Jadakiss drops a visual to the street anthem “Realest In The Game” off his Top 5, Dead or Alive album. Producers Arkatech Beatz laced him with a hard street banger that will have your face mean muggin. We do wish Young Buck and Sheek Louch were on this video version because they delivered some of the hardest featured bars on the album. But we’ll take this for now. Maybe something will be in the works for later. Read More ›
YouTube Music is designed to help users quickly find music videos, tracks, artists and albums, as well as remixes, covers, lyric videos and concert footage. It also provides a leanback experience that creates endless playlists for users, based on their previous selections.
“Today, any artist can upload a video to YouTube and get discovered by over 1 billion people around the globe,” wrote T. Jay Fowler, director of product management, music, products, for YouTube, in a blog post announcing the launch “That global exposure has allowed YouTube and Google to pay out over $3 billion to the record industry to date. But it’s also provided an incredible source of promotion for artists, helping fuel ticket sales, move merchandise, and boost album and song downloads. Just this month, Adele’s “Hello” became the fastest rising video of the year on YouTube, while also breaking the record for first week download sales.”
Subscribers to YouTube Red, the platform’s subscription service launched last month, will be able to experience YouTube Music ad-free, play music in the background and listen to music offline. YouTube Red also includes an audio mode for the Music app that lets users play songs without loading video.
Used in concert with YouTube Red, YouTube Music is essentially a refinement and re-branding of its YouTube Music Key subscription service, launched in beta in Nov. 2014. Priced at $9.99 a month ($12.99 for iOS devices), Red also gives free access to Google Play Music, which is currently priced at $9.99 a month all by itself, as are competitors Spotify and Rhapsody.
The debate continues to rage over the proportion of streaming revenue paid to songwriters and publishers vs. that passed to record companies and artists. One of the justifications you often hear for labels continuing to take the lion’s share of payouts from Spotify etc. is that they invest a huge amount more in A&R than those who develop songwriters. Not true, says UK Music’s new Measuring Music report. According the trade body’s numbers, record labels spent £178m on A&R in 2014. That was certainly ahead of the investment in songwriters made by music publishers – but by less than you might assume. Publishers spend £162m on writers in the year, according to the UK Music report. If you count that as ‘pure’ A&R investment, it was just £16m behind their peers in record companies. (In like-for-like terms, this is a rough approximation: the publishing figure – drawn from MPA data – is defined as ‘investment in writers (advances etc.)’, while the record label figure – derived from BPI data – is defined as pure ‘A&R expenditure‘.)
Universal Music Group’s income from digital recorded music fell by €17m ($18m) in the three months to end of September, compared to the prior quarter. And parent Vivendi is pointing the finger at one culprit over any other for the dip: Apple Music’s free trial. According to MBW analysis, Universal turned over €450m (€485m) through digital music services in Q3.As previously reported, 51% of this figure came from streaming across ad-funded and subscription – the first time in UMG history that the format had overtaken downloads as a revenue driver. That means that the likes of YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music drove €229.5m ($247m) in the quarter for UMG.Downloads, meanwhile, fell in value by 8% for the company in Q3 – down to €220.5m ($237m). (A bit of reverse engineering, and we can work out that in Q2, downloads contributed around €239m ($257m) to UMG’s bottom line.)Hooray for streaming? Hang on a moment. Let’s take a closer look at UMG’s recent quarterly digital income.
Video game accessories, peripherals, and hardware company Razer has sold over 17 million connected devices, including Razer Blade gaming laptops and Razer Nabu smartbands. The gaming company, which is valued by many analysts as being worth $1 billion, has entered the music business with Razer Music.
Every new 2015 Blade laptop will come with a free key to download a copy of Image-Line’s FL Studio Producer Edition software, which is used by professional music producers and artists across multiple genres. In addition, Razer Music has created a free online site featuring weekly tutorials and insights on the future of music production from established artists in the EDM genre such as deadmau5, Dyro, Project 46, Zircon, as well as in the hip-hop space, like Drake’s producer Metro Boomin.
“I’ve had a lot of people reaching out to me directly online from both the music and the gaming worlds saying they’ve watched my tutorials on the new Razer Music platform and found them helpful, so it’s cool to see great responses from both sides,” Dutch House producer Dyro says. “It’s united both industries and technologies together–and what’s better than music and gaming?”
Those two industries have been intertwined for decades. And Razer sees this new venture as a natural extension of its business model. Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer, says the lines dividing music and gaming from a commercial point of view were altogether obliterated with the advent of online content distribution in both industries.
At this year’s SXSW music conference, no less a figure than Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist, was discussing a $64,000 question shared by brand marketing and procurement execs the world over:
“How much is music worth?”
It’s a pertinent question.Especially in the YouTube era where, to all intents and purposes, music has become a ‘free’ commodity to an entire generation – some of whom are joining the marketing profession.
Those who ignore the finer points of intellectual property do so at their peril As envisaged by David Bowie more than a decade ago, music now flows openly like water. Fans no longer need to plumb the murky waters of Pirate Bay since the entire history of music, licensed or otherwise, is now available at a click. However, against this consumer backdrop of diminishing value, for brands and their agencies, negotiating the price of music licences for marketing communications remains a minefield.
The music rights landscape is fragmented and complex – controlled by record labels and music publishers – and those who ignore the finer points of intellectual property do so at their peril. (On this point, Bowie’s future-gazing went somewhat awry – in 2002 he also predicted that “copyright…will no longer exist in 10 years”