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Posts Tagged ‘Spotify’

It’s Time For Brands to Jump on the Internet Radio Train

Retro

Spotify might not be making any money, but it’s here to stay—and it’s time for brands to figure out how to make the most of it.

The company recently worked with competitors Pandora and TuneIn on an Edison Research study meant to sway skeptical advertisers who may doubt the trend’s influence and staying power. Here are their most significant findings:

  • 53% of Americans listen to Internet radio in some form.
  • 32% are doing so “a lot” more often than one year ago.
  • The new wave of Internet radio providers has led to Americans spending more time with audio content, be it music, news or live events: 26% say the time they spend listening is simply “new audio time” that doesn’t replace any particular activity.

Here’s the full Prezi presentation if you’re interested. Infographic after the jump.

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Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

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Would You ‘Follow’ Your Favorite Brands on Spotify?

And we were just starting to like Spotify.

Thom Yorke‘s least favorite streaming music service wants to partner with brands to create “sponsored playlists” and other sly promotional features that have yet to be revealed. In what might be the world’s most incredible coincidence, this announcement comes two days after Apple announced the coming launch of iTunes radio, which will be supported by such brands as McDonald’s, Pepsi and Nissan.

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MySpace Recast as ‘Spotify Killer’

Justin Timberlake MySpace Back in September we reported on Justin “I Don’t Make Music Anymore” Timberlake’s latest role as the public face of the new-and-improved MySpace. A memo that leaked this week offers more details about the company’s future plans; Spotify and Pandora‘s PR teams should take note.

Interactive Media Holdings (née Specific Media) purchased the property from News Corp last summer, jazzed it up and prepped it for a sorely needed relaunch: Despite the fact that traffic on the site went up by 36% over the past twelve months, MySpace is on pace to lose approximately $40 million in 2012–and organizers expect it to lose at least another $25M next year.

According to the leaked pitch materials, the folks at IMC are “holding out” for another $50M in capital so they can officially re-launch MySpace as a Spotify competitor by making use of what they call the “worlds largest music library of 42M songs and 100K music videos” and its “direct relationship with 5M artists”. How do they plan to do it? By starting a subscription model in 2013 and offering users not only streaming mp3s but music downloads, “artist merchandise” and “event ticketing” services. In other words, MySpace looks to become the one-stop shop for all things related to pop music.

It’s true that MySpace already has more members in the US than Pandora or Spotify, because most members never bothered to delete their profiles. The company also appears to have a cost advantage over its supposed competitors:

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Billboard Charts Go Digital (Now With Even More Rihanna!)

Rihanna Billboard cover While we focused on superstorms and elections over the past month, a certain famous American business made a big change right under our noses.

Billboard magazine, long seen as the ultimate tastemaker in American pop music for its top singles list, decided to join the 21st century by revising its algorithm to include digital sales and online streaming services like Pandora and Spotify when determining which songs are most popular in a given week.

Sounds like progress, right?

Quite a few people in music don’t think so, because these changes give “stars with a pop-oriented sound and broad crossover appeal an advantage over other artists”. We have to agree: the fact that Psy’s “Gangnam Style” ruled the “rap” charts for more than a month while Taylor Swift continues to dominate the “Hot Country” category tells us that something in this new equation is a little off.

This excellent infographic demonstrates the fact that a mere six artists have all but dominated the Billboard charts over the past five years. According to most predictions, these new algorithms will result in more number one hits for Rihanna, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Flo Rida while making the climb to the top of the charts even steeper for independent artists and those who work in “niche” genres like country, rock and roll and, you know, pretty much everything but “pop.”

Billboard’s editorial director Bill Werde defended the changes on his tumblr page, but the whole story is ominous news for the vast majority of those who work in or care about the music business. Some have created petitions urging Billboard to abandon its new model, but based on the puny number of signatures collected so far we can’t see that working.

What do we think? Will these changes make it harder for music reps to promote their clients? How will the industry adjust?

(As a bit of a bonus, here’s Werde talking to Mediabistro’s Donya Blaze about the challenges of music journalism): Read more

Spotify Isn’t Making Any Money

Chances are you’re familiar with Spotify. You’ve probably even used it a few times—and if you registered you’ve almost certainly started seeing status updates every single time one of your friends listens to a damn song! Wow that’s annoying. (All you have to do to stop that nonsense is change the settings on your account, but we digress.)

Spotify is a pretty cool service in some ways. It’s given us a chance to access obscure music whenever we want without buying anything; we just have to either pony up a paltry $9.99 a month or listen to some stupid ads between every two or three tracks. And we don’t have to feel guilty about using it because we’re not stealing the music we hear. All good, right?

