Wednesday, December 30, 2009

7 Music Business Predictions For 2010

Yesterday I posted a number of predictions for the musical instrument and pro audio industry on my Big Picture blog, so today I wanted to post a few pertaining to the music business. As with my other predictions, they're based on a bit of inside knowledge, a few rumors, and my ability to read the tea bags.

1) Subscription music gains a bit more traction. Subscription service Spotify debuts but they'll be crippled due to oppressive licensing deals with the major labels and a cash flow problem. However, music lovers get more and more used to subscription - and they like it. 2010 is not the year subscription reaches critical mass though, because........................

2) Apple waits it out. Apple now has the infrastructure to launch a subscription service since they bought LaLa, and they're just the 800 pound gorilla to push it over the top. Not in 2010 though, as they squeeze one more year of downloads out of the iTunes store. 2011 will be a different story altogether.

3) Social media management becomes an issue. No artist has enough time in the day to adequately manage his social media strategy. Hell, most of them don't even have a social media strategy at all! But the demands of social media finally outweigh the demands of making music, and the artists rebel. As a result......

4) A new class of social media company arises. In 2010, you'll see companies that are dedicated to managing all the social media of an artist so the artist can get back to making music. Sure, there are a few companies like that now, but most of them tend to specialize in PR, or site, MySpace and Facebook design. This new class of company will concern itself only with social media management, and will remove the burden from the artist for better or worse.

5) Record labels get smarter. Let's face it, we like to paint these guys as stupid and out of touch. Sure, many of them are, but there are a lot of bright, passionate people still in the music business and they're learning fast what it takes to give the public and the artist what they need. Look for some surprisingly hip initiatives from labels big and small in 2010 (and a bunch of incredibly stupid ones too.)

6) Concert ticket prices come back to earth. You can only soak the people so many times even in good times, but when times are tough the pocketbooks close quickly. Major artists begin to realize that fans just don't want to see them every year, especially when they could be paying the rent or the mortgage or putting food on the table with the money instead. In 2010, the whole concert industry begins to wise-up and understand that the only way it can survive is by offering tickets at Chevy prices instead of a Ferrari.

7) Twitter takes a fade. It's happening already - there's more and more spam on Twitter and it's been hacked too. And more goofy, inane posts by people that should know better. Why would you think in your wildest dreams I'd be interested in the fact that you just bought a muffin at Starbucks? In 2010, the pushback begins.

Let's see how these work out. Happy New Years and thanks for reading everyone!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

11 Interesting Moments For The Music Industry In 2009

2009 was filled with numerous interesting moments for the music industry as Music 3.0 kicked into high gear. Here are some significant events from last year, in no particular order:

1) Social Media - 2009 became the year that everyone in the music business - from label execs to artists - realized the true value of social media and began to work it hard.

2) Twitter - This was the year that Twitter became a real force in the artist's social networking toolbox as artists large and small in stature reached out to their audiences. While acts like Coldplay and Pearl Jam kept it business-like, artists like John Mayer stayed personal enough to the point where you felt like you knew him. And Justin Bieber even caused a riot by an errant Tweet from his label.

3) Concert Attendance Takes A Hit - Long thought to be immune from financial downturns, attendance dropped everywhere in the concert business as even major artists played to less than sold-out audiences. Concert promoter LiveNation even offered "No Service Charge Wednesdays" and tickets for as low as $5 to get meat in the seats.

4) Virgin Music Closes - Even though they were still profitable, music retailer Virgin Music closed it's last 6 stores, discovering that the real estate was more valuable than the merchandise inside.

5) iTunes Variable Pricing - Apple acquiesces to the major labels and institutes 3 tiered pricing. Industry pundits battle, profit increases but sales drop. Who wins?

6) Box Sets Get Innovative - Major artists take Trent Reznor's lead and release box sets, with one more elaborate than the next. AC/DC even packages their merch inside a working amplifier (see side graphic).

7) Subscription Nears The Turning Point - With the subscription service Spotify gearing up to launch in the US in 2010, the industry gets the feeling that the public is finally ready to embrace subscription music. Is the feeling unfounded? We'll know shortly.

8) Apple Buys LaLa - In what may be a precursor to an iTunes subscription service, Apple purchases the hybrid service LaLa.

9) Music Games Slump - After dominating the game scene and becoming an unexpected income source to labels and artists alike, the music game business took a sales hit as new versions of Rock Band (even by The Beatles) and Guitar Hero struggled.

10) Secondary Ticketing Exposed - The long time practice of reselling held-back concert tickets through scalpers finally came to light, with major artists like Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi (among others) taking big hits to their reputations. No wonder you can only get the best seats from scalpers.

11) CD Sales Come Back A Little - In December, CD sales come back like it's 2005 as multiple artists sell in the 100,000's per week. Susan Boyle comes out of nowhere to sell nearly 3 million in a month, closely followed by Andrea Bocelli.

It was an interesting year. Let's hope 2010 is just as interesting.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Shift From Music 2.0 To Music 3.0 In The 2000's

The music industry changed in oh so many ways in the 2000's. What started as a decade of business more or less as usual has terminated in a business in upheaval. Somewhere in the middle is where the industry transitioned from Music 2.0 to Music 2.5, then finally to Music 3.0.

In case you've forgotten how I've broken down the era's of the music business, here they are:
Music 1.0 - the first generation of the music business where the product was vinyl records, the artist has no contact directly with the record buyer, radio was the primary source of promotion, the record labels were run by record people, and records were bought from retail stores.
Music 1.5 - the second generation of the music business where the product was primarily CDs, labels were owned and run by large conglomerates, MTV caused the labels to shift from artist development to image development, radio was still the major source of promotion, and CDs were purchased from retail stores.
Music 2.0 - the third generation of the music business that signaled the beginning of digital music, piracy ran rampant due to P2P networks but the industry took little notice as CD sales were still strong from radio promotion.
Music 2.5 - the fourth generation of the music business where digital music became monetized thanks to iTunes and later, others like Amazon MP3. CD sales dive, the music industry contracts and retail stores close.
Music 3.0 - the current generation of the music business where the artist can now communicate, interact, market and sell directly to the fan. Record labels, radio and television become mostly irrelevant and single songs are purchased instead of albums.
As we entered Y2K (don't hear that term much any more) the music biz was sure that it could handle the onslaught of digital music in the form of MP3's. It was convinced that it could combat the piracy, CD sales, while not at all time highs, still remained strong, and radio and television were as important as ever for promotion. We were in the heart of Music 2.0.

2001 saw the first of many daggers to the heart of the music business, this one from an unlikely source - the computer industry - as Apple introduced iTunes. Little did the major labels know what was in store for them as they all made deals with Apple, which then released the iTunes Store in 2003. That was the year the music biz transitioned to Music 2.5 as digital music became monetized for the first time.

Although MySpace and Facebook were created later in 2003, it wasn't until later in the decade that they would become the key to the transition to Music 3.0. By 2007, artists everywhere discovered that they could reach out directly to their fans and their fans could reach back, which was the beginning of Music 3.0 and where we stand now.

Today's artists have so many possibilities that they've never had before, from producing their own music, to finding and developing an audience, to marketing and selling directly to that audience, to listening and communicating with their fans - all with ease and little expense. That's what Music 3.0 has to offer. But it sounds easier than it is, since all these possibilities still require good old fashioned work.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Top 10 Pop Christmas Songs

This has nothing to do with Music 3.0, but it is a great way to celebrate the Holiday.

Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The 4 Kinds Of Free

Yesterday's post was about how quite a few major artists are not taking advantage of the new digital economy, most notably the "economies of free," which is the theory that if you give something away for free then it will incentivize the receiver of the free product to come back and purchase something else.

I thought it was a good time to explain this in more detail, since the economies of free is a central premise in the new music business economy (especially for a young artist). Wired Magazine'Chris Anderson offers the following video description of the theory with "The 4 Kinds Of Free."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top Artists Still Not Distributing Digitally

One of the tenants of Music 3.0 is a theory called "The Economies of Free." It's an odd theory and one that's counter-intuitive because it states that the more you give away for free, the more you end up selling. Think of it as if someone gave you a sample of a chocolate chip cookie in order to entice you to buy more chocolate chip cookies. That's what's happened with music in the era of Music 3.0 - the more easily it's available for free, the more you're likely to increase your market size and as a result, the more copies you'll likely sell as well.

That's why it's so surprising that some of the biggest artists of the last 40 years still have not made their music available for digital distribution.

The list includes:

* The Beatles


* Garth Brooks

* Bob Seger


King Crimson

Kid Rock (some limited licensing, including album-only Rock N' Roll Jesus on AmazonMP3)

Def Leppard (some limited licensing, including songs from the Sparkle Lounge)

One of the reasons that these acts have never released their catalogs on iTunes is the fact that they don't want to break up their albums into a la carte offerings, but the primary reason is their fear of piracy. Perhaps if they understood the Economies of Free, they'd change their minds and see their sales increase.

Monday, December 21, 2009

7 Critical Marketing Basics Every Musician Should Know

Industry pundit Derek Sivers (who's also featured in my Music 3.0 book) had his "7 Critical Marketing Basics Every Musician Should Know" reposted by If you don't already know, Derek founded CD Baby, but also spent time at publishing giant Warner Chappel so he definitely knows the biz (he was a touring musician as well). But maybe the most interesting thing about Derek is he's a great student of marketing and how traditional marketing applies to musicians.

Here's his 7 marketing basics.

Lesson #1 - A Marketing Golden Rule: It’s about THEM Not YOU
When he was a student at Berklee College of Music, Derek was attending a music business lecture. Before the lecture started, he overheard his professor whispering to guest speaker Mark Fried from Warner Chappell Music that there would be no time to eat before the lecture and it was a 3-hour talk. Mark was looking hungry and there had clearly been a miscommunication about eating before the class started. So, Derek slipped out of the room to a pay phone and ordered pizza for Mark and for the entire class. Forty-five minutes into his lecture, Mark was eating pizza with the class and was extremely grateful to Derek (who was one of many students in the room) who went out of his way to help him.

After the lecture, Mark gave Derek his card and told him to keep in touch, which Derek did for the remaining 2 years he was at Berklee. When he came to New York he would meet Mark for coffee and their friendship grew. A week before his graduation, Derek called Mark to ask if there were any jobs at Warner Chappell opening up. Seven days later Derek had a job working at Warner Chappell in the tape room.

The pizza took Derek one phone call and $25 and it secured him a job in the music industry. There were probably 45 students sitting in that lecture hall that day and he was the one who ended up with a relationship with Mark and in the end…a job.

Lesson #2: Unsolicited Actions Will Get You Nowhere
While working in the tape room at Warner Chappell, Derek got to see first hand what it looks like from the inside when indie musicians send unsolicited music to a publishing company. Warner Chappell is a large publishing company that was not looking to sign new artists and Derek saw the packages arrive by the dozen on a daily basis. From this he learned exactly what never to do.

Lesson #3 - No One Is Coming To Save You In The Music Industry
If you hire anyone to be on your team, no matter what they are doing for you, you must understand that that person is your hired partner. You will both have to work to achieve your desired result. This is especially true in the realm of social media and online marketing.

Lesson #4 - Marketing = Consideration
Reach People the Way You Want to Be Reached. Stop thinking of it as Marketing and start thinking of it as creative ways to be considerate. Begin to pay attention to other artist’s messages and notice what works on you. The considerate thing is to be so novel and creative and innovative so that people say, "You have GOT to see / hear this musician play!"

Lesson #5 - Sharply Define What You Do
You cannot slice through the world’s attention if you are using a blunt knife and you will most definitely be blunt if you are trying to be all things to all people. Your message must be sharp and pointed. It’s OK to exclude 99% and have 1% worship you! Be unapologetic in your bluntness.

Lesson #6 - DIY Does Not Mean Do It All Yourself - Decide It Yourself
DIY does not have to mean do it all yourself. Doing it all yourself will surely set you up for exhaustion and will leave you no time to be creative. Decide It Yourself - you call the shots but you MUST learn how to delegate, put your fans to work and get things off of your plate.

Lesson #7 - It’s Who You Know Mixed With How You Persevere
Everything major that happens in your career starts with someone you know. Get used to staying in touch with hundreds of people with blogs and with your newsletter. It’s a psychological shift in your head but once you can make it you can be very very effective staying in touch with many people. This is the miracle of technology.

Make yourself meet 3 new people every single week: Do this by picking up the phone - people get hundreds of emails and dozens of phone calls.

TIP: AVOID saying the words “pick your brain” to anyone. That says, "I want something from you"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

4 SEO Tips For YouTube Marketing

YouTube can be used as an effective marketing tool, but you must observe some search engine optimization (SEO) techniques in order to be successful. Sure, it's possible your video could be a big viral success without them, but the chances of that happening are something like winning the lottery.

In these following examples, imagine that your band is called "Emerald" and you want to post a video from a live gig at the Lone Star Club.

