(UPDATED) In this interview, Warner Music Group head Lyor Cohen almost sounds like a man reborn in this new interview with Forbes' Zack O'Malley Greenburg. Critical of "the excesses of the industry", "artificial barriers of distribution" and $19 CDs, but bullish on 360 deals, Cohen shares the same thinking that he expressed during Berklee's Rethink Music conference last month. Central to his justification for demanding additional rights from artists is that WMG needs the cash to retain "the very finest, most seasoned, most creative, thoughtful, transformative" executives to run the company. Those big paychecks, of course, include Cohen's own multi-million compensation package.
(UPDATED) Looking back, it may or may not turn out to be one of his prouder moments, but at our request Topspin CEO Ian Rogers (pictured here circa 2007) asked aforeind to dig out this video of his 80's high school band A.K.S. practicing a bit of what I think is "Wild Thing" and then "Iron Man" on somebody parent's back deck. Ian tells me his wife still has that same Dr. Demento t-shirt. Oh, the stories it could tell... WATCH IAN ROGERS' HIGH SCHOOL BAND:
Facebook continues to explode, and is now closing in to 700 million users. But much of the growth is coming from outside of the U.S. Brazil alone added 1.9 million new users to Facebook in May, according to SocialBakers. That's a jump of 11 %. Here is a chart of the top growing countries for Facebook in May 2011.
Ever feel like you never have enough time to juggle the many hats of a musician trying to make it? Well, on Music Think Tank, Rich Gordon does not have a miraculous answer, but he would like to reach out to other musicians and get some input. How do you manage the different hats of a musician including a day job?
With Lady Gaga playing editor and Diddy offering a MYMAG for fans, creating editorial content is becoming another part of superstars' skill sets. But DIY'ers don't have to be left behind or forced to pay upfront printing costs to make a magazine for their fans with services like HP's MagCloud.
Diddy's recent publication of a Diddy Dirty Money MYMAG is a smart example of creating content rich merchandise for fans. Though MYMAG is focused on celebrities, DIY'ers can get into the publication game with HP's MagCloud, which is definitely interested in serving musicians though they aren't focused on musicians per se. Possibilities include a general fan mag or a publication to go along with an album release.
(UPDATED) Apple CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed as the kickoff keynote for the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, June 6 at 10 AM PST. In a morning press release, Apple said it would unveil it's "upcoming services offering iCloud" along with Lion, the 8th release of Mac OS X and iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Music is at the center of the iCloud cloud locker.
(UPDATED) Google and Apple both recently launched cloud music services without licenses from labels and publishers. The result for both are online music storage services rather than a multi-featured cloud music system. In the last few days a glimpse of the advantages that Apple's music cloud will offer when it officially launches on June 6th because the company waited to negotiate licences are starting to leak.
The PBS.org website was hacked by group calling itself LulzSec on Sunday night. Their actions included cracking the PBS server, posting a false news story that Rappers Tupac & Biggle Small were alive and hiding in a small New Zealand town, what appeared to be thousands of passwords.
- Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' Tops U.K. Albums Chart - Outsells Rest of Top 10 Combined. (Billboard)
- Twitter is about to launch its own photo sharing client (TechCrunch) and is close to buying key word bidding tool AdGrok.
- To be sure you did'n't miss anything read yesterday's holiday news upadate and Rewind: The Music Industry's Week In Review.
LinkedIn just finished an IPO that valued is at $8.9 billion. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion. Facebook’s estimated value is over $100 billion. Doesn't anyone remember that last messy tech bubble in 1999? This infographic from social media site G+, shares the history and valuations of top social media sites. Take a look and tell us if you think a bubble is coming.
Fat Beats, the record label and music distributor, used to have multiple record stores with in-store events were widely distributed om YouTube. Rhino Records once jad two shops in Los Angeles. Now both are holding pop-up shops with live shows in a manner that extends their retail legacy. And as much as many of us like to believe we're building deep communities on the web, the immediacy of such events can produce a level of goodwill difficult to maintain online.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative has released its annual list of the countries that serve as hubs for the world's pirates and counterfeiters. The list contained several surprises:
PRIORITY WATCH LIST
- Andrew Dubber shares his recent week at company retreat Camp BandCamp.
- Adele can change how music industry markets female acts, says label boss. - XL's Richard Russell blames 'boring, crass and unoriginal' music on industry's over-sexualisation of female artists. (Guardian)
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
- Bobby Owsinski: 4 Steps To Transition From Playing Cover Songs To Your Own Music
- Mark Dowdell: One Man's Ode To The Beauty Of Bandcamp
- Ariel Hyatt: A Nashville Musician Needs Us... A Run To Joplin Missouri
- Music On The Make: How To Rule The World
- Michael Brandvold: 2000 Things to Generate 20,000 – Give a Musical History Tour
Lady Gaga dominated the week with her new release. Major brands like Google flocked to be a part of the campaign. Amazon offered the album for $.99 and so many fans flocked to the site that it crashed some severs; so they tried it again 2 days later. The campaign demonstrated at least 4 creative strategies that all musicians should consider.
- Google reportedly offered record labels $100 million to license a robust cloud music service and they refused.
- Facebook and Spotify will reportedly partner for a new music service.
- While the music industry crumbled two top RIAA execs made $4.8 million.
On Music Think Tank, Michael Brandvold challenges you to do 2000 things to generate 20,000 fans. One thing he suggests: Give a musical history tour. View the single list of all 2000 items at this location. Don’t be afraid to get creative.
"If you want 20,000 fans you must do 2000 different things that each generate 10 fans.” (Read On)
(UPDATED) Google offered the for major record labels an advance of as much as $100 million to license a more cloud music service than it launched last month as Google Music Beta, according to Businessweek. The labels reportedly refused unless Google did more to stem piracy. Some question if the labels are not also giving Apple a competitive advantage as they prepare to launch their iCloud Music service, which some say could happen as early as next week.
David Meerman Scott wrote “if you want 20,000 fans you must do 2000 different things that each generate 10 fans.” Michael Brandvold took up the challenge and is compiling a list of 2000 ways that musicians can win new fans. We want the Hypbebot community to help, so we're offering a $100 Amazon gift certificate for the the best ideas submitted by Tuesday. 3 runners up will get a book from our music industry bookshelf.
Learn more about the project, contribute and win here.
At eG8 in Pairs, Reuters TV asked Kazaa and Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström and Napster and Facebook co-founder Sean Parker, if disruption of an industry always has to be messy; and if their current investments in subscription music services including Spotify are atonement for the upheaval they caused in the music industry.
Piracy is a serious topic in the music industry of which we've all been long aware. Approaches have varied from heavy handed lawsuits that have eroded good will to direct discussions with pirates that require good will to succeed. Here is one indie software developer's experience with personal appeals to those who have pirated his software that is worth considering for musicians.
Apple's cloud music service scans user's iTunes library for content, sources say. (Digital Trends) No surprises here, but is this enough to entice consumers to the cloud?
- In an extension of the Spotify - Facebook story, Facebook is developing ways to share music and other media, according to the New York Times.
- Why Billboard Isn't Revising Chart Policies for Lady Gaga's 99 Cent Amazon Deal. (Billboard)
(UPDATED) "@pitchforkmedia site traffic down almost 50% year over year. Where did all the cool kids go?" @dashgo tweeted late yesterday and Compete tracking of visitors to the indie music site confirmed the drop. So, where did all the cool kids go? My guess is that we're witnessing The Great Fractionalization Of Media Consumption Part 2. Free and targeted digital media made music magazines from Rolling Stone to Vibe far less essential, as audiences drifted to sites like Pitchfork. Now a plethora of niche blogs and music media aggregators like The Hype Machine are doing the same to Pitchfork.
UPDATE: Some Hypebot readers have valid concerns with the methodolgy used by Compete, the tracking service whose stats are quoted. Please be sure to read their comments below.
A common theme runs through movies and among all cultures: world domination. On Music Think Tank, Music On The Make suggests how to move toward a goal that many musicians strive for: finding people from all over the world that connect with them and and their music.
A2IM, the American Association of Independent Music, has announced the results of their 2011 Board of Directors elections. A2IM's membership has more than doubled over the past six years and as a result, its current board is expanding from 9 to 11 seats with the induction of five new members.
Newly elected A2IM Board of Directors:
BOBCOM is a new platform for indie musicians designed to allow musicians to upload and sell their music to fans who rate and share those same tunes. Though there are many similar platforms, BOBCOM is distinguished by networking, performance and other opportunities for musicians who build fan support to take what the site calls the "Fasttrack", as well as, the founder's longtime relationship with Robert Redford which inspired it's creation.
Top music industry and digital media analyst Mark Mulligan is leaving Forrester Research after 11 years. No reason was given for his departure. "I’m taking a little bit of time out before making my next move," he said in an email. Mulligan had begun his tenure as an analyst with Jupiter Research which was acquired by Forrester in July of 2008.
With Google, Amazon and likely Apple getting into the cloud music business, mobile music provider mSpot might have a hard time competing. So today the upstart launched Radio Spotter Beta – the first service to combine a cloud music and storage locker service with streaming radio. Radio Spotter is available Android users in the US. The company says that iPhone, PC, Mac and other internet connected device support will be offered later in 2011.
Today Amazon began a repeat of Monday's $.99 download sale for Lady Gaga's new album "Born This Way", after the original promotion overwhelmed Amazon's servers. "Clearly customers are really excited - we saw extraordinary response to Monday's promotion - far above what we expected - she definitely melted some servers," said Craig Pape, Amazon's Director of Music.
NPR's Panet Money recently featured successful d.i.y. musician Jonathan Coulton (@jonathancoulton), dissecting his success and asking if other musicians could follow a similar path, Hypebot's look at the interview "How Jonathan Coulton Made $500,000 Last Year As A D.I.Y. Musician" received heated comments and questions that he's agreed to answer. But first, we wanted to share Coulton's own take on his career and the issues raised in the interviews. Here's Jonathan Coulton in his own words:
On Friday the Planet Money podcast posted an episode about me and my business model, focusing on the question of whether my scene is the future of music business or just a fluke.