Activist singer songwriter Michelle Shocked has released "Inaudible Woman," an 11 track 'silent' album completely devoid of sound via CD Baby. Each 'song' is named after a prominent music industry figure, mostly in the digital music realm. Getting Shocked's silent treatment are Chris Harrison (Pandora). Patrick Donnelly (SiriusXM), David Drummond (Google, Youtube) and Robert Walls (Clear Channel) among others.
Product Hunt is an increasingly popular site, launched late last year, that posts links to new websites and apps (the products in question). It seems to be taking on some cult dimensions in tech circles and it's now on my short list of sites to check daily. If you're about keeping up with all things new and refurbished in the music tech space, Product Hunt will definitely help you do that. And if you're looking for attention for your startup, it's another place you should be sending your link.
Pandora founder Tim Westergren, its CEO and half of the company's board of directors have made campaign donations to several powerful anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion Republican Congressman. Utah Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz believes that D.C. autonomy is unconstitutional and led the charge to roll back gay marriage there.
Spotify has upgraded its iOS app adding an equalizer. There are 22 presets for specifc genres including electronic, hip-hop and classical; or users can manually chose their own equalizer settings. The update is rolling out today and can be found under "Playback" in "Settings." Spotify has also redesigned the Artist page for iPad adding latest release and merchandise info.
Rhapsody announced this morning that its has more than 2 million paid subscribers globally across its Rhapsody, Napster, recently launched UnRadio services. It's a significant milestone for the music streamer, who has built its user base differently than most of its competitors; favoring limited free trials over virtually unlimited profit-killing free music services.
Tinder is a mobile dating app that allows you to pick out those that interest you by swiping one way and dismissing those that don't by swiping the other. There's more to it but that basic action, along with the organization of content by cards or in small chunks, has gotten a lot of attention as a design choice. Next, a mobile music app for discovering indie artists started by a co-founder and former employee of Tinder, use swiping to dismiss or to like. It's nicely designed and a positive idea but, except for the Tinder connection and the design, it follows a long list of such startups, some still in the game, some long forgotten.
With electronic music a large part of youth culture, we're seeing numerous issues surface that have come up in the past. The trend of wearing Plains Indian warbonnets, aka "Native American headdresses," is being attacked and has now been banned at the Bass Coast festival. Sniffer dogs are also under attack but their presence at festivals is unlikely to change at this point given the almost total lack of political organization of those in electronic music except for some providing services at a local level.
19 Entertainment, the record company founded by “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller, has sued Sony Music Entertainment for allegedly cheating artists such as Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson out of monies due to them. The lawsuit sheds light on some controversial accounting practices at the major labels and explores the minefield that is the various incomes streams that now comprise the modern music business. Issues raised include how a major label accounts for revenue generated from platforms like Spotify and iTunes, how advertising expenditures are treated, and whether Sony is required to share proceeds from battles on the copyright litigation front.
Music tech merger and acquisition activity isn't just happening in the streaming music space. Sometimes it's even happening where people wouldn't expect it to exist. For example, Apple is rumored to be buying Swell, known as a news app. CBS Local Media is buying Eventful which offers events listings and promotions including music. And personal crowdfunding service Kapipal recently bought WeLoveYourSongs, a community for unsigned musicians that will now add crowdfunding.
Independent music global rights agency Merlin has lowered its fees yet again. After a 50% drop on 2013, Merlin today announced another 17% reduction. As of June 1, the agency’s administration fees relating to commercial deals have been reduced from 3% to 2.5%, or 3.9% to 3.25% for Merlin members who are not members of local Independent Trade Associations.
Email Marketing may seem a little bit old school, but the truth is, if you're taking a pass on this avenue you're missing a critical opportunity to personalize your band to fan communication. Having Facebook & Twitter followers and fans crawling your BandPage, Sound Cloud, or StoryAmp is fantastic but if you aren't utilizing those tools to point your followers toward signing up for your mailing list, now might be a good time to reconsider your plan of action.
Apple's $3 billion deal to purchase Beats Electronics and Beats Music has received the approval of the European Union Commission. The trade regulators found that Apple and Beats are no dominate players in the headphone category in Europe, and what they sell is too varied to be considered closely competitive, according to TechCrunch.
Even the mighty Kayne West is no match for the digital currency revolution.
With his usual bravado, West declared victory Friday over digital currency Coinye for using his likeness and name without permission. West's claim came after his attorneys filed for a summary judgement in NYC since most of the defendants - many of them 'John Does' - failed to answer his complaint.
Last week, alongside some impressive new user stats, Mark Zuckerberg shared that the average U.S. user spends 40 minutes per day on Facebook. The brilliant cartoonists at Joy Of Tech share this "chart" on how those 40 minutes are spent each day.
You may recall the video of a withdrawn elderly man who comes to life upon hearing music he cares about on an iPod. The "Old Man In Nursing Home Reacts To Music" (and other title variations) video did more than go viral. It inspired the filmmaker who shot the original video to look more closely at the work of nonprofit Music & Memory and to shoot a documentary about that work, "Alive Inside," that's just been released in theaters.
Business-oriented social networks for musicians are an area I haven't covered in a while. A variety of new networks and platforms are emerging and today I'd like to point you to three business-oriented social networks that are worth knowing about. Gigmor connects musicians with compatible musicians and also uses that matchmaking process to help industry people find compatible musicians. AAMPP adds fans to the industry mix along with a variety of tools including ecommerce. Jammcard is a mobile social network for connecting with others by sharing Jammcards.
Not so long ago (1980s-1990s) rave music—or Electronic Dance Music—was still the underground type of music with its own die-hard fans and secret warehouse parties. There was this secret and unique culture within the dance music community (referred to as ‘PLUR’ – Peace Love Unity Respect) that stood separately from mainstream music fans and was preferably kept that way. This free philosophy of life and their symbolic handshake contributed to ravers’ sense of a tight-knit and secluded community.
Torrent Freak is reporting that The Pirate Bay, a notorious and long-lived resource for finding torrents of copyrighted media, is launching its first mobile-friendly website. Other upcoming changes include dedicated sites for tv, movie and music with more features plus RSSbay with personalized RSS feeds of torrent links. The change should not only make Pirate Bay more user friendly but, with more sites/domains, harder to take down.
75% of Facebook’s revenue comes from Europe, Canada, and the U.S., according to this week's impressive report to investors. But though there are 4 billion more people in Asia than North America, that continent only accounts for about 15% of Facebook’s revenue, according to Business Insider. With Facebook's aggressive moves in mobile, the company is well positioned to turn that deficit into even more explosive growth. This revenue chart tells the story:
Some websites have claimed that Facebook’s popularity is going down, but don’t think that means you can abandon your page just yet. In fact, even if Facebook is on its way out (there is some debate about that by the way), it should still be at the center of your social media strategy. When people are looking to connect with a band or musician, they head to a few sites, and Facebook is still one of the few places that genuine interactions happen.
Music icon Chubby Checker has settled his lawsuit with Hewlett Packard. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. But neither side has accepted liability and HP has agreed not to use the singer’s stage name, trademarks or likeness.
Early in 2013, Checker, best known for his #1 hit "The Twist" had filed a multi-million lawsuit against Hewlett Packard and its subsidiary Palm for selling a WebOS app called called the "Chubby Checker" that uses a man's shoe size to estimate the size of his penis.
Downtown Music Publishing has signed Randy Newman to an administration deal for North America. The six time grammy award winner is responsible for hits such as “Short People”, “I Love L.A.” and “It’s Money That Matters” as well as movie scores for “Ragtime”, “Toy Story”, and “Monsters, Inc”. Newman signed with the NYC based Music Publishing company this week. Newman is currently working on songs for his new studio album expected to be released later this year via his longtime label Nonesuch Records.