- Move over Spotify and Rdio. YouTube Music Key is finally here.
- Rdio CEO On Taylor Swift and the Spotify vs. YouTube Payment Conondrum
Millenials know only a world where free music is everywhere, but one group is still willing to pay and has the disposable income to do it - adults 50+. Chasing that market, Sony Music Entertainment and its catalog division, Legacy Recordings, have formed a new relationship with the American Association Of Retired Persons to offer its 37 million members special music packages, deals and discounts.
Warner Music Group and Tencent Holdings Limited announced a landmark agreement that includes the industry's first-ever master distribution partnership between a major music company and a leading Internet provider in Mainland China. Under the terms of the deal, Tencent will distribute WMG's repertoire and manage new releases to all legitimate local Chinese audio services, with the exception of Mainland China mobile carriers with which Warner Music China will continue to develop partnerships. WMG will oversee relationships with all global service providers, as well as drive all marketing and promotional activities across the region.
Jordan Blaugrund has been upped to Vice President, Digital Marketing, at RCA Records. Blaugrund previously was of Senior Director of Digital Marketing at the label. In his new role, Blaugrund will oversee all digital marketing initiatives and direct to consumer business for the label. Blaugrund will report to Tom Corson, President & COO, RCA Records and remain in the label’s New York headquarters.
Taylor Swift's decision to pull all of her music off Spotify is causing ripples across the music industry and unsurprisingly become the topic of executive suite discussions at major music companies. The result, according to a top Sony Music executive is a re-evaluation of how much value that free steaming music services like Spotify have in converting free users to paid.
In this episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, we talk with Archie Hamilton, who runs Splatter, China's first integrated music promotion and brand activation agency. His team manages campaigns for brands seeking to leverage music effectively in their communications strategy. He also runs Split Works, which promotes music independently, owns and runs three of China's biggest festivals and books artists all through SE Asia. We talk about the current state of music in China.
While music was once a minor consideration for console gamers, it is now a serious component that influences consumers and drives decisions. While this may sound strange, it is a testament to just how far technological advancement and musical culture has influenced modern designers and contributed to the wider gaming experience. While it is hard to cite a single reason why music and sound effects have emerged as such central gaming features, these two factors have undoubtedly played a central role in this evolution.
Audiam is aiming to retrieve accurate payment for publishers and songwriters globally for the digital use of their compositions with their launch of International Association of Music Publishers. Audiam recognizes that the difficulty that plagues music publishers extends beyond the United States - so in an effort to combat the underpayment of publishers around the world, the International Association of Music Publishers was created.
Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work.
[UPDATE 2] Speaking for the first time since the controversy began, Scott Borchetta, the CEO of Taylor Swift's record label Big Machine says that her music was pulled from Spotify because the streamer refused to restrict her new release to its premium paid service. "We never wanted to embarrass a fan,” Borchetta told Nikki Sixx during his Sixx Sense syndicated radio show Friday. “If this fan purchased the record, CD, iTunes, wherever, and then their friends go, 'Why did you pay for it? It's free on Spotify.' we're being completely disrespectful to that superfan who wants to invest.”
More & Listen To The Full Interview
Taylor Swift was responsible for 22% of albums sold in the US in the last seven days. The sales of her "1989" exceeds the combined sales of albums at No 2 to No 107 in Billboard chart, according to the number crunchers at The Guardian.
The relationship between an artist and their manager is the most vital relationship in the music business. The joys of having a manager or managing an artist can be amazing. It's why some choose to work in the music industry. However, the lines can be easily blurred between the artist and their manager because the nature of the relationship can be unorthodox at times. Like any other relationship, clear communication and definition of roles and responsibilities are the key to making the most the artist/manager relationship. Sari Delmar gives amazing insight on how to do that.
By Steven Marks on RIAA's Music Notes Blog
I respect David and his accomplishments in the music space, but his blog “The Artist’s Share” misses the mark. The piece wrongly assumed that labels pay royalties to artists and simply keep the rest. This is not the case. Let’s take a closer look at the value labels actually bring to the table.
Spotify certainly hopes so. After being pressured publicly by Spotify to release her newest album, 1989, to streaming, Taylor Swift not only denied them the album, she removed her entire back catalogue of music from the platform. Some say it's a strategic business move, others say its a brash decision in a ploy to make more money - but no matter which side of that fence you stand on, this decision has sparked a conversation within and about the music industry that is worthy of significant consideration.
Warner Music Group (WMG) today became the first major music group to announce a deal with the SoundCloud audio platform. The deal which covers both recorded music and Warner/Chappell Music publishing covers both SoundCloud's ad-supported creator partner program, "On SoundCloud", and a subscription streaming audio service that will launch in the first half of 2015. Soundcloud has been under increasing pressure from both investors and rightsholders to monetize the platform.
Mixes & Mashups Covered
UPDATE 2 - You won't find Taylor Swift's new album on Spotify. In fact, the star and her label Big Machine have pulled all of her music off all on demand streaming music services. Several reports suggest that the reason for the take down is that Big Machine is for sale and the owners felt a hugely successful Swift album would boost the their $200 million asking price.
By Mark Mulligan of MiDA on his Music Industry blog.
There is a growing realization that that streaming revenue is not growing quickly enough to offset the impact of declining download sales. It is an eerily familiar echo of the recurring narrative of the noughties that download sales were not growing quickly enough to offset the impact of declining CD sales. The situation is very different now in that the industry licenses the disruptive force.
There’s a lot of buzz these days around music streaming subscription services and how they will impact the music business. It seems like every other week some famous artist is ranting about how much they hate Spotify, the world’s biggest music subscription service, complaining about their low royalty rates. To put it frankly, their vision is short-sighted. Below is my attempt to shed some light on this controversial subject.
A federal judge has ruled that t he plagiarism case against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' hit Blurred Lines should go to trial. According to the BBC, Judge John Kronstadt denied a request from Thicke and Williams to dismiss claims of plagiarism brought against them last year by the family of Marvin Gaye, who claim parts of "Blurred Lines" was lifted from the Marvin Gaye hit "Got to give it up."
By FMC's Casey Rae on FutureOfMusic.org
Who gets paid, how much and under what terms when music is played on digital and AM/FMradio? Answering those questions isn’t easy, even for experts. But one thing is clear: 2014 has been a big year for the laws and policies that determine royalty rates for all forms of radio, and the intrigue will likely continue into 2015. There are a few proceedings and court cases currently underway that will impact radio and creators—from legal questions around recordings made before 1972 to the rules that govern the public performances of musical works to royalty rates for sound recordings played on Internet and satellite radio.
The finalists for the 2014 Billboard Touring Awards were announced yesterday. One Direction, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Arcade Fire, Rolling Stones, Jason Aldean and Paul McCartney were among the finalists. Billboard's touring awards recognizes artists with outstanding achievement in the touring world. The awards are based considerably off of Billboard's Boxscore chart data that reflects gate receipts for concerts, comedy shows, and various real box office shows.
Universal Music Group Chairman Lucian Grainge expressed skepticism of SoundCloud's business model and the benefit of doing a deal right now with audio platform. There is an “opportunity for SoundCloud to create incredible revenue,” said Grainge, but first he needs to discuss “what the business plan is going to be.” His remarks came on stage at the WSJD Live Global Technology Conference Tuesday.
[UPDATED] A new report from Mark Mulligan and media industry analysts MIDiA looks at the massive impact YouTube along with its yet to launch Music Key service will have on the music industry. YouTube delivers a massive audience of 210 million active music fans, according to the study. But it fails to deliver the commensurate revenue, and that is likely to get much, much worse.
YouTube's Free Tier Will 'Suck The Oxygen' From Spotify, Competitors
By Steve Lawson from SteveLawson.net
There’s one story that’s been circulating a lot over the last few days amongst musicians on social media – “2014 is first year ever with ZERO platinum-certified records” – it tells us that 2014 is (barring some kind of unforseen massive sales surge) the first year ever (ever??? no.) when no single band has had a platinum selling record. In the US. Even though the Frozen soundtrack has sold 3 Million copies.
Meanwhile, 60 songs HAVE sold a million copies in the US.
The future of music sales may be bleaker than we thought. 2014 is now 10 months old and not one album released this year has gone platinum. By comparison, at this point last year, 5 albums had gone platinum. The only album to reach 1 million in sales this year has been the Frozen soundtrack, which was released in 2013. In fact, this year's two other top sellers - Eric Curch and Lorde - we released last year and have still sold well under 1 million.
By Wallace Collins from Wallace Collins Entertainment Law Blog