Kevin Breuner, Host of DIY Musician Podcast, and VP of Marketing, CD Babyjoins us today on Hypebot.com's year end virtual panel. As an independent artist, Breuner responds to the current streaming debate saying, "You never know where your fans are going to come from. For that reason, I feel it’s important to have your music in all the places people go to enjoy music, including Spotify. I would hate to find out that someone who hadn’t heard us before, but happen to be at a show, opened their Spotify app in a moment of intrigue, couldn’t find us, and just moved on."
From Australia to North America. Rarely do we witness a successful infiltrating attempt by foreign artists trying to make it in the United States, with a few exception of Justin Bieber and the likes. Passenger, however, pulled it off almost smoothly and convincingly in 2012, mainly thanks to his major presence in Ed Sheeran’s North American Tour and the release of “All The Little Lights” by Nettwerk Music Group in the same region.
Bandsintown dug deep into their large concert database emerging with a top list of most active, rapidly growing artists of 2014. Using Bandsintown Tracker to see which artists made their mark this year, Bandsintown identified and recognized artists with the Most Tour Dates, Most Countries Visited, and Fastest Growth. American Aquarium, Aly & Fila, Vance Joy topped each category respecitvely. A further breakdown is illustrated in the infographics below.
ASCAP CEO, John LoFrumento has announced his retirement this week. LoFrumento started his career at ASCAP in 1981 as a controller, the serving positions as CFO, COO, and EVP before becoming CEO in 1997. Since then, ASCAP’s memberships have grown from 70,000 to 520,000 with annual distributed royalties growing from $417 million to $875 million. While CEO, LoFrumento helped introduce popular ASCAP programs like I Create Music Expo, and MusicPro Insurance. Along with President and Chairman Paul Williams, LoFrumento has lead the fight for fair compensation for songwriters in the digital space.
The Recording Academy has named its Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners for 2015. George Harrison, The Bee Gees, Buddy Guy, the Louvin Brothers, Wayne Shorter, Flaco Jiménez and Pierre Boulez will all be honored at next year's ceremony during Grammy week.
Recently, YouTube introduced Music Key, a music streaming service that the video hosting company had been hinting at for at least a couple of years. The company has experimented with revenue models and music industry partnerships to leverage its huge library of music videos since its 2005 acquisition by Google – including a partnership with Universal Music Group's video platform Vevo back in 2009. There's a bit of confusion (from both musicians and fans) about what YouTube Music Key actually is and how it's different from Google Play, Spotify, and other music steaming services. Here's what you need to know.
As the year comes to a close, Amazon joins the host of platforms taking a look back on 2014, reporting their top trends of the year. Amazon's team of music experts curated a list of Best 50 Albums and Best 50 Songs of the year - The War On Drugs' Lost In The Dream came in as the top album of 2014 and Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" landed the top song of the year slot. Pentatonix claimed top best-selling album of 2014 on Amazon with That's Christmas To Me and Meghan Trainor took home the gold with "All About That Bass" coming in as Amazon's best selling song of 2014. The top five winners for each category are listed below.
UPDATE: Along with adding lyrics today, Deezer announced the appointment of a new Global CEO, Dr. Hans-Holger Albrecht. He joins from Millicom where he was President and CEO of the telecom and media group, offering digital services to 50 million customers in Africa and Latin America.
Deezer has added the ability to read lyrics while you listen to streaming music. It's an obvious move, but one that its many competitors have likely avoided because of additional costs. As J Herskowitz tweeted this morning: "Big gamble by Deezer in adding lyrics. Takes a razor thin margin and makes it even thinner."
Japan based free call and messaging app LINE has reached an agreement with Microsoft to acquire MixRadio, a free personal music streaming service. With with 170 million monthly active users in 230 countries, LINE made the acquisition to "expand its range of services to become an integral part of consumers' daily lives."
Darryl Ballantyne, CEO/co-founder, LyricFind www.LyricFind.com, leader in legal lyric solutions is joining us today on Hypebot.com's year end virtual panet. On the importance of YouTube Music Key's entry and Apple's acquisition of Beats, Ballantyne says "The jury's still out on both YouTube Music Key and Beats (within Apple), but both have the potential to have a massive impact on the subscription market based on their reach." Read more from Darryl Ballantyne below.
When the spooks at the CIA were interrogating their terrorist captives at the prison at Guantanamo Bay Cuba in 2002, one of their techniques was to play songs at a very high volume from the industrial band Skinny Puppy for 6 to 12 hours straight. Tipped off by a prison guard who happened to be a fan, the band is now suing the US Department of Defense for $666,000 (an interesting amount) for the unlicensed use of their songs.
Earlier this week, Google released its annual Year in Search results, putting the spotlight on up and coming artists and trendsetters in the music category. Iggy Azalea made an appearance among trending song lyrics and took the top slot as #1 Trending Music Artist of 2014, beating other top trending artists including Lorde, Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor, Solange Knowles, and Nicki Minaj, to name a few. While artists like Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj have experienced their fair share of time in the limelight, these search results really showcase the talent and staying power of 2014's emerging artists.
WholeWorldBand Managing Director, North America Gregory Butler is up next on Hypebot.com's year end virtual panel. "We have enough data to show that people believe music has value - more options for people to choose how music can be devalued isn't exactly positive. I'm not specifically saying the options mentioned are positive or negative, but until a fair, multilateral system exists for streaming, every option is suspect." Find out more about Gregory Butler's position on where music streaming is headed below.
As a musician, your creativity is the your most valuable asset. However, creativity can be stifiled when the realities of life start of come in. There are bills to pay. There are things that have to be done. Suddenly, it seems that creativity is placed on the back burner and the demand to conform to the status quo is front and center. Olav Christensenunderstands this as an artist and in this article he gives his take on the balance between selling your music and selling out.
Has BandPage finally found the gold that musicians have been searching for in music streaming? If you consider the untapped artist revenue now uniquely accessible to BandPage users, the pot of gold at the end of the music streaming rainbow; then yes, the early numbers BandPage released this morning would suggest that they've done exactly that.
TuneCore has acquired musician focused app maker DropKloud and will add its co-founders, James DeNino and Kedar Frederic to the TuneCore team. The two will open a TuneCore office in Boston, where they will focus on product development in a new TuneCore innovation lab designed to build new tools and services for artists.
Producers should be aware of their legal rights when it comes to working with recording artists. These days the music business, particularly the pop and urban markets, is producer-driven more so than ever before. Producers not only help capture the sound in the studio and use the available technology to mold it to be as commercially acceptable as possible, but more and more producers are finding and discovering new talent and developing the artist’s sound and even co-writing the songs with the artists.
Benji Rogers, Founder and President of PledgeMusic joins us today for Hypebot.com's 2014 Year End Virtual Panel. Rogers has a hopeful outlook for the collaboration between artists and music streaming services, but suggests that streaming companies handle the relationship with care. "The artists are the ones with that power. If the artists are given the tools, and therefore the incentive, they will bring the subscribers and all boats will begin to rise." Continue reading for more from Benji Rogers.
Twitter is often thought of as populated by technorati, but youthful hoi palloi certainly dominated the short message social network when it came to activity by music fans. 2014 will not go down, but he, One Direction and Taylor Swift came in 1,2,3 with this year's most active fan armies.
They say it takes 10 years of dedication to become an overnight success. This phrase is largely due to all of the things that the public is blissfully unaware of. We acknowledge artists when they pop into the mainstream, but we're blind to the denied demos, poor image choices, and bad business deals that happened before they reached a worldwide stage. When looking at a lot of top artists throughout history, you begin to see that it wasn't always their talent that slowed their success. I mean, look at Decca's infamous rejection of the Beatles; it wasn't necessarily their playing ability.
Direct to fan digital sales platform Bandcamp has launched an accompanying portal designed to better serve independent record labels. The new Bandcamp For Labels adds unified accounting and stats across all artists, a single fulfillment interface for merchandise sales, direct payments on a per release basis and Bandcamp Pro-level accounts for all the label's artists.
James Donio, President of the Music Business Association (Music Biz) is up next on our Virtual Panel. On the subject of streaming, Donio says, "While we refrain from editorializing on any Music Biz member company’s role in the marketplace, it is abundantly clear that streaming will continue to gain traction next year as it tallies more and more users around the world. In fact, Billboard and Nielsen’s decision to include streaming numbers and digital downloads in their calculations for the Billboard 200 chart underscores this point."
The 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees range from gospel music to ABBA, Hank Williams, the Sex Pistols and many in between. This year's 27 inductees brings the grand total of Hall of Fame titles to 987. A special member committee who nominate inductees from a group of recordings from at least 25 years ago with particular qualitative or historical significance. The Hall of Fame titles are on display at the Grammy Museaum in downtown Los Angeles.
Topspin, now owned by ArtistLink, has discontinued their merchandise integration with Spotify, leaving BandPage the only option that artists and labels have to sell merchandise on the popular music streamer. Once a leader in the direct to fan space, Topspin has steadily declined in popularity since new owners ArtistLink took over last summer.
The exit from Spotify was announced on the Spotify Artists blog: