Month: octobre 2020

YouTube now has 30m music and premium subscribers globally

YouTube’s parent company Alphabet reported another big quarter yesterday. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the advertising market, Alphabet’s Q3 revenues were up by 14% year-on-year to $46.17bn, helping the company to an $11.25bn net profit in the third quarter. Within that, there were figures for YouTube advertising revenues, which grew by 32.4% year-on-year to $5.04bn […]
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Source: Music ally

Grimes teams up with Endel to create an ‘AI Lullaby’

Startup Endel made its name with technology generating AI music to suit people’s moods and activities. Now it has announced a partnership with a high-profile human artist: Grimes. They’ve worked together on an ‘AI Lullaby’ that will be featured in Endel’s iOS and Mac apps until 23 December. Later this year it will also be […]
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Source: Music ally

BPI / Brit Awards donate £54k to Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund

As Covid-19’s second wave sweeps Europe (and the first wave seemingly never ran out of steam in much of the US) we may soon have to revive our regular ‘positive industry stories’ slot, just to keep our heads up. In advance of that, here’s some positive news from the UK, where the BPI and Brit […]
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Source: Music ally

Primephonic launches a ‘digital crash course’ in classical music

Classical music streaming service Primephonic’s new initiative, Ludwig, is more than just a marketing wheeze. It’s a 10-week “digital crash course” in classical music, with a weekly podcast; bi-daily email lessons; playlists on key composers and genres; and access to Primephonic’s app and catalogue of music. The latter point hints at the interesting aspect: Ludwig is […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok strikes back at Triller with patent counter-suit

Remember when Triller sued TikTok for patent infringement in July? Whatever happened to that case? What happened this week is that TikTok struck back with a counter lawsuit. At issue is a June 2017 patent awarded to a children’s apps firm called Mibblio, whose co-founders David Lieberman and Sammy Rubin also co-founded Triller – which says it now owns the […]
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Source: Music ally

New K-Pop group Aespa includes both human and virtual members

K-Pop firm SM Entertainment has unveiled its latest group, and Aespa promises to be a fascinating project. The group will include both human and virtual (avatar) singers, who’ve been introduced to fans one by one to build anticipation. Yesterday saw a teaser interview posted with human member Karina and her virtual version ‘æ-Karina’. SM Entertainment’s founder […]
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Source: Music ally

Former WME exec Marc Geiger to invest in independent venues

Marc Geiger was the music boss at talent agency WME, before leaving earlier this year. Now he’s setting up to invest in a network of independent music venues across the US. Geiger has founded a company called SaveLive and raised $75m to invest in venues and small clubs, taking 51% ownership of them in the […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music’s recorded music revenues grew 11% year-on-year

Sony Corporation’s latest quarterly financials came out yesterday, and they revealed a strong quarter for Sony Music. Its Q3 recorded music revenues grew by 11% year-on-year to $1.16bn, including 19% growth in streaming revenues – which reached $742.3m. This, despite the fact that Sony Music’s release schedule is still under pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic. “The release of […]
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Source: Music ally

UK Music publishes its latest industry diversity study

The UK’s umbrella industry body, UK Music, has published its latest report on music industry diversity. Its findings highlight a mixture of progress made, and work still to do, as you’d expect. There have been rises in the proportion of women in the industry (from 45.3% in 2016 to 49.6% in 2020) as well as […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify can’t just shrug off the latest Joe Rogan controversy

“A few people tweeting that they’re cancelling their Spotify subscriptions does not a firestorm make,” we wrote in our news bulletin yesterday, about the initial responses to Alex Jones guesting on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Well, later that day the flames began to spread, as major media outlets picked up on Jones’s appearance despite his own podcast having been removed from Spotify.
BuzzFeed also had a scoop: an internal memo from Spotify’s general counsel Horacio Gutierrez giving fellow executives ‘talking points’ to use if they were pressed on the topic.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify Q3 financials reveal it now has 320m users and 144m subscribers

Music streaming service Spotify has announced its latest quarterly financial results. The company ended Q3 with 320 million monthly active users, having added 21 million during the quarter.
Meanwhile, Spotify’s subscriber total is now 144 million, up from 113 million a year ago, and 138 million at the end of Q2.
Spotify’s Q3 revenues grew by 14% year-on-year to €1.98bn, including a 15% rise in subscription revenues to €1.79bn. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, advertising revenues grew by 9% year-on-year to €185m.
“Notably, some of our more mature regions exhibited accelerating user growth, our advertising business returned to growth, and new market launches in Russia and 12 surrounding markets unlocked significant pent-up demand, adding a helpful accelerant to our results,” said Spotify in its announcement.
There was more detail on the ongoing Covid-19 impact on music streaming. “From a content consumption standpoint, global consumption hours surpassed pre-Covid levels during the quarter, and all regions have fully recovered,” reported Spotify.
“Consumption trends by platform have returned to normal usage, including in-car listening hours which is now above the pre-Covid peak. Usage on connected devices inside the home, which saw a spike during lockdown, also remains above pre-Covid levels.”
Is Spotify profitable yet? An evergreen question with a still-red answer: no, it is not. However, the company did narrow its operating loss from €167m a year ago to €40m in its latest quarter, while its net loss fell from €356m to €101m over the same period.
Other things leaping out at us from the financials announcement:
– Spotify’s Russia and Eastern Europe launches in July were “stronger than expected”.
– The average revenue per user (ARPU) of a Spotify premium user is still falling: down 10% year-on-year to €4.19 in Q3.
– Spotify’s recent price rise for its Family subscription isn’t just an Australia thing: it’s also happened in Belgium, Switzerland, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.
– There are now 1.9m podcasts on Spotify, up from 1.5m in Q2. 22% of its monthly active users listened to podcasts last quarter – that’s around 70.4 million people, up from 62.8 million last quarter. Spotify launched 58 new ‘original and exclusive’ podcasts in Q3.
– An interesting nugget: “Despite the challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw a 13% increase in new music releases compared with Q2 on our platform.”
– 750,000 artists and their teams are now using the Spotify for Artists tools.
– More details on how Spotify’s ‘two-sided marketplace’ of promotional tools for labels and artists is growing. “During Q3, we saw a 76% increase in unique customers relative to Q2, and we retained 74% of customers from Q2.” That’s customers paying to promote their music on Spotify: “We saw demand from both the Major labels and Indies…”
– Spotify expects to end 2020 with 340-345 million monthly active users and 150-154 million premium subscribers.
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 263: A brand new experience: creating activations that connect in a non-live world

Lead: Experiential brand activations in a non-live world – Creating effective brand activations has never been easy – but there was one basic starting point: find an event with lots of people, and connect with them. With concerts and festivals curtailed for the next six months at least, brands are partnering with musicians online to create […]
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Source: Music ally

UMG’s Bravado inks merch deal with Alibaba’s Tmall platform

2020 has been a really interesting year for Universal Music Group’s various arms in China. From local signings like Linong Chen and Sunnee to a joint label with Tencent Music, via gaming songwriting camps and the small matter of $1.2m of Taylor Swift album sales in a few days on NetEase Cloud Music.
Weaving these strands into the overall story of UMG’s China strategy is a task for another day, but today the major label group’s merchandise division announced its own latest deal in China.
Bravado is partnering with Alibaba Group, and will be opening a merch store on the latter company’s Tmall Global service to sell products for the likes of Tupac Shakur, Guns n’ Roses, the Rolling Stones and Bob Marley.
Oh, and Taylor Swift, who’ll be the new store’s first featured artist – the first time merch from her ‘Folklore’ album has been sold in China. In fact, Chinese fans will get its brand new merch drop two weeks before any other country.
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Source: Music ally

FIFA 21 adds music-disabling option to help game streamers

The knock-on effects from rightsholders’ pressure on Twitch over music licensing are starting. Games publisher Electronic Arts has added a new menu option to its FIFA 21 game: ‘Disable All Music For Streaming Purposes’.
That means people streaming their gameplay on platforms like Twitch will now be able to do it without any background music that might generate copyright takedown notices for their videos.
FIFA is famous for its soundtracks mixing established artists with emerging acts. The unfortunate result of the standoff between rightsholders and Twitch is that this in-game discovery won’t be extended to Amazon’s live-streaming platform.
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Source: Music ally

