Month: mai 2018

Sandbox Issue 205: Merchandising and Swift Sales

Lead: In part two of our online and social media merchandise special, we go beyond Instagram to look at the wide variety of tools and platforms opening up here, how to best deploy them and where they can be used to make artist/fan relationships watertight. Technology, data, personalisation and lyrics are all helping change the […]
The post Sandbox Issue 205: Merchandising and Swift Sales appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Positiva turns 25: lessons from the dance label’s first quarter-century

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Positiva Records – the label behind artists such as Reel 2 Reel, Spiller, Vengaboys, Alice Deejay, Shapeshifters, Paul van Dyk, David Guetta, Jonas Blue and Swedish House Mafia.
It was originally set up by Nick Halkes and Dave Lambert in 1993 as part of EMI’s first serious move into the booming dance music scene in the UK.
In the 25 years since it was established, it has seen dance go truly overground, ridden the explosion in the CD market, watched aghast as the internet overtook the record business as both a disruptive distribution platform and a new kind of tastemaker; seen a fresh generation of music fans moving away from electronic music; been revived by the rise of streaming and a re-focusing on the single; and, finally, found itself at the forefront as the US fell to EDM.
Music Ally spoke with Jason Ellis – Positiva’s director of A&R who joined in 1999 from EMI’s sales team – about how the label has had to adapt to industry, market and technological shifts and why streaming is delivering the biggest hits of its lifetime.
The post Positiva turns 25: lessons from the dance label’s first quarter-century appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report claims Google beat Amazon for Q1 smart-speaker shipments

In well-established hardware markets like smartphones, the main research firms tend to agree – more or less – on the main market-share figures. For smart speakers, it seems there is more room for disagreement, aided by the fact that the main players aren’t publishing many figures themselves.
For example, check out research firm Canalys’ latest claims for the smart-speaker market in the first quarter of 2018. It claims shipments grew by 210% year-on-year to 9m units, which roughly matches the report published by rival Strategy Analytics earlier this month, which claimed 9.2m Q1 shipments (albeit with a larger year-on-year growth of 278%).
The post Report claims Google beat Amazon for Q1 smart-speaker shipments appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Alexa in the spotlight over sharing of private conversation

When privacy campaigners express concerns about the rise of smart speakers, the suggestion that big-tech firms are ‘listening in’ (and, indeed, potentially recording) private conversations is often raised as a worry.
A story yesterdayabout an Echo recording a conversation between a husband and wife and then sending the audio to someone in their contacts list will only stoke those fears. One of the husband’s employees called the couple explaining that they’d been sent an audio file of them speaking about hardwood floors, recorded in their house.
The post Alexa in the spotlight over sharing of private conversation appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Peex wants fans to create their own five-channel mixes of gigs

Unsatisfied with the sound levels at a concert? A new startup called Peex says it’ll offer fans the chance to customise the audio in real-time.
The company’s technology takes an audio feed from the soundboard at a concert, then separates it into five ‘stems’ (e.g. the different instruments) which are then transmitted to audience members, synchronised with the PA system, via a wearable device and Peex’s app.
They can then tweak the levels to their heart’s content, listening via a pair of earphones connected to the wearable gadget.
The post Peex wants fans to create their own five-channel mixes of gigs appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Online music studio Soundation raises $500k funding round

Soundation is one of the startups trying to help musicians of all levels make music online. The Swedish startup claims to have more than 75,000 monthly active users of its browser-based studio service, mainly in the US, and is one of the more established companies in the space having launched in 2009.
Now Soundation has raised $500k of new funding and appointed a new CEO, Adam Hasslert, while kicking off what it describes as an “offensive recruitment phase”.
The company says it’s targeting “first-time producers with high ambitions”, citing a recent study suggesting that the number of ‘casual’ music-makers will fuel a market worth $1.45bn by 2021.
The post Online music studio Soundation raises $500k funding round appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report claims Spotify will restore XXXTentacion to playlists

The last few weeks has seen the term ‘de-playlisted’ used regularly by Music Ally, thanks to Spotify’s new policy on hateful conduct. Now it seems we may have to add ‘re-playlisted’ into the mix.
Bloomberg claims that rapper XXXTentacion could be on his way back to Spotify’s programmed and algorithmic playlists in the future, even if fellow de-playlistee (alright, we won’t use that word again) R. Kelly remains persona non grata in this environment.
“The music-streaming giant has told artists, managers and record-label executives that it will eventually restore songs by XXXTentacion to playlists,” claimed its report. “The company’s top executives are talking to the music industry and civil-rights activists about how and when to adjust its rules in a manner suitable to both sides… There also are no plans to begin promoting R. Kelly again.”
The post Report claims Spotify will restore XXXTentacion to playlists appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Merlin turns 10 and celebrates indies: ‘We’re over-indexing’

