Month: juin 2019

Apple’s design guru Jony Ive is leaving the company

“It is the end of an era at Apple,” is how the Financial Times introduced its scoop on the company’s design guru Jony Ive (Sir Jonathan Ive, if we’re being formal) leaving the company. “While I will not be an employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come. This […]
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Source: Music ally

7digital needs £4.5m by the end of July to avoid administration

There’s a stark warning delivered within the latest financial filing for B2B digital-music company 7digital. “The Company currently believe that it still needs to raise Additional Funds of at least £4.5 million by 31 July 2019, failing which it is highly likely that the Company would need to be placed into administration.” This follows the investment of […]
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Source: Music ally

Social media newsfeeds are dying. What’s the future of sharing? (guest column)

This guest column comes from Tim Heineke, founder and CEO of I AM POP.
Social media, the poster child of the internet revolution, is losing its influence to such an extent that even Mark Zuckerberg has accepted the decline of the newsfeed.
Is this, as Zuckerberg suggests, simply an issue of users becoming wary of giving data to social platforms or are there wider reasons for social’s decline? Even before his announcement, the newsfeed had long been too crowded to deliver a meaningful and interactive experience and an unreliable means for artists and businesses to reach their audiences.
As platforms get more popular, their newsfeeds become overloaded with content, requiring algorithms to regulate what is displayed to users. This creates a ‘negative network effect’ where an increasing number of users sees the algorithm prioritise friends’ posts over other content, to ensure people feel that their time on Facebook is well spent.
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Source: Music ally

More than 9m people play Candy Crush Saga for 3+ hours a day

British politicians are currently interviewing a range of people from the games industry, as part of a select committee investigation into “immersive and addictive technologies”. Yesterday, an exec from mobile games publisher King gave evidence, with some interesting (or perhaps: quite scary) stats about how people play the game Candy Crush Saga. Alex Dale revealed […]
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Source: Music ally

Twitch launches ‘subscriber streams’ feature in beta

Amazon’s live-video service Twitch is trying a new way to persuade people to stump up cash to support their favourite broadcasters: subscriber streams. Those would be exclusive streams for subscribers only, although casual visitors to a channel will see previews, as a way to persuade them to upgrade. “We could definitely see competitive streamers taking […]
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Source: Music ally

Capital in Music to explore finance for local music rights

The co-founder of Norwegian music firm Arctic Rights Management has announced plans for a new project called Capital in Music. Erik Brataas will be taking a six-month leave from his position at Arctic Rights to lead the initiative. “Capital in Music is a project founded by five different companies in the space of music, finance […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s Soundtrap relaunches free tier with unlimited storage

Soundtrap is the online music-creation software that Spotify acquired in November 2017. Now the company is relaunching its free tier, with the big change being unlimited storage for people’s music or podcast recordings. Until now, that feature was only available for people paying for a subscription. Soundtrap has also bumped up the number of music […]
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Source: Music ally

Publishers slam Peloton over its copyright-infringement defence

Fitness startup Peloton’s decision to respond to music publishers’ copyright-infringement lawsuit with a counter-claim alleging anti-competitive behaviour has – and you may wish to sit down for this bombshell – not gone down well. Peloton had suggested that the publishers had conspired with industry body the NMPA “to fix prices and to engage in a […]
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Source: Music ally

Trisha Yearwood helps celebrate Farmville’s 10th birthday

Here’s an anniversary we didn’t remember was coming: 10 years since the release of FarmVille, the Facebook farming game that established US firm Zynga as an early giant of the social gaming world. Music is part of the birthday celebrations, thanks to a partnership between Zynga and country star Trisha Yearwood. She’ll be appearing in […]
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Source: Music ally

BTS World mobile game launches today with another new track

Today’s the day that BTS fans get to play the band’s new, official mobile game, BTS World. It’s being released by publisher Netmarble as a free download for Android and iOS from this evening (26 June). As we reported previously, the game puts players in the role of BTS’ manager at the start of their career, […]
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Source: Music ally

Guggenheim analysts hail Spotify’s push into podcasts

Spotify’s big podcasts push is eliciting mixed feelings within the music industry, as our recent survey showed: some people worry that it will draw attention (and revenues) away from music, while others think it will help Spotify grow as a platform and thus grow for its music partners. Analysts, meanwhile, are welcoming the development. Business […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook and Instagram expand their music features to Brazil

Facebook hasn’t just been rolling out UGC-focused music features across its apps in the last year: it has also been expanding those features regularly to new markets. The latest is Brazil, where Facebook and Instagram users can now share music in their videos and posts, as well as using Facebook’s Lip Sync Live feature. “In […]
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Source: Music ally

Cameo raises $50m for its celebrity-shoutouts app

Startup Cameo has an app that lets people pay between $5 and $3k to get personalised video messages from celebrities, including Snoop Dogg – also an investor in the company. Now Cameo has raised a $50m funding round to continue building a business that it claims is currently generating around 300k transactions a month, with the company […]
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Source: Music ally

Former This Is My Jam exec launches AI video-editing app Trash

The Guardian’s piece on the launch of a new app called Trash mentions that it’s from the ‘ex-head of Vine’, but Music Ally also remembers Hannah Donovan as the co-founder of music-discovery site This Is My Jam back in the day. Her new venture isn’t specifically about music, but it could certainly be useful for musicians. Trash […]
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Source: Music ally

Music podcast ‘And The Writer Is…’ passes 2m downloads

One of the quirks of the podcasts market in 2019 is that ‘downloads’ is still an important metric, even as the likes of Spotify and Pandora have made ‘streams’ a bigger part of the market. Still, downloads count, and one of the established music podcasts just announced a new milestone. ‘And The Writer Is…’ is […]
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Source: Music ally

Taylor Swift joins list of artists failing to beat ‘Old Town Road’

There’s a slightly woe-is-me feel to Vanity Fair’s ‘If Taylor Swift Can’t Have a No. 1 Pop Hit in 2019, Can Anyone?’ headline. The correct answer being ‘Yes, Lil Nas X has been having a giant No. 1 pop hit in 2019’. But the article’s point is that Swift is just the latest big pop […]
The post Taylor Swift joins list of artists failing to beat ‘Old Town Road’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Hipgnosis reveals its first set of financial results

Music-rights company Hipgnosis has gone on a spree of publishing-catalogue acquisitions over the last year. Now the company has provided an update on its business, through its first set of financial results. They reveal that by the end of March 2019, the company owned (or had a partial stake) in 12 music catalogues, comprising just […]
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Source: Music ally

Chartmetric explores the ‘trigger cities’ of south-east Asia

Earlier this year we wrote about music-analytics firm Chartmetrics’ theory of ‘trigger cities’ capable of propelling tracks to become global hits. Now the company has published a second in its series of blog posts focusing on the region of south-east Asia in this regard. There’s some good data on how Spotify is functioning as a platform in […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple says only 680k Spotify subscribers use in-app purchases

Apple has officially responded to the European Commission, as the latter weighs up whether to launch an investigation based on Spotify’s anti-competition complaint earlier this year. It’s interesting to see the different takes on Apple’s response from different publications. “Spotify boss Daniel Ek might have some explaining to do,” is how MBW introduced its article on the […]
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Source: Music ally

Music Ally China launches this month

Music Ally has been writing about the digital-music market in China for more than a decade, tracing its development from an almost-entirely unlicensed territory through to today, when China is the seventh biggest recorded-music market in the world, with hundreds of millions of people using streaming services from companies like Tencent Music and NetEase.
In recent years, our coverage has ranged from conference keynotes by Tencent’s Andy Ng and NetEase’s Mathew Daniel; to our analysis of Tencent Music’s business as the company went public; via expert insights from Outdustry and the IFPI on China’s growth; western independent label Beggars Group explaining how it built a thriving business there; the emergence of Bytedance (and TikTok) as a social-app giant; and China’s new-found status as the biggest single market for smart-speaker sales, to cite just a few examples.
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Source: Music ally

Replica will help artists ‘license their own voices at scale’

Earlier this year, Australian startup Replica was announced as one of the latest cohort for accelerator Techstars Music: a company using AI “to create the next generation of games, films, music, and other media” providing “millions of ‘Replica’ voice actors on demand”. Now the company has been explaining more about what it does, and how it might be […]
The post Replica will help artists ‘license their own voices at scale’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify explains how its ‘Fans Also Like’ feature works

Artists’ profile pages on Spotify include a ‘Fans Also Like’ tab, showing a range of artists considered to be similar to them. How does it work? Well, yes, it’s based on who fans of that artist also like, but Spotify has published a blog post outlining its methodology in a little more detail. “The more fans two […]
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Source: Music ally

AI-music startup Endel releases five new ‘Relax’ albums

Earlier this year, AI-music startup Endel revealed plans to release AI-generated albums through a distribution deal with Warner Music Group. And it definitely *is* a distribution deal: headlines about Endel becoming the first AI to ‘sign to a label’ were wide of the mark. Five albums came out earlier this year: ‘Clear Night’, ‘Rainy Night’, ‘Cloudy Afternoon’, […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon debuts ‘Handpicked’ artist playlists, starting with Katy Perry

Ice cream. Weepy movies. Three-hour gym sessions. Howling at the moon like a crestfallen wolf. All good ways to respond to being dumped. Or you could listen to Katy Perry’s new ‘Songs About Moving On’ playlist on Amazon Music, of course. It’s the first in a new series of playlists for Amazon under the banner […]
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Source: Music ally

German stream-ripping site Convert2MP3 is shutting down

Forget the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ movie: it’s stream-ripping websites that are putting Queen on our internal jukebox regularly at the moment. Every few months, another one bites the dust. The latest to bow after being put, ahem, under pressure (sorry, we’ll stop now) is German site Convert2MP3, following legal action from industry bodies IFPI and BVMI. […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s relationship with publishers hits the rocks – again

A new Spotify / music publishing story broke on Friday, but there’s a bigger picture here: the increasingly-dispiriting story of the streaming service’s approach towards the publishing community, as well as the perception of Spotify by those publishers and songwriters. At a time when recorded-music revenues are going from strength to strength, what’s happening around […]
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Source: Music ally

Latest ‘deepfake’ project animates photos to sing

We enjoyed The Verge’s take on a new research project capable of turning a photo and an audio file into a singing / talking video portrait. “Finally, technology that can make Rasputin sing like Beyoncé.” It’s what we’ve all been waiting for! Or at least making Rasputin sing Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’, which would be suitably meta. Anyway, […]
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Source: Music ally

Afriquency launches Africa-focused music-streaming playlists

A team working within African music distributor Africori has launched a series of playlists for global streaming services, which focus on music from Africa. The team is Afriquency, and its playlists include Afro Fresh Friday, Afro Vybz, La Fête (focusing on Francophone African music) and The New Collective (which focuses on emerging artists. “Africa is […]
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Source: Music ally

Music industry comes together to tackle ‘stream manipulation’

Music Ally really has been trying not to go too far down the Donald Trump road of slinging the word ‘fake’ willy-nilly. That said, in the last two years we’ve ended up reporting on ‘fake artists’ (who turned out to be production-music artists releasing their work commercially); ‘fake uploads’ (from people repackaging old and/or unreleased […]
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Source: Music ally

Gaana may split premium features into cheaper subscriptions

Indian music-streaming service Gaana is planning to test cheaper subscription options that separate out some of the features from its current premium tier. That’s according to CEO Prashan Agarwal, in an interview with the BusinessLine website. “We need to de-couple Gaana Plus offerings. Currently, there are three key benefits that a user gets from Gaana Plus: ad-free […]
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Source: Music ally

Product Owner – Spinnup/UMG – London

Job title: Product Owner Responsible to: Head of Technology Location of work: Kings Cross, London   Main purpose of role Spinnup is a forward-looking, disruptive part of Universal Music, the world’s biggest group of record labels. As a digital distribution platform, unsigned artists use Spinnup to distribute their music to music services like Spotify and […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify CEO says Libra currency could help listeners ‘pay artists directly’

Earlier this week, Facebook announced a new blockchain-powered currency called Libra, and a digital wallet for it called Calibra. Spotify was among the companies backing the plans by becoming a founder member of the independent Libra Association.
Now Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has been talking about his hopes for Libra, including the suggestion that it could one day facilitate direct payments to musicians from fans.
“I think like cryptocurrencies and blockchain are obviously two of the biggest buzzwords you can have today. And for me, I don’t think technology in itself is that interesting. What I do think is interesting is what we can do with that technology,” said Ek, in an interview for Spotify’s own Culture: Now Streaming podcast.
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Source: Music ally

Questions and criticism emerge for Facebook’s Libra currency

Facebook launching its own global currency was bound to provoke some criticism, and some close scrutiny of exactly what the social network is planning and how it will work. Three pieces are worth your attention today to understand how the initiative – backed by Spotify, as we reported earlier in the week – is being […]
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music works with YouTube to remaster old music videos

Universal Music Group is following in the Spice Girls’ footsteps – not a sentence we ever expected to write in a Music Ally story – by remastering some classic videos for YouTube viewers in 2019. The Spice Girls, if you remember, started replacing their grainy old videos with spiffing new 4K-quality ones earlier this year. Now […]
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Source: Music ally

MelodyVR reveals beta smartphone app and ‘Viewer’ hardware

One of the things holding back music virtual-reality startups so far as been the slower-than-expected growth of VR-headset ownership. Now startup MelodyVR is making moves to tackle that challenge. First: it’s launched a closed beta of its app for Android and iOS devices, with plans for a commercial launch this summer. It’ll offer the company’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Marshmello and Ninja to star at Metarama music / esports festival

Music Ally has been talking for a while about the potential for live events combining music and esports. We’ve already seen music performances at major esports tournaments, of course, while MTV tested an esports/music festival in Singapore last year called Hyperplay. Now two of the more prominent figures in recent games/music crossovers – Tyler ‘Ninja’ […]
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Source: Music ally

Idagio-commissioned study explores classical streaming potential

A report claiming that classical music could be ‘streaming’s next genre’ comes with an important caveat – to its credit, one that’s openly stated – that it was commissioned by a classical-music streaming service. Idagio enlisted research company Midia Research to survey 8,000 adult music consumers across eight countries, including the US, UK and Germany. […]
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Source: Music ally

Indies prepare for battle over Vivendi’s UMG sell-off plans

Vivendi appears to be paving the way for its planned sell-off of up to 50% of Universal Music Group to happen in 2020 rather than this year. That’s the gist, at least, of comments made by chairman Yannick Bolloré in an interview with Bloomberg (and reported on by Billboard) maintaining that the plans are proceeding smoothly. […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon’s Twitch has acquired venerable social network Bebo

Here’s a generational test: do you remember Bebo? Did you have a profile on it? The social network’s heyday, in western Europe at least, was in 2006-2008, before an $850m acquisition by AOL that coincided neatly with Facebook’s emergence to leave Bebo trailing in its wake. Yet Bebo has continued to exist, through further acquisitions, […]
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Source: Music ally

Teespring teams up with Twitch for new merch partnership

We know Teespring well for its work with music companies and artists around merchandise, but it also has a thriving business making merch for ‘creators’ – social and livestreaming-video stars. That’s more the focus for its latest announcement: a new partnership with Amazon’s live-video platform Twitch. It’ll enable viewers of Twitch streams to buy merchandise […]
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Source: Music ally

Mobile music-video creation app Voisey raises funding round

Voisey is a music-making app that gets people to sing or rap over pre-produced beats, then create one-minute videos (including split-screen duets) to share with friends. Think Smule’s Sing! Karaoke meets TikTok. Voisey soft-launched in Norway in December 2018, then in the UK in January 2019, with plans to debut in the US this summer. The […]
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Source: Music ally

Roli launches Kickstarter for Lumi educational instrument

British startup Roli has launched a series of inventive musical instruments. Its latest has been unveiled with a Kickstarter pre-orders campaign. The instrument is called Lumi, which is pitched as “the illuminated keyboard, app and song library that lets you play great songs and learn as you go”. You might compare it to music game Guitar […]
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Source: Music ally

SOCAN set a new record for royalty payouts in 2018

Perhaps we should start asking some pointed questions to any collecting society or label that *isn’t* announcing record royalties and/or payouts. New milestones are being set by the week in 2019, it seems. Canadian collecting society SOCAN is the latest example. In 2018 it paid out $320m to its members, representing 8% year-on-year growth, although […]
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Source: Music ally

Hopeless Records boss claims fake streams may cost $300m a year

A Rolling Stone headline claiming that ‘fake streams could be costing artists $300 million a year’ could be seen as over-egging its story, given that the source is a single indie-label boss citing anonymous sources. Still, Hopeless Records founder Louis Posen *is* making a useful contribution to the debate about the scale of ‘fake streams’ […]
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Source: Music ally

Merlin CEO steps down after another record payouts year

The boss of indie licensing agency Merlin will step down at the end of 2019. Charles Caldas revealed the news yesterday, having led the organisation since its earliest days in 2007. It’s an amicable life-choice decision, with plenty of praise for Caldas’ work in its wake. “Merlin and the whole independent community owe Charles a […]
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Source: Music ally

The truth starts to emerge about Genius / Google lyrics row

The blame game continues in the row over how lyrics from Genius, complete with their unique apostrophe patterns, found their way into Google’s lyric search results. Genius had its say to the Wall Street Journal for the article that brought the argument to public notice, but now Google and one of its key lyrics partners, LyricFind, […]
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Source: Music ally

Wondery talks music and podcasts: ‘This really is its own medium’

Podcast production studio Wondery was founded in 2016, and is best known for shows including Dirty John – recently made into a Netflix TV series – American History, Business Wars and Dr Death.
Wondery is also one of the biggest independent podcast publishers in the US, with a monthly audience of 7.4 million Americans in March 2019, and 37.5m downloads and streams of its shows globally that month, according to analytics firm PodTrac.
April was also the month when Wondery came onto the music industry’s radar, thanks to the announcement of a partnership with Universal Music Group to develop original podcasts based on UMG’s artists, labels and catalogue.
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Source: Music ally

Snapchat original-show viewing has tripled in last year

In recent times, Snapchat has tended to come off worse in comparisons with Instagram, particularly when it comes to active users. There are now at least some bright spots: in Snapchat’s slate of original TV-style shows. One of them, ‘Endless Summer’ attracted 28 million viewers for its first season last year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. […]
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Source: Music ally

Roxi, formerly Electric Jukebox, still planning US launch

British music-streaming / hardware startup Electric Jukebox was announced in October 2015, and launched in November 2016 in its home country – although it postponed its planned debut in the US citing Spotify’s songwriter lawsuits as the reason. Then, in August 2017, the company revealed a new product called Roxi and suggested that it would go public in 2018. Fast forward […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify explains why it’s backing Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

The recent leaks were correct: music-streaming Spotify is on board as one of the first backers of Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency.
The social network will launch a cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020, complete with a wallet developed by the company’s new Calibra subsidiary. And backing all this is The Libra Association, which Facebook says will be an independent, not-for-profit organisation.
Spotify is one of that body’s founding ‘technology and marketplaces’ partners, alongside the likes of eBay, Uber and Lyft, with MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Stripe among the partners in its ‘payments’ category.
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Source: Music ally

Capitol Music Group is building its own game-streaming studio

Fresh from launching a compilation album with gaming star Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, Capitol Music Group is now building a studio in its Los Angeles HQ to help musicians follow in his game-streaming footsteps. “Because we know our artists have an affinity to game, we’re going to build out a streaming studio at Capitol Records in […]
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Source: Music ally

37% of US adults now mainly use smartphones to go online

The Pew Research Center has put out some new stats on Americans’ internet use: and specifically on their mobile internet use. “Today, 37% of U.S. adults say they mostly use a smartphone when accessing the internet. This share has nearly doubled since 2013,” it explained. “At that point, 19% of Americans named their smartphone as their primary […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify will now help advertisers target podcast listeners

Spotify’s latest feature for brands advertising on its service is ‘podcast listener targeting’. It launched in 10 countries on Friday: the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. “With this feature, enterprise brand marketers will be able to reach Spotify Free users who have listened to podcasts on Spotify, verified by […]
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Source: Music ally

Kickstarter’s Drip follow-up has been canned before launch

Crowdfunding platform Drip began life as a project out of independent label Ghostly International: a way for indie labels and artists to raise money from fans through ongoing subscriptions. In early 2016 its founders announced plans to shut it down, before crowdfunding company Kickstarter swooped in to acquire it, with promises of a relaunch. That came in […]
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Source: Music ally

Report claims Spotify is backing Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

Facebook has quietly (bar the odd leak) been working on its own cryptocurrency initiative for some time now. Reports suggest it will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 17 June), complete with a consortium of partners offering governance for Facebook’s new coin, called The Libra Association. The Wall Street Journal broke the news that financial firms including […]
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Source: Music ally

Oana Ruxandra to be WMG biz-dev lead as Ron Wilcox leaves

Oana Ruxandra will be Warner Music Group’s new lead of business development for recorded music, reporting directly in to CEO Steve Cooper. “A talented negotiator and collaborative leader, Oana has a first-class strategic brain and keen sense of how to get deals done swiftly and effectively,” wrote Cooper in an email to colleagues. “Oana, along […]
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Source: Music ally

The best music podcasts in 2019

There are a number of popular genres in the podcasts market: true crime, comedy, sports, politics and technology among them. But music is also a thriving genre, with a variety of sub-formats exploring songs, artists and the culture around music.
We’ve chosen some of the most popular and/or inventive shows, which make a great starting point for anyone looking to understand how music fits in to the podcasting sector.
The original list was published as part of Pod Only Knows, the report we co-published in June 2019 with British music-industry body the BPI. You can read the full report here. The list below is being added to whenever we spot a great new music podcast (or one we missed out in the original report!)
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Source: Music ally

Ryan Tedder slams artists who take undeserved songwriting credits

Complaints about artists taking an unmerited share of songwriting royalties on songs written for them aren’t new: the phrase ‘change a word, get a third’ has been around for years. Now songwriter Ryan Tedder has come out swinging against the practice, in a speech at the National Music Publishers’ Association’s annual meeting. “In the entire […]
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Source: Music ally

Mixcloud breaks down its revenue-sharing model for curators

Streaming service Mixcloud launched its Mixcloud Select program in December 2018, enabling listeners to subscribe to individual curators (or channels) for a monthly fee of $2.99 or above. Now the company has been explaining how the revenues are shared out, in a blog post noting the fact that Mixcloud’s direct licensing deals “identify the ‘long form […]
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Source: Music ally

LiveXLive reports $9.2m of revenues but a $9.7m loss in Q1

Music firm LiveXLive, which focuses on streaming concerts as well as its Slacker audio-streaming service, has published its latest quarterly financial results. The company’s revenues grew by 29% year-on-year to $9.2m in the first quarter of 2019, although its net loss grew too: from $9.5m in Q1 2018 to $9.7m last quarter. LiveXLive also says that […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify rolls out its new Library design to premium users

Some Spotify subscribers have had its mobile app’s redesigned ‘Your Library’ screen for a while now, but as of yesterday it began rolling out to all of the service’s premium users. As we reported before, the screen now has two main tabs, ‘Music’ and ‘Podcasts’, with the latter providing an easier way for people to […]
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Source: Music ally

The challenge for music and podcasts: “Rights are a disaster’

There are big opportunities for the music industry in podcasts, but one of the big barriers is licensing: the cost and complexity for podcasters of securing the rights to actually play music in their shows.
This was one of the clearest points made last night at the BPI and Music Ally’s ‘Pod Only Knows’ event in London, which explored the potential (and challenges) of music and podcasting.
We’ve co-published a report with the BPI – you can read / download it for free here – rounding up some market data; a directory of more than 75 music podcasts; outlining the strategy of Spotify, Pandora and other distribution platforms; and interviewing some experts about how they see the market. But at the event, licensing loomed large as the biggest headache in 2019.
“Rights are a disaster,” said broadcaster and writer Miranda Sawyer, who reviews podcasts for the Observer newspaper in the UK. “We need to get to the point where there’s a blanket licence like TV has,” agreed Chris Baughen, managing editor Global Player at radio group Global. “I’ve been pushing PPL and PRS for Music to do this. The cost of getting tracks on big shows is not that much on TV.”
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Source: Music ally

Facebook Watch videos attract 140m daily active users

Facebook has published an update on Facebook Watch, the section of the social network devoted to premium videos. “We launched Watch globally less than a year ago, and there are now more than 720 million people monthly and 140 million people daily who spend at least one minute in Watch. On average, the daily visitors spend more […]
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Source: Music ally

Fortnite publisher Epic Games buys social-video app Houseparty

Having raised a $1.25bn funding round, and with its Fortnite game continuing to be a licence to print money, publisher Epic Games is on the acquisition trail. It recently bought Psyonix, the developer of popular game Rocket League. Now it has diversified into social media. Epic has bought startup Houseparty, whose “face-to-face social network” is […]
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Source: Music ally

Bastille get an online ‘Doom Days House’ for fans to explore

“Escape the harsh realities of the world,” suggests a new website launched for British band Bastille. With 2019 being what it is, that’s a good pitch: time for some light-hearted, sweet content that… Oh wait. “Step into the Doom Days house.” Perhaps not so light-hearted then. But it’s a fun marketing campaign for the band’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon revamps Echo Dot Kids speaker despite privacy concerns

Amazon has launched a new version of its Echo Dot Kids smart speaker, which was originally released in April 2018. The new version is louder and comes in new colours like ‘Frost Blue’ and ‘Rainbow’. The $70 device will also include a year’s subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime service, which gathers child-friendly content and Alexa skills. Amazon […]
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Source: Music ally

Pandora now has its own ‘audio consultancy’ for advertisers

Streaming service Pandora wants brands to make better, more effective ads for its platform. It’s latest move to help them do that is the creation of an in-house ‘audio consultancy’ called Studio Resonate. It’ll work with advertisers on “audio creative development, sonic branding and strategy services, as well as visual design, rich media production, web / […]
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Source: Music ally

CISAC says SGAE expulsion was ‘regrettable but essential’

In May this year, the general assembly of collecting-societies body CISAC voted to expel Spanish society SGAE, temporarily, in the wake of the long-running controversy around ‘The Wheel’ (a system that saw some of the society’s members’ music played through the night on some Spanish TV channels, boosting their performance royalties). Now CISAC’s director-general Gadi […]
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Source: Music ally

Analyst claims Apple Music could be worth up to $20bn

“Apple Music could be worth more than half of Spotify if Apple is forced to divest it to comply with antitrust-related actions,” claims a report on financial news site Barrons. Which, we have to say, is an extremely big ‘if’ right up front: thus far, complaints about Apple giving its own music-streaming service an advantage over rivals […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify targets US commuters with playlist of podcasts and music

Spotify has unveiled its latest algo-personalised playlist, Your Daily Drive, which is aimed at commuters in the US. “Music and news” is its thing: a mixture of familiar and new songs based on the tastes of each listener, but also “short-form podcast news updates” from outlets including the Wall Street Journal, NPR and PRI. Spotify says […]
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Source: Music ally

Jaxsta launches open beta of its music-credits database

Startup Jaxsta has been working on a huge database of music credits – from artists and songwriters to producers and engineers – for four years now. This week, the project has launched a public beta for music fans and industry folk alike to poke around. “We are proud to unveil what promises to be the world’s largest […]
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Source: Music ally

Distributor DistroKid steps up its fight against fake uploaders

After a spate of old and/or leaked songs from famous artists making their way onto streaming services without their permission, distributors are taking action. DistroKid has just revealed a partnership with audio-fingerprinting firm Audible Magic that will see it checking new uploads from artists to make sure they’re original. But what about recordings that have […]
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Source: Music ally

Swedish data-protection authority launches Spotify GDPR investigation

There may be trouble brewing for Spotify in its home country, with the Swedish data-protection authority (Datainspektionen) launching a review of how Spotify handles requests for people to see what information it holds about them.
“The authority has become aware that there may be some shortcomings in how the company handles registry extracts, including that the extracts are not complete, and that the information is not sufficiently clear,” explained its announcement.
This is sparked by last year’s GDPR legislation in Europe, which gives people stronger rights to request and see the data held on them by digital services.
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox issue 230: Why Email Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

Lead: Email marketing is far from dead. We look at why it is still relevant, how email tools and platforms are getting smarter and where they are allowing users greater ways to target audiences, segment audiences and personalise messaging. Yet there are still many pitfalls, so in this issue we outline how to use email […]
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Source: Music ally

Mobile games are 10% of app time but 74% of app spending

More games stats? We got ‘em! Well, analytics firm App Annie has got ‘em, at least. It’s published some new data on the mobile games market, as a sub-sector of mobile apps. “33% of all mobile downloads and 10% of time spent on mobile are now games,” explained the company in its latest blog post. […]
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Source: Music ally

VC Mary Meeker publishes her 2019 Internet Trends report

US venture-capital exec Mary Meeker has, for many years now, published an annual slide deck on ‘Internet Trends’. Despite their famous length – this year’s, which was published yesterday, is 333 slides long – the reports are pored over by startups and fellow VCs alike, as an annual state-of-tech roundup of trends and stats. There isn’t […]
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Source: Music ally

Beats online-store BeatStars has paid out $50m so far

BeatStars is one of the websites where artists and producers can go to buy beats to use in their new tracks, and it’s currently enjoying a spell in the limelight thanks to being the source for the beat in Lil Nas X’s global chart-topper ‘Old Town Road’. The company has also announced a new milestone: […]
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Source: Music ally

AIMP conference offers new stats on indie publishing business

This week saw the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) in the US hold its latest Indie Music Publishing Summit in New York. The event included a presentation with Massarsky Consulting offering some new stats on independent publishers’ businesses. Among them: the news that performance royalties were 50% of indie publishers’ revenues in 2018 (at […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify criticised for its ‘big mood machine’ business

