Spotify and Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, today announced a new multi-year license agreement – ensuring the world’s leading independent record labels and their artists will remain at the core of Spotify’s offering to music fans.
Continuing a successful nine-year partnership, the agreement is structured to reflect and promote the value of Merlin’s collective offering of its members’ repertoire, while offering improved marketing and advertising opportunities and enhanced access to data.
Merlin member labels can also participate in Spotify’s recently announced flexible release policy.
What if we could replace antiquated physical contracts execution to fit with the new digital music age and real-time commerce? Well, today we can, and the technology is known as smart contracts. Just as the blockchain has emerged to claim its place as the up and coming financial instrument of the future, smart contracts have become an equally hot topic.
Electronic contracts, or smart contracts, between labels, distributors, and artists, can reshape the industry to ensure transaction and payment efficiency as well as increased transparency. Smart contracts are primarily a computer program whereby all parties can agree to the contract electronically, and it can also be enforced electronically.
This can be achieved through the introduction of blockchain technology. In the case of an executed smart contract, the blockchain would keep track of the ownership rights ensuring that the proper parties are paid in accordance with their smart contact. The more sophisticated the code, the more automated, self-executing, and “smarter” the contract.
Read Article: DataArt
In the context of the fast developing self distributed Artists market, Scott de Mercado (Audiotube Founder and CEO) has sought to address the growing demand for more transparent Artist centric digital services.
In 2015 Audiotube joined forces with Media tech executive and investor Xen Lategan, product developer and serial entrepreneur, Ted Nash and London based digital product design agency – Made by Fire. Together they set out to architect and develop a new Cloud-based Platform that delivers affordable, accountable, efficient and transparent solutions for digital distribution, marketing and monetisation for the music industry.
Following support from Google Cloud for Startups program and the European Commission, Audiotube has spent the past 2 years in R&D mode working closely with Artists, Managers and Record Labels, further developing the platform which is now being released Globally focusing on both mainstream and emerging markets.
Audiotube has its roots firmly planted in the Independent sector and has always championed the Independent Artist.
Alongside two other co-founders Viktor Tron and Fred Tibbles, he runs a small and agile company, , which helps rightsholders convert their repositories of media, music, metadata and rights into ‘smart content’.
Their smart content idea automates much of the admin and manual effort involved in managing, maintaining and delivering music across the digital supply chain using smart contracts and verified transactions on the blockchain.
The concept came on leaps and bounds this autumn at the EY Startup Challenge, which saw PRS for Music mentor JAAK for six weeks on the ins and outs of digital rights management from a collecting society perspective.
Source: M Magazine
With the rising popularity of music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play, there are now fewer reasons to purchase songs and albums individually. This is to the dismay of several artists who claim they are being robbed of the total revenue they deserve for their work. Their argument is similar to the following analogy: you do not go into a clothing store and pay an entrance fee to then collect all of the items you want. This is what they feel listeners are doing when they pay a monthly fee to use services like Spotify Premium and Apple Music. They also think it is not fair to other fans who go out and buy their CDs when others just wait to listen to it for free online.
Source: Fordham Observer
Sure, the instant release is losing its special character, it’s not the revelation it once was. But instant availability is a treasure. We live in the era of instant gratification. To promote that which we cannot consume is to leave money on the table. If you can get someone’s attention, let them click, let them experience, let them listen!Which is why exclusives are to the detriment of artists.
There’s a movie on Apple Music and the press does a story and then the rest of the world forgets about it. If you’re bothering to sell, let people partake.But the music business has become about the short money. If you pay me now, I’ll forget about tomorrow.
Source: Lefsetz Letter
The music industry’s tradition of releasing albums via only one particular retailer or online service—often the one that pays for the privilege—endured through physical discs, digital downloads and into the streaming era. But at some record companies, the practice of granting “exclusives” now appears to be headed the way of the eight-track tape.
The music companies now realize that restricting desirable albums to one online service could limit the overall growth of subscription music—viewed by labels as key to their own long-term survival. In their place, streaming-music services are scrambling to hire well-connected “ambassadors” who can help them line up artists to make playlists, videos and other promotional materials to differentiate themselves.