Beers, Blue Jeans and Broadcast Radio vs. Pandora – Glenn Peoples – Medium pandora VS
Beers, Blue Jeans and Broadcast Radio vs. Pandora
Pandora has long said its Internet radio service is good for artists. Listeners can decide what they do and do not hear by “thumbing” songs. A listener won’t hear a song given a “thumb down.” A “thumb up” for positive feedback tells Pandora to play that song and more like it. Personalized Internet radio is democratic like that.
Don’t get lost in the numbers. Just know that traditional country radio can be very powerful to a handful of stars while Pandora provides more opportunity for a larger number of country artists to get heard. In fact, the Pandora’s Today’s Country station [consistently one of the top stations at Pandora, by the way] can deliver to a developing or mid-tier artist up to 14x times the audience share they would have on the country airplay chart.
There are numbers that back up this notion that Pandora is an audience engine for developing artists. Pandora is fair and beneficial simply because less popular artists have as much opportunity on Pandora as superstars. Broadcast country radio is far more slanted toward a handful of artists.
My comparison began at the audience numbers on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. The chart, published in Billboard’s weekly Country Update, ranks the week’s top 60 songs and gives both the number of spins and the total audience at the country stations tracked by Nielsen Music. The top song on the May 16 Country Airplay chart was Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere on a Beach” with an audience of 49.2 million, a typical number for a top song on that chart. The #60 position had just 1.5 percent the audience as “Somewhere on a Beach.” In contrast, on Pandora’s analogous Today’s Country station, the #60 song had 21 percent the audience as the #1 song, David Nail’s “Night’s on Fire” — over 14x better than same spot on the Country Airplay chart. [The re-current songs that probably dropped off the Country Airplay were removed from the Today’s Country numbers. This was done to create a good apples-to-apples comparison. The Country Airplay chart includes new and current songs, not re-current songs.]
Next, I compared the audience share of 12 songs that had the same or nearly the same rankings. A song was selected if its Today’s Country rank was within two or three spots from the Country Airplay rank. For example, Old Dominion’s “Snapback” is #4 Today’s Country Rank and #3 rank on Country Airplay. In these 12 songs I examined, the difference in shares were substantial and could exceed as many as 50 percentage points. Canaan Smith’s “Hole in a Bottle” is a good example of Pandora’s benefit to developing artists. “Hole in a Bottle,” ranked #24 on Today’s Country and#23 on Country Airplay, had a 79-percent share at the Pandora station compared to a 26-percent share on country radio — a 53-percentage point difference. Jordan Rager’s “Southern Boy,” hovering around #50, has a similar story. It has a 35-percent share at Today’s Country and a 3-percent share at country radio. Put another way, “Hole in a Bottle” is getting buried under the hits at country radio but is grabbing a far better share of listening at Pandora.
The bottom line: if you’re not one of a handful of top artists, or if you’re trying to push a song up the charts, you’ll have a tough uphill climb at broadcast country radio. An artist whose song is #60 on the Airplay Chart is typically an artist that’s trying desperately to move up. It’s a winner-take-all market in which a very small number of songs grab most of the spins. In contrast, Pandora creates a more meaningful audience for a significantly larger number of songs.
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Pandora Vs. Spotify Vs. Apple Music Vs. Soundcloud: Which Is Better For The Artist?
Pandora Media Inc (NYSE: P) has rolled out is new Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), which features a number of marketing tools that artists can use to promote their music.
Streaming music services have gotten a lot of criticism lately for how little they pay artists for their music. Taylor Swift has been one of the most recognizable and vocal artists speaking out against how streaming services like Spotify treat musical artists.
Pandora’s new AMP is the company’s latest effort to reach out to those artists that provide the content that their business is based on. Here’s a look at what each of the major streaming services offer artists in terms of pay, perks and marketing services.
Pandora’s new AMP includes several artist-friendly features. Artist Audio Messages allow artists to record short, targeted spoken messages to play before or after their tracks to help with marketing. Featured Tracks allows artists to promote single tracks and receive real-time feedback from listeners. Ticketfly Integration allows artists to customize their audio messages, integrate concert ticket sales (including a “click to buy” ticket link), and optimize promotions for specific events and locations.
Back in February, federal judges ruled that Pandora must pay artists a blended advertising/subscription rate of $0.0017 per stream.
According to Spotify Artists’ website, Spotify also has several useful features for artists. Spotify automatically sends out email and mobile notifications to followers every time an artist releases new music. Songkick integration allows artists to display tour dates directly on their profile. Merchbar also allows artists to easily list and sell merchandise.
In addition, Spotify offers artists a wide range of other data and marketing tools.
As of about a year ago, Spotify was reportedly paying artists $0.0011 per stream.
Apple Music for Artists allows artists to share content and activity on Connect. Artists can post links and thoughts on their Connect feed. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reportedly pays artists $0.0013 per streaming play.
Related Link: Sirius XM Counting Down To Competition From Apple CarPlay And The Android Auto System
SoundCloud Spotlight allows artists to pin up to five tracks or playlists to their profile to showcase their best work. Timed comments allows artists to engage with their fans about individual tracks. Artists can edit in batch by simultaneously updating artwork for many tracks at once. Artists can also tag their music to optimize search traffic.
In addition, artists can track activity over time and identify top cities, countries and users for each track. Artists also get to see which websites have embedded their music and which SoundCloud apps their tracks are being streamed from.
SoundCloud currently offers four distinct membership tiers for artists. The features mentioned above are available at the Pro Unlimited tier, which costs $15 per month. The top tier, Premier, is by invitation only. Premier is the level at which artists can begin making money for their tracks via advertising revenue sharing, but there is no set rate of payment for each streaming play.
This summary is just a basic overview of some of the options that are out there for music artists. The best option comes down to which goals are most important for each individual artist. However, it’s important to keep expectations for streaming revenue fairly low unless you’re already a well-established star.
One band that drew more than a million streams on Spotify back in 2013 reported only $4,955 in total revenue. Even that rate comes in at $0.004891/stream, well above the latest reported rates of the major streaming services.
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