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Thursday, July 22, 2010

How To Check Your Backlinks

One of the best pieces of information you can have is exactly who is linking to your site. Backlinks are one of the best ways to move up in search engine ranking, so the more you have, the better. It's also great to know exactly what people are saying about you as well. Here are a couple of cool ways that you can  check those backlinks.

First, let's go to Google. Go to the query window and type "links:yoursite.com" (excluding the quotes) and you'll see all some of the backlinks to your site. Here's an example for my main bobbyowsinski.com site below.

This isn't perfect because it doesn't show all the links to your site by Google's own admission (not sure why), but it does give you an idea of who likes you enough to backlink to you.


Yahoo also has a nice backlink checker called Site Explorer. Simply plug in your site on the top left as shown below. After you hit the "Explore URL" button, click on the second button right below "Results" as outlined. There's all your links! I've cut mine off at 9 here, but you get the idea.




Enjoy exploring your backlinks.

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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.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Top Earning Musicians Of 2010

Every year Forbes magazine releases their top 10 best earning musicians. The chart runs from July 1 2009 to June 30, 2010, which ends up being important as you'll see. Keep in mind that the Forbes figures are NET, not gross amounts.

1. U2, $130 million (the cancelation of their North American tour was mostly after the end date)
2. AC/DC, $114 million
3. Beyonce, $87 million
4. Bruce Springsteen, $70 million
5. Britney Spears, $64 million
6. Jay-Z, $63 million
7. Lady GaGa, $62 million
8. Madonna, $58 million
9. Kenny Chesney, $50 million
10. Black-Eyed Peas, Coldplay and Toby Keith (tied), $48 million

Here are some interesting notes about the list:

1) Most of the income is from touring, which should be of no surprise if you read this blog with any regularity.

2) A third of the list is under age 30, so it's not all about dinosaurs anymore.

3) 40% of the list are women, and it could have been higher if the period would've have lasted a little longer, since Pink would've made the 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.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A New Marketing And Distribution Idea Twist

Here's a new twist on an older music distribution and marketing idea. Garage-pop band Killola is joining forces with digital concert distributor Aderra to create USB Dogtags as a way to sell unique merch items to their fans and provide the group with a another way to instantly connect with them. How? Fans who purchase the $40 Dogtag not only receive the band’s new album, but also their previous two on the same flash drive.

But here's the new angle. Fans plug the USB drive into their computer to receive exclusive updates from the band including new songs, remixes, live recordings, music videos and photos, which is also the basic idea of the different digital album formats like MusicDNA, CMX and Cocktail, which I talked about last year on my Big Picture blog. It's a great way to utilize the Music 3.0 connection with the fans that have a Dogtag, and for them to connect back.

So the basic premise is pretty good if you already have fans. If you're a new band however, you're better off just giving the things away to try to establish that fanbase. One of the cool things about providing music on a USB drive is that hardly anyone ever turns one down, since they're pretty useful whether you want the music or not.
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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.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Take On How Music Videos Have Hurt Music

We all know that music videos were responsible for changing the primary emphasis of most record labels from artist development to image development, but it seems that there's more to it than that.

In an interesting email to music industry gadfly Bob Lefsetz, former MTV exec Bob Wilson (who was also the founder of the now defunct industry trade magazine Radio & Records), talks about some of the research that the network did when it first began in the 80's. Among the surprising items they found that appear to have had a profound effect upon current music:
  • Music is personal and a song means different things to different people (although we intuitively knew that already). When you put visuals to a song, the visuals over-power the personal meaning and everyone "sees" the same thing, which also de-personalizes the music.
  • This visualization of music makes songs burn out much faster than just hearing them.
  • Live performances are perceived differently since the mind sees them as "events."
  • It usually takes 5 to 6 times for a person to hear a song and like it enough to buy it.
  • "MTV doesn't play videos any more and the Internet has moved in to replace the new music void for those that crave new music. Things have changed but the way the brain takes it all in remains the same. The Internet allows a person to hear a song as many times as they want - whenever they want -- which should reduce the time to the purchase cycle -- especially when they can purchase and download the song they like from the source they are listening to it on..rather than have to make a trip to a record store. I think it will take some time and more research to monitor this but as you say - the model is changing."
Wilson goes on to say, "I believe history will prove the MTV period to be the beginning of the end of what music used to be to each of us." We already knew that, but perhaps we didn't really know the reason why.
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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, July 18, 2010

Anatomy Of A Concert Ticket Price


Ever wonder where all the money for that concert ticket goes? I'm not so sure that this chart will tell you, since it comes from LiveNation and it's obviously skewed to their needs. There might even be some truth to it from the standpoint that the real moneymaker at a concert has become the parking and concessions, since the act gets most of the door.

Here are some other figures (I don't know if I'd call them facts) from LiveNation by way of Digital Music News.
  • The average LiveNation ticket price in North America increased 3 percent to $49.80 in 2010. The talent percentage was 74%, down 1% from 2009.
  • Internationally, the average price was $54.30, and the talent percentage 55% (down 1%).
  • The drive to relax ticketing prices is on. LiveNation indicated that 10% of tickets will be discounted in some fashion this year, up from 6% in 2009.
  • Among the discounting weapons, 4-packs and $10 lawn seats were cited as the most aggressive sales drivers.
The concert business is in a tough spot this year, with many marquee acts having to cancel some shows for lack of sales (The Eagles and Christina Aquilera to name a couple). LiveNation is in the business of getting people in the seats, so they'd rather give the tickets away (or at least steeply discount them) to get the parking and concessions. But that just upsets the people that paid full pop for the ticket, which will make them less likely to buy the next time around. And people still hate the service charges (I personally won't go to a concert anymore if I have to pay them).

This situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
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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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