Архив метки: Apple Music

YouTube partners with Merchbar to sell music artists’ swag underneath videos

YouTube is partnering with Merchbar on a new integration that will allow artists to sell their official merchandise to their worldwide fans from a shelf just below the video. The addition is the latest deal focused on helping video creators make more money from their videos, beyond the revenue brought in through advertisements and subscriptions.
Last year, YouTube announced a series of enhancements to the platform which focused on revenue generation, including channel memberships, premieres, merchandise and more.
The merchandise feature was one of the more notable additions, as it lets creators put a shelf beneath their video where they can sell directly to fans. For example, they could sell their branded apparel like shirts and hats and other items.
At launch, YouTube had partnered with custom t-shirt maker Teespring on the effort. Earlier this year, the Merch shelf gained several more partners, including Crowdmade, DFTBA, Fanjoy, Represent and Rooster Teeth.
The company claimed at the time that “thousands” of channels had more than doubled their revenue as a result of Merch shelf and other integrations, like Super Chat and Channel Memberships.

With this new Merchbar partnership, YouTube is now focused on serving its artist community.
Merchbar today carries more than 1 million items from 35,000 artists, making it one of the largest music merchandise aggregators worldwide. Now, YouTube artists who have an Official Artist Channel on the platform will be able to promote their merchandise right beneath their music videos. (Marshmello, never one to shy away from a marketing opportunity, made a soccer jersey exclusively for Merchbar and YouTube.)
As with prior merchandise integrations, the new Merchbar shelf will sit directly under videos on both desktop and web. Users can also click through from the shelf to the artist’s Merchbar website. In prior merchandise partnerships, YouTube took a small cut of transactions on items sold through its site. It didn’t say what sort of deal it has with Merchbar, however.
The launch comes at a time when Google is more heavily invested in its YouTube Music service, a Spotify and Apple Music rival designed to offer both music and videos, including content not found elsewhere, like live performances or remixes. The company recently made the YouTube Music app the default music app on Android, which should boost its adoption.
Eligible artists who have a Merchbar store offering U.S. fulfillment can sign up for the new merch shelf from YouTube Studio.
The feature is launching first in the U.S., and will later expand internationally.

YouTube partners with Merchbar to sell music artists’ swag underneath videos

Social radio startup Stationhead moves beyond live broadcasts

Stationhead, the mobile app that turns its users into streaming radio DJs, got a big upgrade today. Where Stationhead DJs were previously limited to broadcasting live, they can now record their shows, making them available on-demand for anyone to listen later.
The idea behind Stationhead is to democratize and recapture the personality of traditional radio broadcasts — the kind of conversation and personal connection that’s missing from a playlist.
The app includes features like the ability to call guests to join the show, and integration with Spotify and Apple Music. For Stationhead, that means it doesn’t have to make its own licensing deals with the music labels; for listeners, it means that when a DJ plays a song, you’re hearing it stream from the music service of your choice.
That integration will continue with these new on-demand broadcasts — so they don’t really exist as a single, continuous recording, but rather as DJ recordings interspersed with cued-up songs from Apple or Spotify. (That’s presumably why these broadcasts won’t be available for offline listening.)
CEO Ryan Star (pictured above) has said that he co-founded Stationhead as a result of his own frustrations as an independent musician, particularly the difficulty and cost of getting a single played on the radio.
More recently, he told me that Stationhead is becoming a real alternative for independent musicians trying to get attention, with more than 200,000 shows created since November of last year.

“Some shows are mostly talk, some shows are mostly music, but just having the ability to play the song completely changes the way it’s consumed,” said COO Murray Levison.
The company isn’t sharing overall listener numbers, but it pointed to success stories like Burrell Kobe, who said he drove 23,000 streams on Stationhead. (SensorTower estimates that the iOS app has been installed by 110,000 users globally.)
And Star described the Stationhead approach as combining “creative freedom and real human connection. While the most popular Stationhead broadcasts can get more than 1,000 live listeners, he suggested that the connection can happen even when the audience is much smaller: He recalled stumbling on a broadcast where he was literally the only person listening, but the host was “spilling her guts — this was her therapy.”
And by making these broadcasts available on-demand, he said Stationhead is “tapping into something proven to be the most intimate form of communication.”
He added, “For the first time, you’re actually able to create binge-able audio content around these streams.”

Stationhead allows anyone to become a streaming radio DJ, with live listener calls

Social radio startup Stationhead moves beyond live broadcasts

US iPhone users spent, on average, $79 on apps last year, up 36% from 2017

Apple’s push to get developers to build subscription-based apps is now having a notable impact on App Store revenues. According to a new report from Sensor Tower due out later this week, revenue generated per U.S. iPhone grew 36 percent, from $58 in 2017 to $79 last year. As is typical, much of that increase can be attributed to mobile gaming, which accounted for more than half of this per-device average. However, more substantial growth took place in the categories outside of gaming — including those categories where subscription-based apps tend to rule the top charts, the firm found.
According to the report’s findings, per-device app spending in the U.S. grew more over the past year than it did in 2017.
From 2017 to 2018, iPhone users spent an average of $21 or more on in-app purchases and paid app downloads — a 36 percent increase compared with the 23 percent increase from 2016 to 2017, when revenue per device grew from $47 to $58.

