TikTok is quietly stepping up its SoundOn distribution deals

A headline claiming ‘TikTok Tests Exclusive Deals With Music Artists, Edging Into Labels’ Turf’ is calculated to make waves in the music biz. The post TikTok is quietly stepping up its SoundOn distribution deals appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Beatport reveals latest partnerships: TuneCore and Pixelynx

Electronic music brand Beatport’s evolution through partnerships continues: it announced its two latest alliances last week. The post Beatport reveals latest partnerships: TuneCore and Pixelynx appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Utopia Music sells Sentric to Believe – but what happens next?

Distributor Believe is buying publishing-tech firm Sentric from Utopia Music, in what has been a tough time for the latter company. The post Utopia Music sells Sentric to Believe – but what happens next? appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Symphonic’s ‘Women Empowerment++’ mentorship program returns

The deadline for applications to ‘Women Empowerment++’ is Friday 17 March with the program due to last six months. The post Symphonic’s ‘Women Empowerment++’ mentorship program returns appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

DistroKid adds ‘intelligent mastering’ tool Mixea to its service

Music distribution company DistroKid has unveiled its new “intelligent mastering tool” Mixea, which costs $99 a year. The post DistroKid adds ‘intelligent mastering’ tool Mixea to its service appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

TikTok swaps TuneCore for FUGA as SoundOn distribution partner

TikTok’s SoundOn distribution arm is enjoying a busy start to 2023. Now it has switched distribution partners to FUGA. The post TikTok swaps TuneCore for FUGA as SoundOn distribution partner appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Believe hails its billion-euro digital sales year in 2022

Distributor Believe isn’t publishing its financial results for 2022 until mid-March, but it’s pulling a stat out early to trumpet its success. The post Believe hails its billion-euro digital sales year in 2022 appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

TikTok launches its SoundOn distribution program in Australia

TikTok is rolling out its SoundOn distribution arm in another country, and… let’s just say the timing is interesting. The post TikTok launches its SoundOn distribution program in Australia appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

TuneCore appoints rapper Papoose as its new head of hip-hop

TuneCore has a genuine history with Shamele ‘Papoose’ Mackie, who has just been named its head of hip-hop. The post TuneCore appoints rapper Papoose as its new head of hip-hop appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

TuneCore reaches a new milestone: $3bn of DIY-artist earnings

Believe has announced that its distribution subsidiary TuneCore has now reached the milestone of $3bn of artist earnings, having hit the $2.5bn mark in April this year. The post TuneCore reaches a new milestone: $3bn of DIY-artist earnings appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Believe reports 36.9% growth in its Q3 2022 financial results

Business continues to be very good for distributor Believe, which announced its Q3 2022 financial results yesterday. The post Believe reports 36.9% growth in its Q3 2022 financial results appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

SoundCloud rebrands creator tools with growth in mind

Spotify for Artists; Apple Music for Artists; Amazon Music for Artists… and now SoundCloud for Artists. The post SoundCloud rebrands creator tools with growth in mind appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

TikTok’s SoundOn service allows official pre-releases of songs

The idea of songs being “leaked” in the early internet era had an illicit thrill, but the concept has changed somewhat since it became clear that considerable social media excitement followed a leak The post TikTok’s SoundOn service allows official pre-releases of songs appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

DistroKid beta tests a music video distribution service

Music distributor DistroKid has a new off-shoot: DistroVid. As the name suggests, it’s focusing on music videos rather than audio tracks. The post DistroKid beta tests a music video distribution service appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Tencent Music to help Chinese artists distribute globally

Tencent Music has been working with independent artists for some time now, attracting more than 300,000 to its Tencent Musician platform by the end of 2021. The post Tencent Music to help Chinese artists distribute globally appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

CMA provisionally clears Sony Music’s acquisition of AWAL

UK competition watchdog the CMA has published its provisional decision on Sony Music’s acquisition of distributor and artist services company AWAL. The post CMA provisionally clears Sony Music’s acquisition of AWAL appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

WMG buys majority stake in African distributor Africori

Warner Music Group has revealed its latest strategic move in Africa: a majority stake in distributor Africori. The post WMG buys majority stake in African distributor Africori appeared first on Music Ally. 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 […]

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

Freeme – pronounced “free me” – is an independent distributor & label services company based in Lagos. Founder and CEO Michael Ugwu has international industry experience: he was previously general manager at Sony Music West Africa, and is the first Black person to be appointed to the Merlin Board. As a business, Freeme has twin […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Amuse expands its Fast Forward royalty advances service

Distributor Amuse launched its Fast Forward scheme in February 2019 as a way to pay artists up to six months of royalties in advance, based on its estimates of their future earnings. The company now says that hundreds of artists have benefited from the feature, with advances between $250 and $300k. Now Fast Forward is relaunching and […]

TuneCore encourages artists to upload music to TikTok for free

The latest distributor to announce a partnership with TikTok is TuneCore, which hopes its latest promotion will tempt more artists into putting their music on the social app. Between 22 and 29 September, TuneCore artists can upload a track to TikTok for free. This follows the deal signed with TikTok by TuneCore’s parent company Believe in July, […]

TuneCore expands into Brazil and Russia with new offices

One of the music distribution trends of recent years has been aggressive geographic expansion, as distributors look to gain footholds in burgeoning new markets for music streaming – or those anticipated to grow rapidly in the years ahead. TuneCore is one of those firms: it signed a deal with Tencent in China in October 2019, […]

JioSaavn’s Amplify offers direct distribution to emerging artists

Indian streaming service JioSaavn is launching a new scheme offering direct distribution to emerging, unsigned artists. It’s part of its existing ‘Artist Originals’ initiative, and is called ‘Amplify’. It’ll encourage musicians to submit their demos to JioSaavn’s A&R team, based in Mumbai and New York. Artists chosen by the team will get upfront payments, marketing support […]

WMG’s ADA Worldwide follows LatAm expansion with Asia launch

Warner Music Group’s distribution arm ADA Worldwide is on an expansion drive. In July, it launched ADA Latin to oversee Latin America and Latin music in the US as well as Spain and Portugal. Now it’s turning its attention to Asia. ADA Asia will be headquartered in Singapore, with a remit to sign up artists and independent […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Mime takes the music business hyper-local

Made In Memphis Entertainment (Mime), launched in 2015, has a quietly radical idea at its core: ‘disruptive decentralisation’. It’s about creating a root-and-branch alternative to the traditional music business structure. And the company is starting local, in Memphis, Tennessee. At present, Mime’s family of companies includes Beatroot Music, the only Black-owned music distributor in the […]

Music distribution and services firm Stem raises $10m

Stem is the US-based company that combines tools helping musicians to track their royalties with distribution to digital music services. It has just raised a funding round of $10m from investors including Coach K, the COO of label Quality Control Music; Mark Gillespie, founder of management company Three Six Zero; a number of managers working […]

AWAL says ‘hundreds’ of its artists now earn $100k+ a year from streaming

Music distributor AWAL says that “hundreds” of its artists now earn more than $100k a year from streaming, and that this number (of artists) has grown by more than 40% in the last year. The company also said that “dozens” of its artists earn more than $1m from streaming every year. This is all a […]

Beats marketplace BeatStars expands into distribution

BeatStars is the online music marketplace that famously sold Lil Nas X the $30 trap beat that he’d use for ‘Old Town Road’. By June 2019, the company had paid out more than $50m to its community of producers supplying beats for sale, and that had grown to $70m by April 2020, when BeatStars signed […]

UnitedMasters Select gives artists 100% of their royalties

Music distributor UnitedMasters has launched a new tier for the artists who use its service. it’s called UnitedMasters Select, and it’ll cost them $5 a month – but will enable artists to keep 100% of the royalties for their music. The alternative is a free tier where the royalty split between artists and UnitedMasters is 90/10. […]

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

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

Universal Music launches Spinnup distribution arm in Japan

Spinnup is one of Universal Music Group’s distribution services for independent artists, which originally launched in Sweden in 2013 before expanding to other countries. Artists can use it to upload their music to digital services, with the additional hope of being spotted by UMG’s A&R teams – more than 80 Spinnup-distributed artists have been signed by […]

12m SoundCloud creators get heard every month (but 13m don’t)

This year’s Midem music industry conference is online-only, with new video sessions being published daily this week. One of today’s crop sees SoundCloud’s Kerry Trainor, Downtown Music’s Justin Kalifowitz and Raine Group’s Fred Davis discussing artist and label services. Trainor dropped an interesting pair of stats about his platform. “On SoundCloud we have content from […]

Warner Music Group invests in African distributor Africori

Warner Music Group is increasing its footprint in Africa with an investment in Africori, a distribution, rights management and artist development company. The deal will give Warner’s ADA distribution division access to a range of African artists through Africori’s roster of 6,500 artists and 700 labels, taking on their distribution and marketing globally. Warner will […]

SoundCloud makes its pitch to artists as a music distributor

SoundCloud made several announcements yesterday, and alongside its financial support for creators, there was also the launch of a new ‘marketing and distribution engine’ called Repost by SoundCloud. It’s a very interesting move for the streaming service: “professional marketing and monetization services and industry-leading distribution features, with priority chat support”. In essence, it’s a pitch for […]

Raine Group predicts recorded-income spike for indie artists

Investment firm Raine Group has a keen interest in the independent music and DIY artists sectors, having put funding into SoundCloud and Amuse, while advising Downtown on its acquisitions of CD Baby and Fuga. Now the company has produced a report claiming that the artists using these and other companies will see strong growth in their recorded […]

Stem launches ’Scale’ feature for artist and label advances

Distributor Stem is the latest non-label company to start offering advances to its clients – although in this case, those clients include independent labels as well as individual artists. Its new feature is called ‘Scale’, and it will involve Stem drawing on a $100m pot (supplied via a capital partnership with investment firm CoVenture) to offer […]

AI music startup Boomy adds rap beats and TikTok distribution

Boomy is the startup that’s helping anyone (non-musicians included) to create AI-generated music, and then release it on streaming services. According to the company’s latest update, its users have created more than 370,000 original songs in the last year, with 70% of those people never having made a song before. The update also explains Boomy’s latest features, […]

Distributor Ditto reveals Bluebox blockchain tools for musicians

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

Downtown Music Holdings’ latest acquisition is… FUGA

Downtown Music Holdings, the parent company of Downtown Music Publishing and Songtrust, is buying distributor and music/tech services company FUGA, for an undisclosed amount. The deal comes just 10 months after Downtown made a splash with the acquisition of AVL Digital Group, whose subsidiaries included CD Baby, AdRev, DashGo and Soundrop. AVL is the entity […]

Troy Carter talks music disruption: ‘I’d still be in a panic if I were a major label…’

Troy Carter was the closing keynote at Music Ally and Music Biz’s NY:LON Connect conference in New York on Friday. The former Atom Factory boss (where he managed Lady Gaga during her rise to fame) and Spotify exec is now running Q&A, a company blending artist development, distribution and technology. I interviewed Troy on-stage at […]

Sound Royalties backs Wyclef Jean’s Carnival World Music Group

Fugees and solo star Wyclef Jean has founded a music publisher and distributor that will focus initially on working with songwriters and artists in Africa. It’s called Carnival World Music Group, and now it has some financial backing from music-investment firm Sound Royalties. That company is better known for its business offering royalty advances to […]

Label Dirty Hit signs global distro deal with Ingrooves

British label Dirty Hit has made its name with The 1975 and Wolf Alice (not to mention Beabadoobee, one of the hot tips for 2020 in numerous year-end lists). Now the independent company has signed an exclusive, global distribution deal with UMG subsidiary Ingrooves – a “deepening” of an existing relationship, rather than a brand […]

Collecting society GEMA buys stake in distributor Zebralution

Who said major labels were the only established music entities buying into the digital distribution market? German collecting society GEMA is joining the fun. It has taken a majority stake in Berlin-based distributor Zebralution, which it says makes it one of the first collecting societies in the world to ‘secure commercial participation’ in that market. Zebralution […]

Secretly Noord aims to shake up Nordic distribution market

There’s a new independent music distributor set to make waves in the Nordic region, and it includes some familiar faces for that part of the world. Secretly Noord is the result of a partnership between existing distributor Secretly Distribution and local group NoordRights. The new venture plans to offer distribution, marketing and technology tools to labels […]

AIM launches report exploring modern music distribution

British independent-music body AIM is launching its latest report today: ‘Distribution Revolution’. It promises a “comprehensive analysis of the modern distribution landscape”, including the trend for distributors to add more artist and label services to their offerings. AIM worked with CMU Insights on the report, which is being published for free (people can sign up […]

Stem promises to check label / distro deals for artists

Stem has been helping artists to release their music as a distributor for some time. Now it’s launching a new feature, ‘Stem Check’, which it clearly hopes will win some artists over to its platform. “Think you’ve just been offered an ‘artist-friendly’ deal? Let us run the numbers for you,” is how the company introduced it yesterday. […]

TuneCore and CD Baby move into China with Tencent deal

Acts distributed by TuneCore and CD Baby will now be available to listeners in China – or, to be more precise, listeners who use Tencent’s music offerings. The deals cover QQ Music, KuGou and Kuwo, who collectively reach 652m people in China according to Billboard. “We create partnerships, tools and services that bring the greatest possible […]

Amuse CEO talks growth, Old Town Road and artist-friendly deals

“What have you done for me lately?” Diego Farias, CEO of music distributor and label Amuse, is on the other end of a video call to Music Ally, singing the chorus of Janet Jackson’s classic track with a smile on his face, but thankfully no wardrobe malfunctions with his clothing. It’s not (just) for the […]

Distributors on the move: The Orchard Japan plus Ditto X tour

Two prominent music distributors are announcing their latest globetrotting plans. For The Orchard, that means opening an office in Tokyo to fully establish The Orchard Japan. It’ll be led by former Amazon Music exec Yuuki Kaneko, who’s The Orchard’s VP, Japan. The new division will focus on offering its distribution and other services to Japanese […]

Boomy will help people upload AI-made music to streaming services

Boomy is one of the startups exploring AI-generated music, and launched in beta earlier this year. Now it’s emerging from that beta period, with test users having already created more than 100k songs using its technology. The general public is now being invited to sign in at Boomy’s website and start creating songs. “Our data shows […]

Amuse-commissioned study explores independent-artist revenues

Midia Research’s latest report explores the burgeoning independent-artists sector, commissioned by one of the companies – Amuse – that’s trying to help those independent artists break through. Some of its findings build on past Midia research. For example: “Artists without record labels generated $643.1 million in 2018, up 35% from 2017. These independent artists represent […]

Spotify closes its direct-upload test for artists

In September 2018, Spotify started testing a new tool for artists to upload their music to its platform directly, without needing a distributor, let alone a label. At the time, the test was with “a few hundred” US-based artists, with plans to expand it in the future. Or not. Today, Spotify has announced that it’s […]

Distributor DistroKid steps up its fight against fake uploaders

After a spate of old and/or leaked songs from famous artists making their way onto streaming services without their permission, distributors are taking action. DistroKid has just revealed a partnership with audio-fingerprinting firm Audible Magic that will see it checking new uploads from artists to make sure they’re original. But what about recordings that have […]

