“Create with the heart; build with the mind.”

Criss Jami, Killosophy

Based on a series of surveys installed by Nielsen Music/MRC Data, fans are embracing new music even during this global pandemic and consumer demand for entertainment subscriptions are increasing. Music video streams have also shown a 10% rise from the baseline period of Feb. 21 to March 12, with country music showing the highest uptick in streams among all genres. And fans are willing to go to music venues and live concerts as long as venues address certain health concerns.

Spotify and Saregama have both entered into a licensing agreement, subsequently adding 100,000 songs from India’s oldest label to the streaming platform. Spotify removed the company’s catalog before in India following a copyright infringement suit filed by Saregama.

And on May 12, YouTube Music added a new “transfer button” allowing Google Play Music users to transfer over their libraries. In an announcement, YouTube stated, “We want to ensure everyone has time to transfer their content and get used to YouTube Music, so we’ll provide plenty of notice ahead of users no longer having access to Google Play Music later this year.”

Join in on Exploration's open office hours Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 12 PM PST via Google Hangouts Meet at the link here or at the phone number (US) +1 347-450-6962‬. PIN: ‪959 360 118 4047#. We'd love to hear from you and answer any questions that you may have!

YouTube will also be hosting a Virtual Channel Workshop next Monday May 18 where songwriters, composers, producers, mixers, engineers, and all other creatives in between can learn firsthand how to create a vibrant and comprehensive YouTube Channel. Attendees will leave the Workshop with the tools and knowledge to build and maintain their very own channel. There will also be a unique opportunity to claim a Custom URL!

The Workshops will be hosted in English with closed captions at the below times to accommodate all time zones.

Session 1: https://youtu.be/Tp-LvNS_FZ0 (Monday, May 18, 12:00 AM EDT)
Session 2: https://youtu.be/JKR12Ypy1bs (Monday, May 18, 4:00 AM EDT)
Session 3: https://youtu.be/nZhXWxl_P1w (Monday, May 18, 8:00 AM EDT)
Session 4: https://youtu.be/vfr0yLa6Bio (Monday, May 18, 12:00 PM EDT)
Session 5: https://youtu.be/BCLUqHW_eW8 (Monday, May 18, 4:00 PM EDT)
Session 6: https://youtu.be/-RZpi5vAq1g (Monday, May 18, 8:00 PM EDT)

In this newsletter:

Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - May 15, 2020

Consumer Habits and Coronavirus: 5 Takeaways From New Nielsen Music/MRC Data Study

The third installment of Nielsen Music/MRC Data’s survey series, “COVID-19: Tracking the Impact on the Entertainment Landscape,” led to five key findings. 1. Start releasing some new music due to data suggesting that fans are embracing the new. 2. Consumer demand for entertainment subscriptions in general are improving. 3. Music video streams are up 10% from the baseline period of Feb. 21 to March 12, making it a popular format to increase more streams. 4. The country, children, and classical genres have all experienced an uptick in streams, especially country music. 5. Fans are willing to go to music venues and live concerts, but they have health concerns that promoters and venues should address. The survey is conducted at two-week intervals, interviewing a panel of 1,010 people, age 13 and over, that is representative of the US population.

Spotify Inks Licensing Deal with India’s Oldest Label, Saregama

Spotify has entered into a new licensing agreement with India’s oldest label, Saregama, subsequently adding 100,000 songs to the streaming platform in the market. The deal comes a year after Spotify removed the company’s catalog in India following a copyright infringement suit brought against Spotify by Saregama. The record company claimed that although it entered into negotiations with Spotify for a copyright license, SPOT and Saregama never actually signed an agreement. According to TechCrunch, Spotify “already has a deal in place with a distributor to offer Saregama’s music to users outside of India,” but the new deal will now see the full Saregama catalog added for Spotify users in India. The label holds the largest library of films and non-film songs in over 25 languages ranging from old classics to new age music.

Google Play Music Set to Shut Down “Later This Year”

Tech giant Alphabet is expected to shut down its streaming service Google Play Music this year in order to focus purely on its second streaming service YouTube Music. On May 12, YouTube Music got a new “transfer button” helping Google Play Music users transfer over their libraries. YouTube further announced, “For now, users will continue to have access to both services. We want to ensure everyone has time to transfer their content and get used to YouTube Music, so we’ll provide plenty of notice ahead of users no longer having access to Google Play Music later this year.” During that time, YouTube Music is also expected to add more features matching what Google Play Music subscribers are used to, including bumping up playlist lengths from 1,000 to 5,000 songs, supporting people’s uploaded and purchased music libraries, and offline listening.

Tencent Music Revenue Hit New Highs in Q1 as Coronavirus Spread Through China

Chinese music streaming company, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic in the first quarter, but still grew earnings 27.4% and monthly average users 0.5% year-over-year, according to the company’s earnings report released Monday. Now counting 657 million monthly listeners, the streaming service saw only a 3.3% increase in social media revenue despite a 13.3% usage gain in their social app WeSing. Music is relatively a low earner for TME with an ARPU of $1.32, compared to $15.65 for social media. TME CEO Cussion Pang stated that Q2’s results will benefit from “a moderate recovery” seen in social media services. TME is known for its popular music apps in China: QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music.

Spotify Officially Launches Real-Time “Group Session” for Premium Users

Spotify has officially unveiled its new “Group Session” feature for sharing music between Premium users. The feature functions as a party mode of sorts, allowing users to control what’s playing and contribute to the playlist. Spotify has been testing Group Session since at least May 2019. In order to use the new feature, a host must tap the “Connect” menu on their Play screen. They can then share a scannable code with guests. Guests can join the session and play, pause, skip, and select tracks in the queue. They can also add their own music tracks to be played next. Any changes made by each guest are displayed immediately on the participating devices. Spotify Group Session is the first time listeners are offered real-time collaboration in the app.

Besides Spotify, South Korea May Soon Get YouTube Music Too

According to Korean news site Pulse, “Google recently signed a contract with the Korea Music Copyright Association to provide YouTube Music Premium, a separated ad-free music streaming service from regular paid subscription of overall YouTube content”. Local streaming services Melon currently has 40.3% market share, Genie Music has 24.6%, and Flo 17.7%. YouTube Music is estimated to have a 5.7% share. South Korea was listed as the world’s sixth biggest recorded music market in 2019.

Random Ramblings

  • What are user-centric music streaming payouts?
  • The musical pioneers you should know.
  • The day the live concert returns
  • Nicki Minaj earns her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Doja Cat’s "Say So (Remix)".
  • Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber unveil a new video of a collaborative track, Stuck With U” to benefit First Responders Children’s Foundation.

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