The Music Xray Blog
technology enhanced identification of high potential songs & talent

New Music Xray Introduction Video

Posted by Mike McCready | March 3rd, 2015 | 209 Responses

This is a new video that outlines what Music Xray does, how it works, and includes some testimonials from artists and industry professionals.

Check it out!


Mark Zuckerberg’s Keynote Address At Mobile World Congress Is So Boring Attendees Fall Asleep

Posted by Mike McCready | March 3rd, 2015 | No responses

Courtesy Photo

Mark Zuckerberg gave a keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, but it was so boring that many people either fell asleep in their seats or walked out midway through.
Zuckerberg was in Barcelona to talk about, Facebook’s effort to co-ordinate mobile carriers to bring the internet to the developing world. That’s actually interesting, and people mostly paid attention when Zuckerberg was talking about that.

But the problems came when three carrier partners came on stage to talk about how they’re working with Facebook. They spoke about technical things, like how working with Facebook is affecting their bottom lines. Most people in the audience weren’t interested.

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Sony/ATV Appoints Rick Krim to Run West Coast A&R

Posted by Mike McCready | March 3rd, 2015 | No responses

Courtesy Photo

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has tapped entertainment industry veteran Rick Krim to lead the company’s A&R operations in Los Angeles. Krim’s official title is co-president, U.S., and he’ll work alongside NYC-based Danny Strick on all A&R activities. Both will report directly to chairman and CEO Martin Bandier.

“Rick is a true music industry professional with deep relationships with the best artists, talent managers and industry executives,” said Bandier, who made the announcement. “He truly knows songwriters and will be a great asset to an already strong team.

Given his time at MTV and VH1, he will also bring to us a number of additional skills to complement his immense A&R capabilities.”

Krim arrives at Sony/ATV following a year-long stint at Republic Records, where he was executive vice president of artist development. Before that he spent much of the past 30-plus years working in television, dating back to 1982 as a business manager at MTV, where he eventually rose to vp of talent and artist relations. In the 1990s he made a career switch to EMI Music Publishing, led by Bandier at the time, spending six years overseeing the promotion and marketing department. He returned to TV land in 2001 when he was named evp of talent and music programming at MTV parent Viacom.

“I cannot wait to get started in this role as I am not only returning to music publishing, but will be reunited with Marty Bandier who I learned so much from during my time at EMI,” said Krim. “It is so exciting and such an honor after all these years to get a chance to work with him again, especially at a company as dynamic as Sony/ATV that is blessed with so many great songwriters and artists. I am also looking forward to working with Danny and the rest of the Sony/ATV team.”




UN Report Recommends Youth Turn Down the Music

Posted by Mike McCready | March 2nd, 2015 | No responses

The World Health Organization says millions of young people around the world are at risk of hearing loss from loud music.

The UN agency said Friday that a review of data from middle- and high-income countries shows almost half of all 12 to 35-year-olds listen to unsafe levels of music on their personal audio devices or cellphones.

And about 40 percent of teens and young adults are exposed to damaging levels of sound at nightclubs, bars and sporting events.

WHO says volumes above 85 decibels for eight hours or 100 decibels for 15 minutes are unsafe.

The Geneva-based agency recommends that young people take listening breaks, use apps to limit the volume on their smartphone and consider using personal audio players for no more than one hour a day.



Protected: Music Xray Private Intro

Posted by Mike McCready | March 2nd, 2015 | No responses

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Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘I Really Like You’ Single Is Really (Really) Fun: Listen

Posted by Mike McCready | March 2nd, 2015 | 2 Responses

Has Carly Rae Jepsen stumbled into another “Call Me Maybe”? The Canadian pop singer, now two-and-a-half years removed from the unlikely Hot 100 run of that smash hit, has returned with a hook that’s just as instantly appealing — and replaces the “Hey, I just met you/And this is crazy” with a really, really long list of “really’s” (67 of them, to be specific).

“I Really Like You,” the first single from her next album, was released to digital retailers at midnight ET on Sunday night (Mar. 1) and returns listeners to the sugar high of Jepsen’s 2012 album, Kiss.

Working with producer/co-writer Peter Svensson, Jepsen creates a breathless 80’s banger that comes back to “Call Me Maybe’s” fixation on ultra-crisp percussion and blurted-out flirtation. The chorus doesn’t possess a melodic hook as arresting as the syncopated strings on “Call Me Maybe,” but Jepsen fills the gap by bellowing the words every high schooler screws up the courage to whisper at some point in their lives: “I really really really really really really like you.” It’s darn near impossible to follow up a summer-defining hit like “Call Me Maybe,” but with the giddy “I Really Like You,” Jepsen has put in her bid to rule the spring of 2015.

Scooter Braun discussed the potential of “I Really Like You” during a recent chat with Billboard: “I told her that she couldn’t come out with anything unless it was on the level of ‘Call Me Maybe.’ And, now we have a new one that is on that level.” And in a new press release, Jepsen said of the new single, “Lyrically, it’s about that time in a relationship when it’s too soon to say ‘I love you,’ but you’re well past, ‘I like you’ and you’re at the ‘I really, really like you’ stage.” Jepsen is, of course, correct: the “I really, really like you” stage is one to be cherished.

The “I Really Like You” music video was filmed last month in New York City with Justin Bieber and Tom Hanks, and a premiere date will be announced “soon,” according to a press release. In the meantime, Jepsen will perform “I Really Like You” on Good Morning America on Monday (Mar. 2) and on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Mar. 5.

The follow-up to Kiss, which included “Call Me Maybe” and the Top 10 Owl City collaboration “Good Time,” is due out this summer. Jepsen has worked with Jack Antonoff, Tegan and Sara, Ariel Rechtshaid, Max Martin and many others on the forthcoming LP.

What do you think of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You”? Let us know in the comments section below.


Twitter Head of Music Bob Moczydlowsky Exiting

Posted by Mike McCready | February 28th, 2015 | No responses

Bob Moczydlowsky, Twitter’s L.A.-based head of music, will leave the company next month. He joined the company in 2013 from TopSpin Media, where he served as the SVP of product and marketing, and was brought on to strengthen partnerships between the music industry and Twitter.

When asked for comment, a Twitter spokesperson pointed to Moczydlowsky’s tweet from Friday afternoon (Feb. 27): “I’m ending my time at Twitter in a few weeks. I’ve loved every day of it, and will miss our great team. What’s next?


Shortly after Moczydlowsky was hired, the company shut down its music app Twitter #Music after just six months and was expected to revise its music strategy. (The But it’s possible the social-media giant hasn’t quite figured out its plan of attack. Moczydlowsky’s departure is the latest in a series of senior executive changes at Twitter, following the resignation of longtime media chief Chloe Sladden last June. In the months after Sladden left, the heads of her different departments soon followed, including sports head Geoff Reiss in July and news head Vivian Schiller in October. The company also saw its chief operating officer and former CFO Ali Rowghani depart in 2014 amid reports of culture clashes with CEO Dick Costolo.

One of Moczydlowsky’s most talked-about projects was linking Twitter with Lyor Cohen’s 300 Entertainment, a content company that uses Twitter’s data to measure artists’ potential and predict industry trends. When Billboard spoke to Moczydlowsky last February, he explained that giving 300 full access to Twitter’s data could potentially “help the industry figure out how to best invest in artists or how to direct their marketing campaigns,” and that the data would be available within a year.

Head of Twitter Music on What the Lyor Cohen 300 Deal Really Means (Updated)

Still, 300 executives recently confirmed to Billboard that no artist has been signed as a direct result of the Twitter alliance, and it’s unclear whether Moczydlowsky’s departure would create further snags. Cohen, meanwhile, announced last week that 300 signed Australian artist Meg Mac and will be bringing her to showcase at SXSW next month.



Breyon Prescott Heads Urban A&R at Epic

Posted by Mike McCready | February 27th, 2015 | 6 Responses

Music industry veteran Breyon Prescott has joined Epic Records as head of urban A&R. In addition to developing new and existing talent, Prescott will house his Chameleon Entertainment imprint at Epic.

Prescott is among the executive producers on R&B group Jodeci’s new Epic album, The Past, The Present, The Future. His A&R and production credits include projects by Drake, Kanye West, D’Angelo, Jamie Foxx and Angie Stone. In his role as president/CEO of Chameleon Entertainment, he is currently executive producing Foxx’s new RCA album, slated for December, and also managing artists Brandy and Nikki Williams.

Chameleon has previously held joint ventures with RCA, J Records and Island Def Jam.

In a statement announcing Prescott’s new post, Epic chairman/CEO L.A. Reid said, “His instincts, relationships and ability to deliver the hits are a perfect match for our A&R team.”

Read more at –


Kobalt, whose tech collects royalties for music royalty, gets $60M from Google Ventures, Michael Dell

Posted by Mike McCready | February 27th, 2015 | No responses

Kobalt Music, which uses a proprietary technology to speed up the collection of music royalties, has reportedly closed a $60 million Series C round of financing from Google Ventures and Michael Dell.

The New York-based Kobalt built algorithms to help musicians, who often have to wait for long periods of time for royalties, get paid for their work. This has increasingly been a problem in a world where music can be played anywhere at any time, across countless digital platforms.

The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.



The Management Contract That Every Artist, Songwriter, and Producer Should Have

Posted by Mike McCready | February 26th, 2015 | 8 Responses

The following comes Steve Gordon, regarded as one of the top attorneys in the music industry. Last week, he outlined 11 contracts that every artist, songwriter and producer should know. So here’s the first one: management contracts.

In this installment, we will discuss management agreements.

As I wrote in “Now You Know Everything about Music Managers,” managers have never played a more important role in the music business than they do today. If you have taken or are ready to take the next step in your music career, you probably need one.

A good manager advances the career of her client in a variety of ways. Traditionally, a manager provided advice on all aspects on the artist’s professional life, used her relationships to generate opportunities, negotiated deals when the opportunity to do so arose, and helped the artist select other members of the “team,” such as accountants, lawyers, booking agents, and publicists. A manager’s principal job was, however, searching for the “holy grail”—shopping the artist to record labels, particularly the majors, with the hope of signing a lucrative recording agreement. Signing a record deal meant a payday for both the artist and the manager. Managers work on commission, so the goal was to sign with a major label and negotiate the largest advance possible. In the 90’s, when I was a lawyer for Sony Music, we paid advances to new artists ranging from $250,000 to upwards of $500,000. If the artist caught fire, both the artist and the manager could become very wealthy from record sales alone. Those days are largely gone.

Starting in 1999, income from recorded music has declined more than 75%, accounting for inflation. As a result, the major labels (Sony, Universal, and Warner, along with their affiliates) sign fewer artists and pay those new artists far more modest advances. An artist may never get a deal, or may be dropped from the label’s roster much faster than in the past, when labels had spare cash to support a developing artist. For instance, Bruce Springsteen did not catch fire until after Columbia (now a Sony affiliate) released two albums. But, Columbia had faith and supported him through the early disappointments.

Today, with the major labels fighting just to survive, a story like that is far less likely to occur. Labels would rather put their resources behind already established acts, where a return on investment is more certain.
In these days of financial insecurity in the record business, the manager’s role is more important than ever. In the past, once the artist was signed to the major label, the manager’s primary function became to serve as liaison between the record company and the artist. The manager lobbied the label to do more, spend more, and focus more on the manager’s artist. However, due to budget cuts and massive layoffs at the labels, today’s manager does a lot of the work that the label used to do. For example, the manager may take over social networking, search for opportunities to get the artist’s music in movies or commercials, or find branding opportunities with sponsors. And, if the artist can’t find an acceptable record deal, the manager may become the artist’s de facto label and take on the responsibility of securing funding from investors or crowd funding to produce records, arranging physical and digital distribution, and everything else the record companies traditionally do.

The Pro-Manager Agreement (With Pro-Artist Commentary).
In the following PDF, I critique a standard pro-management agreement and explain in the comments the changes an artist should negotiate. There are a number of important terms where the interests of the manager are directly adverse to the interests of the artist. For example, it is generally in the manager’s interest to have a long initial term and several options to extend the duration of the agreement. The artist, conversely, will want to be able to get out of an agreement quickly if the manager is not meeting the artist’s goals. This issue is addressed in the comments for the first paragraph of the pro-management agreement.

(if you’d like to download the PDF, it’s here)