Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New MIDiA Artist Survey – Take Part! | Music Industry Blog

Firstly, thanks to all of you who took part in our artist survey last year. If you did so, you should by now have received the link to the free report. If not, email us at info@midiaresearch and we’ll get it to you.

We are now fielding a new artist survey and we’d like you to take part! This time we are diving into the tools and services that artists use and what they think about them. All respondents will get a free copy of the final report when it is published.

You can complete the survey by following this link

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Slide Over Lil Nas, Blanco Brown Brings The Beats To Top The Country Charts [Don't Miss The Video] | hypebot

Blanco Brown - The Git Up (Dance Video) 0-11 screenshotIt didn’t take long for other hip-hop and R&B artists to join in on a party started by Lil Nas’ “Old Town Road.” Now Blanco Brown has hit the country charts with “The Git Down.”

Lil Nas, with the help of Billy Ray Cyrus, reinterpreted what could be, and probably should be, considered country music, with Billboard rewriting its definitions to put the hip-hop infused tune to the top of the country charts and giving the young man a lot of money in the process.

Now there’s Blanco Brown, whose song has garnered more than 4.6 million views on YouTube in just a month (and what a video it is).

Of course, this “trend” is up to some interpretation because Brown may be black, but the song doesn’t have any rapping and his voice is pretty much made for country music singing, in the tradition of Charlie Pride to Cowboy Troy to Jimmie Allen, but the rhythm track and bridge breakdown do have more of a pop/dance flare.

The BBR Music Group artist has now officially topped the Billboard Hot Country chart for the week dated July 13. It is the fastest-rising No. 1 since 2017, according to Radiofacts. Plus, the song has hit No. 1 on the Country Streaming Songs and Country Digital Song Sales charts.

Because of the achy-breaky / electric slide dance provided in the video, it has thousands of user-generated interpretations using #TheGitUpChallenge, making it No. 1 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50, US Viral 50 and Canada Viral 50 charts, plus the No. 1 most-Shazamed Country song globally.

h/t RadioFacts

- CelebrityAccess

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Can Major Labels Survive The Indie Music Revolution? | hypebot

1At the heart of the music business almost since its inception, major labels have successfully weathered multiple challenges to their industry dominance. But as music once again reinvents itself, can the major labels continue cling to power?


Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

Major record labels have always been at the heart of the recorded music business, having the marketing and distribution muscle to make a marginal song or album a hit, or turn a hit into a global phenomena. That’s all changing though, as even though the majors have survived the latest assault on their industry leadership in music streaming, a new revolution in the business is coming. This one they may not survive so easily.

What The Majors Used To Offer

In the past, there were 3 factors that made a major label (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group) so attractive to an artist.

ONE – Back in the days of physical products like vinyl records, cassettes and CDs, distribution was king and the majors had the ability to get product in stores across the United States as well as everywhere else on the globe cheaper and faster than any other way. Today streaming is king and songs are instantly available at any time and anywhere, so those physical distribution attributes are no longer as vital to an artist’s success. In fact, physical product is more icing on the cake in terms of revenue these days – nice to have more of it, but the cake is still good without it.

TWO – Marketing clout was another element that the majors had to offer. Their publicity machines were able to carpet-bomb the traditional media to get the word out on any artist or release, thereby increasing the chances for success. Today traditional media has less and less of a bearing on how well an artist will do thanks to the many online avenues that can be inexpensively reached directly by the artist and management. Sure the label can reach those too, but with social being such a personal medium when done well, an artist needs to be hands-on anyway.

2THREE – Radio play used to be integral to any song becoming a hit, and the majors were really good at making that happen. Both in-house promotion departments and management of independant promoters were second to none in getting airplay. If an artist craved a hit, there was no better way to go. Today with radio being almost an afterthought to streaming, it has less and less influence on what music becomes popular. The fact that many program directors actually refer to the streaming charts for input as to what to play tells you that label radio promotion is becoming less and less influential.

Artists Aren’t Buying In

So all that leads up to the biggest question that an artist with some traction has today – “Why sign with a major label?” Physical distribution doesn’t matter and can be had independently if needed, traditional media is a waste of time and money for many artists who can’t reach their intended audience that way, and radio play lags behind streaming in fan influence. So what exactly is the added value that a major label brings in exchange for a big chunk of control and revenue?

Well, for one thing, major labels are still great at taking a hit artist and boosting them to the superstar level. They have a built-in infrastructure for this that hasn’t been easily duplicated, at least until now. That said, as artist branding and niche targeting changes how they market themselves, there may soon come a time when that infrastructure is no longer required.

So aside from the attraction that an artist might have to, say, Columbia (Sony Music) because Bob Dylan had his greatest success there, or Warner Records because of Prince’s legacy there, there are fewer and fewer reasons to sign with a major. This is reflected in the fact that over 80% of indie labels showed growth last year, according to indie label association Merlin whose members account for about a third of the independent sector’s total 40% share of the music market.

While those figures might not be setting off alarm bells in major label executive suites yet, the fact that so many artists are now questioning the value of major should be. As artists get smarter about their branding, marketing, and audience targeting, they’re also questioning the conventional wisdom that a major label can do those tasks any better than they can.

While major labels have rolled nicely into the streaming era and are now thriving again, unless they come up with a new service that can’t be had elsewhere for less, they may face a cloudy future that could get here sooner than many think.

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LANDR Raises $26M To Expand Beyond AI Powered Mastering | hypebot

Landr-new-logoAI-powered music mastering platform LANDR has closed a $26 million Series B financing round led by Sony Innovation Fund, microphone manufacturer Shure and state-owned financing corporation Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ.

Additional investors include Warner Music, Plus Eight Equity Partners, Slaight Communications, YUL Ventures and PEAK Capital Partners. The startup had previously raised $10.4 million.

Since launching in 2014, LANDR's platform has served 2.5 million artists with the mastering, releasing and promoting of over 12 million tracks from 160 countries.

The new capital will be used to expand into new markets and further capitalize on its position as a leader in music AI with the addition of new products and implement an "ambitious growth strategy" for its distribution services.

“Having the support of established music companies like Sony, Shure and Warner as well as music industry investors such as Plus Eight and Slaight is a vote of confidence, and marks the start of a new chapter for LANDR. This Series B will allow us to take our knowledge and expertise in music technology to new market shifting directions,” says LANDR CEO Pascal Pilon.

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Bucks Music Group hires Robyn Kennedy as Senior Creative Sync & Licensing Manager | Music Business Worldwide

UK-based Bucks Music Group has appointed Robyn Kennedy as Senior Creative Sync & Licensing Manager.

Kennedy started her career at Kobalt before spending time at Music Sales and then Reservoir Media.

She replaces Angus Fulton who has left the company.

Kennedy is very active with the Music Publishers Association and its YMPA initiative, which helps the organization connect and engage more with its younger members.

Bucks has also added Honor Doro on an internship to support the sync team.

They join Creative Sync & Licensing Exec Fahima Jan and Creative & Bespoke Sync Executive Adam Soffe, reporting into Head of Creative Sync and Licensing Jonathan Tester.

“Robyn is a fantastic addition to our sync team. A highly experienced sync professional and a phenomenal networker.”

Jonathan Tester, Bucks

Tester said: “Robyn is a fantastic addition to our sync team. A highly experienced sync professional and a phenomenal networker.

“I am delighted that she will be utilising these skills to the benefit of our writers and composers. Her work with the YMPA emphasises she has a real heart for publishing and reflects our ethos of being passionate about our writers and the songs they entrust to us.

“Honor has been with us for a few weeks and has already become an invaluable member of the team and we all look forward to helping develop her sync career.”

Bucks recently signed Blackpool, UK-born artist Zand to an exclusive, worldwide publishing deal.

Pictured [Left-Right]: Robyn Kennedy, Jonathan Tester, Fahima Jan, Adam Soffe, Honor DoroMusic Business Worldwide

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Who Are Winners And Losers In The New Music Industry? | hypebot

2Regardless of who's getting the money, it is undeniable that streaming has made the music industry lucrative again. Now, as the business works to reinvent itself, are historically downtrodden artists finally coming out on top, or are record labels and management siphoning off all of the profits?


Guest post by Ryan Edwards, CEO of music tech start-up, Audoo

The music industry is one of the most lucrative in the world, contributing a staggering £4.5bn (UK Music, 2018) to the UK economy in 2017 alone. With one in eight albums purchased globally in 2017 produced by British artists, the UK plays a pivotal role in the sector, and it’s essential that we represent and care for our artists appropriately. We are all acutely aware of the extent to which the music industry has evolved over the last two decades. Over the last twenty years we moved from Records to CDs to MP3s now to streaming. We must consider the Walkman, one of the biggest innovations in the music industry, as a catalyst to the digital revolution. 

It’s clear that money in the industry and music sources are constantly changing, but who are the real winners in the digital music industry? Are we finally seeing artists coming out on top after years of feeling undervalued, or are record labels and management pipping them to the post when it comes to monetary return? 

How are music profits actually split?

3From songwriters, to record labels and publishers there are numerous sources that must be accounted for when it comes to the music economy. Let me explain how it typically works.

Traditionally, during the first stage of making an album, it’s best practice to split profits 50/50 between the songwriter and publisher. Afterward, the songwriters share may be divided further, depending on the number of people involved in the creation of lyrics and melody. Then, the artist has the option of signing with a label, who have the power to take up to 85 percent of revenue. Alternatively, the artist can go it alone and release their own music, which has its own set of unique challenges.

