Music Subscriptions Passed 100 Million In December. Has The World Changed?

Happy New Year, guys!

Music Industry Blog

In streaming’s earlier years, when doubts prevailed across the artist, songwriter and label communities, one of the arguments put forward by enthusiasts was that when streaming reached scale everything would make sense. When asked what ‘scale’ meant, the common reply was ‘100 million subscribers’. In December, the streaming market finally hit and passed that milestone, notching up 100.4 million subscribers by the stroke of midnight on the 31st December. It was an impressive end to an impressive year for streaming, but does it mark a change in the music industry, a fundamental change in the way in which streaming works for the music industry’s numerous stakeholders?

Streaming Has Piqued Investors’ Interest

The streaming market was always going to hit the 100 million subscriber mark sometime around now, but by closing out the year with the milestone it was ahead of schedule. This was not however entirely surprising as the…

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Band spotlight: The Tragically Hip

hip_crest_stickerI was going to share a little bit about The Tragically Hip on the website’s Facebook page (*shameless begging* given a thumbs up yet, btw?) the other day when they announced their farewell tour but then I thought they deserved a bit more.

I’ll never forget my brother describing them to me as “the Canadian Pearl Jam“. No, it’s not the same kind of music but the same kind of following, the same kind of respect and admiration of their respective fans. They’re basically a Canadian rock institution!

I remember they played the last “Canada Day” that London hosted two or three years ago…for free!! I didn’t find out until too late though. Never quite recovered from that one…

hipAnyway, as I mentioned above, a couple of weeks ago the band, who’s been together since 1984, announced their last tour but for a much sadder reason than a relatively simple break-up: lead singer Gordie Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

If that wasn’t sad enough, considering the band’s popularity and the nature of the tour, it’s no wonder tickets were nearly impossible to be purchased but, even worse, scalpers didn’t make it any easier taking advantage of the situation to put their robots in place and snatch most tickets in order to sell them in the secondary market for a premium price which they know they’ll be able to charge.

Considering we, music fans, get extremely frustrated with this happening on a regular basis, imagine when you know it’s the last chance you get to see your favourite band!
Naturally, the situation sparked major outrage across Canada. So much, in fact, that Toronto councillor Josh Colle wants to give scalpers a giant middle finger by throwing a FREE Hip gig.

“I just thought with all the obvious demand out there, and the frustration on the ticket side …It would just be a really fantastic opportunity to let everyone thank, celebrate the Tragically Hip and what they’ve meant to the city and to Canada and to all our music lives.” – Josh Colle for The Toronto Star

Colle is currently using the many music contacts he made throughout the years to try to make this magic happen and I STRONGLY hope he pulls it off!

You can listen to more of The Hip on Spotify:

If you like: R.E.M, 90s alt rock

Seriously one of the most anticipated releases finally announced!

Disclaimer: I’m Latin. I do feel very passionately about things that I truly love and sometimes it comes across as slightly obsessive to my European peers. 😂 Oh well!

The reason I’m sharing this information is that I’m possibly about to go very nuts over the latest album release announced. In my defence, I’ve been waiting for this one in particular for over TWO YEARS.

It was on Wednesday 05 Mar 2014 that I was really excitedly waiting to see dear Nina Persson at the Scala. I was just chilling, minding my own business celebrating my 10th anniversary of the first time I left home to leave abroad when the support act came on stage…that was it. Norma Jean Martine began and it was all, well, uphill! from there.

At the time I really liked her but normal, the way I like a billion artists. But then I checked her out online, again, like I usually do with the artists I like, and I got hooked. I’ve long lost count of how many times I watched her videos on YouTube and EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I ask myself “why on earth isn’t she releasing these songs so I can actually have them on my daily playlists?!”

Well, guess I (and you. You’ll all love it! She’s amazing!) won’t have to wait that much longer…this is part of the email I got today:

IMG_2668

I was so excited that I forgot to watch the video and check the release date: 09 Sept 16 (aaahhh another 5 months!! But ok, at least now we know it’s happening).

njm_cover

And the video. Seriously, the video. I haven’t been excited about one in forever but reading about it gave me all the feels…I’ll share NJM’s words as she can obviously explain it better than anyone else:

njm_video

And, obvs, the video:

This song was actually released a while ago with a different video but this one really is just beautiful! So personal, so sweet. And I’m not entirely sure as I hadn’t heard the studio version of “No Gold” in a while but sounds like it’s been slightly reworked…sounds cooler, more interesting (even though the original was already a great song!).

Apart from the fact that we still need to wait a few months for the album to be released, one of my favourite NJM songs is not in the track list…but all good, everything is fine, we’ll just have to hope she’ll release a bootleg/acoustic version of it to keep us going (because one album will not be enough!)

[this track, btw]

Hopefully she’ll announce the London gig soon and, better yet, I’ll be able to go!! It’s been too long…about 3 months =)

[NJM at The Lexington, London 16 Feb 2016]

You can find Norma Jean Martine on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Rolling Stone Music Now

It was only last year that I got into podcasts, mainly due to those who usually share my taste in entertainment recommending I listen to Serial, which I got totally hooked on, and my brother’s house chore hack: he always listens to podcasts while doing the dishes. You see, with music, you can let your mind wander, but with podcasts, you really have to focus. So much that you don’t notice the chores you’re doing!

After Serial, I looked up top 10 lists of “best podcasts” (which is how I found my Tuesday lunchtime laughter, Another Round, coming on another post) and started browsing my podcast app for music + music business ones (although I had already heard of a really great one too, SynchStories, from Synchtank).

I came across the Rolling Stone podcast, Music Now, a few months ago and it hasn’t disappointed me. It launched in January this year and is hosted by the mag’s Executive Editor, Nathan Brackett.

It usually starts out with Nathan + a couple of magazine staff talking about what they’ve been listening to in the office and there’s always at least one great song amongst it, although they’re usually all good. And I love how they analyse the songs and often have the story behind it.

The podcast always talks about the very latest releases and music news and features interviews with special guests, often other writers with current articles on the Rolling Stone website. In fact, more often than not, they’ll offer really entertaining/interesting stories about bands and artists featured in the magazine. Not to mention the jokes!

I love how it sounds like they’re just around a bar table having a beer and chatting about music and the insights they give into the artists’ lives, how that influenced their music and love hearing about music that’s not out yet to the public but they’ve obviously heard already – perks of the job!

They definitely made me listen to music more focused like I used to as a teenager scribbling song lyrics all over my notebooks instead of paying attention to class and taking notes.

Rolling Stone Music Now is out on Monday evenings (GMT) and it’s the perfect companion to your Tuesday morning commute!

You can find it on their website here and on iTunes here.


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Internation subway jam

This past week, after one of the four days of Frankfurt’s music fair, Musikmesse, magic happened.

As I was browsing Facebook this Saturday morning, I came across a video of two girls playing music on a train that looked incredibly familiar and the caption said something about the guy who joined them…and so he did 2 minutes in.

You know what? Let’s get to the point! If you haven’t stumbled upon this, congrats! – you have a really great life offscreen!

While the Facebook version of this video had about 4 million views in the morning, by the end of the day it had reached 19m+! Not to mention the gazillion articles popping up all across Europe!

Mystery was solved: lady on guitar + vocals is Hamburg native, Anna Guder, a.k.a Kiddo Kat, on cajon we’ve got Londoner, Heidi Joubert and the surprise appearance is Maltese Ozzy Lino.

This MADE MY LIFE! Ok ok, my weekend…there wasn’t a person who crossed my path who wasn’t forced to hear about it and watch the video. But better yet, there wasn’t one who didn’t get as excited as yours truly!

It’s moments like this that I live for! A couple of years ago I was coming back from an incredible Pearl Jam pjmkconcert in a packed train from Milton Keynes to London and these two dudes started chatting to me about the gig and asking if I liked it and all…they began asking me what my favourite bands were and, for each one, they sang a song (and really well!). It got to a point that the whole carriage joined in and sang along (minus voice-less me) and, at the end, as a joke (but not really), I said “Backstreet Boys“. Yep. They sang that too. With all of their hearts. Spjmk2adly, both my camera and phone batteries had long died…(for a good cause!).