Month: juillet 2018

Spotify flew Stormzy’s biggest UK fans to his birthday party

British artist Stormzy turned 25 last week, and celebrated with a birthday party on the island of Menorca. And, this being 2018, he celebrated by teaming up with Spotify to take some of his fans along.
The streaming service identified the grime star’s top streamers in the UK on its premium tier and invited them to Menorca for a day of performances – as well as Stormzy, felow artists Avelino, Krept and Konan, Not3s and Big Shaq were along for the ride.
The post Spotify flew Stormzy’s biggest UK fans to his birthday party appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Dot Blockchain teams up with Exactuals for song-data cleanup

One of the earliest blockchain-music startups, Dot Blockchain, has a new partnership this week. It’s working with payments and metadata firm Exactuals on a partnership that the pair say is “ensuring both company’s clients’ song data is clean, correct, and up-to-date and synchronised properly in conjunction with registering the datasets to dotBC’s blockchain solution”.
That will involve the music companies that Dot Blockchain is working with – Socan, MediaNet, Fuga, Songtrust and CD Baby were its first partners in the industry – using Exactuals’ technology to “programmatically correct and enhance song and recording metadata” to ensure it’s in tip-top shape before making its way into Dot Blockchain’s system.
The post Dot Blockchain teams up with Exactuals for song-data cleanup appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

SoundExchange payouts grew by 17.5% year-on-year in Q2

US company SoundExchange has published its latest quarterly figures, and they show strong growth in its payouts to artists and labels. The company paid out $208.7m in the second quarter of this year, up 17.5% year-on-year.
That growth is also reflected in SoundExchange’s figures for the first half of 2018, with distributions up 17.4% to $398.6m, almost surpassing its record year of 2016, after payouts dipped in 2017 due to Pandora signing direct licensing deals with labels.
SoundExchange also says that it distributed royalties to 28,065 payees in Q2 2018, up 9.3% year-on-year. That breaks down to an increase in the average payout per payee from $6.9k in Q2 2017 to $7.4k in Q2 2018, if you’re wondering.
The post SoundExchange payouts grew by 17.5% year-on-year in Q2 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

iHeartRadio launches ‘Your Weekly Mixtape’ personal playlist

A weekly playlist personalised to each individual user of a streaming service? Where on earth could iHeartRadio have got that idea?
Okay, so the ‘Discover Weekly’ format is now almost a standard feature for streaming, with the US radio-streaming service the latest to join the hyper-personal bandwagon.
To be specific, iHeartRadio’s new Your Weekly Mixtape playlist is a blend of Spotify’s Discover Weekly, Release Radar and Daily Mix playlists: “a personalised playlist that delivers music from your favourite artists and songs, as well as new releases and personalised trending music we think you will love each week,” as the company put it yesterday.
The post iHeartRadio launches ‘Your Weekly Mixtape’ personal playlist appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Strong streaming growth for UMG as Vivendi rules out IPO

Vivendi published its latest quarterly financial results yesterday, including figures for Universal Music Group. And UMG’s parent company also provided an update on its plans for the major label, which will now involve selling up to 50% of the company to one or more strategic partners, having ruled out an initial public offering (IPO).
Figures first: Universal Music Group’s overall revenues for the first half of the year actually shrunk slightly on an actual basis – down 1.4% to €2.63bn (around $3.08bn), although Vivendi preferred to stress the numbers based on constant currency and perimeter, which were more positive.
By that metric, UMG’s overall revenues grew by 6.8% year-on-year, with a 7.4% increase in recorded-music revenues to €2.12bn, an 11.1% rise in publishing revenues to €409m; and a 15.7% drop in merchandising and other income to €107m – the latter dip due to “lower touring and retail activity”. UMG recorded earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation of €326m, up 26% year-on-year.
The post Strong streaming growth for UMG as Vivendi rules out IPO appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Troy Carter leaves Spotify – ‘It was the right time to move out’

Spotify’s global head of creator services Troy Carter is leaving the company in September, although he will be taking up an advisory role for the music-streaming service after he departs. 
Music Ally understands that Spotify’s global head of shows and editorial, Nick Holmstén, will be assuming Carter’s duties in addition to his existing job, reporting in to Spotify’s new chief content officer Dawn Ostroff.
Carter’s imminent departure was rumoured in May this year, at the height of the controversy around Spotify’s new policy on ‘hateful conduct’, which saw R Kelly and the late XXXTentacion de-playlisted on the service, before a u-turn sparked by internal and external dissent. At the time, Spotify denied that Carter had quit over the issue.
The post Troy Carter leaves Spotify – ‘It was the right time to move out’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 209: Storylines, Music’s next chapter with Instagram Stories

Lead: There are 400m people using Instagram Stories every day and musicians are among the heaviest lifters here. Until recently, however, it was a curiously music-free set up; but new licensing deals with parent company Facebook  have seen audio being incorporated into posts. This is, in part, a move by the photo-sharing app to hold existing […]
The post Sandbox Issue 209: Storylines, Music’s next chapter with Instagram Stories appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Stem’s Zoë Gholson: ‘Education and transparency are really important for empowering independent artists’

“It’s something that’s struck me for years working in this industry: people just don’t know how to talk to artists about the business in the artist’s language!”
That’s something that Zoë Gholson has worked hard on since 2009, when she joined music-streaming Mog as its marketing, social media and community manager.
Since then, corporate acquisitions have seen her carry the principle through Beats Music and then Apple’s artist and relations team, before she joined startup Stem in April 2018 to head its artist and labels team.
Stem’s focus is on digital distribution, analytics and payments – including splitting royalties between contributors to tracks – for artists and labels. Founded in 2015, it has raised $12.5m of funding so far: Music Ally interviewed its CEO Milana Rabkin in July 2017 shortly after its $8m Series A round.
The post Stem’s Zoë Gholson: ‘Education and transparency are really important for empowering independent artists’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

France now sees 1bn audio music streams every week

France is the latest major market to publish its recorded music sales numbers for the first half of 2018, with the headline news being that on-demand streaming grew 39% from the opening six months of 2017 and now makes up 56% of the total market.
Recorded music trade body SNEP reports that there were 27bn streams on audio-streaming services in the first half of this year, up 33% from the 19.4bn in the first half of 2017.
That means more than 1bn audio streams a week in France now, a symbolic milestone, up from 750m in H1 2017 and double the 500m recorded in H1 2016. Back in H1 2014 there were only 173m streams a week.
The post France now sees 1bn audio music streams every week appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify talks direct artist deals: ‘Licensing content doesn’t make us a label’

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has taken pains to reassure labels that the company’s direct-licensing deals with independent artists should not be seen as a threat to labels, tying it back to Spotify’s ‘two-sided marketplace’ strategy.
“As a platform, we’ve always licensed music from rightsholders both large and small, and we will continue to license music from whoever owns the rights,” said Ek in today’s financial earnings call with analysts, following the publication of Spotify’s Q2 financials.
“The long-term success metrics for this platform is growing the number of creators on our platform… using our promotion, marketing and career-management tools, and the number of artists and labels paying us to use those tools and services.”
The post Spotify talks direct artist deals: ‘Licensing content doesn’t make us a label’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify Q2 financials: 83m subscribers, revenues up 26% and a €394m net loss

Spotify has just published its financial results for the second quarter of 2018. The music-streaming service ended June with 180 million monthly active users, including 83 million subscribers. Those figures were up 30.4% and 40.7% respectively year-on-year, and up 5.9% and 10.7% respectively quarter-on-quarter. Spotify generated revenues of €1.27bn (around $1.49bn) in Q2 this year, […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook opens China ‘innovation hub’ despite being blocked

“There are three reasons I decided to learn Chinese,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a Chinese audience (in Mandarin) back in October 2014.
“The first, my wife is Chinese. Her grandmother can only speak Chinese. When I told her in Chinese I was going to marry Priscilla, she was very shocked. Then I want to study Chinese culture. The third: Chinese is hard and I like a challenge.”
Fourth, of course: the hope that Facebook could one day expand its business to China, even if the country’s government seemed steadfast at the time about blocking access to the western world’s biggest social network.
Fast forward to 2018, and that’s still the case. Facebook, however, is finding a way to explore China a bit more. Reuters reports that the company has set up a new subsidiary there.
The post Facebook opens China ‘innovation hub’ despite being blocked appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Twitch launches Creator Camp to teach livestreaming skills

Amazon’s live-video platform Twitch wants to help people build audiences on their channels. It has just launched a site called Twitch Creator Camp, taking a leaf out of YouTube’s playbook (or, indeed, its actual ‘Playbook’ initiative of yore.)
In Twitch’s case, the new site is billed as a place “where streamers can get the information they need to grow and improve their streams, all in one place”.
The post Twitch launches Creator Camp to teach livestreaming skills appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Blockchain startup Tron buys BitTorrent for reported $126m

