In this episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, we talk with Theda Sandiford, who is the VP of Commerce at Republic Records and Island Records, where she handles VEVO, Spotify, Youtube and more. Sandiford got her start at WBLS and then became the first black programmer of a major market country station. In 1994, she was nominated for “Programmer of the Year Award” by the CMA. She moved to Billboard to run the Hot 100 chart, then went on to work at Def Jam. After spending time working with an online games startup, she came back to the music industry, and currently works at Republic. We talk to Sandiford about big data, music streaming, and gaming startups.
A recent survey by MusicWatch looked at the demographics of CD and digital music buyers back in 2004 and compared them to 2014. What they found shouldn't be too surprising, because it's almost exactly what you'd expect.
Google, Song Apple's Beats, Sony Entertainment, Google, Rdio, Songza, Slacker and Escape Media Group (the parent company of Grooveshark) have been served with simultaneously filed lawsuits alleging exploitation of pre-1972 sound recordings without license or payment. The attorneys, on behalf of Zenbu Magazines - the publishers of Relix Magazine and owners of recordings from The Flying Burrito Brothers, Hot Tuna, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and others - have requested class action status for the lawsuits.
As a new artist, it’s very easy to buy into the mindset that there’s a list of things you must do to compete in today’s music industry. This makes sense. Artists are, in fact, not solely artists as much as creative entrepreneurs.Your Instagram page might see twice as much traffic as your official website, and your recent Tumblr post about a charity you support might resonate with fans more than your latest press release. The industry is changing. Digital is everything and everything is digital. It’s all on you.
Melboss Co-Founders, Francisco Buendia and Filippo Tartari saw a need for an inclusive music hub and open marketplace and aim to fill that deficit with Melboss. Melboss prides itself on being an open network to musicians centered around the building of community instead of perpetuating competition where artists can collaborate and build their careers together. Melboss offers a wide variety of tools and resources geared toward emerging artists - signing up is simple and free on Melboss.com
Google has cut deals with the major labels and most independents to launch YouTube Music Key, a paid music and video subscription service. But truly indie artists like Zoe Keating are now being forced to sign a new Google deal as-is or be pulled off YouTube entirely.
"They were nice and took time to explain everything clearly to me," Keating wrote on her blog. "but the message was firm.... I need to sign on to the new Youtube music services agreement or I will have my Youtube channel blocked."
Why would I love a little Israel Music Conference more than SXSW? When it comes to music conferences, I feel like I can compare them to weddings. SXSW is sort of like a mass produced mandatory family wedding where you see and interact with everyone you have ever met in your family since the age of 6. They have grown up , they look at you forever in a certain way, and you all have the same interactions since the beginning of your existence You spend your time in a hall and then the DJ comes on and then there are certain parts which are awesome yet there is still this lethargic part to it we all dread. SXSW is just that, and it is the family wedding.
Rob Hallett, former head of AEG Live's UK operation, has returned to the music business as the head of a new venture, Robomagic. According to Music Week, Hallett bills Robomagic as a multi-faceted "360" company, focused on the live sector. While Hallett described it as a boutique, Hallett says the firm has the financial backing to compete with larger players in the market, including Live Nation and AEG.
The New Musical Express (NME) has compiled an impressive list of the weirdest band names of 2015. Alongside that list, they posted their reaction to the name, their expectations, and their first impressions. While some of the bands lived up to their not-so-great names, a couple served as reminders to never judge a book by its cover - or a band by its name.
Happy New Year everyone! We’ve missed you over the holiday break. To start 2015, here’s a brief introduction to get you acquainted with advertising on Twitter, Instagram, and Gmail Sponsored Promotions, if you haven’t been so already.
When technology is used to record, store, and encode sound digital music has been created. Beyond it's creation, digital music is what then allows customers to listen or download music that artists are distributing for profit. As album sales have declined beyond repair, the distribution via streaming services is dominating the market deeming digital music an immoveable part of the landscape of today's music industry. A recent report conducted by TechNavio projects the Global Digital Market will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.61% between 2015 and 2019.
I feel a burning need to blog about ways you can get ripped off as an indie artist. Yes, it's an unsavory topic. And let's face it, no one wants to admit that they have been swindled. But, I would guess we have all made what I call 'bad business decisions' in our careers, from getting photos on railroad tracks (when our music had nothing to do with trains) to signing that 'too good to be true' contract that turned out to be, well, really bad. In no particular order, here are four ways you can avoid getting ripped off as an indie artist:
In a tragic twist of events, an innocent Apple employee put the kabash on a would-be Reggae superstar when he bans him from completing the recording of his new sure-to-be hit single in the Apple store. That is not a typo. Someone actually thought they could get away with recording a music video on the webcam of an iMac in an Apple store owned an operated by the single most brand conscious tech dynasty of all time. As anyone with an ounce of common sense can summize, that didn't go so well... and judging by the outcome of this "music video" this young man's temper tantrum is the only thing about his career going viral.
TIDAL, WiMP's lossless music streaming service with HD music, videos and curated editorial, today announced its launch in five new European countries: Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
I've harped way too often that your band is your brand, but it's true. I've also said this in other posts, and I'll say it again: Music is weird, man. It's this art form that takes time and thought, plus it's a form of self-expression, and that in itself is incredibly raw and real and beautiful. In that same light, however, it's how you make your money as well as the way you occupy your time and energy. Therefore, your beautiful, delicate artwork also has to be a structured brand that's recognizable, alive, and constantly relevant.
Music streaming service Rdio today announced expansion into 24 new countries and territories. As part of its expansion across the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific, Rdio is exclusively partnering with Digicel, a mobile carrier with a customer base of 14 million. Today's additions mean that Rdio is available in a total of 85 markets.
There is something to be said about artists that hone their craft. However, the goal of writing one song a week takes pure diligence and discipline. But what if you put in the effort to write one song per week? What would you learn about yourself as an artist? How do you think you would grow as a person. Julie Geller found out a lot about herself as an artist with this challenge and is sharing her findings in her latest article.
[UPDATED] ReverbNation and Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. have announced a three-year agreement starting with "The World's Largest Music Festival", Summerfest 2015. The newly formed alliance means ReverbNation will serve as the exclusive online submission platform for musicians who seek to perform at the festival. Summerfest draws over 900,000 people globally with 800+ acts executing more than 1,000 performances over the festival's 11 day span. Artists seeking a performance opportunity at Summerfest 2015 can submit NOW through March 31, 2015 for FREE at www.ReverbNation.com
Spotify has followed the lead of hot apps like Snapchat adding swiping gestures. An upgraded iOS app adds Touch Preview which allows users to preview a song from a playlist, album or artist with the touch of a finger. Drag your finger across the screen to sample songs, and once done you’ll be taken back to where you left off. Touch Preview also makes building playlists easier: when previewing a track swipe left saves it to Your Music or right to play next.
After open criticism for the company's slow development, Twitter aims to put itself back on the map with the acquisition of ZipDial - a service provided through mobile devices to different regions around the world without ready access to data networks. In October, Twitter shared that 80% of their 284 million users were accessing the platform from mobile devices, they hope to capitolize on that trend when the projected billions of users come online for the first time over the next few years.
Facebook was admirably open about their less than admirable move to bottleneck direct-to-fan marketing. But the move they made to box bands and brands into paying to reach their fans may have resulted in them getting boxed out.
Facebook built a destination with Pages; a platform that until now, served as an opt in marketing platform for fans to connect directly to their favorite brands and vice versa. Now that Facebook has all but removed organic reach from Pages, brands and bands are left looking ways to recalibrate their online marketing for 2015.
As a young entrepreneur, a little more than a year into running my own music industry-based company, I find it a tremendous asset to share an office with the founder and managing partner of one of the fastest growing booking agencies in our industry. Eight years into running his own shop, Ryan Soroka has built the Soroka Agency from an outlet for putting together shows for his friend’s bands in New Jersey to an organization that books national tours and public appearances for some of the most popular musical acts and performance artists around. An impressive start to a career, especially considering Ryan has accomplished all of this by the age of 22.