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Indie Stores Are Being 'Strangled' By Major Label Distribution: 'Things are a complete mess.'

Stangled musicIndependent music stores are demanding action from all three major labels over repeated missing and incorrect shipments handled by their primary fulfillment partner Direct Shot Distributing. "We need help right now on this issue or you will begin to see stores fold simply because their supply chain strangled them," says Michael Bunnell, Executive Director Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS).

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Why Physical Promotion, Release Formats Are Still Important

3Living in the age we are, many musicians may be tempted to invest their time and money solely in digital promotion, but eschewing more archaic forms of promotion like vinyls, shirts, and stickers in favor of targeted social media ads and playlist promotion can sometimes backfire. Here we look at why old school formats and promotion strategy still have some value.

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PledgeMusic Owes This Indie Artist $197,559

Money on fireProgressive composer John Zorn is owed $197,559 for a completed PledgeMusic campaign that he was never paid for.  "The Book Beriah," a box set of 11 albums to be released on his own Tzadik label. features different groups interpreting his compositions inspired by Jewish folk music.

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A Brief History Of Record Deals

1While artists have always been responsible for music's artistic future, technology and the recording industry have always shaped how that future has been implemented. Here we look at record deals through the ages, from their inception in the late 1800s through to present day.

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Highlights From ASCAP Expo 2019

image from www.hypebot.comASCAP began its 2019 "I Create Music" Expo with the announcement that total revenues for 2018 topped $1.227 billion, an increase of 7% over the previous year. $1.109 billion in royalties were paid to member songwriters, composers and publishers, up 10% year-over-year.

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Record Store Day Drove 827,000 In Vinyl Albums Sales, 72% Came From Indie Stores

RecordStoreDayLogoRecord Store Day 2019 drove another record year of vinyl sales. 827,000 vinyl albums sold in the U.S. during the week ending April 18, according to Nielsen Music. That's a Record Store Day week record and the third-largest sales week for vinyl albums since Nielsen began tracking sales in 1991.

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Bandcamp Adds No-Risk Vinyl Pressing via Pirate Press

image from bandcampblog.files.wordpress.comBandcamp is expanding its commitment to vinyl with a new offering that eliminates upfront costs for artists and labels. Vinyl on the popular independent music destination has grown 600% in the last 5 years, with 3,500 unique vinyl albums added to the site each month.

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Saturday Is Record Store Day 2019 - GO BUY SOMETHING!

RecordStoreDayLogoUPDATED: Tomorrow, Saturday 4/13 is Record Store Day 2019, with hundreds of independent record stores celebrating a resurgence that most thought would never happen. Thanks to vinyl, survival skills and loyal fans, these stores are, for the most part, experiencing a resurgence. But that will only continue if you turn off your computer, put your phone down and go buy something.  

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Radio Nowhere - Is Anybody Alive Out There?

2Radio giant iHeartMedia has filed for a $100 million IPO, even as it just emerges from bankruptcy. William Paterson University Music Business Professor David Philp takes a look at the state of terrestrial radio, its less than graceful handling of the internet's rise, and why it needs to adapt, as radio's core audience ages out while simultaneously switching to other forms of audio entertainment.

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Advice To Labels: When Reissuing Vinyl, Take The Extra Step

2The resurgence of vinyl has breathed new life into a number formerly overlooked albums, bringing hitherto forgotten artists out of the woodwork. When it comes to these fresh pressings, however, it's important that labels take the time (and money) to invest in top notch audio quality.

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The Importance Of Artwork In Your Music

2With the rise fo streaming the prominence of album artwork has, quite literally, been greatly reduced. That said, it's a mistake for artists to discount the incredible importance of album art when it comes to releasing and promoting your music.

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The Magic Of Indie Record Stores: 'Dream Big Shop Small' [VIDEO]

Record Store DaySub Pop, Easy Street Records and J Mascis produced this short video tale "Dream Big, Shop Small," about the magic of record stores and the music you find in the. It's a fitting teaser as we count down to Record Store 2019.

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Streaming Revenue Impressive, But Can It Ever Make Up For Lost Physical Sales?

1With streaming revenue showing a massive increase in comparison to previous years, the major three record labels are rejoicing at their annual haul. A big part of this income still draws from physical sales however, and as these old-school revenue streams continue to thin to a trickle, will streaming be able to fully compensate?

