Month: juillet 2019

Notes of interest from Spotify’s Q2 2019 earnings call

It’s no secret: Spotify’s earnings calls aren’t meant to be interesting. They’re an exercise in repeating key corporate messages; parrying tricky questions; and striving not to say anything that will spook the Wall Street or music-industry horses.
CEO Daniel Ek isn’t the kind of executive who lurches off-piste with controversial, off-the-cuff opinions, and CFO Barry McCarthy is an experienced pro at playing a straight back to analysts’ probing.
In other words, if there are only ‘notes of mild interest’ from a Spotify quarterly earnings call, that counts as a success for the company. With that in mind, here’s a summary of today’s call, which followed the publication of Spotify’s Q2 financials earlier in the day.
The post Notes of interest from Spotify’s Q2 2019 earnings call appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify’s Q2 2019: 108m subscribers, €1.67bn revenues, and a €76m net loss

Spotify has published its financial results for the second quarter of 2019, revealing that the streaming service added 15 million new listeners including eight million paid subscribers during Q2.
Spotify ended June 2019 with 232 million listeners, up 29% year-on-year from the 180 million it had a year ago, and up 7% quarter-on-quarter from the 217 million it had at the end of March this year.
108 million of those active users are now paying, representing year-on-year growth of 31% from its 83 million subs at the end of Q2 2018.
How did this all pay off for Spotify’s financial health? The company reported total revenue of €1.67bn in the second quarter of 2019, up by 31%% from the €1.27bn it posted in Q2 2018. Within that, premium (subscription) revenues grew by 31%% to €1.5bn, while ad-supported revenues grew by 34% to €165m.
Profitability? The company reported a net loss of €76m last quarter, compared to a loss of €394m in Q2 2018.
The post Spotify’s Q2 2019: 108m subscribers, €1.67bn revenues, and a €76m net loss appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna and J Balvin team up for ‘China’

Want a recipe to make a big splash with a music video on YouTube in 2019? Well, you could be BTS or Taylor Swift; you could buy a shedload of Google Ads; or you could round up a bunch of the biggest Latin American artists of the moment for a mega-collaboration. The latest example of Option […]
The post Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna and J Balvin team up for ‘China’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

VRJam launches crowdfunding campaign for its AR/VR music tech

Music Ally wrote about startup VRJam in April, when it was trying to raise $500k of seed funding for a technology offering live ‘XR’ streams of music performances in virtual AND augmented reality. Now the company has officially launched its equity-crowdfunding campaign. Now the target is £250k (around $304k) which the company plans to use “to […]
The post VRJam launches crowdfunding campaign for its AR/VR music tech appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Love Island was a big hit for music with more than 1m Shazams

A big chunk of the UK’s telly viewers have been engrossed by the daily ins and outs (literally) of ITV show Love Island. Apple’s Shazam has put out some stats this morning showing the impact on music discovery. Songs featured in Love Island’s latest series, which ended this week, have generated more than 1m tags […]
The post Love Island was a big hit for music with more than 1m Shazams appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TrackDrip launches its music-streaming service in Suriname

With a population of fewer than 600,000 people, Suriname might not be a priority for the big music-streaming services, but that leaves an opportunity for local competitors. TrackDrip being a brand new example. It’s an on-demand music-streaming service that launched in Suriname (which is off the coast of South America, if you were about to Google it) […]
The post TrackDrip launches its music-streaming service in Suriname appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Mixcloud launches ‘Premium’ subscription and limits free listening

Audio-streaming platform Mixcloud is introducing a new service-wide ‘Premium’ subscription, which will cost $7.99 a month and enable listeners to “access all public shows across the platform without limits”.
Wait, what limits? Ah, that’s the other part of the company’s announcement this morning…
Mixcloud grew as a platform for DJ mixes, podcasts and other radio-style shows, using an ‘interactive radio’ blanket licence to pay royalties to rightsholders for music used in that content. There were rules covering what could and couldn’t be uploaded in mixes, but listening was free.
“In the coming months, this free playback streaming experience on Mixcloud will become slightly more limited. It’s important to us that, as a member of our community, you understand why,” explains a blog post from Mixcloud’s co-founders this morning.
The post Mixcloud launches ‘Premium’ subscription and limits free listening appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Boomy talks AI music: ‘We want to make music that’s meaningful’

“Our goal was never to make music that was good! Maybe someday we will, and people will say it’s good. But our goal is to make music that’s meaningful. That’s a different kind of thing…”
Alex Mitchell is the CEO of Boomy, one of the youngest startups exploring the idea of… well, I would say AI-generated music, but as he’ll explain later, he thinks that particular term is meaningless. Nevertheless, Boomy has developed artificial-intelligence technology that anyone can use to create songs, using its web-based interface.
You log in, choose one of two styles (‘Beats By You’ or ‘Relaxing Meditation’) then a filter (modern, high intensity, maximum thump, electronic, vintage, ambient or unlimited in the former case, and pulses, natural or electronic in the latter), with a third ‘Advanced’ style for people who want to tweak more variables.
Once chosen, it takes around 13 seconds for Boomy to create you a song. Play it, then either click ‘Try Again’ to get another one; ‘Save’ to save it to your collection, or ‘Edit’ to dive in and tweak its settings and arrangements. The more you use it, the better Boomy learns your preferences, and tries to adapt to them whenever it creates you new songs.
The post Boomy talks AI music: ‘We want to make music that’s meaningful’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The next TikTok? 10 more short-video apps taking China by storm

TikTok is currently one of the most popular social apps globally, and it’s making plenty of waves in the music industry, from playing an early role in making ‘Old Town Road’ a hit and becoming an exciting platform for music marketing campaigns, to sparking copyright arguments with collecting societies and speculation about its licensing talks with labels.
If you need a reminder, TikTok was originally launched by Chinese technology company Bytedance, as the international version of its existing Chinese app Douyin. In late 2017, Bytedance acquired the similar (and hugely popular) Musical.ly app and merged it with TikTok, before throwing some serious marketing welly at TikTok to make it a global hit.
So, TikTok came from China, but it’s not alone. In fact, there are a host of ‘short-video’ apps in China that are proving popular alongside Douyin. Music Ally (us, not the app that merged with TikTok) asked Kanjian Music, our partner for the recently-launched Music Ally China, to tell us about some of those other apps. Jennifer Li from Kanjian researched 10 of the most interesting.
They might not break out globally to the same extent that TikTok has, but their features and differences to Douyin may offer some useful hints at how this app category will develop in the coming months and years around the world, not just in China.
The post The next TikTok? 10 more short-video apps taking China by storm appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Ed Sheeran #BeautifulPeople TikTok challenge races to 335m views

Ed Sheeran is big for streams, sales, socials, concert audiences… and now he’s big on TikTok too. To be specific, Sheeran has launched a challenge on that social app for his latest track, the Khalid-featuring ‘Beautiful People’. Fans are being invited to upload videos celebrating the beautiful people in their lives, using the hashtag #BeautifulPeople […]
The post Ed Sheeran #BeautifulPeople TikTok challenge races to 335m views appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Google Ads product lead founds FAAM·ai to spark AI creativity

FAAM·ai is so new, it doesn’t have a website up and running yet: just a profile on investment site AngelList. That got Music Ally’s attention though. “FAAM·ai partners with the brightest artists who turn disruptive artificial intelligence into world-changing film, architecture, art and music,” explains its product description. “The firm helps pioneering artists and invests in […]
The post Google Ads product lead founds FAAM·ai to spark AI creativity appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Can startup Endlesss become the TikTok of music-making?

“I wonder whether we’re experiencing the death of content. Or rather, the fall of content and the rise of relationships. The value of content as a leanback experience that’s measured in ‘attention’ diminishes, and what increases is the measure of response: replies, interaction, engagement…”
Don’t worry: Tim Exile, the CEO of British music-making-app startup Endlesss, is as uncomfortable with the word ‘content’ as you (hopefully!) and I are.
At one point during Music Ally’s interview with him, we spend five minutes fretting over why we end up saying the word so often, and what might be a better alternative when talking about music, videos, photos, writing and all the other stuff that people are creating in the digital world. Maybe ‘stuff’ is the better word.
Endlesss isn’t a commercial product yet: it began testing its app last year, and remains in beta. However, a buzz is beginning to build around its app, especially with it having been the joint winner (with another music-making app, Jambl) in the ‘creation and education’ category in June’s Midemlab startups contest.
The post Can startup Endlesss become the TikTok of music-making? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

JioSaavn’s owner is now the largest telco in India

Indian telco Reliance Jio appears to have overtaken rival Vodafone Idea to become the biggest mobile operator in India, with 331.3 million subscribers. TheNextWeb reports that this compares to 320 million people using Vodafone Idea, and the most recent figure of 320.6 million for the other big telco in India, Airtel. What’s the Music Ally relevance for […]
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Source: Music ally

Twitter revenues and daily users are both up year-on-year

It’s clearly the month for better-than-expected financial results for social apps previously thought to be on the slide. First we had Snapchat’s impressive figures for the second quarter of 2019, revealing that it now has 203 million daily active users. Now it’s Twitter revealing that its ‘monetisable daily active users’ (mDAUs) grew by 14% year-on-year to 139 million […]
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Source: Music ally

Feist is the latest artist to launch her own podcast

Canadian artist Leslie Feist (or rather: Feist) is the latest musician to launch her own podcast. It’s called ‘Feist’s Pleasure Studies’, and is a partnership with media company Talkhouse and women’s podcast network Earios. The show is described as a “spiritual companion” to Feist’s 2017 album ‘Pleasure’. Here’s the pitch: “Indie icon, Feist, knows a […]
The post Feist is the latest artist to launch her own podcast appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Magic Leap adds background-music feature to spark new apps

Augmented-reality startup Magic Leap started shipping its Magic Leap One Creator Edition AR headset in August 2018, and music has been part of it from the start, thanks to the Tónandi music-manipulation app that the company developed with Sigur Rós. Now Magic Leap is keen for other kinds of music experiences to be available for its […]
The post Magic Leap adds background-music feature to spark new apps appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report: All Def Digital has filed for insolvency in the US

A recent report that digital-studio All Def Digital was shutting down was denied by the company, which said it was “reorganising in advance of a strategic deal”. Now there’s some more news on the company originally founded as a multi-channel network by music-industry veteran Russell Simmons. It’s not good news, mind: Billboard reports that All Def Digital […]
The post Report: All Def Digital has filed for insolvency in the US appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Streaming fuels interest in jazz from younger UK music fans

This will come as little surprise if you’ve watched a jazz artist at a recent festival in the UK and taken a look at the audience around you, but young listeners are flocking to the genre. The Guardian has an article on the trend, with some figures from music-streaming services as backup. “Spotify told the Guardian […]
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Source: Music ally

Beggars Group financials show profits were up 51.5% in 2018

The financial results of the major labels get plenty of media coverage, but are independent labels enjoying similar growth in the streaming era? The latest figures from one of the largest independents, Beggars Group, offer some useful data. Filed in the UK, the figures are for the calendar year 2018. Key stats: Beggars Group’s total revenues […]
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Source: Music ally

Above & Beyond release album through meditation app Calm

Calm is becoming quite the place for artists to release their music. The meditation app got an exclusive on Moby’s new album ‘Long Ambients 2’ in March this year, then earlier this month Sigur Rós launched a ‘Liminal Sleep’ playlist within the Calm app, also as an exclusive. Three makes a trend: electronic trio Above & Beyond are […]
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Source: Music ally

Drake inks a ‘creative partnership’ with SiriusXM and Pandora

Drake famously took to the stage at the launch of Apple Music in 2015 to give his endorsement of the company’s new streaming service. But you don’t get to be one of the biggest stars in the streaming era without sharing the love around: yesterday US satellite-radio service SiriuxXM announced a wide-ranging “creative partnership” with Drake, which […]
The post Drake inks a ‘creative partnership’ with SiriusXM and Pandora appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Nearly a third of US households *don’t* have broadband internet

Research firm NPD has published its latest ‘Rural America and Technology’ study, which has a surprising finding: 31% of US households still don’t have a broadband internet connection. “The number works out to roughly 100 million,” reported TechCrunch (we think that’s people, not households), adding that in rural areas, less than one fifth of the population has […]
The post Nearly a third of US households *don’t* have broadband internet appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Study explores patterns of ‘high-subscriber’ YouTube channels

If you’re thinking about YouTube and music, you should definitely read the latest report by research company the Pew Research Center, which came out yesterday. Titled ‘A Week in the Life of Popular YouTube Channels’, it’s based on an analysis of the videos posted by channels with more than 250,000 subscribers in the first week of […]
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Source: Music ally

How Charly Bliss built a rolling video channel for new album

Our Behind The Campaign feature in the latest issue of Music Ally’s Sandbox report covers the campaign for Brooklyn-based indie rock band Charly Bliss’s new album, Young Enough, which came out in May. The central component of the campaign was the launch of CBTV, a round-the-clock MTV-style “station” that created multiple pieces of content that […]
The post How Charly Bliss built a rolling video channel for new album appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Streaming still paying off for UMG with 18.6% revenue growth

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: streaming is paying off rather well for the world’s largest music company. Universal Music’s revenues grew by 18.6% year-on-year for the first half of 2019, according to yesterday’s financial results from its parent company Vivendi. The company’s revenues were €3.26bn (around $3.68bn), with UMG’s recorded-music revenues growing […]
The post Streaming still paying off for UMG with 18.6% revenue growth appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

BandLab launches ‘Tracklanta’ global hip-hop contest

BandLab is one of the best-known online music-making platforms: it has more than eight million people using it. Now the company is launching a contest for budding hip-hop musicians called ‘Tracklanta’, inviting them to submit their work in the hope of winning studio time with five top-tier producers: Bryan-Michael Cox, Drumma Boy, Young Chop, Tasha […]
The post BandLab launches ‘Tracklanta’ global hip-hop contest appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amazon invites brands to test audio ads in free music service

Amazon launched its ad-supported music-streaming tier in April, initially in the US, but details of its plans for that advertising haven’t been talked about much. Now Advertising Age has bagged a copy of Amazon’s pitch deck to brands, and says that the likes of Colgate, L’Oréal and Lululemon are among those invited to test ‘audio ads’ […]
The post Amazon invites brands to test audio ads in free music service appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Analysts frustrated at lack of hard numbers on YouTube

How much money does YouTube make? The New York Times offers a carefully-vague suggestion in its latest article about Alphabet’s video service: “YouTube probably generates $16 billion to $25 billion in annual revenue, making the video service big enough to crack the top half of the Fortune 500.” The ‘probably’ actually illustrates the main thrust of the […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook reveals latest financials… and an FTC antitrust probe

“We had a strong quarter and our business and community continue to grow,” was the lead statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last night, as his company revealed its latest impressive financial results. Revenues were up 28% year-on-year to $16.62bn in the second quarter of 2019, with the social network reporting a $2.62bn profit for the […]
The post Facebook reveals latest financials… and an FTC antitrust probe appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify India marketing tweet sparks online game of Antakshari

If you’re not Indian, there’s a strong chance you haven’t played Antakshari. It’s a game played at parties where someone sings the first verse of a song. Whatever the last syllable is, the next person has to sing the first verse of another song beginning with that syllable. And so on. Anyway, the reason we’re […]
The post Spotify India marketing tweet sparks online game of Antakshari appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

After brief social-media deactivation, The 1975 return with new track

“The 1975 are being their cryptic selves and have deactivated all of their social media accounts as of Wednesday,” reported Billboard yesterday. Yet as of Thursday morning when Music Ally is writing this bulletin, the band’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook profiles are all up and running again. If you’re thinking this is part of a campaign for some new music from […]
The post After brief social-media deactivation, The 1975 return with new track appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 233: Shopping Around: Making Online Stores Add Up

Lead: Working with D2C experts is one part of the business, but changes in how social media sites are structuring themselves can offer acts new ways to sell products to fans of all stripes. We look at where social platforms are being best used to sell merchandise, how casual fans (and not just superfans) can […]
The post Sandbox Issue 233: Shopping Around: Making Online Stores Add Up appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

YouTube and Mr Eazi team up to help emerging Nigerian artists

YouTube is already the most significant digital platform for Afrobeats artists looking to build their global audiences. Now the service has teamed up with Nigerian artist Mr Eazi and his emPawa Africa incubator to provide direct support for 10 emerging artists from Nigeria. The scheme will see those artists supported in recording music, making videos and getting […]
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Source: Music ally

Boomy will help people upload AI-made music to streaming services

Boomy is one of the startups exploring AI-generated music, and launched in beta earlier this year. Now it’s emerging from that beta period, with test users having already created more than 100k songs using its technology. The general public is now being invited to sign in at Boomy’s website and start creating songs. “Our data shows […]
The post Boomy will help people upload AI-made music to streaming services appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

PledgeMusic and Dot Blockchain founder reveals NewsHero venture

Benji Rogers was co-founder of crowdfunding website PledgeMusic, although he left (to set up startup Dot Blockchain) before things went downhill with the company’s finances. After returning in an advisory capacity earlier this year to try to help PledgeMusic out of its hole, Rogers has now unveiled his own new venture – NewsHero – and […]
The post PledgeMusic and Dot Blockchain founder reveals NewsHero venture appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Fortnite players can stream its World Cup… from within the game

Here in the UK, the school summer holidays have started just in time for the first ever Fortnite World Cup – a big bet on esports by the game’s publisher Epic Games. And here’s some even better news for all those demob-happy children: they’ll be able to watch the Fortnite World Cup from within Fortnite […]
The post Fortnite players can stream its World Cup… from within the game appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Pandora rolls its voice assistant out to all mobile users

Pandora unveiled its own Alexa-style voice assistant in January this year, working with tech partner SoundHound to launch a ‘Hey Pandora’ voice-control feature in its mobile app. Six months later, the feature is now rolling out to all of Pandora’s mobile users on iOS and Android, whether they’re on the free or subscription tiers of the service. The feature […]
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Source: Music ally

Snap financials reveal Snapchat now has 203m daily active users

Snapchat’s parent company Snap, Inc published its latest quarterly financial results last night, and they contained plenty of figures to silence (if temporarily) the company’s doubters. What’s that? Because it made a healthy profit? Erm, no. Snap reported a net loss of $255.2m for the second quarter of 2019, although that was an improvement on the […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music produces exclusive video for artist Peggy Gou

The latest musician getting some love – and indeed, some video budget – from Apple Music is Berlin-based artist and DJ Peggy Gou. Her latest music video, for her track ‘Starry Night’, was “produced in partnership with Apple Music” and is currently exclusive to the service. Its release will be accompanied by Gou’s second interview on […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s next chief economist will be based in New York

Last week, it was reported that Spotify’s chief economist Will Page is leaving the company this summer. “A contributing factor in Page’s exit from Spotify is that he has been offered a book deal. He will be writing a consumer-facing title which explains and examines disruption in various industries,” reported MBW. Page joined Spotify from collecting […]
The post Spotify’s next chief economist will be based in New York appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Mubert pitches AI generative music for B2B background usage

Music Ally first wrote about Mubert in February: it was one of the latest clutch of startups working on technology to create generative/adaptive music using AI. It already has a consumer app that people can use to generate a stream of AI music, which over time promises to get tuned to their preferences. Mubert is also exploring another line of business, […]
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Source: Music ally

Concert-sound startup Mixhalo raises $10.7m funding round

Mixhalo is one of the music/tech startups that was actually founded by professional musicians: violinist Ann Marie Simpson-Einziger and Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger. The startup claims to be “democratising audio at live events” by streaming top-notch audio to people’s smartphones. “Build onstage VIP seating or offer an audio upgrade in the nosebleeds,” as its pitch puts […]
The post Concert-sound startup Mixhalo raises $10.7m funding round appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Apple denies App Store search results favour its own apps

Apple is under scrutiny once more for the way it runs its App Store – and the sensitive question of whether its own apps and services are prioritised above those of other companies. This time it’s the Wall Street Journal with an investigation into the results of searches on the App Store. “Searches for ‘music,’ ‘audiobooks’ and […]
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Source: Music ally

Collywobbles for British music bodies as Boris Johnson named PM

Later today, the UK will get a new Prime Minister: Conservative politician Boris Johnson, whose past roles include Mayor of London and Foreign Secretary. Johnson was also one of the leaders of the ‘Leave’ campaign in the UK’s referendum over whether to ‘Brexit’ from the European Union. The buck will now stop with him as […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok issues statement on its UK Copyright Tribunal music-licensing referral

Yesterday, Music Ally broke the news that social app TikTok has referred three collecting societies – PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA – and their joint-venture licensing hub ICE to the UK’s Copyright Tribunal, in a dispute over music-licensing terms.
ICE issued a statement yesterday on the case, but this morning TikTok has also sent Music Ally an official statement on the referral.
“TikTok is an exciting way for songs and emerging artists to gain exposure and break through with a wide and varied audience. As a platform for unique and original creative content, we place high value and respect upon intellectual property rights, and we work closely with music rights holders to protect a library of sound on the platform which is available for users to infuse in their own short videos,” said its spokesperson.
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Source: Music ally

Digital Marketing Manager – Deviate Digital – London

Deviate Digital are seeking an experienced digital marketing manager to join their growing team based at Tileyard Studios in Kings Cross, London. Deviate Digital was founded by Sammy Andrews in 2017 and was named a leading digital advisory agency to the entertainment industry by the Sunday Times in 2018. Their client list includes everyone from global […]
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Source: Music ally

Kid Cudi to get ‘Entergalactic’ animated Netflix series

In June this year, Netflix got the exclusive on a short film called ‘Anima’, a collaboration between director Paul Thomas Anderson and musician Thom Yorke, released alongside the latter’s new album of the same name. Now there’s another musical project to report on from the video-streaming service: ‘Entergalactic’. This time, the collaboration is between musician […]
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Source: Music ally

Queen launch UGC contest as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ reaches 1bn views

Fuelled by the recent biopic, Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has become the first pre-1990s video to pass 1bn views on YouTube. The achievement has been marked by a new, remastered ‘HD’ version of the video on Queen’s YouTube channel, complete with the lyrics in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, Polish, German, Indonesian Bahasa, Korean, Czech, Russian and Turkish […]
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Source: Music ally

BeatDapp and Renaissance part of 500 Startups’ latest batch

500 Startups is one of the most famous startup accelerators, based in San Francisco and now into its 25th program. This time round, there are two music/tech startups in the mix: BeatDapp and Renaissance. BeatDapp is one of the new clutch of startups (see also: Midemlab-winner Legitary) trying to help labels keep better track of their streaming […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok takes on collecting societies at UK Copyright Tribunal

Social app TikTok is set for a battle with three European collecting societies and their joint venture, via the medium of the UK’s Copyright Tribunal.
That’s the body that resolves copyright-related commercial-licensing disputes in the UK. Copyright Tribunal Ref 132/19 will be of intense interest to the music industry, then.
“Notice is hereby given of a reference to the Copyright Tribunal under section 125 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 by TikTok Inc (Applicant) of 10100 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, California 90232, USA,” it explains, adding that “a dispute has arisen concerning the terms of a licence” between TikTok and collecting societies PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA, as well as ICE, their joint-venture licensing hub.
The post TikTok takes on collecting societies at UK Copyright Tribunal appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

AI-music startup Jukedeck’s CEO now runs the AI Lab of TikTok owner Bytedance

Ed Newton-Rex was the founder and CEO of Jukedeck, one of the first startups to develop a product for AI-generated music. We say ‘was’ because since April 2019, he has been working for TikTok’s parent company Bytedance as director of its AI Lab, according to his recently-updated LinkedIn profile.
That would explain recent rumours that TikTok had acquired Jukedeck, although it’s unclear for now – Music Ally is on the case – whether there was an acquisition, or whether Bytedance simply hired Jukedeck’s CEO.
However, Jukedeck’s website (including its ‘Make’ tool for creating AI tracks) has been taken offline, with its homepage replaced by a message saying “We can’t tell you more just yet, but we’re looking forward to continuing to fuel creativity using musical AI!” – which could be read as a hint at an acquisition. Music Ally has contacted Newton-Rex and Bytedance / TikTok for clarification.
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Source: Music ally

Report pitches ‘voice’ as the next big interface shift

If you’re looking for some new reading material around smart speakers and voice interfaces, try investment firm Mangrove Capital Partners’ new report ‘Voice: Welcoming the Next Generation of Disruptors’. “Importantly, this shift will go far beyond checking the weather forecast, requesting music or setting a timer,” is how the report summarises the impact of voice […]
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Source: Music ally

Independent artist Aaron Smith gets push from Spotify and Apple

Congratulations are due to independent artist Aaron Smith, whose debut track ‘Unspoken’ has (as MBW noticed on Friday) gone in with a bang at the top of Spotify and Apple Music’s flagship new-music playlists in the UK. ‘Unspoken’ was the very first track in New Music Friday UK on Spotify and Best Of The Week on […]
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Source: Music ally

Startup Popgun shows how it’s taught an AI to sing

Australian AI-music startup Popgun has made a habit of showing its progress by publishing YouTube videos showing how its AI has learned to compose and play music. And now to sing it too. “For the past year we have been teaching an AI to sing. Using text and midi as input, we generate vocal tracks […]
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Source: Music ally

Motown boss praises streaming (in interview for Spotify blog)

Adding that qualifier to the headline isn’t meant to be snarky: it’s just that Motown Records head Ethiopia Habtemariam was hardly likely to open up about any headaches she sees with streaming in an interview with Spotify’s own blog. Still, the interview – to mark the 60th anniversary this year of Motown – is worth a […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple rebrands its flagship hip-hop playlist as Rap Life

However deliberate it was when they were originally created, Spotify’s playlists have got one thing very right in the current streaming age: RapCaviar, Viva Latino and others have become strong brands in their own right. Apple Music has been doing interesting things with its playlists too – for example commissioning artists to create original, varied […]
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Source: Music ally

FIMI boss urges Spotify to ‘do more’ to persuade Italians to subscribe

Something you won’t hear very much at a music-industry conference in 2019: people talking about piracy. Something you will hear a fair bit: people talking about how streaming has successfully seen off piracy as an existential worry for the industry. No wonder the ‘value gap’ has been a much more prominent debate among rightsholders and […]
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Source: Music ally

UMG and WMG execs talk startups and innovation at Sonar+D

Behind the music industry’s fiercely competitive public face hides a wider spirit of digital collaboration, according to Tuhin Roy, the executive who leads Universal Music’s efforts to support early-stage digital music companies.
Roy was speaking at the Sónar+D conference in Barcelona alongside Warner Music’s Tiago Teixeira Correia, on a panel that gave a rare glimpse into the music industry’s efforts to foster emerging technologies.
Roy said that the music industry has fallen off the radars of many investors, with one of his responsibilities being to lure them back into the fold. “The reason I am at Universal, I went to my now boss Michael Nash [executive vice president, digital strategy at UMG] shortly after he joined the company [in 2015],” Roy said. “I said to Michael: ‘I think the music industry has a problem – there aren’t enough entrepreneurs and business thinkers focused on our space any more.’”
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Source: Music ally

FTC mulls changes to child-privacy regulations in the US

YouTube and TikTok (among other digital services) will have been put on notice by an announcement this week by the US Federal Trade Commission about children’s privacy regulations. The COPPA rule was first implemented in the US in 2000, and concerns how websites and digital services handle personal information from children aged under 13. Now […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube Music adds feature to switch between audio and video

YouTube’s latest improvement to its YouTube Music app focuses on the boundary between audio and video. Since launch, people have been able to choose to listen to audio-only versions of songs in YouTube Music, or watch their music videos. What’s new this week is the ability to flick between those two modes while listening/watching. “No […]
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Source: Music ally

Mexican music industry optimistic for more growth ahead

We’ve all heard of the smartphone as a driver of digital music consumption. Well how about music as a driver of smartphone adoption? That, according to Tomás Rodriguez, managing director of Warner Music Mexico, is what we are seeing in Mexico, as the country continues a hot digital streak that has seen recorded music revenue […]
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Source: Music ally

Sónar+D debates AI and music: ‘We are almost at the alchemist level…’

The question of AI and machine creativity has been creeping into mainstream music industry thinking over the past few years, with the increasing use of AI to make music posing questions about copyright, originality and even playlist placing.
The Sónar festival, which is taking place in Barcelona this week, is one of the first big music events to put AI at its centre. Three artists who make music with AI – Holly Herndon, Actress and K Á R Y Y N – will be playing live at the festival, with Actress actually billed alongside his AI creation Young Paint.
The subject also came up at Sónar+D, the festival’s “creativity, technology and business” strand. On the opening day of the event a heavyweight academic panel made up of panelists from several Barcelona universities examined the question: “Are we sowing fear of Artificial Intelligence”.
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Source: Music ally

Music’n’meditation app Wave raises $5.7m for its launch

We’ve been writing about the monster funding rounds and music activities (e.g. an exclusive Moby album) for mindfulness startup Calm recently, while rival Headspace was one of the first companies to partner with Spotify on bundled subscriptions. Now there’s another player in the music+meditation sector: Wave. It has raised just under $5.7m in seed funding to […]
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Source: Music ally

7digital’s CEO and CFO step down in new effort to cut costs

B2B digital-music firm 7digital is still trying to dig itself out of a financial hole, with the latest news being that its CEO and CFO are stepping down. John Aalbers and Julia Hubbard will be sticking around for a few months to assist their successors though: current COO Paul Langworthy will be the new CEO, while […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify launches a dedicated Disney hub in certain countries

A whole new world! You’ve got a friend in me! Under the sea! Can you feel the love tonight?! LET IT GOOOOOOO….. Okay, having dealt with your earworms for the rest of the week, we’ll get to the actual news here: Spotify has launched a dedicated Disney hub on its service in certain countries. It’ll feature playlists […]
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Source: Music ally

Badshah’s ‘record-breaking’ track missing from YouTube chart

We reported last week on Sony Music India’s claim that artist Badshah had broken YouTube’s 24-hour-views record, with 75m views of his ‘Paagal’ music video in its first 24 hours. Music Ally contacted YouTube at the time to get verification, and is still waiting for an official response. One thing’s for sure though: the video […]
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Source: Music ally

TV mogul Haim Saban launches new Latin label… with $500m budget

It’s a little unfair reducing Haim Saban to ‘TV mogul’ just for the purposes of a short headline: the 74 year-old’s career has also included stints as a musician, music promoter and soundtrack composer (true fact: he co-wrote the Inspector Gadget theme tune). However, it’s TV firm Saban Entertainment that made him a billionaire, with […]
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Source: Music ally

800+ playlist-adds took Ed Sheeran to 69m listeners (and 46.5m first-day streams) on Spotify

Spotify is putting out some stats around the latest Ed Sheeran album. According to its announcement this morning, Sheeran has set a new record for monthly listeners on Spotify: he’s on 69.1 million at the time of writing, with the 70 million milestone in his sights.
That means nearly 32% of Spotify’s active users (based on its 217m end-of-Q1 total) are currently listening to Ed Sheeran in some form.
Another figure from the press release this morning offers some context for that with his latest album ‘No. 6 Collaborations Project’. “Music from his album landed in more than 800 official Spotify playlists, an incredible and rare feat,” explained Spotify.
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Source: Music ally

Drake and Scooter Braun’s esports startup raises $35m

There’s plenty of money swishing around the esports market, with investors and celebrities alike keen to get involved in professional gaming. Drake and Scooter Braun are among them: both are co-owners of esports company 100 Thieves, which operates teams in various pro leagues; has a thriving line of merchandise; and runs channels on Twitch for […]
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Source: Music ally

Report claims Apple will soon be funding original podcasts too

Hands up if you saw this coming: Apple is preparing to get into the original-podcasts game, challenging Spotify with “plans to fund original podcasts that would be exclusive to its audio service”. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reports that Apple has “reached out to media companies and their representatives to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts”. […]
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Source: Music ally

Warner Classics launches new website with streaming built in

Warner Music Group has a revamped website for its Warner Classics & Erato arm, which it hopes will capitalise on the potential of streaming for the classical-music audience. So much so, that Warner has built streaming directly in to the new website. Visitors will be able to stream 30-second clips from the Warner Classics & Erato […]
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Source: Music ally

eMusic boss joins 7digital board and reiterates blockchain ambitions

As expected, B2B digital-music firm 7digital has appointed eMusic boss Tamir Koch to its board of directors, alongside entrepreneur David Lazarus. The move comes as the company tries to raise funding to stave off the threat of administration at the end of July. Koch will be the non-executive chair of 7digital’s board, and has reiterated his ambitions […]
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Source: Music ally

Tech body predicts 33% growth for US music subscriptions in 2019

The US recorded-music market enjoyed healthy growth in 2018, with retail revenues up by 12% to $9.8bn, while on the industry-revenues side, music subscription income grew by 32% to $5.4bn. It was the third straight year of double-digit growth overall for the world’s biggest music market, as the US averaged 50.2m paid subscriptions for the year. […]
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Source: Music ally

Chinese streaming service Xiami Music adds MQA hi-res audio

Chinese technology company Alibaba’s music-streaming service, Xiami Music, is hoping to steal a march on rivals by boosting its sound quality – via a partnership with hi-res audio firm MQA.
Xiami will be using MQA’s technology for the ‘SVIP’ tier of its service, initially within its Android and iOS apps. It will also be giving all its users a free trial of the higher-quality music, before requiring them to start paying for an SVIP subscription to continue listening to it.
“We are very proud to be the first music service in China to offer MQA, as we continue to push the technological boundaries in pursuit of improved sound quality to benefit our music fans and all musicians on our platform,” said Xiami Music director Long Yang in a statement.
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Source: Music ally

Music-streaming service Roxi plans to go public later this year

In June, Music Ally reported on the ambitions of British music-streaming firm Roxi (formerly Electric Jukebox) to go public. Now the company has confirmed how it plans to do that. Roxi announced this morning that it has appointed advisers for an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange in the final quarter of 2019. The […]
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Source: Music ally

Japanese music industry asks Apple to crack down on pirate app

Apple under fire for the way it runs its App Store? But this time, it’s nothing to do with Spotify. A group of Japanese music-industry bodies representing labels, publishers and producers have written to Apple expressing concerns about ‘unauthorised’ (i.e. unlicensed) music-streaming apps that are available through its App Store in Japan. “The recent torrent […]
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Source: Music ally

Google AdWords promotion was key to Badshah YouTube success

On Friday, we reported on Indian artist Badshah’s success with his new music video ‘Paagal’, and Sony Music India’s claim that it had broken BTS’ YouTube 24-hour-debut record with 75m views in its first day on the platform. We’re still waiting for YouTube to officially confirm the record, but in India there has been criticism […]
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Source: Music ally

SyncPower sees a bright future for synced lyrics and music recognition

SyncPower is the Japanese company whose business includes providing ‘synced lyrics’ content, as well as (through its status as status as the agent in Japan for ACRCloud) music-recognition technology.
The first part of that business is growing well. “Currently, we have about 2.7m lyrics content, which we provide to 30 services which are run by our business clients, as well as to consumers through our own apps,” says president Masakazu Tomita, who founded the company in 2006, after coming across synced-lyrics technology in his work with Korean companies.
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Source: Music ally

Report: Facebook to be fined $5bn in FTC privacy settlement

There is no shortage of snark around claims – originally published in the Wall Street Journal – that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a $5bn settlement with Facebook over the social network’s “privacy missteps”. The snark concerns just how much of a punishment a $5bn fine represents for a company that in the first […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon planning ‘high-end Echo’? But it already has one…

There was a slightly puzzling report on Bloomberg last Friday claiming that Amazon “is developing a higher quality version of the Echo Speaker” that will be released by next year. “Prototypes of the cylindrical speaker are wider than the current Echo to squeeze in additional components including at least four tweeters,” reported Bloomberg. “Amazon has previously […]
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Source: Music ally

Badshah breaks YouTube 24-hour views record… with a little help from Ad Words

YouTube has yet to confirm this officially, but Sony Music India claims that one of its artists has broken the platform’s 24-hour viewing record.
The artist is Badshah, with new track ‘Paagal’ and a video that raced to 75m views in its first 24 hours on YouTube. In a press release, Sony hailed the video for “dethroning BTS and Taylor Swift”. That’s a reference to BTS’ ‘Boy With Luv’ featuring Halsey, which set a new record for ‘most-viewed 24-hour music video debut’ in April with 74.6m views.
Taylor Swift’s ‘Me!’ was watched 65.2m times in its first 24 hours the same month, setting the record for the most first-day views for a solo artist on YouTube.
“This is an unprecedented feat and we are very proud. This will go down history as Badshah becomes the first Indian artist to reach 75m views in 24 hours,” said Sony Music’s president India and Middle East Shridhar Subramaniam.
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Source: Music ally

UK music industry declares a ‘climate and ecological emergency’

What can the three major labels; Beggars Group, Domino, Warp and other indie labels; SJM Concerts and Festival Republic; and artists including Radiohead, Wolf Alice and Suede agree on? Well: that “governments and media institutions to tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency” of course. A group of music companies, industry bodies and […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok videos turned Absofacto’s ‘Dissolve’ into a chart hit

We’re all familiar with the tale of how TikTok helped ‘Old Town Road’ become a big hit in its initial version. Now there’s a new case study from the buzzy social app. Billboard has the story of how a 2015 track called ‘Dissolve’ by artist Absofacto (aka Jonathan Visger) blew up on TikTok early in 2019, […]
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Source: Music ally

‘Old Town Road’ and ‘Bad Guy’ get new remix versions

Once upon a time, remixes were usually an easy way to provide B-sides for singles and/or cuts more suited for club DJs. In the post-Despacito era, they’re becoming a strong tactic to give already-big tracks a new lease of chart / streaming life. Justin Bieber was famously part of the ‘Despacito’ remix, and now he’s […]
The post ‘Old Town Road’ and ‘Bad Guy’ get new remix versions appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

ROCCR aims to restore crowdfunding’s reputation after PledgeMusic troubles

The well-documented troubles of crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic have left a number of artists out of pocket and waiting to find out if the company will be rescued by a buyer.
One of those affected was British band Jesus Jones, who’d been using the platform for pre-orders for their latest album ‘Voyages’. Now one of the band, Iain Baker, is part of a group of people setting up an alternative platform called ROCCR.
“ROCCR is a new, transparent, rewards-based crowdfunding platform, which we’re aiming to fully launch over the summer. Rather than focus just on music, we want to help and support the arts generally – so music, theatre, photography and not just existing but up-and-coming bands,” Baker tells Music Ally.
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Source: Music ally

Could Spotify make the next Dirty John-style podcast-to-TV hit?

‘Are you ready for Spotify: The Game Show?’ asked a report on MBW earlier this week. Insert your own jokes based on ‘Jeopardy’, ‘The Price Is Right’ and/or ‘Deal Or No Deal’ here, obviously. The story is based on a job ad for a ‘Reality Formats Lead’ at Spotify, working on reality podcast development for […]
The post Could Spotify make the next Dirty John-style podcast-to-TV hit? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Snapchat unveils new ‘Creator Shows’ format for celebrities

Snapchat is debuting a new short-form video show format, and is working with traditional celebrities and newer digital influencers alike. It’s called ‘Creator Shows’, which will be series of 8-10 episodes of 3-5 minutes in length each. Serena Williams, Kevin Hart and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among the traditional celebs on board already, with influencers like […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube may be blocking stream-ripping sites from ripping vids

Up to this point, much of the music industry’s action against ‘stream-ripping’ websites has been taken by industry bodies taking those sites to court and getting them shut down. Now it seems the main site from which streams are being ripped, YouTube, is joining the battle in earnest. “Several stream-ripping sites have been unable to […]
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Source: Music ally

Internet Creators Guild shuts down, hits out at music labels

In 2016, online-video star Hank Green – who also co-founded the VidCon conference – launched the Internet Creators Guild (ICG). It was a body to advise and represent creators – the equivalent for influencers of what bodies like the Featured Artists Coalition do for musicians. Three years on, the ICG is shutting down, and some of its […]
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Source: Music ally

East African streaming service Smubu has 200k active users

As the big global music-streaming services continue to mull their strategies for sub-Saharan Africa, local players are springing up to stake their claim to a piece of the nascent streaming market. The latest is Smubu, a music-streaming startup headquartered in Kenya, but focusing on a group of countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. It has […]
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Source: Music ally

Amuse-commissioned study explores independent-artist revenues

Midia Research’s latest report explores the burgeoning independent-artists sector, commissioned by one of the companies – Amuse – that’s trying to help those independent artists break through. Some of its findings build on past Midia research. For example: “Artists without record labels generated $643.1 million in 2018, up 35% from 2017. These independent artists represent […]
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox issue 232: Music Marketing in Trigger Cities

Lead: This issue we have a special extended feature looking into the phenomenon of Trigger Cities. These are places outside of the obvious music markets that are now – due to streaming and how algorithms are fed – playing a key role in helping break artists and genres. This represents a whole new dynamic for […]
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Source: Music ally

Key execs exit Bytedance’s China music-business team

There appear to be changes afoot in the music team at Chinese technology firm Bytedance, with reports in China that one of its key executives, Zhu Jie, has quietly left the company. She was responsible for the music activities of Bytedance’s Douyin and Volcanic Video properties, although not for TikTok globally. Music Ally understands that Song Yubin, […]
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Source: Music ally

Report: Amazon had 32m music subscribers by April 2019

Amazon is famously cagey when it comes to releasing meaningful numbers for its music services, but a well-briefed report by the Financial Times this morning offers some new numbers. “The number of people subscribing to Amazon Music Unlimited has grown by about 70 per cent in the past year, according to people briefed on its performance,” it […]
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Source: Music ally

Digital Marketing Manager – Lex Records – London

  About Lex: Lex is a record label, music publisher, and film production company based in London. The label was founded in 2001 and has released music by artists including Danger Mouse, Eyedress, GILA, Boom Bip, Neon Neon, Prefuse 73, Kate Tempest, Haleek Maul, MF DOOM, MIKE, BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah.   Key Responsibilities:  Plan […]
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Source: Music ally

Lickd says Ed Sheeran is most-longed-for licence for YouTubers

Ed Sheeran is big on YouTube: as Music Ally recently reported, his channel has just passed the milestone of 40 million subscribers, while it’s now also past the 17bn views mark. However, Sheeran is also the top artist cited by YouTubers when asked whose music they most want to license for use in their videos. […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify criticised for ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Paying’ advert

Spotify’s latest ad campaign, highlighting the 30-day free trial  of its premium tier, is generating some heat on Twitter. “Dance like nobody’s paying,” is the main slogan. Musician and artist-rights campaigner Blake Morgan was quick to voice his unhappiness with the concept. “Here’s @Spotify’s new tone-deaf ad campaign. Keep in mind that it takes 380,000 […]
The post Spotify criticised for ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Paying’ advert appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The latest new music label is… Build-A-Bear Records?

We don’t get to report on stuffed-animal announcements very often in Music Ally’s bulletin, but today we bring you news that retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop is launching its own record label. Build-A-Bear Records is the result of a partnership with Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division and its Warner Chappell publishing arm. The plan is to […]
The post The latest new music label is… Build-A-Bear Records? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report: Big Hit Entertainment may launch own streaming platform

Music Ally has been reporting recently on BTS World, the mobile game launched as a partnership between BTS’ management company Big Hit Entertainment and gaming firm Netmarble. Now a report claims the companies may be looking to do something even more ambitious together: “to launch a brand-new music-streaming platform”. That’s according to the Korea Herald, citing […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook to launch more money-making features for creators

Facebook has announced a range of new ways for ‘creators’ to make money from their activity on the social network. While aimed mainly at YouTubers and other social stars, some of them may well be useful for musicians too. They include the expansion of a feature called ‘stars’ from gaming streams, which are akin to […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube adds new requirement for manual Content ID claims

YouTube’s Content ID copyright-protection system has long been a target of criticism not from music rightsholders, but from ‘creators’ on the platform. Now YouTube is making a change that it hopes will tackle the issues raised by some of those critics. “We’ve heard from creators that the recent uptick of manual claims, especially for short […]
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Source: Music ally

Instagram flags up its efforts to crack down on bullying

With 153 million followers, Selena Gomez is one of the most popular stars on Instagram – only Ariana Grande and Cristiano Ronaldo are ahead of her, plus Instagram’s own official account.  Yet in June 2019, Gomez revealed that she’d deleted the app from her own phone, because “it would make me feel not good about myself, and look […]
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Source: Music ally

Contrary to report, All Def Digital says it’s not shutting down

What’s happening with All Def Digital, the digital studio founded by Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons? A report last week by online-video industry site Tubefilter claimed that the company was shutting down, yet its current president and CEO Chris Blackwell has now denied those claims. “We’re reorganising in advance of a strategic deal,” Blackwell told Billboard yesterday, although without […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify officially launches its ‘Lite’ app in 36 countries

‘Introducing Spotify Lite’ is the title of the streaming service’s latest announcement, although its new app won’t need much introduction to anyone who’s been following Spotify’s business in the last year. The company began testing its data-saving app in Brazil in July 2018; it launched in Malaysia in April 2019; and then in India in May, still described by […]
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Source: Music ally

7digital financials shed more light on company’s position

B2B digital-music firm 7digital has published its financial results for 2018, although it’s events since the end of last year that have put the company in its current worrying position. So, 7digital’s group revenues grew by 19% in 2018 to £19.9m (around $24.8m) but its net losses grew from £4.8m to £11.9m. However, the financials also […]
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Source: Music ally

Baidu says its DuerOS voice assistant now has 400m users

Chinese technology firm Baidu has announced a new milestone for its DuerOS voice assistant – the company’s equivalent of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. DuerOS now has 400 million users, which suggests that its user-base has doubled since January this year, when DuerOS was being used on 200m devices. (We say ‘suggests’ because the milestone was reported as […]
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Source: Music ally

LGBTQ brand Gay Times is the latest Apple Music curator

The latest guest curator on Apple Music is Gay Times, the European LGBTQ media brand. It’s making a series of exclusive playlists for the streaming service, while the companies are also collaborating on a joint advertising campaign in the UK featuring artists including Kim Petras, Girli, Vincint and Alma, which ties in with this month’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s ‘Are & Be’ R&B playlist hits 5m followers milestone

The R&B-focused ‘Are & Be’ has become the latest Spotify-owned playlist to reach a notable milestone: five million followers. Spotify is celebrating by taking over a six-floor building in New Orleans for the Essence Fest music festival, and designating it ‘The House of Are & Be’ as a “multi-storied tribute to Black women in R&B and podcasts […]
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Source: Music ally

Line Music service set to launch in Taiwan this week

We’re used to referring to Line Music as a Japanese music-streaming service, but this week it’s set to expand to Taiwan, according to the Taiwan News. “According to Central News Agency, Line Music will provide a free, 30-day trial to first-time users,” it reported, noting that Hong Kong-born Mandopop singer Coco Lee will be the ‘brand […]
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Source: Music ally

NMPA-backed consortium wins race to be the US’ new MLC

The keenly (and very publicly) fought race to oversee the US’ new Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) has been won by the consortium led by publishing bodies the NMPA, NSAI and SONA. The group prevailed over the rival American Mechanical Licensing Collective, with the pair competing to run the new body set up as part of […]
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Source: Music ally

Students’ Apple Music web player has attracted nearly 200k users

Apple Music doesn’t (yet) have a web-player version of its service: for now it’s native apps for the various Apple devices, plus PCs and Android. Now four students from the University of Kent in the UK are trying to plug the gap with an open-source web player for Apple Music called Musish. “Since its release only […]
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Source: Music ally

South African music-streaming app My Muze reaches 1m downloads

South African telco Vodacom’s My Muze music-streaming app has been downloaded more than 1m times since its launch in April this year. Those downloads have come on Android alone, although the service is available in a web-browser version for Apple devices, according to the Financial Mail. It also reported on how Vodacom has been pricing the […]
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Source: Music ally

Because Music boss backs ‘user-centric’ music-streaming model

The latest industry figure to come out batting for the ‘user-centric’ model of streaming royalties is Emmanuel De Buretel, in an interview with French newspaper Les Échos, subsequently spotted by MBW. De Buretel warned that the current system of dividing up royalties risks “a drying up of income for many artists outside urban and electro music, and the […]
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Source: Music ally

MelodyVR reveals content-licensing deal with Facebook

It’s a busy time for music-VR startup MelodyVR, with its smartphone app having just launched. Now it has announced an intriguing content-licensing deal… with Facebook. “The agreement will see MelodyVR’s content utilised by Facebook/Oculus for advertising purposes and licenses its exploitation across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and via the Oculus Website, for a period of 9 […]
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Source: Music ally

UK regulator pursues Viagogo for contempt of court

Secondary ticketing firm Viagogo has been under fire in the UK for some time from politicians, regulators and anti-touting campaigners alike. The latest development sees the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announcing plans to move forward with legal proceedings for contempt of court against Viagogo, claiming that the company has failed to comply with a court […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon reveals details on how it keeps Alexa data

In an exchange with US senator Chris Coons, Amazon has been explaining more about how it stores data on people’s interactions with its Alexa voice assistant. Coons had written to the company asking how long it stores recordings and transcripts, and got an answer from Amazon’s VP of public policy Brian Huseman. And the answer? […]
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Source: Music ally

Monstercat to hold weekly virtual-reality music events

Independent dance label Monstercat has been one of the more forward-thinking when it comes to gaming: witness its partnership with Psyonix, the developer of popular cars-play-football game Rocket League. Now Monstercat is trying a new partnership involving virtual reality, working with Linden Lab – the company that Music Ally readers of a certain age may remember […]
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Source: Music ally

LyricFind gets government funding to spread Canadian lyrics

Lyrics firm LyricFind has found a new source of funding: money from the Department of Canadian Heritage Creative Export Canada program. It’ll be used in a two-year project to support “the licensing, transcription and translation of Canadian artists and songwriters’ lyrics”, as well as generating royalties for those lyrics across the world. And this isn’t […]
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Source: Music ally

Report: TikTok was installed 344m times in first half of 2019

Thanks to Apple’s official response to Spotify’s complaint to the European Commission, we know that around 680,000 of the latter company’s subscribers are paying their monthly fees through the iOS in-app purchases system. But what about the wider apps economy? Analytics firm SensorTower has put out its latest figures on how that’s growing, and which apps are benefitting from […]
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Source: Music ally

New YouTube milestones for Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes

Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes are no stranger to big digital numbers. Their latest achievements come from YouTube. Sheeran’s official artist channel has just reached 40 million subscribers, which YouTube says makes him only the second artist to hit that milestone. The first? Justin Bieber: he’s on 45.6 million YouTube subscribers. Eminem (38.1 million), Ariana Grande […]
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Source: Music ally

Cyanite aims to use AI to analyse songs’ emotional qualities

German music/tech startup Groovecat has launched a new product called Cyanite, whose pitch is “making emotions within songs visible with artificial intelligence”. It’s a tool based partly on data from the company’s existing Music Moments app, with CEO Markus Schwarzer explaining that the aim is to “offer the music and advertising industry the possibility to find […]
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Source: Music ally

