Tag Archives: spotify

August News From Our Store Partners

By Stefanie Flamm

August was an especially busy month for our stores and streaming services, with even some of our more niche partners making big news:

  • iHeartRadio’s listener rate is skyrocketing, surpassing 10 million new registered users within the last seven months.
  • Shazam is soon to become a household name with the new Fox game show Beat Shazam.
  • After its recent acquisition, eMusic is taking another crack at their audiobook subscription service, eStories.
  • Spotify targets a fresh new audience with their Kids & Family genre channel.


iHeartRadio is celebrating its five year anniversary with 90 million registered users.


Since their launch in 2011, iHeartRadio has quickly become the
largest radio outlet in the United States. This month, they got to celebrate even more as they reached 80 million registered users; 10 million of which were earned in just the last eight months.

iHeartRadio’s catalogue features over 30 million songs from moreiheartradio than one million artists worldwide. As iHeartRadio continues to grow, they are putting more focus on customizable and curated content similar to Spotify’s Discover Weekly or Apple Music’s For You playlists.

“Radio continues to evolve — and so does iHeartRadio. We know our users want to listen to our broad range of content on the device of their choice — and we also know they want to enjoy amazing stories that have emerged from the recent podcast boom or hear their hometown DJ wherever they travel,” said iHeartRadio President Darren Davis. “For those reasons and more, people continue to embrace iHeartRadio, and it’s reflected in the continued rapid growth of our registered user base.”

Congratulations to iHeartRadio, and wish them even greater success in the future!

Fox has greenlit a new game show that could make Shazam a household name.


shazam928After seventeen years and countless advancements in cell phone technology, Shazam is already a widely-known brand. Some may even say it’s taking on the likes of Kleenex and Post-It, with its brand being almost universally synonymous with the action of song recognition. However, this fall might make the brand even more popular, after the new game show Beat Shazam premieres on Fox.

In the wake of American Idol’s final season ending, Fox has been in the market for new unscripted content. Keeping in line with Idol’s musical competition style, Beat Shazam will be the Jeopardy of musical game shows. Shazam already has “Beat Shazam” quizzes on their site, but Beat Shazam will involve a round where contestants compete against each other. The last person standing competes in the final round to beat the app itself.

Fox has not yet announced when Beat Shazam will premiere, or where it is set to fit into their programming schedule, but we’ll be looking forward to testing our own skills alongside those competing on TV.

eMusic is revamping its service by reintroducing its audiobook subscription service, eStories.


After being acquired by Triplay last autumn, eMusic has been on theeMusic fast-track to rebranding and retooling their service. One of the many improvements CEO Tamir Koch has been working on is the re-launch of their audiobook subscription service under the new name eStories.

With rating systems, features reviews, and author bios, eMusic’s chief mission is to expose listeners to new books, almost like the audiobook version of the literary site Goodreads.

“We’ve wanted to get into the booming audiobook business for many years,” said Koch. “It is a great companion to our other services and perfectly suited to our technology, digital media experience and ability to offer the same unlimited cloud storage our users have enjoyed for years.”

Boasting a catalogue of over 80,000 titles, eStories is priced at $11.99 per month ($3 a month cheaper than Audible). With apps available for both Android and iOS devices, the revamped audiobook service may bring more attention to eMusic as a whole.

Spotify expands its reach, offering a relaunch of a Kids & Family category to its browse feature.


spotifySpotify is attempting to create a new generation of listeners by re-launching the Kids & Family section of their browse feature. The section now features an array of “Let’s Sing Together” playlists, from “Going on a Drive,” to “Folk for Kids,” to even “Para Dormir” for Spanish-speaking listeners.

The playlists are focused on providing learning and language opportunities for listeners, as well as an opportunity for parents to engage with their children. Sound bites from celebrities such as Tyler Perry, Busy Phillips, and Sarah Michelle Gellar are interspersed between songs to provide games and conversation topics for parents and kids.

The songs on the playlists themselves cover a lot of ground, as well. From tried-and-true classics like The Wiggles, to songs from E.R.A.’s RnB Nursery Rhymes, the playlists are a diverse blend of songs that kids and parents can both enjoy.

The Kids & Family category is part of Spotify’s “social good” initiative in an effort to provide more readily-available educational musical content. Spotify works with the Family Independence Initiative to gain feedback from listeners in their network and award funding to artists who host musical activities for children and families.

As one of TuneCore’s most successful genres, we hope to see our artists featured on these playlists in the future.

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4 Ways To Engage With Fans in Digital Stores

You already know how to get your music into over 150 digital stores and streaming services worldwide – whether it’s a single, a brand new EP/full-length, or even just a cover song to surprise and delight your fans with.

