I. Music & Tech
Apple Subscribers hit 40M and Counting
Apple Music surpasses 40M paid subscribers in 115 countries; now has a monthly growth rate of five percent; Apple also named Oliver Schusser as VP of Apple Music & International Content; Schusser joined the company 14 years ago and has led initiatives related to the App Store, iBooks, more. Read more here.
Spotify Sufficient Beyond the Labels
Spotify plans to reduce its reliance on major labels by working directly with artists and small independent labels, according to Recode sources; the company, which has never been profitable in 12 years of operation, ultimately hopes to reach 35-percent margins (up from 21 percent at the end of last year); though Spotify has signed direct deals with major artists in the past, such as Metallica, it reportedly will focus on mid-tier artists for direct deals. Check it out here.
Music information database company Genius launches Song Stories, an interactive content format that includes artist interviews and other relevant YouTube videos (concert footage, clips from music videos, etc); cards advance automatically as the user listens to music; the user can pause a Story and swipe a given card up to access the relevant video. Read more here.
Stellar Year For Music Up 1.4 Billion
The Music Industry blog reports that global recorded music revenues has seen a $1.4 billion USD increase in 2017, mostly due to the growing adoption and popularity of streaming platforms. The revenues reached $17.4 billion USD in total, only slightly below the $17.7 billion USD number seen in 2008. Check it out here.
Tencent Music is seeking a ~$25B valuation as it prepares for an IPO, according to sources for The Wall Street Journal; the company is expected to list on a US exchange later this year, but is yet to make a final decision; Tencent owns more than 50 percent of the music streaming firm. Read more here.