Month: juin 2020

Music Ally Startup Files: SyncFloor aims to shake up the sync market

Kirt Debique met his SyncFloor co-founder Cestjon McFarland during a 20-year stint at Microsoft. Immersed in the Seattle music scene, he left the tech giant to start a label (Brick Lane records, named after his favourite part of London) when the music industry was struggling.
“I spotted the bottom of the trough of the last disruption in 2012 and saw that everyone was having a hard time. It disproportionately affected the indie community and I wanted to try to find a way to help them,” says Debique.
At his label, he tried to create an environment that was good for artists – investing in them, with an artist-favoured split. “One of the artists’ legal team once asked me, ‘so are you guys a non-profit?’ because they were so amazed at the terms! That’s how I learned about the music industry.”
As the music business returned to health he realised that, “the back end had a lot of archaic processes, with a disproportionate impact on the indie industry. So I wanted to combine my tech background with my interest in the indie sector – and use software as a connector.”
The post Music Ally Startup Files: SyncFloor aims to shake up the sync market appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The Midnight create a prom playlist generator for all ages

Ninja Tune/Counter Records act The Midnight have a new single out called ‘Prom Night’ and have created a special prom-themed playlist generator for it. On a dedicated website, users input their name as well as the date (month and year) of when their prom would have been – for non-US readers, this usually happens when you […]
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Source: Music ally

Hipster Bait turns music discovery into an AR scavenger hunt

“Unreleased rock songs are hiding all around North America. That’s right. You could be sitting on a song right now,” is the blurb from new app Hipster Bait’s website. Launched for Android and iOS devices, it’s an “interactive rock’n’roll music discovery game” that uses augmented reality (AR) technology. The idea: every week the company will ‘release’ […]
The post Hipster Bait turns music discovery into an AR scavenger hunt appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Production music firm Artlist raises $48m funding round

Israeli firm Artlist is one of the companies offering a royalty-free catalogue of licensed music (plus video clips and sound effects in its case) to filmmakers, YouTubers and games developers. Launched in 2016, it now has more than one million customers, with YouTube creators having swelled those ranks in recent years – making it a competitor to Epidemic […]
The post Production music firm Artlist raises $48m funding round appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

K-Pop stars Blackpink break YouTube 24-hour views record

This one is going to get the K-Pop stans roused up. In April 2019, BTS broke the record for one-day video views on YouTube, with the 78m views of their ‘Boy With Luv’ video trumping the previous record-holder, ‘Kill This Love’ by fellow K-Pop group Blackpink. Now the record has been broken again… by Blackpink! […]
The post K-Pop stars Blackpink break YouTube 24-hour views record appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

First speakers and agenda details for Sandbox Summit Global

Today we’re announcing the first confirmed speakers and outline agenda for our Sandbox Summit Global conference, which takes place online in September. The event will include Platoon’s Denzyl Feigelson in conversation with Q&A’s Troy Carter, as well as interviews with K Camp (the artist behind the viral hit ‘Lottery (Renegade)’ and business partner Genius. The […]
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Source: Music ally

Outdustry launches China music publishing arm Outdustry Songs

Outdustry has long been one of the most respected companies helping western music firms and artists do business in China (and more recently, India too). Its services have mainly focused on marketing and rights management / licensing, but now Outdustry is launching a music publishing arm focused on China called Outdustry Songs. It has non-exclusive direct […]
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Source: Music ally

UMG expands partnership with USC Annenberg diversity initiative

“Black artists consistently top the popular music charts, but African-Americans and other people of colour are not adequately represented in decision-making roles in the music business,” is the first line of a press release from… the biggest label group in the music business. So what is Universal Music doing about this disparity? Having already pledged a $25m ‘change […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok strikes licensing deal for Prince back catalogue

There has been a lot of debate about which music licences TikTok has already, which ones it doesn’t (publishers have been particularly sharp on this one) and what it needs to do next to ensure performers and songwriters are getting paid for usage of their work in its app. So it’s interesting to see TikTok press-releasing […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube tests TikTok-style segmented 15-second videos feature

YouTube is testing a new feature for people to upload videos that are 15 seconds in length. We can’t think where it got that idea from…
Okay, this isn’t a pure TikTok clone: there are some interesting aspects to it. “We’re testing out a new way for creators to easily record multiple clips directly in the YouTube mobile app and upload as one video,” explained YouTube on its online support page.
“If you’re in this experiment, you’ll see an option to ‘create a video’ in the mobile upload flow. Tap or hold the record button to record your first clip, then tap again or release the button to stop recording that clip. Repeat these steps until you’re done capturing footage up to a maximum length of 15 seconds.”
It’s being tested in YouTube’s Android and iOS apps “with a small group of people” for now. It’s the latest TikTok-influenced new feature from a bigger company: Instagram’s ‘Reels’ feature being another.
The post YouTube tests TikTok-style segmented 15-second videos feature appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Finnish artist Artem launches an ‘8D’ music video

Imagine if 2D was four times better, or if 3D was, ahem, 2.67 times better. That’ll be 8D! And it’s 8D that Finnish artist Artem, who’s signed to Warner Music, is exploring with his new music video.
We should stress, 8D isn’t about extra dimensions, but rather about a recently-developed way of recording and editing audio: this is a good explanation of what and how. 8D has been popular on YouTube, with a number of existing tracks having been reworked in 8D from the likes of Alan Walker, Imagine Dragons, Ariana Grande and Lauv.
Anyway, Artem has made a video for his new single ‘Värit’ that uses 8D sound – one of the first examples of the artist actually being involved in the process.
“8D-mixing creates an effect where the music sounds like it’s surrounding the listener’s head at different distances, immersing them in the experience. It is created through a program where one can manipulate the certain stereo-parts by moving them in a virtual 360 -degree space. This programming tricks the brain into thinking there’s much more mobility in the sound than there actually is,” explains WMG’s press release.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify releases Marquee stats including 20% conversion rate

‘Marquee’ is Spotify’s tool that pops up in its mobile app suggesting that people listen to a new release by an artist that they like. In the US and Canada, it’s currently being beta-tested as a paid advertising slot.
Now Spotify has launched a new web page promoting the feature itself, including some stats on those initial tests. The company is claiming a 20% conversion rate, for example: 20% of Spotify users who see a marquee go on to stream the release it’s promoting within two weeks.
It also cites a study of 30 campaigns to show an “average lift in saved and playlisted tracks” of 2.2x for listeners who saw a marquee. And those saves and playlists pay off, says Spotify: “Our research shows that saves and playlists adds correlate with a 250% increase in streaming of that artist six months later.”
There’s also a case study of how Chicago duo Drama used the marquee feature: 25% of listeners who saw their ad saved or playlisted at least one track from the album, streaming an average of 17 tracks by the group – “much more than the entire album”. 
The post Spotify releases Marquee stats including 20% conversion rate appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Deezer gets promotional push on Huawei’s AppGallery

Chinese technology firm Huawei is a controversial company in the west, but it is still hugely successful globally, having shipped 240m smartphones in 2019 alone.
A trade ban with the US has meant the company can’t preload Google’s Android apps on those handsets however, so Huawei has developed its own ‘AppGallery’ app store as an alternative to the Google Play store.
Now streaming service Deezer is getting a promotional push on AppGallery by being designated a ‘Hero Status’ app. Deezer is also offering Huawei’s customers a three-month free trial of its premium tier in Europe, Russia and Turkey.
Note: Huawei also has its own streaming music service, Huawei Music, and in April claimed that it had more than 160 million monthly active users, as it launched in 16 new countries in Europe.
The post Deezer gets promotional push on Huawei’s AppGallery appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

UMG signs former Rocket Girls 101 star Sunnee to global deal

Earlier this week we reported on UMG’s latest success story in China: strong figures for the new album by artist Linong Chen. Now it’s talking about a new signing in the country: Sunnee (杨芸晴) from girl group Rocket Girls 101 (火箭少女101) who split up earlier this week.
UMG is releasing Sunnee’s new single ‘By Your Side’ today, with her debut album to follow later in the year. The announcement of the Thai singer’s signing has plenty of stats: she has more than 18 million followers on Chinese social network Weibo; her 2019 EP ‘Qing Ge’ was streamed more than 5m times on the QQ Music service; and her single ‘Wang Ji Yong Bao’ earlier that year was streamed more than 1m times on NetEase Cloud Music.
The key here is that UMG hopes to make Sunnee a star well beyond China. “We are looking forward to working with our UMG partner labels around the world to introduce her music and talent on a global level,” said UMG Greater China boss Sunny Chang.
The post UMG signs former Rocket Girls 101 star Sunnee to global deal appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report claims Apple could face an antitrust probe in the US

The debate about how Apple runs its App Store continues to rumble, and politics website Politico suggests that there could be a significant development in the US soon.
“The Justice Department and a coalition of state attorneys general are taking the first steps toward launching an antitrust probe of Apple,” it claimed, adding that the probe may focus on “Apple’s ironclad control of its App Store, the source of frequent griping by developers who say the company’s rules are applied inconsistently — particularly for apps that compete with Apple’s own products — and lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers”.
Any such investigation would run in parallel with the European Commission’s formal investigations into Apple, including one partially sparked by last year’s complaint from Spotify.
The post Report claims Apple could face an antitrust probe in the US appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Lady Gaga launches creative Chromatica contest with Adobe

In May we reported on Marshmello teaming up with creative-software firm Adobe on a ‘Be Kind’ campaign, getting fans to create a short video based on his new single. Now the company is launching a new contest with Lady Gaga based around her latest album ‘Chromatica’.
Gaga is providing her own assets for the competition: photos, illustrations, logos, icons and typography, with fans challenged to “create your Chromatica” using Adobe tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. A grand prize of $10k plus a print of their creation autographed by Gaga herself is up for grabs.
There are echoes (possibly unwanted, given its mixed reception) of Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP’ app back in 2013, which included its own section for creating Gaga-inspired digital art.
The post Lady Gaga launches creative Chromatica contest with Adobe appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Suicide Silence and Bandsintown launch geofenced virtual tour

Livestream music concerts can air globally, but that doesn’t mean they have to. We’re seeing a growing number of artists experiment with geofenced online concerts, which can only be viewed by fans in a particular part of the world – sometimes as part of virtual ‘tours’ with a string of performances.
Now deathcore band Suicide Silence are partnering with Bandsintown on what they’re calling “the most extensive geofenced virtual tour experience to date”. That means a series of concerts between 2 July and 30 July, each one a 90-minute performance filmed with multiple cameras, geofenced for 39 cities.
Video Q&As, skits and chatrooms for song requests are all promised as part of the experience. There’ll be exclusive merchandise for sale, and the shows will be ticketed: the details are also geofenced, but so far we’ve checked London and Bangalore, and both will see tickets priced at $10.
The tour will also take in Mexico City, Bangkok, Jakarta, Tokyo and Moscow as well as major cities in Europe and North America. It’s set to be one of the most ambitious and involved livestreams we’ve seen yet under lockdown.
The post Suicide Silence and Bandsintown launch geofenced virtual tour appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

DJ Regard gets his own Regard Runner promotional game

Music Ally last covered Kosovo-based artist DJ Regard in September 2019, when his ‘Ride It’ track became a TikTok-assisted viral hit. Now the artist, signed to Ministry of Sound, is getting his own casual game, Regard Runner, which can be played on mobile devices and computers alike.
Ministry commissioned digital agency The Creative Corporation to make the game, which is in the ‘endless runner’ genre. Players have to keep DJ Regard running (hence the title) across platforms that fall away as he goes, jumping over gaps and other obstacles.
Fans can also play tracks by the artist as you play if they sign in using Spotify, which like other marketing campaigns of this kind, gives Ministry of Sound and parent company Sony Music access to data including their email address, music recently played and saved to their library, top artists and playlists they have made and followed.
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Source: Music ally

Sonos to lay off 12% of staff due to Covid-19 pandemic

Connected audio firm Sonos is the latest company to announced plans for layoffs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Company initiated a plan on June 23, 2020 to eliminate approximately 12% of its global headcount. In addition, the Company is closing its New York retail store and six satellite offices,” revealed Sonos in a regulatory filing yesterday.
The last time Sonos revealed a headcount figure, for the end of September 2019, it had 1,446 full-time employees, so the layoffs are likely to be at least 173 staff.
The post Sonos to lay off 12% of staff due to Covid-19 pandemic appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Fair Trade Of Music campaign aims to support US musicians

A coalition of US music industry organisations has launched a campaign called Fair Trade of Music, banging the drum for American musicians to be paid what it sees as their rightful royalties for usage of their music abroad.
“Many countries deny some non-native music creators royalties for the use of their work even though royalties are otherwise paid to artists who are nationals of those countries,” claims the campaign, which is backed by SoundExchange, A2IM, the Future of Music Coalition, MMF US and the Recording Academy among other bodies.
“As a result of this discrimination, music creators lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Annual losses to U.S. creators alone total more than $330 million globally. That’s a lot of lost royalty payments.”
The post Fair Trade Of Music campaign aims to support US musicians appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Rostr report claims music managers’ rosters are still male-dominated

Last December, Music Ally wrote about a report from startup Rostr analysing its database of music management companies and their artists. Now it has repeated the trick for 2020. Its report, which is free, is based on more than 3,000 management firms’ data, and ranks them by roster size, Spotify audience and YouTube subscribers.
It also looks at how the rosters of these companies break down in terms of genre, gender and major vs independent label deals. Among the findings: Red Light has the largest roster by far: 376 artists are on its books, compared to 84 for the next-biggest agency Maverick. However, when it comes to Spotify reach, Maverick is top dog with 565 million monthly listeners across its roster, ahead of second-placed Full Stop (501 million) and third-ranked Red Light (396 million).
The post Rostr report claims music managers’ rosters are still male-dominated appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Controversy grows over Live Nation artist terms for 2021

Attempts by Live Nation to change its agreements with artists for concerts and festivals in 2021 have sparked a big row in the US which shows little sign of abating, even as the company began to row back from some of the controversial changes.
A memo sent to talent agencies had suggested that “unprecedented times” required pay cuts “adjusted downward 20% from 2020 levels”; paying artists 25% of the guarantee if a festival was cancelled due to poor ticket sales rather than 100%; and a cancellation fee of “two times the artist’s fee” if the artist cancelled a festival appearance. Unsurprisingly, agents were not happy.
This week, three organisations – the Artist Rights Alliance, Center for Digital Democracy, and Future of Music Coalition – have written to the US Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law calling for an investigation of the “abusive 2021 performance terms, which would unfairly cut artist fees and shift the risk of pandemic cancellations to performers”, suggesting that in many areas, artists have “no practical alternatives to Live Nation facilities” to play.
The post Controversy grows over Live Nation artist terms for 2021 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 255: K-Pop. What the Global Music Industry can learn from South Korea

