- The letter was also signed by Diplo, Gwen Stefan, Tim McGraw and others
- Estimations state that $146m in income has already been lost (that number is expected to rise)
As each industry scrambles to find solutions to get through this uncharted territory caused by the spread of coronavirus, a group of prominent musicians are leaning on the United States government to lend support to help the music industry survive this epidemic. Today, the Music Artist Coalition (founded by industry veterans Irving Azoff and Dave Matthews) sent a letter addressed to the Trump Administration, asking for some sort of relief for the “hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the live music business“. The letter was co-signed by a wide range of successful mainstream artists, including Lizzo, Lionel Richie, Gwen Stefani, Anderson .Paak, Tim McGraw, Diplo – and countless others.
The mandatory cancelations of major live music events as a result of government restrictions has not only seen events like Coachella and SXSW rescheduled or canceled – but it has also had significant impact on the wider touring industry as a whole. Ranging from musicians, to dancers, background vocalists, audio / visual / stage production professionals, tour managers and beyond – there are countless people who solely depend on the live music industry to earn a normal living. To make a comparison of just how crucial the world of live music is – 2018 revenues for recorded music stood at $19.1bn, whereas live revenues brought in $27bn that same year. Much of that income goes to supporting those above-mentioned individuals who will essentially be out of work until this pandemic dies down.
This was reiterated in the letter to congress, stating: Concerts are not just about the headliner”.
“The foundation of live music are the touring musicians, truck and bus drivers, stagehands, production teams, crews who handle lighting, sound, equipment, security, and so many others, who do not have any option for work as there are no live events for the foreseeable future.” it wrote.
They go on to mention that the people in the music are “one of the groups most in need of government assistance” as they have had their business removed “without warning or a safety net“.
Whilst the U.S. government has yet to respond to this request, a number of music organizations and companies have offered financial relief to the music community – including The Recording Academy and Sound Royalties.
Internationally, Australian website ilostmygig.net.au has been setup exclusively for those across Australia and New Zealand who have and will be out of a salary due to touring cancelations. The website claims that $146m in income has been already lost – affecting over 470,000 people.
Trump has stated that there are plans to offer financial relief to affected Americans, but is yet to provide any details on a plan to distribute funds – or confirm who exactly they’ll be going to.
You can read the letter to the U.S. congress in full below:
Dear President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin,
The Music Artists Coalition (MAC) appreciates the bipartisan efforts underway to address the severe economic impact on millions of Americans because of COVID-19. As economic relief efforts are finalized, MAC believes it is essential that support is reserved for the hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the live music business.
In compliance with CDC guidelines, all concerts and events have been canceled indefinitely. As a result, the concert business is as drastically and negatively impacted as the airlines and the hospitality industries, despite a lack of media attention. The men and women who work tirelessly to bring live music to fans are unable to work from home and have no alternative means of supporting themselves and their families.
The cancellation of concerts, tours, and festivals means that the musicians and crews who make every concert a special experience for music fans are now out of a job and have no other way to pay rent or put food on the table. Concerts are not just about the headliner: the foundation of live music are the touring musicians, truck and bus drivers, stagehands, production teams, crews who handle lighting, sound, equipment, security, and so many others do not have any option for work as there are no live events for the foreseeable future.
The cancellation of concerts, festivals, and tours has brought an abrupt end to income for hundreds of thousands of people. For these dedicated individuals, it is not an unwillingness, but an inability, to work, when all concerts, tours, and recording sessions are canceled or indefinitely postponed. While some concerts will be rescheduled, it is inevitable that many will be canceled and unable to find a venue in which to perform when this crisis has passed.
The music industry is facing an existential threat that is unprecedented – the touring business as we know it has disappeared without warning and without a safety net for hundreds of thousands of people. MAC believes the impacted people in the music industry are one of the groups most in need of government assistance.
Thank you for leading the fight to ensure Americans are able to pay their bills and survive these trying times.
Amy Lee (Evanescence)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Brandon Robert Young
Cold War Kids
J Ross Parrelli
Jerrod Bettis (p/k/a “Skins”)
Jonny Pierce (p/k/a “The Drums”)
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
Leslie Odom Jr
Little Big Town
Morgan Kibby/White Sea
Rory Andrew (p/k/a “Wynne”)
Stone Temple Pilots
The Doobie Brothers
The White Buffalo
Walk Off The Earth
UK Albums Chart Data: Kylie Minogue Hits No. 1 From Vinyl Alone
Australia pop icon Kylie Minogue recently scores her ninth UK No. 1 album with ‘Tension’, according to chart data.
- Minogue shifted over 19k on vinyl, outselling the Number 2 album’s total combined sales.
Australian singer Kylie Minogue’s latest record moved 53,200 units to clinch the top spot on last week’s UK Albums Chart. ‘Tension’ marks Minogue’s first chart-topping album since 2020’s ‘DISCO’. The album’s title track and lead single ‘Padam Padam’ also cracked the UK Top 10 in recent months.
