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We are pleased to welcome Michael Allison as our Content & Support Assistant. Michael has 5 years experience in digital marketing, planning and optimising YouTube, Bing, Facebook, Google Adwords and Display campaigns for well known UK brands such as Amazon, Coop and the NHS. Michael will be helping the support team with upcoming releases, helping manage YouTube content disputes + claims as well as approving labels and releases. Welcome to the team, Michael!
Groove Music has been on life support ever since Microsoft ended the Groove Music Pass in 2017. Today, Microsoft put the final nail in the coffin on its Groove Music service. The company officially announced that Groove Music OneDrive streaming will end on March 31st. Microsoft posted a new FAQ page on its support site, stating that OneDrive music streaming in Groove Music will be retired at the end of the month. Tracks stored in OneDrive can still be played using the web player, but you can no longer stream them from the cloud in Groove Music.
MBW's World's Greatest Managers series profiles the best artist managers in the global business. This time, we speak to Moe Shalizi, manager of hugely successful DJ, Marshmello, and founder of The Shalizi Group. The World's Greatest Managers is supported by Centtrip Music, the FX and banking solutions provider - which helps artists, managers and music businesses obtain an optimum currency exchange deal.
Artists are using humour to fight back against monotony in music and beyond. For all its pretentious tendencies, UK dance music was formed with an air of silliness to it. Prodigy anthems took us to outer space with a 'boing' and The KLF mocked music industry absurdity to acid house. The Illegal Rave mixtape series gave us Olympic-themed, Madonna-sampling hardcore in Dry & Roasted's 'It's Like a Dream', and as compiled by Ian McQuaid in 'TV Themes In The Rave', everything from choir boy anthems (X Project's 'Walking in the Air') to the Emmerdale theme tune (Hardcore Rhythm Team's 'Ragga Clash') were made hardcore throughout the '90s.
We are pleased to welcome Laura Holness as our Social Media and Marketing Assistant. Laura has recently graduated from university with a marketing related degree. Whilst she has also worked within social media and marketing for a couple of years, having gained valid experience. Keep your eyes on all our platforms as Laura will be bringing a fresh look to Label Worx. Keeping you up to date with all label related news as well as entertaining and exciting new projects. Welcome to the team, Laura!
Spotify will come pre-installed on millions of new Samsung mobile devices starting (March 8).
Dear Secret DJ. I'm aware of the risks of burning out but I'm having some success in getting bookings right now and I just can't bring myself to say no to gigs. It's not that I'm greedy for money (I don't think so, anyway) but I feel like, 'what if this demand doesn't last'? How many gigs are too many? Is it OK to say no, and how do I learn to say it? M, Miami
So, you've signed a huge track, the artwork is on point and you've got the release set up to hit every store and streaming platform - that's the easy part. The million-dollar question is how do you make it a success? Of course, there is no easy answer (otherwise we'd all be millionaires) but there are plenty of things you can be doing to help market your music and brand. One of the things we often get asked about is whether investing in a PR campaign is a good idea and if so, how do you make the most out of it?
In case you hadn't realised, it's almost time for the entire electronic music industry to descend on Miami for what is one of our favourite weeks of the year. The Winter Music Conference (WMC) and Miami Music Week (MMW) take place at the same time and are an opportunity to get yourself out there and actually meet people. It's easy to forget that there's an entire world beyond the email inbox, but we can't emphasise just how productive it can be when you're meeting people face-to-face (and hitting the odd pool party too, obvs). If you've thought ahead, you should have your flight booked and somewhere to stay planned - what next? We've done our fair share of Miami trips so here's a few tips on how to make the most of your week.
Tony Pike, Ibiza icon and founder of the infamous Pikes Hotel, has died. He was 85 this year. Pike passed away over the weekend following an ongoing fight against prostate and skin cancer.
WHAT IS BEATPORT HYPE? Beatport Hype is the ultimate promotional platform, enabling you to grow your label and get it maximum exposure. If your label earns less than $10,000 a year, you are entitled to sign up for Hype. Some of the main benefits of this include: - Charting in the HYPE Top 100 will sustain your label's growth. - More sales increase your Beatport followers. - Potential selection of banners & release tiles for your tracks. - Supported Marketing and Social Media campaigns. - Monthly newsletter with tips & tricks from Beatport label team. Beatport Hype costs just 9.99 USD / 9.99 EUR / 14.99 AUD / 7.99 Per month, once your free trial expires. You can cancel at any time.
A&R (or artists & repertoire) might sound like something that you only associate with major labels and movies - you know, the cliche smooth-talking guy in a suit that turns up and offers a life-changing record deal to save the day. In real life though, A&R is much more than this, it is the backbone of your label and getting this essential element right will lay the foundations for a successful business. First things first: what exactly is A&R? In layman's terms, it's the process of finding, signing, managing and promoting your label's catalogue. But that's the easy part - the tricky part is to do it well. Our head of A&R, Simon Birkumshaw, has shared a few key things to keep in mind when signing music: - Have a plan (and stick to it) - You need to work out what your brand is - your sound and your image are important and the music you sign needs to represent that in every way - Do your research - Has the artist released on other labels? What is their social media presence like? Will They help work the release with you? What can they bring to the table? - Take your time - You don't need to sign everything you get sent as soon as you hear it. A track might sound different tomorrow or after a few listens - if you're not getting the same buzz about it a week down the line, is it really right for your label? - Think about the future - Once the track has been released, is there potential to exploit it in other ways away from your usual market to turn it into a valuable asset in the long-term? This could mean anything from licensing the track for use on other mediums, or simply creating shorter edits so that it is more appropriate for streaming platforms. - Data is king - When was the last time you checked the back end of Label Worx? You have access to a wealth of information about the sales and streaming figures for your releases which is updated daily - why not use it in your A&R process? Did that marketing campaign that you paid out for have an effect on sales? Which artists have done well on streaming sites and could be worth a follow-up release? There's a lot of potential if you apply the information to the bigger picture. - Be organised - You will potentially have a lot of demos to deal with, and each of those submissions will require an amount of your time to research and respond appropriately We know that people like to send labels music in all sorts of ways, and it can be hard to keep track of everything you're being sent across 8 different channels. So, to streamline this process, we have a service called Demo Worx which provides a single portal for you to manage and respond to demos from your laptop and even your phone. We'd be here all day listing every single feature, but. - You can set essential information that people need to include with submissions in a simple form, to save you time researching previous releases, social media presence etc. - You can mark off tracks you like to come back to later, and you can reply to submissions you don't like with pre-written replies to save time. - You can even share potential demos with team members to get second opinions and leave notes on tracks. And this all can be merged seamlessly into your website and social media channels. We understand the A&R process better than anyone and our Demo Worx tool was built from the ground up by A&R specialists to make the process easy for everyone involved. If it's something you think you might improve your label, please contact one of the team who will be able to provide some more information.
TIDAL has become the latest streaming company to allow users to block artists. The company's announcement follows last month's news that it was adding a block feature its platform. According to TIDAL, specific artists and tracks can now be muted in its 'algorithmically curated' playlists, My Mix (which was launched in December) and Artist and Track Radio. To remove specific content from the playlists, users can press a block icon that will appear on the 'playing' page. Once the block icon button is selected, either the specific track can be blocked or users can choose to mute the artist's entire catalog. Playlists will then skip the current track, and remove the content from all Artist and Track Radio and My Mixes playlists immediately. Blocked content can be reviewed in TIDAL's settings, where blocked artists can be unblocked.
Giorgio Moroder has given a wide-ranging interview ahead of his first-ever live tour, which is due to begin in April. Speaking to The Guardian, he revealed that he doesn't like the tag of 'the godfather of disco and electronic music' that he's picked up over the years. 'It's better than being called the grandfather, but I still don't like it,' he added. He also reveals in the interview that he was never particularly a fan of going to clubs or dancing. Speaking about the 1977 hit 'I Feel Love' that he made with Donna Summer, he claims that it's not an ideal track for dancing to. 'Can you dance to it? I don't even like dancing, but my wife dances quite well a lot,' he says, before offering that he makes good club music precisely because he doesn't go to clubs. Giorgio Moroder will embark on his first ever live tour on April 1st.
