Sunday, November 4, 2018






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Attendees at the Slush Music conference in Helsinki this morning may have turned up expecting to hear The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen telling them why the music industry is broken, and how he’s going to fix it. That was, after all, the title of his session. It was a red herring.
“Once a week somebody comes into my office to tell me ‘the music business is broken and I know how to fix it’. And I started thinking about that a bit, and I couldn’t find the reason it was broken,” he said, by way of introduction.
“I looked at the labels. Is it broken for the major labels? I looked at the charts: they seem to have all the hits, they have the back catalogue. Doesn’t seem to be broken for them. The independent community is thriving and their market share is growing every year. It doesn’t seem to be broken for the record labels.”
Cohen suggested that the music industry actually handled its 15-year decline in revenues “very well” in terms of cutting costs, preparing for the return of growth, and now scaling up again when it arrived. “They didn’t go out of business. It’s not broken for record companies,” he said.
“And then I looked at artists? Is the music industry broken for them? You think Justin Bieber doesn’t make any fucking money, poor guy?! I think artists make more money now than ever before. We’re talking about not just the recordings, but their touring, their merchandise.
“If you’re a big artist today and you have a following, people will literally pay you for it. If you have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook followers, brands will pay you a fortune to reach your audience. This is the best time ever to be an artist. You certainly wouldn’t want to go back to the days when artists got these single-digit royalty rates and were screwed out of all their money. Remember those stories? It doesn’t exist any more. Artists are at the top of the food chain making more money than ever before.”
Cohen moved on to the streaming services. “100 million subscribers and going up. It doesn’t sound broken. People will throw around ‘Oh Spotify doesn’t make a profit’. Who cares? That’s not the business they’re in right now. Last I checked, their valuation is $16bn. What was the value of the company five years ago? I would say if I’m an investor in Spotify, it’s amazing. It’s not broken.”
“There’s lots of headroom. If I was an investor in them and they said ‘I’m going to start taking profits, I’d say then you’re not using your money right. This is a growth phase of the business. it’s not a time to settle in and take profits. It’s not a little mom-and pop-industry. This is a big, scalable industry. And if you’re a record label or the music industry in general working with these services, you’re getting 70% of the revenue. So it’s certainly not broken with the new services.”
Cohen moved on to the situation for music fans? “This is the greatest time ever to be a music fan. You have the entire history of the recorded music industry at your fingertips. You can pay a monthly subscription fee, you can pay per item, you can get it for free. You can get physical… It doesn’t matter how you want it, you can get music any way possible for any price point that suits you. And you have no problem discovering music,” he said.
Cohen took a jab at heritage artists complaining that the industry is broken for them. “Maybe, but maybe we just don’t want their new album any more. They were popular in the 80s, the 90s or the early part of this century. and we’ve moved on,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean they’re bad people, but the public wants different music. It’s not that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the business model because they’re not making as much money as they once did… Artists that were big in the 50s weren’t big in the 60s. Artists that were popular in the 60s were not big in the 70s. But they didn’t complain it was because of the business model. It was just because that was the end of their career.”
Cohen also talked about the landscape for unsigned artists. “You can record virtually for free. You can do it on a laptop if you want, and you have access to markets. When I started the industry, if you were an independent artist you had no way to sell your music. You couldn’t get in to stores… You were not allowed to put your music in a store. But now any independent artist can make their music available to the world,” he said, noting that social networks and apps also help them communicate with their audience.
The thrust of Cohen’s speech was that while the music industry isn’t broken, that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges in the market, and opportunities to solve those challenges.
One of those: how will we market and promote music in a world of voice-enabled services: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri and their associated smart speakers as the gatekeepers for music discovery and consumption.
“This is where we need some thought… What happens in a voice-activation environment where you can’t see anything? You just have to speak. How are you going to market and promote? What will this change in the music industry? Will artists start changing the song titles to make them more searchable? Is it better to have a song title that says ‘running’ in it because that’s a highly-searched term? Does it become SEO instead of an artistic expression?” said Cohen.
