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Spoon's Indie Record Store Instant Vinyl Gratification Campaign Is A Big Hit

They-want-my-spoonsUPDATE:  We heard from Team Spoon overnight.  Yesterday was release day and many indie stores are already sold out of the unique vinyl promotion. Typical was this tweet from Nashville's legendary Grimeys.

The Story: Britt Daniels of Spoon came up with an indie-oriented vinyl-centric response to the digital tracks offered as a form of "instant gratification" to those pre-ordering online at big outlets. His solution is to gift those who pre-order Spoon's upcoming release, "They Want My Soul," at select indie record stores with a 10" vinyl record including a single off the album when they preorder. While they're obviously ways to do indie digital gratification, this is a catchy idea and the folks at Record Store Day concurred and helped connect the band with interested shops.

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Ed Sheeran Voted Most Important Artist In Black & Urban Music (WTF?)

image from cdn.funkidslive.comA  panel of industry experts and BBC 1Xtra DJs has named Ed Sheeran the most important artist in black and urban music. 1 Xtra bills itself as leading black music station in the UK.  #2 on the chart was twice as white as Sheeran, if that's possible. Disclosure - two white brothers named Guy and Howard Lawrence, and the equally Caucasian Sam Smith was in fourth place.

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Kim Dotcom's Baboom Offers Shares, Claims Indie Support, Seeks "Friendly Major Artists"

Baboom-logoThe ongoing saga of Kim Dotcom's attempt to launch a new music service continues with a search for funding for Baboom. A "Limited Pre-IPO" is offering shares to "Sophisticated Investors only" in an attempt to raise $4.5 million. That offer closes Friday. The plan is to launch the service and to go public on the Australian stock exchange by the end of the year. Baboom will be dependent on indie music and "friendly major artists" and, though they're claiming strong indie support, one has to wonder at the prospects of such a company that identifies its competitors as Pandora, Spotify and Beats.

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16-Point Band Website Assessment Checklist

16-point-logo-bullhorns-01Having a website is a must in today's music industry. If you're slacking in that department, you might want to consider tightening the reins. Are your photos sharp and recently updated? A picture can be worth a thousand words or it can be the reason that potential listener dismisses your band based on look and feel. A fair assessment? No. Reality? Yes. Your website is a representation of your band, so if you feel like you're lacking we suggest you review this checklist. 

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Short Documentary Celebrates 25 Years Of Merge Records [Watch, Free Downloads]

merge records foundersFounded by Superchunk's Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance in 1989, North Carolina's Merge Records quickly grew to become one of America's essential indie labels. From supporting their fertile local indie rock scene to launching international stars, for 25 years Merge has carved out uncompromising success by staying true to its independent roots.

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Indies Unite! 700 Labels Launch Campaign For Fair Digital Music Deals

unite!An ongoing battle with YouTube over alleged heavy handed negotiating tactics and unfair terms for their unlaunched subscription music service, has united the global independent music community on the broader issue of fairness in all digital deals. In a not so veiled jab at YouTube and other digital services, global indie trade group WIN has released an open letter signed by more than 700 independent labels that calls for fair digital music deals.

"The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.” 

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Sirus XM Adds $2B To Stock Repurchase Plan

image from wp.streetwise.coSirius XM has added an additional $2 billion to its stock repurchase program. SiriusXM's Board of Directors approved a $2 billion stock repurchase in December 2012 and supplemented that with an additional $2 billion in October 2013. The satellite radio provided will fund the $6 billion in repurchases through cash on hand, future cash flow from operations and future borrowings.

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Polaris Music Prize Announces 2014 Short List: Arcade Fire, Drake, Timbre Timbre & 7 More

polaris 2014The 10 artists and albums vying for Canada's most prestigious music award, the Polaris Music Prize, were named today. This 8th annual award, which honors the best album of the last year, will be determined by an 11 member jury of music journalists and broadcasters and announced during the Polaris Gala at The Carlu in Toronto on September 22.

