How should artists use Twitch to connect with fans?

Live video streaming service Twitch has been one of the (unwitting) beneficiaries of the global pandemic, as musicians scramble to find a way to compensate for the near-total shutdown of live music. In their recent “State of the Stream” report, StreamElements and Arsenal.gg claimed that Twitch’s Q2 2020 chart bars “look like skyscrapers compared to […]

Tools: IsItAGoodPlaylist.com. Analyze Spotify playlists to know if they’ll increase your stream count

According to Chartmetric, Spotify boasts over 270k+ curators, 1.1m+ playlists and 8.6k+ self-curated playlists, providing a fertile ground for playlist pitching. While editorial playlist placements on Spotify are notoriously competitive and dealt with exclusively via Spotify for Artists, figuring out how to get an artist’s independent playlist strategy right (e.g. by brands, labels, curators or […]

Sandbox Issue 261: The return of the fanclub? Crowdfunding in 2020

Lead: Crowdfunding in 2020 – Crowdfunding is not a new idea – but following the nosedive of recorded music sales in the early noughts, crowdfunding became a tantalising concept: fanbases could be leveraged into recording costs. Despite some successes, it has remained a relatively niche concern. That is, until now. Covid-19 has led to a rise […]

Tools: Fanaplay. Digital Collectibles For The World’s Biggest Fans

The coronavirus pandemic has forced artists and their teams to focus even more on the digital space, where fans are spending the majority of their time. Fanaply – a company that creates digital collectibles and fan engagement tools for artists – suggests that it’s now crucial to think about products that allow fans to express […]

Tools: Zebr. Send Music to Influencers

Zebr originally started out as a new music discovery channel on Instagram and TikTok – and is now making an interesting move into influencer marketing. Zebr’s new app allows artists and their representatives to submit music to influencers and content creators, using a streamlined and affordable pricing structure, and ensuring each song is credited in […]

Tools: Wavo. Marketing and Analytics for Music

With the huge number of platforms out there driving the success of modern marketing campaigns, it is increasingly challenging to get the full picture of how a campaign is performing and to then decide where to invest or what to amend. Wavo aims to solve this problem for those investing in artist development and marketing, […]

Tools: Youtube Analytics for Artists

While each of the major DSPs has launched their own suite of analytics and data dashboards, the competition around who is providing the most actionable and unique set of insights is getting fiercer and fiercer, with each platform leveraging their own strengths and building on what they already offer. Hoping to raise the bar further […]

Tools: MUSIXMATCH. The world’s largest catalog of song lyrics and translations.

Musixmatch provides licensed lyric features to the likes of Google, Apple Music, Amazon and Instagram, having deals in place with over 10,000 publishers globally. It also has direct relationships with over 1m artists who are verified on the platform through their labels, their publishers or even directly.  Hot on the heels of the announcement that […]

Tools: Smart links roundup

Using smart links is now standard practice for artists of all sizes and, as a result, competition among smart link companies has increased exponentially. Because of this, they are all trying to develop and innovate in ways that make them unique and that help them stand above their competitors.  Here we overview the latest updates […]

Sandbox Issue 255: K-Pop. What the Global Music Industry can learn from South Korea

Lead: K-pop is eating the world whole and is changing what marketing – especially superfan-centric marketing – can do. We speak to those working in and around the K-pop world to learn how the genre markets itself, where its acts engage with their fans to build incredible levels of loyalty, why trans-media marketing underscores everything they do […]

Pre-release promo tool Byta raises $1.9m seed funding round

Pre-release music promo and sharing service Byta has announced a new seed funding of $1.9m. The round was led by the Canadian Media Fund as well as private investors, such as Scott Kannberg (of indie band Pavement). The platform lets artists and labels securely share music with others in the industry ahead of release in a […]

Tools: Jaxsta. The music industry’s official list of who did what.

