RouteNote helps independent artist get to No.2 in charts

We’ve been helping artists get their music around the world for over 10 years now and we’re seeing more and more success stories from artists who didn’t need a label to make it big. Two RouteNote artists are currently in the Top 10 for one of the world’s biggest population of music lovers – China

Horizon Janji RouteNote artist independent music charts number 2 china asia kanjian axero

China is breaking out as one of the biggest digital music audiences in the world with 1.4 billion ears across the country ready for the latest tunes. That’s why we are doubly thrilled to see 2 artists who use RouteNote to get their music worldwide in the top 10 for the music charts in China.

Janji is currently all the way at the top with his track ‘Horizon’ currently sitting at number 2 in the whole country. On top of Janji’s amazing performance in the charts, the producers new track has been used in over 9 million videos on the streaming app TikTok – China can’t get enough of Janji right now.

Another of our favourite artists is also doing incredibly well in China. Axero is currently sitting at number 9 in China’s official charts with his track ‘Trip’. Axero has long been one of RouteNote’s top artists, managed by our Outertone label, and it’s incredible being part of an artist’s journey to such amazing achievements.

Thanks to our partnership with Kanjian both Janji and Axero easily sent their music to the top music stores and services across China. Kanjian are China’s best source of music and with a focus on new and independent artists they are the perfect entry for artists uploading on RouteNote to get their music in front of one of the world’s biggest music audiences. In fact, Kanjian’s own music store boasts the largest catalogue of indie music in the entirety of Asia.

You can upload your music to Kanjian as well as all the major streaming services and stores in the West and the East, totally free on RouteNote. Start your journey today and get your music heard around the world at www.routenote.com.

YouTube has paid out nearly $2 billion for music in the past year

YouTube have reinvented themselves for music in the past year and it’s paying off as musicians are making more than ever before on the world’s home for video.

Only 1 year ago and YouTube was a very different place for artists. The Google owned video giant was scrabbling to sign deals with the major labels and smaller rightsholders and publishing agencies as pressure from the music industry mounted over their poor payouts for artists with a streaming rate lower than all of the music streaming services.

That all changed this year with the launch of YouTube Music. Their new service offers a dedicated music service offering all of their varied music content from full albums to music videos and live concerts. Most importantly of all, with it’s own dedicated platform music now gets paid much more fairly on YouTube and not the same ad-revenues that every YouTube video receives.

YouTube revealed in their new report on fighting piracy that in the last 12 months they have paid out more than $1.8 billion in ad revenues to the music industry. That’s a giant 80% more than the year ending September 2017 when they had generated just $1 billion for the music industry. They say that all-in-all they have paid out over $6 billion in total ad-revenues to the music industry, meaning the past 12 months make up almost a third of all their music payments. That’s how significant YouTube Music is to artists and their livelihood on the video streaming site.

YouTube say in their report: “Combined with revenue from our growing subscription service, YouTube Music Premium, and money earned from monetising fan uploads, YouTube is contributing a meaningful and growing revenue stream for the industry while providing a powerful platform to engage with fans around the world.”

YouTube presented Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off as an example of the success that artists can find on YouTube. By July 2018 Swift’s music video had been watched over 2.5 billion times, which was more than 10x the amount of times it had been streamed on traditional streaming services. According to research by MIDiA, music videos now reach 1 billion views 10 times quicker that they did in 2010.

It’s a lucrative platform and now they’re compensating artists fairly, it’s a great place to be discovered and listened to. YouTube are definitely paying out artists more now but even last August their Head of Music, Lyor Cohen claimed: “Critics complain YouTube isn’t paying enough money for ad-supported streams compared to Spotify or Pandora. I was one of them! Then I got here and looked at the numbers myself.

“At over $3 per thousand streams in the U.S., YouTube is paying out more than other ad-supported services. Why doesn’t anyone know that? Because YouTube is global and the numbers get diluted by lower contributions in developing markets. But they’re working the ads hustle like crazy so payouts can ramp up quickly all around the world. If they can do that, this industry could double in the next few years.” With an 80% increase in music ad-revenue in the past 12 months, Cohen wasn’t wrong.

