|FRIDAY 9 AUGUST 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Apple Music has finally taken its stats-for-artists platform out of beta, so that Apple Music For Artists is now fully available to any verified act and their management team... [READ MORE]|
Apple puts its artist data platform properly live
The service, which was already in beta at the start of last year, is - of course - Apple's rival to the popular Spotify For Artists platform. They exist because, between the artist and the streaming service, is a label or distributor which is the entity that automatically receives usage and financial reporting from the likes of Spotify and Apple. Some of those labels and distributors do a good job of sharing that data with their artists, other less so.
Spotify first started sharing usage data directly with artists and managers - circumventing the label - in a period when certain key players in the artist community were speaking out against the streaming business model. The aim was to build more direct relationships with those artists. And also to placate acts who were disappointed with the royalties they were getting via their label or distributor by saying "but look at all this great data, use that to inform your marketing and tours!"
For managers in particular, Spotify For Artists became an incredibly valuable tool. So much so that many managers - even when working with labels or distributors that do have decent data portals - still rely more on the Spotify service. Even though it doesn't provide financial information and, of course, isn't able to compare Spotify plays with performance on other streaming set-ups.
With all that in mind, once Apple entered the streaming market, managers quickly put pressure on the tech giant to develop its own For Artists data service. Many of those proactive managers were then involved in the pilot, and have therefore been using the Apple stats platform for a while now, watching it slowly evolve as it tries to catch up with Spotify's service.
Now available to all artists via desktop and an iOS app, Apple Music For Artists provides most of the data you'd expect, like how often tracks have been played, and where the plays originated from, geographically and in terms of access point, such as playlist. Thanks to Apple's 2017 acquisition of Shazam, data from that music identification service is also included.
Most streaming services have or are developing similar data portals that can be directly accessed by artists and their management teams.
Although, as the streaming market matures and diversifies, so that artists are earning decent royalties from a larger number of services - certainly on a global basis - service-specific data portals will become less useful. Simply because artists and managers won't want to be constantly logging in and out of apps. And being able to compare performance across multiple streaming services will become ever more important.
That is where good label and distributor data portals can still add value, even if at the moment many managers tune out of those in favour Spotify and Apple For Artists. And, of course, labels and distributors are in a position to share more information about money and deals, maybe even all 20 of the data points listed in the MMF Transparency Guide produced by CMU Insights. Not that anyone - even the best labels and distributors - has achieved that as yet.
Bucks Scandinavian signs Linn Koch-Emmery
Bucks Scandinavia Director Daniel Sly-Platz says: "Aside from being a great songwriter - able to effortlessly mix catchy 'Scandinavian melodies', sharp lyrics and a 90s-inspired indie guitar sound - Linn is a true career artist. We will work in a co-ordinated approach with the UK team to help develop her career outside of her local market. She is a frontrunner in the Swedish indie pop scene and her music translates well to the UK, so it's a project that we're all eager to get stuck into across territories".
Pace Management's Fredrik Andersson, who manages Koch-Emmery, adds: "We're extremely excited about signing with Bucks. They have been champions of Linn's from the start and the team have exactly the right mix of gravitas, flexibility and finesse we need to elevate Linn's career".
Koch-Emmery released her second EP 'Waves' last year, and is currently working on her debut album.
Digital entertainment spend of UK consumers tops £100 million a week
The trade group notes that, if you throw in some disc sales data just for old time's sake, that means the wider entertainment retail sector has seen revenues grow 4.5% so far this year, topping £3.3 billion.
In music, ERA reckons that, while physical and download sales continued to slide - 13.8% and 26.1% respectively - streaming income rose 25.8%. Which means music retail income across the board was up 9.9%. Which was a higher growth rate than video and gaming, even though music remains the smallest of the three entertainment retail segments in terms of total income.
Commenting on all that, ERA CEO Kim Bayley says: "With January-June historically the quietest half of the year, this is another great result for entertainment. Digital services and physical retailers alike continue to innovate to expand the market for music, video and games".
Radio 1's Live Lounge Month to return in September
Running from 2 Sep to 26 Sep, Live Lounge (nearly a) Month will see a stack of artists show up to perform one of their own songs and a cover during Clara Amfo's 10am-1pm show. Among the list of performers signed up are Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and Sam Fender.
Says the station's Head Of Music Chris Price: "The Radio 1 Live Lounge continues to set the global standard for live studio performance. Intimate and exposing, it's still the best way to get close to your favourite artists, as well as discover new ones".
"As every year", he adds, "Live Lounge Month runs the gamut from internationally renowned superstars like Taylor Swift to emerging UK talent like Brit List alumnus Sam Fender. September is my favourite month of the year!"
Do you have a favourite month of the year? I've never really thought about it before. It's probably July or August. Or maybe June. Summer's good, isn't it? Although I do have a soft spot for October.
I have a feeling Clara Amfo might be another September lover though, as she says: "From NYC, London to Liverpool, Live Lounge Month is back for another year and I couldn't be happier about what the listeners have to look forward to in September!"
As well as being on the radio, all the performances will also be available in places where The Kids actually consume content these days.
CMU House programme for Pivotal unveiled
The first part of the day will put the spotlight on CMU's Pathways Into Music research programme, which is investigating how to better support future music talent by mapping music careers, music education and the music industry.
The first Pathways session will examine the pivotal points in an artist's career and consider what creates momentum and success. Then CMU's Phil Nelson will talk through his work mapping local music industries and the role that plays in helping artists pursue a career in music.
The second half of the day will be all about data, kicking off with a speed briefing on the Fan Data Guide that CMU Insights compiled for the Music Managers Forum earlier this year.
After that, CMU's Sam Taylor will lead three sessions, looking at what artists should be doing with all that data, how analytics can be used for better social media campaigns, and what it means to truly capitalise on the potential of direct-to-fan.
Pivotal takes place in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter on 27 Sep. You'll find full information on all the CMU sessions here. Meanwhile Pivotal passes - that get you access to CMU House and a whole host of other great sessions and events - are on sale here.
Marie Davidson announces "final club music" release
"'Chasing The Light' is a track I composed last summer in Montreal specifically for the 'Working Class Woman' tour", she explains. "It's a fast and energising musical journey that is meant to keep you moving from start to finish".
"I'm particularly happy about the many melodic sequences and the bass line on this one", she goes on. "It's my take on trance music, but as with everything I do, I try not to pastiche a style but only take the references that inspire me to make something on my own terms".
The standalone release, she then confirms, closes a chapter in her career. She adds: "It's my final effort regarding club music, as I'm ready to move on to a new project that is very dear to me".
What that project is remains under wraps, but if you want to bask in her current incarnation a bit more, you'd better get yourself along to Studio 9294 in London tonight, where she is booked to play.
The new twelve-inch will be released on 16 Aug (and is available digitally now), backed by the Soulwax remix of 'Work It' and Daniel Avery remix of 'Lara', both from her 'Working Class Woman' album. Listen here.
Levellers announce London show in aid of Mind
"We are really pleased to support Mind", says Levellers bassist Jeremy Cunningham. "We have, within the band, actually suffered from and indeed bonded over various mental health issues ourselves. That was one of the commonalities that brought us all together in the first place. So we believe that information about mental health is crucial - as is support for sufferers, and just bringing the whole subject into the mainstream".
The show will take place on 12 Oct. Tickets went on sale this morning.
Vince Staples has signed to Motown with new music due later this month.
Lana Del Rey has released new track 'Season Of The Witch' from upcoming movie 'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark'. She's also put out 'Looking For America', which isn't on the soundtrack to any upcoming movie. So I'm not sure why you'd care. It is, however, on her upcoming new album 'Normal Fucking Rockwell'.
Ed Sheeran has released the video for 'Nothing On You', featuring Paulo Londra and Dave.
Keane have released new single 'Love Too Much'.
Brockhampton have released new track 'If You Pray Right'.
Daphne & Celeste have released an extended version of their song 'Sunny Day' taken from a new remix EP, which features contributions from Dutch Uncles, Chilly Gonzales and Jilk.
Guided By Voices have announced that they will release their latest album, 'Sweating The Plague', on 25 Oct. Here's new single 'Heavy Like The World'.
Maria Usbeck has released new single 'Obscuro Obituario'.
Active Child has released new single 'All Eyes On You'.
Kida Kudz has released new track 'Bounce', featuring Wiley.
GIGS & TOURS
Caroline Polachek has announced that she will play a one-off show at Hoxton Hall in London to mark the release of her solo album 'Pang'. Here's the video for new single 'Ocean Of Tears'.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Woodstock gets stamp of approval
The US Postal Service has launched a whole new stamp to mark the milestone anniversary for the iconic music festival. And in an apparently unchaotic manner too, which isn't really in-keeping with the original event at all. Or those plans for a 50th anniversary festival.
The stamp, based on the original poster design, reads, "1969 Woodstock three days of peace and love forever USA". Which almost makes sense. It's part of an ongoing series of stamps in America commemorating things that happened in the 1960s.
"Woodstock was the most famous rock festival in history", says USPS's Kevin McAdams, justifying Woodstock's appearance in the series. "The Postal Service commemorates the 50th anniversary of Woodstock by issuing a festive Forever stamp as we continue to remember the significant events of the 60s".
What is a Forever stamp, you ask? Well, it means whether you use it today or in 50 years time, it will always be treated as having a value equivalent to the current first class postage price. So now I'm not sure if we are meant to interpret the stamp's message as them wanting the legacy of Woodstock to live forever, or just the postal system.
Michael Lang, who attended a ceremony to unveil the stamps with his Woodstock co-creator Joel Rosenman, thanked the USPS for "helping to deliver peace, love and music". He made no mention of credit card bills and junk mail.
Roseman added: "It's an honour and an inspiration to be commemorated by the Postal Service. The USPS Woodstock Forever Stamp is an official acknowledgment of something we have felt for 50 years: Woodstock is forever".
But is it Woodstock forever or the postal system? Will someone please write me a letter to let us know.