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

Made In Memphis Entertainment (Mime), launched in 2015, has a quietly radical idea at its core: ‘disruptive decentralisation’. It’s about creating a root-and-branch alternative to the traditional music business structure. And the company is starting local, in Memphis, Tennessee. At present, Mime’s family of companies includes Beatroot Music, the only Black-owned music distributor in the […]

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

Music distributor AWAL says that “hundreds” of its artists now earn more than $100k a year from streaming, and that this number (of artists) has grown by more than 40% in the last year. The company also said that “dozens” of its artists earn more than $1m from streaming every year. This is all a […]

Latest Bandcamp Friday looks to build on $75m sales so far

Independent artists and labels have sold $75m of music and merchandise so far on the ‘Bandcamp Fridays’ series of sale days, during which the D2C platform waives its revenue share. Today’s the latest one, as part of Bandcamp’s decision to repeat the sale on the first Friday of every month – complete with an ‘Is […]

Apple Music’s new ‘INDIY’ playlist focuses on DIY artists

Our first response to Apple Music’s new playlist ‘INDIY‘ is wondering how to pronounce it: is it ‘indie’ or ‘indie-why’ or ‘in-D-I-Y’? Whatever: its focus is on independent artists who, for the most part, are self-producing and self-releasing their music. It’s also mining a particular musical landscape: “the dissolution of borders between indie and R&B” […]

Move the Record event to raise money for independent stores

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a grim period for independent music venues and record stores alike, as they ponder not just when they’ll be able to reopen, but whether. It’s been heartening, at least, to see the success of several campaigns to support these businesses with artists and fans chipping in. The latest initiative sounds […]

Ghostly International confirms merger with Secretly Group

Label Ghostly International is merging with fellow indie Secretly Group, in a deal that Billboard reports was delayed from earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “We had poor visibility on how revenues were going to change and how the economy was going to go. It caused us to ask hard questions: Why now? Should we […]

One Little Indian Records becomes One Little Independent Records

British independent label One Little Indian Records was the home of Björk, Skunk Anansie, Crass and other artists. Why the past tense? Because One Little Indian is no more: the label has changed its name to One Little Independent Records. MD Derek Birkett explained why in a social media post, citing “an eye-opening letter from a Crass […]

Were independents the big winners from 2019 streaming growth?

We covered the launch of the IFPI’s latest Global Music Report yesterday, and the official figures showing that global recorded music revenues grew by 8.2% to $20.2bn in 2019 – the biggest total since 2004. Now the analysis is continuing of what the figures tell us about trends in the market. Midia Research, which put out its own […]

Impala publishes 10-step ‘recovery roadmap’ for music in Europe

European indie body Impala has published its latest thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the music industry. It’s a ten-step ‘recovery roadmap’ that sets out what it would like to see governments across the European Union doing in the coming months. Immediate steps that Impala would like to see include EU states recognising music and culture […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Transgressive Records at 15: ‘Sometimes great things take time…’

On paper, 2004 was one of the worst years in living memory to set up a record label. The decade-and-a-half decline in recorded-music revenues was well underway, with CD sales falling off a cliff. And the main lifeline in sight, Apple’s iTunes Store, was unbundling the traditional album. Optimism was in short supply. And yet: […]

MelodyVR signs licensing deals with Beggars Group and Domino

Virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR has added another two labels to its roster of licensing partners: independents Beggars Group and Domino. The deals were announced this morning by MelodyVR’s parent company EVR Holdings, which is a public company in the UK. MelodyVR has also renewed its licensing deal with Aresa, a company representing catalogues from music companies including […]

Merlin CEO steps down after another record payouts year

The boss of indie licensing agency Merlin will step down at the end of 2019. Charles Caldas revealed the news yesterday, having led the organisation since its earliest days in 2007. It’s an amicable life-choice decision, with plenty of praise for Caldas’ work in its wake. “Merlin and the whole independent community owe Charles a […]

Indies and Amazon talk smart speakers and music: ‘It’s all about metadata’

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, shipments of smart speakers grew by 169% in 2018 to 86.2m units globally, driven by Amazon Echo, Google Home, and devices from Alibaba, Baidu, Xiaomi and Apple among other companies. At next week’s AIM Connected conference in London, the opening panel will be discussing “smart devices’ effect on streaming”. […]

WIN reveals its new leader is COO Charlie Phillips

In December, independent trade body WIN announced that its CEO Alison Wenham was stepping down, but no replacement was announced at the time. Now that gap has been filled, albeit without the same job title. WIN’s director of legal and business affairs Charlie Phillips is stepping up to a new role as chief operating officer, […]

Major label WMG now has… a president of independent music?

It may raise a few eyebrows to learn that major-label Warner Music Group now has an executive role whose title includes ‘president of independent music’. Actually, it’s not a surprise: the company’s new president of independent music and creator services is Eliah Seton, who’s been promoted from his previous position as president of ADA Worldwide, […]

Independent labels optimistic about sync opportunities in 2019

The UK’s independent-music trade body AIM is preparing for its first AIM Sync global sync-licensing conference, which takes place in London on 28 January. Ahead of the event, some of the speakers told Music Ally about their hopes for sync-licensing in 2019, from an independent perspective. The tone was one of optimism, with labels seeing […]

Sample libraries and virtual-instruments firm Spitfire Audio launches a label

British company Spitfire Audio has built a business around sample libraries and virtual instruments for artists and producers to use when making music. Now the company is branching out with the creation of its own label, SA Recordings. The label launches today with an EP by Spitfire’s lead composer Oliver Patrice Weder, which will be […]

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