BMAT offers scholarships to IMB for the next generation of talent in the music business

Image Credit: BMAT

Fancy studying to become an expert in the music business world? €90,000 worth of scholarships for IMB International Music Business School are up for grabs for young aspiring music business leaders.

Music technology company BMAT Music Innovators are offering a unique chance for students and professionals to access scholarships to Barcelona-based IMB International Music Business School.

IMB is the first school to specialise in music business training. They’re looking to attract talented candidates keen to change the music industry for the better – specifically: “Music nerds and tech fanatics with curious and creative minds.”

Dubbed the “BMAT Challenge,” the scholarships are worth €3000 each, for students and professionals on IMB School’s Challenges Module for the academic year 2021-22. The students will be given the opportunity to work on solutions for global companies including Sony Music and YouTube Music.

The course is an intense training experience in music tech innovation, and global business problem solving. Students must solve seven real challenges from the global music world, in order to gain a deeper understanding of how business models in the music ecosystem interconnect and how they link with other industries beyond the music sector.

BMAT Music Innovators said: “Our goal is to empower a fresh new generation of innovative leaders for the blossoming music sector. The resolution of strategic challenges is usually postponed in major companies’ agendas. The fact that for the first time this process could be outsourced to highly motivated students or professionals, with a solid understanding of the music business, means the music sector is open to innovative solutions from fresh minds and committed to talent development.”

Candidates don’t have to have experience in the music sector, but they should have experience in related areas. This could include: Marketing, data analytics, legal affairs, business management, project and product management, people management, communications, or content creation and distribution. They need to have applied to the Challenges module, IMB School’s Masters or Advanced Masters in Music Business Innovation, or the Postgraduate Diploma in Music Business Innovation.

BMAT recently helped to launch the first international chart system of streaming data in India, the IMI International Top 20 Singles Chart.

The talent scholarships have two application deadlines – the first is August 22 for Master’s students and the second round closes on October 10 2021 for Postgraduate students. Thirty scholarships will be available for the first round, and any remaining scholarships will be carried over to the second.

Find out more here.

Spotify’s Today’s Top Fans proves that you’re the biggest fan of the most popular artists in the world

Based on the playlist Today’s Top Hits, Today’s Top Fans shows how many times and when you first discovered the biggest artists on Spotify.

With over 29 million followers, Today’s Top Hits is the most-followed playlist on Spotify. Featuring some of the biggest artists, the playlist highlights the hottest records in the world today. Spotify’s new microsite Today’s Top Fans pulls together your listening data to show your top Today’s Top Hits artists.

Using data between 2013 and now, Today’s Top Fans shows when you first listened to the artist, your top three most-streamed songs of their’s, how many times you streamed the top song, how many hours you’ve spent listening to their music and the top percentage of their fans you’re in.

To get started, simply head to Spotify: Today’s Top Fans, sign in, and scroll or swipe through. At the end, you’ll be provided with a shareable card to show off to friends on socials. Click or tap MORE ARTISTS at the end to see three additional Today’s Top Hits artists.

Fortnite’s ‘Rift Tour’ to begin next week

Image credit: Epic Games

Fortnite’s ‘Rift Tour’ is set to begin next and is rumoured to have performances from Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, and more.

Epic Games are teasing the biggest in-game event since Travis Scott’s performance saw a staggering 45.8 million (including replays) people view the event. According to Nielsen SuperData, the official stream for the premiere on Twitch had an average minute audience of 2.3 million.

It’s rumoured that Travis Scott received an eye-watering half a million dollars for the 10-minute performance, neither Epic nor Travis was confirmed this. 

The new event, that is currently shrouded in mystery called the ‘Rift Tour’ will kick off on Friday 6th August and run through to Sunday 8th August. In the teaser announcement, Epic invite players to “take a musical journey into magical new realities where Fortnite and a record-breaking superstar collide.”

Whilst players wait for the ‘Rift Tour’ players can expect a run of mysterious in-game events to run from July 29th through to August 8th. This will give players access to rift themed events and rewards. The ‘Rift Tour’ will be available multiple times throughout the three days, making it easier for players to watch and be a part of the event. More news onset times and who’s playing will be announced on Monday 2nd August. 

The big question is who exactly is performing? There are many rumours (so do take them with a pinch of salt), but signs are pointing towards Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. The reason being that during the court battle between Epic and Apple there were documents that detailed plans for in-game events with both Grande and Gaga. There have also been visual cues throughout her music videos and a reference in-game to her pet pig, Piggy Smalls. 

There are also rumours of Kanye West performing in the virtual space as his new album ‘Donda’ is penned to release on August 6th. This is very much speculation though, either way, we are likely to find out Monday 2nd August via Epic’s official announcement. 

RouteNote’s New Music Releases 30th July, 2021: 12 huge tunes to kickstart the weekend

The latest and greatest tracks from RouteNote’s top artists and labels making their way into our new playlists.

If you need some fresh sounding tracks to ignite the party or zone out to, we’ve got twelve brand new releases below. This week’s pick includes something for everyone, from top artists such as Mark Mendy, Paradigm, Razihel, SP3CTRUM, golden era, Henry Dell, Murdbrain and many more.

These tracks have been hand picked by the RouteNote team to make their way into our top playlists: Hooked for high tempo, motivational dance and party music; Catalyst for the best dance, house and chill house music; and Lo-Fi with hip-hop and chillhop tunes to relax to.

To get your own music featured on a future round up, distribute your music to RouteNote today. It’s free!

SP3CTRUM, Henry Dell – Round & Round

Going straight into our high tempo, dance and party playlist Hooked, Round & Round from Italian duo SP3CTRUM and London-based vocalist Henry Dell, is a future house, EDM anthem that’s catchy chorus will be going round and round in your head all day.

Razihel – Corazon Espinado

Also being added to Hooked, Corazon Espinado (Thorned Heart in English) is a Latin dance pop banger from Italian DJ and producer Razihel.

Mark Mendy, Paradigm – Emotions

From its smooth synth hooks, to its pop EDM production, Emotions will light up the commute or party alike, from Italian artist Mark Mendy and duo Paradigm.

Feel S.Y – Endless

The last track to be added to our Hooked playlist this week is the latest melodic house, EDM, feel good track from Korean electro producer Feel S.Y.

Aspecte, NO-VA – Love Again

Love Again from electronic producer Aspecte and French musician NO-VA, fits right in with RouteNote’s dance and house playlist Catalyst.

Roamy – Time

Joining Catalyst is deep house, club, EDM track Time from Mexican house producer Roamy.

Murdbrain, Savrokks – Bad Habit

Bad Habit will have clubs around the world bouncing to the electronic, future house anthem from Murdbrain and American songwriter Savrokks.

obi mani – diamonds

Catalyst also covers the chill house tracks sent through our doors. diamonds from obi mani shines with its chilled production and vocals.

Heads Over Dreams – you mean the world to me

As we take a turn into Lo-Fi, our playlist full of chilled hip-hop beats, you mean the world to me from Heads Over Dreams is perfect for studying or relaxing.

Gehen – Everything Stays

Everything Stays, complete with its lo-fi piano and hip-hop beat, comes from up-and-coming Mexican producer Gehen.

golden era – Lucid Dreams (lofi version)

golden era is no stranger to covering and remixing 90s tracks. Lucid Dreams (lofi version) is no different, coming from Sting’s Shape of My Heart, which has been sampled countless times, including in Juice WRLD’s Lucid Dreams.

simmerdown – smallie biggs

simmerdown, the hip-hop producer based in Cornwall, had this to say about her track smallie biggs from the EP lamp signs:

“I produce handfuls of instrumentals with no title, emotion or feeling in mind; in order to distinguish each one they’re usually named after an artist it reminds me most of. The delayed brass stabs instantly reminded me of Biggie Smalls and thus, smallie biggs was born.”