Not really. The problem is that, despite the Facebook bromance and potential relationships with big-name sponsors like Coca-Cola and Samsung, Spotify’s business model doesn’t seem to be working. In fact, their net income for 2011 was negative $60 million. That’s a whole lot of iTunes downloads, guys.

The funny thing is that the main factor dragging the company’s earnings down is the cost of royalties—in spite of the fact that the artists and labels who produced the music in question make less than 5/1000 of a penny for each play—less than any other comparable service.

Our question: Why is Spotify Premium so cheap in the first place? Wouldn’t most hardcore music fans pay more than 10 bucks a month for unlimited streaming content?

Does Spotify need a re-branding or what?

Can MySpace Rise Again?

Today brings the return of a familiar face to our computer screens. No, we’re not talking about Justin Timberlake, though he is a wise choice to play the role of public representative for the brand new MySpace.

This new video dropped on Twitter yesterday, and we have to say that we are somewhat impressed that MySpace has so obviously improved upon its famously awful interface!

Hmm…that was more of a tease than anything, but the new MySpace seems to combine elements of Facebook, Spotify and especially Pinterest (the visual layout is all but a carbon copy). This change is a wise move:

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Is MTV Still Relevant?

Throughout its more than three-decade history, MTV has gone from showcasing the latest and greatest meetings of pop music and short film to being a platform in which the stars of reality TV find new ways to behave badly–again and again.

The question has been asked repeatedly over the past few years, but after a somewhat lackluster Video Music Awards and the cancellation of the network’s most valuable property, “Jersey Shore“, we have to repeat it: is MTV still relevant? And where does the brand go from here?

With all the talk of Snooki and “Teen Mom”, it’s easy to forget that last year’s VMAs, starring Alicia Keys and a pregnant Beyonce, earned the highest ratings in MTV history. Still, an awards show that only involves six actual awards is very different from the VMAs we knew as kids. And the fact that the biggest moment of last night’s ceremony was a hug exchanged between Rihanna and Chris Brown reveals something about its relevance.

In a telling interview with Forbes, MTV’s executive vice president of music and talent Amy Doyle emphasizes the network’s continued focus on, well, music.

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Tips on World Domination (from the Man Who Brought You Bieber)

Anyone with more than a passing interest in public relations and pop culture at large should take a look at The New Yorker‘s fascinating profile of Scooter Braun, a master media manipulator who may be the world’s most successful manager but describes himself as “a camp counselor for pop stars.”

His current claim to fame? An extremely profitable partnership with the world’s favorite pre-pubescent crooner, Justin Bieber.

In case you haven’t heard, Braun is a former Atlanta-based party promoter who worked with various area hip-hop stars and discovered Bieber while browsing YouTube for clips to help promote his biggest client at the time, singer Ne-Yo. After a bit of pleading with Bieber’s mother, he managed to persuade the two to relocate to the ATL and join forces with R&B veteran Usher. This move gave Bieber the credibility he needed to pass muster as a lily-white soul singer capable of reducing tween girls across the globe to incoherent screeches while simultaneously looking innocent enough to win parents’ approval.

Despite appearances, Bieber was not quite an overnight sensation, and the route he took to superstardom was anything but traditional.

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Music PR News: Radio Still Rules the Roost

Some recent Nielsen findings will be relevant to anyone with more than a passing interest in playing and/or promoting music. In short: The more things change, the more they stay the same. A newly released study reveals that old, reliable, traditional radio is still the way to go when it comes to getting your material heard–and making some money in the process (perish the thought!).

Now that digital music officially brings in more revenue than physical recordings (nearly $9 billion in 2012 alone), how can musicians and their representatives make the most of the “new” business model? Two answers: old-school broadcasting and YouTube.

Despite all the torrenting and streaming that’s supposedly going on, radio still dominates the industry: 48% of respondents told Nielsen that they discover new music most often on the air; “friends/relatives” ranked a distant second at 10%. This statistic didn’t even include services like Spotify, Pandora or Last.fm, so if your tunes don’t appear on the AM or FM dial then you’re going nowhere fast.

A more surprising number comes from the all-important teenage demographic: Read more

Facebook VP Fischer Advises An ‘Always-On Strategy’

The Ad Age Digital Conference continued this morning with a presentation from David Fischer, Facebook’s VP of business and marketing partnerships, whose presentation could be boiled down to this: “Your brand needs an always-on strategy.”

When your brand is on social networks, like, say, Facebook, it’s always accessible. Moreover, marketing efforts “have always tried to stimulate word-of-mount, but it’s really short-lived. Social technology is changing that,” Fischer added.

It’s not just about reaching the people who “like” you, it’s about reaching the people they’re friends with. According to Fischer, the average user has 130 friends. Reaching those friends spreads your company’s message naturally.

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