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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Will Apple Reinvent Concert Ticketing?

As if being a leader in the computer, mobil and music businesses weren't enough, Apple is working on a new technology in hopes of revolutionizing the concert ticket business.

Apple's new iTunes Concert + utilizes the iPhone for buy tickets to concerts, amusement parks, museums, baseball games, and even assist with wedding invitations.

Once at the event, the Concert + ticket will also make additional purchases for parking, swag, and refreshments with the same account possible.

The concert business is in need of an overhaul, with 3rd party ticket brokers and even the bands and promoters holding back the most prized seats that will then command several times their face value in the aftermarket. Concert goers have long been fed up with additional service charges that can add as much as 50% extra to the ticket price as well, and are eager for any system that limits these charges. With Apple's system, the ticket will be personalized to the buyer, making it difficult to transfer to another individual, which keeps secondary ticket brokers out of the market. No word yet what would happen with service charges like those charged by Ticketmaster, but it's thought that they would be limited.

Right now there's no timetable for iTunes Concert + introduction, but it can't get here soon enough. The system we have now favors everyone but the one who matters most - the fan.
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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.




Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Music 3.0 - The Rupert Perry Interview Excerpt

One of the most respected and beloved executives in the music industry, Rupert Perry held a variety of executive positions with EMI for 32 years, from VP of A&R at Capitol Records and president of EMI America all the way up to the worldwide position of VP, EMI Recorded Music. During his time at EMI, Rupert worked with variety of superstar artists such as The Beatles, Blur, Duran Duran, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Queen, and Radiohead and is the co-author of the fine book Northern Songs: The True Story of The Beatles’ Song Publishing Empire.

Here's an excerpt from an interview I did with Rupert for my Music 3.0 Internet Music Guidebook.

What’s the future of the major labels? Do you think they’ll survive?
I think they’ll survive because they and a lot of smaller labels have catalogs of recorded music and someone always wants to consume it. But they also have to consider what kind of business they’re in now. They’re not really into artist development anymore or signing lots of new artists like they used to in the past. What they’re really involved in is the business of rights management. They’re managing the rights in the same way that publishers are managing rights. The music publishing industry and the recorded music industry, two industries that grew up side by side, are now coming together a lot faster now because it’s a business of rights.

If you’re an artist, you will decide if you can manage your rights yourself or, if you’ve become successful, need someone to manage them for you on a global basis. Then maybe you go to one of these entities. Either way, you’re going to have a much greater degree of flexibility in how you deal with those rights going forward.

What would be the best way to break an act these days?
It’s back to immediately being able to build your website first, then communicating and interacting with your fans. Even if you only have 50 email addresses when you start, if you’re any good that will increase. Create your MySpace and Facebook pages because someone will see you and want to go to your website. When they get there you want them to be one click to anywhere they need to go. If they want to buy something, it’s one click. If they want a ticket, it’s one click. If they want to read the bio or see the photos, it’s one click. But in the end, it’s your songs and your performance that’s going to drive the traffic.

What you still never get away from is that it’s still about a song and it’s still about a performance of that song. Can you play that song in front of your audience however large or small and create the "WOW Factor?“

Is a CD necessary these days?
It still may be. People tell me that they sell 50 or 100 CDs at a show. If you control your content, sell X number of CDs, X number of T-shirts and merch, and stay on the road, you can make a pretty good living. You may not be a household name but you’ll have a really strong fan base, you’ll know who they are, and you’ll be able to communicate with them. The fan/consumer is the piece of the puzzle that you really need.

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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

The Cost Of Buying A Song

You have a lot of choices as to which online distributor to use to distribute your music, but you're going to make more money on iTunes than anywhere else simply because they charge more.

As the chart on the left shows, of the 6 most prominent music download distribution sites, it costs the consumer more to buy 10 albums from iTunes than any other site as reported by Ed Bott on ZDNet.

But despite the better deals from other distributors, iTunes still holds a commanding lead in market share, with 69%. That used to be because iTunes had the largest selection, but that's no longer true. According to eMarketer in a January report of this year, iTunes had  roughly 11 million tracks in its catalog, Amazon 10 million and Lala offered 8 million (Lala is now owned by Apple). Rhapsody, eMusic, and the Zune Marketplace each have 6 million tracks to choose from.

Even though iTunes holds the lead in market share, that doesn't mean you should discount the other distributors. It's likely that iTunes will continue to lead in the near future, but you may see the others begin to catch up as consumers become aware of their benefits. Cdbaby and Tunecore are still your best bets when planning your distribution campaigns, since it's the easiest way to reach every distributor, both online and with physical goods.
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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

6 Tips On How To Grow Your Online Audience

Here are some great tips from Bill Flitter from a recent Mashable post about growing your online audience. Although his post wasn't entirely on that subject, I thought that the following part of the post was especially poignant.

6 tips on how to grow your online audience (my comments are in italics):
  • 1) Use Hashtags: If you are posting to Twitter, add a hashtag to improve your SEO value. We've discussed this in a few recent posts. Check out this post about hashtags if you're not familiar with the concept.
  • 2) Use Strong Headlines: Spend extra time writing great headlines. Pack them full of topical words that search engines will find (but don’t overdo it). But make sure that your keyword phrases are still relevant to your post, which is the hard part.
  • 3) Recycle: With the amount of content flowing in the stream, something is bound to go unnoticed. Send out your most popular content again. Add a label to it, like “Most Popular Today…” It may attract someone new. It's best not to send too many posts or tweets, but this does work.
  • 4) Use Paid Distribution: If your budget permits, take your most popular content and syndicate it outside your personal networks through paid promotion. We'll spend more time on this topic in an upcoming post.
  • 5) Use Widgets: Widgets are an easy way to display popular content across different sites and remind your audience which social networks you participate in. We'll spend more time on this topic in an upcoming post.
  • 6) Use E-mail: Don’t forget about e-mail. Some people still prefer to get messages that way. Once again, this is a topic we've discussed many times before. Email should be your #1 way of reaching out and touching your fans. Here are several posts about email to check out: 4 Reasons Why Your Email List Is Still Important, Email Service Providers And Why They're Necessary, and 5 Tips For Building Your Email List.
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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

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