The Recording Academy has named the newest additions to its Grammy Hall Of Fame collection of singles and albums at least 25 years old that "exhibit qualitative or historical significance". Recordings are reviewed annually by a special member committee with final approval by The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. With 25 diverse new titles the year, the list currently totals 906.
- Europe is becoming the capital of global music startups. (GigOm) Why? An easier licensing environment and supportive governments and communities.
- Universal's EMI buyout will be painful. (Guardian) "When Universal gobbled up the label I was signed to, I lost out. How can we stop EMI's smaller artists suffering the same fate?"
Google Music launches with download store, free cloud lockers and a D.I.Y. artists store. Compare Google, Amazon and ITunes
- Distributor Pulls 234 Labels From Spotify, Napster, Rdio After iTunes Payments Drop 24%.
- Revenue At Universal Music Drops Another 2.9%.
- FanFueled Raises $1 Million For Ticketing Platform That Rewards Fan Engagement
- Billboard Magazine Declares That Discounted Music Doesn't Count.
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
- Music Think Tank: Music Think Tank is now on Google+
- Shaun Letang: The Importance Of Taking (The Right) Action In Your Music Career
- IndieAmbassador.com: Tips on Writing an Effective Artist Biography
In this new episode of This Week in Music, Ian Rogers sits down with John MacFarlane of Sonos at their company headquarters in Santa Barbara, CA. The two discuss John’s background, how Sonos came to be, how it integrates with streaming music services, and future initiatives for the company.
On a panel at Billboard's Future Sound conference yesterday, MobileRoadie CEO Michael Schneider shared his view that every band and brand needs a mobile strategy that includes a mobile friendly site and/or an app. As proof, Schneider shared four incredible stats:
The makers of J&B Scotch Whisky, a product I've yet to sample though I love me some bourbon, has an interesting campaign in progress called the J&B City Remix. World citizens are invited to record sounds of their cities using an iPhone app that will be used in DJ mixes for J&B promo parties. They've released a series of videos on YouTube to get the party started and it's a nice beginning.
The deadline to showcase at SXSW Accelerator has been extended to this Sunday, November 20th at 11:59pm CST. If you're involved in launching a music or music tech company SXSW Acclertator provides a highly visible showcase before industry experts, early adopters, Angels and VCs.
In new rules issued this week, Billboard Magazine declared that unit sales for albums priced below $3.49 will no longer be eligible for the Billboard charts and won't be counted in Nielsen SoundScan sales data during their first four weeks of release. EPs and individual songs must now also sell for $.39 or more per track to be counted. The new rules may be in response to Amazon's Lady Gaga 99 cent sale, but also serve to discourage artists and labels from using price as a marketing tool.
Have you heard about the Vimeo Music Store where you can legally license and purchase music to add to your Vimeo videos? This is big news because Vimeo is a popular site for stylish, cool, and engaged video creators. That means that they care about the sound and the quality of the music in their videos.
Up-and-coming Texas band Moonlight Social, has achieved a lot for a group that formed 10 months ago and has only released a single EP. They performed at SXSW selected by 9-time Grammy winner, Ray Benson and won a Grammy-sponsored showcase. The band also won the 2011 Austin Chronicle Sound Wars, beating 100 local bands.
The Association of Independent Music is a trade organization established in 1999 that represents all levels of the UK's indie music industry from individuals to large labels. Though AIM does focus on the UK, they also produce material of use to folks in the States, for example, The AIM Journal that currently appears twice a year with articles of interest to any business-oriented indie artist.
The National Music Publishers’ Association is teaming up with the Harry Fox Agency to offer independent music publishers an opportunity to opt into a direct licensing agreement with YouTube. The deal lets indie music publishers grant the necessary rights for the synchronization of their musical works with select videos posted by YouTube users.
The Battle Begins: Universal's takeover of EMI "bad news for almost everyone", say independent labels. (NME) Some EU based indie publishers are vowing to fight the EMI Publishing sale to Sony, as well.
- iTunes may open in Brazil before Christmas. (TNW) It's exciting to see digital music companies going international with increasing speed, and rightsholders finally letting them.
A bill that was recently passed by the House of Representatives opens up the possibility of music startups raising $1 to $2 million annually via social media and crowdfunding platforms without having to meet costly registration requirements.
Newly launched FanFueled has raised $1 million in funding for it's social and reward based ticketing platform. The seed round was led by Listen LLC and angel William Lohse. With service fees 1/2 to 2/3 lower than Ticketmaster, FanFueled's online ticketing and marketing platform incentivizes, tracks, and rewards fan engagement.
