Month: mars 2021

Digital Distribution Coordinator – Ninja Tune – London

Important: Please see ‘Application Tips’ for details on how to apply.  Location: To work in our Kennington office when safe to do so and from home Start date: As soon as possible Availability: 5 days a week (10-6pm Monday to Friday) Salary: Based on experience. Closing date: 13th April 2021 (Midnight) Ninja Tune is looking […]
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Source: Music ally

Dapper Labs capitalises on NFT fever with $305m funding round

NFTs may be all the rage in 2021, but startup Dapper Labs was one of the first companies to explore blockchain-powered digital goods with its CryptoKitties game in 2017. It has since gone on to have another big hit with its NBA Top Shot basketball partnership, and also took investment from Warner Music Group in September 2019. […]
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Source: Music ally

Video requests startup Cameo raises $100m funding round

We recently reported on video requests startup Cameo’s growth in 2020, when it sold 1.3m videos of its celebrity community, generating revenues of $100m. Now the company has raised a Series C funding round, also of $100m, which sees Cameo graduate to ‘unicorn’ status with a valuation of just over $1bn. SoftBank, GV, Lightspeed, Kleiner Perkins, Spark […]
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Source: Music ally

Report explores the (pre-Covid) carbon footprint of touring DJs

“Last Night a DJ Took a Flight” is an excellent name for a report, even if many DJs’ touring has been grounded for more than a year by Covid-19. But the report, from Clean Scene, is an important analysis of the environmental impact of the electronic music industry before Covid struck, with thoughts on how […]
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Source: Music ally

T-Series finally joins Indian collecting society IPRS

India’s collecting society IPRS now has a full set of major music companies from the country, after T-Series joined the likes of Saregama and Times Music (plus the local subsidiaries of Sony and UMG) as a member. “With IPRS now representing the T-Series music publishing catalogue, it will improve the ease of doing business, with […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube trumpets hip-hop growth in push for more advertising

One particular hip-hop video may be giving YouTube some internal ructions (see earlier story) but the service is keen to talk up the wider importance of the genre – particularly for advertisers. “Of the top three genres on YouTube in the U.S. — hip-hop, rock and pop — hip-hop is the fastest growing,” wrote YouTube’s […]
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Source: Music ally

UK study questions majors/indies split on streaming playlists

Do independent labels get a fair share of slots on music streaming services’ playlists? It’s a complicated question, with the answer having varied, historically, depending on which playlists you’re talking about (all of them, or just the big ones?), how you define independent (do major-distributed tracks count?) and other factors. The latest attempt to get […]
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Source: Music ally

TuneIn loses appeal in UK copyright infringement case

Radio aggregator TuneIn has lost its appeal in a copyright infringement case brought against the company in the UK by Sony Music and Warner Music. The original ruling, in November 2019, was mixed with the High Court ruling that TuneIn wasn’t infringing with its live streams of radio stations already licensed in the UK, but […]
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Source: Music ally

Barcelona gig had 5,000 fans with masks but no distancing

Aware that some countries that have Covid-19 under control already have concerts and festivals up and running, we’re trying not to generalise about live music. However, for those countries still awaiting a musical reopening, this weekend’s concert in Barcelona for indie band Love of Lesbian will be an encouraging sight. It was an experiment for […]
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Source: Music ally

NFTs explosion: Crypto.com, The Weeknd, Gorillaz, Lindsay Lohan…

Say what you like about non-fungible tokens (NFTS) – and right now, everyone appears to be doing exactly that on Twitter – but it’s undeniable that there is a gold rush of musicians towards the idea. In the past few days alone, there has been a mini-blizzard of announcements and on-sales, with some prominent artists. Start with […]
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Source: Music ally

Research firms highlight growth in wellness and fitness apps

Sensor Tower and App Annie are the two most high-profile research firms tracking the apps market. By a quirk of fate, both published some new stats yesterday around wellness and fitness apps – a current area of hot interest from the music industry. Sensor Tower predicted that ‘mental wellness’ apps will be downloaded more than 1bn times […]
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Source: Music ally

Music bodies slam Twitter for ‘rampant theft of creative works’

Yesterday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (and his *sigh* bitcoin clock) made an appearance before a US House hearing about online extremism and misinformation. Copyright wasn’t the matter at hand, but a group of music industry bodies took the opportunity anyway to criticise Twitter for its attitude towards music licensing. The letter, sent by a group including the […]
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Source: Music ally

The NFTs boom is still sparking praise and scepticism

Well, that’s a headline we could probably run every single day for the next few months. But with the music industry still buzzing with questions about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and their potential, it’s worth keeping abreast of the latest debates. Start today with the “long-ass blog post” by artist Rev Dan Catt, which is an […]
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Source: Music ally

The next Roblox? Gaming platform Rec Room raises $100m

The growth of Roblox and its use by labels and artists – not to mention Warner Music Group’s investment in it – has sparked interest within the music industry about other games platforms and microverses that might be worth investigating. We’d suggest Rec Room should be one of the first ports of call. The Seattle-based startup has just […]
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Source: Music ally

Matador launches ‘Revisionist History’ podcast using Anchor

Don’t worry, independent label Matador isn’t launching a podcast claiming that President Kennedy was actually killed by alien assassins, or that the medieval plague was started by a time-travelling Bill Gates practising for Covid-19. The history being revised in the label’s new podcast is strictly its own: a chance for artists to talk about their […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music’s 4th Floor Creative debuts Mood Playlist creator

Spotify is a dab hand at curating playlists for a wide range of moods and contexts, but labels are keen to get into that game too. Witness the latest project from the 4th Floor Creative team within Sony Music UK, which has launched a site for music fans called ‘Mood Playlist‘. The pitch: “Instantly make […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify beta tests new marquee management tool in the US

Marquee is Spotify’s marketing tool for promoting an artist’s new album to people who’ve listened to them – the full-screen pop-ups that appear over its mobile homescreen. Now Spotify is beta testing a new campaign management tool for marquee in the US, which will make these ads (well, ‘sponsored recommendations’) self-service. The tool will take the form […]
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Source: Music ally

Beggars Group and Gary Numan clarify streaming payouts comments

Recently, artist Gary Numan gave an interview to Sky News during which he talked about streaming royalties, and specifically about a small cheque he’d received.
“I had a statement a while back and one of my songs had had over a million plays, million streams, and it was £37. I got £37 from a million streams,” said Numan. The story has since been widely shared.
The label Numan is most associated with is Beggars Banquet, but this week Beggars Group founder Martin Mills got in touch with Music Ally with a joint statement from the label group and Gary Numan, clarifying that it was not the label involved.
You can read the full statement below: including some interesting data on what Numan is actually earning from streams of the music he recorded for Beggars Banquet.
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 272: DSP’s Emerging Talent Programmes – how do you get on one, what happens if you do, and is there a catch?

Lead: Each DSP has a programme dedicated to supporting new artists: weaponising the platform by endorsing them to a large audience, and hopefully accelerating their careers. Places on these programmes are, of course, keenly sought after – so what is experienced by that lucky few? Is it really the win-win it seems? What do artists need […]
The post Sandbox Issue 272: DSP’s Emerging Talent Programmes – how do you get on one, what happens if you do, and is there a catch? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Don’t freak out! Nile Rodgers gets a ‘voice-interactive portrait

Does anyone in the music industry have better anecdotes than Nile Rodgers? Now he can deliver them in virtual form, which may save him repeating the best ones over and over. Rodgers has been turned into “the world’s first voice-interactive portrait” through a partnership between the UK’s National Portrait Gallery, Universal Music and Abbey Road […]
The post Don’t freak out! Nile Rodgers gets a ‘voice-interactive portrait appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

NFT trends include 50/50 split for musicians and visual artists

Music NFTs must be big business. Look, the Wall Street Journal is writing about them! And it’s a good summary of the current activity (and hype) around non-fungible tokens in the music space. That includes stats: journalist Cherie Hu’s calculation that since June last year around 29,800 NFTs involving artists have generated $42.5m in primary sales. […]
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Source: Music ally

SoundCloud launches new artist accelerator with nine musicians

SoundCloud is adding a new string to its artist-partnerships bow with the launch of First on SoundCloud. it’s billed as an accelerator program for artists, starting with nine independent musicians: Charmaine, Ela Minus, Kid Quill, Lourdiz, Otis Kane, Pa Salieu, Payday, Sofia Mills and SoFaygo. ‘First on SoundCloud’ is actually an existing program for promoting […]
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Source: Music ally

Early blockchain music startup Jaak has shut down

British startup Jaak was part of the first wave of firms trying to put blockchain technology to use in the music industry. It was part of the first Techstars Music accelerator in 2017, and launched a pilot with partners including WMG, Warner/Chappell, BMG and Global Music Rights the following year. Founder and CEO Vaughn McKenzie-Landell was also part of the […]
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Source: Music ally

Secretly Group workers announce plans to unionise

Employees from independent music company Secretly Group and its subsidiaries have announced plans to form a union. “Our goal is to spotlight the rights of our staff and the health of our workplace,” they explained on the Secretly Group Union website. “Working in the music industry is not an easy way to support oneself for the […]
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Source: Music ally

Impala rejects ER but says labels should pay fair digital rates

Impala, which represents independent music companies in Europe, is the latest organisation to step in to the debate about the music streaming economy and how to reform it. “Our aim is to make streaming fairer and provide a dynamic, compelling and responsible future for creators and for fans,” was how Impala introduced its 10-point plan. The […]
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Source: Music ally

Music Ally Startup Files: Freeme invests in Afrobeats’ bright future

Freeme – pronounced “free me” – is an independent distributor & label services company based in Lagos. Founder and CEO Michael Ugwu has international industry experience: he was previously general manager at Sony Music West Africa, and is the first Black person to be appointed to the Merlin Board.
As a business, Freeme has twin focuses: providing services in the Nigerian market, and acting as a bridge between Afrobeats culture and curious markets in the rest of the world.
Freeme has recently relaunched, with a new platform, Freeme+, providing A&R, marketing, sync licensing and publishing services for independent African rights holders. Freeme+ will operate under Freeme Digital’s new premium label services and distribution arm Freeme Music.
Ugwu’s explanation of what Freeme does is simple: “We offer access to the African content. We’re in Lagos, working with Afrobeats. Our focus is squarely on music of African origin. Our African DNA and roots makes us different, and we educate and guide clients across the industry.”
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Source: Music ally

IFPI report reveals 7.4% growth in global recorded music revenues

Global recorded music revenues grew by 7.4% to $21.6bn in 2020, according to industry body the IFPI, which has published its annual Global Music Report today.
That’s a deceleration compared to 2019, when the market grew by 8.2%, but with 2020 being the year of Covid-19, labels will see the latest figures as a success nonetheless.
It’s the sixth consecutive year of growth, and the highest annual total since 2002, when global revenues were $22.1bn.
Streaming was the driver for last year’s growth. Streaming revenues for labels grew by 19.9% to $13.4bn, accounting for 62.1% of the total.
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Source: Music ally

Ministers give their views at the UK’s music streaming inquiry

Yesterday saw the final hearing in the UK’s parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming, but rather than music industry or tech executives being questioned, it was ministers and civil servants.
Caroline Dineage MP, minister for digital and culture at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Amanda Solloway MP, minister for science, research and innovation at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) were the ministers, and they were accompanied by Robert Specterman-Green, director of media and creative industries at the DCMS, and Tim Moss, chief executive of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
Here’s Music Ally’s topline takeaway from the session, and the inquiry more widely. The committee of MPs conducting the inquiry seem to be leaning towards the Broken Record campaign’s view of streaming: that most artists are struggling; that major labels are market-dominating villains; and that ‘equitable remuneration’ (and perhaps user-centric payouts) could be a good thing. Oh, and that YouTube is a wrong ‘un, and safe harbour needs to be reformed.
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Source: Music ally

Yubo social app is a hit with Gen-Z – more than 45m of them

Parents are apparently getting in a bit of a flap about Yubo, because as tech site Protocol explains: “the app very openly wants young people to make new friends with strangers on the internet”. With a user base focused around 13-25 year-olds, Yubo is proving popular though: the piece claims that the social app has signed […]
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Source: Music ally

Lo-fi hip-hop brand ChilledCow rebrands as Lofi Girl

ChilledCow is one of the most well-known lo-fi hip-hop brands that have grown on YouTube and streaming services with their mixes for studying, working and/or relaxing to. But the most recognisable aspect of ChilledCow wasn’t, in fact, a cow – it was the animated girl studying in its YouTube videos while her cat lazed on a […]
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Source: Music ally

Stevie Nicks reportedly blocks use of ‘Dreams’ for an NFT

Well, of course that guy on the skateboard who made that Fleetwood Mac song go viral on TikTok is now selling that video as a non-fungible token. Nathan Apodaca is hoping to trouser at least $500k from the NFT sale of his 23-second video, although there’s one wrinkle: it won’t include ‘Dreams’. Apodaca’s representative told showbiz site […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple expands its ‘Up Next’ program for emerging artists

Thus far, Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ program has picked emerging artists from across the world for promotion on the streaming service, with a global focus. Now it’s going local too. Apple is expanding the program for individual regions, kicking off with the US, UK, Japan, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, India, Canada, Australia, South Africa and […]
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Source: Music ally

Surprise! YouTube is the most popular music streaming service

Alright, this will come as no surprise at all to the majority of Music Ally readers. YouTube is the biggest music streaming service in the world, with its scale – both in terms of its overall users and the more than two billion people who specifically consume music on it. However, if you’re in the market for […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s new website promises ‘more clarity’ on streaming economy

Did you know that the top 500 artists on Spotify last year generated around $1.85bn in royalties from the streaming service – 37% of its overall payouts?
Or did you know that the 286,000 DIY artists releasing through distributors generated $1.17bn of Spotify royalties last year – around 23.5% of the total?
You do now. These are just a couple of the calculations that people (alright, digital music nerds like us) are going to be doing today, following the launch of Spotify’s new website Loud & Clear.
The company isn’t explicitly describing it as a defence of music streaming, but given the recent upsurge in debate about musicians and streaming royalties – not to mention the UK’s parliamentary inquiry focusing on the streaming economy – the timing is no accident.
“We absolutely think that artists deserve to have more clarity on how the music streaming economy is working,” is how Charlie Hellman, VP and head of marketplace at Spotify, explained it to Music Ally in an interview ahead of the site’s launch today.
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Source: Music ally

Yungblud re-releases ‘Parents’ with a fan after TikTok duet

Artist Yungblud is re-releasing a track from 2019 due to TikTok, but no, this isn’t because someone went viral singing along to it on a skateboard. Instead, Yungblud ran a duet contest on TikTok inviting fans to freestyle their own verse over his track ‘Parents’. One of the most impressive entries was from a young singer-songwriter […]
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Source: Music ally

Chilean music downloads store PortalDisc moves into streaming

Apple Music and Amazon Music are far from the only streaming services whose origin stories involve music download stores. PortalDisc is the biggest downloads store in Chile, but it is now moving into streaming with its new service PortalDisc App. Billed as “the first 100% Chilean music streaming service”, it’s a partnership with B2B digital music […]
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Source: Music ally

New label Offmeta will explore the music and esports crossover

The latest company looking to forge more links between the music and esports industries is Offmeta, which launches today. It’s a label that plans to sign artists and seek out licensing deals and partnerships for them in the games and esports worlds. Canadian artist bbno$ is its first signing, and his new single ‘Bad to the […]
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Source: Music ally

BPI set for ’10 x 10: Ten Trends for the Next Ten Years’ event

British industry body the BPI has announced its next ‘Insight Session’ online event, and once again Music Ally is the partner co-presenting it. ’10 x 10: Ten Trends for the Next Ten Years’ takes place on 15 April, and will involve 10-minute presentations on a range of future trends for the music industry. Among those […]
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Source: Music ally

Netflix has calculated the carbon footprint of video streaming

How bad for the environment is streaming? It’s one of the questions we’re still seeking answers to. In the video streaming world, Netflix is playing its part. The company has been working with researchers at the University of Bristol to calculate the carbon footprint of watching its service. Wired has the details: “Netflix claims that one […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube launches ‘Checks’ tool to check videos for copyright

Content ID is well established as YouTube’s system for identifying copyrighted music in user-uploaded videos, and giving rightsholders the option to take them down, claim their ad revenues or leave them be. Now YouTube is launching a new tool that gives uploaders more control over whether their content falls in to Content ID in the first place. […]
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Source: Music ally

Ditto Music adds NFTs to its Bluebox blockchain platform

Distributor Ditto Music is moving into NFTs, but its plans will enable fans to acquire shares in songs, rather than just digital artwork. The company has launched an ‘NFT exchange’ as part of its Bluebox royalties platform, and is working with artists Big Zuu and Taylor Bennett on its first sales. Both will be auctioning […]
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Source: Music ally

Google reduces its app sales cut for small developers

Apple’s 30% “app tax” (as critics like to call it) isn’t always 30%. It’s 15% for subscriptions once a subscriber has been paying for a year, and since November 2020 it has also been 15% for smaller developers and businesses who make less than $1m a year. A change clearly made in part due to the pressure […]
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Source: Music ally

OnlyFans launches creative fund with £20k grants for musicians

We first wrote about OnlyFans in August 2020, when Cardi B launched a $4.99-a-month subscription on the crowdfunding site previously better known for being used by adult entertainment stars. In December, the company said it was paying out $200m a month (!) to its community of creators, as it made its pitch for more mainstream celebrities to use it. […]
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Source: Music ally

Concert streaming site MySongbird seeks $5m in crowdfunding

New rules on equity crowdfunding in the US will allow startups to raise up to $5m a year from ‘non-accredited’ investors (i.e. the general public). Expect a wave of startups testing it out, including music firms. Early out of the blocks is MySongbird, a streaming service for live performances and music documentaries, which is seeking $5m […]
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Source: Music ally

Async to launch ‘programmable music’ through stems and NFTs

Async is a startup focused on ‘programmable art’ that is capable of changing over time. Oh, and it’s also part of the blockchain wave, with that art able to be bought, resold and interacted with. It has generated more than $1m in sales for digital artists since its launch in February 2020. Now the company is […]
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Source: Music ally

Downtown’s Joe Conyers III joins Crypto·com to work on NFTs

Artists piling onto the NFTs bandwagon is one thing, but prominent music industry executives leaving their jobs for it is quite another. Joe Conyers III, of Downtown Music Holdings, has left for a new EVP role at cryptocurrency firm Crypto.com, where he will be in charge of its new “invite-only NFT platform that will feature […]
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Source: Music ally

Africa expansion for UMG/Boomplay and for Freeme Digital

From DSP launches to label expansions to [waves enormous plug] new education initiatives for the industry, there is plenty of exciting activity happening around Africa’s music ecosystem. There are two more examples to report on this morning. First, Universal Music Group has extended its licensing deal with streaming service Boomplay from seven countries in Africa to […]
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Source: Music ally

Marc Geiger: ‘We’re going into a post-Spotify earning era’

Yesterday was the first day of SXSW 2021’s online conference, including a chat between former WME music chief Marc Geiger and Pandora founder Tim Westergren – now working on their new ventures, venue network Savelive and livestreaming firm Sessions. The topic was timely: the explosion of ways for artists to connect with fans and to try […]
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Source: Music ally

Various Positions (A&R + Sync Licensing) – Opposition – USA/Remote

In an industry often favoring major labels and traditional music deal structures, Opposition stands in the corner of the artist, offering the tools and support that allow artists to maintain control of their music and creative journey. Opposition works with artists to diversify their revenue through a suite of tailored services, including distribution & label […]
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Source: Music ally

Clubhouse launches its first ‘creator accelerator program’

Every social media platform has its community of ‘creators’ and now Clubhouse wants one too. The audio startup is launching a “creator accelerator program” that it says will “support and equip 20 creators with resources they need to bring their ideas and creativity to life”. Which hopefully means people who won’t just be wanging on about bitcoin […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify launches ‘African Heat’ and Daft Punk campaigns

Fresh from launching in a number of African countries, Spotify is giving its flagship ‘African Heat’ playlist a new marketing push. That includes launching an #africanheatchallenge dance challenge on social media, billboards in New York and Toronto, and embedded video clips from artists including Focalistic, Fuse ODG, Olamide and Moonchild Sanelly. “For me, African Heat […]
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Source: Music ally

Tim Burgess is selling earphones to raise money for venues

Thankfully for fans of British music of a certain era and geographic origin, Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess hasn’t spent the Covid-19 lockdown spouting conspiracy-theory claptrap. Instead, he launched Tim’s Twitter Listening Party to bring cheer to a growing community of music fans. Now he’s building on that to raise money to support independent venues by… selling earphones! […]
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Source: Music ally

Ian Brown protests after Spotify removes anti-lockdown track

It’s been an awkward few months if you’re a Stone Roses fan who thinks lockdown is necessary, wants to get vaccinated, and doesn’t believe the Covid-19 pandemic is one big plot by The Authorities. Because frontman Ian Brown has… different views. And he has used his social media profiles and his music to express that […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple stops making original HomePod to focus on HomePod Mini

Apple’s HomePod is dead, long live the HomePod Mini! Except we’re talking more about a retirement: Apple will carry on selling its first smart speaker until stock runs out, and will still be providing software updates for it. However, the company’s smart speakers strategy is pivoting firmly to its smaller, cheaper model. “HomePod mini has […]
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Source: Music ally

BPI boss talks artists, streaming and equitable remuneration

Throughout the current UK parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming, and indeed, throughout the history of streaming itself, Music Ally has worked hard to report fairly the full range of views in the debates about how streaming pays off for musicians.
That’s why we’ve reported at length on the key sessions at the inquiry, taking in artists, labels, industry bodies and streaming services. It’s also why, back in May 2020, we invited Tom Gray, a key figure in the Broken Record campaign that sparked the inquiry, onto our Music Ally TV Show to set out his views.
Now it’s also the reason why we extended a similar invitation to Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, Brit Awards and Mercury Prize. Like Gray, he gave evidence during the inquiry, speaking on behalf of the BPI’s major and independent label membership.
You can watch the full episode – it’s embedded below – but in keeping with our past coverage, we’ve also turned it into a written report, which follows.
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Source: Music ally

FAC and MMF on livestreaming tariffs: ‘We need to talk!’

This guest column is by David Martin, CEO at the Featured Artists Coalition, and Annabella Coldrick, CEO at the Music Managers Forum:
Whether it’s COVID 19, Brexit, the yearning for live shows and international touring, the economics of streaming, or the constant battle against inequalities, there’s a lot going on in the music industry right now. 
The news cycle has been unrelenting, and it’s little wonder that trade bodies like ours have experienced such a substantial increase in membership. People need help and support and, in a business hit harder than most, there’s a lot of fires to attend to. 
The current debates around livestreaming touch upon many of these issues, and it’s why the FAC and MMF have been so vociferous about potential changes to the licensing regime – ever since we became aware late last year of PRS for Music’s intention to impose retrospective tariffs, rising as high as 17% of gross revenues on ticketed online events. (Compared to 4.2% of gross ticket sales at a normal “in-person” live show.) 
In the middle of a pandemic – with artists and live industry workers being absolutely decimated financially, and with livestreaming offering one of the only mechanisms to perform in front of an audience – the difference felt pretty staggering. 
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Source: Music ally

Music and NFTs are buzzing, but should you believe the hype?

The music industry has got quite… well, let’s say “excited” about Non-Fungible-Tokens (NFTs) in the last couple of months. The headlines have been breathless and the figures eye-popping. Grimes sold $5.8m of NFTs in 20 minutes! 3lau sold 33 NFTs for $11.6m! The former boss of T-Mobile US paid Steve Aoki $888,888.88 for an NFT called ‘Hairy’! STONKS!
The hype is real. Twitter hosts – what else? – endless threads of people shouting at one another about the true nature of NFTs, while Clubhouse is home to many NFT and crypto-art clubs.
In calmer parts of the music business, experienced thought-leaders are convinced that NFTs are incredibly important. Shara Senderoff, president of music/tech investment firm Raised In Space, speaking at the NY:LON Connect conference in January, correctly predicted that NFTS were a trend about to “blow up”, due to the, “ability for a fan to purchase an asset that is scarce, that is limited, that is exclusive, and has potential offerings tied to that that make them as a loyal fan feel unique, feel rewarded.”
The post Music and NFTs are buzzing, but should you believe the hype? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

iManage Africa and Music Ally’s Music Business Academy for Africa

We’re delighted to announce our new joint venture with iManage Africa, the Music Business Academy for Africa. We’ll be working together to provide fully localised vocational education for aspiring creative entrepreneurs across the continent. It’s the brainchild of Godwin Tom (iManage Africa), a Nigerian talent manager and exec who’s worked with the likes of Wizkid […]
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Source: Music ally

Belgian collecting society Sabam joins the Ice core in Europe

European licensing hub Ice was founded by three collecting societies: PRS for Music, Stim and Gema. However, its ‘Ice Core’ also licenses repertoire from other entities: Imro, BMI and independent publishers including Downtown and Concord. Now the latter group has grown with the addition of Belgian PRO Sabam. “We pursued an exceptionally thorough process to […]
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Source: Music ally

Spanish collecting society SGAE rejoins Cisac after reforms

One of Spain’s collecting societies, SGAE, is coming in from the cold and being readmitted to global PROs organisation Cisac, after reforms that the latter say “have transformed the society and its operations”. SGAE was temporarily booted out of Cisac in May 2019, after well-documented controversies around how it was run, and particularly ‘The Wheel’, a […]
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Source: Music ally

SoundCloud clarifies revenue share from ‘fan-powered royalties’

Earlier this week we reported on a SoundCloud interview with Vice that suggested the company would be taking a 45% cut from its new ‘fan-powered royalties’ (user-centric) system. The company has since revealed that the interview misinterpreted its policies, and that its share is actually lower. A spokesperson told Music Ally that SoundCloud is not keeping 45%, […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify gets its missing K-Pop music back with new Kakao deal

Spotify’s catalogue of K-Pop music is returning to its former glory, after the company managed to end its high-profile dispute with South Korean firm Kakao Entertainment. The new agreement is global, including South Korea, with the separation of the two having been one of the sticking points that led to Kakao’s catalogue being removed from […]
The post Spotify gets its missing K-Pop music back with new Kakao deal appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Amazon Music adds merchandise features to its mobile app

Amazon Music’s app is steadily adding more features beyond basic audio streaming. Having integrated livestreams last year, now the app is getting merchandise features. As of this week, artists who are taking part will have their merch shown on their profile pages, with Billboard reporting that most of it will be available with Prime shipping for Amazon […]
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Source: Music ally

First day of Roblox trading valued games firm at $38.3bn

Games firm Roblox is now a public company, having successfully seen through its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Its first day of trading yesterday saw the company’s share price close at $69.50, valuing Roblox at $38.26bn. That is certainly good news for Roblox’s investors, who include Warner Music Group, since when the company raised […]
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Source: Music ally

Sandbox Issue 271: Finding a marketing balance and seeking success on Twitch

Lead: Which Twitch Mix Fits? – Music is essential to the Twitch experience, but Twitch’s formal relationship with music is still a little murky – albeit with the launch of the licensed Soundtrack by Twitch feature offering welcome progress. The power of Twitch as a marketing, communication, and community-building tool is also still open to debate […]
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Source: Music ally

Courtney Barnett launches online archive of live performances

Australian artist Courtney Barnett is excellent live – we have the ‘bought in post-gig over-excited state’ official Courtney Barnett bright-red socks to prove it. Now she’s showing off some of her best live performances in a new archives website. It’s a combination of footage from concerts, radio sessions and other live appearances since the early days of […]
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Source: Music ally

Women in Radio report identifies sexism and career barriers

A new report in the UK has explored some of the barriers that women face when trying to develop their careers in the radio industry. Published by Radio Silence and Women In Ctrl, the report is based on interviews and surveys with more than 100 women working in the British radio industry. The findings aren’t […]
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Source: Music ally

IFPI says The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ was 2020’s top track

Look away now, Grammy Awards organisers: the most controversial omission from this year’s nominations has just been anointed as the biggest ‘global digital single’ of 2020 by industry body the IFPI. It says that The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ generated 2.72bn ‘subscription stream equivalents’ globally last year, ahead of second-ranked ‘Dance Monkey’ by Tones and I […]
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Source: Music ally

Startup Sona launches ‘music therapy’ app for stress relief

If you want our tip for making life instantly 78% less stressful, mute the words ‘Harry’, ‘Meghan’ and ‘Piers Morgan’ on all your social apps. But if that fails, perhaps a new app called Sona is worth a try. Developed by a US startup of the same name, it’s a ‘music therapy’ app offering a catalogue of […]
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Source: Music ally

Songclip raises $11m to help license more music to social apps

Ensuring that the music clips used in social apps are properly licensed has been a key focus for rightsholders in recent years, and deals with Facebook/Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and others have offered encouragement. Now one of the startups hoping to be a middleman in even more of these deals has announced an $11m funding round. […]
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Source: Music ally

Verzuz switches Apple Music for Triller following acquisition

It’s just under nine months since Instagram livestreams brand Verzuz signed an exclusive deal with Apple Music. However, that deal is now at an end according to Variety, after Verzuz was acquired by Triller’s parent company Triller Network. The deal will see Verzuz founders Swizz Beatz and Timbaland getting shares in Triller Network, a portion of which […]
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Source: Music ally

After extension, the Kings of Leon NFTs generated $2m of sales

We reported the other day on the Kings of Leon NFT sale being extended after four of its ‘golden ticket’ NFTs failed to meet their reserve prices. So it’s only fair to also report on the final performance of the sale, which reached more than $2m according to Billboard – a figure that came from the band’s […]
The post After extension, the Kings of Leon NFTs generated $2m of sales appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok’s new ‘music hub’ highlights trending tracks and artists

TikTok is launching a new feature described as its ‘music hub’ in the UK, which it says will help people to see which tracks, artists and playlists are currently trending on the service. It will be accessed from TikTok’s ‘Discover’ screen, and people will also be pointed in its direction if they search for music […]
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Source: Music ally

Techstars Music reveals the 11 startups in its 2021 cohort

Last year, startups accelerator Techstars Music announced plans to run its 2021 program virtually, while promising that 50% of the startups’ CEOs would be diverse. It also revealed that Amazon Music had joined its ‘member companies’ from the music industry, supporting the accelerator including investment in its startups. Concord is also chipping in extra seed and follow-in […]
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Source: Music ally

Ticketing and livestreams app Dice gets into merchandise

Dice started as a mobile ticketing app, before swiftly expanding into livestreams as Covid-19 lockdowns hit physical concerts. Now it’s expanding again: into merchandise.
Its new ‘Merch On Dice’ feature will enable artists to create limited-edition ‘product drops’ that fans will be able to order for pickup at venues (once concerts are running again) or have delivered to their homes. The idea is that the merchandise will only be available to fans who buy tickets for an artist’s shows or livestreams.
“We’re not doing the creative or the actual physical production and fulfilment, but we’re doing all of the steps for the fan experience,” Dice CEO Phil Hutcheon told Music Ally. Fans will be able to browse and order merch within the Dice app, and get updates on deliveries.
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Source: Music ally

Tools. Sparkline: Analytics tool for Spotify

Sparkline is a new platform developed by technology consultancy company Decimal, who mainly work with music clients on development projects. Decimal pitches Sparkline as the “missing analytics tool for Spotify” – a bold claim hinging on its ability to allow users to get insight into third parties on the streaming platform.  The company identified that […]
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Source: Music ally

