Bringing Honesty to Artists BEFORE the Record Drops

So there’s been a pretty big problem in the music industry that has been largely ignored for a long time. Its a problem for big name musicians and small alike: Musicians don’t know if people like their songs before they put them out. Sure, you can ask friends, family, and co-workers, but the reality is that most people don’t tell the truth. Nobody wants to say they don’t like something someone has created to that person’s face. It just doesn’t feel right. Not only that, but even if you finally find someone who is honest with you, they are only just one person. Conclusion’s shouldn’t be drawn from a single data point. So essentially, musicians only find out about the appeal of their song after they release it. And still, even if they find that people don’t like it enough to download, buy, or stream it, they won’t find out what people don’t like about it. This fundamental problem with the creative industry on its way to being solved because of a new company called Audiokite.

Audiokite has just recently won the 2015 SF Music Tech Startup Innovators Challenge. The idea is simple – Audiokite gathers music fans from around the United States into their network, of which they have over 15,000 now. Musicians pay a small fee, about $35 per hundred listeners to have their music distributed across the Audiokite network. The fans then rate the song on a 1-10 scale on a variety of factors relating to the songs appeal. There is also subjective written feedback from listeners. The data is compiled and sent as a report to the musician.

Audiokite reports are very thorough and users rate the song on a variety of factors. These are a couple examples of the data that artists get.

The company is also able to further analyze the data by segmenting their users. They have demographic information such as age and gender, but they also segment by taste in genre. So if you only want to test your electro pop song on people who listen to electro-pop, you can.

This is an example of the written comment section:

“I really enjoyed the vocal performance, specifically the sound of the singer’s voice, and I liked the melody. However, the lyrics aren’t very meaningful or clever in my opinion. I think the song would be good if you kept it mostly the same but changed some of the lyrics. Also, I’m not a fan of the sound of the synth. I would prefer more guitar soloish stuff instead.”

Here is another:

“This track was alright. The producer needs to watch the levels of the bass and instrument track with the vocals on the lead in the track. What sounds like the snare drum makes it a bit hard to clearly hear his lyrics from time to time. Also, watch the feedback background singers sound blown out.”

As you can see, the feedback is honest and constructive, which is what makes the service a real benefit to artists. This means they can improve their songs and make them more commercially viable before release. This means that their tracks will be much more likely to succeed. Not only this, but through the reports, artists can figure out which tracks are the “singles” and which are the supporting tracks on the album. This simple decision can save loads of marketing dollars for labels and artists alike.

Lastly, Audiokite is using their data for additional artist benefits. Because they know what ratings the submitted songs receive, they can filter the better tracks to the top. They use this information to create opportunities for the artists. Top rated artists are offered the option from a number of partner companies to receive free promotion, distribution, and education. Further, the tracks get access to top industry influencers such as labels, radio stations, publishers, and music supervisors. This is very exciting because it promotes success based on pure merit, rather than any other factor.

This company definitely shows a lot of promise for artists and the music industry in general. It’s also just a ton of fun to use! Theres good reason in won the SF Music Tech Startup Challenge.

Audiokite Website

Taylor Swift Lawsuit

R&B singer Jesse Braham is currently planning a lawsuit against Taylor Swift for a whopping 42 million dollars in copyright infringement for a song written by himself.

“”Her hook is the same hook as mine,” he said, claiming Swift uses it about 72 times in her song. “If I didn’t write the song Haters Gone Hate, there wouldn’t be a song calledShake It Off.’ “”(USA Today)

Braham claims he wrote to Taylor’s representatives and got blown off. He demanded recognition as a writer of Swift’s song as well as a selfie with the singer herself. When he was ignored, he sued on October 28th, from Los Angeles. The lawsuit claims he is representing himself, without a lawyer. All ‘evidence’ provided is handwritten and not notarized by a lawyer.

Braham also claims he is also pursuing a lawsuit against CNN for their morning program called New Day, which infringes against his non-denominational church called New Day Worldwide.

Neither CNN Nor Taylor Swifts representatives have responded for comment. Most media outlets are presenting both lawsuits as absolutely ridiculous and won’t hold in court. This is an example of people taking advantage of the legal system for their own benefit and extorting money out of people for their own work.

Below are both songs for comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=taylor+swift+shake+it+off

The Owners of the Music Industry

To further my discussion of my previous article on the revenue artist make within streaming, I wanted to look at the whole picture. Where is most of the revenue going if in 2014 global recorded music totaled in the US at $6.9 billion?  To break down the consumption of music in the US by genre, although possibly in broad terms, according to a study released by Nielson Music, rock music was twice as popular in 2014 as pop musicaccounting for 29% of the industry’s music consumption across album, track purchases, and music streaming.

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Forbes magazine also provides us with the top three paid musicians of 2014:

With Dr. Dre’s (Aftermath Entertainment) most recent sale of Beats, the company he cofounded, to Apple for $3 billion, he is listed at number one going home with $620 million this year before taxes. Coming in far second is Beyoncé (Columbia & Sony Music) with $115 million as her most successful year yet.  And finally, The Eagles (Asylum) with their longevity in the industry at $100 million.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that after securing $400 million in fresh funding, Spotify is now worth more than the entire US recorded music industry at $8.4 billion.

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Sony leads the record label trio at $4.9 billion but if we look at Live Nation it will not be long when it takes a step ahead of all three. With Live Nation’s monopoly in live music, being that most revenue is from cold hard ticket sales, it would not be surprising that Live Nation takes the lead within a year.

Music Is Elevating the Balmain x H&M Launch

The Balmain x H&M collaboration, set to launch on Nov 5, is one of the most anticipated fashion collaborations H&M has ever produced. This is most likely due to the fact that it will not only bring the coveted, luxe lifestyle of the French Fashion House’s designs to the masses, but also has an amazing marketing campaign that has incorporated many influencers and new music to gain traction.

Led by Creative Director Olivier Rousteing, the #HMBALMAINATION campaign has strategically used music to elevate the new line collaboration to the next level. Starting with it’s launch event in NYC, the brand has been the talk of the town due to it’s unique promotional materials that are infused with music. At the launch event the popular boys’ band, Backstreet Boys, performed mid fashion show to a lot of people’s surprise. This huge fashion and music collaboration gained tuns of PR and buzz for #HMBALMAINATION.

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(Source: Vanity Fair)

In addition to making every girls’ dream come true with the return of the Backstreet Boys, a new #HMBalmainNation music video was released this week staring Kendall Jenner. Not only does the video feature one of the most popular models today, but it also features the official #HMBALMAINATION beat “Walk for Me” produced by Ferdinand and Vaz which the brand is encouraging fans to download from iTunes.