Artists are even starting to pull apart the album format and create evolving playlists in their place. Drake’s much-vaunted “playlist”, More Life, was essentially an album given a zeitgeisty rebrand, but in 2016, David Gray released a “dynamic” greatest hits on Spotify where tracks were switched around depending on how popular they were. There were also industry rumours, subsequently scotched, that Calvin Harris was going to abandon the album entirely and instead release singles and EPs on a rolling basis.
Ronald Dantowitz has been looking forward to Monday’s solar eclipse for nearly 40 years.
An astronomer who specializes in solar imaging, he’s been photographing eclipses for more than three decades, and will be using 14 cameras to capture the Aug. 21 celestial event. The cameras have solar filters to capture the eclipse in its partial phases, along with custom modifications that can photograph the corona and light wavelengths that are invisible to the human eye, allowing scientists to view and study the sun’s temperature and composition in a way only possible during a total eclipse, he said.
The Mouse House is moving to cut the cord: Disney plans to launch at least two direct-to-consumer streaming subscription services, for ESPN and Disney movies and TV shows, in the next two years.But right now, it’s not clear how dramatic the change will be for Disney as a whole. More than anything, it looks like a hedge against declining pay-TV subs — a desire to better control over its destiny in a streaming world.
The music business essentially spent the last decade trying to make a business out of letting consumers listen to any song they wanted. This shift — from selling music to charging for access to it — has been so profound that executives are only now figuring out what all of the new streaming service subscribers actually want to hear.
Full Story: How Mood Music Is Changing Streaming | Billboard
Back in February, Google combined their YouTube and Play Music teams in order to “deliver the best possible product.” That move widely suggested that Google was working on a single music service to greatly simplify their offering. Today, that merger was officially confirmed by YouTube’s head of music.
Netflix has commissioned 20 episodes of a new series from The Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening.
Matt GroeningDisenchantment will premiere on Netflix 10 episodes at a time, starting in 2018, and is being produced by The Ululu Company. Groening and Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons, Futurama) are serving as executive producers.
Music streaming has helped major labels post record-breaking revenue. In its Q1 report, WMG posted over $1 billion. During the same period, Sony Music reported $1.2 billion. UMG alone earns $4.5 million a day from streaming. But despite the rise of streaming in the music industry, the richest artists still make the majority of their cash from touring.
We’ve come a long way from the days of “Napster Fear”…
One intriguing, unspoken pattern emerges from the report: all of the top six companies by global market capitalization in 2017—Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Tencent and Alibaba, a combined market value of over US$3 trillion—are making aggressive investments in music. Apple, Google and Amazon are a handful of the players sparring for market share in the streaming wars, alongside more music-centric competitors Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, Tidal and Deezer. Facebook is looking to secure music licensing deals with major labels amidst its growing interest in video, and recently hired former YouTube exec Tamara Hrivnak to lead its global music strategy and business development.
Across the Pacific, Tencent Music Entertainment Group just signed a landmark licensing deal with Universal Music Group, atop its existing deals with Sony and Warner; its music streaming and download service QQ Music has over 400 million monthly active users, over three times as many as those on Spotify. Alibaba Music extended its licensing deal with BMG, and launched an artist-management venture with video site Youku; its parent, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, plans to invest over 50 billion yuan (US$7.4 billion) in new projects over the next three years.
From the article…
When Apple Music launched two years ago, it had been almost nine years since Spotify was founded.
As a result, perhaps, Apple Music was never really embraced by the mainstream business press.
Gizmodo asked at its launch: “How Is Apple Music Actually Different From Spotify (Or Anything Else)?” (It called it “yet another music streaming service.”) TechCrunch wondered if it was “Ping 2.0?” Their final verdict on the service: “It’s OK.” (It also thought Apple should offer a free tier.)
Two years later, Apple Music has 27 million paid subscribers. Assuming they’re all paying $10 a month (and we know a few are not), that’s a nice little $3.2 billion annual revenue stream Apple has generated.
Read more at the link…