Back in 2010 you may have heard of FlySoft and the launch of the Appbum, a music album in app form. In 2012 the music project relaunched as 3plet Publishing and began to beta test and release 3plets (pronounced triplets), their current product, from early adopting Russian bands. As one of the Midemlab Music Tech Startup Finalists, they begin their move to open the platform to the West this weekend in Cannes. Here's more about the product which presents a solid solution for native album apps.
ADA, the indie label distribution and services arm of Warner Music Group (WMG), is expanding its artist & label services team. Brandon Squar has been promoted to SVP Digital Strategy and Revenue and Tatia Adams Fox has been named SVP Marketing, ADA. Both are based in New York.
The Unsigned Guide provides an online directory and educational resources focused on the needs of up and coming artists in the UK music industry. They recently released a free "Essential Guide To Music Funding" that presents informaton about funding opportunities in the UK. Bonus articles on crowdfunding campaigns and PledgeMusic projects make this guide worth a look for artists elsewhere as well.
One historical problem facing musicians at all levels of the industry is the lack of transparency in much accounting of sales and royalties. OTTO, by Ottomate, is one solution being taken up by indie labels and distributors for such purposes. Indie label rights agency Merlin just introduced a customized dashboard to make it easier for members to manage their business. This may sound like rather dry news to most but such efforts are really important for making sure everyone gets paid.
Folk music legend Pete Seeger died on Monday at the age of 94. Seeger became a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. Other notable awards include a Grammy lifetime achievement in 1993, National Medal of Arts in 1994, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1996. Seeger was also an influential environmentalist, humanitarian, and social activist.
As part of our coverage of international music industry mega-conference Midem in Cannes, France, we'll be livestreaming Midem Talks featuring will.i.am, Rita Ora, Jean Michel Jarre and others 16.00-19.00 CET, (10AM ET) from February 1-3. We'll also have videos of many other session just hours after they end. Look for a player on the Hypebt main page each day along with links to more video. We'll also be tweeting breaking news @hypebot.
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UPDATED: Topspin has now confirmed that cut 14 employees yesterday, or about 44% of staff. While the company declined further comment, the move is being described by some as redirecting the company back to it's original mission. "They're focusing on their platform, their technology and their data," former Topspin executive Gary Brotman told Billboard. "That was the idea from the beginning, and going back to that makes sense because it's Topspin's strong suit."
Yesterday Gracenote announced a partnership with Next Big Sound to bring additional data and features to Gracenote's new Rhythm platform which launches in February. I spoke earlier in the week with Gracenote President Stephen White who discussed Rhythm and helped me to understand who would want such a thing given how many music services are currently crowding the landscape. As it turns out, having metadata on 180 million songs doesn't just mean they're hoping to support even bigger music catalogs.
Revenue from music apps jumped a whopping 75% in 2013, according to analytics firm App Annie. The music category is now the 3rd most popular, up from 7th in 2012. Only game and social networking apps were more popular last year. Pandora led music app growth worldwide, which is particularly impressive given that the music streaming service is only available the US, Australia and New Zealand.
The recently renamed Los Angeles College of Music (LACM formerly LAMA) is spreading the word that Art Alexakis of Everclear fame has been named their new Songwriting Program Chair. They kicked things off with a LACM student project, a music video for an original song featuring Art Alexakis, that was created on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and debuted at the annual Imagine Party. Alexakis is pictured at left working with a LACM student on the bus and appears in the video below.
UPDATED: In large part to maintain journalistic integrity, I've always separated Hypebot and Music Think Tank from my work as head of booking agency Skyline Music. But a recent CelebrityAccess interview by veteran music industry journalist Larry LeBlanc shares a behind the scenes that look about what motivated me to found both companies, how they intersect, and the good work they do because of the talented and dedicated team that I work with. You can read the interview here.
As Co-founder and CEO of Khush, Prerna Gupta led the company to a huge success with mobile music apps such as LaDIDa and Songify before they were acquired by Smule. She then went on to lead product development and marketing at Smule with the understanding that products that sell themselves have marketing built into them. Recently she shared a few tips for building an app that sells itself.
The United States is the only democratic country in the world where artists don’t get paid for radio airplay. In retaliation for the US also not paying foreign artists for radio airplay here in the United States, many other countries are not paying American artists in their countries. That's the motivation behind a petition started by artist and entrepreneur Blake Morgan. David Byrne (pictured right) and others have jumped on board.
