(Credit: Heshan Perera/Unsplash)
Rumors of Facebook‘s upcoming Terms of Service update noting the right to delete users and pages that “create music listening experiences” from the platform have turned out to be untrue.
According to a conversation between DJcity and a Facebook representative, the following is noted:
“People are likely mistaking the updates we’re making to our Facebook Terms of Service. Our music guidelines have been in place since we launched music on our platforms in 2018. They were written to balance our commitment to supporting musical expression on our platforms with also ensuring we uphold our agreements with rights holders, which remains unchanged.”
As the global quarantine enters its sixth month, DJs are navigating the decisions made by broadcasting platforms as they learn how to adapt to live streaming. Ultimately, it appears that by the end of 2020, there will be more answers than questions regarding how DJs can sustainably showcase their talents and earn a living wage in an online environment.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch are becoming far more artist-friendly and much less DJ-equipped. Conversely, platforms like Mixcloud and YouTube are moving towards sustainability as online broadcast platforms.
Recently, Instagram-borne Verzuz announced partnerships with Apple Music and Diageo, Ciroc Vodka’s parent brand. Also, Twitch announced a two-day live stream partnership with Rolling Loud, a global, multi-city hip-hop festival, on September 12 and 13. Partnering with DJs requires negotiating rights fees and payment structures with BMI and ASCAP, while partnering with brands and festivals is an entirely different concept.
Facebook adds, “Shorter clips of music featuring a visual component are recommended [for use as Facebook live content]. As well, the greater the number of full-length recorded tracks in a video, the more likely it may be limited by the platform.”
Brands and events require platforms to aid in marketing products and ultimately turning profits from paid attendees. There is also a direct return on investment (ROI) for an outlet in working with a third-party. Hosting rights fees and platforms using an event’s popularity to increase their visibility amid numerous apps and sites battling for user bandwidth are vital drivers. Unless a DJ is a household name, the ROI likely isn’t there to make the opportunity worthwhile.
Other “traditional” streaming powers have emerged during the pandemic, too. Mixcloud was an early adapter in allowing DJs to stream mixes by negotiating with rights-holders and copyright organizations. Through their recent Mixcloud Live feature, rights-enabled DJ sets are possible with a Mixcloud Pro subscription.
Youtube averages two billion users per month and averages four times the daily traffic that Twitch does. Thus, Youtube has earned the revenue to be able to develop a content ID system that allows for rights-owners to stake their claim and share ad revenue on the uploaded/streamed mix.
Regardless of Facebook’s options, numerous streaming ideas and options deserve a closer look. First off, on the back of increased engagement from numerous users including the DJ community, Twitch stands to potentially increase its user base by 166% in the next year. For as much as live DJ sets are technically prohibited in their terms of service, there is the possibility, if mixing quickly (under 90 seconds) between tracks, to emerge unscathed due to the platform’s popularity and monetization opportunities, alone.
Instagram’s Badges program deserves consideration, too. Announced in June, the concept allows for Instagram Live viewers to send monetary tips to creators during live streams. Also, Instagram airs ads that play at the start of each user’s active engagement. The revenue from Instagram’s ads are paid at 55% to the creator and 45% to Instagram.
Soon after America’s national quarantine began, D-Nice played an Instagram Live DJ set for 150,000+ simultaneous viewers. About half a year later, Brandy and Monica‘s Verzuz battle was viewed by 700 percent more people. In the case of Brandy and Monica’s event, the combined net worth of the brands and sponsorships involved total $1.4 trillion. The support of live streaming from such major corporate players speaks to the power and potential it has.
Somewhere in between these massive successes, there exists a world of working DJs trying to figure out how to live stream sets for either fun or as a source of income. Thankfully, it appears that an industry is forming around live music streaming. Ideally, that industry’s success quickly trickles to the place where rights holders and platforms can discuss equitable ways to allow for DJs to spin music without fear of punishment.
The NAMM Show. (Source: Instagram)
Fearing that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will stretch into next year, NAMM announced this week that their 2021 music equipment trade show would be replaced with the Believe In Music Week virtual event. The online-only event will be held during the week of January 18, 2021.
Believe in Music Week will feature a blend of signature NAMM events and special creative initiatives. These include The Grand Rally for Music Education, GenNext, Music Education Days, and the Nonprofit Management Institute. As well, the NAMM Foundation will host a series of “inspirational, leadership, and support-based” online events featuring leaders in the music education, collegiate, K-12, community, and nonprofit sectors offering numerous problem-solving solutions regarding the multiple challenges of the current era.
Regarding the switch from real-time activities, NAMM’s executive team notes, “[g]iven the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety of NAMM members as our priority, it is now clear there is no path forward for an in-person event in California, and we have made the difficult decision to cancel The 2021 NAMM Show.”
They go on to say, “while we are disappointed that we will not be able to gather our NAMM family in-person this January, we are reimagining how to connect all facets of the industry while benefiting those most deeply impacted with the launch of Believe in Music: The Global Gathering to unify and support the people who bring music to the world.”
For more information, check out NAMM’s Believe in Music Week website here.
H/T: American Songwriter
DMX and Snoop Dogg’s Verzuz battle. (Source: Complex)
Verzuz has evolved from a fun way to listen to hit songs on Instagram Live during quarantine into “a cultural institution [reviving and sparking] new interest in hip-hop and R&B’s legacy songs and artists.” This quote is pulled from the latest edition of Billboard Magazine, which features the Swizz Beatz and Timbaland co-created concept as its cover story. However, most powerful to consider regarding Verzuz’s future is the impact of the event-related popularity surge known as the “Verzuz Effect.”
Verzuz’s explosive potential is transforming key areas of the music industry. April 20’s Teddy Riley vs. Babyface battle resulted in a 115% increase in on-demand streams for both artists combined. Babyface also saw both his Instagram followers jumped from 300,000 to 1 million, plus an increase in sample clearance requests.
Recently, the impact has moved past Instagram and solely streaming music platforms. For new Verzuz partner Apple Music, Verzuz’s placement there has resulted in a reported over half a million concurrent views for each battle, the most-watched of any livestreams held on the platform.
Also, since Memorial Day, Diageo — Ciroc vodka‘s parent company — has signed on as a multimillion-dollar sponsor. Moreover, as also revealed in Billboard, if artists endorse, Apple Music, Diageo’s liquor brands, or any of the other forthcoming potential sponsors, Verzuz will offer artists payment for their battle time.
Already, Verzuz has — via Apple and Diageo — brands worth a Forbes-estimated $1.4 trillion already on board. What has developed during a global pandemic and one of the most shocking eras in the history of modern music is clearly impressive.
Latin and African pop-specific Verzuz battles are reportedly also on the horizon. Key to note here is Apple Music’s recent desire to engage in expansion in the African marketplace. As well, “Latin Music Is Growing Faster Than Overall U.S. Music Market” reads an April Rolling Stone headline. Attaching Verzuz to that growth could have gigantic possibilities, especially for that culture’s classic reggaeton, bachata, and salsa superstars.
“People need to be educated and celebrated. That’s why we say we’ve got a long runway with this thing,” Swizz Beatz notes. Creatives playing music hits over poor Instagram Live connections in the name of avoiding boredom has blossomed into a trillion-plus dollar industry. The “Verzuz Effect” has, and will continue to yield radical, industry-shifting consequences.
Vice, Beatsource, and DJcity’s Beyond The Music Retreat has returned for a second year. The Beyond the Music Retreat 2020 Mid-Year Check In will take place virtually, in the form of a free webinar series being held every Thursday in August. The webinars feature a variety of topics relevant to DJs from some of the most respected names in the industry.
Check out the schedule below and register for the Beyond the Music Retreat 2020 Mid-Year Check In here.
Related Post: Watch the ‘Beyond the Music Retreat’ Documentary
(Source: National Independent Venue Association)
The “Save Our Stages Act,” a bipartisan bill that aims to provide economic relief for independent music venues affected by COVID-19, was introduced to the United States Congress earlier this week. The bill was co-authored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) in response to concerns raised by the National Independent Venue Association.
The bill calls for $10 billion, spread over the next six months, to be made available in the form of Small Business Administration grants. Applicants will be eligible for up to 45% of their 2019 operating costs or $12 million, whichever is less.
In order to reserve funds for those hit hardest by the pandemic, the “Save Our Stages Act” strives to “narrowly define independent live venue operators, promoters, and talent representatives to prevent large, international corporations from receiving federal grant funding.”
According to concert industry publication Pollstar, venues are at risk of losing a combined $8.9 billion in revenue if they were to remain closed for the rest of the year. NIVA’s Adam Hartke issued a statement, saying:
“While existing government assistance programs have helped other industries, they weren’t tailored to meet the needs of small businesses like ours that have zero revenue, enormous overhead and no visibility into when we can fully re-open. The Save Our Stages Act will provide the assistance we need to get through the shutdown until we can reopen safely and once again become the economic generators for our communities that we’ve always been.”
H/T: Rolling Stone
Rosalia performs at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Source: Instagram)
Billboard has announced new dates for the 30th anniversary of Latin Music Week, the largest and longest-running event in the Latin music industry. The event was originally scheduled for April 20 to 23 in Las Vegas but was postponed due to COVID-19. It will now be happening virtually from October 20 to 23.
Additional participants and schedules will be announced in the coming weeks. Check out the Billboard Latin Music Week website for more information and to RSVP.
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