Streaming Services

by Nikolozi Meladze

A few things happened past 2 weeks revolving around streaming services.

Spotify acquires The Echo Nest:

Spotify today announced that it will acquire the industry’s leading music intelligence company, The Echo Nest.  The acquisition supports Spotify’s strategy to grow global music consumption and overall revenue back to the music industry by building the best user experience and music discovery engine for millions of global fans.

This deal will allow Spotify to leverage The Echo Nest’s in depth musical understanding and tools for curation to drive music discovery for millions of users around the globe.  The addition of The Echo Nest to Spotify will also strengthen Spotify’s ability to help brands and partners build amazing music experiences for their audiences. 

Spotify’s music discovery engine is quite good, but any improvements are very welcome.

In the meantime, Pandora is not doing too bad:

Pandora also announced that it has crossed the milestone of 250 million registered users in the U.S. Listeners have now created over six billion stations, enabling Pandora to connect emerging artists as well as established acts to an ever-growing fan bans.

Amazon is getting serious about streaming too:

People have been predicting that Amazon would offer a Spotify-like music subscription service, most likely bundled with its Prime delivery option, for some time. But industry sources say Amazon is now engaged in more serious talks with big music labels about making that happen.

While Apple wants more exclusivity:

In the meetings during Grammy Week, Apple’s iTunes contingent, led by Kondrk, even suggested the albums don't even have to be exclusive to iTunes, and that labels could give albums to other stores as well – but not streaming services.

Lastly, check out Kirk McElhearn’s analysis of Zoë Keating’s income as a successful indie artist. She sells her music directly to fans:

It’s clear in Ms. Keating’s case that, with sales generating more than 10 times streaming income, increased streaming – with the resulting drop in sales – paid at such low rates, would lower her overall income. […]

This is yet another example of how difficult it is to make a living as a musician these days. […]

So, go out and buy an album by an indie artist today; don’t let the music die. You could buy one by Zoë Keating, or by plenty of other artists, such as The Durutti Column. […]