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Music Streaming Platforms Share Initiatives To Keep The Tunes Rolling

As concerts and tours have been canceled, music streaming services have presented ways artists can still make a profit.

As artists continue to provide livestreams from the comfort of their homes or studios, music streaming services are looking to support musicians monetarily with new initiatives. While streaming can be a point of steady income for artists (noting different platforms’ usage by consumers might be at an all-time high since more people are socially distancing at home), platforms like TIDAL, Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, and Bandcamp are rolling out creative initiatives to help artists still make a profit.

Here’s what a few entities are doing to put both the artist and consumer first.

TIDAL
From Latin to R&B, TIDAL launched its “At Home with TIDAL” Livestream Series on Wednesday (March 25) to provide a free experience to streamers. By reaching back into its digital archives, the streaming platform will feature 12-hour daily livestreams of previous performances from Beyonce, Daddy Yankee, Jorja Smith, JAY-Z, H.E.R., Rihanna, Rosalia, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, and many more.

Each day will highlight a different genre, beginning with Latin on March 25 and ending on Sunday (March 29) with an R&B lineup.

On March 20, the streaming giant introduced the series by streaming past festivals like the Dreamville Fest, Made In America, and other concerts that featured Alicia Keys, Ari Lennox, Nicki Minaj, Pusha T and more.

Spotify
On Wednesday (March 25), Spotify announced a COVID-19 Music Relief project that’ll support music organizations like PRS Foundation, MusiCares, and Help Musicians to provide a connection to musicians in financial need. According to a statement, “Spotify has engaged partners across the industry to discuss how we can support artists and the creative community who have been deeply impacted by the effects of the virus.”

An outlet to allow artists to set up fundraisers on their Spotify profile page that'll allow fans to share donations is also being implemented by the streaming service. “This will give artists on Spotify the ability to link out to a verified funding page for themselves, for another artist in need, or for a separate initiative of their choice. (This feature will, of course, be optional for artists to leverage; no changes will be made to profile pages unless the artist chooses to participate, and Spotify will not take a cut of any contributions.)” a statement on the brand’s website reads.

Taking it outside of music organizations, Spotify donated to the CDC Foundation Response Fund and WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support medical staff with essentials needed to prevent the spread of the virus, and deliver essential items to those quarantined at home.

YouTube Music
In addition to its donation to the MusiCares Coronavirus Relief Fund, YouTube Music launched a StayHome #WithMe hub where viewers can assemble videos from livestreams and other forms of original content. Those found on the service’s “Jam With Me” playlist already feature J Balvin, Major Lazer and more.

Playlists to ease in a new way of life as thousands work from home or attend classes online was also established by the service.

Bandcamp
Earlier this month, Bandcamp decided to cancel revenue shares for one day to help musicians maintain a source of income since tours and other obligations have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Tech Crunch, by Bandcamp waiving those shares artists were able to rake in $4.3 million in sales, ultimately allowing musicians and labels to hold onto 100 percent of the revenue to continue musical efforts in this time of social distancing. This included the sale of music and merchandise that accompany’s an artist’s brand.

Triller
Although Triller isn’t a traditional music streaming service, it's partly responsible for boosting the popularity of certain songs through various dance challenges, similar to Tik Tok. To step into this temporary stage of experiencing music in a new way, Triller will launch a digital music festival titled Co-Trilla Quarantine Sessions. The artist/band lineup will be revealed later this month while a launch date of April 10-12 is in place.

“The Coronavirus has had a significant impact around the world, and we want to do our part to help those in need, while providing a safe environment for people to escape and enjoy some great entertainment,” said Mike Lu, Triller's CEO, in an email statement. “The Co-Trilla Quarantine Sessions’ are our way of delivering premium entertainment, featuring some of today’s most notable artists, to everyone in the safety of their homes, while giving users an opportunity to help those in need.”

There will also be a donate function for users to share funds for those in need and others battling on the frontlines against COVID-19.

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Listen To Brandy's Highly Anticipated ‘B7’ Album

Brandy’s new album, B7, arrived on Friday (July 31). Led by the single “Baby Mama,” the 15-track album about love, heartbreak and growth, includes appearances from  Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caeser, and Brandy's teenage daughter, Sy'rai Smith, who joins her mother on the track “High Heels.”

Along with the new album -- her first since 2012 -- Brandy debuted the music video for her latest single, “Borderline.”

“I spilled so much of my heart on this album,” she proudly told fans during a listening party on YouTube on Thursday (July 30).

In a more sobering moment from the virtual party, Brandy opened up about the death of her friend and producer, Lashawn Daniels. “It feels very strange although I’m excited and grateful to have the music out, it’s just hard not having him here to hear the complete project,” she said.

“But I take him with me wherever I go. I know everything he ever said to me, ever taught me, and what he told me, I can hold onto that. If I ever feel down about my gift there’s a few things that he told me to remind me that I have no reason to feel down at all.”

Speaking with Billboard, the Grammy winner discussed the importance of Black female R&B artists sharing content, especially during these turbulent times.

“I believe that music heals. Music is the language that we all speak. It is what we all need, and I feel like we need it more now than we ever have,” she explained. “This is the year where we all need to feel like we have something to get us through. ... I was a little hesitant with putting out music in this time because, of course, you want to speak to the times. And I'm thinking, ‘My music is not about exactly what's going on right now.’ But then I thought, ‘But this is the time where people need to feel like they have something to just escape and just help them heal.’ ...that's what made me feel better about releasing [the album].

“And I think that we don’t want to feel alone,” added Brandy. “We need to feel community, we need to feel togetherness, we need to feel love right now. And I think music is the best way to feel that. It’s the shortcut to feeling that right away.”

Stream B7 below.

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T.I. And Jeezy Discuss Potentially Squashing Beef With Gucci Mane

T.I. and Jeezy are thinking about reconnecting with the “third member of the Mt. Rushmore of Trap Music.” During an episode of the Expeditiously Tip podcast, the Atlanta rappers pondered the idea of squashing the beef with Gucci Mane.

“Now what do you think is necessary to bring that sh*t together if anything,” the Grand Hustle leader asked Jeezy. “And I understand we dealing with somebody who’s temperamental themselves..our sh*t that we got with us versus their sh*t that they got with them makes it extremely problematic.”

Tip added that linking with Guwop could be a big move for trap music.

“I just feel like we got to have one of those mafia, back room conversations,” said Jeezy. “What I’ve learned over the years is like this sh*t [is] big business. People that went to Yale still do business with people that went to Harvard. So it’s just one of those convos [that needs to happen]. It’s been decades.”

Tip and Jeezy also discussed the breakdown of their relationship with Gucci, and setting their differences aside. Though Gucci and Jeezy have been beefing for over 10 years, it seems that Tip  fell into the drama by siding with the Snowman.

Watch a clip of their discussion below.

T.I. and Jeezy want to have a conversation with Gucci Mane to squash their beef pic.twitter.com/QNJAHdaqoS

— Complex Ambition (@ComplexAmbition) July 28, 2020

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Jhene Aiko Taps Kehlani, Wiz Khalifa, Mila J For Deluxe Edition Of ‘Chilombo’

Jhene Aiko expanded the guest list for the deluxe edition of her Chilombo album released on Friday (July 17). The updated album is packed with 29 tracks, featuring guest appearances from Kehlani, Snoop Dogg, Mila J, and Chris Brown.

Kehlani joins Aiko and H.E.R. on the remix to “B.S,” while Snoop and Chris Brown hop on “Tryna Smoke,” and Wiz Khalifa drops a guest verse on “Down Again.”

Aiko connects with her older sister, Mila J, for “OTW,” and  it looks like the musical collaboration has been a long time coming. “Finally got a song with my big sister,” Aiko happily tweeted on Friday (July 17).

finally a song with my big sister @MilaJ 💙 scorpio & pisces 💦💦💦

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) July 17, 2020

The Grammy winner announced the deluxe album earlier in the week, along with debuting the track list and gothic cover art.

7/17 #CHILOMBO (deluxe) 🌋 pic.twitter.com/4ZupGndOKL

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) July 15, 2020

The original installment of Chilombo was released in March and shot to No. 2 on the Billboard album chart. In addition to the new tracks, Aiko released the music video for her latest song, “Summer.”

Stream the deluxe edition of Chilombo below.

 

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