Just 0.4 percent of artists in the UK make a living from streaming plays of their music, according to a new study.

Just 0.4 percent of artists in the UK make a living from streaming plays of their music, according to a new study. 

The research — ‘Music Creators’ Earnings In The Digital Era‘ — was published by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO), and was based on data collected between 2014 and 2020, alongside figures from hundreds of musicians and producers engaged in study groups. 

Findings include the fact that only artists regularly garnering more than 1million streams per month can be considered to make a living exclusively from online music platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. This equates to just 1,723 individuals or acts, 0.4% of UK artists. 

As RA notes, culture writer and author of online industry guide Water & Music, Cherie Hu, posted to Twitter that for those hitting the pre-requisite number of plays needed to “make a living” this works out at an income of between £2,200 and £3,700 per month. 

She also notes that the “vast majority” of artists in the 0.4% are signed to major labels, meaning the percentage for independent acts will be far lower. Her estimates also suggest the number of individual names now sustaining themselves from streams is potentially five times what it was in 2014, but competition is much fiercer today, meaning the number of streams needed for that income is now significantly higher. 

In July, the UK government Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) released its own report, The Economy of Streaming, using data going back to October 2020. It found the entire streaming model was in need of a “total reset”, citing “pitiful returns” as a major concern. In 2019, DJ Mag published an in-depth feature on ways in which electronic producers can make money from digital music platforms

Positivity, continuity, and connection—how Vibely is aiming be the next haven for DJs and creator-driven communities [Interview]

Positivity, continuity, and connection—how Vibely is aiming be the next haven for DJs and creator-driven communities [Interview]Teri 169

With the breakneck pace of how life moves online, it was only a matter of time before social media had to evolve in favor of creators. Between a perennial need for a never-ending content stream to capture fans’ attention, the toxicity of the often dispiriting comments section, and moving target algorithms that seem to cut deeper and deeper into post reach, it was inevitable that eventually creator-anchored social platforms would arise. And that’s to say nothing of poor monetization models that most often leave creators feeling like they’re making pennies on the dollar. Then, digital spaces like Patreon and OnlyFans began springing up around the mid-2010s, attracting the most dedicated fans with paid content deemed “premium.” Now, these platforms are far from novel and well established in the mainstream. And while mediums of auditory and visual art have fared well across these newer creator-first platforms, typically the communities that have gathered in these performer-oriented spaces have yet to address many of the same issues that plagued the original social media trailblazers.

At the same time, across much of the internet, and specifically within the dance music space, conversations around mental health awareness and personal wellness began to pick up steam, largely overhauling the way many people related to the stigmas associated with these conversations. And while social media has certainly helped catalyze important discourse around these topics, there’s no denying that the platforms and their next-gen counterparts have had broad, and often negative impacts on the mental health of users for more than a decade and a half. Somewhere along the way, cyberbullying became a cyber-normality that somehow managed to stick as social media began to evolve.

But then, in 2018, in response to some of the older vestiges of social media’s baser tendencies, came Vibely. The brainchild of co-founders Teri Yu and Theresa Lee, Vibely set out to foster next-gen communities with one focus in mind—positivity. Though, Vibely stands not just in dedication to relentless and unwavering positivism, but also against harassment, bullying, shaming, and the distribution of explicit or graphic content. As Yu herself describes it, “Vibely is an all-in-one place where creatives can monetize their vibrant communities,” adding, “it’s all protected by our commitment to positivity, called our Vibe Check.”

Earlier this summer, as OnlyFans reckoned with the backlash of deciding to ban sexually explicit content from the platform, which had amassed more than 130 million users as of the summer of 2021, Dancing Astronaut linked with Teri Yu to learn more about Vibely, the untapped potential for the platform’s crossover with dance music, and what differentiates this burgeoning online space from the rest of the community-driven competitors that have already—for better or worse—made a name for themselves.

Before COVID-19 brought life to a screeching halt in 2020, Vibely was tailor-made for digital communion. Vibely founders even worked with the team from Netflix’s Social Dilemma to help create a set of comprehensive guidelines for the platform, and primarily, the overarching Vibe Check. So last year when the masses flocked to online spaces as tours and festivals began dropping off the calendar by the day, Yu, a Taiwanese-American USC graduate from Arizona, could already see the untapped potential for DJs and producers on the platform. “It could be the center of the DJ’s universe, where you can integrate a constellation of events, livestreams, virtual listening parties, host challenges, and have fan resources available,” says Yu. In terms of COVID-19’s impact, the San Francisco-based CEO elaborated further,

“For music in particular there’s a lot of energy that has been suppressed by the pandemic in a way. You love music, you listen to it, and you want to talk to people who get your love for music, and that’s been missing with shows and events being cancelled. But thankfully the world is opening back up little by little. But even beyond the in person events, people can still connect around their interests on a continuous basis.”

For the children of the internet, content is king but continuity is key. As people crave and seek out what they deem to be authentic content online, the need for continuity is paramount as attention spans wane down to the span of TikTok videos. Yu likens the typical social media experience to a high, describing the nature of the internet’s ephemera as, “a quick hit of dopamine.” Yu continues, “Our society is so focused on that addictive experience of being online that there’s this element of detoxing that needs to happen. It’s like fast food. Enjoyable in the moment, but then you unplug and you realize, ‘I don’t feel any happier.’ It’s almost like a drug at this point.”

Additionally, social media can often feel like the needle moves too fast, and many times, older artists opt to forgo a social media presence altogether, rather than face an unending pool of competition for eyeballs or shares. Yu envisions a more intentional sense of connectivity between creators and their communities within Vibely, with a creator acting more as a factotum or a face for a larger community bound by likemindedness and shared goals, rather than just the pursuit of content. “The way that we interact with people is so short that there’s almost no sense of continuity. With artists, they might struggle to find a place where there’s true loyalty,” adding that, “with Vibely an artist can have a deeper level of engagement that they create themselves, which leads to more meaningful, profound conversations. People on Vibely are talking with each other as opposed to just talking past each other.”

Again, the core of the platform’s mission circles back to the user terms and conditions of the Vibe Check. “That’s why our focus is so different. With the Vibe Check we want to make sure everyone is having a good, fulfilling experience. No harassment, no bullying, no shaming, no self-promotion, no nudity, all based on the idea that we treat each other with respect and kindness. Which sounds so radical, but it’s how we should treat each other in real life, right?”

Radical indeed. As Vibely continues to challenge the social media status quo, giving artists and creators an additional revenue driving tool has been a remarkably empowering experience for Yu and her team. Most importantly though is scalability. While other next-gen digital communities have already given content creators the ability to directly monetize their fanbases, the key differentiator for Yu was the ability to grow and scale a community. Says Yu,

“What’s good about [platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans] is they allow for recurring revenue, which is important. Vibely does that part, plus it allows you to scale over time. It is more about how can you help your community scale over time by helping each other and interacting [together], and you being more the face or the leader of that community. I can imagine things like shuffle challenges or gloving—I don’t even know if people still do that—or even challenges for personal growth like, ’10 days of mixing’ or ’10 days of learning Ableton,’ so there’s a lot of opportunity to participate with each other beyond just consuming new content.”

Now a space where total integration is possible, the platform allows creators to agglomerate e-commerce spaces, event calendars, social media links, and more, making Vibely a sort of digital Swiss Army knife for the modern creative with bigger aspirations than just content generation. “It’s all meant to be super inspirational,” says Yu of the platform’s underlying ethos. For many who have felt hindered or disconnected, bullied or harassed online, or as though the space within a comment section or Tweet thread simply wasn’t safe enough to speak up in, Yu and her team are working to foster a more meaningful brand of connectivity. And similarly, for the those that have feel like social media platforms just wind up being dark, depressing voids of misinformation, having a place to link with likeminded individuals to meet, discuss, and achieve together may just be what the doctor ordered.

There was a point where cyberbullying and the lack of attention to mental health became so commonplace online that the terms to describe the phenomenon simply began to disappear. Vibely is setting out to bring connectivity back to the internet, and with thousands of users and counting, perhaps the positivity is starting to catch on.

