A weekly update on all things music, entertainment and technology, coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS
Christine burst onto the scene in 2016 with her debut album Chaleur Humaine, which mixed the French singer’s impressive vocals with canny pop, sung in English and French. The album did so well that she toured the world on the back of it and revealed to her adoring public another dimension to her talent: her dancing, which she learned in London drag queen clubs when she moved from Paris to recover from a broken heart. No less than Madonna copied her moves and her staging.
Now Christine is back just two years after her ground-breaking release with an ambitious sophomore album, Chris. It is good, but perhaps not as great as the first one. Her visual persona has morphed slightly into a more masculine version of the 2016 Christine. She struts in her videos, androgynous with her slicked-back short hair, not afraid to show us her bare midriff and bra. But she is also introspective and unsure. And the music reflects this dichotomy. It is more stripped down, drum beats and synth basses the only instrumentation supporting her vocals. She remains a fantastic singer, especially when she lets it rip in the final choruses, but most of the time her voice nestles in the mix, drip feeding her thoughts and feelings within the overall sound of the music rather than taking centre stage. And her new songs – even the single Girlfriend – lack pop simplicity, short of the killer hooks found in her first effort.
If you compare the number of YouTube views – Christine (39m) vs the new single Girlfriend (1.6m) – it is clear that this album has not exploded into the public consciousness like her debut, but it is still an important piece of work from one of the most interesting artists around. Enjoy!
Ed Note: she is performing at Eventim Apollo, London Nov 20 and 21.
AD OF THE WEEK: STAND UP TO CANCER
The gaming community normally gets a bad rap. But this time, gamers might have a chance to make a difference. Stand Up To Cancer, the national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, is tapping into a vast untapped resource: the gaming community and its 32.4 million gamers in the UK.
The ad, created by Anomaly, is narrated by US actor Doug Cockle, one of the most famous voices in games, and features heroes from games including Fifa 19, Destiny 2 and Sonic Forces. The campaign encourages gaming fans to sign up to Game On, a gaming challenge that will help raise funds for cancer research.
TICKETMASTER FACES CLASS ACTION DAMAGES EXCEEDING $100 MILLION FOLLOWING ‘SCALPERGATE’
Lawyers are threatening Ticketmaster with new lawsuits
A Ticketmaster executive explains how Ticketmaster, which sells over 142 million tickets a year, is willing to work with scalpers to provide them with ample access to tickets. Those tickets are then resold at high prices, benefiting both the scalper and Ticketmaster.
Video evidence obtained by the The Toronto Star supposedly show officials with Ticketmaster talking about their proprietary software called TradeDesk. This is a sophisticated resale software platform that essentially allows scalpers to buy and manage large ticket blocks and then resell them to the public.
This is not the first time the ticket giant has got itself into hot water with the law and has been held under scrutiny by federal investigators in the past.
SHAZAM IS NOW COMPLETELY AD-FREE
And its all down to Apple
Last week TWIM reported that Apple was currently finalising its acquisition of Shazam. Today it confirmed the $400 million acquisition of the music identification app Shazam. As part of that effort, Shazam will become an ad-free product from this point forward.
It is most likely that tech giant will integrate Shazam into the Siri and iOS experience now that the music identification app sits under Apple’s umbrella.
Ed’s Note: MusicBusinessWeekly list 5 reasons why Apple purchased Shazam. Check out the full article here: https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/apples-buyout-of-shazam-5-reasons-it-could-change-music-streaming-forever/
1. Apple is buying a global music listener data goldmine.
2. Apple is not just aquiring an app – it’s gettiong Shazam’s engineers and nearly two decades of R&D.
3. Apple might make Shazam a different Shazam…(already happening, for the positive).
4. Shazam’s research and technology could give Apple a much-needed boost in the smart speaker market.
5. Apple will use Shazam to help improve its in-car entertainment offering.
STREAMING ROYALTY CALCULATOR
Fulfil your curiosity, see who pays the most per stream.
This is one of my favourites: a website that calculates how much you make per stream of your music. The website is: http://www.streamingroyaltycalculator.com/. I entered mine as follows and was pleasantly surprised that my +1m streams of Operatica on YouTube was worth a whopping $1,750.
Nothing to write home about, but nonetheless, this is an area where governmental action has been active recently, pushing up per minute rates and forcing the various platforms that stream music to pay a higher rate. So expect this number to rise significantly over the next few years.
ROLAND REVEALS NEW ENTRY-LEVEL TD-1DMK V-DRUM KIT REVEALED
Hello all you aspiring drummers.Very much a plug-and-play beast, the kit offers 15 preset kits and multiple onboard coaching modes, most of which are designed with timing and feel in mind. You’ll also be able to connect to a windows/mac Melodics app, which offers free, progressive play-along lessons.
The all mesh-head kit is also being pitched as quieter than its competitors for a harmonious home life, and lightweight enough to move around the house easily, weighing in at just 7kg.
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