Spotify’s quest for world domination is continuing.
The top on-demand, streaming-music service is set to launch in eight new markets, including Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Baltics, and Iceland, according to a person familiar with the situation. The rollouts could come as soon as tomorrow.
Adding territories has been a top priority for Spotify, which is racing to boost its user base. Spotify, which launched in the U.S. just over a year and a half ago, now has 24 million active users, 6 million of whom are paying subscribers. It’s become the fastest-growing digital music company ever, and is second in reach only to Internet radio company Pandora. With the additional markets, Spotify will be in 28 territories in all.
Growth is key for a number of reasons. The company is trying to negotiate better terms with the music labels, which earn the bulk of every dollar — roughly 70 percent — that Spotify brings in. The more Spotify is paying to the music labels and publishers, the better its position at the negotiating table. Spotify is already the label’s No. 2 source of digital revenue behind Apple, and CEO Daniel Ek has said his company is on track to pay rights holders $500 million this year alone — the same amount the company paid out in total since launching in 2008.
Yet competition is growing — and fast. The big tech titans — including Google, Apple, and Amazon — are all gearing up soon to add streaming-music services of various sorts. So the quicker Ek and his team can open new markets and build the brand, the better.
Adding new markets requires its own set of negotiations. Each new territory requires new deals with music rights holders, something that Ek has said is Spotify’s biggest limiter to growth. In addition, these new services — both for mobile devices and PCs — will be in local languages.
Spotify has amped up its marketing efforts in recent weeks as it seeks to build its name among mainstream music fans. The company last month launched its first-ever TV campaign, and last week it rolled out an ad across the top of YouTube, which has become the go-to site for young people to listen to music.
Source: CNet (by Paul Sloan)
What We Learned from Timeline Brand Pages Today:
-Facebook marketing took a serious hit. With Timeline brand pages, no longer can an admin use default pages to lure in new fans, like for example offering free music in return for liking the page (Is RootMusic in trouble?). Some might think this is a small detail, but it’s potentially monumental. Default pages make up for 75 percent of the possible ways you can use promos to draw in new fans, and thus limiting the growth of pages forever. With that said, it’s no wonder that on the same day brand pages for Timeline were revealed that Facebook also revealed their new advertising platform. They wanted to create a new demand for traffic, and now that the new Facebook brand pages have their legs cut off, they must resort to paying Facebook for new followers. Shrewd move, Mr. Zuckerberg.
-Facebook apps are going to get better. Why? Simply because there will be more space to work with. The Timeline app space is nearly 30-40% larger than when it was before. Apps will be able to fit more features into the space and ultimately make them better. ONErpm is already looking to adapt to this new size with its store app.
-Facebook wants brands to be even more human. With the Timeline effect, brands will now have their lifespans on full display from birth of the company and through the years. Even the cover photos can’t have brand messages, nothing billboard-esque. This is the whole point of social media, anyway.
There’s a Music Social Network That Judges Your Taste
Splash.fm is essentially a Klout for music lovers. Like Klout, Splash.fm provides you a score on how digital savvy you are, but instead of just being popular on Twitter, Splash.fm gives credit to how you push music and how you line up with the tastemakers.
It’s an expected development, but unlike Klout, being music savvy is more subjective than just being Twitter savvy, isn’t it? Plus, it’s not likely to be much of an incentive to have a high score on Splash.fm. Wait, we forget people get excited about being named “the Mayor” of taco trucks. Either way, making a digital product into a video game is certainly a hot trend these days.
Splash.fm would be a better side-bar feature on a platform like Spotify or Last.fm instead of being it’s own main attraction. Not that it won’t happen (it mostly likely will).
Sign up for the private beta version today.
Industry News: Big Money Goes to Next Big Sound
As reported by TechCrunch yesterday, a data startup called Next Big Sound got $6.5 million Series A funding from IA Ventures and Foundry Group. The company bases itself around providing high-end measurable data by tracking the movement on music on the web. It provides an intuitive dashboard showing where one’s music is being listened to and shared. It also powers Billboard-esque charts dictating which artists are the most web-popular in a particular day in addition to who the next “big sound” will be tomorrow.
Sounds spiffy, but the premiere service costs a pretty penny at $79 per day. It’ll be interesting to track the success of this company since data startups were popping up left and right in 2011, but Next Big Sound appears to selling itself as a high-end technology service. The venture money is an indication of confidence, but it’ll be interesting what kind of artists this product will attract.