images to listen or for more information.
Headlines to read more of the latest news!
Advice for Songwriters? Keep Writing.
you want to get better at writing songs, “Just keep
writing.” This is one of those pieces of advice that
we hear again and again as songwriters. And the reason
we hear it so often is because of how spot on the advice
is. The more you write the more you understand not only
the nuts and bolts of songwriting but also your own
songwriting process, which is the key to consistently
strong songs. But while it’s simple to say, “just
keep writing,” this is also one of the hardest things
to do consistently. I thought I’d give you three ways
to keep yourself writing songs day after day, year after
year, until you truly know and understand the process
like the expert you aspire to be.
Baby To Shut Store, Continue Physical Distribution
a top destination for independent music, the CD Baby
online store is closing on March 31st.
Baby has warehoused, sold and shipped indie and DIY and
indie CDs and vinyl for 22 years. In 2009, online store
sales accounted for 27% of the total revenue CD Baby
paid to artists. But by 2019, those sales were less than
3% of artist earnings. “It’s clear that our store
just isn’t where fans want to engage with their
favorite artists and discover new music,” according to
CD Baby. The demise in physical goods certainly hastened
the demise along with competition from Amazon, Bandcamp,
Bandzoogle and others.
Label Checklist For Advertising On Spotify
isn’t just one of the top streaming platforms, it’s
also making a name for itself as one of the main
advertising platforms available to artists. Here we
break down what you need to get in on the action and
advertise your music on Spotify.
Says It Paid Music Industry $3B Last Year, But Didn’t
Share The Stat We Really Need Know
payouts to the music industry topped $3 billion in 2019.
Overall, YouTube says it has paid musicians and the
music industry $12 billion since it’s inception.
Yearly payments are accelerating thanks to continued
growth in both overall users and subscribers at the
Google-owned platform. “YouTube offers twin engines
for revenue with advertising and subscribers, paying out
more than $3 billion to the music industry last year
from ads and subscriptions,” wrote the CEO. “We’re
also partnering with artists to support and amplify
their work through every phase of their career.” With
2 billion monthly users is $3 billion a fair amount for
YouTube to pay for music each year?
Music Publishing Group launches new royalty portal that
offers no-fee advances
Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has launched a new royalty
portal for its songwriters which it says offers
“unparalleled earnings data, insights and
analytics”, in addition to “clear, complete and
real-time earnings and data”.
portal is available via an app downloadable on both iOS
and Android and, according to UMPG, is based on “the
latest in cloud-indexing technology”. It allows
clients to view earnings by work title, accounting
periods, territory, digital service provider, income
source, income group, income type, local/international
for a DMCA Overhaul? Congressional Hearings Commence on
may be turning its attention to a DMCA overhaul as part
of a bipartisan effort to reign in the influence and
reach of leading tech companies and social media
platforms. Lawmakers have noted that much has
changed since the DMCA was passed, when the internet was
in its infancy. Many of these same lawmakers believe
that the time has come for a comprehensive retooling of
America’s digital copyright policy. Preliminary
hearings began this past week, and suggested changes to
DMCA are expected to be drafted and submitted by the end
A Single Fire Is Jeopardizing Vinyl’s Resurgence
resurgence vinyl has enjoyed was dealt a major setback
with a fire at the decades-old company which produces
the lacquer formula for making master discs.
Streaming Guide To Curators, Their Playlists
break down of everything you should know about the
biggest curators and their playlists across major
streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and more.
Study Shows Country Music Fans Want More Female Artist
Study Shows Country Music Fans Want More Female Artist
new study reveals country music fans want equal playtime
for men and women.
commissioned Coleman Insights to survey 1,000 radio
listeners ages 25-54. Respondents were chosen from those
who said they generally liked or loved country music.
The study helps debunk the myth that both male and
female country listeners don’t want to hear female
Maintains No. 1 Reach, But More Consumers Also Embracing
latest Nielsen Total Audience Report says that while
radio is still at the center of the audio universe,
consumers are diversifying their listening, with 64% of
U.S. adults streaming audio content through smartphones
and a quarter with tablets. That compares to 92% of U.S.
adults reached each week by broadcast radio, more than
any other media platform. AM/FM’s third-quarter 2019
reading is identical to the same time period for 2018.
Makes $75 Million Investment In SoundCloud.
Radio said Tuesday it has invested $75 million in
SoundCloud, giving the satellite broadcaster a
minority stake in the creator-driven streaming audio
service. The investment follows an ad sales
relationship between SoundCloud and SiriusXM
subsidiary Pandora that began in 2019. SoundCloud says
it will use the cash for product development and to
enhance services for its global community of musicians
And The Art Of Playlist Stuffing
rise of the streaming age has not only altered our
listening habits, but is also impacting the way in
which artists release songs. In an effort to hit the
monetizable thirty second mark, artists are releasing
shorter and shorter songs, and then “stuffing”
playlists with as many of them as possible.
Music Industry Loses $1B Annually From Unauthorized
analysts MusicWatch has been tracking paid streaming
account sharing and the use of family plans for some
time, and the results of last year’s survey point to
lost revenue of more than $1 billion annually in the
the quarter ending July of last year, MusicWatch
estimates that 95 million people in the US used one of
the major streaming services. Of those, 68 million
were self-paying, 25 million had access through a
family plan, 13 million were on a free trial and 11
million were “mooching” or sharing a log-in that
was not from an authorized family plan.
Your Music Qualify For YouTube’s Content ID System?
YouTube content ID fingerprinting system can enable
content owners like artists and labels to identify and
track the material that they own on the platform –
provided, that is, that their music qualifies.
YouTube’s Content ID is a digital fingerprinting
system that content creators (like record labels and
artists) can use to easily identify and manage their
copyrighted content on YouTube. However, whether or
not your music qualifies for YouTube’s ContentID is
up to many different factors. Not sure if
your music qualifies? Here’s what you need
does a Music Publicist Do?
not a lot of information out there about what it is a
publicist actually does, and depending on
what industry you’re in and how big of an artist
you’re working with, your responsibilities can vary
to a pretty large degree.
this article, we’re going to be focusing primarily
on publicists for indie artists, but know that much of
the duties are the same, just a little more
flexibility and fluidity when a publicist is working
with an indie artist (ain’t that always the truth!)
vs a major label artist.
New Deal Doesn’t Automatically Green-Light Music Use In
radio industry is poised to reach a new music rights deal
with Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) that will cover not just
on-air spins of songs in their catalog, but also station
simulcasts. Specifics of the
agreement are still private as both sides wait for
a federal judge in New York to give his approval. But one
thing the new arrangement won’t do is automatically
green-light stations to begin using music in podcasts.
A Single Video Can Change Everything
an over saturated market like the music business, even
innovative and incredibly talented bands can often work
for years without getting any kind of traction, until that
special something clicks. The marketplace of music
has never been as over saturated with talent as it is
right now. You could listen to five new artists in your
favorite genre every day and barely scratch the surface of
what there is to hear. Streaming services have attempted
to do their part with algorithms that show us several
artists we may be interested in, but even those fall short
of covering everything.
Focus Is On Spotify, But Amazon Music Is Coming On Strong
While Spotify is still seen as the 800 pound gorilla of the streaming world, its competitors are quietly catching up. Apple Music, for instance, now has more paying subscribers in the U.S. than Spotify, and Amazon Music recently announced that it passed 55 million paying customers as well.
Is Losing Subscribers — 88,000 Left the Service Last
revealed some new information about its subscribers’
growth rate for its satellite service and Pandora.
the good news. SiriusXM
added 355,000 satellite radio subscribers during Q4 2019.
That breakdown includes 341,000 self-pay customers and
14,000 promotional subs. That number is slightly up
compared to a year ago, when Sirius added 346,000 new
subscribers. SiriusXM ended 2019 with nearly 35
million subscribers – 30 million as self-pay
subscribers. The bad news is that Pandora seems to
be shedding subscribers left and right.
Via Smart Speaker Still Hasn’t Caught On. But Audio Is
consumers still haven’t warmed up to the idea of using
smart speakers to make purchases—but it’s a different
story in the audio space. Research firm eMarketer, in an
upward revision to its second-quarter forecast, now says
the percentage of smart-speaker users listening to audio
has moved higher. The percentage of those using smart
speakers for simple inquiries has also been revised
Twice as Likely to Listen to Albums Than Boomers
to a study, millennials are two times likelier than baby
boomers to play albums. 8,000 music fans were
interviewed for the survey, which also revealed that 54
percent of adults listen to fewer albums today than they did
five to 10 years ago. In follow-up questions,
respondents were asked why they weren’t listening to —
not necessarily buying — more albums. Some cited the
quality (or lack thereof) of contemporary albums, and
approximately 40 percent of survey participants said that
they favor playlists.
‘Trend Watch’ Shows 8% Increase In Daily Country
Americans are listening to country music on a regular
basis. Daily listeners among the country audience
increased 8% overall by the end of 2019, according to new
research from Country Music Association (CMA). The results
are plucked from a new consumer research dashboard
available to CMA members called Trend Watch
Network celebrates 40 Years
marks the 40th year for the San Antonio based BGM Network.
Founded in 1980, Bill and Debbie Green launched the new
company from their home but soon moved to an office to accommodate
their new, fast growing business. Within the first decade of
the 80s, national production and promotion credits found
their place at BGM with Billboard chart singles on Kenny
Dale, Doug Kershaw & Hank Williams, Jr., Easy Money
(featuring Toby Keith), Beth Williams, and more. With the
growing emergence of the Texas Music scene since the early
2000s, BGM has since been focused on where it all
Music Seminar 2020
seminar will take place at the Hilton College Station &
Conference Center in College Station, TX on February 17th
& 18th and is designed to give aspiring artists a full
day of information and tools from industry experts to help
them navigate the Texas music scene a little better.Only 200
tickets will be made available and we do expect this event
to sell out! Click
here for tickets!
A Music Retreat Can Jumpstart The Songwriting Process
for experienced songwriters, creative inspiration isn’t
some kind of faucet that can just be turned on, but for
those staring down the dreaded writers block, a songwriting
retreat can. Songwriting inspiration can be hard to come by,
even if you’re a seasoned writer who’s been in the game
for a long time.
Ratings Hit a 12-Year Low, Sinking Another 6 Percent from
62nd Annual Grammys TV ratings dipped to 12-year low,
skirting 2008 viewership levels.
Grammys telecast garnered slightly lower ratings than last
year’s show. On the bright side, the Grammys telecast
still managed to outperform the competition, according to
Nielsen’s overnight numbers. But these aren’t
encouraging stats: Nielsen noted that 18.69 million viewers
tuned in for the awards ceremony, which aired on CBS. This
viewership represents a six-percent slip from the 2019
Grammys and is the lowest total since 2008, when a little
over 17 million individuals watched the live broadcast.
Brushes Off the U.S. Government, U.S. Government Intensifies
Its Radio Payola Probe
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly is now directly sending his
payola questions to the major labels.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is doubling down on
its payola probe.
September of 2019, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly sent
a letter to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),
which represents the big three major labels, requesting
additional information about payola — i.e., illegal
payments for radio plays. Of course, the RIAA is funded by
the majors to deal with situations exactly like this one —
and diplomatically diffuse them — instead of sending
Got My Spotify Mechanical Royalty Check In the Mail —
$11.06 for 32,222 Plays
Muzzey is a prolific composer whose work appears in major TV
shows, Hollywood film trailers, and Broadway productions.
Earlier this week, Muzzey got his mechanical royalty check
from Spotify. After failing to pay mechanical royalties
entirely — for years — Spotify is apparently now sending
payments to artists. Just try not to laugh out loud
(or cry out loud) when you see the money involved.
Earl Keen Hosts 13th Annual Concert for The Hill Country
Americana Recording Artist, Robert Earl Keen, celebrates
his 13th annual, one-night-only, concert event for The
Hill Country Youth Orchestras. Back by popular demand, Quebe
Sisters are joining Keen as the special guests. Tickets
are on sale now for the Cailloux Theater in Kerrville,
TX on March 7, 2020.
2020 Stats You Need To Know
the site has undergone some serious transformations over the
years, YouTube remains a valuable tool for bands and
artists. Here we look at some useful stats concerning the
site and its users. Despite the naysayers, YouTube
is not only holding its own these days but actually managing
to grow. In fact, some of its numbers are pretty astounding.
Research thinks we’re in a ‘song economy’ now
firm Midia Research has published an interesting blog
post triggered by the curious (and highly lucrative)
afterlife of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’
through TV shows and now streaming playlists. Toto’s
‘Africa’ and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For
Christmas Is You’ are also under the microscope. “The
Song Economy is the new music industry’s growth engine.”
He pointed to the gold rush around publishing catalogues as
proof that the industry is laying down some serious bets
hoping they have a few songs in their acquisition portfolios
that will deliver the goods like the three mentioned above.
Issues Driving The D.I.Y. Music Industry In 2020
each passing year, the music industry continues to develop
and broadens its awareness of issues, and further its
efforts towards inclusivity and innovation. Here we look at
four major topics which will be a major focus of the music
business into 2020 and beyond.
Music Is Exploding in Popularity
overhauled its music streaming app in early 2018, and it's
taken off since then. Much of that growth stems from
launches in developing markets like India and Brazil, that
capitalizes on the popularity of its free video streaming
platform on mobile. Spotify has contended that YouTube
is the biggest free music streaming service in the world
since it filed to go public. And since it made its direct
listing, YouTube Music has proven a formidable competitor.
Spotify still boasts a lot more users than YouTube -- 248
million total including 113 million premium subscribers --
but the success of YouTube cannot be discounted.
Tips For Dealing With Negative Comments About Your Music
the barrier between fans and artists at an all time low your
music, no matter how good it may be, will inevitably come up
against criticism from listeners. Rather than simply
quitting music or hunting down the offending party, we here
explore five more practical and constructive ways of dealing
with critiques of your music.
7Fs Of Payment Or "Should I Take It Or Not?"
into a new year (or new quarter, season, headspace;
depending on when you read this), many a thought turns to
“I’m going to start getting paid my worth” and
“I’m not working for no
or low payment anymore!”
Preparing To Acquire Podcasting Network the Ringer —
the wake of analysts from both Evercore and Bernstein giving
Spotify an underperform rating, the Wall Street Journal
is reporting that the company is in early talks to acquire a
podcasting network called the Ringer.
many in the industry projecting that podcasting will become
the next big thing in streaming, Spotify has increasingly
been putting resources into the format. Their interest in
the Ringer, which offers both sports and pop-culture
programming, is the latest move in these efforts.
To Soundproofing A Rented Apartment
it’s traffic outside, wildlife, or simply loud housemates,
noise is ever-present, and when trying to record or even
practice, some measure of soundproofing is often called for.
This is all well and good if you own the building you live
in, but for renters, things can get a little more
complicated. Here we look at how to effectively soundproof
an apartment, without inciting the wrath of your landlord.
To Tune A Guitar The Most Precise Way
up a guitar is one of the most basic skills that many
guitarists learn. If you start playing when your guitar is
out of tune, you might not enjoy the notes. You need to know
how to tune a guitar the right way so that you can get the
best sound every time you play. Tuning a guitar is simple
and there are different methods that you can use. This guide
will help you know how to tune an acoustic
guitar. If you learn these
methods, then you will have no problems tuning your guitar
the right way.
reasons to release a single
streaming era is driven by singles, which means you
should be releasing standalone tracks.
let me clarify something upfront: Albums are still
album format gives you a better chance to shape a
story around your music, define your sound, get press
coverage, and sell merch. Plus, many streaming
platforms still prioritize albums both in terms of how
they display releases on your profile and in their own
consideration processes for what music might get a
little extra editorial or algorithmic push.
Announces ‘New Organizational Structure,’ Layoffs Ensue
today announced a “new organizational structure” and
“technology transformation” as it modernizes the
company, and as often happens during such moves, layoffs are
taking place. According to Country Aircheck and All Access,
there have been multiple layoffs in the country and other
sectors of the largest radio network in the U.S., including
top roles at WPOC/Baltimore, KAJA and KRPT/San Antonio, KASE
and KVET Austin, WSIX/Nashville and others.
Far Out To Plan Your Next Release
you want to make sure your next release is a splash,
advanced planning is essential. But just how far in advance?
Here we look at how to pick the ideal timeline for dropping
new music with as few mishaps as possible.
Tips To Promote Your Music Brand On Social Media
brand is something typically associated with selling
products or services, the same principles can be applied to
music. Here Jane Evans share eight key tips for effectively
promoting your music ‘brand’ across social media.
on Legendary 1970s L.A. Session Musicians Coming From
‘Wrecking Crew’ Director
Denny Tedesco scored with his 2008 film “The Wrecking
Crew,” his critically praised documentary on the legendary
session musicians of the ‘60s who performed with everyone
from the Beach Boys and Phil Spector to Frank Sinatra and
Elvis Presley — so it makes perfect sense that he’s
begun work on a film about legendary 1970s session musicians
called “Immediate Family.”
Accidentally Leaks Details on Its ‘Home Thing’ Smart
leak may have revealed Spotify’s upcoming foray into smart
home speakers. New setup images for something called
‘Spotify Home Thing’ have appeared online. Spotify
released its first hardware product in May of 2019, dubbed
the Car Thing. Spotify started testing the Car Thing device
in the United States, and the blog post announcing the test
said not to be ‘too surprised’ if more hardware devices
show up in the future.
Music Streams Cross 1 Trillion In 2019, Up 25% Over 2018
new report from BuzzAngle Music says that US-based music
streams broke one trillion for the first time in 2019.
previous high for US-based music streams was set in 2018
with 809.5 billion, representing a 25% increase. Music
streaming accounted for 85% of all music consumption in the
United States. That number is up 7.6% from the 2018 high of
77%. Interestingly enough, overall album consumption
(including ‘equivalents’) rose in 2019 by 13.5%. Post
Malone helped fuel that growth by dethroning Drake in 2019
as Artist and Album of the year. His album, Hollywood’s
Bleeding, was the biggest selling album of 2019, with
more than two million counted sales.
Unveils Its ‘Slash Collection’ — Starting With 4
Electric, 2 Acoustic Guitars
has teamed up with Slash to produce the Slash Collection —
four electric and two acoustic guitars.
Slash Collection will be unveiled at the ‘Gibson
Experience’ during Winter NAMM this week. Gibson says
Slash worked closely with the company to create the guitars.
It features four Les Paul Standard electric guitars and two
J-45 Standard acoustic guitars.
Makes More Money From AirPods Than Spotify Makes From Its
new report from analyst Kevin Rooke is indicating
that Apple’s revenue from AirPods exceeds that of Spotify,
Twitter, Snapchat, and Shopify combined. In his
report, Rooke presented the following graph to show just how
much money AirPods are earning in comparison to earnings
from the giants in technology:
Your First Tour
opportunity to tour is one of the most exciting aspects of
being an artist, but planning a tour should not be taken
on lightly, and requires a significant amount.
Collusion? Chart Shows Music Industry’s Incestuous
global recorded music industry enters the new decade with a
more incestuous web of ownership than ever before, as this
infographic from Cherie Hu illustrates. It all began when
Spotify offered the major labels an ownership share in lieu
of early royalty payments. Then it accelerated as Spotify
and China’s Tencent Music swapped pre-IPO shares.
this twisted trend hit new heights when Tencent Music bought
a $3 billion 10% stake in the world’s largest major music
Physical Media Experiencing A Rebirth?
many thought the streaming age would bring about the end of
physical media as we know it, the opposite seems to be true,
with not only vinyl, but other seemingly antiquated formats
like cassettes also making a comeback. With the explosion of
streaming, physical media appeared to be out for the count.
However, the vinyl revival of the past several years shows
the format’s resiliency, and much to everyone’s
surprise, the majors are now reporting physical music
revenue growth compared to 2018. Heck, even cassettes are
making a comeback.