In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music News Summary February 15, 2019

SoStereo's weekly music news summary with a new hi-res steaming entrant to the US, UMG's big 2018 and more.
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Tidal Now Allows You To Mute Artists:

Word leaked about Spotify’s potential plans to give users the ability to mute artists and now Tidal has gone ahead and implemented it. A “Block” button will now be available, which would prevent certain artists from appearing in playlists and radio stations. It also allows fans to block certain songs or their whole discography for a little more nuance.

Read more here.

UMG Buying Rest Of Distributor Ingrooves:

UMG has agreed to purchase music distributor and publisher Ingrooves. It had a 25% stake in the company when Universal sold Fontana to Ingrooves in 2012 for $10 million and a 22% stake, which grew to 25%. This does not increase UMG’s market share as they had already counted them in their “other” category before according to Billboard, but now they will get to count Ingroove’s estimated $150 million in revenue. Ingrooves distributes labels like Strange Music, Seeking Blue, CM7 and more.

Hi-Res Streaming Service Qobuz Launched In US This Week:

It may seem like there is no more room for streaming services in the United States with Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, Amazon and even Tidal taking up the lion share of the market. However, the size of the market is not discouraging new players from trying. Hi-Res music streaming company Qobuz launched this week, hoping to take some the top end, vinyl-buying market. The company will allow users to stream and download music. The pricing is as follows: $9.99 per month for non-his-res quality, followed by $19.99 for CD-quality and $24.99 for "studio" quality. There will also be an option for a $299.99 annual subscription that includes discounts from the Qobuz downloads store.

Read more here.

Beatport, DJ City Relaunching Beatsource To Service “Open Format” DJs:

Beatport, one of the premiere places to buy dance music, and DJ City, one of the largest DJ pools, are teaming up to relaunch Beatsource, a tool for “open format” DJs. It will launch in Q2 and look to provide “provide access to a broad catalogue of hits and pre-release exclusive content” that is normally reserved for the DJ pool business. DJ City will rebrand its focus towards Beatsource going forward. Exact financial details on the joint venture are a bit murky, but it should provide a new resource to the wider marketplace.

Universal Music’s Revenues Hit $7.1 Billion In 2018:

Universal’s parent company Vivendi revealed UMG’s 2018 financials and they are impressive. Across all departments, the music company pulled in $7.15 billion. It’s labels earned $5.73 billion last year, up nearly 10% at constant currency. $3 billion of that was from streaming, up 37.3%. Licensing revenue rose 10.7% to $954 million to offset physical sales dropping 16.1% to $1.13 billion.

Read more here.

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