“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
Spotify is set to buy podcast advertising and publishing platform Megaphone for $235 million in cash. Together, according to the press release, the two will make Streaming Ad Insertion available to third-party podcast publishers for the first time. Spotify launched Streaming Ad Insertion officially in January.
Twitch told its streamers in a blog post on Wednesday that they must stop playing recorded music on their streams (unless it’s officially licensed). The Amazon-owned live-streaming platform also added that it is “actively speaking with the major record labels about potential approaches to additional licenses that would be appropriate for the Twitch service.”
According to Tencent Music Entertainment’s third quarter earnings release, the Chinese music streaming company lost just 0.8% of subscription revenue while gaining 4.6 million subscribers, a 9.8% increase from the previous quarter. Music monthly active users (MAU) fell 2.3% to 646 million, down from 661 million in the prior-year period.
In this newsletter:
- Spotify to Buy Podcast Ad Platform Megaphone for $235 Million, Bringing Its Total Podcast Acquisition Spend to Over $800 Million in the Past 2 Years
- Twitch Says It’s in Talks to License Music, Tells Users to Delete Videos with Unauthorized Tracks
- Tencent Music Entertainment Grew Subscribers 10% to 4.6 Million in Third Quarter
- ByteDance Tipped to Make $27 Billion of Ad Revenue in China This Year
- Disney+ Tops 73 Million Subscribers
- Spotify May Be Eyeing Podcast-Only Subscription Tiers
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - November 13, 2020
Spotify to Buy Podcast Ad Platform Megaphone for $235 Million, Bringing Its Total Podcast Acquisition Spend to Over $800 Million in the Past 2 Years
Spotify has entered into an agreement to acquire podcast advertising and publishing platform Megaphone, which provides hosting and ad-insertion capabilities for publishers and targeted ad sales for brand partners. Variety reports that Spotify is acquiring the company for $235 million in cash, which is more than Spotify itself generated in total advertising revenues in the whole of Q3 ($185 million). The Megaphone platform connects enterprise-level podcasters and media companies with tools to publish, monetize, and measure their audio content. Together, according to a press release, Spotify and Megaphone will make Streaming Ad Insertion available to third-party podcast publishers for the first time. The acquisition follows Spotify’s launch of Streaming Ad Insertion in January.
Twitch Says It’s in Talks to License Music, Tells Users to Delete Videos with Unauthorized Tracks
In a lengthy blog post published Wednesday, Twitch told streamers that they must stop playing recorded music on their streams (unless it’s officially licensed) and that “if you haven’t already, you should review your historical VODs and Clips that may have music in them and delete any archives that might.” The Amazon-owned live-streaming platform also claimed that it is “actively speaking with the major record labels about potential approaches to additional licenses that would be appropriate for the Twitch service.” Currently, Twitch said, it is focused on building more user-friendly tools to help creators better manage videos and on providing licensed music options “while we explore all options.” The company also said it will expand the use of technology to detect copyrighted audio, providing creators “more granular ways to manage [their] archive”. In addition, Twitch posted a new FAQ on DMCA and copyright for creators and added a “Copyright and Your Channel” Creator Camp page with upcoming live sessions to provide information and tips.
Tencent Music Entertainment Grew Subscribers 10% to 4.6 Million in Third Quarter
Chinese music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment lost just 0.8% of subscription revenue while gaining 4.6 million subscribers, a 9.8% increase from the previous quarter, according to its third quarter earnings release. Total revenue also grew 16.4% to 7.58 billion yuan ($1.12 billion) with music subscription revenue growing 55% to 1.46 billion yuan ($215 million). Tencent Music’s music apps fared relatively well, with paying users growing 7%, 10.3% and 9.8% in the first, second and third quarters. Revenue didn’t keep the pace as third quarter paying users were just 0.3% over the final 2019 count. Music subscribers additionally grew by 4.6 million to 51.7 million, up 46% year-over-year and up 9.8% from the second quarter. Music monthly active users (MAU) fell 2.3% to 646 million, down from 661 million in the prior-year period.
ByteDance Tipped to Make $27 Billion of Ad Revenue in China This Year
Reuters reported that ByteDance is “on track to generate at least 180 billion yuan ($27.2 billion) in advertising revenue in China this year”, making it the second biggest player in the digital ads market there behind Alibaba Group. The report went on to suggest that TikTok’s Chinese version, Douyin, accounts for nearly 60% of that advertising revenue (around $16.3 billion). Reuters claimed that ByteDance plans to include longer-form videos through its Xigua app in China, saying “It plans to invest around 10 billion yuan, including the value of traffic and advertising support to partners, on Xigua next year, its longer form video app, with the aim of increasing the number of daily active users to over 100 million”.
Disney+ Tops 73 Million Subscribers
Streaming service Disney+ has attracted 73.7 million subscribers in its first 11 months, far exceeding the company’s expectations. Disney had previously forecast that the service would reach between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by 2024. It hit the lower end of that threshold after just nine months. Disney+, which at $6.99 per month is on the lower end of the pricing spectrum for standalone streamers, has amassed its subscribers on the strength of its content library, which includes access to animated classics, Marvel blockbusters, the Star Wars franchise and more. It is available in more than 20 countries around the world and will launch in Latin American markets including Brazil later this month.
Spotify May Be Eyeing Podcast-Only Subscription Tiers
Spotify may be looking to launch, down the line, a new subscription tier - or tiers - dedicated exclusively to podcasts. The news came from Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein in the form of a survey sent through the Spotify mobile app, which inquired about offering access to: exclusive podcasts not available on other services, bonus content, and other perks for a monthly subscription fee. Different offers include access to music - with prices beginning at $3 and topping off at $8. The plans also include some combination of early access to shows that aren’t available elsewhere, and the removal of platform-inserted ads.
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