A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: CASSANDRA JENKINS
How cool is it to be able to release a single when most of the song is talking? That is what Cassandra Jenkins, a New York-based singer-songwriter has done. “Hard Drive” is the second single from Cassandra’s latest LP, “An Overview on Phenomenal Nature.” It features Jenkins talking in a quintessentially American female voice, while her band settles into a sax-fueled pop groove. The stories she weaves are mesmerizing, as is her delivery. With lyrics like “her gemstone eyes caught my gaze”, she drops the listener right in the mix. It is difficult to describe the feeling the song elicits, listening to Jenkins enunciate every syllable with a languid precision, but the overall effect is that when you get to the end of the song, you want to hear it all over again.
AD OF THE WEEK: CLIENT EARTH PLAYLISTS
ClientEarth, the environmental group, has just released its latest ad concept #PlaylistsForEarth. Ahead of COP26, and five years on from the Paris Agreement, the climate change advocate has joined forces with musicians, record labels, and festivals to reframe the climate discussion through uniquely curated playlists. ClientEarth is an environmental charity with a unique approach – using the law to create powerful change that protects life on earth. Here at This Week in Music, we support this initiative 100%, and the playlist is pretty good too. From agency Fred & Farid, New York.
ANNIE MAC IS LEAVING BBC RADIO 1 AFTER 17 YEARS
“I will be coming back to radio broadcasting when the time is right.”
Annie Mac is leaving BBC Radio 1. The Irish DJ, tastemaker, festival founder and Mother Mother author announced the news earlier today (20 April) on colleague Greg James’ BBC Radio 1 Breakfast show. Her last show will take place on 30 July.
Mac, who joined BBC Radio 1 back in 2004, acquired a devoted following of musicians and music lovers alike during her tenure. In a new statement shared earlier today, Mac says: “It’s time to tell you, my listeners, that after 17 years, my last show on @bbcradio1 will take place on 30 July 2021.”
Mac later states that she plans to return to radio broadcasting “when the time is right.” But for now, she just wants to thank her fans. “In my time on Radio 1, I have fallen in and out of love, moved homes, climbed up the career ladder, got married and become a mother twice over, alongside you doing your versions of the same,” she says. “Thank you for allowing me into your lives. Thank you for brightening my days. Thank you thank you thank you for listening.”
Clara Amfo is set to take over as the host of BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds from September 2021.
APPLE MUSIC REVEALS THAT IT PAYS ONE CENT PER SONG STREAM
In a recent letter to its artists, Apple Music revealed that it pays one cent USD per song stream to its artists. The payment rate is approximately double of Spotify‘s rate for payments. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple Music sometimes dips below a penny, but is still evidently higher than Spotify’s average per-stream payout of half a cent USD.
Though Apple has announced a higher payout, Spotify still has more paying members than Apple Music. In the final quarter of 2020, Spotify reported 155 million premium users, garnering over 345 million users overall. In 2019, Apple disclosed that its music component had over 60 million users. On average, Spotify users stream more music than other platforms like Apple Music and Tidal. The company is a major revenue driver in the music industry, reflected through its recent shareholder payout of around $6 billion USD last year.
In the letter to artists, Apple also added that it pays out 52 percent of Apple Music subscription revenues to record labels. This differs from Spotify as two-thirds of its revenue goes to rights holders. The Recording Industry Association of America reported streaming to make up 83 percent of the music industry’s revenue in 2020.
BOOMTOWN 2021 CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF GOVERNMENT-BACKED INSURANCE
Could this be the first of many festival cancellations in the UK this summer?
Boomtown has cancelled its 2021 edition.
The festival cites the lack of government-backed Covid-19 cancellation insurance as the reason for postponing the event until next year.
This means that any festival putting on an event in the UK this summer will be doing so without insurance that will cover them should Covid-19 prevent them from going ahead.
In a statement on its website, organisers of Boomtown said: “We are sorry to bring another round of heartbreaking news to you all and sadly it feels a bit like déjà vu, as almost a year ago we had to break some identical bad news.
“We have been doing everything within our power to try to find a solution to the mind-boggling conundrum of putting on a safe and well-run event to the sheer scale, complexity and intricate nature of Boomtown this year.
“However, the time has simply run out for us to be able to proceed in a way that would live up to our high safety and production standards for the large scale event we had planned.”
Organisers added that if they were to gamble and the festival would be cancelled they would lose an 8-figure sum. The festival which was due to take place between 10-14 August in Winchester has confirmed that all tickets will be rolled over to next year’s event.
BOWERS & WILKINS LAUNCHES PI7 AND PI5 PREMIUM TRUE WIRELESS EARPHONES
Bowers & Wilkins has launched the PI7 and the PI5, two new true wireless earbuds models, which it says don’t compromise “sound quality for wireless convenience.” The PI7 supports Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive wireless transmission from compatible mobile devices. That allows it to deliver premium audio quality while also making sure that the audio is synced while you’re using your headphones in a place where a lot of other people are using Bluetooth earbuds.
The PI7 has a four-hour battery life, while the PI5 can last up to 4.5 hours on a single charge.
Both models support Siri and Google Assistant, depending on the paired device, and both can be paired with multiple sources. They come with a charging case, as you’d expect, but the PI7’s has an interesting feature: it can connect to an audio source by 3.5mm or USB cable and then wirelessly retransmit audio from that source to the earbuds.
They’re officially available from Bowers & Wilkins in white and charcoal. The PI7 will set you back $399, while the PI5 will cost you $249.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash