Taylor Takes A Bite Out Of Apple

There is Bad Blood brewing between Country Pop starlet Taylor Swift and Tech industries goliathan Apple who has announced today via her immensely popular Tumblr blog that she will be holding back her album entitled 1989 from the proposed new Apple Music streaming service. The blog repost from Taylor is the direct result of Apple’s apparent decision to accompany the launch of a Music streaming Service with a 3 months free trial offer to prospective fee paying members

Free trial! What’s wrong with that? I hear you ask, after all, everyone likes free, ok free punch in the face is not so good. According to Taylor Swift, the caveat lies firmly at the artists and producers end who will not be paid a penny for those first three months.

This case underlines the tensions which exist between artists and streaming services, in this case artists would like to receive a fee comparable to the worth of the product while Apple would like to offer a carrot to entice the current climate of consumers to its new service. I do feel as if Apple are playing too hard ball, the notion of not paying for goods or intellectual property, in this case music for the first three months of the service launch is pretty ludicrous. Taylor Swift also makes a valid point citing the fact while she has the resource to absorb such action; a talented but unheard of musician, does not.

Do I expect Apple to change their minds? Possibly, it all depends on who pulls their music; after all, Apple does not need to implement these actions considering they are worth around $600 billion dollars, or put it another way, mo money, mo money, mo money.

Thank You Taylor Swift’s Tumblr Blog for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of Electronic Fresh

Ed Sheeran Says He Owes His Career to Spotify

Music superstar Ed Sheeran has come out saying that he owes his entire career to music streaming service, Spotify. He said backstage at the BBC Music Awards “My music has been streamed 860 million times, which means that it’s getting out to people. I’m playing sold-out gigs in South America, I’ve sold out arenas in Korea and south-east Asia.” He continued “I don’t think I’d be able to do that without Spotify. For me, Spotify is not even a necessary evil. It helps me do what I want to do.”

Sheeran’s comments come after a very heated fight between the likes of Taylor Swift and Spotify, where Swift removed her entire back catalogue from Spotify a week before her new album ‘1989’ was released. With Swift reportedly romantically linked to Sheeran, this is an interesting twist. Swift told The Wall Street Journal “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free.”

When it comes to Spotify’s streaming rates, Sheeran thinks they’re fair, as he told the BBC “I think Spotify are paying the right amount.” He continued “We’re just not seeing it, because the labels aren’t making as much as they used to, so they want to keep a lot of the money that Spotify give them, and not pay it out to us. Which is the truth. It is the truth. I get a percentage of my record sales, but it’s not a large percentage. I get [the profits from] all my ticket sales, so I’d rather tour.”

That’s not all Sheeran had to say, as he finished up with “Taylor has been around for eight or nine years. She comes from an era where you do sell records – it’s only been in the past five years where it’s really deteriorated – so people buy her records and it doesn’t feel too foreign. Whereas I came through in the streaming generation. All my fans started off being students at university file-sharing my music, so it’s a different generation. She can sell records and I can get streamed, because that’s the generation I come from.”

Source: BBC.

Who’s Making Money From Music Streaming? Because Spotify Isn’t, Musicians Aren’t

Spotify isn’t making much money from streaming music, at all.

The company has revealed that it scooped in around $1.03 billion in 2013, which was up 74% or so from 2013. But, it doshed out most of that to record companies and publishers, which had the company report an $80 million loss for the year, representing close to 70% of its total revenue for the year.

We also now know that most people enjoy the free services that Spotify offers, and not the premium services. Out of the 36 million users on Spotify, just 8 million of them were paying for the premium service. This is less than 25% of the total user base, something I’m sure Spotify hopes to turn around. The company said that 91% of its sales ($897 million) come from subscriptions with another $90 million made from ads. If 70% of their revenues are being handed out to record labels and and publishers, just how much is Spotify handing over to artists?

Maybe this is why Taylor Swift broke up with Spotify? Now we just have to wait for her break up song.

Source: Engadget.

Taylor Swift’s YouTube Video Views Double After Artist Snubs Spotify

Popular music artist Taylor Swift snubbed Spotify by pulling her music from the online streaming music station – and her YouTube music video views have doubled since then.

Nielsen Music Connect informed the Swift Vevo channel on YouTube dramatically increased from 12.5 million views per day during the week ending on Nov. 3 – up to 24 million the following week – and it’s curious to see how much higher the channel can go. Overall, it seems foolhardy to just decide to pull music from an online service, especially when she ended a potential multi-million-dollar payday, along with angering her fans.

However, it appears music listeners are just turning to YouTube to help fill the void – and her album “1989,” which was never allowed on Spotify, sold 1.287 million copies during its first week. That’s the highest opening-week tally since “The Eminem Show” by Eminem in 2002. Only three weeks after the album’s release, it’s already the second-highest selling album of the year, and should only grow higher.

Swift was the highest-profile artist to abandon Spotify, and it would appear other musicians want to rely on the Internet to help music listeners. Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl recently said he doesn’t care how people listen to his music, as long as they are tuning in – enjoying – and prepared to attend concerts.

(Thank you to Today Money for providing us with this information. Image courtesy of Billboard.)

Dave Grohl Not Concerned About Spotify, Wants Fans to Listen to Music

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl just wants people to listen to his band’s music and attend concerts, and isn’t too worried about Spotify or other online services. Money issues aside, the end goal is to have listeners enjoy music and serve as a reminder that new music is still being created, which is important ahead of public appearances, such as concerts and live performances on daytime TV or late night shows.

Taylor Swift decided to pull her music catalog from Spotify, an extremely popular online streaming music service, believing her music shouldn’t be given away for free. Spotify executives fired back by saying Swift – and other popular music artists – could make upwards of $6 million 2014 alone, with that figure estimated to double in 2015.

As the war of words only intensified, Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records said Swift received less than $500,000 in the past 12 months, based on revenue sharing due to US Spotify listener habits. Borchetta seemed careful not to release figures from international users, but she could have pulled in upwards of $2 million from Spotify listeners alone.

Here is what Grohl recently said regarding the public war of words between Swift and Spotify:

“Me personally? I don’t f—king care. That’s just me, because I’m playing two nights at Wembley [in London] next summer. I want people to hear our music. I don’t care if you pay $1 or f—king $20 for it; just listen to the f—king song. But I can understand how other people would object to that.

You want people to f—king listen to your music? Give them your music. And then go play a show. They like hearing your music? They’ll go see a show. To me it’s that simple, and I think it used to work that way. Nowadays there’s so much focus on technology that it really doesn’t matter.”

It would seem telling that major record labels – which generate millions of dollars from Pandora, Spotify, and other online services – are willing to let music from their artists be played online. In addition to appeasing music fans and generating more interest, music listeners are more likely to engage with artists that allow their music online.

The music industry has been forced into a hellish revolution since the public launch of Napster 1999, helping propel an unprepared industry into the Internet age.

Image courtesy of LoudWire

[Update] Spotify has Paid $2B to Artists, Taylor Swift Would Have Made $6M

The music industry was in the spotlight earlier this month when Taylor Swift pulled her hot new album release from Spotify’s digital streaming service. Claims were made from Taylor and her record label that the artists weren’t getting a big enough payout from having their music available on the service, but today Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek has hit back. Mr Ek announced that the company has now paid out over $2 billion in royalties to the music industry – which includes record labels and artists and their encompassing surrounds.

Mr Ek also made mention that the services userbase isn’t slowing down either – making note that the first billion dollars of payments came spanning the years of 2008-2013, whereas the second billion was paid just over the last 12 months. Another incredible figure that Mr Ek noted was that Spotify has more paid subscribers than all of it’s music streaming competitors combined.

“[Taylor Swift] is the only artist who has sold more than a million copies in an album’s first week since 2002. In the old days, multiple artists sold multiple millions every year. That just doesn’t happen any more; people’s listening habits have changed – and they’re not going to change back.”

The CEO also went on to exclaim that because Swift had pulled her entire catalogue from the service, she is set to lose over $6M is profits in the short term from not being on Spotify’s streaming service. At the end of the day, it would seem that Swift and her management pulled her catalogue from Spotify because they’re one of the last remaining artists who wields enough power to afford to manoeuvre such a stunt. In the meantime, I’m sure many of you have other tunes and artists to listen to and enjoy.

Thanks to The Verge for providing us with this information.

Spotify Hits 12.5 Million Subscribers, Taylor Swift Still Unhappy

Music streaming service Spotify has announced that they now have 12.5 million paying subscribers.

The news came in a blog post by the Swedish company’s CEO Daniel Ek. The number is part of it’s 50 million users overall, making it easily one of the biggest in the growing streaming music business. The point of that blog post was to discuss the brewing controversy surrounding Taylor Swift pulling her music from the service. You might think that Swift’s decision is pretty mundane, but her desire to sell music rather than monetise it with ads or subscriptions brings into question the whole concept of music streaming.

A startling number of people don’t buy music anymore, it’s pretty much come to be expected as a free form of entertainment, with the likes of Vevo on YouTube and all the other music streaming services. There’s also the many millions of illegal downloads to add to declining numbers of music sales. Apple briefly had the answer to combating illegal downloads with iTunes, but figures from their annual report released last month reveal that iTunes is a declining business, with many citing that as the main reason why they bought Beats earlier this year, with their Beats Music service.

It’s certainly true that artists don’t make nearly as much money from streaming as they do downloads or physical releases and so it raises the question of how the music industry, with the technology industry supporting it, can move forward.

Source: Re/Code