There’s nothing new about the fact that streaming music has rapidly taken over traditional digital music sales in the US.
Just last week, Nielson SoundScan announced their mid-year numbers, and the chart below is a firsthand glance at the growth percentage for the first half of 2014 compared to the first half of 2013.
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Swedish music streaming service Spotify, with 40M users and 10M subscribers in 58 countries, launches in Canada in October.
Beats Music, the US-based subscription music streaming service owned by Beats Electronics, launches in Canada in January 2015.
These are facts shared with FYI by several well placed sources who say the new arrivals will shape the destiny of Canada’s music industry to an extent not seen since the launch of the compact disc 32 years ago, in 1982.
In 30+ countries, music industry revenues from streaming music services represent 23% of net income; whereas in Canada the take is closer to 5%. Spun out, that’s millions of dollars Canada’s music industry is missing out on.
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T-Mobile is bringing its “un-carrier” mantra to Internet radio: The company is teaming up with music company Rhapsody to launch unRadio, an ad-free music-streaming service that lets you play music on-demand for as long as you’d like, without running up your mobile bill.
While the music-streaming industry is inundated with competition (e.g. Spotify, Pandora and most recently, Amazon Prime Music), unRadio promises a different approach. And based on the offering, it actually seems different.
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Clear Channel is the king of the FM dial, and its digital footprint is growing to match.
"The lasers can do anything you want them to," explains Bob Pittman, the CEO of Clear Channel, during a visit to his midtown Manhattan office. The tour includes a hallway that changes stations as you walk along it, touch-activated lasers that let you play different musical notes, and a holographic Ryan Seacrest who greets you as you step off the elevator. Pittman had been CEO of AOL, Six Flags, and MTV before he took over at Clear Channel, and understatement has never been his style.
When discussing the the future of music, few people are talking about traditional broadcast radio. But iHeartRadio, the digital arm of Clear Channel’s sprawling media empire, seems to have found a way to thrive at a time when its peers in the record industry are struggling to make the transition into the mobile age. Today Clear Channel announced that it has passed 50 million registered users, a mark it reached in less than three years, much faster than rivals like Spotify or Pandora.
The iHeartRadio app lets users stream any of Clear Channels broadcast radio stations and also create “custom” stations that generate a playlist of tracks based on a certain artist, song, or mood. Yesterday it released version 5.0, which focuses even more on the ability to personalize the app to fit a user’s musical taste. The company won’t share how many of those registered users are active on the service each month, but Pittman points out it actually undercounts total usage in some ways. “That is just looking at the folks who use our custom radio feature, which requires an account. There are a lot more people who use our app to stream their favorite stations without ever signing up.” The app has more than 345 million downloads, for example, and the iHeartRadio network recorded 97 million unique visitors in its last month.
German TV, radio, and media group ProSiebenSat.1 has taken a major stake in international music streamer Deezer, according to Die Welt. Details of the deal were not revealed, but sources put the new holding at less than 50%. To date, Deezer has raised $150 million; $130 million of which came last year from WMG and Beats investor Access Industries.
As part of the deal, ProSiebenSat.1 music service AMPYA will be merged into Deezer. Together the music services will be a dominate player in Germany, the world’s 4th biggest music market.
“Deezer and ProSiebenSat.1 are moving forward together. With Deezer we are offering the most intuitive personalised music service on the market,” Gerrit Schumann, ViP of Deezer Europe said in a statement. “With the reach of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group we will be allowing an even larger audience unlimited access to our music catalogue.”
The cash infusion also comes months before Deezer enters the competitive U.S. market later this year.
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Just in time for the FIFA World Cup, Spotify today launched its on-demand music streaming service in Brazil. It’s a huge market in Latin America and will almost certainly help the company to accelerate its fast-growing user base.
Spotify is now available in 57 markets worldwide and recently announced some fresh milestones; 10 million users are now paying for a Spotify subscription, while 40 million people are actively using the service.
The music streaming space is fiercely competitive, with Rdio, Deezer, Xbox Music and Google Play Music All Access – to name just a few – vying to become the preferred service around the globe.
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Where we live plays a major role in how we listen to, buy and engage with music, according to a Nielson study. For example, music fans in the Pacific region of the U.S. make up the largest group of subscription streamers in the country. However, the Mountain region has the highest overall listening rates across the country when factoring in all platforms.
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Rdio is broadening its global footprint by launching into 9 new countries across Asia and Europe. The music streaming service is now available in 60 countries worldwide.
The service, which boasts a catalogue of more than 25 million songs, is available on desktop, smartphone or tablet and can be accessed either for free, or for a monthly fee that ensures ad-free listening.
Already available broadly across Europe, North and South America and the Asia-Pacific, Rdio has announced a further expansion into nine new territories, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Rdio has also announced that it will match this rollout into new regions with “an emphasis on the incorporation of a local repertoire of music in these territories”. And for those who want to get a taste of Rdio’s international flavour, the streaming service has created “Rdio’s 60 Countries 60 Streams” playlist, featuring one track from each country that the service is available in, including “chart toppers, unforgettable classics, hometown anthems and Rdio favorites”.
Speaking about the expansion, Rdio CEO Anthony Bay was positive about the company’s growth.
"We’re thrilled to have been able to expand from two to 60 countries in less than four years, while also pairing this rapid growth with regular catalogue increases reflective of the amazing and distinct music that impacts the culture of each country we serve."
Deezer has expanded its free music offering and announced a new partnership with Samsung. It’s the first time a smartphone manufacturer has teamed with a music streaming service. EU based global music service Deezer has said it will launch in the U.S. this year. Along with free unlimited on-demand access on desktop and tablet, Deezer’s new features include:
Flow - a free personalized mobile radio service based on the user’s music library.
Playlist Radio - takes the users favorite playlists and combines them with recommendations from editors to create a radio station focused on music discovery. It’s free with advertising for unlimited on mobile.
Deezer for Mac (Beta) - merge existing music collection with Deezer. Regardless of the file format, the users personal music library is automatically synchronized with Deezer.
Deezer is also launching a new European partnership with Samsung. The deal offers Samsung customers six months of Deezer’s Premium+ service free when they purchase a Samsung smartphones or tablets. The partnership marks the first time Samsung has teamed up a music streaming service.
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