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!


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