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BMG Launches Full-Service International Sound Agency

BMG signalled its growing commitment to the production music sector by forming a new premium full-service sound agency bringing together its extensive interests in one-stop, pre-cleared and custom production music services under the BMG Production Music banner (www.bmgproductionmusic.com).

The new operation includes offices in LA, Nashville, London, Hilversum and Berlin, and has a catalogue of around 400,000 tracks spanning all genres.

The new BMG's involvement in production and custom music services for the film, broadcast, games, corporate film and advertising markets began when it acquired the US-based Selectracks operation as part of Bug Music in 2011. Since then it has acquired a number of other catalogue and operations including:

* MusicDirector, the leading player and intuitive online music search platform in the Benelux production music business, which came as part of the Talpa Music acquisition in 2014;

* LA-based Music Beyond and the premium trailer label X-Ray Dog (2014);

* The London-based specialist in radio-specific sound beds and idents Beds & Beats, the high-end TV and advertising specialist Altitude Music and the high-end trailer boutique Must Save Jane (all 2016).

It also represents many premium sub-published catalogues from around the world, including through its alliance with UK-based Music Hub.

BMG CFO Maximillian Dressendoerfer said, "Bringing our extensive production music interests together under the BMG Production Music banner symbolises the importance of production music within BMG, and signals our commitment to this growing sector."

BMG Production Music has custom scoring studios in LA and London, global creative teams for music searching and project supervision, and an internationally curated catalogue accessible online, consisting of around 400,000 tracks spanning all genres. Its three regional heads - Mitch Lijewski (US), Farah Hasan (UK) and Paul Gulmans (Benelux & Germany) - work under the creative direction of LA-based SVP Production Music Mitch Lijewski, reporting to Managing Director Geert-Willem Koolhof.

Said Koolhof, "We are ambitious to grow our production music business, but we will define our success not in terms of market share, but in terms of our service to writers and to music users."

BMG Production Music already works with a raft of major broadcasters, TV networks, film and games studios, advertisers, major brands and blue-chip corporates around the world.

Mitch Lijewski said, "BMG Production Music stands for a new approach, combining the creative integrity of high-end catalogue, creative and custom scoring services, with BMG's next generation global infrastructure."

PRS For Music Celebrates Digital Success
   
PRS for Music has released its distribution data figures for 2016, a year that saw the company process over four trillion uses of music.

The music licensing organisation, which represents the rights of more than 124,000 music creators in the UK and two million creators worldwide, saw an 80% increase in the amount of music usage data it processed, compared to just under 2.4 trillion in 2015
Investing heavily in its technology and more efficient methods to meet the increasing demands of the digital era, PRS for Music paid an all-time record number of members, (songwriters, composers and music publishers), up 33% compared to 2015.

Graham Davies, Director of Strategy, PRS for Music said: "Our strength in handling massive data volumes means we can increase the number of songs and compositions we pay. Last year we paid over 4 million musical works which was a 45% increase on 2015. This has been possible because of our strategy: investing in technology, establishing shared industry platforms such as ICE, and improving data quality. We are committed to pushing further and further into the 'long-tail' of lower value performance to maximise payments to all our members. These results demonstrate our efforts are paying off."

Sound Royalties Plans To Invest $100+ Million In Songwriters 

Sound Royalties, LLC, a company providing creative new financing strategies tailored for songwriters, artists, producers and other music professionals, has revealed plans to invest a whopping $100 Million or more in the music community over the next two years.

This investment and Sound Royalties business model fill the music industry's financing void that has often left creatives either waiting months or years for earned funds, or forced them to sell away their catalogues and copyrights.

Instead, Sound Royalties offers fast, non-credit based advances that provide funds based on future earnings and allows music professionals to retain rights to their music. This delivers the upfront money songwriters and others working in the industry need to fund ongoing work, new projects or simply help pay their bills.

Some of the industry's top songwriters have already taken advantage of this groundbreaking service and found it transformative for their careers - empowering their creativity and allowing flexibility for their entrepreneurial spirits.

"After an incredible response to our unprecedented financial offerings, Sound Royalties is very excited to announce our plans to even further increase funding opportunities for music industry professionals over the next 24 months," said Sound Royalties CEO Alex Heiche. "We are proud to offer solutions that fit the artistic lifestyle and help fund musicians creativity, so they can live their dreams and we can all benefit from the amazing music that results."

$1 Million Generated For Independent Artists By Jamendo
   
The music business has drastically changed and still seems to be looking for the right model, with the decline of digital sales and the rise of on-demand streaming. In this ever-evolving landscape, one thing remains obvious: artists are making less money. Not a week goes by without seeing in the media an artist discussing the low level of revenue coming from streaming platforms. These days, musicians and songwriters are left on their own, struggling to find the most efficient way to promote and monetize their music.

Jamendo places independent tracks in advertising campaigns for prestigious brands such as Ford, Nestlé, Sony, Huawei or Mercedes-Benz, as well as providing background music to global retailers such as United Colors of Benetton, McDonald's or Swatch.

"We are definitely observing a strong increase in the need for music to license, and more and more artists are joining Jamendo to monetize their creations", says Emmanuel Donati, Jamendo's General Manager.

The music licensing business is indeed in fast growth, following the constant increase of videos uploaded across the web. As a matter of fact, 500 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute, and the vast majority contains music. With its services constantly improving, there is reason to believe that Jamendo will reach higher milestones in the near future.

Hollywood Music Workshop To Take Place In Austria During July
   
The Hollywood Music Workshop ("HMW") has lined-up a roster of top Hollywood composers, conductors, orchestrators and arrangers to teach Master Classes this summer in Austria. Students will have the opportunity to record with a 49-piece orchestra at the Synchron Stage Vienna Recording facility, led by Joe Kraemer (Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation).

This year offers new angles with many classes about composing for video games, documentaries, independent films, and even midi-mockups.

The HMW was founded by classical violin soloist and sought after Hollywood studio musician Dimitrie Leivici and producer/radio host/musical actress Lilo Bellotto. For the past eight years HMW brought together a line-up of top Hollywood composers, orchestrators and arrangers to hold Master Classes in the Music City of Baden, just outside of Vienna. The HMW is all about bringing talented composers, seasoned and newcomers, from around the world together in one place, providing them with first-class courses and an inspiring working environment. Through a personal working relationship between lecturers and students both profit from one another and grow in their career.

"Nowhere else does any participant have the possibility to benefit from the immense knowledge of so many top and immensely talented Hollywood Film Music personalities in a rather short time", says Dimitrie Leivici. "We have enlarged the faculty count up to nine great instructors for 2017 who all look forward to share their talents and knowledge with our students", adds Lilo Bellotto.

The 2017 Hollywood Music Workshop will take place July 5th through August 21st, 2017 at the historic Casino Baden, a short train ride from the City Centre of Vienna.

Participants can create their own curriculum by choosing from a variety of 3-day, 5-day and 6-day workshops.

www.hollywoodmusicworkshop.com

ASCAP Promotes Simon Greenaway To Vice President

ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has announced that senior London membership executive Simon Greenaway has been promoted to Vice President, Membership, focusing on the European territory. In his new role, Greenaway will lead the ASCAP Membership division based in the ASCAP UK office, which continues to expand its roster as ASCAP adds more services for members across the globe. He will report to ASCAP Executive Vice President, Membership, John Titta.

Greenaway, who had considerable success earlier in his career as a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, joined ASCAP in 2011. He has been influential in affiliating successful writer/performers such as MYKL (Zayn Malik "Pillowtalk"), MNEK ("Never Forget You" Zara Larsson), and Ed Drewett (One Direction). Greenaway also plays a key role in ASCAP relationships with UK and continental European-based composers Max Richter, Daniel Pemberton (The Man from U.N.C.L.E) and Steven Price (Gravity), among others.

Prior to ASCAP, Greenaway was a songwriter, composer and producer for over 20 years. He enjoyed four top 20 UK hits and three #1 UK/Europe dance hits, selling over three million records with Charlotte Church, for whom he wrote and produced. Also a prolific composer, he worked alongside Patrick Doyle on movies such as Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire and Nanny McPhee, Hans Zimmer on Muppet Treasure Island, David Arnold on the Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies, and John Powell on Ice Age 3.

"Music has no borders and ASCAP supports music creators in Europe and all over the globe," said ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews. "Simon has been a key figure in expanding our European presence and building trusted relationships with creators and our society partners within these vital global markets."

"Simon is a fantastic asset for ASCAP," said John Titta. "Under his direction, some of Europe's best songwriters and composers have become ASCAP members. Having someone with Simon's background leading our Membership team in Europe is invaluable, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to deepen our relationships with the global music community in the years to come."

UK Music Chief Executive Jo Dipple To Stand Down
 
UK Music, the music industry trade body, has announced that its chief executive, Jo Dipple, will stand down in June 2017 after five years as chief executive and three years before that as head of government relations.

Andy Heath MBE, chairman of UK Music, said: "Jo has led the organisation to robust health. Under her leadership, UK Music successfully challenged BIS in the courts over new copyright legislation, helped introduce a Live Music Act, amended DCLG planning law, launched an anti-piracy education campaign, published Measuring Music and Wish You Were Here and prevented Government from cutting BBC music services.

"Her work in launching the UK Music Skills Academy led to a sea-change in training strategy for the sector. Seventy new apprenticeship jobs were created and there exists now a structured approach to improving entry-level access, ensuring open recruitment and driving diversity policies.

"Jo has built an outstanding team full of talent and ambition and has made UK Music into a highly visible presence. I have really enjoyed working with her over the course of more than eight years."

Dipple said: "UK Music will attract the very highest candidate to take this role. It is a unique body with an exceptional membership.

"I am privileged to have worked with successful industry bosses and supremely talented musicians and creators. Music is part emotion and part business and the UK gets both right over and over again. The founders of UK Music were determined to secure the very best regulatory landscape for this outstanding industry. Its members will continue to bring a practical and business-like approach to opportunities and challenges ahead."

Jo will continue to actively run the organisation until June 2017.

SoundExchange's $884 Million In Royalty Distributions

SoundExchange has announced that royalty distributions in 2016 hit a new high. Year-end royalty payments reached approximately $884 million, an increase of more than $80 million versus 2015.

"We distributed record-setting royalties to artists and labels in 2016 and broadened our charter beyond our original role of administering statutory licenses. In 2016, besides processing digital radio payments, we also launched new data validation services, managed the distribution of royalties for over a dozen direct licenses and administered some critical industry settlements. These are significant milestones," SoundExchange President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Huppe said. "Looking ahead, we will continue to increase services to our artists, labels, digital service providers and the entire music industry in 2017."

SoundExchange manages royalties for more than 130,000 recording artists and rights owners. More than 2,800 non-interactive Internet radio, satellite radio and cable television services pay digital performance royalties to music creators through the company. In addition to a record year for distributions, SoundExchange reached many other important milestones in 2016 including:

* Bestowing our SoundExchange Digital Radio Award, celebrating more than 1 billion plays on digital radio, to country music star Garth Brooks, Latin recording artist Pitbull and contemporary Christian recording artist Chris Tomlin

* Implementing a new end-to-end business platform to manage rights, repertoire and royalties

* Managing and distributing artist royalties from record label direct deals with Pandora

* Launching a new Spanish-language registration module to service our Latin artists and labels

* Launching the industry's first public International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) database in co-operation with IFPI, providing instant access to information about 30 million sound recordings

ICMP Launches State-Of-The-Art Studio At Tileyard
   
ICMP has completed a new facility accessible exclusively for ICMP students at Tileyard Studios, Europe's largest hub for music and creative media located in Kings Cross in central London. Tileyard Studios is the largest professional music community in the UK, with more than 70 state of the art music studios and 100 businesses that provide a home to a wide spectrum of companies working in music, film, television, fashion and creative new tech sectors. Artists and companies at Tileyard include Mark Ronson, Tynchy Stryder, The Prodigy, John Newman, Lily Allen, Notting Hill Music, Marathon Artists, Spitfire Audio, Musicgurus, The Ticket Fairy and many more

The new class-leading recording facility comprises a spacious, highly specified studio control room and a production studio connected to a well-stocked live room and additional recording spaces. A sound-proofed production booth with tie lines and sightlines through to the live room and three acoustically-treated, climate-controlled writing rooms complement the main studio. These rooms are specified with the following equipment: - Apple iMac 21" - Logic Pro X - Pro Tools - Ableton Live - Novation Launchkey 49 - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface - PSI A17-M Precision Near Field Monitors - Ableton Push. The detailed studio equipment specification is listed below.

Musicians' Union Announces Election For General Secretary
 
The Musicians' Union's (MU) General Secretary, John Smith, is to stand down in July 2017 after 15 years in office. The process for electing a new MU General Secretary is currently underway.

The nomination process is now complete and two candidates will go forward to a ballot of members. These will be MU Executive Committee member Kathy Dyson and MU Assistant General Secretary Horace Trubridge. The ballot of members will be held between 6 and 27 March 2017.

MU General Secretary John Smith says "As my time as General Secretary of the Musicians' Union draws to a close, it's gratifying to look back and see how the MU has consolidated its position within both the music industry and the trade union movement. I took over at a time of internal political turmoil and spent my first few years stabilising the organisation.

"I then oversaw the Union's restructuring and modernisation. This was achieved successfully which allowed me to concentrate on the MU's position as an important music industry body and an independent specialist trade union. I've had a great group of people working with me over the last 15 years and I'm sure that the MU will go from strength to strength after I've retired this coming summer."

There is a state of the art sky-lit iMac technology suite which provides every student with access to an iMac workstation loaded with Pro Tools, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live. The workstations are equipped with Focusrite Scarlett Solo audio interfaces and Novation Launchkey Mini MIDI keyboards. 10 of the iMacs are complemented by Ableton's Push 2 controller.

There is also a spacious lecture classroom which provides students with a comfortable custom designed learning environment. The tutor iMac provides audio playback and is connect to a 60" LED screen via Apple TV. With mood lighting throughout, all rooms are acoustically excellent and have been designed with education in mind. Students also have access to mentoring programmes via Tileyard's community of industry professionals and a range of other support and networking opportunities.

Paul Kirkham, Chief Executive at ICMP said: "Our innovative and exclusive partnership with Tileyard provides our students with unique opportunities to study in and engage with an immersive industry environment, building their networks amongst some of the music industry's biggest names. We are therefore delighted that this new facility is now available to our students, and it represents another step in our constantly developing and deepening relationship with Tileyard.'

For more information contact:

http://www.icmp.ac.uk

Songwriter Janis Ian Handles Controversy Over Political Posts

Never afraid to speak or sing what is on her mind, Janis Ian has drawn the attention of 13,179,000 people who have read her Facebook post

http://tinyurl.com/gkr6q3l

while 91,000 have shared it, 467,000 have liked it, 48,500 have commented on it, and more than 450,000 have listened to her song "I'm Still Standing" on Soundcloud, which she is offering for free.

At only 14, Janis wrote "Society's Child" observing the racial bigotry and atrocities at the time. Her civil rights stand brought her controversy and even death threats, however merits of the song were recognised when it was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. Janis remains society's child, although an older and wiser one, with her commentary on current American history and our new president's positions.

Songwriter Ray Davies Releases First Album In Nine Years

On April 21st, Ray Davies will release his first new album in over nine years - 'Americana' - via Legacy Recordings (a division of Sony Music Entertainment). The 15-track collection of originals serves as a master-crafted return for one of the most acclaimed and iconic songwriters of the past 50 years, and follows Davies' 2013 memoir of the same name, using the book as both source material and creative catalyst. Davies enlisted The Jayhawks as backing band, and recorded the album in London at Konk, the studio founded by The Kinks in 1973.

Album highlight "Poetry" is streaming now via NPR Music, listen here and feel free to post:

http://n.pr/2kju2RN

'Americana' was written, conceived, and arranged, by Davies, and co-produced with Guy Massey and John Jackson. The album is an autobiographical work, chronicling the inextricable role America has played in Davies' life. From his earliest days touring the U.S. with the Kinks and subsequent blacklisting by the American Musicians Union, to his years playing stadiums and eventually staying in New York and New Orleans for a time, America has served as both muse and tempest to Davies.

The songs on 'Americana' dig into the rich American musical tapestry, through the lens of Davies' own wholly unique American experience. The music swerves from the open-road manifesto of "The Great Highway," to a delicate duet with The Jayhawks' Karen Grotberg on "Message From The Road," to "Poetry," which offers a vital reminder of Davies' ability to spin small detail into penetrating truth. The album also features a number of short spoken-word passages from Davies' memoir. A second volume to 'Americana' will be a released later in 2017.

Since the release of his last studio album of new material, 2008's 'Working Man's Café,' Ray Davies released the 2010 collaborative project 'See My Friends,' which featured Bruce Springsteen, Mumford & Sons, Metallica and Spoon; performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics; served as inspiration, the original story plus music and lyrics for the hit UK musical 'Sunny Afternoon' (winner of the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Musical) and much more. At the beginning of 2017 Davies topped Queen Elizabeth's New Year Honours List, and will shortly be receiving a knighthood for his service to the arts. Davies is a member of both the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame and Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame. Five albums by The Kinks were chosen for Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' list.

Nigel Elderton Announced As New Chairman Of PRS  

Nigel Elderton, Managing Director and European President of peermusic, is to succeed Guy Fletcher OBE as Chairman of Performing Right Society Limited.

At peermusic, Nigel has worked with an impressive global roster of emerging, established and heritage songwriters and artists from Melanie C and Donovan, to Judge Jules, Cradle of Filth, Buddy Holly and Brendan Graham. peermusic was also the first company to publish songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and early works by iconic bands such as Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things. First elected to the PRS Board in 1992, Nigel has worked with PRS for Music for 25 years and currently serves as a Publisher Director on the PRS Board and MCPS Board. Nigel also holds Directorships at IMPEL and the Music Publishers Association, is a former Director of UK Music and Founding Trustee of the PRS for Music Foundation.

With over 40 years' experience in the music industry, Nigel began his career at Chappell Music in 1975 and joined EMI Music Publishing a year later where he remained for the next 12 years working in many areas of publishing both creatively and administratively.

Nigel accepted the role of UK Managing Director of peermusic in 1992 and was subsequently appointed European President.

In 2005, he was awarded the Gold Badge of Distinction by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and in 2007, was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA). More recently, Nigel was awarded the Music Publishers Association's highest honour the MPA Gold Badge for distinguished service to the music publishing industry.

Nigel Elderton said: "It is a great honour to follow in the footsteps of such a rich succession of past chairmen including Guy Fletcher who has presided over such a successful chapter in PRS' history. I believe that the experience and knowledge I have obtained while working closely with PRS for Music, MCPS and IMPEL over the years will be invaluable in helping me guide our board and serve the organisation through its next chapter on behalf of all PRS' composer, songwriter and publisher members. I am extremely proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to serve as Chairman and I look forward to working closely with Robert Ashcroft and my two deputy chairmen during what is undoubtedly one of the most challenging and pivotal times for the UK music industry, both at home and internationally."

2017 Australian Songwriters Conference Cancelled

We have received the following from Lisa Butler of the ASC.

"At the Australian Songwriters Conference (ASC), we strive to offer music creators the most professional, valuable and exceptional career development experience ever.  In order to provide this, the event requires an enormous amount of time, effort and 'planets aligning' for the right faculty to be available and to be able to coordinate such a cost-effective, high quality event for Australian songwriters.

Of all the challenges faced in running the ASC, the biggest is undoubtedly related to finances. Reaching budgetary milestones throughout the twelve-month organising period is essential to holding the event. Unfortunately, we have not been able to meet the budget requirements needed at this stage of the organising process to successfully run the event in 2017.

Therefore, after much consideration, and in the best interest of Australian songwriters as well as the event itself, we have decided to defer ASC2017 and hold the next ASC in 2018 - with the view to holding the event every two years after that, should this change prove to be a successful one.

The new dates for ASC are Thursday 7th to Monday 11th June 2018.  Still to be held over five days, ASC2018 will be bigger and better than ever before.  By running the event biennially, there will be more time to apply for funding and to encourage registrations through promotion and marketing to songwriters and the music industry. There will be more time to organise the conference and procure the very best hit songwriters and industry professionals for our Faculty.  All this equates to an even higher quality career development event for our talented and deserving songwriters.

We have already reconfirmed a number of the 2017 speakers and mentors for our 2018 Faculty, including Grammy award winning Los Angeles songwriter, Alan Roy Scott, Hit Australian Writer/Producer team, Barbara & Adrian Hannan, Hit Pop/Urban/Christian artist and writer, Gary Pinto, Australia's top Songwriter Manager and A&R expert, Diana Torossian, Well known Australian Publisher and music industry professional,  Matthew Donlevy, plus many more.  Jack Nigro and The Grove Studios will also be returning in 2018 to provide our fabulous on-site recording studio! The fact that these incredibly busy, 'in-demand' industry professionals all instantly agreed to return in 2018 is testament to the quality of this event and we are extremely grateful for their ongoing support. Our full faculty will be revealed in the coming months and in true ASC fashion, it will be of the same high calibre and include some very exciting surprise Faculty additions.

For details visit the website at www.australiansongwritersconference.com. All questions and enquiries should be directed to ASC organiser, Lisa Butler, at lisa@australiansongwritersconference.com. Please note that the ASC office will be unattended from 24th to 29th January. Incoming emails and messages during this time will be attended to from 30 January".

Folk Alliance International Announces Fourth Annual Music Camp

Folk Alliance International (FAI) has announced details of its fourth annual Music Camp held in conjunction with the 29th annual conference.

The annual music camp provides learners of all ages, skill levels, and walks of life (teachers, students, hobbyists, and professionals) the opportunity to study with and learn from 20 premier instructors.

Open to the public, classes are held Friday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, across the skywalk from the Westin Hotel where FAI's conference takes place. Single day tickets are $60 and a three-day pass is $150. Pre-registration is recommended to guarantee space. Registered FAI conference delegates may attend for a special registrant rate of $10 per class. A full schedule of classes can be viewed at

www.folk.org/musiccamp.

Beginner, intermediate, advanced, and master classes will be held for the following:

• Old Time Banjo

• Step Dancing

• Flatpicking Guitar

• Old Time Fiddle

• African Guitar

• Songwriting

And many more classes

"I know as a touring musician, it is rare to find the opportunity to study with mentors and colleagues. FAI's Music Camp offers an unprecedented opportunity to all the musicians who attend Folk Alliance," says Doug Cox, Camp Director. "The connection with Folk Alliance International's conference provides access to an impressive lineup of instructors. It's unlike anything I have seen, even at other music camps. I am hoping both the public and my fellow musicians will join us."

Camp instructor and Grand Master Fiddle Champion, April Verch said, "I'm really excited to be on the staff in 2017! This is such a great opportunity for musicians, songwriters, and performers to expand their skill set, share their passion, and find fresh inspiration. There's truly no better way to do all of that than at a camp like this, which is filled to the brim with talent and love for what we all do!"

The fourth annual Music Camp will be held February 17-19, 2017, at the Sheraton Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. The camp features Grammy Award-winning artist Eliza Gilkyson, David Wilcox, Beppe Gambetta, April Verch, Bruce Molsky, and more. For tickets and more information, visit

www.folk.org/musiccamp

2017 ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop Announcement

The 2017 ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop, in partnership with DreamWorks Animation and The Wallis, returns to Beverly Hills on February 1 - 2, 2017. The two-day annual workshop gives select composers and lyricists the opportunity to present songs and excerpts of new original musical works in progress for professional critique.

On Wednesday, February 1 at 7:30pm, the workshop session will feature the presentation of two songs from each of four new original musical works-Welcome to Shoofly, Witch's Night Out, The Emperor's Birthday Suit and Lobster Boy. The session will also include professional critique of each song, as well as panel discussions about writing for theater audiences and distinguishing theater songs from pop songs. On Thursday, February 2 at 7:30pm, a 45-minute presentation of the new original musical work-in-progress The Ballad of Brightwater will be presented for professional critique with accompanying expert panel discussions. The panels will be composed of prominent musical theater guests including producers, directors, performers and composers. Panelists to be announced.

On Friday, February 3 at 7:30pm, ASCAP Artistic Director and Tony, Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt) will be joined by Broadway guest stars for An Evening with Stephen Schwartz: Music & Broadway Memories. Special guests to be announced.

"The ASCAP workshops provide a rare opportunity for emerging artists to present their work to the best in the industry and receive invaluable advice that they can carry with them throughout their careers," said The Wallis' Artistic Director Paul Crewes. "We are thrilled to be a part of this special process with Stephen, ASCAP and DreamWorks."

Ticket Information:

Complimentary tickets for the two-day workshop on February 1 & 2 are now available for reservation by emailing Tickets@TheWallis.org. Requests are limited to two tickets per person for each evening of the workshop. Cancellations must be sent to Tickets@TheWallis.org at least 24 hours in advance of the performance. Tickets must be picked up from The Wallis' on-site will call by 7:00pm each night. Any tickets not picked up by that time may be released to standby patrons.

Single tickets for the Friday, February 3 performance of An Evening with Stephen Schwartz: Music & Broadway Memories are now available for purchase ranging from $25 - $35. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org/Schwartz, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.

About the Selections:

The Ballad Of Brightwater
Book, Music and Lyrics by Matthew McCollum
Description: Brightwater was a town in West Virginia, named after the untamed river that cut off its people from the rest of Appalachia. A town ruled by two households, both alike in rage and indecency; where the men fought with guns, knives, and wrenches, and the women preferred poison, cloth, river and rope. So when Rosie MacAleese fell in love with the son of her father's nemesis…what on earth did she think would happen? (45-minute excerpt to be presented on Thursday, February 2)

Lobster Boy
Music and Lyrics by David Philp
Book and lyrics by Shelly Goldstein
Description: Based loosely on the real-life story of the world's most notorious freak show attraction "Lobster Boy," a man suffering from Ectrodactyly, a condition that causes his hands and feet to fuse together like lobster claws. This rock & roll "Tale of Two Tents" looks at the bitter rivalry between the members of the Freak Show and the circus performers of the Big Top, which reaches a fever pitch when Lobster Boy's beautiful daughter falls in love with the Big Top's main attraction, The Human Cannonball. (Two songs from the musical to be presented on Wednesday, February 1)

The Emperor's Birthday Suit
Book, Music and Lyrics by Carol Weiss
Description: A reworking of the H.C. Andersen tale combined with two other fables, "Stone Soup" and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." A vain emperor wants a new suit for his birthday. Two swindlers convince him they'll make him a magical suit that only wise people can see. The emperor and royal court are taken in. The royal princess and her boyfriend ("the boy who cried wolf") finally prove they've been "taken." (Two songs from the musical to be presented on Wednesday, February 1)

Welcome To Shoofly
Book, Lyrics and Music by Justin Anthony Long and Jonny Lee Jr.
Music by Joanna Burns and Amanda Duncan
Description: Figuring out who you are, where you belong and what you're supposed to do with your life is hard, especially after being kicked in the head by a horse and losing all your memories. "Welcome to Shoofly," where the Button M. Britches Annual Shoofly Bakeoff is bigger than Christmas! When a mysterious amnesiac stumbles into Shoofly and threatens to dethrone the reigning champion, the Bakeoff goes awry causing absurd hysteria in the small southern town. Add three cups of fun, a teaspoon of love and a whole lot of heart and you've got all the right ingredients for this wild and charming original musical romp. (Two songs from the musical to be presented on Wednesday, February 1)

Witch's Night Out
Music and Lyrics by Jim Dooley
Book by Rye Mullis
Description: When two imaginative children yearn to become "real" monsters on Halloween, their dream comes true when a witch grants their wish. Transformations, mistaken identities, angry mobs, and dance parties ensue as the Witch teaches everyone about the true meaning of Halloween. (Two songs from the musical to be presented on Wednesday, February 1)

Manchester United Unveils Deezer As Music Streaming Partner
     
Manchester United has announced a new partnership with Deezer, one of the world's leading digital music platforms.

The arrival of the club's first Official Audio Streaming Partner has been celebrated by United players, along with legend Rio Ferdinand, sharing their passion for a variety of musical genres in a video being released today.

As a global partner, Deezer will enhance the user experience on Manchester United channels, with fans able to access more than 43 million tracks and 40,000 pieces of broader audio content such as podcasts.

United fans will also be able to experience the service's signature feature, 'Flow', which automatically gives each user a personal soundtrack, put together by a combination of Deezer's in-house musical curators as well as algorithmic data.

Today's video brings to life how music can help modern footballers focus, work and relax. It stars Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ashley Young, along with Club legend and six-time Premier League title winner Rio Ferdinand.

In addition to the film, United's fans can expect to see player playlists, hear match day playlists when at Old Trafford and experience integration between the Manchester United website and Deezer apps.

Manchester United Group Managing Director Richard Arnold comments "This is an exciting partnership for us and Deezer. Music and sport have the power to bring people together, something we experience first-hand with the appeal of football and the unique passion for Manchester United. As Deezer is also an innovator and an industry leader, we look forward to providing our fans around the world with a new way to interact with the Club they love through music and digital media."

Deezer's Chief Executive Officer Hans-Holger Albrecht comments "We are thrilled to be collaborating with one of the most recognised football teams in the world to give fans that are both hugely passionate about music and football access to compelling, entertaining and innovative content. We look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Manchester United over the next few years and to delivering what we believe will be the very best user experience."

The Norwegian Music Industry Is Worth $440 Million

The Norwegian music industry was worth NOK 3.727.000.000 ($440.262.716) in 2015. Up 5 percent from 2014.

Music in Numbers was released December 12th. The report aims to show data which says something about the industry's size and how it develops over time. To calculate the size and worth of the industry, the report has collected revenue statistics from three main categories; copyright revenue, revenue from recorded music (physical and digital), and concerts and performance revenue.

The live sector makes up the biggest portion of total revenue, accounting for 52 percent ($227.622.000), while recorded music and copyrights each make up 24 percent ($107.852.000 for copyright revenue and $104.312.000 for recorded music).

Streaming has yet to reach its peak, growing 10 percent from 2014 to 2015. Streaming's continued impact on the industry economy alone accounts for a year on year growth of recorded music sales of 5%.

2015's numbers marks an all time high since the yearly tracking began in 2012. The numbers reverse the negative growth between 2013 and 2014, were revenues were down about 1 percent.

2015: NOK 3.727.000.000

2014: NOK 3.564.000.000

2013: NOK 3.598.000.000

2012: NOK 3.072.000.000

Export Income

The report shows that 6 percent of total revenue comes from export revenue, the same share as previous three years. Export income has increased in sync with the general revenue.

Export revenues were worth 375.000.000NOK ($44.297.965) in 2015.

Note: Export revenue is only generated from what directly can be traced to a Norwegian company. Deals Norwegian artists and industry professionals have with foreign companies is not included. Concert statistics is made up of artist fees, and not ticket sales. Sale of merchandise is also not included.

Income From Recorded Music

Total revenue for recorded music stood at 884MNOK in 2015 ($M104.4), an impressive 9 percent increase from 2014.

Digital, and mostly streaming was the driving factor to the increase. Streaming revenue was up 10% year on year. The growth makes up for the 44 percent decrease in downloads.

It's worth noting that revenue from ad-supported streams are not included in this report.

Vinyl had yet a massive year, with sales making physical increase 48 percent compared with 2014. Vinyl sales itself grew 69 percent from 2014, due to more titles available and a general higher demand.

Norwegian music (music published on Norwegian labels) had a market share of 26 percent, up from 22 percent in 2014.

Export stood for 5 percent of revenue in recorded music, the same share as the year before. That equals to 46MNOK ($M5,4) in 2015.

Export is defined as "income generated in markets outside Norway by companies registered in Norway".

Export generated income from recorded music is up 22 percent year on year. Since 2012, when the yearly tracking begun, export income from recorded music has doubled.

Income From The Live Sector

Total income from concerts in 2015 was NOK 1.929.000.000 ($227.868.736). This marks a year on year increase of 4 percent. The amount is generated from tickets sales in Norway and artist fees from concerts outside of Norway.

Export income from concerts equaled MNOK 114 ($M13.7), a drop of 6 percent year on year. The report suggests fall in artist fees as the reason for the decrease from 2014.

Income From Copyrights

The report finds that copyrights income contributed MNOK 914 in 2015 ($M107.97), up 2 percent year on year. Export income stands for 9 percent of the total, equal to MNOK 80 ($M9.45).

Export income is defined as revenue transferred to Norwegian rights holders by foreign collective societies. A year on year comparison shows an increase of 17 percent from 2014.

Income from sync deals who are not done directly between copyright holders and/or publishers based in Norway are not included in these numbers.

Songwriter Smokey Robinson Donates $2 Million To Charity

On the heels of his headlining performance as the 2016 "Rocker of the Year" at the annual Little Kids Rock Benefit in New York City, Smokey Robinson will be giving students at Pio Pico Middle School in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) a million reasons to make beautiful music. On January 18, Robinson will make a special appearance to hear a new generation's take on his timeless tunes, deliver brand new instruments, and present a $1 million check donated by Niagara Cares to support Little Kids Rock's mission of transforming lives by restoring, expanding and innovating music education in public schools.

"Little Kids Rock is such a great organization for supporting the effort for getting our kids in the arts in schools," Robinson said. "We need to support our kids in as many positive areas as we possibly can. We are not only talking about the future of music; we are talking about the future of our country. We are talking about the future; our future period."

Robinson's performance at the sold-out benefit last October not only brought the crowd to its feet but also helped raise $1.1 million to establish youth-centered, culturally relevant music education in schools across the United States. Inspired by Little Kids Rock's progressive approach, Robinson will second that emotion by presenting a check to the organization for an additional $1 million, on behalf of Niagara Cares, a philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling that supports initiatives serving children and families in need.

Little Kids Rock partnered with the LAUSD in 2004 and has since distributed more than 7,000 instruments and curricular resources worth more than $2 million. To symbolize the investment that will bring the program to tens of thousands of additional children, Robinson will unveil a surprise of brand new instruments to the school. The nonprofit will then donate instruments and expand the program to 30 more LAUSD schools on Saturday, January 28 at Little Kids Rock's Modern Band Workshop.

NMPA And YouTube Agree To Distribute Unclaimed Royalties

The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), on behalf of music publishers and songwriters, and YouTube have negotiated an agreement to distribute royalties for musical works used in videos on YouTube where ownership was previously unknown. As a result, millions of dollars in previously unclaimed non-performance royalties will be paid to publishers and songwriters, starting in 2017.

The agreement addresses the challenges around identifying ownership of musical works, and it will help solve the problem of attribution so that music publishers and songwriters can not only be paid for works viewed on YouTube in the past where ownership was previously unknown, but also be paid for those identified works moving forward.

"We appreciate YouTube's willingness to work with us on behalf of the industry to help pay out millions of dollars in previously unclaimed royalties to publishers and songwriters," NMPA President and CEO David Israelite said regarding the agreement. "It is essential that we work with digital services like YouTube - the most popular digital platform for music discovery - to fix the challenge of incomplete ownership information to ensure royalties are no longer unmatched and music owners are paid accurately by the platforms that rely on their work."

"The revenue earned by the music industry on YouTube continues to grow significantly year over year, and we're committed to making sure that publishers are paid for the usage of their works on our platform," said Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Partnerships, Americas for YouTube and Google Play. "We are excited to partner with the NMPA to address the industry-wide challenges associated with identifying publishing ownership on digital platforms."

Agreement Summary:

• Music publishers will have the ability to opt into this agreement during the opt-in period, which opens on December 12, 2016 and will remain open through February 28, 2017.

• Following the opt-in period, YouTube will provide participating publishers with a list of songs YouTube may have been unable to obtain proper ownership information for. This will allow participating publishers to claim ownership in those songs and receive accrued royalties from the period between August 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015.

• The claiming window will be 3 months long. After the claiming window, participating publishers will receive claimed accrued royalties.

• Any accrued royalties that remain unclaimed will be distributed to participating publishers based on each publisher's market share and on revenue paid for known usage on YouTube during the initial accrual period. The agreement, however, will not affect the rights of any publisher or songwriter who does not choose to participate.

• This process will be repeated for future twelve-month usage periods beginning on January 1, 2016 and ending on December 31, 2019.

Global Royalties For Creators Reach High Of $8.6 Billion
 
The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) has released its 2016 Global Collections Report providing insight into the remuneration of creators in the year 2015. This unique publication aggregates financial data from the organisation's 239 member societies, which represent over four million creators of music, audio-visual works, drama, literature and visual arts in 123 countries. For the first time, the report also consolidates CISAC members' data with figures from leading music publishers on the digital music business in key markets.

The report shows that total royalties have grown for the third year in a row to €8.6 billion, up 8.9% from 2014 and breaking the €8 billion mark for the first time. Music collections accounted for nearly 90% of this figure (€7.5 billion) and increased 8.5% year on year. Other repertoires also experienced strong growth with audio-visual royalties up 15.1% and royalties for visual art increasing 27.4%.

Collections from digital services jumped 21.4%, representing 7.2% of overall royalties collected around the world. The new edition of CISAC's Global Collections Report provides in-depth analysis of market trends with a first look at collections by societies and music publishers from digital music platforms in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Sweden.

Key trends:

• Global royalty collections in 2015 totalled over €8.6 billion, rising 8.9% from 2014 collections.

• By region, Europe continues to lead the world in royalty collections with 58.4% of the total (€5.0 billion), experiencing a year-on-year growth of 3.6%.

•  By repertoire, music accounts for the vast majority of collections (86.8% of the total). Audio-visual (+15.1%) and Visual Arts (+27.4%) posted strong year-on-year growth.

• Collections from digital services jumped 21.4% but account for only 7.2% of total royalties collected worldwide.

Digital Music

The new CISAC report includes a special focus on the online market and, for the first time, provides analysis by industry expert Susan Butler on the digital music business. It brings consolidated data from societies and music publishers in six key markets (US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Sweden) on collections from ad-supported digital audio and video platforms, subscription digital audio services and paid download services.

The report shows that subscription services is the prevailing model in terms of royalties paid to creators and music publishers in the US, UK, France and Sweden, while download services dominate digital income in Germany and Canada. Ad-supported services pay creators significantly less than other business models for online music, in all key markets.

Global figures in further detail

Collections by region


• Growth was driven globally, in all regions of the world.

• North America posted the strongest growth with a 33% increase in collections year on year. This jump is partly attributable to exchange rate fluctuations and the income from the Harry Fox Agency (now part of the SESAC group), added to CISAC's data for the first time.

• Africa saw encouraging increase of 14.9% in collections between 2014 and 2015.

• Asia-Pacific collections went up 5.6%.

• Latin America & the Caribbean saw a 3.7% growth.

• Europe had a 3.6% growth year on year.

Collections by repertoire

• Generating the lion's share of global collections at 86.8%, music collections grew in 2015 by 8.5%.

• Audio-visual collections went up 15.1% from 2014 to 2015 reaching €574 million, with the overwhelming majority of these royalties (90%) collected in Europe.

• Visual arts, the smallest sector in terms of royalty collections (€181 million) showed the strongest growth (+27.4%).

Collections by type of right

• Royalties for public performance rights posted a growth rate of 9.1%, climbing to €6.8 billion and accounting for 78.8% of overall collections.

Billboard Names Republic Records Number 1 Label Of 2016 

Billboard once again named Republic Records the music industry's "Top Label" on the publication's year-end charts. The label accomplishes the best overall performance across the Billboard 200 albums chart and Billboard Hot 100 songs chart combined. R

Also, according to Mediabase, at radio Republic Records also stands out as the #1 Label Overall with 17.9% chart share for the third straight year. Nearly 1-in-5 songs played on radio are under the company's umbrella with a grand total of 7,539,293 spins this year alone.

It also remains the #1 Label at Top 40 with 23.7% share and over 3.8 million spins. Four of the Top 10 artists on Top 40 were under the Republic banner namely Drake, in conjunction with YMCMB (#4), The Weeknd (#7), Shawn Mendes as part of a strategic alliance for radio promotion with Island Records (#8), and Ariana Grande (#9).

Republic also ascends to #1 Rhythm Label with 20.2% share and 1.1 million spins. As part of the label's long-running partnership with Cash Money Records and Young Money, Drake emerges as the #1 Artist at Rhythm, while "One Dance" [feat. Wizkid & Kyla] becomes both #1 Rhythm Song of the Year and Longest Running #1 of the Year. Meanwhile, Drake takes the crown as #1 artist at Rhythmic, while The Weeknd lands at #4. Drake is also #1 at Urban.

Republic Records continues its Hot AC dominance as the format's #1 Label, holding the #1 and #2 Hot AC Song of the Year slots with Shawn Mendes' "Stitches," and James Bay's "Let It Go," respectively. Lastly, 2016 concludes with the label notching #1 at AC as well with 20.2% share and 1.1 million spins. Mendes finishes 2016 as the #4 artist at Hot AC, while Bay places #8.

VersusMedia Launches New Website For Its Film Music Service

For 15 years, VersusMedia has been connecting talented filmmakers with musicians seeking new marketing channels for their music. Now, a new dedicated website for VersusMedia's Film Music Agent service is being launched at

http://www.filmmusicagent.com

This site will make networking between independent filmmakers and musicians easier than ever before.

The Film Music Agent website will initially be available in seven languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, and Khmer), reflecting the global nature of the independent market. Additional languages are likely to follow suit in the coming months, with the membership-based service delivering a unique solution that meets the needs of both filmmakers and musicians.

Ryan Vinson, the founder of VersusMedia and the brain-child behind the Film Music Agent concept, is excited about the updated website because it provides the aesthetics, functionality, and easy navigation expected from a modern website with the unique networking platform that VersusMedia has been praised for throughout the independent film industry. Promising musicians often struggle to get enough exposure for their music, and independent filmmakers face issues in finding talented artists that don't charge exorbitant fees. This website will help to eliminate these issues for both parties.

"The new site sticks to the same general principle as the old one, but we needed an upgrade to make it even easier for filmmakers and musicians to directly communicate. I wanted to create an improved website that meets the requirements of both mobile and traditional web browsers. Filmmakers can post about projects that they need music for, and musicians can directly respond to these listings. The idea is that both parties can work out a suitable agreement between themselves and move forward. This means less time wasted by filmmakers trawling the web for talented musicians, and more time spent creating and innovating."

The new website is part of a broader strategy by VersusMedia that provides support for artists behind-the-scenes, while also helping to promote their material to a wider audience. The Film Music Agent website achieves the former aim, while VersusMedia's cord cutting channels, which were launched earlier this year, help to achieve the latter aim. The on-demand channels are available on Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Xiaomi Mi Box, and they feature a plethora of music videos and movies produced by independent artists.

VersusMedia's networking service has been praised by filmmakers who are active in major festival markets and beyond in countries including India, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, England, and Mexico. The launch of the new site will cater to a global market, with the company listing projects including high-budget independent feature films and smaller student movies.

Record Labels Invest Us$4.5 Billion Annually In A&R & Marketing
 
Record companies remain the largest investors in music, providing more than US$4.5 billion for "Artists & Repertoire" (A&R) and marketing in 2015, according to a new report published today by IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide, in association with the World Independent Network (WIN), representing independent labels internationally.

Investing in Music details record companies' global investment in discovering, nurturing and promoting artists and their music. The report highlights the extensive 'behind the scenes' work performed by teams of professionals at record companies supporting these efforts.

Jointly introducing the report, Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI and Alison Wenham, CEO of WIN, said: "Investing in Music highlights not just record companies' financial investment in artists, but also the enduring value they bring to artists' careers. In the digital world, the nature of their work has evolved, but their core mission remains the same: discovering and breaking new artists, building their careers and bringing the best new music to fans. These are the defining qualities of record companies' investment in music."

Key data highlights from the report include:

• Record companies invest 27% of revenues back into A&R and marketing - this is the work of discovering, nurturing and promoting artists. Investment in A&R and marketing totalled US$4.5 billion in 2015. Companies sustained this level of annual investment even as the industry weathered two decades of revenue decline.

• Of that 27%, record companies invest 16.9% of revenues in A&R - this is a higher proportion than the equivalent research and development (R&D) investment ratio of all the leading sectors included in EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard 2015.

• A major international signing will cost between US$0.5 million and US$2 million to break in a major market such as the US or UK - including investment in everything from artist advances to recording costs, videos, tour support, and marketing and promotion.

• Music companies also invest, along with distributors, in developing the infrastructure of the digital market, servicing more than 360 digital music sites globally with more than 40 million tracks.

To download the full report:

http://investinginmusic.ifpi.org/report/ifpi-iim-report-2016.pdf

ASCAP Relaunches Website and Member Portal

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the performing rights has announced its redesigned website, including its dedicated "Member Access" portal. The changes are part of ASCAP's ongoing enhancements to give members the digital tools they need to make managing their lives as music professionals easier. These improvements follow the launch of ASCAP's redesigned music repertory database, ACE, and are another step toward solidifying the organisation's position as the premier performing rights organisation (PRO) for best-in-class digital experiences.

The new website and Member Access provide a unified online experience across desktops, mobile devices and other platforms so that ASCAP members can easily conduct their business globally, 24/7. Within the new Member Access, members will find improved self-service options, more information-at-a-glance, a simplified process for reporting performances, the ability to contact ASCAP with a single tap and much more.

"The changes we are making to ASCAP.com and Member Access demonstrate that ASCAP is committed to giving our members the best services possible," said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews. "The new design and interface are fresh and intuitive. The development of these state-of-the-art digital tools by our new digital team, led by Chief Strategy and Digital Officer Alice Kim, is part of a cross-departmental initiative to make our interactions with members more seamless and effective. They are the early results of our continued strategic focus on technology and innovation for the benefit of our songwriter, composer and music publisher members, aimed at making ASCAP the most progressive organisation for performance rights management."

A Billion Reasons To Celebrate Music On YouTube

Last year was a bright one for music after several tough years of declining revenues, the industry started growing again, spurred in large part by the growth of music streaming subscriptions. This year, the industry has even more reasons to be optimistic. Even as music subscriptions have been growing faster than any other subscription type, advertising is another powerful driver of revenue. In fact, in the last 12 months, YouTube has paid out over $1 billion to the music industry from advertising alone, demonstrating that multiple experiences and models are succeeding alongside each other.

And this is just the beginning. As more advertising dollars shift from TV, radio and print to online services, the music industry will generate even more revenue from ads. In the future, the music business has an opportunity to look a lot like television, where subscriptions and advertising contribute roughly equal amounts of revenue, bolstered by digital and physical sales. To achieve this, there is a lot of work that must be done by YouTube and the industry as a whole, but we are excited to see the momentum.

At a time when there's never been more competition for attention, fans can't get enough good music. It is clear that this creative industry has two strong engines of growth -- subscriptions and advertising -- and we are honoured to be a part of it.

Granddaughter Of Songwriter Ron Miller Makes A Splash

Continuing the entertainment legacies launched by her grandfathers, comedian Buddy Hackett and hit songwriter, Ron Miller, 10-year-old multi-talented singer and dancer Ashleigh Hackett has released her third music video and recording with an infectious, original new song, "Slay."

The imaginative video may be viewed on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zud2ukMW_QQ)

and is available for download on iTunes and coming soon to Amazon. Ashleigh premieres the new video with the launch of her brand new website.

"Slay" was penned by her mother, producer/singer/songwriter and performer Lisa Dawn Miller along with her writing partner, Mark Matson.

The success of Ashleigh's first song, "Let's Go!" led to her headlining at the 27th Annual Kids Fair in Charleston, S.C. last year. "Let's Go!" is an empowering anthem and high-energy celebration of friendship and the power that exists when young girls bond together and do things their own way. It was inspired by Ashleigh's love for dance and the Lifetime reality series "Dance Moms" and its central figure, Abby Lee Miller.

Ashleigh's older brother, 16-year-old singer and actor, Oliver Richman recently released a new holiday recording, "Celebrate Me Home" plus a special 50th Anniversary recording and music video of "For Once in My Life" written by his and Ashleigh's grandfather, legendary songwriter Ron Miller.

Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, "For Once in My Life," was originally recorded by Stevie Wonder with recordings by over 400 major label artists including, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Ron Miller's hits include "Touch Me in the Morning," "Heaven Help Us All," "Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday," "A Place in the Sun," "I've Never Been to Me," "If I Could," and "Someday at Christmas."

At just 4 years old, Ashleigh appeared as the "Angel" in her brother's remake of their grandfather's classic Christmas song, "One Little Christmas Tree," resulting in an invitation by Stevie Wonder asking the young Richman to share the stage with him at the Nokia Theatre, performing to a standing ovation from more than 7,500 people.

Johnny Marks Songwriting Catalogue Renews With ASCAP

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has renewed its agreement with the estate of songwriter Johnny Marks, the writer of classic holiday songs including "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "A Holly Jolly Christmas," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Silver and Gold" and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." ASCAP will continue to license public performances of his extensive songwriting catalogue throughout the world.

"It simply wouldn't be the holidays without the music of Johnny Marks," said ASCAP President Paul Williams. "His enduring songs have provided a timeless soundtrack for holiday sing-alongs and family gatherings for over 75 years, and ASCAP is proud to keep the tradition going."

"My father was an ASCAP member from the beginning of his career," said Johnny Marks' son, Michael, who now runs St. Nicholas Music, the publishing company founded by his father. "It has been a long and rewarding relationship, and I look forward to continuing to work with our friends at ASCAP in the years to come."

Marks was born in Mt. Vernon, New York on November 10, 1909. Though he was active as a songwriter since 1935, Marks earned his first major hit when Gene Autry's recording of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" became the first #1 song of the 1950s, and sold 1.75 million copies in its first year. His many awards include an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the inaugural award from the International Society of Santa Claus in 1973, in tribute to his contributions to the spirit of Christmas.

Aside from his beloved holiday canon, three of which are among ASCAP's Top 30 Holiday Songs of the Year, Marks composed scores for commercials and TV specials which have been viewed by over a billion people, including the 1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer program with Burl Ives (among the longest-running specials in TV history). He found success with non-holiday music too, including the country hit "Everything I've Always Wanted" recorded by Porter Wagoner; "She'll Always Remember," introduced by Kate Smith; "Anyone Can Move a Mountain," recorded by Kate Smith and Harry Simeone, "Address Unknown" with the Ink Spots and "Who Calls" with Bing Crosby.

From 1940 until his death in 1985, Marks was an active member of ASCAP and served on its Board of Directors from 1957 through 1961. He founded his own St. Nicholas Music in 1949 to publish his songwriting catalogue, and it is still active today.

UK Music Reacts To Election Of Donald Trump As US President

    Reacting to the election of Donald Trump as the next US President, UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple said: "Trump's presidency will no doubt usher in a new phase of politics favouring protectionism and nationalism.

"There are some clear similarities with Brexit. There is a political mood which favours protecting national interests both in the US and in the UK. The Trump victory will undoubtedly bring with it visa implications for overseas nationals and therefore British bands who want to work in the US. This compounds ongoing concern about the visa system for British musicians visiting the US, as well as the 27 remaining EU markets which are dependent on the yet-to-be detailed withdrawal from the EU.

"UK Music is part of the Musicians Union Visa Task Force which is meeting US consul general Debra Heien on Monday to discuss the rising and prohibitive cost of access to the US market for British bands. UK musicians should enjoy the same access to the US which American artists have to the UK. The meeting will also be the first contact between British music and US officials following Trump's election, and may give us a sense of the new administration's approach. "There are many questions over Trump's plans in so many areas of policy, details of which are yet unknown. And like Brexit, the implications and impact of his Presidency will take months and years to be felt.

"We do know from his comments during the campaign that Trump is highly sceptical of Google and his Presidency may bring a sea change of policy thinking to companies that have operated without constraint over global markets. There might be an opportunity to challenge the grip that Google has had over White House copyright policy if Trump refuses to play the game like his predecessors - and we know he doesn't like the old game.

"British music has consistently risen above challenges and disruption and we will continue to do so, however many bricks are in the wall."

Whiskey & Cigarettes Announces Theme Song Contest

MTS Management Group and "Whiskey And Cigarettes Radio Show" have announced the show's "Smokin' Hot Intro" theme song contest. Recording artists are invited to submit their original work, for consideration to become the award-winning country music show's theme song. The winning track will be played at the beginning of each episode, and the winning artist will be given additional social media promotion and an exclusive interview on the show.

Submissions should be radio-ready masters (no demos please) in the country, americana, or other roots-based genres, with a minimum length of 1 minute. Mp3 submissions (no links please) will be accepted at

michael@mtsmanagementgroup.com

until December 23rd. The winner will be selected and announced by host, DJ Nik Pizzigoni on the January 2, 2017 live broadcast.

"We have some incredible talent in our audience, and DJ Nik has been very supportive of indie artists on his show," said Michael Stover of MTS. "So, what better way to give back to the listeners and support that independent community, than to give one lucky listener the opportunity to be heard around the world on a weekly basis. We are really looking forward to hearing all of the submissions. Good luck everyone!"

"Whiskey And Cigarettes Radio Show" is a weekly show, originating in Milan, Italy, hosted by the "Romeo of the Rodeo" Nik Pizzigoni. The show is syndicated and heard around the world on internet and am/fm outlets.

Nik is a Nashville Universe Awards Winner, International Music and Entertainment Association Award Winner, a New Music Awards Winner, AMG Heritage Awards nominee, and an Independent Country Music Association nominee. The show features a unique blend of classic, current and indie country, trivia, contests, artist spotlights and interviews and Nik's European charm. Previous guests have included Charley Pride, Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Daniels, Steve Wariner, John Rich, Oak Ridge Boys, Lorrie Morgan, Bill Anderson, David Ball, Bryan White, Doug Stone, Lee Greenwood, Collin Raye and many others. www.whiskeyandcigarettesshow.com.

PMC Backs Important Film To Document London's Tin Pan Alley
     
A movie charting the history of Denmark's Street's Tin Pan Alley now has the backing of PMC, which has donated to a crowd-funding campaign aiming to raise the £28,000 needed to get the film made.

Tin Pan Alley Tales - The Documentary, produced and directed by Save Tin Pan Alley campaign founder and chairman Henry Scott-Irvine, is a modern-day Canterbury Tales that focuses on the street's history including its importance to music business.

10 people with 10 different jobs will tell 10 stories across 10 decades, giving viewers a remarkable insight into the life and workings of this unique location. Over 17 hours of interview footage has already been shot with the likes of Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols, writer Will Self, skiffle pioneer and music agent Chas McDevitt.

Dave Davies from the Kinks has shot a short sequence of himself in Tin Pan Alley, exclusively for the film and there is also interview footage with composer and musician Patrick Campbell-Lyons, whose UK band Nirvana was the first British group to release an album on Island Records in the summer of 1967. A regular at the Gioconda Café at No,9 Denmark Street, he reminisces about his friendship with David Bowie who used to park his touring vehicle - a World War Two US military ambulance - outside the café.

Henry Scott-Irvine is already half way towards his £28,000 target but is hoping that more backers will come forward over the next few weeks to enable him to complete the film.

"I've had support from many music industry people - both for the film and for the original campaign to save Tin Pan Alley," he says. "In the last few weeks alone we've been given rare and valuable original acetates that were donated by Suggs from Madness. Producer Clive Langer has also given us a 12" white label master of a limited edition vinyl pressing of David Bowie's song Absolute Beginners, which topped the UK charts in 1986. These will be auctioned on Ebay to raise money for the film."

Scott-Irvine adds that the importance of making the documentary cannot be underestimated. "Denmark Street was the epicentre of London's music scene for so long, but now, because of the development of the area, much of the history is being lost. We need to preserve and archive the story of Tin Pan Alley, as well as continue the fight for it to be protected with musical heritage zone status."

Tin Pan Alley's musical heritage dates to 1911 when it was the birthplace of sheet music publishing, and subsequently the birthplace of the music charts. The NME and The Melody Maker began life there, and for many years it was the place to have an office if you were a music publisher or an artist's manager.

To generally lend your support to saving Tin Pan Alley, please sign the 'Don't Bin Tin Pan Alley' petition at this link: https://www.change.org/p/alex-bushell-don-t-bin-tin-pan-alley

US Copyright Exemption Severely Harms European Authors

At the International Council of Creators of Music (CIAM) which was held in London this year, Keith Donald, Chairman of Irish authors' society IMRO, presented the findings of a new study on the US Copyright Act exemption 110(5)(B). The study quantifies that $44 million per year is lost to European rights holders, and should serve as a reminder that the exemption is in breach of the TRIPS agreements and was indeed ruled unlawful by the WTO in 2000.

The United States is one of only two more economically developed countries that have an exemption in place for playing music in bars, restaurants and retail establishments by means of radio or TV. The study, conducted by the independent consulting agency PMP Conseil, includes a wide survey of US bars, restaurants and retail establishments to gauge their use of music, and the effect of the exemption on revenues for authors in Europe and the US. With yearly losses estimated at well over $150 million for U.S. and EU rights holders, it is unquestionable that this exemption has an unacceptable negative impact on authors.

Véronique Desbrosses, General Manager of GESAC said: "the European Union and the United States are currently holding talks, although fragile, over trade agreements where the harm caused by this exemption needs to be raised and addressed. We expect this study to have a significant effect on the weight of the issue."

Author and IMRO Chairman Keith Donald added: "we thank GESAC for undertaking this study and now call on the European Commission to take the necessary actions to put an end to this long-lasting harmful situation."

A delegation of authors is set to meet the European Commission to present the findings of this new study, and to urge the European Union to pressure the United States into aligning its Copyright Act with the international treaties it has signed.

UK Enters Music Streaming Race As Electric Jukebox Launches
   
Music fans across the UK were the first to get their hands on British music streaming player Electric Jukebox, backed by Robbie Williams, Stephen Fry, Alesha Dixon and Sheryl Crow when it went on sale across the UK on the 9th November.

Electric Jukebox will be available in-store at major retailers, etailers and online priced at £169 (UK RRP) which includes the streaming device, a dedicated wireless controller and a full 1-year Premium Music Pass.

Available in Red, Blue and Charcoal, Electric Jukebox turns your TV into a jukebox with millions of albums. It's easy to use, with no subscription or registration, and a simple 2 minute setup. Just plug in to your TV, connect to Wi-Fi and start playing the music you love.

"We're delighted to be working with Selfridges, Argos, Amazon and a major TV network to bring Electric Jukebox to British consumers," said Rob Lewis, CEO of Magic Works, the company behind Electric Jukebox. "More partners will be announced soon."

Unlike existing music streaming services, Electric Jukebox provides everything you need to start streaming music in one box. The Electric Jukebox TV stick plugs into your TVs HDMI port, instantly turning it into a jukebox. The Electric Jukebox controller gives you easy 'point and click' motion sensitive controls for your TV, with a built-in microphone providing Voice Search so you can choose your music simply by saying the name of the artist album or song you want.

Electric Jukebox also lets you create your own mixtapes or you can sit back and enjoy hundreds of genre, era and mood based music channels curated by music experts plus charts, new releases and exclusive celebrity mixtapes.

Electric Jukebox Celebrity Curators include the UK's best selling British solo artist Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field, English actor, writer and comedian Stephen Fry, nine-time Grammy award winning Sheryl Crow and Britain's Got Talent Judge and singer songwriter Alesha Dixon. The Curators are all part of the editorial team and are also shareholders.

Further Celebrity Curators will be announced shortly.

Electric Jukebox is Britain's new entrant in the fast growing music streaming market. App based competitors include Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL and Apple Music but require consumers to buy streaming devices and controllers, create user accounts, and commit to monthly subscriptions.

Electric Jukebox includes a full 1-year Premium Music Pass. A further 1-year Premium Music Pass will cost users just £52 per year. As such, future years are much more affordable than £9.99 monthly subscriptions. If users don't take up a Premium Music Pass in the second year, Electric Jukebox continues to provide the curated music experience and celebrity mixtapes but with ads.

"We want music to be affordable and easy to access so everyone can enjoy it. Our 1-year Premium Music Pass for Electric Jukebox will cost the equivalent of just £1 a week: £52 pounds for the year. That's makes it affordable for everyone." said Electric Jukebox CEO, Rob Lewis.

ICMP Creates New MA In Songwriting

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) has developed a new Songwriting MA in direct response to recent BASCA research findings that female composers are under-represented in the music industry. The Institute's BA in Songwriting is made up of a rare 50:50 split of women and men, and the course team's ambition is to see this equality also reflected at Masters level.

The research project, 'Equality and Diversity in New Music Commissioning,' was implemented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors to compare the demographic of composers receiving commissions with the demographics of those with the talent and ambition to become composers. They did this by analysing data on commissioned works submitted to the British Composer Awards and comparing it with data on composition students provided by a small selection of universities and conservatoires. The team discovered that 36% of composition students were female, compared to only 21% of commissioned composers.

Natalie Bleicher, Classical Coordinator of BASCA and author of the study wrote, "What we found explodes the myth that we will reach equality in composition without positive action."

Sophie Daniels, Head of Songwriting at ICMP, said, "By offering our new Masters degree in Songwriting, we are increasing opportunities for composers to attain higher levels of skill, qualification and, importantly, confidence. We also ensure excellent networking, collaboration and performance prospects. Within the context of respecting difference, the Institute is committed to ensuring there is equal opportunity for all, and we hope our actions positively contribute to achieving equality in composition.

The MA is a highly creative programme designed to enable students to examine, explore and focus on both practical and analytical songwriting education. Students identify the conditions in which they create their best work, and carry out academic research before generating a new major repertoire work or a dissertation.

The BASCA study found that commissioned composers are much more likely to live in London rather than the rest of the UK, so as the capital's only MA in Songwriting, ICMP believe their new course will offer a valuable route for composers to further their skills. The Institute has applied for this course to be designated eligible for SLC funding for the 2017-18 academic year. They hope this will encourage increased numbers of students from both within and outside of London to further their composition education.

For further details on the MA in Songwriting you can visit

http://icmp.ac.uk/course/ma-songwriting

or to enquire about any other ICMP courses you can search via the Courses Page.

GEMA Signs Agreement With YouTube
   
GEMA and the online platform YouTube have signed a licensing agreement which also covers the contractual gap since 2009. 70,000 music authors and publishers represented by GEMA are now going to receive again remuneration for the exploitation of their musical works protected by copyright.

After years of legal disputes and lengthy negotiations, GEMA and YouTube managed to agree on a licensing contract. By concluding this contract, GEMA members will now be paid for the exploitation of works protected by copyright via the online platform with the furthest global reach. GEMA is fulfilling its fiducial duty to manage the rights on behalf of its members by signing this contract.

The public is another beneficiary of this agreement. From now on, so-called blocked content notices will discontinue. YouTube is no longer going to place them prior to music videos containing GEMA repertoire protected by copyright.

Dr Harald Heker, GEMA CEO, commented the contract as follows: "After seven years of tough negotiations the conclusion of this contract with YouTube marks a milestone for GEMA and its members. We remained true to our position that authors should also get a fair remuneration in the digital age, despite the resistance we met. It is crucial that the licensing agreement that we have now signed covers both the future and the past. By reaching this agreement, we can secure the royalties for our members."

On top of the traditional ad-based service, the agreement covers the new subscription service that YouTube is already offering in the USA and which it is planning to launch in Europe. Thomas Theune, Director of Broadcast and Online at GEMA, adds: "The conclusion of this contract with YouTube is a clear signal to all online platforms that successfully build their business models on the musical works of creatives. Authors must be fairly remunerated for the exploitation of their musical works. GEMA will continue to actively pursue this goal."

There are still different legal positions held by YouTube and GEMA on the issue of whether YouTube or the uploaders are responsible for the licensing of the used musical works.

Irrespective of these diverging views, GEMA and YouTube decided to look forward and create a secure foundation for GEMA members and YouTube users.

Dr Harald Heker reinforces this point, and states: "Despite the conclusion of this agreement, the challenge remains for the politicians to create a clear legal framework. The economic value of cultural and creative works must also be passed on to the creators of the works. A modern copyright needs to be created which enables music creators to claim their financial share in the digital value chain."

UK Nightclub Banned From Playing Music After Court Ruling
 
Club Miya, in Chelmsford Essex, which has featured prominently in the hit ITV show The Only Way Is Essex, was banned from playing music and ordered to pay music licensing organisations PPL and PRS for Music's outstanding legal costs for playing recorded music without a licence.

The trial centred on one of the defendants, Ms Kerry Ormes. Ms Ormes was the nightclub's Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) - the key person charged with the day-to-day management of premises under the Licensing Act 2003. Ormes denied being responsible for any infringement at the club, claiming she was not the manager or proprietor, or had any proprietary interest in the running of the club.

Master Clark, who gave the Judgement, found that Ormes was liable for authorising and procuring acts infringing copyright, namely the playing of sound recordings and musical works at the club without licences from PPL and PRS for Music. In giving her Judgement, Master Clark accepted PPL's and PRS' evidence summating, it would be unusual for a DPS not to be a person who had managerial control of the premises in order to meet the licensing objectives.

Further, the evidence showed that Ormes acted as the manager of the night-club, and that her managerial responsibilities would generally include the booking of DJs and promoters. The Master awarded PPL and PRS for Music an injunction against the defendant to prevent further infringement by Ormes at any public premises and awarded damages against Ms Ormes personally. A costs hearing will take place in January 2017.

Paul Clements, Commercial Director, PRS for Music, said: "Music can have many positive benefits for business, whether used for staff and customer entertainment, or to enhance financial gain/profits. We support businesses across all sectors with licensing advice, so that music can be enjoyed by all, and in-turn ensure that the creators of music are fairly and legitimately paid for their work."

Christine Geissmar, Operations Director, PPL said: "There is an intrinsic value that music adds to businesses, and this judgement acknowledges that the creators of the music should be fairly rewarded for this. This ruling demonstrates how seriously the courts treat copyright infringement and reiterates that music can only be played in public if the right licences are obtained. Those businesses that choose to play recorded music without a licence will face legal action as a result.

"PPL and PRS for Music regards legal proceedings as very much a last resort but unfortunately they are sometimes necessary. A court can order the business to pay its outstanding music licence fees plus PPL and PRS' legal costs and issue a court order known as an injunction to stop the business playing recorded music until this is done.

"In this instance, in spite of us repeatedly contacting the business owner to get the correct licensing in place, this case was taken to the High Court in London, where the owner was banned from playing any copyrighted recorded music at the venue until a licence is purchased.

Yamaha Releases Vocaloid4 Library Cyber Songman
   
Yamaha Corporation has announced that is has begun to market Vocaloid4 Library Cyber Songman, a new PC-based software that can create natural male singing voices in authentic English pronunciations. This software can be downloaded from the official Vocaloid Shop.

Vocaloid is a technology developed by Yamaha in 2003 to create artificial singing voices just by inputting words and melodies. By installing a Voice Bank and the Vocaloid Editor, you can instruct the virtual singer to perform anytime and anywhere.

Vocaloid is continuing to evolve, and is presently available for creating singing voices in Japanese, English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean. A wide range of songs created with Vocaloid is available from video-sharing websites such as YouTube. Especially in Japan, Vocaloid has grown and developed to become a part of the musical culture.

Yamaha announced Vocaloid4, the latest version, in November 2014. Vocaloid4 offers richer, more natural and expressive singing voices than ever before.

Cyber Songman is a new Voice Bank for Vocaloid developed especially for users in the English-speaking world. This new Voice Bank is recorded from the singing of a native speaker from the United States, and the pronunciation is clear and crisp American English that fits in well with almost any musical genre. Using the Growl function, users can create gruff and harsher voice expressions needed, for example, in blues and rock songs.

BMG Brings Publishing And Recording Under Single Reporting Line
 
BMG has announced that it will bring together key recording and publishing operations functions under the management of newly-promoted EVP Global Rights Administration Ben Katovsky.

The new structure embodies BMG's drive to create the world's first fully-unified international publishing and recordings company with both functions running off an integrated state-of-the-art platform worldwide. Katovsky was previously SVP Group Operations Strategy.

BMG Chief Financial Officer Maximilian Dressendoerfer said, "Operations are the engine room of any music company. As the rise of digital consumption continues to bring the previously separate operational functions of publishing and recording even closer together, having a single reporting line will generate significant benefits in terms of shared expertise and efficiency. I am delighted that Ben, one of our sharpest next generation executives, has agreed to take on this role."

In publishing Katovsky will take on responsibility for BMG's 60-strong, copyright registration, contract administration and integration teams, headed by SVP Global Copyright Gaby Urban. In recordings, he will now be responsible for the company's 20-strong asset management, supply chain and integration teams headed by VP Asset Management & Supply Chain North America Nitsa Kalispera and VP Global Asset Management & Supply Chain Martyn Saville.

Katovsky joined BMG in April 2015 from technology provider Counterpoint, where he managed the BMG account since the company's launch in 2008. He worked extensively with BMG on the commissioning and development of its operating systems and on the integration of key acquisitions. Most recently he took a key role in BMG's supply chain review which saw the company reduce its number of distribution and licensing partners around the world from over 50 to just a handful.

Said Katovsky, "BMG continues to be a pace-setter for the music industry in the quality and efficiency of its operations. I am delighted to have the opportunity to help drive our innovations in this area and to take the service that we offer our clients to the next level".

Ashley Gorley Named ASCAP Country Music Songwriter Of The Year

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted its 54th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards on Monday, October 31 at Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. The writers and publishers of country music's most-performed songs of 2015 were honoured before an audience of distinguished Nashville songwriters, top country stars and music industry leaders.

Hit songwriter Ashley Gorley was named ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year for the third time in a row and the fourth time in his career, for his seven chart-topping songs from 2015. In a surprise appearance, John "Coach Cal" Calipari, the head coach of the University of Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, introduced a video tribute to Gorley, who happens to be a passionate Wildcats basketball fan. After the video salute from Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell, Trace Adkins performed one of Gorley's first #1 hits, "You're Gonna Miss This." ASCAP President and award-winning songwriter Paul Williams presented Gorley with the award.

Ricky Skaggs, a pioneer of bluegrass and country music with 14 Grammys and more than 30 albums to his credit, was honoured in song before being presented with the esteemed ASCAP Founders Award. Garth Brooks performed "Highway 40 Blues"; Alison Krauss, with Suzanne and Sidney Cox of the Cox Family, performed "Waitin' for the Sun to Shine"; and Peter Frampton and Gordon Kennedy performed "My Cup Runneth Over." The ASCAP Founders Award is given to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators.

Venues Refuse To Pay Songwriters But Profit From Their Music
   
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has announced that it has filed 10 separate copyright infringement actions against bars and restaurants nation-wide, arising out of the unauthorised public performance of its members' copyrighted musical works.

ASCAP is a membership association that operates on a non-profit basis and represents more than 585,000 independent songwriters, composers and music publishers. ASCAP ensures its members can earn a living from their art by licensing the public performances of their songs, collecting those license fees, and distributing royalties to its members. Nearly 88% of the license fees ASCAP collects go directly to songwriters, composers and music publishers as royalties.

"Music is enormously valuable to bars and restaurants, creating an emotional connection with patrons and providing the right ambience to attract and retain customers," commented ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing Vincent Candilora. "Hundreds of thousands of well-run businesses across the nation recognise the importance of paying music creators to use their music, and understand that it is both the lawful and right thing to do. However, each of the establishments sued has decided to use music without compensating songwriters. By filing these actions, ASCAP is standing up for songwriters whose creative work brings great value to all businesses that publicly perform their music."

Songwriters earn their livelihoods by licensing the performance right granted to them under the copyright law. Any business using copyrighted music has the opportunity to obtain permission to do so lawfully through a simple license, which covers the entire ASCAP repertory of over 10 million musical works. The average cost for bars and restaurants amounts to less than just $2 per day for the right to play an unlimited amount of music.

ASCAP President and Chairman, songwriter Paul Williams added: "We want every business that uses music to prosper, including bars and restaurants. After all, as songwriters and composers, we are small business owners, too, and music is more than an art form for us. It's how we put food on the table and send our kids to school. Most businesses know that an ASCAP license allows them to offer music legally, efficiently and at a reasonable price - while compensating music creators so we can earn a living from our work and keep doing what we do best - writing music."

Over the past two years, and in many cases longer, ASCAP has made numerous attempts at the establishments listed below to offer a license and educate the business owners about their obligations under federal copyright law. Despite these efforts, the owners of the establishments listed below repeatedly have refused to take or renew a license. Instead, they have continued to perform the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP's songwriter, composer, and music publisher members for the entertainment of their patrons without obtaining permission to do so.

APRA AMCOS Record One Third Of A Billion Dollars In Revenue
   
APRA AMCOS has announced a record annual revenue figure of $333m; 14 per cent growth in payments to songwriters, composers and publishers and a huge increase of more than $20m in digital revenue.

While other sectors of the music industry have experienced marked fluctuations, APRA AMCOS has enjoyed a reliable trajectory of income growth in recent years. Over the past three years, export revenue has increased by 75 per cent to more than $38.3m per annum, highlighting the enormous growth in the number and success of Australasians on the world stage.

Just as radio and records revolutionised the music industry at the time of APRA's foundation 90 years ago, streaming is now having a similar effect as subscription services gain traction with Australasian consumers. Royalty collections from streaming services were up 140 per cent year on year, to $27.4m.

Licence fees collected from all digital providers - including download services, streaming services, video on demand, websites and user-generated services - increased by a similar percentage, and is now significantly greater than, for example, traditional radio broadcasting ($45.3m).

APRA AMCOS Chief Executive, Brett Cottle said, "While revenue from digital services is growing rapidly, the sheer volume of music being consumed is growing exponentially, which means that the fruits of this growth are being spread over a vastly increased pool of songwriters."

Public performance licensing, APRA AMCOS' core activity for much of the last 90 years, continued to provide increased revenue for songwriters, composers and publishers, reaching over $70m for the year. Achieving 6.8 per cent growth from its 142,000 licensed businesses, APRA AMCOS performed well above the global benchmark of 3.8 per cent growth.1

Songwriters remained prolific creators and performers in the financial year 2015-2016. The number of works (songs, compositions) generating an income reached more than a million for the first time, resulting in payments to over 248,000 songwriters, composers and publishers equalling more than $294.6m (across APRA and AMCOS).

Brett Cottle said, "At a time when copyright is working in practice as it should, and just when the culturally-rich and economically vital business of music is getting back on its feet, it's difficult to fathom why measures such as those relating to Safe Harbour expansion or so-called 'fair use' should be contemplated by government".

Other Highlights

Record rate of revenue growth as well as a record revenue figure for APRA as a stand-alone entity: revenue grew by more than 12% to $258m.

Record revenue figure for AMCOS $75m representing 7% lift.

Broadcast division saw growth in revenue from subscription television reach $24m (up 13%).

Licensing operations in New Zealand contributed approximately A$40m, or circa 13.6% to the APRA AMCOS domestic revenue figure of $294m.

UK Government To Help Musicians Expand Global Audience

Through Exporting Is Great, up to £2.8 million will be made available in grants to help British acts and independent labels export their music to overseas markets

Britain's aspiring musicians are set to benefit from a £2.8 million boost to build their global brand, the Department for International Trade and the BPI - the UK record labels' association that promotes British music - announced today.

The re-launch of the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) will make available up to £2.8 million in support for independent music companies, music labels, distributors and management companies, as they look to build on their UK success and break into overseas markets.

Delivered through the Exporting Is Great campaign and operated through the BPI, small and medium sized music companies will be eligible for grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 to help promote British artists around the world, giving them the opportunity to go global with their talents.

With the UK music industry contributing over £4 billion to the UK economy in 2015, it plays a key role in showcasing the best of British talent across the world. After the US, the UK is the largest exporter of music in the world and last year alone British acts produced five of the global top 10 best-selling albums.

International Trade Minister Mark Garnier said "UK music has a long history of inspiring millions across the world and influencing generations of artists.We are the second biggest exporter of music in the world and one in every six albums sold globally belongs to a British act.

"From the Beatles to Skepta, British music is part of the very fabric of our nation and heritage. Our Music Export Growth Scheme will champion the incredible raw talent that we have to offer by giving the support and financial backing many artists need to take that next step."

Chief Executive of the BPI Geoff Taylor said "The Music Export Growth Scheme has proved a big hit with independent UK artists and their labels, supporting their promotional plans with crucial investment as they look to break into new markets and helping to boost British music sales overseas. The strength of Britain's music and creative industries are a strategic asset for this country and can act as a powerful international calling card in a world in which new international trading relationships need to be forged."

London-based soul singer Eska said "MEGS funding has enabled me to start a relationship with my music across Europe not only in terms of marketing and distribution but touring. This supported key live showcases which have further opened up performance opportunities for me in Europe. It's been invaluable help for my project as an independent artist."

MEGS funding will be made available until 2020 with the first round of nominations opening on 10 October 2016. Continuing the previous partnership, the BPI will operate the scheme and will help with the selection of ambitious UK music companies and projects that will receive grants. Application forms are now available from the BPI's website. The deadline for the first wave of applications is 7 November 2016. The first announcements will be made in December 2016.

Over £1.6 million was awarded in grants from the MEGS scheme between January 2014 and March 2016. Artists successfully supported to date include 2016 BRIT Awards winners, Catfish and the Bottlemen, from Wales, 2014 Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers from Scotland, London Grime MCs Ghetts and Afrikan Boy, Alternative Rock band Fearless Vampire Killers and Mercury Prize shortlisted solo artist Eska.

Over 117,000 people are employed by the UK music industry and half of the top 10 most popular recording artists in the world hailed from the UK in 2015.

Soundtrap Secures $6M Funding To Embark On New Markets

The online music and audio recording studio Soundtrap, has raised $6 million USD in funding to accelerate product development and to bring its cloud-based platform to new markets.

Soundtrap is an easy-to-use cloud-based music making platform enabling collaboration between people from anywhere in the world on a multitude of devices across iOS, Android, Chromebook, Mac and Windows platforms. Since its launch in June 2015, Soundtrap has been organically adding multiple thousands of new users per day. It expects to reach a million users before the year end. The company rolled out an education version of its product at the start of 2016, and is now attracting more than 200 new schools every week around the globe, primarily from US, Europe and Australia.

Founded in 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden, the music-tech capital of the world, Soundtrap is also an official Google for Education Partner and is one of three companies selected for Google's "Creative Apps for Chromebook" bundle, a program launched by Google in June 2016.

"We're very excited about Soundtrap. The company has a stellar team that has developed a technologically advanced product with an interface loved by its users - for which there is a grand vision. Now, music and sound creativity can be unleashed amongst groups that until today have been limited and deterred by complex and complicated solutions," says Malin Carlstrom, investment manager at Industrifonden.

This funding round brings Soundtrap's total funding to $8.5 million USD. Other investors of the company include Swedish producer and composer Andreas Carlsson; Truecaller founders Alan Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam; Linus Andreen and Aristotracks; and financial investors from Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.

Online Music Lesson Reviews Available At Learn Music Guide
     
Learn Music Guide makes online music lesson hunting easy. They provide music websites, sheet music, and backing tracks assessments which they aptly call LMG Reviews.

These reviews can be conveniently viewed via this link:

http://learnmusic.guide/online-music-learning-reviews/

It is a collection of musical resources reviewed by Learn Music Guide. A huge part of these reviews comprise music websites which are categorised according to the instruments they cater to. There are evaluations on piano, guitar, harmonica, drums, violin, singing, recorder, saxophone, flute, trumpet, clarinet, cello, harp, reading music, ukulele, oboe, trombone, and bagpipe lessons.

One example of a guitar lessons website which they have reviewed is the i Perform 3D Guitar. It ranked first among all of the online music lessons featured by Learn Music Guide and garnered a 4.5/5 LMG score. It is rated according to ease of use, fun factor, speed of learning, and motivation factor. The past users also provided their own views of the program, they left their own ratings in relation to the four criteria recently stated.

Learn Music Guide also has reviews of Online Sheet Music for all interested students. Some of the sheets that they have reviewed include Virtual Sheet Music with an LMG score of 4.6, Sheet Music Plus (LMG score 4.9), Yamaha Music London (LMG score 4), and many others.

In terms of Online Backing Tracks, they have given evaluations to The Karaoke Channel, Musicians Backing Tracks, Soul Backs, and more.

One In Six Albums Sold Worldwide Is By A UK Artist

Measuring Music 2016 - an annual economic study has revealed the true scale of the UK music's vast contribution to the UK economy. 2015 proved to be another buoyant year for music with increased export growth across the sector contributing to a £4.1bn overall contribution to the UK's economy.

Measuring Music gives UK Music the ability to map the growth and scale of British music. Over the last four years, the industry has shown itself to be both resilient and robust, growing consistently despite difficult circumstances and a recession. During this period GVA contribution was up 17%, with exports and employment both up 11% outgrowing many areas of the UK economy. This strong, steady growth in employment indicates that music is an expanding industry.

Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley MP said: "Of all the albums sold across the globe last year an incredible one in six was by a British artist. The extraordinary success of artists like Coldplay and Adele added billions to our economy. We want to maintain and build on that success. The Government is working closely with industry bodies, such as UK Music, to make it easier for these artists to do business and is investing in music education to nurture the next wave of successful British artists, who we want to see perform across the whole world.

But the value of music goes beyond the economic. People around the world get their first taste of British culture via our music, while for millions at home it is a source of entertainment and creative expression. Above all, it simply brings us joy. I want all our children, from every background, no matter what their aspirations, to have music in their lives."

The live sector has played an important part in this growth, particularly around exports, which have grown by 90% during the past four years. In 2015 a total audience of 27.7 million attended live music events in the UK. In 2015 the live market showed a slight dip in its overall GVA contribution, predominantly attributable to a decline in grassroots music venues. It is essential that we must ensure the challenges facing this vital part of the music-ecosystem are addressed in order to secure continued growth and investment in live music. We need policies and investment to secure a platform for the headliners and chart toppers of tomorrow.

British recorded music continues to dominate charts all over the world with five of the top 10 selling artists in the world last year, and 1 in 6 albums bought globally is by British talent. The global recognition and success of UK artists like Adele, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran helped music exports rise again last year with growth up 8.9% from 2014. In order for the sector to continue to grow we must work on policies that will maintain our export power, especially as we prepare to enter a post-Brexit marketplace.

Another core challenge facing the British music industry has been adapting to new patterns of music consumption. Over the past four years we have seen a massive shift from ownership to streaming. Paid subscription streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and Deezer are now providing a significant boost to the digital music economy. To some extent, the impact of streaming is off-setting declines elsewhere in the market. Subscription streaming is now a key to the continued success of the industry and the value of paid services jumped from £168m in 2014 to £251m in 2015.

The streaming market is a strong and growing part of the music economy. For the potential of streaming to be fully realised, it must operate fairly and value the music that creates business and traffic for the service. The debate on fair remuneration for rights holders from digital services like YouTube and from all user-uploaded content has never been more important if our future digital market is to continue to grow and prosper. Sustainability and stability are critical for future growth.

UK Music Chief Executive, Jo Dipple said: "Measuring Music 2016 shows the strength and resilience of the British music market over four years. Distribution changes, trends may come and go, but all the while our music outperforms both in the UK and all over the globe. The UK needs to solidify its new post-Brexit place in the world and music will undoubtedly be part of the glue that does this. Our export profile is astounding which is partly why music, like sport, gives the world an understanding of our small country. UK Music's goal is to work with Government to convince them to give us policies as good as the music we produce."

UK Music Chairman, Andy Heath said: "The value of this economic research is that it demonstrates both the strengths in our market, of which there are many, as well as weaknesses over time. The growth in revenues from streaming services reflect a well understood change in music consumption. However, there are services showing a huge increase in music consumption for barely a nudge in revenues. It's in the wires behind the consumer experience, between artists, rights owners and services where fair terms of trade, or not, are established. Let's work really hard to get those wires right. If we can do that, the unstoppable rise in consumption will be reflected in value back to the industry."

Music's contribution to the UK in 2015:

• 2015 saw a £4.1bn contribution by the music industry towards the UK economy in GVA (Gross Value Added).

• 119,020 full time jobs were provided within the music industry in 2015. The vast majority of which are individuals working in its creative heart - composing, creating, recording and shaping the future of music. These musicians, composers, songwriters, performers and lyricists contributed £2bn to the economy alone.

• Music exports contributed £2.2bn in revenue in 2015. This is over half of the industry's total GVA - well above the economy-wide ratio of around 30%.

• Export growth in the live sector was an impressive 35% in 2015. Bolstered by an increase in music tourism during the year. In excess of 767,000 overseas music tourists attended live music concerts and festivals in 2015 generating £1.1bn towards the UK economy.

• Sales exports of recorded music were up 8.9%, bolstered by the global success of UK artists like Adele, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. In 2015 one in six of all artist albums sold across the globe were by British artists, whilst five of the top ten selling albums were by UK acts.

• The huge global success of Adele's third album 25 looks set to boost the economy throughout 2016. It has already sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide since it was released on November 20, 2015. It is now certified 10 x Platinum in the UK.

Study Reveals Playlists Have Overtaken Albums In Listenership

Playlists have now surpassed albums as a format for music listening, according to a new study conducted by LOOP (Lots of Online People) and provided to the Music Business Association (Music Biz) for its members. The insight comes from "Music Consumption: The Overall Landscape," the third in-depth report to be issued via Music Biz Consumer Insights, the interactive, member-exclusive research portal hosted on www.musicbiz.org.

Based on a May 2016 survey of 3,014 U.S. respondents, the report shows that playlists accounted for 31% of total listening time across all demographics, while albums accounted for only 22%. Single track listening remained the dominant format with 46% of total listening time, but that number is down 6% from 2015, in which it accounted for 52% overall.

In addition, YouTube has emerged as the most regularly used source for audio content, with 42% of respondents stating that they used the service to listen to audio for five minutes or more at least once a week. Pandora was next on the list with 31% saying the same, with CDs lagging behind at 22%.

The report also dug into freemium streaming, finding that 42% of respondents were not paying for music streaming subscriptions because they were happy using ad-supported freemium tiers.

"As the music business continues to grow and evolve, it is crucial that we understand the progression of music consumption trends so we can deliver the best experience possible," said James Donio, President of Music Biz. "The data in this report will be invaluable to our members as they decide where, when and how to release and promote new music."

"This report confirms that playlists are becoming more and more dominant in the music industry as streaming services gain traction," said David Lewis, Co-Founder of LOOP. "We hope music companies will keep this data in mind as they make decisions on which platforms, distribution methods and marketing opportunities to invest in."

Sony/ATV Chairman Welcomes Judge's Ruling Over 100% Licensing

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Chairman and CEO Martin Bandier has issued a statement in response to a ruling against the Department of Justice by the BMI rate court judge, Judge Stanton, that nothing in the BMI consent decree gives support to 100% licensing.

"We are thrilled with Judge Stanton's common sense interpretation of the consent decree which clarifies that BMI is not required to grant 100% licenses. His statement that "nothing in the consent decree gives support to the division's views" could not be clearer. While the DOJ's interpretation would have upended decades of licensing practices and caused uncertainty and disorder to everyone in the marketplace, Judge Stanton's ruling is in the public interest and will benefit all interested parties in the music industry, including songwriters, music publishers and licensors. We can now focus once again on working on behalf of our songwriters."

EU Copyright Modernisation: A Fair And Balanced Relationship

The EU Commission has presented its plans for a modernisation of copyright. The position of authors should be reinforced with a focus on improving how they assert their rights vis-a-vis online platforms. In addition, access to creative contents in the online sector should be improved by a simplified rights clearance in Europe. GEMA considers the Commission's efforts as an important first step in order to establish fair conditions for creative content on the digital common market.

CEO Dr Harald Heker says: "With its proposal for a copyright review, the EU Commission is sending an important signal that the value transfer of creatives towards platform operators in Europe can no longer be tolerated. For fair conditions regarding digital usage of creative content, there must be no ambiguity left that platforms such as YouTube are actively involved in making content protected by copyright publicly available. Legal safeguards have to be established so that these platforms can no longer hide behind privileged positions regarding the liability for host providers, which are intended for purely passive service providers."

Internet platforms generate substantial economic gains by exploiting creative content. The main benefactors are the platform operators which take recourse to an unclear legal situation in order to not pay creatives at all or below value. At the same, platform providers such as YouTube are competing with licensed online services such as Spotify or Deezer. This impedes the development of a common market which is characterised by cultural diversity and fair competition. The EU Commission is now planning to correct this aberration referred to as "transfer of value" or "value gap".

More than 22,000 creatives had recently signed a Europe-wide petition and called on the EU Commission to close "economic and legal backdoors" for online platforms in the course of the impending review. The signatories include many GEMA members such as Klaus Meine (Scorpions), Wolfgang Niedecken and Smudo (Die Fantastischen Vier) as well as artists such as Charles Aznavour, Andrea Bocelli and David Guetta.

The copyright 'packet' presented also comprises the proposal to introduce a new regulation to improve the access to TV and radio programmes in Europe. Dr Harald Heker comments: "We are pleased that the important role of collective rights management via collective management organisations is being strengthened. A technology-neutral reform of the existing regulations on cable re-transmission is going to significantly simplify the rights clearance process for new providers and therefore also improve the access to the relevant contents for consumers."

GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 70,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers) in Germany, and more than two million copyright owners globally. It is one of the largest societies for authors of musical works in the world. Since 2007, GEMA has been represented in Brussels via a liaison office.

PRS For Music Chief Executive Responds To EU Copyright Reform
   
In response to the publication of the proposed EU modernisation of copyright, PRS for Music Chief Executive, Robert Ashcroft, said: "PRS for Music welcomes the Commission's recognition of the critical 'transfer of value' issue and we acknowledge the clear intention to redress the current imbalance of interests between user upload platforms and rightsholders. The law must clearly establish that those user upload platforms that provide search and other functionality, as distinct from being mere hosts of content, require a license from rightsholders. The European Commission's proposed new copyright Directive provides the framework for this essential legal clarity."

Robert Ashcroft added, "Europe is our largest export market and, even outside of the European Union, its copyright framework will directly impact UK creator's earnings. Therefore, we hope that the EU Parliament and Council will grasp this opportunity to establish a functioning, digital single market - as this is in the interests of all concerned: creators, consumers and platforms, new and established."

BMI Re-Elects Four Members To Board Of Directors


Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) has re-elected four members of its Board of Directors during the Company's Annual Meeting of Shareholders held today at BMI's office in Nashville, TN. In addition, current Board member Michael Fiorile, Chairman and CEO of Dispatch Broadcast Group, was elected Vice Chairman.

The following Board members have been elected to new four year terms: Greg Ashlock, President, West Division, iHeart Media Markets Group; Amador Bustos, President and CEO, Bustos Media Holdings, LLC; Rebecca Campbell, President, ABC Owned Television Station Group and ABC Daytime; and, Steven Newberry, President and CEO, Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation.

ICMP Finalist In The 2016 Lovie Awards
 
The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance has announced that The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences has been selected the ICMP as a Finalist for The 6th Annual Lovie Awards in the Web: Schools & Education category.

Frances Drury, Head of Marketing said "We are extremely honoured to have been selected as a finalist. Our website is our greatest marketing and communication tool with our prospective and current students. We've always known that our site was great, but to have received this recognition is a great to receive external validation of this fact."

While the Academy selects the Gold, Silver or Bronze Lovie Winner in each category, every Lovie Finalist also contends for a People's Lovie Award as chosen by the voting public.

BMI Prevails Over DOJ in Consent Decree Dispute

Federal Judge Louis Stanton has issued an order rejecting the US Department of Justice's (DOJ) recent interpretation of the BMI consent decree, and concluded that BMI is free to engage in the fractional licensing of musical works. This decision immediately followed oral arguments heard today from both parties. Judge Stanton's ruling is now the controlling interpretation of the BMI consent decree, and a copy can be found HERE.

Below is a statement from BMI President & CEO Mike O'Neill on today's decision:

"As we have said from the very beginning, we believed our consent decree allowed for the decades-long practice of fractional licensing and today we are gratified that Judge Stanton confirmed that belief. Our mission has always been to protect the interests of our songwriters, composers and publishers, and we feel we have done just that. Today's decision is a victory for the entire music community."

Ingrid Andress Wins 2016 Unsigned Only Music Competition

The overall Grand Prize at the 2016 Unsigned Only Music Competition has gone to the gifted performer and songwriter Ingrid Andress for the song "Footprints." In addition to winning cash and prizes, Andress also receives one-on-one mentoring from a group of upper echelon music industry executives from Atlantic, Warner Bros., RCA, Epic, Razor & Tie, Disney Music Group/Hollywood Records, Nettwerk Music Group, Black River Entertainment, and others.

Hailing from Highlands Ranch, CO, USA, Ingrid Andress began her music career performing in the TV industry. After touring and singing on two seasons of NBC's "The Sing Off" as a part of the a cappella group Delilah, she attended Berklee College of Music on a vocal scholarship. She now lives in Nashville where she collaborates and performs with various country and pop artists.

Founders Candace Avery and Jim Morgan state, "Andress is a remarkable young artist who displays a great depth of talent and versatility, stretching out into the Country and Pop genres with a unique sensibility that is creative and current. The stripped down version of her winning song "Footprints" allows you to hear her raw, honest talent and undeniable gift as an artist."

After learning that she had won the Grand Prize, Andress said, "You always hear about this happening to other people, but I never thought it would happen to me. It's such an amazing and rare opportunity to have people care about you and your music. It's very inspiring to feel supported by an organization who just want you to do well because of your music ability and your love for your art."

Unsigned Only also awards a First and Second Place in 13 categories of contemporary music, including: Adult Album Alternative (AAA) Adult Contemporary (AC); Americana; Christian; Country; EDM (Electronic Dance Music); Folk/Singer-Songwriter; R&B/Hip-Hop; Rock; Pop/Top 40; Screen Shot; Teen; and Vocal Performance.

Unsigned Only is sponsored by: Berklee College Of Music; Bombplates; Celebrity Access; D'Addario; Disc Makers; Eventric; Gretsch Drums; Groove 3; Indie Bible; Intellitouch Tuner; LANDR; Lurssen Mastering; Musicians Institute; Radio Airplay; Sony Creative Software; and The Music Business Registry.

Unsigned Only is now accepting entries for the 2017 competition. Entry information can be found at www.unsignedonly.com.

Tin Pan Alley Launches October 2nd On Showbiz TV

In conjunction with PRS for Music and BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), Tin Pan Alley productions is launching "Tin Pan Alley" - the TV competition for songwriters. The series will be transmitted on Showbiz TV, on channels Freeview 80, Sky 266 and Freesat 157.

It's an innovative series, designed to promote and inspire UK songwriters. Many great singers such as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra often commented that without songwriters they would never have had a career.

"This show is a great idea - great songs and songwriters are the key to everything in the music business as we all know and this series is badly needed." (Lamont Dozier)

Earlier this year, unpublished UK songwriters were invited to submit their compositions to the Tin Pan Alley website. There were no age restrictions and no style restrictions. It was all about finding great original songs.

"Songs are the most important ingredient of the popular music industry…the world would be a poorer place without the songwriters who are able to touch so many lives with their bursts of inspiration." (Sir Tim Rice)

Presenter Mike Read and the Tin Pan Alley team could not have been prepared for what followed. Over 600 entries of the highest quality leaving PRS Chairman, Guy Fletcher to announce the competition as 'the strongest I have ever been involved with'. Some 60 industry professionals were chosen as judges and given the difficult task of voting for each individual song, with only 12 making it through to the final stages. This is where the TV show begins.

Over 8 weeks, we will see the final 12 songs transformed into the 'finished product' by six of the UK's best music producers - Stuart Epps, Mike Stock, Nigel Wright, Warren Bennett, Andy Whitmore and Steve Etherington. These songs will then be judged, commented on and whittled down to a final winner by our Record Execs - Lamont Dozier, David Grant, Cathy Dennis, Christopher Neil, Judd Lander.

"Music is as important as oxygen to millions of people ... They simply can't live without it... and now that the digital age is giving us unprecedented access to a vast range of songs, we are listening to more music than at any time in history .... This creates a need for new, innovative songwriters and lots of them...." (Guy Fletcher - Chairman of PRS)

The overall winner will fly to the legendary GeeJam Studios in Port Antonio, Jamaica, where they will record for a week, as well as experiencing the great atmosphere of a country rich in musical heritage. The winner will also be awarded the coveted Tin Pan Alley PRS winner's trophy! They, along with the first runner-up, will also be filmed and the footage turned into holograms at Abbey Road Studios. The final six writers will receive a publishing deal for their song from Peer Music and a Tin Pan Alley PRS trophy.

"British songwriters have given us many of the world's greatest songs. They are the engine room of the industry. They boost our economy. They give us songs that inspire, comfort, influence, entertain and are part of the fabric of our lives." (Mike Read - Presenter)

As well as the competition element, there will be many tales from Tin Pan Alley including the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols and Elton John as well as stories behind major hits told by the songwriters themselves. The original British Tin Pan Alley was London's Denmark Street, the home of our songwriters and publishers for almost a century. The new 'virtual' Tin Pan Alley is here on TV and on line. The songwriter once again has somewhere for their songs to be heard.

The final 12 songs that made it to the TV series can be heard in their submitted form on the web site www.tinpanalley.biz and the submitted version are also available to download from Angel Air Records.

http://www.tinpanalley.biz

American Greetings In New Michael Bolton Collaboration

Is any birthday really complete without someone singing the quintessential "Happy Birthday" song? What if the singer happened to be the winner of multiple Grammy Awards who has sold more than 65 million records worldwide? That's a heck of a birthday celebration and the perfect way to make any birthday an unforgettable one. American Greetings has just introduced the fourth customizable video ecard collaboration with music icon Michael Bolton.

"It's been so much fun working with American Greetings to help people celebrate birthdays in an exciting new way," said Bolton. "I hope fans enjoy the combination of music and greeting cards because they work so well together to make people happy!"

Available now on Americangreetings.com, the brand-new digital greeting card allows consumers to choose from more than 900 pre-recorded names, so the recipient truly gets a personal birthday serenade from the one-and-only Michael Bolton. There is even a selection of popular endearments, such as Mom, Dad, Sister, Grandma, Grandpa, Friend, Buddy and more, for those who cannot find an exact match for their recipient's name.

"We were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Michael Bolton again to create another birthday card!" said Jenn Branch, Director of Video Development and Product at American Greetings. "Our customers have absolutely loved sending the first card we created with Michael -- which is a fun, over-the-top celebration featuring his timeless voice as well as his great comedic skills. When thinking about a second card, we wanted to offer something completely different and decided to go classic. The time-honored 'Happy Birthday' song delivered by Michael's amazing voice makes for an epic birthday!"

BMI Announces $1.060 Billion Revenue, The Highest In History

BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) has announced the highest revenues in its 76-year history, achieving $1.060 billion for its fiscal year ended June 30.  The company also distributed and administered a record-breaking $931 million to its songwriters, composers and publishers, a 6% increase over last year.  These results represent the most public performance revenue and royalty distributions by any music rights organization in the world.

BMI operates on a non-profit-making basis and returns approximately 88% of all revenue to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.

"We are beyond pleased with this milestone," said Mike O'Neill, President and CEO, BMI.  "The ability to provide our songwriters, composers and publishers with our largest royalty distributions to date proves that the current marketplace is working efficiently, a fact the DOJ has undermined with its recent interpretation of our consent decree.  We're eager to build on this success and continue to ensure that all of our music creators are fairly paid for their work and that licensees maintain full access to BMI's repertoire of nearly 12 million songs.  As of now, the DOJ's interpretation will disrupt these efforts, stifle creative freedom for songwriters, limit choices for music users and bog down the marketplace.  We are determined not to let that happen."

BMI's total domestic revenue performance of $784 million was bolstered by record-breaking results in its digital and general licensing categories.  Digital revenue, which exceeded $100 million for the first time last year, hit a new high of $152 million, up 50%. Numerous new agreements were signed throughout the year, notably a multi-year license with Pandora, as well as deals with Spotify, Apple Music, Microsoft, Sony's PlayStation Video and Slacker, among others.

General Licensing, which includes fees from businesses like restaurants, bars, hotels and fitness facilities, along with other income, hit a new milestone of $140 million.  The category added 15,000 new businesses to the hundreds of thousands already in BMI's diverse portfolio.

Revenue from all media licensing, including radio, television and cable and satellite entertainment, grew to $492 million, with cable and satellite entertainment accounting for the largest portion of BMI's domestic revenue for the third consecutive year.  International revenues came in at a strong $276 million, despite significant economic challenges overseas resulting in lower foreign exchange rates.  While down 5% year to year in U.S. dollars, BMI's international revenues would have exceeded last year's performance by $14 million had it not been for the strengthening dollar.

BMI processed more than one trillion audio performances this year, over 950 billion of which were digital, a 45% increase from last year.

Library Music Awards Relaunch As Production Music Awards

This month sees the launch of the new look Production Music Awards in association with MCPS Production Music. The event celebrates the best and brightest creative talents in the production music industry. In 2016 the awards have evolved from what was previously called the Library Music Awards into an event designed to offer music libraries both large and small an opportunity to champion the depth and quality of modern production music to the wider sync, media and advertising industries.

MCPS Production Music, alongside PRS for Music are playing a key role in supporting the development of the awards this year, helping to increase its presence in the music industry and media industries as a whole.

The Production Music Awards will also be bringing back its popular daytime event, Tune Up, a series of educational demonstrations, workshops and industry panels tailored towards composers and musicians. Tune Up will take place on Friday 25 November at BAFTA's Princess Anne Theatre, Piccadilly.

Alongside the association with MCPS Production Music, the Production Music Awards are proud to welcome the involvement of a handful of key sponsors; Sound on Sound Magazine returns as the media partner for the awards, alongside PRS for Music, The Musician's Union, Spitfire Audio and production collective, WMP. The awards are open for entries from production music libraries immediately. Closing date for entries is the 16 September 2016.

The awards ceremony will be held at the prestigious ballroom at 8 Northumberland Avenue, 25 November 2016. Tickets for the event are available from the Production Music Awards' website www.productionmusicawards.com.

About MCPS Production Music

MCPS licenses quality production music on behalf of professional publishers and composers. Our cost-effective production music licences offer pre-clearance for any type of usage and one stop licensing of 1 million + of our members' repertoire via our simple online licensing process.

The licensing of Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Ltd (MCPS) rights is administered by PRS for Music.

Ten Year-Old Singer-Songwriter Ty Waters Looks To Make It Big

Though only ten, Ty Waters is poised for greatness in American popular music. This child prodigy singer from Vancouver, Canada, has already wowed artists from Michael Bublé to Stevie Wonder, performed at the infamous Carnegie Hall four times and won American Protege's Vocal Competitions. Here are a couple more recent ways he stands out:

He recently brought a crowd of a 100,000 to rapture in Santa Barbara with his superb live renditions of "At Last," and "Only Human."

Named Youth Ambassador for music education he performed at Wilshire Ebell Theater to a two minute standing ovation. 

As he moves into the world of composition and recording, Waters is making surprisingly mature and timely statements about the state of the country and the world. Waters has just completed his debut album, Only Human. The title track video was just previewed on KKFX (Fox 11) on the morning show, giving the central coast the first taste of what this remarkable young man has to offer the world.

But what stands out about Ty Waters, is what he has overcome to be in the position he is today. Born in Vancouver to Filipino parents, he reached the age of two with delayed speech. There would be a two-year wait before he could take advantage of public health system's speech therapy treatment. His parents investigated alternatives, including music therapy. So they improvised, teaching Ty various nursery rhymes. To their surprise, Ty started to jazz up these nursery rhymes on his own. His parents recognized his interest in singing and started showing him clip after clip of classic pop performances by the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Lionel Richie, and Etta James. The effect was instantaneous. Young Ty began mimicking rhythms, melodies and words perfectly, shattering what had seemed an insurmountable challenge in speech.

Click here to learn more about Ty's background

http://www.tywaters.com/.

In 2015, he traveled to Burbank, California to participate in the Ultimate Vocal & Music Summit, a program for nurturing talented young singers-songwriters, developed by veteran composer and producer Dawn Elder. At this and a subsequent UVMS summit, he so charmed and impressed Elder, and fellow celebrity Artists ultimatevocalmusicsummit.com, that Elder offered to mentor him privately as part her select team of protégées. When Waters expressed interest in composing, Elder agreed to collaborate, and they began co-creating, initially by Skype.

Transform Your Own MIDI File Into An Acoustic Piano Track
   
Composers, songwriters, and musicians have come to rely on the speed and flexibility of working with MIDI and sample libraries for writing, editing and arranging their music. However, when it comes to laying down a piano part in the final mix, nothing beats the rich, detailed, and musical sound of an acoustic piano recorded with high-end gear in a great room. The solution? Use MIDI data, generated while monitoring piano samples, to trigger an automation-equipped acoustic grand for the final recorded track.

Edwin Dolinski, an accomplished classical pianist and former director of Electronic Art's Music Department - and long time Yamaha Disklavier owner - discovered that regardless what keyboard controller / sample set combination was used to make the original MIDI file, the resulting playback on the Disklavier was always somewhat disappointing. Inevitably, certain notes would be over-accented while others were barely audible no matter how precisely the Disklavier's MIDI channel volume was set. Not ideal.

To overcome this, Dolinski experimented with adjusting the note velocity of each of the offending "outliers" to bring them in line with the musical context. Eureka! This manual intervention was the breakthrough needed to perfected the approach. "It makes a huge difference. By using our ears and pianistic intelligence in a patient and methodical manner, we can produce a more believable and musical result than has ever been offered before using this technology," he says. If done this way by a skilled operator, a MIDI-to-acoustic-piano-conversion using a Disklavier can indeed rival the real thing while easily surpassing sampled piano performances for perceived realism and richness of sound.

Inspired by this discovery, Dolinski founded the getrealpiano.com website and began producing top-notch custom piano recordings from MIDI files on an ongoing professional basis.  Now in its third year of operation, Get Real Piano has many satisfied clients from all around the world plus a growing list of repeat customers.

The process is simple, but effective. Customers upload their Standard MIDI Files to the website, and the Get Real Piano team loads it into Digital Performer and feeds it to the Yamaha Disklavier for playback. Over the next few hours, the MIDI velocity values are continuously adjusted and auditioned by ear until the track sounds just right. All of the timing and feel of the original track remains completely intact throughout this process. Only the MIDI velocities are changed to match the dynamics of Get Real Piano's particular Disklavier.

Once the performance is locked in, the 6' 1" Yamaha Disklavier DC3Pro acoustic grand is recorded in real-time with a matched pair of Neumann KM184 microphones, a Millennia HV-3C stereo preamp and a MOTU 896 digital interface. A third microphone - a modified Apex 460 large diaphragm tube condenser - simultaneously captures the sound under the piano. This extra mic produces a much darker sound and is sometimes useful for adding more punch when mixed under the main stereo track. The final step is to send the hi-res audio files back to the customer for approval and to respond to any requests for changes. Finished audio files from a single session can be available for download within 24 hours of submission.

Visit getrealpiano.com for more information.

Ricky Skaggs To Receive ASCAP Founders Award At 2016 CMA Gig

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, will present acclaimed bluegrass and country music songwriter and Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs with its prestigious Founders Award at the 54th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards. The exclusive, invitation-only gala, which celebrates the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed country songs of 2015, will take place at the historic Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, Tennessee on October 31st.

ASCAP President Paul Williams said: "For more than four decades Ricky Skaggs has been a musical force in bluegrass and country music. His incredible gifts as a musician combined with his boundless creativity and energy continue to fuel a passion for American roots music around the world. A national treasure, he has influenced generations of fellow music creators and we are honored to present him with the ASCAP Founders Award."

The Founders Award is one of ASCAP's highest honors and is presented to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius, which will enrich generations to come. Previous recipients include George Strait, Alan Jackson, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Melissa Etheridge and Neil Young.

The MPA Joins Operation Creative Against Online Digital Piracy

The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has welcomed the Music Publishers Association (MPA) as its seventh partner to join Operation Creative, an initiative designed to disrupt and prevent websites from providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content.

The MPA has joined existing partners the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) the Federation Against Copyright (FACT), The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) the Publishers Association (PA), PRS for music and the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE).

Operation Creative was launched in April 2014 as a unique partnership between the City of London Police and the UK advertising industry. It aims to disrupt criminal profits which are generated from websites providing access to stolen and infringing content such as music, films, books and games. It also protects the creative industry which is understood to support approximately 1.7 million jobs in the UK and account for over 5% of the UK economy.

The initiative continues to drive the world's first online portal, the Infringing Website List (IWL), which contains an up to date list of copyright infringing websites which are evidenced by the creative industries and verified by PIPCU.

To date 1,150 infringing websites have been captured on the IWL and this portal remains a vital tool in sharing information and naming blacklisted sites amongst the partnership.

The head of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, Peter Ratcliffe, said: "I am pleased to welcome the Music Publishers Association to the Operation Creative initiative. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is committed to reducing the impact of intellectual property crime on the UK's creative industries and in Creative we have a wonderful tool to disrupt the infringers' revenue streams and hit them where it hurts them the most.

"I would also like to thank all the existing partners who have helped to make Creative a success. We are entering a new phase in the operation and the widening of Operation Creative's membership can only serve to make it stronger."

Claire McAuley, General Manager, Music Publishers Association, said: "The MPA's partnership in Operation Creative will strengthen and elevate our involvement in combating piracy, in particular with regards to sheet music, which is unique to the music publishing industry. We are excited to be joining the partners and look forward to working with them in our collective fight against online music piracy."

ASCAP & BMI Join Forces On Their Consent Decrees

ASCAP and BMI, the country's two leading performing rights organisations (PROs) collectively representing more than one million songwriters, composers and music publishers, have joined forces to fight the Department of Justice's (DOJ) recent interpretation of their respective consent decrees and to push for consent decree reform. United in their belief that the DOJ's decision to mandate 100% licensing will cause unnecessary chaos in the marketplace and place unfair financial burdens and creative constraints on songwriters and composers, the two organisations are pursuing a joint campaign: BMI through litigation and ASCAP through legislative reform.

BMI today announced it is taking legal action and has initiated the process to challenge 100% licensing in Federal Court. Concurrently, ASCAP announced that it will take the lead for the two PROs in pursuing a legislative solution to ensure the continued availability of fractional licensing as well as other remedies to the outdated consent decree regulations that disadvantage songwriters and composers in the digital age. In its recent public statement, the DOJ itself called for potential legislative relief.

Mike O'Neill, President and CEO of BMI, said, "The DOJ's interpretation of our consent decree serves no one, not the marketplace, the music publishers, the music users, and most importantly, not our songwriters and composers who now have the government weighing in on their creative and financial decisions. Unlike the DOJ, we believe that our consent decree permits fractional licensing, a practice that encourages competition in our industry and fosters creativity and collaboration among music creators, a factor the DOJ completely dismissed. As a result, we have no recourse other than to fight the DOJ's interpretation in court. It won't be easy, and we know it will take time, but we believe that it is the right thing to do and in the best interest of the industry at large."

Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP CEO, stated: "The DOJ decision puts the U.S. completely out of step with the entire global music marketplace, denies American music creators their rights, and potentially disrupts the flow of music without any benefit to the public. That is why ASCAP will work with our allies in Congress, BMI and leaders within the music industry to explore legislative solutions to challenge the DOJ's 100% licensing decision and enact the modifications that will protect songwriters, composers and the music we all love."

In a pre-motion letter to Federal Judge Louis Stanton, BMI advised him of a proposed motion to interpret and potentially modify its consent decree. Specifically, the letter requests the following relief:

• Determination that BMI's consent decree allows for the long-standing industry practice of fractional licensing, or,

• Alternatively, an order by the court modifying the decree to allow for fractional licensing;

• A reasonable transition period after a final ruling, if compliance with the DOJ's interpretation is required.

By way of background, in a disappointing conclusion of a more than two-and-a-half-year formal review process, the DOJ recently announced that it has declined to update the 75-year-old ASCAP and BMI consent decrees that regulate how the organisations operate. Instead, it decided to implement a new requirement mandating that each PRO license songs in their respective repertoires on a 100% basis -- upending the long-standing industry practice of fractional licensing and creating logistical and legal challenges that didn't previously exist for hundreds of thousands of music creators across the country.

ABOUT ASCAP:
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organisation of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business -- from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 585,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organisation (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

ABOUT BMI:
Celebrating over 75 years of service to songwriters, composers, music publishers and businesses, Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music. BMI represents the public performance rights in more than 10.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 700,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The Company negotiates music license agreements and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organisation to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today, the musical compositions in BMI's repertoire, from chart toppers to perennial favourites, span all genres of music and are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. For additional information and the latest BMI news, visit www.bmi.com, follow us on Twitter @BMI or stay connected through Broadcast Music, Inc.'s Facebook page.

Latest Music Producer's Handbook Now Available

The Music Producer's Handbook, Second Edition reveals the secrets to becoming a music producer and producing just about any kind of project in any genre of music. Among the topics covered are the producer's multiple responsibilities and all the elements involved in a typical production, including budgeting, contracts, selecting the studio and engineer, hiring session musicians, and even getting paid.

Unlike other books on production, The Music Producer's Handbook claims to cover the true mechanics of production, from analysing, troubleshooting, and fixing a song that isn't working to getting the best performance and sound out of a band or vocalist. In addition, Bobby Owsinski tackles what may be the toughest part of being a producer - being a diplomat, a confidant, and an amateur psychologist all at once.

This edition also includes new chapters on self-production, small studio production, and how the new songwriter-producer and engineer-producer hybrids make money in our new digital music world. It also features several new interviews with some of the best-selling producers from different musical genres, who offer advice on getting started, getting paid, and making hits.

Packed with inside information and including exclusive online media, The Music Producer's Handbook, Second Edition provides invaluable tools and advice that will help beginners and seasoned professionals alike.

About the Author

Producer/engineer Bobby Owsinski is one of the best-selling authors in the music industry, with 24 books that are staples in audio recording, music, and music business programs in colleges worldwide. He writes for Forbes on the new music business, his popular blogs have been visited more than 6 million times, and he's appeared on CNN and ABC News as a music branding and audio expert. Visit his music production blog at

bobbyowsinski.blogspot.com

his industry Blog at

music3pointO.blogspot.com

his Forbes blog at

forbes.com/sites/bobbyowsinski

his Podcast at

bobbyoinnercircle.com

and his Website at

bobbywosinksi.com

Casio Returns To Sponsor Annual Dallas Songwriters Association Contest

Casio America, Inc. has announced that it is once again joining forces with the Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA) to sponsor the 26th Annual Dallas Songwriters Association Song Contest. Each year, the DSA offers amateur songwriters from around the world the opportunity to share their music writing talents with industry professionals and compete to win over $5,000 in grand prizes. The contest is now open, and this year, Casio is offering the grand prize winners of the contest their very own Privia PX-350 digital piano.

"The Dallas Songwriters Association Song Contest is one of the longest running international songwriting contests for amateur songwriters, and Casio is excited to be a part of this great tradition once again," said Stephen Schmidt, vice president of Casio's Electronic Musical Instruments Division. "The DSA Song Contest runs parallel to Casio's mission of providing innovative musical instruments to those who have a passion for music, and encouraging musical creativity among consumers."

The PX-350 is part of Casio's Privia digital piano line and comes equipped with Casio's proprietary AiR technology which redefines the digital piano experience with richer and more genuine sounds. The keyboard features simulated ebony and ivory textured keys and an 88-note Tri-sensor scaled hammer action to capture the dynamics of a performance with unparalleled speed and accuracy. The combination of the keyboard's action and a powerful sound engine provides a level of detail, nuance and expression that delivers a superior grand piano experience. The PX-350 is currently available at select music dealers nationwide for an MSRP of $1,099.99.

To learn more about Casio's full portfolio of electronic musical instruments, please visit www.CasioMusicGear.com.  For more information about the DSA Song Contest, please visit

www.dallassongwriters.org/dsa-annual-song-contest/

The deadline to submit entries is September 30, 2016, and finalists and grand prize winners will be announced in December.

German Music Market Grows By 3.6%

New figures released show that Germany's recorded music market grew by 3.6 per cent in the first half of 2016. Total revenue from the sales of CDs, vinyl, downloads and the use of streaming services increased in value by a total of 3.6 per cent over the same period in 2015. Audio streaming was the key driver for the growth, with revenue from premium subscriptions and ad-supported services, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Napster etc., increasing by 88 per cent.

Vinyl sales also saw a significant increase of 46.2 per cent over the same period in 2015 with its market share rising to 4.3 per cent (compared to 3.1 per cent in the first half of 2015). Sales of CDs declined by 9.6 per cent in the first half of 2016 but remain the dominant format with a 52.3 per cent share of sales. Overall, market figures show a split of 60.4 per cent physical and 39.6 per cent digital sales.

Professor Dieter Gorny, Chairman of Germany's Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI) said: "These figures indicate that the process of digitisation is occurring even faster than we had previously thought. As music becomes increasingly a digital business, it is more important than ever to establish the right environment for the whole sector to adapt in this new world. A few weeks ago, more than 1,100 musicians and bands signed and sent an open letter to the European Commission, thus showing that artists - who are the nucleus of our entire industry - have serious concerns about the value gap and about their future. The truth is that if we don't find a solution to this, it might have profound consequences in the future on the art and the profession of making music."

BVMI Managing Director Dr Florian Drücke said: "The latest figures are heartening for two reasons; firstly, the German market continues to grow, thus enlarging the share of revenue for the whole sector. Secondly, the significant increase we are seeing in audio streaming makes it clear that our industry is successfully adapting to the digital world and has developed a compelling offer for music consumers.

"However, for this transformation to continue we much ensure that music content is sufficiently protected against copyright infringement - both online and offline - and that all participants are able to benefit fairly from the proceeds. Indeed, this is not about the future any longer, but about the digital present."

Finance Company Rooted In The Music Industry Paving The Way With The Return Of "Bowie Bonds"

In today's music industry it's getting harder for musicians, writers, producers, and creative individuals to not only make a living financially, but to retain the rights to the final products they toil frivolously to create. But in an ever-growing and ever-changing music market, New York based company Sound Royalties is helping the creators get the cash they need so they can continue doing what they do best with the return of a creation made famous by one of the most iconic figures in music.

In 1997 the boundary-pushing artist David Bowie and his banker David Pullman orchestrated a bond issuance of $55million in $1,000 denominated-bonds on future earnings of Bowie's music. It was a way for Bowie to buy full ownership back of his older recordings. Now known as "Bowie Bonds", the issuance was extremely innovative and paved the way for future artists. The bonds were eventually bought up by a division of Prudential. In 2007, as planned, the bonds liquidated and the rights of the music were returned to Bowie.

Fast forward to today, the age of streaming music. Full out album sales are paltry and the music industry, artists, managers, producers, rely on royalties from music streaming sites to get paid. However, those paychecks can be delayed for months.

Rihanna's latest album Anti set a record in the music industry gaining number one on the Billboard 200 with 54,000 equivalent units moved. But how many of these units were actual sales? Only 17,000 copies.. making it the lowest sales figure connected to a number one album.

Today, a new form of Bowie Bonds has emerged, and Sound Royalties is paving the road. Sound Royalties is a new breed of company that offers advances on royalties to musicians, producers, song writers and the like. Sound Royalties is able to give the music industry up-front funding based on future earnings of their music. A service that is much needed in the industry.

Alex Heich is CEO and Founder of Sound Royalties which helps people in the music industry get up-front cash and retain rights to music and royalties. With their modern twist to Bowie Bonds - Sound Royalties is run by people who have a deep appreciation for music and the music industry. Because of his unique business, Alex is considered to be one of the most pre-eminent experts on music royalties. His company has worked with a wide range of professionals in the music industry including platinum recording artists and billionaire executives.

For more about Sound Royalties, visit

www.SoundRoyalties.com

Songwriter Mark Lowry To Receive Golden Note Award

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will present songwriter-artist and comedian Mark Lowry with its prestigious Golden Note Award at the 38th annual ASCAP Christian Music Awards, to be held on Monday, September 26th at Rocketown in downtown Nashville. The invitation-only gala will be hosted by multi-platinum, three-time Grammy-winning contemporary Christian music star Michael W. Smith alongside ASCAP's President and Chairman Paul Williams and Vice President of Nashville Membership Michael Martin.

Mark Lowry is known and loved around the world as a trusted voice in gospel music and beyond. He started making music at age 11 and more than four decades later, his legacy is forever sealed as an innately entertaining communicator who can make audiences laugh, cry, and think. Lowry's lyric to "Mary Did You Know?" resulted in one of the most loved modern Christmas songs of the century. The captivating song, which he co-wrote with Buddy Greene, has been recorded more than 400 times by artists from every genre including: Reba McEntire, Pentatonix, Cee Lo Green, Clay Aiken, Michael English, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna Judd, The Gaither Vocal Band and a long list of others.

Lowry spent more than 20 collective years as the baritone singer for the Grammy-winning Gaither Vocal Band, and has served as the comedic sidekick for Bill Gaither through live concert tours and the best-selling Gaither Homecoming video and television series. A deep thinker and student of theology with an outrageous sense of humour, Lowry's life work includes a long list of recordings that reflect a wide range of influences. His profound gift for storytelling through music keeps audiences of all ages on the edge of their seats.

The ASCAP Golden Note Award is presented to songwriters, composers, and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Past recipients include Bob McDill, Don Williams, Mary Mary, JD Souther, Reba McEntire, Michael W. Smith and more.

The ASCAP Christian Music Awards recognises the writers and publishers of the most-performed songs in Christian music, and will feature special performances by today's most popular artists and songwriters in the genre. The event culminates in the announcements of the ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter of the Year, Songwriter-Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Publisher of the Year. Recent ASCAP Christian Music Awards honourees include Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Matthew West, David Garcia, Ben Glover, Brown Bannister, Michael Bleeker, Jeremy Camp, Dan Muckala, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Josh Wilson and many more.

How To Choose And Play The Right Guitar Chords
   
Written and compiled by Rikky Rooksby, author of Backbeat's successful songwriting books, including How To Write Songs on Guitar, Chord Master takes a fresh look at those familiar fingerboard diagrams and the sounds they represent. He explains how chords are constructed, how they relate to each other, and how they work together to create memorable sequences and songs.

New in this edition:

• Chord-changing for beginners, with the help of 20 new audio tracks

• Chord voicings and how they can work for you

• A handy guide to the 40 most useful chord shapes

• Experimenting with chords in an altered tuning

Unlike a traditional chord dictionary - a simple catalogue of guitar fingerboard diagrams - Chord Master explains the various chord types, shows why they sound the way they do, and illustrates how they can enhance your music. It helps you find chords, play them securely, and move smoothly between them.

Included are are more than 1,000 diagrams for open and movable chords, grouped according to key, type, and musical style. The book answers common chord questions, unlocks the chord secrets of famous songs, and gives you online access to 40 backing tracks that demonstrate how chords work in a sequence.

Chord Master helps beginners and accomplished guitarists, regardless of their preferred style of music, identify the chords in a particular piece of music, and the book provides inspiration for songwriting and arrangements.

MusicianFinder.com Website Launches To Connect Musicians

MusicPlayers.com, the online magazine for serious musicians, along with media partners including Guitar World, Guitar Player, Bass Player, Keyboard, Electronic Musician, and The Deli Magazine, are introducing a new website focused on helping musicians find other musicians for their various musical activities.

Whether you're looking to join a band or find new members for your existing band, collaborate on recording projects locally or across the Internet, connect with producers/engineers, or just find a casual jam session, MusicianFinder.com intends to be the only place musicians ever need to look online to find collaborators. If you're a student forming your first band, a wedding band seeking temp players, or an established pro holding auditions for a touring indie band, MusicianFinder.com understands your different needs.

"Until now, you had to search twenty different websites in the hopes of maybe finding the right musicians or opportunities," explains Scott Kahn, MusicPlayers.com CEO and founder of MusicianFinder.com. "Most musician ads are posted on bulletin board sites and niche web communities that have only the most basic search capabilities. Now, musicians have a real solution to find each other quickly and cheaply."

If you have something very specific in mind, like finding a guitar player influenced by Dream Theatre's John Petrucci, or a keyboard player into Depeche Mode, or a singer into Katy Perry, MusicianFinder.com makes it easy to locate the right musicians by providing musicians with the best search tools to find each other.

"If we all built our own search sites for musicians, that would just fragment the musician community, and no site would have enough users to be truly useful. Nothing would be gained," explains Bill Amstutz, VP & General Manager at NewBay Media, publisher of Guitar World, Guitar Player, Bass Player, Keyboard, and Electronic Musician. "By sharing MusicianFinder.com as a common search platform, we're helping all musicians to connect with each other, creating the largest talent pool ever assembled on a musician-specific site."

The Deli's Paolo De Gregorio is equally excited. "Indie artists have been needing a service laser focused on allowing them to find each other, and that allows them to find the musicians they are looking for in a more targeted way than Craigslist."

Musicians, bands, and producer/engineers are offered a free three-month trial to create profile pages and begin using the service. With prices that peak at only $3/month (with even greater discounts for annual memberships), MusicianFinder.com is so affordable that students and starving artists should find it perfectly affordable.

Universal Catalogue Had Major Impact On The 2016 Rio Olympic Games
   
Through the placement of several songs, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) was heard throughout the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which debuted Friday, August 5 and ran through August 21. During the opening and closing ceremonies, two of the most-watched and highly rated global television events, UMPG had the largest number of songs represented by any major music publisher. In addition to the ceremonies, UMPG songs was featured throughout the world in numerous advertising campaigns and promotions during the games.

UMPG is home to the pre-eminent Brazilian music catalogue, including seminal Bossa Nova figures such as Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes. UMPG songs featured during opening and closing ceremonies included the famed Jobim/Moraes standard "The Girl From Ipanema (Garota De Ipanema)," as well as the classics "Canto De Ossanha," "Deixa A Vida Me Levar," "Bachianas No. 7 (Preludio)," "Deixa A Tanga Voar," among others. UMPG Brazil artist and songwriter Anitta also performed during the opening ceremony.

Continuing their close work with the networks, global ad agencies and brand partners, UMPG provided music for NBC, BBC, RAI and CBC network promos, and other spots airing by major brands including Toyota, Omega Watches, Comcast, Royal Caribbean. In addition the International Olympic Committee (IOC) tapped Questlove for their global "Together we can change the world" campaign. The soundtrack for the filmed project was produced by Questlove, who re-recorded the song "The Fire" (co-written by UMPG writers Questlove and Tarik Trotter of The Roots) with top recording artists from across the world.

"The Olympic Games is one of those rare global events where the world comes together to celebrate not only sports but culture. Our synch teams worldwide are the very best at maximising the potential of globally televised events that generate mass exposure, creative opportunities and maximised revenue for our songwriters and iconic songs," said Tom Eaton, SVP Music for Advertising, UMPG.

AIMP, A2IM And CMPA Statement Regarding 100% Licensing

We, the undersigned, represent the independent music publishing and record label community in North America, and want to lend our unified voice to the recent press and discussion regarding the outrageous position the Department of Justice (DoJ) has taken with regard to the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees.

The heart of the music business is the song. No recording artist would exist without a song, and songs would not exist without songwriters. The songwriters are the smallest of small businesses, and many of them control the ownership to their songs. A significant number of songwriters have entered into mutually beneficial agreements with music publishers who develop and promote their songs. The independent music publishing and record company sector is over one-third of the music industry in North America and employs thousands. While each company may vary in size and have relationships with major labels and/or music publishers, they all share the same independent DNA. The vibrant, diverse and dynamic music business we know today was built by songwriters, independent music publishers, and independent record labels... but that's all about to change.

After spending a great deal of U.S. taxpayer money the last few years reviewing the 75-year-old consent decrees, holding public testimony on the various ways in which the anachronistic consent decrees should be updated to address the challenges of a digital economy, and apparently ignoring hundreds of public comments officially submitted to them, the DoJ determined both that the consent decrees should not be amended and that ASCAP and BMI should be forced to issue 100% licenses.

This position by the DoJ on 100% licensing is 100% wrong. The DoJ's position will obstruct every level of the music business as songwriters' creative processes will be impacted by which PRO their co-writers are signed with. In a world where songwriters, artists, music publishers and record companies are already being paid below market rates by tech companies that built their businesses by using our songs, the DoJ has opened the door for even lower payments. The DoJ's decision reaches far beyond our shores and threatens our relationships with foreign writers, publishers and record companies. The DoJ has now unwittingly entered the creative process in the writing room and the recording studio. They do not belong there.

Independent songwriters, music publishers and recording artists deserve more than what we have received here. The DoJ and its largest supporter in its recent ruling, Public Knowledge, has propped up the media conglomerates at the expense of the entire music industry. We deserve fair market rates that are not regulated by the U.S. government and the ability to decide when and where our property is used. The DoJ cannot be permitted to decide that for us.

AIMP (Association of Independent Music Publishers), A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) and CMPA (Canadian Music Publishers Association) stand shoulder to shoulder in opposing this unfortunate DoJ decision on 100% licensing. The vast majority of music publishers, songwriters, labels, and recording artists are small- and medium-sized enterprises, and it is essential for them to be able to control the use of their copyrights in order to sustain their businesses and careers.

$14 Million Settlement In "Happy Birthday To You" Lawsuit

It's official! Sing it loud, sing it proud, and sing it for free, knowing that you won't get hit up for royalties. The world's most famous song, "Happy Birthday to You," is now in the public domain thanks in large part to Donahue Fitzgerald LLP Partners Andrew MacKay and Daniel Schacht.

Judge George H. King of the Central District of California has given final approval to the settlement in Good Morning To You Productions Corp Et Al. versus Warner/Chappell Music Inc Et Al. The settlement includes the repayment of $14 million in royalties collected by Warner/Chappell and a court order placing the song in the public domain.

"This is a huge victory for the public, and for the artists who want to use Happy Birthday to You in their videos and music. Everyone who has a birthday can celebrate!" said Schacht. "Strong copyright protection is important for artists and content creators, but it must have limits. This landmark ruling recognises the value of the public domain."

"I have handled some important copyright and trademark cases in the past," said MacKay, "but nothing has resonated with the public as much as this case. It was wrong for Warner/Chappell to collect royalties for a song they didn't own, and I'm proud to have helped achieve this victory."

Filed as a class action, the lawsuit sought to represent anyone who had paid to license the song, such as musicians, film makers, and television producers. Of the four class plaintiffs, which included Good Morning to You Productions Corp., Robert Siegel and Majar Productions, LLC, Donahue Fitzgerald's client Rupa Marya is the only musician. Marya's involvement in the case stemmed from her performance of "Happy Birthday to You" at a concert on her birthday in 2013. She paid Warner/Chappell $455 to include the live rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" on her album Live at the Independent.

Warner/Chappell alleged that their rights to the "Happy Birthday to You" song came from their 1988 acquisition of the Summy Company and the copyright would not expire until 2030. In Sept. 2015, Judge King granted partial summary judgement in favour of the plaintiffs, ruling that Warner/Chappell did not own the copyright to the lyrics of the song. The defendants agreed to settle the matter thereafter.

One of many high-profile intellectual property lawsuits that Donahue Fitzgerald has brought on behalf of content creators, Partners MacKay and Schacht contributed their experience in copyright and music law to the case. In addition to the Donahue Fitzgerald team, plaintiffs were represented by Mark Rifkin, Randall Newman and Betsy Manifold of class action firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, and Marc Godino and Kara Wolke of Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP, also a class action firm.

Garth Brooks Launches Own Sirius Channel

SiriusXM has announced that America's best-selling solo artist of all time, Garth Brooks, will launch his own SiriusXM channel on September 8.

The Garth Channel, the new, 24/7, exclusive channel, will be curated and presented by Brooks. The channel will feature music from Brooks spanning four decades, along with songs from the artists that influenced his iconic career. This is the first time Garth's music is being presented 24/7 in one place, on radio or online.

SiriusXM's The Garth Channel will also include regularly hosted shows and behind-the-scenes commentary from Brooks, guest DJ specials hosted by Brooks' fans and friends, live concert recordings and other rarities from Brooks' treasured archives.

"It's rare to be handed an opportunity that can grow as big as you can dream. That is exactly what SiriusXM has just done," said Garth Brooks. "I speak for myself and the entire team when I say we are very grateful for this opportunity and very excited about its potential."

"In music, there are few groundbreaking artists, but there's only one Garth Brooks. We are thrilled to have him running his own full time channel at SiriusXM," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. "And we are so excited that our subscribers will now get Garth in their cars 24/7 and have a place to get Garth on their phones and online--something that has not been available in the past. Garth's addition to SiriusXM makes our country music offering second to none."

Garth Brooks is certified by the RIAA as the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history with over 136 million albums. He has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist. Garth has been inducted into the International Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame and most recently, the Musicians Hall of Fame.

Garth is currently on the three year Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood. The tour began with 11 sold out shows at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. The tour is smashing records previously held by such acts as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and even Garth Brooks.  In just over a year and a half, the tour is approaching 5 MILLION tickets sold making it the biggest tour in the world.

The Garth Channel will debut on September 8 on satellite and will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.

Coalition Of Artists And Songwriters AppealFort Reform Of The Millennium Copyright Act
   
In an unprecedented move, an exceptional group of songwriters and recording artists joined together to send an message to Capitol Hill today urging lawmakers to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The coalition unites an entire spectrum of music creators - from superstars to independent artists - and spans across [generations and] music genres including Rock, Pop, Country, Rap, Christian, Gospel, Jazz, EDM, Folk & R&B.

Penned as an open letter to Congress, with an accompanying ad campaign in The Hill, Politico and RollCall, more than 180 music creators joined together to ask for the reform of the outdated, broken DMCA. The DMCA law, passed in 1998, has allowed technology companies to thrive while devastating the livelihoods of musicians and songwriters. The letter calls for Congress to find a more equitable balance between the interests of music creators and the interests of the companies who use the DMCA to exploit music for their financial benefit. The current, dramatic imbalance in the law threatens the future of music and has started a groundswell in the creative music community. A coalition of this magnitude speaks to the need for reformation of DMCA's safe harbour provision.
"This is a historic moment in the music business," says Irving Azoff, chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment. "This diverse group of artists coming together illustrates that this is a movement, which should not be underestimated. In all my years, this is the only time I can remember everyone - artists, songwriters, managers, labels, publishers, PROs - agreeing and collectively calling for change. This is just the beginning. The entire industry is united and committed to pursuing a fair resolution. We are fighting for the future."

This open letter and ad campaign arrive as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is slated to soon announce a framework for copyright reform legislation following three years of hearings and consultation with various interested parties.

Earlier this year, music industry organisations submitted comments to the U.S. Copyright Office for use in their evaluation of the effectiveness of DMCA. These industry comments illustrated how the outdated, broken system is ineffective in protecting creators and their music from inappropriate use.

Nineteen music industry organisations join the artists in support and include: A2IM, AFM, ASCAP, Azoff Music, BMI, Global Music Rights, Kobalt, NARAS, NMPA, NSAI, RIAA, SESAC, Sony/ATV, Sony Music, SoundExchange, Universal Music Group, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell and Warner Music Group.

Music Reports Offer Electronically Licensed On-Demand Music
   
Music Reports Inc., the rights administration platform, is the first company to offer electronic filing of mechanical licenses for on-demand streaming with the United States Copyright Office, automating the "Notice of Intent" (NOI) process and enabling hundreds of thousands of new releases to be instantly licensed for distribution. This service is now available to any on-demand music provider that needs clearances to operate in America.

Music Reports has often worked with the Copyright Office to address regulatory and practical challenges in invoking the statutory mechanical license and accounting pursuant to its terms. Until now, there has been no practical NOI process to handle the hundreds of thousands of recordings that become available each month for distribution on digital music services. Under section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act, notice must be given to the composition owner of the licensee's intention to distribute the work, and if the owner is not registered with the Copyright Office, the notice can be filed with the Copyright Office itself. It is not uncommon for copyright owners, even popular artists, to register their compositions well after recordings of them have been commercially released. This creates a potential liability for online music services seeking to expose new music to the public. Music Reports' new NOI service alleviates this risk for the music services. Royalties for these tracks are accrued until ownership is determined, and publishers can register their catalogues and claim unmatched tracks through Music Reports' free, publisher-facing web portal.

"We are very pleased to now offer this commercial-scale solution to the problem of mechanical license clearance in the United States," said Bill Colitre, Vice President and General Counsel of Music Reports, Inc. "Once again, we are meeting the market with a technology-centric answer to a major administrative challenge in the music business. Combined with our recently-launched Publisher Dashboard and Claiming System, we have created a solution that works for music services and for music publishers."

COSON Files Motion For Judgement Against MTN   

Following its recent promise of an unprecedented showdown with copyright infringers and royalty defaulters in Nigeria, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation's approved collective management organisation for musical works and sound recordings, has filed a motion for final judgement in the watershed 16 Billion Naira copyright infringement action brought by COSON against telecommunication giant, MTN.

In a motion filed at the Federal High Court Lagos by Intellectual Property lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige, COSON has asked the court for an order for final judgement in favour of COSON for the liquidated sum as per claim (g) contained in the writ of summons and statement of claim, in default of pleadings by MTN. COSON also asked for such further or other orders as the Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of the case.

In COSON's 8 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion for judgement sworn to by one Jubilee Wakeel, Mr. Wakeel deposed to the facts that the suit was commenced by writ of summons on 9th May, 2016 and that MTN was served on 10th May, 2016 and that well over 30 days since MTN was served with all the processes in the suit, the Defendant had failed refused and/or neglected to take steps to file any pleadings in defence of the action.

Quoting copiously from the Federal High Court rules and a plethora of decided cases, Mr. Ige, lawyer to COSON in his written statement in support of the motion stated that as disclosed in the supporting affidavit to the application, no defence had been filed in the matter. He went on to state that the Plaintiff is convinced that the Defendant has no defence to the claim and all the averments in the Claim should be deemed undisputed by the defendant.

While urging the court to grant the motion in the interest of justice, Mr. Ige stated that COSON is seeking judgement for royalties which the Defendant hopes to hold on to, if possible, forever - during which time those persons whom the royalties ought to be distributed to will continue to suffer needlessly. He stated that by granting the application, the court can put an end to the pain of the copyright owners without further delay.

Speaking recently on the NTA programme, "Slow Flow" on the determination of COSON to stamp out copyright infringement in Nigeria, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, "At COSON, we are determined, committed and resolved to stamping out the era of "monkey dey work, baboon dey chop" from the Nigerian music industry and establishing a transparent and accountable industry in which everyone who invests his or her talent or resources can rest assured that his or her investment will be fully protected. We will not buckle under pressure from anyone no matter how highly placed. We have sued a corporation owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria. We have gone to court against a State government. We have had to sue Nigeria's biggest bank, wrestle in court with Nigeria's biggest hotel and broadcast networks. At COSON, we verily believe that no one is above the law".

The 2016 IAMA International Acoustic Music Awards Kicks Off

Established in 2004, IAMA is the preeminent musician awards for up-and-coming music artists. It promotes excellence in Acoustic Music performance and artistry, it is geared towards today's best up-and-coming music acts. Together for an exclusive, once-in-a-year event, Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Win a Top Prize of US$11,000 worth of Prizes.

Entrants come from all over the world: Australia, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Germany, USA, South Africa, etc. Judging is based on excellence in music performance, songwriting/composition/song choice, music production and originality/artistry. You can enter in a number of categories such as: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group, Folk, Alternative, AOG (Open Category), etc.

Past years' winners include: Meghan Trainor, Jack Newsome, Carl Wockner, Kelley James, AJ Croce, Maddy Rodriguez(Canada), David Francey (Canada), Liz Longley, Charlie Dore (Hit Singer-Songwriter from UK), The Refugees (USA), Fertitta & McClintock, Kate Lush (Australia), Wayne Southards (USA), Larry Pattis (USA), Omega (Uganda), El McMeen, etc. Last year's winner went to Jack Newsome (see pictured) who won the overall grand prize.

"I am absolutely floored to have won this award, it's such an honor. As a Meghan Trainor fanm it's pretty surreal to me that we're both been honoured in the same competition" said an elated Jack Newsome, a Berklee College of Music student, who won the top award at IAMA this year.

"I am very excited and surprised to win", said Meghan Trainor, 6th Annual IAMA Best Female Artist Winner, who stunned the music industry by hitting #1 with a debut single and album on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 Album charts respectively last year. Her debut single "All About That Bass" became a mega hit and Meghan has become an international household name, her hit single sold over 12 million copies in the first 6 months. She also won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

IAMA is sponsored by: D'Addario Strings, New Music Weekly, Loggins Promotion, Airplay Access, Aspri Reverb, Sirius XM Radio, Acoustic Café Radio Show, SemiClef.com, Kari Estrin Management & Consulting, and Sonicbids.

Win prizes in 8 different categories: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo, Folk/Americana/Roots, AAA/Alternative, Instrumental, Open and Country/Bluegrass. There will also be an Overall Grand Prize winner awarded to the top winner worth over US$11,000, which includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and Canada. Winning songs will be heard on radio! Winners and runner-ups will be featured on our CD compilation. Also, we feature up to 10 different artists get featured and promoted on IAMA website every month, which provides a review, ratings, CD information and more.

Judging is based on excellence in music performance, songwriting/composition and originality. Winners are selected by a panel of established artists and industry professionals. Winners and finalists of the Awards will be featured in the IAMA website and e-newsletters, read by music press, talent buyers, promoters and other industry insiders. All songs submitted must be submitted must be original and submitted online or via CD, the artist may also perform original material not yet released and written by other songwriters or composers. Cover songs are permitted. Deadline to enter is November 10th. Information:

http://www.inacoustic.com

The Complete Singer-Songwriter Available Now

The Complete Singer-Songwriter is the ultimate guide for the modern performer, chock-full of tips, tools, and inspiration for both aspiring troubadours and those looking to take their craft and career to the next level. Author Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers draws on firsthand interviews with songwriting legends and rising stars; expert advice from managers, agents, lawyers, and publishers; and his own experiences as a performing songwriter. He offers this invaluable companion for singer-songwriters on their journey from idea to song to the stage, studio, and beyond.

"Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers takes you through all of it - from the fun stuff to the daily grind, from writing to stepping on stage and building a business around you. He schools you on the mechanics of songwriting. Informs you about some key business contracts. And the insightful quotes from working songwriters give you a true sense of belonging. Jeffrey brings you into the mindset and lifestyle of the touring professional songwriter," says Ellis Paul.

New in the second edition:

• A songwriter's guide to chord progressions

• Understanding song form and rhyme

• Dozens of songwriting games and exercises

• Essential info on copyrighting your songs, music publishing, and digital royalties

• Online companion at completesingersongwriter.com with playlists and additional resources

Ben Harper calls The Complete Singer-Songwriter "the most creatively valuable book on the subject" with songwriting tips and techniques from more than 100 artists, including Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Jewel, Jeff Tweedy, Ani DiFranco, James Taylor, John Fogerty, Brandi Carlile, Richard Thompson, Jason Mraz, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Garcia, Dar Williams, and more.

Twelve Composers Make The ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop

ASCAP has announced the 12 composer participants selected for its prestigious Film Scoring Workshop. The intensive 4-week program, led by Emmy award-winning composer Richard Bellis, begins today in Los Angeles. It culminates on August 1, when each aspiring composer has the opportunity to record their original film scene score using the same tools as a world-class composer: a 60-piece orchestra at Hollywood's historic Newman Scoring Stage at FOX Studios.

The Workshop, supported by The ASCAP Foundation, has a reputation for grooming some of the world's top composers and connecting them with A-list Hollywood studio executives, agents, attorneys and music supervisors. Among the program's alumni since its launch in 1988 are Brian Byrne (Golden Globe nominee and World Soundtrack Award winner for 2011 film Albert Nobbs); Jim Dooley (Emmy winner for TV series Pushing Daisies); Rob Duncan (multi-Emmy nominee for the hit series Castle, Missing and Last Resort); Matthew Margeson (International Film Music Critics Award for the hit 2015 film The Kingsmen: Secret Service); Mateo Messina (award-winning film Juno and NBC's Superstore); Julia Newmann (additional music for hit FOX TV series Bones); and Joe Trapanese (hit 2015 films Straight Outta Compton and The Divergent Series: Insurgent).

"The ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop has a fantastic history of developing successful film and television composers," said Shawn LeMone, ASCAP SVP Membership. "We're proud of the role that ASCAP plays in nurturing that talent and that we can provide our members with some of the greatest opportunities for music creators. We look forward to seeing our workshop composers continue to flourish as they advance in their careers."

Workshop participants are chosen from more than 300 applicants by a team of 20 professional composers. This year's composers are:

• Paolo Agostini (resident: Thiene, Italy; country of origin: Italy)

• Marco Valerio Antonini (resident: LA, CA; country of origin: Italy)

• John Carey (resident: LA, CA; town of origin: Columbus, OH)

• Anne-Kathrin Dern (resident: LA, CA; country of origin: Germany)

• Forrest Gray (resident: LA, CA; town of origin: Sag Harbor, NY

• Aaron Kenny (resident: NY, NY; country of origin: Australia)

• Dan Martinez (resident: LA, CA; town of origin: Chicago, IL)

• Nami Melumad (resident: LA, CA; country of origin: Israel)

• Jules Pegram (resident: Ann Arbor, MI; town of origin: Greensboro, NC)

• Nicolas Repetto (resident: LA, CA; country of origin: Argentina)

• Lawrence Whitehead (resident: Cardiff, South Wales; country of origin: Wales)

• Sebastian Zawadzki (resident: Copenhagen, Denmark; country of origin: Poland)

BMG Acquires J Albert & Son Music Publishing
   
BMG and the Albert family have reached agreement for BMG to acquire the 131-year-old Australian music publishing and recording company, J Albert & Son Pty Ltd, better known as Alberts.

One of the world's leading independents, Alberts has published songs and released records from many of the greatest names in Australian music. This includes The Easybeats and their songwriters Harry Vanda, George Young & Stevie Wright, AC/DC, John Paul Young, Rose Tattoo and a roster of contemporary writers including; Montaigne, Megan Washington, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Pyke, Urthboy, the Cat Empire and San Cisco.

Alberts will now form part of BMG Australia, the Sydney-based operation of BMG launched just three months ago, which has already signed key contemporary Australian talent such as Peking Duk, Wolfmother, LDRU, The Living End's Chris Cheney and Wave Racer.

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, "This is an incredible opportunity to create a new leader in Australian music, combining Alberts' strengths with BMG's 21st century approach to the music business. As of today, Australian artists and songwriters wishing to tap into the world market have a genuine alternative to the established majors. BMG is very serious about the Australian market and this deal is an indication of our commitment."

Alberts CEO David Albert said, "This was a difficult decision to make, but as music grapples with its digital future, with new distribution models and the influence of global technology companies, we believe BMG is in the best position to take the business forward. BMG has a global presence, an artist-friendly approach to business and a genuine desire to invest in and support the Australian music scene."

BMG Australia Managing Director Heath Johns will run the newly-enlarged company, which will take on a number of the Alberts team. "No company has left a mark on Australian music like Alberts," he said. "It is an honour for BMG Australia to protect this profound legacy and also work with its exciting contemporary roster to further build their careers at home and abroad. This is a big vote of confidence in Australian talent and a recognition of Australia's status as the biggest international exporter of recording talent after the US and UK."

BMG launched in October 2008 with a plan to become the first new international music company of the digital age by offering a distinctive service-based approach, which operates the traditionally separate music publishing and record businesses under one roof, using the same international platform. Since then it has become arguably the fastest-growing music company in history with operations in 12 countries. Last Friday (July 1) its new Brazilian operation BMG Brazil opened for business.

Over the past five years, BMG and Alberts have developed a strong working relationship, with Alberts representing much of the BMG catalogue in Australia and BMG acting as Alberts' sub-publisher in various territories in Europe.

Today's deal means ownership of most of the Alberts music publishing and recordings catalogue transfers to BMG. The Albert family will retain their interests in the catalogues of AC/DC and Vanda, Young & Wright given their long-standing relationships. BMG will administer the music publishing catalogues worldwide on behalf of the family.

Alberts Chairman Robert Albert said of the retained catalogue: "These songwriters were an integral part of my late brother Ted Albert's vision to take Australia's music to the world. Retaining these catalogues will allow us to stay connected with an industry that has been an integral part of our lives for the last 131 years. The family will also continue to maintain its lifelong connection with music through our philanthropy, which is focused on achieving positive outcomes through music."

ASCAP Launches Redesigned Public Repertory Database

ASCAP, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, this week launched a redesigned version of ACE, its public repertory database. With new features that enable greater ease-of-use and additional information, the redesign furthers ASCAP's leadership in providing greater transparency for composers, songwriters, music publishers and music users.

ACE ("ASCAP Clearance Express") is a searchable database that contains information relating to musical works in the ASCAP Repertory, and is updated weekly by ASCAP. The new, mobile-friendly ACE interface has a responsive design that manages and displays information from ASCAP's vast repertory of 10 million works, including title, writer, publisher, performer and ISWC codes. It enables music creator members, publishers, licensees and the public to easily search, share and download repertory information. ACE users may now search the database using multiple criteria simultaneously, for example song title and performer. In addition to listing the total share controlled by ASCAP, users can now obtain the aggregate writer and aggregate publisher shares for any particular work.

"ASCAP is driving changes aimed at building a more efficient, effective and transparent music industry, no matter what the future looks like," said Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP CEO. "The ACE redesign is just the first of many new digital innovations ASCAP has in the works to create the best quality experience for stakeholders. We are looking forward to rolling out more new ASCAP digital tools for our members and our community."

For more information on ACE, visit http://www.ascap.com/ace-title-search/about.aspx.

The Lawyer Who Reinvented Himself As A Singer-Songwriter

Jess Wayne just released his debut album "Ride The River". A comfortable fusion of contemporary folk, chill blues, easy jazz and Americana music with "storytelling, wisdom and naked honesty," the album was co-produced with John Matthew Rosenberg, a Los Angeles arranger and composer. The CD Release Party is at the famous Genghis Cohen on Friday, June 24, 2016, at 9:00 pm. On July 20, the band starts its debut tour through Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.

Jess Wayne (previously better known as Douglas Jessop) is a poet, writer, singer-songwriter and guitar player. He is living in Los Angeles and making music with a groove for adults who have lived and know that life is complex, messy, muddy, simple and beautiful - all at the same time.

Flashback to 2009, a successful corporate bankruptcy lawyer at the top of his game with his own law firm in Denver, Colorado, clients all over the world, a custom designed house on 20 acres in the country, and an Audi A8L. He had it made, right? No. The tsunami wave of the economy failure was ripping toward his firm and while other bankruptcy lawyers were out there saying "cowabunga dude" and waxing their surfboards for the ultimate ride - he took one long look and realized that his heart was Just Not That In To It.

He was not going to explain bankruptcy reorganization for the zillionth time. He was not going to ride that wave. He had enough. His spouse, children, friends and colleagues thought he was crazy but he walked away. To where or what, he had no idea - something that resonated with the heart. He gave the house and its stuff to his wife and the car to his father. The start of freedom.

On how he got here or, at least, what took him so long, Jess still wonders. "I've played music and written poetry all my life but I did not recognize my heart's desire. I had lived so long with my true self buried that I was like the little fish that upon hearing that the Ocean was all around him, blurts out 'This? This is just water!' Well, I'm in the water now, and it's a wild ride."

BMI Extends President/CEO Mike O'Neill's Contract Through 2021

The Board of Directors of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) has extended Mike O'Neill's contract as President and CEO for five years, through 2021. Paul Karpowicz, Chairman of the BMI Board of Directors and President, Meredith Local Media Group, made the announcement today.

"BMI has continued to thrive and evolve under Mike's leadership, providing both the stability and innovation needed in a rapidly changing marketplace," said Karpowicz. "The company is on track to once again generate record revenues and distributions to our music creators and copyright owners and remains committed to fighting for and preserving the fair value of our affiliates' music." Karpowicz added, "Beyond Mike's dedication to our creators and licensing customers, his support of the BMI team is second to none. We couldn't be more confident in Mike's leadership and vision to take BMI into the future."

Under O'Neill's leadership, BMI achieved record-breaking revenue and royalty distributions for the fiscal year 2015, generating $1.013 billion, the highest in the company's history and the most public performance revenue generated for songwriters, composers and publishers by any music rights organization in the world. In addition, the company distributed and administered a record $877 million, and for the first time, took in more than $100 million in digital revenue, making it the first PRO to achieve that milestone.

As President and CEO, O'Neill oversees all of BMI's business operations, both domestically and globally, and directs the company's strategic growth to benefit BMI's writers, composers, music publishers and licensees. He has worked at BMI for 22 years, overseeing nearly every department within the company, including BMI's writer, composer and publisher relations group, licensing organization, royalty distribution group and administrative services teams.

