Quick Hits: BitTorrent artist survey; Cumulus CEO address; high-res at Apple; Drake or Nicki?

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

BitTorrent 2015 artist survey: Popular download site BitTorrent released a report with the results of its artist survey. The report asked creators from various disciplines about their use of direct-to-fan distribution and how that has impacted their business. One of the many interesting factoids: 39% of the respondents share work with their fans every month.

Cumulus CEO Berner’s plans for stability, programming: Mary Berner has only been at the helm of Cumulus Media for two months, but she’s already setting the tone for her tenure. She gave a web address to all of the company’s employees that focused on the need for stability at the broadcast group. She discussed giving more responsibility to individual markets. “Gone are corporate music list mandates,” she said. “Programming is the oxygen of Cumulus.”

Apple rumored to explore high-res: There has been on-again, off-again interest in high-resolution audio from the streaming field. Although Tidal is trying to make its name as the streaming source for audio quality, Apple is reportedly working on a new audio format to compete. Supposedly this format would use the Lightning port on iPhones to deliver higher quality than can be attained through the standard headphone jack. If rumors are true, that could mean a 96kHz, 24-bit sampling rate for Apple Music in the future.

The Drake Effect and the Nicki Effect: The data hounds of Five Thirty Eight published an analysis of “The Drake Effect.” Rapper Drake may have appeared to have the golden touch this year, with songs featuring his skills seeming to become instant hits. But the real powerhouse was in fact Nicki Minaj. The site gave a fascinating array of graphs, data points, and insights about how and why each of these two performers had so much success this year.


Anna Washenko