By Dwight Brown
Two months into the New Year and already our digital store and streaming partners are helping more and more TuneCore Artists reach new fans around the world.
Tidal is giving back to the community. Spotify is wooing paid subscribers. Apple Music is going into countries where one of its chief rivals hasn’t gone before.
The home of some of today’s top artists shows some heart
Initially, music fans looking to stream Kanye’s The Life of Pablo had only two choices: his website and Tidal. Beyoncé made her single, “Formation (Dirty),” a free download on Tidal too. Fans scored a free copy of Rhi Rhi’s eighth studio album Anti by using the code “ANTI” on Tidal’s website. T.I. announced at a pop-up show at Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall, which was being live-streamed as part of the Tidal X concert series, that he’d become a co-owner.
Now the brand previously best known for pushing windowing into the mainstream is wading into the waters of social justice too. Billboard reports that Tidal has donated $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and other social justice groups. The money comes from the proceeds of the first Tidal X: 10/20 charity concert that took place in Brooklyn. Tidal is also dedicated to mentoring new artists through its Tidal Discovery Program, which is done in partnership with TuneCore.
Spotify’s expanding subscriber base takes on a life of its own
By the end of 2015, Spotify amassed more than 25m paying subscribers. Two months into 2016 and that number has ballooned up to 28m! As Musicbusinessworld.com points out, “what’s really significant about these new numbers…is the rate of conversion… let’s assume that Spotify’s total active user number is 99m. Spotify would have successfully converted 28.3% of its customers into paying subscribers.” Does that mean Spotify’s Freemium model is on its farewell tour?
MBW: “If 28m people are paying for Spotify right now, they will be generating a whopping $1.986bn a year – approximately 70% of which will be paid to music rightsholders.” That’s quite a calling card as CEO Daniel Ek seeks $500m in financing. Still, some talking heads wonder how the funding model (loans with guaranteed interest) will affect artists
OTHER NEWS: The lyric annotation website Genius is teaming up with Spotify. Its new Fact Tracks initiative offers explanations and anecdotes of a song’s lyrics as it streams.
Apple Music is now in 113 countries and live on Sonos systems
Eight months after its launch, Apple Music has expanded its reach into areas where Spotify has not gone, including: Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine), Asia (Indonesia, Japan, China, India), Africa (Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria) and the Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia). Musicbusinessworld.com lists “59 countries in which Apple Music is available and Spotify is not.”
As the article notes, Apple Music is following in the strategic footsteps of iTunes. That’s easier for a streaming service to do when it’s backed by one of the richest companies in the world, which can well afford the overhead for new launches. Meanwhile, Spotify, as aforementioned, is seeking $500M investment funding to reach its goals. Billboard.com scores it: Spotify: 28m subscribers. Apple Music: 11m subscribers, and expected to reach 20m by year’s end.
OTHER NEWS: Apple Music is now available on Sonos systems and a Sonos Station on Apple Music has also been launched.
Apple is getting into the video production biz. It financed Drake’s ultra popular Hotline Bling video.
- Retune helps rights-owners convert piracy audiences to content buyers.
- The subject of window releasing music is on the debate table again.
- YouTube acquires BandPage for an undisclosed fee.
- Piracy is down and streaming is up big time in Spain.