✖ Only 1% of a musicians' life happens on stage, the rest is careering
And: Lego & Universal team up; an ill-conceived livestreaming license; YouTube primed to monetize more fans; US live organizations ready to help with vaccinations
One of the key things I took away from being a part of the Music Business Day at the University of Utrecht last weekend is that there's ways to balance the weaknesses and opportunities that the pandemic has respectively exposed and opened up. I'll look into this by focusing on four things to consider that Catherine Moore highlighted in our panel on 'music futures, near and far':
How to measure the market?
How does music enrich the environment in which we live?
What is the role of music & musicians to support mental health?
Change the vocabulary around how music works within, e.g., a city: music venue is a sound manager not a noise maker. How do we communicate across disciplines?
📗 Spotify expands into audiobooks. Audio-first strategy continuing apace. After Amazon acquired Wondery to move further into podcasts, Spotify takes steps to compete with Amazon’s Audible.
🚧 I like Lego and I like music. When Universal and Lego announce a cooperation I’m all ears. It’s called VIDIYO and includes minifigs, Lego blocks, and augmented reality. Are you ready to customise your videos?
🤳 If you’re thinking about which social platform to focus on for your next music release check in with eMarketer. Snapchat usage stagnates, TikTok grows fast (of course), but Instagram remains the queen.
💵 YouTube’s Susan Wojciki wrote about the future of YouTube and what’s happened last year. It’s got some great numbers, but it’s more important to read between the lines. For example, where she discusses the new ways creators can monetize their channels together with how many people are subscribed to Music and Premium. YouTube really seems so well positioned to take advantage of every single direct-to-fan monetization strategy out there.
🐦 Twitter acquired the newsletter platform Revue and it’ll be interesting to see how this fits into their current expansion strategy. You can now use Twitter for your short messages, short video stories, audio and long-form writing. I can see this becoming a complete suite of ‘touch points’ for musicians, labels, and publishers in general.
🧪 More and more countries are trialling how to bring back live concerts. Next up is Because Music Matters in Luxembourg. It includes the now customary mask wearing, social distancing and fans being placed around a central 360° stage. What’s interesting in this trial is the different genres of music each night of testing.
💉 A wide variety of American live-music organisations have written a letter to Joe Biden. Variety has the full letter. The concept is simple:
“We have been closed for nearly one full year to protect public health. Please let us now go to work to protect public health … We are ready to meet to discuss how we can help as soon as you and your staff are able.”
🆘 GESAC, an agency bringing together all of Europe’s collecting societies, released research detailing how the creative sector has been hit second hardest of all industries by the pandemic (just behind the aviation industry). The report goes on to state that recovery can be fast, but support needs to come through right now to make that happen.
🐌 It’s wellknown that licensing runs well behind the technologies used to distribute music. In the UK, the PRS For Music attempted to move quickly and push through a new one-size-fits-all livestreaming tariff. The Music Venue Trust and others aren’t happy though, calling it ill-conceived and explaining how it doesn’t match the realities of streaming.
🍻 Unum Festival in Albania, due to take place early June, will definitely go ahead. We mentioned this festival before in this newsletter because of their rapid testing plan. Now, the organisers are so confident they guarantee the festival will go ahead. I wonder whether the line-up and audience will be purely local or if there will be international visitors.
If I would be meeting lots of people, this is the music I’d use to showcase my headphones’ sound quality. Amazing techno with lots of wonderful layers by Stoked and Fire Between Us. The track is called Bitonal Creatures.
✖ MUSIC x, founded by Bas Grasmayer and co-edited by Maarten Walraven.
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