Forget about Spotify killers and Deezer mass murderers for a second. Is YouTube’s expansion into subscription and curated on-demand music about to steal the oxygen supply from the entire streaming space? YouTube is already the most-streamed platform in music by multiple orders of magnitude, extreme warts and usability issues notwithstanding. But that’s part of the charm: if Spotify didn’t expressly license it, it’s not on the app, whereas YouTube has every weed imaginable. Then again, this is Google, where ‘embrace failure‘ seems like a mission statement when it comes to music…
Meanwhile, more extreme sketchiness surrounds playcounts at YouTube, where billions of views routinely disappear. The latest ‘correction’ involves a massive chop of 2.5 billion views on the mainline Universal Music Group channel, though YouTube has explained away those reductions as part of a broader shift towards VEVO (which leaves redundant, dead views behind on mainline YouTube, or something like that). Other versions of the story traverse all sorts of click-fraud and shadiness, with majors suspected of routinely inflating playcounts with YouTube and VEVO’s tacit knowledge. Of course, newfound YouTube chart partner Billboard says it’s all on the up-and-up, though few others can confidently vouch for YouTube’s playcount accuracy.
Anyway, you’ve heard of the Silent Disco, right? That’s a nascent performance format that wirelessly transmits music to a crowd, all of whom must be properly dialed in with headphones. So, it’s silent to anyone outside of that group, including nosy neighbors, which brings us to the even nascent-er Silent Gig. This idea, cooked up by a pair of entrepreneurs we’ll talk about later, involves a mostly gearless show (at least for the heavy stuff), and even paid app purchases for attending fans.
In the publishing world, Bertelsmann is now officially the sole owner of BMG, thanks to regulatory nods in Europe. Previously, BMG was 51 percent-owned by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
And how’s Daisy doing? The ambitious streaming app now has $60 million-plus to play with, but celebrity executive Trent Reznor may be a bit distracted during the critical launch phase. Which brings us to Lollapalooza, where Nine Inch Nails will be featured as part of a broader NIN comeback tour that spills into 2014. The Cure will also be comeback’ing at Lolla, with a broader slate that includes Mumford & Sons, the Killers, and Phoenix, among others. The action happens August 2-4th at Chicago’s Grant Park, more here.
And your digital buzzkill of the day? This extensive Mashable piece posits that the Harlem Shake (or the latest incarnation thereof) was hardly the organic meme explosion. Instead, the seemingly-spontaneous outbreak was orchestrated by corporations…
More ahead! Written while listening to A$AP Rocky, Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar.