News from the office, our labels, their artists and the industry
Sometimes we have something useful or exciting to say. Not always, we admit, but when we do, this is the place to find it.
Sometimes we have something useful or exciting to say. Not always, we admit, but when we do, this is the place to find it.
SoundCloud are the world's largest open audio platform and announced earlier in the year of their expansion of its monetization and development program for creators, SoundCloud Premier. Since its inception, SoundCloud Premier has empowered creators to control their careers by offering a leading revenue sharing rate, and direct access to their audience to promote tracks and connect with fans worldwide in real-time.
SoundCloud has announced that SoundCloud On-Demand plays in the UK & Ireland will now be included in the data that informs the Official Charts in the UK & Ireland. Chart inclusion will be effective as of September 14th, 2018. (impacting the Official Charts from September 21st, 2018). On-demand plays represent streams from both the SoundCloud Go+ and Go subscriptions, along with streams of official, identified tracks for monetization in the ad-supported tier. SoundCloud's On-Demand streams will now be part of: The Official Singles chart The Official Albums chart The Official Independent Singles In addition to a number of genre charts including Urban, Dance, R&B, Rock & Metal and more.
We have entered into a deal with Facebook to work with, develop and implement a rights management and royalty payment/reporting system. We are currently delivering all content to Facebooks Audio Library. The Audio Library is the central hub which Facebook will be exploring many different ways to bring music to the Facebook community. So far these include; Share Videos with Music on Facebook Facebook is working to enable people around the world to include music in their videos on Facebook, opening up more options for creativity and sharing memories with friends and family. Facebook is testing this in several markets currently. Lip Sync Live Facebook is starting to roll out Lip Sync Live, which lets you lip sync to songs. To try it out, choose the Lip Sync Live option when starting your Live video. After selecting a song from the song list, you can also add a description and customise your video with masks or a background. When broadcasting with Lip Sync Live, friends will see the artist and song highlighted on the video and can tap to follow the artist on Facebook. Instagram Music Stories Similar to adding emojis/GIFs, users will now have the option to add music by tapping on the sticker icon - searching/browsing for a song, selecting the best segment to match their story - and posting. When friends watch the story, they'll hear the clip the user chose playing over their photo or video. They'll also see a sticker with the song title and artist name. IMPORTANT Facebook are rolling out these features out over a period of time - starting with iOS, with Android following. Additionally, they will be adding more songs on a regular basis and, as such, you may not see your titles included right now. Facebook has assured us that they are working hard to activate Audio Library feeds and match recordings with publishing data, prioritising top performing content. There is no defined timeline, however, more content will be made available in the near future as this product is rolled out further.
The following blog comes from the CEO of the UK-based Music Managers Forum, Annabella Coldrick (pictured). She dissects the different ways that major and independent labels are distributing proceeds from Spotify share sales - and ponders what it all might mean for the lump sum coming from Facebook. For the artist and management community, the most controversial element of Spotify's transition to a publicly traded company was how (and if) the three majors and Merlin-member labels would share the proceeds from sale of their equity holdings.
Bijlmerbajes prison, a sinister and defunct penitentiary located near Amsterdam's Amstel railway station, will be converted into a massive party location during Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) this year. Organized by Audio Obscura, the famous prison - which was officially closed in 2016 - will host three parties between Thursday, October 18 and Saturday, October 20. The first night will host the beloved North American selectors Seth Troxler and Honey Dijon, who will bring the uplifting flair of Chicago and Detroit house to the daring location alongside the fantastic New York talent, Carista. On Friday, October 19, the event takes a darker turn, promising to showcase 'techno in its finest form' with Electric Deluxe's head-honcho Speedy J,Rodhad, Jon Hester and the British Clouds. The final show of the three-day run will be headlined than none other than Mixmag's 2017 DJ of the year Nina Kravitz, who will bring her label to soundtrack the last night of this unprecedented prison riot. Tickets for these three events will go on sale on September 5 at 12pm CEST.
