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Motive Unknown boss talks marketing, merch and Spotify

In 2011, PIAS Group’s head of digital marketing Darren Hemmings left to set up his own consultancy, Motive Unknown. Originally conceived as a solo freelance affair, seven years on the company has expanded to six people,...
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Spotify adds feature for pitching unreleased music to its playlist curators

Spotify has added a new feature to its back-end: the ability for artists and labels to submit unreleased songs for “playlist consideration” by its in-house team of curators. The feature goes live today in beta, as...
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U2 still the top-earning musicians in Forbes Celebrity chart

Forbes has published its annual ‘Celebrity 100’ list of the highest-paid entertainers in the world, with many headlines (and inevitable internet arguments) focusing on its claim that Kylie Jenner is set to be “the...
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Merch Cat launches direct-to-fan merchandise app for live shows

Merchandise-management firm Merch Cat has launched a new app, Merch Cat Fan, which it hopes will drive sales of merchandise around live shows – with less queuing involved for fans. The idea is that fans will browse and...
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Maple Media to launch blockchain-powered live-EDM streaming

While we take a break from trying to find new words to describe the 368th startup promising to revolutionise ticket sales with the blockchain, here’s another spin on using the technology for musical purposes. Maple Media,...
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IFPI welcomes EU-Japan trade agreement but calls for more talks

Yesterday saw the European Union and Japan sign what’s being described as the world’s largest bilateral free trade deal, which according to the Guardian “is set to eliminate nearly all tariffs on products traded between...
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Japanese lyric-animating startup Cotodama joins Abbey Road Red

UK-based music/tech incubator Abbey Road Red has announced the latest startup to join its program: Japanese firm Cotodama. The company will spend the next six months working with the incubator at Abbey Road Studios in London...
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Spotify hires Arab Music editor ahead of Middle East push

Spotify’s latest recruit to its curation team is an interesting one: Suhel Nafar, who will work out of the company’s New York office and focus on its Arab Music & Culture hub. Nafar is co-founder of Palestinian hip-hop...
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Pollstar mid-year Top 50 Tours chart sets new sales record

The top 50 worldwide tours in the first half of 2018 set a new record for ticket sales, according to Pollstar. Its mid-year chart shows a 12% spike in gross sales to $2.21bn. “It’s the chart’s biggest rise since 2015-16...
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Universal Music doubles down on Africa with Nigeria division

Shortly after expanding into French-speaking African countries with a new division, Universal Music is further extending its activities on the continent. It’s launching a Universal Music Nigeria division, based in Lagos,...
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Music-streaming services now 8% of audio listening in the UK

British communications regulator Ofcom has published a new report, Media Nations, which is making headlines with its claim that TV-streaming services have now overtaken traditional pay-television in the UK. However, the...
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BTS characters BT21 get exclusive on Facebook Messenger

Have you heard of BT21? They’re the animated characters created by K-Pop megastars BTS, who’ve become a popular merchandising line in their own right. Now they’re enjoying a new extension on Facebook Messenger, as well...