Author: Stuart Dredge

Courtney Barnett trails new album with stem-mixing website

‘Things Take Time, Take Time’ according to the next album by Australian artist Courtney Barnett. What doesn’t take much time is messing about with some of the tracks on it, courtesy of a neat ‘Stem Mixer’ site launched in advance of the album.
It offers up three of the album’s tracks in their individual stems: drums, bass, various guitars, synths and vocals depending on the track.
The interaction involves dragging faders to turn the volume up or down on each stem, as well as muting or soloing them, with the ability to create a loop and set it running too.
Unsurprisingly you can’t save the results or share them, but the site points fans in the direction of pre-saving or pre-ordering the album itself to hear Barnett’s official mix  when it comes out.
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Source: Music ally

Coldplay and Amazon Music launch a two-day album installation

The big streaming services love a pop-up installation partnership with a major artist. The latest example is Amazon Music teaming up with Coldplay to launch ‘The Atmospheres’.
It’s an “intergalactic audio-visual experience” that will touch down in London, New York, Tokyo and Berlin (unsurprisingly, in the four countries that are Amazon Music’s biggest markets) for two days from 15 October, with fans able to book tickets for five-minute slots in the installation.
“Fans can create their own alien language messages, snap selfies in the augmented reality photobooth, and even help to power the experience through bespoke kinetic walkways,” is the promise. 
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Source: Music ally

Platoon is co-launching a lo-fi label called Arden Records

The rise of lo-fi hip-hop has been headed by YouTube channels like ChillHop Music and ChilledCow (recently rebranded as Lofi Girl). It’s interesting to see other players getting involved though, including Apple’s artist development subsidiary Platoon.
It’s a partner in the launch of Arden Records, a new label focusing on lo-fi music co-founded by Nepali artist and producer Sagun; Jordan Smith of S+ Mgmt, and Andrew Kwan of Romantic Music Group.
Its first release is an EP by Sagun, also called ‘Arden’.
“In the beginning of my career, I didn’t have a team and lacked music industry knowledge, but through starting Arden Records, I want to help artists achieve their goals by offering my guidance and providing the proper resources I never knew I needed,” he said.
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Source: Music ally

Output revamps its Arcade music creation software

Output is the company behind music-making software Arcade, and it is giving the tools a revamp.
Arcade 2.0 has launched this week as a free update for its subscribers. New features include adding ‘professional tier chromatic instruments’ to sit alongside its existing catalogue of samples; and a ‘Kit Generator’ that uses AI to turn audio into a kit of manipulated samples based on it.
The pitch is that it’s even more of an all-in-one tool for musicians. “What you can do in Arcade used to take a dozen different plugins. Now, you’ve got vocal chops, chords, melodies, basslines, loops, samples and one shots – all in a single place, all refreshed daily,” as CEO Gregg Lehrman put it.
The launch follows Output’s $45m Series A funding round in October 2020, at which point Arcade had been used by more than 420,000 musicians – around a third of whom were pros, but a quarter of whom were brand new to digital music making.
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Source: Music ally

HarbourView Equity Partners has $1bn to spend on rights

Another company is entering the crowded market for music rights. Well, HarbourView Equity Partners has a wider focus than just music: it’s planning to invest in entertainment rights too, with a team that has experience in film, TV and sports alongside music.
In an interview with the New York Times, founder and CEO Sherrese Clarke Soares says that HarbourView has $1bn to spend, courtesy of backing from another investment firm Apollo Global Management, and that it will be looking for deals in areas that she thinks have been under the radar or undervalued by existing music rights investors.
“We want to invest differently, not coloured by preconceived notions. Just because something is in the R&B sector, or in the Latin sector, we don’t believe that it should have a discount,” said Clarke Soares, who previously founded and ran another investment firm, Tempo Music.
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Source: Music ally

TikTok wants to help brands license music to use on its app

The boundary between user-generated content and sponsored or branded content is important for music rightsholders, who feel strongly that if a video on a social app or video service is being paid for by a brand, it should be a proper sync.
But what about brands who want to use original music for their own content? One of those services, TikTok, is trying to help with its new ‘Sound Partners’ program.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify sells artist services site SoundBetter back to its founders

In September 2019, Spotify bought SoundBetter, a website helping musicians to find collaborators including songwriters, studio musicians, producers and mixing/mastering engineers, as well as studios to record in. Two years later, it has sold the business back to its founders.
“Together, Spotify and SoundBetter benefited from many synergies, but as SoundBetter continues to evolve, both parties agreed that the company is best positioned for the next stage of growth by returning to the founders that have been committed to shepherding it from the beginning,” said Dom Sanya, Spotify’s global head of creator marketing.
It’s very much an amicable parting of ways according to the statements.
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Source: Music ally

Opulous to sell ‘S-NFTs’ for artists Lil Pump and KSHMR

It will be working with artists Lil Pump and KSHMR to sell ‘S-NFTs’ – a term they’ve coined to describe NFTs sold as ‘securities’ under US financial regulations
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Source: Music ally

Deezer’s next livestreaming move: a stake in startup Driift

The Covid-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, but bigger fish in the worlds of live and streaming music are already circling the most promising startups in the livestreaming space.
We have seen Live Nation take a majority stake in Veeps, and (see below) Dice acquiring Boiler Room. Now Deezer is making its second livestreaming investment in a matter of months: acquiring a minority stake in livestreaming production and promotion firm Driift.
This follows Deezer’s similar move with livestreaming startup Dreamstage – the company founded by former Sony Music digital boss Thomas Hesse – in May. “Deezer will leverage its technology and expertise to actively support Driift’s future growth, including the roll-out of new products and offerings,” is how Deezer described the impact of its second deal.
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Source: Music ally

RichCast promises ‘voice-driven’ interactive stories and podcasts

Spotify likes to see itself as the on-demand audio platform that will kill off ‘linear radio’, but even its audio is still linear in the sense that you choose a track, playlist or podcast and listen to it.
However, the emergence of smart speakers and voice assistants has seen some experimentation around interactive audio, such as Choose Your Own Adventure-style branching narratives. Something that Netflix has also explored in the video space.
A British startup called Panivox is hoping to build on this with its own platform called RichCast, which is launching later this year.
The company describes its focus as “voice-driven interactive entertainment”, which will deliver stories, digital comics, factual shows and education via its own app for iOS, Android, PC and Mac.
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Source: Music ally

Startup Files: Serenade offers another spin on music NFTs

In August, Serenade announced itself as the latest startup looking to help musicians and music brands create and sell NFTs.
It promised to be both accessible – fans could pay using regular debit and credit cards – and environmentally sustainable through its use of an ‘eco-friendly’ blockchain called Polygon.
Since then, Serenade has worked with artists including Super Furry Animals and Jungle, as well as music festival Strawberries & Creem. Upcoming drops include NFTs from Kaiser Chiefs, Ride, Alexis Taylor out of Hot Chip, The Game and Emeli Sandé.
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Source: Music ally

Instagram ‘pauses’ its plans to build Instagram Kids app

Instagram was making a version of its app for children aged under 13. Now it’s not – at least not for the moment.
“We believe building Instagram Kids is the right thing to do, but we’re pausing the work,” wrote Instagram boss Adam Mosseri in a blog post yesterday.
“This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”
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Source: Music ally

Single Music opens up its video streaming for Shopify stores

Single Music is a startup that makes a ‘monetised video’ tool for ecommerce platform Shopify, so that artists using the latter to sell merch can also use it for ticketed livestreams.
The company says that it has sold nearly a million tickets and generated more than $22m of revenue for its clients since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has been choosing which artists to work with – including Def Leppard, Smashing Pumpkins and Korn – but now it is opening up the tool so that it can be used by any artist on Shopify on a self-serve basis.
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Source: Music ally

Song Sleuth seeks out user-uploaded live music recordings

There are several ways labels can scan video and social services for use of their recordings, including the tools of those platforms and third-party startups.
What about recordings of live music performances though? That’s a trickier task, but startups are trying to tackle that too. Song Sleuth is one example.
It uses AI and machine learning to scan social platforms to identify live recordings, then has a human team of moderators to check them, before submitting monetisation claims. The company says it works on an artist-by-artist or label-by-label basis.
Its executive team includes CEO Jordan Gross, the former CEO of karaoke service Sing King, and COO Lucas Bleeg, formerly of The Orchard and Studio71.
Armed with a “finding the unfindable” slogan, it will be hoping to carve out a niche for itself alongside established startups like Pex, which says its own ‘attribution engine’ is also capable of detecting live versions of tracks.
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Source: Music ally

BT and Paul Oakenfold put blockchain at the heart of new albums

Since the earliest days of blockchain hype in the music industry, electronic music artists have often been the first to experiment with the technology: particularly those that are most tech-savvy and who control their rights.
There are two new examples this week. First, trance legend BT is releasing what’s being described as “the world’s first programmatic album… designed from the ground up for the blockchain”.
It’s called ‘Metaversal’ and is being released as an NFT. The album plays differently if you listen to it in the day, at night or during a full moon, and there’s a cryptographic treasure hunt built in for fans. It follows BT’s ‘Genesis.Json’ project in May, which was also sold as an NFT (for the ether equivalent of $217.2k).
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Source: Music ally

NMPA and Roblox reach a deal to dismiss $200m lawsuit

To co-opt the old adage about buses… you wait ages for a rancorous music publishing / tech dispute to be put to rest with an agreement that isn’t a licensing deal in itself, but paves the way for such deals… then two come along at once!
Yes, less than a week after the US National Music Publishers Association buried the hatchet with Twitch, it has now reached an agreement with Roblox – the gaming company it was suing for $200m alleging “unabashed exploitation of music without proper licences”.
As with the Twitch news, this is not a platform-wide licensing deal covering the NMPA’s members, but rather a bridging agreement that will give Roblox the time and space to reach its own deals with those publishers.
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Source: Music ally

WMG and Epic Games invest in music licensing startup Lickd

UK firm Lickd is one of the startups trying to make it easier for YouTubers and other online creators to license commercial music to use in their videos.
Now it has raised £5.1m of funding from some very interesting investors: Warner Music Group, Fortnite publisher (and Apple nemesis) Epic Games, and the investment firm of Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, which led the round.
The WMG investment follows the major label’s licensing deal with Lickd in August 2020, which itself came a few months after the startup signed a similar agreement with Universal Music Group.
Lickd says it will use the funding to continue growing its library of tracks, developing its technology and expanding internationally.
The company first emerged in 2017, initially called Hookd before changing its name to Lickd later that year. It joined the Abbey Road Red incubator in early 2018, was a finalist in the Midemlab startups contest that year, and then raised £1.7m of funding in early 2019.
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Source: Music ally

Poppy is the first artist to hold a listening party on Roblox

Gaming platform Roblox has hosted a number of music performances over the last year, but now it has launched another way for artists and labels to work with it: listening parties. Poppy (and her label, Sumerian Records) were the first to take advantage this past weekend. Unlike the concerts, this isn’t about an artist creating […]
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Source: Music ally

Quality Control and Empire invest in social music app Riff

Riff is a cross between livestreaming apps and (with its ‘rooms’ structure) Clubhouse. The app is also the recipient of a $4m funding round from investors including three music companies.
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Source: Music ally

UK research on music creators’ digital earnings is out today

Earlier this week, the British government said that the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) would soon be publishing its report on music creator’s earnings in the digital era. How soon? It’s out this morning!
To be clear: this is very much an exercise in gathering and presenting data, rather than coming down on one side or the other in the ever-heated debate about artists and streaming royalties. It’s a report that aims to inform that debate rather than to lambast major labels, tear a strip off streaming services, or say that everything’s fine and musicians should stop moaning.
“Our main objective is to provide evidence that might contribute to a more informed debate about matters of public concern concerning music creators’ earnings,” as the authors put it.
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Source: Music ally

More than 40m Apple Music listeners have tried spatial audio

The launch of Apple’s iOS 15 software this week has brought with it some new features for Apple Music, including ‘dynamic headtracking’.
What’s that? A feature that reorients Apple’s spatial audio around the movements of the listener’s head, if they’re using the company’s AirPods Pro and AirPods Max ‘phones.
More than 40 million Apple Music listeners have already tried spatial audio on the service, with Apple having promoted the feature to them energetically since its launch earlier this year.
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Source: Music ally

UK government refers major labels to competition regulator

The UK is one step closer to a full-blown competition investigation into the three major labels.
The British government has accepted one of the recommendations of the recent UK parliamentary inquiry into music-streaming economics: to make a referral to regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
We say ‘one step closer’ because the CMA is an independent body: the government can’t order it to investigate a particular sector or company, it can only make referrals to it. The CMA will now decide whether to launch a probe into “the economic impact of dominance by the major music groups”.
It is already in the second phase of an investigation of Sony Music’s acquisition of AWAL, having concluded in the first phase that the deal raised competition concerns.
We covered the report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee that held the recent inquiry in July: you can read our analysis of its recommendations here, and if you’re really keen, you can read our free ebook gathering our coverage of the entire inquiry and the wider debates about artists and streaming.
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Source: Music ally

TikTok’s sister app Douyin limits children’s usage in China

Douyin is the Chinese version of TikTok, and like other apps that are popular with young people in China, it’s facing pressure to limit the time they spend on its service.
Cue what Douyin described in a blog post as “the most stringent youth protection measures in the history of the platform” – a ‘youth mode’ for people under the age of 14 that will limit their daily usage to 40 minutes.
Douyin is also going to be upping the educational content for anyone in youth mode: “novel and interesting popular science experiments, exhibitions in museums and galleries, beautiful scenery across the country, explanations of historical knowledge, and so on”.
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Source: Music ally

Audio analysis startup Musicube plans US expansion after funding

German startup Musicube is the latest company touting AI-powered technology to analyse and tag catalogues of music.
The company has just raised $560k of funding to continue developing its audio analysis product, which is already being used by clients including Sony Music and Budde Music Publishing.
Musicube has been developing its technology for use by labels, publishers and streaming service, while also showcasing it in a free-to-use playlist generator tool on its website. Based on the disco playlist we had it whip up to accompany our news writing this morning, it has potential.
“Our research shows that a healthy percentage – that is, 40 percent – of younger listeners would install a playlist generator app, and that is one reason why Musicube now eyes the U.S. market,” said CEO David Hoga.
Musicube joins an increasingly crowded audio analysis and tagging sector, alongside the likes of Musiio, Cyanite, MyPart and Aims API.
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Source: Music ally

Stageverse raises $7.5m and launches Muse virtual concert

In August 2020, we reported on Muse’s plans to launch a ‘Simulation Theory: Virtual Experience’ with virtual reality startup Stageverse. It was originally due to launch that autumn, but just over a year later, the full show is now ready for its debut. Now called ‘Muse: Enter The Simulation’, it will be available through Stageverse’s iOS, Android and […]
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Source: Music ally

Gaana narrows losses, but its revenue growth has slowed down

As one of the biggest streaming services in India, Gaana is a useful bellwether for the market as a whole.
New figures show that in its last financial year, which ended in March 2021, the company’s operating revenue grew by just 2.6% to 1.23bn rupees (around $16.7m) while its losses fell by 7% – but were still 3.27bn rupees ($44.4m).
The figures come from Billboard’s profile of the Indian market, honing in on its continued struggle to persuade people to pay for music subscriptions.
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music goes public and soars beyond initial valuation of $39bn

The question of how much Universal Music Group is worth has been a hot topic in recent years. Escalating estimates from Goldman Sachs, for example, which valued UMG at $23.3bn in 2017, rising to $53bn in April 2021.
Or, more conservatively, with the €30bn (around $36.4bn at the time) valuation of UMG when a consortium led by Tencent upped its stake in the major label to 20% early this year.
From today, we’ll have an official – if changeable according to the whims of the market – valuation of the company, as it goes public on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. The spin-off from parent company Vivendi has been a long time coming – not to mention buffeted by a global pandemic, and a late attempt at a SPAC-based investment that fell foul of regulators.
Still, it’s public listing day for UMG, and the reference price is €18.50 per share, which means an initial valuation of €33.5bn (just over $39bn) for the company. First day trading being what it is, we could see a few lumps and bumps for the share price before it settles down.
At the time of writing, the price has soared to €25.25, and thus a valuation of €46.3bn (around $54.3bn, which makes that latest Goldman Sachs figure look on the money for now).
The bigger picture here is partly one of investors’ bullishness about the music industry and music rights – a trend that extends past trading in public companies to include the continued frenzy of catalogue buyouts.
Also, with a growing number of the industry’s biggest players now public, and thus sharing more detailed figures on their businesses every quarter, we’ll have more insight into the mechanics of the streaming-era industry. Something that will influence the ups and downs of these companies’ share prices, but also the ongoing debate about how the streaming pie is shared out.
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Source: Music ally

CTS Eventim expands its live entertainment business to Asia

Live firm CTS Eventim is expanding into Asia with a new subsidiary, Eventim Live Asia. Led by former Live Nation exec Jason Miller, the division will be based in Singapore, with a focus on markets including China, Japan, South Korea and various other south east Asian countries. In its announcement, the company stressed Miller’s credentials, […]
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Source: Music ally

Two positive TikTok studies… and a third that’s less so

TikTok has commissioned and published two new studies to trumpet its impact on music and culture, although a third study also published yesterday – an investigation of its recommendation algorithm’s workings by the Wall Street Journal – offers a considerably less sunny outlook on the social app’s impact. On the sunny side, MRC Data authored a study of TikTok and […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music sues fitness brand Gymshark over music usage

Major labels are very keen to strike licensing deals with fitness tech startups, but they’re equally unkeen about the idea of other kinds of fitness brands using their music without the necessary agreements. Witness Sony Music’s new copyright infringement lawsuit against Gymshark, which makes a popular range of fitness clothing and kit. As MBW reported, […]
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Source: Music ally

Anne-Marie debuts her new album as a series of TikTok clips

We’ve seen artists debut tracks as clips on TikTok ahead of their official release, but Anne-Marie is going a step further and making her entire new album available for TikTokers to use. Yesterday, clips of all the tracks from the album were released on TikTok, ahead of its launch on Friday. Meanwhile, Anne-Marie will be […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube’s latest tipping feature focuses on individual videos

YouTube viewers already have three ways to support their favourite creators by paying: Super Chat, Super Stickers, and channel subscriptions. Now there’s a fourth, Super Thanks, and unlike the first two above, it isn’t restricted to being used during livestreams. This feature has actually been in testing since February this year, initially under the name […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Arcade set to launch music-themed Tetris Beat game

Mention of Tetris and music will set an almighty earworm going for many readers – and if it doesn’t, we can help with that! But yes, the latest Tetris game will have a musical focus, including licensed tracks. It’s called Tetris Beat, and will be exclusive to the Apple Arcade games service when it launches in the […]
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Source: Music ally

Chartmetric report explores gender pronouns for artists

Analytics firm Chartmetric has published its trends report for the first half of 2021, analysing the fastest growing artists on various streaming services and social platforms. Spoiler: Olivia Rodrigo had a decent six months! There’s some good stuff on tracks ranked by their TikTok growth, including the tale of a 1960 track called ‘Bongo Cha Cha […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify’s new artist, genre and decade-based mixes go live

During its recent ‘Stream On’ event Spotify revealed plans to launch a new suite of personalised playlists as an expansion to its ‘Daily Mix’ family. They’d be based on artists, genres and decades. Now the new mixes are rolling out to free and premium listeners globally, sitting within Spotify’s ‘Made For You’ hub alongside its other […]
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Source: Music ally

Bandsintown publishes findings from new livestreaming survey

Bandsintown has been talking to artists and fans again about their livestreaming views and habits. Its latest survey canvassed 7,688 people, and found that 86% of fans have watched at least one music livestream within the past 12 months, while 31% have streamed seven or more. 62% have paid for a livestream, while 55% say […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple leads $50m funding round for distributor UnitedMasters

Remember when Spotify invested in distributor DistroKid back in October 2018? Now its biggest rival is making a similar move. Yesterday, Apple led a $50m Series B funding round for UnitedMasters, alongside Alphabet (yes, Apple and Google’s parent company investing together) and Andreessen Horowitz. Apple isn’t just opening its wallet: the deal includes a strategic partnership which […]
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Source: Music ally

OurSouls takes on Clubhouse with NFT-minted live audio debates

2021 is the year audio startup Clubhouse became a $1bn unicorn, but it’s facing plenty of competition.
Twitter and Facebook already have Clubhouse-like features in testing, Spotify just bought Locker Room, and startup OurSouls is launching out of stealth mode this morning with an iPhone app, and funding led by VC firm Looflirpa Fund.
Silicon Valley veteran Hillman Hunter, fresh from a lucrative exit for his ephemeral payday-loans startup CashFlow·io, says it can take on the established live-audio competition.
“Our strength will be our community: literal OurSouls who are creators and consumers of compelling audio content,” he said.
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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

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 […]
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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

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

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

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 […]
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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

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 […]
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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

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

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 […]
The post Music NFTs fever heats up with 3LAU and Kings of Leon appeared first on Music Ally.
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

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.
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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 […]
The post Facebook’s NPE Team launches a new music app called Bars appeared first on Music Ally.
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 […]
The post Spotify faces K-Pop conundrum after loss of Kakao M catalogue appeared first on Music Ally.
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

DistroKid will fast-track artists to Twitch affiliate status

Anyone can join Twitch, but you can’t start making decent money from it until you have ‘affiliate’ status, which unlocks features like channel subscriptions, bits and ad revenue sharing. DistroKid is the latest distributor to sign a partnership with Twitch to fast-track musicians to affiliate status, hopping over the stage where they have to stream […]
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Source: Music ally

Deezer launches a global channel for Japanese music

If K-Pop can take over the global music world, what price J-Pop achieving similar success? It’s not happened yet, but Deezer sees an international appetite for Japanese music, and the streaming service is launching a new channel to test it. Called ‘Japanese Music‘, it will offer a range of playlists, from J-Pop, City Pop and […]
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Source: Music ally

TuneCore opens South Africa and Nigeria offices for Africa launch

It’s quite the week for the rapidly-evolving streaming ecosystem across Africa, with Spotify launching in a number of countries there, and now distributor TuneCore getting up and running in the region too. The distributor has hired two executives for its Africa launch: Jade Leaf as head of TuneCore for Southern Africa, and Chioma Onuchukwu as […]
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Source: Music ally

BMG says it has offset more than 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide

Our recent Music Ally TV Show sustainability episode offered plenty of encouragement for music companies thinking about cutting their emissions. Now BMG has been talking about its efforts on this front. The company says it has offset the more than 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide produced by its activities in 2019, including offsetting its emissions […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify $1.3bn debt funding is ‘for general corporate purposes’

Spotify’s management team talked about a lot of things in the company’s ‘Stream On’ event earlier this week, but one announcement was saved for later. Yesterday the streaming services announced plans for an ‘exchangeable senior notes offering‘ from its US subsidiary to raise $1.3bn. It’s debt funding, essentially. “The notes will be senior, unsecured obligations […]
The post Spotify $1.3bn debt funding is ‘for general corporate purposes’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Global Citizen reveals its ‘recovery plan for the world’

This isn’t a music story, specifically, but there are some high-profile musicians involved. Global Citizen is the organisation behind several high-profile livestreamed music events last year, as part of its wider mission to tackle global poverty, inequity and the climate emergency. Yesterday, it published what it’s describing as a ‘recovery plan for the world… to […]
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Source: Music ally

Moving The Needle launches for women in the UK music industry

There’s a new group in the UK that aims to support women entering the music industry. It’s called Moving The Needle, and is launching ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March. The group is planning to offer a mixture of mentorship, training, events and networking to young women “of all backgrounds, ethnicities and personality types”. […]
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Source: Music ally

Vampr raises $790k and plans to add livestreaming features

Startup Vampr is describing itself as a “LinkedIn for Creatives” nowadays, and the company has just raised more funding to continue developing its service. The money is $790k, taking it to $2.6m raised so far – with a Series A funding round to follow. Vampr says it will use the new funding to launch a […]
The post Vampr raises $790k and plans to add livestreaming features appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Big Hit Entertainment revenues grew 36% to $716.7m in 2020

K-Pop giant Big Hit Entertainment had an excellent 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Its financial results, published yesterday, revealed that the company behind BTS’s revenues grew by 36% last year to KRW 796.3bn (around $716.7m). The breakdown is very interesting too. Concert revenues dropped off a cliff, unsurprisingly: down 98% to KRW 3.4bn. However, album sales […]
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Source: Music ally

Major labels talk user-centric payouts and equitable remuneration

Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music had their say at the UK’s streaming economics inquiry yesterday: if you missed it last night, here’s our report on their session. But yesterday the parliamentary committee holding the inquiry also published the latest written evidence from the three major labels, in response to some specific questions from the politicians […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify, Apple and Amazon at the UK streaming economics inquiry

Reporting on a two-and-a-half hour parliamentary inquiry session the day after liveblogging a two-hour Spotify event plus associated interviews? That’s living alright! It’s a busy week for anyone involved with the music streaming world.
Today’s hearing in the UK’s streaming economics inquiry was the long-awaited appearance of Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music to field questions from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee.
The results were… well, there weren’t many fireworks, and neither Spotify’s Horacio Gutierrez, Apple’s Elena Segal nor Amazon’s Paul Firth roused the ire of the MPs like Universal Music’s David Joseph or YouTube’s Katherine Oyama had in previous hearings.
There were some strong signals about where the committee is heading in terms of its likely recommendations though, and some interesting signs of willingness on the part of the DSPs to engage with them.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek talks Bollywood, creators and battling radio with live features

“I believe 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.”
Not the first prediction of this kind, but it carries extra weight given that the person making it was Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. He was talking to Music Ally after the company’s ‘Stream On’ event yesterday, in response to a question about Spotify’s expansion to 80 more countries.
“The easy answer is, obviously, if we want to be a global service and we want to be the number one audio service in the world, we have to be everywhere. This [week’s expansion] allows us to get to more than a billion new potential users,” said Ek.
“But it also means there will be millions of new creators that will have the opportunity to now have a platform to be heard on,” he continued, citing a stat from the earlier presentation that 80% of creators – the catch-all term Spotify is using for musicians and podcasters – on its service are listened to outside their home country.
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Source: Music ally

Liveblog: Spotify ‘Stream On’ event

Spotify is holding an online ‘Stream On’ event today, to announce… well, we’re not quite sure what the company is announcing, but we’re expecting some new product features; updates on how its tools for artists and ‘two-sided marketplace’ is evolving; plenty of podcasts talk and… well, we’ll find out.
Stick with us, and you will too (and you can watch along via the embedded video below). We’ll be updating this post in reverse-chronological order during the event, then flipping it back to chronological afterwards.
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Source: Music ally

Podcast update: Acast buys RadioPublic and Podimo raises €11.2m

Spotify’s big podcasting moves get lots of attention in the music industry, but the company’s aggressive push into podcasts has had a bigger ripple effect. From Amazon Music buying production firm Wondery to iHeartMedia’s recent acquisition of ad-tech firm Triton Digital, lots of big players are making big moves at the moment to position themselves […]
The post Podcast update: Acast buys RadioPublic and Podimo raises €11.2m appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Twitter isn’t buying Indian TikTok rival Moj – but it might have

‘Company X not buying Company Y’ may seem like a pointless news story: we may as well tell you that Music Ally isn’t buying Spotify, right? But news that Twitter was in talks about a potential acquisition of Indian tech company ShareChat *is* interesting, even if the deal appears to have run into the rocks. TechCrunch claimed […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music-backed The Coda Collection debuts on Amazon Prime

We spend a lot of time writing about short-form music videos, but long-form content is also finding new audiences through a variety of digital platforms. Including a new one that’s just debuted on Amazon Prime in the US, called The Coda Collection. It’s a streaming video channel with a catalogue of more than 150 music documentaries […]
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Source: Music ally

DIY artists released 9.5m tracks in 2020 – 8x the major labels

There are plenty of interesting stats in Will Page’s latest article for the Financial Times, as you’d expect from a former Spotify chief economist. One that stood out for us showed the current scale of DIY artists operating outside the label system. “As lockdown took hold, major labels released 1.2m songs in 2020; DIY artists released […]
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Source: Music ally

Splice raises $55m funding round valuing company at $500m

Having become one of the key services (and communities) for music makers, Splice is raising money again. The company has raised a $55m funding round from investors Goldman Sachs and Music – the latter being the investment company of Songs Music Publishing founder Matt Pincus. According to Bloomberg, the round valued Splice at nearly $500m, and took its […]
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Source: Music ally

Big Tech and Big News continue their uneasy frenemyship

We’ve followed the music deals and clashes of Facebook, Google and other big tech companies with diligence, but we keep a watching eye on how these firms are interacting with other creative and media industries. Two stories today reflect the deals and, yes, the clashes with the news publishing world. News Corporation’s senior executives have […]
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Source: Music ally

Glass Animals make a Minecraft splash with fan’s ‘house flip’

A number of artists and festivals have experimented with the game Minecraft in recent years. One of the still-powerful things about it is the community of YouTubers and Twitch streamers making Minecraft videos, which reach big audiences. As part of what’s already been a really inventive (and long-lasting) campaign for the band, Glass Animals have […]
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Source: Music ally

Axel Mansoor sets off on a virtual tour… of Clubhouse rooms

We’ve been writing about live-audio startup Clubhouse and thinking about the potential it might hold for musicians. Some artists are already diving right in to explore though. One example is Axel Mansoor, who’s already been one of the users to have their faces used as Clubhouse’s app icon. Since the end of 2020 he has […]
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Source: Music ally

A&R startup Andrson offers a new spin on Spotify Wrapped

Spotify’s annual year-end Wrapped campaign packages up people’s listening in best-of playlists, but now it’s being given a remix by AI-powered A&R startup Andrson. It has launched something called ReWrapped, which people can sign in to using their Spotify accounts. Andrson then puts its audio analysis engine to work on comparing their favourite tracks from 2020 […]
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Source: Music ally

Triller now claims it’s worth $10bn even with half the users

We may be reaching the point where someone needs to take Triller’s shovel away and gently remind it of the merits of stopping digging. Earlier this week, the company was the focus of a Billboard report claiming it had half the monthly active users [MAUs] that it claimed last year, rebutting that by claiming there was […]
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Source: Music ally

Your Music Your Future teaches creators about copyright buyouts

Copyright buyouts, where composers and other musicians creating music for film and TV give up their future royalty rights and accept a one-off fee instead, are currently a very sensitive subject in music circles. Now collecting societies body Cisac has teamed up with US organisation Your Music Your Future to expand the latter’s educational campaign around buyouts […]
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Source: Music ally

BPI says exports are a £1bn opportunity for British music

As British artists continue to bemoan the Brexit balls-up that threatens their ability to tour Europe, industry body the BPI is offering the British government a timely reminder of the potential value of music exports. It has published a report claiming that this value could grow to more than £1bn (around $1.39bn) with a key caveat: “if […]
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Source: Music ally

South Korean video services protest at increased music rates

A group of video streaming services in South Korea are protesting at plans to increase the royalties they pay for music used in the content on their platforms. The Korea Herald has the story, which explains that the Korea Music Copyright Association (Komca) proposed an increase in rates for Korean video services from 0.625% of […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify, Apple and Amazon set for UK streaming inquiry hearing

When YouTube, SoundCloud and Twitch took part in a DSPs hearing at the UK’s streaming economics inquiry recently – well, Twitch’s rep didn’t get to speak – we knew there’d be another session for the big guns of the audio streaming world. Now it has been confirmed for next week: Tuesday 23 February. Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music […]
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Source: Music ally

Landr launches Sessions video calling app made for musicians

Having started life as an AI-powered mastering tool, Landr has expanded a lot in recent years: into distribution, for example. Its latest new service is called Sessions, not to be confused with the livestreaming startup of the same name. Landr Sessions is essentially Zoom but made for musicians, including the ability to stream high-quality audio […]
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Source: Music ally

Ditto Music launches Industry Access diversity initiative

Distributor Ditto Music is the latest company trying to widen access to the music industry. It has launched a new scheme called Industry Access aimed at people from minority and working-class backgrounds. It will include a training programme for up to 100 people aged 16 and over, as well as a music industry fair and […]
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Source: Music ally

Managers body Emma offers its views on livestream licensing

As PRS for Music’s recent launch of a livestreaming tariff in the UK (and subsequent u-turn after a barrage of criticism) showed, creating licensing for livestreams is a sensitive affair right now. The European Music Managers Alliance (Emma) has joined the debate by setting out its views on how such tariffs should work, at a time when […]
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Source: Music ally

Warner Music Group invests in Middle Eastern label Rotana

Warner Music Group’s latest splashing of its cash is focused on the Middle East, and independent label Rotana Music. The undisclosed investment includes a deal for WMG’s Ada Worldwide label services division to distribute Rotana’s releases “globally outside of MENA and via YouTube for the entire world”. “We’re especially excited about the opportunity to both […]
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Source: Music ally

Copyright scanning startup Pex raises $57m funding round

We profiled Pex in March last year: the startup has developed technology to scan, fingerprint and index audio and video on a swathe of video streaming services and social apps. It has since shared some of its data on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Now the company has raised an impressive $57m funding round to continue its growth. Tencent and Tencent […]
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Source: Music ally

Triller claims ‘there is no legal definition of MAU/DAU’

In the past, Triller has responded aggressively to accusations that it has inflated its user figures in public statements: for example threatening to sue analytics firm Apptopia when the latter questioned its stats. Now the issue has cropped up again with a Billboard article claiming that Triller had around 25 million monthly active users in July 2020, despite a […]
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Source: Music ally

Report: 24m hours of music were watched on Twitch in January

Music-focused channels were streamed for 24m hours in January, according to a report published by StreamElements using data from analytics firm Rainmaker·gg. “At this same time in 2020, it was only averaging around 4.6 million hours, which illustrates the difference a year and a pandemic can make,” claimed the report. It also breaks down the top 10 […]
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Source: Music ally

Julie’s Bicycle talks sustainability and music: ‘Start wherever you can’

The latest episode of our Music Ally TV Show focused on sustainability and the music industry: the case for companies in our sector upping their efforts even more to help tackle the climate emergency.
The first section of the show was a discussion between Dr Allen Hershkowitz, one of the world’s leading experts on the area, and Mike Jbara, CEO of MQA. You can read our writeup of that here.
The second section was an interview with Chiara Badiali, knowledge and sector intelligence lead at Julie’s Bicycle. It’s a London-based charity that helps the music and creative industries to step up their activities.
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Source: Music ally

The case for sustainability as a priority for the music industry

“We’re treating the atmosphere like a sewer! Every day we dump a hundred million tonnes more of global warming pollution into the atmosphere… We are literally on a path, this might sound extreme, but frankly the new concept that people are talking about is ‘human extinction event’.”
As one of the world’s leading environmental scientists, Dr Allen Hershkowitz clearly doesn’t believe in unnecessary small talk. This was how he opened his appearance on the Music Ally TV Show’s sustainability episode last week, getting straight down to the business of the enormous challenge facing humankind.
“We’re already facing catastrophic impacts. Hundreds of thousands of people die already every year from climate-related impacts. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damages occurring every year. Literally tens of millions of environmental refugees: people who have lost their homes due to storms, droughts, sea-level rise, coastal erosion,” he continued.
“So whether you’re talking about the chemistry of the atmosphere; whether you’re talking about the chemistry of the ocean: ocean acidification; plastics pollution: trillions of pieces of plastic in the ocean, dumped every year; whether you’re talking about the proliferation of waste: literally tens of billions of tonnes of waste. So we have an urgent ecological issue!”
Actually, Hershkowitz is clearly good at small talk too. In 1997 he welcomed a new neighbour by turning up on their front porch with two six-packs of beer. That new neighbour was Mike Jbara, then a Warner Music executive, and nowadays CEO of hi-res audio technology firm MQA.
The post The case for sustainability as a priority for the music industry appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

ByteDance could sell TikTok India to local rival Glance

ByteDance appears to have seen off attempts by the last US administration to force it to sell TikTok to an American company or shut it down. Now the company can refocus its attention on a country where its social video app *has* been shut down for a while: India. Bloomberg reported that ByteDance has a plan: a […]
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Source: Music ally

Artist Mario Winans launches Artime music mentoring startup

Mario Winans is known to many people for his 2004 hit ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ but you probably DO wanna know about what he’s up to in 2021. It’s a music startup called Artime, which is going to focus on online mentoring for independent artists and students. They’ll be able to browse the company’s roster of […]
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Source: Music ally

SyncFloor patents ‘natural language search’ of music catalogue

SyncFloor, the music discovery and licensing platform, has been awarded a technology patent for the key part of its platform designed with the needs of video production teams in mind: its “natural language search.” As CEO Kirt Debique (pictured) explained to Music Ally in our Startup Files piece in June 2020, SyncFloor believes it can generate […]
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Source: Music ally

Sofar Sounds snaps up ticketing startup Seated in acquisition

In 2018, ticketing startup Seated made people, ahem, sit up and take notice when it was one of the winners at the Midemlab startups contest. We reported on its winning pitch at the time, with the company working directly with artists to sell tickets to their shows, and to remind fans when they were on sale – even automatically […]
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Source: Music ally

Music industry sustainability: ‘Every little thing matters’

Friday’s episode of the Music Ally TV Show was really interesting: an exploration of the music industry and environmental sustainability. “It’s more than just the right thing to do: it’s an essential business obligation,” said Dr Allen Hershkowitz, one of the world’s authorities on this area. “There is no one big answer to this issue… […]
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music Group to go public with Amsterdam listing

The London Stock Exchange may be the listing venue of choice for companies like Hipgnosis and Round Hill Music, but Universal Music Group will be going public on a different European exchange – later this year. Parent company Vivendi confirmed its plans to spin off UMG on the Euronext exchange in Amsterdam, in an announcement that came […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify reveals new ‘Work From Anywhere’ policy for staff

A year in to the Covid-19 global pandemic, and in many countries there are still huge swathes of industries working from home – music included. Both there and in countries where control measures have enabled more of a ‘normal’ life to resume, though, thoughts are turning to the longer term changes to working patterns that the […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube and SoundCloud testify at UK’s streaming economics inquiry

A lot has been said about the strengths and failings of music streaming services during the UK parliamentary inquiry into the economics of this market. Yesterday, three DSPs got the chance to have their say. Well, two of them, as things turned out.
In one of the most curious episodes in the inquiry so far, Twitch’s general counsel Steve Bené was seemingly present at the session – he could be heard thanking the chair for welcoming the three speakers at the start – but he wasn’t asked a single question during the session, and thus remained a silent participant.
Given the music industry’s recent ructions with Twitch, that probably counts as a win for Amazon’s livestreaming subsidiary. And while it’s possible that some kind of technical issues kept Bené out of the session rather than the committee of MPs simply forgetting that he was there – or perhaps he couldn’t turn his cat filter off – it was bizarre.
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Source: Music ally

‘The song value has been suppressed… because of the industry mechanics’

Yesterday’s second session at the UK’s parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming was another double-header, featuring representatives of musicians.
Graham Davies is chief executive of songwriters body the Ivors Academy, while Horace Trubridge is general secretary of the Musicians’ Union (and a founder member of 1970s band Darts).
The panel of MPs questioning them quickly zeroed in on the question of streaming royalty splits between publishing and recordings – “one of the central issues for us… because so little of that is actually making its way through to our members,” as Davies put it.
The post ‘The song value has been suppressed… because of the industry mechanics’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Podz app turns podcasts into playlists of 60-second clips

With every music streaming service and their aunt piling into podcasts, we’re interested in some of the innovation coming from startups in that space: as a precursor to future features (or indeed acquisitions) from the big platforms. So Podz is worth checking out: it’s an iPhone app pitched as “your audio newsfeed”. What that means is it […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook reported to be developing a Clubhouse clone

Apparently tech mogul Elon Musk has just agreed to do Clubhouse with Kanye West, which is either the latest proof of the audio-debating-club’s amazing disruptive potential, or the latest proof that it’s a hellhole of blowhards. Delete according to preference. But Clubhouse *is* having a bit of a moment right now: even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dropped […]
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Source: Music ally

BPI and MPA have their say at UK’s music streaming inquiry

The latest day of hearings for the UK’s parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming was the busiest yet, with three sessions – including the first to involve streaming services.
As before, there was a mixture of tough questions, grandstanding and moments of farce. And plenty to think about as the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee works its way towards recommendations on how to improve the streaming market for musicians and the industry.
One of the running themes of the inquiry is whether a stream should be treated as a sale for the purposes of royalty payouts, and it was the first question for Geoff Taylor, head of labels body the BPI, in the opening session.
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Source: Music ally

Justin Bieber set for Valentine’s Day TikTok livestream

Fresh from inking a spangly new deal with Universal Music Group, TikTok is preparing to host a livestreamed concert by one of its key artists. Justin Bieber will play a full-length concert on TikTok on 14 February (yes, for Valentine’s Day) with a re-airing the following day. It’s very much a fan-service event too: Bieber will be […]
The post Justin Bieber set for Valentine’s Day TikTok livestream appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Deezer swaps streams for steams in new erotica section

