Launching today, concert recording and sales app Lively offers a simple way to record and sell live recordings immediately after the show. Available for Android and iOS, Lively is led by startup veteran Dean Graziano.
Direct-to-fan marketing tools and services continue to hold a lot of promise. They enable artists to connect with their fan base and sell their products directly to them. But has the full potential of these tools and services been realized? Who is realizing it? What part of this potential has yet to be fulfilled? In this interview panel on direct-to-fan marketing, four influential executives in the music and tech industry weigh in on the potential of direct-to-fan.
I set out this morning to built a chart listing the various features of the major music subscription services: Rdio, Rhapsody, Spotify, and we assume the recently-launched Google Play Music All Access, although it remains to be seen whether it will succeed on the level of those standalone music services — or whether it will become an also-ran from a company whose main business is something else (like Microsoft XBox Live Music, Sony Music Unlimited, or “MOG by Beats“).
Soundhalo is a brand new service for taking live concert video recordings and transforming them into mixed single song videos for immediate sale. It's an interesting hybrid that's currently being offered as an Android app that allows purchases during the live show. DRM-free concert files are then available for viewing on any device. Sounds like a potential winner on impulse buys if Soundhalo can pull off some formidable challenges.
Recently, CNET reported on an extension for Google’s Chrome web browser that let people scrape songs off of Spotify’s web player, for free, and save the music as MP3 files. This was obviously fairly problematic and possibly illegal, as far as browser extensions go, so Google hastily deleted the app from its Chrome app store in short order, and then Spotify closed the loophole.
Voting has begun for the O Music Awards with the opportunity to nominate wild card contenders for the Awards' cutting edge mix of categories. Open nominations continue through May 21st with a 24-hour livestreamed awards ceremony and party taking place June 19th.
The O Music Awards offer a typically eclectic array of contenders. Some nominations still have room for nominees and you can vote for those through Tuesday using a complicated system of hashtags and hand gestures.
Direct-to-fan tools can — when used to maximum effect — become the thinnest skin between the artist and fan. The full potential is possible and exists; but only a fraction of the artists and labels out there use it.
When I broke the news (no, not this news) about Slacker Radio back in 2007 after receiving an amazing reader tip (I wish I could tell that story), it was still called Broadband Instruments. Part of its plan was to buy up Ku band satellite bandwidth so that it could load up its hardware players with music without relying on WiFi, USB, or cellphone towers.
I’ve always been skeptical of how music startups view music listeners. There have been many times where I’ve read a press release or heard an elevator pitch and narrowed my eyes. The suspension of reality can be astounding at times. Music startups seem to think that people have an infinite capacity to discover music and spread their love for artists.
Music crowdfunding continues to work its way into the fabric of the music world. YouTube star Sam Tsui recently used Kickstarter to fund a debut album rather than signing with a label. Songkick Detour is expanding its concert crowdfunding borders. And the JOBS Act continues to suggest future possibilities for music companies such as record labels that are yet to be realized.
This is the preface for Divergent Streams, a collection of essays edited by Kyle Bylin (@sidewinderfm) and written by influential executives, startup founders, and thinkers in the music industry. Download a free copy of the e-book here.
I wanted something to read. Something that challenged me. Something that engaged me. Something that forced me to sit down and consider the writer’s
perspective. What I found instead were news stories about trivial developments, blog posts with big headlines but small insights, and numbered lists
lacking intellectual substance.
Muzeek is a new gig booking platform that hopes to go beyond simply being a handy booking tool and towards something a bit more powerful. In addition to taking care of agreements, bookkeeping and payments, Muzeek hopes to build a self-reinforcing community to ensure good behavior from acts, promoters and venues. Beyond that they see Muzeek as an "intuitive booking platform" that can ease the booking process based on data.
Recording music was a stupid idea. I sometimes daydream about what would need to happen in order for all recorded music playback devices to all stop functioning at once. And then, if people wanted to hear music, someone would have to actually play it.
UPDATE: Google Play Music All Access is live here.
Google today launched a streaming music service that borrows from both Spotify and Pandora. With the rather unwieldy title of Google Play Music All Access, the $9.99 per month music service includes curated playlists, Pandora-like song driven streams and acces to tracks from all the major labels.
So far we have explored the music blog landscape and how it has has changed in recent years, as well as whether music blogs have reached a mainstream audience. In this final interview panel on music blogs, David Greenwald and Nicole Cifani, two influential thinkers and tastemakers in the music industry, weigh in on how the way in which music blogs tell stories has evolved and whether they think music blogs have turned into record labels.
By Frank Woodworth (@GlacialConcepts), Director of Business Development at Thrillcall, a concert discovery and ticketing platform for web and mobile applications.
A major label is going to buy a DIY distributor, such as TuneCore or CD Baby. This is the next logical step in the roll up of distributors. In the past five years the independent distributors have been merged in much the same way that labels were merged over the past 20 years.
Financial news items periodically remind us that there are a variety of ways to raise funding from any asset or class of investors. David Bowie sold bonds backed by revenue from Bowie's recordings in the late 90s, now crowds fund a wide range of music projects for artists without previous access to such funding. A trend towards funding individuals is also emerging though with a focus on such assets as royalties or projects such as new ventures.
Google has completed deals with Sony Entertainment and Universal Music Group to launch two parallel streaming music services, according to several reports. Google appears likely to make the announcement at its I/O developer conference around Noon ET today. A deal with Warner Music Group is reported to have been completed earlier this year.
A seemingly inevitable cultural embrace of analog, or what we used to call "real world" products and experiences, is underway and the music industry is very much in the forefront with indie record stores, vinyl, merch and live shows. But to hear a rep from Google speak the music industry is fetishizing the past and vinyl is outdated. Nevertheless, a new report supports the music industry's leadership in analog realms.
Royalty payouts and the burden they impose have always been a strongly debated issue when it comes to Pandora. The company has pursued numerous routes to lower the cost of music streaming from listening caps to government lobbying — some of which have been more successful than others. In this interview panel on Pandora, four influential executives in the music and tech industry weigh in on whether they think Pandora can find a sustainable, profitable business model.
SoundCloud has hired Dan Gerber, previously the National
Director of Strategic Partnerships at Pandora, to head brand revenues. Gerber will start in June, and SoundCloud
will open it's first ever New York City office later this summer.