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This week, Facebook’s photo sharing app, Instagram, launched a new video feature called Reels. The company tested the feature for months in countries like Brazil and India, but now global users can shoot, edit, and post 15-second video clips set to snippets of music or audio. Videos can be found in Instagram’s Explore page.
Google also recently announced that its subscription service Google Play Music will soon be replaced by YouTube Music by December 2020. The transition for the shutdown is expected to start in September for countries like New Zealand and South Africa, and in October for all other global markets.
On August 3, Snap, Inc. confirmed that it has secured licensing deals with major music companies like Warner Chappell and Universal Music Publishing Group to incorporate music into posts on its photo- and video-sharing app Snapchat. According to reports, similar deals have also been struck with more than 200 members of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and roughly 300 members of indie digital rights agency Merlin.
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In this newsletter:
- Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor Reels
- Google Play Music Shutdown Dates Set: Service to be Replaced by YouTube Music by End of 2020
- Oh, Snap: Snapchat Owner Lands Music Licensing Deals to Bring Songs to Posts
- The MLC Announces Additions to Leadership Team
- Paid Streaming Grows as Consumers Head Indoors (Again): Five Key Insights from Nielsen Music/MRC Data’s COVID-19 Report
- 88.4% of Videos on YouTube Generate Fewer Than 1,000 Views
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - August 7, 2020
Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor Reels
Instagram has recently launched a new video feature and TikTok competitor called Reels this week. Instagram tested Reels for months in countries including Brazil and India. The feature allows users to shoot, edit and post 15-second video clips set to snippets of music or audio. The videos can be viewed via a new portal on Instagram’s Explore page, which curates and personalizes posts based on a user’s preferences. The company launched in 2010 as a place to share photos, but expanded into video in 2014. Since then, it has launched Stories as a portal for more ephemeral posts and IGTV as a home for longer videos.
Google Play Music Shutdown Dates Set: Service to be Replaced by YouTube Music by End of 2020
According to a company announcement by Google, subscription service Google Play Music will be fully subsumed into YouTube Music by December 2020. Back in May, the company launched a migration tool that lets Google Play Music customers transfer their music libraries to YouTube Music. The shutdown and transition to YouTube Music is expected to start in September for New Zealand and South Africa - and in October for all other global markets. Users will no longer be able to stream from or use the Google Play Music app. However, according to Google, it will retain users’ playlists, uploads, purchases, likes, and other data until December 2020 to give them time to transfer to YouTube Music. After the end of the year, Google Play Music libraries will no longer be available.
Oh, Snap: Snapchat Owner Lands Music Licensing Deals to Bring Songs to Posts
Snap, Inc. confirmed on August 3 that it has secured licensing deals with major music companies like Warner Chappell and Universal Music Publishing Group to incorporate music into posts on its photo- and video-sharing app Snapchat. Similar deals have also been made with more than 200 members of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and roughly 300 members of indie digital rights agency Merlin. The new feature is now testing in New Zealand and Australia, according to reports by Bloomberg, and will reach global users this fall. Snapchat users can soundtrack their photos and videos with music and will have access to a curated list of music that rotates every day. The company reaches 90% of Americans aged 13 to 24, and 75% of those aged 13 to 34.
The MLC Announces Additions to Leadership Team
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) recently announced several new hires who will help lead the company’s finance, public relations, and rights management efforts. Monique Benjamin will take on the position of Head of Finance, spearheading The MLC’s internal budgeting process and tracking The MLC’s operational costs. She will also lead The MLC’s efforts to set up its initial internal financial policies and processes. Natalie Kilgore will be Head of Public Relations where she will oversee The MLC’s external communications, including those aimed at The MLC’s songwriter and music publisher stakeholders. And lastly, Maurice Russell will take on Head of Rights Management, leading The MLC’s internal team of publishing experts, providing support and subject-matter expertise to all The MLC’s operational teams. He will additionally lead publisher relations efforts, ensuring that music publishers always have a direct line of communication with The MLC. Furthermore, Maurice will coordinate The MLC’s operational relationship with the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), The MLC’s primary outside vendor for administration. Issuing blanket licenses to US digital streaming services remain on track to begin in January 2021.
Paid Streaming Grows as Consumers Head Indoors (Again): Five Key Insights from Nielsen Music/MRC Data’s COVID-19 Report
According to the sixth installment of Nielsen Music/MRC Data’s survey series “COVID-19: Tracking the Impact on the Entertainment Landscape,” survey respondents have said they have added a new audio subscription streaming service over the prior two weeks. However, on the other hand, 40% of respondents also said they had cancelled an audio or video subscription streaming service over the same period. There is also an increasing willingness to return to live events despite mounting fears of the coronavirus, while interest in virtual concerts has reached its highest level since the start of the pandemic. The online survey data was collected July 8-13 from a representative sample of 1,007 US consumers ages 13 and older.
88.4% of Videos on YouTube Generate Fewer Than 1,000 Views
Los Angeles-based analytics firm Pex published an analysis of “the state of YouTube” for 2019 as an update to its 2018 report. According to its findings, the majority of YouTube videos (88.4%) generated fewer than 1,000 views. All data published by Pex is based on performance of all publicly available videos as of December 31, 2019. Music, additionally, “became ‘more valuable’ on YouTube” last year, according to the study. Music accounted for 22% of all views last year, a 2% increase from 2018. The Entertainment category, meanwhile, accounted for 10%, People and Blogs (21%), Gaming (37%), and Other (19%) while Film & Animation also accounted for 5%. Music was also responsible for 83% of videos exceeding 1 billion views on the platform last year. For the “10-100m” and “100m to 1 billion” views tiers, Music has the largest share of total videos, with a 30% and 57% share of those two tiers, respectively. In terms of views per video, music is the platform’s No.1 category.
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