Artists now credited on over half a billion YouTube videos

YouTube have added musical credits for over 500 million videos giving artists and writers their deserved acknowledgement in the millions of videos they are used.

YouTube have added a new section to the descriptions of videos which credits the songwriters, artists, labels, and publishers involved. The new ‘music in this video’ section will be added to over half a billion videos and will give viewers an instant look into the creatives and people behind music in videos.

The new section will offer a comprehensive list of everyone involved in the creation of music used in videos that they are capable of crediting. Where possible they will also provide links to the artist’s official channel and the song’s official music video. ‘Music in this video’ credits will be added to official channels as well as fan-uploaded content.

This comes as YouTube prepare to launch their new dedicated music subscription service next week: YouTube Music. Their new service will offer up all of the music content available on YouTube including music videos, songs, albums, covers, remixes, live performances and more in one collated space. It will be available for free with ads or for $9.99 a month without ads with extra benefits like background listening and downloads.

This is all part of YouTube’s move to increase the value of music on their platform after repeated criticism from the industry. YouTube’s issue with music primarily was that it made lots of music readily available on a free platform that pays out considerably less for video streams than the payout per stream on more traditional music streaming services like Spotify. They are rectifying that with their new service which will ensure artists get paid more. Their new credits show that they are taking more steps to give artists the respect they are due.

YouTube’s new music service is launching in under a week

YouTube are finally ready to launch their new music service which they hope will give music the value it deserves on their video platform.

YouTube will be launching YouTube Music next week, a new service that distinguishes their abundance of music content from their variety of billions of videos after criticism over their royalty payouts for music. The new subscription service will be the new home to the 2 million artists that share their music on YouTube and where over 1 billion music fans around the world come to listen.

Next Tuesday, 22nd May, YouTube Music will launch as a “new music streaming service made for music with the magic of YouTube”. YouTube Music will bring official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radios in one unified place along with their giant catalogue of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that can only be found on YouTube.

With their new streaming service YouTube will launch a new, re-imagined mobile app as well as a re-designed desktop player that has been made for music. It will bear similarities to standard music streaming services like Spotify however will feature all of YouTube’s plentiful video content for music as well as user-uploaded and created content that wouldn’t be found on traditional streaming services.

YouTube Music will be available for free with adverts, the same as YouTube itself however will offer an ad-free version. YouTube Music Premium will cost $9.99 a month and offer uninterrupted listening, background listening on mobile, and downloads. YouTube’s parent Google offer a traditional music streaming service in Google Play Music but these services will be combined so that, where available, a subscription to one equals a subscription to both.

YouTube Music subscription service streaming premium launch mobile app player

YouTube offer a premium service for their regular, non-music video content called YouTube Red which offers the same benefits as well as exclusive video content and also was bundled in with Google Play Music. Moving forward they will be replacing Red with ‘YouTube Premium’ which will offer the same service but will distinguish non-music content from all videos on YouTube. YouTube Premium will include YouTube Music within it and will cost $11.99 for new members. Existing Red members will retain their same subscription price.

At launch YouTube Music will be available in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. Over the coming weeks they will also be launching in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

Get “awe-inspiring” stereo width with this free plugin

Getting width in your mix can bring a whole new level to your music and this brand new plugin does it incredibly and for free.

A new plugin from Infected Mushroom and Polyverse promises true stereo width effects and is being released completely free to download. The plugin is based on the stereo section from the two company’s massively popular Manipulator plugin.

The plugin, aptly named Wider, gives you the ability to expand the stereo image of any signal to an awe-inspiring amount of width. However, Wider is a unique stereo plugin in the sense that it is completely “mono-compatible”, meaning that any signal that has been extended will always remain in phase with itself, even if summed to mono.

Many stereo effects currently in use have the nasty habit of knocking signals out of phase, which can quickly make mixes sound muddy and unbalanced, or make sounds seem flat and lacking dynamics if one isn’t mindful of the effect. Thanks to Wider’s one-of-a-kind all pass and comb filtering algorithm, no phase in any mix or affected audio will be compromised, even at its broadest setting! Instead, Wider cancels itself out when summed to mono, so the original signal is left intact:
a feature you won’t find in any other stereo plugin.

Wider can be used to increase the stereo image of any signal up to 200% of full stereo for an extra wide, exaggerated effect. No matter how far out and experimental Infected Mushroom’s sounds get, they always keep their mixes clean, crisp, and translatable without sacrificing power. Now you can achieve the same depth and clarity, absolutely free.

You can check out Wider and download it completely for free here: polyversemusic.com/products/wider

Superfans buy 72% of all vinyl records sold every day

The vinyl market is at it’s biggest for years with thousands more pining for the retro format’s listening pleasure each month, but it’s ‘superfans’ making it thrive.

A new study has revealed that nearly 3 quarters of all vinyl records sold in the last year comes from a select group of ‘superfans’. The study, made by the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association, reveals that as vinyl booms again it’s driven largely by a small number of people who buy lots of records.

ERA define a ‘superfan’ as someone who spends more than £400 on that format. Their research found that 72% of vinyl record sales were made by 157,000 superfans which equates to roughly £62.9 million of Vinyl’s total revenue of £87.7 million in the UK for 2017. Based on an average of £20.31 per vinyl LP in the UK these superfans are buying 19.7 records a year.

The findings come from ERA’s quarterly tracking study which measures the consumption of entertainment from over 2,200 adults in the UK. The ERA asked participants how much they spend on different entertainment formats including Vinyl LPs, Blu-Rays, video games, CDs, and DVDs. Vinyl topped the list when it comes to the number of superfans followed shortly by Blu-Ray’s which have a 61% superfan market percentage.

The ERA’s CEO, Kim Bayley said: “Music, video, and games may reach virtually the entire population, but it is these £400-a-year Superfans who are the backbone of the market. Superfans are the connoisseurs of entertainment. They are passionate about music or film or games and tend to favour the more sophisticated higher-value formats.”

As physical sales reduce year-on-year CDs certainly don’t see the same level of superfandom as vinyl records do. 292,000 superfans made up 32% of the total market for CD sales in 2017 though in fairness using an average UK CD price of £8.27 you would need to purchase 48.4 CDs or more to be a superfan – which is much more music than 20 Vinyl LPs.

How to stand out and get heard on SoundCloud

SoundCloud is full of amazing music and artists but being noticed in that crowd can be hard. These tips will help you stand out from the rest of them.

SoundCloud have released their latest tips for getting your music out there to as many listeners as possible in their new series. This time it’s all about making your own personal mark that distinguishes you from the other artists on SoundCloud’s massive open music platform.

Make sure your profile is up to date

  • Keep your profile pic current – unless your seventh grade school photo is the kind of look you’re going for.
  • Use your top banner image as a shout out for whatever you’re currently promoting – a new album, tour dates, new track, etc.
  • List your social media accounts and contact information in your profile description.
  • Link your tour dates to Songkick and Bandpage.
  • Highlight your top tracks using our Spotlight feature (you will need a Pro & Pro Unlimited account for this).

Drill down into SoundCloud stats and learn about top-listening countries, cities, what websites are playing your tracks, and where your listeners are located.

  • Study your stats to help with radio, brand, touring and advertising opportunities AKA know where you should go.
  • “Top country” data can be used to help pitch a new artist to a bigger name act on tour.
  • “Top city” data can be used as leverage for radio stations to play a new developing artist.
  • “Top listeners” can be your digital street team and used to help promote contests and network with fans.
  • “Top Websites” can be used to evaluate online reach as well as advertising plans.

Engage with people you collaborate with as well as other users

  • Follow the artists that you have worked with on a track. They are now your family. Get to know them.
  • Repost or Like tracks by other artists that you’re featured on. The feeling could get mutual.
  • Create playlists to help fans learn about your catalog and hook them into other artists you like.

Some SoundCloud Marketing Basics

Use these ideas to kickstart your own marketing campaign and get your SoundCloud tracks in front of the widest audience possible.

Announcements

Record an audio announcement about a tour or new music and upload it to your SoundCloud account. Make sure to encourage fans to follow your profile for updates.

Giveaways

SoundCloud’s stats mean that you have information on which of your fans stream your tracks the most. Run a contest where the person who streams a new track on SoundCloud the most in a week wins a prize. Make sure the prize is legitimate and it can actually get to the winner.

Teaser Previews

Upload a sample of a track and later replace the audio with the full version. Fan engagement on the original upload will stick since only the audio is being replaced.

Twitter Q&A/Ask Me Anything

Engage with fans on social media and get them to ask questions. Provide the answers on SoundCloud as an audio recording.

Direct message fans or record private audio tracks to send to them

Use the SoundCloud direct message feature to directly communicate with fans. You can also use real time comments on tracks as a way to be engage with fans individually.

You can get paid for every play your music gets and unlimited uploads on SoundCloud when you join our FREE RouteNote SoundCloud Network. Learn more here: routenote.com/content/soundcloud-information

Spotify are fighting “hateful content” with new policies on their music

Spotify have revealed their new plans to take action against anything on their giant streaming service that they view as hateful.

Spotify have outlined their new Hateful Conduct Public Policy which is going to try and tackle any offensive content that they feel is targeted. It’s going to be a tough battle to fight as Spotify grows by approximately 20,000 recordings every singles day with over 30 million tracks already available for streaming on Spotify.

In a statement the company detailed how they feel “one of the most amazing things about all that music is the range of genres, cultures, experiences, and stories embodied in it”. They added: “However, we do not tolerate hate content on Spotify – content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”

Spotify’s response to hateful content will vary on a case-to-case basis. They might remove it after consulting the rightsholders or they may disallow it from promotion or playlisting on their service. They announced that they would remove R Kelly from their playlists following a slew of women recently coming out about sexual assault allegations after years of controversy over the stars sexual abuse.

Regarding R Kelly, Spotify said that whilst they won’t censor content because an artist’s or creator’s behaviour they want their “editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values”. They added: “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”

Spotify have partnered with a wide range of rights advocacy groups, including The Southern Poverty Law Center, The Anti-Defamation League, Color Of Change, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), GLAAD, Muslim Advocates, and the International Network Against Cyber Hate. They will also use an in-built monitoring tool to identify hate content and also ask any users to get in contact if they think something is hate content at support.spotify.com/us/contact-spotify-support.

Spotify’s new policy on hateful content has no set in stone guidelines for what does and doesn’t count as harmfully offensive. They say they will take each case on a contextual basis taking into consideration that “cultural standards and sensitivities vary widely”. They say: “There will always be content that is acceptable in some circumstances.”

Stay on top of all the hottest new music with the new YouTube Charts

Keeping track of what’s hot in music can be a chore, but no more on YouTube as they’ll be presenting you with what’s popping on their platform in real-time.

YouTube are looking to take a more serious step in the music direction after the past year has seen controversy over their payments to artists. As they move closer to launching a dedicated music service on YouTube they have spread their music charts across the world and introduced a new way to keep up to date with the hottest new tunes.

YouTube have just rolled out new and improved music charts for 44 countries around the world, including the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Brazil and more. The new dedicated charts page gives you a tailored look at what the hottest tracks and artists on YouTube are right now because, they say: “We understand the importance of showcasing and celebrating the hottest artists, songs and music videos from around the world.”

The fresh charts page features a brand new Trending section which shows what is new, hot and rising. The trending chart is updated throughout the day so that it can present a real-time offering of what people are listening to. YouTube say it’s their first dedicated external signal of their platforms most viewed new music.

Speaking to Billboard YouTube’s head of label relations, Stephen Bryan said: “The labels and a lot of the industry already use YouTube to understand what’s hot, and as the world’s most powerful music discovery platform, we play a really critical role in new music today. The Trending chart is an evolution that’s based on that understanding. We think it’s going to be incredibly helpful to the industry in providing the clearest view in what’s happening in music today.”

Beyond the new Trending section their charts will feature a Top Songs chart which combines the views on all versions of a song, including music videos, lyric videos, and official songs uploaded by users. There is then the Top Artists list which shows YouTube’s most popular artists based on views across their entire discography. Then finally there’s the Top Music Videos chart which you can probably gauge the contents of by now.

Music streaming is making lots of money and not slowing down

The music industry is coming back to life in a whole new way thanks to the power of streaming and it’s ever-growing popularity.

Music streaming is giving a massive boost to the music industry as profits continue to soar upwards after 15 years of falling revenues ended with the boom of streaming. Sony Music have just released their earnings report for the 2017-18 fiscal year which shows that streaming is still driving incredible growth for the music industry as more and more people sign up to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Sony’s report shows that for the fiscal year, ending March 31st, their music division’s revenue rose by 12% to around $4.03 billion. This was driven largely by an incredible 37% increase in music streaming revenues which totalled $1.8 billion for the year and now accounts for 44% of Sony’s entire music division’s earnings. It’s representative of the impressive growing power of music streaming services but also marks an impressive first year with new CEO Rob Stringer at Sony’s helm.

Interestingly Sony’s report also shows growth for their physical music department, despite the growth of digital music often diminishing physical sales. According to their fiscal report Sony’s physical sales rose by almost $10 million up to $1.20 billion. It’s considerably lower than their increase in streaming revenues but as CD sales rapidly decline in most parts of the world it’s an impressive feat to see physical sales rise.

Sony said that their profits in the physical market were helped by the ever-increasing demand for vinyl which is looking to become the favourite format when it comes to holding music in your hands. Sony said that their physical boom was largely down to the fact that physical music still has a large market in Japan where digital music is still catching up. Trends show that physical sales are still expected to continue declining despite Sony’s success. Meanwhile in the digital market download revenues dropped 18% to slightly under $450 million.

Sony said that their most successful albums for the year were Pink’s ‘Beautiful Trauma’, DJ Khaled’s ‘Grateful’ and Cabello’s ‘Camila’.