Blockchain ticketing firm Big Neon is shutting down

Anyone looking for a reminder not to get too carried away with the NFTs bonanza would do worse to look at the fate of some of the blockchain music companies from a few years ago that had big ambitions. Big Neon for example, whose founding team included Ticketfly co-founder Dan Teree and cryptocurrency expert Riccardo […]
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Source: Music ally

Kings of Leon NFT auction extended as some listings fall short

We wrote last week about plans to launch a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for the new Kings of Leon album. So how is that going? Well, the auction for the NFTs has been extended until 8pm EST today (8 March), which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going brilliantly. The six ‘golden ticket’ NFTs, which include front-row seats […]
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Source: Music ally

Recording Academy commissions study of women’s representation

It’s International Women’s Day today, which means an inbox full of related press releases, many of which are simply new spins on things that were announced last year or the year before. Which neatly illustrates the challenge being tackled: the music industry is good at saying the right things (and sending out press releases about […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple predictions: VR/AR headset in 2022, AR glasses in 2025

Oh, and don’t forget AR contact lenses sometime after 2030. By which time nobody will remember the prediction or the predictor enough to check whether it was right. In fairness, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, is one of the Cupertino-focused crystal-ball gazers who has earned respect with accurate predictions about what Apple […]
The post Apple predictions: VR/AR headset in 2022, AR glasses in 2025 appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Independent music, not Bollywood, may be India’s global crossover

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently told Music Ally that he believes “100% that we’re going to see a rise of Bollywood and new types of Indian music making it into the global scene in the very near future”.
As an Indian journalist who’s been covering Bollywood and other types of Indian music for two over decades, I only half-agree with Ek. I don’t believe Bollywood is going into the global charts any time soon, and I’ll tell you exactly why. But first…
Indian pop quiz time!
Q1. Who’s the most streamed artist on Spotify in India?
A1. Hindi film playback singing superstar Arijit Singh.
Q2. What’s Arijit Singh’s rank on Spotify overall?
A2. At the end of January this year, his 8.78 million monthly listeners were enough to place him at No.500 in the world.
Spotify doesn’t display artist rankings below that position and last month, even though Singh’s listenership grew to more than nine million users, he fell out of the top 500.
The post Independent music, not Bollywood, may be India’s global crossover appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

MMF Unite returns with ‘Black Women Mean Business’ panel

The UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF) is bringing back its MMF Unite series of virtual events focusing on race, racism and injustice. They’re kicking off next week with ‘Black Women Mean Business’, an online panel on 9 March featuring Nike Durosaro (Big Drum Entertainment), Shikayla Nadine (SNM Management) and Shauni Caballero (The Go 2 Agency), […]
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Source: Music ally

Ever wanted Gucci Mane to read you Beowulf or Little Women?

That’s a rhetorical question: of COURSE you have. Unless you’d prefer the trap veteran’s dulcet tones to read you Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes or Peter Pan, of course. No, Gucci hasn’t taken a surprising career leap into audiobooks narration. Instead, this is something called Project Gucciberg created by a […]
The post Ever wanted Gucci Mane to read you Beowulf or Little Women? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TuneCore launches educational ‘Rewards’ program for artists

We’re familiar with loyalty schemes for supermarkets, but for music distributors? That’s a new one. TuneCore is trying it with its new TuneCore Rewards program for artists, which has just launched in beta. It’s based around a series of educational videos – ‘master classes’ – covering topics including promotion, social media and release planning. Doing the classes earns artists […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify and Apple Music reveal latest emerging artist picks

The major streaming services are continuing to choose emerging artists for their respective promotion schemes. Spotify and Apple Music announced their latest picks yesterday. Spotify has gone with Norwegian artist Girl In Red as its latest ‘Radar’ artist in the US. She’ll be getting the full playlisting / Spotify Single / mini-documentary / billboard ads treatment, ahead […]
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music Group’s revenues grew by 3.8% in 2020

Universal Music is the latest major label to publish financial results showing that its business rode out the Covid-19 storm in 2020. UMG’s revenues for the year grew by 3.8% to €7.43bn (around $8.95bn) – or by 4.7% when calculated as ‘organic growth’. Within that, UMG’s recorded music revenues grew by 5.9% to €5.97bn, although that increase […]
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Source: Music ally

Music NFTs fever heats up with 3LAU and Kings of Leon

Haven’t you launched an NFT yet? What are you waiting for? Grab an audio doodle from your studio outtakes, commission some terrible fantasy or sci-fi novel cover-artwork* and/or a GIF of a funny animal – cats are a saturated market by the way, so we suggest pivoting towards penguins, bonobos or blobfish – and STONKTASTIC RICHES […]
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Source: Music ally

Abbey Road holds Equalise International Women’s Day festival

Ahead of International Women’s Day next week, Abbey Road Studios is holding an ‘Equalise’ festival online, with a focus on responding to the fact that fewer than 5% of music producers and engineers are women. The event is a mixture of masterclasses, panels and mentoring sessions, and runs until Monday. Sessions still to come include: Becoming […]
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Source: Music ally

Twitch transparency report focuses on safety, not copyright

When we saw headlines about Twitch publishing its first ever transparency report, our news antenna started pinging. Would this be a chance to get data on how many copyright takedowns the service has been hit by from music rightsholders? When other tech firms have published similar reports, they have included takedowns in the data. Unfortunately, […]
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Source: Music ally

