A weekly update on all things music, entertainment and technology, coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic.
BOB DYLAN LAUNCHES OWN BRAND OF WHISKEY
Watch out for ‘Heaven’s Door Spirits’ coming soon to a bar near you.
Bob Dylan will next month launch a range of whiskeys, hoping to capitalise on growing demand for all things celebrity-branded.
The 76-year-old singer has joined with liquor entrepreneur Marc Bushala to turn a deconsecrated church in Tennessee into a distillery. Their Heaven’s Door Spirits – a Tennessee straight bourbon, a double barrel whiskey and a straight rye – will first be available in Tennessee, Florida, California, Illinois, New York and Texas. A wider rollout will follow.
SPOTIFY: THE SEARCH FOR NEW LAND TO CONQUER
Spotify looks to broaden its popularity by firming up ties in the motor industry.
The streaming battleground has already been fought in our offices and living rooms. Now it’s coming to our cars. Major label execs are starting to recognise the car industry as a sector to watch. Until recently, in-car listening meant CDs or the radio and, as anyone who’s ever driven anywhere on a holiday will know, those options can seem pretty limited when you’re sat in traffic.
Deals such as Spotify’s recent tie-up with Cadillac are changing the status quo. The day when a salesperson adds a music subscription to your list of freebies to get you to buy a car is not too far away. Watch this space.
AN HISTORIC DAY FOR MUSIC CREATORS
Music Modernisation Act unanimously passes House of Representatives in the US.
This act will pave the way for improved royalty payments to songwriters, artists and creatives in the digital era.
What will the new act bring? In short, the billcombines four separate legislative initiatives into a single piece of legislation that will update how music rates are set and how songwriters and artists are paid. A good day for anyone who makes their living from music.
BLOCKCHAIN: IT COULD COMPLETELY CHANGE THE WAY ARTISTS SELL MUSIC AND INTERACT WITH FANS
Revenue Sharing Solved With Blockchain
Blockchain has the potential to solve the problem of revenue and royalty distribution from music. More specifically, the smart contract component of blockchain can include which percentage of the revenue goes to which member of the band, the label, the manager and so on. It can even give a quick way of contacting all the involved rights holders for licensing queries.
Björk is one of the first major artists to have integrated blockchain into one of her releases. Fans can purchase her new “Utopia” album with existing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and will be able to collect crypto rewards in the form of “Audio coins” when engaging in social media interactions.
A big question remains: will music labels embrace this new technology or will they resist for fear of losing control over the artist?
ORCHESTRAL MUSICIANS ‘LIVING ON BREADLINE’
Nearly half of the UK’s classical musicians don’t earn enough to live on, says the Musicians’ Union.
Although rank-and-file members of the BBC Philharmonic or City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra are paid about £30,000 a year, wages have stagnated as funding cuts take hold.
This seems to be a common issue among young musicians, with two-fifths of newcomers taking unpaid work in the last year. 44% of players told the MU they struggled to make ends meet. To highlight their predicament, the organisation is launching a campaign, Musician Behind the Moment, to remind people of how valuable orchestras can be – in the hope fans will put pressure on the Arts Council and local councils to increase funding.
Editors Note: Last night I had the good fortune to see the LA Philarmonic at the Barbican (https://goo.gl/7b2wMK). Conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil are one of the most electrifying orchestra-conductor partnerships at work today and it was a magical evening. Let’s hope we don’t start to see orchestras shutting down.
CARLSBERG JOINS THE SONIC BRANDING APOCALYPSE
Carlsberg creates a new sonic brand and full audio kit that misses the mark.
I don’t like to criticise the work of others, as music is often subjective, but in this case I have to say that Carlsberg’s new effort at “strengthening the Carlsberg Group brand by adding emotion to our brand identity through sound” has missed the mark. The sonic identity is so far from eliciting the emotions associated with the iconic beer that it begs the question, “What were they thinking?” Comments left on LinkedIn are not particularly kind, with some referring to Intel. I love brands who embrace sonic branding and admire the efforts of the Carlsberg branding team, but what a shame that the result is so corporate.