Licensing Music Streaming’s All-Of-The-Above Business Model

There’s an old adage in business that there really are only three fundamental business models in the world: I pay, you pay, or somebody else pays. Music streaming services have been built on each of those.

Music has been bundled in with other services at no apparent additional cost (I pay); it has been offered as a subscription service (you pay); and it gangnam1has been made available for free, supported by advertising (somebody else pays). Increasingly, however, streaming services are looking to multiple business models in search of still-elusive profits.

The latest case in point: Pandora. Originally an ad-supported internet radio service, it spent $450 million last month to acquire music concert ticketing and promotion service Ticketfly. This month it dropped another $75 million to buy parts of paid-streaming service Rdio at the latter’s liquidation yard sale. Read More »

Live Music’s Long, Strange Trip Over The Top

Live music has been on a bit of an over-the-top roll lately. The five shows in the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well tour, which wrapped up in Chicago over the weekend, together racked up more than 175,000 paid live streams, making it easily one of the largest paid live music events ever to go over the top. Archived shows will be available through August 5, which will push the combined live and on-demand numbers even higher.

Though major festivals like Coachella and Bonaroo draw bigger online live audiences, those shows are free; the Dead shows cost $79.95 for the full, five-day run (individual shows were less). Archived shows will remain available through August 5, which will push the combined live and on-demand PPV take even higher.

Grateful_DeadWhile the Dead may be sui generis when it comes to pay-per-view streaming, live royalty free electronic music streaming in general is attracting new interest from both startups and established players in the concert business.

This week brought word of a partnership between Verizon Digital Media Services and LiveXLive to live stream at least three day-long festivals this fall in the U.S. and internationally.

Launched in May, LiveXLive is a subsidiary of hedge-fund backed Loton Corp., created to pursue what its founders believe is a growing opportunity in live music streaming.  While live-streaming music festivals obviously is not new, LiveXLive’s is thinking much more ambitiously. Read More »

Sony’s Stake in Spotify Challenged in Lawsuit Claiming Artists Are Robbed 

Sony is now being sued for self-dealing on the allegation that its equity position is harming 19 artists like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. The lawsuit asserts that Sony negotiated the stake, and is also taking advertising income from Spotify, in lieu of demanding fair-market royalty rates from the streaming company. An additional claim for breach of good faith and fair dealing essentially frames what’s happened in the recording business as a diversion of money that would otherwise be going to artists.

Source: Sony’s Equity Stake in Spotify Challenged in Lawsuit Claiming Artists Are Robbed – The Hollywood Reporter

Swift Action: Reverses Royalties Rule on Apple Music 

Less than 24 hours after chart-topping singer Taylor Swift criticized Apple for not paying royalties to artists during the three-month free-trial period for its new Apple Music service, the company’s chief content czar signaled the policy has been reversed via Twitter.

Source: Apple Responds to Taylor Swift: Reverses Royalties Rule on Apple Music | Variety

Spotify downloaded over 5 million times on PlayStation devices 

Spotify said that the 5m downloads in such as short space of time “makes this the quickest launch adoption rate in PlayStation history”.Since launch, users have streamed over 785 million tracks on PlayStation 4 – equating to 42 million hours of listening.

Source: Spotify downloaded over 5 million times on PlayStation devices – Music Business Worldwide