Month: septembre 2020

Soundtrack by Twitch offers licensed music to streamers

Livestreaming platform Twitch is launching a new feature, Soundtrack by Twitch, with a catalogue of licensed music for its community of creators to use in their streams.
The Amazon-owned company has licensed more than 1m tracks from more than 30 independent labels and distributors for the beta launch, in what’s its second attempt at an in-house music library.
Labels on board include Anjunabeats, Chillhop, Empire, Monstercat, Nuclear Blast and Alpha Pup. The initial distributor partners are DistroKid, UnitedMasters and SoundCloud.
The post Soundtrack by Twitch offers licensed music to streamers appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 261: The return of the fanclub? Crowdfunding in 2020

Lead: Crowdfunding in 2020 – Crowdfunding is not a new idea – but following the nosedive of recorded music sales in the early noughts, crowdfunding became a tantalising concept: fanbases could be leveraged into recording costs. Despite some successes, it has remained a relatively niche concern. That is, until now. Covid-19 has led to a rise […]
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Source: Music ally

Amuse / Midia report explores Covid-19 lockdown trends for musicians

Distributor Amuse and consultancy Midia Research have teamed up for their second report on the independent music community.
One of the headline figures from Independent Artists: Pathfinding Through a Pandemic – that the ‘artists direct’ sector grew by 32% to $873m in 2019 – isn’t a new stat, having originally been published by Midia in March this year.
However, the new report has fresh material on the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has been having on independent musicians, from their incomes to their creative processes, based on responses from 376 artists.
The post Amuse / Midia report explores Covid-19 lockdown trends for musicians appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Four Tet gets his own looping chillout stream on YouTube

Channels like ChilledCow and Chillhop Music can do it. Hollywood star Will Smith can do it. Even Pepsi can do it. So why can’t Four Tet? He can!
The ‘it’ in question being ‘looping lo-fi chillout music streams on YouTube’ of course.
Electronic artist Four Tet has what appears to be a 12-hour loop that began streaming on his YouTube channel on 23 September.
The post Four Tet gets his own looping chillout stream on YouTube appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

YouTube Music tests Spotify Daily Mix-style ‘My Mix’ playlists

Spotify launched its Daily Mix playlists in 2016 as a collection of personalised playlists based on different ‘clusters’ of a listener’s musical tastes. Now it looks like YouTube Music is launching a similar feature.
Tech blog Android Police reported on some users seeing up to seven new ‘My Mix’ playlists, each seemingly based on a different genre or group of related artists.
They’re sitting within the ‘Mixed for You’ shelf on the service alongside ‘Your Mix’ (an endless personalised stream covering all genres) as well as ‘Discover Mix’ and ‘New Release Mix’.
The post YouTube Music tests Spotify Daily Mix-style ‘My Mix’ playlists appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Michelle Obama Spotify podcast spreads to other platforms

‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’ is perhaps the most high-profile show that’s exclusive to Spotify. Well, it was until today.
Spotify has announced that the show, co-produced with the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground, will now be available on “a number of additional platforms”.
It didn’t say which platforms, but there’s already a listing for the show on Apple Podcasts, seemingly ready for the first season to debut there, so even Spotify’s fiercest rival appears to be getting the show.
The post Michelle Obama Spotify podcast spreads to other platforms appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

As Trump stews, TikTok launches an in-app US elections guide

We’re still waiting to find out what the Trump administration will do in response to a judge blocking its ban of TikTok in the US.
We suspect the president won’t be too keen on its latest feature though: an in-app guide to the 2020 elections.
It will provide TikTok users with information about candidates; explain how to vote in each state; and will offer “educational videos about misinformation, media literacy, the elections process, and more”.
The post As Trump stews, TikTok launches an in-app US elections guide appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

YouTube singalong to celebrate Oasis album’s 25th anniversary

It’s about to turn 25 years since the release of Oasis’s second album ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’, which several members of our editorial team are in firm age-related denial about.
The band remains on hiatus thanks to ongoing tensions between its founding brothers, but celebrations are afoot on YouTube.
This Friday (2 October) there’s going to be an ‘official album playback and singalong event’ starting at 6pm BST, which will showcase the recently remastered (in both an audio and video sense) music videos for some of the album’s key tracks.
The post YouTube singalong to celebrate Oasis album’s 25th anniversary appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify could face an Apple-style payments fight with Google

With recent app store controversies involving Spotify and Epic Games, the focus has been squarely on Apple and its App Store, even though the Fortnite publisher also has issues with Google and its Google Play store.
Spotify’s relationship with Google has been much friendlier: the companies have teamed up on smart-speaker giveaways, and Spotify has used direct credit-card billing for subscriptions in its Android app without also offering Google’s in-app purchases.
There may be trouble ahead. In a blog post this week, Google revealed not new rules, but plans to enforce the old rules that it hasn’t really been enforcing on Google Play.
The post Spotify could face an Apple-style payments fight with Google appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Tools: Fanaplay. Digital Collectibles For The World’s Biggest Fans

The coronavirus pandemic has forced artists and their teams to focus even more on the digital space, where fans are spending the majority of their time. Fanaply – a company that creates digital collectibles and fan engagement tools for artists – suggests that it’s now crucial to think about products that allow fans to express […]
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Source: Music ally

Tools: Zebr. Send Music to Influencers

Zebr originally started out as a new music discovery channel on Instagram and TikTok – and is now making an interesting move into influencer marketing. Zebr’s new app allows artists and their representatives to submit music to influencers and content creators, using a streamlined and affordable pricing structure, and ensuring each song is credited in […]
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Source: Music ally

Marvel goes K-Pop with SM Entertainment / SuperM collab

Korean music company SM Entertainment has announced a partnership with Marvel Entertainment, with K-Pop group SuperM first to benefit – just in time for the release last Friday of their debut album ‘Super One’.
There’s a range of dual-branded merchandise available from the SuperM online store: t-shirts, hats, luggage stickers, and special packages with the album and various items in.
“The new initiative serves as a launch point between SME and Marvel to create future SuperM x Marvel co-branded content, products, and live fan experiences spanning the SME portfolio,” announced SME on Friday.
The post Marvel goes K-Pop with SM Entertainment / SuperM collab appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

J-Lo and Maluma’s #PatiChallenge races to 1.2bn TikTok views (but…)

Well, it sort of has, and sort of hasn’t. We’ll explain. Last week we reported on the marketing campaign around Jennifer Lopez and Maluma’s new singles ‘Pa Ti’ and ‘Lonely’, including a #PatiChallenge on TikTok launched with influencer Charli D’Amelio.
Her video has been watched 24.4m times so far, but videos using the challenge’s hashtag have racked up more than 1.2bn views.
Here’s the big caveat: when a challenge starts trending, all manner of TikTokers jump on the bandwagon, slapping the hashtag in their videos no matter what music track they’re using.
The post J-Lo and Maluma’s #PatiChallenge races to 1.2bn TikTok views (but…) appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Apple Music adds Defected and Glitterbox DJ mixes and live sets

The latest external playlist curator getting some love from Apple Music is independent dance label Defected Records, including its Glitterbox brand.
It’s providing Apple Music with some exclusive DJ mixes and live sets, kicking off with a selection including sets from Ibiza in 2019 (Roger Sanchez, Gorgon City, Sam Divine) and from the recent Glitterbox Virtual Festival (Idris Elba, Jellybean Benitez, Boys Noize etc).
Apple Music said this would be “the start of a regular schedule of new mixes & sets from the label” on its service.
The DJ sets may be exclusive to Apple, but Defected isn’t ignoring other platforms with its playlists: Fresh House Friday, Defected Selectors, Defected Classics and others are still on Spotify for example.
The post Apple Music adds Defected and Glitterbox DJ mixes and live sets appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

300k listeners voted on the songs for Tencent Music’s new compilation

In China, Tencent Music has plenty of history as a direct distribution channel for independent musicians, which is now concentrated in its Tencent Musician arm.
Its latest project is interesting. ‘Root Music’ is a collection of Chinese folk tracks in local dialects, with its lineup chosen by listeners rather than by Tencent Music’s own curators. Nearly 3k tracks were submitted as part of a contest, with nearly 350,000 fans then voting to decide which 12 songs would make it onto the compilation.
The album is available on TME’s three streaming services in China, with documentaries on each of the 12 artists also released.
The post 300k listeners voted on the songs for Tencent Music’s new compilation appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Judge blocks Trump administration’s TikTok app stores ban

Wake up, take a look at the US app stores (if you can) and see that… TikTok remains available to download. That’s because a US District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction last night to prevent the Trump administration’s proposed ban on new downloads of the app from taking effect.
The judge’s written explanation of the ruling may be released later today. During a hearing yesterday, TikTok’s attorneys focused on the ongoing negotiations with Oracle and Walmart to reach a deal that would render the ban unnecessary.
“How does it make sense to impose this app store ban tonight when there are negotiations under way that might make it unnecessary?” said lawyer John E. Hall during that hearing, according to Reuters.
The post Judge blocks Trump administration’s TikTok app stores ban appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The evolution of podcasts: ‘I hope that the industry diversifies’

“I remember looking for podcasts hosted by Black people. I think I found four in the UK!”
Renay Richardson is the CEO of podcast production company Broccoli Content, and also a prime mover behind the ‘Equality in Audio Pact’, an initiative encouraging the industry to tackle “the lack of opportunities for minority talent both in front and behind the mic”.
Starting Broccoli Content, and then launching the pact, was a reaction to that dearth of British shows hosted by Black people, when she was working on an NHS campaign during Black History Month to drive blood donations.
Have things improved? “There are so many independent POC [people of colour] fronted podcasts, but there was still a lack of opportunity among the professionals,” said Richardson, during a session on the evolution of podcasts at last week’s Sandbox Summit Global conference.
The post The evolution of podcasts: ‘I hope that the industry diversifies’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music marketing tips: the pros share their best advice at Sandbox Summit

The final day of Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference had a practical focus on music marketing, with two panels of experts offering their advice.
First was a ‘tips from the top’ session picking the brains of Sarah Ismail (regional marketing director, Greater China and South East Asia, Warner Music Group), Negla Abdela (head of digital marketing, Ministry of Sound Recordings) and Jordan Moran (director, digital marketing, Primary Wave).
The post Music marketing tips: the pros share their best advice at Sandbox Summit appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Making the most of Twitch: tips for artists from its music team

Amazon’s livestreaming video platform Twitch was already looking to do more with music before Covid-19 struck, but the pandemic has fuelled a moment where lots of musicians are also suddenly keen to do more with Twitch – and livestreaming more generally.
At Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference this week, Twitch’s VP of music Tracy Patrick Chan and music partnerships manager Allyson Toy joined Music Ally’s Joe Sparrow to talk through what the platform can offer artists and rightsholders.
Chan outlined Twitch’s two key strengths: first, for building communities where creators (artists now included) can “interact on a regular basis with your fans”, and second, for that community to “financially support you: we have lots of singers, songwriters, producers who are making five or six figures a year on Twitch”.
The post Making the most of Twitch: tips for artists from its music team appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

M to the B, Bella Poarch, and a tale of TikTok virality

“If you don’t know me I’m M to the B / Coming in hard, you better watch it Sophie…”
If those lyrics mean nothing to you, then you clearly aren’t an aficionado of the mid-2010s Blackpool grime scene, nor do you have a tweenage TikTok fan in your household.
The lyrics are from a 2016 diss track by young British rapper Millie B, who was part of that scene (famously documented by Noisey).
The post M to the B, Bella Poarch, and a tale of TikTok virality appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Japanese artist Reol made $130k from a YouTube livestream

Can you make money from livestreamed music performances on YouTube? Japanese artist Reol certainly did: to the tune of $130k.
YouTube’s director of Black music and culture Tuma Basa revealed the figure in his appearance at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference yesterday alongside colleague T. Jay Fowler, director of product management.
Reol’s livestream had 181k views while it was airing, with fans buying ‘super chats’ (highlighted messages that stay pinned at the top of a video’s chat window) and ‘super stickers’ (animated stickers to help their chats stand out) to show their support.
The post Japanese artist Reol made $130k from a YouTube livestream appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Apple has acquired podcast curation startup Scout·fm

Back in June 2018, Music Ally wrote about a startup called Scout·fm, which was launching a ‘voice-first podcast curation service’.
It had an Alexa skill that would ask people questions to understand their interests, then provide a radio-style stream of podcast episodes.
The next we heard of it was early this year, when Scout·fm joined a startup camp for voice-focused firms run by Betaworks.
The post Apple has acquired podcast curation startup Scout·fm appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Blackpink trail new album with Spotify and PubG Mobile

One of the K-Pop groups that have been smashing down global barriers recently is Blackpink, who you can expect to see splashed over many digital platforms in the coming week ahead of their new album’s release on 2 October.
Two examples today: Blackpink have launched an ‘enhanced album’ playlist on Spotify, complete with some videos of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa talking about their musical inspirations.
Obviously most of the album tracks aren’t out yet, so for now it’s mainly a playlist of the band’s picks: The Strokes, Nirvana, Catfish and the Bottlemen (!) included.
The post Blackpink trail new album with Spotify and PubG Mobile appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

BTS Universe Story mobile game launches for Android and iOS

The new mobile game for K-Pop stars BTS has gone live. Netmarble’s BTS Universe Story was made available for Android and for iOS overnight, and is the band’s second foray into mobile gaming following last year’s BTS World.
As we recently reported, BTS Universe Story is about tapping the BTS Army’s creativity: creating their own animated stories set in the BTS Universe, featuring the band members.
Music Ally has been testing the app out this week ahead of its release, and it’s impressive: with an easy mode to help fans create stories, and a more complex mode for those who really want to get stuck in.
The post BTS Universe Story mobile game launches for Android and iOS appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Jennifer Lopez and Maluma held a YouTube premiere ‘afterparty’

Jennifer Lopez and Maluma have just released a pair of singles together: ‘Pa Ti’ and ‘Lonely’, and like a growing number of artists, they unveiled the music videos in a YouTube premiere, yesterday.
However, they also held an afterparty (a #PaTiAfterParty in hashtag form) which saw J-Lo and Maluma chatting about the collaborations, promoting their upcoming movie ‘Marry Me’, and encouraging fans to register to vote in the US.
This is something we’re going to see more of on YouTube: video premieres with an additional Q&A / chat element, whether it’s a livestream leading up to the premiere, or this kind of follow-on.
The post Jennifer Lopez and Maluma held a YouTube premiere ‘afterparty’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Ava Max is holding an album launch party inside Roblox

Gaming platform Roblox has more than 150 million monthly active users, and its head of music recently told Music Ally how keen the company is to work with artists and labels.
Now we’ve got one of the first examples: pop artist Ava Max is holding an album launch party in Roblox later today (25 September).
Atlantic Records and Artist Partner Group worked with a Roblox developer to create the ‘Ava Max Heaven & Hell Launch Party’ space, based on the album’s ‘supernatural space’ theme.
The post Ava Max is holding an album launch party inside Roblox appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Big Bang Reads: A strong wave of pandemic-era Indian indie music

This is the first in a new series of guest columns for Music Ally from Big Bang Music in India, on the latest trends there.
On July 15, singer Armaan Malik became part of a new initiative by chart-maker Billboard and social video platform Triller called the Top Triller US and Top Triller Global charts.
Malik was crowned as the first artist to top the charts, beating out everyone from 6ix9ine, Katy Perry, Lil Baby and many more in the US. This was followed by Diljit Dosanjh’s ‘G.O.A.T’ taking over number one on Billboard and Triller’s global chart.
​Until June, everyone was talking about TikTok challenges being the surefire way for artists to rack up the streams for their music or as just an important promotional tool.
Following the ban on TikTok by the Indian Ministry of Information Technology, it’s become clear that substitutes have quickly swooped in to stake claim to the void left by TikTok, and Triller is certainly one of them, along with HotShots (by Gaana) and even social media giant Instagram with its new ‘Reels’ feature.
The post Big Bang Reads: A strong wave of pandemic-era Indian indie music appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

SignalFire report explores the growing ‘creator economy’

Is everyone an influencer in 2020? Well, not everyone, but according to investment firm SignalFire “more than 50 million people around the world consider themselves creators, despite the creator economy only being born a decade ago”. That’s the introduction for its new report, ‘Creator Economy Market Map‘, which catalogues more than 100 of the startups […]
The post SignalFire report explores the growing ‘creator economy’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

BPI and Music Ally event on music, wellbeing and technology

There are a lot of exciting things happening around music, wellbeing and fitness in 2020: from artists working with meditation services like Calm and Headspace, to the growth of Peloton and other fitness startups who make licensed music a key part of their offerings. The BPI and Music Ally are holding an online event on […]
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Source: Music ally

AI music startup Endel raises $5m Series A funding round

Endel has been one of the higher-profile startups exploring AI-generated music: in its case, focusing on its application as music to help people concentrate, relax and sleep. Now it has raised a Series A funding round of $5m to further its ambitions. The round was led by True Ventures and its partner Kevin Rose – […]
The post AI music startup Endel raises $5m Series A funding round appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Musician bodies team up to attack Epidemic Sound again

Production library Epidemic Sound is taking flak from musician bodies again, in what’s becoming a regular, one-sided war of words. European bodies Aepo-Artis, Ecsa and FIM, who represent composers, songwriters and performers, are lambasting the company over issues including 100% buyout contracts; replacing composers’ names with the company name in TV credits; and its recent […]
The post Musician bodies team up to attack Epidemic Sound again appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amuse financials reveal $9.5m revenues but $10.9m net loss

Swedish distribution startup Amuse is one of the more disruptive music/tech companies to have emerged in recent years, but is it a profitable one? Not yet. The company’s financial results for 2019 show that it generated revenues of SEK 85.1m (around $9.5m), which was impressive 209% growth year-on-year. However, the company’s net losses nearly doubled […]
The post Amuse financials reveal $9.5m revenues but $10.9m net loss appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Kanye West on contracts campaign: ‘I will help set precedents’

The music industry may still be picking its way through Kanye West’s self-leaked Universal Music Group deals, but West is making it clear that his campaign around artist contracts is more than just a moment on Twitter. “The desired effect will only be achieved when every artist owns their masters. I’m Team ‘Free Artists.’ I’m […]
The post Kanye West on contracts campaign: ‘I will help set precedents’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Streaming panel calls for more innovation from DSPs and labels

Are the big music streaming services too similar to one another? And if so, how can they break out of that box to innovate and differentiate themselves?
A panel at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference yesterday, had some ideas. Angel Gambino, partner at venture development firm Prehype and until recently chief commercial officer at Napster, set the ball rolling.
“One of the things that I’m struck by from a consumer standpoint is that there isn’t so much differentiation between the streaming services from an experiential standpoint,” she said.
“One of the things that needs to happen is looking at not just expanding into other genres of programming – i.e. podcasts – but what can the DSPs and the wider ecosystem of startups, of people who are working in music/tech on a daily basis, what can we do from a product and service and experiential standpoint to help take playlisting and discovery to the next stage?”
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Source: Music ally

Lorem, Pollen and Oyster: how Spotify’s genreless playlists are ‘driven by culture’

Playlists have become a hugely important part of the music streaming world, and many of them have a tightly-curated theme, be it a musical genre or a specific mood or activity.
Not all, though. Some of Spotify’s most interesting emerging playlists – Lorem, Pollen and Oyster for example – are designed to be ‘genreless’. Today at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference, we heard more about how (and why) those playlists work.
Spotify’s Lizzy Szabo (editor, North America), Sophia Olofsson (studio project manager, Nordics) and Iman Hazheer (senior editor, Nordics) were the explainers, in a session moderated by CD Baby’s market development coordinator for Europe and the UK, Henriette Heimdal.
The post Lorem, Pollen and Oyster: how Spotify’s genreless playlists are ‘driven by culture’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Epic Games invests in Roblox-like startup Manticore Games

We’ve been writing about popular children’s gaming platform Roblox for some time, including its desire to work with the music industry. It’s not the only platform of its type.
Manticore Games is the company behind Core, which is a similar “digital playground and community designed to unleash imagination and explore new play experiences”.
It came onto our radar this week with a $15m funding round led by Epic Games – and according to Forbes “the first outside investment that the Fortnite maker has made”.
The post Epic Games invests in Roblox-like startup Manticore Games appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

