Author: Stuart Dredge

Record Union launches music-focused ‘Wellness Starter Pack’

Last year, we reported on a study by distributor Record Union into mental health and wellbeing for independent musicians. The results made for concerning reading.
Now the company is launching something new as a result: a ‘wellness starter pack’ which it describes as a “toolbox for wellbeing” aimed at musicians. It’s a collection of videos focusing on five topics: sleep, positivity, mindfulness, exercise and nutrition, roping in a variety of experts for each category to offer musicians their tips on staying healthy.
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Source: Music ally

StubHub is offering credit, not refunds, for cancelled events

The next big controversy around secondary ticketing has arrived, and it concerns whether buyers will get refunds for events that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If they bought through StubHub, the answer is now ‘no’ in the US and Canada – unless they were bought in areas where such refunds are legally required.
“We were the first in our industry to begin offering customers 120% credit for the canceled purchases as a thank you for remaining patient in a very challenging period,” wrote president Sukhinder Singh Cassidy in a post online.
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Source: Music ally

Music-making app Endlesss officially launches its iOS app

We wrote about music-making app startup (and extra-sibilant scourge of auto-correct systems) Endlesss several times in 2019: for example when the company pitched at and co-won the Midemlab startups contest last June, then when we interviewed CEO Tim Exile the following month.
The company’s app has been available on an invitation-only basis since then, but today sees its official commercial launch for iOS, open to all. The tagline for the app is “multiplayer music” with a focus on its ability to get people creating electronic music together, remotely and over the internet (which right now feels accidentally timely).
We’ve been playing with it for a while, and the app’s ‘loop-by-loop’ method of building songs works well, with a decent balance between being accessible to non-musicians, and powerful for people who already know what they’re doing. The app is free to download, and will make money from a £4.49 monthly subscription offering more ‘soundpacks’ and digital effects.
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Source: Music ally

Internet Archive’s ‘National Emergency Library’ sparks row

There’s a copyright row breaking out in the US after the launch last week by the Internet Archive of something called the ‘National Emergency Library’. It’s not actually a brand new thing: it’s a change of policy for its existing ‘lending library’ for ebooks. The change is that people don’t have to join a waitlist […]
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Source: Music ally

Podcast listening may be falling amid coronavirus pandemic

There’s been a certain amount of debate in the last fortnite about whether music streaming isn’t, in fact, getting a spike in usage as more people work from home. Here’s some more possible context for that: perhaps non-radio audio is what’s getting a bit of a hit. Podcast analytics firm Podtrac has been looking at […]
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Source: Music ally

AudioLock and Label Worx launch The Music Mission to battle piracy

Anti-piracy firm AudioLock and distributor Label Worx have teamed up for a campaign called The Music Mission, which they say will target ‘pay for access’ piracy download sites. The companies want other music firms to help them shut down around 200 piracy sites by squeezing their ‘payment gateways’, and turn their visitors back towards legal music […]
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Source: Music ally

Report explores potential subs growth for Indian music services

Indian management consultancy firm RedSeer has published a report about the ‘audio OTT’ (i.e. music streaming) market there, including exploring the potential for growth in paid subscriptions. Some of the figures are familiar: for example its claim that only around 1% of current listeners are paying for subscriptions, but that the average revenue per subscriber is ’80 […]
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Source: Music ally

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (30 March)

There’s something of a domino effect happening as collecting societies sign off their plans for hardship funds and other measures designed to support songwriters and composers during the current pandemic. French society Sacem has announced a €6m ‘rescue fund’ for hard-hit musicians, with grants of €1.5k, €3k and €5k available depending on the situation. Sacem has also […]
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Source: Music ally

MMF and FAC call for ‘recoupment holidays’ for artists

UK industry bodies the MMF and FAC have published some results from a survey of more than 150 managers and artists about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on their incomes. They have extrapolated the data to suggest that “over £50m has already been lost to the wider music economy” with live cancellations the main reason. […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook expands its ‘stars’ monetisation to musicians

We haven’t written about this much, because musicians couldn’t use it, but Facebook has had its own livestream monetisation system of ‘stars’ running for a while now. It’s akin to Twitch’s bits and cheers and YouTube’s Super Chat, in that viewers can spend money on virtual items, with the streamer who they’re watching getting a […]
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Source: Music ally

Space is the place for new Big Beat Records campaign

Warner Music Group’s Big Beat Records label is preparing to release a new album called ‘Big Beat Ignition: Space’ on 3 April. The 10-track compilation has an intergalactic theme – “anyone else down for a space rave right now?” – and a creative marketing campaign drawing on data from NASA and the European Space Agency, as […]
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Source: Music ally

Indian video service MX Player expands to six new markets

MX Player is an on-demand video streaming service owned by Times Internet (the digital arm of Indian media conglomerate Times Media) and has over 175m active users in India. It has now expanded to six new countries – the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Nepal. This comes after a significant investment round last […]
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Source: Music ally

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (27 March)

Let’s start today with Germany, at a time when bodies representing musicians and the music industry are pressing governments around the world for relief and support.
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Source: Music ally

TikTok’s top creator Charli D’Amelio now has 41.8m followers

With many parents exhausted already by homeschooling, and relaxing their device-usage rules once lessons are done, we suspect TikTok’s servers are getting a mighty battering. That’s going to be good news for the top creators on the social app though, whose audiences may see a spike. Tubefilter notes that this includes a change at the top of […]
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Source: Music ally

Analyst predicts big hit to Facebook and Google ad revenues

We’re trying to report on all the positive news amid the coronavirus pandemic, but we can’t ignore the bad news. For example, the likely impact on digital advertising spending, with the giants of that space – Google and Facebook – likely to take the biggest hits. “The two internet giants together could see more than $44 billion […]
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Source: Music ally

AIM Sync conference to go virtual for its 30 March event

UK indie body AIM was due to hold its annual AIM Sync conference on 30 March, but for understandable reasons, it’s not going ahead as a physical event. However, it will still happen digitally: “a live and interactive virtual conference” thanks to a partnership with digital agency level8. People who’d bought tickets to the planned conference are […]
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Source: Music ally

Video service Quibi to launch a show focusing on music

We’ve written about Quibi a few times: the company formerly known as NewTV was founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and tech veteran Meg Whitman, and is launching a subscription-based app with original TV shows split into bitesize episodes. It’s also raised a ton of money – $1.75bn so far, with its service about to launch. Now there’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music Browse page is tuned for self-isolating listeners

We’ve been writing about what streaming services are doing to support music-industry relief efforts and artists, but the coronavirus pandemic is also having an impact in how they’re recommending music (and other content) to their listeners. We wrote about Deezer’s new ‘Stay at Home’ hub earlier this week, but Apple Music is also adapting to the time […]
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Source: Music ally

StubHub furloughs staff due to coronavirus impact

StubHub has become one of the first ticketing firms to confirm plans to ‘furlough’ staff (the term means to put staff on mandatory leave, often unpaid – it’s not clear whether that applies here – as a temporary measure). “Given the impact of the coronavirus on the live-events industry, we have made the difficult but responsible decision […]
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Source: Music ally

SoundCloud Go+ subscription service launches in the Nordics

SoundCloud Go+, the streaming service’s subscription tier for listeners, has expanded into four new markets – Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. They’ll now get access to its full catalogue of more than 200m tracks and DJ sets, with features including no ads, offline play and better audio quality. It’ll cost 99 kr a month in Denmark, €9.99 […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify coronavirus response includes letting artists add fundraising links to their profiles

Spotify has just announced some of the things it’s doing in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. They include launching a music relief project where the streaming service will match donations up to a total Spotify contribution of $10m, and a feature enabling artists to fundraise from fans via their Spotify profiles.
The Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project will do several things. First, it will point people towards “verified organisations that offer financial relief to those in the music community most in need around the world” – starting with MusiCares, PRS Foundation and Help Musicians with more to come.
Second: “Spotify is making a donation to these organisations and will match donations made via the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief page dollar-for-dollar up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million”.
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Source: Music ally

Justin Bieber to release bi-weekly mini-compilations

News that Justin Bieber is going to be releasing a couple of albums a week during the coronavirus pandemic may raise your eyebrows, but there’s a caveat: these are compilations rather than all brand new material. “Gonna be putting up some compilations for you guys. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Here is the first one,” tweeted Bieber yesterday, […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube’s Stay Home #WithMe hub gathers music livestreams

YouTube’s latest initiative to encourage people to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic’s current phase is a hub called StayHome #WithMe that gathers videos that it thinks will keep people entertained, active and informed while staying home. The top shelf on the page is called ‘Jam With Me’ and spotlights the latest livestreams from artists – at the time […]
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Source: Music ally

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (25 March)

Start today with the group of streaming services and tech companies announcing contributions to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund in the US.
Amazon Music, Facebook, SiriusXM and Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube Music are the services, and while no amount has been given for their contributions, MusiCares said that in less than a week it has raised “millions more than the initial $2m” that started the fund to help artists and music industry workers.
(It’s US-specific, but we’re aware of streaming services actively seeking out similar funds and relief efforts across the world, so we expect more announcements.)
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Source: Music ally

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (24 March)

Music Ally is trying to write a story every working day, rounding up the good, practical things happening in and around our industry: focusing on relief efforts and other initiatives from the music industry and music / tech communities.
Start today with Bandcamp’s update on how last Friday’s big music sale went. “On a typical Friday, fans buy about 47,000 items on Bandcamp, but this past Friday, fans bought nearly 800,000, or $4.3 million worth of music and merch,” reported the company. “That’s more than 15 times our normal Friday, and at the peak, fans were buying 11 items per second.”
Continue with news that German collecting society GEMA has announced an ’emergency aid’ program of up to €40m (around $43.2m) for its members, over two stages of distribution for songwriters who get into financial difficulties as a result of the current pandemic. Detail of how to apply will be published later this week. GEMA is also promising to be “pragmatic and flexible” in its licensing dealings with music events organisers in the weeks and months ahead.
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Source: Music ally

Twitter users up but revenues hit due to coronavirus

Earlier this year, Twitter provided analysts with its financial guidance for the first quarter of 2020, predicting revenue of between $825m and $885m, and operating income between $0m and $30m. Yesterday, though, Twitter withdrew that guidance, due to the coronavirus pandemic. “While the near-term financial impact of this pandemic is rapidly evolving and difficult to measure, based on […]
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Source: Music ally

New York Times buys startup that turns articles into audio

It’s not just music streaming services who are excited about podcasts and long-form audio more generally. The New York Times just acquired a startup called Audm, which runs a “subscription-based audio app that offers listeners the world’s best longform journalism, read aloud word-for-word by celebrated audiobook narrators”. It launched in 2016, and aggregates articles from the NYT but […]
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Source: Music ally

BTS로 한국어 배우기 (that’s ‘Learn Korean with BTS’ in Korean)

We really hope that means ‘Learn Korean with BTS’ – blame Google Translate if not! We wrote about Weverse earlier this year as part of our report on K-Pop giant Big Hit Entertainment’s latest financial results: it’s a fan community platform focusing on artists including BTS, TXT, Seventeen and Gfriend, launched by Big Hit subsidiary beNX. Now it […]
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Source: Music ally

South Korean DSP changes chart to battle ‘distorted’ streams

Flo, owned by SK Telecom, is one of the main music streaming services in South Korea. It used to run a near-real-time chart (updated hourly) showing what the most popular songs were on the platform. That has now been replaced by a new Flo Chart that updates every 24 hours that allows it to use […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify is testing photo-based music recommendations

Have you ever been using a music streaming service and thought: ‘Yes playlists and suchlike are good, but what I really need is the ability to take a photo and have that used to recommend music to me’? Nope, us neither. Still, Spotify clearly sees some potential in the idea: it appears to be testing […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music’s new personalised playlist is Get Up! Mix

Although Apple Music has made human curation a big part of its brand (especially when execs are throwing shade at Spotify in interviews) that hasn’t stopped it from developing its own series of algo-personalised playlists. Now Favourites Mix, Chill Mix and Friends Mix have a new team member: ‘Get Up! Mix‘. Like the others it’ll […]
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Source: Music ally

Survey suggests Disney+ has been a huge hit in the US

In its last financial earnings call, Disney said that it ended 2019 with 26.5 million paid subscribers for its Disney+ video streaming service, representing a very strong start in the US. Now, ahead of its rollout in Europe, Variety has some new stats that point even more towards Disney+ being a huge hit back home. “Approximately 50% of American […]
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Source: Music ally

Struggling with isolation? An astronaut might be able to help

Some people have been working from home regularly for years, and others take to it like ducks to water. But others may struggle, especially if they’re cooped up alone (or with housemates / family) for what’s looking like an indeterminate period of time. In the knowledge that many of our readers will be thinking hard […]
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Source: Music ally

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news

Stuff we’re heartened by today includes Resident Advisor’s ‘Save Our Scene‘ campaign, which is mustering collecting action from the electronic music community. There’s an open letter that fans, musicians and other people in the industry can sign – more than 3,000 people so far have – with encouragement for people who want to do their […]
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Source: Music ally

Soundplate launches cover-art generator for music playlists

We haven’t written about Soundplate before, but it’s one of the companies creating marketing tools for artists and labels: its best-known product is Soundplate Clicks, a smart-links tool competing with the likes of Linkfire and SmartURL, but it also has a tool for creating music-vizualiser videos for YouTube and social platforms, and a tool for […]
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Source: Music ally

MelodyVR is raising $12m by selling more shares

We reported last week on virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR’s postponement of its planned expansion to Latin America and Asia Pacific, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the company’s growth hopes continue: this morning the company – which is public – announced plans to raise $12m of new funding by selling shares to existing and new investors. After expenses, it’ll mean […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify launches a new podcast API for developers

Spotify may be booting DJ apps off its music API, but the company is also launching a new API for another part of its business: podcasts. “Today, we launched a new podcast API for developers. This will allow developers to explore and build unique experiences to help your shows reach new listeners in new ways,” explained Spotify […]
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Source: Music ally

It’s too early to tell what coronavirus means for streaming

It’s not great for your work/life balance to spend the weekend feeling grumpy every time you spot that ‘people are streaming music less due to coronavirus’ story doing the rounds – based on a limited comparison of stream counts from the Spotify charts. It’s true that other forms of media may be more appealing to […]
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Source: Music ally

Mixtape site Spinrilla sues RIAA over takedown notices

Usually when US industry body the RIAA is involved in a court copyright dust-up with a website, it’s the industry body doing the suing (or rather, working with labels who are doing the suing). The boot will be on the other foot in an upcoming case, however. TorrentFreak reports that mixtapes site Spinrilla is suing the RIAA […]
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Source: Music ally

Instagram and TikTok ‘sidekick apps’ were hot in 2019

A new report from research firm Sensor Tower has found that a third of the biggest new apps in 2019 were “sidekick apps” for the likes of Instagram and TikTok. What are sidekick apps? They are apps that work in conjunction with ‘mother’ apps, adding new features or enhancements that the original app is lacking. According to […]
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Source: Music ally

Behind The Campaign: Indian hip-hop star Naezy

In India, Naezy is one of the driving forces behind the country’s emerging hip-hop scene. Given the centrality of Bollywood, the Indian music industry was, for many years, a sub-division of the film industry and music marketing had to work around that structural fact. As digital opens the county up, new opportunities are bubbling up […]
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Source: Music ally

Netflix reduces streaming quality in Europe to save bandwidth

Netflix is making some changes to the way its service runs in Europe, in response to a request from the European Union’s internal market commissioner Thierry Breton. He asked the video streaming service what it could do to reduce its load on the continent’s internet networks, with populations working at home en masse. “Streaming platforms, telecom operators […]
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Source: Music ally

There really is a robot releasing music on Spotify

Wait! Drop the pitchforks! Shimon isn’t one of these fake artists you’ve been hearing about (we’re still trying to get to the bottom of who Jan Thiel is, by the way). No, Shimon is proudly, unashamedly an actual robot, and he plays the marimba. He’s one of the robotics projects at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music […]
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Source: Music ally

Music companies share their lessons on remote working

Many of us (Music Ally included) are now figuring out how to run our companies as entirely remote-working businesses. A couple of music companies with more experience of this have been sharing their lessons, which may be useful. Merch firm Push Entertainment’s Simon Scott has published a post of “real world things that work for highly functioning […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s dance playlist Mint spawns its own ‘singles’

We’re well used now to ‘Spotify Singles’, the streaming service’s series of original live recordings from artists, where they re-record one of their own songs plus a cover version – with their label retaining all the rights. Well, now one of Spotify’s big playlists is spawning its own line of similar releases. The playlist is dance-focused […]
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Source: Music ally

The Weeknd sets Apple Music record, holds Spotify listening session

It’s fair to say that The Weeknd’s new album ‘After Hours’ is expected to have a big debut this weekend. The streaming services are certainly throwing their weight behind it. Apple announced yesterday that the album has broken its record for Apple Music pre-adds (people pre-saving it to their libraries). MBW reported that by yesterday, […]
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Source: Music ally

Tencent Music talks album sales and independent artists

Earlier this week we reported on Tencent Music’s latest financial results, including the news that it now has 39.9 million paying users for online music. Note, that’s not just ‘subscribers’, because Tencent Music also sells music – digital albums – through its streaming services. In the company’s earnings call with analysts, it talked about some of the recent […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok appoints US external advisors for content moderation

TikTok has been under a lot of scrutiny in recent months, in the US particularly, over how its content moderation policies work. Now the app has appointed what US general manager Vanessa Pappas described as “an external council of leading experts to advise TikTok on content moderation policies covering a wide range of topics… thought leaders who […]
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Source: Music ally

Charli XCX kicks off ‘self-isolating’ livestreams series on Instagram

Everyone and their artist auntie is livestreaming now, it seems – our RSS feed was overwhelmed by a blizzard of media articles commenting on the trend this morning too. Some of the more notable examples from the past 24 hours include: Charli XCX kicking off a series of Instagram livestreams, patching in fellow artists like Christine and […]
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Source: Music ally

Startup Landmrk launches ‘Virtual Tours’ feature for artists

We’ve written about British startup Landmrk regularly over the past couple of years: its platform enables artists (and other kinds of brands too) to create virtual ‘treasure hunts’ that encourage fans to explore the real world to find digital content. Obviously, there are some issues with the ‘explore the real world’ aspect right now, what […]
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Source: Music ally

Glastonbury Festival and Eurovision both cancelled for 2020

Spring and summer music events getting cancelled is now expected, rather than a surprise, but for Europeans yesterday still managed to deliver something of a hammer blow with the cancellation of the 2020 editions of both the Glastonbury Festival and the Eurovision Song Contest. By now, neither is news, so the aspect we’ll pull out […]
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Source: Music ally

MusicWatch report notes growth in US ‘music buyers’ to 116m

Research company MusicWatch has revealed some of the findings from its Annual Music Study, which surveys 5,000 Americans on their music habits. Among those findings: there are now 116 million ‘music buyers’ in the US, the highest total since 2007. That’s a metric covering people who pay for subscriptions and/or CDs, downloads and vinyl. Meanwhile, […]
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Source: Music ally

Bootleg podcasts hint at how Spotify could shake up audio shows

What to call them. Podboots? Notcasts? Vice has run a fascinating piece on the Trojan horse world of podcasts on Spotify that are smuggling unlicensed music onto the platform. Vice has trawled Spotify’s music podcasts category and found a range of shows, with names like idk im high, boyband nostalgia and the less i know the circle […]
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Source: Music ally

MelodyVR postpones expansion to Latin America and Asia Pacific

Virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR is seeing a silver lining in the coronavirus outbreak – its content sales are up – but it’s also forcing a pause in the company’s global expansion plans. On the first of those: “We have not sought to actively capitalise on the events of the last few weeks, yet having experienced […]
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Source: Music ally

New Sonos app and operating system coming in June

Sonos is launching a new app in June, alongside new software for its speakers. Well, some of its speakers. The app and software is called ‘Sonos S2’, and it will be compatible with many existing Sonos devices and all its new ones. However, some of the company’s older hardware will not support it – what […]
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Source: Music ally

Anti-LGBTQ+ song removed from music streaming services

Malaysian rock band Bunkface have a song called ‘Akhir Zaman’ [‘The End of Times’] which included homophobic lyrics like the line “LGBT can go to hell” (or “LGBT can go die”). The band had released a statement denying that this was hate speech, suggesting instead that they were protesting against the movement for LGBTQ+ rights in […]
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Source: Music ally

‘TikTok for musicians’ Jamiphy joins Y Combinator accelerator

We wrote about startup Jamiphy in August 2019 after we spotted its profile pop up on an investment website. It was billing itself as ‘TikTok for Musicians’ – an app where artists could “create short musical videos with others, and with AI musicians using any instrument or style”. The company has since launched its app in Indonesia, and now […]
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Source: Music ally

UK music industry concerned for venues closing for coronavirus

The COVID-19 situation is certainly fast-moving. Yesterday afternoon, various UK music bodies criticised the British government heavily for advising people not to go to public venues including pubs, clubs and concert venues without actually ordering those places to close – the concern being that this would not enable them to claim on their insurance policies. “The […]
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Source: Music ally

NBCUniversal is sending new films straight to digital rental

Here’s another example of how the coronavirus situation is impacting an entertainment industry: it’s smashing through Hollywood’s ‘theatrical window’ – the period at which new films are only available to watch in cinemas.
Studio NBCUniversal announced yesterday that its current slate of new films will be made available for on-demand (digital) rental at the same time they debut in cinemas.
“Movies will be made available on a wide variety of on-demand services for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99 in the U.S. and the price equivalent in international markets,” reported The Hollywood Reporter. “Insiders say it isn’t a blanket policy for the studio’s entire 2020 calendar and that decisions regarding other titles and the duration of the policy haven’t been made yet.”
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Source: Music ally

More artists turn to livestreams amid coronavirus isolation

As the live-music shutdown continues, more and bigger artists have turned to livestreaming performances online as an alternative, if not (certainly not in terms of income) a replacement.
Neil Young is launching a ‘Fireside Sessions’ series of concerts broadcast from his home. As far as we can tell, the performances will be hosted on his own Neil Young Archives website, since (as his announcement reminded fans) he’s dropping Facebook “very very soon”. Coldplay’s Chris Martin streamed a performance via Instagram yesterday, as part of a new ‘Together, At Home’ partnership between the World Health Organization and Global Citizen. John Legend will be the next artist to take part, later today.
Meanwhile, US satellite-radio firm SiriusXM has announced that acts including Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Martin Garrix and Major Lazer (all of whom were to play the now-cancelled Ultra Music Festival in Miami at the start of the month) will play DJ sets at the Ultra Virtual Audio Festival on limited-run channel UMF Radio which will be accessible from 20th March to 23rd March. Plus, artist Frank Turner is playing a three-sets concert later today from home, via his Facebook page.
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Source: Music ally

Raine Group predicts recorded-income spike for indie artists

Investment firm Raine Group has a keen interest in the independent music and DIY artists sectors, having put funding into SoundCloud and Amuse, while advising Downtown on its acquisitions of CD Baby and Fuga. Now the company has produced a report claiming that the artists using these and other companies will see strong growth in their recorded music revenues this year.
“Our work suggests that the independent artist recorded music sector will achieve $2 billion in revenue in the calendar year 2020, representing approximately 9% of the entire global recorded music industry,” claims the report.
The specific figure is $2.12bn, up from estimated revenues of $1.61bn for these artists in 2019. These figures are broken down into three areas: artists using indie-focused distributors, including earnings from YouTube monetisation; artists using ‘mid-tail’ artist services companies; and sync / production music.
The post Raine Group predicts recorded-income spike for indie artists appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

British music labels’ trade income grew by 7.3% in 2019

UK music industry body the BPI has published its annual figures for British labels’ trade income – the money that labels actually earn, rather than the ‘retail value’ of consumer spending on music that was reported by fellow body ERA earlier this year.
The unsurprising headline: more growth for labels. Their trade income grew by 7.3% in 2019 to £1.07bn (around $1.32bn), the fourth consecutive year of growth.
As in other countries, streaming was the main driver: British labels’ streaming income grew by 21.8% to £628.9m last year, and now accounts for 58.9% of their revenues – up from 51.9% in 2018.
Within that, labels’ income from streaming subscriptions grew by 21.7% to £568.8m in 2019. In its announcement of the figures, the BPI cited data from global body the IFPI and consultancy firm Media Research to suggest that by mid-2019 there were 19.6 million music subscribers in the UK.
The post British music labels’ trade income grew by 7.3% in 2019 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amazon Alexa gets smarter with some new music features

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has some new tricks in the way it deals with music. Launched this week, they include the ability to serve (on request) a cappella, live, remix, instrumental and other versions of tracks. “Saying commands like ‘Alexa, play the Con Calma remix’ or ‘Alexa, play live J. Cole songs’ kicks off the […]
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Source: Music ally

Melanie Martinez got 100m+ YouTube views for her K-12 project

Melanie Martinez is the latest musician to get the YouTube Artist Spotlight Story treatment: a 13-minute mini-documentary about her “artistic journey and the many hats she wears as a creative”. We were tickled by the phrase ‘With exclusive BTS from her feature film K-12’ in the video’s YouTube description too: that’s exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ footage, obviously, […]
The post Melanie Martinez got 100m+ YouTube views for her K-12 project appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Kesha taps Spotify for Blessed Mess room-wrecking promo game

“You can’t get to heaven without raising a little hell darlin’,” is how the website for Kesha’s new promotional game Blessed Mess greets fans, before inviting them to “connect to Spotify, wreck Kesha’s room and unlock exclusive content”. As with other Spotify-linked campaigns, connecting the streaming service means the label (Sony Music in this case) will get […]
The post Kesha taps Spotify for Blessed Mess room-wrecking promo game appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

YouTube app switches Trending tab to Explore – music included

YouTube is officially changing the name of the ‘Trending’ tab in its mobile app to ‘Explore’, with changes to the videos that people will find under that tab too. “With Explore, you not only have access to Trending videos, but also to destination pages for some popular content categories like Gaming, Music, Fashion & Beauty, […]
The post YouTube app switches Trending tab to Explore – music included appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

US subscriptions surge still accompanied by ‘value gap’ fears

One of the facts that may have gone overlooked in the USA’s recent surge in recorded music revenue is the country’s incredibly strong music subscription numbers, which come under the microscope in our latest US country profile. In 2019 the US averaged 60.4m paid subscriptions, up from 46.9m in 2018, according to the RIAA. If we […]
The post US subscriptions surge still accompanied by ‘value gap’ fears appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The mystery of Childish Gambino’s ‘Donald Glover Presents’

Fans of Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) got a surprise this weekend when a new album called ‘Donald Glover Presents’ appeared to drop out of the blue. Not on streaming services, but as Billboard reported, the album was made available on a website of the same name, with its 12 tracks including new collaborations with Ariana […]
The post The mystery of Childish Gambino’s ‘Donald Glover Presents’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amazon Music launches analytics for artists with a mobile app

With more than 55 million music streaming users around the world, most of whom are paying, Amazon is the third biggest player in the global music subscriptions market behind Spotify and Apple Music.
One area in which it has lagged those rivals has been artist analytics: the data it provides artists and their teams on how their music is being streamed on its services and devices. Today, however, Amazon is launching its own equivalent of Spotify for Artists and Apple Music for Artists.
No prizes for guessing its name: Amazon Music for Artists. It’s launching today as a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, with a web dashboard to follow. There’s also a companion website offering artists advice and resources on how to build their audience on Amazon Music.
The post Amazon Music launches analytics for artists with a mobile app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Cocooning, downgrading… what will Coronavirus mean for music?

The short term impact of the novel-Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, in the US at least, is this: no big tours. AEG and Live Nation both announced yesterday that they are postponing all arena tours scheduled for March, having set up a task force together with talent agencies CAA, WME, Paradigm and UTA to figure out a collective […]
The post Cocooning, downgrading… what will Coronavirus mean for music? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Super-bundle plans reportedly missing from Apple Music’s new deals

Amid all the blow-by-blow speculation about the progress of Spotify’s licensing renewals with major labels, it’s been easy to forget that – sit down for this revelation – other streaming services also have deals that periodically need to be renewed. Apple Music, for instance, which according to the Financial Times has quietly sealed its new deals with […]
The post Super-bundle plans reportedly missing from Apple Music’s new deals appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Songtrust boss hopes for gender parity in A&R signings by 2030

Songtrust president Molly Neuman has been one of the key champions for diversity and inclusion in the music industry. In an op-ed piece for Variety, she has outlined some ways she thinks the music industry can do better over the coming years. It includes a rousing call to rightsholders across the industry, and an accompanying target. […]
The post Songtrust boss hopes for gender parity in A&R signings by 2030 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Liz Pelly talks Spotify, independence and ‘big music tech criticism’

Over a series of articles for US journal The Baffler, journalist and critic Liz Pelly has examined the culture and dynamics of music streaming in general and Spotify in particular.
In Discover Weakly, Unfree Agents, Streambait Pop and Big Mood Machine, she offered some of the sharpest criticism of Spotify’s business, its impact on musicians and its effects on music culture.
Pelly’s keynote last week at the by:Larm conference in Oslo drew on all four articles, as well as other strands of thought, to call out the problems she sees in the streaming era.
Or as she put it: “A streaming environment where music is increasingly susceptible to some of the same challenges as journalism in the age of clickbait… and also issues around surveillance and privacy, and new ways that music listening data has been commodified and sold to advertisers and marketing firms”.
The post Liz Pelly talks Spotify, independence and ‘big music tech criticism’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Allthestreams·fm stunt hacks US subscription video-streaming

As we’ve noted before, the video streaming landscape is very different to the music streaming world, where bar the odd exception, every service has all the music. For video, it’s more a case of many different TV and film subscription services fighting tooth and nail to secure exclusives (easier if they were the original producer […]
The post Allthestreams·fm stunt hacks US subscription video-streaming appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Killer clown Pennywise pops up in a Spotify lullabies playlist

We’ve heard some weak excuses in our time, but suggesting that you “did not believe the playlist was designed primarily for children” when the playlist is called ‘Classical Lullabies’ and has several tracks mentioning children in their title? It’s not the strongest of defences, and especially not when what you’re defending is the appearance of […]
The post Killer clown Pennywise pops up in a Spotify lullabies playlist appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Drop it like it’s Brots: startup swipes right on music discovery

Dating app Tinder’s swiping interface has long been applied to other kinds of apps and services, music included – we wrote about Next in 2014 and Fab·fm in 2016 as two examples. The latest startup to apply the functionality of Tinder to music is Brots. It’s an app where listeners play 30-second clips of new acts where they can swipe […]
The post Drop it like it’s Brots: startup swipes right on music discovery appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

BandPay raises $2m for its music collaborations management app

US-based BandPay is one of the startups trying to help musicians get paid for their work more efficiently. In its case, that takes the form of an app on which collaborators set milestones for their projects, with funds in escrow that are released when those milestones are hit. Now the company is getting a payment milestone of […]
The post BandPay raises $2m for its music collaborations management app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

BPI has now asked Google to remove more than 500m search links

British music industry body the BPI has set a new milestone, but it’s announcing it in frustration rather than celebration. The body says it has just submitted its 500 millionth URL to Google, asking for it to be delisted from the company’s search engine on the grounds of copyright infringement. The BPI also says it has […]
The post BPI has now asked Google to remove more than 500m search links appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Startup Rightsholder·io aims to streamline music clearance

Music Ally is long enough in the tooth to be skeptical whenever someone has a bright idea for launching a database offering “a clear and complete picture of who owns the rights to a song all in one place”. Those are the words of Atlanta-based startup Music Tech Works about its first product, Rightsholder·io, which is currently available […]
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Source: Music ally

SXSW and Ultra Music Festival both have ‘no refunds’ policies

We gasped the other day when it emerged that SXSW didn’t have an insurance policy that would cover cancellation due to “communicable diseases, viruses and pandemics” – like the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). If that was the shot, here’s the chaser: it appears that both SXSW and the also-cancelled Ultra Music Festival will not be refunding people […]
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Source: Music ally

Billie Eilish ‘Bad Guy’ was the biggest global single of 2019

Billie Eilish is going to need to build a new awards cabinet soon: her latest trophy is the IFPI’s award for the biggest global single of 2019, awarded to ‘Bad Guy’.
The track notched up 19.5m ‘global converted track equivalents’ last year – a metric that includes audio and video streams as well as download sales, weighting each by “relative value” (i.e. the money generated for rightsholders).
‘Bad Guy’ beat second-placed ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X, with 18.4m converted track equivalents, and third-ranked ‘Señorita’ by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello (16.1m).
Eilish’s track has already won Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards in January, while it was the second most-streamed track on Spotify in 2019 (behind Señorita) – although Eilish’s ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ was the top-streamed album on that service.
“Billie Eilish has taken the world by storm with her incredible voice and genre-defying sound. She is also an artist who addresses important issues like mental health in her lyrics that clearly resonate with her fans all over the world,” said IFPI boss Frances Moore (pictured above presenting Eilish with her latest award).
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Source: Music ally

Love ISN’T in the air as DSPs’ US royalty-rates appeal kicks off

David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association in the US, has never been a man to pull his verbal punches when taking digital services to task.
“Songwriters: This week, Spotify and Amazon are quite literally taking you to court,” is how his latest guest column for Billboard begins, and it doesn’t get any less pugilistic as the article goes on.
This isn’t the whole, literal truth, though. First, because Spotify and Amazon will be joined in the courtroom in question by Google and Pandora, and second, because rather than taking songwriters to court, what they’re doing is appealing against new songwriter royalty rates set two years ago by the US Copyright Royalties Board. The anger from songwriters and publishers is very real, but they’re not in the dock.
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Source: Music ally

I Heart Songwriting Club interview: ‘There is no ceiling to this!’

“I was having panic attacks. I was completely anxious and stuck, because I wasn’t doing the thing I wanted to do. I struggled to write songs: I judged every idea as boring and not good enough, and that stopped me writing altogether. Four songs a year was all I could manage at one point…”
Australian musician Francesca de Valence writes a lot more than four songs a year now: she’s currently writing at least one a week. What’s more the online community she founded, I Heart Songwriting Club, is helping more than 700 other songwriters be similarly prolific.
The club began when de Valence, who was a teacher at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, talked to a student and found they had similar levels of anxiety about their songwriting.
“My position as a teacher was to help her. So I said ‘I’m making a songwriting club, and you and I are the first members!’ We each had our homework, to write a song in an hour and then text it to each other for feedback,” she says. “Then we invited two more people, and they ended up inviting more people.”
The post I Heart Songwriting Club interview: ‘There is no ceiling to this!’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Radar is Spotify’s new program to promote emerging artists

Spotify is launching a new program called Radar to promote emerging artists. Actually, it’s 19 ‘sister’ programs across the world, which in 2020 will feature 36 artists.
Those musicians will get slots on Spotify’s programmed playlists – including a dedicated ‘On Our Radar’ playlist – as well as other types of marketing support and editorial content on the streaming service.
For example, Alaina Castillo is the first Radar artist in the US, and will get a documentary distributed through Spotify; support with music videos; a set of ‘Spotify Singles’; and will be part of an event called ‘A Colors Show’, in partnership with music firm Colors Studios.
Other artists among the initial list of 36 include Young T + Bugsey from the UK; Agnes Nunes from Brazil; Dora, Aleesha, María José Llergo, Guitarricadelafuente and Paranoid 1966 from Spain; and Fujii Kaze, Vaundy and Rina Sawayama from Japan (where the program will be called Early Noise rather than Radar).
The post Radar is Spotify’s new program to promote emerging artists appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify gets former HuffPost exec as head of content at Gimlet

Spotify acquired podcast production studio Gimlet Media for €172m in February 2019. Now it has hired a suitably high-powered media executive to be the company’s head of content. Lydia Polgreen has been poached from her role as editor-in-chief at HuffPost, a title she’d held for the past three years. Variety reports that Polgreen will be in charge […]
The post Spotify gets former HuffPost exec as head of content at Gimlet appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Carrie Underwood launches fit52, her own fitness app

American artist Carrie Underwood has a new sideline in 2020: as a fitness guru. Her book ‘Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life’ came out last week, complete with a deck of 52 cards that help people exercise at home. Now, to borrow a phrase from […]
The post Carrie Underwood launches fit52, her own fitness app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Label-led piracy lawsuit against ISP Grande is postponed

The latest label-led copyright infringement lawsuit against an ISP in the US was focusing on Texan ISP Grande Communications. However the case has been postponed until September. The reason given was that the court only has six days available for the hearing, which both sides agreed was insufficient, suggesting that 10 days were required. The ISP […]
The post Label-led piracy lawsuit against ISP Grande is postponed appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Maggie Collins warns of a ‘crisis point’ for artist managers

Australian manager Maggie Collins, of Morning Belle, has published a social-media post (which The Industry Observer has reported on) warning of a “crisis point” for modern artist managers. “We are not super humans. We are f***ing exhausted. An alarming amount are suffering serious mental health problems due to burn-out because we have to do so much […]
The post Maggie Collins warns of a ‘crisis point’ for artist managers appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

SXSW cancelled due to coronavirus: so what next for music?

By now, you’ll surely have seen the news that the SXSW festival and conference has been cancelled by the City of Austin itself due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – a decision that SXSW has promised to respect, while exploring its options to reschedule and/or hold some of the conference parts online. You may also have […]
The post SXSW cancelled due to coronavirus: so what next for music? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Bad Bunny is the big winner at Spotify’s first awards

Last night, Spotify held its first awards event, in Mexico City. The focus was mainly on Latin American artists, with most of the categories’ nominees and winner based on data from Spotify listeners in Mexico, rather than globally.
Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny was the night’s biggest winner, taking home the Spotify Artist of the Year award for being the most streamed, followed, shared and playlisted artist by Mexican users in 2019. He also won the award for the Most Streamed Male Artist and Most Added To Playlists Artist, although J Balvin took the gong for Most Shared Artist.
The post Bad Bunny is the big winner at Spotify’s first awards appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music streaming services support International Women’s Day

This Sunday (8 March) is International Women’s Day, and as has become traditional, the big music streaming services are all celebrating the occasion.
Spotify will be launching a new ‘Women’s History Month’ hub on Sunday, with all-women playlists and podcasts, as well as IWD-themed takeovers of some of its popular playlists.
Apple is hosting a series of ‘She Creates’ sessions at its stores around the world, as well as a new ‘Music Lab’ GarageBand tutorial featuring Alicia Keys, alongside activity on Apple Music.
Deezer has roped in artists including Jorja Smith, Annie Lennox and Anitta to curate IWD-themed playlists, as well as a series of all-women playlists from Deezer’s own editors.
The post Music streaming services support International Women’s Day appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The Trichordist publishes per-stream royalties data for 2019

Every year, artist-rights blog The Trichordist publishes an updated ‘streaming price bible’ comparing the per-stream payouts of the major music streaming services. The latest version, for 2019, was published overnight, and as ever is based on “a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 350+ album catalog now generating over 1.5b streams annually”.
Among its findings: Spotify’s per-stream rate has “stabilised” after declining for several years. The label whose data was used for the study earned an average of $0.00348 per Spotify stream in 2019, up from $0.00331 in 2018. These figures are an average across all Spotify streams, so bear in mind that streams from premium subscribers will have paid more, and those from free, ad-supported listeners will have paid less.
The post The Trichordist publishes per-stream royalties data for 2019 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Global recorded music revenues grew to $21.5bn in 2019 says Midia

Music industry body the IFPI will publish its latest Global Music Report on 24 March, revealing the size and growth of the recorded music market in 2019.
However, in recent years consultancy firm Midia Research has made a habit of getting in first with its own estimates. This year is no different: Midia has just published its numbers for 2019.
The headline is that global recorded music revenues (so, not including publishing or live music) grew by 11.4% to $21.5bn.
The post Global recorded music revenues grew to $21.5bn in 2019 says Midia appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Twitter is getting its ‘stories’ with new fleets feature

“Sharing your thoughts publicly can be intimidating!” tweeted Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour yesterday. No, this wasn’t a precursor to announcing new measures to crack down on the kind of users who can make Twitter such an angry, intimidating place. Instead, Twitter is launching its equivalent of Snapchat, Instagram and everyone else’s ‘stories’. Twitter’s version is called […]
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Source: Music ally

Video-streaming startup Quibi raises $750m more funding

In nearly a decade between being founded and going public, Spotify is estimated to have raised $2.6bn in funding. Compare that to video-streaming startup Quibi, which hasn’t launched yet, but has already raised $1.75bn – including a new round of $750m this week, a month ahead of its debut. This is the company co-founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey […]
The post Video-streaming startup Quibi raises $750m more funding appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Loudly shows off AI tech to remix songs into different genres

German startup Loudly is taking the wrappers off its music-focused artificial intelligence technology, which it says can automatically remix tracks into different genres. The tech is being shown off on the company’s website with tracks by Becky G, Dillon Francis, Bien Monk and MØ. For example, Becky G’s track ‘Next To You’ has been remixed by the […]
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Source: Music ally

Ultra Music Festival may be postponed due to coronavirus

It’s very early to start making doom-laden predictions about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak laying waste to 2020’s festivals season. But certainly those that are earlier in the calendar are facing tough questions about whether to go ahead or not. Newspaper the Miami Herald reported yesterday that the Ultra Music Festival, due to be held later this […]
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Source: Music ally

Taki takes on Cameo to offer personalised celebrity videos

In June last year we wrote about a new startup called Cameo, which had raised a $50m funding round to continue building its business selling personalised video messages from celebrities. Now it has a new rival called Taki, which is doing the same thing. “Make a birthday extra special. Have a celeb announce a baby to […]
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Source: Music ally

New IMPF boss promises to reach out to other publishing bodies

The Independent Music Publishers International Forum (IMPF) has confirmed the identify of its next boss. Annette Barrett, MD of Reservoir UK, is now its president-elect and chair of the body’s board of directors, and will formally take on the role of president later this month, replacing current president Pierre Mossiat. In her statement, Barrett promised […]
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Source: Music ally

Youngboy Never Broke Again continues his YouTube success

The most popular artist on YouTube in the US last week was YoungBoy Never Broke Again (aka Kentrell DeSean Gaulden), with 78.6m views of videos including his music. That was more than double the second-ranked artist Roddy Ricch (who had 37.5m views), reflecting Gaulden’s popularity on YouTube. His total was driven by 14 of his songs […]
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Source: Music ally

Labels roll out new policies in response to coronavirus

Major labels are beginning to place restrictions on international travel for their staff, in the face of the spreading coronavirus outbreak. Billboard reported on a Universal Music Group internal memo explaining that “for the health and well-being of our staff, and in order to be a responsible member of the global community seeking to stop the spread […]
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Source: Music ally

Add Don Toliver, Kim Loaiza and Trevor Daniel to 2019’s success stories

Taylor Swift was the IFPI’s top artist of 2019, based on global streams and sales, while Post Malone was Spotify’s most-streamed artist, and Billie Eilish was Apple Music’s artist of the year. But here’s some more success stories from last year that you won’t have seen on the charts put out by those companies: Don […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook and Twitter pull out of SXSW due to coronavirus

We reported yesterday on what the coronavirus outbreak might mean for June’s Midem music industry conference: presently, it means sharing Cannes with 23,000 real-estate folk due to the postponement of that industry’s MIPIM conference to the same dates as Midem. But now SXSW in Austin, Texas is facing its own disruptions, just a week and […]
The post Facebook and Twitter pull out of SXSW due to coronavirus appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Circa Waves offset their carbon footprint… with their own cider!

Plenty of artists have launched their own beers and lagers: Iron Maiden, Queen, Elbow, Motörhead and so on. It’s good to see someone sticking up for the more apple-y end of things in 2020 though: British band Circa Waves are launching their own cider called ‘Cider Waves’. There’s also an interesting story behind it: alongside […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify co-head of music slams playlist promotion ‘scams’

Spotify’s co-head of music Jeremy Erlich has come out strongly against agencies charging labels or artists to pitch their music to the streaming service’s playlists. “I hate it. They’re just scamming artists. There’s absolutely no promo in the streaming world. We don’t talk to any of these people at all. They’re scams,” he told Forbes. “If […]
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Source: Music ally

Musiio launches self-service dashboard for AI catalogue-tagging

AI-tagging startup Musiio has launched a new service that will make it easier for music companies to use its technology. It’s called Musiio App, and is aimed at independent labels, production houses, sync companies, DJs and other creatives. Anyone with a catalogue of music, who wants to make it easier to tag those tracks and search […]
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Source: Music ally

After 400m downloads, music apps firm MWM raises €50m

French company MWM is responsible for a suite of apps including DJ app edjing; music-making apps like Beatwave 3, Beat Maker Pro and Drum Machine; musician tools like Tuner and Metronome; and educational apps Piano, Guitar and Drums. Those apps have been downloaded more than 400m times so far, putting MWM up there with Gismart in terms […]
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Source: Music ally

Recording Academy officially fires CEO Deborah Dugan

Just before the US Grammy Awards, its organiser the Recording Academy placed its president and CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative leave. Now it has taken the next step and terminated her employment altogether. The industry body will begin its search for a replacement president and CEO “in the coming days”. Is this an end to […]
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Source: Music ally

Report claims Warner Music Group is delaying its IPO

Warner Music Group may be delaying the plans to go public that it announced earlier this year. The label group has not made an official announcement, and indeed hadn’t yet confirmed specific timescale for its IPO anyway. CNBC’s report claimed that WMG and another about-to-IPO company, shoemaker Cole Haan, “had hoped to communicate to the market […]
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Source: Music ally

Bad Bunny hops onto Spotify with his own ‘lookbook’

It’s not quite a ‘visual album’ on the scale of Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ or Frank Ocean’s ‘Endless’, but Latin American star Bad Bunny has partnered with Spotify to create what is being termed a “lookbook” for his third album, ‘Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana’ (translating as I Do What I Want). The Puerto Rican artist […]
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Source: Music ally

Zoë Keating explains why she doesn’t sell merch or use YouTube

Zoë Keating is an artist who’s taken a leading role in talking about new technologies (blockchain, for example) as well as streaming royalties transparency. Her latest interview is with Emily White, author of the new book ‘How To Build A Sustainable Music Career & Collect All Revenue Streams’, with a foreword in the form of a […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify teams up with MBC’s Shahid for six-month MENA promotion

Spotify is part of a new bundle in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, but rather than a telco contract, this partnership involves a video streaming service. Specifically, it’s a video streaming service called Shahid, which is owned by broadcasting group MBC Group. Shahid’s ‘VIP’ (premium) subscribers will be able to get six months […]
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Source: Music ally

Music to meet real-estate as MIPIM conference moves to June

Events firm Reed Midem has postponed its Cannes-based MIPIM real-estate conference from this month to 2-5 June, due to growing concerns related to the Coronavirus. Notice anything about that new date? It’s when the same company’s Midem music industry conference is due to take place, also in Cannes. That means the 5,000-ish Midem attendees will be […]
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Source: Music ally

Canada now has around 7.8m music subscribers says Socan boss

Canadian collecting society Socan says that Canada is home to around 7.8m music subscribers, or 22% of the country’s total population, after Nielsen figures revealed a 31.2% increase in on-demand audio song streams in Canada last year. Socan CEO Eric Baptiste, talking in our Canada Country Profile, cautions that that Socan works with total subscriber […]
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Source: Music ally

RealNetworks filing reveals Napster revenues of $106.3m in 2019

The latest financial results from technology firm RealNetworks include figures for its Napster subsidiary: $106.3m of revenues for 2019. Napster’s cost of revenues for the year were $85.9m, with operating expenses of $25.8m leading to it recording an operating loss of $5.4m for the year. Napster’s revenues were $143.8m in 2018, which would indicate a 26.1% year-on-year […]
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Source: Music ally

Report: global value of music copyright reached $30.1bn in 2018

One of the quirks of the way the music industry makes its market data available is that we tend to talk about the ‘value of the industry’ purely in terms of recordings: thanks to the IFPI’s annual Global Music Report. Meanwhile, collecting societies body Cisac publishes an annual report of its members’ collections, including a […]
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Source: Music ally

‘Who are you Jan Thiel?’ Zola Jesus uncovers new Spotify mystery

Musician Zola Jesus posed a question this weekend. “I opened Spotify for the first time in months. Clicked on a random playlist. Played a random song that has 1.5 million streams. The album said it was released Jan 31 2020. Searched off Spotify for artist: nothing comes up. FAKE F**KING MUSIC. WHO ARE YOU JAN THIEL?” […]
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Source: Music ally

BTS YouTube premiere broke records with 1.54m concurrent viewers

Earlier this week, we reported on a strong start for K-Pop stars BTS’ latest music video, ‘Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima’, on YouTube. The video was the fifth biggest 24-hour debut in YouTube history, but it turns out it also set a new record in another way. BTS used YouTube’s ‘premiere’ feature to time-release the […]
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Source: Music ally

New appointments for Spotify and Songtrust in the US

Spotify has a new head of editorial in Nashville: Rachel Whitney, who joins from YouTube, where she led strategy and programming for country and roots music. Whitney will work with head of artist and label services Brittany Schaffer in Spotify’s Nashville office. “I’m proud to further the mission of sharing all of Nashville’s amazing talent […]
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Source: Music ally

Deezer expands DJ offerings with exclusive mixes

Recently we were pondering just how far exclusives with DSPs will go. It’s not quite back to the days of full albums, but the cases of both Coldplay and Justin Bieber with Apple Music in the past few weeks suggests there is a testing of the boundaries happening. So what about exclusive mixes? That’s what […]
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Source: Music ally

Netherlands recorded music revenues grew by 13.2% in 2019

Individual country figures for recorded music revenues in 2019 are coming thick and fast at the moment: the Netherlands remains part of the double-digit growth party. According to figures published by industry body NVPI Audio (and reported on by the NL Times) Dutch recorded music revenues grew by 13.2% last year to €206.8m (around $227.6m). Streaming […]
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Source: Music ally

Mr Eazi reveals 30 more artists for emPawa Africa program

AfroPop star Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa is a talent incubator for artists in Africa: you may remember us writing about it in July 2019, when he inked a partnership with YouTube to support his latest cohort of Nigerian artists. Now he has named the latest 30 artists taking part in the program, who’ll all receive a $10k grant […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify refreshes its mobile app design on iOS

Spotify has given its mobile app a spring clean, for now on Apple’s iOS, although we’d imagine that Android will follow in due course. Spotify is pitching the app’s new design as “a more streamlined, easy-to-use interface with fresh designs to actionable icons”. That includes a big, green ‘shuffle play’ icon; and grouping actions (like, […]
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Source: Music ally

Stem launches ’Scale’ feature for artist and label advances

Distributor Stem is the latest non-label company to start offering advances to its clients – although in this case, those clients include independent labels as well as individual artists. Its new feature is called ‘Scale’, and it will involve Stem drawing on a $100m pot (supplied via a capital partnership with investment firm CoVenture) to offer […]
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music expands leadership team for India and South Asia

Universal Music Group has been very active in India in recent times, from its VYRL Originals non-film-music label (which we wrote about in November 2019) to its launch of Mass Appeal India in partnership with rapper Nas, and that label’s signing of Indian star Divine. Now UMG is preparing for its next push with an expansion of its […]
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Source: Music ally

Streaming service Akazoo had 5.5m subscribers at end of Q3 2019

We’ve got our first update for our recently published post listing the biggest global music streaming services by subscribers. Akazoo, which focuses on emerging markets in territories like eastern Europe and Latin America, ended September 2019 with 5.5 million premium subscribers. The figure, disclosed in a financial filing, was up 28% year-on-year. Meanwhile, Akazoo’s registered users […]
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Source: Music ally

A BTS-fuelled IPO is still on for Big Hit Entertainment

Warner Music Group is having an IPO. Universal Music Group will be having an IPO. And now K-Pop giant Big Hit Entertainment’s plans for its own initial public offering appear to be progressing too. The company, whose biggest star is BTS, has now chosen the banks and brokerage firms who’ll be handling its IPO, according […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify reveals trends (not user numbers) from first year in India

“It’s been exactly 12 months since Spotify launched in India, and my, how we’ve grown,” is how the streaming service began a birthday blog post this morning. Unfortunately, what follows are NOT any figures showing how it’s grown in user numbers there since reporting two million in April last year. Instead, the blog post focuses on the […]
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Source: Music ally

T-Series’ main YouTube channel reaches 100bn views milestone

Indian music company T-Series’ flagship YouTube channel has been the most popular channel on the video service for some time now. After a lengthy (and sometimes controversial) battle with gamer PewDiePie for top spot, T-Series has accelerated away: it now has more than 130 million subscribers compared with PewDiePie’s 103 million – a gap that opened up even […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music and The Orchard held a machine-learning hackathon

Sony Music, The Orchard and Amazon Web Services held a machine-learning focused hackathon last week. Music Ally couldn’t make the event, so we asked if Sony could give us some information about the winning hacks. The label group came back with a full report on the event, quotes’n’all. So, in its own words, here’s what went down at Music ML 2020.
“Music ML 2020 is the second annual hackathon held by Sony Music, The Orchard and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the first to be expanded out of the US. The Orchard office hosted the New York competition and Sony Music simultaneously hosted in London over the course of three days. The hackathon’s primary purpose is to allow cross-functional teams of industry professionals to create business solutions at the intersection of music and machine-learning.
 
Each team was tasked with creating a proof-of-concept for a new machine-learning solution that would positively impact the business. At The Orchard, teams worked daily to connect fans to songs, albums, and videos from their favourite artists across the globe.
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Source: Music ally

Imogen Heap’s Creative Passport reveals CEO and advisory board

Back in December 2017, we wrote about artist (and blockchain early-adopter) Imogen Heap’s idea for a ‘Creative Passport’ for musicians, which would store and share their professional and creative data. Well, the project has continued to evolve over the past two years: next month, a closed beta for the Creative Passport will launch, under the auspices of a […]
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Source: Music ally

Socan collections exceeded $400m for the first time in 2019

The latest collecting society announcing growth in its annual collections is Canadian PRO Socan. It estimates that it collected C$405.5m (around US$305.1m) in 2019 – the first time its collections have exceeded $400m in its history. We say ‘estimates’ because the final figure won’t be published until Socan’s AGM in June. Assuming it’s confirmed, that would […]
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Source: Music ally

Music pirates may be (slowly) increasing again in the UK

Piracy is much, MUCH less of a collective music industry nightmare now than it was a decade ago, with the consensus being that streaming has replaced it for all but the keenest music pirates. We’ll avoid scaremongering with this news, but it’s worth thinking about: a new study by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) suggests that […]
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Source: Music ally

Investigation reports on Placido Domingo’s sexual misconduct

An investigation into opera star Placido Domingo has concluded that he “engaged in ​inappropriate activity, ranging from flirtation to sexual advances, in and outside of the workplace” over several decades. The investigation was launched last September by US union the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents performers in the opera, choral and dance fields. […]
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Source: Music ally

US recorded music trade revenues grew by 11% in 2019

It appears to be the day for new figures on the US music market. Industry body the RIAA published its year-end numbers for 2019 last night, revealing that recorded music’s retail value grew by 13% to $11.1bn last year.
Meanwhile its wholesale value – the earnings for labels – grew by 11% to $7.3bn. Within the retail figure, streaming grew by 19.9% to $8.8bn, accounting for 79.5% of all recorded music revenues.
“The streaming market alone in 2019 was larger than the entire U.S. recorded music market just 2 years ago in 2017,” noted the RIAA’s report.
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Source: Music ally

Netflix opens up its data (a bit) with new Top 10 lists

Getting viewing figures for shows on Netflix has historically been difficult: even for the producers of those shows. Recently, the video streaming service has given out some stats for its original shows: in its first four weeks, 76m Netflix member households ‘chose to watch’ The Witcher, for example – a metric that merely counts how many people […]
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Source: Music ally

Label Sahel Sounds uses WhatsApp to source music from Africa

US independent label Sahel Sounds is releasing a series of compilations of music from African artists, called ‘Music from Saharan WhatsApp’. The title is the clue to the digital twist: musicians are sending their tracks to label boss Chris Kirkley via WhatsApp, often just days before the album they appear on is released. The project […]
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Source: Music ally

MooTube: ChilledCow lo-fi hip-hop channel returns to YouTube

Earlier this year, we pointed you in the direction of an article exploring how 24-7 lo-fi hip-hop YouTube livestreams make their money. It’s still well worth a read, if you missed it at the time. Now one of those channels, ChilledCow, has been making headlines after it was temporarily suspended by YouTube – a suspension that turned out […]
The post MooTube: ChilledCow lo-fi hip-hop channel returns to YouTube appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Blood Blast Distribution will place its focus on ‘extreme music’

Music Ally has written a fair bit about the exploration of genre-specific streaming services focusing on classical music, jazz or metal. Is there an opportunity for distributors to follow a similar strategy? Distributor Believe and German label Nuclear Blast are teaming up to have a go, with the launch of a joint venture called Blood Blast […]
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Source: Music ally

Indian music discovery app Flutin takes investment… from Sega

Indian startup Flutin has taken new investment from an unusual source: games firm Sega, of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Drive / Genesis fame. Sega has invested an undisclosed amount in Flutin, which the latter company says will help it expand in markets like the US. “They believe in us because of the approach we […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music’s latest exclusive is a Coldplay EP and short film

We have written many times that the DSP thirst for exclusives from major artists has moved away from the album and towards things like videos, live performances and session singles. The new EP from Coldplay suggests a testing of the water as to what an act will give a DSP on an exclusive basis that […]
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Source: Music ally

Despite link issues, BTS TikTok #OnChallenge has 133.8m views

We reported last week on TikTok’s coup in securing a 30-second exclusive preview of ‘ON’ – a track from the new BTS album – ahead of its official release to streaming services. The app challenged fans to create their own videos for an #onchallenge, and as you’d expect, the BTS Army responded in droves. So much so, that at […]
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Source: Music ally

AI music startup Boomy adds rap beats and TikTok distribution

Boomy is the startup that’s helping anyone (non-musicians included) to create AI-generated music, and then release it on streaming services. According to the company’s latest update, its users have created more than 370,000 original songs in the last year, with 70% of those people never having made a song before. The update also explains Boomy’s latest features, […]
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Source: Music ally

Fortnite rickroll emote caused some YouTube Content ID problems

Last week, we reported that Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ had been turned into a Fortnite emote – one of the dances that players can perform in-game to celebrate or goad opponents. This emote included a clip of the actual track. We (and more importantly, the game’s publisher Epic Games) should have spotted the obvious problem […]
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Source: Music ally

Patreon CEO promises no ‘invisible boost’ to Capital creators

Last week, we reported on fan-funding service Patreon’s launch of a new service called ‘Patreon Capital’, providing cash advances to creators, repayable from future income earned on its platform. In an ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) interview on Reddit, CEO Jack Conte has been responding to some of the questions around how the model will work – including one about […]
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Source: Music ally

BMG’s parent company wants to be carbon neutral by 2030

2030 has become a key date in the battle against the climate emergency, although also a controversial one – many campaigners think even 10 years is too long to take the urgent action required. Still, it’s a target, and it’s one that BMG’s parent company Bertelsmann is getting behind. “By 2030, the international media, services, and […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify revamps the brand of its New Music Friday playlist

Spotify hasn’t exactly talked down its ‘New Music Friday’ playlist in recent times: it’s more that the streaming service has been keen to steer artists and labels away from making a slot on the playlist their main marketing goal. Messages coming out of Spotify both in public and in private have included: that artists need […]
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Source: Music ally

Twitch tipped to reach 37.5m active viewers in the US this year

Amazon’s live-video platform Twitch will be watched by 37.5 million Americans this year, rising to 41.2 million in 2021. At least, that’s research firm eMarketer’s prediction: the first time it’s published estimates for Twitch’s viewership in the US. “The video streaming platform will reach 15.5% of US digital video viewers this year,” claimed the company’s blog […]
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Source: Music ally

Cash Money docuseries to debut on Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist

It’s fair to say that Cash Money Records, whose roster has included Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj among others, likes exclusive documentaries about its history. ‘Before Anythang: The Cash Money Story’ launched on Apple Music in 2018. Two years on, and there’s a new docu-series on the way, but this time Spotify is the […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify says it’s dealing with bootleg music podcasts

In October last year, we wrote about an 89-episode podcast that suddenly appeared on Spotify, with every episode consisting simply of a demo, remix or rarity from Britney Spears – clearly NOT an official project. It was quickly removed from the platform. Now Pitchfork has published an investigation suggesting that ‘bootleg podcasts’ are a wider problem that Spotify is […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube preps drill-music documentary ‘Terms and Conditions’

In May 2018, YouTube deleted dozens of music videos made by artists in the ‘drill’ genre, at the request of London’s Metropolitan police, on the grounds that they were inciting gang violence. Spotify and Apple Music have since faced criticism for drill music being available on their services too, yet it’s also been argued that censoring drill music is […]
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Source: Music ally

Dance artists get live boost with Resident Advisor Spotify deal

Spotify has a new partner to point its listeners in the direction of local music concerts: Resident Advisor. The electronic-music brand’s event listings will now be incorporated into Spotify, ensuring that the streaming service has a bigger database of concerts from independent dance acts playing in local venues. As with its other live-music partnerships, Spotify […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple could open HomePod and iOS up to third-party default apps

There are many reasons why Apple is one of the world’s most successful companies, and its ‘walled garden’ of hardware, software and services is one of them. However, it has also proved controversial when companies making services that compete with Apple’s think they’re not getting fair access to its hardware and/or software. Spotify’s anti-competition complaint against […]
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Source: Music ally

Cloudflare faces new legal action from music rightsholders

Cloudflare is the technology company that helps a range of websites fend off security threats and speed up people’s access to their content. It’s also controversial though, because some of those clients are piracy sites. Cloudflare has regularly been cited by music industry rightsholders as a problem, because they see it as protecting sites that […]
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Source: Music ally

No Pain, no gain: T-Pain’s website takedown and takeover

Rapper T-Pain posted a curious tweet earlier in the week. He claimed that someone had launched the f—ktpain.com website (we can’t put the full title in here as some spam filters don’t like profanities), perhaps to mock or troll him. So he decided to do something else. “I simply purchased it from them and now all the profit comes […]
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Source: Music ally

The 1975’s new video was teased with a fictional digital detox

“Begin your own journey and find yourself in our stunning retreat. Mindshower digital detox puts you back in control. RECONNECT. RECHARGE. REJUVENATE.” No, one of the daleks from Doctor Who hasn’t suddenly got on the wellness bandwagon. This was the introductory tweet from a mysterious new digital detox retreat called Mindshower. Which, as it turns out, […]
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Source: Music ally

Dave to top the bill at Apple Music’s first ‘Agenda’ UK concert

Artist Dave was the star of the Brit Awards earlier this week, with his new verse for his song ‘Black’ calling Prime Minister Boris Johnson a racist; drawing attention to the differing media coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex (aka Kate and Meghan); calling for more conservation and less deforestation; and slamming […]
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Source: Music ally

Genius x Fuse brings Genius lyrics to TV for the first time

Genius, the lyrics analysis site, is bringing its content to linear TV for the first time through a deal with music media company Fuse. The ‘Genius x Fuse’ show will debut on 18 March on Fuse, which is available through platforms including Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku. “The series will feature the best […]
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Source: Music ally

How many users do Spotify, Apple Music and other big music streaming services have?

Sometimes the statistics around how many people are streaming music – and how many are paying for it – can lead to confusion and misinterpretation.
Recently, for example, we’ve seen one story suggesting that Amazon was “on course to overtake Apple Music” based on comparing an Amazon figure from January 2020 with one from Apple that hadn’t been updated since June 2019.
Another story claimed that “Pandora has overtaken Apple for second spot” in subscriber rankings, which mistakenly compared the former’s number of active listeners (most of whom don’t pay) to the latter’s paid subscriber count.
So, we’re trying something that will hopefully be useful: a post that we’ll update whenever a major streaming service updates its public numbers.
The post How many users do Spotify, Apple Music and other big music streaming services have? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Justin Bieber launches an exclusive music video on Apple Music

Single-DSP exclusives for music are increasingly rare, but as we’ve reported over the last year or two, the content around them, from videos to live sessions, is very much fair game. Justin Bieber is the latest example: he’s released an exclusive video for ‘E.T.A.’ off his new album ‘Changes’ on Apple Music. And according to Apple, it’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Pandora Apple Watch app can now stream music without a phone

Streaming service Pandora has launched a new ‘standalone’ app for the Apple Watch, which will let people stream music and podcasts directly to the smartwatch rather than via an iPhone. “The standalone Pandora app means that you can control your personalized listening experience directly on your Apple Watch without needing to pull out your phone […]
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Source: Music ally

Reliance invests $19.6m in its JioSaavn music streaming service

With the competition in India’s music streaming market only intensifying, telco Reliance Industries is giving its JioSaavn streaming service a financial shot in the arm. According to news site Inc42, Reliance has invested $19.6m in the service, nearly two years after the company acquired Saavn and merged it with its existing Jio Music to form […]
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Source: Music ally

Study suggests country radio listeners DO want more women

Country radio stations in the US have been criticised strongly in recent times for their male-dominated playlists. A study published earlier this month by SongData’s Jada Watson showed why: women accounted for just 10% of daily spins and slots in Billboard’s year-end country airplay chart. But now a separate study commissioned by country media brand CMT suggests […]
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Source: Music ally

Beatstravellers wants to blend travel and live music

The latest startup to mix music and tourism is London-based Beatstravellers. “A social marketplace creating unique vacation options in the travel and music market,” is how the company describes itself on investor database AngelList. It wants to add a tourism strand when people travel to a festival, to help music fans see a bit more of the surrounding […]
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Source: Music ally

Deezer is turning its playlists into live music events

Deezer is taking three of its biggest genre-based playlist brands – Rocket, Popstar and Certified – and turning them into a series of invitation-only live events in small venues. The series kicks off in Paris tomorrow (19 February) with Circa Waves and Twin Atlantic. The shows will also be recorded for Deezer Sessions as exclusives […]
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Source: Music ally

Ragya hopes to find streaming niche with Indian classical music

We’ve written a lot about the big Indian streaming services like Gaana and JioSaavn, as well as emerging startups like Flutin. Now there’s a new name for the latter group. Ragya is a streaming service focusing just on Indian classical music: specifically ‘ragas’ designed to be played at specific times of the day. “We launched the […]
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Source: Music ally

Splice sample leads to plagiarism accusations for Justin Bieber

Is the latest pop plagiarism scandal going to engulf Justin Bieber? No, it is not. Well, it seems not anyway: an accusation from another artist, Asher Monroe, that Bieber’s ‘Running Over’ nicked one of his hooks has turned out to have an interesting explanation. The Verge’s Dani Deahl has done the digging: “It turned out no […]
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Source: Music ally

Once-hot mobile game-show HQ Trivia has now shut down

In early 2018, HQ Trivia was the hot new thing in startup-land: an app where people could take part in a live-video game show and win real money. The company raised $15m in funding and at its peak had more than two million people playing at the same time. Since then, though, HQ Trivia has […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube’s latest plans to focus on Official Artist Channels

YouTube has emailed its music users with an update on how it’s managing artists’ channels. Many now have an ‘Official Artist Channel’ on YouTube, but also their own channels, Vevo-branded channels, and ‘topic’ channels focused on their music. That’s all being rationalised. “If you previously subscribed to an artist’s topic or partner-provided channel, you’ll automatically […]
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Source: Music ally

The 1975 fund environmental work with reusable water bottles

British band The 1975 have taken a leading role in talking about the climate emergency, as well as taking action to reduce their own environmental impact (for example with recycled merchandise). Now the band are trying something new: they’ll be selling a £15 reusable water bottle as merchandise at their upcoming round of gigs in […]
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Source: Music ally

Digital agency Space150 creates AI-generated Travis Scott track

AI-generated music is an exciting but controversial topic within the music industry, but creative AI is also giving the advertising industry some ideas. One agency, Space150, has just trained an AI on the back catalogue of rapper Travis Scott, and used it to create a brand new ‘Travisbott’ track called ‘Jack Park Canny Dope Man’ […]
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Source: Music ally

Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ is now a Fortnite emote

We confess to smiling at a YouTube video published from the official Fortnite channel (then shared on socials) titled ‘Watch How This Bear Made The Unlikeliest Of Friends’. The video is a rickroll: anyone clicking through will see Fortnite’s Fishstick and Polar Patroller characters (aka the fish and the polar bear) dancing to Rick Asley’s […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube dominates mobile video-streaming time says App Annie

YouTube remains the Billy Big Boots of the online video world, according to the latest report from mobile analytics firm App Annie. It claims that of the time spent in the world’s five most popular video streaming apps (on Android) YouTube accounts for 70%, well ahead of second-placed Tencent News’ 10% share. “Time spent in YouTube […]
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Source: Music ally

Pearl Jam launch a Superblood Wolfmoon AR experience for fans

Pearl Jam fans may well be going out into their back gardens this week and howling at the moon. No, this isn’t about ticket prices for their upcoming tour. The returning band have launched an augmented reality ‘experience’ called Super Blood Wolf Moon, ahead of the release of their new album’s lead single ‘Superblood Wolfmoon’ […]
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Source: Music ally

The Brit Awards reveal TikTok partnership for 2020 event

The British music industry is gearing up for next week’s Brit Awards in London, and TikTok will be on board as one of the event’s key digital partners. The app will be live-streaming the  arrival of artists and celebrities on its official Brits channel, complete with a red-carpet live performance from Lewis Capaldi. The night will […]
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Source: Music ally

Ninja Tune releases a sequel to its Jamm music-making app

Back in 2013, we reviewed Ninja Jamm, a music-remixing app launched by independent label Ninja Tune. It was good fun, and according to Ninja Tune, it was downloaded more than 600k times. Now it’s getting a sequel called Jamm Pro, which launched for iPad this week. It’s a more powerful music-production tool than its predecessor, complete with […]
The post Ninja Tune releases a sequel to its Jamm music-making app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Turkish music industry has ‘high expectations’ for growth

Turkey could be on the verge of “an explosion” in music streaming, according to one veteran of the Turkish music industry, with new players coming to market and streaming subscriber numbers up sharply. Metin Uzelli, who has worked in the Turkish music industry for three decades, says that he has “high expectations” for the future […]
The post Turkish music industry has ‘high expectations’ for growth appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Fortnite boss sees ‘free stuff in games’ as future of ads

It’s a bit reductive to call Tim Sweeney just the ‘Fortnite boss’ – his company Epic Games has a big business outside that game too, from the Unreal Engine development platform to game series like Gears of War and (via acquisition) Rocket League. But it’s Fortnite’s success that has reinforced Sweeney’s stature within the games industry, […]
The post Fortnite boss sees ‘free stuff in games’ as future of ads appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

US regulator to toughen up its rules on influencer marketing

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears to be preparing for another crackdown on shady influencer marketing. Commissioner Rohit Chopra has published a statement that suggests the current regulations there need to be toughened up. “Misinformation is plaguing the digital economy, and recent no-money, no-fault FTC settlements with well-known retailers and brands to address fake reviews and […]
The post US regulator to toughen up its rules on influencer marketing appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Could the coronavirus outbreak affect music conferences?

Mobile industry conference Mobile World Congress is huge: according to the Guardian, it now attracts more than 100,000 delegates to Barcelona, and is worth around €500m to the city every year. So the news that this year’s event has been cancelled less than a fortnight before it was due to kick off is big news, if […]
The post Could the coronavirus outbreak affect music conferences? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Ticketmaster expands in Asia with acquisition of Tixcraft

A photo of a BTS stadium gig in Taiwan accompanies the latest announcement from Ticketmaster, signifying its ambitions in Asia. The company has acquired Taiwanese ticketing company Tixcraft, while also launching a Ticketmaster Singapore operation. “We have established two great bases with talented teams to support the bourgeoning live entertainment scene in Asia,” said Ticketmaster International […]
The post Ticketmaster expands in Asia with acquisition of Tixcraft appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

The Ringer launches a Spotify-exclusive music podcast

A Spotify regulatory filing has confirmed how much it’s paying for media and podcasts group The Ringer: “Cash consideration totaling approximately €130 to €180 million, a portion of which is deferred, subject to closing adjustments”. That’s between $141m and $196m. The filing, which is a more detailed version of the shareholders letter in which Spotify announced its […]
The post The Ringer launches a Spotify-exclusive music podcast appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Mindfulness startup (and Spotify partner) Headspace raises $93m

Back in November 2016, Spotify launched its first ‘bundle’ subscription with another digital service: meditation and mindfulness firm Headspace. The bundle still exists, although according to Headspace it’s only available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK. Since that bundle was announced, Headspace has continued to grow: its latest press release notes that its app has been […]
The post Mindfulness startup (and Spotify partner) Headspace raises $93m appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

James Blunt launches audio e-cards campaign for Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so if you have a partner (or an object of your affections) how are you planning to celebrate? Chocolates and flowers? Furry handcuffs and a glint in the eye? A brisk lecture about Valentine’s Day being a cynical creation of the greetings-card industry? Pfft.
All of these things (especially the last one, you grump!) pale in comparison to an audio e-card from musician James Blunt, the man behind ‘You’re Beautiful’ and a steadily-growing back catalogue of excellent Twitter-troll mockery. His label, Atlantic UK, has commissioned WMG’s Firepit Technology team to create the activation ahead of Valentine’s Day.
People can browse the e-cards, with audio messages recorded by Blunt ranging from ‘I think you’re suffering from a lack of Vitamin Me’ to ‘Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only ten I see’ (via ‘F*** February 14th, I love you every day’ and ‘Happy Valentine’s Day to my single friend. Don’t worry, James Blunt thinks you’re beautiful’), then send them to whoever they like’s email address.
The post James Blunt launches audio e-cards campaign for Valentine’s Day appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify launches ‘songwriter pages’ feature in beta

Spotify is launching a new feature aimed at songwriters, giving them their own profile pages on the streaming service, complete with playlists of recordings of their songs.
‘Songwriter Pages’ launches in beta today, accompanied by a tweak to Spotify’s existing track credits feature to make the names of songwriters taking part in the beta clickable, taking listeners directly to their pages.
Missy Elliott, Justin Tranter, Meghan Trainor, Fraser T Smith, Teddy Geiger and Ben Billions are among the first songwriters accepted onto the beta. Spotify said this afternoon that “only a limited number” of songwriters are on board, but it has launched an online form for others to register their interest.
Each songwriter page will include a list of the songs they have written, as well as their regular artist collaborators. There’ll also be a ‘Written By’ playlist for that songwriter, which listeners will be able to find through Spotify’s search feature.
The post Spotify launches ‘songwriter pages’ feature in beta appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

FTC to examine past acquisitions of big US tech companies

Whenever Apple buys a startup not big enough to ping any regulatory radars, it has a standard statement that it gives to journalists requesting comment on the acquisition: “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.” Now, however, Apple – along with Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Google and […]
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Source: Music ally

Michelle Phan’s music startup Thematic joins 500 Startups

We first wrote about Thematic in June 2018: it’s a startup founded by YouTuber (and all-round influencer) Michelle Phan, which specialised in licensing music for her fellow online stars’ videos. The pitch was “no membership fees, no licensing fees, no rev-shares” during its public beta, with all the music pre-cleared for use. According to a crowdfunding pitch from the […]
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Source: Music ally

Reading/Leeds Festival under fire for male-dominated lineup

The UK’s Reading and Leeds festival made its first major lineup announcement for the 2020 edition yesterday, and is already coming in for criticism on the grounds of diversity. The three main headliners are all men (Stormzy, Rage Against The Machine and Liam Gallagher), and of the 18 artists so far announced for the festival’s main stage, […]
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Source: Music ally

SiriusXM takes $75m stake in SoundCloud with two board seats

US satellite-radio firm SiriusXM owns Pandora, but now it has a minority stake in SoundCloud too. The company announced a $75m investment in the streaming service yesterday, which will see it also take two seats on SoundCloud’s board of directors. “We admire SoundCloud’s loyal and growing audience, its offering for creators, and its reputation and popularity in […]
The post SiriusXM takes $75m stake in SoundCloud with two board seats appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Rappers take centre stage in the livestreaming video battle

There’s something of a talent war going on in the livestreaming video space, with several gaming stars (Ninja, most prominently) being tempted away from Twitch by big-money offers from Microsoft’s rival, Mixer. Another company in the live-video space is Caffeine, and it’s just hauled in a big name: musician Drake. Caffeine described it as a […]
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Source: Music ally

Zero Carbon Roadie helps touring artists with their carbon footprints

A growing number of artists are making their views known in the debate about how best to tackle the climate emergency. One of the thorniest issues for our industry, however, is touring.
Ocean conservation organisation Project Zero has a new tool that might help. It’s called Zero Carbon Roadie, and it’s a ‘carbon calculator’ specifically for touring musicians. It’ll calculate the impact on the environment of their travel, haulage, power generation and other touring activities, and then (if desired) help them to offset that through the organisation’s Blue Carbon Fund.
(‘Blue carbon’ ecosystems include “mangroves, seagrass meadows and salt marshes”, which can store a lot of carbon, while also providing valuable habitats for wildlife).
The post Zero Carbon Roadie helps touring artists with their carbon footprints appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Tech body CCIA criticises the European Copyright Directive

US tech-industry body the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) counts Amazon, Facebook, Google and Pandora among its members. It’s also, perhaps not entirely surprisingly, not a fan of the European Copyright Directive. The body has submitted its views on “onerous intellectual property-related regulations, aimed at US Internet companies” to the US Trade Representative, including a section […]
The post Tech body CCIA criticises the European Copyright Directive appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

How catalogue marketing shines new light on the unfamiliar

It sometimes feels like we are living in an age of permanent anniversaries – where 10th, 20th, 25th and 50th album anniversaries all seem to crash in on each other. For a long time, the remastered or deluxe album reissue was the main way to mark these occasions, but streaming and social media (and the […]
The post How catalogue marketing shines new light on the unfamiliar appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

AI-powered Symphonia app turns singing into instrumental music

French startup Symphonia claims that its iPhone app is “the future of music composing”. Released this year, it uses AI to help people turn their musical ideas into actual music. “Just sing a melody. And Symphonia automatically detects the notes you sing and magically transforms them into amazing musical instruments in MIDI format,” explains its App Store blurb. “Thanks […]
The post AI-powered Symphonia app turns singing into instrumental music appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

LiveXLive financials raise doubts over ‘going concern’ status

US live-music and streaming firm LiveXLive has published its latest financial results, including a warning about the company’s financial viability over the next 12 months. LiveXLive generated $9.7m of revenues in the final quarter of 2019, up by 8.2% year-on-year. However, operating expenses of $17.6m nudged the company into its latest quarterly net loss – $8.8m – while […]
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Source: Music ally

Radiant app taps Spotify for ‘digital radio hosted by AI’

There’s a theory that if music streaming wants to grab more listeners and advertising revenues from radio, it needs to become a bit more radio-like. From Spotify’s ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist blending podcast clips and music to startups like Stationhead and Super Hi-Fi, there have been various moves on this front. Now another startup is […]
The post Radiant app taps Spotify for ‘digital radio hosted by AI’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Tidal financials: its revenues grew by 26.4% in 2018 to $147.6m

Project Panther Bidco is the parent company of Aspiro Group, which in turn is the parent company of streaming service Tidal. Because Project Panther Bidco – originally created as the vehicle for Jay-Z to acquire Tidal – is based in the UK as a legal entity, it files financial results here. Cue figures on how Tidal’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Google’s Chrome browser to block ‘intrusive’ ads around videos

Google’s Chrome browser will soon stop showing videos that include certain kinds of ads, and the policy will affect YouTube as well as other websites.
The changes are outlined in a blog post from Google describing “three ad experiences that people find to be particularly disruptive on video content that is less than 8 minutes long”.
They include long, non-skippable pre-roll ads “longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video and that cannot be skipped within the first 5 seconds”; mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video; and image or text ads overlaid on videos that “are in the middle 1/3 of the video player window or cover more than 20 percent of the video content”.
The post Google’s Chrome browser to block ‘intrusive’ ads around videos appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Justin Bieber YouTube doc’s first episode races to 42m views

Justin Bieber’s new YouTube documentary series, Seasons, is already a record breaker. The show’s first episode was watched 32.7m times in its first week, setting a new bar for the ‘most-viewed premiere in its first week’ for a YouTube Original show.
Not that viewing tailed off there: the first episode has since grown to 42m views on YouTube. Subsequent episodes were made available first to YouTube Premium subscribers, although they’ll be opened up to the wider world over the course of the docu-series’ run.
The post Justin Bieber YouTube doc’s first episode races to 42m views appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Concord and Queen drummer back audio tech startup Iris

It’s clearly the week for starry seed investors. Snafu Records has Abba’s Agnetha Fältskog but another new startup, Iris, can boast Queen drummer Roger Taylor as one of its early backers.
Its promise: “a revolutionary new audio technology that heightens audio quality whilst simultaneously activating the brain”, which (if all goes well) will be integrated by partners including streaming services, wellness apps, headphones and speakers.
Music company Concord is another of Iris’s early backers. The tech boils down to something Iris is branding as ‘active listening’.
The post Concord and Queen drummer back audio tech startup Iris appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Study points to heavy (Android) use of YouTube in South Korea

Analytics firm Wiseapp has published some new estimates for YouTube’s popularity in South Korea. Well, its popularity on Android smartphones anyway. The company reckons that YouTube had nearly 34 million Android users in South Korea at the end of 2019, up 6% year-on-year. This, in a country with a population of 51.5 million, as TechCrunch points […]
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Source: Music ally

Google’s Area 120 launches live-music data tool with Pollstar

We’ve written about Google’s experimental division Area 120 before: for example when it launched a project called Fundo to explore crowdfunding for social stars, or when it made a co-viewing app for YouTube called Uptime. But Area 120’s latest project is of direct relevance to the music industry. It’s called ‘Demand’, and it’s a partnership with live-music brand […]
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Source: Music ally

Music monitoring startup Audoo launches equity crowdfunding campaign

British music/tech startup Audoo has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign, in which it will attempt to raise $250k of funding at a valuation of £6m. CEO Ryan Edwards launched the campaign last night at the latest demo day of the Abbey Road Red incubator in London, which Audoo is currently part of. The company is focused on helping […]
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Source: Music ally

Abbey Road Red startups have raised $40m of funding so far

Abbey Road Red, the music/tech incubator run by Abbey Road Studios in London, held its latest demo event last night, including an update on its portfolio. “We have now incubated 15 companies across all areas of the value chain, who together have raised $40m and are collectively worth $200m,” said Abbey Road boss Isabel Garvey, […]
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Source: Music ally

Snap financials reveal user growth but also heavy losses

Social app Snapchat ended 2019 with 218 million daily active users, having added 31 million during the year as a whole – 17% year-on-year growth. That’s according to parent company Snap’s latest financial results, which were published yesterday. Is that growth in users helping Snap to turn a profit? No, it is not. Snap’s annual revenues grew […]
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Source: Music ally

KFC took over artist profiles to get ads on Spotify Premium

Who said Spotify’s premium tier is advertising-free? KFC Arabia has found a way around that, taking over the profiles of three artists in a campaign run by advertising agency Memac Ogilvy. “KFC teamed up with three major artists from the region—Flipperachi, Moh Flow, and Shébani—to place imagery of Kentucky Burgers in their cover photos, bios, […]
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Source: Music ally

Ninja Tune MD on the climate emergency: ‘We need to step up’

Peter Quicke isn’t just the managing director of independent label Ninja Tune and chair of British indies body AIM. He’s also a co-founder of Music Declares Emergency, the working group set up last year to drive the music industry’s response to the climate emergency.
At AIM’s London conference this week, AIM Connected, Quicke addressed what he sees as the central question underpinning this: “What can music do to fix the climate crisis?”
Quicke had recently returned from a meeting in Brussels with Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s executive vice president, who’s leading the EC’s work on the European Green Deal and its commitments to reduce emissions.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek: ‘With The Ringer, I think we bought the next ESPN’

Spotify published its latest quarterly financial results earlier today, followed by an earnings call with analysts in which CEO Daniel Ek talked about its just-announced acquisition of media and podcasts firm The Ringer.
“If you up-level this conversation and think 10 years out, the trend we’re investing in is that radio is moving online, because users get a much better user experience. It’s on-demand, it’s tailored to their needs,” said Ek.
“With The Ringer, I think we bought the next ESPN, and that’s going to be a tremendously valuable property.”
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Source: Music ally

Spotify ended 2019 with 271m listeners and 124m subscribers

Spotify has published its latest financial results, for the final quarter of 2019, and thus the entire year too. The music streaming service ended 2019 with 271 million monthly active users (MAUs), up 31% year-on-year, having added 23 million in Q4, and 64 million over the year as a whole. 124 million of those active users […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music revenues grew to $4bn in 2019, fuelled by streaming

Sony Music’s recorded music business saw its revenues grow by 11.4% year-on-year to $1.16bn in the final quarter of 2019, according to the latest financial results for its parent company. That included a 20.6% increase in streaming revenues to $669m, accounting for 57.7% of the total. Meanwhile, Sony’s music publishing business generated $365m of revenues […]
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Source: Music ally

SiriusXM financials reveal latest numbers for Pandora

US music streaming service Pandora ended 2019 with 63.5 million monthly active users, representing an 8.5% decline year-on-year as the service lost 5.9 million listeners. Its total ad-supported listener hours for the year also fell, by 9.5%, to 13.4bn. However, Pandora ended 2019 with nearly 6.2 million ‘self-pay’ subscribers, having added 251,000 over the course […]
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Source: Music ally

Justin Bieber went big with Super Bowl TikTok campaign

The Verge’s headline about Justin Bieber’s latest marketing campaign is pretty tart: ‘Justin Bieber is increasingly desperate for ‘Yummy’ to go viral on TikTok’. Ouch. It refers to Bieber’s Super Bowl campaign with restaurant chain Chipotle, which was heavily focused on TikTok, and videos made by influencers on that app. Bieber launched an official profile on […]
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Source: Music ally

Big Sync Music expands into four new markets

Last February, music licensing platform Songtradr acquired UK-based Big Sync Music, which focuses on sourcing music for brand campaigns. The following month, Songtradr raised a $12m Series B round of funding to help it expand globally. Now the company has announced that Big Sync Music is launching in four new markets – Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany. Big […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music launches podcast partnership with Somethin’ Else

Sony Music’s thirst for podcast partnerships shows no signs of being quenched. This morning, the major label has announced its latest such alliance, with veteran UK-based radio and podcasts production company Somethin’ Else. “Under the agreement, Somethin’ Else will work with Sony Music to expand its leadership position in the UK market. In addition the […]
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Source: Music ally

Artist Akon confirmed for a keynote slot at Midem 2020

Reed Midem has announced the latest keynoter for its Midem conference in Cannes this June. Artist Akon will be talking about his career so far, his collaborations with a host of artists, and how he sees the globalisation of the music industry. “I want to be able to open up the diversity with different artists from different […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok’s latest censorship row focuses on India ‘shadow banning’

TikTok isn’t just about musical videos, and some of its non-music content has already sparked controversies around moderation and censorship issues. India, which is TikTok’s biggest international market right now, is a particular hotbed of sensitivities when it comes to political statements. The BBC has a lengthy piece about the growth of “shadow banning” – where restrictions are […]
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Source: Music ally

Rough Trade is now a playlist curator for Apple Music

Apple Music is pressing on with its work to sign up external brands and music companies as playlist curators, alongside its in-house editorial team. The latest to join is independent music retailer Rough Trade, which will be maintaining some Apple-exclusive streaming playlists. “Launching as a curator on Apple Music to champion the most exciting new […]
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Source: Music ally

M.I.A. launches Patreon page to fund music and other work

Patreon has snagged another prominent musician to use its platform to fund their work. M.I.A. has launched her page on Patreon, offering fans the chance to spend $5 or $10 a month to support her art. And ‘art’ is the right word: her Patreon isn’t just about music. “I’m doing a Patreon, because I make so […]
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Source: Music ally

MMF and YouTube reveal managers for their 2020 accelerator

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and YouTube have announced the list of 20 managers who’ll be taking part in their UK-focused accelerator programme this year. The chosen 20 represent 66 artists, songwriters and producers between them, with the MMF stressing their diversity on several grounds: “Over half the group are based outside London. 40% are female, and […]
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Source: Music ally

Despite TikTok / Triller boom, Dubsmash does 1bn monthly video views

Before TikTok (and the Musical·ly app it merged with) took the world by storm with music-soundtracked short videos, there was Dubsmash. The lip-syncing app was a craze back in 2015, but that popularity quickly ebbed away, and then Musical·ly and now TikTok took its core feature and ran with it. But Dubsmash isn’t dead. Far […]
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Source: Music ally

South Korea now has more than 10m paying music subscribers

Around one in five people in South Korea now subscribe to a music streaming service, as the country’s golden age for music – and for the music industry – shows little sign of abating. Recent industry estimates suggest that the total number of paying music subscribers in South Korea, across all domestic and international platforms, […]
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Source: Music ally

Gaana milestone raises eyebrows, but it’s almost certainly a typo

Imagine Music Ally’s surprise this morning when we read in a Wall Street Journal profile of Indian music streaming service Gaana that it now attracts ‘152 million monthly users’. Surprise, because it was only mid-December 2019 when we were reporting on the company reaching 125 million monthly users, having added around 3.1 million a month since hitting the 100 […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify ‘Discovered On’ listener count is now for artists’ eyes only

Spotify has made a small change to its desktop application that is causing some ripples of discontent among its community of playlist creators. The change is on the ‘Discovered On’ section within artists’ profiles on Spotify, which shows which playlists are the top sources of people discovering those artists’ music. Until now, the playlists were […]
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Source: Music ally

Algoriddim updates djay app with Tidal and SoundCloud support

Music apps firm Algoriddim has updated its djay app, both the desktop and smartphone versions, to allow integration with Tidal and SoundCloud for both live audio and video mixing. Users do, however, need to either be Tidal subscribers or have a SoundCloud Go+ premium subscription to avail of the new features. The VJ side of it comes […]
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Source: Music ally

BMI and RMLC settle their radio rates dispute in the US

US performing rights organisation BMI has settled its rates dispute with the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and signed a deal that will cover radio royalties from 2017 to 2021 – a date span that clearly illustrates how long the dispute has lasted so far. “The new license carries a rate that reflects the strength of […]
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Source: Music ally

Raised in Space has invested in five music-tech startups

In February 2019, Music Ally reported on a new investment fund being created by former BMG exec Zach Katz, working with manager Scooter Braun, cryptocurrency firm Ripple, and Something Gold boss Shara Senderoff. Raised In Space Enterprises would be looking to invest between $500k and $5m apiece in music/tech startups. In November last year, the fund led a […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon Prime membership has now grown to 150m worldwide

Usually when Music Ally reports on Amazon’s financial results, we add in a sentence noting that the company hasn’t disclosed any useful numbers for its music services. This time round, the reason is different: the company already disclosed some earlier in the month, when it revealed that it now has more than 55 million Amazon […]
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Source: Music ally

Google Meena may be the most chatty chatbot so far

Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant may be clever, but we’re not sure whether we’d class any of them as entertaining conversationalists. But Google has a new chatbot, called Meena, which may point to a future where these entities can sustain a conversation for much longer without making you (metaphorically) look frantically over their shoulder for […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook’s annual revenues grew by 27% to $70.7bn in 2019

Shock news: Facebook made a shedload of money in 2019! The social network’s latest financial results cover the final quarter of 2019, but also the full year. Facebook’s revenues grew by 27% year-on-year to $70.7bn, although its net profit narrowed from $22.1bn in 2018 to a mere $18.5bn in 2019. As for user metrics, Facebook ended 2019 […]
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Source: Music ally

20 British artists to share £262k in latest MEGS funding

UK industry body the BPI has announced the latest recipients of the British government’s Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) funding, which helps local artists with ambitions to grow their audiences abroad. 20 artists are sharing £261.5k in the 17th ‘wave’ of MEGS grants, which are funded through the government’s Department for International Trade (DIT). There […]
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Source: Music ally

Musiculus music education startup launches its first apps

The latest startup hoping to use digital wizardry to help people learn to play instruments is Canadian firm Musiculus. The company has launched its first web apps (with native versions to come) as part of what it calls “the only all-in-one online music learning tool that will teach you a systematic approach to understand, learn, and […]
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Source: Music ally

UK watchdog threatens StubHub with court action over website

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has long been a thorn in the side of secondary ticketing firm Viagogo. Now it’s also training its sights on StubHub, the company that Viagogo is in the process of buying for $4.05bn. The CMA has told StubHub that it may face court action unless it makes some key changes to […]
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Source: Music ally

Judah & The Lion promote new album with Beat Maker Go app

Gismart is the company behind music creation apps such as Beat Maker Go, Piano Crush and DJ It. Those apps have, as of December, been downloaded over 500m times. Now American band Judah & The Lion are using the Beat Maker Go app as part of the promotion for their new album. This is all […]
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Source: Music ally

Nicky Jam and YouTuber Teala Dunn team up for TikTok video

There is a lot going on in this TikTok video featuring musician Nicky Jam and YouTuber Teala Dunn: a motorbike chase, a fight scene, drones and a daring, tracksuited car-park-clambering escape. Published through Sony’s official TikTok profile (that’s big Sony, the overall company, rather than its Sony Music subsidiary) it claims to be “the most epic TikTok […]
The post Nicky Jam and YouTuber Teala Dunn team up for TikTok video appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

How do 24-7 YouTube lo-fi hip-hop channels make their money?

As podcasts have become more strategically important both to music streaming services and to the music industry, so Hot Pod News has become one of our trusted sources for information on the podcasting world. Its latest piece, written by music-industry journalist Cherie Hu, explores something less podcast-y: the economics of ’24-7 Lo-Fi Hip-Hop YouTube Livestreams’, […]
The post How do 24-7 YouTube lo-fi hip-hop channels make their money? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Deezer study suggests that album listening is on the wane

Streaming service Deezer has revealed some of the results from a survey of 8,000 people in the US, France, Germany and Brazil about their music-listening habits. Among its claims: that 54% of respondents say they are ‘listening to fewer albums than 5-10 years ago’. Nearly 40% said they prefer playlists, while one in 10 ‘feel […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music’s ALT CTRL playlist gets a Beats 1 show

Apple Music has steadily been creating spin-off Beats 1 radio shows for its big editorial playlists, with the alternative-focused ‘ALT CTRL’ the latest to get the treatment. Beats 1’s Hanuman Welch will host the weekly radio show, which will focus on the latest alternative tracks to hit the playlist, as well as an interview with whoever […]
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Source: Music ally

Top VR headset sales have dropped sharply year-on-year

Nielsen’s SuperData subsidiary has published some new figures for the ‘XR’ (‘cross reality’) market – essentially AR, VR and hybrids of the two – including the latest estimated sales figures for the top virtual-reality headsets. The company claims that Sony’s PlayStation VR and Facebook’s Oculus Quest were the top sellers in the final quarter of 2019, with 338k and […]
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Source: Music ally

Keychange initiative reveals its 2020 participants

The Keychange initiative – led by Reeperbahn Festival, PRS Foundation and Musikcentrum Öst – is about getting companies and events in and around music to sign up to a 50/50 gender balance pledge by 2022. As part of this push, it has revealed the 74 artists and industry professionals (drawn from 12 countries in Europe and North […]
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Source: Music ally

Pro Music Rights extends streaming lawsuits beyond Spotify

In November 2019, we reported on the latest lawsuit filed against Spotify by music rightsholders: Sosa Entertainment and its sister firm Pro Music Rights. Sosa was claiming that it had not been paid the full royalties for more than 550m streams of its catalogue. Now Pro Music Rights is targeting Spotify’s rivals too, with copyright infringement lawsuits […]
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Source: Music ally

Services revenue still growing strongly for Apple

Apple reported its latest quarterly financial results yesterday, for the final quarter of 2019 – the company’s fiscal Q1. They were good: “Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever,” according to CEO Tim Cook, who highlighted sales of iPhone 11 smartphones as well as new records for Apple’s services category (which includes Apple Music) and Wearables, Home and Accessories category […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube launches first episodes of Justin Bieber: Seasons doc

Earlier this year, Music Ally reported on YouTube’s plans to launch a Justin Bieber docu-series as part of its ‘originals’ slate. The series will include 10 episodes, with the first four released yesterday. As a gauge of demand for the series, the first episode was released 15 hours ago at the time of writing, and has already been […]
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Source: Music ally

Artists can now share Spotify Canvas to their Instagram story

A growing number of artists have been taking advantage of Spotify’s Canvas feature, with its eight-second video loops accompanying tracks instead of static artwork. Now Spotify is encouraging artists to spread those videos on social media. “Starting today, artists in the Canvas beta can share Canvases to their Instagram Stories, broadening the reach of their […]
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Source: Music ally

Vine successor Byte is now available on the app stores

In certain social-media circles, it’s been a familiar sight to see people sighing wistfully about how much they miss Vine – even though that app’s short-video creativity is alive and well on TikTok. Still, there’s been some excitement about the fact that Vine’s original co-founder Dom Hofmann was working on a new app for sharing six-second […]
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Source: Music ally

The most lucrative mobile game of 2019 is part of Sony Music

Earlier this month, a report by app-analytics firm App Annie offered its estimates for (among other things) the most lucrative mobile games of 2019, based on consumer spending. Top of the list was a game called Fate/Grand Order, a turn-based tactical RPG that was first released in 2015. Like all the biggest mobile games, it’s free to […]
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Source: Music ally

DeepJams is latest project exploring original AI-generated music

2020 looks set to be the year when a new AI-music startup (or at least a research project) pops up every week. This week’s entry is DeepJams, which falls somewhere between the two. It’s a graduate project from UC Berkeley exploring ways to use machine intelligence to augment traditional music composition. “We are applying the latest […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music restructures its Asia and Middle East divisions

Sony Music has introduced a new reporting structure for its operations in Asia and the Middle East. This will involve the creation of a series of hubs in the regions that will report to Sony’s headquarters in New York. As part of the restructuring, Denis Handlin (who has overseen Sony Music’s Asia Pacific operations for […]
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Source: Music ally

Midia Research thinks we’re in a ‘song economy’ now

Consultancy firm Midia Research has published an interesting blog post triggered by the curious (and highly lucrative) afterlife of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ through TV shows and now streaming playlists. Toto’s ‘Africa’ and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ are also under the microscope. “The three songs illustrate the development of the song economy,” […]
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Source: Music ally

Recording Academy’s interim boss promises to make changes

With the Grammy Awards now done and dusted, organiser the Recording Academy can turn its attention fully to dealing with the fallout from the last two weeks – a boss on administrative leave; allegations from both sides that need to be investigated; and calls from outside for the organisation to speed up its promised reforms. The […]
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Source: Music ally

Music startup Voisey: ‘It’s not an application, it’s a movement’

Will the next TikTok – i.e. a social app craze – be about making music? Norwegian / British startup Voisey hopes so. Its app aims to combine early SoundCloud’s zealous userbase, early Hype Machine’s excitement of discovery; Snapchat’s intimacy; and TikTok’s front-facing camera appeal. Its songs are created in two ways: producers can upload short […]
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Source: Music ally

German artists call for label changes over streaming royalties

Artists and their managers are unhappy with their streaming royalties in Germany… but for once it’s not streaming services who are the target of this unrest. MBW reports on 14 managers and lawyers representing popular artists in Germany, who have written to the three major labels plus BMG questioning whether the way they pay out streaming royalties […]
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Source: Music ally

UK government won’t implement the European Copyright Directive

British music-industry bodies played an important role in the lobbying process leading up to last year’s European Copyright Directive, including its Article 13 (which became Article 17 in the final legislation) section covering online platforms’ responsibilities around user-uploaded content. The concern for the Brits, however, was always its imminent exit from the European Union (‘Brexit’) […]
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Source: Music ally

She Is The Music campaign signs up 19 big supporters

Nonprofit organisation She Is The Music is campaigning to support women in the music industry, as well as to increase their numbers. Its focus so far has been on songwriting camps, mentorship programs and a global database of professionals, and now it has some heavyweight backing – including funding – from a range of companies in and around […]
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Source: Music ally

Distributor Ditto reveals Bluebox blockchain tools for musicians

Back in May 2019, we caught on early to something new from distributor Ditto Music called Bluebox. It was described as “a platform to streamline the music industry supply chain and bring modern technology to an industry lacking transparency, framework, and structure” with blockchain involved somehow. Eight months later, Bluebox has been officially unveiled. It’s now described […]
The post Distributor Ditto reveals Bluebox blockchain tools for musicians appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

New study suggests 60m Americans now own a smart speaker

NPR and Edison Research have published their latest ‘Smart Audio Report’, based on a telephone survey of 1,002 people in the US, focusing on smart speakers. The study claims that 24% of American adults – around 60 million people – now own a smart speaker. That’s up from 21% in December 2018, 18% in December 2017, and just […]
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Source: Music ally

Recording Academy diversity task force renews call for change

And so the saga continues… In December, the US Recording Academy’s task force on diversity and inclusion published a report offering 18 reforms and recommendations for change at the body. In the wake of the last week’s ructions at the organisation, the task force has now issued a statement expressing its “shock and dismay” at the allegations surrounding the […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok signs Merlin deal but its licensing work is far from done

TikTok and indie licensing-agency Merlin have announced a licensing deal covering use of music from the latter’s member labels “wherever the platform is available around the world”. The deal is effective immediately, and financial terms have not been disclosed. Cue warm words from both sides. “Independent artists and labels are such a crucial part of […]
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Source: Music ally

Octi creates AR social network (with funding from Live Nation)

Time for another shuffle of the deck of buzzy tech terms. The ‘blockchain of machine learning’ perhaps? How about the ‘big data of storytelling’? Or maybe ‘the social media of AR’ then? The latter is the description of Octi, a startup describing itself as “the first people-powered social AR platform. Founded in 2016, it has raised […]
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Source: Music ally

Prajakta Kohli launches YouTube series with Neha Kakkar episode

Prajakta Kohli is one of the emerging wave of young Indian YouTubers growing their audiences on the video service. Her channel MostlySane has nearly 4.5 million subscribers, and she’s just launched an original series called ‘Pretty Fit’, which is about getting fit by doing some unusual non-gym activities – tilling land, harvesting sugarcane etc. Anyway, her guest […]
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Source: Music ally

Billie Eilish now has more than 25m subscribers on YouTube

We suspect Billie Eilish will be picking up a Grammy or two (or more) this weekend. Ahead of that event, she’s reached a new milestone on YouTube: 25 million subscribers to her official channel. Eilish is one of fewer than 20 artists to reach that total, according to YouTube. This growth in her following is paying […]
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Source: Music ally

AI-music startup Never Before Heard Sounds joins Betaworks camp

In September 2019, startup studio Betaworks announced plans for an initiative called Audiocamp, promising to “invest in and mentor start-ups building on top of the latest advancements in NLP, or inventing new mobile, voice-enabled experiences and utilities, or engaging audiences in new ways of finding and supporting their next favorite audio programming, or developing new social listening […]
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Source: Music ally

Mixcloud launches Loud, a new in-house brand consultancy

Streaming service Mixcloud has launched its own in-house brand consultancy, Loud. It will be headed up by founding partners Kazim Rashid and Ben Lawrence. Rashid is a visual artist and was previously head of UK marketing at Warp while Lawrence spent the past nine years as head of brand partnerships at Mixcloud. “We help global brands […]
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Source: Music ally

Downtown Music Holdings’ latest acquisition is… FUGA

Downtown Music Holdings, the parent company of Downtown Music Publishing and Songtrust, is buying distributor and music/tech services company FUGA, for an undisclosed amount.
The deal comes just 10 months after Downtown made a splash with the acquisition of AVL Digital Group, whose subsidiaries included CD Baby, AdRev, DashGo and Soundrop.
AVL is the entity making the acquisition of FUGA, which means that the latter will now be a sister company of CD Baby under the AVL umbrella. Downtown says that FUGA will “continue to function as a standalone business” within the group.
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Source: Music ally

Amazon now has more than 55m music streaming users

Amazon has announced a big milestone for its music-streaming business: more than 55 million users.
“The streaming service has reached more than 55 million customers globally, with subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited growing by more than 50% last year alone,” claimed Amazon in its announcement.
In an accompanying interview with the Financial Times, music boss Steve Boom stressed that “nearly all” of the 55 million users are paying for a subscription, with only a small minority on the free, ad-supported tier that Amazon launched in the US last year.
“Amazon Music has grown nearly 50% year-over-year across the US, UK, Germany, and Japan and has more than doubled in our newer countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico,” continued the announcement.
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Source: Music ally

Netflix revenues topped $20bn in 2019 after ‘strong finish’ to year

Netflix published its latest quarterly financial results yesterday, including its full-year figures for 2019. In that year, the company’s revenues reached $20.16bn, with its Q4 total of $5.47bn representing 30.6% growth year-on-year. Netflix ended 2019 with 167.1 million global streaming paid memberships, up 20% year-on-year having added nearly 8.8 million net new subscribers in the […]
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Source: Music ally

Epic Games launches TikTok contest to find next Fortnite emote

The streams of the two biggest current digital youth-trends are crossing this month, as the publisher of Fortnite launched a dance contest on TikTok. The #EmoteRoyaleContest will be catnip for Fortnite’s tween’n’teen superfans too, as it gives them a chance to get their own dance routines added to the game as one of its ‘emotes’. […]
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Source: Music ally

Triller bags an official partnership for the Grammy Awards

The US Recording Academy may be in the thick of a full-blown crisis following the defenestration of its boss Deborah Dugan, but with the Grammy Awards imminent, it’s still business as usual on the latter front. That includes digital partnerships for the organisation’s flagship event. Buzzy social-music app Triller is on board for the 2020 Grammys, […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony’s 4th Floor Creative launches ‘This City’ podcast

British radio DJ Clara Amfo has launched a new podcast called ‘This City’, which will see her explore the streets of London “through the eyes of some of the city’s most recognisable names”. Available on all the usual podcast platforms, the interesting thing about it is that the podcast’s producer is Sony Music UK’s 4th […]
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Source: Music ally

Indie body WIN reveals its five new board members

Global independent-labels trade body WIN has held elections for its board of directors, with five new executives joining the board. Francesca Trainini (PMI), Garry West (Compass Records), Jörg Heidemann (VUT), Lisa Levy (Robbins Entertainment), and Zena White (Partisan Records) are the five newbies, joining WIN’s 15-person board. “Francesca, Garry, Jörg, Lisa, Zena and Jason together […]
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Source: Music ally

Google boss: ‘Artificial intelligence needs to be regulated’

The artificial intelligence technology being developed by companies including Google needs to be regulated… thinks the CEO of Google (and now also its parent company Alphabet) Sundar Pichai. He published a guest column for the Financial Times yesterday that’s been widely shared since, outlining his views. “History is full of examples of how technology’s virtues aren’t guaranteed. […]
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Source: Music ally

Agency Blackstar London expands team and sets up shop in LA

British creative, marketing and digital agency Blackstar London, whose founder Olivia Hobbs spoke at our Sandbox Summit conference last autumn, is expanding. The company is opening an office in Los Angeles, and has hired three new staff, one of whom will be based out in LA. “The expansion of the team and company is as vital […]
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Source: Music ally

Radiohead gather their archives in a ‘Public Library’ website

“Radiohead.com has always been a) infuriatingly uninformative and b) surprising. The most surprising thing to do next, therefore, is to suddenly become incredibly informative,” explained an announcement on Radiohead’s website yesterday. “So that is what we have done.” They certainly have. The band have launched a ‘Radiohead Public Library’, which they describe as “an online resource containing […]
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Source: Music ally

Delic raises £250k and preps release-management platform launch

Last year we wrote about UK-based startup Delic, and its plans to launch a “progressive asset and rights management platform for labels, management companies, and independent musicians” including blockchain technology. At the time, it was still working on that product. Now the company has raised £250k (around $325k) in a ‘pre-seed’ funding round led by Velocity EIS Technology […]
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Source: Music ally

Recording Academy interim boss slams ‘leaks and misinformation’

Is the controversy around Recording Academy boss Deborah Dugan being placed on administrative leave going to quieten down in the days leading up to the organisation’s flagship event, the Grammy Awards? No. No it is not. Chair of the board and interim president/CEO Harvey Mason, Jr has published a letter to the ‘Academy Family’ on its […]
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Source: Music ally

Music’s global evolution: K-Pop, China, and Eastern Europe

The second morning at this year’s NY:LON Connect conference focused on ‘emerging international and influential markets’. Three territories in particular: South Korea, China, and Russia / Eastern Europe.
The track began with a keynote from Sun Lee, YouTube’s head of music content partnerships and subscriptions for Korea and Greater China. Lee was interviewed by Billboard K-Pop and Pop correspondent Tamar Herman.
“In 2018 it was the sixth largest market in the world, just five years ago it was tenth. You can imagine how quickly the Korean music market has grown,” said Lee, who added that thanks to K-Pop’s global popularity, exports are 37 times bigger than imports for South Korea’s music industry, with Japan and China the top markets in the former case.
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Source: Music ally

One-tap video app Trash wins NY:LON Connect startup showcase

One of the traditional highlights of the NY:LON Connect conference is the startup pitches session, and 2020’s event was no exception.
New York startup Trash emerged as the winner in an audience vote for the best pitch, but fellow pitchers Super Hi-Fi, MyPart, Boomy and FeedForward won plenty of plaudits from attendees too.
Music Ally first wrote about Trash in June 2019, when its app first launched. The company’s founder is Hannah Donovan, formerly GM of Vine, and before that, co-founder of music-discovery site This Is My Jam.
Trash is a ‘one-tap video app’ that uses AI technology to help people create videos with soundtracks from the material they’ve shot with their smartphones.
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Source: Music ally

Report suggests Bytedance set for big push into mobile games

Fresh from test-launching its Resso music-streaming service, Bytedance is set to expand into another sector that will bring it into direct competition with fellow Chinese firm Tencent. That sector is mobile gaming, which drives huge revenues for Tencent already. Bloomberg reports that Bytedance has “rapidly built a full-fledged gaming division to spearhead its maiden foray into hardcore […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon Prime now has 112m members in the US alone claims CIRP

Amazon’s Prime membership is a huge driver for its music-streaming services, so how is it growing in the US? Research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) has put out some new estimates. It claims that the number of American Prime members grew by 11% to 112 million at the end of 2019, with 52% of those […]
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Source: Music ally

Björk taps Microsoft AI tech for ‘lobby soundscape’ in New York

Keen followers of Björk’s career so far may have thought it was only a matter of time before she experimented with AI music, such has been her openness to new technologies. However, her new ‘Kórsafn’ project is less about using AI to generate the music itself. It’s an installation at the Sister City hotel in […]
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Source: Music ally

Tech, innovation and music: ‘Pick one little thing and go deep!’

“VR is shit! It’s shit but it doesn’t have to be. Certainly the hardware’s not all the way there yet, it’s quite bulky and if you put it on for an hour or so you’re going to get a pretty raging headache and neck ache. But the real problem is the content is shit. The music industry trying to make you go see a concert in VR is about as boring as I can imagine.”
Scott Cohen can always be relied on for plenty of quotable moments when he appears on conference stages. Warner Music Group’s chief innovation officer, recorded music, keynoted the ‘Technology, Innovation and Startups’ track at NY:LON Connect, the conference that Music Ally co-runs with the Music Business Association (Music Biz), with this year’s taking place in New York last week.
Cohen’s thoughts on VR developed on a theme he talked to Music Ally about in late 2018, complete with his anecdote about feeling fully, thrillingly immersed in a VR boxing game, but being left cold by many of the current musical VR experiences.
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Source: Music ally

Troy Carter talks music disruption: ‘I’d still be in a panic if I were a major label…’

Troy Carter was the closing keynote at Music Ally and Music Biz’s NY:LON Connect conference in New York on Friday. The former Atom Factory boss (where he managed Lady Gaga during her rise to fame) and Spotify exec is now running Q&A, a company blending artist development, distribution and technology.
I interviewed Troy on-stage at the event, and it’s fair to say the session sparked a lot of discussion among attendees. Topics included Q&A’s structure (it’s a holding company for three individual companies: a management firm; label service and distribution; and a previously-unannounced software company); the discipline of developing artists in the streaming era; and partnerships with major labels.
It was the topic of the majors that sparked most debate later though. Carter suggested that major labels have missed a trick by not following the Disney+ template of pulling their content off existing streaming services in order to build their own platforms; suggested that the music industry may follow basketball league the NBA in becoming an artist-driven world of short contracts and label-hopping; and predicted that private-equity firms might be willing to buy out the rights of stars like Drake for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Oh, and he pointed to surveillance-technology company Palantir as inspiration for the predictive-analytics strategies around music marketing, too. The full transcript of the keynote is below, to ensure you get the full context around these and other thoughts.
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Source: Music ally

Midemlab startups contest reveals its jury for 2020

Earlier this month, we reported on changes to the Midemlab startups contest at Midem in June: a new ‘Live Music Experiences’ category to replace the existing ‘Experiential Technologies’ one. Music Ally, as before, is one of the selection partners for the contest, which means we’ll be one of three companies (alongside Plus 8 Equity and The Lynk) […]
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Source: Music ally

EMMA launches its European music-managers mentorship program

Music managers body EMMA (the European Music Managers Alliance) is launching a pan-European mentorship scheme for managers, with applications opening today. Called EMMMA (an extra ‘m’, because it’s the European Music Managers Mentorship Activation) it has support from the EU’s Creative Europe program, as well as from YouTube Music. Announced last year, it will offer […]
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Source: Music ally

Can ‘fantasy record label’ games become big hits with fans?

In August 2018, we published an article questioning what ‘social music’ is in the streaming age, which included a (slightly depressing, in hindsight) rundown of past failures at wedding social features and music. Among them was a catalogue of music-discovery gamification services – fantasy labels or league tables of friends’ track-spotting skills – which included Thesixtyone and the […]
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Source: Music ally

Publishing and rights: ‘Everybody needs to play ball in order for this tech to work’

“You can choose to grow one copyright at a time. That’s going to take a really, really long time. We went to look for solutions that would help us scale more quickly. And what drove that was really find likeminded people, find people with whom you have shared values… with whom you have a vision that really comes together as far as the growth and what you want to see. And do partnerships that way.”
Golnar Khosrowshahi is the founder and CEO of Reservoir, one of the most interesting companies sitting at the intersection of previously-siloed music industry sectors like publishing, management and master recordings.
She was also the keynote for the publishing and rights track at NY:LON Connect, the music industry conference that Music Ally co-runs with the Music Business Association (Music Biz), in New York. Khosrowshahi was interviewed on-stage by Helena Kosinski, VP of global, Nielsen Music / MRC Data.
The conversation began by looking back at Reservoir’s acquisition of the music publishing assets of TVT Music Enterprises a decade ago, in 2010. “Catalogues filled not with album cuts so much, but with great songs. It confirmed for us that we had to go after assets like that,” she said.
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Source: Music ally

Global music streaming: ‘We are just on the tip of the iceberg of what this will become’

“I think it’s good that we have a lot of players in the market, because it means we all get better… The streaming landscape, and particularly for us the audio landscape, will continue to grow. We are just on the tip of the iceberg of what this will become.”
Cecilia Qvist is global head of markets at Spotify, tasked with overseeing the streaming service’s continued expansion into new territories, as its content continues to spread beyond music.
She was also the opening keynote at NY:LON Connect, the music industry conference that Music Ally co-runs with the Music Business Association (Music Biz), as part of its track on ‘global streaming’. Qvist was interviewed on-stage by Music Biz president Portia Sabin.
Qvist talked about how Spotify approaches new territories. “We don’t normally put the team on the ground until we decide that we move in. But before we move into a market there’s a lot of research,” she said.
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Source: Music ally

The evolution of labels: ‘What’s your value proposition?’

“Labels who call themselves labels? That’s like dinosaur shit to me! It’s what’s your value proposition? What’s my value proposition? Can one plus one equal 10? As long as I can say to somebody that you and I together will be better… 300 is not a label, we’re a platform. We’re an opportunity for people to plug in and power up.”
Kevin Liles, CEO of 300, was on sparkling form in his keynote appearance at NY:LON Connect, the music industry conference that Music Ally co-runs with the Music Business Association (Music Biz), in New York today.
Interviewed on stage by Music Biz president Portia Sabin, Liles was the first half of the conference’s ‘Label Evolution’ track, exploring what labels are becoming, and the other kinds of companies that are edging into their territory.
Liles started by talking about the streaming era not as a format change akin to cassettes, CDs or downloads, but rather as a “consumption change” that brings challenges, but also big opportunities.
“We were in a low-volume, high-margin business, but now we’re in a high-volume, low-margin business,” he said, before stressing that some fundamentals haven’t changed.
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Source: Music ally

PRS for Music and Spotify team up for songwriting documentary

British collecting society PRS for Music teamed up with Spotify for a three-day songwriting camp called Who We Be Songwriting Sessions, using the brand of the streaming service’s popular playlist. Now they’ve released an eight-minute mini-documentary about the event, which saw more than 30 grime, rap, R&B and afrobeat musicians collaborating in London’s RAK Studios. […]
The post PRS for Music and Spotify team up for songwriting documentary appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Latin America gets electronic-music conference Cancun Music Week

Mexico will be the location for Latin America’s latest new music conference, Cancun Music Week. It will take place in Cancun from 3-9 August, and will focus on electronic music with a mixture of DJ sets, branded parties, conference keynotes, panels and workshops, and even early-morning wellness sessions. XKYY Entertainment is the company behind the event, […]
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Source: Music ally

Orville Peck is Apple Music’s first Up Next artist of 2020

There’s joy to be found in the fact that on the day Spotify launches a playlist for pets, Apple Music is making Orville Peck the latest emerging artist to be chosen for its Up Next initiative? Orville being the famously non-flying duck-puppet British TV star of the 1980s. You won’t catch Orville Peck singing saccharine songs […]
The post Orville Peck is Apple Music’s first Up Next artist of 2020 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

‘Grab your iguana’ – Spotify launches a playlist for pets

Good news for cats, dogs, hamsters, birds and iguanas this morning, but less so for stick insects, micro pigs and goats. Spotify’s latest algorithmically-generated playlist is aimed at pets, but only those in the first list above. And while this may sound like an April Fool’s story, it’s not: Spotify says it surveyed 5,000 pet owners […]
The post ‘Grab your iguana’ – Spotify launches a playlist for pets appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok was the second most-downloaded mobile app of 2019

App analytics firm Sensor Tower has published its year-end report on the apps market in 2019. Among its conclusions: TikTok was the second most-downloaded app across Apple and Google’s app stores in 2019, behind only WhatsApp, with nearly 750m downloads over the year. That put TikTok ahead of Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat, with the caveat […]
The post TikTok was the second most-downloaded mobile app of 2019 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Twitch steps up with a new music partnerships manager

Twitch has a new music partnerships manager: Athena Koumis, formerly of Spotify and Xcite Networks. She announced her new job in social posts yesterday, making it clear that Amazon’s live-video platform wants to get more musicians streaming. “One thing I’ve yearned for working in streaming over the years is a sense of community & meaningful interaction w/ […]
The post Twitch steps up with a new music partnerships manager appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music discovery app Lüm adds virtual gifting feature

US startup Lüm launched a music discovery app in July 2019: the latest attempt at a smartphone app to help music fans find new artists to listen to. The company has since closed a $1.4m seed funding round, and says that it has “grown to over 15,000 fans, 22,000 artists and has over 60,000 tracks […]
The post Music discovery app Lüm adds virtual gifting feature appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Joué bags an NWA co-founder and sets sights on US expansion

We last wrote about French startup Joué in June 2019, when the company was one of the finalists in the Midemlab startups contest. It’s a hardware company that makes instruments, with its first (also called Joué) being a board-shaped device made out of wood and metal, with “magic modules” made of silicon slotting in to turn it into a […]
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Source: Music ally

Deezer signs deal to offer direct telco billing in MENA region

Deezer’s ambitions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continue. The streaming service has announced a partnership with mobile technology firm Mondia which will help people pay for Deezer in the region. The deal involves ‘direct carrier billing’ so that people can pay for a Deezer subscription through their mobile bills. “One of the main […]
The post Deezer signs deal to offer direct telco billing in MENA region appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Fan campaign makes Welsh-language song ‘Yma O Hyd’ an iTunes hit

Fancy starting the day with a sing-song? Come on then: “Ry’n ni yma o hyd / Ry’n ni yma o hyd / Er gwaetha pawb a phopeth…” Those are the words of ‘Yma O Hyd’, a track by Welsh folk artist Dafydd Iwan that was originally released in 1983. Why, you may wonder, is Music […]
The post Fan campaign makes Welsh-language song ‘Yma O Hyd’ an iTunes hit appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

T-Series is the most-watched YouTube channel by weekly views

Indian firm T-Series’ flagship channel has the most subscribers on YouTube: 124 million at the time of writing. It will come as no surprise to learn that it’s also the most popular in terms of weekly views, then. That’s according to a chart published by online-video industry site Tubefilter, using data from analytics firm GospelStats. It claims […]
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Source: Music ally

People spent $115bn using WeChat ‘mini programs’ in 2019

Tencent’s messaging app WeChat is already a huge moneymaker in terms of the way people in China use it to pay for all manner of goods and services. One of the keys to this are the ‘Mini Programs’ launched by developers and brands for WeChat: essentially apps within the app. How much money is being […]
The post People spent $115bn using WeChat ‘mini programs’ in 2019 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok may launch ‘curated feed’ to boost ad revenues

One of many mysteries of this algorithm-driven age is how TikTok’s ‘For You’ feed works, in terms of the videos it recommends to users of its app. However, a report in the Financial Times this morning suggests that TikTok may be considering adding something a bit more… curated to its offering. The newspaper describes it as “a […]
The post TikTok may launch ‘curated feed’ to boost ad revenues appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Dolly Parton plans posthumous career with click-track recordings

Many artists have posthumous careers, thanks to their archives of unreleased tracks and demos. Dolly Parton, however, appears to be taking a more strategic approach for remaining successful after she dies. “I am a lucky person, cos I’ve got hundreds, hundreds, even thousands of songs. And a big part of ‘em have never even been […]
The post Dolly Parton plans posthumous career with click-track recordings appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Oprah Winfrey pulls sexual-misconduct documentary from Apple TV+

In December, it was announced that Apple TV+ had bagged the rights to a documentary about sexual misconduct in the music industry, focusing on a then-unnamed executive (since confirmed as Russell Simmons) and presented by Oprah Winfrey. The documentary was being produced by Oscar-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering. Now the deal has hit the rocks […]
The post Oprah Winfrey pulls sexual-misconduct documentary from Apple TV+ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

LiveXLive says that it now has 820k paying subscribers

Live music-streaming firm LiveXLive has published some end-of-year figures showing its growth. The company, which also owns streaming service Slacker Radio, says it ended the year with 820,000 paid subscribers, having added 140,000 in the last year, while its total average monthly active users were 1.2 million at the end of 2019. The company livestreamed 28 music […]
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Source: Music ally

Midem rebrands Artist Accelerator program as Talent Exporter

Midem’s Artist Accelerator has been a popular addition to the music-industry conference over the last five years: choosing a group of emerging artists each year for a programme of mentorship and networking, as well as live performances during the June event. Now it’s being rebranded as Midem Talent Exporter, which organiser Reed Midem says will […]
The post Midem rebrands Artist Accelerator program as Talent Exporter appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Composer Kerry Muzzey tweets tangled tale of Chinese licensing problems

If you want an insight into some of the challenges for composers in 2020, grab a large cup of tea and settle down to read this Twitter thread from Kerry Muzzey, whose music has been used by a number of high-profile TV shows. In it, he details his discovery that his music had been used, without […]
The post Composer Kerry Muzzey tweets tangled tale of Chinese licensing problems appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

$500m-funded Saban Music Group inks Universal partnership

In July 2019, we reported on the latest new label with grand ambitions for the music industry. In the case of Saban Music Group, those ambitions were backed by $500m of capital, thanks to founder Haim Saban, whose TV firm Saban Entertainment (and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) made him a billionaire. The new label would focus […]
The post $500m-funded Saban Music Group inks Universal partnership appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Video-streaming service Quibi raises $400m of new funding

In August 2018, Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and tech exec-turned-politician Meg Whitman made waves by raising $1bn of seed funding for their startup NewTV, with plans to stream high-quality TV shows and films broken up into bitesize 10-minute episodes. Since then, NewTV has been renamed Quibi, and at this week’s CES show in Las Vegas it was […]
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Source: Music ally

Indian artist Sukhbir Singh invests in music startup Flutin

Music Ally last wrote about Indian startup Flutin in October 2019, when the music-discovery app announced that it had been downloaded more than 9.7m times, and had built an audience of 370,000 daily active users streaming around 3m tracks a day. Now Flutin has announced that it’s teaming up with Indian artist Sukhbir Singh, who is investing […]
The post Indian artist Sukhbir Singh invests in music startup Flutin appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

D-AR-k Side Of The Moon: Pink Floyd’s new augmented reality filters

As part of the promotion for their The Later Years album and box-set, Pink Floyd have just launched a number of augmented reality filters for social media. Rhino UK commissioned WMG’s Firepit Technology to create Instagram and Facebook AR filters based on artwork for releases including ‘The Division Bell’, ‘Endless River’ and ‘P.U.L.S.E’. Fans can thus have […]
The post D-AR-k Side Of The Moon: Pink Floyd’s new augmented reality filters appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok clarifies its community guidelines after censorship row

TikTok has been subject to intense scrutiny recently over its censorship and moderation policies, and specifically the extent to which its global approach is guided by views on what is or isn’t acceptable in China. Now the company has published a revised and expanded set of its community guidelines, promising “greater transparency” and a clearer structure of 10 […]
The post TikTok clarifies its community guidelines after censorship row appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify criticised over Nazi-glorifying playlist titles

Spotify made a well-documented misstep with its attempt to introduce a policy on ‘hateful conduct’ of artists, but the streaming service has won more praise for its uncompromising approach to keeping hateful content – neo-Nazi music etc – off its platform. Now, however, Spotify is facing criticism after extremists found a way to promote their views on its […]
The post Spotify criticised over Nazi-glorifying playlist titles appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Hot Pod News makes its podcast-industry predictions for 2020

Hot Pod News is one of the most respected sites covering the podcasting industry, so its predictions for the market in 2020 are worth perusing. Among the trends it expects to make headlines this year: competition between Apple and Spotify. “At the end of the day, the competition is about getting users, audiences, and listeners into respective […]
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Source: Music ally

Messaging platform Sendmate gets acquired by Community

Facebook messaging and fan engagement service Sendmate has been acquired by text-messaging firm Community. Sendmate’s co-founder Andreas Mahringer will become head of business operations at Community, with plans to contact Sendmate’s customers in the coming weeks to explain how the transition will work. Sendmate was a spinoff from Record Bird, a music discovery startup that closed in […]
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Source: Music ally

Mastercard is releasing its first single: Merry Go Round

Fans of brandspeak will find much to enjoy in financial firm Mastercard’s latest press release. In a nutshell, the company has commissioned and released its first music single, a track called ‘Merry Go Round’ by Swedish artist Nadine Randle. But as the company prefers to put it: “Mastercard is redefining how people interact and recall the […]
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Source: Music ally

Emotional baggage: scientists pinpoint music’s 13 key feelings

Based on a survey of 2,500 people in the US and China listening to a variety of musical genres, research scientists at Berkeley have identified at least 13 emotions triggered by music across cultures. They are: amusing; annoying; anxious/tense; beautiful; calm/relaxing/serene; dreamy; energising/pumped up; erotic/desirous; indignant/defiant; joyful/cheerful; sad/depressing; scary/fearful; and triumphant/heroic. “We have rigorously documented the largest […]
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Source: Music ally

Dan Chalmers named as director of YouTube Music EMEA

As a story it has been circulating in the industry for many months, but YouTube has now confirmed that Dan Chalmers has been appointed as director of YouTube Music for Europe, Middle East and Africa. He joins from Warner Music where he was president of ADA as well as heading up both East West and […]
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Source: Music ally

Hipgnosis and Concord make latest publishing investments

Two of the most active music firms involved in buying up publishing catalogues have started 2020 with a bang. UK-based Hipgnosis has acquired a catalogue of 157 songs from Blink-182 co-founder Tom DeLonge, hopeful of a resurgence for his main band’s music. “The influence of Blink-182 on today’s artists is massive. If you’re under 27 years old […]
The post Hipgnosis and Concord make latest publishing investments appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

WWE averaged 510 YouTube video uploads a month during 2019

One of the challenges that YouTube presents for the music industry is the way music videos compete against other kinds of content and creators on the service. Many of whom are churning out videos much more regularly than artists are able to, with a firm sense of what will grab the attention of YouTube’s recommendation […]
The post WWE averaged 510 YouTube video uploads a month during 2019 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

UK government promises £80m for ‘music hubs’ in schools

Underfunding of the arts in general, and the arts in education in particular, have long been a concern for those in the UK who know there is a direct line between such schemes and the export power of the country’s music business. The Department For Education, however, has announced that it is earmarking £80m for music hubs […]
The post UK government promises £80m for ‘music hubs’ in schools appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sonarworks promises personalised sound with SoundID app

Audio-tech firm Sonarworks is hoping to make a splash at CES this week with a new product called SoundID. It’s an app for Android and iOS that promises “personalised audio perfected for each listener”, with its beta version available now. It’ll work by running users through a one-time ‘hearing test’ including their age, musical preferences and […]
The post Sonarworks promises personalised sound with SoundID app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

YouTube to release a documentary about Coachella festival

YouTube already goes back a long way with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival: it has been streaming sets live from the annual event for a decade. Now it’s going back even further. YouTube is launching a documentary about Coachella, which will explore the festival’s 20-year history. The feature-length original will go live on 31 March […]
The post YouTube to release a documentary about Coachella festival appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Nettwerk Music Group buys back shares from HBC Investments

Nettwerk Music Group has announced a recapitalisation of its business, which means a process of restructuring its debt and equity ownership. In this case, that process includes buying out the stake held in Nettwerk by HBC Investments: “part of a broader financing plan that recognizes the success of the Company’s strategy over the past seven years and […]
The post Nettwerk Music Group buys back shares from HBC Investments appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

19 TikTok stars get together for #hyephouse ‘collab house’ in LA

You don’t have to be a boomer to think that the idea of sharing a house with 19 TikTok stars has the makings of a living hell. But in the case of the Hype House in Los Angeles, it’s part of a burgeoning social-media trend. The New York Times has explained what’s going on: actually, only a […]
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Source: Music ally

French Montana track’s Spotify revival sparks controversy

To use the standard industry language, there’s been an almighty hoo-ha around the reappearance of a track by artist French Montana on Spotify’s US chart. ‘Writing on the Wall’ features Post Malone, Cardi B and Rvssian, but wasn’t a smash hit when it was originally released last September. Now a dramatic rise up Spotify’s chart, […]
The post French Montana track’s Spotify revival sparks controversy appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

KKBox’s new Microsoft deal includes plans for AI music

Taiwanese streaming service KKBox announced a partnership with Microsoft at the end of 2019, and while on the surface it was a fairly dry B2B story about cloud infrastructure, there’s more to it. So yes, KKBox will be migrating its service to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, but the press release for the deal outlined another […]
The post KKBox’s new Microsoft deal includes plans for AI music appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Rolling Stones rarities seen as copyright-extension tactic

Rolling Stones fans – at least, those camping out on YouTube in the final hours of 2019 – got an unexpected treat on 31 December. More than 75 rare tracks popped up on Google’s video service on the Stones’ and catalogue administrator Abkco, before disappearing again a few hours later. The live recordings and studio out-takes […]
The post Rolling Stones rarities seen as copyright-extension tactic appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Bytedance hires former Tencent Music exec for Douyin role

Bytedance’s latest music hire will be focusing on its Douyin short-video app in China – the Chinese version of TikTok. The company has recruited Deng Linhai to lead Douyin’s music business, according to news site Technode. The former operations director at Tencent Music Entertainment is taking over from Douyin’s former music boss Zhu Jie, who left the […]
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Source: Music ally

Ripple exec Craig DeWitt reveals plans for xSongs platform

Ripple Labs is one of the bigger companies in the crypto / blockchain space, with its payment protocol and XRP cryptocurrency. Now its director of product Craig DeWitt has revealed plans for a personal project focusing on music, called xSongs. It’s a familiar (and thus far, unsuccessful) idea in blockchain music: a platform for artists to […]
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Source: Music ally

Analysis: the music industry enters 2020 on a wave of growth – and optimism

Barring a major surprise, 2019 will have been the fifth straight year of growth for the global recorded music industry. Over those five years, its annual revenues have grown from $14.2bn to $19.1bn, taking it almost back to its 2004 level. If 2019 matched 2018’s 9.7% growth, we could be talking about $21bn last year.
The indications are good, from the quarterly figures published last year by the major labels, to the RIAA’s mid-year stats showing 16% growth for the US recorded music market, via record-setting revenues for collecting societies and steady subscriber growth for the big, global streaming services.
We’re still a way off the revenues that the industry was recording in the peak-CD pre-Napster era, but Goldman Sachs is predicting that streaming alone will be worth $37.2bn a year to the industry by 2030, while Midia Research reckons consumer-spending on streaming (as opposed to trade revenues) could reach $45.3bn by 2026.
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Source: Music ally

Concord COO is launching a new music-rights business

Music firm Concord’s COO Glen Barros left the company at the end of 2019, in order to launch what Billboard is describing as “a new music rights business venture”. He’d spent the last 25 years working at Concord, ever since buying the original Concord Jazz label. The new business is called Exceleration Music, and it has already […]
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Source: Music ally

Canalys predicts big year for wireless headphones and earphones

Research firm Canalys expects wireless earphones and wireless headphones – ‘the smart personal audio device market’ – to have a very big 2020. “In Q3 2019, the worldwide smart personal audio device market grew 53% to reach 96.7 million units. And the segment is expected to break the 100 million unit mark in the final quarter, with potential to […]
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Source: Music ally

Indie artists have doubled their share of Napster’s top 100

Napster is the latest music-streaming service putting out some end-of-year statistics. However, it has chosen a different topic to the usual ‘most popular artists / tracks’ DSP data dumps.
Napster has been looking at its data for independent artists, and says that in 2019, 33% of its top 100 most-streamed artists were independent. That’s up from 15% in 2015.
Napster reckons that this says something positive about the people listening on its service. “We’re thrilled about this data and believe the trend shows Napster has a unique user base looking to dig deeper into music and are willing to explore outside of the mainstream,” as its director of label relations and licensing Keola Kama put it.
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Source: Music ally

Keaton Henson releases album through meditation app Music Zen

The latest artist experimenting with releasing music through meditation apps is Keaton Henson, the British folk-rock musician and composer.
His new album ‘Louise’ Piano’ is coming out through Music Zen, the mindfulness app developed by music-apps firm Gismart. It’s the first time an artist has written exclusive music for the app, although the model has been set by rival meditation app Calm with its partnerships with Moby and Above & Beyond.
In Henson’s case, the album was recorded on an old piano belonging to his family, augmented with a dash of strings and field recordings of birds and rivers. The deal happened via publisher Faber Music.
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Source: Music ally

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band gets immersive with Dolby

Bad news if you want to hear the all-new remixed version of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the flesh: tickets to the “immersive experience” in the band’s native Liverpool are already sold out.
The good news, however, is that the remix – in the Dolby Atmos format – is also being made available to stream globally. For now, it’s only on one service, Amazon Music HD, which is one of the first to support Dolby Atmos. However, Universal Music’s press release announcing this promised that there will be “further services to follow in 2020”.
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Source: Music ally

Gaana now has 125m monthly active users – and a new voice-ads partnership

Gaana is the latest music-streaming service exploring the potential of interactive voice ads, following announcements earlier this year from Spotify and Pandora.
The Indian service is working with the same partner as the latter: Instreamatic, which has tech for ads that people can talk back to.
“With this partnership, Gaana listeners will engage with voice ads that present them with verbal prompts from a brand. For example, an ad’s call-to-action might invite the listener to respond affirmatively in order to receive more information about a product, or negatively to simply skip the ad,” explained the announcement of the deal.
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Source: Music ally

Sofar Sounds explains its business model after criticism

Live-music firm Sofar Sounds has been facing some criticism in recent months around how it pays artists and its volunteers alike. Now the company is responding in some depth, with a blog post explaining “how money works at a Sofar show”.
Its publication comes ahead of some changes to the company’s model set for February, including to artist compensation at its bigger shows.
“The average net income split between artists and Sofar is currently 63/37, with 63% of the net show income going to the artists. Our goal is to move from today’s 63/37 average profit split for our standard show format (3 artists and 20-25 minute sets) to 70/30 across Sofar-operated cities, in favour of the artist,” explained Sofar.
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Source: Music ally

Facebook tipped to sign music-video licensing deals for Watch

Up to this point, Facebook’s music-licensing deals have focused squarely on user-generated content. But for several years now – for example in the days when Vevo’s relationship with YouTube was thought to be on the rocks – there has been speculation about whether Facebook might fancy licensing music videos for its service.
Now, according to Bloomberg, it may be taking that leap. Its report claims that Facebook is “pursuing rights to music videos from major record labels, programming that could boost interest in its Watch video service” as part of its licensing renewals with the three major labels.
It also claims that Facebook is already testing music videos in India and Thailand.
The post Facebook tipped to sign music-video licensing deals for Watch appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Facebook tipped to sign music-video licensing deals for Watch

Up to this point, Facebook’s music-licensing deals have focused squarely on user-generated content. But for several years now – for example in the days when Vevo’s relationship with YouTube was thought to be on the rocks – there has been speculation about whether Facebook might fancy licensing music videos for its service.
Now, according to Bloomberg, it may be taking that leap. Its report claims that Facebook is “pursuing rights to music videos from major record labels, programming that could boost interest in its Watch video service” as part of its licensing renewals with the three major labels.
It also claims that Facebook is already testing music videos in India and Thailand.
The post Facebook tipped to sign music-video licensing deals for Watch appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Alexa in-skill purchases off to a sluggish start for Amazon

Music Ally has written about ‘in-skill purchases’ before: they’re the equivalent of in-app purchases for the third-party skills created for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. A way for developers to make money from their Alexa skills, in other words, by charging users for extra content or features. Tech-news site The Information claims that the feature is off to […]
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Source: Music ally

Post Malone gets a ‘dual-phone’ music video on Spotify

As Drake never sang: you used to call me on my cell phone, late night when you need my… cell phone too, to watch the new video from Post Malone. Yes, fans will need two phones to watch the latter artist’s new video, which is exclusive to Spotify. Essentially it’s the story of a couple breaking […]
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Source: Music ally

Midemlab startups competition seeks entrants for 2020

Will the number 13 be lucky for some music/tech startups? The annual Midemlab competition will be in its 13th year in 2020, and has just opened its call for entries. SoundCloud, Kickstarter, Songkick, The Echo Nest, Next Big Sound and Soundcharts are among the past participants in the contest, which is part of the Midem conference. […]
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Source: Music ally

Tracklib launches its ‘State of Sampling 2019’ report

Sample-licensing service Tracklib has published its latest ‘State of Sampling’ report, offering some stats and insight into how samples are being used in 2019’s music industry. “This year, 15% of the songs on Billboard Hot 100 contained samples. A total of 17 samples in 15 of the songs, with some containing more than one,” being […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon Music is official digital partner for 2020 Brit Awards

The UK’s Brit Awards have a new partner from the world of streaming services. Amazon Music will be the ‘digital music partner’ for the event in February. That means Amazon’s music services will get to stream the performances from the awards after the event; host the official Brit Awards 2020 playlist as well as other […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify plans Tekashi 6ix9ine podcast for new year

Another day, another new music-podcast announcement. Spotify in particular has been throwing a lot of money, time and marketing effort at original podcasts this year. The latest example is a show focusing on the rise (and recent fall) of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. It has been created in partnership with Complex. Infamous: The Tekashi 6ix9ine Story […]
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Source: Music ally

Sound Royalties backs Wyclef Jean’s Carnival World Music Group

Fugees and solo star Wyclef Jean has founded a music publisher and distributor that will focus initially on working with songwriters and artists in Africa. It’s called Carnival World Music Group, and now it has some financial backing from music-investment firm Sound Royalties. That company is better known for its business offering royalty advances to […]
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Source: Music ally

New DJ mixes on Deezer promise ‘fair artist revenues’

Deezer is adding a selection of DJ mixes to its streaming service, with Michael Mayer, Modeselektor, Mark Knight, Wil Saul, Sultan + Shepard and Makoto among the DJs taking part, with the first mixes launching on 30 December. Mix sets have long been a tricky area for music-streaming services, in terms of rights clearances and […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube Music unveils three more personalised playlists

A decent suite of personalised playlists is now table stakes for anyone who wants to be a competitive music-streaming service. YouTube Music’s latest move to ensure it’s up to speed is the launch of three new ‘playlists mixed for you’ which follow the template laid down by other services. Discover Mix is a playlist of […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon’s Alexa can now play podcasts from Apple and Spotify

Podcasts are already one of the uses for smart speakers, but that activity could be boosted in the US by the latest announcements from Amazon. From last Friday (13 December) it became possible for American Alexa customers to ask for podcasts as well as music. Interestingly, Amazon’s announcement only included Apple, with more than 800k podcasts […]
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Source: Music ally

WWE strikes TikTok deal including wrestler entrance-themes

The latest brand working with TikTok is sports-entertainment organisation WWE, which has created an official account on the social app. However, music is also a key part of the deal, with WWE licensing the entrance themes for more than 30 of its past and present wrestlers for use on TikTok. That means users of the app will […]
The post WWE strikes TikTok deal including wrestler entrance-themes appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Billboard will soon count YouTube data towards US albums chart

YouTube has contributed to the US ‘Hot 100’ singles chart since early 2013, but now Billboard has announced that the video service’s data will also count towards its ‘Billboard 200’ albums chart. Importantly, this data will only come from “official licensed video content uploaded by or on behalf of a rights holder” – no user-generated […]
The post Billboard will soon count YouTube data towards US albums chart appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report claims YouTube has 800k paying subscribers in India

It’s not there yet, but YouTube could soon be the biggest paid music-subscription service in India. That’s the hook for a report by Bloomberg claiming that YouTube has more than 800,000 paying subscribers in India across its YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium tiers – the latter of which includes the former. The report claims that YouTube’s subscriptions […]
The post Report claims YouTube has 800k paying subscribers in India appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sony Music invests in US podcast production firm Neon Hum

Sony Music really is serious about this podcasts business. The label has already launched two joint-ventures with podcast producers this year, as well as building internal teams to develop (and commercialise) spoken-word shows. Now it has announced a strategic investment in an existing podcast production firm, Los Angeles-based Neon Hum. Its hits include ‘Bag Man’, ‘The […]
The post Sony Music invests in US podcast production firm Neon Hum appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Startup Qjam aims to popularise ‘digital signings’ from artists

With the decline of high-street record stores, not to mention the rise of smartphones, are artist-signing events dying out? Scribbled signatures may pale compared to selfies, but a startup called Qjam is aiming to give signings a new, digital spin. It’s launched an Android and iOS app that fans can use to stream live video of an […]
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Source: Music ally

Stormzy and Wham get AR camera-effects on Instagram

The latest two artists to get their own augmented-reality camera ‘effects’ on Instagram are Stormzy and Wham. The Stormzy effect has been created by the Firepit Technology team at Warner Music in the UK, and puts a rotating crown of ‘H.I.T.H’ (the initials from Stormzy’s new album Heavy Is The Head) on the user’s head […]
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Source: Music ally

Pandora launches its test of interactive voice adverts

Earlier this year, Pandora announced a deal to test ‘interactive voice advertising’ through a partnership with a company called Instreamatic. At the time, the tests were slated to begin later in 2019. Well, now they’ve begun. TechCrunch has the details of the ads, which will ask listeners if they want more information about whatever product or service is […]
The post Pandora launches its test of interactive voice adverts appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Twitter wants to make a ‘decentralised standard for social media’

If you’ve read any of the long-form articles (or the book) about Twitter’s history, you might have formed the opinion that CEO Jack Dorsey is good at Big Ideas, but not always quite as good at the details. With that in mind, here’s a new Big Idea from Jack Dorsey! “Twitter is funding a small independent […]
The post Twitter wants to make a ‘decentralised standard for social media’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Label Dirty Hit signs global distro deal with Ingrooves

British label Dirty Hit has made its name with The 1975 and Wolf Alice (not to mention Beabadoobee, one of the hot tips for 2020 in numerous year-end lists). Now the independent company has signed an exclusive, global distribution deal with UMG subsidiary Ingrooves – a “deepening” of an existing relationship, rather than a brand […]
The post Label Dirty Hit signs global distro deal with Ingrooves appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Netflix to distribute TV series based on ‘Spotify Untold’ book

Earlier this year, we reported on the publication of a book, ‘Spotify Inifrån’ (‘Spotify Untold‘), which claimed to tell the inside story of Spotify’s rise. Then, in August we reported on the news that TV production company Yellow Bird UK, part of the much-bigger Banijay Group, had optioned the screen rights to the book and was developing […]
The post Netflix to distribute TV series based on ‘Spotify Untold’ book appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Napster reveals a new partnership with startup Super Hi-Fi

We profiled startup Super Hi-Fi earlier this year. The US firm has developed technology that uses AI to make streaming services sound much more radio-like, with branded stings, artist name and track title announcements, interview clips and ads – all personalised to each individual listener. Now the company has a new partnership with a streaming-music firm: Napster. […]
The post Napster reveals a new partnership with startup Super Hi-Fi appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Warner Music Group appoints its first senior privacy counsel

Here’s an interesting job title for a major label: senior privacy counsel. Warner Music Group has just created the role, and appointed Clare McConnell to it, reporting in to WMG’s general counsel, international, Kate Logan. “Clare is an online privacy expert and specialist in compliance with data privacy legislation in the US, Europe and beyond,” […]
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Source: Music ally

Hype Machine connects Spotify Wrapped playlists with Bandcamp

Streaming music doesn’t mean you don’t also want to buy it sometimes. Music Ally has always argued that there could be more links between streaming services like Spotify and D2C platforms like Bandcamp, beyond a few items of merch on artist profiles. Now music website Hype Machine has stepped in to create a new link […]
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Source: Music ally

Taylor Swift: ‘We’re working off of an antiquated contractual system’

Taylor Swift’s latest interview (with Billboard) sees her talking about the music industry’s approach to rights ownership. It won’t surprise you, given recent events, to find out she thinks change is needed. “We have a long way to go. I think that we’re working off of an antiquated contractual system. We’re galloping toward a new industry […]
The post Taylor Swift: ‘We’re working off of an antiquated contractual system’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

AI-music startup Popgun launches consumer music-making app Splash

Our recent interview with Stephen Phillips, CEO of AI-music startup Popgun, outlined his belief that an app for teenagers to make AI-powered music might be the ultimate ‘end-game’ for this technology. Now his company has launched… a music-making app for teenagers!
Well, any-age people really: the key is that they don’t need prior musical knowledge to use Splash, which is available for iOS and Android.
It’s a free download, and looks similar to popular music-creation app Groovepad, in that users choose genre-based packs of loops, then tap to trigger drums, basslines, synths, vocals and FX. They can then record their songs, add cover artwork and share them with the world.
The post AI-music startup Popgun launches consumer music-making app Splash appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

1,200+ Indian YouTube channels have more than 1m subscribers

Amid all the interest in the audio music-streaming market in India, where Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn and others are all scrapping it out, the biggest hitter is undeniably a video-streaming service: YouTube. We already knew that it has 265 million monthly users in India; that it may account for as much as 40% of Indian labels’ digital revenue; […]
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Source: Music ally

Artist Danny Brown to host a Grand Theft Auto V radio station

The game Grand Theft Auto V was released in September 2013, but six years on it’s still going strong, having sold more than 115m copies across various consoles, and with a popular online mode extending its lifespan. It’s also still making musical waves, with the latest example being a new station for the game’s in-car […]
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Source: Music ally

Corite raises $24k in fan-funding for artists in first month

Music Ally wrote about the beta launch of Swedish fan-funding startup Corite in October, with five artists raising money from fans in exchange for a share of their royalties. Now the company has provided an update on how it all went. “One month after the official launch, Corite has gathered thousands of registered users and closed ten […]
The post Corite raises $24k in fan-funding for artists in first month appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Bytedance tests music-streaming app Resso in India and Indonesia

Bytedance has begun testing its new music-streaming service Resso in India and Indonesia. Music Ally received a tip-off yesterday about the app’s availability, and began researching it, but since then Bloomberg has published a report claiming that the new app has been downloaded 27k times since its stealthy launch, but also suggesting that Resso has yet to seal licensing deals with the three global major labels.
“Resso is currently in a beta testing phase. We are optimistic about its long-term prospects but we are still very early in the process and only in a limited number of developing markets,” is the quote from Resso’s spokesperson. Happily, there’s a fair amount of information on what the app does and how its business model works online already (translation: we’re not letting our cyber-sleuthing yesterday go to waste!)
The post Bytedance tests music-streaming app Resso in India and Indonesia appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Deezer signs its first telco deal in the MENA region

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is one of the regions – like Latin America – where Deezer sees an opportunity to compete strongly against its larger global rivals. A $185m funding round in August 2018 included Saudi Arabian investment fund Kingdom Holding Company and media firm Rotana Group, and was quickly followed by Deezer’s launch across the MENA […]
The post Deezer signs its first telco deal in the MENA region appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

BTS Army’s latest battle was with… the World Record Egg

Yesterday, Twitter announced that the most-retweeted tweet of 2019 was January’s ‘World Record Egg’ – an attempt to break the previous retweets record with a photo of an egg.
According to Twitter, the egg beat a tweet by K-Pop stars BTS featuring band-member Jungkook dancing to Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ into second place. We’ll let you guess what happened once the BTS Army saw this news…
Yes, BTS fans mobilised to hammer on the retweet button for their idols, and at the time of writing, the BTS tweet has more than 1m retweets, while the egg is on 957.1k. Mission accomplished for the BTS Army, and the latest evidence of their social-media strength.
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Source: Music ally

Shesaid·so and InChorus reveal first bias-reporting data

In September, InChorus Group and Shesaid·so teamed up to launch a global survey of bias and harassment within the music industry. Now they’ve published some of the first results, based on the first 172 respondents. The survey focused on incidents of bias, harassment and microaggressions experienced at work in the music industry. According to InChorus and Shesaid·so, […]
The post Shesaid·so and InChorus reveal first bias-reporting data appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

