Sandbox Issue 208: Making Micro Waves

Lead: In an age of constant digital distractions, sometimes it is better to play the short game. We trace the rise of the micro ad and how it is being tailored to stand out when users are rapidly hopping and grazing across a variety of platforms. Can the “three-second rule” help advertising and marketing make its impact felt in a time of constant distractions? We look […]

Kobalt revenues and losses both increased in last fiscal year

Music firm Kobalt’s latest financial results show that its revenues grew by 23.5% to $321m in its last fiscal year, which ended on 30 June 2017. However, the group’s operating loss grew by 45.6% to $24.3m, while its net loss for the year grew by 69.8% to $33.1m. Although given the company’s ability to raise […]

Smart speakers’ impact on music: ‘I don’t think it can be overhyped…’

More than 26m smart speakers were shipped globally in 2017 according to research firm Futuresource, with the Amazon Echo and Google Home ranges proving popular devices. That was the spur for an event hosted by British music-industry bodies the BPI and ERA last night in London, and a report exploring the impact for music, published […]

Kobalt promises $150m investment for AWAL recordings business

Kobalt is making AWAL the brand for its entire recordings division, while promising to invest $150m and hire 100 more staff to build up that side of the business. Kobalt acquired digital distributor AWAL in 2012, as it prepared to launch its own label-services division. Since then, AWAL has been the entry level for Kobalt’s […]

Case study: marketing Laura Marling’s Semper Femina album

Laura Marling’s last album, ‘Semper Femina’, is a wonderful piece of work: something I’ve returned to again and again since its release, discovering new details every time. Hats off to that, then. But also to the team that worked hard on the marketing campaign for an album, released through More Alarming Records via Kobalt Music […]

Kobalt CEO blasts ‘elitist’ concerns about music as background listening

Kobalt CEO Willard Ahdritz delights in ruffling feathers within the music industry, so his appearance as a keynote speaker at Music Biz and Music Ally’s NY:LON Connect conference in New York promised to deliver a fair few zingers. He was interviewed by Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley. The post Kobalt CEO blasts ‘elitist’ concerns about […]

Facebook signs music deals for Irving Azoff’s GMR, Kobalt and indie publishers

Facebook’s latest music-licensing deal, following its agreements with Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV, is something a corker: it’s with Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights. That would be the Irving Azoff who’s regularly castigated YouTube in recent times over its licensing and royalty payments? The very same. “Today, we are excited to announce that Global Music […]

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