The Beat of Business: Music Business Blogs Digest – Sep 09, 2023

Welcome to the newest edition of The Beat of Business:, a digest dedicated to music business!

Today’s music world is not just about producing great tracks, but also about the art of spotting opportunities, inventing new methods, and understanding market trends. Entrepreneurs, whether they are successful musicians themselves or savvy business individuals behind the scenes, play a crucial role in driving the music industry forward. In this week’s edition, we’re going to explore a range of stories that highlight practical strategies and real-life experiences from those who have successfully navigated the entrepreneurial path in music.

UMG and Deezer announce game-changing artist-centric streaming model

By: Connor Edney,

Universal Music Group (UMG) and Deezer are collaborating to launch an artist-centric streaming model in France by the end of 2023, aiming to address the issues of the current streaming payment system which often favors top-tier artists. This innovative model prioritizes “professional artists” who have consistent engagement with fans, rewards content that genuinely resonates with listeners, and seeks to reduce algorithmic influence. Furthermore, Deezer plans to address “noise audio” by replacing it with their functional music and boosting their fraud detection system to ensure fair compensation. By introducing stricter content policies, Deezer aims to enhance user experience and maintain content quality. Both UMG and Deezer leadership stress the significance of this model in offering a more just compensation system for artists, adjusting to the challenges of the digital music era, and ensuring a superior listening experience for users. Read more

After All The Talk, “Artist-Centric” Streaming Royalties To Become A Reality

By: Bobby Owsinski,

After years of discussion about a user-centric streaming royalty model, where artists are paid based on individual user listening habits, Deezer and Universal Music Group (UMG) are set to introduce an “artist-centric” model with a unique approach. In the current pro-rata system, royalties are calculated using total subscription revenue divided by artists’ stream counts, leading to varying payouts per stream. The user-centric model ensures that if a user listens to an artist for 90% of their streaming time, that artist receives 90% of the user’s subscription fee. Deezer-UMG’s model further rewards “professional artists” (those with over 1,000 monthly streams from at least 500 unique listeners) with a “double boost” in royalties. While details on the “double boost” remain unclear, the aim is to benefit artists with a consistent fanbase, as songs actively sought out by fans will also get this boost. Deezer also plans to monetize non-musical “noise” content differently. The model will debut in France in late 2023, with other regions expected to adopt it in 2024. Read more

Don’t Trust Your Spotify Algorithm. Trust Your Heart.

By: Wayne Rosso,

Researchers at Claremont Graduate University in California are leveraging AI to predict hit songs using listeners’ heart rates, claiming a 97% prediction accuracy. They believe the physiological signals, like blood flow, can be interpreted as “immersion,” potentially revolutionizing how hits are forecasted, moving away from traditional metrics like “tempo” and “danceability”. However, critics caution about the complexity of human music taste, potential biases in machine learning, and concerns over data privacy. As wearable devices grow in popularity, they could recommend entertainment based on neural impulses, but users are warned to be cautious about how much personal data they’re willing to share. Read more

How to Use Livestreaming to Grow Your Music Career

By: ReverbNation,

Live streaming has emerged as a pivotal tool for musicians to connect with global audiences, offering an alternative or supplement to traditional touring. While platforms like TikTok, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are popular for this purpose, services like Restream allow streaming to multiple platforms simultaneously. Musicians can choose from various streaming formats, ranging from full band concerts to Q&A sessions and behind-the-scenes peeks. Monetization is possible through methods like virtual tip jars, selling exclusive merchandise, and garnering sponsorships. To maintain audience engagement, artists should diversify their streaming locations beyond just their living rooms, ensure they actively interact with fans, and continuously innovate in their offerings. The evolving nature of live streaming demands adaptability, but when used effectively, it can significantly boost a musician’s career and foster a dedicated fanbase. Read more

The Pros & Cons of Releasing Music as a Album, EP or Track By Track

By: Michael Brandvold Marketing,

In this episode of the Music Biz Weekly Podcast, the pros and cons of releasing music as an album, EP, or individual tracks are discussed. Listeners can download release planners and checklists to help with the decision-making process. Michael Brandvold and Jay Gilbert, both experienced music industry professionals, provide valuable insights and advice on music marketing. Read more

How Much Do Venues Take From Artist Merch Sales? Now We Have Some Revealing Data

By: Ashley King,

Musician Jeff Rosenstock breaks down the cuts taken by venues like AEG and Live Nation from artist merch sales on his upcoming tour. He reveals that some venues, such as DC’s 9:30 Club and New York City’s Terminal 5, take a minimum 20% cut on clothing merch, with additional fees on non-clothing items. Rosenstock challenges these venues to do better and explains that these high cuts force artists to sell their merch at higher prices. The data sheds light on the challenges faced by small-time artists when major entities like AEG and Live Nation own many venues. Read more

How To Use Submithub: An Interview with Founder, Jason Grishkoff

By: Ariel Hyatt,

SubmitHub is a platform designed for musicians seeking exposure, allowing them to submit their tracks to music bloggers, playlisters, and tastemakers for a fee. Its founder, Jason Grishkoff, emphasizes that it’s crucial for artists to manage their expectations when using the platform, given the high competition with over 500,000 artist profiles. It’s highlighted that the strength of an artist’s social media or streaming numbers is not a primary concern; instead, the focus is on the quality of the song. While SubmitHub caters to a variety of genres, artists are advised to carefully select their genre for optimal matches with curators. Recommendations include starting with a small number of credits, researching prior user experiences, and balancing submissions between smaller and larger curators. Tips from Cyber PR suggest spacing out submissions, picking genres with care, and reaching out to a diverse range of sources. Read more

5 best merch products to sell as a musician

By: Melanie Kealey,

Merchandise offers musicians a lucrative income stream and a meaningful way to connect with fans. Recognizing the specific preferences of your fanbase is key to determining the best merchandise. If you’re venturing into this realm, consider starting with five popular items: T-shirts, which are a staple for most fans and also promote your brand; Hoodies, a higher-priced item that can pave the way for other leisure wear; Hats, versatile and customizable items that can suit various seasons and age groups; Bags, particularly reusable tote bags that are eco-friendly and portable for live shows; and Drinkware, like mugs and tumblers with your band’s logo. It’s essential to diversify your merchandise over time and utilize platforms like Bandzoogle for seamless online selling and inventory management. Read more

Support Tours, Mental Health, the State of the Live Music Industry from a Booking Agent

By: Ari Herstand,

In this podcast episode, Ari Herstand interviews Daniel McCartney, a music agent at UTA, about the state of the live music industry and the importance of mental health for musicians. They discuss resources for musicians in need of mental health care, the current state of touring in 2023, opening slots for bands in larger shows, tour buy-ons for bands, and how to get an agent as a band. This insightful conversation sheds light on the challenges and opportunities in the live music industry and emphasizes the need for mental wellness in the music community. Read more

We can refuse to allow accessibility to become an afterthought


In the midst of global upheaval and the pandemic, Alexandra Ampofo, a promoter at Metropolis Music diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, highlights the glaring lack of visibility and representation for the disabled community in the live music industry. Drawing from personal experiences of navigating her own health challenges and the societal modifications required for her safety, Ampofo points out the stark disparity: only 1.8% of music industry professionals identify as disabled, contrasting with 18% in the broader UK population. This under-representation hinders inclusivity and empathy. The need is not to pressurize individuals to disclose their disabilities, but to foster an environment where such dialogues are normalized and individuals, irrespective of their disabilities, can seamlessly integrate into the music industry. Ampofo advocates for the essential role of disability representation in challenging stereotypes, promoting inclusivity, and driving societal change. She concludes by sharing her participation in a podcast addressing the Black, disabled experience in the UK music sector, urging for collective action towards more inclusivity. Read more

From SOUR to GUTS: Olivia Rodrigo’s Journey into Global Pop Stardom

By: Saleah Blancaflor,

Olivia Rodrigo, following her massive breakout with the album “SOUR”, which skyrocketed due to the success of songs like “drivers license”, has released her anticipated second studio album “GUTS”. Gaining prominence from her previous Disney roles, Rodrigo’s “SOUR” tracks resonated globally, especially on TikTok, leading to her winning multiple Grammy Awards. While originally celebrated by Gen Z for her relatability, Rodrigo’s musical influences from the early 2000s pop-punk and emo genres have also drawn millennial audiences. Her sound has drawn comparisons to Taylor Swift and Paramore, with some controversies around song similarities. Recently, she has been teasing tracks from “GUTS”, with songs such as “vampire” achieving instant success, suggesting the new album might affirm her position in pop star history. Read more

Americana Music Association Announces 2023 Lifetime, Trailblazers and Legacy Award Honorees

By: Music Connection,

The Americana Music Association has announced the honorees for its 22nd Annual Americana Honors & Awards show. The Lifetime Achievement, Trailblazer, and Legacy Awards will be given to The Avett Brothers, George Fontaine Sr., Patty Griffin, Bettye LaVette, and Nickel Creek. The awards ceremony will take place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, as part of the association’s annual AMERICANAFEST. The honorees have made significant contributions to the American roots music genre and have changed the music industry landscape. Tickets for the event are now on sale. Read more

Oztix Founders Saluted at Bigsound For Outstanding Contribution

By: Lars Brandle,

Oztix, Australia’s leading independent ticketing specialist, has been honored with the award for Outstanding Contribution to the music industry at Bigsound 2023. Co-founders Brian “Smash” Chladil and Stuart Field were recognized for their 20 years of dedication to supporting music industry events and their contribution to the culture and business hub of Bigsound. Oztix recently acquired competitor Local Tickets and now boasts 4,000 events on sale across the country, employing over 50 staff and injecting over $350 million into the Australian economy this year. Read more


As we conclude this week’s edition of The Beat of Business, we hope the stories and insights shared have shed light on the diverse, challenging, and rewarding journey of music entrepreneurship. Stay tuned for our next issue, where we will continue to explore the ever-evolving world of music through the lens of entrepreneurship.

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