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Fear and Loathing in Royalty Rate Setting

Bat-countryXBy 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.

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Former EXFM CEO Talks Music Startup Challenges

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In this episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, we talk with Dan Cantor, who is former CEO and co-founder of exfm, a social music discovery platform that enables people transform music blogs into playable mix. In recent months, his company was acquired by Rhapsody International and he became their VP of product. We talk to Cantor about his company, the music startup space, and Rhapsody’s future.


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Content Marketing Is Dead

content{UPDATED] By Brian Thompson from ZenThinking.net and Thorny Bleeder; writer, podcaster, and author of the upcoming book, "Sparks to Awaken."

Content marketing is dead. or perhaps I should say, it makes me feel dead. whether you realize or not, it probably makes you feel quite empty and lifeless too. i’ve grown to have a serious disdain for the word ‘content’, when associated with creative and artistic work. when you add the word ‘marketing’ to the end of it to form 'content marketing', the resulting phrase gives me the serious willies now. i cringe.i know this may seem hypocritical considering all of the marketing advice i've formerly advocated, but i’ve changed. and i hope you will too. 

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Music Publishing News Roundup 10.31.14: Soundcloud, T.I. + Sony/ATV, TIDAL Hi-Def

Soundcloud-adverts-appSoundcloud is looking to start making money. The Berlin-based online music streaming giant has grown its user base to 350 million since launching in 2007. Up till now, the company has lost up to $29.6 million. Soundcloud currently pays no publishing royalties because they are not making money from advertising like Youtube is. For this reason, they have managed to avoid any legal problems with organizations like NMPA. However, David Israelite of the NMPA has recently said that they may still sue, but are looking for a win win situation. In an effort, to launch their ad-supported streaming smoothly, Soundcloud has hired fore Warner Music executive Stephen Byran as VP of business development.


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David Pakman: The Artist's Share

Shutterstock_144811777-e1414516371339By David Pakman, prominent venture capitalist in NYC, the co-creator of Apple's Music Group, and former CEO of eMusic. This post originally appeared on Pakman.com

There is a commonality in the Hachette/Amazon and Spotify/Pandora/Recording Artist debates and it looks something like this:

  • By not paying enough royalties to the licensor (book publisher, record label), authors and artists are being starved.
  • We are told this is critically bad for authors and artists who can no longer earn a living.
  • Thus, creators won’t create, and art and culture ultimately suffer.

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Grooveshark Introduces Grooveshark Presents

GI_69809_Grooveshark-Tile-OrangeDespite several ongoing legal battles with record labels, earlier this week, Grooveshark announced the launch of Grooveshark Presents, a new fan-sourced live music initiative. By tapping into their already established user base of over 30 million music fans, Grooveshark Presents is a way for Grooveshark to bring offline music events to their online audience. 

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The Dangers of Positive Thinking: Bursting the Music Industry Feedback Bubble

SmileBy Alex Jae Mitchell, Co-Founder and CEO of Audiokite

Having listened to probably more than a thousand artists as a songwriting contest judge and music startup person, I’m no stranger to giving feedback to musicians. And I have a confession to make: rarely is the feedback I give 100% honest. I’ll hear a track with major problems (out-of-tune vocals, scratchy production, uninspired lyrics, etc.) and tell the band “Maybe touch up the vocal production, but overall, it sounds great!” 

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Live Nation Posts Solid Q3 Financials

image from www.celebrityaccess.comLive Nation Entertainment released positive financial results for the third fiscal quarter and reported revenue up across the board by 11% from the previous year. Revenue increased to $2.50 billion from $2.26 billion, in 2013 and adjusted operating income increased to $258.1 million from $221.2 in the same period in 2013, an increase of 17%.

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Billboard Announces 2014 Touring Award Finalists

BBtouring2014_300x250 (2)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. 

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Pandora & Spotify Beat Beats Music As Top Ranking And Earning Music Apps

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 10.26.57 PMYesterday morning, app analytics company App Annie released it's newest list of top performing apps in the Google Play store and Apple's App store. Pandora and Spotify were ranked first and second in the report coming in well  above Apple's Beats Music in both revenue generated and user downloads. After Apple's $3 billion dollar acquisition on Beats, this may read a bit surprising, but a closer look reveals that perhaps the lackluster ratings are indicative of a broadening of horizons for Apple's Beats Music. 

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How Irving Azoff Plans To Collect 30% More For Songwriters Than BMI, ASCAP Does

image from www.allaccess.comAfter uber-manager and music industry deal maker Irving Azoff exited as Chairman of Live Nation last year, one of his many moves was to form Global Music Rights as part of his Azoff MSG Entertainment, a new joint venture with the Madison Square Garden Company. There were rumors that some major songwriters including members of Journey, Foreigner, Fleetwood Mac and Soundgarden had signed on.  Now its becoming clear what Azoff has planned for his growing song catalog, and it strikes at the heart of a marketplace dominated by BMI and ASCAP for decades.

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Ask a Music Journalist: 4 Things We Never Want to Read in Bios Ever Again

BioBy Jamie Ludwig on Sonicbids.com

A well-written bio is one of the best tools independent musicians have when it comes to making an impression on music journalists and editors. Before we even hear your song samples or are able to attend one of your shows, there’s a good chance we’ve glanced through your press materials. This is your opportunity to place yourself and your art in your chosen framework and tell your story exactly how you see fit.

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How To Fund A Full Length Album

Tumblr_inline_ne5yjpUQ4L1s24py6By James Shotwell, Social Media Coordinator at Haulix.com

It’s funny how fast the music industry changes these days. A year ago many people would have claimed that crowdfunding was the future of the music business, but as many independent acts have learned over the year this is not always the case. Some audiences will be able to support the dreams of their favorite musicians, but that is not true for every talented musician with a diehard fans following their every move. For some, it takes a lot more than launching a free web page and asking for money, and today we’re going to take notes from one Massachusetts based group who recently cracked the fundraising code and raised the long-awaited funds needs to create their first full length album.

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Boomio Announces Snapchat Style Mobile App for Music Sharing

Imgs1082-20141028_11-19-17_5Now entering the arena of countless social networks, Boomio is stepping forward. Reminiscent of Snapchat in the way it shares content, Boomio allows the sending of full length, fully licensed songs to large audiences or targeted groups with personalized messaging. The recipient will receive a notification otherwise known as a 'boom' - they'll be able to listen the track once before it 'blows up.' Now that the listener has had a chance to hear the track, they'll either be able to buy the song or share it with others for an additional play through. 

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The Cyber PR Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 3 of 3)

Bigstock-Social-media-concept-43274035-e1414174408500In parts one and two of The Cyber PR Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan, Ariel Hyatt highlighted the importance of having a sound online presence and went on to give us the best practices for a new release launch. Today, she shares what to do in the time between albums to keep the connections you've made while continuing to grow your fan base

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Where's The Bump? Young Fathers Wins Mercury Prize 2014, Nomination Drives Just 561 Sales

young fathersEdinburgh hip-hop trio Young Fathers won the 2014 Mercury Prize for best British or Irish record of the last 12 months last night. Hopefully a win for the group means more than the nomination for one of the UK's top music awards did.  According to Official Charts Company, Young Fathers post- nomination sales bump was a mere 561 units.  Several other Mercury Prize nominees did not fair much better.

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HFA's Slingshot Supports TIDAL’s U.S. Launch

image from www.celebrityaccess.comHFA (Harry Fox Agency) has signed a licensing and royalty administration services arrangement with music streaming service TIDAL to support the launch of their new CD quality streaming service. TIDAL’s owner Aspiro focuses on streaming high-quality audio tracks to consumers. In 2010 Aspiro launched its original service called WiMP Music in Norway and has since expanded into Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Poland.

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Spotify Upgrades iPad App

Spotify logoSpotify has updated its iPad app to include Your Music, a design and feature set already available on the music streamer's desktop and mobile apps which make it easier to save, organize and browse music, The redesign also brings Spotify's dark theme, typography and rounded iconography to the iPad.  Today's announcement describes the upgrades:

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Universal Music Chairman Lucian Grainge Skeptical Of SoundCloud Revenue Model

image from www.allaccess.comUniversal 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.

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5 Ways To Influence Fans To Buy Physical Music

RecordsBy Nick Moorhead on Sonicbids.com

People don’t buy CDs anymore. I still buy a couple of CDs a month, but that’s because I’m a music journalist who's too lazy to steal music online like everyone else (torrents confuse me). When I tell people about the latest CD I picked up at Newbury Comics, they either yawn and change the subject or look at me like I rode into town via horse and buggy. The point is, if you want someone to buy your physical media, you have to go above and beyond these days. Here are five ways to help your fans make that purchase. 

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50% Of AM/FM Stations Will Be Gone In 10 Years, Says Top Analyst

RADIOHalf of all AM/FM broadcast stations will disappear by 2024, according to a new report from top radio analyst Gordon Borrell. The reason? The rise of the so called "digital dashboard" and more choices for in-car listening. There are other means of sending out audio - you won’t need an FCC license,” says Borrell.

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YouTube Music Service Could Cost Artists, Labels $2.3 Billion Per Year In Lost Income

YouTube Music[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

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The 7 Fundamental Steps To Cover Band Success (Part 2 of 2)

Cover_band_art__1250698650_0345Separating your cover band from the pack can often be a difficult task. In a sea of cover bands playing everything under the sun, how do you tell people, "I exist and my band plays awesome cover music"? When you are not playing original material, the way you distinguish yourself and build contacts can be the difference between success and failure.

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Don’t Go Broke Buying Merch: A Band T-Shirt Strategy You Need to Know

Screen-shot-2014-10-27-at-6.46.03-AM1By Chris Robly on DIYMusician.com

How to get the most bang for your buck when you print band t-shirts

You might not admit it to anyone, but I’ll bet seeing a fan wearing your band’s t-shirt is one of the secret little highlights of your musical life. A striking band logo, a sweet design, quality fabric. Of course you want to print up quality t-shirts to sell to fans at your gigs and on your website. And you want to see your fans wearing those shirts out there in the world, helping to spread the word about your music.

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Platformz Mobile Aims to Bridge the Gap for Indie Artists

3341897According to Billboard, Indie music comprises 34.5% of the United States music industry market. It is notoriously an underserved sector - Platformz mobile app aims to change that. The app aims to connect artists to their audiences in a new and increasingly meaningful way. Platformz gives artist's access to their most streamed music and breaks down the data into how long their music was streamed and where the traffic is coming from regionally, nationally, and even around the world. Being able to crack open this data could prove extremely valuable to Indie artists. 

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Front Gate Partners With Umbel To Bring More Data To Event Ticketing & Marketing

FGT_Logo_Dark_HorizontalAustin-based Front Gate Tickets has announced a strategic alliance with another Austin-based company, Umbel, to provide comprehensive analytics from platforms such as Facebook to their clients. Using a system it calls Digital Genome analysis, Umbel is able to uncover data points in their customer base to create relevant ticket buyer profiles for a particular artist and then find analogous fans via Facebook and using that connection to promote and market shows.

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5 Steps To Music Licensing Success

Fun-band1By Tyler Allen on Sonicbids Blog

In 2008, many a teenage heart was broken over indie-rock group The Format's break up. Soon after the split, singer Nate Ruess scored huge with a licensing deal for his new band, FunThis one deal single-handedly took them from underground darlings to worldwide superstars in a matter of months. The key word? Licensing. Let's explore how to get licensed, and how one little song can change your life.

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