Apple's HomePod makes up just 6% of all smart speakers installed in the US. Amazon Echo, on the other hand, has a 70% share of the installed base, with Google Home at 24%. That's according to a new report published today (February 5) by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP). CIRP analysis indicates that the US installed base of smart speaker devices is 66 million units, up from 53m units in September 2018 and 36m units in December 2017. The number of owners with more than one smart speaker has also increased significantly in the past year with 35% of owners of all smart speakers as of the December 2018 quarter owning more than one, compared to 18% in December 2017. CIRP bases its findings on its survey of 500 US owners of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, surveyed from January 1-11, 2019, who owned one of these devices as of December 31, 2018. Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP said: 'Holiday shoppers helped the smart speaker market take off again. 'Relative market shares have remained fairly stable, with Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod accounting for consistent shares over the past few quarters. 'Amazon and Google both have broad model lineups, ranging from basic to high-end, with even more variants from Amazon. 'Apple, of course, has only its premium-priced HomePod, and likely won't gain significant share until it offers an entry-level product closer to Echo Dot and Home mini.' Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP added: 'Amazon and Google have succeeded in selling multiple units to a single household. 'Their strategies appear to include persuading owners to use smart speakers in multiple rooms, which helps create more active use of the voice platform. And, Google has mostly caught up to Amazon in this strategy. 'A year ago, almost twice the percentage of Amazon Echo users had multiple units as Google Home users. Now, about one-third of both Amazon Echo and Google Home users have multiple units.'
We understand that running a label is a passion for most people - after all, you wouldn't put all that work into something you hated, would you? It takes commitment to make a record label work and despite what everyone says, a record label in 2019 CAN generate money for you. 'But, how?' we hear you cry. Well, once again label Worx has some solid advice for you. The first thing you need to do is lose the 'nobody buys records any more, therefore, labels can't make money' mentality. Yes, it's true that physical sales of music have for the most part fallen, but with technology comes a multitude of other ways to turn your music into money. If you're using Label Worx to distribute your releases, you'll already know how many platforms are available to you - Beatport, Traxsource, iTunes. Amazon Music, Google Play. If your music isn't featured, nobody is going to buy it. And then you've got the big one: streaming. It can be a touchy subject in the music industry, but streaming is here to stay whether you like it or not, so you might as well embrace it. Platforms like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music are used by billions of people, so once again - if your music isn't featured, nobody is going to listen to it. If you can get all your channels in line, branded, linked and running in unison, there is no reason why you can't turn streaming into your main source of income. You'd be surprised by how much you can make from streaming if you do it properly - that means promoting your releases effectively and efficiently on social media (don't spam people with links, nobody needs that) or with a good PR campaign. YouTube, in particular, is a platform which can be heavily monetised if you grow and develop it properly, it can easily become your main source of income if you get it right. Streaming and stores might be the most obvious source of income, but don't forget that you need to make sure your music is properly registered for publishing, mechanicals and neighbouring rights as a label - there's a lot of money to be made behind the scenes with radio plays and syncs, but if you aren't registered, you can't collect it. If this side of the business is a bit daunting, get in touch - our sister company, LimeBlue, handles Neighbouring Rights for some of the industry's biggest names including Fedde Le Grand, Lane 8, Viper Recordings and more. Of course, none of that is relevant if nobody is interested in your product. Be consistent, be selective with the music you sign - make your brand work for you as much as the product. Successful labels do well because they understand what their audience wants and provide them with a high-quality product every time. Once you've got all that right, then you can start thinking about merchandise and expanding your brand. It's easy to start getting carried away with all the different things running a label allows you to do, but if you haven't got the core foundations sorted, you'll miss out on a lot of money from the start. if you have any questions on ways Label Worx can help you earn more from your label. Contact our label team today.
Last year, there were a few significant developments around streaming and DJing - we covered it in our feature 'Streaming in Coming to the Booth', and almost everyone had a take on how DJ streaming wars would play out. We talked about the impact on royalties, technology, analytics and DJ creativity, as well as how the inevitable march towards cloud DJing could divide the DJ community once again. Since then, Beatport clarified comments they made at last year's IMS, where they claimed they hoped to be able to 'stream Beatport's entire catalogue intro DJ software by 2019'. Well, 2019 has arrived and with it, we've seen SoundCloud announce their intentions to stream into Traktor, Serato, Virtual DJ and more. With the conversation gathering pace, but with plenty of questions still to be answered, we spoke to Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels to get his take on the integration of streaming into DJ software, their acquisition of Pulselocker and how it's going to impact the DJ community as a whole. Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels 'Recent enthusiasm, both publicly and privately, by several large digital music platforms and leading DJ equipment manufacturers for the integration of these two worlds is certainly welcomed by many music fans, especially those immersed in DJ culture. For many reasons, it feels like the dawn of a new DJ experience is upon us, and streaming will become an established format for DJing, with Digital Lockers providing the offline reliability that professional DJs need. However, the prospects of a fully-integrated music access model for DJs raises many questions not previously considered, and it appears that some may be letting their enthusiasm blind them to real-world challenges. 'Early in 2018, Beatport purchased the assets of Pulselocker, including the patents and technology for their digital locker that integrates a digital retail store into DJ performance software and tracks the plays - as well as the track order, duration of song performance, cue points and other important metadata elements - in online and offline mode. 'It's important to dig deeper into the technical details of integrating a digital retail store into DJ performance software applications. While offline mode playback and tracking is common in today's music market, with companies like SoundCloud and Spotify allowing their users to do so as part of their subscription, this functionality is only enabled within their own apps. 'This is the key difference when contemplating offline playback within a third-party DJ application such as Rekordbox, Traktor or Serato DJ; the songs are actually performed at the direction of those applications and not the host digital retail store. This seamless, interoperable experience, particularly in offline mode - which is an obvious imperative for any serious DJ playing a live set - is what Beatport's new technology enables.' Beatport 'Which brings up another very important difference in this newly proposed DJ paradigm: the moral obligation to protect the economic interests of our global DJ community and the legal rights to allow the commercial exploitation of music being played through DJ performance software. For Beatport's 15-year history, we have focused solely on serving professional DJs with the best electronic music for the primary purpose of publicly performing that music in front of thousands of fans. A download from Beatport means so much more than a download on iTunes or a thousand streams on Spotify because our customers are the world's music tastemakers, and expose a massive audience to whatever they play in their set. 'Simply put, Beatport is primarily a B2B service, focused on professional DJs, or those aspiring to get paid for their talents. However, most digital music retailers are limited by their existing license agreements with labels and publishers that only permit 'personal use' of the music on the platform. By integrating with DJ performance software companies, there can be no doubt that these retailers will knowingly be providing access to their catalogues primarily for commercial or professional use. 'For example, when a DJ will play a set accessing music from the Beatport store, we will know what they played, where they played it and how long they played it for. This opens up a world of possibilities to empower the creative community with more data to improve the collection of royalties owed and fans reached, but it also comes with a set of legal and moral responsibilities for digital music platforms. 'Pulselocker was way ahead of its time in bringing their digital locker for DJ performance software to market, but now it seems the rest of the industry is ready for this next leap in the evolution of DJing. As we have said previously, Beatport is planning to launch with all major DJ performance software companies in 2019 and we look forward to leading the way for the independent music community. The access model for DJs will open up a wealth of opportunities to obtain more real-time metrics and reports to raise the tide for everyone. We take this responsibility very seriously and want to ensure that all participants in our ecosystem are fairly represented and compensated.'
There's a widespread perception that paid streaming subscriptions have become recorded music's lifeline, restoring the sector to a state of growth and driving its ongoing global expansion. In fact, the influence of paid music streaming is so powerful that the word 'Spotify' now serves as a shorthand across several industries for a supposedly more convenient, streamlined user experience built on content aggregation: think 'Spotify for news', 'Spotify for audiobooks', even 'Spotify for comics'. Capitalizing on this positive association, both Universal Music Group and Sony Music Japan are also reportedly building their own streaming products, part of which is likely to revolve around individual artists. But while a subscription model might be the new table stakes for staying competitive, it's certainly not sufficient for success - and the music industry presents an exemplary case study. Consider how Spotify and Apple Music continue to grow at an accelerating pace, but the likes of YouTube Music and Tidal are falling far behind. Or how major labels have repeatedly tried to launch and maintain their own shared streaming services over the past few decades, to no avail (remember Pressplay and MusicNet?). Or how even the biggest celebrities with tens of millions of followers have difficulties maintaining their own branded subscription apps. In all of the above examples, companies either mischaracterize the kind of work that goes into running a subscription business or wrongly assume that the brand value and user loyalty of a company like Spotify or Napster is easily transferable merely by stealing their business model. In reality, taking on a subscription model in music will work only if the added benefits align with the core value that the product in question has already been delivering to its most loyal users. With this approach in mind, there is a diversity of subscription services that can thrive in the music industry in 2019, beyond just the all-you-can-eat, pro-rata-payment Spotify model - with the proper execution. We can divide this emerging landscape of subscriptions into a four-tiered pyramid, pictured below: The boundaries of these four categories are permeable and imperfect, but the most important takeaway is that moving up and down the pyramid means making tradeoffs on metrics. Subscription services further up the pyramid attract relatively smaller audiences with a higher degree of loyalty to a given artist. In contrast, those further down the pyramid attract much larger audiences but tend to face more fleeting attention spans and listening habits from consumers. Head to Music Business Week to read more about each, individual streaming service.