Jason DeRulo makes ‘far more’ than $75k per TikTok post

Apparently rumours on Twitter have suggested that music artist Jason DeRulo earns around $75k for every TikTok video that he posts. Complex went to the horse’s mouth to establish whether it’s true, asking DeRulo about it in an interview. “I think it’s tacky to say what I do make from them, but it’s far more than […]

Mike Singer single promoted with stream-to-unlock campaign

Warner Music Central Europe has created a stream-to-unlock initiative to push ‘100Tausend’ (‘100 Thousand’), the new single from German artist Mike Singer which is released on 17 July. Users going to a page on his website pick their streaming service of choice and then they have to play ‘Paranoid’ (the first single from the new […]

Apple Music launches At Home With Sessions with Arlo Parks

Spotify Singles has been combining artists’ re-recordings of their own songs with covers of other musicians’ tracks for some time. Now Apple Music is getting in on the idea with its new ‘At Home With Sessions’. Emerging British artist Arlo Parks is the first to feature, reworking three of her own tracks. As the name […]

Ashnikko’s new track has a Beats by Dre and TikTok partnership

Artist Ashnikko’s breakthrough last year was fuelled by TikTok, when her track ‘Stupid’ went viral. Now, for her new track ‘Daisy’ she is prioritising the platform – this time with Apple’s music hardware brand Beats by Dre on board as a marketing partner. That means a music video with prominent placement for the new PowerbeatsPro headphones, […]

Mrs. Green Apple celebrated fifth birthday in Animal Crossing

If you’re a regular reader of Music Ally, you may have spotted that we have some Animal Crossing fans on the team. We’ve seen a couple of music marketing campaigns make use of the latest version of the game, Nintendo Switch title Animal Crossing: New Horizons – pop artist Alice Chater turning her music video […]

Spotify’s new site creates personalised workout playlists

Spotify’s latest campaign to create personalised playlists for listeners is called Soundtrack Your Workout, aimed at people who are exercising. On the new website, they choose a workout length (from 15 minutes to two hours); choose to include only music, only podcasts, or a mix of the two; explain what exercise they’re doing (yoga, running, […]

Liam Payne set to launch ticketed livestreams on Veeps

Veeps! Another new livestreaming startup for artists? Actually, no, this one’s been around since 2017, and was founded by Benji and Joel Madden from rock band Good Charlotte. It’s a platform for ticketed livestreams, and the latest artist to sign up is a biggie: former One Direction star Liam Payne. He’s going to be launching […]

Wiz Khalifa to play Genius Live interactive livestream

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about livestreamed concerts during the Covid-19 lockdown, it’s that fans relish interactivity: at its simplest level seeing an artist read and respond to comments in between songs. Genius is going further though: it’s launching a new “performance-oriented livestreaming and experiential platform” called Genius Live, with lots of interactivity. Wiz […]

BTS Army (and Cape Verde) help K-Pop stars break iTunes record

Is there any country in the world where BTS aren’t big? They’re certainly big in Cape Verde: their ‘Black Swan’ track has gone to number one in the country’s iTunes chart. Why are we writing about this? Well, this was the 103rd country where the track had topped the iTunes rankings, breaking Adele’s record of […]

YouTube lands exclusive on archive Elton John concerts

His mammoth Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour might be on hold for now, but Elton John is making a series of archive shows available exclusively on his official YouTube channel. The series premieres on Friday (3 July) with the stated aim of raising $500k in donations for the Elton John AIDS Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund. Each […]

BandLab debuts a new ‘Albums’ tool for self-releasing artists

BandLab is one of the most popular and longest-established online tools for creating music and collaborating with other musicians, although its parent company has diversified into physical instruments and music media – including buying magazines like NME and Uncut. Now it’s getting into digital distribution for independent artists, with a tool called ‘BandLab Albums’ and […]

Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda created his new album on Twitch

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of musicians have been thinking about doing more with live-video platform Twitch. But what should they do? Live performances, DJ sets (even though there are issues here), fan Q&As, playing games… All these have been tried. Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park has been using Twitch to broadcast his actual creation […]

K-Pop stars Blackpink break YouTube 24-hour views record

This one is going to get the K-Pop stans roused up. In April 2019, BTS broke the record for one-day video views on YouTube, with the 78m views of their ‘Boy With Luv’ video trumping the previous record-holder, ‘Kill This Love’ by fellow K-Pop group Blackpink. Now the record has been broken again… by Blackpink! […]

Finnish artist Artem launches an ‘8D’ music video

Imagine if 2D was four times better, or if 3D was, ahem, 2.67 times better. That’ll be 8D! And it’s 8D that Finnish artist Artem, who’s signed to Warner Music, is exploring with his new music video. We should stress, 8D isn’t about extra dimensions, but rather about a recently-developed way of recording and editing […]

Spotify releases Marquee stats including 20% conversion rate

‘Marquee’ is Spotify’s tool that pops up in its mobile app suggesting that people listen to a new release by an artist that they like. In the US and Canada, it’s currently being beta-tested as a paid advertising slot. Now Spotify has launched a new web page promoting the feature itself, including some stats on those […]

Lady Gaga launches creative Chromatica contest with Adobe

In May we reported on Marshmello teaming up with creative-software firm Adobe on a ‘Be Kind’ campaign, getting fans to create a short video based on his new single. Now the company is launching a new contest with Lady Gaga based around her latest album ‘Chromatica’. Gaga is providing her own assets for the competition: photos, illustrations, logos, icons […]

Suicide Silence and Bandsintown launch geofenced virtual tour

Livestream music concerts can air globally, but that doesn’t mean they have to. We’re seeing a growing number of artists experiment with geofenced online concerts, which can only be viewed by fans in a particular part of the world – sometimes as part of virtual ‘tours’ with a string of performances. Now deathcore band Suicide Silence […]

DJ Regard gets his own Regard Runner promotional game

Music Ally last covered Kosovo-based artist DJ Regard in September 2019, when his ‘Ride It’ track became a TikTok-assisted viral hit. Now the artist, signed to Ministry of Sound, is getting his own casual game, Regard Runner, which can be played on mobile devices and computers alike. Ministry commissioned digital agency The Creative Corporation to make the […]

Instagram expands eligibility for in-app shops to musicians

Instagram has updated its ‘commerce eligibility requirements’ dictating who’s allowed to use its Instagram Shopping feature to sell products directly from their profiles. Good news: musicians are now included. And candle-makers will be waxing lyrical about the change too… “Whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merch or […]

Twenty One Pilots launch a never-ending music video

Last week, we covered Twenty One Pilots’ scavenger hunt to promote their new single, ‘Level Of Concern’, which got fans to track down codes hidden online to unlock content. Which they did much faster than expected. “We didn’t think you would tear through the codes so easily,” the band tweeted. “Should have taken a week but you did […]

BTS take over Uno! mobile game and donate to Crew Nation

Music Ally knows card game ‘Uno!’ best for being second only to Monopoly in the chart of ‘games most likely to cause almighty family rows at Christmas’. What we don’t know it for, until now, are digital marketing campaigns with world-famous K-Pop groups. But yes: BTS are taking over the mobile game version of ‘Uno!’ […]

Smart links market heats up with Linkfire, Beatchain, ToneDen

You wait for a news story about ‘smart links’ for music marketing to come along, then three turn up at once… Linkfire has announced its latest conversion-data deal with a streaming service: Deezer. Artists and marketers sending fans to Deezer via Linkfire smart links will now get data like streams, follows and playlist adds to understand how […]

Linkfire’s latest streaming data partnership is with Deezer

Music marketing firm Linkfire has announced a deal with Deezer to access data on what music listeners do after following one of its ‘smart links’ to the streaming service. Artists, labels and marketers using Linkfire will now be able to see, for example, whether fans have gone on to play a song, add it to […]

Twenty One Pilots launch online scavenger hunt for fans

The latest artist sending fans to different corners of the internet to unlock content around a new album is Twenty One Pilots. It kicked off with a livestream (although fans who missed that can check out the ‘START HERE’ YouTube video that the band posted on Saturday). It prominently features a US phone number – 1-877-LVL-CNRN – note: […]

Linkfire adds ‘Artist Bio Link’ feature for musicians

Music marketing platform Linkfire has a new feature that could be very useful for artists. It’s called ‘Artist Bio Links’. According to Linkfire, it “brings together all your promotions in one personalised microsite. Drive fans to your releases, merch, SoMe profiles, tours, and more, all with one shareable link”. The idea is that this will […]

Startup Show4Me expands into ticketed online concerts

Back in January, we wrote about Show4Me, which described itself as a “music interaction network”. It had raised $13.5m in funding and was offering acts a variety of tools such as music and concert crowdfunding campaigns, sales of music, D2F interaction and even a $1-per-year fan membership model. The company launched an online ticketing option in […]

Artist Tom Walker plans a 12-hour world tour on Zoom

Rock band Def Leppard hold the record for playing the most gigs in different continents in one day (three: Africa, Europe and North America). Meanwhile, Jeff Aug holds the record for most gigs in different countries in a day (nine: Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria). Now artist Tom Walker is making his own globetrotting move, albeit […]

Spotify now lets people share Canvas videos to social media

Canvas is the feature on Spotify where artists can upload eight-second looping videos to accompany their tracks when played in the streaming service’s mobile app. It’s been growing steadily in popularity, and earlier this year Spotify started letting artists share their Canvas videos out to Instagram stories. Now that ability is being extended to listeners as well. […]

#LolaDay created for 50th anniversary of Kinks classic

12 June is the 50th anniversary of ‘Lola’ by British band The Kinks, and there’s a digital campaign up and running to celebrate the anniversary. A dedicated microsite to celebrate #LolaDay (as it’s being dubbed) will have digital stickers available for fans to ‘Lolafy’ their own photos and share them on social apps. Meanwhile, on the […]

MMF GM: ‘We need to train people to value online content’

Jayne Stynes, general manager at management body the MMF, hopes that some of the innovation around livestreams during the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to lasting change. “At my most optimistic, I would love to believe that what is happening right now will open up a huge cultural shift towards consumers valuing online content beyond its […]

‘Nobody’ does it better: DJ Neptune goes viral on Triller

TikTok tends to get the headlines when a music track goes viral through short-form videos. However, rival app Triller has also fuelled its fair share of hits by artists including Lil Tecca, Calboy, K$upreme, Rich The Kid, Darkoo and Chantel Jeffries. Now you can add Nigerian musician DJ Neptune to that list. His track ‘Nobody’, […]

Prospa held a livestreamed rave in a 3D virtual warehouse

Last week, we wrote about a livestreamed set by Dutch DJs W&W, for which they had a virtual stadium full of dancing fans created. Now British duo Prospa have put a different kind of virtual environment through its paces: a warehouse for an old-school rave. It was the result of a partnership between Polydor, Prospa’s label […]

Fans can get artist Alice Chater’s outfits… in Animal Crossing

We’ve mentioned the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons several times in this bulletin recently, mainly because it’s one of the chosen stress-busters for several members of the Music Ally team. But it’s also a fascinating cultural thing, including the ability for players to design their own clothing and share it for free with the wider community. That […]

Dice boss on ‘20 things we’ve learned about livestreaming’

British mobile-ticketing firm Dice is one of the startups most affected by the Covid-19 impact, but the company has been pivoting during the pandemic to focus on livestreams. Now its CEO Phil Hutcheon has published an article about 20 things Dice has learned about music livestreaming, which we think has some practical, helpful advice for artists […]

Marshmello and Halsey offer up a Thought Of The Day on Alexa

We are seeing more artists embrace the possibilities of voice assistants, led by Amazon’s Alexa music + Alexa. Witness The 1975’s recent use of an Alexa skill to nudge fans towards their latest website. Amazon, too, is encouraging artists and labels to experiment with voice technology more, including through partnerships on its own content features. This week, […]

James Arthur gets Super Mario-style Instagram stories game

Earlier this month, we wrote about a marketing campaign for Ministry of Sound that made inventive use of Instagram Stories to create a motorbike-racing game – with fans tapping to avoid obstacles and ravines (i.e. to move to the next story post). Now the digital agency behind that campaign, F-That, is at it again – this time […]

