Spotify launch targeted adverts in podcasts

Spotify have expanded their platform for brands and are placing adverts in their vast catalogue of podcasts available to stream.

Since expanding their platform from solely music to include podcasts for streaming, Spotify have seen podcasts take off. With their now expansive list of podcasts available to stream and millions of listeners tuning in to episodes every week they are opening them up to advertisers.

Spotify have announced ‘Spotify Podcast Ads’, allowing brands and companies to pay to advertise on podcasts. Using Spotify’s ‘Streaming Ad Insertion’ technology marketers will be able to target their ads to audiences they think are the most likely to respond to their products based on the podcast and user’s listening habits.

Spotify are also offering digital advertisers a suite of tools so that they can analyse the response to their ads and see the audiences and listening behaviour behind each advert listen. Spotify reckon they are in a unique position with podcasts to offer advertising that can be truly tracked, as podcasts are streamed through their platform rather than downloaded.

Spotify present 3 main areas of importance for advertising on podcasts with them:

  • Reach the audience you want to reach
    To date, podcast advertisers have had to rely on audience surveys or inferences about the podcast’s content to figure out where to allocate their podcast ad budgets. Spotify Podcasts Ads reach a logged-in user base of millions of listeners. We provide data-driven recommendations and insights to help you reach the right audience.
  • Deliver your ads with confidence
    In 2016, the IAB unified measurement of “ad delivery” across the industry,3 but due to the distributed, downloaded nature of podcasting, the new guidelines could not tell advertisers whether listeners actually heard their ads. Spotify Podcast Ads measure real impressions as they occur, reporting on the age, gender, device type, and listening behavior of the audience reached.
  • Understand the impact of your investment
    Without knowing who actually heard an ad, podcast advertisers have largely been unable to measure the impact of their podcast advertising through typical digital media practices like brand lift studies or conversion reporting. To date, podcast advertisers have found creative ways to directionally indicate whether their ads resonated through tactics like coupon codes and vanity URLs. With Spotify Podcast Ads, we will be able to tap into our suite of digital measurement capabilities to learn more about how people perceive your brand and take action after hearing your ad.

Spotify’s Senior Product Manager of Podcast Monetisation, Joel Withrow says: “In the past five years, podcasts have become a staple of pop culture. In that time, I’ve spoken to a lot of skeptical brands, and the conversation consistently begins and ends with measurement. I’m excited to continue evolving the medium at Spotify.

“With our trusted, logged in audience, we can finally prove out the effectiveness of podcasts with the data and insights that digital advertisers expect.”

Executive Vice President of Strategy at Havas Media, Gabrielle Rossetti added: “Podcasts have long been a highly compelling advertising environment, but we’ve been hesitant to dive in given the medium’s well-known limitations.

“Naturally, we were eager to test Spotify’s new podcast ad tech and have an influencer like Jemele endorse our new line of sneakers the Clyde Hardwoods. We’re excited to continue partnering with Spotify to push the boundaries of podcasts.”

Germany streamed over 100 billion songs in 2019

Germans have joined the UK in a landmark year of music streaming with people listening more than ever.

Around the world, music streaming services have become the number one destination for music addicts to casual listeners to get their fix. 2019 saw a monumental decade of music streaming close on a major high that is evident in Germany’s streaming figures.

Music streams in Germany hit 107 billion this year, research by GfK Entertainment in cooperation with the country’s Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI) shows. The UK also surpassed 100 billion streams last year for the first time.

Hitting the 100 billion mark isn’t just a giant landmark in listening throughout Germany but also shows the incredible growth of streaming services and music listening year-on-year.

Music streams in the country have nearly doubled in 2 years since 2017, when Germany streamed music 56.4 billion times. In 2018, Germans streamed music 79.5 billion times. That represents 35% more listening in just one year following a decade of continuous growth that is clearly not slowing.

BVMI’s CEO, Dr. Florian Drücke said: “Over a hundred billion audio streams in Germany in 2019 – this is not only a milestone, you can also see the continued considerable dynamism in this area and thus the acceptance among music fans. Streaming continues to expand its position, but at the same time the other usage formats remain relevant, the offer of our members continues to range from vinyl to the cloud.”

Their research noted how Christmas music had been a particular boost to streaming numbers. The season created tens of millions of streams on old songs that hadn’t been ranking for the rest of the year. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ broke the record for most streams in a single day with 3.2 million on December 24th, Christmas Eve.

GfK Entertainment’s Managing Director, Dr. Mathias Giloth said: “Music streaming is popular across all genres – and the playlists were particularly hot at Christmas time. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve had new records in 2019 with 431 million and 407 million hits [respectively].

“The days with the most streaming so far have been set up. At the beginning of the year, the daily number of hits was still less than 250 million, which shows the enormous leaps in the format that has been part of the Official German Charts since 2014.”

SoundCloud spotlight and track editing now on iOS

SoundCloud have added new control for artists over their music when they’re on the go in the iOS SoundCloud app.

SoundCloud have added the ability for users to edit their tracks whilst on the go for iOS. Creators can change their track artwork easily on the go and edit the title if they feel like a new name is in order and can’t wait until they’re at a computer again.

Edit tracks on the go:

  • Within the latest version of the iOS app, select the track you want to update
  • Tap the three dots
  • Select “Edit track” 
  • Update your artwork, track titles, descriptions, genre and privacy settings on the spot
  • Once your tracks are ready to go, you can turn them from private to public
  • After all that hard work, make sure your best tracks get heard first with the Spotlight feature, available to SoundCloud Pro subscribers

iOS users of the SoundCloud app can also now select their tracks to be in the Spotlight as their top track that comes up when people view their profile. Uploaders can select a single track or pin a whole playlist to the top of their page, simply from their phone.

Add music to your Spotlight from your phone:

  • Just tap on the “Pin items to your profile” banner
  • Select up to five tracks, albums or playlists and hit “Done” 
  • Review and save your selections
  • See your priority content pinned to Spotlight where fans can play it the second they land on your profile

Hopefully we’ll see editing access and Spotlight selection come to SoundCloud’s Android app soon as well.

KKBOX will predict the next big hits using Microsoft’s AI tech

KKBox’s partnership with Microsoft is going to give the Taiwanese music streaming service some interesting new, AI-based features.

Last month Microsoft Taiwan and KKBOX Group, one of Asia’s biggest tech companies, jointly announced a global strategic partnership together. The deal isn’t simply cloud migration of KKBOX’s music streaming services over to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform as some thought.

Their press release reveals that Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology will be used to enhance their music streaming service. They will use AI technology to predict the songs that will have an impact, create lyrics and arrange music for users.

Microsoft’s General Manager or Worldwide Media & Communications Industries said: “The media and entertainment industries are going through a transformation as studios, broadcasters and other rich media content creators, such as over-the-top (OTT) service providers, are facing pressure to innovate on how they deliver content to their audiences while getting smarter on using data to their advantage.

“KKBOX has been at the forefront of the entertainment industry in Asia, providing world-class entertainment to users and continuing to experiment and innovate with technology. We are thrilled that KKBOX has chosen Azure to provide the company with intelligent platforms that unlock creativity and collaboration, bring content to market faster and engage audiences.”

Both companies see digital entertainment as rapidly transforming as technology advances and wish to utilise it to power their services. KKBOX particularly want to use data with AI to create enhanced personalised services.

Microsoft said in their Press Release: “KKBOX Group and Microsoft aim to leverage AI to explore new opportunities, create new trends and transform the entertainment market.”

Gaana announces 125 million monthly active users

India’s biggest music streaming service enters the new year strongly with 125 million users and new partnerships.

Just before we entered 2020 and a new year of growth and competition in music streaming, Gaana announced they now have more than 125 million monthly active users. The Indian music streaming service retains the biggest reach of any service in the region.

In April of last year the streaming service announced it had made the milestone of 100 million MAUs. They announced in November that their growth had increased by 27%. With an average of just over 3 million new monthly users per month over the last 8 months, Gaana are in a strong position in India.

Despite healthy competition from other services, Asian and beyond, Gaana are firmly the leaders for music streaming in India. Major Swedish streaming service Spotify launched in India last February. With an impressive start they gained over 1 million users in just 5 days, though that growth slowed and they then didn’t reach 2 million until August.

Following similar announcements from Spotify and Pandora, Gaana have revealed that they are looking into interactive voice ads. They have partnered with Instreamatic, a tech company creating ads that users can talk to. Pandora are working with the same company to create interactive ads.

Gaana announced: “With this partnership, Gaana listeners will engage with voice ads that present them with verbal prompts from a brand. For example, an ad’s call-to-action might invite the listener to respond affirmatively in order to receive more information about a product, or negatively to simply skip the ad.”

Gaana are now streaming more than 3.2 billion tracks a month. With investment from China’s massive tech company Tencent, 2020 should be a big year for their growth in users and services.

How to License Music for YouTube?

Creators have long had trouble using music in their videos on YouTube (as well as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other platforms). There has been options like No Copyright Music (but that’s not secure!) and YouTube Music Library (which isn’t fool proof either).

So How Do I License Music for My YouTube Videos?

Answer: Synchedin.com

Synchedin offers:

  • Affordable for ALL Creators – $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year
  • Unlimited downloads
  • Unlimited Commercial License (any project worldwide in perpetuity)
  • Royalty Free
  • Known Independent Artists
  • Claims Control – Directly partnered with YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, to be able to release claims if required on any platform!

Creators come in all shapes and sizes, but they have long struggled to be able to afford the huge prices of music licensing legally. Now that is changing!

Indie artists now make up 1/3 of Napster’s most streamed artists

Music streaming is giving independent artists the power to reach the whole world with a global reach that has been reserved for only the biggest artists before.

Napster have revealed that their top 100 list now features more than double the amount of independent artists as it did in 2015. According to the streaming service’s end of the year announcement, indie artists now represent one-third of their top 100 most streamed artists.

Back in 2015 they said that 15% of the most streamed artists on Napster were independent. They closed 2019 with 33% of their top 100 most streamed artists managed independently.

Napster’s director of label relations and licensing Keola Kama said: “We’re thrilled about this data and believe the trend shows Napster has a unique user base looking to dig deeper into music and are willing to explore outside of the mainstream.

“The rise of indie artists on Napster also demonstrates our commitments to offering programming for emerging and independent artists with the same level of promotion such as above the fold programming and bespoke marketing campaigns usually only afforded to well-established commercially successful artists.”

Music streaming has given independent artists an international stage that levels the playing field of availability. It’s now just as easy to find an unheard bedroom musician as it is a major label artist using the search bar.

At RouteNote we work with independent artists so that they can get their music on all of the top streaming services at no cost. Artists and labels can earn money with each stream and keep 85% of their earnings, or they can pay a small upfront cost to keep 100% of all of their earnings on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, YouTube Music, and many more.

You can read more about indie’s rise on Napster from their blog.

Music streaming broke 100 billion streams in the UK in 2019!

Music streaming is a booming industry and it’s only getting bigger every single year with 3000% more streams last year than in 2012.

Figures released by music industry body BPI show that for the first year, music streaming broke the 100 billion mark in 2019. The last decade’s surge in music streaming has made for 5 years in a row of rising music consumption after the industry slumped with from rife music piracy.

BPI’s report shows that in 2019 songs were streamed 114 billion times, a landmark number. To put into perspective how streaming is growing, streams have risen 3000% since 2012 when the streaming figures began.

As of last year streaming now accounts for 74.4% of the entire Album Equivalent sales throughout the year. The increase in streaming is seen month by month, with December showing the highest weekly total of streams ever recorded. 2.7 billion weekly streams were had in December.

Chief Executive of BPI & BRIT Awards, Geoff Taylor said: “British music proved once again in 2019 that it has a bright future. Strong demand for streaming music and vinyl, fuelled by the investment and innovation of UK labels in discovering and promoting new talent, boosted music consumption to levels not seen for 15 years.

“But the full benefits of this growth can only be unlocked if our new Government takes action to make the UK more competitive and encourage further investment, to require digital platforms to pay fairly for music and filter out illegal content, and to give all our schoolchildren the opportunity to play an instrument and discover the joy of making music.”

Music streaming made up 4/5 of US recording revenues in 2019

Last year music streaming peaked as its reach around the world expands constantly to evolve and grow the international music industry.

The past decade has seen music business re-invigorated after piracy caused a major dip in revenues for artists and labels. Music streaming solved the crisis with easy, open and most importantly-legal access to millions of songs through a platform that still allowed musicians and their teams to make money.

Streaming has seen profits rise for the first time in years recently and has quickly become the primary source of music consumption. 2019 saw music streaming at it’s highest point yet. For example in the UK, music streaming has helped music reach its highest sales since 2006.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have made an announcement showing just how giant streaming has become. In a tweet the RIAA report that in 2019 music streaming accounted for 80% of the recorded music market in the US.

https://twitter.com/RIAA/status/1211705060738129926

The infographic includes a breakdown on how the music industry has massively transformed in the last decade. In 2010 music streaming accounted for 7% of US music consumption whilst physical copies remained the majority. Physical now represents just 9% of the market.

We should see a full report from the RIAA in the coming weeks revealing more about how 2019 looked for music.

Facebook are looking to license music videos, encroaching on YouTube reports say

Facebook might look to add music videos to their social media platform, making them a much bigger threat to other video sites.

Facebook video has been a threat to YouTube since it launched however the two have managed to maintain their own video platforms individually, for the most part, until now. But could music be the turning point?

Facebook videos mostly feature skits, memes, news and TV clips. Whilst the platform is open to a wide range of videos, being built in to a social media site has defined the content that is most widely viewed. Because of this it hasn’t been much of a visible threat to YouTube and their wide range of content.

According to reports, Facebook are now in talks with the major music labels for licensing deals. Their existing deals cover the licenses for background music used in users videos. However, according to Bloomberg, Facebook are now testing the distribution of official music videos.

With Facebook’s massive user-base (almost 1/4 of the world population) it could be major for artists. Music streaming whilst browsing Facebook could mark an even bigger uptake to the already massive music streaming industry.

However, this would represent Facebook rearing it’s head fully towards YouTube. YouTube is the internet’s primary hub for music videos and has a giant audience for music listening. They faced potential losses when Vevo launched their own service but that quickly became no threat.

In the case of Facebook though, they have a massive digital audience and if their video platform expands it could lead to conversions away from YouTube. It could especially be threatening to their hold on internet music videos if it expanded to Facebook owned Instagram as well.