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Bruce Houghton
Music Industry Professional
Interests: music, business, marketing, digital entertainment, promotion, technology
Recent Activity
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Just days after taking Taylor Swift to task for removing her music from Spotify, musician and activist Billy Bragg has apologized and offered her his "full support." More than about free streaming music, Bragg's criticism had been more about why he believed to Swift's decision to 'secretly' side with Google and YouTube over Spotify. "Google are going after Spotify and Taylor Swift has just chosen sides," wrote Bragg. But after learning that most of Swift's music had also been kept off YouTube's new Music Key, he quickly changed his tune. "I want to apologise to Taylor Swift for accusing her... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at hypebot
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Millenials know only a world where free music is everywhere, but one group is still willing to pay and has the disposable income to do it - adults 50+. Chasing that market, Sony Music Entertainment and its catalog division, Legacy Recordings, have formed a new relationship with the American Association Of Retired Persons to offer its 37 million members special music packages, deals and discounts. In addition to receiving savings on new Sony Music releases, AARP members will also be offered discounts from new and catalog titles from Legacy Recordings. "Helping people save money has been a priority for AARP... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at hypebot
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By Mark Mulligan on Music Industry Blog The Financial Times yesterday reported that Apple is planning on integrating Beats Music into an iOS update as early as the first quarter of 2015. Which means the entire base of Apple’s 500 odd million iOS devices suddenly become Apple’s acquisition funnel. As I wrote back in May, this was always the strategy Apple was most likely to pursue. Of course being available to 500 iTunes customers is not anything like converting them all. Just ask U2. But it does give Beats Music – if Apple keep the name – a reach like... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at hypebot
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By Amy Sciarretto on Sonicbids Blog As my recent "Ask a Publicist" article explained, having a publicist is an essential tool for your band's growth and success. But not every band can afford the spend, depending on where they are in their development. So if you're not signed to a label with in-house PR, relax. You are not S.O.L. There are ways to do your own PR and get some placements on a limited level so you can lay the foundation and make inroads in the media before a trained PR pro, with limitless contacts, steps in and takes over.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at hypebot
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Warner Music Group and Tencent Holdings Limited announced a landmark agreement that includes the industry's first-ever master distribution partnership between a major music company and a leading Internet provider in Mainland China. Under the terms of the deal, Tencent will distribute WMG's repertoire and manage new releases to all legitimate local Chinese audio services, with the exception of Mainland China mobile carriers with which Warner Music China will continue to develop partnerships. WMG will oversee relationships with all global service providers, as well as drive all marketing and promotional activities across the region. The partnership also covers the extension of... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at hypebot
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FRIDAY 11.21.2014 Music Business News & Views From Around The Web CLICK HERE Updated Continuously @ Hypebot's More News Tab Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at hypebot
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BitTorrent has tasked themselves with the building of a sustainable ecosystem for artists and fans alike. Fostering a community where fans can connect directly with artists and vice versa, BitTorrent demonstrated their commitment to sustainable art with the launch of BitTorrent Bundles, a publishing project that allows fans to access content via a key that becomes available when users provide an email address or a direct payment to the artist. In September, BitTorrrent asked 2,500 users about the presence of and interaction with content, creativity, music and film in their daily lives. Despite the recent manifestation of streaming as the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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[UPDATED] In what most in the music industry see as a long overdue move Nielson Soundscan will add both streams and downloads to their weekly Top 200 album sales chart published by Billboard. Beginning with the Dec. 3rd chart (sales for the week ending Nov. 30 which includes Black Friday), music streams from Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Beats and others will become part of the ranking using the calculation of 1500 song streams as as equal to an album sale. Album Equivalents Neilson is calling this new measurement - 1500 streams + 1 album - "a stream equivalent album.” Full album... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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This article originally appeared on ChinaMusicRadar.com It may come as a surprise to those not familiar with the Chinese indie scene that BandCamp is fairly widely adopted as part of local artists’ promo toolbox – at least for serious gigging bands with releases under the likes of Genjing Records and Maybe Mars. BandCamp chief executive Ethan Diamond told the Guardian recently that the service would be giving every artist the ability to create a subscription service of their own on the site. The offering can be tailored to an artist’s audience, with flexible pricing and the option to include back-catalogue... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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Reports surfaced yesterday that Apple will relaunch Beats Music in March inside an updated version of its iOS operating system. But even placement within the core of Apple's eco-system does not mean Beats will become a music subscription market leader, according to a top anlayst. It could, however, be an important tool to help convert iTunes users to paid streamers. "If Apple does embed the Beats music subscription service into upcoming iOS releases, it won't guarantee a leading share of the subscription market currently dominated by Spotify and Pandora," said Paul Verna, senior analyst, eMarketer. "But it is consistent with... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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Jordan Blaugrund has been upped to Vice President, Digital Marketing, at RCA Records. Blaugrund previously was of Senior Director of Digital Marketing at the label. In his new role, Blaugrund will oversee all digital marketing initiatives and direct to consumer business for the label. Blaugrund will report to Tom Corson, President & COO, RCA Records and remain in the label’s New York headquarters. Blaugrund joined RCA in 2003 in the promotion department, where he coordinated video and artist placements on the major video networks. In 2007 he transitioned to digital marketing where he oversaw digital campaigns for a diverse roster... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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THURSDAY 11.20.2014 Music Business News & Views From Around The Web CLICK HERE Updated Continuously @ Hypebot's More News Tab Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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Move over Neil Young, the options for those who care about sound quality are expanding. Today, newly relaunched audio brand Technics announced the opening of a hi-resolution music download service offering 24-bit FLAC tracks powered by 7digital. Available first in the UK and Germany starting January 2015, the new download store will carry a selection 24-bit FLAC audio tracks including tens of thousands in the 192kHz sampling rate, with aggressive expansion plans for more hi-resolution titles. This will be complemented by an extensive collection of 16-bit/44.1kHz, CD quality tracks. Technics Tracks will be accessible from PCs and Macs as well... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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Apple is planning to relaunch Beats Music in March, according to new reports. The "new" paid streaming music service would reportedly be a part of a new version of Apple's iOS operating system. If true, it would be consistent with how Apple handles most of its core applications and services keeping each within Apple's closely integrated eco-system. The new reports, which first came via the Financial Times, included no details as to how else Apple might change Beats, though rumors have suggested that Apple is fighting labels for a $5 monthly price, vs. the current $10. Related articles Pandora &... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at hypebot
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Singer and activist Billy Bragg has taken exception to Taylor Swift's decision to remove her music from Spotify, calling the move a part of a "corporate power play" between Google and Spotify. In a post on his Facebook page, Bragg takes Swift to task, suggesting that her decision to pull her music from Spotify was part of a deal with Google to headline the beta launch of their new Youtube Music Key streaming service. Tayor Swift "Sold Her Soul To Google" "If Ms Swift was truly concerned about perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free,... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at hypebot
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Irving Azoff is ratcheting up the pressure after YouTube apparently ignored his warning to make a deal or take down music and videos relating to the 20,000 songs under his control. The catalog managed by Azoff's Global Music Rights (GMR) includes music written by The Eagles, Pharrell Williams, Boston, Foreigner, Smokey Robinson, John Lennon, Smokey Robinson and George and Ira Gershwin. According to a letter sent by GMR attorney Howard King to YouTube, the Google owned video and music service has failed to comply with Azoff's demands to stop using the songs. As the Hollywood Reporter's Eriq Gardner so aptly... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at hypebot
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[UPDATED] Patreon is now paying more than $1 million per month to musicians, YouTube stars and other creatives. These payments are coming from 125,000 patrons who have pledged to support their favorite artists monthly. "The sum of these ongoing pledges constitutes sustainable, reliable salaries for professional creators around the world," the startup wrote in a blog post. "It confirms a massive cultural shift that we all felt but had trouble describing. It’s a restless movement, developing simultaneously right now in arts communities around the world: The public is demanding to pay creators," the company wrote. "As the cost of consuming... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at hypebot
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WEDNESDAY 11.19.2014 Music Business News & Views From Around The Web CLICK HERE Updated Continuously @ Hypebot's More News Tab Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at hypebot
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Some simple simple statements just hit the mail on the head, as do these from Rdio CEO Anthony Bay at the recent Web Summit. On Spotify vs. YouTube Payments: “[Artists] say ‘Wow, I have a million views on YouTube!’ That’s a badge of honour. But if they have a million plays on a streaming service, then it’s ‘they should be paid more’… On Taylor Swift: "It’s the artist’s choice. It needs to be the artist’s decision as much as possible. In this case, if the artist said ‘I don’t want my music to be played for free, then you have... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at hypebot
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18 months after launching in beta, BitTorrent has opened its digital magnetization platform BitTorrent Bundles to all musicians and other creators of digital content. As part of the launch, Diplo has released "Florida - The 10th Anniversary Edition" in both the free and $5 editions. Previously, a Bundle for a solo effort by Radiohead's Thom Yorke was downloaded more than 1.2 million times. Details & How To Sign Up BitTorrent charges 10% of the purchase price of each Bundle plus about 5% in transaction fees. That's in line with what Bandcamp charges and a fraction of the 40% + distribution... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at hypebot
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By Dave Kusek on Sonicbids Blog For the most part, your fans aren’t created overnight. It's usually a long process built on multiple impressions as fans climb up the ladder from interested party to paying customer. Your email list is the best tool you have to move fans up that ladder. Social media is, of course, a good starting place, but your posts can often be missed or disregarded in the clutter. Here's how you can use "squeeze pages" to effectively grow your email list and convert fans into buyers. What is a squeeze page? Basically, a squeeze page is... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at hypebot
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Taylor Swift's decision to pull all of her music off Spotify is causing ripples across the music industry and unsurprisingly become the topic of executive suite discussions at major music companies. The result, according to a top Sony Music executive is a re-evaluation of how much value that free steaming music services like Spotify have in converting free users to paid. “Actually, a lot of conversation has taken place over the last week in the light of that,” Kevin Kelleher, the chief financial officer of Sony Music told the Wall Street Journal during a briefing for financial analysts. “What it... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at hypebot
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TUESDAY 11.18.2014 Music Business News & Views From Around The Web CLICK HERE Updated Continuously @ Hypebot's More News Tab Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at hypebot
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[UPDATED] As rumored, Spotfy and Uber have partnered to add a personalized music experience to the popular ride service. The new offering is launching this Friday, November 21 with special promotions and events in 10 cities – London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Nashville, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney. A worldwide launch will follow in the coming weeks. Artists participating in the launch events this Froday include Andrew W.K., The Sam Willows, Ximena Sariñana, Ansiktet, Professor Green, Diplo, Matt and Kim, Ricki Lee, Kevin Drew and Jake Owen. How It Works & Why Uber users who link... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at hypebot
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Robert Plant has taken exception to a story that he turned down an $800 million offer from Virgin head Richard Branson to reunite with his former bandmates for a Led Zeppelin reunion. According to the Associated Press, a statement from Plant spokesman Ken Weinstein said Plant "has not been in receipt of any offers in recent months." Weinstein added that Plant has not met with, or communicated with Branson in 50 years. Branson himself also attempted to quell the story, saying in a blog post that he was confused by the story. Led Zeppelin's surviving members last reunited in 2007... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at hypebot