ProSiebenSat.1 Gives Streaming Services a Run For Their Money

ampya logoThe media group ProSiebenSat.1 is expanding its music business on the Internet and wants to secure a big slice of the growing market with music subscriptions. On Monday, the company launched its new service, Ampya. This should provide a full-service solution for music: Ampya offers more than 20 million songs, 57,000 music videos and 100,000 radio stations according to ProSiebenSat.1. This places it as a main competitor to established rivals Spotify and Simfy. Even Napster announced a week ago that it planned to massively build up its presence in Europe.

To differentiate itself from other services, Ampya will focus on editorial reports. The goal is for users to come to Ampya to get music news from around the world and to listen to or view it all. Users can create their own lists and receive personalized recommendations based on listening history. Moreover, Ampya is the only streaming service to also offer music videos. “We want to become a main competitor for  Spotify,” said Manuel Uhlitzsch, CEO of Magic Internet. The software comes from Mondia Media, who worked with 60 software developers and about 20 editors for more than two years on the development of the platform.

The new service will first be offered as an ad-supported trial version to sign up new users. Later, Ampya will offer a 5 Euro version for PC version and a 10 Euro version for mobile without commercials. This corresponds almost exactly to the model Spotify follows.

With a history in music and talent shows, the ProSiebenSat TV group has already established itself in the music business. It also owns an entertainment and music label in conjunction with Star Watch Entertainment Group. In addition, the company operates MyVideo, a VOD platform which offers more than 50,000 music videos, one which we at The Orchard also distribute our content. MyVideo.de has 7.3 million users according to the company. Clearly, the video, gaming, online music business is an important and powerful driver for growth for ProSiebenSat.1.

All we can say is, the European streaming industry is bursting with options, and all services are upping the ante on each other to compete for the number one spot. Will Ampya be it?

Know What You Can Do for A Good Cause with Acantha Lang

February 28, 2013 Artist News 5 Comments

Acantha LangIt’s been almost two months since New Orleans born singer/songwriter Acantha Lang has released her first-ever original single “Know Your Name,” inspired by a homeless young man in London, reflecting her thoughts on watching the daily struggle of this poor soul representing a large number of homeless people all over the world.

In her ongoing effort to promote this beautiful bluesy and heartfelt song, Acantha Lang teamed up with the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) and the New York-based music video blog NYCROPHONE to release and distribute “Know Your Name” on a global scale. The song, for which Acantha also self-produced the music video, is available on iTunes for only $0.99 and all proceeds will be donated to INSP, whose goal it is to fight homelessness and help change lives for the better.

Born in New Orleans, Acantha Lang has being told she has “one of the best voices I’ve ever heard” and received a standing ovation from one of the world’s most successful and hard to impress music moguls: Simon Cowell — a well-deserved testament to the many years of hard work she has dedicated to honing her craft. Having grown up in the rich musical landscape of New Orleans, one would think her musical journey had begun there, but it wasn’t until she moved to New York City that she found her voice.

The first few years, she was unsure about what career path she wanted to take; but all that changed when she bought her first Blues CD at a local store in Harlem and immediately felt a connection. She says, “it felt like home,” She immersed herself in the Blues. She studied the history, the music, and watched countless documentaries about Blues greats Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, and others. She put together a Blues band and landed a residency every Monday night (Monday Night Blues) at the well-known supper club Harlem Grill. ‘Monday Night Blues’ quickly became one of the ‘must see’ events in the city. Acantha’s unleashed energy on stage was an amalgamation of the raw Bluesy tone of Tina Turner, the Rock Soul of Janis Joplin, and James Brown, and the night was chronicled on BET, UPN 9, New York 1 News, Time Out New York, and the prestigious Crain’s Business Journal.

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To Point Fingers and Claim Responsibility… Or Not

December 3, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

GavelLast month in Germany, the Federal Court made a ruling which moved to limit the liability of parents for their minor children’s illegal music sharing. The court’s decision stipulates that parents are not liable for the illegal music file sharing of their minor child if they have educated their children enough about the prohibition of participating in file sharing on the Internet.