If they do choose to sign with a label, most of the revenue from their album will be split between the retailer and label (usually around 70 per cent), leaving the artist claiming between 12 – 20 per cent and the producer receiving less than half of that, until any potential advance given to the artist from the label has been recouped. 

What is evident from these percentage splits, is that the share of money throughout the music creation and distribution process is somewhat skewed, making the profits at the top end, continue to escalate, whilst those at the bottom of the chain, struggle to reap their just rewards and simply survive. 

In the past, artists have struggled to reap what they musically sowed due to evasive contractual language and lack of insight on how profits are split. However, in today’s digital landscape, artists are becoming savvier. Although, the introduction of streaming has brought up a whole new set of issues that artists have never faced before. Artists are becoming more commercial in their thinking, now realizing that songs are their core ‘product’.

image from cdn.pixabay.com

The streaming age: friend or foe?

The relatively new phenomenon of streaming music is a huge factor impacting the economics of the music industry, as well as how artists make their money. The majority of music today is listened to through streaming services, where users pay a monthly subscription to get access to all of their favourite songs – but the amount each service pays artists varies, once again impacting the overall profit split. Spotify for example pays artists a small sum of around 0.003p per song played. 

Nowadays, it’s common practice for artists to have multiple revenue streams rather than relying on downloads and album purchases alone. Streaming is often thought of as the main source of recurring income for musicians, yet the reality is that it is not always sustainable. Touring and selling merchandise are often more financially beneficial for artists worldwide, along with correct licensing of their music for things like television or films.

Making the right decisions for artists’ pockets

As someone who has experienced some of these challenges first-hand, I can vouch for the fact that making a living as a songwriter and performer has become increasingly challenging in today’s climate. Artists must deal with splitting their income between all those involved in its creation, from publishing companies to music labels, lawyers and managers. Considering most music currently is being rented as opposed to purchased, some industry critics, would argue that signing to a label as a new act could be a bad move. By remaining financially independent, artists have full ownership of their music and publishing, and in theory have more autonomy in relation to their own funds and career path. 

Having said that, the benefits of signing with a label are arguably more tangible and fruitful. They act as a safety blanket and source of advice and guidance in an industry which has more loopholes and obstacles than most. Allowing artists to focus on the core essentials; creating their chart-topping new music. 

With the constant changes to the way in which we stream, purchase, consume and publish music, the future of this industry is unpredictable. Collection societies such as PRS for Music are a good source of key industry support for artists, and we must continue this on a global scale. Alongside the work PROs do, we must now start developing alternative sources to ensure fairness and transparency in the industry. 

Audoo is a plug-in device that listens & captures audio and is set to revolutionise the music industry with technology that makes royalty payments fairer for artists, record labels and publishers. Audoo has already raised £600K in funding, with backing from Greg Gormley (co-Founder of Bink), Luke Heron (co-founder and CEO of Testcard), Tim Davies (Director of Ventures and Chief Innovation Officer of Co-op), Ed Matthews (MD of Jefferies) and Marcus Watson (CEO of Adoreum)

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Patreon Adds $60M To 'Take Membership To The Next Level' | hypebot

Patreon NewCreator subscription platform Patreon has raised an additional $60 million that it says will be used "to take creator memberships to a whole new level."  Patreon has more than 3 million active patrons and 100,000 creators on the platform, and has paid out more than $1 billion to date.

This new Series D round was led by late-stage investors Glade Brook Capital, with participation from prior investors Thrive Capital, Initialized, Index Ventures, DFJ, Freestyle Capital, Charles River Ventures, and Otherwise. Also joining the funding round are the first creator/artist investors including Serj Tankian and Hannibal Buress.

The company has now raised a total of $165 million since its founding in 2013. "Patreon fulfills a unique need for creators," according to co-founder Jack Conte, "leveraging the deep, personal connections they’ve fostered with their fans to get them paid for the value of their work. "

The new funds will be used to fuel international growth and more customization.

"supportive troll-free communities"

"Creators across the globe are using Patreon to nurture direct connections with their fans, build supportive troll-free communities, and deliver unique value to patrons," Conte continued. "We’ll support this international growth with new currencies, payment methods, and languages. Additionally, we have started our global expansion with an office in Porto, Portugal and are in the process of exploring other locations so we can best serve creators."

Conte also shared some improvements and new features:

"We’re building better ways for creators to deliver digital benefits like secure audio, video, and image galleries. And we’re making sure those benefits are easy for patrons to find and enjoy wherever they are. To that end, we are rethinking our mobile experience to make connecting with creators and receiving benefits streamlined and convenient. Our new Merch for Membership, which includes full-service fulfillment for creators, will expand faster and further with international shipping and more items to choose from."

"We’ll also be enhancing the connection between creators and patrons. First, we’re making the creator page more customizable so creators can tell their story, their way, and make it easier for their fans to understand what’s unique about their membership program. We’ll also give creators and their patrons better ways to engage, both one on one and as a community."

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