We recently caught up with some of our artists and asked them to give their advice on succeeding in music to aspiring musicians. Here are some snippets from their interviews. Their full conversations will follow shortly so stay tuned.
“Don’t follow trends. If you follow trends you are always going to be a step behind what someone else has already done. Just do what you do in its entirety and hope that eventually the trends find you”.
– Mary Jennings
“Stay true to yourself, try to create something eternal. The best songwriters and the best musicians have created something in their music that is timeless. Not to just follow the crowd and whats most popular but write something from the heart. Pave your own way, you don’t have to go viral or be on TV to make a difference with your music. Try to be original, work hard and be persistent. This will create opportunities you may never have really thought were possible”.
– Jim Gaven
“The biggest thing for musicians is to not be afraid, make that first step. Be consistent, strong-willed and just do it. Try not to over analyse your music, it leads to negative feedback from yourself and other people when it takes you too long to just release your music. Don’t be afraid to really go for your dreams”.
– Don Soledad
“Persistence. There is a lot of rejection and you have to knock on a lot of doors in order to find the right one. Be thankful for the success you do get, persist and don’t dwell on the negatives. If someone is not responding to you that person probably is not the right fit for your music. Remember yes is a yes, no is no and maybe could lead to possibilities”.
– Steve Kornicki
“Find your Niche, that could sound like anything. Think about who your music might touch and keep trying until you reach those people”.
– Aaron English
Streaming is showing year-on-year growth and bringing success for many UK artists.
BPI (The British Phonographic Industry) have today revealed new data from streaming giant Spotify. They inform us that 1 in 5 (19%) tracks streamed worldwide via Spotify in 2014, have been recorded by UK artists. This includes artists such as Coldplay, One Direction, Florence + the Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, Lily Allen and Mumford & Sons.
Ed Sheeran made streaming history with his latest album ‘X’ earlier this year. The record received the highest number of album streams in week one, accounting for 23,792,476 streams.
More recently, streaming success comes in the form of the EDM giant Calvin Harris. His latest single ‘Blame’ is the first track to surpass 10m streams in a week through Spotify in October 2014.
A huge growth in music consumption via streaming services is predicted in the UK. This year alone, UK music lovers have streamed an impressive 10.2 billion tracks so far, equivalent to 160 streams for each person in the country. In 2013 the number of streams amounted to 5.4 billion.
Clean Bandit, a British dance group (shown in above picture), currently hold the distinction of the most-streamed track of 2014 with ‘Rather Be’ (featuring Jess Glynne) which has been streamed more than 32 million times.
BPI and BRIT Awards Chief Executive, Geoff Taylor, says:
“Streaming music continues to surge forward at record speed with over 10bn streams served so far this year – nearly double last year’s figure. We have soared past the landmark of 300m audio streams a week, adding another milestone as we continue to mark a Decade of Digital.”
A report from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) yesterday revealed that an increase in demand for music from UK consumers has lead to a noticeable boost in sales of technology products.
In contrast to the other G7 countries, UK consumers spend an average of nearly a quarter more per head on music. This has resulted in billions of pounds worth of additional expenditure on music-related technology products within the UK.
Across the G7 countries between 2008-2012 the UK’s high level of music consumption accounted for £11bn in sales of technology products which is shown here:
£8.4bn additional value in the sales of smartphones;
£2.5bn additional value in the sales of tablets;
£384m additional value in the sales of mp3 players; and
£74m additional value in the sales of Integrated Audio Systems. £11.4bn total
The above shows that UK consumers spend a higher amount on music per capita than most other developed nations. In 2012 the average was reaching nearly 25% more, leading to higher sales of consumer technology products.
The economic modelling for the study has calculated for each 1% increase in demand for music corresponds to a 1.4% rise in the sale of smartphones ( 1.4% rise to £77.6m), tablets (2.2% rise to £52.6m).
Due to the significant increase within the UK music market, we have seen a massive boost to consumer technology and the wider economy. This effect represents three times the value of the recorded music income, which between 2008-2012 came to £4.2bn.
Geoff Taylor, Chief executive at BPI has said “It is well-known that recorded music is one of the UK’s most successful exports, but this study demonstrates that Britain’s love of it also boosts our economy by generating billions of pounds a year in additional consumer technology sales. The relationship between music and tech is symbiotic”.
In the U.S. 93% of the population listen to music and spend more that 25 hours each week listening to their most desired tracks, representing hundreds of millions of Americans, seeing music as their most valued form of entertainment.
A report from Nielsen, published yesterday has also given us insight into the platforms Americans use to listen to music. The report shows us that 59% of people listen to music each week via online radio streams and a combination of over-the-air AM/FM stations proving that Radio is the most popular platform for music consumption.
In terms of technology, smartphones are the third most popular device used as a platform to listen to music following radio and computers. However, there is an increasing number of users listening to music through smartphones. This is due to the ease with which it is possible to access huge music libraries from the comfort of your palm. The report also shows that 7 out of 10 Americans now own a smartphone. This increase has lead to an impact on music sales of 39%, with smartphone owners purchasing music via their device in 2014, which is up 34% from a year ago.
It is clear that both music and technology are increasingly intertwined commodities, influenced by consumer habits and needs and both develop effectively together. The technology industry is constantly developing new ways for users to access music and listen to their most desired tracks with the utmost convenience which, in turn, increases the overall consumption of music. Music businesses continuously market new exciting talent inspiring and motivating consumers to invest in new ways to listen and enjoy music, on the move, in the car, around the house and with increased loyalty.
Read Below To Find Out What Happened When We Interviewed Mary Jennings
Her Latest Single ‘Home’ Is Out Today
Q. Mary, what have you been up to this year?
Well this year I have been busy working on new music. I moved back from New York to Nashville (Tennessee) about a year and a half ago. Since then I have been doing tons of co-writes, performing a lot of shows and mostly preparing for the release of these new songs.
Q. To someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sounds as, well… I am a piano playing, looping, bold, singing female rock pop electronic artist. I often get compared with the storytelling and emotional writing of Joni Mitchell with the the pop influences of an Annie Lennox, the electronic vibe of an Imogen heap and the rock sensibilities of Florence and the Machine. So if you were to fuse all of that together somewhere in there you would find what I do.
Q. You describe music as a source of therapy for yourself. How important has music been in your life?
Music has been incredibly important in my life. From a very young age, my parents were both really into music so I always had music going on in my house. I always found that music got me through the toughest times of my life. It was there for all the wonderful times too but the most important part for me was how music and songs could put worlds and melody to feelings that I had such a hard time describing. Again, from a very young age music helped me get through heartbreaks, through my parents getting divorced, through all kinds of issues it even especially helped during the loss of my mother when I was 18. It really got me through that, so music has always been incredibly important in my life, not just my own but music in general.
Q. What has been your influence/Inspiration for your music?
The main inspiration for my music, pretty much anything that could happen in the daily life of ‘me’ I guess! One of the most powerful influences I have had has been my mom. Being an only child, I primarily grew up with her. She was my best friend and losing her was a really powerful moment in my life… that’s what really inspired me to keep doing music and do it professionally for my whole life. In terms of what I write in a song, it varies, if it’s happened to me I will write about it. It could be something as small as a 30 second exchange between me and a stranger to something as massive as a 20 year long relationship I’ve had with a best-friend. So the emotions vary, the stories vary, but I will just say if its in front of my face I will write about it.
Q. Take it or leave was your last album back in 2012, it had so much power and emotion that made listeners engage in every lyric. What was it like creating ‘Take it or leave’?
‘Take It Or Leave’ was so much fun to create because it was my first ever live album. I had released a full album the previous year with produced songs and things like that and, while that was great and wonderful, to then capture something when its happening right in front of your eyes so you can capture every imperfection and raw moment in a show, tape it and put it out there in the open there is something that’s really vulnerable about that. It’s also really exciting and its kind of like, if you really want to see what I am capable of at the end of the day, ‘Take It Or Leave’ is the album to do it as there are no cheats and no edits. There is just one shot and all of those shows were so much fun in general and the venues were so cool. I have nice memories from playing all those songs.
Q. What song do you have the most fun or like most when performing live, and why?
That is a really hard question because they are all fun for different reasons. They all have a different value in a show. I would say that, if I had to choose one, it would probably be ‘The Darkness’, simply because it is such a lively kind of up-tempo song, when I am performing live the loops are really elaborate so its fun to perform it that way. It’s generally the one that my band mates will really get into because its so, you know, up and all over the place! I tend to get a decent audience response from it as well so its definitely the most fun I would say.
Q. What has been the biggest challenge for yourself as a singer/songwriter?
There are plenty of challenges but one of the biggest is that as a singer/ songwriter you can write songs, anyone can write songs, but when you start getting them out there, out into the world and in front of other people you run the risk of being judged and that’s normal. When your really into your songs and they address your emotions its hard not to take those judgements personally. They are your story and your emotion. Initially my biggest battle was accepting peoples criticisms as, not judgements against me personally, just judgements of the music and that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Now I would say that I have gotten past a lot of that and just figure if somebody can feel it, awesome but if they don’t then that’s okay too. But at this point a lot of the difficulty is breaking through the noise. With the power of the internet there are a lot of opportunities for me as a singer/songwriter but that equally means there are a lot of opportunities for everyone. So, to find your niche, your demographic and your fan base can also be one of the biggest challenges.
Q. What is your ultimate goal within your music career. Has it already happened or are you working towards it?
It is currently happening, it can happen better than it’s happening now but my ultimate goal is nothing crazy. I mostly just want to make a decent living writing and playing music for the rest of my life in what ever capacity that may be. If that’s writing songs for other people, awesome. If that’s placing my songs in TV and Film, fine. If its touring then it doesn’t matter, just as long as I can make a stable living doing the one thing I feel like I know I can do.
Q. What hints or tips do you have for other artists about the music industry or creating music?
I get asked this every once in a while and I say the same thing every time. Don’t follow trends. If you follow trends you are always going to be a step behind what someone else has already done. Just do what you do in its entirety and hope that eventually the trends find you.
Q. Your latest single ‘Home’ has just been released. What is the song about?
‘Home’ was inspired by watching the TV show ‘The Walking Dead’. I am sure there are lots of people out there who watch it, but if they haven’t then I believe it is a show secondarily about zombies and the apocalypse and primarily about human instinct and survival. When I watched the show and I realised that people are kind of just wandering around aimlessly because they’re just trying to stay like zombies, it really started getting me thinking- what is ‘Home’? What makes home for someone? I realised that, well at least in my opinion, ‘Home’ is not a place, ‘Home’ isn’t even things, and I would go as far as to say it isn’t even people. ‘Home’ is a state of mind and a sense of self-awareness. As long as you can survive, you can always recreate that and make it home, because home is up here (taps head).
Q. So you’re back in the studio creating new music is there anything else your fans can expect from you?
Just lots of new music, I mean I haven’t released anything since 2012 and obliviously ‘Home’ is out now but I will be releasing a new single every two months for at least the next year and then release an album. My ultimate goal is to put out new music as frequently as possible.
You can find Mary on:
Website – www.maryjennings.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/maryjennings
Twitter – www.twitter.com/jenningsmusic
Age ratings are now being introduced and will come into force from 3rd October into music videos to help protect children from unsuitable content.
BPI and three of the UK’s top music labels (Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK) have been working with the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) to ensure the new regulations are approved and upheld. Vevo and YouTube are also working to introduce and test age-ratings as well as offering guidance as to the creation of new music videos which will be released online in the UK.
Geoff Taylor, the Chief executive of BPI, says “We want to give parents the information they need to make more informed decisions about the music videos they are happy for their children to see. That’s why we introduced the Parental Advisory Scheme almost 20 years ago and why we are now working with the BBFC and with video platforms to pilot age ratings for UK music videos. We hope that if the pilot is successful, video services will consider introducing parental filters as a key next step.”
Where appropriate the BBFC will rate the videos PG, 12, 12A, 15 or 18, the same as the BBFC Classification guidelines.
The first phase of the campaign will commence 3rd October which will see the music video ratings put into practice and ensure that both the Digital Service Providers have all the necessary ratings/guidance information. The second phase is yet to be announced but will see to it that the two DSPs display the guidance on-screen.
BPI explain that they have estimated around 20% of music videos released within the pilot are likely to be subject to a rating – the vast majority are unlikely to contain content that would be rated 12 or greater. This estimate is based on a previous video catalogue audit of one of the companies taking part in the pilot.
Google has recently partnered with Samsung to offer the Google Play Music service for free to Samsung users in Brazil.
Owners of Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and Galaxy Tab took the opportunity to start a free six-month subscription to the music streaming service.
From November 1st Samsung will also be offering a three-month free subscription to Google Play music for all users of Samsung smartphones, tablets and its level line of products.
The free six-month subscription will eventually be available to Samsung users in a further 16 Latin American countries such as: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
In-app purchases are increasing in correlation with the growth of music service applications. According to Billboard for the first time, music streaming applications from Pandora, Spotify and Apple were amongst the leaders in app revenue for August 2014. App Annie, an app analytics company that tracks, analyses and highlights trends, released the app ranking list which saw all three music service companies placed within the top 10 of all non-game apps.
Pandora placed No. 2 on the iOS and Google Play charts. Spotify was ranked at No. 7 again on the iOS and Google Play charts jumping up 10 places . Apple with Beats Music placed No. 9 on the iOS charts moving up 2 spots with the music service performance of Beats Music app.
Apple have recently been under fire due to rumours of their plans to shutdown Beats Music. Representatives from Apple have stated that a report by TechCrunch on the shut down of Beat Music was “Simply not true”. A source told Billboard that the company “is fully committed to offering a subscription service, though changes to any existing product are always a possibility”. Back in May 2010, the music service LaLa shut down after being bought by Apple the December beforehand.
Ostereo is a disruptive music company with a forward thinking approach. Our dynamic team of music-loving professionals based in the UK harness the power of playlist, video and social trends to ensure our artists’ success. Ostereo was founded in 2016 by musician and businessman Howard Murphy with the aim of combining the best traditional elements of the industry with the new, cutting edge digital aspects that power today’s music consumption.
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