Independent licensing agency Merlin is celebrating its tenth birthday by revealing that 2017 saw its highest number of new members since its first year of operation.
The organisation has grown from a team of three when it launched in May 2008 to 21 staff now, servicing tens of thousands of independent labels. It also paid out its billionth dollar in distributions in August 2017.
“We’ve gone back and looked at some of the notes we took in those early meetings more than 10 years ago, and the notion that we’d ever have paid out more than a billion dollars? That was never in the original business plan!” CEO Charles Caldas tells Music Ally.
The post Merlin turns 10 and celebrates indies: ‘We’re over-indexing’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Vevo to ‘phase out’ its own mobile apps and website

The launch of the YouTube Music subscription service has sparked questions about what it all means for Vevo, which distributes music videos to YouTube while also running its own apps and website.
Today, the company has answered that question: it will “phase out” its owned-and-operated mobile apps and site, and move forward as a pure distributor of music videos (and related content) and advertising seller for that material.
“At Vevo, our objective is to grow the commercial and promotional value of music videos, fostering deep connections between artists and fans. To be most effective in achieving those goals, we will phase out elements of our owned and operated platforms,” announced the company this afternoon.
The post Vevo to ‘phase out’ its own mobile apps and website appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Def Leppard’s long tail gets flicked on interactive concert map

Having been digital holdouts for years, Def Leppard have taken to online with gusto in recent months. It’s the live arena where their next digital dalliance is happening, in part to promote the anniversary tour around 1987’s blockbusting ‘Hysteria’ album, but also to drive up the band’s total streams. 
The Def Leppard Tour Book is an interactive online map that links to a user’s Spotify account (something that was unimaginable even half a year ago).
Each city on the world tour contains a song from the band’s back catalogue, where clicking on the related plectrum on the map and listening to the full song will unlock an “exclusive digital laminate and photo from the band”.
The post Def Leppard’s long tail gets flicked on interactive concert map appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Big-data A&R startup TuneGo completes $7.7m funding round

Until recently, the idea of spotting emerging musicians through big data – analytics-driven A&R – was notable mainly for the ‘gut over data’ grumpiness it sparked on conference panels.
However, things are heating up in this space: in March, Warner Music Group acquired a startup called Sodatone that does exactly this task, while UK firm Instrumental announced a $4.2m funding round to continue developing its TalentAI platform, which mines Spotify and other services to identify artists with potential.
The post Big-data A&R startup TuneGo completes $7.7m funding round appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amuse raises $15.5m for its ‘next generation record label’

In March 2017, Music Ally reported on a new startup in Sweden called Amuse, which was billing itself as “the world’s first mobile record label”.
It had an app through which unsigned artists could upload their music for distribution, with the company then monitoring the data to spot artists with traction, to get behind promotionally.
Just over a year later, Amuse has announced a Series A funding round of $15.5m co-led by Lakestar and Raine Ventures. Note the latter name: it’s one of the investment funds owned by merchant-bank The Raine Group, which took a significant stake in SoundCloud last year.
The post Amuse raises $15.5m for its ‘next generation record label’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Impala warns of regulatory fight ahead for Sony / EMI deal

When we reported yesterday on Sony’s plans to up its stake in EMI Music Publishing, we noted that the deal would require regulatory approval before it could go through. Now independent body Impala has warned that this approval may be tough for Sony to secure.
“The European Commission will want to avoid reinforcing the Sony/Universal duopoly, the two horse race which started in 2012 with the sale of EMI,” said its executive chair Helen Smith yesterday. “This is a step too far and I would expect to see an in-depth investigation in the EU and other key jurisdictions.”
The post Impala warns of regulatory fight ahead for Sony / EMI deal appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Should Spotify windfall lead majors to cancel unrecouped debts for legacy artists?

Musician Tom Gray of British band Gomez – currently firing up crowds on the 20th anniversary tour celebrating their ‘Bring It On’ album – has an idea for major labels about how to follow up their windfalls from Spotify’s public listing.
In short: he thinks they should cancel the unrecouped debts of the legacy artists whose music was part of the catalogues that ensured they got equity in Spotify before its launch 10 years ago.
Gray outlined his thoughts in a tweetstorm this week.
“The majors are all making huge profits from the sales of their Spotify shares and they say they will distribute monies to artists based on the number of streams they’ve had,” he wrote.
The post Should Spotify windfall lead majors to cancel unrecouped debts for legacy artists? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Facebook AI team creates ‘universal music translation network’