Noting how the music industry lacked an equivalent to what the film industry had with IMDb – and also how it was missing a verified source of data from across the music supply chain – Jacqui Louez Schoorl, with a background in both film and music, began working on what was to become Jaxsta in […]

Tools. Lockdown Livestreaming

When lockdown started, artists around the world swiftly jumped onto platforms like Instagram and Twitch, in order to livestream from their homes. But, with social distancing restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, and no real sense of when live music could return, the idea that livestreams could help to partially offset the enormous losses […]

Tools: Tradable Bits. Know your Fans, Market Smarter

Growing an artist’s listenership in specific markets or their social following is one part of the equation of nurturing fan bases and driving revenue. But what is often missing, is actually knowing who the fans are and getting a complete picture of how they’re behaving and presenting themselves online, which provides a more strategic approach […]

Tools: Amazon Music for Artists. Navigating to success on Amazon

On many levels, Amazon has already proven its worth in shaking up the music streaming business – not least because it offers the most diversified selection of subscription tiers to consumers. It also made headlines last year by propelling Ellie Goulding’s Amazon-exclusive (a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’) to the top of the UK charts, […]

GENE genie: LA Priest creates online modular machine emulator

Domino Recordings act LA Priest has his second album, GENE, due for release in June. To promote the first single from the album, ‘What Moves’, he has created what he is calling the GENE Machine that lets users play around with the track’s audio. It is essentially an online emulator of the analogue drum machine that Dust […]

Tools. HypeAuditor: Analytical Platform for transparent & fraud-free influencer marketing

HypeAuditor has become a key tool in identifying fraudulent influencer accounts; now it has added a new influencer discovery tool, enabling those frequently working with influencers to promote artists/releases and to more easily find the right fit.  The platform says it has a database of 11m+ influencers across Instagram and YouTube, scraping information from publicly […]

Tools. Zaiko: Ticketing in times of Coronavirus

For the music industry, it was live that got hit first and hit hardest by COVID-19; but technology is helping to plug some of those gaps caused by the mass cancellation of shows and festivals.    Tokyo-based platform Zaiko is known as a white-label ticketing platform but quickly built a ticketed concert live stream solution […]

Tools: Portes. Connect artists directly to their fans in under 3 seconds, with a bespoke VIP experience

Consumer concerns around online privacy, and new regulations such as GDPR, COPPA and CCPA are causing complications for tech giants like Facebook, Google and TikTok; and are increasingly seen as a differentiator and point of competitive advantage for Apple.  Those same philosophical differences are beginning to emerge in the startup space too. OCL, a London-based […]

Imogen Heap’s Creative Passport reveals CEO and advisory board

Back in December 2017, we wrote about artist (and blockchain early-adopter) Imogen Heap’s idea for a ‘Creative Passport’ for musicians, which would store and share their professional and creative data. Well, the project has continued to evolve over the past two years: next month, a closed beta for the Creative Passport will launch, under the auspices of a […]

Tools: Deezer Backstage. Designed to bring artists and music professionals closer to their audience

Last year, Deezer became the first DSP to actively promote and test a user-centric payment system. At the same time, the streaming service began properly rolling out its own artist analytics backend, Deezer Backstage, with a freshly launched landing page and a host of innovative features. The last time Deezer publicly reported on its MAUs […]

Sandbox Issue 246: BAD INFLUENCE. Social media’s new fault lines

Lead: Influencers are a growing part of music marketing but tighter rules on what they can do (and how explicit they must be in declaring their interests), as well as a series of scandals, are making working here increasingly complicated – if not increasingly risky. Some are arguing they still have power, but others are […]

Tools: Keyhole. Measure the impact of their social media & influencer campaigns

Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has evolved significantly, introducing plenty of features that have since become essential in music marketers’ toolkits.  One constant in its suite of features have been hashtags, which still present a crucial opportunity to boost an account’s visibility on the platform and help it to be discovered by new […]

Distributor Ditto reveals Bluebox blockchain tools for musicians

Back in May 2019, we caught on early to something new from distributor Ditto Music called Bluebox. It was described as “a platform to streamline the music industry supply chain and bring modern technology to an industry lacking transparency, framework, and structure” with blockchain involved somehow. Eight months later, Bluebox has been officially unveiled. It’s now described […]

