Inside Music - March 5th, 2020

Inside Music (Mar 5th, 2020)

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Quick note: Instead of a traditional Top 10 today I'm including an interview I conducted with record label founder Chad Hillard. Check it out and then hit 'reply' to let me know if you like this kind of thing. Do you have suggestions for anyone you'd like to see interviewed?

1. Interview: Chad Hillard, founder of the new record label and management, Dreams Never Die Music Group. Hillard started the music discovery site Hillydilly.com where he was one of the first to find and promote Billie Eilish, among many other emerging artists. This original Q&A is for both artists and executives looking to hear first-hand experiences from this space of the music industry.

What has been the hardest thing for your new label to go from zero to putting out its first record?

The hardest thing has been getting the press, DSPs, tastemakers, radio DJs, etc on board. It's a heavy lift to break brand-new acts and it requires personal reach-outs to really sell the ethos of the label, and properly present all the acts you're trying to break.

My advice for anyone pitching an act is to have your entire release and marketing plan laid out and delivered in advance.

With thousands of artists releasing new music daily, you want to present a nice package to everyone showing you're for real and you're not just dropping a single here, a single there. Most of the time there's no plan and it's tough to get people to care if you don't take what you're doing seriously.

What are you looking for in artists you sign now?

I'm looking for ones that have great songs, uniqueness, an understanding of their aesthetic, and are self-contained — which means they can produce, write, record, and create social media content themselves.

What is the biggest marketing challenge you’ve run into so far?

For any new act, it's just about identifying who your fans are, figuring out who you are as the artist, and where your unique voice fits in the world.

The challenge is figuring it out and being patient. You can market something all you want, but if it doesn't resonate with people, it's not going to work. You will increase your chances of success by making music that is true to you. The public is smart and they'll figure it out.

What social platforms are you bullish on now and where are you seeing the most return come from?

From a paid perspective, I prefer to run my ads solely on Instagram and not Facebook. Targeting ads in the emerging music markets like Southeast Asia has seen a great return.

I have yet to try ads on TikTok, but that is where I will also focus my additional marketing efforts in the coming months.

What music industry trends are sticking out to you right now? What should people be paying attention to?

Everyone is thirsty for something different and weird right now. I always tell my acts, the weirder the better.

I think a lot of people are tired of the same recycled formula of artists that don't take enough risks and are not creative enough. Everything in the alternative space is definitely a great example of that.

Pay attention to the playlists "Lorem" and "Pollen" on Spotify. Those are breeding grounds for the stars of tomorrow.

2. Trends: TikTok owner Bytedance has officially released Resso, its Spotify competitor, in India. Information about Resso began to surface over the last few months as the app was in limited beta testing. The differentiator between the free and paid tiers is the quality of music playback. Free users are able to stream music at 128 Kbps while paid users get a higher 256 Kbps bitrate. Resso includes rolling lyrics on the songs and listeners can leave comments on the tracks. There's no word on if or when Resso will launch in the U.S. — THE NEXT WEB

3. Trends: Rock band Metallica has launched its own vinyl subscription service. This won't just be standard vinyl albums; however, the band will be releasing rareties and other unreleased songs on vinyl four times a year. The record service will be part of Metallica's Fifth Member fan club and will cost $50/year. Anyone interested will need to sign up before March 31 to be included in the first year of service. — CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND

4. Apps: Jadu is a new entertainment startup that wants to let fans dance with their favorite artists' hologram. Jadu is launching an app that adds people's own recorded videos next to in-app artist holograms. Among the first artists participating include Poppy, Pussy Riot, and Vic Mensa, but other notable holograms are said to be available in the future. The process to record the holograms is still pretty intense as it includes 106 cameras positioned all around the person and can cost nearly $100,000 per day. — ROLLING STONE

5. Here are a few other things you should know about today:

  • Katy Perry revealed she's pregnant in her music video for her new song “Never Worn White.” 
  • The Dixie Chicks are back after 16 years with a new song and upcoming album titled "Gaslighter."
  • Chance The Rapper has joined the upcoming "Sesame Street" movie along with actress Anne Hathaway.
  • YouTube Music has redesigned its app's playback screen, which now includes lyrics on Android. iOS will be gaining the feature in the near future.

Tyler Hayes is a writer and early adopter in both music and technology. He's based in California and has contributed to Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and Billboard, among others. You can reach out at @TylerH.

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