Weekly update of key events in music, entertainment and technology compiled by Laura Montarroso, CORD Spain and edited by Anthony Vanger, MD CORD EMEA.
How has our taste in music changed over the decades?
This website has compiled Billboard’s Top 5 songs between 1958 – 2016 and put the data into an interactive timeline.
One thing that stands out is how rare it is for an artist to keep hold of the #1 spot for more than a week. Every now and then you get someone like the Black Eyed Peas who stayed on top for 26 weeks in 2009, but most of the time it is a Darwinian contest between established artists and pretenders trying to knock them off their perch.
BRAND PARTNERSHIPS AND ADVERTISING
Spotify’s big bet to increase ad revenues: selling playlists to brands
Spotify seeks more cash from advertisers. The Swedish company has announced that it has started selling sponsorship on its playlists – which are now responsible for a billion streams every week. Spotify has 400+ owned playlists to sell to advertisers, the most attractive (and pricey) of which will be the likes of Rap Caviar (3m followers) and Today’s Top Hits (8m followers).
‘Next Up’: Gallant Launches Billboard & W Hotels’ Emerging Artist Series
Next Up: New Artists New Music will showcase a total of four artists that have reached the top 10 of the Emerging Artist chart (which monitors the most shared songs on Twitter in the U.S. by up-and-coming artists). The showcases will be open to W Hotel guests, members of the Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) rewards program and select fans chosen through a sweepstakes.
SoundCloud Partners With LANDR For Free Audio Optimisation
SoundCloud users will have free access to LANDR’s new “Optimised for SoundCloud” format, which will master and enhance the quality of songs streaming directly on the platform. SoundCloud users will be able to optimise their tracks with LANDR for free, and share mastered audio tracks directly to their SoundCloud account. The new mastering format will optimise audio for all playback scenarios.
Ed note: Will robots and algorithms be replacing mastering engineers..?
YouTube Red (and Google Play Music) goes cheap with sub-$1 deal
New subscribers to Red can now get three months of the service, complete with access to premium audio streaming service Google Play Music, for just 99 cents. The promotion echoes one of Spotify’s most successful tools for attracting consumers to its premium tier. For two limited periods last year, including the Christmas season, the Swedish company launched the same price promotion in the US.
Twitter tunes into Spotify to soundtrack its audio cards
Now you can listen to 30-second previews of songs in your timeline thanks to Twitter’s audio cards that now support Spotify. Beyond playing while looking at a tweet, you can dock the music player in the corner of Twitter and keep browsing your feed while the music plays.
Universal Music Group buys digital marketing agency Fame House in a $1m cash deal.
Universal acquires digital agency Fame House from SFX in $1m deal. Fame House was founded in 2011 as a digital marketing agency that serves the entertainment industry, producing online marketing campaigns for artists.
Facebook just bought VR audio company Two Big Ears and is making their tech free to developers
Facebook is continuing to devote resources to fine-tuning how 3D audio impacts viewer perceptions in virtual reality. The social media giant, and its subsidiary Oculus, announced they have purchased immersive audio company Two Big Ears and will be making their technology free as a part of their new Facebook 360 Spatial Workshop.
Ed Note: use headphones.
Spotify revenues topped $2bn last year as losses hit $194m
Spotify brought in a whopping $2.18bn (€1.95bn) in revenues in 2015, growing its income by 80% in the year. Net losses stood at $194m (€173.1m), but these grew much slower – widening by just 6.7% compared to 2014. Advertising revenues nearly doubled in the 12 months, up 98% to $219m (€195.8m). Meanwhile, subscription revenues grew by a slightly slower pace, up 78% to $1.95bn (€1.74bn).
Live Nation buys YouTube MCN InDMusic
Live Nation’s continues its move into virtual-reality (VR) streaming. In addition to a partnership with VR capture outfit NextVR, the world’s leading concert promoter and ticketer has also acquired YouTube rights-management company and multi-channel network (MCN) InDMusic as it continues to seek new opportunities in video.
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