Industry News Courtesy Of Hypbot                   

Concord and Bicycle Music Merge, Raise $100 Million and Acquires Vanguard, Sugar Hill Records 

vanguardDon't blink or you'll miss something important: Concord Music Group has merged with The Bicycle Music Company, raised $100 million, and acquired indie labels Vanguard and Sugar Hill.

Concord Music Group has acquired independent record labels Vanguard and Sugar Hill from the Welk Music Group.  

The acquisition follows the recent merger of Concord Music Group and The Bicycle Music Company, an independent music publisher, record label and rights manager, under the moniker Concord Bicycle image from i.ytimg.comMusic. The new company has raised $100 million of additional capital to fund further growth through continued music rights acquisitions and artist development investments.

With deep roots in bluegrass, folk, country and Americana, Nashville-based Sugar Hill Records'  roster features Sarah Jarosz, Lee Ann Womack, Liz Longley, Corey Smith, Kasey Chambers, Sam Bush, moe., Bryan Sutton and Black Prairie.  Founded in 1947, Vanguard Records;' roster includes Indigo Girls, Chris Isaak, John Butler Trio, John Fogerty, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Matt Nathanson, O.A.R., Barenaked Ladies, Sallie Ford, Marc Broussard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Trevor Hall. 

Welk Music Group President Kevin Welk will remain engaged with Vanguard and Sugar Hill as Chief Creative for the labels.

In Los Angeles, Vanguard’s operations and label team will be merged under Concord’s Fantasy Label Group. Dan Sell, General Manager of Vanguard prior to the acquisition, will continue to lead the label’s operations as Vanguard’s Chief Operating Officer. 

In Nashville, Sugar Hill’s operations and label team will be merged under Concord’s Rounder Label Group. Cliff O’Sullivan, General Manager of Sugar Hill prior to the acquisition, will be the label group’s Chief Operating Officer.


Top Music Industry April Fools Pranks 

6a014e87574ac9970d01b8d0f97ac9970c-800wiEarly this morning, Rdio revealed the streaming service struck a strategic partnership with iconic Cats of the Internet after a top-secret meeting prior to the GRAMMYs. In celebration, purr to the "Meow Mix" station, and welcome Rdio-Meowz on



Lalakazoo | A Tribute To The Kazoo

Berklee President Roger Brown, currently traveling in India, filmed an announcement that was released to the Berklee community this morning. To illustrate the instrument's impact, he enlisted a number of world-renowned musicians to share their feelings on the kazoo, including Sean Jones, Terri Lyne Carrington, Livingston Taylor, and Christopher Guest. 

 Ultimate Rick-Roll 

Today, the fun folks at SoundHound, the gateway to all-things music search, discovery and play, are giving their 250+ million users a special treat in celebration of April Fool’s Day: anyone who clicks on the SoundHound homepage card for the “Top SoundHounded Artist on the Charts” this week will automatically be redirected to an auto preview play of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up. Users can then get in on the fun and check out more of Rick’s music and his awesomely good/bad video…if they choose.

Topsify Drone Troll 

Today Topsify launched a new playlist delivery service powered by drones. Kieron Donoghue from Topsify described where the vision came from. “We wanted to be the first playlisting service to harness the power of drone technology to bring some fun into the world. Yes we live in a streaming age but what could be more exciting that being having a physical copy of your chosen playlist delivered from the sky!?”



iHeart Radio Launches iHarp Radio 

Whether you like it or not, you’ve probably heard T Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ enough times to know just about every note by heart. You can now take fandom a step further with #iHarpRadio and hear the likes of Taylor Swift and compatriots like Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran on, yes, the harp. The site is complete with cascading cat .gifs and an embedded feed of #iHarpRadio tweets – you can check out both the site and station here




GeoRiot Aiming to Change Link Management for Musicans on a Global Level 

Georiot-appclover-app-affiliate-marketing-FEATUREGeoRiot has spent the last year developing a suite of tools to enhance e-commerce on a global level. Offering an in-depth look into analytics that reveal specific user interest, GeoRiot has now made the toolset available to all online marketers. 


These Tools Are Now Available To All Online Marketers:

  • Advanced Targeting - Improve conversions by defining how your audience is routed.  
  • Total Link Management - Make real-time changes when you need to. 
  • Support for Re-targeting - Build custom audiences from anywhere. 
  • Deep Analytics - Keep learning from your links to continually increase conversions. 
  • Branded - Use your domain, or subdomain, and define the vanity codes - e.g. ""

How does it work?

Attaching retargeting pixels to a Genius Link allows you to keep track each person who clicks on your link, in order to show them relevant ads on other websites to help finish the conversion process.  For example, you could add these tracking pixels to this link, then keep track of the users who clicked on it and went to your website. Then, since you now have a list of users who are interested in purchasing the Mumford and Sons Album, you can create retargeting campaigns with more M&S Albums that they might like.  By adding the Facebook Tracking pixel, you can build custom audiences in order to conduct Facebook retargeting campaigns.


Basically, you can now retarget people on a per link basis, rather than just adding these tracking pixels to your website to see who is visiting.  This gives you a much more in-depth look at the specific items these people are actually interested in, and allows you to get more out of your retargeting campaigns. 

Explore more options on


2014: Music Services Lost Subscribers…And It's A Good Thing 

Internet_radio"The RIAA in its midyear report had paid subscribers at 7.8 million, but by the time we got to the end of the year, it was only 7.7, a loss of 100k subs. So what gives?"


Guest Post by Jon Maples on

Last year was a banner year for music subscription in the US. The RIAA reported big time growth, primarily driven by Spotify’s gains in paying subscribers.

But at the same time, the market stalled a bit in terms of actual subscribers. The RIAA in its midyear report had paid subscribers at 7.8 million, but by the time we got to the end of the year, it was only 7.7, a loss of 100k subs. So what gives?

Well, we had another year of consolidation. Two big players came off the market. The biggest driver of losses is Muve Music, which at its peak, reportedly had two million subscribers. Granted those subs weren’t generating much in revenue for the industry, but it was a big number. AT&T acquired Muve’s parent Cricket Wireless and then treated it like a redheaded stepchild.

Conventional wisdom is that Muve delivered a big number of subs, but it was primarily a sleeper service, where most of the users were inactive. There was a ton of media flaunting how great Muve was for the industry, which in retrospect, now seems absurd. AT&T shuttled off Muve’s subscribers to Deezer in January. However, these kinds of deals generally mean retaining 50 percent of subscribers at best. I’ve seen acquisitions deliver less than 30 percent of subscribers to the new service.



After a big marketing blitz, Beats turned off their acquisition channels once Apple purchased the company, which adversely affected its numbers.

Just totaling up subscribers isn’t the best way to judge success of subscriber. The key number to get the total picture is revenue plus subs. In the first half of this year, streaming subs increased to $371.4 million, and increased even more in the second half to total $799 million for the year.

Perhaps the old adage about lies, damn lies and statistics applies here. It’s easy to fall into the trap of writing provocative headlines based on precursory numbers. But it requires digging a level deeper to understand what the numbers actually mean. Spotify had a great year in 2014. In some respects the company, along with the massive increase of internet radio revenue, kept the industry afloat through another transition.

There’s no need to bemoan the loss of garbage subscribers. We need to focus on revenue and subscribers to get a true sense of what streaming subscribers is delivering to the industry—and where the real growth will come from.

Apple iTunes Relaunch Could Add 75 Million Paying Streaming Music Subscribers [SURVEY] 

Beats appleHow strong a competitor will a new iTunes streaming music service embedded within Apple's popular iOS operating system be?  Very strong, according to a survey of 1000 consumers.

20% Of Consumers Say They'd Likely Subscribe

To An Apple Music Service


20% of US consumers would pay $7.99 for an Apple music subscription service, with the rate rising to 28% among iOS users, according to a new survey conducted by the MIDiA Group. If just 15% of Apple’s  500 million iTunes users adopted the Beats-based streaming music service expected to launch this June, the total number of paid streaming music subscribers globally would grow by 75 million.

By contrast, as of early 2015, current global leader Spotify had 15 million paid subscribers among 60 million active users.

The survey does have a flaw.  It asked potential users about a $7.99 monthly price point, which was the rumored fee earlier this year. If it is the now more likely $9.99 a month, how many will not sign up? Even at half of the estimated 75 million, Apple would have 2.5 times the paid subscribers as Spotify currently, with no free tier.

Early Adopters & A Decline In Downloads

"Interest levels are significantly lower for download buyers than for subscribers,"  according to Mark Mulligan of MIDiA. "However downloaders represent a bigger opportunity because there are so many more of them.... So while Apple’s first wave of adopters will likely over index towards existing subscribers, they should be followed relatively swiftly by a cohort of engaged download buyers.  Which of course means mid term we will also see a significant downturn in download sales."

"Apple is entering the subscription market largely as a defensive measure, to reclaim market leadership and to help slow the leakage of some of its most valuable customers out of the iTunes ecosystem," continues Mulligan. "But if it can find an elegant way to blend the best elements of iTunes Radio, iTunes, Beats Music, Genius and the App Store, Apple could end up with the most comprehensive music offer on the market."

In other words, watch out Spotify.

7 Tips For Making A Great Facebook Video 

Facebook-videoFacebook is really pushing video these days, wanting it to be a major part of the platform and maybe even compete with YouTube before too long. Now is the time to be sure you're making the most of your "likes".


Guest Post by Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0

Here are 7 quick tips  from Jackie Cohen at AllFacebook on how to optimize your videos just for Facebook. I've adapted them a bit more for artists and bands.

1. Limit the video footage to 5 minutes or less (way less). The shorter the video, the more plays you'll get. A long video can scare off people who might ordinarily check it out.

2. Create a good thumbnail image for your video. A good thumbnail is like a good cover of a book. It helps get an impulse "buy."

3. Create a catchy or unique title. Just like with a book or magazine article, the title can sell the product. Of course, this is just the same on YouTube.

4. Check out the keywords for similar videos. For example, if your song has a drum solo, you might want to check out what keywords other videos other songs with drum solos use as well.

Facebook-inc-news-feed5. Allow people to share your work. This sounds like a no-brainer, but many artists actually limit the sharing of their video. Let them embed your video on their blog and website if they want. That's how you go viral.

6. Encourage people to rate and review your video. Don't directly ask for a Like, since that's against Facebook's terms of service, but you can ask for comments or a rating.

7. Upload to other video sharing sites. Use OneLoad to post your video on all relevant video sites. It's the quickest and easiest way to do it, and you'd be surprised the number of people who might find it that wouldn't otherwise.

Keep the above tips in mind the next time you post a video on Facebook. They don't take much time but can make a big difference in the number of views that your video ultimately receives.

Music Companies Led By Secretly Canadian Call Growing Indiana Boycott "Misguided" 

Boycott-indianaNegative reaction to the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (IRFRA), which many view as discriminatory against gays, continues to grow, with Wilco and others cancelling concerts there. But a group of  established Indiana based record labels and music companies have are calling for different approach.

A group of independent record labels and music businesses based in Indiana are calling for the repeal of the IRFRA signed into law on March 26 by Indiana governor Mike Pence, but go onto to call a growing boycott of the state "well-intended" and "misguided."

Here is the full text of the letter and its signatories [we've added bold for emphasis]:

music for indiana

We are a group of independent record labels and music businesses based in Indiana. We are deeply disappointed with the recent passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the message that it sends to those both in and out of our state. At the very least, this is a poorly written and unnecessary piece of legislation. At the worst, it provides a path to legal discrimination.

We join the chorus of Indiana residents and businesses calling on Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana General Assembly to repeal the IRFRA. Additionally, we appeal to our state government leaders to enact legislation clearly protecting the civil liberties of LGBT individuals to assure that none of our employees or neighbors may be discriminated against due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Some businesses and individuals have taken action to suspend or reduce participation in Indiana's economy. While this sort of action is well-intended to place pressure on government leaders to repeal or fix this law, we feel an isolationist approach can sometimes be misguided. As music companies, we cherish the power which music and art can have in promoting social progress. We believe cultural events can be a great opportunity to put a glaring spotlight on injustice. We will continue to proudly call Indiana home, and we call on others in the arts community to address this issue constructively. To musicians with events scheduled in Indiana — please follow through and perform. While canceling shows is one way to protest, a greater statement can be made by coming here and using your art to influence the policy debate that is occurring locally. You can insist that the venue you play publicly states that they will not discriminate under any circumstances. If the venue won’t do that, rebook your show with another venue that will. Your performance can be a rally. We need your support locally.

Signed with respect,

Action Jackson
Arthur's Music Store
Asthmatic Kitty Records
The Bishop
Bloomington Guitar & Amp
Birdy's Live
Cultural Cannibals
Dead Oceans (Secretly Group)
DJ Limelight
DJ Spikes
Fact Recording
Flannelgraph Records
Fort William Artist Management
Houseplant Records
Indy CD & Vinyl
Irvington Vinyl
Jagjaguwar (Secretly Group)
Jay Brookinz
Joyful Noise Recordings
Jurassic Pop Records
Landlocked Music
Luna Music
Magnetic South Recordings
Mahern Audio
Meitus Gelbert Rose LLP
Melodic Virtue
MOKB Presents
Oreo Jones
Rad Summer
Russian Recording
Sacred Phrases
SC Distribution
SC Publishing (Secretly Group)
Secretly Canadian (Secretly Group)
Spirit of ’68 Promotions
TD's CDs and LPs
Timechange Records

Topsify To Begin Delivery Of Personalized Playlists Via Drone 

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 12.43.52 AMThat's right - a true music industry first. Leading playlisting service, Topsify, has employed the use of geo-targeting to deliver user playlists to their exact location via drone. 


How on earth does this work?

It's quite simple really. Using cutting edge geo-targeting technology to track the user's IP address, once a playlist is selected, that playlist is burned directly to a compact disc (CD) and flown immediately to the user by a drone. 

Kieron Donoghue from Topsify described where the vision came from. “We wanted to be the first playlisting service to harness the power of drone technology to bring some fun into the world. Yes we live in a streaming age but what could be more exciting that being having a physical copy of your chosen playlist delivered from the sky!?”

Take that, Jay-Z. 

Is it the most practical solution on the table for saving the music business? Probably not - but it's a resourceful one. And, let's be honest, it's plausibly more efficient than trying to stream music off of Comcast's internet service. 

Submissions are now open for your chance to have your playlist delivered to you by the flying Topsify Drone.  Visit

Additionally, Happy April Fools Day. 


ReverbNation Promotes Simon Perry To Chief Creative Officer, Head of A&R 

reverbnationIndustry veteran Simon Perry has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer and Head of A&R at direct to fan platform ReverbNation. He joined the company in 2013 and was previously SVP of Creative.


A veteran of the UK music industry, Perry, now based in New York City, helped launched the careers of several platinum artists.  As a staff writer at BMG, Bug/Windswept and Nettwerk, his songs for global superstars like Westlife placed him at the top of the charts.  In the UK, he contributed to four #1 albums and seven top 20 singles.  He also co-wrote and produced Echo and The Bunnymen’s critically acclaimed studio album “The Fountain.”

image from

In his new role, Perry will continue to lead the company’s artist curation and development initiatives  and spearhead outreach to the larger music industry. He will also oversee ReverbNation’s just announced CONNECT program, an artist incubator set to launch later on this year.


Top Classical Music Apps 

ViolinIn the midst of hip-hop, country and EDM, it can be nice to wind down and listen to some relaxing classical music. So, just turn on your smartphone and start drifting away. 


Smartphones do a lot of things. They can tell you to call your grandmother. They can capture your latest memories. But how often do we use our phones to settle down? Classical music has been known to have some amazing effects in overall well-being. In this article, Jason Phillips shares some awesome apps to turn your phone into your personal orchestra. 

There are some apps that are geared to be purely recreational. There are some apps that this article mentions that are designed to enhance learning. There are apps for both the young and old. What they all have in common is that not only do all of these apps feature classical music, but they are all great apps to break the monotony that the day can usually bring. To check out these cool apps, check out Jason Phillips' article on

"Smartphones are everywhere. Nearly every person has one and there are a myriad of apps available for these phones. They’re no longer just phones or even just for texting and taking pictures. They are now mini computers and you can do just about anything you like while on the go. If you like time away from the hustle and bustle and wish to relax with some classical music you may find one of the following apps just what you need"

[Continue Reading]



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