Music streaming has created more music listeners than ever

New statistics show that more people are listening to music than ever before thanks to the birth of music streaming.

Music Streaming is creating a music revolution. Nearly all of the music in the world is now at your fingertips creating the biggest range in music tastes since music began. It’s now clear that this has also created the most music listeners ever.

New statistics from Statista provided for Business Insider show that people are listening to loads of music every day. Average listeners across the US listened to 32.1 hours of music a day, that’s almost 1-and-a-half entire days. Compared to 2015 and 2016 when it was roughly a day a week for both this is a massive jump.

How do you know people aren’t just listening to music more, how is it streaming? Asides from millions of other reasons, the stats show pretty clearly that streaming subscribers are the bigger listeners. On average music subscribers listened to 4 more hours of music every week than average music listeners did.

Spotify subscribers streaming data surging rise

Elsewhere Statista showed how Spotify’s paid subscribers are rocketing in numbers. The past year has been phenomenal in general for music and Spotify are a true showcase of the re-surging music industry going doubling in subscribers in just over a year.

The years not over yet and it’s already been a record year for music in so many ways. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Spotify could be worth $100 billion, say investment firm

It’s only a month since Spotify was valued at $16 million and investors GP Bullhound are now saying it’s worth $20 billion with potential growth to $100 billion.

Investment firm GP Bullhound have shared what they think Spotify might be worth, and it’s a bold claim. GP Bullhound see some incredible numbers in Spotify’s future, they may be slightly biased due to kind of having a stake in the music streaming service, but they’re not wrong – Spotify is growing like crazy.

The investment firm claim that Spotify is now worth $20 billion, less than a month since private valuations showed Spotify at $16 billion. Yes that’s right, $4 billion in one month. Whilst it hasn’t been concretely confirmed it seems unlikely that GP Bullhound would lie about a company it has invested interest in.

Now GP Bullhound’s claims go much further than that, in the wake of their long-awaited public offering which looks to finally go ahead thanks to recent deals with labels. GP reckon that once Spotify goes public it could be worth as much as $100 billion, an incredible amount.

GP Bullhound said: “Given that Spotify’s growth continues and that emerging market growth keeps average revenue per premium subscriber relatively in shape we envision that Spotify has a long term potential of being valued at $100 billion.”

Whilst they may not be wrong, GP Bullhound also may be a little bit optimistic with their claims. Beyond Spotify’s value, the firm reckons that Spotify will have reached 100 million paying subscribers sometime in the middle of 2018, and 200 million by 2020. It’s not impossible by any means and Spotify is showing incredible growth, but it’s still a bold claim. We’ll have to see.

DJ software & tech creators Native Instruments raised $50m+ in new funding

A household name for many music producers and DJs, Native Instruments have just received loads of new funds from a round of funding.

DJ-tech makers Native Instruments, famous for their Maschine controllers, Kontrol keyboards and Komplete software, have got a bunch more money to play with. In a new round of funding the company received a whopping $58 million / €50 million which they say they will use for “rapid international growth”.

The successful funding round saw the large investment come from private-equity firm EMH Partners. The funding will allow Native Instruments to create new digital services for their users as well as international expansion. Using the funds they also plan to launch a recruitment drive across Berlin, Los Angeles, and London.

It’s been a productive year so far for Native Instruments who acquired MetaPop earlier this year in March. Metapop are a company working to license remixes and reworkings of music so that DJ’s and remixers can still share their work legally, whilst anyone whose music is used by them gets credit and payment.

MetaPop was led by ex-Beatport boss Matthew Adell who remains under the ownership of Native Instruments to develop the potential for DJs and producers. Adell said at the time: “Joining Native Instruments opens up new doors to build on our shared vision, working alongside leading talent and world-class products. We are excited to inspire even more creativity and revenue opportunities for our users and partners.”

We can’t wait to see what Native Instruments and Metapop come out with next, and with a large wad of extra funding behind them their ambitions could be much closer than we expect.

Music streaming will have a greater impact on chart positions next year

Billboard have announced a change to how they count streams from services like Spotify and Apple Music towards chart positions.

Starting in 2018 Billboard will have 2 different values for streams based on whether it came from a paid-subscription or was ad-supported. This move will put more value into paid streams, which the music industry have long hailed as a better alternative to ad-supported streams.

Billboard have announced the change as they approach the new year, saying that they have had to consider many changes thanks to the constantly evolving music industry in the wake of digital platforms. Among those considered are whether official music videos on YouTube count towards chart positions, how to work with promotions and bundles,

Billboard said in their announcement post: “This has been an especially challenging year for these deliberations, as we are seeing rapid adoption of new streaming and distribution models that are changing user experience and behaviour at an unprecedented pace.”

Since introducing streams into the charts over the past couple of years Billboard has counted them in two ways; On-Demand plays from services like Spotify, TIDAL, and YouTube, and programmed streams such as Pandora and Slacker Radio which count more like radio plays. Their album charts meanwhile only used on-demand streams from ad-supported and subscription streams.

From next year paid subscriptions will give more value to your streams impact on chart positions, whilst ad-supported streams from Deezer, Spotify and others’ free tiers will count less. This better represents how much the artist receives for each stream and therefore reflects their success aptly. This means music streaming will be represented in 3 different values towards Billboard’s charts.

Billboard say: “It is [our] belief that assigning values to the levels of consumer engagement and access – along with the compensation derived from those options – better reflects the varied user activity occurring on these services. Billboard remains committed to being the book of record when it comes to tracking fan activity in and around music.”

You can see a list of the stores and services that Billboard include in their charts and which bracket their streams will come under below:

Hot 100 (+ Genre Charts) Streaming

Service Audio/Video Data Type
Amazon Music Unlimited Audio Paid
Amazon Prime Audio Paid
Apple Music Audio Paid
Apple Music Video Paid
Google Play Audio Paid
Groove Music Pass (Xbox) Audio Paid
Medianet Audio Paid
Napster Audio Paid
SoundCloud Audio Paid / Ad Supported
Slacker Audio Paid
Spotify Audio Paid / Ad Supported
Tidal Audio Paid
Tidal Video Paid
Vevo on YouTube Video Ad Supported
YouTube Video Ad Supported
AOL Radio (Powered by Slacker) Audio Programmed
Google Radio Audio Programmed
Napster Audio Programmed
Pandora Audio Programmed
Slacker Audio Programmed



Billboard 200 (+ Genre Album Charts) Streaming Services

Service Audio/Video Data Type
Amazon Music Unlimited Audio Paid
Amazon Prime Audio Paid
Apple Music Audio Paid
Google Play Audio Paid
Groove Music Pass (Xbox) Audio Paid
Medianet Audio Paid
Napster Audio Paid
Slacker Audio Paid
SoundCloud Audio Paid / Ad Supported
Spotify Audio Paid / Ad Supported
Tidal Audio Paid

Over 1 million people attend Ultra Music Festivals this year… again!

Ultra Worldwide have just completed their world tour for 2017 and have revealed incredible statistics about just how many people love their festivals.

On Saturday, 14th October Ultra Brasil closed their second annual festival, marking the end of Ultra Worldwide’s massive 2017. The festival organisers saw a monumental year that had over 1 million people dancing across 45 events in 20 countries all around the world.

Ultra Brasil saw the culmination of Ultra Worldwide’s expanded efforts, which saw over 90,000 people come together for one festival in Rio De Janeiro’s Sambodromo. It followed the debut Ultra Mexico by just one week as well as a variety of RESISTANCE and Road To Ultra events that took place over ten days across 7 countries. Ultra dominated Latin America this year.

With such an impressive row of events out of the way Ultra wanted to show off a little of their pride in how successful the year has been. For the second year in a row Ultra Worldwide have drawn over 1 million people from around the world. Here’s a rundown of their stats for 2017:

Ultra Worldwide 2017 General

Total global attendance: 1,000,000+
Total number of events: 45
Total number of new events in 2017: 23
Country count: 20
Total number of festival event hours: 554
Total staff employed worldwide: 10,000+

Ultra Worldwide 2017 Media

Livestream hours broadcasted via UMF TV: 143
Livestream hours viewed to date: 3,000,000
Total number of artist appearances: 1,028
Total ULTRA Passport holders: 300,000+
UMF Radio country distribution: 62
UMF Radio estimated weekly listeners: 32,693,400

Spotify to start pushing label playlists with new quota

Spotify are launching a new method for pitching playlists from major and independent labels to appear on Spotify’s Browse page.

After arguments over whether Spotify promote their own playlists above outside influencers in the past few years, Spotify have decided to have a shuffle about. Spotify are introducing a quota-based system for local and global playlists, allowing a fairer system for labels to pitch their playlists and requiring Spotify to choose a certain amount to be highlighted on the homepage.

This will be great news, not just to the major labels but particularly for label brands with an emphasis on playlisting like Topsify, Digster, and Filtr. There will now be a set number of playlists that labels can pitch to get a spot on the coveted Browse section, so all users have a chance of seeing it. Major labels pitch directly to Spotify whilst independent labels are able to offer their playlists up through Merlin as before.

Whilst it seems like an overall great move there have reportedly been complaints over the length of time given to labels to adjust to the changes. There have also been reported issues of playlists falling down in Spotify’s search rankings, making it harder to find when listeners search for it. It appears that this may in fact be an issue with Spotify’s system as the ranking is often fixed within a few days, rather than an attack on certain brands or influencers.

We will have to wait and see how much of a difference Spotify’s new playlist criteria makes. It’s likely that we’ll see a few less of Spotify’s hundreds of playlists and some more independent selections of music.

Universal Music launch initiative to boost music startups worldwide

Universal Music Group want to help new music-based companies and innovators take off with a new accelerator initiative.

Universal Music Group (UMG) are helping companies to start out in the music industry and establish their presence. Hoping to help build the future of music and provide resources for innovation, UMG will work with music-based startups to develop their work and help fund their progression.

UMG will have an application process during which applied startups will gain some of Universal’s industry knowledge and expertise. Once a company is accepted it gets professional mentoring from Universal experts whilst accelerators help these startups in to progress their business and product with assistance in development and raising funding for innovative new products.

UMG plan to work with up to 10 ‘programs’ in their first year running their startup accelerator program. The first startups to be accelerated will feature Axel Springer’s Plug and Play – a media-focused accelerator based in Berlin, LeanSquare – a music technology accelerator launched by the Liege in Belgium, and MediaLab which runs programs for student and faculty entrepreneurs at New York-area universities who are interested in launching digital media start-ups.

UMG’s Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, Michael Nash said: “UMG is launching the Accelerator Network to build on the company’s stellar track-record of supporting entrepreneurs around the world and licensing more than 400 digital services globally. By developing a robust network of accelerators, UMG will play a more central role in helping to support the next generation of entrepreneurs who are already hard at work to bring innovative ideas to market that will create exciting new experiences for artists and fans everywhere.”

Meanwhile UMG’s vice president of New Digital Business, Tuhin Roy said: “UMG has the potential to serve as a strategic bridge between the creative minds working in the epicenter of the entertainment industry and the immensely innovative start-up communities in entrepreneurial centers around the world. From this vantage point, UMG is uniquely positioned to help foster the next wave of innovative digital music start-ups, while also learning from these amazing entrepreneurs about new ways to apply digital technologies in our own businesses to benefit artists and labels.”

Warner Music work with Mixcloud to monetise online indie radio

British radio streamers Mixcloud have signed a massive deal with Warner that will license Warner Music Group music for use on their radio shows.

Mixcloud and Warner Music Group have signed a deal that enters the two companies into a licensing agreement for music and royalties. This will legally allow to Mixcloud to not just air Warner Music but at last monetise their digital radio shows.

Mixcloud is used to share and listen to radio shows online which feature everything from podcast-style shows, DJ sets, and of course your typical presenter + music radio show. Notable artists and entities involved with Mixcloud include Tiesto, Moby, Erykah Badu, David Byrne, and the Guardian.

With licensing comes money and as such a few things are going to have to shift around in Mixcloud. They are clearly trying not to let it get too in the way of their model as it runs now, offering each creator the option of charging for their shows/podcasts/sets individually for their own decided amount.

Seeing as they weren’t allowed to charge for their service before it’s a sensible step that still leaves the users with power and doesn’t suddenly paywall the service. This allows creators and listeners to adjust to the new model, whereas introducing a flat subscription rate would have likely drawn many users away.

Despite having only just signed a licensing agreement with their first major label, Mixcloud already lay claim to their own Content ID system. Content ID systems allow services to recognise music, samples, voices and so on from their own catalogue of music. With the ability to detect copyrighted audio like that services can take action against the use of it or, as in Mixcloud’s case, identify rights-holders and pay the appropriate people for the music.

Mixcloud are reportedly looking to sign deals with the other major labels Universal and Sony. Their business approach so far has been focusing on building the service rather than it’s userbase, whilst still reaching an impressive 17 million listeners a month. This appears to have been working in appealing to labels.

South Korea’s booming music industry invests in Gushcloud startup

South Korea’s pop culture tidal wave that’s engulfing anyone who steps near to it is investing $3 million into Asian influencers Gushcloud.

As part of strategic investment by the Korean record label YG Entertainment have invested $3 million (US dollars) into Gushcloud. Gushcloud are a fresh-faced startup in Singapore that manages Asian influencers and popular personalities online.

Gushcloud says that their business focuses on managing popular persons on social media and big talents. They have a focus on creating influencer, celebrity and talent-led intellectual property or content. Gushcloud plan to use their new funding to expand across Asia with specific plans to grow in large markets like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

The company plans to invest in vertical-based social media talent and content management companies focused on beauty, parenting, sports, music and gaming. The parent company Gushcloud International also have plans for a new company for creating beauty and cosmetic products and content for use with top global beauty content creators with Gushcloud.

Gushcloud’s CEO, Ms Althea Lim says: “Gushcloud Entertainment is committed to working with partners across Southeast Asia in building out the entertainment ecosystem to create more cross collaborations between influencers and content creators who are the new celebrities in today’s age.”

YG Entertainment’s Southeast Asia head Charlie Cho says that their investment was in part to continue their campaign in promoting and growing South Korean entertainment and pop culture. Cho said: “We want to leverage on the company’s physical presence… to export more of YG’s entertainment assets and acts into Southeast Asia. Brands can now connect directly with YG in Southeast Asia should they want to engage with our artists.”

Gushcloud launched all the way back in 2011 and has been growing it its capital Singapore since. In 2015 Korean company Yello Mobile acquired a majority stake in Gushcloud after confirming a $7.5million+ deal (US dollars).

Songkick ticketing company plan to stop services after this month

Ticketing Company Songkick have revealed plans to shut down in November following an ongoing lawsuit with Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Songkick was a ticketing platform that gave artists the ability to sell their concert tickets directly to fans. A client letter sent by the company revealed their plans to shutter their services whilst continuing a lawsuit with Live Nation and their subsidiary company Ticketmaster.

Their letter read:

Before I say anything, let me say thank you.

Thank you to the artists and managers who entrusted us with their tickets and audience; to the agents, labels, promoters and venues that partnered with us to make artists’ visions into realities; and to the many – always committed and now nearly all former – employees of CrowdSurge and Songkick who worked tirelessly over the last 10 years with nothing short of a remarkable passion to better the live experience for artists and fans.

With that said, I’m sad to write that on October 31, Songkick will bow to pressure from Live Nation and Ticketmaster and complete the shutdown of all ticketing operations (including the design and maintenance of artist webpages) we began earlier this year when Ticketmaster and Live Nation effectively blocked our US ticketing business. Songkick’s concert discovery app, which was sold to Warner Music Group in July, will continue uninterrupted under the WMG umbrella.

Our antitrust, trade secret misappropriation and hacking lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster will continue unabated, with trial currently scheduled to begin in the second week of November, just a month from now. Many of you receiving this note have helped us immensely as we prepare for our day in court, and even as we shutter our business, we will remain focused on pursuing a legal victory and making the live music industry better for artists and fans.

If you are an artist, promoter or venue for whom we have sold tickets to a show occurring on a future date, you will be contacted individually over the following three business days to arrange for payment. All outstanding amounts will be paid in full.

If you are an artist, promoter or venue currently using our services to sell tickets, list shows, store customer data or power parts or all of your website, these services will become unavailable on October 27. On behalf of myself and all of my colleagues, it’s been a pleasure to work with you. Once again: thank you, for everything.

All the best,
MJ (Songkick founder Matt Jones)

The ongoing lawsuit was started after Songkick acquired ticketers Crowdsurge in 2015. Songkick claim that following their acquisition of CrowdSurge their rival Ticketmaster hired a senior executive from CrowdSurge who they claim absconded with proprietary internal databases. That information was then reportedly used by Ticketmaster to steal prospective clients.

Live Nation claimed in February that SongKick’s original lawsuit was dismissed by the court and their amended lawsuit lacked legal merit. The lawsuit continues now as SongKick prepare to close their services.