The Outsight Report #9

Spotify and the future of streaming: does one size fit all?

Taylor Swift sees Spotify as "a grand experiment"

Taylor Swift sees Spotify as “a grand experiment”

Taylor Swift’s recent decision to snub Spotify when it came to releasing her new album, ‘1989’, and subsequently to pull her entire back catalogue from the service, has been deemed everything from ‘anti-streaming’ to a ‘shot in the arm for feminism’, but one thing is for certain: it has sparked considerable debate on a much wider issue.

That issue is the very nature, and future, of music consumption as we now know it.

The reason behind Swift’s move, spearheaded by her label Big Machine, is the existence of the streaming service’s free tier, which allows users to access music without paying a penny, therefore arguably giving fans no incentive to invest. Swift herself reportedly sees Spotify as “a grand experiment” – one which she is unwilling to risk her life’s work on when she doesn’t feel the service fairly compensates those involved in the making of the music, in spite of her reportedly being on track to earn upwards of $6 million from Spotify this year alone.


Spotify has repeatedly come under attack regarding how streaming royalties are declared and shared out to artists.

According to CMU, “Spotify has now paid out $2 billion to the music industry since launching in 2008, $1 billion of that in the last year.” Spotify boss Daniel Ek has come forward to confirm rumours that “Spotify now has 50 million active users, 12.5 million of whom are paying subscribers.”

Yet Spotify has repeatedly come under attack, most recently from Bono, regarding problems with how streaming royalties are declared and shared out to artists once the money has left the bigwig’s bank account. This is a problem perhaps soon to be shared by SoundCloud, the second biggest streaming service after YouTube, who recently made a significant step by signing a licensing deal with Warner.

A platform initially aimed at creators, Soundcloud has arguably given birth to some of the best electronic producers in recent years and has paid no royalties to artists since its inception in 2008. The new partnership, however, will see Warner labels paid royalties for the first time: a deal made possible by SoundCloud’s decision to introduce a subscription service next year, which will generate revenue along with advertising that will be seen by non-paying users.

So are Spotify really the only bad guys here, if indeed they are bad guys at all? Singer and activist Billy Bragg has stepped up on social media to accuse Swift of taking the side of YouTube, who, in the coming weeks, will be rolling out Music Key. A subscription service that allows users to stream ad-free music videos, and download them for offline use, the monthly fee for the service will also provide membership to Google Play All Access, the firm’s pre-existing song download facility. This is a service that is set to pose a challenge to Spotify, Rdio, Beats Music and other audio-only “unlimited” music services – and it will allegedly also offer listeners a free service alongside a premium subscription tier. Arguably the greatest threat to any commercially based streaming service”, Bragg suggests artists should be removing their material from YouTube, not cosying up to it.

Perhaps the point here is how the industry can help educate post-torrent generations to subscribe to music services instead of downloading music illegally – and surely, no matter the limitations of streaming, it’s the lesser of two evils. Adele’s manager Jonathan Dickins has backed streaming services like Spotify as the future of music, but he makes a fair suggestion when he warns the company may need to change its policy of insisting all albums be made available on both its free and premium tiers.

While most artists earn only modest sums from streaming, it’s never going to be the most lucrative source of income for struggling musicians: and yet streaming services are essential for acts wanting to be discovered in the first place.  With successful, current artists enjoying an income structure that, according to manager Jeff Jampol (The Doors, The Ramones) sees “60-65% come from tickets, 15-25% from tour merch, 10-15% from publishing, 2-4% from ancillary and 2-4% from record sales”, getting listeners on board is the first hurdle, and making your music as widely available as possible is surely the primary logical step.

For someone like Taylor Swift who doesn’t need to be discovered, Spotify isn’t a necessity, but for an emerging artist it is key – such as for acts like Breton, who recently appeared on BBC’sNewsnight’ to discuss how they have adjusted to the new economics in the industry. Instead of looking to streaming and downloads for their revenue, they see these essentially as a ‘shop window’ for their live shows. Ultimately, through ‘suggested music’ options on services like Spotify and SoundCloud, fans can discover new artists that otherwise may have remained unknown to them, which ultimately leads to a higher probability of ticket sales, publishing and merch purchases.

In the words of Dave Grohl: “You want people to fucking listen to your music? Give them your music.”

Outpost October 2014 Newsletter

The Hydra

The Hydra continues to be a storming success, committed to bringing DJs from all over the world to play in its now permanent home of Studio Spaces E1. With the critically acclaimed events series featuring on the likes of The Evening Standard, Time Out and the Guardian Guide, the season will end with a spectacular three days of music for the New Year. Bugged Out, Eat Your Own Ears and Electric Minds are set to put on an incredible amount of talent from 10:00pm on New Years Eve until 10:00am on January 2nd. Highlights include Erol Alkan, Dixon and a mammoth 8 hour set from Four Tet b2b with Daphni. Outpost are working across print and online with The Hydra.

Nordic Spotlight

billymomoSwedish urban folk collective Billy Momo release their new single ‘I’ve Got You’ on 10th November. Outpost will be promoting the single in the UK across radio, online and press, along with their upcoming debut album ‘Drunktalk’, due out in 2015. Originally a duo, the band have evolved into a seven-piece whose sound transcends the genres of pop, folk and soul. Their unique moniker is the name of a pet ghost found in a woodland cabin by the band – which should tell you all you need to know about the eccentric group.

redderHaunting Finnish duo Redder release the first single ‘Let Us Get Out’ from their debut album ‘Walk Long Play’ this month. With vocals that are reminiscent of Thom Yorke, Alt-J and Rhye and a musical sound like no one else, Redder are a refreshing and innovative band who seek to replicate the fear and emotion of living in a cold and dark location. With praise from The 405 and The Line of Best Fit, Redder are set to go from strength to strength with the release of ‘Walk Long Play’. Outpost are working across press, radio and online.

2015 is already set to be another exciting year for Outpost, as we continue to grow our roster and expand even further into Scandinavian seas, beginning with an online and radio campaign for emerging Norwegian artist Surfalot. Signed to Sony Norway, his single ‘My My Oh My’ has already earned him his stripes with a spot on the soundtrack of Made In Chelsea.  With a proven ability to pen a great pop melody, we’re excited to partner up with another Nordic talent.

combienCombien Mille Records

Seminal French record label Combien Mille has once again turned to Outpost to provide UK promotional support for its acts. The online and radio team first worked to promote ‘Untitled/Late’, the new EP from production talents Superpoze and Stwo, whose collaborative sound comprises of chopped up, looped vocals, synth harmonies and funky staccato melodies. Now, we are servicing the hotly anticipated debut EP, ‘A Part of You’, by electronic duo Kuage, which has already caught the attention of worldwide tastemakers Gilles Peterson and Rob Da Bank.

Supporting Britain’s Bands

Despite a fierce pride in our international roster, Outpost Media continues to be committed to supporting emerging British bands.

deathrattleDeath Rattle

Apocalyptic electronic duo Death Rattle are set to release their debut album ‘In Shade’ on 10th November. Outpost are working an online and radio campaign to promote the album and its new single ‘Weak Joints’, out now as a free download. The duo’s early years spent in alt-grunge bands has given their sound a dark edge which, coupled with the pair’s ability to craft brilliant melodic pop hooks, makes for a compelling listen.


The hugely popular Breton are re-issuing their ‘War Room Stories’ album along with a wealth of bonus material including bonus tracks, unseen photography and brand new music. Outpost are working online to promote the release of the album along with new tracks ‘Titan’ and ‘Parthian Shot’ which are available to stream now.


Outpost are pleased to be working with renowned electro-pop group Jape, currently the only act to have won the prestigious Choice Music Awards twice. Jape frontman Richard Egan’s musical career has taken him from The Redneck Manifesto to Conor J O’Brien’s Villagers but now the focus is on his fifth album as three-piece Jape. Outpost are working to promote lead single ‘The Heart’s Desire’ along with forthcoming album ‘This Chemical Sea’ across press, radio and online.

goldieRecent Successes

Outpost continued their success on Ministry of Sound’s ‘Masterpiece’ series with the latest installment curated by Goldie proving to be massively popular. Outpost secured features in i-D Magazine, MTV Iggy and UKF as well as an audio premiere on Dazed Digital, proving the Metalheadz label boss, drum and bass icon, actor and artist still continues to captivate the public to this day.


With Halloween now a monstrous yearly clubbing occasion, The Hydra have put on a scarily good line up with Full Pupp 10 and Horse Meat Disco joining forces. Todd Terje, Prins Thomas and Lindstrom are a few of the names who’ll be playing on what is set to be the best Halloween party in town.

This month we are also working with:

The Future Dub Project – ‘Captain Hook’ – 03.11.14

Bay – ‘Man Made’ – 03.11.14

Bernaccia – ‘Light// – // Dark’ – 24.11.14

New Town Kings  – ‘Pull Up and Rewind’ – 08.12.14

Gig tickets at your fingertips

How the ‘buy button’ could shape the artist-audience relationship


Gone are the days in which an artist’s every move is dictated by the agenda of a record label or management.

Twitter has long been an instrumental tool for the music industry, with its millions of users adding a previously unprecedented dimension and pace to the way the marketplace interacts with music and its creators. Gone are the days in which an artist’s every move is dictated by the agenda of a record label or management. Musicians nowadays have the freedom to share whatever and whenever they want, with the satisfaction of knowing they will receive instant feedback from a legion of devoted fans.

Now, the real-time artist-fan relationship looks set to be taken up a notch, with the trialling of Twitter’s latest feature: one that points to a growing trend in the way we process and purchase live music experiences. The social media giant recently announced the public testing of an embedded ‘buy’ button that will allow users to procure products in a matter of clicks, with an initial focus on time-sensitive items like event tickets. The feature is currently being trialled, mobile-only, with a number of industry movers and shakers, including Rihanna, Eminem, Pharrell and Paramore, with buying opportunities set to be rolled out gradually in the coming weeks – and it’s likely to bring musicians and music lovers even closer.

Rihanna is just one of the A-list artists whose twitter account the 'buy button' is being trialled with

Rihanna is just one of the A-list artists
whose twitter account the ‘buy button’ is being trialled with

This isn’t the first time that Twitter has stood to dramatically shape artist-audience conversations: earlier this year, the company announced its exclusive, year-long partnership with Billboard for the ‘Billboard Twitter Real-time Charts’. Aiming to reflect the top-discussed tracks of the moment on Twitter and surfacing the most shared songs by new and upcoming acts, the ground-breaking charts empower artists to create a buzz visible to fans, other musicians and industry decision-makers in real-time through their engagement with audiences.

Neither is Twitter the first to attempt in-app, instantaneous e-commerce in the music sphere: San Francisco-based start-up Thrillcall expanded on its music discovery site back in 2012 with the launch of a free mobile app, offering live music lovers the chance to score last-minute, day-of-show tickets to coveted concerts.

As well as allowing users to search for artists and live listings in their area, it also specialises in delivering exclusive offers conveniently to their iPhones, with a mere button tap launching the Thrillcall ticket purchase page within the handset’s web browser. However, with listings and limited deals invariably catering to large U.S. cities only, it’s an instant ticketing solution that serves to bring only a sector of fans closer to seeing their favourite artists on stage.

For those of us on the other side of the pond, London nightlife app YPlan, also launched in 2012, offers a more suitable, yet equally spontaneous alternative, while taking a curatorial approach built largely around simplicity. Boasting a focus on a short list of events, co-founder Rytis Vitkauskas told The Guardian of the start-up’s aims to match great experiences for customers without the hassle of sifting through ‘reams of data’, confronting each user with a personalised list of events based on their tastes.

YPlan’s simple browsing experience also extends to the process of payment itself, which allows users to buy tickets in two clicks, as well as offering integration with Apple’s PassBook mobile ticketing system for iOS.

TicketsThe common goal that Thrillcall and YPlan seemingly aim to achieve is the running of a true, last minute marketplace where users can discover and purchase tickets to events in real-time – and Twitter looks set to expand on the solution with its latest endeavour. Not only will it be better placed to serve the increasing needs of an audience who have come to expect both faster transactions and interactions, it will also service the interests of the artist, providing a platform in which live events, merchandise and physical albums can be accessed and sold more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

Of course, Twitter also stands to gain financially by its relationship with musicians, who make up the majority of top followed accounts – a significance that’s likely to be the primary reason for their targeting in the buy button’s initial testing. By enabling users to make purchases in-app rather than being sent to third party sites, this will allow Twitter to charge a fee for facilitating the transaction and also keep people from leaving the platform, making the feature a key component in its e-commerce development.