Before you post that video, make sure that you’ve:
  • Named your video something descriptive. “Emerald at the Lone Star Club video 1/9/09” is good. “” is not descriptive at all so your video will never get added by the search engines and your fans won’t find it.
  • Choose your keywords based on your title. In this case the keywords would be “Emerald” and “Lone Star Club.” Keep your keywords to 4 or 5 since anything more could be construed as “keyword stuffing” (using every keyword you can think of in hopes of getting ranked by a search engine) and you might get penalized as a result.
  • Make sure that your description contains the same phrase as your title. For example, “This video features Emerald at the Lone Star Club on January 9, 2009” is a good description, although a bit incomplete.  Something like “Here’s our band at the Lone Star Club” wouldn’t be as effective because it omits the keyword “Emerald.” The description is critical to SEO so the more info you can add (150 to 200 words), the better.
  • Be sure that you put “video” at the end of the title because sometimes people search just for videos.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Email Service Providers And Why They're Necessary

In the last post, I stated how important it is to have a master email list to keep in touch with your fans in these days of Music 3.0. I also briefly touched on email service providers (or ESP's) like iContact, WhatCounts and Constant Contact and a little on why they're essential partners needed for maintaining your master email list. What I didn't touch on was the biggest reason why using one is a necessity.

When I wanted to send one of my first email newsletters to a list of only about 1200 (which seemed large  at the time but is really tiny in grand scheme of email lists), I was astounded to find that my Internet Service Provider (ISP) wouldn't allow me to send to more than 200 addresses simultaneously from my company account. That meant that I had to split my list up into 6 batches, which made the job take a lot longer than it should have. After a number of calls to AT&T, I discovered that just about every ISP limits the number of email addresses that can be attached to an email in an attempt to keep spam in check, yet I knew that there were companies that sent emails to millions of addresses at time every day. How did they do it?

Then I found out about email service providers. ESP's have a deal with the ISPs to screen their customers to keep the spam count low, and the only limit to how many addresses you can send to is how much money you want to spend. The greater the number of email addresses, the more it costs.

ESPs are way more useful than just providing basic email delivery however, and are definitely worth the money in that they:
  1. clean your list for you, which means they automatically delete any old non-existent addresses (you have to do it manually if you use your personal email client, which is a big drag time-wise).
  2. provide a means to measure how well your email did in terms of open rate, click-throughs and pass-alongs and a lot more
  3. provide a means to easily subscribe and unsubscribe to the list (again, much more difficult to do manually)
  4. provide a host of pretty good looking HTML templates that you can use to easily design a professional looking email blast
Most ESPs offer more services than the main ones mentioned above that you can check out for yourself. As I said, you get charged more as your address volume increases, but some of them are free if you're just starting and only have a few hundred. Even with a volume that low, it's so much easier to use an ESP than your own email client. Try it. You'll wonder how you ever got along without one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

4 Reasons Why Your Email List Is Still Important

While the popular trend is to think that email is so "last year" for communicating with friends, fans and business partners as social networks like Facebook rise in popularity, it's a lot more important than you think in the grand scheme of Music 3.0.

In fact, your email list is one of the most powerful tools you can have because you control the message, and if done well, it can feel a lot more personal than communicating via Facebook or Linkedin or any of the other popular networks. Those two factors are important, but being able to control the consistency of your message is even more so.

For most artists and businesses today, the problem becomes how to effectively communicate with all of your "friends" and contacts, because social networks are a closed environment by nature. That means that you have a set of friends on MySpace and another set on Facebook and yet another on Twitter, and maybe even another set on an email list that you might already have, so your workload reaching them all has not only quadrupled, but the look and feel is inconsistent because of the nature of the network. If you're not consistent in your presentation, you're not controlling the message.

Those are already three points in favor of having an email list, but perhaps the biggest problem with social network communication is measurement. One thing that email can provide that social networks can't is sophisticated measurement of when the mail was opened, if it was opened more than once (even if it's reopened again a year later), how long it was read, and if it was passed along, among many other measurements. Obviously your personal email client on your computer can't do these things, but it can't easily reach out to thousands of people as well. That's why you need a service like Constant Contact, WhatCounts, or iContact, all of which also have the added convenience of constantly cleaning the list of bounces and outdated addresses (we'll discuss email service providers in a future post).

So now you can see why it's so important to capture any friend or contact info from those social network where you have a presence onto a master mailing list:

1 - communication control
2 - consistency of the message
3 - a more personal feel
4 - measurement

So if that makes sense, the next question becomes, "How do I get social network contacts on to a master email list?"

It's easy but takes a little work. When someone friends you on a social network, communicate with them and ask them to please sign on to your mailing list. Promise that you'll only send something of value to them when you email them and be emphatic that you won't spam them, then stay true to your word.

In a future post we'll look at some of the upcoming new email features that can help your click-through rates, as well as take a look at suggested email frequency and the ideal content.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

3 Reasons For And Against Digital Music Subscription

It seems like everyone in the music industry now believes that the subscription model will be the ultimate solution for digital music and the inevitable direction that the industry will take. Subscription means that you pay a basic fee like $10 - $15 per month and then are able to access any song you want whenever you want where ever you want.

This view has been held by those inside the industry for a long time, but I really didn't get it until recently. In helping my partner clean up the hard drive on her laptop, we were eliminating everything that was outdated, already backed up, or simply no longer needed. After much work there was still wasn't much drive space reclaimed, so I took a look at her iTunes folder. Sure enough, she had well over 20 gigs of songs! At that moment, I understood that subscription was the future of the business.

Here are the reasons that I believe it will work:

1) It's a lot more cost-effective for the consumer. As industry pundit Ted Cohen states, “For $10 a month, you can get 10 songs on iTunes or 10 million songs on Napster.”

2) Managing a lot of songs takes time and a lot of storage space for the consumer (see my story above).

3) There's potentially a lot of money to go around - much, much more than the business is generating today. The potential buying public in the US alone is 100 million. If only 50% of those subscribed at $10 a month, that's $500 million a month spread around to everyone in the business. The consumer will never be happier and the industry will grow overnight.

Here are the reasons against it:

1) It's hard for people to get over the idea of "renting" music after buying it for almost forever.

2) Most artists are afraid of subscription. Oh, they like the idea of steady income every month, but as of yet there's no way to ensure they'll actually see any of it. Most fear that the labels will take the lions share of the money and the artists will not see their fair share.

3) It's a publishing nightmare. As of now, the artist and publisher split a grand total of .18 cents (less than 1/4 of a cent!) each time a song is streamed. Most publishers claim that they now get statements that may be 5 phonebooks high of reported streams that add up to maybe $12, of which they only get to keep $3. In other words, it costs way, way more to process the paperwork than they're capable of making in it's current form. It's great that you can get the type of granular information about number of plays that publishers always hoped for, but they'll never sign off on subscription until they stop losing money on the deal.

I'm convinced that subscription digital music will eventually take over the business. Already Rhapsody has nearly 800,000 users and Napster has 700,000. The upstart Spotify has over a million subscribers in Europe alone (it's not available in the States yet due to licensing issues, but it's coming in 2010) and is getting rave reviews. But as our friend Ted Cohen says, "If iTunes announced subscription tomorrow, we’d be over the hump."

We keep hearing rumors that might happen, and with Apple's recent purchase of LaLa, they seem to have the infrastructure in place. Stay tuned as the digital space continues to be the most interesting part of the music business.

Portions of this post came from a previously published post on from about 6 months ago, but it's even more relevant now.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Curious Case Of SuBo

Earlier in the month we had a post about how the CD was still a major part of the music business, despite all the gloom and doom that you read. Now we have the curious case of Susan Boyle to add to the mix.

If you've been living in a cave, Susan Boyle came to fame by turning an appearance on the the British version of American Idol into a viral video sensation, and that eventually turned into a major label record deal with Columbia. While not many in the industry gave her much of a chance for selling big numbers, here she is, selling CDs like it was 1999 again.

SuBo has defied the odds and sold a astounding (for 2009) 1.5 million of "I Dreamed A Dream" in 3 weeks since the CD's release in the US, and another 1 million in the UK. Sales forecasts predict it should hit at least two million in the US by the end of the year, and will probably be the biggest selling hit by a female artist this year. All in a little over a month!

SuBo wasn't the only one selling, with Andrea Bocelli's "My Christmas" nearing a million in sales after 3 weeks, as well as a host of more contemporary artists like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood all selling more than a hundred thousand a week. Just to show you how significant these figures are, there were weeks during the year when the number one record sold around 50 to 60,000 units, so when multiple artists break 100k for several weeks in row, that's significant.

Does this mean that the CD business is coming back? No way, it's declining and will continue to do so, but perhaps at a slower rate than predicted. Sure, a lot of the sales (especially for SuBo) has to due with curiosity and seasonal buying patterns, but he takeaway here is not to take the CD lightly as a product just yet. Fans buy it for the same reason they ever did - as a souvenir, a measure of their fandom, or just a way to be cool. It doesn't matter what the reason, they still buy. And it's a fact that some demographics (like hip hop, metal, country and christian) buy a lot more than others since they're still somewhat adverse to digital music.

What this means is that in Music 3.0, artists at any success level have to be distribution agnostic and treat all music containers (either digital or a plastic shiny disc) as simply vessels that get their music out to the fans. You can't become attached to only one. They're all important.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Most Overlooked Part Of A Website - The Press Section

I'm constantly amazed at the number of brands (which includes artists and bands as well as companies) that don't have a proper "Press" section on their website that contains all the information that a journalist or blogger might need when writing a story. I speak from personal experience as a writer in that I'm always surprised with I can't find on a typical site, instead of what I can.

Many brands think that just having a list of press releases is enough, but they're sadly mistaken (especially when the releases are not well organized to begin with, which is so sadly typical). You have to make available anything about your brand that you think might be needed no matter how mundane, because sometimes the smallest item can make the biggest difference in how the article is written.

Here are the essential items that every website press section should have:
  • High resolution color and black and white photos that can be used for print. Yes, print is dying, but it's still with us and can have a huge impact. You never know when you or your product will get a mention in a newspaper, magazine or book.
  • Low resolution color photos and graphics for websites and blogs. A picture says a thousand words and you'd rather someone use one of yours on their blog or website than just supplying a link. Make it easy for them, but giving them a variety to choose from.
  • Your logo. It's surprising how often this is overlooked, but it's just as important as your photos and other graphics.
  • A biography. Maybe you have an "About Us" or "About Me" section on the website or blog, but a more complete bio, or even a link to it from the press section, makes finding background info about you, your band or company a lot easier for the writer. The easier it is, the more likely it will be used.
  • Quotes from the media. Great quotes about you or your product are also big with writers, since it adds credibility. Limit the quotes to those that are unique though. 10 quotes that all say the same, "You're the greatest," have a lot less impact than one, but it's OK to use it if it says the same thing in a unique way.
  • Links to any interviews. No need to have the entire interview on your site as a writer will probably not read it unless he needs some additional facts that he can't find anywhere else.
  • Scans of just 3 or 4 of your best press clippings. Once again, less is more. 10 press clippings that say the same thing tends to actually diminish credibility. 3 or 4 seems about the right number to add to give the writer sufficient information.
  • PDF of adverts, promo flyers and posters. This has a dual purpose in that its additional info for the writer but can also be used virally by fans. Many "superfans" will print these out and distribute in their area if asked (more on this in an upcoming post).
  • Web ready graphics and banners in a variety of sizes. If you're doing any online campaigns (either advertising or fan-based viral), these can make it quite easy to be up and running in no time since everything is readily available.
  • Press releases. These are only helpful for a writer if they contain enough background information on a subject so details are important. It's also easier for a writer if they're grouped by type (personnel, products, events, etc.) instead of by date.
It’s a fact that the easier you make it for a writer or an editor, the more likely you’ll get covered. Having these tools easily available will increase your chances of getting media coverage.

By the way, I don't believe in making this info only available to writers approved by management. Make it available to everyone as it can lead to unforeseen viral opportunities. Just keep it up to date (I know, this is difficult), and your press section is good to go.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top Selling Albums Of The 2000's

Here we are at the end of the decade and it's a good time to take a look at just who sold what during the transition from Music 2.5 to Music 3.0.

Believe it or not, The Beatles had the top-selling album of the 2000's with their greatest hits package "1." The album had sales of over 11,448,000 copies since its release in November 2000, according to Nielsen SoundScan’s decade-end sales numbers. The Fab Four sold a combined 30 million units during the decade.

But rapper Eminem was the 2000s’ top-selling artist with 32.2 million combined in sales, with two albums in the decade’s Top 10 - The Marshall Mathers LP selling 10,195,000 and Eminem Show right behind it at 9,789,000.

It used to be that a real bona fide hit was pretty much guaranteed to sell diamond (10 million sales), but only ‘NSync’s No Strings Attached (11,111,000) and Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me (10,523,000) managed to hit those numbers along with The Beatles and Eminem.

But what really showed the decline in CD sales was that only two albums released in the years between 2005 and 2009 managed to get in the Top 20 of the 2000s’ bestsellers - Nickelback’s All the Right Reasons and Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts at 14 and 17 with sales under seven million.

Flo Rida’s Low was the 2000s biggest-selling digital single, while Coldplay’s Viva La Vida was the best-selling digital album.

Wonder what the numbers will look like at the end of the next decade?

Bestselling Albums of the Decade
1. The Beatles - 1 - 11,499,000
2. *NSYNC - No Strings Attached - 11,112,000
3. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me - 10,546,000
4. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP - 10,204,000
5. Eminem - The Eminem Show - 9,799,000
6. Usher - Confessions - 9,712,000
7. Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory - 9,663,000
8. Creed - Human Clay - 9,491,000
9. Britney Spears - Oops! ... I Did It Again - 9,185,000
10. Nelly - Country Grammar - 8,461,000

Bestselling Digital Singles of the Decade
1. Flo Rida feat. T-Pain - "Low" - 5,214,000
2. Lady Gaga feat. Colby O'Donis - "Just Dance" - 4,690,000
3. Jason Mraz - "I'm Yours" - 4,619,000
4. Timbaland feat. OneRepublic - "Apologize" - 4,439,000
5. The Black Eyed Peas - "Boom Boom Pow" - 4,349,000
6. Soulja Boy Tell'em - "Crank That" - 4,315,000
7. Lady Gaga - "Poker Face" - 4,200,000
8. Coldplay - "Viva la Vida" - 4,140,000
9. Taylor Swift - "Love Story" - 4,005,000
10. Katy Perry - "Hot N Cold" - 3,945,000

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

3 Pillars of Effective Social Networking

Here's a great post from the Networlding blog called The 3 Pillars of Effective Social Networking. It's not referring to digital social networking however, but to real physical social contact - as in one-on-one personal interaction.

This blog violates a number of digital social marketing principles though, as all I know is the author's name is Melissa, since there's no background about her anywhere that I could find. It seems that she assumes that you know who she is already, which can be a big mistake.

Good post though, about the 3 R's (recognition, referrals and revenue) and the 3 C's of making a referral:

"People love recognition, referrals, and revenue.
Make a referral, but hope you get back:
  1. Credit (for the referral, especially when other people use your contact for their benefit, they should give you public credit for the introduction)
  2. Contacts (that can help you and your business)
  3. Compensation (If and when appropriate)"
Great advice that applies online or good old-fashioned person to person.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Real Reason Why Apple Bought LaLa

By know everyone has heard that Apple has bought the semi-subscription service LaLa and there's a lot of industry speculation as to why. I'd like to give you my personal speculation, but first some background.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who knows anything about the digital music business has predicted for some time that digital downloads would give way to subscription at some point. The reason? Why pay $10 to download and own 10 songs when for the same amount (approximately) you can stream millions of songs any time and anywhere you want. While subscription service Rhapsody has set everyone up for subscriptions and Spotify threatens to gradually put it over the top (whenever it finally reaches the US), it's pretty much a given that the digital music world would change to subscription overnight if Apple suddenly offered it.

Although it seems that subscription isn't exactly in Apple's best interest since it takes in a lot of dough by selling downloads, iTune's profit margins are razor thin and the downloads from the store primarily act to promote sales of Apple's hardware. Would that profit margin be any better with subscription? Would it serve the same purpose promote iPods?

That's what makes LaLa such an interesting purchase. LaLa isn't exactly a subscription service and it's not exactly a download service - it's a hybrid. First of all, it's streaming from the "cloud" (that's a network that stores all the content online - see the picture at left), not a download, but it's the pricing that's interesting. The customer can listen to any song for free once, but has to purchase the right to listen to it again for 10 cents. You have the right to listen to that song forever and ever thereafter.

So for Apple, it's the best of both worlds. It's in the streaming business, it's still gets individual purchases (although at a reduced rate), and it'll have the infrastructure and brainpower to implement a true subscription service at a later date if needed. Sounds like a win to me.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

10 Major Milestones In Modern Music Marketing

Bruce Houghton wrote a nice post on his ever entertaining Hypebot blog some time ago about the 10 major milestones in modern music marketing. It's hard to argue with any of these, and they all are certainly milestones in some way, shape or form. I've added my comments in italics afterwards where appropriate.

In no particular order:

1. Seth Godin writes "Permission Marketing" way back in 1999 pointing the way towards a new era of artist and fan relationships. I personally thought that his book "Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us" is more of the milestone, but Permission Marketing certainly ranks right up there.

2. CD Baby offers indie and d.i.y. artists a home to reach a wider audience on the net.

3. The Arctic Monkeys parlay internet pre-release buzz into the fastest selling debut album in UK history.

4. OK GO proves the power of YouTube with an ultra-low budget "treadmill" video "Here We Go Again."

5. TuneCore tears down the last barriers to distribution offering low flat fee no strings attached access to the worlds top digital stores.

6. Radiohead releases "In Rainbows" asking fans to pay want they want for the download.

7. Trent Reznor grosses $1.6 million in first week sales by offering fans options from $5 to a $300 limited edition package of his latest Nine Inch Nails release "Ghosts". Whether it's calculated or just an inherent feel for Internet marketing, Trent is the master and deserves to be on any top 10 list.
8. Jill Sobule asks fans for help recording her new album raises more than $80,000. Pretty good considering she was only looking for $75k and could've raised more had she not cut the offering off.
9. David Byrne & Brian Eno release a new collaboration via Topspin. While more evolutionary than revolutionary, this was one of the first well planned and executed releases that took full advantage of modern music marketing techniques with impressive results.

10. Amanda Palmer made $19,000 in 10 hours on Twitter proving the music marketing potantial of micro-blogging platform.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Great Way To Raise Your Twitter Follow Numbers

Photographer Scott Bourne wants to increase the number of Twitter followers he has so he's come up with a pretty good idea. Scott is holding a contest to win a Canon 5D mk II and a Canon 7D SLR camera. All he wants you to do is follow him on Twitter, and send out a single tweet regarding the contest.

Scott is asking his contest entrants to tweet only once in order to observe Twitter etiquette and avoid spam, and he's very careful to spell that out on his entry page. He also careful to spell out any possible problems that might occur either because of the entrants location or ethics.

This contest is a very clever use of social media, but it's clearly only part of Scott's strategy. He first wants to raise his follower numbers, then he'll be able to market to those followers later. He might not even want to directly market to them, instead just informing them and keeping them close as fans (he'll undoubtedly get some because of the contest) and market to them through his web site or blog. Either way, the contest is a winner.

Can you do something like this to improve your social media presence?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The CD's Not Dead Yet

As much as you hear about the traditional music business being dead, I'd be careful about believing it yet. A new study by the measurement company shows that the CD may not be as spry as it used to be, but it's still alive and more well than you might think.

The Mint chart on the left shows a number of items well worth noting:

1) The spending per transaction for CD's were way ahead of digital, which was expected, but by this much? (a CD retailer that also owns the Sam Goody's brick and mortar chain) raked in $34 per transaction, CD Baby was $22, and the closest digital distributor was the subscription service Rhapsody. Surprisingly, iTunes brings up the rear with only $7 per transaction. That's deceiving though because it means at least 6 purchases per transaction (depending upon the price point), which is far ahead of the others.

2) iTunes transactions per month are climbing, and at a much higher rate than their digital music competitors, especially from January to July 2009. It seems that all that competition is hurting iTunes' competitors a lot more than iTunes.

3) CD sales are declining in relation to digital sales though, and that number is still accelerating. 34% of total music sales is in the digital domain, but that means that 64% are still CDs, so don't give up on the physical product just yet.

4) The reasons for the decline in CD sales are confirmed by a new study by Harvard Business School Associate Professor Anita Elberse (not seen on the Mint chart) which states the obvious:

"when consumers start buying music online, they switch from buying full albums to cherry-picking their favorite songs...each album no longer bought is "traded in" for one, perhaps two, individual songs"

"a drop of around one-third of the total weekly sales across the album and its associated songs is directly attributable to people switching to buy music online"

All of which means that when you only buy a song or two instead of a CD or two, total music sales income suffers. But we knew that already.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Current Music Industry Seen Through A Single Royalty Statement

Here's another one out of the Lady GaGa digital royalty statement mold of last week. It's a great post from the band Too Much Joy regarding a royalty statement they received from Warner Records shown on the left.

The band owes Warner's in excess of $395,000 in order to recoup the costs of doing 3 records for the label in the early 90's. That's a large amount of money, but not the item that makes the post interesting.

The interesting part is the fact that the band received only $62.47 from digital earnings. Now you might think to yourself that this is perfectly reasonable, given the fact that the albums are more than 10 years old, except for a couple of things.

Tim Quirk, one of the members of Too Much Joy, is VP of Programming for the streaming digital music service Rhapsody, so he knows exactly how many plays they received and how much money was paid to Warners. The band also knows that they've received more than $12,000 from digital sales for their 4 indie albums, so why shouldn't their 3 major label releases earn more than $62.47 (this was their first accounting ever for digital sales)? And finally, there are no earnings from iTunes in their statement (the other pages are not posted, but they indicate in the post), the largest digital retailer of them all.

When Tim actually calls Warner's for an explanation, he get comments like "we have to take care of R.E.M and the Chili Peppers first," "$10,000 is nothing!" and "Too Much Joy never made us shit!" But yet Warner's owes the band a full accounting according to their contract (and every other), regardless of how upside down they are. After all, how do you know who owes who unless you get a full accounting?

With an attitude like that, it's no wonder why bands stay as far away from a label as they can in the new Music 3.0 world. Why bother? They once served a purpose in that you really needed them to bankroll your recording. You needed them to distribute your music and promote it too. There was no way you could do it by yourself.

Until now, that is, because the world has changed. You can make your own music for mere thousands of dollars instead of hundreds of thousands, and you can market, promote and sell your product just as well as any label can online (but not traditionally), and potentially make a lot more than $62.47 as well. At least you won't end up owing hundreds of thousands of dollars with no hope of every recouping.

Check out the full article on the Too Much Joy blog site for a good read with a lot more details than given here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

8 Of The Best Social Media Tools

Here are 8 of the best social media tools available for musicians. Actually these are from a post on Mashable specifically designed for entrepreneurs, but if musical artists aren't entrepreneurs than no one is (especially in the Music 3.0 era). The original post contained 10 apps, but 2 of them didn't apply to the needs of an artist.

8. Monitter is a service that monitors Twitter mentions in real-time in a multi-column interface reminiscent of TweetDeck. Measurement is an important part of M30, so any tool that provides some idea of how well a social media post connects is invaluable.

7. YouTube - it seems pretty obvious, but YouTube can be used for so much more than music videos like interviews, online press kits and virtual after-show parties, among many other things.

6. UserVoice can help track and manage the feedback of your users and customers.

5. MailChimp is an online email service that offers list management, tracking and analysis, and custom HTML templates for up to 500 subscribers and 3000 emails a month for free.

4. Get Satisfaction provides a forum where your fans can get answers to questions, solutions to problems, and submit feature and new product requests.

3. Twitter - it's more important than ever and this post on Mashable will give you links to best practices and tips for using Twitter.

2. Facebook - another one that everyone knows but not everyone takes best advantage of. Read the post on Mashable for helpful hints.

1. Basecamp is a great and cost-effective web-based tool for project management and collaboration that features to-do lists, milestones for important due-dates, file sharing, blog-style messaging, wiki-style writeboards, and time tracking. It's the perfect app for a busy band that has to juggle recording, rehearsals, tour dates, and social media management.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Justin Bieber and Tweet Fever

Who says Twitter doesn't reach your fans? Everyone found out how powerful Twitter really is a couple of Friday's ago as popular 15 year old pop star Justin Bieber's tween fans caused a near-riot at Long Island’s Roosevelt Field Mall while waiting in line for autographs. The Canadian singer was promoting his new album My World at the clothing store Justice.

So what does that have to do with Twitter?

Kids and their parents began lining up at 9 a.m. hoping to receive a yellow bracelet that would allow them to meet Bieber, but trouble started a couple of hours before the 4 o'clock event as the crowd got restless. The scene caused Bieber to tweet: "They are not allowing me to come into the mall. if you dont leave I and my fans will be arrested as the police just told us. The event at roosevelt mall is cancelled. please go home… I dont want anyone hurt."

But Jim Roppo, the IDJ label’s senior VP of sales, eventually was arrested after he allegedly sent out Internet messages to over 3,000 fans that Bieber was still signing autographs even after police dispersed the crowd.

In the wake of the incident, Island Records issued a statement: "Over 10,000 screaming fans showed up and the police and fire marshal concluded it was an unsafe environment and prohibited the event from taking place."

But Roppo spent the night in the cooler and could face charges that include reckless endangerment, criminal nuisance, obstruction of governmental administration and endangering the welfare of children because he didn't tweet that the appearance was cancelled.

Which all seems to point to the fact that Tweeting is a pretty good way to reach fans, but never leave crowd control in the hands of a salesman.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Top 10 Advantages Of Social Over Traditional Media

Here's a great post on the advantages of social over traditional media from Hubspot via marketing guru Simon Mainwaring.

Social media is the hub around which the Music 3.0 wheel turns, and the following provides some reason why.

As traditional and social media duke it out for the leadership role in commanding consumer attention, it’s worthwhile to highlight some of the undeniable benefits of social media. Here are ten that quickly come to mind. My comments in italics.

1. Cost: There are almost no barriers to entry in creating or distributing social media content. Or put another way, beyond your time and production costs, it’s almost free. (Still need the other nine reasons? OK.) And that single piece of content ricochets around the web indefinitely with no additional expense unlike TV, print or radio. The cost of time can be significant though, so that must always be kept in mind.

2. lntimacy: Traditional media necessitates broadcasting to thousands or millions of people at once robbing it of the specificity and dialogue that can be achieved through social media. Fans of any type want a personal interaction with the artist or brand, especially since they see it's now possible - another M30 fundamental.

3. Targeting: A key advantage of social media is that it can be far more specific in terms of isolating exactly who that brand or product wants to talk to. What’s more, consumers share the load by constantly sourcing information and products of interest and distributing them to others. Why broadcast to those who have no reason to care about you? Such a waste of time and money.

4. Nimbleness: One of the unique advantages of social media is that it allows brands to adapt to consumers buying and sharing habits almost instantly. Traditional media necessitates sizable (and often prohibitive) investments by corporations who then can’t react as quickly as market requires. While big media buys will probably never go away, they're far less necessary than ever before thanks to social media.

5. Measurement: Traditional media has to rely on long-term measurement tools to gauge the effectiveness of brand messaging. With social media that measurement can be almost instantaneous as the customers respond to brands and each other across networks, platforms and apps. When that response is negative, a brand has the chance to course-correct quickly minimizing damage to the brand. As the old advertising saying goes, "50% of advertising works, we just don't know which 50%." The age of that is now over.

6. Newness! Consumer preoccupation with whatever is new is hardly unique to social media. Yet as a function of its ability to constantly evolve in response to consumer demands, social media retains the sheen of “new” re-engaging consumer attention. With traditional media content can change but the format of distribution changes little and slowly. In marketing, "new" is more about what's current. It's far, far easier to be current ("new") using social media.

7. Exponential: As difficult as it is for a brand or product to thread the viral needle, the potential for exponential growth is almost unlimited and repeatable at a low cost. The problem here is that you never know exactly what will become viral. Still, at least the prospect of exponential viral growth is always available, while it's possible but pretty unwieldy with traditional media.

8. Participatory: As soon as the barriers to content creation approached zero, consumers quickly stepped into the vacuum and began participating in the commercial dialogue. It’s as if the longstanding presumption of traditional advertising that brands and consumers were in dialogue has finally come true thanks to real-time communication tools. Once again, true fans, super-fans, "tribe" members crave interaction, especially since they now know it's possible.

9. Proximity: Time and distance have virtually disappeared as a barrier between consumers around the globe. As such, social media has created a global, connected community like never before. That opens up enormous potential for success or failure depending on how well brands understand the new dynamics in play. We are truly in a global economy, especially if social media is used.

10. Future: Just as advertising dollars have followed consumer eyeballs online, they will shortly follow consumer adoption of mobile community (enabled by smart phones) as the new defining social media dynamic. While new rules of engagement will appear and consumers will increasingly be defined by where they are (hello, Foursquare), much can be divined about how to prepare for the future from current social media practices. Social media evolves quickly so you must stay on top of the latest evolutional trend to take advantage.

What other advantages to social media do you see?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Music 3.0 News Roundup

Happy Thanksgiving for those of you who celebrate it. Here's a roundup of the relevant Music 3.0 (M30 - "em 3 oh" - for short) new thanks to Bruce Houghton's fine Hypebot blog:
  • 30,000 Internet Users to Receive File-Sharing Cash Demands - As many as 25,000 BT and 5,000 customers of other ISPs will be receiving shock letters demanding big payments during the coming weeks. Lawyers in the UK have been granted more court orders which force ISPs to hand over the details of individuals who they say have been monitored sharing hardcore pornography. (TorrentFreak)
  • The Business Of Lady Gaga: She isn't the music industry's new Madonna. She's its new business model. (Forbes)
  • Spotify plans to rock the U.S. digital music landscape early next year. (LA Times)
  • Hulu U.S. video streams soar almost 50% in October, Google’s YouTube flat. (VentureBeat)
  • Ted Cohen (one of the contributors in my Music 3.0 book) on Midem: "Sixty Days Out, So Much To Think About". (MidemNet)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The New Music Publishing Reality In Music 3.0

Music publishing has always been the quiet, but steady money maker of the music business. Even though it's perhaps the least glamorous of just about any part of the entertainment industry, it made its participants vast fortunes. The real money makers of hit records were always the songwriters and publishers and not the artists, a fact that few are aware of unless you're actually in the business of songwriting. That's what makes the new publishing reality in Music 3.0 so important.

Before Music 3.0 (the era of paid digital music), it was pretty easy for a songwriter and publisher to make money if the records or CDs were selling. Each song on an album brought in 9.5 cents, which the songwriter and publisher would split (called a mechanical royalty). That means if a writer had 10 song on an album, he would generate $.95. Multiply that by a few million and you have some real money. Plus the song would generate additional revenue when played on the radio (called a performance royalty), as determined by a rather obtuse allocation of a larger pie paid to either ASCAP or BMI.

In Music 3.0 (M30 for short), that's all changed as the post regarding Lady GaGa and her earnings of $169 from Spotify for one million plays indicated. While a paid download from a digital distributor like iTunes still pays the same 9.5 cent mechanical royalty, a stream pays only $.0018 in 2009 with an increase to $.0019 in 2010! That's less than a fifth of a penny per stream!!

Now by my calculations, that should still end up being $1800 that Lady G should have generated so the 169 bucks seems way off, but it does illustrate an important point about publishing in M30. Many publishers are terrified that a subscription model of digital music (where you pay $10 a month or so for as much music as you can stream) will be adopted. The reason? Greatly diminished mechanical royalties, and less that a fifth of a penny generated for every stream played.

Indeed, publishers are finding that their administration costs in accounting for streams are far greater than the income generated, and that's the heart of the matter. In streaming, the creative part of the business (artist, songwriter, and by proxy, publisher) look to be making a whole lot less income than in a download world. Plus, most artist's record label contracts don't adequately cover how much of what the label takes in from streaming will actually be paid out to the artist, so you can bet that it'll be the very least amount possible, or even less. All this adds up to a new music publishing reality in M30.

But it's not all bad. Publishing does have its bright spots and we'll cover the ways the a writer can make money in M30 in the next post.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lady GaGa's $169 Spotify Payment - The Music 3.0 Relevance

There were many articles and posts circulating the Web yesterday regarding the fact that Lady GaGa only received $169 in payments from the online streaming music service Spotify for 1 million plays for her song "Poker Face" (check out Hypebot for the story). Today Spotify fires back that they paid much more than that but are unable to provide the exact figure due to a privacy restriction.

First of all, I understand why Lady G's people are making a big deal of this. It's their job to make her all the money they can (especially while she's hot), and of course, the more she makes, the more they make. For an artist like her, it's in no one's interest, not her management, not the record label, not her publisher, to settle for a small amount like this. After all, a tentpole artist for a major label works under a different set of rules than everyone else.

But the Music 3.0 perspective wouldn't be about the $169, it would be, "Wow, 1 million plays!" In Music 3.0 (we'll call it M30 - em three ohh - because it flows better), the music is simply the carrot that entices the consumer to buy the other, more profitable goods that an artist has. In other words, Lady GaGa will make more money on touring and swag then she ever would on only the sales of her music, regardless of whether it's 2009 or 1989. On top of that, the popularity of her music makes other big money ventures like movies, possible for her.

In M30, music is the calling card. It's a commodity with fewer and fewer hard costs involved (yes, I know there are some and what they are - that's for another discussion). Your intention is to give it away in order to find an audience. Once you've developed your "Tribe" (as marketing guru Seth Godin calls your superfans), they'll happily pay more and more for rarer and rarer merchandise like box sets, exclusive backstage passes, or after-show party invites (to name just a few). The more the music gets out, the more likely the artist is to sell the items that really make her money.

Keep in mind that from the beginning of recorded music time, this was always the case. Even during the heyday of record sales in the 70's 80's and 90's, most major artists made the vast majority of their incomes and fortunes on the road, not from record sales (they did make major money on publishing if they were the writers - something we'll cover in future posts). In M30, the idea is to get your music out there any way possible, and free online is the same as free on the radio, which was once the driving factor in record sales and artist popularity. If you give it away, more people will be exposed to your music. If you make a little money on music sales, consider it a bonus.

Next post, we'll cover the publishing aspect of Lady GaGa's $169 from Spotify, where you'll find a completely different perspective from that point of view.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Meet The Contributors To Music 3.0

Like my other books, Music 3.0 would be nothing without the contributions of some of the most respected voices on the cutting edge of different aspects of the current music business.

Let me briefly introduce them to you:

Ted Cohen - Known throughout the technology and music industries as being "part ambassador and part evangelist," Ted Cohen has been on the cutting edge of digital music from its inception. Currently a managing partner of the industry consulting firm TAG Strategic, Ted is one of the most influential voices in digital music today and can be seen speaking on the subject worldwide.

Richard Feldman - A very successful songwriter, producer and Grammy winner with platinum and #1 records to his credit, Richard is the CEO of a music library publisher called ArtistFirst Music and the president of the Association of Independent Music Publishers. Richard comes to publishing from the point of view of a musician and songwriter, and he has a unique perspective on the changes that M30 brings.

Larry Gerbrandt - An expert on entertainment analytics, Larry Gerbrandt’s Media Valuation Partners advises its clients on the economics of media and content on traditional and emerging technology platforms. Formerly a Senior Vice-President with research giant Nielsen Analytics, Larry provides a wealth of experience in entertainment market research that we’re pleased we could tap. Get ready for some interesting and insightful facts and figures regarding sponsorships, branding and advertising - all the things necessary to monetize M30.

Bruce Houghton - Bruce Houghton started his highly influential Hypebot blog because he wanted to better understand the changes in the music business in order to help educate the clients of his Skyline Music agency. Since then, it’s become a must-read for anyone at any level of the music industry. Bruce’s keen observations come not only from being a highly prominent blogger but as a booking agent working in the industry trenches every day.

Thom Kozik - A seasoned tech industry executive for over 20 years, Thom Kozik has spent considerable time on the gaming side of the tech industry, having served as president of gaming search engines Wazap!, and All-Seeing Eye, (which he sold to Yahoo in 2004), before he became Director of Business Development for Yahoo!’s Media Group. Thom now serves as Managing Director for Bigpoint, one of the largest gaming companies out of Europe.

Gregory Markel - One of the pioneers of search engine optimization and marketing, Gregory Markel’s Infuse Creative touts major entertainment clients such as Gibson Musical Instruments, New Line Cinema, The National Geographic Channel, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the television show 24, and many more. As a recording artist formerly signed to Warner Brothers (and a great singer too), Gregory has a deep empathy for the plight of today’s artist and provides an abundance of social media advice in his interview.

Rupert Perry - 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, to president of EMI America, to managing director of EMI Australia and later, EMI Records UK, to president/CEO of EMI Europe, 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, Nigel Kennedy, Robert Palmer, Pink Floyd, Queen, Radiohead, and Cliff Richard. Rupert is well up on the latest technology and trends within the music business and shares some surprising contrasts between the old business and the one we’re in right now.

Ken Rutkowski - Ken Rutkowski is widely considered to be one of the most informed and connected people in the media, entertainment and technology markets today. His daily radio and Internet show, World Tech Round-Up at, is a source of inside information for listeners in more than 40 countries, often scooping the major media and giving perspective to emerging trends, developments and industry maneuvers. Ken is also the creator and guiding force behind the Media Entertainment Technology Alliance (METal), a members-only group of alpha influencers.

Derek Sivers - Derek Sivers' life has certainly been interesting so far, from working as a musician/ringleader of a circus to a stint at the publishing giant Warner/Chappell to being on the road as a touring musician to creating and running CD Baby, one of the most widely used music distribution services today. After selling CD Baby in 2008, Derek now spends his time thinking of new ways to help musicians. As you’ll see, his insights are as thoughtful as they are cutting edge.

Howard Soroka - I first met Howard Soroka when he was the primary programmer for the famed GML recording console automation system some 25 years ago. Since then, Howard’s gone on to being more executive than programmer, rising to vice-president of media technologies at Universal Music Group's eLabs. Always on the cutting edge of technology, Howard had some great insights on the digital workings of the world’s largest record label as well as a look into the future of the music business.

Jacob Tell - Jacob Tell’s Oniracom is a new breed of company that provides a full line of digital media services to artists, labels and management.  Helping artists in the digital space before there was a YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook, Jacob has watched the development of Web 2.0 and learned how an artist can best take advantage of it along the way.

Michael Terpin - Michael Terpin is the founder of SocialRadius, a marketing and public relations company focusing on social media outreach and strategy. Among the projects that the firm has worked on include the outreach for recording artist’s Yes We Can video for the Obama campaign (which won 2008 Emmy, Global Media and Webby awards), social media event marketing for Live8, LiveEarth, the Green Inaugural Ball and the David Lynch Foundation, and the social media launch of start-ups ranging from to Shapeways.

As with my other books, the full interviews are included because they're not only insightful, but a fun read as well. As an example, here's an excerpt featuring Infuse Creative's Gregory Markel.

Thanks once again to all contributors!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Welcome To Music 3.0

This is a new blog I've started in order to discuss the new way the business of music is being done. Music 3.0 represents the most current of 5 generations of the music business, which is broken down as follows:

Music 1.0 - the first generation of the music business where the product was vinyl records, the artist has no contact directly with the record buyer, radio was the primary source of promotion, the record labels were run by record people, and records were bought from retail stores.

Music 1.5 - the second generation of the music business where the product was primarily CDs, labels were owned and run by large conglomerates, MTV caused the labels to shift from artist development to image development, radio was still the major source of promotion, and CDs were purchased from retail stores.

Music 2.0 - the third generation of the music business that signaled the beginning of digital music, piracy ran rampant due to P2P networks but the industry took little notice as CD sales were still strong from radio promotion.

Music 2.5 - the fourth generation of the music business where digital music became monetized thanks to iTunes and later, others like Amazon MP3. CD sales dive, the music industry contracts and retail stores close.

Music 3.0 - the current generation of the music business where the artist can now communicate, interact, market and sell directly to the fan. Record labels, radio and television become mostly irrelevant and single songs are purchased instead of albums.

The music business is undergoing a huge shift at such a fast pace that it's difficult to keep up with, and that's what the Music 3.0 book and this blog will be about. Alerting you to what those changes are and how we can take advantage of them.

In the meantime, you can click here to find out more about the Music 3.0 book, and here for my Bobby Owsinski blog, which covers a little bit of everything about producing music.


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