance? A Primer for the World of Music Licensing and Its Pricing | Billboard