Nevertheless, by further bridging that time-sensitive gap between artist and audience, the benefits for both parties is likely to be invaluable, and might just foster an even closer bond.

Outpost Newsletter

Campaign Focus – Artists


Outpost are thrilled to be working with the iconic Goldie for the next instalment of Ministry of Sound’s prized ‘Masterpiece’ series. Having worked a successful campaign for predecessor David Rodigan, Outpost are now promoting this next release, which drops on 18th August, across online and print. The musician, drum and bass icon, actor and artist has been on the scene for over 20 years and counting, and with over 3 million records sold worldwide to date and a host of prestigious accolades under his belt, ‘Masterpiece’ sees Goldie curate a three disc musical journey depicting his personal influences and inspirations to share with his fans.


Multi-talented French artist Chassol is releasing his new album ‘Indiamore’ in the UK. Already championed by BBC 6 Music’s Gilles Peterson, the pianist, composer, arranger and musical director for the likes of Phoenix and Sebastien Tellier presents here an unclassifiable artistic piece. Featuring a range of compositions spread over four movements, ‘Indiamore’ is his attempt at a harmonisation of life, sounds, motifs, noises and traffic from Northern India, manifested in an inspired ultrascore of audiovisual experimentation. Outpost are working across online, print and radio to promote the album, set for release on 18th August.

laurajaeLaura Jae

Electro-cinematic soul singer Laura Jae releases her debut EP ‘Silver Lined Hearts’ this month. Boasting a sound which sits somewhere between the atmospheric tones of The xx and the gritty melodies of King Krule, Laura has already been given the seal of approval by i-D’s Hattie Collins, along with being pinned as ‘One To Watch’ by The Guardian’s Paul Lester. Outpost are working across online, radio and specialist print for the release.

nowNightmares on Wax

Seminal hip-hop chillout project Nightmares On Wax have released their new 2-disc album ‘N.OW. Is The Time’ via the esteemed Warp Records. The distinctive duo, comprising DJ George Evelyn and Robin Taylor-Firth, spent their youth b-boying their way around the streets of Leeds and Bradford, becoming instrumental in the bleep explosion and consequently helping to shape the burgeoning trip-hop scene. Continuing their ethos of creating an immersive experience aimed to transport listeners into the joyful world of sound systems, all-day parties and endless fun, paradoxically, the only nightmare in this highly anticipated audio adventure is in the name. Outpost are promoting the album across print, radio and online.

Campaign Focus – Events

flowFlow Festival

Outpost are proud to be working across online and print for the second year running for Finland’s national Flow Festival, which returns from 8-10th August to the historic Suvilahti, a disused power plant a stone’s throw from the capital Helsinki. The latest artist update sees soulful R&B songstress Jessie Ware join the likes of Röyksopp and Robyn, How To Dress Well, Outkast, Die Antwoord, The National, Neneh Cherry and Jamie xx. Beyond the music, Flow offers a warm embrace of the arts, offering art displays from Scandinavia and abroad as well as showcasing art house film, cinema, lectures and an exceptional array of world spanning cuisine. Already attracting coverage on Clash, The Huffington Post and The Guardian, who have selected the event as one of their ’10 Best Small Music Festivals in Europe’, Flow looks set to provide a sensory overload of entertainment that’s not to be missed.

hydraThe Hydra

The Hydra is proud to announce their 2014 event series and new exclusive residency at Studio Spaces in London. Their monumental launch will take the form of a triple billed Bank Holiday special from 22nd-24th August, bringing an unforgettable line up of the very best underground electronic music to London’s doorstep. Created in 2012, the brainchild of former Head of Programming at The End, Ajay Jayaram, and electronic music connoisseur and off-location event pioneer Dolan Bergin (Electric Minds) – The Hydra (meaning a ‘beast with many heads’ in Greek mythology) has built an inimitable reputation for bringing the biggest names and most cutting edge labels in the world to London. Outpost are excited to be promoting the year’s programme of events across online and print.

This month we are also working with:

Danjasop – ‘Wino Rider’ – EP – 30.07.14

808INK – ‘Full English’ – Video – Rise Artists – 30.07.14

TJH87 – ‘Good Life’ – Youth Control – 30.07.14

UV Festival – Event – 09.08.14

Gracias – ‘Elengi’ – LP – Cocoa Music – 18.08.14

Sin Cos Tan – ‘Blown Away’ – LP – Solina Records – 18.08.14

Kendra Morris – ‘(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles’ – Single – 15.09.14

Goldie prepares his Masterpiece

MOSCD374_Masterpiece_Goldie_packshotGoldie, musician, drum and bass icon, actor and artist, has been on the scene for over 20 years and counting. With over 3 million records sold worldwide to date and a host of prestigious accolades under his belt, he is the perfect talent to front the next album in the prized ‘Masterpiece’ series from Ministry of Sound due for release on 18th August.

Outpost June 2014 Newsletter

Here at Outpost, we’re proud to work with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking clients, and our events roster is no exception. From 981Heritage, who celebrate their tenth anniversary with established artists including Austra and Blue Hawaii, to micro-event UV Festival, which returns to its lush Surrey location to play home to a host of emerging underground talent and a paintbox of neon colours, we’ll be beavering away to promote the best fests in breaking electronic music. To top it all off, The Hydra will be opening its annual calendar with a triple-billed August Bank Holiday special hosted by Resident Advisor, Ghostly International and Detroit techno label Blueprint.

Summer nights? We’ve got you sorted.

981heritage981Heritage “Son Estrella Galicia”, July 10th @ Oval Space, London

“981Heritage “Son Estrella Galicia” is a new festival which is rapidly making its mark, focussing on breaking electronic music.” – Clash Magazine, 2013

Spanish event brand 981Heritage “Son Estrella Galicia” makes a welcome return to the Oval Space in London on July 10th following its 2013 sell-out Baths headline show. Celebrating its tenth anniversary and its third London edition, the festival will present electronic band Austra, Montreal duo Blue Hawaii and London popsters Maxixe.

To mark this milestone, the Oval Space prepares for a comeback event of epic proportions – fresh from Coachella, Austra will headline this year’s London edition of the festival. The band will present their new four-track EP ‘Habitat’ live for the first time, out now on Domino Recordings.

In support, Grimes-approved girl/boy electronic duo Blue Hawaii will return to London with their blizzard of erratic vocal harmonies and deep house beats. Completing the line-up will be Maxixe, the new project from Micachu & The Shapes drummer Marc Pell and We Have Band singer Darren Bancroft.

Check out the playlist 981Heritage put together for Never Enough Notes and watch the official festival trailer on Style of Sound.

Tickets are on sale now and available from Songkick and Oval Space.

uvfestivalUV Festival, 9th August, Surrey

“Boutique, bijoux, intimate and a little bit secret.”Evening Standard, 2013


Returning to its lush and enchanting rural location in idyllic Surrey, UV is the festival for the artistically experimental and open-minded. Serving up exciting talent from across the electronic music spectrum, last year saw headliner Throwing Snow feeding his genre spanning sound to the eager ears of a loyal crowd of UV Festival goers.

Incorporating a variety of diverse festival treats and with intricate attention to detail, UV Festival offers a truly unique and intimate experience worthy of its position in the Evening Standard’s best ‘London Microfestivals’ list of 2013. Grazia further cemented it as a microfestival not to be missed, by featuring it in their ‘Microfestival Guide’ last year.

Independent record label Hijacker are the team behind the UV Festival originally formulising the organic concept of using the UV rave idea for a house party in deepest Brixton. Despite the drastic change of location the objective remains the same: to slather yourself in UV paint and rave until the sun comes up.

The festival boasts all the home comforts of the picturesque English countryside, with the green fields and hay bales playing host to a line-up of stellar underground house acts.

The 2014 electronic line-up sees Suze Rosser, ONE BIT and headliners HIM_SELF_HER previously released on Crosstown Rebels and Defected gracing the stage at UV. The festival also boasts a range of live acts including One Bit and The Wolf – whose moody live techno has seen him play sets at Bestival and Warehouse Project.

Early bird tickets have already run out, so attendees will have to act quickly as capacity has been limited to just 500 this year to maintain the intimacy that helped to make the first two years such a success.

Tickets on sale here.

hydraThe Hydra, 22nd-24th August, Studio Spaces, London

“The closest thing London clubbing has to The Proms is The Hydra – an expertly curated season of parties.” – Time Out, Best of 2013

The Hydra just announced their 2014 event series and new exclusive residency at Studio Spaces in London. Their monumental launch will be a triple billed August Bank Holiday special.

In its third year, The Hydra continues its mission to present the best artists, record labels and collectives set against a backdrop of the finest sound.

The three day launch party kicks off on Friday 22nd August with a 12-hour installment of unforgettable electronic music hosted by online electronic music magazine Resident Advisor – a night set to be a box-office sell out with an array of blockbuster house and techno deejays. The following evening showcases talent from independent American label Ghostly International with a truly special headline set to be confirmed imminently. Rounding up the weekend, Sunday marks the return of Detroit techno label and clubnight Blueprint.

In 2013 i-D Magazine stated The Hydra series were – “parties for a nightclub that doesn’t exist” and now, after two years of searching, it can be revealed that they have found a home for year three and beyond. Alongside their 2014 program, The Hydra is launching Studio Spaces as a newly fully licensed venue in the heart of East London. Currently operating as a state of the-art photographic studio during the day, for each night of the series it will be transformed into a unique event space with two studios, located only a few minutes walk from Shadwell or Wapping station.

Full line up:
Tickets are on sale now from Resident Advisor.


For those looking to venture further afield, we’ve got your summer holidays sorted too. Head to Helsinki this August for Finland’s national festival Flow, a celebration of established legends from Outkast, Neneh Cherry, Slint, The National, The Horrors and Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, to burgeoning local talent including the likes of Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Sin Cos Tan and Noah Kin.

Beyond its tradition of serving up a broad selection of eclectic and stimulating music, Flow Festival offers a comprehensive taste of the visual arts, exhibiting displays from Scandinavia and abroad as well as showcasing compelling art house cinema, engaging lectures and an exceptional array of international cuisine. What’s more, with its eco-friendly ethos and this year’s vegetarian theme, Flow Festival 2014 is set to cater for the boutique festival-lover’s every need.

Nightmares on Wax to release N.O.W IS THE TIME

WARP248 NOW Is The Time Packshot_480After 25 years of producing and recording music, Nightmares On Wax – Warp Records’ longest serving artist – will release N.O.W IS THE TIME on 16th June.

This highly anticipated album will also be available in a special ‘N.O.W Is The Time: Deep Down Edition’ box set, which will include the release in 2-disc CD and LP format, and a 12” x 12” book of unseen photographs, memorabilia and extensive interviews with key figures in the development of Nightmares On Wax, including Warp co-founder Steve Beckett, original Nightmares member Kev Harper, Robin Taylor-Firth, and George himself – conducted by Bill Brewster (author of ‘Last Night A DJ Changed My Life’).

The 2 vinyl LPs feature unreleased tracks; rarities such as their collaboration with De La Soul, classic remixes from the likes of LFO and Mr Scruff, and brand new re-works by Morgan Geist, Optimo, Loco Dice, Special Request and Ashley Beedle.

981Heritage “SON Estrella Galicia” announces tenth anniversary London show

981heritage981Heritage “SON Estrella Galicia” is a new festival which is rapidly making its mark, focussing on breaking electronic music.

The Spanish event brand makes a welcome return to the Oval Space in London on July 10th following its 2013 sell-out Baths headline show. Celebrating its tenth anniversary and its third London edition, the festival will present electronic band Austra, Montreal duo Blue Hawaii and London popsters Maxixe.

Mungo’s Hi-Fi announce new album

mungoForward-thinking dancehall dubbers Mungo’s Hi-Fi are pleased to announce the release of their new album ‘Serious Time’ via Scotch Bonnet Records.

This third double LP arrives hot on the heels of their massive collaborations with Major Lazer and Brighton production heavyweight Prince Fatty, the latter of which received rave reviews from Mojo and Clash: “A perfect encapsulation of the creative camaraderie running through British reggae right now, the sheer diversity of style on show is breathtaking” Robin Murray, Clash

The album will be released on Monday 2nd of June.