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Thursday's Music Brief: Amana Palmer, Niche Power, India, Echo Nest and Kyte

Hypebot Favicon A surprising bit of reaction from a vocal few to the ReverbNation Micorsoft promotion.  I can't see how any of it is not be good. After all, it's optional and acts that are used to giving tracks away free are now getting paid.  Be sure to click on the screen shot of 1 illegal download = 3 1/3 dead relatives to see it full size in all its glory.  And Kyle is continuing the discussion on Killing Itself to Live.



  • An 'accepted' culture of mobile-related music piracy in India is forcing network operators and the music industry to act. (Guardian)
  • The Echo Nest, a music intelligence platform has launched its Fanalytics platform that applies "web crawling, machine learning and semantic web technology to help artists and labels better understand, locate and build their online fan base". (press release)
  • Spain's copyright lobby abandoned it's fight for a three-strikes P2P policy. (DMW)
  • The Future of Used MP3 Sales (Dallas Observer)
  • launches free online community for concert Industry. (press release)
  • EFF: ASCAP and Copyright Doublespeak
  • Tangerine creates iTunes playlists based on tempo (MacWorld)
  • Jonas Brothers are guinea pigs for Ustream/Facebook partnership (Music Ally)
  • How the entertainment industry launders policy pronouncements. (Techdirt)
  • Kyte has just released its new $4.99 Mobile Producer video app into the App Store. "While it doesn’t require you have an iPhone 3GS, if you want to take advantage of its best feature, video, then you must have one. And if you do, I think you’ll be pretty pleased with how well it works." (TechCrunch) Short test video after the jump.

Continue reading "Thursday's Music Brief: Amana Palmer, Niche Power, India, Echo Nest and Kyte" »

ReverbNation Teams With Microsoft Windows For Massive Song Giveaway

Reverbnation_logo  Windows

Today ReverbNation is officially launching Sponsored Songs, a program that Hypebot covered previously that offers fans access to unlimited free mp3 downloads from 1,000 mostly indie artists. In addition to the promotional value, artists are compensated for the downloads thanks to a sponsorship from Microsoft's Windows

A passive ad is embedded alongside the cover art that is seen whenever the track is played offering the advertiser ongoing exposure without disrupting track portability or the fan's listening experience. Sponsored Songs will be available free June 24 thru September 24th at and will feature music from independent and mainstream artists across all genres.

Continue reading "ReverbNation Teams With Microsoft Windows For Massive Song Giveaway" »

More Cuts At MTV But There's Room For Jessica

MTV MTV has given pink slips to another 50 or more staffers. The layoffs come mostly in the Music Group and Logo divisions and follows the 850 jobs cut in December. "The current economic climate dictates we continue to look for more efficiencies in how we run our businesses," MTV said in a statement.

Jessica Simpson Some media outlets are reporting that the layoffs may be part of a larger reorganization. But somehow MTV Networks has found the cash to bring Jessica Simpson back to TV for a VH1 reality show dubbed "The Price Of Beauty". The price appears to be 50 jobs.

The Kind Of Music Startups One Venture Capitalist Would Like To Fund

Y combinator with logo And His Unusual Way Of Turning Them Into Businesses

Y Combinator a revolutionary venture firm that speciializes in funding early stage startups. 40 or so young entrepreneurs spend months together boot camp style developing their ideas into businesses.  In addition to support from each other, they are surrounded by advisers and visited by experts who help focus their efforts.

Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, sold his company Viaweb to Yahoo in 1998 and has since developed a large following for what the New York Times calls "lucid and contrary essays in a geek community more comfortable expressing itself through programming code than coherent paragraphs". One essay "How to Start a Startup" has become a call to arms for anyone contemplating starting a company.

12 months ago, Graham wrote about the kind of companies he'd like Y Combinator to fund and music topped the list.  His music startup wish list includes:

Y "A cure for the disease of which the RIAA is a symptom. Something is broken when Sony and Universal are suing children. Actually, at least two things are broken:

Continue reading "The Kind Of Music Startups One Venture Capitalist Would Like To Fund" »

How The Record Industry Committed Suicide

Noo "The mass-marketing practices that the Record Industry adopted and mastered in correlation with file-sharing’s rise into predominance may have, in turn, created the ultimate paradox.  Wherein the more the major labels focused on producing music that could be highly and quickly popularized, the more expecting  fans perceived these artists negatively, perhaps, avoided buying their albums, and preceded to file-share their potentially ‘short-lived’ songs instead."

Don't miss Kyle Bylin's latest essay
"Killing Itself to Live: How the Record Industry Conceived It’s Own Demise" and join the discussion.

Study: Twitter Users Want To Discover And Will (Gasp!) Actually Pay For Music

Twitter headphones According to a new NPD Group study, Twitter users are much more likely to be interested in discovering and engaging with music than the average internet user.  And in some good news for the music industry, they are also far more willing to pay for it.

According to NPD’s consumer tracking, 33% of Twitter users reported buying a CD in the prior 3 months, and 34% said they had purchased a digital download. That compares positively to overall web users at 23% and 16% respectively.. When Twitter users purchased music, they also spent 77% more money on digital downloads than did their non-Twitter counterparts.

Twitter users are also much more likely than average net users to be engaged in online music activities: 

  • 33% listened to music on a social networking site

Continue reading "Study: Twitter Users Want To Discover And Will (Gasp!) Actually Pay For Music" »

Is Beyonce Really Helping The Hungry Or Herself?

Beyonce Hamburger 2

Not that I'm complaining, but I don't get many "celebrity" press releases for Hypebot. So an email subject line that shouted "BEYONCE PHOTO FROM FEEDING AMERICA PRESS CONFERENCE" caught my eye.

Beyonce is using her well earned fame to help feed the homeless. Along with General Mills’ Hamburger Helper and non-profit Feeding America more than 3.5 million meals will be delivered to local food banks through the Show Your Helping Hand campaign.The only problem is that sponsor Hamburger Helper is exactly the kind of food poorer American's should not be eating. In fact, it could be killing them.

Continue reading "Is Beyonce Really Helping The Hungry Or Herself?" »

Wednesday's Music Brief: MTV Cuts, Twitter Study, 3 Strikes, Free Fest, Free Downloads & More

Hypebot Favicon I feel (almost) like Peres Hilton minus a few bruises.  How often does Hypebot get to spout off about Beyonce, Jessica Simpson and Twitter all in the same day? Oh yeah, and I also wrote about an innovative venture capitalist that's still interested in the music industry.



  • Virgin Virgin Mobile “FreeFest”  - Forgot discounted tickets or discounted merch – this summer’s unbeatable deal comes courtesy of the Virgin Mobile Festival as tickets to this year’s event are absolutely free. Free. That’s right. It will cost you zip, zero, nada, nothing to get in. (Pollstar)
  • UK's PRS For Music Tour Income Up 30% (Billboard)
  • France's Sarkozy Talks About 3 Strikes As Defending Freedom, But Only Freedom For The Industry. (TechDirt)
  • Free downloads damage Britain's musical diversity and creativity. "We want to work with music fans - but have them use legal, licensed services". writes Feargal Sharkey
  • Court rules against German file-sharing site RapidShare. Fines the $34 million. (Hollywood Reporter)

ReverbNation And Bandzoogle Partner For D.I.Y. Artist Web Site Builder

Reverbnation_logo Bandzoogle-logo-300
D.I.Y. music marketing platform ReverbNation is partnering with website software provider Bandzoogle to launch Site Builder. The new offering enables easy yet robust self-created web sites that automatically integrate content loaded onto ReverbNation.

Songs, videos, shows, ticket inks and more entered on are instantly updated on the artist's site, with the Fan Reach email service, on widgets and across ReverbNation's other viral and social marketing tools. Artists will able to use their own url whenSite Builder, which is currently in private beta, goes public sometime in July at a cost of about $20 per month.

Continue reading "ReverbNation And Bandzoogle Partner For D.I.Y. Artist Web Site Builder " »

MySpace Cuts 66% Of International Staff

 LayoffIn a second wave of major restructuring, MySpace announced this morning that it will cut 300 of its 450 international staffers and close at least four overseas offices.. The moves on the heels of  Facebook passing MySpacein both visitors and page views in the US and worldwide and just a week after the social networker reduced it's domestic head count by 30% cutting 420 staffers.

Upon completion of the proposed plan, London, Berlin, and Sydney would become regional hubs for MySpace’s international operations. Offices in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, and Spain would be placed under review for possible closure. Locally owned and operated MySpace China and a joint venture in Japan would not be affected.

Continue reading "MySpace Cuts 66% Of International Staff" »

Killing Itself to Live: How the Record Industry Conceived It’s Own Demise


Kyle Bylin, Associate Editor

Throwaway culture, while, perhaps, not limited to commercialized music, appears to stem from highly and quickly popularized songs that are file-shared and listened to for a short period of time.  And are, then, later deleted or ‘disposed of’ from the listener’s computer or MP3 player, typically, once the song starts to fade into obscurity or has grown tiresome to the user, due to circumstances such as novelty, over-exposure, or a ‘change of taste.’

As I’ve argued previously, this can be partially attributed to what file-sharing changed about a music fan’s dynamic relationship with the culture that they consume and the numerous paradoxes of choice that are encountered within the realm of the Internet.  Most predominately, file-sharing has allowed fans simulate decisions not yet made, or economically ‘committed to’ rather, and has, in turn, caused them to become ever-more passive about their deletion.

"tastes which quickly increase in popularity die out faster."

Continue reading "Killing Itself to Live: How the Record Industry Conceived It’s Own Demise" »

UPlaya Cuts Multi-Tiered Alliance With The Orchard

Music intelligence Music Intelligence Solutions' Uplaya has inked a multi-tiered partnership with The Orchard  to distribute filtered content souced by its Hit Song Science hit prediction technology and Music Universe discovery solution. Additionally, uPlaya has licensed The Orchard's catalog to power new artist promotional applications.

Orchard large logo As the launch partner for uPlaya, Orchard  artists can use the patented technology to get immediate feedback on a song's commercial potential. Other tracks discovered by uPlaya can also use The Orchard for distribution.

Continue reading "UPlaya Cuts Multi-Tiered Alliance With The Orchard" »

Tuesday's Music Brief: More MySpace Cuts, Bylin's Best, Irish Troubles, Flamming Lips, LiveStub & More

Hypebot Favicon Kyle Bylin weighs in today with what is probably his best post to date Killing Itself to Live: How the Record Industry Conceived It’s Own Demise. It's a must read and worth sharing with your peers. I also think you'll find that the Ian Roger's NARM video is a must watch. Ian & Co. understand the shift of power from the labels to the artists and fans and are building the tools to support it. And does anyone know the folks behind #MusicMondays. I'd like to interview them and help spread the word. That info and any juicy news tips are always welcome via hypebot (at) skylineonline (dot) com. Onward to a great day!  - Bruce Houghton



  • Even as the major labels are suing Irish ISP's to get them to enforce a three strikes policy, others in the industry are asking the broader question of where is digital music headed in the country. (Silicon Republic)
  • Fans that buy tickets online to this summer's Flaming Lips tour will get a free three song download teaser of an upcoming release. (press release)
  • Ticket marketplace LiveStub closes its doors but hopes to restructure in the future (Ticket News)
  • First look at music startup Tunezee: Looking to make music search and discovery more effective. (Vator News)
  • Ticketmaster Fires Back At Springsteen (FMQB)
  • The UK cracks down on pre-release leaks with an early morning raid. (TorrentFreak)
  • 2.0 Chinese music label MicroMu is celebrating a 1 year anniversary (Outdustry)
  • Connecting With Fans, Offering A Reason To Buy Works For Movies As Well. (Techdirt)
  • Fluid Music Canada's Trusonic has signed a deal with US mall owner General Growth Properties to deploy in-mall music and messaging solutions. (press release)
  • MusicHackday is coming to the UK. (Music Machinery)

WMG's Edgar Bronfman Jr. On "Risk Capital" And Artist Exploitation

Edgar Bronfman right "Fundamentally, we are the risk capital. We're prepared to take the capital risk on a new artist and we're building a company so that we can exploit on behalf of the artist all the revenue streams that are made possible by that initial investment."

- CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. on signing half of the Warner Music Group's artists to 360 deals in an extensive Finanical Times interview.

A2IM & AIM: Indie Trades Groups Join Forces

Aim A2im US independent music trade organization A2IM is joining forces with its UK counterpart AIM to provide members access to databases, contacts lists, "how to" guides and other resources from both markets. The groups are members of the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) and hope to link similar reciprocal deals with more territories.

 "Knowledge is power in business, and having access to market information and relevant industry contacts is vital," AIM CEO Alison Wenham told Billboard. "This collaboration between AIM and A2IM will allow members of both to increase their knowledge, contacts and understanding of the market across the pond."

Looking Beyond The Music Industry For Inspiration

It's easy to be critical of the music industry and far more difficult to offer solutions. As I wrote today on the MidemNet blog, from Bob Lefsetz to Hypebot, there are many of us who are ready and willing to share our "insider" perspectives.  But some of the most educated and Thinker right informative opinions about our business is coming from outsiders.

Fortunately for all of us, some of the brightest minds in marketing, socio-economics, management, tech and other fields are also fans who sometimes find inspiration in music and the music industry. Just a few of the great:"outsider" minds that I've been inspired by lately include:
  • Umair Haque
  • Seth Godin
  • Richard Florida
  • Kevin Kelly
  • Om Malik
There a more extensive list of people that inform and inspire me from both inside and outside of the music industry on the MidemNet blog here.

Read it and then please let us all know who is influencing the way that you think about the music industry. Who provides your inspiration?

Interview: Dalton Conley of Elsewhere, U.S.A.


Kyle Bylin, Associate Editor

Today I spoke with Dalton Conley, who is University Professor of the Social Sciences and the Chair of the Department of Sociology at New York University and author of Elsewhere, U.S.A.: How We Got from the Company Man, Family Dinners and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms and Economic Anxiety.  In this interview, Dalton talks about the “elsewhere phenomenon,” his own industry’s “Napster moment,” and the role of megastars in today’s music industry.  

How have the changes in the economy, family, and technology combined to give birth to this new type of American professional? 

8660_200_150Dalton Conley:  Three forces have come together in a perfect storm of sorts.  The first is the most visible and most obvious, perhaps.  And that’s the internet / wireless revolution. This has not only allowed up to work all the time when we are not physically present at our employer’s location, it also allows us to stay connected to our non-work lives when we are ostensibly at work.  And, of course, this industry itself has accelerated the growth in knowledge sector jobs where we can work anywhere since there is no physical product with which we are dealing.

Continue reading "Interview: Dalton Conley of Elsewhere, U.S.A." »

Moby Says Disband The RIAA

Moby new From Moby's website:

the riaa have sued Jammie Thomas-Rasset of minnesota for $2,000,000 for illegally downloading music.

argh. what utter nonsense. this is how the record companies want to protect themselves? suing suburban moms for listening to music? charging $80,000 per song?

punishing people for listening to music is exactly the wrong way to protect the music business.

Continue reading "Moby Says Disband The RIAA" »

Video Interview: Bill Wilson, NARM's Dr. Of Biz Dev. & Digital Strategy

Virgil Dickerson speaks to Bill Wilson, Director Digital Strategy and Business Development for National Association Of Recording Merchandisers (NARM).

MORE EXLCUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEWS:  Virgil's interviews from NARM include Duncan Hutchinson of Rights Flow and Blackheart Records, Kevin Arnold of digital distributor IODA , Tim Hinsley of SuperD Distribution and NARM President Jim Doneo, Sandy Bitman of indie retailer Park Avenue, ex-Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford and Eric LeMasters of Koch/E1.

YouTube Rolls Out 6 Incremental Improvments

Youtube wide Rather then a big splashy make-over, YouTube has been rolling out an ongoing series of changes and improvements that marketers and uses should pay attention to.

  • Download MP4 Files of Your Own Videos: You no longer have to panic when your computer crashes and you lose the original files of videos. Find the video you want in YouTube's "My Videos" and hit the "Download MP4" button to save the MP4 file of the video back to your new computer. 
  • A More TV-Like Experience:  One new feature hides the player control bar when viewers are in full screen for a more TV-like experience. You can also "pop out" any video by clicking on a button and it will open in a new window, without any of the surrounding features or videos. This feature won't work when embedding has been disabled.

Continue reading "YouTube Rolls Out 6 Incremental Improvments" »

Eventful Passes 10 Million Users, 75,000 Performers

Eventful.03 Do you use Eventful?  If not, now may be the time to start. The online event calendar and promotion tool has now surpassed ten million registered users ind 75,000 performers use Eventful's "Demand it!" service to help determine where to perform based upon consumer demand. 

Eventful's "Demand it!" service empowers fans to influence where their favorite performers appear. Aritsts and agents use the social media service and resulting data to make decisions regarding where to route tours based upon where fans 'Demand' them and  then to promote via geographically targeted emails. Demand it! is users include KISS, Madonna, Keith Urban, Paramore and Rascal Flatts.

Continue reading "Eventful Passes 10 Million Users, 75,000 Performers" »

Monday's Music Brief: Indie Ties, Inspiration, ASCAP Demands, UK Charts, Twitter $'s, iTunes & More

Hypebot Favicon Happy Monday! This is already shaping up to be a busy and eventful week. Be sure to get involved in helping us build a database of artists that have "made it" without the help of a major label. Now, lets get to it...PS: Don't miss the two videos below.

UPDATE: Watch on Tuesday for Kyle Bylin's latest post: Killing Itself to Live: How the Record Industry Conceived It’s Own Demise.



  • ASCAP wants to get paid every time your phone rings according to a court filing in a lawsuit with AT&T. (EFF, pdf of filing)
  • Howard Stringer takes over Sony as part of a new ownership structure. (FMQB)
  • What's next for Jammie Thomas-Russert after the $1.92 million file sharing conviction? (ars)
  • New UK indie charts "bound to" recognize free online streaming like We7 and Spotify. (Guardian) This is overdue. Are you reading this Billboard?
  • Universities Struggling To Deal With Law Requiring Them To Fight File Sharing (TechDirt)
  • Reportedly, the record industry does not plan more lawsuits. (FT)
  • Twitter plans to offer shopping advice and easy purchasing. (NY Times) Mmmm...think there's an opportunity here for the music industry?
  • Variable iTunes pricing a moneymaker for artists. (Billboard)
  • Indian digital music distribution is experimenting with an unlimited download service. (Hungama)

REWIND: The Music Industry Week In Review

Hypebot Favicon It was another big news week in the music industry and I've pick the top stories below. I'm particularly excited by the response to a request for help building a database of music 2.0 success stories to help show that artists don't need big labels to "make it". Please contribute. It was a sad week at MySpace as they let go of hundreds of staffers, but a Hypebot poll showed the service is still alive and kicking.

Thanks To Our Sponsors

Thank-you Thank you to these great businesses for supporting Hypebot: 

  • Noisevox - crowdsourcing music journalism plus great original content
  • Nimbit - everything you need to distribute, promote and monetize your music
  • PopCulture 2.0 Convention - a forum for the creative industries in Cologne August 13-14
  • CreateSpace a superior platform for self-release and self-publishing from Amazon
  • Job Board - music industry jobs posted on Hypebot and across the web.
  • Join Them - learn about advertising on the top online source for the new music industry

Popkomm 2009 Cancelled

Popkomm One of Europe's largest music conferences Popkomm will not be held this year. "The digital crisis is fully on the music industry by. Many companies maybe due to the theft on the Internet no longer afford to participate in the Popkomm,"  organizer Dieter Gorny told the German media.

Attendance the the annual convention which is held in Germany each September was projected to be down 40-50% from the 14,000 who attended in 2008. Organizers hope to reintroduce the gathering in 2010 with more government support.

"Mom, I Need Help Marketing My Music"

Crying baby According to eMarketer, there are 32 million moms online in the US today, and the number is growing. A new pr and marketing program from Child's Play Communications dubbed Music Moms hopes to tap into that market by putting music in the hands of influential mommy bloggers. Music Moms reviews music across all genres including children's music, and Universal Motown has already used the service.

Continue reading ""Mom, I Need Help Marketing My Music"" »

Help Build A List Of Music 2.0 Powered Artists

Yesterday, I started a list of artists that have built successful careers without the help of a major label.  The goals are to prove that its not only possible but actually happening and to offer these artists as examples that others can learn from.

Up arrow The submissions so far have been great, but some of the comments have questioned what criteria should be used.  Bruce Warila of Unsprung Media and Music Xray has suggested two on Music Think Tank that I agree with wholeheartedly:
  1. "If previously signed to a major label (or an affiliate of a major)...disclose this."
  2. "Success to me = each band member (or the artist) is consistently generating over $50,000 USD a year after all expenses..."  (more)
As the list grows, I'll re-post it in list form and maybe we'll vote some acts on or off the island as meeting the criteria.  For now, share your thoughts and add to the list here. And please Digg, Stumble, Tweet and blog about the list.  The more complete the list, the more value it has.

P.S. - If you do post something about the list of music 2.0 powered artists with a link, please come back here and tell us about it (including the link) so I can thank-you on Hypebot for spreading the word.