Latest Industry: Apple Music, Spotify, Kpop, Despacito, Utah State University

Latest Industry: Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Kpop, Despacito, USU
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Can you hear me now?

Social-powered music label Heard Well has announced a partnership with Castbox, a podcast platform.  They’ll launch a new podcast series called Heard Well Now.  The series will showcase emerging artists and new music through the lens of trendsetting social influencers.

The “best value” deal, powered by Spotify.

Spotify’s shares have jumped 4% over its opening price after an analyst at Stifel called it a value deal.  The investment firm issued a buy rating on the stock and a target price of $180, a 25% increase over Wednesday’s closing price.  Analyst John Egbert wrote,

We believe an all-you-can-listen-to on-demand music streaming service for $9.99 a month is high on the list of Internet services offered on a value per dollar basis, right behind’s Amazon’s $99 a year all-you-can-order (and more) Prime membership and Netflix’s $10.99 a month all-you-can-watch subscription.

“No, my The Weeknd streams are higher!”

Yesterday, The Verge claimed that The Weeknd’s latest album had a strong debut on Apple Music.  It tracked 26 million streams in its first 24 hours on the service, beating out Spotify.  Spotify has now refuted that number, claiming to have counted 29 million streams on its own service.

5 billion and counting.

Luis Fonsi’s breakout single, ‘Despacito,’ has set a new YouTube record.  The immensely popular Latin music video has surpassed 5 billion views on the video platform.  Its remix with Justin Bieber, though, has only 7.6 million views.

On track to surpass Spotify.

Two weeks ago, Apple’s Senior Vice President Eddy Cue noted that its music service had 38 million subscribers.  According to the company’s Content Director in France, that number has jumped to 40 million.  During his presentation at SXSW, Cue added that the service has 8 million users listening on a trial basis.

Preparing to launch a unique, DJ-oriented streaming platform.

EDM-music online store Beatport has acquired Pulselocker, a defunct DJ streaming and subscription platform.  The company will use Pulselocker’s patented technology for its upcoming streaming service later this year.  Pulselocker shut down last November due to “market circumstances and financial constraints.”  Its software allowed DJs to access an integrated “locker” of music.

$50 million for sheet music.

Following the sale of its sheet music and retail business, The Music Sales Group has become a ‘pureplay’ music publisher.  Speaking with Music Business Worldwide, industry sources have confirmed that the final acquisition price for the business rose over $50 million.

Letting audio publishers of any size build their empire.

EmpireStreaming, a leading audio-centric CDN and services company, has announced the launch of Empire Audience Network.  Built as a solution for total publisher monetization, it focuses on monetizing the audiences of small and mid-sized audio publishers by focusing on RPM, or “Revenue Per Thousand Listening Hours.”  EmpireStreaming powers for than 1,500 audio publishers end-to-end, providing better flexibility for more efficient monetization.

Making a big hit even bigger.

Netmarble, a South Korean mobile business giant, has acquired a 25.71% percent stake in Big Hit Entertainment.  With an investment of $190 million, the company has become the label’s second largest shareholder.  The announcement comes right before the release of BTS World, a mobile game set to launch soon.

Rocked by sexual assault claims.

New sexual misconduct allegations have come to light as USU’s internal investigation nears its end.  Utah State University nears the end of its now 7-week long investigation into sexual misconduct in its music department.  Among the allegations, a music professor groped a male student in 2006.  A music faculty member sexually assaulted a teenage student in the 1990s.  And, a piano instructor raped a piano student in 2009.  Independent investigators will release a report of their findings on Friday morning.

Featured image by Mike Deerkoski (CC by 2.0)