Eurobites: 'Stream-Ripping' Sounds Jarring Note for Record Labels & Music Services
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 7/7/2017
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: darkening skies at SoundCloud; BT extends dynamic ad insertion deal; Germany reels from latest cyber attack.
"Stream-ripping" may be a term that is new to many, but, according to a BBC report, it's the fastest growing form of music privacy, and one that is understandably irking the major record labels. Citing new research by the UK's Intellectual Property Office and PRS For Music, the report says that there is now a proliferation of websites and apps that allow less scrupulous or impecunious music fans to turn Spotify tracks, YouTube videos and other streamed musical content into permanent files that can be easily stored on smartphones or computers. The research claims that 15% of UK adults regularly use stream-ripping services, with overall use of such sites increasing by 141.3% between 2014 and 2016.
In news that may not be unrelated to the above, Germany-based music streaming service SoundCloud is to cut around 40% of its staff to reduce costs, Bloomberg reports. Its offices in San Francisco and London will be closed as part of the pruning exercise. Most of the content on SoundCloud is free, but it introduced a subscription tier last year which, to date, hasn't proved a massive hit with listeners.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has agreed a multi-year extension to its arrangement with Yospace, a purveyor of dynamic ad insertion technology based in London. For the past year, Yospace has been stitching in ads to programming on BT Sport, ads that are unskippable, clickable and supposedly more relevant to the people viewing them than standard advertising fare.
Germany's federal cyber agency says that the most recent major cyber attack, thought to have emanated from an accountancy software firm in Ukraine, is causing more damage than originally feared. As Reuters reports, the agency said that some German manufacturing firms had seen had seen "critical processes" halted for more than a week.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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