Google search rankings rewarding ‘quality content’



Google are considering what they call ‘quality content’ more than ever when it comes to returning results on searches.
What does a site need to be considered ‘high quality’? There’re lots of parameters taken into account, like the amount of external sites linking to it, the time spent by a visitor on each page, high accessibility, lack of disruptive ads etc.
If you want to improve your site’s ranking in search results, the best rule you need to follow is to publish a site that offers a great user experience. Rich, original content that responds to the visitor search terms (use only relevant keywords) and gets them engaged (so they spend more time on each page and share your site) from whichever device they’re accessing the site.
Here’re a couple of helpful links to find out more:

Explicit Content on Music Videos

Vevo have just introduced a Explicit tag for videos that we must use if the content is considered Explicit. Please let your label manager know whenever you submit a video that could be considered explicit.
This is related to a UK Government scheme being rolled out in partnership with YouTube, Vevo, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which aims to protect underage viewers from watching unsuitable content.
The scheme is being implemented for videos released through UK major labels: the videos are sent to the BBFC for classification ahead of release, and then the rating and guidance given is past on when releasing their videos to Vevo and YouTube. The Government will also announce a six-month pilot to roll out the new system to independent record labels.

Deezer Sign New Telco Deal In Brazil

Bundling streaming services with smartphone plans is a successful strategy that is helping to reach out casual music listeners, that might not sign up for a standalone music streaming subscription. 


Deezer will launch UOL Musica Deezer with the Brazilian ISP and internet portal UOL. UOL Musica Deezer, will be an on-demand music platform that will replace Radio UOL, one of the streaming music pioneers in the country. 

The premium version of the service will also enable music downloads and listening offline, at a price of BRL 14.90 per month.


Spotify have recently launched partnerships with Rogers in Canada, Telecom Argentina and ETB in Colombia, and Apple Music inked their first telco deal with Telstra in Australia just last month.

Skepta to receive ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award!

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The Association of Independent Music Awards 2015 are fast approaching on the 8th September and we are proud to announce that Skepta will be honoured with the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’.

Following the release of his new single ‘Shutdown’, Skepta has proven once again to be a dedicated, hard-working artist and has been named to be ‘one of the independent sector’s finest artists’

Skepta_Shutdown_NEW_packshotiTunes | Amazon

Long before Skepta stormed the stage for Kanye West’s blazing “All Day” BRITs performance and his surprise London gig at KOKO just days later, he was already a fixture in the UK’s grime scene. His 2011 album, Doin’ It Again, featured a handful of chart-topping numbers in “Bad Boy”, “Rescue Me”, and “Cross My Heart”, and his forthcoming ‘Konnichiwa’ album has already spawned a street anthem in ‘It Ain’t Safe’ and a chart hit single in “That’s Not Me” featuring brother and Boy Better Know CEO JME.

Now, with eyes both east and west of the Atlantic firmly watching his next move, the English MC has let loose a new song called “Shutdown”. Ushered in by a sample of one of Drake’s own Vine videos, the track wastes no time in getting down to business. It’s hard-hitting and fast-footed, effectively commandeered by Skepta’s pointed flow.

This is the start of a new dawn for the global music industry, let alone the UK urban scene. Grime has just taken the lead once again.

Read more about the Outstanding Contribution award to Skepta here!

See who has been nominated for the AIM Awards 2015

Association of Independent Music Awards 2015


We are excited to announce that some of our artists have been nominated for the Association of Independent Music Awards 2015 that will be held on the 8th of September at The Brewery in East London!!

Best Difficult Second Album:
Nadine Shah – Fast Food – (Apollo / R&S)


Born from a fervid 2 month writing session, Fast Food exists on a knife-edge – every bit as dramatic as we’ve come to expect from Nadine but with a sharpened eye for all things hook laden. Recorded live at Ben’s studio The Pool the albums jagged nature is owed in part to the contributions of guitarist Nick Webb and bassist Pete Jobson (I Am Kloot).

Building on the bruised honesty and charm of its predecessor, Fast Food rings with the confidence of an artist completing their most coherent musical chapter to date. “The last album took so long to make that by the time it came out it didn’t feel like it was a very clear representation of where I was musically, but this time it’s different,” Nadine explains. Fast Food is a more concentrated effort: it is the sound of Nadine as she is now – stepping out from behind the piano and growing with immeasurable confidence.

iTunes | Amazon

Hardest Working Artist:

Independent Album Of The Year:
Jme – Integrity> – (Boy Better Know)


After releasing 10 separate singles and featuring on well over 10 other tracks, 3 of which hit the UK top 40 in the same year, Jme Boy Better Know’s head honcho is back with another album, another full dose of the mind of a grime lunatic.

It’s been nearly 5 years since a Jme album, This project will definitely satisfy the people that waited it out. From the get go, you will realise this is one for the club, one for the long drive, one for the bedroom ravers. And it ends with the title track, as a reminder, ‘Integrity>’ (Integrity is greater than everything).

iTunes | Amazon

PPL Award For Most Played Independent Act:


Justin Clarke from East London aka Ghetts (formerly Ghetto) has been making huge waves in the UK music scene for over a decade. Coming through N.A.S.T.Y. Crew alongside the likes of Kano, Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, Ghetts solidified his pathway to grime’s A List.

Last year Ghetts’ long-awaited album ‘Rebel With A Cause’ took things to a whole new level. The awards for Best Male at The Urban Music Awards and ‘Hardest Working Artist’ at the AIM Awards as well as a BET Nomination followed and he is now currently pushing things forward across Europe as well as working on new material.

iTunes | Amazon

Find more about the AIM nominees for the 2015 awards here:

Apple Music: subscriber figures revealed


In an interview with USA Today, Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, announced yesterday that Apple Music has already attracted 11 million subscribers.

We’re thrilled with the numbers so far“, Eddy Cue added

Apple Music launched in June 30th this year, and in a bold move that was highly criticised, offered a 3 months trial period for all subscribers, free of charge. Thanks to the pressure of the independent music community, Apple agreed that royalties couldn’t be waived throughout that period, and offered an updated agreement to its music providers.

Because of the controversy generated by the trial period, and some technical glitches with the service, it seemed Apple Music wasn’t off to the best start. However, the recommendations and discovery features keep gaining them supporters and here at Essential we think that Apple has come up with an innovative product, that offers much needed human curation on top of a flawless streaming service, and we are glad to hear that so many subscribers also agree.

Discover Weekly Playlists on Spotify

Discover Weekly

Spotify has launched a new feature that makes recommendations easy to digest, in the shape of a weekly playlist.

Discover Weekly is available for all users (also those on the Freemium tier) on Monday mornings. It goes beyond the expected ‘Similar Artists’ recommendations, to include tracks that are being playlisted by other users, with similar profiles and listening habits.

It also identifies ‘listening clusters’ so if, for example, your children take over your Spotify account for the weekend to play the Frozen soundtrack, these streams won’t count towards your listening habits when the next Discover Weekly playlist is generated (Phew!).

Apple Music Connect: Content Guidelines

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One of the new, most attractive features on Apple Music is Connect. Connect is your channel to communicate with all of your artists’ fans worldwide on Apple Music and iTunes.

We wanted to share some content guidelines, provided by Apple, for you to make the most of Connect.

If you’ve got any questions or need help creating a profile, please contact your Essential label manager.

You can also read through this Connect FAQ on Apple’s website:

Connect: Music is about connection. Connection to your fans. Connection to your art. Connection to the world. Easily share new music, updates, videos, and photos, and genuinely connect with your global fan base in an instant.

What Works:

Whether professionally produced or simply recorded with your iPhone or Android device, you can share audio files of up to 120 minutes and video of up to 10 minutes. Same goes for audio or video that you made in iMovie, GarageBand, and most other video and audio apps. Just use a file format that’s compatible with your iPhone. All you need to do is to get it on your iOS device (you can record content on your Mac, PC, or Android device but you can only upload to Connect from iOS).

Audio Recommendations:

Your audio doesn’t have to be long. You can send us anything that’s between 10 seconds and 120 minutes.

When you finish recording a song, just save it in the standard M4A file format (with the AAC codec) or in the MP3 file format. We care about the sound quality as much as you and your fans do, so keep the bitrate of your recording at least at 256 kbit/s and the sample rate at 44.1 kHz. Or, send us a lossless audio recording for a high-quality encode, as long as it’s less than 2 GB in size.

If you’re using the Voice Memo app on your iPhone to record the audio, you’ve already met those guidelines and are good to go.

Video Recommendations:

As a general rule, if you used your iPhone to record the video, you’re ready to share it as long as it’s between 10 seconds and 10 minutes.

If you recorded your video with another device, use an app such as Final Cut Pro to save it as an M4V or MP4 file (with the H.264 codec). Slo-Mo videos or videos with more than 30 fps aren’t supported. Make sure it’s not larger than 2 GB.

When it comes to resolution, bigger is better. We accept videos in HD, so your fans can see your video at all its glory. Don’t make it stamp-size.

Photos Recommendations:

Photos have to be in the JPG or PNG file format and can’t be larger than 15 MB. GIFs and TIFFs aren’t supported.

Uploading Content:

Sharing your ideas, songs, photos, and videos is easy. All you need is an iPhone or iPod touch.
 Uploading Your Content

  • Start off by tapping the New Post button in the top-right of the Connect tab in Apple Music.
  • Add a message or tap the + button if you want to post a video, photo, or Soundbite. You can also post links to articles, websites, and more. Find videos and photos in your photo library and songs in your music library. You can also record Soundbites directly from your microphone.
  • For audio and video, add a title. You can also include a text description, a cover image, and, for songs, a song type. Keep in mind that the title you give your content is how users will be able to search for it, so be descriptive.
  • You can attach your audio or video content to an album by tapping Attach to Album at the bottom of the page and selecting the album.
  • If you’re in a band or support multiple artists, choose the profile you want to post to.
  • Finally, tap Post to share with your fans.
  • Once you’ve uploaded, you can create an embeddable player for any website—just visit Share Playlists, Albums, Songs from AlbumsHave a playlist, album, music video, or song you’re loving? You can easily share it with your fans. Find the album, music video, or playlist in search and tap the three dots (···) on the right side and tap Post to Apple Music. Or, from an album, playlist, or music video page, simply hit the Share button. Add your message and share it with your followers in Connect.