Lead: K-pop is eating the world whole and is changing what marketing – especially superfan-centric marketing – can do. We speak to those working in and around the K-pop world to learn how the genre markets itself, where its acts engage with their fans to build incredible levels of loyalty, why trans-media marketing underscores everything they do […]
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Source: Music ally

Instagram expands eligibility for in-app shops to musicians

Instagram has updated its ‘commerce eligibility requirements’ dictating who’s allowed to use its Instagram Shopping feature to sell products directly from their profiles. Good news: musicians are now included. And candle-makers will be waxing lyrical about the change too… “Whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merch or […]
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Source: Music ally

Grid app aims to help events return with social distancing

Concerts are returning in some countries as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease, but with a variety of social distancing measures. Grid is a new app that’s positioning itself as helping: not just music concerts, but other kinds of hospitality and events businesses too. The app can be used for mobile ticketing and checking in to events; to […]
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Source: Music ally

Pandora launches Qmunity music station for Pride 2020

June is the annual Pride month celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community, although due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s celebrations will by necessity be much more digital. Music streaming services are joining the party with playlists and other activations, as usual. In the case of Pandora, that includes launching a new radio station called Qmunity. Sponsored […]
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Source: Music ally

Move the Record event to raise money for independent stores

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a grim period for independent music venues and record stores alike, as they ponder not just when they’ll be able to reopen, but whether. It’s been heartening, at least, to see the success of several campaigns to support these businesses with artists and fans chipping in. The latest initiative sounds […]
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music launches Spinnup distribution arm in Japan

Spinnup is one of Universal Music Group’s distribution services for independent artists, which originally launched in Sweden in 2013 before expanding to other countries. Artists can use it to upload their music to digital services, with the additional hope of being spotted by UMG’s A&R teams – more than 80 Spinnup-distributed artists have been signed by […]
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Source: Music ally

UK’s Labour Party throws weight behind user-centric payouts

The debate about streaming royalties and ‘user-centric’ payments – primer here if needed – has largely been confined to the music industry so far. Could politicians get involved? Jo Stevens of the UK’s Labour Party, who’s the shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, got involved during a radio discussion last night. Asked by presenter […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify to promote Artist Fundraising Picks with emails

Spotify launched its ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ feature in mid-April, enabling artists to raise money from their Spotify profiles either for themselves and their teams, or for one of the charitable funds and organisations taking part in the streaming service’s Covid-19 Music Relief project. By the end of that month, around 50,000 artists were using the new feature. […]
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Source: Music ally

Report: there were 400m music subscribers globally at end of Q1 2020

There were 341 million people using paid music subscriptions at the end of 2019, according to global music industry body the IFPI. Now we’ve got an update on that figure, albeit from a different source.
Consultancy firm Midia Research has published its music subscriber market share figures for Q1 2020, claiming that by the end of March there were 400 million music subscribers globally.
By Midia’s reckoning, that’s year-on-year growth of 30%, with 93 million net new music subscribers added since the end of March 2019. In his blog post, MD Mark Mulligan noted that this is an acceleration in growth, since the prior 12-month period had seen 77 million net new subs.
(Note: we’re nearly at the end of Q2 2020 now. If the rate of growth had continued – a big assumption, given the uncertainties around the Covid-19 pandemic – the global total should be past 420 million at the time of writing.)
The post Report: there were 400m music subscribers globally at end of Q1 2020 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Microsoft shuts down its livestreaming video service Mixer

Mixer was tech giant Microsoft’s rival to Twitch and other livestreaming video platforms, focused squarely on gaming.
You may remember that in August 2019 it signed an exclusive deal with Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins (of ‘played Fortnite with Drake’ fame, although to many young people, it’s more Drake who’s of ‘played Fortnite with Ninja’ fame). More on that deal in a minute. 
Mixer is now shutting down: “It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform,” announced Microsoft.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify steps up podcast monetisation with in-app offers

Spotify is trying something new around podcast advertising: ‘in-app offers’. It means that when someone’s listening to a podcast and hears an ad from a sponsor with a particular offer, they’ll also be able to tap on a link to redeem that offer from within the podcast’s episode page in Spotify’s mobile app.
“Most podcast listening happens in screenless moments like when you’re getting ready for work, exercising, running errands, cooking dinner, or washing the dishes. If you hear a compelling offer, you need to make a mental note of it for when you return back to your phone or computer,” is how Spotify described the problem it’s trying to solve here (as much for advertisers as for listeners).
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Source: Music ally

Twenty One Pilots launch a never-ending music video

Last week, we covered Twenty One Pilots’ scavenger hunt to promote their new single, ‘Level Of Concern’, which got fans to track down codes hidden online to unlock content. Which they did much faster than expected.
“We didn’t think you would tear through the codes so easily,” the band tweeted. “Should have taken a week but you did it in just over 12 hours. You got us this time. Now join in with your footage, your art, your dances, and be a part of the first ever never-ending music video.”
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Source: Music ally

BTS take over Uno! mobile game and donate to Crew Nation

Music Ally knows card game ‘Uno!’ best for being second only to Monopoly in the chart of ‘games most likely to cause almighty family rows at Christmas’. What we don’t know it for, until now, are digital marketing campaigns with world-famous K-Pop groups.
But yes: BTS are taking over the mobile game version of ‘Uno!’ for the immediate future. “Win BTS themed cards, badges, and more while competing on the global leaderboards to prove that you’re the loudest fan of all,” explains its App Store listing, which notes that the promotion is “for a limited time” only.
The partnership follows the launch of BTS’s own mobile game BTS World in June 2019, and their management company Big Hit Entertainment’s acquisition a few months later of a mobile games developer called Superb.
The post BTS take over Uno! mobile game and donate to Crew Nation appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Hamburg’s Music WorX accelerator seeks four music/tech startups

We’ve written regularly about music/tech accelerators and incubators like Techstars Music, Abbey Road Red and Marathon Artists Labs. Another one that’s well regarded is Music WorX in Hamburg, run by the publicly-funded Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft body.
It’s kicking off a new cohort for 2020, with a three-month program for “teams who have not yet or only recently founded their company”.
There’ll be up to four teams participating in the program, which will provide €5k to help them develop their business idea plus another €1.5k per team per month towards living costs. The publicly-funded nature of the accelerator means it does not take equity.
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Source: Music ally

Country Profile – Finland 2020

Finland’s digital music industry is in relatively good health after years of steady growth, although it lags behind its Nordic neighbours in terms of premium music subscribers.
The post Country Profile – Finland 2020 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV opens up to students for free

Legendary producer Quincy Jones is opening up his Qwest TV educational platform to school pupils and music-college / university students around the world. They’ll have free access to more than 1,000 concerts, documentaries and pieces of archive footage covering the full gamut of genres. P eople wanting access can pre-register now, with the content to be accessible […]
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Source: Music ally

ASCAP launches paid internship program for Black students

US collecting society ASCAP has launched a new paid internship program for students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Five students will work for ASCAP (remotely) during July and August, with plans to repeat the scheme every summer in future years. “We have a responsibility to seek to nurture talent and empower the next […]
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Source: Music ally

djay and VirtualDJ apps get real-time stem separation features

We’ve reported recently on one trend in DJ apps, which is Spotify shutting down their access to its API, forcing those that use streaming services as a source to turn to other DSPs, or even license directly. Still, those DJ app companies are also pressing on with new features, with two of them – Algoriddim and VirtualDJ […]
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Source: Music ally

PPL’s 2019 ‘most played’ chart hogged by collaboration tracks

British collecting society PPL has announced its annual charts of the most played tracks and artists in the UK, based on data from radio, TV and public performance locations (pubs, bars, shops etc). No surprises for guessing who tops the artists chart: Ed Sheeran, the fourth time in five years he’s headed that list. There’s […]
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Source: Music ally

LiveXLive reports record revenues – but also increased losses

LiveXLive is the US-based company that’s been increasingly active around music livestreaming, as well as owning audio-streaming service Slacker. The firm has announced its financial results for its fiscal year 2020, which ended on 31 March. The company’s annual revenues grew by 15% to $38.7m, while its number of paying subscribers grew by 25% to 849,000. […]
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music hails China sales success for Linong Chen

The major western music companies are, it’s fair to say, very keen to expand their foothold in the Chinese music industry. From beefing up their offices in China to taking investment from its digital industry’s giant Tencent, Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music are all making the country a growth priority. Some new numbers […]
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Source: Music ally

Pressure mounts on Apple over App Store fees and policies

With the European Commission’s formal investigations of Apple getting underway, Spotify has seen some people and companies rallying to its antitrust cause this week. For example, the chairman of the US House’s antitrust subcommittee has been (perhaps surprisingly, given that role?) outspoken on the topic, in an interview with The Verge. “Because of the market power that Apple […]
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Source: Music ally

DanceFight gets people to challenge friends to dance battles

The search for ‘the next TikTok’ is – spoiler alert – going to turn up a LOT of apps that are not, in fact, the next TikTok. Which is to say, there’s an explosion in experimentation around short-form social video, often with music too, but many of these apps will struggle to cut through the noise […]
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Source: Music ally

Vibe app promises personalised music to help your wellbeing

Canadian startup Lucid has launched its first music app, called Vibe. The app “draws upon cognitive science, music theory, and artificial intelligence to develop a personalised profile for each user” before offering them playlists “to help you reach a mental goal”. Said goals including calm, focus, sleep, energise and ambience – the latter is a mixture […]
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Source: Music ally

Björk joins Bandcamp – and Black Lives Matter will benefit

Björk is adding her entire back catalogue to D2C platform Bandcamp, with a launch offer that will see proceeds from all sales donated to Black Lives Matter UK until the end of today’s Juneteenth fundraiser on the site. Her studio albums will be sold in digital, vinyl, CD and cassette formats on Bandcamp, making her one […]
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Source: Music ally

Mixcloud now has 20m monthly users says outgoing CEO

There’s a new statistic on the audience for streaming service Mixcloud to be found in the latest blog post from its CEO Nikhil Shah. “We’ve had 10s of millions of people download our apps, and 20m people tune into Mixcloud every month across all the different platforms,” he wrote. That means its audience has doubled over […]
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Source: Music ally

Alex Braga’s ‘Spleen Machine’ album used AI instrument A-Mint

The latest project representing a creative blend of artistry and AI is called ‘Spleen Machine’. It’s the work of Alex Braga, who’s both a composer and an inventor. For this EP, he invented his own AI music-making instrument called A-Mint. According to the album announcement, A-Mint creates “augmented music” after learning a musician’s style. “When A-Mint […]
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Source: Music ally

Classical streaming service Idagio to launch in Japan

Classical music streaming service Idagio is launching in Japan later this month, tying in with its live video stream of a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra on 21 June. The Japan launch will include Idagio’s catalogue of more than 2m tracks, and its ‘Global Concert Hall’ series of livestreams. There’s certainly an audience to […]
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Source: Music ally

Pacemaker DJ app secures extension to Spotify API shutdown

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Spotify was ending its support for DJ apps, meaning that they’d be unable to use its API to provide music for their users. One of the main DJ app makers, Algoriddim, is switching to Tidal and SoundCloud, while another, Pacemaker, recently told Music Ally that it would be striking its own […]
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Source: Music ally

Artists chip in for The Circle’s Covid-19 relief auction

Charity The Circle, which was founded by artist and activist Annie Lennox, has launched a global music auction to raise money for its Covid-19 Emergency Appeal. The charity is raising funds for women and girls who’ve been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus crisis this year. The auction is taking place on the Charity Stars platform, […]
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Source: Music ally

Afropop star Rema is Apple Music’s new ‘Up Next’ artist

Apple Music is placing a big strategic focus on Africa this year, and the latest emerging artist to join its ‘Up Next’ programme is the latest example. Nigerian Afropop star Rema will be getting some promotional welly from Apple’s streaming service this month, building on the success that has seen him already become the 18th […]
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Source: Music ally

Ghostly International confirms merger with Secretly Group

Label Ghostly International is merging with fellow indie Secretly Group, in a deal that Billboard reports was delayed from earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “We had poor visibility on how revenues were going to change and how the economy was going to go. It caused us to ask hard questions: Why now? Should we […]
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Source: Music ally

ByteDance and TikTok revenues under the microscope again

The rise of TikTok, and the assorted controversies around it, have meant there’s a lot more scrutiny of the economics of the app and its parent company ByteDance. Which is welcome for the music industry, as rightsholders go into licensing negotiations keen to strike as advantageous deals as possible. There are two new bouts of […]
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Source: Music ally

Smart links market heats up with Linkfire, Beatchain, ToneDen

You wait for a news story about ‘smart links’ for music marketing to come along, then three turn up at once… Linkfire has announced its latest conversion-data deal with a streaming service: Deezer. Artists and marketers sending fans to Deezer via Linkfire smart links will now get data like streams, follows and playlist adds to understand how […]
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Source: Music ally

Adobe adds production music from Epidemic Sound and Jamendo

Adobe is the tech company behind creative software like Photoshop and video-editing tool Adobe Premiere. It also has a library of royalty-free images and other visual assets called Adobe Stock. As of yesterday, that library also includes music and audio. Adobe has partnered with two companies to fill that catalogue: Epidemic Sound and Jamendo. The non-watermarked […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify reveals its playlist plans for Black Music Month 2020

June is Black Music Month in the US (or African-American Music Appreciation Month if you prefer: it was renamed by President Barack Obama in 2009, but its previous name is still often used). Spotify has revealed its plans for the month, including its previously-announced plan to devote its entire ‘New Music Friday’ playlist to Black artists for […]
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Source: Music ally

Report: 12.7m Australians are using music streaming services

Research firm Roy Morgan has published a report on music streaming usage in Australia. It claims that more than 12.7 million Australians – 61% of the population – now stream music on a monthly basis. That’s 3.7 million more than did so three years ago. The report also has some figures for the market shares of the various […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify talks Apple complaint as Hey email app sparks row

We reported yesterday on the news that the European Commission is launching two formal investigations of Apple, including one sparked by anticompetition complaints from Spotify and an e-books / audiobooks firm (not Amazon, but Rakuten subsidiary Kobo). Yesterday afternoon, Spotify held a Zoom call with journalists to offer its views on the news. You can read our […]
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Source: Music ally

Laura Marling sold 6,500 tickets for Union Chapel livestreams

Livestreamed concerts can be great for reach as free events, but can they be money-spinners for artists as paid events? There’s a lot of experimentation going on around this, and Laura Marling’s recent concerts broadcast from London’s Union Chappel venue were being watched as a key case study: the £12 tickets were sold through the […]
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Source: Music ally

Head of Music – Fanbytes – London

About Fanbytes. Starting 3 years ago, we’ve worked with the world’s largest labels and artists including Atlantic, Virgin, Universal and everyone in between to reach audiences on social media through influencers and branded content on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. This role combines both account management and sales with you responding directly to the exec team […]
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Source: Music ally

Notes from Spotify’s Zoom call to discuss Apple antitrust investigation

Earlier today, the European Commission launched two formal antitrust investigations of Apple, including one spurred in part by Spotify’s complaint to the EC last year.
This afternoon, Spotify held a Zoom call for journalists where its head of global affairs and chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez discussed the investigation, with added comments from external counsel Thomas Vinje, of Clifford Chance, who is Spotify’s lead counsel on the case.
Gutierrez spoke on the record, while Vinje spoke on background. You can read up on the specifics of Spotify’s complaint here, and Apple’s rebuttal last year here. But here are some of the key points made by Gutierrez during this afternoon’s call.
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Source: Music ally

Fortnite creator Epic Games tipped for valuation of $17bn

Epic Games isn’t just the publisher of Fortnite: it also owns also-popular-with-the-kids game Rocket League; video-chat app Houseparty; the Unreal Engine game development engine; and its own digital games store. No wonder its valuation is high: Bloomberg reported that Epic Games is about to raise a $750m funding round that values the company at around $17bn. That’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Cameo now helps fans buy a Zoom call with celebrities

Cameo is the app that lets people pay for celebrities to record personalised video messages for them (or friends and family as a gift). We wrote about it last June when the company raised a $50m funding round, noting that Snoop Dogg and Ice T were among the musicians available on Cameo. Now it has launched […]
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Source: Music ally

EC launches formal antitrust investigations of Apple – one sparked by Spotify complaint

In March 2019, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, accusing the latter company of anticompetitive behaviour in the way it managed its App Store and in-app purchases. 15 months on, the EC has now launched a formal antitrust investigation of Apple.
In fact, it has launched two, although they’re not just focused on Spotify’s complaint. The first will assess “whether Apple’s rules for app developers on the distribution of apps via the App Store violate EU competition rules”, and was sparked by Spotify’s complaint as well as another unnamed ‘e-book / audiobook distributor’.
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Source: Music ally

Sony invests $4.5m in sample clearance site Tracklib

Tracklib has been around since 2016, helping artists and producers to find and clear music for sampling. The company has just announced a $4.5m funding round from Sony Innovation Fund – the early-stage investment arm of Sony Music’s parent corporation – and Eelko van Kooten, founder of dance label Spinnin’ Records. Sony Innovation Fund had already […]
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Source: Music ally

Covid-19 tipped to spur 21% drop for French recorded music biz

Earlier this year, Spanish industry body Promusicae predicted a €100m hit to recorded music revenues in Spain this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now French body SNEP has come out with a comparable prediction for its own market, suggesting that recorded music revenues will fall by €235m this year due to Covid-19 – a drop of […]
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Source: Music ally

Linkfire’s latest streaming data partnership is with Deezer

Music marketing firm Linkfire has announced a deal with Deezer to access data on what music listeners do after following one of its ‘smart links’ to the streaming service.
Artists, labels and marketers using Linkfire will now be able to see, for example, whether fans have gone on to play a song, add it to their library or to one of their playlists on Deezer.
It’s the latest such ‘attribution’ or ‘conversion’ data partnership for the company, tackling the longstanding problem of understanding how clicks/taps on smart links translate into streams and other fan actions: data that helps to judge whether marketing budget has been well spent or not.
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Source: Music ally

#TheShowMustBePaused next steps: ‘Potentially a moment for real change’

Friday’s Music Ally TV Show focused on the #TheShowMustBePaused campaign, and the next steps that the music industry needs to take as a result. Our panelists were Mulika Sannie, Keith Harris and Estée Blu.
Sannie is VP of business affairs at Kobalt, and also founded the UK Black Music Lawyers Network in 2018.
Harris is the longtime representative for Steve Wonder, with an industry career ranging from EMI and Motown Records to PPL and UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce. Last week, he published an open letter to the music industry calling for last week’s day of action not to be another false dawn.
Estée Blu is an artist and trustee of educational organisation Sound Connections. Last week, she also addressed the topic of how racism, sexism and colourism affects Black women in music, in a post on Instagram.
“This is definitely potentially a moment for real change. The reason I say that: this is the first time I ever remember major companies coming up with real money to try to do something,” said Harris, as the show kicked off.
“Obviously a lot depends on how that money gets spent, and over what period of time, and on attitudes inside the companies.”
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Source: Music ally

Broccoli Content CEO challenges Spotify to sign Equality in Audio pact

We wrote about the Equality in Audio Pact earlier this month. Launched by podcast producer Broccoli Content, it was a list of five pledges that audio production companies could make, including paying interns; hiring LGBTQIA+, black people, people of colour and other minorities for projects that aren’t just related to their identity; releasing race pay gap data; […]
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Source: Music ally

Pre-release promo tool Byta raises $1.9m seed funding round

Pre-release music promo and sharing service Byta has announced a new seed funding of $1.9m. The round was led by the Canadian Media Fund as well as private investors, such as Scott Kannberg (of indie band Pavement). The platform lets artists and labels securely share music with others in the industry ahead of release in a […]
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Source: Music ally

Twenty One Pilots launch online scavenger hunt for fans

The latest artist sending fans to different corners of the internet to unlock content around a new album is Twenty One Pilots. It kicked off with a livestream (although fans who missed that can check out the ‘START HERE’ YouTube video that the band posted on Saturday). It prominently features a US phone number – 1-877-LVL-CNRN – note: […]
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Source: Music ally

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (15 June)

Independent musicians, especially the ones who made the majority of their income, are having a very tough 2020. In the US, there’s a new body aiming to protect their interests, though. It’s called the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) and it’s been formed by a group of talent agencies to create a “broader coalition of the live […]
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Source: Music ally

Tencent has bought $200m stakes in Warner Music Group

On Friday it emerged that Chinese tech giant Tencent had bought a chunk of shares in Warner Music Group… but confusion reigned over exactly how much it had invested. The Wall Street Journal claimed it was $200m, while MBW said it was around $100m. As it turned out, both were right. Tencent Music Entertainment, the music streaming […]
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Source: Music ally

New Snapchat features include music lenses and mini apps

Yesterday, Snapchat’s parent company Snap, Inc announced a swathe of new features for the social app, including some that are directly relevant to music. One of those features is dedicated music lenses, explained yesterday – this link takes you to the relevant part of the YouTube video of the event – as “our new category of music lenses, […]
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Source: Music ally

UK regulator raises fresh concerns over Viagogo/StubHub merger

British regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the merger of secondary ticketing firms Viagogo and StubHub. Its latest update on the investigation isn’t good news for those companies. The CMA says it is “concerned that the loss of competition brought about by the merger could result in customers who buy and resell tickets […]
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Source: Music ally

#TheShowMustBePaused: next steps, Stormzy, YouTube and more

One of the key points about the #TheShowMustBePaused campaign last week was that it was not a single day of action, but rather the springboard for much, much more. Today, there’s a lot to report on in that regard, within both the music and tech worlds. Start by reading Billboard’s interview with Brianna Agyemang and Jamila […]
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Source: Music ally

Linkfire adds ‘Artist Bio Link’ feature for musicians

Music marketing platform Linkfire has a new feature that could be very useful for artists. It’s called ‘Artist Bio Links’. According to Linkfire, it “brings together all your promotions in one personalised microsite. Drive fans to your releases, merch, SoMe profiles, tours, and more, all with one shareable link”. The idea is that this will […]
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Source: Music ally

Swedish collecting society STIM’s revenues grew 15% in 2019

STIM is the main collecting society in Sweden, and like many of its counterparts around the world, it enjoyed healthy growth in its royalty collections last year. According to its annual report, STIM’s revenues grew by 15% in 2019, to SEK 2.4bn (around $259m), with SEK 1.8bn paid out to songwriters and rightsholders. 38% of […]
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Source: Music ally

Digital Rights Manager – Domino Records – London

Job opportunity: Digital Rights Manager Based in our London office, Domino Recording Company seeks a full-time Digital Rights Manager, to be employed on a 1 Year Fixed Term basis.  In this role you will be working with YouTube and Facebook’s content management systems on a daily basis, with responsibility for channel and rights management on […]
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Source: Music ally

The Best Music Marketing Campaigns During Lockdown

*Check some of the best music marketing campaigns of 2019 here *Take inspiration from the best music marketing campaigns in recent history   The initial response within music marketing to lockdown was to charge into livestreaming – seeing it as a way to plug at least part of the hole created by mass concert cancellations. […]
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Source: Music ally

Tools: Jaxsta. The music industry’s official list of who did what.

Noting how the music industry lacked an equivalent to what the film industry had with IMDb – and also how it was missing a verified source of data from across the music supply chain – Jacqui Louez Schoorl, with a background in both film and music, began working on what was to become Jaxsta in […]
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Source: Music ally

One Little Indian Records becomes One Little Independent Records

British independent label One Little Indian Records was the home of Björk, Skunk Anansie, Crass and other artists. Why the past tense? Because One Little Indian is no more: the label has changed its name to One Little Independent Records. MD Derek Birkett explained why in a social media post, citing “an eye-opening letter from a Crass […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook criticised for removing anti-racist skinhead artists

Some racists are skinheads. Many skinheads aren’t racists – in fact, many are among the most committed anti-racists. This is hardly a secret, but Facebook got a blunt reminder this week, after mistakenly removing the accounts of hundreds of anti-racist skinheads, as well as pages devoted to ska and reggae music, and the organisation Skinheads Against […]
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Source: Music ally

Startup Show4Me expands into ticketed online concerts

Back in January, we wrote about Show4Me, which described itself as a “music interaction network”. It had raised $13.5m in funding and was offering acts a variety of tools such as music and concert crowdfunding campaigns, sales of music, D2F interaction and even a $1-per-year fan membership model. The company launched an online ticketing option in […]
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Source: Music ally

Artist Tom Walker plans a 12-hour world tour on Zoom

Rock band Def Leppard hold the record for playing the most gigs in different continents in one day (three: Africa, Europe and North America). Meanwhile, Jeff Aug holds the record for most gigs in different countries in a day (nine: Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria). Now artist Tom Walker is making his own globetrotting move, albeit […]
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Source: Music ally

Tuned Global ramps up B2B competition with 7digital in Europe

Tuned Global is one of the companies focusing on business-to-business (B2B) digital music: helping brands and other companies launch music services without having to build them and license them from scratch. Headquartered in Australia, it’s now making a push in Europe by poaching from one of its main rivals, British firm 7digital. Tuned Global has appointed […]
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Source: Music ally

NMPA reveals US publishing revenues grew by 11.6% in 2019

US publishing body the NMPA held its annual meeting yesterday – the first time it’s been online. It included some new stats from president and CEO David Israelite. He revealed that US publishing industry revenues grew by 11.6% in 2019 to $3.72bn, making last year the fifth consecutive year of growth for the sector. However, the […]
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Source: Music ally

Vivendi survey examines post-lockdown entertainment plans

Vivendi’s Brand Marketing division has been talking about its latest study: a survey of more than 7,200 people about their entertainment habits during the Covid-19 lockdown – and their plans once it eases. There’s another encouraging data point about digital subscription services (including, but not exclusively, music): according to Pollstar, 60% said they used more paid […]
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Source: Music ally

Virtual reality concerts startup Wave raises $30m funding

It’s been a difficult couple of years for many virtual reality startups, with VR headset sales slower than expected, and in some cases funding drying up as investors lost their appetite for immersive content. There have been success stories though: musical VR game Beat Saber has sold more than 2m copies, with Facebook acquiring its developer last […]
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 254: The Rise of Music Podcasts

Lead: If you aren’t making or appearing on a podcast, do you actually exist? Even with DSPs and record labels investing in them heavily and building whole podcasting divisions, there is still the issue of licensing music for them that is holding back their creative potential. Yet beyond that knotty problem, the sector is still an […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify now lets people share Canvas videos to social media

Canvas is the feature on Spotify where artists can upload eight-second looping videos to accompany their tracks when played in the streaming service’s mobile app. It’s been growing steadily in popularity, and earlier this year Spotify started letting artists share their Canvas videos out to Instagram stories. Now that ability is being extended to listeners as well. […]
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Source: Music ally

How can classical music return after Covid-19?

We’ve been writing a lot about live venues in the context of the contemporary music scene, but classical music certainly isn’t immune from the impact of Covid-19. The Guardian has a feature on the challenges facing the classical scene as it tries to bring back concerts post-pandemic. The headline suggests an existential threat: ‘We could go […]
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Source: Music ally

Tomorrowland goes virtual with Around The World festival

Yesterday, we covered the news that the team behind Shangri-La at Glastonbury are running Lost Horizon, a ticketed VR event, next month. We can add Belgian dance festival Tomorrowland’s Around The World event to this growing list of virtual replacements for the hole blown in this year’s summer festival season. It takes place on 25-26 July, although […]
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Source: Music ally

90% of independent US venues fear they’ll shut permanently

We’ve been reporting recently on the #saveourvenues campaign in the UK, which identified 556 venues that were in danger of permanent closure as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. Last we heard, its fundraising had enabled 140 of them to be taken off its ‘critical’ list, which was a positive step. There’s a similar campaign underway […]
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Source: Music ally

Fan-funding startup Corite closes its seed funding round

Music Ally wrote about Swedish startup Corite when it launched last year as the latest way for artists to make money by selling off stakes in their songs to fans. In its first month of operation, it raised $24k in fan-funding for its first crop of artists. Now the company has been raising some funding of its own: a […]
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Source: Music ally

UK groups call for anti-racist training and ‘urban’ removal

A group of Black executives working within the British music industry have published an open letter, through the Black Music Coalition and The Show Must Be Paused UK groups, with five “immediate calls to action” for the industry. They include mandatory anti-racism / unconscious bias training for non-Black staff at music companies; a specified annual budget […]
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Source: Music ally

