New Music Friday: November 27, 2015

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

beartrap
Help
beartrap
R&B/Soul, Alternative

johnnygui
Not So Perfect
Johnnie Guilbert

Alternative

tillian
Perfect Enemy
Tilian

Pop, Alternative

alexschechter
Moments Like These
Alex Schechter

Hip Hop/Rap, R&B/Soul

syctyson
Franklin
Syc Tyson

Hip Hop/Rap

mar
When We Meet
Mar

R&B/Soul, Electronic

america
Archives, Vol. 1
America

Rock, Singer/Songwriter

bkduo
A Brooklyn Duo Christmas
Brooklyn Duo

Holiday, Instrumental

jkwest
Lemonade
J.Kwest

Hip Hop/Rap, Christian/Gospel

luxford
Luxford EP
Luxford

Alternative, Singer/Songwriter

Wednesday Video Diversion: November 25, 2015

Happy Wednesday-Before-Thanksgiving to all of our artists in the states! And happy Wednesday-in-the-end-of-November to all else! Whether you’re getting ready to house some turkey or you’re just browsing the blog for a distraction, we’ve got some great videos for you either way! Check ’em out after the jump.

Talkie, “Mountain”


Dustin Ruth, “Hush Baby”


Steven Monsalve, “Apple Girl”


Stick Figure, “Fire On The Horizon”


SWMRS, “Miley”


Ron Pope, “Bad Intentions”


Kero Uno, “Princess Diamond (feat. Kelsey Bulkin)”


AD Teflon Don, “I Love Puerto Rico”


T-Dhurr, “2 Nationz (ft. Hussein Fatal)”


Kero One, “In All The Wrong Places”

14 Reasons We’re Thankful to be Artists

Here in the States, we’re just two days out from Thanksgiving – a time of turkey, stuffing, football, family and friends. But this time of year goes beyond all that awesome stuff just mentioned. It’s truly a wonderful excuse to stop dead in our tracks and remember what we have and why we’re thankful for it.

We all know being an independent artist isn’t easy. In fact, it can be difficult to get down on some of the struggles, right? That’s why it’s important to remember why you chose to be a musician – why it called your name – and acknowledge that it’s a pretty incredible journey to embark on.

This year, we reached back out to our community and asked them to share with us why they’re thankful to be artists!

“I am thankful to be an artist because music and art have always been able to say what words cannot. No matter how loud or how subtle our mark is, I truly believe that every day we are given the chance to make a difference. Don’t believe me? Go to an Adele concert and then go to a political function and compare the attendance… art might be the only thing keeping the world together.”
– 
YONAS

“I’m thankful to be an artist because with a couple of chords, a melody, and lyrics I have the ability to impact somebody else and make them smile, or, even better, feel related to – even if it’s just in those 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I get to take my soul, emotion, or story and pour it into a form that can be danced to with friends, sung at the top of lungs in a car, or listened to on repeat.”
– Chloe Caroline

“Music has given me the opportunity to explore places I otherwise would have never seen and introduce myself to new friends I otherwise would have never met. So I’m thankful to be an artist because it means that every day is a chance to discover more of the world.”
 David McMillin

“I’m thankful to be able to perform and entertain people, and give them a moment’s break from their problems, jobs, relationships, etc.  That’s why I do this, that’s what Adakain is about, and I couldn’t be happier!”
– Ryan Ray/Adakain

“We’re thankful for being artists because it allows us to truly appreciate great art. Knowing that each creator has climbed their own mountain of doubt, frustration, and insecurity makes art all the more impressive, and all the more human.”
– Nikki’s Wives

“I am thankful to be an artist because it gives me a reason to get up in the morning and know that I have purpose: to be creative and to help people feel things they want to feel. When someone asks what do I do, I’m always proud to respond “I play music.” It’s our duty as musicians to help people feel.”
– Tyler Boone

“Thankful to TuneCore for putting my music in the ears of so many incredible fans. A lot of people come back to me and say that my music helps them through the dark times, and changes their life. Them telling me this, in turn, changes mine too. It’s a beautiful cycle, that I’m proud to be a part of.”
– Antix

“We’re thankful for being able to travel the world playing music with our friends. Meeting people who share our passion for music is a highlight of our job. We’re also thankful for Taco Bell.”
– These Kids Wear Crowns

“We are thankful as artists to be able to travel the country and share our music with others. We are most thankful for the opportunities our fans have given us to see the entire country and all its beauty. We are thankful for the many people we have met along the way that have shown us the magic of music and how it brings different people together.”
– First Decree

“We are thankful to be musicians because it’s the most powerful tool we know to communicate  feelings, ideas, and dreams.”
– Prinze George

“I’m thankful to be an artist because of the gift that music gives to me: It allows me to be emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually fulfilled every day. As long as I focus on living out of that gratefulness, the rest comes easy and I am able to give back to those around me more than I ever dreamt I could.”
– Adley Stump

“We’re thankful to be artists for countless reasons! One thing we especially love is getting to meet so many incredible people. It’s so inspiring for us to hear how our music has impacted them, and hearing these stories gives us more strength then our fans will ever know. It’s so fascinating how music can connect all of us in such a unique and special way.”
– Two Story Road

“I’m thankful to be an artist because I am given the chance to do what I love everyday, which is expression through singing, songwriting and performing. These are what dreams are made of and to share it with the world is the ultimate blessing.”
– David Garcia / Bridge To Grace 

Thank You TuneCore for helping me and many other artists connect and engage with our fans around the world.  No matter the physical distance – you bring us closer to our fans than ever before!”
– Denny Strickland 

 

November News From Our Store Partners

Good news. That’s what our store partners are serving up this time of year while we count our blessings and give thanks.

YouTube is busting out. Claromúsica celebrates big numbers. Amazon Music adds new features. Tidal is causing a big wave. Spotify is killing piracy.

The next few billion!

YouTube-logo-full_colorYouTube’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl is way beyond thinking about his website’s future new viewers in terms of millions. According to Money.CNN.com, he’s thinking about “the next few billion.” He credits more and more people from emerging countries logging on to the Internet for the first time, and mostly through smart phones. The 1990s and 2000s brought the wired Internet. These days the wireless Internet speaks to our increasingly mobile-first planet.

“YouTube will always have most of its money come from advertising.” Kyncl continues, “The next few billion people that will come online will most likely be only monetizable through ads.” That said, the company has launched a new $10 per month subscription service, YouTube Red, another revenue stream for artists. This is the perfect time for artists to make money from YouTube through TuneCore’s Sound Recording Revenue collection service and by collecting songwriting royalties from YouTube through TuneCore Music Publishing Administration.  

5 million subscribers in Latin America.

claromusicaClaromúsica, which publically launched in January 2015, evolved from a digital venture back in 1996 called Beon, which was owned by Grupo Carso and run by Carlos Slim Domit. It’s a division of America Móvil Group, a company owned by the father of Slim Domit, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helú, the richest or second richest man in the world, depending on the day. The online music service is a bit like iTunes, a bit like Spotify. Domit tells Billboard.com, “With Claromúsica, people can buy songs and records, subscribe to free and paid ­streaming services, and listen to online radio stations. Our market vision is regional, and we are in 16 Latin American countries.”

The service is most popular in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile, and is used throughout Central and South American and the Caribbean. Music fans can purchase monthly or
weekly packages. The Slim family seems to have the magic touch.  Claromúsica now has 5 million subscribers in
Latin America—a   muy caliente (very hot) market that likes all kinds of music. Slim Domit’s secret is catering to music fans’ tastes, “In the end, it all comes down to a service, and you can’t miss what people want.” Exactamente.

New offline listening, expanded catalogue & new territories.

2. amazon-music-logoIt’s here. The ability to download songs to an SD (Secure Digital) card for offline listening, which is the size of a postage stamp. It’s the latest advance for Amazon Music. This is great news for those with Android Wear devices who now have the ability to add saved tracks and albums from Prime Music to their phones’ SD card without taking excessive storage space. Thenextweb.com shared that news and mentioned that it is also great news for music fans with Android Auto, who like to rock and roll on the road.

Cnet.de says Prime Music is also being launched in Germany and Austria where its library is small compared to Apple Music or Spotify, but its fringe benefits are huge—for $49 a year music fans get also get movies, series, e-books, photo storage…. For artists, it’s an enticing, multi-faceted service that gets their music to fans in the Alps.

1 million reasons to ride Tidal’s wave.  

Another TuneCore alumnus is lighting up the music world. According to engadget.com, Jay Z’s pet project Tidal has just hit the big seven-figure mark. One million users are getting their kicks fromtidal logo his streaming service. The rapper, who knows how to “Run This Town,” is “Crazy in Love” with the new figures that quiet the haters and verify that he’s on course. Jay Z tweeted, “Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists,” And yes, he put it out there, “Tidal is platinum.”  

Billboard.com passed on this news from The Hollywood Reporter: To sweeten the pot for users, Tidal is adding a comedy series to the mix: No Small Talk is a standup comedy show hosted by DJ Cipha Sounds. A 35-million song library. Several thousand music videos. Tidal is creating a big wave for artists who want to get heard, noticed—and paid.

Spotify gives music piracy the beat down.

Piracy is on the wane and the super power that may be killing it is Spotify. Digitalmusicnews.com confirms that Spotify is causing a noticeable drop in music piracy. It also is reducing paid downloads from iTunes and Amazon. Here’s the math. Spotify solidly reduces illegal swapping and torrenting; 47 Spotify streams replace one illegal download. On the other hand 137 Spotify streams appear to reduce track sales by 1 unit. A European Study reports, “Our analysis shows that interactive streaming appears to be revenue-neutral for the recorded music industry.”

spotifyAirline passengers will have their choice of 30 million streamed tunes via Spotify’s new deal with Virgin America, reports Music Business Worldwide.  And we relayed some great news for artists; the new feature Spotify Fan Insights gives them a clear profile (demographics, location, preferences) of the music fans that listen to their music on Spotify.

Death to piracy. Long live money-making revenue streams for artists.

SOUND BYTES

 

November Songwriter News

By Dwight Brown

It’s that time of year when you sit back and remember the reasons why you should be thankful.

For songwriters the top of the list is often the ability to write good songs, share them with appreciative fans and collect songwriting royalties from around the world.

This November, as you count your blessings, the world of songwriting and publishing continues to turn…

Ghostwriters haunt rap music

When Meek Mill accused TuneCore alumnus Drake of not writing his own lyrics, the “Hotline Bling” rapper shut him down. Their Twitter tussle led to Forbes.com investigating the hush-hush side of the hip-hop world where some of the biggest and wealthiest rappers in the game get a hand with their rhymes. Dr. Dre and Sean “Puffy Daddy” Combs have worked with talented invisible scribes. In fact, in the Combs classic rap “Bad Boy For Life,” Combs brags, “Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks (Ha).” The D.O.C. and Eminem have left their words on others’ tracks—without a trace. And ghostwriters know full well which artists don’t want, need or use their services: Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z (another TuneCore veteran) are among those that are said to have shunned ghost writers entirely.

Forbes reports that ghostwriters are typically paid between $10,000 and $20,000 upfront for their anonymous contributions. Co-writers, on the other hand, average $50,000 and they have a very enviable fringe benefit: royalty payments that can last for years.

Ghostwriter Tracy Horton recognizes the importance of royalties. “For the first few major projects, I was so happy to be on them that I accepted it as paying my dues—I wasn’t looking for anything,” recalls Horton. After he officially wrote five songs for Supernova, the 2001 solo album of TLC’s Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopez, he saw the light. “Now I know the value of publishing.”

Ghostwriting = one paycheck.
Writing with a credit = a larger check and a royalty stream.

The National Music Publishers Association speaks out

David Israelite, Pres/CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and a tireless fighter for publishers and songwriters, has his work cut out for him. In a candid interview on allaccess.com he tackles the elephant in the room: monetization in the digital age. He breaks it down to the basics, stating that “10 years ago, everybody was afraid of theft and piracy. Now our focus has almost entirely shifted to ‘How do we monetize legal sites that are creating a tremendous amount of value?’ “

A quick roundup of the NMPA positions on three key issues outlined in the article:

  • “Fair Pay for Fair Play” Act – They support this initiative.
  • Labels and publishers teaming to maximize profits – They’re for it.
  • Freemium VS Premium streaming services – They prefer Premium,  but feel it should be up to the artist.

I feel we are making progress,” said Israelite, “There is a lot of value in music; we just want to be paid fairly. Let the free market decide, as in every other intellectual property sold on the Internet.”

Can co-writers get paid fairly without Fractional Licensing?

As initially reported by Billboard, a number of sources report that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has sent a letter to ASCAP and BMI telling them that on “split works” — songs written by multiple writers — any writer or rights holder can issue a license for 100% of the song. In other words, the long-established industry practice of each writer or publisher approving their particular share of a song in order to grant a license — also known as “fractional licensing” — may no longer be allowed.

This means that for songs written by more than one writer, if one writer has registered with BMI and the co-writer has registered with ASCAP, BMI would have the right to license on behalf of itself AND the ASCAP writer  

Executives from publishing companies have concerns: Licensees (e.g. streaming services) may pay lower royalty rates when paying one PRO versus several. Songwriters may collect less money if one PRO collects for everybody. Competition among PROs may be stifled. One PRO could take all the marbles. PROs are not set up to pay all rights holders, only their own songwriter members

Why should songwriters care?

93 of the top 100 songs last year had co-writers.

68 of those songs were registered with more than one PRO.  

The DoJ solicited feedback from interested parties and should make a decision in the near future. Here’s one artist’s Op-ed.

Unpaid Royalties. Whose money is it anyway?

Don’t mess with the royalties owed to musician and music industry critic David Lowery (founder of alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven and co-founder of rock band Cracker). He’ll call you out.  And, as reported by Hypebot, that’s precisely what he did when he wrote a letter to the Attorney General of New York, The Honorable Eric T. Schneiderman, focusing on how “Spotify routinely fails to pay songwriter royalties for songwriters who Spotify has failed to locate – but whose songs they use anyway,. 

Lowery continues, “I personally have estimated that Spotify is using over 150 songs I wrote or co-wrote … [I] am demanding an explanation from Spotify.” There is a precedent for getting unclaimed royalties to the rightful artists: in 2004, State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced a deal with the nation’s top recording companies that returned nearly $50 million in unclaimed royalties to thousands of performers. As part of the agreement, those recording companies, among other concessions, listed the names of artists and writers who were owed royalty payments on company websites. Not a bad idea.

Related article at The Trichordist: Spotify Has Apparently Failed to License, Account and Pay on More than 150 Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven Songs.

Happy Birthday (To You). Now pay the royalty!

Did you ever wonder why people sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” instead of “Happy Birthday (To You)” in films and on television shows? It’s because you had to pay a sync fee for “Happy Birthday (To You)” to the publisher, while “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” is in the public domain where no license is necessary. This may no longer be the case thanks to documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson. She was making a film about the song “Happy Birthday” and Warner/Chappell insisted that she pay a $1,500 license fee to use the composition. Nelson did not agree; instead she filed a putative class action case against the publisher in 2013.  In October 2015, a federal judge ruled Warner/Chappell’s copyright claim was invalid, giving summary judgment to the plaintiffs.  However, that was only round one.

In a major twist, a US charity, Association for Childhood Education International, filed a motion to intervene in the case. ACEI’s lawyers claim that the organization had been receiving one-third of all revenues generated from “Happy Birthday (To You)” for over 20 years, a royalty stream it inherited from the song’s original co-writers, sisters Patty and Jessica Hill, who wrote the ditty in 1922. Patty Hill was both a founding member and ‘active participant’ in ACEI. The motion hasn’t been ruled on yet. But if you want to sing Happy Birthday on network TV, it could still cost you!

If you’re interested in claiming your royalties, TuneCore’s Music Publishing Administration is here to help.

SOUND BYTES

New Music Friday: November 20, 2015

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

erynallenkane
Aviary: Act 1
Eryn Allen Kane

R&B/Soul

trapthuman
Human (Like The Rest of Us)
TRAPT

Alternative, Rock

prinzegeorge
Speed Demon (feat. Eshovo)
Prinze George

Alternative

NO BS
Brass Knuckles
NO BS! Brass

Jazz

2storyroad
Arson
Two Story Road

Country

anyamarina
Gimme Resurrection
Anya Marina

Singer/Songwriter

framptonsheridan
Half And Half
Julian Frampton & Ben Sheridan

Alternative, Singer/Songwriter

nickbean
WiFi Wifey

Nick Bean

Pop, Hip Hop/Rap

denmarkwinter
The Holiday Collection
Denmark + Winter

Holiday, Alternative

naima
Beautifully Made
Naima Adedapo

Pop, Singer/Songwriter

armon jay
Del Rio
Armon Jay

Singer/Songwriter, Folk

thesekidswearcrowns
Still Having Fun
These Kids Wear Crowns

Rock, Pop