Mobile U.S. Ad Revenues Projected to be $4 Billion by 2015
-- Since a good portion of future of digital music ad revenues will depend on the vibrancy of the mobile ad market, a new revenue forecast will be on great interest to digital service providers and rights holders. BIA/Kelsey forecasts U.S. mobile ad spending will grow to $4 billion in 2015 from $790 million in 2010. BIA/Kelsey is a Chantilly, Va.-based firm that advises companies on local media and advertising.
More local ads would be good, too -- targeted ads are more effective ads and more valuable. BIA/Kelsey sees locally targeted mobile ads growing from 51% of overall U.S. ad spending to 70% by 2015. Mobile local advertising consists of ads that target users in specific location or include location-specific calls to action.
Pandora's lack of locally targeted ad revenue had been one criticism that surrounded the company leading up to its IPO last week. Founder Tim Westergren addressed the issue in a Q&A with Billboard.biz on the day shares of Pandora began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
"As we grow, as our footprint grows, our scale at a local level becomes increasingly meaningful, and that opens up that local opportunity. That is one of the central promises of Internet radio, as opposed to broadcast, because you know who you're talking to. Most of the campaigns on Pandora have some form of targeting, whether it's age, gender or geography. That's been an important part of what's attracted advertisers to Pandora."
U.S. Recorded Music Sales Lookin' Good For First Half 2011
-- U.S. recorded music sales should finish the first half of 2011 with a spectacular year-over-year gain. Through June 19, album sales are up 0.6% and track sales are up 10%. That works out to an increase of track equivalent albums (TEAs) of 3.2%. The TEA metric converts digital track sales into albums (at the rate of ten tracks per album) for better comparisons over a time span when buying habits are changing (fewer albums, more tracks).
Music Startup Funding Prospers In Q2
-- With new rounds of funding announced this week by Shazam ($32 million) and We7 (an undisclosed amount) the second quarter of 2011 is proving to be a good time for music startups. In fact, there have been quite a few big deals announced this quarter. Online ticketing startup Eventbrite raised $50 million in its latest round of venture capital funding. Google acquired PushLife in early April for $25 million. Ticketfly raised $12 million. Music Masterminds raised $10.8 million and Official.fm raised $8 million.
In the first quarter of the year, the biggest deal announced was Beyond Oblivion's $77 million round of funding from Wellcome Trust and News Corporation (Allen & Company and Intertrust Technologies had previously put in money, as did News Corporation). Other big deals announced that quarter were Rdio's $17.5 million, SoundCloud's $10 million and X5's $9.3 million.
Headliner.fm CEO Discusses Social Media Impact on the Music Biz
-- Headliner.fm founder/CEO Mike More discusses a topic with Musician Coaching that truly impacts social media's role in the music business: affinity. Headliner.fm is a service that allows artists to gain new followers by getting similar artists to retweet their messages. Thus, artists take advantage of other artist's affinity. More explains:
"The people who win on Headliner.fm are the people that send the best quality recommendations to their fans. And if you recommend good things to your fans, you will build affinity with your fan base and they will be responsive to your messages. So, the people who really win are those that focus on the quality of what they are recommending."
Affinity helps determines whether or not you show up in a follower's Facebook "top news" feed. Affinity impacts how people respond to your communications -- email, social media, whatever. The term "brand affinity" is well known to mean the perceived value of a brand. That's basically what More is talking about. The "quality of what [artists] are recommending" impacts their brand's affinity.
Turntable.fm Naps 140,000 Users In First Month
-- Turntable.fm is causing quite a stir this week. The social-heavy, non-interactive music streaming service (you really have to see it to understand it) has attracted 140,000 users in its first month, according to a report at Betabeat. For a service with little more than word of mouth advertising (and a ton of online media attention), that's a great number.
As has been the case with hot music services in the past, there are questions about Turntable.fm's legal standing (it claims to be protected by the DMCA). "Every VC in town wants to get in," one investor told Beatbeat. "But the murky legal questions around music rights do remain."