Google has launched its Play Music All Access subscription service in six new countries: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Ukraine.
As usual, new members will receive 30 days free when they sign up and have access to a catalog of 20 million songs, including offline support from their Android devices.
Yesterday’s launch follows expansions to Germany, Australia and New Zealand, and Mexico last year. Here’s the complete list of countries that support the All Access subscription:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.
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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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While digital streaming revenue growth continues to offset the decline in digital album and track sales, the music industry still has the same problem it has wrestled with for over a decade: physical music’s decline is outpacing digital’s growth.
As the industry has evolved from an album-based business model to a track-based one, and now from a download-based model to a streamed subscription model, music industry executives have created measurements for streaming and individual track downloads equivalent to the revenue produced by one album. Since the average blended wholesale cost of a single album produces about $7.50 in wholesale revenue to labels, the industry has created formulas for other configurations and formats to approximate that amount of revenue.
So when looking purely at mid-year digital sales — digital albums downloads plus digital tracks downloads whereby 10 track sales convert into one track equivalent album (TEA) unit — the U.S. industry generated digital sales of 113.2 million album units in 2014, a decline of 15.9 million units from the 129 million units tallied in the first half of 2013, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Google has acquired music streaming service Songza after weeks of speculation around a potential buyout.
Songza uses information about the user and context to determine the best playlists for you at any given time, all of which are curated by music experts (DJs, Rolling Stone writers, etc.).
Very few services look to human curation to enhance the music experience — Pandora, Spotify, and other big players rely heavily on algorithms — making this one of the key selling points of the service. Plus, Songza has tons of data around what people like to listen to based on the time of day, the weather, location, and activity, which can be immensely valuable to a company like Google who is looking to seamlessly integrate technology into every corner of your life.
Originally, Google was reported to be targeting the $15 million mark for this acquisition, though the company has not officially disclosed the terms of the deal. However, we’ve heard that there was also a possibility that Songza was being approached by other suitors, raising the price tag considerably.
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.
7digital will provide the music catalog for ROK Mobile’s new streaming service. The service is to launch in the US on July 4 and will roll out internationally soon after.
Key components of the platform, including content management, music file serving and royalty reporting will also be handled by 7Digital.
Users will be able to stream songs on demand, create personalized radio stations and filter them based on mood, era and other filters. The service will also include smart features designed to function across 2.5G, 3G, 4G, LTE and Wi-Fi networks.
Simon Cole, CEO of 7digital, said, “We are proud to be working with ROK; their music streaming app fills a gap in the marketplace, and we are pleased to be innovating alongside them.
The face of the digital music industry is changing fast, and by working with forward looking companies like ROK, we will stay ahead of the crowd.”
Jonathan Kendrick, chairman of ROK Mobile said, “7digital’s mission to simplify access to the world’s music is complementary to our philosophy of supplying users with access to music everywhere they go via our wireless service for one simple price.
ROK’s music service is an essential part of our offering. We needed partners in the space that understand how to handle the demand. 7digital’s API provided us with the flexibility to innovate quickly and collaborate easily with other partners so that our music service can deliver a next generation experience to our customers.”
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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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According to the US entertainment and media outlook: 2014–2018, the music industry can anticipate plenty of movement over the next 5 years.
The Outlook results most notably show differences between growth potential for the streaming and downloading of digitally recorded music as well as live music. While downloading of music will remain the largest area of revenue and continue to grow (albeit slowly) streaming of live music will see the greatest growth. Live music will have a slow but healthy rebuilding of revenue due to an increase in both ticket sales and sponsorship, and it will become the second largest revenue stream for the US music industry. View the infographic below for more details on the changes expected for the music industry.
*Click the image below to enlarge*