Author: Joe Sparrow

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

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

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

Music Ally Startup Files: Mime takes the music business hyper-local

Made In Memphis Entertainment (Mime), launched in 2015, has a quietly radical idea at its core: ‘disruptive decentralisation’. It’s about creating a root-and-branch alternative to the traditional music business structure. And the company is starting local, in Memphis, Tennessee.
At present, Mime’s family of companies includes Beatroot Music, the only Black-owned music distributor in the US; Mime Records, an independent label; Heavy Hitters Music, a film, TV, and ad sync company; Royalty Claim, a platform to recover unclaimed royalties; and 4U Recording, a recording studio and central creative hub in Memphis.
Mime intends to roll out similar models in other cities, however, to create a network of hyper-local recording, A&R, distribution and artist development businesses. That’s the disruptive part.
The post Music Ally Startup Files: Mime takes the music business hyper-local appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: SoundStorming opens up the creative process

SoundStorming could be a lot of things, and at a glance the platform appears to begin a trek up that unassailable summit of music-tech: A Social Network For Music. But co-founders Alícia Rius and Arnau Bosch are keen to explain that their aim is simple.
“We want to get the fans on board earlier than the release date, and bring them to the beginning of the creative phase to make them fans sooner. Our mission is to build a more equitable ecosystem for artists and fans.”
Their big idea is that musicians should use music to communicate with fans, and that SoundStorming “helps them make music while they promote it. It allows them to use their musical ideas as a social post to connect with an audience to bring them along their journey.”
The post Music Ally Startup Files: SoundStorming opens up the creative process appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

AWAL says ‘hundreds’ of its artists now earn $100k+ a year from streaming

Music distributor AWAL says that “hundreds” of its artists now earn more than $100k a year from streaming, and that this number (of artists) has grown by more than 40% in the last year.
The company also said that “dozens” of its artists earn more than $1m from streaming every year. This is all a step on from the announcement in March 2018 by AWAL’s parent company Kobalt that hundreds of artists were then earning more than $50k a year.
Speaking to Music Ally, AWAL’s CEO Lonny Olinick declined to say how many hundreds of artists are now breaking the $100k threshold, but said it was a “sizeable number”. He also claimed that the potential to earn these amounts while staying independent is driving business to AWAL.
The post AWAL says ‘hundreds’ of its artists now earn $100k+ a year from streaming appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Tencent’s WeSing is keeping China’s karaoke sector thriving

Karaoke is enormously popular with people of all ages in China, with millions flocking to ‘KTV venues’ [karaoke bars] to partake in singalongs.
The Chinese government’s 2019 China Music Industry Development Report valued the karaoke sector at RMB 101.07bn (nearly $14.6bn) in 2019, up 12.3% year-on-year with that rise driven in part by online karaoke services.
Tencent’s app WeSing (known as K Song in China) is the biggest player, estimated to account for 77% of online karaoke users in China, including a younger, wealthier demographic. 25-29 year-olds are 50.3% of its user base, with half of them having high incomes and living in major cities like Beijing.
The post Tencent’s WeSing is keeping China’s karaoke sector thriving appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

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

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

Music Ally Startup Files: Radiant’s Spotify-powered DJ is an AI

Squeezing new uses from existing technology sparks creative revolutions. Dancing to recorded music was weird until someone who understood the crowd started to link the right songs together in the right place, and created the nightclub.
(It’s probably best not to dwell on one of the main claimants of that innovation, mind…)
Fast forward to 2020, though, and we’re in a potentially similar place. Music streaming apps are a series of near-identical windows through which lies all music. But where to start, where to go next, and how to care about a certain song or artist?
The best DJs, whether in the clubs or on the radio, have been trusted sources, but where do they sit within the streaming world? And, if they do have a place, will they be humans or artificial intelligence? Enter Radiant.
The post Music Ally Startup Files: Radiant’s Spotify-powered DJ is an AI appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

What can we learn from Covid-19’s impact on China’s music industry?

The Chinese music industry saw 16% growth in its recorded music revenues in 2019 according to the IFPI, but it was also the first country to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Does that make it a canary in the coalmine for the global music industry, in terms of learning lessons from the coronavirus impact, but also the industry’s reaction?
Perhaps so. Music Ally has spoken to a number of Chinese market experts to understand what happened, how the industry responded, and what the lessons might be for the music business elsewhere in the world.
The post What can we learn from Covid-19’s impact on China’s music industry? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: Fanaply’s limited-edition digital collectibles

In November 2019, WMG’s head of innovation, recorded music, Scott Cohen told Music Ally that he was interested in the ways that blockchain technology could create new value for the industry. One example: digitally-scarce collectibles that fans would buy and show off.
Fast-forward six months, and one of the startups in the latest cohort for the Techstars Music accelerator, Fanaply, is working on exactly that. WMG is one of Techstars Music’s partners. Go figure.
At a time when tips economies are creeping onto the music industry’s radar again, the company’s pitch is different: why ask fans to tip to show their devotion, when they could buy an exclusive, limited-edition virtual item that displays their fandom to the world?
The post Music Ally Startup Files: Fanaply’s limited-edition digital collectibles appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: Ampled’s artist-owned ‘relationship platform’

As the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic drapes the world in uneasiness, many of our established economic systems are blinking under the cold light of community-centric scrutiny – including the music industry.
The impact on streaming is still being debated, but the abrupt shutdown of the live music industry – and the disappearance of the income associated with it for musicians – is very clear. That in turn is sparking renewed discussion about the wider financial support system for artists and songwriters.
Artist and Ivors Academy committee member / PRS for Music director Tom Gray didn’t mince his words when recently addressing major label and streaming service executives alike in a Twitter thread about the current structure. “It is time, under the present circumstances for these people to fix the problem if they give a fuck about the ecosystem.”
Startups have a role to play in how this system evolves too. Ampled is one of them, although ‘startup’ may not be the best description. It’s an artist-owned cooperative, which is building a platform for fans to directly support musicians.
Music Ally wrote about its launch in January this year, but now we have spoken to founders Austin Robey and Collin Lewis about what they’re doing. The interview was conducted before the coronavirus pandemic took a worldwide grip on society – in case you’re wondering why it’s not discussed – but some of their thoughts may be even more relevant in the light of developments since.
Why is it a cooperative? “It’s the only way to address systemic inequalities in the platform economy,” says Robey. “We’re fundamentally optimistic. Cynicism is why entrenched music industry incumbents are not qualified to make a company like this.”
The post Music Ally Startup Files: Ampled’s artist-owned ‘relationship platform’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: Pex sees big music potential in UGC

For the last few years, LA-based startup Pex has been quietly scanning, fingerprinting and indexing every single piece of audio and video uploaded to open, public-facing platforms. It has accrued a whopping database of 20 billion data points, and – perhaps – know what’s happening on certain platforms better than the platform itself.
Music Ally spoke to Pex COO Amadea Choplin, who previously worked for French video platform DailyMotion, about how important music really is to YouTube and the accuracy of its revenue maths; Article 17; and how Pex can unlock revenue by peeking inside streaming’s black box.
The post Music Ally Startup Files: Pex sees big music potential in UGC appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: MyPart’s new spin on AI music analysis

Israeli startup MyPart aims to use AI to turn the long tail of music catalogues into revenue streams that humans may have overlooked.
In fact, the company wants to do more than analyse music and pull the needle from the haystack: it wants to pair the songs no human would consider with artists who never knew they needed them.
Don’t be fooled by MyPart’s slightly vague online presence, which seems at odds with its high profile and experienced advisory board, notable award wins, and membership of the Abbey Road Red accelerator.
Music Ally spoke to co-founders Matan Erez Kollnescher and Ariel Toli Gadilov, as well as MyPart president (and former president of Geffen Music and Interscope Music) Ronny Vance about the company’s ambitions. If its technology does what it says, MyPart will have built an A&R system that scoops up and analyses songs at the top of the funnel then, at the sharp end, allows anyone who needs a song to discover exactly the right one to use.
The post Music Ally Startup Files: MyPart’s new spin on AI music analysis appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: Flutin, India’s new music discovery app

Indian startup Flutin has a bold, dual-pronged mission: to round up millions of music fans and serve them – for free – new music that they’ll love; and to provide artists with an easy-to-reach fanbase that’s eager to engage and even purchase.
Dig a little deeper into the company, and there are some interesting lessons on how the music industry might find new ways to make a lot more money from streaming platforms in the future.
Music Ally chatted to Flutin CEO and Co-founder Vishu Gupta about his ambitions for an app that by October 2019 had been downloaded nearly 10m times, and had 370,000 daily active users.
Gupta describes the app as a home for emerging artists, who Flutin treats as small businesses needing tools to growth-hack themselves to success. “They can identify their relevant audience with Flutin and promote their music to them, increasing their fanbase with relevant users.”
The post Music Ally Startup Files: Flutin, India’s new music discovery app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: Jambl, the music-making app for non-musicians

Music is different to other creative acts: there’s a palpable barrier to entry compared to, say, photography. Jambl aims to change that by making music-creation fun, simple and entertaining, but with a full industry vertical behind it. Can hits be made, remixed, identified, and fully exploited, all in one platform?
Jambl, which recently received half a million euros of funding from another music-apps firm, Gismart, is one of a few apps – like the recently profiled Voisey – trying to lower the bar of entry to music creation. What unites these apps is ease of creation, collaboration, and the aim of turning little loops of music into something more meaningful, workable and sellable.
Co-founder Gad Baruch Hinkis’ enthusiasm for Jambl is real. “Music is for everyone: you don’t need to be a genius with natural-born talent to have a great experience and connect with other people,” he says. His pitch certainly won over the judges of the Midemlab 2019 startups contest last June: Jambl won the music creation and education category.
The post Music Ally Startup Files: Jambl, the music-making app for non-musicians appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: Voisey is the TikTok for music creation

If co-founder Olly Barnes’ infectious optimism is correct, Voisey is a phenomenon-in-waiting. It’s an app that has the potential to shake up how songs are made; tap into hitherto locked-away artistic talent; develop a new breed of pop star and pop songs; and maybe even bypass the traditional label system.
Sounds too good to be true? Barnes suggests that it’s already happening. In an alternate music-biz timeline, Voisey might be the “missing” social media platform: combining early SoundCloud’s zealous userbase, early Hype Machine’s excitement of discovery; Snapchat’s intimacy; and TikTok’s front-facing camera appeal.
Barnes currently divides his time between Voisey and mobile games firm Space Ape, having previously held influential roles at Universal Music and Rdio. He also founded GoMix, an early collaborative music platform.
His pitch is certainly bullish: that Voisey could be a one-stop shop that will help people graduate from TikTok lip-sync wannabes to bona-fide songwriter/performers earning royalties.
“It’s not an application, it’s a movement. People are writing little loops, and users are jumping on them! Voisey may have huge implications for the music industry at large…”
The post Music Ally Startup Files: Voisey is the TikTok for music creation appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music Ally’s Music/Tech Startup Files #1: Five Vectors

Gamer music fans want music that fits the exact gaming moment they’re experiencing, and they want to show off their fandom. Five Vectors’ tech scans and funnels music programmatically to those audiences, and helps fans pay for it in ways that make interaction meaningful and status-based, like being skins in Fortnite.
The post Music Ally’s Music/Tech Startup Files #1: Five Vectors appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Capitol Gains: Capitol Records talks innovation, startups and music

In September, Music Ally spoke to three of Warner Music Group’s senior innovation and business-development execs, about how they work with startups and innovative technologies. That month, we also interviewed some music/tech startups, who gave some blunt, honest feedback on the challenges they have faced working with major labels in general.
It’s a conversation that’s worth continuing. Our first follow-up is another major-label interview, with three of UMG subsidiary Capitol Records’ innovation leads: Ching-Ching Chen, Josh Remsberg and Nick Osbourne. All three have a palpable enthusiasm for music-tech; were at pains to express that their goals are always artist-first; and that they see innovation as much more than just a new, quick-fix marketing tool.
The wider context: UMG’s overall strategy includes creating a global music-tech A&R network: scouting via a series of partnerships with its Accelerator Engagement Network; through the Abbey Road Red startups incubator; and the idea-exchange hothouse that is the Capitol360 Innovation Center, based in Capitol’s landmark Los Angeles HQ.
The post Capitol Gains: Capitol Records talks innovation, startups and music appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Most Wanted: Music report – Scott Cohen, diversity, Africa and more

In Berlin, talk around music usually takes two paths: techno or the blockchain, and both involve a lot of earnest nodding. At the Most Wanted: Music 2019 conference, conversation was nudged towards the creation of new value streams, pushing for meaningful diversity, and embracing change in an age that demands it.
The post Most Wanted: Music report – Scott Cohen, diversity, Africa and more appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Reeperbahn Festival day two: Gender equality, secondary ticketing and more

With digital now firmly driving the music industry, the second day of the conference at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival saw a lot of chatter about the industry’s resolutely-analogue elements: human beings. From gender equality in terms even the least humane person can understand, to where bots meet humans, and how smaller, people-centric businesses can survive in the face of big-money land-grabs.
Music can play a major part in reducing gender inequality
In the suitably futuristic “Future Dome,” Reeperbahn showcased an impressive programme of panels on sustainability and equality. And with steady persistence, each speaker made it clear in front of an industry that has often dragged its feet: gende
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Source: Music ally

Reeperbahn Festival day one: Copyright, Brexit and more

Authenticity, Copyright law, and – oh yes – Brexit were all on the agenda during the first day of conference sessions at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg.
In an era where perceived authenticity counts for so much, songwriters composing for clients who want songs for adverts might be asked to create songs that fulfil two seemingly opposing needs: writing songs that are authentic – but also that sound alike – or even “just-a-like” a famous hit. Can you balance this, and what does it tell us about music consumers today?
The post Reeperbahn Festival day one: Copyright, Brexit and more appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Warner Music Group talks startups, technology and investment

In Music Ally’s latest analysis report, we take a look at the three major labels’ strategies around music/tech startups and investment. The full report is for Music Ally subscribers only, but you can sign up for a free trial, which includes access to the latest report. An extract from it follows, focusing on Warner Music Group.
As noted in our overview of the three majors’ strategies, WMG has a multi-faceted approach to its engagement with music startups. To find out more about the specific strategic thinking behind WMG Boost, its involvement in Techstars and to discuss some of the less obvious benefits of plugging into the startup ecosystem, Music Ally spoke to a trio of WMG’s leading lights in biz-dev.
They were: Oana Ruxandra, fresh from her promotion to lead WMG’s business development whilst also serving as executive VP of new business channels and chief acquisition officer; Jeff Bronikowski, SVP, global business development and head of new technology and innovation; and Alex Kamins, WMG’s VP, global digital business development – innovation.
All three were enthusiastic about what they saw as WMG’s nuanced, inquisitive and “lean-in” approach to engaging with the notoriously unpredictable startup world.
The post Warner Music Group talks startups, technology and investment appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

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