Latest Industry: Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple, Pandora, Sony/ATV, MelodyVR, More…

Walmart Yodel kid gets 2.13 million streams.

Mason Ramsey, otherwise known as the Walmart Yodeling Boy, has another reason to celebrate.  Following his deal with Atlantic Records, the 11-year-old singer’s debut single ‘Famous’ racked up 2.13 million streams on Spotify over the past weekend.  In addition, streams of Hank Williams’ ‘Lovesick Blues’ on the platform jumped 2,000%.

Angela Watts exits Spotify.

Angela Watts, a high-ranking Spotify executive, will leave the company after eight years.  Watts joined the company in 2010 as Vice President of Marketing and Communications.  The company named her Director of Spotify UK in 2013.

Tell your Instagram Stories with Spotify.

Instagram has rolled out new features, including Stories integration with Spotify and GoPro.  Users on Spotify and GoPro can now tap on the share buttons to send content to Instagram Stories.  On Spotify, users can share a sticker of songs, playlists, and albums that they’re currently streaming.   It comes with a link to play the music on Spotify.

Billboard’s updated streaming calculations.

And the fuzzy math gets updated again.  Billboard has finalized changes to how streams are weighed for Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200.  Beginning the week of June 29th to July 5th, paid subscription streams will have greater emphasis over ad-supported plays.

For the Hot 100, subscription streams will represent a full point value per play.  Ad-supported streams will now represent a 2/3-point value per play.  Programmed streams will represent a ½-point value per play.

The Billboard 200 will now include two-tiers of on-demand audio streams:  TIER 1 – paid audio subscription streams (equating 1,250 streams to 1 album unit) and TIER 2 – ad-supported audio streams (equating 3,750 streams to 1 album unit).  Nielsen Music will consider streams from trial subscriptions as TIER 1.

Pandora Radio tests your tolerance to advertisements.

Pandora has published the findings of a curious experiment it conducted.

In June 2014, the company took almost 35 million active non-paying users in the US, New Zealand, and Australia, and randomly put them in groups.  The groups would receive different levels of advertising through April 2016.

According to Pandora, the average listener listened to 6 ads per hour during this test period.  Several groups, however, would listen to just 3 ads.  Other groups would listen up to 12 ads per hour.

Contrary to what they expected, researchers found that people who were swamped with ads on Pandora would spend less time on the app.  One ad per hour, for example, would less to an average 2% less listening time.

The results?  Older listeners aged 55 and up were just 0.21% more likely to subscribe after listening to the ads.  41% of younger listeners stopped using the app altogether.

What Apple slowdown?

Over the course of its second fiscal quarter of 2018, Apple has posted $9.19 billion in Services revenue.  Up over last year’s $7 billion, this marks the 12th straight quarter of double-digit year-over-year services revenue growth.  Analysts had expected the company to post $8.5 billion in Services revenue.  Services included Digital Content and Services, AppleCare, Apple Pay, licensing, and other services, such as iTunes, the App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud.

Eliminating sexual harassment at music festivals.

A new petition posted on Care2 aims to put an end to sexual harassment at music festivals.  The campaign comes after Teen Vogue writer Vera Papisova noted how rampant males sexually harassed female Coachella attendees.  One attendee, for example, was sexually harassed 22 times in just 10 hours.  The petition calls on organizers of major music festivals to take a firm stance against all forms of sexual harassment and violence.  The campaign already has over 30,000 signatures and has called for a zero-tolerance harassment policy.

Spotify runs with the bulls.

Ahead of Spotify’s first public earnings report (released Wednesday afternoon), multiple analysts took a bullish stance on the company’s stock.  UBS, BofA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Evercore, and Morgan Stanley were all setting prices north of $190.  Now, after a lackluster quarterly earnings call, Spotify’s shares are tanking ahead of Thursday’s opening bell.

Not that Spotify’s losses were entirely a surprise.  You can see the full rundown on Spotify’s earnings here.

Sony/ATV extends its deal with Geoff Warburton.

Sony/ATV has extended its worldwide deal with songwriter and musician Geoff Warburton.  Warburton has frequently collaborated with Shawn Mendes.  He co-wrote a number of songs on the Canadian superstar’s first two studio albums, including ‘There’s Nothing Holding’ Me Back’ and ‘In My Blood.’

Snap shares tumble once again.

Snap’s stock has plunged once again after Snapchat missed user growth and revenue targets.  The company reported that the app’s user base rose by just 4 million.  Though this represents a 15% growth year-over-year growth, analysts had expected the app to add 7 million new users.

Snapchat’s redesign has also proven a sore point for the company’s finances, revealing weaknesses in monetization.  Snap posted an adjusted loss of 17 cents per share and revenue of $230.6 million.  The adjusted per share loss fell in line with analyst estimates.  Yet, analysts had forecast $243.55 million in revenue.  Snap shares fell 17%, or $2.39.

Nancy Hood joins SoundCloud.

SoundCloud has announced that Nancy Hood will join the company as Senior Vice President of Listener.  She’ll lead the growth and expansion of SoundCloud’s global consumer listener business which encompasses consumer subscriptions and advertising.  Based in New York, Hood will report to SoundCloud’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Weissman.

British artists get a major financing boost.

As part of the GREAT campaign, artists in the UK will receive further government backing through the Department for International Trade (DIT).  The latest round of the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) funding saw the DIT commit a further £295,000 (just under $402,000) to help UK artists achieve success in overseas markets.  UK labels association BPI manages the MEGS scheme, now in its fourth year.  The scheme supports small to medium-sized companies by contributing to their artist marketing campaigns and touring overseas.

Live Nation Acquires Rock in Rio Festival.

Live Nation has announced that it has acquired a stake in Rock in Rio Festival.  Founder and President Roberto Medina and his staff will remain key shareholders in the popular music festival.  They’ll continue to manage all aspects of production as well as consulting across the business.  Last year, Rock in Rio Festival was the second-highest grossing festival in the world.  With over 700,000 attendees in 2017, it has become the largest music festival in South America.

MelodyVR gets $30 million.

Virtual reality startup MelodyVR has announced the launch of its app and an additional $30 million in funding through EVR Holdings.  This brings the startup’s total fundraising to $70 million.  MelodyVR will use the money to fund global expansion.  The company has launched its MelodyVR app on Oculus VR and Samsung GearVR devices.  The app lets fans purchase immersive performances from top artists.

Featured image by Valery Marchive (CC by 2.0)