Is Sweden a saturated music streaming market? Not just yet…

The question of when the Swedish music industry will plateau is a crucial one for the global industry, which looks to Spotify’s homeland for an indication as too how far streaming-led growth can go. Before Covid-19, at least, the signs were promising for Sweden’s continued growth: in 2019 recorded music income in Sweden grew 3.5% […]
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Source: Music ally

Twitch users get retrospective claims for past music use

In yesterday’s bulletin, we covered the news that livestreaming platform Twitch has reminded users that DJ sets are among the “types of music content you may not use in Twitch streams or VODs”. We suggested that the new guidelines may have been in response to an uptick in copyright takedowns filed by music rightsholders, and… […]
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Source: Music ally

Music livestreaming firm Livit Media acquired by eResonate

Livestreaming has never been more prominent than it is now as artists and venues try and plug that massive hole left by the cancellation of shows, tours, festivals and clubs. Now there’s some consolidation afoot in this area: a company called eResonate Media is buying another livestreaming startup called Livit Media. The companies have been working together since […]
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Source: Music ally

Team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La launches virtual festival

If you’ve ever lost yourself in the Glastonbury Festival’s Shangri-La zone, you’ll understand why for many people this year, the festival’s cancellation is carrying an extra tinge of sadness. However, the team behind Shangri-La is hoping to plug the gap with a virtual-reality event called Lost Horizon on 3-4 July. They’re working with VR startups Sansar and […]
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Source: Music ally

Debating Cory Doctorow’s internet blanket music licensing plan

This story begins with an article by author and activist Cory Doctorow on the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation: ‘A Plan to Pay Artists, Encourage Competition, and Promote Free Speech’.
It proposed extending the kind of blanket licensing that allow clubs, restaurants and radio stations to play music to the internet as a whole, including any digital service that wants to use recorded music.
“Let companies pay a per-user license fee that gives them access to the same catalog that Amazon, Apple, and Google claim, without having to cut deals with every label and musician,” wrote Doctorow.
Music Ally wanted to explore this idea more, for our weekly Music Ally TV Show. So, host Joe Sparrow interviewed Doctorow for a pre-recorded segment in the show – you can watch the full interview here or via the embed below.
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Source: Music ally

YouTube reveals stats for its creator tipping economy

It hasn’t been available to musicians in the past, but YouTube’s tips economy – where viewers can buy ‘Super Chats’, ‘Super Stickers’ and channel memberships for the creators they love – has been something Music Ally has been keeping an eye on as it has grown. Now YouTube has revealed a new figure for the growth in the number […]
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Source: Music ally

#TheShowMustBePaused latest: Sony Music, #ArtistsForBlackLives and more

Something that came through very clearly about last week’s #TheShowMustBePaused day when music companies of all kinds paused their regular work to respond to the protests about racism and police brutality was that it couldn’t just be about one day: it was about paving the way for a host of actions and changes over the […]
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Source: Music ally

Twitch music guidelines rule out DJ sets without licences

The esports community has been chattering about Twitch’s latest guidelines on using recorded music in live broadcasts and video-on-demand uploads to its platform. Dot Esports’ top angle was the fact that using music from streaming services like Spotify is not allowed, but after looking at the guidelines, we think that there are also other points for musicians […]
The post Twitch music guidelines rule out DJ sets without licences appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Australia and Germany’s plans to rebuild live music business

The easing of lockdown restrictions on music concerts has begun in some countries, but others are still looking ahead and making plans for what’s needed when this happens in the future. Australian live-industry body Live Performance Australia published its AU$345m plan to rebuild the ‘restart’ of the live performances industry – not just music, but theatres, arts […]
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Source: Music ally

BBC Sounds app expands its wellbeing and workout mixes section

Spotify and other streaming services have been luring talent away from radio for a long time now, with British public-service broadcaster the BBC suffering particularly from the brain drain. However, it’s also making its own moves that encroach onto what streaming services do. Witness last week’s announcement that it is expanding the ‘Mindful’ and ‘Pace Setter’ […]
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Source: Music ally

Midemlab startups contest announces its 2020 winners

Solfeg·io, Super Hi-Fi, Audoo and Uptune have been named as the winners of this year’s Midemlab startups contest, held as part of the Midem music industry conference.
Like the conference, Midemlab was an entirely-online affair, with the pitches of all 20 finalists broadcast this afternoon, followed by the announcement of the winners.
Music Ally is a partner for Midemlab – we help to choose the finalists – so naturally we were watching the pitches and taking notes.
They’re below: first for the four winners, and then for the other finalists. It’s a good snapshot (alongside our recent coverage of the Techstars Music demo day) of 2020’s best music startups.
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Source: Music ally

New study breaks down kids’ YouTube and TikTok habits

Sit down for this shocker: children spend quite a lot of time on YouTube and TikTok! Who knew? Next thing, someone will be telling us that they quite like Fortnite too. But no snark: a company called Qustodio, whose product is a parental control app, has been digging into its data to quantify exactly how […]
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Source: Music ally

#LolaDay created for 50th anniversary of Kinks classic

12 June is the 50th anniversary of ‘Lola’ by British band The Kinks, and there’s a digital campaign up and running to celebrate the anniversary. A dedicated microsite to celebrate #LolaDay (as it’s being dubbed) will have digital stickers available for fans to ‘Lolafy’ their own photos and share them on social apps. Meanwhile, on the […]
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Source: Music ally

Mass a-peel: ‘Banana’ track gets a bunch of TikTok plays

There have been some excellent bananas in music: Andy Warhol’s artwork for the Velvet Underground & Nico; Bananarama; Melt-Banana… Can Conkarah feat. Shaggy’s single ‘Banana’ follow in their footsteps? It’s already a bona-fide TikTok sensation. The track is based around Harry Belafonte’s 1956 hit ‘Banana Boat (Day-O)’, and comes with a #BananaDrop challenge based around […]
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Source: Music ally

Music apps firm Gismart adds artist partnerships scheme

Gismart is the company behind music-making apps like Beat Maker Go, Piano Crush and WeDrum, as well as non-music ‘hyper-casual’ games like Cool Goal, Domino Smash and, er, Pregnancy Idle 3D Simulator – a catalogue that’s so far generated 500m downloads. Now it has launched a new partnership programme aimed at musicians called ‘Games for Artists’. Through […]
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Source: Music ally

MMF GM: ‘We need to train people to value online content’

Jayne Stynes, general manager at management body the MMF, hopes that some of the innovation around livestreams during the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to lasting change. “At my most optimistic, I would love to believe that what is happening right now will open up a huge cultural shift towards consumers valuing online content beyond its […]
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Source: Music ally

‘Nobody’ does it better: DJ Neptune goes viral on Triller

TikTok tends to get the headlines when a music track goes viral through short-form videos. However, rival app Triller has also fuelled its fair share of hits by artists including Lil Tecca, Calboy, K$upreme, Rich The Kid, Darkoo and Chantel Jeffries. Now you can add Nigerian musician DJ Neptune to that list. His track ‘Nobody’, […]
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Source: Music ally

London set to get ‘first socially distanced immersive event’

Livestreams are plugging some of the gap left by the shutdown of live concerts, but people are already looking ahead to what those physical gigs might be like as the lockdown eases. One Night Records is the latest idea. Opening in October at “a secret London Bridge location” in London, it’ll be a musical installation “designed as […]
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Source: Music ally

