Overnight news from around the world: Monday, October 17

Overnight news from around the world: Monday, October 17

Spotify's 2015 financial results provide insight into subscription figures

Spotify has revealed that subscriptions were its most significant revenue stream for 2015, accounting for 92% of its overall income and generating £171.7m – that would be the equivalent of approximately 1.43 million individual full-year subscribers to its premium, £9.99-per-month service. Of course, it's not quite that simple - many Spotify subscribers could be on its reduced student rate (currently £4.99-per-month) or its family plan (£14.99), or would have only subscribed for part of the year. The company has never disclosed its UK subscriber numbers, but this at least gives an indication of its scale and rapid growth.

Subscriptions in 2014, meanwhile, accounted for £119.16m, meaning the 2015 figures represent 44% year-on-year growth.

Total revenues for the year reached £187.19m, marking an increase of 18% on 2014 (£159.07m).

While the company accumulated profits of £1.25m for the year, income from advertising dropped 2%, from £11.09m in 2014 to £10.85m in 2015. In total, ad revenues made up 5.8% of Spotify’s income in 2015. However, outside of the UK, the company’s advertising revenues almost doubled in 2015.

The figures arrived on Friday (October 14), a day after Spotify chairman Martin Lorentzon had stepped down, with co-founder Daniel Ek set to replace him.

Lars Ulrich likens music biz to "the Wild West"

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has spoken out about the music industry in a new interview. Speaking on American television channel MSNBC last month, Ulrich was asked about the music industry, Napster and the legal case launched against the download platform by Metallica, which resulted in 300,000 users being banned from the site. "The music business, or what's left of it, is obviously a very… it's like the Wild West now," he said. "Fifteen years ago, when you put out a record, there was a particular way that you did everything. Now it's just whatever works for you. We're in the process of putting a new record out this fall, and we're just doing whatever we feel is right. There's no particular way that it should be." 

Reflecting on Metallica's involvement with Napster he said: ""Most of the time, it's like a bad dream, like what the fuck was that? [Several] years later, it's like did that really happen? We went from being somewhat well-respected, well-liked, and then I woke up one day and all of a sudden I was the most hated man in rock 'n' roll. It was like, huh? Me? What did I do wrong? I'm one of the good guys. That was all kind of weird." However, Ulrich admitted he's "proud of the stance we took" and that "for better or worse, it got a good debate started." 

Metallica release Hardwired… To Self-Destruct on November 18 via Blackened. (Teamrock)

Bob Dylan Spotify streams increase by 512%

Following last Thursday's (October 13) announcement that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, global Spotify streams of his music have shot up by 512%. The most listened to track was 1965 classic Like A Rolling Stone, which saw an increase of 28%. The 75-year-old singer was honoured by The Rolling Stones as both acts appeared at California's Desert Trip festival over the weekend. Stones frontman Mick Jagger said during their set, "I want to thank Bob Dylan for an amazing set. We have never shared the stage with a Nobel Prize winner before . Bob is like our own Walt Whitman." Keith Richards added, "I can't think of anybody that deserved it better." Dylan, meanwhile, did not reference the news during his performance. 

Skepta set to play Sole DXB festival

Skepta and Little Simz head up a heavyweight hip-hop and grime bill for this year's fifth Sole DXB festival. The event, held in Dubai from November 18-19, has also announced BJ The Chicago Kid, Dâm-Funk, Large Professor & Diamond D, DJ Clark Kent, Stretch Armstrong. A special guest performer is yet to be unveiled. Strongly tied to both fashion and basketball, the festival will also see the launch of new products from Adidas Originals, Puma Select, Level Shoes, New Balance and Nike as well as an 11-team basketball tournament. Sole DXB launched its website in 2010 as a platform for the latest news in footwear, fashion, design and alternative culture in The Middle East.

Manchester University launches online music memorabilia archive

Manchester University is celebrating its musical history with the launch of an archive of gig memorabilia. Covering the years since 1963, the Manchester Academy Memories project collates more than 400 images and marks the end of a year-long commemoration of the Academy's 25th anniversary. The city has long been famous for gigs at its University, and later the nearby Academy, which opened in 1990 with a gig from local punk heroes The Buzzcocks. Artists including Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Prince, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Blur, Oasis and Amy Winehouse have performed at the venue. The archive includes newspaper clippings and gig tickets and curator Abigail Ward said, "It's a fascinating glimpse into student life across the decades. It's about social and political histories inextricably entwined with the music… [that's] particularly evident in the [press] cuttings." Many of the images were provided by the public and anyone who would like to contribute should contact the Manchester District Music Archive. (BBC)

The Music Week Sync Awards are coming

The biggest night out of the year for the sync sector is fast approaching. The Music Week Sync Awards take place this Thursday (October 20), check out the shortlist here and click here to purchase the last remaining tickets.

Music Week out now

In our latest edition, Dive into Music Week’s legendary quarterly analysis as we highlight all the key Q3 market trends. Elsewhere, execs give their verdict on Amazon’s new streaming service as it prepares to launch in the UK. Top indie publishers Spirit B-Unique take on the Big Interview. And: Clinton or Trump? We look at what their administrations would mean for the music biz. Subscribe here.

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