With nine UK No. 1 albums now to her credit, Minogue now joins elite company, with only Taylor Swift and Madonna now having more chart-topping albums as female solo artists (10 and 12 respectively). Additionally, Kylie is now tied with Coldplay and Bob Dylan, who also each boast nine UK No. 1 albums.
Breaking down to individual formats, ‘Tension’ moved 19,200 vinyl units, which allowed it to concurrently top the Official Vinyl Album Chart – demonstrating a generational love for physical amongst boomers. Impressively, Minogue’s vinyl sales alone not only outsold her streaming equivalent units, but it also would’ve still landed her the No. 1 spot even if the album did not sell on any other format.
Elsewhere on last week’s chart, pop phenom Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album ‘GUTS’, held firm at Number 2 in its third week, selling 16,600 copies. Rodrigo notably co-penned every one of the 11 tracks.
Rounding out the Top 3 is The Weeknd’s greatest hits compilation ‘The Highlights’. Now at 138 weeks on the chart, the album continues selling – which we can assume is partly in thanks to the success of singles like ‘Blinding Lights’, ‘Save Your Tears’, as well as his current world stadium tour.
Making waves with a No. 4 debut is the collaborative drill project ‘STRENGTH TO STRENGTH’ by Headie One & K-Trap. The album moved 6,300 units last week, becoming Headie One’s third Top 5 entry. For K-Trap, it marks a new personal best on the UK Albums chart.
US rapper Doja Cat claimed No. 5 with her fourth studio set ‘Scarlet’. Propelled by lead single ‘Attention’, the album kicked off with 6,100 total sales. Now with her third Top 5 LP, Doja Cat affirms her pop dominance on both sides of the pond.
Pop juggernaut Taylor Swift also claims two titles inside the Top 10 – ‘Midnights’ at Number Eight and ‘1989’ at No. 10, continuing to rack up notable sales week after week.
See below for a full sales breakdown of the UK’s Top 10, for the week ending Thursday, September 28th, 2023.
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JKBX Allows You To Invest in Beyoncé’s Catalog
Music tech startup JKBX seeks to revolution music investment by allowing everyday fans to invest in their favorite songs.
- JKBX, Founded by Scott Cohen, Seeks to Revolutionize Music Investment.
The emergence of song royalty trading platform JKBX has been creating quite the buzz in the music biz over the past year. After announcing plans to give fans and investors the chance to own royalty shares in hit songs, the company officially launched its platform this week.
Founded by former Warner Music Group Chief Innovator Officer Scott Cohen, JKBX is aiming to shake up the industry by bringing high-value songs to retail investors and music lovers. The platform went live on Tuesday, September 12, allowing users to reserve shares in smash hits ahead of their public listing.
While you can’t buy just yet, reserving secures you a spot to purchase royalty shares ahead of JKBX’s full approval from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company will need the green light from the SEC before it can start officially selling stakes in these songs.
JKBX has already listed dozens of chart-toppers written by superstars such as Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, the Jonas Brothers and more. Each listing shows you stats like price per share, estimated royalty yield, streaming numbers, and revenue.
For example, one share in the composition for “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers is currently priced at $28.41, whereas a share in the sound recording of the song (the master), is priced at $28.54 per share.
For anyone wondering how Ryan Tedder is able to offer shares in the master recording of the song through JKBX, let us explain. While Tedder does not actually own the ‘master’ (the song is owned by vanity label Jonas Brothers Recording, exclusively licensed by Republic Records), Tedder does have royalty points on the song as a producer, which is what he is offering on JKBX.
Cohen, who co-founded Sony Music’s The Orchard before joining Warner, says JKBX was created to give everyone access to owning successful songs. In a press release, the company says they are “bringing high-value songs to millions of retail investors and music fans alike”. “It’s an opportunity for people to invest in music they know and love.”
While JKBX awaits SEC approval, Cohen remains optimistic they will give them the go ahead. He stated, “We’re in the process of seeking regulated approval so customers can start purchasing royalty shares as a regulated offering.”
But how likely is it that the SEC grants approval to this disruptive and unprecedented business model? Forbes Contributor Bill Hochberg questioned whether or not exchange-traded song royalties will be a good investment.
In additon to its main platform, JKBX has also launched a Creator Program to pay artists whose songs get listed. The company will share revenue with them, even if they don’t own rights. Cohen defended the move, saying “When a songwriter or producer sells the rights to their work, they do not need to get the consent from the original recording artists. We wanted to defy this industry norm and actively go out of our way to make the recording artists aware of the listings on our marketplace.”
The platform’s affiliate Jukebox Hits Vol. 1 will work with rightsholders to determine which songs to list. They’ll then purchase a cut of the royalty streams and then sell pieces to investors on JKBX. So while you won’t actually own the rights, you’ll get paid as the songs earn royalties.
JKBX believes this new way of investing in music will transform the industry. Everyday people now have a chance to profit off the success of their favorite songs. As Cohen put it, “We’re a small company with big ambitions”. Time will tell if the SEC agrees to let their vision become a reality.