DMT 134: Asia special and a look at Music Matters

This week Digital Music Trends is entirely focused on digital music news from Asia including the latest coming from Music Matters which took place in Singapore last week. To help me understand what’s happening in the region the team of Valleyarm Digital and Music Weekly Asia including Marie Berst from Singapore, Neil Cartwright from Manila and Matt Campbell from Melbourne.

Thanks for watching,
Andrea Leonelli

00:17 Introduction of guests
02:30 What is Music Weekly Asia and how did the project get started?
03:55 So it must be pretty challenging to work with a team spread out across many different territories, how does that work?
04:50 There’s also a language problem as each of the territories covered speaks a different language, how do you keep up to date with what’s happening in the news given the language barrier?
6:35 Music Weekly Services recently launched a new chart service that is going to cover different territories in South East Asia what was the inspiration to start this and how important is it to have a chart?
08:15 How do you pull the data to put the chart together if there isn’t an organisation that counts sales like in the US and UK for example?
09:38 At Music Matters the CEO of Deezer talked about the company and its expansion in a number of territories in Asia (it’s present in Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore), first of all adoption-wise how crucial are carriers to adoption and how crucial are price points?
12:48 Marie, were there concerns particularly around price points expressed at Music Matters?
14:05 Matt, one other other issues is to get as much local content as possible into these services. Do you think services are making a good enough effort to bring local content into their catalogues?
15:50 Neil talks about the availability of music and means of consumption for people in developing territories. There are also licensing issues where not all the content that is available in the UK or US is available in the Philippines because
18:20 Many digital music services that are planning to have a presence in the region set up shop in Singapore, why do you think that is?
19:45 Let’s talk about China, do you think it is a viable high growth market for the music industry?
23:30 Talking about downloads is there a big potential for growth in the region?
25:50 There appear to be a lot of streaming services available in Australia especially when you look at the population in the country it seems like a very crowded market, Matt what’s your take on this from Melbourne?
28:44 Talking about advertising-based services, for those territories that are not dependent on the usual Google and Facebook are their competitors collecting similar data sets and providing similarly targeted advertising?
30:40 YouTube in many territories – excluding China – can be seen as the great unifier as it’s widely available and popular. As part of that global sentiment there were a couple of events at Music Matters that were revolving around YouTube stars, how did those pan out?
33:37 Live sector, there’s been an increase in acts travelling to Asia as part of their world tours, are artists aware of their potential to sell tickets in some of these markets? Matt, Neil and Marie talk about Festivals in Indonesia, Australia and Singapore.
38:30 Talking about support structures aside from the well-known K-pop factory in Korea, are there any other support structures for artists for example in the Philippines?
40:30 Rob Wells remarked on how Universal is placing itself as a competitor of large entertainment networks like HBO for example rather than of other labels, do you feel like this can become an issue if a label makes deals essentially as an entertainment brand rather than a music provider and does that damage the independent sector?
41:40 There were quite a few independents present at Music Matters, do you feel like they have a voice in the local markets? Marie: In many developing territories looking at the local scene most bands are signed to independents or are unsigned.
42:45 Let’s talk about piracy, still a concern and how so?
47:50 Outro and end

DMT 126: ReDigi’s court loss, the future of charts, shelving the three strikes, the power of indies

This week on Digital Music Trends I’m joined by Steve Knopper (Rolling Stone) and Eamonn Forde (MusicAlly).

Lots to talk about as we delve into Redigi’s court loss in the case brought by Capitol Records, the passing of Phil Ramone, the evolution and future of charts in the US and the UK, the three strikes law in South Korea, YouTube’s deal with SACEM and UMP, the role of Merlin and the independent sector and finally the best April fool’s stories in music tech this year.

You can find the shownotes with links to the stories discussed here:

Don’t forget to sign up to the weekly newsletter if you’d like to hear from DMT occasionally on the new shows (never more than once a week).

Have a great week and ’till next time!

Andrea Leonelli


DMT 117: The One With MySpace, Redigi, Mega, Sweden, Fandalism, HMV…

This week on Digital Music Trends we cover The Most News Ever. Only kidding, but it’s a hefty number of stories and I couldn’t have done it without the help of Stuart Dredge and Darren Hemmings.

This week we talk about: 
– the public launch of MySpace, Justin Timberlake’s involvement and the Merlin rights issue.
– Redigi’s upcoming European launch, legal implications and potential repercussions on the industry (if anyone can be bothered to use it)
– Kim Dotcom’s launch of Mega amongst much fanfare, but what’s the potential piracy impact?
– digital distribution price wars as Fandalism offers first free and then cheap iTunes, Spotify and Google Play uploads
– the KLF releases slipping through checks and getting released without permission on iTunes and Spotify
– flexibility price of streaming subscriptions as Rhapsody launches a $5 tier tied to the MetroPCS carrier
– the astonishing story of music sales in Sweden where growth is in the double digits, and is anything happening out there applicable in the UK or is it simply a cultural difference
– a quick update on HMV, as the group starts to 

You can find links to coverage of all the stories we talk about here:

I hope you enjoy the show, have a great week and ’till next time!

Andrea Leonelli


DMT 113 – Spotify, Spotify on the wall…

After last week’s raft of announcements from Spotify we spend the vast majority of the show making sense of where the company is heading. Featuring Steve Knopper (@knopps), Darren Hemmings (@mr_trick) and Eliot Van Buskirk (@listeningpost) as guest hosts we discuss Spotify’s latest numbers, the potential impact on users of the upcoming features, the impact on the industry and on artists of the service (including an in-depth tangent on Youtube) as well of couse as the significance of Metallica’s appearance alongside Sean Parker and Daniel Ek.

You can find all the show-notes here:

Hope you enjoy this week’s show,  have a great week-end and ’till next time!

Digital Music Trends – Episode 62

This week on the show I am happy to feature an interview I just recorded with Scott Wambolt, the CEO of Canadian company Yangaroo.  In the past 10 years Yangaroo has been instrumental in helping record labels in North America transition from the dependence on physical mediums to more efficient digital media workflows developing an end-to-end secure B2B solution for the delivery of digital music and more recently music videos.

Also on the show this week I’m going to talk about European anti-piracy measures, Ministry of Sound’s ongoing effort to sue file-sharers, Microsoft launching a Zune service in the UK,  Vevo’s plans to launch a TV network to compete with MTV and a new piracy tool that is worrying the music industry called Mulve.

But let’s start with this week’s interview with Scott Wambolt from

And now on to the news!

1) European anti-piracy measures

So the European Parliament on September the 22nd voted for the adoption of the report on the enforcement of Intellectual Property in the internal market. So what does this report say? Well basically it outlines the need to create a European-wide framework to protect intellectual property and calls for appropriate legislation to be considered. It is not a law in itself but its adoption allows for its findings to be used as a way to create a legislation on the protection of intellectual property. The report first of all calls for the creation of more services to access legal content online, second it establishes the need for ISPs to start a dialogue with the rights holders and third it allows for the possibility of creating a legislative framework for the protection of copyrighted material should the first two solutions fail. Potentially the effect of this report would be the implementation of European regulations that require countries to have a specific legislative path to protect copyrights and punish illegal file sharing. The approval of the report has been lauded by many in the music industry including the IFPI as the introduction of a European legal framework that could finally stop the slump music sales that has affected countries like Spain and France. Naturally all of this is a pre-preliminary step but one that makes labels understand that Europe has taken notice – though it may actually take a decade to finalize legislation!

2) Staying on the subject of piracy TorrentFreank and ISP Review this week reported that Ministry of Sound’s most recent request for the disclosure of broadband customer’s identities based on their IP addresses has raised concerns with the judge Chief Master Wintergarden – who pointed out first that he had received a large number of letters by people who were concerned with the way Ministry of Sound’s lawyers were sending out pay-up-or-else letters and second that he was surprised that after thousands of these letters were sent not one of the recipients was actually taken to court. The judge called Ministry of Sound’s approach like using a huge sledgehammer to crack a nut and refused to grant the labels’ lawyers latest request for the disclosure of personal contacts delaying the decision to the 4th of October. Many in the UK have questioned the legality of these pay-up-or-else letters, that have a very aggressive tone and demand the recipient for hundreds of pounds in compensation. The fact that none of these have been followed up and transformed into full-blown lawsuits is further proof that those damages would probably not be awarded in a court of law. The judge also made the point that after the introduction of the Digital economy act in the UK these requests will probably not be granted any longer. I don’t support piracy in any way but I have said it before – i really don’t like this approach. The fact that there isn’t a warning or anything and that the letters are sent indiscriminately to all users identified can only be seen as a way to get some money from the few people who will be scared enough by the letter to pay…

3) Microsoft launches the Zune platform in the UK!

The telegraph and the Register reported this week on Microsoft’s latest move which is to expand the Zune entertainment platform to Europe by launching it in the UK alongside the release of Windows 7 mobile phones. The platform will work with the Xbox, Windows 7 mobile and naturally Windows PCs and will allow a song that is purchased on one system to be played on all three. Xbox users that decide to splash out on the new Kinect controller will also be able to buy music using their hands rather than a traditional keyboard. A very important development for the UK is the arrival of a Zune pass that enables unlimited streaming and (DRM’d) downloads for only £8.99 per month which is one pound cheaper than Spotify’s premium service. The new platform will face fierce competition by the likes of Spotify and We7 who already have a very loyal customer base and naturally being completely tied to Microsoft for your PC, phone and Xbox its appeal will be limited. I believe that the only way it will really take off would be if Microsoft decided to release an app for each of today’s leading mobile operating systems, iOS4, Android and Symbian and Blackberry. Only then would non-gamers catch on to the service – who knows they could pick up some mac users on the way!

4) Vevo plans to launch a TV channel

The New York Post this week revealed that in an interview with the CEO of Vevo Rio Caraeff he mentioned that the company is working on the launch of a regular TV network that would compete with MTV. But if you read the article closely there is actually very little reference to the “old” MTV model since Vevo has not yet established any partnership with networks or cable providers. Instead it is focusing on developing its relationship with manufacturers of web-enabled TV in order to offer a personalized channel that will be able to cater to the specific taste of a user. I think this is a great idea considering the resources and traction Vevo has at the moment and the fact that web-TV is on the brink of becoming mainstream with the new Apple TV and the upcoming Google TV set to sell in considerable numbers. I personally don’t think that they should even look into partnering with a network since I don’t believe there’s a huge amount of money to be made there – after all if there was MTV would have reverted back to its old model and ditched all of its annoying reality shows. But exploiting the momentum of Vevo to take it into people’s TVs via the Internet is absolutely the right thing to do and may also help the company attract more advertisers who would probably see the appeal in being able to reach people’s living rooms rather than just their laptop screen.

5) Is Mulve as scary as it sounds?

So this week every news outlet from Music Week to Billboard to CMU to more mainstream press seems to have covered Mulve. This is a new very small piece of software – only 2 megabytes – that gives the user access to a huge catalogue of music that can be downloaded, illegally i should point out, for free. Apparently Mulve’s representatives have clarified that this is not a new P2P software but that the music is simply stored on servers for which they did not reveal the location although they are believed to be located in Russia. The site , in part because of the huge amount of coverage it received, is now down most of the time because of excessive traffic. Naturally the idea of a server storing the music is more appealing than a P2P solution because it is virtually impossible for rights holders to pick up on these downloads since they don’t happen in the public domain like on torrent networks. At the same time Mulve does sound a bit of a gimmicky challenge to the content industries and I wonder how long it will stay online for – after all maintaining all those servers, even in Russia, has got to be an expensive enterprise when so many users access the data. Naturally should it get funding and start meeting the demands of hundreds of thousands of users then yes – the nightmare scenario described on many publication may become reality. But I have the feeling that by then law enforcement agencies as well as the rights holders anti-piracy divisions will have worked out where the company’s servers are located and acted in order to get them shut down.


And that’s all for this week. On Thursday I will be in Barcelona at the Future Music Forum where I’ll moderate a session on the business model for on-demand music so expect to see some reports and interviews on that in the next episode. I will actually be in the States for the next two weeks so if you are in Seattle or Vancouver give me a shout – I should be able to publish the show as usual with some interview from the Future Music Forum and hopefully the Norwich Sound and Vision session I took part in a couple of weeks back coming through from the venue but I probably won’t be able to post any news coverage and if the podcast is a day or two late please bear with me.

As usual please feel free to email with any feedback or news story – the address is On the site at you can find all information you need about the episode and the relevant links and remember that you have quite a few options to listen to the show – the iTunes store, Soundcloud, the Music Void, Mixcloud, RSS and I believe you can now also search for Digital Music Trends on standalone Internet radios like those made by Logitech or Pure. Have a great week and ’till next time!

Andrea Leonelli