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Snoop Dogg and Megan Thee Stallion join The Addams Family 2 soundtrack

Snoop Dogg and Megan Thee Stallion have been confirmed for work on the soundtrack to ‘The Addams Family 2’. 

The animated sequel to the 2019 hit movie (and long-running series) has already secured a number of high profile names for its score. These include Christina Aguilera, Maluma, Rock Mafia, Donna Missal, Dominic Lewis, OPlus, Yoshi Flower, and October London. The latter makes two appearances, on two versions of the track ‘It Ain’t Nuthin”, both in collaboration with Snoop Dogg. 

Megan let fans know she was involved with a teasing video post on Instagram, featuring one of the most iconic characters in the Family, Wednesday Addams, wearing a pair of pink headphones. Meanwhile, in addition to Snoop’s musical contributions, he also appears in the film itself, providing the voice to Cousin It. Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Bette Midler can also be found in the credits. 

In March, Megan walked away with Best Rap Song at the delayed 2021 Grammy Awards. Snoop recently made headlines by joining seminal record label Def Jam as an executive creative and strategic consultant. The iconic rapper is also part of Mt. Westmore, a new supergroup, which also includes Ice Cube, Too $hort, and E-40. 

Overmono announce new EP, ‘Diamond Cut/Bby’

Overmono have announced a new EP, ‘Diamond Cut/Bby’, which will land on 12″ via celebrated UK label XL Recordings on 19th November. 

The first track to drop from the release is ‘Bby’, which some may remember as the closing 2-step tune from the London duo’s recent set at Village Underground, just one date from a packed summer and early autumn calendar that has seen them play a host of festivals including Greenman, We Out Here, Field Day, and Gala

“For the past four years, our studio has been in an old magazine printing building. After moving in we ripped up the carpets to expose this amazing wooden flooring and thought to ourselves – ‘why the fuck would anyone cover this up?’ – turns out ink from the old print presses that used to be there still comes up through the floor and makes these grimy swirling patterns that slowly shift over weeks and months,” Overmono said in a statement. 

“Earlier this year we found out the building was being sold for re-development. We had two weeks to get out. Packing down the studio was left ’til the very last night and we spent the rest of the time making one last tune there,” they continued. “The chords in ‘Bby’ are those ink stains. Woozy and morphing, feeling like they might swallow you up.”

The new EP follows on from Overmono’s critically acclaimed addition to the fabric Presents mix series, which came out in July, arriving just one month after their doubleheader on Poly Kicks, ‘So U Know/BMW Track’. The pair were also responsible for music on MOBO-nominated director Hugo Jenkins’ recent documentary, ‘Better Days: The Story of UK Rave‘.

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Now that Ableton Live is Apple Silicon-native, will your plug-ins and tools still work?

Ableton Live 11.1 beta means a native version of the host that can take full advantage of the hardware inside the latest Macs. But what about VST, AU, Max for Live, and other content – especially if it was built for Intel? Here’s what works, what doesn’t, and how to retain compatibility.

Remember, you can install multiple versions of Ableton Live alongside one another. You should always do that with the beta, and you should probably do it with a version of Live you may need to open critical files.

TL:DR / spoilers!

For those of you eager for the answer, who know what you’re doing already, Ableton Live 11.1 in Apple Silicon native mode compatibility details:

Live 11.1: ships as Universal 2, both Intel and Apple Silicon support included.

Intel AUs: work automatically, thanks to macOS’ built-in AUHostingCompatibilityService. (Probably – other dependencies or incompatibilities still apply!)

Intel VSTs: won’t work, hidden, but you can run Live in Rosetta 2 and run them there.

Max for Live: works, but Devices with externals built for Intel will display an error message – run Live in Rosetta 2.

Rosetta 2 vs. native: pretty darn fast vs. blazingly fast. Matches or exceeds your existing Intel Mac vs. totally blows away your existing Mac. Oversimplification, yes, but… not wrong.

Now onto the detailed explanation:

Apple Silicon: a refresher

Apple Silicon covers all the ARM-based architectures currently available from Apple, which for the Mac right now is – one chip, the M1, though expect that soon to include other Mac chips, too.

The first thing to point out here is that non-native code, built for Intel, often runs really fast even on the M1. The reasons why are too complex to get into here, but the short version is this – Apple’s new chips are fast, there is sophisticated memory tech at work, and the new Rosetta 2 compatibility layer that operates invisibly as part of macOS is essentially able to translate your old Intel code to native instructions for the CPU without the developer’s involvement. The upshot of this is, if you have a slightly older Mac as I do, you’ll probably mainly notice your new Mac is faster – even before you update your software for the M1.

I can say that theoretically, but I can also say it practically. I’ve been running the stable build of Ableton Live 11, which is still Intel-only, for months now on a Mac mini with M1. It’s snappy, and the Mac mini is so quiet I can only tell it’s on by looking at its power LED. (That matters to music because, uh, sound is sort of involved.)

So, why go fully native? That’s easy – then it’ll be even faster, and will allow you to take full advantage of the high-performance powers of the latest Macs. You can also bet that along with the work developers do for CPU compatibility, other optimization and work to support the latest features of macOS is likely to get done, too, some of which will also show performance gains.

Anyway – native support means consistent fast performance. So having it in the DAW is a good thing – and Ableton Live joins a number of DAWs adding that compatibility. But what does that mean for plug-ins and the rest of the tools you use?

Plug-in compatibility

Live 11.1 (both in beta and final form) ships as a Universal 2 binary – both Intel and (ARM) Apple Silicon code are included. That doesn’t matter much to file size – it’s basically the same size as its Intel-only Windows counterpart. (PPC-Intel veterans will remember “Universal binaries,” and people using Macs in the 90s like myself for 68k-PPC “fat binaries” – roughly equivalent.) But that means the first thing is, don’t panic – there is a way of making your plug-ins work.

Running the Apple Silicon-native version of Ableton Live, plug-ins work as follows:

Apple Silicon-native VST3, VST2, Audio Unit plug-ins: These load normally – and updated versions here will maximize the performance you can squeeze out of your M1, of course.

Intel-only Audio Unit plug-ins: Live 11.1 will display and load these plug-ins. Barring any other compatibility issues, they should work as if they were native. That’s a macOS feature, not an Ableton feature – more on that below.

Intel-only VST2 and VST3 plug-ins: These are not compatible with the Apple Silicon-native Live 11.1, and they won’t load. They’ll be hidden from view in the Browser, so you won’t even get the chance to load them in the first place.

So – AUs work regardless of whether they were updated for Apple Silicon. VSTs do not.

Compatibility with Audio Units built for Intel is a macOS feature, not an Ableton Live feature per se. Apple built something called the AUHostingCompatibilityService – basically, without the user noticing (mostly/probably) it will quietly translate your Intel plug-ins so they work on Apple Silicon. Updated: I should clarify – this supports the AU itself, but can’t resolve other incompatibilities. That is, if an AU doesn’t play well with AUHostingCompatibilityService – keeping in mind that developers may not have tested this (or tested your particular version – you could see stuff break. That’s happening to someone in comments — so the usual disclaimers apply. In particular, some plug-ins rely on additional services for things like copy protection validation, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if those make some plug0ins fail. But yes, generally speaking, many Intel AU plug-ins will just work without you knowing. Probably. Mostly.

VSTs are another story. Some DAWs do have “bridge” support that provides compatibility for those plug-ins – Cockos Reaper and Bitwig Studio went this route. (Apple doesn’t support VST at all, Apple Silicon or otherwise, so it isn’t relevant.) But Ableton doesn’t.

This does not mean you’re out of luck, though. If you need to make a VST plug-in work and it hasn’t been updated, you can force Live to run as Intel-native (via Rosetta 2), even on an Apple Silicon-based Mac. Short version: Get Info on Live’s application icon and check the appropriate checkmark. Longer version, from our colleague Roman:

How to force a native M1 Mac app to run as an Intel app instead [Macworld]

Now, this should not be taken to mean you won’t encounter some weirdness. If you’re upgrading from an older Mac, you have not only the new chip architecture but other OS changes to take into account. Honestly, if you can, keep that old Mac around if you think you’ll be opening previous sessions. But at least in my usage, with a range of Intel-only plug-ins, I found stuff mostly works. And I think plug-in developers will pick up the pace on updates, especially because more people are buying these Macs and – frankly, people really love them, because they’re blazingly fast and quiet, even when we haven’t gotten the expected “high performance” machines yet. If you have an Intel Mac and you feel some FOMO, you’re… right. Sorry.

Max for Live

Oh yeah – Max. So the Max for Live that ships with Live 11.1 beta is also Apple Silicon native. And that’s a big deal – a lot of fairly complex software that now also runs natively on this architecture.

Just as you did with plug-ins, though, you may want to revert to the Intel build to retain compatibility with a particular Max for Live Device. Any Max patch that relies on externals (compiled objects) that weren’t built yet for Apple Silicon will break just as plug-ins do. In this case, Ableton Live will display the Device without its interface, and a little message telling you to try again with Rosetta. (Quit, Get Info, check that box, restart. But that’s manageable when you need to open a session.)

Also, apart from this, a new version of Max also can mean some Max for Live Devices need updating. (I just got a notification about one that is not Intel/Apple Silicon-related.) That will be comparatively rare, but it’s worth checking.

Packs compatibility

As of the current moment in the beta, not all Packs are fully compatible yet – though you’ll see most of them already there, and I understand Ableton is working hard on this.

Max packages in Package Manager should work, with the exception of Miraweb – expect a forthcoming fix.

Just keep an old version handy in case you need it.

But all in all – stuff mostly works. It’s immediately faster than before. You can run more instances of plug-ins and effects and the like. And let’s be clear, too – I’m running on what is an entry-level Mac mini. The transformation of bang-for-your-buck on the Apple Silicon Macs is tough to overstate. So armed with this information, I think you’ll be really happy.

I don’t want to compare PC and Mac in this context, but what I will say is, if you’re a Mac user, I think you have some good days ahead, even snapping up an entry-level Mac. And as far as compatibility and transition, having gone through the PowerPC and Intel transitions and MacOS to OS X … this has none of those headaches. It’s almost too easy to transition, meaning you may have to keep bugging developers to support Apple Silicon natively. But on balance, that’s a good thing.

Now back to messing around with Pitcher.

Crystal Skies, Micah Martin share new collaboration, ‘We Got It’

Crystal Skies, Micah Martin share new collaboration, ‘We Got It’Crystal Skies

Crystal Skies and Micah Martin have aligned themselves once again, this time for a new single titled, “We Got It.” The Lost In Dreams cut follows up on Crystal Skies’ August release, “Cruel Summer” as well as marks the second time the melodic duo and rock vocalist have collaborated after the release of their musing dubstep track “All To You” with Fairlane in June.

“We Got It” energetically focalizes on Micah Martin’s deep, resonating vocals as Crystal Skies soar over with their signature blend of dubstep, trap, pop elements, and future-bass. The collaborative single exhibits an obvious chemistry between Crystal Skies and Micah Martin, offering an uplifting, rejuvenating appeal on their latest. Stream “We Got It” below.

Featured image: Crystal Skies

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Kygo plots second Palm Tree Festival in Cabo San Lucas with Autograf, Two Feet, Gryffin, and more

Kygo plots second Palm Tree Festival in Cabo San Lucas with Autograf, Two Feet, Gryffin, and moreUmfj17c 093

Slated for December 2 though 6, Kygo‘s own Palm Tree Music Festival getaway will touch down in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The upcoming five-day event expands on the blueprint laid by Kygo earlier this summer with Palm Tree Fest’s first rendition in New York in August. With the tropical paradise comes a lineup of top-tier talent across a multitude of genres, including a performance by Kygo himself, along with sets by Autograf, Two Feet, a DJ set from Sofi Tukker, Jonas Blue, Shallou, and a special guest appearance by Macklemore.

Beachside beats and pool deck parties come standard, though Palm Tree Music Festival is also promising both a sunset Kygo performance and a Kygo acoustic set, morning yoga, Tropical Brunch with Sam Feldt, a boat party with Frank Walker, whale watching, exclusive merchandise pop-ups, volleyball, and if all of that isn’t convincing enough, attendees can also partake in a golf tournament alongside the Festival’s founder himself. While many of the events will be held primarily at ME Cabo hotel, guests also have the option of other luxury villa and hotel packages.

