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For the fourth consecutive year, vinyl sales in the United States hit record levels, surpassing 9 million units for the first time in over 20 years. But for all the buzz, and it is great that any format sells music to their customers, this chart gives you an indication of just how big this party really is.

source: Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). All figures in millions, and US-based. Chart via Digital Music News

You may be the next big thing at your local open mic night, but the reality is that until your music gets “discovered” on the Internet, you won’t be able to get any traction as a musician. Making sure you have a musical presence on the Web is a little more involved than posting a link to your YouTube channel on Facebook- you need a website, title tags and a meta description, relationships with influential bloggers, and more. Here’s your guide to SEO for musicians from the fine folks at Digital Third Coast so that you can go from garage band to viral sensation.


A little more than a decade after Apple opened the iTunes Music Store and helped music downloads to break through to the mainstream, it appears as if listeners have already turned their backs on download stores in favor of streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora. After global download revenues had declined for the first time in 2013, the negative trend continued in 2014. According to Nielsen’s 2014 U.S. music report, single track and album downloads dropped by 12.5% and 9.4% respectively, as music consumption continued to shift towards streaming.

In total, Americans streamed more than 160 billion tracks in 2014, including audio streams as well as streams on video sites such as YouTube and VEVO. Compared to 2013, that’s a 54.5% increase of all streaming activity, meaning that the pace at which streaming is growing has accelerated compared to 2013, despite the larger base. The only medium able to keep pace with streaming in terms of growth was the LP. Vinyl sales grew by 51.8%, continuing a surprise comeback. Before music traditionalists break out the champagne, one thing should be noted though: at 9.2 million units, LPs still accounted for no more than 3.6% of total album sales in 2014.

Infographic: Streaming Boom Changes Music Landscape | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Earlier this week, music streaming service Spotify announced that it hit 60 million active users before the end of 2014. That’s a 20 million increase compared to the company’s last announcement in May 2014 and means that Spotify’s growth has accelerated over the past few months.

Meanwhile the number of paying subscribers grew from 10 million in May to 15 million in December, meaning that the ratio of paying subscribers to active users remained constant at 25 percent. This runs counter to Daniel Ek’s logic. The company’s co-founder and CEO went on record last year saying that more and more people would upgrade to paid subscriptions once they were hooked on streaming music.

Since Spotify is a private company and is as such not obliged to disclose its financials, it is unclear whether the company can turn a profit in its current state. The company states to pay back 70 percent of its revenues to the music industry, leaving it with 30 percent to cover all other expenses.

Infographic: Spotify Has 60M Users But Only 1 in 4 Pays | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

The reach of Facebook and Google in the online world stretches way beyond the companies’ own websites. Together, both companies account for more than 80 percent of so-called social logins, which enable users to sign in to a third-party website using an existing social media or email account.

Given its huge user base, it comes as no surprise that Facebook is the most popular choice for social logins. According to Janrain, the social network powered 43 percent of social logins in the fourth quarter of 2014. However, Facebook’s lead shrank significantly since Janrain last reported the numbers in October. The gap between Facebook and Google narrowed from twelve percentage points in Q3 to just three points in the most recent quarter. It appears as if Google’s continued push to unify its many services under one Google identity leads consumers to use their Google accounts beyond the company’s own products.

Social logins are valuable to companies such as Google and Facebook, because it enables them to collect even more information about their users’ interests and habits.

Infographic: Google Narrows Gap on Facebook in Social Logins | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Rush doesn’t do boring 4/4 time or compact four-and-a-half-minute songs for them, oh no, ha ha. They still have a 4:1 studio to live album ratio for almost 25 years. They’ve received 24 gold, 14 platinum, and 3 multi-platinum albums, placing them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band. They also have seven Grammy award nominations, although it has never won. The band, however, has won several Juno Awards, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

CBC Music took some time to illustrate Rush, by the numbers.

WhatsApp, the messaging app Facebook acquired for $19 billion in February 2014, has recently passed the 700 million user mark, the company’s co-founder and CEO Jan Koum announced in a Facebook post yesterday. According to Koum, more than 30 billion (!) messages are sent via WhatsApp every day, alongside hundreds of millions of photos and videos that are shared within the app.

Since WhatsApp last shared its user number in August 2014, the service added another 100 million to its impressively large user base. WhatsApp even managed to grow quicker than its parent company Facebook once did. Between March 2009 and April 2011, it took Facebook 25 months to grow its active user base from 200 to 700 million – WhatsApp managed to do so in just 21 months, as our chart illustrates.

Considering the unrelenting pace of its user growth, it seems like a matter of time until WhatsApp replicates one of its parent company’s biggest achievements: reaching a billion monthly active users.

Infographic: WhatsApp Closing In On A Billion Users | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” film is one of my faves, but I’ve never gave this re-structuring a second thought. Even though the narrative structure of the film plays out of sequence, it’s easy enough to break it down into seven distinct sections (a prologue, an epilogue, two preludes, and three large segments) that you can easily re-arrange into a chronological narrative. To do this, here’s a handy infographic.


Via Mental Floss and Visual.ly

As the average Facebook user gets older – more than 25% of 13- to 17-year-olds left the network in 2013 – the big question for marketers, advertising agencies and the entertainment industry is – how to reach the Millennials – those born in 1995 or later, who make up 25.9% of the United States’ population, and who contribute $44 billion to the American economy.

Generation Z’s social media time is spent on Snapchat, Whisper, Vine, and Secret, and they have a great fire inside of them for controlling their lives – about 72% of current high-schoolers want to own their own businesses, and 76% hope they can turn their hobbies into full-time jobs.

For more on Gen Z, check out the infographic courtesy of Marketo.


Pinterest had a fairly quiet year in 2014. Last year, traffic on the site grew 58%, gliding past past Facebook (57%) and leaving Twitter (15%) down the list, but Instagram seemed to have taken some of the ignition and imagination away from its users this year. But they still have big numbers – 20% of U.S. women who use the Internet are active members. 70% all users have made a purchase influenced by content they found there, so if Instagram isn’t your thing, or you’re on a Blackberry, don’t forget about this visual social media site.