MUSIC NEWS
MARCH 2018

Which is the Best Streaming Service?  Comparing Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

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We have all become familiar with music streaming apps, creating playlists, sharing music and listening to tens of millions of songs across Spotify, Apple Music and more.

But which music streaming service is best for you? What features do you need and what are the different offerings you can get from premium subscriptions? How long is the free trial, and what perks can you get? Which is cheaper, and how can you get a special rate when you subscribe.

Here are the best streaming services around, and the pros and cons of all the apps and sites out available...


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Gibson Guitar Faces Imminent Bankruptcy

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Gibson Guitar is now falling on hard times, and softer guitar sales are just part of the picture.  According to details surfacing this week, the company remains deluged in debt, with desperate sell-offs to service a growing list of creditors.

Ringing the scary alarm is Nashville Post reporter Geert De Lombaerde, who unearthed mountainous debt obligations and a worsening financial crisis.  De Lombaerde pointed to a recent, $16.6 million coupon payment by Gibson to service $375 million in senior secured notes that come due this year.

The debt pile wasn’t a secret to frustrated bond holders.  But De Lombaerde is seeing an iceberg ahead.  “The situation facing the iconic Nashville-based music instrument maker, which has annual revenues of more than $1 billion, is far from normal,” De Lombaerde remarked.  “CFO Bill Lawrence recently left the company after less than a year on the job and just six months before $375 million of senior secured notes will mature.”

The issue of plunging guitar sales became glaringly apparent last year.

That’s when sales figures revealed a serious sales drop over the past decade.  Specifically, guitar sales havedropped from approximately 1.5 million units annually to roughly 1 million — all in less than a decade.  That’s still a million a year, though this is all heading in the wrong direction.

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Music Career Trend:  Managing Yourself

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Ben McLane founded McLane & Wong 22 years ago. It is a full-service global law firm specializing in entertainment law and the music business. McLane’s client list reads like a “who’s who” of music, with an amazing array of superstars, record labels, and general entertainment companies.

Have you noticed more artists managing themselves?

Early in their careers, most artists will manage themselves by default. Mostly because there are very few managers willing to take the time to develop them. The business has changed and the skill set for managers is different. Today, managers don’t just develop artists for a record deal––they have to develop an act’s brand and business model… and that takes a while.

Are there any legal issues artists in groups/bands should know about?
In almost every group, one person (sometimes two if they’re lucky) takes care of business like a manager would. Their efforts will often determine whether the group succeeds or fails. As such, they may be entitled to a larger share of revenue, or have greater voting power. Those issues should be addressed in a group/band contract.

(Note: Nickelback paid lead singer Chad Kroeger a monthly salary to handle the band’s business.)

 

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The Major Labels' Revenues Grew by $1BN in 2017.  Who Had The Biggest Year?

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The combined sales of all three major record companies grew by a total of $1.04bn in 2017, with cumulative streaming revenues jumping $1.4bn year-on-year to offset physical and download declines.

That means the market share race between Sony, Universal and Warner is, these days, less a case of ‘who’s winning?’ – and more of a case of ‘who’s winning hardest?’.

Today, MBW can reveal the answer to that question, with the global recorded music market shares of the three major labels in terms of their annual reported revenue in 2017.

Sony, Universal and Warner all reported their quarterly financial results throughout the calendar year, meaning that, with some tricky calculations (and even trickier currency conversion*), we’ve been able to work out which Big Trio had the best 12 months…

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Video of the Week
 

Stormzy - Blinded By Your Grace pt. 2 Ft. MNEK
British Male Solo Artist / British Album of the Year - 2018 BRIT AWARDS

Artist Quote

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“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

- Bob Marley

#TBT

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From BMI MUSIC WORLD
In October, 1988, 24 American songwriter/artists, including Diane Warren, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Bolton, Desmond Child, France Golde, Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, Barry Mann, Mike Stoller and Gregory Abbott, participated in “Music Speaks Louder Than Words”, a “Songwriters Summit” in Moscow, with their Russian counterparts. The 2 week summit, originally conceived by BMI songwriter Alan Roy Scott was co-sponsored by BMI, AFS Intercultural Programs, the National Academy of Songwriters, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, with VAPP, the then Russian Performing Rights Society. Don Grierson, Snr. VP, A&R, Epic Records participated and oversaw an album of songs resulting from the collaborations.