Journalist Liz Pelly has emerged as one of the more thoughtful (without pulling any punches) critics of Spotify: for example her examination of the gender skews of its big playlists last June, or her look at the ‘streambait pop’ sound last December. Her latest article takes aim at Spotify’s “Big Mood Machine” – the service’s ecosystem of mood-focused playlists – and […]
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Source: Music ally

Radiohead release 18 hours of OK Computer demos after hack

As sales pitches for an £18 digital album go, “It’s not v interesting / there’s a lot of it”, takes some beating. The download is actually an archive of 18 of Thom Yorke’s archived MiniDiscs from the mid 1990s. A blog post on the band’s website explained: “We got hacked last week – someone stole Thom’s minidisk […]
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Source: Music ally

Redpill VR and Sensorium raise $70m for VR music concerts

Music and virtual reality? It’s a creatively-exciting crossover, but commercially it has yet to make a significant impact, with the clutch of music-VR startups’ prospects tied closely to the (slower than the hype predicted) growth of VR-headset ownership. Music game Beat Saber’s million-plus sales are a bright spot, but otherwise there’s a strong sense that […]
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Source: Music ally

Global spend on gaming reached $132bn in 2018 says Futuresource

Amid the hubbub of the E3 games conference in Los Angeles this week, research firm Futuresource Consulting has put out some new numbers on the global games market. They are, unsurprisingly, huge. The company claims that in 2018, global consumer spend on games software reached $132bn, including $63bn on mobile games and $28bn on console games. Other […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook to launch new models of its Portal smart display

Facebook launched its first Portal smart speakers – or rather, smart displays, since they came with screens – in October 2018. The 10 and 15-inch screened devices went on sale first in the US, using Amazon’s Alexa for their voice-control features, with support for Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio on the music-streaming side. Facebook hasn’t yet announced […]
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Source: Music ally

Imagine Dragons launch 10-track song-pack for Beat Saber game

Virtual-reality music game Beat Saber has been one of the success stories in VR so far. Released in May 2018, it sold its millionth copy in February this year. Now it’s going down the traditional Guitar Hero / Rock Band route of selling music in-game, in partnership with artists and labels. Yesterday, the band Imagine Dragons released […]
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Source: Music ally

British music industry to launch new trade-mission to India

British music-industry bodies the BPI, AIM and MPA – along with the UK’s Department for International Trade (DTI) – are launching their latest trade mission to India. It’ll take place from 26-30 August, coinciding with the All About Music event in Mumbai. It’s the fifth year for the mission, which is open to artists, managers, promoters, […]
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Source: Music ally

Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam on board for Spotify Viva Latino gig

Spotify’s efforts to take its big playlist brands into the physical world continue. On 30 August, it will hold the latest in its ‘¡Viva Latino! Live’ series of concerts, based on its flagship Latin playlist. Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam will headline the concert in Miami. It’s also the first time that ‘superfans’ of the […]
The post Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam on board for Spotify Viva Latino gig appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok now has 120 million monthly active users in India

2019 has brought some bumps to TikTok’s progress in India, including a brief removal of its app from Google and Apple’s app stores in April. However, the social video app is now firing on all cylinders again in India, telling the Economic Times that it has 200 million users in the country, of which 120 million are […]
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Source: Music ally

Researchers reveal tech to modify talking-head videos by editing text

A team of researchers at Stanford University have been showing off technology that they’ve created to perform “text-based editing of videos of talking heads”. What that means is, for a video of someone shot from the shoulders up talking about something, what they’re saying can be changed simply by editing its script. “The application uses […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify repeats ‘Sound Up’ podcasts program for women of colour

Last year, Spotify ran a New York accelerator program called ‘SoundUp’ for women of colour with ambitions to launch their own podcasts. It has since been repeated elsewhere in the world. Now it’s heading back to New York for its second year. 10 women will be chosen for the five-day program, with a panel of […]
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Source: Music ally

Melodrive launches 24-hour Twitch channel of AI-generated music

Painting, Doctor Who and crowds playing Pokémon have all attracted healthy audiences on Amazon’s Twitch live-video service. Could round-the-clock AI-generated piano music be the platform’s next craze? Okay, it lacks the star (whether human or animated-monster) quality of those past trends, but music-AI startup Melodrive is giving it a whirl anyway. It has launched ‘Twitch plays Melodrive’, […]
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Source: Music ally

MelodyVR gets into Broadway theatre content with John Gore

Users of music virtual-reality app MelodyVR should be getting ready for more tappy feet and jazz-hands in their headsets over the coming months. The company has announced a deal with Broadway-musicals firm The John Gore Organisation (JGO). The pair will be creating a new joint venture to produce Broadway theatre content for VR, with JGO investing £5m […]
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Source: Music ally

Study asks Harvard lawyers for their attitudes towards piracy

What do “elite upcoming lawyers from around the world” really think about file-sharing and copyright? A new study based on a survey of international LL.M. (Masters of Law) students at Harvard University has been trying to find out. “We expected lawyers to take highly conservative ethical positions on the issue of online copyright infringement,” wrote the […]
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Source: Music ally

NetEase’s Mathew Daniel talks China, artists and publishing as ketchup

Mathew Daniel, VP international at Chinese streaming service NetEase Cloud Music, has criticised collecting societies while suggesting that direct payments to publishers could be a better model in China.
“I have an analogy. Publishing is like a tomato-ketchup bottle. We are in the 21st century, and we are all still struggling with it,” said Daniel in his Midem keynote last week, miming someone vigorously shaking a bottle to try to get ketchup out, to illustrate his point.
“Publishing is like that: how do we get the money out… Are we just trying to keep the tomato in the bottle, and make sure it doesn’t come out? So that’s my analogy: it’s like a tomato-ketchup bottle: it’s such a struggle to get that out.”
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Source: Music ally

Esports and TikTok on the marketing agenda at Midem

There were some fun panels at the Midem conference yesterday, including an appearance from musician TheFatRat, the first signing to Universal Music and ESL’s Enter Records label. “I don’t see that I have to please two companies. I see that two companies have to please me! Which I think is a great thing. I see […]
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Source: Music ally

Skepta gets his own streaming heat-map for fans to see

One of the features artists and labels have most appreciated in Apple Music’s beta analytics are the ‘heat-maps’ of their streams, showing activity around the world. Now The Orchard is taking the idea and using it in a fan-facing marketing campaign for British grime star Skepta. His “streaming heat map” website is available to all, […]
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Source: Music ally

Mobile phones will beat TV for Americans’ time this year

Research firm eMarketer has predicted a tipping point for Americans’ entertainment habits this year. “For the first time ever, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching TV, with smartphone use dominating that time spent,” claimed the company, in its latest data-release. “The average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube cracks down on videos with supremacist content

YouTube is one of the platforms most under pressure to tackle hate content in 2019, and yesterday it announced its latest moves. “Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, […]
The post YouTube cracks down on videos with supremacist content appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

New Avicii album will be premiered in Oculus’ virtual reality

The late dance star Avicii (Tim Bergling) is getting his first posthumous album release this year: ‘TIM’. Facebook has announced that its Oculus virtual-reality division will be running a premiere of the new album on 6 June, through its Oculus Venues app. “We’re honoured to partner with Avicii Music and Geffen Records to bring the […]
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Source: Music ally

Chartmetric debuts Cross-Platform Performance metric for artists

Music analytics firm Chartmetric has a new acronym to shout about: CPP. It stands for Cross-Platform Performance, and it’s an attempt to provide a single metric that measures an artist’s performance across music-streaming services, social media platforms and other digital entities. In a detailed blog post explaining how the new metric is calculated, Chartmetric said […]
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music inks strategic deal with AI startup Super Hi-Fi

Music Ally first wrote about startup Super Hi-Fi in September 2018, when it announced a partnership with The Associated Press “to transform AP’s daily global news content into audio-based stories that can be seamlessly embedded into any digital music service partner”. The company’s focus is on “the space between the songs” on streaming services, with technology […]
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Source: Music ally

Report: Apple is opening up Siri to other music services

One of the music-related antitrust complaints about Apple concerns how open (or not) its Siri voice-assistant is to streaming services that aren’t Apple Music. “Apple won’t allow us to be on HomePod and they definitely won’t let us connect with Siri to play your jams,” claimed the website Spotify set up to support its European complaint against […]
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Source: Music ally

Goldman Sachs: annual streaming revenues will be $37.2bn in 2030

When Goldman Sachs published its ‘Music In The Air’ report in 2017, predicting trade revenues from paid streaming of $28bn by 2030, it sparked excitement and controversy in equal measure – the latter once people wondered which Goldman Sachs clients would most benefit from sky-high predictions. Keep your pinch of salt handy, then, for the […]
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Source: Music ally

Study claims music was 20% of all YouTube views in 2018

When the music industry criticises YouTube for the royalties generated by music videos, it’s driven by the assumption that music drives a LOT of YouTube viewing. But that’s often just what it is: an assumption, without much hard data to back it up. With that in mind, a new study by video and music analytics firm […]
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Source: Music ally

Dina LaPolt gives Spotify a roasting over songwriter royalties appeal

The ears of senior Spotify execs will surely have been burning this afternoon, as veteran lawyer Dina LaPolt took the company to task in her Midem keynote over its appeal against new songwriter royalty rates in the US.
Spotify was not the only streaming service to appeal: Pandora, Amazon and Google are too. But LaPolt, who is president of LaPolt Law, explained why she thinks Spotify is drawing most heat from publishers and songwriters.
“Pandora has very little skin in the game. Their interactive service is shit!” she said. “Apple is amazing, because they accept the appeal and say ‘Yup, songwriters deserve more money’… Amazon are new, and they’re not a big player in the game.”
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Source: Music ally

Midemlab 2019: experiential technologies startup pitches

The Midemlab startups contest is taking place at Midem today, and the fourth and final category was for experiential technologies startups. The jury for this category included Google’s Christian Behrendt; TheLynk’s Yvan Boudillet; Station F’s Marine Wetzel; Kuack Media Group’s Juan Francisco Saavedra Plata; and GP Bullhound’s Alon Kuperman.
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Source: Music ally

Midemlab 2019: music marketing and data/analytics startup pitches

The Midemlab startups contest is taking place at Midem today, and the third category was for marketing and data/analytics startups. The jury for this category included Music Ally’s Paul Brindley; OneRagtime’s Stéphanie Hospital; Warner Music’s Tiago Correia; Q&A’s Suzy Ryoo; France Digitale’s Nicolas Brien; and Soundcharts’ David Weiszfeld.
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Source: Music ally

Midemlab 2019: Music distribution and discovery pitches

The second pitch session in this year’s Midemlab startups contest focused on music distribution and discovery startups. Disclosure: Music Ally was involved in choosing the finalists for this year’s contest. The jury for this session included Bluenove co-founder Martin Duval; Recochoku CTO Mikio Inari; Capitol Music Group VP of business development Ching-Ching Chen; Deezer’s Alexander Holland; and Alven’s Rodolphe Menegaux.
Alissia Music from Germany was represented by CEO Bosco Bellinghausen (above). Its slogan is “soundtrack your life” – an app that discovers songs for people based on their mood and preferences. They start by picking their preferred genres and setting their ‘mood compass’ by hearing clips of songs, and telling the app what moods they correspond to. Then, the app works by getting them to choose their current mood, before generating them a playlist.
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Source: Music ally

UK industry bodies launch survey on impact of PledgeMusic collapse

The slow-motion collapse of crowdfunding firm PledgeMusic has yielded a number of tales of artists owed money by the company, but now a group of UK music-industry bodies are trying to get a better picture of the effects. The Musicians’ Union is hosting an ‘impact assessment survey’ that will run until 25 June, supported by *takes deep […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube adds more ticketing features through AXS partnership

YouTube continues to build up the concert-ticketing features within its service. The latest example is a partnership with ticketing firm AXS, focused on the US. “Fans watching videos from YouTube Official Artist Channels will now see listings from AXS events included on the video page,” explained YouTube. “Taking the jump to the live experience is easier than […]
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Source: Music ally

