The Music Industry Tea 👀

What do Cowboy Boots, Mexican Music, and Sabrina Carpenter have in common? 🧐


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This Issue:

  1. Are record companies paying for extra 'random' streams?
  2. Is 'Free' streaming coming to an end?
  3. A region with a huge 60% growth.
  4. Bye-bye MQA.
  5. Grab your cowboy hat and boots!

Welcome to the first exclusive SongsBrews newsletter! We’re thrilled to have you.

Here’s some of what you can expect: 

Music streaming news: Updates on pricing, new features, and more. 
Genres: Discover which music genres are gaining popularity.
Regions: Find out what's trending and where.
Tips: Learn how to maximize the marketing of your playlists or music.
Data: Your dashboard will receive a weekly music data update.
Playlists: We’ll be throwing in some music too. 

Let's get into it!

Pay for play?

All might not be as it seems on your music streaming service at the moment. You're not alone if you seem to get a lot of Sabrina Carpenter on your discovery playlists right now. Music lovers across YouTube and Spotify report that Espresso is being played instead of the next podcast episode or following a genre that doesn’t match. We know that record labels have a lot of ‘sway’ with what gets played, and Dr. Chris Anderton, a Cultural Economy and music business expert professor., states there could be a financial aspect in play, which means that money might be overriding that all critical ‘random’ playlist algorithm.

This could be, in part, responsible for data from the end of June 2024. The numbers show that Espresso and Please Please Please, Sabrina Carpenter topped the Billboard 200 and Billboard Global. However, Espresso's success is a solid example of the power of virality through TikTok, too.

“She becomes the first artist to replace herself atop both global charts. She’s also the first artist with two songs to draw more than 100 million streams in the same week (“Please Please Please” - 119.2 million; “Espresso” - 102.5 million)”.

📢 Remember, you can check your dashboard anytime for trends in music streaming. Freshly ground data served up piping hot.

Free Music On The Decline

Free music streaming has been on the decline for the last few months. Deezer closed its free streaming for many EU countries, while Apple Music has never had one. Rob Stringer from Sony Music Group called for an end to the freemium we see on Spotify. 

He reasons that the ad revenue generated doesn't pay enough to the artists. Not to mention, while free music is great, the ads do ruin the listening experience. And it begs the question, is time up on free music streaming? 

What do you think? Should there be a free tier on streaming platforms? 

Regions on the Rise

Photo by Samuel Ramos on Unsplash

The last few months have seen a sharp rise in regional Mexican music - including sierreño, corridos, banda, mariachi, and norteño. Mexican music has crossed borders and is topping charts globally. 

Last month, Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma's single Ella Baila Sola surpassed a billion streams on Spotify, making history as the first regional Mexican song to reach the Top 10 on Billboard's all-genre Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 4. Shortly after, Bad Bunny's collaboration with Grupo Frontera, Un x100to, climbed to No. 5 on the same chart. 

Data shows that regional Mexican music grew by 60% in 2023 and generated 21.9 billion on-demand streams

Check out other rising regions 👉 head to your dashboard.

Goodbye To The Controversial MQA

Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels

Tidal is in the process of removing the MQA format and transitioning everything to FLAC. In their FAQ, Tidal explains that the switch is due to FLAC being open source, which means no third party will be involved.

They are also removing Sony 360 Reality Audio. Dolby Atmos will be used to provide the immersive sound quality that users want. Any saved MQA tracks will be replaced with FLAC when an FLAC version is available. It's important to note that they don't have a replacement for all of the MQA catalogs at the moment, but they are working on ensuring availability in FLAC as soon as possible.

The 360-format tracks will be grayed out and unavailable. According to an email sent to subscribers, this will take effect on July 24th.

Genres in the Spotlight

Photo by Elise Bunting on Pexels

Country Music has been the bread-and-butter genre for millions of music lovers worldwide. But now we are seeing more artists dabble in it. While Beyoncé wasn’t the first, she made a big splash with her recent release, Cowboy Carter. 

Post Malone released a track with Morgan Wallen and appeared on the Cowboy Carter album with LEVII’S JEANS. Falling in Reverse - usually rap metal, released All My Life featuring a country-rap/southern rock sweetheart Jelly Roll. Other influences and artists dabbling in Country Music introduce it to a broader audience.

In turn, more listeners are exploring the genre as a whole.

Last year, Country Music consumption grew by 22%. Gen Z and millennials are leading the charge. Social media platforms TikTok & Snapchat are behind the surge.

A collab between Snapchat and Beyoncé lets fans become Cowboy Carter! What better way to celebrate the explosive album launch than by partnering with Snapchat? 

Yoncé fans can enjoy a Cowboy Carter virtual experience. It coincides with the release of real-life merch, so you and your Snap Bitmoji can match. You’ll also get SWEET ★ HONEY ★ BUCKIIN playing in the background. 

Get the answer? It's all in the data! Country Music, Mexican Regional Music, and Sabrina Carpenter are all on the rise! 🔥

Quick tips: 

Use FreeYourMusic for smooth music transfers. FYM is celebrating its 9th birthday by giving access to free music transfers from 5th till 7th (inc). Don't miss your chance!
For easy playlist promotion, check out Music24.
Have you tried out the new My Spotify yet?

Thanks for being part of the SongsBrew community,

Until next week!

Exclusive access to the music metrics that matter sponsored by Music API & FreeYourMusic.