Wednesday, October 4, 2017

More are paying to stream music - demand's there; compensating artists is another issue

Written by Andrew Orlowski — With Google's user-generated content loophole firmly in lawmaker's sights, global music trade body IFPI has published new research looking at demand for music streaming.

The research confirms YouTube's pre-eminence as the world's de facto jukebox. 46 per cent of on-demand music streaming is from Google's video website. 75 per cent of internet users use video streaming to hear music.

The paid-for picture is bs: 50 per cent of internet users have paid for licensed music in the last six months, in one form or another, of which 53 per are 13- to 15-year-olds. Audio streaming is split between 39 per cent who stream for free and 29 per cent who pay.

Although mobile is massive, with 91 per cent using phones to access music in Mexico, the UK is a laggard at 59 per cent.

So what's the problem? European policy makers have become convinced by the "value gap" argument: compensation doesn't reflect usage. Google finds itself with a unique advantage here, thanks to YouTube's "user-generated content" exception, as we explained last year.

It's really twofold. Firstly, Google's supply chain of uploaders might not deliver quality – you never know what you'll get on YouTube – but despite notice-and-takedown orders, (dubbed "notice and shakedown" by musicians) the supply continues uninterrupted. And Google's promotion of advertising over paid subscriptions also depresses the market price for music, they argue.

In its defence, Google argues that ad-supported free streaming reaches demographics that the music industry found hard to monetise anyway, particularly children. The IFPI found that of audio streamers aged 13-15, 37 per cent paid and 62 per cent listened for free. Of the paid group, 33 per cent paid for their own (versus 63 per cent for 16-64) while 36 per cent were members of a family subscription plan.

The data has crumbs for both sides – music demand remains incredibly strong, and teenagers are increasingly paying.

Proposals to narrow the value gap by plugging the UGC loophole are under discussion as part of tweaks to the European Copyright framework. Internet companies without a music licence would have to take more care over what they serve and filter uploads. Services with a licence wouldn't have to. It's arguable whether this plugs the YouTube loophole at all, but it received strong support from UK digital and culture minister Matt Hancock last week.

"We are supporting further copyright reform, to support rights holders and help close the value gap. Where value is created online, it must be appropriately rewarded," Hancock said.

The European Commission has said (PDF) the proposed filtering obligation "does not alter the provisions of Directive 2000/31/EC, nor does it provide a new interpretation of Article 3 of Directive 2001/29/EC (communication to the public)", but it's likely to be amended to protect ISPs later this year.

The survey polled users in 13 countries worldwide. You can find more here (PDF).

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Microsoft Dumps Their Own Streaming Service for Spotify

Written by Janko Roettgers — Microsoft is the latest company to exit the streaming music business: The software giant announce Monday that it was shuttering its Groove Music service at the end of this year. Existing Groove Music subscribers are being encouraged to transfer their playlists and libraries to Spotify.

“As we continue to listen to what our customers want in their music experience we know that access to the best streaming service, the largest catalog of music, and a variety of subscriptions is top of the list,” wrote Microsoft Groove GM Jerry Johnson in a blog post Monday.

The company will stop serving subscription customers and selling music downloads at the end of December, but maintain the app as a way to play local music libraries. Existing Groove Music subscriptions won’t automatically transition to Spotify subscriptions, but the two companies are trying to sweeten the deal for Groove Music users by giving them 60 days to try Spotify’s premium service for free.

Microsoft first launched its Xbox Music subscription service in 2012, and was initially focusing heavily on Xbox users as its target audience. In 2015, the company rebranded the service as Groove Music, hoping to broaden the service’s audience and also reach users on mobile platforms. However, Groove Music never really caught up to Spotify or Apple Music, and ultimately competed among a list of second-tier services.

Microsoft isn’t the first major tech company to try, and then give up on competing with Spotify. Samsung tried a number of different service models before ultimately settling on a partnership model with existing services. And Sony replaced its own music service with Spotify in early 2015.

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Join us this Friday 9/29 for the Library Music Sessions - and it's Adam's birthday Friday!

It’s the Friday night party you don’t want to miss! Enjoy live performance and live bands! Free entry!
Salsa! House! Merengue! Freestyle! Dance! Wepa!


Every Friday in September in the Courtyard!
Time changed to start at 6. Join us from 6-11pm

Presented by Dwild MusicRadio and Butchie Nieves of the Puerto Rican Day Parade

Join us at Halcyon in Brooklyn NYC this SAT SEP 30 5-8pm with guest Josh Milan

Adam Cruz + Josh Milan join forces at Halcyon for a special event SAT SEP 30 5-8pm

Halcyon The Shop
74 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11249

Brooklyn's hub for music since 1999. The shop features a full bar and cafe, and its in-store events are always free to attend for all ages. Open M-F 2-8pm, Sat + Sun 12-8pm - online stock updated daily

Click here to read the Facebook invite!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Join us on Oct 14th for New Jersey Drive: an art, music, & voter registration event - Bloomfield

new jersey drive:
an art, music & voter registration event

saturday october 14 nine to one am
afro brazilian cultural center of nj
554 bloomfield ave, bloomfield, nj
this event costs 10 dollars to get in

brought to you by
music by adam cruz & duce martinez
playing new jersey house music only
sound provided by bnb productions

this event is by nj artists for nj artists!
network with other new jersey creatives!

a step & repeat backdrop will be provided
a printed booklet will be handed out

add yourself to the booklet & backdrop
the cost to add yourself is 40 dollars

deadline for inclusion is october 2

come join us & get registered to vote
voter registration deadline is october 17

Friday, September 15, 2017

Join us tonight at the Newark Library 6-11pm and register to VOTE!

Happy Friday everybody! The weather today is absolutely beautiful - let's celebrate! Come join us at The Library Music Sessions Fridays 6-11pm FREE at the Newark Public Library - 5 Washington Street, Newark! With Duce Martinez, Butchie Nieves, yours truly DJ Adam Cruz, and special guest Martin Gee!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Music Industry Unifies to Finally Get Paid Online

Written by Elizabeth Stinson — Last fall, a group of music industry heavyweights gathered in New York City to do something they’d mostly failed to do up to that point: work together. Representatives from major labels like Universal, Sony, and Warner sat next to technologists from companies like Spotify, YouTube, and Ideo and discussed the collective issues threatening their industry.

And there were many. For decades, major labels have watched record sales nose dive. Meanwhile, streaming services are growing in popularity but drowning in lawsuits. In 1998, the industry reported revenue of $13.8 billion; in 2016 it had dipped to $7.65 billion—and that was considered a good year. “It’s a really fragmented industry,” says Dan Harple, founder of Context Labs and one of the organizers of the meeting. The participants of that confab would later form a group called the Open Music Initiative.

The OMI got started in the winter of 2015, when Harple began working with Berklee's vice president of innovation and strategy, Panos A. Panay, Michael Hendrix of the design consultancy Ideo, and a handful of others at the school's Institute For Creative Entrepreneurship to establish a working group with sole purpose of figuring out how to ensure the music industry has a more sustainable future. Over the years, Harple's witnessed the power of technology change industries for the better; he’s also seen it wreak havoc on those that aren’t prepared.

The music industry, he says, falls squarely into the latter category. After decades of building distribution channels around record contracts and sales, the micro-transactional nature of the internet has, in some ways, diluted the industry. “I like to make a joke that it’s akin to a FedEx guy who shows up and gets 80 percent of your product price," Harple says. "To me, that’s in some ways what the App Store does and iTunes does and streaming services do.”

Those might sound like fighting words, but Harple isn't against digital music. A trustee of the Berklee College of Music, he helped create internet standards like the Real Time Streaming Protocol, which powers the technology that lets you pause, play, fast forward, and rewind on applications like YouTube and QuickTime. And when it comes down to it, he says, everyone—from startups to legacy labels to publishing houses—faces the same underlying issue. “Pretty early on it was obvious that there's an information gap in the industry,” says Erik Beijnoff, a product developer at Spotify and a member of the OMI.

That "information gap" refers to the data around who helped create a song. Publishers might keep track of who wrote the underlying composition of a song, or the session drummer on a recording, but that information doesn't always show up in a digital file's metadata. This disconnect between the person who composed a song, the person who recorded it, and the subsequent plays, has led to problems like writers and artists not getting paid for their work, and publishers suing streaming companies as they struggle to identify who is owed royalties. “It’s a simple question of attribution,” says Panay. “And payments follow attribution.”

Over the last year, members of the OMI—almost 200 organizations in total—have worked to develop just that. As a first step, they’ve created an API that companies can voluntarily build into their systems to help identify key data points like the names of musicians and composers, plus how many times and where tracks are played. This information is then stored on a decentralized database using blockchain technology—which means no one owns the information, but everyone can access it.

Think of it as a standardized set of liner notes. Keeping track of this metadata means artists and platforms can leverage it various ways without fear of violating rights. “What this API is allowing is real time access to information,” says Hendrix, a partner at IDEO who helped organize and develop the methodology behind the OMI. “That doesn’t exist today; it’s just too siloed.”

Though the API is still in beta, members say it's a solid starting point for an industry that rarely shares information openly. The ripple effects go beyond money, too. Panay points to all the apps built on Twitter's API and says the flow of data within the music industry could encourage entrepreneurs to start new companies, developers to build new experiences, and musicians to get more creative with how they sample and produce music.

“You can envision a world where any sound that's ever been created—any guitar lick, any drum loop, any synth line, any vocal—is accounted for,” Panay says. “If you have attribution to underlying contributors, you can imagine an explosion of creativity.”

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mark Your Calendar for the debut of #PlenaPunk by Adam Cruz Oct 4-15

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration 2017
Council of Hispanic Affairs proudly presents:

Caribbean Legacy II
an exhibition by
Joe Velez
Ray Arcadio
Adam Cruz

Curator: Jo-El Lopez

Artist's Reception:
Wednesday October 4th, 2017 4-6pm
Michael B. Gilligan Student Union Gallery (Room 102)

Gallery Hours:
11am-4pm Mon-Fri and by appointment.
Exhibition will be on view through October 15th

New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305

For more information, contact Nancy Gomez at:

Sponsored by the Council on Hispanic Affairs, co-sponsored by the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Latino Cultural Center

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

RIAA wins YouTube to MP3 battle, but is it still losing the war?

Written by Rachel Kaser — One of the most popular free sites for converting YouTube videos into MP3s might soon be shutting down, thanks to the music industry.

The operator of — who was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America last year — has apparently agreed to hand his site over to the RIAA, TorrentFreak reports. The RIAA gets to keep the domain, apparently to keep other enterprising converters from moving in on it... the digital version of salting the earth.

In return for no further prosecution, the site will shut down. It’s still up at the moment, but when I tried to convert an Imagine Dragons medley (don’t judge), I was told “this service is not available from your jurisdiction."

It isn’t just the site the RIAA is putting on ice, either. According to the settlement documentation, the site's operator is restrained from "knowingly designing, developing, offering, or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as 'streamripping.'”

The judgment has yet to be signed by the court.

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Jacquelyn Graham goes 'Inside Her Head' with the incredible JaQueen EP

Click on the link below to listen + buy the "JaQueen EP" today!

Mixtape Sessions is extremely proud to present the debut EP from Mixtape Sessions recording artist Jacquelyn Graham. Ms. Graham is no stranger to recording and musical theater. Whether it's starring in "Blood Sisters: The Musical" or performing with Harvey Morris and the House of Praise, Ms. Graham brings talent, sincerity and that sensational star quality! For her debut JaQueen EP, she dives into personal topics of love, spirituality and rebirth. Produced by Mixtape Sessions' label head Adam Cruz, "Inside My Head" is an upbeat dance smash with an endearing message of spiritual love. "You Showed Me Your Love," on the other hand, slows things down a bit. This is a song about love's loss and redemption while set to a 3/4 beat. Jacquelyn Graham brings a vulnerability and style that is as pure as it is classy. About the EP, Graham says, "This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more - after this labor of love, the music and possibilities are endless!"

Jacquelyn Graham – Inside My Head 
Lyrics written by Jacquelyn Graham and Adam Cruz.
Music written and produced by Adam Cruz.
Lead vocals performed by Jacquelyn Graham.
Background vocals performed by Jacquelyn Graham and Adam Cruz.
Published by Jacquelyn Louise Graham (BMI), Adam Cruz (SESAC) and Mixtape Sessions Music (ASCAP).

Jacquelyn Graham – You Showed Me Your Love 
Music and lyrics written and produced by Adam Cruz.
Lead vocals performed by Jacquelyn Graham.
Background vocals performed by Jacquelyn Graham and Adam Cruz.
Published by Adam Cruz (SESAC) and Mixtape Sessions Music (ASCAP).

Mixed and mastered by Adam Cruz at EbbnFlow Studios in Bloomfield, NJ.
Photography by Harvey Morris.
Wardrobe and makeup by Jacquelyn Graham.
Cover art designed by Adam Cruz.
Executive Produced by Adam Cruz.

Jacquelyn Graham thanks: Eddie Nicholas for his continued support, Adam Cruz for the encouragement to release a part of my story through song, and to my son Jacob for being my vision partner always.

©2017 Mixtape Sessions Music, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Distributed by The Cruz Music Group, a Division of Mixtape Sessions Music, LLC.