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Apple Music revealed that it pays penny per stream, roughly double what Spotify pays music-rights holders.

The Union of Musicians said that all music streamers should pay one penny per stream at a minimum.

Apple has 60 million Music subscribers while Spotify has 155 million. Amazon has 55 million subscribers.

Artists aren’t paid directly by streaming services, rather they pay royalties to rights holders (labels, publishers, distributors). The right holders then pay artists.

Apple roughly 52 cents of every dollar, to record labels, whereas Spotify says it pays two-thirds of every dollar of revenue to rights holders, with 75% to 80% of that going to labels—translating to 50 to 53 cents on the dollar.

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2020 was a difficult year for artists and 2021 is not looking brighter either, but TikTok was the knight in shining armour that came to the rescue. Kind of.

It’s a great platform for songs, but not for artist branding. Ask a teen what’s their favorite artist and you’ll get silence. Instead they’ll rattle off their favorite songs.

But what about artist payout?

Naomi Pohl, Secretary General of the Musician’s Union says “the problems posed by TikTok are the same problems artists face with streaming in general: artists simply don’t get a fair cut. “It’s great news that artists who have their songs featured on TikTok will be properly licensed, but if the deal has been made with a major label, the already tiny payment will have be filtered through the record label – meaning that ultimately, the artist will only get around 10-15% of the total profit.”

“If you’re an artist, and you go viral on TikTok, it can be very difficult to work out how much you’re being paid, and what the deductions are for.”

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Look out for Pink Elefants and the track Sound Of Violence. You’ll like if you love The Weeknd ala alternative pop / synth pop.

“the observer in the song narrates as if they are in some lavish party in the hills. At first the party seems perfect until you look closely and peel back the layers. As the veneer begins to decay we can all start to see the darkness underneath” shares the band.

The Maryland-based duo consists of Finch (Flores) and Illeven (Joshua Matthew). The band name derived from the “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence in Disney’s Dumbo. Give it a stream on KOAR’s Indie Invaders playlist.

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TikTok is disrupting the music industry. It’s done good for the industry, but the good also has a downside.

Users on TikTok are all about the song, not the artist. The song goes viral, not the artist. Sure, the artist is attached to the song, but remembering the name of the artist is like remembering the 9 digit phone number. No doubt, TikTok is an explosive marketing tool for song exposure. Warner Music, Sony, and Universal Music Group struck licensing deals with the platform, artist have signed deals with labels, and a few TikTok viral tracks even bubbled into the mainstream sphere. With all that, it has created some long term problems.

Right now, TikTok is the dominant algorithmic machine that’s being fed daily with tracks. I’m not sure artists have another go to place outside of TikTok. It’s certainly not Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Even though TikTok is a good tool for a song, it’s not necessarily a perfect tool for artist branding. Rather, the users of TikTok are branding themselves with the use of the track which was written by the artist. The artists are getting swallowed up in the machine.

Also, the 30 to 60 song clips are furthering hijacking attention spans which is not necessarily healthy for the creative business. TikTok has changed the way music sounds. As far getting paid for your work, that’s another issue and I’ll delve into that next time.

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Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino predicted in February that large-scale 2021 concerts could return in the United States by this summer. Since then, he’s been very quiet. We all thought we’d be further along ahead with the covid virus. Unfortunately, the CDC predicted a tough rough ahead before getting back to normalcy.

Also, Live Nation has invested more into virtual events, acquiring the streaming platform Veeps.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster are focusing on selling tickets for 2022 events, including The Weeknd’sAfter Hours World Tour. The Weeknd is scheduled at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Jan. 29, 2022 and the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on April 3rd.

“On the artist side, there is a broad desire to get back on stage – to connect with their fans and to provide economic support to their bands, crew, and the hundreds of others employed each night putting on the show. Given the limited touring activity in 2020 and 2021, the pipeline for 2022 is much stronger than usual, with almost twice as many major touring artists on cycle in 2022 than a typical year – about 45 artists versus the usual 25. And there remains plenty of scheduling availability at arenas, amphitheaters, and stadiums to accommodate these additional tours, with over two-thirds of these venues’ nights unused by sporting events or major concerts in a typical year.”

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