In this series of posts from Reportlinker, we review the latest music and tech news, with one big statistic per news item. All you need to know about influence of technology on music, in figures!

How technology has changed music?

While once they were two radically different industries, today music and technology companies intersect, and are even increasingly indistinguishable. How are these industries adapting to each other as they grow and change? Let’s look at the numbers.


57: The number of music industry executives who have switched to tech companies, according to Music Business Worldwide. This, argues MBW, represents a shift from when music labels were the industry’s major players.  Now, streaming services also fill that role. Music streaming also has become resources for listeners to discover new music.

Spotify, for example, had 5 billion listeners 10 months after launching its Discover Weekly, which uses algorithms to create mixtapes for users. Music labels are using lists like Discover Weekly to learn what people are listening to and which music artists are worth signing.
Source: Synchblog

$120,000 each: The amount former Twitter and Yahoo executive Bob Moczydlowsky plans to invest in 10 music startups, taking a 6% stake. The investment is part of the Techstars Music accelerator programme.

Startups will fall into nine categories: artist discovery and curation; content infrastructure; creation and collaboration; data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI); marketing and e-commerce; music education; new music experiences; rights and royalties; and social platforms and games.

The programme is designed to fund business models that don’t require licensing fees and embrace the new reality that most music companies also are technology companies. Source: Music Ally

$1.5 billion: The amount in a fund established by Alibaba for new digital media projects. Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group will include music and video services. In April, Alibaba launched the Alibaba Planet social music platform after it purchased a 4% stake in South Korean music company SM Entertainment. While often compared to Amazon, Alibaba has invested more heavily in content creation. Source: Music Ally

100 million: The number of active users on QQ Music, a service that has been called China’s Spotify.  The site also has 10 million paid subscribers. Despite this, the site has turned a profit, a feat Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora have yet to replicate. It’s not that the sites don’t make billions in revenue; it’s that they must pay up to 70% of that revenue in royalty fees. QQ Music is owned by Tencent which has huge negotiating power. Tencent plans to merge QQ Music with two other Chinese streaming sites, Kugou and Kuwo, creating a service with 800 million users. Source: Mashable

40 million: The number of songs available on Google Play Music. The company hopes to make it easier for users to discover new music by introducing a major update. The update uses AI and machine learning to detect a user’s location and activity and suggest playlists based on the information.

In addition, the software can learn a user’s music preferences and habits and make suggestions. Some users will have privacy concerns, so the AI algorithm will be an opt-in service. Google Play will continue to offer playlists curated by people. Source: Financial Post


Top photo: © Getty Images / Roman Gorielov

About Author

Melina Druga is an author and freelance journalist. You can follow her on Twitter @MelinaDruga.

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