Tag: music

Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’ Cover Art Has Two Versions: One Oddly Leaves Out Her Butt


Video screenshot via Lorde

To adhere to media censorship guidelines, designers of Lorde’s cover artwork for her new single Solar Power have created a second version that bafflingly takes a crack at the track’s name.

In most parts of the world, listeners of streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music would be shown an image of the singer, photographed from below, at the beach and leaping to the other side of the frame. In line with the title, there’s a soft backlight from the sun.

A similar variation is presented on music services of mainland China, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Japan, and Saudi Arabia—but with the singer’s rear behind being bleeped out with “solar power” instead, VICE discovers.

The censored image became the butt of mockery on Chinese social network Weibo. “What did we do to deserve the same cover art as the one shown in the Middle East?” one jaded user questioned.

Spotify, Apple Music, and Universal Music have not responded to queries about the alternative cover as of yet.

The sun does shine there in certain parts of the world, it seems.

In China #SolarPower Lorde‘s new album cover is censored by stronger solar power…

first pic is the original cover
the rest are from music providers in China.

by the way Chairman Mao is refered as SUN in China. pic.twitter.com/M8pl0s3fRi

— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) June 11, 2021

Solar Power cover art in China
#Lorde pic.twitter.com/Yu8dOFIlr1

— mauro (@mauro60816318) June 11, 2021

[via VICE, cover image via Lorde] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414326/Lorde-s-Solar-Power-Cover-Art-Has-Two-Versions-One-Oddly-Leaves-Out-Her-Butt/

Spotify Unveils Your Personal ‘Audio Birth Chart’ Depicting Your Defining Genres


Image via Spotify

Everyone (secretly) looks forward to the time of year when Spotify unveils its ‘Wrapped’ lists, where you discover the songs that summed up your year. This time, the music streaming platform has dragged a semblance of this experience right to the middle of the year with personal playlists that “celebrate your unique listening style.”

The new ‘Only You’ feature generates playlists that Spotify’s algorithm thinks you might have on repeat. Although your home screen already recommends playlists for listeners like you, this version takes things further by making playlists based completely on your listening habits.

The tool narrows down suitable tracks to six different groups. There’s your ‘Dream Dinner Party’, which creates a mix based on three artists you’d like to invite to a dinner party; ‘Artist Pairs’, which displays unexpected music genres that you’ve recently listened to; your ‘Song Year’, which draws the time periods you tend towards; your ‘Time of Day’, which shows you the music and podcasts you listen to at various times of the day; and ‘Genres/Topics’, which puts your unique music and podcast genres together.

A pretty interesting feature is the ‘Audio Birth Chart’, where you’ll uncover your supposed Sun, Moon, and Rising signs in terms of artists on Spotify. Your Sun sign is manifested from the artist whose music you have been listening to in the last six months, your Moon sign illustrates your emotional side, and your Rising sign is determined from an artist you were recently connected with.

As usual, Spotify highlights your listening habits in Story-style visuals that you can share on your own social media accounts, too.

To check out the feature, jump here.


Image via Spotify


Image via Spotify


Image via Spotify


Image via Spotify

[via Fast Company, images via Spotify] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414217/Spotify-Unveils-Your-Personal-Audio-Birth-Chart-Depicting-Your-Defining-Genres/

How YouTube is Supporting Black Creators and Artists

Last summer admist the Black Lives Matter Movement and protests in support of George Floyd, YouTube announced the launch of a multi-year $100 million fund dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories. More specifically, the fund has supported programs such as 2 Chainz’ “Money Maker Fund” series highlighting HBCU entrepreneurs and Masego’s “Studying Abroad” livestreamed concert series.

Today, the platform is using capital for that effort to create a global grant program for Black creators.

“The painful events of this year have reminded us of the importance of human connection and the need to continue to strengthen human rights around the world. In the midst of uncertainty, creators continue to share stories that might not otherwise be heard while also building online communities,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a blog post detailing the decision and reflecting on 2020.

The #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021

Per Billboard, the program is kicking off with an inaugural class of 132 individuals spanning musicians and lifestyle vloggers including Kelly Stamps and Jabril Ashe, also known as Jabrils, who share educational videos centered around the emerging gaming, technology, and AI spaces.

The musicians named to the group include Brent Faiyaz, BRS Kash, Fireboy DML, Jean Dawson, Jensen McRae, Jerome Farah, Joy Oladokun, KennyHoopla, Mariah the Scientist, MC Carol, Miiesha, Myke Towers, Péricles, Rael, Rexx Life Raj, Sauti Sol, serpentwithfeet, Sho Madjozi, Tkay Maidza, Urias and Yung Baby Tate.

Each grant recipient will be provided an undisclosed funding amount to be used in support of their channels, and can encompass needs such as editing, lighting or other equipment to amplify and enhance the quality of their content. YouTube will also offer additional resources such as workshops, training and networking opportunities to boost skills and fuel meaning collaborations. “We are not only supporting them in the moment, but this is seed funding that will help them to thrive on the platform long-term,” he added.

Hailing from across the United States, Kenya, Brazil, Australia, South Africa and Nigeria, the cohort was selected in part based on their past participation in #YouTubeBlack, a campaign and event series promoting Black creators launched in 2016.

Paving a future for change

“These creators and artists have been doing this work already and are known by their communities, but we’re really excited to invest in them, and we believe that they can and will become household names with this support, shared Malik Ducard, YouTube Vice President of Partners on the #YouTubeBlack community.

In today’s landscape, influencers are themselves a media channel. The budgets put against them shouldn’t just be production-driven but rather emphasize a broader commitment to diverse and authentic stories driven by co-communication and co-creation. For YouTube, this effort is not only beneficial in ensuring these creators have their voices heard, but in allowing the platform to stay true to its goals and values and its commitment to its community.

“This is not a flash-in-the pan Instagram moment. This is about keeping the drum beat of change alive, and in the DNA of our organization,” added Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s Global Head of Music, reiterating the confidence in the ability of this group to lead and find long-term success through raw passion, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit. “Our expectation is that these artists are going to be significant and important voices and make music even more enjoyable.”

The future of brand-artist collaborations

For brands partnering with music artists – the takeaway here is that social listening requires responsiveness, flexibility, and mindfulness when it comes to integrating culture. People want to be heard, not sold to, and efforts should extend offline. This is only achieved through a full understanding of a new age of partnerships – one where brands have a bigger role to play in artist’s lives and artists are crossing the threshold to become true digital marketers monetizing the whole self.

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The post How YouTube is Supporting Black Creators and Artists appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2021/01/how-youtube-is-supporting-black-creators-and-artists/

YouTube Music Ads: What Your Brand Should Know

Music has always played a special role in culture but this year particularly people are tuning into more audio content via YouTube and YouTube Music. This is largely in an effort to combat Zoom fatigue and make it easier to absorb content whether tutorials, lectures, classes, meetings while juggling the obstacles of a remote work environment.

In response to this trend and in an effort to help brands efficiently expand reach and grow brand awareness with audio-based creative, the platform dropped several updates to help brands reach these users, with ads specifically designed for non-video consumption.

Elevating your brand’s message with audio

According to YouTube, more than 50 percent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content.

The company also shared that in the early testing phase of the update, more than 75 percent of audio ads yield a significant lift in brand awareness. An ad from Shutterfly, for example, garnered a 14 percent lift in ad recall and a two percent increase in favorability in its target audience.

“Regardless of when and how people are tuning in, we have ways to help advertisers connect, even when they’re consuming music in the background. Now you can complement the moments your consumers are watching, by engaging them in moments when they’re listening, with newly announced audio ads,” YouTube’s Head of Music Lyor Cohen explained in a separate blog post.

Enhanced targeting via dynamic music lineups

Also part of its audio push, YouTube is announcing dynamic music lineups, allowing marketers to target their campaigns at collections of music channels on YouTube.

This will allow advertisers to more easily reach audiences based on specific music genres spanning ‘Latin music‘, ‘K-pop‘, ‘hip-hop‘ and ‘Top 100.’ In addition, brands can leverage these music lineups to focus on particular moods or interests, like ‘fitness.’

Audio ads best practices

To be clear, these new Youtube ads are designed for the viewer who is looking to “squeeze in a living room workout before dinner, catch up on a podcast or listen to a virtual concert on a Friday night.” These are not audio-only ads, rather they are relying on audio to do the majority of the communicating understanding that people may only be glancing at the visual image sporadically or not at all. The visual side of these new ads, therefore, will be limited to “a still image of animation.” Put differently, if the person was to close their eyes, they would still clearly understand the ad’s message.

The future of music marketing and audio conversations

More than 2 billion logged-in viewers are watching at least one music video each month. Over half (60%) of YouTube’s music viewing happens on mobile, where background viewing or listening is disabled.

Stats aside, innovations in social media and shifts in consumer behavior are fundamentally reshaping how music is made, consumed and shared. Brands will need a music strategy to ensure they keep pace with culture and have a powerful opportunity to lead in this intersection and create meaningful partnerships with consumers. With podcasts on the rise over the past few years, it makes sense audio content would be of interest on YouTube, despite being primarily a video service, as well as other platforms.

Over on Twitter, a test of an audio-only virtual meeting room option, which will be built on top of its new Fleets, Stories-like tool, is underway and set to launch by year’s end. Audio Spaces will enable users to start rooms where certain people can lead a discussion and others can then join, either to just listen in or to actively participate. The user who creates the space will have full moderation controls — an attempt by the platform to prioritize safety and prevent misuse and harassment.

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The post YouTube Music Ads: What Your Brand Should Know appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/12/youtube-music-ads-what-your-brand-should-know/

How to Use Exaggerated Emotion and Original Audio to Drive Your TikTok Engagement

Since 2018 TikTok has nearly tripled in size. Among U.S. users 18 and older, TikTok brought in 22.2 million mobile unique visitors in January 2020, 23.2 million in February and 28.8 million in March. In April, that number skyrocketed to 39.2 million.

Looking ahead to 2021, new projections find that the platform will exceed one billion users. Despite this growth, it remains an untapped space for many marketers due to the obstacles that come with adapting for younger audiences and the related cultural nuances, values and interests that define them.

To help add some clarity for those looking to stake their TikTok territory, creative analytics platform VidMob employed its computer vision algorithm to examine roughly 1,500 ad posts that ran this year across 34 brand accounts.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the key findings of the study and patterns of the videos that saw the most engagement and how marketers can use them to maximize their results.

Exaggerated emotion and the human gaze

Per Vidmob, exaggerated emotions like expressing surprise and anger led to an average of 1.7x boost in the number of six-second views, compared to more neutral expressions such as calmness. In addition, cycling between four or more emotions in a single video led to a tripling of conversion rates.

Not only is the use of talent critical to a successful TikTok presence, but leveraging footage and imagery of talent that focused particularly on these more powerful emotions prove to engage the audience further and foster a deeper connection that resonates.

In this vein, background content and providing context to viewers is especially important results showed. When users can see a creator in their kitchen, bathroom or bedroom for instance, it is easier for audiences to easily associate and relate to the content they’re consuming.

A couple of other details to keep in mind:

  • Limit close-ups—videos in which the subject’s face took up less than a fifth of the screen performed 31 percent better in terms of clicks.
  • Aim to show multiple perspectives versus a single gaze — clickthrough increased by 1.7x when the subject looked directly into the camera for less than half of the video’s duration compared to more than half
  • More emotions are better than one — using 4 or more emotions resulted in a 3.3x greater conversion rate when the on-screen talent versus when they showed 3 or fewer.

Music and voice effects

In a recent webinar presentation of the findings, Sarah Graham, research strategist at VidMob, explained, “On other platforms, advertisers are focused on the visual elements of the creative specifically whereas on TikTok, sound is very much key to the success of creative. There was a level of audio analysis that we were able to do here that we haven’t done on other platforms.”

Voice effects and music not only increase engagement but create a more native feel for its users. For brands, original music helps them create their own footprint and stand out above the noise. How you employ audio ultimately boils down to what you aim to achieve — depending on if your objective is awareness. conversions, or consideration, there are different paths to take including whether you only use audio or if it’s combined with music.

Some stats to support your decisions shared as part of the findings include:

  • Uploading an original track can lead to 52 percent more six-second views on average
  • Posts with either music or voice over saw 1.6x more clickthrough than those with both, and employing the platform’s voice alteration tools led to 1.7 times more click than a subject’s natural voice.
  • Audio-only ads led to a 51 percent lift in 6-second view rate, by comparison to voiceover plus music or voiceover-only

Copy and CTAs

The average retention rate across the majority of social platforms is 2 to 3 words per second. Compared to TikTok, however, given that it is a quick-moving platform and that its UI is very friendly to scrolling — audiences are effectively retaining more content at higher rates of 5 to 10 words per second. For brands, this shows the value of being able to convey more information in a shorter period of time.

A few other details in this regard worth noting:

  • Audio with 4 or more words per second saw a 19 percent lift in Conversion Rate compared to talk tracks featuring 2 to 3 words per second.
  • Featuring a CTA in the opening frame led to a 44 percent lift in conversion rate compared to when it was displayed later.

Using influencers and UGC-style content in different ways than other platforms is what ultimately makes TikTok a powerful player. The biggest lesson for marketers here: Avoid an urge to recycle — rather, experiment and think outside the box as to what you create, how it will cater to this specific space, and why the ad will be native to the environment.

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The post How to Use Exaggerated Emotion and Original Audio to Drive Your TikTok Engagement appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/11/how-to-use-exaggerated-emotion-and-original-audio-to-drive-your-tiktok-engagement/

Testing, Testing: Spotify Has a “Social Listening” Feature in the Works

When Spotify shuttered its in-app messaging capabilities several years back, instead pushing song and album sharing to third-party sites, the streaming giant seemed to be making a statement on its social capacity. But a recently unearthed feature shows that they’re reintroducing communal approaches to music sharing.

According to app detective Jane Manchun Wong, Spotify is currently testing a “Social Listening” feature that allows groups of friends to create and share a near-synchronous listening experience. TechCrunch describes it: “[Social Listening] lets multiple people add songs to a queue they can all listen to. You just all scan one friend’s QR-style Spotify Social Listening code, and then anyone can add songs to the real-time playlist. Differing from their current collaborative playlists, “the user interface will show how many users are connected to the listening session, their profile image, and a code that will allow users to add music.” The tool has obvious utility for inherently communal experiences; TechRadar notes that the feature has high potential for group activities like parties or road trips. But it could also connect friends at a distance, who can also connect using a dedicated link to the always-under-construction list.

At 100 million paying subscribers and millions more listening free with ad support, Spotify is the natural music site to test out this feature. Prior attempts to facilitate synchronous listening, most notably with Turntable.fm but also through a long-forgotten Facebook feature “Listen With”, have since shuttered, leaving Spotify as the only site to offer this capability…should it be released.

Currently, only Spotify employees have access to the still-experimental capability. And there are still some kinks to work out. For example, the tool will struggle to be fully synchronous if a playlist is shared between paid Spotify users and ones who rely on ad support for their experiences- what happens to paid subscribers while other users get ads?

But even if the experience never reaches that fully synchronous pinnacle, it could grow the company’s bottom line; as TechCrunch points out, “the intimate experience of co-listening might lead to longer sessions with Spotify, boosting ad plays or subscription retention.” And from a more altruistic perspective, the rededication of Spotify to making music a communal experience is promising, encouraging even. Some of the best memories many of us have of music include sharing it with friends—if this feature makes it to market, this process could get even easier.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH THE SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post Testing, Testing: Spotify Has a “Social Listening” Feature in the Works appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/testing-testing-spotify-has-a-social-listening-feature-in-the-works/

Testing, Testing: Spotify Has a “Social Listening” Feature in the Works

When Spotify shuttered its in-app messaging capabilities several years back, instead pushing song and album sharing to third-party sites, the streaming giant seemed to be making a statement on its social capacity. But a recently unearthed feature shows that they’re reintroducing communal approaches to music sharing.

According to app detective Jane Manchun Wong, Spotify is currently testing a “Social Listening” feature that allows groups of friends to create and share a near-synchronous listening experience. TechCrunch describes it: “[Social Listening] lets multiple people add songs to a queue they can all listen to. You just all scan one friend’s QR-style Spotify Social Listening code, and then anyone can add songs to the real-time playlist. Differing from their current collaborative playlists, “the user interface will show how many users are connected to the listening session, their profile image, and a code that will allow users to add music.” The tool has obvious utility for inherently communal experiences; TechRadar notes that the feature has high potential for group activities like parties or road trips. But it could also connect friends at a distance, who can also connect using a dedicated link to the always-under-construction list.

At 100 million paying subscribers and millions more listening free with ad support, Spotify is the natural music site to test out this feature. Prior attempts to facilitate synchronous listening, most notably with Turntable.fm but also through a long-forgotten Facebook feature “Listen With”, have since shuttered, leaving Spotify as the only site to offer this capability…should it be released.

Currently, only Spotify employees have access to the still-experimental capability. And there are still some kinks to work out. For example, the tool will struggle to be fully synchronous if a playlist is shared between paid Spotify users and ones who rely on ad support for their experiences- what happens to paid subscribers while other users get ads?

But even if the experience never reaches that fully synchronous pinnacle, it could grow the company’s bottom line; as TechCrunch points out, “the intimate experience of co-listening might lead to longer sessions with Spotify, boosting ad plays or subscription retention.” And from a more altruistic perspective, the rededication of Spotify to making music a communal experience is promising, encouraging even. Some of the best memories many of us have of music include sharing it with friends—if this feature makes it to market, this process could get even easier.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH THE SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post Testing, Testing: Spotify Has a “Social Listening” Feature in the Works appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/testing-testing-spotify-has-a-social-listening-feature-in-the-works/

After TikTok and Instagram, Music is Making Its Way to Snapchat

The ability to add music to online creations, without the threat of post removal, has rocketed both Instagram and TikTok to success. Now, Snapchat reportedly wants in.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, talks have “intensified in recent weeks” between Snap and the three major record labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. If completed, Snap could add the ability to embed clips of songs on the platform’s posts. Such a deal would not only enhance the user experience for Snapchat users accustomed to these capabilities on rival apps, but would be “a step toward keeping the app competitive against Facebook and TikTok”—and intensify the arms race of sorts happening among the three.

TikTok gets its music licensing capability from low-cost deals that were completed by its parent company ByteDance and their acquired property, Musical.ly. Facebook secured these rights in 2018, deploying them shortly thereafter via Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Oculus. Instagram’s power in this arena rose further with its Spotify integration, a major contributor to Instagram Stories’ meteoric rise. But TikTok is nipping at both Instagram and Snapchat’s heels, maintaining its status as the #1 downloaded iOS app for over a year. And Instagram has already responded to this rising dominance by reformatting their fledgling IGTV product to look more like TikTok’s algorithmic feed.

At present, Snapchat’s music integration capabilities are locked into a single lens, deployed as a “Lip Sync Challenge” last December. Should this deal get done, those capabilities could expand into all private and public Snaps. And again, while the deal is not yet signed, it shows promise—and more than a little fight—on the part of Snap, who continues to remake its image to regain the popularity of its early days.

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WATCH THE SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post After TikTok and Instagram, Music is Making Its Way to Snapchat appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/after-tiktok-and-instagram-music-is-making-its-way-to-snapchat/

Apple reveals a host of new products ahead of Christmas

Including new iPad pros and a Macbook Air

via Apple reveals a host of new products ahead of Christmas — WalesOnline – Home

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/apple-reveals-a-host-of-new-products-ahead-of-christmas/

Upcoming Comedy & Music Events for February and beyond at the Neon Entertainment Venue, Newport

If you like Live Music and Comedy then you should definitely check out the newly refurbished Art Deco Neon Venue in Newport. The old Odeon Cinema in Newport, which has been derelict for many years has recently been refurbished as an Entertainment and Events Venue in Newport and with it’s 3,500 capacity it is now […]

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/upcoming-comedy-music-events-for-february-and-beyond-at-the-neon-entertainment-venue-newport/

Upcoming Comedy & Music Events for February and beyond at the Neon Entertainment Venue, Newport

If you like Live Music and Comedy then you should definitely check out the newly refurbished Art Deco Neon Venue in Newport. The old Odeon Cinema in Newport, which has been derelict for many years has recently been refurbished as an Entertainment and Events Venue in Newport and with it’s 3,500 capacity it is now […]

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/upcoming-comedy-music-events-for-february-and-beyond-at-the-neon-entertainment-venue-newport/

Comedy & Music Events in Newport for February….

If you like Live Music and Comedy then you should definitely check out the newly refurbished Art Deco Neon Venue in Newport. The old Odeon Cinema in Newport, which has been derelict for many years has recently been refurbished as an Entertainment and Events Venue in Newport and with it’s 3,500 capacity it is now […]

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/comedy-music-events-in-newport-for-february/

These guys have written a rap about Cardiff and it’s really good

Four musicians from Cardiff have collaborated to perform a rap in tribute to the city. Hip hop artists The Forgotten , GMR , Dion Ell and Noah collaborated to produce a song and a music video in tribute to the Welsh capital. The video takes in iconic scenes from all over the city including a […]

http://cbword.com/2016/10/20/these-guys-have-written-a-rap-about-cardiff-and-its-really-good/

YouTube Goes to the Dark Side for Help With Its Label Fight

For most of the past year, YouTube has been fighting the music industry’s attempts to paint it as a cheapskate, and even a scofflaw, a haven for unfettered copyright infringement. The company, which has been part of Alphabet’s Google goog operation for the past decade, has done its best to argue that these criticisms are…

http://fortune.com/2016/09/29/youtube-label-fight/