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Digital music business models - WR #48
Weekly Roundups
December 18, 2020

Digital music business models - WR #48

Here we go for another Weekly Roundup. This time, I wanted to take the time to focus on the new business models emerging in the music industry, based on newcomers on the Tech side. So how are music professionals taking advantage of the current situation and opportunities online.

Side note: this will be the last Weekly Roundup of the year! Considering that Holidays are just around the corner, let’s take a break and come back fresh for 2021!

#1. TikTok based business models

Let’s do our TikTok update first. As record labels, music media and other parts of the music industry are wrapping up 2020, TikTok is still being closely studied. It seems like the app might go through the holidays still operating in the US (no way to be sure, but this is where we are now).

As we saw a few times, artists came back at the top of the charts, some others have been discovered, thanks to viral videos on TikTok. The app revealed that 176 tracks hit a billion views during 2020, an important number to place TikTok in A&R strategies. Indeed, many professionals saw the opportunity to capitalize on these new ways to get discovered. It is now a question of how to systemize these successes.

On the business side, TikTok should watch out because it’s Reddit’s turn to develop competitive strategies with the acquisition of Dubmash (a rival of TikTok). The goal here is to add videos to content to be shared on the platform. And finally, let’s mention a new investigation on user privacy launched by the Federal Trade Commission, focusing on TikTok, Facebook and other main Social Media platforms. And I think with all these new steps in TikTok’s case, we’re all set for the break!

#2. Music business models reinvented

Speaking of, the fact that Social Media keeps music professionals working new strategies to take advantage of the possibilities and put their artists first is interesting for the future. Considering that all revenues are going to be coming from digital streams for a while, the music business will have to adapt. This is what Troy Carter talks about to Music Business Worldwide, from Spotify’s strategy to the masters feuds between artists and record companies. Always good to have the point of view from the Tech side of the music business!

#3. Songwriters on Spotify

About Spotify, a quick new feature caught our attention. Taking a step towards songwriters, the platform now offers a Hub for users to fill in information about songwriters, not visible enough today on tracks and albums that are streamed online.

#4. Digital music business models

Since we’re on streaming, here is a funny data: the number of subscribers increased this year in the US, but the number of streams didn’t. In the middle of fierce competition with TikTok for younger audiences and gaming platforms attracting more and more users, this could mean that streaming is not able to retain users as well as other new platforms.

Let’s add to this situation the fact that many of the new subscribers are listening to more podcasts than tracks, then record labels and music publishers could be looking at a fragile stream of revenue. These trends were gathered by Billboard, questioning whether or not music streaming would be able to compete in the Attention Economy

#5. Social Media most addictive apps

Let’s wrap up on a lighter note and look at a bit of data. When it comes to Social Media apps, the whole point is to remain interesting for the longest time and retain their audience. When it comes to music, Audiomack and SoundCloud have a solid advance. See how these apps grow at a fast pace and which are interacting with music here!

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