For listeners who don’t want playlists or podcasts interrupted by ads, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud and Apple provide a simple alternative: Sign up for a premium subscription for about $10 a month. But tech savvy consumers have discovered a way around paying, thanks to ad blockers. Spotify, for one, is not amused.
A federal appeals court in Pasadena, CA has breathed new life into a lawsuit against CBS, accusing the former radio station owner of copyright infringement for spins of digitally remastered songs recorded before the critical Feb. 15, 1972 cutoff for federal copyright protection. CBS’ defense, and the court’s subsequent rejection of that strategy, may have broad implications for how much radio pays in royalties.
YouTube has mailed users to alert them to changes in how artist channel subscriptions will now work – part of an effort to pull together all the channels an artist might run/be associated with into one location. “Your artist subscriptions and notifications will soon move to Official Artist Channels and you’ll be able to manage Official Artist Channel subscriptions like any other channel subscription,” the email said. “Your current secondary artist channel subscriptions will become inactive.”
Music-streaming service Napster is on track to record a net profit in 2018, despite its revenues having dropped by nearly 28% since the company’s peak in 2016. Napster recorded net profits of $4.4m and $2.1m respectively in the first two quarters of this year, although its $76.5m revenues for the first half of 2018 compare to $106m in the comparable period in 2016. This is based on Music Ally’s analysis of figures provided by technology firm RealNetworks in its own quarterly and annual financial results.
Some days things are just happening—you pick up the guitar, you jump in front of the vocal mic, and, there it is, one take, done. Other times, not so good—for whatever reason you struggle to complete a plausible solo break, but in the end it took you about a dozen tries to get there. Some of those aborted or inferior takes, however, may contain a few moments of real goodness. To that end, here we explore a number of time-tested techniques for building a stitch-free composite—or “comped”—master for solo guitar, lead vocal or any other overdubbed parts, using choice sections culled from various takes of the same performance.
For any band or artist, having a strong web presence is key to your success, particularly when it comes to your website. In this piece we look what components make for a good website, and how you can work to improve yours.
With no end in sight in the legal standoff between the radio industry and Global Music Rights, the performance rights organization has agreed to offer stations another six-month interim licensing agreement. The current deal expires Sept. 30 and GMR has agreed to extend those interim deals through March 31, 2019.
Amazon Music has grown impressively, accelerated by an explosion in Alexa smart speakers use. But, in part because the online giant seldom releases user stats, it is still portrayed in the media as somehow 'less than' Spotify or Apple Music. Amazon Music is preparing to change that perception with a star studded major ad and marketing campaign.
The music industry has gotten used to describing CD Baby as a “distributor” over the past 20 years, but the Oregon-headquartered business has grown far beyond this core service – as a new milestone handsomely proves.
Five years ago, CD Baby partnered with indie tech platform Songtrust to launch a publishing administration service for its clients, which has since expanded into the UK and beyond. And today (August 15), CD Baby has confirmed to MBW that it now administers over a million songs, for 160,000 songwriters in over 50 countries.
One of my great joys over the past twenty years as a music producer is the regular privilege of getting to work with some of the finest session musicians in the world. These men and women have played on some of the best known albums of all time and even after all these years of working with them, I never cease to be amazed by their skill. But being a professional session musician is about much more than a mastery of an instrument. In this piece, I thought I’d put down some of the distinguishing characteristics of true studio professionals.
Universal Music Publishing Group chairman/CEO Jody Gerson has spoken out about the difficulties facing songwriters in the digital age, and how tech platforms, legislators and publishers alike can step in to help. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Sunday (Aug. 12), Gerson discussed how the increasingly global exposure that streaming platforms offer songwriters is not coming with more equitable royalty checks.
In little over 12 months’ time, Spotify will be out of contract with all three major record companies. All three majors agreed to reduce the average percentage of Spotify per-stream revenue they received in order to give the company a better chance of profitability. (Sources suggest this average percentage fell from 55% down towards 52% – although, certainly in the case of Universal, the reduction was granted on the basis that Spotify hit steep subscriber targets.)
The arrival of Amazon Music in Brazil will add to the 28 countries Amazon’s on-demand Unlimited streaming tier launched in at the end of last year. It looks like the arrival will happen swiftly — the advertised role requires experience in setting up and launching operations across multiple countries in a short period of time.
As an artist, having a music publicist working for you can be a huge asset, particularly given that most publicists now double as digital strategists, and help to shepherd and artists overall brand. That said, there are several important things to consider before committing to hiring a publicist.
Spotify continues to look for ways to make its free music tier more appealing both to users and advertisers. To that end, the streamer has begun a test that allows all free users to skip audio and video ads as often as the want and get back to listening to music.
Music creators (songwriters and performing artists) and rights’ owners (music publishers and record labels) are not collecting a new and substantial source of income – and most of them are not aware they are not collecting it. Enter Twitch, the website exploiting creators and owners without paying for a single cent of music usage.
The coalition that helped propel sweeping music copyright reform legislation has shown cracks in recent weeks, nearly cratering the bill. The proposed Music Modernization Act doesn’t include a performance royalty for AM/FM airplay but it’s grown more important for radio as a backstop to a potential repeal of the ASCAP-BMI consent decrees.
Promoting your new music shouldn’t start on the release date. Waiting until your music is released to start promoting is way too late. Effective music promotion starts months before it’s out. A solid pre-release campaign can build excitement for your release, grow your audience, and turn casual listeners into real fans. But where do you even start? And more importantly, how do you make it work while still having time to finish your music? Here’s five tips to help you get the most out of your promotion efforts during the time leading up to your release.
If you ask almost any Broadway Street musician in downtown Nashville, they will tell you that the Nashville number system has gotten them through at least a song or two, if not an entire set, on a honky tonk stage at some point in their career. Some don’t even leave the house without their iPad filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of Nashville-style notated charts before heading to work or a weekend run of shows out of town. But there is something quite definitive and unique about the way Nashville creates their charts — almost like a universal language amongst all of the musicians in the local community.
For anyone working in radio today there’s always been a music licensing constant: the federal government’s consent decrees, which dictate how stations secure the rights to play songs in the repertoires of performance rights organizations ASCAP and BMI. But the two agreements, which date back to the 1940s, could be about to change.
Music’s biggest record labels are joining forces to fight against two of the most notorious stream-ripping websites.
Ever since YouTube went live back in 2006, music fans have been using various methods to rip the audio from a video to an MP3, giving them a level of freedom and accessibility to the music that would not be available otherwise.
Over the last decade, one of the most prominent methods to do this is by using a stream-ripping service. Now, the big record labels have had enough.
YouTube has developed into quite the massive lumbering internet video tech property over the years, with its fingers in a number of pies. Regardless, it remains an important tool for artists, so here we delve into exactly what each YouTube brand/property is.
New numbers out from Nielsen have revealed that the popularity of streaming is continuing to grow at a precipitous rate. Here we hear from multiple industry experts on what this popularity suggests for ad-supported platforms, and if there are likely any red flags to watch out for.
Vivendi announced this week that it is no longer spinning off its Universal Music Group with an IPO; but rather that it wants to sell up to 50% of the world's largest music company. But given the price tag and other hurdles who can afford UMG? Who will want to?
Apple announced financial results for its third quarter 2018 on Tuesday (July 31), revealing $53.3 billion in revenue. That revenue total is an increase of 17 percent year-over-year, while quarterly earnings per diluted share of the company stock is up a record 40 percent to $2.34. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter's revenue
For a second consecutive year, Pandora lost listeners in the second quarter. Total listener hours were 5.09 billion compared to 5.22 billion for the same period in 2017 and 5.66 billion in 2016. Active users also continued to slide. While listening declines persist, the company reported better-than-expected revenue, which sent its stock as much as 12% higher in afterhours trading Tuesday.
French conglomerate Vivendi has announced it is willing to sell up to half of Universal Music Group, the world’s largest recoded music company and home to dozens of labels including Capitol Records, Def Jam Recordings, EMI and Republic Records. CNN Money, which broke the story Tuesday, reports that revenue from subscription and steaming products jumped 34% at Universal in the first half of 2018.
In this piece Chris Castle defends the Harry Fox Agency which has, of late, been heavily maligned as debates over the Music Modernization Act Continue to rage on. Here he looks at the facts and explores alternative solutions to simply ganging up on the HFA.
Live music is a relationship-based business. To be successful, you’ve got to form and maintain good relationships with booking agents, artists and managers, and even fans. In other words, reputation is everything. Everything you do on behalf of your music venue reflects both your and your music venue’s reputation.
SoundExchange distributed $208.7 million in sound recording performance royalties in Q2 2018. That's up both 17.5% over the same quarter last year and the $189.9 million paid out in the Q1 of this year. The PRO has paid out a total of $398.6 million so far in 2018.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has taken pains to reassure labels that the company’s direct-licensing deals with independent artists should not be seen as a threat to labels, tying it back to Spotify’s ‘two-sided marketplace’ strategy. He continued: “Licensing content doesn’t make us a label, nor do we have any interest in being a label."
With the rollout of its 360L satellite/IP platform, a new mobile app and a focus on in-home connectivity, SiriusXM is ready to air its wares outside of vehicles. Said CEO Jim Meyer during the satcaster’s second-quarter investor call Wednesday, “We’re ready for people who only want to stream on their phones or on a device in their home, independent of the car.”
While any artist is aware that playing shows or selling albums can bring in cash, there are a multitude of other potential revenue streams that are a little less clear cut. Here we breakdown the difference between mechanical and performance royalties, and how artists can use both to their benefits.
Your artist bio is your opportunity to tell the world about yourself and who you are, but sharing can feel self-indulgent, and doing yourself justice can be a challenge for many artists. In an effort to make things easier, we look at five essential which every artist should be sure to include in any bio they put together.
French-streaming service Deezer has concluded that the majority of consumers hit what it deems "musical paralysis"—a lack of interest and motivation to discover new music—at the lean age of 30. The survey polled 1,000 British participants, who say there are too many music choices offered; they’re too busy with work; or they’re consumed with raising kids.
Private equity firm Silver Lake has contacted iHeartMedia and its largest creditor group with a $500 million offer to invest in the radio group, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. However the creditor group, led by Franklin Mutual Advisers and Pacific Investment Management, reportedly hasn’t accepted the offer.
Making a living as a musician has never been regarded as one of the easier careers out there, and things don't appear to be getting any better in the streaming age, as a new study reveals why it is that so many artists have it so tough.
All three major labels are unhappy with the number of song placement they receive on key Spotify playlists and demanding preferential treatment, according to a new report. The displeasure with Spotify is directed at two very different kinds of Spotify playlists, that together drive manyt listening hours, according to the report. First, the major labels want more slots on top official hand-curated playlists. Second, the labels are concerned that they are not getting more slots on algorithmically driven playlists like Daily Mix, Release Radar and Discover Weekly.
Late last year, when Facebook announced plans to switch up the algorithm to de-prioritise posts, brands and artists took note. Last October, Facebook announced it was “testing two separate feeds, one as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated space for posts from Pages.” Essentially, removing content from any Business Page from its main feed – that’s artists, brands, and even media like us.
As a musician in today’s industry, you often have to wear multiple hats.
Of course you play the role of the creative - writing, experimenting, playing, practicing, and creating are part of your core being, coming to you almost as easily as breathing.
The Senate needs to act on the bill before this Congressional term ends, otherwise lawmakers and music industry lobbyists must start the legislative process again next year.
As old as recorded music itself, disputes over ownership have permeated the music industry for decades. Luckily the advancement of technology has made it a little easier to keep performance rights in check. In this article we explore exactly what performance rights disputes are, and where they come from.
Music merch management app Merch Cat has launched the Merch Cat Fan app, a direct-to-fan sales tool centered on the live show. Fans can use it to buy merch at live shows, or anytime, and artists get access to purchase data.
The typical headline goes something like this: Apple Music Passes Spotify In The US. Along with ignoring that Spotify still leads in the US when factoring in its tens of millions of ad-supported users, these stories also ignore that Apple's lead is likely temporary and that there is almost no chance that Apple Music will ever become the dominate music streamer globally.
The Music Modernization Act (MMA) passed the House unanimously (415-0). Then, on June 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the bill with a unanimous voice vote. Now it gets more difficult because some companies that use music to fuel their businesses are happy paying music creators at discounted rates (or paying nothing at all), and they are mobilizing to keep music licensing in the Dark Ages.
As Tidal continues to struggle, Apple Music has found major success, and if a report leaked to Digital Music News is true, Apple Music may have just become the most popular on-demand streaming music service in the U.S.—at least as far as paying users go.
The FWSA Song Contest for 2018 has moved out of the "dark ages" and in to a new age of technology. All song entries for 2018 will now be submitted "on-line" through a new and easy program. This will streamline the process of collecting entries and provide an accurate tracking program. This Monthly Songwriter Gathering will be dedicated to actual "hands on" training which will allow our members to become thoroughly familiar with the new system. More here.
Most artists and bands would prefer to be signed to a major label instead of an indie, but the fact of the matter is that indies are gaining strength, especially where streaming is concerned. Indie label association Merlin (which consists of more than 20,000 indie labels, imprints and small distributors) reported that its member’s streams have now grown to around 14 billion per month, up by 37% over last year at the same time.