In the third quarter of 2011, Universal Music Group revenues stood at €2,842 million ($3,826 million USD) , a 2.9% decrease compared to the same period in 2010 (-1.1% at constant currency). A 11.3% increase in digital sales (+13.9% at constant currency) and higher license income only partly offset the continued decline in CD sales. More UMG earnings highlights:
(UPDATED) Billboard's Glenn Peoples and ex-staffer Anthony Bruno joined forces to pick their Top 10 Music Startups For 2011. As we'll see in other 2011 "Best Of" lists, this one is heavy on apps and music discovery. Missing are emerging solutions in the direct-to-fan and live music sectors. Most of the names will be familiar to Hypebot readers. Billboard's Top 10 Music Startups For 2011:
So what do you do if you're an aging rock band trying to stay in touch with today's youth? No, skinny jeans just aren't enough but maybe a cassette release, establishing your connection to a hip underground scene while giving it mainstream credibility, is the path! Dinosaur Jr. seems to be making just such a move with the release of "Cassette Trilogy", a limited edition box set of "classic" albums on cassette.
Google Music left beta yesterday with a 320kps download store, free cloud storage and streaming, unique music sharing options, mobile payments and a direct to fan sales hub for indie artists. But how does the new Google Music compare to more established music offerings from Apple's iTunes and Amazon? This chart from Huffington Post lays out the differences and similarities well:
The big music story is the launch of Google Music. Reactions are mixed, but it is more ambitious than I feared based on previous Google Music false starts. (This chart compares competitors.) And most things Google launched improve greatly over time. Google also shared an essential stat: they are adding 500K Android users daily for a total of past 200M. Any app without an Android version is shooting itself in the foot.
- SOPA copyright bill draws fire. A round up of reaction from CNet. Plus: Everything You Need To Know About SOPA & The New Copyfight
- SoundExchange has named Jonathan Bender as COO, replacing Barrie Kessler.
(UPDATED) Google Music left beta this afternoon touting music discovery, unique sharing options, mobile payments and a direct to fan sales hub for independent artists. In a move that bests Apple, Google's cloud service is free for up to 20,000 songs and available for streaming on all platforms including iOS. 320kps music download purchases have been incorporated into the Android app store.
Music Available At Launch
Electronic music distributor STHoldings has pulled all its distributed labels from streaming music services Spotify, Simfy, Rdio and Napster. "Despite these services offering promotion to many millions of music listeners we have concerns that these services cannibalize the revenues of more traditional digital services," the company said. "These concerns are confirmed in our own accounts and a recent study by NPD Group and NARM."
This post comes by Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm comes on the day that Congressional hearings SOPA begin.
You may have heard rumblings and grumblings about a Senate bill that would “effectively destroy” YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Google+, and any other service that lets people post things on the internet.
Zurich-based restorm.com recently introduced a label-focused version of their Facebook app for bands. Billed as the "world's first Facebook app for labels", restorm.com offers a number of features ranging from music sales to news to events listings. restorm.com is also creating a platform of services for multiple sectors of the music ecosystem, including individual artists, labels, venues, media and fans.
Having trouble writing your artist biography? If you don’t have someone to write your biography and you need some help, you may want to check out this MTT post. On Music Think Tank, IndieAmbassador.com gives tips on writing your story which is essential in marketing your brand.
(UPDATED) At a Los Angeles event scheduled for this afternoon, Google Music is expected to enhance its service with new mobile and sharing features plus a download store including the catalogs of Universal, EMI, Sony and indie aggregator Merlin. Warner Music Group remains the one holdout; and Sony just came aboard last night, according to multiple sources. Here's what to look for during today's Google Music announcement:
When I first saw the news that Sting had an iPad app as part of his activities celebrating 25 years of solo performance, it didn't strike me as particularly startling, given that it's only a matter of time before such products will become a normal aspect of major artist releases. But when I was informed that it cost over a million dollars and found out it was being given away for free, I have to admit to being rather startled.
Major global talent agency ICM is reportedly in turmoil after rumors circulated about ICM President Chris Silbermann exiting the company, along with with several key personnel, including Ted Chervin and Rick Levy to launch a new agency.
The data presented in a recent NPD Group/NARM study found terrestrial radio and syndicated television among the main influential sources of music discovery (60% and 49% respectively). With all the new avenues for music discovery out there, why are the majority of people still choosing to shape their musical tastes through premeditated and controlled media sources?