Canadian Musician

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Can Indie Artists Get on Spotify?

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

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This article originally appeared in the September/October 2017 issue of Canadian Musician.

By Michael Raine

Attend a music industry conference this year and you’re bound hear that “streaming is the new radio” – maybe even a few times. Radio used to be an indie artist’s ticket to fame and fortune, or at least a decent SOCAN cheque and a noticeable boost in ticket sales. While Nielsen surveys show radio’s influence is still significant, streaming playlists, especially on Spotify, are having a huge impact on artists’ earnings and popularity. The importance of these playlists has become obvious, but what is still less clear is how songs get added to them. Like radio, is it largely the domain of the signed artists with the backing of label-employed pluggers, or can indie label and self-releasing artists get their songs on these playlists? The answer to both is “yes.”

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One Land, Many Voices: Canadian Music & The Industry Supports It in 2017

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

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This article originally appeared in the September/October 2017 issue of Canadian Musician.

By Bob Mersereau

It’s been awhile since Tara MacLean has been in the spotlight; nine years in fact. The singer-songwriter had a pretty enviable career going from the mid-’90s to 2008, with three solo albums on Nettwerk Records and two with EMI as part of the group Shaye. She had a publishing deal with Sony/ATV, was managed by Terry McBride, had toured on Lilith Fair, and built a strong U.S. following opening for the likes of Dave Matthews Band. Shaye had done a reality TV show for CMT, and MacLean had played Conan on her own. All this atop an appearance in the film Coyote Ugly.

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Redefining Success in a Digital Marketplace: A conversation with Miranda Mulholland

Monday, August 21st, 2017

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A condensed version of this interview appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Canadian Musician magazine.

By Michael Raine

On May 24, 2017, independent musician, label owner, and festival organizer Miranda Mulholland became the first musician ever to deliver a keynote speech to the Economic Club of Canada. Her speech, entitled “Redefining Success in a Digital Marketplace,” sought to educate the business and policy sector on the myriad of challenges and obstacles present-day artists face, many of which have served to undermine their ability to make a living. Canadian Musician spoke with Mulholland to dig deeper into her message.

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DIY Touring, Pt. 3: Budgeting for the Road

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

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This article originally appeared in the June/July 2017 issue of Canadian Musician.

By Liam Duncan

These days, it’s almost assumed that bands hit the road and lose their shirts. The image of the starving artist is a tired cliché, but one that many people buy into.

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YouTube: Friend or Foe of the Music Industry?

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

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This article originally appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of Canadian Musician magazine.   

By Michael Raine

Two related themes have dominated music industry discussions and reporting over the last couple of years. From industry conferences at Canadian Music Week and South by Southwest to reports by the BBC and New York Times, there has been jubilation over revenue growth. Subscription streaming services like Spotify are credited with fueling a 5.9 per cent worldwide growth for the recorded music industry in 2016, which is the largest year-over-year increase since IFPI began tracking the market. In Canada, the growth was even more dramatic at 14.8 per cent thanks to streaming revenues more than doubling. On the flip side, though, is fretting and even outright anger over the paltry royalties the largest online service, YouTube, pays music rights holders.

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