Vevo: The Numbers Behind Two Years of Growth
Vevo: The Numbers Behind Two Years of Growth

Tablet Owners Watch More Online Video Than Smartphone Owners
Here's some good news for YouTube, Vevo and any other company betting there's a business for streaming online video: tablet owners are far more likely to watch online videos than smartphone owners.

A recent release from comScore says 53% of the U.S. tablet audience watches video or television on the device each month compared to 20% of the U.S. smartphone audience. There is a similar gap between tablet viewing and smartphone viewing as frequency increases from once to three times a week (24.6% versus 10.3%) to at least once a week (18.9% and 6.7%) to almost every day (9.5% to 2.9%).

In addition, 26.7% paid to watch video on their tablet devices. That could be a function of the type of consumer that's buying tablets. Younger demographics -- 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 -- make up larger proportions of the smartphone audience than the tablet audience. Older demographics and consumers who make over $75,000 per year account overindex on tablet use. Oddly, the 13 to 17 demographic also over-indexes on tablet ownership -- perhaps because they are more likely than the 18 to 34 crowd to live with their parents?

comScore also found that smartphone ownership is highly predictive of tablet ownership. In April, 23.6% of smartphone owners also owned a tablet compared to just 10.4% of feature phone owners. In other words, it doesn't appear feature phone owners are skipping a step and jumping right into tablet ownership. This could be a result of consumer income since tablets are relatively expensive and aren't used as a replacement for mobile phones. Another factor could be the ability of a smartphone to act as a stepping stone to tablets -- both use the same apps and have similar user interfaces.

This should be encouraging news for music video service Vevo, which has apps for the iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook in addition to an Android app that runs on both smartphones and tablets. These are good trends for YouTube and its content partners, namely Warner Music Group, as well as paid online video services like Hulu and Netflix. The more people are watching, and the more likely they are to pay to watch, the more robust the online video market can become. ( comScore press release)

Moroccan Artists Having Trouble Getting Paid
Protecting the rights of copyright holders is only part of the battle that artists, labels and publishers face these days. In some countries, the integrity of the systems that support copyright are a problem. An insightful and troubling New York Times article tells the story of a Moroccan band that has released five albums in ten years but earned just $220 in royalties from its music.

People interviewed for the article complain that the Moroccan Bureau for Copyright is not protecting their rights when their works are played on TV and radio. The president of the producers' guild in Morocco says progress is being made but some artists have not even registered their works and don't physically show up at the office to collect their royalties. "They need to be forceful about rights that were given to them by the law," he says.

What about using recorded music to fuel live performances? Making money from only live performances is problematic, says Reda Allali, singer for the group Reda Allali, which performs 50 times a year. "One can compose music without being a performer, in which case the stage is not even an option. It also means that we can never take breaks and record new albums like everybody else." ( New York Times)

Bandcamp 'Discoverinator' Allows Better Browsing
Browsing music on Bandcamp just got easier and better. Bandcamp, an online service that allows artists to sell music and merchandise, previously allowed for some browsing -- by genre and location -- but the process has been vastly improved be enabling search by new arrivals, artist recommendations and format (digital, vinyl, CD, cassette).

CEO Ethan Diamond explains: "Want to hear the best-selling metal on vinyl this week? Recent indie cassette arrivals? The electronica most loved by the bands themselves? The Discoverinator delivers all of it and more. We've found it produces new and interesting results far more reliably than the barrage of what-our-friends-are-listening-to-right-now, and is just a hell of a lot more fun."

Diamond has a good point. Finding new and interesting music best suited to your tastes requires a bit more work than seeing what your friends are listening to via Facebook. If you have the same tastes as your social network, then you won't need Bandcamp's new discover page and you probably aren't the kind of person to be hanging around on Bandcamp in the first place. But if you like taking a chance on bands you have discovered yourself, this will be a fun feature. ( Bandcamp blog)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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