Scenes From TuneCore’s Austin Office Open House

During TuneCore’s 2016 Austin Takeover the week of SXSW, we threw some pretty amazing music showcases at the Vulcan Gas Company. Additionally, we took some time to celebrate our newly minted office in Austin’s SoCo neighborhood by getting to know members of the Governor’s offices, mingling with TuneCore Artists, and welcoming other members of the music community.

Amy Lombardi, Joe Cuello, Scott Ackerman, Brendon Anthony, Shelby Kennedy, Kedar Frederic
Amy Lombardi, Joe Cuello, Scott Ackerman, Brendon Anthony, Shelby Kennedy, Kedar Frederic
Scott Ackerman, Shelby Kennedy, Governor Greg Abbott, Brendon Anthony
Scott Ackerman, Shelby Kennedy, Governor Greg Abbott, Brendon Anthony

On March 17th, TuneCore CEO Scott Ackerman, Entertainment Relations Vice President Shelby Kennedy, and Austin-based Entertainment Relations Manager Amy Lombardi were guests of Governor Greg Abbott’s Capitol Salute to Texas Music, an invite-only reception at the Governor’s Mansion celebrating Texas music and the Texas music Industry.

Brendon Anthony, Texas Music Office Director
Brendon Anthony, Texas Music Office Director
Joe Cuello, Amy Lombardi, Kelley James, Scott Ackerman, Shelby Kennedy, Phillana Williams
Joe Cuello, Amy Lombardi, Kelley James, Scott Ackerman, Shelby Kennedy, Phillana Williams

Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony introduced the TuneCore team to Governor Abbott, who greeted them with great enthusiasm. He showed appreciation for setting an example to companies around the country and world who can be fully supported by the state when they bring their music business to Texas. It was a special experience for everyone, and the Governor’s Mansion is truly beautiful!

Later that day, our favorite local, Amy Lombardi, welcomed executive staff from our Brooklyn, Burbank, Nashville, Boston and Atlanta offices, as well as our partners at Believe Digital and TuneCore Japan for a fun ‘Team Hang Out’, (she also introduced everyone to the magic of green chili queso!).
Ichiro Nada, CEO TUneCore Japan & Takuto 'Tacto' Yoshino
Iichiro Noda, CEO TuneCore Japan & Takuto ‘Tacto’ Yoshino
A morning Open House then took place on Friday, March 18th, during which we shared our new space with the Austin music community, artists, and colleagues from around the world.
TuneCore Artist Kady Rain
TuneCore Artist Kady Rain

Folks came out early to show love for TuneCore (and donuts) and hear words from our CEO Scott Ackerman, our CCO Jose Cuello, and Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony. Mr. Anthony thanked us for bringing our presence to the Austin music economy and spoke at length on the ‘Live Music Capital of the World.’

A huge thanks is in order to Governor Abbott, Brendon Anthony, and everyone who was able to join us. Texas sure has a way of making us feel welcome!
Chris Mooney, Royce Bale of A3C, Scott Ackerman
Chris Mooney, Royce Bale of A3C, Scott Ackerman
Catch up on all the fun we had at our TuneCore Austin Takeover events at the Vulcan Gas Company below:

March Songwriter News

By Dwight Brown

Spring forward. Get ahead.

The publishing industry is becoming an investment goldmine. Artists who applied to a songwriting competition TV show get a wakeup call. A Berklee professor sues Spotify, while Spotify settles with NMPA. A hot debate over the length of copyright terms erupts.

There’s a lot going on for songwriters.

Michael Jackson’s estate scores $750m payday through publishing.

“An important, unrealized asset in this business is music publishing,” says Paul Young, a music industry studies professor at USC’s Thornton School of Music. “You’re giving permission to use a song … to a radio station, film company, TV company. Transactions that are far less threatened by music’s digital revolution.” His remarks are quoted in Marketplace.org’s article “Why Music Publishing is Still Lucrative,” which highlights the $750m mega deal Michael Jackson’s estate scored for selling its 50% share of Sony/ATV.

The Guardian breaks down impressive numbers for a company that owns the publishing rights to some works by The Beatles, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga:

1985: Jackson buys ATV Music for $41.5m ($11m cash investment).

1991: Jackson sells 50% stake in ATV to Sony for $100m.

2016: Jackson estate’s sells 50% share of Sony/ATV to Sony for $750m.

Publishing gave Jackson, posthumously, his most massive payday ever. Way bigger than Thriller. And Billboard is quick to point out that the lifetime earnings from the original deal are closer to 1.31b, when annual dividends and other fees are included. Making Jackson’s song “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” sound prophetic.

Controversy regarding Songland TV show stresses songwriter rights.

March 20, 2015, Billboard ran an article spotlighting a new NBC show for songwriters called Songland, that would be produced by Dave Stewart, Audrey Morrissey (The Voice EP) and Adam Levine (The Voice coach). “While artists make money on songs that they record, songwriters have multiple avenues and points at which they can generate hefty revenue from their works.”

In March 2016, Hypebot featured a guest post by entertainment attorney/blogger Wallace E.J. Collins III Esq., in which he delved into onerous details on the Songland Submission Form.

Key areas of concern:

  • NBC owns all rights to use and exploit all songs involved in show. Songwriters lose rights to songs that weren’t even selected.
  • Songwriters waive rights to royalties and rights to sue.

Wallace, never assuming malicious intention, still made clear points:

  1. Most songwriters make their life’s savings off just a few big hits and giving away their best work for free is extreme.
  2. Writers should read all of the language in any agreements and decide if the risk is worth the reward.

Shortly, Billboard relayed an exclusive from NBC which stated that the language on the submission form had been changed to alleviate writers’ concerns. Morrissey clarified, “We wish to be abundantly clear that by signing the casting application, songwriters do not transfer ownership of any of their original songs. This show is truly a celebration of songwriters and their craft.” Problem solved and several lessons learned.

Berklee Prof. sues Spotify. Spotify settles with NMPA. Now what?

Billboard notes that singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick (an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music) and the law firm Gradstein & Marzano filed a class-action suit against Spotify. “They’ve infringed on 127 of my copyrights. Infringe-now-and-pay-later cannot become the norm,” says Ferrick. Her lawsuit follows one by Cracker frontman David Lowery. Both are complicated by a recent settlement…

The National Music Publishing Association (NMPA) announced its $30m settlement between Spotify and its members over over unlicensed and unpaid mechanical royalties due to publishers and songwriters. Billboard.com reports the agreement covers the period between Spotify’s inception through June 30, 2017. This settlement, together with the pending class action suits, serves to highlight the absence of (and real need for) a centralized and reliable database covering all music rights. In the wake of these legal actions, several companies have come forward with proposed solutions to this problem. 

To reduce or not to reduce Copyright Terms? That is the question.

In a guest post on Hypebot Stephen Carlisle, of Nova Southeastern University, contemplates the possible demise of the current copyright term: Life plus 70 years after death for a human author, or 95 years for a corporate author. Post 70/95 years, a song enters public domain and is available for anyone’s use—free.

The rationale for supporting shorter terms:

  • If copyrights are in public domain earlier, the public benefits.
  • A copyright length of 14 years is close to that in the first copyright law.
  • Protection offers negligible incentives to authors.

Carlisle counters with reasons for the longer copyright terms:

  • The Berne Convention, signed by U.S. and 170 nations, commits to a minimum copyright term of ‘life of the author plus 50 years.’
  • Terms begin upon death and a 14-year term cheats heirs out of viable income from songwriters who die young. (E.g. Kurt Cobain died at 27.)
  • The 5th Amendment to the Constitution states that “…private property [cannot] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Shortening copyright terms may not be such an easy feat, all things considered.

It’s now common knowledge: Publishing is a really, really smart investment. Writers should read agreements carefully before signing. The fight for proper compensation for songwriting is a work in progress. Copyright terms make a big difference.

This spring is a great time to have TuneCore Music Publishing Administration in your corner, and remember with TuneCore, songwriters always retain 100% of their songs’ rights.

SOUND BYTES

Wednesday Video Diversion: March 30, 2016

Happy Hump Day! Spring is underway and even if it’s raining where you are right now, it’s likely that you’ve been spending your afternoon looking out a window or staring at a screen. Why not switch it up with nice medley of music videos from TuneCore’s best and brightest?!

Miya Folick, “Oceans”


RIVVRS, “I Will Follow You”


Natasha Mosley & Zaytoven, “Face in the Pillow”


Leviticus Singers of Charlotte, “WIN”


Lazyeyes, “Adaptation”


AROC, “O.M.E.G.A.”


Deraj & B. Cooper, “Squad (feat. Derek Minor)”


Sherrod White, “Made It (feat. Hillary Hand)”


E-Train, “Wreck the Discotech”


About A Mile, “Taking Back”

March News From Our Store Partners

By Dwight Brown

It’s spring. It’s a time for growth. Change is in the air at our digital stores.

  • New Google Play Music app adds YouTube video search.
  • CÜR streaming launches and targets the tech savvy crowd.
  • Spotify finds a new way to highlight emerging artists.
  • Rhapsody is growing faster than daisies on a spring lawn.

New update pairs YouTube videos. New desktop app saves time.


YouTube-logo-full_color copyA new update to the Google Music app will allow users to search for YouTube videos from within the app, reports Radio & Internet News. The upgrade will only show music-related video hits, such as clips with official audio or a cover of a track. In version 6.4 of the app, video results will appear for all users, including paying listeners and non-subscribers. This comes as other streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal) are also sticking their toes in the video content waters.

In other Google Music news, Huffington Post notes that an updated version of Google Play Music Desktop Player, a third-party app, has launched for Mac and Linux, making listening to the service a smoother desktop experience. Music fans no longer have to open a tab on a web browser to listen to their favorite music. They can use media keys to navigate tracks, utilize voice controls and custom hotkeys, and use less memory.

Well-connected, interactive music fans get a new playground.


CÜR Music launched after a successful round of funding that put cur_logo_blue copy$1.75m in their coffers. Radio & Internet News states that late in 2015, the streaming service was billing itself as “a social, mobile and web streaming music application.” In 2016, CÜR’s identity has been fine-tuned to “a mix of internet radio, expertly curated stations and your own playlists all-in-one.”

A CÜR rep lauded other compelling features: “A ‘CÜR8’ profile allows a select number of on-demand songs that the individual can change daily. Listeners will be able to personalize their experience with photos and videos, as well as sending songs to their friends.” For artists who create their own CÜR8 profile, there is a clear opportunity to showcase songs, interact with fans and send messages. Luckily for everyone, sharing works in both directions.

Spotify shines a new light on emerging, undiscovered artists.


spotifySpotify’s new Fresh Finds playlist is a hybrid of human curation and data-driven algorithms designed to bring music fans the best from both types of playlist creators. Spotify’s programmers will follow blogs and music sites to scout out the latest new talent and use data from listeners that have been identified as tastemakers. Their searches are designed to break the next big act, says Radio & Internet News.

“By analyzing the listening behavior of our top tastemaker users, we’re able to predict new breakout artists and filter their hits-to-be into playlists with the most promising new music out there,” says Dr. Brian Whitman, Spotify’s principal scientist.

Music Business Worldwide lists the five Fresh Finds genre categories: Fire Emoji (hip-hop), Basement (electronic), Hiptronix (vocal pop), Six Strings (guitar driven) and Cyclone (experimental). A new door is opening for emerging TuneCore Artists who want to reach Spotify’s 100m users, 30m of which are now paid subscribers.

Rhapsody now in 34 countries. Subscriber base grows 45% in 12 months.


Rhapsody and TuneCore go way back. It was one of our first digitalrhapsody928 music stores. Back in the day, it was the first streaming service to make it possible to share full-length, licensed songs on twitter using Audio Card. Now it’s stepped up its game big time: 3.5m global subscribers. A presence in 34 countries. A 45% growth in less than 12 months. Additionally, in 2015, it refreshed its core app experience.

2016 comes along, and now gamers can stream music from Rhapsody through their Wii U console, via a free app from the Nintendo eShop. Rhapsody subscribers with Wii U systems can begin listening immediately and Wii U owners who aren’t yet Rhapsody or Napster subscribers can sign up for a 30-day free trial. Game on.

Thanks to a new partnership with BandPage, music fans who are rocking out to a favorite artist on Rhapsody’s mobile app can receive push notifications on their phone that indicate when that artist is playing a gig nearby. There are even links to purchase tickets via third party services. The new feature is available on Android, with support for iOS coming soon.

SOUND BYTES

It’s springtime 2016, and digital stores are blooming with fresh ideas for our artists. Spring forward.

TuneCore Artists — Add your music to new stores today.

Not a TuneCore Artists yet? — Join TuneCore today.

New Music Friday: March 25, 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?

chellaH
No Filter
Chella H

Hip Hop/Rap

sammyadams
The Long Way
Sammy Adams

Hip Hop/Rap, Pop

metal church
XI
Metal Church

Heavy Metal, Rock

gungor
One Wild Life: Spirit
Gungor

Alternative, Christian/Gospel

Austin Lindsey Adamec
Austin & Lindsey Adamec
Austin & Lindsey Adamec

Christian/Gospel

rivvrs
Unfamiliar Skin
RIVVRS

Singer/Songwriter, Alternative

natasha mosley
Re-Up
Natasha Mosley

R&B/Soul, Pop

lost settlers
Look To The Stars
Lost Settlers

Rock, Alternative

bro safari
Snap
Bro Safari

Electronic, Dance

theclox
Can You Get to That
The Clox

Pop, Alternative

jillandrews
Siren Song
Jill Andrews

Singer/Songwriter, Pop

wyclefjean
My Girl
Wyclef Jean

Pop, World

DAY 1 Recap: TuneCore Austin Takeover 2016

If you were following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook during the week of SXSW, or reading the blog leading up to it all, you already know we did it big this year.

Five events. More than forty artists. One venue.

We couldn’t be happier with how our TuneCore Austin Takeover went. Over the course of three days we were able to showcase amazing talent, throw raucous parties, connect with independent artists who use TuneCore, and partner with Swisher Sweets, WorldArts, and Mirrored Media to pack the Vulcan Gas Company on 6th Street. Not to mention, we received over 16,000 RSVPs on Do512 for our five events!

“TuneCore’s AustinTakeover was an incredible experience. It is a privilege and so much fun to spotlight the amazing up and coming talents on TuneCore like Jacob Latimore, Taylor Bennett, Miya Folick, and Trevor Wesley alongside legends like Wyclef Jean, Talib Kweli, and Waka Flaka Flame.

And the varied styles over the week represent the breadth of what a TuneCore artist is – they can rock the house like Fantastic Negrito, Towkio, and Ron Pope or be intimate performers like Ciaran Lavery, Airlands, and The Wealthy West. “

– Chris Mooney, Sr. Director of Artist Promotions & Strategic Relationships

Welcome

It all started Thursday, March 17th with our TuneCore Indie Artist Forum party. As some of you know, our friends at WorldArts gave several TuneCore artists the chance to win slots during the Austin Takeover.

Trevor Wesley

Winners Flight of Ryan kicked the party off right! They were followed by Trevor Wesley, who was no stranger to TuneCore’s live events and made himself quite comfortable crooning on stage for an engaged crowd.

Lena Fayre 1

As fans filtered in an out, attendees were treated to fantastic performances from the likes of Grayshot, LazyEyes, Lena Fayre and Baby E.

Towkio

Chicago MC Towkio revved up the crowd when he jumped into the crowd, juking, rapping and involving the whole room.

Blondfire

Blondfire, another LA-based act who has enjoyed playing TuneCore Live once before, wowed a packed room full of fans who were lucky enough to catch them early in their trip to Austin.

Checking out 6th street

The roof deck was hopping, the drinks were cold, and the Swisher Sweets were burning. The energy that filled the Vulcan set the tone for what was to come.

DSC_1150

Check out our recaps for Day 2 and Day 2, plus more footage from Day 1 of our Austin Takeover in the gallery below!

Day 1 Party Photo Gallery: