This week, let’s talk about music streaming. Always talked about for their business model, the platforms are reinventing means to increase discoverability, grow or add services and consolidate offers on one and only one platform.
#1. Sony Group Corporation is buying stakes in Epic Games (again)
Let’s start with a series unraveling. Sony Music and Epic Games are getting even closer than before. The company Sony Music Group (parent company of Sony Music) bought another 3% stakes in the company for no less than $1 billion.
As you can guess, it’s the building of the foundation of the metaverse that interests the Major. And it’s not the first time they’re buying stakes in Epic Games. Back in 2020 and 2021, the music company bought small shares. So where does that leave us? About $1.45 billion for a 5.4% share in the main company working on immersive entertainment.
According to Tim Sweeney (founder and CEO of Epic Games): “This investment will accelerate our work to build the metaverse and create spaces where players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences and creators can build a community and thrive.” Isn’t that the whole point?
In parallel, Rolling Stone published an article on the future of artists and the metaverse, well documented. From Epic Games’ first immersive experience in Fortnite back in 2020 to the possible rise of virtual artists and the storytelling to develop and go along with them, dive in an analysis of one of the fastest current trends.
#2. Spotify is rethinking discoverability
This week, we learnt that the main music streaming platform was building a new way to discover artists on its platform. Spotify is testing a discovery feed, loosely based on TikTok’s format, with Canvas.
So Spotify will create a feed recommending around 15 artists to discover per day, selected for the user. This way, it will be possible to add the track or artist to the library, making an easy path towards discoverability. For now, the new feature will be available shortly in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
In the meantime, Spotify is dropping the Greenroom app (competitor of Clubhouse) to integrate it fully in the main platform as Spotify Live. By doing so, the streaming service is completing the offer for artists to reach their audience, but is also trying to gain the traction the Greenroom app was lacking.
#3. How to deal with fake artists on streaming platforms?
It seems like we’re getting back into it regularly. And you wouldn’t be wrong to say so. But to follow up on the previous topic, it could be interesting to take a look at how fandom has evolved over the years. Streaming is closer than radio rather than what retail was; a direct link for the fandom (when the radio would be more of a discoverability mean).
So now what? With the rise of fandom (into which TikTok has dived in with UGC), fake artists may be a symptom of how much we could lose through the streaming system. Here is a deeper analysis to keep digging into it.
#4. Could Deezer try to go public (again)?
Back in 2015, the French music streaming platform Deezer held off their IPO just days before the officialization. Today, the streaming company could be talking about going public, through a merger with a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). This would be no other than I2PO, the new European SPAC, backed by the billionaire family Pinault.
#5. Some predictions about the future of music streaming
To wrap up our Weekly Roundup, let’s broaden our horizon a bit and take a look at the predictions the musictech specialist Bas Grasmayer shared this week. From the potential (non)impact of NFT to the trend of adaptive music, how could the music streaming industry possibly grow in the next few years?