A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: CUBICOLOR
Cubicolor, an electronic trio, dares to look into the future, even during these uncertain times. Founded by Peter Kriek, Ariaan Olieroock, and Tim Digby-Bell, the group produces melodic house and electronica with an emphasis on strong emotions. Its latest release, “Wake Me Up,” has pushed their music into a new realm – more commercial but also more ambitious – and the accompanying video shows this with soaring shots of space and light. These musicians want to take the listener on a journey. “Lost in yourself, where do you go?” The journey is both internal and external, as the music shifts from introspective passages to swelling choruses. It is quite a tour de force.
One of the producers said, “I don’t think we’ve ever worked on a piece of music for as long as we did on this. It took a lot of long nights to get it to sound how we wanted – we weren’t exactly sure what we were looking for but we knew it when we found it.” Just like the future: you don’t know what you are looking for, but you know when you have found it.
Check the whole Cubicolor’s new album ‘Hardly A Day, Hardly A Night’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khHNPWXyfWQ&t=206s
AD OF THE WEEK: NIKE | PLAY FOR THE WORLD
Nike says: “We strive to bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete* in the world. (* If you have a body, you are an athlete.) The Portland-based sports giant had recently raised a motivational flag for fans to rally around with its “Play for the World” campaign, which used simple text to convey a relatable message of solidarity. Now the brand is back with a 60-second spot, “You Can’t Stop Us,” for which Wieden + Kennedy Portland compiled still and video footage shot at homes all over.
While there are a few star athletes to be found in the ad, including LeBron James, and Nike-backed talents like Somali boxer Ramla Ali plus beach volleyball star Sara Hughes, it’s clear that the message is one of unity across all levels of athletics.
The ad is part of a much larger quarantine-era commitment by Nike to help people stay active, including live-streamed workouts from Nike “master trainers” and a fun interactive competition called the Living Room Cup.
APPLE MUSIC LAUNCHES $50M ADVANCE FUND FOR INDEPENDENT LABELS HIT BY COVID-19 IMPACT
Apple Music is quietly making a $50m advance fund available for independent labels and distributors, to support the indie sector with vital cashflow during the uncertainty of global COVID-19 lockdown.
Record labels the world over are facing a triple danger from the fallout from Coronavirus: (i) Physical sales have been slashed to the nub by the closure of stores during quarantine; (ii) Licensing income from public performance plays and sync use has dried up due to a lack of in-person events plus a sudden stop in movie/TV production; (iii) Labels which participate in their artists’ live income are obviously seeing that revenue reduced to zero due to unanimous cancellations of shows.
The company is set to inform independent labels and distributors later today (April 7) that any amongst their ranks who meet a minimum quarterly threshold of $10,000 in Apple Music earnings can qualify for one-off advance payments on future royalties out of the $50m fund. (Doing the math, that should mean those labels attracting around 500,000 cumulative streams on the platform each month are likely to be eligible for the money.)
BANDCAMPS CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT ARTISTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC WAS A HUGE SUCCESS.
Bandcamp thanked everyone who joined in on supporting artists on 20th March to raise awareness about the impact of Covid-19 on the music community. Bandcamp waived al fees and royalties for 48 hours so help artists & labels over the pandemic.
The numbers tell a remarkable story: on a typical Friday, fans buy about 47,000 items on Bandcamp, but this past Friday, fans bought nearly 800,000, or $4.3 million worth of music and merch. That’s more than 15 times our normal Friday, and at the peak, fans were buying 11 items per second.
TWITTER BOSS JACK DORSEY PLEDGES $1BN TO FUND FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS
Twitter founder and boss Jack Dorsey has set aside $1bn (£812m) in stock to help fund relief efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Dorsey, who is also chief executive of the financial payments startup Square, will give the new venture shares from his Square holdings.
The 43-year-old announced the initiative called Start Small in a series of tweets, and said the contribution amounts to 28% of his fortune.
NEW COLLABORATIVE APP AIMS TO BE HOUSEPARTY FOR MUSIC-MAKERS
A new app called Endless lets users collaborate with each other from across the world. The app, designed by artist, producer and software developer Tim Exile, lets you start a jam using the built-in instruments or an audio input for any real-world sources, and invite others to take part.
Once they’ve joined they can contribute to the song and all devices are synced by bar to keep everyone in time. You can practice or try out ideas that only you can hear and once you’re happy with your riff you can send it to the group. To celebrate the launch of the app, KiNK, Matt Black, Imogen Heap, Flux Pavilion and more hosted a live jam along with the creator Tim Exile.
Watch the APP in action below
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash