And the biggest news right now is coming from Spotify, which now boasts 6 million paying subscribers according to details disclosed by CEO Daniel Ek at SXSW on Tuesday. That’s 25 percent of an active userbase of 24 million (though Spotify has been known to fudge its free user numbers in the past). At this point, we’re unsure what the breakdown is for US-based subscribers, or the number of ‘Unlimited’ ($5) verses ‘Premium’ ($10) plans. And of course, a grandiose vision is being etched: during the SXSW chit-chat, Ek outlined a goal to reach half-a-billion people, through whatever device or platform (and hey, maybe even make half-a-billion dollars, oh!)
Which dovetails nicely into the financially-soiled Live Nation, where meltdown warning signs continue to mount. On Tuesday, MSG dumped 3.9 million shares of LYV, a move that closely follows the departure of its chairman, James Dolan, from the Live Nation board. The selloff amounted to about $44 million, and constituted the entire MSG holding (otherwise, everything’s going great between the companies).
And how much do serious music fans spend on music per annum? In a study just released, Nielsen estimated that ‘Aficionados’ burn about $422 per year, with ‘Digital Music Fans’ dropping about $363. ‘Occasional Concertgoers’ spend about $121, with all three spending a very significant piece of their music budgets on live shows.
No, not the kind of ‘TV’ that VEVO showed at its Sundance party last year. This is different: it’s called VEVO TV, and it’s an always-on, streaming TV channel of music video and related content, pulled from VEVO’s extensive catalog and filmings. This is the classic ‘lean back’ experience, with sponsors Adidas, McDonald’s, Red Bull and State Farm on board.
And here’s some trash on Taylor Swift: over in a dumpster in Nashville, a local resident found a large bundle of unopened fan mail addressed to the singer, and quickly reported the issue to local station WKRN-TV. A spokesperson said the batch was accidentally recycled.
And for those at SXSW, Perez Hilton is throwing another fab shindig. “One Night In Austin” benefiting the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and the GLSEN Foundation will be happening Saturday night with a massive artist list that includes Stooshe, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Paloma Faith, and Superstar Act.