Tag Archive: iTunes


How to Use Twitter #Music

Twitter's new music app / Twitpic
Twitter‘s new music app / Twitpic

The micro-news behemoth has jumped into the music game. So, what’s in it for you?

Today, Twitter finally rolled out its new music app, which is called Twitter #music. The company’s ambitions are predictably grand, calling the app “a new service that will change the way people find music, based on Twitter.” As a streaming songs and discovery service, they are entering a crowded and growing field, one that leaves users with various similar options. Let’s try and figure out how Twitter #music differentiates itself.

How does Twitter #music work?

Twitter #music has five tabs for exploration: “Popular,” which collects music that is trending on Twitter; “Emerging,” which promises “hidden talent found in the tweets”; “Suggested,” which uses an algorithm to offer music it thinks you might be into; “#NowPlaying,” which displays music currently tweeted by people you follow, using that hashtag; and “Me,” which simply displays music by artists you follow. Clicking on a tile will play an artist’s song, and offer you more music to listen to, either by that specific artist or other similar artists.

Where can I get Twitter #music?

Twitter music is currently available on iPhones via the App Store, and mobile is where Twitter is really hoping their music service explodes. But there is also a web-based app, available atmusic.twitter.com. Twitter says that an Android app will be rolled out soon.

How is Twitter #music different than something like Spotify?

Twitter is smartly trying to put the information it collects from its massive database of 200 million users to work, and for that reason Twitter #music is more discovery-based than Spotify or Rdio. Twitter wants you to click around its app and discover new artists and songs — be it a song so popular you feel stupid for not knowing it, or an artist you’ve never heard of — which will allow it to hone its suggestions to you and users like you. It wants you to get lost in the app even if you weren’t searching for anything specific.

Is Twitter #music in competition with other services?

Listen to new song from Black Sabbath here: http://go.spin.com/10lLOF8

Not yet, at least. Twitter #music plays previews of songs via iTunes as its default setting, but Spotify or Rdio users can link with Twitter #music to hear full tracks through those services in the Twitter #music app.

Will Twitter #music actually help me discover new music?

That depends. It’s a service that is primarily geared to the casual listener, so music nerds may find less worth in it. It suggests artists like Fabolous, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill — major rap stars who have likely been heard by anyone with an interest in rap music — but also artists like Kilo Kish, Kano, and Little Dragon, who are not exactly underground, but at least a bit more unknown. Absolutely voracious music fans will probably still find themselves plumbing the depths of something like Spotify.

Which of Twitter #music’s features holds the most potential?

Either the “Suggested” or “Emerging” tabs, which do the most to expose users to artists or songs they may not have heard. Both have their biases — “Suggested” could go much deeper than it does, while “Emerging” currently offers mostly white people with guitars, even ones like the Appleseed Cast and the Pastels, who have long since “emerged” from wherever they came.

What’s wrong with the other features?

Well, the “Popular” tab barely varies from something like the popular charts on iTunes or Spotify, though acts such as Azealia Banks, Robin Thicke, and Little Mix manage to slip in amongst the usual suspects Pitbull and Taylor Swift. Otherwise, Twitter #music is highly dependent on active engagement with musicians on Twitter by you and the people you follow. If you only follow 20 musicians on Twitter or don’t have friends that actively tweet about what they’re listening to, the “#NowPlaying” and “Me” tabs will be very limited.

If I follow a musician on Twitter, why do I need an app to discover their music?

This is probably the most obvious piece of evidence that reveals Twitter #music as an app for Twitter users that aren’t voracious music listeners. If you follow a musician on Twitter and keep up with their work, or are aware of artists similar to those you follow on Twitter, than the app will hold less appeal to you than to others.

Does Twitter #music have potential?

Sure. If musicians begin to release music consistently via tweets, the “Me” tab could become a useful clearinghouse for new music you want to check for. The “Popular” tab also does attempt to quantify exactly which artists are the most popular on Twitter, which beforehand was a process that was decidedly more arduous. Also, as more people use Twitter #music, the app’s algorithms will improve.

written by Jordan Sargent. 

 

Swedes prefer streaming to downloading

Sweden is home to a vibrant community of file-sharing activists, but it is also at the forefront of a global recovery in music sales driven by streaming music services such as Spotify, AFP’s Sören Billing reports.

Legal downloading sites like Apple‘s iTunes Store were once thought to be a panacea for the global music industry, providing an alternative to illegal download sites like Sweden’s Pirate Bay.

But if the high-tech Scandinavian nation is anything to go by, music downloads could soon be as obsolete as CDs or vinyl records.

iTunes’ success has been modest here, with the vast majority of consumers preferring to stream songs rather than owning them on a hard drive.

Last year, 2012, was the best year for music sales in Sweden since 2005, with 63 percent of revenue coming from digital sources, according to data from the Swedish Recording Industry Association (GLF). Out of that, 90 percent came from streaming services.

“Norway and Sweden are similar in that a large part of music revenue comes from streaming, and in that both countries have seen strong growth,” said Ludwig Werner, managing director of the Swedish chapter of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Other countries, including Europe’s largest economy Germany, still derive most of their music sales from CDs, he noted.

With income still lagging the heydays of the early noughties, when file-sharing began eating into results, Werner said it was too early to tell if the music industry was out of the woods.

Last year’s sales of 943 million kronor ($148 million) in Sweden was up 13.8 percent from the previous year, but well below the 1.55 billion registered in 2002.

The Swedish turnaround has been driven by two events: In 2009, the Ipred law came into effect, giving copyright holders the right to require service providers to reveal details of users who share files, paving the way for legal action.

Also contributing to a rise in legal music sales was Spotify, the digital media juggernaut launched by Swedes Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon in 2008. The streaming music service still counts Sweden as one of its most successful markets.

“We do see a similar trend (for sales) across the Nordics, but primarily for Sweden and Norway where the penetration for streaming services is very high,” spokeswoman Marine Elgrichi said.

According to the company, the 1,000 kronor that a paying Spotify user spends on music per year is twice that of a user who downloads songs.

Asked about the criticism levied at the digital music service for how it compensates artists, Elgrichi said it pays 70 percent of revenues back to record labels and collecting societies, who then pay the artists.

Last spring, Spotify had paid out a total of 1.6 billion kronor. At the beginning of this year that amount had doubled.

“To double that figure in under a year shows the huge strides we’re making,” Elgrichi said.

Tom McAlevey, founder of Radical.FM, a Swedish music streaming start-up modelled on US-based Pandora Internet radio, said streaming music services would create “the most lucrative era the music industry has ever been in.”

According to his own calculations, between 100 and 200 plays on Spotify earns a record company the same amount of money it would make from a download.

“After that it’s just pure profit. No one’s buying anything a second time on iTunes,” he said.

“It’s going to be the most lucrative thing ever because you get paid forever,” he argued.

Artists’ criticism of streaming services like Spotify was beginning to subside as they were “starting to understand the math,” he said.

The rise of streaming music is already affecting how record labels operate. With more people discovering new artists through shared playlists and “tailored” radio stations like Pandora that predict what kind of music the listener wants to hear, there’s less need for costly advertising campaigns to
promote the performer.

“Previously most of our marketing activities were tied to paying for exposure,” said Robert Litsen, an executive at Swedish-based Cosmos Music Group.

Promotional campaigns for a singer or a band were now more focused on “what you communicate” rather than “how much you’re willing to pay,” he added.

Others believe it could shift the industry’s economic cycle away from the traditional spike in CD sales before Christmas.

“With less focus on the Christmas market, we can spread out the releases of albums at different times, when artists have more of a chance to stand out,” the managing director of Universal Music Sweden, Per Sundin, said in a recent report from IFPI.

Prior to the controversial Ipred law, Sweden was at the forefront of file-sharing activism, and in 2006 fans of the website Pirate Bay formed the Pirate Party to campaign for copyright reform.

But party leader Anna Troberg said she didn’t think the crackdown on file-sharers was behind the music industry’s newfound success.

“I think it’s because they’ve finally begun using new technology to their advantage, rather than trying to fight it,” she said.

Spotify was a good alternative for “chart music”, but finding the sort of niche acts she listened to herself was harder, Troberg noted. Read more about the story here: http://bit.ly/122rkig

AFP/The Local/nr 

Justin Timberlake Proves Streaming Isn't A Death Sentence For Music Sales

Do music subscription services threaten music sales? Not if you ask Justin Timberlake.

John Paul Titlow for readwrite.com wrote that the rise of all-you-can-stream services like Spotify have made some artists nervous about the model’s potential impact on music sales. It’s why bands like Coldplay have delayed the arrival of new albums on Spotify and others, like the Beatles and AC/DC, are holding out all together. Logically, it makes sense: If you make your music available to stream for free, people are less likely to buy it.

Right? Not always. Read more here: http://bit.ly/11gJpZA

Ahead of its release on March 19, Justin Timberlake’s new albumThe 20/20 Experience was streaming in its entirety not just on Spotify and Rdio, but at the iTunes store itself. Anybody who wanted to could quickly and legally access the album for a week. Then it was released. And it became the most pre-ordered album in iTunes history, surging past his record label’s sales expectations by 63%.

It’s good news not just for Timberlake himself, but for the music subscription model that he plans to embrace when MySpace — of which he is part owner — launches its own service later this year.  MySpace will join GoogleAmazon, Beats and God knows who else in entering the digital music subscription market in 2013.

Timberlake’s experience would seem to debunk the thesis that streaming can’t support artists and thus isn’t in their best interests. Indeed, his success will likely make him a poster child for the music subscription revolution as the industry marches toward a future in which music is rented more than it’s owned.

But hold on a second. For one thing, we’re not all Justin Timberlake. The pop megastar released his first solo album over a decade ago, after years of global success as a member of a massively popular boy band. In the same way that Radiohead’s 2007 experiment in “pay-what-you-want” record sales didn’t create a new model that worked for everybody, artists can’t necessarily look to Timberlake for cues about where their careers might be headed.

What The 20/20 Experience launch does show is that subscription services, while not ready to replace paid downloads as a revenue stream for the industry, can be a critical tool for marketing and ultimately driving sales. In time, the revenue available to streaming services may reach more sustainable levels. In the meantime, it’s nice to know the artists who embrace them aren’t shooting themselves in the foot by doing so.

Streaming may have promise, but it’s no silver bullet. The music market’s digital future is going to be a hybrid of approaches, some of which will work better than others in particular circumstances. Timberlake’s success is interesting — meaningful, even — but the way forward still isn’t a simple one.

Photo via Flickr user Edward Kustoff, CC 2.0

 

justin timberlake 20 20 experience

Justin Timberlake’s comeback album, The 20/20 Experience, just shattered all sorts of sales records. According to Billboard, the album moved 968,000 copies in its first week, making for the biggest opening week of 2013. Taylor Swift’s 2012 album Red was the last record to sell as many copies in its opening week.

Not since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III in June 2008 has a male artist debuted with such numbers. In fact, The 20/20 Experience had the third-biggest debut for a solo male singer ever (!), behind only Usher’s Confessions (2004) and Garth Brooks’ Double Live(1998).

The 20/20 Experience also set an iTunes record for the fattest-selling album worldwide. Read more here: http://bit.ly/Zpi7v2

Yet for all the accolades, Timberlake’s sales number still fell well short of *NSYNC’s album No Strings Attached, which sold nearly 2.5 million copies during its opening week in April 2000.

Regardless if you’re a musician or music consumer, your music life is about to change. Slowly but surely digital music distribution has been evolving from downloads to streaming, but that transition has been really picking up speed over the last 12 months. With Spotify leading the way thanks to reams of publicity, more and more consumers are finding that the joy of renting music beats owning it by a long shot.

_amanda-palmer-1

While it’s been long rumored that Apple has their own streaming service up their sleeve, several developments reveal the change that is about to come.

First is the fact that Jimmy Iovine’s Daisy project (named after the first computer generated song) just received a $60 million injection from the likes of Warner Music Group’s owner Len BlavatnikFort Worth billionaire Lee Bass and Australian financier James Packer. This is a serious investment by some deep pockets that know what they’re doing and don’t like to lose. Then comes word that Apple’s Tim Cook recently took a meeting with Iovine to be briefed on the project. Does that mean a collaboration? We don’t know, but at the very least, Apple has a good working relationship with Iovine, since he was one of the first to sign Universal Music onto iTunes back in 2001. Together they’d be a powerhouse, a true 1200 pound gorilla. Chances are that Apple will chose to go it alone and just stay at 800 pounds though. It doesn’t need a partner, but if there’s something there worth buying, they have lots of money.

Then comes word that Google has been quietly making deals with all the major labels for their own YouTube-based subscription streaming service to be launched later in the year.

If all this were happening a couple of years ago we would’ve looked to only one of these prospective services to be left standing at some point, with the others falling by the wayside. But this is a different time, with the streaming business far more mature thanks to the likes of Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Slacker, et al. It’s now probably possible that all of these new services survive if they’re at least half-way decent in their user operation and offerings.

This is definitely going to be a big win for consumers, with nearly an unlimited selection of songs available for a relatively small monthly fee (not sure what the price point will end up being, but $9.95 keeps being mentioned). Consumers are quickly seeing the advantages of renting their music.

It will be a different story for artists and songwriters however. By now everyone knows how little the royalty can be from a stream, with stories abounding about income lost by the writer and artist. Although a full transition to streaming will be a godsend for the labels, with steady monthly income actually bolstering their bottom line, you can bet that not much of that will trickle down to the artists – at least at first.

It’s not going to happen overnight, but within a matter of time, you’ll see the entirety of the management and law categories of the music business devise a better way to get paid, and eventually force the labels to fall in line. And when that happens, it will trickle down to the DIYers who insist on doing it their way. To what degree this all takes place, we’ll have to wait and see.

While we’re currently in the era of Music 3.0, we’re about to see the next stage of the music business. Welcome to Music 3.5! Read more here: http://bit.ly/X6Yx7o

David Bowie’s first album in 10 years, The Next Day, is now streaming on iTunes two weeks ahead of its official release date.

Read more here about Bowie‘s new album: http://bit.ly/149FP1Z

The Next Day officially hits stores March 12th via Columbia Records (pre-orders are ongoing). Below, watch the video for the album’s latest single, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, which stars Bowie himself and Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton.

The Next Day Tracklist:
01. The Next Day
02. Dirty Boys
03. The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
04. Love Is Lost
05. Where Are We Now?
06. Valentine’s Day
07. If You Can See Me
08. I’d Rather Be High
09. Boss Of Me
10. Dancing Out In Space
11. How Does The Grass Grow
12. (You Will) Set The World On Fire
13. You Feel So Lonely You Could Die
14. Heat
15. So She (Deluxe Track)
16. I’ll Take You There (Deluxe Track)
17. Plan (Deluxe Track)

 

<p>iTunes</p>

Credit: Apple
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The answer to the trivia question will be: “Monkey Drums (Goskel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch.” That’s the 25-billionth song purchased on iTunes.
Apple announced the sales milestone in a news release Wednesday. The company says Phillip Lupke of Germany purchased and downloaded Buch’s song and will receive an iTunes gift card worth 10,000 euros, or about $13, 500.
It took the Cupertino, Calif., company almost 10 years to reach the milestone. Customers download an average of 15,000 songs a minute from the iTunes music store, which was launched in April 2003. The digital retailer’s catalog is 26 million songs deep.
Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Source from hitfix.com. 

 

The Strokes
NEW MUSIC FROM THE STROKES

New album coverhey guys,

it sure has been a while. lots going on these days…

first off, the new album. it’s got a title (Comedown Machine). it’s got artwork (see right). it’s got a release date (3/26 in the U.S. and 3/25 in the U.K. for other international release dates, best to check your local media for upcoming news). you can also preorder it in the band’s store. head over to thestrokes.com for more.

next up, the single…

the first official single is called “all the time” and we’ll have it ready for you on 2/19 when it will be available as an instant download for anyone that preorders “Comedown Machine” @ iTunes or the strokes store.

hopefully you’ll be hearing it on the radio before then though. if not, call your local radio stations and ask them to play “all the time”… they’ll have the track in house by valentine’s day, but probably not before.

last but not least, free music

Free Downloadthat’s right, free. in case you haven’t heard, last friday, we posted a free song from “Comedown Machine” atthestrokes.com. it’s called “one way trigger”. it won’t be free forever so go download your copy now or you’ll have to wait for the full-length album to come out soon.

oh, and if you’re one of the new folks to join our list through this promo, now’s probably a good a time as any to say “welcome!” from all of us. so, welcome! you’ll be hearing from me plenty more as we get closer to 3/26, though i think that’s just about enough for now.

in the meantime, all news can be followed at thestrokes.com

until next time…

-ryan
wiz kid mgmt.

