Category Archives: Music Business


Sam Smith Acknowledges Similarities Between “Stay With Me ” and “Won’t Back Down”, Tom Petty Awarded Songwriting Royalties

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According to Consequence of Sound, Sam Smith’s hit song “Stay With Me” now has a new co-writer.  Well, two new co-writers – rockstar, Tom Petty and singer-composer, Jeff Lynne.

One source close to the case said, “When Sam’s track was originally released, it was clear to a lot of musicians that there were notable similarities between the tracks,” referring specifically to melodies of the respective choruses. “After it was pointed out to Sam’s camp, they didn’t try to fight it and amicably dished out royalties. It wasn’t a deliberate thing, musicians are just inspired by other artists and Sam and his team were quick to hold up their hand when it was officially flagged.”

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An Interesting Thought Experiment on How Spotify Can Play Nice With (And Potentially Save) The Record Business

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Spotify is hurting artists!!! No, No, Spotify is helping artists!!! There has been enough public debate on this that I don’t have to go into much detail about it.

What I can accurately say is the problem with Spotify is only partly Spotify’s fault, isn’t it?  The other part of the problem is us – the Gen-Y music listener who is, selfishly, expecting free music after spendingt their formative years in the golden age of Napster.   To address the issue and offer room(s) for improvement,  Startup Musician has put together a pretty convincing, three-step proposal that imagines the future of the streaming behemoth.

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Label Spotlight: Beggars Banquet Records

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Awakened by the DIY aesthetics of punk, in 1977 Beggars Banquet transitioned from a small chain of independent record shops in West London into a record label. Their first release was a 7” single by The Lurkers called ‘Shadow / Love Story’. In the early 80’s Beggars had hits with Gary Numan and Tubeway Army and have since released music by The Charlatans, The Cult, Luna, The National and St. Vincent.

In 2008, Beggar’s Banquet stopped signing new acts and transitions again, becoming what is now The Beggars Group, an umbrella group of iconic indie record labels. Currently Beggars Group is the largest, most influential independent group of labels in Europe with 4AD, Matador Records, Rough Trade Records, XL Recordings and Young Turks as their core labels.

Playlists_Logo_FULL Sells To Warner Music Group’s WEA

By | Music Business | No Comments, an online community where Spotify users share their playlists with others has been acquired by WEA subsidiary of Warner Music Group. The platform will continue operating independently after the deal whose financial details have not been disclosed, according to the press release.

Newcastle, England-based company was launched in 2009 as ShareMyPlaylists, and renamed as in 2013. It has claimed 1 million users, 150K playlists and 4.5 million listening sessions per month in the first half of  2014.

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Vol 2 - Tread Lightly, Advances are Loans

Music Business Guide: Tread Lightly, Advances Are Loans

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We’ve all heard stories about start-up artists having independent hits, signing big deals and presumably living on easy street, right? Wrong. From time to time there will be an artist who signs a multi-million dollar deal,  however, to be clear, that money is what is called an advance and advances have to be paid back, just like loans.  Though these advances are not usually paid back in cash from the artist’s pocket, they are paid back from the royalties the artist’s music will continue to earn (hopefully) overtime.

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Label Spotlight: Sub Pop

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Most famously, Sub Pop is the label responsible for introducing the world to Grunge through Nirvana and popularizing both with enormous success.  During this period Sub Pop founders, Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, turned a sleepy North Western Coastal city (Seattle) into a Mecca of head-banging youth culture. Read More

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Music Business Guide: Starting Out, Deal Makers and What To Do

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This post is the first of many to come in a series that I hope will educated bands, managers, songwriters, producers, musicians and any other budding music professional about the large, and often confusing animal that is the music industry.  My belief is that by democratizing as much information as possible, the music business will thrive with a new wave of educated, independent-minded professionals. 

Let’s assume that you have exceptional talent. Awesome! As you may know, however, talent does not always lend itself to immediate success in the music biz.  There are the rare occasions but most of the “stars” you may aspire to became have achieved their heights through honing their craft, having a great plan, and assembling the right team to achieve their goals.  In a mercurial business like the music business, where tastes are constantly changing, having a clear idea of who you are as an artist or band and the right people around you is paramount to success.  Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed but the right mix of sound personalities makes all the difference in the pursuit of “making it” as an artist, producer, songwriter, musician or band.   Which brings me to my next point, what does “making it” look like to you? Read More

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Label Spotlight: XL Recordings

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For Over 20 years London-based XL Recordings has been introducing audiences to new and interesting music.  The label was founded in 1989 to release techno, garage, drum & bass and other forms of rave music.  After taking control of the company in 1993, co-founder turned sole-owner Richard Russell has broadened the musical horizons of XL with the core mission of championing artists he regards as original and inventive.  This vision has allowed XL to curate a diverse and interesting roster of artists that range in genre and commercial success.  From the multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning, songstress ADELE to the underground, eclectic, bedroom producer Jai Paul, XL Recordings continues to develop the careers of music’s most unique creators.

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PCMusic at NXNE 2014: A Retrospective.

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PCMusic recently attended Toronto’s very own NXNE (North by Northeast Festivals and Conferences), a Canadian festival destination for emerging artists and major-label headliners, filmmakers, hilarious comedians, visual artists, and innovators bridging the gap between technology and the arts. Showcasing Music, Film, Art, Comedy and Interactive Panels from industry professionals, NXNE is considered to be one of the most anticipated summer music festivals in Canada.

Along with playing on the Sunday night at 1:00am with my band, I was fortunate enough to attend a number of amazing panels held by some very smart, industry leading professionals.
Ultimately, the goal was to investigate new leads and developments in the always changing music-marketing industry, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of our competition, and ultimately network and share knowledge with other professionals in the field. I’m going to outline some of the key panels I attended that may have some benefit to us as professional curators at PCMusic.

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Climbing The Billboard Charts With A 12 Digit Code: All You Need To Know About ISRCs

By | Advice, Music Business | No Comments

Ever wonder how singles and albums end up on the Billboard charts? Aside from exceptional talent, having a great record to sell and a killer marketing plan, the ranks of the chart are all the work of ISRCs. International Standard Recording Codes (ISRC) are 12-digit alphanumeric codes that function as an internationally recognized system to identify recorded music tracks and music videos.

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Stompin’ Tom Connors February 9th, 1936 – March 6th, 2013

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Since Canada was birthed as an experiment of two cultures attempting to co-exist as a means of survival, many have struggled with the question of what it is to be “Canadian”.  If you asked that question of 10 different people, you’d likely get 10 different answers.  You’d almost certainly hear the words “snow”, “Tim Hortons”, “Health Care” and “polite”.  This is often how we like to view ourselves, or, at least, market ourselves.  It’s a nice way to see ourselves, like that one mirror in your house you can always count on to give you the reflection you’d most like to see.

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