On AR: “Imagine that the world now is having an information layer wrapped around it, kinda like the electrical grid. Everything will either contain information or you’ll be able to get the information out of it? What’s that going to mean for music?” he said. “We don’t need to fix the past: we need to go forward and say ‘wait a minute, what will that mean for music creators?’.”
As for VR:. “Music is also about experiences… You get people that say ‘Oh yeah, you can put on a VR headset and then you can watch a concert. You can look around and see the people next to you and the band on the stage’. Well I can just go to a concert! I don’t even have to put a headset on for that,” he said.
“If I put on a VR headset I want something that I can’t do in real life. I want something to blow my fucking mind! Not see a band on the stage. That I can do in real life. So what are the experiences that you’re going to create in a virtual reality environment?
“Think back to the early filmmaking when they put a camera on a tripod and they filmed a play, and then you were supposed to watch it. Well, that was fine, but then the craft of filmmaking came along and you made films differently than you made plays. I don’t want to put a VR headset on and listen to an album or watch a concert. I want a unique experience. And this is going to open up a whole new side of the industry.”
Finally, Cohen talked about big data and analytics, where he sees huge opportunities for an industry that has always thrived on metrics – chart positions, unit shipments, sales. But now with the torrent of streaming data, the industry must get smarter at understanding what’s happening, and the triggers driving it.
Cohen warned that current analytics tell us a lot about the past: what happened on Spotify – the streams, the skips, the saves to people’s libraries. “But we need to go into a new world where we’re looking forward. If I have this information, what does it mean? What am I supposed to do? If you get added on Spotify’s New Music Friday, that’s amazing for Friday, but what happens next week? What are you supposed to do next week? What does the data tell you? If you don’t know how to answer that, you’re going to be struggling in the industry,” he said.
“In the old world, if you had a song played on the radio and it got into heavy rotation, you knew what to do… you booked some TV appearances, you get some more articles, you ship extra units to the stores because you know you’re going to sell them. You book a headline tour, you increase the size of the venue you’re going to play. You know what to do next. But I’m not sure everyone knows what to do next now. When things happen for you online, what do you do next?”
Cohen concluded. “The music industry is not broken, it never was broken, and it doesn’t need to be fixed. It is an amazing industry, it’s the best time ever to enter it, there’s huge opportunities and problems that need to be solved, but having problems that need to be solved is very different from saying the music industry is broken,” he said.
Cohen was then joined by Peter Vesterbacka, formerly of Angry Birds developer Rovio, for a discussion of those next steps, including his views on those new AR and VR experiences. Cohen said he’s hoping for “a world of dynamic recording” where music can change and morph over time, and according to who’s listening to it – but still with the artist as the creative force.
“There’s so many amazing, talented artists, songwriters, performers, but for me personally it’s been a long time since I saw something new when I went ‘holy shit, that’s new’,” he said.
“I’m waiting for young artists, tech companies, music companies… rather than just to put a song out there, to say ‘We’re going to create a new experience that nobody’s done yet’. I’m waiting for that, and I want it to be a young artist. There’s nothing wrong with the older artists, but it should be someone who’s 18 years old who grew up in the 21st century and says ‘I’m not going to do it like my parents did it. I’m going to create something new’.”
He later returned to the theme. “In 2017, I don’t even need a physical manifestation of an instrument to produce music. I just need to have great thoughts, amazing ideas and an iPhone, and I can be a creator. It is moving, so where will we be in five years? If today we can make music without an instrument, what will the next five, ten years look like?” he said.
“Who’s going to take it one step further than that, and create experiences – dynamic recordings that change over time, that change based on the user?”
Cohen also talked about his other current focus on ‘implantables’ via his Cyborg Nest startup, which has started out with a device designed to be embedded in your chest, which vibrates when facing north. What does this have to do with music though?
“I don’t want to use technology: I want to become technology. And as we become one with it, the experiences that we receive are going to change. What kind of experiences will come directly to me? Not through my eyes, not through my ears… Instead of having to look at a screen. I don’t want to put glasses or a headset on, or interfere with my hearing by putting on earbuds. I want experiences to come directly to me. And I don’t mean with a neural implant, I mean directly to my body,” he said.
“Like when you go to a nightclub and you feel the music, pushing on your chest with that bass. There’s other ways that you can experience creative ideas that can come to you, and it’s not just visuals and it’s not just sound… I think experiences are going to continue to be fundamental to the creative industries.”

Scott Cohen: ‘The music industry isn’t broken. It never was’ (#SlushMusic)





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Attendees at the Slush Music conference in Helsinki this morning may have turned up expecting to hear The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen telling them why the music industry is broken, and how he’s going to fix it. That was, after all, the title of his session. It was a red herring.
“Once a week somebody comes into my office to tell me ‘the music business is broken and I know how to fix it’. And I started thinking about that a bit, and I couldn’t find the reason it was broken,” he said, by way of introduction.
“I looked at the labels. Is it broken for the major labels? I looked at the charts: they seem to have all the hits, they have the back catalogue. Doesn’t seem to be broken for them. The independent community is thriving and their market share is growing every year. It doesn’t seem to be broken for the record labels.”
Cohen suggested that the music industry actually handled its 15-year decline in revenues “very well” in terms of cutting costs, preparing for the return of growth, and now scaling up again when it arrived. “They didn’t go out of business. It’s not broken for record companies,” he said.
“And then I looked at artists? Is the music industry broken for them? You think Justin Bieber doesn’t make any fucking money, poor guy?! I think artists make more money now than ever before. We’re talking about not just the recordings, but their touring, their merchandise.
“If you’re a big artist today and you have a following, people will literally pay you for it. If you have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook followers, brands will pay you a fortune to reach your audience. This is the best time ever to be an artist. You certainly wouldn’t want to go back to the days when artists got these single-digit royalty rates and were screwed out of all their money. Remember those stories? It doesn’t exist any more. Artists are at the top of the food chain making more money than ever before.”
Cohen moved on to the streaming services. “100 million subscribers and going up. It doesn’t sound broken. People will throw around ‘Oh Spotify doesn’t make a profit’. Who cares? That’s not the business they’re in right now. Last I checked, their valuation is $16bn. What was the value of the company five years ago? I would say if I’m an investor in Spotify, it’s amazing. It’s not broken.”
“There’s lots of headroom. If I was an investor in them and they said ‘I’m going to start taking profits, I’d say then you’re not using your money right. This is a growth phase of the business. it’s not a time to settle in and take profits. It’s not a little mom-and pop-industry. This is a big, scalable industry. And if you’re a record label or the music industry in general working with these services, you’re getting 70% of the revenue. So it’s certainly not broken with the new services.”
Cohen moved on to the situation for music fans? “This is the greatest time ever to be a music fan. You have the entire history of the recorded music industry at your fingertips. You can pay a monthly subscription fee, you can pay per item, you can get it for free. You can get physical… It doesn’t matter how you want it, you can get music any way possible for any price point that suits you. And you have no problem discovering music,” he said.
Cohen took a jab at heritage artists complaining that the industry is broken for them. “Maybe, but maybe we just don’t want their new album any more. They were popular in the 80s, the 90s or the early part of this century. and we’ve moved on,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean they’re bad people, but the public wants different music. It’s not that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the business model because they’re not making as much money as they once did… Artists that were big in the 50s weren’t big in the 60s. Artists that were popular in the 60s were not big in the 70s. But they didn’t complain it was because of the business model. It was just because that was the end of their career.”
Cohen also talked about the landscape for unsigned artists. “You can record virtually for free. You can do it on a laptop if you want, and you have access to markets. When I started the industry, if you were an independent artist you had no way to sell your music. You couldn’t get in to stores… You were not allowed to put your music in a store. But now any independent artist can make their music available to the world,” he said, noting that social networks and apps also help them communicate with their audience.
The thrust of Cohen’s speech was that while the music industry isn’t broken, that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges in the market, and opportunities to solve those challenges.
One of those: how will we market and promote music in a world of voice-enabled services: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri and their associated smart speakers as the gatekeepers for music discovery and consumption.
“This is where we need some thought… What happens in a voice-activation environment where you can’t see anything? You just have to speak. How are you going to market and promote? What will this change in the music industry? Will artists start changing the song titles to make them more searchable? Is it better to have a song title that says ‘running’ in it because that’s a highly-searched term? Does it become SEO instead of an artistic expression?” said Cohen.
On AR: “Imagine that the world now is having an information layer wrapped around it, kinda like the electrical grid. Everything will either contain information or you’ll be able to get the information out of it? What’s that going to mean for music?” he said. “We don’t need to fix the past: we need to go forward and say ‘wait a minute, what will that mean for music creators?’.”
As for VR:. “Music is also about experiences… You get people that say ‘Oh yeah, you can put on a VR headset and then you can watch a concert. You can look around and see the people next to you and the band on the stage’. Well I can just go to a concert! I don’t even have to put a headset on for that,” he said.
“If I put on a VR headset I want something that I can’t do in real life. I want something to blow my fucking mind! Not see a band on the stage. That I can do in real life. So what are the experiences that you’re going to create in a virtual reality environment?
“Think back to the early filmmaking when they put a camera on a tripod and they filmed a play, and then you were supposed to watch it. Well, that was fine, but then the craft of filmmaking came along and you made films differently than you made plays. I don’t want to put a VR headset on and listen to an album or watch a concert. I want a unique experience. And this is going to open up a whole new side of the industry.”
Finally, Cohen talked about big data and analytics, where he sees huge opportunities for an industry that has always thrived on metrics – chart positions, unit shipments, sales. But now with the torrent of streaming data, the industry must get smarter at understanding what’s happening, and the triggers driving it.
Cohen warned that current analytics tell us a lot about the past: what happened on Spotify – the streams, the skips, the saves to people’s libraries. “But we need to go into a new world where we’re looking forward. If I have this information, what does it mean? What am I supposed to do? If you get added on Spotify’s New Music Friday, that’s amazing for Friday, but what happens next week? What are you supposed to do next week? What does the data tell you? If you don’t know how to answer that, you’re going to be struggling in the industry,” he said.
“In the old world, if you had a song played on the radio and it got into heavy rotation, you knew what to do… you booked some TV appearances, you get some more articles, you ship extra units to the stores because you know you’re going to sell them. You book a headline tour, you increase the size of the venue you’re going to play. You know what to do next. But I’m not sure everyone knows what to do next now. When things happen for you online, what do you do next?”
Cohen concluded. “The music industry is not broken, it never was broken, and it doesn’t need to be fixed. It is an amazing industry, it’s the best time ever to enter it, there’s huge opportunities and problems that need to be solved, but having problems that need to be solved is very different from saying the music industry is broken,” he said.
Cohen was then joined by Peter Vesterbacka, formerly of Angry Birds developer Rovio, for a discussion of those next steps, including his views on those new AR and VR experiences. Cohen said he’s hoping for “a world of dynamic recording” where music can change and morph over time, and according to who’s listening to it – but still with the artist as the creative force.
“There’s so many amazing, talented artists, songwriters, performers, but for me personally it’s been a long time since I saw something new when I went ‘holy shit, that’s new’,” he said.
“I’m waiting for young artists, tech companies, music companies… rather than just to put a song out there, to say ‘We’re going to create a new experience that nobody’s done yet’. I’m waiting for that, and I want it to be a young artist. There’s nothing wrong with the older artists, but it should be someone who’s 18 years old who grew up in the 21st century and says ‘I’m not going to do it like my parents did it. I’m going to create something new’.”
He later returned to the theme. “In 2017, I don’t even need a physical manifestation of an instrument to produce music. I just need to have great thoughts, amazing ideas and an iPhone, and I can be a creator. It is moving, so where will we be in five years? If today we can make music without an instrument, what will the next five, ten years look like?” he said.
“Who’s going to take it one step further than that, and create experiences – dynamic recordings that change over time, that change based on the user?”
Cohen also talked about his other current focus on ‘implantables’ via his Cyborg Nest startup, which has started out with a device designed to be embedded in your chest, which vibrates when facing north. What does this have to do with music though?
“I don’t want to use technology: I want to become technology. And as we become one with it, the experiences that we receive are going to change. What kind of experiences will come directly to me? Not through my eyes, not through my ears… Instead of having to look at a screen. I don’t want to put glasses or a headset on, or interfere with my hearing by putting on earbuds. I want experiences to come directly to me. And I don’t mean with a neural implant, I mean directly to my body,” he said.
“Like when you go to a nightclub and you feel the music, pushing on your chest with that bass. There’s other ways that you can experience creative ideas that can come to you, and it’s not just visuals and it’s not just sound… I think experiences are going to continue to be fundamental to the creative industries.”

Spotify playlist pitching review of Playlist Push



First want to give a quick shoutout to Ari's Take partner AWAL. They have a helpful blog post on when you get included on a Spotify playlist, how to make sure you don't get bumped off of it. Check it out here. 
Also, as a reminder, enrollment for Ari's Take Academy: How To Become a Successful Touring Artist closes Tuesday! Join us. 
I got an email from a long-time reader and very talented artist, Jessica Lá Rel who shared her experience with Playlist Push and had some very understandable concerns. 
But first, I want to update you on Playlist Push since my first report came out a few weeks back. For those of you just getting caught up to speed, I’ve been digging into all things Spotify the past couple years. Specifically, how to get included in playlists. I reviewed SubmitHub, which proved to be somewhat helpful at getting (small) blog coverage, but the playlists on the service were totally fake with no real engagement. I pointed this out in my review and since then, they completely changed the way they accept and rate the playlists you can submit to on the service. Props to SubmitHub for taking it seriously and changing course! 
I also wrote about how my album got removed for using a service I thought was a legit playlist pitching company, but was in fact using bots to increase streams (in addition to getting the song included on some playlists). 
I’ve spoken to many streaming experts ranging from owners of playlist pitching companies to big time distributors with playlist pitching departments to labels to managers to marketing agencies to Spotify employees. The biggest takeaways are that it’s the Wild Wild West out here in the digital streaming world and that what is true today may not be tomorrow. 
This all being said, after extensively looking into Playlist Push (testing two very different songs on the platform), interviewing the founder and a couple managers and artists who have used the service, I determined it was one of the few legitimate services out there to pitch your songs to user generated playlists. 
That being said, it is flawed. But the founder George knows they have work to do and are actively working to improve their service (and are listening to all the critiques and constructive criticism I’m tossing their way). After I posted my review, I became a “curator” on Playlist Push for my Low Volume Funk playlist so I could see it from the OTHER side of the equation. I have since updated the review to reveal my findings. 
To catch you up - as a curator of a 2,550 follower playlist (with about 400/monthly listeners) - it's not really a money-making venture unless you're doing SERIOUS volume. Currently I'm making $2/song. Considering I (or my team) listen to each song in its entirety and then try to write a thoughtful review, it's not really worth the time for me. But I understand other curators probably have more time or only listen to a snippet of the song and write short reviews. And as a curator grows within the platform they could be earning up to $20/song if their playlist is gigantic (500,000 followers or so). But, again, most are probably around the $2-$5/song mark.
The biggest frustration I’ve noticed having been a curator on the platform for just over a week is that most of the songs I’m being sent aren’t remotely close to the songs on my playlist. I selected the genres “Funk” “Soul” and “R&B” and the songs on the playlist all have organic instruments - not created ‘in-the-box.’ Most of the songs submitted to me, however, are hip hop or pop songs that are fully electronic (no real instruments). So, if an artist selects the “Soul,” “R&B” or “Funk” genres, I’ll get sent the song. I really wish there was a better genre selection tool that only sent songs that would actually fit on the playlist. I feel bad that these artists are wasting their money sending the songs to me. Some of the songs are great! They just don’t fit on the playlist. 
At least on SubmitHub, you can personally pick the playlists you’re submitting to. With this, you have to just trust that Playlist Push will send your songs to the appropriate curators. The founder, George, and I had a call today where I expressed this frustration (after passing along the below email from Jessica) and he did mention that they have a totally new genre selection process rolling out very soon. I’ll update the review once that is fully implemented.
Jessica’s email: 
I wanted to reach out to share with you a recent experience I’ve had. I’ve been following you for a long time. Back in the early days of Ari’s Take, to the webinars, the book, the online course, the live full day panel events, etc. I’ve considered you one of the most genuine voices I’ve come across in the industry thus far. I‘m loyal; I preach the gospel of Ari Herstand to other creatives. I buy your various packages and have been a subscriber for over 5 years now. I trust your feedback and insight not just because you do your homework and have lived experience, but also because you have built a brand around trust by providing resources to independent artists all over. You have focused on those that often get neglected or taken advantage of in such a brutal industry.
But recently I had an experience that brought me to a crossroads with that trust. I usually don’t write emails this long, so I apologize in advance for the length.
I had some difficulty using the new Spotify For Artists feature when they first announced their beta product in July. I released 2 eps and a culminating album between May and October. So it was nice to hear your perspective on ways to approach Spotify playlists beyond the beta feature. After reading your review of Playlist Push, I checked them out. The approach made sense to me: genre based outreach and a genre/playlist potential based payout structure. I spoke with customer service throughout the process to determine which kinds of campaigns to set up. I had previously conducted a survey with fans to determine which songs would make for the best Spotify playlist campaigns. So I set up 3 campaigns. 1 for a song on the 2nd EP that would run until the release of the album. And then the last two to run concurrently as soon as the album dropped. 
The first campaign for a song called Home Above Water did not perform well via Playlist Push. At first, I just took it as a sign that the music wasn’t there yet. But then I looked at the reviews of the song and realized that there was a major problem. The song was registered as Soul, but the reviews were coming from folks who curate lists for “depressing hip hop”, EDM, electro pop, Reggae, etc. Everyone kept saying “it doesn’t fit this kind of playlist”, and I’m thinking, “of course! This song is definitely not EDM, hip hop, pop or reggae. Think Eryn Allen Kane, Chance the Rapper’s more inspirational songs/Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, Grace Weber, etc.
I spoke with customer service about it. They seemed to understand. I requested to cancel the upcoming campaigns and get a refund for the first. Steve then offered to do one more campaign, and if it also doesn’t satisfy me then he would refund me for all three campaigns. He offered a full refund on all three songs. I was hesitant to continue, but he insisted that the next song would have more options because it fit R&B and Soul. So together there would be more targeted playlists to submit to.
Within the first day, the second song Lighthouse landed on a Reggaeton playlist. So I knew I was heading down the same road. I reached out the second day of the campaign but didn’t hear anything for 1.5 weeks. By that time, it had been placed on 5 playlists: Reggaeton, Boy Bands, Hip Hop, a pop playlist, and finally your Low Volume Funk playlist. So at this point of the 5 playlists, the one that comes remotely close to my actual genre is curated by the same person who encouraged me to check out the platform in the first place. I felt debilitated in a number of ways. 
In the end, I argued quite a bit with customer service. They reneged on their refund offer, claimed a full refund from them was not possible and was unfair, and that no one complains about getting on 5 playlists. I tried to explain to them that it’s not about the quantity of playlists or listeners but the quality of listeners. Getting on a reggae playlist does not help me get my music to fans and potential fans where they actually are. If anything, it makes them less prone to engage with my music because they are listening to a reggae playlist with the intent of listening to actual reggae, not cinematic soul. Everything I do is in an effort to reach potential superfans.
I ended up walking away with a partial refund and plenty of condescending remarks from Steve... but more than that I lost a lot of trust. In an industry with little mentorship for independent artists, you were the closest thing to a reliable resource I had, and to find out that the agency you recommended was pretty much a scam (like the others you discuss in the blog) that would take my money and throw my music at any Playlist that bites- and then to find out that you’re getting paid on both ends (for referring them and then for curating), didn’t necessarily help. 

So first off, I want to give Jessica major props for sending me this very heartfelt email. And for being so candid. Not everyone speaks up when they are experiencing frustrations or roadblocks, but the only way to make things better is by approaching them head on. I know it must have been frustrating to spend a good amount of money on a campaign and then be disappointed by it. I've done it time and time and time again. I'm sure you have too. 
I want to hear your successes and your pitfalls. All of them. The good, the bad, the ugly. We’re all in this crazy industry together! And I am a student first. I want to learn so I can teach. Nothing brings me more joy than being able to pass along valuable information that I learn and to see you use it successfully. 
I do want to be perfectly clear about my involvement with Playlist Push (and any company I review). I never accept an affiliate code or advertising partnership until AFTER I write my review so my review is completely unbiased. I never let the companies read my review before it’s posted. And I only accept affiliate codes or ad partnerships with companies I believe in. Some companies I reviewed negatively have attempted to throw money at me to change my review. But I turn them down at every corner because all I have is my reputation and the trust I have built with the community.
No, I cannot be bought off. I will not take money from companies or people I don’t believe in.
After my extensive review of Playlist Push, it seems like a valuable service. I stand by it (today). Will that ever change? Maybe. But like any ad partner I’ve ever had, when I get complaints from readers I take them immediately straight to the top. If they aren’t resolved to our satisfaction immediately, I end our relationship and I write about what happened. However, the good ones out there take their customer complaints very seriously and resolve the issues quickly. 
I understand the responsibility I have being one of the few working artists out there with so much access to people in the industry and I take this responsibility very seriously. I’m always looking out for artists and I answer to no one but you. 
Whatever you’re experiencing, the good, the bad and the inspirational. Lemme hear it! I can’t promise I will be able to get back to you, but I do promise to read it, think and digest. 
Much love,
~Ari

PS - if you dig funk/soul follow my Low Volume Funk Spotify playlist and hit me with some song suggestions.

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Paste this in Twitter: Spotify Playlist Pitching Review of Playlist Push https://aristake.com/post/playlist-push-review(via @aristake) 


"How To Make It in the New Music Business might well be the best 'how to' book of its kind." - Music Connection Magazine 

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Sony/ATV Music Publishing Songwriting Camps Yield Over 300 Syncs as Program Expands to Miami & Atlanta


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Sony/ATV Nashville President/CEO Troy Tomlinson, Sony/ATV songwriter Blake Healy and Brian Monaco President, Global Chief Marketing Officer
Five years after starting its songwriting camps, Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s efforts have resulted in more than 300 sync licenses of original songs created for brands including Adidas, Bose, Comcast, Dunkin’ Donuts, Google, NFL, Miller and Nissan, as well as dozens of movies, TV shows, trailers and video games. 
Now the program is expanding. In February, Sony/ATV will hold its first songwriting camp in Miami, followed by its Atlanta debut next summer. The camp will return to Los Angeles for its annual event, with plans to also revisit Toronto for the first time since 2017 and Nashville, which held its inaugural camp last month.
“The sync writing camps are a great example of how Sony/ATV proactively seeks out new opportunities for its songwriters by going far beyond what a music publisher typically does,” said Sony/ATV President, Global Chief Marketing Officer Brian Monaco in a statement “They give us a unique position in the marketplace and have created hundreds of new sync placements for our writers.”
The camps usually host 20 Sony/ATV songwriters who collaborate in small groups over several days to create new songs and master recordings, sometimes for a specific brand. Sony/ATV’s sync department then pitches the songs to potential licensees.
Songwriters from all levels participate, including at the upper echelon, often tapping into new creative reserves. Ross Copperman, BMI’s 2016 and 2017 country songwriter of the year took part in the Nashville camp and afterward enthused to Monaco in an email, “It was so inspiring and refreshing and I'm so grateful for the new people I've met and go to work with. I would love to do this more often wherever and whenever. I will make it happen. These few days have fed my soul in a big way.”
Among the notable songs are “Get Loud For Me,” written by Mike Sabath and Gizzle and recorded by Gizzle, which has been used in an NFL/Bose commercial and an Adidas campaign, as well as tallied nearly 4 million streams on Spotify. “Do It Like This,” written by Daphne WillisAustin Massirman and Sabath, has appeared in commercials for Comcast and Xfinity, and will be featured in a forthcoming campaign for Royal Caribbean Cruises as well. Other camp tunes have powered commercials for Apple, Orbit Gum and Labatt Blue and trailers for Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and video games Need For Speed Payback and Outcast: Second Contact.