Though Flowd bills itself as the "Music Lovers' Social Network", it seems to have become a dj driven music network with the top artists mostly identified as "trance". Judging by the numbers of followers of top accounts, Flowd does not appear particularly large, but it's a nice example of a niche social network designed with mobile users in mind. Unfortunately it lacks the vital component of music!
A film documentary about Tommy Mottola, who ran Sony Records for a decade+, is nearing completion. “The doc is of Tommy’s life, but also documents the history of music, from Elvis to the iPod,” an insider told the NY Post. Director Richard Stratton also helping an upcoming memoir, "The Last Starmaker," which includes the breakup with wife and client Mariah Carey. Given the egos, I hope it was filmed in widescreen...
- Former EMI Music exec Camili Kejner joins ad-supported mobile entertainment site Myxer as EVP.
- ZapTunes wants deals to sell independent artists’ music. (Music Ally)
If you've been wishing you could get your Bjork on, now you can with a Songpier mobile web app for every song on your next album. Songpier does not offer native apps like those available on iTunes, instead they allow you to create an HTML5 mobile web app that is viewable on a variety of smartphones and desktops. Though you may not be winning awards for app design and you can't really sell the darn things, you will be getting into the game despite lacking a crew of programmers!
No matter where you are in your career, it’s important to look back at the basics. It allows you to think like a beginner again; back to when you could visualize the most possibilities. The following ten tips, taken from a NARIP event in San Francisco, will help move forward your career in the music business - however far along you may be.
1. Have a Plan
On This Week In Music, Dermot McCormack, EVP of Digital Media at MTV Networks joins Ian Rogers on his weekly show to discuss the future of MTV. The pair explore the shift to the social consumption of music and media. WATCH:
MTV recently released some findings from its study of Millennial Digital Habits. Nick Shore shares some tips for marketers that suggest underlying principles worth considering with other demographic slices as well. The short take is the need to keep up with the current communication habits of one's target market and tailor efforts accordingly. Shore's brief report shows that for MTV, research is a continuous process of paying close attention to their digital marketing efforts. Here are 5 tips:
Album art is important - it represents you and can become iconic. How many times have you seen Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon cover? However, quality graphic design can be expensive. On Music Think Tank, Brian Hazard writes about his experience with 99designs which offers more affordable custom designs by launching a contest.
Last week Universal Republic Records sent out an email titled “THE ANATOMY OF A HIT RECORD!”. It's really promotional piece for The Band Perry, but its also a reminder of how - at least for this major label - how little has changed. The chart is almost all about radio, award show and an upcoming tour. Social media and bloggers, for example, aren't even mentioned.
“THE ANATOMY OF A HIT RECORD!” CHART
A group of publishers and songwriters have filed a new lawsuit against Grooveshark claiming it enables users to obtain music illegally and is liable for copyright infringement. UMG is also suing Grooveshark, but EMI has settled theirs. (CNet)
- Spotify hit 70,000 paid U.S. subscribers in its first week according to major label exec reports collected by Billboard's Bill Werde.
- Universal Music Group is naming publishing exec Ethiopia Habtemariam to head Motown and an "uber-artistic leader" to head Def Jam according to The Wrap.
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
- Michael Brandvold: Make That Five Tips for Your Domain
- Robin Davey: What are the odds of succeeding WITH a record deal?
- Bas Grasmayer: Marketing Music Through Non-Linear Communication: The Ecosystem Of Fans, Artist & Label
- Julian Demers-Mader: Brand Bands Together: Bridging the Gap Between Cliquey Music Scenes
- Brendan Moore: Artist Advice: Tools to Avoid Getting Overwhelmed by Twitter
A major digital music price fixing class action lawsuit against major labels is moving forward.
- ASCAP and BMI licensed red hot turntable.fm this week.
- Topspin's Ian Rogers Launches "This Week In Music" Interview Series
- How Little Music Means To Apple [CHART]
- Spotify U.S. Missing Key Feature Available In EU: Pandora-Like Artist Radio
- Baidu, China's Top Search Engine, Cuts Deal To Pay Three Major Labels
- Benefactors, Listeners & The Curious: Understanding And Monetizing The Modern Fan
- Music Tech -
Spotify's Daniel Ek: 'If we create the right product, better than piracy... people will come." [VIDEO]
"I come from a land which is more known for Pirate Bay, Kazaa, all those inventions, and I just refuse to believe really that the music industry, while people are listening more to music now than ever before... is in decline. I just really believe that if we create the right product, which is better than piracy, that people will come," Daniel Ek of Spotify told Fortune's Andy Serwer at Brainstorm Tech in Aspen. WATCH THE VIDEO:
Musedash's "online dashboard for musicians" is a niche focused version of a variety of services that have had varying levels of success allowing you to post to multiple social networks at once. Musedash is pretty straightforward with a focus on posting to MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Last.fm and Twitter. Analytics are also part of the service. Musedash is currently free with premium features to follow. DETAILS & VIDEO:
Understanding that artists have different kinds of fans and offering something for each is an under appreciated tenant of modern music marketing and monetization. It's the theory that Trent Reznor first proved and that drives successful campaigns on Topspin, Bandcamp and other direct to fan platforms. It's also a lesson that most record labels have not yet embraced. Musician Chris Randall categorizes them as Benefactors, Listeners, and The Curious.
Keeping up with tweets can get overwhelming especially with the number of tweets posted daily. If you follow a large group of people and don’t check Twitter for a day, then you will probably be stuck scrolling through a long Twitter timeline. If you need some organization, Brendan Moore has some tips posted on Music Think Tank.
backBEAT is a streaming event video service for musicians from likeZEBRA with some similarities to StageIt. backBEAT treats live webcast events as one-of-a-kind experiences that are not archived and are available for free or monetized via ticket sales and tipping. Such events can deepen relationships with fans and also provide additional revenue streams. MORE & VIDEO:
Facebook has launched new features that allow embedded videos, photos and web sites in comments by including a URL. The comment will then include a video player, thumbnail of a photo, or a brief overview of the web site being linked to. Previews can be removed with one click. Expanded comments created new opportunities for fan engagement. Here are a few ways to use the new Facebook comment features:
- EMI Sale Update: Citgroup is hoping to get a sale done quickly (NY Post) and bidders are likely to include Universal and Sony. (Reuters)
- Ted Cohen, Dick Wingate and their TAG Strategic team have partnered with recruiting firm Rosenzweig & Company to provide executive search services within the entertainment industry. These guys were popular before they could help you find a great job. What's it going to be like now?
Mobile Backstage provides a mobile social network for your band or brand. They've recently added a Facebook app to extend their presence into that domain. Connecting your band's network to major networks like Facebook seems almost mandatory but also opens up new possibilities for discovery given the growing numbers of mobile Facebook users. I think of Mobile Backstage as a mobile fan club management system with social networking as a key feature. More & Video:
Former Universal Motown president Sylvia Rhone is headed to Sony to restart the Portrait label under L.A. Reid at Epic. But, "She doesn't get along with L.A. at all," a source told the NY Post. "[He's] taking her reluctantly."
- A battle is brewing over secondary ticketing with Live Nation and Stub Hub each controlling competing pr and lobbying efforts. (NY Times) The fans may be the losers.
No, this isn't music industry news. Sometimes, I just have to share.
How do trends and movements start? They usually start with a group of people that support the same thing. On Music Think Tank, Julian Demers-Mader believes that artists can form communities that can lead to artistic movements. Artists just need to be willing to reach out to one another to become a cultural force.
(( (UPDATE) BMI also licensed Turntable.fm this week.
Turntable.fm is a big hit, and offer many opportunities for fan engagement. But many wondered if it was legal. Since launch turntable.fm has been operating in a grey area of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A new deal with ASCAP moves the site a long way towards full legitimacy.
Shoudio, the "location based audio platform", is an interesting mobile app that for once made me think more about art than about commerce. It's not that Shoudio doesn't offer marketing possibilities but it seems more conducive to having a presence and creating geolocative audio art than about shout outs and promos. Shoudio has a web option but features its iPhone app and its currently-in-beta android app.
The music industry likes to blame piracy for its downfall. But other industries including one of the world's hottest and most profitable companies, Apple, has a huge piracy problem too. Its not just a few knock-off computers., but rather an entire fake Apple store. In fact, there appear to be several of them.
Jason Calicanis' This Week In Startups is so popular with the tech tribe that it's spawned its own online network and Topspin CEO Ian Rogers is hosting its newest offshoot, This Week In Music . "It’s a pivotal time in the music business and my intention is to explore that with some of the best minds in the business," states Rogers; and he's off to a strong start. In the inaugural episode, Rogers hosted Beastie Boy Mike D and Fenway Recordings' Mark Kates. Episode 2 guest was Nathan Hubbard, the CEO of Ticketmaster. WATCH THIS WEEK IN MUSIC:
On Music Think Tank, Bas Grasmayer has posted a follow-up to his article that was posted in March where he introduced his thesis’ main theory of the ecosystem of fans. Many people think that the main problem in the music industry is piracy, but Bas believes that non-linear communication is the culprit.
“Be remarkable, be easy to discover, turn your fanbase into a party, connect, listen.” (Read On)
The 3rd annual Bay Area Producer’s Conference (BAPC) is set to take place at Ex’pression College for the Digital Arts in Emmeryville, CA on August 20th, 2011. While the event focuses on music producers and music production, the conference will cater to the creative interests and business needs of the entire music community.
Dubset has closed $500,000 from angel investors and Governing Dynamics Venture Capital to bring DJ mixes online legally. The company had previously raised $100,000 in financing. Mixes can be legally tricky. It's much harder to track plays and pay royalties than it is for single tracks in internet radio.
RootMusic, the developers of the Facebook music application BandPage, has upgraded their app with a new multi-platform touring integration. By partnering up with touring websites SonicLiving, Bandsintown, and Songkick, the upgrade allows fans on an artist’s BandPage to see which of their friends are attending a show, creates the ability to RSVP for the show, and then brings the event into their friend’s feeds regarding the concert. This drives more engagement for the show, as well as informs fans about shows they can actually see with their friends.