If ever there were a story whose keywords were guaranteed to get Music Ally’s bulletin blocked by the music industry’s spam filters en masse, it’s this one. Well, apart from the stories about That Site launching a record label or That Other Site being used by Cardi B for a fan subscription. But anyway: Deezer has launched a […]
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Source: Music ally

Echo’s latest music feature lets friends share tracks

Amazon regularly adds new music-related commands and features to its Alexa voice assistant, and many go under the radar of journalists and the music industry. The latest is worth noting though: owners of Echo smart speakers can now ask Alexa to “share this song with” one of their contacts – as in people they have set up as […]
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Source: Music ally

SoundCloud has a new board director: Troy Carter

2021 is shaping up as a highly interesting year for streaming service (turned distributor) SoundCloud. First hints that it could be mulling user-centric payouts in some form, and now news that it has added Q&A boss Troy Carter to its board of directors. SoundCloud says Carter will be advising the company on “all topics across the music […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify launches Noteable website gathering songwriter resources

Spotify launched a songwriters hub on its service last December, gathering playlists and podcasts by or about the songwriting community. Now it’s launching a dedicated site, called Noteable, for those songwriters.
The site, which comes with its own newsletter and social accounts, is being pitched as a place for writers and composers to “get the latest news — whether it’s updates on relevant products and services, new programs or video resources, or just chances to connect”.
The streaming service sees the site as a way to tie together the various strands of work its songwriter and publishing relations team has been doing over the last couple of years, from publishing analytics and songwriter profile pages to its songwriter-focused video series on Instagram.
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Source: Music ally

Blockchain game sells nine plots of virtual land… for $1.5m

We’ve been writing about NFTs (nonfungible tokens) recently, and thinking about their potential for the music industry. But other entertainment sectors are doing the same, games in particular – the pioneer industry in terms of creating collectible digital items that people are willing to pay money for. What they’re paying money for this week are […]
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Source: Music ally

Twitter ended 2020 with 192 million daily active users

Twitter is the latest tech company to publish its financial results for the final quarter of 2020. It ended the year with 192 million ‘monetisable daily active users’ (mDAUs – its chosen metric) which was up 27% year-on-year. Twitter’s revenues also grew, by 28% to $1.29bn, helping it to an operating profit of $252m. In keeping with […]
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Source: Music ally

Jadu debuts ‘Curse of Calypso’ Palaye Royale AR experience

Jadu is one of the startups exploring the potential of augmented reality technology for music artists. Its latest experiment is with artist Palaye Royale, for whom it has created an AR experience called ‘Curse of Calypso‘. It’ll bring the band (and their piano) into fans’ living rooms, along with music from their latest album ‘The […]
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Source: Music ally

BPI reveals latest artists to receive UK export funding

10 more artists have been announced as receiving funding from the UK’s Music Export Growth Scheme, which is run by industry body the BPI. It’s the first tranche of funding since the scheme was put on hiatus during the initial wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jungle, Beabadoobee, Bicep, Kero Kero Bonito, Kwaye, Wesley Joseph, Orla […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon rumoured to be working on a wall-mounted Echo

It may be a while before Amazon takes the wrappers off its next family of Alexa-enabled devices, given the Christmas season tends to be its focus. However, Bloomberg is offering a sneak peek at what Amazon may have in store for later in 2021. “A new Echo device with a large touchscreen that attaches to the wall […]
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Source: Music ally

Distributor PlayTreks hopes to stand out with analytics focus

At last week’s indies session at the UK’s parliamentary inquiry into music streaming, Aim boss Paul Pacifico suggested that major labels buying independent distributors wasn’t necessarily a concern as long as new independent firms sprung up to keep that sector thriving. We’re not saying PlayTreks is the next Awal, but it’s one of the newest companies to […]
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Source: Music ally

Mike Shinoda releases his first NFT – and it’s valuable

NFTs – nonfungible tokens – are rapidly pinging the radar of the music industry, as it wakes up to the decent sums of money being paid for digital collectible assets of various kinds. We expect to see a growing number of music-related NFTs this year, and Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda – often early into new tech trends […]
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Source: Music ally

Hipgnosis Songs Fund raises another £75m for acquisitions

On the rare news-day when we don’t have a Hipgnosis catalogue acquisition to report, it feels like there’s often news of the company raising more money for its next swathe of deals instead. On Friday, Hipgnosis announced that it had raised £75m (around $103m) through its latest sale of shares, with MBW reporting that Morgan Stanley Investment Management led […]
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Source: Music ally

Triller hits back at UMG claiming artists can license direct

If you thought Donald Trump’s advisers’ attempts to overturn the US presidential election would be the most surprising legal arguments you’d hear in 2021… Well, Triller might just have, ahem, trumped them. After Universal Music Group pulled its catalogue from the short video platform saying it had “shamefully withheld payments owed to our artists”, Triller […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify has now paid out more than €21bn to rightsholders

Spotify has filed its full report for 2020 with US regulator the SEC, and there are some interesting nuggets on the company’s business in there. For example: “Through December 31, 2020, we have paid more than €21 billion in royalties to certain record labels, music publishers, and other rights holders since our launch,” explains the filing. […]
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Source: Music ally

Independents day at the UK’s music streaming inquiry

Having recently grilled the bosses of the three major labels’ UK subsidiaries, today it was time for the MPs on the UK’s inquiry into the economics of music streaming to hear from the independent sector.
Jazz Re:freshed co-CEO and executive director Yvette Griffith; Aim CEO Paul Pacifico; and Beggars Group general counsel Rupert Skellett were the people offering their views on how the music industry should (and should not) change in the streaming era.
In short: they’d like tax breaks of the kind granted to other creative industries like games and animation; they don’t want ‘equitable remuneration’ to be applied to streaming; and they think user-centric payouts are a fairer way of dividing the pie, but don’t see them as a panacea for artists’ streaming complaints.
Here’s a full writeup of the session with more detail on all of that. Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of deckchairs, popcorn, fireworks and/or exploding cans of worms, put a note in your calendar to watch the inquiry’s sessions on Wednesday 10 February. Music Publishers Association chair Roberto Neri and BPI boss Geoff Taylor are one of them; Ivors Academy chief Graham Davies and Musicians Union general secretary Horace Trubridge are another; and then there’s a DSPs session with Twitch, SoundCloud and YouTube.
But now: the indies…
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Source: Music ally

Podcaster Joe Budden joins Patreon as ‘head of creator equity’

Joe Budden was one of Spotify’s first big podcast signings back in August 2018, with an exclusive on his popular hip-hop show. However, two years later Budden binned off the streaming service in public fashion, claiming “Spotify is pillaging. You pillage the audience from the podcast, and you’ve continued to pillage each step of the way”. Where […]
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Source: Music ally

SoundCloud gets into gaming with Player One tournament

SoundCloud’s latest expansion is taking it into the buzziest areas of the modern media industry: gaming and esports. The streaming service is launching its own online gaming tournament, Player One, which will see eight popular musicians on SoundCloud competing in Fortnite for an audience watching on Twitch and SoundCloud. Rapper Rico Nasty is on board as […]
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Source: Music ally

Todd Rundgren sets off on a geo-fenced virtual tour of the US

During the ‘live and livestreaming’ track at last week’s NY:LON Connect conference, one of the recurring points was the idea of geo-fencing virtual tours, with shows focusing on fans in a specific city or region. We expect to see plenty of experimentation with this in 2021, and artist Todd Rundgren’s upcoming tour is one of […]
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Source: Music ally

Defected Records to launch slate of original shows for Twitch

Twitch continues to be a touchy subject for major rightsholders in the music industry, but Amazon’s livestreaming service is also forging partnerships with independent labels – particularly in the dance world. Defected Records, for example, which used Twitch for its online music events last year as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. Now Defected is planning six […]
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Source: Music ally

Early social streaming service Turntable·fm is coming back

It’s now a full decade since the launch of Turntable·fm, the music streaming service built around avatars and chat rooms. It got lots of buzz at its peak, but ultimately foundered – in part because it struggled with licensing. Could the idea work better in 2021? We’re going to find out. One of the original team, […]
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Source: Music ally

Awal acquisition is ‘not good news’ says Absolute boss

Following Awal’s acquisition by Sony Music, rival independent distributors are having their say on what it all means – and some of them are worried. Absolute Label Services boss Henry Semmence wrote an op-ed for MBW explaining why the deal is not “music to Absolute’s ears” as some people might expect. “Make no mistake, the continued consolidation […]
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Source: Music ally

Music Venue Trust takes 13 more venues off its crisis list

Here’s some more positive news from the campaign in the UK to preserve the future of independent music venues hit by the Covid-19 shutdown. The Music Venue Trust has taken 13 more ‘grassroots music venues’ (GMVs) off its ‘red list’ of venues in imminent danger of permanent closure. That’s nearly half of the 30 venues it […]
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Source: Music ally

Morgan Wallen axed from streaming playlists after racial slur

Country star Morgan Wallen had been all over radio and streaming playlists alike in the early weeks of 2021, with his ‘Dangerous: The Double Album’ topping the US charts. However, this week a video emerged of Wallen using a racial slur, and broadcasters and streaming services have been quick to react by pulling his music […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony Music revenues grew strongly in final quarter of 2020

Here’s another one for the list of music companies thriving during the Covid-19 pandemic. Sony Music reported overall music revenues of ¥187.11bn ($1.79bn) in the final quarter of 2020 – its fiscal Q3. That’s up 13% year-on-year (in yen). Within that, recorded music revenues grew by 12.8% to ¥142.1bn ($1.36bn) while publishing revenues grew by 13.3% to […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify shares tumble after warning of uncertainty ahead

We reported yesterday on Spotify’s latest financial results, including decent growth in users, subscribers and revenues. Yet by the end of the day, the company was worth $5.37bn less than the day before, as its share price fell by 8.2%. Caveat: that still means a market cap of $60.15bn, more than double what Spotify was worth a […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify ended 2020 with 345m users including 155m subscribers

Spotify’s latest financial results are out, covering the fourth quarter of 2020, and thus the full calendar year.
The streaming service ended the year with 345 million monthly active users, including 155 million premium subscribers. That was year-on-year growth of 27% and 24% respectively, with ad-supported (free) users up 30% to 199 million.
Spotify’s quarterly revenues grew by 17% year-on-year to €2.17bn, although the company remains in the red with a quarterly operating loss of €69m, and a net loss of €125m.
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Source: Music ally

ByteDance sues Tencent in China over WeChat and QQ policies

Chinese tech giants ByteDance and Tencent have been locking horns on the app stores for some time, but now they may be heading to court. ByteDance has sued Tencent alleging monopolistic behaviour in the latter’s WeChat and QQ social platforms. Specifically, it claimed that they are blocking content from ByteDance’s Douyin – the Chinese version of TikTok […]
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Source: Music ally

Amazon posts its first $100bn quarter as CEO Bezos steps down

Apple posted its first ever $100bn-revenues quarter last week, and now Amazon has hit the same milestone. In fact, Amazon’s net sales grew by 44% year-on-year to $125.6bn in the fourth quarter of 2020, fuelled by pandemic home-shopping habits. That helped the company to post an operating profit of $6.9bn. For the full year, Amazon’s revenues were […]
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Source: Music ally

Breakr wants to help artists find influencers to work with

As the ‘TikTok-fuelled hit’ stories keep coming, so the idea of enlisting influencers on that and other social apps to help break a new track becomes more appealing – even if manufacturing such virality remains challenging. Breakr is one of the startups popping up promising to help. It’s a platform for ‘music influencers’ and artists, who can […]
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Source: Music ally

CreateSafe makes a publishing simulator for streaming income

Last September, we wrote about startup CreateSafe’s launch of a ‘record deal simulator’, which let anyone plug in figures for advances, recording and marketing costs, as well as artist/label splits, to gauge how many streams an artist would need in order to recoup. It was widely shared within the industry, and was also cited in the […]
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Source: Music ally

Jonathan Azu launches Diversity in Music employment database

Culture Collective managing partner Jonathan Azu was one of the speakers on our NY:LON Connect ‘label evolution’ panel last year. Now he’s starting a new project that aims to help the wider music industry evolve. It’s called Diversity in Music, and is a talent database of Bipoc (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and women music professionals looking for […]
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Source: Music ally

Viagogo told to sell StubHub’s business outside North America

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued its verdict on secondary ticketing firm Viagogo’s acquisition of rival StubHub. The regulator says Viagogo will have to sell StubHub’s business outside North America, and that the CMA will have to approve the purchaser of the business before any sale can go through. The body had concluded that […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube advertising revenues grew 46% to $6.9bn in Q4 2020

Google and YouTube’s parent company Alphabet published its latest financial numbers yesterday, including advertising revenue figures for YouTube. They show a big bounce-back from the initial hit caused by the Covid-19 pandemic: YouTube ads made $6.89bn in the final quarter of 2020, up 46% year-on-year. That means YouTube advertising accounted for just over 12% of Alphabet’s overall […]
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Source: Music ally

Midia warns of equitable remuneration’s ‘unintended consequences’

There are still several sessions to go in the UK’s parliamentary inquiry into music streaming’s economics, with Aim, Beggars Group and Jazz Re:freshed next in the hotseat on 4 February, and streaming services still to come too. But we can already see strong pointers towards a recommendation by the committee of MPs that at least a […]
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Source: Music ally

Music Venue Trust criticises PRS for Music’s livestream rate

The row over British collecting society PRS for Music’s new livestreams licence continues, with the Music Venue Trust weighing in with a statement offering strong criticism of the society’s approach. It refers to its work with PRS for Music on Covid-19 relief last year. “At no time during those regular conversations across 8 months has anybody suggested […]
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Source: Music ally

Universal Music Group could now go public by the end of 2021

A consortium led by Chinese tech giant Tencent has completed its deal to buy another 10% stake in Universal Music Group, valuing the major label at €30bn overall. The consortium now owns 20% of UMG, with majority owner Vivendi saying that the expanded stake “will notably enable UMG to further develop its activities in Asia”. Vivendi’s announcement […]
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Source: Music ally

Ditto launches Opulous decentralised finance scheme for artists

Ditto CEO Lee Parsons sparked some heated online discussions last month with his ‘There’s never been a better time to be a recording artist‘ article. He claimed that over 500 of the distributor’s artists earned more than $50k from streaming in 2020, and over 50 earned more than $100k, as part of an argument that […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook and Apple revenues booming despite Covid-19 pandemic

Facebook and Apple both announced their latest quarterly financial results yesterday, with strong growth in revenues despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Facebook’s Q4 revenues were up by 33% year-on-year to $28.07bn, helping the social network turn a net profit of $11.22bn. It had 1.84 billion daily active users (up 11% year-on-year); 2.8 billion monthly active users (up […]
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Source: Music ally

Study: Spotify has 80.7% of Mexico’s music streaming market

We’ve known Spotify was big in Mexico for some time now, but a new study claims that the company has an 80.7% share of the music streaming market there. The study comes from The Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU), and claims that YouTube Music is in second place with 5.1% of the market, followed by Apple Music (4.5%) […]
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Source: Music ally

Big Hit Entertainment investing in K-Pop rival YG Entertainment

As we’ve found out when reporting on any story comparing BTS and Blackpink, different K-Pop fandoms can be… competitive. So it’s anyone’s guess what they’ll make of the news that BTS’s parent company Big Hit Entertainment is planning to invest 70bn won (around $63m) in rival YG Entertainment, which includes Blackpink, Bigbang and Psy among […]
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Source: Music ally

PRS for Music’s livestreaming licence sparks another row

In December, UK collecting society PRS for Music’s proposed tariff for livestreamed concerts drew an angry response from manager and artist bodies MMF and FAC, claiming that it would make livestreams “unviable” for artists of all sizes. Yesterday, PRS launched its new ‘Online Live Concert‘ licence for small events – those earning less than £500 in […]
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Source: Music ally

French study offers new data on impact of user-centric payouts

One of the things that’s been clear in the debate about user-centric models for paying out streaming royalties – primer here if you need it – is that we need more studies based on recent data from big streaming services. So, news this week of a new study commissioned by the National Music Centre (CNM) in France from […]
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Source: Music ally

Short videos app Clash raises funding and buys rival Byte

We wrote about Byte when it launched in January 2020: it was created by the co-founder of Vine as a new take on short-video apps. In July, it announced plans to add music to its app. We’ve also written about Clash Video, another short-video app, founded by a TikToker and launched in July 2020. Now the two are […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify is testing geotargeted tracks to slow down drivers

Spotify can put songs in your personalised playlists targeted by your tastes, but a pilot project in Australia is seeing the streaming service inserting songs based on listeners’ location. Specifically those who are within 5km of school zones in Queensland. It’s a partnership with the Australian Road Safety Foundation that “will work to keep kids safe within […]
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Source: Music ally

IFPI and BVMI win injunction against stream-manipulation site

The IFPI and its member bodies are on a drive to crack down on stream-ripping piracy destinations, but ‘streaming manipulation’ sites are also very much on their radar. The latest proof is an injunction issued in Germany against a site called likeservice24·de, which IFPI claims is “a widely-used website engaged in illicit music streaming manipulation […]
The post IFPI and BVMI win injunction against stream-manipulation site appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

UMG and Lego’s partnership spawns Vidiyo music video-making app

In April 2020, Universal Music Group and Lego announced that they were working together on some new music-focused products for kids, to be released in 2021. Now the first of those products has been unveiled. It’s called Vidiyo, and it includes an augmented reality app, a new collection of Lego minifigures, and a catalogue of music from […]
The post UMG and Lego’s partnership spawns Vidiyo music video-making app appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Rebuilding Europe study stresses creative industries’ importance

As music and other creative industries continue to lobby for support from governments and policymakers to get through the Covid-19 pandemic, figures showing their importance to the wider economy are crucial. Expect to hear a lot about a new Rebuilding Europe report by research firm EY, then – commissioned by the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube reveals $30bn payouts figure for last three years

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has published her latest letter to YouTube’s community of creators, and as usual there are some new figures alongside the recap and future plans. The big number: “Over the last three years, we’ve paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies,” wrote Wojcicki. She also provided an update on […]
The post YouTube reveals $30bn payouts figure for last three years appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Round Hill boss sceptical about major music firms’ priorities

Josh Gruss, CEO of Round Hill Music, was the keynote interviewee for NY:LON Connect’s publishing strand yesterday. He offered some views on the disparity in digital royalties between recordings and songs. “I think it should be around 50/50. You don’t have a recording without the song. You also don’t have a concert without the song,” […]
The post Round Hill boss sceptical about major music firms’ priorities appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

ByteDance: ‘We don’t know when we will make a comeback in India’

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is cutting back its workforce in India, after the government there decided to renew its ban on TikTok and other apps of Chinese origin. Reuters reported on an internal memo from ByteDance setting out its plans. “We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived…we find that has not been the case,” it […]
The post ByteDance: ‘We don’t know when we will make a comeback in India’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Music industry diversity and equity must be about ‘legacy changes’

Yesterday’s third track in the NY:LON Connect conference we co-run with Music Biz focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in the music industry, starting with a keynote session involving Binta Brown, founder of Omalily Projects and co-founder of the Black Music Action Coalition, and Paulette Long OBE, deputy chair of UK Music’s diversity taskforce. “I’m […]
The post Music industry diversity and equity must be about ‘legacy changes’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Vimeo’s latest funding round values the company at $5bn

We last wrote about video streaming service Vimeo in November 2020, when it raised $150m in a new funding round, as parent company IAC mulled a spin-off for the service. Now the company is turning to investors again, raising another round of $300m which IAC said values Vimeo at more than $5bn. In fact, it quantified the ‘more’ […]
The post Vimeo’s latest funding round values the company at $5bn appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Label Big Dada relaunches with new focus on minority communities

Independent label Ninja Tune’s Big Dada subsidiary already has a strong reputation for its hip-hop releases, but now it is relaunching with a new mission statement. Big Dada will now be “run by Black, POC & Minority Ethnic people for Black, POC & Minority Ethnic artists” – the company provided a “for lack of a better […]
The post Label Big Dada relaunches with new focus on minority communities appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

African music accounts for 70% of streams on Boomplay service

Streaming service Boomplay’s MD East Africa Martha Huro was one of the speakers at the NY:LON Connect conference yesterday, in an MQA-hosted session on opportunities for regional DSPs. She offered insight into trends on the pan-African streaming service. “70% of our total streams come from African content,” she said, adding that this guides Boomplay’s strategy […]
The post African music accounts for 70% of streams on Boomplay service appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Spotify and Apple show narrative ambition with new audio stories

There is more to non-music audio than podcasts, as we’ve been pointing out recently. The latest proof comes from Spotify and Apple, with their latest content experiments. Spotify has released nine new audiobooks on its service. Well, we say ‘new’ – they are all classic, public-domain books – ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Frankenstein’ etc – but brand new recordings […]
The post Spotify and Apple show narrative ambition with new audio stories appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

PRS Foundation launches ‘Power Up’ anti-racism initiative

PRS Foundation is hoping to follow the success of its Keychange initiative, which supports underrepresented genders in the music industry, with a new movement tackling anti-Black racism. It’s called ‘Power Up’, and is launching as a partnership with YouTube Music, Beggars Group and the Black Music Coalition, with the backing of a number of industry […]
The post PRS Foundation launches ‘Power Up’ anti-racism initiative appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

UTA’s David Zedeck: livestreaming will be a ‘virtual balcony’

The NY:LON Connect conference that we co-run with Music Biz kicked off its first online edition yesterday with a track on the future of live and livestreaming, including a keynote interview with UTA partner and global head of music David Zedeck, conducted by Billboard’s Taylor Mims. He talked about how he sees livestreaming’s future once […]
The post UTA’s David Zedeck: livestreaming will be a ‘virtual balcony’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

WMG teams up with FMG for Adaptr startups licensing platform

Warner Music Group has teamed up with Feed Media Group – the company behind B2B music firm Feed.fm – to launch an initiative that aims to make it easier for startups to license music.
It’s called Adaptr, and its core is a pre-licensed library of music for developers to use in their apps, for which they’ll pay a subscription fee.
WMG is the launch partner with both recorded music and publishing rights, although BMG Records, Equal Vision Records, Vio Mobile and A-Train Distribution are also part of Adaptr.
The project includes APIs and SDKs to help developers use the pre-cleared music, as well as curation tools. The announcement promises that “rightsholders are paid for every stream” from the resulting apps and services.
The post WMG teams up with FMG for Adaptr startups licensing platform appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Clubhouse has 2m users, new funding and plans for ‘creators’

In our world, chatter about ‘audio’ tends to focus on podcasts, and music streaming services’ drive into that form of content. However, there’s a wider audio trend getting Silicon Valley excited, and Clubhouse is one of the main reasons. It’s the service once described as “a mashup of Spotify, Zoom and even the X Factor“, […]
The post Clubhouse has 2m users, new funding and plans for ‘creators’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

TikTok’s new creator portal has tips for TikTokers old and new

There’s a long history of video and social media platforms building detailed ‘playbooks’ – resources teaching the people using their services how to build audiences and make good stuff. TikTok is no different: it has just revamped its educational materials with the launch of the TikTok Creator Portal. Aimed at creators old and new, it promises best-practice […]
The post TikTok’s new creator portal has tips for TikTokers old and new appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Nigerian musicians await resolution in battle of the PROs

In January 2019 during a panel on Africa’s music industries at NY:LON Connect, Chocolate City group’s Aibee Abidoye talked about one of the challenges in Nigeria: competing collecting societies causing confusion in the market – including giving broadcasters an excuse for avoiding paying royalties for music usage. Are things looking any more settled two years on? This […]
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Source: Music ally

Indian music company Saregama reports latest financials

Saregama is one of the Indian media firms focusing on both music and films – and, indeed, music for/from films. Its latest financial results reveal that the business is holding up despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects on India’s movie industries. Saregama’s quarterly revenues were up by 7% year-on-year to 134.6 crore rupees (around $18.5m) even though its […]
The post Indian music company Saregama reports latest financials appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Sea shanties singer Nathan Evans gets a major label deal

As we write this story, Scottish artist Nathan Evans is on course for a top 10 hit in the UK with ‘Wellerman’ – his sea-shanty cover that took TikTok by storm. There’s an obligatory heartwarming story about him giving up his job as a postman for a career in music. But behind this, there’s an industry move: Evans […]
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Source: Music ally

Buying catalogues is a sprint, but managing them is a marathon

It’s easy to buy a catalogue of songs – well, it is if you have the money, obviously – but the challenge of managing them well to grow revenues is an important challenge. “Marketing is absolutely at the core of future success for song catalogues, even if lucky random breaks will continue to happen thanks to […]
The post Buying catalogues is a sprint, but managing them is a marathon appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Native Instruments sells majority stake to Francisco Partners

By the end of 2020, Native Instruments had more than 1.5 million monthly active users of its products for making music and DJing. This, plus the wider buzz around music creation technology, has been making investors’ ears prick up. Native Instruments’ majority owner is an investment company called EMH Partners, which bought in to NI […]
The post Native Instruments sells majority stake to Francisco Partners appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Bob Dylan’s catalogue sale sparks lawsuit over co-writes

Where there’s money, there are invariably lawsuits. There’s certainly money in musicians selling their catalogues and royalty interests to investment companies, and lo and behold, there are lawsuits popping up as a result. Bob Dylan is facing one, after selling his song catalogue to Universal Music Group in December. Billboard reported on the lawsuit from the […]
The post Bob Dylan’s catalogue sale sparks lawsuit over co-writes appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

British artists criticise UK government over Brexit mess

Musicians in the UK are still angry about the lack of a deal to help them avoid increased costs and red tape when touring Europe, after Brexit. A number of them have written an open letter to the British government lambasting its failure to reach an agreement with the EU on this point. “British musicians, dancers, actors […]
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Source: Music ally

UK’s music streaming economics inquiry publishes written evidence

If you had the metaphorical (or, indeed, literal) popcorn out on Tuesday for the latest sessions in the UK parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming… well, perhaps grab a few more bags now and settle in for the day.
The committee behind the inquiry has just published all the written evidence submitted by musicians, industry bodies and other interested parties. You can browse through it here.
We’re going to be rooting through the submissions and drawing out the most interesting arguments made, and will be updating this post with our findings.
The post UK’s music streaming economics inquiry publishes written evidence appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Netflix shares soar as video services passes 200m subscribers

Netflix ended 2020 with 203.7 million paying subscribers, according to its latest financial results. The company added 8.5 million net paid members in the final quarter of the year, and 37 million in 2020 as a whole – a record for Netflix. The video streaming service generated $6.64bn of revenues in Q4, and a net profit […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify users created more than 12k new sea shanty playlists

Why are sea shanties so popular on TikTok and streaming services right now? Wait for it… Because they arrrrrrrrr! With #ShantyTok establishing itself as 2021’s first unexpected social/streaming music trend, Spotify has revealed some stats on how sea shanties are catching on with its listeners. The company says that its users have created more than […]
The post Spotify users created more than 12k new sea shanty playlists appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

BBTV says its music video content gets 391m monthly viewers

BBTV is one of the companies that works with music artists and channels to boost their YouTube performance: clients include mtheory (Major Lazer included); Future Classic (Flume included) and 21 Savage. Now the company has published its latest stats on how its roster of channels and videos is doing on YouTube. It claims that in […]
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Source: Music ally

Smart speakers startup Syng hires Rio Caraeff ahead of launch

We wrote about Syng in May 2020: it was a startup founded by former Apple design team member Christopher Stringer, which was planning to launch its own smart speaker and subscription service. The company is still working on those first products, but as launch nears, it has made a significant hire: former Vevo and Magic Leap […]
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Source: Music ally

Call for entries: Midemlab 2021 music startups contest

Music tech startups! It’s that time of year again: when industry conference Midem opens the applications process for its Midemlab startups contest. It’s the competition’s 14th year, and as ever Music Ally is delighted to be one of the selecting partners (alongside Panache Ventures and The Lynk) who’ll be rummaging through the applicants to pick […]
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Source: Music ally

Wave is shutting down its VR app to focus ‘outside headsets’

Wave started life as a virtual reality music startup, with an app hosting VR raves. In recent times, it has pivoted to become more of a production tool: artists like The Weeknd have used it to turn their livestreams into hybrid video/animation events, to be broadcast on bigger social and video platforms. Now Wave is […]
The post Wave is shutting down its VR app to focus ‘outside headsets’ appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Live Nation makes its livestreaming move with Veeps deal

If you needed a sign that livestreaming is likely to sit side-by-side with physical concerts even once the latter return at scale, how about Live Nation buying a majority stake in a livestreaming startup? That happened yesterday, as the live giant bought in to Veeps, the company founded by musicians Joel and Benji Madden of Good […]
The post Live Nation makes its livestreaming move with Veeps deal appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Major labels gave evidence to the UK’s music streaming economics inquiry… so what did we learn?

It’s actually pretty rare to get genuine smoking-gun ‘gotchas’ from political inquiries in the moment.
When they work well, it’s more about patient, forensic questioning that elicits genuinely enlightening answers – and sometimes quotes that later come back to haunt the speaker.
Did we get that from this morning’s sessions at the UK parliamentary inquiry into music streaming’s economics? Yes and no.
There were some very well-briefed questions for the three major labels’ UK bosses that got to the heart of some of the key issues in the debate about musicians and streaming income… and there were some moments that made me want to bang my head against the desk.
Sometimes unfairly, perhaps. When one MP asked labels why there’s no collective licensing for recordings literally right after taking evidence from recordings collective licensor PPL, they probably just forgot to include ‘for streaming’ in their question.
And when PRS for Music’s boss seemed to be avoiding answering a question about whether a lack of competition is stifling innovation – a topic raised in the collecting society’s own written submission to the hearing – it may have simply been a misunderstanding of the question.
And when the boss of the world’s biggest major label’s UK arm seems to come out in favour of user-centric licensing while slamming the recommendation algorithms of streaming services, but the questioners don’t follow up on either… Well actually, that IS worth an enthusiastic head/desk bang.
Having watched the whole morning: one session with PPL and PRS, and another with the majors, here are some of the key points made. You can also read our report on the first session of the inquiry, which explored the views of the Broken Record campaign, here.
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Source: Music ally

Laura Marling livestream to be rebroadcast as ticketed event

Last summer, Laura Marling sold 6,500 tickets for her two livestreamed shows from the Union Chapel venue in London: one of the first examples of a ticketed livestream utilising that kind of performance space during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now her team is experimenting again: exploring how much replay value there is in those original concerts. On 31 […]
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Source: Music ally

WMG strikes deal with Punjabi music firm Sky Digital India

As India’s music streaming market grows, so the western major labels continue to seek out partners to grow their foothold there. The latest example is Warner Music Group’s new distribution agreement with Sky Digital India, an aggregator of Punjabi music from more than 42 Indian labels, as well as running a collection of Punjabi music […]
The post WMG strikes deal with Punjabi music firm Sky Digital India appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Scruff of the Neck launches live music shows on Twitch

British live music promoter Scruff of the Neck is trying out a new business model on livestreaming service Twitch. It’s launching a channel called Scruff of the Neck TV, which will be airing three-hour shows with live music performances, with 10 planned this month before settling into a schedule of performances, podcasts and artist interviews from […]
The post Scruff of the Neck launches live music shows on Twitch appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Feat guide offers anti-touting tips for agents and promoters

Ticket touting has dropped out of the music industry headlines over the last nine months – unsurprisingly, given that in many countries there aren’t many tickets to tout due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But as the live industry continues its preparations for a return at scale (hopefully) later this year, so the murkier side of secondary […]
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Source: Music ally

Publishers and PROs ‘disappointed’ as US consent decrees are unchanged

The US Justice Department has decided to leave the ‘consent decrees’ governing public performances of music unchanged, sparking an unimpressed response from publishers and collecting societies there. This is the legislation that means Ascap and BMI have to license their entire catalogue of music for public performance by any company that requests it. Both PROs […]
The post Publishers and PROs ‘disappointed’ as US consent decrees are unchanged appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Bicep turn their ‘Isles’ artwork into an Instagram filter

The latest artist to turn their artwork into a whizzy Instagram filter is Bicep. Signed to Ninja Tune, their new album ‘Isles’ comes out on 22 January, with the filter launching ahead of it – tap on this link from your phone to try it. It’s not just a fun effect though: fans creating videos with it […]
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Source: Music ally

UK and European Comission disagree over who’s to blame for Brexit music woes

While musicians in the UK and Europe fret about the Brexit deal’s impact on touring, the British government and European Commission are arguing about who’s fault it is. “We sought a mutually beneficial agreement that would have allowed performers to continue working and perform across the continent without the need for work permits. Musicians, artists, […]
The post UK and European Comission disagree over who’s to blame for Brexit music woes appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Report: global startups funding grew by 4% in 2020 to $300bn

We’ve written a lot about what the Covid-19 pandemic meant for the music industry, but what about the wider tech world – and funding for startups in particular? CrunchBase has published its annual review of the figures. It claims that global venture funding grew by 4% year-on-year to $300bn in 2020, and then breaks this […]
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Source: Music ally

UMG signs music licensing deal with fitness service Variis

Variis isn’t a fitness startup as such: it’s a fitness app launched last March by Equinox Media, owner of a chain of gyms in the US. The app works with a Peloton-style connected exercise bike, which costs $2,500, and provides video lessons from instructors. Now, like Peloton, Variis is signing licensing deals with major music labels. […]
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Source: Music ally

Tencent Music could raise $3.5bn from secondary offering

Chinese digital music giant Tencent Music went public in 2018 with an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Now, however, the company may be preparing a secondary offering in Hong Kong that could raise up to $3.5bn. That’s according to Nikkei Asia, which suggested that TME’s plans are part of a trend for Chinese companies that are […]
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Source: Music ally

Sonos Radio is the third most-streamed service on its devices

The latest musicians to curate channels on Sonos Radio were announced yesterday: D’Angelo, FKA Twigs, Björk and the Chemical Brothers are the latest artists to turn DJ for the hardware firm’s streaming service. But another detail in the announcement caught our eye: the fact that Sonos Radio is now “the third most streamed service on Sonos”. That’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Report claims Twitch viewing hours grew by 83% in 2020

Video streaming industry firm StreamElements has published its latest report on the state of the livestreaming market, using data from analytics firm Arsenal·gg. Among the claims: that Twitch saw its viewing hours grow by 83%, from 9bn hours in 2019 to 17bn in 2020. The report also suggests that in December 2020 alone, people watched Twitch […]
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Source: Music ally

Expect more rows in 2021 over platform moderation of podcasts

Hot Pod News founder Nicholas Quah is one of the sharpest analysts of the podcasting industry, so his ‘2021 Year in Preview‘ post is well worth a read. Among its predictions: more moderation rows ahead over the content of podcasts made available through big platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. “I have a strong feeling […]
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Source: Music ally

The latest unexpected TikTok trend is… sea shanties?

“Soon may the Wellerman come, to bring us sugar and tea and rum…” In a day of news with plenty of worries for our industry – Brexit, concert cancellations etc – here’s some light relief: the latest music craze on TikTok is sea shanties. A growing number of TikTokers are singing traditional sailors’ songs, often […]
The post The latest unexpected TikTok trend is… sea shanties? appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Aim calls for UK / EU cooperation to resolve Brexit mess

Anger is still reverberating around the British music industry about the costs and red tape musicians will face touring in Europe following Brexit. News that Brits running training seminars on the continent wouldn’t need a permit spurred artist Tim Burgess to note that “setting up The Charlatans Business Consultancy Inc – where people buy tickets and I sing […]
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Source: Music ally

The 1975 cancel all their scheduled concerts for 2021

Remember the days, in March last year, when concerts and festivals were being postponed to the autumn? Those were optimistic times. Live music is coming back in a number of countries that have Covid-19 under control, but in many major music markets it’s still unclear whether autumn *this* year will be possible for concerts at […]
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Source: Music ally

Shakira and KT Tunstall sell stakes in their music catalogues

Two more musicians are selling their rights – or at least part of them – to investment companies. Shakira is the latest to throw in her lot with Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which has acquired 100% of her music publishing rights for her entire catalogue of 145 songs. “One of the most serious and successful songwriters […]
The post Shakira and KT Tunstall sell stakes in their music catalogues appeared first on Music Ally.
Source: Music ally

Social app Parler faces app store removals and partner pullouts

“Ban him @discogs, just in case,” from musician Damon Krukowski was one of the tweets that raised a smile after Twitter and a host of other social and video platforms banned or suspended US president Donald Trump’s accounts. The crackdown en masse by mainstream platforms also sparked debate about where Trump and his supporters will move, online-wise. […]
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Source: Music ally

Sony unveils its first 360 Reality Audio smart speakers

Sony’s consumer electronics arm has been showing off its new smart speakers, which are its first to use the company’s 360 Reality Audio format. They do stick to some Sony traditions though: numberwangtastic product names: the SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 will be launching in the next couple of months. Both devices will offer a choice of voice […]
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Source: Music ally

Primavera-funded study explores Covid-safe concert measures

A study commissioned by Spanish festival Primavera Sound has offered some pointers to the kind of safety measures that could be used at concerts when they start to return later this year. A gig at an indoors venue for 463 people who’d been tested (negative!) on the same day for Covid-19 took place on 12 […]
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Source: Music ally

UK recorded music market grew by 6.8% to £1.55bn in 2020

We reported last week on industry body the BPI’s report that music consumption grew by 8.2% in the UK last year. Now we have some revenue figures to set alongside that, courtesy of the Entertainment Retailers Association (Era). It claims that Brits spent £1.55bn on music across physical sales, download sales and streaming subscriptions in 2020, up by […]
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Source: Music ally

SiriusXM writes down Pandora value by $1bn citing royalties

US satellite radio firm SiriusXM has revealed that it is writing down the value of Pandora, its music streaming subsidiary, by around $1bn. The news came in SiriusXM’s announcement to investors of its expectations for 2021 under newly-installed CEO Jennifer Witz. “In connection with its annual impairment assessment of goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets, the company […]
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Source: Music ally

UK music industry enraged by post-Brexit touring revelation

“Immigration arrangements for members of the armed forces, musicians and other performers are completely unchanged, and those routes will operate as they do now,” said the UK’s home secretary Priti Patel in February 2020, during a parliamentary debate on plans for a new points-based immigration system after the UK Brexited from the European Union. 11 months […]
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Source: Music ally

Report: games and interactive media made $139.9bn in 2020

It isn’t news that the games industry is now much bigger than the recorded music industry, and rather than that getting us down, it should fuel our excitement about the potential collaborations between the two industries. Some new figures on exactly how big the games market is are out this week from research firm SuperData. Its […]
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Source: Music ally

Facebook redesigns pages with focus on followers over likes

How many likes does your top artist’s or company’s Facebook page have? Who cares?! At least, that’s one of the messages coming from Facebook’s latest redesign of how its pages look and work. “We are removing Likes and focusing on Followers to simplify the way people connect with their favorite Pages,” explained Facebook in a blog […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple hails Apple Music’s ‘record year’ (without user figure)

It’s our strong suspicion that Apple Music will soon have more than 100 million paying users, and that Apple is waiting for that milestone before updating its official stat from the 60 million figure it revealed in June 2019. If so, that’s why a new users stat is missing from Apple’s announcement reviewing its services’ performance in […]
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Source: Music ally

Hunter Walk’s ‘creator wellness’ ideas apply to music too

Former YouTube executive Hunter Walk, who’s now an investor, has published an interesting article with some suggestions for dealing with ‘creator burnout’ on platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. We think it may have some useful ideas for the music industry too, where many artists feel like they’re on a similar algorithm-driven treadmill of content creation. “What’s […]
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Source: Music ally

Roblox raises $520m funding round from investors including WMG

Gaming platform Roblox was all set to go public in late 2020, before putting off its IPO until this year to give more time to decide how to price it. Now the company has sprung a surprise with a new funding round of $520m – its Series H round – valuing Roblox at $29.5bn. The round was led by VC […]
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Source: Music ally

Cameo sold 1.3m videos in 2020, with revenues of $100m

Another Covid-19 pandemic trend has been a flood of celebrities joining Cameo, the service set up for fans to pay their favourite (or comically obscure) stars to record video messages for their friends, family or colleagues. Now Cameo has revealed some stats on what this meant for its business in 2020. According to Axios, Cameo sold […]
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Source: Music ally

Swedish startup Staccs preps music concerts streaming service

A lot has been written about the growth of livestreamed music performances during the Covid-19 pandemic – including some shows that were pre-recorded. Meanwhile, some artists and labels with archives of past concerts have been exploring YouTube as a way to keep fans entertained, including using its premieres feature to turn them into social events. Now […]
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Source: Music ally

Neil Young sells 50% of his song catalogue to Hipgnosis

The first few working days of 2021 have been a powerful statement of intent for Hipgnosis Songs Fund, albeit a pretty blistering one for its corporate wallet. Hot on the heels of its deals with Jimmy Iovine and Lindsey Buckingham, today the company has announced a swoop for Neil Young’s songs catalogue. Well, 50% of […]
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Source: Music ally

UK Music sets its sights on summer for live music’s return

We’ll be avoiding generalisations about Covid-19 and live music this year: in countries whose governments have dealt with the epidemic decisively and effectively, concerts are already coming back. In others… that’s not the case. Talking of which: UK Music has published a report targeting this summer for the restarting of the UK’s live music industry. Accompanied […]
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Source: Music ally

Investment firm Shuaa Capital buys stake in Anghami

Early last year, there were rumours that Middle Eastern streaming service Anghami might be up for sale, fresh from generating more than 10bn streams in 2019. A year on, and Anghami remains independent, but it is raising money. Dubai-based investment firm Shuaa Capital has taken a stake in Anghami, although the terms of the transaction have yet […]
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Source: Music ally

Charli D’Amelio is first TikTok star to reach 100m followers

TikTok has its first nine-figure star this morning, with Charli D’Amelio becoming the first TikToker to reach more than 100 million followers on the platform.
What’s even more startling is the fact that she only joined TikTok in the spring of 2019, so that audience has been built in just over a year and a half.
D’Amelio is the platform’s biggest star by far: second-placed Addison Rae has 69.9 million followers at the time of writing.
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Source: Music ally

Apple’s AR team hints at ‘devices that may exist tomorrow’

Apple has been doing a lot of work around augmented reality technology with its iPhone and iPad software and ARKit developer tools, but rumours that the company might be working on a full-blown AR headset persist.
An interview with the company’s AR team by CNET offers a little more fuel for that fire. “AR has enormous potential to be helpful to folks in their lives across devices that exist today, and devices that may exist tomorrow, but we’ve got to make sure that it is successful,” said Mike Rockwell, head of AR at Apple – with the ‘may exist tomorrow’ line getting the bloggers hot and bothered.
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Source: Music ally

BPI launches a new Membership Inclusion Programme

British industry body the BPI is trying to expand its membership, particularly from labels and music companies owned by people from “underrepresented” communities in the current industry.
That means “women, people from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background, people with disabilities, or those who identify as LGBTQIA+” according to the body, which is offering 20 free full year-long memberships with an application process running to 10 December.
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Source: Music ally

Audoo raises £5.2m from investors including Björn Ulvaeus

British startup Audoo has raised a Series A funding round of £5.2m (around $6.9m) to continue developing and rollout out its technology to track public performance usage of music.
The round was raised in 10 weeks from investors including Edinv, Björn Ulvaeus and Tileyard London. The funding follows Audoo’s win at the Midemlab startups contest earlier this summer.
The company makes an ‘audio meter’ that, once installed in a public venue (for example a gym, cafe or pub) tracks the music being played, and feeds that data back to collecting societies.
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Source: Music ally

MMF chair sees ‘dangerous disconnect’ in streaming royalties

Tomorrow sees the first session in the UK Parliament’s inquiry into music streaming economics. Ahead of that, the chair of managers body the MMF, Paul Craig, has outlined his hopes for the inquiry, as well as his concerns about the current streaming environment.
He warned of a “dangerous disconnect” between the streaming-fuelled growth of the recorded music industry, and the struggles being faced by artists.
“The way in which DSP licensing deals and label contracts are constructed means too few have a stake in its financial success,” wrote Craig.
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Source: Music ally

Snap acquires music-focused short-video app Voisey

Snapchat’s music ambitions just took another significant step forward, with parent company Snap seemingly having acquired startup Voisey, whose app is used to create and share original music videos.
We say ‘seemingly’ because neither company has yet commented, but the news – broken by Business Insider then followed up by TechCrunch – isn’t in doubt. Voisey’s four co-founders resigned as directors last month, replaced by two Snap executives, and the company’s official address is now Snap’s London office.
The news comes just three months after Snap announced music licensing deals with Warner Music Group, Warner Chappell, Universal Music Publishing, Merlin and a number of members of US publishing body the NMPA, and started testing a new feature letting people add music to their Snapchat posts.
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Source: Music ally

Apple halves its App Store commission for small developers

Apple’s latest salvo to fend off anticompetition accusations is a reduction in its App Store Commission. Its 30% cut will now be reduced to 15% for any developer or small business with annual revenues of less than $1m. The new scheme will launch on 1 January, with Apple pitching it as meaning “small developers and aspiring entrepreneurs […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify launches collection of original Christmas tracks

It’s Christmas season, and heaven knows we all need it after the year that 2020 has been. It’s no surprise to see Mariah Carey’s annual climb up various charts starting early: ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’ is currently 73rd in YouTube’s global chart. Pandora has kicked off its Christmas 2020 ‘digital celebration’ and Amazon Music already launched […]
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Source: Music ally

Artist Lil Yachty is launching his own cryptocurrency

Remember the heyday of the early blockchain+music hype, and visions of a future where successful artists would ‘tokenise’ themselves, with their own cryptocurrencies, with oodles of riches for everyone? Well, we’re still waiting for those oodles. Maybe Lil Yachty can provide them. He’s working with ‘social money platform’ Fyooz, which specialises in getting influencers and celebrities […]
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Source: Music ally

Noisy is a Discord bot that generates AI music for groups

This feels like a very modern story: there’s now a bot for chat app Discord that will serve up AI-generated music in the style of Chopin, Lady Gaga or Frank Sinatra. People running a Discord channel can invite the bot – Noisy – to join to provide them with a soundtrack, using the MuseNet technology launched by tech firm […]
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Source: Music ally

UK’s streaming inquiry reveals first oral-evidence sessions

We reported last month on plans for a parliamentary inquiry in the UK into the economics of music streaming. Industry bodies, artists, DSPs and other interested parties have been submitting their evidence, and now we know who’s going to be offering their views at the first oral evidence hearing next Tuesday (24 November). The session will kick off with […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music Awards return with big gong for Lil Baby

It’s nearly a year since Apple Music held its first awards, anointing Billie Eilish as its inaugural ‘global artist of the year’ with additional prizes for Lizzo and Lil Nas X. Now the awards have returned for a second year, with an announcement today to be followed by a week of performances and online content across Apple’s services […]
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Source: Music ally

Instrumental launches a £10m fund for independent artists

Last month, data-driven A&R startup Instrumental announced that Tencent Music and Tencent Holdings had acquired a minority stake in the British company. Now it’s launching a new initiative in its homeland called the ‘Instrumental Music Fund’, with £10m to invest in independent artists that have been talent-spotted using its technology. “For some time, we have known […]
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Source: Music ally

Wixen Music Publishing sues Triller in $50m lawsuit

The latest copyright infringement lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing promises to be a biggie: it’s suing Triller for $50m, alleging that it has infringed more than 1,000 songs from the company’s catalogue. Billboard has the details, including some pointed criticism of how Triller has been spending its money in recent months. “Instead of paying Wixen […]
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Source: Music ally

Tencent Music invests in Wave and re-airs Billie Eilish livestream

These are two separate stories, but they both show Tencent Music’s growing focus on livestreaming. This morning TME announced a strategic partnership and minority equity investment in startup Wave, whose tech has been used for virtual concerts by the likes of The Weeknd, John Legend and Lindsey Stirling. The deal will enable TME to air […]
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Source: Music ally

SoundCloud adds profile verification and Rotor Videos deal

Bad news for anyone whose hobbies include masquerading as popular musicians on SoundCloud: the service is finally introducing proper blue-tick profile verification. Billie Eilish, Wiz Khalifa and Trippie Redd are among the first to get the checkmark, although SoundCloud turned the revealing of others into a day-long social marketing campaign with posts on its Instagram, Facebook […]
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Source: Music ally

Vargas & Lagola team up with Spotify for livestream concert

Vargas & Lagola is the artist name of Swedish duo Vincent Pontare and Salem al Fakir, who recently released their second album ‘Mount Alda’. To promote it, they’re doing a livestreamed concert on 25 November, promising “a holistic experience, a visual journey, where we trigger all senses”. Which is nice, but what’s really interesting about it […]
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Source: Music ally

TicketSwap and GoFundMe aim to raise £2m for European venues

We’ve written about the fundraising campaigns for independent venues run in the US (by NIVA) and the UK (by the Music Venue Trust). Now there’s a new pan-European campaign launched by ticketing firm TicketSwap, crowdfunding site GoFundMe and investment firm Cosimo. The trio are attempting to raise £2m (around $2.6m) across 14 countries to help out at […]
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Source: Music ally

BandLab adds ‘Sounds’ library of royalty-free music samples

There’s a decent business in selling beats, loops and samples to musicians – and growing appeal to artists and producers capable of producing that content. Splice paid out $11m in royalties to sound creators in the first nine months of 2020, while BeatStars reached $70m of lifetime payouts in April, then $85m in July. Now BandLab is […]
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Source: Music ally

Artist tools startup Tully expands its app with premium tiers

In April we wrote about Sony Music investing in a startup called Tully, founded by US artist Joyner Lucas, which had an app that was part distribution service, and part suite of tools for artists to manage both music creation and their business. Now Tully is expanding its offering with something called ‘Tully Platform’, including several tiers of […]
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Source: Music ally

Spotify CFO says UMG is ‘willing to lean in more aggressively’ than rivals

Look away, non-Universal major labels: you may feel a little testy about the latest interview with Spotify CFO Paul Vogel, at a conference organised by RBC Capital Markets. He was asked about Spotify’s latest licensing deal with UMG, which includes access to tests of new marketing tools. “There’s nothing preventing the other labels from doing it, […]
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Source: Music ally

Shazam reveals that it now has 200m monthly active users

The last time we had a figure for how many users Apple’s music-identification app Shazam had, it was 478 million annual active users in 2018. It’s not the most satisfying of metrics for gauging an app’s popularity, but thankfully there’s now an update. According to Apple, Shazam now has 200 million monthly active users. The company completed […]
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Source: Music ally

New features for Twitter and Instagram: Fleets and Guides

Has it really taken this long for Twitter to copy the ‘stories’ format from, well, every other social app? It has. The company’s test of ‘fleets’, which was announced earlier this year, is now becoming a rolled-out feature. Fleets only last for 24 hours before auto-deleting, with profile bubbles at the top of the feed showing people […]
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Source: Music ally

YouTube now has more than 2bn monthly music users

In mid-2018, YouTube said that more than one billion people visited it every month to consume music. Two and a half years later, that total has doubled to more than two billion.
The new milestone has been announced this afternoon in a blog post by YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen, as YouTube launched its first audio advertising format.
“Music video streaming is quickly growing in popularity: More than 2 billion people come to YouTube each month to experience music,” wrote Cohen, as part of an argument that brands and their agencies should be spending more money with YouTube around music.
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Source: Music ally

GitHub reinstates YouTube-DL project after RIAA takedown

GitHub is one of the most popular sites for developers in the world, hosting open source code and helping people manage their projects.
It’s also on a collision course with music rightsholders in the US, over a takedown notice sent to GitHub in October by industry body the RIAA focusing on a project called YouTube-DL – an open source repository that has been used by a number of sites and tools that enable YouTube videos to be downloaded.
The RIAA’s complaint pointed to the mention of specific music videos in YouTube-DL’s source code as evidence of its piratical uses, and GitHub duly took down the software. Until yesterday, when it put it back up again.
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Source: Music ally

Ticketing firm Eventbrite buys marketing platform ToneDen

We’ve written about ToneDen a few times in recent memory: for a profile of its social and streaming marketing tools in November 2019, for example, and then a story in June this year about its ‘StreamLinks’ feature offering smart links for livestreaming events.
Now the startup has been acquired by a company very much rooted in the live events world: ticketing firm Eventbrite.
“Our partnership started back in 2017 and has flourished over time. Eventbrite has consistently championed our efforts towards building a self-serve marketing solution that addressed the complex set of challenges event creators face,” announced a blog post by ToneDen.
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Source: Music ally

Unilad Sound is now an official Apple Music playlist curator

Earlier this month, we wrote about how online brand LadBible had put Craig David and KSI on people’s desks via an augmented reality music video.
Now another part of the LadBible empire, music community Unilad Sound, has announced a big partnership. It’s joining Apple Music as an official curator, initially with four flagship playlists.
‘Certified’ will feature guest artists choosing their favourite tracks, starting with Big Sean. ‘Rising’ will focus on rising artists and ‘Dat New New’ on brand new tracks.
Meanwhile, ‘In the Zone’ will be an activity-focused playlist: “An eclectic mix of contemporary and classic cuts ranging from hip hop, grime, rock, indie and instrumentals that will help our community power through work, nail studying or simply just concentrate on the matters at hand…”
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Source: Music ally

Queen join TikTok and make 10 tracks available to its users

We’ve had George Michael, Prince and John Lennon. Now TikTok’s collection of heritage artists has another entry: Queen. The British rock band now have an official TikTok profile, set up by their management with Universal Music Group/Hollywood Records.
What’s more, 10 Queen tracks have been made available for TikTokers to use in their own videos. Sensibly, it’s the obvious 10 to start with: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Under Pressure’, ‘We Are The Champions’, ‘I Want to Break Free’, ‘Somebody to Love’, ‘Killer Queen’ and ‘Radio Ga Ga’.
There’s also a #SingWithQueen hashtag challenge encouraging TikTokers to (not so sensibly, given his famed range) pit their vocal skills against Lord Frederick of Lucan himself, Freddie Mercury.
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Source: Music ally

BAPAM bursary scheme aims to support BAME musicians in UK

BAPAM is the British organisation that provides ‘performing arts medicine’ in the UK, supporting musicians and other performers in their physical and mental health.
Its latest initiative focuses on the latter for a specific group: Black, Asian and minority ethic (BAME) musicians. It’s a bursary scheme jointly funded by charity Help Musicians and collecting society PPL, which will award up to £3k per year of study to up to five people to train to become registered counsellors or psychotherapists.
“We know that the bond between therapist and client is often the most important factor in the effectiveness of therapy, and that for many Black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals in the performing arts, the lack of diversity among therapists can be a barrier to accessing services,” said BAPAM boss Claire Cordeaux.
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Source: Music ally

Scooter Braun sells Taylor Swift catalogue to Shamrock Holdings

When Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine Label Group for around $300m in 2019, the deal included Taylor Swift’s back catalogue of recordings – something that made Swift furious given her ongoing disputes with Braun.
Nearly a year and a half on, Ithaca has sold those master rights to Swift’s first six albums on, in a deal that Variety suggested was “north of $350m” (and possibly as high as $450m after earn-backs).
It’s not a happy ending for Swift though: she tweeted out her take on the news last night, claiming that: a.) she balked at trying to buy the catalogue herself due to an “ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive”; b.) that the buyer is private equity company Shamrock Holdings (fresh from a recent $400m funding round for music acquisitions); and c.) that she did talk to Shamrock about working with the company, but “learned that under their terms Scooter Braun will continue to profit off my old musical catalog for many years” so declined.
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Source: Music ally

IFPI report breaks down music’s €81.9bn annual value for EU

As the music business scraps it out with every other industry for Covid-19 relief, a key part of its argument has been the economic value created by the industry. An aspect that’s at least well-rehearsed, since it is also deployed whenever the music industry is lobbying for changes to copyright legislation. The latest report commissioned by the IFPI will support both aims.
Published this morning, ‘The Economic Impact of Music in Europe’ is a collaboration with research firm Oxford Economics. The report claims that across the 27 EU member states plus the UK, the music sector supports two million jobs; contributes €81.9bn gross value added (GVA) annually to the 28 countries’ GDP; and has an export value of €9.7bn on top of that.
(“To put these into perspective, music’s economic contribution to the EU 28 was larger than the GDP of nine EU countries, and its music exports were even greater than those of its world-famous GI protected wines,” as IFPI boss Frances Moore put it in the foreword.)
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Source: Music ally

Travis Scott and Lil Nas X hop on the PlayStation 5 bandwagon

Sony’s new PlayStation 5 console went on sale in some countries last week, with a wider rollout this week. Right from the earliest model, PlayStation marketing has often had strong ties with music, and the PS5 is no exception.
Already this month we’ve seen Travis Scott and Lil Nas X promoting the new console. Scott published a distinctly trippy ten-and-a-half minute video: ‘A Travis Scott + Cactus Jack Experience – PS5: Unboxing Reimagined’.
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Source: Music ally

Nominations open for SheSaid·so 2020 Alternative Power list

Every year, SheSaid·so publishes its Alternative Power list of people in the music business, as a more diverse version of the traditional industry power lists.
2020’s Alt List is open for nominations now, with a deadline of 22 November and a theme of ‘resilience and adaptability’.
According to the organisation, this is “an opportunity to celebrate those who, in facing extreme challenges brought by the 2020 pandemic(s), have not only succeeded in overcoming them but have also brought positivity to their community when they needed it the most”.
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Source: Music ally

More than 21m players have used AI music app Splash on Roblox

AI music startup Popgun launched its Splash music-making app on gaming platform Roblox in May, and saw it used by more than one million players in its first 20 days. How’s it going now? Still strong.
“Wow, over 21M players have now made music with Splash!” tweeted Popgun boss Stephen Phillips this weekend. “55K kids performed on stage for the first time yesterday.”
Splash is interesting partly because it’s one of the most consumer-friendly applications of AI music technology – Popgun’s system has created all the beats and loops in the app – and also because on Roblox it’s being used by a large audience of children.
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Source: Music ally

Ticketmaster fined in the UK over 2018 customer data breach

A £1.25m fine for Ticketmaster is very small beans compared to the money that its parent company Live Nation has lost this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the fine, levied by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), is still a serious matter. It’s for failing to keep customers’ personal data secure, leading to a data breach in 2018 that potentially affected 9.4 million Ticketmaster users.
“Investigators found that, as a result of the breach, 60,000 payment cards belonging to Barclays Bank customers had been subjected to known fraud,” reported the ICO as it announced the fine. “Another 6,000 cards were replaced by Monzo Bank after it suspected fraudulent use.”
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Source: Music ally

Damon Krukowski explains penny-per-stream US artists campaign

We reported last month on the launch of the Justice at Spotify campaign by the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) in the US.
Now one of its prime movers, artist and author Damon Krukowski, has been talking to Vice about the campaign’s goals – including its demand that Spotify pay a minimum of a penny (one cent) per stream.
“A penny per stream is the driving force for me. Just the bottom line of they don’t pay us enough. It’s a classic labour struggle. Capital is keeping the money and not paying labour,” said Krukowski, who later elaborated on the demand.
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Source: Music ally

Instagram redesigns its homescreen with Reels to the fore

Instagram started testing its TikTok-style ‘Reels’ feature in late 2019, before rolling it out globally in August this year.
Now the feature is getting a big boost in Instagram’s latest redesign of its homescreen, with a dedicated tab rather than simply showing Reels content in the app’s ‘Explore’ screen.
For artists who are using Reels, this should help their short videos reach even more viewers – and it may nudge those who haven’t yet tried it to experiment.
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Source: Music ally

Hatsune Miku online concert zooms past its Kickstarter goal

Long before Riot Games started creating virtual artists like K/DA and Seraphine, Japanese avatar star Hatsune Miku was playing stadium gigs.
Now her creators are working on a big virtual concert based on her ‘Miku Expo’ tours. It’s called Hatsune Miku Expo 2021 Online, and will be a free show with at least 10 songs.
Why ‘at least’ though? Well, the event is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, with stretch goals that could add up to four more songs to the setlist.
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Source: Music ally

Justin Bieber, Mary J Blige and more get festive with Amazon Music

Alright, it’s officially Christmas season now – don’t @ us, the John Lewis ad is out – and Amazon Music is going in strong with its now-annual lineup of original tracks.
This year it’s got Justin Bieber doing ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’; Mary J. Blige doing ‘Last Christmas’; and Carrie Underwood doing a brand new song called ‘Favorite Time of Year’. Which might be worth putting a bet on as the week-after-Christmas number one, given Amazon’s UK success with Ellie Goulding last year.
Jess Glynne, Jamie Cullum, Lele Pons and José Feliciano are among the other artists contributing covers or new tracks to Amazon’s Christmas music offering.
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Source: Music ally

Artist Tom Vek is crowdfunding a Sleevenote music player

In 2016, we interviewed artist Tom Vek about his work on a mobile app called Sleevenote, which offered “interactive sleeve artwork for your digital music”. He’d clearly been thinking hard about the listening experience on streaming services, and that has continued.
Vek has just launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for a new iteration of Sleevenote, and it’s hardware instead of an app.
“A unique premium music player that allows you to experience your music collection as a rich art-led experience,” as the pitch describes it.
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Source: Music ally

Tidal adds millions of WMG hi-res tracks using MQA technology

Tidal is swelling its catalogue of hi-res music, announcing yesterday that “millions” of Warner Music tracks in the MQA format have been added to its HiFi tier.
Tidal also announced that “since 2019, MQA users have doubled on Tidal, and Tidal HiFi users now stream 40% more tracks in Master Quality than last year” – although it did not give baseline figures for either of those percentage increases.
Tidal is also adding a ‘Master Edition’ option for its artist and track radio feature, which will enable listeners to only hear MQA-powered tracks when using it. There’s also a MQA version of the service’s ‘New Arrivals’ playlist, to help HiFi subscribers see what’s new on the service.
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Source: Music ally

Ticketmaster won’t set entry policies for post-vaccine concerts

Yesterday we reported on Ticketmaster’s work on concerts safety for 2021, including fans proving that they’ve either been vaccinated against Covid-19, or have tested negative within the 72 hours before an event.
Now the company has been clarifying those plans, stressing that it won’t be setting the entry policies for concerts, but just providing options for promoters and venues.
“Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what’s green-lit by officials and desired by clients,” president Mark Yovich told Pollstar.
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Source: Music ally

Spotify to host ‘Tokyo Super Hits Live 2020’ livestream concert

With Apple Music hosting livestream events with artists and Amazon Music forging ever-closer links with sister company Twitch, the integration of livestreaming and audio streaming is a trend we’re keeping an eye on.
Now look to Japan, where Spotify is hosting a livestreamed concert on 26 November based on its ‘Tokyo Super Hits’ playlist.
The event will feature Japanese stars including Arashi, Perfume, End of The World and Alexandros, as well as emerging artists. Tickets for the concert will cost ¥3,500 (around $33.33) and the partner platform is Streaming+ – which is run by ticketing company Eplus.
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Source: Music ally

Believe reportedly eyeing a 2021 IPO at $2.4bn valuation

It’s nearly two and a half years since distributor Believe was being tipped for an acquisition by Sony Music to the tune of $355m-$444m. The deal never came to pass, and that’s looking like a good decision for Believe now.
Reuters reported yesterday that the company is preparing to go public in 2021, with an IPO that could value it at €2bn ($2.4bn). “The company is working with Rothschild on the potential listing, which could take place in Paris or New York,” claimed Reuters, although Believe has not commented on the report.
Believe’s boss Denis Ladegaillerie delivered a Midem keynote in June this year outlining his views that the coming decade will be a good one for independent distributors.
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Source: Music ally

Sonos goes HD with subscription-based radio service

Sonos is kicking its streaming ambitions up a notch, with the launch of a subscription-based radio service called Sonos Radio HD.
Available in the US and UK, it costs $7.99 / £7.99 a month, and promises ‘high-fidelity audio’ of the Sonos Sound System radio station. There will also be exclusive artist-curated stations (Dolly Parton being the first) and a range of genre and activity-based stations that won’t be available on the existing, ad-supported Sonos Radio service that launched in April this year.
This is an extension of Sonos’s partnership with Napster – Sonos Radio HD is a ‘Powered by Napster’ service – but there’s another partner involved that’s interesting. Startup Super Hi-Fi’s technology is being used across the free and paid tiers of Sonos Radio, and heralds the company’s rebranding of its AI-powered tech as a package called ‘Conductor’.
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Source: Music ally

ByteDance tipped to make $27bn of ad revenue in China this year

ByteDance may be waiting to find out what’s happening with its proposed divestment of TikTok in the US, but business is going pretty well back home in China. Reuters reported that the company is “on track to generate at least 180 billion yuan ($27.2 billion) in advertising revenue in China this year”, making it the second biggest […]
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Source: Music ally

Apple Music makes Beabadoobee its latest ‘Up Next’ artist

Keeping all the music streaming services happy as an artist can be tough: Katy Perry was one of the most famous examples of a musician being penalised on one service for giving a rival an exclusive. So we doff our cap to Beabadoobee and her team at Dirty Hit for juggling the partners without tension. In 2020 […]
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Source: Music ally

Concerns mount about Euro tours for UK artists as Brexit looms

British artists haven’t been thinking about touring Europe this year, with Covid-19 having put paid to live music across the continent. But as hopes rise that a vaccine could bring concerts back in 2021, the British industry is being reminded that the UK is due to complete its exit (‘Brexit’) from the European Union at […]
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Source: Music ally

Afem launches sexual harassment and discrimination code of conduct

The recent death of DJ Erick Morillo, and multiple accusations against him of sexual assault, have shone a light on issues of sexual harassment and discrimination in the electronic music world. Industry body the Association for Electronic Music (Afem) has now drawn up a code of conduct to tackle this behaviour. You can find it here, with […]
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Source: Music ally

Blockchain music service Audius has 30k-50k daily users

We’ve been following the progress of blockchain music streaming service Audius with interest: from early debates about whether its ‘censorship-resistant’ nature would be a copyright-takedowns nightmare, to its funding rounds in August and October this year. Now the company has given news site Coindesk a new figure on its scale: it’s attracting between 30,000 and 50,000 unique users a day. Note, the monthly […]
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Source: Music ally

Viagogo could sell StubHub’s business outside North America

It’s not been smooth sailing for secondary ticketing firm Viagogo’s $4bn takeover of rival StubHub since it was announced in November 2019, thanks to regulatory investigations and Covid-19. Now Viagogo is proposing a solution that it hopes will fend off the regulators: selling StubHub’s business outside North America, while hanging on to the US and Canada […]
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Source: Music ally

Shutterstock acquires assets of AI music startup Amper Music

Amper Music has been one of the more prominent AI music startups since emerging in 2017 as one of the first startups to take part in the Techstars Music accelerator. It launched with a tool for people to make music with its AI to use in their own creative projects, and along the way has collaborated with artist […]
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Source: Music ally

Ticketmaster lays plans for post-vaccine concerts in 2021

This week’s encouraging news about pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s work on a Covid-19 vaccine has renewed talk about how and when the live music industry will be able to come back at scale in the west. Billboard has an interesting piece on Ticketmaster’s plans, which will involve fans proving either that they have been vaccinated, or […]
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Source: Music ally

European Commission steps up its investigations of Amazon

The European Commission has been training its sights on Amazon for a while now, with an investigation into its impact on the online retail market.
Yesterday, the EC told Amazon that it has reached a preliminary view that “it has breached EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in online retail markets”.
It has also opened a second antitrust investigation into “the possible preferential treatment of Amazon’s own retail offers and those of marketplace sellers that use Amazon’s logistics and delivery services”.
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Source: Music ally

Lil Nas X set to play a concert in games platform Roblox

Games platform Roblox’s music ambitions press on: it’s working with Columbia Music and Lil Nas X on a concert this weekend.
Well, it’s a bit more than a concert. There’ll be a pre-show event on Friday evening involving a Q&A with the artist, as well as the debut of a new video for his upcoming single ‘Holiday’.
Then on Saturday there’ll be a concert performance across multiple stages in the Lil Nas X Concert Experience world – which has already opened up for fans to explore with mini-games and other activities.
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Source: Music ally

Google’s Area 120 shuts Demand analytics for live music

In February this year, Google’s experimental division Area 120 launched something called Demand, in partnership with Pollstar.
It was a live-music analytics tool promising “actionable, real-time analytics facilitating better planning, pricing, marketing and sponsorship of live events through data in four key areas: trends, pricing, announcements and insights”.
Which sounded good, right up until the live music industry shut down in many parts of the world due to Covid-19 shortly afterwards, meaning very few events to provide such data.
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Source: Music ally