Tag Archives: apple music

August Songwriter News

By Stefanie Flamm

From Rio to the US Presidential election, it’s been a busy summer for everyone, including songwriters around the world:

  • Rio turns out to be as much a competition for artists looking to get sync placement as it is for the Olympic athletes.
  • Donald Trump stirs even more controversy by using “We Are the Champions” at the Republican National Convention, against the wishes of Queen.
  • Apple makes a motion to set a standard streaming rate, a move that would revolutionize royalty payments for songwriters.

Advertiser’s $1.2 billion budget for the Rio Olympics turns sync placement into a competition of its own.

It should come as no surprise that the Olympics is one of the most widely-popular televised sporting events around, particularly for US viewers. Even for a disappointingly low year, a whopping average of 27.5 million viewers watched Rio Olympic coverage via NBCUniversal over the 15 days of competition. And with that high number of average viewers, comes a high demand for prime advertising placement.

With the Olympic viewership paling only in comparison to the Superbowl, companies were chomping at the bit for an opportunity to intersperse the high-profile swim and women’s gymnastics competitions, among many others. Particularly at the opening ceremonies, with an outrageous rate of one commercial every eight minutes, there was a lot of competition amongst companies and ad agencies alike to help their product stand out from the crowd. This is where a skilled Music Supervisor comes into play.

Between the more US-friendly time zone and the hype surrounding high-profile athletes like Simone Biles, NBCUniversal had planned for a higher viewership than they received for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. As a result, companies were flocking to advertising agencies as early as a year before the competition began. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years — it’s the first time we’ve had to dig deep so early,” commented Grey Group Director or Music Joshua Rabinowitz.

Sync royalties for Olympic commercials were reaching upwards of $250,000 for the Rio games, not to mention the added benefit of an audience of 27.5 million people who could download or stream the song after hearing it.

Some agencies decided to stick with tried-and-true classics, like Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” or the Gershwin classic “Rhapsody in Blue,” and some chose to highlight newer artists, like Boys Noize’s “Rock the Bells.” A personal favorite advertisement for Nike included music from the 2003 song “Drums Are My Beat” by Sandy Nelson.

But not every song used for ad sync placement at the Olympics was a catchy or recognizable tune. Writers Andrew Simple and Michael Logan curated a sync-worthy song that snagged them a spot in a commercial for Folgers that left me quietly weeping at my desk. A colleague of Simple’s noted, “I knew it could be the soundtrack for a spot that taps into a close relationship,” and the song was pitched for sync placement before even being released.  

Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and a handful of songwriters were able to take home the gold at this year’s Olympic games.

Repeated unauthorized use of their song “We Are the Champions” on the Donald Trump campaign leaves Queen seeking legal action.

Whether you’re voting for him in November or you’re adamantly protesting against him, everyone can pretty much agree that Donald Trump isn’t playing by the rules of a typical US Presidential campaign. He brought this attitude to the world of publishing recently after his second unauthorized use of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

The issue first came up in June of this year, after the last Super Tuesday of the year when Donald Trump celebrated his victory over the last remaining primaries. Trump’s campaign blasted “We Are the Champions” to commemorate their victory, only it didn’t occur to anyone on Trump’s staff to acquire permissions from Queen first.

Queen’s guitarist Brian May immediately expressed his upset over this, taking to his personal website for a reaction statement. “…permission to use the track was neither sought nor given… Regardless of our views on Mr Trump’s platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to be used as a political campaigning tool.”

Unfortunately, Trump’s team did not see this statement as an unofficial cease-and-desist, as they played the song again this July at the RNC. After Melania Trump’s semi-plagiarized speech, the RNC was a one-two punch of intellectual property theft. Queen took to Twitter shortly after the broadcast to follow-up that Trump’s campaign had, again, failed to request permission to use the song.

This month, Queen’s publishing company Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced a formal statement regarding the Trump campaign’s use of “We Are the Champions:”

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has never been asked by Mr. Trump, the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization for permission to use “We are the Champions” by Queen. On behalf of the band, we are frustrated by the repeated unauthorized use of the song after a previous request to desist, which has obviously been ignored by Mr. Trump and his campaign.

Queen does not want its music associated with any mainstream or political debate in any country. Nor does Queen want “We are the Champions” to be used as an endorsement of Mr. Trump and the political views of the Republican Party. We trust, hope and expect that Mr. Trump and his campaign will respect these wishes moving forward.”

Apple’s proposition to set a concrete, per-stream royalty rate could revolutionize songwriters’ relationship with streaming.

The battle between songwriters and streaming services has been around since the latter’s inception, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be easing up anytime soon. In the wake of the United States Department of Justice ruling for 100 percent licensing, songwriters and publishers alike are not satisfied with the DoJ’s perceived favoritism of streaming services. However, Apple has put an initiative into place that might change streaming payouts in favor of the songwriter.

In a proposal made by Apple, in conjunction with the Copyright Royalty Board, streaming services should pay 9.1 cents in songwriting royalties for every 100 times a song is played. While that only results in a payout of $0.0091 per stream, having a standard rate of streaming could mean more transparency between streaming services and songwriters.

“An interactive stream has an inherent value,” Apple wrote in their proposal, “regardless of the business model a service provider chooses.”

The need for the DoJ, streaming services, and songwriters to come together is ever-present in the increasingly streaming-friendly world. The general consensus seems to be at “freemium” streaming services like Spotify need to change their subscription models in favor of making more money for the songwriters. While this Apple proposition isn’t exactly giving songwriters what they’re asking for (and doesn’t necessarily favor its competitors’ pricing models), it’s a direct attempt to eradicate freemium streaming, and it looks like it may be a step in the right direction towards more harmony between artists and the streaming services that pay them.

For more information on TuneCore Publishing Administration, click here.

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4 Ways To Engage With Fans in Digital Stores

You already know how to get your music into over 150 digital stores and streaming services worldwide – whether it’s a single, a brand new EP/full-length, or even just a cover song to surprise and delight your fans with.

And while it’s easy to get caught up with the desire to end up on Spotify playlist or get featured in the iTunes Store, independent artists often overlook some even easier ways to solidify their presence and interact with fans in some of these well-known streaming and download platforms.

Let’s take a look at a few simple ways you can engage fans and make your music easier to find when they come hunting:

spotify

1. Set Up a Spotify Verified Artist Account

Start building a community of fans who want to discover music through you – with a Spotify ‘verified artist account’ you can let your fans know when you’ve made a  playlist or share a new song. Your account will be linked to your discography pages, (making them easily searchable) and you’ll be creating a direct-to-fan channel within Spotify.

Once you’ve distributed your music to Spotify and signed up for your own account (avoid signing up with a Facebook profile), head over to this site to complete Spotify’s “Verification Form”. Be prepared to have a URL to a hosted 200×200 pixel profile image on the form. Click here to download a PDF of Spotify’s “Best Practices Guide”.

Next, add a playlist to your account (make sure to ‘right click’ on the playlist name to ‘Make Public’) – that way, you’re not launching an empty page.

Finally, share it with your fans! Copy and paste the playlists’ ‘http link’ and let your fans on Facebook and Twitter know you’re open for business.

2. Get Access to Spotify Fan Insights

Last November we reported on one of Spotify’s coolest roll-outs: Fan Insights. Now you can find out who your fans are, where they are in the world, how they listen, what their other musical preferences are and how they engage.

spotify fan insightsYou can still head over to Spotify’s Artist site and request access to the beta version of Fan Insights here.

 

Google Play

3. Set Up a Google Play Artist Page

If you’ve distributed your latest releases using TuneCore, it’s pretty likely that you’ve decided to include Google Play in the stores we send your music to. And why wouldn’t you? Google has risen to the ranks as one of the biggest household names in digital media, and Google Play serves as it’s platform for getting music, videos, apps and more in the hands of fans.

Selling your music, personalizing your store page and reaching users with your music on Google Play is easy! After you’ve made sure that your music has gone life on Google Play, head over to the Google Play Artist Hub.

Google Play Artist Hub

From there you can sign in with your Google account, find your artist name, and you’ll even be able to use a credit card (without being charged) to protect against “artist impersonation”.

apple music

4. Claim Your Profile on Apple Music Connect

By now, Apple Music has made enough headlines and become enough of a go-to platform for so many fans that as an indie artist, you want to make the most of it. Apple Connect is described as a ‘place where musicians give their fans a closer look a their work, their inspirations, and their world.

When you claim your profile on Connect, you can engage directly with your fans and share audio, photos and videos. Get started by visiting this site and signing in with your Apple ID.

AppleMusicConnect2

From there, you can search for your artist name or paste a link to your iTunes artist page and claim that profile.  Additionally, you’ll be asked for your Artist Management and Label contact information – keep in mind, TuneCore does not fulfill either of these, so if you’re lacking this information, just put in your own personal contact information twice and move on.


Now that you’ve stepped up your store game, head over to your social media profiles and break out that email list – it’s time to start sharing some links!

June News From Our Store Partners

By Stefanie Flamm

The days are longer, the sun is brighter, and our digital store partners are gearing up for a summer’s worth of big updates:

  • Amazon Music plans to release a new streaming service that will compete against Spotify and Apple Music
  • US music mogul Guy Oseary, famous for representing Madonna and Nicki Minaj, has become an investor and partner of Saavn
  • Apple Music responds to negative customer reviews with a total overhaul of their interface
  • Deezer uses a simple, fun advertising strategy and sees their new user numbers triple

Our store partners are working hard to improve customer experience, offer new products, and make it easier for your fans to listen to your music.

Amazon Music is stepping into the streaming arena with a new service planned to rival Apple Music, Spotify, and TIDAL


Pretty soon, Apple Music, Spotify, et al. will see another competitor in the ring of digital music streaming. A source informed Reuters earlier this month that Amazon Music is planning to offer a standalone streaming service for, in keeping with what has become an industry standard, $9.99 per month. The service is set to launch early this fall.

2. amazon-music-logoCurrently, Amazon offers a curated catalogue of music for
streaming, available only to Amazon Prime members. The new 
service will be available outside of the Prime membership for the monthly cost of $9.99, and will offer a larger catalogue of music for streaming.

Amazon has been making huge strides in its competition with other streaming services outside of just music. Prime Instant Video is in direct competition with Netflix and Hulu, and Amazon recently launched a customer-supported video service called Amazon Video Direct which is a similar service to YouTube. It’s therefore something of a natural progression for the store to invest in a music streaming service to compete with Spotify, TIDAL, and Apple Music. The service is also likely to complement the Amazon Echo device released last year.

We’re excited to check out the service when it launches!

Saavn receives an investment from a major music industry executive. What does it mean for the service?


Legendary music executive Guy Oseary has joined Saavn as an investor and partner, as of earlier this month.

Oseary started his career at 19 years old as an A&R rep for Maverick Records. He quickly climbed through the ranks, now acting as partner and CEO for Maverick, which represents artists like Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, Paul McCartney, and Lil Wayne.

8. Saavn-Logo-Horizontal-Green-1000Saavn isn’t Oseary’s first go at tech investment. He joined with Ashton Kutcher and Ronald Burkle to form A-Grade Investments, which has helped finance Airbnb, Spotify, SoundCloud, Shazam, and Uber. In the case of Saavn, however, this is a personal venture and is not associated with A-Grade.

Saavn CEO and Co-Founder Rishi Malhotra is excited to have Gil on the Saavn executive team. “Guy has incredible instincts across entertainment and media. He understands that we are not building the Spotify or Pandora of India. We are building Saavn in India, for India, and we’re thrilled to work with him to build the company for the long term.”

Perhaps, to quote the 1942 movie Casablanca, “this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Apple Music gets a makeover to improve their customer experience.


Between their first year anniversary coming around the corner and their recent announcement that Apple Music is now up to 15 million subscribers, it’s an exciting time to be a part of the Apple Music community.

Another big piece of news from the Apple Music front was apple-musicannounced at their Worldwide Developers Conference that took place between June 13th-17th in San Francisco. Senior Vice President Eddy Cue showed off the brand new Apple Music interface, designed to better employ the feedback received from customers over the last year. The new version of Apple Music is designed to centralize the listening experience and create a fluid transition between streaming and downloaded music.

Since the June 2015 launch of Apple Music, Apple has struggled to consolidate the pre-existing iTunes app with their new streaming service. Both listening platforms were combined into the Music app, but the interface has notably been difficult to navigate, and in rare cases has resulted in thousands of lost audio files. This new overhaul is designed to not only better harmonize iTunes and Apple Music, but it’s also making the interface easier to maneuver.

Cue detailed that the new version of Apple Music will have a mostly black-and-white interface, making the colorful album artwork pop, as well as more detailed song information and a “Recently Added” section to check in on what’s been recently downloaded or saved on the device. The new updates will also affect the desktop OS, with Apple Music sharing available directly through iMessage.

The newly designed Apple Music should be integrated with iOS 10, coming this fall, and we can’t wait to test it out.

Deezer uses their enormous registration increase to revamp their advertising strategy and help close the gap between themselves and Spotify.


Deezer took a leap last year with their first attempt at TV advertising, and it’s paid off big time. The streaming service, available in over 180 countries, has seen a 300 percent growth in daily registrations within the last year. With that momentum, they’re taking on a new strategy with a fresh set of video advertisements.

Deezer-logoDeezer’s first campaign approach is simple: what rhymes with Deezer? The commercials are straightforward and fun, and the bright colors, subtle humor, and “sounds like you” tagline give the store’s branding a friendly and approachable vibe that inspires you to check out the service. Their new campaign takes the silly but candid sentiment that brought them so much success in 2015, only now doubling-down its own absurdity. They even went for a one-two punch by adding puppies, because who doesn’t love a dog jamming out to dance music? The new “flow my music” tagline refers to their recommendation tool, but also implies an easy-to-use interface.

“Our first foray we saw a 300 percent increase in daily registrations. With those results in mind, having demonstrated TV is a success and we’re keen to unlock more of that opportunity. With this new campaign we’re broadening the offering to more audiences and more media channels,” said Christian Harris, managing director for the UK & Ireland.

As Deezer grows in strength, they hope to close the gap between themselves and Spotify. With a campaign this naturally enticing and their consequential success over the last year, it looks like Deezer is quickly becoming a huge asset to artists around the world.

Deezer is available in almost every territory, and listeners can apply for the beta in the United States.

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May News From Our Store Partners

By Stefanie Flamm

You can finally put away your winter coat and grab your shades, because summer is upon us and a lot of exciting things are going on with our digital store partners.

  • Rhapsody launches virtual reality streaming of exclusive live performances.
  • Spotify updates their subscription plan to compete with Apple Music and Google Play.
  • Guvera launches 3.0, making their app an immersive music and entertainment hub for users around the world.
  • Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book sets new records, Apple Music’s exclusivity reigns supreme.

Keep Reading!

Rhapsody VR changes the game for live concert streaming


Rhapsody just took a huge leap into the world of virtual reality with their new streaming service, Rhapsody VR. The service is the first of its kind, designed specifically for music and concentrating on exclusive, 360º coverage of live concerts.

While other streaming services are offering similar live concertrhapsody928 footage on their platforms, Rhapsody VR is unique in its interactive 360º coverage. Shot onstage, right beside the performers, the viewer can choose their own concert experience. And while the service is most compatible with Google Cardboard viewers, you can also watch on iOS or Android devices directly through the Rhapsody VR app. You can even sample the VR service on YouTube with TuneCore artist Talib Kweli’s “Get By”.

Rhapsody is excited about the future of VR, and expects that it will become increasingly popular in the music scene in years to come. “Music lovers around the world can experience a live concert for free from anywhere — the comfort of their home, their local watering hole, or wherever they have a cellular or WiFi connection,” Rhapsody shared in a statement from May 19th. “Musicians can share live performances with more fans… expanding their base of listeners and sharing more music with the world.”

With Rhapsody’s plan to release new content monthly, it will be exciting to see how VR influences the concert-going experience in the future.

Spotify goes head-to-head with Apple Music and Google Play with new family pricing model


Spotify has decided to give Apple Music and Google Play a run for their money when they announced their new Family Subscription Plan on May 23rd.

spotify300The pricing models for all three services are now identical, with individual accounts priced at $9.99/mo. and $14.99/mo. for up to six users. This is a big change from Spotify’s old pricing model, which could cost up to $29.99 for five users.

In the wake of millions of users subscribing to Apple Music and TiDAL for their exclusive content, matching the pricing models of these streaming services will be crucial to Spotify’s success.

The new family plan covers up to six users across the world, and existing accounts will remain intact and separate, keeping user content personal. Spotify is partnering this deal with an individual new-customer offer of $9.99 for 3 months of premium service.

It’s already looking like the new pricing will entice some fresh subscribers, and more subscribers may result in a higher per stream payout for independent artists.

Guvera launches their new platform, providing a comprehensive music experience for their users.


Guvera’s commitment has always been to connect brands and consumers through music and entertainment, and they took this mission one step further this month by introducing Guvera 3.0.

The re-launch of their service is marketed as a “new immersive music and entertainment platform” where brands can connect with consumers through Music Channels and Guvera’s new Social features.

The streaming service offers genre and mood-specific channels, as guvera1well as an opportunity for brands to offer exclusive content on their own channels. Channels can feature customized content including video, photos, blog content, and even competitions hosted by the brands themselves.

Guvera Social will offer brands an opportunity to connect with consumers through targeted updates, exclusive offers, and content sharing. With this service, brands can even make music recommendations to their consumers.

In their May 14th announcement, Guvera Head of Product, Robb Snell, is quoted, “…it’s all about discovery; discovery of a brand’s music recommendations, products and services all presented by a range of diverse content. Our Channels shine a spotlight on the underlying culture that drives artists and delivers a more immersive entertainment experience for our listeners to engage with the brands they love, when and how they want to.”

Chance the Rapper’s new album proves that Apple Music exclusivity is working for the store.


Chance the Rapper made history this month by releasing the first album to score a top 10 debut charting based solely on streaming.

apple-musicColoring Book has already collected over 57.3 million streams since its May 13th release date, ranking it #8 on the Billboard 200 album charts. Chance also made an impact on the Billboard Hot 100, with “No Problem (feat. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)” coming in at #86 and “Blessings” taking home #93 on the charts.

After Drake’s resounding success with his Apple Music-exclusive release of Views in April, Coloring Book is proving to be another huge win for the store. Apple Music has brought in over 2 million subscribers since February, undoubtedly related to the collective success of Views and Coloring Book. And while Coloring Book was made available on Spotify, Rhapsody, Deezer, TiDAL, and Google Play as of May 27th, the two-week exclusive was a big success for Apple Music.

TiDAL and Apple Music have both used exclusive streaming content to give their stores an edge, but the Billboard success of Coloring Book is a victory on the side of Apple Music.

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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.

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February News From Our Store Partners

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.

Read on.

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.

tidal logoNow 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 payingspotify 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

apple-musicEight 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.

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