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Streaming Wars Mediator – Roy LaManna CEO of Vydia

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Labels vs Streaming Services

There has been an epic table turn in the Streaming Wars. Streaming services are teaming up to take down record labels. Theres no doubt that there is talk about the music industry. Those who are talking know that there is a frustrating stagnation that won’t allow for new artists to emerge and break way into the industry. The big question though is, whose fault is it for this stagnation? Is it the industry’s fault or is it in part the artists fault. Not current artists, but new up and coming artists who just don’t see what has to be done for this period of pause to start oiling up to move again. The big problem is that artists are loosing ambition and hope which is causing them to not try to burst their way into the industry. You never know what you can achieve without even giving it a try. So now that the question as to who is to blame for the stagnation, both the industry and the artists, a new question emerges.

What has to be done to move forward?

This has been a question on my mind for quite sometime now and I never got the chance before to get this question answered, even though the answer was quite simple and in plain sight. Then all of a sudden BOOM, an opportunity comes that allowed me to become awake and realize what has to be done.

Roy LaManna, CEO of Vydia, with over 15 years in the entertainment industry, has become synonymous with the launch of visionary and inventive companies, propelling him as the go-to guy in the music video space. LaManna honed his craft in music videos as the Music Video Commissioner for Island Def Jam Music Group, where during his tenure, he executive produced video treatments for some of the label’s elite acts from Fall Out Boy, Justin Bieber, Tyga, The Killers and Ludacris earning him praise from The Huffington Post, Parade Magazine, NJ Biz and more.

LaManna also had a passion for helping artists market and promote their video creations and went on to to launch the now acclaimed music video promotion company: Trendsetter Marketing. The PR company, which specializes in securing maximum exposure for artist’s visual treatments in the world’s dominant digital and offline spaces for today’s biggest acts, as well as the stars of tomorrow. Trendsetter’s roster of elite acts includes Andy Grammer,  Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Major Lazer, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, We Love Disney, Iggy Azalea as well the world’s most prominent brands including Munchkin, Disney and Seiko.

I was honored to interview Mr. Lamanna on the streaming wars going on in the industry. Below you can find the conversation between myself and Mr. Lamanna.

Myself: Can you explain and elaborate on the understanding of how people get paid in the industry?

Mr. Lamanna: Each streaming platform varies on how they pay artists, but i’ll speak to YouTube specifically.  Essentially there are different reference files that are within the system and policies associated with those reference files. The policy is part of the metadata and the reference file is the video. Those two components tell YouTube who to pay whether it’s uploaded by the artist or label, or if it’s user generated meaning like a fan or just some random person updated it, these websites check their database to see if there’s a reference file associated with it and that is essentially how they know who is the original owner and who to pay.

Myself: What is the big meta issue no one’s talking about that is causing a stagnation in the industry?

Mr. Lamanna: The big issue with the meta is that there’s too much fragmentation and a lack of standardization in the industry. Music revenue is turning into a pennies game, sometimes we’re dealing with fractional pennies. in order for those pennies to add up, you need to multiply it by a large number. That means grabbing every instance of the song and making sure it monetizes properly. it also requires the processes to be highly efficient. Unfortunately we’re a long way away from that. So much revenue is being lost to bad meta. We see it everyday.

Myself: What are a few steps that new artists need to take in order to make their way into the industry?

Mr. Lamanna: New artists just need to be very prolific, they need to make as much content as possible. Content is king in terms of keeping people’s attention. So if you’re creating a song, we always encourage people to also create lyric and song videos as well as music videos around that music. The best way to make your way into the industry is just to make good consistent content.

Myself: On the topic of changing the industry, should streaming services compete or come together what would be more beneficial for this change?

