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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The New Digital Music Mechanical Royalties

Digital Copyright graphic on Music 3.0 blog
Don't look now but the a new mechanical royalty rate for digital media is coming. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), and the Digital Media Association (DiMA) have all settled on an agreement that will cover how digital media creators and their representatives will be compensated from 2013 through 2017. The agreement still has to be approved by the US Copyright Royalty Board, but at this point that seems to be just a formality.

The agreement generally keeps the music publishing royalty status quo of 9.1 cents per song download, per song on a CD or other physical formats, 24 cents per ringtone, and the complex formula for subscription and streaming formats, but also adds 5 new categories:
  • Paid Digital Music Locker Services providing on-demand streaming and downloads like those supplied by iTunes and Amazon, where music publishers will now get a mechanical royalty rate of 12% of revenue or 20.65% of total content cost, or 17 cents per subscriber, whichever is greater.
  • Free Digital Music Locker Services that include a download purchase, music publishers will receive a mechanical royalty rate of 12% of revenue or 22% of total content cost, whichever is greater.
  • A new term for a category called "Mixed Bundle" which could include a locker service, limited interactive service, download or ringtones combined with non-music product like a cell phone, consumer electronics device or Internet service would provide music publishers a royalty of 11.35% of revenue or 21% of total content cost, whichever is greater.
  • Another new category called "Limited Interactive Service," which is when a subscription service offers a limited amount of music to a single genre or playlists that the user can access at a lower price, will pay publishers 10.5% of revenue, 21% of total cost, or 18 cents per subscriber, whichever is greater. 
  • And yet another new termed category called "Mixed Bundles," which is when a CD comes with a download, publishers see 11.35% of revenue or 21% of total content cost.
How publishers get paid for these scenarios has been a very contentious issue over the last few years, but the new categories seem to insure that the writer and publisher will get paid in those circumstances where they didn't before. That said, the above figures come mainly from the industry association's own press release, so there are a lot of details that are yet unknown. I'm sure we'll revisit the topic many times as more info becomes available.

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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, April 11, 2012

The Viral Music Player

Here's an interesting applet that looks like a great deal. It's called the Viral Music Player (VMP) and is the brainchild of Interscope artist and online marketing expert John Oszajca.

There are a lot of music players out there, but what makes VMP different is that you can configure it so that the listener has to share one of your links on Facebook or Twitter in order to unlock a download. The player can be configured in multiple ways and link to a CD Baby or iTunes track, or even make the track free, if you're just going for exposure.

It looks pretty simple to configure, and a breeze to install since it's just a piece of html code that you can slip onto your website, blog, Facebook page, newsletter, or just about anywhere online. If people like your song, it then becomes super easy for them to share with other friends, who hopefully will share with other friends, etc.

Check out this video on VMP, or go to the official site to see and hear John explain everything you wanted to know about the player. Also, let me know what your experiences are.




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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, April 10, 2012

Search Engines Are Getting Social

Google +1, Facebook Like, Twitter Tweet Buttons on Music 3.0 blogNow that both Google and Bing have admitted that they've been using social indicators as far back as 2010, it's time to consider your social presence as part of your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. The fact of the matter is that the number of times that people have "liked," "tweeted," or "+1'd" a given page definitely helps the page ranking during a search.

Search engines view the number of likes your page gets as an indicator of your website's popularity and usefulness, so it's pretty obvious that if you can increase that number, then your ranking will improve. It's obviously not the only factor in the page ranking, but it's quickly becoming one of the main ones. It's not only search engines; your website's visitors also use these indicators as a sign of trust.

But you can't get likes if you don't have a button on your site. You can get some easy copy-and-paste buttons via AddThis or ShareThis, but you can also get them directly from the source.
Facebook Like - http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/
Twitter Tweet - https://dev.twitter.com/docs/tweet-button
Google+http://www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/+1/button/index.html
Nows the time to add these buttons if you've not done so already. Your page ranking might depend upon 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.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Timing Email And Blog Posts

distorted time graphic on Music 3.0 blog
I've posted a lot on the timing of Twitter and Facebook posts, but here's a list of timing considerations for both email newsletters and blog posts, courtesy of Dan Zarella, the guru of social media timing.

Sending Emails:
  • Open rates are higher on the weekends since subscribers have more time to pay attention.
  • Most opens occur between 5 and 7AM.
  • Clickthrough rates are highest on the weekends.
  • Unsubscribes tend to happen within the first few emails after someone subscribes.
  • Sending emails directly after a person subscribes is very effective, since they're paying close attention.

Blog Posting:
  • Most blog reading occurs in the morning, declines in the afternoon, and revives at night.
  • The most page views are on Monday, and dip slightly on the weekend.
  • Blog posts published at 10 to 11AM tend to get the most views.
  • The highest level of blog comments comes in the morning around 7 to 8AM, and on the weekends.
  • Posts on Mondays and Thursdays get the most links. Posts on Friday through sunday get the least.
  • Blogs posted early around 6 or 7AM get the most links.
  • Blogs that post more than once a day get more views and links.
Remember that these are trends and might not apply to your particular audience. The best way to proceed is to use these timings as a starting point, then experiment to see if another time works better. It's easy enough to schedule blog posts or emails to do so, just make sure that you have enough of a sample size before you make any ironclad decisions on exactly what's working.

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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, April 8, 2012

A Closer Look At Facebook Friends And Posts

Facebook posting habits from Music 3.0 blogWhile Facebook can be considered one of the major social networks world-wide, it may not have as much influence with many of its users as you're led to believe.

A recent study by recommend.ly found the following interesting facts after looking at more than 1.7 million Facebook pages:
  • more than half of Facebook users (56%) have less than 256 fans.
  • 31% have less than 32 fans.
  • musician and band pages have the highest average of fans per page at 12,406, while spa pages have the lowest, with only 1300.
  • 65% of all posts are status updates that don't contain a link or media.
  • 82% of all pages have less than 5 wall updates a month (see the infographic).
What's more, the study found that there are 2 factors that are important when it comes to growing a Facebook audience:
  • Content that is relevant, engaging, timely and posted on a regular basis.
  • Rich media (like videos) embedded in your content.
Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank that determines what items populate your News Feed. This assignes a value to every post based on affinity (the relationship between the Friend and the user), weight and time. Weight is determined by the type of story, if it contains rich media, and any comments it might have. Time is when any action (like a comment or like) might have been taken.

Photos rank as the most valuable and powerful content that you can post, followed by videos and then link.

EdgeRank personalizes Facebook for each reader, so it's possible that many of your friends may not see every post that you make unless you follow the guidelines to keep things interesting. Just like with blogging, email newsletters, or any promotional online, you really have to keep it interesting to not only keep the audience that you have, but to grow it as well.

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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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