Across this last month of blossoming Spring, exciting times in the music industry have been heating up along with the temperatures. Read on to learn all about them….
2 weeks is the average time that it takes Spotify to “quickly surface new, popular songs”, as compared with three (3) entire months for the usual FM radio stations. According to music industry researchers, “On average, it takes about two weeks from the time a song is released for it to reach the Spotify top 10 (if it makes it there at all). Meanwhile, it takes nearly three months for a hit song to reach the top 10 on radio.” However, there’s a tradeoff: FM radio goes for longevity. “Once on the top radio chart, however, a song generally has serious staying power. The average top-10 radio hit remains on the Billboard chart for 26 weeks, 13 weeks longer than on Spotify. Even nine months after release, a huge song can still have consistent spins on the radio.”
2.4 million tracks are in the music catalogue of African music label uduX, which just very recently signed a licensing agreement with Universal Music Group and has now secured financial backing from GTBank. UduX was launched in November, 2018 by African entrepreneur Chidi Okeke, the CEO of Groove Platforms, who says, “I want to get people to pay for my service and for that, I just needed to be close to where the money is.” The deal also helps out GTBank, as the lender and financier will have access to certain portions of uduX subscribers’ personal information such as their age and location, which will be of great help in the bank’s own marketing efforts. Okeke wants his new company to acquire one million subscribers by the end of 2019. An uduX subscription is currently priced at $1.40 per month.
$3.5 billion in stock was what SiriusXM paid to acquire the Pandora streaming music service, but as of April 24th the satellite radio giant said that its Q1 profits were down 44% from the previous year to $162 million. Nevertheless, SiriusXM’s total revenues actually increased 27% to $1.7 billion. The company’s PR department explained the drop in profits as increased costs that followed in the wake of the Pandora deal, including a $31 million “one-time benefit to other income in the prior year period and a higher tax rate”. The tax rate in question for the quarter equalled 33.3%, up sharply from 21.7% one year earlier. CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM’s first quarter of 2019 was an exciting time for the company” because of the Pandora acquisition (February 1st) and efforts are being made as quickly as possible to integrate the two platforms.
$7.17 billion was Sony Music Corporation’s reported earnings for the fiscal year ended March 31st, 2019, which meant a slight increase of 1.3% from the previous year. However, the company’s operating costs rose by a very substantial 81.9% to $2.01 billion because of its deal to acquire EMI which closed in November, 2018. On a very positive note, the company’s recorded music streaming business saw significant growth of 15.2 percent growth to accompany a $271 million gain in revenue for the recorded music operations, so that it reached total sales of $2.05 billion, up from $1.78 billion in the prior year. Still, its sales of physical recordings such as CDs fell off by $411 million and its digital download sales fell by over $46 million, indicating that increasing streaming music subscriptions should remain a core focus for Sony in the coming years.
100 million monthly active users now listen or subscribe ad-free to India-based music streaming service Gaana, which was founded in 2010 by Times Media/Times Internet. The company claims that it’s the first music streaming platform within its industry’s target market to achieve that milestone number. CEO Prashan Agarwal predicts that the platform will reach 200 million monthly active users in the market within the next two years. Industry leader Spotify launched its service in India at the end of February, 2019, and at that time had 207 million monthly active users on a global scale. As of April 24th, Gaana expanded its services to include Gaana Video and an Artist Dashboard.
20 million people currently subscribe to Amazon’s Music Unlimited streaming service for $7.99 per month, and the company has launched a plan to take a bigger bite out of competitors Spotify (96 million paid users) and Apple Music (56 million). The “Everything Company”, which began as an online bookseller in the very late 1990s, is taking a page from Spotify to hook new subscriber prospects with a no-cost (ad-supported) music streaming service that became available on April 18th. Presently, the service is limited to people who own Amazon’s Echo devices and some of the company’s other proprietary Alexa-powered speakers, as well as to particular playlists and artist radio stations. If a qualifying listener likes what he hears, he can just say, “Let’s upgrade for $9.99 per month” and go to an ad-free, expanded music streaming experience with Amazon. With sales of its Alexa and Echo smart speakers increasing at a fast clip, Amazon is confident in the strategy.
73.8 million songs by famed American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe were streamed on Spotify, and almost 30 million on Apple Music, in the 27 days leading up to April 25. This equalled sudden spikes of 599% and 1081%, respectively, in less than one month’s time. In addition, digital downloads of songs by the Crüe spiked 1330% over its 27-day moving average to 176,008 purchases on iTunes. The reason? The band launched a biopic called “The Dirt” on Netflix on March 22. Sales of books about the band are way up, too. Let’s call it the biopic effect!
70 billion hours is the total amount of time that Americans spend in their cars annually, and in light of that Spotify is testing a voice-controlled in-car device dubbed “Car Thing” to be used to listen to music (and podcasts). In all probability, it will connect to a car’s dashboard via Bluetooth technology, and will include preset icons for oft-used playlists akin to car radios’ preset buttons for a driver’s most-listened-to radio stations. Electronics manufacturer Flex has been selected to make Car Thing.