More than a year of discussions between the National Association of Broadcasters and the music industry have so far failed to resolve the decades-long standoff over whether radio should pay royalties for on-air use of music. But NAB president Gordon Smith remains optimistic some agreement can be hatched, most likely tied to what radio pays for streaming.
Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners is reportedly in talks with iHeartMedia’s creditors about buying the company after it emerges from Chapter 11, according to a story in the New York Post. Silver Lake’s interest comes after iHeart’s creditors on June 15 rejected a $1.16 billion offer from John Malone’s Liberty Media because the bid was too low.
Apple Music reportedly has more U.S. subscribers than Spotify. According to information garnered by Digital Music News, Apple is slightly ahead of Spotify in stateside subscriber counts with both streaming music services cresting the 20 million subscriber threshold.
These days, it’s impossible to get by as a musician without a great web presence. Of course, one of the most effective ways to manage this will be with your own website where you can quickly send anyone who’s interested in learning more about you, finding merch, streaming your music, or booking you for your next gig. Sure, you can probably get by with a Facebook profile and a Bandcamp page, but an attractive website hosted on a domain that you own will make you appear more professional than most other new bands in your area.
Most labels and many musicians thrive because of their hits, but survive over time because of their catalog. But as MIDiA analyst Mak Mulligan points out, streaming , which offers access to 35 million track library and a 'small royalty income forever' business model, changes the value of music catalogs in ways that we're just beginning to understand.
Spotify is arguably the reason why music-industry analysts and execs alike have deemed playlists “the new album” and “more powerful than radio.” With access to over 157 million monthly active users, the streaming service regularly catapults artists into the international spotlight, but not all of Spotify’s biggest playlists guarantee success for those who land songs on them.
Custom playlists on the streaming site can bring unknown artists to millions. But are they altering how songs get written? The Swedish streaming giant can make the already-big even bigger – see Ed Sheeran’s annexing of the UK Top 20 in March – but it can also give unknowns a huge boost. These playlists are becoming arguably more important than radio in bringing new music to the masses; they hold the hands of a mass-market audience that is moving over to streaming but can find navigating 40m tracks overwhelming.
Given the time and energy which it takes to record new music, along with the challenges facing the format of the conventional album, artists looking to make splash should consider the advantages of a well crafted cover. Here we explore why.
On the latest solo project from Kelly Willis, Back Being Blue, the Texas-based artist was produced by her husband – and frequent vocal collaborator – Bruce Robison. It’s a partnership that has worked well over the years
Even as YouTube launched it's much anticipated music service, its core user-generated video business was being threatened. The EU Parliament is seriously considering overturning basic provisions of the safe harbor framework under which YouTube operates; and the idea is gaining traction in the US.
The one-sheet, a simple single page overview of you and your music, is a tool used by the many music industry gatekeepers (think radio stations and booking agents) to determine how sellable you are as a band or artist. Here we look at a checklist designed to help you write the most effective one-sheet possible.
CD Baby has opened an office in London, headed by Rich Orchard; who joins CD Baby as EU Director of Market Development. Orchard comes via Absolute Label Services, where he was Head of Digital. Prior to that, he spent six years at Activision, where he dealt extensively with publishers on games like Guitar Hero Live.
The over-saturating of the online market has made promoting events challenging for artists, yet certain avenues still remain effective, provided your advertising is targeted correctly. In this piece we look at how Facebook events can be used to reach your ideal audience.
The Music Modernization Act is definitely the gift that keeps on giving. The latest is a new burden the MMA places on all sound recording owners, large and small, to help the digital services comply with their obligation to locate song copyright owners in order for the services to keep the new “reachback” safe harbor also referred to as the “Limitation on Liability”. This is the retroactive safe harbor given effect on January 1, 2018 regardless of when the bill actually is passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. Here’s the relevant clause (at pages 100-101 of the House bill):
While cover art no longer carries quite the same weight as it once did (with music less often purchased as a physical product) it remains an essential part of the marketing puzzle. Here we look at the guidelines for when it comes to putting your music on streaming services.
We have come a long way in the last nearly forty years from when endorsements were easy to come by for musicians everywhere who simply had an awesome look and a cool sound. Nowadays, the industry has changed dramatically, so I thought I would offer some pointers for the best way to get an endorsement from the company you love.
Instagram now has 1billion users globally, up an impressive 200 million from September of last year. Anchoring its next chapter is an aggressive move into longer form video, including expanding the allowed video length for all users.
With Spotify now one of the most popular platforms for music consumption, figuring out how to get your music placed on one of the streaming services coveted playlists has become the Holy Grail for up-and-coming musicians. Here we look at some advice on cracking the playlist code.
After noticing that many of its artists weren't utilizing the streaming platform's full potential, Spotify has a launched a new series of helpful videos intended to direct artists on how to take full advantage of their artist specific site.
Artists and songwriters have a tendency to rip on streaming for its low payouts, sometimes without understanding the scale and metrics of how it really works. While it’s true that streaming royalties can seem absurdly low sometimes, it turns out that U.S. radio airplay is way worse.
You’ve read these tour articles a thousand times. By this point it’s no surprise that touring is hard. It’s no surprise that touring is expensive. And it’s no surprise that making your money back doesn’t often happen for DIY bands on their first couple of trips. That said however, there are legalities to consider. A band is a business, whether you want it to be or not. A tour is a venture. And musicians are people who bring their own lives and difficulties to the table. So when you’re looking to tour, consider some of the legal problems that could stop you from being able to fully experience or continue to tour in the future!
YouTube Music Premium, the new subscription tier for Google’s video service, is launching fully in 17 countries today, including 12 additional markets to the five that were announced in May.
The recorded music industry has been on the up and up for the past few years, seeing double digit growth thanks to the magic of streaming. As with so many good things, however, doomsayers at Sony are predicting this precipitous growth will soon come to an end.
[PIAS] co-founder Michel Lambot looks at how the economic structure of media consumption has shifted over time to one of renting vs. owning; and how tech companies bypassing record labels to make direct deals with artists is the next logical step in this progression.
Garrison Snell CEO of Crosshair Music and Gyrosity Projects joins Michael Brandvold and Jay Gilbert on the Music Biz Weekly podcast to discuss the self-service platform, Crosshair Music, for submitting music to playlists. Their mission is to affordably connect musicians directly to the playlist curators and social influencers who can help grow their audiences. But does it work?
Following Sony Corp.’s April sale of half of its stake in Spotify, Sony Music Entertainment (SME) sent an email to indie labels on Thursday (June 14) declaring its intent to share a portion of the profits with “eligible artists and participants as soon as possible,” with a target of August.
Spotify has offered advances to a number of managers and indie acts in exchange for licensing their music directly to the streaming service, sources tell Billboard. Under the terms of some of the deals, management firms can receive several hundred thousand dollars as an advance fee for agreeing to license a certain number of tracks by their independent acts directly to Spotify.
Lance Allen, the instrumental guitarist who’s paying off his mortgage every month with the money he earns from Spotify, is obviously doing something right. He’s doing quite a few things right, in fact.
Sirius XM Radio has agreed to make a one-time $150 million payment to settle a lawsuit brought by SoundExchange nearly five years ago, alleging the satellite radio service underpaid royalties. The agreement also resolves “all outstanding claims” including all of SoundExchange’s ongoing audits of Sirius XM’s web radio service.
20,000 to 24,000 tracks are uploaded to Spotify, Apple Music, Napster and other streaming music service every 24 hours. That's 1 million tracks every 6 weeks. Let's that number sink in for a moment and imagine how hard it is to break through that much clutter.
Once a song is written and recorded, the owner of the song gains certain exclusive rights over the work relating the reproduction, adaptation, distribution and performance of the song. Here we look at what exactly those rights are.
As streaming continues to dominate music consumption, (with an eye towards replacing the album altogether) artists have a lot to gain by assembling their own playlists and promoting them to fans. Here we look at six benefits in particular.
Live streaming is taking the world by storm. And how. Companies of all sizes are clamoring to add live streaming tools to their interfaces, allowing users to connect more deeply and to experience products up close. Live advertising encourages digital entrepreneurs to sell and advertise in real-time, and companies centred on this new brand of marketing are quickly sprouting up, thanks to the tremendous demand that the medium holds. The potential in live streaming, and more so, live advertising is enormous. If you’ve been chasing the entrepreneurial dream, there’s no better sector than this.
We’ve been partnering with music companies around the world to bring music to more experiences on Facebook. Today we’re announcing new ways for people to express themselves with music in their posts, including a new feature, Lip Sync Live.
It’s accepted wisdom that the impact of music media has greatly diminished over the past decade. Intuitively, it makes sense. When there are millions of people shouting, the voices of a few are drowned out, regardless of how influential or learned those voices may be.