Ticket are on sale here. For Villa and VIP Upgrades, guests can contact concierge@pollen.co to learn more.

Kygo plots second Palm Tree Festival in Cabo San Lucas with Autograf, Two Feet, Gryffin, and moreKYGO THE GETAWAY Cabo Lineup

Featured image: Rukes

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Premiere: Jake Bowen taps into gorgeous soundscapes with Matt Lange on ‘Mirage’

Premiere: Jake Bowen taps into gorgeous soundscapes with Matt Lange on ‘Mirage’DSC 9714 Full Rez

Guitarist of progressive metal band Periphery, Jake Bowen, is setting out to bolster his solo catalog, dropping off a brand new single from his forthcoming sophomore LP, The Daily Sun. Though Bowen has been producing electronic music behind the scenes since 2005, it was his band being forced away from touring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed the multifaceted musician to hone his meditative, atmospheric sound. Speaking on his writing process, Bowen shared,

“When I’m writing, I’m trying to get my mind to a place of peace. It can’t be too complex or too distracting — otherwise it doesn’t serve the purpose I want.”

A follow-up release to “Say Nothing” with Abbi Press from earlier this summer, Bowen’s new single “Mirage” sonically illustrates this place of peace he describes, this time with Matt Lange in tow. Ambient atmospheres flawlessly intertwine with thoughtful percussion and fleeting arpeggiators to create a zen-like experience that is equal parts addicting and soothing. Furthermore, the veteran pairing of Lange and Bowen proves to be a complementary force, signaling that perhaps there’s more where “Mirage” came from. Yet another strong release from the forthcoming LP, The Daily Sun is sure to be an exciting project to listen through.

Featured image: Ekaterina Gorbacheva

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Boombox Cartel extends emerging label’s catalog with new RemK release

Boombox Cartel extends emerging label’s catalog with new RemK release229783804 984540399027073 6522226855773006703 N

Boombox Cartel recently launched a brand new record label, minted MONTA Records. Earlier in May, Boombox Cartel made a resounding statement with a searing Cartel II EP. Now, the ante is being upped once more as the producer’s newly established label debuts a new cut from Los Angeles-based beatmaker, RemK. Only the second release in MONTA’s catalog, the imprint’s latest delivery comes by way of RemK’s spiraling bass track “Lowrider.”

The new track highlights RemK’s dynamic blend of futuristic soundscapes and thundering basslines that continues to set a sharp standard of what to expect from the burgeoning imprint. The single follows MONTA Records’ debut release, “Underground” by Italian producer Gentis, as the label continues to find its footing within the innovative world of hybrid bass music.

Featured image: Tylor Vi

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R&B singer, songwriter and producer Andrea Martin dies, aged 49

R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Andrea Martin has died, aged 49. The celebrated icon’s passing was confirmed in a message posted to her Instagram account. 

“Dear family and friends, it is with a heavy heart we inform you of the passing of our beautiful Andrea Martin also known as ‘Annie’,” the statement read. “Andrea will always be remembered for her passion and dedication to her family and friends. Her impact will continue to be felt and heard for a lifetime.

“We thank you in advance for your condolences, love, compassion and understanding during this time. Please limit calls as we are trying to finalise arrangements at this time. Once finalised, we will be sure to post arrangements,” the statement continued. “Forever a legend. April 14, 1972 – September 27, 2021.”

A memorial fund has now been set up on Go Fund Me. 

Best known for her role as a songwriter, Martin’s oeuvre includes En Vogue’s hit single ‘Don’t Let Go’, ‘Before You Walk Out Of My Life’ by Monica, SWV’s ‘You’re The One’, and ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’, one of Angie Stone’s best-loved tracks. 

Throughout her career Martin also worked with a host of other names, including Jennifer Hudson, Blu Cantrell, Toni Braxton, and Leona Lewis, many of who have posted tributes following the news. Meanwhile, her own debut album, ‘The Best of Me’, landed in 1998 via Sony imprint Arista Records. 

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