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German study offers optimism for Covid-safe music concerts

Artists, the music industry and fans alike are keen for news on how and when concerts can return safely, at scale. There’s news of an encouraging experiment in Germany to report this morning.

Pollstar has the story: about a concert at Lepzig’s Quarterback Immobilien Arena for 1,500 attendees, wearing contact-tracing devices to gather data on their movements within the venue.

But the organisers also used fog machines to track the air flow within the arena, to understand the potential risks of airborne Covid-19 transmission. And the findings?

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Gema warns of ‘even more difficult’ 2021 for many musicians

Germany collecting society Gema held its annual general meeting last week – online, of course, with around 1,000 of its songwriter, composer and publisher members taking part.

The event included some blunt words from CEO Dr Harald Heker on why Covid-19 relief measures taken by the society this year can only go so far.

“We are aware that these acute support schemes are not enough. From a financial perspective, 2021 will be even more difficult for many of you. Our revenues will be lower than in 2020, and we will therefore pay out less to you,” he warned delegates at the AGM. “Since March, hardly any events have taken place, which is an economic disaster of huge proportions.”

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IFPI takes aim at more ‘music streaming manipulation’ sites

Global music body the IFPI is continuing its battle against ‘streaming manipulation’ services. Together with German body BVMI, it has secured court injunctions against the operators of five websites promising to inflate artists’ streaming counts artificially.

The sites are Socialnow·de, Socialgeiz·de, Likergeiz·de, Netlikes and Likesandmore, with a sixth site (Fanexplosion·de) having already removed the relevant service in response to a cease and desist letter.

“Streaming manipulation companies deprive right holders of revenue and mislead consumers. We are committed to tackling this problem,” said IFPI CEO Frances Moore.

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Mike Singer single promoted with stream-to-unlock campaign

Warner Music Central Europe has created a stream-to-unlock initiative to push ‘100Tausend’ (‘100 Thousand’), the new single from German artist Mike Singer which is released on 17 July.

Users going to a page on his website pick their streaming service of choice and then they have to play ‘Paranoid’ (the first single from the new album) as well as pre-save or pre-add ‘100Tausend’.

As more fans do this, it will trigger an incremental reveal of the lyrics and when the campaign reaches 100% of its target, a snippet of ‘100Tausend’ can be heard before its full release at the end of the week.

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Hamburg’s Music WorX accelerator seeks four music/tech startups

We’ve written regularly about music/tech accelerators and incubators like Techstars Music, Abbey Road Red and Marathon Artists Labs. Another one that’s well regarded is Music WorX in Hamburg, run by the publicly-funded Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft body.

It’s kicking off a new cohort for 2020, with a three-month program for “teams who have not yet or only recently founded their company”.

There’ll be up to four teams participating in the program, which will provide €5k to help them develop their business idea plus another €1.5k per team per month towards living costs. The publicly-funded nature of the accelerator means it does not take equity.