TRACE Report: May 2016

June 10, 2016

We hit a big milestone in May. The Muzit TRACE platform has now identified over 300 million distinct ISPs of fans from all over the world sharing their love of music!

Also in May, the promotional tactic to debut an exclusive stream continues to grow. We covered Beyonce’s Lemonade release on Tidal in our last TRACE Report. Since February, we have major artists restricting releases of their music to be debuted on one streaming platform: Apple Music, Spotify or Tidal.

Along with Lemonade, we’ve seen this tactic with Kanye’s The Life of Pablo, which premiered on Tidal, but a month later was available on all streaming platforms. We just saw this with Drake’s Views who premiered the album on Apple Music for one week before allowing it on other channels.

With each of these artists debuting music through an exclusive set-up, we saw an increase in torrenting. This is simple — when you cut off access to fans, they go and find another route. Sure, Drake fans could’ve waited a week for the music to be on Spotify’s free app, but then they couldn’t partake in discussions, they couldn’t tweet about the album with friends — they wanted to be in the loop, so they turn to torrenting.

So, what’s Drake supposed to do with these fans? Beyonce? Kanye?

They can either ignore it, sue them, or — utilize the Muzit platform to connect with, market to, and potentially monetize these torrenting fans.

… But it’s more than exclusive streaming, too.

Don’t be fooled that the increase in torrenting has only come with streaming exclusives. While it’s given leverage to artists, we see streaming increasing across the board. This includes artists new and old.  

We’ve also seen artist in the news, ones without streaming deals, or beloved legacy artists reemerge and trend on the Muzit platform. We’ll be covering those as well.

Here’s what we’ve seen in the platform for May 2016.


Chance The Rapper Increases Over 500%.

Recently indie artist, Chance The Rapper premiered his release Coloring Book on Apple Music, again waiting some time before distributing it on other platforms. Which is a huge deal for a 100% independent musician. When non-Apple, or non-streaming fans wanted to get their hands on the album, they turned to torrenting. Heavily.

Chance The Rapper has always been unconventional. His music has thrived off of passing it out and often “giving it away.” All of his albums have been available to fans for free.

With his new album restricted to Apple Music, Chance’s potential reach within the torrent world grew 428%. Sharing of his music increased 447% and his traffic grew a staggering 539%. As a copyright owner Chance could profit incredibly off of the massive influx of fans downloading his work on torrenting sites.

Since Chance is an indie artist who thrives on “non traditional” consumption pools like SoundCloud and AudioMack, it’s no surprise to see even more fans turning to torrenting to consume his work. We’ve also seen this with other artists too — Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz premiered a track on Spotify, but since Spotify has a free version, it was more accessible than the other artists. Through Muzit’s platform, he could convert these torrenting fans into paying ones and offer them merchandise, tickets to live shows and more.


Beyonce’s Numbers Skyrocket

As expected, Beyonce’s streaming numbers have increased dramatically since dropping her album in late April. Her sharing and reach levels have increased 106% and 103% in May respectively. Through the Muzit platform, Beyonce could reach 1,520,474 fans who have been downloading her music through various torrenting sites.

A lot of this has to do with her Tidal exclusive deal. As we stated earlier, plenty of fans don’t have access to Tidal, and they’re turning to torrenting to access her work. Are these fans “pirates” or “hackers”? We would say no. These are fans that would likely still love to purchase merchandise or even catch up with her during her on-going Formation tour. These fans should be monetized by Beyonce and her team.


Drake’s Numbers Increase.

Drake is one of the top torrented artists based on Muzit’s torrenting data. This only increased with Views. Using the Muzit platform, Drake could reach 8,039,673 fans who are downloading his music through torrents.

While Drake didn’t keep his music on Apple Music forever, his long awaited (2+ years) album, Views did stay only on Apple Music for the first week. While it wasn’t the massive increase we saw on Beyonce’s numbers, we did see a 28% increase in Drake’s reach, 22% increase in his traffic as well as a 31% increase in his sharing numbers.

As Drake departs on his Views tour, he could also use Muzit’s geolocation feature. As expected his album is mostly torrented in the United States and Canada, but Drake might be pleased to learn that his music is also heavily torrented in Brazil and Bahamas. Can you say tropical destination concert package? Luke Bryan has done this particularly well with his Crush My Playa concerts.


A Look at Billboard: Ariana Grande, Twenty One Pilots & More.

It isn’t just streaming exclusives that are causing torrenting increases. It’s also more throwback music — plenty of pop fans are torrenting music daily. This can be seen through plenty of Billboard artists who are showing growth in their torrenting.

Twenty One Pilots have been on the charts for their single, Ride. It’s been healthily in the Top 10 and Top 20 throughout May, and parts of April, too. Stunningly, the group has seen an increase of 884% in their potential reach, and 440% in new traffic.

Part of this is that they are a newer group, but you can’t deny that people are continually to download and torrent this group’s music.

Another example would be Ariana Grande, who has been in the Billboard Top 5 for her track, Dangerous Woman, and has seen a 285% increase in her torrenting traffic in the month of May. Similarly, Meghan Trainor who has been receiving success with her track, “No” has seen a 187% increase in her torrenting numbers.

Lastly, in the last week of May, Justin Timberlake released his track, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” Which immediately boosted his torrenting traffic 15% and potential reach 26% in just one week! Which is certainly a number to keep our eyes on during June.

This just goes to prove that pop music, new music and new artists are still having their work shared on torrenting sites by fans. This is certainly something artists can capitalize on.


Radiohead Soars and Reemerges.

Radiohead made news waves by deleting their entire database of music from all streaming sites as well as iTunes, for their upcoming album and tour. This likely led the internet to a small freak out as we saw their torrenting numbers spike pretty healthily.

Radiohead’s potential reach on the Muzit platform is 1,252,566 fans, their traffic increased 181%  in the past 30 days, with their sharing and reaching both increasing over 170%.

This likely has to do with their stunt of removing their work to build buzz for an upcoming album, but it could also coincide with all of the media buzz around the band reuniting for their first tour in decades.


A Check Up on Prince’s Data

Prince was notoriously against torrenting and P2P. That being said, he also had a deal with Tidal and the majority of his catalog exists there. This led to a large influx of torrent traffic after his death.

While Prince passed away on April 20th, there was still a huge number of traffic coming in throughout the month of May. Throughout the month, Prince’s reach numbers were still at 67% growth, traffic was also up over 19% and sharing was at 63%.

This data can still be used by Prince’s estate for a variety of reasons. Potentially, monetizing his catalog, or even something in his memory –such as asking torrenting fans for a donation to one of his many charities.