Monday morning crowdfunding platform Kickstarter announced that it had surpassed $1 billion in pledges from 5.7 million people in 224 countries on all seven continents. More than half of that $1 billion has been invested in the last 12 months alone, a testimony to Kickstarter's impressive momentum.
Vevo has done quite a bit to break away from its primary association with YouTube but, oddly enough, it can't seem to break away from MTV comparisons. Vevo's success seems due to combining old school and new school approaches taking high quality, proprietary content and making it available as widely as possible. In addition they've developed their own tv-style channels for lean-back viewing which gives them more options in terms of programming for tv apps and other outlets. But their gradual development of non-music video programming may forever tie them to MTV comparisons even as they move beyond YouTube adjunct status.
In this episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, we talk to artist manager and music producer JJ Italiano about whether the concept of a “favorite artist” has changed. Today’s music listener has unlimited access to streaming music across any connected device. They can follow the activities of favorite artists on a variety of social media platforms. We share stories from our history as music fanatics and industry professionals. We dive deep into a wide ranging discussion about how digital technology has shaped music fandom.
By Matt Sandler, musician and founder of Chromatik.
I get at least a dozen emails a month from musician friends who want to build out their YouTube presence.
I don’t claim to be a YouTube expert, but I spend a good amount of time at Chromatik working with artists and the YouTube ecosystem. We’ve built the Chromatik channel to over a million views (led by the extraordinary Kelley McKinney), and I’ve worked on musician friends’ channels with over 50 million collective views.
Re/code's esteemed Peter Kafka is reporting that "sources say" Amazon is in talks with major labels about a streaming music service. Last March The Verge's esteemed Greg Sandoval reported much the same thing. While it can be expected that Amazon would have ongoing discussions, it's hard to tell from random leaks what's really going on. However, "one label source" says Amazon isn't moving forward because they want a much better deal than other services get.
Pandora has passed 250 million registered users in the U.S. They have created over six billion stations, the music streamer announced this morning. Pandora also shared the lineup for its third annual Discovery Den live music showcases at The Gatsby in Austin at SXSW 2104. Performances, which will be broadcast live on Pandora, include:
The Songwriter Equity Act was introduced to Congress by Representative Douglas Collins on Tuesday, February 25th. The purpose of the bill is to update Section 114 and 115 of the Copyright Act that was written in 1909. This would allow songwriters, composers and publishers to receive fair compensation for their works in today's market place. An estimated two-thirds of a songwriter’s income today is heavily regulated by copyright law and consent decrees. This bill will help today’s songwriters and publishers get their fair share of mechanical and performance royalties. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and NMPA have all publicly praised this new bill.
The digital music market grew 9% in ' 12 and will grow to $9 billion worldwide in 2014. It's driven by expansion in international and regional music brands and 20%+ smartphone growth in South East Asia, India and Africa. The study, by Mahindra Comviva and Ovum Consulting, predicts that Asia-Pacific digital music markets will approach $450 million and Latin America will top $200 million in 2014.
Snippit is a media sharing and social networking app for iOS that is worth considering for its integration of music. Users pair short clips from songs, up to 10 seconds long, with individual photos that are then displayed in a public stream. Links to iTunes for track sales are included. I spoke earlier this week with co-founders Joe Grano and Sam Jurist about Snippit and how it might help musicians.
Some aspects of the YouTube ecosystem are difficult to assess such as the power of fanbases built entirely online. One indicator of the strength of YouTube-grown audiences is attendance at events featuring YouTube stars, up-and-comers and their fans. Playlist Live is one such event, with musicians included, that doesn't seem to get a lot of coverage beyond YouTube but has a full weekend schedule and a healthy list of sponsors. Beyond its health as an individual business, Playlist Live is a reminder that if something's working online it may well have offline potential.
The music business is about to get its own alternative currency, called Songcoin.
The alternative currency phenomenon is real, as weird as that might feel to those of us who would never consider shelling out cash for points to buy special pixels for that Farmville game we never really got around to playing. Bitcoin, despite the issues mentioned below, shows that alternative currencies can become quite real to certain people, which can then make them real enough in general, causing them to take on a value of their own outside the traditional financial system.
A lot has been written over the last few days since Zoe Keating released the latest in her series of personal digital music revenue reports which includes data from iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon (physical and mp3), MediaNet, Rhapsody, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube and SoundExchange. A new chart Statista produced chart offers an overview.
Brian Shafton, owner of RBC Records, has been deeply involved with both hip hop artist and label marketing and distribution. Both running a label and supporting artist-owned indie labels gives Shafton a full view of not only what it takes to break an artist but to maintain a career. In a recent interview, Shafton repeatedly noted the importance of social media to these acts.
Indie dance powerhouse Ministry of Sounds and Spotify have reached an out of court settlement. The label had sued Spotify claiming that it had refused to delete user created playlists that mirrored compilations Ministry had created for sale. A short joint statement issued today says:
From Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform at The Echo Nest.
The Echo Nest director of developer platform Paul Lamere has determined the recording artist that is most "distinctive" to music fans in any state - that is to say, their favorite artists, relative to the people in other states - and presented his findings in the map below.