Tag Archives: music

SiriusXM Buys Pandora

SiriusXM satellite radio provider is buying music streaming service Pandora for a $3.5 billion stock deal. The deal will create the world’s largest audio entertainment company. Why should SiriusXM buy Pandora? Because SiriusXM wants to gain people who listen to music but don’t want to pay for the premium SiriusXM service.

SiriusXM offers streaming without advertisements for $10.99 to $20.99 per month per car with up to 140+ channels, or streaming on any device for the same amount of $10.99 to $20.99 per month, or combine both options for all-access streaming. SiriusXM has 36 million subscribers in North America.

On the other hand, Pandora, which has 70 million active listeners (5.6 million who are paying members) can be used at no-cost as long as listeners don’t mind listening to advertisements. Or, listeners can buy monthly subscriptions at $4.99 or $9.99 per month for services that eliminate advertisements and offer personalized stations and create playlists, plus other options.

SiriusXM isn’t new to Pandora; it provided $480 million of funding to Pandora last year. Pandora faces stiff competition from other music services such as Apple Music, Amazon, Tidal, and Spotify.

The war to gain new listeners is heating up!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students:How much music do they listen to each day? Where is their music coming from? How much do they pay each month?
  2. View SiriusXM: https://www.siriusxm.com/
  3. View Pandora: https://www.pandora.com/
  4. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  5. Which strategy is SiriusXM using? Why?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team research the different prices and packages offered by each music streaming company.
  7. Compare price structures. Which offers listeners the better deal?

Source:  Wall Street Journal, New York Times, other sources

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Is Owning Music at an End?

When was the last time you purchased music? Not music streaming, but actually bought a physical product for money?

If you are like most consumers, it has probably been a long time since you purchased a CD. In the last decade, CD sales have fallen 80% – from 450 million units to 89 million units! Consider the lasting impact of the declining sales, not only on the record industry, but also in manufacturing. Many of today’s car companies (e.g., Tesla, Ford, Toyota) no longer even include a CD player in the car dashboard, and portable CD players are hard to find.

Even downloads of music have taken a big hit, decreasing 58% since the peak in 2012. Artists have also noted the trends; Bruce Springsteen released his latest box set exclusively on vinyl – no CD options. CDs are doing well in some markets though – in Japan, where streaming has not yet taken off, 72% of music sales were physical CDs. But look around U.S. retail stores – where are the CDs even stocked?

It’s not just streaming that has killed off the CD. Vinyl records have grown from less than a million units in 2007 to more than 14 million in 2017. Vinyl sales even hit a 25-year high last year and new vinyl record manufacturing is popping up to replace CD manufacturing.

Here are some numbers to note about music sales:

  • CD sales: 712 million units in 2001, to 88.6 million units in 2017.
  • Track downloads: 1.3 billion sold per year from 2011 – 2013; 555 million sold in 2017
  • Song streams: 118.1 billion in 2013; 618 billion in 2017
  • Vinyl: 990,000 units in 2007; 14.3 million units in 2017

How do you buy your music?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Poll students: When did they last purchase music? What form was it in?
  3. Where did they last see CDs or vinyl music? What was the inventory level?
  4. Who has a CD player in their car?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  6. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source: Knopper, S. (14 June, 2018). The end of owning music. Rolling Stone.

 

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Google Pixel Buds Translate 40 Languages in Real Time

Language can be a great way to unite people, but it can also be a great barrier when people speak different languages. After all, not everyone speaks multiple languages fluently, and it can definitely be hard to navigate or do business in a country when one does not understand that language.

In the sci-fi classic book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, traveler Arthur Dent had the use of a ‘babel fish’ to translate all alien languages. (The small, yellow fish when placed in the ear can help the listener instantly understand anything said, in any form of language.) Now, it seems that real-life is imitating science fiction with the recent announcement of Google Pixel Buds.

The blue-tooth ear buds have many functions similar to other ear buds (assistant, messaging, music, etc.) but they also have one striking new feature – the ability to translate language in real-time when paired with the Pixel 2 phone. Languages included are Arabic, Swedish, French, Japanese, German, Chinese, and many more.

Here’s how it works: Tap and hold down the right earbud, thereby activating Google Assistant (paired with a Pixel 2 phone in your bag or pocket).  Then, ask for help speaking a language. This then activates Google Translate, and you speak the phrase you need translated. The translated phrase appears on the phone screen and is read out of the phone speaker. The person you are speaking to then holds down the mic button and speaks the answer, which is then translated directly into the ear buds.

Voilà!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show a video of the Google Pixel headphone launch event: https://youtu.be/Q5bA12koB-g
  2. View product information: https://store.google.com/us/product/google_pixel_buds?hl=en-US
  3. Poll students: Who would be interested in using these? Why or why not?
  4. Other translators and devices also exist. Have students research other models and compare with Pixel ear buds.
  5. Discuss target markets and market segmentation.
  6. Have students develop a target market profile for this device.
  7. What should the marketing plan be for the new ear buds?

Source:  Google, The Verge, CNBC, New York Times, other news sources.

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