Michael Stipe’s “Your Capricious Soul” is available exclusively on Stipe’s website for a suggested $0.77.
After a long creative hiatus, Michael Stipe has released his first song since R.E.M. broke up in 2011. The new single, “Your Capricious Soul,” is currently available only at Stipe’s website, MichaelStipe.com.
Stipe has been playing the song at recent concerts, and it costs $0.77 (or a donation of your choice) to download it, with all proceeds going to the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion. Eventually, at some unnamed time, listeners will further be able to stream the song on popular music streaming services as well — just not yet.
It’s unclear how much money the download will generate, though the amount will easily eclipse streaming services. On platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, the song would probably generate a pittance for Stipe and his charitable cause. Even worse, streaming platforms don’t directly account for song listens, instead apportioning royalties based on complex formulas involving millions of songs, users, subscription fees, and advertiser totals.
Additionally, Stipe released a music video accompanying the song, which was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and was included in the price of the song. Also included in the price is the following:
A lyric document written by Stipe
A print-ready poster
An animated flipbook
It’s worth noting that platforms like Spotify don’t (or can’t) offer extras alongside streams. The closest example of this type of bundle from a major platform would be the iTunes Store, which is now practically dead.
The headline out of RIAA’s latest data on the music ecosystem is clear (and to anyone who’s ever had to separate teenagers and their earbuds, no great surprise) — the streaming economy continues to accelerate, strengthen, and mature. Everywhere you look, our industry’s embrace of new technologies approaches, and platforms is paying off for artists, fans, and everyone who loves great music.
Music revenues grew 18%, to $5.4 billion in the first half of 2019. Paid streaming services added more than 1 million new subscriptions a month, taking us past 60 million total paid subscriptions. Thanks to that breakneck growth, plus continued modest drops in digital downloads and new physical sales, streaming now generates 80% of music business revenues and has fundamentally reshaped how fans find, share, and listen to the songs and artists they love.
What would happen if the major music services operated more like Netflix – offering not every artist you can think of, but bidding among themselves for the biggest ones? ByTIM INGHAM
The modern music business is suffering from a crisis of uniformity — and it’s absolutely fine with it. Scan across streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, and YouTube Music, and you’ll find almost exactly the same 50 million songs, presented via similar playlists, similar user interfaces, and similar in-app tool sets. The three major record companies, harborers of colossal market power, like it this way: They are now jointly generating close to $1 million every hour from streaming platforms.
Yet in any industry where innovation is frustrated, resulting in a homogenous product mix, two things are guaranteed: (1) Surviving services will pinch ideas from one another, rendering the leading players ever more indistinguishable; and (2) A low price threshold will eventually become the defining factor in the marketplace.
As for which streaming services are getting use, YouTube leads with a 30% share of weekly music listening, according to the study, followed by Spotify at 24% and Pandora at 17%. Apple and Amazon’s music services each account for 6%. Even though those both have seen strong subscriber growth, MusicWatch found Spotify listeners spend much more time on the platform, driving its higher share of listenership.
IHeartMedia Inc., the biggest U.S. radio-station owner, filed for bankruptcy with a plan to halve its debt load of more than $20 billion, the legacy of a leveraged buyout that hobbled the company as the digital era spawned new rivals.
IHeart, with about 850 radio stations and 17,000 employees worldwide, filed for Chapter 11 protection on Wednesday in Houston, a move that allows iHeart to keep operating while it tries to cement its turnaround plan. The deal still needs approval from the court and some holdout creditors, and the company could hear again from John Malone’s Liberty Media LLC, which has said it wants a stake in the reorganized media giant.
“Achieving a capital structure that finally matches our impressive operating business will further enhance iHeartMedia’s position as America’s #1 audio company,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Pittman said in a statement. Read More
What the click wheel taught us about listening to music “W ow,” a man said to me recently on the subway, “I haven’t seen one of those things in years.” He gestured toward the scuffed-yet-still-sleek, aluminum-colored rectangle in my hand - a 160GB sixth generation iPod Classic. I blinked for a moment.
“It speaks volumes about the rapid evolution of Universal Music Group that a technology leader of Ty Roberts’s stature is joining our team,” Nash said. “I have followed Ty’s career with great admiration for over two decades and could not be more excited to have him bring his track-record of trailblazing innovation and transformative vision about the power of data to UMG at this critical juncture.”
Starbucks this morning announced the overall of its mobile application, now used by 17 million people, in an effort to create a more personalized experience for its customers. The changes rolled out alongside an overhaul of the company’s popular customer loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards, which is now doling out stars based on dollars spent in stores, rather than how often customers make purchases.
Subscription streaming services pumped up the recorded-music industry’s revenue last year, but music consumption on free, legal sites grew faster, threatening the industry’s future growth, according to an industry report.