( (UPDATED) One of the last holdouts, Putumayo has finally made its music available via digital download. “I’ve built a business focused on creating compelling physical packages that combine music, culture and travel, that make great gifts and that sound very good,” label founder Dan Storper told the New York Times. Putumayo’s colorfully decorated, compilations, like “Acoustic Brazil” and “French Café,” have sold a total of 27 million copies worldwide, but it's transition to digital may not be easy.
Spotify opened its iOS API to developers today with the launch of libspotify. Hoping that an enhanced premium experience means more paid subscriptions, Spotify is encouraging third-party developers to write apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that utilize its paid offering.
Downtime is an effort to encourage musicians to take some of their "downtime" and support a good cause. Downtime's Facebook app facilitates musician involvement by connecting individual musicians to appropriately scaled activities from cosigning an effort to getting more directly involved.
RootMusic, developers of the popular BandPage musicians Facebook app, today announced $16 million in a Series B expansion funding round led by GGV Capital with new investor Northgate Capital and existing investor Mohr Davidow Ventures. The company's January 2011 Series A round netted $2.3 million.
MixApp, which like turntable.fm enabled group listening, shut down service this week. "Quite simply, we can't afford the hosting costs any more," said the site's founders. MixApp required users to upload songs thus avoiding royalties and operated on a freemium model. Their failure, was it part about fewer than needed users to paid premium services. Is MixApp the first victim of the hype surrounding turntable.fm?
(UPDATED) EMI Sale News - Top execs at Bertelsmann, Vivendi and WMG are now stating publicly that they hope to aquire EMI. But a Digital Music News report that EMI's value is suddenly "under attack" because copyright laws could see older masters revert to artists doesn't pass the stick test. The idea that buyers are just discovering the potential impact of a 35 year old law is absurd.
(UPDATE 3) An Apple spokesperson told AllThingsD today that to play music from an iCloud locker it still also needs to be stored on the device. Details are slim, but it appears that Apple (and those who would have to grant licenses) have left out the one feature that users care most about - universal availability of their music.
The beta for iTunes Match, Apple’s cloud music storage service, has opened to developers offering a peak inside the ground-breaking service scheduled to go public in October. For $24.99 per year, iTunes Match scans a users hard drive to find matching copies from iTunes of their songs to store in iCloud, regardless of whether those songs were purchased there or not. If iTunes doesn't have the song, it will be uploaded. And while it wasn't clear during the June announcement, iTunes Match does stream music from the iCloud via iTunes to any Apple iOS device. WATCH ITUNES MATCH VIDEO PREVIEWS:
The problem with being an independent musician:
That whole “Be so good they can’t ignore you” thing? That’s true, you should always be that good. But today there is just SO MUCH amazing music that no one ever hears about. So you have to get the word out. And it used to be that to get the word out you had to have a publicist, manager, agent, and label to get print media and radio on your side. But now we have the internet, the answer to the independent musician’s wildest fantasies: Millions of potential fans on the constant hunt for new music and a thousand ways to share it with them. So you log on.
The problem with the internet:
This post is for all the audio engineers and people that work in a recording studio. On Music Think Tank, James Hogg talks about the plug-in effect and how many people love plug-ins. However, he believes that too many plug-ins can be a problem and proposes to disable some plug-ins.
A recent article about using shock as a marketing tool got me thinking about a different approach. Lady Gaga, The Gourds & The Chemical Brothers all share one characteristic, that of achieving success via creatively shifting the context of aesthetic content and surprising audiences.
So, instead of going for the shock, one goes for the creative surprise.
Daniel Pearl World Music Days, clustered around the birthday of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, continues to grow with the involvement of celebrities such as Elton John and Herbie Hancock and a constantly expanding network of annual events around the world. And, as in previous years. any musician or live music event can get involved.
eMusic has partnered to use the The Echo Nest’s music data platform to enhance its music discovery options. Their first project together, eMusic Radio, launched in beta today. Teaming man and machine, it includes several dozen curated programs based on emerging artists, local music scenes, and genres.
On our sister blog Music Think Tank, Behyped writes about his views of the music industry and great artists. According to Behyped, creative people are burdened by a paradox of colossal proportions where they want to fit in yet they endlessly reject the bounds of conformity.
iTunes Match has launched for developers and while its wasn't clear during the June announcement it does include streaming from the iCloud. Details and a video tour here.
(Updated) In a new episode of This Week In Music, Songkick Co-founder and CEO Ian Hogarth joins Ian Rogers in the studio. The two talk about how Hogarth started Songkick as part of the Y Combinator startup program and his view of music startups today. Hogworth shares an amazing Songkick stat: users go to 70% more shows after using their mobile app. WATCH:
SF MusicTech 2011 is just two weeks away on September 12th and its shaping up to be another strong gathering. They've confirmed speakers from Google, Pandora, Microsoft, Mashable, LyricFind, Slacker Radio, Atom Digital, Turntable.fm, Walden Venture Capital and more. To make you're even a little better, Hypebot readers get 20% off. Discount details:
This article from the CD Baby blog has been getting a lot of attention. As the founder of a booking agency, I sadly know just how true this tale sometimes is. Read the Top 3 Ways To Know That You’re Getting Ripped Off By A Club Or Booker and share your own experiences.
Running a music venue is hard work. Let’s get that little truth out of the way upfront. Long hours. Liquor licenses. Sound system maintenance. Booking. Oh, and, umm…dealing with musicians! (Face it: we can be a bunch of immature divas sometimes, especially when alcohol is involved.) But that doesn’t justify skimming off the top or inflating projected costs in order to earn a few extra bucks at our expense. So, here are a few things to be on the lookout for when it comes time to collect payment at the end of the night:
When users were asked by Pew Internet for a single word to describe their experiences using social networking sites, overall positive responses far outweighed the negative and neutral words. More than half of the respondents used positive terms repeatedly describing their experiences as “fun,” “great,” “interesting” and “convenient.” Less common were superlatives such as “astounding,” “necessity,” and “empowering.” How Users Describe Their Social Media Experience - Infographic:
Have your Facebook friends spammed you before with videos or photos promoting their music? This can be irritating even though they have permission to market to us because this kind of marketing interrupts our enjoyment. On Music Think Tank, Leena Sowambur believes that a different kind of marketing is better suited for a multi-way digital medium (ie. the Internet) and that broadcast is over.
A recent report on the economic impact of the SXSW Conferences & Festivals on the city of Austin is a reminder that such gatherings are not just good for promoting a locale but also provide direct economic benefits. Yet many festivals are getting defunded or canceled due to financial concerns. Are such cuts short sighted or simply pragmatic?
65% of adult internet users are participating in a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% a year ago. This is also the first Pew Internet survey to show that 50% of all U.S. adults use social networking sites. The growth came mostly from older users. Boomers, ages 50-64, saw social networking usage on a typical day grow a whopping 60% (from 20% to 32%).
Mixed Media @ MTV VMAs: Last night's Video Music Awards were enhanced by a second screen on a variety of platforms and included multiple angles of the red carpet, backstage, paparazzi and the green room .(Mashable) Social media also played a major role. (AllThingsD).
Facebook Music Dashboard: September Launch Likely. Given the big numbers and high level of engagement that Facebook delivers, this should have a huge impact on music discovery. Read more.
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
Suspecting use of restricted forest product, Federal agents raided Gibson Guitar factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville this week seizing pallets of wood, files and guitars. In a statement, Gibson's CEO, Henry Juszkiewic fired back, "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier." Many musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected wood are also concerned that the Feds may be coming for them next.