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Do You Really Want A Major Label Deal?

This guest post comes from Robin Davey, a musician, artist and Head of Music and Film Development at GROWVision Media.

image from www.google.com A recent survey suggested that 75% of artists are still chasing that ever-elusive major deal. This shows the credulity of bands, rather than the shimmering prospects that a major can offer.

At this stage of my career I have signed to two major labels and a bevy of independents, and I can tell you this from experience - you are a long way from “making it” at the time of inking a deal. Even when the advances used to be respectable, it would only set you up for a few months at best. After that you better be earning money independently of the record label, because it’s a long wait until that next advance is available.

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Jolson To Jay-Z: Covers, Collaboration & Sampling

image from www.google.com Techdirt points us to a video that chronicles how a song originated. Producer Tony Rome, who says he inspired by reading James Boyle's The Public Domain, takes a look at how music is collaborative by examing the influences behind Jay-Z's" Empire State of Mind".  While this video is unlikely to win awards,  it serves as both a musical history trip and important reminder of the need for copyright reform.

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News Brief: Amazon Cloud Sputters, Apple Soars, $750K to ex.fm, Dre Wins, Topspin + LiveJam & More

  • Major problems with Amazon's cloud infrastructure has crippled some major internet operations today, including Hootsuite, Foursquare and Reddit starting early this morning. A quick check of music sites found Moontoast down.
  • Apple reported some impressive 2nd Quarter numbers: Revenue was up 83% and they sold 18.7M iPhones, 3.7M Macs, 9M iPods, 4.69M iPads (projection was 6M, but couldn't manufacture more).
  • iTunes Posts a Record $1.4 Billion Quarter. (MediaMemo)
  • Social Jukebox exfm Raises $750,000 For Its Music Discovery And Sharing Extension. (TechCrunch)


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Prince Wants To Stop All Cover Versions Of Songs (Not Just His Songs... Everyone's)

image from www.wired.com Appearing on the George Lopez Show recently, Prince declared is distaste for those artists, like Sinead O'Connor and Chaka Khan, who have recorded covers of his songs. Despite the millions of dollars that he's made from people covering his hits, His Royal Purpleness believes that the world would be a better much place if there were only be one version of his - or anyone else's - songs.  Watch the video:

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Shift Happens: A Story of Frustration & Opportunity

This guest post comes from Bob Baker of TheBuzzFactor.com, author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Online", Berkleemusic's "Music Marketing 101" course, and many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros.

image from www.quantumofgeek.com Here's a quick story about change that might surprise you... Leo and Harry knew firsthand that new technology has the power it turn the status quo on its head.They were part of an economic boom in the music industry that allowed songs to spread faster and more efficiently to more people than ever before.

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What Do Music Fans Want To Own, And Why?

Cd-collection On Music Think Tank, Chris Stoneman discusses the topic of ownership. With the changes in how fans consume music, ownership has changed as well. Chris explains three ways we desire music and how these desires affect our need to own something. Read on to see how fans want to consume music and what some companies are doing.

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A2IM Analysis Show Grammy Hurt Indie Labels More Than Majors

image from www.serpholicmedia.com (UPDATED) An analysis by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) trade organization of the past two years of Grammy Awards showed that if winning is the primary measure of success, the impact of the recent category reductions and consolidations would effect the independent label community and the four major labels equally. But the bottom line effect of the Grammy's changes cut far deeper for some independent labels.

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Soundtrkr & Songasaurus: Music + Social + Location

image from blog.soundtrckr.com Two of the internets hottest trends - social and location - are combined with music in two apps that offer a glimpse of where ubiquitous smartphones may take music discovery and sharing. Soundtrckr bills itself as aa free music service that blends internet radio, social networking and location-awareness. Users can:

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The Tyranny Of Novelty

This guest post comes from Jeremy Schlosberg, the founder and curator of Fingertips, which has been seeking out the web's best free and legal music since 2003.

image from www.tv-calling.com A press release received yesterday afternoon informs me that Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Damian Kulash of the band OK Go, and writer Neil Gaiman (Palmer’s husband) will be writing and recording eight songs in eight hours on Monday April 25 at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and will release them 10 hours later. This exercise, or game, or what-have-you, is part of the Rethink Music conference being held in Boston next week.

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News Brief: JamLegend Joins Zynga, WMG Bidding, Twitter Spam, Pay.me Sold, Snoop Dogg & More

  • The entire staff of online music gamer JamLegend, which announced it was shutting down yesterday, is moving to gaming powerhouse Zynga
  • In what must be part of an effort to push their sale price higher, WMG Board has provided Eliminated bidders with company data. (Billboard)
  • Twitter has been hit with a number of spam apps in recent days (NYT)


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iTunes Top 10 Singles & Albums This Week

For the week ending April 18, 2011.
image from www.google.com

Top 10 Singles
1. "E.T. (feat. Kanye West)," Katy Perry
2. "S&M (Remix w/Britney Spears)," Rihanna
3. "Just Can't Get Enough," Black Eyed Peas
4. "Judas," Lady GaGa
5. "Rolling In the Deep," ADELE
6. "Down On Me," Jeremih, 50 Cent
7. "The Lazy Song," Bruno Mars
8. "On the Floor" (w/Pitbull), Jennifer Lopez
9. "Look At Me Now," Chris Brown
10. "Till the World Ends," Britney Spears

Top 10 Albums

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One Band's Actual Promo Strategy: Takeover iTunes, Make Fun Of Your Music Collection [VIDEO]

image from www.adweek.com UNLEASH THE PARISIANS AND LET THEM MESS WITH YOUR FAVORITE BANDS. DIGITALLY.  That's the headline on YouTube and that's pretty much the some total of the marketing strategy of French band The Parisians. Here's how it works: download 18 specially created covers into your iTunes, turn on the screen saver, they make fun of the covers next to them. Sounds confusing and stupid? Watch the video:

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8tracks.com - Digital Answer To Lost Art Of Mixtapes

image from www.google.com A digital answer to the lost art of the mixtape, 8tracks allows listeners to create their own playlists that can be easily shared with others. Half music discovery service and half curation tool, 8tracks users can generate custom playlists by uploading their own MP3s or using songs already imported into 8tracks’ library, which can then be streamed online, tweeted, and embedded onto other websites.

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Forget The Potholes, "Gaping Craters" Await Anyone Pursuing A Music Career

image from www.google.com "Before we started this band, I was smug. I thought I knew it all, thought I'd heard enough horror stories and seen enough people fail to know that I could skirt round the potholes. It would be different for us. And it was – they're not potholes, they're gaping craters. But the joke's on us because we're still trying." -  Secret Diary Of A Band

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JamLegend Music Gaming Site Shutting Down

image from www.google.com (UPDATED() After three years of of competing with Rock Band and Guitar Hero, online music gaming site JamLegend is shutting down. Investors had ponied up $2 million and legendary VC Ali Patovi sat on the advisory board. "We successfully weathered the great and stormy seas many startups face, grew to 2M users and 110M plays, worked with all four major music labels and independent artists alike, and ultimately did things only dreamed of in music and games," wrote the founders,  So, why is the site shutting down?

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ReDigi Raises $535,000 For Used MP3 Store

image from www.google.com Cambridge,MA based startup ReDigi has raised $535,000 from 21 investors to operate a used digital music download store according to an SEC filing.  When we've written about ReDigi previously, Hypebot readers, including at least one music industry attorney, expressed healthy skepticism about the legality of selling used downloads.

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QR Codes Move Into Music's Mainstream

image from blog.gmrmarketing.com A music industry tipping point of sorts arrived for QR (quick response) codes as PepsiCo announced that, through June 26, Taco Bell customers who buy the "Mountain Dew Free Music cup" can scan a QR code on the bottom of the cup to download free music and videos. The downloads will also be available for free, no purchase necessary, via the dedicated download site of Mountain Dew's surprisingly cool Green Label Sound. They hope to distribute over 60 million cups in the course of this promotion.

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The Silver Bullet for Music Business Success?

Silver-bullet9On Music Think Tank, Minh Chau has found an overarching theme that leads to music business success. Through various stories and advice from music industry events, Minh realized that the silver bullet for music business success is: collaboration with emerging/aspiring industry people. Read on for the silver bullet explanation.

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News Brief: Ticketfly Gets $12M, Tornado Destroys Malaco, Tweetdeck Sale?, Sonos, 1Band1Brand, More

  • Ticketing provider Ticketfly has raised $12 million in Series B funding, bringing total capital raised to $15 million. This round was led by Mohr Davidow Ventures with participation from existing investors.
  • The legendary Malaco Records offices and studio were destroyed by a tornado. (Spinning Soul)
  • Sirius XM has fulfilled one of the conditions of its merger by leasing channels basis to minority broadcasters. The 7 channels represent 4% of Sirius XM's full-time channels. (FMQB)


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News Update: LN Adds Variable Pricing, Grooveshark Sidesteps Google, MXP4's Facebook Music Game

  • You paid what for that seat?  Live Nation and Ticketmaster have partnered with MarketShare to develop variable pricing systems for concert and sports tickets.
  • After being banned by Google, Grooveshark has made its Android streaming music app available as an unofficial download. 
  • MXP4 is launching a social music gaming app for Facebook, Bopler Games. It launches with music from Kt Tunstall, Lilly Allen, Digital Underground, Norah Jones, Afrika Bambaataa, Culture Club, Big Country, Jonas Brothers, Fall Out Boy and others.

Topspin, Ticketmaster & Music's Great Re-Bundling

image from www.cagemanchester.com Last week former eMusic CEO and vc David Pakman posted "The Unbundling Of Media". It's an analyst's view of the unbundling of music ($.99 single vs. $15 CD) and how the phenomenon is spreading to other media. "Music industry total revenues are down more than 50% since their peak in 1999, and continue to fall..," he wrote. "The biggest culprit is not piracy, it is the fact that consumers, when they buy music, are buying 10% of what they used to, because they only need to buy the single, not the album".

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Top 4 Bidders For Warner Music Are...

image from www.google.com As a new week begins and the tension in Burbank builds, the top four bidders in the auction for Warner Music Group according to a variety of sources are:

  • Los Angeles entrepreneurs Alec and Tom Gores' Platinum Equity. They also own the Detroit Pistons basketball team among other assets.
  • L.A. real estate mogul and investor Ron Burkle.


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The Big Business Of Being Facebook

image from www.google.com Some stats and an infographic via Fast Company, offers a glimpse in to just how enormous an influencer and business Facebook is:

  • 610,736,920 member profiles. One for every 11 people on earth.
  • Based on page views and users, Facebook is the NO. 2 site in U.S., behind Google; ahead of YouTube or Yahoo.
  • Every 60 seconds users send 230,000 messages, update 95,000 statuses, write 80,000 wall posts, tag 65,000 photos, share 50,000 links and add 500,000 comments.
  • Te average user creates 90 pieces of content and spends 6 hours, 3 minutes each month

More stats in the Fast Company infographic The Business Of Being Face Book:

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As Ticket Sales Slumped, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Got A 137% Pay Hike

image from www.google.com 2010 was not a great year for the live touring industry in general or concert and ticketing giant Live Nation in particular.  Ticket sales fell, "synergies" created by the merger with Ticketmaster led to several rounds of layoffs, and key executives departed. But Live Nation's top three executives still took home hefty pay packages:

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Gamification - The Music Industry, Fan Clubs & Thinking Like A Game Designer

image from www.google.com As the music industry embraces gaming, from licensing to games featuring musician, it's easy to think of games as simply offering new revenue streams and marketing tools. Given the explosion of games on the open web, on Facebook and on mobile platforms, more money is a comforting concept in an industry struggling to survive decreasing sales. But the game industry also offers new perspectives and the emergent concept of gamification provides the opportunity to reaccess business in a digital environment. 

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