Sandbox Issue 244: How to Make a Big Artist Comeback

Lead: Don’t call it a comeback. Actually, DO call it a comeback. Fans today not only expect all the music in the world to be instantly available, they also expect every pop star to be available at all times. But musicians need to step away from the limelight and off the promotional treadmill every now […]

Tools: RoadNation Empowers Creators and Fans to Build Tours Together

When it comes to touring, independent artists and their teams often face significant revenue risks. RoadNation aims to help mitigate this risk and drive more fan engagement through a direct artist-to-fan platform that sees artists funding their tours upfront through exclusive products while the fans get input into where their favourite artists will play.  Artists […]

Sandbox Issue 243: The Last 10 Years and The Next 10 Years of Music Marketing

Welcome to the first Sandbox of 2020. Lead: It is now 10 years since we published the very first edition of Sandbox, so to start a new decade we speak to marketers from around the world about the tools and trends that shaped the past decade of music marketing as well as the ones they believe […]

Tools. Toneden: Automated Social Marketing

With a multitude of music marketing tools available to artist teams, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which ones to prioritise, especially when most of them are eating into your monthly budget.  It’s therefore great to see how ToneDen has been further developing its offering since we last covered the platform in 2017, adding […]

Sandbox Issue 241: Music Merchandising Moves On

A T-shirt or a flimsy tour programme was the bulk of merchandise in the “old days” – mass-produced items to shift quickly when an act was on tour. Fortunately, things have changed dramatically in recent years – with a clear drive to be as environmentally aware as possible. Print-on-demand technology is also allowing acts to […]

Tools: Fangage. Activate your Superfans

Building engaged audiences on a social platform is one thing; but keeping them there when you are at the mercy of each platform’s algorithms is another thing entirely. What can you do with thousands of fans on, for example, Facebook or Instagram if a simple change in the algorithm pulls the brakes on you effectively […]

Sandbox Issue 240: Music Marketing’s Wellness and Fitness Drive

People are increasingly attuned to the need to look after their mental and their physical health – and music can and does play a big role here. The gym playlist is one thing, but acts crafting albums for meditation apps and artists working with a new generation of fitness brands is something else entirely. We […]

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 […]

Localify aims to put more local music in Spotify users’ playlists

Teams of researchers and students at Ithaca College and Cornell University have been working on a tool to inject more local music into people’s Spotify playlists. It’s called Localify, and works by getting people to choose their location and a selection of their favourite artists. “We’ll create playlists that mix your favorites with local artists while […]

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 […]

Paramore star complains about Spotify / Genius lyrics feature

Spotify’s partnership with Genius to provide ‘Behind the Lyrics’ information for tracks is pretty cool, eh? Well, not so much if you’re an artist who disagrees with the information that’s being presented. Hayley Williams of Paramore is one example: she took to Twitter this week to complain about the notes for the band’s track ‘Hard Times’. @spotify […]

Sandbox Issue 225: Retargeting in an Age of Privacy

Lead: Tighter regulations around retargeting have made the job of digital marketing much trickier to navigate. What this has meant is that marketers have to get smarter. We speak to those working around these rules about why – if they put the work in – this can be more blessing than curse. Campaigns: Billie Eilish […]

Music-making firm Splice raises a $57.5m funding round

Splice is one of the most popular online tools for creating music – and accessing samples – with more than 2.5 million users according to its latest figures. That growth, having added a million in the last year, is exciting investors too. Splice has just raised a $57.5m Series C funding round, with VC firms […]

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 […]

Soundcharts revamps its pricing to boost in-team data-sharing

Music-analytics platform Soundcharts is shaking up the way it charges for its service. Its subscription plans will now allow unlimited users, with the cost varying instead by how many artists are being tracked. “The music industry is a network of interconnected teams working on separate artist’s careers. Record labels, agents, promoters and managers constantly need to share […]

Sandbox Issue 222: SYNC IN. Music Synchronisation Gets Smarter

Lead: as synchronisation grows in importance, a new wave of tools is emerging to make that whole process work seamlessly and smarter, covering both micro-licensing and pitch management. We look at the key players here, what they do and where they are taking synch – plus consider how AI is set to shake things up […]

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