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

In Berlin, talk around music usually takes two paths: techno or the blockchain, and both involve a lot of earnest nodding. At the Most Wanted: Music 2019 conference, conversation was nudged towards the creation of new value streams, pushing for meaningful diversity, and embracing change in an age that demands it. The post Most Wanted: […]

MOBO Help Musicians fund for talent diversity enters third year

The UK-based MOBO Help Musicians fund is now in its third year and has seen the available funding behind it grow from £40k to £60k. It is a partnership between the MOBO Trust and Help Musicians UK and is designed to support musicians from diverse backgrounds – underwriting all areas of creativity – from vocal […]

Tina Tchen appointed as new president and CEO of Time’s Up

US advocacy group Time’s Up, which was set up to tackle sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace, has a new boss. Tina Tchen, the organisation’s new president and CEO, is already known to the music industry, too: since last March she’s been working as chair of the US Recording Academy’s task force for inclusion, having […]

Spotify opens a studio in Brazil for female artists only

Spotify has opened a new recording studio in São Paulo, Brazil, with a very specific focus: women. It’s called Casa de Música – Escuta as Minas (translation: House of Music – Listen to Women) and has already been used by artists including Bibi Caetano, The Mönic, Souto MC, and Luana Marques. Here’s how Spotify described the new […]

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

With digital now firmly driving the music industry, the second day of the conference at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival saw a lot of chatter about the industry’s resolutely-analogue elements: human beings. From gender equality in terms even the least humane person can understand, to where bots meet humans, and how smaller, people-centric businesses can survive […]

Martina McBride criticises Spotify again over playlist algorithm (and Spotify agrees)

Earlier this month, we reported on country star Martina McBride’s anger at Spotify’s recommendation algorithm, after its first 135 suggestions of tracks for a ‘country music’ playlist she was making were all by men. Spotify’s head of artist and label marketing in Nashville, Brittany Schaffer, seemed to have smoothed over the waters with a coffee […]

Flagship country streaming playlists outdo radio for diversity

Does country radio in the US have a diversity problem? The debate has already been rumbling for a while, but a new research study puts some numbers to the lack of women on mainstream country radio – as reflected by Billboard’s official Country Airplay Chart between January 2018 and July 2019. “This study’s findings are not surprising: […]

LGBTQ brand Gay Times is the latest Apple Music curator

The latest guest curator on Apple Music is Gay Times, the European LGBTQ media brand. It’s making a series of exclusive playlists for the streaming service, while the companies are also collaborating on a joint advertising campaign in the UK featuring artists including Kim Petras, Girli, Vincint and Alma, which ties in with this month’s […]

Shesaid·so reveals plans for ‘female-first’ music conference

Music industry women’s network Shesaid·so is celebrating its fifth anniversary by announcing a new conference called MEETSSS. The organisation is describing it as “the first female-first, music-forward conference” created for its community, with the event to be held in Portugal on 3-6 October this year. “The event will embody shesaid·so’s core brand values: collaboration, diversity and […]

UK survey reveals ‘hidden barriers’ for disabled musicians

A new report aims to shed more light on the “hidden barriers” encountered by artists with ‘access requirements’ – a term covering a range of impairments and health conditions. The report is the work of British music-charity Attitude is Everything, which interviewed 96 musicians, songwriters, DJs and producers from the UK about their experiences. Half […]

Incoming Recording Academy boss promises ‘new perspective’

Deborah Dugan has been confirmed as the new president and CEO of the US Recording Academy, replacing outgoing boss Neil Portnow. Dugan has promised that she is keen for the organisation to use its platform “to affect positive change” – including around diversity in the music industry, an issue which saw Portnow cause controversy last […]

Lizzo and Jameela Jamil talk body positivity on Instagram

Actor and activist Jameela Jamil has interviewed Lizzo – creator of some of the greatest singles of 2019 so far – about issues around body positivity on Instagram. Jamil has been using her social media presence to call out advertisers and creators of “quick diet” “remedies” who use body shaming to sell their dubious products. […]

Spotify’s Austin Daboh says playlists need more diversity

Should some of Spotify’s big playlists be more diverse in terms of the artists featured on them? Yes… says Spotify’s head of music, culture and editorial in the UK, Austin Daboh. He was talking at radio DJ Annie Mac’s London conference on Friday about diversity. “I think it starts from the team. On my team […]

UK’s Musicians Union launches mentoring scheme for women

The UK’s Musicians Union (MU) is the latest industry entity to launch a mentoring scheme for women. It’s working with SheSaid.so, the group which has already been active in this field. In the MU’s case, its scheme will see 20 women chosen: 10 mentors and 10 mentees, who’ll meet every month, while also attending bi-monthly […]

InChorus Group to measure bias and harassment in the music biz

Startup InChorus Group is launching a platform that it hopes will help to measure incidents of bias and harassment within the music industry. The company wants to help people report “microaggressions” within their workplaces, before providing those companies with anonymised feedback – the idea being that people can blow the whistle on such behaviour without fear of […]

Happy International Women’s Day 2019

It’s Friday 8 March, which means it’s the annual International Women’s Day. Expect plenty of activity from pretty much every digital music service, with curated playlists and other content galore. Which is great, albeit also may raise questions about how today’s celebration can be carried through to the playlist-curation and artist-partnership decisions taken by these […]

Amazon gets artist-curated International Women’s Day playlists

This Friday (8 March) is International Women’s Day, which has become something that pretty much every music-streaming service throws its weight behind in some way, particularly curated playlists. Amazon Music, for example, has roped in a bunch of ‘guest curators’ from the artist world this year, and it’s a super selection: *takes deep breath* Jess […]

Spotify publishes diversity stats for Norwegian popular music

As part of the by:Larm festival last week, Spotify published some stats on the gender diversity of the 50 most-streamed songs in Norway last year. Spoiler: the stats were pretty discouraging. “Of 203 songwriters behind the 50 most streamed songs of 2018, only 11,3% were women, and only one of the 83 producers behind the […]

Gender gap in UK chart hits has grown over past decade

Ariana Grande may be setting the US charts alight, but there’s  a less-positive story about how women are faring in the UK charts, published by BBC News. “Three times as many male as female pop stars appeared on last year’s biggest hit singles… Ninety-one men or all-male groups were credited on the Official Chart Company’s top […]

Abbey Road Red seeks more diversity in startup founders

Abbey Road Studios wants to recruit more teams with women founders to its Abbey Road Red startup accelerator, according to the studios’ MD Isabel Garvey. “We are acutely aware that we have no female founders, and very few women in our founder teams, and we are trying to be a little more diverse,” said Garvey, […]

Campaign for producer and engineering inclusion launches in US

This time last year, the US Recording Academy was facing strong (and deserved) criticism for poorly-worded comments by its boss Neil Portnow about how women needed to “step up” in the music industry. 12 months on, the Academy is offering something more constructive: a ‘Producer and Engineering Inclusion Initiative’ which aims to increase the opportunities […]

Report 420: #2019Goals. The music industry’s key challenges this year… and how we can tackle them

Welcome to the first Music Ally Report of 2019. We’re taking a look at some of the key challenges that lie ahead for our industry this year – and how they might be tackled. From diversity to startups via fake music and taking a bite out of radio, we hope it’s a constructive take on […]

Spotify bars ads from right-wing organisation PragerU

Thought for the day: “Women want real men, men they can count on and yes, look up to. No amount of feminist theory will change that.” Or here’s another one: “Intersectionality is a form of identity politics, in which the value of your opinion depends on how many victim groups you belong to.” And just […]

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