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In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music News Summary February 1, 2019

SoStereo's weekly music news summary with SoundCloud reporting financials for 2017, Sirius XM's big slew of announcements and more.
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Apple Music & American Airlines Announce Partnership:

Starting today, Friday, February 1, Apple Music subscribers will be able to stream Apple Music on any domestic American Airlines flights without having to pay for in-flight Wifi. The flight must be equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi. Subscribers will be able to stream on any device. This is the type of deal that net neutrality tried to prevent in a practice called “zero rating.” It is like certain carriers offering sponsored data for their own apps or third party providers. This will give it an edge over Spotify and Tidal, whose users would then have to then have to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi to enjoy the streaming services.

SoundCloud’s Revenues Grew To $100 Million In 2017:

Since SoundCloud isn’t a public company it doesn’t have to report financials every quarter, but instead it reports the following year. So now we have a picture of its financial health from 2017. Its global revenues grew 80% in 2017 to $102 million. This was led by a surge in users paying for subscriptions, whether they are Pro or Go plans. This grew by 89%, upping revenue to $82 million. Advertising revenues grew 53% year-on-year in 2017, up to $20m. Its operating loss also fell 27% to €51.4m ($58m) – compared with €70.5m in 2016. In 2017, SoundCloud laid off 40% of its workforce, closed two offices and then raised $170 million in funding, so it had quite the seismic shift as a company.

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Sirius XM Completes Acquisition Of Pandora, Announces Deal With Toyota, Hits 34 Million Subscribers:

Sirius XM had themselves a big week. Pandora Media stockholders approved of Sirius XM’s $3.5 million takeover, which will see Pandora CEO Roger Lynch exit the company. The deal was first announced in September at $3.5 billion, but with Sirius’ stock declining, it is now less than $3 billion according to Variety. Sirius XM will be in many more cars in the coming years. It has announced a deal with Toyota that will make it standard in all Toyota US 2020 models. The deal extends all the way until 2028. Just like before, everyone with SXM will get a three-month trial subscription. After that, buyers can pay for the service according to CNET. Sirius also unveiled their Q3 financials with a record revenue of $1.5 billion. Their net income grew 24% from last year and it added nearly 300,000 paid subscribers in the quarter to hit 34 million according to Music Business Worldwide.

Recording Academy Task Force On Diversity Announces Initiative For Female Producers and Engineers:

The Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion has announced a new initiative expand opportunities for female music producers and engineers. According to a USC study, only two percent of music producers and three percent of engineers/mixers across pop music are women. The initiative calls upon entities hiring producers and engineers to consider at least two women in the hiring process. and are two tools that should be used in this process. More than 200 artists, producers, labels, agencies, management companies, and other stakeholders have all signed on including some of the biggest names in pop, hip-hop, R&B and country. We will see if this actually helps. 

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