And while it’s easy to get caught up with the desire to end up on Spotify playlist or get featured in the iTunes Store, independent artists often overlook some even easier ways to solidify their presence and interact with fans in some of these well-known streaming and download platforms.

Let’s take a look at a few simple ways you can engage fans and make your music easier to find when they come hunting:

spotify

1. Set Up a Spotify Verified Artist Account

Start building a community of fans who want to discover music through you – with a Spotify ‘verified artist account’ you can let your fans know when you’ve made a  playlist or share a new song. Your account will be linked to your discography pages, (making them easily searchable) and you’ll be creating a direct-to-fan channel within Spotify.

Once you’ve distributed your music to Spotify and signed up for your own account (avoid signing up with a Facebook profile), head over to this site to complete Spotify’s “Verification Form”. Be prepared to have a URL to a hosted 200×200 pixel profile image on the form. Click here to download a PDF of Spotify’s “Best Practices Guide”.

Next, add a playlist to your account (make sure to ‘right click’ on the playlist name to ‘Make Public’) – that way, you’re not launching an empty page.

Finally, share it with your fans! Copy and paste the playlists’ ‘http link’ and let your fans on Facebook and Twitter know you’re open for business.

2. Get Access to Spotify Fan Insights

Last November we reported on one of Spotify’s coolest roll-outs: Fan Insights. Now you can find out who your fans are, where they are in the world, how they listen, what their other musical preferences are and how they engage.

spotify fan insightsYou can still head over to Spotify’s Artist site and request access to the beta version of Fan Insights here.

 

Google Play

3. Set Up a Google Play Artist Page

If you’ve distributed your latest releases using TuneCore, it’s pretty likely that you’ve decided to include Google Play in the stores we send your music to. And why wouldn’t you? Google has risen to the ranks as one of the biggest household names in digital media, and Google Play serves as it’s platform for getting music, videos, apps and more in the hands of fans.

Selling your music, personalizing your store page and reaching users with your music on Google Play is easy! After you’ve made sure that your music has gone life on Google Play, head over to the Google Play Artist Hub.

Google Play Artist Hub

From there you can sign in with your Google account, find your artist name, and you’ll even be able to use a credit card (without being charged) to protect against “artist impersonation”.

apple music

4. Claim Your Profile on Apple Music Connect

By now, Apple Music has made enough headlines and become enough of a go-to platform for so many fans that as an indie artist, you want to make the most of it. Apple Connect is described as a ‘place where musicians give their fans a closer look a their work, their inspirations, and their world.

When you claim your profile on Connect, you can engage directly with your fans and share audio, photos and videos. Get started by visiting this site and signing in with your Apple ID.

AppleMusicConnect2

From there, you can search for your artist name or paste a link to your iTunes artist page and claim that profile.  Additionally, you’ll be asked for your Artist Management and Label contact information – keep in mind, TuneCore does not fulfill either of these, so if you’re lacking this information, just put in your own personal contact information twice and move on.


Now that you’ve stepped up your store game, head over to your social media profiles and break out that email list – it’s time to start sharing some links!

May News From Our Store Partners

By Stefanie Flamm

You can finally put away your winter coat and grab your shades, because summer is upon us and a lot of exciting things are going on with our digital store partners.

  • Rhapsody launches virtual reality streaming of exclusive live performances.
  • Spotify updates their subscription plan to compete with Apple Music and Google Play.
  • Guvera launches 3.0, making their app an immersive music and entertainment hub for users around the world.
  • Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book sets new records, Apple Music’s exclusivity reigns supreme.

Keep Reading!

Rhapsody VR changes the game for live concert streaming


Rhapsody just took a huge leap into the world of virtual reality with their new streaming service, Rhapsody VR. The service is the first of its kind, designed specifically for music and concentrating on exclusive, 360º coverage of live concerts.

While other streaming services are offering similar live concertrhapsody928 footage on their platforms, Rhapsody VR is unique in its interactive 360º coverage. Shot onstage, right beside the performers, the viewer can choose their own concert experience. And while the service is most compatible with Google Cardboard viewers, you can also watch on iOS or Android devices directly through the Rhapsody VR app. You can even sample the VR service on YouTube with TuneCore artist Talib Kweli’s “Get By”.

Rhapsody is excited about the future of VR, and expects that it will become increasingly popular in the music scene in years to come. “Music lovers around the world can experience a live concert for free from anywhere — the comfort of their home, their local watering hole, or wherever they have a cellular or WiFi connection,” Rhapsody shared in a statement from May 19th. “Musicians can share live performances with more fans… expanding their base of listeners and sharing more music with the world.”

With Rhapsody’s plan to release new content monthly, it will be exciting to see how VR influences the concert-going experience in the future.

