Friday, September 12, 2014

iTunes Song Downloads Will Drop 39% In Five Years

Written by Paul Resnikoff - Last year was the first year that iTunes song downloads declined, ever. Get used to that trend: according to a finding just released by MIDiA Research, song downloads will drop 39% over the next five years, thanks to aggressive gains in streaming. “Streaming has driven new market growth in countries such as Sweden but in larger markets such as the US it is denting digital music buying,” MIDiA founder Mark Mulligan bluntly stated.
“The first wave of subscribers was harvested directly from the most valuable download buyers, denting download sales in the process. 23% of music streamers used to buy more than one album a month but no longer do so.”
Eventually, streaming will cannibalize all recording things. “Download sales are affected most and will continue to feel the pinch with 45% of all music downloaders also music streamers,” Mulligan continued. “Thus, although streaming and subscriptions will grow by 238% on 2013 levels to reach $8 billion in 2019, download revenue will decline by 39% – only five percent less than the rate at which CD revenues will fall – leaving streaming and subscriptions representing 70% of all digital revenue.”

Graph by Digital Music News. Written while listening to a bunch of deep house.

Click here to read more.

Beatport's Top-Selling Genres by Year - helpful or hurtful? Sound off!

Written by Adam Cruz

For years, label owners and artists have longed for the kind of data that Beatport has recently published. The chart above graphs genre sales over a 10-year period. As one of the world’s biggest online retailers for Electronic Dance Music, it would seem safe to say that this graph is roughly industry-accurate. Upon further inspecting, however, there are holes in the data worth mentioning. To begin with, supplying a sales chart based on sub-genres of niche market music is noble but antithetical, at the very least. After all, who’s to say what Deep House is versus House, for example? To provide such a specific report leaves Beatport open to the kinds of skepticism that anyone with discernment about the market would have about this.

Secondly, since ‘soulful house’ or even ‘vocal house’ wasn’t included in their reporting, this leaves one to suspect that either sales for the aforementioned sub-genres are so bad that they don’t even register on this sales chart or Beatport lumped soulful and vocal house into the other sub-categories. Thirdly, the Beatport website was recently been comprised. It has been alleged that hackers have gained entry into and have manipulated the chart positions on their website, rendering their top 10 charts worthless. Fourthly, Beatport, while one of the biggest retailers, certainly doesn’t represent the totality of the market. To me, I’d rather see a similar sales report, supplied by the largest online music retailers, iTunes. Perhaps we would leave ourselves open to the same quagmires as Beatport, but at least it would begin to represent the biggest source for purchasing music.

Lastly, while Beatport lists each sub-genre in this dance music chart and how it has fared, we are left with the probable realization that ‘soulful house’ or ‘vocal house’ is on the decline. If we’re left to presume that these sub-genres have been lumped together into ‘house,’ it’s no longer the top dance choice. Vocal house artists are left to consider their place in the dance music world while working DJs get to truly understand where the sound is going. I argue that while vocal house artists are left in the dark, working DJs get to experience how the sounds are faring with club crowds. Duce Martinez, a continuously traveling DJ, provides his insight and explains that the most popular type of dance music he’s hearing at his various gigs is deep house. For Duce, however, he notices that the tempo of these deep house tracks, while it was previously 124-127 BPM (beats per minute,) is now being produced at a much slower tempo - around 118-120 BPM. Additionally, Duce has noticed that vocals are sparse and most of the tracks are minimally put together. The beat and the groove are king. With that said, is there still a place for soulful or vocal house anymore?

What do you think? Is this sales report helpful or hurtful? Sound off!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Freedom Radio Hour S01EP01 - Music Business News (VIDEO)

We're celebrating the first episode of the Freedom Radio Hour Season 1! Here's to many more to the team here at #freedomradiohour

Missed it? Check out our music business news!

Ever notice that British singers don't sound British when they sing? Here's why. . .

The simple answer is that singing prevents vocalists from stressing syllables, according to Josef Fioretta, a linguistics professor at Hofstra University.

“What gets lost in singing are the suprasegmentals,” a linguistic term used to indicate qualities like stress, tone, and syllabification, Fioretta said. In other words, a song’s rhythm can limit a singer’s ability to pronounce words, and especially vowels, in his or her usual cadence: “The tone, the intonation, the rhythm of a language; these all get lost in singing,” he says.

So when Adele sings, “Never mind I’ll find someone like you,” the long “I” in “mind” becomes elongated, making it difficult to pronounce in a London clip. “If I say ‘aBOUT,’ you hear the stress on the second syllable,” Fioretta said. “But when you’re singing, that stress is reduced.”

It could also be that some performers with foreign accents deliberately choose to sound American to reach an American audience.

“It’s all about ‘performance practice,’ which means the musicians give the audience what is expected in a particular genre of music,” says Cindy Donnell, an associate professor of voice in the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Music.

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Cloudcast lets DJs play clubs without actually being there - helpful or hurtful?

Mixify has enabled DJs of all sorts to play live mixes for listeners at home, while also serving up video and real time chat.

Mixify has launched a new service called Clubcast, which allows DJs anywhere in the world to broadcast their live sets to multiple clubs at once. It’s a two-way live audio/video feature, so even DJs can see a live feed of their audiences, which enables them to respond and interact with the club crowds.

Mixify officially launched Clubcast just last week, but the company tested the concept with around 35 gigs during the last few months and discovered that there is a lot of demand for their service in regions of the world that are too distant for some U.S. and even European DJs to travel, such Asia and Australia.

While events like Ultra and Coachella have been streamed to video channels like Youtube, Clubcast is taking an alternate approach with on-site immersion. The video DJ experience seems like it would feel a bit detached for clubbers, but testing has confirmed that fans are quick to accept the idea.

Click here to read more.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hey DJs! What If Clubs Hired You While You Stayed at Home?

Hey DJs: what if several owners wanted to hire you to perform at their club while you stayed at home? Don't get it? Tune in and find out on Fri Sep 5 @ 6p ET for the Freedom Radio Hour live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan