Looking to alienate themselves from the stigma of being a detriment to the content industry, The Pirate Bay has just launched an entirely new website dedicated to promoting the work of independent musicians, filmmakers and other content creators. Called “The Promo Bay”, this website was built in response to the more than 10,000 artists who signed up for its initial conceptual roll out back in early 2012, but has now expanded to both promote and provide artists with details on where their content is being downloaded most in the world.
Muisc ID app Shazam has releases it's annual report of the most tagged songs of 2012. Leading this year is Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” (15 million tags) and “We Are Young” by .fun (8 million tags). Rihanna and Gotye topped the list for most-tagged artists. Shazam results mirror the Spotify top tracks and artists for 2012 released earlier this week.
Guest post by Kyle Bylin of sidewinder.fm, a music and tech think tank.
Billboard has doubled down on a particularly dangerous idea. In the trade publication’s annual FutureSound white paper, it proclaims that music discovery is “The Key To Digital Fortune.” This is, at best, egregious hyperbole, and, at worst, complete mystification. Senior correspondent Alex Pham, who wrote this section of the paper, concedes that enabling listeners to discover music is “much harder than it seems, as evidenced by the numerous efforts” and that such “efforts” have been largely fraught with “trial and error” for more than a decade. But Pham fails to question the promise of music discovery and why it’s likely to never be fulfilled, let alone, address why music discovery is being championed as “The Key To Digital Fortune” in the first place. It’s clear that little thought went into this headline and that it has almost nothing to do with the reportage that follows, which is fine. But if the ostensible magazine of record wants to go out on a limb, it should notice that limb has already broken.
Tunezy is an ecommerce platform for musicians featuring music merch, "experiences" and web concerts. Musicians can sell from their own pages with widgets for social network sites. It's a smart combination of product offerings and a smart move away from what was initially described as a "social record label."
Making a living in music has always been a challenge, but with digital music being so readily available it's important for you as a musician, artist, or band to branch out with your music. It's not enough to just press up some CD's and throw some tracks on your website and expect to make a decent living. Working as a musician means just that, working!
Have you ever really stopped to think about that? Given all the possibilities for a given song to exist, with all the notes, chords and arrangements at our disposal, will we ever reach a point where we have one day heard it all? More so, it may surprise you to learn that the amount of possibilities for a song, while extraordinarily gigantic, is actually a finite number – meaning that we can one (distant) day reach the point of hearing nothing new. We as humans can only distinguish a certain number of tones, and since it only takes just a few notes for two songs to sound similar, will we one day run out of new music?
By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Seth Keller of SKM Management, an artist management firm in Manhattan Beach, California, writes, “Hi Eliot: Would you be open to doing a follow up piece to this post [about the most-downloaded legal music on Bit Torrent]?
Innovator, talent agent and promoter Frank Barsalona, who booked the first U.S. tours of British invaders such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones; and who helped to shape the concert industry, died at his Manhattan apartment on Nov. 22nd. He was 74 at the time of his passing.
Updated Throughout The Day
Apple began pushing iTunes 11 out to users today, almost two months after the company's original release date. We'll have a hands on review of this major upgrade soon. Until then are are some of the new features:
We’ve shown you who the richest drummers are, the richest “EDM” DJs, and the richest hip-hop stars. Now, a new list has emerged detailing the top-paid musicians overall in 2012. While several of the names on the list may not come as a surprise, it’s worth noting that many of them also earn the bulk of their income outside of their music. But for all, it is in the leveraging of their own personal brands that causes them to rake in such huge sums of dough.
By Tyler Hayes, who runs the music discovery site Nxt Big Thing.
What if a touring band were to come into an extra $2000, what should they spend the money on? Beyond the obvious answers like food and gas, lots of other possibilities should quickly roll off the tongue, spending the money like a gambler in a casino. It's easy to play the hypothetical game giving imaginary money to imaginary bands, but I ask the question because that amount of money might be all an independent band needs to put them in position to succeed.
Musicraiser is a new music crowdfunding platform based in Italy. They recently added English launguage support with German, Spanish and Portuguese on the way. Musicraiser emphasizes the involvement of musicians in the service and is also developing a professional support network.
By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
The Hype Machine is great. It tracks music from the latest blogs so you can harvest what you will, into whatever you are calling your music collection these days — iTunes, web/YouTube bookmarks, Spotify playlists, your Rdio collection, or whatever.
Music discovery and social platform OurStage.com has announced OurStage Pro, a new membership service that pays artists for song spins through a rather unique revenue sharing program. Pro allows artists to get paid when fans listen to their music on OurStage.com, on their own site, or on social media. For $2 dollars per month, artists become OurStage Pro members and begin promoting their music on the website and through an embeddable player provided by the company to monetize their work.
