When it comes to the job description of producers in today’s recording studio, the phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same” comes to mind. While technological advances have made the studio a significantly more streamlined and efficient place to work, the principles of what makes a good producer have stood the test of time. That said, let’s take a look at what the producer’s role is when it comes to songwriters and their demos in the current climate.
Making money from your music gigs isn’t easy. Few creators are able to make a living solely off their music. In fact, incredible and talented musicians often have to work multiple jobs on top of playing gigs just to be able to afford gear and all the other expenses that come with creating. And even if you are getting paid for your music, it’s not always with money.
Spotify and Instagram have recently announced that they will be partnering up in order to allow Instagram users to share what they're listening to on Spotify in their Instagram stories.
As Spotify was getting its subscription music service off the ground, the world’s biggest music labels took equity stakes in the company. Now that Spotify has gone public, they’re selling big chunks of those holdings.
Last week, Sony, the music label with the biggest stake in Spotify, announced that it had sold about half of its shares, for about $750 million. Warner Music Group says it has sold 75 percent of its Spotify shares, for about $400 million.
This is an interesting article comparing live revenue to recorded music revenue. It also compares the current era vs. “the old days,” which were really only about 10-15 years ago. However, the article states, there may be limits to the growth of the live music industry. It comments on the 2016 revenues of Live Nation, America’s biggest event promoter. Live music is not a growth industry anymore. It has matured and its gains come more from higher ticket prices now than incrementally more tickets sold.
YouTube has promised a new paid music streaming service for months, as part of a plan to counter objections from artists and labels that feel the Google owned company pays too little for music. Now, as Google convenes its I/O developer conference, new features are being added to the current failing YouTube Music service.
Our House of Representatives passed The Music Modernization Act this past week. This does some good things, while not taking on the biggest elephant in the room.
Touring can be an incredibly draining experience, and while it's important to take a breather every now and then, taking too much time of from your music can ultimately have a decidedly detrimental effect on your career.
Record Store Day 2018 broke many sales records and proved that U.S. vinyl sales are not tapering off any time soon. The 733,000 LPs sold during Record Store Day week 2018 set an all-time high, according to Nielsen Music.
One of the biggest lies told by Spotify is that streaming will provide more revenue over the life of a record because every play will be monetized. This as opposed to the one time payment earned from a transactional purchase where all the revenue from the purchase of the record is paid at once. There is however, a very big problem with this theory, which is that the consumption curves of streaming match the consumption curves of transactional sales.
YouTube is the most dominant streaming platform in the worldwide music business. According to estimates published in the IFPI’s Global Music Report, the video streaming platform attracted 46% of all music streaming listening time around the world last year (excluding China).
The Department of Justice has released the first list of the nearly 1,300 consent decrees it wants to do away with. The decades-old agreements that limit how much radio pays to ASCAP and BMI aren’t on it, but the Antitrust Division says its review is just getting started.
So you just finished up your music video that you spent HOURS and HOURS putting together with your team and are ecstatic about the end result. Don’t sleep yet! Although a high-quality music video always has the chance of going viral, that chance is SLIM if there’s no promotional strategy to back it up.
The Music Modernization Act passed the U.S. House this week and is headed for the Senate. Here Dae Bogan recounts how providing the Principle Analyst of the Congressional Budget office with a crash course in copyright law and music publishing left him very concerned about the economic future of DIY musicians.
It wasn’t even close as the U.S. House on Wednesday unanimously approved a sweeping music copyright reform bill with a 415-0 vote. The Music Modernization Act doesn’t include a performance royalty for AM/FM airplay however it does encompass provisions that could wind up costing the radio industry more for music use in the years to come.
The sweeping Music Modernization Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously on Wednesday with 415 votes. The bipartisan legislation now heads to the Senate with strong support from the music industry. The leaders of three industry trade groups shared their reaction.
While site blocking has long been employed as a nuclear (albeit often ineffective) option for preventing copyright infringement, the entertainment industry is now taking things a step further by blocking certain apps.
As the launch of YouTube's long-promised streaming music service nears, the Google Play Music brand is being readied for retirement, according to reports. Internally code named 'Remix,' the new service, which has been beta tested by YouTube staffers for weeks, will likely be dubbed YouTube Music.
The recorded music market grew by 8.1% globally in 2017, with total revenues for the year of $17.3 billion. This marks the third consecutive year of growth, according to the just released IFPI Global Music Report 2018. Streaming remains the main driver of recovering revenues and, for the first time, has become the single largest revenue source.
If you’re good at waiting for things, music just might be the career for you. Whether it’s the thought of a young band breaking out after playing together for just a few months or the unprecedented access to a constant stream of new music delivered via playlist, patience is a profoundly impactful asset not nearly associated with music as much as it should be.
In this helpful set of tips, Chris Robley outlines the three things every musician needs to keep in mind as they work to achieve success in the music industry, and why it's important to always be working toward the small victories.
A major hurdle for a legislative proposal to rework several pieces of the federal law governing music copyrights has been put on the congressional calendar for this week. The full House is scheduled to consider the Music Modernization Act on Wednesday. The bill earlier secured a positive recommendation from the Judiciary Committee and it’s expected to clear the House by a wide margin.
The following MBW blog comes from Denis Simms (pictured inset), who focuses on trends and analysis across digital music and music tech. He has an artist management, market analysis and label background, and is behind weekly industry newsletter Side A&B. Denis is currently consulting and completing a masters degree in music business at Tileyard in London.
While once upon a time credit cards were only accepted at major businesses this is no longer the case, and many consumers don't even bother to carry cash or checks with them. In this piece we explore why it's essential for bands and artists to accept credit cards, and how they can go about doing so.
Apple Music is growing far faster than Spotify, according to a new analysis. If this growth rate continues, Apple could pass Spotify for paid subscribers, particualrly in the US, sometime this year.
While there has been a decline in recorded music sales, the live performance sphere of the music business continues to post substantial numbers. While it is not required, it is prudent for a musician to enter into a written contract, sometimes referred to as a live performance agreement, for the commissioned concert that the artist intends to perform. We will now examine some important matters that should be addressed in a live performance agreement.
In addition to the considerations we addressed in part one of this piece, there are some other clauses an artist should be aware of and include in a live performance agreement. We will now briefly explore some of those matters.
Another essential matter discussed in a live performance agreement is whether, in addition to a performance fee, the artist may also receive the cost of travel and lodging, a “per diem” payment for meals and other daily costs; or, in some cases, even more. These additional perks could include the requirements listed in an artist’s technical “rider.”
While it’s often referred to as singular, the music industry has a history of being fragmented. The divisions begin with the matter of two copyrights for every recording and the fact that different laws govern the use of those copyrights, which results in drastically different revenue streams being generated for seemingly similar uses.
Automation is taking over so many aspects of the workplace these days, but the last place you’d ever think it would happen would be in record label talent scouting. Having a feel for new music and artists that may resonate with large segments of the population is a talent in itself, and one that’s been rewarded with industry accolades and large salaries. That’s why it seems a little far-fetched to think that the traditional label A&R person could be replaced by a machine learning algorithm.
Just prior to the May 25 opening of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s “Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s” exhibit in Nashville, an accompanying two-CD set will be released on May 18 (digital and CD format). The set contains 36 tracks and a 32-page booklet detailing the history of the era. The set will also be available later this summer on 12-inch vinyl.
Spotify-backed music streaming service Soundtrack Your Brand today announced direct deals with hundreds of music labels, publishers, and collection societies including Sony/ATV, Kobalt, WarnerChappel, ICE (PRS/GEMA/STIM), BMG, ASCAP, SOCAN, SABAM, and APRA.
The United States House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously today (32-0) to approve the Music Modernization Act. The act combines key provisions of what were four separate legislative initiatives into a single bill that will update how music rates are set and how songwriters and artists are paid. The bill now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.
It’s all comes down to timing for why a proposal to create a performance royalty for AM/FM airplay isn’t part of a sweeping music copyright reform package unanimously approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill does include some revisions that would likely impact radio, but the biggest prize sought after by the music industry remains off to the side—for now.
With a host of new developments in music licensing that could be game-changing for radio and TV, the NAB Show expanded its annual panel on the subject, offering an 80-minute music royalties deep dive. For radio, the specter of the Department of Justice tossing the 80-year-old consent decrees that govern performance rights organizations (PROs) BMI and ASCAP could cause major disruption. The NAB says it’s closely watching the issue.
An international crackdown on illegal logging in tropical forests has ensnared the makers of some guitars and other musical instruments, whose top-end products require small amounts of rosewood, a material prized for its rich, multicolored grain and resonant sound.
The musicFIRST Coalition today applauded the leadership and members of the House Judiciary Committee on the introduction of the Music Modernization Act [H.R. 5447] and urged the legislation’s swift passage by the Committee and the entire House of Representatives. The MMA addresses specific music legacy issues such as establishing federal copyright protection for artists who recorded before 1972, creating a single licensing entity to administer music publishing rights for all digital music and ensuring producers and engineers receive royalties for their contributions to the music they help create.
ouTube's ability to detect a song's 'sonic fingerprint' is what allows artists to make money off of these of the platform, but not all kinds of songs qualify. Here Chris Robley clarifies what audio doesn't make the cut.
On one side you have Spotify - an unprofitable company that needs to lower its cost of the content from three dominate players. On the other side, you have three major music groups that increasingly rely on income from streaming. When it comes right down to it, who - the Record Labels vs Spotify - needs who more?
While recorded music sales may facing choppy waters, the live music market remains healthy and strong, making it a preferable vein for recording artists to focus on. As with so many aspects of the music industry, having an agreement in writing can spare all parties a lot of grief. Here Jusin M. Jacobson catches us up on how these agreements work.
As the music industry continues to shift and change, appearance and the visual component of music are becoming increasingly important, and having a graphic designer to rely on is essential for ensuring that you make a good visual impression.
YouTube appears to have fallen victim to hackers today, as a number of high-profile music videos have been defaced. The most-viewed YouTube video of all time, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” disappeared from YouTube today after being defaced by hackers. The video’s image was altered and replaced with a masked gang holding guns (from Netflix show Casa de Papel), and the description was changed by hackers calling themselves Prosox and Kuroi’sh.
The big copyright dispute between the American record industry and internet service provider Grande Communications will proceed as planned after a judge refused to dismiss the case. Though neither side are that happy with the new ruling.
2018 will be another record-breaking year for live music. But growth isn’t always good news. Music fans have raised their expectations for which artists they’ll shell out money to see, how they’re willing to buy tickets, and what you should be doing to make sure ticket bots don’t buy out a show before real fans have a chance.
Business cards, we’ve all had them. Some of us swear by them, others say “neh” and do away with them. Whatever type you are, I’m sure someone’s handed you one at some point. I seriously doubt you thought, “heh, look this guy, what a dinosaur, still uses business cards.” In this article we’re going to take a look at a few things you can do with business cards to stand out amongst the sea of musicians out there, and why business cards for musicians still can be used today.
For unsigned bands, promoting your music can be an even greater challenge than for those with a label attached to their name. Here we break down ten principles for success which unsigned bands and artists can use as a guide to marketing their music.
While ability and good intuition are certainly assets when it comes to finding success in the music industry, a proper mind set and commitment to putting in the necessary blood, sweat, and tears is also needed when it comes to coming out on top in today DIY-driven music business.
Following the emergence of CD bootlegs and illegal downloads, the traditional business for music labels and publishers collapsed in the early years of this century. The compact disc had served its time and music downloads weren’t big enough yet to compensate for the losses. The music industry was short on solutions and struggled to develop effective distribution channels in the digital age.
With Spotify now becoming one of the best ways to showcase new music, artists are eager for ways to get their music on the platform and quickly see results. Here we look at five different avenues for getting your music into the ears of potential fans via Spotify.
Spotify’s opening act on Wall Street struck a chord with investors betting the unprofitable company’s trend-setting music streaming service will maintain its early lead over Apple and other powerful challengers.
It was long an open secret that the three major labels — Sony, Universal and Warner Music — owned stakes in Spotify that were rumored to be as large as 18% but have since been revealed to be 5.7% for Sony, and an estimated 4% for the other two. (SEC rules require disclosure of shareholders with 5% or more.) This was a very savvy strategy on the part of Spotify: Making the labels not only partners, but party to their success or failure.
Stuart Dredge explores how the new hardware category of the smart speakers is transforming the music landscape and what the technology's rise could mean for the future of music and the music industry.
