By Emmanuel Legrand of Legrand Network. This story was originally published in French by IRMActu.
Who's No.1? How do you assess and define success? Who are the most popular artists and recordings at any given time? Ever since there has been a music industry, these questions have obsessed record company executives and artists alike. And to answer these questions, systems were put in place to measure success and identify which artists and songs were the most popular.
Billboard's transition from music industry trade to celebrity rag is picking up steam. In addition to last week's Fashion Editor hire, Janice Minn, who also helms the Hollywood Reporter, has mined the ranks of W, GQ, Vanity Fair, Esquire and the Daily News to add staffers that include a gossip columnist and Culture Editor.
Exiting after 8 years is West Coast Editor of Billboard.biz, Mitchell Peters.
"Billboard is excited to announce the addition of Tasha Green as new fashion editor," begins the breathy post on what has been the music industry's "must read" trade for decades. Green does come with real fashion cred. She was The Wall Street Journal's men's style editor, and the music biz is a boys club. Before that she was at Men's Vogue, Departures and did a stint as a ready-to-wear designer.
But why, you might wonder, does a music trade need a fashion editor?
Thomas Golubic, the music supervisor behind Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, The Killing and The Walking Dead has an insider view of the world of music sync, and its not always pretty. “These are big corporations,” Golubis, interviewed by Music Week at AIM’s recent Sync Conference, says of music budgets. “Some of the companies you deal with are a bit more respectful of the role music has, some are less so. It was a bummer to us all the way through that Sony would not loosen the purse strings [for Breaking Bad]."
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After almost 2 days of hacking, the finalists for this year's SXSW Music Hackathon have been announced. Singer and songwriter Travis (left) did the honors Thursday, and the finalists are: Moot, ARTPOP, Beats Video, Moon Neon, Crowd Scan, Hype, Lamb, Party Play, Song Stash, Glass Karaoke and Booth Bands. The winners will be announced tonight at the Awards Show and Afterparty March 14th 6pm-12am Austin Ballroom ACC.
Last week Pharrell Williams' hit "Happy" became the first song by a black artist since December of 2012 to reach #1 Billboard's Hot 100. Then, it was Rihanna's "Diamonds" that went #1. Since, even African-American powerhouses like Beyonce and Johnny Legend reached the top 5 without ever hitting #1.
Is The Music Industry Racist?
(UPDATED) Want to listen to Dr. Dre's landmark album The Chronic on Beats Music? You can't, despite Dre being a major partner in the new music streamer. A glaring catalog omission like this is just one of the many annoying bi-products of an antiquated and decentralized licensing system. Today Bop.fm took a major step towards circumventing it with the addition of Beats Music, to its agnostic music platform which already includes Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, YouTube and SoundCloud.
We regret to inform you that the need for your services will soon come to an end as we enter a critical restructuring period. Fortunately, after having spent nearly a century meticulously studying your art, language, fashion, and lifestyle, we have learned enough to confidently move forward without your assistance.
Thus begins a satirical and yet sadly accurate open letter addressing the lack of black music and dominance of pop across radio formats that has set industry tongues wagging.
Warner Music Group and Shazam have formed a strategic alliance to discover new acts and sign them to a Shazam branded label. The Shazam label imprint will identify unsigned artists by combining traditional A&R with with the music ID app's massive fan activity data. The partnership will also market existing WMG artists.
(UPDATED) Dave Kusek's New Artist Model has partnered with Bandzoogle, Presskit.to and CMJ to offer additonal services and discounts to the independent musicians taking the new online course. Kusek was the founder and CEO of Berklee's innovative online school and co-author of the landmark book The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution. There a limited number of seats left for the February 17th inaugural class.
An Affordable Alternative To Berklee Online and Full Sail
By Alex May (@AlexmDrums)
Ranging from music royalties gaining press attention to Billboard’s including YouTube video views and online music stream in chart rankings, 2013 provided several great topics to have a discussion about. Here is summary of the best parts.
Bill Werde, Bilboard Magazine's Editorial Director since 2008, has abruptly exited the music trade publication. Owners Guggenheim Partners have announced that Janice Min, who transformed their Hollywood Reporter from dull movie trade rag to glitzy glossy, will now add helmsman of Billboard to her portfilio.
In an increasingly crowded sector, it's important to launch with a little noise and a better product. That's exactly what Beats Music intends to do later this month, according to multiple sources. Just before the holidays, Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers announced that Beats would launch in January. Here's what we've learned in the last few days:
UPDATE 3: Industry sources says that the $15.99 album sold 80,000+ in its first 3 hours and 550,000 by the end of the day on Satueday. The album is trending to #1 on Billboard and will likely sell more than 600,000 when that chart's next top 10 is announced on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
Just before midnight (ET) last night, Beyonce released her 5th album exclusively on iTunes. Collaborators on this self-titled "exclusive visual album" include Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean and daughter Blue Ivy. This, her first since 2011, arrived without any prior announcement, priced at $15.99 and with no ala carte downloads available until December 20th.
There is a quote about Lou Reed attributed to Brian Eno. Not only is it's origin difficult to pin down; the quote has evolved over time: "The first Velvet Underground record may have only sold 1,000 copies, but every person who bought it started a band." In recent years, the number of records sold and bands started grew to 30,000. Whatever the numbers, the underlying message is the same.
Direct-to-fan sales and ecommerce are key tools for building an independent music career and the options for online and mobile sales continue to improve. The Orchard is now experimenting with reKiosk's ecommerce services beginning with the release of William Shatner's newest album "Ponder The Mystery." And, while it's a bit unclear when ShopLocket started offering preorders, the new feature fits right in with ShopLocket's overall growth and development.
A group of respected statisticians say that they can predict the success of a new Kickstarter with 84% accuracy with 36 hours of it's launch. Resarchers at Éccole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne created statistical models using funding data and discussions on Twitter from 16,000 Kickstarter campaigns that had raised a total of $158 million. 50% of them failed.
NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) and its digital sister digitalmusic.org will now collectively known as the Music Business Association (MusicBiz.org), the music industry trade group announced today. The organization will continue to be headed by President Jim Donio and his team in Marlton, NJ.
(UPDATE 2) New artist and direct to fan services launch almost daily, leaving music marketers and artists juggling a mashup of what might work for them. 3 million artists have chosen ReverbNation as their one-stop marketing hub; and they've been rewarded with a steady stream of new service launches. The latest is Crowd Review, a crowd-sourced music feedback platform. Submitting artists receive a comprehensive review, including the numerical rating along with comments. Here’s an example:
By Casey Rae , Interim Executive Director, Future of Music Coalition
(UPDATED) By David Macias, co-founder and president of Thirty Tigers.
The deal between Clear Channel and Warner Music portends a future where the exposure via public airwaves and public bandwidth for music will be in large part governed by the financial relationships between media companies and larger content providers. This will have a chilling effect on the independent music community from a business standpoint and will increase the likelihood that most of the music that you will hear on the public’s airwaves will be music that a corporation feels can be commoditized.