Let’s talk about streaming! If this week has been about one thing, it’s those platforms (and the Grammys, obviously, but we didn’t forget about it, don't worry). Let’s dive in!
#1. Services are doing better than hardware at Apple
According to its latest report, Apple did not achieve last year’s results, with a noticeable drop in hardware sales. In fact, it has been a less shiny result than the Services division (on that front, news is good for the company). For Tim Cook, this is partly a consequence of a "challenging macroeconomic environment".
But Apple Music, TV or iCloud services have been doing way better. The turnover of the services has increased by 6.4% to $20,77 billion. This is saying a lot about the shift Apple is taking by pushing content more and more and trying to set itself apart from the competition with an attention to quality in its offer.
So we’ll see how the situation will evolve in the next 12 months!
#2. An imperfect change needed
The global macroeconomic environment not only affects Apple, the music industry also has to cope with external constraints, to resist and keep up with the times. It’s the case for streaming.
Nobody’s satisfied with the current system. Neither songwriters or Majors are fully taking advantage of streaming services. Which makes sense, considering the fact that it has been created to fit a totally different industry than what Music is today. Everyone would like a larger share of the revenues. But, if the revenues remain the same, a change in favor of one stakeholder would involve the loss of another. And this complicates things even more.
This is what MIDiA Research is talking about this week; the need for an imperfect change in streaming. There’s no magical fix that will make sense to everyone (not even the listeners), but change is still a necessity.
#3. How do digital platforms impact our vision of artists?
This week, PBS took a quick focus on how social media and streaming platforms are changing our way to listen to music. This was asked to an NPR music critic, on the occasion of the Grammys’ night. How do these platforms impact the selection of nominees? And what does it say about our vision of music?
Very simply put: the way we create, and even consider, music has largely evolved over the last years. More than our vision of artists, the discourse is more directed towards remuneration and the way it’s dealt with. From Tidal and UMG to how we consider Beyonce nowadays, you can dive right in!
#4. An equation between Grammys and streaming
Staying on streaming for a little bit, we can talk more about how Grammys are impacting streams for the music field. The biggest recognition can only be expected to have at least some impact on the behavior of listeners on platforms.
MusicAlly got their hands on some Last.fm data to talk about the various ways it can be noticed for different types of artists. From the small change for already grown artists to the one that benefits the most with a steady increase, find all data right here!
#5. Another supporter of streaming changes
Another way of advocating for changes in streaming business models: Drake enters the discussion with the proposition of bonuses based on performance. Just like athletes. If you read our Weekly Roundup last week, we talked about Universal Music Group taking a stand on that matter. They have been looking at a potential “bonus pool” money for artists who outperform with new users or even superfan subscriptions. So maybe we’ll see some new models emerge?