This week on Digital Music Trends it was a pleasure to welcome on the show Glenn Peoples, Editorial Analyst at Billboard and Dave Allen, Director of Insights and Digital Media at North.com as well as bass player in British post-punk band Gang of Four.
We chat about Softbank’s bid for Universal Music, the inaccurate headlines made by the press on streaming and the music market, Spotify’s earnings for 2012, sustainability of streaming, Rdio’s partnership with Live Nation, Pandora facing FCC approval for radio acquisition and the importance of bringing music technology to young people for a creative outlet. You can find the shownotes with links to the stories here.
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00:13 Welcome and guest introduction
02:00 Japanese mobile carrier Softbank placed an $8.5 billion bid on Universal Music but Vivendi declined the offer. Is UMG really an appealing purchase for a corporate giant like Softbank? Does Universal hold a value as a brand in its own rights?
10:00 Glenn you wrote a great piece which highlights some of the inaccurate statements and headlines that have been made in the press of late in regards to the digital music market and music streaming. How could generalizations be avoided and is it a case of being more specific with headlines as well?
17:50 And Spotify literally in the past hour filed its earnings for 2012, the company is still losing money but at a slower rate than its income increase so that has to be a positive sign right?
21:24 There was a great Op-Ed by David Macias from Thirty Tigers on Billboard on the hard numbers of streaming and looks at how if the US got anywhere near the penetration of streaming in Norway that would become a really sustainable income. This paints a rosier picture of streaming, but what are your thoughts?
25:28 In the US streaming companies are working hard to increase their customer base. Last week it was announced that Rdio would sponsor the Livenation.com page and become the default service on the site as well as a couple of Live Nation’s country music festivals. What’s your take on the deal will we see more of these in the next few months?
30:20 Glenn do you feel it’s strange to see a company that is relatively small like Rdio sponsor the site of a giant like Live Nation?
31:32 And we can see here Rdio is targeting Country Music fans and the differences in purchasing habits between genres are indeed staggering. Dave and Glenn look at the evolution of Soundscan and how its advent affected charts and niches.
38:45 Pandora is now facing some issues with the FCC for its purchase of KXMZ-FM in South Dakota since ASCAP filed a complaint that could delay approval. Did Pandora shoot itself in the foot by being so open about its intentions with the terrestrial radio?
42:00 And finally a positive story coming out of Washington DC on the Martin Luther King JR Public Library working with Beat Club DC, a one-man digital music workshop working with elementary and high-school students to educate them about making music.