Guest post by Matt Bryant of Headwater.
Piracy is killing the music business. Album sales are a nightmare and millions of would-be consumers are now low-life thieves who prefer to steal from the starving creator, than pay to support their craft. This, of course, is how the heads of the music industry frame things - they're wrong. They're dying trying to insist that they're not, and I'm tired of it. The internet, as Neil Young says, is the "new radio."
Guest post by Tyler Hayes, founder of Liisten.com, an independent music discovery site.
If someone owns something can't they do pretty much whatever they want with it? Well, doesn't iTunes already pretty much own the music industry? An Apple run record label isn't a new rumor or topic. There were rumors back in 2007 that Apple would start a label and hire Jay-Z to run it. This would have been a huge surprise, but probably a tad early timing wise. Now, however, I think the time is just right.
A variety of options are now available for online sales of both digital and physical items such as MP3s and music merch. However, these often involve lengthy review processes, monthly fees or other cumbersome entanglements.
Recently a number of lightweight ecommerce solutions have launched providing streamlined, low-cost services including Gumroad, Shoplocket and Chirpify as well as Kout which is launching soon.
"ReDigi Gearing Up For War: Latest Development In Capitol Records v EMI" reads the subject line of he email received at Hypebot HQ over the weekend. It's an unusual pr tactic for a small startup as they prepare for a trial. But in this David (ReDidigi) vs. Goliath (99.9% of the music industry) story that will determine the company's future, what ReDigi has nothing to loose.
Guest post by Connor McKnight, Wren Leader and Knar Bedian of Evolver.fm.
It’s all hands on deck for This Week in Music Apps, authored this time by no fewer than three Evolver.fm peeps - all part of our grand, non-sinister plan to bring you even more great music apps to enjoy on iOS, Android, or your good old-fashioned web browser.
All of this week’s picks, as with those from previous installments of This Week in Music Apps, can be found in our unique directory of music apps for every platform, which we built to help you find the best new music apps regardless of what hardware you’re running.
The March/April issue of American Songwriter includes a feature titled Dream Big: How To Succeed In Today's Volatile Music Business. Their website has transcripts of each individual interview covering a lot of ground about what to do after one has written some great music but has yet to build a sizable following or become visible to possible industry allies. Interviewees include a full range from Jacob Jones, a performer and marketing director for Artist Growth, to Mike King, an author and instructor for Berkleemusic.com.
Guest post by Knar Bedian of Evolver.fm.
Apps for iOS, Android, and the web grab a lot of attention these days, and with good reason. They’re changing the world.
But lest we forget, apps for actual computers — a.k.a. software — extend beyond the browser, with plenty of great options for music fans. If you love music and own a Mac, consider installing these helpful programs on your computer, just like grandpa used to do.
GETTING IT DONE
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
Some in the music industry believe that Spotify and music streaming cannablizes download sales. Not so, says the CEO of digital music innovator X5 Music, at least when it comes to Spotify's apps. X5 created a classical music discovery and playlist app, Classify, attracting 500,000 Spotify users it in under a month. According to the company, the app has also propelled the X5 digital album "The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music" to a #1 on iTunes.
It turns out that music's long tail is even longer than many thought. During this week's Apple earning call, company execs boasted there are now 28 million tracks for sale on iTunes. And yesterday, the company's public relations department confirmed 28 million as the new "official" number. That's a jump of 8 million tracks for sale in just over two years on iTunes. But the biggest surprise, is how many fewer tracks Amazon has for sale than Apple.
After last week's approval for Sony to purchase of EMI's publishing business, legendary record producer Sir George Martin - often called the 'fifth Beatle' - has dubbed this deal as “worst thing that music has ever faced”. Sir Martin contends that Sony and Universal, who are in the midst of acquiring EMI's recorded music business, give those businesses a virtual monopoly.
The "Website Quick Fix" blog posts are written by musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle.
When we do website evaluations here at Bandzoogle, there are two broad categories we look at: Design and Content. With poor design, it will be hard to find interesting content on the site. With great design and poor content, there is little reason for fans to visit. With that second category in mind, let’s talk about blogging.
Companies that make music-related apps for Facebook have updated and rebranded them as needed. But there are many more social media services that musicians use for which there are new or updated Facebook Timeline apps. These include Pinterest, Livestream and MailChimp as well as function-specific apps for customizing HTML pages, creating discussion forums and featuring fans.
When Google launched its music service, there was hope that, despite being late to the download party, a real iTunes alternative might finally be in the making. According to financial documents shared as part of the ongoing trail with Oracle, Google themselves projected $1.5 billion by this year. But in reality, Google Music revenues are just a tiny fraction of that hoped for number.
Selects is a cool sounding opportunity for indie bands to get some extra attention on eMusic. With their 25th band, Iranian rockers-in-exile The Yellow Dogs, eMusic is expanding the program by partnering with music site Death and Taxes and crowdfunding site RocketHub. But as much as I'd like to be excited for indie artists about this expanded program, the execution suggests that currently the separate parts are greater than the promotional whole.
International music industry convention MIDEM has announced its first-ever international song pitching competition to find the original soundtrack to its 2013 video trailers and worldwide marketing campaign.In partnership with SoundCloud, the competition’s submission process is open now thru Sunday May 20.
Vivendi is denying reports that it may spin-off Universal Music and Activsion. The company says it "learned with stupefaction of the claims made by Bloomberg in a story published tonight about its strategy... (they) are unfounded and based on anonymous sources."
TuneCore announced today that it has reached an agreement with Amazon to return distributed artists to Amazon EU and UK stores over the next five weeks. New releases will go live in the usual time, according to the company. Amazon had pulled TuneCore artists from those territories without warning on January 24th in a dispute over royalty payments by Amazon to TuneCore customers.
Refe Tuma (@RefeUp) is a writer, thinker and strategist with a passion for the new music industry.
The rise of social media has led to the proliferation of false content. I define false content as any content created for the sole purpose of SEO optimization, traffic bait or conversion without additional informational value. For example, if I were to write a post called How to Make Money in Music Without Even Trying, and then filled it with content like this:
[Updated] Alex Curtis of the Creators' Freedom Project recently wrote about the business aspects of Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers' viral video cover of Hall & Oates I Can't Go For That. Michele Augis added additional details from her dual role as Topspin employee and Nicki Bluhm team member. The resulting post is full of great information for musicians who want to "turn a YouTube hit into Dollars and Fans" and the lessons learned are useful for anyone posting music videos on YouTube - covers or originals.
A great way to expose your music to more people is getting it placed on a TV show, commercial, or in a video game. On Music Think Tank, James Aviaz interviews Josh Kessler, VP of Business Development for Downtown Music’s licensing agency dms.FM. Josh has been involved in the placement of artists in various video games and gives insight on the placement process.