YouTube Music is here, and it’s a game changer

YouTube is first and foremost a video portal, the world’s largest and most popular online collection of moving images. But it’s also a search engine, the world’s second largest, trailing only its parent company, Google. And while the library on YouTube is made up of videos, in practice it has also become the world’s largest streaming music service, used by more people than well-known names like Spotify or Apple when it comes to consuming songs and albums.

Today, the video giant is rolling out a new app, YouTube Music, that attempts to capitalize on its dominance in this space. The app is free, and you can use it in free, ad-supported mode, but it becomes a lot more powerful and interesting if you pay for a YouTube Red subscription.

The fact that YouTube Music and Google Play Music both exist is a touch confusing, especially since you can use them both for free, but they both add a bunch of features if you subscribe to YouTube Red. The best way to understand the new music app is to think of Facebook. Just as the social network broke out Messenger into its own so it could optimize the experience, YouTube now has dedicated apps for its three most popular verticals: kids, gaming, and music.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theverge.com

How Bitcoin’s Blockchain Could Fix The Music Industry’s Payment Problem | Musonomics

Professional musicians know that royalty payments and the concept of transparency are mutually exclusive. As we mentioned briefly in our seventh episode , “The Transparency Moment,” the current performance royalty payment system is antiquated and fragmented. Payments can take months to be sent out and usually arrive via paper check. Some payments don’t even reach rights holders because records of who owns what are incomplete or incorrect. Those payments are trapped in what David Byrne calledthe music industry’s black box. Black box lost revenues are said to be in the millions of dollars, but we might not be locked out of that box forever. 

Cracking into that revenue is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry and the solution might be found in blockchain, an important part of the inner workings of Bitcoin. But before we get into how to solve one of the music industry’s biggest conundrums, let’s take a look at the conundrum itself.

Each time a song is broadcast via terrestrial or digital radio — in supermarkets, cafes, your Spotify feed, or anywhere trackable — the broadcaster owes the rights holder a performance royalty payment. To receive those payments, rights holders must sign up with a Performance Royalty Organization (PRO) like the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) or SESAC, who collect those royalties for their members — but that’s not such an easy task. Payments per play or stream are often tiny, micro-payments no more than .0015 cents per stream, and there are thousands upon thousands of them pouring in every minute. PROs are stuck with huge mountains of data to sift through without an adequate system by which to process, accredit, and pay-out all those streams, micro-payments, and corresponding royalty checks.

Here’s where Bitcoin comes in:

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, unregulated by a central bank — but any currency needs a method by which to keep track of itself, and for Bitcoin that method is a permanent public ledger called blockchain. Through a process called “mining,” every Bitcoin transaction is tracked and recorded on the blockchain. You can see where each bitcoin changes hands, to whom it was sent, and from whence it came. This allows transactions to be completely transparent, preventing money from being skimmed or otherwise improperly distributed by a middleman.

In theory, a like-minded system could be implemented for royalty payments in the music industry. This would create a central database containing information for all rights holders, streamers, broadcaster, and record labels. Using a similar process to Bitcoin’s “mining” we could track how often each song is played, automatically compute who is owed how much money, and distribute the royalty payment to the correct parties. The author, publisher and label could all be payed exactly what they’re owed in a dramatically shorter timeframe.

D.A. Wallach, investor and artist-in-residence at Spotify, explains blockchain and the music industry in a simple way, comparing it to a VISA system for royalties. The VISA credit card system is the underlying structure that connects most major banking transactions throughout the world. You might use Bank of America in the United States, and another person in Brazil might use Citibank, but the VISA system is what allows those two entities to communicate and perform transactions. The blockchain could become the music industry’s common system in which all involved parties —  Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, the PROs, songwriters, performers, and publishers — can communicate and keep record of their communication.

Of course, this is easier theorized than done. In 2008, EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes started the Global Repertoire Database Working Group (GRD WG) in an attempt to create a blockchain-inspired system for the music industry. The GRD WG never made it off the ground. In 2014, after spending $13.7 million, the GRD WGwas abandoned because of coordination issues, lack of quality technical guidance, and a misalignment of interests among major PROs in the U.S. and Europe.  

Any new royalty payment system will only be possible when the US Copyright Office updates its policies and frameworks to allow the growth and regulation of such a system. PROs will have to learn to work together amidst interests that are not always 100% aligned. Moreover, running and maintaining a system that processes such a large amount of data on a daily basis, as the GRD WG learned, is expensive — and there’s no clear party willing to pay. However, if these obstacles can somehow be conquered, blockchain could be a vital part of a new-look music industry where transparency and timeliness aren’t just fantasy and the music industry’s black box is no more.

by Alonso Villagomez

Sourced through Scoop.it from: musonomics.org

Jadakiss Taps Platinum Producers Arkatech Beatz For Top 5 Dead Or Alive | Arkatech Beatz – Platinum Producers/Beat Makers

Jadakiss Taps Platinum Producers Arkatech Beatz for Top 5 Dead Or Alive Legendary lyricist, Jadakiss – is the latest artist to become part of platinum

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.arkatechbeatz.com

Loud Records Wishes Big Pun Happy Birthday

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Today marks the birthday of one of Hip Hop’s legends Big Pun. Yeah I said legends. You see there is no other artist that encompass such a variety of characteristics in an artist like Pun. Yeah sure there are other artist that can spit a hot 16 or (12 these days) but none that can combine lyrical content, flow, delivery, wittiness, charisma, charm, confidence, sex appeal (for some), and still “187 on an undercover cooooooooop” like Pun. Even some of your favorite rappers lack in at least one of those areas. Ok with the exception of B.I.G I’ll give you that but that’s about it.
Because of who he was and his great contribution to Hip Hop tons of fans, artist, and producers send up a mention every year on his birthday or anniversary of his death. Today is no different, but it is always a pleasure to see the ol staff of Loud Records come together and give it up for their artist who is arguable mentioned in the category of Top 5 Dead or Alive. Check out some of the heartwarming posts below courtesy of Instagram. Happy Birthday Pun.

Happy B Day Pun thank you @fatjoe for you guys making history
-Steve Rifkind (@steverifkind)

Celebrating the life of #BigPun today 11/10/15, one of kind, noted as the first platinum, latino solo MC, a bunch of us consider ourselves blessed to have shared in a small piece of his legacy. A real comedian, most of the time, his humor will always stand out to those who had the honor of knowing him personally. #PackingTheMacInBackOfTheAc #Twincito #TheCrusher #LOUDsounders for life
-Schott Free & Matty C (@FrozenFiles)

I was fortunate enough to work with Pun as an A&R and producer(100%). I remember meeting him with Matty C and schott free in a Mobb Deep session for the first time. He had us laughing a lot at all times…. I remember being in the Capital Punishment sessions and watching him take a deep breath a spit “Dead in the middle of Little italy…” This dude changed my life. I was blessed to be involved. Crazy thing is i have no pics with him. This is him with my son in my old office at #LoudRecords. Happy Birthday #BigPun Thank you.
-Sean C (@itsSeanC)

Happy Birthday to the homie Big Punisher. I will never forget your contribution to Hip Hop or the impact you had on my life. We had many memorable moments, conversations, and of course jokes about various topics within and outside of music. It still saddens me to this day that you are no longer physically around. I could only imagine the quality of music you would be producing today. I just want to say today on your birthday that I truly appreciate you believing in me and giving me the opportunity to showcase my musical talents next to yours. It was clear that you knew your destiny was for greatness, and it’s a joy knowing that you saw something in me that was able to contribute to it. Unfortunately some people are just now realizing your talents and appreciating your legacy. I guess it’s better late than never. I’m going to end this simply with the memorable quotable I said on your first albums skit “Thanks Pun”.
-Mike”Trauma”D (@arkatechbeatz)

#Salute #BigPun #ChrisRivers #OffTheBooks #Rip #Bx #Ts #NYC #HBD
-Chef Lowe (@Cheflowe)

We’ll miss one of the best to touch the mic
-Curry (@CurryKid46)

Can YouTube Finally Get Music Right With New Subscription Service?

On a sunny October morning in Los Angeles, a few hundred YouTube staffers, video personalities and media types are gathered at the company’s ­massive 41,000-square-foot West Coast outpost, which, in a simpler age, served as Howard Hughes Airport. The indulgent trappings of a web 3.0 business are all here: free campus bikes, arcade games, photo booth and a massive 36-screen monitor by which YouTube will introduce its newest product, YouTube Red. The $9.99-per-month ­subscription service features original video programming, ad-free audio and video, offline playback, continuous ­streaming, song recommendations and access to the Google Play Music ­subscription service.

The presentation is led by chief business officer Robert Kyncl, 45, now in charge of business development for both YouTube and Google Play Music, who declares YouTube Music is about “artists and fans ­connecting through songs.” YouTube users, he says, don’t just listen to or watch music; they share, remix and cover songs on a ­platform that can reach a billion people a month.

YouTube’s Robert Kyncl Overseeing Google Play: Exclusive

With that kind of reach, why is YouTube Red competing with other $9.99-per-month ­subscription ­services like Spotify, which has roughly 20 million ­subscribers, as well as music and video offerings from Amazon and Apple? Kyncl says the company’s impetus was a desire for dual revenue streams — labels and publishers prefer the royalties of subscribers over “freemium”; the new system would provide both — and better features for users. “It could be transformative for the industry,” he says. “That’s why we decided to invest into it.”

But the music biz isn’t ­necessarily cheering. After 10 years of living as uneasy bedfellows with YouTube, complaints of comparatively low revenue paid to rightsholders for their content persist.

“YouTube and Google have been borderline criminal in the way they approach the proper ­exploitation of copyrights,” says Robb McDaniels, former CEO of digital distributor INgrooves, comparing the company’s massive scale to the low ad-based revenues it pays. Matt Pincus, founder of SONGS Music Publishing (Lorde, The Weeknd) concurs. “YouTube was super hostile to music,” he says, pointing to challenges he has faced working with the service on ­identifying content, ­collecting ­revenue and removing ­unlicensed music — although he notes things have gotten “quite a bit better” in the last three years.

While Kyncl doesn’t address those charges directly, he stresses the company’s desire to work with the music business on solutions. “The door is open for suggestions for better business models to drive higher engagement and revenue,” he says. “We have common goals — we’re leaning into the industry more than ever.”

So how do the numbers shake out? Billboard ­estimates ads at YouTube and Vevo made roughly $230 million for labels from the 85 billion streams tracked by Nielsen Music in 2014. By comparison, 79 billion on-demand audio streams by Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio and others ­generated roughly $630 million — nearly three times the ­revenue per stream of video. Why the difference? Partially because every stream at Spotify is ­monetized; not all YouTube and Vevo streams are accompanied by ads due to fears that too many of them will repel viewers.

YouTube’s Ad-Free Subscription Service YouTube Red Arrives

Kyncl calls such ad-revenue estimates “incorrect,” putting YouTube’s global tally over $3 billion in ­payouts to rightsholders since 2007. While Kyncl declines to provide further details, he adds that “ad ­revenue is very significant and growing.” On the accusation of mismanaging copyright, a YouTube representative says, “We’ve invested tens of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of engineering hours into building one of the most sophisticated copyright-management ­technologies on the planet, Content ID.” 

Yet to the music business, that revenue is dwarfed by the prospect that high-value subscribers can offer: According to Spotify’s ­financial statements, 91 percent of revenue comes from subscribers, who make up just 27 percent of users. It’s tantalizing to consider the revenue that even a fractional percent of YouTube’s billion users converted to subscribers could add to the music business’ diminished coffers.

Of course, there’s no guarantee YouTube can attract these high-value subscribers. YouTube Red is not the platform’s first foray into music subscriptions: That came in 2014 with YouTube Music Key, which never made it out of beta and will be put out to pasture at the end of the month. Says Kyncl: “One thing we learned from Music Key was that features like offline playback, background listening and no-ads didn’t work across all of YouTube content. That’s why offering the service across all of YouTube was a key user requirement for us.”

But can a free, ad-supported video site with music videos coexist along side a subscription service? Kyncl cites anecdotal examples: the high rate of music-­subscription adoption in Spotify’s home country of Sweden, where YouTube is fully available, for example, and the uptick in U.S. music ­subscriptions, which grew by nearly $100 ­million year over year, according to the RIAA. And then there’s Adele, whose “Hello” video clocked 100 million YouTube views in less than five days while also becoming the first song to sell 1 ­million ­downloads in a week. “That’s further proof that YouTube is a great place to discover content and drive commercial activity around it,” says Kyncl.

What remains unclear is the overall impact that YouTube’s freemium tier will have on ­consumers’ decision to plunk down $120 a year for what is essentially added convenience. Skepticism aside, the music industry would love to see the paid ­platform succeed, albeit with terms more ­favorable to rightsholders than they currently see. “Paid models are always significantly better for songwriters than advertising models,” says David Israelite, head of the National Music Publishers’ Association, echoing a widely shared sentiment. “I’m rooting for YouTube Red’s success.”

This article was originally published in the Nov. 11 issue of Billboard.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.billboard.com

Jadakiss Taps Platinum Producers Arkatech Beatz For Top 5 Dead Or Alive

Jadakiss Taps Platinum Producers Arkatech Beatz for Top 5 Dead Or Alive

Jadakiss Taps Platinum Producers Arkatech Beatz for Top 5 Dead Or Alive

Legendary lyricist, Jadakiss – is the latest artist to become part of platinum producers Arkatech Beatz long list of production credits.  Jadakiss collaborates with Arkatech Beatz on his new album Top 5 Dead Or Alive on the song entitled “Realest In The Game”.  Jadakiss enlists G-Unit’s own Young Buck and the Lox’s Sheek Louch on the track. 

We’ve been waiting on the right time and right artist for this record.  Jadakiss was perfect match for the track, he never disappoints” – Mike “Trauma” D.
  
Jadakiss is a special type of artist and we wanted to deliver something that would be memorable.  I think people will be talking about this record/album and debating on their top 5 for a long time.” – Jugrnaut 

Order Jadakiss New Album Top 5 Dead Or Alive

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Could Messaging Apps Kill Music Streaming Services?

Could Messaging Apps Kill Music Streaming Services? – Cuepoint – Medium

WhatsApp and other one-to-one applications may impact how we share and consume music in the future

If you have any spare time this week, it’s worth spending some of it digging through Michael Wolf’s massive tech industry prediction deck. There’s a ton of stuff to comb through and play with, but one of the most interesting things I saw was the astronomical rise of messaging apps, specifically WhatsApp. That one-to-one or small group communication is taking off is an interesting counterpoint to the services that encourage users to share their thoughts and images with the entire world. It’s also worth considering how the rise of messaging apps will impact how we share and consume music in the future.

There are a handful of music messaging apps, including Music Messenger, which raised $30 million before being pulled from the Apple and Android app stores (womp womp). There’s also RithmMSTY, and Ditty, all of which have users, but none of them seem to have exploded. Given the way things are going, it probably won’t be too long until one of these services, or something similar, starts blowing up. The question then becomes: what does it look like when people start consuming music one-to-one, or in small groups, rather than on big library-style platforms?

Sourced through Scoop.it from: medium.com

Where Indie Artists Are Making Most of Their Money

Independent artists have never had access to so many customers. A single distributor can get an artist’s music into digital services around the world. U.S. artists were getting Spotify royalties before the service was available stateside. Now they’re getting royalties from Deezer, Bloom.fm and other services not yet available in the States. Since distributors have added their catalogs to YouTube, independent artists can reach listeners through the world’s most popular video service. Read More »

Music Streaming Now Generates Trillions Of Plays -But Are Royalties Keeping Up?

Billions were too small to measure the number of streams tracked by Next Big Sound in the first half of the year. In its mid-year report issued this week, the music analytics company says it tracked a gigantic 1.03 trillion music streams from a host of popular streaming services.  

“The mission here is full transparency in the music industry,” writes Next Big Sound, smartly acquired by Pandora three months ago in its report of social data on the music industry, in a report describing the growth of music streaming and social media’s impact on the business. (On being bought the company writes that its response “is a self-satisfied grin… we now have the most comprehensive overview of the industry we’ve ever been able to deliver.”)

The headline number in the report is 1,032,225,905,640, or 1.03 trillion, the number of song plays on Pandora, Rdio, Spotify, SoundCloud, Vevo, Vimeo and YouTube that the company tracked in the first six months of this year. It’s a startling number, much larger than anything we’ve seen before it.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.billboard.com

The Evolution Of Music Copyright Law And How It Affects Creators

Before 1972, there was no copyright protection for sound recordings, at least not on the federal level. Since then, the rules surrounding SR copyright have changed quite a bit, particularly in the age of digital streaming. This article looks at how music’s copyright laws have developed over the years and how these developments have affected revenue.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.hypebot.com

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