- Move over Spotify and Rdio. YouTube Music Key is finally here.
- Rdio CEO On Taylor Swift and the Spotify vs. YouTube Payment Conondrum
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.
Music industry analytics firm Next Big Sound and FRUKT, a marketing company dedicated to the creating and delivering of smart ideas for brands through strategic partnerships with entertainment influencers, just concluded an in depth study of the relationship between brands and bands. Their research illustrates a progressive shift among artists and brands alike, illuminating the path of possibility for exponential growth and gain if the partnership is properly aligned and executed correctly.
If bands and brands can set their sights further down the road of a lasting partnership instead of a one-off collaboration, possibilities abound - and FRUKT has the stats to prove it.
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.
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.
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.
What’s with pop stars these days? It’s as if they don’t appreciate steaming services giving their music away for free! Taylor Swift’s July editorial in the Wall Street Journal might have been easy for snarky pop media to denigrate, but the singer made some cogent points about the future of the music industry. Her experience as a multi-millionaire superstar was used against her, but it actually makes her someone whose opinions need to be considered.
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.
Serving the Super Fan was a common theme among last week’s SF Music Tech Summit panelists, entrepreneurs, and attendee’s alike. With the topography of the music industry shifting seismically, maintaining your competitive edge can be a daunting challenge. More and more bands are turning to viral marketing by way of their fans. How? By turning events into experiences.
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.
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.
By Max Porter at CallFire.
With less than 10 percent of Facebook posts, and possibly less tweets, ever viewed, text messages have an open rate estimated at 98 percent and 90 percent texts are read within 3 minutes of being received. With numbers like that, it’s hard not to wonder what kind of potential SMS campaigns could see in the hip-hop industry.
While the internet and new technologies propel the world into the future, I'm amazed by how many of us have the online etiquette of a caveperson. Seriously, I just got an anonymous link posted on my social networks with the blurb, "Yo, check my song out." Two seconds later, I got a friend request from someone with no profile picture other than that creepy default blank head. While the following tips aren't groundbreaking, they serve as reminders that just might help us all to be a little more mindful the next time we get online. And like your mom says, “Better behavior gets better results" – in this case, meaning more loyal fans, better gigs, and more placements. Enjoy!
By Angela Mastrogiacomo of MuddyPawPR.com
As a publicist, one of the first questions I ask potential clients is “what do you view as a successful campaign?” This is crucial because it lets me know where their heads are at, and how our visions are going to align. Believe it or not, things like “We’d like to be on Rolling Stone” or “We’d like to have 1,000 more Facebook likes by the end of 3 months” is not all that uncommon to hear.
audiomachine, a boutique motion picture advertising music production collective, was approached by demanding consumers to release their fan-proclaimed "epic" trailer music commercially, and as a result, audiomachine: Remixed happened. To add an additional layer of creativity, audiomachine approached some of electronic music's most famed remixers to turn their trailers into something even more unique and engaging. In streaming the sample track, I can say with confidence, "mission accomplished."
By Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0
Indie music aggregator Bandcamp recently launched a new feature that enables fans to subscribe to its artists for a fixed amount per year (like the $32 that the UK band Candy or artist Steve Lawson are charging). During that time, the fan gets access to all the material that artist or band creates. The fan also has the option of paying more than the subscription amount if they so desire. While this might sound like a great idea and a good way for fans to support an artist or band, it's probably a feature that will benefit Bandcamp much more than any artist on the service.
On November 1st, Red Bull kicked off 30 Days in LA – the largest initiative to date in the second year of their Sound Select program geared towards launching new artists into the music industry. During the month long program, several middle of the road, yet buzzworthy indie musicians will take the stage along with a handful of under the radar artists Red Bull is hoping to break big. Hustle and Drone, Tapioca and the Flea, Wrestlers, DIANA,Bad Girlfriend and Avid Dancer are among those artists. Haven’t heard of them? Red Bull is on a mission to change that.
[UPDATED] By Cortney Harding on Sonicbids Blog
A few weeks ago, the New York Times ran a profile of theAudience, a firm that connects big brands to social media influencers. Gone are the days when a big ad spend or tons of radio promotion was required to break a band – now, a kid with a big Tumblr following can move the needle just as much as a spot on TV. But for artists who are just starting out and can’t shell out the big fees that firms like theAudience charge, reaching influencers can feel like an impossible task. Don’t despair, though – here's how you can connect with the person who might give you your big break.
We’ve all heard of Kickstarter and some of the amazing success stories that have come from its fundraising platform – LeVar Burton raising $2 million in two days to bring Reading Rainbow back, for example – but how is it done? There are tens of thousands of projects on the site (which has raised almost $1.4 billion in the few years it’s been around), so if you want to make the money you need for whatever journey you’re about to embark on, you’ve got to make sure you do things right. Here are six tips on managing your Kickstarter in a way that will bring in the most dollars.
By Steven Marks on RIAA's Music Notes Blog
I respect David and his accomplishments in the music space, but his blog “The Artist’s Share” misses the mark. The piece wrongly assumed that labels pay royalties to artists and simply keep the rest. This is not the case. Let’s take a closer look at the value labels actually bring to the table.
By Keidra Chaney on Sonicbids.com
For a working musician, the thought of yet another social media platform may seem exhausting, especially considering that Facebook and Twitter are already pretty time-consuming. While video- and photo-sharing networks like Vine or Snapchat may seem nonessential for musicians, don’t overlook them. Photo messaging platform Snapchat, founded in 2011, is a particularly hot platform for younger-skewing music audiences and genres like EDM. Unlike photo and short form video sharing apps like Instagram and Vine, a message on Snapchat is only meant to exist on a user’s phone for a short period of time, and disappears after four to 10 seconds.