Streaming music is hardly the new kid on the block, but it’s seemingly grown exponentially in the past few years thanks to services like Pandora, Spotify, and most recently, Apple Music. With 2015 now behind us, the RIAA today released its year-end sales report and highlighted how revenue from streaming music over the past year generated more revenue than digital downloads, an industry first.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently sat down for a Q&A session on Quora where the founder of the popular music streaming service answered a wide array of questions from users. For anyone who has followed the company closely, one of the reasons why it’s so beloved is that Ek and his team are bonafide music lovers who care just as much about delivering a superb listening and user experience as they do about the bottom line. In conjunction with this, Ek has historically been rather candid and upfront about most issues pertaining to Spotify.
That being the case, Ek’s Quora session was, as you might expect, refreshingly honest and informative.
MTV’s steady and somewhat sad transformation into a channel more widely know for reality TV programming than for music seemingly signaled the end of the music video era. But in February of 2005, YouTube came along and completely changed the game. Not only did YouTube’s massive popularity help bring the visual art form known as the music video back to life, the site quickly became an extremely popular destination for people to listen to music.
By 2015, YouTube had emerged as the unassuming king of music streaming, besting out industry heavyweights like Pandora and Spotify by a wide margin. In fact, during the first half of 2015, an estimated 57% of all 135.2 billion music streams were reportedly served by YouTube.
The importance of music in film can’t be overstated. A well-chosen song not only heightens our senses but can also evoke a wide range of emotions. Not surprisingly, some movies will spend big bucks to secure the rights for certain songs deemed integral to the finished product. Note that the photo above is from Almost Famous, a top-notch film with one of the most expensive and revered soundtracks in movie history.
Over time, though, many directors, both in film and on TV, have seemingly gotten lazy and now reflexively revert back to well-known musical pieces. In a sense, musical choices these days have almost become formulaic: Have a scene depicting the Vietnam War? Go with Gimme Shelter. A woman goes on a drug binge? Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe should fit the bill.
As Apple continues to try and position Apple Music as a viable alternative to Spotify, the company remains committed to providing both audio and video exclusives from some of music’s biggest stars. Most recently, Taylor Swift announced on Sunday that concert film from her monumental 1989 world tour will be dropping on December 20, exclusively via Apple Music.
With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens just about two weeks away, we recently stumbled across a great musical mashup pairing some of the Notorious B.I.G’s greatest hits with original and rousing Star Wars music from famed composer John Williams.
Put together by Otaku Gang, the 17-track playlist — available for your listening pleasure via Soundcloud — is appropriately titled Life After Death Star, a clever play on Biggie’s seminal 1997 double-album titled Life After Death.
Despite its questionable legality, Popcorn Time’s popularity hasn’t diminished much since the original forks launched in 2014. In fact, the name has generated enough interest online that other developers are beginning to borrow the model for their own apps.
Today, we’re going to introduce you to one of them — this is Aurous, the Popcorn Time for music.
Kanye West might be the best performer of all time; Watch his just-released performance from this year’s Glastonbury Festival
You can say a lot of negative things about Kanye West. He’s egotistical. He has an inflated and borderline-delusional sense of entitlement. And of course, the fact that he married Kim Kardashian only makes it that much easier to poke fun at him.
All the same, even if you happen to be a Kanye hater, there’s simply no denying that the man is a hit maker. And we’re not just talking about the fact that many of his songs get a lot of radio play. Many of his songs, with Gold Digger being a prime example, are permanently etched into the tapestry of our musical consciousness. In other words, Kanye’s catalog of music stands the test of time, an impressive feat given how fickle the world of music can be.
The music industry isn’t in turmoil, but it’s undeniably in the midst of a transformation. These days, services like YouTube, Pandora and Spotify make it easier than ever for fans to discover new music and listen to old favorites. At the same time, many musicians have expressed concern that the economic model of a streaming-based music economy simply isn’t viable.
During a roundtable discussion on copyright issues at Belmont University in Nashville this week, songwriter Kevin Kadish said that he earned just $5,679 for more than 178 million streams of the song “All About That Bass“, a hit song he co-wrote for singer Meghan Trainor.
Apple two weeks ago was forced to defend its nascent Apple Music service following a report which claimed that 48% of users who signed up for the streaming service were no longer using it. Offering a rebuttal, Apple subsequently said that only 21% of the millions of subscribers who signed up for a three-month trial had left the fold. More →
In the wake of Taylor Swift convincing Apple to dole out royalty payments during Apple Music’s three-month trial period, Apple has been quick to leverage the accompanying good will and sign crucial deals with two massive music rights organizations, Beggars Group and Merlin Network.
According to Billboard, Merlin alone represents over 20,000 labels and distributors across the globe. Together, both groups oversee members who own the musical rights to a vast number of big name artists, including Adele, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Neko Case, The Strokes, Social Distortion, The National, Tom Waits, Spoon, Grizzly Bear, DJ Khaled, and Martin Solveig & Dragonette.
Taylor Swift over the weekend penned a brutal critique of Apple Music, calling the upcoming streaming service’s free three-month trial period both shocking and disappointing.
In an open letter posted to Tumblr, Swift took umbrage with the fact that Apple, during the aforementioned trial period, will not be making any royalty payments to music owners. This has of course rubbed many artists the wrong way as they’ll effectively be giving their music away for free for three months.