logo
Sign in or Register

Already a member?

Sign in

Or sign in with your account on:

Not a member yet?

Register
    

 


Google Snags Songza, But Will Streaming Ever Be Profitable?

By  +Follow July 3, 2014 3:53PM
Share:
Tickers Mentioned:

Songza, Spotify, Pandora, Sirius, Streaming Services, Streaming Music, Club Songza

Online and mobile music streaming has reduced the clutter of CDs at home, but has increased the clatter around selling songs. On-demand and streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora (P) and Songza rely on advertisers’ sponsorship to fund their services, and while they all offer subscription service, most listeners expect music to be free. Given this trend, and the fact that subscription-based Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) is currently the only profitable music-streaming provider on the market, all free streaming services face little prospect of profitability.

As the largest streaming radio option, Pandora is a good indicator of where streaming profitability is headed, and the road appears to lead to a dead end. It earns yearly revenue of more than $500 million, but its gains in revenue are matched by proportionally high licensing fees and other costs. A bleak analysis conducted by Generator Research in 2013 concluded that the streaming business was "inherently unprofitable" in its current state. According to analysis and projections, "no current music subscription service — including marquee brands like Pandora, Spotify, and Rhapsody — can ever be profitable, even if they execute perfectly.” 

Streaming Services Provide Data, Not Profit

In their current state, all streaming services face the challenge of ever finding profitability. Music listeners are used to getting all the perks with none of the price, and the trending expectation is that music will remain free. While Songza offers Club Songza subscription for $0.99 per week, which removes ads and doubles the skip limit to 12 songs, few users opt in. Most people are used to the influx of advertising on all platforms and are relatively willing to endure a few ads for free personalized playlists. Club Songza is only a year old and user data is unavailable, but if its proportion of paying subscribers is anything like Pandora’s, only 3.6 percent of its users are willing to put down money for those perks. This represents annual subscription revenue of $10.2 million, most of which would likely be redirected to licensing fees for new tracks in efforts to continue boosting listenership.

For More Than $39 Million, What is Songza to Google?

Google (GOOG)  has entered the music streaming arms race, but not for Songza’s direct prospects of profitability. For listeners who want quality playlists created for them, Songza is the most effortless personalized option. Each playlist is hand-selected (the latest buzzword is ‘curated’) by DJs and music experts based on listener data, and fares far better in reviews than competitors such as Pandora. This is largely in part to its wide catalog size, and at 20 million tracks it is in close pursuit of Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes Radio, which is just above 25 million.

Google’s strategy appears to center on acquiring the best platform for personalized listening. Similarly to Netflix’s (NFLX) creation of microgenre categories, Songza combines listeners’ data with handcrafted playlists by music experts. Songza’s tracks add to the YouTube and Google Play catalogs, but its most valuable feature is its user data. Google’s goal is to capture customers in the streaming market, and while Songza alone may show poor prospects of profitability, its ability to attract customers to Google’s entire range of products is its most valuable benefit. For example, if Songza’s popularity takes off, consumers may be more drawn to Google Chromecast knowing it provides access the streaming service.

While Google’s acquisition of Songza may attract more users away from competitor Apple’s iTunes Radio, the musicians providing their tracks to the streaming services still earn fractions of pennies. Artists signed with independent labels have historically gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to royalties, from vinyl sales to mp3 downloads to streaming. Of a reported 1.71 billion hours of listening on Pandora Radio, 44 percent of songs played were from indie artists. However, these artists earn 12% of a penny each time a song is streamed. Free streaming that primarily relies on advertising for its revenue cannot be profitable for either the service provider or the artist. Who really profits is the label middleman — companies such as The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) that collect royalties from Pandora and its competitors pocket large fractions of the payouts, and distribute the remains among musicians and performers. The larger the band, the smaller the fraction that goes to each member.

Spotify is the latest service eyeing an IPO. Given analysts’ concerns of profitability, streaming services are unlikely to turn a profit comparable to that of subscription radio champion Sirius XM unless major overhauls are made to either subscription services or the royalties paid per track streamed.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer


Signup for our daily newsletter and get our best articles emailed right to you!

Results for goog
Adam Rubenstein
5 Jul 15 19:41:48
Well executed @HenleyRegatta Can likely monetize your content next year! @YouTube @google $GOOGL $GOOG
Penny Stockington
5 Jul 15 19:41:47
$SUTI Has Gained 66.67%, Since Our Penny Stock Blog Alert! Huge News: http://t.co/llIxl7cUOL $TRX $AAPL $GOOG
Stock Dawgzz
5 Jul 15 19:40:36
Our Platinum Subscribers Saw Their Penny Stock Alerts Gain Over 200% In 2 Weeks! Big Update: http://t.co/Lhta1y8KaK $TRX $AAPL $GOOG
Stock Rocket
5 Jul 15 19:39:36
Our Penny Stock Newsletter Alerts Gained 200% In 2 Weeks! Get Our Next Pick Early: http://t.co/4eX1MHjK0l $TRX $AAPL $GOOG
Stockaholics
5 Jul 15 19:38:43
$SUTI Has Now Seen 400% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks! Special Update: http://t.co/l1zbyeWEGo $TRX $AAPL $GOOG
Michael Cook
5 Jul 15 19:35:14
Our Penny Stock Pick On $GEQU Has Been Performing Powerfully For Our Platinum Members! Big News: http://t.co/91VffBsuoJ $TRX $AAPL $GOOG
Michael James
5 Jul 15 19:34:25
We have a MASSIVE New Penny Stock Pick, Coming This Week! Get It Early: http://t.co/NH4n77GxeB $TRX $AAPL $GOOG
Paul Henry
5 Jul 15 19:34:08
Our Penny Stock Picks Have Gained 3,600% In 9 Months! Subscribe To Get Our Future Picks: http://t.co/0VyTzPzxIB $TRX $AAPL $GOOG
Wishal Kaushal
5 Jul 15 19:25:10
RT @ValaAfshar: Cash holdings ($ billions): Apple $AAPL: $194b Microsoft $MSFT: $108b Google $GOOG: $67b Greece's national debt: $342b …
Clayton R.
5 Jul 15 19:12:40
$GOOG http://t.co/zzGEvirsQD Huawei's Sun Yafang Repeats Atop New Forbes China Power Women Ranking http://t.co/AOLyNGvDr8
Sally Reid
5 Jul 15 19:12:19
RT @ValaAfshar: Cash holdings ($ billions): Apple $AAPL: $194b Microsoft $MSFT: $108b Google $GOOG: $67b Greece's national debt: $342b …
Donald W. Deer
5 Jul 15 19:09:46
RT @Bigglybobblyboo: '$bbry $aapl $goog Shocking Government iGnorance That Puts Us All In Danger: http://t.co/upxgpPKyBQ - sent using the…
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 19:06:27
Monitor your watchlist of assets for tweets- US Tech Giants http://t.co/UD9cvP00kB $AAPL $GOOG $MSFT $FB $TWTR http://t.co/XG5hVFJGig
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 19:06:24
$SUTI Has Gained 66.67%, Since Our Penny Stock Blog Alert! Huge News: http://t.co/oVLe8F1lwb $IBM $GOOG $AAPL … http://t.co/XG5hVFJGig
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 19:06:23
$SUTI Has Now Seen 400% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks! Special Update: http://t.co/PIrLMLuHOy $IBM $GOOG $AAPL … http://t.co/XG5hVFJGig
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 19:06:23
Monitor your watchlist of assets for tweets- US Tech Giants http://t.co/UD9cvP00kB $AAPL $GOOG $MSFT $FB $TWTR http://t.co/RBfA8LcTJ0
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 19:06:21
Monitor your watchlist of assets for tweets- US Tech Giants http://t.co/UD9cvP00kB $AAPL $GOOG $MSFT $FB $TWTR http://t.co/Csk7miIhta
Penny Stockington
5 Jul 15 19:05:49
$SUTI Has Gained 66.67%, Since Our Penny Stock Blog Alert! Huge News: http://t.co/llIxl7cUOL $AMZN $MCOX $GOOG
Stock Dawgzz
5 Jul 15 19:04:49
Our Platinum Subscribers Saw Their Penny Stock Alerts Gain Over 200% In 2 Weeks! Big Update: http://t.co/Lhta1yqlzk $AMZN $MCOX $GOOG
Stock Rocket
5 Jul 15 19:03:52
Our Penny Stock Newsletter Alerts Gained 200% In 2 Weeks! Get Our Next Pick Early: http://t.co/4eX1MHBloV $AMZN $MCOX $GOOG
Stockaholics
5 Jul 15 19:03:00
$SUTI Has Now Seen 400% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks! Special Update: http://t.co/l1zbyeF3OQ $AMZN $MCOX $GOOG
Jeffrey Diaz
5 Jul 15 19:01:42
RT @TheTradingNinja: Ready to get to work, even though everyday is market grinding. Who's ready to eat after a long weekend of starvation? …
FinBUZZ Just-IN
5 Jul 15 18:57:25
Monitor your watchlist of assets for tweets- US Tech Giants http://t.co/kdZSg01UFl $AAPL $GOOG $MSFT $FB $TWTR
Penny Stockington
5 Jul 15 18:55:25
$SUTI Has Gained 66.67%, Since Our Penny Stock Blog Alert! Huge News: http://t.co/llIxl7cUOL $ERBB $BBDA $GOOG
Stock Dawgzz
5 Jul 15 18:54:26
Our Platinum Subscribers Saw Their Penny Stock Alerts Gain Over 200% In 2 Weeks! Big Update: http://t.co/Lhta1yqlzk $ERBB $BBDA $GOOG
Stock Rocket
5 Jul 15 18:53:15
Our Penny Stock Newsletter Alerts Gained 200% In 2 Weeks! Get Our Next Pick Early: http://t.co/4eX1MHBloV $ERBB $BBDA $GOOG
Stockaholics
5 Jul 15 18:52:35
$SUTI Has Now Seen 400% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks! Special Update: http://t.co/l1zbyeF3OQ $ERBB $BBDA $GOOG
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 18:50:50
$SUTI Has Gained 66.67%, Since Our Penny Stock Blog Alert! Huge News: http://t.co/oVLe8F1lwb $IBM $GOOG $AAPL http://t.co/XG5hVFJGig
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 18:50:49
$SUTI Has Now Seen 400% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks! Special Update: http://t.co/PIrLMLuHOy $IBM $GOOG $AAPL http://t.co/XG5hVFJGig
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 18:50:16
$YHOO $GOOG $GOOGL: Yahoo! tests Google for search results – Telecompaper: http://t.co/mwmQeIRG6F … http://t.co/IFXe4VLiF2
Penny Stockington
5 Jul 15 18:46:28
$SUTI Has Gained 66.67%, Since Our Penny Stock Blog Alert! Huge News: http://t.co/llIxl7cUOL $IBM $GOOG $AAPL
FinancePress
5 Jul 15 18:46:16
$GOOG Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Wants To Expand Web Access In Cuba ...: Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Wants To Ex... http://t.co/0qKK77MLYB
StockenheimerSchmidt
5 Jul 15 18:45:29
Our Stock Pick On $PPCH Is Up 370% For Our Subscribers, Since Our Original Release At .02! Huge News: http://t.co/Ab9x726B1J $IBM $GOOG $AAP
Stock Dawgzz
5 Jul 15 18:45:25
Our Platinum Subscribers Saw Their Penny Stock Alerts Gain Over 200% In 2 Weeks! Big Update: http://t.co/Lhta1yqlzk $IBM $GOOG $AAPL
Stock Rocket
5 Jul 15 18:44:21
Our Penny Stock Newsletter Alerts Gained 200% In 2 Weeks! Get Our Next Pick Early: http://t.co/4eX1MHBloV $IBM $GOOG $AAPL
Stockaholics
5 Jul 15 18:43:40
$SUTI Has Now Seen 400% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks! Special Update: http://t.co/l1zbyeF3OQ $IBM $GOOG $AAPL
Penny Stockington
5 Jul 15 18:35:45
$SUTI Has Gained 66.67%, Since Our Penny Stock Blog Alert! Huge News: http://t.co/llIxl7cUOL $CBL $GOOG $BLL
