Industry News Courtesy Of Hypbot                   

Topspin Co-Founder Shamal Ranasinghe Joins Pandora As VP of Product Management, Artists and Music Makers 

Pandora-logoResponding to criticism over royalty rates and aggressive efforts to lower them further, Pandora has worked to forge better relations with artists and labels. After launching free analytics, they recently began experimenting with in-stream messaging and purchased music analytics provider Next Big Sound. Now, a veteran of D2F sales and marketing has joined Pandora as VP.

Topspin and Fluence c0-founder  Shamal Ranasinghe has joined Pandora as VP of Product Management, Artists and Music Makers.  His focus will be on building products and services for artists and the music community. 

Improving The Welfare Of Artists

1dc9309"My career has been committed to building products and services for the creative community, so I’m super excited to join Pandora as a VP of Product to continue on that mission," wrote Ranasinghe, referring in part to his work at direct to fan platform Topspin. "I’ll be working with some great people on building a better bridge between the music makers and Pandora’s massive base of music fans. We have a chance to significantly move the needle to improve the welfare of artists, while strengthening the connection to their fans."


In recent months, Ranasinghe has been building and growing Fluence, a platform that connects musicians and other creatives with influencers in their field.  He still lists  active involvement in Fluence on LinkedIn alongside the Pandora appointment.  We've reached out to learn more about his plans for the startup.

Spotify Shares Latest Premium Subscriber Stats "In Case You Are Reviewing Any New Music Services This Week" 

SpotifyAlmost 24 hours to the minute before Apple Music is scheduled to launch, Spotify sent out a press release with the latest stats for their paid premium tier, "in case you are reviewing any new music services this week."

  • Subscribers: Over 20 million
  • Sound Quality: Up to 320 kbps
  • Number of Songs: Over 30 million
  • Number of Playlists: Over 1.5 billion
  • Number of Markets: 58
  • Revenue Paid to Rightsholders: $3 billion
  • Music Discovery: Two billion times every month a listener discovers an artist they’ve never heard of before through Spotify

7 Major Artists You Still Can't Stream On Spotify, Apple Music Or Anywhere Else  

noApple Music may be poised to add 100 million paid streaming subscribers, but there are still a number of major artists who you won't find on Apple, Spotify or any other streaming service. Can any music service attract a mainstream audience without them?


  • princeThe Beatles
  • Prince
  • AC/DC (there's a rumor that Apple has snagged the band...)
  • Garth Brooks
  • Bob Seger
  • Tool
  • Tom Yorke of Radiohead

This list is via Mashable.

Who else is missing from your favorite music streaming service?

Napster Founder, Spotify Board Member Sean Parker On Apple Music, Taylor Swift And The Music Industry 

photoWith the pending launch of Apple Music, there is no shortage of "Spotify Killer" headlines.  But there is room for more than one streaming music service, argues Napster co-founder and Spotify board member Sean Parker.


It's been 15 years since Sean Parker turned the music industry upside down with the launch of Napster. But rather than being run out of town, Parker is still very much in the music game as an investor and board member of Napster.

Seldom short on words, Parker had a few choice words about Apple, Spotify and the music industry in an interview with CNNMoney.

"This is an industry that is going through an incredibly agonizing and long transition."

On Spotify vs. Apple Music

"Music as a service is something where there can be multiple winners. I don't think it's a winner-take-all market in a way that some of these other technology companies have been."

"It's pretty clear at this point that the subscription model has won, and you see that now with Apple Music."

On Taylor Swift

"Taylor Swift is a bit of an anomaly in the music industry in the sense that she's still able to sell a lot of downloads. She's still able to sell, in some parts of the country, CDs."

"She sort of defies gravity. The business logic that applies to Taylor Swift doesn't apply to a lot of other artists."


How to Perfect Your Band's Social Media Strategy: The 70-20-10 Rule 

UnknownSocial media strategy is a difficult thing to create when you do not know how to begin. In today's article, check out a comprehensive guide on how to build your band's social media strategy using the 70-20-10 rule.


These days, it would be unheard of if a new band did not even think about having a social media presence. But for those bands that are new to the scene, it can be daunting to figure out how to begin building your brand online. What things should you post? What are the best times to post? Is what you are posting helping or hurting your overall image?  Sam Friedman has all of the answers in today's article. 

It is tempting to focus on put everything you can on social media for a while, but according to Friedman this should not be the case. Instead, you should place most of your energy in building your brand for a while ( 70%) and have the rest of your time spent interacting with fans and networking with other artists. What do you think of this theory? Check out Sam Friedman's article on and let us know in the comments if you agree. 

"Is your band’s social media presence lacking thoughtfully crafted material with keen attention to strong content variety? Oftentimes, bands starting out spend too much time focusing on self-promotion. The conversation is one-directional, leaving followers with no way to engage other than to buy a product. While sales should be an underlying pursuit of social media, building your brand and telling your story in a conversational manner is the real goal. Luckily, there’s a simple, time-efficient equation to give your band’s social media the perfect balance. It’s called the 70-20-10 Rule."

[Continue Reading]

Apple To Raise Cloud Music Library Limit From 25,000 to 100,000 Songs, Sayys 

Apple-logoApple execs were particularly active on social media over the weekend , ahead of Tuesday's launch of Apple Music, Beats 1 radio and iOS8.4Ian Rogers shared more exact launch times and Eddy Cue announced a 4X increase in library song storage and streams.


Apple SVP Software and Services Eddy Cue tweeted over that weekend that users will be able to upload 25,000 songs to the company’s cloud storage service on the June 30 launch day, but that would expand to 100,000 songs in the coming months when iOS 9 launched.  

Songs stored in Apple's cloud will be available for streaming within the new Apple Music app.

Cue also shared other Apple Music news.  Tweets via iMore:

Eddy Cue tweets

Blue Note Expands With New Venues In Hawaii, China 

blue noteThe Blue Note night club chain is expanding it's brand beyond current outlets in New York City, Japan and Italy, with deals to add venues in Hawaii and China.

Blue Note Entertainment Group has partnered with Outrigger Resorts to launch a new live music venue in Hawaii.   The Blue Note's chain's Hawaii outlet will be located in the former Society of Seven showroom inside Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and will feature both local talent and touring artists. As a part of the deal, the venue will undergo multi-million-dollar revitalization, which is expected to be completed in early 2016. 

blue note nightclub

The announcement coincides with other recent Blue Note Entertainment Group initiatives, including expansion into China. Blue Note Entertainment Group has partnered with Winbright Culture and Media Co., Ltd. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing Winbright Investment Co., Ltd.). Blue Note Beijing also will open in 2016, followed by two additional locations in Shanghai and Taipei within the next three years. 

“With our experience launching venues nationally and internationally, and our strong, impactful partner in Outrigger, Blue Note looks forward to bringing world renowned musicians to Hawaii,” said Danny Bensusan, founder and CEO of Blue Note Entertainment Group. “We are deeply committed to Blue Note Hawaii’s success.” - Celebrity Access

Six Music Industry Networking Tips Nobody Tells You 

Networking-4Networking in the music industry is an art more than a science. There's no rule book on how to network, but there are some tips that can make navigating the act of schmoozing more effective for you.


Guest Post Written By Amy Sciarretto on Sonicbids Blog. 

Chances are that no one has ever taken the time to tell you the following tips – likely because some of them might seem like common sense – but pay attention, because they can be the critical element that turns a potential contact into a solid one!

1. Don't crash the party

People will tell you to be persistent but not annoying. They will warn you to not cross that invisible yet all-too-important line. I don't want to crush your spirit or discourage you from trying to network, but don't annoy people by talking too much or too loud. And want to know the one thing you should never, ever do? Don't crash the party. That is, don't walk up to a conversation and insert yourself boldly. If you take over a previously existing chat to introduce yourself or hand out a card, the people you're trying to connect with are not going to silently praise you for "confidence" – they're just going to be extremely annoyed that you interrupted their conversation.

2. No one owes you anything

Just because you can get yourself invited to a situation rich with networking opportunities, or you know how to schmooze and play the game, doesn't mean that anyone owes you anything. So don't take that attitude when you turn up at an event crawling with A&R guys, publicists, radio promotions staffers, and managers. Be nice. Really. That's all it takes.

People hit me up on Facebook daily, people I have never spoken to, and they follow up, getting rude and demanding a response. I'm not sure why they seem to think that I owe them anything. It's way worse when someone delivers that 'tude in person.

3. You don't need to always be "on"

You can be friendly. You can be gregarious and make an effort to make the connection. You can follow up via email or in person. But don't always be "on" so much so that you seem like a tool just trying to make it. Be real. Be you. But don't always be "that guy." When I see a person who is always "on" coming up to talk to me at a show, I am already exhausted before they even give me a hug. Don't be the person people want to avoid.

4. Remember simple manners

Sometimes a simple "thank you" email when a connection is made is forgotten and not sent. To Unknownborrow a phrase from Mr. Mom, delivered by the amazing Michael Keaton: 

"It's real easy to forget what's important, so don't." Thank people when they give you their card. Send them a nice email after the fact. Give them a reason to want to stay in touch, even if it's merely because you are so damn nice.

5. Every scenario is a networking opportunity, but be discerning

When you're in a music industry situation, it's always a networking opportunity as long as you treat it carefully. If you see two people in a heated conversation, about a subject to which you are not privy, don't attempt to interject. Approach every situation carefully, since you don't know what you don't know.

6. Work to eradicate any social awkwardness

Social awkwardness is a fact of life, and some of the most brilliant people I know in this business are visibly uncomfortable in social situations. They say and do all the wrong things. I had one person that I respect and look up to make inappropriate comments about people's weight in front of me. I have been the recipient of the too touchy-feely hug. I brush it off, since these are people I have gotten to know.

But my suggestion is that if you have trouble being you in social situations, work to eradicate that. Practice having conversations. Take a class at a New Age Wellness Center (not kidding). There plenty of methods you can use to remove these discomforts when interacting with other humans.

Amy Sciarretto has 20 years of print and online bylines, from Kerrang to to Revolver to Bustle, covering music, beauty, and fashion. After 12 years doing radio and publicity at Roadrunner Records, she now fronts Atom Splitter PR, her own boutique PR firm, which has over 30 clients. She also is active in animal charity and rescue.

Soundtrap Scores $1 Million Seed Funding, Launches Collaborative Online Recording Studio 

soundtrap logoSoundtrap today announced that it has secured $1 million in seed funding and publically launched its collaborative multi-platform online music recording studio. 

Soundtrap_devices2Launching today from beta, Soundtrap lets users record audio by only accessing a browser across iOS, Android, Chromebook, Mac and Windows platforms.

The startup also announced $1 million in seed funding led by angel investor Lars Bergstrom. 

To use Soundtrap, users just open a browser and log on. They can choose from over 50 virtual instruments, 1,400 royalty-free loops and 25 real-time effects. The platform has a video window where collaborators can work together in real time and create a fully formed song. Other sounds can be dropped in.

A Favorite With Educators

The simplicity has meant that Soundtrap is being used by the K - 12 and above education markets and was named “The Best Website for Teaching and Learning 2015” by the American Association of School Librarians.

Soundtrap is currently in use in 150 U.S. schools and in beta has grown from 20,000 to 120,000 users in 175 countries in five months. 

Here's a preview video:


Apple Music, iOS 8.4 To Launch 8AM PT Tuesday, Beast 1 Live Radio Follows At 9AM PT 

Apple Music LaunchTuesday is launch day for Apple Music and Apple executives including Ian Rogers (remember him?) were busy on social media over the weekend sharing details of the unveiling.

Apple Music Launch

Over the weekend, former Topspin and Beats executive and now Apple Music Senior Director Ian Rogers, took to social media to share that iOS 8.4 would available for download starting at 8AM PT on Tuesday June 30th.  

With Apple Music embedded in the updated iOS, that would also mean that Apple Music will also be available then and that the clock will start ticking on millions of controversial 90 day free Apple Music trials.

One hour later,  after hopefully millions have successfully upgraded to the new iOS, Apple's online radio station Beats 1 will go live. Head host Zane Lowe's first interview will be Eminem.

Apple Exec Ian Rogers: "...unveiling the next chapter"

"Seeing Apple Music on stage at WWDC this month (fast forward to 1:43:00 in the video below)," Rogers wrote in a personal blog post, "it was hard not to feel like the last 20+ years was leading to this day. Tuesday morning we’ll be unveiling the next chapter."