Big Loud Mountain Records Adds VP, Radio Promotion

Bart Allmand

Bart Allmand

Big Loud Mountain Records has added Bart Allmand to the BLM team as Vice President of Radio Promotion. Allmand will report directly to the company’s four partners – Craig Wiseman, Joey Moi, Kevin “Chief” Zaruk and Seth England. Allmand can be reached at [email protected] or at 615-476-2726.
“Since the day we started Big Loud Mountain, we have dreamed of hiring a radio promotion veteran,” shares England. “We are beyond excited that Bart Allmand has decided to rejoin the radio promotion community and make Big Loud Mountain his home. Bart has a very successful resume in radio and we look forward to watching him guide our team.”
Allmand began his career at 16th Avenue Records working in promotion, covering secondary markets for acts such as Charlie Pride and Canyon (Lonestar). Soon he was hired by RCA as Mid-West Promotion Manager where he worked the label’s roster including Clint Black, Alabama, Martina McBride, Restless Heart, Don Williams, Robert Ellis Orrall and K.T. Oslin. In 1994, Allmand formed 3rd Coast Entertainment, a promotion and marketing group. After three years, he was offered a great opportunity to start up Monument Records as National Director of Promotion where he was instrumental in breaking one of country music’s top acts, the Dixie Chicks, in addition to working with Yankee Grey and Jeffrey Steele. While out with Jeffrey Steele, he formed a friendship that later turned into a new career opportunity, pursuing his lifelong dream of being a songwriter. After earning several cuts on major releases and a No. 1 hit, Allmand is ready to return to radio. A native of Holdredge, Nebraska, Allmand made the move to Nashville in 1987.
Big Loud Mountain is an independent music company that provides in-house publishing, management and production. The company successfully launched the career of Florida Georgia Line, who started as an independent duo and skyrocketed to stardom since releasing four consecutive, multi-week No. 1 smashes in the US and Canada with Gold-certified hits “Stay” and “Round Here,” Platinum-certified “Get Your Shine On” and breakout debut “Cruise,” which has sold over 6.8 million downloads in the US alone and is the best-selling digital Country single of all time according to SoundScan.

DISClaimer (2/5/14)

hunter hayes1111

Hunter Hayes

Nashville’s Country music makers are doing everything they can to brighten this dreary winter. Rhonda Vincent, Darius Rucker and Joel Crouse are at the forefront of a parade of sounds tailored to perk you up. The Disc of the Day prize goes to Hunter Hayes for a message song with melody in spades. This week, the DisCovery Award is shared by two equally promising young men. Native Texan and former competitor on The Voice Curtis Grimes is one of them, and scruffy Canadian country rocker Marshall Dane is the other.
JOEL CROUSE/Why God Made Love Songs
Writers: Joel Crouse/Jamie Houston/Jimmy Yeary; Producer: Jamie Houston; Publishers: Stafford Road/Seven Peaks/John & Nancye’s Son’s/EMI Blackwood/Beattyville/Great Day at This, BMI/ASCAP; Show Dog
-Crouse’s second single fulfills the promise of his winning debut. As before, he exudes youthful verve. Hallmarks of this dandy disc include an upbeat lyric, stacked vocal harmonies, irresistible rhythm and a sing-along chorus.
Writers: Jaren Johnston/Heather Morgan; Producers: Kenny Greenberg/Chad Cromwell/Publishers: Sony ATV Harmony/Texa Rae/Sony ATV Tree, ASCAP/BMI; Curb (CDX)
-This jaunty toe-tapper has loads of catchy, crunchy stuff in the production. Her coy, saucy vocal has personality to spare. Endearing.
SHERRY LYNN/Girls Will Be Girls
Writers: Ashley Gorley/Bryan Simpson/Kelley Lovelace; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Steal Heart
-She’s aiming to get into trouble as soon as she can. The rocking — if somewhat “busy” — track is in complete agreement.
Curtis Grimes

Curtis Grimes

Writers: Trent Willmon/Brent Rupard; Producer: Trent Willmon; Publishers: ASCAMP/Barns and No Bull/Amplified/House of Sea Gayle, ASCAP; AMP (track)
-Hearty singing, dynamic percussion and searing guitar solos are just three of the ingredients that make this insistent pile driver an instant ear grabber. This fellow has the goods.
Writers: Billy Yates/Roger Brown; Producers: Rhonda Vincent/Buddy Cannon; Publishers: Warner-Tamerlane/Green Ivy, BMI; Upper Management
-Rhonda’s new double CD has one disc of country and one disc of bluegrass. The package’s title tune is on the bluegrass disc and features her lustrous, flawless singing as well as her band’s silvery instrumental work. Willie’s behind-the-beat phrasing, deft harmonizing and distinctive guitar picking alongside the grassers’ lickety-split licks make for fascinating listening. Definitely a pin-your-ears-back moment.
Writers: Debbie Cochran; Producer: Kent Wells; Publisher: DMC Anniston; BMI; Go Time (track)
-Her warm, resonant alto is super compelling. In the ballad’s lyric, he’s drifting away from her, and you hang on every word. Vibrantly listenable.
Writers: Hunter Hayes/Bonnie Baker/Katrina Elam; Producers: Dann Huff/Hunter Hayes; Publishers: Songs of Universal/Happy Little Man/Play Fairchild/Devon/Katrinkadink, BMI/ASCAP; Atlantic
-Introduced by Hunter at the Grammy Awards, this soaring song is addressed to bullying victims everywhere. Dare to be different. Don’t be afraid to be an outcast. Trust your heart. March to your own drummer. Because someday all the pain you’re going through now will have vanished. Amen, brother.
Writers: Katie Armiger/Mallary Hope; Producer: Chad Carlson; Publishers: Purple Monkeys/Sony ATV, SESAC/BMI; Cold River
-She’s singing as well as ever. But this listless, meandering, hookless song does her no favors.
marshall dane111

Marshall Dane

Writers: Darius Rucker/Frank Rogers; Producer: Frank Rogers; Publishers: Universal/Cadaja/House of Sea Gayle, ASCAP; Capitol Nashville
-The spark has gone out of their relationship, and Darius sings of it with sadness, yearning and passion. This extremely well-produced power ballad is beautifully melodic and evocative.
Writers: Kim Williams/Billy Yates; Producer: Dan Brodbeck; Publishers: Warner-Tamerlane/Green Ivy/Sony ATV Cross Keys/Triple Cross, BMI/ASCAP; Gold Lake
-This barroom rocker kicks serious butt. When booze is spilled in the roadhouse brawl, it’s alcohol abuse. The country-rock tempo is frothing and furious; the band is firing on all cylinders; the chorus harmonies are joyous; the clever lyric name-checks every cocktail you’ve ever heard of. Play it again.

Herring Named Sr. VP, Promotion at WMN

Kevin Herring

Kevin Herring

Warner Music Nashville (WMN), the Nashville-based recorded music operation of Warner Music Group (WMG), today announced the appointment of Kevin Herring to Senior Vice President, Promotion, and Kristen Williams to Vice President, Promotion. Herring—who will report directly to Peter Strickland, Executive Vice President & General Manager, WMN—will oversee all radio promotion on behalf of WMG’s country divisions, which include Atlantic, Elektra, and Warner Bros. He previously served as Vice President, Promotion, and replaces Chris Stacey who is leaving the company. Williams will report to Herring.

“I feel like Espo and Peter Strickland have given me the keys to the Ferrari!” said Herring. “Being able to lead the Warner Music Nashville promotion team is a true honor and privilege that I do not take lightly. I am surrounded by the most talented promotion people in the business—which includes our newly appointed Vice President of Promotion, Kristen Williams along with her counterpart, Chris Palmer—but most importantly we work with the best music and artists on the planet.”

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to work for Warner Music Nashville for over 10 years and to be recognized for my efforts in this way is truly an honor,” said Williams. “I’m humbled by John Esposito, Peter Strickland and Kevin Herring’s confidence in me and am extremely excited to work alongside them, as well as this exceptional staff and artist roster. 2014 is going to be an amazing year!”
warner logo1“Kevin and Kristen are amazing promotion executives and it is beyond a pleasure to work with them,” said John Esposito, President & CEO, WMN. “The relationships they have with our artists and radio partners are unparalleled, and Warner Music Nashville is very lucky to have them and Chris Palmer at the helm of our promotion efforts.”
Prior to WMN, Herring served as Vice President, Promotion, for EMI and spent 13 years as Vice President of Promotion for Disney’s Lyric Street Records. Herring is a 30-year veteran of the music industry whose previous stints also included Mercury Nashville. His career started in radio at WWWW in Detroit, MI.
Williams first joined Warner Music Nashville in 2003 as Manager, Secondary Promotion. From there, she climbed the ranks to Regional Promotion Manager and, most recently, Director, National Promotion.

T.J. Martell, Warner Music Nashville, Clear Channel Donate To Ingram Cancer Center

The TJ Martell Foundation, Warner Music Nashville, and Clear Channel presented a check to the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center for the FTL Sarcoma Fund that was recently created in memory of WMN’s W.A.R. promo rep Lindsay Walleman, who passed away from Sarcoma last spring.

Pictured (L-R): John Esposito, CEO & president of Warner Music Nashville, Kimsey Kerr, Special Events coordinator of Clear Channel, Michael Bryan, program director, The BIG 98 WSIX, Emily Bermann, senior promotions manager of Clear Channel, Candace Price, special events director of Clear Channel, Annette & George Walleman, Lindsay’s parents,  John Huie, T.J. Martell Foundation Board President, Dr. Christine Lovely, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Jordan Petitt, national director of promotion of Warner Music Nashville, Chris Palmer, vice president of promotion of Warner Music Nashville, and Tyler Reese, APD/MD/Afternoons for BIG 98 WSIX.

Pictured (L-R): John Esposito, CEO & president of Warner Music Nashville; Kimsey Kerr, Special Events coord. of Clear Channel; Michael Bryan, program director, The BIG 98 WSIX; Emily Bermann, Sr. promotions manager of Clear Channel; Candace Price, special events director of Clear Channel; Annette & George Walleman, Lindsay’s parents; John Huie, T.J. Martell Foundation Board President; Dr. Christine Lovely, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center; Jordan Petitt, national director of promotion of WMN; Chris Palmer, VP of promotion of WMN; and Tyler Reese, APD/MD/Afternoons for BIG 98 WSIX. Photo: Randi Radcliff

CMA Honors Songwriters With Triple Play Awards

Back row (L-R): Jimmy Robbins; Rhett Akins; Ben Hayslip; Dallas Davidson; Tomlinson; CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern; Luke Laird; Natalie Hemby; Shane McAnally, who is also a member of the CMA Board; CMA Board member Rob Beckham. Front row (L-R): Chris DeStefano; Hunter Hayes; Troy Verges.

Back row (L-R): Jimmy Robbins; Rhett Akins; Ben Hayslip; Dallas Davidson; Troy Tomlinson; CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern; Luke Laird; Natalie Hemby; Shane McAnally, who is also a member of the CMA Board; CMA Board member Rob Beckham. Front row (L-R): Chris DeStefano; Hunter Hayes; Troy Verges.

The CMA Triple Play Awards were handed out at today’s (Feb. 4) Fifth Annual CMA Songwriters Luncheon at Marathon Music Works. Fifteen of Nashville’s top tunesmiths received the award, which is presented to songwriters who pen three chart-topping hits in a 12-month period.
“I am thrilled to be able to host this event once again,” said Troy Tomlinson, former CMA Chairman of the Board and President, and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Nashville. “Any opportunity I am afforded to honor songwriters is one that I look forward to with much respect and excitement.”
“Songwriters are the foundation of this industry,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “The words they write touch our hearts. They make us laugh, cry, and dance. I want to congratulate all of the Triple Play Award winners for their amazing accomplishments.”
Attending today’s luncheon were honorees Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley, Hunter Hayes, Ben Hayslip, Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Jimmy Robbins, and Troy Verges. Also in attendance were hit tunesmiths from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, as well as songwriter members of CMA and representatives of some of the most successful publishers in Music City.
Songwriters Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins were awarded two Triple Play Awards during the ceremony as both had six songs make it to the top spot on the charts.
Absent from today’s ceremony were honorees Josh Kear and Hillary Lindsey.
In alphabetical order, the recipients of CMA’s Triple Play Award included:

  • Rhett Akins: “Boys ‘Round Here,” “Point At You,” “Hey Girl”
  • Rodney Clawson: “One of Those Nights,” “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” “Get Your Shine On,” “Crash My Party,” “Round Here,” “Southern Girl”
  • Dallas Davidson: “The One That Got Away,” “Boys ‘Round Here,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight”
  • Chris DeStefano: “Don’t Ya,” “Hey Girl,” “That’s My Kind of Night”
  • Ashley Gorley: “Crash My Party,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” “Don’t Ya”
  • Hunter Hayes: “Wanted,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” “I Want Crazy”
  • Ben Hayslip: “The Only Way I Know,” “Anywhere With You,” “Point At You”
  • Natalie Hemby: “Pontoon,” “Tornado,” “Downtown”
  • Josh Kear: “Two Black Cadillacs,” “Highway Don’t Care,” “Redneck Crazy”
  • Luke Laird: “Pontoon,” “One of Those Nights,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak”
  • Hillary Lindsey: “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain),” “Two Black Cadillacs,” “See You Again”
  • Shane McAnally: “Better Dig Two,” “Downtown,” “Mama’s Broken Heart”
  • Jimmy Robbins: “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” “It Goes Like This,” “We Were Us”
  • Chris Tompkins: “Drunk On You,” “Blown Away,” “One Of Those Nights,” “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” “Get Your Shine On,” “Round Here”
  • Troy Verges: “Wanted,” “Beer Money,” “I Want Crazy”

MusicRow Roundup (2/4/14)

Fletcher Foster

Fletcher Foster

Industry veteran Fletcher Foster has resigned from Red Light Management to pursue new opportunities. He can be reached at [email protected].
Foster spent over three years with Red Light, whose roster has grown with such artists as Alabama, The Mavericks, The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum. His career also includes time as a label executive and conceiving the first Leadership Music Digital Summit. Foster is also producer of Fox’s American Country Awards.

                                                                                                                                         • • •

Tamara Saviano

Tamara Saviano

Nashville music industry entreprenuer Tamara Saviano celebrates the publication of her memoir, The Most Beautiful Girl: A True Story of a Dad, a Daughter, and the Healing Power of Music with a hometown book reading on Thursday Feb. 13 at  6 p.m., at Howlin’ Books.
The event will also feature acclaimed musician Shawn Camp in an acoustic performance highlighting musical themes from the memoir. Howlin’ Books is located at 1702 8th Ave. S., next to Grimey’s New & Pre-Loved Music.
                                                                             • • •
gibson1In 2009 and 2011, federal agents raided Gibson Guitars under provisions of the Lacey Act, a wildlife and forest protection law. Federal agents confiscated the exotic wood used in Gibson guitars, but after the settlement, Gibson has their supplies back and are putting the wood supplies into a new line of guitars.
The company has unveiled the Gibson Government Series, along with a list price of $1,099. The website states the guitars are a way to “fight the powers that be.” Included in the series is the mahogany-bodied Government Series II Les Paul, a “striking new guitar from Gibson USA for 2014 that suitably marks this infamous time in Gibson’s history,” according to the website. For more information on the guitar series, visit

Brooks Adds Fourth Ireland Show

garth brooks ireland11An extra show is being added to Garth Brooks‘ upcoming comeback special event at Croke Park in Ireland. The comeback special was originally scheduled for two nights but due to the overwhelming demand for tickets, a third night was added and now a fourth.
The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event will take place on July 25-28. Tickets for the July 28 show go on sale this Thursday, Feb. 6, at 9 a.m. Tickets are €65.45. Tickets limited to six per person and can be purchased only at Ticketmaster.

MusicRowPics: Dan+Shay

dan+shay11Pennsylvania native Dan Smyers and Arkansas native Shay Mooney, better known as Dan+Shay, recently stopped by the MusicRow offices to perform songs from their upcoming debut album.
Together, the duo’s career has risen at lightening speed. Dan+Shay have been performing together for barely a year; in that time they have been signed to Warner Bros. Records, released the debut single “19 You + Me” that currently sits at No. 22 on the MusicRow Country Breakout chart, and will soon hit the road with Hunter Hayes and then Blake Shelton‘s Ten Times Crazier Tour, which also features The Band Perry and Neal McCoy.
Smyers and Mooney first met at a house party in a run-down area of Nashville, where Smyers lived at the time. “We had no heat and needed to keep warm, so we bought sheets and put them up in the living room,” Smyers recalled. Mooney added, “They had draped all these sheets everywhere so it looked pretty cool. You can imagine my surprise the first time I walked in.” The next day, Mooney and Smyers penned their first song together.
During the visit at MusicRow, Dan+Shay performed “19 You + Me,” their first single on Warner Music Nashville; Mooney and Smyers co-wrote the song with Danny Orton. They also offered a soulful cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” and the original tune “First Time Feeling” which was co-written with Ben Hayslip. “Getting to go into this room with songwriters whose songs you have listened to all your life is an accomplishment in itself,” said Smyers.
The duo’s forthcoming album was produced by Smyers and executive produced by Scott Hendricks.

MIDEM Blog—Mark Geiger on The Future of the Music Business

Mark Geiger

Mark Geiger discusses the future of the music business.

Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014:
It’s grey, windy and chilly in Cannes, but at MIDEM inside the Palais, there are heated discussions.
Mark Geiger, Global Head of Music, WME (USA), presented the fascinating and informative talk “20 Years of Pain. No More Fooling Around: The Definitive Future of the Music Business.” This was, by far, the most enlightening presentation at MIDEM.
Geiger stated that the record industry had a “chasm” when digital caused the industry to lose millions of dollars. “Part two of that chasm is coming. Change is already happening,” he said. “In the past, artists had it easy. Labels did the work of radio promotion, publicity and marketing, but now the artist is the marketer.”
Artists often bad-mouthed labels and some openly cheered when the power of labels was diminished, but artists must be careful what they wish for.
Geiger noted that “music files are a terrible experience” stating that “streaming is taking off. Files eat up computer memory, they cost a consumer and you can’t organize files.”
Geiger noted that the current “giants” like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, iTunes and Pandora “reach 500 million to one billion people,” an unheard of reach a decade ago. “Access models are big. Future music models are subscription based, like Beats, Spotify and Pandora. Files are dropping, physical CDs and DVDs are dropping. Music Service Providers (MSPs) are here and the labels must participate.”
If labels participate, noted Geiger, “a customer paying $10-15 a month—and these fees will increase over time—will generate more money than album sales and MSP money will dwarf past monies and the new music industry will be bigger than the old music industry.” An advantage of streaming product means the label will “have no packaging or return costs, customers can curate a library and there will be big earning with a high margin with catalog revenue.”
“It used to cost about $15 for an album and not many fans bought an album every month,” he continued. “With the MSP model, over a billion consumers could be paying that much each month.” The key, according to Geiger, will be “integrating billing with cell phone bills. It could be part of ‘added benefits’ for cell phone customers.”
Geiger noted that sales of CDs have gone from $40 billion to three billion during a period when iTunes has gone from $5 billion to $25 billion in revenue, premium radio from $1-2 billion, artist channels from $1-2 billion and music access from $54 to $135 billion.
“It is not a good future for files,” said Geiger. “Labels must believe there is more money from streaming.” Geiger noted that the new service, Beats, is “the first time that industry insiders said ‘This is the future.’ In the past, tech companies have guided the future. Companies that don’t know about music are leading the music business. They think in terms of customer access. We think in terms of artists.”
Geiger advised labels to “license music and engage in digital streaming” because the future of music is “access, access, access.” He said that labels must “make sure the metadata is in order and stop slowing down the music industry” and, if this is done, “we could have a $100 billion plus music industry.”
• • •
The panel “Fueled by Video Success” was hosted by Andrea Leonelli with Digital Music Trends (U.K.) and featured Jordan Berliant, head of Music Management with The Collective Music Group (USA); Brandon Martinez, CEO of INDMUSIC (USA); Tom Pickett, Vice President of YouTube Content (Google, USA), and Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of BPI and the BRIT Awards (U.K.).
Berliant stated that “there’s a huge change in what video is and what it represents. During the 1980s videos were to promote an act and their song but today a video is ‘The Thing.’” Martinez stated that “it is no longer an album cycle for acts, it’s a 12 month content cycle. Video must take fans behind the scenes because they want to know more than just a song.”
Tom Pickett from YouTube stated, “Seven or eight years ago, we made a big bet on the music industry. Video was almost dead then and we brought it back with a whole new model. Now, anyone can make and upload a video. We are all-in on music.”
Jordan Berliant stated that acts should ask of video, “Is it a promotion vehicle or a money maker? There are things we should be making money on that we’re not making money on. Videos can be a source of money but they’re not. I don’t blame Google or YouTube, it’s people making videos who don’t understand the consumer.”
Martinez noted that “Every new view of a video is going to lead to that viewer sharing that content.”
Pickett answered the charge that no one is making money from video stating, “In order to reach billions, the ad supported brand will reach that with the ad supported model so the brand can be built to monetize,” adding that “YouTube has paid over a billion dollars for video airplay.”
Berliant countered that “We’ve done too good a job teaching the consumer that it’s free.”
Pickett stated that “The paid subscription model has only worked in Scandanavia with Spotify because the charge is bundled with phone service.”
Addressing the idea of live streaming, Geoff Taylor stated that “We are going to stream the BRIT show. We found that most of the views are coming from outside the U.K. In the live stream we’re going to let fans watching voted on an award.”
The issue of streaming proved to be a contentious one, with YouTube’s Pickett noting that “60 percent of viewership comes from outside the market,” noting that a problem with live streaming is the different time zones around the world.
Berliant said, “We’ve done live streaming in the part with a Linkin Park show, but we face a problem because somewhere in the world it’s three in the morning while the concert is being held. The model that would work best is to have the live stream archived so fans can watch it when they want to.” The idea that fans don’t necessarily want to see something “live” but would rather watch it on their own time has proven to hold true.
During open questioning, an audience member confronted YouTube’s Pickett because Google has failed to take down pirate sites where consumers can download music for free. Geoff Taylor confirmed that the British Phonograph Industry (BPI), the trade organization for the U.K., sent 50 million notices to Google about pirate sites, including two million for a particular site and Google has failed to act. “When you know something is illegal, you should take it down,” Taylor said to Pickett. “If Google is going to have a productive relationship with the music industry, you need to do something about that.”
• • •
Lyor Cohen and

Tom Silverman (L) and Lyor Cohen.

Lyor Cohen, former head of Def Jam and Warner Bros. Records, was the keynote speaker to discuss his new venture, 300. Tom Silverman, head of Tommy Boy Records, hosted the event.
Cohen worked for a bank before he discovered rap music. He became a partner in Rush Management with Russell Simmons, then in 1984 joined Def Jam. In 1985 Rick Rubin, one of the founders of Def Jam, left for CBS and Cohen eventually filled the top seat there. From CBS, Cohen went to Warner Bros., where he headed the Interscope/Def Jam label. For the last 32 years, Cohen has lived each day “hoping I’ll meet the artist who will change my life and change popular culture. I’m really interested in watching an artist grow from nothing to successful.”
Cohen’s philosophy is: “Understanding magnificent is magnificent, but good is good. Good tricks you. You think you can make good great. But magnificent doesn’t happen that often and when you screw with good you get pulled out of position, and you miss the opportunity to find magnificent. Sign stars and don’t dust bums off.”
Cohen used the opportunity to announce a new partnership between 300 and Twitter.
• • •
The panel for “Who’s Investing In Music” was hosted by Allen Bargfrede, Executive Director of Rethink Music; with panelists Benji Rogers, CEO of Pledge Music (USA); and Mike Tunnicliffe, Chief Growth Officer of GroupM/WPP, the largest marketing company in the world.
Rogers noted that fans who donate to fund music projects fall into five levels: the casual fan donates about $68 per project, the next level is $182, followed by $344, the Digital Aficionado give about $402 per project, and those who want significant involvement give about $1,004. Rogers stressed that investing in bands with crowd sourcing entails the band involving fans in the “journey,” not just asking for money.
“You must give fans who source something to do,” said Rogers, “not just ‘attend my concert and buy my stuff.’ Most artists are creative but don’t think how their music will get to an audience and the impact it will have on them.” Rogers said that for bands involved in crowd sourcing, they should ask every day, “What have I given my fans to do today?”
Rogers also warned that “a business has a thousand moving parts and having thousands of investors could cause problems.” A single large investor—or several large investors—could cause problems if the investors want to dictate what the band should record or how they present themselves.
Tunnicliffe stated that marketing companies invest in music because “it is an opportunity that can produce content and promotion for the millennial market,” who “will spend $10 trillion during their lifetime.” This involves “moving away from the traditional. We’re looking for an authentic way of reaching the market, a way to organically get engaged.” In terms of Return on Investment (ROI), “we measure that by sales, shifts in image of the brand, and how it affects the millennial audience. Brands are not in the business of becoming an artist, they’re in business to promote their brand.” In terms of a business wanting to create a label or financing the development of a band, the business does not want to be involved “because it’s not what we do.”
“The labels have traditionally dis-enfranchised themselves from fans because they ‘fear’ them,” said Rogers. “The connection to fans used to come from retailers” but, with the decline of retail outlets, “the label now has to connect with fans.”

MIDEM Blog—Artists Still Need Label Services

Indie panel at MIDEM featuring

Indie panel at MIDEM featuring Tommy Boy CEO Tom Silverman, Martin Goldschmidt with Cooking Vinyl Group, Kenny Gates with PIAS recordings, Emmanuel de Buretel with Because Music, and Colin Daniels with an Australian indie label.

Sunday, Feb. 2, 2o14
The International Association of Entertainment Lawyers held seminars all day on Sunday. The group is busy with legal wranglings over anti-piracy efforts.
In the United States, the major issue is the consent decree granted to ASCAP and BMI, which allows for blanket licenses to represent all of American song publishers. The issue has been contested because several publishers, starting with EMI, withdrew their new media rights from ASCAP and BMI and negotiated directly with iTunes. Others followed and then Pandora filed a motion against ASCAP to lower their fees. That has gone to court and a ruling could invalidate the earlier publisher withdrawals.
What is at stake is whether music publishers “can cherry pick what rights to license,” explained Deborah Newman, an attorney with MusicStrat, who spoke at the morning session. “The issue is now in freefall.” She said a possible outcome could be “the publishers give whatever rights they want to whoever they want.”
The other major legal issue facing American music publishers, according to Newman, is whether downloads from iTunes are sales or transfers.
Attorneys from around the world gave brief overviews of the major legal issues in their countries. Those issues tend to coalesce around anti-piracy, the taking down of web sites violating copyright law, and whether the consumer, the infringer or the intermediary (like the ISPs) should be the target.
• • •
A seminar on Independent labels was moderated by Tommy Boy CEO Tom Silverman (who also serves as Executive Director of the New Music Seminar) and featured Martin Goldschmidt with Cooking Vinyl Group in the U.K., Kenny Gates with PIAS recordings in Belgium, Emmanuel de Buretel with Because Music in France and the U.K., and Colin Daniels with an Australian indie label.
The panel confronted the belief that “artists don’t need labels,” and explained that musicians need “Artist Enabled Services.” Case in point, said Silverman, is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who won a Grammy and proclaimed from the stage they did it without a label. Macklemore had an entire team working with them because “you can’t achieve that level of sales and success by yourself,” said Silverman. “They say they don’t need a label but they needed partners to provide marketing, promotion and publicity and those are things that a label does. Now, the perception is that they did it all by themselves so every artist will believe they can do it on their own.”
The role of a label has changed a great deal, and an independent label “does what an artist doesn’t do, can’t do, or doesn’t want to do,” said Colin Daniels. “We do everything an artist needs done. We even promote concerts and handle merchandise.”
“We’re not a record company now,” echoed Silverman, “we are a music company.” Some who call themselves a record label are actually companies that provide services such as promotion, publicity, or publishing administration for a fee.
“At the end of the day,” said Kenny Gates, “it’s all about relationships. For a while everybody talked about DIY and you don’t need a label. But you need a partner. These artist and label services are partners—and that what a label does. You DO need a label!”
The indies are proud of the fact that they stick with an artist longer than the majors. “It takes five to seven years to break an artist,” said Emmanuel de Burstel with Because Music. “Major labels spend three or four months working an artist and if they don’t hit, they go on to someone else. They have so many artists and so much to do so if an artist doesn’t hit quickly, they drop them.”
Silverman touched on changes at the annual conference: “MIDEM used to be the center for licensing music all over the world. People came with headphones to listen to music for licensing deals. Now, labels make deals for multiple territories by striking a deal with iTunes… People now think that distribution is marketing, but unless you have a partner to help break an artist in a territory, you have nothing.”
Colin Daniel noted that “People used to come to MIDEM once a year to get licensing and distribution done. Now I travel all around the world during the year to get license and distribution deals.”
Daniel also told the story of an indie artist who is “the hardest working artist I’ve ever been involved with.” The artist used to busk wherever he played a show. Years later, the act sells out venues, has sold almost two million albums—but still busks in whatever town he’s in. “The difference now is that we have to hire security,” said Daniel.
Silverman noted that “tech companies are looking for content, not music.” Colin Daniel said he was comfortable dealing with Beats and Spotify “because they’re music people. Google isn’t music people. Spotify wants to work with us but Google just wants to use us.” Martin Goldschmidt with Cooking Vinyl Group, noted that YouTube is the fifth largest revenue stream at major labels so Google is paying for the use of music. Still, Google often comes up as the bad guy in many discussions. “Google monetizes attention—how many eyeball are watching—but they’re getting that attention from our music,” said Goldschmidt. “Facebook is using everything we do.” He also noted a decrease piracy in recent years because “people don’t need to pirate any more—they can get everything streamed or on YouTube.”
There have certainly been major changes in the music business during the last decade, but Colin Daniels insisted that “it comes down to music. That hasn’t changed and it never will.”