Spotify goes head-to-head with Apple Music and Google Play with new family pricing model


Spotify has decided to give Apple Music and Google Play a run for their money when they announced their new Family Subscription Plan on May 23rd.

spotify300The pricing models for all three services are now identical, with individual accounts priced at $9.99/mo. and $14.99/mo. for up to six users. This is a big change from Spotify’s old pricing model, which could cost up to $29.99 for five users.

In the wake of millions of users subscribing to Apple Music and TiDAL for their exclusive content, matching the pricing models of these streaming services will be crucial to Spotify’s success.

The new family plan covers up to six users across the world, and existing accounts will remain intact and separate, keeping user content personal. Spotify is partnering this deal with an individual new-customer offer of $9.99 for 3 months of premium service.

It’s already looking like the new pricing will entice some fresh subscribers, and more subscribers may result in a higher per stream payout for independent artists.

Guvera launches their new platform, providing a comprehensive music experience for their users.


Guvera’s commitment has always been to connect brands and consumers through music and entertainment, and they took this mission one step further this month by introducing Guvera 3.0.

The re-launch of their service is marketed as a “new immersive music and entertainment platform” where brands can connect with consumers through Music Channels and Guvera’s new Social features.

The streaming service offers genre and mood-specific channels, as guvera1well as an opportunity for brands to offer exclusive content on their own channels. Channels can feature customized content including video, photos, blog content, and even competitions hosted by the brands themselves.

Guvera Social will offer brands an opportunity to connect with consumers through targeted updates, exclusive offers, and content sharing. With this service, brands can even make music recommendations to their consumers.

In their May 14th announcement, Guvera Head of Product, Robb Snell, is quoted, “…it’s all about discovery; discovery of a brand’s music recommendations, products and services all presented by a range of diverse content. Our Channels shine a spotlight on the underlying culture that drives artists and delivers a more immersive entertainment experience for our listeners to engage with the brands they love, when and how they want to.”

Chance the Rapper’s new album proves that Apple Music exclusivity is working for the store.


Chance the Rapper made history this month by releasing the first album to score a top 10 debut charting based solely on streaming.

apple-musicColoring Book has already collected over 57.3 million streams since its May 13th release date, ranking it #8 on the Billboard 200 album charts. Chance also made an impact on the Billboard Hot 100, with “No Problem (feat. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)” coming in at #86 and “Blessings” taking home #93 on the charts.

After Drake’s resounding success with his Apple Music-exclusive release of Views in April, Coloring Book is proving to be another huge win for the store. Apple Music has brought in over 2 million subscribers since February, undoubtedly related to the collective success of Views and Coloring Book. And while Coloring Book was made available on Spotify, Rhapsody, Deezer, TiDAL, and Google Play as of May 27th, the two-week exclusive was a big success for Apple Music.

TiDAL and Apple Music have both used exclusive streaming content to give their stores an edge, but the Billboard success of Coloring Book is a victory on the side of Apple Music.

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April News From Our Store Partners

By Dwight Brown

It’s springtime and that change you feel in the air is progress being made by our digital store partners.

  • Tidal grows by leaps and bounds, becomes the top music app.
  • Apple Music offers exclusive Drake release, creates a new patent.
  • Saavn launches original programming, teams with a U.S. tech firm.
  • Spotify partners with Billboard to give music fans a new experience.

Read on.

Nascent Tidal grows faster than the speed of sound, becomes #1 US music app store.


Tidal’s subscription base has grown from 540,000 since its purchase in March 2015 to a whopping three million+ according to Music Business World.

Credit Tidal’s quick rise to headline-grabbing premiers. Rihanna’s hittidal logo album Anti debuted exclusively for streaming on Tidal, as did Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo (per Rainnews.com) which was also available for purchase on his own website, during its initial release. Rainnews.com goes on to argue that West “Redefined albums in the streaming age” when Yeezy continued to tinker with the album after it started streaming, even adding a track after its release.

Beyoncé’s latest effort Lemonade, a “visual album” including 12 songs and videos, also premiered on Tidal. Additionally, as Prince is on everyone’s mind and in their thoughts these days, TIDAL benefited from being the only streaming service to host his full catalogue of around 270 songs.

With so much popular music premiering exclusively for streaming on its platform, it’s no wonder “TIDAL is currently (as of April 24, 2016) the most popular music app on the US App Store – above both Pandora and Spotify,” reports Music Business World.

Drake is faithful to Apple Music. Apple’s new technology can clean up dirty lyrics.


apple-musicNot to be outdone in the exclusive premiere department, a Music Business World article confirms that Drake’s new album, Views (Aka ‘Views From The 6’), scheduled for release on Friday, April 29, is going to be an Apple Music streaming exclusive. As you can tell, Drake is excited:

“Thank you Apple Music – always, man; thank you to Jimmy [Iovine] and thank you to everybody who supported the two singles that we dropped, Pop Style and One Dance.”

