Streaming services, most notably Spotify (by far the largest) use what could be called a parimutuel royalty system: all the money collected goes into a big pool, Spotify takes their 30% off the top, and whatever is left is distributed to artists based on their share of overall plays. Spotify explains how it all works right here. It sounds perfectly fair and reasonable: if an artist wants to make more money all they need to do is get more plays. But there’s a major disconnect in this economic model that has not been discussed widely: Spotify doesn’t make money from plays. They make money froms subscriptions.
As my recent "Ask a Publicist" article explained, having a publicist is an essential tool for your band's growth and success. But not every band can afford the spend, depending on where they are in their development. So if you're not signed to a label with in-house PR, relax. You are not S.O.L. There are ways to do your own PR and get some placements on a limited level so you can lay the foundation and make inroads in the media before a trained PR pro, with limitless contacts, steps in and takes over.
BitTorrent has tasked themselves with the building of a sustainable ecosystem for artists and fans alike. Fostering a community where fans can connect directly with artists and vice versa, BitTorrent demonstrated their commitment to sustainable art with the launch of BitTorrent Bundles, a publishing project that allows fans to access content via a key that becomes available when users provide an email address or a direct payment to the artist. In September, BitTorrrent asked 2,500 users about the presence of and interaction with content, creativity, music and film in their daily lives. Despite the recent manifestation of streaming as the enemy and the thought that if music isn't available for free it won't be heard, 50% of users still purchase music monthly and 52% buy films. Streaming is holding its position as an inevitability, but according to the BitTorrent survey, their average user still wants more.
The world was abuzz this week with reports that Taylor Swift removed her music from Spotify. She called the service “a grand experiment” and said she wanted no part of it. Music writer Bob Lefsetz said it’s just a PR stunt. 80's rocker Sebastian Bach (who looks kinda like Taylor Swift) said that fans appreciate music more when they have to pay for it.
Facebook executives drew a line in the proverbial sand on Friday when they announced their plans to restructure the way posts placed by brands appear in newsfeeds. As if it hasn't been hard enough to gain organic reach, Facebook has essentially closed the door on anything other than paid advertising. Starting in January, as Facebook told marketers, if you want to reach customers on Facebook, you'll need to buy an ad. This change could arguably be long overdue for commercial brands raking in revenue at minimal advertising cost, but if you're a band on a budget or a musician trying to jumpstart a career, and you plan on using Facebook to reach your fans, it looks like you'll need to adjust your finances accordingly.
The music industry has drastically changed in recent years. We no longer live in a world where we anxiously wait outside of a record store to get a new album. In fact, we no longer want to buy albums at all. Today, streaming music is the go-to way to consume music. Companies like Spotify have begun to fill the needs of illegal downloaders who want to support artists but not have the pressure of buying the music themselves. Although Taylor Swift believes that music streaming is one large experiment, Cherie Johnson believes that it is here to stay.
1,112 members of the TuneCore community responded to the survey they dispersed asking indie artists and label management about the current state of the music industry. The industry has been and is continuing to rapidly evolve and as those changes take place, artists are both challenged and expected to keep up. TuneCore posed the survey looking for helpful answers - their users did not let them down.
This article originally appeared on ChinaMusicRadar.com
It may come as a surprise to those not familiar with the Chinese indie scene that BandCamp is fairly widely adopted as part of local artists’ promo toolbox – at least for serious gigging bands with releases under the likes of Genjing Records and Maybe Mars. BandCamp chief executive Ethan Diamond told the Guardian recently that the service would be giving every artist the ability to create a subscription service of their own on the site. The offering can be tailored to an artist’s audience, with flexible pricing and the option to include back-catalogue bonuses for subscribers being some of the variables on offer.
Jordan Blaugrund has been upped to Vice President, Digital Marketing, at RCA Records. Blaugrund previously was of Senior Director of Digital Marketing at the label. In his new role, Blaugrund will oversee all digital marketing initiatives and direct to consumer business for the label. Blaugrund will report to Tom Corson, President & COO, RCA Records and remain in the label’s New York headquarters.
On November 10, Dutch record company, Black Hole Recordings introduced a digital pop-up store, using Twitter as it's form of currency. The first pop-up store of it's kind, website visitors can purchase products like tracks, ringtones, and digital booklets in exchange for mentions and engagements via Twitter.
Last week's SF Music Tech Summit was crammed with expertly curated sessions, industry acclaimed panelists, and inspired attendees that cultivated contemplative conversation. If you weren't able to make the conference or were torn between two sessions occurring simultaneously, you can make up for lost time by streaming the conference sessions on the SF Music Tech Soundcloud.
In a Social Media Marketer's arsenal, there are undoubtedly fancy tricks to reach fans through Instagram. For a musician wearing the hat of both Rocker and Publicist, tackling Instagram could seem daunting. Thankfully, this social media platform is one of the simplist ways to create connections with fans and it seems that Joe Marson has the tips and tricks to help achieve that goal.