An illegal rave taking place in Bevercotes Colliery near Ollerton over the Summer bank holiday weekend continued for a total 17 hours before police finally managed to disperse the gathering. Due to the size of the rave, the authorities tasked with shutting down the event sent in a helicopter and extra officers to deal with the situation. Nottinghamshire Police's force control room told the UK publication Lincolnshire Live that storming in and immediately shut down of the event would be a bad idea since dispersing a large gathering such as this one needs 'careful time and planning.' Police set up a perimeter around the event to ensure that those leaving the location were not driving under the influence. Hundreds of residents complained about the excessive noise coming from the event, many saying that the music could be heard from 'seven miles away.' Despite this, a huge number of locals voiced their support for the revelers via the Retford Times Facebook page, saying they are 'not causing any trouble' and wishing them 'a cracking good time.' As the weather turned and heavy rain started to fall on the spontaneous gathering, the crowd gradually began to disperse on their own before police moved in to clear out the event. Check out a short clip of the rave below. Last weekend, police allowed an illegal forest rave in the Thetford Forest to continue on for hours since there was 'no disturbance.'
To bring you up to speed as quickly as possible: there is, allegedly, a chance that three tracks on Michael Jackson's 2010 posthumous album, Michael, were, in fact, recorded by a Michael Jackson impersonator. This accusation is lodged within the US court system as you read this, and, despite interesting evidence in its favour, may turn out to be true or untrue. We'll come back to this because, even if it's faintly accurate, it's an incredible Netflix documentary waiting to be made. What really matters today, however, is this: Sony Music has stated that it did not confirm, early last week, that these tracks were indeed recorded by a fake MJ. If it did, it would make this story ten times more interesting. But, says the company, it just didn't happen - and logic is on its side. To sufficiently explain why we need to start at the start. In 2014, an MJ megafan - Vera Serova - filed a class action lawsuit after she became suspicious that three songs from Michael - 'Breaking News,' 'Keep Your Head Up,' and the 50 Cent collaboration 'Monster' - weren't actually sung by her idol. Whether or not she was correct in her belief is still being debated. (Serova presented research from forensic audiologist Dr. George Papcun to back her claims. Papcun concluded in a 41-page, peer-reviewed report that the vocal on the tracks were not likely to have been recorded by the King Of Pop.) Sony has, for some time, argued that if - and it's a very big if - the three tracks in question were recorded, as Serova suggests, by an MJ impersonator, then it couldn't have possibly known. That's because, according to Sony, it received the recordings in good faith from a production unit - which in this case, would mean Angelikson Productions LLC. Angelikson Productions is owned by Jackson's long time friend Eddie Cascio, and was one of the parties targeted by Serova's initial class action. Fast forward to last Tuesday (August 21), in a Californian court of appeals. The purpose of this hearing wasn't actually whether Jackson recorded the vocals or otherwise. It was, in basic terms, to determine whether legally-punishable injury may have been caused to members of the public who bought the record believing Jackson recorded every track. As such, a lawyer representing both Sony and the Jackson Estate argued where and how legal repercussions should land if - and, again, it's a very big if - the vocals on the three tracks weren't recorded by Jackson. This appears to have been misinterpreted by some as Sony 'confirming' that the vocals on the songs were indeed not recorded by Jackson. As a result of this misinterpretation, all hell broke loose: headlines appeared in a multitude of powerful publications, from The Sun to Vibe, Spin, Fortune, Vulture and Fox News, suggesting that Sony had indeed 'owned up' to the fake Jackson vocals. A subsequent joint statement on behalf Sony and the Jackson Estate, however, rubbished this idea: 'No one has conceded that Michael Jackson did not sing on the songs. The hearing Tuesday was about whether the First Amendment protects Sony Music and the Estate and there has been no ruling on the issue of whose voice is on the recordings.' There are two strands to this drama worth considering. The first is the stunning power of 'fake news' to spread like wildfire in the modern age, seemingly without basic due consideration. Just think this one through for a second: remember that Sony is denying any culpability over the possibility that Jackson didn't record the songs. Its key argument in order to do so is pretty much this: we don't know who recorded those songs, because we trusted the production company/companies managing the studio process to deliver authentic masters. Would it not rather destroy Sony's wider argument to then turn around and say, 'Actually, changed our minds: it's definitely not him!' Sadly, as the old adage goes: 'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has got its boots on.' The bigger story here, though - the one which should get eyes lighting up at Netflix, and the one to keep focused on in the coming months and years - is the David vs. Goliath narrative. Vera Serova, a UCLA law student, believes someone representing Michael Jackson defrauded his fans following his death with the 2010 album Michael. In 2014, she started a class action, backed by expert testimony, to fight for that fact. Her accusations remain unproven. but they're being taken very seriously at the highest level.
Calvin Harris - the highest paid DJ in the world - has said he is 'too old' to go on tour. In a recent appearance with Sam Smith on Scotland's Forth 1 show, Boogie & Arlene, the EDM superstar (34) spoke about how he much prefers studio work to playing live and explained that he has no intention of going on tour anytime soon. You can listen to the interview below. 'I've done tours before but for me, I think my personal strength is in the studio,' he said. 'It's what I enjoy the most.' 'But a tour? No way. I can't do tours any more. I'm too old.' Harris and Smith were on the show to promote their new collaborative single, 'Promises'. Earlier this year it was announced that Calvin Harris would extend his Las Vegas residency with the Hakkasan group until 2020. The contract, which Harris plays in a casino nightclub once a week, is worth $1 million per gig. This isn't the first time the DJ - who recently was turned into a wax model in New York's Madame Tussauds - has spoken about his displeasure with touring festival stages in comparison with his residency shows. 'Standing up there and it's the fireworks and all that stuff, but you've got no connection with anyone,' he told Zane Lowe in February. 'I want to spend more time in studio and it's been that way for a couple of years,' he added at the time. 'I haven't done any meaningful festivals for years.' Despite all that though, Harris has been booked for one other string of gigs this year, a three-date Pacha Ibiza series. He played the first of those shows last week on 14th August, will play the next tomorrow (21st August) and will play one more next Tuesday (28th August).
All labels and artists can relate to the following: social media fanbase on one hand and portals such as Spotify on the other hand. The most important question: how do we turn our followers into customers? Kwettr uses relationship marketing, direct communications and artificial intelligence to answer that question. Kwettr specializes in making social payment systems: pay with a tweet, like, snap, selfie or Spotify follow for content. Spotify, Beatport, Apple Music and Amazon promotional campaigns to boost revenue.
Warner Music Group has sold all of its shares in Spotify for more than half a billion dollars. Warner is allocating 25% of this money to its artists, but, unlike Sony, it's not ignoring unrecouped balances when it does so - meaning that a significant proportion of this cash will actually remain at WMG. Warner today (August 7) confirmed it was no longer a stakeholder in Spotify, which floated on the New York Stock Exchange on April 3. WMG CEO Steve Cooper (pictured) told investors on an earnings call that Warner realized $504m in proceeds from selling 100% of its Spotify stock in the quarter ending June 2018. 'I'm pleased to say that, in connection with the sale of our Spotify equity, an estimated $126 million will be credited to artist accounts on their June 30 royalty statements which are issued around the world in August and September,' said Cooper. That $126m equates to exactly a quarter of the $504m. MBW understands the $126m includes payments to Warner/ADA-distributed labels, but these make up a small proportion of the money. Warner, as previously announced, is only sharing Spotify proceeds with its partner labels when obligated to do so by individual contracts. MBW revealed earlier this year how Sony Music will be paying its artists and partner labels from its Spotify stock proceeds. In a surprise move, the Rob Stringer-led major will ignore unrecouped balances when it pays its acts a chunk of its windfall - via checks that are scheduled to arrive with performers by the end of August. Unlike Warner, Sony will also be sharing these Spotify share profits will all of its eligible partner labels. According to MBW's analysis, Warner was granted a 4% equity stake in Spotify as part of licensing deals first signed in 2008. Due to dilution of stock from additional investors, we estimate, Warner ended up with approximately 2% of Spotify by the time the company floated in April. Warner Music Group's total revenues grew 1.9% year-on-year at constant currency in its fiscal Q3 (calendar Q2), with a quarterly haul of $958m.Music Business Worldwide
Dirtybird has revealed the line-up for its inaugural Chicago-based event, The Birdhouse Festival. The festival will combine classic American carnival nostalgia with Dirtybird's carefree and jumping sound system stylings for what is being described as 'a cotton-candy fueled outdoor ride.' Dirtybird regulars will be taking over the decks for this imaginative event, including Will Clarke, J. Phlip - who will join Chicago legend Gene Farris for a special b2b session - and Christian Martin who will join forces with his brother in arms, Ardalan. Chicago locals ZDS, Fancy Fux and Teknicoz will also join the festivities and attendees will be treated to a surprise set from another local Chicago legend as well. Dirtybird leader Claude VonStroke will headline the festival and plans to bring his 'juke and footwork inspired house vibes back to the midwest' following his memorable headline set at Detroit's Movement Festival in May. The event will also feature games, prizes, classic carnival grub, and of course, big electronic tunes that are bound to send off the summer with a bang.
Telling and sharing stories has been at the heart of the internet since day one. And it's especially alive on today's dominant platform: messaging. Even though messaging apps are bigger than social networks, most businesses still rely on news feeds for attention, but this is becoming increasingly difficult. Newsfeeds are overloaded with content and algorithms are required to prioritize friends and family over businesses. As a result, only 2% of your audience will see your updates in their newsfeed, with an even smaller percentage engaging. However, on messaging apps, the conversation is one-on-one. Chat has very high attention rates and new forms of storytelling open up a lot of possibilities.
Look, we know a trip abroad - whether it's to Ibiza, Croatia, Berlin or Amsterdam - is a reason for excitement. The thought of boozing in the sun for a week, partying in open-air clubs or being on the dancefloor for hours on end is enough to zap any raver into a child at 5am on Christmas Day. The problem for some, though, is that excitement often turns into over-excitement and over-excitement sometimes turns into misbehaviour. That, when in an airport on a flight, means you're going to annoy and anger a shit-load of people, whether it's flight attendants, fellow passengers or even your better behaved mates. This summer we reported on a story of how one flight from Belfast to Ibiza had to be diverted to France because of someone's rowdy behaviour, while the Balearic governement wants to limit passengers' alcohol intake at airports and on flights to Ibiza and Mallorca. UK airline Ryanair noticed there was a problem and proposed a two-drink limit for passengers before banning duty-free booze on its flights. That means that gigantic bottle of vodka you bought in the airport won't be able to be opened until you touch down on foreign land. We'd hate to assume that you're a source of wrongdoing when travelling, but felt it was needed to give some pointers on airport and flying etiquette. Check out the below for a reminder of how to behave ahead of that trip away.
It's approaching that time of the month again and the August edition of The Green Room will be sent on the first Thursday of the month.
Following a recent escalation in online abuse directed at a number of our staff, family members and customers by a certain individual, Label Worx would like to make the following statement. In 2017 it came to our attention that an individual using the Label Worx service was acting fraudulently, by passing off other people's work as their own. The individual concerned owned a number of accounts and labels, and was downloading tracks from third party Soundcloud accounts, changing the artist and title and submitting as original material via their own artist, label profiles and a number of fake profiles. We carried out an investigation after a receiving a number of complaints, and the individual's accounts were closed. In the months that followed the individual in question opened more accounts using assumed identities and continued to steal tracks from other Soundcloud users. When confronted they admitted to using fake profiles with us and Symphonic Distribution, but asserted that we owed them royalty payments regardless. As these royalties are legally due to the artists that owned the original tracks, we refused to pay due to the breach of our terms and conditions. We have liaised with Symphonic Distribution and they are supportive of our actions and are dealing with this individual as per their terms and conditions. After further demands for payment, the individual has become increasingly threatening, sending threats via email and social media, and harassing some of our staff's family members. We do not want to go into details about the nature of these threats, but they have escalated to the point that the individual has now been reported to the police, and they are building a case against them. Label Worx will never tolerate threats against our staff, and in this instance we would advise any of our clients who have received messages from this individual not to engage with them. We would also like to reiterate that Label Worx will not be keeping any of the royalties that have been paid as a result of these illegally obtained tracks. We will do our best endeavors to pay the original creators of the music, and anything left in our account will be donated to anti-cyber cullying charity www.cybersmile.org via our GoFundMe page: Donate We would like to thank our clients for their support, and hope that this unfortunate situation is swiftly resolved. Label Worx