What Else? Muve, Pitchfork, iHeartRadio, EMI, Capitol CMG, Bandsintown, App Store, Stats (Or Lack Thereof)…

If inexpensive mobile bundling is the future, be very afraid of Muve Music.  The Cricket-powered play now counts 1.1 million subscribers, according to details shared early this morning with Digital Music News.  The pre-pay concept is currently being positioned to underserved minority audiences in the US, with the idea that direct payments for recorded music are a very, very tough sell indeed.  Muve Music first hit the marketplace in early 2011.

The album is very much alive, at least in certain circles.  Like Pitchfork, which is now unwrapping Pitchfork Advance, a content vertical that streams full-length album previews.  This is definitely a long-play focus, with multimedia elements that include lyrics, track listings, and customized digital album artwork.  Yo La Tengo and a J Dilla reissue are kicking the series off.

Pandora got the impressive jump on automobile dashboards, though iHeartRadio also wants a piece of this very important real estate.  At CES in Vegas, both iHeartRadio and Pandora are announcing inclusion in Chrysler’s Uconnect Access, while iHeartRadio is getting layered in GM’s infotainment system.

Across the floor, Rhapsody is busy announcing its integration into Ford‘s Sync AppLink.  Subscribers can simply connect their Rhapsody apps into any Sync-enabled vehicle via Bluetooth, just like other apps and radio services.  Rhapsody’s move was based on strong subscriber demand for easy vehicle access.

Oh, there’s something else iHeartRadio is chasing: Songza.  Introducing ‘Perfect For,’ a selection of mood-based, time-of-day playlists, and a complement to iHeart’s 1,500 local station streams.

We’ve been hearing about drib-and-drab-style, post-acquisition layoffs at Universal Music Group, and we’re not the only ones.  At the freshly-acquired EMI, Billboard is pointing to a small, early-year chop, with a single-digit reduction sprinkled across a number of different divisions.

Meanwhile, the consolidation process continues, this time on the publishing side. Enter Capitol CMG Publishing, a combination of EMI’s Christian-focused publishing group and Universal Music Publishing Group’s Brentwood Benson Music Publishing.  The EMI publishing assets were somehow ushered into the largely recording-focused UMG acquisition.

And touring keeps getting smarter.  The latest developing involves Bandsintown, which is now compatible with Eventric‘s Master Tour app.  Eventric, used by more than 10,000 artists, assists in touring logistics like scheduling and accounting.

These ‘apps’ could be big someday.  According to Apple, more than 40 billion App Store apps have now been downloaded, with two billion coming in December alone.

Albums are down, downloads are up, and vinyl’s booming.  But who’s measuring the rest?  Sounds like a market opportunity, even if it means cobbling together disparate, existing pieces.  “In terms of the broader music marketplace, it’s essential to note that data is not yet readily available that would factor in the positive economic impact of burgeoning streaming, subscription and other ad-supported models,” said NARM president Jim Donio.


11 Responses

  1. CheKoz

    What is ‘pre-pay’? can you expand on that, or provide a link to a post if you already have? why is this very very tough sell? that paragraph is pretty ambiguous.


    • paul

      Here’s more info on pre-pay (Muve calls it ‘PAYgo’). Users fill an account, and ‘top up’ to keep the account active, which differs from traditional mobile payment plans in the US in which a bill is typically sent after usage and charges have been accrued.


      On the sales of recordings: I don’t know, you think that’s an easy sell?


  2. Muve Music is now #1 in the US

    cool but so what if it has more paying subscribers than Spotify or Rhapsody?

    1.1 million paying subscribers is nothing.

    • Casey

      It is not the amount that counts. It is the speed and ease at which they got them. It proves integrating services is what will make streaming a success or a failure.

      It should be worth mentioning though that Muve will become #1 music subscription in the US in very short time.

      • hippydog

        @ Casey “that Muve will become #1 music subscription in the US in very short time.”

        I will take that bet 🙂

        I do not believe any platform specific model can ever become #1.. (nor #2 or even #3)

        I will even go as far to say that integrating services such as this will turn out to be an epic failure..

        • Casey

          Muve has tied Rhapsody and is either tied or close to the numer Spotify has in the US. They will be number 1 in very short time.

          Integrating has worked extremely well in other countries. There is no doubt that it will work here. The major reason it hasn’t so far is the providers are unwillling to cooperate.

  3. Muve Music 1.1 million paying

    If Muve was relevant, it would get its own headline news like Spotify.

    Spotify: 100+ times as headlines

    Muve Music: 0 times

    Muve Music need to reach 2 million paying subscribers before it get its own headline. It will reach that point in 12 months or so.

    • Casey

      That might actually have more to do with the fact that little is known about Muve. They are much less transparent than even Spotify.

      • A Visitor

        How do you get that Muve is less transparent than Spotify? I would actually say they are more transparent.

    • T

      You’re comparing apples to oranges.

      Muve’s is a significant industry player and its 1.1 million subscriber count is impressive and press worthy because the service only serves a subset of the market: users on the Cricket Wireless, pay-as-you-go service. Most of these users also own older model phones that lack app download capability (although its current offering is web based). There is considerable potential for upward movement if:

      1. Muve forgoes any exclusivity agreements with Cricket and expands its offerings to other carriers.

      2. Develops an app for iPhone/Android devices.

      This way, you’d be comparing apples to apples and may possibly see the actual potential of Muve.

  4. #1?

    Is Muve #1 now in the USA?

    It has surpassed Spotify but what about Rhapsody?