Flying Lotus Expands His Radio Station for ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ Reissue, Teams Up with DOOM and Krayzie Bone

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Flying Lotus Expands His Radio Station for

Last year, Flying Lotus got his very own radio station on the videogame Grand Theft Auto V. Now that game is being reissued next month, and fans will be pleased to learn FlyLo’s contribution has expanded. “There’s more FlyLoFM to come,” he said in a Q&A about the game. “There’s another half-hour-plus of music. I’m really excited about it. It’s the extension of FlyLoFM. I was really proud of the first bit of it, but I still felt there was so much more to say.” Watch the interview below (FlyLo starts talking about the music around 37:45). The radio station — which…Read More

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Beefs 2014: the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney Slams U2 over Free Distribution Scheme

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Beefs 2014: the Black Keys

U2 rubbed a lot of people the wrong way with their sneaky scheme to forcibly distribute Songs of Innocence to iTunes users. Now, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney has become the latest person to speak out against U2′s distribution model and what it means for the music industry. Speaking with the Seattle Times [via Billboard], Carney said that, by sharing the album for free, U2 “devalued their music completely.” Even worse, this could hurt other musicians, since this “sends a huge mixed message to bands… that are just struggling to get by. I think that they were…Read More

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Morrissey’s Seven Secrets of the Music Business…

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In a recent interview with Madrid’s El Pais

1. The number one position on the charts is typically bought.

2. A label can sign an artist to bury that artist.

3. A label will issue a press release saying their new discovery has sold 30 million copies, when the actual figure is 30,000, but the media make it official.

4. The label strives to pay nothing and shift all expenses to the artist, so that its profit is completely clean.

Sam Smith Announces North American Winter Tour, Plays Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver

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Sam Smith Announces North American Winter Tour, Plays Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver

UK crooner Sam Smith had a massively successful run recently, and he will be staging something of a British invasion next year when he again tours North America this winter. Perhaps the English vocalist isn’t aware of how cold it can get on our continent, since he will be making the trip across the pond in the dead of winter. He will spend close to a month, from the first half of January into February, playing shows in North America. Many of these are in the U.S., where he will begin in the southern states before making his way north. This will bring him to Montreal on January 19,…Read More

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Parquet Courts Announce New Album as Parkay Quarts

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Parquet Courts Announce New Album as Parkay Quarts

Prolific punks Parquet Courts already released an LP — their third overall — in Sunbathing Animal earlier this year. That hasn’t stopped them from cranking out another album’s worth of material, however. The group have blasted out another 12-song collection of songs which comprise the new album Content Nausea. Like the band’s 2013 EP Tally All the Things That You Broke, the new album is credited to Parkay Courts. Content Nausea was made by band members Andrew Savage and Austin Brown. They were joined by saxophonist Jef Brown (Jackie-O…Read More

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Nick Monaco: “Don’t Let Dance Music Forget Where It Came From”

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My final Decibel Festival-related post is here. This interview is a good follow up to my interview with Anna Lunoe at Decibel interview and the subsequent conversation on how we discuss women in the music industry.

I came across the following quote on Anna Lunoe’s Tumblr. It comes from Chicago DJ, producer, and talent buyer The Black Madonna, aka Marea Stamper. For further reading, check out Resident Advisor’s in-depth profile of Stamper, posted today.

Screen shot 2014-10-15 at 6.37.44 PM

Nick Monaco is one of the artists challenging dance music’s status quo. Monaco is a part of Crew Love, Soul Clap and Wolf + Lamb’s record label and artist collective.

You’d Never Expect This Rural Wisconsin Town To Be A Staple On The Tour Circuit

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10 years ago Brian Sauer was used to making the 10 hour round trip excursions down to Chicago from Marshfield, WI to see music. He was a regular at The World’s Largest Music Festival, Summerfest, in Milwaukee every year – still nearly three and a half hours away. As true with most small towns around the country, the common complaint is “there’s nothing to do.”

Sauer mentioned to me over Skype from his office in Marshfield, “I didn’t see anything changing.”

It wasn’t until he was with his girlfriend seeing a Gufs concerts at Summerfest where she turned to him and said “this is awesome, too bad we don’t have anything like this in Marshfield.” And then it clicked.

“You can put your effort into complaining about a problem or you can put it towards a solution,” Sauer professed. He chose the latter. 10 years ago he started The Vox Concert Series in the town of Marshfield, WI. Population 20,000.

He isn’t your typical concert promoter. Sauer doesn’t make any money from the concert series. That’s not to say there isn’t any money being made. He has chosen to invest all of the proceeds into growing Vox and, more importantly, into the artists’ compensation. Every artist who plays the Vox series is paid a guarantee and keeps 100% of their merch.

Brian Sauer loves music. And he loves his town. He is starting a movement.

Unlike most small town “live music” cover band nights, Sauer makes sure that all the music he hosts is original. They have hosted everything from Bluegrass to World beat to Americana to Folk to Soul. Because their indoor venue is a very intimate space, the majority of the shows are listening shows with acoustic based music.

“Over the last decade we’ve been teaching people how to come to a listening room” – Brian Sauer, Vox Concert Series

Sauer brings in talent from around the country. “Our motto is, ‘Big city music, small town vibe.” And fans from a 5 state region have made the trek to Marshfield to enjoy these concerts.

Time To Pay Attention: Creators On Patreon Now Receive Over $1,000,000 Per Month From Patrons

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The movement has begun. It’s official. Patreon’s model works. Crowdfunding 2.0 is here to stay.

The idea that fans would like to support their favorite creators just for creating, is counterintuitive. People believe that fans will only pay for something if they’re forced to. But no creator on Patreon is forcing anyone to pay them anything. They aren’t even saying that they can’t create unless they reach a set monetary goal (like on Kickstarter). These creators all have one thing in common: they will create with or without the monetary support. And will continue to do it without charging their fans for these creations. These creators were creating long before Patreon existed. But now, they can actually make a bit of money from their fans for doing what they love to do.

+Fans Aren’t Going To Pay For Music Anymore. And That’s OK.

Patreon flies in the face of all conventional thinking. The argument that musicians will only make music if they’re paid for it has been debunked over and over again. And the idea that fans will only pay for something if they are forced to is being debunked on a daily basis by the patrons on Patreon.

Tom Merritt releases 20 podcasts a month. For free. However, over 4,000 of his fans decided they’d like to support him. He makes over $ 12,000 a month for releasing free podcasts. In his Patreon video he states “I really love the idea… ‘Value for value.’ The idea being, that if you get value from the show, you give that value back in some form. One way could be backing this Patreon.”

“I really love the idea… value for value. The idea being, that if you get value… you give that value back in some form. One way could be backing this Patreon.” Tom Merritt, Podcaster making $ 12,000 a month on Patreon

The a cappella group, Pentatonix, famous for winning the third season of The Sing Off (and their 6.8 million YouTube subscribers) now make over $ 15,000 per video they put on YouTube.
In comic book artist Zach Weinersmith’s Patreon video, he exclaims, “But wait you say, ‘why would I give you a dollar a month when I can have the comics for free?’ Well you can consider yourself a patron of the arts!” And over 3,000 people thought that was a cool idea. Weinersmith is making nearly $ 9,000 a month for creating free comics.

Started by YouTuber, Jack Conte (one half of Pomplamoose), to help his own bottom line, most of the musicians on Patreon are YouTubers. What’s a YouTuber? Well, if you haven’t noticed, there’s a subculture of icons that are famous on YouTube. So famous, they are actually more popular than mainstream celebs among US teens.

+Patreon Just Solve YouTube… And Music

But the problem is, most of them haven’t been making much money from YouTube. Even though YouTube’s Content ID has paid out over $ 1 billion, most of that seems to end up in the DRM companies’ hands and divvieded up so much that the actual artists creating the most popular monetized content aren’t seeing much of that revenue.

From his millions and millions of views, Conte confessed in his recent interview with USA today “I’d have all these views, but at the end of the month I’d check my (YouTube) ad revenue and I’d get a check for like $ 6 or $ 10.”

“I’d have all these views, but at the end of the month I’d check my (YouTube) ad revenue and I’d get a check for like $ 6 or $ 10″ – Jack Conte, Musician, CEO, Patreon

Patreon has done a great job at bringing in constant creators like YouTubers, podcasters and artists. However, most of these creators have built up their audience through YouTube in one way or another.

Patreon’s biggest challenge has been convincing ‘traditional’ artists that Patreon could be beneficial to them.

Most ‘traditional’, touring musicians who release albums every 2-3 years with sporadic music videos every few months, may not see a use for Patreon. What regular piece of content could they ask their fans to support? Well, why not use Patreon as a fan club? Musicians could invite their existing fans to become an official patron for $ 1 or $ 5 a month. They would then get access to exclusive content like unreleased b-sides, acoustic versions, live recordings and patron-only vlogs from the band. They could also interact through the Patreon activity stream where the artist could check in and join in on the conversation.

Once Patreon’s Activity stream is filtered into community forums that encourage engaged conversation (like patron created topics), I see many more patrons viewing Patreon as a community space. Currently, most creators and patrons use solely for the transaction, whereas there is potential for so much more.

Other industries have realized Patreon’s value. Choc Children’s hospital of LA used Patreon to raise money for every Angel’s Baseball win. With 98 wins so far, at about $ 1300 a win, that’s one nice chunk of change for the children of Choc.

Patreon is just getting started. They launched less than 18 months ago and raised over $ 15 million in their Series A round earlier this year (following their initial investments of $ 2.1 million in late 2013). UTA and CAA are among the latest investors in Patreon. Whether they are conspiring to use Patreon in some innovative manner down the line, or are just excited about making lots of money when Patreon inevitably goes public, time will tell. (They’re agents, my money (or should I say their money) is on the latter).

With over 45,000 creators and (now) $ 1 million a month being earned by these creators, crowdfunding 2.0 has officially arrived.

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

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Ari Herstand
Digital Music News

Album Sales Are Down 14.4 Percent in 2014…

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Billboard has reported the latest SoundScan numbers from the US. As expected, they’re generally not pretty.

Digital track sales have fallen 12.9 percent in 2014, down to 848.5 million sales so far.

This is down from 974.6 million tracksales in the first nine months of 2013.

Digital album sales are down 11.5 percent to 77.6 million, down from 87.8 million last year.2013 was the first year that digital sales had ever declined, signaling that the reign of iTunes might be ending. Billboard thinks the accelerating decline is starting to mirror the drastic decline in CD sales.

Speaking of CD sales, they’re still going down. CD sales are down 18.9 percent to 91.7 million units. This is down from 113.1 million units in the same period last year.

As we’ve already reported, vinyl sales are up 47.5 percent.

Overall, album sales are down 14.4 percent.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

Image by danielhedrick, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).

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Nina Ulloa
Digital Music News