Tidal adds ‘interactive credit pages’ for listeners to explore

The latest streaming service upping its efforts to credit more people who worked on recorded music is Tidal. It has launched a new feature that it’s describing as “interactive credit pages” which it promises will help listeners “explore everyone, from the unheralded background singers and lyricists, to the producers, and mixing engineers’ who are instrumental […]
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Source: Music ally

Marshmello launches his own mobile game to debut new album

EDM star Marshmello’s association with gaming is already well known: he’s teamed up with online star ‘Ninja’ to win pro-am Fortnite tournaments, and attracted more than 10 million people to his virtual concert within that game earlier this year. Now he’s testing the waters in mobile gaming too, with his own game. It’s called Marshmello […]
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Source: Music ally

Shesaid·so reveals plans for ‘female-first’ music conference

Music industry women’s network Shesaid·so is celebrating its fifth anniversary by announcing a new conference called MEETSSS. The organisation is describing it as “the first female-first, music-forward conference” created for its community, with the event to be held in Portugal on 3-6 October this year. “The event will embody shesaid·so’s core brand values: collaboration, diversity and […]
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Source: Music ally

Meditation app Calm raises $27m more funding at $1bn valuation

We’ve written about meditation startup Calm several times this year: for example when it raised an $88m funding round in February (an announcement that made us wonder whether Spotify would be doing more with meditation), and when it was the exclusive distribution partner for a new album by artist Moby the following month. Now there’s some more news – […]
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Source: Music ally

Elevate Music Podcast to focus on wellbeing for musicians

There’s a new music-focused podcast in town, and it wants to help musicians safeguard their wellbeing and health. The podcast is called Elevate Music Podcast, and it’s the result of a partnership between production firm Wisebuddah; health and wellbeing service Elevate Music; and charity Help Musicians. The first season is due to tun to 15 […]
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Source: Music ally

Genius hires a head of TV and film for music-related projects

We traditionally refer to Genius as a ‘lyric-focused’ company, but its ambitions clearly stretch some way beyond that. Witness its hiring this month of Joshua Asen, formerly an exec at Discovery Science Channel, as the company’s first head of TV and film. It’s part of Genius’ push into developing longer-form content. “We’re building on the […]
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Source: Music ally

Line Music to add freemium tier and music videos this year

Japanese music-streaming service Line Music has just celebrated its fourth anniversary, and it’s promising some significant new features over the coming months. The service, run by social-media firm Line, now has 11 million monthly active users, with more than 32 million downloads of its app so far. Anyway, those new features include the introduction of a freemium […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple to hold ‘Up Next’ performances at stores in US and Europe

We’ve been reporting regularly on emerging artists given Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ seal of approval. Now the company is expanding the program with plans for a series of live performances in Apple Stores in the US and Europe. Up Next Live will see Bad Bunny, Daniel Caesar, Khalid, Ashley McBryde, King Princess, Lewis Capaldi and Jessie […]
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Source: Music ally

Startup Popgun is launching an AI-mastering tool called Gloss

We know Australian startup Popgun best for its demos showing how the company’s AI learned to compose and play music (watch the video here if you need a catchup). However, it’s also been working on something else: a new service called Gloss, which is firmly in Landr’s territory of AI-powered music mastering. “Gloss uses AI to make […]
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Source: Music ally

Chinese government to ‘curb industry chaos’ with audio apps

The Chinese government has launched a crackdown on audio apps, with one prominent music-streaming service included. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced that 26 audio platforms that spread “historical nihilism and obscene pornography” are the first batch of services it has taken action against. The announcement promises a “comprehensive centralised rectification of the audio industry” that […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify closes its direct-upload test for artists

In September 2018, Spotify started testing a new tool for artists to upload their music to its platform directly, without needing a distributor, let alone a label. At the time, the test was with “a few hundred” US-based artists, with plans to expand it in the future.
Or not. Today, Spotify has announced that it’s closing the upload beta program – as in shutting it down, rather than opening it out to a standard feature for all artists.
“Today, we notified participating artists about our decision to close the beta program, along with how we can help them migrate their music to other distributors over the next month,” explained a post on the Spotify for Artists blog.
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Source: Music ally

Former Songkick boss co-writes 2019 State of AI report

Ian Hogarth was the co-founder and CEO of concert-discovery app Songkick, before stepping down in early 2016. Nowadays, he’s a prominent figure in the world of artificial intelligence (AI) startups, including as an angel investor. His ‘AI Nationalism’ article from last year is well worth a read, on that front. But so is the latest version […]
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Source: Music ally

Film soundtracks are still 80% of music consumption in India

There are lots of exciting green shoots for an independent music scene in India, but music from films continues to be the dominant factor in what people are listening to there. That was one of the talking points at the recent Music Inc conference, as reported on by journalist Amit Gurbaxani for Firstpost. He notes that Spotify […]
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox issue 231: Conversions. Tracking Cause and Effect in fan marketing

Lead: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” is a quote commonly attributed to Philadelphian retailer John Wanamaker in the 1800s and it has haunted the advertising and marketing worlds ever since. Spending money and hoping for a consumer reaction previously involved stacking up a […]
The post Sandbox issue 231: Conversions. Tracking Cause and Effect in fan marketing appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Epidemic Sound raises $20m and prepares for Asia expansion

Production-music firm Epidemic Sound has raised a $20m funding round, which the company says will fuel its expansion to Asia. The round includes equity funding from Korean investor DS Asset Management, and debt funding from Swedish group SEB. Epidemic is opening an office in South Korea this autumn, in partnership with the former company. “We […]
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Source: Music ally

Chance The Rapper’s streaming mixtape is missing a track

Chance The Rapper has re-released a pair of old mixtapes for the first time on streaming services, but while 2012’s ’10 Day’ remains unchanged, 2013’s ‘Acid Rap’ is missing one of its big tracks: ‘Juice’. It’s been replaced with Chance’s voice explaining why it’s missing (“I really wanted ‘Juice’ to be on the mixtape, but […]
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Source: Music ally

Look beneath the drama of the BMLG / Scooter Braun / Taylor Swift row

There’s a whole sub-genre of YouTube channels and Instagram accounts dedicated to documenting ‘drama’ – the breakups, makeups, shade and almighty rows within the world of social-media stars. Today, music-industry media feels like our own version of that, as all hell broke loose over the news that Big Machine Label Group has been acquired by Scooter […]
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Source: Music ally

How to prepare for ‘deepfakes’ of musicians? ‘Above all, have a plan’

A recent video that falsely appeared to show American politician Nancy Pelosi slurring her words as if drunk has brought the issue of ‘deepfakes’ back into the spotlight.
Prominent musicians and their teams should be taking note, thinks Gregor Pryor, co-chair of the entertainment and media industry group at law firm Reed Smith – because they could easily be among the next victims of deepfake creators.
“How do you combat it? It’s very, very difficult to combat. That is the message: ‘There is this problem, it cannot be easily solved’, so what do you do? The law isn’t clearly set out, and even if it was, it doesn’t provide an immediate silver-bullet remedy,” Pryor told Music Ally.
“If you’re talent you need a combination of PR, reputation management, legal and probably crime prevention or a technologist to help you. It’s the question of what would sit within the armoury of a star who’s concerned about deepfakes?”
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Source: Music ally

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