The counter revolution in the music industry continues unabated as we drive ever further into 2018. Here are five more reasons why!

70 percent
is the stake that Universal Music Group‘s Dutch subsidiary (Universal International Music BV) now owns in Nairobi, Kenya-based AI Records. AI owns an enormous catalogue of East African music, which includes recordings beloved by local music fans including those of Orchestra Super Mazembe, among many others. CEO Sir Lucian Grainge identified Africa, back in 2015, as among the “high-potential markets” in which UMG would be actively investing in coming years (more about Midem 2018’s focus on Africa here).

$23 billion is the approximate valuation that Spotify claims would be a fair one for itself, given that shares of the now-publicly-traded company have gone for as high as $132.50 on private markets. The music streaming service also claims that it lost $1.5 billion as of the close of 2017, after taking in $2.37 billion in 2015, $3.6 billion in 2016, and just about $5 billion in 2017. In its filing, the company stated, “We set out to reimagine the music industry…on the belief that music is universal and that streaming is a more robust and seamless access model that benefits both artists and music fans.

$115 million was raised, recently, by India-based music streaming service Gaana. The money flowed in from China’s Tencent, a gargantuan player in the global Internet drama. The newly raised capital is going to be invested in developing AI for creating more personalised features and services for listeners. In addition, Gaana is going to further develop its music streaming subscription service. The company also offers a no-cost music streaming service which is paid for by commercials, much like traditional music radio business models.

100 is the minimum number of countries that are going to be able to allow people access to YouTube Red. Red is a $9.99 (USD) per month subscription service offered as a commercial-free platform. Although predominantly a video service provider, YouTube Red was conceived of as a way to replace Google Music Key as a tier on existing YouTube and Google Play accounts.

2,000 is the number of music score titles in the 40-year old catalogue of Varèse Sarabande. In early February, the movie soundtrack and score specialist label was bought by Concord Music from rights holder Film Score Records, an investor group led and managed by The Cutting Edge Group, which formed the Varèse Sarabande label in 1978. Concord Music will provide global distribution, marketing, and label services for the former exclusive rights holder. “We are proud to take over this prolific legacy and catalog and, most importantly, continue to invest and grow the film score [and]soundtrack market,” stated Steven Salm, Concord Music Chief Business Development Officer (more about Concord Music’s Midem 2018 keynote here).

Let the music play….


Top photo: © filipefrazao / Getty Images

About Author

Brant David McLaughlin has been a professional writer since 2005. At the behest of best-selling author Gina Smith, he began writing long-form journalism in January, 2014. He lives in the rustic town of Milford, New Jersey.

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