Apple Rips Spotify Complaint In Europe As “Misleading Rhetoric”

Read on: Deadline.

Apple has issued a lengthy response to Spotify’s complaint before European Commission regulators, which was issued earlier this week. The iPhone maker dismisses it as “misleading rhetoric” that conceals its streaming competitor’…

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Says Apple’s Stiff Rules Place a ‘Gag Order’ on Its Competitors

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek continued to rip Apple on Thurday, one day after the music streaming service filed an anti-competition complaint against the tech giant with the European Commission, saying what started off as a “mutually beneficial relation…

20 Most Streamed Women in Apple Music History, From Ariana Grande to Lady Gaga (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Apple Music revealed its top 20 most streamed female artists in its history on Friday, in honor of International Women’s Day. Check out where some of the biggest names in music rank, including Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna.
1) Ariana Gran…

Ariana Grande Tops List of Most Streamed Female Artists on Apple Music (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Ariana Grande is the most-streamed female artist in the four-year history of Apple Music, the service announced on Friday — just in time for International Women’s Day.

The 25-year-old “Thank U, Next” singer edges out Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Beyoncé on Apple Music’s “Top Women in Streaming” list, announced as the service is set to showcase several visionary female artists during March on its radio shows and curated playlists.

Grande is the first and only female artist to cross the 3 billion total streams threshold since Apple Music launched in mid-2015, according to an individual familiar with its streaming figures. She’s joined by Swift and Rihanna as the only three women in the 2 Billion or More Streams Club.

Also Read: Ariana Grande Fires Back at Grammys Producer Over Canceled Performance: ‘Now You’re Lying About Me’

Of course, Grande’s streaming numbers have been goosed by the success of her latest album, the Scooter Braun-produced “Thank U, Next,” which set an Apple Music record in its own right when it debuted in February with 185.4 million worldwide streams in its first week — the most by any male or female pop artist ever. That easily tops Ed Sheeran’s 107.5 million global streams — the most for a male pop artist — in the first week after “Divide” came out in 2017.

Nicki Minaj, meanwhile, edged out her rival Cardi B to close out the top 5. Cardi B still has some bragging rights, though: Her 2018 album “Invasion of Privacy” set an Apple Music record as the most streamed female R&B/hip-hop album in its first week of release, pulling in more than 100 million global streams.

Other noteworthy results include Lady Gaga coming in at number nine, Selena Gomez at number 14, and 17-year-old singer-songwriter Billie Eilish cracking the top 20. And for anyone wondering who is Apple Music’s most streamed artist, male or female, of all time, it’s Drake.

Also Read: Two ‘New’ Beyonce Albums Hit Spotify, Apple Music – Then Vanish Hours Later

As March continues, Apple Music will also release more than 100 Apple Music playlists, spanning upwards of 3,000 song, dedicated to female artists.

Below you can check out the full top 20 list of Apple Music’s “Top Women in Streaming”:

1)         Ariana Grande

2)          Taylor Swift

3)          Rihanna

4)          Beyonce

5)          Nicki Minaj

6)          Cardi B

7)          Adele

8)          Sia

9)          Lady Gaga

10)        Halsey

11)       Lana Del Rey

12)        SZA

13)        Demi Lovato

14)        Selena Gomez

15)        Katy Perry

16)        P!nk

17)        Camila Cabello

18)        Mariah Carey

19)        Ella Mai

20)        Billie Eilish

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Clouting Our Judgment: Are Labels Overspending for SoundCloud Hype? (Guest Column)

Read on: Variety.

A recent Goldman Sachs report projected that recorded music would balloon to an $80 billion business in the next 10 years. But walk through the halls of a major label’s urban department these days and you might think we’re already there, es…

Two ‘New’ Beyonce Albums Hit Spotify, Apple Music – Then Vanish Hours Later

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Two “new” Beyonce albums hit Apple Music and Spotify on Thursday night — sending fans into a frenzy online — only to be removed hours later.

Instead of being another surprise offering, the albums, released under the name “Queen Carter” on Spotify and Apple Music, turned out to be leaked compilations of old songs and demos. The leaked albums, titled “Have Your Way” and “Back Up, Rewind,” included one song that dated as far as Beyonce’s appearance in 2002’s “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” along with other tracks that had leaked online before.

Spotify and Apple Music didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Friday on how the albums were briefly available.

Also Read: Beyonce, Jay-Z ‘On the Run II’ Show Interrupted as Drunken Fan Storms Stage, Chases Them

Beyonce wasn’t the only star that “released” old material, either. A leaked album from SZA recently went up on Apple Music and Spotify under the name “Sister Solana.” Terrence “Punch” Henderson, president of Top Dawg Entertainment, tweeted Thursday the SZA album contained “old songs” that “were stolen and leaked.”

There is no new SZA album out. Old songs were stolen and leaked. We are currently fixing the issue. Please feel free to continue enjoying Ctrl until the next album is ready.

-Punchino from TDE

— Punch TDE (@iamstillpunch) December 21, 2018

The leaked Beyonce albums were conspicuous in that they weren’t exclusively released on Tidal, the Jay-Z backed streaming service. Beyonce and Jay-Z’s joint album “Everything Is Love” was a Tidal-exclusive for two days earlier this year before hitting other services.

Also Read: Beyonce Gets a Rare Rejection – From Rome’s Colosseum

Leaked or not, some Beyonce fans still joked online they wanted to enjoy the two bootleg albums as much as possible — while others enjoyed pointing out the tracks weren’t new at all.

Me listening to Queen Carter as much as possible before Beyoncé snatches it back pic.twitter.com/gFVDSn3GZf

— Organic African Feminist ????‍???? (@YaaAsantewaaBa) December 21, 2018

Me listening to Queen Carter before Beyoncé shuts down all music streaming services pic.twitter.com/lVpXy0PpD2

— fierce (@sashagradd) December 21, 2018

“YALL THERE IS A BUNCH OF UNHEARD BEYONCÉ MUSIC ON SPOTIFY UNDER QUEEN CARTER IM NOT FUCKIN AROUND”

Black Twitter: pic.twitter.com/kkaIs9sFLs

— 6’7-Eleven Inches (@LebandzJames4) December 21, 2018

OG Beyoncé fans right now… pic.twitter.com/naEyqqkOoZ

— Niecy Nash’s Waist (@hotlinebling) December 21, 2018

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Tencent Music Spikes 7 Percent as Chinese Streaming Giant Goes Public

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Tencent Music — China’s dominant music streamer, with hundreds of millions of users spread across its family of apps — made its Wall Street debut on Wednesday, with shares surging 7.4 percent in its first day trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tencent Music, trading under the TME symbol, was listed at $13 per share for its initial public offering — coming in on the low end of its $13-15 per share projections. The IPO raised about $1.1 billion for the company. TME shares quickly increased when trading began on Wednesday, hitting a daily high of $14.75 per share before closing at $13.98 per share.

Despite entering the market at a harrowing time for investors — even pushing its IPO back from October to December to avoid some of the wreckage — Tencent Music still made a noticeable first impression. It closed the day with a market cap of roughly $23 billion — making it one of the biggest tech IPOs in recent years and putting it within striking distance of surpassing Spotify. For comparison, Spotify hit Wall Street earlier this year with a market cap of $26.6 billion at the end of its opening day; it closed Wednesday with a market cap of about $23.25 billion.

Also Read: Cardi B Just Beat Taylor Swift’s Apple Music Streaming Record

Tencent Music, a subsidiary of Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, has four apps under its umbrella, including freemium streaming service QQ Music and WeSing, an online karaoke platform. Combined, those platforms boast a whopping 800 million users.

“Our users are highly engaged, with each daily active user on average spending over 70 minutes per day on our platform in the second quarter of 2018,” the company said in an October filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Another positive for TME: it’s profitable. In its SEC filing, the company reported a $199 million profit for 2017 and said it’s already well ahead of that pace for 2018, earning $263 million during the first six months of the year. Spotify, the dominant streaming service in the U.S., posted an unexpected $49 million profit when it reported its third-quarter financials last month. (Spotify owns a 9.1 percent share of TME, stemming from a stock swap last year.)

Also Read: Apple Gives 2 Season Order to Animated Musical Series From ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Creator

One challenge facing TME, which makes the bulk of its money from song downloads and ad sales, will be its ability to convert users into paying subscribers. The company said it had a 3.6 percent paying ratio during the second quarter of the year in its SEC filing, which it labeled “very low” in comparison to other online music services.

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Innovating at the Intersection of Music and Technology (All Things Video Podcast)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In the latest episode of All Things Video, I’m joined by Bob Moczydlowsky, managing director of Techstars Music. Techstars is a startup accelerator that invests in early stage software businesses, with Bob dedicating his attention to companies at the intersection of music and technology. Prior to Techstars, Bob oversaw music information at Yahoo!, then joined Topspin for over five years until its acquisition by Beats by Dre, and most recently led U.S. music partnerships at Twitter.

We begin the conversation by examining social media’s impact on the music industry, from the early days of Myspace to Bob’s time at Twitter. Bob characterizes Myspace as “the first ever canonical URL for music,” which enabled it to become a premier destination for bands to promote themselves and engage with fans. This direct-to-consumer philosophy became the foundation of Topspin, where Bob and his colleagues sought to help artists book shows, sell merchandise, and otherwise make money after online piracy precipitated a sharp decline in physical sales. (You can listen to this podcast on Apple or right here.)

Also Read: Twitter Mashes Up ‘Singin’ In the Rain’ With ‘It’s Raining Men’

Today, the social media landscape looks rather different. According to Bob, social platforms are “so hyper focused on competing with each other and creating their own walled gardens and their own internal economics” that they forget about content creators and their audiences. “There’s still a lot of hubris in the way the platforms posture to artists about ‘Well you need us, so we’re not going to pay you. You’re going to keep making this because you need access to your fans, and we’re going to keep selling them back to you.’”

Bob and I consider opportunities for social media platforms to offer more engaging experiences for superfans without creating a bloated product and disrupting the user experience. We both agree that Instagram is the clear leader today, with Bob adding, “I’d like to see a commerce business get attached to Instagram.” Given the volume of influencer marketing and branded content happening on the platform today, it seems only a matter of time until a full retail experience is available.

We also debate the future of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, which Bob views merely as version 1.0. As he points out, “They’re still modeled after a physical catalogue. They’re still organized as if you would organize albums on a shelf. They still have human curators. […] Give me media and music at the point where I want it based on what you know about me and my day.”

Also Read: Apple Completes Shazam Buyout, Plans to Phase out Ads

He’s absolutely right. Younger generations have no concept of radio stations or albums, holdovers from the era of physical distribution. They’re also less likely to rely on text-based search, so future streaming services will incorporate voice technology. Not only does this spare our tired fingers, it will also remove barriers to tech adoption, enabling less tech savvy, older, disabled, and illiterate audiences to easily access information online. Ultimately, the voice technology revolution is “fundamentally changing the operating system — the way that we interact with our devices and the way we’re going to organize and get information in the future.”

Finally, we explore how technology is transforming media to offer more personalized and interactive content experiences. Not only will our musical selections be tailored to the moment based on a variety of personal and environmental factors, so too will our film, TV, news, and gaming experience be curated by artificial intelligence. Technology has already radically changed media and entertainment in the last 30 years, and this is just the beginning.

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