Industry News Courtesy Of Hypbot                   

Music & Entertainment Stocks Net Mixed Results This Week 

Arrows

The price of the top 10 music, music technology and related stocks at the close of the U.S. exchanges on Friday: 

AAPL - NMS $524.94 Up
Apple Inc.
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AMZN - NMS$324.91Up

Amazon.com, Inc.

FB - NMS$58.94Down

Facebook, Inc.

GOOG - NMS$536.10Down

Google Inc.

LYV - NYQ$20.58Up

Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.

P - NYQ$27.02Down

Pandora Media, Inc. Common Stoc

SIRI - NMS$3.14Down

Sirius XM Holdings Inc.

SFXE - NMS$6.87Up

SFX Entertainment, Inc.

SNE - NYQ$18.71Down

Sony Corporation Common Stock

TWTR - NYQ$45.01Up

Twitter, Inc. Common Stock
 
For continuously updated news and prices of music, music technology and related stocks, see the Yahoo! Finance widget in Hypebot's far right column. 

 

Indie Labels Speak Out Against Negative Effects Of Major Labels On Record Store Day 

RsdEarlier this year I wrote about concerns related to major labels' getting into vinyl and sucking up more of the limited time of current vinyl pressing facilities. However that's just one of the problems affecting indie labels and record stores for whom Record Store Day was created. But even if indie shops withdraw from RSD as some are doing, the crunch for vinyl pressing plants seems likely to increase as vinyl's audience grows.

The Quietus has an excellent roundup of the growing concerns regarding Record Store Day. Their article includes and links to some very strong voices including the highly focused critique on Twitter of the current situation by indie label Modern Love (see Storify below).

The chief complaints/concerns at this stage include:

Major labels are not only booking increasing amounts of the currently limited capacity of vinyl pressing plants for an increasing amount of vinyl with a strategy that Rob Sevier of The Numbero Group described in 2011 as:

"What can we shit into the form of a record and shove into the hands of the wanton masses?"

As Phil Hebblethwaite of The Quietus points out, value is ultimately in the eyes of the consumer but he also points out that:

"in the UK in 2011, there were 277 exclusive Record Store Day releases. This year there are 643."

This increase has led to major labels hogging vinyl pressing output which has not only affected indie RSD releases but the regular release schedules of many indie labels who put out vinyl on an ongoing basis year round.

In addition, some plants are said to be prioritizing major label releases which is truly a slap in the face to indie artists, labels and record stores.

Distribution issues are also screwing indie artist, labels and shops. Apparently a lot of RSD inventory is non-returnable so that means even if an indie label gets vinyl pressed they may not be able to get it onto the limited shelf space of indie shops.

This situation is setting up a divide between indie labels and indie record shops as a small but growing group of labels withdraw from Record Store Day and begin to question their relationships with those shops. While online sales are difficult, niche labels can shift to the web and withdraw entirely from record stores which would undermine the viability of those stores.

Many of these issues were connected and summed up yesterday by Modern Love on Twitter:

The story certainly doesn't end there. The Quietus also discusses possible solutions and complications to consider. The outcome does not look good.

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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

Gramofon Adds Rhapsody and Napster 

GramofonSub-$50 music router and wifi hotspot Gramofon has announced that it will also stream Rhapsody and Napster in addition to Spotify. Backed by Fon, the creator of hugely popular free wifi hotspots, Gramofon connects select music streamers to home stereo systems. Mobile devices, including those of visting friends, serve as the remote control. 

In addition to other streaming services, Fon says that it will eventually add multi-room playback, a core feature of the more costly Sonos system.

Watch the video and pledge on Kickstarter here:

 

Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup April 18, 2014: Imagine Dragons, Prince, Round Hill & More 

Kendrick-lamar-imagine-dragons-8-grammys-2014-show-650-430Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons will receive the David Starlight Award at this year’s Annual Induction and Awards Dinner for the Songwriters Hall of fame. His Grammy-winning band released their album, Night Visions in the fall of 2012 to critical acclaim and Billboard success. Created in 2004, the Hal David Starlight award honors up and coming songwriters who are making an impact in the business. Previous winners are John Legend, Taylor Swift, and Benny Blanco.

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Prince is reassigning the rights to his catalog to newly formed independent publisher, NPG Music Publishing. According to a recent press release, Prince along with the help of “some of the best talent in the industry” will be independently controlling his catalog of hits such as “Purple Rain”, “Kiss” and “When Doves Cry”. This is the first time in twenty years Prince’s publishing is being independently controlled and administered. His previous publishing deal was with Universal.

Round Hill Music signed a worldwide publishing deal with Trey Bruce. A Nashville songwriting veteran, Trey Bruce’s hits include Shelby Lynn’s “Things Are Tough All Over”, Randy Travis’ “Look Heart, No Hands” and “Whisper My Name.” Bruce has also worked with high profile artists such as Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood.  

Hypebot Is Back Online!  

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Everything seems to be fine now and we're back to posting!

Apple To Integrate Shazam Song Recognition Into Siri, iOS 8  

siriApple is working with Shazam to integrate its popular song recognition technology into its Siri iPhone and iPand voice recognition system, according to Bloomberg.

Cupertino's experimentation with Shazam comes as sales of digital downloads have slowed under increased competition from music streaming.

shazamApple, according to numerous reports, is trying a multi-pronged approach to see how it can recapture lost revenue both for itself and record labels.

Shazam integration will reportedly be built into iOS 8 music like Twitter,which means users will not have to download a separate app to activate it.

