My daughter, who is 17 and a senior in high school, is one of my best sources for what is hip and trendy. Last week she started talking to me about PSY, the incredibly popular Korean artist Park Jae-Sang, and his incredibly popular music video Gangnam Style. What’s that you say? The video has over 100 million views on YouTube, all kinds of famous artists liking it and imitating it, and lots of people talking about it.
The song debuted at #6 on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 for the week of July 28, 2012 and recently hit #1 on the iTunes Music Video Charts, overtaking Justin Bieber‘s As Long as You Love Me and Katy Perry’s Wide Awake. Of the more than 102 million views, about 47% of the views came from the United States, 7% from the United Kingdom, 6.8% from Canada and 4% from South Korea.
Nielsen recently highlighted the popularity of YouTube among young listeners. One of the most important points about PSY and his song Gangnam Style is that it’s as big as it is without the help of radio. Songs are getting made completely without the help of radio, and that’s a new thing.
There are a lot of levels to this song, the artist makes a bunch of socio-economic statements that are more recognizable to a Korean audience. But the video and songs’ appeal go way beyond that, it’s funny and fun to watch even if you don’t understand get the underlying message. But more than anything, what this video makes clear is this: the US doesn’t make or break an artist anymore, and selling songs is a global game. Island Records signed the artist well after his video became a hit on YouTube. The new way to break music is online, with labels waiting on the sidelines. So here’s what I wonder: how many broadcast stations are playing PSY’s tune this week?…
When my daughter, who is 17, wants to hear a song, she doesn’t turn to radio. Nor does she go to Spotify or Pandora. YouTube is her on-demand streaming service. A new study out from Nielsen says she is not alone. More teens listen to music on YouTube (64%) than radio (56%), iTunes (53%) and CD (50%).
Radio is still the primary machine for music discovery across all ages, but it looks like this study does not try to restrict the definition of “radio” to AM/FM.
The new Nielsen report offers insights on all aspects of music consumption including listening and purchasing behaviors; music discovery; live events; the use of social networking and mobile music apps; as well as how the economy is affecting music sales.
“The accessibility of music has seen tremendous expansion and diversification,” said David Bakula, SVP Client Development, Nielsen. “While younger listeners opt for technologically advanced methods , traditional methods of discovery like radio and word-of-mouth continue to be strong drivers. With so many ways to purchase, consume and discover great new music, it’s no wonder that the consumer continues to access and enjoy music in greater numbers.”
One of the takeaways of this study is that radio is a music discovery machine — curated programs and personalized streams work well for helping people find new music. But once they find it, they are inclined — especially teens – to turn to YouTube where they can WATCH it. When it comes to on-demand streaming, YouTube is (still) the elephant in the room…
It’s Monday but I want to talk about Friday, Rebecca Black’s teen pop song and video that has had tens of millions of views. The video, as you probably heard, was produced by a place called Arc Music Factory, where Rebecca’s mother paid a couple thousand dollars for her daughter to record it. On youtube the video took off virally and suddenly everyone was talking about it.
There were a lot of snarky comments about how bad it was, particularly in the professional programming trades. It’s definitely a song that can rub you the wrong way – limited lyrics repeated over and over, annoying pop tune. But like it or not, it was the kind of thing that grabbed people’s attention, particularly kids online. They were all talking about it. My daughter, who’s 16, and her friends hated it, but they were watching it, quoting it, making fun of it on each other’s facebook pages.
By March 25th, Black’s song had more than 43 million views and had generated 37,000 digital download song sales, but had been played only 12 times on the radio. Billboard magazine said of the song’s lack of play :” While morning drive talents are discussing (and, thus, adding to) the song’s buzz, it garnered just 12 plays in its entirety in the March 16-22 tracking week among the more than 1,200 stations monitored by BDS for Hot 100 Airplay.”
Unfortunately, radio is so entrenched in their own methods of adding whatever songs the record labels tell them to add that they didn’t play the song that in a week captured the musical buzz of the country. You can call it what you want, say it was a bad song, say it wasn’t worthy of airplay, the bottom line is that the week it came out, that song WAS what everyone was listening to – but not on the radio.
Message: if you want to hear what everyone is listening to, don’t turn to radio.
This is all about radio’s inability to create, capture or capitalize on compelling online content. Figuring out why that’s so difficult and changing the way things are done to overcome those challenges is critical…
Music consumption is increasing, and this heat map clearly shows where and who has the traffic. In case you thought Pandora was the big boy, let the visual speak for itself – the real elephant in the room is YouTube. 31% of all videos on that site are music now, and it’s the number one music consumption destination on the web – at least according to this info based on data from Compete.
ITunes is not web based and therefore does not qualify for this comparison. Grooveshark, which has been growing audience faster than its been obtaining licenses from big labels, grew traffic 236% in 2010. By comparison, Pandora grew only 116%. Shoutcast grew 180%. AOL Music, Last.fm, Slacker and MOG all grew, as did rdio – by a whopping 3680%. But given that rdio just launched last year, that growth was from nothing to tiny, as the heat map reveals.
There are a lot of other sites on the map that aren’t so much streaming music platforms as they are music download sites, or artist communities, or other types of music platforms. It’s the best snapshot I’ve seen so far of the way that streaming music platforms stack up globally. You can get a better picture, along with mouse over data on each site, and a growth chart, here.
Fred Wilson apparently thinks it’s a good year to invest in streaming audio and has announced investments in two companies this week as an indication of this. His company Union Square Ventures just is heading up an $8 million funding round for digital audio advertising company TargetSpot. Other investors in that group include CBSRadio, Bain Capital Ventures and Milestone Venture Partners. It’s not Union Square‘s first money in Targetspot, nor for CBSRadio or Bain.
Wilson’s Union Square Ventures also announced an investment in Berlin based Soundcloud, which bills itself as the YouTube for audio. According to Soundcloud founder Alexander Lyung, the site had a million registered users last spring and 2.6 million by the end of the year, so it’s growing pretty fast.
“There has not been a wildly popular open audio sharing platform with simple APIs like YouTube and Vimeo in video, Facebook and Flickr in photos, Blogger and WordPress in long form text, and Twitter in short form text/link sharing.” says Wilson in his blog. “We think SoundCloud is on its way to becoming that wildly popular open platform for audio expression and sharing on the web and mobile devices. A few months ago, Union Square Ventures… invested in SoundCloud and I have joined the Board.”
Wilson is a guy that likes his music. He puts songs he likes on his daily blog, along with quotes and pictures. He also has a radio station you can stream, fredwilson.fm . Mostly, I think he’s a guy that thinks a lot about music and the Internet, and right now he’s thinking it’s a good investment…
There was a lot of great content at the Radio Show produced by RAB and NAB last week in DC, not the least of which was the sold out RAIN Summit which took place the afternoon before the Radio Show actually started, as an official partner event of the show. You can read RAIN’s coverage of the event here.
One excellent presentation during the Radio Show was Edison Research‘s American Youth Study 2010, which is “a significant survey of the media and technology habits of America’s 12-24 year-olds, and represents a sequel to a study originally conducted by Edison in 2000.” Sponsored by publication Radio-Info, the study looks at the media use behaviors of 12-24 year olds, and updates the behaviors of the demographic originally studied in 2000 – 22-34 year olds.
Some of the findings, bulleted:
- Radio continues to be the medium most often used for music discovery, with 51% of 12-24 year-olds reporting that they “frequently” find out about new music by listening to the radio. Other significant sources include friends (46%), YouTube (31%) and social networking sites (16%).
- 20% of 12-24s have listened to Pandora in the last month, with 13% indicating usage in the past week. By comparison, 6% of 12-24s indicated they have listened to online streams from terrestrial AM/FM stations in the past week.
- More than four in five 12-24s own a mobile phone in 2010 (up from only 29% in 2000). 40% have used their phones to listen to music stored on their phones.
I’m a fan of Chumby – mainly because of its name. Chumbys are tabletop internet radios and a lot more – they’re actually tabletop internet ready devices, designed to be a digital photo frame and alarm clock that also allows you to listen online, check news and weather, watch videos, play games.
Last year Sony licensed their unique dashboard for its Sony Dash. Now Best Buy has a new device – the Infocast – which uses the Chumby dashboard as well. Its on Best Buy’s house label Insignia, sells for $169, and would make a downright smart conversation starter on the desks of Internet radio executives. It looks more than a little like an iPad if you ask me.
The Infocast has an 8 inch touchscreen that is larger than the Chumby or Sony Dash screens. It has access to Pandora and Shoutcast, New York Times, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Photobucket. It even has a sharing feature that enables folks to share apps, photos and more with friends that have similar devices.
CNET calls it a best of breed, and I’m thinking it sounds like a winner for tech savvy family members this Christmas.
Music recommendation services are hot – just take a look at Pandora’s exponential growth as evidence of that. Now YouTube has launched a revamped music page that showcases the most viewed music videos and managed playlists, and gives people the ability to create on-the-fly mixes.
A new Musicians Wanted feature also gives unsigned artists a channel for getting exposure for their music, and listeners to discover them.
The revamped YouTube music also lets listeners/viewers pick a genre and go – building an instant playlist for them. Presumably, YouTube will be mixing in songs by new musicians, popular artists, up and coming acts, all based on the enormous amount of listening data they have.
YouTube already has lots of traffic as a music discovery site – people know they can turn to YouTube to hear (and see) just about any song and/or artist.
YouTube’s vast offerings of music put it in the music game both as a source for on-demand listening as well as a jukebox. This update is a plan to make it easier for people to access those offerings and create a personalized listening experience. With video for those who want it…
Live365, one of the world’s largest internet broadcasting networks is celebrating their ten year anniversary. That makes the service one of the oldest and most resilient out there. Live365 is a streaming broadcast network that enables anyone to easily start an Internet radio station. Their list of over 6,000 stations includes tiny webcasters programming to a few friends to stations programmed by famous personalities like Pat Metheny, and Carlos Santana, and includes both commercial and public radio stations.
To celebrate, they’re hosting an online video contest. Listeners and broadcasters can create a video, upload it to YouTube, and fill out the entry form by clicking the homepage banner or going directly to live365.com/video. Deadline for new entries is July 1st, 2010, and finalist videos will be featured on the new Live365.com website to be unveiled this summer.
Live365.com has been streaming continuously since 1999 and is one of the few Internet music companies to survive the dot-com collapse. More than one hundred stations have been with Live365 since the beginning and are also celebrating ten years online.
In the early days of Internet radio, they were a visible and vocal advocate for the industry. “Live365 was the first Internet radio station to launch a substantial Internet radio marketing campaign,” says Kurt Hanson, Publisher of RAIN: The Internet and Radio Newsletter. “Their Radio Revolution campaign was a highly visible campaign that helped kick start and raise awareness for Internet radio.”
Live 365’s a true pioneer company of the Internet radio space whose journey over the past ten years has not been easy. Hat’s off to Live365! I’m delighted that they’re ten years old and wish them enormous success…