Albums make a comeback as viral music star hype proves unsustainable
Musicians and listeners are starting to realize the life of a viral one-hit wonder is not all that it’s cracked up to be as trends shift back to releasing and listening to full-length albums. It wasn’t that long ago that record labels where fighting over artists who had their 15 minutes (more like seconds) of fame on TikTok. Large deals were handed out in hopes that the next wave of talent had arrived. The problem was that almost none of those deals ever worked out, as the viral music star of the time couldn’t sustain success beyond one song.
New SoundExchange policies will end payments to Unauthorized Remixers
A change in how SoundExchange classifies remixers will distribute payments more equitably and end payouts on unauthorized remixes, according to an analysis by consultancy Manatt. Remixes abound these days as it has become easier and easier to remix any released track, given the power and ease of access to modern digital music-making tools. But, remixers and the artists who created the original track often find themselves at odds with each other when it comes to how money from remixes should be shared. One major front of the remix battle exists because the performers on a sound recording are entitled to certain revenues each time the track is performed – and both a remixer and the original artist are performers on a remixed track.
‘Putting a number on art’: musicians nervous as Spotify announces royalty changes
Streaming giant says tweaks will bring more revenue to artists and away from fraudsters, but some musicians are worried about further creeping change. Spotify has confirmed there will be long-rumoured changes to their royalty payments from early 2024, which include a controversial policy requiring tracks to get a minimum of 1,000 listens every year to receive royalties.
Certain styles of “noise” tracks such as white noise and sleep sounds must now be at least two minutes long, and Spotify will levy a new fee on labels or distributors who they deem to be generating artificial streams – where bots or click-farms are used to fraudulently inflate an artist’s streaming figures, and siphon off royalty payments from
iHeartMedia ‘To Receive Approximately $100M’ for BMI Stake Following New Mountain Capital Deal
It turns out Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) affiliates aren’t the only ones set to enjoy a $100 million windfall stemming from the sale of the performance rights organization (PRO). iHeartMedia has announced that it expects to receive around $100 million for its BMI stake.
iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) formally disclosed the incoming payment via a brief release today, a little less than one week after the announcement of the for-profit PRO’s sale to private equity firm New Mountain Capital. Scheduled to wrap in Q1 2024, the transaction will see BMI shareholders pay out the initially mentioned $100 million to songwriters and publishers, DMN previously reported. (Other proceeds from the sale will be directed towards technology investments, expansion initiatives, and more, BMI higher-ups signaled.)
“The allocation of those funds, while not a distribution of royalties,” New Mountain Capital explained of the $100 million that will reach affiliates, “will be in keeping with the company’s distribution methodologies, which are based on performance levels over a set period of time. BMI will work to finalize an equitable payout plan for this allocation in the coming months.”
8 Social Media Tips for Musicians Planning Ahead to 2024
Get prepared for music marketing in 2024 now by checking out these important social media tips and trends for the upcoming year.
Social media is part and parcel of the modern musician’s tool kit. Love it or hate it – it’s an essential way to get your name out there, connect with your current audience and reach potential fans. Like any other digital landscape, however, social media is changing at a breakneck pace. Staying up to date with what’s new is essential to stay ahead of the curve. Curious to see what the latest trends in social media are and what we predict for 2024? Keep reading!
Sold to NEW MOUNTAIN CAPITAL
BMI’s transition to a for-profit model took the next logical step forward Tuesday as a New Mountain Capital-led shareholder group announced a majority growth investment in the organization. Along with ASCAP, which remains not-for-profit, BMI is one of the two largest performing rights organizations in the U.S.; the deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2024.
Mike O’Neill, BMI’s president & CEO, will continue to lead the company, along with his leadership team, following the closing, according to the announcement. New Mountain will acquire the company from the shareholders who own currently own it; those shareholders must approve the sale.
Apple Music email reveals quiet crackdown on streaming fraud
The music industry has been chattering this week about potential plans by Spotify to fine distributors and labels if tracks uploaded through their systems are found to be involved in streaming fraud.
Now Billboard has reported on an email sent by Apple Music to its industry partners in March this year revealing that it quietly began cracking down on such fraud in October 2022.
“Since we launched the new tools, manipulated streams have accounted for only 0.3 percent of all streams,” claimed the email.
Spotify Officially Reveals Revamped Royalties System — With a Minimum Annual Stream Threshold for Payments, Fraud Penalties, and ‘Noise Recording’ Changes
Following much speculation as well as payment pivots at Deezer and Apple Music, Spotify has officially unveiled a far-reaching royalties overhaul.
Spotify described the coming compensation adjustments in a more than 1,000-word announcement message today, confirming many previously covered details and shedding light upon a few heretofore undisclosed components of the pivot. Beginning with the especially significant stream-count threshold that tracks will need to hit to generate royalties, Spotify formally acknowledged an annual minimum of 1,000 streams per song. Amid challenges from some in the music community, the service further clarified that the new approach, which will seemingly halt payments for the vast majority of on-platform works, will extend only to recorded royalties.
Starting “early” next year, “tracks must have reached at least 1,000 streams in the previous 12 months in order to generate recorded royalties,” wrote Spotify, which is said to host “well over 100 million tracks.”
The carbon-credits purchaser also highlighted that the “small disregarded payments” at hand, which nevertheless total approximately $40 million per year, will be used to “increase the payments to all eligible tracks.”
Is Noise Cancelling Bad for Your Ears?
Is noise-cancelling technology actually bad for your ears? New research suggests that more Gen Z and Millennials are at risk of hearing loss due to their excessive headphone use — so what’s the best way to prevent hearing damage, with or without noise-cancelling technology?
Noise-cancellation is fast becoming a staple feature for those shopping for new headphones and earbuds, as many users can see the benefits of cancelling ambient noise while on their daily commute or at the gym. But new research from the World Health Organization indicates that around one billion Gen Z and Millennials are at risk of hearing loss due to excessive use of headphones — so you might wonder if using noise-cancelling technology is helping or actively hurting your ears.
Being a Full-Time Musician Is Not for the Weak
The end goal for many musicians is to go full-time. That’s my goal. I want to wake up every day, make music, and do all the things needed to build a sustainable music career. But it’s not for everyone. It’s difficult. It can be discouraging. And you probably won’t get rich. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. Most full-time musicians are blue-collar, middle-class musicians. They’re making a living, yes. They can pay rent and their bills, and maybe they can afford fun stuff now and then. But they’re not rich.
The stats on how musicians actually make money are slim, but we do have some resources. We do know performing live is the main source of income for most active musicians.
BELIEVE HAS DEVELOPED SOFTWARE THAT DETECTS AI-MADE MUSIC WITH 98% ACCURACY. WHAT MIGHT THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE?
Denis Ladegaillerie stated plainly: “We do not wish to distribute and we are not to distribute any content that is 100% created by AI, whether that is Believe or at [Believe subsidiary] TuneCore.” Ladgaillerie then declared that Paris-headquartered Believe was just six months or less away from launching tech that could detect whether a track had been entirely made by AI. “You have technologies out there in the market today that can detect an AI-generated track with 99.9% accuracy, versus a human-created track,” Ladegaillerie said, adding that such tech “needs to be deployed everywhere”. So far, at least, AI Radar doesn’t quite have the 99.9% success rate that Ladegallerie is aiming for. According to Believe, it can detect AI-made master recordings with a 98% success rate, and “deep fakes” with about 93% accuracy – what the company describes as an “excellent detection rate.”
After a Decade, Country Music Finally Reigns on Year-End Streaming Charts
Country music’s evolving consumption trends are being shaped by the listening habits of Gen Z and millennials, according to new data by Luminate. The genre’s streaming-assisted surge to the top has been steadily increasing over the past several years but 2023 is proving to be its most impressive year yet. The genre regularly thrives in live music spaces where fans can discover new artists in country halls, bars and tours but before 2020, the genre had little significance on streaming. Instead, listeners opted for more traditional sources like album sales, which make up a much larger share of country music’s consumption compared to chart-topping genres.
