July 13, 2015


Bits & Bytes: On Artist Exclusives, Drake's "Energy" and Apple Music

Apple Music
Apple Music

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

I got a chance to start playing with Apple Music over the weekend. The fan in me is excited about the possibility of starting fresh with the service and growing to know Apple Music as they continue to refine it. There is something special about being early with a band or a company and following their growth. It’s a pure passion of mine and I feel like we get this opportunity with Apple Music platform. On my way to Summit Series this past weekend, I got a crack at Apple Music and was discovering new tunes, vibing out to some of their curated playlists and getting co-responses from my friends in the car.

This past week we saw Drake premiere his crazy "Energy" video on Apple Music and Lil Wayne debut his album FWA on Tidal. Apple Music is pushing Beats 1 Radio via their curators while Tidal is at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, pounding the payment and giving concert-goers discount codes for 3 free months of their premium service. Maybe guerrilla marketing will be the best new way for Tidal to grow? I'm interested to see if Tidal will expand this model and bring marketing to more and more concerts and festivals. Is the battle between which service can get the most artist exclusives or which service can acquire and keep users?

I personally am not a fan of the "artist exclusive" model. I don’t think long term that will be the win for either company and certainly not the music consumer. Nevertheless, as the battle royale for the streaming crown continues, there's still a lot of activity happening under the radar in the music industry. Here are some bits and bytes from the week:

Streaming & Subscription: Facebook Says "Move Over Apple Music & Spotify!"
The social network is currently in advanced stages of launching a music video service to YouTube that will pay artists for video streams using ad revenue. However, this is a stepping stone on the way to a full music service that could make the market even more crowded. What will be the key differences to make Facebook succeed as a music streaming provider?

Advertising: Pull Effect Vs. Push Effect
In this age of media fragmentation, true disruptors have to get away from the idea of interruption as a means of marketing. For advertising to work, you have to reach people by pull, not push.

Daily Charts: Introducing BuzzAngle
What constitutes a hit used to be just about weekly airplay and sales; now start-up BuzzAngle challenges Billboard's chart supremacy and the frequency at which it measures data with dynamic daily charts.

Live Experience: Revolution Televised
The Live Aid concerts took place 30 years ago and seen as the most important music happening since Woodstock. Learn how Live Aid reinvented pop music and continues nourishing artists!

Venture Capitalism: WhipClip's $40 Million
WhipClip has raised $40M to scale its operations and strike more partnerships with music companies, enabling consumers to clip & share their favorite moments of selected music videos.

Touring & Discovery: The Fender Support
When labels don't pay artists, Fender steps in. They outfit artists with tour necessities and increase the promotional reach for them, with a strong understanding of touring challenges!

Music Apps: Failing At Streaming
Most streaming services aren't really that great yet, because of the "offline problem", where many apps and services are built with the assumption that we're always online and connected.