Kanye West calls for a music revolution… RouteNote is already providing one

Kanye’s recent Twitter outburst speaks to many artist around the world trapped in label and publishing deals. But the solution he calls for is already here in independent music distribution.

Kanye’s no stranger to going on huge Twitter rants, and we think he’s hit on some hugely important points this time. Over anger at his lack of ownership over his music which, whether you like it or not, he has dedicated much of his life to creating and perfecting he’s attacked the big label-based music industry and its structures.

His series of tweets describe the many ways in which artists should have more control and rights over their music and we totally agree! The thing is, RouteNote have already been providing these opportunities to artists for years.

The artist always has 100% control and rights to their music on RouteNote, forever.

We split it even more, 85/15 in the artist’s favour and 100% goes to artists on Premium.

It’s important to understand exactly what you’re doing to fully launch your music career but it’s also hugely valuable to create a music community that all looks out for each other.

We make our terms easy to read and understand and are happy to answer any questions you have. There are no smoke screens on RouteNote.

Don’t be dependent – be independent! You have full control over what you do with your music on RouteNote and we provide you full streaming and sales statistics so you can look as in-depth as you like at how your music performs and what you are receiving.

Yes, when you are in control of your music distribution you want to know exactly what’s happening with it. Our dashboards give you in-depth analytics and control over your music.

So Kanye, we’ve been helping to transform the industry in a world where artists have the power and capability to take the reins of their own music careers.

If you want to have a chat, Kanye, get in touch – and to all the rest of you too, we are here for you to make a world of music that works for the musicians and creators in a new digital world that makes it possible.

Warner Music are in trouble over their hacked website

Warner Music Group’s commercial websites were recently affected by huge hacks and now they are named in a class-action lawsuit over the issue.

Earlier this month it was discovered that Warner Music Group’s commercial websites had been hacked. A major data breach had compromised the credit card details of an unspecified number of accounts across a number of websites.

Warner Music Group apologised to their impacted customers after discovering the hack, which had reportedly been going on for months. With any number of personal details potentially stolen, WMG paid the cost of Kroll, an identity-monitoring service, and encouraged victims to use it within 12 months for free.

It seems that for some customers, that isn’t enough from one of the 3 biggest record labels in the world. Digital Music News have received a copy of a newly filed lawsuit which names WMG over the two plaintiffs reporting unapproved changes to their banking details.

This follows another lawsuit facing Warner Music Group over the hacks. The previous lawsuit specifically targets Warner Music Group for failing to “secure and safeguard personal identifiable information”. That lawsuit states that potentially millions of transactions are now available to hackers with the potential to be sold on.

It’s a huge breach in data from one of the biggest industries in the world. We are yet to see the true fallout of this potential information theft.

Discover Spotify’s new global RADAR hub for discovering new artists

Spotify want to break new and rising artists around the world with the release of their RADAR hub around the world.

It’s been half a year since Spotify launched their new RADAR initiative to put up-and-coming artists on people’s radars (get it!). Since launching in March they’ve promoted 115 artists through their program and their new global hub will bring their efforts from all over the world into one exciting place for music discovery.

The new hub will be integrated onto the Spotify platform to show off all of their emerging artists. So far Spotify claims over 2 billion streams, and more than a million hours listened to the artists they have helped to promote through their RADAR programs.

Spotify’s Head of Global Hits, Ned Monahan said: “The launch of the Global RADAR Hub is the perfect illustration of how our editorial teams collaborate to build up-and-coming artists from all over the world. We hope this will be an easy new way for fans to discover artists from outside of their home countries and for artists to begin to develop a global fanbase.”

With the launch of their new RADAR hub around the world, Spotify have also announced a new artist partnership in the UK. beabadoobee is the latest to join their roster, a 20 year old from London who has been building a strong following since 2017.

By partnering with her, Spotify are offering her the production of an immersive fan experience through Storylines, a printed zine offered exclusively to her top fans on Spotify, as well as features across Spotify’s top playlists and pages.

beabadoobee said: “I’m really excited to be picked for Radar: Spotify have been so supportive of me from the very start. From recording my first Spotify Singles at Abbey Road to my debut album, it’s been a crazy journey with them. We’ve worked on something really cool together that I hope people will love!”

Find Spotify’s hub for their RADAR artists and discover amazing new artists from around the world.

The Chainsmokers are launching an investment firm

Moving away from the controversy of their recent not-so-socially distanced gig, the DJ duo have raised money for a new venture capital firm.

The Chainsmokers, an electronic music duo made of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, have raised $45 million in funds for their new firm Mantis. The duo began raising funds at the start of this year and have even started making investments as well.

The operations will be managed mostly by UCLA graduate and investor Milan Koch alongside record label founder and creator of TigerConnect (formerly TigerText) Jeffrey Evans. The Chainsmokers themselves have been investing in startups themselves for years, according to a report by TechCrunch.

According to Taggart, they hope that their funding will in some way benefit their young audiences. In particular they want to use their celebrity status to help lend credibility and attention towards ventures they feel are particularly promise. As the highest paid DJs in the world, that’s a decent testimony!

Taggart says: “When we started eight years ago, our fans were primarily all in college. Now they are dealing with paying back their college loans, and they’re probably applying to buy their first house, so a company like LoanSnap feels like one of those startups whose services our fans have grown into needing.”

The Chainsmokers were recently at the centre of some dispute over a concert at the Hamptons they’d played. With good intentions to adhere to social distancing guidelines and use proceeds from the gig to go towards multiple charities, the event was shared on social media looking a little less than distanced. Old habits die hard when you’re dancing to EDM…

Vinyl records are making more money than CDs, first time since the 1980s

For the first time in 4 decades vinyl records have reclaimed their place as the most valuable physical form of music in the US.

It’s been a shaky year for the music industry. After a phenomenal start, business fell rapidly after March but in spite of the impact of COVID streaming and vinyl are still growing at an impressive rate, reveals Nielsen Music/MRC Data’s Midyear Report.

After 14 years of continuous growth vinyl records are back at the top of physical sales, beating CDs in the US for popularity. At the start of the year vinyl was growing by an incredible 45%.

After the sales slowdown from March physical album sales dropped overall to -35.4% where they were for the same period last year. That’s after they grew by a reasonable 4.6% at the start of the year.

Vinyl however continued it’s growth in the wake of reduced sales for an overall 11.2% increase on last years sales. 9.2 million vinyl records have been sold in the US so far this year.

Whilst more and more people switch to streaming services every year as their source of music, vinyl is coming back as a relic for those who don’t want to lose touch with the physical side of music.

It has become a much more romantic form of media, it’s large artwork sleeves and the process of holding a big record making them more appealing than plain CDs which have been plummeting in sales in the last decade.

The midyear report shows that total audio activity is up 9.4% so far for the year. The growth in streaming and vinyl has helped keep the industry growing even in the wake of the effect of Coronavirus.

Fender’s best year yet shows people picking up instruments more than ever in 2020

What could have been a terrible year for instrument sales has turned out to be potentially the best year ever, at least for Fender.

At the start of the year uncertainty was rife in every industry, including at Fender HQ. The impact of Coronavirus has hurt a lot of industries but thanks to people’s free time, this year have seen a boon for instrument sales.

Fender chief executive Andy Mooney said he would have never expected their sales “would be where we are today if you asked me back in March”. The company has report record growth in beginner gear and their educational app, Fender Play, which has grown from 150,000 users in late March to an astonishing 930,000 in late June.

Mooney confirmed to The New York Times that 2020 will represent the biggest year of sales in Fender history. In a decade where some have wondered if the guitar was a dying instrument and certain renowned manufacturers have had their continuation brought into question, it seems people are still drawn to the iconic instrument – given the time and space.

It seems more people than ever have been picking up instruments and learning during lockdown, Fender or otherwise. A senior salesperson at Sweetwater said that they had never seen anything like it, with so many sales it has been like “Black Friday” every day.

Another famous guitar-maker, Chris Martin of C.F. Martin & Co, said 2020 has been excellent for them too. Martin said: “It’s crazy. It’s unbelievable the demand there is right now for acoustic guitars. I’ve been through guitar booms before, but this one caught me completely by surprise.”

Bose update their sunglasses and earbuds range

Bose release three new pairs of their music playing Frames sunglasses and two new pairs of earbuds with QuietComfort on the flagship pair.

Bose have been working on their sunglasses with build-in speakers for a few years now, releasing their AR model last year. Despite never fully catching on, the concept isn’t new, with the idea being music without blocking your ears, but remaining unheard by people around you.

This year sees the release of three pairs of new Frames sunglasses. They’ve dropped the augmented reality functionality to focus purely on the style and music aspects. All three pairs follow the frame style set out by the original Frames glasses in 2018 and hold UV protected lenses.

The Tempo sunglasses are their premium pair, with a bulky temple housing the earpiece, charging port and larger speakers drivers firing music directly into your ears.

Bose Frames Tempo

The Tenor and Soprano models use smaller 16mm drivers and a 5.5-hour battery in the skinnier arms

All three pairs are on sale now for $249. Click here for the Tempo, Tenor or Soprano Frames.

Bose also dropped their two new truly wireless earbuds. The flagship earbuds feature Bose’s best-in-class QuietComfort noise cancellation, with an equally premium price tag at $279, placing them in line with the best of the best from Apple AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3.

Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds

Bose Sport Earbuds drop the ANC for a more active pair of earbuds with a new locking mechanism for a healthier $179.

Bose Sport Earbuds

Pre-orders are open today, with shipping starting by the end of the month. Find the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds here or Bose Sport Earbuds here.

Spain’s record industry has grown by 4% in 2020 thanks to streaming

Whilst 2020 has hit many hard, recorded music around the world is proving it takes more than a global pandemic to slow down streaming’s boost to the music industry.

We don’t need to tell you how troublesome 2020 has been for all kinds of industries around the world. Sadly, the music industry has been hit incredibly hard as well thanks to the cancellation of gigs and festivals all over the place. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, recorded music revenues have still been growing this year.

Spain have just revealed their music industry revenues for the first half of 2020. Thanks to continuously increasing revenues from music streaming the country’s recorded music revenues grew by 4% this year. So says ProMusicae, Spanish trading body.

This aligns with trends seen elsewhere, including Germany who were reported last month to show 4.8% growth. Whilst Coronavirus has no doubt had an impact on growth, its great to see the continuing trend caused by years of uptake in music streaming services.

Last year, music streaming made up nearly 4/5ths of the United States’s recorded music revenues. It was a phenomenal year that saw their revenues rise above $10 billion – and by a large margin – for the first time in over a decade.

At the beginning of the year predictions were abound that music revenues would fall considerably thanks to the global impact of Coronavirus. Whilst it has of course been devastating for many artists, particularly those who rely on gigging as a large part of their income, it’s reassuring to see that streaming and recorded growth is still climbing this year.

How to add Channel Sections to your Artist Channel on YouTube

Show off all of your videos in the best way possible with a thematic home for your content that you can name and arrange yourself.

In this article we’ll explain how to add Featured Channels on your channel but if you haven’t taken control of your Official Artist Channel yet then we have a guide to do so here:

When your music has been uploaded to YouTube then getting an Official Artist Channel can bring it all together in one official place. If you haven’t gotten your Official Artist Channel yet then you’ll need to follow our article linked above for information on that.

Once you have access to your OAC, you can customise it how you like including with Channel Sections. These are ordered tiers of your videos that lets you organise and promote the videos on your channel in up to 10 sections.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Sign in to YouTube with the email associated with your Official Artist Channel.
  2. Under your profile picture at the top right, select Your channel.
  3. Click Customize channel.
  4. At the bottom, click Add a section.
  5. Under “Content,” use the drop-down menu to select the type of content you want to appear in your section.
    • Videos: Choose to highlight popular videos.
    • Uploads: Choose to highlight posted videos and live streams.
    • Playlists: Choose to add a dedicated section from your playlists.
    • Channels: Choose to highlight featured channels.
  6. Click Done.

It’s really that simple! Check out our other posts below for guides on how to change the other vital elements of your channel.

How to change your channel icon.
How to change your Channel banner.
How to edit your description on your Artist Channel here.
How to add a Channel Trailer to make your channel shine.
How to change your Artist Channel name on YouTube after uploading through RouteNote
How to set Featured Channels on your Artist Channel

BTS livestreams to the rescue? Big Hit Entertainment sees soaring revenues despite COVID

The South Korean record label behind one of the world’s biggest musical phenomena, boy band BTS, has seen an incredible year so far despite the huge, global impact of Coronavirus.

Big Hit Entertainment have placed themselves on the global map as one of the leading record labels of the modern era, thanks in large part to the runaway success of boy band BTS. In fact, they may even break up the long established “Big Three” of the global music industry which has remained as Warner, Sony, and Universal for decades.

With their financial performance for the first half of 2020 revealed, it shows that even in a global pandemic Big Hit have nothing to fear in terms of their powerful growth.

Their 2020 first half financials show they made 294 billion South Korean Won, roughly 250 million US dollars. This is almost 50% year-on-year growth, after making 200.1 billion SK Won in the first half of 2019.

There has been speculation over how the music industry would fare in 2020 after live music has been shutdown globally and the music industry has been more widely affected with less album purchases and even new releases being postponed.

The Big Three still saw continued growth in the first half of 2020 from the industry resurgence that streaming services have helped create in recent years, but their growth was much more modest in the wake of the slowdown compared to Big Hit Entertainment’s considerable H1 2020 growth.

Big Hit has a wide range of very popular South Korean artists but without a doubt the majority of their success comes from the huge boy band BTS. The boy band has become a cultural phenomenon on the level of One Direction and was set to embark on a huge world tour before COVID shutdowns really came into effect.

They weren’t going to let the steam they’ve been continually amassing in recent years be quashed by COVID however. In June, BTS put on paid livestream concert to fans around the world. One huge night of live music ended up becoming the largest paid online concert in the world so far and generated an estimated $18.1 million in ticket sales with over 750,000 spiritual attendees.

Big Hit may still have a while to to match the more-than-$3 billion in revenues the 3 major labels collectively made in 2020’s second quarter alone. In fact, the major labels now earn over $1 million an hour from streaming services alone – it may still be a while until we define a ‘Big Four’.