NIN and Apple Music’s Trent Reznor says free music is “here to stay”

The Nine Inch Nails frontman-cum-Apple Music executive Trent Reznor shares his thoughts on streaming, emphasising that free music isn’t going anywhere.

The singer and music industry veteran spoke on Wednesday about the future of music, in particular after the dawn of streaming. He shared his experience and thoughts, based particularly on a collaborative album Reznor made with Saul Williams that they offered for free or a $5 charge that goes straight to artists.

“Maybe 30,000 downloads occurred in the next week and less than 20 percent were paid for,” he noted. “I thought that second number would be higher. At the time, I felt I was making a genuine offer, worded simply and confrontationally, for something I thought had genuine value. So I was bummed out by the result. It took the wind out of my sails as far as thinking of direct-to-customer as a sustainable business for a musician.

“In a way, that experience gave me a preemptive look at music today. You’re not making money from albums; instead they’re a vessel for making people aware of you. That’s what led me to thinking that a singular subscription service clearly is the only way this problem is going to be solved. If we can convert as many music fans as possible to the value of that, in a post-ownership world, it would be the best way to go.”

Trent Reznor Nine Inch Nails apple music streaming free subscription paid
Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine with Trent Reznor

Reznor has the unique position of having experienced both sides of the coin, as an artist who now has an executive position at Apple Music. He joined Apple after their takeover of Beats by Dre where he served as chief creative officer. Since joining Apple he has helped to launch Apple Music’s massively popular Beats 1 internet radio station.

Reznor said that: “Without going into detail, I’ll say it’s been an education. I’ve been on the other side of artists b**** about payments and free music, and I agree with those arguments, but you can sit and b**** about the way things are, or you can try to effect some change.

“Working under the Apple umbrella, I have a unique opportunity to work on a streaming service from the inside. I thought I could help set a precedent where artists could actually be paid and the fans could feel like they were dealing with a service run by people who actually care about music.”

Since joining Apple Music he’s discovered how difficult the industry is and how complicated the acquisition and then distribution of royalties. He continued: “Where it seems to have wound up is that free music is here to stay. It doesn’t seem like, with all the different services, artist payments are coming together in the way that one would hope.”

There’s still a long way to go though for, what is essentially still, a new music platform (streaming). The Copyright Royalty Board will be discussing, until the end of the year, the royalty rates for streaming services that will be in place for the next five years.

How good is your headbanging? This metal band will tell you

A Japanese metal band are taking headbanging to the next level with a new website that lets you bang out and ranks you on your abilities.

Crossfaith, Japanese electrocore metal band, are looking for the top headbangers in the metal world. With their new website metal-heads can headbang along to Crossfaith’s music while their webcam tracks how they’re doing.

As you listen to the song the webcam counts your headbangs and grills you for a rubbish performance. If you start slowing down or your neck breaks the site will shout at you “Why are you stopping?” as it gives you 10 seconds to get back to whipping your hair back and forth… er, I mean headbanging.

If you make it to the end of a track you will be rewarded with a personal artwork based on your performance alongside a headbang count. I’m not sure how sensible the active promotion of swinging your neck around as fast as you possibly can is but I’m sure most metalheads know their limits by now.

The website was launched in promotion of Crossfaith’s new EP ‘Freedom’. It seems to have worked as I had never heard of them before today, although I’m more fascinated by the concept than interested in their music. But hey – all publicity is good publicity, right?

MTV award nominations announced, and making awards gender-neutral

MTV have announced their music video and film award nominations and have combined categories to neutralise gendered awards.

MTV’s infamous award ceremony have revealed who’s up for awards in the 2017 show. In addition they have combine Best Male and Best Female Video into an ‘Artist of the Year’ award. The movie and TV awards are also no longer distinguished by gender, replaced with one winning TV actor and one Film actor.

Speaking on the decision to neutralise the awards for both genders, MTV general manager Amy Doyle said: “Great acting is great acting, no matter what the gender or non-gender. And it is really reflective about the audience’s views and when you look at the culture as a whole, you had a man against a woman running for president. It just felt like a dated construct for a category.”

This year Kendrick Lamar is dominating the awards show with eight nominations for his music video to ‘Humble’, the first single from his latest album ‘DAMN.’. The Weeknd and Katy Perry both follow behind with an impressive five nominations each.

The MTV VMAs will take place on the 27th August in LA.

The nominations for the new, non-gendered MTV VMA awards are as follows:

Video of the Year

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records)
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam)
DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records)

Artist of the Year

Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)
Kendrick Lamar (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)
Ed Sheeran (Atlantic Records)
Ariana Grande (Republic Records)
The Weeknd (XO/Republic Records)
Lorde (Republic Records)

Best New Artist (Presented by Taco Bell)

Khalid (RCA Records)
Kodak Black (Atlantic Records)
SZA (TDE/RCA Records)
Young M.A (3D)
Julia Michaels (Republic Records)
Noah Cyrus (Records)

Best Collaboration

Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez – “We Don’t Talk Anymore” (Atlantic Records)
DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best)
D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli” (Atlantic Records)
The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – “Closer” (Disruptor Records/Columbia Records)
Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – “Feels” (Columbia Records)
Zayn & Taylor Swift – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” (Republic Records)

Best Pop

Shawn Mendes – “Treat You Better” (Island Records)
Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You” (Asylum/Atlantic Records)
Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times” (Columbia Records)
Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down” (Syco Music/Epic Records)
Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records)
Miley Cyrus – “Malibu” (RCA Records)

Best Hip-Hop

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)
Big Sean – “Bounce Back” (Def Jam)
Chance the Rapper – “Same Drugs” (Chance the Rapper LLC)
D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli” (Atlantic Records)
Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad & Boujee” (300 Entertainment)
DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne – “I’m The One” (Epic Records/We The Best)

Best Dance

Zedd and Alessia Cara – “Stay” (Interscope)
Kygo x Selena Gomez – “It Ain’t Me” (Ultra/Interscope)
Calvin Harris – “My Way” (Columbia Records)
Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber and MØ – “Cold Water” (Mad Decent)
Afrojack ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Gone” (Wall Recordings/Latium/RCA Records)

Best Rock

Coldplay – “A Head Full of Dreams” (Parlophone/Atlantic Records)
Fall Out Boy – “Young And Menace” (Island)
Twenty One Pilots – “Heavydirtysoul” (Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic Records)
Green Day – “Bang Bang” (Warner Bros. Records)
Foo Fighters – “Run” (RCA Records)

Best Fight Against the System

Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson – “Black SpiderMan” (Def Jam)
The Hamilton Mixtape – “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” (Atlantic Records)
Big Sean – “Light” (Def Jam)
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam)
Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley – “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”
John Legend – “Surefire” (Columbia Records)

Best Cinematography

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Scott Cunningham)
Imagine Dragons – “Thunder” (KIDinaKORNER/Interscope) (Matthew Wise)
Ed Sheeran – “Castle On The Hill” (Asylum/Atlantic Records) (Steve Annis)
DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels – “Nobody Speak” (Mass Appeal Records LLC) (David Proctor)
Halsey – “Now or Never” (Astralwerks/Capitol) (Kristof Brandl)

Best Direction

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Dave Meyers & the little homies)
Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records) (Mathew Cullen)
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records)  (Cameron Duddy & Bruno Mars)
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam) (Aaron A)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Glenn Michael)

Best Art Direction

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Spencer Graves)
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records) (Alex Delgado)
Katy Perry ft. Migos – “Bon Appetit” (Capitol Records) (Natalie Groce)
DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best) (Damian Fyffe)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Creative Director: Lamar C Taylor / Co-creative Director: Christo Anesti)

