|THURSDAY 21 OCTOBER 2021||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Digital platforms account for the majority of global music consumption - or 'engagement' if you prefer - according to new stats from the International Federation Of Phonographic Industry, although nearly two-thirds of that is on free, social and video platforms. That despite the fact that, in 2020, premium streaming services - which account for just over a third of total digital consumption - brought in nearly three quarters of the record industry's streaming revenues... [READ MORE]|
Free, social and video platforms online account for 45% of music consumption, according to IFPI
These and a sturdy stack of other stats come from the IFPI's new 'Engaging With Music' report, which is based on a survey of 43,000 internet users aged 16-64 in 21 countries. The global stats are based on what respondents said in nineteen of those countries, with stats for China and India published separately due to the size and nature of those markets.
Globally speaking, premium streaming services like Spotify Premium and Apple Music - which are the biggest revenue generators for the record industry - account for 23% of music consumption. The free streaming services, like Spotify's free tier, account for 9%. And then you have the social and video services, with video streaming like the main YouTube platform accounting for 22% of consumption, social media platforms 3% and TikTok style short form video apps 11%.
Although the free, social and video services bring in a lot less money - despite accounting for double the consumption - they'd likely argue that they play an important marketing and discovery role, driving listening on the premium platforms. Which you may or may not see as a fair exchange.
Beyond the digital music services, radio accounts for 16% of consumption, while recordings that a consumer has bought and owns - so discs and downloads - account for 9%. The remaining 7% comes from things like live music, music on TV, and music shared with friends and family.
Figures specifically for the UK are not that dissimilar to the world at large, though radio scores higher at 22%, as does music bought and owned by the consumer at 13%. Premium streaming also scores slightly higher at 25%, while the other digital options are lower: so free streaming 8%, video streaming 18%, social media 2% and short form video apps 8%.
Other fun stats contained in the stack include that 68% of time spent on short form video apps involves watching videos where the featured music is key to the experience; 29% of respondents had watched livestreamed music in the last year, of which 65% said they'd continue to consume such shows even once COVID rules had relaxed allowing real-world gigs to return; and 52% of the gamers surveyed were interested in virtual gigs that occur within gaming platforms.
There are also some stats around physical releases. 15% of the 25-34 year olds surveyed had bought a CD in the last month, while 11% had bought a vinyl release. And if you think that's the still-physical-dominated market that its Japan skewing the figures, well, in the UK 17% had bought a CD and 13% a vinyl record.
Finally, the report has the customary section on piracy, which is to say the people engaging with music on unlicensed platforms. 30% of people use copyright infringement of one form or another to access music. 27% are stream ripping. And 14% are getting music from unlicensed social media platforms. Which, of course, means the music industry still wants stronger anti-piracy tools to stop the stream rippers and some good old safe harbour reform to force all social media services to get themselves licensed.
Commenting on the big old stats pack, IFPI boss Frances Moore says: "'Engaging With Music 2021' tells the story of how fans around the globe are connecting with the artists and music they love in ways never before imagined, with the rapid emergence of short form video, livestreaming, and in-game experiences, all enhanced by people's love of music".
"Record companies have enabled artists to develop their vision, licensed an abundance of music tracks to a multitude of platforms, and harnessed new technologies to pave the way for music fans around the world to connect with artists in these growing and exciting ways", she adds. "The freedom of record labels to license music to these new and immersive experiences is crucial to the future growth of the entire music ecosystem. We are campaigning worldwide to ensure governments maintain or implement a fair environment in which such commercial deals can be made".
You can see top-level music engagement stats for the world and the UK here.
Or you can download the full IFPI report here.
R Kelly's Chicago trial now set for next August
Kelly, of course, was found guilty of all charges at the end of his headline-grabbing trial in New York. In that specific case, Kelly was accused of building and running a criminal enterprise specifically designed to facilitate the sexual and physical abuse of girls and young women who were lured into his entourage.
Jurors heard from numerous victims of the star, many of whom told a similar story about how they were drawn into Kelly's world, and then forced to live under a set of strict rules, risking physical and other punishment if they broke those rules.
The case in Chicago relates to many of the same crimes, although is likely to focus specifically on a number of graphic videotapes that allegedly show Kelly sexually abusing three underage girls. Two of Kelly's longtime associates also face charges, Derrel McDavid and Milton 'June' Brown.
Kelly is still represented by Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard in the Chicago case, the two attorneys who were dropped from the musician's legal team in the New York proceedings just two months before that trial began. The team who ended up leading Kelly's defence in the New York case have been criticised for relying on mainly lacklustre arguments, and it's thought that the star will likely rejig that team ahead of his appeal.