The ruling represents a setback for the music industry, which demanded several thousand Euros for damages and legal fees. The case was triggered by a 13-year-old who illegally downloaded music and spread it on the net.

As Florian Drücke, the Head of the Federal Association of the Music Industry, warned, the judgment does not mean that parents no longer need to worry about the surfing habits of their children. “The recent statement of the Supreme Court should not be ‘misunderstood’ as a free ride for parents and their children to careless file sharing,” explained Drücke. “What concrete steps parents must take, especially for repeated violations, remains to be seen in the view of for the judgment.”

The issue is not about monitoring the children — we know that over-supervision is not a recipe for success when it comes to 13-year-olds. Rather, it’s about building their awareness for the value of music, films and books. The question is, how do you do that?

Downloads, Watch Out! Streaming Is Where It’s At

August 30, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

streaming, Europe, U.S., Global Recorded Music ForecastAs the digital music landscape continues to grow and change, streaming and downloads are duking it out for a majority stake. Of course, we hope they’ll find a way to live happily side-by-side — like cats and dogs perhaps? — but right now, they’re still feeling each other out.

Watching the arena closely are Strategy Analytics. According to their Global Recorded Music Forecast, global revenues from streaming will skyrocket in 2012 to increase by 40% to $1.1 billion. Now that’s a growth spurt!

Let’s not mourn downloads just yet however. In the report, the U.S. researcher predicts an increase in global digital revenues of 8.5%, grossing a total of $8.6 billion. And according to them, the main income will still come from downloads which will total $3.9 billion.

On the flip side, and as expected, it’s not all sunny skies for physical sales. Strategy Analytics predict a decrease of 12.1%, with 61% of physical sales still taking up the bulk of 2012 global sales of recorded music. That should remain steady until 2015, when the researcher expects that worldwide digital sales will surpass physical.

Another conclusion the study makes is that streaming is better established in Europe than in the U.S. (see chart). What is striking in the statistics is the development between the U.S. market and Europe. In the U.K., researchers expect streaming income to rise to 42%, and even more so in the rest of Europe, to 48%. The predicted increase for the U.S. is only 28%.

While downloads still constitute 80% of digital music revenue, Ed Barton, Director of Digital Media at Strategy Analytics, says it’s saturated. Gazes are turned to streaming services like Pandora or Deezer, who are expected to be the main growth driver in the next 5 years.

The argument remains: access is what it’s all about these days, rather than ownership.

Get Your NYCROPHONE On and Treat Your Soul to Some Sweet Sweet Music

August 8, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

NycrophoneNYCROPHONE is not an ordinary music blog.

The name is an amalgamation of “microphone,” an essential tool in music, and “New York,” a major epicenter for the industry. Created in 2011 by Hauke Gahrmann, a constant fixture in New York’s underground music scene, NYCROPHONE not only provides a platform for artists whose songs and videos are not normally heard on mainstream radio, but is also a celebration of the uniqueness of such talents. Not bound to one genre, it mixes different styles that have one thing in common: soulfulness.

So how does Gahrmann, a real estate broker from Germany, navigate the music scene? Soul music is borderless, and Gahrmann’s background contributes to his showcasing both domestic and international artists. Selections are dictated by his experience, love and enthusiasm towards independent musicians and their work. NYCROPHONE is a “personal collection,” delivering content that is both inspiring and inspired by fans of the site, many who suggest artists to be featured.

What you will not find on the site is PR and marketing fluff. Gahrmann prefers to let the music stand on its own, which is evident in the monthly video playlist. Gahrmann provides this as a service to his followers, to allow them to sit back and enjoy 10-15 videos without having to dig through all the pages of the blog. While an artist backstory can make for interesting commentary, what the audience will remember is the music.

NYCROPHONE is a free service, attempting to filter and support quality music in this saturated world of heartless pop. How can you help support it? All Gahrmann asks for is an email subscription and a “Like” on Facebook.

What are you waiting for?

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