Episode 6 (ft. Alex Bonavia): Artists are now launching pads for songs, not the other way around

WAVO's Head of Business Development Alex Bonavia joins this episode to discuss the new marketing paradigm in the music industry that treats artists as de facto brands and media properties, independent of any song or album cycles. What are the implications of being able to "subscribe" to an artist long-term, instead of just streaming their music? Why does seemingly every music company with some kind of brand cachet want to start a joint venture with a record label? Why are creative directors for artists more in-demand today than ever? And how can data analytics help artists and their teams land better deals and make smarter decisions in this new landscape? After answering these and many other questions, we discuss some of the buzziest recent industry news—including Sylvia Rhone's promotion to Chairman/CEO of Epic Records, and reflections on Beyoncé's Netflix doc "Homecoming" and her decision to make "Lemonade" available beyond Tidal.

INTRO/OUTRO MUSIC:
"Muted Voices" by Landslide
Spotify | Apple Music
Licensed from Lickd—listen and license this track here
License ID: 4d328232aa4a4fb1845b1b8097aaaf8e

FEATURED GUEST:
Alex Bonavia
Head of Business Development at Wavo
Twitter: @A_Bonavia

SHOW NOTES:

[1:40] Interview with Alex begins

[4:54] Adam Alpert on The Chainsmokers' monthly release strategy in 2017: "The strategy works very well for streaming services, because they are getting regular content, and playlist editors can help you narrate that story month to month."
https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/7718105/chainsmokers-manager-adam-alpert-interview-2017

[5:25] The newly-reunited Jonas Brothers released their two latest singles, "Sucker" and "Cool," within 40 days of each other:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnAmeh0-E-U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_JbZvHc92U

[9:15] An example of a label exec touting the power of building "career artists":
https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8094078/2-single-release-strategy-music-industry

[12:55] I wrote for Billboard last year about whether labels should be concerned about Spotify's churn rate:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8258220/music-industry-spotify-churn-rate-inactive-subscribers

[13:38] Splice raised a $57.5M Series C round in March 2019:
https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/20/splice-sample-marketplace/

[15:05] Alex's tweet about the rise of JVs:
https://twitter.com/A_Bonavia/status/1105205494170480646

[15:52] Managers like Jake Udell and Scooter Braun are starting their own labels in-house:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8488954/artist-managers-launching-record-labels

[17:09] ODESZA's label Foreign Family Collective:
https://www.foreignfamilycollective.com

[17:45] RÜFÜS DU SOL launched their own label Rose Avenue in October 2018, which has a distribution deal with Warner Bros. imprint Reprise Records, according to metadata from their latest album on Spotify:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/8478125/rufus-du-sol-rose-ave-label-cassian-lafayette

[20:50] W Hotels launched its singles label in October 2018, and has collaborated with the likes of Amber Mark and Perfume Genius:
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/w-hotels-is-record-label-now-too-732641/

[21:03] Red Bull Music Academy will be shutting down later in 2019:
https://pitchfork.com/news/red-bull-music-academy-and-radio-to-shut-down/

[22:08] Yes, KFC's Colonel Sanders did have a slot at the Ultra Music Festival:
https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/03/ultra-kfc/

[22:35] Mountain Dew's media & entertainment venture with Complex Media, Green Label, once housed the record label Green Label Sound, which collaborated with artists like Jay Electronica and The Cool Kids. The venture at large seems to be inactive today:
http://greenlabel.com

[22:53] More context on the multifaceted Kitsuné brand, co-founded by former Daft Punk manager Gildas Loaëc:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8236269/kitsune-x-nba-new-standard-indie-label-releases-fashion-sports

[26:25] ALL the JVs!!
- Boominati Worldwide, Metro Boomin's JV with Universal Music's Republic Records: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/7849328/metro-boomin-boominati-worldwide-label-bryson-tiller-tour
- Visionary Records, Visionary Music Group's JV with Sony: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ogdenpayne/2019/01/24/music-entrepreneur-chris-zarou-launches-new-sony-backed-imprint-visionary-records/#3abcd53c7485
- Palm Tree Records, a JV between Kygo's manager Myles Shear and Sony: https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8478266/kygo-myles-shear-palm-tree-records-sony-music

[27:55] In 2017, Spotify's Director of Economics Will Page wrote an important analysis for Music Business Worldwide about why the arbitrary 18-month threshold for catalog marketing is no longer relevant in the streaming era:
https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/music-industrys-definition-catalogue-need-upgrade/

[31:54] Spotify automatically creates "This Is" playlists for artists on its platform, compiling and ordering songs in their catalog—e.g. this playlist for Anderson .Paak:
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DZ06evO1VjTu8

[34:39] A designer and illustrator collaborated on a fun web app that automatically generates personalized festival lineups based on your recent listening habits on Spotify:
salty-beach-42139.herokuapp.com
twitter.com/cheriehu42/status/1116779941838958592

[35:43] More context on the power of fitness playlists, apps and studio companies in music marketing:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/cheriehu/2018/08/02/fitness-marketing-revenue-music-tech/

[36:03] My newsletter issue from September 2018 about the concept of "today's hit being tomorrow's niche," inspired by Chris Anderson's book The Long Tail:
https://www.getrevue.co/profile/cheriehu42/issues/today-s-hit-is-tomorrow-s-niche-132544

[36:21] MIDiA Research's Managing Director Mark Mulligan's blog post, "Kobalt Is A Major Label Waiting To Happen":
http://www.midiaresearch.com/blog/kobalt-is-a-major-label-waiting-to-happen/

[46:10] Overrated/Underrated segment begins

[46:24] Sylvia Rhone got promoted to Chairman/CEO of Epic Records in April 2019:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8508355/sylvia-rhone-chairman-ceo-epic-records

[46:58] Great Billboard piece from April 2018 about the diversity gap among hip-hop executives within major labels at the time:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8313035/hip-hop-boom-black-executives-music-business-labels

[47:57] L.A. Reid left Epic Records in 2017 following harassment allegations from an assistant at the company:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7793105/la-reid-epic-records-exit-allegations-female-staffer

[48:23] Beyoncé's deluge of promotional flexes—
- A $60-million, three-project deal with Netflix: https://variety.com/2019/music/news/beyonce-netflix-deal-1203193729/
- The first output of said deal, the two-plus-hour documentary "Homecoming" honoring her historic 2018 Coachella performances: https://www.netflix.com/title/81013626
- "Lemonade" is now available across multiple streaming services beyond Tidal, including Spotify and Apple Music: https://trapital.substack.com/p/beyoncs-streaming-strategy-explained

[50:32] Kanye West's Sunday Service:
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/kanye-west-s-sunday-service-isn-t-his-redemption-it-ncna998061

[52:34] More context on how Coachella promoter AEG is sharing in Beyoncé's streaming revenues, licensing fees and ticket sales from her "Homecoming" documentary and live album:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8507795/how-beyonce-homecoming-pays-off-coachella-promoter-aeg

Thanks for listening! :)

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