Best DAWs for Hip-hop

What’s the best DAW for beat making? Check out these six examples of the best hip-hop producer software available in 2021.

To get started making hip-hop beats, you need a Digital Audio Workstation for creating backing tracks and recording rap verses. The problem is, there’s lots of DAWs for hip-hop producers to choose from, all promising different things. Which DAW is best for creating and recording rap music?

When inspiration strikes, you want a smooth workflow so you can get your bars down before they disappear from your mind. Which DAW is best for hip-hip for you as a producer will depend on your workflow and budget. Here are six DAWs to consider to get you started.

Image Credit: Reason

Reason Studios has an analog feel that connects you to the beatmaking process. It’s got a big sound bank and great drum designer, loop editing and mixing capabilities. Drop samples right into audio tracks for super-fast manipulation.

Reason can be used as a plugin in other DAWs, to bring its sound packs and effects to a workflow you prefer. Available for a $19.99 a month subscription, it’s an affordable option for beginner hip-hop producers.

bandlab free DAW
Image Credit: BandLab

Brilliant for beginners, BandLab has a super-simple interface but also a huge library of royalty-free sounds and a great easy sampler. The cloud-based setup means there’s nothing to download – and everything is completely free. Share your beats instantly to the platform for feedback and encouragement from the community, as well as collaboration opportunities.

BandLab also make CakeWalk, a DAW with really impressive capabilities considering it’s also available for free.

Ableton Live
Image Credit: Ableton Live

Designed for electronic music, Ableton Live’s clip view means you can get ideas and loops down fast and swap ideas around. Due to its origins as an instrument, Ableton is highly intuitive for performing at live shows. Its powerful features let you flip samples and make drum racks quickly.

Accessing full features will set you back $449, although you can grab the stripped back Intro version for $99.

FL Studio
FL Studio 20
Image Credit: Image-Line

Once you’re up to speed with the layout and keyboard shortcuts of FL Studio, beats can be assembled in a flash. The step sequencer channel rack allows you to get stuck in stacking up beats right away. The vocal recording takes a little getting used to, but the FL Studio piano roll is one of the best, so even if you have no music theory background you can get to work editing and arranging virtual instrumental parts by clicking in MIDI notes with your mouse.

FL was built for electronic music, affordable at $99 for the light version, and its popularity means there’s hundreds – if not thousands – of tutorials out there.

Bitwig Studio
Image Credit: Bitwig Studio

An intuitive visually pleasing DAW with easy drag-and-drop abilities and easy to move between arranging, editing and mixing your project. Quick sampling abilities and renowned audio editing capabilities make for a streamlined experience.

Bitwig starts at $99 for the entry version – and you can try in Demo mode without a time limit.

Logic Pro
Mac mini Logic Pro
Image Credit: Apple

Logic’s Live Loops let you arrange loops and samples in an accessible grid for swift beatmaking. The Apple-only DAW also makes vocal comping easy, and the step sequencer lets you build beats and bassline patterns in an intuitive way.

At $199, Logic is the grown-up version of GarageBand. On that note – there’s nothing wrong with GarageBand if you’re an Apple user who wants to practice recording your flow and have a go at making your own rap beats.

Most modern DAWs can be used to make hip-hop music – so it comes down to which you feel most at home working in. Happily, you can download all the DAWs on this list for a free trial before you commit to any music software.

There’s more out there to discover, too. Do you want to buy and master a professional DAW like Pro Tools, or explore a free DAW like Tracktion Waveform first?

Which DAW do you recommend for making beats? Let us know what you use in the comments.

Already recorded your first hip-hop track, and proud of it? Have you thought about releasing your song to Spotify? Using RouteNote’s free distribution you can upload your track to all the big streaming services for FREE. You keep all the rights to your music, and make money every time your track gets played. Find out more and sign up today here.

