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News, Music Business 101

Jul 28, 2016 07:00 AM

Hugh McIntyre

How Is the Music Industry Doing So Far in 2016? Here Are the Hard Numbers

Photo by Kobby Dagan via Shutterstock

Just recently, Nielsen released its mid-year report for 2016, which shows how certain sectors of the music industry are performing. It’s important for musicians and those in the business to be aware of these trends, at least from a higher level. This is the world in which you, and your work, exist, and it’s a good idea to have some sense of what areas are seeing success, and which ones might not be important to focus on.

Now, these numbers might not tell you everything you need to know as a musician just getting started in the business, but if you're going to take this industry seriously and make a living in it, it never hurts to be apprised of what's happening.

Is This the End of Freemium for Spotify?

Photo by M-SUR via Shutterstock

This article originally appeared on


"Leaked" Spotify numbers emerged recently indicating that the streaming service has just hit 37 million subscribers, which puts more clear water between it and second-placed Apple Music, despite the latter’s recent growth. It also means that Spotify is now nearly 10 times bigger than Tidal and probably Deezer (which hasn’t reported numbers since its France Telecom bundle partnership ended). It's beginning to look suspiciously like a two-horse race.

But there's a more important story here: Spotify’s accelerated growth in Q2 2016 was driven by widespread use of its $0.99-for-three-months promotional offer. Which itself comes on the back of similar offers having supercharged Spotify’s subscriber growth for the last 18 months or so. In short, $9.99 needs to stop being $9.99 in order to appeal to consumers. Which is another way of saying that $9.99 just isn’t a mainstream price point.

What Musicians Need to Know About the DMCA Fight That Hundreds of Artists Are Taking Part in Right Now

Photo by Todd Bernard via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Every once in a while, the music industry collectively comes together, with many of the biggest names in the game joining forces to fight something that's hurting everybody. It doesn't happen too often, but sometimes when it does, it is a powerful moment, and it can be very effective.

Right now, an enormous group of musicians have banded together to both educate the public and attempt to alter a law that many outside of the industry have never heard of from a company that everyone else seems to love: DMCA and YouTube, respectively.

So what’s going on, and why are people so upset? Many would say that YouTube is a good thing, as it allows artists to promote their work and even make some money from advertising revenue. That may be the case, but it doesn’t mean that all is fair. In fact, many in the music industry would argue that very little is “fair,” and that things need to change immediately.

grammys, News, Music Business 101

Jun 29, 2016 10:00 AM

Bruce Houghton

Grammys Announce Key Rule Changes, 2016 Dates and Deadlines

Photo by Helga Esteb via Shutterstock

This article originally appeared on Hypebot.

From time to time, the Grammys change the rules. Five were recently announced, with several addressing new issues that are a product of the digital age where music streams are replacing sales, and tracks often matter more than albums. 

Could Berklee and MIT's Open Music Initiative Solve Payment Issues in the Music Industry?

Image by Mattia Panciroli via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The issues with music licensing in the digital era of music are frustrating and certainly abundant, but there may be a solution in the works. 

Recently, the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) teamed up with the MIT Media Lab with the goal of creating a shared and open database of ownership rights. The partnership is appropriately titled the Open Music Initiative (OMI) and involves other major names like Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Netflix, SoundCloud, NPR/WBUR, Sony, Universal, Warner, and more. This new initiative may have the power to help solve major transparency, distribution, and payment issues that occur within the music industry.