Big News For A Short Work Week
Thanksgiving is a time of plenty, so we’re bringing you an extra helping of news.
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Salient statements from this week’s music news.
With Apple and Amazon going after premium users by giving away HiFi audio, the fourth-place streaming service is making the opposite move of cutting ads from its new free tier to attract users.
Takeaway: It’s a bold and potentially expensive move for TIDAL made possible by Jack Dorsey and Square’s recent $302 million acquisition of 80% of TIDAL. It’s also difficult to see how it is sustainable in the long term.
The “Nate Silver of music” released his comprehensive 2020 investigation of global revenues.
Takeaway: COVID hit songwriters and publishers much more than it hit the record industry. Which means recorded music accounted for nearly two-thirds of music right revenues in 2020.
Paying for talent is the new norm for tech companies looking to stand out as platform differentiation dissolves.
Takeaway: Indeed, pretty much every major platform offers financial incentives of some sort to attract and retain talent. The only question is who will stay when the money runs out.
Removing the album shuffle default that nobody asked for is an important reminder that artists are always more creative than engineers.
Takeaway: As streaming and other digital formats have made the music industry more song-based after decades of being centered around albums, there has been much talk about the “death of the album” and the consequent loss of a complete artistic statement that comes with it.
In the wake of Taylor Swift rerecording her catalog, her label has upped its standard ban on rerecording from five to seven years.
Takeaway: Music labels have gradually been losing their grip on their power and influence on the music industry with the rise of music streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. One impact of music streaming platforms in the industry is a change in the way business is done because artists can release and promote their own work without the help of a label.
The fight between the well-regarded indie label and presumably affable producer has gotten surprisingly “desperate and vindictive.”
Takeaway: Four Tet’s legal team argues that he is entitled to a 50 percent royalty rate for streams through international platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. Labels tend to pay the lower rate of roughly 16 percent for streams.
The controversial pricing method proves that the live sector somehow still manages to undervalue its product.
Takeover: Everyone pays the price the secondary market might charge, instead of a small selection of fans paying scalper prices after the event sells out completely and demand is still high.
Among the several unexpected analytics, the biggest might be the startling amount of fans who buy merch on first discovering an artist.
Takeaway: New fans are 7.8x more likely to click on your merch the very first day they discover you, compared to just one day later. That first day represents more merch clicks on average than the next 40 days combined.