BitTorrent (the company) has a new owner: blockchain firm Tron, which bills itself as “the world’s largest decentralised ecosystem”.
BitTorrent confirmed the acquisition on its site, noting that its products have more than 100 million active users worldwide, and that it will now “provide robust support for Tron’s global business development and partnerships”.
Variety cites financial filings suggesting Tron paid $126m for BitTorrent, although a figure wasn’t confirmed in the official blog post.
The post Blockchain startup Tron buys BitTorrent for reported $126m appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

ERA, BPI and BBC team up for UK’s National Album Day in October

‘Is the album dead?’ has been a tiresome hot-take that keeps getting reheated by thinkpiece-writers since the heyday of Apple’s iTunes Store. The current streaming dynamics are only making it pop up more often.
British industry bodies ERA and the BPI hope it isn’t dead though: they’ve teamed up with broadcaster the BBC for an event on 13 October called ‘National Album Day’ to mark the 70th anniversary of the album format, as well as to “enable a national conversation around the format”.
Hot-takes akimbo!
The bodies are hoping to turn the event into something a bit like Record Store Day, happening annually. Expect radio playbacks, online listening-parties and other live events.
The post ERA, BPI and BBC team up for UK’s National Album Day in October appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

India seen as new point of leverage for labels over Spotify

Spotify has made it clear that India is one of its key priorities for global expansion, post going public. Yet reports that some of its rightsholder partners are holding off on the necessary licensing agreements won’t go away.
This time it’s the Financial Times claiming that “the large record labels that control the music industry have not yet given Spotify the green light to license their songs in the country” – and citing recent reports of Spotify’s direct licensing deals with some artists as the reason for the delay.
Cue anonymous label-executive source saying India “is something Spotify wants, and we have not granted it yet: there’s a carrot-and-stick approach…
The post India seen as new point of leverage for labels over Spotify appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

MQA chief Mike Jbara talks hi-res music and streaming evolution

“Up to this point, if you were to summarise the industry’s marketing message around hi-res music, it’s ‘will you pay more for better sound quality?’ That’s a losing marketing message.”
This may not be a surprising thing to say, until you realise who’s saying it: Mike Jbara, chief executive of MQA, the British technology company that’s been playing a big role in the music industry’s drive to establish ‘hi-res music’ in the minds of listeners.
MQA’s technology is being used already by streaming service Tidal, as well as in audio hardware from companies including Sony, Pioneer and Onkyo, and in smartphones from LG and Essential among other companies.
Jbara thinks there’s still plenty of work to do explaining hi-res music to fans though. “Many of the mainstream, mass-consumers you’re trying to message that to don’t know that the digital sound they’re getting from their streaming service is significantly degraded from what they would have listened to on a CD,” Jbara tells Music Ally.
The post MQA chief Mike Jbara talks hi-res music and streaming evolution appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Senior Mechanical Assistant – AWAL – London

AWAL serves a growing roster of emerging talent and established independent artists from all over the world and we are now expanding our London based UK team to include a new Senior Mechanical Assistant, reporting to the Royalty Manager. Supporting the Mechanical Licensing & Royalty Administration process, you will work across all mechanical licensing tasks […]
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Source: Music ally

Ticketing firm Eventbrite reportedly files for its IPO

Spotify, Sonos and now Eventbrite: music-related companies are going public at a rate of knots in 2018. According to the Wall Street Journal, ticketing firm Eventbrite has filed confidentially for an IPO to take place later this year, working with Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase & Co on the offering. The confidential nature of the filing means we won’t get the full skinny on Eventbrite’s financials until it publishes a prospectus closer to the IPO.
When Eventbrite completed its acquisition of fellow ticketing firm Ticketfly from Pandora last September, the company said that the combined platforms were on course to process more than 200m tickets globally in 2017, generating around $4bn in gross ticket sales. Eventbrite also said that it was being used by more than 50 million ticket-buyers a year, and that it was powering sales for nearly three million events.
The post Ticketing firm Eventbrite reportedly files for its IPO appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Universal Music targets monthly accounting to artists

Universal Music Group’s head of royalties Cindy Oliver has been talking about the major label’s moves towards accounting to artists on a monthly, rather than a quarterly or semi-annual basis. This is based on the label group’s ‘Global Clearinghouse’ initiative, which went live earlier this month.
“Since we’ll have monthly ingestion and reporting of financial data, we’re ­revamping our local royalty systems around the world so they’ll be able to account to artists on a monthly basis,” Oliver told Billboard.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify falls foul of BTS Army with chopsticks-emoji tweet

And *that* is certainly a headline we couldn’t have envisaged writing when this bulletin started life 15 years ago, folks… Spotify probably thought it was having some light-hearted fun when it published a blog post called Five Artists That Can Help Us Decipher The Curious Language of Emoji last week.
But a tweet promoting the piece saw the streaming service arouse the wrath of one of the most fervent online fandoms in music: the BTS Army. The tweet used emoji to suggest that Black Sabbath fans love the devil-horns-hand emoji, while the BTS Army “can’t get enough” of the chopsticks emoji.
The post Spotify falls foul of BTS Army with chopsticks-emoji tweet appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

YouTube reaches new milestone: 1.9bn logged-in monthly users

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has revealed a new milestone for the service: 1.9 billion logged-in users a month, up from 1.5 billion in June 2017.
Wojcicki published the figure in a blog post giving YouTube channel-owners an update on its ‘five creator priorities’ in 2018, with another stat noting that “on average, users now watch over 180 million hours of YouTube on TV screens every day”.
Otherwise, the post doesn’t include much news: it’s more a summary of some of YouTube’s recent announcements for its community, from its redesigned creator dashboard and the option to charge $4.99 for ‘channel memberships’ to its community tab and merchandise partnerships.
The post YouTube reaches new milestone: 1.9bn logged-in monthly users appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Prick up your earworms: Beat Fever is reviving mobile music games

More than a decade ago, music games were something the music industry was excited about. Guitar Hero, Rock Band and SingStar had the benefit of not just being console games built entirely around music; they also had multiple iterations and a secondary revenue source by offering in-game purchasing of extra tracks to keep them fresh.
Then, in the wake of the launch of iOS and Android and the boom in smartphone apps, mobile music game Tap Tap Revenge was hugely popular. But then both console and mobile music hits slid from prominence.
Launching last year in beta, mobile game Beat Fever is trying to swing the games pendulum back to music again. On the surface, it might look like a rehash of Tap Tap Revenge. Indeed, the basic premise of the game is very similar – tap sections of the screen in time with the music to stay in the game and score points – but it has learned tricks from the wider gaming industry, notably the revenue potential of customisation.
The post Prick up your earworms: Beat Fever is reviving mobile music games appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Motive Unknown boss talks marketing, merch and Spotify

In 2011, PIAS Group’s head of digital marketing Darren Hemmings left to set up his own consultancy, Motive Unknown.
Originally conceived as a solo freelance affair, seven years on the company has expanded to six people, working with a range of artist, label and non-music clients.
Hemmings talked to Music Ally about how music marketing has changed; why owning your data is ever-more important; how merchandising is the new frontier for digital marketing; and his concerns about Spotify’s instincts to control.
“Everybody feels they’re time-compressed. Whether we’re working directly with artists or with labels, a recurring factor is that people don’t have time to explore the options and to really ask if what they’re doing is right,” says Hemmings, on one of the trends driving Motive Unknown’s business.
The post Motive Unknown boss talks marketing, merch and Spotify appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify adds feature for pitching unreleased music to its playlist curators

Spotify has added a new feature to its back-end: the ability for artists and labels to submit unreleased songs for “playlist consideration” by its in-house team of curators.
The feature goes live today in beta, as part of the company’s Spotify for Artists and Spotify Analytics tools. Spotify says that any artist, label, manager or team member with access to these tools will be able to choose one unreleased song to submit.
“It’s important to give us as much information about the track as possible — genre, mood, and other data points all help us make decisions about where it may fit. You can note the instruments on it, whether it’s a cover, and the cultures you or the song belong to. The data you share will be complemented by what we already know about you — what else your fans listen to, what other playlists you’ve appeared on, etc,” explained Spotify in a blog post this afternoon.
The post Spotify adds feature for pitching unreleased music to its playlist curators appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Integrations Manager – AWAL – London

As part of Kobalt’s significant expansion of AWAL – our recorded music division – the Integrations Manager will support the growing operations team by ensuring accurate and timely review and cleanse of all Incoming catalogue/label distribution deal releases for digital and physical distribution. Reporting to the Senior Director of Release Management, the team is responsible […]
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Source: Music ally

