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April News From Our Store Partners

By Dwight Brown

It’s springtime and that change you feel in the air is progress being made by our digital store partners.

  • Tidal grows by leaps and bounds, becomes the top music app.
  • Apple Music offers exclusive Drake release, creates a new patent.
  • Saavn launches original programming, teams with a U.S. tech firm.
  • Spotify partners with Billboard to give music fans a new experience.

Read on.

Nascent Tidal grows faster than the speed of sound, becomes #1 US music app store.

Tidal’s subscription base has grown from 540,000 since its purchase in March 2015 to a whopping three million+ according to Music Business World.

Credit Tidal’s quick rise to headline-grabbing premiers. Rihanna’s hittidal logo album Anti debuted exclusively for streaming on Tidal, as did Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo (per Rainnews.com) which was also available for purchase on his own website, during its initial release. Rainnews.com goes on to argue that West “Redefined albums in the streaming age” when Yeezy continued to tinker with the album after it started streaming, even adding a track after its release.

Beyoncé’s latest effort Lemonade, a “visual album” including 12 songs and videos, also premiered on Tidal. Additionally, as Prince is on everyone’s mind and in their thoughts these days, TIDAL benefited from being the only streaming service to host his full catalogue of around 270 songs.

With so much popular music premiering exclusively for streaming on its platform, it’s no wonder “TIDAL is currently (as of April 24, 2016) the most popular music app on the US App Store – above both Pandora and Spotify,” reports Music Business World.

Drake is faithful to Apple Music. Apple’s new technology can clean up dirty lyrics.

apple-musicNot to be outdone in the exclusive premiere department, a Music Business World article confirms that Drake’s new album, Views (Aka ‘Views From The 6’), scheduled for release on Friday, April 29, is going to be an Apple Music streaming exclusive. As you can tell, Drake is excited:

“Thank you Apple Music – always, man; thank you to Jimmy [Iovine] and thank you to everybody who supported the two singles that we dropped, Pop Style and One Dance.”

Remember, Hotline Bling, with its popular video that was financed by Apple, premiered on Apple Music and took a month to make the rounds to other services.

Looks like “windowing,” the choice to selectively distribute music through certain key channels, at selected times, is here to stay.

Apple is making inroads in other areas too, reports Billboard. It’s been granted a patent for a technology that can automatically scan streamed songs and edit out offending lyrics, making the tracks “clean,” or more family-friendly. 

Saavn ventures into the worlds of original programming and mobile payments.  

An article in Forbes.com announced this month the launch of Saavn8. Saavn-Logo-Horizontal-Green-1000 Original Programming, in partnership with India’s radio icon Neelesh Misra, podcast network Indus Vox Media and digital media brand Arré.

“With this launch, we are turning Saavn from a music-only product to a millennial entertainment platform with the best music experience, groundbreaking original programming, and a true home for artists and creators,” said Saavn co-founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra.

Saavn is also teaming up with the U.S. based FinTech (financial technology) company Mozido to make bill paying, financial services and exclusive offers a whole lot easier for its 18 million users. According to India Times, the music-streaming app currently in 196 countries and territories inked a multi-year agreement with the U.S based mobile payments company. “Saavn Pro offers a compelling value to its users with unlimited downloads, removal of advertising and higher quality audio files. We will explore loyalty programs,” said Michael Liberty, founder of Mozido.

Spotify and Billboard are making beautiful music together.

spotifyBillboard announced it has tapped Spotify to be its exclusive streaming partner for 2016. The deal tasks the streaming service with powering the playback of music listed in more than 75 Billboard music charts, as well as providing a weekly New Music Fridays editorial feature and three additional Spotify-centric charts.

These three new Spotify-driven charts will be published weekly on Billboard.

  • The Viral 50. Songs with a high volume of social and sharing activity, like TuneCore artists Nipsey Hussle & YG‘s “F— Donald Trump”, Area21’s “Spaceships” and Emir Taha’s “Ultralight Beam.”
  • The 30-track Velocity Chart. Songs that are blowing up on Spotify, like TuneCore artists M-City J.R.’s “Addicted to my Ex.”
  • The Spotify Rewind tally. Highlights five songs for each decade from the 1960s through the 2000s.

Remember that exclusive Apple Music scored with Drake? Turns out, even though his new music has been appearing on Apple Music first, Drake is still the most streamed artist on Spotify via PlayStation, which is an increasingly popular way for fans to listen to Spotify’s music.

Meanwhile, Rihanna is now the biggest artist overall on Spotify with 31.3M active fans worldwide. That’s despite being a shareholder in Tidal and offering that service first dibs on her music.

It’s springtime and our store partners are growing and finding innovative ways to showcase artists’ music.


TuneCore Artists — Add your music to new stores today.

Not a TuneCore Artists yet? — Join TuneCore today.

December News From Our Store Partners

By Dwight Brown

Good news. That’s what our store partners are giving artists this holiday season, as we look back on 2015 and forward to 2016.

Apple Music turns the streaming game into a competitive race. The Australian music service Guvera adds territories. Spotify may change the way artists can release music. And Saavn is branching out as it hits a new pinnacle.

A lot’s going on this time of year…

Pandora vs. Spotify vs. Apple Music: sprint or marathon?

Apple MusicA recent article on The Verge follows a heated race between Pandora (78M users and rapid growth), Spotify (75M and rapid growth) and Apple Music (6.5M new growth). “Unless it [Apple] can find something that will get users to pay for Apple Music en masse, it’s going to be stuck chasing Spotify and Pandora.”

Wired thinks otherwise, “Apple doesn’t need Apple Music to win, which is why it will. With a huge pile of cash and massive profits, Apple is under little pressure to show quick returns … Its size, its resources, its visibility—give the company a serious edge in streaming music.” And DigitalTrends quotes music business analyst Mark Mulligan’s report that says, “the music streaming service [Apple Music] will reach 20 million subscribers by the end of 2016. Is this a race between the Tortoise and the Hares?

More Apple Music News: Since early December, iTunes and Apple Music have listed two separate charts in all territories, so if artists have their music on both services, and it charts, now they’re doubling their visibility.  Apple Music is coming to Android. Apple Music is the exclusive distributor of the official concert film of Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour, reports Music Business Worldwide.

15 million users, expanding to U.S. and courting an IPO

Guvera is an international ad supported and subscription (ad-free) based music streaming service from Australia. It offers users access to millions of songs and expertly curated playlists from both local and international artists and labels. Now that it has reached 15 million users, Music Week reports it has an eye on jumping into the United States market.

GuveraThis is after Guvera launched in India and, according to Billboard, distinguished itself from other foreign streaming services by putting a bigger emphasis on securing streaming rights to popular Bollywood music. Said Guvera Chief Executive Darren Herft, “We’re the only [streaming service] in the world that has label agreements with labels like Sony on top of the biggest Bollywood label in India as well.” To meet its ambitious expansion goals, it [Guvera] has confirmed a $100 million “pre-IPO round” of funding. Guvera is currently in 17 countries—and counting.

Can Spotify’s Freemium survive? Who rocked Spotify in 2015?

SpotifyIs Spotify thinking about changing its practice of simultaneously making artists’ music available to both its paid subscription service (20M+ users) and “freemium” service (80M users)? Music Business World says, “…demands from significant players in the industry for Spotify to drop its ‘everything freemium’ rule are getting louder.” And MBW points out there is a precedent, “Earlier this year, a new track from UK rock band Muse ended up exclusively on the paid-for level of Spotify.” End of an era? New beginning? Just conjecture? Artists who want to “window” release their music will want to stay tuned to this story. So what is “windowing?” First, transactional sales (downloads, CDs, vinyl); Second, subscription streaming; Later, free streaming.

More News: TuneCore Artist Band Low Cut Connie and their song “Boozophilia” made the Spotify 2015 White House Presidential Playlist. Where do former TuneCore Artists go? To the top of Spotify’s 2015 Biggest Playlist Chart! Drake is the world’s most streamed artist of 2015, with over 1.8 billion streams. A new Spotify feature can create a list of local concerts for users based on their Spotify tastes.

$100M in funding. 18 million users. Music is just the beginning.

An article in Music Business Worldwide reports news about India’s leading streaming service, Saavn has secured $100 million in a new funding round led by Tiger Global Management – as the streaming competition in India heats up.” Apple Music and Guvera have put roots down in India; Spotify has yet to launch there.

SaavnSaavn views music streaming as a strong base, especially when it comes to its use on mobile phones (Androids), where music is driving data consumption and redefining mobile advertising. “We are building the best-in-class mobile entertainment ecosystem, with music as the foundation,” states Rishi Malhotra, CEO and co-founder of Saavn. Even more ambitiously, a Billboard article reveals that Saavn reaches 18M monthly users. And MBW profiled Saavn’s Gaurav Wadhwa, the new Vice President of Entertainment and Original Content, who will oversee development of Saavn’s moves into new genres, sports, comedy and other entertainment channels.

In 2015 TuneCore’s digital partners found new ways to keep a competitive edge that will help them and TuneCore artists grow in 2016.


Adapting To The New Music Industry

They say one year on the Net is like five years in the “real world,” in regards to the music industry, one year sure feels like 15.

When we launched TuneCore half a decade ago (sounds more impressive than five years) we built a system to change the music industry and empower and serve artists.  Since then, the industry has changed and evolved: new stores have popped up, others have shut down; more music is being released, bought, streamed and shared as major labels downsize, release less music, consolidate, put themselves up for sale or get taken over by banks.  Music sales by unit are up another 1.5% in 2010 (around 1.6 billion units).  With the rumored forthcoming “cloud services from Google, Apple and Amazon and Spotify entering the US, the concept of over a trillion units being streamed or bought per year is no longer fantasy. Over the past 28 months alone, TuneCore Artists have sold over 300 million units generating over $150 million in gross music sales.  Most of these TuneCore Artists are also the songwriter, the publishing company, and the performer, earning them over $100 million more in additional revenue from each of these additional income streams (more on the six legal copyrights that drive the music business can be found here).

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