SPOTIFY WANTS ITS MONEY BACK!

SPOTIFY is attempting to obtain refunds from labels after belatedly discovering that it had overpaid royalties through 2018 to an undisclosed extent. This will not be news to their ears however, Spotify’s streaming rates are often criticized for being too low.

The music streaming provider, in common with other publishers, is bound by the US Copyright Royalty Board to reimburse content creators for its use of their work but a recalculation of these fees last year appears to show that Spotify has been overpaying.

A spokesperson said: “According to the new CRB regulations, we overpaid most publishers in 2018. While the appeal of the CRB decision is pending, the rates set by the CRB are current law, and we will abide by them — not only for 2018 but also for future years in which the amount paid to publishers is set to increase significantly.

“Rather than collect the 2018 overpayment immediately, we have offered to extend the recoupment period through the end of 2019 in order to minimize the impact of the adjustment on publishing companies.”

While Spotify may be within its rights to request the refund, the timing of it is the latest in a series of extraordinarily clumsy PR moves by the company. Since the beginning of last year, it has bungled a policy against which it deemed hateful content and artists engaging in hateful conduct  — which was a thinly veiled excuse to ban R. Kelly’s music from its playlists — and alienated the publishing and songwriting communities it has spent the past two years courting by appealing the CRB rate hike, which would see streaming payments rise by 44% or more over the next four years.

Some industry insiders wonder whether the damage these moves are causing to the still-nascent company’s reputation outweighs whatever money they are hoping to earn by appealing the CRB rates or requesting these refunds.

“Spotify is once again showing its true colors,” said a music-publishing industry source. “It’s just a heartless tech company that doesn’t really care about artists.”

David Israelite, the CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, told Variety, “I find it so hypocritical for a digital service that is appealing the CRB decision to then take advantage of the parts of that decision that benefit it. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.”

 

via Variety & The Drum

HMMM….Let’s Marinate on this a bit!

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7 Incredible Business Lessons Nipsey Hussle Gifted the World

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Nipsey was a business savvy musical genius who gave back to his community in big ways. The world will no doubt feel his loss. In his honor, here are seven lessons we can take from his life and his legacy.

1. Never stop learning.

Nipsey was never one to stop learning. Maybe he built his business from a natural sense of savvy, but he also built it by listening and learning. He read a lot of books. In fact, his idea for his $100 mixtape, where he made only 1,000 copies, was born from the book Contagious by Jonah Berger. Anyone that knew him will tell you he was relentlessly focused on getting better in every way, and made a habit of personal development and growth.

“Told my mama I’mma gang bang graduate/ Pioneered the transition from this Crippin’ wasn’t easy n—a, but I mastered it/ That’s why I still deliver raps so passionate/ Built my own lane, ain’t no n—a ever hand me shit/ Slauson Ave., do you understand the averages?/ The fact I’m still standing speaks volumes to my savages.” (“Love?”)

2. Be prepared to do all the work.

Nipsey saw success because he was willing to do any work, no matter how menial it may have seemed at the time. Even as he soared further and further toward the top, he still maintained a willingness to do the tasks that others might consider to be below them. “Most people want to skip the process,” he said, “not knowing that when you skip steps, you miss the lessons.”

He took out the trash and swept the floors of his own studio. Starting out, he built his own basement recording studio to make sure that he could engineer and record his own music. Without this willingness to put in all types of work, he would not have learned what it would take to achieve the goals he set.

“My thing is that I don’t give no person that much power over my path that I’m walking. Not one person can make or break what I’m doing, except me or God.”

3. Make genuine connections.

Entrepreneurs know the importance of networking and making connections. For some, it’s a tedious process of trying to get in with important figures of a particular industry. It’s a game of kiss-ass. But for Nipsey, he focused on making genuine connections based on true talent. Relationships he formed with musicians such as Kendrick Lamar and Puffy were lasting and real. They were collaborations that meant something. But he also knew how to create genuine connections to the people who consumed his music. He’s always been the people’s king and it’s because he not only shared the good but his struggles too, which made him that much more relatable.

“If you sharing your success and not your struggle, you’s a fool.” (“U Don’t Got a Clue”)

4. Build your brand.

Nipsey understood his brand and what it represented. He was the one who built it and promoted it. He knew what he wanted to represent. His brand-based goals were clear. Nobody understands his brand like he did, and that’s part of the reason he was so successful.

“I never wanted to alienate my brand for business.” Nipsey said, “I always wanted to keep it authentic and keep it as pure as I could.”

5. It’s a marathon.

Some people want success to happen overnight. It doesn’t work like that. Nipsey, and artists like him, all knew that the road to success would be paved with long-ass hours and year after year of struggle. Talent wouldn’t cut it. A true desire to achieve success, whether as an artist or as an entrepreneur, means never approaching your work halfheartedly. Nipsey didn’t focus on immediate wealth. He didn’t want to churn out one hit single after another. He wanted to build and develop his own label. He focused on long-term wealth and a lasting reputation as an artist.

“I’m about seeing the long-term, seeing a vision, understanding nothing worthwhile happens overnight, and just sticking to your script long enough to make something real happen.”

6. Focus on what makes you passionate.

It’s easy for people to lose themselves in their desire for success in any industry, including both business and music. Fortunately, Nipsey knew himself and stayed true to that image and to his own story. He found fans that loved and related to him. He didn’t create a character or pursue something that just wasn’t him.

Like he said in Victory Lap, “Find your purpose or you wastin’ air.”

7. Remember the community that built you.

There is no doubt that Nipsey loved the community he came from. His childhood neighborhood is known for being violent and rough, one of the places where its residents try to leave and outsiders tend to avoid. Nipsey found success, but he never left that neighborhood behind. He invested in it, building playgrounds, helping children learn and offering residents opportunities for economic success.

Some of the most powerful words Nipsey sang were from the song “Dedication”“These songs just the spirituals I swam against them waves with/ Ended up on shore to their amazement.”

 

Via – Entreprenuer.com

Andrew Medal

CONTRIBUTOR

Serial Entrepreneur, Digital Strategist, Web Designer, Author, Volunteer

ARTIST MARKETING…Follow the Leaders

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Not Really Sure How to Market Yourself or Your Project – Ok, Let’s Discuss.

If You’re Trying to Decide Which Strategies to Use, the Answer is EASY!

ALL OF THEM! 

1. Know your brand

Before you can market your band, you need to have your brand in place.

What’s unique about your act? Which aspects of your story are the most compelling and set you apart from every other band out there? How will you present yourself consistently — from your onstage look, to your social media tone, to your logo and color schemes and photos?

Once you’ve honed your brand, the specifics of your band marketing strategies and fan communication will flow from there.

2. Use your email newsletter

Your email list is an incredibly valuable direct line to your most dedicated fans. You have no control over Facebook’s ever-changing News Feed algorithm, but you can always use your newsletter to reach the people who want to hear from you the most. Plus, email is by far the most effective way to sell your music, tickets, and merchandise.

3. Have a website

Investing in a great band website is one of the most important things you can do to maximize your marketing efforts. No matter how many newsletters you send out or how many Facebook ads you run, a poorly designed, outdated website — or no website at all — will hurt your credibility and give off the impression that you’re not serious about your music.

When done right, your band website acts as the central hub for everything. You have full control over the user experience and the data, and you can sell your music and merchandise direct-to-fan.

4. Use social media

Managing several different social media pages can quickly get overwhelming, so the key is to focus on where your fans (and potential new fans) are most active. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great places to start, but you should also explore platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, and even Pinterest, and see if it makes sense to put the effort into building a following there.

5. Focus on streaming

While we still have a long way to go before the average artist can realistically earn a living from streaming revenue, there’s no arguing that services like Spotify and Apple Music have become the new go-to for music fans to discover bands. These days, having your song included in a curated Spotify playlist can be just as effective (if not more) than traditional press coverage.

If you don’t already have your music on all of the major streaming platforms, sign up with a digital distribution company like TuneCore, and get your releases up there. The setup process is easy, and there’s really no downside!

6. Leverage the power of YouTube

Video is a powerful medium for band marketing. By adding a visual layer to your artistry, you’re reinforcing your brand while allowing fans to connect with your music in a deeper way.

Youtube is one of the first places people search when they’re trying to find a specific song, so make sure you upload all of your original music and official music videos to your band’s channel. You might also want to consider regularly posting unique cover videos, vlogs, live performances, or interviews so that you show up more often in search results and make yourself more accessible to potential fans.

7. Perform Live….Everywhere!

Performing live is one of the best ways to get new fans and market your band. Start by focusing on your local scene, and don’t hesitate to play charity events, fundraisers, or private events in between your music venue/bar gigs. Once you’ve built up a strong local following, you can turn your attention to regional weekend tours and music festival gigs, mix it up with multiple genre festivals to gain even more exposure.

