In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music New Summary January 11, 2019

SoStereo's weekly music news summary with Nielsen's 2018 recap, Spotify adding more ads, Universal getting a big valuation and more.
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Spotify Opens Up Discover Weekly Playlist To Sponsorship:

Spotify is now opening up its Discover Weekly playlist, one of the most popular and important playlists on the platform, to potential brand sponsorship for free users. This would come in the form of in-playlist and native ads similar to what is seen in other editorial playlists according to BGR. Microsoft has signed on to be the first partner. This is one of Spotify’s most valuable assets and given their recent stock wobbles this may help assuage some investor worries.

Deutsche Bank Puts A $33 Billion Valuation on Universal Music Group:

According a new report by Deutsche Bank, Universal Music Group as a stand-alone company would be worth around $33 billion. That makes it more valuable than its parent company Vivendi, which is worth €28 billion (around $32 billion). Vivendi has been shopping Universal Music and is looking to spin off 50% in a sale sometime this year according to Rolling Stone. With this new valuation, they would be making a lot of money in the deal.

Canada’s Largest Vinyl Distributor RPM Distribution Shut Down This Week:

RPM Distribution shut down suddenly and without warning effective immediately this week. They sent out a release to their clients that was not promising financially, leaving many of them in a lurch and out of money. The release from the CEO read via Exclaim, “No orders will be processed moving forward and any existing orders in the system will be cancelled. All returns on site will be processed and credits will be provided. New returns will not be issued or accepted. Limited staff will be here to facilitate and oversee accounts payable/receivables and supplier returns.”

Nielsen Releases 2018 US Music Consumption Report:

Nielsen has released its 2018 US music consumption report. The biggest album of the near was Drake’s Scorpion, which sold 4 million equivalent units, almost all because of streaming. The album that sold the most physical copies was The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Many of the insights are similar with Buzzangle’s, with hip-hop dominating consumption at 25% digital audio consumption. Album sales dropped dramatically in 2018, declining 17.7%, while physical album sales dropped 15.8%. This was mostly because of CD sales dropping, though vinyl continued to grow, rising 14.6% to 16.8 million sold in 2018.

Read the full report here

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