Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ had been streamed nearly 25.5m times on Spotify by the end of last week, with its weekly streams increasing over the previous four weeks as the song gathered momentum.
How do we know? Late last week, Spotify launched its new weekly charts, the Spotify 50 and Social 50, with the former ranking the 50 most-streamed songs in each of the 28 countries that Spotify is available in.
The chart shows weekly play-counts for each track, and is backdated to the week ending 28 April for every country. In other words, spend a bit of time digging into the Spotify 50 widget (as we have done today) and you can get national and global Spotify streaming counts for popular tracks.
‘Get Lucky’ is a good subject, because it was released on Spotify during that first week – meaning the four weekly charts available through the widget account for all its streams so far on the service. It’s also good, because the song has been such a hit, it appears in the Spotify 50 for every single country for each of those four weeks. There are no holes in the data.
Having typed all the figures in to a spreadsheet (here’s a public version for you to see the raw data), here’s what we’ve found:
‘Get Lucky’ was streamed 25,467,772m times in its first four weeks on Spotify. What’s more, its momentum built over time: 6m streams in week one, 6.3m in week two, 6.5m in week three and 6.7m in week four. Note, if you’re one of the early users who can see play-counts in Spotify’s desktop app, it’s currently showing nearly 29m plays for ‘Get Lucky’, meaning another 3.5m-odd plays so far since the 28 April (the last published chart).
The US, UK and Sweden were the three biggest countries for the track. The US accounted for 6.4m of ‘Get Lucky’ streams on Spotify for the four-week period as a whole – 25.3% of the total. That’s ahead of the UK’s 3.8m (15%) and Sweden’s 3m (11.9%). That means that together, these three countries accounted for 52.1% of ‘Get Lucky’s Spotify streams.
Other notable markets: Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Spain. This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise: key European countries where Spotify has been available for a while. Norway accounted for 1.7m streams over the four weeks, just ahead of the Netherlands (also 1.7m rounded up), Germany (1.6m), Denmark (1.4m), France (1.2m) and Spain (1m).
It’s very early days for Spotify in the Baltics. Last week, ‘Get Lucky’ was only streamed 5,657 times in Lithuania, but was still top of the Spotify 50 chart there. Streams are also counted in the thousands in Estonia and Latvia.
Using very rough calculations, all these streams may have generated $127k in payouts. We’re always wary of simple per-stream = X thus artist makes Y calculations, not least because we have no idea what the deal is between Daft Punk and label Colombia Records when it comes to streaming revenues. But if you take the $0.005-per-stream average that’s often cited (for example here) about Spotify, 25.5m plays generates around $127k of payouts.
We can see the negative headlines now: 25.5m plays for the biggest song in the world right now only makes $127k? Streaming sucks!
One, because as a single-track, ‘Get Lucky’ has sold like the clappers. In the same four-week period in the UK alone, it sold 606k units according to the Official Charts Company, alongside those 3.8m Spotify streams.
Two, because the ‘Random Access Memories’ album appears to have been pre-selling extremely strongly too. In the US alone, it’s expected to sell more than 250k copies in its first week – again, despite the album being available to stream on Spotify and other services.
Three, because the figures above are only for Spotify. They don’t include payouts from Rhapsody, Deezer, Rdio and other streaming services, nor do they include YouTube (34m plays so far for the official audio there).
Four, because people are going to keep playing ‘Get Lucky’ for the rest of 2013 and beyond. It has ‘summer hit’ written all over it. If summer ever deigns to arrive, that is. Spotify and its peers will keep paying out as long as people keep playing the song.
We’re not blinkered evangelists for streaming music – there is still too much murk around how streaming payouts make their way to artists, and reasons for concern about whether streaming services can find a sustainable business model for the long term.
What’s more, all the data in this blog post relates to one of the biggest hits of 2013 so far from a well-established artist: it doesn’t say much about what Spotify and streaming in general means for emerging artists, which is another point of contention within the industry.
But the really vital thing when talking about streaming music and how it’s paying off or not paying off for artists and music rightsholders is to look for accurate data, and start to draw conclusions based on that, rather than prejudice for or against the streaming model.
In short: here are some hard numbers….
Source: Musically (by Stuart Dredge)
Spotify leads the world’s on-demand subscriptions with six million paying subscribers, but it’s facing stiff competition from a company that isn’t even available in the biggest music market on the planet: Deezer, which tells us it now has over four million paying subscribers to its “premium plus” subscription.
Though you cannot access it from the United States, Deezer is available in more territories than any other on-demand service, according to this data. And like Spotify, MOG, and other subscriptions, it has seen usage increase follow its integration with Facebook, so that people can see what their friends are listening to on there.
At the Music Matters Asia conference on Wednesday, Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez dropped the following new numbers about his service:
If we are to take these numbers at face value, it means that Deezer’s conversion ratio from free to paying is about 40 percent, while Spotify’s is about 25 percent.
Source: Evolver (Eliot Van Buskirk)
The 2013 Billboard Music Awards pump big sales gains on the charts this week, thanks to blockbuster performances from the likes of Bruno Mars, Jennifer Lopez and Ed Sheeran. The show aired on May 19 from 8-11 p.m. EST on ABC.
In the week ending May 19, the broadcast spurred an overall 15% gain for the 18 previously-released songs performed on the broadcast, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s impressive, considering there were only a few hours left in the week before the close of business on Sunday night.
Combined, the 18 tunes sold 842,000 downloads — up from the 733,000 the week previous. Those songs include Mars’ “Treasure” (24,000; up 220%), Lopez’s “Live It Up” (65,000; up 53%) and Sheeran’s “Lego House” (56,000; up 134%).
“Treasure,” which is the third single from Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” album, also debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 71. It follows the album’s two previous No. 1s: “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man.”
Other gaining songs include Chris Brown’s “Fine China” (35,000; up 41%), Selena Gomez’s “Come and Get It” (164,000; up 15%), will.i.am’s “#thatPower,” featuring Justin Bieber (81,000; up 3%) and David Guetta’s “Play Hard,” featuring Akon and Ne-Yo (12,000; up 164%).
Even a-ha’s classic Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Take On Me” earned a 30% gain, following its surprise performance on the show. The group’s singer, Morten Harket, joined Pitbull and Christina Aguilera during their rendition of “Feel This Moment,” which samples “Take On Me.” The latter cut moved 3,000 downloads for the week.
Next week, we could expect further sales gains, following a full week of post-show impact.
Source: Billboard (by Keith Caulfield)
YouTube has launched Creator Academy offering free online courses to help serious users - which should probably include every musician trying to grow their audience - create better videos and improve channel performance. Their first offering is Maximize Your Channel. The two-week course starts on June 3rd and will teach creators how to:
Sign up for the course here. You can view the YouTube intro reel below:
The partnership will add relevant videos to each artist’s profile page, giving users a wider variety of content to ‘scrobble’ – the term coined by Last.fm to describe the act of recording a track as part of your ongoing listening habits.
The videos will be available to European users today, although the company says support for additional countries will “come very soon.”
Each artist page currently shows a short list of the top tracks scrobbled by users through the Last.fm service. Music videos supplied by MUZU.TV will be integrated into this chart – rather than being listed separately – and will also be available on the webpage assigned to each individual track.
On the flip side, support for automatic Last.fm scrobbling will be added to the MUZU.TV website so that videos will always be recorded as part of users’ listening habits, regardless of where they are on the Web.
Last.fm is one of the only services that provides a comprehensive and seamless way of recording everything that you listen to. This data was originally used to recommend new tracks and artists to listen to, using both the Last.fm website and its dedicated mobile apps.
The service has since been integrated into other music services, particularly on-demand streaming alternatives such as Rdio and Spotify. Last.fm has never offered users this sort of control – instead relying on automated playlists similar to Pandora – and has lost some attention as a result.
Last December, the service practically abandoned this service in almost all countries except the US, UK and Germany. Web-based radio listening remains free in these countries, but it’s now a paid-for option elsewhere, as it already is in its mobile apps.
Last.fm doubled its efforts, however, by launching a brand new iOS app called Last.fm Scrobbler, as well as a striking new Xbox 360 app just last month.
The addition of MUZU.TV music videos is significant, but Last.fm needs a serious overhaul if it’s to stay relevant in the ever-expanding and evolving range of Web-based music streaming services.
Source: TheNextWeb (by Nick Summers)
Soundhalo is a brand new service for taking live concert video recordings and transforming them into mixed single song videos for immediate sale. It’s an interesting hybrid that’s currently being offered as an Android app that allows purchases during the live show. DRM-free concert files are then available for viewing on any device. Sounds like a potential winner on impulse buys if Soundhalo can pull off some formidable challenges.
Soundhalo launched in beta at a performance late last week by Alt-J. People reviewing the technology seem impressed.
Chris Welch, writing for The Verge, described the process:
“Minutes after a song’s conclusion, a production team pairs video with audio pulled directly from the soundboard. Everything’s properly mastered before the final product is uploaded to the cloud, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with a harsh audio mix.”
My understanding is that audio/video will be provided via the band and venue. Soundhalo will quickly turn the individual videos around and fans can preview the videos via their smartphones and decide to purchase them individually.
Alt-J’s songs went for around $1.50 each with the whole 16-song set being purchased for $9.00. Apparently the service automatically provides the whole set when you purchase enough individual tracks to cover the full-set price.
Nick Hide at CNET UK had some concerns about the scalability of Soundhalo:
“‘The Soundhalo production team take video and audio feeds directly from the venue,’ the startup explains, ‘and utilizing the fastest broadcast connectivity, delivers those files to the Soundhalo studio where mixing, mastering and grading take place by the expert ears and eyes of world class mastering engineers.’”
Without some kind of algorithmic solution, making each individual track quickly available seems really difficult. And the mobile app description does make it sound quick:
“Soundhalo is an evolutionary new platform that allows music lovers to buy, share and own artist endorsed live video and audio recordings as it happens. Fans can now purchase and download the actual performance as it unfolds, whether they are at the gig or on the other side of the globe.”
The focus on a mobile app is interesting given that you then download DRM-free MP4 files that can be viewed on any device. And you don’t even have to be at the show if you have the app.
Soundhalo is launching with an emphasis on being closely tied to individual shows and the possiblity of impulse buys during the show.
Beyond that it’s a live video production and digital sales platform accessible via an Android app. So that emphasis makes quick turnaround particularly important in making the whole thing work. If they can pull that off, Soundhalo potentially becomes quite powerful.
Source: Hypebot (by Clyde Smith)
On the heels of Google wading into the music streaming waters with its Google Play Music All Access service, with a $10 fee for all-you-can-eat streamed tracks, the indie music agency Merlin has today published results of a recent survey of its 20,000-label member group, plus an analysis of 6.5 billion music streams over the last year, which spell out where the money is coming from today. Streaming services are making increasing headway as a revenue driver for musicians, but digital downloads — specifically Apple’s iTunes — are still ruling the roost.
Worldwide, iTunes has held on to its spot as the single-biggest source of revenues for Merlin’s independent label members, both across key markets like the U.S. and UK, as well across Europe and globally. Interestingly, Spotify is securely in second position, underscoring just how popular both Spotify and streaming services have become — second has been a place held by Amazon for some time prior to this. Amazon’s MP3 download service subsequently slipped down to third place across the board, while Deezer and eMusic are split regionally in terms of their influence and in grabbing fourth place.
We’re reaching out to Merlin to see if we can get a specific percentage breakdown here. Typically iTunes has been estimated to hold around 60% of the digital music market by revenues; NPD put its share at 63% in April 2013. (Update: A Merlin spokesperson says those breakdowns are not being disclosed.)
“The new generation of digital services has created a new dynamic of consumer freedom, limitless choice and myriad paths to discovery,” Charles Caldas, the chief executive of Merlin, said today in a speech at the Great Escape conference in Brighton. “Our numbers illustrate that this dynamic is bringing incremental value to the market, and the demand from music fans for the music being released by our independent members is higher than ever before.” However, in what might be a swipe not just at big labels but big players like Google jumping deeper into the market, he also cautioned against companies that might be trying to apply legacy music royalty concepts to digital.
“The ecosystem is fragile: power is more concentrated than ever, and we are seeing an attempted land grab by the largest companies for digital market share as they try to recreate the old-market advantages they are clearly losing in the digital space,” he noted. Merlin, despite its tens of thousands of indie label partners, only makes up about 10% of the world’s music market, so it has a place continuing to rage against the machine.
It will be interesting to see whether Spotify’s (and streaming’s) rise are eating into that 60% marketshare for iTunes. But the research from Merlin suggests that if this is the case it’s not a watershed moment quite yet: both formats appear to still be growing, even if streaming is growing more.
Some 92% of respondents in the survey said that streaming and subscription revenues (based on streaming) grew in 2012 compared to a year ago. One-third said the rise was as much as 100%.
The rise in downloads was less pronounced: around 66% said a-la-carte download sales grew alongside that streaming rise. Only 8.4% said the rise in download revenues increased by 100%.
In terms of what the growth in streaming means for actual businesses, the takeaway is still marginal.
Merlin’s members say that they expect royalties of $65 million or more for 2013 from streaming services, but if you just do the math and divide that among 20,000 members, that works out to only $3,250 per label. Considering that Merlin claims that its members’ share of streaming services is typically 12-20% higher than those of other major labels — included in Merlin’s counts are acts like The National, Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver, as well as labels like Domino and Beggars Group — it sounds like streaming, despite all the advances and popularity, remains for now just an opening act, and not the main event.
Full results of the report can be seen here.
Source: TechCrunch (by Ingrid Lunden)
The online video sharing site YouTube is this generation’s MTV. Artists like Gotye and PSY have found mainstream success after their videos went viral. Yet the number of cover songs — from toddlers singing The Beatles to teens tackling Led Zeppelin — eclipses original work by a long shot. Between those two extremes is an alternative universe of aspiring professional musicians who use cover songs on YouTube to build fan bases of their own. What these musicians once did for love and fame is starting to pay off in cold, hard cash.
If you search for a song called “Payphone” by Maroon 5, you’ll find the original, and you’ll find the Jayesslee version, the P.S. 22 version and one by Tyler Ward, a 24-year-old singer and songwriter from Denver with an all-American look and a sound that lives somewhere between indie pop and country. Ward uses YouTube to promote his music career — he posts covers trying to draw new fans.
“I started, actually, doing cover songs in the bar, trying to make ends meet every weekend,” he says. “So when I figured out what YouTube was, I just figured I could put these online, see what happens.”
What happened was an opening slot for the Jonas Brothers, a performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and a headlining tour through Europe, the U.S. and Canada. But he could have made more money back at the bar singing those same songs.
“The challenge is, when an artist decides to cover a song, they don’t actually have the rights to make money on that song,” says George Strompolos, the CEO of Fullscreen Entertainment. Tyler Ward is one of his clients.
A few weeks ago, YouTube released a creators guide for musicians who use YouTube—detailing best practices and techniques for musicians using the service. The 40 page guide holds much common knowledge, but a few gems of wisdom stuck out. Below are a few key points they made, that you shouldn’t miss.
Source: Music Think Tank (by Jesse Cannon)