Mr. Lamanna: I believe competition is healthy and it helps everything grow. There shouldn’t be a monopoly, but I do think there should be one centralized database for managing intellectual property rights and the policies associated with the metadata. So, the idea being is that you shouldn’t have to tell multiple streaming services who owns what piece of content and who needs to get paid. That information should be almost like registering it with the USPTO where they all access the same database and the correct parties are being paid with the correct splits in the correct territories.

Myself: Tell me about, it’s purpose and how does it help artists make money.

Mr. Lamanna: So Vydia acts as a content aggregator that distributes and schedules video content to 5 different platforms. They include Youtube, Vevo, Dailymotion, Twitter, and Facebook. We help artists make money and we save them a lot of time when publishing content on multiple platforms . More importantly it creates clean Meta which we identified as one of the main issues why artists aren’t getting paid on various different platforms.

How are you working towards promoting a change in the industry with the work you do?

Mr. Lamanna: Right now we’re negotiating deals with not only several platforms but also different distributors and record labels to help them distribute their content and centralize the information that they have. We think that’s going to be a big issue and that’s something that we’re tackling before it gets too out of hand.

Myself: Where do you see Vydia going in the next 10 years and possibilities for television series and movie distribution?

Mr. Lamanna: Over the next 10 years the industry itself is going to continue to grow. We see artist monetizing content on Youtube and Vevo. I think we’re going to see monetization strategies from Dailymotion, Facebook, (which has also been announced) as well as Amazon, Twitter and other video platforms. We’re going to help artists monetize all those different platforms with one centralized database. I don’t see us really going into television and movie anytime soon, at least at this point. Our main concentration is just working with music and doing that as good as it possibly can be done.

Myself: What was the reason for choosing career in the Entertainment Industry?

Mr. Lamanna: I’ve always had a passion for music even when I was young. I was in a band and just like most people in the entertainment industry they start out being a fan of and/or playing music and then decide to make a career out of it.

Myself: What advice would you have for new artists that want to have a career in the entertainment industry?

Mr. Lamanna: The entertainment industry is difficult. A lot of companies like to give jobs to the lowest bidder, so sometimes it’s kind of a race to the bottom. However, there are people who recognize value and the idea of paying a little bit more to get something more in return. That’s where we always try to focus our efforts. I think that’s a good general rule of thumb, to just not price yourself all the way down until someone eventually hires you.

Have you seen Beyoncé’s Lemonade and what are your thoughts after watching it?

Mr. Lamanna: I have seen it and my initial thoughts on it is was that it’s the epitome of a viral video. When you talk about a viral coefficient (which essentially is how many people have to watch it) you take the number of people watching it and you try to calculate what percentage of those people are sharing it with their friends. The higher the number, the higher the viral coefficient. A high percentage is something that everyone needs to strive for when they create content. It’s not always just about creating the content, it’s thinking about what part of this video makes people want to share it with their friends and I think lemonade is a very good example.

Intellectual Property Rights

Originality is also stagnated, It seems as if every wants to do something like or be that of their favorite artists currently in the industry. This is a bad idea, instead of wanting to be like them or mimicking their work, how about we all as artists start creating new and evolving ideas that those of power in the industry won’t have a choice but to say yes to. Also making music is an art but of you want to live off of that art you have to adapt to the way thing are and create as much as possible. There are platforms out there that you have to invest in, in order to be efficient in your creating, and Vydia is one of those platforms.

LaManna’s most recent venture, entertainment startup, Vydia, is a music video distribution platform that allows artists to distribute and publish their music videos on some of the world’s biggest platforms including Vevo, YouTube, Dailymotion, Facebook and more, bringing artists the best opportunities to promote and monetize their videos while managing their digital rights. In just over a year, the numbers behind Vydia are staggering with over 350 million+ monthly monetized streams and over 80,000+ artists. Artists who have gone through the platform include acts like Fetty Wap, Dove Cameron and Ryan McCartan of the Disney Channel, Post Malone,Jimmy Buffett, Def Leppard, Tom Delonge of Blink 182, and Keith Urban.

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