Compass poaches key music industry executives.
Compass, a real estate tech company, has made several key hires from the music industry. Matt Rosenberg, Eventbrite’s Chief Revenue Officer, will hold the same position at Compass. Khurrum Malik, Spotify’s Global Director of Product Marketing, will serve as Chief Marketing Officer. The company hopes to have a 20% market share in 20 major US cities by the end of 2020.
Spotify leases offices in Boston.
Spotify has officially leased 73,891 square feet at the Center Plaza in Boston, located near the city’s Government Center. The European streaming music service will lease offices across floors 6 to 9. The lease term spans 132 months, or 11 years, with two consecutive 5-year options to expand. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.
Pandora comes out on top, but for how much longer?
Pandora topped Triton Digital’s February 2018 Top 20 Ranker for digital audio with 2.53 million average active sessions. Spotify came in second with just 37,000 sessions behind Pandora. iHeartRadio, NPR Member Stations, Entercom Communications, Cumulus Streaming Network, Beasley Broadcasting Corp., Accuradio, Univision, and EMF Corporate rounded out the top 10. Triton Digital also found that total weekday listening remains steady at 5.97 million in the US.
Please keep trying Apple Music. Love, Apple.
Apple has encouraged customers who previously listened to Apple Music on trial basis to extend their listening time with an additional month of complimentary access. With push notifications and emails with unique codes, Apple has alerted users at random to extend their trials in the US, the UK, Canada, and Hong Kong. The email reads,
“Come see what you’ve been missing in the new Apple Music, like a simpler design that makes finding what you want, and discovering new music, easier than ever.”
Streaming music services beef up their country selection.
Spotify has announced that it will expand its popular Hot Country playlist with original video content. Videos include an interview with Keith Urban, Kacey Musgraves, and a special performance from Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton.
Amazon has launched its very first global country playlist aimed at foreign fans. Country Heat, available in 35 countries, will showcase new and established country acts that Amazon’s curators feel have worldwide appeal. It comes with a catch, however. Overseas smart speaker users must ask Alexa to play Country Heat in English, regardless of their native language.
Joining forces to promote blockchain.
Resonate, a music co-op, and lifeID, a blockchain-based identity solutions company, have joined forces to improve online music ownership and sharing. Using the lifeID identity platform, Resonate will ensure that an artist-owned and managed identity is attached to all musical assets. This will reportedly allow artists to retain full control and credits. Fans can securely stream their favorite artists with privacy and security.
Streaming pushes Sony Music’s revenues over $4 billion.
Sony Corporation has published its earnings report for the 2017-2018 fiscal year ending March 31st, 2018. The company’s music division brought in ¥447 billion ($4.03 billion), a 14.9 % increase over 2016’s ¥388.9 billion ($3.6 billion). Streaming revenue skyrocketed ¥197.4 billion ($1.78 billion), up nearly 40.4% over 2016’s ¥140.6 billion (just under $1.3 billion). It now makes up over 44% of the music division’s total revenue. Digital Music News has provided a breakdown of the financial report.
iTunes’ long-awaited debut on the Windows Store.
Apple has launched the iTunes app on the Microsoft Store. iTunes gives Windows 10 users the ability to buy music, TV shows, movies, and listen to Apple Music.
How much would you pay for Prime?
Amazon has announced that on May 11th, Prime annual memberships will increase to $119. In response, shares soared 7.9% in early trading on Friday. Goldman Sachs also reiterated its buy rating for Amazon shares. Analysts stated that the company remains in the “early stages” in many key markets.
Atlantic Records and Spotify win big at the Music Week Awards.
Atlantic, Polydor, Sony/ATV, Spotify, and Glastonbury were among the big winners at last night’s Music Week Awards 2018. Max Lousada collected The Strat, a special award that recognizes industry icons and pioneers. Stuart Camp, Ed Sheeran’s manager, earned the coveted Manager of the Year award. Atlantic Records won Record Company of the Year. Spotify earned the Music Retailer/Streaming Platform award. Organizers also paid tributes to George Michael and Avicii.
New music after a 35-year hiatus.
Following the band’s split in 1983, Swedish musical group Abba has taken to Instagram to announce two new releases. The group has recorded two new songs for a project where avatars of the band will perform. ABBA wrote,
“The decision to go ahead with the exciting Abba avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence. We all felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!”
BTS heads to Europe.
Big Hit Entertainment has announced its plans for a BTS World Tour this year. The popular South Korean boy will kick off the tour in Seoul. The group also has several shows scheduled for Europe. The World Tour will end in Paris on October 20th at the Accorhotels Arena.
Super Junior joins KCON New York.
Korean boy band Super Junior will head to New York for the 2018 KCON event this summer. The group previously performed at KCON Los Angeles. This marks the first time the boy band performs in the East Coast. The group joins Wanna One, Stray Kids, NTC 127, EXID, and Heize. KCON brings together Korean pop fans from across the United States to celebrate the culture and music.
Nina L. Diaz earns a promotion.
Viacom has promoted Nina L. Diaz to President of Programming and Development for VH1, MTV, and Logo Group. She previously served as Executive Vice President of Programming and Development. Diaz will report to Chris McCarthy, President of MTV, VH1 and Logo Group.
Amidst Facebook’s massive privacy problems, teens jump ship to Snapchat.
Pipper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm, has released its 35th semi-annual Generation Z survey. Among the findings, overall teen spending grew 6% and intent to buy an iPhone reached a new high of 84%. Pipper Jaffray also found that teens opted for Snapchat and Instagram as Facebook stabilizes.
Hearsay leads to a $10 million lawsuit against Cardi B.
Klenord “Shaft” Raphael, Cardi B’s former manager, has sued the rapper for a breach of contract following her new deal with Quality Control. He alleges to have “conceived, arranged, and orchestrated” Cardi’s career after discovering her as a party host. After someone named Patientce Foster told Cardi about Raphael “robbing” her money, the rapper signed a management deal with the hybrid label/management company last month. Raphael has asked the court for $10 million.
Spheres: The future of music venues.
MSG brought a “science fair” to the Forum in Los Angeles to showcase the specifics of the company’s upcoming Sphere venues. Irving Azoff and MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan explained the specifics. This included plans to deliver a 170,000 square foot LCD screen that would wrap around the venue. Azoff reportedly said,
“Today is to introduce us to the Hollywood community because the timeline is upon us.”
He added that the event was “in hopes that people are motivated to go out and create for what you’re going to see.”
“This is what shock and awe, in a positive way, is about.”
Yodel at Walmart. Score a major record deal. Any questions?
Mason Ramsey has signed a deal with Atlantic Records and Big Loud. He became popular earlier this year after footage of him singing Hank Williams’ ‘Lovesick Blues’ at a Walmart store went viral. In his new single, ‘Famous,’ Ramsey sings over an acoustic guitar,
“If I’m gonna be famous for somethin’, I wanna be famous for lovin’ you.”
Featured image by Ajeong_JM (CC by 4.0)