EXCLUSIVE: Scion A/V produced a video series that provides a virtual tour of the new music industry and the sites and tools that make it work. Hypebot will feature one every day for the next couple of weeks. Today, Todd Hansen of Better Than The Van shows how his site connects bands and fans with free places to stay in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France and Germany. Watch the Better Than The Van video:
Jonathan Jaeger brings up some interesting points about product placements with his post on Music Think Tank. Product placement is everywhere and has been in television for a long time. Even though product placement is becoming more prevalent, it won’t save the music industry.
- Digital Music Forum East: Max Willens of @WAMMusic is covering #DMFE today in NYC for us. Be sure to say hello and share your scoops.
- Island Def Jam, EchoNest Launch Groundbreaking Music Licensing Pact For Apps (Billboard) Read the fine print (IDJ maintains control of the app with a rev share), but the deal opens up a big sandbox for app developers and if other labels join the party...
- MP3.com founder Michael Robertson launches DAR.fm, a DVR for the radio, (Media Beat)
Reports say that Spotify is "a few weeks away" from signing a U.S. distribution deal with Universal Music Group, the world's largest music label. If this happens, Spotify will have access to 68% of the market.
Due to this, sources close to the deal told Reuters that Spotify may launch without WMG on board.
And given how much more favorably CEO Edgar Bronfman has spoken about Spotify lately, it seems like U.S. music fans will be getting Spotify after all.
It may launch in the summer. Thank goodness. Can't wait.
This post is by Alison McCarthy (@aliiimac). She's an intern at Hypebot.
This weekend I attended The Students for Free Culture Conference (#sfcnyc), a gathering of student activists, intellectuals, artists, hackers, and generally interested people to discuss the latest issues in the free cultural world. This year the conference hosted a panel on Remix Culture, Music, and the Arts, which explored issues surrounding the politics, ethics, and purpose of sampling and remix.
The developers at The EchoNest and the creatives behind We Are Hunted have created a new app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that features a snarky animated virtual hipster who listens to your personal music collection, insults your taste, and then plays buzzed-about tracks that match your musical preferences. The "Pocket Hipster" goal is to re-create having a tastemaker friend who always seems to recommend the artists that become your next favorites. The two companies have more collaborations planned.
Watch The Pocket Hipster video:
Just about every executive has spoken out against the dreaded “Apple Tax” on in-app subscriptions. Slacker is silent. And so far, Pandora has been quiet too. Yet, they’re also the most reliant of all the services on Apple.
Facebook has proven its value to artists and music marketers yet again. According to ChompOn, an e-commerce platform, the value of a Facebook share is $14 and the value of a Tweet is $5. To infer, that's the difference between a fan buying a physical album or a digital EP. A Facebook like on the other hand is worth $8 while a Tweet is valued at only $2. Why the vast difference? Because Facebook more closely matches our real friends. Twitter is great for getting the word out, but when it comes to making money for an artist, Facebook is the winner.
See the Chart:
For a second time, Apple may pursue upgrading the quality of the song files they sell. The goal is to offer downloads that more accurately reflect their original recordings, perhaps at a higher price.
It's a long road ahead of them, but executives like Jimmy Iovine, known for his criticism of the sound quality of song files and involvement in the Beats Audio line of headphones, is helping to push the initiative along. He believes that the war on music piracy and the degradation of sound quality hold the same level of importance. Of course, not every excutive agrees with Iovine.
EXCLUSIVE: Scion A/V has produced a series of videos that together provide a virtual tour of the new music industry and the tools that make it work for both artists and fans.
Every day for the next two weeks Hypebot will be featuring a new video presentations that feature the leaders of cutting edge organizations like AudioLife, Kickstarter, Cash Music, Tunecore, ReverbNation and SoundExchange. First up is Ethan Diamond with a look at Bandcamp, the popular artist marketing and sales platform that he helped create.
Watch the Bandcamp Video:
As you read, music exec Steve Stoute took out a full-page ad in the New York Times last Sunday. But what did it cost and why did he do it? According to an estimate made by Hollywood Reporter, it may have cost Stoute upwards of $40,000 to bash the Grammys. And his thoughts? Worth it. Stoute thinks it’s unfair that the Grammys used Justin Bieber and Eminem to sell the show and garner higher ratings, yet praised Arcade Fire and Esperanza Spalding instead. He laments, “you can't ask people to perform and use those same performers to promo the show in order to get the ratings. That's where it becomes unfair.”
In an analysis of music industry establishments – including record labels, distributors, recording studios, and music publishers – urban studies theorist Richard Florida reveals that Nashville, the top ranked city, is literally off the chart when compared to LA and NYC. It has over "180 recording studios, 130 music publishers, 100 live music clubs, and 80 record labels."
On Music Think Tank, Alex Holz lists several reasons for artists to play cover songs in his recent post. He compares cover songs to meeting new people via a mutual friend. A listener is usually more receptive to familiarity. Before you go out there and try to be discovered like Justin Bieber, make sure to secure a mechanical license.
- Mobile music wil generate $5.5 billion annually in 2015, a rise of $3.1 billion from 2010 according to a new Juniper study.
- Myspace Music now offering the Songtrust D.I.Y. music publishing management system to their audience of artists. Will Songtrust be to publishing what Tunecore is to distribution? I'd love to see the two link.
- New Apple app subscription policies could derail Spotify (Telegraph) and delay Pandora's IPO? (FMQB) All this is based on the assumption that the new rules include music subscription apps, but Apple has not bothered to clarify.
- Music Industry Pundits Respond to Steve Stoute's NYT Ad. (HollywoodReporter)
When startup Redigi announced last week that they'd open a marketplace to re-sell "used" mp3's this summer, many in the music industry questioned the legality of the company's plans. "I can't imagine how," wrote Boston based music attorney Rob Falk. "A legal music download is generally issued as 'personal license to use,' and I believe that by its terms, is non-transferable." But in response to our inquiry, a ReDigi spokesperson replied:
Tom Silverman has made his entire career in the music industry. Circa the early 80s he founded Dance Music Report, the New Music Seminar (NMS) and Tommy Boy Records, now Tommy Boy Entertainment, whose roster includes hip hop staples De La Soul, Naughty by Nature, House of Pain, and more. WE+PR, the public relations team who works with NMS, set up a phone interview for me with Silverman, who had tons to say about the music industry. Stream the full interview—all 55min—by pressing the play button to the below—or on Bandcamp.
According to several sources, iTunes, eMusic, Amazon and other digital music retailers are in talks with the major labels about improving the quality of sound in music downloads. But for most of those sitting at the table, better sound quality may be more about making money than sonic improvements.
This guest post is by Jon Ostrow (@miccontrol) of MicControl, a music blogging community that bridges the gap between musicians and music bloggers.
The use of the 'single' has always been a popular way to release music, dating all the way back to the introduction of the gramophone player in the early 1900s when the 7-inch, 10-inch or 12-inch vinyl 'single' was the premier music format. Although newer technology has moved the focus to the album rather than the single, the digital music format seems to be giving 'the single' a resurgence in not only popularity, but in importance as well.
Last week Jimmy Fallon was probably the first major network host to use a QR code to introduce a guest. During a brief intro of Tyler The Creator and Hodgy Beats of Odd Future, Fallon held up a large card with a QR code on it that that, when viewed by a smartphone app, led to oddfuture.com and the a video of Tyler The Creator’s “Yonkers.” Startups like Sharesquare have also done similar QR code promotions with indie artists. Watch Jimmy Fallon's intro:
For the week ending Feb. 21, 2011:
1. "Born This Way," Lady GaGa
2. "Forget You," Cee Lo Green
3. "I Need a Doctor (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey)," Dr. Dre
4. "Never Say Never," Justin Bieber
5. "Grenade," Bruno Mars
On Music Think Tank, Jill Haverkamp gives us a sample of 6 case studies on how artists have effectively connected with their audience online. One example comes from the recent Grammy winners, Arcade Fire, and their interactive music video. All six cases gravitate around connecting with fans and artists should think about these cases when building a strategy and fanbase.
- New Steve Jobs email suggests that Apple's in-app subscriptions don't apply to "software as a service". (Mac Rumors)
- Spotify swept up in dotcom bubble with $1 billion valuation and reportedly seeking $100 million in funding as it builds up to US launch. (Guardian)
- Eminem has hit his billionth view on YouTube, according to Famecount.com, the social media statistics service. Only Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber each surpassed 1 billion.
Product placements in music videos are nothing new. But while not quite reaching Lady Gaga proportions (does Britney beat Gaga by any metric these days?), her new video for "Hold It Against Me" certainly tries. There are a lot of references to products from Sony, who own her record label, and to online dating site Plenty Of Fish. But there's more. How many product placements can you find in the new Britney Spears video?
From publishers to music subscription providers, everyone is still reeling from the "Apple Tax" – i.e. the 30% cut of profits that Apple will take when users subscribe to content and services in app. Some argue that Apple will respond to the negative reaction in the market and back down. Others believe that Apple's announcement shows that publishers and music subscription providers have already lost. They're most valuable asset, distribution, isn't one they control, and unless companies are willing to build their own tech devices, they better get used to Apple's terms.
a) Does the record industry treat fans like criminals, and what are the consqences?
b) Does the fear of theft hamper artist creation?
There were all kinds of questions and comments about a chart published last week that offered "A Graphic Look At 25 Years Of Music Sales". Some of the controversy around the chart is answered with a new infographic that adjust music sales for inflation. The resulting snapshot is even uglier. According to the new chart, music sales are down 64% from their peak, not 45% as shown previously.
For you, selling sheet music might be one of them.
ZMX Music is a new direct-to-fan publishing system that provides artists with the tools to distribute and sell sheet music to their fans.
Updated. Veteran hip hop music exec Steve Stoute took out a full page ad in the New York Times this Sunday to attack the Grammys and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for losing touch with contemporary music culture and failing to acknowledge top selling artists like Justin Bieber and Eminem. "Where I think that the Grammys fail stems from two key sources: (1) over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting and (2) fundamental disrespect of cultural shifts as being viable and artistic," wrote Stoute. Full Text Of Steve Stoute's NY Times Ad:
Today is President's Day in the US, but a mere national holiday in one country doesn't stop music industry news from happening here or around the globe. So we're here keeping you up to date, as we are every day. And as always, we'd love your feedback.
- Spotify reportedly valued at $1 billion. A massive $100 million investment is reportedly incoming from VCs that backed Facebook, Groupon and Zynga. (TechRadar)
- Music is thriving, but the business is dying. Who can make it pay again? (Guardian)
- 'Steve Jobs once nixed my music-subscription pitch'. (Cnet)
- Alan Lastufka: Is YouTube Destroying or Saving Music?
- Bruce Warila: The Three Legged Table: Songs, Magnetism, & Business.
- Robin Davy: How to Successfully Grow Your Fan Base Using Facebook.