Joox seizes its opportunity to stress its K-Pop credentials

Tencent-owned music streaming service Joox is one of Spotify’s key rivals in south east Asia, and that’s a region where K-Pop is enormously popular. Credit the company for being quick off the mark, then, following the recent news that Spotify has lost a big chunk of its K-Pop catalogue due to a breakdown in licensing negotiations with […]
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Source: Music ally

Songtrust trumpets growth with 3m songs and 350k songwriters

Songtrust has revealed some new stats showing the growth of its business, both in terms of the songs that it collects royalties for, and the songwriters who it’s paying those royalties out to. The new numbers: 3m songs and 350,000 songwriters, up from 2m songs and 300,000 clients in December 2019. The company also says that its royalty […]
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Source: Music ally

New funding for livestreaming startups Maestro and Looped

If you’re a livestreaming startup, now is the time to be raising funding (or if you’re Veeps, getting bought by Live Nation). Two of the companies trying to help musicians perform live online for their fans have announced new funding rounds this week. Maestro, whose clients have included Billie Eilish and Erykah Badu, has raised […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify could overtake Apple for US podcast listeners this year

Spotify is pushing hard in podcasts, and research firm eMarketer has predicted that this will pay off in 2020 with the company overtaking Apple for US podcast listeners. “This year 28.2 million people will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, while 28.0 million will listen via Apple Podcasts,” claimed its report. eMarketer thinks the gap […]
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Source: Music ally

Anghami reportedly set for public listing through Spac merger

Middle Eastern streaming service Anghami may be going public soon, via a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) in the US. Bloomberg reported that Anghami is “close to being listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York” in a move that could value the company at nearly $300m. The report added that the move could be announced […]
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Source: Music ally

Martin Goldschmidt: ‘Why I have come round to the user-centric model’ (guest column)

User-centric payouts has been bubbling on the fringes of the music industry for years as an issue. The first time I took it seriously was at an industry board meeting last year – no names! – where we got two presentations on the topic.
The big question everyone in the room wanted answered, including me, was: would we earn more money under the user-centric payment model?
One presentation used Spotify data, and showed that the overall streaming pie remained the same – obvious – and that the indies’ slice might be slightly less. Not surprisingly, the interest in the model was not great after this.
Then Deezer did a presentation, which also showed that the pie would be the same, and which suggested that we indies would earn about the same. But they made two other points that took a while to sink in.
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Source: Music ally

SoundCloud goes user-centric with its ‘fan-powered royalties’

Rumours that SoundCloud would become the first big music streaming service to adopt user-centric payouts were correct. The company has just announced plans for what it’s calling ‘fan-powered royalties’.
The system won’t apply to the entire catalogue of music that is available on SoundCloud, but just to the tracks uploaded by independent artists directly to the platform: specifically the nearly 100,000 who use the company’s SoundCloud Premier, Repost by SoundCloud or Repost Select features.
The switch will happen on 1 April 2021, and SoundCloud has launched a website explaining how the new system will work, and encouraging artists to “tell your fans” about it to drive listening (and thus royalties) once it’s up and running.
The site includes some examples modelling out how the new system will work. One independent artist called Vincent, with 124,000 followers on SoundCloud, is cited as earning $120 a month under the existing ‘pro-rata’ model of streaming royalties, but the company says this could increase to $600 a month under the new system.
The post SoundCloud goes user-centric with its ‘fan-powered royalties’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

UMG and Gameloft launch Queen: Rock Tour mobile game

After a fan-made music videos contest and the band’s official TikTok debut, the latest stage in Queen’s digital strategy has been revealed: a mobile game. It’s called ‘Queen: Rock Tour’, and launched today for Android and iOS. Universal Music is keeping it in the family too: the Vivendi family, since the game is by Gameloft, the games publishing subsidiary of UMG’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music launches ‘Behind the Songs’ songwriters section

Apple Music has a new hub focusing on songwriters, producers and session musicians. It’s called ‘Behind the Songs‘ and launched on Friday as a home for related playlists like ‘Songbook’ and ‘Behind the Boards’, as well as Apple Music Radio shows including Nile Rodgers’ ‘Deep Hidden Meaning’. There will also be original video series including […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook’s NPE Team launches a new music app called Bars

Facebook’s experimental studio NPE Team has launched its second music product: a video-sharing app called Bars, for rappers. It comes 10 months after the studio launched music-making app Collab. Available in the US App Store with an invitation-only closed beta, Bars offers a catalogue of pre-created beats for people to rap over, with lyrical features including rhyme […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify faces K-Pop conundrum after loss of Kakao M catalogue

Spotify is excited about having finally launched in South Korea, but the company will be rather less excited about losing a significant chunk of its K-Pop catalogue globally. After licensing negotiations broke down with one of South Korea’s biggest distributors, Kakao M, the latter’s music has been removed from the streaming service. The fact that […]
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Source: Music ally

US recorded music revenues grew 9.2% in 2020 despite Covid-19

The bottom dropped out of the live music industry in 2020 due to Covid-19, but it’s becoming clear that the recorded music industry weathered the storm thanks to streaming subscription revenues, whose growth continued. US industry body the RIAA’s annual figures for 2020 are the latest evidence, revealing that the retail value of recorded music revenues […]
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Source: Music ally

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