Are you struggling to keep up in today's techno-dominant industry? You're not the only one in the undertow of advances that make it seemingly impossible to stay above water. While there are more opportunities than ever to create, produce, and share your music, establish and executing a plan that includes making money and marketing yourself is critical to the successful use of these new tools.
Facebook may be having trouble retaining teen users, but new figures released during it's 4th quarter earning reports yesterday, show continued user growth overall. Social network has now passed 1.23 billion total monthly active users.
More Facebook stats:
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Brian Felsen, President of CD Baby, HostBaby and BookBaby exited the company today. No reason was given for his departure. Felson had been the head of CD Baby since 2008, when founder Derek Sivers sold the company Disc Makers. Felson had directed business development at the disc manufacturer since 2003, and helped facilitate the purchase. He announced his departure in a tweet:
Prince has dropped his $22 million lawsuit punishing fans for posting links to old concert videos. Prince's lawyer has issued a statement to TMZ: "Because of the recent pressure, the bootleggers have now taken down the illegal downloads and are no longer engaging in piracy. We recognize the fans craving for as much material as possible, but we’d prefer they get it from us directly than from third parties who are scalpers rather than real fans of our work."
App.net has launched a new crowdfunding service for developers called Backer that focuses on funding a new feature or service. So, instead of getting quick misleading responses to questions posed to users about a startup's next step, developers can see if users are actually going to support it by seeing if they'll fund it.
App.net tested it out on their site and are now making it available to the public.
SXSW has announced the first ever official Music Hackathon Championship, and Hypebot is proud to be a media sponsor. The SXSW Music Hackathon will take place over a 24-hour period from Wednesday, March 12th - Thursday, March 13th at the Hilton Austin Downtown, with the Championship Awards Show to follow on Friday, March 14th..
Format, Rules & How To Register
Last week we reported on plans by Last.fm to stream music via YouTube. Today, the CBS owned Last.fm announced a deal with Spotify. Both free and premium Spotify users can now play and control music from a Spotify playbar at the bottom of the Last.fm screen. It's unclear if YouTube or streaming from other services are still part of the Last.fm plan, though it's likely given the cost savings that outside music providers offer the struggling service.
Brooklyn Bowl is one of those businesses that, at least from a distance, seems to be doing everything right. Established in 2009 in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bowl combines live performance, a bowling alley, big screen tvs and great food in a hybrid mix that's gotten rave reviews. Recently they launched a new location in London and will soon launch another in Vegas. It's an ambitious move for a creative company that appears to have a high chance of success.
By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Music fans curious about the latest music subscription to launch in the United States, Beats Music, have been kicking the tires and trying to decide whether it’s more deserving of their $10 per month than the other options. Reviews are mixed. Some people dig it while others do not, as with any new product.
Most professional technology writers weighing in on Beats Music — the ones of us who focus on music, anyway — have paid for or received free access to most or all of the music subscriptions for many years.
Benjamin Franklin once said "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." It is true in any profession that you must plan ahead, spend your time strategically, and budget practically - but it's not always easy to figure out how to make all of those things work together.
Yesterday The Ellen Show released a YouTube clip that seems to be from today's yet-to-air show in which she announces that she's partnering with Beats Music and that she's going to be in one of their Super Bowl commercials. She also plays a brief clip from the commercial and says she'll show more on Thursday. Bringing in Ellen signals just how mainstream Beats Music's commercial push will be. It's one thing to get a bunch of celebrities out to a launch party during Grammy weekend thrown by a company that's making some of them lots of money and it's another thing to play the Ellen card.
The National Music Publishers’ Association has named Chip McLean, Senior Vice President, Business Development & Business Affairs for the Disney Music Group (DMG) the the NMPA’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. McLean was elected at the organization’s December 2013 meeting.
Virgin Records has launched a tablet app that chronicles the labels 40 years. Introduced by Virgin founder Richard Branson, it including a comprehensive video timeline of artists from Mike Oldfield to Emeli Sandé and offers a preview of an innovative way to consume music in a more immersive way.
The Berklee College of Music today launched the Institute For Creative Entrepreneurship (ICE), and named Sonicbids founder and Berklee alum Panos Panay as Founding Managing Director. Introductory lectures begin this spring, with a full launch in the fall. With an ambitious plans to create the "MIT Media Lab for the music and creative sector," Panay shared his vision for ICE in an interview just prior to launch.