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Music marketing in 2019: content, playlists… and Twitter skeletons

Musicians who are breaking through should be aware of any skeletons lurking in the cupboard of their past social-media posts, according to Andy Varley from music company Insanity Group.

“In a generation where more and more artists are growing up through social media, you might have used Twitter as a conversational playground discussion platform as a young teenager, and you have to remember that as soon as you start to cut through as an artist you really have a responsibility to your audience,” said Varley, in a panel session at CMU’s digital marketing conference during last week’s The Great Escape festival in Brighton.

“That can sometimes lead to artists in a place where their profile’s getting really big, and people can start going back through those tweets [and find] content that taken out of context can be really damaging for your career. So once you’re really starting to break through as an artist, or an executive even, you have to make sure you clear your platforms.”

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User-centric streaming payouts: Apple, major labels, new artists…

Apple has internally modelled how a user-centric system of music-royalty payouts would work, in an effort to understand its potential impact on artists and labels, according to Crispin Hunt, chair of songwriting body The Ivors Academy.

“They said ‘Be careful: we’ve modelled how this comes out’,” said Hunt, in a panel session about user-centric payouts at The Great Escape conference in Brighton. “Though some fringes like jazz would do much, much better… in the States, for Apple’s streaming service, in fact Taylor Swift is subsidising everybody else. An awful lot of people are playing Taylor Swift, but her music [royalties] are shared out among everybody.”

Hunt added that streaming service Deezer, which has “done an awful lot of work” analysing the user-centric model, has told him that the model *would* result in a different (and fairer, to independent artists and smaller genres) distribution of royalties.

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‘There will be a number one song that’s 100% AI-written’

The Great Escape in Brighton is one of the UK’s best showcases for new artists, but it’s also a chance for the industry to discuss some of the new technologies that could have an impact on those musicians’ careers. Yesterday, the focus was on artificial intelligence (AI) – particularly around AI that can create music or be used as a creative foil by human artists.

Organised by Complete Music Update (CMU) a day of panels kicked off with a spirited session of definitions from the academic world, in the shape of Margaret Boden from the University of Sussex – who has been involved in AI for decades – and Marcus O’Dair from Middlesex University.

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Ministry of Sound boss: major labels have ‘f***ed everybody up the arse’ on streaming

Does the phrase ‘fireside chat’ conjure up a vision of warm cosiness? Not when Ministry of Sound boss Lohan Presencer is one of the chatterers, it doesn’t.

An actual fireplace may have been lacking, but there was plenty of flaming going on during Presencer’s on-stage interview at Essential Marketing’s Fireside Sessions event in Brighton today, as music conference The Great Escape got underway.

Interviewed by Music Business Worldwide’s Tim Ingham, Ministry’s MD was in familiarly combative form as he discussed the dance brand’s evolving digital strategy, including his views on streaming music. Yes, including Spotify.

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Digital VP Francis Keeling, live from The Great Escape

WMG boss Edgar Bronfman Jr may think ad-supported streaming music has brought “no net benefit” to the music industry, but Universal Music Group International’s VP of Digital Francis Keeling today praised the freemium model adopted by Spotify.
”Spotify has been a big success,” said Keeling in his keynote interview at The Great Escape conference in Brighton this morning.