Friday, October 18, 2019

Isaac Hayes’s unreleased masters now available on Tracklib

Tracklib, the one-stop online shop for sampling, and legally clearing those samples on the spot, have announced a deal with the estate of soul legend Isaac Hayes to offer a select group of 20 unreleased songs as part of the sampling site’s catalog. These tracks have never been released publicly, and, thus, represent a landmark catalog acquisition for Tracklib and a new way of mining the vaults for the Isaac Hayes estate. Now producers and artists can access this goldmine of previously unheard material, sample from it, and make new music. 

Isaac Hayes III, son of the legend and manager of his estate, said that his father was “with it” when it came to sampling, which explains why he is one of the most sampled artists ever. Before his death, Hayes befriended key producers, including the RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. Samples of Hayes’s material have always been part of soul and hip hop’s backbone, including recent hits like Alessia Cara’s “Here,” Kanye West’s “30 Hours,” and “6 Inch” by Beyonce.

The chance for aspiring producers to have access to this material, and to clear the samples easily and legally on the Tracklib platform itself, makes this a rare opportunity for hip hop heads to go back to their roots. Hayes III longs to see his father’s legacy grow beyond repackaging or re-releases of material that is already, deservedly, classic. The songs being released are all multi-tracked, meaning there is a lot of material to play with here.

Tracklib and Isaac Hayess III have previewed the material for a number of key producers in the sampling world, and the response has been excitement verging on chomping at the bit to get their hands on this material. Erick Sermon, Prince Paul, Drumma Boy, Jazee Pha, and Organized Noise have all heard the tracks and expressed excitement in getting to work with them.

Tracklib’s success within the hip-hop and producer communities made it a natural new home for these unreleased tracks, as they have had a recent string of high-profile releases made with samples from the Tracklib catalog, including DJ Khaled, Mary J. Blige, and Brockhampton. Hayes III admitted Tracklib was on his radar for a long time, but their recent success with J. Cole’s “Middle Child” was the one that grabbed his attention and helped to seal the deal.

Hayes III concluded that he is “really excited for today’s producers all around the world to get their hands on these unreleased Isaac Hayes samples and continue his musical legacy, to create new records, new sounds, new ideas.” With this deal with Tracklib, that goal is within reach, and aspiring producers and fans of hip hop and soul will be all the better for it.

About Tracklib:
Tracklib is the world’s first and only music service that offers legal and affordable samples at scale. Music producers can easily browse more than 100,000 tracks and purchase downloads for sampling, then instantly get a license with an easy-to-use category and and sample length calculation. Tracklib samples have been in hits by J. Cole, DJ Khaled,  and many others.

CD Baby Hires First International Representatives in India, Continues Fast-Paced Global Expansion

CD Baby is proud to announce the hiring of two notable Indian music professionals to its rapidly expanding network of international representatives. It is the first large international artist services and distribution company to do so.

“India has some of the richest music cultures in the world and artists are eagerly looking for opportunities to share their creativity with audiences around the globe,” explains Heli Del Moral, VP of International Development at CD Baby. “We encourage artists to stay independent and to access our world-class promotion tools to help them propel their music careers. Education is a top priority for CD Baby.  Our mission in India is to simplify the process for artists and composers, and to give them the practical steps and information they need to successfully market and sell their music.”

The two hires’ life work speaks to this mission. Ritnika Nayan, with years of music business leadership and education experience, literally wrote the book on indie music in India, all while managing a large festival and her own music company. Priyanka Khimani, lead partner at one of Mumbai’s prominent digital entertainment and intellectual property legal firms, will offer legal guidance and other support, as CD Baby seeks to offer excellent service and tools for India’s burgeoning independent music scene. Nayan will also represent CD Baby’s sister companies, including DashGo, which offers services tailored to labels’ needs.

“The entry of entities like CD Baby into the Indian music industry marks the coming of a truly exciting time. The country’s music space today boasts of a glittering range of music creators and artists – across genres – particularly in the independent music space,” notes Khimani. “With organizations dedicated to ensuring that such creators successfully communicate their works and monetise them effectively, I look forward to everything that is in store!” 

“I have always been passionate about the independent music scene and music education has been my focus in the last few years. I feel CD Baby is one of the few companies that genuinely shares the same vision of empowering artists,” Nayan reflects. “CD Baby is for the artists and it helps artists take control of their music, not just through digital releases, but also through education. I feel truly blessed to be able to help the indie scene in India through CD Baby, this is exactly what our country needs right now.”  

These hires mark another step forward in CD Baby’s regionalization strategy, bringing its artist-oriented support to local markets in meaningful, informed ways. “India is a huge, vibrant market and presents a great opportunity for CD Baby,” says Tracy Maddux, CEO of AVL Digital, parent company to both CD Baby and DashGo. “We believe that Priyanka and Ritnika are the right people to help us grow and learn about what artists and labels need in this diverse, intensely creative country. This is a very exciting expansion for us that marks our commitment and belief in the future of the indie music market in India.”

CD Baby currently has 19 representatives operating in 25 countries around the world.

About CD Baby

CD Baby is the largest distributor and rights administrator of independent music on the planet.  It is home to almost 750,000 artists and more than 9 million tracks, getting independent music to more than 150 digital services and platforms around the globe and allowing artists to monetize their presence on YouTube. Artists using the CD Baby platform have earned more than $730 million since its founding. Its Publishing Administration service allows over 250,000 songwriters/artists to collect all of their publishing royalties. CD Baby has become the go-to partner for many icons in the new music industry.

App Wizards and Beer Indices: How Viberate Generates Festival Mobile Apps and Landing Pages with Robust Data

Festivals may come in all shapes, styles, and flavors, but they all struggle with one problem: How to keep on top of the flood of information about lineup artists and how to organize festival information in easy-to-navigate ways. Websites are expensive to build and update. A custom mobile app is even more so, with development costs reaching into the five figures. 

“By what we've seen during our market research, official festival websites often suck. There's no way of saying that nicely,” notes Viberate co-founder Vasja Veber. “They might look pretty, but information is lacking or hard to find. They often present a lineup by simply uploading the festival flyer and that's it. Then it's up to us potential festival goers to zoom in and read the names and look up those artists unknown to us.”

Viberate has been building a better way to present and maintain detailed festival info on one short, sweet landing page, one that festival organizers can use to generate an effective, inexpensive custom mobile app for both Andriod and iOS. An app wizard is rolling out soon, to guide festivals step-by-step through the code-free process. Viberate-generated sites and apps are powered by a large, robust database, made from a mix of key data points from socials, streaming services, and ticketing company APIs; contributions from users; and information verified by a legion of professional curators around the globe.

On the Viberate platform, entities are organized by event, festival, artist, venue, genre, subgenre, city, and country. Entities are crowdsourced with the help of over 20,000 contributors, and each and every entry is then curated by a team of 70 full-time database curators. Viberate also taps into the API’s of major ticket vendors, which provide tens of thousands of events daily, adding to manually contributed events users put up on the platform. Artist profiles are also rich with content and always up-to-date, since Viberate sources the content from entities' official sources and enriches the content with metadata.

“A couple other platforms offer easy creation of mobile apps, but what sets us apart is that we source all Artist and Venue data into the app directly from our database. Festival promoters don't have to deal with content,” a major headache for festival organizers wrangling farflung artist and label teams, Veber explains. “Artists are presented with all the information we collect. That means when they upload new content on their channels right before a major tour, say, it will pop up in the appropriate festival’s app.”

Viberate has already tested this concept with five mid-sized festivals in Europe, including Metaldays and Sea Dance Festival. The goal: To get 30-40% download rates for the festivals’ mobile apps. The results were surprising, as 80% of festival goers downloaded the apps, creating a new and highly valuable channel for festival organizers to reach and target their audiences. The price point was right for festivals, a few hundred dollars a month with no additional costs or fees. 

"We've just wrapped up the sixth edition of Sea Dance Festival, marking our first collaboration with Viberate,” says Igor Vidović, marketing manager at EXIT, which runs several European festivals. “The Sea Dance app proved to be very useful for all our festival-goers, providing them with up-to-date information at any given moment, allowing them to chat with their peers and giving them access to their own festival timeline. In conclusion, we are looking forward to working with Viberate in the future as we're certain we'll easily tackle any upcoming challenges."

The crowdsourced aspect of Viberate’s data mean festival goers’ experiences are captured on the profile or in the app in unique ways. Perhaps the quirkiest is a recent feature added to Festival and Venue profiles, the Beer Index. Festival patrons can use the Beer Index to budget for their big splurge, or to pick a less pricey festival destination with similar music.

“This is a fun metric that we are testing right now and it's completely crowdsourced. Visitors can report an average beer price in a venue or at a festival. Beer price is the universal indicator of the overall price range of a certain destination,” says Veber. “We got the idea when everyone was complaining that in Ibiza, they'll charge you 17 euros for a beer. At the same time, people really enjoyed festivals in Poland or the Czech Republic, in part because beer there is really cheap. If you compare prices of everything else in those destinations, you'll see that the ratios are similar, and that can change how you approach a festival and what decisions you make. It’s all about using data to enhance music experiences,” reflects Veber.

The Renegade Musician Interview with David Andrew Wiebe

A few weeks ago, founder & CEO of Music Entrepreneur HQ and host of The New Music Industry Podcast sent us an early draft of his forth...