UK acts topping Amazon Prime Music’s all time streams

In the wake of Amazon Prime Music’s one-year anniversary in the UK British artists can celebrate with them as they’re currently dominating the streaming service.

It’s been a year since Amazon launched the music streaming section of their Prime service in the UK. Prime Music has both suffered and proliferated thanks to being bundled in with Amazon’s Prime service rather than being it’s own subscription service, though Amazon have plans to release a standalone music streaming service.

Whilst people are unlikely to sign up to Prime for music alone Amazon report that in the last year the number of Prime members using Prime Music has doubled. They also say that the amount of time people are spending listening to music on Amazon Prime Music has increased even more, with over triple the playback hours now than last year.

Amazon’s head of digital music in the UK, Paul Firth said: “Our Prime members love having music as a part of their membership, and to mark the first year anniversary of Prime Music launching here in the UK we’re excited to see that more than double the amount of Prime members are enjoying Prime music.”

But who are the artists driving this increase in listenership? According to Amazon it’s mostly British artists, with 7 of their Top 10 most streamed artists all hailing from the UK. In fact, remarkably, only 1 out of the 10 most popular Amazon Prime artists is American, Taylor Swift. The other 2 non-British acts are Australian singer and songwriter Sia and French producer/DJ David Guetta.

On the prevalence of UK artists, Paul Firth added: “British artists continue to dominate the charts both here at home and abroad. So it’s no surprise that seven out of ten of the top streamed artists on Prime Music since launch are from the UK.”

Here are the Top 10 most streamed artists on Amazon Prime Music:

  1. Coldplay
  2. Ed Sheeran
  3. Sia
  4. The Beatles
  5. One Direction
  6. Taylor Swift
  7. Little Mix
  8. Fleetwood Mac
  9. David Guetta
  10. David Bowie

SoundCloud reportedly considering $1 billion sale

According to “people familiar with the matter” SoundCloud are considering a sale of their community-driven music streaming platform in a giant $1 billion deal.

The news, broken by Bloomberg, reveals that founders and investors of SoundCloud are looking into their options regarding SoundCloud’s future. Bloomberg’s sources, who asked to remain anonymous, say that one of these options could lead to a sale of SoundCloud.

According to the sources SoundCloud have been considering a sale for a while now, however talks are currently premature and they may ultimately decide against a sale. Apparently their target of $1 billion is too ambitious for potential buyers of the company, valued at roughly $700 million after a $70 million investment from Twitter in June.

The company has had a tough time monetising their service, which up until this year has been completely free. This wasn’t working as a sustainable business model however, as in 2014 when SoundCloud reported their accounts they showed $63.8 million in spending and only $19.7 million in generated revenues.

However SoundCloud launched their first paid service for listeners this year, SoundCloud Go, amongst pressure from labels. The paid service allows users to save tracks for offline play and gives them access to an expanded music catalog for $9.99 a month. With the launch of SoundCloud Go they also introduced ads on their free tier.

SoundCloud haven’t reported how successful SoundCloud Go has been and it’s expected that not many are paying for the service, but regardless with ad-supported streaming they’re at least earning more revenue than before. MIDIA Research analyst Mark Mulligan told Billboard in March this year that “it’s likely they’ll end up with low single digits.”

Currently there has been no official comment from SoundCloud or their investors on a sale so it’s not yet confirmed whether they’re considering a sale. Whether they are or not it’s still unlikely we will see a sale anytime soon, unless a buyer suddenly comes out of the shadows with a $1 billion cheque.

Stream BBC Radio in America as iPlayer Radio app launches in US

Americans can now stream BBC Radio with the iPlayer radio app featuring chart leading tracks on Radio 1 to the home of alternative music on Radio 6.

The BBC is the UK’s number one radio provider with over 50 radio stations ranging from hit music national stations to local county stations. Now the iPlayer app has launched on mobile devices in the US so that Americans can tune in live to BBC Radio programmes, or catch up with it’s large collection of recent shows and features.

The app is available for free from the Apple App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android devices. As many in the US love British media from TV to music the BBC’s iPlayer Radio app should be a welcome introduction for the music lovers of the US and those who enjoy radio talk and game shows.

It seems that the US isn’t the end of BBC’s expanded availibility of iPlayer Radio as BBC producer and reporter Rich Preston tweeted that it will be “released globally very soon”.

With the official BBC iPlayer Radio app US customers can now:

  • Listen live to BBC Radio stations from the World Service and across the UK
  • Catch up or listen again to your favourite BBC Radio programmes
  • Download podcasts to enjoy anywhere, even when offline
  • Browse and listen to carefully curated BBC Radio highlights and collections
  • View daily schedules and categories quickly and easily
  • Discover audio and video clips, including many live performances
  • See what tracks are playing on air as well as track lists for on demand programmes
  • Wake up to and doze off to BBC Radio with a built-in alarm clock and night mode

You will need an internet connection to access BBC iPlayer Radio content.

Spotify remains exclusive to PlayStation, sorry Xbox

With a giant summer update some thought that Xbox consoles might finally get Spotify, but their exclusive deal with PlayStation is alive and well… for now.

The upcoming update for Xbox promises some cool new features like Cortana support and the long awaited ability to play music in the background. Unfortunately when you’re listening to music whilst exploring your game worlds on Xbox it won’t be played through Spotify.

Spotify have had an exclusive contract with Sony that has brought their popular music streaming to Playstation game consoles. In response to a tweet asking whether we could see Spotify coming to Microsoft’s xbox consoles soon, Spotify said: “Right now we’re focused on our exclusive partnership with PlayStation, we don’t have any info regarding other consoles”.

That doesn’t mean we won’t see Spotify come to Xbox sometime in the future, Spotify even suggested that we could expect some news soon in a follow up tweet. When user Daniel Duke said that he wouldn’t purchase their family plan because Spotify isn’t on Xbox, they responded: “We want to be available on as many platforms as possible. We don’t have any more info to share right now, but stay tuned”. Oh Spotify you tease.

For now we will have to make do with the existing music services on Xbox, which is currently only Microsoft’s own streaming service Groove. They haven’t revealed whether any new services will be introduced to the platform when they launch background music compatibility with Xbox but we’re hoping that we get to see some new additions.

Although music streaming is primarily popular on mobile devices and computers their appeal is clear on consoles as Spotify’s PlayStation app has been home to over 5 million streams. For now Spotify remains a PlayStation exclusive when it comes to game consoles, but fingers crossed we could see that change soon.

SOCAN acquire Audiam to “fix” online music rights and royalties

Canadian organisation SOCAN have made another purchase that positions them in the prime spot to help artists fairly receive what they’re owed from music online.

SOCAN’s latest purchase is royalty collecting society Audiam, founded by Tunecore executives. Audiam scans music from around the web, including music services like YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, and many more to identify and collect the appropriate royalties for artists.

Audiam will remain a separate body with Tunecore founder and CEO Jeff Price retaining his position as CEO at Audiam. Performing rights association SOCAN’s purchase of Audiam follows another purchase by the company in May this year of metadata tech providers MediaNet, which gives them access to an expansive list of information about digital sound recordings allowing them to match tracks and issue licenses so that rights-holders can get paid.

SOCAN’s CEO Eric Baptiste said: “In 2013 Audiam shook up the music royalties system by identifying and correcting serious gaps in the digital music rights value chain, particularly with music used in YouTube videos, by correctly matching data to the rights-holder. By acquiring Audiam, SOCAN steps even further ahead with our vision to lead the global transformation of music rights with substantial new tools for our more than 135,000 member songwriters, composers and music publishers, dramatically expanding our ability to ensure that creators are properly and fairly compensated.”

SOCON digital copyright artists

SOCAN say that with the purchase of Audiam they will begin leveraging it’s software in music identification and it’s other services to more accurately pay rightsholders their entitled earnings. They also plan to expand with Audiam’s other business areas like it’s licensing and administration of mechanical income from digital service in North America.

Jeff Price said: “SOCAN is not only the most technologically advanced, efficient and transparent music rights organisation on the planet, but its board of directors and executive team are singularly focussed on assuring all the works of composers and publishers are licensed and that rights-holders are paid for the use of their music. Adding SOCAN’s resources and knowledge to Audiam allows us to finally fix the global industry problems, remove liability for services and get rights-holders paid.”