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In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music Summary May 4, 2018

SoStereo's weekly music and advertising round-up with news by Spotify, Billboard chart changes, Roc Nation and more.
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Billboard Changes How Streams Are Calculated To Hot 100 & 200 Charts:

The Billboard Hot 100 singles and 200 albums charts are the standards for single and album sales in the United States. They have struggled to adjust to the advent of streaming, just has most of the industry, coming up with equivalent album units, giving total streams weight in response to the fact that people were streaming and not buying. In the album chart, this meant 1,500 streams equated to an album unit. Now this is changing, giving paid streams have more weight over ad-supported streams. According to Billboard, the Hot 100 will have three tiers. Paid streams will be weighted one point, ad-supported streams will be 2/3-point per play and programmed streams will represent a 1/2-point value per play. The Billboard 200 album chart will have two tiers. Tier 1 is paid subscription audio streams equating 1,250 streams to one album unit and Tier 2 is ad-supported audio streams equating 3,750 streams to one album unit. This will impact albums where people only stream on YouTube and don’t buy.

Spotify Hits 75 Million Paid Subscribers, Reveals Q1 Financials:

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Spotify announced this week that it had hit 75 million paid subscribers. They also revealed their Q1 financials, which as a public company after they listing in April, they have to. They also revealed their Q1 financials. It pulled in $1.36 billion in revenue in the first quarter, just short of Wall Street projections of $1.4 billion and this sent shares falling according to Yahoo Finance. Beyond a missed revenue target by analysts, its gross margin was 24.9% in Q1, above the 23-24% projected. Operating losses of €41 million represented approximately 4% of total revenue according to Music Business Worldwide.

Sprint & T-Mobile Announce Merger Plans:

Now this may not be normal music news, but this could have a far-reaching impact on business and the music business in general. It would still have to clear regulatory hurdles in the United States and around the world, but a potential merger would create a company that could rival AT&T and Verizon on scale in the United States, or so they hope. One of the company’s main pitches is that they will be leaders in bringing 5G technologies to users around the US. Sprint also owns a 33% stake in Tidal, which a potential merger could make for a more complicated ownership structure.

Roc Nation Launches Television Production Division:

Roc Nation is expanding its empire in entertainment from music and sports into television production. It is opening a TV production division to be headed by Weinstein Co. alum Patrick Reardon according to Variety. He will be focus “developing and producing premium scripted and unscripted content.” Future projects include an unscripted series with Amazon.

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