Thanks to the magic of playlists and things like Spotify's discover weekly, musicians are now being given a chance to breath new life into their back-catalogues. Here we look at twelve ways artists can make this new trend work to their advantage.
SoundExchange paid out $884 million in royalties to artists and labels in 2016, a 10.1 percent increase over the $803 paid out in 2015. "We distributed record-setting royalties to artists and labels in 2016 and broadened our charter beyond our original role of administering statutory licenses," SoundExchange president and CEO Michael Huppe said in a statement. "In 2016, besides processing digital radio payments, we also launched new data validation services, managed the distribution of royalties for over a dozen direct licenses, and administered some critical industry settlements. These are significant milestones."
The number of lawmakers siding with radio in opposition to any effort to create a performance royalty on AM/FM airplay continues to grow. A resolution introduced last week in the House now has 123 cosponsors—more than half the 218 needed to block a bill.
Lately, Pandora’s had a rough time. Despite launching a cheaper alternative to Spotify, company insiders sold their stock. The company also reportedly rejected a buy-out offer from SiriusXM. In addition, the stock price is currently at $13.29, lower than the $14.01 price back in December. However, the company received very good news in regards to their 2016 performance from MusicWatch.
Slowly, the Nielsen Billboard charts are evolving to reflect how people actually consume music in 2017. The latest data to be added comes from Pandora.
As Spotify becomes an ever growing presence in the streaming market, it is becoming increasingly important for artists to position their music in a way that maximizes fast streaming results. Here Manuel Overbeck shares five tips for doing just that.
BMG has again beaten all three major music groups to grab one of the most sought after record labels on the market, Nashville's Broken Bow and associated labels.
There may not be any bills in Congress proposing radio stations pay a performance royalty, but in a pre-emptive strike, opponents of such a fee have put 115 House members on record opposing the idea. That’s more than half the 218 needed to block any bill creating a radio royalty.
Vinyl is not the only old school music format making a major comeback. Cassette album sales were up an impressive 74% in 2016. 25 albums sold at least 1,000 copies on cassette in 2016, compared to just 8 in 2015, according to Billboard and Nielsen. Overall, cassette album sales were up 74% in 2016.
One of the many current battles between tech and the music industry is the size and fairness of YouTube payments to creators and rightsholders. Charles Caldas, the CEO of indie licensing trade group Merlin, threw some gas on the fire during a presentation in London.
Here one entrepreneurial musician outlines his experiment to see whether or not he can generate enough revenue in 200 days of streaming his music on Spotify to buy his family a house.
Payola has always been part of the music business and many insiders feel that it’s the reason that some artists become stars, and some stars become superstars. Without money or favors changing hands between the record label and the radio station/streaming service, a song might never gain the visibility it needs to become a hit. While this was a dirty under-the-table business in the past, today it’s a lot cleaner and above board in that we call it “corporate sponsorship” instead of payola.
As interest begins to grow among private investors, it looks as though music funding will be the next aspect of the music industry to experience disruption, as cash-strapped artists are forced to seek an alternative to labels.
Contrary to popular belief, the biggest disruption to the traditional music business over the last 10 years was not solely the introduction of digital distribution. Instead, it’s been the slow, gradual disaggregation of all the artist services that labels once provided, through the introduction of alternative sources.
With the advent of streaming, playlists have risen to become many consumer's default interface for listening to music, something which has some serious implications both for the music business and music itself. Playlists have become the default for listening to both new and unfamiliar music. Instead of digging through complete releases and saving them to our libraries, the design choices of companies like iTunes and Spotify mean we use playlists as the interface for music collections.
Given the controversy around streaming rates, it's important to have some idea of what these numbers actually are. Here David Lowery shares his per stream rates across various platforms and see how the numbers shifted in 2016.
Pop quiz: Which generation is the heaviest user of social media? Hint: It isn’t Millennials. In fact, Generation X (ages 35-49) spends the most time on social media, according to new research from Nielsen. Gen X-ers log almost 7 hours per week on social platforms, outdistancing Millennials who come in second at just over 6 hours per week.
Although they have become commonplace at music festivals RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) have not yet caught on at smaller scale concerts, something which may be about to change.
RFID (radio frequency identification) technology has already taken over music festivals, and venues are next.
But despite their prevalence at festivals, RFID wristbands haven’t yet caught on at concerts. Since the wristbands aren’t cheap, many venues aren’t sure how to make the investment worthwhile.
CD Baby is partnering with Music Gateway and its newly launched Sync Portal which allows 300+ global advertising agencies and 700 music supervisors to easily license tracks from CD Baby’s sync catalog of 2 million songs film, TV, commercials and video games.
YouTube is a platform for social chance. It runs on the concept of free speech, constructive conversation, rainbows, and unicorns. All jokes aside, the atmosphere promoted on this social platform is that of unity and creativity. It is an ideal way for anyone to get out there and fully express their views in a safe environment where like-minded people will engage in interesting, valuable and useful means of expression. It is only natural that the many opportunities YouTube offers come with extra features and also a ton of controversy based on these additional characteristics. For instance, YouTube to mp3 file conversion. As widely used at it is, people seem to have variations of opinion regarding its functionality.
A run through of the latest and greatest in sync licensing and music supervision over the past fortnight, courtesy of Synchblog. Jason Moss from Super Sonic Noise discusses the ins and outs of music licensing, how to make a full time income, what works best for licensing, networking strategies and much more.
Royalties from Pandora’s ad-supported radio service will continue to be paid to artists through SoundExchange, despite recent direct licencing deals with major music companies. The agreement both insures a major income stream for SoundExchange and maintains the performing rights organization's position as a protector of artists.
Music is an important part of people’s life and it will stay like that. Well, after reading this article it will probably become an even more important part of your life. Music has many benefits it provides on the human health and mood, and all benefits are useful. As the answer to all of that, you should listen to music daily, rather than occasionally. In addition, the type of music you listen may have specific advantages.
Pandora said late Thursday that it will cut its U.S. workforce by about 7%, excluding Ticketfly, the ticketing service it purchased in Oct. 2015. In a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Pandora said its board approved the plan on Dec. 15, 2016 and the affected employees were informed Jan. 12.
Randy Steele fondly remembers the last time he saw Tommy Allsup, the guitarist who toured with Lubbock musician Buddy Holly in 1959. Steele arranged for Allsup to come to Lubbock last year, when he was interviewed in October for a documentary ahead of the opening of the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences.
It’s possible that was the last on-camera interview for Allsup — the guitarist known for riffs in the Crickets’ single “It’s So Easy.”
Pandora stock dropped for the third trading day in a row on Tuesday after news last week that SiriusXM was "unlikely" to buy the music streaming service. As of Noon, the stock had fallen to $11.93 and was dropping.
For almost any musician, releasing new music is essential to maintaining a career in music, but doing so correctly is important to said release being a success, and neglecting key administrative steps diminish the potential success of any release.
Monthly streaming music subscriptions have reached the 100 million mark, a milestone that brought some gains to the music industry. U.S. music retail sales rose 8% in first half of 2016, with nearly half the sales generated by streaming music services, according to Bloomberg.
If pursuing licensing is your main focus, you need to plan this out long before you write your first song, let alone record it. The fact of the matter is, not every song or every genre works for licensing. If your chorus is all about Sarah, but the main character of the show is named Amy, they aren’t going to use your song, no matter how perfect it may be musically. And because TV moves so quickly, they aren’t going to ask you to go replace “Sarah” with “Amy.” It either works or it doesn’t. For the most part.
As 2016 drew to a close, much of the industry animosity targeted at streaming seems to have been replaced with a largely favorable outlook. Here Nick Susi examines the state streaming today and what its long-term impact might be.
Digital streaming is hitting the mainstream. Nearly one-third of consumers are now streaming their video and audio programming, and according to a report from ad agency GroupM, 31% of internet users say they stream music weekly, while 33% stream TV or movies weekly. Combined, 47% of all internet users are streaming some music or video programming weekly.
Most broadcasters can set aside any fears of legal action for not signing a licensing agreement with BMI, as the radio industry finds itself in a new legal standoff with the performance rights organization. They also don’t need to pay BMI until an interim rate is set.
The three major music labels—Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group— working with the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) have announced their support for “studio-quality hi-res audio for music streaming.” Joining in the agreement are the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Pandora, Rhapsody/Napster and HD Tracks.
Private equity firm Blackstone Group has agreed to purchase performance rights organization SESAC from Rizvi Traverse Management. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2017, were not disclosed.
Being in a band can be a lot of fun, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful. There isn’t any tried and true manual which describes every step you’ll need to take to find success, but there are tips and tricks. How do you know if you’re doing everything right? Here are a few ways to know if you’re actually sabotaging your PR success. Have a sit down with your bandmates and see what has to change.
BMI filed an action in Federal Rate Court today to set interim fees for radio stations represented by the Radio Music License Committee while BMI and the RMLC negotiate the terms of a new five-year deal beginning in 2017.
While many in the music industry are quick to bemoan the difficulty of earning significant income from music publishing, the reality is that there more opportunities than ever to do so, although simply registering with ASCAP and BMI probably won't cut it.
Spotfify is prepping a major IPO. But on day 3 of 2017, that's already looking unlikely to be the year's biggest story in music streaming. Google is reportedly sniffing around SoundCloud, even as Pandora's money folks search for a buyer.
For the past five years, SoundExchange has been one of the music industry's few bright spots in a transitional and contracting market. But according to sources with knowledge of the situation, a recent shift to direct licensing will likely lead to slower growth in 2016 and a precipitous drop next year as collections could decrease by about $200 million, according to Billboard estimates.
LP sales up by 53% on 2015 after deaths of many music greats throughout the year and a trend for returning to ‘tangible music’. Sales of vinyl in 2016 reached a 25-year high as consumers young and old have once again embraced physical formats of music. This was also the first year that spending on vinyl outstripped that spent on digital downloads.
Radio and other content users like webcasters and SiriusXM may indeed have won the battle over pre-1972 copyright royalties. But attorneys say it remains to be seen who ultimately wins the war over sound recordings.
Five years ago, the demise of the music industry seemed almost inevitable. Recession, rampant piracy, falling CD sales and a fear that “kids just don’t buy music any more” had giant record labels, once oozing wealth, counting the pennies.
Yet 2016 has seen a reversal of fortune – and the industry’s saviour is not what many predicted. Profits from music streaming, first championed by Spotify and now offered by Apple and Amazon, have given some labels their largest surge in revenue in more than a decade.
What would you recommend to learn how to survive in the music industry as an artist? A second job, haha! “No one will support you in the music industry until you make it.” So start by developing iron will, a thick skin, and the world’s greatest listening skills. These are tools required by the music industry, and life in general.
In the shifting landscape of the music industry, more and more artists are turning from traditional record labels to streaming services to get their songs and their names out there. Streaming platforms like Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, Pandora and many more offer free online access to fans and new marketing channels for musicians, known and unknown.
As Facebook continues to grapple with its role in proliferating "fake news" amidst the heated U.S. election this year, it has another showdown looming on the horizon -- this one with the music industry. Facebook is working to develop a copyright identification system -- similar to YouTube's Content ID -- that would find and remove videos containing copyrighted music, a source tells Billboard.
It’s easy to recap a particular year since everything already happened. But what about predicting what will take place in a new year? Yeah, that’s hard. When you think about it, the job of a lot of people in the music industry is to predict the future. Isn’t that what agents and promoters do, book artists in venues based upon a prediction of ticket sales? And what about A&R folks? Their job is to predict what kind of artists and what kind of songs the world wants to hear.
In advance of its Form 990, the IRS paperwork required of tax-exempt organizations, being made public in March, non-profit digital royalty distributor SoundExchange has disclosed some of its 2015 balances.
SoundExchange's $469 million balance, as of New Year's Eve 2015, is comprised of $145 million in royalties accrued during 2015, but not yet paid; $112 million in royalty payments that have since went out the door to labels and artists, of which $28 million is in the form of uncashed checks; and $10 million in royalties still shuttling through the matching process.
2016 was a good year for growth in the music industry, with massive expansion seen on multiple industry fronts. In this piece, Jesse Kirshbaum of looks ahead to what the year 2017 will likely bring for the music business.
Looking to improve how you market your shows in 2017? Here distill the knowledge of twenty industry experts for three unique online marketing strategies designed to increase ticket sales in the coming year. Chances are, you already have a go-to checklist to market your shows. But if you really want to increase ticket sales in 2017, it’s time to get creative.
If you thought that Sirius and Pandora starting to do licensing deals in relation to pre-1972 sound recordings brought to an end all that debate around how, exactly, American copyright law works on golden oldies, well, not quite.
As previously reported, US-wide federal copyright law only protects sound recordings released since 1972, with older records protected by state-level copyright law. Because American satellite and online radio services like Sirius and Pandora are specifically obliged to pay the labels royalties when they play their tracks under federal law, they argued no such royalties were due on older records.
Here Bob Baker discusses how many beginning musicians often go astray when pitching their music to tastemakers, and how setting and working towards clear goals is important to achieving success as an artist. You can make your goals too big and unattainable. You can make them too small and unadventurous. You can set goals that don’t align with your values or don’t fit in well with your existing activities.
Nielsen has acquired Gracenote from Tribune in an all cash deal. For the music industry, that leaves its main source of track metadata in familiar hands and the hope of improved tracking across new and emerging platforms globally. Gracenote is also know for it automatic content recognition technology, which Nielsen will use to better measure consumer media consumption, particularly across new and emerging platforms.
Getting to see one of your favorite bands live will be a memory that you can cherish forever. Unfortunately, many concerts are hectic, and it doesn’t take much to ruin the event. If you want to make the most out of your next concert, then take a look at these four tips that will help you have the time of your life.
Faced with $20.5 billion of debt, iHeartMedia on Tuesday made another complicated financial maneuver to protect its assets. To avoid granting additional security interests to some of its debtholders under a “springing lien” clause in its loan agreements, the company won’t repay $57.1 million in notes due to its Clear Channel Holdings affiliate this Thursday.
Global Music Rights—the upstart performance rights organization that sued the Radio Music Licensing Committee last week, alleging it’s essentially an “illegal cartel”—has told the court it’s only been able to sign two radio groups to licensing deals. The identity of those two broadcasters has now been revealed and both have ties to GMR founder Irving Azoff.
Spotify is in the midst of protracted renegotiations with the major labels, and a sticking point, according to multiple sources, is the music companies' desire to scale back the streamer's free service. But Spotify apparently has different ideas, and is testing a free music on-demand feature that would make paying $10 per month for premium service less attractive.
Sony Corp. is considering a major reorganization of its many entertainment related divisions. Possible changes include placing its struggling Sony Pictures Entertainment under the larger and more profitable gaming division, sources tell the New York Post. The reorganization could also extend to music. Recorded music division Sony Music Group and music publisher Sony/ATV would unite in a division separate from film and gaming. Sony Music is the second biggest global record division and Sony/ATV is the world's largest music publisher.
Cumulus Media has sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. in federal court for breach of contract, accusing the lender of breaching its 2013 credit agreement with the broadcaster. Filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that Cumulus can go ahead with a major debt refinancing it hammered out with bondholders last week.
It’s a common misconception in the music industry that hiring a publicist will make all your dreams come true, and that to make this happen you won’t have to lift a finger. The idea that hiring a music publicist will automatically land an emerging act on Pitchfork or Stereogum, and that all you have to do is make good music couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a few things that every artist should know before bringing on a publicist.
The music industry is in a state of flux. Technology has changed the way musicians play and how engineers produce music, but most of the impact can be measured in how listeners consume and discover music. But what are the main technologies and platforms, who drives these trends and how has the business end held up? Here’s a look at how technology has changed the way people listen, buy, sell and discover music.
The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers recently issued a report which has shed some light on the world of music publishing, with free on-demand services once again being targeted. The music industry’s campaign against free, on-demand services continues. The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) issued an report last week that brings some transparency into the typically opaque music publishing business.
UPDATED: Amid ongoing label driven furor over the size of payments to musicians and the music industry, YouTube has shared a big number - $1 billion. That's the amount that it has paid the music industry in the last 12 months.
Good news for broadcasters that stream online and web pureplays—they won’t be subject to a cost-of-living increase next year for the music performance royalties they pay to Sound Exchange. In Monday’s Federal Register, the Copyright Royalty Board said the current rates remain unchanged at $.0017 per nonsubscription performance and $.0022 per subscription performance.
With its new lower-priced iHeartRadio Plus subscription music plan, iHeartMedia may be hitting a sweet spot in the digital music market. Priced at $4.99 per month, iHeartRadio Plus could capture first-time digital music subscribers who are curious about advanced features of a paid plan, but unwilling to pay more than $100 per year, according to music research firm Market Watch.
Although Spotify certainly has many fine features, many artists have found it to be lacking when it comes to the tools it makes available to artists to market themselves on the platform. This seems to be looking up however, particularly in the wake of a couple recent updates, although the service seems to be continuing to drive users towards its own playlists, rather than user generated content.
This is a complicated one. Glad to see that Sirius is willing to pay on these pre-1972 recording, not just for past plays but also going forward. However, The Copyright Royalty Board could slash EVERYONE’s rate, including post 1972 recordings.
In this article, music-tech writier Cherie Hu delves into the ability of context awareness to reshape creativity as well as create new revenue streams and new business models for the music industry in general.
The music industry is wasting no time in making its case to the incoming Trump administration that changes are needed to copyright law. It’s asking the President-elect to back reforms that would help artists, including making an “America first” argument that could play into radio’s fight against a performance royalty.
Something many believed to be an inevitable occurrence, it seems the first of the streaming music price wars has broken out. Precipitated by Amazon's joining of the market, other streaming industry major players like Spotify and Google have dropped their prices in response.
Although paid streaming subscriptions have continued to grow at a steady rate, the far more rapid decline of paid downloads, along with CD sales suggests that streaming services need to grow their paying subscriber base at an even greater rate.
It’s the question plaguing record companies across the globe: in the slow-moving world of streaming popularity, what’s the best strategy for a label to get its new artists noticed? President of Atlantic Records UK Ben Cook acknowledges that, in many respects, breaking an act in 2016 is harder than its ever been.
The headline from Edison Research’s third quarter 2016 Share of Ear study is a familiar refrain—broadcast radio remains far out in front of a growing field of audio entertainment sources. Americans spent 50% of their audio time with AM/FM radio in Q3. A more surprising finding from the quarterly study: YouTube has surpassed Pandora as the top streaming audio service.
Revelator CEO Bruno Guez explores how the latest evolution of data driven niche marketing by companies such as Netflix could be applied in different ways to the music industry, particularly as music streaming occupies an increasingly large segment of the market.
SoundExchange paid out $263.5 million in royalties during third-quarter 2016. The figure represents a mammoth increase of 29.2% from the same period in 2015, when the digital performance rights organization dispersed $204 million. The organization has issued year-to-date payments of $666.9 million.
The launch uses a chunk of the firm’s 2016 $1bn investment raise to differentiate itself from the competition.
The campaign will roll out in the US, UK, France and Denmark until December 31st, and then to a further 10 markets (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and Sweden.)
If you're curious which social media platform is the best one to target fans on, it looks as though the popular photosharing app Instagram may be your best bet, as a new study reveals its users are more likely to engage with and spend money on music.
The recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice in United States v. Broadcast Music, Inc. and United States v. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has left many songwriters, publishers, motion picture and television producers and, yes, even lawyers scratching their heads to understand the import of the ruling. Not to mention Texas Governor Greg Abbott who has written to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to reconsider the DOJ ruling.