Nielsen 360 Report finds big online audience, but little online spending

Nielsen has released highlights for its 360 Music Report of 2015. One of the highlights of Nielsen reports are the breakdowns on music spending. For the total population, online music streaming services accounts for 7% of annual music spend, and 11% goes to digital tracks or albums. Cost was the top reason for listeners in selecting a streaming service, and it was part of the top two reasons for people to not subscribe. Finally, this year’s report found that AM/FM and satellite radio was the top discovery engine. Continue Reading

Rumor Fact(ory): Freemium restrictions still under consideration at Spotify

According to a new report from Digital Music News, Spotify may be reconsidering its free tier approach. Sources have allegedly told the site that Spotify may begin adopting a windowed path, making some music releases only available to paid listeners or only opening it up to free listeners for a short amount of time. The company is reportedly considering several different options for what form that gated material might take. Sources told DMN that multiple of those options could see a rollout in early 2016. Continue Reading


Google goes freemium: Play Music gets ads

Google has unveiled a new free version of its Google Play Music streaming service. This ad-supported tier will offer a more limited lean-back experience compared with the paid subscription to its platform. The free level offers curated playlists designed to pair with specific genres, moods, or activities. It is rolling out first on Android and web, with an iOS update due soon. Continue Reading


Spotify claims to replace radio for new generations, in punchy defense of freemium

Seven months after Taylor Swift withdrew her music from Spotify, and two days after Apple announced its subscription-only Apple Music service, Spotify has released a video which firmly defends the freemium model which offers free, ad-supported listening. The video is also remarkable for being the company’s most explicit and public-facing advocacy of free listening. Continue Reading

Rumor Fact(ory): Spotify to curtail freemium to three months?

Digital Music News is reporting that Spotify may place some restrictions on its freemium listening tier. Unnamed sources have told that site that the free, ad-supported access could be limited to just three months under a new proposal. This is the type of change that labels and publishers have been pressuring the streaming service to make, and the leaders at Universal and Sony seem to be the driving force behind the rumored proposal. Continue Reading