The summer of 2017 is shaping up to be a season of uncertainty. Some areas of the music industry are faltering while others appear to be doing remarkably well. New technology also is playing a role. How will it all play out? Only time will tell.

Let’s examine all the changes by the numbers:

40%: The percentage of staff cuts at SoundCloud, 173 employees, as the streaming music service needs to cut costs, saying its subscription tier has not been successful. The company also will be consolidating into two offices, one in New York City and the other in Berlin. “In the competitive world of music streaming, we’ve spent the last several years growing our business, and more than doubled our revenue in the last 12 months alone,” CEO Alexander Ljung said. “However, we need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success. And in order to do this, it requires cost cutting, continued growth of our existing advertising and subscription revenue streams, and a relentless focus on our unique competitive advantage — artists and creators.”  SoundCloud is available in 190 countries.  Source:  Music Ally and The SoundCloud Blog

12%: The percentage of people attending live music that has increased in the UK over the past year, reaching 30.9 million and contributing $5.2 billion to the nation’s economy. People are willing to travel for the music they love. Last year, music tourism increased 20 percent as almost a million Britons traveled abroad for concerts and music festivals, spending an average of $1,109 per person. “Live music in the UK is a tremendous success story and makes a massive contribution to our culture and general wellbeing, as well as our economy,” chief executive of UK Music Michael Dugher said. “It showcases our talent to the world and brings pleasure to millions every day.” But it isn’t all good news. Venues holding less than 1,500 people have been closing, declining 35% in London alone, as rising costs and licensing laws drive them out of business. Source:  The Guardian

2000-2010: The decade when movie soundtracks died, but now making a comeback, thanks to streaming.  Soundtracks’ near-demise was caused by directors wanting creative control and, ironically streaming.  As more songs were available via streaming music services, it became more difficult to attract new artists to perform for soundtracks. Instead, artists licensed existing songs. Artists, however, are now realising that moviegoers who enjoy their contribution to a soundtrack might later buy more of their work.  As a consequence, synchronisation licenses are the norm. Source: Wired

15 million: The number of weekly visitors to tech startup Songkick’s concert recommendation platform. Earlier this month, the platform, including an app, and the Songkick name were sold to Warner Music Group for an undisclosed amount. The other half of Songkick, a ticketing business which has accused Ticketmaster of antitrust violations, was not sold. The ticketing business will need to be renamed. Source: The New York Times

43 million: The number of shares Sony Music has the rights to purchase in startup MelodyVR, over the next five years. This makes Sony the latest label to venture into the world of virtual reality. Under the agreement, MelodyVR has the right to produce and distribute content by Sony artists for its app. It will be available first on the app before being released by Sony. MelodyVR’s goal is to increase the size of its audience prior to the app’s launch. Source: Billboard


Top photo ©  Maglara/GettyImages

About Author

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

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