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Why YouTube Rules Music Videos
May 03, 2015 06:43 PM PDT

Music Business Podcast's Kyle Bylin and Cortney Harding discuss the present and future of YouTube and music videos.

Patreon's Jack Conte Shares Startup Lessons
April 26, 2015 09:03 PM PDT

We talk with Jack Conte, who is the co-founder and CEO of Patreon, a platform that allows people to support creators by becoming paid subscribers of their creative works.

Deezer Exec Outlines Global Music Strategy
April 19, 2015 12:51 PM PDT

In this episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, we talk with Julien Simon, who is the VP of Music Rights and Label Relations at Deezer, a subscription music service. We discuss the company's global expansion strategy and the challenges it must overcome in new markets.

Songkick Discusses Research About Concertgoers
April 15, 2015 03:50 PM PDT

Gideon Bullock, who is a design director at Songkick, discusses user research methods.

How to Make Tidal Better for Musicians
April 12, 2015 12:09 PM PDT

Jon Healey of the LA Times and Kyle Bylin discuss Jay Z's Tidal streaming music service.

Next Big Sound’s Data Journalist Finds Stories In Numbers
April 04, 2015 10:16 PM PDT

Data journalist Liv Bulli crunches the numbers at Next Big Sound, then puts them into words that even the lay-artist can understand. She and her team have an uncanny way of predicting future hits; they’ve called out Iggy Azalea and Sam Smith way before they were commending awards and headlines. Liv joins the podcast to talk about her role, why artists shouldn’t compare themselves to Taylor Swift, and why tweeting isn’t enough — you actually need to engage your base.

Will Jay Z's Tidal Service Have a Hard Knock Life?
March 30, 2015 11:01 PM PDT

In this special episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, Cortney and Kyle discuss whether Jay-Z's Tidal will suffer a hard knock life in the subscription music market.

An MIT Media Lab For Music
March 27, 2015 04:36 PM PDT

In this episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, we talk with Panos Panay, who is the founding managing director of Berklee's Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship. You probably know Panos from his previous role as the founder and CEO of SonicBids, a platform that allows bands to book gigs and market themselves online. I talk to Panos about the founding story of Berkee ICE and his goals for the initiative.

Music Industry Analyst Describes Shifts In Listening Habits
March 13, 2015 12:06 AM PDT

According to professor Aram Sinnreich, author of the 2013 book The Piracy Crusade: How the Music Industry’s War on Sharing Destroys Markets and Erodes Civil Liberties, college students have changed significantly in their music listening habits and overall musical tastes over the last decade, in part due to market forces and technological innovations.

Ten years ago, undergrads typically had a CD collection, perhaps supplemented by a computer hard drive full of MP3 files downloaded from a file-sharing service and listened to using Winamp or iTunes. Students carefully managed their music libraries and strongly identified with one specific genre or group of genres. It’s also likely that they owned an Apple iPod or MP3 player or used an old Sony Walkman.

Today, students with access to a computer or smartphone with an Internet or data connection have millions of songs at their fingertips if they don’t mind sitting through a couple of annoying ads. They’re more likely to experiment with new styles and develop broader musical tastes, because the cost of exploring different artists and songs has become so minimal.

When you read a news story about a new music app, you often wonder if the startup team sanity-checked their product idea with potential users. Did they visit a university campus and ask a classroom of students, “Can anyone here see themselves using this music app? If so, why would it be useful or valuable to you?” It would seem prudent for them to spend a week walking around a variety of college campuses, observing how students listen to, discover, and interact with music. I think it would be an eye-opening experience, as it would give them a view into real music listening habits of a cross-section of the target population, as opposed to, say, people in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This is why I wanted to interview Aram Sinnreich, who is an assistant professor at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information. Sinnreich has both a music industry analyst’s insights into what’s happening in the market and a university professor’s view of what’s going on with students in his classroom.

How Music Consumer Research Has Changed

February 12, 2015 09:42 PM PST

Studying people’s music buying habits used to be simple. You handed a person a stack of postcards and told them to send you one the next time they bought an album. They wrote down what they purchased, why they purchased it, where they purchased it, how much they paid for it, and sent that postcard back to you.

Russ Crupnick, managing partner of research group MusicWatch Inc., says the rise of file-sharing clients and streaming music services has made it harder to track where people getting their music and whether they are paying anything at all. The number of things that people are doing has increased each passing year.

You have to ask people a myriad of questions to cover all the bases.

Are you listening to AM/FM radio or SiriusXM? Are you playing songs on Pandora or Spotify? Are you looking up music videos on YouTube or VEVO? Are you buying songs on iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon? Are you ripping the audio from a video clip on YouTube and downloading it to your computer as a MP3 file?

If you type “YouTube to MP3” into Google’s search engine, it lists dozens of websites that allow you to enter a video link and download a MP3 file. In a few clicks, Taylor Swift’s song “Blank Space” can be playing in iTunes. “The average stream ripper is taking the equivalent of about two albums per year,” says Crupnick.

What follows is a podcast interview with Russ Crupnick.

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