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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 17, 2014 5 comments
In an interview with Billboard, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek talks about the possibility of adding a higher tiered lossless service to Spotify:
Just like we’ve had deluxe edition of albums, everyone is thinking about how does that look like in a future world? Lossless music -- is that a higher priced tier? Is that something that comes with deluxe editions? How should we package subscriptions to consumers? That’s a very big topic right now on the label side. The kind of debates that I’ve wanted to have for many, many years with the music industry, we’re finally seeing it happening. The industry is realizing, “Hey, we need to embrace streaming, and we need to do it fast.”
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 16, 2014 7 comments
As reported by re/code, during the company’s earnings call last week, Warner's CEO Stephen Cooper said:
As we have said before, streaming – and particularly the subscription model – more fully captures the true demand for music. In the streaming universe, consumption drives the economics — so the more that people listen to music, the better it is for our artists and our business.
Cooper continued with a nod to Taylor Swift:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 11, 2014 23 comments
From the press release:
Developed by Meridian, MQA is a breakthrough technology to reverse the trend, in which sound quality has been continually sacrificed for convenience. Vital elements of our music have been thrown away to fit thousands of songs into a pocket or millions in a cloud. With MQA there is no sacrifice; it brings us right back to the enthralling sound of live music. MQA captures and preserves nuances and vital information that current music files obscure or discard, but in a file that is small and convenient to download or stream.
MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated and is Meridian's answer to delivering high resolution quality in a lossless compressed proprietary format that squeezes down even 24/192 files to roughly the size of CD-quality files. But that's not all.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 02, 2014 9 comments
Spotify released its global 2013 consolidated financial results last week which showed revenues rising 73.6% to €746.9m ($931.7m), while its operating loss grew 16.4% to €93.1m ($116.1m). Spotify closed the year with 36m active users worldwide, with more than 8m paying subscribers. From Spotify's letter to its shareholders, "We believe that music has mass market appeal – and as such, we believe we are just at the beginning of a much larger market opportunity. We believe our model supports profitability at scale."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 18, 2014 12 comments
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony is re-thinking "its support for free, advertiser-supported online music after U.S. pop star Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify, the popular digital streaming service."

Here's Kevin Kelleher, chief financial officer of Sony Music, from a Sony briefing for analysts and investors on Tuesday:

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 18, 2014 18 comments
photo credit: Taylor Swift/Rolling Stone

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek came out last week claiming the Spotify service was on track to pay Swift $6M over the next 12 months in fees. In response, Swift's label boss, Scott Borchetta claimed that actual US sales figures were just under $500k. So whose numbers are right?

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 11, 2014 18 comments
Daniel Ek, Spotify's Co-Founder and CEO, responded to Taylor Swift today on Spotify's blog in a post titled "$2 Billion and Counting". $2 billion is, according to Ek, how much Spotify has paid out to "labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then." That's not chump change.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 10, 2014 26 comments
photo credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Here's Taylor Swift from an interview in Yahoo Music! on streaming:
"But all I can say is that music is changing so quickly, and the landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment. And I'm not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music. And I just don't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free." ~ Taylor Swift
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 05, 2014 2 comments
image credit: Kobalt

A picture's worth a lot of words...From the press release:

Kobalt, the leading global music publishing and music services company for artists, songwriters, labels and publishers, will tomorrow announce a milestone in the growth of streaming revenues: its writers’ European earnings from Spotify have overtaken those from iTunes.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 04, 2014 13 comments
Sarah Barlow

While there's no press release or public statement to support this move, Taylor Swift's record label, Big Machine Music, has removed all of her music from the streaming service Spotify days after the release of her new album, 1989. Spotify has publicly responded on their site:

We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more – nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists.

We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 03, 2014 2 comments
From the press release:
Bluesound announced today TIDAL is now available on all Bluesound Players, giving users access to TIDAL's extensive music library in lossless 16-bit/44.1 kHz FLAC and ALAC format. Bluesound will be the first of TIDAL’s partners to fully integrate the service into its products, allowing owners to easily stream TIDAL’s library of over 25 million tracks to their HiFi music players through a home network, either via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, with simple control on any iOS or Android device. Bluesound users can sign up through the free Bluesound controller App available on all iOS and Android portable devices, or desktop version for PCs and Macs.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 28, 2014 10 comments
From the press release:
Oslo, Norway – October 28, 2014 – TIDAL, the first high fidelity lossless music streaming service with HD music videos and curated editorial, today announced the launch and availability of its service in the U.S. and UK. The ideal service for those who care about quality, TIDAL welcomes music lovers to enjoy its extensive library of 25 million-plus tracks, 75,000 music videos, and curated editorial articles, features and interviews written by experts. Ad free and available now for a monthly subscription of $19.99/£19.99, visit www.tidalhifi.com or download the app from iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store.
I care about quality!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 27, 2014 11 comments
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple's iTunes music sales are down nearly 14% year over year, echoing download sales in general that showed mid-year digital album sales down nearly 12% year over year (see report). Meanwhile streaming is up, up, up. Perhaps Apple's Beats acquisition is looking like a good deal after all. The Journal also reports that Beats will be integrated into iTunes sometime next year. Let's keep in mind that Apple has 800 million plus iTunes account holders so they have quite the captive audience when they roll out their streaming service.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 24, 2014 6 comments
As we learned in the pending Pandora case, US Federal Copyright Law does not protect music recorded before Feb. 15, 1972, instead it's handled on a state by state basis. Flo & Eddie filed their suit in California against SiriusXM "for not seeking authorization nor paying royalties on hit songs like 'Happy Together,' 'It Ain't Me Babe' and 'She'd Rather Be With Me'" (all pre-1972 recordings) according to Hollywood Reporter. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled in favor of Flo & Eddie who are seeking $100M in damages. While this case is certainly going to be appealed, the notion that licensing and associated royalty fees do in fact apply to pre-1972 recordings will surely send shivers down every streaming services spine.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 22, 2014 8 comments
A consumer audio show grows in Brooklyn! Beginning this Friday, September 26th, The Chester Group's New York Audio Show takes off for three days of hi-fi fun. There will be a "High Resolution Audio Zone in conjunction with HeadZones. Showcasing the latest technology for High Res downloads and associated gear including D/A and A/D converters, high resolution music streamers and portable players, visitors will be able to experience first-hand the pleasure and quality of their music."

See you there!

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