Yesterday, on-demand music streaming service Spotifydid something pretty big by explaining in detail how it calculates and pays out royalties to rightsholders. With so many music industry pundits and practitioners in a tizzy about the economics of streaming, this move can be generally seen as positive. But as always, the devil is in the details.
It is certainly significant that Spotify took this step—probably long overdue—and we hope that it serves to increase the standard of transparency across the digital music sector. When a market leader like Spotify makes this kind of move, it can be a spur to other players to follow suit. However, it doesn’t really change much in terms of artist leverage on streaming on-demand services, nor does it impact most musicians and songwriters’ bottom lines. We spend a great deal of time considering this stuff—in fact, our own Kristin Thomson recently wrote a post for Music Think Tank about ways to make streaming music more viable for artists. (And if you need a primer on how the money flows on a variety of music platforms, check out these handy charts.)
This post co-authored by FMC Communications Intern Olivia Brown
The big music biz news this week is all about the launch of Google’s new subscription streaming music service. But that’s not the only development in the world of streaming. Last week, at the annual NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) Convention, one of the first such services, Rhapsody, announced that it would be the first major digital music service to join the Recording Academy’s new “Give Fans The Credit” initiative. The campaign aims to make songwriter, performer, producer, and other credits widely available to digital music consumers at a time when physical media sales — along with liner notes — are on the wane.
This post authored by FMC communications intern Olivia Brown
Metadata. Sounds like a android with irony issues. But it’s actually important to musicians and composers.
So what is it? Metadata is information that lives with every file on your computer. Through a mix of words and numbers, metadata describes files so that they can be managed by both the user and the system. In the case of a music file, metadata refers to the tags associated with a particular piece of music — such as the artist, album name, year of release, etc. These tags are definitely useful for the listener in keeping track of a digital collection. For artists, it’s about tracking for downloads and plays, which can ensure timely and accurate compensation.
Unfortunately, not all systems to organize metadata are created equal. Non-rock artists, especially jazz and classical musicians, have borne the brunt of some of the most poorly organized metadata out there. This is largely because the new business models are often developed with only popular music in mind.
Digital music biz superstar Ian Rogers recently announced his move to become the CEO of “Daisy” — a new project that’s being built out of streaming subscription service MOG, which was acquired by Beats Electronics in 2012. Beats, is of course, known for its headphones and for being the brainchild of hip-hop legend Dr. Dre and music executive Jimmy Iovine. read more
If you're a Last.fm user, you may have noticed some changes at the popular music site, one of which is that the company will no longer offer on-demand track streaming, but instead refer users to third-party partners like MOG and read more
Today's post is by FMC Communications Intern Peter Haugen.
For the past seven years, Rhapsody was partnered with RealNetworks and MTV, but, as of Tuesday morning, the music subscription service is flying solo. In other words, Rhapsody, which has been around for the better part of a decade, is now officially labeled a “start-up.” Again.
So why, exactly, did the company decide to go its own way? Did Rhapsody, like many people who chose to end a relationship, simply need its space? read more
At SXSW last week, YouTube unveiled a new opportunity for indie bands called Musicians Wanted. According to a recent YouTube post that provides some details about this program (the pitch is made by the members of Pomplamoose), "If you're a musician, and you want to make a living and do nothing but play music. . . either get signed or stick with YouTube."
If you've been following the music-tech news lately, you've probably heard about the rather sudden and unexpected acquisition of digital music service Lala by Apple, Inc. Speculation has run rampant about why the country's largest music retailer — which sells individual music downloads via its iTunes store — would purchase a company that's made a name for itself via "cloud-based" access. read more
In 2008, the idea of another subscription-only music service was enough to get your knickers in a torrent. Sure Rhapsody was doing well, but they’d been around for forever and in 2008, freemium was the music model du jour. With a year to reflect, co-founder of the Future of Music Coalition and longtime San Fran Music Tech Summit organizer Brian Zisk tells us what it takes to survive in today’s music environment.
In August 2008, ReadWriteWeb asked What Would the Perfect Streaming Music Service Look Like? While Pandora, Imeem and Muxtape were mentioned, services like MOG’s All Access, Spotify and Rdio hadn’t even been hatched. Given what appears to be a major shift in the industry, we asked Zisk to weigh in on some of these upcoming features. read more