On Wednesday, prompted by an investigation by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission, Apple agreed to allow some companies, like Netflix and Spotify, to direct their users to payment methods outside its App Store when they sign up for subscriptions. The tweak, coming after a similar change last week, was a strategic retreat of sorts, said analysts that track Apple’s business.
Anghami is a case study in how the music business is being gradually transformed from outside its core centers of New York, Los Angeles and London. While the notion of a Spotify-like service from the Middle East serving the Middle East may not sound revolutionary, it’s a departure from how the global music industry has worked so far.
While global market leader Spotify still has a healthy lead — its most recent total paid subscribers was around 165 million, announced earlier this year — No. 2 Apple Music may feel YouTube nipping at its heels: Its total, last announced in June of 2019, was 60 million. Amazon Music, No. 3, was at 55 million when the number was last updated in January of 2020, although its service is bundled with the extremely popular Amazon Prime.
The livestreaming gold rush is far from over. As live gigs and festivals return, the future for this fledgling industry looks rosy, as artists around the world now know that they can leverage the global reach of the internet to allow fans to remotely view their performances.
Fiction has been adapted into popular films and TV for years – but now there is growing interest in bespoke scores for novels. The Scottish micro label Bibliotapes has made literature-inspired music into an entire business. The label’s objective – asking musicians to compose new scores to classic novels – is an idea so simple it could almost be a happy accident. Stuart McLean, who runs it, suggests that’s the case.
Total movie consumer 2021 spending will rise to $60.4 billion — up from $46 billion in 2020 — with streaming subscription video rising and theatrical business recovering, according to Omdia, the global marketing research company. This year’s totals will still be down 8% ($5 billion) from 2019’s $65.4 billion level.
Netflix is eyeing a more traditional theatrical release for some of its future films, according to a report from JPMorgan out of CinemaCon. Analysts from the firm, who attended the movie theater industry’s largest conference last week in Las Vegas, said they met with management teams from several exhibition companies who said there is a “real interest” from the streaming service to play some of its movies in cinemas for an extended period.
Over the last nine months, Roblox has partnered with Zara Larsson, Royal Blood, Ava Max, Why Don’t We and Lil Nas X on music experiences such as virtual concerts (where artists perform as avatars) and new-release launch parties (where, like KSI’s performance, the artist beams in on a video screen), all spearheaded by Roblox global head of music Jon Vlassopulos.
The issues with Hollywood’s past adaptations of video games are myriad, but the biggest problem that has plagued such titles since the days of “Super Mario Bros.” is that the source material hasn’t offered narratives strong enough to survive the loss of interactivity, according to Polygon editor-in-chief Chris Plante.
Movie studios are increasingly experimenting with shorter release windows or even simultaneous theatrical and digital premieres. This is good news for consumers, who have more choice. This drastic decision is also changing the piracy landscape, which worries some stakeholders. However, we caution everyone from jumping to conclusions.