Industry News Courtesy Of Hypbot                   

SoundCloud, Google Play, X-Box + 11 More Music Services Added To T-Mobile's Music Freedom Plan 

TmomusicfreedomT-Mobile today added 14 streaming music apps, doubling the services eligible for its data-free Music Freedom program. While not exactly popular with net neutrality advocates, T-Mobile says their "streaming doesn't count against your data plan" service is a big hit with subscribers. 

According to T-Mobile, the number of their customers streaming music each day has jumped nearly 300%; and they’re streaming 66 million songs per day − 200 terabytes of data per day. In a recent survey of U.S. wireless users, 1 in 4 said that Music Freedom is a key reason they’ve switched or would switch to the T-Mobile.

Today’s music service additions include names like Google Play Music, Xbox Music and SoundCloud as well as a diverse range of specialty services to suit all tastes including EDM, Jazz, Caribbean, Bollywood. 

New services added today, with descriptions provided by T-Mobile, include: 

  • image from www.insidemobileapps.comGoogle Play Music− Winner of the popular vote among Un-carrier customers
  • Xbox Music − ‘All the Music You Love’ on all your devices
  • SoundCloud − Provides access to the world’s largest community of music & audio creators
  • RadioTunes − Features a wide variety of free streaming radio channels
  • Digitally Imported −  The first service in Music Freedom devoted entirely to electronic dance music
  • Fit Radio − A wide selection of great workout songs for the gym
  • Fresca Radio − Delivers 40 channels of the best Latin, Hispanic and Caribbean music
  • JAZZRADIO −  Enjoy endless hours of the best jazz music around
  • Live365 − Thousands of internet radio stations featuring music in every style
  • Mad Genius Radio − For those who like a lot of music and who like their playlists fresh
  • radioPup − Featuring 300+ local radio stations streaming the best music available
  • Radio.com − Original programming including streaming music and more
  • ROCKRADIO − 100% rock, streaming the most diverse variety of rock music online
  • Saavn − All the best Bollywood and Indian music, online and on the go

These join 13 other services previously part of Music Freedom, including Rhapsody, Pandora, AccuRadio, Black Planet, Grooveshark, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Samsung Milk Music, Radio Paradise, Rdio, Slacker, Songza and Spotify.

Why (not) Bandcamp? [Emily White] 

BandcampBy Emily White of Whitesmith Entertainment & Dreamfuel

Bandcamp is a platform I came across by accident in 2008.  A platform I was seeking nonetheless, by asking everyone around me “Why isn’t there a way to sell music directly to fans easily in a way that makes sense?”  A colleague had mentioned a platform with the name Band in it.  I googled like crazy until I landed on Bandcamp (only to find out later the colleague had been referring to something else altogether).  I emailed the contact on the site and instantly receive a response from Bandcamp’s founder, Ethan Diamond. Ethan had built a platform because he too was frustrated with how to compensate the artists he loved directly.  Similarly, his musician friends were equally frustrated.  Thus, Bandcamp was born.

For those of you that Bandcamp is new to, it is a seamless platform in which artists can sell their music to fans for any price; a price that they set.  Meanwhile, users can stream select or all tracks, depending on what the artist stipulates.  The result six years later from my fateful introduction to Ethan?  Read it for yourself on Bandcamp’s homepage (which will most likely increase by the time this piece is public): “Fans have given artists $88 million USD to using Bandcamp, and $3.1 million USD in the last 30 days alone.”

This is not surprising to me.  What IS surprising, is that recently I’ve started to realize that there are many folks in the music industry who have never heard of Bandcamp, or may have, but don’t use the platform or really know what it is.

Let me make it clear, I have nothing to gain by writing this post.  I don’t consult on or work directly with Bandcamp on any of their business efforts.  What I do want to make clear is information on what I have observed over the past 6 years, and in particular over the past 6 months.

20130409-bandcamp-home2When an artist is brand new, breaking and/or buzzing; it has been my experience that if their music is anywhere, it’s on Bandcamp.  Why?  Because it’s seamless to use and makes sense to artists.  They can upload their material in various high quality formats and set the price or set no price and make it purely donation if they want.  The result?  Paypal donations in which the artist knows exactly who the fan is and how much they purchased their music for.  The response?  Half the time when I respond to a fan who donated $100 for an album, the artist says to me “I saw that! And already wrote them back.”  Recently during an album release, when donations continued to roll in for much more than $9.99, producer Josh Shapera said to me: “This has restored my faith in humanity.”