O'Neill joined BMI in 1994 as Director, Group and National Accounts from CBS-TV Network, where he was Director, CBS Affiliate Relations. Within two years, he was appointed Assistant Vice President, Media Licensing, and was continually promoted to positions of increasing responsibility throughout his tenure. In September of 2013, O'Neill was appointed Chief Executive Officer and assumed the additional title of President in July of 2014.

O'Neill holds an MBA from Rutgers University in Marketing and Finance and received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Montclair University. He is a member of the BMI Board of Directors, as well as the Board of Directors for the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the T.J. Martell Foundation, the Broadcasters Foundation of America, National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation and Monmouth Medical Center Foundation. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of FastTrack and is the Honorary Chair of the BMI Foundation.

Australians Call For Government Investment In Local Music   

Australians have voiced their support for federal government investment in Australian music and indicated that a commitment to invest in the industry could influence their vote in the upcoming federal election, according to national survey results delivered this week.

Some 98% of respondents to the APRA AMCOS survey believe the federal government should invest in Australian music. When asked why, respondents answered:

• 90% It's an export industry worth millions of dollars to the economy

• 98% It's an important part of our culture and identity

• 90% I like to be able to go and see live music near me

• 91% It creates job growth and drives innovation

Importantly, 72% of those surveyed confirmed that a commitment to a significant investment in Australian music would influence their vote in the federal election. A further 25% said a commitment to invest would possibly influence their voting decision. 31% of total respondents live in marginal seats.

The survey results are backed by figures that prove an investment in Australian music will drive innovation, domestic jobs and growth, and export potential:

• Australia's contemporary music industry is a multi-billion dollar contributor to the Australian economy, with live contemporary music generating revenue of $2 billion annually.

• The entire contemporary music sector contributes close to $6 billion to the Australian economy annually.

• Contemporary music in Australia generates jobs and growth. Expenditure associated with live music in Australia is estimated to create close to 65,000 full time and part time jobs.

• Every $1 spent on live music contributes $3 back into the economy.

• Australia is the 6th largest music market in the world.

• More Australian songwriters and musicians are succeeding on the global stage. The number of Australian artists showcasing at international events, supported by the Sounds Australia export office, has grown from 49 per year in 2009 to over 200 per year in 2014 and 2015.

Australian songwriters broke 2014/2015 records with a 25% increase in international performance royalty income.

NMPA Signs Agreement To Ensure Songwriters Receive YouTube Royalties
     
The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) has announced a licensing agreement in which music publishers and songwriters will receive royalty payments for use of their musical works in videos on managed channels within the AwesomenessTV Network.

The agreement also establishes a pool to give copyright holders compensation for past use of their musical works on these channels and allows video creators to continue to use the music that inspires them and their fans while ensuring that creators are paid.

The licensing agreement will unlock a new revenue stream for publishers and songwriters by allowing copyright owners to receive royalties from revenue generated by videos in which musical works are used. AwesomenessTV's managed channels are not covered by existing licensing agreements between YouTube and music publishers and are not scanned by Content ID, which previously made it difficult for music publishers and songwriters to be paid properly for their creative works. The new agreement allows AwesomenessTV creators to perform cover songs in their videos with royalties going to the correct copyright holders.

Along with NMPA's agreement with Spotify in March, this agreement is another important success that will ensure those who create music are compensated.

National Music Publishers' Association President and CEO David Israelite praised the agreement: "This agreement encourages cooperation between music's creators and companies like AwesomenessTV that have emerged during the digital age where streaming and online channels on sites such as YouTube are a huge part of music's enormous influence on society. It is critical that publishers and songwriters are not only paid when their music is used on YouTube channels, but also that they are paid back for when their music was used in the past. Deals like this are critical to make sure songwriters thrive in the new digital world, and NMPA will continue to champion their rights through agreements that make new models and services profitable for the creators who make them possible.

Warner/Chappell Music's Jon Platt Elected To ASCAP Board Of Directors

ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) President and Chairman Paul Williams has announced that Warner/Chappell Music Chairman & CEO Jon Platt has been elected to the ASCAP Board of Directors.

"Jon is a tremendous talent in the publishing industry, and we are thrilled to have him join the ASCAP Board," said Williams. "Our publisher and songwriter members face complex challenges in the digital era that call for a progressive outlook, and Jon is one of the best leaders of his generation. As the only performance rights organization that is led by a board composed of publishers and songwriters, ASCAP values his understanding of the creative process and his relationships with the creative community."

Platt took the helm of Warner/ Chappell, the global music publishing company of Warner Music Group, last November. As Chairman & CEO he drives the cultivation and growth of the company's diverse roster of songwriters and its spectrum of creative services. Since joining Warner/Chappell in 2012, he has been instrumental in attracting a wide range of new and established talent, including Jay Z, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Mike Will Made It, MNEK, and others, while continuing to build relationships with songwriters such as Katy Perry, Kendrick Lamar, Michael Bublé, and George Michael. Previously, Platt spent 17 years at EMI Music Publishing, where artists he signed at the outset of their careers include Jay Z, Kanye West, Drake, Usher, Ludacris, and Snoop Dogg
SOCAN Songwriting Prize Finalists Square Off For $10,000

SOCAN has announced the finalists for the 11th annual SOCAN Songwriting Prize, a competition that identifies 10 outstanding songs in English and French written and released by emerging songwriters over the past year, with the music-loving public deciding the winners.

The 10 English and French finalists were each determined by independent panels of 15 music-industry experts who were asked to nominate two songs from any musical genre that they felt were the best written in the last 12 months by emerging songwriters - defined as songwriters who have released no more than two full albums (excluding EPs) up until the end of the eligibility period (see Rules for complete criteria). All of the nominated songs were then compiled, reviewed and voted on by each panel as a whole to decide the final 10 nominees. SOCAN does not have a role in determining nominees or winners.

The 10 English songs nominated this year:

"Black Body" - written by Benjamin Addy, Renee Wisdom; performed by Spek Won feat.Shi Wisdom.

"Dead or Alive" - written by Jahmarie Adams, Michael Lantz; performed by Jazz Cartier.

"Desire" - written by Kathleen Monks, Benjamin Reinhartz, James Rowlinson, Elizabeth Ball; performed by Dilly Dally.

"How Could You Babe" - written by Tobias Jesso Jr; performed by Tobias Jesso Jr.; published by Universal Music Publishing.

"Julia" - written by Matthew Mcleod; performed by Fast Romantics.

"No hurry" - written by Terra Lightfoot; performed by Terra Lightfoot; published by CCS Rights Management Corp.

"Paradise" - written by Ashton Simmonds, Matthew Burnett, Jordan Evans, Alexander Sowinski, Matthew Tavares, Leland Whitty, Chester Hansen, Keaven Yazdani; performed by Daniel Ceasar feat. BADBADNOTGOOD, Sean Leon; published by Reclusive Music Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada, Robinson Heart Publishing.

"Pen to Paper" - written by Sean Graham, Thomas "Tawgs" Salter; performed by Modern Space; published by Sony/ATV.

"Spirits" - written by Simon Ward, Jeremy Drury, Jonathan Hembrey, Darryl G.J. James, Brian Leigh Pickett, David Ritter, Joanne Setterington, Isabel Cunningham Ritchie; performed by The Strumbellas; published by Domino Double Nine.

"Wendell Walker" - written by Andy Shauf; performed by Andy Shauf; published by Peer International Ltd. (Canada), Music of the Mothership.

For two weeks, from June 9-23, 2016, SOCAN invited music fans to vote for their favourite song from the nominees lot by visiting www.socansongwritingprize.ca or through Twitter using the hashtag #mySSPvote and identifying the performer's name in the tweet. Fans can vote once daily through each platform for each of the English and French prize competitions.

The winning songs are planned to be announced the week of July 4, 2016.

Winners will receive $10,000 in cash, a choice between two brands of Godin Guitars (a Seagull Artist Studio CW guitar or Godin 5th Avenue Jazz guitar), a Yamaha PSR-S970 keyboard, and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.

"These emerging songwriters might be tomorrow's global superstars," said Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer at SOCAN. "The SOCAN Songwriting Prize helps these talented songwriters expand their fan base and get the attention they so deserve. Although there can only be one official winner, simply being nominated is a huge achievement."

Good Year For Norwegian Collection Society TONO

The Norwegian collection society TONO registered its best financial year ever in 2015, with total revenues up nearly 20 per cent from the year before. The most significant growth was in foreign revenues, which climbed by 23.7 per cent, and streaming revenues, which were up by 17.7 per cent. The use of Norwegian music accounts for roughly 40 per cent of TONO's total revenues.

"Despite the growth, our work has its challenges. Copyright is being put to the test. We see, for example, that EU legislation grants different social media exemptions from paying rightsholders, even though there is weighty documentation to show that these media earn big money on music and other intellectual property content streamed through their services," comments Cato Strøm, CEO of TONO. The use of Norwegian-composed music accounts for roughly 40 per cent of TONO's total revenues. The Norwegian share of the streaming services is low, as only about 12 per cent of the music streamed in Norway has been composed by Norwegians.

Income from the use of TONO's repertoire abroad increased by 23.7 per cent from 2014, and thus accounting for the largest rise in earnings. The most significant increases came from Sweden (40.9 per cent), Germany (30 per cent) and France (69.4 per cent).

"The growth is a result of more use of Norwegian music abroad, including use in foreign TV productions and films. The growth is also due to the weakening of the NOK exchange rate against other currencies," adds Strøm.

Many new members In 2015, TONO welcomed 1 575 new members, 15 of which were music publishers. Altogether, TONO had 27 756 members at the end of 2015. During 2015, TONO's members registered some 29 000 new works of music with TONO.

SACEM And SOCAN Sign Transatlantic Agreement

Sacem, the French authors' rights society, and SOCAN, the Society of Composers Authors & Music Publishers of Canada, have announced the signature of an agreement entrusting Sacem to administer and collect towards multi territorial DSPs in Europe the performing rights of the more than 135,000 member creators and music publishers of the Canadian Society.
   
The deal is a first, as Sacem will be the first society in Europe assigned to represent the digital rights of a North American music rights organization in pan-European licences, adding to the scale of the repertoire Sacem already represents with its 157,000 creators and publishers or through pre-existing mandates such as UMPI or Wixen Publishing. This agreement will have immediate benefits for SOCAN members as it will provide one unique point of collection and therefore transparency, velocity and efficiency in the management of their rights.

Sacem is a founder member of Armonia, the first European online music licensing hub, and the SOCAN/Sacem mandate will be handled through the Armonia platform. In that framework, SOCAN will join the Armonia community and directly benefit from the simplicity to negotiate with one voice with digital service providers and the processing services which provide automated data cleansing and enrichment, leading to more accurate identification of works and BI tools.

Jean-Noël Tronc, CEO of Sacem, comments: "We are very happy with SOCAN's decision, which illustrates our commitment to improve efficiency in the digital environment for fair and transparent online revenues to songwriters, composers and music publishers. The Sacem/SOCAN agreement will enhance the Armonia community, for the first time extending beyond Europe."

Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN, comments: "This agreement means that SOCAN's more than 135,000 members will benefit greatly from further improved tracking of royalties in the burgeoning European music market. Thanks to this partnership, we look forward to bringing even better returns for Canada's songwriters, composers and music publishers, allowing us to participate even more deeply in the emerging global marketplace."

BMI Crowns Sony/ATV Pop Publisher Of The Year 

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has been crowned Music Publisher of the Year at the BMI Pop Awards.

The company received the prestigious honor at the 64th annual event held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California, making it the third successive time Sony/ATV has been named Publisher of the Year by BMI. Its songwriters also received 23 pop awards at the ceremony, which recognizes the year's most-performed pop songs.

Among the Sony/ATV songs that picked up pop awards were "Bad Blood", "Blank Space", "Style" and "Wildest Dreams, all of which were co-written and recorded by Taylor Swift who first signed to the music publisher as a teenager.

At the event she also became the first recipient of a new award bearing her name in recognition of what BMI says are her "incomparable creative and artistic talent and influence on music lovers throughout the world". The Taylor Swift Award is only the second time in BMI's 76-year history that the company has presented an award in somebody's name and follows Michael Jackson receiving a similar honor in 1990.

Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said: "This was an incredible night for Sony/ATV and its who's who list of songwriters. We're proud of all our writers, but it would be remiss if I didn't single out Taylor Swift who has been signed to us since day one of her career and who never ceases to amaze us with her talent."

Taylor Swift was also named Songwriter of the Year at the event, while the Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars hit "Uptown Funk", which is co-published by Sony/ATV, was Song of the Year.

Sony/ATV's other winners included Ed Sheeran who received pop awards for "Don't", "Photograph" and "Thinking Out Loud", while Fall Out Boy were recognized for "Centuries" (co-written with Sony/ATV songwriter J. R. Rotem) and "Uma Thurman".

There were also pop awards for Sony/ATV writers including A$AP Rocky, Colbie Caillat, Elle King, Flo Rida, Hozier, Rachel Platten and Sam Smith. The David Bowie's classic "Heroes", which is co-published by the company, was additionally honored.

Meanwhile, songwriting team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil received the BMI Icon Award for what the organization says is "their indelible contributions to the craft of songwriting". Sony/ATV publishes many of the pair's classic songs, including "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", "On Broadway" and "We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place", which all feature in the award-winning stage production Beautiful - The Carole King Musical in which they are also portrayed. The musical is co-produced by Sony/ATV.

Handy H4NPro 4-Channel Recorder Launches

Zoom's latest digital recorder, the H4NPro 4-Channel Handy Recorder, is a palm-sized unit which can record up to four channels of CD-quality audio. With its unidirectional stereo condenser microphone, the device can serve the requirements of those looking to capture and reproduce interviews, lectures, rehearsals, and meetings - with clarity.

With its built-in chromatic tuner, five-timbre metronome, selectable beat patterns, and onboard Combi jacks, this unit meets the needs of instrumentalists as well; now any practicing musician - guitarist or flautist alike - can record a well-tuned, well-timed performance on the go.

Zoom H4NPro 4-Channel Handy Recorder Features a Stereo Unidirectional Microphone, 24-Bit x 128 Oversampling AD Conversion, Record & Play WAV & MP3 Formats, 2 x XLR-1/4" Combination Input Jacks, 48V Phantom Power, 2 x Built-In Effects Module plus a Built-In Metronome and Chromatic Tuner

Both of its onboard inputs sport 48V phantom power, while a single mini-jack provides connections for other kinds of devices and microphones. Using the H4NPro, you can record in MP3 or WAV formats, capturing audio in 16- or 24-bit, and at sample rates of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz. Store your audio to an SDHC card, or transfer it to any Mac or Windows computer via USB. A bonus: route this recorder into your computer over a USB connection and you'll find yourself with a live audio interface.

http://tinyurl.com/gr9gpt9

Songwriters Flock To New Music Rights Marketplace

Since launching March 7, Songtradr's licensing platform has welcomed over 6,000 artists, songwriters, and composers, as well as established labels, publishers, and production music libraries as content partners and clients. Songtradr's team is actively matching the flood of submissions with makers of films, TV, video games, and ads in the global marketplace. Users have signed up from more than 50 countries, uploading thousands of tracks each week, making Songtradr the most geographically diverse music licensing marketplace in the world.

"We had approximately 350 new users sign up each week during March and since our keynote presentation in April at MUSEXPO, thousands more have joined," explains Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire. "It's very exciting."

Songtradr's sponsorship of MIDEM (June 3-6) prompted another tidal wave of international partnerships. There, Wiltshire and team showcased the platform's free content management and comprehensive metadata system, variable license pricing, and the platform's continually updated wanted listings - what Wiltshire describes as "a solid map of what, historically, has been a very fragmented and confusing space".

Songtradr's expert curation appeals to music supervisors, editors, production companies, and creative agencies, as well. They can explore catalogs using Songtradr's search function or get concrete, spot-on recommendations from the curation team led by Michelle Crispin, who has 20 years of experience in licensing and A&R.

With the influx of clients, Crispin makes sure all metadata is in order and every rights owner is properly paid. Wiltshire embraces this daunting but essential task, saying, "Misinformation pollutes the process and leads to incorrect accounting and missing income. We're creating a clear chain of title, a comprehensive tree of ownership around copyright and master ownership at an authorship, ownership, and control level."

The international reach of Songtradr's growing stable of users is striking: from English Emmy nominated composer John Robert Wood to French composer Vermair, to the rich music catalog of The Times of India. Cleopatra Records, Colemine Records, Obscure Magpie, and Music Of The Sea have all signed up, along with a plethora of emerging artists as well as multi-platinum artists and songwriters (such as Jennifer Paige, Andy Goldmark, Trey Vittetoe, and Heather Holley, widely known for her collaborations with Christina Aguilera).

Songtradr allows creatives to determine the value of their own music using Songtradr's proprietary variable license pricing system. This technology calculates a reasonable fee for licenses based on media, usage, territory, term, and other factors. These innovative features, along with the platform's global reach are revolutionizing access for both creators and buyers, and explain Songtradr's rapid growth. As Wiltshire says, "All are welcome!"

The Online Music Library With A Difference

Dubbed 'a website built by musicians for musicians,' the team at Firstdub are excited with the initial reactions to their new music platform

Firstdub is a music library open to musicians and producers of all music genres to upload, promote and sell instrumental music online via a personalised music store

Johnny Walker, one of the founders of the company says; "Firstdub was launched in early 2016 out of a passion to develop a platform for musicians to control and make money from their music, whilst at the same time, creating a large and diverse music library of instrumentals for film projects, video games, vocalist and songwriters"

Subscribers are able to share their music across the internet via their own personalised music store, which is compatible on all smart phones, iPads and Tablets

And the Firstdub platform maintains high-encryption security, providing musicians with detailed sales statistics, a profile page and instant payments on every sale

Subscription is for free and musicians retain all their creative rights, making this a great opportunity to expand their audience, interact with music buyers and generate an income from their musical endeavours

The website houses a detailed FAQ which is helpful in answering common questions

To learn more about Firstdub, visit Firstdub.com

PRS Reports Record Figures For 2015 With Continued Revenue Growth
   
The Performing Right Society (PRS), the organisation that represents over 118,000 music creators in the UK and two million worldwide, announced its 2015 financial results, revealing a record high royalty income of £537.4m*.

This figure represents an increase of 7% on 2014 when measured on a constant currency basis, with year on year growth across all revenue streams.

PRS delivered more money to its members with an 8.4% increase in distributions, equating to an extra £35.6m compared to 2014. Key drivers of this success include continued growth in the online market, the success of PRS member's repertoire in overseas markets and efficiency improvements associated with the processing of online royalties.

Revenue grew across all streams: Online, International, Broadcast TV and Radio and Public Performance:

• Online revenues reached £42.4m, representing an increase of 12.8% over 2014. This was driven by market growth and improved licensing

• International revenues totalled £195.6m, an increase of 10.4% on a constant currency basis, showing the value of investing in better tracking of the use of members' rights overseas

• Broadcast revenues were £124.2m: an increase of 4.1%, in part due to growth in advertising on commercial radio stations

• Public performance royalties grew to £175.2m, an increase of 4.1%, reflecting PRS' strategy of communicating the value of music to businesses

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS, commented "Our numbers for 2015 reinforce PRS' position as a global leader in collective rights management and our commitment to delivering increasing value to our members. Our revenue growth is fuelled by the strength of the repertoire we represent and the dedication of our people who are critical to our success. As we modernise our operations, our performance will continue to showcase PRS as one of the most efficient collective rights management societies in the world".

Can You Make As Much Money In Music As You Can In An Office Job?

Can you make as much money performing live music as you can in an office job?

In 2016, the challenges facing those currently working in the Music Industry seem to be ever increasing, but having a career as a performer is still viable for many.

A number of historic venues are closing down, many recording studios report they are struggling and we are being forever told that no one is buying albums anymore.

A lot of this has been blamed on the effect of the Internet, and many articles say it has changed the nature of the Music Industry forever. This leads to some people writing off a career playing music (even though it may be something they love to do) because they don't consider it a viable way to make a living.

While many musicians do face real financial struggles (The Musicians Union report "The Working Musician" states 56% of musicians earn under 20K per year), the reality is that the modern-day musician can also make the Internet work for them.

One thing the Internet does show is that live music for private events is still very much in demand.

People are still booking bands for weddings, corporate events, functions, birthday parties and just about any other event you can think of!

Online agencies and websites are making it easier than ever to connect clients with the types of entertainment they want (although these usually charge a commission).

"The key to finding affordable but bespoke musicians when you have around two days' notice is a website like LastMinuteMusicians.com - you choose the musical genre you fancy, find a band photo that looks good, listen to a few audio examples of your shortlistees, click "book" and they will appear at the right moment, in the right outfit, playing the right music. As if supplied by god." - Emma Freud, The Guardian

In the last 12 months alone, over 30,000 enquiries were sent through LastMinuteMusicians.com. Typical fees for these engagements can be anywhere from around £150 to £250 per musician and sometimes even more, with premium high-end function acts charging as much as £6000 per performance.

According to the Office for National Statistics, last year the gross median weekly earnings for full - time employees in the UK stood at £528.

This means a musician with three reasonable engagements in a week has the potential to earn a similar wage, if not better (not to mention leaving them time to work in other roles like giving Instrument lessons, composition and recording studio sessions). This also doesn't take into account other salaried job roles, like working in an orchestra or as part of a cruise ship band.

While this is obviously subject to several different factors and a career in music is by no means easy, it's worth remembering that if you really love playing music it is still possible to turn your passion into a career.

ONErpm Announces Free Distribution Services For Artists

ONErpm (ONE Revolution People's Music), a leading digital music distributor and YouTube Multi-Channel Network (MCN), has announced it has completely eliminated any upfront costs to their global distribution platform, allowing any content owner to have their music published on the world's largest music platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube at no charge.

The motivation behind enabling free distribution is rooted in what ONErpm say is a desire to continue to open doors for artists while supporting the overall shift to streaming business models. By reducing barriers to distribution, more content is available to consumers, contributing to overall market growth. ONErpm claims to be unique in its sector for providing marketing solutions that empower content owners to succeed and its platform serves as a powerful A&R tool to discover and promote promising new talent.

With the shift to on-demand streaming models, ONErpm says that it recognized early on that building sustainable and loyal audiences on the major music platforms is key to artists' long term success. With this knowledge, ONErpm enabled free distribution to a few stores as a pilot during the past 15 months and has achieved very positive results. Simultaneously, it expanded its marketing efforts on those same platforms to increase visibility for their artists and new releases. As a result, just on streaming alone, ONErpm witnessed nearly a 30% month-to-month growth for the past 15 consecutive months.

Another example is ONErpm's strong performance on YouTube, where distribution has always been free for those in the ONErpm network. Since working with YouTube in early 2013 as a Certified Partner, ONErpm has witnessed exponential growth on the video-sharing platform and now generates over 2 billion plays per month. In addition to rights management services, ONErpm works with YouTube channels to grow their audiences and on average, channels in the ONErpm Network doubled their number of subscribers in 2015. Today, ONErpm is one of YouTube's largest Multi Channel Networks (MCNs) in the world with a subscriber base of 50 million.

Emmanuel Zunz, CEO of ONErpm concludes: "With free distribution ONErpm has completely shifted its focus to marketing artists and their releases to help them expand their audiences and poise them for long term success. ONErpm's incentives are 100% aligned with our clients so that together with our content owners and our partner platforms we can build a stronger future for music."

Songwriters Call For Music Licensing Reform On Capitol Hill

Advocating for important reforms to outdated federal music licensing laws and regulations, award-winning songwriters and composers from various music genres will be in Washington, DC shortly to meet with elected officials as part of the annual American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) "Stand with Songwriters" Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

In their meetings on Capitol Hill, ASCAP members will discuss the challenges facing songwriters in the digital music age and urge policymakers to update the WWII-era federal laws that regulate how songwriters license their works. They will bring with them several "#StandWithSongwriters petition guitars" signed by a sampling of ASCAP's more than 575,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members, including: Erica Campbell, Pat Benatar, LaShawn Daniels, James Fauntleroy, Nate Ruess of fun., OMI and Adam Schlesinger.

ASCAP members will underscore the critical importance of updating the performing rights organization's consent decree with the Department of Justice, originally created in 1941 and last updated before the introduction of the iPod in 2001.

"We're asking policymakers to stand with songwriters at a time when our future livelihoods and the future of American music are both in jeopardy. Streaming has vastly changed music listening habits but licensing laws haven't kept up with the way people consume music today, so songwriters are struggling," said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. "ASCAP is on the frontlines fighting for meaningful music licensing reform to ensure songwriters can continue writing the next great song, but we can't do it alone. We're asking legislators to recognize that songwriters deserve laws which enable them to be paid fairly for the use of their music."

The meetings will follow tonight's "We Write the Songs" concert at the Library of Congress, sponsored by The ASCAP Foundation. The event features performances by popular ASCAP members, who were introduced by Members of Congress, including: Brian McKnight, Monica, Brett James, MoZella, Priscilla Renea, Randy Goodrum, Desmond Child and Jennifer Higdon.

The delegation of ASCAP members participating in tomorrow's Congressional office visits also includes: Khari Cain (Needlz), Savan Kotecha, Dan Foliart, Wayland Holyfield, Dean Kay, James Kendrick, Leeds Levy, Irwin Z. Robinson, Alex Shapiro, Paul Williams, and Doug Wood.

ASCAP members will encourage policymakers to support changes to ASCAP's consent decree that would enable it to accept a limited grant of rights from its members and permit ASCAP to license all of the rights in a music composition a business needs to operate in one transaction. The songwriters will also advocate for passage of the bipartisan Songwriter Equity Act, which would amend two outdated portions of the US Copyright Act that prevent songwriters from earning a fair market royalty rate when their music is streamed or downloaded, an important first step toward updating an antiquated music licensing system that treats songwriters differently than other copyright owners.

ASCAP recently debuted a new video featuring its songwriter members delivering a personal appeal for music licensing reform by highlighting a number of notable changes to American culture since the laws were written in 1941, including the advent of Frosted Flakes, the invention of Velcro, the introduction of Hawaii as the 50th state, and more. To view the video, click here.

Performance Of British Artists In North America Reaches Record High
   
The BPI, the record labels' association which promotes British music, reports that, with the phenomenal success of Adele's 25 leading the charge, British artists last year achieved their highest-recorded share of artist album sales in North America. In all, they accounted for more than one in six of the artist albums purchased in the US and a remarkable one in five bought in Canada.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: "The drumbeat of British music success in North America just keeps getting louder. British acts such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Mark Ronson have become part of the music mainstream in both the US and Canada - as popular as any home-grown talent, and their sustained success has opened the door to a new generation of UK artists coming through.

"Alongside the outstanding talent of our performers, UK record labels play a key role in this exports success story, investing around half their revenues in signing and developing artists and promoting them to a huge global audience now made more readily accessible by the rapid growth of streaming."

John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said "Britain is a hive of creative talent so it's no surprise that our UK artists are continuing to make a huge impact on the North American music market. Not only are the likes of Adele and Sam Smith inspiring whole new generations with their success overseas, but they're flying the flag for Britain by showcasing our creativity and contributing more than £2bn to our economy through exports."

The BPI's analysis of Nielsen/Billboard sales data for 2015 shows that 17.6 per cent of artist albums purchased in the US were by British artists. This figure is up substantially from the 12.2 share per cent reported in 2014 and is the highest on record since the BPI began its annual survey in 2003 - although the BPI estimates the share has never been greater, including the time of the Beatles-led invasion of the Sixties.

With her sales in the US alone exceeding 7.4 million copies in just six weeks following the release of 25 on November 20th, Adele led the way in the year-end chart, but the global superstar was not the only UK success story. Ed Sheeran's X and Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour - placed fourth and sixth respectively in the annual Billboard rundown - both made the US top-10 for a second successive year.

Several other British artists achieved No.1 albums on the Billboard chart in 2015, among them Florence + The Machine (How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful), Mumford & Sons (Wilder Mind), and Muse, whose seventh studio album Drones was their first Stateside No.1.

There were top-5 weekly chart placings for Mark Ronson (Uptown Special) and Ellie Goulding (Delirium) along with top-10 hits for Marina & The Diamonds, Chvrches, Bullet For My Valentine and Def Leppard.

Sales of artist albums by British acts in Canada represented a remarkable 22.0 per cent share of the market according to the BPI research - up from 15.3 per cent in 2014.

As in the US, Adele (at No.1), Ed Sheeran (No.3) and Sam Smith (No.5) were, again, the highest-placed Brits in the year-end chart, although Mumford & Sons also made the top-10 and One Direction were placed just outside at No.11 with their fifth studio album Made In The A.M., as British artists populated the top-end of Canadian best-seller list.

Several other UK artists also scored well in both territories. Bring Me The Horizon (That's The Spirit) claimed a No.1 in Canada and a No.2 in the US, while Coldplay (A Head Full Of Dreams) achieved No.2 placings on the weekly chart in both Canada and the US. Iron Maiden underlined their status as one of the biggest bands in the world, bagging a No.2 chart placing in Canada and a No.4 in the US for The Book Of Souls, their 16th studio album. Disclosure, David Gilmour and Duran Duran were among other UK talent to chart in both countries' top-10s with new albums.

There was also considerable singles-related and streaming success for UK acts in North America. Mark Ronson's 2014-released Uptown Funk was the most downloaded track of 2015 in the US (with over 5.5m sales), helping to push British share of the US singles market up to 12.9 per cent. Uptown Funk was also the second most-streamed song of the year, with Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud and Adele's Hello also featuring in the annual top-10.

In Canada Uptown Funk was the most-streamed song of 2015 (with more than 60m plays) and UK artists accounted for 14.4 per cent of track streams there, with 247 titles placed in the year-end top 2,000.

New Sibelius Music Software Unveiled

Avid® has announced the new Sibelius® 8.2 music notation software, offering composers significant engraving and workflow enhancements to effortlessly create beautiful, accurate, easy-to-read scores. As part of a series of regular updates delivered through Avid All Access plans, Sibelius 8.2 introduces several of the customer community's top requests, demonstrating Avid's commitment to listening to the needs of customers--a key tenet of Avid Everywhere™.

"Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software, and the Sibelius 8.2 update introduces some great notation improvements, including several enhancements requested by customers since our 8.1 release," said Dana Ruzicka, vice president and chief product officer at Avid. "This demonstrates our dedication to responding to the community's feedback and providing solutions quickly. And thanks to the analytics and error reporting we introduced in 8.1, Sibelius is now more stable than ever."

Sibelius offers sophisticated yet easy-to-use tools that are proven and trusted by composers, arrangers, publishers, educators, and students alike. New updates to Sibelius 8.2 that make music composition even faster and easier than ever include:

• Re-spelling of notes in parts--It's now possible to have the same pitched note have a different accidental in a part versus the score.

• Time signatures before repeat lines--By default, time signature changes now appear after the barline, but before repeat barlines.

• Slide and move notes and rests--Notes and rests can now be moved horizontally in the score, with new keyboard shortcuts that simplify the process, eliminating time spent cutting and pasting music around staves.

In addition, Avid has added two new Sibelius bundles, offering composers even greater value by adding powerful capabilities to their notation workflows at a reduced price. The Sibelius + PhotoScore & NotateMe Ultimate Bundle enables customers to scan sheet music into Sibelius and handwrite music and notes using a pen and tablet. The Sibelius + AudioScore Ultimate Bundle enables customers to turn recorded audio or live mic performances into transcribed music notation.

Whether customers choose to own, upgrade, or subscribe to Sibelius, their purchase comes with an Avid All Access plan, providing access to regular feature releases, stability improvements, and expert help for the duration of their plan or subscription.

To learn more about Sibelius, visit:

http://www.avid.com/sibelius. 

ASCAP Revenue Tops $1 Billion For Second Year In A Row

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, has announced record-breaking financial results, with US domestic revenue hitting an all-time high of $716.8 million, up $61 million over 2014, driving record high domestic distributions of $573.5 million, up 6.2 percent over 2014. ASCAP, which operates on a not-for-profit basis, delivered $867.4 million in total royalty distributions to its 560,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members in 2015. For the second year in a row, ASCAP's combined domestic and foreign revenue topped $1 billion with total 2015 revenue of $1.014 billion.

ASCAP also delivered the best value proposition in performing rights licensing, returning 88 cents of every dollar collected to music creators while supporting their careers through advocacy and professional development and investing in technology and innovation initiatives to offer enhanced services to members and licensees. ASCAP's operating expense ratio was 12.3 percent, among the most efficient and lowest in performing rights. The number of performances ASCAP tracked, matched and processed for payment in 2015 increased by 14 percent to 570 billion. Demonstrating a commitment to transparency, ASCAP became the first U.S. PRO to provide fractional share ownership information in its publicly available online database for each of the more than 10 million musical compositions in the ASCAP repertory.

ASCAP President Paul Williams said: "ASCAP is a tireless advocate for the rights of music creators who depend on ASCAP to earn a living, whether it's on Capitol Hill or at the negotiating table, and we are truly invested in their success. ASCAP's superlative results mean we are doing the best job possible for our songwriter and composer members even as we advocate for changes to the outdated music licensing laws that disadvantage songwriters in the today's digital world. These results are a testament to why the world's most talented songwriters choose to call ASCAP home."

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews commented: "2015 was a winning year for ASCAP members, who are the heart and soul of our organization. While the music industry is in the midst of tremendous change, ASCAP has stayed ahead of the curve with a strategic focus on revenue growth, operational efficiencies, technology and service innovations demonstrating that the collective licensing model delivers the best value proposition in the performing rights world. We are happy that we could deliver a 6.2 percent increase in domestic royalties to our members in 2015, and we remain committed to transforming into the most progressive operation ensuring that songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers can enjoy a sustainable living in today's music marketplace."

ASCAP songwriters crafted the biggest songs of 2015, topping 18 separate Billboard year-end song charts with songs like The Weeknd's "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)" by ASCAP writers Belly (SOCAN), Jason Quenneville (SOCAN) and The Weeknd (SOCAN), which was #1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Songs and Adult R&B Songs; Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's "See You Again" by ASCAP writers Andrew Cedar and DJ Frank E, which was #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and Hot Rap Songs; and Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance" by ASCAP writers Ben Berger, Eli Maiman, Ryan McMahon, Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman, which was #1 on Adult Top 40 Songs.

Nearly 40,000 members joined ASCAP in 2015, including recent chart-toppers Fetty Wap, Kelsea Ballerini and OMI. Many top songwriters and composers renewed their membership agreements with the organization, including Marc Anthony, Iggy Azalea, Blondie, Hal David, James Fauntleroy, George Gershwin, Ashley Gorley, Calvin Harris, Jimi Hendrix, Kevin Kadish, Savan Kotecha, Greg Kurstin, Led Zeppelin, Mozella, Nate Ruess, Meghan Trainor, Usher, Van Halen and David Vanacore.

ASCAP's commitment to membership success in 2015 also manifested itself with events across musical genres including three song camps, seven workshops and multiple showcases at the Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) and the CMJ Music Marathon. ASCAP also hosted 2600 songwriters and 193 panelists at its 10th Annual ASCAP "I Create Music EXPO," the only conference dedicated exclusively to songwriting and composing.

ISC

The US-based International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has announced its 2015 winners. From over 18,000 entries from 120 countries, 19 UK songwriters were honoured in this year's competition.

http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners

Bandzoogle Releases Powerful Theme Design Customisation Tools

Bandzoogle, a website builder for bands and musicians, has released a new set of design customization tools that make it easier than ever for independent artists to create a stunning, professional-looking website and music store that matches their music, without hiring a web designer.

At the core of the release is upgraded technology that gives Bandzoogle members precise control over the look of each page element when building their websites, using an intuitive Theme Designer customization menu and preview window. Musicians can now see their website come to life in real-time, without worrying about technical details.

"Our new Theme Designer is a direct response to what our members have been asking us for: more control over the design of their websites," said Bandzoogle founder Chris Vinson. "We think we've hit the mark by offering tremendous new design flexibility without compromising on the ease-of-use that our members have come to expect from Bandzoogle."

From background colors, to the height of the header area, to the opacity of the navigation menu, musicians have the freedom to apply their creative vision to their websites on-the-fly, down to the smallest detail. The user-friendly technology guarantees that any design choice will automatically be made mobile-responsive, so that it looks perfect on any screen size, device or browser.

"The new design tools are straightforward and easy going, and allow total customization of every detail in a theme," said Bandzoogle member Federico Ágreda Álvarez, known as top-ranked Electronic Music DJ/producer Zardonic. "It's great for musicians because we can make a website ourselves, that looks and feels like our own, without a designer."

Bandzoogle's update also includes the ability to save customizations as drafts, which gives musicians the chance to show their designs to friends and bandmates before publishing. They can even save multiple versions and easily switch between custom drafts or pre-designed themes, without losing their website content or customization work.

All of Bandzoogle's 15 most popular music templates are now fully customizable, and each has its own unique set of powerful design options. With the new Theme Designer in place, the company expects to release all-new customizable website themes in the coming months.

Bandzoogle makes it easy for musicians to build a professional website and store for their music. Designed by a musician for the needs of musicians, Bandzoogle combines a simple drag+drop website editor with powerful e-commerce and promotional tools. Founded in 2003, Bandzoogle powers 25,000 band websites and has helped artists sell over $20 million in music, merch and tickets ­­- all commission-free. Plans start at $10/month including a .com domain and friendly live support.

You can sign up for a 30-day free trial at bandzoogle.com

New E-Book Provides Inside Look Into Music Business

Recently released e-book Rock Realities by Zachary Fenell gives an insider look into the music business. The e-book compiles into one collection articles, each based off a phone interview with a different musician. These musicians mostly fall within the pop/rock/indie/alternative genres.

Veteran music journalist Alan Cross encouraged musicians to checkout Rock Realities. Via his website A Journey of Musical Things, Cross said in-part "(Rock Realities) offers some serious truths about what you need to know." He goes on to add, "It's not just some dude pontificating. He went to some good sources for advice."

Fenell in his comments explained why he wrote Rock Realities. "Like a record or cassette tape, my motives to write Rock Realities proved two sided. A, I aimed to establish a resource aspiring musicians can consult for advice. B, by interviewing upcoming independent artists I looked to offer music fans a tool for new music discovery."

Accompanying discographies at each selection's end makes said discovery an easy exploration. With links embedded to artists' albums, new music remains two taps away. Tap one takes you to an album's sales page on Amazon or Barnes & Noble's website. Select whether you want a single song or a whole album and execute the second tap.

You can find Rock Realities available on the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook.

Open Letter From Nelly Furtado To Google/YouTube

I am a Canadian singer-songwriter and independent artist. This week I have been following the news about Google/YouTube's debate with Sixx: A.M. (Nikki Sixx'sband) and Debbie Harry. I applaud Katy Perry and the rest of the artists who have begun their petition on the issues. I am educating myself to understand the arguments and have found that there is certainly a lack of transparency and a lot of spinning going on. I want to outline a handful of issues because I have realized that this stuff matters, and if creators don't fight for what's right, who will?

I was lucky enough to meet and open for Prince and see him live several times over the years.  He stood for pure music and honouring music with proper reverence. Prince's death reminds all of us artists to wake up and smell the creative coffee and go to bat for it.  As I sit here writing this, I am listening to Zayn Malik's new album, absolutely transported by the freedom, beauty and universality in it; certain of the work and labour put into making it great. I am putting finishing touches on my new album right now, and I won't stop working on it until it feels complete, much like a cabinet maker or a window cleaner would do. We are all "working" class! This work is valid and has value! I love YouTube, but they are under-paying and exploiting creators and getting away with it. ?I know the truth hurts, but someone's got to tell it.

YouTube needs to decide to use their Content ID system in a more productive way. It is interesting to note that they are ultra-efficient at removing anything pornographic or beyond certain limits of taste. They simply choose not to for the artists' music, publishers, and labels. Let's hope that the new ID system doesn't create profits for YouTube while we figure out who owns what. Let's not forget that Google/YouTube are a technology company and unquestionably have the ability and resources to solve the problem right now!

With nearly double the plays of on-demand subscription services, Google/YouTube pays 1/3 the revenue to artists and labels. On a payment per user basis, it's even worse. The average music subscription generates $62 dollars per year for artists and labels, while at YouTube it generates less than $3.50 per user. That is 18 times lower than the average revenue per user to artists and labels than subscription music services. Saying that YouTube is used for video only is a fib, as so many people "listen" to music on You Tube sometimes - myself included! Let's do the proper payouts! People can still have fun uploading and sharing! Just pay the creators of all this intellectual property properly, Google/YouTube - we all know you can afford to! We also know that you love music and deep down, you know this is wrong, and you want to.

It is ludicrous to compare Google/YouTube to radio.  Radio is programmed analog streaming.  You can't turn on the radio and choose any song in the world and instantly hear it. You can't share a video with friends, subscribe to an artist, or comment on a video. Radio in most of the rest of the world has paid artists handsomely. U.S. radio is in the company of countries such as North Korea, China, and Iran in not paying artists for their use of music, and considering how much money music generates for the U.S. radio mega-corporations, that's a disgrace too. And while it is true that Google/YouTube pays more than nothing that does not make it fair.

Even Pandora, a service that programs music like radio (not on-demand music like YouTube), and is also largely ad-supported, pays around teice as much to artists and labels as YouTube does. Statutory government licenses, that include, Pandora, are also audio-only. They offer so much less than YouTube yet pay double what YouTube pays.

Music is the greatest single contributor to happiness. It's time music creators got the revenue they deserve from Google's YouTube. Let's stop the spinning and let's focus on fairness from both sides. Stop confusing the fans and consumers by putting creators like Debby Harry and Nikki Sixx on blast for questioning your practices. Let's dispense the details and numbers, which can be confusing. The independent community is asking for a minimum per-view guarantee at least as great as existing services that have a free tier, if not greater, because video has a higher value than just audio.

Finally, the independent artists and labels are only asking parity with the major music labels.  Our music is as valuable as theirs. We are all artists. We are all songwriters.  We all have a voice. From one independent artist to every artist, let's fight for the future of what Prince helped to create: The Holy Church Of Music. My message to You Tube/Google is-- put a little more in the collection basket when you come pray here please.

Don't Be Evil: Do The Right Thing - Prince Always Knew Why You Can And Should.

Amen.

ACM Announces 2016 BASCA Scholarship
   
Following on from last years success, ACM is to run its BASCA scholarship for a second year. With one lucky student having their courses fees funded in their entirety, ACM is on the lookout for a songwriting superstar.

In 2015, Ivan Proctor was announced as the recipient of the first ever ACM BASCA Scholarship, receiving the inaugural award at the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance General Assembly opening concert at BASCA. Now having formed a band called 'China Bears', Ivan has hit the ground running at the Academy, getting involved in all opportunities thrown his way.

"I've really enjoyed my time at ACM so far! The advice and support from my tutors has been great. The live scene built around ACM is fantastic, there's always an opportunity to play or go watch live music. I've met some of the new members of my band 'China Bears' here, and ACM has amazing facilities we can use to practice and record. Winning the scholarship has definitely helped me with finances and means I've able spend more time writing music."

Ivan Proctor, BASCA Scholarship winner 2015

All those who have been accepted on to the Songwriting and Artist Development two year pathway at ACM are eligible for the scholarship and will be invited to perform in front of a panel of ACM professional tutors who will select a shortlist of eight finalists. These eight finalists will then have the opportunity to perform at the world renowned Metropolis Studios for a panel of distinguished BASCA judges.

If you think you've got what it takes to make it in the music business, book on to a campus tour now:

http://www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/

Pandora Hits $2 Billion In Royalties For Artists And Songwriters

Pandora has announced that it has generated more than $2 billion in all-time royalties for artists and songwriters, just nine months after hitting its $1.5 billion royalties milestone. Every month, nearly 80 million users now spend an average of over 23 hours streaming their personalized stations, thumbing their favorite songs and discovering new artists on Pandora.

"The rapid acceleration of royalty payments from internet radio is very promising news for the industry," said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora. "We are delighting listeners, driving discovery for new music, and creating powerful new promotional tools for musicians, all while creating a massive new revenue stream for labels and artists that has never existed before from radio. Music makers and the art they produce are the backbone of Pandora, and I'm proud that we now play such a large role in helping them thrive and grow their careers."

Pandora has taken some big steps in recent years to support the industry, investing heavily in tools and resources to help artists grow their careers and more easily connect with fans. Its Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) launched in October 2014 and continues to expand with new innovative offerings such as the recently introduced AMPcast, a free platform that allows artists to record and deliver targeted audio messages to their entire Pandora audience right from their mobile phones. Early campaigns have yielded dramatic results with engaging fans, selling tickets, promoting new music and driving greater listening.

In addition to audio messaging, artists have free access to a trove of big data through Pandora's Next Big Sound. The highly precise preference data, which aggregates a comprehensive view of their listener demographics and song performance on the Insights dashboard, is an invaluable marketing tool, and will eventually power a wide range of offerings, including tour planning and ticket sales as Pandora completes its Ticketfly integration.

Musicians' Union To Support Staying In Europe
     
The Musicians' Union (MU) has reaffirmed its support for Britain remaining part of the European Union.

According to the union, for musicians, the benefits of Britain staying in the EU are "numerous".

"Open borders make touring both easier and less expensive, EU health and safety legislation has meant that the job of being a musician has become safer and workers' rights legislation in general has improved the working life of musicians in the UK. The Working Time Directive, for instance, redefined the definition of a worker for the purposes of working time and meant that for the first time we were able to claim holiday pay for part-time instrumental teachers.

Perhaps most importantly, at least three European Copyright Directives have been responsible for protecting the intellectual property rights of our members and ensuring that they receive remuneration for the use of their work. Whilst the copyright regime in this country is far from perfect, and further adjustments are urgently needed, the MU is confident that the situation for musicians would be far worse were it not for the EU Directives.

The effect that Brexit would have on musicians in Britain is not entirely clear and would depend on the terms negotiated.

We could expect touring to become more difficult and potentially see British musicians having to apply for visas in order to travel within Europe. Given the cost and difficulty many musicians face in obtaining visas for work in countries such as the U.S, this would be very unwelcome.

It is also likely that European legislation which has protected musicians in the areas of copyright, health and safety and workers' rights would be watered down or removed entirely if Britain were to leave the EU".

New Songwriting Software Helps Musicians Brainstorm Lyrics
   
Ever got writer's block when devising a poem or song lyrics?

Tried paperback thesauruses and websites to find just the right words to express yourself?

A new software claims to produce results 20 TIMES as fast as what is generally out there.

"As a musician, poet and freelance writer I developed this tool when I was doing some paid work as a ghostwriter. I've used Brainstorm Pro to produce poems that clients found outstanding, in a really short amount of time" say Jesse Gilbert, the creator of the software.

Using Brainstorm Pro a songwriter can just enter 5 or 10 words that they want to write about, then get lists of words to choose from and find the rhyming words...all in record time.

The program more targeted towards the aspiring urban songwriter than established musicians who can pay thousands to have hit songs written for them.

Brainstorm Pro is desktop based so much of the slow load time for websites is reduced and allows the composer to work offline where there may not be an internet connection.

"We've had a few songwriters try it out and say they knew something like this had to be out there and they were finally seeing it. It's like magic for wordsmiths."

To learn more about this software, see demonstations and download a free try version, check out

http://www.brainstormpro.com

Online Radio Set To Replace Terrestrial Radio In The Near Future

Powered in part by the ever-expanding proliferation of smartphones, digital audio behaviors such as listening to online radio and podcasts are achieving significant mass usage, according to the Infinite Dial 2016, the latest in a long-running series of studies on consumer adoption of digital media from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

The study, a nationally representative telephone survey, finds that 50% of respondents age 12 and older listened to some sort of online radio in the last week, a rise from 44% last year. With 57% of Americans using online radio monthly, the conversion of monthly to weekly users is now 88%.

Infinite Dial 2016, is the latest report in a series dating back to 1998 that uses the "gold standard" of survey research-a random probability telephone sample, comprising both cellphones and landlines, of all Americans ages 12 or older. The study has become the report card on digital audio and other digital media, and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, Internet radio, ad agencies, and the financial community.

Among the many other highlights:

* Podcast Listening showed sharp gains on both a monthly basis (17% to 21%) and weekly (10% to 13%). Those who consume podcasts on a weekly basis listened to an average of five podcasts per week.

* In-home Ownership of Over-The-Air Radio receivers has dropped, with 79% of respondents saying they have a radio at home. That number was 96% in 2008. Among 18-34-year-olds, that number is down from 94% to 68% over the same time period.

* Pandora remains the most-known online audio brand with 82% awareness, followed by the retooled Apple Music (67%), iHeart Radio (65%) and Spotify (52%). For listening in the past week, Pandora (32%) has a large advantage over Spotify (13%), but Spotify has narrowed that gap over 2015. Among 12-to-24s, 43% listened to Pandora last month and 30% listened to Spotify.

* Spotify also posted a gain as "Audio Brand Used Most Often," up 10% to 14%, while Pandora, however, leads strongly with 48%.

* Broadcast Radio is tied for the lead among all sources used for keeping up-to-date with new music. "AM/FM Radio" is used for that purpose by 68% of respondents, the same number that rely on "friends and family." You Tube is next with 66%. Among 12-to-24s, however, broadcast radio falls to third (58%), behind You Tube (86%) and friends/family (74%).

* Smartphone Ownership has increased from 71% to 76% of all respondents. Among 12-24-year-olds, smartphone ownership rose to 93%, while even respondents age 55 and older cracked the "more than half" barrier, up 45 to 51%

* On demand video-subscriptions are at 51% of the population; 43% of all respondents subscribe to Netflix.

* Facebook remains the most-used social media brand among all-ages with 64%. But among 12-24s, it has been overtaken by Snapchat (72% to 68%) with Instagram close behind (66%).

"Media consumption is showing signs of being dramatically changed by both technology and by new paradigms," noted Tom Webster, Edison's Vice President of Strategy. "Mobile's increasing utility as 'the first screen,' as well as the rise of alternative content forms, such as podcasts and 'bingeable' content from on-demand video services is subverting the myth that our attention spans are shorter."

"The Infinite Dial remains an important yardstick for media consumption and the 2016 edition does not disappoint", said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. "As online radio joins smartphones and social media as truly mainstream, mass market activities, we are sure to see some interesting data emerge from this study."

Broadcast Music Honour Taylor Swift With The First-Ever Taylor Swift Award

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) will present Taylor Swift with an award bearing her name in recognition of her incomparable creative and artistic talent and influence on music lovers throughout the world. The first-ever Taylor Swift Award will be given at the 64th annual BMI Pop Awards on Tuesday, May 10th at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The event will be hosted by BMI President & CEO Mike O'Neill and BMI Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations Barbara Cane.

This is only the second time in BMI's 76-year history that the company has presented an award in someone's name. The first was to Michael Jackson in 1990.

"Taylor Swift has transformed pop culture through her songs, artistry and indomitable spirit," said Cane. "She has had a profound impact, not only musically, but also through her personal conviction and commitment to create a standard that values and respects music for everyone. We felt it appropriate to award Taylor with an honor that is as unique and special as she is."

In addition, BMI will honour songwriting visionaries Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil with the BMI Icon Award for their indelible contributions to the craft of songwriting. As one of the world's most esteemed and celebrated songwriting teams, Mann and Weil's iconic partnership has spanned decades with nearly every genre of popular music included in their massively successful repertoire. Their music has transcended time, leaving a lasting impression on fans around the world and influencing aspiring songwriters to follow in their footsteps.

O'Neill added, "This evening is a true celebration of music and a tribute to the artistry of songwriting that spans generations as defined by three of the most prolific and influential music creators in the industry: Taylor Swift, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil."

The private event will also recognize the songwriters and publishers of the past year's most-performed pop songs in the United States from BMI's repertoire of more than 10.5 million musical works. The BMI Pop Song, Songwriter, and Publisher of the Year will be named during the ceremony.

Universal Strikes Landmark Deal With SESAC 

Universal Music Publishing Group's production music arm, Universal Publishing Production Music (UPPM), has announced a new agreement with SESAC to enhance UPPM songwriters' compensation.

The agreement, which became effective April 1st, 2016, covers those production music songs controlled by UPPM that were previously registered with ASCAP for U.S. exploitation. It does not affect royalties collected outside of the US.

"We're proud that this agreement provides greater value to our songwriters and pleased to expand our relationship with SESAC," said Gary Gross, Worldwide President of UPPM. "Today's announcement reflects our commitment to maximize writers' revenues and bring them as many creative opportunities as we can," Gross continued. "We will continue to work on our writers' behalf, and note that our relationship with ASCAP remains close."

The agreement removes a specific universe of works from the ASCAP repertory and does not affect a songwriter's decision to continue overall membership in ASCAP.

For the covered production music songs, ASCAP have continued to pay songwriters royalties through March 31, 2016, as well as for "licenses in effect" through the expiration of those licenses.

NMPA And Spotify Announce Agreement For Publishing And Songwriting Royalties

NMPA and Spotify have announced a landmark agreement allowing independent and major publishers to claim and receive royalties for certain compositions used on Spotify in the United States where ownership information was previously unknown. In addition to identifying the rightful recipients of Spotify royalties, the agreement establishes a large bonus compensation fund that is a substantial percentage of what is currently being held by Spotify for unmatched royalties, and creates a better path forward for finding the owners of publishing rights who should receive streaming royalties.

For years, the issue of "unmatched works" - the lack of proper ownership information - has made it difficult to pay timely royalties to writers and publishers. Not only does today's groundbreaking agreement distribute royalties to writers, it also improves processes for identifying and compensating writers for their work and establishes a better database for future payments. The deal will allow copyright owners to identify their works and receive the money Spotify has set aside for the past usage of unmatched works. It will allow the entire industry to benefit by filling in the gaps in ownership information, which help to ensure that royalties are promptly paid to their rightful owners in the future. Any royalties associated with works that remain unmatched after each claiming period will be distributed to publishers and songwriters who participate in the settlement, but the agreement will not affect the royalties owed to any publisher or writer who does not choose to participate.

The agreement is a key step in improving transparency in the music community and ensuring that music's creators receive royalties when their music is used. In addition to allowing copyright owners to identify and receive payment for unmatched works, the agreement enables publishers and Spotify to establish improved practices to identify proper ownership and ensure speedy payment of royalties in the future.

National Music Publishers' Association President and CEO David Israelite praised the agreement, saying, "NMPA's goal has always been to ensure publishers and songwriters receive the money they deserve. I am thrilled that through this agreement both independent and major publishers and songwriters will be able to get what is owed to them. We must continue to push digital services to properly pay for the musical works that fuel their businesses and after much work together, we have found a way for Spotify to quickly get royalties to the right people. I look forward to all NMPA members being paid what they are owed, and I am excited about the creation of a better process moving forward."

Spotify Global Head of Communications and Public Policy Jonathan Prince said, "As we have said many times, we have always been committed to paying songwriters and publishers every penny. We appreciate the hard work of everyone at the NMPA to secure this agreement and we look forward to further collaboration with them as we build a comprehensive publishing administration system."

The agreement:

* Includes payment of bonus compensation.

* Provides the ability to easily identify and properly claim "unmatched" works online.

* Ensures that Spotify will continue working with the NMPA and its members to implement practices that will allow Spotify to match works more accurately and efficiently.

* Where ownership has not been identified or claimed by publishers, there will be a distribution to publishers and songwriters of royalties held by Spotify based on known usage on Spotify's service.

* Provides a path to direct licensing between Spotify and publishers, with the goal of strengthening business relationships.

EBU Strikes Deal To Develop Eurovision Song Contest In Asia
   
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that it has signed an exclusive option with Australian Associate SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) to establish an Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Under the agreement, SBS and production partners Blink TV are exploring the opportunity to establish the Eurovision Song Contest concept in the Asia Pacific region, offering broadcasters and sponsors the opportunity to be a part of this amazing event.

"SBS Australia has been broadcasting Eurovision for over 30 years, so we feel they are a perfect partner to build an alliance of networks with, and give Asian songwriters and artists the opportunity to perform on the Eurovision stage," said Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.

"We are excited by the fact that Eurovision's appeal is crossing continental borders to Asian countries," added Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, Chairman of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group and Senior Vice President of International Affairs at ZDF.

The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in 1956 with the aim of uniting nations and exploring new television technology. Since then, over 50 nations have taken part in this unique competition which reaches nearly 200 million viewers in Europe and beyond every year.

Capitalising on the success, production values and scale of the Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Asia would encompass Asia Pacific nations, bringing together up to 20 countries to compete in one extraordinary live annual Grand Final.

The inaugural event is planned to be hosted in Australia in 2017 and thereafter in other regional cities. The broadcast rights will be licensed on a global basis and the event will offer the chance for Asia Pacific countries to showcase their song writing and performing talent to the world.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid welcomed the agreement: "As the official broadcaster of Eurovision for over 30 years, SBS are pleased to explore the opportunity to bring an event of this calibre more closely to our shores, strengthening the multicultural ties in our own backyard. Asia Pacific has a spectacular music culture and the perfect next step to extend the Eurovision brand, bringing its hugely popular appeal beyond Australian audiences and to the wider region."

Over the next few months SBS's Eurovision production partners Blink TV will lead discussions with potential sponsors, commercial partners and regional broadcasters with hopes to bring this event to fruition in 2017.

Director of Blink TV, Paul Clarke says the project could be huge: "Now we have been granted an opportunity to grow the Eurovision brand from an audience of 200 million, to a potential Asian audience of more than a billion viewers. We are pleased with the very early discussions across the region and look forward to working with our neighbouring broadcasters to realise this vision."

John Mellencamp Honoured With Prestigious ASCAP Founders Award

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, presented acclaimed songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Mellencamp with its prestigious Founders Award at the 33rd annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on April 27. ASCAP also recognised Walk The Moon, who ruled the airwaves this past year with their hit, "Shut Up and Dance," with the ASCAP Vanguard Award. The exclusive, invitation-only gala, which celebrates the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed pop songs of 2015, took place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.

"For the last four decades, John Mellencamp has captured the American experience in his songs," said ASCAP President Paul Williams. "His infectious melodies and compassionate lyrics, wrapped in workingman's rock, crystallize life's joys and struggles and illuminate the human condition. A national treasure, he's also one of the truly great music creators that can make us care, move, clap and sing along."

'It's an honor and an awesome feeling to be recognized by ASCAP and the music-making community," said Nicholas Petricca of Walk the Moon. "Our fellow artists and those who surround and support us somehow create more and more stylish, original work each year, and we are very proud to receive this award in such an exciting time, among such prolific people."

The ASCAP Founders Award goes to pioneering ASCAP songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Past recipients include Ashford & Simpson, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Billy Joel, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, Annie Lennox, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Smokey Robinson, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Tom Waits, Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart), Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.

The ASCAP Vanguard Award recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. Previous ASCAP Vanguard Award honorees include The All-American Rejects, Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Beastie Boys, Beck, Björk, Sara Bareilles, Diplo, fun., Jack Johnson, The Killers, Modest Mouse, The Strokes and St. Vincent.

MPA Launch 2016's Richard Toeman Scholarship Scheme

Applications for the Music Publishers Association's 2016 Richard Toeman Scholarship Scheme are now open.

Established in 2006, the Scholarship has supported and advanced the progress of outstanding candidates within the music publishing sector - offering two individuals each year, both an entrant with less than five years' experience of the business and a final year student/recent graduate, the opportunity to benefit from tailor-made packages of support.

These include free entry to MPA training and professional development courses, networking opportunities at MPA social events and, for final year students or recent graduates, assistance in securing a relevant work placement.

The two winning applicants will also receive £500 towards further training and professional career coaching of their choice.

Full details of the Scholarship are now available on the MPA website, with entries closing on Monday 25th April 2016.

http://www.mpaonline.org.uk/mpa-richard-toeman-scholarship

The two successful applicants will be announced at the MPA AGM in June 2016.

Claire McAuley, General Manager of the MPA said:

"Over the past ten years, the Richard Toeman Scholarship has gained a deserved reputation for fast tracking the careers of talented young people, boosting the skills, knowledge and contacts that will help them thrive in the music publishing sector. Last year the standard of applications was extremely high, and we look forward to hearing from the students, graduates and employees that represent the future of our business."

Previous beneficiaries of the Scholarship have gone on to work for a wide range of music publishing businesses and related organisations including Universal Music Publishing, Schott Music and BSkyB.

Last year, the Publisher category was won by Henry Stanislaw, Marketing & Licensing Assistant at Imagem, while Nick Gibbons, a Music Industry Management & Enterprise graduate at London Metropolitan University triumphed in the Student category.

Nick, who was encouraged to apply by his tutor, now works for Touch Tones Music.

He said:

"Getting my current job was 100% down to the Richard Toeman Scholarship. Attending the MPA's induction course and networking events put me in a room full of the people I needed to be speaking to."

The Scholarship is named in memory of Richard Toeman who died suddenly in March 2005 following a successful 40-year career at Josef Weinberger Ltd. Throughout his career Richard gave generously of his time and expertise to the MPA and to the music publishing business as a whole.

It's founding donors are ABRSM (Publishing) Ltd, Ariel Music, Bourne Music Ltd, Bug Music Ltd, Catalyst Music Publishing Ltd, EMI Music Publishing Ltd, Menace Music Ltd, Mute Song Ltd, Rock Music Company Ltd, Silva Screen Music (Publishers) Ltd, Songstream Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd, SJ Music, Stainer & Bell Ltd and Woza Music.

For further details please contact Nico Evans: nico.evans@mpagroup.com - 020 3741 3808

PRS For Music Launches New Member Anti-Piracy System
   
PRS for Music has announced the launch of its new anti-piracy take-down tool 'MAPS'. The newly developed system will revolutionise the way PRS for Music tackles copyright infringement of its members' repertoire in the continued fight against online music piracy.

Working in partnership with The Publishers Association, the trade body for the UK book publishing industry, MAPS has been developed for PRS for Music to deliver a bespoke notice and takedown system.

MAPS became available to a selected number of publisher members in March 2016. The tool locates unlicensed and infringing content made available online and then allows users to automatically generate and serve notices to remove the content. It also allows users to remove links to the content found on Google and elsewhere.

PRS for Music's Head of Litigation, Enforcement and Anti-Piracy, Simon Bourn said: "We are very excited to be rolling-out our new anti-piracy system to publisher members. Where opportunistic and illegal use is made of our members' repertoire online, without the necessary business model to sustain a legitimate licensed marketplace, it is important that we take action to protect the rights of our members and to preserve the value of their repertoire. MAPS will deliver greater control and transparency to our members, allowing them to participate in our content protection work.

He adds: The system will also allow for a far greater number of infringements to be detected, reported and removed online. Whilst we call for the responsibilities of internet intermediaries to be clarified by law-makers, MAPS will utilise cutting-edge technology to enhance, automate and streamline PRS for Music's rights protection work. "

MAPS will be able to cut-off instances of piracy at the source, helping to ensure that the legitimate licensed services can be more easily found and that PRS for Music members receive fair remuneration for use of their repertoire online.

Members without access to the system in the initial roll-out can contact the PRS for Music Anti-Piracy Unit for removal of infringements of repertoire on their behalf.

PRS for Music believes it is the first music industry collective rights management organisation to offer a rights protection service of this scale and type to members.

Conservative Groups Ask US Congress To Support Songwriters' Freedom
   
Six influential conservative groups have sent a letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee urging them to reduce the burdensome government regulations that currently prevent songwriters from earning a fair wage in a free market.

The letter, which was signed by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, American Commitment, Center for Individual Freedom, Less Government, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance outlines how outdated and excessive laws and regulations have culminated in an environment that hurts the very individuals who fuel the music marketplace.

National Music Publishers' Association President and CEO David Israelite praised the letter, saying, "Today songwriting is the most regulated part of the music industry. It makes no sense that in this day and age, the creators behind our favorite songs are constrained by centuries old laws and WWII-era regulations. Each songwriter is a small business owner who deserves to be able to negotiate the value of their intellectual property as other property owners can - in a free market - and I am pleased that these groups recognize that for music to continue to be made, our copyright system has to stop punishing those who make it."

The full text of the letter can be found here:

http://tinyurl.com/jb5tlwo

Industry Campaign Prompts Action From Government To Protect UK Music Venues

UK Music, Music Venue Trust and Musicians' Union have welcomed new Government legislation to protect music venues following a meeting with Ministers at the Department for Communities and Local Government and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP.

New regulations, coming into effect on 6 April 2016, mean developers are now required to seek prior approval on noise impacts before a change of use from an office to residential building can be carried out.

Recent permitted development right extensions that have allowed changes of use to take place have put pressure on music venues making them prone to noise complaints from residents once they move into the area. In London alone 35% of grassroots music venues have closed in the past eight years.

The new regulations will amend the permitted development right.

UK Music's Bristol live music census published this month by Bucks New University found that 50% of the city's music venues were affected by development, noise or planning issues. These issues pose a direct threat to the future of Bristol's vibrant ecosystem which generated £123million towards the local economy in 2015 and supported 927 (full time equivalent) jobs. The UK live music sector as a whole contributed almost a billion pounds in GVA to the UK economy in 2014 and employs over 25,000 people across the country.

Details of the new regulations were revealed in a letter to UK Music CEO Jo Dipple. Ministers suggest that the new regulations will encourage local authorities to require applicants under the permitted development right to put in place noise mitigation measures where appropriate.

The Ministers' letter outlines steps Government intends to take including notifying chief planning officers of the change to permitted development rights and re-emphasising updated planning guidance on noise that highlights the potential of new residential developments on live music venues. Whilst these steps do not constitute the introduction of an Agent of Change principle, the new regulations mark a step-change in planning law.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2016 was presented to Parliament on 11th March 2016 and will come into effect from the 6th April 2016.

Commenting on the amendment,

Mark Davyd, CEO, Music Venue Trust said:

"We warmly welcome this breakthrough for the UK's grassroots music venues. This common sense move by the government provides an opportunity for local authorities to use their powers to ensure that live music continues to play a vital economic, cultural and social role in our towns and cities. For music venues, this has never been about stopping development or preventing the creation of much needed new housing; it's always been about ensuring that new development recognises the culture, economy and vibrancy of city centres by building great housing, enabling existing music venues and new residents to live in harmony. This is a major victory for the UK's music venues and music fans. The fight to protect, secure and improve them goes on."

Jo Dipple, CEO, UK Music said:

"Ministers Ed Vaizey, Brandon Lewis and James Wharton deserve sincere thanks for taking up our cause and offering to act on industry concerns. There are times when it seems Government does not listen. When it does, and when it acts on what it hears, we should be proud of our political masters. The Music Venue Trust has done an amazing job to raise awareness and push this issue to the top of the Governmental "in tray". If these new regulations have the desired effect, grassroots venues around the UK will have additional powers to help them survive and prosper."

Horace Trubridge, Assistant General Secretary, Musicians' Union said:

"We are delighted to see that the Government has responded to our calls for action to protect grassroots live music venues. Hopefully, this will ensure a brighter future for this vital resource"

Kate Brady Named Winner Of Guitar Center's Singer-Songwriter Program

Guitar Center has announced Boulder, Colorado native Kate Brady as the winner of the fifth annual Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter artist discovery program. As the winner, Brady will receive a career-boosting package including the opportunity to record a four-song EP with Grammy® Award-winning producer Ariel Rechtshaid, mentorship from folk singer-songwriter City and Colour, a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, $25,000 cash, brand new musical equipment, and much more.

Out of nearly 14,000 entries this year, five finalists were selected to perform live at the grand finals event Friday, March 4th, at the Troubadour in Hollywood, CA, hosted by established singer-songwriter Clara C.

Following an opening performance by last year's Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter winner Lanita Smith in collaboration with American Idol's Jessica Sanchez, the five finalists took to the stage to perform their craft live in front of an audience and judges. City and Colour entertained the crowd with a special, intimate performance as program judge Ariel Rechtshaid deliberated, and ultimately named Brady the winner.

Watch Kate Brady's winning performance here:

https://youtu.be/sm9qgeEKbb8

Songwriter Offers $10,000 Reward To Artist Willing To Adopt Song

An amateur songwriter is offering a $10,000 reward to the most qualified, enthusiastic Christian artist who is willing to adopt his song "God Is Friends with Me." Larry Schwarz recognizes that it will be extremely challenging and time-consuming to publish and promote his own song. To this end, he is actively seeking talented Christian musicians who share his passion for Christian music and who can use their talents to bring his composition to a wider audience. The reward money can be given directly to the artist, their favorite charity, or split between the two.

"These are tough times for musicians, and they are being forced to come up with more creative ways to generate income," said Schwarz. "At the same time, a songwriter like me has to fight his way through the system in order to be heard. This reward seems like a logical solution to both problems."

The recipient will be an artist who Schwarz deems to have the most potential to bring the song to the masses and someone who exhibits genuine enthusiasm and interest in the project. The artist must record the song, publish it, and promote it as if it were his or her own. In addition, the artist will be required to perform the song when playing live at venues.

To qualify for the $10,000 "God Is Friends with Me" reward, the applicant must fulfill the following criteria:

• Be a musician or member of a band who performs Christian or Gospel music.

• Have a website and a visible presence on social media.

• Have a current contract in place with a music publisher.

• Be a musician or member of a group who performs in the United States.

How to apply for the reward:

• Send an email to godisfriendswithme@gmail.com

• Write a detailed explanation as to why the artist or band would be the best recipient of this reward.

• Include any relevant links (optional), but please do not send attachments.

To hear a professional demo of the song, please visit

http://www.godisfriendswithme.com.

The recipient will be announced on May 6, 2016.

New Online Platform For Composers To Sell Instrumentals

Dubbed, a website built by musicians for musicians, the team at Firstdub are excited to officially opened the doors on a platform for musicians to host, promote and sell their instrumental music online with their personalized music store.

With all styles of music welcome on Firstdub, Johnny Walker, one of the founders of the company said;

"Firstdub was launched in January 2016 out of a passion to develop a platform for musicians to control and make money from their music, whilst at the same time, creating a large and diverse music library of instrumentals for video game makers, film makers and singers/songwriters."

Musicians that subscribe to Firstdub retain their creative rights and have the opportunity to generate revenue through sales and publishing income.

Musicians can embed their personalized music store across the internet and on all devices. Firstdub worldwide platform maintains high-encryption security while allowing musicians detailed sales statistics, a profile page and instant payments on every sale.

Subscription to Firstdub and the prize draw absolutely free, hence a unique opportunity for musicians to expand their audience, interact with potential buyers and generate profit from their musical endeavours.

To learn more about Firstdub, visit

http://www.Firstdub.com

The website also houses a detailed FAQ which musicians may find helpful in answering common questions about this service.

PRS And PPL Create New Joint Venture For Public Performance Licensing
   
PRS for Music and PPL have confirmed that, following a strategic review commenced in 2015, the two companies plan to create a joint venture. The new company, jointly and equally owned by PPL and PRS for Music, would focus on serving all PPL and PRS for Music UK public performance licensing customers.

This will further streamline the experience for customers obtaining public performance licences, allowing them to secure a joint PPL and PRS for Music licence with a single phone call or a few clicks on the web, paid for with a single invoice.

Over the coming months, PRS for Music and PPL will be undertaking the necessary preparatory work for the joint venture, including engagement with regulators and other key stakeholders.

It is anticipated that the new company would start licensing in 2017, followed by a 12-month period during which the full transition of public performance licensing would be completed. It is likely that the new joint venture will be located in a UK city outside the M25.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music, said, "Creating a single point of contact for our UK public performance customers would allow us to significantly simplify music licensing for UK businesses. It is in our members' and customers' interests to ensure that our licensing is ever more accurate and efficient. A joint venture between our organisations would be a landmark event for both societies."

Peter Leathem, CEO, PPL commented, "Both our organisations firmly believe that the proposed joint venture would be a very positive development for both our customers and our members, building on the successful joint licensing solutions and other joint working initiatives that PPL and PRS for Music have delivered over the last few years."

Venues Refuse To Pay Songwriters While Profiting From Their Music
   
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has announced that it has filed nine separate copyright infringement actions against bars and restaurants, arising out of the unauthorized public performance of its members' copyrighted musical works.

ASCAP is a membership association that operates on a non-profit basis and represents more than 560,000 independent songwriters, composers and music publishers. ASCAP ensures its members can earn a living from their art by licensing the public performances of their songs, collecting those license fees, and distributing royalties to its members. Nearly 88% of the license fees ASCAP collects go directly to songwriters, composers and music publishers as royalties.

"Music is enormously valuable to bars and restaurants, creating an emotional connection with patrons and providing the right ambience to attract and retain customers," commented ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing Vincent Candilora. "Hundreds of thousands of well-run businesses across the nation recognize the importance of paying music creators to use their music, and understand that it is both the lawful and right thing to do. However, each of the establishments sued today has decided to use music without compensating songwriters. By filing these actions, ASCAP is standing up for songwriters whose creative work brings great value to all businesses that publicly perform their music."

Songwriters earn their livelihoods by licensing the performance right granted to them under the copyright law. Any business using copyrighted music has the opportunity to obtain permission to do so lawfully through a simple license, which covers the entire ASCAP repertory of over 10 million musical works. The average cost for bars and restaurants amounts to less than just $2 per day for the right to play an unlimited amount of music.

ASCAP President and Chairman, songwriter Paul Williams added: "We want every business that uses music to prosper, including bars and restaurants. After all, as songwriters and composers, we are small business owners, too, and music is more than an art form for us. It's how we put food on the table and send our kids to school. Most businesses know that an ASCAP license allows them to offer music legally, efficiently and at a reasonable price - while compensating music creators so we can earn a living from our work and keep doing what we do best - writing music."

Over the past two years, and in many cases longer, ASCAP has made numerous attempts at each establishment listed below to offer a license and educate the business owners about their obligations under federal copyright law. Despite these efforts, the owners of the establishments listed below repeatedly have refused to take a license. Instead, they have continued to perform the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP's songwriter, composer, and music publisher members for the entertainment of their patrons without obtaining permission to do so.

Steven Tyler Joins Board Of NMPA S.O.N.G.S.

The National Music Publishers' Association has announced that Aerosmith front man and accomplished songwriter Steven Tyler has joined the NMPA SONGS (Supporting Our Next Generation of Songwriters) Foundation Board of Directors.

"Everyone knows about Steven Tyler's music, but not everyone knows what a passionate advocate he is for the people behind the songs," said NMPA SONGS Foundation President David Israelite. "Considering his songwriting credentials, I am thrilled that he is joining the NMPA SONGS Foundation Board, where I know his insight and his heart for helping creators will be an incredible asset."

"As a songwriter who has lived and breathed this business for most of my life, I see how hard it has become for those young artists who are trying to make it today. I'm proud to serve on the NMPA SONGS Foundation Board because young creators deserve a chance - and we are going to be instrumental in giving that to them." - Steven Tyler

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation and seeks to provide grants to aspiring songwriters who are struggling in the age of streaming. Founded in 2015, the charity also aims to support composition education programs.

The NMPA SONGS Foundation Board consists of NMPA President & CEO David Israelite, singer-songwriter Jewel, songwriter Kara DioGuardi, Razor & Tie founder Craig Balsam, Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI) President Lee Thomas Miller, Reservoir Media Management founder Golnar Khosrowshahi, NMPA EVP & General Counsel Danielle Aguirre and NMPA SVP of External Affairs, Charlotte Sellmyer.

New Music Apps From Apple For Songwriters & Beatmakers
 
Apple have announced a new addition and a major update to its family of music-making apps for iOS that make it easy for people to tap into their musical potential and create incredible music no matter where they are. An all-new app called Music Memos lets musicians and songwriters quickly capture, organize and develop their musical ideas right on their iPhone. And a major update to GarageBand for iOS introduces multiple new features, including Live Loops, a fun way for anyone to make music like a DJ using only their iPhone or iPad.

"Musicians around the world, from the biggest artists to aspiring students, use Apple devices to create amazing music; the innovative new Music Memos app will help them quickly capture their ideas on iPhone and iPad whenever inspiration strikes," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "GarageBand is the most popular music creation app in the world, and this update helps everyone easily tap into their musical talent with the powerful new Live Loops and Drummer features, and adds support for the larger iPad Pro screen and 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus."

"Sometimes ideas come faster than I can get them into my notebook so I've used Voice Memos and Notes to quickly capture songs before they're lost. Music Memos is like if those two apps came together to form some kind of superpower for songs," said Ryan Adams, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and producer. "It quite literally blew my mind how Music Memos could transform a single guitar idea into a whole composition with a virtual drummer loose enough that it felt like you were having your mind read by some A.I. musician and a choice of stand-up or electric bass accompaniments."

"I recorded my first album using GarageBand and I continue to use it in my music today," said T-Pain, Grammy Award-winning artist and producer. "I love how the new Live Loops in GarageBand lets me quickly build tracks and beats, and even perform effects like a musical instrument. It'll change the way an entire generation makes music."

Songwriter Kent Harris Sues Music Publishing Giant Warner/Chappell

Los Angeles entertainment attorney Tre Lovell from The Lovell Firm is currently representing songwriter Kent Harris in his lawsuit against Warner/Chappell Music, over the song "Cops and Robbers," a classic performed by such acts as Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, George Thorogood, The Rolling Stones and Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders. The suit alleges fraud, deceit, breach of fiduciary duty and other claims of mismanagement. 

"We are excited to represent Mr. Harris in this matter and protect those aspects of his career that have made him such a noted and distinguished songwriter," Tre Lovell said.

Harris comes from a strong background in entertainment.  From his early years performing in his band Boogaloo and His Gallant Crew, to his many songs recorded on such labels as Capitol, RCA, Atlantic and Columbia, he has been prominent in the music business.  His sisters also performed and recorded together as the Harris Sisters, while his sister Betty was married to the famous comedian Redd Foxx.

Japan's Government To Tackle Copyright Infringement

Japan's government has announced a draft revision of the country's copyright law, which will be in line with the broad agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As part of the revision, the Government has decided to allow for the prosecution of copyright infringement without the need for a formal complaint from the original creator or rightsholder.

In Japan, copyright violation is currently considered as a "shinkokuzai" - an offense that can only be prosecuted when a victim complains.

The draft will also include a change in the copyright protection period from the current 50 years to 70 years after the original creator's death.

The government plans to submit the draft revision at a Diet (Parliament) session in late March.

Peermusic Appoints Carter Armstrong Senior Vice President Of Film And Television
   
Peermusic, the independent music publisher, has announced announce that Carter Armstrong has been named to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Film and Television. The announcement was made by Kathy Spanberger, peermusic President and Chief Operating Officer. Armstrong will be based in the company's Los Angeles/Burbank offices and will oversee the entire department in the United States as well as liaise with all 32 of peer's worldwide offices.

"I am extremely excited about new creative opportunities for Film & TV music at peermusic." said Armstrong. "The team here is growing in a bold and innovative direction and I am proud to be part of the process."

Armstrong was the previous Head of Music at Lionsgate Entertainment where he oversaw over 20 films including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, Divergent and Insurgent. Prior to Lionsgate he was Senior Vice President, Music at Warner Bros. Pictures where he presided over the music creative and negotiation for more than 70 Warner Brothers films including Argo, The Hangover series, Syriana, and Contagion.

Said Spanberger, "I am thrilled that Carter is joining our team and know that his experience, knowledge and love of music will not only continue to grow this important department for the firm, but will also provide new and exciting opportunities for our songwriters".

TuneCore's Independent Artists Earned More Than $142 Million In 2015

TuneCore Artists earned $36.8 million from digital streams and downloads in Q4 2015, capping off another strong year of sustained growth, which saw independent artists on TuneCore earn over $142 million, a 7 percent increase from 2014. Publishing revenue for TuneCore artists was up 47 percent in 2015 and sync revenue up 57 percent, with placements in major feature films and network TV shows. Since its inception in 2006, TuneCore artists have earned more than $648 million collectively.

Key Growth & International Expansion

As part of its continued commitment to support independent artists around the world, in 2015 TuneCore opened two new offices in the United States in key music cities, Austin and Atlanta, and launched two new international sites with TuneCore UK and TuneCore Australia.  With these new international expansions, TuneCore now offers local musicians in four countries outside of the U.S. - UK, Australia, Canada and Japan -  the opportunity to collect revenue in their local currency, including earnings from streaming services, digital download stores, songwriter royalties, and sync licensing opportunities.

TuneCore also continues to add stores in new, emerging markets throughout the world, including Saavn in India, Nmusic in Africa and the Middle East, and Zvooq in Russia.  In 2015, TuneCore saw an impressive 71 percent growth in new customers in the Latin American market and 55 percent growth in the African market.

Artist Highlights

The heart of TuneCore is the independent artist, and 2015 marked another landmark year for the TuneCore community. The artists continue to be heard across the world in all creative mediums, including on the big screen, with music featured in Universal Pictures' "Furious 7" and  On the small screen in CBS's "The Good Wife" and FOX's "Family Guy". The music of TuneCore's independent artists was also included in national commercials for major brands such as Booking.com and Huggies.

YouTube continues to grow as a key driver for artists' revenue and with its YouTube Sound Recording Collection Service, launched in 2014, TuneCore grew royalties collected on the site by more than 370 percent. An artist who is in enrolled in TuneCore's YouTube Sound Recording Collection Service, on average, earns $100 more than an artist not enrolled in this service.

Looking To 2016

Building on the achievements of the past year, TuneCore is committed to further empowering independent artists through education and experience. Following the success of its inaugural TuneCore Indie Forum in Los Angeles last fall, TuneCore is excited to host the TuneCore Nashville Indie Forum on February 20. This forum will feature roundtable discussions and panels from a variety of music executives, professionals and artists, such as Peter Frampton, R.LUM.R, John Marks, Dan Huff and more, to educate attendees on today's music landscape and the industry's continued growth.

Additionally, in an effort to provide artists on-the-ground opportunities to reach wider audiences, TuneCore is expanding its popular TuneCore Live series from Brooklyn and Los Angeles to additional primary music hubs such as Nashville, Austin and Atlanta to reach more music fans across the country. TuneCore will also continue to strengthen its core offerings, including its music publishing administration business, always with an eye toward new ways to grow the careers of its independent artists, so their music may be heard by more people across the globe. 

About TuneCore
TuneCore brings more music to more people, while helping musicians and songwriters increase money-earning opportunities and take charge of their own careers. The company has one of the highest artist revenue-generating music catalogs in the world, earning TuneCore Artists $648 million from over 26.6 billion downloads and streams since inception. TuneCore Music Distribution services help artists, labels and managers sell their music through iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify and other major download and streaming sites while retaining 100 percent of their sales revenue and rights for a low annual flat fee. TuneCore Music Publishing Administration assists songwriters by administering their compositions through licensing, registration and worldwide royalty collection. The TuneCore Artist Services portal offers a suite of tools and services that enable artists to promote their craft, connect with fans, and get their music heard. TuneCore, part of TuneCore & Believe Digital Services, operates as an independent company and is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY with offices in Burbank, CA, Nashville, TN, Boston, MA, Austin, TX and Atlanta, GA.

Tina Hart Joins The MPA As Membership & Outreach Manager

The Music Publishers Association has announced the appointment of Tina Hart as Membership & Outreach Manager.

Reporting to the MPA's General Manager, Claire McAuley, Tina will assume direct responsibility for liaising with the organisation's 270-strong membership - acting as a first point of contact with major and independent publishers from across the UK, and working on all areas of member relations, sponsorship, outreach and education.

Tina joins from Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) where she is Executive, Writer/Publisher Relations, Europe and was previously Deputy Features Editor at Music Week, as well as contributor to a host of music-related media including SBTV and MSN UK Entertainment.

Following a restructuring process the MPA team has been bolstered by a number of other appointments, including Issy Dacre (Events Manager), Nico Evans (Team Administrator) and Tom Fletcher (Project Co-ordinator) - all of whom joined the organisation in January 2016.

Claire McAuley, MPA General Manager, said:

"Tina will be a great addition to the MPA in this lynchpin role - her uniquely blended skill-set will be an asset to both the team and membership. Our members will benefit from her knowledge of and enthusiasm for the sector and alongside our other new appointments - in the form of Issy, Nico and Tom, all of whom have industry backgrounds - the MPA is looking in strong shape for the year ahead."

SongCat To Offer Songwriters Free Music & Career Advice

To further help musicians in their early stage of their career, SongCat, is to release a video series that allows insiders and professionals of the music industry to give helpful advice to amateur and aspiring musicians.

"We are offering a free monthly video series where established songwriters and other industry insiders give upcoming songwriters tips on how to improve their songwriting skills and break into the market," Chris Erhardt said, who is the head of production and CEO of the company.

Credits of confirmed speakers so far include Ray Charles, Victoria Shaw, George Strait, Tiffany Darwish. The CCMA Songwriter of the Year Award and the BMI Songwriter Award.

The free video series is scheduled to be released in January of 2016. SongCat LLC is currently working to get more industry insiders on board. The company is even taking suggestions for any topics about the music industry that followers of SongCat want explained in the video series.

Additionally, SongCat, has come out with a free service that allows amateur and professional musicians to meet online and collaborate with each other on their music projects. That way, composers and songwriters don't have to rely on only themselves to write a catchy song. They can collaborate with other skilled musicians who can lend a helping hand in creating a great song together. It's the perfect solution for someone who is great with words but struggles with the music part and vice versa.

"It's like a dating website, but for musicians and without fake profiles and photoshopped pictures," Chris Erhardt said. "We match people with a suitable collaborator for them and together they can start creating great music."

Other benefits of collaborating includes the shared cost of music production. When collaborating, both of the involved musicians contribute to the expenses, cutting their bill in half. Additionally, once the song is finished, collaborators can promote their work with joined forces, tab into each of their networks and create a much bigger buzz than they could alone.

"Once a rough work tape is created by the two collaborators, SongCat will take over and produce a high quality song out of it," Erhardt said.

You can create your Collaboration Match profile at

http://songcat.biz/collaboration-match.html

Songwriter Connect Purchased By BBF From Ireland's Music Connect

Online platform Songwriter Connect has been sold by Ireland-based Music Connect to Florida's BBF Technology Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under BBF Technology, Songwriter Connect will continue to enhance the platform, with numerous enhancements planned within the next six months. They include separating its membership by constraining the current number of geographic locations and/or genres. Each group will maintain a maximum number of 500 members. In addition, the service will provide a lower tier membership for those not accepted into its "elite groups," while also providing educational and training services with tutorials on improving skills as a songwriter, learning ins & outs of the music business and accessing industry discounts.

BFF will also add a Top Six Songwriter list for one songwriter chosen bimonthly. Other enhancements include simplification of logins, with enhanced security, and additional discounts, affiliations and subscriber opportunities.

Songwriter Connect was founded in spring 2014 by Chris Erhardt and Mylene Besancon and incorporated as Music Connect Ltd. Their reason for the sale was to fully concentrate on their primary enterprise, US based SongCat LLC, an online music production company.

"It is our hope that the website will continue to expand and offer a reliable source of information, opportunities and education for songwriters... We are confident that Leonard Bryan of BBF Technology has the right skill sets and experience to provide an outstanding experience to current and future members of Songwriter Connect," the founding pair said.

Katie Vinten & Ryan Press Promoted To Co-Heads, A&R, US, Warner/Chappell Music

Warner/Chappell Music (WCM), the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, had announced the promotion of Katie Vinten and Ryan Press to Co-Heads, A&R, US (excluding Nashville). Based at the company's Los Angeles headquarters and reporting to WCM CEO Jon Platt, Vinten and Press will continue to scout, sign, and nurture new and established songwriting talent.

"It's been my great pleasure to watch Katie and Ryan grow from promising young A&R executives to leading lights of the music publishing business," said Platt. "Katie and I have been working with each other since before our time at Warner/Chappell and, even then, it was clear she had a unique gift in helping songwriters develop songs that made a real impact on global music culture. When I joined Warner/Chappell in 2012, Ryan immediately stood out as a tireless worker with great ears and a knack for connecting the right songwriters and producers with the right artists."

Platt added, "At this early stage of their careers, they've already accomplished incredible things in developing our roster. A&R is the lifeblood of Warner/Chappell, and Katie and Ryan are both amazing, hands-on collaborators who know how to bring out the best in our songwriters. As we continue to build the most welcoming home for the most outstanding talent, I am confident that Katie and Ryan will be exceptional leaders of our A&R team."

Vinten said, "I take great pride in working at Warner/Chappell. This is an environment that values the nurturing of songwriters above all else, and it's what sets us apart. I'm grateful to Jon for his years of invaluable mentoring, and am thrilled and honoured to take on this exciting new role."

Press added, "We're only as good as our songwriters, and Warner/Chappell is home to the best, spanning all genres and eras. It is a privilege to do what we do - something our team never loses sight of - and I'm thankful to Jon and the entire fantastic Warner/Chappell team for their continued support."

Sound Exchange Criticises Latest Web Rate Decision

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) set the rates for webcasters using the statutory license. In 2016, the rate for nonsubscription services is $0.0017 per performance, and for subscription services, it is $0.0022 per performance. For the remainder of the term (through 2020), the prices will be adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index. SoundExchange issued the statement below in response to the decision:

"SoundExchange presented a strong case on the fair market rate for music played by webcasters utilising the statutory license. Our rate proposal used data from dozens of marketplace deals and was based on what willing buyers and sellers would agree to.

"Music has tremendous value and is the core foundation of the webcasting industry. It's only fair that artists and record labels receive a market price when their music is used. We believe the rates set by the CRB do not reflect a market price for music and will erode the value of music in our economy. We will review the decision closely and consider all of our options.

"Additionally it is deeply disappointing to see that broadcasters are being given another unfair advantage. In their terrestrial business they do not pay a dime for the recordings they use and now this $17B industry will receive an additional huge subsidy on the music they use in webcasting.

"As music advocates, SoundExchange represents the entire recorded music industry and we remain united on the principle that recording artists and rights owners deserve a fair market rate when their music is used.

"SoundExchange appreciates the efforts of the CRB judges and staff throughout this process."

Pandora Signs Licensing Agreements With ASCAP And BMI

Pandora and ASCAP/BMI have announced the signing of two separate multi-year licensing agreements for their combined catalogues of more than 20 million musical works. These deals create business benefits for Pandora, while modernising compensation in the U.S. for ASCAP and BMI songwriters and publishers. In connection with the signing of the BMI agreement, Pandora has agreed to withdraw its appeal of the May 2015 order in the recent BMI rate case.

"This agreement is good news for music fans and music creators, who are the heart and soul of ASCAP, and a sign of progress in our ongoing push for improved streaming payments for songwriters, composers and music publishers that reflect the immense value of our members' creative contributions," said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews.

"We're extremely pleased to reach this deal with Pandora that benefits the songwriters, composers and publishers we are privileged to represent," said Mike O'Neill, President and CEO, BMI. "Not only is our new agreement comparable to the other direct deals in the marketplace, but it also allows us to amicably conclude our lengthy rate court litigation and focus on what drives each of our businesses - the music."

"At Pandora we are delivering on our commitment to ensure that music thrives," said Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer of Pandora. "These collaborative efforts with the leading Performance Rights Organisations, as well as our recent direct deals with several music publishers demonstrate our progress in working together to grow the music ecosystem."

While the specific terms of both multi-year agreements are confidential, for each deal, the respective parties worked together to build an innovative approach to public performance licensing. The deals allow both ASCAP and BMI to further their goal of delivering improved performance royalties for their songwriters and publishers, while Pandora will benefit from greater rate certainty and the ability to add new flexibility to the company's product offering over time. The public performance royalties Pandora also pays to rights holders of master recordings are not affected by this agreement.

Sheet Music Direct Pass To Boost Sheet Music Sales
   
An online sheet music subscription service for musicians is finally here. Sheet Music Direct launches its new all-access subscription: PASS, the ultimate sheet music experience. Sheet Music Direct PASS offers premium digital sheet music for piano, guitar, voice, ukulele, accordion and more. This interactive sheet music includes playback, transposition, adjustable note sizes, and is available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

From students looking for music to play at an easier level to gigging musicians who need the latest hits or hobbyists looking to expand their repertoire, musicians now have access to tens of thousands of premium sheet music titles at their fingertips for one low price. PASS subscriptions are available for $9.99/month and $99.99/year.

Comments Chris Koszuta, General Manager of Sheet Music Direct, "We are delighted to offer our customers an additional way to have online access to digital sheet music, combining the greatest songs with interactive technology. We know that many consumers will appreciate the convenience of our cloud-based subscription program, as well as the special pricing on their a la carte downloads of their favoourite digital sheet music. As the world's first online sheet music subscription service, we are sure that Sheet Music Direct PASS will allow musicians even more opportunities to explore, enjoy and play sheet music."

www.sheetmusicdirect.us/subscription

PRS For Music And SoundCloud Reach Licensing Agreement

PRS for Music and SoundCloud announce that they have reached an agreement for a multi-territory licence to cover the service.

The licence covers the use of PRS for Music repertoire since SoundCloud's launch and further supports SoundCloud in its plans to introduce subscription and advertising across Europe in 2016, meaning that creators can start to make money from their tracks.
Both PRS for Music and SoundCloud have been clear in their preference for a negotiated agreement over extended litigation, and their shared interest in supporting creators.

The agreement will allow PRS for Music's members to receive royalties when their works are used by SoundCloud and accelerate SoundCloud's development for the benefit of all creators who use the service, by:

* Ensuring fair value for the use of PRS for Music repertoire on SoundCloud.

* Paving the way for new SoundCloud services and functionality across Europe in 2016.

* Bringing both organisations together to work on ways to further increase the value of SoundCloud to creators, and improving metadata and the identification of repertoire for royalty distribution.

* Bringing to an end the legal proceedings brought by PRS for Music in August.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music said: "On behalf of our members, I am pleased that we have been able to reach a settlement with SoundCloud without extended legal proceedings. This ends over five years of discussions on the licensing requirements for the platform, resulting in a licence under which our members are fairly rewarded for the use of their music. The safe harbours in current legislation still present ambiguity, and obstruct the efficient licensing of online services, but our agreement with SoundCloud is a step in the right direction towards a more level playing field for the online marketplace." He adds: "Many of our members love the SoundCloud service and I greatly appreciate their management's willingness to work with us in the way they have".

Alexander Ljung, founder and CEO of SoundCloud, said: "SoundCloud is a platform by creators, for creators; we're working hard to create a platform where all creators can be paid for their work, and already have deals in place with thousands of copyright owners. PRS for Music is also fully committed to creators, and we're pleased to have reached an agreement that will expand revenue opportunities, improve the accuracy of royalty distributions, and launch new services for our 175 million monthly active listeners on SoundCloud in 2016."

American Masters' Premieres Documentary On Carole King's "Tapestry

Four-time Grammy Award-winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, recent Kennedy Center Honoree and the first woman to be awarded The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, Carole King's (b. February 9, 1942) career as a singer-songwriter is unparalleled. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles, including songs co-written with Gerry Goffin: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (The Shirelles), "Up on the Roof" (The Drifters) and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin). Now, King tells her own story in the new documentary American Masters - Carole King: Natural Woman, premiering nationwide Friday, February 19 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) as part of the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN's American Masters series. This year also marks the 45th anniversary of King's landmark solo album Tapestry, which was released February 10, 1971, and spawned the hits "It's Too Late," "I Feel the Earth Move," "You've Got a Friend" and "So Far Away."

Weaving previously unseen and rare performances and home movies with a new, exclusive interview with King, American Masters - Carole King: Natural Woman delves into her life and career. New interviews with friends and colleagues, including fellow songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Tapestry producer Lou Adler, drummer Russ Kunkel, guitarist Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar, daughter and manager Sherry Goffin Kondor, lyricists Toni Stern and Carole Bayer Sager, and former manager Peter Asher, complete the biographical tapestry.

Director George Scott (Rufus Wainwright - Prima Donna, Great Performances "Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other Elizabeth") journeys through King's Brooklyn childhood, her early success co-writing some of the best-loved pop songs of the 1960s with then-husband Goffin for Aldon Music, and, following their divorce, her move to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles with two young children. There, she achieved solo success and became a central figure in the 1970s singer-songwriter movement, along with her contemporaries James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. King speaks candidly about her abusive marriage to Rick Evers, life on a ranch in Idaho, eco-activism, and initial hesitance about Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Douglas McGrath, writer of the Broadway musical's book, and author/music critic Anthony DeCurtis provide additional insights.

"Carole King has provided the soundtrack to so many Americans' lives, and her music remains current -- when Aretha Franklin sang 'Natural Woman' last week, it trended on social media," said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters.

SOCAN Tracks More Record Results In 2015 For Music Creators

Canada emerged as an even greater powerhouse of songwriting, composing and music publishing on a global level in 2015 with domestic and international creative success on virtually every level, and now with further supporting evidence after SOCAN revealed continued record results[1] according to its early analysis.

SOCAN - the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada - has outperformed expectations by setting a new high for royalties identified, collected and distributed to its more than 130,000 members, while also reaching new records in cost-effectiveness:

• A new record for total revenue of approximately $310-million, the first time in the organisation's history that it has exceeded the $300-million milestone - an increase of at least 3% over the record $299-million of 2014.

• Corporate net expense ratio of 9% after the already groundbreaking 9.5% in 2014, another record smashed not only for SOCAN but likely for any major music rights organisation in the world.

• At least $62-million in foreign royalties identified, collected and distributed for members whose music is played internationally on radio, television, online, on-stage and other public performance uses - a 14% increase over 2014, and a 60% increase since 2007.

Total royalty distributions to members of approximately $275-million - a 15% year-over-year increase.

"When we think of Canada's music creators we naturally think of stars like The Weeknd, Andrew Lockington, Drake, Grimes, MAGIC!, Christine Jensen, Luc Plamondon, Coeur de Pirate and Stephan Moccio, and indeed these SOCAN members have truly earned their stature," said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. "But Canada's music creators and publishers are enjoying massive, collective success in virtually every area, whether hip-hop, alt-rock, country, EDM, roots and traditional, blues, soul, classical, jazz, film and television composing and other genres. What we are seeing now is a phenomena unprecedented in Canadian music history. Canada is a music-making global powerhouse, and SOCAN is proud to be one of its biggest engines."

SOCAN is bringing in and distributing more with less. Royalties delivered are rising while corporate expenses are decreasing. The organisation is achieving this by attracting top-talent, investing in new technologies, creating new business partnerships and alliances and anticipating the future in a rapidly changing music ecosystem.

Baptiste added: "SOCAN's success isn't by magic, it's through a brilliant and dedicated team of more than 280 music industry professionals passionately fighting and working every single day for our members' rights and the fair compensation that these songwriters, composers and music publishers have earned for their own passionate work."

"Learn To Play Day" Offers 12,000 Free Music Lessons Across UK

National Learn To Play Day is back for its fifth successive year on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th March 2016. It will be bigger and better, with more free taster lesson and more music venues, schools, shops, celebrities, musicians and local dignitaries than ever before across the UK.

Organised by Music for All, the charity of the UK musical instrument industry, in partnership with the Musician's Union, the Arts Council England 'Take It Away' scheme and Making Music, the aim of Learn To Play Day (LtPD) is to encourage people of all ages and experience to join in this musical learning experience and be inspired to start or get back to playing an instrument.

LtPD 2015 saw one hundred and twenty nine venues give more than twelve thousand free lessons, (including one person flying in from Russia to take part in an Ian Paice Masterclass at Drumwright!). Supporters of LtPD and the charity include Gareth Malone, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Rick Astley, Ian Paice, Glenn Hughes & Steve Morse (Deep Purple). Patron of Music for All is Jools Holland.

If you have ever wanted to find out more about playing a musical instrument LtPD is the perfect opportunity. Go to the nearest participating music shop, school, venue and book one of thousands of free taster lessons that will be on offer. 

All lessons are delivered by fully qualified music teachers on a vast array of instruments that includes guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo, drums, keyboards, violin, piano, trumpet, oboe, percussion and many, many more. Many events will also have special 'on the day' promotions and offers, live music, special guests as well as expert advice.

Full details of the event, including participating venues and local appearances, will be found at

www.learntoplayday.com

Songwriter And Bands Can Collaborate On Song Ideas With New BandLab Cloud Platform

Most musicians and bands would agree that new songs can be quite fragile. Quickly capturing and nurturing song ideas is the concept behind, BandLab, the first cloud-based platform (iOS, Android and Web) where musicians can capture their ideas and create/produce new songs with unprecedented levels of collaboration with other musicians and even fans anywhere in the world.

After more than a year in testing, BandLab version 2.0 officially launches worldwide today and musicians/bands can sign up for free at bandlab.com or download the free BandLab mobile app from iTunes or Google Play.

With BandLab, musicians/bands can:

Capture Song Ideas -- Capture, store and recall song ideas in the cloud wherever and whenever.

Develop Songs -- Develop ideas into songs alone or with musicians from anywhere in the BandLab community. Collaborate on multi-track projects without worrying about the tools with BandLab's built-in Mix Editor.

Unprecedented Collaboration -- Invite other music creators and fans on the creative journey by sharing unreleased versions and "works in progress" for immediate feedback. In-app "Chat" feature enables users to easily communicate in real time with band members and meet new collaborators from around the world. New "Forking" feature allows musicians to create their own versions of other community members' songs and ideas for even more creative inspiration.

"BandLab is about capturing ideas, nurturing them with others and sharing them with the world," said Meng Ru Kuok, CEO and co-founder, BandLab. "Our platform enables musicians to be ready whenever inspiration strikes and to build on their ideas seamlessly using any connected device."

About BandLab
BandLab is a new cloud platform (iOS, Android mobile apps and Web) where musicians can capture their ideas and create/produce new songs with unprecedented levels of collaboration with other musicians and even fans anywhere in the world. Musicians/bands can sign up for FREE at bandlab.com or download the FREE BandLab mobile app from iTunes or Google Play.

LA Band Wins Honours At 20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition

Los Angeles based Folk/Pop band "Distant Cousins" win Overall Grand Prize at the 20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition with their song "Are You Ready (On Your Own)" The song is written by Ami Kozak, Dov Rosenblatt & Duvid Swirsky.

The song was featured in the Box office hit motion picture 'This Is Where I Leave You', starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey. This is the third consecutive year that the top winner has a song placed in a box office hit movie.

Last year's winning song by Justine and Kerris Dorsey was featured in the box office hit movie "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. The 2013 winner American Authors' song was placed in the hit movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine and Sean Penn. American Authors is a rock group from New York City. They hit #1 on the Billboard Charts after they win at the 2013 USA Songwriting Competition. The song has been certified double platinum.

Distant Cousins is a relatively new band but their songs have been featured in commercials such as German soft drink "Lift" and Macy's, on TV programs such as Graceland, Criminal Minds and Fly Away.

Big name collaborators such as songwriters/music artists Akon and Brian McKnight are the of two of the top three winners' co-writers of the USA Songwriting Competition. Steven Cooper (from Paris, France) and Hip-Hop star Akon collaborated on a song "Bigger" that won the First Prize in the Hip-Hop/Rap category and Overall Second Prize, making this the first time a Hip-Hop song made it to the Top Three of the USA Songwriting Competition. Arika Kane (from Stratford, CT) collaborated with R&B star Brian McKnight to win First Prize in the R&B category and Overall Third Prize with their song "It's There".

It is also the third consecutive year that all the finalists in the Country category are collaborations. Nashville based songwriters Henry Jack Williams, James Dean Hicks and Troy Johnson won first prize in the Country category with "Catch a Little Buzz".
Here is the winners' list:

OVERALL GRAND PRIZE
"Are You Ready (On Your Own)" by Ami Kozak, Dov Rosenblatt & Duvid Swirsky (Distant Cousins); Los Angeles, CA

OVERALL 2ND PRIZE
"Bigger (Feat. Akon)" by Steven Cooper & Akon; Paris, FRANCE

OVERALL 3RD PRIZE
"It's There" by Arika Kane & Brian McKnight; Stratford, CT

FIRST PRIZES IN EACH CATEGORY:

FOLK

"I Faked It" by Mo Kenney; CANADA

DANCE/ELECTRONICA
"Animal Again" by Lindsay Mac; Boston, MA

LYRICS ONLY
"Treasure Map" by Katie Stump & Jason Afable; Los Angeles, CA

HIP-HOP/RAP
"Bigger" by Steven Cooper & Akon; Paris, FRANCE

COUNTRY
"Catch A Little Buzz" by Henry Jack Williams, James Dean Hicks & Troy Johnson; Nashville, TN

WORLD
"Gnate Yone (How Many Times)" by Leni Stern; New York, NY

LATIN
"Como Si Fuera la Primera Vez" by Juan Camilo Borja; Valle del Cauca, COLOMBIA

NOVELTY/COMEDY
"If Hef Goes To Heaven" by Regie Hamm; Nashville, TN

CHILDREN
"The Balloon Song" by Dave Padrutt; USA

R&B
"It's There" by Arika Kane & Brian McKinight; Stratford, CT

INSTRUMENTAL
"Traveler" by Lawson Rollins; San Francisco, CA

JAZZ
"Promised Land" by Charlie Wood; Bedford, UK

GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL
"The Road Less Traveled" by Robert Jason & J Carter; Nashville, TN

ROCK/ALTERNATIVE

"Don't Let It Fall Through" by William Nutter; Puyallup, WA

POP
"Are You Ready (On Your Own)" by Ami Kozak, Dov Rosenblatt & Duvid Swirsky (Distant Cousins); Los Angeles, CA

20 HONOURABLE MENTION AWARDS:

"The Clover Fields" by Jaron Natoli; Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

"Halfway Out Of Love" by Jordan Higgins, Griffith Frank, Rayvon Owen & Samuel Plotkin; Los Angeles, CA

"Naked In the Night" by Christian Van Ham & A Rose Jackson; Bedford, NH

"Time Machine" by Leah Speckhard; New York, NY

"Supernova" by Jasmine Crowe; West Point, CA

"Right Where You Are" by Sean Verchick, Josiah Rosen & Sour Blossom; Los Angeles, CA

"Whatever Makes You Smile" by Marty Brown & Joel Brentlinger; Franklin, KY

"Looking For Rainbow" by Hiroyuki Kasori; Tokyo, JAPAN

"Somebody's Hero" by Monty Harper; Stillwater, OK

"My Mother Hates My Boyfriend" by Victoria Quartararo; Wyckoff, NJ

"Black & White" by Mariam Bibilouri; New York, NY

"11,000 Miles" by Michele McLaughlin; Salt Lake City, UT

"13th of March" by Helle Hansen; DENMARK

"All The Little Things" by Kaitlyn Jackson & Joe Sins; Norwich, NY

"Something More" by Jacob Hope; Leesburg, VA

"Bones Live Forever" by Megan Slankard, Danny Blau & Kyle Caprista; San Francisco, CA

"Graveyard" by Casey Weston & Courtney Cole; Naples, FL

"They All Fall Down (The Barn Song)" by Tyler Barham; Nashville, TN

"Gravity (Move Mountains, Turn Rivers Around)" by Mary Fahl; Easton, PA

"Tu Querer" by Santiago Vidal; Los Angeles, CA

About The USA Songwriting Competition
USA Songwriting Competition has a long history of having winners getting recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television. 2013 winner American Authors were signed to Island Records, and hit #1 on the Billboard Charts. The top two winners of 2011: Nenna Yvonne and Alexander Cardinale were signed to Interscope Records after their win. The 2007 winner Ari Gold hit Top 10 on the Billboard charts with his winning song. The 2005 Winner of the Country category had his winning song cut by Country Superstar Faith Hill. The 2005 winner of the Pop category was signed by Interscope Records; she went on to hit Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Album charts. Our 2008 winner appeared on David Letterman TV show and was signed to a record label.

In it's landmark year, the 21st Annual USA Songwriting Competition is currently accepting entries. Deadline to enter is May 27, 2016. For more information, visit:

http://www.songwriting.net/enter

Musicnotes Nears $60 Million In Royalties Paid

Musicnotes, Inc., the digital sheet music retailer and publisher, has announced that it will soon hit $60 million in royalties paid to music publishers and songwriters since the launch of www.musicnotes.com in late 1999. The company approximates a distribution sum of $10 million in 2015 alone. The $60 million figure takes into account compensation related to all sheet music downloads at Musicnotes.com, as well as royalties related to the www.songsterr.com guitar tab business.

Musicnotes has a market-leading database that allows for efficient payment of royalties to music publishers worldwide. A full one-third of 2015 royalties will relate to non-US sales, said Musicnotes Executive Chairman Tim Reiland.

"We are transparent and pride ourselves on timely royalty payments," Reiland said. "Our escrow account for accrued but unpaid royalties is well under 1%, a performance we are proud of and will stack up against anyone in the music business."

Musicnotes has established and maintained a longstanding commitment to supporting songwriters and music publishers around the globe, guaranteeing prompt compensation to the creative forces behind its 300,000-plus digital sheet music offerings.

"Revenue from sheet music, tablature and lyrics is becoming increasingly important to songwriters and music publishers," said National Music Publishers' Association President and CEO David Israelite. "There is tremendous value in songs, and it is important these rights are protected and monetised to their full extent."

The royalties announcement comes on the heels of the company's celebration of its 5 millionth digital sheet music customer.

"We are pleased to reach these two major milestones," said Kathleen Marsh, Musicnotes Co-Founder/CEO and President of the Music Publishers Association. "Our team is proud to spread the joy of music making worldwide while respecting copyright and rewarding songwriters and music creators."

Musicnotes sold its first download in late 1999 and will pass the 30 million download mark in 2016. Songsterr joined the Musicnotes family in 2011 and offers a popular guitar tab subscription service. Both Musicnotes and Songsterr offer mobile and web-based apps to complement their respective song catalogues and enhance the experience for musicians. Learning and playing great music is at the core of both business models.

RoboBeat Claims To Be "The World's Fastest Music Producer"
   
In 1999, So Fo Real Productions transformed its traditional music business to an online model giving artists, video producers, and media publishers an ecommerce website to buy and download instrumentals instantly for their music projects. Fast forward 16 years and So Fo Real has now produced "RoboBeat".

RoboBeat is a program that makes urban instrumentals, according to the preferences of the user. RoboBeat's tempo, genre, drums, key, etc. can be manipulated to produce a fully-mastered instrumental beat loop sounding professional and modern to today's style of music.

Music artists, videographers, marketers, and other media publishers who need music, can use RoboBeat to instantly create original instrumentals. Other music composers and producers can also use RoboBeat to create custom beat loops as foundations to their own compositions.

Go to http://sfrbeats.com/robobeat for samples and further information.

Canadian Supreme Court's Decision Re-Affirms Music Creators' Rights
   
SOCAN has welcomed a Supreme Court of Canada decision confirming that broadcast-incidental copies of musical works require a separate license under the Copyright Act of Canada.

"SOCAN is pleased with several key aspects of the decision released by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of CBC v. SODRAC, and we congratulate SODRAC for a job well done," said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. "The rights of music creators must be upheld as they strive to earn fair compensation for their work when it is copied to a new technology by a business. While it's disappointing that the court felt the need to remit the matter back to the Copyright Board for further consideration of the value of the music licenses in question, the Court clearly rejected CBC's attempt to challenge firmly entrenched legal principles on the scope of copyright protection."

The case, which was filed with the Supreme Court of Canada in 2014, concerned the decision of the Copyright Board of Canada for the collection of music royalties for the making of copies incidental to the use of new broadcast technologies. For example, as noted by the court, it is the practice of CBC to load the master copy of programs containing music into its digital content management system for internal use. When these copies are made to facilitate broadcasting, they are called "broadcast-incidental copies."

In its decision the court also confirmed that it was appropriate for the Copyright Board to grant an interim license in the circumstances at hand.

SOCAN was especially pleased with the conclusion expressed by the Supreme Court that, "While balance between user and right-holder interests and technological neutrality are central to Canadian copyright law, they cannot change the express terms of the Act." The Court also confirmed that the separation of synchronisation and broadcast-incidental licenses does not offend technological neutrality: "Recognising production and broadcasting as distinct activities validly subject to disaggregated licenses does not impose new layers of protections and fees based solely on technological change."

German Federal Court Of Justice Confirms: Blocking Of Piracy Websites Is Fundamentally Allowed
   
Germany's Federal Court of Justice has confirmed in a landmark ruling that access providers such as Deutsche Telekom can be obliged to make accessing infringing websites more difficult for customers by blocking access if the website operators and hosts are unidentifiable.

On November 26, 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe confirmed in case I ZR 3/14 that access providers like Deutsche Telekom have a duty to co-operate. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) clarified that access providers have a fundamental duty to co-operate in combating Internet piracy if infringement cannot be otherwise stopped. This is the case, for example, when piracy website operators and hosts cannot be identified.

"We applaud the Federal Court of Justice's ruling. This landmark decision was long overdue, and points the way forward for protecting the rights of authors in the digital music market," said GEMA CEO Dr. Harald Heker. "Finally we have legal clarity on the permissibility of blocking access to websites illegally offering copyrighted music works on a massive scale. This is a major step forward in the fight against Internet piracy."

In the case under review, GEMA sued Deutsche Telekom for refusing to block the access to the website 3dl.am offering the illegal downloading of copyrighted music works on a massive scale. This website - now defunct - gave access to a collection of hyperlinks and URLs leading to copyrighted musical works. GEMA has demanded before three court instances that Deutsche Telekom act to take appropriate measures to restrict access to such copyright infringing websites. The judges of the Federal Court of Justice rejected GEMA's appeal in its case against Deutsche Telekom on blocking the Internet piracy site 3dl.am on the grounds that GEMA had not at the time of filing taken all available measures to identify the site operator. The 3dl.am case itself was not however the foreground issue in the decision, as the site has been defunct for several years. Of key importance was rather the Court's decision that blocking access is fundamentally permissible as a last resort. GEMA is now awaiting the explanatory statement onthe ruling to review exactly which measures are necessary.

Today's Pop Stars Are Adding New Chestnuts to ASCAP's Holiday Song Canon

ASCAP have released their annual listing for 2015's 10 most-performed new, original ASCAP holiday songs, across terrestrial and satellite radio. All were first released in 2013 and 2014.

TOP 10 NEW ASCAP HOLIDAY SONG FAVOURITES OF 2015

1. "Underneath the Tree" - Kelly Clarkson (Kelly Clarkson / Greg Kurstin)
2.  "I'll Be Home" - Meghan Trainor (Meghan Trainor)
3.  "Wrapped in Red" - Kelly Clarkson (Kelly Clarkson / Ashley Arrison / Aben Eubanks / Shane McAnally)
4.  "This Holiday Night" - Margo Rey (Margo Rey / Barrett Yeretsian)
5.  "Santa Tell Me" - Ariana Grande (Ariana Grande / Ilya (STIM) / Savan Kotecha)
6.  "Christmas in Blue Chair Bay" - Kenny Chesney (Brett James / David Lee Murphy / Kenny Chesney)
7.  "Text Me Merry Christmas" - Straight No Chaser & Kristen Bell (David Javerbaum / Adam Schlesinger)
8.  "What God Wants for Christmas" - Darius Rucker (Frank Rogers / Darius Rucker / Monty Criswell)
9.  "Fa La La" - Elizabeth Chan (Elizabeth Chan)
10. "Blame It on the Mistletoe" - Kendall Schmidt (Joshua Kissiah Cumbee / Kendall Schmidt / Afshin Salmani)

Here's a list of the Top 20 most-performed evergreen recordings during 2015, including the newest entry in the list, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" co-written by ASCAP writer-producer Walter Afanasieff with Mariah Carey.

TOP 20 ASCAP HOLIDAY SONG CLASSICS OF 2015**

1. "Sleigh Ride" (Leroy Anderson / Mitchell Parish)
2. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" (Meredith Willson)
3. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (Fred Coots / Haven Gillespie)
4. "Winter Wonderland" (Felix Bernard / Richard B. Smith)
5. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" (Sammy Cahn / Jule Styne)
6. "Jingle Bell Rock" (Joseph Carleton Beal / James Ross Boothe)
7. "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" (Johnny Marks)
8. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (Johnny Marks)
9. "Do You Hear What I Hear" (Gloria Shayne Baker (SACEM) / Noel Regney (SACEM))
10."Frosty the Snowman" (Steve Nelson / Walter E. Rollins)
11."The Christmas Song" (Mel Tormé / Robert Wells)
12."Last Christmas" (George Michael)
13."All I Want for Christmas Is You" (Walter N. Afanasieff / Mariah Carey)
14."White Christmas" (Irving Berlin)
15."Little Drummer Boy" (Katherine Davis / Henry Onorati / Harry Simeone)
16."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Ralph Blane / Hugh Martin)
17."Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" (Johnny Marks)
18."Carol of the Bells" (Mykola Leontovych / Peter Wilhousky)
19."Home for the Holidays" (Robert Allen / Al Stillman)
20."Feliz Navidad" (José Feliciano)

*According to Mediabase's "Recurrents" holiday songs chart, tracking new recordings from 2014 and prior on terrestrial & satellite radio, as of 12/6/15

**Data compiled by rolling up multiple recordings on Mediabase's "Gold" holiday songs chart, tracking all Gold-selling recordings on terrestrial & satellite radio, as of 12/6/15

Music Makes A £4.1 Billion Contribution To The UK Economy

2014 proved to be a buoyant year for music with increased growth across the sector contributing to a staggering £4.1bn overall contribution to the UK's economy. The global recognition and success of artists like Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran helped recorded music exports rise 17% as British artists once-again dominated the global charts. Live music revenues were up by 17% year-on-year and total industry employment now stands in excess of 117,000.

Music's economic contribution to the UK in 2014:

2014 saw a £4.1bn contribution by the music industry to the UK economy in GVA (Gross Value Added).

" The sector once again outperformed the rest of the British economy, with growth of 5% year-on-year (From £3.8bn in 2013)

" 117,000 full time jobs provided within the music industry. The vast majority of which are individuals working in its creative heart. Composing, creating, recording and shaping the future of music. The musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists alone contributed £1.9bn to the economy.

" Music exports contributed £2.1bn in revenue. This is over half of the industry's GVA - well above the economy-wide ratio of around 30%.

" Export growth in the recorded sector was an impressive 17% in 2014, reflecting the UK's status as the second largest provider of repertoire in the world. This was bolstered by the global success of UK artists like Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, One Direction and Pink Floyd. In 2014 one in seven of all artist albums sold across the globe were by British artists, whilst five of the top ten selling albums were by UK acts.

" The live music sector saw the biggest area of growth in both GVA and employment in 2014. This is as a result of almost 26.7 million visits being made to UK live music events last year. In 2014 live music tourism contributed £3.1bn to the UK economy.

UK Music Chief Executive, Jo Dipple said: "2014 proved to be another hugely successful year for British music. The sector outperformed the rest of the UK economy and grew by 5% year-on-year. Music contributed a staggering £4.1bn to the UK economy, and exports generated £2.1bn. The UK's cultural footprint and soft power were driven by the global success of artists like Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Pink Floyd, Ellie Goulding, One Direction and Calvin Harris. Now in its third year, Measuring Music helps show the true weight of our commercial music sector and the scale of its global reach and impact. It also helps us articulate just how culturally important the British music industry and the 117,000 people it employs are to our nation. UK Music will continue to work with Government for the best possible future for every part of our varied and stunningly diverse industry."

UK Music Chairman, Andy Heath said: "The sector is growing again, and that is thanks to the recognition and adoption of new technology and the continued power of a vibrant live music sector. We continue to lead the world in song writing, composing, production, recordings and live performances. The UK is also the second largest provider of musical repertoire in the world thanks to our unique ecosystem that helps build and nurture both creative and commercial opportunities across all areas of the industry."

Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale MP said: "Our artists continue to dominate the global charts - and shows from the Royal Ballet and Rod Stewart to the LSO and Status Quo, sell out concerts across the globe. In fact, many people around the world first learn about this country through one of our bands. Our music industry alone contributes more than £4 billion a year to the UK economy. It creates wealth and jobs as well as providing entertainment to millions. UK Music's Measuring Music is extremely useful in describing the economic impact of commercial music. Its publication coincides with a roundtable meeting that I am hosting with a wide range of representatives from across the music industry to discuss how we can ensure that British music remains at the top of the charts. As Secretary of State, I want to do all I can to ensure that British music continues to thrive."

CDs Out As Car Design Becomes The New Frontier For Music Consumption

Car companies are embracing the digital music revolution at an accelerating rate, with latest figures suggesting 20 per cent of new vehicles sold in the UK this year will be delivered without CD players as auto manufacturers increasingly turn to connected technology.

And new research commissioned jointly by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and the BPI, which represents UK record labels, from specialist auto industry consultancy SBD, reveals that internet-based audio is likely to overtake CD in new cars by 2021.

But alongside the more familiar on-demand streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, Napster and SoundCloud, a complementary breed of web radio specialists are helping to lead the charge in in-car entertainment, including TuneIn, Aupeo and Aha.

Whilst the long-term trend points towards a fully digitally connected car, the compact disc continues to show its remarkable resilience. With new car sales typically representing less than 10 per cent of the cars on the road (2014: 8 per cent) and CD players set to be in more than half of new cars for at least five years, the compact disc is likely to remain part of our in-car listening experience for many years to come.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI and BRIT Awards, said: "Cars are the second most popular environment for listening to music after our homes, so are a key part of the music ecosystem. Manufacturers design their models a good four to five years before they hit the road, which in the past has seen in-car listening follow trends in music consumption rather than lead them, but rapid advances in automotive design suggests that in-car technology will play a far bigger role in shaping how we listen to music in the future."

Kim Bayley, Chief Executive ERA, said: "Just as in the home and via smartphone, digital services are pioneering new ways for music companies to reach the consumer and for music fans to access their favourite music. The car is in many ways the final frontier for digital music, but one of the most striking things about this research is quite how resilient the compact disc is proving to be."

The growing popularity of cloud-based music services in the car industry is closely linked with the rise of 'connected cars' - cars linked to the internet. Over two-thirds of carmakers operating in Europe today offer connected car options. In five year's time that is expected to rise to 93 per cent.

SBD consumer research suggests this is a trend driven by car buyers: nearly half of those questioned (48 per cent) said they would switch their preferred auto brand if it did not offer connected services.

Lee Colman, Head of Connected Car at SBD, commented "While high-end cars are increasingly being offered with their own embedded SIM cards which drive their audio services, mass market solutions are likely to rely on connecting to a mobile phone."

A significant driver of take-up is expected to be widespread adoption of the CarPlay (Apple) and Android Auto (Google) standards. But the relatively slow pace of change in the car industry is indicated by the fact that SBD estimates the industry is at least 10 years away from the universal adoption of smartphone integration in all new cars.

CD Baby Partners To Create Customized On-Demand Merchandise
   
Source3, the platform for licensing and distribution of 3D content, and CD Baby, the distributor of independent music, announced today a partnership to develop personalised merchandise for CD Baby's 400,000+ artists utilising 3D printing technology and Source3's licensing platform. The partnership will enable CD Baby artists to produce short runs of personalised merchandise without the substantial upfront financial investment typically required to launch merchandise campaigns. The program is the latest in a series of CD Baby efforts to expand revenue opportunities for artists.

"We are always looking for innovative ways to help our artists engage their fans and generate more revenue," says Tracy Maddux, CEO of CD Baby. "By working with Source3, we can explore unique customisable merchandise for our artist roster. That's a dream for artists and fans alike."

Because each 3D print begins with a digital file and each digital file can be algorithmically modified prior to printing production, 3D printing enables creators to produce on-demand branded products without having to expend huge advance sums producing inventory that may or may not sell.

"Source3's mission is to deliver the promise of 3D printing to content owners at scale," says Patrick Sullivan, Co-Founder and CEO of Source3. "Source3 provides artists with access to best-in-class digital merchandise designs as well as the leading and most cost-effective 3D printing manufacturers. We have always believed that independent artists would be early adopters of 3D technology and CD Baby was the obvious partner in reaching such artists."

About Source3
Source3 is a large-scale licensing and distribution platform for 3D content. Based in NYC, Source3 was founded by veterans of Google and 3D Systems. The team's experience includes the founding of RightsFlow, an enterprise licensing technology for the music industry acquired by YouTube in 2011. Source3 brings premium branded content to the 3D ecosystem. www.source3.io

About CD Baby
CD Baby is the largest digital distributor of independent music in the world. CD Baby distributes over 5 million tracks to dozens of music retailers including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Apple Music, and Spotify. From their Portland, OR headquarters, CD Baby warehouses and ships almost half a million independent CD titles to a customer base that spans the entire globe. The company also offers other services to musicians such as sync licensing, publishing administration, a Facebook music store, and web hosting through their sister company HostBaby.

Alliance For Women Film Composers Launches First Ever Online Female Composer Directory

The Alliance for Women Film Composers ("The AWFC") has launched an online directory of female film, television, video game and media composers on their official website

www.theawfc.com

"We at the Alliance are so proud to be able to share this incredible list of women composer's that will grow and grow. We are here, we are diverse, we are capable and we have major credits," states Laura Karpman, President of The AWFC.

From earlier experiences, Karpman was often told by studio and network executives that they did not know of any women composers, they thought only a few existed - thus the directory was born. Through the determination of Karpman and the founding members of The AWFC, they were able to build the organisation, alert supporters and launch the directory which receives new entries of women composers from well-established professionals like Nan Schwartz, Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman and Kathryn Bostic to newcomers fresh out of school.

2015 World Soundtrack Awards Winners And World Premiere Film Concerts

The World Soundtrack Academy has announced the 15th World Soundtrack Awards winners, closing the event of the 42nd Film Fest Gent at Kuipke in Ghent. Birdman composer Antonio Sanchez won "Best Original Film Score of The Year" for Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and "Discovery the Year" at the awards show and concert. While accepting his award, Antonio Sanchez first thanked the World Soundtrack Academy by saying, "it's great that THIS Academy recognised me!"; an inside joke since his Birdman score was deemed ineligible for the Academy Awards. The World Soundtrack Awards are presented by the World Soundtrack Academy represented by composers and film music executives from around the globe.

Other winners included Michael Giacchino for Composer of the Year (Discovery winner 2005), and Patrick Doyle for the Lifetime Achievement Award. The evening included the world premiere performances of the scores for Steve Jobs (Daniel Pemberton. last year's Discovery winner), Cinderella (Doyle) and The Walk (Silvestri). The second half of the evening was a tribute to Silvestri which included his scores to Forrest Gump, Mummy Returns, The Walk and and the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future. All honourees were in attendance except Giacchino who was in France for a concert performance of Ratatouille. The previous evening, there was a tribute concert to British Cinema with special guests Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love), Patrick Doyle (Much Ado About Nothing) and Craig Armstrong who premiered the world premiere of Far from the Madding Crowd. Both concert evening performances were by the Brussels Philharmonic under the direction of Dirk Brusse.

Best original song written directly for film was awarded to "The Apology Song" from The Book of Life (music by Gustavo Santaolalla, lyrics by Paul Williams, performed by Diego Luna). Peer Kleinschmidt won the Sabam award for best young composer while John Paesano's work took home the public choice award for The Maze Runner.

The complete list of winners is:

Best Composer of the Year
Michael Giacchino

Best Original Film Score of the Year
Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) by Antonio Sanchez

Best Original Song Written for a Film
"The Apology Song" from The Book of Life. Music by Gustavo Santaolalla, lyrics by Paul Williams, performed by Diego Luna

Discovery of the Year
Antonio Sanchez for Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Sabam Award for Best Young Composer
Peer Kleinschmidt

Public Choice Award
The Maze Runner by John Paesano

Lifetime Achievement Award
Patrick Doyle

Christmas Comes Early As SiriusXM Launches Its Holiday Music Channels

SiriusXM Canada, the audio entertainment company, today announced its extensive holiday music line-up featuring 10 commercial-free channels celebrating the festive season.

SiriusXM's holiday music channels will offer listeners a variety of traditional holiday songs, classical Christmas carols, country Christmas classics, contemporary holiday tunes, soul music, Hanukkah music, acoustic Christmas music, and Latin seasonal music.

SiriusXM's commercial-free holiday music channels will be available on multiple satellite radio channels, and via the SiriusXM App for smartphones and other connected devices and online at siriusxm.ca.

SiriusXM's holiday channel lineup features:

Holly (via satellite on channel 13)
Will feature contemporary holiday music as well as traditional favourites, including songs by Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Pentatonix, Mariah Carey, Josh Groban, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Idina Menzel.
From Monday, November 2 at 5:00 p.m. ET- Wednesday, December 30 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Holiday Traditions (via satellite on channel 18)
Will feature traditional holiday music from the '40s through the '60s by artists such as Andy Williams, Ray Conniff, Bing Crosby, and Nat "King" Cole.
From Monday, November 2 at 5:00 p.m. ET- Wednesday, December 30 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Holiday Pops (via satellite on channel 76)
Will feature classical Christmas carols and other holiday favourites by the greatest classical musicians of all-time, including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Boston Pops, Luciano Pavarotti, The New York Philharmonic, King's College Choir, and Thomas Hampson. Thursday, December 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET- Saturday, December 26 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Acoustic Christmas (via satellite on channel 14)
Will feature acoustic holiday songs from singer songwriters like Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, James Taylor, Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Tori Amos, Jewel, Jason Mraz, and many more.
Thursday, December 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET- Saturday, December 26 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Country Christmas (via satellite on channel 58)
Will feature a mix of country Christmas music from contemporary and classic country artists like Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, and Willie Nelson along with celebrity Guest DJs such as Kenny Rogers and LeAnn Rimes picking the music and sharing personal memories.
Monday, December 7 at 5:00 p.m. ET- Saturday, December 26 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Navidad (online-only on Ch. 785)
Monday, November 30 at 5 p.m. ET- Thursday, January 7 at 3 a.m. ET
Contemporary Latin holiday music and with traditional classics, including Jose Feliciano, Willie Colon, Gloria Estefan, Marco Antonio Solis, El Gran Combo, and Thalia.

Holiday Soul (via satellite on channel 49)
Will feature classic soul and Motown holiday music from the '60s and '70s as well as R&B from the '80s and '90s including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Dionne Warwick, The Four Tops, The Supremes, The O'Jays, James Brown, The Temptations, Lou Rawls, and Toni Braxton.
Friday, December 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET- Saturday, December 26 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Radio Hanukkah (via satellite on channel 68)
Will feature an extensive collection of Hanukkah-themed music, including contemporary, traditional and children's selections as well as daily reflections and prayers related to the holiday.
Sunday, December 6 at 12:00 p.m. ET- Tuesday, December 15 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Francophone holiday programming (via satellite channel 174)
Will offer a selection of francophone holiday favourites, including classic and contemporary festive hits from Canadian and international artists.
Thursday, December 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET- Saturday, December 26 at 3:00 a.m. ET

New Year's Nation (via satellite on channel 18 - available to subscribers with XM Select, Sirius Premier or Sirius All-Access plans)
Is the ultimate soundtrack to New Year's Eve parties around the country and will feature the biggest, upbeat party hits from genres across SiriusXM's music platform.
Thursday, December 31 at 12:00 p.m. ET- Saturday, January 2 at 3:00 a.m. ET

For more information about additional holiday programming, visit

www.siriusxm.ca/holidaychannels

Mac Davis Recognised as BMI Icon At 2015 BMI Country Awards

Broadcast Music, Inc, had presented its 2015 BMI Country Awards this evening, honouring the prolific songwriting career of BMI Icon Mac Davis, as well as the Country Songwriter, Song and Publisher of the Year. The 63rd annual event, which is the genre's oldest awards ceremony, also celebrated the songwriters and publishers of the most-performed country songs of the past year. BMI President and CEO Mike O'Neill hosted the ceremony at the company's headquarters in Nashville, along with Jody Williams, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville.

Davis, who was named this year's BMI Icon, joined an elite list of songwriters who have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers" and was honoured with a tribute from fellow musicians, Mac McAnally, Rascal Flatts, Luke Bryan, and Little Big Town. McAnally treated the audience to a moving rendition of "Texas in my Rearview Mirror." Rascal Flatts gave an electrifying performance of Davis's hit, "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me." The tunes Davis wrote for Elvis got the crowd moving as Luke Bryan sang the worldwide hit, "A Little Less Conversation" and Little Big Town sang the soulful classic "In the Ghetto." In his acceptance speech, the newly crowned Icon sang one of his newest songs, "That's Where Songs Come From."

Rodney Clawson was named Songwriter of the Year, with writing credits on seven of the most-performed songs of the past year, including Kenny Chesney's "American Kids" and "Til It's Gone," Lady Antebellum's "Bartender," Jason Aldean's "Burnin' It Down," Florida Georgia Line's "Dirt," Frankie Ballard's "Helluva Life," and Justin Moore's "Lettin' The Night Roll."

"Beat of the Music," written by performer Brett Eldredge with Ross Copperman and Heather Morgan, won the coveted Song of the Year award. Published by Sony/ATV, the track was one of the most-performed country songs of the year.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville continued their winning streak of more than a decade, again taking home the Publisher of the Year accolade. Responsible for 26 of the 50 most-performed songs of the year, Sony/ATV published megahits such as Miranda Lambert's "Automatic," Eric Church's "Give Me Back My Hometown," Luke Bryan's "I See You," and many more. During the ceremony, BMI also saluted the songwriters and publishers of the 50 most-performed country songs of the previous year. In addition, BMI songwriter and NSAI President Lee Thomas Miller was given the inaugural BMI Champion Award for his advocacy on behalf of music creators.

For a complete list of 2015 BMI Country Awards winners, please visit:

www.bmi.com/country

Sony/ATV Named BMI Country Publisher Of The Year

Sony/ATV has been crowned BMI's Country Publisher of the Year for an unprecedented 14th consecutive time.

In addition, "Beat Of The Music", co-written by the company's BMI writers Ross Copperman, Brett Eldredge and Heather Morgan and recorded by Brett Eldredge, was named Song of the Year and was one of 26 Sony/ATV songs that won awards at the annual event in Nashville. It was another high in a remarkable night for the company.

Additionally, on the previous night 12 Sony/ATV songs were honoured at the ASCAP Country Music Awards.

Warner/Chappell Songwriters Win Top Accolades At Swedish MPA Awards

Swedish music publishing organisation Musikförläggarna has announced the winners of its annual songwriting honours, the MPA Awards, with Warner/Chappell Music (WCM) songwriters taking home top accolades. WCM songwriters Tove Lo, Ilya Salmanzadeh, and Ali Payami received "Most Performed Song of the Year" for "Love Me Like You Do," performed by Ellie Goulding, while Tove Lo also took home "Breakthrough of the Year" and "International Success of the Year" alongside her co-writing partners Jakob Jerlstrom & Ludvig Soderberg of The Struts. Tove Lo was nominated in all six of the MPA Awards' pop music categories.

"The MPAs are among the most prestigious music awards in Sweden," said Lars Karlsson, Managing Director, Warner/Chappell Sweden. "Given there so few awarded each year, it's a real honour to receive one, and we're incredibly proud of Tove Lo, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Ali Payami, Jakob Jerlstrom, and Ludvig Soderberg for their achievements. They've done incredible work and it's clear this is only the beginning for these great talents."

"Our Swedish songwriters are crafting hits that travel around the world," said Jon Platt, CEO, Warner/Chappell Music. "That's no easy feat, and it's a pleasure to see their accomplishments recognised by our peers. Congratulations to all of the winners, as well as Lars Karlsson, Julius Petersson and the entire Warner/Chappell Sweden team."

University Of Westminster Opens A Flagship Recording Facility

Students studying music and audio production at the University of Westminster now have access to a new recording facility that incorporates some of the most technologically advanced pro audio equipment on the market today.

After careful planning and budgeting, the new facility on the University's Harrow campus finally opened in July and was put through rigorous testing over the summer prior to the start of the new academic year.

Alan Fisher, previously acting Dean and Head of the University's Music Department, and now consultant, says: "Our philosophy is to only introduce students to equipment that is industry standard. We realised some years ago that we needed an acoustically accurate recording studio that was of sufficient size to accommodate a large group of students. It has taken five years to accomplish our mission, but the University of Westminster now has a facility that is easily on a par with commercial recording studios, enabling us to educate students the techniques and skills they need to progress in the real world."

The University's new facility includes a large control room can easily accommodate up to 25 students. This is equipped with an SSL Duality console and the first pair of PMC's new QB1A's main monitors to be installed in Europe in addition to a 5.1 surround sound monitoring system featuring PMC twotwo.8's.

Adjacent to the control room is an equally large live room with variable acoustics. This also has PMC twotwo.8 monitors in a 5.1 configuration, so that it can be used by students studying audio techniques for television, film and computer games. The control room is permanently linked to the University's existing live spaces, including its large performance venue, so that concerts and performances can be recorded.

The entire facility was designed by Peter Keeling of Studio People and constructed by his team alongside Langdale Technical Consulting who looked after the technical install.

Langdale Director Bill Ward said: "This was a big install with an SSL Control Room housing the 48-channel Duality console, a machine room, live area, vocal/drum booth, three rehearsal rooms, two performance rooms, a fully equipped live venue and, just for good measure, two further spaces allocated for future use and expansion.

"It all equates to a lot of rooms that all need interconnecting, over some huge distances and with a complex variety of cabling and infrastructure options. There was only ever going to be one shot at getting all the cabling installed."

UK Labels And Songwriters Receive Funding Boost

Thirteen successful music companies, including the management company behind the winner of the BBC Introducing Award - Catfish and the Bottlemen - and three songwriters are to receive funding to significantly boost their overseas touring and songwriting collaborations.

The Music Export Growth Scheme - delivered by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the music industry trade body, BPI - has granted a further £200,000 to UK-based independent music companies to provide support to develop their businesses, artists and projects in international markets such as the USA, Asia and elsewhere in Europe.

Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Maude said: "The UK has a vibrant creative sector that generated over £17 billion in exports during 2013.

"The Music Export Growth Scheme has helped a new generation of British musical talent gain international recognition and boost the sales of UK music abroad; creating jobs and growth for the UK economy. I wish the latest recipients well as they grow their fan base abroad."

This seventh round of funding brings the total monies distributed by the Scheme to £1.6 million to more than 100 companies.

Music is a vital component of the UK's thriving creative sector, the fastest-growing sector in the UK. The most recent figures available state that the music industry contributed £3.8 billion to the UK economy in 2013 with record companies accounting for more than one sixth of the overall total.

The successful recipients of funding will use the money to support the careers of the following music acts and writers:

* Catfish and the Bottlemen (British band originally from North Wales)

* Crystal Fighters (formed in London)

* Denai Moore (from Spanish Town, Jamaica)

* Ephemerals (from London)

* Songwriters Greig Watts (Elstead), Georgie Dennis (Norwich) and Christopher Wortley (Southampton)

* Kero Kero Bonito (from London)

* Lower Than Atlantis (from Watford)

* Martin Harley (from Hertfordshire)

* Max McElligot (from London)

* Moulettes (originally from Glastonbury, relocated to Brighton)

* Petite Noir (from London and Cape Town)

* The Bohicas (Essex)

* The Twilight Sad (Glasgow)

* Turbowolf (from Bristol)

The Music Export Growth Scheme is designed to support independent music companies in the industry, who accounted for almost a quarter (23.4%) of sales in the UK record industry last year.

BPI and BRIT Awards Chief Executive, Geoff Taylor, who was instrumental in negotiating the Scheme, said: "The Scheme has gained real traction with the independent music community, supporting award-winning acts and launching artists in new markets overseas. It has been a success story for the British Government, British music companies and British artists."

The monies will be matched by the music companies to pay for items such as overseas marketing and promotion, session musicians, tour support, booking agents and other expert services in the territories the artists hope to tour. The songwriters will travel overseas to co-write with international writers which will deliver great revenue streams back to the UK through publishing and sync deals.

Commenting on the Music Export Growth Scheme, funding recipient, Martin Harley, added "As an independent and emerging artist it can be daunting to work on your development in a new region. The BPI and UKTI's support to promote the new album through marketing and touring is massive."

NMC Announces Partnership With Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame

The National Music Centre (NMC) has announced a partnership that will see the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) find a permanent home in Calgary within Studio Bell.

Canadian songwriters, such as Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot, Robert Charlebois and Gilles Vigneault, have penned some of the most iconic songs in popular music history, celebrated internationally for their inspiring words and music.

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame will join the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collection, on level five of Studio Bell, a floor entirely dedicated to celebrating and recognizing Canadian music creators and artists who have left their mark on this country and beyond.

"Canadian songwriters have made an incredible contribution to music at home and around the world," said CSHF Manager Lisa Gaglia. "We are thrilled that our inductees will continue to be honoured and have their legacy preserved through exhibitions at the National Music Centre."

NMC is partnering with these three Canadian music organizations to highlight the contributions of their inductees, and examine the importance of these organizations in recognizing the achievements of musicians, songwriters, and other influential players in Canadian music.

"We are thankful to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame for this exciting partnership that will allow us to recognize the amazing legacy of Canadian songwriters," said Adam Fox, Director of Programs for NMC. "Finally, Canada will have a physical place to visit these three important national halls of fame, and through our programming we can celebrate our pioneers and icons."

Visitors will be able to visit the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collection, and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame when Studio Bell opens to the public next summer.

Songwriters Unite To Support Efforts To Bring Awareness To Issues Affecting Their Rights
     
Following legendary songwriter Steven Tyler's very public crusade with Donald Trump over the use of his song "Dream On" at several campaign events, and the op-ed by Tyler published today on the Huffington Post, the Songwriters of North America (SONA) posted a blog on their website in full support of Tyler's efforts to bring a needed awareness to issues affecting songwriters in the United States. Tyler's efforts come at a pivotal time for songwriters in America as 75% of their income is heavily regulated by the government through the consent decrees enacted over ASCAP and BMI by the Department of Justice and other unnecessary government regulations.

SONA was co-founded by Michelle Lewis (Cher, Little Mix, currently a full-time composer for Disney) and Kay Hanley (founding member of Letters to Cleo, currently a full-time composer for Disney). Other prominent members include Kara DioGuardi (Pink, Jason Derulo, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood), Anne Preven (Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Madonna), Claudia Brant (Latin GRAMMY Award winner, three-time SESAC Latina Songwriter of the Year, songs for Il Divo, Ricky Martin, Santana, Paulina Rubio), Victoria Horn (Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Enrique Iglesias), Lindy Robbins (Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, Hot Chelle Rae), Shelly Peiken (Christina Aguilera, Meredith Brooks, Brandy), Pam Sheyne (Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Corinne Bailey Rae), Danielle Brisebois (Natasha Bedingfield, member of New Radicals), Michael "Smidi" Smith (Miley Cyrus, Giorgio Moroder, Pussycat Dolls, Ke$ha), Jack Kugell (Martina McBride, Pussycat Dolls), and Andrew Rollins (composer for TV show "Nashville").

"We would like to thank a fellow songwriter, Steven Tyler, for shining a light on issues affecting songwriters' rights," says Michelle Lewis, Executive Director of Songwriters of North America (SONA). "His cease and desist letter to Donald Trump was not a political issue, rather an issue of vital importance to us songwriters which is the use of our music in political campaigns. We do not have the right to approve these uses because of overbearing government regulations. We hope this momentum from Steven's efforts is carried forward to the broader discussion about the consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI and other outdated laws that dictate how our music is to be used and how we are paid. We must create mutually beneficial solutions for both songwriters and the digital community so we can effectively co-exist and thrive in the new music business."

Added David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), "Steven Tyler is standing up for the rights of all American songwriters. Songs have value. And the use of those songs should be under the control of those who create them. It is only because of outdated consent decrees imposed during World War II that American songwriters don't have control of their songs. That needs to change."

John Lennon Bus To Inspire The Next Generation Of Creators
 
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus (Lennon Bus), the non-profit mobile Pro-Audio, Video and Photo production studio providing hands-on experiences for students since 1998, today announced Canon U.S.A., Inc. as the Presenting Sponsor of the next Tour. The announcement is part of the 2015 Lennon Bus Tour, which marks the 75th anniversary of John Lennon's birth.

Canon will be integrated into the upcoming Lennon Bus tour through educational and interactive programs including tours of the state-of-the-art studio, and immersive production sessions that provide students the opportunity to spend an entire day creating original music, videos, photos, short films, and documentaries. As the Presenting Sponsor, Canon will be the exclusive provider of digital cameras, lenses, high definition PTZ cameras, photo all-in-one inkjet printers and projectors.

The hands-on initiative provides tours of the Bus at each stop, and a chance to try out the Canon EOS Rebel T6i DSLR Camera while creating photos and videos around the Lennon Bus jam tent featuring the latest drums, guitars, microphones and keyboards. For production sessions, each student will be utilizing a broad range of consumer and professional Canon products including the Canon EOS C100 Digital Video Camera, EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera, and EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera, in combination with a diverse complement of Canon EF, EF-S and Cine lenses, within the production of the day's project.

As an advocate for arts and digital media education, the Lennon Bus works with educators and school administrators across the U.S. to underscore the importance of these subject areas within the core curriculum. The Lennon Bus travels across the U.S. year-round, providing free tours and workshops at schools, retailers, festivals, on tours with headlining artists, and at major industry conferences.

"We are proud to partner with such an amazing non-profit like the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, where young creative minds throughout the United States can access innovative technologies and specialized education they may not have otherwise," said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "At Canon, we strive to develop and bring to market products that can have a direct impact on future generations and we look forward to enhancing the user experiences along the way as young students capture, create and share their experiences at every Lennon Bus stop on the tour."

"Partnering with Canon is directly in line with our mission of inspiring future generations by giving students across the country a comprehensive look into the latest in digital media, and broadcast technologies," said Brian Rothschild, Executive Director of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. "We are committed to demonstrating the power of technology and exemplifying our devotion to education through working with like-minded and innovative organizations like Canon who provide the opportunity for people to acquire new skills, and explore their creativity."

Australian Export Earnings Surge As Music Royalty Collections Grow

Ausrralia's largest and oldest copyright collecting society, APRA AMCOS, has eported a record figure for music royalty collections - A$300 million - and noted a 26% increase in royalties received from foreign sources for Australasian music.

APRA AMCOS' annual Year in Review website, outlines export revenue data highlighting that the UK and US continue to be our most ardent fans, with Americans preferring to consume our music via radio and the British via television. These two markets again showed a huge appetite for the talents of APRA AMCOS members' works, together generating two out of every five dollars of total overseas royalty income for the 2014/2015 financial year. Sia Furler, Five Seconds of Summer, Lorde and Vance Joy have enjoyed unprecedented success in these markets.

Denmark, with its population of just six million, brought more than $2 million into export income through Australian television and its programming of Australian music.

APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Officer, Brett Cottle, AM said, "After almost 90 years, the core business of APRA AMCOS remains unchanged: to grant licences for the use of music, collect the related royalties and distribute those royalties as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are a business partner to both the creators and the users of music."

"APRA members' performing right export earnings during the 2015 financial year, increased an extraordinary 26% to $34 million. This is an outstanding achievement and a direct reflection of the rapid internationalisation of our business. To our members, Nashville is becoming as important as Melbourne, London is becoming as important as Auckland. This phenomenon will dramatically alter the services to our members in the years ahead. Investment in technology has been a major priority to enable us to manage huge volumes of data, expand our business across the globe and better service our members.

"Infringement - and its inherent denial of rightful income to our members - remains an issue in 2015 which we are managing. The Australian Government, to its credit, introduced so-called "site blocking" provisions into the Copyright Act enabling copyright owners to apply to the Court for orders blocking access to illegal or 'pirate' sites and we were in support of that.

"Transformation of the digital market from downloads to subscription-streaming services was telling. Twelve months ago, nearly half of digital licensing revenue came from downloads. This financial year, this has dropped to one-third and in the FY16 this is likely to be one-quarter of revenue. Streaming service revenue has well and truly taken over.

"Perhaps the biggest news on the digital front was the launch of Apple Music and we were pleased that our licensing arrangements were completed with Apple shortly before the close of the financial year.

"Video on demand has over the past year become a major factor in the film and TV market in Australia and New Zealand, and will undoubtedly be an increasingly important source of growth in music performing royalties in the years ahead," said Brett Cottle.

Pandora All-Time Royalties Surpass $1.5 Billion

Pandora, the internet radio service, has announced that it has generated more than $1.5 billion in all-time royalties for music makers, marking a major milestone for ad-supported music streaming. Pandora holds an important leadership role in the music industry, with nearly 80 million active monthly users tuning in to its service for more than 20 hours every month on average.

"We are very passionate about our mission to help artists find their audience and help listeners find their music - music they love, that moves them, that they personally connect with - and we are achieving significant momentum," said Brian McAndrews, chairman and CEO of Pandora. "It took us nearly nine years to generate the first billion dollars in royalties, and just over a year to increase that total by 50 percent. We are partnering with music makers to fully tap into Pandora's people, data and technology to unleash the music industry's full potential. I am proud of our enormous royalty contributions, and our progress on building on a broader vision for the future of music."

Pandora achieved this milestone due to joint revenue streams flowing from ad-supported and paying subscribers. The combined income from both sources enabled Pandora to monetize its advertising for the benefit of music makers, while additionally drawing monthly payments from listeners who prefer an ad-free experience. This ability to drive royalties to artists from subscription as well as previously untapped advertising revenue streams is integral to Pandora's mission to unleash the power of music and foster growth for the music industry.

In addition to significant royalty payments, Pandora has launched a series of initiatives aimed at transforming how fans and musicians connect. Pandora provides transparency in listener demographics and music performance through the Insights dashboard on the Artist Marketing Platform alongside big-data analytics powered by Next Big Sound. Artists Audio Messaging and promotional partnerships for concert tours and new music releases are all part of Pandora's mission to become an indispensable partner to the music industry while delivering its unparalleled personalized music discovery experience to listeners.

YouTube And Wikipedia Combined In Music Research Tool
   
A new web app has been released which enables users to browse, watch and listen to YouTube videos while reading the related Wikipedia content at the same time. This type of simultaneous YouTube and Wikipedia browsing has not previously been available anywhere on the internet and the result is a powerful, unique and entirely free music research tool.

Music Research Engine was developed by Oliver Braithwaite, Director of Stars & Catz Music Teacher Network, to enable music students to research the context and history of the music and artists they're studying in a more convenient, complete and engaging way than was previously possible. It has been released as part of a free suite of music tools, resources and downloads available on each of the company's websites.

"I didn't know that this would be a world-first when I started developing the tool," said Oliver, "but as the project progressed, I searched Google for 'YouTube and Wikipedia combined' along with other search terms and realised that we'd come up with something that hadn't been done before. I was quite surprised, to be honest, because it seems like such an obvious fit."

Here's how the tool works: The user enters a search for a song, composer or anything else music related. The search results include up to 150 YouTube videos which can be browsed and viewed without navigating away from the search results, along with the matching article from Wikipedia. From there the user may browse more deeply into the subject by clicking on the links contained within the Wikipedia article which, rather than leading off to Wikipedia, launch further results within Music Research Engine.

"A student must be familiar with a song in order to feel engaged in learning it," said Oliver. "On top of that, knowing about the personalities and history behind the music can make the difference between the student staying interested and inspired or losing interest, so it's vitally important. That's why we created Music Research Engine."

Along with Music Research Engine, the free suite includes piano, guitar and ukulele chord dictionary tools, backing tracks for improvisation, free eBooks, printable music sheets, a metronome, over 240 inspirational music quote images and more. The entire suite is desktop, mobile and tablet friendly.

About Oliver Braithwaite
Oliver Braithwaite is the Founder and Director of Stars & Catz Music Teacher Network and developer of Music Research Engine. He founded Stars & Catz in 2010 after several years as a private music teacher.

Stars & Catz currently operates in four countries, the UK, Australia, Canada and USA. Music Research Engine and the entire suite of free music tools, resources and downloads are available from the home page of each of the four Stars & Catz sites:

UK Music Response To Mayor Of London's Music Taskforce Report

The Mayor of London's Music Venues Taskforce, which includes representatives from UK Music, has produced a new report, London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan. The report indicates that since 2007 London has lost 35% of its grassroots music venues and that the sector could be under further threat unless certain recommendations, such as the introduction of the "agent-of change" principle and a review of business rate for venues, are not implemented.

UK Music organised a roundtable meeting with representatives of the live sector in London and the GLA at the beginning of 2015. Out of this meeing, the Mayor of London's Music Venues Taskforce was formed.

Commenting on the report, UK Music CEO Jo Dipple said "UK Music, the umbrella body for the commercial music industry, has been an enthusiastic member of the Mayor of London's Music Venue Taskforce which was formed to address the decline in grassroots music venues in the capital. We look forward to considering the report further with our members.

Grassroots music venues act as important hubs for local music talent and offer a means by which musicians and performers can cultivate and nurture their creativity.

Whilst music venues in the capital have been closing at an alarming rate in recent years, it is important to remember that this is not solely a London problem. Similar problems are faced in the rest of the country. UK Music is keen to work with venues to improve guidance provided on issues, such as developing a planning toolkit.

UK Music will work with local authorities across the land on the issues raised in this report, and will increase our lobbying efforts at a national level where central government has a role to abate venue closures."

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