Best Visual Effects

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Company: Timber/Lead: Jonah Hall)
A Tribe Called Quest – “Dis Generation” (Epic Records) (Company: Bemo/Lead: Brandon Hirzel)
KYLE ft. Lil Yachty – “iSpy” (Atlantic Records) (Company: Gloria FX/Leads: Max Colt & Tomash Kuzmytskyi)
Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records) (Company: MIRADA)
Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times” (Columbia Records) (Company: ONE MORE/Lead: Cédric Nivoliez)

Best Choreography

Kanye West – “Fade” (Def Jam) (Teyana Taylor, Guapo, Jae Blaze & Derek ‘Bentley’ Watkins)
Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj – “Side To Side” (Republic Records) (Brian & Scott Nicholson)
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)  (Dave Meyers)
Sia – “The Greatest” (Monkey Puzzle Records/RCA Records) (Ryan Heffington)
Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down” (Syco Music/Epic Records) (Sean Bankhead)

Best Editing

Future – “Mask Off” (Epic Records/Freebandz/A1) (Vinnie Hobbs of VHPost)
Young Thug – “Wyclef Jean” (300 Entertainment/Atlantic Records) (Ryan Staake & Eric Degliomini)
Lorde – “Green Light” (Republic Records) (Nate Gross of Exile Edit)
The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – “Closer” (Disruptor Records/Columbia Records) (Jennifer Kennedy)
The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Red Barbaza)

YouTube’s live TV package is coming to 10 more cities

YouTube are bringing their new TV subscription package to more audiences, introducing the service to 10 new cities.

Earlier this year, in April, YouTube launched YouTube TV, a new package that allowed you to stream live TV from a bunch of the top networks. It was a tasty package, offering a large variety of the biggest Cable channels at a cheaper cost, with the benefit of being watched anywhere with an internet connection. Now even more Americans are getting the opportunity to sign up.

YouTube TV will expand to; Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Dallas, Charlotte, and Washington DC. YouTube TV is expected to come to these cities on Thursday, joining New York, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia with access to the package.

YouTube TV is a brilliant subscription for TV lovers as it gives you unlimited access to channels from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN and many more, wherever you are. On top of live TV, YouTube TV lets you use a DVR service in the cloud for unlimited saving of programmes to watch later, where they’ll remain recorded for up to 9 months.

YouTube TV also includes YouTube Red original productions and can be shared with up to six people. It is planned to be made available in more areas on an ongoing basis, with more networks including BBC and Sundance planned for addition to the service.

Kosso’s debut album hits No.5 in the Dutch album charts

RouteNote was thrilled to see that one of our incredibly talented artists, Kosso, has flown up the charts with his debut album hitting number 5 this week.

We have hundreds of amazing artists that use our service everyday and always just as much of an excitement for us when we see an artist who works with us doing well. When we saw how well Kosso was doing with his brand new album we just had to share the great news!

Kosso is a rapper/hip-hop artist from the Netherlands who has been steadily building a reputation in his homeland that has seen him become a massive success. With his new album ‘Nooit te laat’ Kosso has proven himself to be a powerful force in music shooting all the way up to number 5 in the Dutch charts in his first week.

Listen to Kosso’s new album on Spotify here:

Kosso

Website – www.kosso.nl

Facebook – www.facebook.com/kossomusic

Twitter – twitter.com/kossomusic

YouTube –www.youtube.com/channel/UCfM34vnvH-4iE8XnOr9aSig

Aphex Twin’s son special guest features on new track

Electronic music pioneer and twisted genius Aphex Twin experimented with creating a track using only Korg instruments and tech.

Aphex Twin, real name Richard D. James, has joined up with Korg to create a new track that tests the versatility of Korg’s instruments and products. The result of his experiment is a new track from the renowned producer with a feature from James’ son.

James has long been a fan of Korg’s electronic kit, using an array of Korg devices throughout his career to create crazy electronic pieces and sophisticated arrangements alike. His relationship with Korg has gone so far as to see James work on their Monologue synth ensuring that the instrument featured micro-tuning.

For this project James teamed up with Tatsuya Takahashi, Korg advisor and former engineer for their products. Using James extensive musical knowledge and experimental creativity combined with Takahashi’s inside knowledge of how the devices work the two created a track made up of entirely sounds produced by Korg products.

For their track ‘korg funk 5’ the duo explored the capabilities of 7 different Korg devices working together to create a track. To make the track even more special Richard D. James has used his own son’s vocals on the track. Have a listen:

Alongside the surprise music project they also released a discussion between James and Takahashi as they delve into their deep knowledge of synthesizers and electronic instruments. No doubt interesting for many Aphex Twin fans, but for music tech geeks it will be a fascinating look inside the minds of a musical pioneer in the subject and an engineer responsible for some the present’s defining devices.

Aphex Twin also released some short “tracks” created with a variety of Korg products to accompany the other. You can hear them on Korg’s SoundCloud.

Dr. Dre drops a surprise new track, first new music since 2015

Dr. Dre has been quiet on the music front since dropping his first album in 16 years back in 2015, but now he’s back with a brand new single.

This week Dr. Dre, the internationally acclaimed rapper-come-businessman, surprise dropped a new track out of nowhere. The track, titled ‘Gunfiyah’, is Dre’s first public musical endeavour since he released his album Compton in 2015 – his first album since 1999’s ‘2001’ album.

The song was created as part of The Defiant Ones, a new HBO series that explores the careers of Apple Music head and mogul Jimmy Iovine and Beats owner Dre. Dre’s new track ‘Gunfiyah’ will feature in the fourth episode of the documentary series. Dre debuted the new track on his show ‘The Pharmacy’ on Beats 1, Apple’s online radio station.

Despite the hype that surrounds anything by Dre, he has told Pitchfork that he does not plan to release the song officially. But Dre fans out there still have plenty to be excited about as Dre revealed that he’s going back into the studio with Eminem to work on his protegé’s ninth studio album.

In an interview with The Defiant One’s director Allen Hughes, he said: “Right now he’s producing, in the 11th hour, a track for Eminem’s latest album. So Dre’s still real active in music, you know? It’s the truth.”

Dre also has a lot going in his partnership with Apple as they too are planning a video series about the entrepreneurial rapper. Dre has also been heavily involved with overall video production for Apple Music’s new series, teaming up with Jimmy Iovine to spearhead the format for their music streaming service.

Sony are joining the vinyl revival, opening their first vinyl factory in 28 years

Sony are the first major record label to fully embrace the resurgence of vinyl as they reveal plans to begin manufacturing new records themselves.

Sony are to begin producing their own vinyl records again next year with the opening of a new production factory in Japan. Thanks to the massive revival of vinyl in recent years Sony’s decision will see them produce their first records since 1989.

Vinyl has surged in popularity in the past ten years with experts predicting vinyl sales to reach $1 billion this year. Despite it’s increasing popularity vinyl manufacturing has still been limited after most of the record manufacturing companies closed down after the 80’s saw CD’s take over.

Despite being one of the contributors to vinyl’s downfall, with the mass production of CDs, Sony are now taking the big step of re-opening a factory in Japan for the production of vinyl, the first major label to do this since CD’s took over. It was suggested that Sony may be moving back into vinyl personally as a months ago they provided their studio in Tokyo with a cutting lathe for producing master discs that vinyl records take music from.

Many labels gave up on the format as discs and digital music took the forefront of music, expected to remain as the primary ways to listen to music. However whilst recent years have seen the digital market boom, thanks in strong part to music streaming services, CD sales have dropped and continue to fall as fewer people look to compact discs for their tunes.

Various reasons have attributed to Vinyl’s against-the-odds survival. Many nostalgic music lovers remember it from their past, others feel it provides more of an experience to the music – having to handle the disc, place it on your set-top and lower the needle. Some cite vinyl as providing a higher quality thanks to its analog sound and then there are plenty who treat them like collectors items or decoration. Whatever their reason, vinyl is back and it doesn’t look it’s going to disappear again anytime soon.