Artists may like griping about subscription-based music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora, but they appear to be doing a lot to kill off music piracy. TorrentFreak reports that music piracy in Norway has completely fallen off a cliff, as data from Ipsos shows that Norwegian Internet users pirated just 210 million songs in 2012, down from 1.2 billion in 2008. The survey also shows that roughly 47% of Norwegian Internet users say that they now subscribe to a music streaming service such as Spotify, and that more than half of those subscribers pay for a premium option. Or put another way, it seems as though opening up more avenues for people to pay for music will decrease their willingness to pirate copyrighted material.
New licensing agreements with Google Play, Microsoft (MSFT) and other services helped musicians generate more royalties in the U.K. from digital music services than radio for the first time last year, The Guardian reported. Songwriters earned a total of £51.7 million in the U.K. (roughly $77.7 million USD) in digital royalties, an increase of 32.2% from £39.1 million in 2011. Digital music services are now the single biggest source of income for musicians in the U.K., surpassing radio and live events. Online licensing revenues have doubled in the county since the arrival of download and streaming services such as Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes Store and Spotify in 2008.
Spotify is reportedly planning a major change that will put it in direct competition with Netflix (NFLX) and other video streaming services. According to Business Insider, the on-demand music service is interested in expanding to become an on-demand video service alongside its music offerings. Spotify is also said to be looking for partners that will help it fund and create exclusive content such as original TV series, similar to how Netflix has found success in producing its own content with its hit show House of Cards. Spotify is used by more than 20 million people, and has over 1 million paid subscribers in the U.S. and more than 5 million worldwide.
Amazon (AMZN) is the latest company rumored to be prepping a subscription music service, according to The Verge. Although the streaming music business has not yet proven to be all that profitable, a number of companies have expressed interest in joining a growing field of services. Amazon already offers a robust music store with features such as cloud music storage and a Cloud Player, however the company has reportedly reached out to various music companies about the idea of starting an “on-demand” subscription music service similar to Spotify. Earlier reports have indicated that Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) are also in talks with record labels to launch competing music streaming services.
A new study published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has found that illegal downloading doesn’t hurt the music industry. After examining the browsing habits of more than 16,000 Europeans, the research showed that there is actually a positive link between online piracy and visits to legal music stores — so rather than negatively impacting digital revenues, researchers found that music sales can actually benefit from piracy. More →
We had the opportunity to tour the Ford booth on Tuesday at Mobile World Congress, and were treated to a first-hand walk-through of the newest version of the company’s Sync in-car media and voice command technology. Chief among the new features is Spotify integration, giving subscribers ubiquitous access to the streaming music service by way of a few simple voice commands. More →
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced at a press event in New York City on Thursday that the company’s music streaming service has more than 5 million paid subscribers and 20 million active users worldwide, TheNextWeb reported. The latest numbers are an increase from July when the company said it had only 4 million paying members and 15 million active users. Ek noted that Spotify has been “growing like crazy” and that 1 million paid subscribers are located in the United States. As of today, the company has paid out more than $500 million to copyright holders and its users have created more than 1 billion playlists, 4 million of which have been titled “Love,” that have streamed 80% of Spotify’s music catalog. Earlier reports indicated that the music streaming service wasn’t living up to its hype since arriving in the U.S., although the most recent numbers seem to counter that argument. The biggest news of the day wasn’t the statistics, however. Spotify also announced that anti-sharing rock band Metallica will be joining the platform and making its music available for streaming.
Spotify’s music streaming service is now enjoyed by more than 15 million active users globally, including more than 4 million paying subscribers, according to The Next Web. The news was announced at the Global Business Summit on Creative Content in London on Tuesday by Spotify’s chief content officer and U.S. managing director, Ken Parks, and comes shortly after the company released an update that added free streaming radio for the company’s Android app. Earlier this year, Spotify revealed that more than 20%, or 3 million, of its active users paid for premium monthly access. Despite the milestone, the service still falls short of rival Pandora (P), which recently surpassed 150 million users. More →
Spotify on Tuesday announced an update to the company’s popular Android app that adds the free custom radio feature that was previously only available for iOS and desktop users. The service is available for both free and premium Spotify users, and allows for unlimited streaming of artist, song, playlist or album-based radio stations to compatible Android devices. Of note, when users hear a song they enjoy and rate it with a thumbs up, the song will be saved to a “Liked from Radio” playlist on their phone desktop for easy access. The Spotify app is available now for free in Google’s (GOOG) Play store.
Digital music streaming company Spotify is reportedly now the No.2 source of revenue for major music labels. The report comes from Business Insider and cites an anonymous source, who claims that while revenue earned by major labels from Spotify is nowhere near that of iTunes, it has catapulted ahead of competitors since launching in the United States last summer. An estimated 23 million people used Spotify’s streaming music service last month, which is available for free with advertising breaks or at two paid subscription levels that each offer ad-free music streaming. Spotify recently brought its new radio service to its iPhone and iPad app, allowing users to create artist, song or playlist-based streaming radio stations similar to those offered by rival Pandora. The move is seen by some as a potentially significant blow to Pandora, and the company’s stock has taken a hit recently as a result. More →
Spotify on Tuesday announced the addition of free mobile radio to the company’s popular Spotify app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Spotify’s radio features were previously only available to desktop users, however free and premium Spotify users can now stream limitless artist, song, playlist or album-based radio stations to Apple’s iOS devices. “Our focus has always been on creating an amazing user experience,” said Spotify VP of product, Charlie Hellman. “The radio feature we’ve added to our iPhone and iPad apps gives users the ability to discover, listen and save what they like on the go – all within one app – for free.” Spotify’s full press release follows below, and Spotify’s app is available for free in the iOS App Store. More →
Spotify on Tuesday announced that an overhauled version of its Android application is now available for download in the Google Play marketplace. The updated Spotify app has been rewritten with full support for Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich and it adds a host of new features including slide-out navigation, a new home screen widget, new sharing social features, 320Kbps streaming support and Last.fm scrobbling. “For all our Android users, this Spotify update is a huge leap forward. We’ve rebuilt it from top to bottom, making it faster, slicker and much better looking,” Spotify VP of products Gustav Södertröm said. “The feedback we got from the preview we released a few weeks back was really positive. We wanted to give our users something special – we really hope you like it.” Spotify’s full press release follows below. More →
According to CEO Joe Kennedy, Pandora has surpassed 150 million users in the United States and is the second most downloaded app in the history of Apple’s App Store, CNET reported on Wednesday. The Internet radio service has big plans for the future and is working with automakers to integrate the service into virtually all future vehicles. “We truly believe this is just the beginning,” Kennedy said at the CTIA Wireless trade show in New Orleans. Over the past year, the company has faced increased competition from streaming service Spotify, however it doesn’t seem to have affected Pandora’s continued growth. More →