Eminem taps Community platform for messaging with fans

“Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner, but I just been busy,” wrote Eminem on Instagram yesterday. “text me, ill hit you back” – with an accompanying phone number. And no, of course Eminem isn’t giving out his cellphone number to 30.1 million people on Instagram: it’s part of a marketing campaign involving one of […]

Chartmetric says livestreams boosted artists’ social followings

Music analytics firm Chartmetric has published the third and final part of its analysis on Covid-19’s impact on music consumption. The study focuses on livestreams, and the extent to which they boosted artists’ social media followings. The conclusion: yes they did. Chartmetric says that “live streams scheduled by artists from their own channels generated significant […]

Andy and the Odd Socks launch new album with kids’ parties

Andy Day is a popular children’s TV presenter in the UK on TV channel CBeebies, but he’s also been building a music career as the frontman of Andy and the Odd Socks. The band’s new album comes out today (22 May) through Sony Music’s children’s entertainment label Magic Star, and there’s an inventive marketing campaign around […]

Chantel Jeffries gives Triller exclusive for new video

TikTok is not the only short-form video game in town and Triller has been snapping at its heels for some time, making a strong splash in the US and drawing in hip-hop acts in particular. Triller has now landed the exclusive on the video for ‘Come Back To Me’ by US singer/producer/model/YouTube personality Chantel Jeffries. The video is […]

The 1975 reopen Mindshower site with stems, mags and more

In February this year, we wrote about The 1975’s ‘Mindshower’ campaign, which saw the band create a fictitious ‘digital detox’ retreat called Mindshower, complete with its own website and a spoof video ad on YouTube. Now, days ahead of the release of the band’s new album ‘Notes on a Conditional Form’, the website has reopened to the […]

Artist Gracey used Instagram to tease ‘Empty Love’ track

Polydor-signed act Gracey is promoting her ‘Empty Love’ single with an AR filter for Instagram that plays an instrumental passage from the song which can then be played around with by the user. It works by opening the selfie camera in Instagram so that anyone using it can use an on-screen slider to lower or increase the […]

Khruangbin’s AirKhruang gets remixed as ‘Shelter in Space’

One of 2018’s cleverest music marketing campaigns was the one for US group Khruangbin. It included the AirKhruang website, which asked fans to input details of their upcoming flights, then created Spotify playlists to match their length, drawing on tracks that the group would use in their DJ sets, as well as artists from the countries under […]

Blank-et coverage: Sony launches album-art colouring site

Adult colouring books are a significant part of the book publishing world, with plenty of apps offering this too – usually in the name of mindfulness. Now Sony Music UK is getting in on the colouring action with a new site called The Colouring Sessions. It’s based around album artwork from artists including Elvis Presley’s debut […]

Lil Baby album gets digital ‘deluxe’ treatment with music videos

In the streaming age, what is a ‘deluxe’ album anyway? It’s more than just extra tracks and alternative versions. A number of artists have explored Spotify’s ‘enhanced’ playlists format, which inserts videos between the music tracks, for example. And video is also at the core of the strategy for the deluxe version of Lil Baby’s […]

OMG! OMD sell £75k in merchandise from their virtual gig

We’re fairly sure Travis Scott made a killing from virtual items around his recent Fortnite concert, although a figure hasn’t yet been announced. One artist that is announcing some numbers from an online performance, though, is veteran British act OMD. Last Saturday (9 May) they streamed a recording of a November 2019 concert on YouTube […]

Zhu teams up with esports community Enthusiast Gaming

Zhu is the latest dance artist doing something interesting on Twitch – a livestreamed concert this Thursday (14 May) that will be used to premiere new single ‘Only’. However, it’s part of a wider deal for Zhu with a company called Enthusiast Gaming, which focuses on games and esports – the latter through its Luminosity Gaming […]

Katy Perry launches a ‘virtual flower delivery service’

“Our goal is to provide the best virtual flower delivery service that can help you tell someone you care, you love them, you miss them, or simply thank them for believing in you. Select a bouquet you wish to share and write your personal message to go along with it.” No, not the latest Silicon […]

Instagram Live soared for Jill Scott vs Erykah Badu, 6ix9ine

It’s fair to say that the Verzuz battle between Jill Scott vs Erykah Badu was hotly anticipated – and thankfully (given the technical difficulties we’ve seen in previous battles) lived up to expectations. It did pretty well in figures too: Scott posted a follow-up Instagram pic celebrating “1+ Billion Impressions” for the event, which saw both stars spinning […]

Finnish artist JVG’s virtual gig drew 700k viewers

Last year in Sandbox, we covered the campaign for Finnish hip-hop duo JVG’s RATA/ RAITTI album where they used their links to the world of ice hockey (absolutely massive in Finland) and also Warner Music Live to get to arena level. Now they’ve done something else inventive. On Vappu Eve (the night before May Day […]

Gallery view: Rita Ora gets an immersive online exhibition

We are seeing lots of campaigns having to quickly adapt their planned real-world elements to work as purely online initiatives – and the immersive video for Rita Ora’s ‘How To Be Lonely’ single is a very good case in point. The video was directed by Dave Myers and was made in partnership with Wonderland Agency. […]

Garth Brooks to get his own tile in Words With Friends 2

Well, the partnership is more than just a tile, but given Garth Brooks’ status as an “avid Words With Friends player” we suspect he’s pretty proud of that achievement. The partnership with games firm Zynga is actually part of Brooks’ longstanding relationship with Amazon. “Under the arrangement, Brooks will promote Words With Friends with original […]

Yoop joins the ticketed-livestreaming platforms scramble

Forget Fortnite: 2020’s most intense battle royale might just be between all the livestreaming-video services promising to help musicians make back at least some of the revenues they’re losing from the concerts shutdown. The latest to join the fray is US startup Yoop, which has created an ‘eSpace’ that it describes as “a new immersive virtual venue designed […]

Wicksteed Works launches ‘Getting Started with Fan Clubs’ guide

At the recent superfans event we held with the BPI and ERA, Wicksteed Works’ Jessie Scoullar was one of our experts, explaining how artists can make better use of mailing lists. Now she has launched a separate guide offering musicians and their teams an introduction to setting up a fan club or membership scheme for […]

Ministry of Sound makes a game out of Instagram stories

Ministry of Sound has found an inventive use for Instagram stories: it’s turned them into a game to promote the single, ‘Mightnight (The Hanging Tree)’ by Hosh & 1979 ft. Jalja. The Sony-owned label worked with digital agency F-That to create the game, which involves driving a motorbike through a snowstorm while tapping to avoid obstacles […]

Rolling Stones and Foals launch weekly YouTube shows

Two more artists have revealed plans for weekly YouTube formats during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Rolling Stones have launched something called ‘Extra Licks’, which will stream past live performances on their YouTube channel every Sunday, using YouTube’s ‘premieres’ feature. The first, focusing on the band’s 2016 ‘Ole!’ tour of Latin America, can be watched here and has […]

Red Light Management’s Hot Command signs esports partnership

Red Light Management – through its Hot Command gaming subsidiary – is partnering with esports company HyperX for a series of online streaming events. It will match Red Light’s artist roster with major esports names on HyperX’s books. The companies have not yet announced specifics of any of these pairings, but it’s another sign of […]

Instagram Live is getting a donations feature – for charities

Instagram is opening up its Live feature to allow users to create a fundraiser initiative where 100% of the money raised will go to a nominated cause. There are a number of caveats – notably that fundraisers can only be undertaken for nonprofits and Instagram has its own list of approved nonprofits that any money raised can […]

Lion Babe used Instagram for ‘Around The World At Home’ tour

We wrote earlier this month about L Devine’s inventive ‘URL Tour’ in which she held livestreams on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube, as if each platform was a stop on a tour. Now US duo Lion Babe have put their own spin on a digital tour with ‘Around The World At Home‘. It’s based on only […]

Carlos Vives launches #NoTeVayasDeTuCasa video-call campaign

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we’re seeing a growing number of artist marketing campaigns – and even the music that’s at the centre of them – address the crisis. The latest marketing example is from Colombian artist Carlos Vives, whose latest single is called ‘No Te Vayas’ (translation: ‘Don’t Go’). That theme has been adapted for […]

Maestro is the startup partner for Erykah Badu’s livestreams

Earlier this month, we wrote about Erykah Badu building her own livestreaming destination rather than using the big social platforms to reach her fans during the Covid-19 lockdown. Now we’ve got some more information about the technology she used to do it. Badu’s partner was a startup called Maestro, which helps artists to create and stream shows from […]

Zedd launched his Twitch channel by playing hot game Valorant

Dance artist Zedd has launched an official Twitch channel. It went live on Saturday with a stream of a 90-minute concert video from his Orbit World Tour. “I’m so excited to relive this show with everyone this weekend, and while so many of us are staying at home right now, I hope that this show will […]

Startup Gotickety talks Example tie-up and streaming plans

We last covered Gotickety when it launched in September 2018, calling itself the “Candy Crush for the Music Industry” where users of the app play games in order to win meet and greets with musicians, personal video messages from stars as well as tickets/merchandise. The company has now revealed the results of a recent partnership with […]

Trojan Records taps fans for Young, Gifted and Black campaign

It’s the 50th anniversary of the release of ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ by Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths, and label Trojan Records is gearing up to celebrate it in style. It has launched a campaign of the same name, with an emphasis on fans. “Join in the celebrations by uploading a photo/video of yourself along with […]

12.3m fans showed up for Travis Scott’s first Fortnite concert

The first of Travis Scott’s ‘Astronomical’ concerts within Fortnite happened overnight, and it was a big hit with the game’s players. “Over 12.3 million concurrent players participated live in Travis Scott’s Astronomical, an all-time record!” tweeted the official Fortnite account. That means Scott beat the 10.7 million audience for Marshmello’s Fortnite concert in February 2019. The post 12.3m […]

Fortnite reveals items and challenges for Travis Scott Astronomical event

Travis Scott is coming to Fortnite this weekend with his ‘Astronomical’ event. Ahead of the multiple performances, the game has added several Scott-themed virtual products to its item shop. Fans wanting all of them will be spending nearly $35. Here’s how that breaks down. There’s an Astronomical Bundle including two skins (characters) – Travis Scott and […]

Artist Plastician builds a Twitch audience… with pub quizzes

How’s your dubstep and UK garage knowledge? If you’re clued in, you might want to tune in for artist Plastician on his Twitch channel, where he’s been holding regular pub quizzes on the genres. He’s one of the DJs profiled in a new Pitchfork article about livestreaming, which notes that Plastician has gone more down the interaction route […]

YouTube set for sing-along version of Beatles’ Yellow Submarine

This Saturday (25 April) a sing-along edition of The Beatles’ 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine will be screened on the band’s official YouTube channel. The film – which was remastered and restored for theatrical and DVD release in 2018 – has never been available on YouTube before. Well, not in an official capacity. This screening is […]

Spotify ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ tool is going live today

Last month, we reported on Spotify’s announcement that artists would soon be able to “link out to a verified funding page for themselves, for another artist in need, or for a separate initiative of their choice” from their profiles on the streaming service. The new feature – named ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ – goes live today, […]

Warner Music Group opens its live vaults for PlayOn Fest

This weekend (24-26 April), Warner Music Group is hosting the virtual PlayOn Fest where listeners can “relive epic performances one time only”. Over the three days, past shows from a huge range of acts, among them Coldplay, Green Day and Janelle Monáe (we only picked these three as they rhyme, but there are MANY more) will be […]

Belle & Sebastian launch new fan-centric collaboration project

British band Belle & Sebastian are turning to their fans to crowdsource their thoughts and feelings about self-isolation and life under lockdown. ‘Protecting The Hive’ is a two-part project where fans will be asked to submit lyrics and song themes and the band will then turn them into music. The first fruits of this is a […]

TikTok spikes persuade more labels to change track titles

Earlier this year in our piece about how we worked with Atlanta rapper K Camp to capitalise on the TikTok success of his track ‘Lottery’, we explained that changing its title on streaming services to ‘Lottery (Renegade)’ because the second word was what kids were searching for – thanks to the producer tag in the clip that went […]

Tommy Boy president: ‘YouTube could become our number one DSP’

Friday saw the first ever Music Ally TV weekly show, broadcast using video-conferencing platform Zoom. Our guests included Rosie Lopez, president of Tommy Boy, and the topic at hand was YouTube. “We’re feeling very optimistic about YouTube. We’re projecting that YouTube could potentially become our number one DSP in the future,” said Lopez. “It’s a […]

Dolly Parton and Laura Marling release surprise albums

Well, in the case of Dolly Parton it’s ‘re-release’ since her “93 Song Surprise” is the digital relaunch of six of her albums from earlier this century. ‘Little Sparrow’ (2001), ‘Halos & Horns’ (2002), ‘For God & Country’ (2003), ‘Live & Well’ (2004), ‘Those Were the Days’ (2005) and ‘Better Day’ (2011) are the six, […]

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down made a music video on Zoom

As video-conferencing app Zoom continues to grow massively for business and personal use alike, it was only a matter of time before artists started using it to make music videos. Take a bow, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, for being one of the first. The band’s new ‘Phenom‘ video was made using Zoom, […]

Instagram has plans to help artists monetise livestreams

Instagram is one of the best platforms for quickly drawing an audience for an artist’s livestream, if they have a healthy following on the app. However, when it comes to those artists making money from their broadcasts, Instagram Live is still at a very early stage. This thread of tweets makes for very interesting reading on […]

Trolls World Tour film’s marketing includes Spotify and Pandora

“Is Trolls World Tour the most important film of 2020?” wondered a piece in the Guardian earlier this week. That may sound like hyperbole, but the main point was that it’s the first big movie of the year that’s going straight to streaming (due to cinemas being closed). If parents aren’t willing to shell out up to […]

The Roots ramp up original content for their YouTube channel

Usually the house band on The Tonight Show, excellent hip-hop collective The Roots are using this period of social distancing to work on their YouTube channel. They already have 267,000 subscribers to the channel and 165.3m lifetime views, but the coming weeks will see the group ramp up their original content. There’ll be DJ sets from Questlove, […]

Drake tapped dancing influencers for ‘Toosie Slide’ release

If you’ve been spotting Drake’s new track ‘Toosie Slide’ all over your socials in recent days, it’s no accident. Rolling Stone has a piece explaining how the artist enlisted some popular dancing influencers to promote the single. Toosie, Hiii Key, Ayo & Teo (the latter are a duo) are the influencers in question, popular on TikTok, Instagram […]

Startup SupaPass is now a ‘website and app creation’ platform

Back in July 2016, we profiled a British startup called SupaPass, which had just launched an app for musicians to run their own subscription services: starting at £1 a month for access to their music, videos, social posts and other exclusive content. Imogen Heap would be one of its most high-profile artists. We hadn’t checked in […]

L Devine’s digital ‘URL Tour’ helped her sell out of merch

One of the most inventive approaches to livestreaming so far this year came from British artist L Devine, who went on an online-only ‘URL Tour’ when a planned physical tour was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of towns or cities, the URL Tour was structured around platforms: Instagram Live on 16 March; Twitter on 20 […]

Encore launches ‘music messages’ including NHS donations

Personalised video messages from celebrities are officially A Startup Thing, thanks to companies like Cameo and Taki, where people can pay for celebs to record them (or their friends / family) a unique video clip. Now music/tech startup Encore has launched a spin on the idea for musicians. Its core business is providing a website for events organisers […]

What music can learn from YouTube’s biggest channels

The latest edition of Sandbox went out to subscribers last night and the cover feature runs through the biggest YouTube channels outside of music (although we do add in T-Series for good measure) to look at what they do, how they do it and what music can learn from them all. There is comedy (in […]

Grimes and WeTransfer want creatives to rework her new video

Artist Grimes has just released the video for her new track ‘You’ll Miss Me When I’m Not Around’, which sees her performing the song against a green-screen background. That design decision was actually part of a partnership with internet firm WeTransfer, with the goal being to encourage creatives (and fans) to take the raw footage from the […]

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, […]

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 […]

Music Ally to hold free webinar: ‘Bringing Live Online’

As you’ll have noticed, livestreams are all the rage right now, as artists look for a way to perform for and chat to fans (and perhaps to find a new income stream) in lieu of cancelled tours and festivals. This Thursday, Music Ally is holding a free webinar called ‘Bringing Live Online’ – kindly supported by […]

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 […]

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 […]

Years & Years & TikTok: capitalising on a viral hit

British band Years & Years swiftly set up a TikTok account at the end of last week – in a large part because their cover of 2003’s ‘Breathe’ (by Sean Paul ft. Blu Cantrell) from six years ago was having a viral impact on the app without any push from them. They were able to capitalise on […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How K Camp’s ‘Lottery’ (aka ‘Renegade’) went viral – and what happened next

Atlanta rapper K Camp began releasing mixtapes in 2011, before signing to Interscope in 2014, building up a loyal following. However, the release of his track ‘Lottery’ in early 2019 changed everything. The track initially had a slow build through platforms including Instagram, YouTube and Triller, but then a few months later users of TikTok […]

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 […]

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 […]

Lauv is latest artist to launch a Landmrk-powered treasure hunt

Music Ally has been covering location-based marketing startup Landmrk for several years now, including its campaigns for artists including CNCO, Ariana Grande and Louis Tomlinson. The startup’s latest client is AWAL act Lauv, to promote the release of new album ‘How I’m Feeling’. The angle is that Lauv has hidden clips of the album’s tracks across the world, pinning them […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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’ […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Social star KSI debuts on TikTok with #WakeUpCallChallenge

British YouTuber KSI is a social media sensation. His YouTube channel has 21m subscribers, while his November boxing match against fellow influencer Logan Paul was described as “the biggest amateur boxing match in history”. KSI has also been releasing music for some time: his first single came out in 2013, while in November 2019 he […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Marketing Co-ordinator – BMG – London

Your Mission. We have an exciting opportunity for a Marketing Co-ordinator to join BMG Production Music in the sales and marketing team based in our new office in Hoxton! The role will be working with the international territories to co-ordinate the global marketing strategy for BMG Production Music.  Your Responsibilities. Create and coordinate the distribution […]

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 […]

Clio Music awards winners offer music-marketing inspiration

2019 has been a good year for creative music-marketing campaigns, as you’ll know if you read our end-of-year Sandbox report earlier this month. If you haven’t, you can find it here: it’s our pick of the best campaigns of the year. Anyone looking for more inspiration for their music marketing in 2020 would do well […]

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 […]

BTS show off Spotify stats, but YouTube still bigger for them

The latest act to get into the Spotify Wrapped co-promotion mood are BTS, with the headline stat being that their music has been streamed over 3bn times on Spotify in 2019. Those streams come from 60 million people across 79 countries – resulting in 178.4m listening hours. Reminder: Spotify’s ‘Wrapped’ data covers the period of January […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sony Music UK appoints VP of podcasting and creative strategy

Streaming services are going in all guns blazing with podcasts and the major labels are following suit. In April, Universal Music Group announced a partnership with podcast publisher Wondery to develop original podcasts based on the label’s catalogue, artists and labels. Sony Music has launched two podcast-focused joint ventures, and recently unveiled its US leadership team for podcasts. […]

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 […]

Harry Styles had 2019’s most cryptic music-marketing campaign

The treasure hunt, scattering of Easter eggs and a good dash of the cryptic is a failsafe in music marketing. It is all a nice way to get the fanbase excited about a new album, an opportunity to test out a new platform and hopefully get some virality and/or wider media coverage in the process. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

TikTok backs the Giggs economy in month-long partnership

TikTok currently finds itself in a position that YouTube knows only too well, being simultaneously hailed as a kingmaker for breaking new artists, and a hot potato when it comes to the question of licensing and royalties for music on its platform. Part of TikTok’s charm offensive is partnerships with artists, and the latest example […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Weeknd becomes face and sound of luxury electric car ad

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?” sang Janis Joplin in 1970. “My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.” Half a century on, instead of wishing for luxury automative brands to fall out of the sky, pop stars now become creative directors for them. Which is the long way round to […]

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 […]

Neil Young (deliberately) falls off the Facebook of the Earth

Neil Young’s debut solo single in 1968 wasn’t called ‘The Loner’ by accident. He has defiantly ploughed his own furrow for over half a century – and that relates as much to his attitude to the industry around him as it does to the music he creates. He has now announced, in a brief posting on […]

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 […]

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, […]

Mariah Carey launches enhanced Christmas album with Spotify

At the time of writing, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ is the 41st most-streamed Spotify track in the UK, which tells you something about we Brits’ eagerness to embrace Christmas rather than think about Brexit and/or our upcoming general election. The rest of the world will be catching up (on Mariah, […]

Universal Music launches streaming/social data app for artists

Universal Music Artists (UMA) is a new Android and iOS app for artists signed to Universal Music Group (and their managers) where they can access data and insights on their music plays on the major international DSPs – Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube are named in the announcement. However, it will also pull in data […]

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 […]

There’s storytelling potential in Google Earth’s new feature

Some of the most creative music-marketing campaigns we’ve reported on over the last decade or so have involved maps and location. So an announcement of a new feature in the Google Earth service piqued our attention this morning. “With new creation tools now in Google Earth, you can turn our digital globe into your own […]

Motive Unknown boss expands on concerns over Apple/Linkfire deal

Last week, we reported on Linkfire’s data-attribution deal with Apple Music, as well as the strings attached which included the stipulation that to get the data, people had to put Apple Music in top spot on their smart-link landing pages. When we wrote our story, criticism of these requirements had been led by Darren Hemmings, founder of […]

Linkfire gets Apple Music attribution data – with strings attached

Music-marketing firm Linkfire had a big announcement yesterday: it has a deal with Apple Music to provide more attribution data on what fans are doing on the streaming service after clicking or tapping through from artists’ smart-links. “No more guessing about streaming performance and fan engagement,” as Linkfire explained it in an email to its […]

Amazon to launch new series of ‘Amazon Original’ Christmas songs

Mince pies are in the shops, Mariah Carey is lurking in the lower reaches of the charts, and Amazon is joining the early-Christmas fun with its latest crop of brand-new festive tracks. They’re part of its Amazon Originals program, and this year the company is promising to release ‘many’ Christmas songs over the coming weeks, exclusively […]

SoundCloud Promote tool lets artists pay to boost their tracks

SoundCloud has launched Promote for users of the platform to help them better push tracks to listeners. The self-service tool is part of SoundCloud’s Premier tier for users to assist them in getting their music in front of more people on not only SoundCloud but also other digital platforms. “With Promote on SoundCloud, creators can […]

Dan Le Sac on what he learned from broadcasting on Twitch

Amazon’s live-video platform Twitch is best known for its gaming communities, from creators streaming their play-sessions live to professional esports tournaments. But musicians have also used Twitch. One of them is British artist and producer Dan Le Sac, who joined Music Ally at our recent Sandbox Summit conference to share some of the lessons he […]

Crowdfunding is still effective – and it’s still not begging (guest column)

This article is an excerpt from Ari Herstand’s second edition of How to Make It in the New Music Business: In 2009, I was co-managing one of my favorite Minneapolis bands with my girlfriend. I was actively touring, playing 100+ dates a year myself, so the day-to-day duties were mostly handled by her. The band […]

Startup Venu is launching a new D2C fan-loyalty platform

The latest startup hoping to apply the idea of loyalty schemes to music artists is Boston-based Venu. Its Android and iOS apps are billed as ‘coming soon’ on the company’s website, which sets out how it’ll work for artists and for fans. In the former case, artists will be able to post their news to […]

It’s Mariah Carey’s Christmas; we just live in it

‘All I Want For Christmas is You’ is Mariah Carey’s biggest streaming hit by a distance: it has 511.9m Spotify streams and 555m YouTube views, for example. The ‘Merry Christmas’ album the track originally featured on is getting the ‘deluxe anniversary edition’ treatment for its 25th anniversary this year, too, while in the UK Carey […]

FTC launches new guide to influencer-marketing disclosures

A number of social-media influencers have been reprimanded by regulators about not offering clear-enough disclosures about their commercial relationships. Now the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published a guide – ‘Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers‘ – which aims to keep them on the right side of advertising regulations there. It’s a plain-language summary […]

Vevo on how to get more YouTube views (and avoid an ‘algorithmic death-spiral’)

Ed Walker, VP of original content & production at Vevo, used his presentation at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit to explain how to ensure videos on YouTube benefit from – rather than rub against – the platform’s recommendation algorithms. Walker used Vevo’s catalogue of music videos and original content – more than 400k videos in total […]

Linkfire boss talks smarter attribution and the death of cookies

Lars Ettrup, CEO of smart-links firm Linkfire, delivered a talk at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in London this week on “the joys of attribution”, and how music marketers can better track the journey music fans take from discovery through to consumption and purchase. “With all the channels and influencers who can drive streams, how […]

Privacy and music marketing: ‘Common sense should prevail’

The debate around digital privacy tends to focus on the biggest technology companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. Yet as internet users become more aware of the privacy debates around those companies’ services and devices, they’ll also be thinking more about how their personal information is being used in other ways. Including music marketing: from […]

Music marketing on TikTok: ‘Give the audience the opportunity to be their own influencer’

As a platform, TikTok continues to generate strong opinions within the music industry regarding what kind of licensing deals it needs, and how much it could or should be paying rightsholders. But it’s also generating a lot of interest and activity from the marketing teams working with artists. It’s certainly not the first platform to […]

What ‘trigger cities’ really mean for music marketing

Music Ally has covered analytics firm Chartmetric’s concept of Trigger Cities before but at Sandbox Summit in London this week, we assembled a panel of marketing experts to talk about the idea in practice and how – or if – it is changing the architecture of their global campaigns. Chaired by Isabelle Ljungqvist, digital marketing […]

Domino wins Music Ally’s Campaign of the Year award for Hot Chip

Domino’s campaign for A Bath Full Of Ecstasy – the seventh studio album from Hot Chip – was named Campaign Of The Year at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit in London yesterday (30th October). It was one of five shortlisted campaigns that were put to an audience vote and it emerged as the clear winner. It […]

Jamie Oborne talks The 1975: ‘We still believe in albums!’

Jamie Oborne is the owner and CEO of Dirty Hit Records and All on Red Management, working with The 1975, Wolf Alice and Benjamin Francis Leftwich among other artists. He was also the opening speaker at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in London this morning, interviewed by our very own Eamonn Forde. “Marketing is about […]

Spotify tests sponsorship of full-screen album recommendations

For some time now, Spotify has been showing its mobile listeners full-screen recommendations of new albums from the artists that they like – ‘Brand new music for you!’ pop-ups with a ‘Go to Album’ button to tap. Thus far, this has been a purely-editorial feature, but today Spotify is launching a test in the US to […]

Coldplay tease fans with digital Easter eggs for new album

There’s a new Coldplay double-album on the way next month, and it sounds like the band and their team are having fun with the announcement process. So far, the teaser campaign has included a typewritten letter sent to fans (“For the last 100 years or thereabouts, we have been working on a thing called Everyday […]

Soundcharts launches new media-monitoring feature for artists

Music-analytics platform Soundcharts has a new feature: ‘Mentions’. It promises ‘global media and web monitoring’ for artists, tracking where they’re mentioned in three categories of media: ‘music media’, ‘verified media’ and ‘unverified sources’. Artists will be able to dig in to the data by country; traffic rankings; and sources like news sites, blogs and discussions. […]

Pandora hails strong growth for its Artist Marketing Platform

It’s five years since Pandora launched its Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) tools for artists to market to listeners on the streaming service. The company is celebrating the anniversary with some new stats. “In the last 12 months alone, we’ve seen a 688% increase of monthly active creators on AMP,” announced Pandora in a blog post. There’s […]

Neil Young Archives website now has 25,000 subscribers

There have been several interviews with artist Neil Young recently, to promote his new book ‘To Feel the Music: A Songwriter’s Mission to Save High-Quality Audio’. The latest piece, from Wired, has some stats on how Young’s own subscription service is doing. Young is charging $1.99 a month for access to his Neil Young Archives website, […]

Marshmello now has 40m subscribers to his YouTube channel

Dance star Marshmello has hit a new milestone on YouTube: his channel now has more than 40 million subscribers. YouTube says that makes him the third most-subscribed-to musician on YouTube, behind Justin Bieber (47 million) and Ed Sheeran (42.5 million). At the time of writing, Marshmello is also 34th in YouTube’s global artists chart, with 73.2m weekly views […]

UMG expands its college-marketing program into °1824 team

Universal Music Group is shaking up its ‘college lifestyle marketing program’ in the US, with a new team, and brand, called °1824. The label describes it as “a new marketing, content and experiences team powered by university students and young creatives from around the world”. It’s partly about finding new creative talent to place in […]

Spotify teams up with Snapchat for Diwali promotion in India

Snap and Spotify have teamed up in an interesting way for a promotion in India around the Diwali festive season. The Snapchat app has a new augmented-reality lens designed to be used in a specific location: the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai. “The Spotify lens adds some unique AR experiences with special 3D effects, […]

YouTube launches Merchbar partnership for artist merchandise

YouTube is rolling out another feature for musicians with ‘Official Artist Channels’ on its platform. The company has signed a deal with Merchbar which will see artists able to “surface their official merchandise and vinyl alongside their videos… Fans watching videos from their favorite artists on their YouTube Official Artist Channels can now see a shelf with […]

Bring Me The Horizon create “Spotify-powered T-shirts”

Sony Music/RCA Records UK act Bring Me The Horizon are using their fans’ Spotify listening data to shape the T-shirt design that they can then buy – all as part of the promotion for their amo album from January. By going to a dedicated web page, they log in with their Spotify details and then […]

SuperM create UGC-powered Canvases on Spotify

On Friday, we covered Spotify starting to slowly open up its Canvas feature to more acts and posting a related blog that gives tips on how those using it can get the most out of its assorted features. One of the tips was “try creating a theme or narrative that crosses an entire album” such as […]

BTS are top-ups of the pop-ups

The idea of the pop-up tied into an album release is hardly new and often involves taking over a small and recently vacated shop (or the site of a different pop-up from the previous week) and selling a few T-shirts and posters from it, hoping the pop stars themselves show up to gain a bit […]

UGC is the key success metric on TikTok says Fanbytes founder

MBW has an interview with Timothy Armoo, founder and CEO of Fanbytes, where he talks about the TikTok campaign for Decca-signed act Aurora based around her track ‘The River’ which was about sending out “a positive message promoting mental health awareness”. For the #youcancrychallenge, they focused on 13 well-known TikTok users to get things rolling by […]

Spotify makes Canvas less blank

The Canvas feature on Spotify (where a short video loops on the mobile app instead of just having the single or album artwork) is opening up to more users via the Spotify for Artists tool. Music Ally first spotted the feature at the start of last year – back when it didn’t even have an official […]

Foals microsite tasks fans with saving content ‘before it’s lost’

2019 is a busy year for British band Foals: they’re releasing two albums: ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1’ came out in March, with ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2’ set to follow later this month. The new album has its own microsite now, with an interesting twist: new content will […]

Mark Ronson gets a feature-length documentary from YouTube

Hands up if you predicted that one of 2019’s more intriguing areas of competition in the music industry would be Netflix versus YouTube – in the field of original music documentaries. YouTube’s latest salvo in this battle is ‘How to Be: Mark Ronson’, a feature-length documentary set to drop on 12 October. It’s a blend […]

Entries now open for Sandbox’s Campaigns of the Year 2019

It’s that time again: Music Ally is starting work on our end-of-year ‘Sandbox Campaigns of the Year’ report, showcasing the best digital music-marketing campaigns of 2019. We’re inviting labels, management companies, marketing agencies and artists to submit details of the campaigns they’ve been most proud of this year, on a creative and/or commercial level. Here’s […]

Michael Stipe skips big music platforms for debut solo single

REM’s Michael Stipe released his debut solo single this weekend, but you won’t find ‘Your Capricious Soul’ on any of the major streaming or download services yet. For now, the track is exclusively available from Stipe’s own website as a $0.77 download, although fans can choose to set their own price as a donation, not to Stipe, […]

Nick Cave uses YouTube Premieres to debut entire album

What were you doing last night? Music Ally was listening to the premiere of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ new album ‘Ghosteen’ with more than 19,300 other people… on YouTube. The band made use of YouTube’s ‘Premieres’ feature, but instead of using it to debut a single track/video, they premiered their entire album – using lyric […]

Facetune-maker Lightricks launches social apps for businesses

Facetune is a popular app among young people who want to digitally tweak their selfies before sharing them with the world. Its developer, a company called Lightricks, is now expanding into apps for businesses wanting to give their own social profiles a boost (albeit not quite in the same way as Facetune). The company has launched […]

Hozier launches ‘Cry Power’ podcast with Global Citizen

Hozier is the latest artist to launch his own podcast, ‘Cry Power‘ although in this case he has some heavyweight backing: from activism platform Global Citizen. That’s a guide to the show’s content: “The podcast series will see Hozier speak with musicians, artists, writers, campaigners about how to take action and change the world,” according […]

Maroon 5 team up with Apple for iOS photos-app promotion

Apple’s new iOS software (iOS 13) launched earlier this month, and one of its features suddenly has an interesting music angle. The feature is called ‘Memories’ – it actually launched three years ago, but was updated within iOS 13 – and automatically edits together photos and videos for particular events in someone’s camera roll. Now […]

Midland and Vampire Weekend join the music-podcasts rush

More artist podcasts? You got ’em! Country trio Midland have launched their own spoken-word show called ‘Set It Straight with Midland‘. It sounds fun too: rather than promote the band’s music, each of the first season’s 10 episodes will investigate a famous, strange story from country-music history, starting with the theft of Gram Parsons’ corpse. […]

K-Pop stars BTS are the latest artist to join TikTok

At the time of writing, it’s 19 hours since Big Hit Entertainment’s official Twitter profile for BTS made this announcement: “#BTS TikTok Channel Open!”. 19 hours later, BTS’ TikTok account is being followed by 2.2 million people. Their two posts so far have 2.9m and 1.9m likes respectively. BTS are the latest prominent artist to join TikTok with […]

Chartmetric is making sense of DSPs’ playlist-ladder systems

Music-analytics firm Chartmetric has published a blog post outlining some of the findings from its ‘Pre-Playlist Analyzer’ and ‘Post-Playlist Analyzer’ tools, and it makes for interesting reading. The tools can be used to measure tracks’ progression from one programmed playlist to another on the key streaming services, in an effort to understand how the ‘ladder’ systems work, […]

YouTube adds 14 artists to its Foundry development program

YouTube developing music artists? It’s been at it for a while, with its Foundry ‘global artist development program’, which first launched in 2016 as a training scheme, of sorts, for artists including Dua Lipa, Rosalía, Dave and Mahalia. In April this year it was ‘refreshed‘ as an initiative offering marketing promotion as well as training […]

Lucy Dacus is spending 2019 releasing ‘slow music’ holiday songs

Artist Lucy Dacus is stepping out of the traditional album-release cycle in 2019, choosing instead to release a series of tracks tied to public holidays and other notable dates. She covered ‘La Vie En Rose’ for Valentine’s Day; released ‘My Mother & I’ for Mother’s Day; and then a track called ‘Forever Half Mast’ for […]

Spotify launches a podcast about musician mxmtoon

Oakland-based singer/songwriter mxmtoon has built an audience of 3.6 million listeners on Spotify – aided by slots on playlists including New Music Friday, Lorem and Alone Again. Now she’s getting a different kind of support from the streaming service: its Spotify Studios division is making an eight-episode podcast all about her. It’s called ’21 Days […]

Lil Nas X promises to release 25 remixes of ‘Panini’

If you thought that the succession of remixes of Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ were a *bit much* we’d advise you to look away from your screen now. “PANINI REMIX 1 OF 25 TONIGHT!” he tweeted yesterday. This was shortly before dropping said remix, which features rap star DaBaby. ‘Panini’ was originally released as a single in […]

UMG’s schlager YouTube channel is doing 30m views a month

This story has been written to the soundtrack of gravelly-voiced German artist Ben Zucker, as well as the ‘Ultimatver Party Hitmix’ of his compatriot Sonia Liebing. It’s been quite the listen. Why? Because we’ve been investigating Universal Music’s ‘Ich Find Schlager Toll!’ YouTube channel (translation: ‘I think Schlager’s great!’). It’s one of the projects called […]

Marketing Executive – Anjunabeats – London

With almost 20 years of touring and hundreds of releases under its belt, Anjunabeats remains one of the world’s best-loved independent dance labels. We’re looking for an early career marketing all-rounder to help us write our next chapter!  Working from our brand new London office, just a short walk from London Bridge Station, you’ll be […]

Mabel teams up with Samsung for ‘world’s first vertical gig’

We like Mabel a lot. We’re excited about many of the ways that music fans are sharing their love for music using mobile phones and social apps. But we apologise for raising a weary eyebrow at news that Mabel played “the world’s first vertical gig” for Samsung at “London’s new destination to experience the latest […]

X Ambassadors launch video for blind and partially-sighted fans

What does a music video made for blind and partially-sighted people look like? Artist X Ambassadors have worked with Microsoft to find out. The ‘audio-only music video’ is for the band’s track ‘Boom’, and has been released as an application for computers, mobile devices and Microsoft’s mixed-reality HoloLens headset. It uses a spatial-audio technology called ‘Windows […]

‘Juicing’ YouTube views with ads isn’t just an India thing

Sony Music artist Badshah came under the spotlight recently when his label claimed he’d broken YouTube’s first-day-views record; YouTube pointedly didn’t confirm it (and still hasn’t); and then debate ensued about the strategy of buying Google ads to boost a video’s view-count on YouTube. As Times Music COO Mandar Thakur crisply put it in a panel at […]

Sony Music UK buys merchandise firm Kontraband

Major labels buying merchandise companies is an established trend now, from Universal Music’s Bravado division acquiring rival Epic Rights in January, and Warner Music paying $180m for German merch firm EMP in October 2018. The latest example was announced this morning: Sony Music UK is acquiring merchandise firm Kontraband for an undisclosed amount. The deal […]

Tracking hit as Gmail iPhone app offers image-blocking option

Well, it’s not so much ‘blocking’ as it is an option for Gmail’s iPhone app not to automatically display external images when people are reading emails. But that in turn will have an impact on some of the technologies used by marketers to track (for example) emails being opened. Not that this is the main reason Google […]

Taylor Swift’s ‘Enhanced Album’ Spotify playlist has 1m followers

According to Republic Records, Taylor Swift’s new album ‘Lover’ has whizzed past the mark of 3m ‘album equivalent units’ worldwide since its release a week and a half ago. Interesting, since a third of that consumption came from China alone. But we’re also interested in the role played by Swift’s ‘Love Taylor, Lover Enhanced Album’ playlist on […]

Spotify commissioned an Instagram AR effect for artist Headie One

British artist Headie One is the latest musician to experiment with an augmented-reality (AR) camera effect in a social app – in his case, Instagram. It’s based on the artwork from his new mixtape ‘Music x Road’: a reflective mask and chest-tattoo that fans can superimpose on themselves for the purpose of Insta amusement. What’s […]

Vroom! Rick Ross gets his own racing game on Facebook

Is Facebook gaming still a thing? After a decade of ignoring Music Ally’s FarmVille farm, we don’t dare log back in to find out what became of our crops and animals. But yes, Facebook gaming IS still a thing: the social network’s catalogue of ‘instant games’ now sits within a dedicated gaming tab on the […]

Mabel and Marshmello flex their curation skills on Apple Music

Are streaming exclusives dead? Not quite, but they tend to veer towards the promotional side of things nowadays: an album will be available everywhere, but (for example) live EPs are fair game for single-service exclusives. Witness Mabel’s ‘Stripped Session’ acoustic EP, which is exclusive to Apple Music. She is also the latest artist to turn […]

Billie Eilish to play a virtual-reality gig in Oculus Venues

Billie Eilish is the latest artist playing a concert that will be streamed in virtual reality. The gig will take place on 3 September in Madrid, and then later that evening will be broadcast in Facebook’s ‘Oculus Venues’ app for its Oculus Go and Oculus Quest headsets. The concert is the result of a partnership with startup […]

Major Lazer remix Fortnite music and launch in-game pack

After Marshmello and Weezer, the latest artist to launch a high-profile collaboration with video-game Fortnite is Major Lazer. The Diplo-led group have remixed two of the tracks that players hear in Fortnite’s ‘lobby’ – ‘Default Vibe’ and ‘Default Fire’. Meanwhile, the game’s publisher Epic Games has created a ‘Lazerism’ set of virtual items, including a […]

Taylor Swift drops ‘Lover’ video ahead of album release

What’s that? Taylor Swift has a new album out? You’d think someone in the media and/or streaming-service world would have told you, right? Just joking: ‘Lover’ is inescapable this week, with a full complement of DSP activations and media excitement for Swift’s first post-Big-Machine album. One of the key planks in the promotional strategy was […]

Taylor Swift has pre-sold nearly 1m copies of ‘Lover’ album

Amid all the hubbub around the various streaming services’ activations around Taylor Swift’s new album ‘Lover’ it shouldn’t be forgotten that she’s one of the artists still capable of shifting a LOT of album sales. Variety has the scoop on how ‘Lover’ is doing, courtesy of a chat with Republic Records’ Monte Lipman. “The anticipation of […]

Mark Ronson is releasing an interactive Instagram music video

As Facebook has continued to sign music-licensing deals that include Instagram, so artists and labels have been thinking about what more they can do with music and videos on the popular social app. Mark Ronson is the latest example of an artist to benefit: his ‘Pieces of Us’ track with King Princess is getting an […]

Korn will play a virtual concert in AdventureQuest games

When Marshmello played a concert in the game Fortnite earlier this year, he pulled a virtual crowd of 10.7 million people. Korn won’t have expected that scale of audience for their own virtual in-game shows yesterday, but the move shows that in the wake of the Marshmello success, other games and other artists are exploring the […]

Taylor Swift to reveal new lyrics through her Spotify playlist

When we wrote last week about YouTube’s plans to host a live online event with Taylor Swift for the release of her new album ‘Lover’, we pointed out that other streaming services would be doing their own activations around the release. Spotify revealed its plans yesterday: a playlist called ‘Love, Taylor: The Lover Enhanced Album’. It’s starting […]

Telco Verizon creates a New York pop-up for Shawn Mendes

We’re used to companies like Spotify building pop-up installations for artists: Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Aya Nakamura have all got the pop-up treatment from the streaming service. Now US telco Verizon is getting in on the act. This weekend it will host ‘This is Shawn’ in New York, as part of its partnership with […]

YouTube to host ‘Lover’s Lounge’ live event for Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s new album ‘Lover’ drops on 23 August, and she has teamed up with YouTube for a live-streamed event the day before called ‘Lover’s Lounge (Live)’. It’ll see Swift performing a new track from the album, taking part in a Q&A, and plugging her collaboration with Stella McCartney on a new clothing range. At […]

Spotify brings its podcast analytics out of beta

In early October 2018, Spotify launched a version of its analytics for podcasters, offering data on their listeners, ‘starts’ and streams – in beta. Now the tool is coming out of beta, and is thus available to anyone distributing their podcast through Spotify. More than 100k podcasts are already accessing the data through its beta, Spotify […]

Apple Music brings its artist analytics out of beta

We’ve heard regular praise for Apple Music’s analytics tools since they launched in 2018 as a beta version. Now the dashboard is coming out of beta and is open to all artists. Also new: there’s an iPhone app for the service alongside its website, matching the strategy adopted by Spotify for its own analytics. That rivalry […]

M2V: music video finds its new future

Debate surrounds what the first music video actually was, but by the 1970s these “pop promos” had become the playthings of the biggest acts in the world while by the 1980s, after the arrival of MTV, they were the biggest weapons in the promotional arms race for everyone. All the arrival of YouTube in 2005 […]

Bandzoogle launches fan-subscriptions feature for artists

Artists using the Bandzoogle platform to create their own websites can now offer premium subscriptions to their fans. The new feature launched this week, and enables artists to put content including blog posts, music, videos, photos and merchandise behind their new paywall, with tools to email subscribers included. Bandzoogle also says it will provide analytics on each […]

Slipknot fans can wear the band’s masks (virtually on Facebook)

Given the sweat Slipknot must work up during a performance, you wouldn’t catch us putting our nose anywhere near one of the band’s famous masks. Virtually, however… The latter is what fans can do now, courtesy of a set of Facebook Camera effects. There are 10 masks to try: nine based on the latest ones […]

Stats revealed for the TikTok campaign for UMG’s ‘Money Dance’

There’s a healthy debate about the extent to which labels can make a track ‘go viral’ on TikTok, versus simply piling in to capitalise on the effect when this happens organically. Agency The Influencer Marketing Factory has published an interesting case study that falls in to the former category, however. It was hired by Universal […]

Aussie fans can create videos with Ed Sheeran’s official app

The launch of a smartphone app for fans to create and share their own videos with Ed Sheeran’s music (legally!) forming the soundtrack should be big news. But it seems that the Ed No. 6 app is only available in Australia for now. It’s been launched by Warner Music Australia for Android and iOS smartphones, with […]

Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna and J Balvin team up for ‘China’

Want a recipe to make a big splash with a music video on YouTube in 2019? Well, you could be BTS or Taylor Swift; you could buy a shedload of Google Ads; or you could round up a bunch of the biggest Latin American artists of the moment for a mega-collaboration. The latest example of Option […]

Ed Sheeran #BeautifulPeople TikTok challenge races to 335m views

Ed Sheeran is big for streams, sales, socials, concert audiences… and now he’s big on TikTok too. To be specific, Sheeran has launched a challenge on that social app for his latest track, the Khalid-featuring ‘Beautiful People’. Fans are being invited to upload videos celebrating the beautiful people in their lives, using the hashtag #BeautifulPeople […]

Above & Beyond release album through meditation app Calm

Calm is becoming quite the place for artists to release their music. The meditation app got an exclusive on Moby’s new album ‘Long Ambients 2’ in March this year, then earlier this month Sigur Rós launched a ‘Liminal Sleep’ playlist within the Calm app, also as an exclusive. Three makes a trend: electronic trio Above & Beyond are […]

How Charly Bliss built a rolling video channel for new album

Our Behind The Campaign feature in the latest issue of Music Ally’s Sandbox report covers the campaign for Brooklyn-based indie rock band Charly Bliss’s new album, Young Enough, which came out in May. The central component of the campaign was the launch of CBTV, a round-the-clock MTV-style “station” that created multiple pieces of content that […]

Spotify India marketing tweet sparks online game of Antakshari

If you’re not Indian, there’s a strong chance you haven’t played Antakshari. It’s a game played at parties where someone sings the first verse of a song. Whatever the last syllable is, the next person has to sing the first verse of another song beginning with that syllable. And so on. Anyway, the reason we’re […]

After brief social-media deactivation, The 1975 return with new track

“The 1975 are being their cryptic selves and have deactivated all of their social media accounts as of Wednesday,” reported Billboard yesterday. Yet as of Thursday morning when Music Ally is writing this bulletin, the band’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook profiles are all up and running again. If you’re thinking this is part of a campaign for some new music from […]

Apple Music produces exclusive video for artist Peggy Gou

The latest musician getting some love – and indeed, some video budget – from Apple Music is Berlin-based artist and DJ Peggy Gou. Her latest music video, for her track ‘Starry Night’, was “produced in partnership with Apple Music” and is currently exclusive to the service. Its release will be accompanied by Gou’s second interview on […]

Digital Marketing Manager – Deviate Digital – London

Deviate Digital are seeking an experienced digital marketing manager to join their growing team based at Tileyard Studios in Kings Cross, London. Deviate Digital was founded by Sammy Andrews in 2017 and was named a leading digital advisory agency to the entertainment industry by the Sunday Times in 2018. Their client list includes everyone from global […]

Queen launch UGC contest as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ reaches 1bn views

Fuelled by the recent biopic, Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has become the first pre-1990s video to pass 1bn views on YouTube. The achievement has been marked by a new, remastered ‘HD’ version of the video on Queen’s YouTube channel, complete with the lyrics in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, Polish, German, Indonesian Bahasa, Korean, Czech, Russian and Turkish […]

Independent artist Aaron Smith gets push from Spotify and Apple

Congratulations are due to independent artist Aaron Smith, whose debut track ‘Unspoken’ has (as MBW noticed on Friday) gone in with a bang at the top of Spotify and Apple Music’s flagship new-music playlists in the UK. ‘Unspoken’ was the very first track in New Music Friday UK on Spotify and Best Of The Week on […]

800+ playlist-adds took Ed Sheeran to 69m listeners (and 46.5m first-day streams) on Spotify

Spotify is putting out some stats around the latest Ed Sheeran album. According to its announcement this morning, Sheeran has set a new record for monthly listeners on Spotify: he’s on 69.1 million at the time of writing, with the 70 million milestone in his sights. That means nearly 32% of Spotify’s active users (based […]

Warner Classics launches new website with streaming built in

Warner Music Group has a revamped website for its Warner Classics & Erato arm, which it hopes will capitalise on the potential of streaming for the classical-music audience. So much so, that Warner has built streaming directly in to the new website. Visitors will be able to stream 30-second clips from the Warner Classics & Erato […]

Badshah breaks YouTube 24-hour views record… with a little help from Ad Words

YouTube has yet to confirm this officially, but Sony Music India claims that one of its artists has broken the platform’s 24-hour viewing record. The artist is Badshah, with new track ‘Paagal’ and a video that raced to 75m views in its first 24 hours on YouTube. In a press release, Sony hailed the video for “dethroning […]

Snapchat unveils new ‘Creator Shows’ format for celebrities

Snapchat is debuting a new short-form video show format, and is working with traditional celebrities and newer digital influencers alike. It’s called ‘Creator Shows’, which will be series of 8-10 episodes of 3-5 minutes in length each. Serena Williams, Kevin Hart and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among the traditional celebs on board already, with influencers like […]

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 […]

Monstercat to hold weekly virtual-reality music events

Independent dance label Monstercat has been one of the more forward-thinking when it comes to gaming: witness its partnership with Psyonix, the developer of popular cars-play-football game Rocket League. Now Monstercat is trying a new partnership involving virtual reality, working with Linden Lab – the company that Music Ally readers of a certain age may remember […]

New YouTube milestones for Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes

Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes are no stranger to big digital numbers. Their latest achievements come from YouTube. Sheeran’s official artist channel has just reached 40 million subscribers, which YouTube says makes him only the second artist to hit that milestone. The first? Justin Bieber: he’s on 45.6 million YouTube subscribers. Eminem (38.1 million), Ariana Grande […]

Marshmello launches his own mobile game to debut new album

EDM star Marshmello’s association with gaming is already well known: he’s teamed up with online star ‘Ninja’ to win pro-am Fortnite tournaments, and attracted more than 10 million people to his virtual concert within that game earlier this year. Now he’s testing the waters in mobile gaming too, with his own game. It’s called Marshmello […]

Social media newsfeeds are dying. What’s the future of sharing? (guest column)

This guest column comes from Tim Heineke, founder and CEO of I AM POP. Social media, the poster child of the internet revolution, is losing its influence to such an extent that even Mark Zuckerberg has accepted the decline of the newsfeed. Is this, as Zuckerberg suggests, simply an issue of users becoming wary of […]

Trisha Yearwood helps celebrate Farmville’s 10th birthday

Here’s an anniversary we didn’t remember was coming: 10 years since the release of FarmVille, the Facebook farming game that established US firm Zynga as an early giant of the social gaming world. Music is part of the birthday celebrations, thanks to a partnership between Zynga and country star Trisha Yearwood. She’ll be appearing in […]

BTS World mobile game launches today with another new track

Today’s the day that BTS fans get to play the band’s new, official mobile game, BTS World. It’s being released by publisher Netmarble as a free download for Android and iOS from this evening (26 June). As we reported previously, the game puts players in the role of BTS’ manager at the start of their career, […]

Universal Music works with YouTube to remaster old music videos

Universal Music Group is following in the Spice Girls’ footsteps – not a sentence we ever expected to write in a Music Ally story – by remastering some classic videos for YouTube viewers in 2019. The Spice Girls, if you remember, started replacing their grainy old videos with spiffing new 4K-quality ones earlier this year. Now […]

Spotify will now help advertisers target podcast listeners

Spotify’s latest feature for brands advertising on its service is ‘podcast listener targeting’. It launched in 10 countries on Friday: the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. “With this feature, enterprise brand marketers will be able to reach Spotify Free users who have listened to podcasts on Spotify, verified by […]

Imagine Dragons launch 10-track song-pack for Beat Saber game

Virtual-reality music game Beat Saber has been one of the success stories in VR so far. Released in May 2018, it sold its millionth copy in February this year. Now it’s going down the traditional Guitar Hero / Rock Band route of selling music in-game, in partnership with artists and labels. Yesterday, the band Imagine Dragons released […]

Skepta gets his own streaming heat-map for fans to see

One of the features artists and labels have most appreciated in Apple Music’s beta analytics are the ‘heat-maps’ of their streams, showing activity around the world. Now The Orchard is taking the idea and using it in a fan-facing marketing campaign for British grime star Skepta. His “streaming heat map” website is available to all, […]

New Avicii album will be premiered in Oculus’ virtual reality

The late dance star Avicii (Tim Bergling) is getting his first posthumous album release this year: ‘TIM’. Facebook has announced that its Oculus virtual-reality division will be running a premiere of the new album on 6 June, through its Oculus Venues app. “We’re honoured to partner with Avicii Music and Geffen Records to bring the […]

Chartmetric debuts Cross-Platform Performance metric for artists

Music analytics firm Chartmetric has a new acronym to shout about: CPP. It stands for Cross-Platform Performance, and it’s an attempt to provide a single metric that measures an artist’s performance across music-streaming services, social media platforms and other digital entities. In a detailed blog post explaining how the new metric is calculated, Chartmetric said […]

Vevo’s Greg Duffy explains how artists can ‘growth hack the music video’

‘Growth hacking’ is very much a Silicon Valley phrase: a term used to cover a range of tactics used by startups when they’re trying to build a big audience very fast, in their early years.  Yesterday at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in New York, Vevo’s business operations and strategy manager Greg Duffy applied the […]

Flighthouse CEO Jacob Pace talks TikTok, music and virality

Bad news, record labels hoping to create the next ‘Old Town Road’ sized hit by making a song ‘go viral’ on social app TikTok. It’s easier said than done. “To really make stuff go on TikTok requires a lot of understanding. We tell labels all the time: you can’t just take a song and throw […]

Vizu.al pitches merits of embedding videos in email marketing

US firm Vizu.al has built a client list of more than 300 artists, labels, festivals and agencies with its technology that’s capable of embedding video within emails sent out to mailing lists. Founder Matt Highsmith spoke at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in New York today, showing examples of campaigns that the company has powered […]

Podcasts and music: the opportunities… and the annoyances

Around 62 million Americans are listening to podcasts on a weekly basis, according to the latest edition of Edison Research and Triton Digital’s ‘The Infinite Dial’ report, which was published in March 2019. Another research firm, Ovum, predicts that there will be more than one billion podcast listeners globally by 2020. No wonder music-streaming services […]

Sony Music’s Jose Abreu talks superfans, artists and content

An artist’s keenest fans are their lifeblood in the modern music industry: the people who won’t just stream music casually, but will listen over and over again; share it with friends and the wider world via social networks; buy music, tickets and merchandise; and support the artists they love with a passion. At Music Ally’s […]

TikTok parent Bytedance launches Feiliao messaging app

TikTok may be taking over the western world (in terms of downloads at least, as we reported last week) but its parent company Bytedance has just launched a new app in China. It’s called Feiliao, although TechCrunch reports the English-language version of the name is ‘Flipchat’. “Here are your familiar chat, audio and video calls. In […]

The Night League teams with Apple Music for ‘Sounds of Ibiza 2019’

Apple Music has enlisted its latest brand to be a playlist curator: dance-music company The Night League. It has created a series of playlists that will sit within Apple Music’s ‘Sounds of Ibiza 2019’ hub, including collections based on specific Ibiza club brands like Ushuaïa, Hï Ibiza and ANTS. Guest DJs and residents from the clubs are […]

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 […]

YouTube unveils ‘Bumper Machine’ tool to create six-second ads

YouTube has launched a couple of new ways to advertise on its platform, which may be of use for artists or smaller labels who are lacking the time and resources for creating and editing video ads. One of them is called Bumper Machine, and it’s a tool for creating the six-second ‘bumper ads’ that YouTube says […]

Anjunabeats clears 350 tracks for use in Twitch livestreams

Dance label Anjunabeats wants more of its music to be used by people streaming their gaming sessions on Amazon’s Twitch platform. “Starting today, we’ve made 350+ tracks available to soundtrack your @Twitch livestream!” tweeted the label earlier this week. “Throw down without fear of being muted with our playlist of Twitch-ready tracks here.” That’s a link to Spotify […]

YouTube makes an artist spotlight story for Maren Morris

Country star Maren Morris is the latest artist to get an ‘Artist Spotlight Story’ from YouTube. It debuted on 10 May: a 15-minute mini-documentary that tracks Morris’ journey from “from her early days singing in honky-tonks, to becoming a songwriter in Nashville, to climbing the charts and breaking new ground in country music as a Grammy-winning performing […]

Music marketing in 2019: content, playlists… and Twitter skeletons

Musicians who are breaking through should be aware of any skeletons lurking in the cupboard of their past social-media posts, according to Andy Varley from music company Insanity Group. “In a generation where more and more artists are growing up through social media, you might have used Twitter as a conversational playground discussion platform as […]

Record label 777 Music launches its own esports offshoot

The latest label exploring the crossover between music and esports is 777 Music, which has launched its own esports division. The company says it’s keen to explore the potential for genres beyond electronic-music to reap the rewards of pro-gaming partnerships. It has launched an online community for music and gaming fans, and is setting up […]

Live A Pray-AR: how Madonna is using AR, TikTok and more in her new album campaign

The new Madonna album, Madame X, is out next month but leads singles ‘Medellín’ and ‘I Rise’ have not exactly set the charts alight. Which will make the set up to the album that little bit trickier. Perhaps as part of an accelerated media campaign, Madonna’s team has been talking to Billboard about the use of new […]

You’ll soon be able to build your own Instagram camera effects

There’s something we missed in Facebook’s raft of announcements at its f8 developer conference earlier this week. The company is “opening Instagram to the entire Spark AR creator and developer ecosystem”. What’s that? Spark AR Studio is Facebook’s tool for developers to build augmented-reality content, thus far mainly focused on its Facebook Camera feature. Now, that’s fully […]

Amazon launches Alexa in-skill purchasing internationally

It’s often assumed that you can’t make money from any ‘skills’ (the smart-speaker equivalent of apps) for voice assistants like Alexa. Actually, Amazon launched a feature called ‘in-skill purchasing’ in the US last year to enable exactly that. Now the feature is expanding globally, starting with the UK, Germany and Japan. “Soon, developers from around […]

Artists will be part of Instagram’s new shopping feature

Instagram wants people to start buying the clothes and accessories that their favourite celebrities (‘influencers’ included) are showing off in their posts. It’s launching a new feature called ‘Shopping from Creators’ next week, with a small group of public figures on Instagram. “Instead of taking a screenshot or asking for product details in comments or […]

Taylor Swift ‘Me!’ video did 65.2m views in its first 24 hours

Her fans made a sterling effort, but Taylor Swift’s new video didn’t quite knock BTS off their perch holding YouTube’s record for a video’s most views in its first 24 hours. Their ‘Boy With Luv’ generated 74.6m in that period, while Swift’s ‘Me!’ video with Brendon Urie ended up getting 65.2m views in its first 24 hours. […]

Nao gets a Microsoft-powered interactive music video

British artist Nao has a new video, produced by Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative division in partnership with Microsoft. The video is for Nao’s track ‘Orbit’, and gets fans to put in their birthday to generate a video driven by their astrological sign. There’s more interactivity as the video continues, with fans’ input adjusting the […]

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 […]

Apple names Pink Sweat$ as its latest ‘Up Next’ artist

Philadelphia-based R&B star Pink Sweat$ is the latest artist to get the Apple ‘Up Next’ treatment, following in the footsteps of the likes of Billie Eilish, Juice WRLD, Bad Bunny and H.E.R. The campaign will include a short film (shot on an iPhone XS for some double-branding sparkle) talking about his background and creative process […]

