Apple is entering a crowded market very late, joining archrival Google alongside the likes of Rdio, Rhapsody, Jay-Z’s new Tidal service and, of course, Spotify, which dominates this space in the U.S.—and just announced a host of new features of its own, including an innovative new way to play back music during exercise. With so many other players, Apple is hoping that star power and human curation will be enough to set it apart. It’s also offering Apple Music subscriptions for free for the first three months, which should help the company at least somewhat in its ambitious quest to bring on 100 million paying subscribers. Spotify currently boasts 60 million subscribers of its own.
Major labels Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment are putting heavy pressure on Spotify to limit their free access window to three months. And now we know why: according to data just shared by executives at the Big Three with Billboard, 69% of Spotify premium subscribers make the decision to convert from free within 90 days.
Apple is expected to announce the service at its annual conference for software developers, which kicks off Monday in San Francisco. In a keynote session, CEO Tim Cook and other executives are also expected to show off new features in Apple’s operating software for iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers, as well as tools for building new apps for the Apple Watch. Analysts also expect enhancements to the mobile-payment service known as Apple Pay.
Source: News from The Associated Press
Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray issued a note to investors this week, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider, in which he said he expects a $10-per-month music subscription service from Apple will not benefit the company financially in any meaningful way.
For example, he said if Apple were to match the 15 million subscribers currently held by Spotify — an achievement he said is “highly unlikely” — it would add less than 1 percent of the company’s revenue in 2016.
Last December, a single play on Spotify Premium was worth an average of about 0.68 of a cent in royalties, according to the analysis, conducted by Audiam, a company that helps music publishers collect digital royalties. In the same month, a single play on Spotify Free was worth an average of about 0.14 of a cent, about one-fifth the value on the subscription.
Dash has built a technology platform containing some 60 curated “stations” for listeners to choose from, all delivered through an app. It already has more than a million users from its beta period.Dash’s streams are “one to many” broadcasts, just like the terrestrial radio of old. The content is chosen by a DJ, who the listeners trust to deliver good music. There’s no skipping to the next song as in Spotify; listeners listen to what the DJ plays.
There are two ways you could look at Apple’s emerging music strategy. It’s either extremely ambitious, or Apple isn’t sure what to do in music so it’s trying everything.
The two need not be mutually exclusive. In fact, no one in the streaming music business seems terribly confident about their own business model right now, even as new players continue to pile into the market.
Apple is widely expected to announce a subscription music streaming service next week at its World Wide Developers Conference, offering unlimited, on-demand access to music from the major and leading independent record labels for $10 month. That will pit it Apple directly against Spotify, currently the leading subscription streaming service, with 15 million paying users and about 45 million users of its ad-supported free tier.
Unlike Spotify, Apple’s on-demand service will not include a free tier. But Apple isn’t writing off free music altogether. Far from it. According to the Wall Street Journal, is preparing to relaunch its existing free, ad-supported web radio service, iTunes Radio, adding programmed channels, some of which apparently will be hosted by celebrity DJs such as the rapper Drake, Pharrell Williams and Beats co-founder Dr. Dre, who is now working for Apple. Apple also recently hired away a group of producers and DJs from BBC Radio 1 to help with the programming. Read More »
The fruits of Bandpage’s ambitious and long-in-the-works data crunch — focused on identifying artists’ most engaged fans and knowing what type of product those fans may be interested in, to oversimplify — come off the vine today. The company has launched its most intimate partnership to date, with Rhapsody, the world’s oldest streaming service. The move represents “phase two” for Bandpage, which began as a place for artists to post updates across the many social networks required to operate an artistic career in the modern age.
Apple is expected to offer unlimited on-demand streaming for $10 a month, as Spotify does, according to people familiar with the plan. Unlike Spotify, Apple won’t let listeners stream its entire music catalog on demand free of charge. But it plans to augment its free, ad-supported Internet radio service with channels programmed and hosted by human DJs.
Apple is in talks to sign a rumored $19 million deal to get “Started From the Bottom” rapper Drake as a guest DJ for iTunes Radio, among other things. Drake is just one of a host of artists Apple wants to snag for its huge all-encompassing assault on the music front.
Online sensation Jacob Whitesides has launches his own record label, Double U, and turned to BMG as his industry partner. The 17 year-old has built a huge digital following on his own, amassing 1.6 million Twitter followers, as well as more than 1.3 million Facebook likes.
In searching for better benchmarks, Judge Stanton is much more impressed by internal Pandora emails in late December 2013 that discussed how Pandora and big publishers came to interim deals when the old licensing agreement expired. At the time, Sony and Universal were telling Pandora the price for not being sued. Nevertheless, the judge says it is “revelatory of [Pandora] executives’ contemporary appreciation of free-market rates.” (It also shows that Universal has been expecting Pandora’s revenue to climb up to $1.5 billion this year.)
According to the BMG CEO, the balance of power is gradually swinging from music’s executives to its creative community – and that suits him just fine.While many see the past 15 years of music’s digital revolution and revenue decline as a disaster, Masuch views it as an opportunity to correct a relationship which has too often disadvantaged the talent.
Boiler Room has partnered with Twitch to launch a new channel, hosting a 24/7 video broadcast of both live and archival music performances.
Since launching in 2010, Boiler Room has grown from a webcam taped to a warehouse wall to a global broadcaster, streaming underground music from techno and hip hop to jazz and neo-classical. The company has over six million dedicated monthly unique users, with content reaching over 20m music fans every month.