A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: MOODYMANN
The new Purple One?
Is this what a young Prince would have sounded like if he was making music today? His voice and delivery sound uncannily like the Purple One. Some of the lines suck me right back to days of Purple Rain, others race ahead to the future: four-on-the-floor kick drums, dirty, analog, arpeggiated synths, and the super sparse vocal delivery. If this music were made by a band, Moodymann would be the one hugging the mic stand in the corner.
The elusive Detroit producer, aka Kenny Dixon, Jr. has been popping up here and there for a while now, sneaking up from the shadows of the dance underground to make a guest appearance on Drake’s “Passionfruit” and generating enough buzz so that vinyl copies of his “lost” album now command up to $500. He remains an enigma, rarely giving interviews (see one here), but let’s see if this single, and the album Sinner from which it comes, continues the comparisons with Prince and catapults him (against his will?) into the mainstream.
AD OF THE WEEK: APPLE AIRPODS
Apple turns a cityscape into a bouncy playground
Apple has released a new video promoting AirPods, by featuring a man listening to music through the audio accessories and traveling through the air in an unusually bouncy city.
Set to a 2016 track called “I Learnt Some Jazz Today” from artist Tessellated, the black and white film traces the steps of a bohemian man as he navigates his commute. According to Apple, aside from a few slow-motion shots of the star floating, most of ‘Bounce’ was made with practical effects, not CGI in post. The film crew shot outdoor scenes in Kiev, Ukraine, before recreating the entire town on a set inside the country’s largest airplane hangar. The “ground,” however, was built six feet off the floor, to allow space for trampolines built into the sidewalks. If there ever was a better representation of Apple’s creativity, curiosity, and almost obsessive pursuit of originality, I cannot imagine what it could be. A stunning achievement.
INDEPENDENT ARTISTS WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO UPLOAD DIRECTLY TO SPOTIFY
Spotify decides it doesn’t want to be a distributor after all.
This week Spotify announced, that it will be removing its direct-upload program, which currently allows independent artists to upload their own music without the use of traditional third-party distributors. The streaming platform introduced Direct Upload Beta in September 2018, but it will close the function at the end of the month after less than a year of it being active. It marks the reversal of Spotify’s decision to become a music distributor.
After the end of July, independent artists will once again have to upload their music to the service via third-party distributors, such as Tunecore, Distrokid, and Stem.
“Today, we notified participating artists about our decision to close the beta program, along with how we can help them migrate their music to other distributors over the next month.” The post goes on to say: “The best way for us to serve artists and labels is to focus our resources on developing tools in areas where Spotify can uniquely benefit them—like Spotify for Artists… and our playlist submission tool.”
Since the launch of the beta, Spotify announced an investment in distribution service DistroKid, which supports cross-platform uploads to Spotify, as well as iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, Tidal, YouTube and others.
TIDAL ROLLS OUT INTERACTIVE CREDITS TO HIGHLIGHT ROLES OF SONGWRITERS, PRODUCERS, ENGINEERS & MUSICIANS
Music streaming service TIDAL has launched interactive credit pages to highlight the roles of songwriters, producers, engineers and session musicians.
“TIDAL is looking forward to working with artists and labels to create an in-depth database of credits,” said the company in a press release.
To explore the feature in TIDAL on an Artist Page, users can tap on the roles under the artist’s name or scroll down to view the artist’s enhanced credits section. From there, they can select ‘View All’ or a specific role to explore (i.e. Songwriter, Production, Composer, Musician).
Tapping on a specific role will filter the track list to display the songs on which that artist has contributed towards in that same capacity. By clicking on the downward arrow on the top-right corner, users can also sort the contributor’s tracklist by release date, popularity, title, or artist.
TICKETMASTER HIT WITH $3.2 MILLION FINE FOR DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES
Ouch, that hurts!
The Canadian government, through its Competition Bureau, has issued Ticketmaster with a CND $4.5 million fine ($3.44 million in U.S. dollars).
The fine was issued after an investigation revealed that the company had inflated the advertised prices of tickets purchased either online or through one of its mobile apps from 20% up to 65%.
The ruling came after the government had sued Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, in January of last year.
The fine includes a CDN $4 million penalty and an additional CDN $500,000 fine for the cost of the investigation. In addition to the fine, a number of Ticketmaster subsidiaries will have to submit to a 10-year agreement that will ensure that they will comply with all relevant laws into the future.
JBL BRINGS BACK ITS ICONIC L100 CLASSIC WITH MODERN UPDATES
With all the vintage elements of the 1970 model.
First released in 1970, the L100 became an instant hit for its unique design and technology. keeping all the retro design elements intact, the new speakers come updated with contemporary parts. Its distinctive removable Quadrex foam grille comes with a titanium treble speaker that measures at one inch, midrange cone driver of five inches and pure-pulp woofer of 12. Topping off the design is a bass reflex system and forward firing port, blending all vintage characteristics with modern functionality.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash