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How To Launch a Music Startup: Establishing Key Metrics

image from media.linkedin.com This post is part of the How To Launch a Music Startup series by Brenden Mulligan, which focuses on building a company that creates online products for musicians. Mulligan founded ArtistData, which was recently acquired by Sonicbids, and can be found on Twitter at @bmull.

image from www.trainingupdate.org Before starting this series off, I thought it'd be useful to lay out some fundamental truths I believe exist which have an enormous effect on the potential success of building a product to sell to artists. I wanted to bring this up immediately because I thought getting the conversation going in the comments now would influence how the rest of the series is laid out.

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Want A Global Hit? Spend More Time On Facebook.

image from www.pdcc-read.com Social networks are hugley popular in the US, but they are rapidly becoming even more so in other markets. According to Nielsen, the social network and blog category reached 74% of active internet users in the US but in Italy the number was 74% and Brazil 86% of active internet users in Brazil spent significant time on social networks. Then there's China...

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Why Stevie Nicks Is Still Wrong (Part Two)

image from cdn.buzznet.com Let's review:  Last week, famed Fleetwood Mac front-woman Stevie Nicks said a few provocative statements about the impact of the Internet on rock music and expressed her concern about how the proliferation of digital technologies has robbed our children of their social graces and driven them to no longer hang out. As we found out, even under minor scrutiny, her statements failed to hold any validly and, for the most part, proved to be quite ill-founded.

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DRM Tech Provider Intertrust Buys Seeqpod Assets

image from www.women2.org DRM technology provider Intertrust Technologies Corporatiohas has acquired all the software and patents developed by SeeqPod. via a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceeding. Intertrust has not acquired the Seeqpod domain name.  Seeqpod shut down its then popular music search and play site in 2009 after several major labels and rightsholders filed lawsuits alledging copyright infringement.

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This Week's iTunes Top 10 Singles & Albums

For the week ending Aug. 30, 2010

image from www.blogtechs.com Top 10 Singles
1. “Teenage Dream,” Katy Perry
2. “Dynamite,” Taio Cruz
3. “Just the Way You Are,” Bruno Mars
4. “Love the Way You Lie,” Eminem
5. “I Like It,” Enrique Iglesias
6. “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,” Usher
7. “Just a Dream,” Nelly
8. “Magic (w/Rivers Cuomo),” B.o.B
9. “Take It Off,” Ke$ha
10. “Erase Me (w/Kanye West),” Kid Cudi

Top 10 Albums

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Universal Music Group Spends $840,000 In Just Three Months On Lobbying

image from 4.bp.blogspot.com Universal Music spent $840,000 in Q2 to lobby the US federal government, according to documents filed on July 20th. UMG lobbyists focuced their efforts on Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, the FCC and other government agencies to fight piracy and a push to require broadcast radio to pay performance royalties.  In the same quarter last year, UMG spent $700,00 on lobbying.


MySpace Now Syncs Updates To Facebook

Screenshot3 While it's quite nice of MySpace to extend users the ability to sync their pages with their Facebook profiles I'm not sure if Facebook will be extending them the same gratitude anytime soon. In a series of moves to ease the use and relevance of their social network, MySpace is now letting users update their Facebook and Twitter accounts at the same time as they change their status on MySpace.

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Initial CMJ Artist Line-Up Announced, Early Registration Discounts End Today

image from www.cmj.com Early bird registration discounts for the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival 2010 end at midnight tonight August 31st. You can register here. And while more bands will be announced in the coming weeks, here's the initial lineup of showcases:

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More Music Industry News: iTunes Samples, Facebook Down, Arcade Fire + Google, Twitter OAuth. Old Kentucy Blogger Gets Job & More

Hypebot Favicon Apple's music event is tomorrow. We'll skip most of the rumors and deliver the facts as they become available. Don't forget that there's one week left to enter our Data Driven Song Contest. It's free to enter and there are more than $5000 in prizes. Details here.

  • iTune's song sample may double in lnegth. (CNet)
  • Facebook was down for many users this morning. (Mashable)
  • Arcade Fire and Google have created a site that uses the band's new music to show off the potential of HTML5 and Google's Chrome browser in some creative ways. (GoogleSome have dismissed this as pointless fluff, but I think it hints at the potential of artists taking the "album" in all kinds for exctiing digital directions.

Music Industry News & Commentary Continued:

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OK Go Weighs In On Net Neutrality & Music Industry

image from farm1.static.flickr.com Known more notably for his role as frontman of the viral video and YouTube sensations OK Go and his perspective on being that very thing on a record label that willfully disables the sharing functionality that made his group famous, Damian Kulash is now weighing in on an issue even more near and dear to his heart: net neutrality and the future of the web.

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Zaptunes: Unlimited MP3 Downloads For Just $25 A Month. To Good To Be True?

Free For The Next 30 Days

image from www.zaptunes.com San Francisco based Zaptunes has launched offering unlimited DRM free mp3 downloads for $25 per month. They say they're adding songs constantly, but have started with 8 million tracks from all four major labels and many indies. To kick things off, the $25 is waived for the next 30 days.

How Are Beatles Downloads Available?

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Blog It: How The Web Changed Music Criticism

image from fresnobeach.com Two words: Almost Famous. It may be cliché but this was the movie that spurned my foray into music. The fact that you could travel around the country with a rock band fascinated me. The ability to be able to capture the process of a band connecting with their audience and the unspeakable and indescribable quality with which they win over millions of people. The idealistic notions in the movie inspired me to become a music reviewer. In late 2007, as I was rereading my first review of Tegan and Sara’s The Con, I realized my perspective was just like the movie—written by a fan and not a journalist.

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Musician’s Guide Turns One, Founder Posts On MTT

image from www.independentmusicadvice.com This AM on Music Think Tank, The Musician’s Guide founder Marcus Taylor opens up on the importance of learning how to build fans by being a fan. In retracing the steps he took to becoming a loyal fan of Jason Mraz, Taylor demonstrates the long path that it sometimes takes to become a devoted to an artist. As well, he notes that a major factor that played into the gradual evolution of his fandom had to do with the many digital footprints that Mraz left across the web for him to follow.

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269 Pensioners Could Bring EMI To Its Knees

image from annaserafinska.com Piled on top of all of the money that EMI owes to investors and CitiGroup are the needs of 269 former employees owed pensions by the company. The shortfall in EMI's fund is estimated to between £115m (178 million US) and £217m ($336 million US). In its recent annual report, EMI admitted that the deficit was one if the major factors that cast "fundamental uncertainty" over the company's future.

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Interview: Rob MacArthur Of IOUmusic

image from www.hypebot.com Recently, I spoke with Rob MacArthur, who describes himself as a music fanatic and entrepreneur; he is currently overseeing operations at the online crowd-funding site IOU Music and Rock Garden Jam Spaces. In this interview, Rob talks about the willingness of the record indusry to emabrace new technology and chaos in general and the disruptive nature of these times.

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iPod Sales Dwindle, But Apple Isn't Worried

image from www.makeuseof.com While no one is calling for the death of the iPod just yet; it has been reported that "the latest sales figures for the quarter to June showed 9 million sold—the lowest quarterly number since 2006." Once deemed the silver-bullet savior for a record industry in terminal decline—that re-engendered enthusiasm for music across all generations and demographics—it's downward trajectory is mirroring that of the very business it was supposed to rescue.

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More Music Industry News: FTC Drops LimeWire Probe, Amanda Palmer, YouTube Legal Challenge Fails, Google Buys Angstro, ExtensionFM & More

Hypebot Favicon Summer is winding down, which means that the pr machines are cranking up. Some of the action is about the Christmas sales season, some is about trying to improve yearly numbers before its too late and some are announcments that were being held since the summer months just aren't great for trying to make a pr splash. As usual, first up is Apple on Wednesday. I expect some new iPods and an improved iTunes; maybe even a web-based version. I do not expect an iTunes subscription announcement, but what do I know?  Something I have even less insider info on is Google's search for someone to head its expanding music initiative.  But that's not going to keep me from weighing in later this week with a list of people that I believe should get the job.

More Music Industry News From Across The Web:

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REWIND: The Music Industry's Week In Review

  • Cary Sherman, The RIAA, And Their Failure image from www.hypebot.com
    To Change The Culture of File-Sharing.
  • The Case For The Billboard Top 40 Over 40 List.
  • Top Ten Government Mandates Needed To Save
    The Record & Music Industries From Ultimate Ruin.
  • Pandora Adds Genre Stations, Celebrates Birthday.
  • Weezer Clears Up The Confusion, Denies Everything.
  • MySpace Redesigns User & Musician Profiles.
  • AudioOrchard: A New Music Collaboration Service.
  • Why Stevie Nicks Is Still Wrong. (Part 1)
  • Report: iTunes To Go Social, Web Based Sept. 1st.
  • 5 Social Media Trends Artists Need To Understand.
  • Stevie Nicks And The Overconsumption Of Music.

More News...

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Stevie Nicks And The Overconsumption Of Music

image from bmorrissey.typepad.com Before I continue my deconstruction of the viewpoints expressed by Steve Nicks in a recent interview with the NY Daily News, I wanted to take a moment and point you to a fantastic essay that crossed by desktop yesterday. A regular reader here and commenter over at Music Think Tank, T. D. Ruth—who is an entertainment attorney in Nashville—sent in this great piece; it adds an alternative perspective in regards to the one I’ve expressed here the day before and recontextualizes the arguments in a new light.

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It’s Not The Size Of Your Collection That Matters…

Or Does It? The Biggest Crisis In Music Fandom.

image from c0424362.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com Remember the days when you could judge a music fan by the size of their collection? When I started out, it was the matter of filling that 20 disc case. That’s like between $250-300 worth of music; a rather sizeable sum for a teenager to come up with. But, it didn’t take long before I started eyeing the 100 and then 250 disc cases.

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Google Realtime Makes It Much Easier To Track The Real-time Web

image from www.google.com Google is making it easier to track a topic in real-time across a myriad of web sources with a single search.On the newly launched Google Realtime homepage are a continually updates stream of results and some basic tools to help refine and understand them. One option offers geographic refinements to find updates by location. Try the beta search engine here.

Watch A Google Realtime Intro Video

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FTC Confirms Fake Reviews Are Illegal

image from media.thedailyswarm.com Federal Trade Commission settlement with California based music marketer Reverb Communications (not to be confused with ReverbNation) confirms that unlabeled paid reviews violate truth in advertising regulations. The guidelines were updated last year to include blog and the web reviews as well as Facebook and Twitter. These bogus reviews appeared on iTunes.

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5 Social Media Trends Artists Need To Understand

This guest post is by Jonathan Ostrow (@miccontrol); he is the co-founder of MicControl, a music blogging network based on a social networking platform.

image from www.sportsagentblog.com For musicians, proper marketing and networking using social media can be tough. The possibilities are seemingly endless and as such, musicians are likely to spread themselves too thin. But not all forms of social media will give you the big pay-off. In fact, some methods are a complete waste of time for musicians looking to grow their fanbase, sell more albums, tracks and tickets, and who are ultimately achieve enough success to sustain a viable career within the industry.

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Choose-Your-Adventure: Interactive Music Videos

image from kappadelta.iweb.bsu.edu I just left my half-naked girlfriend standing in the bedroom and took the train with my buddy instead. After some fun I met an old lady. Being the kind boy that I am, I decided that I should save her from the ruthless mob and once I got finished, instead of letting the lady congratulate me for my efforts, I jumped on my skateboard and sped off. Now I'm in a room playing Twister and right-hand red looks just a little scandalous.

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Video: A2IM's Rich Bengloff On The Myth Of DIY Artists & Next Big Sound On The Analysis Paralysis

image from www.greenarrowradio.com In this next set of footage from the Bandwidth Conference, Danny Dee talked with Rich Bengloff, the President of A2iM. He gives an overview of the gathering, talks about why labels still matter, and sheds light into the myth of DIY artists. Then Next Big Sound CEO Alex White weighed in on paralysis of analysis .

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