Tag Archives: Indie

Google strong-arms indie musicians into accepting brutal, crowdfunding-killing deal for…

Zoe Keating, who runs her own micro-label, has summarized the conversation she had with her Google rep. As JWZ says, it’s “the same strategy they used with Google Plus: instead of creating a new service and letting it compete on its own merits, they’re going to artificially prop it up by giving people no choice but to sign up for it.” – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing  
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8tracks streaming music service wants to be ‘better friend’ to indies

US firm 8tracks […] and has become an under-the-radar success: not just popular, but profitable too. Some achievement given that most streaming music services are losing money by the sackful. […] 8tracks launched in August 2008, bootstrapped by its founders, and ran for three years with “a little bit of cash from angel investors to pay our royalty bills” before raising a $1.2m seed round in 2011, then another $1.4m in 2014. The basic service is free with advertising, but also offers a “Plus” tier for subscribers to pay $25 every six months to remove the ads […] Some tracks are streamed from SoundCloud, via an integration with that service that means for those songs “the artist or label has waived their royalties”. However, [David Porter] says 8tracks thinks a lot about how it can be “a better friend” to independent labels in particular. “We’re working towards direct deals with labels, certainly on the indie side of things where there’s more flexibility than with the majors,” he says. – Stuart Dredge,The Guardian 
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YouTube’s streaming music service just overcame its last big barrier

The streaming video platform has struck a deal to license music from smaller record labels, ending a dispute that had included threats to take down videos from acts including Adele and the Arctic Monkeys. The deal, first reported by the Financial Times was struck between YouTube and Merlin, a company that represents a variety of smaller record labels. Merlin and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment. YouTube has been developing a streaming music service for quite some time. It was originally slated for launch in late 2013, but has been pushed back multiple times. The service is reportedly called “YouTube Music Key” and includes features similar to those found on other music services. – Jason Abbruzzese,Mashable
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Cable Boxes are Screwing Independent Filmmakers. Google to the Rescue?

[I]f someone’s heard of your film, in order to actually find it on their cable box, they must: 1) know they have On Demand in the first place, 2) know where to find On Demand, 3) know which particular On Demand channel to search on, 4) know to search for several abbreviated versions of the title if they don’t find it initially, and 5) remember their PIN code to make the purchase, if they ever set it up in first place, and if they didn’t, know the default PIN code. Going through those steps, you go from 75% to 50% to 25% to 10% to 5% of the customers. By the time you narrow down the customer base to people who fit all of those criteria, we’ve already lost most of your potential viewers. […] When Google announced their first foray into TV four years ago, I wrote, optimistically, “Google TV is what independent filmmakers have been waiting for.” In retrospect, I couldn’t have been more wrong, because in turned out no one was waiting for Google TV — or, at least, no one was buying it. Google tried again with their Roku-esque dongle Chromecast, but that was never going to disrupt the industry except by lowering the price of entry. […] Microsoft is trying with the Xbox (which unfortunately has to resort to IR-blasting), Apple has long had a rumored next-gen TV product in the works, and now Google is trying again with its new Nexus Player, which runs the latest version of Android TV. Similar to how Google launches unbranded Nexus phones as an example of best practices for Android phones, the Nexus Player is an unbranded example of what other manufacturers can do with Android TV. – Ryan Koo,No Film School 
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If Streaming Is the Future, You Can Kiss Jazz and Other Genres Goodbye

In its first year of streaming on Spotify, my band Ceramic Dog earned 210 euros in Europe and $47.12 in the United States from our album “Your Turn.” The album cost over $15,000 to make. By contrast, CD sales on earlier albums netted us between $4,000 and $9,000. […] Indie artists may only constitute 38 percent of market share, but they represent well over 90 percent of working musicians, and a great majority of works released. Spotify likes to say that they are already paying 70 percent to rights holders. However, this does not mean that their model is sustainable for artists. If the type of music I make is no longer sustainable, you can kiss most jazz, classical, folk, experimental, and a whole lot of indie bands goodbye. – Marc Ribot via The New York Times
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VAYTUS is Music Streaming That Indie Lovers Deserve

In today’s climate of savvy technology, it makes no sense that music artists get paid mere pennies from music streaming services. It makes even less sense that indie music fans don’t have a service tailored to their specific needs. Founders and University of Michigan MBAs, Aniefre Essien and Brandon Sledge-Mellon, announce Vaytus, a Los Angeles-based, curated music streaming experience for the nation’s best indie music. […] VAYTUS launched a Kickstarter campaign and has already raised nearly $23,100, but needs to raise an additional $6,900 by October 10th. VAYTUS will use the Kickstarter funds to cover the programming costs required to ensure technical stability, and to secure the requisite bandwidth for national release. – VentureBeat 
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The Rise Of Indie Streaming

For better or worse, a future where most music is available for streaming looks unavoidable. Recognizing this, independent record labels and their artists are finding ways to ride the wave on their own terms. […] Brand loyalty is very real in the world of independent music, with a tight-knit group of serious fans looking for ways to connect. […] People don’t want to connect with an algorithm, they want to connect to artists and each other. With digital sales declining year to year as streaming services become more prevalent, even a small fan base willing to pay labels directly are being seen as a lifeline. […] While major streaming services still have something to offer to indie labels, like a way to get their music in the hands of anyone around the world, it presents a very real problem. We can expect to see more imaginative and cooperative concepts from indie labels in the near future. – Peter Getty,Hypebot
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