In Conversation With Chris Sharpe Founder Of Musosoup

Image by Kieran Webber

We Chat To Founder Of Music PR Platform Musosoup

Recently we discussed how the music PR landscape was changing as well as how music press is changing. The rise go blogs and fall of print music journalism has created a vacuum and allowed for new methods of promotion to flourish. Possibly for the first time ever artists can have complete control of their promotion and have the skills and tools needed to do so. One said tool is Musosoup, the music PR platform that creates a self-fulling circle of payment between bloggers and artists. For an emerging or underground act Musosoup is an incredible tool that connects the artist to thousands of bloggers around the world, ensuring quality content (paid and free). 

We caught up with owner and founder Chris Sharpe to chat about the platform, how it works and why he decided to create Musosoup

When did you come up for the idea of MUSOSOUP and what was the main driving factor? 

Chris: The seed for this started to happen while I was struggling to keep writers on my blog Lost in the Manor, you literally build up a team, and then you lose everyone just purely for financial reasons. 

I also run bespoke PR and I can see that forking out £500-2k every-time an artist releases music is just not realistic for the majority of artists. It should be more about the talent than who has a larger bank balance. Our team has now found a way to balance the scales for both artists and curators to move forward sustainably. 

Why do you feel tools such as MUSOSOUP are useful to emerging musicians? 

Chris: It’s cost-effective, less time consuming and allows curators to work hassle-free, which means that they’re a lot more likely to listen to the acts music.

How do you feel the music PR landscape is changing and why is it platforms like MUSOSOUP are being used by artists?

Chris: PR has not changed for years in the way it’s been traditionally done but the music industry is constantly changing and PR is only just starting to catch up. These new style platforms are making connecting easier than ever. Like all new products and ideas, they have their flaws but forever growing and improving quickly. We are constantly listening to feedback and ideas from those both on and off our platform and we will continue to do so and look for ways that we can develop and provide solutions to both the musician and the curator.

What are the advantages to an artist when using your platform? 

Chris: We’ve made our platform super simple for the musician. They make one submission and we make sure that they get in front of the right people. They don’t have spend time researching each publication and they don’t have to pick and choose who to submit to based on their budget.

Learn more about Musosoup here:

Do artists have to sit in a certain genre to be considered for MUSOSOUP? 

Chris: No we accept all genres and we have curators that support all genres too. Some, naturally, are a bit more popular than others, but that’s to be expected. Guitar bands will have plenty of potential matches, whereas something a little more niche like ambient drone music for example won’t.

For us, it’s all about quality, if we feel the music hits our quality standards on the submission but we feel not many connections will happen we let the artist use the platform for free so it becomes a risk-free process. 

Is MUSOSOUP open to a global audience? 

Chris: Yes 100% we have submissions and curators from all over the globe. 

What are some success stories of artists that have used MUSOSOUP? 

Chris: With some artists having been previously stung from paying out x amount to a PR company, it’s been great to hear that we have made them more coverage for a tiny % of the cost.

What advice would you give an artist who is looking to promote their release? 

Chris: Just take things slowly if you are starting out. You don’t need hundreds of articles if you are trying to generate your first few pieces of press. It’s better to have a select amount and spread them out around your release and market them to a targeted audience with ads. It would be fantastic to get on the Guardian newspaper of course but these things can happen as you mature as an artist. 

What sort of content can an artist expect to receive from the curators on MUSOSOUP? 

Chris: We have a huge range happening from playlisting, reviews, interviews, radio spot plays, podcast spots, youtube channels and social shares.

Is there a form of quality control on curators to ensure that artists are receiving quality content? 

Chris: First and foremost is the curator needs to have great taste in music and want to support artists. If the curators are not great at writing but have amazing taste then they can still work with us, but we will make an agreement on how. Every curator works in a totally different way and we work very closely with them on how they use our platform. It’s all about us having a chat, finding what the curators are looking to achieve with their goals and seeing if we can find a way to partner up. We don’t judge them on the size of their publication or how many followers their playlist may have. Rome was not built in a day as they say.

Lastly, what are the plans for the future with MUSOSOUP? 

Chris: We are in the process of building up our curators which is the key to really making the platform super effective for artists. As a rule we work with our curators as a team to build new features so it becomes built around them and their needs. Lots of crazy ideas in the pipeline but I can’t mention all those just yet..

AIM Connected Returns March 11th 2021

Image from AIM Connected

The annual music conference returns and first wave of speakers and sessions announced

AIM (Association of Independent Music) has announced the return of their flagship independent music conference. The conference will unite themes of business, tech and people, as a one-day multi-room online event on March 11th 2021. 

The first wave of speakers and sessions have also been confirmed, featuring  a range of industry bigwigs, leaders and experts. AIM’s trademark TED Talk style ‘Strong Opinions’ format of quick fire keynotes also returns for 2021. It’s going to be a day full of knowledge and take-home advice, alongside a range of panel discussions, case studies of independent success stories, practical workshops, in depth interviews and focused one-on-one networking sessions with the UK’s leading music business experts. 

So far Merlin CEO, Jeremy Sirota, new CEO of UK Music, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Executive Director of Jazz refreshed and AIM Board Member, Yvette Griffith, Founder of Unheard Voice, Marsha Ramroop and Chatal Epp, Founder of Click ’n’ Clear have been confirmed as speakers. 

The panel discussions and practical workshops will cover a range of topics including: 

  • Maximising live-streaming opportunities
  • Employee wellbeing under covid 
  • The changing face of distribution 
  • How to get a business ‘investment ready’ 
  • How to ‘sweat’ back catalogue 

Throughout the event one-one networking events will be taking place, giving attendees the chance to network with professionals from the digital sector. Plus experts in investment and business building. Networkers are already confirmed from companies including TikTok, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Deezer, Blackstar, Mute Records and Believe Digital as well as more to be announced. In addition to this attendees will be able to socialise online with peers and speakers and make new connections. 

For full AIM Members (Rights Holders and Distributors) as well as friends of AIM. For AIM Associate members tickets will be at a 50% discount on the non-member price. Non-members can purchase tickets for £50 and they can be purchased here. 

Amazon Music Unlimited now lets you stream music videos

Image from Amazon

Amazon Adds New Feature In Hopes To Match One Of The Perks Of YouTube Music

Amazon is adding a large vault of music videos to its Amazon Music Unlimited service. However, the feature is reported to only be available to paying subscribers, according to Android Police. This doesn’t come as a surprise though and is on par with other music streaming services. 

Music videos will show up as their own section in search results and on artist pages. In addition to this there will also be music video playlists. Like YouTube Music there will be the added option of either watching the video or just listening to the audio. 

The news follows the introduction of Amazon’s X-Ray feature to the music streaming service, first debuted on their TV streaming service. Customers can now see behind the scenes trivia and “fun facts” about currently playing tracks. 

Amazon Music Unlimited costs £7.99 monthly and currently they are offering 3 months totally free. Amazon Music Unlimited also offers a HD tier with lossless and hi-res streaming, a unique selling point that is not offered by larger competitors such as Spotify and Apple Music

What is the MLC? Mechanical Licensing Collective explained

Image credit: The MLC

This new organisation is streamlining mechanical royalties for artists, songwriters, and more on digital music services.

The Mechanical Licensing Collective are a new Mechanical Rights Organisation aiding artists with their music online. The U.S.-based organisation has been designated by the U.S. Copyright Office to administer mechanical licenses that apply to streaming services and digital download stores in the United States.

Beginning in January 2021, the MLC will be able to collect royalties on digital services in the U.S. for songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers. They intend to streamline the process of collecting mechanical royalties in the age of digital music which many artists find difficult to collect.

Mechanical Licenses apply to the copyright of the composition, therefore it is not just when a song is being covered that they apply but when an artist’s own work is being streamed or downloaded. That is what the MLC will cover to ensure that the royalties sent from the Digital Service Provider go to the correct publishers, labels, artists, and songwriters.

The MLC are making a commitment to transparency so that artists, songwriters, and their representatives are able to view the MLC database. Registered users can then explore the unclaimed works and claim their own content if they discover it in The MLC Portal. 

It’s important to note that the Mechanical Licensing Collective will only apply to digital music on streaming services and download stores for music. Mechanical licenses will still be necessary for physical recreations of music and mechanical royalties for physical uses of music will not be managed by the MLC.

Forbes 30 Under 30 in Music 2021

Forbes have published their annual 30 Under 30, the 30 most influencial young people making an impact in their industry each year.

This data is based on the category Music, in the North American region. The 30 are made up of musicians, entrepreneur and a lawyer in the music industry, largely in the US and Canada. The full directory can be found here.

Ingrid Andress

29, United States, Musician – Country. Full profile here.


Gabby Barrett

20, United States, Musician – Country. Full profile here.


Murda Beatz

26, Canada, Producer. Full profile here.


Aurielle Brooks

28, United States, Attorney, Arrington & Phillips. Full profile here.


Doja Cat

25, United States, Musician – R&B. Full profile here.


Richard Camacho, Erick Brian Colon, Zabdiel DeJesus, Joel Pimentel, Christopher Velez

23, 19, 22, 21, 25, United States, Musician – CNCO. Full profile here.


DuMarkus Davis

25, United States, Founder, Musicbuk. Full profile here.


Brent Faiyaz

25, United States, Musician – R&B. Full profile here.


Polo G

21, United States, Musician – Hip-hop. Full profile here.


Justin Goldman

22, United States, Founder, JustGold Recordings. Full profile here.


Ashley Graver

29, United States, Head of Creative Artist Partnerships, Spotify. Full profile here.


Elliot Grainge

27, United Kingdom, Founder, 10K Projects. Full profile here.


Conan Gray

21, United States, Musician – Pop. Full profile here.


Gibson Hazard

24, United States, Founder, Hazard Studios. Full profile here.


G Herbo

25, United States, Musician – Pop. Full profile here.


Dominique Lil Baby Jones

25, United States, Musician – Rap. Full profile here.


Lydia Liebman

29, United States, Founder, Lydia Liebman Promotions. Full profile here.


Melanie Martinez

25, United States, Musician – Pop. Full profile here.


Ava Max

26, United States, Musician – Pop. Full profile here.


Tate McRae

17, Canada, Musician – Pop. Full profile here.


Bea Miller

21, United States, Musician – Pop. Full profile here.


London On Da Track

29, United States, Producer. Full profile here.


Cynthia Parkhurst

29, United States, Founder, Teammate. Full profile here.


Lillia Parsa

27, United States, A&R Director, Universal Music Publishing Group. Full profile here.


Roddy Ricch

22, United States, Musician – Hip-hop. Full profile here.


William Robillard-Cole

28, Canada, Founder, WRC MGMT. Full profile here.


Olivia Rudensky

24, United States, Marketing & Digital Head, Miley Cyrus. Full profile here.


Saweetie

26, United States, Musician – Rap. Full profile here.


Jahaan Sweet

27, United States, Producer. Full profile here.


Julian Swirsky

26, United States, SVP of A&R, Republic Records. Full profile here.

Get 3 months of Spotify Premium Free before 2021

Image credit: Spotify

Sign up to Spotify Premium before the end of the year and you’ll get three full months of unlimited, ad-free streaming for free.

Spotify are offering a fantastic deal from now until the 31st of December to ensure that everyone’s year goes out with a musical bang. Users who haven’t already trialled Spotify Premium can take advantage of 3 whole months of their Premium music subscription service at no cost.

If you’re not aware of what Spotify Premium offers you; it removes adverts which interrupt your streaming experience so you can listen to a whole album seamlessly, allows you to download music to listen offline and on the go, you can skip music unlimited times and play any song of your choosing including on mobile devices.

Spotify Premium is a great choice for the music lover and listeners who don’t want their listening experience interrupted. You can take advantage of the offer now – it only applies to individual Spotify subscriptions – until the end of the year.

Your Spotify 2020 Artist Wrapped is ready – see how far your music has grown this year

Image credit: Spotify

See your musical milestones in 2020 and connect with the fans that stream your music, by sharing your achievements on social media with sharecards.

Spotify’s Wrapped for Artists celebrates your year’s highlights as an artist, such as how many streams you gained, how many hours your music was streamed for, your total number of unique listeners, how many countries listened to you and so much more:

  • Total hours streamed
  • Moment when the most people were listening to the artist at the same time
  • Number of times listeners played any of the the artist’s songs on repeat
  • Info showing the journey of an artist’s top track: Number of streams, how it traveled around the world, the moment when it had the most listeners at the same time, playlist adds, and more
  • Countries where the artist was streamed for the first time, including the one that listened to them the most
  • Increases in followers, total listeners, new listeners, streams, or playlist adds
  • Number of fans that had the artist as their most listened to artist
  • Total number of fans sharing the artist’s profile, albums, and songs, including the song that fans shared the most
  • List showing some of the artist’s collaborators

All of this is ready to share with the fans that replayed you the most on social media with sharecards. Here are some examples from some of Spotify’s top new emerging artists who debuted in 2020 and made a big impact:
Danna Paola, Péricles, Brandy, Mt. Joy, Zoe Wees, Emanuel, Jenevieve, Mustafa, glaive.

Image credit: Spotify

Log in or claim your account at Spotify for Artists to access your 2020 Artist Wrapped.

Listeners can access their 2020 Spotify Wrapped here.

Your 2020 Spotify Wrapped is ready – Who did you stream the most this year?

Spotify’s yearly Wrapped is a great way for listeners to see which artists, songs and podcasts they streamed the most over the last year.

December this year means three things, the start of Christmas, the near end to a year that’ll go down in history and Spotify Wrapped once again – the yearly tradition of bragging that you have a better music taste than your friends.

Spotify Wrapped shows you your year in music and podcasts, with in-depth details on your most streamed artists, tracks, genres and playlists, as well as details like songs you listened to before they were cool.

As usual, Spotify Premium members get even more info on what they’re listening to. New additions to 2020’s Spotify Wrapped include:

  • New in-app quizzes – Guess your top podcasts, artists and decade you streamed the most.
  • Story of Your 2020 – From the date you listened to your top song for the first time, to its 100th stream and other notable milestones in between.
  • Deeper dive into podcast listening – How many minutes you spent listening to podcasts.
  • New Badges (for Premium listeners) – For example, if a number of your playlists gained significant new followers you’ll be crowned Tastemaker, or you listened to a song before it hit 50,000 streams you’ll be a Pioneer, or if you’ve added a large number of songs to your playlist, you’ll be a Collector.
  • New personalized playlists – Your Top Songs, showing all of your most streamed songs in one playlist, Missed Hits, songs Spotify thinks you’ll like that you didn’t listen to in 2020. Listeners in the U.S., UK and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada also get On Record, a mixed media playlist that features songs and playlists featuring your top artists.
  • The world of Wrapped to non-users – even if you’re not subscribed to Spotify, you can still see the latest global music and podcast listening trends, such as the most streamed artists, tracks, podcasts and decades. Find more here.
Spotify Wrapped Top Streamed Songs Globally

Head to the Spotify app on iOS or Android to watch your year unwrapped. Click here to see your 2020 Wrapped playlists as well as the top tracks, artists and podcasts around the world and locally.

Why have Spotify introduced stories to their app?

Spotify are testing a new Instagram-like stories feature on their app, but is a music streaming service the right place for stories?

Following in the footsteps of many social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn (I didn’t know about that one either) and recently Twitter, Spotify are currently testing the new feature on a handful of playlists with clips from major artists.

As hilarious as it is that every social media platforms (and now other types of services) have seemingly directly copied Snapchat’s feature, is Spotify really the place for stories?

Spotify stories could be a good place to hear more from artists or playlists curators, with a behind-the-scenes look at the albums creation or curators decision to include certain tracks. But are playlists really the best place to introduce this feature?

Personally I don’t care what inspired Meghan Trainor’s new Christmas song, however should the feature be rolled out to all artists, I would be interested to see stories from artists that I follow (not friends that I follow, I have Instagram) appear at the top of the homepage, letting me know about their new single or shouting out a similar artist.

Time will tell if this feature catches on and becomes available to more artists or playlist curators as it moves out of testing. We’ll be sure to let you know if Spotify brings this feature to the masses.

How to get your music on Spotify’s artist breaking playlists.

Spotify test stories feature on playlists with behind-the-scenes clips from artists

First debuted in earlier this year, Spotify now expand the feature to some of their most popular playlists, including Christmas Hits and tear drop.

Following the success of Snapchat, Instagram and whole bunch of other social media platforms, Spotify test their own stories feature out after a small introduction earlier this year with select influencers. Spotify invite some of the biggest artists on their playlists to record video clips about their new and classic singles and albums.

Spotify’s Chistmas Hits playlist includes the new feature, with clips from Ava Max, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson, Brett Eldredge, Stevie Mackey, Jennifer Lopez, Pentatonix and Phil Springer. When viewed on iOS or Android, you’ll see a circular animated preview above the playlist title. Much like Instagram stories, tap the preview to open the story, tap to the right to see the next clips, tap to the left for the previous clip and swipe down to exit. The clips can include track previews. Unlike Instagram, clips are not limited to 15 seconds.

Other playlists with stories includes tear drop and Megan Thee Stallion presents Good News, the Enhanced Album.