Music Notes 15-04-2015

Published On April 15, 2015 | Music & Culture

Can Indie labels join forces in the streaming wars? And men are ruining the music industry (and everything else).

By Anton Marshall

Grave Wisdom
Are men ruining the music industry? Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy seems to think so. She told Daze Magazine: “Every single corner of music is constantly on the verge of being ruined by men”. In fairness, that’s only one of the things she said in a very broad-ranging interview. She also talks a lot about bad role models in the music scene, doing what you can to make the world better, and to make your life better. All in all, some interesting and thought provoking views. Read the full article here:


Indie a gogo
Cooking Vinyl’s Sammy Andrews has challenged indie labels to club together and form a collective when it comes to playlists on streaming services. Major labels like Universal and Warner own their own streaming services, and typically curate playlists that favour their own products. Andrews is pushing for indie labels to get together and curate their own as a collective.

“Streaming services have made over 30 million tracks available for the consumer – and the key is now how to navigate them…

“Well curated playlists offer an opportunity to build interest in tracks and break new artists. The majors are investing heavily but the indies are yet to have a clear voice.

“I’d like to call on the independent community join forces on playlists and curation. There are times when we have far more power as a collective, this is one of those occasions” More…


Sometimes, you get the feeling that major companies just don’t want to leave well enough alone. They would say that it’s a business, and they have every right to defend their interests. They’re right, of course… but that doesn’t dull the knife you sense entering your side every time they change rules (whether or not the changes are bad for you). Seen on

YouTube announced earlier this week that it is introducing an ad-free subscription tier on the site, separate to its upcoming Music Key service.

The Verge reports that the new service will cost US $10 a month, and that if artists don’t agree to new terms associated with YouTube’s premium service, all their videos will be set to private. More…


King Solomon’s Grinds
Meanwhile in the Solomon Islands, a government person is actually talking about music, according to the Solomon Star. Perhaps leaders of larger countries – like, say, South Africa – can investigate?:

*Opposition leader Jeremiah Manele made the suggestion while speaking in parliament.
“Solomon Islands is blessed with rich talents,” Manele said.
“One of which is music. A lot of our youths are fully engaged in this industry,” he added.
“However, there is less recognition and support given to them to further enhance their raw talents.”
Manele said Solomon Islands music has been hitting the charts in the region especially in PNG and Fiji.
“If fully supported and developed, the music industry will be a good revenue earner for our country. “Not only that, but engaging our youths in this regard will help them to become useful and productive citizens.” More…


Artist and Repertoirism
We didn’t realise that A&R still existed for record labels. We often joke that it is a thing of the past.  But apparently it still does exist… and it can shortly be found sitting around boardroom tables with a computer. Because labels are adopting the big data approach to finding new artists to invest in.

“The Polydor A&R team now holds a weekly “Shazam meeting” to spot emerging breakthroughs before the competition. “As A&R becomes increasingly more crowd-sourced, Shazam is becoming a viable option in helping find new artists,” Mukerji said.”

The implication, of course, is that finding great music and music stars is a science. There are, thankfully, some who still raise a skeptical eyebrow:

Infectious Music founder Korda Marshall, who has signed bands ranging from Take That to alt-J during his career, warned that “50 to 75 per cent of music’s greatest moments wouldn’t have occurred” if they were based on data. “I’ve made £1m decisions on whether the hairs on my arm stand on end,” he said. “Alt-J probably wouldn’t have existed if it was based on data.” More…

Thanks, big data, but I’m going to just go ahead and trust a human with my life choices. Agree? Disagree? Let us know.

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