YouTube deploys AI to tighten up age restrictions on videos

YouTube is keen to ensure that underage viewers aren’t watching videos that are inappropriate. It’s announced plans to “build on our approach of using machine learning to detect content for review, by developing and adapting our technology to help us automatically apply age-restrictions”.
In other words, YouTube’s AI will be rating videos, although uploaders will be able to appeal if they feel the age rating is wrong.
YouTube also says that “viewers attempting to access age-restricted videos on most third-party websites will be redirected to YouTube where they must sign-in and be over 18 to view it” as part of its changes.
This is very relevant for the music industry, as YouTube’s guidelines on which videos will be age-restricted to over-18s include content that “invites sexual activity, such as provocative dancing or fondling” as well as videos with “heavy profanity in the title, thumbnail or associated metadata”.
The post YouTube deploys AI to tighten up age restrictions on videos appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TuneCore encourages artists to upload music to TikTok for free

The latest distributor to announce a partnership with TikTok is TuneCore, which hopes its latest promotion will tempt more artists into putting their music on the social app.
Between 22 and 29 September, TuneCore artists can upload a track to TikTok for free. This follows the deal signed with TikTok by TuneCore’s parent company Believe in July, although TuneCore added TikTok as a distribution option before that, in October 2019.
Since then, around 320,000 of its artists have distributed more than 333k releases to TikTok, according to TuneCore. Tracks uploaded during the promotion will stay on TikTok for a year, with an option to keep them up after that.
The post TuneCore encourages artists to upload music to TikTok for free appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Featured Artists Coalition appoints new artist ambassadors

UK artist trade body the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) has announced its latest crop of artist ambassadors.
There are 19 of them, including some famous names: Bob Geldof, Aluna, Ghostpoet, Roni Size, Shaun Ryder, Roger Sanchez and Maxi Jazz out of Faithless. However, there are also some newer artists in the group: Dream Wife, Bishi, Porridge Radio and The Lady Blacktronika for example.
“It is these artists that create the records, pack the venues and sell out the festivals that make our whole industry a success story.  We welcome them at a time when the music industry and in particular, music creators, are facing an existential challenge from the impact of the global pandemic,” said FAC boss David Martin.
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Source: Music ally

Echelon’s Peloton-like ‘Prime Bike’ is not an Amazon product

Some headlines overnight suggested that Amazon was launching its own exercise bike to take on Peloton, in partnership with a company called Echelon.
You can see the press release that sparked those reports here: claiming that “Echelon’s new EX-Prime Smart Connect Bike – also known as the Prime Bike –officially hit the online market as Amazon’s first-ever connected fitness product”.
Later, it said that the $499 bike was “developed in collaboration with Amazon”. Like Peloton, the bike was accompanied by a digital service offering live and on-demand workout classes, including music.
The post Echelon’s Peloton-like ‘Prime Bike’ is not an Amazon product appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Shesaid·so launches Patreon to ‘stay alive and independent’

We’ve written regularly about the activities of Shesaid·so, the community for women and gender minorities in the music industry, which was founded nearly six years ago.
Now it has announced plans to launch a new community ‘hub’ for its members, and also a Patreon campaign to raise ongoing funding to support that – including from non-members.
“With your continued support, we will be able to stay alive and independent after a 60% loss in our income due to the pandemic,” wrote founder Andreea Magdalina in a blog post.
There are several tiers for the Patreon, including a $5-a-month ‘Alice’ membership for women and gender minorities at all levels of the music industry, and a $10-a-month ‘Nina’ membership for more senior members of the industry.
The post Shesaid·so launches Patreon to ‘stay alive and independent’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify launches ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist in the UK

After a few weeks of badgering people to go back to work in company offices, the British government yesterday executed its latest u-turn of the Covid-19 crisis, telling them to work from home if they could again.
The timing was certainly unfortunate for Spotify, which had chosen yesterday as the day to launch its ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist in the UK, aimed squarely at people’s morning commutes.
Well, the commutes may be cancelled again for many, but the playlist’s blend of podcast news snippets and personalised music recommendations may still appeal.
The post Spotify launches ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist in the UK appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

China blast for TikTok deal as ‘dirty and underhanded trick’

President Trump may have tentatively approved TikTok’s deal to avoid a ban in the US, but what will the Chinese government make of it?
Judging by state-media outlet China Daily’s blistering editorial column this morning – title: ‘No disguising proposed TikTok deal is a dirty and underhanded trick’ – the omens aren’t good.
“What the United States has done to TikTok is almost the same as a gangster forcing an unreasonable and unfair business deal on a legitimate company,” is how it opens.
The post China blast for TikTok deal as ‘dirty and underhanded trick’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Bandcamp’s monthly sales are up by 122% year-on-year

There’s a thriving trade in ‘Bandcamp as the anti-Spotify’ articles this year: the latest, from the Los Angeles Times, puts the ‘anti-Spotify’ phrase right in the headline. However, lower down there are some interesting figures showing Bandcamp’s current momentum.
In the past year, fans have bought 5m digital albums, 2m tracks, 1m vinyl albums, 600k CDs, 300k cassettes and 250k t-shirts from Bandcamp for example – yes, there’s clearly some rounding of figures going on there – with more than 40% of buyers paying more than the asking price of items.
CEO Ethan Diamond told the newspaper that in the last 30 days, sales are up by 122% year-on-year, suggesting organic growth, not just a spike from the platform’s recently-introduced ‘Bandcamp Friday’ sales.
The post Bandcamp’s monthly sales are up by 122% year-on-year appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Denzyl Feigelson and Troy Carter talk artists, labels and music industry evolution

Q&A and Platoon are two of the most interesting new artist-focused music companies to emerge in recent years, and we had their founders Troy Carter and Denzyl Feigelson in conversation at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global conference today, interviewed by Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley.
From working with top artists at early stages of their careers (a 14 year-old Billie Eilish for Platoon; Lady Gaga for Carter in his initial management days) to experience within the biggest music-tech companies (Platoon is now owned by Apple; Carter headed up Spotify’s creator services division) and a firm focus on artist development in the digital era, they had plenty of knowledge to impart.
In fact, their first connection was when Feigelson was involved in Apple’s iTunes Festival in London and Carter was managing Lady Gaga, and they bonded over what Carter described as “that appreciation for artists and an appreciation for ideas and creativity and quality”.
The post Denzyl Feigelson and Troy Carter talk artists, labels and music industry evolution appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

K Camp and Genius talk artist entrepreneurs: ‘Ain’t nobody gonna babysit you!’

If you don’t know Atlanta artist K Camp, it’s highly likely you know his track ‘Lottery (Renegade)’, or at least the 15-second clip of it that blew up on TikTok early in 2020, in turn sending the track zooming back up the charts.
There’s far more to K Camp than one viral track, however. With DJ, producer and business partner Genius he’s been steadily building his career both as an artist, and as an entrepreneur.
The pair co-founded Rare Sound, a creative hub that encompasses a label, recording studio, distribution and other musical activities. And today, they talked about some of the principles that have helped them to build and grow, at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference.
As an artist, K Camp has worked within the major label system – with Interscope – and also independently. It’s been a journey of continual enlightenment.
The post K Camp and Genius talk artist entrepreneurs: ‘Ain’t nobody gonna babysit you!’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Facebook warns that it could pull out of Europe altogether

American TikTokers have been grappling with the existential (in app terms) question of what they’d do if the app was banned. Now imagine the rumpus if Facebook and Instagram were suddenly unavailable across the whole of Europe.
It could happen.
Well, Facebook is claiming that it could happen, as part of its fightback against a recent decision by the Irish Data Protection Commission – the regulator that oversees Facebook in Europe – that the social network must stop sending user data to the US.
The post Facebook warns that it could pull out of Europe altogether appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amanda Palmer launches The Art of Asking Everything podcast

Artist Amanda Palmer has always been eager to explore new ways of connecting with her fans. The latest example is a weekly podcast, The Art of Asking Everything.
It launches on 29 September with 10 episodes already lined up, and like some of the most popular artist podcasts (Jessie Ware, George Ezra etc) it will see Palmer interviewing a range of guests. Elizabeth Lesser, Lenny Henry, Laura Jane Grace, Eli Pariser and KT Tunstall are among those appearing in the first run.
Palmer is funding the podcast’s production through crowdfunding platform Patreon, where she has nearly 15,000 patrons now.
The post Amanda Palmer launches The Art of Asking Everything podcast appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Fortnite is the next frontier for K-Pop stars BTS

BTS are no strangers to the gaming world, having starred in their first mobile game BTS World last year, with a follow-up (BTS Universe Story) about to launch. Now the K-Pop stars are heading to one of the biggest, buzziest games of all: Fortnite.
This Friday (25 September) they’ll be premiering a new “choreography version” music video for their recent single ‘Dynamite’ within the Party Royale mode of Epic Games’ title.
Fans will also be able to buy a pair of BTS-themed emotes (dance moves for their characters) in Fortnite’s in-game store from 23 September in preparation, with those emotes usable in all of the game’s other modes too.
The post Fortnite is the next frontier for K-Pop stars BTS appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

AiR Show app wants to bring artists to fans’ homes using AR

Artists turning up in your living room to play a concert is awkward at the best of times – what if you run out of teabags or biscuits? – but impossible under current social distancing rules in many parts of the world.
Cue a startup that wants to do it virtually. A company called Trick 3D has launched an app called ‘AiR Show’ that will bring musicians to fans’ homes using augmented reality technology.
It’s available for Android and for iOS, and already has a partnership for an upcoming series of livestreaming concerts being launched in Atlanta by another company, Axis Reply, and rapper Offset.
The idea: fans will buy tickets to watch the livestreams, and will then be able to use the AiR Show app to “pose and hang with the artists in augmented reality”.
The post AiR Show app wants to bring artists to fans’ homes using AR appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

UK’s Musicians’ Union delivers new warning over Covid-19

With the UK bracing itself for a ‘second spike’ of Covid-19 cases in the autumn and winter, things aren’t looking good for the return of physical live concerts. Now the Musicians’ Union has published the results of its latest survey, warning about the potential consequences.
“A third (34%) of musicians are considering abandoning the industry completely, due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” it claimed. “Nearly half (47%) of our members have already been forced to seek work outside of the industry, with seven in 10 (70%) unable to undertake more than a quarter of their usual work.”
88% of the MU’s members think the British government hasn’t done enough to support musicians during the pandemic.
The post UK’s Musicians’ Union delivers new warning over Covid-19 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Hi-res streaming service Qobuz raises €10m funding round

Qobuz is the hi-res music streaming service founded in France, which has expanded to 12 countries so far. Now it has a new funding round to fuel further growth.
The company has raised €10m ($11.7m) from existing investors Nabuboto (the holding company of CEO Denis Thébaud’s company The Thébaud Group) and Canadian telco and media corporation Quebecor Group.
Qobuz said that its revenues grew by more than 45% in its last financial year, and that it is “now pursuing a major development plan… setting up a new management team and launching a recruitment plan that is unprecedented in the company’s history”.
The post Hi-res streaming service Qobuz raises €10m funding round appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The future of streaming and music marketing post Covid-19

After an introductory session offering views on Covid-19’s music impact around the world, Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global conference turned its attention to what happens next.
The online event’s ‘Future of Streaming Post-Covid’ strand began with some views from Chaz Jenkins, chief commercial officer at Chartmetric.
“If we’re to use one word to describe what we’ve seen happen in the marketplace this year, it would probably be ‘volatile’,” he said, adding that a number of trends that had been happening slowly suddenly went into overdrive during the pandemic.
“Where we listen to music, when we listen to music, why we listen to music, and crucially what we listen to has changed fundamentally over the course of the year,” he said.
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Source: Music ally

Saving independent venues: ‘It is a challenge for the entire industry’

The whole music industry should be throwing its weight behind independent venues’ struggle to survive, according to Ana Rodriguez, co-chair of international managers body the IMMF.
Speaking at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference today, she called on fans and industry entities alike to support local venues.
“The most important thing about them is the cultural impact on local communities, and the role they have as foundations for talent, and a launchpad for acts that get to be known globally,” she said.
“Their future remains uncertain, and this really makes me nervous, because for a band to develop their audience, and to get experience… with their show, they need to be on stage during the early days. There is no shortcut for this part of the process.”
The post Saving independent venues: ‘It is a challenge for the entire industry’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Covid-19 could encourage global thinking for Japan’s music industry

The Covid-19 pandemic may be encouraging the Japanese music industry to look outwards more, according to Tatsuya Nomura, president of the Federation of Music Producers Japan (FMPJ).
Speaking at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference today, he described how the pandemic came at a sensitive moment in Japan’s transition from a recorded music market dominated by sales, to one driven by streaming.
“The timing was very bad, however with this situation, the number of Japanese music industry people who take a process of trial and error to tackle the problem is increasing,” he said.
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Source: Music ally

Covid-19’s music impact: views from Latin America, China and Nigeria

Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference began today with some quickfire talks on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the music industry in Latin America, China and Nigeria.
Noemí Planas, network development director at global independent body WIN began with a blunt assessment of the challenges in Latin America.
“In recent months we have often heard that music was one of the first sectors most affected by Covid, and will be one of the last to recover from it. This is especially true for Latin America,” she said.
Planas described a “ten-year setback” for economic growth in the region generally, with several territories still enmeshed in the longest quarantine/lockdown periods in the world.
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Source: Music ally

Logic blames UMG for not letting game-streamers use his music

Having officially retired from music earlier this year, before signing what was reportedly a seven-figure exclusive deal to stream on Twitch, artist Logic is a prominent figure at the intersection of music and livestreaming. A tweet on Friday is thus making a few waves.
“Too many of my gaming homies @Ninja included have wanted to play my music during stream and on YouTube but @UMG wont let me,” he wrote. “I want 2 give to this great community and allow them 2 use my music for free! This is beyond a dollar sign. I want the community to enjoy my music.”
And yes, it’s true that if Logic wanted a rights carve-out for game streamers he should have asked for it when signing his record deal – but by going public with his complaint now, it might encourage other artists to make such a request.
The post Logic blames UMG for not letting game-streamers use his music appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

WMG’s Arts Music signs YouTube kids brand Super Simple Songs

Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division has been steadily growing its catalogue of kids and family music, with partners including Sesame Workshop, Mattel and Build-a-Bear Workshop.
Its latest deal is with a popular YouTube children’s music brand, Super Simple Songs. Well, with its parent company Skyship Entertainment anyway, which will be making the Super Simple Songs catalogue available through Arts Music, with Warner Chappell handling the publishing rights.
The Super Simple Songs YouTube channel has 24.6 million subscribers and 22.8bn lifetime views. In the most recent weekly chart published by online-video industry site Tubefilter, Super Simple Songs was the 36th biggest channel on YouTube with 133.4m weekly views.
The post WMG’s Arts Music signs YouTube kids brand Super Simple Songs appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Kanye West offers guidelines for recording and publishing deals

Fresh (well, maybe that’s not the best word) from expressing his views on the music industry by tweeting a video of a Grammy award being urinated on, Kanye West offered some more constructive suggestions for how he’d like to see the industry change.
In a series of tweets yesterday, West outlined some “new recording and publishing deal guidelines”, having already tweeted out a selection of his own contracts with UMG last week.
West wants artists to own the copyright for their recordings and songs, and lease them to the label and publisher “for a limited term. 1 year deals”, with those “service provider” partners taking a 20% cut of the income.
The post Kanye West offers guidelines for recording and publishing deals appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amazon Music gets Latin music hub and exclusive Neil Young EP

Amazon Music is the latest streaming service to make a concerted push around music from Latin America, with its new ‘Amazon Music Lat!n’ hub. It will offer a mix of Latin playlists, original/exclusive tracks, interview and mini-documentary videos with artists, and podcasts.
There’s also a program called ‘Rompe’ to promote emerging artists in the US, Latin America and Spain; and a content brand called ‘Raices’ which will spotlight established artists – starting with Marc Anthony.
Amazon has also rebranded its ‘Fuego Latino’ playlist as ‘Platino’ for a new global push, with separate playlist brands for new tracks (‘Hoy’), classics (‘Clasicos’ and hits (er, ‘Hits’).
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Source: Music ally

TikTok US ban postponed as Trump approves Oracle/Walmart deal

It’s been another topsy-turvy weekend in the US for TikTok. On Friday, the Department of Commerce announced that as of 20 September (Sunday) US app stores would be banned from making the app available to download, or for it to be updated for existing users.
Yet on Saturday, the department announced that “in the light of recent positive developments” the ban would be delayed a week until 27 September.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance had filed a lawsuit on Friday against the Trump administration to try to block the ban, but as the ‘positive developments’ quote shows, that wasn’t the reason for the delay.
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Source: Music ally

Tonal is the latest connected fitness startup raising big money

From watching Peloton we know how interesting the connected fitness world is, with exercise devices for the home accompanied by live and on-demand workout videos and other digital features.
And we also know that music is often an important part of these services, often with licensing opportunities (and the odd argument) for rightsholders.
Anyway, it’s a sector worth keeping an eye on, not least because there’s a TON of venture-capital money flowing into it at the moment. Tonal is the latest example.
It’s a big wall-mounted screen that helps people to do their strength training, with built-in weights and a team of coaches on hand digitally. It’s also just raised a $110m funding round, not that long after a $45m round in April 2019.
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Source: Music ally

BPI inks three-year deal with hi-fi brand Bowers & Wilkins

British music industry body the BPI has a new partner: hi-fi maker Bowers & Wilkins, with a three-year deal for the latter to be involved in events and other campaigns.
B&W will be a key backer for the Hyundai Mercury Prize award, as well as the UK’s annual National Album Day, and also fortnightly online events called ‘The Record Club’.
“The Hyundai Mercury Prize, National Album Day and The Record Club all celebrate the album as the ultimate expression of an artist’s creativity, while Bowers & Wilkins enables them to tell their stories in the highest possible audio quality. We look forward to working together to bring those experiences to more music fans,” said BPI boss Geoff Taylor.
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Source: Music ally

U2’s YouTube channel relaunches with remastered music videos

U2 are the latest heritage artist to be getting their archive of music videos spiffed up for modern-day viewers online.
The band’s YouTube channel is relaunching as part of a collaboration between UMG’s Island Records, Interscope, UMe and UMC divisions and YouTube, with plans to spend the next year releasing remastered HD versions of U2’s music videos.
It’s kicking off today with the remastered video for ‘Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of’, and a YouTube Premiere at 12pm EST.
The post U2’s YouTube channel relaunches with remastered music videos appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Startup Synaesthetic seeks artists for ‘immersive music’

We spotted Synaesthetic in October last year, as a startup promising to develop “a new musical medium, that is more engaging and practical; through classical music theory, cutting-edge AI, and neuroscience”.
Nearly a year later, the company is showing off more of its plans for a product called ‘Lava’, and an artist-testing scheme called ‘Leap’ that goes along with it.
Lava is an acronym – Light for Audio-Visual Augmentation – a connected projector that streams content from a companion mobile app. The idea is to bring light-shows designed by artists to people’s homes as they listen to music.
Synaesthetic wants some artists to sign up to experiment with the technology – you can find the signup form here – as it works towards launch. 
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Source: Music ally

The latest player in the lo-fi hip-hop YouTube game is… Pepsi

Sure, you may like round-the-clock streams of lo-fi hip-hop on YouTube from channels like ChilledCow and Chillhop Music, but wouldn’t it be nice if their animated backgrounds were more branded?
And in fact, wouldn’t the music be nicer if it had a few more lyrics about fizzy drinks?
Fear not: Pepsi has you covered. It has launched its own ‘LoFi Radio: Beats To Sip To’ stream on YouTube, complete with original tracks including ‘Don’t Cry Over Spilt Pepsi’, ‘Pepsi Hits Different’ and ‘Wash It Down’.
So yes, it’s an endless stream of lo-fi hip-hop with lyrics about Pepsi. It’ll have to go some to compete against the giants of the genre on YouTube though.
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Source: Music ally

Chartmetric launches new charts tracking music on Twitch

Twitch has been doing more with music and musicians, and analytics firm Chartmetric has been tracking that. The result is four new charts for music on Amazon’s live-video platform, presenting the top users by viewer hours both weekly and monthly, as well as the top users by followers both weekly and all-time.
Chartmetric says it’s tracking more than 5,000 artists, labels and ‘music-centric users’ on Twitch for the new rankings, pulling data “every few hours” to ensure the charts are up to date.
Among the findings so far: the most-followed music-related streamer on Twitch is Ibai Llanos (username: Ibai) who has nearly 2.4 million followers, ahead of US streamer LilyPichu, whose broadcasts mix gaming, drawing and piano-playing (hence her inclusion in the chart).
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s ‘Radar’ picks were streamed 2bn times since March

Spotify is putting some oomph behind its ‘Radar’ initiative to promote emerging artists.
Originally launched in March, it now has a dedicated hub on Spotify, highlighting new releases from the artists as well as country-specific ‘Radar: First Listen’ playlists gathering some of their tracks.
The idea is that listeners don’t just discover the artists from their country, but also those from other parts of the world.
Spotify published some stats alongside this news: the 115 artists chosen for ‘Radar’ have been streamed more than 2bn times since the campaign’s launch in March by 112 million listeners, while collectively seeing their followers grow by 64% on average.
Read our recent interview with Beabadoobee, the latest artist chosen for ‘Radar’ in the UK.
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Source: Music ally

Rufus Wainwright launches catalogue-spanning livestream series

As the physical live-music lockdown stretches on, artists are finding new spins on livestreaming. The latest example is Rufus Wainwright, who’s kicking off his ‘Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective!’ series of streams in October.
He’s going to perform each of his nine studio albums in chronological order, splitting each into two broadcasts (corresponding to ‘sides’ in a vinyl stylee). Actually, each album will have three broadcasts: the two sides and a separate Q&A session.
For example, part one of the performance of his debut album ‘Rufus Wainwright’ is on 9 October followed by a Q&A the same day, with part two of the performance following on 16 October.
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Source: Music ally

Facebook unveils Oculus Quest 2 VR headset and Tidal deal

Facebook’s Oculus Quest has been the most successful virtual reality headset yet, finally delivering on some of the early hype around what VR was capable of. Now it’s getting a sequel.
The Oculus Quest 2 costs $299 – $100 less than its predecessor – and is lighter and more powerful. It comes out in October, and gaming is at the forefront of the marketing messaging around it, including some exclusive titles and big-brand game ports.
Yesterday also saw a music announcement though: Facebook and Tidal are teaming up to stream a series of live concerts within the Oculus Venues app, which will also be streamed (not in VR) on Tidal.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify faces internal unrest over Joe Rogan’s old podcasts

Signing podcaster Joe Rogan to an exclusive deal certainly gave Spotify’s share price a boost, but it’s also created some internal headaches for the company.
Vice has a story about some recent internal meetings with staff at Spotify to discuss concerns about the back catalogue of The Joe Rogan Experience. And no, this time it’s not just about interviews with white nationalists.
According to Vice, an episode of the show interviewing an author who compared transitioning (gender-wise) to eating disorders and self-harm, with Rogan criticising trans activists, has caused unrest within Spotify.
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Source: Music ally

Composer Wojtek launches a carbon-emissions tracker website

Classical musician Wojtek released his album ‘Atmosphere’ in July, with fans made aware that it was produced and written ‘carbon neutrally’.
Now he’s launched a website explaining how, with infographics showing how carbon emissions were neutralised during the making of the album, as well as some of the other ways Wojtek is trying to balance his environmental impact.
The site’s launch came ahead of his talk at the Reeperbahn Festival in Germany today on the same topic.
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Source: Music ally

Keith Urban premieres new album with Apple Music livestream

Apple has a history of music-related livestreams: for example the broadcasts of its London iTunes-branded concerts back in the day. There’s something interesting happening this year around livestreams and artists though.
We wrote about Apple Music’s virtual listening party for Victoria Monét in August, and now it’s repeating the trick for country star Keith Urban.
1,000 of his fans on Apple Music will be able to join a virtual listening party for Urban’s new ‘The Speed of Now Part 1’ album. The event today (17 September) is branded under the ‘New Music Daily’ playlist, with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe on hosting duties for the Q&A section.
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Source: Music ally

Beatleap video-editing app includes Epidemic Sound music

Lightricks is the developer behind popular photo and video editing apps like Facetune and Videoleap, with more than 350m downloads so far. Now it’s launching a new creativity app with a music twist.
It’s called Beatleap, and it’s a partnership with production music firm Epidemic Sound. The app helps people to edit their videos to fit with more than 1,000 songs from the latter company’s catalogue.
“Utilising machine learning, the app determines the exact moment to slow down or speed up a user’s video to perfectly align with the beat of the music,” is how Lightricks put it.
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Source: Music ally

Global Project Manager – XL Recordings – London

XL Recordings are recruiting for a new Global Project Manager to join the team.  You’ll work very closely with the artist, their management and their A&R, to build a picture of the artist’s overall vision for the project, to contextualise and communicate to the wider team.  Gleaning information from the relevant promo, sales, marketing and […]
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 260: Twitch for Artists

Lead: Twitch for artists – Artists were drifting towards livestreaming platform Twitch before COVID-19 hit, and Twitch has been making overtures to musicians for a while. But since live performance was halted, interest in the platform has never been higher, and Twitch is welcoming artists – and their fans – with open arms. But Twitch demands […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple One bundles range from $14.95 to $29.95 a month

Apple’s ‘Time Flies’ press launch last night focused on Apple Watch and iPad but not iPhones, as predicted. However, there were also some big services announcements, including the long-anticipated Apple One bundle. Well, bundles: there are three of them, which will launch this autumn.
The ‘Individual’ tier includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 a month for one person. The ‘Family’ tier includes those three services and 200GB of iCloud storage for up to six family members for $19.95 a month. And the $29.95-a-month ‘Premier’ tier throws in Apple News+, Apple Fitness+ (we’ll get to that in a minute) and 2TB of iCloud storage, again for up to six people.
Unsurprisingly, Apple didn’t talk about any licensing wrangling required to create these bundles, including with music rightsholders. There’s plenty to think about: not just about what bundles mean for Apple Music royalties, but also the extent to which Apple One will nudge people towards family plans rather than individual subscriptions, and the impact that will have – which we’re not assuming will be negative – on Apple’s payouts to music rightsholders.
Midia Research offered another angle on this, suggesting that Apple One’s main appeal may be its ‘recession-proof’ nature. “While rights holders will not have been exactly enthusiastic about further royalty deflation (one for artists and songwriters to keep an eye out for when Apple One starts to gain share) they are also keenly aware of the need to ensure they keep as many music consumers on subscriptions as possible… Lower music rightsholder ARPU may be a price worth paying for shoring up the long term future of the music subscriber base.”
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Source: Music ally

The Chainsmokers launch their own VC fund with $35m to invest

Concerts with disputed social-distancing safety measures didn’t work out so well for EDM duo The Chainsmokers. Perhaps venture capital will go better.
Alex Pall and Drew Taggart are launching an early-stage VC firm called Mantis, with backing from some Silicon Valley luminaries including Mark Cuban, Keith Rabois and Ron Conway.
TechCrunch reported that Mantis’s debut fund already has $35m, and there have already been investments in fitness app Fiton and mortgage-lending startup LoanSnap.
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Source: Music ally

Google enlists musicians as guides for virtual artworks

Lots of musicians have artistic interests well beyond music. Now Google is capitalising on that through its Google Arts & Culture initiative, enlisting some popular musicians to act as virtual tour guides for works of art.
It’s part of a series called ‘Art Zoom’, which is in its second season. J Balvin, Ellie Goulding, fka twigs, Grimes, Matty Healy from The 1975 and Chaeyoung from Twice are the musicians taking part, talking about artworks ranging from the European Renaissance to Korean landscapes.
It follows a first series that featured Jarvis Cocker, Feist, Maggie Rogers, Girl in Red and Lolo Zouaï. The tours are available for free on the Google Arts & Culture website, or via its mobile app.
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Source: Music ally

Next BTS livestream comes with month-long virtual exhibition

K-Pop stars BTS are already one of the big success stories of lockdown livestreams: their ‘Bang Bang Con’ concert in June pulled in 756,000 paying customers.
Now they’re following it up with an even more ambitious event. ‘Map of the Soul ON:E’ will take place on the weekend of 10-11 October, with two broadcasts.
However, there’ll also be a month-long virtual exhibition opening on 13 October: a ‘3D virtual space’ according to Billboard, with merchandise including some that only official fan-club members can buy.
There’s a breakdown of the ticketing here: a one-day ticket costs 49k won ($41.75) alone or 61k won ($52) with virtual exhibition access. A two-day pass costs 90k won ($76.72) or 101k won ($86.09) with the exhibition. Fan-club members, as with ‘Bang Bang Con’, can get discounts.
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Source: Music ally

Twitch gets global deal with rap-battle league King of the Dot

Rap battles are a perfect match for livestreaming services: not only are they fun to watch and chat about, but musically speaking, they’re original content with far fewer copyright headaches for the platform.
Twitch knows all about those headaches, so its latest deal is interesting: with rap league King of the Dot. The exclusive agreement will see Twitch broadcasting battles every Sunday from KOTD’s ‘Grand Prix 2020’ tournament, with the league also running streams “focused on sports, gaming, music and culture with their artists and celebrity guests at the centre of it”.
KOTD co-owner Charles Morgan said that Twitch’s team “has assured us that they are committed to augmenting the culture for our audiences and artists alike. We had conversations with all the major services and the only team that made it feel right from the start was Twitch”.
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Source: Music ally

TuneCore expands into Brazil and Russia with new offices

One of the music distribution trends of recent years has been aggressive geographic expansion, as distributors look to gain footholds in burgeoning new markets for music streaming – or those anticipated to grow rapidly in the years ahead.
TuneCore is one of those firms: it signed a deal with Tencent in China in October 2019, then opened an office in India in July this year. Now it’s launching in two more countries: Brazil and Russia, which it says are its ninth and tenth countries where it has boots on the ground.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify adds livestreams to its in-app concert listings

Spotify has been showing artists’ upcoming tour dates on their profiles for years, although data on how effective those listings are at selling tickets is scarce.
With the live industry still shut down in many parts of the world due to Covid-19, the streaming service is taking the logical step of adding listings for livestream performances too.
Artists can’t just add links willy-nilly though: Spotify is working with Songkick and Ticketmaster as its partners. “If you have an upcoming event you want Spotify to share with listeners, you should work through Songkick to get these events listed,” the company advised artists in a blog post. “A select number of Ticketmaster events will also be automatically listed on Spotify.”
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Source: Music ally

The latest TikTok twist: plans for a standalone company?

The deadline is approaching for TikTok to be sold, shut down, or find an alternative solution that satisfies President Trump’s administration. After tech firm Oracle said it was part of a proposal submitted to the administration as a “trusted technology provider”, more details have emerged of the plan.
“ByteDance will place TikTok’s global business in a new US-headquartered company with Oracle investing as a minority shareholder,” reported the Financial Times. “As part of the proposal, Oracle will have a stake in the whole of TikTok and not just the US operations.”
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Source: Music ally

Tim Westergren talks Sessions: ‘Artists need to recover their audience’

In the Covid-19-era music industry, the old income dichotomy of recorded music and live performances is not dead so much as it is becoming fleshed out.
A variety of different fan experiences, earning money for artists on different platforms, is emerging as a common approach. Livestreaming is at the heart of many of them.
It seems intuitive: if you can’t play live in the physical world, then play live online. With a glut of livestreaming and virtual ticketing startups springing up alongside established platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Facebook/Instagram, there’s also a sense that livestreaming has not yet taken its final form.
What does it look like, how does that differ for each artist, and how should they be making money from it? We’re still very much in an experimental stage for those and other questions.
The post Tim Westergren talks Sessions: ‘Artists need to recover their audience’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Beabadoobee talks Fake It Flowers, Spotify and lockdown creativity

“It’s so hard to stay positive in a time like this, but it’s about finding the little things. Once this is all over, there’s going to be the Summer of Love, and festivals, and touch. I can’t wait!”
Beatrice Kristi Laus – aka Beabadoobee – is looking for the silver linings in the Covid-19 pandemic, although she’s not dodging the fact that it’s a “complete shitshow”.
Another silver lining: lockdown has given her the time and space to fully concentrate on the finishing touches for her debut album ‘Fake It Flowers’, which comes out in October. “I’ve been given so much time to perfect the aesthetic,” she tells Music Ally.
Part of that aesthetic will be a print zine gathering together artwork, Polaroid photos and stories (plus a CD) that will be offered to her top listeners on Spotify, as part of a wider partnership with the streaming service.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s Anchor says it’s cracking down on copycat podcasts

There have been growing complaints about copycat podcasts uploaded through Spotify’s Anchor app. That means taking other people’s podcasts and re-uploading them – often with the same artwork – as your own, in the hope of snagging some advertising revenues before you get caught.
Now Anchor is cracking down on it. “This is definitely a new type of attack for Anchor,” co-founder Mike Mignano told The Verge.
“The good news is that so many creators are using Anchor, and that growth has been far more than I think we projected, which is great, but I think the downside in this case is that, with any rapidly growing platform, that has brought on some growing pains and we need to do a better job of anticipating things like this.”
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Source: Music ally

JioSaavn’s Amplify offers direct distribution to emerging artists

Indian streaming service JioSaavn is launching a new scheme offering direct distribution to emerging, unsigned artists. It’s part of its existing ‘Artist Originals’ initiative, and is called ‘Amplify’.
It’ll encourage musicians to submit their demos to JioSaavn’s A&R team, based in Mumbai and New York. Artists chosen by the team will get upfront payments, marketing support and analytics tools, while their music will also be distributed beyond JioSaavn, globally, courtesy of the company’s partnership with The Orchard.
“This program intends to find and provide a platform for the next generation of independent artists,” said Artist Originals director of A&R Hiba Irshad in a statement.
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Source: Music ally

Applications are open for the MMF’s next manager accelerator

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) is teaming up with YouTube Music once again for its Accelerator Programme for Music Managers in the UK.
Applications open today for the scheme’s 2021 cohort, which will be its third year. It’ll offer 12-month grants of up to £15k as well as training and other support.
The MMF has also updated its stats on the previous years. 45 managers have taken part in the scheme so far, representing more than 130 artists. Over its first 18 months, the MMF estimates that the scheme has helped those managers generate £2.3m for their clients.
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Source: Music ally

Voisey star Olivia Knight (aka poutyface) signs major deals

When we profiled social music app Voisey early this year, its co-founder Olly Barnes talked about its ambitions to discover new talent.
“We have users in remote parts of the world, who have never made a song before, and have low self-confidence, but Voisey allows them to make the step to songwriting,” as he put it, about an app that helps singers to find music loops created by producers, to sing over.
Now one of the first people to go viral on Voisey during its 2019 beta test has signed a pair of major deals. Olivia Knight (aka ‘poutyface’) has a label deal with Island Records and a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell, having also worked with Apple’s artist development subsidiary Platoon.
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Source: Music ally

WMG’s ADA Worldwide follows LatAm expansion with Asia launch

Warner Music Group’s distribution arm ADA Worldwide is on an expansion drive. In July, it launched ADA Latin to oversee Latin America and Latin music in the US as well as Spain and Portugal. Now it’s turning its attention to Asia.
ADA Asia will be headquartered in Singapore, with a remit to sign up artists and independent labels from China, South Korea and south east Asia. Chee Meng Tan, who was Spotify’s director of label relations for the APAC region until December 2019, will head the new division.
“From K-Pop to Asian Hip-Hop, our region is a hotbed of creative talent that’s increasingly finding an international audience and ADA is uniquely placed to partner with these creators to take them to the next level, while embracing their originality and creativity,” he said in a statement.
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Source: Music ally

Head of Digital Partnerships & Analytics – Domino – London

Based in our London office, Domino seeks a Head of Digital Partnerships & Analytics to lead digital commercial strategy across the Label Group. The role will monitor, explore and execute opportunities for Domino’s global digital business and operations. We are open to considering applications on a full-time or part-time basis, dependent on the candidates’ existing […]
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Source: Music ally

Gaming star Ninja returns to Twitch with exclusive deal

Twitch may be doing more with music, but gaming remains its bread-and-butter content. Now one of the platform’s first and biggest stars is returning to it.
Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is well known to Music Ally readers: he broke livestreaming records when playing Fortnite with Drake; competed in pro-amateur tournaments of the same game with Marshmello; then worked with Capitol Records on a compilation album.
In August 2019, Blevins left Twitch after signing a lucrative exclusive deal with Microsoft’s new livestreaming service Mixer, but in June this year that was shut down, making him a free agent once again. And now he’s back with Twitch, in a new exclusive deal.
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Source: Music ally

Facebook and Xiaomi join Amazon’s Voice Interoperability Initiative

A year ago we reported on a new ‘Voice Interoperability Initiative’ from Amazon, which was created to ensure that different voice assistants could work on the same devices.
Spotify, Sonos, Microsoft, Baidu and Tencent were among the first companies to join Amazon in the initiative. Now it has announced some more: Dolby, Facebook, Garmin and Xiaomi, taking it to 77 member companies.
However, that list still doesn’t include Apple or Google, the two biggest rivals in the voice-assistant / smart speaker space for Amazon in the west.
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Source: Music ally

Super Hi-Fi and Rotor Videos bulk up with new experts

It seems to be the time of year for startups to be beefing up their wise-old-heads quota with advisors and board members. The two latest examples are Super Hi-Fi and Rotor Videos.
US startup Super Hi-Fi (which we profiled last year: its tech helps streaming services with the gaps between songs, whether that’s making transitions smoother, or automatically inserting audio content, radio-style) has appointed Tristan Jehan as a ‘strategic advisor on matters of music science and technology’.
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Source: Music ally

Why the Covid-19 struggles of small venues are a big problem

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been writing about campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic to save independent music venues.
These spaces may seem a world away from the big concert halls, arenas and stadiums of the live music industry, but Midia Research has published one of the better explanations of why they matter.
“Without this testing ground for emerging artists, an artist development gap is going to appear. One that could hold back the careers of the next generation of artists, affecting not just their live business but the entire spread of their careers – with clear implications for labels and publishers,” wrote Midia boss Mark Mulligan.
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Source: Music ally

As Twitch Sings shuts down, Snapchat gets a karaoke game

Twitch recently announced that it was shutting down its karaoke game Twitch Sings, including removing all the archived broadcasts and clips using it. But where one karaoke game closes, another one pops up backed by a different digital platform.
That game is called SingHeads, and the platform is Snapchat, which is an official partner. Released initially for iPhone with Android to follow, the game gets people to log in to their Snapchat accounts, then sing along to a rotating selection of popular songs – recent hits like ‘Despacito’, ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Shotgun’ as well as golden tracks from ABBA, Queen and Robbie Williams.
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Source: Music ally

Podcasts proving popular for classical streaming service Primephonic

Primephonic is one of the streaming services focusing on classical music, with a comprehensive collection of albums and playlists. However, neither of those are its most popular format with listeners. It’s podcasts.
The company has been producing its own shows blending interviews with classical music artists, composers and conductors with their music.
“These podcasts are our most popular content. They are more popular than playlists, and more popular than normal albums,” said Primephonic’s CEO Thomas Steffens, in an online panel session organised by his company this week.
Steffens suggested that it’s been a helpful way to connect the interviewees with their audiences, at a time when classical music concerts – like the rest of the live music industry – have been shut down in many countries due to Covid-19.
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Source: Music ally

US recorded music revenues grew by 5.6% in first half of 2020

US music industry body the RIAA has published its annual mid-year stats for the recorded music market there. They show that revenues grew by 5.6% year-on-year to $5.7bn in the first half of 2020.
The story here, as in other countries, is that Covid-19 had a significant impact in the second quarter of this year, but not enough to push the recorded music market into decline.
That 5.6% growth is a notable deceleration – in the first half of 2019 the growth was 18% – but the RIAA is looking at the positives, including a 12% rise in streaming revenues.
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Source: Music ally

Charlamagne tha God launches Black Effect Podcast Network

Veteran radio host Charlamagne Tha God is launching a new podcast network, in partnership with radio/streaming firm iHeartMedia in the US. It’s called The Black Effect Podcast Network, and is promising to create shows in genres including social justice, pop culture, sports, mental health, news, comedy, focusing on Black listeners. It’ll launch its roster of 18 […]
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Source: Music ally

PlaylistSupply helps managers and artists research playlists

A new tool to help managers and artists research Spotify playlists appears to be picking up some steam. PlaylistSupply was launched by a manager, Noah Motion, as a way for his peers to search for Spotify playlists relevant to their artist’s genre (or other search keywords), see their public data, and find contacts – email addresses included – for […]
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Source: Music ally

Electronic Labor Day livestream to support rebuilding in Beirut

The explosion in Beirut on 4 August was devastating, killing nearly 200 people and injuring thousands more, while destroying buildings across a large swathe of the city. One of the latest relief efforts comes from the music industry: a livestreaming event called ‘For Beirut’ that has been organised by the Electronic Labor Day initiative and Beatport. It […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube Music rolls out more features for its playlists

As it prepares for a migration of users from Google Play Music, YouTube Music’s team have been talking about some of their recent improvements to playlists on the service. That includes assistive playlists, with YouTube suggesting songs to add to a playlist based on its title, the songs already in the playlist, and the user’s listening history. […]
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Source: Music ally

Hipgnosis buys independent publisher Big Deal Music

We know that Hipgnosis Songs Fund likes buying publishing catalogues, and sometimes recordings rights too. But now it’s also buying publishing companies. Well, one publishing company this morning: Big Deal Music, which owns rights in songs that have been recorded by Shawn Mendes, One Direction and Panic at the Disco among other artists. This isn’t […]
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Source: Music ally

Global Citizen and Spotify enlist artists for US vote campaigns

With less than two months to go to the US presidential election, efforts to encourage people to vote are heating up. Musicians – and now even music streaming services – are playing a prominent role. Global Citizen, which was at the forefront of music-related Covid-19 relief efforts earlier this year, has turned its attention to the US […]
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Source: Music ally

BMI sets new revenue and distribution records despite Covid-19

We’re in a peculiar time right now, where despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on individual musicians’ incomes, we’re also seeing announcements by industry bodies, major music companies and collecting societies of positive (and even still record-breaking) figures for their businesses. The latest is US society BMI for its last financial year, which ended […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music steps up its podcasting with nearly 40 new shows

Sony Music has been signalling its podcasting ambitions with a series of partnerships over the past year. Now it has revealed nearly 40 new shows resulting from those deals – and they’re all launching this year. The unveiling happened at the major label’s first IAB Podcast Upfront presentation, with shows in categories including true crime, politics, […]
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Source: Music ally

1% of artists account for 90% of streams says Alpha Data

The question of how long the ‘long tail’ of streaming is – and also how miserable it might be – has long been a subject for debate in the music industry. US analytics firm Alpha Data has some new figures to contribute, but they may not make reassuring reading for musicians lower down that tail. Rolling […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple and Deezer reveal their latest books and audiobooks expansion

Music and podcasts are increasingly intertwined on various streaming services, but books – and specifically audiobooks – may also be joining the party.
We recently reported on Spotify’s ambitions on that front, but Apple already has an ebooks store with audiobooks options. Now it’s announced its latest related partnership, with Oprah Winfrey and her famous ‘Book Club’.
Her latest selection, ‘Caste’ by Isabel Wilkerson, is now available on Apple Books in ebook and audiobook form, with plans for Winfrey to curate related articles on the Apple News app next month; to interview Wilkerson in her Apple T+ show; and for a ‘Caste’ discussion guide on Apple Books.
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Source: Music ally

Indian short-video app MX TakaTak is doing 1bn+ daily views

We’ve been writing about the jockeying for position in the Indian short-video apps market in the wake of TikTok’s ban there. Now another of the contenders has been talking (to the Economic Times) about its growth.
MX TakaTak says it has more than 10 million daily active users and 45 million monthly active users, with its app generating more than 1bn video views a day. And this, only a month after the app launched.
That growth hasn’t come without challenges: MX TakaTak is one of the apps that has been sent copyright violation notices by Indian film-music company T-Series, as we reported yesterday.
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Source: Music ally

Music livestreams are getting their own awards ceremony

A music industry trend isn’t a proper trend until it gets its own awards ceremony, right? If so, livestreams are graduating to the Big Trends league, because LiveXLive has announced plans for ‘The Lockdown Awards’ this October to “honour artists and entertainers who create content for fans amidst the pandemic”.
Categories include Best Virtual Festival; Best Show Shot with an iPhone; Best Use of Technology/Zoom; Favorite Remote Duet; and Biggest Star Who Got It Right. There’s also a sense of humour at work here, with The John Legend Award for Being Ubiquitous During a Pandemic.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s Dissect podcast returns with Childish Gambino season

The last time we wrote about Spotify’s album-deep-dives podcast Dissect was in April, when its sixth season launched with a focus on Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ album. Now it’s season seven time, and Childish Gambino is the artist under the spotlight.
Specifically his 2013 concept album ‘Because the Internet’ – “a nobly expansive attempt at plumbing the catacombs of social media for meaning and exploring the gap between the performative avatars we present as our online selves and the offline realities of our lives” as the podcast’s blurb puts it.
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Source: Music ally

Apex Rides hopes to take on Peloton, and it’s licensing music

Where there’s a startup that’s gone public in a big IPO, there’ll be fledgling rivals hoping to follow the same path and compete with it. Such is the case with fitness firm Peloton.
One of its latest rivals is called Apex Rides, with its own combination of a physical exercise bike, and digital workout classes available live or on-demand. The cost: £1,200 for the bike and a £30 monthly subscription for the accompanying service.
The interest from Music Ally’s perspective is that Apex Rides is already engaging in music licensing. It has signed a deal with B2B firm 7digital to use the latter’s “in-house licensing services to negotiate and finalise rights to millions of premium tracks”.
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Source: Music ally

Music opportunities in China: ‘Artists really need to move fast…’

In China, the music industry works differently. Music fans quickly – and in the tens of millions – adopt new technologies, new methods of supporting artists or ways of consuming music. The audience seeks a different experience from artists, who are often hybrid stars – equally at home as actors, TV personalities or models. What happens in China is a useful indicator of what may soon happen around the globe.
It’s also a tricky market to fully understand without some context. So, last Friday we invited the experts from Kanjian, the Chinese music services company – and partner for Music Ally China – to join us on Music Ally TV Show to help us understand the business and cultural differences.
Kanjian’s VP of international business, Tinko Georgiev, international marketing manager Jane Polubotko and international business Specialist Yutong Situ explained how in China, artist branding must hit different touch-points, and how building a long-term, diversified approach across multiple businesses is essential for success. They also explained what artists looking to break into China must do to properly engage with the market.
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Source: Music ally

TikTok battles to remove a graphic video showing a death

The latest TikTok controversy doesn’t involve music, or even Donald Trump.
Instead, it’s about a video of a man shooting himself, which has been shared by a number of popular meme accounts on the app (that’s a link to a news article about this: we’re not going to link to any of the clips) even as TikTok’s moderation team swung into action to remove those videos.
The last 24 hours has showed the best and worst aspects of TikTok’s community: a number of popular TikTokers have posted videos warning their young fans about the video, including showing a thumbnail of the beginning so they know what to avoid, which is good.
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Source: Music ally

Warner Music Latina launches a mobile game for Kidd Keo

Kidd Keo is a Spanish hip-hop artist signed to Warner Music Latina, and now the label has launched an official mobile game for his new album ‘Back To Rockport’.
Released for iOS and Android, Back To Rockport – The Game is an endless-runner game in the same vein as app hits Temple Run and Subway Surfers.
Fans play as Kidd Keo, running through the fictional city of Rockport collecting coins and avoiding paparazzi photographers.
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Source: Music ally

YouTube contest involves making a music video for Hans Zimmer

For any aspiring filmmaker, the chance to have their work soundtracked by composer Hans Zimmer would be a dream come true. Now it will come true for five people.
Zimmer has teamed up with Sony Music and YouTube for a contest challenging people to create original music videos for five of his compositions. A winner will be chosen for each, and will become its official music video.
The compositions are from some famous films too: Gladiator, Inception, The Dark Knight, The Da Vinci Code and The Lion King. No pressure then.
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Source: Music ally

8tracks is planning a relaunch with licensed music catalogue

8tracks was one of the early music streaming services, launching just before Spotify in August 2008. However, it shut down at the end of 2019 after struggling with its profitability.
Earlier this year, we reported on a comeback for 8tracks, after its assets were acquired by a company called BackBeat, Inc. Now its new CEO Jeffrey Treichel has been talking to tech site TheNextWeb about the plans for the service, which currently has one million active users.
It’s looking to license some music rights – currently it uses YouTube’s API globally – and launch in Canada, with ambitions to roll out to the UK, Germany, India and Latin America after that.
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Source: Music ally

Roxi streaming and karaoke service reveals deal with Sky

Roxi is the UK-based music streaming and karaoke service formerly known as Electric Jukebox, which until now has found its way into people’s living rooms via its own set-top box hardware.
That’s changing: the company has just announced a deal with UK satellite broadcaster Sky to make its service available through the latter’s Sky Q set-top box too.
It’s being described as an exclusive deal: “something competitors Virgin Media and BT don’t have – and won’t have” according to Roxi.
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Source: Music ally

Record Union and Equilibrium to hold wellness workshop online

Even before Covid-19 and its lockdowns around the world, there was a growing amount of talk about wellbeing in and around the music industry. The pandemic has only sharpened the sense that as an industry, we could be doing more to protect our mental health.
One example of action being taken comes from distributor Record Union, which is holding an online event on Thursday (10 September) with health organisation Equilibrium.
‘Applied Wellness for the Music Industry’ is free to sign up for, and will include a panel and workshop including experts on personal training, meditation, sleep science and nutrition.
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Source: Music ally

Facebook Watch now has more than 1.25bn monthly visitors

Facebook Watch is the dedicated video hub on Facebook, and it’s one of the main places that official music videos live on the social network, since that content was added in late July in the US.
Now Facebook has provided an update on how popular Facebook Watch is. “Today, more than 1.25 billion people visit Watch every month to discover and share videos from millions of creators and publishers,” revealed Facebook’s head of video products Paresh Rajwat in a blog post.
That stat represents growth from the 720 million monthly visitors that Watch had in June 2019, the last time Facebook announced numbers for it. The social network ended Q2 this year with 2.7 billion monthly active users overall, so that means around 46% of them are visiting Watch.
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Source: Music ally

Riot Games created a new virtual influencer called Seraphine

Last month we reported on Riot Games, the publisher of esports game League of Legends, launching a new track for its virtual pop group K/DA.
What we hadn’t spotted, then, was a cover of the group’s past hit ‘Pop/Stars’ by an influencer called Seraphine, which was released a couple of weeks ago.
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Source: Music ally

Lo-Fi Player is the latest Google Magenta AI-music project

Magenta is a research project within Google exploring the intersection of AI and creativity, including a range of music demos. The latest of those is called Lo-Fi Player, and it launched this month.
It’s riffing off the increasingly popular trend for listening to lo-fi hip-hop as a study aid or relaxation tool. In this case, through a virtual room where people can interact with the music by clicking on different objects: from instruments to a tail-waving cat.
“You might think: this kind of generation will never replace the great producers! We completely agree. The design goal is not to replace existing Lo-Fi Hip Hop producers or streams,” stressed the project’s creators Vibert Thio and Douglas Eck.
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Source: Music ally

B2B music firm 7digital raises £6m in new funding

It’s not that long since B2B digital music company 7digital was having serious financial troubles, but it’s been working hard to survive.
By January 2020 the company said it had “stabilised itself”, before borrowing £500k in March to use as working capital over the following year. It’s also been announcing new business, including deals with Triller and Jazzed.
Now 7digital has another injection of funds, this time from a share placement and subscription – it’s a public company – raising £6m.
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Source: Music ally

Loup Ventures claims Apple Music will make $8.6bn in 2020

Investment firm Loup Ventures keeps a close eye on Apple’s business, including its music activity. Now it has put out some estimates for Apple Music’s progress.
“Apple Music has room to grow with 82m subs out of 980m active iPhone users (8%) paying for the service,” wrote managing partner Gene Munster in a blog post. “We estimate the average Apple Music subscriber is paying about $7.00 per month, which equates to about $6.8B in revenue this year, or 2.5% of total revenue.”
Munster also claimed that Apple Music is “converting potential customers into paying customers at a rate 2.5x faster than Spotify”.
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Source: Music ally

Twitch is shutting down its Twitch Sings karaoke game

Amazon’s Twitch live-video service may be doing more with music artists, but it’s also shutting down one of its existing music projects: karaoke game Twitch Sings.
“As we look to the future, we have decided to invest in broader tools and services that will help support and grow the entire music community on Twitch. Because of this, we have made the difficult decision to close Twitch Sings on January 1, 2021,” explained Twitch in its announcement.
“On December 1, we will begin removing Sings videos and clips per our contractual obligations, and on January 1, the game will stop working.”
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Source: Music ally

TikTok gets five-day premiere of David Guetta and Sia’s Let’s Love

A moment of relief for TikTok executives: a music story making headlines, rather than the latest revelation about the company’s potential sale or ban in the US. TikTok is getting a “five-day premiere” of the new single from David Guetta and Sia, and it’s a useful pointer to how the app is developing as a platform for music marketing.
‘Let’s Love’ comes out on Friday (11 September) on streaming services, but a 15-second edit will be available for TikTok users to make videos with from today, as part of an official #LetsLove challenge that’s being promoted by Guetta through his TikTok profile. “Can we go over difficult times together? Use the #letslove to show us how you stay positive: fitness, dance, drawing… it’s your time to shine,” is how the challenge words it.
It’s one of the most high-profile examples of a track (or rather, a portion of it) being made available on TikTok before its official release date, with the aim of whipping up the kind of virality that will generate an early spike in streams elsewhere come Friday. We’ll see today whether the label (or, indeed, TikTok itself) is putting some marketing budget into getting popular influencers on the app to join the challenge.
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Source: Music ally

Tom Walker is quizzing his fans in his new Alexa skill

The latest artist to get their own Alexa skill for Amazon’s smart speakers is Tom Walker, for whom Sony Music UK has launched ‘No. 1 Fan Music Quiz’.
It’s a daily quiz where Walker sets the questions (about his own “songs, musical training and celebrity friends”) and fans test their knowledge by answering them. The skill will also enable fans to enter a prize draw to win a signed poster of the artwork from Walker’s new single.
“We’re viewing applications such as Alexa Skill as an extension of an artist’s channels and a way to grow and engage their audience,” Dorothy Hui, VP of digital and audience development at Sony’s 4th Floor Creative team, told The Drum.
The post Tom Walker is quizzing his fans in his new Alexa skill appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Declan McKenna teaches fans how to play his songs on Yousician

Another day, another artist reaching a carefully-targeted audience via an app that isn’t a social network or DSP. Gen Z favourite Declan McKenna collaborated with music teaching app Yousician to connect with his fans via a private livestream and, perhaps more interestingly, via some lessons from the man himself. The thinking is simple: if you use Yousician to […]
The post Declan McKenna teaches fans how to play his songs on Yousician appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

MTN Nigeria and Tidal announce partnership

African telco MTN Nigeria and Tidal have announced a partnership which allows MTN users to access Tidal’s streaming service via their phones in a wide variety of short and long-term subscriptions. In December 2018, MTN launched its own streaming service, MusicTime, in South Africa, which is sold on a per-minute basis: customers buy as many minutes of mobile music streaming as […]
The post MTN Nigeria and Tidal announce partnership appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

FUGA hire new senior staff from Ditto Music, 7digital, and AWAL

Music distribution company FUGA has announced the appointment of new senior hires, six months after being acquired by Downtown Music Holdings. The Netherlands-based company has now signalled their ambition by bringing in a trio of new faces, all with strong digital music experience. Former Ditto Head of Artist & Labels Services Craig May is joining FUGA as Global […]
The post FUGA hire new senior staff from Ditto Music, 7digital, and AWAL appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Artist Rights Alliance challenges Amazon Music-Twitch integration

The Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), an industry body representing songwriters and musicians, has been vocal in its criticism of Amazon, sending Jeff Bezos a letter demanding a better answer than, “I don’t know” when he was asked by the US Congress about music licensing on the Amazon-owned Twitch platform. After yesterday’s announcement of Twitch’s music livestreams being […]
The post Artist Rights Alliance challenges Amazon Music-Twitch integration appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Patent filing: Spotify experimenting with TikTok-like user-generated videos

Spotify has filed a patent for a feature that would allow users to create “video moments” with accompanying music within the Spotify app, Digital Music News reports. The short videos, with high-quality embedded music, would be sharable outside of the app and would be discoverable alongside the song itself: so searching for a song could also […]
The post Patent filing: Spotify experimenting with TikTok-like user-generated videos appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 259: Six Months On, What Next?

Lead: The effect of COVID-19, six months on. This Sandbox issue hosts the launch of a new Music Ally monthly feature: our Global Experts Panel. We’ve assembled a panel of industry leaders from around the world, from many sectors of the music business, and each month we’ll put a single question to them on a pressing issue. […]
The post Sandbox Issue 259: Six Months On, What Next? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Facebook says it might stop users from sharing news items in Australia

Facebook has warned that it will stop users of Instagram and Facebook from sharing local and international news if a draft law drawn up by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is passed. The ACCC’s planned code is designed to protect media companies, and would require Facebook (and Google) to negotiate with them for use of […]
The post Facebook says it might stop users from sharing news items in Australia appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Joe Rogan’s controversial podcast episodes missing on Spotify

Spotify paid over $100 million to exclusively license the Joe Rogan Experience, a move that caused the platform’s market cap to almost instantly spike by $1bn. Rogan’s podcast has now appeared on the platform – with “dozens” of the more controversial shows absent. At the time of the deal, Rogan was pleased by Spotify’s hands-off approach, […]
The post Joe Rogan’s controversial podcast episodes missing on Spotify appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok adds creator merchandise sales integration with Teespring

Apps are fond of keeping users within the app, and creators like to ping fans all over the internet to where they can get them to pay for things. To strike a balance, TikTok has followed Youtube and Twitch in partnering with Teespring to allow TikTok’s creators to sell merch they’ve created on Teespring within TikTok, […]
The post TikTok adds creator merchandise sales integration with Teespring appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Indian streaming service Gaana raises $50 million in debt

The largest Indian streaming platform, Gaana, has raised the equivalent of just over $50 million in debt from Tencent Cloud Europe and Time Internet, reports Indian startup news site Inc42. Tencent’s involvement accounts for nearly $41 million of the deal in a new allocation of shares, with Times Internet, the majority owner, making up the rest. Gaana […]
The post Indian streaming service Gaana raises $50 million in debt appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Radio station SWR uses AI to let users to “Shuffle” live songs

Music radio persists in an era of hyper-personalised playlists, possibly because it offers a contrasting linear, set-and-forget experience. One of Germany’s most popular radio stations, Südwestrundfunk (SWR), has launched a new radio app with the usual live-rewind and listen again functions, but is also trying something slightly different: AI-powered, in-show song personalisation. (Article in German) If the user doesn’t […]
The post Radio station SWR uses AI to let users to “Shuffle” live songs appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amazon Music integrates Twitch livestreaming into app

It’s almost a surprise that this hasn’t happened sooner, but Amazon Music has now integrated Twitch, the live streaming service owned by Amazon, into its Amazon Music mobile apps. Artists can now livestream via Twitch, with the streams appearing on their profile page in the Amazon Music mobile app, and followers will be alerted when they […]
The post Amazon Music integrates Twitch livestreaming into app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Artist ownership is the way to fix Spotify’s broken streaming model (guest column)

Collective artist ownership is the only way to fix Spotify.
If artists can collectively own platforms like Spotify, we can address the underlying problem that drives their incentives and decision making. As a for-profit, publicly traded corporation, Spotify has no responsibility to artists. Their only binding fiduciary responsibility is to seek profit and to increase shareholder value.
This dynamic inherently misaligns shareholder interests with artist interests. It’s why Spotify internally refers to payouts to artists as “content costs” or “costs of revenue.”
To address this, we should assert collective pressure against Spotify to create a trust of artist ownership. In order for Spotify to begin to serve artists interests in any meaningful way, artists must collectively become a powerful shareholding bloc.
The post Artist ownership is the way to fix Spotify’s broken streaming model (guest column) appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

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