The Musician’s AI Handbook by Bobby Owsinski
AI is not only the present but the future, so all musicians need to get familiar with the basics. Frequent Hypebot contributor Bob Owsinski has created a comprehensive handbook about artificial intelligence and its potential in music.
I’m pleased to announce that my new Musician’s Ai Handbook is now available in both print and ebook versions.
This comprehensive guide (already #1 on Amazon – thank you everyone!) shows musicians, artists, songwriters, producers, and anyone in the music business how to use artificial intelligence as a highly creative tool to generate new ideas, polish their productions, and help to promote their music.
Spotify's new royalty payment update hurts indie musicians even more than before
When you're a small independent musician on Spotify, the "1,000-play mark" is sort of a coveted moment for every new song you release. That's when your Spotify artist page starts showing how many actual streams you have—so breaking that 1,000-play mark on a song is sort of like a badge of honor. According to the music streaming clearinghouse itself, only about 1/3 of songs hosted on the service ever reach that 1,000-play mark—and that includes songs that have been on Spotify since it launched 15 years ago.
Most artists don't make much money on streaming, and those sub-1,000-play songs obviously aren't paying anyone's rent. That's even more true now that Spotify has announced a new change to its royalty payment policy, effectively de-monetizing every song that fails to get 1,000 plays per year.
YouTube Cracking Down on AI Voice Cloning and ‘Synthetic’ Videos
YouTube is taking steps to clarify its position on generative AI used to create content for the platform. The platform notes it is still in its ‘early stages’ of identifying content—but here’s a peek at how it works.
YouTube says it is in everyone’s best interest to maintain a healthy ecosystem of information on the platform. “AI’s powerful new forms of storytelling can also be used to generate content that has the potential to mislead viewers—particularly if they’re unaware the video has been altered or is synthetically created,” the platform notes. That’s why it is introducing labels for AI-generated content. Creators will be required to disclose whether or not AI was used when creating content. Creators who choose not to disclose their use of AI may be subject to content removal or suspension from the YouTube Partner Program. YouTube says it will work with creators before this change rolls out. So creators must opt-in to AI self-reporting in the near future so YouTube can inform viewers if content is ‘synthetic’ or not.
Amazon cuts jobs in music streaming unit
Amazon.com (AMZN.O) has begun cutting jobs in its Music division, the company said on Wednesday, confirming the latest of several rounds of layoffs over the past year that have affected more than 27,000 employees of the retail giant.
Employees in Latin America, North America and Europe received notices that their jobs had been eliminated Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the layoff after being contacted by Reuters. She declined to say how many employees were impacted. The cuts come even as Amazon reported third-quarter net income that far exceeded analyst estimates and forecast revenue in the year’s final quarter roughly in line with expectations. The fourth quarter is Amazon’s most crucial, as it in includes holiday shopping.
These are the Essential Assets you need to Promote your Music Career
To match the level of quality found in modern media, there are a few skills and tricks to market their music successfully. Dayna Young of Fred and Augustus and FANDA offers a guide. Connecting the dots between how you sound and the visual aesthetic you present is an incredibly important marketing tool for musicians. We live in a visual age. Therefore, if you don’t have a visual identity that aligns with your sound, there’s every chance you’re losing potential fans and not gaining them. If you want to stay ahead, you need visual content to market your music to your desired audience. These are the essential assets you need to promote your music career. Content and asset creation are two of the most important aspects of marketing your brand and your music. What you talk about should be visually supported at all times, and that means you’ll need a range of these assets to do so. In fact, having a strong, visually appealing aesthetic will go a long way toward aligning your brand with your sound, helping to ensure the first impression that potential new fans have of your brand is a harmonic and cohesive one.