Let’s be clear–one reason why there are problems with mechanical licensing in the US is the loophole created by the government consent decrees that block ASCAP and BMI from issuing a “unilicense” for both performances and streaming mechanicals. I have argued for years that PROs should be allowed to administer existing statutory mechanical licenses for services that they already license on the performance side of the song. Personally, I think it is the main reason for creating the situation (such as the mass address unknown NOIs) that gets abused by the services like other loopholes.
Amazon Music Unlimited subscriptions have more than doubled in the past six months, thanks to dramatic growth in Amazon Prime customers and because of the popularity of voice-activated speakers. That’s according to data provided exclusively to Billboard by the company. Amazon, the third-largest streaming service behind Spotify and Apple Music, did not clarify the exact number of paid customers it has.
Maintaining popularity in the music industry is no easy task, with a song or artist that's at one moment topping the charts suddenly becoming passé the next day. Here we look at how artists can achieve longevity in the turbulent music business.
An Apple executive has officially announced that all iTunes MP3 music downloads will be terminated by early 2019, about a year from today, in an attempt to shift users toward Apple Music's online streaming - though you'll always be able to access the MP3s you've previously downloaded and paid for.
A new report, “Everybody’s Talkin’ – Smart Speakers And Their Impact On Music Consumption,” looks at the role these new devices play in music consumption, streaming and subscription service growth and in establishing a new e-commerce platform for physical sales of music product.
SoundMachine has partnered with Napster to create a new premium music subscription for retailers and businesses of all sizes. Business Premium powered by Napster blends SoundMachine’s scheduling and management features with Napster’s music programming tech and catalog.
Spotify shared that 2 million users accessed illegal apps to avoid listening to ads since the first of the year. While the music streamer is busy kicking them off the platform, the path these users took to access Spotify illegally runs straight through Google and YouTube.
A week before its Wall Street debut, Spotify is painting a fairly rosy financial picture for the remainder of 2018, complete with double-digit increases in revenue and paid subscribers to go along with smaller losses.
The deadline for the Department of Justice to file an appeal to an appeals court decision that could impact how much radio pays in music royalties came and went last week. The DOJ’s move lets stand a December decision that said performance rights organizations, such as ASCAP and BMI, can engage in the practice of what’s known as fractional licensing.
Odd as it may seem, people apparently still don’t understand how streaming music works. Spotify has been a thing for years and there’s a fair number of competitors these days, as well. Despite the vast trove of experience available to anyone with a stake in the music biz (or an internet connection), everyone seems dead set on getting it wrong. Again. Good Read!
Back in the days when radio was king, labels would attempt to game the system by bribing radio stations to play their tracks, a practice known as payola which was then outlawed. The concept seems to be making a resurgence however, but this time with highly influential Spotify playlists instead of radio.
The U.S. recorded music business grew for the second consecutive year in 2017, driven largely by a 56% increase to 35 million paid music subscriptions, according to the RIAA's 2017 year-end music industry revenue report. Overall, recorded music saw a 16.5% increase in retail revenue to $8.7 billion, of which $5.7 billion came from streaming.
The process of putting together a release can be intense and exciting, and once your material is finally ready for release, you naturally want to build up as much hype as possible before the drop. Here we look at five key ways to get fans salivating for your new material.
A crackdown by Congress on tax loopholes may have a far-reaching impact for the entertainment industry as corporate America is forced to take a hard look at how much they spend at live entertainment venues around the country.
Facebook’s total market has fallen more than $50 billion since Friday, the stock’s biggest two-day decline ever. Facebook’s stock fell 10% on Monday and Tuesday and was down another 2% in Wednesday morning trading. In addition to its stock market problems, #DeleteFacebook has been trending on Twitter.
Heavy music users on YouTube are about to be deluged with ads in an effort to encourage them to switch to Google's new paid music streaming service, according to YouTube Global Head Of Music Lyor Cohen.
While much is said about how to capitalize on social media and manipulate the algorithms in order to get your message through to fans, the reality is that social media may not, in fact, be the best use of musician's time, energy, and money when it comes to marketing their music.
While the front page of Pitchfork or the AP may be where most artists would like to see themselves, the reality is that these major blogs are likely out of reach. Small blogs, however, can do wonders when it comes to giving your a career-boosting bump.
An ad "following" you is familiar to any consumer who's used the internet in the past five years and, while irritating on the one hand, this form of marketing can be a fantastic way for artists to sell more concert tickets by constantly reminding shopping of a show they might be interested in.
With all the data and analytics available for measuring your music's impact and success, it can be tempting as an artist to play the comparison game and assessing how your play count compares with that of your rivals. Such behavior only brings disaster, however.
We will now examine the music publisher and its exclusive publishing agreement with a songwriter. In addition to the standard exclusive publishing agreement explored below, there are other types of related agreements a songwriter could potentially sign with a music publisher, including a co-publishing, sub-publishing, or administration arrangement; however, these will not be explored in this article.
YouTube is making it easier for you to broadcast a livestream right from your desktop with a handy new update to its site. Instead of fiddling with an encoder app, you’ll only need Chrome and a webcam. Simply visit youtube.com/webcam, or click on the “Go live” button in the site’s header, and you’ll be able to fire up your stream in seconds
Doug Collins, a conservative Republican from rural Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives, likes pretty much the type of music you’d expect from someone in his rank and station. His desert island albums are by Meat Loaf and the Eagles. He’s amped about having caught a couple of AC/DC live shows: “Any band that puts cannons onstage, that’s worth seeing.” He also happens to be a leading architect of what would be the biggest change to music royalties in the last 20 years.
SoundExchange says a “leveling off” in the growth of digital radio listening as well direct deals signed between music rights holders and Pandora that cut the digital collections agent out of the equation are responsible for a 26% decline in payments last year. Even so, SoundExchange says its sound recording gross distributions totaled $652 million last year.
In the digital digital age, email marketing has lasted as an essential means of reaching fans with click of a button. For such marketing to be successful however, you must first build a solid list of emails.
BASCA has called on the global music publishing sector to ensure that any financial benefits enjoyed by the publishers as a result of Spotify’s flotation or the newly signed Facebook deals are shared with the songwriters whose works they control or represent.
In a move that many see as long overdue, Spotify has effectively shut down pay-for-playlist slot site SpotLister. But more than a dozen similar pay for play services continue to operate.
ncluded in the mountains of documents filed in preparation for last night's iHeartMedia bankruptcy were lists of unpaid bills. Alongside $20 billion in debts to bondholders were performing rights organizations, record labels, a music streamer, and others that return revenue to musicians.
Stocks fell around the world as technology shares dropped, led lower by a report of a data breach that sent Facebook sliding the most it has in 2 1/2 years. Facebook's loss of as much as 8.1% spurred a decline of 1.8% in the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index, while the benchmark S&P 500 slid 1.4% and the Dow Jones industrial average also decreased 1.4%, or more than 300 points.
As expected, SoundExchange's gross distributions in the U.S. fell more than $225 million, or 26.2 percent, to $652 million from last year’s total of $884 million, due to Pandora switching from a compulsory license to direct deal with record labels. In making that switch, Pandora began paying its label partners directly while still paying artist royalties to SoundExchange, to make distributions to them. In its announcement, the agency noted that over 50 major and independent labels choose SoundExchange to administer the artist royalties.
It's tax season once again, and for those fortunate enough to be working as self employed musicians, this means an opportunity to claim a number of deductions and expenses when filing your tax return.
iHeartMedia and some of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 protection last night after reaching a pre-packaged agreement with its principle creditors that will apparently see the company cut its debt in half to $10 billion after a debt-to-equity swap with some debt holders; and the spinoff of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, which is not a part of the Chapter 11 proceedings.iHeartMedia and some of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 protection last night after reaching a pre-packaged agreement with its principle creditors that will apparently see the company cut its debt in half to $10 billion after a debt-to-equity swap with some debt holders; and the spinoff of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, which is not a part of the Chapter 11 proceedings.
While creating an album has for many bands and artists been a cornerstone of artistic accomplishment over the years, our shift to a predominantly playlist based culture means that we're shifting away from the album format and living in a world of singles - just not everyone's accepted it yet.
Subscription metrics platform ProfitWell collected date from 7000 users and found that the music streamer is leaving some serious money on the table. For example, consumers are willing to pay $19 per month for a family plan that includes five users, according to the analysts, which is $4 or 26.6% more than their current price.