In a recent Wall Street Journal OP-ED, Taylor Swift shared an overall optimistic view of the future of the music industry. While new challenges certainly do exist for artists, the world’s top-selling musician believes that the key to success in the future is doing a better job of engaging fans and creating memorable experiences for them.
Pandora has pioneered an agreement with indie rights coalition, Merlin, to skirt the standard rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board. This will offer independent artists better pay per stream and better exposure on the streaming service. The deal is the first of its kind, enabling independent labels and distributors to negotiate with a major streaming service directly.
Nielsen, one of the top music industry reporting agencies, has released its middle of the year report. Overall albums sales have dropped due to the increasing popularity of streaming, while vinyl record sales have jumped a remarkable 40%. Here’s why one of recorded music’s oldest formats may be the key to producing a profitable album.
Over 700 independent record labels have signed a declaration to compensate artists fairly. The “Fair Digital Deals Declaration” will commit labels and companies to pay artists without hidden fees and confusion. The declaration couldn’t be more timely, as some major streaming services have come under recent fire for their minuscule royalty rates.
Last month Google bought Songza, the playlist curation and music streaming service. While they haven’t said how Songza’s technology and playlists will be incorporated into Google’s products, such as Play or the new Youtube streaming service. It’s certainly a notable acquisition as streaming services are continuing to proliferate.
You can add the mobile app to your list of possible album formats. Norwegian artist Jarie Bernhoft released an app for his newest album that allows fans to listen to it in HD, make their own remixes, watch 3D video and view exclusive material and photos. So far, the fan response has been good and some music industry watchers are saying it could pave the way for the future of iOS music.
Another commercially-focused HD audio player is coming to the music world. The Geek Wave, a mobile audiophile-grade DAC by Light Harmonics, raised over 3,000 per cent of its IndieGoGo campaign goal. It features the ability to playback virtually any digital audio format available, from MP3 to DSD128–all for less than $500.
The continuation of net neutrality, the principal that says all Internet content ought to be delivered equally and fairly, is now under serious consideration by FCC after a court ruling in January. If the FCC decides to allow the ruling to stand, effectively abolishing the rule of net neutrality, the effects will almost certainly be detrimental to independent artists and musicians. Here are three ways it could specifically ruin the Internet for indies.
As streaming continues to boom, causing music sales to decline, the traditional measures for a record’s success have been updated by RIAA. Streams will now contribute to a record’s total unit count, but at only a rate of 1/100th of a sale.
The first ever award show for stock music composition and production will take place this fall. Set to take place in London, the Library Music Awards will look to champion the “best and brightest” makers of stock/production in the music industry, by presenting awards in a dozen categories.