In the past few months, Bandsintown has quietly been expanding its presence among artists and live music fans on Facebook with the release of their new, cross-platform tour dates app.
A report just released by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) shows a 6% drop revenue in 2010 to $935 million. Despite the decline ASCAP paid out $845 million in distributions to members, a decline of just 2.1%. They blamed the fall in revenue on the slower economy and court setbacks which lowered certain royalty rates.
Recently, This Week In Start Ups interviewed Topspin CEO Ian Rogers. In the interview, they spend a great deal of time talking about the early days of the web and file sharing. It's great look into the evolution of the MP3 and the record industry's initial reaction to fan behavior. Oh, and if you're looking for a good laugh, skip to the end. Rogers joins the host in a "Friday" duet. Watch below:
Some are writing volumes about how the labels are going to force Amazon to license their new Cloud Player and Cloud storage locker. The real story is that Amazon already intended to. But in meetings late last week, they told the major labels that they were about to launch what they believe they already could - a place for people to store digital files in the cloud. Beating Google and Apple to the music cloud certainly felt good, but it's not why Amazon told the labels about the launch, rather than ask for their permission.
Pho, an infamous music industry and technology e-mail listserv, unearthed a great WSJ article from 2001 the other day. It documents the uptake in interest in the MP3 several months before the first iPod launched.
The record industry wanted to make the MP3 obsolete, since it was an "unprotected" format, and it looked to the tech companies like Microsoft to help them do it.
This post is by Alison McCarthy (@aliiimac). She's an intern at Hypebot.
As Kyle Bylin discussed, prior to the rise of the new social musics apps we're currently witnessing, the technology made available through our iPods and iTunes players simply didn't offer us a way to easily share our music with others.
Google Search has become the standard for how we find everything including music and tickets. It's why music marketers care about Wikepedia and MySpace - they rank high in search results. Yesterday, Google introduced a new feature that influences those results, +1. To recommend something, users click a +1 button on a page or ad much like a tweet or like button with results appearing in Google search. More + Video:
This post is by Robbert van Ooijen; it originally appeared at Have You Heard It.
Last week a new music player got its first public release: the Tomahawk Player. In an era where music is often scattered across multiple computers and multiple platforms, the player aims to solve this problem by organizing all of your music in one desktop interface. It definitely sounds neat to have your music from SoundCloud, Ex.fm, Spotify and your MP3s all accessible on one location. Combined with the ability to directly import playlist from all over the web this could be the next generation music player.
Back in 2009, I caught my first break as Editor of Hypebot. The kind folks at Next Big Nashville invited me to give a keynote at their conference. It was a fantastic time. I had filmed my on-stage interview, but the files got damaged. I've since found that they (somehow) work and have edited together a snippet. Watch:
It's probably a honest mistake, but I had to chuckle when Techdirt's Mike Masnick noticed a tweet from former Warner Brothers Records digital executive Ethan Kaplan that Billboard had republished one of his blog posts without ever asking permission. Ethan wasn't really upset, but the incident was particularly amusing at Hypebot central because Ethan's really good about answering his email. I know that because we'd republished another post "The Death of the Album and Birth of Release" by him a week ago with his full consent. Here, however, is the bigger question:
The race to the cloud heated up yesterday as Amazon jumped the gun on Google and Apple and got a running start. Expect responses from the latter companies soon. This increased emphasis on music lockers, however, could have unintended consequences that actually make the record industry worse off than if they had embraced Spotify and others with open arms.
You could pay $6999 for Strategy Analytics' Digital Media Strategies report, “Global Recorded Music Market Forecast” or I can just tell you that it says that that digital sales will pass CD sales next year in the U.S. For you're $7K they'll also tell you:
Over the course of the last two years, I've been intensively researching and writing about the new music business for my bachelor thesis about this topic. My main frustration with most advice I saw (and still see) popping up on the web, is that it's incomplete. Some of the advice is good, some of it not so good, but none of it is as good as it can be, because the entire framework is missing.
(UPDATED) The pundits couldn't get enough of yesterday's announcement by Amazon of it's Cloud Locker and Cloud Player for music. Several described it as too simple (I think simple is good) and while some rejoiced that Amazon had thrown down the gauntlet (I agree.), others wrote worried that labels will shut the lockers down (Prediction: They'll scream loudly, but fail.) Here's a sample of some of the smartest commentary:
George Mason University has the best college band class ever. Hands down. In preparing for pep band, this teacher is showing his students how to rock out to the music styling's of Rage Against The Machine.
As Digital Music Insider cleverly quipped, "And now you do what they taught ya." The things to watch out for are the girl in red who is obviously having the time of her life and the guy in the back left, who at 27 seconds, does an unnecessary, yet hilarious spin. Overall, the video below shows an interesting take on why college band can be awesome. Watch:
Paul Schatzkin posts about his frustrations with Facebook on Music Think Tank. He explains that he created a Facebook fan page for The 1861 Project and added features so that visitors are greeted by music. However, Facebook decided that the page was a community page so The 1861 Project fan page was re-categorized and the default tab was disabled. In order to fix the problem, Paul decided to try and contact Facebook. Needless to say, it didn't go well. Find out what happened here.
Billboard has launched a new subscription-based service that targets indie artists and their entourage. The service, Billboard Pro, offers personalized artist analytics that track online and social network activity, airplay, and sales, among other things.
Subscribers also gain access to editorial that focuses on artist-focused how-to's guides, case studies, and industry profiles. Members also gain access to opportunities to perform and participate at Billboard events and conferences, and may even have their music selected to play for a weekly playlist on Billboard.
A new Yahoo Research study confirms that Twitter is more of a hierarchical broadcast network than a social network. A striking concentration of attention on Twitter - roughly 50% of tweets consumed - are generated by just 20K elite users. Media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed. The study also found a significant homophily within groups:
Earlier this month, ABI Research predicted that cloud music to boom in the next five years, reaching a subscriber of 161 million by 2016. They believed that smartphone penetration, a lowering in price, and an emerging Asia-Pacific market would give services like Spotify and Rhapsody a boost. Now, Juniper Research is saying similar things; they suspect that subscribers will reach 178 million by 2015, due to an increased 3G Access, i.e. smartphone penetration in China and India, also known as the emerging Asia-Pacific market.
Everyone has their own theory on why the record industry is in decline. In part, they all hold a grain of truth. Hundreds of things helped exacerbate the process – some obvious, others not. The diagnosis will always remain open to speculation. After ten years (or more) of the smartest minds in various fields prognosticating and predicting the death and subsequent rebirth of the record industry, it's quite difficult to offer an original take on what happened.
The Wall Street Journal put another nail in the MySpace coffin this week with a report that advertisers are running away from the site in droves. Silicon Alley Insider took all of the advertising stats and projections to create a chart that shows just how much ad revenue MySpace has lost in recent years:
The IFPI reports that digital sale grew a meager 5.1% last year and that in the U.S., growth was almost flat at 1.2%. These numbers and chart that accompanies them aren't that shocking, but they do illustrate why the major labels are both excited for Google and Spotify to come to the market, yet terrified about what may happen if they really succeed. If and when Spotify does launch in the U.S. and becomes very popular, Peter Kafka writes, "then CD sales – which still make up the majority of the industry's sales – could plummet even faster."
From Imogen Heap to OK Go, social media is becoming part of the creative process for some musicians rather than just a channel to promote their finished work In this wonderful example of the phenomenon, a new song was been created entirely by combining unrelated videos of amateur musicians performing different songs "found".on YouTube. As Mashable's Brenna Ehrlich wrote, "Some people play guitar. Some play the keys. Others, well, they play the YouTube."
(UPDATED) Overnight Amazon beat both Google and Apple to market with the launch of a freemium cloud based digital media locker and robust integrated music player that accesses stored tracks across multiple computers and Android devices. The four major labels were informed late last week of the move which, Amazon insists, does not require them to ask licenses. Not every rights holder agreed, however, and at least one label group is considering how to react to Amazon's unilateral decision to launch.
Music industry veterans, Larry Rosen (GRP Records), Phil Ramone (producer for Streisand, Dylan, Elton John), Larry Miller (AT&T's a2b music, Or Records) and entertainment attorney Leslie José Zigel have formed ROBA Interactive to develop iPad and Android tablet music apps. Their goal is to create a more immersive and interactive digital music experience.