U2 still the top-earning musicians in Forbes Celebrity chart

Forbes has published its annual ‘Celebrity 100’ list of the highest-paid entertainers in the world, with many headlines (and inevitable internet arguments) focusing on its claim that Kylie Jenner is set to be “the youngest ever self-made billionaire”. There are a fair few musicians in the list though, including three in the top 10.
Sixth-ranked U2 are the highest-earning musicians from the last 12 months according to Forbes, with a pre-tax income of $118m. They’re joined by Coldplay (seventh place with $115m) and Ed Sheeran (ninth with $110m) in the upper reaches of the chart, although all are some way behind boxer Floyd Mayweather, who took top spot with $285m of annual earnings.
The largest-earning newcomer in the entire list, meanwhile, is plucky young musician… Roger Waters, with the Pink Floyd co-founder’s latest tour helping him to $68m of pre-tax earnings in the last 12 months.
The post U2 still the top-earning musicians in Forbes Celebrity chart appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Merch Cat launches direct-to-fan merchandise app for live shows

Merchandise-management firm Merch Cat has launched a new app, Merch Cat Fan, which it hopes will drive sales of merchandise around live shows – with less queuing involved for fans. The idea is that fans will browse and buy merchandise on their smartphones using the app, then pick it up at shows or have it shipped to them.
The company also hopes the app will become a good way for artists to collect data on their fans when they buy products, rather than just selling them a t-shirt at a stand and hoping they write their name down for a mailing list.
“80% of merch sales take place at live shows vs. web stores, so we designed Merch Cat Fan to capitalise on the excitement that takes hold of fans at live concerts to commemorate the moment, all while removing the things they hate, like waiting on long lines and carrying things around,” said CEO Vanessa Ferrer.
The post Merch Cat launches direct-to-fan merchandise app for live shows appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Childish Gambino gets a new summer-themed Snapchat lens

Having created the most talked-about music video of 2018 with ‘This Is America’, Childish Gambino is also getting up to some inventive stuff with Snapchat.
Gambino and RCA Records worked with Snap to create a new Snapchat lens based on his song ‘Summertime Magic’, which will be geofenced to 23 cities – starting with Los Angeles, New York and London last Friday.
The lens popped up in Snapchat users’ carousels, offering a clip of the track and an augmented-reality logo, so that fans could share it with their friends (you can see some example snaps here). There’s also a website showing fans when the lens will unlock in other cities, plus a ‘snapcode’ to make it quicker for them to unlock it on their phones if they’re not in one of the specific cities that’s part of the campaign.
The post Childish Gambino gets a new summer-themed Snapchat lens appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Netflix sees its next 100m subscribers coming from India

The Financial Times has a good piece on video-streaming service Netflix’s ambitions in India where it’s starting to invest more money in original shows and films.
It quotes CEO Reed Hastings speaking at a Delhi conference, saying “Even we couldn’t have predicted the last two years of Indian internet growth” and adding that in terms of Netflix subscribers “the next 100 million is from India”.
There’s a way to go on that: the FT quotes the latest estimates from research firm IHS Markit, which thinks Netflix ended 2017 with around 522,000 subscribers in India, not far behind Amazon Prime Video’s 610,000, but considerably lagging the leading video-streaming service in India, Hotstar, which had 1.6 million.
The post Netflix sees its next 100m subscribers coming from India appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report: Amazon now accounts for 49.1% of US e-commerce market

Amazon is about to fire the starting trigger on its annual Prime Day of shopping deals, and research firm eMarketer has put out some new analysis of the company’s place in the US online-retail sector to accompany it.
Its analysts reckon that Amazon will do $258.22bn of US retail sales this year, accounting for 49.1% of all e-commerce spend in that country for 2018, and 5% of all retail sales – offline and online combined.
“Now, it is fast approaching a tipping point where more people will be spending money online with Amazon, than with all other retailers — combined,” reported TechCrunch. “Amazon’s next-closest competitor, eBay, is a very, very distant second at 6.6 percent, and Apple in third at 3.9 percent.”
The post Report: Amazon now accounts for 49.1% of US e-commerce market appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Maroon 5 frontman to exec-produce eight-episode YouTube series

The video for Maroon 5’s single ‘Sugar’ has been popular on YouTube, with nearly 2.7bn views so far for the band’s exploits crashing wedding receptions. YouTube liked it so much, it’s now commissioned an entire series based on the video’s concept.
w‘Sugar’ will be an eight-episode show behind the YouTube Premium paywall, executive-produced by Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. It’ll choose deserving people to get special ‘pop-up’ performances from their favourite stars, with Snoop Dogg, Blake Shelton, Fifth Harmony, Bad Bunny, Kelly Clarkson and Charlie Puth among the artists taking part.
The post Maroon 5 frontman to exec-produce eight-episode YouTube series appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Artist Ben Kweller is working on music startup Streamative

Very few details are available on this, but an intriguing new startup popped up on our AngelList feed this morning. It’s called Streamative, and its CEO is Ben Kweller.
Yes, musician Ben Kweller, or as his profile on the investment site puts it: “Acclaimed recording artist and songwriter for 20+ years. Huge advocate for artists and creators. Investor. Inventor.”
What he’s inventing now appears to be something to help musicians make money directly from their fans. “Streamative is the first music platform based on the sharing economy,” explains its profile. “Our groundbreaking payment algorithm puts power in the person, not the platform. This means artists get more compensation for their creations and fans see exactly where their money goes.”
The post Artist Ben Kweller is working on music startup Streamative appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Danish court rules that stream-ripping is illegal

Given the growth of the recorded-music market overall, it’s hard to make apocalyptic predictions about how specific forms of piracy will damage the industry.
Not that rightsholders haven’t been tempted to do that with ‘stream-ripping’, with several reports and industry-body announcements proclaiming that tools for turning YouTube streams into downloads are the new menace.
The industry has had some success in getting players like YouTube-MP3 shut down, which may also have contributed to the lack of a widespread panic about stream-ripping’s impact. Anyway, for people who are worried, there was some more good news this week, from Denmark.
The post Danish court rules that stream-ripping is illegal appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Stashimi releases figures for G-Eazy and Zedd messaging bots

Startup Stashimi has built a platform for artist messaging bots, working with artists including G-Eazy, Zedd, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. The company says it has more than 100 artists using its tool to create bots for Facebook Messenger, and this week it’s published some figures for two of them: G-Eazy and Zedd.
Stashimi worked with G-Eazy’s social team as well as label RCA’s marketing team to launch his bot for his ‘The Beautiful & Damned’ album, with a mixture of messages about the album’s recording process, lyrics quizzes, photo filters and other news.
The post Stashimi releases figures for G-Eazy and Zedd messaging bots appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Blink Identity raises $1.5m from Live Nation and others

Austin-based startup Blink Identity has raised a $1.5m seed-funding round from investors including Live Nation, Techstars and Sinai Ventures. The company was part of this year’s cohort of Techstars Music startups.
Its focus is on ‘facial recognition at scale’ with an emphasis currently on live events: identifying people as they walk past its scanners, for example to check that they have bought tickets without having to slow down the queue with a manual-checking process.
Blink Identity says it’s also working with Live Nation to “leverage early pilot programs in a variety of venues”, following its participation in Techstars Music. “Blink Identity has created a fast, accurate and user-first identity service for live entertainment venues, solving the bottleneck problem and creating a preferential experience for consumers and venue owners alike,” said Jordan Fudge of Sinai Ventures, which led the seed-funding round. “We believe that this technology is widely applicable.”
The post Blink Identity raises $1.5m from Live Nation and others appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Deezer expands HiFi tier’s availability on Google Home

Thus far, the music aspects for smart speakers have focused on voice-control features, rather than the quality of the audio. Deezer is hoping to drum up more subscribers for its ‘high-fidelity’ Deezer HiFi tier from owners of Google Home smart speakers.
It’s offering a deal for Google Home users in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Germany where they can get three months of Deezer’s premium tier for the equivalent of £0.99, with the US, Canada, Italy and Australia getting access to the HiFi tier on these devices for the first time – joining the UK, France and Germany where it was already available.
The post Deezer expands HiFi tier’s availability on Google Home appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs criticises lack of support for black execs

Artist and entrepreneur Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has given an interview outlining his frustration with the music industry’s approach to supporting black executives. “You have these record companies that are making so much money off our culture, our art form, but they’re not investing or even believing in us,” he told Variety.
“For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them, [there’s still hesitation] to put them in the top-level positions. They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas. It makes sense to give [executives of colour] a chance and embrace the evolution, instead of it being that we can only make it to president, senior VP. … There’s no black CEO of a major record company. That’s just as bad as the fact that there are no [black] majority owners in the NFL.”
The post Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs criticises lack of support for black execs appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Chinese secondary-ticketing firm Moretickets raises $60m

