Long time music industry consultant and analyst Mark Mulligan has launched music and technology research firm MIDiA. In addition to the usual consulting and research services, Mulligan hopes to also appeal to indie labels, startups and smaller music firms with monthly research, analyst reports, forecasts, consumer data and market insight for a single annual fee.
Wired For Sound is a mobile recording studio "working with community radio and musicians throughout Southern Africa." Though much is documentary, the project is also meant to help young artists and to ultimately lead to the development of recording studios in community radio stations. Wired For sound has an album out as well that's part of a larger multimedia project.
Reports continue to surface that the global indie music community's public outcry over YouTube's 'take it or leave it' contract negotiations has had effect. Several sources say that the parties are back at the negotiating table and that YouTube has delayed plans to delete or stop monetizing videos by labels that have refused to sign on to their soon to launch streaming music service.
Tweeting is easy, but creating content that your audience will engage with isn't always so simple. It's difficult to find the right niche but with a little good advice and a fair share of homework, you'll own your own Twittersphere in no time. Keeping it real but not too personal can mean walking a fine line, but if auto-generated content is your current status quo, it might be time to change your game.
The public effort by independent music trade groups on both sides of the Atlantic seems to have had an impact. New reports have YouTube delaying any plans to takedown or stop monetizing videos from some independent labels as serious talks continue. Merlin is said to be leading the negotiations on behalf of the indies.
Despite the strong objections of many in the indie label community, "all but 5% of all labels” have agreed to the terms offered by YouTube for its new music service, according to a new report. A 95% acceptance rate would jive with reports we've recieved that, in addition to the major labels and their independent distribution arms, other indie distributors including The Orchard have also signed the new YouTube contract.
To be a successful part of today's music industry you're going to have to break the mold. That's exactly what Jack Conte did when he launched Pomplamoose and Patreon. He knew what he was good at, new what wanted and knew what he needed and put together the right team to help him get there. Now, after a lot of hard work, this successful musician and CEO is on the other side of the interview tabel with some of the best advice he's both given and received along the way.
At last week’s American Association of Independent Music’s Libera Awards, Bruce Iglauer, the founder of Alligator Records, was awarded its A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award. His acceptance speech provides a look inside the mind of a man who helped give an entire genre of music - the blues - its due; while operating a thriving independent music company for three decades.
By Mike Masnick, this previously appeared on Techdirt
.Last week, we wrote about how some of the stories making the rounds concerning YouTube "blocking" musicians from using YouTube and taking down videos if they didn't agree to non-negotiable contract terms for YouTube's new music service were... exaggerated. We pretty clearly noted within that post that there could be legitimate arguments about the terms of the contract, but the claims about being "blocked" from YouTube were not really accurate.
Sometimes our best form of transportation is a leap of faith. Nike hit the nail on the head when they coined the phrase "Just Do It". Julie Geller took that to heart when she committed to realease a new music video every month for a year. She learned some incredibly valuable lessons along the way and you could too. You don't have to have top of the line equipment or be the best of the best - you have to be willing to start from where you are and take the constructive feedback you get along the way.
YouTube is un-questionably a top resource for any serious musician. As a free service with access to an unlimited audience, if you're not utilizing this resource, you're doing it wrong. YouTube has made leaps and bounds and incredible upgrades in the past few years, but as is always the case with growth, expansion, and consumer demand, the terms are changing and you're going to want to know the new rules.
Merlin, a global rights agency for indie labels, released a bunch of news late last week. In addition to information about member revenue and the results of a member survey, they released findings about indie music's role in the streaming market based on their extensive member data. They found that streaming music revenue was an increasingly important piece of the pie and that indie music outperforms on streaming services. Interestingly enough, indie music does even better on paid subscription services than on free, ad-supported services.
Justin Boland, aka Humpasaur Jones and the co-founder of World Around Records, recently shared his take on being a rapper while running a label. Boland tends to have a unique perspective on the rap game seeing it both from within and at a distance. His approach results in a view that mixes practicality with harsh reality while finding surprising bright spots along the way. I pulled a few tips for hip hop artists or anyone else working in a crowded, difficult market.
For much of the music industry selling digital downloads seems like an uphill battle and streaming music companies are struggling to get consumers to subscribe for a little under $10 a month to all you can eat megacatalogs. In contrast, Drip.fm is powering digital music subscription services for which fans will pay that much to get downloads of every digital release from a single indie label. Slowly adding labels since 2011, Drip.fm now includes Sub Pop on its roster.
By music licensing expert Andy Lykens.
The C-levels at a music publisher I used to work at would drop by my cube once every few days. All nice people, they did their best to be friendly when asking “working on anything big?”
They’d ask that question because I was the person who had developed a system and brought in deals (licenses worth anywhere from $15K-$400K per side). My answer was typically “yes, I’m always working on something big.”
[UPDATED] U.S. independent music trade group A2IM has named the nominees for its 2014 Libera Awards. Designed to showcase the diverse landscape of independent artists and the companies that support them, The Liberas are on track to replace a plethora of competitors as the indie music most prestigious seal of approval. The full list of 2014 Libera nominees:
With the rise of digital merchandising comes a lot of look alikes. Everyone wants "in" on the successful artists' career - sometimes this means the illegal download and/or streaming of music or, a taking things a step futhe by counterfeiting merchandise for profit. Counterfeit merchandise is one of the most active ways "fans" are mooching off of artists, and free-market platforms like Amazon make it nearly impossible to track effectively.
I have to say I was delighted to discover that Fania Records is not only back in business but is again going strong. Last time I checked their CDs were in short supply and the company was in probate court. Acquired in 2005 by Emusica and then sold to Codigo Music in 2008, a revived Fania Records navigated a few years of strong CD sales and then was forced to transition to a primarily digital output. That transition was successful and Fania Records is now on Spotify, planning their SummerStage 50th anniversary celebrations, "signing new artists, and opening up their archives to a series of DJs to create remix albums."
Gigging is, without a doubt, a critical income stream for every artist. Securing gigs is extremely competitive, but going in with a plan can give you the jumpstart you need to close the deal. Collaboration, networking, and a proactivity can unlock the door to venues you never saw yourself playing in when used efficienty - it all boils down to being prepared.
Vienna Teng, Valerie June, Willie Sugarcapps, Pete Seeger and The Soul of John Black were among the self-released and independent label talent named today as the judge-determined Winners of The 13th Independent Music Awards (IMAs). The veteran artists and rising stars were named in more than 80 categories.
The battle between independent labels and YouTube over unfavourable royalty terms offered for a proposed streaming music service is escalating. Google-owned YouTube has reportedly refused to withdraw threats to labels unwilling to sign the agreement which global independent trade group WIN has called “highly unfavourable terms." In response, EU labels are turning to the European Commission (EC) today for "emergency relief".
(UPDATED) The age old battle for any musician is generating income. It used to be record sales that made the money, but with the rise of digital downloads and live streaming, knowing the options at your disposal is critical when establishing income streams. There are endless opportunities out there - you just have to be willing to do your homework.