Rdio Sessions is a fairly new recording series from Rdio featuring live performances in intimate settings that are then available for streaming. Rdio is taking Sessions to SXSW and will be recording live shows from 7 different acts in almost as many genres. It's a nice way to support artists while creating unique content for Rdio listeners.
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SXSW 2014 kicks off tomorrow with SXSW Music beginning Tuesday the 11th. If you're planning to check out a bunch of new acts you haven't heard before, there are plenty of options for discovery or for just getting in the mood. From SXSW's YouTube playlist to NPR's 100 artist sampler to a myriad of Spotify playlists, here's more music than you can safely consume between now and then.
Gracenote continues to build its Rhythm platform for music streaming services with the addition of global fan data from Musicmetric. Earlier this year Gracenote announced a social media and trending data agreement with Next Big Sound for Rhythm. Now they're adding filesharing data and social media sentiment via Musicmetric, who will also be considering other customized data options Rhythm.
(UPDATE 2) Spotify is acquiring music intelligence provider, The Echo Nest. The music streamer says that the deal allows them "leverage The Echo Nest’s in depth musical understanding and tools for curation." But The Echo Nest already feeds music data to Spotify along with Rdio, iHeart Radio and many other competitors who are likely a bit nervous today despite assurances from both companies who say The Echo Nest's API will remain "free and open."
Headed to SXSW? You're not the only one. Many music hopefuls travel to Austin, TX this time of the year hoping to notice or be noticed. Like any adventure, it's good to have a map. Larry Butlerbrings us six ways to get the most mileage out of SXSW without breaking the bank. Get inspired - join the conversation on MusicThinkTank.com! Happy SXSW to all and safe travels!
Future of Music Coalition (FMC) adds another case study to its ongoing Artist Revenue Streams project. The study looks at the financials of a background vocalist based on "income from her work as a session musician and background vocalist only – both in the studio and live on tour." The importance of "mailbox money" aka residuals are revealed as is the role of unions in negotiating and administering royalty agreements.
BandPage and LyricFind have partnered to add artist tour dates and direct to fan stores to one of the net's most consistently popular searches - song lyrics. LyricFind delivers 5 billion licensed lyric displays each year to top ranked sites including SongMeanings, Lyrics.com, LyricsMode, LyricsFreak, Sing365 and Lyrics007.
Last week Pharrell Williams' hit "Happy" became the first song by a black artist since December of 2012 to reach #1 Billboard's Hot 100. Then, it was Rihanna's "Diamonds" that went #1. Since, even African-American powerhouses like Beyonce and Johnny Legend reached the top 5 without ever hitting #1.
Watching the progress of EDM is fascinating with its sudden acceleration in the U.S. and the resulting business moves. EDM and big brands have already found ways to connect but 7UP's new #7x7UP Campaign is an example of the extended big brand embrace that comes with marketplace validation. It's an interesting year-long campaign that's already off to a good start with the "Light It UP" video featuring Tiësto below.
Just when you thought there was nothing else to say about playlists, along comes the Guilty Pledgers app for fundraising with Spotify playlists. The idea is that you throw a party and people can pick the Spotify-powered playlist by donating online in exchange for a song to be added. The JustGiving fundraising platform handles the donation process. Guilty Pledgers is not only an app built by Abstraktion but a non-profit whose work is supported by Spotify.
The Echo Nest has partnered with Y Combinator backed AirPair help developers connect to its API, the company announced the morning. Connecting APIs to create more interesting products and services is at the core of The Echo Nest's mission both in its own product development and as sponsor of many Muisc Hack Days.
Hip hop fans and artists are constantly searching for the newest ways to discover, write, see, and record new music. As we continue to move forward in the digital age, smartphones and tablets are the means of choice for a lot of that.
These six apps should probably find a home on every hip hop fan’s phone (hopefully, we’ll see some more Android compatibility on this list soon):
Two management companies, Vector Management and Proper Artist Management, are merging to a combined entity that will operate under the Vector Management name. London-based Proper Artist Management, helmed by Peter Rudge, who, prior to the launch of Proper, was a senior executive at Octagon Music. Over the course of his career, he has managed or co-managed artists including The Rolling Stones, Diana Ross, The Who and Lynyrd Skynrd among others.
As awareness of messaging as a social phenomenon in its own right grows, awareness of the role of stickers in monetizing free messaging apps is also growing. Stickers represent one of the major music marketing opportunities on messaging platforms as demonstrated by acts like Paul McCartney and One Direction. They're also becoming revenue sources for musicians. Today TextPride announced the release of new paid sticker packs from music and sports brands including Wiz Khalifa on mobile messaging apps Viber, Kik, GroupMe and Cubie. [Original press release incorrectly mentioned CeeLo Green].
"Music to Your Eyes." That's how Xbox Music, Microsoft's music streaming music service, describes the addition of music videos to its Xbox One gaming console. "Once a TV staple, music videos are now primarily housed on the internet, where easy access is key," the company wrote on its blog. "Beginning today, we’re introducing more than 92,000 music videos to Xbox Music."
This week Spotify announced a new crop of artists to be featured in their Spotlight on New Music playlist and in related campaigns. Two of the artists, MØ and Foster The People, will get global promotion via Spotify. Frankie Ballard, As Animals, Marteria and G-Eazy will receive regional campaigns. Initial confusion over whether Spotlight was simply a promo playlist have been cleared up as we can now see that Spotlight is a name for much broader campaigns.
Mixcloud is a web radio platform that, though open to all genres of music as well as radio shows, built to 10 million listeners primarily off electronic music mixes by djs. Based in London, the bootstrapped startup has a relatively small audience in the States that seems likely to grow given Mixcloud's expansion to the U.S. with an office in New York. What is also likely, given their partnership with Vice Media and their recent launch of branded channels, is that they'll be growing their branded content as well.
At least from an artist's point of view, one of Spotify's more attractive features was the ability to sell merchandise directly to fans while they listened to your music. That connection was powered by Topspin; which as of today is owned by Spotify's streaming music competitor Beats Music. It's hard to imagine that Spotify will want to continue the relationship, but according to Topspin, at least for now, nothing will change.