In this week’s edition of Royal City Studios’ Weekly Music News: There’s a new sheriff in town to help musicians get paid in the wild wild web, RocketStock’s got freebies (real, no-strings-attached ones) to help dial your music video production to 11, and radio kicks TV’s butt in terms of reach, but first…

Pre-Made Album Cover Art Now on CAM for as Low as $30

Stuck for album cover art that doesn’t look like another photo from Unsplash? Don’t have time to master Photoshop to create something unique? Graphic designer Dameon Spencer has you covered as founder of Cover Art Market (CAM), a newly launched online platform where bands can buy original, pre-made cover art (from a selection of CAM contributors) for use on sites like Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube Music.

Pre-made artwork ranges from around $30-$60 for simple but still cool stuff:

  • Straight-up original photos
  • Filtered photos with other special effects
  • Composite images

CAM displays each piece of pre-made cover art with “Song Name” and “Artist Name,” placed in simple or stylized fonts to help bands more easily visualize how a piece of art will look with a band’s actual name and the title of their album/single.

CAM also recently announced increased support for motion album cover art—animated versions of traditional album cover art—with the launch of the CAM platform’s Cover Discovery Engine.

“Over the last several months,” said Spencer is a recent music news press release, “we have seen an increase in demand for motion covers,” which he sees as becoming mainstream by the end of 2021.

CAM also does custom.

If you can’t find a CAM pre-made cover that fits your project, you can order custom art by contacting one of CAM’s graphic designers, who promise turnaround times within 4 days. All designers offer up to 2 revisions per project, and prices for custom work hit the $100-$200 range (which is pretty affordable if you’ve ever priced out custom work from other graphic designers).

But wait, there’s more!

Okay, we’ve admittedly been waiting for an opportunity to use this cheesy advertising line in RCS music news, but in this case, it applies. CAM designers also offer unique band/artist logos (around $100), plus banners and ads ($40-$80) for Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube.

Interested in becoming a CAM art contributor?

If you’re a visual artist who specializes in album art (or wants to branch out), CAM also accepts contributors. There’s no fee to join. You set your own prices for your work, and CAM acts as an agent. They collect 30% on art sales for use of their platform and contributors do not sign over copyright. Creators retain ownership to their work.

A few things to know to become a CAM contributor:

  • You must apply. (It takes about 3 min.)
  • Applicants must include a link to an online portfolio of original digital artwork.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of 3 cover designs to apply.

To apply to CAM, click here.

RocketStock Offers Free Download Packs for Video Production

Music obviously holds center stage in any music video, and bands have certainly clocked up big YouTube numbers with simple iPhone footage edited together for the low price of time. Yet many bands are looking for more in video production values.

To this end, RocketStock offers a small but solid selection of high-quality video elements and After Effects templates from the world’s leading designers, including:

  • Bokeh overlays
  • Light and dust overlays
  • Graphics and title download packs for After Effects
  • Logo reveals for After Effects
  • Fake VHS FX for After Effects

There’s no sign-up to grab the freebies.

Where everyone and their dog these days offers free downloads in exchange for your email address, RockStock offers straight-up free downloads with no required sign-up to their email list, and video downloads are in MP4 format (meaning files that work in pretty much any video editing software).

If you do want to sign up for the RockStock email list, you can do that and they’ll send you a free After Effects template or motion design asset every month.

To visit the RocketStock freebies library, click here.

Need some inspiration for what to do with your free RocketStock?

Things like video overlays are naturally designed to enhance central, core footage shot by you, and sometimes, all you need are a few different shots of you or your band performing a song as an overall storyboard. Yet if you’re looking for other ideas, here are two videos to help with inspiration, both partly shot at Royal City Studios, where rehearsal spaces easily serve as inexpensive shooting locations:

Combining at-home footage and clips shot inside Royal City Studios’ Music Hall, this video by The Breaking English blends humor, waffles, and a soundtrack recorded in Royal City Studios’ recording studio.

Blending simple video and title overlays (much like you can do with RocketStock footage), this solo, self-produced video by Guelph-area writer and album artist Xristopher Bland was largely shot inside one of Royal City Studios’ small rehearsal studios with a single camera on a tripod.

Radio Wins for Sheer Reach, According to Nielsen

With music streaming currently headlining the stage of digital media consumption, Statista recently pointed out what we recently wrote about in our music news blog Why Radio Still Matters to Bands and Live Shows. There’s another stage called traditional media, and radio is rocking it.

In a Feb. 12, 2021 Statista story titled Radio’s Unparalleled Reach, reporter Felix Richter wrote, “Radio in particular rarely gets credited for what it still is: a true mass medium.”

According to recent Nielsen findings released by Statista:

  • Radio reaches 91% of American adults age 18 and older.
  • Smartphones and television both reach 85% of the same audience.
  • Personal computers place third at 58%

While radio wins in terms of sheer reach, Statista notes that TV remains unparalleled with respect to average daily use. According to Nielsen:

  • American adults spend an average of 4 hours and 16 minutes per day watching TV (live and time-shifted)
  • By comparison, American adults spend about 1 hour and 39 minutes per day listening to radio.

Pex: The New Sheriff in Town to Make Sure Creators Get Paid

With 58% of Instagram videos containing music, a new start-up called Pex just raised $57 million in new funding for their Attribution Engine—software designed to track who uses music on social platforms so original music creators (a.k.a. rights holders) get paid for use of their music. Pex’s Attribution Engine is also designed to give rights holders total control of their content and allow law enforcement to prevent toxic content.

The Pex asset registry is open to everyone and completely free.

To learn more about how Pex works, click here.

Thanks for sharing part of your day with us.