A weekly update on all things music, entertainment and technology, coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK:
This week we focus on not just one artist, but a selection of artists from the 80s who have managed to continue their careers despite not having written any hits for longer than a quarter of a century. These are, in no particular order: Tears for Fears, Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Simply Red, Bryan Ferry. Many of these acts were UK-based bands/artists who found huge success, not just at home, but across the globe.
I was trying to understand why and the reasons are clear: all of them wrote perfect pop songs that have survived by migrating up from one generation to the next. Tracks like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears For Fears or “Don’t You Forget about Me” by Simple Minds. These blockbuster hits are like some kind of stardust that once sprinkled over a group of otherwise unremarkable human beings, grants them eternal life. And the financial rewards are substantial. Both Richard Curtis and Roland Olazabal, the duo that made up Tears For Fears, despite not writing a hit in almost 20 years, are worth £20m each in 2018 according to Wikipedia. Writing a hit is hard. Writing a hit that defines an era is almost impossible. That so many UK acts managed to do so in the 80s is a mystery, but this week we celebrate the talent, innovation and ambition that put UK acts at the top of that era-defining decade.
MOST ENGAGING AD THIS WEEK
Apple Watch Series 4 TV Spot, ‘Better You’ Song by Young Fathers
Very cool ad from Apple, promoting its new watch. The timepiece has never really taken off so there is a bit of pressure on this latest incarnation to reboot a product that Apple lovers were initially so excited about. The digital trickery is compelling and the ad carries just the right amount of humour to carry the viewer to the punchline.
What I like the most is the use of the music. Ever since they won the Mercury Prize in 2014, Young Fathers has been pushing the boundaries of musical styles and this latest release Toy, taken from the album ‘Cocoa Sugar’, released on Ninja Tune. Viewers seem to agree. The ad has 4.2m online views and will roll out on ATL media with an estimated $3.8m TV spend.
At full retail the Apple Watch Series 4 is $499.99 for the 40mm in Aluminium, $529.99 for the 44 mm in Aluminium, $699.99 for the 40mm in Stainless Steel, and $749.99for the 44mm in Stainless Steel.
Ed Note: Might finally be the time to buy your loved one an Apple Watch. Pricey, but it looks like the Silicon Valley behemoth has finally got it right.
THE TOP 5 BEST-SELLING STUDIO ALBUMS OF ALL TIME IN UK
5. Michael Jackson – Thriller // 4. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon // 3. Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? // 2. Adele – 21
1. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
APPLE BUYS MUSIC ANALYTICS PLATFORM ASAII FOR ‘UNDER $100M’
Asaii, a startup which specialises in A&R-boosting music analytics.
The platforms allows artists, labels and managers to “discover, track, and manage talent using machine learning” and is based in San Francisco.
The news of Asaii’s acquisition comes just three weeks after Apple completed the buyout of audio recognition platform Shazam for $400m.
The team behind Asaii have previously worked at the likes of Uber, Apple, Facebook and Yelp.
The platform processes data from the likes of Spotify, SoundCloud, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – offering both streaming and social media analysis.
It allows users to compare daily, weekly and total play counts of tracks across multiple artists.
MUSIC LOSES $2.65 BILLION A YEAR FROM THE LIKES OF COFFEE SHOPS
Soundtrack Your Brand and Nielsen study says 83 percent of small businesses are not paying for proper music rights.
It is estimated the global music industry also loses out on $2.65 billion every year because of small businesses misusing personal music-streaming services, according to a study published Monday by licensing service Soundtrack Your Brand, which commissioned Nielsen Music to survey music use in businesses across seven markets.
When music is played in a store, restaurant or other public venue (a.k.a. constituting a “public performance”), it needs to be licensed under copyright laws separate from the laws governing personal use of music-streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music. But per the study, only 17 percent of small businesses have obtained those licenses, while 83 percent illicitly use a personal music service — and, what’s more, the majority of business owners incorrectly believe that a personal music account is allowed to be used for background music in business settings.
Ed Note: this represents a real opportunity for some bright spark to come up with a digital, instantaneous way for small businesses to pay for the license. If you make it difficult and expensive enough for small business owners to be model citizens, they will continue to break the law.
MIXCLOUD SIGNS LONG-TERM LICENSING DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL
Could Mixcloud’s new deal with UMG help it take on SoundCloud?
The British indie streaming music service has signed a multi-year direct licensing agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG). Mixcloud also confirmed it now has 1.25 million curators uploading their works on the service. The service now boasts over 15 million shows, DJ sets, and podcasts.
Under the deal, UMG artists will receive compensation for works streamed on Mixcloud. The agreement includes its ad-supported and future subscription service.
Mixcloud’s Content ID system identifies music in radio shows and mixes. This allows the service to pay royalties to local PROs and collecting societies, including SoundExchange. The deal also includes a payment agreement for past use of UMG music on the service.
MARSHALL REVEAL NEW LINE OF HOME BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS
Enters the highly competitive and lucrative Bluetooth speaker market with rock and roll image.
The new range is comprised of three different speakers that offer up a wealth of portability, size and of course affordability options. First up is the Acton II Bluetooth (£219), the smallest speaker in the range. Dynamic and compact, the Acton II is easy to transport but still offers up Marshall’s signature high performance sound.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
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