New Music Friday: January 29, 2016

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?

whissell
Mine
Whissell

Singer/Songwriter, Alternative

betablock
What You Wanted
Betablock3r

Electronic, Dance

kiddabbs
Made To Play (feat. Trent Dabbs)
KiD

Alternative, Singer/Songwriter

tymarch
Ty March EP
Ty March

Country, Pop

blackqueen
Fever Daydream
The Black Queen

Electronic, Pop

carolculv
Caroline Culver
Caroline Culver

Singer/Songwriter

bishop
River
Bishop

Alternative

maggie lindemann
Things
Maggie Lindemann

Alternative

celebrworsh
Our God, Our Mountain
Celebration Worship

Christian/Gospel

girldreamcatc
Glowing In The Dark
Girl and the Dreamcatcher

Pop

misfitrepub
Worthy EP
Misfit Republic

Christian/Gospel, Alternative

puppet
Soft Spoken EP
Puppet

Dance, Electronic

January Songwriter News

By Dwight Brown

A New Year brings more opportunities for songwriters to get ahead.

So what’s up? Co-writers are leaving the strongest mark on top ten hits. Spotify wants to do the right thing when it comes to songwriter royalties. The digital age is heaping complications on jazz musicians, but makes composing a snap. Deaf consumers want the lyrics to songs’ in movies subtitled on the screen. Why not?

January is a great time to watch and appreciate the evolution of songwriting.

It takes a village of co-writers to create a top-ten song

Most of the top-ten selling tracks across the US, UK and Australia in 2015 contained compositions that, according to Music Business World, had one thing in common; more than one writer. Just two of 16 tracks across the three top ten charts were completely penned by the artist who performed them. 87.5% involved a third-party songwriter who was not a featured artist.

Whether the co-pilot was a hired hit-maker or intimate collaborator, it makes no difference. Essentially opportunities + teamwork + creativity = a hit. The biggest song in all three territories was Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars’ toe tapping, hip-swaying “Uptown Funk.” How many writers does it take to bring in the noise and the funk? 11!

Yep.

Billboard.com says, “The track [Uptown Funk”], which is tied for the second-longest reign on the Billboard Hot 100, initially was credited to six songwriters: Ronson, Mars, Jeffrey Bhasker, Philip Lawrence, Devon Gallaspy and Trinidad Jones. Then after the publisher for the five writers of The Gap Band’s 1979 hit “Oops Upside Your Head” lodged a claim, that quintet helped to divvy up the nearly $2M in songwriting royalties.

So, which two artists wrote their entire top-ten songs in 2015? Adele? No. Justin Bieber? No, no, no. Drumroll… 1. Fetty Wap wrote “Trap Queen.” 2. Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” remained on the U.K. charts in 2015.

Will songwriters ever get their fair share of royalties from Spotify?

spotifyThere may be light at the end of the tunnel for songwriters and publishers who want Spotify to be more accountable when it comes to royalty payments. Billboard.com points out that James Duffett-Smith, Spotify’s global head of publisher relations, detailed a plan on the service’s website that stated they “will invest in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve this problem.”

Purportedly, Spotify will work in conjunction with the National Music Publishers’ Association and other publisher organizations around the globe to build a music publishing database that, when completed, will properly manage licenses and publishing royalties distributions going forward. Spotify notes one set of challenges in paying fairly, “When it comes to publishing and songwriting royalties, especially in the United States, that’s easier said than done because the data necessary to confirm the appropriate rightsholder is often missing, wrong, or incomplete.” Even though Spotify revealed that it paid more than $3 billion in royalties to date, including $300 million in the first quarter of this year alone, some publishers are wary. What’s not debatable is that streaming royalties are an important revenue source for artists who write songs. Fingers crossed.

To read the entire Duffett-Smith blog, click here.

Composing and charting jazz music gets a digital lift

The digital age has brought jazz artists negatives and positives, notes Ted Gioia, an American jazz critic and music historian who wrote The History of Jazz. On ASCAP.com, Gioia notes that on the one hand, monetizing songwriting in the digital age is an ever-evolving challenge that requires vigilance, a strong publisher and a smart publishing administration service. His article recommends treating music as a product, not content, because people pay for product.

On the other hand the laborious task of writing charts has been streamlined. Software packages like Finale mean scores can be prepared in a fraction of the time it used to take Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie or Gil Evans to write a chart. According to an old New York Times post, Grammy-winning jazz pianist/composer Herbie Hancock has made that transition from paper to computer. Gioia reflects, “A composer can hear everything before the musicians ever see the chart. And the scores simply look so good, in their glistening Adobe pdf format. I’m almost ashamed to show musicians my old handwritten pieces.”

Advocates for the deaf want song lyrics in movie subtitles

If you’re not hearing impaired, this point of contention may have never crossed your mind. But if you’re part of the 10% of the population who has a hearing disability, you’ve probably been annoyed or ticked off that when music plays in the background of a film, and there is a vocal track with words, even if the movie is subtitled/captioned, it most often does not include the lyrics. Imagine watching Straight Outta Compton, reading the dialogue and not knowing what the rap songs in the background were saying. That’s the point: sometimes lyrics to songs are integral to getting the full intent of a movie.

Members of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf

Vector grunge style admit one movie ticket stub

and Hard of Hearing filed a particular lawsuit, in California in October, 2015, that raises the argument that studios are falsely advertising their products and violating the civil rights of deaf consumers. “While the dialogue of some movies or shows are indeed fully subtitled, the practice of not subtitling song/music lyrics is frustratingly widespread,” states the complaint. “Movies or shows that do not include the subtitled song/music lyrics withhold the full enjoyment of the movie or show from deaf or hard of hearing consumers. If parts of the movie or show are not captioned or subtitled, then deaf and hard of hearing consumers should be told as such before making a decision to rent or purchase the DVD, theater ticket, or streaming.”

Lyrics are important. Songwriters get that.

There’s room for growth and change in the world of songwriting in 2016. Let’s make it happen.

SOUND BYTES

Team up with TuneCore Music Publishing Administration

Wednesday Video Diversion: January 27, 2016

The mid-week slump is REAL. For much of us, January is a time where Wednesdays can feel like they’re a monthlong. Take your eyes off those spreadsheets, Twitter feeds, or homework for a moment and enjoy this week’s round up on TuneCore Artist music videos!


J-Key, “Right Now (feat. Tre Ross)


Caleidofonio, “Gotitas De Menta”


Meresha, “New Revolution”


Marcus Butler, “I’m Famous (feat. Conor Maynard)”


Rich O’Toole, “Too Good To Call


Miner, “Better Instincts”


Alexis Glenn, “Type of Girl”


Anna Clendening, “Relapse”


Tdot illdude, “All Good”


STRO, “Live At The BBQ ’16”

January News From Our Store Partners

By Dwight Brown

It’s a month into the New Year and a new day for our digital store partners and independent artists too.  

More music fans are watching YouTube than ever before. Deezer has gotten funded and is looking to conquer North America. Amazon Music is trying to further differentiate itself from other music subscription services. Q.SIC, a commercial music streaming service in Australia, is trying to make sure artists get their piece of the pie.

This is the way to start the first month of 2016 with a bang.

More eyes & ears on YouTube than ever before

YouTube-logo-full_colorThe statistics for YouTube are staggering.  A billion+ users—almost one-third of all people on the Internet—spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube, producing billions of views. Their watch time is up 60% year-to-year. The number of hours people spent watching videos on mobile is up 100% year-over-year.

Wow.

YouTube Red (YouTube’s subscription service), after launching in the U.S. in October, is expected to launch in Europe later this year, says MusicBusinessWorld. It opened the door in the UK and Ireland via a new licensing deal with the collection society PRS for Music. Christophe Muller, YouTube’s Head of Music, commented: “2016 will see yet more opportunities for creators, authors and composers as we launch new products and create new revenue streams.”

Note: if you’re interested in monetizing your music on YouTube, check out TuneCore’s Sound Recording Revenue collection service.

3.8 million subscribers, expanding in U.S. $109M funding

In a conversation with Billboard.com, Tyler Goldman, North American CEO of Deezer, contemplates his subscription streaming service’s entry into the U.S. and the role of non-music content.

Based in Paris, with 3.8 million revenue-generating subscribers in Deezer-logoover 180 countries, Deezer’s strategy for attracting American music fans is focusing on audiophiles who could appreciate their high-definition service, “Deezer Elite.”  Must be working – Deezer now has 300,000 subscribers in North America through its partnership with Cricket Wireless. Said Goldman, “You’re seeing a shift to not just non-music, but to a highly programmed experience. If you look to research Deezer has done, the majority of consumers want a lean back experience, and they’re willing to pay.”

As Deezer looks ahead and contemplates new customer acquisitions, it’s getting a wallop of financial support: $109 million (€100 million) of funding from lead investor Access Industries with participation from mobile telecommunications company Orange.

80M Amazon Prime Members = How many Prime Music members?

Amazon_Prime_Music_logoSubscription services like YouTube Red and Deezer have to convince new customers that streaming services are worth $10 per month. Amazon Prime Music has a different task. It has to convince a captive audience that their service is worth a go to customers of Amazon Prime—at no extra charge. GeekWire.com says there are up to 80 million Amazon Prime Members globally. And, as CNet.com points out, the ad-free music streaming service is included in the $99 annual subscription rate those 80M members already pay. All they have to do is download an app, and presto – they have the Amazon Prime Music service.

Steve Boom, vice president of digital music at Seattle-based Amazon, recognizes that years of selling vinyl, CDs, and downloads have helped them evolve into an enticing ad-free streaming service: “We have a first-row seat at exactly what people’s music purchasing behaviors had been. With Prime Music we wanted to address the customer who wants access to a lot of music… without all the interruptions [ads].”

Boom acknowledges that Amazon is the buffet table and Prime Music a tempting dessert: “You come to the home page. You might be going to shop for a new tablet… laundry detergent, garden furniture or a new record, videos… you’re going to see this [Prime Music] promotion. That’s pretty powerful.”

Streaming music to Aussie businesses is good for everyone

Finding a streaming service in Australia or New Zealand is a snap if you are an individual music fan. CNet.com lists Deezer, Google Play, Guvera and Spotify among 15 possibilities. However, for businesses, choices are fewer, and the aforementioned services are not legal options. Legally, they’re for personal use only.

So, why should artists care?

Actually, reaching businesses could be a huge opportunity for artists. A single stream of a song at home is likely to reach just a couple of people. At a store or a venue, the audience size is much larger. So in fairness, the royalty rate needs to be adjusted so artists are paid appropriately. Makes sense, especially if you’re an artist, right? The commercial streaming service Q.SIC meets this need. It makes sure artists get their fair share of royalties and that businesses can have legal access to mood-setting music for their clients. Hospitality chains are happy: “We rolled it out across all our hotels and have never looked back,” says the Co-founder of the Sand Hill Road Group. The owners of Mecca Stores chime in, “Branded curation delivered effortlessly to stores, that’s why we use it [Q.SIC] Australia wide.”

Aussies have better in-store experiences. Artists get paid fairly. Not bad.

2016 has just started and already the world of independent artists continues to look up.

SOUND BYTES

TuneCore ArtistsAdd your new music to stores today.

Non-TuneCore ArtistsJoin TuneCore today.

New Music Friday: January 22, 2016

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?

blanning
Like a Lion EP
Bryan Lanning

Pop, Singer/Songwriter

djhary
Darshan (feat. Geeta Zaildar)
DJ Hary

World

sammeans
10 Songs
Sam Means

Alternative

mcera
True That
Michael Cera

Alternative, Folk

hoodieal
Happy Camper
Hoodie Allen

Hip Hop/Rap

midnightbeast
Going 2 Miami
Midnight Beast

Comedy, Hip Hop/Rap

annaclendening
Relapse
Anna Clendening

Pop, Alternative

brandy
Beggin’ & Pleadin’
Brandy

R&B/Soul, Blues

zachherron
Timelapse
Zach Herron

Pop

rob$tone
Chill (feat. Davi$ & Spooks)
Rob $tone

Hip Hop/Rap

Submit Your Love Themed Track for our Valentine’s Day Compilation!

You know TuneCore loves helping indie artists of all genres get their music into digital stores and streaming platforms year-round, but it’s our pleasure when we get the chance to put together a compilation that showcases the wide range of variety and talent stemming from our community of music makers.

Whether it’s about heartache or a ballad for your significant other, we’re looking for new tracks from TuneCore Artists that are All About Love. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, what better way to get in the mood than to help OTHERS get in the mood!

Past TuneCore promotional compilation albums have seen over 300,000 downloads, and they consistently rank in the Top 10 for free albums on Amazon Music around their release dates.

allaboutlove

To be considered for our All About Love 2016, just fill out the form and remember these key points:

-All TuneCore Artists are invited to submit new music for inclusion on the compilation.

-In order for a song to be considered, it must be distributed by TuneCore between January 21  and February 4, 2016 and the entry form must be submitted by February 4, 2016, midnight EST.

So come one, get goin’!  Click here to learn more and submit your new music.