Summer Reading Lists:
iTunes Live Times Discussion:
What Ryan Learned At New Music Seminar:
For almost two years, Spotify has been trying to launch in the US, having hoped to go live back in 2009. Sources now report that their licensing negotiations with the major record labels have been restarted entirely. Thus far, CEO Daniel Ek has failed to sway them to go along with his vision for the U.S version of the service.
In the last month, attempts have been made to approach the labels with a clean state, but it’s difficult to determine what type of service, if any, would be possible to launch before the end of the year. “Earlier this month, Ek reiterated his claim that the service is on track for launching before the end of the year,” Billboard's Antony Bruno writes, “but also hinted that he'd delay it into next year if that's what was required to ensure Spotify launched under the model he envisions.”
Back in June, the 13 record companies sought to freeze assets of LimeWire, "accusing its founder of fraudulently trying to evade hundreds of millions of dollars in damages over copyright infringement."1 Since then, the judge has denied the RIAA's motion to freeze LimeWire's assets. However, while this move does not reverse the original decision against the company, it enables the them to keep searching for a legal way to operate and pursue a cloud-focused relaunch.
The Bandwidth Music | Technology Conference, a gathering that explores the evolving musical experience -- how people discover, purchase, interact with, and are exposed to new music -- with a focus on marketing, fan behavior, current trends, and future forecasts, is taking place on August 19 and 20, 2010. The additional speakers will include: Daren Tsui, CEO of mSpot, Inc.; Jeremy Welt, SVP New Media at WBR; Aaron Ford, VP of Music Industry Relations & Business Development at Grooveshark; Stephen White, SVP of Product and Content Management, Gracenote; Michael Papish, Product Development Director at Rovi; and Ted Cohen, Managing Partner of TAG Strategic. They join:
The Orchard has completed its acquisition by Dimensional Associates, private equity arm of JDS Capital Management; they are now the majority owner of the company. At an afternoon meeting in New York, Orchard shareholders approved the proposal.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, The Orchard's stockholders received $2.05 in cash, not including interest and any applicable withholding taxes. By taking The Orchard private some have speculated that they will combine it with eMusic -- which they also own -- to create a stronger company and perhaps ultimately to sell the combined company.
As of today, The Orchard's common stock will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market. "The company will remain focused on enhancing its delivery platform, expanding its digital business, and building products to make our clients more efficient marketers," Orchard CEO Brad Navin commented.
Reporter Fiona Sturges has penned a rather thought provoking article where she poses the question as to what happens when the major labels begin focusing too much on re-releasing, deluxe edition granting, and ultimately living off the back catalog, as opposed to actually investing in new artists and releases. She paints an interesting perspective of what happens if financial incentives align towards catalog and away from new artists, at a time, when the likelihood that they will be able to recoup the initial investment has been greatly diminished. The takeaway:
"re-issuing old albums is, essentially, money for old rope, and certainly a safer financial bet than ploughing millions into a young and untested newbie. But it's not enough to re-release the same old songs every 10 years in a pretty new case and with a bonus track. Artist back catalogues are part of our cultural heritage, something to be cherished and preserved, not degraded and exploited. Reissues should honour both the artist and their fans, both artistically and financially. If they don't, then perhaps they would be better off left in the vault." (Read the rest.)
Read Part One KB: In Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky urges companies and consumers to stop clinging to old models and embrace what he characterizes as "as much chaos as we can stand" in adopting new technologies.
In your opinion, do you feel like this is the same mindset that the record and music industries need to adopt in order to thrive, prosper, and create a brighter future for themselves in the digital age?
Aaron Ray: Yes, technology is changing and at a blistering speed, but the real question is “How are people going to act?”. Half of the world is under 30 right now and the conflict between the generations is happening every 2 years rather than every 25. I look at it as a model of constant diligence. Our whole company is trained in understanding that moving forward requires a path made of whipped cream and not of stone.
Next BIG Nashville and Leadership Music Digital Summit have joined forces to become a progressive music event in Nashville. This year they are combining to host a four day music festival with a two-day digital summit engaging industry leaders, innovators and instigators in lively conversations and presentations.
This year's event will take place on Sept 29 – Oct 2. Speakers to incude:
In celebrating the 750,000th artist to register at ReverbNation, the indie music marketing hub and Ernie Ball have partnered up and are co-sponsoring a Music Showcase at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City; it will be held at Crash Mansion on Thursday October 21st and will feature 7 artists selected from the submissions by CMJ and Ernie Ball. No submission fee is required for artists.
The artists selected to perform at the showcase will also receive a $500 cash travel stipend courtesy of the two co-sponsers. The deadline for submissions is August 22, 2010. Artists are required to have a free ReverbNation profile and a Reverb Press Kit in order to apply. Go here to learn more or submit today.
Some might be privy to this if they follow either the developments at Topspin Media or the marketing efforts of Band of Horses, The Pixies, Eminem, and The Dandy Warhols, among others, but the direct-to-fan platform now sells tickets.
In once such instance with The Pixies, reportedly, the group started out with an email list that was next to nothing and with the help of the team at Topspin, within a year’s time, they were able to grow it into the six figure range.
Asked for his thoughts on the evolving story surrounding Ditto Music, 24-hour iTunes live times, TuneCore CEO Jeff Price's assertions, and Lee Parson's, co-founder of Ditto Music, rebuttal to Price, Tony van Veen, CEO of CD Baby had this to add to the discussion:
"CD Baby has worked hard on our internal processes to get artists’ titles processed and live the day they sign up, and iTunes has been great with their speedy listings of digital content lately. We haven’t promoted that until recently because we’re dependent on iTunes continuing to go live with new content within 24 hours, which is something we don’t control. However, for as long as iTunes keeps making tracks and albums live overnight, we’ll keep offering super fast iTunes delivery, which we know artists are clamoring for."
With Summer in full swing, and the World Cup over by the end of the week, we will again have time to read! I assembled a summer reading list of books that I have found to be inspiring, energizing, thought-provoking, innovative and entertaining.
The music industry seems to be bracing itself for peak-revenue in the same way the rest of the world is waiting for the oil to run out. Is it really true that piracy will turn some countries into a cultural wasteland? According to some reports it's already happening. In Spain where downloading isn't illegal album sales by local artists have dropped 65 percent in recent years. It's gloomy news for an industry who's become so dependent on what now seems like an archaic business model. IFPI isn't happy and believes that global legislation is needed for the industry's survival.
As anyone who operates in this space knows, tracking and monitoring conversations around your business, artists, and blog is a constant must.
There are many tools out there, some good, some not so much. One site I have just become familiar with is called Social Mention; it is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the web into a single stream of information. Judging by a few preliminary searches, the site seems like an easy way to track and measure what people are saying about you or anything across the web's social media landscape in real-time.
At all times, Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc. How do you keep track of all the conversations happening around you?
Mr. Owl, How many clicks does it take to get to
the rock n' roll center of a retail mp3? Let's find out.
A One... A two-HOO...too many!
Recently, I spoke with Aaron Ray who is a Partner at The Collective, Head of New Media. He is currently overseeing all digital initiatives and running all strategies, assets and communities worldwide for artists such as Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, Enrique Iglesias, Big Boi, Staind, and Slash. In this particular interview, we will be focusing on his involvement in recent happenings with Linkin Park and Ray's insights into the evolution of the project.
I always find it interesting when new features and website redesigns happen on a site that I actually use. The update takes place, I notice, and then, moments later, I'm issued a press release and reminded that I write about these things every day.
One such instance is the internet radio site Live365; it makes good office background music when I don't feel like making the effort to do otherwise. What they've done is streamlined the interface, eased access to their radio stations, and made their audio player available from every page in the site.
A&R platform Music Xray, used to receive song submissions from artists, acts, and rights holders, launched a new song to opportunity matching service called "S2O" that automatically pairs songs to opportunities. Artists simply upload their songs at the site and wait to be alerted when appropriate opportunities for their songs are identified. This new service is completely free.
Here at Hypebot, we are rolling out our summer reading lists, written by some of the leading thinkers in the industry. If you happen to be in that crowd, email me five of your picks and reasons why the music industry should be reading them.
Here is Greg's list:
Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
Yesterday, Hypebot broke an interview with TuneCore CEO Jeff Price. In it, he said it was disingenuous for companies, like Ditto Music and others, to claim 24-hour live times to iTunes, because there is no way to guarantee that; it depends on too many factors that exist outside of the control of digital music distributors. Also, Price went even as far to say that making such promises, ones they know they cannot keep, “preys on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of musicians.” Lee Parsons, co-founder of Ditto Music, had this to say in response:
Hi Jeff, a few quotes to add to the article, I hope you don’t mind me quoting direct from TuneCore:
"Yes, we have 24 hour delivery" & "To put hundreds of releases into iTunes this quickly, it's the culmination of years of work." Peter Wells of TuneCore claiming credit for the fast delivery times.
Radio, the hallmark marketing outlet of the traditional record industry, faces its own share of huddles to overcome, if it hopes to forge a bright path into the digital age. Mainly, learning how to integrate a social media mindset into an old media world. And thus far, Mark Ramsey says their social media efforts are pathetic at best. He squarely asks if broadcasters realize that Pandora knows infinitely more about each one of its 60 million consumers than the average radio station knows about any of theirs; they don't. This part applies to equally to radio and artists:
"Your radio station is to a radio network as any one of your listeners is to her network of friends, her 'social network.' And 'social media' describes the content and the pipeline for that content people choose to share with their friends. Where there’s no sharing, there’s no 'social' and no 'media.' Social media is not a promotional vehicle per se for your station. It is a network of relationships that live outside you – it is a set of connections you can be part of only if the participants in those relationships want you there. (Read more.)
1. "Love the Way You Lie," EminemTop 10 Albums
2. "Dynamite," Taio Cruz
3. "I Like It," Enrique Iglesias
4. "California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)," Katy Perry
5. "Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore)," B.o.B.
6. "Billionaire (feat. Bruno Mars)," Travie McCoy
7. "Cooler Than Me," Mike Posner
8. "Ridin' Solo," Jason Derulo
9. "Not Afraid," Eminem
10. "Teenage Dream," Katy Perry
Despite being a pioneer in user recommendations and its overall leadership in the online shopping sector, Amazon has been slow to embrace social shopping. But a new feature launched yesterday allows Amazon shoppers who connect their Facebook account to Amazon to get recommendations from their Facebook friends on what to buy.
Numerous studies have shown that a friend's recommendations have the most weight with shoppers, and the Amazon Facebook connection places the users friends right inside the buying cycle. Shoppers who connect their accounts can:
Since before you heard of Google, Chris Vinson has been designing musician websites. Like many today, he was in a band that needed a website. He did what anyone with enough determination would have done—he built it.
Citigroup lost a March bid to end the lawsuit that accused it of misleading Terra Firma during the purchase of EMI because none of the related documents forced Terra Firma to sue in England, according to the judge's opinion which was finally released this week.