Major Labels

Universal Goes Direct To Fan With Echospin

Universal    Echopsin

Universal Music Group Distribution has signed with Echospin for direct-to-fan sales and promotions from their artist websites. The two companies say it's the first time that a major music company has empowered its entire roster of artists to sell digital, physical and mobile goods from a single location.

One example of the new platform is the 3 Doors Down “Ultimate Fan Pack,” an Echospin-powered exclusive
offer, which includes re-mastered CDs, a re-mastered vinyl LP, a
poster, a special autographed “early entry pass,” T-shirt and an
instant download of the re-mastered “Kryptonite” MP3 single. 

Echospin chart  

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upcoming are online stores and offers from Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Kid
Cudi, Hollywood Undead, Mary J Blige, Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, Julianne
Hough and the Verve Music Group, which will include music and products
from Diana Krall, Jamie Cullum, Queen Latifah, Katherine McPhee and
Herbie Hancock.

From the press release:

“Echospin has created a market leading commerce and media delivery platform that facilitates the sale and promotion of digital, physical and mobile products all in one shot,” stated  Universal head Jim Urie. “It will provide our artists with unmatched opportunity and reach in the marketplace. As UMGD continues to expand and lead the industry in direct-to-fan initiatives, this agreement with Echospin will provide our artists and labels with more flexibility on how they distribute their music, while providing fans much easier access to a broad variety of content from the artists they are passionate about.”

"UMGD is committed to building closer relationships between artists and their fans. We’re thrilled they chose Echospin to be their partner in this unique opportunity." commented Mr. Lowy of Echospin.  "It’s exciting to see the world’s leading artists using our solutions to provide fans with the effortless and rewarding experiences they deserve," added Mr. Manning.

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  1. Echospin, huh? I wonder what company they were trying to clone…I’m sure Ian Rogers can’t imagine the answer to that, either…
    Ominous to see the Leviathan-level players catching on like this. Of course, it’s a consolation knowing they will fuck it up, but they still own these massive catalogs full of hits we all know and love…it’s always too soon to be proclaiming the death of the industry.

  2. Agreed with Justin, and I would advance his sentiments:
    Are these guys fucking serious?
    Not only are these guys trying to emulate Topspin (weather Topspin is so groundbreaking as to be worthy of emulating, is still subject to debate, below) they’ve blatantly hijacked some of Topspin’s Rogers’ rhetoric-read the about section on Ecospin’s website- “Ecospin is a technology company”. Has Rogers not prefaced so many of his presentations, speeches, diatribes addressing Topspin’s cynics and skeptics with that same line?
    Also, Echospin’s logo is a shameless rip of The Orchard. Why brand yourself so similarly to a service that is more mature, more reputable, and not some fad that a major is partnering with for indie cred?
    What are these companies really doing? Providing ecommerce solutions for music? Different price points (“oooo, you can get the regular CD for $xy, but the limited edition vinyl with photobook is $xyz” Man, this makes me wanna spend!”) Providing artists web pages with purchase platforms? Throw some web analytics and metrics into the mix, and really, what else is there?
    Not to say these aren’t useful services, but are they really outside the realm of a major label marketing division. Are these services so groundbreaking that they need to be outsourced to hip startups like Topspin and Echospin? In Universal’s case, the value of such a partnership doesn’t amount to anything more than a bit of indie PR. Ditto Tunecore.

  3. It looks like UMG is hitting the indie crowd with everything they’ve got. To me it is good and bad. Good because I think it demonstrates that the music industry in general has shifted to a new direction forever. I mean the major labels appear to have adopted the go with the flow mentality as opposed to fight your way back to the top mentality. This is only good because I have wanted the industry to change for decades now. So I am glad to see the resistance falling apart.
    It is bad because I can’t help being sceptical of the major labels’ ability to operate in the artist’s best interest. Let’s say UMG starts to gain some traction with indie musicians through their latest efforts (tunecore, echospin, etc.). How are they going to turn it around to screw the artist in the name of making a buck.
    It is a good discussion I think. There is still a lot of support for self-promotion in my opinion.
    Just a note about Topspin: I wouldn’t necessarily say they are the holy grail, but they are at least more accessible to small scale independent musicians.
    Tom Siegel

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