SoundCloud recently released Story Wheel, an app for creating a slideshow using Instragram pics and audio via SoundCloud. It's an interesting webtool with a lot of potential for music marketing involving storytelling. Though they will be connecting Story Wheel to additional services, the creators are insistent on maintaining a retro feel via Instagram's use of filters. The combined limitations of retro pics and talking can either be used to create something one might not otherwise think of creating or to be pushed against to give a different look and sound to stick out as more people produce Story Wheel shows.
Guest post by Ian Rogers of Topspin Media.
Last week's Internet-wide SOPA/PIPA protests divided the Internet between content owners looking for stronger anti-piracy tools and technologists who believed the proposed legislation was an overreach. Those opposed said SOPA/PIPA opened the door to content companies taking down sites such as Tumblr and WordPress based on infringement by even one of the sites' millions of users. Though I was at AOL/Nullsoft when Gnutella was created I am not pro-piracy by any stretch - half of what our company, Topspin, sells is easily-pirated digital audio and video (it could certainly be argued Topspin stands to benefit from SOPA-style legislation) and our raison d'être is helping artists leverage their creativity to build a fan base and earn a living.
Team Up for Nonprofits is a Seattle-based nonprofit that organizes music events for other nonprofits in their Gigs4Good program. Created in 2009, they're building up to their 10th event benefitting a Washington state-based organization. The focus is on raising both funds for and awareness of nonprofits among the 20 and 30-something demographic. It's a great idea that allows good causes to gain support without having to start from scratch with music events.
The Pareto Principle, more commonly also known as the 80–20 rule, states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business for example, 80% of a company’s profits tend to come from 20% of their customers, 80% of sales are made by 20% of the sales staff, and so on. For today’s music artist, this rule of thumb applies in a more indirect way in regards to how they should properly communicate with their audience.
There’s no denying Google's impact. It has become part of the vernacular (I am going to google...). On Music Think Tank, Ariel Hyatt explains why Google is awesome and shares 9 tools the search engine offers.
Unofficial estimates put MIDEM attendance up 12% to 6,900 - 1st gain in 5 years. Find our full Midem coverage here.
On Monday, Music analyst Mark Mulligan today shared is theory of "Agile Music" - how music products need to evolve in "the age of mass customization". Mulligan said that the decline and fall of recorded music is why there needs to be a “format revolution” now.
Techdirt founder Mike Masnick heralds a very different present and future for the music and entrainment industries than the doom and gloom often presented in the mainstream media. Combining statistics from a number of sources, "The Sky Is Rising" shows that:
A lot of elements go into a successful Kickstarter campaign. Spanish Prisoners combine a unique request, funding the purchase of a low-budget tour van, with unique offerings, songs recorded in the van along with other goodies from their upcoming trip to SXSW. Of course, the music needs to appeal to listeners and the pitch video needs to communicate effectively. You'll have to decide for yourself but I think Spanish Prisoners have put together a campaign that has a solid chance of success though they've only reached about $2000 of their $5000 goal.
The panel "How To Work With The Fab Four" moderated by Ted Cohen served as the centrepiece of Midem’s Visionary Monday afternoon session. The panel comprised Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin; Zahavah Levine, director of content partnerships for Android at Google; Craig Pape, director of music content acquisition at Amazon; and Rob Wells, president of Universal Music Group’s global digital business.
First question: Is there room for new digital service players, or does the industry need a year to take a breather?
The Civil Wars, with Grammy nominations in Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album, are an indie success story built on live performance, social media and music licensing. The February debut of their first album, "Barton Hollow", gave them a #1 on Billboard's Digital Albums chart and the CD is currently #73 on Amazon's Top 100 in Music a year later. But even without the Grammy nomination, which obviously boosted album sales, The Civil Wars show you can do well by combining what are now well-established approaches to marketing and revenue generation.
Weighing in on SOPA and free music on Music Think Tank, Dante Cullari shares his view that free pays more and talks about his platform, Beat-Play which allows artists to give music away free. Then, the artists can show their popularity and work with brands to create ads that engage fans. What are your thoughts on this business model?
Midem has announced the winners of its 2012 Midemlab music tech competition. In the Innovation Factory, finalists pitched their business model to a jury of music tech leaders, venture capitalists and media.
Techdirt publisher Mike Masnick took the stage in Cannes today offering an optimistic view of the music industry. “The industry is amazing right now… we have more content than ever before, more access than ever before, and more opportnity than ever before. "And this is a good thing,” he said. The challenge is very much a marketing challenge," Masnick told the Midem audience. “It can be met by being more open, more human and most of all, more awesome.”
The webcast has ended. We'll have links to replay.
Join us most of the day on Monday to watch a Livestream of Midem's Visionary Monday. We'll be adding our comments and we encourage you to as well.
A hearty group of programmers were been holed up overnight at Midem building apps and hacks, as part of the Music Hack Day event. This morning, SoundCloud’s Dave Haynes and Six Two Productions’ Martyn Davies who have been overseeing it, took to the stage to show off a couple of examples to give a flavor of what’s been created.
Last year at Midem, Sony's Tim Schaaff was announcing plans for the rollout of Music Unlimited. Now at Midem 2012, it’s available in 13 markets, with more than 1 million active users and a catalog of nearly 15 million tracks. Schaaf has been upped to President of the Sony Entertainment Network division; and he sat down with Music Ally in Cannes this morning to talk about the service, along with its wider role within the reorganised Sony structure.
our posts (many courtesy of content partner Music Ally) to get the flavor: music streaming and marketing/branding are the dominate topics. We're live streaming today's Midem Visionary Monday here.
Google’s role in the recent campaign against the proposed SOPA anti-piracy legislation in the US came in for a sustained attack by U2′s manager Paul McGuinness this morning, at the Midem conference in Cannes. “Why are they not trying to solve the future in a more generous way?” he asked.
The new president of Sony Music’s global digital business, Denis Kooker, defended streaming music services against accusations that they are cannibalising download sales, during a Midem press conference today. “We are constantly watching our business very closely and looking at how different channels are affecting and impacting each other,” said Kooker.
3 Million Paid Subscribers, 20% Conversion Rate.
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
A video of unknown origin, but allegedly from hackers Anonymous calls for a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack Facebook, this Saturday 1/28/2012. Some have question the authenticity of this latest threat, but, after Megaupload was shut down in global sting operation late last week, Anonymous swung into action temporarily bringing down the US Department of Justice, RIAA, UMG, WMG and MPAA sites.
announced that the music streaming service now has 3 million paid subscribers. That's up from 2.5 million just 2 months ago and would mean that 20% of an estimated 12.5 million users are converting from free to paid subscriptions.
Guest post by Tom Silverman, music industry veteran, thought leader and founder of the New Music Seminar.
Let's look at the good news.
There may be trouble afoot for EMI and its two separate businesses - recording and publishing - are heading towards merger with Universal and Sony respectively. With EMI set to meet with lenders in New York City to discuss the $1.8 billion loans needed to support the Sony Corp acquisition, there are rumblings that of a battle with independent labels to halt the deal - Universal's acquisition of EMI would give them near 40% market share of the recorded music industry. If Universal loses this battle, it may effect both Universal and Sony's ability to merge with the branches of EMI.
A variety of record albums related to the Occupy Movement are set for release including "Occupy This Album" from Music For Occupy with a star-studded list of participants, "Folk the Banks" from the newly formed Occupation Records in London and media claims that Bruce Springsteen's newest work is the voice of the movement though the songs were mostly written before it existed.