Happy new year concept. 2015 year change just unzip to 2016

January News From Our Store Partners

By Dwight Brown

It’s a month into the New Year and a new day for our digital store partners and independent artists too.  

More music fans are watching YouTube than ever before. Deezer has gotten funded and is looking to conquer North America. Amazon Music is trying to further differentiate itself from other music subscription services. Q.SIC, a commercial music streaming service in Australia, is trying to make sure artists get their piece of the pie.

This is the way to start the first month of 2016 with a bang.

More eyes & ears on YouTube than ever before

YouTube-logo-full_colorThe statistics for YouTube are staggering.  A billion+ users—almost one-third of all people on the Internet—spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube, producing billions of views. Their watch time is up 60% year-to-year. The number of hours people spent watching videos on mobile is up 100% year-over-year.

Wow.

YouTube Red (YouTube’s subscription service), after launching in the U.S. in October, is expected to launch in Europe later this year, says MusicBusinessWorld. It opened the door in the UK and Ireland via a new licensing deal with the collection society PRS for Music. Christophe Muller, YouTube’s Head of Music, commented: “2016 will see yet more opportunities for creators, authors and composers as we launch new products and create new revenue streams.”

Note: if you’re interested in monetizing your music on YouTube, check out TuneCore’s Sound Recording Revenue collection service.

3.8 million subscribers, expanding in U.S. $109M funding

In a conversation with Billboard.com, Tyler Goldman, North American CEO of Deezer, contemplates his subscription streaming service’s entry into the U.S. and the role of non-music content.

Based in Paris, with 3.8 million revenue-generating subscribers in Deezer-logoover 180 countries, Deezer’s strategy for attracting American music fans is focusing on audiophiles who could appreciate their high-definition service, “Deezer Elite.”  Must be working – Deezer now has 300,000 subscribers in North America through its partnership with Cricket Wireless. Said Goldman, “You’re seeing a shift to not just non-music, but to a highly programmed experience. If you look to research Deezer has done, the majority of consumers want a lean back experience, and they’re willing to pay.”

As Deezer looks ahead and contemplates new customer acquisitions, it’s getting a wallop of financial support: $109 million (€100 million) of funding from lead investor Access Industries with participation from mobile telecommunications company Orange.

80M Amazon Prime Members = How many Prime Music members?

Amazon_Prime_Music_logoSubscription services like YouTube Red and Deezer have to convince new customers that streaming services are worth $10 per month. Amazon Prime Music has a different task. It has to convince a captive audience that their service is worth a go to customers of Amazon Prime—at no extra charge. GeekWire.com says there are up to 80 million Amazon Prime Members globally. And, as CNet.com points out, the ad-free music streaming service is included in the $99 annual subscription rate those 80M members already pay. All they have to do is download an app, and presto – they have the Amazon Prime Music service.

Steve Boom, vice president of digital music at Seattle-based Amazon, recognizes that years of selling vinyl, CDs, and downloads have helped them evolve into an enticing ad-free streaming service: “We have a first-row seat at exactly what people’s music purchasing behaviors had been. With Prime Music we wanted to address the customer who wants access to a lot of music… without all the interruptions [ads].”

Boom acknowledges that Amazon is the buffet table and Prime Music a tempting dessert: “You come to the home page. You might be going to shop for a new tablet… laundry detergent, garden furniture or a new record, videos… you’re going to see this [Prime Music] promotion. That’s pretty powerful.”

Streaming music to Aussie businesses is good for everyone

Finding a streaming service in Australia or New Zealand is a snap if you are an individual music fan. CNet.com lists Deezer, Google Play, Guvera and Spotify among 15 possibilities. However, for businesses, choices are fewer, and the aforementioned services are not legal options. Legally, they’re for personal use only.

So, why should artists care?

Actually, reaching businesses could be a huge opportunity for artists. A single stream of a song at home is likely to reach just a couple of people. At a store or a venue, the audience size is much larger. So in fairness, the royalty rate needs to be adjusted so artists are paid appropriately. Makes sense, especially if you’re an artist, right? The commercial streaming service Q.SIC meets this need. It makes sure artists get their fair share of royalties and that businesses can have legal access to mood-setting music for their clients. Hospitality chains are happy: “We rolled it out across all our hotels and have never looked back,” says the Co-founder of the Sand Hill Road Group. The owners of Mecca Stores chime in, “Branded curation delivered effortlessly to stores, that’s why we use it [Q.SIC] Australia wide.”

Aussies have better in-store experiences. Artists get paid fairly. Not bad.

2016 has just started and already the world of independent artists continues to look up.

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