These earplugs help me protect my hearing at loud concerts, and they cost less than $30

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the acoustic filters on mumba's concert ear plugs close up
The Mumba Concert Earplugs are comfortable and affordable.

  • Concerts are making a comeback, so I got these Mumba earplugs to help protect my hearing.
  • The Mumba Concert Earplugs are the cheapest and most comfortable earplugs I’ve tried.
  • They allow me to enjoy live music and loud events while minimizing potential hearing damage.

Concert Earplugs (small)

Before the coronavirus pandemic put a pause on in-person events, I went to a lot of concerts. But while I loved listening to live music, I never gave much thought to the damage it could cause to my hearing. Now that concerts are making a comeback, I’m turning over a new leaf – I’m going to wear earplugs.

According to the CDC, noises measuring above 70 dB over an extended period of time can start damaging your hearing. In my experience going to concerts, I’ve found that, on average, loud music ranges from 90 dB to 110 dB – as measured by my Apple Watch Series 6. EDM music festivals and raves are even louder.

To test your level of hearing loss, you can try the Mimi app on iOS and Android. It’s not going to be as accurate as a hearing test conducted by a professional, but it’s neat to get an idea.

I’ve been lucky enough to avoid any permanent hearing loss or tinnitus, but I have to be careful to keep it that way. That’s where earplugs come in. I’ve tried a couple of different brands, but the Mumba Concert Earplugs have proven to be a solid combination of comfort, affordability, and effectiveness.

For a sale price of $22 (usually they’re $29), you get the earplugs, keychain case, and two sizes of in-ear shells.

mumba earplugs set with earplugs, carrying case, plastic case, and box

After some trial and error, I’ve found the smaller size shells (left) to be far more comfortable for my ears. Both sizes are a bit finicky to clean, though.

mumba concert earplugs both sizes

The carrying case gets a second look every time I pass through security, but it’s super convenient to keep on my keys. I have yet to misplace them, too, which is easy with something so small.

mumba earplugs carrying case on my keys

They have a low profile and fit in nice and snug. I’ve found that they cut down on sound without muffling it, and I can still hear people nearby talking to me.

sarah's ear with the mumba earplug in it

These earplugs are designed to reduce noise by up to 24 dB, potentially bringing loud concerts below the harmful level. Exactly how many decibels hit your ears depends on how close you are to the speakers, though.

mumba concert earplugs with the carrying case

Should you buy the Mumba Concert Earplugs?

Mumba’s Concert Earplugs have been a good investment for me, and they’re worth considering if you attend a lot of loud events, too.

The Mumba Earplugs are high quality, effective, and comfortable. Compared to Loop brand earplugs that I’ve tried previously, the Mumba earplugs stay in my ears more securely, and muffle less sound. They also make it easier to hear people around me, which I couldn’t do with Loops.

It’s important to remember, however, that while earplugs like this can help prevent hearing damage, there will always be a risk associated with concerts and other loud events.

You can order the Mumba Concert Earplugs right now for $22.

Concert Earplugs (small)Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider

I finally quit my finance job to become a full-time musician – here’s how I’m making the jump

Dane Drewis playing guitar.
Dane Drewis and his guitar.

    • Dane Drewis is quitting his finance job to pursue music full-time by treating his music like a business.
    • Drewis treats his music like a business and has mapped out a financial strategy to move forward.
    • He recommends acquiring digital production skills for more control over your music.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sometimes you need a nudge to make a leap of faith.

But a pandemic lockdown can do the trick, too.

Once music gigs dried up during COVID-19 lockdowns, California musician Dane Drewis decided he would quit his corporate finance job and make the jump from part-time to full-time musician. Drewis, who was most recently the VP of finance at design and technology company 14th Round Inc., has done a lot of jobs in his working career: business, finance, waiting tables, and even running a restaurant that Beyoncé invested in.

But that list never included music, until now – and that’s because he’s decided to treat his music like a business venture, not just a side hobby.

“I’ll be turning 39 soon and I’ve never made a full commitment with music,” Drewis told Insider. “I want to be able to look back and say I went all in with music.”

Drewis, whose parents are both musicians, fell in love with music in college thanks to late-night jam sessions and endless hours practicing guitar alone in his dorm room. But as he took on a professional career, he didn’t have the time or energy to go all in.

Despite a comfortable salary at his old job and the flexibility to play music on weekends and during evenings, Drewis felt he had to both answer his passion and stop doing what he didn’t enjoy.

“Honestly I’m tired of doing spreadsheets all day,” Drewis said. “I’m ready to share as much happiness and love as possible through committing myself to music.”

No more safety nets

Several years ago, Drewis gave up an attempt at becoming a full-time musician because sleeping in his van and living with fewer comforts took its toll. He couldn’t secure enough music work to make ends meet and eventually he had to find a full-time job.

“Being that broke is stressful and it makes it really hard to be creative,” Drewis explained.

This time, Drewis has given himself a runway to launch off of – the security of a roof over his head and a nest egg of savings, as well as a more developed financial strategy as opposed to playing music at casinos, weddings, and small-time gigs for low pay.

“I’ve done the whole starving artist thing, but it won’t be the same this time,” Drewis said. “Less scrambling for cash and more consistent work this time, promotional events. I’m treating this like a real business venture.”

In his previous attempt, Drewis kept his finance degree front and center as his backup plan. The safety net, he said, is ultimately what prevented him from full dedication.

“No backup plan this time around,” Drewis said. “Before, I was like, ‘I can do finance if I need to.’ But this time’s different. I know for damn sure I don’t want to do finance again. That’s what’s driving me this time.”

Leveraging digital skills and a business plan

To make the jump to full-time musician, Drewis has revamped his digital skills and has used his education to map out a financial strategy for his music business. He shares music on Instagram and is a verified artist on Spotify.

He’s invested in learning how to produce his own songs rather than relying on a company to produce his music for him – something essential to maintaining creative freedom, Drewis said.

A post shared by Dane Drewis (@danedrewis)

“I’ve put a lot of time into learning the software behind music production, tracking and producing my own songs,” Drewis said. “I’m taking control over my recordings for my own work.”

By producing his own music and working on his own timeline, Drewis aims to create original content on a regular basis. Then, he has plans to build out his music-licensing business to get his songs on television commercials and elsewhere.

“Ten years ago, I never treated music like a business,” Drewis said. “I just saw myself as a singer. But now I see this as a startup company. I know my revenue and expenses. I have a firm business plan.”

To younger artists looking to make the leap, Drewis recommends becoming as tech-savvy as possible with music production.

“[Digital] skill set is the primary currency today,” Drewis said. “You want to be your own artist, you want to be able to translate what’s in your mind onto the computer and into people’s ears, all while making your music sound exactly how you want it to sound.”

Drewis recommends becoming proficient at Ableton, a production software, as a way of gaining more autonomy as a musician. These tools allow for greater control and customization, he said.

Drewis returned from his first international tour in Germany last week, and he has a slew of shows planned for the coming months. His focus remains on building out his digital presence, filming music videos, and growing his audience.

“For musicians, a big worry is artistic failure,” Drewis said. “But a bigger worry, for me, is wondering if I was good enough to really do this. Now’s the time to find out.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

This payments and distribution platform used by Frank Ocean and Childish Gambino is fighting the music industry’s ‘starving artist’ culture

Milana Rabkin Lewis, CEO of Stem
Milana Rabkin Lewis, CEO of Stem, spent five years as a Digital Media Agent at United Talent Agency (UTA) before co-founding the company in 2015.

  • Music revenue is forecasted to reach $131 billion by 2030. Even still, many smaller artists struggle to get paid.
  • Stem, a distribution and payments platform used by Frank Ocean and Childish Gambino, is trying to change that.
  • “There’s a lack of infrastructure and tools to support the modern music industry,” Stem’s CEO told Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When you listen to your favorite musicians, accounting is probably the last thing on your mind.

Number-crunching may be the least sexy side of the music business, but for Stem CEO Milana Rabkin Lewis, it’s the key to an industry-wide revolution.

“One of the unfortunate things about the music business is that getting paid isn’t a given,” Lewis told Insider. “There’s this notion of the starving artists … that when you work in music, you’re not necessarily doing it for the money.”

After five years working at United Talent Agency, one of the best artist management companies in the country, Lewis realized the traditional agency model wasn’t working for the majority of rising artists.

“The major label system is really designed to drive superstardom,” she said. “Anyone can make a song … they’re not able to provide this sort of machine that makes superstars every single one of them, so a lot of artists are frustrated.”

On Spotify alone, nearly 60,000 songs are uploaded every day. That’s almost one song every second, the streaming platform reported in February.

While the number of superstars has increased, so has a growing pool of mid-sized artists – musicians who still rely on streaming and touring revenue as their main source of income. Without the backing of large labels, many artists are jumping through hoops for each paycheck.

“Getting people paid wasn’t as big of a problem when there were a bunch of major labels that controlled the whole entire business, and there were 40,000 songs released a year,” she added. “The volume was manageable for humans to be doing the accounting flow.”

Spotify, which has 155 million paying subscribers, generally pays between $.003 and $.005 per stream. Artists need about 326 streams to make $1.

In April, Apple Music said its streaming royalties pay double what Spotify pays, though in reality, it’s difficult to accurately tell.

According to Spotify, 13,400 rights holders are making over $50,000 a year – the median salary in the US – from Spotify streaming royalties. Artists who made more than $100,000 per year totaled 7,800, while 1,820 made more than $500,000 per year.

Converting an indie song played one morning in a coffee shop to cash in the pocket of the songwriter, singer, and producer is a lengthy and complicated process that entails different licenses, rate calculations, and publishing deals. For independent musicians, all this accounting is left up to them.

“Royalty accounting has been made to feel complex and burdensome,” Lewis said. “It scares most independent managers, artists and labels, to the point where they punt handling it so no one gets paid.”

Stem is trying to change that. Its automated distribution and payment software allows creators to get paid 3-9 months sooner and saves business managers roughly 15 hours of administrative work per month.

On Stem’s platform, producers, songwriters, vocalists, and promotional partners can split earnings according to personalized percentages and receive payouts on the 15th of each month.

Through “Scale,” a feature launched last year, artists and independent labels can also request advances in the form of a revolving credit line provided by the company’s financial arm.

“The economics are way more favorable to the artists,” Lewis told Insider. “They get to keep anywhere between 80 to 95% of the profits, whereas it’s kind of the reverse if they’re working with a major label deal.”

Last month, Stem launched “Recoup Rules,” an automated accounting option that enables managers to pay out expenses such as marketing or promotional costs before splitting the monthly revenue.

“I know it sounds unglamorous, but until now it’s been a serious pain point for all artists and especially independent ones,” a Stem spokesperson said.

Alex Goot, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose YouTube channel GootMusic has more than 800 million total views said Stem has helped him run his own business.

“I’m an artist who buys a ton of cover licenses, but all of those expenses come directly out of my pocket. With Recoup, I’m now no longer losing that initial capital,” he said.

Lewis told Insider that the value proposition of a major label isn’t what it used to be, causing many artists to operate independently.

“More and more artists are doing things on their own because they don’t need to give up a percentage of ownership to a major label anymore,” Lewis said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Watch Billie Eilish take the stage to perform her latest album, ‘Happier than Ever,’ in an exclusive Disney Plus concert

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Billie Eilish Concert
Billie Eilish performs her new album in “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles.”

Monthly Subscription Service (small)

Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles,” a new concert film from seven-time Grammy winner Billie Eilish, premiered September 3 on Disney Plus. A tribute to her hometown, the concert experience features Eilish performing her second studio album front-to-back in the legendary Hollywood Bowl.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Patrick Osborne, “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles” blends Eilish’s live performance with beautiful animation. The concert film includes appearances from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus.

“This is a dream come true,” Eilish said in the trailer for the concert film. The Disney Plus original offers fans a new way to experience breakout hits like “Your Power,” “Lost Cause,” and “NDA.”

The “Happier than Ever” concert is the latest film focused on Billie Eilish, following a documentary, “World’s a Little Blurry,” released earlier this year. In the doc, Eilish gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at her creative process and sudden rise to stardom. The intimate documentary is available now on Apple TV Plus ($5/month).

How to watch ‘Billie Eilish: Happier than Ever’

Billie Eilish’s “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles” premiered on September 3 on Disney Plus. The exclusive concert film is available for no additional cost to all Disney Plus subscribers.

A monthly subscription to Disney Plus costs $8. The streaming service offers a yearly subscription for $80. The annual subscription is more of a commitment, but it can save you $16 a year.

Monthly Subscription Service (small)Yearly Subscription (small)

If you want even more streaming entertainment, you can get access to additional on-demand content with the Disney bundle. For just $14 a month, this offer bundles three streaming services together: Disney Plus, Hulu Basic, and ESPN+. Subscribing to the combined package is $7 a month cheaper than separate subscriptions.

Bundle Monthly Subscription (small)

Disney Plus is compatible with most smart TVs, web browsers, smartphones, tablets, and streaming devices like Google Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. For the entire list of compatible devices, visit the Disney Plus website.

What other concerts and musical experiences can I watch on Disney Plus?

After streaming “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles,” viewers who are looking for more musical experiences from their favorite artists may enjoy Beyoncé’s “Black is King” and Taylor Swift’s “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.”

“Black is King” honors cultural traditions and celebrates Black excellence through a fresh interpretation of “The Lion King.” The transformative film was nominated for six Grammys, winning best music video for “Brown Skin Girl” and best R&B performance for “Black Parade.”

Taylor Swift performs songs from her eighth studio album with the help of Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner in “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.” Justin Vernon of Bon Iver also appears in the subdued concert film.

Are you looking for more quality entertainment to stream? Check out Insider’s roundups of movies and series on Disney Plus.

If you have questions about the streaming service or would like more information, read our full breakdown of everything about Disney Plus.

Monthly Subscription Service (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Seeking nominations for the power players using TikTok to transform the music industry

Gia Woods performs onstage in a white and grey outfit in front of a pink background at the "Thrive With Pride" concert.
Gia Woods.

TikTok is a hub for music to be discovered, shared, and promoted.

Songs that go viral on the app often end up topping the Billboard 100 or Spotify Viral 50 charts, even if they’re decades old.

Marketers hire influencers to create dances or meme videos on TikTok in an effort to draw attention to a new song or album. Some artists have become high-profile TikTok users themselves, writing songs that tap into the app’s trends or creating comedic videos to show their personality and grow their fan base.

And last month, TikTok launched a radio station on SiriusXM in an attempt to create a “radio version of the platform’s ‘For You’ feed.”

“TikTok has really become a critical part of artist storytelling,” Kristen Bender, SVP of digital strategy and business development at Universal Music Group, told Insider during a July webinar on TikTok’s impact on the music industry. “Since we signed our deal with TikTok earlier this year, our labels have been extremely leaned into the platform.”

Insider is putting together our second annual list of the artists, record labels, marketers, and other pros using TikTok to shape the music industry. The list will be determined by Insider based on our reporting and the nominations that we receive. We will take into consideration how a company or individual has used TikTok to boost the career of an artist or the success of an album or song release.

We want to hear from you. Who are the companies and individuals that have been the most effective at using TikTok to drive change in the music industry this year?

Please submit your ideas through this form (or below) by September 10:

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to get up to 6 months of Disney Plus for free with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Amazon Music Unlimited includes a trial of Disney Plus for a limited time.
Amazon Music Unlimited is offering up to six months of Disney Plus for free.

Free Trial with Amazon Music Unlimited (medium)

Amazon is bundling free trials of Disney Plus with its Music Unlimited service, giving subscribers access to a ton of streaming movies, shows, and songs for one low price.

New Music Unlimited subscribers can get six months of Disney Plus for free when they sign up for Amazon’s music service. Meanwhile, current and returning Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can get three months of Disney Plus for free. Once claimed, you have until July 2023 to redeem the offer, but it’s limited to new Disney Plus subscribers only.

An Amazon Music Unlimited subscription starts at $8 a month if you’re a Prime member, or $10 a month if you don’t have Amazon Prime. Disney Plus normally costs $8 a month, so the promotion can save you up to $48 in subscription fees.

After your free Disney Plus subscription ends, your plan will automatically continue for $8 a month unless you cancel. You must keep your Amazon Music Unlimited subscription active in order to maintain the offer.

Amazon Music Unlimited offers access to over 75 million songs, along with support for offline downloads, radio stations, and free HD audio streaming. The deal lets you combine the music streaming service with Disney Plus‘ massive library of Marvel movies, Pixar films, classic Disney cartoons, and original series.

How to get 6 months of Disney Plus for free

  1. Go to the Amazon Music Unlimited with Disney Plus promotion page.
  2. Click “Get Started” and log in to your Amazon account.
  3. Enter your payment information to sign up for Music Unlimited if you’re not already a member.
  4. New subscribers will get six months of Disney Plus for free while current or returning members will get three months free.
  5. Amazon will email you a link to sign up for Disney Plus with the free trial.

Free Trial with Amazon Music Unlimited (medium)

What Is Amazon Music Unlimited?

Amazon Music Unlimited allows subscribers to stream over 75 million songs, which is a huge step up over the two million songs that the company offers to all Prime members through its free Prime Music service.

This subscription costs $8 a month if you’re a Prime member, or $10 for non-Amazon Prime users. New this year is HD streaming for no extra cost. Music HD offers lossless audio tracks in CD-quality or higher. Music Unlimited is available on several devices including iOS, Android, and the web. The service is tightly integrated with Amazon’s Echo devices.

Who qualifies for free Disney Plus?

This promotion is only available to new Disney Plus subscribers. Once you receive the link for your free Disney Plus trial, you have until July 12, 2023 to redeem your subscription.

New Music Unlimited users can get six months of Disney Plus for free. While current and returning Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can get three months of Disney Plus for free.

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Billie Eilish takes to the stage to perform her latest album, ‘Happier than Ever,’ in an exclusive Disney Plus concert – you can stream the movie on September 3

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Billie Eilish Concert
Billie Eilish performs her new album in “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles.”

Monthly Subscription Service (small)

Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles,” a new concert film from seven-time Grammy winner Billie Eilish, premieres September 3 on Disney Plus. A tribute to her hometown, the concert experience features Eilish performing her second studio album front-to-back in the legendary Hollywood Bowl.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Patrick Osborne, “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles” blends Eilish’s live performance with beautiful animation. The concert film includes appearances from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus.

“This is a dream come true,” Eilish said in the trailer for the concert film. The Disney Plus original offers fans a new way to experience breakout hits like “Your Power,” “Lost Cause,” and “NDA.”

The “Happier than Ever” concert is the latest film focused on Billie Eilish, following a documentary, “World’s a Little Blurry,” released earlier this year. In the doc, Eilish gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at her creative process and sudden rise to stardom. The intimate documentary is available now on Apple TV Plus ($5/month).

How to watch ‘Billie Eilish: Happier than Ever’

Billie Eilish’s “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles” premieres on September 3 on Disney Plus. The exclusive concert film will be available for no additional cost to all Disney Plus subscribers.

A monthly subscription to Disney Plus costs $8. The streaming service offers a yearly subscription for $80. The annual subscription is more of a commitment, but it can save you $16 a year.

Monthly Subscription Service (small)Yearly Subscription (small)

If you want even more streaming entertainment, you can get access to additional on-demand content with the Disney bundle. For just $14 a month, this offer bundles three streaming services together: Disney Plus, Hulu Basic, and ESPN+. Subscribing to the combined package is $7 a month cheaper than separate subscriptions.

Bundle Monthly Subscription (small)

Disney Plus is compatible with most smart TVs, web browsers, smartphones, tablets, and streaming devices like Google Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. For the entire list of compatible devices, visit the Disney Plus website.

What other concerts and musical experiences can I watch on Disney Plus?

After streaming “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles,” viewers who are looking for more musical experiences from their favorite artists may enjoy Beyoncé’s “Black is King” and Taylor Swift’s “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.”

“Black is King” honors cultural traditions and celebrates Black excellence through a fresh interpretation of “The Lion King.” The transformative film was nominated for six Grammys, winning best music video for “Brown Skin Girl” and best R&B performance for “Black Parade.”

Taylor Swift performs songs from her eighth studio album with the help of Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner in “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.” Justin Vernon of Bon Iver also appears in the subdued concert film.

Are you looking for more quality entertainment to stream? Check out Insider’s roundups of movies and series on Disney Plus.

If you have questions about the streaming service or would like more information, read our full breakdown of everything about Disney Plus.

Monthly Subscription Service (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider

WATCH: The CEOs of Ebony, Diddy’s Revolt, and KweliTV on the future of Black media

Black creatives and media moguls have been working hard to gain equity in their own storytelling, but what does the next chapter of that journey look like?

On August 18, entrepreneurship reporter Dominic-Madori Davis hosted a panel with three media executives discussing the future of Black media. They discussed what it’s like running a Black-owned media enterprise in the 21st century as well as the challenges in maintaining control over Black stories in the US and beyond. They also spoke about their career paths and how they’re increasing equity for the next generation of creative and professional leaders.

Meet our panelists:

Detavio Samuels – CEO of television network REVOLT, which was founded by mogul Diddy in 2013. It’s currently one of the few Black networks to be carried on cable throughout the US.

DeShuna Spencer – Founder and CEO of the streaming service KweliTV which seeks to highlight Black stories from throughout the diaspora.

Michele Ghee – CEO of Ebony and Jet. Ebony is an iconic Black publication that dates back over 70 years. It relaunched this year seeking to connect with a new generation of Black leaders. Jet is set to relaunch next year, Ghee said.

Topics covered:

  • Why distributors and advertisers still are not investing in Black media.
  • How each panelist is helping to support the next generation of Black talent and leaders.
  • How Revolt, KweliTV, and Ebony are investing in new media channels such as Clubhouse and NFTs to connect with audiences.
  • Q&A with the audience discussing expanding into the African markets and what consumers can do to help support Black media.

Watch the full webinar above.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Driver’s License’ sits atop Spotify’s Billions Club. The playlist reads as a who’s who of the highest-earning artists, while smaller artists ask for better payouts.

Olivia Rodrigo's debut album "Sour"
  • Spotify’s Billions Club playlist compiles every song with over 1 billion streams on the platform.
  • So far, 167 songs have hit the benchmark, which equals around $3 million in streaming royalties.
  • Spotify accounted for more than 20% of recorded music revenue in 2020, and many artists are asking for better payouts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Olivia Rodrigo’s hit single “Driver’s License” is the newest addition to Spotify’s Billions Club playlist, an initiative launched by the company “to celebrate the world’s most listened to tracks and the artists behind them.”

The playlist released in late May includes every song with over 1 billion streams on Spotify, a benchmark currently met by 167 songs. For context, more than 60,000 new songs are uploaded to Spotify every day.

Spotify said members of the growing club receive a silver plaque that takes inspiration from the “iconic framed record” award given to artists when a song or album is certified platinum or gold.

The Billions Club serves as a who’s-who of the highest-earning artists, featuring pop singers Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, and Post Malone, as well as Vance Joy, Bad Bunny, and Foster the People, among others.

While some of the music industry’s top players are breaking into the Billions Club, smaller artists are asking the streaming platform to raise its streaming royalties.

Streaming represents over half of global recorded music revenue, according to Spotify’s How the Money Flows” video explainer, and Spotify accounted for more than 20% of recorded music revenue in 2020, a company spokesperson told Insider.

Spotify, which has 155 million paying subscribers, generally pays between $.003 and $.005 per stream. Artists need about 326 streams to make $1, and 1 billion streams equals roughly $3 million in royalties.

The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, a group of more than 27,000 members of the music industry, are calling on Spotify to increase its royalty payment to at least a penny per stream.

In response to recent pressure, the Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek launched the company initiative Loud and Clear to “shed light on the complicated economics of music streaming.”

According to the site, 13,400 rights holders are making over $50,000 a year – the median salary in the US – from Spotify streaming royalties. Rights holders who made more than $100,000 per year totaled 7,800, while 1,820 made more than $500,ooo per year, according to the site.

Competitor SoundCloud announced this March that the platform will pay artists royalties based on overall listening time through “fan-powered royalties” as opposed to the “pro-rata” system commonly used.

In April, Apple Music said its streaming royalties pay double what Spotify pays. Both platforms, though, calculate royalty rates on a streamshare basis, not a per-stream basis. As Spotify explains, it calculates “streamshare by adding up how many times music owned or controlled by a particular rights holder was streamed and dividing it by the total number of streams in that market.”

The World Intellectual Property Organization, a specialized agency within the UN, last month released a report investigating the economic and legal considerations facing artists in the digital music marketplace. The report included a comparison of streaming royalties across platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon, and more, and found “royalty payments are both unsustainable and out of balance compared to the value transferred to the streaming services.”

A Spotify spokesperson told Insider the royalty pool paid to music rights holders from Spotify has grown by 50%, while the number of artists generating $10,000 or $50,000 has grown by more than 80% since 2017.

“That means the number of artists achieving these levels is growing significantly faster than the overall size of the royalty pool, which we think is great for the industry and is enabling even more artists to make a living from music,” Spotify added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Musicians and concert staffers are begging fans to get vaccinated so live music can make a full return

Flipp Dinero faces a crowd of people with a microphone in his hand.
Flipp Dinero performs during the 30th Anniversary of Lollapalooza at Grant Park on August 01, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Brooklyn-based indie band Bandits on the Run had been preparing for months to perform at NYC’s Little Island Storytelling Festival this July.

Then, just one week before the event, a recently hired collaborator tested positive for COVID-19 while the band played at an outdoor concert in the middle of Virginia. He had been fully vaccinated since May.

The trio raced around Virginia looking for COVID-19 rapid tests, only to discover the closest ones available were located hours away in New York. Out of precaution for their fans, the Bandits decided to cancel the Little Island performance.

“It was kind of a slap to the face,” guitarist Adrian Blake Enscoe told Insider.

A post shared by Bandits on the Run (@banditsontherun)

Regina Strayhorn, one of the band’s singers, said she immediately worried about her parents, who had planned to attend the concert – they are immunocompromised and hadn’t seen her perform live in almost a year.

“If I don’t want my parents to come, I don’t want anybody to come,” Strayhorn said. “It broke our hearts because we lost a lot of money … we really wanted to connect with the fans who made the effort to come to see us.”

After the scare, the band worried that the live music industry’s return to touring would be more complicated than they originally anticipated. Like most smaller-scale artists, the Bandits couldn’t afford another shutdown.

“The nature of our business is that live performance is where the money is made,” Strayhorn said.

The one change the band thinks could save the live industry music industry: vaccine mandates. “All vaccinated events and vaccine mandates work,” Enscoe said. “They put everybody’s heart at ease.”

On Thursday, AEG Presents, one of the largest concert promoters in the world, announced it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for ticketholders and crew members at all its US venues starting in October.

AEG owns or is partnered with venues including New York’s Webster Hall and Brooklyn Steel, The Roxy and El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, and The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas.

The promoter also puts on popular festivals such as the Firefly Music Festival and Coachella.

AEG’s biggest competitor, Live Nation, is leaving it up to individual artists to determine vaccine requirements. However, smaller artists who open for larger bands don’t always have the power or authority to make that decision.

“I’m not in a position to headline, so things are just so completely out of my control if I want to make moves to build my career,” singer Mariel Loveland told Insider. “But if I make that choice to exclusively headline … I’ll just be playing to the same people I’ve been playing to.”

“I feel like it’s my full responsibility to protect the people who are coming and keep them safe,” Loveland added.

The global live concert industry lost more than $30 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19, according to Pollstar’s year-end report. Now, musicians and crew members are begging fans to get vaccinated so live music can recover.

“Nobody wants to lose out on more money than they already have,” Loveland said.

According to Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, 90% of Lollapalooza music festival’s 385,000 attendees were vaccinated. She said the city has seen “no evidence” that the festival was a superspreader event.

“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” said Jay Marciano, CEO of AEG Presents. “We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one.”

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