In the west, secondary-ticketing platforms are increasingly controversial in terms of their role within the music industry. In China, though, one of the most popular sites has just raised a significant funding round. 
Moretickets’ Series C round was worth $60m, led by investment firm TPG Growth – last covered here in January when it bought a 75% stake in music’n’media firm Trace, and before that when its parent company led Spotify’s $1bn debt-funding round in 2017.
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music expands in French-speaking African countries

Universal Music Group is launching a new division focusing on French-speaking African countries, based in Côte d’Ivoire. It will be led by industry veteran Moussa Soumbounou, who’ll report in to Universal Music France CEO Olivier Nusse.
Cameroon, Congo, Mali, Senegal and Togo will be among the countries falling under the new division’s wing, with plans to sign local artists and distribute their music across the region, but also to other parts of the world. It’s interesting that live music is a big part of this too.
The post Universal Music expands in French-speaking African countries appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amanda Palmer has raised nearly $1.6m so far on Patreon

A story about Amanda Palmer crowdfunding leading the Music Ally Bulletin? Today’s email is brought to you by 2012… But no: Palmer continues to be one of the most successful crowdfunders in the music world, but nowadays she’s operating on fan-funding platform Patreon rather than Kickstarter.
We’ve reported before on Palmer’s Patreon community: she has 11,115 patrons at the time of writing, paying between $1 and $1,000 per ‘thing’ that she creates, be it a new song, a piece of physical art, a blog post or something else. Three years after joining Patreon, Palmer has raised a total of $1.58m according to figures shared with Billboard by her team.
The post Amanda Palmer has raised nearly $1.6m so far on Patreon appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 208: Making Micro Waves

Lead: In an age of constant digital distractions, sometimes it is better to play the short game. We trace the rise of the micro ad and how it is being tailored to stand out when users are rapidly hopping and grazing across a variety of platforms. Can the “three-second rule” help advertising and marketing make its impact felt in a time of constant distractions? We look […]
The post Sandbox Issue 208: Making Micro Waves appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music analytics in 2018: ‘Data will tell you what’s hot, but not what is good’

Tied to the publication of the new report from British industry bodies ERA and BPI (Magic Numbers: How Can Data & Analytics Really Help The Music Industry?) and written by Music Ally, an afternoon of presentations and panel discussion on the current state of music analytics / data and their future was held at the BPI’s office in London yesterday (9 July).
Lucy Blair, from the artist and label marketing team at Spotify UK, opened with a presentation on what the streaming service is doing in terms of data access to artists, labels and managers as well as where it is evolving next.
“There were more than 100 updates in a few months last year,” she revealed of the data tools Spotify opens to registered partners. Blair worked through the range of data sets open up to the music industry, giving tips on how best to read them and indicating what are the most accurate metrics of success and engagement.
The post Music analytics in 2018: ‘Data will tell you what’s hot, but not what is good’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Digital Assistant – Tru Thoughts – Brighton

Tru Thoughts is looking to hire a Digital Assistant to work in-house at our office in Brighton. The candidate should be confident and organized, with a demonstrable passion for the label’s music (and a love of being by the sea). This role will consist of working alongside Project Managers and the Press Department to plan and execute successful campaigns; with a particular […]
The post Digital Assistant – Tru Thoughts – Brighton appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

MIT’s new AI system can identify instruments within music

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced details of its latest use for AI – a deep-learning system capable of isolating the individual instruments used in a music video.
“The system, which is ‘self-supervised,’ doesn’t require any human annotations on what the instruments are or what they sound like,” explained MIT.
“Trained on over 60 hours of videos, the ‘PixelPlayer’ system can view a never-before-seen musical performance, identify specific instruments at pixel level, and extract the sounds that are associated with those instruments.”
The post MIT’s new AI system can identify instruments within music appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Top-10 social profiles have thousands of impersonators

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are among the musicians with the largest followings on social networks – but also those with the greatest number of impersonators.
That’s according to the New York Times, which commissioned a company called Social Imposter to research the number of people pretending to be one of the top 10 accounts on Instagram. The answer? Nearly 9,000 across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
That included 1,389 fraudulent Selena Gomezes, 714 pretend Beyoncés and 233 fake-it-off Taylor Swifts, although Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr beat them all with 1,676 impersonators.
The post Top-10 social profiles have thousands of impersonators appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Drake ‘Scorpion’ album does more than 1bn first-week streams

This is where we’re at in the evolution of music-streaming: a single album has been streamed more than 1bn times in its first week after release.
That album, of course, is Drake’s ‘Scorpion’, with label Republic Records having confirmed the figure to The Verge, as well as the artist himself having posted about it. “New era. New platinum. Thank you a billion times over (a billion plus),” wrote Drake on Instagram.
These are global figures, but it has also become clear how large a role the US played in the first-week success of his new album: according to Billboard, ‘Scorpion’ did 745.9m streams in the US last week – nearly three quarters of the total.
The post Drake ‘Scorpion’ album does more than 1bn first-week streams appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music bodies up lobbying efforts ahead of crucial Article 13 vote

It’s now one day until a crucial vote in the European Parliament on the EU’s draft Copyright Directive, and music bodies are leading the charge of creative industries in urging politicians to support the proposed legislation – and specifically its Article 13, which focuses on the obligations of online platforms around copyrighted content being uploaded by their users.
The post Music bodies up lobbying efforts ahead of crucial Article 13 vote appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music bodies up efforts ahead of crucial Article 13 vote

It’s now one day until a crucial vote in the European Parliament on the EU’s draft Copyright Directive, and music bodies are leading the charge of creative industries in urging politicians to support the proposed legislation – and specifically its Article 13, which focuses on the obligations of online platforms around copyrighted content being uploaded […]
The post Music bodies up efforts ahead of crucial Article 13 vote appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report claims global publishers may pull out of SGAE

Spanish collecting society SGAE is facing a big problem in early 2019: the potential for some of the world’s biggest publishers to take their catalogues elsewhere.
Warner/Chappell, Peermusic, Sony/ATV, Universal Publishing and BMG have given SGAE six months’ notice of their intention to not renew their contracts with the society, according to reports in the Spanish media. At a stroke, that could remove catalogue that generated 60% of SGAE’s collections in 2017.
The post Report claims global publishers may pull out of SGAE appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

WMG signs partnership to boost video advertising revenues

Warner Music Group has announced a new partnership, with Sony Pictures subsidiary Internet Media Services (IMS), which the label hopes will boost its advertising revenues in some under-monetised parts of the world.
IMS will be managing the ad inventory for WMG’s YouTube channels in Russia, Poland, Spain, Portugal, and all of Latin America bar Brazil. The idea being that IMS can capitalise on “previously untapped potential” in these markets around music videos.
The post WMG signs partnership to boost video advertising revenues appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amazon to hold ‘Unbox Prime Day’ event in London including music

Amazon’s annual ‘Prime Day’ has become a date to ring in the diaries of anyone who likes bargain-hunting online. This year’s starts on 16 July, and the reason we say ‘starts’ is because it’ll actually last for 36 hours rather than a single day. What’s new this year, for Amazon in the UK, is a real-world event as part of the promotion. It’s called Unbox Prime Day, and will focus on promoting Amazon’s digital services: films, books and music.
The post Amazon to hold ‘Unbox Prime Day’ event in London including music appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Years & Years preview new album with Facebook Camera effects

The latest element in artist Years & Years’ campaign for their new album ‘Palo Santo’ is a set of augmented-reality ‘effects’ for Facebook’s Camera feature. Fans using the camera to record video selfies can trigger one of 11 different effects based on the album’s artwork – with the visuals overlaid as they film their clips.
According to Polydor Records, which is running the campaign, it’s the first time that multi-effects have been used for music in this way – Marvel was the first brand to use the technology. The incentive for fans to explore all 11 effects is that they’ll be able to hear snatches of each track from the new album ahead of its release.
The post Years & Years preview new album with Facebook Camera effects appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Project Manager – AWAL – London

AWAL serves a growing roster of emerging talent and established independent artists from all over the world and we are now expanding our UK Marketing team to include a new Project Manager, reporting to the Senior Director of Marketing and Project Management. Responsible for managing relationships and marketing initiatives with a wide range of clients, […]
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Source: Music ally

Drake Scorpion takeover risks reminding Spotify users of Apple’s U2 overreach

“Drake’s new album Scorpion is currently being streamed over 10 million times per hour,” chirped Spotify’s official Twitter account on Friday.
There hasn’t been an updated-stats tweet since, which is possibly explained by the announcement on the Twitter feed of Spotify’s greatest rival. “#Scorpion x Apple Music. The most streams in a single day, on any streaming service,” tweeted Apple Music, accompanied by an image emblazoned with ’24 hours. 170 million streams’.
The post Drake Scorpion takeover risks reminding Spotify users of Apple’s U2 overreach appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

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