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Report for Conversation Meeting 10 June

Summary of the June 10 meeting - Leadership in music groups

On June 10, 11 participants gathered together with the inspirers Anna Johansen Fridén and Mikael Godée and the moderator Terese Lien Evenstad from Musikcentrum Väst. The meeting started at 09:00 with a short presentation of MCV and the Academy of Culture, followed by the inspirations' introductions. The participants then had to introduce themselves in a round.

The conversation continued with a focus on effective strategies and methods in leadership and what did not work so well. Mikael and Anna discussed the topic first, and then the participants shared their own dilemmas and challenges related to leadership in music groups. The inspirers and participants contributed insights, perspectives and tips, and this session lasted two hours with two short breaks.

The last hour was devoted to cooperation, commitment, motivation and conflict management. During the 40-minute discussions, participants shared their reflections and challenges around these themes. The ending felt very positive and it was good to finish at lunchtime.

Everyone was very happy about the joint lunch, where the conversations about the different parts and challenges of professional life continued. The atmosphere was warm, cordial and uplifting for both moderator and participants.

/Terese Lien Evenstad, Music Center West

 

An exploratory conversation around a table in Bergsjön Kulturhus

On Friday, May 24, Sara Aldén from MCV participated in an exploratory conversation around a table in Bergsjön Culture House on the initiative and invitation of Turnip and The network.

 

The goal of the conversation was to gather actors who worked with and for cultural practitioners and artists and their opportunity to establish themselves on the Swedish cultural scene. By participating and sharing one's own experiences regarding issues that ring in how we create space for everyone on the Swedish cultural scene, a lift in knowledge and a dialogue about what works effectively and less effectively was made possible. 

 

The wish of Sara, who participated on behalf of MCV, was to expand her understanding and widen her knowledge bank regarding the obstacles and opportunities that exist for cultural actors and artists who have moved to Sweden and are trying to establish themselves on the Swedish cultural scene and also for those who were born in Sweden but which is outside the prevailing norms. 

 

By exploring what possible obstacles exist in structures and norms, this meeting place created opportunities to, together with other active actors in the cultural section in Västra Götaland, design ideas around what could actually and practically make a difference. Sara felt that the sharing of experiences combined with a critical examination of her own approaches creates opportunities and opens up creative ways to find new ways forward.

Streaming economy – Daniel Johansson

Streaming economy – Daniel Johansson

At Daniel Johansson's lecture, arranged by the Academy of Culture on April 29, insights were shared about the streaming economy and how platforms such as Spotify work. Below you will find a "Recipe for success" for you who are music creators. This recipe will help you increase your chances of getting on playlists and increase the number of streams of your music. See the list, based on Daniel's presentation, below.

1. Target large markets: Your music should be popular in markets where many people pay for streaming services and subscription prices are high, such as the US and the UK. That creates bigger payouts per stream, and even smaller playlists from independent curators can generate valuable streams in those countries.

2. Attract active listeners: Focus on reaching users who listen more than average per month. These users influence how the streaming service's revenue is distributed. The listeners' degree of activity is partly related to genre and style, younger consumers usually have a higher music consumption per month and thus gain a greater importance for how the royalty pots are distributed, as well as listeners in genres such as pop, electronic, hip hop.

3. Shorter songs get more streams: Songs that are shorter than average have an advantage, as more streams can be generated. A 2,5 minute song has a much better chance of getting more streams than a 7 minute song. Balancing song length with artistic expression, many of those who do well on streaming services create and release music with the format in mind.

4. Spend time creating good pitches: Be out in good time and plan your pitches. Do not pitch at the "last moment", i.e. no later than 7 days before the release, but preferably 2 or 3 weeks before. Also, remember that you can only pitch one song at a time, so think about whether you're really going to release the music in album format, or if it's better to release as singles and then release them as albums once all the individual tracks are released.

5. Get on "feature music playlists" (if you create that kind of music): If your music is added to playlists that play as background music, there is a higher chance of getting more streams. This happens, for example, when someone studies, exercises, or puts children to bed who listen to music until they fall asleep. Here, it can be good to initially pitch to independent curators, to "massage" the algorithms.

6. Timing is important: For example, you can release your music early in the month, or late in the month to have a better chance of next month's royal jackpot. All streaming payouts are calculated monthly, so this can increase your chances of getting a larger portion of that particular month's pot.

7. Do a competitive analysis: Since each month is like a "competition", it's good to keep track of which competing artists will be releasing at the same time as you. The royalty pots are distributed based on shares of the total, and you have a better chance of getting a larger share of the payouts if fewer competitors are releasing music at the same time.

