Industry Roundup: Radio Losing to Digital for the First Time

Also, BlackBerry Music has failed, and we discuss whether your band should take an interest in hot new social network Vine.

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What is this new social network called Vine, and should you care about it? That's one topic we're tackling in this week's industry roundup. First, the latest news from the world of digital music.

- Radio is losing out to digital. Money generated by the likes of iTunes and Spotify have overtaken radio royalties for the first time in music history in the UK. Radio income is growing, but only by 3.1 percent compared to digital revenue which is booming with 32 percent growth. Maybe streaming really is the future of music after all. [Gigwise]

- How is the music industry performing so far in 2013? According to a new report by the IFPI, global music revenue is up by 0.2 percent - this looks tiny, but it's a relief to see some growth after seeing a drop in sales for so long. But then again, revenue in rich countries like the US, UK and Germany are apparently dropping, so the 0.2 percent growth must be from so-called "emerging markets" which basically means countries like Brazil, India and Mexico are doing a good job of growing.

The report also says music subscriptions have grown by $500 million, putting it at $1.2 billion in royalties. A third of all digital revenue in Europe now comes from streaming, which feeds into the news above which says digital is booming. Interesting times ahead, but perhaps not for fans of physical products like CDs and vinyl. [Rockol]

- Blackberry has pulled the plug on its BBM Music service after less than two years. The service which cost $4.99 per month was probably a good idea back when Blackberries were still popular, but when it launched in August 2011 sales of the device started tanking with the rise of Android devices alongside the popular iPhone. Now there's also a tonne of streaming services, which were only infants when BBM Music first launched. If Blackberries can pull back their popularity again, it'll be impressive - but by the looks of things, it's already too late. [Verge]

- Musicians seem to be loving Vine, the new micro-video platform from the makers of Twitter. It allows you to record six seconds of video which loops around forever. Some people think it's pointless, others see it as a new creative outlet. So how are musicians using it so far? Here's a few recent examples.

Paul McCartney challenges fans to guess the song:

Jared Leto from 30 Seconds to Mars thanks a fan for pre-ordering their forthcoming album.

Tyler, the Creator shows the world how to do a real Harlem Shake:

Flying Lotus shows jazz legend Herbie Hancock some music from late hip-hop producer J Dilla:

So how can your band use Vine to promote your music? Maybe when you're in the studio you can offer a mini-tour to show off the facilities, or preview short clips of your work in progress. Or when you're waiting to go and perform a live set, you can film some backstage antics from the green room.

The best ideas are often the ones that are impromptu and unplanned, so have the Vine app ready on your phone to capture the action when it comes up. If Vine continues to take off, you'll be glad to have started building an early following which will grow faster in the future.

What do you make of todays news that Radio is losing in the race against vinyl? Will you be testing out Vine? Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Maybe it's because the radio has a strict, mind-numbingly repetitive playlist and digital doesn't. It's absolutely maddening to work somewhere that doesn't ever change the station, but kind of enlightening, as well.
    God remember turning on the radio left of the dial on FM.... I sure miss those days and watching MTV on a Saturday night with Headbangers Ball and on a Sunday night with a hundred twenty minutes