How many people stream music on Spotify? – Spotify’s Q2 2021 results reveal the latest stats

Spotify’s earnings highlight the number of monthly active users, paying subscribers and all of the latest features for streamers and artists.

Spotify reports their second quarter financial performance, detailing the number of monthly active users and paying subcribers as of the end of June 2021. See the full infographic below. To review the full earnings release document, click here. To hear the webcast Q&A, click here.

Spotify’s Q2 2021 monthly active users are at 365 million, up 22% year-over-year from 299 million. Subscribers are currently at 165 million, up 20% from 138 million in Q2 2020.

To see how these numbers stack up against their first quarter 2021 results, click here. To see how these numbers stack up against the competition from streaming services such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, Pandora and more, click here.

Alongside impressive numbers, Spotify also announced all of the latest updates to their platform for listeners and artists. These include a new miniplayer on Facebook, Only You – showing listeners their unique listening habits, the acquisition of podcast discovery platform Podz, launching Spotify Greenroom – their live audio Clubhouse competitor, updates to Your Library on mobile and more mobile accessibility features. New features designed for creators include Paid Podcast Susbcriptions to help podcasters earn revenue and the Fresh Find program to give developing artists tools and education.

Image Credit: Spotify

Doppler HiFi music player launches for Mac with iOS integration

Image credit: Doppler

Doppler for iPhone has become popular among music listeners who want to own their music in hi-res formats, now its coming to MacOS.

Doppler for iPhone has grown in popularity among music fans who like to own their music in hi-res formats such as FLAC files. Now the popular mobile version is heading to Mac after being teased back in June. 

Doppler for Mac boasts a clean and simple UI to organize and listen to your personally owned media collection. It features a seamless drag and drop design that allows the user to add music to their library with ease. It also makes it easy to transfer music and playlists between iPhone and Mac over WiFi or USB. In addition to this, there is a one-click artwork search feature, simple multi-disc merging, metadata editing, a playback queue, and so much more. 

If you have Sleeve installed on your Mac you will also be able to integrate the apps, making for a fluid music playing experience.

Doppler for Mac is a free download with a 7-day trial and then it is a $25 one-time purchase afterward. 

How much mobile data does Spotify use?

Image credit: Fixelgraphy

Depending on your streaming quality and content Spotify can use a fair bit of mobile data, here’s some settings to check to avoid you going over your allotted amount.

When you listen to Spotify on your mobile device without a wifi connection it will use your mobile data, some contracts will only have a limited amount. Although streaming music via Spotify doesn’t use as much as video streaming it can still rack up usage, especially you have it set at the highest quality, not to mention podcasts. Spotify offers five different sound quality settings in the app which will either lower or raise how much data it consumes.

You can access these options by going to ‘Settings’ and scrolling to ‘Music Quality’, here you will find five different options that include: 

  • Low (24kbps) 
  • Normal (96kbps)
  • High (160kbps)
  • Very High (320kbps)
  • Automatic 

Automatic will choose a sound quality option based on your network connection, which can be risky if you have limited data. However, it is important to remember that you can download your music to listen to in offline mode if you have Spotify Premium. 

How much data does Spotify use? 

So, depending on the quality of the stream the app can use anything between 0.5 MB to 8 MB for a song. A full hour of streaming music can use upwards of 150 MB of data, meaning that a single hour of streaming per day can add up to over 6 GB of data usage. Which if you have unlimited is not an issue, but those without less so. 

Low (24kbps) – 0.18 MB per minute 

Normal (96kbps) – 0.72 MB per minute 

High (160kbps) 1.2 MB per minute 

Very High (320kbps) (Premium only) – 2.4 MB per minute 

If you are on a limited data plan with your mobile phone contract then you can avoid going over by downloading your music on your wifi before going out to listen in offline mode (premium subscription only). Or you can turn on Spotify’s ‘Data Saver’ option which keeps audio streams at 24kbps and disables Spotify’s canvas feature. According to Spotify, this option can reduce Spotify data use by up to 85%. 

How to get on Spotify playlists

Releasing your song on Spotify? Check out our advice for how to get music on Spotify playlists.

Just put out a release, and wondering how to get your song on Spotify playlists? It’s a great way to break through the noise – getting onto Spotify playlists is a sure-fire way to secure more plays and a host of new followers.

At RouteNote we put your music on Spotify for free and give you the tools you need to get your track on playlists.

Here are some of the best routes you can take to get on Spotify playlists.

Spotify for Artists

When you release a track to Spotify you can pitch the song to Spotify’s editors for it to be considered for their massively popular playlists. To do this, you’ll be pitching from your Spotify for Artists dashboard. You can claim your artist profile here.

Once you’ve uploaded your music to a distributor like RouteNote, set a release date in the future so Spotify have a chance to consider it for their major playlists – you need to pitch at least a week before the release. Only one track can be considered from each release, so choose carefully.

Independent curators

There’s not only official playlists available on Spotify. Thousands of independent playlist curators – the tastemakers of Spotify – are always on the lookout for the freshest new tracks to add to their playlists. They’re unlikely to find you, so you’ll need to go looking for them instead to get in contact and pitch your tracks. Personalise each message you send, explaining why you think your music is a good fit for the playlist.

A nicely put together Spotify artist profile makes it more likely for playlist curators to take you seriously. Check out more advice on playlist etiquette here.

Make your own

You don’t have to sit around and wait for your music to be added to playlists – why not make your own, and add your tracks. A playlist could be made up of tracks in the same genre as your music, or with a similar emotional theme as your songs. Be sure to add the playlist to your artist profile.

Creating playlists that include songs by artists of a similar level to you is a great way to make connections, and might encourage them to add your music to their playlists, too.

Personalised playlists

Discover Weekly and Release Radar are Spotify’s algorithmic playlists that are unique to each Spotify user. When you release new music through a distributor like RouteNote, Spotify adds your new track to the Release Radar playlist of users who follow you or listen to your music a lot.

Discover Weekly meanwhile goes out every Monday and is made up of songs that the user hasn’t yet heard on Spotify but are similar to songs they’ve streamed before. If your track is often featured alongside similar songs, you’re more likely to show up on someone’s Discover Weekly, as they’re fed by other playlist adds.

Spotify also watches the web for conversations about your music, and notices when you share your artist page. Increase your chances of getting added to Spotify playlists by pushing your music on social media, to gain more followers, plays and better exposure. The more followers you have and the bigger a buzz around your artist name you can create, the more playlist curators will take notice.

Playlists are an invaluable marketing source, helping you to get your music in front of new potential fans helped by Spotify’s intuitive algorithm. With a bit of forethought and promotional work behind the scenes, you can harness the power of playlists and hopefully start seeing the results in Spotify plays and follows.

Top 10 followed Spotify playlists for dance & electronic music

With between 3.5 and 8.2 million followers, here are all the must listen to playlists for all dance, electro, EDM and house music lovers.

This list is based on Chartmetric’s genre tags for each of Spotify’s playlists.

Beast Mode

1. Beast Mode

Genres: EDM

8.206 million likes

All Out 90s

2. All Out 90s

Genres: Dance Rock

6.762 million likes


3. mint

Genres: EDM, Tropical House

5.848 million likes

Top Brasil

4. Top Brasil

Genres: Funk Carioca

5.845 million likes

Motivation Mix

5. Motivation Mix

Genres: EDM, Tropical House

5.802 million likes

Happy Hits!

6. Happy Hits!

Genres: Tropical House

5.641 million likes

Dance Party

7. Dance Party

Genres: EDM, Tropical House, Electro House, House

4.636 million likes

Funk Hits

9. Funk Hits

Genres: Funk Carioca

4.250 million likes

Brain Food

10. Brain Food

Genres: Electronica, EDM

3.526 million likes