A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: YEBBA
On a few rare occasions, you can witness the moment when an artist shifts gear and becomes global. That is what is happening with Yebba. Her latest track, Boomerang, is a tour de force, combing silky grooves in the verses with gut-punch power in the choruses. Abigail Elizabeth Smith, (born January 16, 1995) known professionally as Yebba, is an American singer and songwriter from West Memphis, Arkansas. She first became known for a backing vocal performance on SNL performance and since then has collaborated with Sam Smith, Mark Ronson, Stormzy, Ed Sheeran, and Drake. She enters her debut album, Dawn, into a crowded field of female, high-wire divas, but somehow has found her sweet spot. With Yebba you always get the feeling that less is more. She can blast her pipes, but more often than not, she uses calmness and subtlety to hammer home her message.
#yebba #samsmith #markronson #stormzy #edsheeran #drake #dawn #racarecords #snl
AD OF THE WEEK: JOHN LEWIS
You know it’s Christmas time when the iconic John Lewis ad rolls around and this one is one of my favourites. (No spoilers here). The storyline is really clever in that it develops the characters of the two leads within a few short scenes. And as Aristotle said, “Character is action”, so we are in good hands with these filmmakers. John Lewis has also given members access to the interactive game Unexpected Guest: The Experience, which features scenes from the ad, augmented reality characters, and printable surprises to download, all while searching for stars to complete a star card. As per tradition, the clip features an emotional cover song, this year it’s a cover of Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder’s 80s hit ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ performed by Lola Young.
ADELE: RECORD SETTER
Adele’s latest track “Easy on Me” broke all records, again. 137m views on YouTube and 189m on Spotify since Oct 15 and counting. These numbers are all the more impressive because she has not released anything since 2015. Regardless of whether one thinks this is a classic recording, matching her earlier heights, the song has resonated with a wide demographic across the world. What does this mean? It means that Adele’s search for true love and the pain she has endured when it has eluded her still connects with humanity. My personal feeling about this song is that it requires a huge dollop of courage to lay one’s soul bare with only a piano for support. The melody works its way into your ear, not necessarily in the most welcome way, but Adele’s voice – powerful and controlled – elevates the whole to some kind of universal truth. Questions remain as to what that truth is, and perhaps that ambiguity is the song’s most potent force and makes us come back for more.
ANDERSON .PAAK LAUNCHES NEW RECORD LABEL APESHIT INC IN COLLABORATION WITH UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP
Four-time Grammy Award winner Anderson .Paak has launched a new record label called APESHIT INC. in collaboration with Universal Music Group (UMG).
APESHIT INC. will be based in Los Angeles and it says that it will announce details of the label’s debut signings and releases shortly.
UMG will provide global support for APESHIT INC. artists and releases through its network of divisions worldwide.
Anderson .Paak says that his vision is to create a label that “will showcase all genres” of artists and “push musicians that play instruments to the forefront”.
“The label will look to raise the bar on music with its selection of artists, no gimmicks, no button-pushing, just raw talent,” adds a press statement announcing the launch.
ROCK HALL 2021: JAY-Z INDUCTED BY OBAMA AND DAVE CHAPPELLE, DELIVERS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: WATCH
Jay-Z was the penultimate act honored at the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tonight. His introduction video featured a huge roster of celebrities and significant figures, including Beyoncé, LeBron James, Chris Rock, Sean Combs, and Samuel L. Jackson. After the video, there was another pre-recorded message from former President Barack Obama, and then Dave Chappelle delivered Jay-Z’s formal induction speech.
Watch the Jay-Z speech below
SPOTIFY SUBSCRIPTIONS REACHED 172M IN Q3, UP BY 7M ON THE PREVIOUS QUARTER
Spotify published its financial results for Q3 2021 today (October 27), revealing that its global Premium Subscriber base grew to 172 million in the quarter (ended September 30).
That was up 19% year-on-year, and up by 4%, or 7 million subscribers, on the 165m that SPOT counted at the end of the prior quarter (Q2 2021).
The company’s total global Monthly Active Users, (MAUs), meanwhile, grew 19% year-on-year to 381m in Q3 2021 and by 4% compared to the previous quarter (Q2 2021) when the platform counted 365m MAUs.
Spotify’s guidance for Q3 2021 included total MAUs of between 377-382 million, total Premium subscribers of between 170-174 million.
Spotify’s Premium subscriber growth translated into Premium revenue of €2.178 billion ($2.52bn at current exchange rates) in Q3, which was up by 6% on the €2.056 billion ($2.38bn) generated in the prior quarter (Q2 2021).
The firm’s average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) landed at €4.34 ($5.03) in Q3, up 4% year-on-year (up 3% year-on-year at constant currency). SPOT says that it “saw a benefit to ARPU primarily from our price increases”.
ROLAND’S V-MODA RELEASE REVOLUTIONARY WIRELESS EARBUDS
V-Moda, Roland’s high-performance audio brand, has just introduced the Hexamove, the world’s first truly wireless earbuds.
The Hexamove, which comes in Lite and Pro variants, boasts audio performance “straight from the DJ booth,” with 6mm drivers in each bud producing “powerful bass, vivacious mids, and pristine highs,” according to V-Moda.
Red, white, and black are the three colours offered for the Hexamove Lite buds. There are three different ways to wear it. There are six unique fitting possibilities for Hexamove Pro, however, it is only available in black or white. Listeners will be able to mix and match fins, ear hooks, and three in-ear fittings to get the perfect fit for your ears, according to V-Moda.
Customers may also use a neck strap and stabiliser to keep the earphones from falling out. Additionally, the V-Moda app’s equaliser tool will allow them to adjust audio on the Pro earbuds.
The V-Moda Hexamove earbuds are now available on Amazon and the V-Moda website.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Badger
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