😷 Streaming scams; Minecraft's biggest virtual music festival; Arabian Prince on music tech investing during pandemic; Charting livestream activity; Venues closed as cities go back into lockdown
Daily update for the music business on the coronavirus (July 9)
How Rave Family built Minecraft’s biggest virtual music festival, with Steve Aoki, A-Trak, Paris Hilton and more (Variety)
“When we set out to do this, there were two big imperatives for me. One was to pay for the rights for the music because I think it is unconscionable to make millions of dollars in revenue streaming music and not pay the people that made the music that you’re streaming. So 30% of ticket profits go toward rights holders and the technology that makes the music stream. Then we split the remaining seven dollars: 60% goes to the artists and 40% goes to us.”
Jackie McGuire, CEO and founder Rave Family
Almost all streams are listed as happening on the same day, with links landing on pages for sites called Eventflix and Stream Concert. A section below the supposed streams show comments from “fans” – almost identical for each one – discussing the lack of lag, commending the quality of the stream and recommending the service to others.
Music tech investor perspectives during the pandemic and recession: Arabian Prince of N.W.A. (Forbes)
I see a shift in the music industry to virtual live performances since there is no timetable set for the return of live events in venues. Companies, DJs and performers are looking at virtual live events to keep the revenue stream going, and brands are partnering with performers to advertise during these virtual events. One startup I am working with is Streoapp, which offers a live stream option for performances. I believe we will see more of this popping up soon.
The Top chart is for artists with 250,001 or more trackers, the Rising chart is for artists with 10,001-250,000 trackers, and the Buzzing chart reviews artists with 10,000 or fewer trackers. The rankings are determined by a blending of event RSVPs and direct-to-platform ‘Watch Live’ clicks.
“The problem will lie next year when distributions may fall due to the lack of licensing income being paid around the world from retail, hospitality outlets and venues due to Covid-19 shutdown. We don’t even know as yet what the true outcome is for these outlets – many may not reopen.”
Steve Daniel, co-founder and MD Media IP Rights
The pair will launch a series of live concerts from the O2 Academy Brixton venue in London, with fans able to buy tickets to watch online – in 360 degrees and/or virtual reality via MelodyVR’s app on smartphones and Oculus VR headsets.
“Needless to say, revenue will be right down when we reopen for many months and the economy will be in a recession. With reduced revenue, we will also have an increase in costs as a double blow.”
Adam Betts, co-owner of Melbourne’s Bonny Bar.
My Chemical Romance, who also received a loan from the CARES Act, told Rolling Stone “Like most tours that were happening this year, My Chemical Romance’s world tour was cancelled. MCR received PPP money to ensure their crew is funded in these times of uncertainty until we are able to be out on the road again. We are so grateful to these skilled, dedicated people – some of them are parents, others caretakers, still others who simply have rent to pay – and this money helps them take care of themselves and their families.”
Types of eligible companies include for-profit venues, festivals, promoters, booking agents and managers, as well as non-profit organisations who were otherwise ineligible for phase one distributions. Successful applicants will have to meet the eligibility criteria. The minimum contribution will be $5,000 (€3,260).
In Scotland, there is the added complication that – when it comes to COVID shutdown rules and support schemes – some of that is the responsibility of the Scottish government and some of it still sits with the UK government in London. Where matters are devolved, the music industry needs to make separate representations to ministers in Edinburgh to ensure that all that COVID support money doesn’t end up with museums and opera.
The artist in question will welcome their fans with an interactive meet-and-greet session on the opening evening, followed by an informal performance, with a longer concert taking place on the Saturday evening. Over the weekend, fans will also have access to activities including yoga sessions, art workshops, dance classes and guided tours of Barcelona.
This new song and video from Sparks is well worth a listen and watch for its weirdness and the way it seems to capture the moment of history we’re going through. It was written and created before the pandemic and recent BLM protests, but it might as well have been made in reaction to the last few months. Or perhaps we’ve been inside this existential threat for longer than just 2020.
Composed while listening to a classic: Fat of the Land by The Prodigy. This record was my bible for the last years of the previous century and I love returning to it every now and then.