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YouTube to Launch New Subscription Music Streaming Service Next Year
YouTube has plans to release a third paid music service next spring, Billboard  has confirmed with sources familiar with the matter.  The new service, reported earlier by Bloomberg, is planned to arrive in March and is currently being referred to internally as Remix. It would include on-demand streaming and incorporate video clips and other elements from YouTube.  If YouTube hopes to hit that March launch date, it will need to lock in deals with labels. While Warner Music Group extended its licensing deal with the platform over the summer (which presumably included this new service in its terms), Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group are still in renegotiations.
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
Kevin Brown is leaving Spotify after five years
Kevin Brown, the most senior industry-facing executive at Spotify outside the US, is leaving the company at the end of this year, MBW understands. It is currently unknown where the respected exec may be off to, but we believe he will officially exit Spotify at the close of 2017. Brown is Head of Artist & Label Services UK and International at Spotify – where he first arrived in early 2013. Since joining the company in his London-based role, Brown has played an instrumental role in the growth of Spotify’s subscriber base ex-US, and the vast improvement of its reputation amongst artists and rights-holders.
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
Shazam Is Apple’s Echo Nest
Shazam finally found a buyer: Apple. Ever since its affiliate sales revenue model crumbled with the onset of streaming (there’s no business in an affiliate fee on a $0.01 stream), Shazam has been trying to find a new business model. It doubled down on providing tools for TV advertisers but never got enough traction for that to be a true pivot. Shazam’s problem has always been that it was a feature rather than a product – as so many VC funded tech companies are. The fact that it sold for $400 million – just 2.8 times its total investment ($143 million) and well below its previous pre-money valuation of $1 billion, illustrates how much value has seeped out of Shazam’s business. The Apple acquisition though, is one of the few ways that Shazam’s ‘hidden’ value can be realised.
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
Apple to confirm Shazam acquisition today; Snap and Spotify also expressed interest
After we broke the story last week that Apple was acquiring London-based music and image recognition service Shazam, Apple will be confirming the news today, we have heard. It is purchasing the startup — one of earliest players in the world of mobile music — as part of its bigger ambitions in the music business. We have been told by multiple sources that the news should be out some time between 8am and 9am Pacific. Apple is not likely to disclose the price but we have several sources that have confirmed to us that the deal is in the region of $400 million. Sources also tell us that Apple’s deal had been in the works for about five months and came after Shazam had been in talks with others, including Snapchat and Spotify.
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
Facebook Adds Collection of 1,000 Free Songs to Use in Videos
Facebook has added a "sound collection" of 1,000 free, pre-cleared songs by mostly unknown artists for its users to add to their videos.  The social media platform started unrolling the new material on Friday (Dec. 8) as part of its larger Facebook for Creators program it announced last month. The new initiative is intended to provide video creators with tools to develop their skills (and followings) on Facebook and Instagram.  The songs range across basically all genres with options to sort by moods, such as "scary," "dreamy" and "bright," as well as song lengths and types of vocals.
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
BMG moves into video content as 'strategic offering to artists and songwriters'
BMG is expanding into music-related film and TV production, spearheaded by the Joan Jett documentary Bad Reputation, which will premiere at the Sundance film festival in January. The record label and music publishing company is both financier and executive producer of the feature-length documentary project, and three more are in the pipeline. The move into film and TV is led by BMG SVP Justus Haerder, who heads a four-person team operating from BMG’s Los Angeles office.
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
Indies feel pushed out of vinyl boom as 'dad rock' sells in record numbers
Indie labels say it is now taking several months, rather than weeks, to bring out a new record as the small number of surviving vinyl factories struggle to cope with orders. “We’ve been making records continuously for 20 years and the lead time has gone up from three weeks to three months,” says Gerald Short, founder of Jazzman Records. “The major labels have the leverage with the pressing plants due to the volume of business they can offer, which I can understand. Most record companies in the UK use plants in Europe these days, and at the moment the pressing plants just cannot cope with the demand. They’re working 24/7.”
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
Former Facebook exec: Social media is ripping apart society
The entire talk is well worth a watch, but some of his most prominent remarks included: That he feels “tremendous guilt” about Facebook. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created [including the hearts, likes, and thumbs up of various social media channels] are destroying how society works.” He added, “[There’s] no civil discourse, no cooperation; [only] misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem–this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
Imgur’s take on Snapchat Stories is for people who really love GIFs
Like the ‘stories’ feature inside Snapchat and Facebook/Instagram, which has cloned the heck of Snapchat, Imgur has moved into lean-back content with the arrival of ‘Snacks’, a new feature that sits at the top of its mobile app. With Snacks, Imgur is letting users watched an ongoing array of GIFs in one sitting. When one GIF is done, another replaces it immediately to keep the experience continuous. Unlike Snap, the content is actually standalone as it appears to be pulled from Imgur’s vast library of content.
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4 days ago by motiveunknown
The Problem with Muzak
These algorithmically designed playlists, in other words, have seized on an audience of distracted, perhaps overworked, or anxious listeners whose stress-filled clicks now generate anesthetized, algorithmically designed playlists. One independent label owner I spoke with has watched his records’ physical and digital sales decline week by week. He’s trying to play ball with the platform by pitching playlists, to varying effect. “The more vanilla the release, the better it works for Spotify. If it’s challenging music? Nah,” he says, telling me about all of the experimental, noise, and comparatively aggressive music on his label that goes unheard on the platform. “It leaves artists behind. If Spotify is just feeding easy music to everybody, where does the art form go? Is anybody going to be able to push boundaries and break through to a wide audience anymore?”
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8 days ago by motiveunknown
Instagram may be following Facebook in pushing private messaging into a standalone app
Facebook made the controversial decision back in 2014 to remove private messaging from the main app, moving it instead into Facebook Messenger. It now seems the company may have similar plans for Instagram. From today, Instagram is testing a new app called Direct. For those who choose to install it, the inbox disappears from the main app … The Verge reports that Direct is being tested on both iOS and Android in six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. But a comment from product manager Hemal Shah made it sound like the company had already made up its mind.
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8 days ago by motiveunknown
Deezer Betting On Hi-Fi Audio as Streaming Service Launches In Japan
After years of trying, Deezer is about to launch in Japan, partnering with audio hardware companies Onkyo Pioneer and Yamaha to deliver lossless CD quality streaming to the world's second biggest music market. Deezer says it is the first streaming platform to provide Hi-Res 16-Bit FLAC CD quality audio to Japanese consumers, who from tomorrow (Dec 8) will be able to listen to a catalog of over 36 million tracks, encompassing repertoire from a host of independents and two of the three major labels (negotiations with Tokyo-based Sony Music are ongoing).
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8 days ago by motiveunknown
Pandora Music: Digital Advertising Key to Sales Turnaround
Still, Graves says Pandora is a good investment because of its strong cash position, big customer base, and the possibility of expanding its subscriber base outside the United States. While Lynch may have been evasive on the call last month, a source told Reuters that the company is likely to buy an advertising technology firm within the next two months. The source, an investor in Pandora who declined to be identified, said they spoke to the company’s chief financial officer after the earnings call and the executive strongly hinted that Pandora was going to buy, rather than build out its ad technology.
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8 days ago by motiveunknown
Facebook’s Year in Review hasn’t realized that social media isn’t fun anymore
Still, the Year in Review videos are a delightful illustration of how Facebook AI hasn’t quite figured out that it shouldn’t pair negative memories with cute graphics. It’s not totally surprising, given that Facebook usage was expected to drop this year anyway. (Probably because being bombarded with constant reminders of politics, tragedies, and sexual harassment can be a bit too difficult to handle sometimes.) Also, because the teens don’t find it cool anymore.
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8 days ago by motiveunknown
Does the music industry's definition of 'catalogue' need an upgrade?
To calculate this paradigm shift, Spotify has just analysed all tracks released during April 2015 – crunching the numbers on almost three-quarters of a million songs released in that single month. “PUT BLUNTLY, YEAR TWO EARNED MORE THAN YEAR ONE.” Here’s what we learned: 40% of those tracks had more streams between April 2016 through March 2017 than they had from April 2015 through March 2016. Put bluntly, year two earned more than year one. This merits a pause for thought. How do mindsets (as well as rules) have to change to accommodate what is clearly more than ‘just another’ format change? In an age of sales, the industry might be tempted to take its foot ‘off the gas’ after an album has been out for a couple of months and the initial sugar-high has faded.
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8 days ago by motiveunknown
As Marketers Shrug at Snapchat, the Social Platform Tries to Prove Itself
The second critical limitation affecting the company’s success is the types of Snapchat marketing products the platform offers to brands. As Marketing Land reports, Snapchat recognizes that marketers are seeking more sales-oriented ad products, and the company has rolled out several new solutions aimed at meeting these demands. Context Cards are one such solution: These text-based addendums to visual content can provide links, business reviews, reservation options, and other information that provide context for the visual content and offers its own call-to-action for consumers. The Context Cards also come with performance metrics to help marketers track results.
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8 days ago by motiveunknown
Epitaph's Dave Hansen named Chairman of Merlin as Martin Mills steps down from role
Global indpendent digital rights agency for Merlin has today announced results of its biennial board elections – including the election of a new Chairman, with Dave Hansen, Epitaph’s SVP of Business Development, replacing Beggars Group founder Martin Mills, who is stepping down by rotation. Mills has served as Chairman since 2011. The Beggars boss was Merlin’s second Chair following the tenure of Bob Frank, and will continue as a board member of the organisation.
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8 days ago by motiveunknown

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