A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: CHRIS STAPLETON
Hard-driving country rock star shows a tender side
Starting Over, just like the title says, is a song about redemption. Like in a good Hollywood plot where we know the ending, but the fun lies in how we get there, Stapleton – hirsute, check-shirt, acoustic guitar, and whisky voice – is the perfect anti-hero to lead us on this tale. A self-proclaimed outlaw, he shies away from electric guitar fireworks on this song, keeping it simple with straight-up acoustic guitar, letting the eloquence of his lyrics drive the message home. The opening lines, “Well the road rolls out like a welcome mat, To a better place than the one we’re at,” set the scene for a journey of regeneration.Stapleton wrote this song as a personal testament, but given America’s open wounds after 4 years of ugly politics and an even uglier election, it takes on a more universal meaning.
AD OF THE WEEK: COCA-COLA
“Since when does Coca Cola have onions as an ingredient?” said one online review. This ad certainly turns on taps. Yes, it has a big budget, a huge score, and an Oscar-winning director, but it is the simple storyline that tugs at the heartstrings. I won’t tell you the plot, but at 2 mins 30 secs there is plenty of room for action and excitement. This year is especially difficult for advertisers to strike the right tone during a pandemic. Coca-Cola and ad agency Wieden-Kennedy London, hit the bullseye with the right dose of nostalgia, harking back to a simpler time, maybe the 50s, when life was happier. The global campaign, called ‘The Letter’, asks consumers to “give something only you can give – yourself” this Christmas as it encourages people to be truly present with each other. Every year we get a slew of Christmas ads, but this one will be hard to knock off the top of the Christmas tree.
Created by Wieden+Kennedy London and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi.
DANCE MUSIC PARTIES MERIT SAME TAX BREAKS AS CONCERTS, RULES GERMANY’S TOP FINANCIAL COURT
The momentous decision reduces the VAT rate on entrance fees from 19 to seven percent.
The highest financial court in Germany has ruled that dance music parties merit the same tax breaks as concerts.
The momentous decision means that clubs across Germany can now pay seven percent VAT on entrance fees instead of 19, which has been the standard rate since 2009. The case reached the federal fiscal court, known locally as Bundesfinanzhof, after Berlin club Berghain and an event in Saxony won cases in their local courts, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.
The ruling hinged on whether events at clubs can be considered concerts, which are “culture,” or parties, which are “entertainment.” The Bundesfinanzhof chose the former, so long as “the musical performances represent the actual purpose of the event from the perspective of an ‘average visitor.'” This suggests that only clubs with curated programmes are eligible for the reduced rate.
“You still have to prove that people are coming because of the DJs and the artists,” Lutz Leichsenring from Clubcommission Berlin told Resident Advisor. “So a shopping mall with a live DJ is probably unlikely to get the seven percent rate because people go there to shop. You have to have a strong argument.”
He added: “This is the highest decision you can get on this matter. There’s no next level of court. The tax office has definitely lost.”
MUSIC INDUSTRY PREDICTS STEEP RISE IN REVENUE AFTER PANDEMIC
The global music industry has been hit by the COVID19 pandemic, but the slump is likely to be shortlived, according to Goldman Sachs Research. The habits we’ve formed during lockdown, such as relying on social media and rediscovering old tracks, are set to accelerate the online shift and propel global music revenues to new highs.
THE KILLERS SELL MUSIC PUBLISHING CATALOG TO ELDRIDGE, INCLUDING HITS LIKE MR. BRIGHTSIDE AND HUMAN
Las Vegas rock band The Killers have sold their pre-2020 music publishing catalog, including hits like Human and Mr. Brightside to Eldridge, a holding company with a network of businesses across entertainment, finance, technology, and real estate.
The deal marks the first music catalog transaction for Eldridge, which has reportedly acquired the publishers and the writers’ share of the catalog, covering the band’s first five albums.
The Killers will continue to own their share of master recording income, including from syncs secured by Eldridge and the band.
Universal Music Publishing Group will continue to administer the band’s catalog, reports Billboard.
While the sum of the deal has not been disclosed, the potential scale of the catalog’s value can be guess-timated by taking into account the fact that another contemporary pop/rock band, Imagine Dragons, sold their song catalog to Concord for more than $100m just three months ago.
Amongst the Killer’s back catalog are hits like Somebody Told Me, Human and the evergreen smash Mr. Brightside, which is approaching 1 billion streams (currently 998m) on Spotify alone.
The Killers have sold 28 million albums worldwide since forming in Las Vegas in 2001, according to a press statement.
A NEW BOOK EXPLORES CLUBBING IN AFRICA AND EUROPE FROM THE 1960S ONWARDS
A new book documenting club scenes from 10 cities across Africa and Europe is out now.
It aims to give a broader insight into the history of the contemporary clubbing scene, with a focus “beyond the North Atlantic clubbing axis of Detroit–Chicago–Manchester–Berlin”.
It’s titled Ten Cities: Clubbing in Nairobi, Cairo, Kyiv, Johannesburg, Berlin, Naples, Luanda, Lagos, Bristol, Lisbon, 1960-Present, and features 21 essays and photo sequences covering the local scenes, subcultures and global networks of those capital cities.
“The tale they tell is one of clubs as laboratories of otherness, in which people can experiment with new ways of being and assert their claim to the city. Ten Cities is a nocturnal, sound-driven journey through ten social and urban stories from 1960 through to the present,” states an accompanying overview text.
Ten Cities is out via Spector Books and the Goethe-Institut. Buy it here.
PIONEER DJ STEPS UP A LEVEL WITH THE CDJ-3000
The new CDJ model is more advanced than ever before
Pioneer DJ has revealed details of the latest model in its CDJ range, the CDJ-3000.
The CDJ-3000 is equipped with an MPU, with the DJ brand saying: “The new MPU in the unit is the first we’ve ever put in a CDJ. The MPU’s processing power has enabled us to bring exciting new functions that weren’t possible before and gives us scope to introduce more features via future updates.”
The MPU ensures stable performance and allows for a smoother experience, such as faster-loading tracks and Hot Cues.
Priced at €2,399, another feature of the CDJ-3000 includes a Gigabit Ethernet connection for Pro DJ Link, meaning audio files can be shared and played via USBs and SD cards on up to six CDJ-3000s
Head here for more information and watch the promo video below.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash