The future of music releases. Albums vs EP’s vs Playlists vs Mixtapes
The album isn’t completely dead and the playlist isn’t yet the be-all and end-all – which means that artists are somewhat creatively discombobulated in what is really a curious transition period. But with that comes...
May 21, 2020
Sony warns of Covid-19 hit from delayed music releases
Sony Music had an impressive first quarter of 2020, with its recorded music revenues growing by 13.5% year-on-year to $1.07bn, fuelled by a 27.4% rise in streaming revenues to $641.7m according to MBW. However, Sony Music’s...
May 14, 2020
Lil Baby album gets digital ‘deluxe’ treatment with music videos
In the streaming age, what is a ‘deluxe’ album anyway? It’s more than just extra tracks and alternative versions. A number of artists have explored Spotify’s ‘enhanced’ playlists format, which inserts videos between...
May 13, 2020
Sandbox Issue 251: Streaming and Music’s new formats
Lead: The playlist hasn’t killed the album… yet. Instead, artists and labels are caught between both and are starting to experiment with the shapes that releases can now take. Justin Bieber has begun chopping up his album...
April 30, 2020
Taylor Swift criticises ‘not approved by me’ live album
The Covid-19 pandemic may have up-ended the music industry in many ways, but there are some familiar sights to cling to. Taylor Swift at loggerheads with Scooter Braun and Big Machine, for example, beefing like it’s...
April 24, 2020
Dolly Parton and Laura Marling release surprise albums
Well, in the case of Dolly Parton it’s ‘re-release’ since her “93 Song Surprise” is the digital relaunch of six of her albums from earlier this century. ‘Little Sparrow’ (2001), ‘Halos...
April 14, 2020
Spain’s albums chart on hold due to coronavirus sales impact
Spanish industry body Promusicae has announced that the albums chart in Spain is being put on hold, due to the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on retail sales. Important context: the Spanish albums chart is based on...
April 8, 2020
Justin Bieber to release bi-weekly mini-compilations
News that Justin Bieber is going to be releasing a couple of albums a week during the coronavirus pandemic may raise your eyebrows, but there’s a caveat: these are compilations rather than all brand new material. “Gonna...
March 25, 2020
Official: Japanese band Arashi had the biggest album of 2019
The IFPI has now postponed the planned release of its Global Music Report on 24 March, but it is continuing to reveal some of the league tables from its stats section. Taylor Swift was the top global artist of 2019, and...
March 20, 2020
The mystery of Childish Gambino’s ‘Donald Glover Presents’
Fans of Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) got a surprise this weekend when a new album called ‘Donald Glover Presents’ appeared to drop out of the blue. Not on streaming services, but as Billboard reported, the album...
March 16, 2020
Catalogue marketing rejuvenated
Catalogue marketing used to mainly be about the 20th anniversary box set (with some demos and a couple of new photos added in) or about the same 15 songs in a slightly different order, popped in a slightly different sleeve...
February 19, 2020
Studio 54th: Super Bowl LIV will spawn a live visual album
The traditional music-biz talk around the Super Bowl focuses on the artists performing during its half-time show, and the sync value of its commercial breaks. But this year, the NFL itself is doing something really interesting...
January 31, 2020