To recap: Bandamp is easy for artists to use on the tech / music end and generates instant income as well as e-mail addresses and data.

Now onto the industry.  As Bandcamp is clearly a large community of passionate music fans, I want to ensure my artists’ catalogs are represented there.  We believe that music should be available in all formats possible and not limited to a select few.  I took this idea to what I consider to be a very forward thinking indie label.  A label with a great roster of like minded artists and styles.  A label who LOVES email addresses and prides themselves on it and gets really excited about any sort of email and data collection.  Their answer to me asking if I could put a band’s years old catalog on Bandcamp?  “No.”

Luckily, I understand where they are coming from.  The idea is that their relationships with iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, Amazon and other platforms are so key, that they cannot rock the boat with any of those outlets.  And I get that from a big picture perspective.  But from the individual artists’ point of view, does it really help them all that much to have a featured placement on iTunes?  It’s cool and fun for a week or a day, but goes away and doesn’t really “move the needle” all that much.  And ultimately Apple keeps the data, takes 30% and knows exactly who the user / fan is while the label and artist are kept in the dark on this info.

It made me realize, why aren’t labels like the one above LEADING with Bandcamp on their content rollouts?  They take a smaller margin (15%; going down to 10% over 5k USD in sales) and you collect data including contact info on the fan from purchase one.  Artist aside for a moment, what a no brainer for a label that has a particular brand and vibe of like minded fans to build their business with this key contact information from each purchase.

And because the label described here is smart and modern and forward thinking, they listened.  They may have also really perked up when I mentioned the $82 million dollars that has flowed through the platform; but they were open minded nonetheless and asked for a meeting with the folks at Bandcamp.

Yay.  Peace in the world between artists, tech and their labels.

BANDCAMPUntil I had another recent release in which fans were asking if the album was on Bandcamp (many of the fans had discovered the artist there via a previous EP the artist had uploaded to the platform before the artist was signed).  And the artist was asking me the same question.  All quite logical of course.  Why wouldn’t a label want their music sold / streamed any and every place legally possible especially when excited fans are ready and willing to pay for the album?  Meanwhile, the artist pointed out “If a fan wants to give $100, why would we limit their price point to $9.99?”

The label’s response “I would suggest just adding the [iTunes / Amazon] purchase links to the Bandcamp page.” 

Ok, so they don’t know what Bandcamp is.  It’s not a social networking profile or website, it’s a digital sales platform.  No problem, we’re all here to educate and help each other out for the greater good of the artist.  My response?  “I don’t know if it makes sense to post an iTunes link to Bandcamp. Bandcamp is a place to sell digital music and many of the fans are there because they aren’t fans of the iTunes experience or model. I’m happy to put it up ourselves and give you guys all of the revenue [until we are recouped] as well as corresponding statements if that works for you. We can also share the email addresses if you’d like as well.”

Their response?  Silence.

And I’ll stay on top of it as that’s my job.  But what a bummer part of the job.  Thus, I wanted to put this info out there and ask the question to the industry as a whole: Why (not) Bandcamp?  I believe that for the first step outside of Direct to Consumer, Bandcamp is the best option for artists and labels right now. Artists and fans love it, the platform’s take is smaller than other outlets and you collect contact info on fans who have purchased from Day 1.  Therefore why aren’t we all leading with Bandcamp for content releases?  They of course do promotions as well.  It’s a question I wanted to pose and will continue to try as right now, what Bandcamp is doing makes the most sense for fans, artists and the industry at large with regard to modern music releases.

Keep Your Life in Order While on Tour 

Images (1)Touring is essential to a band's success. In an age where music is easily pirated and consumers have shorter attention spans, going on tour can be one of the best ways to reach your fans and stay relevant. However, most musicians do not have the luxury of having personal assistants keeping their lives afloat while they are playing gigs every night. In most cases the little details of life can fall through the cracks when you are on the road. Cherie Nelson understands this plight, and gives practical ways to help streamline those tasks. 

Life does not stop when we go on tour. When you are on the road the little things can be too much of a burden and soon important questions can flood your mind. Have I paid my bills? Have I sent those emails? Did I make sure I connected with my fans this week? All of the little details are important, but it shouldn't hamper the time you have. In this article, Cherie Nelson gives ways to keep track of the little things while on tour. Check out tips on how to manage life while on tour at MusicThinkTank.com

"Traveling from one city to the next like a kid on the playground monkey bars, there isn't time to get much else done but your performances when you're on tour. Since life doesn't stop back home when you're on the road, here are four helpful tools to automate your responsibilities so you can focus on the music."

[Continue Reading]

Apple Removes "FREE" from App Store Vocabulary 

App-store-640Last week, in response to mounting pressure from the European Union (EU), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and disgruntled customers - Apple traded in the word "FREE" for "GET" in the App Store. Prior to the shift in language, apps available for free download were listed as such - but in an effort to clarify the potential for eventual payment, Apple took the suggestion offered by the EU and FTC in September and implemented it in the United States.

With In-App Purchase (IAPs) on the rise, it is becoming increasingly easy to mistakenly rack up substantial charges. Most of these charges have been accumulated by children playing games, simply unaware that free, in actuality, often times means freemium. In one instance, as told by The Telegraph, an eight-year-old British girl managed to run up a bill of £4,000 making "in-app" purchases from games such as Campus Life, My Horse, Hay Day and Smurfs' Village on her father’s iPad. In that circumstance, Apple reimbursed the girl's father.

Apple_get.0.0

Sources have hinted that Apple could have faced legal ramifications had they not changed their App Store policy, but Apple has chosen to make this change quitely, making no public statement on the matter. 

Taylor Swift Uses American Music Awards Acceptance Speech To Defend The Album 

taylorIt was not your typical acceptance speech from music's latest carefully scripted darling at last night's American Music Awards. Taylor Swift chose to use part of her precious podium time to defend the album and the value of music:

AMA logo"By going out and investing in music and albums you're saying you beleive in the same things I believe in - that music is valuable, and that music should be consumed as albums, and that albums should be consumed as art and appreciated."

4 Important Details That Should Never Be Left Out of Your Performance Contract 

TdcBy Barry Heyman and Chris Tuthill on Sonicbids Blog

A performance agreement is a deal that you, the performing artist, strike with a promoter or venue owner (also known as the purchaser). While you can have a verbal agreement, a written agreement – even in an email – containing the essential terms may help avoid potential conflict or getting screwed over by the purchaser, and may prove to be more helpful in enforcing the agreement.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Applicability of any legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. The sample contract is for illustrative purposes only, and has not been verified for compliance with the law of any particular state. If you have a specific legal problem or concern, you should consult an attorney. 

The three general sections of the performance agreement are:

  1. The basic terms of the agreement (typically one page in length)
  2. Any additional terms (the fine print)
  3. Attachments regarding additional items the artist requires in order to perform the show, typically pertaining to tech, hospitality, merchandising, and security needs (also known as the rider)

A performance agreement can just be a simple email deal point summary for a developing band, or constitute a 25-page contract for an arena headliner. Regardless of length, all artists should always make sure that these four important details are covered in their performance agreement.

1. The basic parameters of the show

Where are you playing? You need to confirm the location, specifically the venue name, address, and possibly the particular stage or room within the venue on which you'll be performing. You also need to know:

  • the date, time, and length of your performance
  • whether you have to play multiple sets
  • if there's more than one act performing
  • the performance order and where you're placed on the bill (the opener, headliner, the third of five bands, etc.)
  • what time you're expected to arrive and load in
  • if you're getting a soundcheck and, if so, what time
  • when doors open

Lastly, while you may not necessarily want to raise the following issue, you need to be aware of whether the venue will restrict you from playing another show within a certain distance within a period of time (referred to as "exclusivity") so that you’re not competing with yourself and potentially lowering sales for the purchaser.

2. The payment terms 

Before the show, it's important to clarify a few questions:

  • Are you getting a flat amount of money regardless of how many people you draw (a "guarantee"), a percentage of ticket sales ("the door"), or is it a combination of both?
  • How and when are you getting paid?
  • Are you getting paid a portion of the money upfront (“deposit”), and if so, what is that amount, and when is it due to be received?
  • Are you being paid before or after the show?
  • How are you getting paid – cash or check?

ContractsIf any component of your deal involves a percentage of the ticket sales, then you need to know what that percentage amount is and whether there are any deductions (typically to cover operating costs and sometimes after the purchaser earns a profit) taken from ticket sales before you start to earn your percentage. As part of this, you'll need to know ticket prices – the advance price and day-of-show price (or "door price"), as sometimes venues will charge less for advance tickets to motivate people to buy early and generate sales more quickly in order to have an idea of how tickets are selling. If you're receiving a percentage of the door, you'll also want to know the venue capacity so that you know how much money you can potentially earn. Further, you should have the right to count final ticket sales to ensure proper payment.

3. What the artist provides versus what the purchaser provides

Does the venue have a sound and lighting system, or are you supposed to bring your own? A sound system generally contains the PA speakers, stage monitor speakers, microphones, and the mixing board. You'll need to know who’s going to be operating the mixing board and lights, specifically if the venue provides personnel (a "crew"), or if you need to bring your own. If you're playing a club that has bands performing every night, it'll likely already have sound and lights; however, if you’re playing a catering hall, you may need to provide your own sound and lighting system.

In this same vein, does the venue have amplifiers and drum kits (a "backline") in-house that you can use, or do you have to bring your own? If you can use the club's, this would be contained in the rider. As your band grows and gains leverage in its negotiations with purchasers, other additional terms and conditions may be negotiated. For example, are you getting a meal and beverages (water, soda, beer, etc.) for all band members and crew? And for bigger shows, are you getting hotel rooms, complimentary tickets, or a guest list as part of the rider?

4. Merchandise

Can you sell your own merchandise? Is the venue taking commission, and if so, how much? Who is selling the merchandise? There could be many different scenarios. Some venues will take nothing on merchandise, while others may take a commission, which may range from approximately 10 to 30 percent of gross sales. Some venues may charge a lower percentage on recorded material, such as CDs and DVDs ("hard goods") and a higher percentage on T-shirts, baseball caps, posters, etc. ("soft goods"). Some venues require you to sell your own merchandise, and other venues provide personnel to do this for you. 

While performance agreements may differ in their length and scope, they should always contain the basic terms outlined above. A sample of a basic performance agreement incorporating these points can be found here for your reference.

Remember, playing shows can an exciting way to get your music in front of new fans with an opportunity to earn some money, but unless you do it in an informed and professional manner, you run the risk of mishaps and road blocks along your journey.

Barry Heyman is founder and principal attorney of Heyman Law. Barry has been practicing music, entertainment, intellectual property (copyrights and trademarks), and new media law for over 14 years. Barry is also the founding and current department chair of the recently established music and entertainment business program at the Institute of Audio Research, the world’s oldest audio engineering school. For more information, please visit the law firm website at heylaw.com.
 
Chris Tuthill is Director of Touring and Artist Development at TCI (Talent Consultants International). In his over two decades within the music industry, Chris has worked with a diverse group of artists ranging from ‘70s disco superstars Village People to heavy metal pioneers, Death and Carcass, as well as acted as a management representative and tour manager for Bo Diddley, Wilson Pickett, and Chuck Berry.

Phil Seward Joins Live Nation From Virgin America To Head Loyalty Marketing 

Phil SewardLive Nation Entertainment announced that Phil Seward has been hired to serve as the senior vice president of relationship and loyalty marketing. Seward is a marketing veteran who has held executive roles at a number of firms, most recently leading the customer loyalty team and the Elevate frequent flier program at Virgin America.

image from musicweekly.asia"With his extensive experience leading Virgin America's CRM efforts for one of the most creative and loyalty-inducing brands, Phil is uniquely positioned to help us bring further sophistication to our usage of data and analytics to connect even more fans with the experiences they are most passionate about," said Joe Berchtold, chief operating officer of Live Nation Entertainment. - via Celebrity Access

Full List Of American Music Awards 2014 Winners 

AMA 2014It was not  a great night for upstarts at last night's American Music Awards. Despite four nominations, Lorde went home empty handed and Iggy Izalea's six nominations netted just two awards. But ddespite being one of the few major nominees not to perform last night, Katy Perry tied with One Directions to win the most trophies - three each. 

Full List Of The American Music Awards 2014 Winners:

Dick Clark Award For Excellence: Taylor Swift

Artist Of The Year: One Direction

Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Pop/Rock: One Direction

Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Album: “The New Classic,” Iggy Azalea

Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Sam Smith

Favorite Male Country Artist: Luke Bryan

Favorite Pop/Rock Album: “Midnight Memories,” One Direction

Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist: Katy Perry

Favorite Alternative Rock Artist: Imagine Dragons

New Artist Of The Year: 5 Seconds Of Summer

Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Artist: Iggy Azalea

Favorite Country Album: “Just As I Am,” Brantley Gilbert

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