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Spotify has officially launched its service in Russia and 12 new European markets including Albania, Belarus, Croatia, Ukraine, and others. According to the IFPI, Russia is the 17th biggest streaming market globally. The company stated that the new areas where it has launched represents an addressable market of nearly 250 million people.

Google revealed that they are investing ₹33,737 crore (approximately $4.5 billion) into JioSaavn parent Jio Platforms for a 7.73% equity stake in the company. The two have additionally entered into a commercial agreement to jointly develop an entry level Android smartphone.

Audio consumption of Latin music increased by 15.9% from 2019’s midyear total in the US during the first half of 2020, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The genre makes up 4.09% market share of the total US music market, which is up from 3.86% at midyear 2019.

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - July 17, 2020

Spotify Launches in Russia and 12 New European Markets

Spotify has officially gone live in Russia, along with European markets: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Russia is currently the 17th biggest streaming market in the world, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Spotify now reaches a total of 92 markets worldwide. The new areas where it has launched represent an addressable market of nearly 250 million people, the company said. News of Spotify’s imminent launch in Russia emerged last week. With the expansion, the company also introduced 200 new playlists featuring artists from across the region that are available worldwide.

Google Invests $4.5 Billion in JioSaavn Parent Jio Platforms for 7.7% Stake

Google has revealed that ₹33,737 crore (approximately $4.5 billion) is being invested into Reliance Industries-owned Jio Platforms for a 7.73% equity stake in the company. The Jio Platforms subsidiary is the parent of India’s largest telco, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, which has over 388 million subscribers. It is also the parent of JioSaavn, the Spotify rival created during a $1 billion merger in 2018 between Reliance Industries / JioMusic and music streaming service Saavn, amongst other media businesses. Google and Jio Platforms have additionally entered into a commercial agreement to jointly develop an entry level Android smartphone.

Latin Music Listening Up Nearly 16% in 2020 with Bad Bunny Leading the Pack

Latin music showed a 15.9% increase in audio consumption in the U.S. in the first half of 2020 from 2019’s midyear total, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data's midyear report. The genre now comprises 4.09% market share of the total US music market. That’s up from 3.86% at midyear 2019. There has been a decline though in its weekly streaming average since the advent of the economic shutdown beginning the week of March 13. Latin saw its average weekly on-demand count drop from 1.182 billion prior to the pandemic to 1.143 billion average weekly streams from the pandemic period onward through July 2, a 3.3% drop. Physical album sales dropped 48.7% and overall, album sales fell 27.6%. Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny was the top artist in the first half of 2020, followed by Ozuna and Natanael Cano in second and third place, respectively.

Amazon Music Gets Its Own Program for Emerging Artists

Amazon Music has launched a program to push emerging artists, called Breakthrough, which echoes the initiatives of Spotify (Radar), Apple Music (Up Next), Deezer (Next), and other rivals. The initial crop of acts is drawn from the US, UK and Germany – Arlo Parks, Jay1, Kiana Ledé, Gabby Barrett, Provinz and Malik Harris. The streaming service will be creating a “long-term, customised global plan” for each artist, including global marketing, playlisting, video and audio content, and “Amazon Original” tracks that will be exclusive to Amazon Music. There will also be a global Breakthrough playlist showcasing these and future artists on the program.

Canada Music Consumption Up 5.7% This Year Despite COVID-19

According to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, the Canadian music market’s total audio consumption rose by 57% in the first half of 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s based on the research firm’s formula blending album and track sales with on-demand audio streams. In the first half of this year, Canadians streamed 42.2 billion on-demand audio tracks, up by 16.7% year-on-year. Total album sales and digital track sales showed a decline, down 38.4% for digital and physical combined and 26%, respectively. Vinyl LP sales in Canada were also down 26% in the first half of this year.

Random Ramblings

  • An analysis of the evolution of music over the last few centuries.
  • Queen cements a new milestone by reaching 900 weeks on the UK Official Albums Chart Top 100 with their “Greatest Hits” album.
  • What is “world music"?
  • The power of protest songs.
  • 11 actresses who played Elphaba deliver a wicked performance of "Defying Gravity" for a live-stream benefit concert.

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