As for the Chicago case, Greenberg is of the opinion that that trial shouldn't go ahead until sentencing has taken place in New York, which isn't scheduled until next May. Which means the Kelly side is currently in no rush, although legal reps for his co-defendants have been pushing for a speedier timeline, arguing that their clients are experiencing unfair delays because they are "at the mercy of Mr Kelly's problems".
Kelly himself appeared via video-link at the latest Chicago court hearing, though didn't speak because technical difficulties meant he couldn't be heard in the court room.
Greenberg, meanwhile, revealed that his client had been placed on suicide watch following the guilty ruling in the New York case. Although, it is quite common in the US federal prison system to increase the monitoring of recently convicted prisoners, and the lawyer didn't comment on whether his client had expressed any actual desire to harm himself. That extra monitoring has also now ended.
Sony deal terms likely to be made public as Kesha v Dr Luke defamation case heads to trial
The legal battle between Kesha and Luke has been complicated and multi-layered, but centres on the former's allegation of rape against the latter. Most elements of the dispute were dismissed along the way, meaning all that remains is Luke's defamation action against Kesha. He alleges that she made up the rape allegation in order to force his hand in contract negotiations.
In defamation actions like this one, the plaintiff first needs to show that the defendant lied, but then also that the lie caused them damage. The latter will mainly relate to the claim that Kesha's rape allegations damaged Luke's reputation and his various music businesses. And to that end, Luke's joint venture with Sony Music, and Kesha's dealings with both the producer's companies and the major, all become relevant.
Sony argued that if too much information about those deals and dealings were made public - including information about royalty rates, artist advances, producer fees and recoding budgets - that would cause "substantial harm" to its business interests, and give an unfair competitive edge to its rivals in the record industry.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the judge overseeing the case this week ruled that making most of that information available is in the public interest, even if it is not in Sony's commercial interest. So only information that identifies specific individuals at Sony Music will be redacted.
The judge wrote: "Any other asserted privacy interest Sony has in its records, many of which are quite old, is overwhelmingly outweighed by the public’s right to fully understand the parties' contentions regarding the substantial damages sought by plaintiffs".
Kesha's legal team were perhaps unsurprisingly scathing of Sony's attempts to keep all its deal terms confidential, including the terms of the major's deal with the musician herself.
They told the Reporter that those attempts were "a stunning admission of the unreasonableness of Sony’s deal terms for Kesha's albums. Sony, at bottom, may be embarrassed about the terms of the deal under which it is requiring Kesha - a Grammy-nominated artist who has generated enormous amounts of money for the label - to continue to work, but that is not a valid basis on which to keep the information confidential".
It now remains to be seen just how much nitty gritty details about Sony's deals are made public as this long-running case proceeds to trial.
Toddla T signs to Warner Chappell
"The last few years for Toddla as a writer-producer have been fundamental to his career and now we are ready to step it up another gear with the brilliant team at Warner Chappell", says his manager Helena Antoniades at Hale Artists.
Warner Chappell UK's Senior International A&R Manager, Sam Lowe, adds: "I've known T for many years in different capacities; his talent for producing and writing such a varied range of music, paired with his passion and ability to bring the best out of whoever he is working with is second to none. His focus and love for what he does is always evident, and I am extremely excited to be part of the next chapter for such a special individual".
Recently Toddla T has produced for a wide range of artists, including Anne-Marie, KSI, Aitch, Berwyn, Lady Leshurr and Sinead Harnett, plus he worked on 'Ain't It Different' by Headie One, AJ Tracey and Stormzy. He also releases music in his own right, of course, with current single 'Shaker' - featuring Sweetie Irie, Jeremiah Asiamah, Stefflon Don and S1mba - out now.
Koko set to reopen in 2022 following £70 million revamp
"After three long and epic years of construction and restoration, I'm excited to announce that we will be returning Koko to the musicians, artists and fans next spring with a beautifully restored theatre and live music offering that will hopefully be a truly unique and unparalleled experience for everyone coming through the doors", says venue boss Olly Bengough.
Bengough took back full control of the venue in 2016. He originally took over and relaunched the Camden Palace as Koko in 2004, before selling a 50% stake to US-based Loton Group ten years later.
In 2018, the venue was temporarily closed due to a "structural issue", and six months later it was closed again for what was at that time announced as a £40 million revamp. Unfortunately, in January 2020, the building caught fire, taking 60 fire fighters five hours to get it under control. As well as damage from the fire itself, this also left the building with extensive water damage.
Work nonetheless continued - delayed again by a global pandemic - and now the venue is finally set to reopen in spring 2022. It will relaunch in partnership with content company Sister - maker of TV programmes such as 'Chernobyl', 'Giri/Haji', 'Flowers' and 'Broadchurch' - which announced its investment in the venue in September last year.
"It's never been more important to support the next generation of artists and storytellers to collaborate, innovate and share their work", says Sister co-founder Elisabeth Murdoch. "Although we've all been eager for the return of live music we've also been discovering new ways to engage with the artists we love through their creative endeavours in the digital space, keeping us united as a global community".
"It's this connective power of music and the arts that Olly and his team are harnessing as they develop Koko into London's first next generation global entertainment experience", she continues. "At Sister we're really excited to partner with Koko and to use our collective expertise, networks and shared independence to forge creative collaborations and empower artists and audiences around the world".
The revamp sees Koko extend into adjacent buildings, a former piano factory and what was previously the Hope & Anchor pub - the latter of which then Koko owner Obar Camden managed to stop being redeveloped into flats in 2015.
Among the new spaces in the relaunched Koko - in addition to its existing 1500 capacity main venue - will be another venue, gallery, shop, pizza restaurant, recording studio and private members club.
Spotify partners with Shopify
It has been possible for artists to upsell physical items - ie discs and merchandise - via their Spotify profiles for a while now, of course, thanks to a partnership with Merchbar that launched in 2016.
That integration has always been a somewhat lacklustre affair though, with Spotify not getting too involved in the process. Basically artists can put links to a limited number of items on their Spotify profile, which when clicked take fans off to a relevant page on the Merchbar website.
Although this new Shopify partnership is being presented as something big, new and exciting, it's basically just the same thing. Except that the integration is with Shopify. Which is good news for those artists, managers and labels who already use Shopify for their direct-to-fan sales elsewhere, many of whom almost certainly hate Merchbar.
You can still only list three items within Spotify, though, and in the mobile app they'll still be buried right down at the bottom of the profile page where it's unlikely anyone will ever see them. But on the up side, artists referred by Spotify will get a 90 day free Shopify trial. So that's nice.
Hey, if you want to read some quotes from some people who will make this all sound like a much much bigger deal, here you go...
"For many fans, Spotify is the primary way they interact with an artists' music, and we are excited to give artists a new way to capitalise on that moment", says Camille Hearst, Head Of Spotify For Artists. "We want to provide artists with as many resources as possible to help turn listeners into fans, fans into superfans and, ultimately, help artists earn more. The integration of Shopify's powerful backend for powering commerce presents a significant step forward in our efforts to help artists maximise additional revenue streams and give them agency over their careers".
Director Of Product at Shopify, Amir Kabbara, adds: "Thousands of artists already choose Shopify as their commerce platform, and now we're bringing fans and artists even closer together with the launch of the Spotify channel. Artists today are entrepreneurial. They're building multifaceted brands and businesses, and now we're making it easier for them to meet fans where they are. By bringing entrepreneurship to Spotify, we're empowering artists to think beyond the traditional merch table with new ways to monetise, and to experiment with their brands through commerce".
Artists will still be able to sell stuff within Spotify through Merchbar if they want to, although it will no longer be the default option in countries where the Shopify integration is available (in fact, if you want to continue selling through Merchbar, you will seemingly have to go and actively plug it back in to your profile for it to continue working).
The Shopify integration is currently available to artists in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
LAB Records has extended its worldwide distribution deal with Warner Music's ADA. "LAB are industry leaders as a modern, contemporary, streaming oriented label and we've enjoyed a brilliant relationship with them over the last four years, so I’m delighted that we’re renewing our partnership", says ADA MD Howard Corner. The label's next release with be 'Thorn' by Beka on 29 Oct.
Hip hop supergroup Mount Westmore - Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40 and Too Short - have released their first single, 'Big Subwoofer'. The track is taken from Def Jam's new Snoop Dogg curated compilation, 'The Algorithm', the rapper's first project as the label's Executive Creative Consultant.
With her new album 'Blue Banisters' out tomorrow, Lana Del Rey has released the video for the title track.
Duran Duran have released their collaboration with Tove Lo, 'Give It All Up', taken from their new album 'Future Past', which is out tomorrow.
Mastodon have released new single, 'Sickle And Peace', taken form their new album 'Hushed And Grim', which is out next week.
Animal Collective have announced that they will release their new album, 'Time Skiffs', on 4 Feb next year. Here's first single 'Prester John'.
Having played a surprise free show at the Islington Academy in London last night, Måneskin have released the video for their latest single 'Mammamia'.
With her second album, 'Prioritise Pleasure', out this Friday(!), Self Esteem has released new single 'You Forever'. "This song is about the bravery of being alone vs the bravery of taking a chance", she says. "Both very valid. I'm also just talking about me, my band, the people I found since going solo, how we've made this difference. I've done it all without a traditional 'support network' and found my own. I think that's a life hack".
The Darkness have released new single 'It's Love, Jim'. "It's really catchy and should be number one all around the world please", says frontman Justin Hawkins. The band's new album, 'Motorheart', is out on 19 Nov.
Bonobo has released new single 'Tides', featuring Jamila Woods. His new album, 'Fragments', is out on 14 Jan and he will be touring the UK in May next year, including three nights at the Royal Albert Hall.
Berwyn has released new track 'Full Moon Freestyle'.
Former contestant on Netflix's 'Rhythm & Flow', Beanz, has released her new single, 'Wake Me Up When I'm Dreaming'. "The inspo behind it was following my dreams despite what life throws in my direction", she says. "The video gives the impression that I'm actually in a dream while I'm embracing the moment and moving forward to what’s next. The end of the video adds a little humour and a snippet of what's coming next on my project".
Bodega have announced that they will release their second album 'Broken Equipment' on 11 Mar 2022. That seems like quite a while away, but here's first single 'Doers'. "Sometime on tour near the end of 2019 I found myself reading and watching a plethora of self-help books and YouTube vids", says the band's Ben Hozie of the inspiration for the song. "This started from a genuine desire for spiritual and physical improvement, but I soon started noticing how advertisements everywhere were utilising the language of self-help. I was being programmed".
Warpaint recently announced their return, now the band's Jennylee has dusted off her solo project too. Her first single for six years is 'Newtopia'. It is, she says, "about coming to terms with how hard I can be on myself. It's about finding the multiple sides of yourself, the lighter and darker sides, that push us forward. It's about me being my own best friend".
Kur has released new single 'Let's Talk'.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs are back with their new single, a cover of Donna Summer's 'Hot Stuff' featuring The Lovely Eggs. The track is being released to raise money for Pop Recs in memory of Dave Harper, who died earlier this year.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Dua Lipa's management company TaP Music to choose UK's 2022 Eurovision entry
"We're really excited to be teaming up with the BBC for this event and will use Eurovision to authentically reflect and celebrate the rich, diverse and world-class musical talent the UK is globally renowned for", says TaP co-founder Ben Mawson.
"For many years", he adds "we've witnessed the United Kingdom not doing as well as we would've liked, when pop music is something we usually excel at. The simple fact is it's time to show what we can do and the wonderful musical talent we have - ultimately we can't blame politics".
Blaming politics is something people like to do when explaining the UK's constant Eurovision woes, of course. Many blamed Brexit for the devastating loss of 2021's contest, although that does ignore the fact that both Germany and Spain also did incredibly badly.
And Mawson is right, the real problem - certainly this year - was more that the standard of the UK's entry simply wasn't up to that of the rest of the contest. While other countries put on a show, the UK had a man in a big leather jacket standing under some massive trumpets. Trumpets that really just highlighted what was the worst part of the song.
"It's time for the UK to mirror the positive spirit of our European counterparts and really deliver the best of what we have to offer", Mawson continues. "We should unite as a country and champion talent representing our country on the global stage".
"Look at our wonderfully diverse and hugely successful talent across sport and entertainment - Dua Lipa, a British Kosovan is the number one female artist in the world right now; Emma Raducanu, a Brit of Chinese and Romanian heritage breaking incredible records in tennis; not to mention the British nations football teams representing so well at the Euros - all high profile examples reflecting today's modern, diverse British culture".
TaP's other co-founder, Ed Millett, adds: "The UK is not lacking in talent. Talent has never been the issue. In fact, we are overflowing with talent. Rather than viewing Eurovision as just a bit of fun, let's look at it for what it is: the world's biggest live music event - 200 million viewers at last count, with an audience skewing younger each year".
"Win or lose or somewhere in between - we're going to go for it", he goes on. "We really want the entire nation to get behind the UK Eurovision act like never before. As a team, we're incredibly focused on finding a really special act that creates excitement for the UK - both in the build-up to the final and beyond".
Great stuff, Dua Lipa it is! Although, also commenting on the Eurovision/TaP announcement, she says: "I'm a proud Brit whilst also being a proud Kosovan. I'm happy to lend my manager to the cause. I'll be cheering them on!"
Hmm, that doesn't sound like she thinks she's doing it. Well, I guess that's because TaP is currently appealing for the entire music industry to put forward acts for consideration. Though that does seem like a bit of a waste of time when Dua Lipa is right there.