Another day, another strange twist: as part of Spotify‘s massive, $10 million ad campaign designed to take the service mainstream, YouTube has suddenly become a major partner. Spotify started running broad, top-level video ads on the service on Tuesday (Coachella’s got the slot now), though YouTube itself is easily the bigger streaming music service (by multiples). Not only that, YouTube is planning a big stab into premium subscription that could deplete the oxygen for competitors (like Spotify).
Speaking of streaming behemoths, Pandora has now reached its 200 millionth registered user. That’s a fairly dicey metric given high levels of abandonment following engagement, though in fairness, this is still a ginormous number.
Which brings us to something else that’s growing (that’s what she said): the stock market. As the Dow continues to enjoy record heights, the incoming tide is taking several lowly music stocks with it. That includes Live Nation (LYV) and Pandora (P), both floaters that are now floating just below the $13-mark. These are valuations that could signal the start of more serious cashouts from profit-taking execs, especially if the wind starts blowing southward again. Elsewhere, even Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) is enjoying a small rise, though Skullcandy (SKUL) continues to flounder in desperate single-digits.
And, we’ll be a little ‘out-of-pocket’ on Friday, as they say, thanks to a multi-hour deposition involving Grooveshark in Washington, DC. These fun-fests potentially run seven hours straight, with non-stop interrogation and attempted intimidaton all standard elements. Grooveshark and Digital Music News have been locking legal horns for nearly 18 months. Anyway, I’ll probably be catching up on things on the flight back to Los Angeles…
It’s a question that could be critical to your career: is crowdfunding a fad, or rocket fuel for the next generation of artists? Tough question, though crowdfunding experts Massolution estimate that mob-related financing boomed 81 percent to $2.7 billion, with ‘music and recording arts’ enjoying a 7.5 percent chunk.
Over in Germany, the latest remix is DJs vs. GEMA, the rights licensing organization that wants to exact a charge for collections. That is, the large digital collections that DJs haul to a gig and use to dazzle the crowd. Rates would be roughly $165 for the first 1,000 tracks, with add-on fees for larger collections. Of course, one thousand is just a small percentage of most DJ libraries, which has motivated early protests outside various GEMA offices.
And waves of mixed emotions continue to describe a post-Thatcher UK, which is alternatively applauding and vilifying the late Prime Minister. Now, there’s this: a concerted campaign to push the song ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ to the top of the charts, with Morrissey amongst the supporters.