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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

5 Most Powerful People in Streaming Music

Jay Z has finally made his move. Apple is working on figuring out how to crush the competition. Hundreds of millions of dollars are racked up by Spotify in additional funding. YouTube has maintained its strong audience of 1 billion. Every player in the business of music streaming is trying to tap a piece of the $1.9 billion business, which contributed 27% to the revenue of the industry in the previous year. With CDs and iTunes-style downloads plunging, the battle for the Iron Throne in streaming is underway. Here are the top players in streaming right now and the ones we should see for the future of online music are mentioned here:

1. Jay Z (Tidal) 

Last month, the entrepreneur and superstar rapper made a splash when he bought the little-known Swedish streaming service called Tidal for $56 million. This service had been involved in streaming wars before, but then Jay invited some of the biggest musicians including Madonna, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Beyonce, members of the Arcade Fire, White Stripes and Coldplay and Alicia Keys for running the company with him. Their aim is to make sure that more royalties are given to the music makers.

2. Lucian Grainge (Universal Music Group) 

In the CD era, the record business was a cash machine, but not anymore because most of music is owned by the labels. So, licensing deals have to be negotiated with the labels by the streaming service, starting with Universal. The company’s chairman, Grainge steered it into making content deals with Spotify and other services a couple of years ago before the streaming market happened. Lately, he has had some second thoughts.

3. Susan Wojciki (YouTube) 

The company’s CEO said last year that the YouTube experience includes music. Every piece of music ever recorded can be found on YouTube for free and this reality has to be faced by all streaming services that attempt to charge customers for listening to music. It is able to do so because it has a huge ad business that’s a source of income for writers, labels and artists.

4. Jimmy Iovine (Apple/Beats) 

Although nobody knows how Beats Music will look like after Apple redesigns it, it is a given that it will be launched with a war chest. When the $170 billion Apple turns Beats on, it will work on everything including its Watch, iPod, iPad and iPhone so the company may just win. Beats Electronics was founded by Iovine with Dr. Dre and while he sold it to Apple last year, he is staying on to serve the service.

5. Daniel Ek (Spotify) 

Spotify is about to use new funding for raising $400 million, which would give the value of the streaming service a solid boost and make it worth $8.4 billion. It has about 60 million users. While Taylor Swift accused the service last year of not compensating the artists properly, the company’s founder Daniel Ek said that they are working day and night to recover money for the music industry that was hampered by piracy and the artists as well. 

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