Midemlab 2019: music creation and education startup pitches

The Midemlab startups contest has become a key part of the annual Midem conference in Cannes. Today, this year’s finalists in four categories are pitching their technology and business models to panels of jurors, as well as the Midem audience.
Music Ally is here – disclosure: we’re a partner for Midemlab, helping to choose the finalists – to report on the pitch sessions, and the ultimate winners. Starting with the morning’s first pitch session: music creation and education startups, judged by Starther / Startup Sesame’s Joanna Kirk; Sony Music’s Olivier Parfait; Music Tech Germany’s Matthias Strobel; and The Orchard’s Colleen Theis.
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Source: Music ally

Troy Carter talks distribution and the ‘false narrative’ around DIY artists

He’s been Lady Gaga’s manager and Spotify’s global head of creator services, but Troy Carter is now co-founder and CEO of Q&A, a new music company focusing on distribution, management and label services for artists.
Today, he was also a keynoter at the Midem industry conference, interviewed on-stage by journalist Cherie Hu. The conversation saw Carter explaining why he’s launching a company in the distribution space, at a time of intensifying competition and consolidation there.
“The distribution space is definitely interesting. Actually, prior to me going in to Spotify I had been looking at it, and seeing where the white space was: and seeing there were a ton of gaps. A lot of the distribution companies were like black holes where artists put their music into these pipes, and don’t know what comes out the other end,” he said.
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Source: Music ally

Next for music subscriptions: new markets, diversity and rethinking value

The music industry made around $7.1bn from streaming subscriptions in 2018, according to industry body the IFPI. That was 32.9% year-on-year growth, with subscriptions generating 37% of global recorded-music revenues. How can the music industry (and the streaming services) build on that growth in the coming years? What will drive the next spikes in paid […]
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Source: Music ally

What’s next for smart speakers? Metabait, Antitrust and ‘limitless’ discovery

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, 86.2m smart speakers were shipped in 2018, up from 32m the year before. Meanwhile, rival Canalys reckons that the global install-base will be 207.8m by the end of 2019. Oh, and the same company thinks that China has just overtaken the US as the biggest market for these devices.
So much for market stats, but what’s coming next in terms of the features for smart speakers, and what that means for how we interact with music and musicians through them? A panel at the Midem conference today offered some predictions.
The panelists were Scott Ryan, VP of Nielsen Music / Gracenote Music; Darryl Ballantyne, CEO of LyricFind; and Benoit Rebus, head of global innovative partnerships at Qobuz. Tag Strategic’s Ted Cohen moderated.
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Source: Music ally

Are Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube the new record labels?

Spotify is signing direct licensing deals with some artists and testing the ability to allow others to upload directly to its platform. YouTube and Apple Music are creating content and putting marketing budget behind artists. And Apple Music has also acquired Platoon, the British startup which helped a number of emerging artists to develop, including Billie Eilish.
Are streaming services turning into record labels? Or at least providing more of the services that used to be the sole domain of labels? And if so, what does that mean for artists, not to mention labels? A panel at the Midem conference this morning chewed over the implications.
Speakers included Marie-Anne Robert, global head of artist development at Believe Digital; Scott Cohen, chief innovation officer, recorded music, at Warner Music Group; Diego Farias, CEO of distributor Amuse; and Martin Nielsen, CEO of African streaming service Mdundo. Veva Sound’s director of industry relations Helienne Lindvall was on moderation duties.
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Source: Music ally

Gully Boy inspiration Divine talks hip-hop, India and independence

The film Gully Boy has been a huge hit in India, and it’s also reflected the emergence of an exciting new independent hip-hop scene in the country – something journalist Amit Gurbaxani wrote about for Music Ally in September 2018.
Gully Boy is inspired by real-life rappers Divine and Naezy, and Divine (aka Vivian Fernandes) was on-stage at the Midem industry conference this morning, to share his views on Indian hip-hop.
He was joined by Priyanka Khimani, founder and partner at law firm Anand & Anand & Khimani, and Kataria Chaitanya, business head of Gully Gang Entertainment. The moderator was Outdustry MD Ed Peto.
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Source: Music ally

Music streaming in 2019: radio rivalry, Spotify sustainability and ‘west versus east’

Streaming was the big driver behind the recorded-music industry’s 9.7% growth in 2018, according to the IFPI. In fact, streaming revenues grew by 34% to $8.9bn, accounting for 47% of the global total. At the end of 2018, there were 255 million users of paid streaming subscriptions, up from 176 million at the end of 2017.
This was the backdrop for the opening session at the Midem conference’s ‘streaming summit’ this morning, with Midia Research’s Mark Mulligan presenting his take on how streaming has been growing – both in mature western countries, and ‘high-potential’ markets like China and Latin America.
“There’s a real danger about looking at the future and just thinking it’s going to be a bigger, brighter, shinier version of today,” said Mulligan. “It’s a really important time to think about what’s coming next.” He noted that just before the recorded-music industry embarked on its decade-plus decline 20 years ago, the industry’s revenues and growth looked as rosy as they do now – fuelled then by CD sales, and now by streaming.
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Source: Music ally

TheFatRat on music and esports: ‘The potential is growing every year’

TheFatRat is a German dance artist and producer (real name Christian Büttner) who’s also one of the early musicians to get involved in the world of esports – professional gaming.
In November 2018, he was announced as the first artist to be signed to Enter Records, the label joint-venture founded by Universal Music and esports organisation ESL. Büttner will also be speaking at the Midem conference this Thursday, in an esports-focused strand. Ahead of that, he offered some views on the crossover between music and esports to Music Ally.
The post TheFatRat on music and esports: ‘The potential is growing every year’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report predicts Apple will soon retire its iTunes software

Apple is killing iTunes! So said dozens of headlines this weekend, which all lead back to a single sentence in a Bloomberg article claiming that “The company is launching a trio of new apps for the Mac – Music, TV, and Podcasts – to replace iTunes”. It follows up with “Without iTunes, customers can manage their Apple […]
The post Report predicts Apple will soon retire its iTunes software appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

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