The sheer number of tasks that need to be completed on any given day can overwhelm anybody involved in music professionally. In today's industry, most musicians end up wearing many different hats in order to make ends meet. Everywhere you go, independent artists have to not only write and perform the music, but record it, market it, book shows, and do their own press. Getting organized is essential to avoid getting bogged down by tasks and overwhelmed to the point of stagnation. Below are five tasks that you can add to your daily to-do list that will without a doubt put you closer to achieving your goals.
For the most part, your fans aren’t created overnight. It's usually a long process built on multiple impressions as fans climb up the ladder from interested party to paying customer. Your email list is the best tool you have to move fans up that ladder. Social media is, of course, a good starting place, but your posts can often be missed or disregarded in the clutter. Here's how you can use "squeeze pages" to effectively grow your email list and convert fans into buyers.
By Chris Robley on The DIY Musician Blog
After much anticipation, YouTube has just announced the launch of its subscription streaming service: YouTube Music Key. YouTube Music Key, available in the US and 6 European countries, will let subscribers listen to ad-free music (including full albums in high quality audio) AND watch music videos — even when offline — for $9.99/month (though the introductory price is $7.99). And YOUR music (and “Art Tracks” videos) could be available on YouTube Music Key soon!
When Universal first unveiled their intent to use retroactive product placement throughout their YouTube catalog, the idea wasn't exactly welcomes with open arms. Since the announcement, the inserting of new ads in old videos has taken place and really isn't as bad as initially projected. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Ted Micco of Mirriad speaks to the technology that allows for the doing away or pre-video advertisements.
iHeartMedia Chairman & CEO Bob Pittman spoke with Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker at Bloomberg's The Year Ahead summit in Washington, DC: "Taylor Swift is probably one of the smartest people I've ever met, putting age not a factor."
By Janelle Rogers on Sonicbids Blog
When I built my first press list, I put every small town paper on there, including journalists who covered genres we would never consider promoting. Since then, I've created press lists with 500 media contacts and ones with as few as 50. One thing I’ve learned is that your results with a small, highly targeted, and individualized list are just as great as one that has every media contact under the sun. I’ve never believed in the "throw it at the wall and see if it sticks" approach. It's an inconsiderate use of time for everyone involved: the journalist, publicist, and band members. Today at Green Light Go Publicity, we ask ourselves these four questions before adding a new outlet to our press list.
Op Ed by Dae Bogan of DaeBoganMusic.com
Earlier this week, hundreds of budding entrepreneurs convened at the SF Music Tech Summit XIV to network with potential future collaborators, gain insight from established industry pros, and promote their startups. Hopeful to become the next big thing in music tech, founders shuffled from room to room soaking in as much insight as possible while exchanging business cards along the way with anyone who gave them an ear for a quick pitch.
By Hugh McIntyre on Sonicbids Blog
Social media has become more than just a fun leisure activity or way to keep in touch with friends and family; it's become everything – and the only thing – that matters in many cases. If you're a musician or band, I'd be willing to bet that these days no one cares about your newsletter, but they do follow you on Twitter and Facebook. Twitter is especially great, as it can be very different things for different people, depending on where they are in their careers.
By Jesse Lakes co-founder and CEO of GeoRiot
One of the hardest parts about selling music on iTunes is that there’s not currently a way to see which of your marketing efforts are actually leading to sales. You’re left with questions like: What social media platforms have a higher EPC? What artists/albums/songs are people actually buying? Which marketing channel brings the highest return for the cost? As the leading link management platform for the iTunes ecosystem, GeoRiot has been trying to answer those questions for clients since day one. At the end of last month, we released our Relative Conversion Score, which helps do exactly that.
By Faza on TheCynicalMusician.com
For the benefit of everyone who hasn’t gone outside recently – and folks checking in five years from now (happens more often than you’d think) – a quick recap. Taylor Swift’s new album – 1989 – has gone platinum in its first week of sales. No small feat, given that no other artist has had a platinum-selling album this year and that doesn’t look likely to change. The album wasn’t available to stream on Spotify – which is just as well, ‘coz now Swift and her label, Big Machine, have pulled all of her music from our favourite streaming service. To the best of my knowledge, Swift’s catalogue remains available to stream on other services.
By Angela Mastrogiacomo of MuddyPawsPR.com
So you’ve just wrapped up your first PR campaign and managed to score some pretty sweet features in the process. Congrats! But as the features dwindle, how do you go about maintaining those relationships that you’ve all worked so hard to build? First things first: Don’t let them slip away.
One of the reasons folks like me can consistently work in music marketing is largely due to the fact that the digital landscape is constantly changing. It's constantly in flux with new media platforms appearing a few times a year and others fading into obscurity. In that kind of changing environment, it's all about staying current and concise.