After 500m app downloads, Gismart kicks off external investment with Jambl

British music-apps developer Gismart has quietly become one of the bigger firms in the apps world, with more than 500m downloads of its products – which include Beat Maker Go, Piano Crush and DJ It. Now the company is starting to invest in external firms, starting with one of the winning music/tech startups from this summer’s Midemlab contest: Jambl.
Gismart is investing $500k in the German startup, whose iOS app helps people to create beats and melodies before adding videos and sharing them to social media. The deal is part of a wider initiative announced by Gismart in March this year, which will see it investing up to $1m in “selected developers across a wide ran
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Source: Music ally

Colors moves into the headphones market with first hardware

Regular readers of our Sandbox report will be very familiar with music brand Colors and the minimalist videos it records for artists which are often a key part of their marketing campaigns. The visual aesthetic is based around getting acts to perform in a room that is in a single block colour, the intention being […]
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Source: Music ally

Former WMG exec Ole Obermann confirms new role at TikTok

Ole Obermann was Warner Music Group’s chief digital officer until June 2019, when he left the company after reportedly declining to renew his contract. Recent gossip had suggested that Obermann was joining TikTok and/or its parent company Bytedance in a key music role. And lo: Obermann has now confirmed that he has joined the companies as global […]
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Source: Music ally

Taylor Swift tops Amazon Music’s most-streamed chart of 2019

Amazon is the latest streaming service to publish some year-end charts, including a new name as its most popular artist of 2019. Taylor Swift takes that honour for Amazon Music, joining Post Malone (Spotify) and J Balvin (Deezer), while Billie Eilish was Apple’s editor-chosen ‘Global Artist of the Year’, and Daddy Yankee / Snow had […]
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Source: Music ally

Famous Media wants to create ‘TikTok with Tinder-style voting’

Take two trends: swipe-voting and short-videos. Mash them up, and what do you get? US startup Famous Media hopes you get a recipe for success. It’s working on an app called Famous for which its high-concept pitch is “TikTok with Tinder-style voting”. Its profile on investment site AngelList explains more. “Famous merges the youthful appeal of Instagram and TikTok […]
The post Famous Media wants to create ‘TikTok with Tinder-style voting’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

What’s the real end-game for AI music? Popgun’s CEO has some ideas…

“What’s the end-game for this? There isn’t this place in the world where teenagers come together to make music for each other. That place does not exist, and that’s nuts! That thing needs to exist, and it will exist. And getting the AI working is the price of admission to build that thing…”
Stephen Phillips, CEO of Australian startup Popgun, thinks that the early business models in this sector – AI-music as a replacement for production music, for example – are just a sliver of the ultimate potential for this technology.
What’s more, his thoughts on how AI music might disrupt the current music industry are less about people choosing to listen to AI-made music instead of human-made music, but rather about people (non-musicians) using AI tools to make music for one another. Specifically: kids.
“Where’s the ‘pop stars on training wheels’ place where they make music for each other, release it and watch each other pretend to be pop stars, but then go on to become legitimate pop stars? Who’s going to create that space where the next Billie Eilish comes from?” he says.
The post What’s the real end-game for AI music? Popgun’s CEO has some ideas… appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok settles children’s privacy lawsuit in the US

Yesterday, we reported on a lawsuit filed against TikTok in the US over its predecessor app Musical·ly’s handling of children’s data. There’s a speedy update on the case: it’s been settled. “TikTok is firmly committed to safeguarding the data of its users, especially our younger users,” a spokesperson told The Verge. “Although we disagree with much […]
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Source: Music ally

Twin Atlantic use new Google Earth features for campaign

In mid-November, Music Ally wrote about a new feature on Google Earth where people could create their own stories by attaching text, images and videos to locations on the planet. “We think there is some interesting scope here for artists to tell stories using the new features: who’ll be the first to give it a try?” we […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify Wrapped 2019 sparks new discussion about artist income

As Spotify launched the artist-focused element of its Wrapped 2019 promotion yesterday, the streaming service also offered some new statistics. More than 1.2 million artists were listened to for more than 100 hours on Spotify this year during the period covered by Wrapped (January to the end of October, which isn’t a widely-known fact – Mariah Carey must be FUMING…) Meanwhile, 169,000 artists were listened to for more than 10,000 hours on Spotify during that period.
Speculative maths time! If an hour is around 15 tracks on average, that would suggest more than 1.2 million artists with more than 1,500 streams on Spotify in the first 10 months of 2019, and 169,000 artists with more than 150k streams in that period. Using musician Zoë Keating’s recent ‘0.37 cents per stream’ royalties figures – recordings only, with her distributor not taking a cut – that’s more than 1.2 million artists whose tracks are generating more than $5.55 of recording royalties from Spotify this year, and 169,000 generating more than $555.
The post Spotify Wrapped 2019 sparks new discussion about artist income appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Jamie Cullum teams with Clos19 for personal song tributes

Anyone who has been to an improv comedy show will know that making up songs on the spot based on audience suggestions is often more admirable than enjoyable. But that’s, in a way, what Jamie Cullum is doing with the release of 19 songs, as part of a partnership with lifestyle retail brand Clos19. Each of […]
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Source: Music ally

AIM Connected conference ditches the panel format for 2020

Every so often, we end up in a conversation about how to make conference panel-sessions more interesting. British indie body AIM has an idea: get rid of them entirely. Its AIM Connected conference will take place on 4 February in London, and it will be panel-less. Instead, the event will focus on “a series of […]
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Source: Music ally

U2 to launch their own radio channel on SiriusXM and Pandora

U2 are the latest artist to ink a partnership with both SiriusXM and its Pandora subsidiary. The band are launching something called U2X Radio, which will include their own station on SiriusXM’s satellite-radio service playing recorded and live music, interviews and other content. There’ll also be exclusive stuff available for Pandora listeners. The news follows SiriusXM’s creative […]
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Source: Music ally

Portes aims to connect artists and fans while respecting privacy

Artists connecting with fans and rewarding superfans has been a trend in our industry for years. Doing that while respecting their digital privacy is… a somewhat-newer trend. Something that’s trying to walk this line is Portes, a new platform and app launched by startup OCL. The app is available on iOS, with Android to come. “Use […]
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Source: Music ally

Beatport launches a new editorial website called Beatportal

Running a music website as a profitable business in 2019 is hard. Running it as an extension of other kinds of music brands, however, is an increasingly-common strategy. The latest example is a site called Beatportal, launched by dance brand Beatport for its community of DJs. “A monthly cover story featuring a diverse range of artists […]
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Source: Music ally

Streaming-led recorded-music revival in Italy is lasting

Recorded music revenue in Italy increased 6.7% in the first nine months of the year, according to recorded music body FIMI, with streaming up 28%, a result that suggests the streaming-led revival is having a lasting impact in one of Europe’s most stubbornly analogue markets. Italy, the subject of our latest Country Profile, ranks 24th out […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s annual Wrapped feature for fans and artists goes live

Expect to see a LOT of Spotify-branded social posts from artists and fans alike today, due to the launch of the streaming service’s annual ‘Wrapped’ promotion. Fans can log in to see data on their listening not just from 2019, but also from the last decade. It’s the first time Wrapped has been available within Spotify’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Genius sues Google and LyricFind over lyrics allegedly lifted from its site

The dispute between music-lyrics site Genius and Google may yet end up in court: the former is suing the latter plus its partner LyricFind for $50m. This all relates to Genius’ accusation in June that Google was serving up some lyrics in its ‘OneBox’ search results that had been lifted from Genius – detected by the latter using alternating straight […]
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Source: Music ally

Collecting society GEMA buys stake in distributor Zebralution

Who said major labels were the only established music entities buying into the digital distribution market? German collecting society GEMA is joining the fun. It has taken a majority stake in Berlin-based distributor Zebralution, which it says makes it one of the first collecting societies in the world to ‘secure commercial participation’ in that market. Zebralution […]
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Source: Music ally

Jukedeck founder responds to Amazon’s DeepComposer launch

We reported yesterday on Amazon’s announcement of DeepComposer, a musical keyboard designed to help developers explore generative AI. Now Ed Newton-Rex, founder of one of the first AI-music startups, Jukedeck, has been giving his views on what Amazon’s announcement means. That includes the fact that it’s the fourth of the ‘big five’ tech companies to publicly […]
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Source: Music ally

Aaliyah’s catalogue to finally make it onto streaming services?

The catalogue of late R&B star Aaliyah has long been held back from streaming services – with the exception of her 1994 debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number and a handful of early singles and EPs. Now it is rumoured her full catalogue, including 1996’s One In A Million and her self-titled third […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music reveals its leadership team for podcasts

Details have emerged about the team Sony Music is putting together in its New York office to produce and make money from podcasts. An internal memo from execs Dennis Kooker and Tom Mackay outlined the four key executives working on what they describe as a “key area of creative and business development”. They are: SVP […]
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Source: Music ally

TikTok criticised for limiting reach of people with disabilities

After all the recent controversies around data privacy and censorship, TikTok’s leadership won’t have enjoyed seeing this intro to a story on news site Netzpolitik. “Leaked documents reveal how TikTok hid videos of people with disabilities. Queer and fat users were also pushed out of view.” The story concerns a list of ‘special users’ whose posts’ […]
The post TikTok criticised for limiting reach of people with disabilities appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Tech firms call for US to stay in climate-focused Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is the 2016 deal on measures to tackle the climate emergency signed by 195 nations and states. However, US president Donald Trump has made it clear that he intends to withdraw from the agreement, and the earliest date at which he could do that would be November 2020. Now a group of […]
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Source: Music ally

Ministry of Sound playlists back on Apple Music rivals

Cast your minds back to October 2018, and a story we wrote about a playlists partnership between Apple Music and Ministry of Sound. The gist being, as Ministry’s profile on that streaming service explained it: “All Ministry of Sound playlists and the monthly Ministry Mix – only on Apple Music.” At the time, we noted that Ministry […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify advises $5k minimum spend for its new ‘marquee’ ads

In October, Spotify announced that it would be testing sponsorship of its full-screen ‘marquee’ album recommendations, allowing artist teams in the US to buy these spots – but only for people who’d already listened to their artist. What Spotify didn’t say at the time was how much this would cost. Enter Rolling Stone, which has got its hands […]
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Source: Music ally

TicketSwap hires FastForward founder Chris Carey

Dutch secondary-ticketing firm TicketSwap has hired former EMI/Universal Music insight director Chris Carey as its new head of international marketing. The company aims to make secondary ticketing “fairer, safer and more transparent” at a time when the biggest firm in the secondary world, Viagogo, is under sustained attack from the music industry and regulators alike. […]
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Source: Music ally

Billie Eilish wins big in Apple awards and Spotify 2019 stats

What we need, said almost nobody in the music industry, are a few more awards ceremonies. But now we have two, from the world’s biggest subscription music-streaming services.
Spotify’s first awards will take place in Mexico City next March, driven entirely by its data, but Apple Music’s first event took place overnight, chosen purely by the company’s editorial team. The simplification of Spotify as ‘algorithms’ and Apple Music as ‘humans’ is a complete fallacy, but dammit if the two services’ awards aren’t playing right in to it.
Spotify’s awards don’t even have nominees yet, but the company did (also overnight) just release its ‘Wrapped 2019’ data for the most popular artists and music on its platform this year. So what can we learn? There’s fun to be had comparing the 2019 stream-count for Billie Eilish on these fierce rivals.
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Source: Music ally

Anghami offers music-streaming for travellers at Dubai airport

Travellers to Dubai’s international airport (DXB) will now be getting some free music playlists, courtesy of the facility’s partnership with streaming service Anghami. “Customers of DXB will now have uninterrupted free access to specially curated, travel-themed playlists featuring a variety of different global artists and some exciting new local talent from Anghami’s vast music catalogue, […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify offers half-price annual subscription in India

Spotify’s annual subscription promotions are of and running in the western world, but the streaming service also has a discount for one of its newest markets: India. The company has halved the price of its annual subscription there from 1,189 rupees (around $16.57) to 699 rupees. The Hindustan Times reported that the offer lasts until 31 December, […]
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Source: Music ally

Mixcloud apologises to users affected by hacking attack

In 2019, every digital service with a significant profile is a target for hackers. The latest music service dealing with the after-effects of a security breach is Mixcloud. According to both Motherboard and TechCrunch, a data reseller is asking for around $4k (paid in bitcoin) for details of 21m user accounts from the audio-streaming service. Mixcloud has issued […]
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Source: Music ally

Music Declares Emergency campaign gets an Impala award

Too often, still, the climate emergency is seen by even-senior politicians as an opportunity for puerile stunts of political point-scoring – and this at a time when researchers are warning that the planet may already have crossed a series of climate ‘tipping points’, where certain impacts of global heating take on a momentum of their own.
In Music Ally’s domain, though, what has been encouraging in 2019 has been the music industry’s growing engagement with the climate emergency. One of the latest examples being an organisation in the UK called Music Declares Emergency, which has today been given independent body Impala’s ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award.
“This movement seizes the power of the music sector to take action and inspire change. It is important to join forces and to encourage collective action for climate,” said Impala’s executive chair Helen Smith, encouraging artists and music-industry bodies to sign the movement’s declaration, which was first announced in July this year. Among its promises: “We acknowledge the environmental impact of music industry practices and commit to taking urgent action.”
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Source: Music ally

Holly Herndon: ‘Cool AI tools will augment the producer’s palette’

In Music Ally’s recent report on AI music (which you can read here if you missed it earlier this week) we cited Holly Herndon as one of the best examples of an artist leaning in to this technology for creative purposes. Now she’s published some thoughts on what AI means for musicians, in a tweet responding to […]
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Source: Music ally

Music publishers mull challenges of India’s evolving market

Music-publishing body ICMP has just held its latest board meeting, in Mumbai, as part of a week-long delegation to India to hold talks with the government, music-industry entities and media in the country. “We came to India because it’s a promising market – currently the 15th largest in the world. However, we also need to […]
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Source: Music ally

J Balvin enjoys second year as Deezer’s most-streamed artist

It’s year-end lists season and no mistake. Deezer is the latest music-streaming service to put out its annual figures, and for the second year running, Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin is the most-streamed act on the service – indicating not just the foothold of Deezer in Latin American countries but also the growing global crossover […]
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Source: Music ally

Wynk Music says it has overtaken rivals for daily active users

Indian telco Airtel says its Wynk Music service is now India’s top music-streaming app when measured by daily active users (DAUs). What it hasn’t said, however, is a specific figure for that. Instead, Wynk’s press release cited October 2019 data from research firm App Annie, without quantifying how many DAUs that is, or how they’ve grown over […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube Music extends free trial and expands ticketing to UK

Christmas is coming, and Music Ally’s list of cheap music-streaming subscription promotions is getting fat. YouTube is the latest in to the festive fray, with a ‘Cyber Week’ offer in the US of an extended three-month free trial of its YouTube Premium tier, rather than the usual one month of free access. That includes YouTube […]
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Source: Music ally

Teenager tests TikTok policies with video criticising China

TikTok has been under fire recently over accusations that its global moderation policies are too in thrall to the government of its parent company’s homeland, China. The line coming out of TikTok executives in the US this month has been that censorship decisions on the platform in the west are NOT driven by Beijing. That’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Billboard reveals new chart rules for album/merch bundles

As part of a chart battle last year in the US between Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj, all hell broke loose. The latter used her Queen Radio show on Beats 1 to attack the former for using merchandise bundles to drive his album to number one ahead of hers. “Travis Scott is out here selling f***ing […]
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Source: Music ally

Tidal launches personalised video-mix playlists feature

Tidal has launched a new feature called ‘My Video Mix’ which, as you will have guessed from the name, offers a series of video playlists to users. Blending human editors’ recommendations with machine-driven picks based on users’ listening habits, My Video Mix will serve up to eight different playlists grouped by artist and ‘music clusters’. […]
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Source: Music ally

We need to talk more about legal issues around training musical AIs

When most people think about the potential legal issues around AI-created music, they tend to think about the output – the music itself, and questions like whether an AI-generated track can attract copyright protection. Sophie Goossens, counsel at law firm Reed Smith, thinks that just as much attention should be paid to the input.
“AI is not born in a vacuum, and AI systems do not appear out of the blue. In most cases, their ability to create is directly proportional to the amount of information they are able to absorb and learn from. This body of information is known as the ‘the training set’, and it’s something we should be asking many more questions about,” she says.

Goossens explains that AIs are trained using ‘text and data mining’ process (‘machine-reading’) where they analyse a large set of data – music in the case of musical AIs. It’s the same way humans learn, but when we read books, watch movies or listen to music, that’s not a process restricted by copyright. Machines? Well, it’s different for them.
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Source: Music ally

Impala to oppose Tencent investment in Universal Music Group

Independent-music body Impala has come out against plans for Chinese technology company Tencent to buy a 10% stake in Universal Music Group, with an option to buy a further 10%.
“Even at a low level of shareholding, we believe the risk of harm for consumers and competitors from such a transaction would be a concern because of the impact in both the digital market and the music sector, with independents being squeezed further and artists also losing out,” said Impala’s executive chair Helen Smith, in a statement this morning.
Impala has campaigned actively and influentially (if not always successfully, in terms of persuading regulators to step in) against consolidation of the music industry’s major labels. The proposed Tencent / UMG investment represents a new front for the body’s concerns.
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Source: Music ally

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee unveils ‘Contract for the Web’

“If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.” Some sobering comments […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify faces another digital royalties-related lawsuit

Will Spotify’s lawyers ever be able to enjoy their Christmas dinners without a looming royalties lawsuit? The latest comes from independent music company Sosa Entertainment and its sister firm Pro Music Rights. MBW reports that Sosa claims that it has not been paid the full royalties for more than 550m streams of its catalogue on Spotify. There […]
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Source: Music ally

Former PledgeMusic CEO threatens legal action over allegations

There’s a new row involving collapsed crowdfunding service PledgeMusic, and specifically its former CEO Dominic Pandiscia. After a musician – Ken Andrews of the band Failure – made a series of allegations about Pandiscia in a Facebook post, they were picked up by music blog Brooklyn Vegan, in an article that has since been removed from […]
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Source: Music ally

eMarketer: France/Germany Facebook flight is ‘faster than expected’

Journalists, analysts and research companies have been warning about a ‘Facebook flight’ – people migrating away from the social network – for years now, yet overall, the company’s user base has continued to grow. eMarketer has some new predictions out this morning though, focused on two markets – France and Germany – where it says the migration is real, and “even […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify commissions its latest crop of Christmas cover songs

It’s that time of year again, when artists eye Mariah Carey’s annual Christmas royalties-boom with envy, and hope to follow suit with their own original festive songs – and cover versions of classics. But music-streaming services are also on the Christmas bandwagon: Amazon’s program for commissioning new Christmas songs is well known, but Spotify has also […]
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Source: Music ally

Scooter Braun reveals death threats over Taylor Swift dispute

For most Taylor Swift fans letting Scooter Braun know their thoughts on the dispute over Taylor Swift’s AMAs medley and Netflix documentary, a few rat emojis sufficed. Some, however, went a lot further, leading Braun to speak out on Friday in a social post addressed directly at Swift. “Since your public statement last week there have […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple tipped to double its AirPods shipments to 60m this year

Thanks to its music-driven adverts, Apple’s original iPod earphones became one of the most recognisable tech products back in the day. Its modern equivalents, the wireless AirPods, are increasingly common on the streets today.
Bloomberg has put some numbers to that, quoting “people familiar with the Cupertino-based company’s production plans” as claiming that Apple is doubling its AirPods shipments to 60m units in 2019. This is partly fuelled by “much higher” demand for the latest model, the $249 AirPods Pro, than had been expected.
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Source: Music ally

Tic Tac and Spotify team up for minty-fresh concerts series

We have several favourite sentences from the announcement of Spotify’s latest brand partnership, with Tic Tac.
“The unique event series employs Spotify’s streaming intelligence to target consumers who exemplify the fun and refreshing Tic Tac brand personality,” is one of them.
“The interactive concert will intertwine music with the spirit of the Tic Tac brand to give fans a multi-sensory experience that allows them to engage with Tic Tac and Spotify in new ways,” is another.
“Tic Tac mints hopes that these activations will continue to connect with consumers in fun and immersive ways that prompt them to rethink the brand’s place in the mint category,” also.
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Source: Music ally

JioSaavn brings U2 and A.R. Rahman together for new track

Indian streaming service JioSaavn has been commissioning original tracks and remixes for a while now, but its latest example takes things up several notches in terms of the participating artists.
U2 have teamed up with Indian legend A.R. Rahman for a new track called ‘Ahimsa’, which launches today ahead of U2’s first ever concert in India, on 15 December.
Like previous original tracks commissioned by JioSaavn, the company isn’t restricting its availability on a global basis: ‘Ahimsa’ is also available on Spotify, Apple Music (and iTunes), Amazon Music and other digital services worldwide.
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Source: Music ally

Edison Research is now tracking podcasts’ popularity

Research firm Edison Research has won plenty of friends with the reports that it publishes with NPR: ‘Smart Audio Report’ tracking US usage of smart speakers, and more recently the ‘Spoken Word Audio Report’ exploring consumption of podcasts and other non-music content. Now it’s launching something new: a ‘Podcast Consumer Quarterly Tracker’ that will survey […]
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Source: Music ally

Artist Miink premieres new video on a site we can’t mention

The reason we can’t mention the website where the latest video from UK-based artist Miink has nothing to do with prudishness, and everything to do with not wanting to get this bulletin blocked by music-company email filters across the world. Let’s just say the website’s name starts with ‘You’ joined to a four-letter word that […]
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Source: Music ally