Attention all Spinnup music makers! We want to let you know that the Spinnup artist site will be down for the whole day on September 27, 2017.
The reason we’re going offline is that we are making some much needed updates to the Spinnup service that we know you’re going to love!
While we would love to spill the beans and fill you in on all that now, we’re going to leave you in anticipation for just a little longer! Stay tuned to your inbox on the blog for our new feature announcements.
As a part of our exciting upgrade our systems will be slower than normal for about two weeks before September 27th, and one week after. If you are planning on releasing your next project around this time, we recommend allowing up to 15 business days for your release to go live in stores. We recommend making any time sensitive releases before September 13th to avoid any potential delays. We apologise for any inconvenience, and hope that this doesn’t affect your release schedule.
We will be back up and running as per normal – scratch that, BETTER than normal – very soon. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team.
The summer is ending and the cold is on it’s way back to us… But don’t worry too much, because Spinnup is working hard to get the best offers for our artists out there so you can spend more money on getting warm instead!
Spinnup artists always receive a 10% discount on all purchases from Cover Art Factory, but during the whole month of September our artists will get a huge raise to a 30% discount on everything on Cover Art Factory.
Cover Art Factory offers a huge range of pre-made cover art designs you can choose from and customize by uploading a photo and entering your art and title information. Two days later you have your own professional looking artwork!
They also have premium a Custom Made Design feature where you can pay to have a designer custom make unique artwork specifically for your release. Read their page on how the process works for more information.
Creating a release means having the whole package – a great track AND good looking artwork. We’ve had great reviews from the numerous Spinnup artists who have used the service in the past. Make sure you take advantage of this special offer, as it will only last until the end of our free release period on March 3rd, 2017.
August was Kimberly month here at Spinnup with one of our Swedish Scouts, Kimberly, taking over our Spotify and sharing on our Instagram for the first Scout Takeover.
We introduced you to Kimberly at the beginning of August, finding out how she became a Scout and what music she’s loving at the moment. Over the last month we’ve gotten to know her music tastes better with weekly playlist updates featuring artists such as Flume, Blood Orange, Khalid, SZA and Maala. Through her work as a Scout she also uncovered and featured Spinnup artists Julian Maverick, Isak Danielson, Celéste, Mako Road and MIKI.
With more pushes coming in to her account than usual, you guys must have loved Kimberly’s work as much as we have!
Before we let Kimberly get back to her normal life, we had a chat to recap her Scout Takeover and find out how to best get her attention as an artist.
How did you enjoy being the first Scout to ‘take over’?
I feel that the Scout Takeover month is a great way for the artists to get to know us, scouts, a bit better and what kind of music we enjoy. So, I was more than happy to be the first one!
What’s your favourite song you added to your playlist?
My favourite song added on my playlist has to be Bittersweet Symphony; I never get tired of that intro.
Did you discover any new Spinnup artists over the month?
Spinnup’s duo EASY FREAK is literally right now my favourite discovery. I love their sound!
What’s next for you?
School’s just started and I am excited about it (as well as terrified) being the last year! I am also working on my own music and hopefully, I will put something out there really soon for people to hear.
What’s your key piece of advice for Spinnup artists wanting to get your attention?
To really get my attention I want to hear something exciting and unique! Another thing I also look into is the effort you as an artist put on promoting your music. I like when you have a profile where you as a listener can get a sense of what kind of vibe you as an artist have, by that I mean a great bio and the visuals, like for instance your artwork; it really connects everything and makes it into a ‘whole’.
We’ll be choosing another one of our Scouts to do a Scout Takeover soon, could they be from your country? Stay tuned.
• In the age of Soundcloud, sampling and remixing, does copyright still matter?
Over the decades, a number of artists and musicians have been caught up in messy legal disputes due to issues related to copyright infringement.
As Picasso once said, “good artists copy, great artists steal,” but it’s not exactly fair for artists to benefit or profit from work derived from someone else’s, is it?
There are two schools of thought in relation to music copyright: according to certain music scholars, musical copyright should no longer be considered important as it was initially established to protect literary works. On the other hand, other researchers argue that copyright protection in the current digital era is more important than ever before and needs to be protected for the sake of artists.
Are these claims true? What is copyright anyway?
Do we really need to protect music using copyright in our digitally advanced 21st century?
To find answers and understand the role of copyright, let’s rewind and take a historical journey to the 18th century, when copyright was first established.
It all began when the statute of Anne of 1710 was created to protect the tangible literary, musical and artistic works of creators enabling authors to exploit their works and receive incentives during their lifetime plus 70 years after their death. Fast forward 300+ years to today and you will find that the same rules apply.
When first establishing copyright policies, the government looked to protect the rights of authors, however also wanted to use copyright as a way of encouraging “citizens to make and share their creative works with the public, thereby enriching society”. This later led to the principle of ‘fair use’, that included a set of criteria which made copying ‘acceptable’ to a certain extent.
The principle of ‘fair use’ is commonly disregarded with technology making illegal music copying significantly easy. According to the MUSO Global Piracy Insight Annual Report of 2017, an approximate 191 billion visits are made to websites which stream pirated music content online. That’s 25 pirated music streams for every single person on earth.
Not only is this a threat to the identity of artists, but it is also a threat to the value of their recorded music works. With numerous cases of infringement surging, a question we may ask ourselves is how do we use copyright to protect musical works and compositions?
It is useful to know…
That a song or musical composition does not need to be officially registered at the copyright office to be protected; once it is written down or recorded, it automatically receives the copyright protection status. However, when releasing a song or an album it is highly recommended that the musical work is registered at the national copyright office; this will easily enable the owner to sue in a case of copyright infringement. The practice of unlicensed sampling is also a frequent occurrence within the contemporary music industry. The simple act of coping the riff or several seconds of song without an official licence can get one into big trouble; at worst sued for millions of pounds for copyright infringement.
So, what can you do if you feel as though your song has been copied without permission?
Before pointing any fingers, you will have to prove that you retain a valid copyright licence for your work. Gather in-depth evidence, proving that the infringer allegedly copied your work and if possible find a lawyer to help you build your case. Another route to take is to notify search engines like YouTube about the alleged infringement by submitting a copyright take down notice, which, if thoroughly investigated could led to the removal of the infringer’s work.
We can say that copyright laws created hundreds of years ago were very important and continue to be a relevant and valuable tool in the world of music today. Copyright is a right for all artists, and creatives should feel motivated to create new works knowing that their rights will be protected and respected, and be profitable for them within an international market ruled by an international law.
I learned two valuable lessons when studying Music Production at a University that shall not be named. The useful lessons that our lecturer told us all were that “if you want a good drum sound, get a good drummer!” and my personal favourite, “you can’t polish a turd“. Tuition money well spent I’d say. He was referring to recording and audio quality of course, and funnily enough, he was right. You really can’t polish a turd. So here are 5 things to consider to achieve the best sounding recording you could possibly have ready for Spotify and iTunes.
1. Don’t fix recordings in the mix
“We can just fix it in the mix”. “No god damn it, you fix it there and then”. Mixing is great and all when tweaking minor aspects to get that killer sound, but it should be used to enhance sound not fix it. If you’re recording your parts in and there are some minor issues that you could potentially fix in the mix, it’s always better to resolve the issue there and then and get a take that you’re proud of, not one that you’re quite happy with. It will make life easier.
2. Record a lot of takes
There will most likely be one part of a take that you’re not too keen on or could do better. If you record several takes then you should be covered, you can chop and change and get that killer take. Don’t just settle for two good takes, settle for 4-7 great takes and then the choice is yours!
3. Don’t over compress!
The loudness war may be coming to an end with the streaming and download stores playing everything at the same volume, but dynamic range still speaks volumes (no pun intended… okay maybe it was). It’s what makes your chorus – you know, the main focal point of a track (90% of the time) – be the standout section of the song just by simply allowing natural dynamics to do their thing in the mix. You wouldn’t want the whole track to be on the same level for 3 minutes 30 seconds now would you?
4. Don’t over compress…again
Be wary of the fact that the streaming platforms compress every track that is sent to them so that all tracks play at the same/very similar volume. There are two things that you can do to prepare for this:
• Similar to point 3, avoid over compressing the master as the stores are just going to compress on top of that.
• Make sure that when recording, the track is as loud as you can possibly get it without over doing it. If your track is super quiet, God only knows how much compression and gain will be put on that track by Spotify.
5. Never bounce to an MP3
And last but not least, bearing in mind that “you can’t polish a turd”, never ever bounce tracks or convert to an MP3. You may be able to convert an MP3 file to a WAV or FLAC so that it fits our upload requirements, but does it have the sound quality of those superior files types? Well, the answer is NO, it’s an MP3 in disguise. It’s always best to bounce from a DAW to a WAV or FLAC straight away, then, in that case, you always have the best sounding file.
So there you have it, 5 important things to consider for the best audio quality. Simple!
There is literally nothing that makes us happier than when one of our Spinnup artists gets discovered and signed to Universal Music, and this week our 33rdartist has been signed, Denmark’s MOODY!
MOODY (real name Josefine Moody) first came to our attention in 2016 with the release of her first EP on Spinnup, Golden Souls. Since then she has won popular Danish talent competition DR KarriereKanonen, been signed to Universal Music Denmark and released her debut major label release, ‘Karma‘.
But before we get into all of that, exactly who is MOODY?
Started at 5 years old
Music has always held a special place in the heart of 22-year-old Moody, starting to write her own songs at the tender age of five years old. Jump forward 16 years to 2016 when Moody began to follow a career in music with great determination, setting herself up with the right software to begin producing her own music to accompany the songs she had been writing for years.
“I could do whatever I wanted. It’s awesome! I don’t really have any musical background, and I think that made it a whole lot easier, because I just listened and felt what I think sounded good.
It came from inside my soul somehow. And it’s just a f*cking great feeling to be able to create something yourself. From scratch. I’ll never get tired of that.”
Since beginning to produce and release her own music, life has been moving in fast forward up for the singer/songwriter/producer. From releasing on Spinnup in November 2016, to winning KarriereKanoonen and being signed, all within the space about 9 months!
Stream Moody’s new single “Karma” below. Not a Spotify user? Listen to Karma on your preferred music service here moody.lnk.to/karma.
Creating music videos, design and photography is an incredibly important job in any release promo campaign. Great content is vital, and with music video production in particular being the most costly line item of the campaign budget – not to mention quite time-consuming, the music video experience can be quite disastrous if things go wrong. This article and our service aim to help you get the best music video, photography and design possible, every time – plus we’ll share a great discount for a contract…
Here at Radar we look for promising new creatives worldwide and connect them to labels, managers and artists. Radar is a free service for commissioners – we make our money through charging creatives a monthly subscription.
We’ve helped thousands of commissioners, from major labels to brand new up and coming artists and here we hope to help focus on success and avoid common pitfalls.
The music video, design or photography should be consistent with the artists’ look and feel; give guidelines about what you mean by your look and feel.
‘Open to all ideas’ isn’t as helpful as you’d think. Give creatives parameters to work within, share your likes and dislikes with them. Give examples of other content you like and say why you like it.
The opposite – giving creatives a shot-by-shot description of what you’d like – is unlikely to be successful either. Creatives by nature will want the opportunity to express their own creativity.
A good brief will strike a balance between making it broadly clear what kind of content is going to make you happy, and giving the right creative enough room to contribute their own expertise and creativity.
Spend time preparing your budget – there’s no such thing as the ‘right’ budget.
If using Radar, you have to state the budget up front, as part of the brief. As over-runs on budget are a common feature of music video production, we have a valuable feature to deal with that – fixed budgets. Commissioners have to agree they will pay the budget stated if they commission – and equally, creatives agree they will make the content they pitch, for the budget agreed.
Bigger budgets attract more of the better creatives.
You can indicate you’re willing to release more budget for the right ideas – this encourages creatives to pitch on spec for a bigger budget.
2. Shortlisting creatives and pitches
Analysis and research are a critical part of shortlisting a fantastic creative.
Is the pitch well-presented and written, does it give you a realistic and clear picture of what you can expect to see in the video, design or photography? Does the idea seem achievable within your budget?
Past work is the single best indicator of the quality and type of content you’re likely to get with this creative. What is their other work like? If they are a director can you see complete videos? Don’t rely on reels – it’s easy to edit excerpts from average videos into a good-looking reel. All Radar pitches contain a link to the creative’s profile, where you can see creatives’ work.
Check the creative’s Radar profile for reviews (this is a new feature, so don’t be put off if creatives don’t have many/any yet) or contact the creative and ask for people you can speak to.
Social proof. Do all the website and social links in the creative’s Radar profile work? Are there any weird gaps in their story? eg they say they’ve made 5 music videos but you can only see 2.
Beware of creatives offering to work for less than the budget to get the work – it might encourage you to overlook other issues you might later decide are important after all.
How do you feel about working with these people? Ability – can they be clear about how they’ll create the content, or are they a bit defensive or obfuscating? Attitude – are they polite and responsive? Or a bit arrogant, defensive or smarmy? If the creative is active on social media, do they talk like someone you want to work with?
Being able to see a preview is one of the two most useful tools you need as a commissioner, particularly for commissioning video. It will give you a way to better understand what your prospective creative is planning and will give you essential insight into how the finished content will look.
As you’re still shortlisting at this stage, it’s not fair to ask for too much detail from the creative – but you do need enough information to build a competent picture of what the content might be with this person. (nb, It is fair to ask for more detailed storyboards or shotlists as soon as you have commissioned a creative)
A contract is the other most important commissioning tool at your disposal. A good contract will take you through all of the below issues and more:
sign off/ approval on casting, not forgetting dancers – check dancers’ credentials.
We recommend 50% up front and the rest on delivery. Never pay 100% up front. Ask creatives during shortlisting how they are planning to cover the 50% costs which won’t be paid until you get the finished content.
approval schedule (often tied into cashflow). Clarify what you can expect at each point, eg first cut, rough cut, fine cut, delivery (you don’t need all these stages – discuss with your creative).
kill fees. These aren’t necessary, but you could agree to make a payment less that the total budget to finish the relationship if you’re not happy with the quality of the content by a certain point in the schedule.
5. Delivery and Production
The discussion and agreement you’ll have had when setting up your contract will act as a confident guide, taking you through the actual making and delivery of the content.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have a contract. If we ever hear about things going wrong with a commission, invariably it’s because they have not used a contract for whatever reason (“it was such a low budget it didn’t seem worth it”, “we got on really well at the beginning” etc etc). Make your life easy – use a contract!
At this URL, login and choose the Video Production Contract at the bottom. When you’re given the option to apply the discount code, use 1PY3WQYC for your special Radar discount.
This guide will help you avoid the more obvious problems of commissioning content. It can protect you from commissioning creatives with a bad track record, commissioning ideas you’re not a fan of, and ultimately protect you from losing your money.
You’ll notice we recommend you spend time researching and briefing – possibly more time than you were expecting. Take your time, ask for the storyboard, agree a good contract and with a fair wind, you should all end up happy.
This post is brought to you by Radar Creatives. Radar is the biggest & best creative directory of filmmakers, designers & photographers for music marketers worldwide.
One of the main reasons for creating great visual content to go hand in hand with your music release is to land editorial coverage with influential music press, right? But don’t forget the creativity press!
Below is a list of blogs who will feature music videos, design, animation and photography just because the visual content is great. These blogs don’t care about music genres, they care about creativity and artfulness!
Some of them have vast numbers of readers, so the chance of picking up more fans is a foregone conclusion. Plus features with these blogs will boost your credibility sky high, giving you more great things to talk about on your socials.