Keychange movement expands in Poland with events this week

The Keychange initiative pressing for gender equality in the music industry – including on its live stages – has a new frontier this week.
Poland has become an official partner for the movement, and tomorrow will see an event co-hosted by Key Change and festival organiser Spring Break to introduce its first two ambassadors in Poland: Avtomat and Karolina Czarnecka.
The campaign is timely. “We have witnessed the dangerous politicization of gender in Poland this year with the President inciting hate speech as part of his reelection campaign,” said Magdalena Jensen, co-founder and managing partner at Chimes Agency, who’s planning this year’s Keychange training.
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Source: Music ally

It’s 2020 so of course there are now fake artist livestreams

There was good news for fans of musician Zoe Keating in late August: one of her cancelled gigs was being replaced by a ticketed livestream. The only downside: Keating knew nothing about it.
It had been created as an event on Facebook, with the people behind it taking fans money in the full knowledge that there would not be any performance to watch.
Music Technology Policy has the full story, including the unhelpful response from Facebook: the event did not violate its community standards.
A group including the Artist Rights Alliance has now gone straight to the top and written a letter to the US attorney general Bill Barr and the chair of the Federal Trade Commission asking them to investigate and “protect consumers, music fans, and artists from Facebook-driven fraud”. Ouch.
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Source: Music ally

Amuse expands its Fast Forward royalty advances service

Distributor Amuse launched its Fast Forward scheme in February 2019 as a way to pay artists up to six months of royalties in advance, based on its estimates of their future earnings.
The company now says that hundreds of artists have benefited from the feature, with advances between $250 and $300k.
Now Fast Forward is relaunching and expanding its focus, with artists now able to get advances for themselves and their collaborators – producers, managers and other musicians included.
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Source: Music ally

Dutch dance industry warns of Covid-19’s earnings impact

Electronic music is suffering considerably from the Covid-19 pandemic, given the difficulties of safely opening clubs and putting on live events at any scale.
The Netherlands may be in the most precarious position of all according to a new report presented at the ADE conference last week, and authored by Music Ally.
Figures from DJ Monitor/ Rightscheck.com, released in advance for the event, showed how the Netherlands is Europe’s leader when it comes to festivals (391 with a capacity of over 1000 people), with 85-90% of those estimated to be largely or wholly focused on electronic music.
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Source: Music ally

Tomorrowland says its virtual festival ‘about broke even’

Dance festival Tomorrowland sold nearly 140k tickets to its virtual festival earlier this year. Now the organisers have been talking to Billboard about how those sales translated into profit.
The answer: not quite, but not far off. Co-founder Michiel Beers said that the festival “about broke even” after Tomorrowland spent around $6m putting it together, with additional funding from sponsorships and media deals.
Now Tomorrowland is planning a follow up for New Year’s Eve, and even if the physical version of the festival returns next year, the virtual edition seems here to stay.
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 262: Key Lessons from Sandbox Summit Global

Lead: Sandbox Summit Global – Over five days at the end of September, we held our Sandbox Summit Global conference. For this Sandbox report, we’re digging into what we learned from the event and how it relates to the wider industry: from streaming innovation (or a lack of it) and Covid-disrupted release schedules to analytics overload, knock-on […]
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Source: Music ally

Music Ally Report:: Q3 2020 Edition

Our main feature focuses on TikTok’s eventful 2020 so far, from the deepening of its relationship with artists and the music industry to its tangles with the Trump administration, along with the rise of the short video apps category more generally. Our Second Look section analyses recent stories and data around Hipgnosis Songs Fund; Tencent […]
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Source: Music ally

Capitol Royale returns with Infinity Festival Hollywood

Capitol Music Group is bringing back its Capitol Royale tech event, although in a different form to last year’s two-day conference. The label has partnered with an online event called Infinity Festival Hollywood, which runs from this week (28 October) until early January 2021. “Capitol Royale will bring a unique slate of music-related programming to the table including […]
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Source: Music ally

Deep Word is the latest startup creating synthetic video

The word ‘deepfake’ already has negative connotations: of people manipulating photos, audio and/or video for nefarious purposes. That’s why you’re going to hear the word ‘synthetic’ a lot in the coming months: the same technology, but being put to more positive work than misinformation or the really worrying stuff. Deep Word is an interesting example of synthetic […]
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Source: Music ally

Justin Bieber’s ‘Next Chapter’ is another YouTube documentary

If 10 episodes of YouTube documentary about Justin Bieber weren’t enough for you earlier this year, we have some good news. The video service is following up its ‘Justin Bieber: Seasons’ series with a one-off 30-minute doc called ‘Justin Bieber: Next Chapter’. Fans can expect “an exclusive look at his life today – everything from […]
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Source: Music ally

Deezer encourages pirate app users to switch to official version

It may seem strange that people try to use music streaming services like Spotify and Deezer through unofficial apps, when there’s not even a subscription barrier to entry for the official ones. Getting premium features without paying is one reason some people gravitate towards the unofficial (or ‘modded’) apps, and understandably the streaming services regularly […]
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Source: Music ally

iHeartMedia is buying podcasting tech firm Voxnest

It’s open season for acquisitions of podcasting startups whose technology and/or shows seem appealing to a bigger fish. The latest example is Voxnest, a company that makes advertising tech for podcasting, and which is now being bought by iHeartMedia. Cue adspeak! “iHeartMedia, through Voxnest, will now be able to provide podcast advertisers with additional targetable inventory […]
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Source: Music ally

Decentralised streaming service Audius raises another $1.25m

We first wrote about Audius in August 2018, when it raised $5.5m for what one report described as “SoundCloud on the blockchain”. It launched just over a year later, with a “censorship-resistant, community-controlled” audio streaming service where “anyone who joins Audius can effectively become an artist, just by uploading tracks”. Its decentralised model – music hosted on local […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify, Apple, YouTube and Netflix among PS5 media partners

November this year is New Consoles Month, with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S plus Sony’s PlayStation 5 making their debuts. While games are the focus, music and video streaming will also be part of the packages.
Sony revealed some of its plans yesterday: at launch the PS5 will have apps for Apple TV, Disney+, Netflix, Spotify, Twitch and YouTube available in its media hub, with Amazon Prime Video and more to follow.
There’s also going to be a media-focused remote-control device to control this, with dedicated buttons for Spotify, YouTube, Netflix and Disney+.
“The PS5 console also features a new Control Center that makes controlling your music easier than ever before, so you can quickly switch between channels, skip, and pause your music,” said Sony.
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Source: Music ally

Sam Smith set for AR Spotify video and TikTok interview

Sam Smith’s new album ‘Love Goes’ is out later this month, and they’re pulling out plenty of promotional stops around its release, including new single ‘Diamonds’.
The latter is getting a web-based augmented reality music video in partnership with Spotify. Dreamed up by agency Powster, it gets fans to scan an image to pop up a “miniature dancing Sam Smith hologram”, although they’ll need two phones to make it work (you can see how in this promotional video).
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Source: Music ally

Quincy Jones invests in music/tech startup Musimap

Quincy Jones is no stranger to the world of music/tech startups: he founded music video-on-demand service Qwest TV, which launched three years ago.
Now he’s also investing in another startup, Musimap, which describes itself as an “emotional artificial intelligence” company, with a lead product called MusiMe which is a “psycho-emotional profiling engine”.
Essentially it analyses people’s listening to try to understand their personality (“Is your customer self-aware or spiritual? Does he like exercise or travelling? Our emotion-sensitive algorithm can predict automatically all this and more from the music he loves…” as its website explains it.)
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Source: Music ally

Music-making tech company Output raises $45m funding round

Output is one of the music/tech companies making digital instruments, effects and even furniture for musicians to use in the studio.
A valuable business? It certainly is according to investment firm Summit Partners, which has just funded Output to the tune of $45m in its Series A round.
It’ll help the company to add “playable instruments and mobile applications in 2021” to build on the success of its music-creation software Arcade, which it says has been used by more than 420,000 musicians so far.
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Source: Music ally

YouTube Music’s next online festival is the #FoundryFest

YouTube Music’s #SOSFest last weekend has so far raised more than $1.8m to support NIVA’s campaign to support independent music venues in the US.
The company is already planning its next online festival though: it’s called #FoundryFest, and will be an “on-demand video series” rather than a full-on livestreamed event. It’s focusing on artists who took part in YouTube’s Foundry program for early-stage musicians, the success of which is shown with the roster of now-stars taking part.
Dua Lipa, Beabadoobee, Arlo Parks and Rina Sawayama will be among the artists contributing performances, premieres and interviews for the event today (23 October). There’s also a fundraising element: the Save our Stages campaign again, but also the Equal Justice Initiative and other charities, using YouTube’s donations feature.
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Source: Music ally

