How Music Streaming Services Survive in Pandemic
Sounds familiar, Startups? You hear or read that word at least ten times per day. Somewhere in the cerebellum is kept that word as an association for tech or cryptocurrency businesses. Or any other businesses, but as you are an artist, this word didn't trigger your attention to know more about it. Hold your beer (or tea, we don't judge you); we have some fantastic news. Music startups exist in the same manner as any other startups, and boi, they are efficient. As a matter of fact, music streaming platforms and sites go hand in hand with music startups. And that's where you as an independent, unknown artist shall place yourself, between those two hands.
With the enormous help of startups today, artists do not chase labels, producers, or managers. With a promising startup and smart promo campaign, it is more likely labels will run after artists. In this case, streaming sites play a significant role. Knowing which music streaming platform to use for your music is equally essential as creating quality bits. Thus, with these three foundations, every musician can build a skyscraper high music career.
Streaming Music: How to Create a Buzz Around Your Name
Let's admit it; we are not humans as we are supposed to be without music. Rhythm and bits are in our core. We won't say we couldn't survive without music (just our lives will be less rich and colorful), but music definitely can't survive without us. And here's where music startups play the most critical role. Not only are they responsible for countless music careers, but pandemic music, with all of the tribulations and turbulences, most likely will not see the disappearance of the music industry as we know it today.
Let's admit it, big stars like Rihanna or Post Malone (you can continue the count) are not those who are affected by a lockdown. These stars could survive years and years of lockdown. But what about independent artists, road crew, sound technicians, and all the others who make up 90 percent of the music industry we know today? As their well-being strictly depends on living gigs, tours, or concerts?
In the first month of lockdown, music streaming recorded the highest decrease since the monitoring of results.
Earlier during the pandemic, social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook provided the taste of live streaming music. Following the trend, many new companies came up with live streaming capabilities, and some are even offering fans and performers a way to participate in the pay-per-view live streams. According to the founder of the ticketing app Dice, Phil Hutcheon, they wouldn't care about live streaming before lockdown. The good news is that these actions have acquired a fair amount of money from live ticket streams. A Japanese artist Reol reaped $130,000 from a live stream on his channel in August, and BTS's management also claimed that they had 756,000 people watching their live stream. Since positive reports are coming, we have high hopes for the live music streaming industry. Also, streaming is the only viable option for people on lockdown and craving live music.
Napster Music - New Star On Digital Sky Every Artist Should Pay Attention To
MelodyVR took the music world by storm when it announced the $70 million reverse takeovers of Napster, the 21-year old music streaming pioneer. Anthony Matchett, the owner of MelodyVR, a London-based music tech startup, hopes that this action will be overwhelming for the music lovers and investors. He further said that he's looking forward to a live streaming music platform that will offer live events and immersive content with music streaming. This is something that Spotify or Apple Music aren't providing.
For the time being, the two companies will provide services separately and provide everything that a music fan would ever want. Napster music has 3 million subscribers, and it generated $113 million in revenue last year. Matchett is confident about this partnership's success because of the streaming revolution; there was a 23% growth in streaming. The global music sales grew to $20.2 billion for a fifth consecutive year.
The live music industry faced a downfall during the pandemic, but since live streaming is covid-proof, it is doing well. Earlier this summer, some of the largest music companies, Warner Music, sold $1.9 billion shares, and Universal music sold a 10% stake to Tencent, a Chinese tech giant. The world's most extensive music streaming services face a surge in subscribers, which means that lockdown is too favorable for the music streaming companies.
For MelodyVR, lockdown proved to be a savior as it raised $30 million from investors during the pandemic. Matchett says that they are a growing business as the number of app installs and users has increased dramatically during the lockdown period. He claimed that since the start of coronavirus, the app installs spiked up to 1000%, and the monthly usage rate is growing at 36%.
According to Matchett, when they launched the company, no one had an idea of immersive or VR content (Virtual reality music), and at that time, they didn't want their service to be too expensive or too cheap. But now that fans are paying to watch through this app, they are comfortable launching a Napster monthly fee. The company had set up a studio in London and Los Angeles to make it easier for the artists to perform gigs. Now the owner is looking forward to growth and investment, and that's why he bought Napster.
Deezer Music Streaming Platform That Grows No Matter What-Ride Along On the Wave of Success
The French streaming service Deezer Music has built a big fan base, which comprises 16 million followers and continues to grow. Though the music streaming giants like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube claim to have a significant share in the industry, Deezer Music has asserted that there is still a lot of room for growth in this sector. The news of Deezer Music taking on Spotify and Apple has created a buzz in the music industry, and more people are looking forward to it.
The music streaming platform is controlled by Len Blavatnik, who's a billionaire investor and is investing millions of euros into his app. Deezer music app has already taken the number one position in Brazil, and this is because it is focusing more on local differentiation rather than playlist as compared to Spotify. According to this app's owner, only 200 million people have subscribed to the live streaming music apps, which is only 2.85% of the world's population. Deezer is currently providing a vast list of songs consisting of around 43 million numbers and is operating in more than 180 countries. This is why Deezer Music believes that they will grow faster to provide a unique music lovers platform.
Deezer Music features a user-friendly payment system in which the users can make royalty payments on the music that is directly listened to instead of the market-share-based system. Deezer aims to provide a fair payment model and subscription pattern to the artists and the subscribers. This service focuses more on giving a significant share of the pie to the indie artists as Spotify already focuses on the pop stars.
The service also looks forward to promoting the local artists who belong to non-English speaking areas and are related to regional music genres. Deezer music streaming sets itself apart from other music streaming apps by emphasizing regional sub-genres like gospel in Brazil. The music app is trying its best to provide its subscribers with different music genres and aims to grab a fair share of the market this way.
Tidal music - High Quality Stream That Sounds Like Studio Record
Are you one of those who don't settle for low music quality? Do you prefer exclusive releases and higher quality music streams? Tidal is a global entertainment and music platform that will satisfy all of your needs. However, Tidal is still failing to get attention in front of Apple Music and Spotify, which most people prefer easily accessible high-fidelity streaming music.
Tidal is known for providing higher resolution music streams than Apple Music and Spotify, but it does so at a higher Tidal price. Tidal has partnered with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) and added millions of tracks to its Master's catalog from the Warner Music Group. The service allows fans to listen to music from artists like Missy Elliott, The Notorious B.I.G, Madonna, LCD Soundsystem, and many others.
Apart from the music quality, Tidal focuses on exclusive albums and songs, but the question is how the subscription to the service sums up? And whether the high-resolution audio quality is really worth the price? Let us find more about Tidal music streaming service to come to a point.
Bob Stuart, the creator of MQA, received the Prince Philip Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering, and he was the first audio engineer to get this award. He discovered a technology that allows coding of digital audio based on how humans respond to music. This way, the listener gets to listen to the exact lossless music stream created in the studio, all thanks to the MQA's built-in authentication. Bob Stuart states that their music catalog contains millions of great performances from years ago where sometimes the recording was done in 16 bit and 44.1 kHz, and since there wasn't any alternative, people had no choice but to listen to it. The good news is, Warner Music Group is bringing all that content to Tidal.
The Tidal COO, Lior Tibon, says that their service offers the best quality music that satisfies the customers' expectations with its audio innovation. Tidal provides the best quality radio stations that feature Masters only songs, and it is also adding a Master Edition of My New Arrivals. In short, Tidal offers unlimited access to its enormous catalog of more than 70 million tracks across various genres, endless artist radio stations, and thousands of professionally curated playlists. The recently launched 'Connect' feature allows the listeners to stream music directly from their HiFi tier to the connected devices. The HiFi and Tidal Premium include MQA, Dolby Atmos Music, and Sony's 360 Reality Audio recordings.
Death And Resurrection of Google Play Throw The YouTube Music
Google Play Music was born in 2011, and it died a sad death a few days ago. Even if you have little access to some features of this service, it won't last long. Google decided to take down Google Play Music because of YouTube. For quite some time, Google tried to acquire separate music licenses for Google Music radio and YouTube. However, it came to choosing one service, and YouTube won as it brings $15 billion per year.
Google Music app had so many features, one such element which set it apart was the cloud music storage. Though Google will want the Google Play Music subscribers to move to YouTube Music, that transition is difficult. Google provided a one-click transfer feature that allowed the users to shift all their music from the Google Play Music store to YouTube Music. However, after this step, you'll be left with a plethora of missing features and down-grades. If you were a true Google Play Music fan, you would have realized that the 'beta' version of Google Play Music that launched in 2011 was far better and more packed with features than the YouTube Music that we have today.
The PC Music Manager of Google Play Music offered easy uploads, and the 'Recently Added' playlist allowed us to play counts, edit song info, sort our favorite music library, and even download playlists for free. It had a better user interface, which allowed us to select multiple songs, and the drag-and-drop support to make playlists was also convenient. If Google could bring all those features to YouTube music, it would be the best thing for all the music lovers.
The Google Play Era was an amazing one; YouTube Music is also adding features, but we aren't sure whether the services will be able to match those of Google Play Music. Play Music is gone too soon and has left the subscribers in the transition phase. We still don't know whether YouTube Music will provide those features or not and how long will it take to reach that mark. If Google hadn't ended Google Play Music, no one would switch to the alternative.
How Bandcamp helps independent musicians to hold out in lockdown
When the pandemic hit the world, Bandcamp declared that it would waive 15% of its usual fee to support those artists suffering from the shutdown of live music shows. The service was founded in 2008 by Ethan Diamond to provide a user-friendly platform that would allow the bands to interact with the people and sell their music quickly. The service took a cut of 15% for every sale of the music and would take care of things like transcoding the music into different formats, analytics, and payments.
Bandcamp's growth has been steady over the years; half of the company's sales were from physical items like cassettes, vinyl CDs, USB sticks, T-shirts, mini-discs, and posters. Diamond says that this year people will see a noticeable change in the growth rate of the company's revenue. This is because the lockdown has made people realize that the artists need a platform to interact with their fans. On 20th March 2020, people bought around 800,000 records within a day, totaling $4.3 million of merchandise and Bandcamp playlist. Later, Bandcamp announced more fee-waiver days, and on 1st May, fans bought $7.1 million of records. Later, millions were spent on 5th June and 3rd July. Many other labels waived their fees on an independent basis.
Bandcamp is an excellent platform for labels and artists who want to deliver their music directly to their fans. Though many other platforms do so, Bandcamp has proven to be a significant revenue source for many labels out there. Some of the labels that use Bandcamp for their promotion are Sargent House, Merge Records, LateNightTales, Quite Scientific, Mexican Summer, and others.
At these platforms, fans are also allowed to leave their reviews, get messages from artists, share their collections, and even get streaming. During these years, Bandcamp has also run fundraisers for the Transgender Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Voting Rights Project. According to Diamond, music is essential for the survival of humanity, and the welfare of artists is an important thing to consider. Bandcamp offers substantial support to those artists and labels who come up with innovative ideas and want to provide something great to their fans. The support for Bandcamp among fans and artists is high and is expected to grow exponentially in the future.