Web3 Steps Up To The Latest Global Challenge
Spotify Suspends Service, U.S. Music Hits $15B, Female DJs Gain Ground
In the endless churn of news about live events, label & streaming and NFTs that make up a majority of the music business narrative these days, our attention this week has been drawn to the latter, starting with the release of Water & Music $STREAM Season 1.5 report. The latest deep dive by the beloved “newsletter and research DAO” continues the community’s investigation into Web3 music. We haven’t had time to pore over the full 20,000-word report yet, but we’ll give you the TL:DR version next week.
Zooming out to look at the larger NFT story, last month reported a precipitous drop in sales as well as searches for the term on Google. This could potentially be attributed to the shift in focus from whatever the heck we were doing before Russia invaded Ukraine to the current situation in Europe. Crypto itself is playing a significant role in the crisis, both in terms of fundraising (aid > apes) and as an alternative form of payment as banking gets disrupted on both sides.
Whether or not blockchain will ultimately live up to its potential to provide financial instruments that function even when governments fail remains to be seen. But the U.S. government has promised to step up its engagement with the technology via the long-expected Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets which President Biden signed yesterday.
The order itself merely creates a framework for future guidelines and regulations, but the jump in bitcoin price indicates that the old adage of markets hating uncertainty still holds true.
Salient statements from this week’s music news.
More than 1.5 million subscribers in Russia will lose their service as subscriptions lapse due to lack of credit card payments since Visa and Mastercard shut off service in Russia.
Takeaway: Russia represents less than 1% of Spotify’s total revenue of 9.67 billion euros ($10.93 billion) in 2021, up 22.7% from 2020.
Music streaming and vinyl collecting continued to skyrocket, even after we all went back outside in 2021.
Takeaway: This year’s streaming revenues—paid subscriptions, ad-supported streaming services, digital and customized radio, Facebook and digital fitness app licensing, and, for the first time, TikTok—grew 24% in 2021 to a total of $12.4 billion, accounting for 83% of total revenues.
3. TikTok Rolls Out SoundOn Platform as It Officially Enters the Music Streaming Distribution Business
Artists can upload directly to TikTok and get 100% of royalties for the first year (90% of royalties after).
Takeaway: SoundOn can also distribute to other music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Instagram. It means that TikTok is now effectively a music distributor helping artists to build audiences on other streaming services and DSPs.
The electronic music advocacy group female:pressure has released an exhaustive survey on the state of gender parity and the next set of challenges to overcome.
Takeaway: The proportion of female bookings has risen (to 27% 2020-21, from 9% in 2012). Larger festivals tend to have lower proportions of female and non-binary bookings. Publicly-funded festivals and festivals with female artistic directors tend to have higher proportions of female acts.