Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page

U.S. Music Industry Sees Large Uptick in Revenue from Streaming Music Services

In Business on June 13, 2014 at 3:07 am

In 2013, overall music sales were flat compared with the previous year. But despite treading water, many music industry professionals were expressing optimism about streaming services and other forms of revenue.

In a report issued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the future of the music industry was laid bare. The revenue from streaming music services grew markedly in 2013, with a 39 percent increase from 2012. Streaming music services like Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM and Spotify have combined for more than $1.4 billion in total revenue.

The number of online consumers who have subscribed to these streaming services totaled 6.1 million in 2013, a considerable increase from 3.4 million the previous year. These impressive numbers do not include Beats, a new subscription-based streaming services that opened in late 2013.

In 2013, performance royalties paid to record labels and artists by SoundExchange increased nearly 30 percent to a total of $590 million. SoundExchange represents about half of U.S. streaming music revenue. Over 2,400 services in digital radio currently use SoundExchange for their daily operations.

As digital radio royalties become an even more prominent entity in the music ecosystem, labels and recording artists are concerned about their bottom lines. While music streaming continues to experience steady growth, overall revenue slipped from $7.01 billion in 2012 to $6.99 billion in 2013. Overall revenue has hovered around the $7 billion mark each year since 2009. The industry experienced revenue of $8.8 billion in 2008.

If these streaming services can convert an appropriate amount of free users into paid subscribers, record companies, record labels and artists may finally reap the benefits of the new Internet age. A premium subscriber to Google, Rdio or Spotify’s streaming service is paying approximately $120 each year on their music. That amounts to between 10 and 12 full-length albums.

Investment Returns Boosted by Tracking Brain Waves of Skilled Traders?

In Business on June 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

Sang Lucci Partners Capital has veered off the beaten path by temporarily booting its best traders off Wall Street. A group of the firm’s most talented traders was sent to Los Angeles in May to have their brain waves tracked by scientists as they participated in simulated day of buying and selling.

Twenty six traders took part in the company’s most recent experiment, which was sponsored in-part by TruBrain, a company that formulates nutritional supplements to improve brain function. While the results of the testing are not yet conclusive, TruBrain creators say that supplement’s active ingredients are proven to increase brain performance without the need for harsh stimulants.

The hope is that following the brain patterns of traders under normal working conditions will allow researchers to track when they are at their peak performance and if a dietary change will increase positive results. Test administrators are optimistic; others believe that the brain may benefit even better from having a small “break” before working. Lenox Hospital’s Dr. Robert Graham, who has no affiliation with San Lucci or TruBrain, says the test can show changes in the brain but not necessarily if it’s working smarter or not. He explains that slowing things down is as effective as speeding things up and believes calming down the senses before stress heightens the brains function without the risks associated with caffeine or other chemicals.

Although Sang Lucci is a small hedge fund by comparison, founder Anand Sanghvi has made headlines more than once for his unconventional wisdom and willingness to buck tradition. Sangvhi and Sang Lucci trainer Haim Bodek, a cognitive sciences major, operate the firm as though through a glass office. Sang Lucci Tweets their Profit and Loss daily and reports all activities to a University of Notre Dame professor, who is researching issues within the stock market structure.