Ditto Music preps Bluebox platform to ‘streamline the supply chain’

A couple of weeks ago Lee Parsons, the CEO of distributor Ditto Music, posted on LinkedIn about his recent appearance at a blockchain event in Bangkok. “Could Ditto Music have an announcement coming up? Watch this space,” he wrote. A fortnight on, and the space to watch is investment site AngelList, and a listing for something called Bluebox, which […]

TuneCore reaches $1.5bn payouts, cites YouTube and Africa growth

Music distributor TuneCore has hit its latest milestone: $1.5bn of distribution revenue for its independent artists. That’s after earnings of $83m in the first quarter of 2019, up 21% year-on-year. This follows a 28% increase (to $308m) for TuneCore’s distribution income in 2018 as a whole. The company noted that YouTube monetisation showed particularly encouraging […]

Fuga joins preferred-distributor lists of Spotify and Apple Music

Spotify and Apple Music have both updated their lists of ‘preferred’ music distributors in recent weeks, with Fuga the prominent new addition to both. The company is now listed alongside The Orchard as a “preferred label distributor” for Spotify, which (in the company’s words) “meet our highest standards for providing quality metadata and protecting against infringement”. Meanwhile, […]

CD Baby will use Audible Magic to spot infringing music

A number of prominent artists have suffered from ‘fake uploads’ to streaming services recently, including Beyoncé, Rihanna and SZA. Attention has focused on how these artists’ old recordings were uploaded to DSPs as ‘new’ albums under different artist names, with distributors under the microscope. Now CD Baby has signed a deal that could help it […]

Downtown Music snaps up CD Baby as part of AVL acquisition

Downtown Music Publishing’s parent firm is acquiring AVL Digital Group, the company that includes distributors CD Baby, DashGo and Soundrop, as well as video-monetisation outfit AdRev. In its announcement of the deal, Downtown noted that AVL’s companies work with more than 900k artists, labels and rightsholders, while distributing / making money for more than 10m tracks in […]

Rihanna is the latest artist hit by a ‘fake album’ release

SZA, Beyoncé and now Rihanna. Yes, the ‘fake album’ scam hasn’t been wiped out just yet: fans got overexcited this weekend at the surprise release of an album called ‘Angel’ released by an artist called ‘Fenty Fantasia’. Fenty, of course, being Rihanna’s own fashion and beauty brand. “While Rihanna was indeed the singer on the […]

SoundCloud will now distribute music to other streaming services

Musicians have always been able to upload their tracks directly to SoundCloud without needing a distributor or label. Now the company is adding a new feature: distribution of those tracks to rival music-streaming services. This is part of the SoundCloud Premier program, which has so far focused mainly on getting artists paid for usage of […]

Major label WMG now has… a president of independent music?

It may raise a few eyebrows to learn that major-label Warner Music Group now has an executive role whose title includes ‘president of independent music’. Actually, it’s not a surprise: the company’s new president of independent music and creator services is Eliah Seton, who’s been promoted from his previous position as president of ADA Worldwide, […]

CD Baby becomes ‘preferred’ distributor for SACM in Mexico

Distribution firm CD Baby has inked an interesting deal with publishing-rights organisation SACM in Mexico. “CD Baby will be offering free standard submissions to all registered SACM members,” explained the distributor. “SACM is equally honoured to recognise CD Baby as their “preferred” and recommended distributor. Representing more than half of all Mexican artists, this is […]

Soundrop is investigating fake Beyoncé and SZA album-uploads

More details are emerging about the fake Beyoncé and SZA albums uploaded to streaming services just before Christmas, which gathered old tracks and unreleased demos from the artists under different artist names (Queen Carter and Sister Solana respectively). Music distributor Soundrop has revealed that the albums were uploaded through its pipeline, telling Rolling Stone that it took […]

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