The 2014 Polaris Music Prize Short List:

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Top 40 .FM Music Sites Give Alternate View Of Global Online Music Industry

Dot-fmThough anyone can register a .FM domain, thanks to the benevelonce of the Federated States of Micronesia, it is quite popular and often associated with music-related sites including but certainly not limited to radio. But I'm still surprised to find the top 40 .FM sites to be so dominated by music. In addition, use is international with a particularly strong Chinese adoption. Take a look for an alternate view of the web-based music industry.

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Drone-Shot Music Videos Attracting Attention and Driving Chart Positions

Phantom-2-droneDrones are being adopted in all sorts of areas to sometimes literally give a new look at things. Which means they eventually will show up in music videos. One video using a GoPro/drone combo used Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli’s "Time To Say Goodbye" as background music and drove it up the charts. Another takes a fairly simple concept and capitalizes on the odd movement qualities of drones.

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YouTube's Pressure Tactics? Good Old Fashioned Corporate Strong-Arming

Youtube-musicpassOP ED from Peter Getty, musician, producer, writer and philanthropist. A member of the band Virgin Whore Complex, Getty founded the indie label Emperor Norton.

As if beleaguered indie labels needed another battle…

Music streaming services like Spotify and Rdio are making a lot of money delivering unlimited streaming music in return for a flat monthly fee. Never shying away from a bandwagon, Google too is now jumping into the game. Corporate subsidiary YouTube is currently cutting deals with music labels in preparation of Music Pass, a music streaming service to be released later this year.

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Music Ad Watch: Obscure 2009 Indie Track Powers New Apple iPhone TV Spot [VIDEO]

DOIRONApple recently dropped a new tv spot for the iPhone. Touting the smartphone as a parenting tool, the ad showcases a number of related apps over a bed of music sung by Julie Doiron of Sub Pop's Eric’s Trip. The simple and pleasant track "Life Of Dreams" comes from Doiron's long forgotten 2009 solo album ,"I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day."  [Kudos to the song plugger or music supervisor who unearthed it.] WATCH:

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MTV Has A Plan To Help Sell More Albums

image from nyoobserver.files.wordpress.comMTV, VH1 and CMT are launching "First" a multi-platform campaign to promote newly released albums. Starting with two arists that certainly don't need extra marketing help, Ed Sheeran  and Ariana Grande, the campaign, sponsored by Pepsi and including a heavy dose of Twiiter Amplify ads, will eventually be used to promote emerging artists, as well.

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Shazam Adds Rdio Full Song Streaming, More Services To Follow [Updated]

Shazam-logoIn what is likely to be the first of many such announcements, unless they update in a batch, Shazam yesterday announced that Rdio subscribers will be able to stream full songs on Shazam. Other services are expected to be added in "coming weeks." Shazam has been known as a great app for identifying and "Shazaming" music in the wild but has only shared song previews to this point. Shazam has also been a great driver of music downloads which may start to decline with the addition of streaming services.

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Congressional Hearing Today: "Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty & Copyright Term" [WATCH]

US CONGRESSToday, Tuesday July 15th at 1PM ET, the U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet will hold the latest in a series of hearings on current copyright law as part of the subcommittee's ongoing review of the Copyright Act.  You can watch the hearings live online.

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3 Years Ago This Week Spotify Launched In U.S.

image from upload.wikimedia.orgHello America. Spotify here.

That was the blog post headline three years ago today on July 14th, 2011 when Spotify launched in the U.S. Since then Spotify has become the largest streaming music service in the U.S. with 3 million paid subscribers here. Globally, Spotify has 10 million paying subscribers and more than 40 million active users across 56 markets.

What will the streaming music marketplace look like in three more years?

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Pono Competitor Geek Wave Crowdfunds Over $1.3 Million For High Quality Music Player

Geek-Labs-300x300LH Labs, a part of Light Harmonics, successfully completed an Indiegogo campaign to fund their Geek Wave "high-performance portable music player." Their campaign goal of $38,000 was dramatically surpassed closing Saturday with $1,323,073 in pleges. Geek Wave can be viewed as a competitor with the PonoPlayer but seems  to be of interest to a different crowd than Pono's drawing.

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Garth Brooks Goes D2F With Digital Sales and "Own Version Of Social Media"

Garth-brooks-to-fansSo apparently Garth Brooks was retired and now he's back on RCA Records. And this time he's releasing his new album digitally, as well as his back catalogue, but only via his own site. Unfortunately it's unclear whether it's just digital downloads or if streaming is involved though downloads seem most likely. Perhaps more importantly this decision, inspired partly by iTunes, means that his new site, where they'll have their "own version of social media," will also have an even stronger draw for Garth Brooks' fans cementing it as homebase.

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Jack White's Effect On The World Of Vinyl

Jack_WhiteBy Hugh McIntyre of the Sonicbids Blog.

Last week, Jack White secured another number one album, with his latest Lazaretto starting off in the top spot. The title is White’s ninth to reach the top ten, and his second to reach number one (the other being his first solo album Blunderbuss).

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Indie Music From Rumblefish Powers Soundtrack Of 1.4 Billion Monthly YouTube Views

image from rumblefish.comMusicians and labels are getting paid use of their music in more than 1.4 billion monthly YouTube views through Rumblefish. Founded by a professional musician and film composer, their multi-year head start in the sector has made them attractive to large digital distributors, deep label catalogs, and independent songwriters. Rumblefish says it has cleared more copyrights for use in online video, more than any other provider.  

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What They Really Mean: The Musician's Guide To Industry Speak

Radiohead-computerNetworking is one of the most crucial components to any job in any industry. Your ability to connect and stay connected can easily make or break you. Knowing what you want and how to translate that into what you need to do to get there makes a world of difference on the road to success. If you're hitting dead ends and brick walls in your outreach to industry influencers, this is the perfect read for your Monday morning. 

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Neil Young Prepares For Late 2014 PonoMusic Launch As New CEO

PonoplayerLate last week in a shakeup at PonoMusic, Neil Young became CEO while Rick Cohen was named COO. John Hamm stepped down as CEO while remaining an investor. In addition, today Omnifone has announced that their MusicStation platform will be powering the service. They state PonoMusic will launch "before the end of the year" in the US, UK and Canada which suggests that the October delivery of PonoPlayers to pledgers is still on track.

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The Artists Declaration of Independence: Johnny's Story Part 3

Jamie-legerBy Jamie Leger of Modern Artists Academy.

This is part three of the ongoing series - The Artists Declaration of Independence: The Transition To The Modern Music Industry.

If you’d like to have each new post in the series sent to you automatically so you don’t have to worry about missing any of the training-you can sign up here and also receive a free copy of The Grassroots Music Marketing System, gratis.

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Live Nation Announces Lineup For Free Yahoo Streamed Concert Series

Yahoo ScreedLive Nation has revealed the initial lineup of artists for its planned joint venture with Yahoo's Screen video service that will feature a new live concert every day for the next year. The live concert streams will kick off on July 15 with "A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band" at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The show will feature DMB delivering two sets, performing together in numerous electric and acoustic configurations.

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Brian Message Steps Down As Chair Of Music Managers Forum

image from www.celebrityaccess.comAfter four years, Brian Message has stepped down as chair of the Music Managers Forum. The Board of the MMF have unanimously elected Diane Wagg and Stephen Budd to replace him as co-chairs. Message said: "Stepping back from my duties as chair of the MMF allows me time to focus on the economics of music streaming, in particular, how revenue from fans actually gets back to artists and managers. New rules need to be set so that all those within the music value chain can benefit and feel good about the structure."

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Rap Genius Adds $40 Million, Expands Beyond Rap As Genius.com

genius(UPDATED) Its been a rocky and controversial few months for Rap Genius, but persistence appears to have paid off. The platform, which launched as a repository of information about rap music, has added $40 million in Series B funding led by Dan Gilbert. With the cash influx, the sight will re-brand a Genius.com and move beyond rap. The new funding brings the company's total to $55.6 million at a valuation under $1 billion.

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