June 1, 2015


Bits & Bytes: Streaming, Profitability and Acquisitions in Music Tech

Kai Bienert/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Kai Bienert/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Jesse Kirshbaum is the co-founder and visionary behind SoundCTRL, the authority in music tech culture, news and events. When not serving as CEO of NUE Agency, he sits on the Global Advisory Board of Social Media Week and Digital Music Wire, sharing a dynamic enthusiasm and passion for shaping the new music business. Stay tuned to Fuse.tv for Bits & Bytes, his weekly roundup and personal take on the latest in music tech.

Words and roundup by Jesse K, powered by SoundCTRL

Licensing and dealing with the major labels is a gift and a curse for music tech companies. If you have a deal with the labels, it seems like your valuation is crippled. But without the licensing from the labels, who control so many of the major artists music, it's hard to offer a robust service. 

This current situation really hampers the creativity for entrepreneurs who are passionate about music. While Warner and Universal have secured deals with Tidal, Sony lags behind. Makes you wonder—will Sony take Beyoncé's music off of Tidal? They have yet to do so, but that may change if they don't receive their Tidal advance. If labels are turning down an advancement of $1 billion from Spotify, who knows what it will take to get Sony on board. 

Then again, as a consumer, who cares? Tidal is claiming that they have exclusive content, but let's be real...this is the internet age. What does exclusive content even mean?

All eyes are on Apple, the kid with clout and strong relationships who may really pull this off, which may be the big break for the streaming music. Can Apple take streaming from being niche to a form of mass consumption? They may be the last ones to have a chance at getting it right.  

Google I/O: Things They Stayed Weirdly Quiet About

In tech journalism, rumors are like editorial gambits. Some seem like a sure thing, some just smoke and mirrors, while others still are very real but very far off. There were a few things that were oddly missing from the Google I/O that we were expecting to see. Can you guess what?

Record Labels: Bring Booty Back

Music labels are hoping to convince Apple to hand over an unusually large slice of the monthly subscription fees from its soon-to-arrive paid streaming service.

Tidal: Who's Unlicensed?

Since March, Tidal has secured licenses from two major labels: Warner & Universal. Sony continues to hold out for an advance payment but remains on the platform.

Indie Music: Being Able To Profit

Every indie artist working in music today needs to educate themselves about how to monetize their beats in this economy. But how can CD Baby & Rumblefish help?

Subscriptions: 50 Cent Slams Tidal

50 Cent is letting people know they don't need to pay upward of $9.99 a month for music that will be available elsewhere, including on rival streaming services.

Digital Splash: 10 Options For Apple

Here's speculation about 10 companies that might make for appealing targets for Apple as it strives to build a new music subscription business.