Streaming Services

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 11, 2014
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.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 10, 2014
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
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 05, 2014
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.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 04, 2014
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.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 03, 2014
Streaming on PBS' Austin City Limits until 11/29/2014 is the full Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds concert which originally aired on 11/01/2014. Featuring hits old and new, from "From Her to Eternity" to "Jubilee Street" and a whole bunch of barn stormers in between, a love letter, and more, I'd say Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds still put on one helluva show.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 03, 2014
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.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 29, 2014
Two new releases I've been very curious about are Ruins from Grouper and Venice (10th Anniversary Edition) from Fennesz and I just listened to both of them in CD-quality on Tidal. Ruins is also available on NPR's Fist Listen for free but that's in lossy quality and does not hold a candle to the lossless version. Yes there's a clear and distinct difference in the sound of these two streams, one sounding muffled and imprecise while the other sounds more like what it is, mainly voice and piano. While I'm still a fan of NPR's First Listen, I'm a bigger fan of better quality and Tidal delivers.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 28, 2014
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!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 21, 2014
With Spotify's recently announced family plan that effectively makes family members accounts come in at $5/month, and Apple's rumored $5/month target for its Beats music streaming service, I wonder how much is too little when it comes to the monthly cost of streaming.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 24, 2014
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.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 03, 2014
WiMP CEO Andy Chen

From the Press release:

Oslo, Norway – 3rd September, 2014 – WiMP HiFi, the award-­‐winning Scandinavian music streaming service, today announced it will introduce TIDAL to the UK and the U.S. later this autumn. Unlike any other service currently on the market, TIDAL will offer high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and curated editorial by experienced music journalists.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 28, 2014
As reported in LesEchos.fr, France-based Qobuz has entered procédure de sauvegarde which is roughly the equivalent of Chapter 11 protection. Qobuz President Yves Riesel explains that they were unsuccessful in raising a third round of financing which led to the filing. That said, my very limited understanding of procédure de sauvegarde suggests that a company must still be solvent, i.e. not in default, and they have 4 months in which to raise the funds needed to continue operating.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 27, 2014
DG just launched their new Discovery App on the Apple App Store. Initially consisting of 450 albums "in high quality audio streams" (no specific bit rate provided), the label says they hope to add up to 20 new albums per week. The service costs $3.99/month or $35.99/year if you pay in full up front. "Every week Deutsche Grammophon’s editors will present new listening recommendations in the form of hand-crafted playlists and artists and composers in-focus as well as featuring articles telling the story behind the music, made available to the app by Sinfinimusic.com."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 28, 2014
credit: Spotify

"When people say that Spotify doesn’t pay anything, I can tell you it’s not true." Billy Bragg

In an article on the Independent (see article), three artists are interviewed who actually support Spotify. Bragg continues, "If you’re getting a lot of plays, you’re going to make some decent money." What's decent money? Independent musician Ron Pope says, "When I started I was averaging a million or so plays a month on Spotify, and now I’m getting four million. I have 76,759,686 total plays on Spotify, and earnings of $443,826 to date." So what's all the negative press relating to streaming services being cheapskates about?

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 24, 2014
I know we've talked about NPR's First Listen before but the current selection strikes me as being particularly fertile.

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