Streaming Music Pricing: Inelastic Stretching by Mark Mulligan

Streaming Music Pricing: Inelastic Stretching Posted on February 22, 2017 Pricing has long been an issue for streaming music subscriptions, with the $/€/£ 9.99 price point above what most people spend on music each month. Streaming services have navigated around the issue with a combination of tactics such as telco bundles and aggressive price discounts (e.g. $1 for 3 months). However, these tactics place long term pressure on the 9.99 price point as they create a consumer perception that streaming music should be cheaper than it is. There is no doubt that discounts are doing a great job of converting users and of easing otherwise reluctant consumers into the 9.99 pricing, but the next phase of the streaming market requires a more sustainable approach to pricing strategy, coupled with some serious product innovation. To explore this issue in detail, MIDiA has published its latest music report: Streaming Music Pricing: Inelastic Stretching. In it we use proprietary MIDiA data to assess how much of the 9.99 opportunity has been tapped, how much further opportunity exists and what level of demand exists for different price points. These are some of the key takeaways from the report: 2017 will be a stellar streaming year: A combination of enough growth being left in the market and the continued success of pricing discounts should see subscriber numbers grow at a slightly faster rate in 2017 than they did in 2016, hitting 146.6 million. This is up 44.3 million from the 106.3 million hit in 2016. (That 2016 figure is 5.9 million more than our provisional estimate published back in the start of January, as the result of receiving a...

The Hierarchy of Dreams

By Dana C. Lamb Last week, I had the opportunity to accompany my daughter to a Music Theater International music theater workshop on Broadway. We were thrilled that she was accepted after her audition and it truly was a week of a lifetime. The organizers and educators involved with the week-long camp were absolutely outstanding. As her mom, and as a music teacher, I was beyond thrilled with the quality of her experience. Fortunately, I had another student who was accepted as well for the week my daughter was there, and I have another student who was accepted for this week’s performance. I would be lying to you if I was not a little bit proud of the fact that three students auditioned and they accepted all three. While we were there, I treated my children to two extremely different Broadway shows: Phantom of the Opera and Aladdin. Phantom has been on my bucket list for well over twenty years and I finally saw the breathtaking spectacle that is this quintessential global classic. We sat fourth row so I could literally see the stitches on the most gorgeous costumes and the eyeliner on Christine. I have always been an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan and now that I have actually seen the performance, and not just imagining it in my mind as I listened to the soundtrack, I am in even more respect for his body of work and consider him one of the master composers of this contemporary age. The next night we sat second row at Aladdin. Honestly, this was more of a quid pro quo choice when...

Why Music Makes Us Feel Good

Susan Hirtz is an educator, consultant and researcher who answers the question, “Why does music make us feel good?” A young woman asked me why she feels so good when she plays her instrument, something she is particularly good at doing. Her friends and relatives truly enjoy listening to her, so she gets lots of approval and encouragement. While those are fringe benefits available to the select few encouragement and popularity are not the true positive results of music and arts education. Music serves a very special function in the brain, stimulating our ability to think in areas not stimulated any other way. According to studies published recently in Canadian Geographic magazine, “There are few activities that require more of the brain than playing music. It uses complex feedback systems that take in information, such as pitch and melody, through the auditory cortex, and allow the performer to adjust his playing…” All in all, playing music stimulates eight additional parts of the brain: the visual cortex, motor cortex, sensory cortex, premotor area, frontal lobe, and the cerebellum. Five additional areas in the inner brain are stimulated from listening to music you enjoy. Some of those are the same areas associated with the euphoric pleasure associated with drugs. It can also give us release from anxiety. “… activity in the amygdala is inhibited. This is the part of the brain that is typically associated with negative emotion, such as fear.” “Research shows musical training in children enhances the activity of important neural systems.  Changes are in regions of the brain that relate to playing an instrument, such as the auditory cortex, used for processing musical tones; the motor cortex, a region activated when using the hands...