Friday, April 17, 2015

TuneCore Acquired By Believe Digital

Believe Digital image
Digital music aggregator Tuncore, one of the pioneers in that area of the music business, has been acquired by Believe Digital for an undisclosed amount. Believe is the French version of Tunecore only larger, operating in 29 countries.

Both companies will reportedly retain their current staffs and continue operating as normal, but will now be owned by a new corporate entity called Tunecore & Believe Digital Services.

The new company is now a heavyweight in music aggregation, reportedly responsible for 25 to 30% of all uploads to iTunes every day.

This merger may turn out to be a significant upgrade for artists currently signed to Tunecore.

Tunecore company stresses services more for the DIY artist who does everything for himself, while Believe is known for its artist hand-holding. The company features departments for marketing, radio promotions, and project management - all the services usually provided by a record label.

Of course, those services are all for hire, but just the fact that they're available is a step in the right direction for many artists that don't have a clue what to do after they finish recording and uploading their songs.

Usually mergers and acquisitions like this are to the detriment of the end users. This time it may turn out to be a giant positive for artists and bands everywhere.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Digital Music And Physical Sales Now At Equal Strength

vinyl kills the MP3 image
The IFPI, the organization that represents record companies across the globe, just released its annual Global Digital Music Report showing that worldwide digital music sales equaled physical sales for the first time. Digital revenues grew 6.9% last year to $6.9 billion USD, which represents 46% of total revenue, exactly the same as physical sales of CDs and vinyl.

Overall, the global revenue for music stayed roughly the same in 2014 as the previous year, coming in at $15.03 billion, which was down just 0.4%. Still, some might consider that a victory considering that digital music sales continue to increase at a level that offsets the decline of physical sales.

A data point that jumps out of the report is that the number of paying streaming subscribers now tops 41 million, which represents an estimated 46% increase. This brought in around $1.6 billion in revenue, or about 26% of the digital market.

What's interesting about the subscriber number is that many feel that it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tapping the potential streaming market, since the report sites another 100 million users now subscribe to a free music streaming tier as well.

According to the IFPI report, a commissioned study undertaken by Ipsos across the top 13 music markets found that only 35% of Internet users accessed a free streaming service in the last six months. That leaves a lot of room for growth. Read more on Forbes.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Bank Starts Its Own Streaming Service, And It Might Make Sense

Streaming music services image
What do you think your reaction would be if I told you that a major banking institution just started its own music streaming service? If you knew anything about the music business, chances are you'd be incredulous. With all the existing competition in the marketplace and some deep pocketed players about to re-enter the sector in a big way, at first look this move seems to be somewhat misguided, especially for a major bank.

There may be one place where this action defies common wisdom however, and that's in Brazil.

Billboard recently reported that Brazilian banking giant Banco Bradesco (#63 on the Forbes Global 2000) entered into a partnership with Universal Music Group to create a new streaming music service exclusively for its credit card holders.

Now, read that again and tell me what your reaction is. I bet at least part of it is, "Why?"

On the surface this seems like a crazy move, but that's because we automatically think of the music industry of the United States as a reference point. The reality is that Brazil is a different animal completely.

According to the IFPI, Brazil is the ninth largest music market with $228 million in total revenue last year. It's also still a young market when it comes to streaming, even though most of the major players have launched there. Read more on Forbes.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How Many Hashtags?

Twitter hashtags image
Hashtags are such a successful feature with Twitter that other social networks have adopted them. They're great as a resource for finding topical posts fast, at least on Twitter. On other networks, not so much. This was the case with Linkedin, who experimented with them for a while before giving up.

There's been a lot of study on effective hashtag use in terms of the number that can be effectively used. Here's the latest.
Twitter - 2 hashtags work best, with the amount of engagement decreasing with the more you add. That said, there's 100 % more engagement if you use them, and tweets with them are more likely to be retweeted as well. Remember not to trivialize your hashtag, since they're best used to categorize a tweet. 
Facebook - It's been found that hashtags actually decrease engagement. Don't use them. 
Instagram - Contrary to all other networks, the more you use, the better since on Instagram, hashtags are used primarily to build community. 11 hashtags or more get the most engagement. 
Pinterest - Once again, it's been found that hashtags actually decrease engagement. Stay away from them here.
One thing to remember is that they now turn up in a Google search and many people do search for them, so they're worth using.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.


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