 

If Spotify and Pandora Are the Future, Do Artists Have One?

Psy
“Wait, 1.2 billion views and you’re paying me 0.6 cents a view?” / Photo by Getty Images

Streaming services’ growth stirs debate over slim royalties

The New York Times has seen the future of music, and it doesn’t look good for musicians.

As the Times reports, the comparatively teensy amount artists earn from streaming services has caused concern throughout the industry.

While the average musician might earn 7 to 10 cents on an iTunes download, artists receive a fraction of a fraction of a cent each time their songs are played on streaming services. That’s not terrible if you’re Psy, who a Google executive recently said had earned $8 million on the 1.2 billion views for “Gangnam Style,” a rate of roughly 0.6 cents per view. It’s less good if you’re Zoe Keating, a self-described “avant cello” musician who late last year revealed that despite getting more than 1.5 million plays on Pandora in a six-month span, she received less than $1,700. Spotify was a bit kinder: Her 131,000 plays last year yielded almost $550.

Pandora, for one, lobbied last year for permission to lower its royalty rates, which unlike Spotify’s are set by law. A wide range of artists, from Brian Wilson to Rihanna, opposed the leigslation, the so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act. So did the American Association of Independent Music, which represents many prominent indie labelsBillboard reports that the legislation isn’t completely dead and is “just hibernating.”

Artists might dream of penny royalties, but streaming service providers are swimming in big bucks. Pandora is publicly traded, with a share price that values it at nearly $2 billion. Spotify isn’t public, but its investors have reportedly pegged its value at $3 billion. To put that into perspective, the entire music industry saw revenues of roughly $7 billion in 2011, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Streaming service companies might be worth a lot on paper, but they’re not contributing much to the record business just yet. Pandora had $202 million in “content acquisition costs” in its last four reported quarters, and Spotify recently said it had made $500 million in royalty payments, the Times notes. That pales in comparison to music downloads’ $2.6 billion in 2011 sales.

Read more here: http://www.spin.com/articles/streaming-services-artist-royalties-spotify-pandora-youtube-debate?utm_source=spintwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=spintwitter

Ladies and gentlemen, sexy is officially back: singer/actor/overall ubermensch Justin Timberlake has returned after six long years with a massive new single titled, “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay-Z and produced by Timbaland. It’s available digitally via iTunes, or you can stream it below.

Update: In a letter posted on his website (which you can read in full below), Timberlake announced that he’ll release a new album titled The 20/20 Experience in 2013. According to previous reports, Timberlake recorded at least 20 new tracks with Timbaland, who serves as the album’s producer.

An Open Letter to you (the fans):

I hope this gets to you the right way. It’s the only way I know to do it. Some people may criticize me for the last 3 days. But it was fun, right?? Right?!?! Besides, I’d rather speak directly to all of you. And, who can knock me for having a little bit of fun with it?

Well… No more teasing. Although, it was A LOT of fun. (Did I mention that I’m having fun with this?? Ha!)

*Makes a serious face*

So, here goes:

This year is an exciting one for me. As you probably have heard through the “grapevine,” I’m gearing up for a big 2013.

Back in June of last year, I quietly started working on what is now, my next journey with that thing I love called MUSIC.

The inspiration for this really came out of the blue and to be honest, I didn’t expect anything out of it. I just went into the studio and started playing around with some sounds and songs. It was probably the best time I’ve had in my career… Just creating with no rules and/or end goal in mind and really enjoying the process.

What I came up with is something I couldn’t be more excited about! It is full of inspiration that I grew up listening to and some newfound muses that I’ve discovered along the way.

I’m calling it “The 20/20 Experience,” and it’s coming out this year.

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.

That’s all I’m giving you for now… I know, I know! Again, with the teasing!!!

Get ready. This is going to be fun (well, at least it is for me).

–source: consequenceofsound.net

%d bloggers like this: