Dear readers of the music business research blog,
Music streaming dominated the music business year 2014. Taylor Swift attracted global media attention when she pulled her music catalogue from Spotify music streaming service blaming the Swedish company for insufficient royalty payments. She, thus, followed the footsteps of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and other artists who have criticized Spotify and other streaming services for poor payouts – a fact also highlighted in my blog post “Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – The artists’ perspective”.
Nevertheless, music streaming has been a booming business model in 2014. Revenues from music streaming increased in almost all markets – e.g. in the U.S., Japan, Germany and Brazil. New services have been launched such as Amazon’s Prime Music and YouTube’s Music Key. And music subscription service Beats was part of the largest takeover in the music industry when Apple purchased Beats Electronics, but mainly for the valuable headphone line. Apple again was in the headlines when it announced that the latest U2 album “Songs of Innocence” was given away for free to all the Apple users – a US $100m marketing campaign for Apple with questionable results.
The business model of music streaming was also one of the main topics of the 5th Vienna Music Business Research Days on “How to Monetize Music in the Digital Age” (October 1-3, 2014), which were held the first time in cooperation with the Waves Vienna Festival & Conference at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. A conference track day supplemented for the first time the Young Scholars’ Workshop and the invited conference day with conference papers presented by academics from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. In the course of the VMBR-Days the best paper of the Young Scholars’ Workshop was awarded for to Jordana Viotto da Cruz of University 13 Paris and to Esther Bishop of Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen. Both papers are considered for publication in the International Journal of Music Business Research (IJMBR).