Friday, June 19, 2015

COHME's Weequahic Park #HouseMusic Festival - THIS SAT 6/20 join DJs Adam Cruz, Tony Humphries & more!


Written by Barry Carter

House music lovers most likely have placed a circle around Saturday on their calendar.
That's when the Fifth Annual Weequahic Park House Music Family and Community Festival will be held in Newark to kick off the start of summer.

The event, which is sponsored by the Coalition of House Music Entertainment, is from noon to 8 p.m. and features several DJ's and performances from groups such as D-Train.

On the turntables, house heads will groove to sounds provided by DJs Tony Humphries, Adam Cruz, Gary Logan, Steve Davis and Charles Mitchell, who started the festival to do something positive for the community.

Mitchell, a Newark native, said the festival is a peaceful gathering of families, friends and a mature audience of house music fans celebrating life through dance.

"It's about peace and everybody getting along,'' Mitchell said. "House music produces a culture of people who believe in the positive part of community change.''

Each year the festival attracts thousands and Mitchell expects the same on Saturday. There will be vendors, food, and activities for children. He said the coalition is honoring Humphries for his contributions to the music. His organization is also recognizing Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and Park Director Dan Salvante for their support of the event since it started.

"Without them, this wouldn't happen,'' he said.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sony: We Share Spotify Advances with Artists


Written by Tim Ingham

Sony Music Entertainment has released a statement in response to the leak of its 2011 North American contract with Spotify. And now the dust has settled, it warrants a little further examination.

As has been widely reported, the major label’s deal with Spotify, which likely expired two years ago, contained some key – but ultimately unsurprising – details:
  • Spotify agreed to pay Sony Music up to US $42.5m in advances over a three-year period. This included a $25 million advance across 2011 and 2012 – $9m the first year and $16m the second – plus a $17.5 million advance for the optional third year;
  • A Most Favoured Nation clause was agreed which essentially ensured that Sony’s advances from Spotify were equal with the best deal negotiated by its rivals per percentage of market share. (So if Universal was getting $Xm per % of market share, Sony would be paid the same.);
  • Spotify gave Sony up to $9m of advertising spots on its service over a three-year term: $2.5m in the first year, $3m in the second and $3.5m in the final year;
  • Sony was paid a revenue share of Spotify income that equated to 60% of Spotify’s monthly gross revenue, which was then multiplied by Sony Music’s percentage of overall streams.
The contract also covered a talking point which is dominating digital music discussion right now: breakage.

Pretty much every digital streaming service’s deal with labels (including indies) will contain a combination of a per-stream royalty rate, plus revenue sharing, an advance and minimum guaranteed revenue.

(As well as equity in the service, but let’s not go there for now.)

If either the advance or minimum guaranteed revenue exceeds the amount earned by royalties/revenue sharing during the licensing period, then the label is protected thanks to “breakage” – it ensures that the digital service will pay out the shortfall.

It’s that minimum guaranteed revenue coming into play, but it means that labels can easily end up with more cash than is strictly attributable to individual streams and artists.


“UNDER OUR ‘BREAKAGE POLICY’, SME SHARES WITH ITS ARTISTS ALL UNALLOCATED INCOME FROM ADVANCES, NON-RECOUPABLE PAYMENTS AND MINIMUM REVENUE GUARANTEES.” - SONY STATEMENT

Sony’s leaked 2011 contract stated that Spotify must pay $0.00225 per stream as a royalty on its free service (the premium tier’s payout was presumably a good chunk higher).

When it comes to Spotify, the service’s rampant growth – and therefore its increasing payouts to labels – probably means that ‘breakage’ is less important than with smaller or less successful music services.

The big criticism of ‘breakage’ regards how it is reported and allocated by the labels after they receive it… and, of course, if artists ultimately see any of it.

Some whisper that majors place this revenue, alongside advances, into a ‘black box’ which is then not distributed from the artist royalty pot.

In response to the contract leak last week, Sony released an important statement that directly addressed this doubt.

It said:

"Sony Music historically has shared digital breakage with its artists, and voluntarily credits breakage from all digital services to artist accounts.

"Under the Sony Music 'Breakage Policy,' SME shares with its recording artists all unallocated income from advances, non-recoupable payments and minimum revenue guarantees that Sony Music receives under its digital distribution deals.

"This applies to all revenue under digital catalogue distribution agreements, whether or not the guarantees, advances or ‘flat’ payments can be associated with individual master transactions."

So there you have it.

Sony Music Entertainment categorically says that it doesn’t keep all of the advances and/or 'breakage' it receives from digital services for itself.

But it’s worth noting the careful language: "SME shares with its recording artists all unallocated income."

Quite how much of that share ends up in the artist’s pocket naturally remains open for debate.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Friday, June 5, 2015

How Well Did the Grammys, NFL Address Domestic Violence? Help Samantha Morena!


Written by Kristin Toussaint

Help Samantha Morena below:
http://www.gofundme.com/SamanthaMorena

A week after an anti-domestic violence public service announcement aired to millions watching the Super Bowl, President Barack Obama made a video appearance at the 2015 Grammys, calling on the public to pledge to help stop rape and domestic violence.

The NFL’s sponsored anti-domestic violence PSA came after a season rife with abuse scandals. The Grammy Foundation has previously addressed social issues during the show, and Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich contacted Brooke Axtell, an Austin-based writer, activist, and spoken-word performance artist, in order to invite her to write a speech for this year’s awards, according to Slate. The event’s attention to the issue came six years after Chris Brown infamously attacked Rihanna before the 2009 Grammy Awards.

Axtell shared her story of surviving abuse, live on stage before Katy Perry sang “By the Grace of God.”

Axtell asked victims of domestic violence to speak out, saying their voice will save them. The moment fell in line with a recent “No More” campaign sponsored by the NFL that asks bystanders to take action, in which it says, “When it’s hard to talk, it’s up to us to listen.”

Both messages at the Super Bowl and Grammys stress the importance of supporting victims. When assault victims feel supported, they receive more helpful information and experience less secondary trauma, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Both the NFL and the music industry have dealt with public backlash in the wake of assault scandals, prompting critics who accuse them of being hypocritical.

Domestic Violence in America: General Statistics and Facts


  • Women ages 18 to 34 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.

  • More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.

  • 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year


  • Help Samantha Morena below:
    http://www.gofundme.com/SamanthaMorena

    Click here to read from this article's source.

    Soundcloud reaches royalty deal with 20,000 independent record labels


    Written by Zach Frydenlund, Complex

    Just when things were starting to get a little shaky for SoundCloud, the streaming site has reached a major royalty deal with Merlin, which is a licensing company that reps around 20,000 independent record labels. With this new deal, the label's will now make money from SoundCloud streaming, and will also begin to use SoundCloud's advanced user data going forward. This news comes just weeks after Sony started to remove some of their biggest artists' music, such as Adele, Miguel, and more, from the site, which brought a large cloud of doubt around the company.

    “Independent creators have always been at the core of SoundCloud, and with this partnership we’re thrilled to extend new revenue-generating opportunities to thousands of independent labels, Alexander Ljung, one of the founders of SoundCloud, said. Even with this major move, SoundCloud will still have to try and convince the major labels that they can generate high levels of revenue that they see from streaming sites such as Pandora and Spotify.

    While SoundCloud has signed a deal with Warner Music, it continues to be a slow process in negotiations with Sony and Universal Music Group. As of right now, FKA twigs, Bon Iver, and Vampire Weekend are just a few of the artists now covered under the SoundCloud deal with Merlin.

    Click here to read from this article's source.

    Soundcloud Contract with Music Publishers Leaked: Paid Tiers Coming?


    Written by Ryan Middleton

    A contract that Soundcloud is reportedly about to sign with major music publishers has just been leaked. Digital Music News got their hands on the contract, which outlined splits and advances between the Berlin-based streaming and discovery service, as well as paid tiers for customers that would increase royalty payouts and create an ad-free experience.

    The contract between the National Music Publishers' Association and Soundcloud is still unsigned, however last month the two sides announced they had come to terms on a deal. It is unclear whether or not this leak might put the deal currently on the table and in front of you in jeopardy.

    The contract is full of interesting notes about how Soundcloud would pay royalties and attempt to become a legal music service. It would pay 10.5 percent of its revenue, including ads or about 22 percent of what it earns on sound recording rights — whichever is higher. Soundcloud will also pay a $350,000 advance to the publishers, based on money generated on paid tiers.

    The document implies deals could be reached for independent and major labels, but the publishers finagled a Most Favored Nation clause to keep their compensation equal to any majors once market share is accounted for.

    One of the most radical changes would be from the new proposed paid tier system that would offer a differing range of services that expand as you pay more — surprise, surprise. The "Additional Services" tier would let users pay for an ad-free experience and download a limited number of songs. Labels would take $0.18 per Additional Services member per month if it is higher than the revenue or sound recording rights income for the tier. The second tier "Soundcloud Full Catalog Subscription Service" would be offer access to much more music and labels would earn $0.80 per user per month.

    A free ad-supported tier will still be allowed, but there will be pressure to sign up new members to its reported subscription possibilities.

    Soundcloud is at a crossroads. It has been laboring through attempted negotiations with the major labels who are tired of seeing hundreds of hours of unlicensed material get uploaded onto the service every day without getting a penny for the plays on those streams. It has already signed a deal with Warner Music Group, which has enabled more ads on their content and started to generate some revenue from the plays on WMG artist pages. Negotiations have broken down with Universal and Sony, who has started taking their music down from the service, sometimes against their artist's wishes.

    We will see what happens next, as Soundcloud continues to try and keep their customers while also creating a sustainable business model that can get artists (but mostly the labels) paid.

    Click here to read the contract for yourself and to learn more from this article's source.

    Ruling in Royalty Case Gives BMI a Victory Against Pandora


    Written by Ben Sisario

    Last week, Pandora Media won two battles in its long-running war against the music industry, but on Thursday, it lost one — this time over how much it should pay the licensing agency BMI in royalties.

    BMI sued in 2013 to raise the rate that Pandora, an Internet radio service, pays to play the millions of songs in the BMI catalog. Pandora’s rate was set at 1.75 percent of its revenue; BMI asked the court to raise that to 2.5 percent, and Pandora argued for a rate as low as 1.7 percent.

    On Thursday, Judge Louis L. Stanton of United States District Court in Manhattan ruled for BMI, setting the rate at 2.5 percent. The full decision remains under seal, but the overall rate was disclosed by both parties late Thursday.

    BMI — Broadcast Music Inc., a 76-year-old clearinghouse for songwriting rights — filed the suit after it was unable to set a rate through negotiations with Pandora, a process dictated by longstanding federal regulation.

    “Today’s decision is an enormous victory for the more than 650,000 songwriters, composers and publishers that BMI has the privilege to represent,” BMI said in a statement. “This is an important step forward in valuing music in the digital age.”

    While the ruling is a victory for the music industry, which has fought bitterly against Pandora over royalty issues, the ultimate outcome in the case is unclear. Last week, a federal appeals court affirmed a ruling that had kept Pandora’s rate for Ascap, a rival licensing agency, unchanged at 1.85 percent, rejecting Ascap’s arguments to raise it.

    On Thursday, a Pandora spokesman said the company would appeal the BMI decision. “We strongly believe the benchmarks cited by the court do not provide an appropriate competitive foundation for a market rate,” said the spokesman, Dave Grimaldi.

    Also last week, the Federal Communications Commission lifted a major hurdle to Pandora’s efforts to buy a terrestrial radio station in South Dakota that the company says would entitle it to industry deals for lower songwriting rates, regardless of the decisions in its recent disputes with BMI and Ascap. The company is still awaiting final approval from the F.C.C. for that deal.

    Both Ascap and BMI have asked the Justice Department for changes in the regulatory agreements that have governed them for decades. If successful, those changes may allow Ascap, BMI and the music publishers they represent to charge higher rates for use of their songs online.

    Click here to read from this article's source.

    Pandora Wins Appeals Court Ruling on Ascap Royalty Rates


    Written by Ben Sisario

    In Pandora Media’s second victory against the music industry in a week, a federal appeals court affirmed a judge’s ruling about royalty rates for the millions of songs represented by Ascap.

    On Wednesday, just two days after Pandora received a favorable decision from the Federal Communications Commission over its efforts to buy a South Dakota radio station — a move that could allow Pandora to pay lower royalty rates to songwriters — the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, affirmed a ruling from Judge Denise L. Cote of United States District Court in New York that set a rate of 1.85 percent for the public performance of songs in Ascap’s catalog for Pandora and other Internet radio services.

    F.C.C. Allows Pandora to Buy South Dakota Radio StationMAY 4, 2015
    San Fermin performing in the Pandora Discovery Den at the SXSW festival in Austin, Tex., last month.Pandora to Replace 2 Board Members With Music-Industry FiguresAPRIL 20, 2015
    Brian McAndrews of the Internet radio giant Pandora, which has antagonized musicians by pushing for lower royalty rates.Pandora Making Bid to Unruffle Music WorldFEB. 22, 2015
    Brian P. McAndrews, the chief executive of Pandora.Pandora Readies for Another Royalties Battle, This Time With BMI FEB. 6, 2015
    In another issue that has roiled the music industry, the appeals court also agreed with Judge Cote about the way that music publishers can make deals with Ascap to represent their songs. Pandora’s case against Ascap — a major clearinghouse for songwriting rights — had been precipitated by the publishers withdrawing digital rights to their catalogs, a move that forced Pandora to negotiate directly with the publishers, and resulted in higher royalty rates. Judge Cote ruled that this violated the terms of the federal regulations, known as a consent decree, under which Ascap has operated since 1941.

    In a statement, Dave Grimaldi, a spokesman for Pandora, said, “We are pleased that the Second Circuit has affirmed Judge Cote’s ruling, which highlights the anticompetitive harms that can result from a lack of transparency into music ownership.”

    Elizabeth Matthews, Ascap’s chief executive, said the ruling “affirms what we already know — that the Ascap consent decree and the rules that govern music licensing are outdated and completely out of step with the way people listen to music today.”

    The Justice Department is reviewing the consent decrees that govern Ascap and its rival, BMI. Both organizations are governed by these regulatory documents, and their rate-setting procedures are overseen by federal judges. Ascap and BMI are both asking for changes to the regulations that, among other things, would officially allow partial withdrawal of rights.

    On Monday, reviewing Pandora’s $600,000 deal to buy KXMZ-FM in Rapid City, S.D., the F.C.C. decided to waive a requirement that foreign ownership of a broadcast station cannot exceed 25 percent of the company’s shares. Pandora, which has been publicly traded since 2011, argued that it had no way of knowing who owned its stock.

    That decision for Pandora removed the major hurdle for the company to complete its deal for the station, but the deal still awaits final approval by the F.C.C.

    Click here to read from this article's source.

    Spotify, Sony deal shows where the revenue flows


    Written by Joel Hruska

    Ever since services like Spotify and Pandora began taking market share from digital download services like iTunes, there’s been a running conversation in the media over whether streaming represents the future of media consumption and, if it does, what that means for both record labels and artists. Per-play royalty earnings have often been at the heart of this debate. Companies like Spotify have gone to court protesting that they already pay more than they can afford, while both record labels and high-profile acts like Taylor Swift have said they earn essentially nothing off streaming services.

    Now, The Verge has gotten its hands on the 2011 contract between Sony and Spotify, and the information therein puts a number on the various payment arrangements between the two organizations. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the money is flowing to Sony in this system. First, Spotify is required to pay Sony an advance fee of between $9-$17.5 million per year. Spotify can recoup this if it earns more than the advance amount in a contract year, but these advance payments don’t go to artists and aren’t treated as royalty revenue.

    Next, Sony enforces a Most Favored Nation clause that essentially says: “We get the best deal you have with anyone.” If Spotify cuts a deal to pay a premium to, say, Universal for its music, Sony automatically gets the same deal that Universal got. This type of deal is meant to ensure that providing a minimum percentage of Spotify’s tracks doesn’t result in less revenue per percent of market share.

    Other clauses allow Spotify to keep 15% of its ad revenues sold by third parties “off the top” without counting them against revenue — and this 15% doesn’t appear to be accounted for in Spotify’s published documents that show how it pays artists and where its funds go. The real kicker, though, is that Spotify is required to give Sony advertising space at a sharply discounted rate, amounting to $2.5M – $3.5M per year. Not only does Spotify provide this at a discounted rate (meaning the actual amount of advertising is larger than $2.5 – $3.5M would normally buy), Sony is allowed to do anything it wants with the ad spaces, including resell them to others.

    The most complex part of the equation is how artists are compensated and the formulae used to determine this. The Verge steps through the process for calculating, and it’s well worth reading, but the upshot is this: Spotify’s own financial disclosures state that upwards of 80% of the service’s revenue flows out the door to rightsholders.

    This doesn’t make the shift to streaming revenue an automatic good for artists, of course. One of the impacts of the shift to digital distribution and the emphasis on live concerts is that the top 1% of artists now take home a far larger share of the revenue pie than they did 30-40 years ago. Established acts like Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber have nothing to worry about; they’ll earn money from any revenue.



    t shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, that the music industry has doubled down on proven acts, and largely cut the behind-the-scenes support for smaller groups and indie labels. Even events like South by Southwest offer to pay in “exposure” or offer a $200 pittance. For artists trying to raise money and surviving on shoestrings, there needs to be a simultaneous promotor, singer, songwriter, and digital media buff, and to relentlessly pursue opportunities to raise one’s own visibility can be exhausting. There have been acts that have prospered in this brave new world, and many more that haven’t.

    The old argument that music labels would somehow dry up and blow away in the face of digital distribution is clearly inaccurate. Whatever Sony and its brethren might say behind the scenes, they’ve firmly attached themselves to streaming services, siphoning off most of the revenue and diverting precious little of it back to the artists they claim to care about. We’ve previously covered how Apple has attempted to convince the music services to abandon companies like Spotify, as well as how the growth of streaming services in countries like Norway have been associated with sharp declines in piracy.

    Click here to read from this article's source.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2015

    Join us 2NITE 9pm Wed 6/3 Sol Deep, Newark - DJ Adam Cruz, Hutch, Eddie Nicholas, live artists & more #ChildrensFundraiser


    Join us Wednesday June 3rd, for a Sōl Deep / Vivo Lounge / COHME Dinner Dance Fundraiser to benefit Children’s Festival Activities...

    On this night, we gather for great music and good fun to raise funds for the upcoming COHME Weequahic Park Festival. This year, COHME will offer children’s crafts and activities during the festival so any amount raised will be most helpful for this great cause…

    Music by guest selectors, DJ Adam Cruz and DJ Hutch with a packed, soulful showcase featuring talented local vocalists….

    KIA
    Toni Bowens
    Darren Deac
    Kischa Link
    Adam Cruz
    Marsha Bond
    Eddie Nicholas
    Roxanna Lynn

    Hope to see many of you there.

    > 8PM-2AM ( 8pm-10pm Free for Dinner Patrons Only ) After 10pm, $10.

    > Drink Specials til Midnight
    > Dress casual but trendy (Jeans Ok)
    > Door by Lady Wisdom || Hosted by Melanie

    Monday, April 6, 2015

    Beyoncé and Rihanna Premiered Exclusive Tracks on Tidal, Fans Promptly Put Them on YouTube


    Written by Nina Ulloa

    Tidal hasn’t had the most well-received launch. As Ari pointed out, a lot of fans of the service’s celebrity co-owners are pretty vocal about their dislike.

    Over the weekend Tidal released two new exclusives from Rihanna and Beyoncé.

    The new Rihanna track is called “American Oxygen”. She performed the track at March Madness Music Fest before premiering it on Tidal, so there’s plenty of videos of the song online.
    The new exclusive Beyoncé track/video is called “Die With You”. The video features Beyoncé singing and playing the track on piano.

    The track has already been ripped and uploaded to YouTube over and over again. Some of the tracks have been removed because of copyright infringement, but there’s plenty more online.

    Tidal may have exclusives, but it’s pretty hard to keep them exclusive.

    Click here to read from this article's source.