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Spotify tests on-demand access to some playlists for free users

“Does Anyone's Spotify Look Like This?” wrote a plaintive poster on Spotify’s Android support forums a couple of weeks ago, with screenshots showing what appears to be a stripped-down, spacier user interface for the...
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Artist managers talk data, transparency and the attention economy

Coming off the back of 2014’s Dissecting The Digital Dollar report and 2017’s guides on both digital deals and transparency (as well as the beta launch of the Digital Deals Comparison Calculator), music management body...
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Expansion on the agenda for YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify

Three separate stories this morning come together into a strand illustrating 2018’s status as a continued landgrab for new music-streaming subscribers. YouTube is finally readying a global push for its YouTube Red tier;...
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Terrible Merch talks music merchandise: ‘Fans do understand quality’

If you are going to give your company a name like Terrible Merch, it’s going to attract questions. Is it a post-modern double bluff? Is it a 'get out of jail free' card? Or is it a sly dig at the competition? For Terrible...
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Apple HomePod release sparks more analyst predictions

The Apple HomePod joined the smart-speakers battle on Friday, with first shipments of the device landing in people’s living rooms and kitchens. The first takes on HomePod in last week’s reviews are hardening into a wider...
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Recording Academy faces further industry criticism

Earlier this month, a group of six senior women from the music industry wrote to the Recording Academy calling for it to up its game on diversity, and offering their help. One report yesterday suggested that they have been...
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A&R in the digital age: ‘Learn with your artist and be open to admitting your mistakes’

In a world of streaming, social networks and the ability for any artist to get their music up on digital platforms, how is the role of the label A&R evolving? A panel at AIM’s Indie-Con conference in London today addressed...
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Independent artists talk fans, streaming and digital survival

Around 20,000 new songs are added to streaming services like Spotify every single day. A sobering statistic for an independent artist wondering how they can cut through the noise to reach people who’ll love their music. So...
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Record labels, huh? What are they good for in 2018?

If Music Ally had a pound for every time we’d heard someone predicting The Death Of The Label, we’d have enough money by now to buy at least two of the majors.
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Wellbeing in the music industry: ‘It’s a global myth that mental illness is a weakness’

Modern life is rubbish, as a wise Britpop band once told us. At least, it can be, if digital noise, work pressures and an always-on lifestyle start to get on top of you, or if you're not receiving good enough support for...
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How does UK radio and streaming-playlist plugging work in 2018?

What’s more important for an independent artist in 2018: getting A-listed by prominent radio stations, or bagging some prominent slots on the playlists curated by Spotify and Apple Music? A panel at AIM’s Indie-Con...
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Case study: marketing Laura Marling’s Semper Femina album

Laura Marling’s last album, ‘Semper Femina’, is a wonderful piece of work: something I’ve returned to again and again since its release, discovering new details every time. Hats off to that, then. But also to the...