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There is no question that Spotify is aggressively seeking its place as the podcasting leader. In recent months, the company has been snatching up influencers, celebrities, and other public figures by signing exclusive podcasting deals. From Joe Rogan’s highly popular “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast to contracts with Los Angeles-based influencers Rickey Thompson and Denzel Dion, TikTok dancer Addison Rae, and former First Lady Michelle Obama, Spotify continues to increase its number of exclusive podcasting deals.

With industry sources stating that Spotify’s podcasting deals with influencers could be reaching as high as seven figures, what is Spotify trying to achieve through these exclusive contracts? …


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Once relegated to the fringes of digital entertainment, podcasts are now on the minds of the entire media industry. Big money acquisitions of podcasting companies are increasingly commonplace, while a growing number of major celebrities are launching podcasts of their own. In a relatively short amount of time, this audio show format has become impossible to ignore, with the most significant media companies jumping into the mix at a rapid pace.

The Early Days

The origins of podcasting actually go back to 2001 when the first iPod was released, although the name came along a bit later in 2004. The niche market initially gained some ground with those interested in new technologies, but it remained far from the ears of the masses. Apple became the main distribution platform when the company made podcasts compatible with iTunes in 2005, but significant growth didn’t occur until 2009 when several edgy comedians started to produce podcasts due to the format’s freedom and lack of censorship. Fast forward five years to 2014 and podcasting gained its first large audience with — a true crime investigative journalism program — which hit 40 million downloads over three months, leading advertisers and the entire media industry to take serious note of the emerging popularity of the podcasting format. …


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Every year as we near the year’s end, we look at the technology trends that propel the industry forward. This time, I decided to look specifically at music streaming as the industry, artists, and fans further embrace the shifting culture of how people listen to songs. As the days of owning music — both physical mediums and downloads — fade into the past, the increase in subscriptions to streaming platforms is largely responsible for the phenomenal 18% rise in revenue from recorded music in the US in the first half of 2019. …


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“It seems that the allocated attention time in our collective minds has a certain size but the cultural items competing for that attention have become more densely packed.” — Professor Sune Lehmann, Technical University of Denmark.

Do you realize that popular music songs are getting shorter?

Well, they are, and the shift is dramatic. Between 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 decreased in length by 20 seconds. Additionally, while only 1 percent of hit songs were 2 minutes and 30 seconds or shorter in 2013, this number rose to 6 percent in just five years. And this change goes across genres. …


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Streaming is responsible for massive revenue gains in the music industry in recent years. I was pleased to report in my recent article that overall music consumption in the first half of 2018 hit the highest peak the industry had experienced for the prior 15 years, primarily due to the explosive rise of streaming. Total streaming revenue increased by an incredible 34% in 2018.

So, where are we now? According to a mid-year report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), music streaming services continue to soar in 2019. CTA’s “US Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report predicts a whopping 33% increase in music streaming services revenue from 2018, thereby forecasting $8.4 billion in 2019 in the US alone. …


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Over the past several years, changes in the music industry have been swift and monumental. Today’s world of music would have been virtually unrecognizable even a decade ago, as the evolution of content creation and consumption continues to alter practically every aspect of the marketplace and related business practices. In the face of the many drastic changes in the industry, regulatory agencies have frequently struggled to keep up. These challenges have resulted in great frustrations for creators, publishers, distributors, music users, and fans.

Until now, perhaps.

The recent announcement that the US Department of Justice opened a formal review of music licensing consent decree rules marks the potential for an overhaul of the marketplace which many believe is long overdue. …


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Digital agencies and digital media companies are undeniably more tech-savvy than media and entertainment companies. In fact, digital organizations from startups to enterprises, by the very nature of their work, are typically ahead of most other types of companies when it comes to effectively implementing and managing tech solutions. At the same time, clients are beginning to demand more and more from the agencies they work with; oftentimes, digital media companies find themselves struggling to keep pace with large amounts of back-end work or technological requests beyond their capacity. …


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When’s the last time you purchased music to own? And I’m not referring only to physical mediums. With the incredible growth of streaming, it’s also increasingly likely that you haven’t bought downloads recently, as a growing percentage of music fans choose to access songs instead of wanting to own them.

In a recent interview, Kevin Twitchell — advisor to the Media & Entertainment practice at DataArt — discussed the monumental changes that have occurred over the past few years in the music business while opening up a dialogue about the next wave of transformation set to unravel in the industry. As physical mediums shifted to downloads, followed by the explosive growth of streaming, we witnessed an immense shift from the ownership model to the one of access. This evolution was primarily a result of the increase in mobile consumption combined with 3G and 4G network speeds, and it has produced many rewards, including a significant revenue boost coupled with an expanding ability for artists to release a vast range of content on a global scale. …


How IoT is Revolutionizing Music

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The Internet of Things (IoT) evolved from a lofty concept to a prevalent reality in a relatively short amount of time. The IoT technology brings intelligence to objects and devices that are connected to the internet to alter virtually every aspect of our personal and business activities. From connected cars and smart thermostats to microwaves capable of measuring the weight of food and cooking it accordingly, the Internet of Things saves us time and money while making our lives more convenient and enjoyable. …


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Would it surprise you to hear that 73% of companies run at least one application in the cloud? Maybe the only surprise is that the percentage isn’t higher.

This is especially true for media and entertainment companies in segments such as publishing, broadcasting, music, and sports. The amount of content we now produce, stream, watch online or download to our devices is mind-blowing. Each day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated in the digital sphere.

For example, every minute in 2017, Spotify added 13 new songs, Wikipedia users published 600 new page edits, Instagram users posted 46,740 pictures, Netflix viewers streamed 69,444 hours of video, and YouTube users watched 4,146,600 videos. …

About

Sergey Bludov

SVP Media & Entertainment DataArt.com

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