Posts Tagged ‘YouTube


Music Streaming Revisited – the International Music Streaming Market 2014

Music streaming is on the rise. In the recent IFPI report “Recording Industry in Numbers 2014” IFPI CEO Frances Moore is cited with “Streaming is now a mainstream part of the modern music industry.” (IFPI 2015: 5) Indeed, global subscription streaming revenue increased by 39.0 per cent and ad-supported streaming revenue by 38.6 per cent in 2014. In 2014, the global music streaming market (ad-supported as well as subscription) has a volume of US $2.2bn, which is even bigger than the single track download market (US $1.9bn) (IFPI 2015: 9). Music streaming, therefore, accounts for nearly a third of the global recorded music market. However, the market share of music streaming differs between countries. Whereas in Sweden the music streaming market share is 70 per cent of the overall recorded music market, in Germany just 6.3 per cent of the recorded music revenue comes from music streaming sources. And Japan, the second largest recorded music market in world, lags behind with meagre 3.1 per cent.

In the following I would like to highlight the economic relevance of the music streaming market segment in an international comparison.

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How bad is YouTube?

In the past few years several studies on the impact of P2P music file sharing on recorded music sales were published. They came to very different and even conflicting results, as I highlighted in a 25 part blog series. A recently published study now shifts the focus from file sharing to music video online streaming. R. Scott Hiller of Fairfield University and Jin-Hyuk Kim of University of Colorado Boulder analysed the sales displacement effect of YouTube in a paper entitled “Online Music, Sales Displacement, and Internet Search: Evidence from YouTube“. They concluded that Warner Music Group sold significantly more units of its Billboard 200 albums, when the Warner content was removed from YouTube due to a conflict on licensing fees. In addition, they found no evidence that the blackout had a negative promotional effect for Warner artists.

You can read more about this study and my assessment of the results here:

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Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – What Consumers Want

The question if streaming is the next big thing for the music industry will be eventually answered by the music consumers. Several studies were conducted in past few years – most of them commissioned by music industry bodies – to assess the future potential of music streaming. It is essential for music streaming services and the copyright holders (labels and music publishers) if consumers are aware of streaming services, if they are using them frequently and if they are prepared to convert from Freemium to subscription models. Therefore the results of the studies are important indicators for the future development of the music industry. Although they provide different and even contradictory results – due to a different methodology – they help us nevertheless to understand music consumption behaviour in the digital age. In the following I would like to review some of the studies published in the past three years.

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Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – The artists’ perspective

In mid of July 2013 Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke caused for controversies when he pulled his song catalogue and those of his band Atoms For Peace from music streaming service Spotify. His straight forward argument was as cited in The Guardian that “new artists get paid fuck all with this model”. Several artists take the same line as Yorke. The co-author of the Belinda Carlisle hit “Heaven is a Place on Earth”, Ellen Shipley, complained that the royalty paid by Pandora to her for more than 3m plays was US$ 40. She accused Pandora, Spotify, YouTube and Google for “(…) the meager, insulting, outrageous amount of money songwriters are being paid” according to Business Insider. In fact some big names are not available on Spotify: The Beatles, AC/DC, The Eagles, Garth Brooks, George Harrison.

Thus, the question arises if and how music streaming services can be valuable for artists? In the following I would like to highlight the pros and cons of music streaming services form an artists’ perspective.

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Is Streaming the Next Big Thing? – The Business Models of Music Streaming Services

The music streaming market is currently the most dynamic segment in the music industry. The market entry of Apple with iTunes Radio and Google with All Access underpin the relevance of music streaming. It is just a question of time when Amazon will announce the launch of its rumoured music streaming service. Google, Apple & Co., however, enter a highly contested market. In the relatively small Austrian music market, eight streaming operators offer their services to the consumers (IFPI Austria 2013: 13) – not counted are the myriads of Internet radios, video streaming platforms such as YouTube, TapeTV, Vimeo and Hulu as well as the cloud-based music services of Amazon, Apple and Google.

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December 2015
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