Spotify Touches 83m Subscribers, Loses Share Value; Deadmau5 Signs With AWAL; R Kelly ‘Admits’ Using 19 Minute Song; and much more

Spotify beats expectations by reaching 83m subscribers

Spotify recorded an 8m rise in its number of paid subscribers in the second quarter as it attempts to stave off mounting competition from deep-pocketed rivals Apple and Amazon.

The music streaming service said the number of monthly paying subscribers, which account for the bulk of its revenue, rose to 83m at the end of June from 75m in the first three months of 2018, more than double Apple’s last-reported 40m paid users.

The increase in Spotify’s paid subscribers topped expectations of analysts polled by Reuters, who had forecast a 7m rise.

Revenue growth slowed, however, which Spotify said was the result of the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) that came into effect in May, requiring users to give explicit consent for certain uses of their information. Second-quarter revenue rose 26% to €1.27bn (£966m).
Source: The Guardian

Spotify sinks after an unexpected tax hit stretches its losses

Shares of Spotify sank as much as 5.6% in early trading Thursday following a second consecutive earnings disappointment by the newly public streaming company.

For the second quarter, Spotify said it lost €2.2 per share ($2.58) where analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected a much smaller loss of €0.63 ($0.74). Much of the operating loss came from an unexpected €32 million “social tax” accrued in its home country of Sweden, it said, larger than its forecast €8 million.

Total revenue and user growth topped or matched Wall Street expectations, but weren’t enough to offset the overall disappointment. Gross income was €1.27 billion ($1.491 billion), inline with the analyst anticipations. Total subscribers came in at 180 million where Wall Street had expected 178.5 million.
Source: Business Insider

Kelly answers his critics with a 19-minute song, ‘I Admit’

R&B singer R. Kelly, whose career has been under siege in recent months amid allegations of sexual misconduct, is fighting back.

Kelly last week released a surprise song — a 19-minute confessional titled “I Admit” — that addresses years of unflattering headlines about his private life.

Beginning line after line with “I admit …” the singer confesses to a multitude of acts, including infidelity, sleeping with his girlfriend’s best friend, having sexual relationships with fans and going to strip clubs every week.

“I admit I was in my own way,” he sings.

Acknowledging he’s “made some mistakes” and has “imperfect ways,” Kelly also says he tried to help others in the music industry who turned on him.

Blackstone Spars With Songwriters, Streamers Over Music Payments

Music industry lobbyists, including some backed by the private equity giant Blackstone Group LP, are battling over a bill to overhaul music copyrights and could scuttle a measure that seemed certain to pass weeks ago.

The Music Modernization Act would reform the way streaming services like Spotify pay songwriters. It was poised to clear the U.S. Senate after passing in the House of Representatives in April with bipartisan support and buy-in from often-warring interests in the digital music world, such as Apple Inc. and composers.

But Blackstone, through its ownership of two music companies, is pushing a proposal that would strip some powers from a proposed board that would administer rights, potentially undermining the measure, according to backers. The firm owns SESAC Holdings and the Harry Fox Agency Inc., two groups that disburse royalties and may be threatened by the new law. Various U.S. industry groups pay out more than $2 billion a year to songwriters.

The Music Modernization Act is backed by two camps that are often at odds — tech giants such as Apple Inc. and songwriters. Through the board, the companies would create a database of songs to simplify royalty payments for songwriters and ensure they get paid.

Deadmau5 signs deal with Kobalt’s AWAL for new music

Deadmau5 has signed a recordings deal with Kobalt’s AWAL for new music set to be released this year.

The electronic music producer has worked with Kobalt since 2016 after ending label agreements with Ultra and Universal Music.

His last two albums — Where’s the Drop and W:/2016ALBUM/. — were released through AWAL and Deadmau5 label mau5trap in 2018 and 2016, respectively.

The new deal focuses on Deadmau5’s latest project mau5ville, which will see new music and remixes released in the coming months. Kobalt will offer a full range of services, including global marketing, campaign coordination and global distribution.

“Deadmau5 is a seminal artist, DJ, producer and most importantly, an industry pioneer,” said CEO of AWAL, Lonny Olinick.


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