In a statement issued to the news media today (January 7), the NPD Group has announced that print book sales in the US rose 8.2 percent in 2020. Growth occurred, the industry research specialists say, across all major super-categories including adult nonfiction, juvenile, and teen categories. That 8.2-percent figure is calculated year-over-year and represents 751 million units.
Apple Music says it had a record year in 2020, but it refused to qualify that statement with actual subscriber numbers. The last official update released by Apple Music was 60 million subscribers in June 2019. It’s hard to estimate how much the service has grown since then, thanks to Apple’s subscription bundling. However, some analysts believe Apple Music could be nearing 100 million subscribers.
A scaled-back media presence at CES will feature the head of Warner Bros., which plans to release all new movies this year on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day. In a keynote titled “Entertainment Transformed,” the chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, Ann Sarnoff, will be interviewed alongside marketing executives from Nike and General Motors and the CEO of LeBron James’ entertainment company, SpringHill.
Spotify is reportedly removing hundreds of thousands of indie tracks over alleged “artificial stream” violations; DistroKid is already offering a “counter-notification” process for artists whose songs have been pulled down.
Former Disney and Discovery execs are teaming up to launch a new streaming service called Struum, arriving in the spring, that aims to take the Classpass model and apply it to the streaming landscape. That is, Struum’s plan is to aggregate content from smaller video on demand services, then provide that under its own subscription.
Film and TV production has been exempt from coronavirus restrictions and continued after the current stay-at-home order was instituted in early December. But, amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections and Covid-19 deaths in Los Angeles County, the vast majority of TV studios and streamers have postponed January production for one or more weeks.
Despite this societal and economic uncertainty, music streaming – both in the volume of songs streamed and the number of fans paying for a subscription – continued to grow. That growth creates a robust foundation that will be critical for the music industry as we hopefully enter a period of broader recovery and eventually return to a new normal at some point next year.
Members of SAG-AFTRA who live in Southern California are urged to stay home, according to the joint statement, and “refrain from accepting on-set employment for the next several weeks.” Any actors who are slated to work over the next few weeks and have on-set safety concerns are encouraged to contact SAG-AFTRA.
The past 12 months were billed as the year when a flood of new entrants would force streaming services to wage an all-out war for subscribers. Instead, incumbents and rookies alike feasted on a base of shut-in customers eager for more things to watch.