Pandora now has 58.6m monthly active listeners

US satellite-radio firm SiriusXM published its latest financials yesterday, revealing that it now has nearly 30.5 million ‘self-pay’ subscribers to its service, having added 169,000 in the third quarter of this year. Its revenue grew by 1% year-on-year to $1.6bn.
Its music streaming subsidiary Pandora is still battling to turn around its listener decline though. Pandora ended Q3 with 58.6 million monthly active listeners, down from 59.6 million in Q2, and 63.1 million a year ago.
Pandora added around 105,000 self-pay subscribers for its premium tiers, meaning it has nearly 6.4 million – compared to nearly 6.3 million a year ago.
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Source: Music ally

Report: independents are 27% of music publishing market

Independent publishers body IMPF has published a new ‘Global Market View 2020′ report offering figures for its members’ share of the global publishing sector.
The key stats: an estimate that the global publishing market was worth €5bn (around $5.9bn) in 2019 – up from €4.63bn in 2018 – and that independent publishers accounted for 27% of that market in 2019.
Note, there’s a specific methodology here: IMPF defines ‘independent’ as any firm with less than 5% of the market, adding that the three major global publishers (Sony/ATV, UMPG and Warner/Chappell) have a 55% share collectively.
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Source: Music ally

Calvin Harris sells publishing catalogue for $90m-plus

Shock news! The latest big-money deal for a publishing catalogue doesn’t involve Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Dance star Calvin Harris has sold his catalogue of more than 150 songs to financial firm Vine Alternative Investments, although Sony/ATV will continue administering it.
The price wasn’t officially announced, although Variety claimed it was “around $100m” while Billboard offered a wider “between $90m and $110m” estimate.
Vine has been around since the mid-2000s, largely focused on the film and TV sectors, but its first deal in music came in September this year, when it acquired the catalogue of songwriter Sean Douglas.
Bagging Harris for its next deal is a significant statement of intent, not to mention renewed proof of the kind of investors setting their sights on music rights at the moment.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify launches its own radio-style ‘daily morning show’

Breakfast shows are a staple of the traditional radio landscape. Now Spotify has one too. ‘The Get Up’ is a weekday-mornings show, launching in the US only, delivered as a playlist.
That means personalised music picks for each listener, sandwiched between talk segments from the show’s three hosts: Kat Lazo, Speedy Morman, and Xavier Jernigan. The promise is of pop culture, news, entertainment and music chat, and the production company is in-house: Gimlet Media.
The format is an interesting step on from playlists like ‘Your Daily Drive’ and ‘Daily Sports’, which offer personalised mixes of podcast clips and music. ‘The Get Up’ is a full-on radio-style show, which we’d expect to be localised with different hosts in other countries if the US version proves popular.
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Source: Music ally

Canalys thinks 163m smart speakers will be shipped in 2021

It’s been a while since we’ve had some big-figure predictions for the smart speakers market, but here’s research firm Canalys hoving into view with its latest forecasts. It reckons that 163m smart speakers will be shipped in 2021, which would be year-on-year growth (from its estimates for 2020) of 21%. 
Speakers using Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are expected to account for the bulk of shipments globally except China, where local tech companies’ voice assistants are in command. This is all for new shipments, but Canalys also has some new numbers for the install base – those already owned and in use. That total will be 320m this year, with the company predicting that it will double to 640 million by 2024.
The predictions come at a time when a round of new devices are set to scrap it out for the lucrative pre-Christmas season. Amazon recently unveiled its latest Echo speakers; Google has a new Nest Audio; and Apple is getting into the sub-$100 market with its new HomePod Mini.
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Source: Music ally

TikTok expands its policies for tackling hateful content

Removing hateful content from a social media or streaming service is a constantly moving target as new movements and forms of hate emerge, and new tricks to avoid moderation.
TikTok is the latest platform to announce how its policies are adapting.
“While our Trust & Safety teams already work to remove hate speech and hateful ideologies, such as neo-Nazism and white supremacy, we are strengthening our enforcement action to remove neighbouring ideologies, such as white nationalism, white genocide theory, as well as statements that have their origin in these ideologies, and movements such as Identitarianism and male supremacy,” it announced yesterday.
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Source: Music ally

Mobile video-streaming service Quibi is shutting down

Barely six months after it launched, video streaming service Quibi is shutting down. “We are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets,” announced co-founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman in a blog post overnight.
“Quibi was a big idea and there was no one who wanted to make a success of it more than we did. Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us… Quibi is not succeeding. Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing.”
Launching a mobile-only video streaming service designed for short-snack viewing during a pandemic that locked people down in their homes with bigger screens was unlucky, but Quibi couldn’t crack the problem even with $1.8bn of funding – one report suggests there’s $350m left to return to investors.
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Source: Music ally

The Kid Laroi and Mulatto get Spotify and YouTube approval

Pretty much every major streaming service now has some kind of program to identify and promote emerging artists: Spotify’s Radar, Apple Music’s Up Next, Amazon Music’s Breakthrough, Deezer’s Next, YouTube Music’s Artist on the Rise…
Two of them have announced their latest picks this week. Spotify has made teenage rapper The Kid Laroi its third Radar artist in the US, although with 10.6 million listeners on Spotify, he’s already doing pretty well on the platform. Like other artists chosen for the program, he’ll get playlist spots, a Spotify Singles recording, promotional support for his next releases, and a mini-documentary in November.
Meanwhile, YouTube Music’s latest Artist on the Rise is Atlanta rapper Mulatto. She, too, already has some momentum on the platform, with 928,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, and has just been featured on YouTube Music’s new weekly show ‘Released’.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify signs podcast development deal with Scooter Braun

Scooter Braun is a man with his finger in many pies, and now he’s added podcasts to his pastry portfolio. In fact, his Ithaca Holdings company has signed a podcast development deal with Spotify (described as a ‘first look’ agreement by Variety, which means Spotify will get first dibs on new shows from Ithaca Holdings).
The first show has already been announced: ‘Country Shine with Graham Bunn’. It’ll be a twice-weekly podcast focusing on country music, hosted by radio and TV veteran Bunn and sports reporter Camryn Irwin.
Braun himself is executive producer on the project, which will be exclusive to Spotify. It’s the latest expansion for Spotify’s country-focused content: earlier this year it launched a new playlist called ‘Indigo’ to sit alongside ‘Hot Country’ and ‘New Boots’ as its genre flagships.
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Source: Music ally

BMG to buy majority stake in German live firm Undercover

As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic grows in many countries, now’s a very difficult time to be involved in live music. However, it may also be seen as an opportunity by companies looking to make acquisitions in live.
BMG, for example, is getting into live music for the first time, with an agreement to buy a majority stake in German promoter and events agency Undercover.
It will become a new live / events business music within BMG in Germany, with the company pitching the move as a new kind of 360-degree offering for artists.
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Source: Music ally

Snapchat now has 249m daily active users and booming AR usage

In our latest Music Ally report, we examined how Snapchat had bounced back from a worrying-looking flattening of its user growth in 2018. That bounceback is continuing, judging by parent company Snap’s financial results for Q3 2020.
Snap said that Snapchat ended the quarter with 249 million daily active users (DAUs), up by 18% year-on-year. It also means that Snapchat added 11 million net new users in Q3 alone.
Not that this is helping it make a profit yet: Snap’s revenues grew by 52.1% year-on-year to $678.7m, but it still recorded a net loss of just under $200m.
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Source: Music ally

Netflix growth slows but 200m subscribers milestone is in sight

Netflix warned investors that its subscriber growth was going to slow in the second half of this year, and it has. The video streaming service added 2.2 million net new paid subscribers in the third quarter, taking it to just under 195.2 million overall.
Netflix also said that it expects to pass 200 million subscribers (201.2 million to be specific) by the end of 2020.
The slowdown in growth was clear though: Netflix added 15.8 million subscribers in Q1 and 10.1 million in Q2. The 2.2 million in Q3 was below Netflix’s guidance of 2.5 million, which is one reason why its share price dipped following the announcement of its financial results yesterday.
The post Netflix growth slows but 200m subscribers milestone is in sight appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

US Justice Department files antitrust charges against Google

The US Department of Justice has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing it of “unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets”.
It’s the latest (and biggest) move in the US antitrust debate over big tech companies, following the recent high-profile hearing involving Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
The DoJ is going in hard, too. “This lawsuit strikes at the heart of Google’s grip over the internet for millions of American consumers, advertisers, small businesses and entrepreneurs beholden to an unlawful monopolist,” said attorney general Bill Barr.
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Source: Music ally

George Michael joins Prince and John Lennon on TikTok

It sounds like a supergroup for the ages, doesn’t it? But what George Michael, Prince and John Lennon have in common is that their estates and labels have been working with TikTok to bring their legacies into the world of short video clips.
A licensing deal for Prince’s music plus an official TikTok profile came in June, followed by a similar partnership for John Lennon earlier this month. Now George Michael, courtesy of a deal with Sony Music UK.
As with the previous deals, this’ll see a selection of Michael’s music made available for TikTokers to use in their videos, along with an official profile with footage from his career. It’s early days, but the clip blending ‘Fast Love’ and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggests the account has a decently impish sense of humour.
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Source: Music ally

Amazon launches Breakthrough Live weekly livestreams series

The timing may be awkward given the renewed DMCA takedown notices currently battering Twitch, but Amazon Music is stepping up its livestreaming activity, including with its sister platform.
It’s launched a new weekly show called Breakthrough Live, which will air live performances from artists in a different genre every Tuesday. The show will be broadcast live both on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel, and within the Amazon Music mobile app.
It’s part of Amazon’s wider Breakthrough program focusing on emerging artists – its equivalent to Spotify’s Radar or Apple Music’s Up Next. The service has also launched a series of genre-specific Breakthrough playlists, which will include the artists performing on the new weekly show.
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Source: Music ally

Report claims Spotify has overtaken Apple in key markets for podcast listeners

Reputable figures breaking down the global podcasts market are hard to come by, but there’s been a general consensus that Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) has been the biggest platform by far; that the rest of the market is very fragmented; and that Spotify’s aggressive move into podcasts meant it was growing fast to finally become a competitor to Apple with real scale.
Now Midia Research has put out a report suggesting that it’s gone further than that. “Spotify is now firmly established as the most widely used podcast platform,” claimed the company. “In Q2 2020 42% of podcast listeners used Spotify, 10 points ahead of Apple in second place. This does not necessarily mean that it yet leads in terms of volume of listens, but it is the platform that the largest share of regular podcast listeners visit.”
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Source: Music ally

Spotify takes down four QAnon podcasts after media coverage

We don’t have space here to go into the full lunacy of the QAnon conspiracists movement, and the unwillingness of the actual US president to disavow it.
Suffice to say that YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are among the big online platforms cracking down on QAnon content, but that crackdown has seen its adherents try to shift to other digital spaces. Including putting their podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other spoken-word platforms.
Media Matters reported on this late last week, noting that several QAnon shows were still available to listen to on these services. Now Spotify, at least, has removed the shows in question.
The post Spotify takes down four QAnon podcasts after media coverage appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Push Live Unlimited helps artists with simul-livestreaming

As the number of artists exploring livestreams at scale grows, so there’s going to be a need for decent infrastructure around that.
One example is being announced today, by live-tech firm Push. It’s a tool called Push Live Unlimited, which helps artists who want to broadcast on a number of platforms at once – for example, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok and Twitter.
The new service has been in testing this past few months: for example, Insomniac’s EDC Mexico used it for a three-day online dance festival, with 87 different livestreams across artists’ and partners’ channels.
The post Push Live Unlimited helps artists with simul-livestreaming appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Kylie Minogue set for Driift-run ‘Infinite Disco’ stream

More evidence for the growing ambition of online concerts for bigger artists comes with Kylie Minogue’s ‘Infinite Disco’ event on 7 November.
It’s the latest event from Driift, the company launched earlier this year by ATC Management, with investment from Beggars Group.
The 50-minute show will blend tracks from Kylie’s new album ‘Disco’ with older hits, with the promise of visual and choreographic wizardry.
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Source: Music ally

Billie Eilish merch store will be integrated into livestream

We reported earlier this month on plans for Billie Eilish’s first livestream, the $30 ‘Where Do We Go? The Livestream’ concert on 24 October.
Startup Maestro is the technical partner, and it’s been talking about a new partnership with ecommerce firm Shopify that will see merch sold during the event.
Open to all artists using the platform, it will let fans browse and buy merchandise within the livestream, rather than being pushed out to another website.
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music goes Boss-eyed with its Bruce Springsteen Week

Apple Music is pushing all the boats out for the release of Bruce Springsteen’s 20th studio album ‘Letter to You’.
There’ll be a week of radio shows on its new Apple Music Hits station, plus an album listening party and live Q&A, and a documentary on the Apple TV+ service, which drops on Friday alongside the album.
It’s a big push, and a reminder that Apple Music is now very keen on the classic/heritage audience. Which, we guess, is a category that Gorillaz might also fall into now, although if we’re dividing these things up by station, they’re still an Apple Music 1 artist rather than just Apple Music Hits.
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Source: Music ally

Believe was the buyer of playlisting platform Soundsgood

In April we reported on the shutdown of French startup Soundsgood. It had launched in 2015 as a way to curate playlists and manage them across multiple streaming services, before moving more towards B2B services for labels.
“These B2B activities have eventually led to our recent acquisition,” announced Soundsgood as it closed down, but the company declined to say who the buyer was.
Now, through the time-honoured journalistic tradition of ‘remembering to look at the former CEO’s LinkedIn profile a few months later’, Music Ally can reveal that the acquirer of Soundsgood was… distributor Believe.
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music TV channels classic MTV with music videos

Live radio is already one of Apple Music’s big differences to its streaming rivals. Now it’s trying out MTV-style music television, although for the most part without the VJs.
Instead, Apple Music TV is a 24-hour channel broadcasting music videos via the Apple Music and Apple TV apps, as well as on the web.
For now, it’s only available in the US, where it kicked off yesterday with a chart of the 100 all-time most streamed songs on Apple Music in that country. It’ll also broadcast livestreams and other artist events, like this Thursday’s Bruce Springsteen special, as well as clips of interviews and other content filmed for Apple Music.
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Source: Music ally

WMG set for $338m acquisitions (and possibly revenue decline)

It was a busy day for Warner Music Group yesterday, with several interrelated announcements. First, there was news of the company raising $250m of new funding through a ‘senior secured notes offering’ to be spend to “fund a portion of the aggregate cash consideration for certain acquisitions”.
Later that day, a US regulatory filing offered more information on those plans. “In early October we completed an acquisition for certain music assets, and we recently came to an agreement in principle regarding a second acquisition regarding certain other music and music-related assets… for aggregate cash consideration of approximately $338 million,” explained WMG, noting that it has set aside $90m of cash on top of the $250m offering to pay for the deals.
The post WMG set for $338m acquisitions (and possibly revenue decline) appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The US music market isn’t yet at ‘peak streaming subscriptions’

Is the biggest recorded-music market in the world nearing ‘peak streaming subscriptions’ for music? In an article for Billboard, former Spotify chief economist Will Page offers some reasons for optimism, even though there are now 110 million music subscribers in a country with 110m households.
For example, he notes that there were worries that Sweden and Norway were reaching their ceiling back in 2015, but since then their subscriber numbers have grown by 85% and 78% respectively.
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Source: Music ally

PearPop helps fans to pay for screen time with TikTok stars

There’s a price on everything in the influencer world, and with a startup called PearPop, that includes collaborating with your favourite TikTok stars.
The company has announced a marketplace for TikTokers to charge fans for collab posts, and according to TechCrunch it already has more than 25,000 fans signed up.
The fees are public: a duet, stitch or sound post with Coby Persin (who has 7.1 million followers on TikTok) will set you back $500, but with Anna Shumate (who has 6.5 million) it’ll only cost $100, as the two (currently) most popular creators on the site.
The post PearPop helps fans to pay for screen time with TikTok stars appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Instagram promises crackdown on ‘hidden advertising’ in the UK

Since 2018, UK regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been running an investigation into whether influencers on social media are disclosing their endorsements properly.
In January 2019, that included eliciting ‘formal commitments’ from 16 British celebrities to be fully transparent, including musicians Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding.
This week, the investigation has put Instagram in the spotlight, as the CMA announced that it has secured promises from the Facebook-owned platform to do more to help.
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Source: Music ally

Defected to hold three-part ‘We Dance As One’ livestream

Dance label Defected Records did a great job earlier this year with its ‘Virtual Festival’ series of livestreams, raising $1.2m for the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 relief fund over 10 weeks.
Now it’s coming back with a new event called ‘We Dance As One’ spread over three dates: 30 October, 27 November and a finale spanning New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
DJs will be streaming sets from their home studios or from local clubs, with the broadcasts viewable on YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.
The post Defected to hold three-part ‘We Dance As One’ livestream appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Reshape Music report outlines challenges for disabled musicians

UK charity Youth Music has published a new report, Reshape Music, which explores the challenges facing disabled musicians ‘in education and beyond’. It’s the result of interviews with hundreds of musicians, music educators and retailers.
“Disabled people make up over a fifth of the population and yet they are hugely under-represented in the music industry and in music education,” is the key problem tackled by the report, with Youth Music keen for its findings to inform policy in the UK to change that.
The challenges outlined range from finding and buying the right instrument, to accessing music lessons and getting opportunities to perform.
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Source: Music ally

British parliament launches inquiry into economics of music streaming

For several months, the #BrokenRecord campaign in the UK has been calling for the government to step in to the debate about musicians’ streaming royalties. Today, there’s been a significant announcement on that front.
No, not legislation (yet). The British parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee has launched an inquiry into the economics of music streaming.
“MPs will examine what economic impact music streaming is having on artists, record labels and the sustainability of the wider music industry,” it explained.
“Music streaming in the UK brings in more than £1 billion in revenue with 114 billion music streams in the last year, however artists can be paid as little as 13% of the income generated.”
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s new format puts music in podcasts – and pays royalties

Podcasters regularly complain about the difficulty and/or cost of licensing commercial music for their shows. With hundreds of millions of people now listening to podcasts globally, there’s a big opportunity for the music industry, if good licensing models can be worked out to put music in podcasts, while ensuring that rightsholders and musicians get paid.
Hang on though. Spotify has a huge catalogue of licensed music, is one of the biggest podcast distribution platforms, and has its own tool (Anchor) for creating podcasts. Couldn’t it do something about the problem? And today, it has.
The streaming service is announcing a new format – an “evolution” of its mixed-media playlists like Your Daily Drive – which will enable podcasters to put music in their shows, and for streams of those shows to generate royalties for the rightsholders.
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Source: Music ally

Livestreaming startup Moment House raises $1.5m from starry seed investors

Scooter Braun, Troy Carter, Patreon CEO Jack Conte, actor Jared Leto and artist Kygo’s Palm Crew Investments are among the investors in the latest ticketed livestreams startup, Moment House, which announced its $1.5m seed funding round today.
The round was led by Forerunner Ventures, with Sequoia Capital partner Jess Lee also among the angel investors, as the startup also announced the first set of artists who’ll be using its platform.
Kygo is one of them alongside Yungblud – who’s using Moment House for his ‘digital world tour’ – Blackbear, Kaytranada, Denzel Curry and Ruel.
Ahead of the announcement, Music Ally talked to CEO and co-founder Arjun Mehta about his plans for livestreaming experiences that fans will be happy to pay for.
A graduate of the USC Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre Academy, Mehta counts on the strong support of his “mentor” Iovine, alongside the angel investors who are being announced today.
In one sense, Moment House is not wildly different to the other livestreaming platforms jostling for attention during the Covid-19 pandemic: Maestro, Veeps, StageIt, Release Party, Bulldog DM and the rest.
In this case, artists announce shows (or “moments”) and sell tickets to those shows, along with up-sells to merchandise and VIP experiences. Mehta is hoping that the quality of the fan experience will help Moment House to stand out from the crowd.
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Source: Music ally

Disney reorganisation makes streaming its ‘primary focus’

Streaming being the primary focus for record labels is nothing new in our industry, but in Hollywood it’s still a major talking point.
Witness Disney’s announcement yesterday that the company is having a strategic reorganisation of its media and entertainment businesses “designed to further accelerate the company’s direct-to-consumer strategy, in light of the rapid success of Disney+”.
This isn’t Disney abandoning cinemas entirely, of course, but the announcement did make it clear that it’s now the company’s own streaming services (note the plural: Hulu and ESPN+ are included here) that come first, and the “legacy distribution business” second.
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Source: Music ally

Motive Unknown launches sister company Positive Subversion

Digital marketing agency Motive Unknown is spinning off a new company called Positive Subversion, which it describes as a “project and label management consultancy for independently-minded artists, managers and record labels”.
It’s a partnership with former !K7 exec Siofra McComb, and has already signed up Run The Jewels (already a Motive Unknown client) and label Innovative Leisure as its first clients.
“Managers are taking on more and more, but often lack the hands-on resource to manage the minutiae of a release campaign. We have also seen that taking on permanent staff in this space doesn’t make good sense due to the cyclical nature of campaigns,” said Motive Unknown boss Darren Hemmings.
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Source: Music ally

Monstercat goes ‘hyper-casual’ with Amanotes mobile games deal

Electronic music label Monstercat has always been keen to get its music into games, with a series of inventive licensing deals and partnerships. Its latest is with Amanotes, the Vietnamese developer of ‘hyper-casual’ mobile games.
The deal has already made some of Monstercat’s catalogue available within Amanotes’ biggest mobile game, Tiles Hop (350m downloads and counting) with plans to add the tracks to more than 30 of its other games by the end of this year.
Amanotes says it has more than 95 million monthly active users across those games, with a demographic dominated by 25-44 year-old women.
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Source: Music ally

Feeling Good: free report on music, fitness, wellbeing and technology

Earlier this month, Music Ally teamed up with British industry body the BPI for an online event called ‘Feeling Good’ about the intersection of music, fitness/wellbeing and technology.
Now we’ve published a tie-in report, which you can download for free here. In it, we’ve explored some of the companies who’ve been innovating in these areas, from Peloton and Calm to Weav Music, FitXR, Headspace and more.
We’ve also looked at the playlist ecosystems emerging around fitness and wellbeing on streaming services; explained ‘gymfluencers’ and their musical activities; and reported on the views of 7digital and a panel of experts (WMG’s Scott Cohen, CrossBorderWorks Consulting’s Vickie Naumann and Sound Media Ventures’ Shachar Oren) convened at the event. Enjoy!
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Source: Music ally

Report: Triller could go public with shell-company merger

Remember those July reports that short-video app Triller was raising a funding round of up to $300m? Whatever happened to that? Reuters has an update, claiming that the company has “so far secured around $100 million in that round at a $1.25 billion valuation” according to unnamed sources “familiar with the matter”.
However, the report claims that Triller may opt against the funding round after all, and instead go public via a merger with a ‘SPAC’ (a special purpose acquisition company: a shell company formed solely to raise money through an IPO, then merge with a private company to take the latter public).
SPACs are currently popular in the US for “providing a path to going public with less regulatory scrutiny and more certainty over the valuation that will be attained and funds that will be raised” according to Reuters.
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Source: Music ally

Soundtrack Your Brand renews WMG deal, launches on-demand tier

B2B streaming service Soundtrack Your Brand has renewed its licensing deal with Warner Music Group, a couple of months after striking an agreement with Universal Music Group.
In WMG’s case, it’s a renewal of the deal signed two years ago with Soundtrack Your Brand, which provides music to businesses including retailers, restaurants and hotels.
The news came as the company also announced a new tier for its service, Soundtrack Unlimited, which will offer customers on-demand access to its playlists (rather than just being able to play them as curated) and enable them to build their own playlists, for a higher price.
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Source: Music ally

US gets new #SaveLiveEventsNow campaign to support live music

We’ve written about the #SaveOurStages campaign in the US to support independent music venues, launched by their representative body NIVA. Now there’s another campaign, #SaveLiveEventsNow, which expands the remit to larger venues and the people who work on concerts and festivals using them.
It’s backed by a who’s who of the industry: the RIAA, Recording Academy, Live Nation, AEG Presents, Universal Music Group, key talent agencies and more.
“Saving our stages is one component of what our industry needs,” claims the new campaign’s website, making its status as a reaction to NIVA’s drive clear. “We also need to save the people who power live events so that they can bring music, theater, comedy and all kinds of culture back when the show can go on once again.”
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Source: Music ally

Round Hill Music confirms plans for $375m Royalty Fund IPO

The rumours were right: music publisher Round Hill Music is planning to take its songs fund public. The Round Hill Music Royalty Fund has announced plans to raise $375m through an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. You can read its announcement here.
The company says it has already identified more than 40 catalogues containing more than 120k songs that it plans to buy with the proceeds from the IPO.
The lineup of artists whose work is included in those catalogues is long and starry: The Beatles, Celine Dion, the Rolling Stones, Louis Armstrong, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley and… well, you get the picture.
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Source: Music ally

SongShift says Spotify won’t let it transfer people’s playlists

Almost as long as there have been a number of popular music streaming services, there have been apps and websites designed to help people transfer their playlists between them (for example when leaving one service to join another) or to maintain playlists across several of them (aimed at curators more than regular users).
Nobody’s found a great business model for these tools yet, but at any point there have been a few to choose from. One of the current crop is SongShift, an iOS app that shifts playlists between services including Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora and Tidal. This weekend, the developers made an announcement.
“Unfortunately, as of SongShift v5.1.2, you will no longer be able to create transfers from Spotify to another music service. We understand this will be a disappointment for a lot of you. We wish we didn’t have to,” they wrote.
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Source: Music ally

Can Music Make You Sick? Measuring the price of musical ambition (book extract)

‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ is a new book by Sally Anne Gross and Dr George Musgrave, with its roots in a study of the same name commissioned by charity Help Musicians UK in 2017, about mental health in the music industry.
Gross and Musgrave have shared an excerpt from the book with Music Ally, and have also introduced it.
“This extract below is taken from Chapter 4 of our book entitled ‘The Status of Value’. In this chapter we examine the ways in which musicians seek answers to questions concerning what musical work ‘is’, what it means, and what ‘success’ is, and the impact this can have their emotional wellbeing.
As we suggest: “This findings of this chapter are threefold. Firstly, as artists live out their musical lives increasingly in the public glare online, they report their sense of wellbeing being undermined.
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Source: Music ally

Report: TikTok now more popular than Instagram with US teens

Investment bank Piper Sandler publishes a semi-annual study of US teenagers – 9,800 of them for its latest drop. It covers all kinds of topics, from social and political issues to favoured brands, but digital habits are also included.
The big news from the latest study is the claim that TikTok has just overtaken Instagram to become the second-ranked social media platform for teenagers in the US, although the top dog remains Snapchat.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify adds ‘promo cards’ feature for artists and podcasters

Spotify’s now traditional end-of-year Wrapped promotion sees artists and listeners alike flooding social media with branded graphics on their stats.
Now the streaming service is extending that idea for artists (and podcasters) with a feature called ‘Promo Cards’.
It’s an online tool that they can use to create promotional graphics for songs, albums and artist profiles – as well as for a selection of Spotify’s playlists when they have a track included on them – ready for sharing on social media.
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Source: Music ally

Major labels target Apple in Russia over iOS piracy apps

It’s been a while since we’ve seen public tensions in the west between music rightsholders and Apple over piracy apps – Apple’s involvement being as the owner of the store through which those apps are distributed.
According to TorrentFreak, it’s all kicking off in Russia over this issue though, following a new law cracking down on piracy apps.
It reported that Sony Music, Universal Music and WMG subsidiary SBA Music Publishing have filed complaints against Apple in the Moscow City Court, requesting that the company remove three apps: PewPee: Music Player, iMus Music Player and Offline Music Download Music / Music Downloader & Player (which must be in line for some kind of SEO prize).
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Source: Music ally

Livestreaming startup Mandolin raises $5m in seed funding

Six months ago, livestreaming was in many quarters seen as a temporary sticking plaster for the shutdown of physical concerts, likely to return to a niche once the latter returned.
A lot of people have changed their tune since then: physical concerts aren’t returning anywhere near as soon as we had hoped, and successful livestreaming case are steadily mounting up to make a case for online concerts to stick around for the long term.
That in turn is fuelling a boom in innovation from and funding for livestreaming startups. The latest example is US firm Mandolin, which was behind the recent ‘Live at the Ryman’ concerts in Nashville.
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Source: Music ally

US Latin music revenues grew by 18.6% in first half of 2020

US trade body the RIAA has published its mid-year figures for Latin music in the US, and once again it has outperformed the overall market.
The body recently reported that the US recorded music market grew by 5.6% year-on-year in the first half of 2020, but revenues from Latin music grew by 18.6%.
At $296.1m, it accounted for 5.2% of the overall market. What’s more, this particular sector’s growth is accelerating: in the first half of 2019, it was up by 13.5% year-on-year.
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Source: Music ally

Radio Tools tracks music plays on radio and TV stations

The ‘will streaming kill radio’ debate rumbles on, but it certainly hasn’t happened yet: radio airplay remains important for many artists, and tracking it globally remains a challenge.
We’ve written about startups like World Airplay Radio Monitor (Warm) in the past, and now there’s a new contender: Maltese startup Radio Tools.
It’s analysing the music played on more than 48k radio stations around the world, as well as 1.2k satellite TV channels.
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Source: Music ally

BPI launches its equality and justice advisory group

British music industry body the BPI has launched an equality and justice advisory group, which it says will “advise and challenge the BPI on matters initially focused on race and gender in order to further support and promote equality and inclusion in music alongside other industry initiatives”.
It’s an expansion of the existing Brits Diversity Advisory Group, which was created in 2016 after criticism of a lack of diversity in the Brit Awards and its voting body.
The new group, which will have a wider industry focus, is co-chaired by Kwame Kwaten, Paulette Long OBE, and Ged Doherty.
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Source: Music ally

Ascap Lab Seed Project reveals first projects from its teams

The more music industry entities working hands-on with startups and developers the better, as far as we’re concerned.
The latest example is US collecting society Ascap, whose innovation arm Ascap Lab has been running an 11-week ‘Seed Project’ challenge for graduate students in New York.
Five teams were involved, exploring new ways to interact with music. You can read the results of their work here.
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Source: Music ally

Oda connected speakers have their own season of concerts

Oda is a startup making a pair of speakers (also called Oda) that look very nice indeed – “made of wood, glass, cotton, and steel: materials that are humble and human, not technological” as the blurb puts it – with as much attention to detail paid to their audio innards.
However, what interests us about the $299 speakers (which work with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) is the music that comes with them.
Oda will be running four seasons of music performances a year: 12 weekends in each of winter, spring, summer and autumn, plus artists in residence performing throughout the week during that time.
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Source: Music ally

Deezer commissioned covers for its new ‘InVersions’ album

Like its streaming rivals, Deezer is experimenting with commissioning original music that won’t put labels’ noses out of joint.
The latest example is a compilation album called ‘InVersions’, which is a collection of cover versions by 10 independent artists.
Fontaines DC, Arlo Parks, Dream Wife, Alfie Templeman and Chloe Moriondo are among the artists chosen – the latter with a very on-trend cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’.
Standards by the Beach Boys, Robyn, Bruce Springsteen, Amy Winehouse and Sinéad O’Connor are among the songs covered, and the album has been released through the Deezer Originals program.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify for Artists has a new boss, joining from Patreon

Camille Hearst was the head of product, creator and general manager, merch at crowdfunding platform Patreon, until now. As of today, she’s joining Spotify as its first head of Spotify for Artists. Hearst announced the news in a series of tweets this afternoon.
“In this new role, I’ll lead a cross-functional team including product, tech, design, user research, and more. Not to mention getting to work closely with the SoundBetter team…what a cool platform,” she wrote.
“I’ve spent almost the entirety of my career working on helping artists and creators make a living from their craft. And now I get to continue that work at one of the companies best-positioned to make a serious dent in this space.”
The post Spotify for Artists has a new boss, joining from Patreon appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

How should artists use Twitch to connect with fans?

Live video streaming service Twitch has been one of the (unwitting) beneficiaries of the global pandemic, as musicians scramble to find a way to compensate for the near-total shutdown of live music. In their recent “State of the Stream” report, StreamElements and Arsenal.gg claimed that Twitch’s Q2 2020 chart bars “look like skyscrapers compared to […]
The post How should artists use Twitch to connect with fans? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Tools: IsItAGoodPlaylist.com. Analyze Spotify playlists to know if they’ll increase your stream count

According to Chartmetric, Spotify boasts over 270k+ curators, 1.1m+ playlists and 8.6k+ self-curated playlists, providing a fertile ground for playlist pitching. While editorial playlist placements on Spotify are notoriously competitive and dealt with exclusively via Spotify for Artists, figuring out how to get an artist’s independent playlist strategy right (e.g. by brands, labels, curators or […]
The post Tools: IsItAGoodPlaylist.com. Analyze Spotify playlists to know if they’ll increase your stream count appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Lyte tests ticket reservation tool for return of physical gigs

A lot of physical concerts have been cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it’s been heartening how many fans have held onto their tickets for the ones that have been postponed – even those delayed for a year or more. Now ticketing firm Lyte has developed a tool that capitalises on this loyalty in a different […]
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Source: Music ally

Nearly 1.2m people attended Ava Max’s party in Roblox

Last month we wrote about the plans to hold an album launch party for artist Ava Max in gaming platform Roblox. So how did that go? Well, according to the public stats, the ‘Ava Max Heaven & Hell Launch Party’ has generated more than 2.4m visits from Roblox players, with nearly 49,000 people marking it as a favourite. […]
The post Nearly 1.2m people attended Ava Max’s party in Roblox appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Smule adds Snapchat lenses to its AutoRap music app

Music apps firm Smule is the latest company to use the Snap Camera Kit launched by Snapchat’s parent company. Smule has integrated it into its AutoRap app, which lets people choose beats, rap over the top and share the results. Now they can add Snapchat’s augmented-reality lenses (filters) to their videos in AutoRap’s iOS app, with Android […]
The post Smule adds Snapchat lenses to its AutoRap music app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

African streaming service Mdundo has 5m monthly active users

Mdundo is one of the established music streaming services in Africa, and its CEO Martin Nielsen has been talking to Nigerian news site Pulse·ng about its latest figures, and the wider African music market. According to the piece, Mdundo currently has more than five million monthly active users across Africa, including 3.5 million in its key markets […]
The post African streaming service Mdundo has 5m monthly active users appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Ascap thanks Spotify for accelerated payments during Covid-19

Spotify has taken plenty of flak from songwriters over its history, and with its appeal against new royalty rates in the US still not settled, there’ll be more to come we’re sure. However, the streaming service will at least have enjoyed the latest letter to members of US collecting society Ascap from its president and chairman Paul […]
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Source: Music ally

Mixcloud adds ticketing for audio and video livestreams

Audio streaming service Mixcloud launched a livestreaming feature in April this year, enabling people to stream live audio or video on its platform. Today, it’s announcing an expansion of ‘Mixcloud Live’ to add ticketing. Several artists will be testing the new feature out, including Flying Lotus, Róisín Murphy and Nas (who recently invested in Mixcloud, which […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify and YouTube double down on their music charts

The charts of digital music services having clout with consumers and the industry alike isn’t a new trend for anyone who remembers the heyday of Apple’s iTunes rankings around the world. We’re interested in the current burst of activity around streaming services’ charts though. Both Spotify and YouTube Music had announcements this week shedding more […]
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Source: Music ally

Scooter Braun on the silver linings of the Covid-19 pandemic

Manager and investor Scooter Braun appeared at the Fast Company Innovation Festival this week, and had plenty to say on the music industry’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “With all this time, we are creating new lanes that didn’t exist before. When you talk about your work life, I always tell people . . . build time […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek outlines his leadership style

The Observer Effect has published a long interview with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, focusing on his management style and processes.
So, there aren’t many news lines for the likes of us to pick out on Spotify’s business, but lots of food for thought for anyone wondering what they can learn from the way its CEO runs the company.
The post Spotify CEO Daniel Ek outlines his leadership style appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Dua Lipa launches TikTok-assisted ‘Levitating’ music video

In August, Dua Lipa launched her #DuaVideo challenge on TikTok, inviting fans to submit videos based on makeup, animation or dance using her ‘Levitating’ single.
The promise was that the best creators would make it into a music video for the track. TikTok says that the contest generated more than 150k videos which were watched more than 300m times.
Now the promised music video has launched – as a four-part vertical video on TikTok itself. A clever touch: it’s been uploaded to Dua Lipa’s profile in reverse order, so the first part is at the top of her feed, and fans can swipe down to move through the four parts.
The post Dua Lipa launches TikTok-assisted ‘Levitating’ music video appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

AiR Show augmented-reality concerts app acquired for $300k

This might just be a record for the shortest gap between a startup being first covered by Music Ally, and being acquired.
We wrote about Trick 3D and its ‘AiR Show’ app a couple of weeks ago: it promised to beam artists into fans’ living rooms using augmented reality technology, for performances.
It had a partnership with an upcoming series of livestream concerts in Atlanta, but now it’s been snapped up by a bigger company.
The post AiR Show augmented-reality concerts app acquired for $300k appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Charli XCX to kick off Oculus and Tidal’s VR concerts series

We knew that Tidal and Facebook’s Oculus were working together on plans for some virtual reality concerts. Now we know who’s playing the first one: Charli XCX, who’ll be performing within the Oculus Venues app this Friday (9 October).
It’s the first of a series of six concerts organised by the companies, each of which will see an artist playing at least a 45-minute set. The other five artists in this series have yet to be confirmed.
It’s part of a wider push into VR concerts by Oculus using its Venues app. Alicia Keys performed in a concert on 18 September backed by American Express; Tiësto held a ‘virtual dance party’ in the app on 24 September; Steve Aoki played on 30 September; and Major Lazer are lined up for 18 November – these aren’t Tidal shows.
The post Charli XCX to kick off Oculus and Tidal’s VR concerts series appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Fender Play nears 1m subscribers thanks to free lessons

Instrument maker Fender is extending a promotion offering three months of free access to its Fender Play digital guitar-lessons service.
The promo launched in April, shortly after Covid-19 lockdowns began in many countries. Fender says that the Fender Play user base has grown from 150,000 to 930,000 subscribers since then.
With the promo extended until the end of 2020, that community of learners seems set to pass one million very soon.
The post Fender Play nears 1m subscribers thanks to free lessons appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Gema warns of ‘even more difficult’ 2021 for many musicians

Germany collecting society Gema held its annual general meeting last week – online, of course, with around 1,000 of its songwriter, composer and publisher members taking part.
The event included some blunt words from CEO Dr Harald Heker on why Covid-19 relief measures taken by the society this year can only go so far.
“We are aware that these acute support schemes are not enough. From a financial perspective, 2021 will be even more difficult for many of you. Our revenues will be lower than in 2020, and we will therefore pay out less to you,” he warned delegates at the AGM. “Since March, hardly any events have taken place, which is an economic disaster of huge proportions.”
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Source: Music ally

Triller denies new allegations of inflated user numbers

Short video app Triller has found itself at the centre of another controversy around its public user numbers. A report by Business Insider citing ‘six former Triller employees’ claimed that when Triller said in October 2019 that it had 13 million monthly active users, the true figure was “closer to two million”.
The details are important here: the report cited a screenshot from analytics tool Localytics, taken by one of those former employees a few weeks after the 13 million announcement, which appeared to show that Triller had “just 2 million monthly active iOS users and about 484,000 monthly active users on Android devices”.
The post Triller denies new allegations of inflated user numbers appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Roli boss talks Lumi keyboard and music education’s evolution

Music Ally first came across Roli in 2013, when it was named as a finalist in the SXSW Music Accelerator startups contest, before we reported on its $12.8m funding round the following year from investors including Universal Music Group.
The company was focused on music instruments, with its first being the Seaboard Grand, a keyboard whose rubber keys allowed players to bend notes a bit like a guitar. It was priced for professionals, but it marked the company out as one to watch in the music hardware space.
Since then, Roli’s products have been getting more accessible and affordable: there was the Seaboard Rise in 2015; the Roli Blocks modular synth controllers in 2016; the Seaboard Block keyboard in 2017; and then the Lumi keyboard in 2019.
Lumi, which launched with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that drummed up £1.6m in pre-orders, was a hardware/software/service play. A keyboard that could light up with different colours, designed to be used with an app that would teach you to play piano, with access to a subscription-based library of lessons and songs.
The post Roli boss talks Lumi keyboard and music education’s evolution appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amazon Music HD adds ‘thousands’ of tracks from UMG and WMG

We should clarify this headline quickly: Amazon Music HD already has many more tracks from Universal Music and Warner Music.
The news is that Amazon is working with the two labels to remaster thousands of tracks in ‘Ultra High Definition’ for its hi-res streaming service.
Amazon’s definition of Ultra HD is tracks with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate of up to 192kHz, and it has more than 5m of them already. However, the bulk of Amazon Music HD’s catalogue is its 60m-plus ‘High Definition’ tracks – 16 bits / 44.1kHz.
The post Amazon Music HD adds ‘thousands’ of tracks from UMG and WMG appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok creator fund reportedly paying 2-4 cents per 1,000 views

TikTok’s Creator Fund started as a $200m commitment in July to be distributed among US-based TikTokers trying to build careers on the platform. It quickly expanded to a promised $1bn over three years, with a European fund following in September aiming for $300m over three years.
Beyond those big headline numbers, though, details of how the funding works and how much money creators can make from it have been scarcer. This article on online-video industry site Tubefilter is worth a read, then.
The site has been canvassing some of the early recipients to assess the fund’s impact.
The post TikTok creator fund reportedly paying 2-4 cents per 1,000 views appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

ShareChat’s Times Music deal includes short-video app Moj

Moj is one of the short-video apps making hay in India in the wake of TikTok’s ban there. Launched in July, it grew to 50 million users within a month, then 80 million by late September, when its parent company ShareChat raised $40m of funding to continue the momentum.
ShareChat said then that partnerships with music labels would be one use for the funding: a sensible strategy, as Indian rightsholders have been rumbling about the lack of licences in the short-video space generally there.
A week on, there’s news of a deal: ShareChat has inked an agreement with Times Music that covers both Moj and its existing ShareChat social app. It includes Times Music’s catalogue, and also that of Punjabi-music label Speed Records.
The post ShareChat’s Times Music deal includes short-video app Moj appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Triller gets a licensing deal with pan-Euro licensing hub Ice

Triller has been making the most of TikTok’s recent troubles, poaching creators, trumpeting its user growth and even pitching itself in the US as “a form of patriotic capitalism”. But with that higher profile has come scrutiny of Triller’s licensing status, not least from US publishing body the NMPA.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in Europe, Triller has a new licensing deal in place today though. It’s with Ice, the pan-European licensing hub originally created by collecting societies PRS for Music, Gema and Stim.
“The deal covers Triller from its launch and will support the growing service by licensing it into 160+ territories for rights represented by Ice’s society and publisher rights holders,” announced Ice – the latter group including Concord, Downtown and Peermusic.
The post Triller gets a licensing deal with pan-Euro licensing hub Ice appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

WMG’s latest partnerships: Tips Music in India and SOSV in Asia

Post-IPO, there’s a flurry of dealmaking and senior appointments happening at Warner Music Group, as the company gears up for its next stage of growth. Today alone it has announced new partnerships with Indian company Tips Music and investment firm SOSV.
The former deal will see Warner Music India distributing the film-music label’s music in India, while WMG’s distribution division ADA will handle it worldwide.
“Tips’ Hindi YouTube content receives more than 5.1 billion views per month, so the appetite for its music is there for everyone to see,” said Warner Music India MD Jay Mehta.
The post WMG’s latest partnerships: Tips Music in India and SOSV in Asia appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The bigger picture around Twitch, music licensing, and industry criticism

When we reported on the launch of Soundtrack by Twitch earlier this week, we had a sneaking suspicion that we’d be hearing from the publishing sector – and US representative body the NMPA’s boss David Israelite – sooner rather than later with some opinions. And lo, he’s one of the interviewees in a Rolling Stone follow-up about the wider question of whether a platform like Twitch needs proper sync licensing.
“Watching a video on Twitch is really no different than watching a television show or a movie. The people making television programming or movies — there’s no question that before they use music, they go out and secure the proper rights and they negotiate a fair compensation for the people who made the music,” said Israelite.
“Somehow, these giant Internet companies have convinced themselves that they should be playing under different rules. Instead of acting like someone broadcasting television or movie content to consumers, they want to pretend that it’s the users making the content that somehow have all the responsibility, and not the platform — despite the fact that they are making significant amounts of money from the activity.”
The post The bigger picture around Twitch, music licensing, and industry criticism appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

PPC & Social Media Advertising Specialist – Deviate Digital – London

Deviate Digital are seeking a PPC & Social Media Advertising Specialist to join their growing team based at Tileyard Studios in Kings Cross, London.  Deviate Digital was founded by Sammy Andrews in 2017 and has been named a leading digital advisory agency to the entertainment industry by the Sunday Times. Their client list includes internationally […]
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Source: Music ally

Rewind and remix radio with Teenage Engineering’s new OB-4

Teenage Engineering’s pocket-sized synthesizers are marvellous, but now the Swedish company is applying its innovation skills to radio.
Its latest device, the OB-4, is pitched as a “magic radio” – a portable Bluetooth speaker that can also receive FM radio broadcasts. The twists being that, well, owners will be able to twist the audio itself.
“OB–4 continuously memorises everything you listen to on an endless looping tape,” explained the company – said tape being a rolling two-hour recording to its internal storage. “Rewind, time-stretch and loop at the flick of your fingertips. on purpose or by accident.”
The post Rewind and remix radio with Teenage Engineering’s new OB-4 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Baidu’s smart devices and voice assistants arm is worth $2.9bn

Smart speakers and voice assistants are increasingly popular, but what’s their value in corporate terms?
It’s hard to tell given that many of the companies making them – Apple, Google and Amazon included – don’t split out their revenues from this technology, and the companies’ market caps are based on their entire businesses.
But here’s a number to play with: $2.9bn. That’s the valuation of Chinese tech firm Baidu’s ‘Smart Living’ group, which includes its smart speakers and displays, as well as its voice assistant.
The post Baidu’s smart devices and voice assistants arm is worth $2.9bn appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify adds video for ‘Written by’ songwriter playlists

In February this year, Spotify launched a beta ‘Songwriter Pages’ feature offering more visibility for songwriters on its service, including their own profile pages and playlists of recordings of their works.
Today, it’s expanding that with video on some of those pages. Songwriters Mike Dean, Raye and Cautious Clay are the first to get the treatment, with videos in their ‘Written By’ playlists showing them discussing their careers and collaborations.
The videos are part of the wider efforts of Spotify’s songwriter relations team, which have also recently included a ‘Songwriter Saturday’ series of interviews on the Spotify for Artists Instagram profile, and another Instagram series called Writer’s Pad.
The post Spotify adds video for ‘Written by’ songwriter playlists appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Rockifi streaming service will focus on hard rock and metal

Scottish startup Rockifi isn’t brand new: back in 2018 it was being hailed as ‘Tinder for rock fans’ with an app that helped rock and metal fans find likeminded fans to go to concerts with.
However, it’s relaunching this month with a bigger ambition: to be a fully fledged streaming service for hard rock and heavy metal.
“It will allow fans to stream live events, discover and rate new artists, purchase merchandise and donate funds to support bands and workers in the Covid-afflicted music community,” reported Herald Scotland, adding that Rockifi is looking to raise up to £350k to fund its next stage of development.
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Source: Music ally

Boomy expands free tier and adds vocals to its AI music

Boomy is the startup that lets anyone sign up and create music using its AI tool – and then release it to streaming services. We’ve covered the company regularly (this profile for example), and now the company has launched a major update to its platform. That includes an expansion of its free tier: “Starting today, […]
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Source: Music ally

Deezer still pushing for user-centric payouts: ‘We will continue fighting…’

Just over a year ago, music streaming service Deezer announced its desire to launch a pilot of a ‘user-centric payment system’ (UCPS) by early 2020.
You can read our primer on the user-centric model here, but in a nutshell, it ensures that the money from your streaming subscription only goes to the music you listen to.
It feels like a fairer way to divide out streaming royalties than the current system, where the royalties from your subscription go into a big pool divided by overall share of streams.
[In another nutshell: if BTS or Taylor Swift or Drake or whoever get 5% of everyone’s streams, they get 5% of your subscription even if you never listen to them.]
Nobody’s quite sure exactly who’ll benefit from a switch to user-centric: there have been a few academic studies, and they were all cautious about drawing big, bold conclusions.
That’s exactly why Deezer wanted to run a pilot, in just one country (France) and only with labels (not publishers or collecting societies), to gauge the impact. The company said it had “the majority of French labels” on board, yet a year later the pilot still hasn’t launched.
Yesterday, for a special episode of our Music Ally TV Show, Deezer’s chief content and strategy officer Alexander Holland joined us for an update, and to talk about why the company is still keen to test UCPS.
The post Deezer still pushing for user-centric payouts: ‘We will continue fighting…’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

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