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Train Receives SoundExchange Hall Of Fame Award @

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) SoundExchange, the premier music tech organization powering the future of music, announced today that GRAMMY-winning rock band Train has been honored with a SoundExchange Hall of Fame Award recognizing their massive hit single “Hey, Soul Sister” as one of the most streamed tracks in SoundExchange’s 20-year history.
“Train took the music industry by storm in 1998 and have proven themselves as consistent hitmakers ever since,” said Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange. “‘Hey, Soul Sister’ is an enduring and instantly recognizable singalong classic. SoundExchange is thrilled to honor this legendary group and their continuing success.”

Huppe presented Train lead singer Pat Monahan with the band’s SoundExchange Hall of Fame Award prior to their recent performance at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Train is a multi-GRAMMY and Billboard Award-winning band from San Francisco that has had 14 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 list since the release of their debut self-titled album. Train’s climb to the top began in 1994, as the original five-member band tenaciously built a loyal hometown following leading up to their debut album released by Columbia in 1998. The tumbling wordplay of “Meet Virginia” gave them their first unlikely radio hit, and 2001’s Drops of Jupiter broke them to multi-platinum status thanks to the double GRAMMY Award-winning title song that spent 10 months in the Top 40. It has also been certified seven-times platinum in the U.S., and earned the 2001 GRAMMY Award for Best Rock Song. The group won another GRAMMY Award in 2011 for their global hit “Hey, Soul Sister” from their multi-platinum album Save Me, San Francisco. “Hey, Soul Sister” was the No. 1 best-selling smash and most downloaded single of 2010, achieved RIAA Diamond status in 2021 and now 11-times platinum, and in 2022 surpassed one billion streams on Spotify. Train has sold more than 10 million albums and 30 million tracks worldwide, with multiple platinum and gold citations, including three GRAMMY Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, and dozens of other honors. They’ve had 12 albums on the Billboard 200 albums chart with their 2014 Bulletproof Picasso reaching No. 4 in 2012 and 2017’s a girl a bottle a boat debuting at No. 8. “Play That Song,” the lead single from a girl a bottle a boat, went platinum in four countries including the U.S., hit Top 5 on the US iTunes chart, Top 10 at Hot AC radio, and charted at Adult Top 40. Train’s highly anticipated 11th studio album, AM Gold, was released on May 20, 2022.

Train front man, Pat Monahan, partakes in other ventures outside of music, including his award-winning wine portfolio, Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co, which was created in 2011 and has sold over 10 million bottles and won over 100 medals. Proceeds from his wine business support Family House, a San Francisco charity that supports families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Monahan has appeared on television and in film with credits that include the 2021 Hallmark Channel original movie, Christmas in Tahoe, inspired by Train’s album of the same name, which he executive produced and starred, Dr. Ken, 90210, CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I., The Voice, American Idol, and The Bachelor.



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UMG And Deezer To Launch The First Comprehensive

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Santa Monica & Paris, September 06, 2023 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, and Deezer, one of the largest independent music streaming platforms, today announced the launch of an artist-centric streaming model, designed to better reward the artists, and the music that fans value the most. Deezer will launch the model in France, Q4 2023 with additional markets to follow.

The two companies developed the new model together as part of their previously announced collaboration, using their respective deep data analysis to develop an economic model that better reflects the true value of artist-fan relationships.

The collaboration to launch an artist-centric model is driven by the companies’ recognition that the current music streaming model needs to be re-imagined. While streaming has been the most significant technology advancement in music in many years, a flood of uploads with no meaningful engagement, including non-artist noise content, has necessitated reassessment of the approach that platforms, labels, and artists take to foster a thriving music ecosystem.

Based on Deezer’s in-depth data analysis the following key enhancements are being integrated into the new artist-centric model:

• Focusing on artists – Deezer will attribute a double boost to what they define as “professional artists” – those who have a minimum of 1,000 streams per month by a minimum of 500 unique listeners – in order to more fairly reward them for the quality and engagement they bring to the platforms and fans;

• Rewarding engaging content – additionally assigning a double boost for songs that fans actively engage with, reducing the economic influence of algorithmic programming;

• Demonetizing non-artist noise audio – Deezer is planning to replace non-artist noise content with its own content in the functional music space, and this won’t be included in the royalty pool; and

• Tackling fraud – continuing to drive an updated, and stricter, proprietary fraud detection system, removing incentives for bad actors, and protecting streaming royalties for artists.

Moreover, the size of the catalog available on digital platforms has exploded in recent years. Deezer’s catalog grew from 90 to over 200 million pieces of content in the past two years alone. As part of the artist-centric model, Deezer intends to apply a stricter provider policy to ensure quality and a better user experience. This includes steps to limit non-artist noise content.

“This is the most ambitious change to the economic model since the creation of music streaming and a change that will support the creation of high-quality content in the years to come,” said Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Deezer. “At Deezer we always put music first, providing a high-quality experience for fans and championing fairness in the industry. We are now embracing a necessary change, to better reflect the value of each piece of content and eliminate all wrong incentives, to protect and support artists. There is no other industry where all content is valued the same, and it should be obvious to everyone that the sound of rain or a washing machine is not as valuable as a song from your favourite artist streamed in HiFi.”

“The goal of the artist centric model is to mitigate dynamics that risk drowning music in a sea of noise and to ensure we are better supporting and rewarding artists at all stages of their careers whether they have 1000 fans or 100 thousand or 100 million. With this multi-faceted approach, music by artists that attracts and engages fans will receive weighting that better recognizes its value, and the fraud and gaming, which serves only to deprive artists their due compensation, will be aggressively addressed,” said Michael Nash, UMG’s EVP and Chief Digital Officer.

He continued, “Embracing the commonly shared objectives we highlighted at the outset of this chapter in our partnership, together we’ll maintain a flexible and adaptive approach. As the ever-evolving music landscape continues its rapid transformation, UMG and Deezer will rigorously address the impact of these changes as we incorporate new insights from data analysis, and fine-tune the model, as appropriate.”

Olivier Nusse, CEO of Universal Music France, said, “After extensive engagement with Deezer throughout 2023, we are very proud to be pioneers in France in the highly anticipated roll out of their version of the Artist Centric model. This comprehensive initiative will much more effectively value fan engagement and active streaming of music created by artists.”

Highlights from Preliminary Work:

No surprise: fans listen to music by the artists they love

-Deezer’s data analysis showed that fans mostly consume music from the artists they love and show little interest in music from hobbyists or functional music.

-Content clutter is degrading the fan experience and impeding discovery of artists.

-For example, 97% of all uploaders on the Deezer platform generated only 2% of the total streams. Whereas only 2% of all uploaders—those artists attracting a consistent fanbase—had more than 1,000 monthly unique listeners.

Reward the artists that attract and retain subscribers

-In designing a fairer allocation of revenue, Deezer seeks to provide greater incentives to those artists who drive valuable engagement on the platform:

-A double boost will be given to all artists who have a minimum of 1,000 streams per month by a minimum of 500 unique listeners.

-Deezer’s data shows that these artists can come from a wide spectrum—from DIY to indie to major label. By examining user behavior over the initial period immediately after they subscribe to Deezer, and then looking at that same user’s behavior in the first month after joining, conclusions can be drawn regarding which artists drove them to subscribe and which artists kept them engaged on the platform.

-Data indicates that the artists listened to by new subscribers in their first month may drive as much as 25% to 30% of user’s streams over the first two years of their activity on the service.

-To reward artists that fans engage with, Deezer will boost the value of their streams that drive engagement on the platform.

Addressing fraud, system gaming and undue influence

-By continuing to improve safeguards to prevent fraud, system gaming and undue influence, revenue in the artist pool is likely to increase. Deezer’s data showed that this could be done in a variety of ways including:

-Fully deploying and further developing Deezer’s proprietary fraud detection system to optimize the removal of manipulated streams.

-Deezer’s best-in-class algorithm identified approximately 7% of streams as fraudulent in 2022: this algorithm uses machine learning at the user level to identify financial fraud (fake accounts, payment fraud), and potential system-gaming behaviors.

Removing “noise” content from royalty pool

-Streams tagged as “noise” represented approximately 2% of streams on the platform.

-Deezer’s intention is to replace non-artist noise content on the platform with its own content in the functional music space, which will not be accounted for in the royalty pool.

Integrating additional artist-centric components to benefit both artists and fans

-The partnership construct will enable data-based adjustments to optimize model performance and establish the foundation for introduction of future elements such as ARPU enhancements, including super fan monetization.

Other elements of the partnership

Universal will collaborate with Deezer on the development of Deezer’s fraud detection tools and AI detection, and intends to experiment with new technology and label services from Deezer.

Deezer is one of the largest independent music streaming platforms in the world, with more than 200 million pieces of content available in 180 countries, providing access to lossless HiFi audio, innovative recommendation technology and industry defining features. As the home of music, Deezer brings artists and fans together on a scalable and global platform, to unlock the full potential of music through technology. Founded in 2007 in Paris, Deezer is now a global company with a team of over 600 people based in France, Germany, UK, Brazil, and the US, all brought together by their passion for music, technology and innovation. Deezer is listed on the Professional Segment of Euronext Paris (Ticker: DEEZR. ISIN: FR001400AYG6) and is also part of the newly-created Euronext Tech Leaders segment, dedicated to European high-growth tech companies, and its associated index.

At Universal Music Group, we exist to shape culture through the power of artistry. UMG is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content. Featuring the most comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. For more information on Universal Music Group visit www.universalmusic.com.



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Boosie BadAzz Posts Yung Bleu’s Alleged Music Publishing

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Boosie BadAzz is posting Yung Bleu’s alleged music publishing details and is insisting that Bleu is being taken advantage of.

Boosie BadAzz Posts Yung Bleu’s Alleged Music Publishing Details in Attempt to Provide Receipts

On Wednesday (Sept. 6), Boosie BadAzz hit up Instagram to unleash a series of new videos aimed at Yung Bleu. After once again accusing Bleu of being a “snake” and an “ungrateful thief,” the Baton Rouge, La. native finished things off by implying that Yung Bleu is missing out on 100 percent of his publishing money. Boosie BadAzz then posted a number of screenshots from Bleu’s BMI and ASCAP’s publishing reports as receipts.

“Icing on the cake,” Boosie BadAzz says in the video below. “He’s taking your publishing too, bro. Reserv is one company. Vice and Play is his publishing company. Let me show what he’s doing to all your records, Bleu. Taking all your publishing. Swipe.”

From there, the BMI and ASCAP Songview screenshots for Yung Bleu songs like “Bought a Patek,” “Boss Ya Life Up” and “Beverly Hills” show a breakdown of the percentages the Empire Records and a company named Vice and Play make from Bleu’s music versus what Bleu makes himself.

Who Does Boosie BadAzz Think Is Taking All of Yung Bleu’s Publishing?

It’s highly likely that the person Boosie BadAzz is referring to as the party “taking all of” Yung Bleu’s publishing is CEO of Empire Records, Ghazi Shami. Over the past couple of months, Boosie has been calling out Shami, Empire and Yung Bleu for allegedly inking a deal behind his back. Boosie BadAzz has even made T-shirts calling Ghazi Shami and Yung Bleu snakes, which Boosie says he intends to distribute to people who bought tickets to Bleu’s current Love Scars Tour.

Read More: Boosie BadAzz Calls Yung Bleu a Clown for Allegedly Kicking T-Rell Off Bleu’s Love Scars Tour

Boosie BadAzz and Yung Bleu’s Beef Over Their Contract Dispute Has Intensified Recently

Boosie BadAzz’s latest rant and his being inspired to show off Yung Bleu’s publishing details comes directly on the heels of a heating social media exchange between the two rappers. After Yung Bleu posted a photo on Instagram of $1 million in cash on Sunday (Sept. 3), an enraged Boosie took the flex as a slight against him, claiming that “at this point he playing me like I’m just a b***h a*s n***a.”

In response to that, Yung Bleu refuted Boosie BadAzz’s claims alleging that Boosie declined an offer that included $2 million and the publishing rights to his mixtape catalog, in addition to 50 percent of Bleu’s new songs and 100 percent of the songs he previously released.

Read More: Boosie BadAzz and Yung Bleu Beef Intensifies as They Insult Each Other Over Contract Dispute

XXL has reached out to Yung Bleu and Empire Records for a statement on the matter.

Check out Boosie BadAzz’s latest rant and see Yung Bleu’s publishing details Boosie publicly shared below.

See Boosie BadAzz Post Yung Bleu’s Alleged Music Publishing Details Implying That Bleu is Being Taken Advantage Of

See Rappers and Hip-Hop Artists Who Sold Their Publishing for Huge Payouts



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From The Side of the Road… I’ve written this song

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I’ve had the honor of getting to be the curator for the Walnut Valley Festival’s NewSong Showcase for the last few years, and I’m looking forward to MCing the winners’ showcase at the festival in a week or so. I’m also looking forward to the songwriter track events coming up at the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh. With all that in mind, here’s one from the archives for the songwriters, and for what it’s worth, I really did get a song pitched to me using the phrase “no obligation to record.”

There’s a perception in some places, in Nashville especially, that songwriters and publishers are becoming overly aggressive in their song-pitching strategies.

I have to respectfully disagree with this viewpoint, and below I will submit my argument that, in fact, people aren’t pitching their songs aggressively enough.

While it is true that in Nashville you can’t go anywhere in town (the ball game, the supermarket, church, the hospital emergency waiting room, etc) without getting songs pitched to you, this is more a problem of song and songwriter quantity and concentration than it is a problem of pushy marketing. There are just a lot of people doing it, and it’s accepted in Nashville, that with the exception of a memorial service (the reception afterwards is fine), you should just expect to have a song pitched to you anywhere.

Take this recent scene in a Nashville area tire store:

Cashier: Looks like we have a set of Integra tires in your size available for a decent price.

Me: Okay.

Cashier: By the way, I noticed some CDs of yours on the floor of your car. Are you a country artist?

Me: Not really.

Cashier: Well, I’m a songwriter in town. This is just my day job for now. If you’re interested, I just wrote a really good one about taking a truck full of beer down by the river.

Me: Careful, I might steal that idea (followed by forced laughter). What’s it called?

Cashier: “Truck by the River.” Well, here’s a copy of the demo. Check it out. Tires will be ready in an hour.

Me: Thanks.

There was nothing particularly aggressive or predatory about this exchange. Some feel that you should be able to buy a set of tires in peace, but this is, after all, “The Music City,” not “The Leave-People-Alone-While They’re-Spending-Too-Much-On-Tires City.”

The fact is that most of the songwriter and publisher solicitations I receive are really pretty timid. I was sent a link to a song recently with a one-paragraph pitch that contained the phrase, “no obligation to record.” I ask you, in this highly competitive market, is it good business to make people feel less obligated? Of course it isn’t.

I would suggest that songwriters should not only foster a sense of obligation, but they should consider using a play for sympathy and/or veiled threats to help drive the point home. Remember, you’re trying to get songs cut, not make friends.

Here are a couple of possible strategies you might consider using in a song-pitching email:

“I began writing songs fifteen years ago, and since I made the decision to become a full time songwriter, I’ve lived a life of abject poverty and sadness. I currently live in a tent on the roof of the ASCAP building in Nashville (no one has noticed me there yet), and I subsist almost entirely on a diet of stale crackers and cream of mushroom soup. I don’t own a can opener, so I gnaw the cans open with my teeth. I know you’re busy living the luxurious and successful life of a bluegrass musician, and probably feel no particular need to listen to any of my little songs, but if you would just see your way clear to record even one of them, I think I would have the strength and resources to go on.”

That’s the kind of obligation I’m talking about. Another approach is based on the old chain-letter model, which has been so seamlessly adapted to the medium of email:

“Dear Friend,

I’m sending this letter to you and fourteen other recording artists. There is a lyric sheet and MP3 of an original song, Smells Like Lonesome, attached. I’m not the writer of the song (though I do own half the publishing). To continue this chain, please forward this to fifteen of your own friends, preferably the ones with record deals. 

No one is sure where the song came from originally, but through this email, it has been around the world several times. The former King of Spain, Ferdinand Castellano XVIII (or ‘Dave Evans’ to his friends) performed the song for his daughter Isabella, and she was blessed with her first child that year.

On the other hand, trouble has rained down on those who have deleted this email and failed to forward it to their recording artist friends. One young musician deleted it and three hours later, he was struck and killed by a train, and he was sailing on a ship at the time.

One woman listened to the demo, but failed to forward it, and she was later hospitalized with severe food poisoning from a bad tuna sandwich.”

This will make people think twice before they ignore this song.

I’ll admit that I’m not really qualified to talk about aggressive marketing strategies, since I don’t even pitch songs at all, myself. I rely almost exclusively on people hearing one my songs by accident, and then recording a cover version (also by accident).

You know what they say, though, “those who can’t do, teach.” In that spirit I will be leading an IBMA seminar this month entitled “Ignore My Demo At Your Peril: Using Fear To Sell Your Songs.” 

I would suggest you sign up for this . . . if you know what’s good for you.

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Universal Music and Deezer to Launch ‘Artist-Centric’

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It is no secret that the current music-streaming payment model is no longer working — created more than 15 years ago, the so-called “aggregate” model, whereby artists and songwriters are paid according to their percentage of total streams, disproportionately rewards superstars while most others are earning a fraction of what the top artists are collecting.

There have been any number of theories on how to “fix” it, and Universal Music and France-based Deezer — which is approximately the sixth- or seventh-largest streaming service globally but is No. 1 in France and several other countries — have announced the launch of what they are calling an “artist-centric” streaming model, “designed to better reward the artists, and the music that fans value the most.” Deezer will launch the model in France in the fourth quarter of 2023, with additional markets to follow.  

The two companies, which announced a partnership earlier this year, say they are aiming to “develop an economic model that better reflects the true value of artist-fan relationships.” While it does not resolve the central problem of the aggregate model, it does aim to boost earnings for what they call “professional artists” and recognize which artists and songs are most engaged with by users, and de-emphasize what it calls “noise audio” — for example, recordings of water running or crickets chirping — that were created with minimal creative effort yet still earn royalties.

According to the announcement, “based on Deezer’s in-depth data analysis,” the following changes are being integrated into the new artist-centric model:

      •    Focusing on artists – Deezer will attribute a double boost to what they define as “professional artists” – those who have a minimum of 1,000 streams per month by a minimum of 500 unique listeners – in order to more fairly reward them for the quality and engagement they bring to the platforms and fans (the company’s data shows that “only 2% of all uploaders—those artists attracting a consistent fanbase—had more than 1,000 monthly unique listeners”; specifics on what that “double boost” means were not immediately available);

      •    Rewarding engaging content – additionally assigning a double boost for songs that fans actively engage with, reducing the economic influence of algorithmic programming; 

      •    Demonetizing non-artist noise audio – Deezer is planning to replace non-artist noise content with its own content in the functional music space, and this won’t be included in the royalty pool (the streamer will also work to limit uploads of such recordings); and

      •    Tackling fraud – continuing to drive an updated, and stricter, proprietary fraud detection system, removing incentives for bad actors, and protecting streaming royalties for artists.

“This is the most ambitious change to the economic model since the creation of music streaming and a change that will support the creation of high-quality content in the years to come,” said Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Deezer. “At Deezer we always put music first, providing a high-quality experience for fans and championing fairness in the industry. We are now embracing a necessary change, to better reflect the value of each piece of content and eliminate all wrong incentives, to protect and support artists. There is no other industry where all content is valued the same, and it should be obvious to everyone that the sound of rain or a washing machine is not as valuable as a song from your favourite artist streamed in HiFi.”

Michael Nash, UMG’s EVP and Chief Digital Officer, said, “The goal of the artist centric model is to mitigate dynamics that risk drowning music in a sea of noise and to ensure we are better supporting and rewarding artists at all stages of their careers whether they have 1000 fans or 100 thousand or 100 million.  With this multi-faceted approach, music by artists that attracts and engages fans will receive weighting that better recognizes its value, and the fraud and gaming, which serves only to deprive artists their due compensation, will be aggressively addressed. As the ever-evolving music landscape continues its rapid transformation, UMG and Deezer will rigorously address the impact of these changes as we incorporate new insights from data analysis, and fine-tune the model, as appropriate.”

Now dig into a data-fueled VIP+ subscriber report …

Read the Report

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BTS Jungkook Achieves 7 Weeks With ‘Seven’ on Billboard’s

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Jungkook’s solo track “Seven” remained undefeated on Billboard charts, making its seventh week.

Read more of Jungkook’s achievement here!

BTS Jungkook’s ‘Seven’ Achieves Its 7th Week on Billboard’s Global 200

There are now seven weeks for Jungkook’s iconic track “Seven (feat. Latto).”

Jungkook

(Photo : twitter|@bts_bighit@)

On September 5, local time, Billboard revealed that “Seven” had maintained its place at the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts. The song has now reached its seventh week, which broke the record of BTS’s hit song “Dynamite.”

Not only did “Seven” manage to surpass BTS’s record, but also dominated as the only song from a Korean artist that spent most weeks on Billboard’s global charts at No. 1.

Jungkook

(Photo : twitter|@bts_bighit@)

YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN: BTS Jungkook Makes Impressive #1 Debut on Billboard Hot 100 With ‘Seven’

Jungkook’s solo track also became the first song of 2023 to achieve seven weeks on Global 200 or Global Excl U.S charts. This record was previously held by Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers.”

According to Billboard, the song had garnered a total of 12,000 digital sales around the world, as well as 97 million streams. The data was recorded from the week between August 25 to 31, highlighting Jungkook’s unrivaled impact and popularity.

BTS Jungkook

(Photo : Twitter)

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: BTS Jungkook Reigns: K-pop King Achieves 3 Weeks of Solo Supremacy on Billboard Charts with ‘Seven’

Jungkook debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 on July 24, local time, when his track “Seven” placed at No. 1 on the chart’s top 10. From July 14 to 20, “Seven” had garnered 153,000 song downloads and CD singles, 21.9 million streams, and 6.4 million airplay hits.

This achievement was further amplified by the song’s entry on both Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts. With these records, Jungkook wrote new history as the first Korean soloist to chart a song on Hot 100, Global 200, and Global Excl. U.S. charts all at once.

Congratulations to Jungkook for this impressive milestone!

Is BTS Jungkook’s ‘Seven’ the Most Successful K-pop Song in History?

In other news, Jungkook’s “Seven” earned the attention of netizens. While “Seven” is currently making waves across international areas, K-netz were also surprised with the song’s top-class performance on major domestic music charts.

BTS Jungkook

(Photo : Twitter)

They expressed how amazing it was for “Seven” to secure a place on MelOn’s daily chart, despite being an English-language track. Read their comments below:

  •  “An English song barely charts high in MelOn’s daily chart, but this is impressive.”
  •  “Among all Korean artists, he’s achieved the most, and he’s only 25 years old.”
  •  “For MelOn standards, this is almost considered as miracle-level on MelOn.”
  •  “Many of the charts are full of strong musicians, but you’re telling me that a male soloist made it on MelOn’s daily chart at No. 1?”

You can watch the full MV for “Seven” here:

 

For more intriguing news and exciting updates, keep your tabs open here at KpopStarz!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: BTS Jungkook’s ‘Seven’ Claimed the Most Successful K-pop Solo Release: ‘It’s the best result in history’

KpopStarz owns this article
Written by Riely Miller



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Popular artists to get ‘royalty boost’ on Deezer as

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Universal Music Group‘s proposed ‘artist-centric’ royalty model for streaming services has been a big talking point for the global industry this year – though the finer details of what the model might entail hasn’t always been clear.

Today (September 6) that’s all changed.

Deezer and UMG have announced the launch of what they call the “first comprehensive artist-centric streaming model”, designed, according to the companies “to better reward the artists, and the music that fans value the most”.

According to the Financial Times the model is expected by UMG and Deezer to “lift payouts to professional artists by 10 per cent”.

Deezer will launch the model in France next month (October 2023) with additional markets globally to follow in the new year.

The new model will see “professional artists” – defined as those who have a minimum of 1,000 streams per month and a minimum of 500 unique listeners – receive a so-called “double boost” to royalty payments.

In other words, when calculating their royalty payments, streams of their music will carry double the weight versus streams of ‘non-professional’ artists.

The Deezer model will also apply a ‘double boost’ – doubling the weight of streams again – for played tracks by artists that fans have actively searched for.

In effect, this will mean plays of songs by popular artists that fans have searched for will be 4X bigger than plays of songs by unpopular artists that have been algorithmically served to users.

Deezer and UMG say this will “reduce the economic influence of algorithmic programming”.

Another key element of the model: what Deezer calls “non-artist noise audio” will be de-monetized.

The definition of what constitutes “noise” hasn’t yet been defined in detail by the platform. What we do know: Deezer says it will replace all non-artist ‘noise’ content on its platform with its own ‘functional music’ content. This Deezer-made ‘functional’ content will then be excluded from the royalty pool paid out to music rightsholders.

Worth noting: Deezer has recently started making its own functional AI music for its ‘Zen by Deezer’ app.

As part of the artist-centric model, Deezer also intends to apply what it calls a “stricter provider policy” that includes steps “to limit non-artist noise content”. In other words, Deezer will limit the upload of certain music that’s deemed to be not of a high enough quality threshold.

Deezer notes that “size of the catalog available on digital platforms has exploded in recent years” and says that its own catalog grew from 90 million to over 200 million pieces of content in the past two years alone.

Indeed, amidst a rise in generative AI tools and a growing digital music distribution landscape, more recorded audio is being made and released than at any point in human history.

This vast supply of content, some of which is literally just white noise, has sparked annoyance amongst record business leaders like Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge, who calls it “oversupply”.

According to Luminate’s midyear report for H1 2023,  including ISRC ingestion activity from Q2, across the whole of H1 2023, the average number of ISRCs (i.e. new music audio files) being added to music streaming services was 112,000, with 20.2 million uploads in total during the period.

Deezer says that streams tagged as “noise” represented approximately 2% of streams on the platform.

Additionally, as part of today’s announcement, Deezer has also pledged to tackle streaming fraud, by “continuing to drive an updated, and stricter, proprietary fraud detection system, removing incentives for bad actors, and protecting streaming royalties for artists”.

Deezer says that it identified approximately 7% of streams as fraudulent in 2022

This pledge follows Deezer’s strategy that set out back in June to “weed out illegal and fraudulent content” on its platform.

“This is the most ambitious change to the economic model since the creation of music streaming and a change that will support the creation of high-quality content in the years to come.”

Jeronimo Folgueira, Deezer 

Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Deezer said: “This is the most ambitious change to the economic model since the creation of music streaming and a change that will support the creation of high-quality content in the years to come.

“At Deezer we always put music first, providing a high-quality experience for fans and championing fairness in the industry. We are now embracing a necessary change, to better reflect the value of each piece of content and eliminate all wrong incentives, to protect and support artists.

“There is no other industry where all content is valued the same, and it should be obvious to everyone that the sound of rain or a washing machine is not as valuable as a song from your favorite artist streamed in HiFi.”

“The goal of the artist centric model is to mitigate dynamics that risk drowning music in a sea of noise and to ensure we are better supporting and rewarding artists at all stages of their careers whether they have 1000 fans or 100 thousand or 100 million.”

Michael Nash, UMG

Michael Nash, UMG’s EVP and Chief Digital Officer, said:  “The goal of the artist centric model is to mitigate dynamics that risk drowning music in a sea of noise and to ensure we are better supporting and rewarding artists at all stages of their careers whether they have 1000 fans or 100 thousand or 100 million.

“With this multi-faceted approach, music by artists that attracts and engages fans will receive weighting that better recognizes its value, and the fraud and gaming, which serves only to deprive artists their due compensation, will be aggressively addressed.

He continued: “Embracing the commonly shared objectives we highlighted at the outset of this chapter in our partnership, together we’ll maintain a flexible and adaptive approach.

“As the ever-evolving music landscape continues its rapid transformation, UMG and Deezer will rigorously address the impact of these changes as we incorporate new insights from data analysis, and fine-tune the model, as appropriate.”

“This comprehensive initiative will much more effectively value fan engagement and active streaming of music created by artists.”

Olivier Nusse,  Universal Music France

Olivier Nusse, CEO of Universal Music France, said: “After extensive engagement with Deezer throughout 2023, we are very proud to be pioneers in France in the highly anticipated roll out of their version of the Artist Centric model.

“This comprehensive initiative will much more effectively value fan engagement and active streaming of music created by artists.”Music Business Worldwide

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New Rolling Stones album teased on Brooklyn Bridge

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A laser projection boosting the Rolling Stones’ upcoming album, “Hackney Diamonds,” was projected onto the Brooklyn Bridge Monday night — part of a stealth publicity campaign. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

It was there, and then it was gone.

Rolling Stones fans are in a state of high anticipation as the legendary band has been stealth-teasing their sure-to-be a blockbuster upcoming album, “Hackney Diamonds,” in sneaky adverts and unexpected locations. 

The campaign continued in Brooklyn Monday night with a laser projection of the album’s artwork onto the eastern tower of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Drivers who happened to be headed toward Manhattan at roughly 9 p.m. were presented with a “shattered” version of one of the most famous logos in music history, the Big Red Mouth (aka “Hot Lips” logo) created in 1970 by Brit designer John Pasche.

The team responsible for the projection — operating out of a black pickup truck loaded with equipment — conducted the operation with military precision, then quickly wrapped up and drove off.

According to the Audacity website, former Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and former Stones member Bill Wyman are included on the album; new songs credited to Keith Richards, Michael Phillip Jagger and Andrew Watt were recently registered with the music publishing company ASCAP. 

On Tuesday, a countdown clock on the site hackneydiamonds.com indicated seven days to the album’s release.



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Apple’s BIS acquisition is a bet on a classical music

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More than 80% of the music we listen to today is delivered over streaming, according to figures from last year. But when you look at classical music, it’s been a stubborn hold-out, accounting for just a tiny fraction of that, with just 0.8% of streams (and that’s in the stream-friendly market of the U.S.). Apple’s bet is that this percentage will grow, though, and it wants a piece of that action. After launching its new classical music app earlier this year, Apple has taken its latest step into the space: BIS, a revered classical music label out of Sweden, announced today that it is joining the company.

The deal will bring a number of things to Apple.

First there is a small team, which founder Robert von Bahr today said in a note would be coming over and working within the same division as Apple Music Classical and Platoon (a creation and distribution platform Apple acquired years before).

It’s also bringing the BIS critically-acclaimed present and future catalogue to the company: thousands of recordings of obscure works, well-known pieces in original interpretations, and everything in between. You used to be able to search and order from that catalogue on BIS’s own site. Now, to get to it, you can search on Apple. (And, for now at least, you can also download from e-classical.)

One other thing that BIS is bringing is some weighty credibility to Apple and its classical endeavors. 

The challenge to build a business and audience around classical streaming has been a long time in the making, not just for Apple and the wider industry.

Some of the shortfall in consumption will have been due to overall popularity of the medium — Robert Schumann, and Clara for that matter, just don’t pull in as many punters as Taylor Swift. But it’s also been a challenge to translate recording metadata and discoverability into formats that work in the streaming medium.

For starters, you have composers, but also individual recording artists and ensembles; you have albums that can contain works from one of these, or a mix of them; works have movements and those don’t follow standard conventions sometimes being numbered or named or ordered by the speed they are played at, which might be in a number of languages; and so on and so on. Those who listen to classic music tend to get very frustrated with that, and this is before considering the sound quality on a lot of streams.

Yes, some of that is gradually being improved. But even those with the deepest pockets and the most earnest of hopes have stumbled.

Apple is the world’s most valuable tech company, and it really tried with its app to address some of this. But when Alex Ross, the chief music critic for The New Yorker, penned a review of the new Apple Music Classical app, the title said it all: “APPLE AGAIN FAILS TO SAVE CLASSICAL MUSIC.”

Apple, for its part, has been chipping away at building a classical streaming experience for a while now.

In 2021, it acquired classical streaming specialist Primephonic. It then used Primephonic to launch, earlier this year, a whole new Apple Music Classical app experience. It also has built out high-end tools for listening to music, namely in the form of its hardware and audio software.

The BIS acquisition is not a classic tech deal, but it is a classical tech deal. The label has been going for 50 years, and in that time it has made a name for itself for making definitive and often pioneering recordings of works and of artists that might otherwise have been overlooked. It’s ploughed a lot of time and thought into building relationships, as well as coming up with the best techniques for making those recordings.

“I don’t care so much about the ‘how’, only the ‘wow’ that their expertise brings in CD after CD,” founder Robert von Bahr said in an interview 20 years ago with MusicWeb. (Von Bahr is now 80, which in itself is something to call out and celebrate in a tech industry that has so often leaned on and celebrated youth and overlooked older people.)

“It is nice to be able to reproduce exactly what the musicians do, without having pre- and post-echoes or tape hiss to worry about… We are not closing the doors to anything, but we won’t follow anything for gimmickry reasons. We will advocate – and use – systems that we feel make an appreciable difference to the discerning listener, but we will not compromise artistic quality or concentrate on anything but the music simply in order to be able to write some new numbers on the sleeve.”

In his note today, Von Bahr noted that he was drawn to Apple’s “fundamental belief in the importance of preserving audio quality,” focusing specifically on innovations like Spatial Audio to expand on that future.

One thing that Apple does not seem to mind is that BIS is far from a blockbuster in the wider music business sense. Back before streaming took over the world, in 2003, Von Bahr talked of album sales of hundreds or even single-digits annually. Maybe those low numbers make for smaller laments over the death of record sales?

Yet even so, BIS and its founder have also thought a lot about the business model around how stakeholders have been paid for works. It turns out that the same complexities around all the different kinds of metadata also translates into a lot of business complexities.

“We do not pay flat fees, but try to form a partnership in the form of a goodly sized royalty portion for the artists,” he said in the same interview. “This has several advantages: we are all getting paid from how the record sells, which in many cases is rather more than a flat fee would have been and, of course, we are able to do more daring programmes when the initial outlay isn’t totally crippling.” BIS employs producers, engineers, and other technicians to manage recordings, but the company has had its own experience with how to handle others in the ecosystem who would like a cut of sales, such as those who own the publishing rights — interesting words considering how battles over this have continued into the world of streaming.

“The real stumbling block,” he said, “is the exorbitant fees that some publishers, luckily not all, are asking for letting someone take a huge risk in recording works that they don’t always know themselves that they have. Not being content with cashing a large part of the copyright fees that we pay upon selling the CD, they want to have a huge fee for sending the materials (scores and parts) to us for the recording, materials that often are in such a condition that the recording has to be postponed or even cancelled.”

Apple, of course, by buying up a label, is shrinking the number of chairs around the negotiating table even more for the future.

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