However, 2018’s figure was slightly lower than the 42 percent increase in average per-device spending seen between 2015 and 2016, when revenue grew from $33 to $47, noted Sensor Tower.
As usual, mobile gaming continued to play a large role in iPhone spending. In 2018, gaming accounted for nearly 56 percent of the average consumer spend — or $44 out of the total $79 spent per iPhone.
But what’s more interesting is how the non-gaming categories fared this past year.
Some categories — including those where subscription-based apps dominate the top charts — saw even higher year-over-year growth in 2018, the firm found.

For example, Entertainment apps grew their spend per device increase by 82 percent to $8 of the total in 2018. Lifestyle apps increased by 86 percent to reach $3.90, up from $2.10.
And though it didn’t make the top five, Health & Fitness apps also grew 75 percent year-over-year to account for an average of $2.70, up from $1.60 in 2017.
Other categories in the top five included Music and Social Networking apps, which both grew by 22 percent.
This data indicates that subscription apps are playing a significant role in helping drive iPhone consumer spending higher.
The news comes at a time when Apple has reported slowing iPhone sales, which is pushing the company to lean more on services to continue to boost its revenue. This includes not just App Store subscriptions, but also things like Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, App Store Search ads, AppleCare and more.
As subscriptions become more popular, Apple will need to remain vigilant against those who would abuse the system.
For example, a number of sneaky subscription apps were found plaguing the App Store in recent weeks. They were duping users into paid memberships with tricky buttons, hidden text, instant trials that converted in days and the use of other misleading tactics.
Apple later cracked down by removing some of the apps, and updated its developer guidelines with stricter rules about how subscriptions should both look and operate.
A failure to properly police the App Store or set boundaries to prevent the overuse of subscriptions could end up turning users off from downloading new apps altogether — especially if users begin to think that every app is after a long-term financial commitment.
Developers will need to be clever to convert users and retain subscribers amid this shift away from paid apps to those that come with a monthly bill. App makers will need to properly market their subscription’s benefits, and even consider offering bundles to increase the value.
But in the near-term, the big takeaway for developers is that there is still good money to be made on the App Store, even if iPhone sales are slowing.

US iPhone users spent, on average, $79 on apps last year, up 36% from 2017

Apple turns Ariana Grande and other musicians into Memoji for its latest ads

Just in time for the Grammy Awards, Apple has unveiled three new ads for Apple Music, featuring new singles from Ariana Grande, Khalid and Florida Georgia Line.
In each video, the musicians have been transformed in Memoji (the human-style Animoji variant that was announced last year), which lip synch to their latest songs. The ads probably won’t change any minds when it comes to Memoji and Animoji — but if you like the format, they are fun.

Apple actually created similar ads with Animoji lip synching to Childish Gambino and Migos before last year’s Grammys.
As The Verge points out, if you watch to the end of the videos and pay attention to the small print, you’ll notice that these Memoji were “professionally animated.” So don’t feel too bad if your lip-synching Animoji videos don’t look quite as good.

Apple turns Ariana Grande and other musicians into Memoji for its latest ads

YouTube Music turns its Top Charts into playlists

Earlier this year, Apple Music launched some of its top charts as playlist series. Today, YouTube is doing something similar. The company announced it’s making its YouTube Charts available as playlists in YouTube Music to users across the 29 markets where the music service is live. Each market will receive five of these “charts playlists” — three specific to their country, and two global lists, the company says.
The Top 100 Songs and the Top 100 Music Videos will be offered both as local and global playlists, while the Top 20 Trending Songs will be offered as a local playlist.
This latter playlist is updated several times per day in order to offer a real-time view into current music trends in a specific country. It’s also the first “dedicated external signal of the country’s most-viewed new music on the YouTube platform,” Google explained in a blog post this afternoon.
The other Top 100 Songs and Music Video charts are calculated differently and updated less often. The Top Songs is based on the overall performance of a song on YouTube by view count, which includes counting all the official versions of a song — meaning, the official music video, the user-generated content that uses the official song and lyric videos.
The Top Songs chart is updated weekly, according to YouTube’s documentation on how the charts are calculated.
The Top 100 Music Videos ranks the official music videos by view count in the previous week. It’s also updated weekly.
By comparison, YouTube Music’s Top Songs and Music Videos charts seem to have the potential to be more stale than those on rival services. For example, when Apple announced its Top 100 Songs chart would be available both as global and local playlists, it said it would update them daily at 12 AM PT based on Apple Music streams. Spotify’s top charts are also available both as daily and weekly charts.
“The charts, currently topped globally by Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next,‘ are the most accurate reflection of what’s happening in music culture and based purely on the number of views from more than 1 billion global music fans on YouTube each month,” noted the post, which does speak to YouTube Music’s strength.
Apple Music and Spotify are both fighting to break into the triple-digit millions in terms of paying customers, while Spotify is nearing 200 million total actives. But YouTube has a billion-plus users from which to generate its data. That’s not insignificant.
The new charts-turned-playlists are now available in the YouTube Music app. The playlists will appear on users’ home screens and be surfaced through search, says YouTube.

YouTube Music turns its Top Charts into playlists