Today’s streaming services offer access to every song ever recorded at the click of a button, which has changed the way we listen, but in choosing to focus almost entirely on playlists and recommendations, music has become more about discovery algorithms and less about the artists that make it. Not ...
Ursa, the soon-to-launch music streaming service, is announcing a new artist sponsorship initiative. Initially tested at SXSW this year, the initiative aims to support artists and help them connect to their fans via merchandise and ticket giveaways, fan experiences, and expense reimbursements. Recognizing that artists of all levels are looking to connect with their fans in new and meaningful ways, Ursa has sponsored over 30 artists to date, and is expanding their merch buy initiative through...
Ursa, the soon-to-launch music streaming service, is announcing a new artist sponsorship initiative. Initially tested at SXSW this year, the initiative aims to support artists and help them connect to their fans via merchandise and ticket giveaways, fan experiences, and expense reimbursements. Recognizing that artists of all levels are looking to connect with their fans in new and meaningful ways, Ursa has sponsored over 30 artists to date, and is expanding their merch buy initiative through a series of sponsored live events. It’s a natural extension of the service’s artist-centered ethos.
“It’s easy to say you’re committed to artists, but as musicians and industry veterans ourselves, we want everything we do to support artists’ goals and needs,” says Ursa co-founder Chad Royce. “These partnerships with high-caliber artists demonstrate that we’re willing to invest in the artist/fan connection and put our money where our mouth is.”
Ursa’s most recent sponsored event took place at the newly reopened Webster Hall in New York with the band Real Estate. The band wanted to make the night feel like more than just another hometown show, and the partnership with Ursa Music facilitated just that. “We are fans of the band and had generally pitched Ursa’s artist partnership initiative to the band’s management; we’d sort of just left it on the table with them. So when Real Estate came to their management asking how they could make this Webster Hall show feel like something special, we were their first call.” says Bo Brannen, Ursa’s Director of Artist Relations. The Real Estate event was an opportunity for Ursa to support the band creatively and help them get a production element across the finish line while simultaneously connecting with the band’s loyal fans.
Because of Ursa’s sponsorship, the band was able to work with longtime collaborator Craig Allen, of Callen Creative, to create a custom on-stage visual experience for the sold out show. Ursa also facilitated a merchandise giveaway that resulted in the band selling out of merchandise. "It was great to see this initiative play out on a larger scale. Fans love getting free merch and the invitation to download the app. Artists like it because they get the guaranteed income and are able to reward the fans who are buying tickets to their shows. It's a win win." says Larissa Brown, Ursa’s Head of Artist Relations.
The event with Real Estate is one of the larger initiatives Ursa has done to support artists directly and spread the word about the platform. “We have worked on live events with artists from many different genres and at different career stages, but this was our most integrated partnership yet,” says Chris Jones, Ursa co-founder. “We looked at our collaboration with Real Estate as an opportunity to test our initiatives. It confirmed for us the need to prioritize connecting with fans on the ground and not just digitally.”
Identifying partnerships that would be truly meaningful to artists and fans came naturally to the Ursa team. Ursa was built to be a streaming service created with artists’ interests in mind; the platform gives artists control over extensive profiles and lets them attach content like liner notes and artwork to their music; it also brings producers and engineers into the mix and links music via credited profiles. These features reveal the fascinating network of individuals involved in the creation of each track and aid in new-music discovery. The streaming service goes beyond mere sound delivery, it is digitally recreating the real-world music community.
Ursa is in an invitation-only beta and will be launching publicly this fall. The artist relations team is currently connecting with management companies and artists at all levels to provide them with early access to the streaming platform.
URSA is the only music streaming platform where artists can post content directly alongside their songs and albums, including photos, videos, additional artwork, lyrics, and liner notes. Ursa is also the first streaming service that brings the global network of industry professionals to the forefront with linkable credits (patent pending), offering an exciting new approach to music discovery. Ursa’s mission to frame artists at the center of the streaming experience gives fans an opportunity to go deeper with the artists they love as they’re listening, and redefines what makes a great music streaming platform: not only a place we go to listen, but a community for engagement.
Ursa was founded by artists and musicians Chris Jones (singer/songwriter – stage name Chris Grace) and Chad Royce (drummer – Swimmer, Leona Naess, Darediablo, producer/songwriter – Meshell Ndegeocello, Girls Generation, Hot Chelle Rae, Big Time Rush, JTX, and Ricky Smith). Having come up in the New York music scene of the late 90’s and beyond, both Chris and Chad have performed on countless stages throughout the world and have recorded a multitude of albums and songs as side men, as producers, as songwriters, and as artists. This authentic insider perspective has shaped Ursa into a music platform uniquely aware of the challenges artists and professionals face in today’s digital music landscape.
Artists often struggle with mental health issues, confronting limited resources and social stigma. To address this, new artist-centered streaming service URSA is partnering with the organizers of Strange 80s, a rock star-packed benefit in its third year, to support their efforts to put mental health first in the music community.