Childish Gambino gets his own Google-powered multiplayer AR app

“The experience begins with the opening of an AR portal. Walk through it to explore an augmented cave where you can find and interact with hidden glyphs while still being able to see out into the real world…” No, not the introduction to the latest Pokémon Go-style game. It’s Google’s blog post about its latest collaboration […]

The Dry Streams Paradox

Are you frustrated with the size of your fanbase? Tired of banging your head against a brick wall with ticket and merchandise sales? Unable to reconcile your streaming figures with the number of genuine fans? Then you might be suffering from The Dry Streams Paradox. What’s that? It’s the challenge that a growing number of […]

Bandcamp launches vinyl-pressing service for artists and labels

Bandcamp has launched a new vinyl-pressing service for independent artists and labels using its platform. Well, we say ‘launched’ – its official debut is later this year, but it was announced yesterday along with four pilot campaigns to show how it’ll work. It’s a Qrates-style service that combines vinyl with crowdfunding. “Our new vinyl pressing […]

Reminder: the perils of marketing singles to free streamers

If you’re directing fans to stream a new track by an artist, what happens if they’re tapping on that link on their smartphone, but are on the free tier of a service like Spotify? That’s one of the questions raised in our latest Sandbox music-marketing report – and answered by Cindy James, VP of streaming […]

Universal Music to develop original shows with podcast firm Wondery

Spotify and Pandora are throwing their energies into podcasts… but now so is the largest major label, Universal Music Group, via a partnership with podcast publisher Wondery. The pair have signed a deal to develop original podcasts based on the label’s catalogue, artists and labels. No specific shows have been announced yet, but when they […]

Blueprint Radio launches podcast-plugging service for artists

In recent years, the traditional discipline of radio-plugging has been joined by playlist-plugging, with people who specialise in pitching tracks to streaming services’ playlist curators. Now get set for a new variant: podcast-plugging. British radio-promotions firm Blueprint Radio has launched a new division called Blueprint Pods, which it says will focus on matching artists “with podcasts […]

Former Sony Music exec talks streaming: ‘Focus on the whales’

Thomas Hesse used to be the digital-business boss at Sony Music, but nowadays is an angel investor and startup founder (of still-stealthy Jamm Music) in his own right. He’s also written a column for Billboard that may hint at what the latter company is planning. His focus is on the music-streaming world’s equivalent of “whales” in casinos: […]

Instagram launches a photo-filter dedicated to Billie Eilish

By all accounts, Billie Eilish’s set at the Coachella festival was a big hit – levitating bed and all. And Instagram has gotten in on Billie Fever by launching a camera filter based on her. Tubefilter reported that it “gives users’ skin a plastic glean and also fully blacks out their eyes, while a strobe-light flashes in […]

BTS smash YouTube record with 78m first-day views of ‘Boy With Luv’

2019 is going to be a very big year for K-Pop stars BTS, spurred by their new mini-album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’. Milestones are already tumbling. The band’s ‘Boy With Luv’ video smashed YouTube’s single-day viewing record, notching up 78m views in its first 24 hours last week. That takes the record from another K-Pop band, […]

YouTube has introduced new metrics to judge video success

Once upon a time, ‘views’ were the big metric that counted on YouTube. Then it moved on to ‘watch time’, but if you want to know what’s next, Bloomberg’s latest article is well worth a read. It claims that YouTube has “introduced two new internal metrics in the past two years for gauging how well videos […]

eMarketer sees Snapchat declining in popularity in the US too

We’ve already reported on claims by research firm eMarketer that Snapchat’s UK users are falling, under intense competition from Instagram’s growth. Now the company has put out its estimates for the US, and the trend is similar. “For the first time, Snapchat will lose monthly US users this year, with growth expected to flatten in 2020,” claimed […]

Spotify Ad Studio adds advanced streaming conversion metrics

A new post on the Spotify for Artists blog outlines updates to the Spotify Ad Studio feature where clients will get access to a new set of streaming conversion metrics that can show how users on the service’s free tier respond to their audio ads. “How many people who heard your ad checked out your music on […]

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. […]

Snapchat gets the Bitmoji Party party started

Talking of Snapchat… the social app has created its first multi-player game, Bitmoji Party. It is part of its Snap Games arm and will be one of six planned games – the other five being created by third-party developers and exclusive to the app. Players compete against friends across a series of mini games and […]

Instagram is pinching Snapchat’s users in the UK

OK, it’s only one country, but the numbers from eMarketer are still interesting and tap into the issue of just how sustainable multi-platforming is in social media. The research company is saying this year will be the first since its launch that Snapchat user numbers in the UK will decline, calling it an “exodus” and […]

Google Assistant can now talk like musician John Legend

“Imagine hearing the silky smooth voice of John Legend answering your pressing questions everyday. Or narrating your local weather forecast. Or singing you happy birthday,” wrote Google’s Manuel Bronstein in a blog post yesterday. No, Legend isn’t back on the dating market. Instead, he’s lent his voice to Google’s voice assistant, Google Assistant – albeit only […]

Esperanza Spalding drove fans from Facebook / Instagram to Spotify

Facebook has published a case study of how artist Esperanza Spalding used the social network (and Instagram) to drum up excitement around her latest album ’12 Little Spells’ – including driving Spotify streams of it. “The roll-out included premiering each music video on Facebook and IGTV, talking to fans through comments and Facebook Live and converting the […]

Director, UK Sales and Marketing – The Orchard – London

Position:  Director, UK Sales and Marketing Location:  London, UK Reporting to: Director, International Sales and Marketing   The Orchard is a fast growing company that is leading the way in both the distribution and artist service sectors. We have 42 offices worldwide and are extremely proud of the international approach to the business we take. […]

Lang Lang deploys digital tactics for ‘Piano Book’ album

Pianist Lang Lang likes to have fun with technology: we remember him playing ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ on-stage using an iPad and the Magic Piano app back in 2010, for example. On Friday, he released his latest album ‘Piano Book’ through UMG subsidiary Deutsche Grammophon, and there’s some inventive digital shizzle going on around it. […]

The Battle of Billie Eilish: Spotify, Apple and YouTube scrap it out

Original content is a big strategic focus for the major streaming services in 2019, as is ‘claiming’ as many rapidly-emerging artists as possible, in terms of creating said original-content for and with them. Billie Eilish, whose debut album ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ is out today, looks set to become one […]

Nigerian artist Burna Boy gets a YouTube Artist Spotlight

Afrobeats artist Burna Boy is the latest musician to get a ‘YouTube Artist Spotlight Story’ produced by Google’s video service. He’s the first Nigerian artist to be chosen as an ‘artist on the rise’ by YouTube Music, to recognise the way he’s building an audience around the world with his videos. YouTube also provided some stats to […]

Some of Spotify’s programmed playlists will now be personalised

Until now, there’s been a clear split within Spotify’s own playlists: some are programmed by humans – the streaming service’s editorial team – and others by algorithms: its personalised playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar and Daily Mix. Now those boundaries are blurring: some of Spotify’s human-curated playlists will now be getting a dash of […]

Jax Jones and Martin Solveig spoof Fyre Festival with pre-save

“It’s just green mate”. “What is this???” Fans were initially confused about an Instagram post from artist Jax Jones late last week: it was just a green square. Which brought back memories of Tidal’s launch teasers for us, although the more-recent parallel is the infamous ‘orange square’ influencer campaign for the ill-fated Fyre Festival. This is entirely […]

Nav promoted his new album in Fortnite stream with Ninja

Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins has become one of the go-to influencers in the gaming world in recent times: Electronic Arts reportedly paid him $1m to promote its new game Apex Legends earlier this year for example. Meanwhile, he’s also firmly on the music industry’s radar thanks to his compilation partnership with Universal Music, as well as his live-streamed Fortnite […]

Dealing with the ‘dry streams’ paradox in the playlists era

Have you heard about ‘dry streams’ yet? They’re streams that come without a great deal of interest in the artist themselves: for example, on mood or activity-driven playlists on streaming services where listeners aren’t necessarily noticing who made the tracks. We’ve been exploring the phenomenon in our latest Sandbox digital-marketing report. “Being featured in large […]

Instagram adds ‘Checkout’ feature for in-app shopping

Rumours that Instagram was going to do more with e-commerce have been bubbling for a while. Yesterday, the Facebook subsidiary revealed its latest moves. “Today, we’re introducing checkout on Instagram. When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app,” explained Instagram. For now, this is based around products […]

Red Hot Chili Peppers to live-stream their pyramids concert

What I’ve got you’ve got to give it to your mummy… even if you have to break in to an ancient sarcophagus to do it. Yes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are heading to Egypt to play a concert at the Great Pyramids of Giza later this week, and it’s just been announced that the gig will […]

Fan-messaging startup I Am Pop raises €2m in funding

I Am Pop is one of the startups trying to help musicians and music brands make better use of messaging apps in their marketing. It’s already working with artists signed to labels including Sony Music, Warner Music, AWAL and PIAS, and now the company has a new €2m funding round to help grow its business. I […]

YouTube stories get their own Snapchat-style AR features

Snapchat has its lenses, Instagram has its face-filters, and now YouTube has its own augmented-reality effects, which can be used in ‘stories’ posted to the video service. They’re a mixture of animated face-masks, hats and sunglasses that can be used in short videos posted by YouTube creators who have access to the ‘stories’ tool – which […]

Digital Marketing Coordinator – Mute – London

We are looking for a talented individual to join our creative and independent team, based in the West London office. The Digital Marketing Coordinator role is a key part of the marketing team and reports to the Head of Marketing, working across all releases on the label as well as sub-labels such as NovaMute. This […]

Apple is giving playlists the album-artwork treatment

We’re ashamed to confess that we haven’t given that much thought to the artwork for the programmed playlists on music-streaming services. That said, we suspect a fair few of those services haven’t really made it a priority either, beyond ensuring the right artist or mood-signalling image is present with the correct corporate branding. So it’s […]

Senior Manager, UK Retail Marketing – The Orchard – London

Position:  Senior Manager, UK Retail Marketing Location:  London, UK Reporting to: Director, International Sales and Marketing   The Orchard is a fast growing company that is leading the way in both the distribution and artist service sectors. We have 42 offices worldwide and are extremely proud of the international approach to the business we take. […]

Chemical Brothers create ‘fastest remix’ for Formula 1

The Chemical Brothers have a new track out today, called ‘We’ve Got To Try’, which is marvellous. But the veteran dance duo also released another track this week called ‘WGTT15000BPM F1 NEEEUM MIX’ that’s more curious. Not least because it’s only three seconds long (and thus won’t be earning any royalties on streaming services, which […]

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 […]

Twitter’s new video analytics tool helps marketers with timing

Twitter has launched a new analytics tool for people and companies posting video on its platform. It’s called Timing is Everything, and we think it could be quite useful for musicians. “Timing is Everything displays historical data showing when audiences are on Twitter watching and engaging with video,” explained Twitter in an announcement blogpost. That means whoever […]

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 talks pitching, artists and podcasts in the Nordics

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 […]

Blossoms get the pints in for their very own ‘pubcast’

If you’re reading this, Daniel Ek and team, we have another idea for what the existing podcasts ecosystem is missing: traditional British boozers! But UK band Blossoms are here to change that with the launch of their own ‘Blossoms Pubcast’, recorded in the pub in Stockport that inspired the band’s name. “In the first episode Tom, […]

Ludovico Einaudi to release seven albums in seven months

Classical-music composer Ludovico Einaudi clearly isn’t afeared of hard work: he’s just signed a new deal with UMG’s Decca Records to release seven albums in seven months. The project is called ‘Seven Days Walking’, and kicks off with the 15 March release of an album called ‘Seven Days Walking: Day One’. The other six albums […]

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 […]

Weezer get a Fortnite island where their new album is streaming

If you’d asked us who the next music artist would be to work with Fortnite after Marshmello’s recent in-game concert, it’s fair to say Weezer wouldn’t have been our obvious choice. Yet Weezer it is: the band have their very own island in the latest season of the popular game, called Weezer World. Mashable reports that it’s […]

