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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chuck D Wants His Royalties

Chuck D image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
We all knew that this was going to happen, that sooner or later the floodgates would open. Now Public Enemy frontman Chuck D has filed a class-action lawsuit against Universal Music Group in U.S. District Court in Northern California on Tuesday, alleging that the music giant has short-changed its artists and producers in licensing deals for digital downloads and ringtones. The suit alleges that Universal owes its artists "hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties" because of the discrepancies.

This was all thanks to the fact that Eminem's production company, FBT, won a decision against UMG over what amounts to the definition of ownership of a digital file. FBT claimed that UMG owed them a lot more money for each download sold because a digital file sold by iTunes or Amazon MP3 is actually a license. UMG insisted that regardless of whether it's a CD, vinyl record, or digital file, Eminem's music is part of their distribution deal. Eventually UMG lost the decision, and now we're going to see more and more artists suing to take advantage of decision.

The difference between a license and royalty is pretty great. An artist can expect only between 10 and 20% (if they're lucky) of the revenue from a digital sale under a normal royalty agreement, but 50% under a license agreement.

According to Chuck D's claim, UMG's current method of accounting pay artists and producers $80.33 for every 1,000 downloads, when the correct amount should be $315.85 per 1,000. For ringtones it's even more drastic. UMG's current accounting method yields $49.89 per thousand downloads, as opposed to the $660 per 1,000 that the suit claims is actually owed.

You can expect that UMG is going to go down fighting, but this might be already lost. I bet that their strategy is to try to outlast them in court, but if Chuck D wins, UMG might be in big trouble. It could be the beginning of the end for the biggest record label still left standing.
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You should 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, November 2, 2011

Increase Your Social Media Efficiency

Center of Your Online Universe image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
If one really delves into social media marketing, it becomes readily apparent that there's probably not enough time in the day to do it well and still maintain an active music life. It can get overwhelming as to just how much time online promotion takes if you do it well, but that's also a common complaint that I receive - "I can do social media or I can do music, but I can't do both."

Luckily there are solutions. Here's one from the 2nd edition from my Music 3.0 Internet Music Guidebook.

"A common mistake that artists who manage their own social-media assets make is to have too many focal points (like YouTube, their Website, their blog, Twitter, and Reverb Nation, for example) all residing in different places and requiring separate updates. You can imagine how tough it is to keep every one of those sites updated regularly! Worse is the fact that it’s confusing for the fan, who just wants a single place to visit. Yet another problem is that you may be collecting email addresses from each site and they may all be going on different mailing lists.

The solution is to use one site (usually your Website) as a your main focal site and use that to feed daily updates and info to all the others via RSS or social-media broadcast tools like Dijit (dijit.com) or Ping (ping.fm). This means that you only need to do the work of updating a single site, with all the others getting updated at the same time.

The second component of this management strategy would be to have all of your satellite sites (blog, Facebook, and so on) designed in such a way to feed your social media viewers into your website (see Figure 8.1). At a bare minimum, the email registration of each satellite site should feed into the same list as your main site."

Yet another way is to use a helper program like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite and schedule all of your posts so you only have to do it once a day. I do this first thing in the morning and schedule both tweets and Facebook posts for various time during the day and evening. 10 minutes in the morning takes care of it. The only problem is that they don't service Google+ yet, which means that posts to that network must still be done manually, which is still a pain.

Remember that efficiency is the key to making social media work for you and still be a musician. Use your tools wisely and you'll be back to making music before you know it.
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You should 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, November 1, 2011

A Visual Search Engine Comparison

As you probably know, Google dominates the search engine market but there are may users that also use Bing and Yahoo as well. Here's a great infographic that compares the big 3, but beware of a few of its conclusions. One of the predictions is that Bing may overtake Google in time, but I don't think there's much evidence of that happening myself.

I should say that I mainly use Google, but also others like Quora, Wolfram Alpha and Dogpile when I'm doing research. It's surprising how different the results can be, so don't be stuck using just one.

Tope 3 Search Engines image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Source: Comparison of the Top Three Search Engines: Bing+Yahoo > Google? [INFOGRAPHIC]

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You should 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, October 31, 2011

8 Rules For Facebook Engagement

facebook image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Here's an excerpt from the upcoming 2nd edition of Music 3.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age, which will be available on November 15th. This is a list of 8 rules for Facebook engagement. I've posted this before with only 5 rules, but rethought it for the book and expanded the list to 8.
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"A white paper about Facebook engagement from the research site Buddy Media Platform provided a number of interesting points gathered in a report is called Strategies For Effective Facebook Wallposts: A Statistical Review.

In the study they determined the 5 Rules for Facebook engagement, which are:

  1. Keep your posts short and sweet.
Posts of 80 characters or less have 27% higher engagement rates.

  2. Think twice before using URL shorteners. Engagement rates are 3 times higher using full-length URLs.

  3. Post when people are listening. Posts outside of business hours (10AM to 4PM EST) have a 20% higher engagement rate.

  4. Some days are better than others. Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday than the other days of the week, but Saturday and especially Sunday are good too. This can vary by industry though.

  5. Avoid the noise of Monday. There's too much going on after the weekend.

You can add a few more to this list that exactly parallel the email and Twitter advice.

6. Keep your posts relevant.
You’re trying to promote your brand so stay on topic.

7. Don’t post unnecessarily. Too many posts can cause your fans to tune you out.

8. Keep the interaction high. Ask your fans for their opinion and advice. It will not only keep them involved, but you’ll immediately feel the pulse of the tribe.

If you're posting to keep in touch with your friends or to let them know what you're doing, then this data is of no consequence to you. But if you're posting strategically to promote your brand, then follow the above for better fan engagement."

You can read additional excerpts on this and all my books on the excerpts page at bobbyowsinski.com 
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You should 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, October 30, 2011

Social Media Marketing Works!

Here's another great infographic from Mashable, this time on some social media marketing numbers. This time it looks at numbers from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and location based services like Foursquare.

It also compares 6 social media campaigns and shows the results. No doubt about it, social media marketing works!

Social Media Marketing Numbers image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
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You should 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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