“We’re artists at URSA and we’ve seen firsthand the struggle fellow musicians endure due to depression and mental illness,” says URSA co-founder Chris Jones. “It’s our privilege to sponsor an event with the noble goal of saving lives and raising awareness on this issue and we look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.”
“We built our streaming service to be as artist-centric as possible,” adds URSA co-founder Chad Royce. “Strange 80s is fighting for the same values we share, for seeing musicians as full-fledged people with complex psychological and personal needs. We want to support artists in all aspects of their life.”
The third annual Strange 80s, now in 3D!, will be held on June 1 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. It benefits Talinda Bennington’s mental health organization 320 Changes Direction, and Give an Hour. Their mission is to effect culture change, encouraging people to regard their mental health with the same love and tenacity that they do music. The show is a future-retro, 80s inspired, fully immersive experience featuring rock stars, united by charity, to perform the anthem of the 80s, in a venue designed to recreate the decade. The Fonda will go full time-warp, with video arcade games, 3D production, and iconic movie set photo stations.
Confirmed performers include Lauren Ruth Ward, Gavin Rossdale of Bush, Frank Zummo of Sum 41, Adrian Young of No Doubt, Scott Shriner of Weezer, Jesse Hughes & Jennie Vee of Eagles of Death Metal, Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction, Carmen Vandenburg & Rosie Jones of Bones UK, Marko Desantis of Sugarcult, Keith & Michael Jeffre of Atlas Genius, Fabrizio Grassi Main of Supersonic Blues Machine, Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats, Shiragirl and more will cover the anthems of the 80s in a real-life recreation of the decade. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
"Music can play an important role for those who are hurting emotionally - it can soothe, heal, and inspire hope. Give an Hour, through our public health initiative, the Campaign to Change Direction, is excited - and grateful - to partner once again with Charity Bomb for Strange 80s - a wildly fun concert that will definitely be good for everyone's emotional well-being!" explains Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Founder and President of Give an Hour. "Through 320 Changes Direction, our special partnership with Talinda Bennington, we are working to reach those who are struggling - so that they know they aren't alone. We want everyone to come out on June 1st, 2019 for the concert - to raise awareness and funds for the work we are doing to change the culture of mental health. With Charity Bomb running the show, we know it will be great fun and a huge success!"
“Partnering with exciting new companies like URSA Music, is exactly what we had set out to do. They are an innovative new platform that re-ignites the passion in music fans who want to submerge themselves in every artistic detail and meaning behind a band’s work,” says Matthew Leone of Charity Bomb. “Reciprocally, the platform finally provides artists with an all-in-one place for them to showcase their art, instead of their social media posts, and operate their band’s business. We hope for this to be the genesis of a long-term partnership between our two entities, who share ethical values and appreciate true art!”
For a look into what to expect at this year's Strange 80s, fans can check out the following video: bit.ly/2PqVQke
For a complete up-to-date list of artists performing, please visit www.strange80s.com.
Charity Bomb Presents Strange 80s 3D
DATE: Saturday, June 1st, 2019
VENUE: The Fonda Theatre | 6126 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
TICKETS: On Sale Now: bit.ly/Strange80s3D
TIME: Doors - 6:30pm | Show - 8pm
Built by a duo of professional musicians, producers, and songwriters, URSA is the only music streaming platform where artists can post content directly alongside their songs and albums, including photos, videos, additional artwork, lyrics, and liner notes. Ursa is also the first streaming service that brings the global network of industry professionals to the forefront with linkable credits (patent pending), offering an exciting new approach to music discovery. Ursa’s mission to frame artists at the center of the streaming experience gives fans an opportunity to go deeper with the artists they love as they’re listening, and redefines what makes a great music streaming platform: not only a place we go to listen, but a community for engagement.
About Charity Bomb:
Charity Bomb is a non-profit organization founded by four philanthropic friends to produce benefit shows for a variety of charitable organizations in the scope of music. Our motto is "All Purpose Altruism" - we deliver 100% of the proceeds, 100% of the time, with 100% transparency, to ensure that the funds raised reach its intended constituency, every dime, every time.
Musician & Philanthropist, Matthew Leone was put into a coma with 1/3 of his skull removed after rescuing a woman being beaten on the streets of Chicago a few years back. From Kevin, Lyman & Warped Tour, to Kiss and Madonna, the international music community rallied to bring him back to life. Smashing Pumpkins even did a benefit show for him. Twin brother, singer for their band Madina Lake, Nathan Leone agrees, this is what saved his life. Consequently, the Leone's devoted their lives to giving back. After several years with Sweet Relief Musicians Fund & Help Musicians UK, it was time to branch out. All-Purpose Altruism - Charity Bomb reflects the ubiquitous truth that love is the antidote for everything. This notion, as applied in our philanthropic context, asserts that we will drum up love, in all of its forms, for a particular cause or purpose, and drop it on the antagonist.
Los Angeles native, professional musician & acclaimed songwriter, Nik Frost, suffered from addiction. When drugs came dangerously close to claiming his life, it was fellow musicians, Dave Kushner & Brian O'conner (Velvet Revolver & Eagles of Death Metal respectively) who intervened and came to his rescue. Nik worked with Matthew on several projects, all a pre-destination to Charity Bomb.We are a non-profit, fundraising and awareness agent for any benevolent cause that enters our ether.
Ryan Ford, lifelong closest friend, philanthropist, successful entrepreneur, an avid lover of music, is the fourth Charity Bomber. Ryan's founded several businesses, MP45 Records among them, and brings the administrative acumen to complement his creative contribution to the collective. In short, we have the purpose, we know the right people and we know how to put on a show. We love a win-win-win outcome. It's abundantly clear that living a life where we produce spectacular live music events that serve a philanthropic cause, makes our constituents win, our clients win, and the fans win.
About 320 Changes Direction:
320 Changes Direction is the latest strand of GiveAnHour.org's Campaign to Change Direction. It is a coalition of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to change the culture in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness.
What would a streaming service look like, if hard-nosed but optimistic professional musicians built it? It would look like URSA, a platform that weds artist-focused engagement, commerce, and context with an intuitive, high-quality listener experience.
URSA is the only streaming service that features rich artist-controlled profiles, including music, photos, videos, tour dates, bios and more, all in one place. Fans can explore content related to the song they’re currently listening to, including additional artwork and liner notes. URSA's also the first streaming service to bring music professionals to the forefront with linked credits, offering an exciting new approach to music discovery. Using URSA, producers, mixers, engineers, songwriters, instrumentalists, and other music makers can create a profile, build their discographies and get the acknowledgement they deserve.
This is by design. “We aren’t just delivering music,” says Chris Jones, long-time singer songwriter and URSA founder. “We’re solving problems for artists, which creates a deeper experience for fans.”
Current streaming platforms were designed to ease listeners away from P2P file sharing, and thus focused almost exclusively on listeners’ ease. They packed the world’s music into one place, at one price, with just the basics. Other aspects crucial to artists--meaningful contact with fans, lyrics, liner notes, and other assets, revenue from sources beyond recorded music--were afterthoughts, add-ons, or absent altogether.
This was glaringly apparent to Jones and URSA co-founder, producer, songwriter, and drummer Chad Royce. Both had cut their teeth in the New York rock scene and gone on to professional careers playing in touring bands, signing deals with major labels, and working as sidemen and hit makers.
“If I produced a track or had a writing credit, there was no record of that contribution, even if the song was reasonably successful. It was almost impossible to trace,” Royce reflects, who has worked as a producer with the likes of Me'shell Ndegecello. “Recently some streaming services have added limited credits like songwriter and producer, but on URSA artists can add as many different credits as they’d like. We’ve also made these credits link to actual profiles so when a user taps on one of these profiles they can view their whole discography, which is an exciting and powerful way to discover new music. For instance, if you like the production on a track, chances are you’ll like other music that producer has worked on.”
“Over the years, when I was touring or at home trying to promote shows and engage fans, everything was so dispersed and focused on one aspect of my music. It was time consuming and incredibly frustrating,” Jones notes. “You want to present a complete picture of who you are to your fans. The task of endless link sharing dilutes the impact of your content and creates needless work for fans. Ultimately, it felt like a huge missed opportunity.”
Jones decided a better way was possible. He began poring over ideas for a platform that would unite music streaming and the many ways fans and artists interact, in a user-friendly, artist-centered experience. He met up with Royce over a drink one evening, and they both saw the potential. They decided they had to build it, since no one else had.
One of URSA’s key features, in addition to its wealth of assets and its in-app commerce, is its social aspect. Social music may be an Everest of sorts for music tech, a mountainside often attempted but littered with past hopefuls and contenders. However, URSA takes the artist view of feature design, putting the focus squarely on engagement with the music and its contextual assets, not just on sharing tracks and playlists.
That means the interactions on URSA aim to be more authentic, not algorithm driven and not buried in the feed or populated with marketing speak. “Most of the social music services have been fan oriented, about sharing with your friends in various ways,” Royce explains. “No one has done something completely artist-centric. On URSA, artists are the center. The artist has to be on there and participating to make the social features impactful and successful.”
“The social features all revolve around the artist profile, which includes songwriters and producers,” says Jones. “These profiles are hubs for features, places the fan can explore from. We’ve reimagined it creating a space where features many users already know and like can all coexist harmoniously. We wouldn’t label ourselves solely as a social platform, but we made it a focus, because interaction and direct engagement is crucial for artists and fans. In fact, we see it being an essential part of the evolution of streaming.”
This approach mirrors the platform’s overarching vision for empowering artists first, and letting that empowerment lead organically to substantial engagement with a community of music lovers. This is a lean-in, not a lean-back space, where artists’ ideas can rule and define how their music is presented and savored.
“We’re bringing everything into one space where artists can add context to their music, speak directly to their fans, publish a broader array of content than ever before, while giving fans a more personal and complete listening and engagement experience,” Jones says. “Musicians have an entrepreneurial spirit, whether they know it or not. They are making something from nothing. There’s a boldness there, and this demands a platform that’s equally bold.”