Mahershala Ali launches Black History Month Apple Music playlist

Apple Music execs will have been cheering the Oscars ceremony on Sunday. Not because they all love Sophie from Peep Show (well, not just that) but because another winner on the night has just curated a playlist on the music-streaming service. Double Best-Supporting-Actor winner Mahershala Ali is behind the ‘Represent: Mahershala Ali’ playlist on Apple […]

Giggs gets his own augmented-reality experience in London

British rapper Giggs is the latest artist to experiment with augmented-reality (AR) technology. In this case, Island Records has created an AR experience with a rooted physical location: a mural on a wall in Shoreditch, London. The idea is that fans download an app called AR E2 (QR codes will be provided on the wall […]

Pandora launches ‘stories’ as a blend of podcasts and playlists

Pretty much every social-media service now has ‘stories’ as a format, so why shouldn’t music-streaming services? However, Pandora’s launch of a ‘stories’ feature isn’t what you might expect (i.e. short video clips that expire after 24 hours). Instead, it’s a format that blends podcasts with playlists. “Podcasts can tell stories about music, but generally don’t include full […]

Artist Nils Frahm explains why he’s closing his Facebook page

German artist Nils Frahm made his name exploring a blend of classical and electronic music, but now he’s making headlines for another reason: shutting down his Facebook page – “the first of many social media accounts I am going to close,” according to his farewell post. “Facebook et. al. have become unwanted companions in my life, […]

Billie Eilish is first artist for YouTube mini-series format

The latest video on artist Billie Eilish’s YouTube channel sees her rifling through her notebook: “an audio visual journey into the thoughts of Billie Eilish, exploring the inspiration behind songs” from her new album, according to its blurb. This is actually the first of a new format on YouTube under the banner of ‘mini series’ – three-to-five […]

K-Pop music sparked 5.3bn tweets on Twitter in 2018

Twitter is shouting proudly about the popularity of Korean pop music within its community: “With a new global record of 5.3 billion tweets last year” according to a blog post yesterday. Naturally, this is about K-Pop’s popularity outside South Korea continuing to grow, but Twitter is keen to stress the efforts it has been making […]

10.7m people showed up for Marshmello Fortnite concert

We knew that more than 10 million people watched Marshmello’s recent concert within video-game Fortnite. Now we’ve got a specific figure from the game’s publisher Epic Games. “On February 2nd, Fortnite had its best event day ever with 10.7 million players showing up for the Marshmello concert,” it told The Verge. It’s interesting to note how […]

Would you trust a bot to handle your Twitter feed?

We’ve written a fair bit about the use of bots to automatically respond to fans on Facebook Messenger. But what about turning your tweets and (if you’re a company) LinkedIn posts over to a bot? That’s the gist of Swiss startup Twinybots. “Our service will post content on socials networks without your intervention. But you can […]

Little Simz to tease new tracks using Instagram music stickers

British artist Little Simz is preparing for the release of her third album ‘GREY Area’ through AWAL, and as part of its marketing campaign is using music stickers on Instagram. The album comes out on 1 March, but every day between now and its release, a new 10-second snippet of one of its tracks will […]

Chatty Penguin’s Cally Hocknell talks marketing, stories and Insta-famous eggs

“What’s the point of marketers like me, why would you commission research, when an egg knocks Kylie Jenner off the top spot on Instagram?!” There were jokes and sharp insight in equal measures in music marketer and Chatty Penguin founder Cally Hocknell’s presentation at the FastForward conference in Amsterdam on Friday. She was referring to the […]

Apple Music lets subscribers give a free month to a friend

Here’s an interesting new tactic for music-streaming marketing: Apple Music is encouraging subscribers to get their mates onto the service too. “Give Apple Music to your friends,” explained a promotion that was push-notified to subscribers, according to news site AppleInsider. “Apple Music is better with friends. So give one of yours a free month.” The deal […]

Mumford & Sons launch ‘reimagined’ songs for Amazon Music

British band Mumford & Sons have become the latest artist to produce some exclusive music for Amazon Music. Although in this case, the songs are already well-known: what’s exclusive are new ‘reimagined’ versions of ‘White Blank Page’ and ‘Forever’. Amazon is suggesting that fans say ‘Alexa, play the Amazon Original by Mumford and Sons’ to […]

Brit Awards reveal plans for digital activations next week

Next Wednesday is the Brit Awards, the flagship annual awards show for the British music industry. It’s fair to say the organisers are leaving no stops un-pulled out when it comes to the digital activity around the event. There’ll be a live stream on YouTube of the show to viewers outside the UK, fronted by […]

Global Head of Digital Marketing & Promotions – FUGA – Amsterdam, London or New York

Job description FUGA Aggregation & Services is looking for an experienced, passionate and ambitious professional to head up our global digital marketing & promotions department. As a key part of our content exploitation team you will be instrumental in defining the FUGA brand and build on our strong position in independent digital music distribution.   […]

Kiss are launching their own brand of emoji

Never slow to spot a new branding opportunity, Kiss have teamed up with The Emoji Company to create their own line of emoji, which will be splashed across *consults press release* “Apparel, Accessories, Footwear, Electronics, Figures and Collectibles, Drinkware, Fan Merch, Home Goods, Stationery, and more”. The deal for ‘KISS x emoji®’ was brokered by […]

Director of Connected Fans Strategy – mtheory – Los Angeles or New York

Job Title: Director of Connected Fans Strategy   Location: Los Angeles or New York   Connected fan relationships are at the core of mtheory’s artist development strategy. We are seeking a highly curious individual to help lead us in identifying the core principles around the connected fan relationship – including knowing who the fans are, […]

Deezer chooses Sam Fender and Lewis Capaldi for ‘Next’ promo

Deezer has announced the next swathe of artists who’ll benefit from its ‘Deezer Next’ promotion in 2019. British artists Sam Fender and Lewis Capaldi will be global priorities for the streaming service this year, with Capaldi having stepped up from being a Deezer Next artist in the UK last year. They follow Deezer’s global artists […]

Steve Aoki joins Star Trek Fleet Command mobile game

Dance artist and DJ Steve Aoki was early in to esports, and now he’s become the first artist to nab a starring role in the latest mobile game based on Star Trek. Aoki is appearing in Star Trek Fleet Command as a character called Officer D’Jaoki, joining the game yesterday. This isn’t a brand new relationship with […]

Spotify gets Chuck D for eight-part podcast about The Clash

It was clear last week just how much welly Spotify is willing to put behind podcasts in the year ahead, with up to $500m earmarked for acquisitions of tech and content – including its deals for Gimlet Media and Anchor. Now Spotify has announced details of its next original, exclusive podcast: an eight-part documentary called […]

Childish Gambino dances his way onto Google Pixel smartphones

One of the points we’ve been making about augmented-reality (AR) technology over the past year is that the biggest impact for artists from it will come from campaigns using the big social/tech platforms with AR features: Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook etc. Now Childish Gambino is testing another angle: appearing as an animated character in the ‘Playground’ […]

Marshmello YouTube channel got 164% boost from Fortnite concert

We wrote last week that we were waiting for the latest weekly YouTube Music charts to go live, so that we could gauge the bump that dance artist Marshmello got from his concert in YouTube. Not least because anecdotally, nearly every child aged 8-13 we know has been hammering his tracks on YouTube ever since […]

Marshmello Fortnite gig sent his YouTube views soaring

More than 10 million people watched Marshmello’s first concert in video-game Fortnite last weekend. Now Nielsen has put out some figures showing how the event caused a big spike in his on-demand video (i.e. YouTube) streams. Billboard reports that his track ‘Check This Out’ saw a nearly 24,000% increase in views on the day of the concert, […]

Startup Steereo pays Uber / Lyft drivers to promote music

We know that in-car radio has historically been a key source of music discovery. And we also know that rideshare services (Uber and Lyft included) are very-popular ways to get around cities. Startup Steereo is bringing those two ideas together, with a music-promotion service based around paying drivers to play new music to their passengers. […]

Marketing Director – AWAL – London

AWAL serves a growing roster of emerging and already established artists and labels. We are now expanding our UK Marketing team to include a new Senior Director of Marketing.  Reporting to the General Manager, the role will involve working closely with artists, managers and label clients to set up, implement and deliver industry leading, innovative […]

Head of International Marketing – AWAL – London

As the Head of International Marketing, you will be responsible for managing AWAL’s international marketing teams who create and deliver successful, innovative & global marketing campaigns for our growing roster of Artist and Label clients. You will work directly with all our clients and with senior leaders in the AWAL team as well as develop […]

New York cracks down on companies selling fake socials activity

If you’ve ever been tempted to spend money inflating your Instagram followers, SoundCloud streams or other social metrics, here’s the latest useful warning not to. The state of New York has reached a settlement with a now-defunct firm called Devumi, after attorney general Letitia James launched an investigation into the company last year. In an […]

Community takes on SuperPhone with text-marketing for celebs

We’ve been writing about text-marketing startup SuperPhone since 2016, when musician Ryan Leslie raised $1.5m to build a tool for artists to communicate with fans via SMS. Now it’s got some competition from a startup called Community, discovered by Wired when actor and investor Ashton Kutcher promoted it to his fans. “I miss having a […]

Marshmello may be playing a gig within Fortnite this weekend

The popularity of video-game Fortnite has recently sparked a series of lawsuits from rappers and dancers, angry at the game including some of their signature moves without asking for permission or paying any kind of licensing fee. Some musicians have a more positive relationship with Fortnite though: EDM star Marshmello, for example, who’s broken online-viewing […]

Universal Music snaps up merch/branding firm Epic Rights

Universal Music Group’s Bravado division has been bolstered this week by the acquisition of merchandise and branding firm Epic Rights, for an undisclosed amount. Epic Rights works with the likes of Kiss, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, AC/DC and Britney Spears among other artists. CEO Dell Furano will be staying on as part of the acquisition. “I’m very proud […]

The Cinematic Orchestra launch website designed for offline use

Ninja Tune artist The Cinematic Orchestra have relaunched their website with a fun twist: it wants fans to use it offline. “To Believe… disable your internet connection now,” it explains, when they land on its homepage. If they do, the screen fades to black and then provides details about ‘A Caged Bird / Imitations of […]

Michael Bublé is the latest artist to get his own Alexa skill

Paloma Faith, then Little Mix, and now Michael Bublé. The Canadian crooner is the latest artist to get his own Alexa skill – a voice-controlled app for Echo smart speakers and other devices using Amazon’s virtual assistant. Fans saying ‘Alexa, open Bublé Daily’ will get access to the skill, which has launched in the UK, […]

Director, International Marketing – AWAL – London

JOB SUMMARY AWAL is looking for a flexible, confident and highly organised International Marketing Director, based out of our London office. Reporting to the General Manager, the role will involve working directly with our artists, managers and label clients and alongside our network of International Marketing Managers, distribution partners and licensees to plan. This is […]

Watch your profanity! YouTube explains how swearing affects ads

YouTube’s latest educational video is aimed at all creators, not just musicians, but for any artists who like to turn the air blue with ‘industrial language’ it’s worth a watch. It explains how “vulgarity or inappropriate language” affects whether a video can be monetised with advertising or not. Ads are fine for “light profanity (shit, […]

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: […]

AR-powered ‘David Bowie is’ app launches as $7.99 download

The ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition was a real treat for keen (and even casual) Bowie fans, debuting at the V&A Museum in London in 2013 before touring the world. Last year, plans were revealed to turn the exhibition into an augmented-reality app, and this week it’s been released for Android and for iOS by Sony […]

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 […]

YouTube continues its livestreaming partnership with Coachella

YouTube will be the exclusive livestreaming partner for American music-festival Coachella this year – the ninth year for the partnership. In fact, the deal is expanding, with YouTube now the exclusive playlists and livestreaming partner for both weekends of the festival – previously it only streamed the first weekend. “Additionally, YouTube Music and YouTube Premium […]

Taylor Swift’s app The Swift Life is shutting down

Just over a year ago, Taylor Swift teamed up with mobile-games publisher Glu Mobile to launch The Swift Life, her own app for fans to connect with one another, share their own content, and get her latest news, photos and videos. Now it’s shutting down, which the official announcement suggests is because the app was […]

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