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Music Business News, August 30, 2017

Viewership of the Video Music Awards was down significantly again this year. Also, David Bowie’s music hit a streaming milestone on Spotify. And Spotify launched its first podcast series.


VMA Viewership Down Despite More Access


The MTV Video Music Awards drew 5.68 million viewers on Sunday, reported Billboard. This is a sharp drop from 6.5 million in 2016 and 9.8 million in 2015.


While Kendrick Lamar and the premiere of Taylor Swift’s new video boosted excitement, viewership was lackluster considering the show was on 10 different networks.


When the show was exclusively on MTV in 2002, it brought in 11.9 million viewers.


The VMAs was not the only awards show to lose viewers in 2017 as people turned towards other Sunday night programming. Still, the decline in viewers indicates that music videos and especially watching music videos on MTV and television proper may not have the draw they once did, as people turn to other platforms to get content.


Other shows took the lead in terms of viewership this past week, with America’s Got Talent, Game of Thrones, 60 Minutes and football and baseball programming in the top slots.


David Bowie Over 1 Billion Streams on Spotify


The music of David Bowie hit a huge streaming milestone last week, passing the one-billion-streams mark on Spotify.


Official Charts also noted that Bowie predicted the rise of streaming in a 2002 interview about the future of the music industry: ”The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity”.


His most popular song on the platform is “Heroes,” which managed to reach Number 12 on the Official Singles Chart despite peaking at #24 during his lifetime. The song will be released on picture disc in honor of its 40th birthday on September 22 and included in a retrospective of Bowie’s work called A New Career In A New Town 1977-1982 on September 29.


Other most-streamed Bowie songs on Spotify include “Let’s Dance,” “Space Oddity,” “Life on Mars,” “Starman” and “Rebel Rebel.”


Spotify Launching its First Podcast Series


Spotify announced its first podcast series, Shaun Keaveny’s Show & Tell.


According to Music Week, the podcast is the first move towards putting more resources into U.S. podcasting. Spotify made deals to promote podcasts in its app like Pod Save America. The company is also putting ads on buses in exchange for hosts dropping Spotify’s name on social media and in their podcasts.


Spotify is testing the waters in media beyond music in order to boost the time customers spend on the app and increase advertising sales. The recent move to the popular podcasting arena may bring in additional revenue that will reduce the percentage of Spotify’s sales that go towards record label royalties.


This new series will feature 12 weekly podcasts during which radio and TV host Shaun Keaveny will interview celebrity guests, who will do a “show and tell” of notable items in their home and tell stories from their life.

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