"Hello again. Strange weather time. Extreme rain in Texas and Louisiana and extreme heat
here in California. And Taylor Swift is back. 

Our music business is a tough one, always has been and always will be, especially if you
want a “hit record”. But, if the music is “great”, there is an audience for it. The challenge
is to be determined, creative and start the process of connecting, building an audience. 
It is a fact that most successful artists did not happen overnight. They believed in themselves,
worked hard, often with little reward, honed their craft and were ready when all the pieces
came together, like when a jigsaw puzzle is completed.

Have faith in yourself and don’t give up."  

- Don

M. Shadow of the band Avenged Sevenfold

M. Shadow of the band Avenged Sevenfold

A Coming Trial between Avenged Sevenfold and Warner Bros. Records may dissaude or embolden hot artists looking to escape their contracts

What's a record label actually good for? That is a question implied in a lawsuit between Warner Bros. Records and Avenged Sevenfold, a heavy metal band from Huntington Beach, California, that is scheduled to go to trial this year and has the potential to upend the music industry.

The dispute dates back to 2015, when the act notified its label that it was terminating the contract it signed in 2004, citing the "seven-year rule," which bars personal service contracts lasting longer than seven years. The law has its roots in a pro-labor statute put on the books after the Civil War to prevent long-term contracts from becoming the means for involuntary servitude. The modern version of the rule was famously tested in entertainment in 1944, when Olivia de Havilland used the law to break her contract with Warner Bros after the studio repeatedly suspended her for turning down roles. An appeals court decision helped bring an end to Hollywood's old studio system.

But the seven-year rule has not decimated the record business because the major labels successfully lobbied in the 1980s for an important change after Olivia Newton-John won a "seven-year" battle with MCA Records. Music contracts are generally denominated in deliverables (in Avenged Sevenfold's case, they agreed to record five albums and a couple of live ones for Warners), not length of term. The recording industry successfully convinced California lawmakers that labels invest so much up front in their artists, they should be able to recover the "lost profits" of uncompleted albums from acts who don't fulfill their contractual commitments.

READ MORE at the Hollywood Reporter

Merlin has Paid out $1 Billion to Indie Labels


Merlin, the global digital music rights agency for 20,000 indie labels and distributors from 53 countries, has announced its billionth dollar in distributions, since launching in May of 2008. With all of its payments coming from music streaming, this milestone points to a promising future for independent music companies.

Since signing its first commercial partnership in September 2008 as launch partner to Spotify, Merlin has now licensed more than 20 digital music services - including Deezer, Google Play, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, YouTube Red, Pandora, Vevo and KKBOX.

Now $1 billion in payments later, Merlin is often referred to as the “virtual fourth major.” In April of this year, Merlin announced a renewed multi-year global licence with Spotify.

Merlin's membership represents 12% of the digital recorded music market, including Beggars Group, Secretly Group, Domino, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Anti Records, Entertainment One, Redeye Worldwide, Kobalt Music Recordings, [PIAS], Merge, Warp, INgrooves, Mad Decent, Naxos and Curb Records.

READ MORE:  HyperBot.com


Apple Aims to Reduce its Label Distribution


Apple (AAPL) has reportedly been trying to lower the share ofApple Music revenues (QQQ) that it pays out to record labels—the suppliers of the content it uses for its music streaming service.

According to Bloomberg, the prior agreements that Apple had with record labels were set to expire at the end of June 2017, and now Apple aims to adjust the revenue sharing structure in its new contract negotiations with labels.

Under the old agreement, Apple surrendered 58% of Apple Music revenues to labels. Apple charges $10 per month for an Apple Music subscription, while a family plan costs $15 per month. Remember, the music streaming business is a big opportunity for Apple to reduce its reliance on smartphone sales as it faces escalating competition from Samsung (SSNLF), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google.

READ MORE:  Market Realist


Video of the Week

DUA LIPA  - “New Rules”
Click Here to View

( Major new artist in the UK and Europe, starting to make a noise in the US.)

Quote of the Week:

I always wish I'd had more mentors, better mentors, wiser mentors, people who were proper professional working musicians to guide me as I was coming up. 
- Keith Urban