Jacobs Media's Techsurvey10 Finds Radio Occupying "Both Sides of the Digital Tipping Point" 

Techsurvey10Jacobs Media's latest survey of radio listeners, Techsurvey10, finds that "radio is on both sides of the tipping point." That sounds painful but, as it turns out, they're saying that many listeners are still tuning in to broadcast aka terrestrial radio via traditional sources while a growing number are listening to those stations digitally. It's one of the more interesting points of a survey which I feel could use a glossary for those of us who find radio important to the music industry but aren't part of the radio industry.

Jacobs Media's Techsurvey10 surveyed "core radio listeners" to compare differences in listening to "traditional radio broadcasters" (I'm assuming terrestrial radio aka AM/FM) and listening to "digitally delivered" radio (which I'm assuming means Sirius XM and web radio though Siriux XM's status is unclear in this survey as reported).

The report looks across 11 radio formats and 5 generations while surveying over 37,000 listeners of 199 radio stations. Remember that this research focuses on people who listen to radio and what they say they do.

Techsurvey10 Selected Findings

Findings include a number of interesting points that are also summed up in a pdf slide show:

"Radio is on both sides of the digital tipping point"

Traditional radio is still strong in this group with 95% listening daily. But fewer said they were listening to a minimum of an hour a day while 9 in 10 "say they’re listening to the same amount of radio – or more."

With 17% of that listening occurring via digital channels, I assume they're saying that digital-source listening has kept core radio fans at a similar level overall.

That would be nice to clarify but the bigger point here is that broadcast radio listening is still holding up pretty well while more of those listeners are shifting to digital sources for those stations.

"Pandora is experiencing its own tipping point"

Apparently each year listeners, especially Gen Y and Z, are increasingly complaining about Pandora's ads. "Annoying" is a common complaint.

However they don't seem to have asked if such annoyances are driving away listeners.

"Most radio listening now takes place in the car, especially among fans of Alternative & CHR." (slides p. 11)

Between broadcast radio and the "connected [to the internet] car", radio may be able to maintain that spot.

Techsurvey10 Selected Recommendations

They also share a number of key takeaways and recommendations including:

"Stop doing random acts of digital."

"Radio can’t just show up in new digital spaces, but needs to excel there. Broadcasters need mobile engagement, a competitive stream, and to stop treating social media as a hobby."

"Radio doesn’t have a digital problem – it has a measurement problem."

"It is essential that ratings account for all the different ways that consumers are accessing radio content. "

"The music industry ignores radio at its own peril."

"Radio is a powerful force when it comes to new music discovery and artist exposure and promotion. It dominates all other media, and emerges as a trusted source for music consumers."

Note: There are some limits to the study that are included in the Methodology slide at the beginning of their key slides pdf.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

MusiXmatch Adds Lyrics To YouTube Music Videos 

Musixmatch-iconMusiXmatch has added lyrics to all sorts of places from Spotify to karaoke mics and now to YouTube music videos. This week the fully licensed lyrics company released an extension for Google's Chrome browser that adds lyrics to any YouTube music video for which they have the lyrics which is a lot of songs. Given the popularity of lyrics videos it should be a welcome addition to those who want to follow or sing along while still seeing a fancy music video.

Though I haven't written before about MusiXmatch I have an ongoing interest in the use of lyrics to create interesting music videos and to add monetization streams. MusiXmatch is now providing lyrics all sorts of places including mobile apps, a Spotify desktop app and tv screens via Apple's AirPlay.

This week they announced the launched of a new Chrome extension for Google's web browser that adds lyrics to YouTube music videos like so:

Pharell-musixmatch-lyrics

According to TechCrunch MusiXmatch identifies videos by title which leaves some room for error though they're working on that. Steve O'Hear also has a bit of backstory:

"Apparently the company previously had a partnership with music video distributor VEVO but this fizzled out as VEVO didn’t like having song lyrics displayed, despite the popularity of sing-along captions. After brainstorming during a Friday 'hack' day, MusixMatch decided that building a Chrome extension for YouTube was the best solution, essentially bypassing the need to 'ask for permission.'"

I'm not sure who they were asking exactly, I guess he means VEVO, but now the option is in the hands of viewers who can choose it or not.

More:

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

Spotify Is Phasing Out P2P Streaming 

Spotify logoSpotify is changing how it delivers music to users from peer to peer networks to streaming via its own dedicated servers. P2P delivery cut costs for the startup and delivered songs almost instantaneously, both impressive features back when Spotify launched.

“We’re gradually phasing out the use of our desktop P2P technology which has helped our users enjoy their music both speedily and seamlessly,” Spotify’s Alison Bonny told TorrentFreak.

At one time Spotify was one of the largest P2P networks on the net. Now having raised closed to $550 million, using their own servers allows the music streamer to control and deliver more consistently,

The 5 Richest Hip Hop Artists [FORBES]  

moneyForbes is out with its latest ranking of rich musicians. Diddy again leads a list of 5 Richest Hip Hop artists with his estimated fortune of $700 million, a jump of $120 million over his net worth last year. As with most of the artists on the list, much of the earnings come from ventures outside of cutting new tracks and touring. Here's the full list and what each has banked:

1. Sean "Diddy" Combs ($700 million)
2. Andre "Dr. Dre" Young ($550 million)
3. Shawn "Jay Z" Carter ($520 million)
4. Bryan "Birdman" Williams ($160 million)
5. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson ($140 million)

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