8. Follow up the statistical analysis regularly: Have access to dashboards on all platforms, make sure you have claimed them on all platforms, not just on Spotify. Use aggregating statistics tools such as Chartmetric, Luminate or Soundcharts, to understand your audience and their behavior better.

9. Newly stolen is best: Learn from your competitors, who may be doing better. How do they do? What have they done? What kind of content works best? How often do they release music? What playlists is their music on? Do a structured analysis and use that knowledge to shape your own digital artistry.

10. Be active on the whole "scene": Streaming platforms listen to the entire web and other services like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube to see what's trending, but also blog posts, newspaper articles and other media. You are much more likely to get exposure on the streaming services if you are active on other platforms at the same time. Streaming is only part of the digital scene.

11. Experiment: Try different variations and mixes of the songs instead of just releasing one version. It can be, for example, spedup or slowdown versions, instrumentals, shorter mixes, etc.

12. Have full control of your metadata: Make sure to have a database where you have full control of all metadata related to all releases, codes like ISRC, ISWC, IPI on composers, etc. This is especially important if you want to be able to claim income from other types of use as well.

13. Focus mainly on getting fans and followers: The amount of streams directly correlates to how many loyal fans you have. Therefore invest in building a long-term relationship with people who love you and your music. Who are they? How can you involve them? Give them VIP news and content that makes them feel valued. It's better to have 1 super loyal fans than to have 000 who just listen to the music a little casually. Focus on getting as many followers on the streaming platforms, rather than just listeners.

14. Keep up with the news feed: What is happening with the streaming services? How do the different distribution models work? Which services are the biggest in different markets, Spotify is just one of about fifty streaming services. Subscribe to newsletters such as Music Business Worldwide, Digital Music News and Music Ally (not to be confused with Musical.ly).

15. Don't give up: Data shows that it takes an average of three years before new artists start to climb up the streaming ladder. Keep releasing music, keep pitching, and activate the back catalog once it starts happening. Have fun on the road!

Here is a selection of several articles on the streaming economy:

Jazzahead 2024

jazzahead!

2024-04-11 – 2024-04-14

On April 11-14, Sara Aldén from Musikcentrum Väst was on site at Jazzahead in Bremen on behalf of Musikcentrum Väst to seek collaboration partners for, among other things, international activities. Together with Sara, Musikcentrum Öst's Ragnar Berthling was also present. The goal of the Musikcentrum's presence was to increase our contact surfaces in a time of austerity and record-breaking reductions in cultural support, where collaborations both nationally and internationally are important to enable a continued stimulated professional segment between music and audiences on both a national and international level. 

 

Jazzahead is an annual fair in Bremen, Germany, where everyone involved in the jazz industry gets the opportunity to meet and network. Participating in this year's fair were, for example, artists, bands, bookers, organizers, festivals and various networks and organizations. Musikcentrum Väst's employee, Sara Aldén, represented Musikcentrum Riks (umbrella organization for Musikcentrum öst, Musikcentrum Syd and Musikcentrum Väst), our members and the showcase channel Live Music From Sweden.

 

Musikcentrum Riks carried out a showcase "Swedish Sunday Brunch" last year in Vegesack (just outside Bremen) in collaboration with Export Music Sweden and Culture Development VGR, but this could not be carried out this year due to cutbacks. 

Sara's experience of jazzahead and her best tips for next year's fair:

Thursday, April 11, started with the "Mixer" - a mingling organized by Export Music Sweden for stakeholders from and for Swedish musicians at the bar in the Maritim Hotel. Once in place at the fair, it was full steam ahead and fast paced with room for meetings and mingling. In the Swedish stand, Export Music Sweden housed and hosted the Swedish organizations and artists who made it to Jazzahead. On the counter were business cards, press kits and records. 

On Friday, April 12 at 11 a.m., Musikcentrum Väst's members met on site in the Swedish stand for a Get Together where we gathered, introduced ourselves to each other, pitched our projects and shared what our goals for the fair were. In this way, we could also help each other if someone wanted to target, for example, a particular country, if you then got in touch with someone in this country, you could mention your fellow musician in MCV as a tip and pass on this tip to the MCV musician . By hooking up with each other in this way, we support each other in the work of spreading our music from MCV and also back each other up on a personal level in the form of support and encouragement to help each other navigate this rather unfamiliar landscape of many impressions and lots and lots of people who all want to talk and sell. 

At 12 o'clock on Friday, what Export Music Sweden annually invites to, namely the "Nordic at Noon" format, began. Alcohol and snacks are served there to Swedish delegates and those they wish to invite to the Swedish booth.

At the fair, you could listen to music from different record companies, listen to lectures with headsets, talk and mingle with delegates, musicians and artists from all over the world and listen to music at the various showcases. In the afternoons and evenings, showcases and club nights were held that you could take part in. 

From this year's jazzahead I bring with me a lot of new contacts and ideas, but perhaps most of all I bring with me the cohesion and atmosphere that was created in the MCV team on site. My experience was that we really came together and created an environment and atmosphere of security, pep and strength to return to during the fair! My advice to a first-time skier is not to have too high expectations in terms of measurable results, but to take it as it comes and not put too much pressure on yourself. Coming prepared in the form of press materials is a good goal to have with you infront of to be able to reap as much as possible from this investment that it means for musicians to go all the way to Bremen in Germany. To also place great importance on time after jazzahead I think is a winning concept - to follow up and reconnect with those you have connected with at the fair, maybe for next year or to create job opportunities or tours for the coming year.

/Sara Aldén, project manager and communicator at Musikcentrum Väst.

 

Report from KKB – Cultural and creative industries

 

On Monday, March 25, Sara from Musikcentrum Väst was on site at the Brewhouse Incubator to participate in a round table discussion on the initiative of the Västra Götaland region.

 

The conversations revolved around the theme for the day, which was as follows:

  • How do we strengthen Cultural and creative industries (abbreviated herewith and in this report as CCB) in Västra Götaland?
  • What is required for KKB to develop? 
  • How can they be a force for both site development and innovation? 
  • What issues are particularly important to address? 
  • How can we collaborate? 

 

Through discussions and roundtables interspersed with inspirers and informants on the subject, center formations, municipal associations and more gathered for these talks to build ways forward.

The day began with a presentation of various themes that we were invited to contribute to problem analysis and then solution creation within. The themes were as follows:

  1. Promotion system and infrastructure – here we discussed how we can promote excellence and breadth within KKB and what we see going forward. The answers to the problem statements revolved around sustainability and innovation for a more environmentally friendly and climate-smart cultural life. Charlotte Odebjer, CEO at Brewhouse Incubator inspired with examples of just this at Brewhouse Incubator 
  2. Innovation and change - here it was discussed how KKB can be involved in shaping solutions to our major societal challenges in everything from film to fashion. Solutions in the form of innovative materials and synergistic effects where already existing operations are taking place are highlighted as solutions and ways forward.
  3. The importance of places for KKB and vice versa - finally attractiveness and place development were discussed through inspiration from Anders Lindgren, operations manager of Mötesplats Steneby, a successful example of culture in the small towns of Dals Långed and Fengersfors in Dalsland (click here to read more about Meeting place Dalsland) and from Manne Fridell, project manager Älvstranden Utveckling who talked about the structuring of the Masthuggskajen with a focus on the cultural life that is created in relation to the design. 

 

In conclusion, the Västra Götaland region offered an inspiring summation of the day by David Karlsson, historian of ideas, author and investigator where continued collaborations and synergy effects were encouraged and emphasized.

 

A nice day with many nice and driven people who care for a sustainable cultural life in Västra Götaland.

/Sarah 

 

 

Report from the University of Stage & Music

Report from HSM industry day

For a few years now, MCV has focused on being an organization and a network even for unestablished musicians such as e.g. Music students and others who eventually have the ambition to become a professional musician. We do this, among other things, through outreach activities at universities and collaborations with student associations. 

MCV NY is the membership where these can be part of MCV, it means advice and invitations but not mediation that a regular membership includes.

 

On February 7, Lars and Veronica were at the University of Stage and Music in Gothenburg for their annual industry day. During the day, various activities within culture are invited to present themselves to the students. After a short presentation of all the activities, the students are divided into groups and MCV, Danscentrum Väst and Kulturförvaltningen Västra Götaland shared a room and held three information sessions with space for questions, conversations and thoughts about the future and opportunities, where to get support during and after the studies .
Overall, it was a successful and well-attended day and for MCV it is valuable to establish contact with future musicians already during the study period.

The participants were interested and had some questions, some connected to membership, there was also a short discussion about the concept of professionalism. The first group was held in English because some international students participated. The second group consisted mostly of students who will become church musicians. The last group consisted of only one student who was doing film music and heavy metal, so it was a very personal coaching. At the end, coffee was served where the representatives from the various businesses had time to talk and share the day's experiences and learnings. A very good networking opportunity. 

/Veronica Odetunde

Don't miss our new website for Creative School!

Musikcentrum Rik's three sister associations Musikcentrun South, East and West have a new common platform and website for Creative school Music.

Skapande Skola is about opportunities for children to encounter culture in a school environment. The focus is on children's and students' own creation, and it can both involve experiencing performances or participating in workshops.

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