Does Coldplay still have their “Magic”?  

Coldplay released their new single, ‘Magic’ in March, 2014.  Although the track, ‘Magic’ leads with an almost electronic groove, it sounds like vintage Coldplay. Being a Coldplay fan, I was hoping for an album, which sounded more like his previous albums, ‘Parachutes’, ‘A rush of Blood to the head’ or ‘Viva La Vida’ than songs, which are inclined towards the electronic side.

With their new album releasing on 19th May, 2014, Coldplay decided to do a 6-date trek around different countries during the summer. They came up with an interesting marketing strategy to engage their fans in this era of networking and social media with game using #hashtags. They decided to collaborate with libraries worldwide and in between the pages of books about ghost stories were kept copies of lyrics from their new album ‘ghost stories’. There were handwritten lyrics by Chris Martin of nine different songs from the album.

They encouraged their fans by giving hints to look for the lyrics and post the pictures on social media by using #lyricshunt and tweeting @coldplay. In fact, one set included a “Golden Ticket” for a free trip to see Coldplay at Royal Albert Hall on July 1. Very unique and interesting strategies to not only market themselves but keep the fans engaged by offering add-ons.

Nevertheless, looking forward to their new album. Check out the trailer here for Ghost Stories.


Leading Music Distribution Platforms

Due to the rise of the various digital services in the world, several distribution platforms have made it tremendously easy for the artists to place their music on these digital services.

The music distribution services act as an aggregator between the artist and the digital services by giving the artists the opportunity to grow their fan base by making their music available digitally in the easiest way possible. Some of the leading music distribution platforms are The Orchard, Tune Core and CD Baby.

CD baby is a digital aggregator of independent music recordings and also acts as an online music store mainly focusing on sale of CD’s and music downloads from independent artists to customers. It distributes content to several online music retailers. On the other hand, Tune Core is an online music distribution service that offers the musicians or their right holders the opportunity to get their music into online music channels like Spotify, itunes, AmazonMP3 and many more.

Rates for CD Baby Tune Core
Album fee (music distribution) $49 $29.99 (1st year’s fee)

$49.99 (each following year after the 1st)

Single $12.95 $9.99/year
Commission 9% 0%

Tune Core pays out full amount to the artist. In the first quarter of 2014, Tune Core paid out 34.1 million to its artists.

The orchard is the leading music and film distribution company. The orchards pricing varies. They don’t have a fixed annual single/album pricing. These platforms give the artists the royalties and provide them with the weekly reports.

Silent Album by Vulfpek earns $20,000 on Spotify

 Just heard about this and found it really interesting. Vulfpek had released a silent album, ‘Sleepify’ on Spotify. He wanted to finance a free tour for his fans and ended up earning more than $20,000. The album consisted of 10 songs that lasted 30 seconds each and every song was named z, zz, zzz..

Is this just another money-earning gimmick?

Vulfpek was asked to remove the album of off Spotify but its available on other platforms. Vulfpek came out with another album, ‘Official Statement’ in response to this.  This album included 3 and funny enough 1 of them was a silent track. Well, as they say silence speaks louder than words.


Disrupción Records – Started from the bottom now we’re here!

Disrupción Records is Berklee College of Music’s (Valencia Campus) first student run record label. 17 immensely talented students are a part of this label and initially, it was really hard to coordinate with everyone about all the details that were necessary for the success of this label.

We have 3 teams – the legal, the A&R and the marketing team.  It started with legal issues on how to get a label started in Spain and whether the label name is available or not. Since, there were 17 people we decided to divide the label in two sides too coordinate better. Each side got the opportunity to work with 2 artists. It was really interesting to hear great music offered by such talented people in the Berklee Valencia Hub.

On 26th March, 2014, we launched Disrupcion records at Berklee, Valencia with some tunes from our very own, DJ kTunes. Ever since, we’ve been working with the artists, marketing them. It’s been great working with them.  The artists on our roster are Tess Ruth Stabb, Avila Santo, Miranda Inzuza and Stephen McHale. You can check out all the artists on our facebook page.

It hasn’t been easy but it has been a wonderful experience and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our  music industry aficionados, Ben Costantini and Ferran Coto.

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If you care about music, should you ditch Spotify?

This week in the Econ class the topic for debate was whether Spotify is killing the music industry or not. My team members, Chris Wade, Jasmine Shepard and I were debating against the topic that spotify is not killing the music industry.

It was a fairly easy debate for us because two of us are regular spotify users and have subscribed to their monthly premium subscription. We got the opportunity to point out some really interest facts and figures and our research only increased our knowledge about the worlds largest music streaming service.

For some of you, who don’t know, Spotify is an online and offline music-streaming platform, which was launched in 2008. It is currently the largest streaming service out there with 20 million-song catalogue and 1 billion playlists. It currently has 24 million active users and 6 million monthly subscribers. It was launched in Sweden and is now available in 54 other markets. 2013 turned out to be their biggest year with a stream count of 4,500,000,000. This streaming platform is easily accessible and has music on the go 24*7. One of the best things I find out about Spotify is the ease of discovery of new artists. Artists like Lorde, who is now on top of the billboard charts were discovered on spotify. You can easily create and share playlists on one platform.

Apart from this, what made us win the debate were the figures that Spotify is alternative to piracy. The young generation is the biggest consumer of pirated content and ever since Spotify, the piracy rate between the people from 18-29 has significantly reduced by 55%.

Despite the problem of royalty payment to the artists, Spotify has emerged as a leading platform for music streaming. Clearly, we were able strengthen our point that Spotify is NOT killing the music industry.

I really hope Spotify launches is India soon enough, else I don’t know what will I use for music accessibility and discovery when I go back to India upon graduation.

Here’s a song by an artist I discovered on Spotify

MIDEM Takeaways

I am only 7 months old when it comes to my experience in the music industry,  so with my first visit to MIDEM I got my first real taste of the enigma that this industry is all about.

Ever since our first semester began at Berklee this conference has been one of the most talked about topics and we have spent the last 6 months preparing for it. I think the excitement that had always surrounded the idea of MIDEM was the reason that we or at least I was a tad bit disappointed with it. I did not go with the expectation of getting a job but I expected to meet a few companies or speak to them about my CE (consulting project). But when I got there, I found out that the only exhibits we could gain access to were either the start ups of different countries or companies that are growing but haven’t been in the music industry for long. Whereas, all the big companies were either in the VIP members lounge or in their own specific country’s area, which was member’s access only. I wish we had known that earlier.

I did try to set up a few meetings with the directors of some reputed Indian companies. I got to meet Mr. Aschille Forler, Managing Director of Universal Music Publishing, India. It was really interesting to speak to him about my goals and ideas and hear his views on the projects I’m working on. I’m glad I got the opportunity to have spoken to someone from the Indian music industry about the growth and prospects in the music market of India.

Although, I think some of the talks were really interesting. One of the talks, which I really enjoyed, was by Megan Healy, Marketing Director of Rocnation who was talking about the latest marketing strategies, that they applied for Rihanna’s latest tour, 777. They even spoke about this website where women in the music industry from all over the world come together and are willing to help each other in the industry. I think this is a great initiative and all the women in the music industry should join it.

Apart from that, Cannes was an expensive yet hauntingly beautiful city. The view from MIDEM of the French Riviera was spectacular. We visited some really amazing pubs and met a few interesting people. In retrospect it was a memorable learning experience and I made some really good memories with my Business classmates and friends.