I mentioned it last week, but I do have a small announcement.
This Friday will be the first for pay version of my newsletter. I amusingly named it Dollar Fractions and it'll be $3 a month and you can click here to join. I’ve toyed around with this idea for a little while and decided to make go at it.
It should arrive every Friday and will start as a space to experiment with ideas that I don't think quite fit into normal Penny Fractions updates. I'll be honest to say I think it'll take a little bit to figure out what I and the audience will want from this newsletter but I look forward to seeing what direction it may go.
The other main reason for a paid newsletter is that sending emails costs money, so at the very least if you just wanna help offset my monthly email expense then I'd certainly appreciate that. Either way, I'm excited to see if there is interest and what kind of work can be done in that space.
My normal Penny Fractions email won’t be changing, but if you have any comments, questions, or thoughts send them to email@example.com.
My only other note is that for first time subscribers please do check my back catalog, where I’ve talked about Apple’s relationship with Drake, Tidal’s constant bad press, and why I’m bracing for a telco owned music streaming world. The more verbose version of this newsletter will return next week, so I’ll see y’all then.
6 Links 2 Read
Does Spotify really care about podcasting? David Lidsky at Fast Company appears to think not really. I don’t disagree. His main point highlighted just how little Spotify is really investing into podcasting and how cheap their “exclusives” really are. I mostly agree, which made me wonder a bit about if Spotify treated podcasts like Netflix and poured millions into original, truly exclusive content. Spotify keeps positioning itself as the future of radio but there is a lot more than music on an AM or FM dial.
I normally don’t just include such directly consumer facing news but...bundles, bundles, and even more bundles.
Industry Analysis of Sony Stock-Sale Payouts: “Whoa” - Hits Daily Double
I’ll be a snarky for a moment and just ask who at Sony really needed a nice bit of press? Otherwise I’m not really sure this story says anything about the rather contentious story of how labels are paying out artists with their Spotify sale money. O well, someone somewhere said “Whoa.”
T-Series, the Bollywood YouTube channel, is on the path to become the most subscribed channel in the world. The phrase “biggest” is specifically about the number of subscribers but in terms of actual views T-Series and a number of other Indian music channels are already proving to be the future of YouTube not pop, rap, or even K-Pop.
State of the YouTube Economy - Hypebot
There is nothing really new here from Mulligan I haven’t already said before in this newsletter, nor anything that people haven’t said about YouTube’s relationship with the music industry the last decade. Labels don’t make enough money, YouTube doesn’t care. Labels get grumpy, YouTube cares. Repeat. Honestly I expect nothing to change though I’d love to know how many new YouTube Music subscribers have joined since its launch. Also whatever happened to Tuma Basa?
Show Tunes - Real Life
Last week I wrote a piece for Real Life about how streaming era of music isn't about selling music but rather the experience of music. The piece is a little more heady than what I typically get to do but I really enjoyed stretching my legs a bit in this space by pondering a bit on how streaming is shifting the context of music consumption.