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11 Proven Band Merch Ideas To Create Excitement, Sales, Fan Loyalty

1Although physical sales of music may have dwindled over the past few years, merchandise remains an exciting and lucrative aspect of the music industry, generating billions of dollars every year. Here we look at eleven true and tested types of merch that get fans excited, while providing artists with a nice bump in revenue.

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Owning Music Is Important - Vinyl Can Help

1With the rise of the digital age, music has ceased to become something we own as much as something we rent. One format, once thought of as obsolete, is shifting this new balance, however. Here we look at why ownership of music is still important, and how vinyl is making it relevant again.

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Bankrupt RPM Distribution Owes $6.7 Million To Labels

RPMFollowing the sudden closure of Canada’s largest independent vinyl distributor RPM last month, details surrounding the company’s bankruptcy have begun to emerge. A sworn statement filed by RPM president Paul Herzog in Ontario court reveals the company owes $8.9 million CND / $6.7M USD in liabilities.

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Secretly Leaves Warner Music's ADA, Signs With AMPED

image from upload.wikimedia.orgIndependent music label and distribution company Secretly has parted ways with Warner Music Group's indie arm ADA, and entered into a US distribution partnership with Florida-based AMPED.

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HMV Rescued From Bankruptcy By Sunrise Records

HMVUK HMV record store chain has been saved from bankruptcy by Doug Putman, who also runs the Canadian music retailer Sunrise Records. Sunrise also took over 70 HMV retail locations across Canada early in 2017, growing the Sunrise footprint from 12  to 82 stores overnight.

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Cassette Sales Still On The Rise

1When streaming began to dominate music consumption, many industry insiders believed all physical forms of media would soon die out, but it appears that vinyl wasn't the only format to prove these people wrong, and that cassette tapes have see something of a renaissance of late.

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Live Albums: Lost Art Or Underutilized Asset? [Jake Udell]

1Here Jake Udell explores how the live album, a format which has a fallen a bit by the wayside in recent years, was utilized by breakout artist Freya Ridings with hugely successful results.

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Is Printing, Selling Physical CDs Still Worth It?

1While there is a lot of nostalgia surrounding the CDs and CD buying culture, the manufacturing costs and associated complexities of creating them leave a lot of more contemporary artists wondering if, in the digital age, CDs are really worth it at all.

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PledgeMusic Pays Fastball 50%, As Others Exit Platform

PledgeMusic NewLast week, Bob Lefsetz brought the plight of the many artists that have not been getting paid on time by PledgeMusic for the last 6 months to a broader audience.  Now Fastball, Bob 's posters boys for PledgeMusic transgressions, report that they received a little over half of the money due them.

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Bandcamp Opens Brick and Mortar Record Store and Performance Space - A Look Inside

image from bandcampblog.files.wordpress.comBandcamp is opening a record shop and performance space in Oakland, California on February 1st.  The store will feature a rotating selection of 99 records that showcase "the diversity and design" of the five million available on Bandcamp.

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50% Of New Guitars Sold To Young Women

2The gender has been a significant issue in the music industry for a number of years, with women often getting marginalized or in other ways receiving the short end of the stick. A positive indicator that change is finally coming however, reveals that half of the guitars sold in the US and UK are going to young women.

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Hip-Hop Dominates U.S. Streaming, But Not Physical Sales

1Here we look at some fascinating new data from market analyst BuzzAngle, revealing some interesting trends in America's music consumption habits. One thing at least is clear: hip hop reigns supreme when it comes to streaming, this year accounting for a quarter of all plays.

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RPM Music Distribution Shuts Down Without Warning

image from www.rpmdistribution.caRPM music distribution has shut down without warning. The Concord, Ontario based company whose distribution and one-stop clients include independent labels Concord, eOne, Drag City and Rough Trade. A letter sent to clients by RPM president Paul Herzog reads:

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2018s Most Memorable LGBTQ Album Covers

1While album sales certainly aren't what they used to be, many artists still utilize these long form collections of music as a valuable format for telling personal stories, something which the album artwork is a huge part of. In this piece, David Deal looks at some of the cover highlights from a fantastic collection of albums which came out of LGBTQ community in 2018.

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HMV May Be Rescued From Bankruptcy By Buyvia

Hmv-story-coverBeleaguered music retailer HMV may be saved from bankruptcy by Buyvia, an online discount club with more than 200,000 members in the UK. The proposed plan would save a number of retail stores and use Buyvia's expertise to overhaul HMV's digital presence.

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