8. Build Relationships and Get Reviews.

Getting publicity for yourself or band is all about relationships, but you shouldn’t wait until you can finally afford a music publicist to start working on your strategy. Keep a running list of any local or independent music blogs that have covered bands similar to yours, and make a note of their contact info and any pitch requirements listed on the website.

Even if you only hear back from a couple of small blogs at first, you can use those initial reviews to build momentum and buzz, and eventually work your way up to getting covered by bigger publications with a wider reach. Plus, you never know where those small bloggers will end up in a couple of years, so make sure you maintain those relationships.

9. Create band merchandise

Let your diehard fans do the marketing for you by donning a T-shirt with your band logo on it!

Besides the usual suspects like clothing, stickers, and posters, there are thousands of creative items you can offer your fans — think phone cases, flasks, or even handwritten lyric sheets. Just make sure that whatever merchandise you create is aligned with your brand, and something that your fans would actually be excited to purchase.

10. Run contests

Running an occasional contest or giveaway is a great band marketing idea — you benefit from the exposure, and lucky fans of yours get something for free from a band they love.

You could do something as simple as a social media ticket giveaway for your next show, or as involved as a VIP listening party or scavenger hunt around your city. Whatever you do, try to make it fun and exciting so that people are incentivized to spread the word on your behalf.

11. Don’t forget radio

Radio might not be your first thought when you’re brainstorming band marketing strategies, but targeting independent and college radio stations can be a very effective way to promote your music.

If you manage to grab a program director’s attention, you’ll be able to tap into a new audience that trusts and enjoys their music curation.

12. Look into sponsorships and partnerships

We’re not talking about some huge, unattainable contract with a major international brand — you can partner with local businesses and work out a deal that’s simple, authentic, and mutually beneficial.

Do some research on companies that are already working with bands similar to where you are in your music career. Take note of what both parties put into and get out of the arrangement, and think through what sorts of things you could offer and would benefit from.

As an example, you could strike up a collaboration with a local graphic design firm. They create a unique, limited-edition merch item for your band to sell at your next show, and in return, you give them a cut of the profits and help promote them on your website and social media pages.

13. Engage your fans

As you’ve read through these strategies, you’ve probably gathered by this point that it all really boils down to this: build genuine relationships that turn your casual fans into devoted superfans, and they’ll supplement all of your efforts with the most powerful marketing of all — word of mouth. It obviously requires consistent hard work to engage and nurture your fans, but those superfans are the key to building a legitimate, long-lasting music career.

14. Build Your Team…Don’t Give Up

This is a hard business, surround yourself with positivity and people that will motivate you when you get discouraged! Trust me, it will! But Don’t Give Up!

Follow @1kimberlyjo on IG for some inspiration

Thanks Lisa Occhino for the words of wisdom!

BILLBOARD MAGAZINE UPDATES CHART RELEASE SCHEDULE…FINALLY!

Billboard Shifts Magazine, Chart Dates To Reflect Actual Release Week

Billboard chartThe venerable music trade magazine Billboard is finally shifting its publication and chart dates to closer match the real world. Starting in 2018, Billboard Magazine issues and charts within it will be dated to the Saturday of the week that the magazine is shipped. Currently, Billboard issues are dated to the Saturday in the week following shipment.

 

From Billboard:

For Billboard.com, the adjustment will result in charts being dated to the Saturday following their posting or four days after the Tuesday refresh of all rankings on the website. Currently, charts are dated 11 days after first posting online (or, to the second Saturday after charts post).

The first Billboard issue of 2018 will be dated Saturday, Jan. 6; since Monday, Jan. 1, is a holiday, its corresponding charts will post online a day later than usual, on that Wednesday, Jan. 3. From there, in all non-holiday weeks, charts will post each Tuesday and be dated to the Saturday four days later. As an example, the issue dated Jan. 27 will arrive four days after its corresponding charts (also dated Jan. 27) post online Jan. 23. (That issue will arrive on newsstands Friday, Jan. 26.)

As for data tracking weeks for Billboard‘s charts, the Billboard Hot 100, for example, dated Jan. 27 will cover streaming and sales data from Friday, Jan. 12, through Thursday, Jan. 18, and radio airplay data from Monday, Jan. 15 through Sunday, Jan. 21 (as airplay follows a different tracking week than sales and streaming). The Billboard 200 albums chart dated Jan. 27 will encompass sales and streaming data for the Jan. 12 through Jan. 18 tracking week.

To arrive at this adjustment, Billboard charts set to post online Wednesday, Dec. 27 (following a holiday week release schedule) will be dated Wednesday, Jan. 3, one of the rare times that a Billboard chart date will not correspond to a Saturday. There is no printed issue of Billboard that week.

The release/date schedule outlining this migration:

Chart date: Saturday, Dec. 30

  • Billboard.com charts posting date: Tuesday, Dec. 19
  • Billboard issue date: Saturday, Dec. 30 (Year-End No. 1s/double issue)

Chart date: Wednesday, Jan. 3

  • Billboard.com charts posting date: Wednesday, Dec. 27 (holiday schedule)
  • Billboard issue date: No Issue

Chart date: Saturday, Jan. 6

  • Billboard.com charts posting date: Wednesday, Jan. 3 (holiday schedule)

 

THANK YOU BILLBOARD, THIS MAKES MUCH MORE SENSE TO US!

KIMBERLY JO

POP-UP POSITIVITY TOUR Launched With Atlanta’s Super Hip-Pop-Duo BLAZIAN

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LET BLAZIAN BRING SOME POSITIVITY, INSPIRATION, AND FUN TO YOUR SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM – ALL AGES ARE INVITED TO THE POSITIVE MOVEMENT

The Pop-Up Positivity Tour is a free, one-hour program – for all ages, full of passion, positivity, and fun presented by Atlanta’s hottest new teen Hip-Pop group, Blazian. The tour kicked off June 16, 2017, and will end on August 1, 2017.

Blazian will be taking over summer programs across metro-Atlanta and surrounding areas with a positive message and the tools necessary or youth to engage in powerfully positive activities that will improve their lives and lives of those in their families and communities throughout the summer and upcoming school year.

Using their newly released single, Miyagi as music motivation, each tour stop will be filled with dance, exciting youth engagement, and inspiration!

“We are so excited to spend our summer promoting our new music and inspiring kids to get out there and do some good things for other people,” said the teen brothers.

With the negativity that so many kids face in today’s school environments and online – the Pop-Up Positivity Tour provides a unique opportunity for young people to motivate and challenge OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE to look in the mirror for the positive changes they seek in their lives, their communities, and their cultures.

To Book Blazian for your camp, program or event, please email BookingWeBlazian@gmail.com

For Media Inquiries, contact Kimberly Wilson  at  WishCreativeMedia@gmail.com 

 

ABOUT THE POP-UP POSITIVITY TOUR
This tour was inspired by Blazian’s national news feature on Headline News Network (HLN) – Moment of Sunshine with Robin Meade a few weeks ago, where the teen brothers noticed a young woman walking to a bus stop, wearing shoes that were literally “falling apart”.

They stopped their vehicle to ask her shoe size, and in a span of 15 minutes, they went to the nearest shoe store, bought a pair of shoes and raced back to the bus stop (just in time), as the bus was arriving, and handed her the shoes as she boarded the bus.

It was then, they decided they would be the catalyst to push young people to do “something” – “anything” positive (no matter how big or small) over the summer….and the tour was formed!

ABOUT BLAZIAN
Blazian is an American hip-pop group comprised of brothers, Charlie Walker III (CJ), and Darius Walker (DJ). Natives of Atlanta, GA, these young, gifted entertainers are truly on the rise. They have performed on some of the biggest teen concerts in the country and alongside many of today’s hottest talents. They have recently released their new single and are quickly building a global fan base both on and offline.

Blazian prides themselves on uniting cultures and promoting positivity to the masses. They are a unique gift to today’s saturated industry and with their talent, passion, and energy they will rise above the noise to be leaders of this new generation in entertainment.

Follow Blazian Online Everywhere @WeBlazian

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Blazian at Sparkles June2017

ROD DA GOD – Atlanta’s Hottest New Hip Hop Artist Releases Video for His Debut Single “FairyTale”

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Atlanta GA’s next rising star, 19 yr. old, 6’3, hip hop artist, Jerrod Thompson aka “Rod Da God”, blazes into the industry with a hit record, an authentically fast-building fan base, and the creative talent to propel him into superstardom through music and acting.

Today, he releases the debut video for his 1st single – “Fairytale” which is already in rotation at radio stations across the country and has sparked social media madness as thousands of teenage girls are participating in Rod Da God’s #FairyTaleDayChallenge on Instagram.

With millions of YouTube lyric video views and SoundCloud plays, hundreds of thousands IG and Twitter likes, and an increasing number of radio requests, performances and interviews under his belt – Rod Da God is already creating a solid foundation and industry/fan connection in the crowded “new artist market”.

His music and style are influenced by a wide-range of artists such as Drake, L.L. Cool J, and Will Smith. “I don’t have to try and fit in and look cool, I’m just myself and everyone loves me for it”, says the 6’3 artist and actor (he is also a basketball star, winning the 2016 State Championship at Westlake High School in Atlanta GA).

Fun, young and witty, Rod Da God, has affectionately been crowned the #FreshPrinceofATL, and is hot off the High School “Juice Tour” where young fans crowded the stage, sang along to “Fairytale”, took pictures and got autographs from Atlanta’s hottest new hip hop artist. He now has a full schedule of appearances and performances in Albany GA, Atlanta GA, Macon GA, Nashville TN, Chicago IL, The Carolinas, several Florida markets and more.

Check out Rod Da God’s tour performance – HERE

“Right now, I’m focused on Rod Da God’s movement, we are in the studio creating weekly, this kid is special,” says legendary and Grammy-winning producer DJ Toomp.

Rod Da God’s passion and enduring work ethic have put his career on the fast track. With major plans in development, strategically positioned to follow up and support his fast-moving single, he remains steadfast in expanding his talents, building his fan base and becoming what the industry is missing – authenticity in art…Visit the links below to Meet ROD DA GOD.

All eyes are on this rising star, you can check out the debut video right HERE (Dirty) or HERE (Clean)

Connect with Rod Da God on social media – IG and Twitter @RoddaGoddd

Bonus: Listen to Rod Da God’s next release “Conversation” produced by DJ Toomp HERE

 

For all Media Inquiries:

Contact – Kimberly Jo Wilson at WishCreativeMedia@gmail.com

For Booking and Management:

Contact Sheridan “Hotel” Hardwick PH – 404.454.8443 or Email – LBMG2008@gmail.com 

 

 

 

Survey Finds Brands Struggle to Connect With Gen Z Consumers

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It’s becoming increasingly harder to keep up with Generation Z consumers as they move from store to web to mobile to social and back again with unprecedented agility.

A recent IBM study of 15,000 Gen Z shoppers, titled “Disruptive and Distinctive, Gen Z Shoppers Are Growing Up” found the following:

  • Despite living largely digital lives, 67 percent of Gen Z prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store all the time, with another 31 percent preferring to shop in-store sometimes.
  • 66 percent frequently use more than one device and 60 percent will not use an app or website if it is too slow to load.
  • Gen Zers demand highly personalized interactions, value quality over price and want to be engaged with the brand across all channels.

The study found that the cohort represents $44 billion in estimated buying power.

“Despite their young ages, members of Generation Z already hold unprecedented influence over family purchasing decisions and wield enormous economic power, ” reported IBM. “Retail and consumer products brands must engage the upcoming Gen Zers now to prosper tomorrow.”

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In a separate customer experience study of more than 500 brands in 24 countries, IBM found that businesses are struggling to deliver on the expectations of consumers:

  • Only 19 percent of retailers can provide a highly personalized digital shopping experience
  • Only 17 percent can provide more than in stock/out of stock information.
  • 84 percent did not offer any in-store mobile services.

“In this new era of customer engagement, what will separate the winners from everyone else is a differentiated brand experience that delivers high impact engagements with compelling personalization regardless of where the customer is,” said Harriet Green, GM IBM Watson Customer Engagement, in a press release. “With Watson Cognitive Engagement solutions, IBM is working with retailers across globe to make these experiences a reality for millions of consumers.”

IBM Watson Customer Engagement is helping leading retailers such as HSN, 1-800-FLOWERS.com and Ermes drive enduring brand loyalty with all generations of customers.

A growing force, Gen Z consumers number about 2 billion globally today, according to a new study from Kantar Millward Brown. “AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z,” the first comprehensive global study of Gen Z, found that “36% of Gen Z globally access Instagram several times a day and 24% access Snapchat at the same frequency, compared to 21% and 10% respectively for Gen Y (those aged 20-34) and 9% and 4% for Gen X (those aged 35-49).”

“Gen Z have grown up in an on-demand world of infinite choice, and this flavours their expectations of advertising,” said Duncan Southgate, global brand director at Kantar Millward Brown. “They are much more attracted to ads that allow them to co-create or shape what happens, compared to Gens Y and X, who have a higher preference to link to more information about the brand.”

We are sure the Teen B.E.A.T. Summit will become the bridge from brand to Gen Z consumer….Spring Break 2017, Atlanta GA.