Last time I checked, we still had a month to go, but Spotify has already named Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know" the top song of the year - the most streamed track globally in 2012. At #2 was Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", and fun.'s "We Are Young" came in at #3.
More 2012 Spotify hits:
As a musician, you work hard to create music and probably want people to hear it. In order for people to hear or find your music, you have to market it in some way. Are you having trouble marketing your music? Check out Shaun Letang’s post on Music Think Tank for tips on making yourself stand out from the crowd, how to make fans happy to promote you, and reasons to not spread your marketing too thin.
New music sales stats via NARM President Jim Donio: "After six previous Top 10 albums, Rihanna scored her first chart-topper this week selling about a quarter million of her new Unapologetic set... Adele’s 21 became, appropriately, the 21st album to cross the 10-million-sales mark since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. While overall album sales volume is down about 4% for the year, digital album sales volume is up about 15% and track sales are up 6%."
By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Can you imagine if subscription music services had to sell their own hardware? Thankfully, for many reasons, they do not. In order to deliver a new music player for their millions-of-songs-strong catalogs, services like Rdio can simply release new apps to iTunes and Android (and the others, when it has time).
Music Business News & Views From Around The Web
Updated Throughout The Day
IT'S OFFICIAL: iTunes 11 Is Finally Here
iTunes 11 should make its overdue debut Thursday or Friday, according to a Wall Street Journal report as part of a profile of Apple SVP Eddy Cue. Details are vague regarding the major upgrade that Apple first promised by the end of October, then delayed another month. Here's what we know, so far:
In a recent study conducted by Recommend.ly, Facebook Pages for musicians and bands have led the way in collecting the most fans compared to any other personal brand Page (celebrities, public figures, etc) throughout the past 3-4 years. This was seen after Recommedn.ly took a sample of 5.76 million Facebook Pages and saw that the average fans per category resided most heavily in the category of musicians. There were also a slew of findings regarding how musicians and others perform on Facebook including their page activity, their participation with fans, the type of content they share, and more.
I would never presume to be able to provide truly valuable insight into the values and philosophies that shaped the business models of the music industry from previous decades. I simply do not know enough about it. And today, there are many areas of the industry that I would not be qualified to give a keynote speech about, such as copyright law, or royalty rate negotiations for online radio. Despite this, I am asked almost daily to answer questions regarding the state of our current industry, and make forecasts as to what I believe the future holds. It’s a fun question... but divination is a risky business.
It’s a question that many of you have undoubtedly asked yourselves at some point in your lives, and if you’re reading this blog, there’s a likely chance that you’ve said “yes” to that question in some degree or fashion. While yesterday we told you about the varying salary ranges for positions within today’s music business, sometimes numbers don’t tell the whole story. An important factor is also in where you'd contribute the most value, and the resulting possibilities that can stem from effective positioning.
The emergence of social media as a key strategy in the promotion and marketing of music has forever changed how artists interact with fans. Gone are the barriers that caused the broadcast > consume culture we have experienced for decades. The emergence of conversation as a means of strengthening the bond between artist and those that support them has become critically important to growth.
Updates to a variety of key social media tools used by musicians may help your marketing efforts. Pinterest has officially added business accounts, Twitter now supports emailing individual tweets and badges are available to publicize your Instagram web profile. One bit of news, Facebook adding iTunes gift card to Facebook Gifts, would be much bigger if fans could gift specific pieces of music.
Many musicians are looking to Kickstarter to help fund a new album or other musical project. A Kickstarter campaign can be beneficial if done right, but can fail for various reasons. On Music Think Tank, Levi James, founder of Launch & Release, has found 5 things that could be the reason your Kickstarter project failed. Have you used Kickstarter to fund a project?
For the streaming digital radio service Pandora, music is a commodity used to make money through advertising. In June 2012, it went public on the New York Stock Exchange, making its investors, founders and shareholders a lot of money. Despite the success of the IPO, Pandora execs have a problem: they need their company to become more profitable. Assuming they don’t change their business model of selling ads around other people’s music, they have two real choices:
Since I last wrote about Psy's "Gangnam Style" music video the fate of Psy remains uncertain. He's now either the biggest one hit wonder in the world or the guy that led to whatever's next but we're still not sure what. However that cliffhanger turns out, the marketing of Gangnam Style is worth a closer look including an extended report from 10 Yetis.
The first hearings on the controversial Internet Radio Fairness Act will be broadcast live today at 11:30 AM ET. Witnesses include producer Jimmy Jam, former eMusic CEO David Pakman, and representatives of Pandora, SoundExchange and the broadcast industry.