Remember, Hotline Bling, with its popular video that was financed by Apple, premiered on Apple Music and took a month to make the rounds to other services.

Looks like “windowing,” the choice to selectively distribute music through certain key channels, at selected times, is here to stay.

Apple is making inroads in other areas too, reports Billboard. It’s been granted a patent for a technology that can automatically scan streamed songs and edit out offending lyrics, making the tracks “clean,” or more family-friendly. 

Saavn ventures into the worlds of original programming and mobile payments.  


An article in Forbes.com announced this month the launch of Saavn8. Saavn-Logo-Horizontal-Green-1000 Original Programming, in partnership with India’s radio icon Neelesh Misra, podcast network Indus Vox Media and digital media brand Arré.

“With this launch, we are turning Saavn from a music-only product to a millennial entertainment platform with the best music experience, groundbreaking original programming, and a true home for artists and creators,” said Saavn co-founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra.

Saavn is also teaming up with the U.S. based FinTech (financial technology) company Mozido to make bill paying, financial services and exclusive offers a whole lot easier for its 18 million users. According to India Times, the music-streaming app currently in 196 countries and territories inked a multi-year agreement with the U.S based mobile payments company. “Saavn Pro offers a compelling value to its users with unlimited downloads, removal of advertising and higher quality audio files. We will explore loyalty programs,” said Michael Liberty, founder of Mozido.

Spotify and Billboard are making beautiful music together.


spotifyBillboard announced it has tapped Spotify to be its exclusive streaming partner for 2016. The deal tasks the streaming service with powering the playback of music listed in more than 75 Billboard music charts, as well as providing a weekly New Music Fridays editorial feature and three additional Spotify-centric charts.

These three new Spotify-driven charts will be published weekly on Billboard.

  • The Viral 50. Songs with a high volume of social and sharing activity, like TuneCore artists Nipsey Hussle & YG‘s “F— Donald Trump”, Area21’s “Spaceships” and Emir Taha’s “Ultralight Beam.”
  • The 30-track Velocity Chart. Songs that are blowing up on Spotify, like TuneCore artists M-City J.R.’s “Addicted to my Ex.”
  • The Spotify Rewind tally. Highlights five songs for each decade from the 1960s through the 2000s.

Remember that exclusive Apple Music scored with Drake? Turns out, even though his new music has been appearing on Apple Music first, Drake is still the most streamed artist on Spotify via PlayStation, which is an increasingly popular way for fans to listen to Spotify’s music.

Meanwhile, Rihanna is now the biggest artist overall on Spotify with 31.3M active fans worldwide. That’s despite being a shareholder in Tidal and offering that service first dibs on her music.

It’s springtime and our store partners are growing and finding innovative ways to showcase artists’ music.

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TuneCore Artists — Add your music to new stores today.

Not a TuneCore Artists yet? — Join TuneCore today.

Billboard to Partner With Spotify

It was announced today that Billboard has named Spotify as their exclusive streaming partner. This will enable Spotify to be the official provider of “playback of more than 75 Billboard music charts”, as well as a new editorial feature focused on Spotify’s increasingly popular New Music Fridays playlist and several ‘Spotify-centric tallies.’

These three new Spotify powered song charts – to be featured on Billboard.com with a weekly cadence – include:

  • Viral 50 – This chart will mirror Spotify’s now-well-known US Viral 50 playlist.
  • Velocity – This chart will contain 30 editorially selected songs whose popularity is experiencing rapid growth relative to the previous week.
  • Rewind – This chart will feature five songs from each decade – 1960s-2000s – ranked by popularity and ‘weekly revival.’

On the other end of this partnership, 75+ Billboard charts will be available on Spotify via Billboard’s profile.

Some of you as artists may be wondering what this means why it matters. While not everyone involved with making music reads Billboard religiously in 2016, the publication has been one of the most historically influential resources for fans, artists and industry folks alike. As time has waned on, Billboard has adapted not only by offering charts that reflect the popularity of releases, but also by providing industry-minded insight, commentary and news content that have established them as a thought leader in the music space.

Now, to most of us, that’s not news. But when you think about the way we (musicians, journalists, industry people, and fans) have remained fixated on the future of music streaming, the announcement of Spotify – a leader in world of streaming globally – and Billboard partnering is pretty big stuff!

While the educated music fan already has their streaming preference, (many of them card-carrying Spotify Premium subscribers), this partnership further solidifies not only that streaming is here to stay, but that leaders like Spotify are going to continue to pave the way in making sure even more music fans can appreciate the benefits of it.

Read more about the Spotify/Billboard partnership here.

As the world of digital music continue to evolve, we’ll continue to keep you as informed!

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.

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