Pandora now shows artists the playlists and stations their music is placed

Pandora are making it simple for artists to see all of the places that their music has been featured on Pandora by their team.

Pandora have added the ‘Programming Placements’ module into their AMP platform for artists. Found inside the Insights tab, the new section shows artists all of the playlists and stations where Pandora’s team of curators have selected their music to be promoted and placed in.

The top of the new section features a search bar where artists can look for specific tracks and see where they have been placed and featured. When artists see a feature in a playlist or station that they want to share with the world then there is a Share button just for that. Easily share the link on your socials with all your fans.

Please note that this module will only populate if your music has been programmed by Pandora’s curation programming team. If you’re looking for more information on where your music is being played, don’t fret – Next Big Sound shows the top play sources for artists in the Playlists & Discovery section including sources where Pandora’s Music Genome has deemed your music a good fit. 

Hoping to get noticed? The Profile Tab on artist profiles in AMP now includes an easy-to-share link to your station so you can point your fans to your profile on Pandora. The more activity and streaming data we have for your music, the more likely our curation programming team will see it.

Amazon Music has over 55 million listeners

For the first time ever Amazon have shared details on just how many people are streaming music with them, because it’s pretty impressive.

Amazon have started 2020 by revealing for the first time ever how many people are streaming music on their services. They say that subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited grew by 50% last year, leaving them to close the year off with 55 million customers around the world.

Amazon have reported incredible growth worldwide, more than doubling their presence in France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico. They’ve grown nearly 50% in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan as well.

Amazon Music Vice President, Steve Boom said: “We’re proud to reach this incredible milestone and are overwhelmed by our customers’ response to Amazon Music. Our strategy is unique and, like everything we do at Amazon, starts with our customers. We’ve always been focused on expanding the marketplace for music streaming by offering music listener’s unparalleled choice because we know that different listeners have different needs.”

Talking on their future plans and tech consolidation, Boom added: “As we continue to lead in our investment in voice with Alexa, and in high-quality audio with Amazon Music HD, we’re excited to bring our customers and the music industry even more innovation in 2020 and beyond.”

Amazon technically offer 3 services now. Their longest running offering is Prime Music which comes included with Amazon Prime memberships and has helped them build a large listening-base. Compared to other streaming services however, Prime Music is very limited.

So Amazon launched Amazon Music Unlimited, a full and separate streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify. They now also offer a superior tier on Amazon Music HD for those who want to stream in the highest possible quality.

  • Starting at just $12.99/month, customers in the U.S., UK, Germany and Japan can stream the highest-quality audio on Amazon Music HD, and hear their favorite music the way the artist intended.
  • Prime members have access to two million songs at no additional cost to their membership, and for only $7.99/month or $79/year can upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited.
  • With the Single device plan, customers can subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited at $3.99/month to access more than 50 million songs on their Fire TV or Echo device.
  • The Family plan allows six family members to access Amazon Music Unlimited for $14.99/month, or $149/year for Prime members.
  • And, customers who do not yet have a Prime membership, or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited, can listen to an ad-supported selection of top playlists and thousands of stations for free on their favorite devices.

Spotify look at adding ‘Stories’ for playlists

Spotify might follow in the steps of Instagram and YouTube  by letting influencers add video clips to their playlists.

Spotify are testing a feature that lets users add a short video clip to their playlists. They work the same as social media Stories so that listeners can simply tap the playlist picture to watch the clip promoting the playlist and its latest tracks.

The icon at the top of the playlist shows a small circular animated preview of the story to let you know it’s there. The feature is being tested for influencers with a large presence on Spotify to share with their followers when they update their playlists.

Multiple clips can be added to pack out the story with lines at the top of the screen showing how many videos there are, just like on social media versions. The clips can be recorded video or snippets of the songs featured in the playlist with the artwork.

The feature is being tested right now with popular YouTuber Summer McKeen. Spotify have selected her for her significant following on Spotify as well as her enjoyment in creating her own playlists of personally selected music.

Spotify intend to roll out the feature test to other ‘influencers’ in entertainment, lifestyle and hopefully also music. They are basing their initial group of testers on their presence on Spotify, particularly their follower count and tendency to create playlists.

Spotify don’t seem to have any intention on bringing this feature to artists. They want to use it as a promotional tool for discovering music, rather than promoting their own releases or for just general use like on social media.

The feature is currently only working on iOS and Android. In a comment to TechCrunch, Spotify said: “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of these tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time.”

Amazon Prime has 112 million users in the US

Amazon Prime have reportedly gained 112 million users in the US alone, a good sign for their music services.

New estimates from researchers Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) shows that they reckon Amazon closed 2019 with 112 million members. They reckon that roughly 65% of shoppers who use Amazon are Prime customers.

What this also means is that roughly 112 million people across the US also have paid access to Prime Music. CIRP didn’t report on usage of all of the benefits included with Prime, simply how many people their analysis shows are subscribed.

Amazon Prime Music is a more limited offering than most other music streaming services, but as it comes packaged with Prime it has had a lot of natural uptake. Many users who want a full streaming service can use their fleshed out Amazon Music Unlimited service with a library matching competitors.

CIRP reported that Amazon Prime subscription growth has slowed in its uptake but is still moving steadily on up. Partner and co-founder for CIRP, Mike Levin said: “One factor in Prime membership growth seems to be how members pay.

“On the one hand, the monthly membership option makes it easier for customers to join, without committing to a significant annual fee. On the other hand, it allows members to stop and re-start a membership to match their shopping patterns. That may help explain some of the recent quarterly membership growth.”

Spotify finds new CFO in Paul Vogel

Spotify have hired their new Chief Financial Officer, plucking from their existing team someone they trust.

Spotify’s new hire for Chief Financial Officer comes internally. Paul Vogel will take the role on after 4 years as the music streaming service’s head of Investor Relations and leading their Financial Planning & Analysis.

Speaking on his progression, Vogel said: “I loved having the ability to understand the changes and the strategies that were going on in those industries. I was always excited to meet the executives who were running those companies and understand how they thought about growing their businesses and sharing my opinion on where things could go.”

Speaking on the massive growth of Spotify in recent years, Vogel said: “When I started, we had just passed 30 million subscribers and 100 million users, so to turn around and end 2019 with more than 100 million subscribers and about 250 million users, that’s insane growth.”

Speaking about the future in an interview with Spotify Vogel spoke about how they are creating opportunities for both artists and listeners. Vogel says: “There’s no reason why every smartphone in the world shouldn’t have a streaming music/audio service on it. And there’s no reason why that service shouldn’t be Spotify.”

Independent music is the fastest growing part of the industry

Thanks to the freedom of the internet and new platforms the power has shifted from major labels and into the hands of the artists in a new age for the music industry.

Punk helped to make DIY music a viable reality so that by the late 80s you had bands and artists making music all over the place. Whilst making and releasing music suddenly became an option all by yourself it still made a massive difference if you had connections, and you had to really luck out to get to the same positions as bands with major labels.

The past two decades have seen that power shift quicker than anyone could have predicted. With the internet becoming as globally pervasive as it has, everyone now has access to the same drawing board. We can all communicate with each other around the world in seconds and that has done amazing things for handing power back to the individual.

We have seen streaming services and digital stores explode to replace physical music for millions of people (except the odd vinyl record). With these platforms it’s given distributors like us at RouteNote the chance to team up with them to help all artists get their music heard on them.

This has opened up the playing field so that it is just as possible for a bedroom musician or small town band to get their music in front of the world as it is for No. 1 charting artists signed to the major labels. In fact independent artists are the fastest growing part of the entire recorded music revenue.

This is great news as it not only means that there are opportunities for everyone, but it means that more artists and independent labels have control over their creative decisions and what they do commercially with their music, name, image and so on.

MIDiA Research found that 87% of independent artists were using a digital distributor with an average annual income of $21,233. Their growth surpasses that of all over music and artists and their revenue grew 35% between 2017 and 2018 to $643.1 million for the year.

We’re incredibly proud to be part of the reason why music lovers and makers around the world can put their music out there and make it as a successful artist in a new era of music. We love working with independent artists and being a part of their journey and we can’t wait to keep helping people to achieve their dreams and get people listening worldwide!

LiveXLive have gained over 1.2 million monthly users for their live music entertainment

LiveXLive finished 2019 with a leap in new users coming to stream from their live music based library of content.

The live music and entertainment company have revealed an end-of-year report that shows a strong 2019. In a year in which they partnered with iHeartRadio to expand their offerings they also gained 140,000 paid subscribers.

As of December 31st, 2019 LiveXLive reportedly had 1.2 million monthly active users, 820,000 of which are paid subscribers. Their users came to them for 28 musical festivals and events live streamed, as well as over 275 hours of programming with more than 230 artists in 2019.

They have gained 17.6% of their monthly active users as they had at the end of the year 2018. For the year they had over 63 million views on their livestreams of the big live music entertainment that they stream.

LiveXLive Chairman and CEO, Robert Ellin stated: “LiveXLive closed out its first nine months with significant momentum and achieving new milestones, as well as focusing on key hires to continue driving growth.

“We are looking forward to reporting full financial results for Q3 2020 in early February and have a number of exciting live events coming up, including livestreaming Selena Gomez’s new album release party, as well as performances from the most popular artists today, including French Montana, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, The Black Keys, and The Lumineers, and the 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.”

In August we reported on news that whilst LiveXLive was seeing substantial growth in their paying subscribers, their profits weren’t growing to match. They reported an operating loss of $10.3 million in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year.

Pandora and SiriusXM bundles could be on the way

SiriusXM and Pandora look to come together to provide your music needs in and out of the car for one discount price.

Last February the US’ favourite car-streaming service, SiriusXM, acquired Pandora to make a music streaming powerhouse. Reports say that both services are considering the potential of a music bundle that offers a subscription to both at a discounted price.

SiriusXM offers thousands of satellite radio stations and is primarily car-based, though they have since expanded to desktops and smartphones. Pandora meanwhile offers a more traditional on-demand music streaming service with a station-based system that creates algorithmically tuned mixes of music.

Since the acquisition they’ve continued to operate mostly independently with a few crossovers, like a Pandora station of popular songs on SiriusXM and some of the satellite radio streamer’s talk shows coming to Pandora. A bundle would be a great way to consolidate their separate user-bases.

Currently Pandora offers a free tier with adverts and limited streaming options. They then offer Pandora Plus for $4.99 a month, which offers an ad-free version of their automated radio station style streaming. At $9.99, Pandora Premium gives listeners full, on-demand access to over 40 million songs.

On the other hand SiriusXM’s packages start at $5 a month for in-car listening and streaming at home on the Amazon Echo Dot. For $8.25 users can stream SiriusXM’s stations outside of the car on any device.

A bundle could be a very attractive offer for in-car and at home listeners, though they haven’t revealed any information on which tiers a package would offer. They have confirmed that they’ve been testing cross-promotions with discounts for subscribers who sign up to both.

SiriusXM and Pandora Chief Product Officer and Head of Technology, Chris Phillips said: “We’re giving listeners choice. But when we give them choice, we want them to be able to have the best of what we offer in many places. In the future, the idea that there’s a single opportunity – we’re looking at what that might be.”

SiriusXM entered 2020 with 34.9 million subscribers after a big year thanks to taking their service outside of the car as well as their acquisition of Pandora. This made for a significant year in growth and expansion for SiriusXM.

SiriusXM CEO, Jim Meyer said: “Last year was a milestone for SiriusXM. Not only did we achieve our tenth consecutive year of million-plus self pay net additions, but we also completed our acquisition of Pandora Media and made significant investments in our business, all while returning more than $2 billion to our stockholders. And our new 2020 guidance points to what should be another excellent year of growth for SiriusXM.”

Anghami could be up for sale at a value of up to $400m

One of the biggest names in music streaming for the Middle East right now, Anghami are weighing up their options for the future.

Anghami is a major music streaming service based in the Middle East and is one of the biggest streamers in the region. New reports from “people familiar with the matter” reveal that Anghami are eyeing up a potential sale if not a round of investment.

Despite facing encroaching competition from worldwide streamers like Spotify Anghami weren’t worried, announcing over 21 million users with more than 1 million paying subscribers last March. However if reports about a sale are true it could be a sign that streaming rivals in the Middle East are becoming a threat.

Bloomberg reveal that the company could be worth as much as $400 million in a sale. Dubai-based premium TV network, Orbit Showtime Network are penned as the front-runners for a buyer. However, reports also suggested that Anghami might instead look to raise funds with the aid of investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co..

Anghami had an eventful year of expansion last year, seeing their platform grow to include podcasts. As seen by Spotify, podcasts have become a highly valuable source of streams and as more Spotify users listen to podcasts every day they’re looking to monetise them in new ways.

Last year Spotify and Deezer both launched in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region. Despite that increased competition Anghami brushed it off, saying that: “YouTube is by far a more important competitor than Spotify or Deezer; understanding that means that video isn’t a second class citizen for us.”

As such Anghami have been expanding their video offerings. Last year they made a deal with Wavo, a subsidiary of Orbit Showtime Network, which included the rights to stream the final series of HBO’s massively popular Game of Thrones.

SiriusXM enter 2020 with 34.9m subscribers

SiriusXM’s 2019 saw them expand even further beyond the car and gain record numbers in the last quarter of the year. 

SiriusXM are the streaming service of choice for many US drivers, offering satellite radio on-demand in cars. 2019 saw SiriusXM take their beloved radio offerings outside of the car to stand side by side the massive music streamers in America.

Taking Pandora under their wing last February, SiriusXM aren’t only a leading radio streaming service but also control one of the biggest music streaming services in the US. With big and bold moves in 2019, SiriusXM have bolstered their position in the thriving digital music market.

In their ‘Subscriber Guidance’ for investors they revealed that they ended the year with 34.9 million paying subscribers. The record high for them came after their tenth consecutive year of adding more than a million paid users. They revealed a massive $8.1 billion in revenues for the year.

SiriusXM CEO, Jim Meyer said: “Last year was a milestone for SiriusXM. Not only did we achieve our tenth consecutive year of million-plus self pay net additions, but we also completed our acquisition of Pandora Media and made significant investments in our business, all while returning more than $2 billion to our stockholders. And our new 2020 guidance points to what should be another excellent year of growth for SiriusXM.”

Looking forward to 2020, they have partnered with Marvel to release totally exclusive content from the massive comic book franchise on Pandora and SiriusXM. They have also teamed up with platinum selling hip-hop artist Drake for exclusive content.

They will release their fourth quarter and 2019 earnings call date on February 4th 2020.