YouTube’s new mobile app tracks your time watching videos

We’ve all got stuck on YouTube watching videos for hours and ending up on a completely different video to where you started. Now you can see how long your video journeys take you.

Google have rolled out a new feature on their Android and iOS apps that keeps track of how much time you’ve been watching videos. All YouTube accounts will now have a ‘Time Watched’ profile showing exactly how much time each user has spent binging videos as well as some more new features to help viewers manage their time.

The feature, unveiled at Google I/O in May, will appear in the YouTube app’s account menu and show how long you’ve watched yesterday and over the past 7 days. If the amount of time you’ve spent watching videos in the past week seems a bit excessive and worries you, you can now also set a reminder to take a break from watching YouTube. Set a timer from your settings for the amount of time you want to be watching for at most and YouTube will ask you when your time’s up if you want to continue.

YouTube are also trying to become less invasive with their new mobile dashboard. We all know how annoying apps that push notifications on your screen all day are. Well YouTube want to keep you up to date without cluttering your notifications so now you can choose from your Settings to bundle all of your notifications for YouTube into one. You can even select at what time you want that notification every day.

If you are still opting to get all notifications then don’t worry about being disturbed at night as YouTube have disabled sounds and vibrations for notifications between 10pm and 8am. You can also customise this to your liking, whether you want silent notifications set between a different period of time or if you want them to be noisy 24/7.

Take even more control over how you watch YouTube now on Android and iOS.

Nab Noiiz, a simple great filter fx plugin that’s free

Get your perfect filter effects with this excellent sounding, varied filter effect plugin that will take your mix to the next level at no cost.

The Noiiz Filter is a free plugin with loads of functionality for crafting the sounds of your mix and is incredibly simple to use. It uses expertly designed analogue modelling DSP, a truly unique noise generator and a super fat overdrive circuit, this will become your go to sound sculpting filter.

The plugin comes with 9 filter types that you can choose from all modelled closely from the analogue filter circuit in a classic synth. Noiiz’s creator’s say: “The result is smooth, musical, warm, and fat. The resonance is sweet and when combined with the overdriven circuit, it distorts beautifully.”

The plugin will seamlessly blend it’s shaping abilities into your tracks with you guiding the sound behind it. You can choose from a bunch of different effects like vinyl crackle on drums, automating bicycle clicks over pads, and even change the pitch for riser effects.

The free Noiiz Filter’s key features include:

  • 9 analogue modelled filter circuits
  • Super analogue drive and resonance
  • Adaptive noise control
  • Large bank of noise samples
  • Noise pitch control
You can download Noiiz for free on Windows and Mac here.

Warner Music just sold all their Spotify stock to give to artists

Can big record labels still have a conscience and do good? Warner Music Group may have just proved that with a big move for artists and labels.

Warner Music Group have just sold all of their holdings in Spotify stock for a significant $504 million. The big news however is that Warner are passing these funds off to artists and labels in a significant move which gives something back from the monumental success of music streaming. Over $100 million of the money from their Spotify shares will be distributed to their roster.

Warner Music Group’s CEO, Steve Cooper said on an earnings call: “In February 2016, we were the first major to announce a policy to share proceeds from equity in streaming services with artists. I’m pleased to say that, in connection with the sale of our Spotify equity, an estimated $126 million will be credited to artist accounts on their June 30th royalty statements which are issued around the world in August and September. As such, we took the P&L expense in the quarter.”

Cooper re-assured that the sale of stocks didn’t represent their thoughts on Spotify’s future or music streaming’s prospects, as you’d expect considering how streaming is booming. Cooper continues: “Just so there won’t be any misinterpretation about the rationale for our decision to sell, let me be clear: we’re a music company, and not, by our nature, long-term holders of publicly traded equity.”

Cooper went on to speak on the increasing competition in music streaming as services like Apple Music and Spotify continue to grow rapidly and other services like Amazon and YouTube expand. He says that competition in the new ‘streaming’ arena of music is “good news for our business” as their digital revenues continue to soar.

Cooper says: “Amazing new music from our artists and songwriters and great execution from our global operators have driven our year-to-date revenue up 12%, or 7% in constant currency. While streaming continues to fuel our growth, we are exploring a wide array of creative and commercial opportunities in order to position ourselves for long-term success.”

Warner Music Group’s executive vice-president and CFO, Eric Levin added: “We are pleased with our revenue growth in the context of a very difficult prior-year comparison. The health of our business is evidenced by our very strong cash generation.”

Berklee College of Music now accept a laptop with controller as instruments

You can create entire flowing compositions and amazingly detailed pieces with just a controller and computer, so it’s rightfully being recognised as an instrument.

Electronic music making and production is becoming more advanced and prominent every single day. The prestigious Berklee College of Music have just announced that they recognise a laptop with music software and a controller as an instrument for students wishing to sign up with that as their primary music-making tool.

Berklee have called the setup an EDI which stands for Electronic Digital Instrument and say that they have changed their position on how they view the role computer technology has in modern music making. As it becomes more powerful and flexible computers are being used for the majority of a lot of modern music, even making up the entire non-vocal side of many contemporary hits.

Berklee’s chair of Electronic Production and Design, Michael Bierylo says: “This new initiative is going to have a huge effect on the field of music education. We’ll now have the opportunity to study and teach an important way that artists are currently exploring music.”

Berklee’s site now includes a section for electronic music production, including the basis of their EDI student program. It reads:

EDI principals will develop proficiency in specific areas, depending on their choice and configuration of a performance system. Although students coming into the program may be highly developed in one or more ways of performing, the goal of the EDI program will be to expand their capabilities in other areas, adding to their skill level as innovative, versatile electronic musicians who are able to perform in a range of musical settings.

What the Program Gives You

Upon completion of the performance core program with an electronic digital instrument, you will be able to:

  • design and configure a versatile, responsive, and musically expressive electronic performance system; 
  • synthesise and integrate knowledge of musical styles to develop effective electronic performance strategies; 
  • play in a variety of electronic performance modes using a variety of controllers;
  • use common types of synthesizers;
  • produce audio assets from a variety of sources, and use them in a live performance;
  • demonstrate proficiency in effect processing in a live performance; and
  • perform in solo and ensemble settings, taking on melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and textural roles as well as arranging, mixing, remixing, and real-time compositional musical roles using all parts of one’s performance system.

Find out more at: www.berklee.edu/electronic-production-design/electronic-digital-instrument-principal

Can you make a living off of Spotify? This independent artist does

This instrumental guitarist is one of many independent musicians who are now making a living entirely off of music streaming on Spotify.

The internet has opened up opportunities for people all around the world to get their work out there to millions of people. The autonomy of online services is even allowing independent musicians to live off of their work just from streams online, as is the case with Tennessee-based guitarist Lance Allen.

Spotify spoke to Lance about his success and being able to make a living off of his music without having to rely on anyone else. As a truly independent musician Lance doesn’t use a label, doesn’t have managers of agents, records and releases all of his own music, he doesn’t even tour his music. The music industry is changing, and the artists are taking back control.

Lance had been playing for years with no concern of making it his career as he looked after his family and taught guitar as a profession. He would play the odd wedding and release CDs at his small gigs to anyone who wanted them. In 2013 Lance’s track ‘Kansas Town’ was selected by Spotify to be included in the Acoustic Concentration playlist with over half a million subscribers.

Allen says: “I don’t know how it got on there; I had no experience with Spotify. One of my students came up to me one day and said, ‘Hey, you’re on a Spotify playlist!’ I didn’t think I’d get paid much, but that song started getting hundreds of thousands of streams, and a couple months later I got a  really nice payment from [my distributor].”

All those efforts eventually paid off in June 2017, when he was added to Peaceful Guitar. Allen has since become a recurring presence on Spotify’s official playlists, to the tune of some 20,000,000 streams. “If you’re putting out good content, often, the playlisters are going to see that,” Allen says. “But the first step is getting on a lot of individual playlists, so you that have a better chance of showing up in the Spotify curator’s list of possibilities.”