A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: AU/RA
Slick and cinematic pop-noir from the 22nd Century
If you want know what a 17-year-old’s brain sounds like, check out precocious artist Au/Ra. Au/Ra was born in Spain, but has since been raised in Antigua by a musical family—her father being renowned German producer Torsten Stenzel. Critics write that “she’s light years ahead of her peers in terms of creative songwriting.” I like her because she has managed to translate the digital anxiety of her generation into a distinct sound. One fan writes, “Am I the only one who thinks Au / Ra is underrated by the world?” I am not sure if 700,000+ views of your video places you in the underrated bin, but based on the numbers her peers are racking up on social media – see below – she definitely has room to stretch her wings.
Probably the subject matter of her songs and the intensity of her videos has something to do with the fact that she is not “mainstream.” Maybe she will dial it down and jump into the big time, or maybe she will continue to mine her darkest emotions and remain on the fringes. Either way, it is going to be fun to watch.
AD OF THE WEEK: RIMOWA | Never Still ft. LeBron James
Latest in a series of ads featuring celebrities who travel for their work
There is something honest about this latest edition of luxury suitcase maker Rimowa’s series of ads featuring celebrities who travel extensively for their work (previous ads have featured Virgil Abloh and Roger Federer). LeBron James explains that the road has been his greatest teacher, but there is an underlying melancholy in his delivery. James is nearing the end of his epic journey. We see him on the road again, but a question imbues every scene: will this be his last season?
Ultimately, the ad answers its own question with the tagline, “No one builds a legacy by standing still” and so the journey continues. Nice work from a partnership between Anomaly in Berlin and RIMOWA’s internal creative team.
STAGGERING VIDEO NUMBERS FROM THE BIGGEST STARS OF TODAY
YouTube’s Top 10 most viewed music videos of 2019 so far
Eye-popping numbers, but how much does 1 billion views generate for artists like Daddy Yankee and rapper Snow? According to an average estimated and published by Information is Beautiful, a company that distills data into infographics, YouTube pays as little as $0.0006 for every view. Doing the maths – 1.6bn x $0.0006 – means that the Puerto Rican and Canadian superstars netted a solid $600,000 from the video streaming platform. But don’t count your chickens yet. According to Forbes, “nailing down exactly how much a video has made is nearly impossible as it varies from clip to clip.” So we look to other credible sources. SocialBlade, a company that tracks popular YouTube channels, has a less specific number in mind. It estimates that 1,000 views on the video site will earn a creator between 25 cents and $4, with the actual amount not clear until the payment has actually been disbursed. That is a pretty wide margin, resulting in Daddy Yankee and Snow pulling in either $290,000 or $4.6m. So which is it? I doubt we will ever know, but either way, there is a new business model in town and its called YouTube revenue.
SPOTIFY LITE ANDROID APP ROLLED OUT IN 36 MARKETS ACROSS ASIA, LATIN AMERICA, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
Spotify is making a play for users in emerging markets with the launch of Spotify Lite, a low data usage version of its mobile app.
Spotify Lite is now available for Android users in 36 markets across Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa via the Google Play store.
Spotify says that the new app has a similar look and feel to the original Spotify app, but “with a few key differences”. It uses less storage, data, and battery power making it “ideal for older devices and operating systems” and is specifically tailored for users in areas without high-speed network connectivity.
Lite can be downloaded separately, both for Free and Spotify Premium users, and used either alongside or independently from the main Spotify app on all Android phones running version 4.3 or higher.
UNITEDMASTERS RELEASES APP FOR ARTISTS TO DISTRIBUTE MUSIC AND TRACK EARNINGS
Digital distribution, services and insights company UnitedMasters has launched a new iOS app.
With the UnitedMasters app, artists can release music onto all major streaming services including Spotify, Apple, Tidal, YouTube, and others.They can also submit tracks for placement with some of the world’s biggest brands including the NBA, iHeart, Bose.
The app will also allow artists to track their earnings, receive monthly payments through PayPal and gain free access to extras like YouTube Content ID and SoundCloud Monetisation.
NEW YORK OFFICIAL CALLS WOODSTOCK 50 A ‘RECIPE FOR DISASTER’ AS PERMIT IS DENIED
With just over a month out from the event’s scheduled date, things are looking bleaker than ever.
Specifically, residents of Vernon, New York, home of the Vernon Downs (Woodstock 50’s planned venue), came out swinging at a recent town board meeting. Board members were similarly critical of the show, and to make matters worse, the event’s permit was denied because planners have allegedly failed to meet safety requirements.
This certification is hardly optional, and Woodstock 50 cannot take place unless a permit is granted. One permit reviewer went as far as calling Woodstock 50 “a recipe for disaster.”
Residents and board members made some valid points at the mentioned meeting. They expressed concerns with potential damage to homes, businesses, and property — damage that could result when the estimated 65,000 attendees depart Woodstock 50 on each of its three nights (16-18th of August).
In terms of the permit denial, Woodstock 50’s planners will have five days to appeal the decision, though experts have indicated that it’ll be very, very difficult — nearly impossible — to have the ruling overturned.
NIKE UNVEILS VINYL RECORD-INSPIRED AIR MAX 90
Inspired by records and “music of the ’90s”
Nike is releasing a new Air Max 90 model inspired by vinyl records on 24th August, reports Sneaker Freaker.
Air Max 90 Vinyl model features a black vinyl upper, red accents, an ice blue sole, and a vinyl record design with the Nike logo inside it on each tongue.
The sneaker is the latest in Nike’s music inspired Air Max 90 range, following its Mixtape Side A and Mixtape Side B models in June. Those shoes featured ‘Side A’ and ‘Side B’ on both tongues (depending on which model you chose) with “33 1/3 RPM” text alongside it.
KORG ANNOUNCES NEW GADGET 3.0 FOR NINTENDO SWITCH
A classic arcade music collaboration from Korg, Taito, SEGA and Nintendo
Just in time for National Video Game Day, Korg has brought Japanese tech giants Taito and SEGA together for a collaboration on Gadget 3.0 – a new version of Korg’s mobile DAW for Nintendo Switch.
The new version of Gadget, which already includes the Bandai Namco sound system ‘Kamata’, will now allow users to use SEGA’s rhythm sound generator gadget ‘Otorii’, which uses samples of music based on the drums, sound effects and voice recordings ’80s SEGA arcade games.
Gadget 3.0 will come paired with Taito’s arcade synthesizer ‘Ebina’, that includes samples of FM sounds from some of the company’s most retro games. Combined, users can now create their own 16-bit sounds using recordings for classic games such as Out Run, Space Harrier, Fantasy Zone, After Burner, Golden Axe and many more.
Gadget 3.0 will be available for purchase through the Nintendo eShop from today!
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash