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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Two New Print Ad Technologies That Will Blow Your Mind

It seems to be common knowledge that print is dying these days as magazines, books and newspapers decline in sales. Here are a couple of new technologies now being tried out in print advertising that definitely announce that print isn't dead just yet.

The first was a small thin video playback engine placed in 1000 copies of the current issue of Entertainment Magazine. I'm told that it costs 55 cents per unit, and was used only as a test to gauge the reception. Very cool.



The next one will appear in the the Oct. 15th issue of Sports Illustrated and is something that Lexus developed in-house called CinePrint that's hailed as an "interactive" advert. I'm not so sure about the interactivity, but it sure looks amazing.



I'm not so sure that I'd buy the magazine just for this kind of tech, but I'd certainly pay attention to the advert. If anyone has any inside info on either of these, please let me know.

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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, October 10, 2012

Japan Gets Draconian On Piracy

Jail image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
If you're living in Japan and illegally download a file, you can now face up to 2 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000, thanks to a change in a law that was passed in 2010. But it's those who illegally upload a copyright infringing file that really have to worry, as the punishment is now a maximum of 10 years in prison and $125k fine. In theory, this punishment can be enforced over a single pirated file.

You can bet the music industry in countries around the world will be looking closely at how this law pans out. On one hand it seems incredibly harsh, and on the other, something so extreme might be the only way to stem the tide of illegal downloads, especially on the upload side.

If you listen to the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), Japanese consumers illegally downloaded 4.36 billion music files illegally in 2010, while legally buying 440 million. The sounds suspiciously like the 10 to 1 ratio that the US RIAA has been using for some time (although sometimes they resort to an even higher 20 to 1 ratio). And as we all know, the RIAA's strategy of suing their own customers was a total failure as it didn't work and only resorted in very bad publicity for the industry.

But that was a civil matter, and while it carried some significant financial pain, there was no risk of going to jail. By changing this to a criminal matter, there is a different mindset involved as long as consumers are aware of the risk.

The question will be how the Japanese population will respond once its first 15 year old is sent to jail.

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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, October 9, 2012

Music Sales Up This Year

Digital Music Timeline image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog While music sales in the US have been rather flat for the last few years, it appears that the music industry has now climbed past the plateau.

 According to Nielsen Soundscan, digital albums are up 15% this year so far and individual digital track sales are up by 6%. In fact, Americans have already purchased more than 1 billion downloads this year and are on a pace to to break the 2011 record of 1.3 billion.

On top of that, vinyl record sales are up 16.3%, although that only equates to about 3.2 million units, a drop in the bucket compared to other music products.

So what can we contribute this surge to? Decreased piracy? Maybe. There's been great strides made against torrents this year and as a result fewer illegal downloads have been tracked.

Better music? This could also be the case. Adele's 21, for example, is still going strong, and a Grammy win in the beginning of the year helped propel that album to heights we've not seen in a while. Plus there have been fewer weeks where the #1 record was below 100k in sales this year.

What do you think?
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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 8, 2012

Top 10 Facebook Artists

This is kind of interesting. Thanks to Facebook's recent purge of Likes, there's been a realignment in the service's best-liked artists. And the winner is - Rihanna.

Not only has she dethroned Lady Gaga as the top female celeb, but she's also surged on other social networks as well, where she's second behind Justin Bieber on YouTube, and fourth behind Gaga, Bieber and Katy Perry on Twitter.

Here's the current top 10 chart, courtesy of Mashable and Starcount.
Top 10 Facebook Artists image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
The only things I can say about this chart is that if you remember that Facebook has over 1 billion global users now, it puts these numbers a little more in perspective.

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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 7, 2012

Facebook Posts Cheat Sheet

Facebook image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
I've been writing about the best times to post on Facebook and Twitter here for a few years, and as we get more granular data we continue to determine what works best when it comes to posts from a brand (don't forget, every artist is a brand). Buddy Media just released a study of over 18,000 Facebook pages from the world's biggest brands to determine the following "cheat sheet" for wall posts.
  • Posts between 8PM and 7AM get 14% higher interaction because they present fans with content when they're the least busy.
  • Posts published on the weekend get a 14% higher interaction rate than during the week.
  • Post only once or twice a day. Brands that post more see 19% less interaction.
  • Keep it short. Posts of 80 characters or fewer receive 23% more interaction.
  • Use photos. Posts with photo attachments receive 39% more interaction than posts without.
  • Be careful with video attachments. Video attachments receive fewer likes, views and shares than average.
  • Call to actions work. When fans are asked to like a post, they do so at 3 times the rate than when they're not asked. The also comment at a rate more than 3 times times the norm. When asked to share a post, they're 7 times more likely to do so.
  • Long URLs work better. Always include a URL including a link to your product, but use a long URL since it receives a 16% higher interaction rate.
  • Use questions to drive comments, but be sure to place the questions at the end of the post. Posts with questions have 92% more comments.
  • Experiment with emoticons. In some cases, emoticons can provide as much as 52% higher interaction, while in other cases, the interaction can be lower than average. :D and :P have the highest interaction rates.
These are all fascinating data points and worth considering before any post. You can download the full report here.

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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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