The music industry has been abuzz with speculation about what, exactly, Facebook has planned for music beyond its first set of user-generated-content focused licensing deals.
Few people have suggested that the social network’s agenda includes using artificial intelligence for “translating music across musical instruments, genres, and styles”.
However, that’s exactly what a team within Facebook’s AI Research department has been doing, according to a paper setting out their work on a “universal music translation network”.
The post Facebook AI team creates ‘universal music translation network’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Boiler Room launches ‘multi-genre’ streaming platform 4:3

We know Boiler Room for its DJ-set videos, although it has also published music documentaries online. Now it is spreading its wings further with the launch of a service called 4:3.
We’ll let the announcement speak for itself: “4:3, is for a culturally connected audience, the Netflix of the underground. 4:3 aims to expand gateways between image and sound by living across social channels, websites and physical spaces, filled by curated seasons and themes with a mix of archive and underground films, challenging the notions of high and low art.”
The post Boiler Room launches ‘multi-genre’ streaming platform 4:3 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Blockpool / OpSec blockchain deal could power merch and ticket sales

British blockchain startup Blockpool is best known to Music Ally readers for its recent partnership with Björk and One Little Indian, to reward fans who pre-ordered her new album by giving them cryptocurrency.
Now it has announced a partnership with a company called OpSec, which could also have implications for music. It needs a bit of unpicking.
“The relationship seeks to establish an integrated offer combining ‘chain-of-custody’ with advanced digital product authentication solutions for global brand protection,” is how OpSec put it in a press release. Blockpool’s Minesh Patel broke that down for Music Ally.
The post Blockpool / OpSec blockchain deal could power merch and ticket sales appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Ticketfly co-founder’s blockchain startup Tari reveals plans – including ticketing

In early April, Music Ally was first to report on a new startup from ticketing firm Ticketfly’s co-founder Dan Teree. Codenamed Big Neon, it was slated to be a “highly scalable, mobile-centric event ticketing platform” using blockchain technology.
Now the company has been officially announced, but with a new name – Tari – and a wider brief than just ticketing.
Tari says that it’s working on “a new open source blockchain protocol being built specifically for digital assets” which includes concert tickets, but also in-game items, virtual currencies and loyalty points for a range of services.
The post Ticketfly co-founder’s blockchain startup Tari reveals plans – including ticketing appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

OptimiseLab uses AI to predict ‘music popularity scores’

Another day, another AI/music startup – this one hailing from Toronto and called OptimiseLab. It’s using the slogan ‘538 for music’ – a reference (we think) to well-known statistical-analysis blog FiveThirtyEight, run by data-journalist Nate Silver.
“We are building patent pending AI technology to analyse, improve, and compose music,” explains OptimiseLab’s profile on investment site AngelList. “Our first product Timbre is for music producers. Timbre accurately predicts music popularity scores and provides customised advice on song improvement instantly.”
The post OptimiseLab uses AI to predict ‘music popularity scores’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Epic Games to pump $100m into Fortnite esports events

If you’re still not sure what the game Fortnite is all about, ask a passing 10 year-old. The action-shooter has become one of the biggest gaming crazes since Minecraft, with similar appeal to tween and teen gamers, as well as older players and Twitch / YouTube live-streamers.
Now Fortnite’s publisher, Epic Games, is making a big, nine-figure bet on the game’s popularity in the competitive-gaming world of esports.
The post Epic Games to pump $100m into Fortnite esports events appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

BTS beat YouTube’s 24-hour views record for 2018

Despa-WHO-to? K-Pop band BTS are the flavour of the month (again) on YouTube with their new single ‘Fake Love’.
According to the video service, the official video did 35.9m views in its first 24 hours: the biggest such total in 2018 so far, and third in the all-time rankings for this particular metric (behind the 43.2m views for Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and 36m for Psy’s ‘Gentleman’.)
YouTube published the top 10 list for 24-hour music-video debuts while announcing BTS’ milestone, and it makes for interesting reading.
The post BTS beat YouTube’s 24-hour views record for 2018 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

China’s music potential: ‘We are finally getting there!’

2017 was a big year for the music industry in China: according to the IFPI, last year it was one of the world’s 10 biggest recorded-music markets for the first time.
Excitement around the growth of the music-streaming services run by tech companies like Tencent and NetEase is palpable within the western industry, but a day’s worth of talks and panels at last week’s The Great Escape conference curated by Complete Music Update (CMU) provided more context for that enthusiasm.
The day started with the IFPI’s regional director for Asia, Ang Kwee Tiang (or KT Ang, as he’s often known), providing an excellent overview of what’s been happening in China.
He explained that in 2017, recorded-music revenues in China grew by 35.3% to $292.3m, and that within that, streaming revenues grew by 26.5% to $204.5m.
The post China’s music potential: ‘We are finally getting there!’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

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