Music app Endlesss hits Kickstarter target for desktop app

We’ve reported regularly on British music-making app startup Endlesss: from our interview with its CEO last year to its recent launches of an iOS app and its own record label. Now Endlesss is turning to crowdfunding to take its next step: the development of a desktop (Mac and Windows) application and a network for musicians to collaborate. It’s called Endlesss […]
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Source: Music ally

Amber Grimes and Nicole Wyskoarko talk leadership, support and diversity

Nicole Wyskoarko is EVP of urban operations at Interscope Records, and Amber Grimes is SVP of global creative at Capitol Music Group. Their joint keynote for the Midem conference, a video interview conducted by Billboard’s Gail Mitchell, was published this morning.
It addresses topics including the current Black Lives Matters protests following the killing of George Floyd; the music industry’s response and its need for more diversity; their views on mentoring; and advice for young people looking to break into the industry.
Filmed this week, the interview began with both executives offering their thoughts on the current situation.
“It’s been hard, y’know. It’s been incredibly emotional,” said Wyskoarko. “Just balancing the emotion with just doing your job, and existing, dealing with the ramifications of Covid right now, and having this just heavy heart with what’s going on in society.”
“Being up and in and out of tears, you start working and then you look up at the news or you just flash back to some of the images we’ve seen and you can’t help but be overcome with extreme emotion,” she added.
“It’s a real challenge, and it’s draining in a sense to balance all of that. It’s horrific what’s going on in this country right now. It’s horrifying. So it’s just a lot to balance and process, and I think a lot of us are feeling that right now.”
Grimes agreed. “I feel drained. I see co-workers and other people in this strange time – I can actually get to see everybody’s face all at one time on a camera – and I notice a different energy about many of my Black co-workers, and people that i’ve spoken to,” she said.
“On a positive note… I do feel like there is more acknowledgement of this issue than there has been in the past from a lot of non-Black people in our industry and in the world. It’s been nice to see many people step up and speak out, but it’s still not enough people.”
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Source: Music ally

MePlaylist wants to ‘change the perception’ of African music

Streaming service MePlaylist, whose president of global marketing is Mathew Knowles (aka Beyoncé’s father), is aiming to challenge the traditional way African music is pigeonholed in the west. “There’s a tendency to always put African music and African artists in a bucket, and that bucket is called ‘World Music’. We want to change that perception,” said […]
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Source: Music ally

Midia warns recorded music recovery depends on wider economy

Last month, we reported on research published by Goldman Sachs predicting that global music industry revenues would drop by 25% this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Those figures included a 75% plummet for live music revenues, and a slowdown in growth for recorded music (to 3%) and music publishing (3.5%). Yesterday, we reported on Kobalt CEO […]
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Source: Music ally

‘Equality in Audio Pact’ challenges companies to change

Last October, we reported on the latest podcasting joint venture by Sony Music: British company Broccoli Content, led by producer Renay Richardson. Its shows include ‘Anthems’, ‘Money 101’ and ‘Your Broccoli Weekly’, with a mission to tackle “the lack of opportunities for minority talent both in front and behind the mic”. Now the company has launched an […]
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Source: Music ally

WMG share price leaps on first day of public trading

Warner Music Group had a good first day of trading following its IPO this week. The company priced its shares at $25, valuing the major label group at $12.75bn. By the end of the day, WMG’s share price had risen to $30.86, sending its valuation to around $15.36bn. The IPO is being watched closely by […]
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Source: Music ally

Warner Music Group delayed IPO share-pricing until today

Last week, Warner Music Group filed to go public in its IPO: you can read our analysis of the filing’s juicier bits here. According to the Financial Times, WMG was planning to announce the pricing for its shares in the IPO yesterday – which would in turn reveal the valuation of the company – but decided to […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify ‘Sound Up’ podcast program returns for third year

Spotify’s ‘Sound Up’ program aims to help people from underrepresented backgrounds take their first steps into the podcasting world. 60 people have so far gone through its program in the US, UK, Germany and Australia, with more than 20,000 having applied over the first two years of the scheme. Now Spotify is launching the third […]
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Source: Music ally

Streaming’s latest challenge is ‘fake features’ on tracks

Spotify’s management team must quiver every time they see the word ‘fake’ deployed in a headline, given past controversies around ‘fake artists‘, ‘fake albums‘ and ‘fake streams‘ on the service. But here we are with another one for the list: fake features. OneZero has a story about how “scammers are gaming Spotify by faking collaborations […]
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Source: Music ally

Kobalt chairman thinks publishing revenues will dip in 2020

Recently, Goldman Sachs published a report with new predictions for music industry revenues in 2020, Covid-19 impact included. It forecast a 75% drop for live music revenues, but growth of 3% for recorded music and 3.5% for music publishing in 2020. Kobalt founder and chairman Willard Ahdritz isn’t so sure. “Overall I do believe that […]
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Source: Music ally

African streaming service Boomplay now has 75m users

As one of the main pan-African music streaming services, Boomplay has grown rapidly in the past couple of years. In July 2018 it had 17 million monthly users, but grew this to 53 million by August 2019, and then 62 million by the end of that year. The latest figure for Boomplay is 75 million users, with 86% […]
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Source: Music ally

12m SoundCloud creators get heard every month (but 13m don’t)

This year’s Midem music industry conference is online-only, with new video sessions being published daily this week. One of today’s crop sees SoundCloud’s Kerry Trainor, Downtown Music’s Justin Kalifowitz and Raine Group’s Fred Davis discussing artist and label services. Trainor dropped an interesting pair of stats about his platform. “On SoundCloud we have content from […]
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Source: Music ally

New TikTok rival Zynn pays its users for watching videos

A new social-video app called Zynn has been making waves by springing from nowhere to top Apple’s App Store chart in the US. It looks a LOT like TikTok: you can create and watch 15-second videos (“with massive music library”). But as it turns out, the app didn’t just spring from nowhere: Turner Novak of investment firm […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify and Kobalt fall out over Eminem copyright lawsuit

In August last year, we reported on a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Spotify by Eminem’s publisher Eight Mile Style, based on around 250 songs from the company’s catalogue. The latest development in that case is a surprise: Spotify is dragging Kobalt Music Publishing into the lawsuit, claiming that the latter company is at fault. Spotify’s legal […]
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Source: Music ally

Stitcher report examines podcast trends in 2020

Stitcher is one of the longer-established podcast services, and now it has published a report exploring some of the podcasting trends of 2020 (and the last decade) based on its data. Among the points: nearly 7m podcast episodes were published to Stitcher in 2019 alone; the top genre that year was true crime; the average […]
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Source: Music ally

#TheShowMustBePaused as industry supports Black Out Tuesday

Like many people around the world, we’ve been watching the events of the past week in the US with shock and concern: the death of George Floyd on 25 May; the subsequent protests; clashes with police across the country; the (un)presidential tweets; and powerful video testimonies like Killer Mike’s speech at an Atlanta press conference. He’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Prospa held a livestreamed rave in a 3D virtual warehouse

Last week, we wrote about a livestreamed set by Dutch DJs W&W, for which they had a virtual stadium full of dancing fans created. Now British duo Prospa have put a different kind of virtual environment through its paces: a warehouse for an old-school rave. It was the result of a partnership between Polydor, Prospa’s label […]
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Source: Music ally

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