The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
- Minh Chau: Best Kept Secret for Advancing Your Music Career
- James Hogg: Learn How To Mix In 3D: Steve Hillier Tips on Mastering Reverb
- Music Think Tank: Join the Music Think Tank Networking Party
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
Artspire, a web community that provides such services to artists as fiscal sponsorship and a platform for soliciting donations, recently released "The Profitable Artist: A Handbook for All Artists in the Performing, Literary, and Visual Arts."
The Profitable Artist is a more solid offering than most of the business of art type books I've checked out in the past with a take on such topics as the SWOT analysis and negotiations that should be particularly useful for DIY musicians that want to develop as indie artists.
Sellaband, a crowdfunding site for musicians, has had some difficult times but has remained in the business of helping artists get funding from fans. They're now launching an interesting initiative called the SellaBand Worldwide A&R Program (WARP) and are looking for individuals in numerous countries interested in such a role.
Come join the Music Think Tank Networking Party. Comment and let us know what you do in the music industry, your current projects, or what interests you have in the music business. Shameless plugs are allowed! For those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving, have a happy one. Join the MTT networking party here.
Though you might think that gig posters and flyers are a relic of a forgotten age, in many locales they are still quite useful for publicity and are still considered basic merch items. However, digital flyers are a growing phenomenon that take the old school poster and update it for web and mobile distribution. Here are some resources for getting into the digital flyer game with some closing thoughts about revitalizing offline gig posters with QR codes for a mix of the tangible and digital.
This morning Spotify announced that it had reached 2.5 million paying subscribers. The company offered no breakdown of where those subscribers reside. But at average of between $5 and $10 USD, that's a $18 - $20 million in revenue from subscriptions plus advertising income. The full text of the Spotify announcement:
With vinyl showing strong growth as a specialized music format and cassettes making a surprising return, the re-emergence of seemingly outdated formats makes the upcoming launch of the Flexi of the Month club right on time. A new project from the folks at Hifidelics, Flexi of the Month is inspired by flexi discs in the form of Polish Sound Postcards.
Whether its the soft economy or competition from Live Nation, more and more of the live music venues that serve as essential showcases for emerging artists are struggling to survive. That's particularly true in the DC market, where established independent venues like The Birchmere and 9:30 Club are now battling concert giant Live Nation's Filmore and promoters AEG, C3 and NYC's BB Kings/Blue Note consortium have or are about to open venues. But two promoters have decided that the best way to compete, is to work together.
Despite growing competition, Pandora beat expectations managed strong growth in Q3 actually turning a profit of $638,000 compared to a loss of $1.77 million a year ago. The company reported quarterly revenue of $75 million, twice that of a year before and and up from $67 million in the second quarter.
Music discovery platform GoRankem has undergone a major site overhaul including streamlining how users to share their rankings on social media. Unlike traditional charts and listings, GoRankem attempts to highlight the "best" songs instead of the most popular by encouraging fans to rank their favorites. The site then aggregates those collective opinions.
Yesterday, the London music and tech communities along with EMI launched MUSIC techpitch 4.5 as a showcase for some of the latest music-tech startups in Europe. The goal was to provide them with a platform to build awareness, gain investment and users in an environment where they can present to and network with industry experts and potential partners. The startup presenting yesterday incuded:
As we reported on Monday, Universal Music Group has filed a new lawsuit alleging that the Grooveshark execs conspired to illegally upload more than 100,000 songs. UMG asked the court to shut Grooveshark down immediately and is seeking damages of $150,000 per infringement. Late Tuesday, Grooveshark responded:
Midem has crowdsourced a video asking prominent artists, managers and industry experts, "Why Direct To Fan?". Their answers present a collective argument for the almost unassailable truth that communicating with and selling direct to fans is the best, if not only, way forward. WATCH:
Musicians have gotten involved with the Occupy Movement in many locations both on and offline. A new initiative seeks to focus that energy starting with an Occupy Musicians petition in support of the movement. But Occupy Musicians hopes to become much more than just a petition and plans to provide additional resources.
If you’re in audio engineering, mastering the use of reverb is pretty important. On Music Think Tank, James Hogg writes what he thinks people are doing wrong with their music and explains more on reverb. Have you mastered the use of reverb?
(UPDATED) Mashable announced the finalists for its 2011 Mashable Awards rewarding the best of digital and social media 28 categories, two of which focus on music: "Best Music Service or App" and "Must Follow Musician or Band on Social Media". The 2011 Mashable Awards nominees:
Last week yet another ticketing company intending to disrupt established players like Ticketmaster announced its launch. At first, though FanFueled offers an interesting mix of fan rewards and low fees, I was a bit underwhelmed by covering yet another contestant in a crowded field. But after speaking with Founder and CEO Anderson Bell, I realized there's a lot more to this story than my first impressions revealed.
Veteran independent concert promoter Barry Fey has released a memoir of his years as a promoter, revealing stories culled from his extensive background in the live entertainment industry. Featuring forwards by rock luminaries Pete Townshend and Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne, Backstage Past is full of "warts and all" anecdotes about backstage life, with memories of numerous influential figures in the entertainment world, from Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen to Irving Azoff and Truman Capote.
Since the time of Alexander Graham Bell and the early days of the modern telephone, we as a society have had a lasting desire for more and better ways to remain connected with our family and friends – which, if one thinks about it, pretty much explains why social media took off the way it has.
The theme of last week’s Billboard FutureSound Conference in San Francisco was centered on defining problems and finding actionable solutions in the areas of entrepreneurship, music licensing, as well as leveraging the social web in the digital music marketplace.
Turntable.fm has gotten off to a strong start since launching in May with $7 million in funding and 600,000 users just three months in. Since then Turntable has continued to grow and catch media attention and is now developing relationships with record labels. Cofounder Seth Goldstein discussed business model and monetization possibilities with VatorNews (video below) and at Billboard FutureSound.
Last week FanBridge announced the Partner Ecosystem for their Facebook Fan Page app, an integration of service modules from 12 different companies offering everything from ticket and merch sales via CrowdSurge to crowdfunding via PledgeMusic to live streaming via Stickam.They're basically building a platform on top of Facebook's platform so, after acquiring Damn The Radio for the foundation, they're now enriching that foundation by connecting with other popular service providers.
Like the rest of the media, I got an email invite from Spotify this morning to a "Big announcement" at 12pm EST / 9am PST on November 30th. (click on the image at left to enlarge) Aside from the fact that CEO Daniel Ek will host the streaming event from New York City along with some special guests, no other details are being provided, to the so far leak-free announcement. What could Spotify have up its sleeve that is that "big"?
The difficulties both new and established music startups have licensing music was a dominant theme at Billboard FutureSound last week in both panels and keynotes. The only people not obsessed with problems licensing music were those that had established services that don't require such licensing including four of the five music startups featured in FutureSound's Visionary Showcase.
(UPDATED) The sharks are circling in the waters around streaming music service Grooveshark, as Universal Music Group takes aim with a new lawsuit alleging that the site's execs conspired to illegally upload more than 100,000 songs. UMG has asked the court to shut Grooveshark down immediately and is seeking damages of $150,000 per infringement.
Music Blogger Drawn Into Lawsuit