Are Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube the new record labels?

Spotify is signing direct licensing deals with some artists and testing the ability to allow others to upload directly to its platform. YouTube and Apple Music are creating content and putting marketing budget behind artists. And Apple Music has also acquired Platoon, the British startup which helped a number of emerging artists to develop, including […]

Spotify encourages artists to create their own podcasts

“Do You Need Your Own Podcast?” asks Spotify’s latest blog post aimed at artists. The tone of the article is clearly encouraging them to give it a go, ideally via Spotify’s own Anchor podcast-creation app, which it acquired earlier this year. “A podcast is a great way to establish your personality as an artist and expand […]

Amplify will be the next platform for fans to invest in artists

There are already a number of companies making it possible for fans and high-wealth individuals to invest in musicians, from the familiar crowdfunding platforms like Patreon to the likes of Royalty Exchange. The latest startup falling into the latter category is Amplify, which is planning to launch a private beta of its service this summer. “Amplify […]

How Otis McDonald built a career… though royalty-free YouTube music

With the EU Copyright Directive passed but still to be implemented by the different member states, the issue of the ‘value gap’ certainly hasn’t gone away. At the heart of this debate is the argument that ‘user-uploaded content’ services, most notably YouTube, that use music as such a core part of their business should be […]

Artist Community Manager – Sofar Sounds – Boston or New York

  COMPANY: Sofar Sounds reimagines live events through curated, secret performances in intimate settings in more than 420 cities around the world. POSITION TITLE: Artist Community Manager REPORTING TO: CEO LOCATION: Ideally Boston. We will consider candidates in NYC as well. RESPONSIBILITIES: The Artist Community manager will work closely with a small, scrappy team to ensure every Sofar artist […]

Artists need ‘meaningful patronage’ in 2019 beyond streams

Marketing agency Motive Unknown boss Darren Hemmings’ latest blog post goes in hard on the world of streaming right from its title: ‘Music Streaming Services Are Gaslighting Us’. His argument: “At every step of the way, streaming services are essentially gaslighting us that this ecosystem is an amazing new development. Just like Silicon Valley in […]

Could streaming services offer ‘creator support’ for artists?

The idea of ‘top-up’ crowdfunding-style payments within music-streaming subscription services is something Music Ally has floated in the past: the idea that (for example) Spotify’s billing relationship with its subscribers could be used to help them spend a dollar or two a month more on individual musicians, likely in exchange for exclusive content and other […]

Marketing Director, Artist Partnerships – mtheory – Los Angeles

mtheory is seeking a motivated, curious, team-oriented and organized individual to work closely with managers, artists and mtheory teammates to facilitate client success in today’s music market. The Marketing Director will work as a key project manager across all aspects of global marketing campaigns, at the direction of mtheory senior management to execute and implement […]

Tidal gets 14-day exclusive window for Prince ‘Originals’ album

There’s a new album by Prince coming out: hurrah! But it’s an album of cover versions: boo! But wait, it’s covers of songs that Prince himself wrote for other artists to record: hurrah again! ‘Originals’ will be released on 7 June through a partnership between the Prince Estate, Warner Bros Records and Tidal, with the streaming service […]

Beyoncé drops surprise live-album to accompany Netflix special

In December 2013, Beyoncé managed to release her eponymous fifth solo album as a complete surprise to fans and the music industry alike, bar a small, trusted circle of insiders and digital partners. Nearly five and a half years on, she’s repeated the feat, albeit with a live album rather than a new set of studio […]

Instrumental signs data partnership with Coda for talent spotting and development

Instrumental – which describes itself as a “data science-driven talent discovery business” – has partnered with live agency Coda to offer data on and insights into the fastest-growing acts that are self-releasing as well those on major or indie labels. Instrumental will create bespoke tools for Coda that will track acts across a variety of […]

Julian Casablancas discards Spotify and Apple Music utterly, begrudgingly praises YouTube

Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Cult Records has been speaking to Billboard about his various music projects, his record label and dealing with the creative process. But buried in the middle of the interview he talks about his dislike and distrust of most streaming services – and what their rise means for artists and labels. “In […]

TikTok wants to break new acts via Spotlight

TikTok, the short-form video app that has been downloaded over 1bn times to make it the new centre of gravity in the meme world, is looking to court new acts and help break them on the platform. Its new Spotlight feature allows artists to digitally audition for the company and the successful ones will be put in […]

2019 Midem Artist Accelerator finalists revealed

Midem’s Midem Artist Accelerator competition is now in its fifth year and it has revealed the names of this year’s finalists. They are: Acido Pantera (an EDM act from Colombia); Alexander Oscar (a pop act from Denmark); Anya (ditto); Blanche (a pop act from Belgium); Bo Bingen (a rock/alternative act from Japan/UK); Dalex (an urban […]

YouTube names 11 independent artists for 2019 Foundry class

Working directly with independent artists is on the agenda of every major music-streaming service in 2019. But of course, it’s also intrinsic to YouTube as a platform, for creators of all stripes. YouTube Music has a specific initiative for musicians called Foundry, which has been running since 2016 as a way to choose a crop […]

Artist Mike Casey talks streams, playlists and jazz growth

When we think of the musical genres that are benefitting most from streaming, it tends to be hip-hop, R&B, dance and pop. And when we think about the genres that may be getting something of a raw deal, jazz and classical often spring to mind. And yet… in both genres, there are artists who are […]

Report 422: Playlisting’s next leap forward

Playlists have been referred to as everything from the new album, the new compilation, the new greatest hits, through to the new radio, the new MTV and more. Whether you’re a pop act trying to build a truly global audience or just trying to make a living from making mood music, if you’re not on […]

Sandbox Issue 224: Up Hit Creek. THE DRY STREAMS PARADOX

Lead: The Dry Streams Paradox is when there is a huge gap between the number of streams an act gets and the number of fans they have or can reach. Just because someone plays one of your songs, it does not follow that they even know what your name is. Does this all mean that […]

T Bone Burnett takes on big-tech companies in SXSW speech

Musician and producer T Bone Burnett has spoken out before on the relationship between technology companies and artists. Last week at SXSW, he gave a speech outlining how he feels about all this in 2019. “It must be becoming obvious to most people by now: the fact that we are in a battle. A battle […]

Spotify sees label-relations and editorial teams working closer

Spotify wants its editorial and artist and label-relations teams to work “more in alignment” in the future, at least in the Nordic territories: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. That’s according to Johan Seidefors, head of content, Nordic, at Spotify. He was talking in the streaming service’s session at the by:Larm conference in Oslo last […]

Louis Tomlinson debuts Landmrk-powered scavenger hunt for fans

The latest artist to benefit from a partnership with location-based marketing startup Landmrk is former One Direction star Louis Tomlinson. He’s promoting a new single called ‘Two Of Us’ with a digital scavenger hunt using the Landmrk for Music platform that the British startup unveiled in December 2018. “I’ve hidden some video clips in hotspots around the […]

Spotify cites Conner Youngblood as playlist-submission success

Spotify was recently under fire for the way playlist-pitching works for labels on its platform, but the company sees the playlists-submission tool it launched in July 2018 as a positive for artists. Its latest blog post outlines how the tool has worked for one artist, Nashville-based Conner Youngblood. After submitting his track ‘The Birds of Finland’ using Spotify’s tool, it […]

Report claims indie US creators earned $6.8bn online in 2018

A year ago, Music Ally reported on a study calculating the value of the ‘independent creator economy’ in the US, from an organisation called the Re:Create Coalition. It claimed that musicians, filmmakers, artists and other creators earned nearly $6bn from online platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, eBay and Etsy in 2016. We also noted that the coalition […]

Emma McGann talks music, live video and finding fans on YouNow

Live video is an increasingly common way for musicians to interact with their fans, from album and tour launches on Facebook to fan Q&As on Instagram and even streaming gaming sessions on Twitch or YouTube. One aspect of livestreaming that still flies under the western music industry’s radar, though, are standalone live-video apps like YouNow, […]

YouTube backs Maggie Rogers as first Artist On The Rise of 2019

Capitol Records artist Maggie Rogers is the first musician that YouTube has chosen for its Artist On The Rise marketing program in 2019. The initiative is focused on ‘up-and-coming’ talent, with Rogers having first come to prominence in 2016 in a video of a masterclass held by Pharrell Williams in New York, when one of […]

Simon Fuller ‘couldn’t give a monkey’s’ about streaming metrics

Former Spice Girls manager and American Idol creator Simon Fuller is hard at work with a new band in 2019, Now United, which includes members drawn from a host of countries. He’s been talking to Billboard about why (audio) streaming hasn’t been playing a role in the band’s early days. “[Today’s] music industry is all about: […]

Manager Jake Udell thinks artist subscriptions WILL work

Monthly subscriptions are doing a pretty good job for the music industry in the context of Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services. The idea of individual artist subscriptions has been tested regularly by startups and crowdfunding platforms, without yet catching on. Something admitted by manager Jake Udell in his latest blog post, which focuses on […]

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