Stock Dawgzz
5 Jul 15 18:34:45
Our Platinum Subscribers Saw Their Penny Stock Alerts Gain Over 200% In 2 Weeks! Big Update: http://t.co/Lhta1yqlzk $CBL $GOOG $BLL
binaryoptionsocial
5 Jul 15 18:34:34
$YHOO $GOOG $GOOGL: Yahoo! tests Google for search results – Telecompaper: http://t.co/mwmQeIRG6F http://t.co/IFXe4VLiF2
StockenheimerSchmidt
5 Jul 15 18:34:28
Our Stock Pick On $PPCH Is Up 370% For Our Subscribers, Since Our Original Release At .02! Huge News: http://t.co/Ab9x726B1J $CBL $GOOG $BLL
Michael Cook
5 Jul 15 18:33:53
Our Penny Stock Pick On $GEQU Has Been Performing Powerfully For Our Platinum Members! Big News: http://t.co/91VffBsuoJ $AMZN $MCOX $GOOG
Michael James
5 Jul 15 18:33:34
We have a MASSIVE New Penny Stock Pick, Coming This Week! Get It Early: http://t.co/NH4n77Y8Db $AMZN $MCOX $GOOG
Stock Rocket
5 Jul 15 18:33:30
Our Penny Stock Newsletter Alerts Gained 200% In 2 Weeks! Get Our Next Pick Early: http://t.co/4eX1MHjK0l $CBL $GOOG $BLL
Stockaholics
5 Jul 15 18:32:54
$SUTI Has Now Seen 400% Gains In The Past 2 Weeks! Special Update: http://t.co/l1zbyeF3OQ $CBL $GOOG $BLL
Paul Henry
5 Jul 15 18:32:31
Our Penny Stock Picks Have Gained 3,600% In 9 Months! Subscribe To Get Our Future Picks: http://t.co/0VyTzPR97b $AMZN $MCOX $GOOG
Breaking News
5 Jul 15 18:31:02
$YHOO $GOOG $GOOGL: Yahoo! tests Google for search results – Telecompaper: http://t.co/uHAbckYeBY
Michael Lamothe
5 Jul 15 18:26:23
Some notable earnings announcements on the horizon: http://t.co/CKB5vXiik2 $NFLX $SHW $INTC $ATHN $GOOG courtesy of @jaywhitcraft
Michael Cook
5 Jul 15 18:22:55
Our Penny Stock Pick On $GEQU Has Been Performing Powerfully For Our Platinum Members! Big News: http://t.co/91VffBsuoJ $ERBB $BBDA $GOOG
Michael James
5 Jul 15 18:22:53
We have a MASSIVE New Penny Stock Pick, Coming This Week! Get It Early: http://t.co/NH4n77Y8Db $ERBB $BBDA $GOOG
Paul Henry
5 Jul 15 18:21:44
Our Penny Stock Picks Have Gained 3,600% In 9 Months! Subscribe To Get Our Future Picks: http://t.co/0VyTzPR97b $ERBB $BBDA $GOOG
				
				
By  +Follow July 3, 2014 3:53PM
Share:

Comments

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

 Today's Must Reads

Microsegmentation: The Future of Cybersecurity?


How this Playboy Playmate Became a Better Stock Trader Than You

Long Term Rates Are On The Up…What’s Next?

The Modern Web: So Many Ways to Invest in Wireless Mobile Stocks

It's Time for the Rest of the Country to Legalize Weed

 

Do you expect a 10% correction by the end of 2015? in Equities.com Polls on LockerDome

About us

Equities.com is an advanced financial data portal and social network designed to connect self-directed investors with the world’s most innovative startup and small cap companies. Through our in-depth coverage of small cap markets, comprehensive research and stock valuation reports, state of the art issuer products, and world class events, Equities.com provides the social tools and insight that drive tomorrow’s investment relationships and opportunities.

Market Data powered by QuoteMedia.
Copyright © QuoteMedia. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of Use.

Login or Register

LOG IN