“I didn't do music to live; I lived so that I could do music.”

Charlotte Eriksson

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in her latest quarterly blog post that the company paid out more than $3 billion to the music industry last year from ads and subscriptions. A recent announcement was made by parent company Alphabet, counting 20 million premium subscribers on YouTube and $15.15 billion of ad revenue in 2019.

SoundCloud now allows users to upload tracks to their account via the platform’s mobile app, as was revealed in the latest update for iOS users. The feature is still “coming soon” for Android users. A recent report from 2019 found that by 2025, three-quarters of internet users will access the internet from their smartphone.

Reliance Industries, owner of JioSaavn, has invested $19.6 million into its streaming music business. There are currently over 100 million monthly active users on JioSaavn, and the platform competes with another significant local player, Gaana, as well as the likes of Apple, Amazon, YouTube, and Spotify.

We’re also excited to announce our very own Jacob Wunderlich (Business Development at Exploration) to speak next Wednesday evening at the National Arts Club in New York on February 26! The panel will be hosted by AIMP NY, and will feature the next gen music leaders and young trailblazers today. Come stop by and say hello!

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - February 21, 2020

YouTube Says It Paid $3 Billion-Plus to the Music Industry in 2019

In her latest quarterly blog post on the progress of YouTube, CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote, “YouTube offers twin engines for revenue with advertising and subscribers, paying out more than $3 billion to the music industry last year from ads and subscriptions”. The news follows a recent announcement by parent company Alphabet revealing that YouTube has 20 million premium subscribers and it generated $15.15 billion of ad revenue in 2019. Music Business Worldwide already published figures to suggest that YouTube may be running Apple Music close - or have even overtaken it - as our industry’s second biggest digital partner.

SoundCloud Mobile Uploads are Finally Here - Here’s What You Need to Know

In the latest update for iOS users, SoundCloud now allows iPhone users to upload tracks to their account via mobile using the app. Android users will have to wait as the feature is still “coming soon”. A report from 2019 found that by 2025, three-quarters of internet users will access the internet from their smartphone. The study estimates that around 2 billion people only accessed the internet via their phones in 2019. Smartphone-only growth is led by people in countries like China, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. The mobile app now allows track, Spotlight, and profile editing as part of its mobile toolkit. That gives grassroots artists everything they need to maintain an online presence using their smartphone.

JioSaavn Owner Pumps In New Investment

The owner of Mumbai-based JioSaavn - Reliance Industries - has pumped another $19.6 million into its streaming music business. The news comes at a time when India is an emerging market where all the global players in music streaming are now proactively competing head-on with the regional services. JioSaavn was created in 2018 when Reliance merged its Jio Music service with rival Saavn. The latter had previously been backed by a number of international companies, with investors including US-based Liberty Media and German media group Bertelsmann. JioSaavn currently boasts over 100 million monthly active users. In India, it competes with another significant local player, Gaana, as well as the likes of Apple, Amazon, YouTube and Spotify.

Spotify Says It Generates “Over a Third” of UK Label Revenues

According to Spotify’s UK and Ireland managing director Tom Connaughton, “Over a third of all UK label revenue is coming directly from Spotify today”. The Entertainment Retailers Association said in early January that Brits spent just over £1 billion on streaming subscriptions in 2019, and £1.41 billion on recorded music overall - a figure that does not include ad-supported music revenues. Connaughton continued with more stats, “Every week we’re adding over 100 artists to our playlist ecosystem, about 50 of which are emerging artists”, while for podcast listening “in January this year, the UK was the number two growth market globally for Spotify”. The company recently opened a new London office, creating 300 new jobs.

YouTube’s Latest Plans to Focus on Official Artist Channels

In an email to music users, YouTube wrote an update on how it’s managing artists’ channels. With many now having an “Official Artist Channel” on YouTube, but also their own channels, Vevo-branded channels, and “topic” channels focused on their music, a new update will rationalize all these channels together. “If you previously subscribed to an artists’ topic or partner-provided channel, you’ll automatically be subscribed to their Official Artist Channel. Notifications will be sent from the artist’s Official Artist Channel,” explains YouTube on its support site. “Your subscriptions to the artist’s partner-provided and topic channels will be inactive and these channels will no longer be in your list of subscribed channels.” Old “partner-provided” channels will still be findable through search, but they will not include a subscribe button.

Kanye West, EMI Music Publishing Officially Settle Out of Court

An agreement recently ended a long, drawn-out legal battle between EMI Music Publishing and Kanye West. Kanye attempted to negate a publishing deal that he signed with EMI in 2003 (and that had been extended several times) over what he felt were unnecessary restrictions and requirements; parent publisher Sony/ATV refused to sell the songs’ rights to West. His arguments were made as part of a California law, and EMI fired back by indicating that, per the original contract, all disputes were to be tried in New York courts.

Random Ramblings

  • Music for cognitive enhancement.
  • The bands and musicians who are considered pioneers of heavy metal.
  • Madonna cements a record as the first act to earn 50 No. 1s on any single Billboard chart.
  • The BRIT Awards 2020 in under 3 minutes.
  • A-ha joins YouTube’s billion-views club with their 1985 chart-topper, "Take On Me".

Who is Exploration?

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Hope you have a great weekend!




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