Billboard 200’s New Formula

Today, Billboard launched its upgraded Top 200 list. In addition to physical sales, the list will now include on-demand streaming and digital track sales. The formula equates 10 song sales from an album to one album sale, and 1,500 track streams from one album to one equivalent album sale. All of the major on-demand audio subscription services have been used to create the list, including Spotify, Beats Music, Google Play and others. According to Silvio Pietroluongo, VP of Charts and Data Development at Billboard “Adding streaming information makes the chart a better representation of music consumption activity.”

See the full announcement from Billboard here.

Race to the Top of Streaming Services

Internet streaming is currently the fastest growing way for consumers to listen to music. What’s still unknown is which service will become the standard for how we consume streamed tracks for years to come. In an article written for Quartz, John McDuling poses the question: will music streaming be a “winner-takes-all” market like other internet trends of the past, such as social media and Facebook or search engines and Google?

Besides the companies created solely for the purpose of streaming, such as Spotify and Pandora, many of the internet’s biggest entities are already investing in streaming services to add to their cache of assets. Apple recently purchased Beats ElectronicsGoogle owns Songza, not to mention its control of YouTube; and there is now Amazon Prime Music.

Companies are still showing very little profit from streaming. The article goes on to analyze the predicaments of the different types of streaming models. While radio style services are the most profitable, the largest, Pandora, still showed $75 million in losses over the last several years. In comparison, because of its “on demand” structure, Spotify has much higher content costs. However, after a 15 year decline, streaming services are predicted to show growth in 2015.

Licensing and YouTube – A Music Users Guide

This week, Sonic Scoop takes on the “Ins and Outs” of licensing cover songs for YouTube. The piece gives a simple overview of the steps that one needs to take, be it a casual uploader or more professional producer, for licensing music for both syncs and covers in videos posted to YouTube. Sonic Scoop sites an uptick in lawsuits and legislation in recent years as a reason to correctly license one’s music in the first place, rather than dealing with the repercussions after the fact.

Since there are currently no exact legal standards for what video creators must pay for these types of uses, the advice is fairly simple. For use of original song recordings or videos of covers (synchronization uses) contact the music publishers of the song you would like to use. The correct publishers can general be found through BMI, ASCAP and SESAC.

Although the article is fairly basic, it’s a great start for new content providers getting in step with the ever changing industry standards for music uses in new technology.