Weekly updates of key events in music, entertainment and technology written by Anthony Vanger.
MIXMAG PROVE THAT MUSIC & FOOTWEAR CAN BE A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN.
From Prodigy to Aphex Twin – there are some very imaginative creations.
There’s been a buzz on social media this week as the design team over at Mixmag got busy on Photoshop and turned some of the worlds contemporary electronic albums into Nike shoe collaborations. Thousands of people’s thumbs instantly swooped over to the ‘like’ button and engaged with the designs. It really goes to show that this type of crossover branding works. Lets hope that Nike wise up and turn this into a reality! Check out further designs over on the Mixmag website.
EVER WONDERED WHAT GOOD ADS ARE RUNNING AT THE MOMENT?
Want to find out which agency tops the rankings or which clients are producing the most creative work?
This site is a really nice source of information. You can get a snapshot of rankings pretty quickly. Every week there is guest judge who adds their point of view.
Definitely a site for the Bookmarks!
PUBLISHING & PERFORMANCE ROYALTIES
The music industry is experiencing massive growth, but meanwhile BBC Radio 1 is paying songwriters 26% less than it was 5 years ago.
The radio station pays £10.98 per minute to PRS For Music when songs written by the UK collection/licensing society’s members are broadcast, in accordance with tariffs. According to PRS, back in December 2010, BBC Radio 1 was paying out £16.84 per minute. By the end of 2013, that had fallen to £14.91 per minute. And even in July 2016, Radio 1 was paying out £13.63 per minute.
A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC pays PRS a blanket license fee under arrangements in place since 2011. PRS sets its own distribution policy as determined by its distribution committee made up of publishers, songwriters and composers. It is incorrect to suggest that distribution rates have been agreed between PRS and the BBC.”
Not sure who is to blame, but pressure will surely build on both entities to reverse this downward trend to come in line with the current industry climate.
THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS GROWING LIKE A ROCKET!
Universal Music Group has had record annual sales in 2017
Topping $6bn across publishing and records for the first time in history – while annual EBITA profits leapt up 20.6% at constant currency to €761m ($860m). Meanwhile, the major’s recorded music streaming revenues more than doubled in the two years from 2015 to 2017 (€954m to €1.97bn) – in line with Spotify’s own turbo-speed growth. Streaming is the main reason. Amazing that only a few years ago people were predicting the end of the music industry. Now everyone wants a piece of it.
NON TRADITIONAL FUNDING FOR ARTISTS
What happens when you can’t or don’t want a record label to finance your next record?
Nowadays, because of the explosive growth in music revenues, specialty firms are sprouting up, raising cash from keen investors looking to enjoy some of the growth from streaming revenues and looking for artists who still have substantial royalties and even some who are still pretty relevant. For example, Rapper Lil Wayne, who’s locked in a legal dispute with Universal Music Group and Cash Money, received funding from one such company called SoundRoyalties.
Lil Wayne gets funding from Sound Royalties
What is the difference between a company like SoundRoyalties and Universal? Both advance advance artists money for their future earnings, including performance royalties, but SoundRoyalties leaves ownership of copyrights with the creator. Pretty appealing, especially if the artist is not desperate to sign.
Could be interesting in a few years when some of these smaller shops could have deals with several artists with large enough revenues and hits to be “purchased” buy traditional record labels like Universal. Watch this space! (MBW)
AN UPDATE FROM SOUNDCLOUD
Soundcloud shows full transparency as financial results for calendar 2016 are now public.
Is one of the worlds most popular streaming platforms in trouble? Or is everything going to be ok with the German owned company?
In summer 2017, the Berlin-based firm slashed 40% of its workforce in a dramatic cost-cutting move, while its then-CEO (and co-founder) Alexander Ljung admitted that it might “run out of cash” without further financing.
That financing was then secured in August last year, via an investment led by The Raine Group and Singapore-based Temasek – as ex-Vimeo exec Kerry Trainor replaced Ljung as Chief Exec.
In SoundCloud’s newly posted 2016 financial results (at the UK’s Companies House), the firm confirms that the Temasek/Raine Group-led investment bundle amounted to $170m. A full breakdown of the company public records can be viewed here.
WORLD RECORD STORE DAY IS COMING!
This Saturday avid music collectors embark on the yearly quest to secure a hidden gem that only Record Store Day (RSD) can deliver.
The event was created in 2007 with the aim of celebrating the culture, enthusiasts and community behind independent record shops, and to drive people into stores during those fallow spring months. Lets be clear – Record Store Day is also about making money!
There are a few special and weird items buried among the 500 releases on offer, but not much worth writing home about, let alone worth queuing for at 6am. It raises the question, is this a day to celebrate independent music? or is it an excuse for a major to repress another 30,000 copies of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ to make a quick buck? It makes you wonder whether the whole thing needs a shot in the arm or to the back of the head.