Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is The Web Dying?

The above chart from Wired Magazine shows a startling trend that backs up editor Chris Anderson's recent assertion that "the web is dying."

As you can see, the current Internet traffic is composed of primarily video, peer-to-peer, web, and slivers of email and FTP. According to the chart, all those had mostly peaked by 2000 and have declined ever since, with only video increasing in traffic.

It's an interesting chart but in reality has no bearing on everyday Internet use by just about everyone. We all use the web so much we don't even think about it, as we do with video and email. Email isn't as big a part of the traffic curve (it was never that big to begin with) because it's a short-burst interaction that now has many competitive alternatives, from social networking to texting. P2P is down because there are a lot more alternatives to easily buy a digital product legally. Newsgroups have fallen to blogs. FTP is down because so much info lives on the cloud already, and you can now email files as large as 10 meg or more.

Video viewing is up first because high-speed DSL is so widespread these days that none of the video quality and speed problems of 2000 happen today. The picture is better (HD quality now), and there's so much more of it available, thanks to YouTube and now, Vevo

But isn't it true that we access video via the web? Shouldn't that mean that web traffic should be up as a result? As always, statistics can be manipulated to show whatever you want, and this one certainly doesn't show the entire picture.

Will the trend in video usage continue? For now it will, but who knows what the next technology trend will be and how that will affect the use of Internet bandwidth. The thing about the Internet is, tomorrow comes quickly.
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Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Truth Behind The Stones And The Windows 95 Ads

Microsoft certainly scored a coup when they got the Rolling Stones to agree to let them use their hit "Start me Up" for the huge ad campaign for Windows 95 15 years ago. Until then, the Stones (and most acts of that generation) had refused to license their music to commercials for reasons of artistic purity (when there was such a thing), so it was indeed a milestone when the song appeared across televisions worldwide.

Now an interesting post on tells the story about how Mick Jagger and Keith Richards tried to switch versions of the song in order to eliminate paying former bass player Bill Wyman. It turns out that Mick didn't want to do the deal, but Keith was running short on cash (you never think of them in that situation), so a deal was struck. The Stones were also at a lull in their career and thought that the huge campaign that MS had designed would help reignite their career, which it did. Since Jagger is the CEO of the corporation and Richards is the COO, they make all the decisions without the others in the band voting.

When Microsoft received the final track they were horrified to find that it was a recent live version of the song instead of the original studio version. This was apparently done because the four Stones would make more money, since Wyman had already left the band and wouldn't be paid for a recording that he didn't appear on. MS pushed back and eventually got the original studio version and the rest is history.

Today artists don't think twice about licensing their songs to commercials. They can't afford to since it's one of the only remaining sources of income in these days of Music 3.0. In fact, artists are willing to do almost anything to get their music on television these days, and as a result, the advances are far, far less than what the Stones got back then (although a huge hit song would still fetch a pretty penny).

The story also goes to show that when it comes to money, never trust your friends or bandmates. Things can get pretty cut-throat out there.
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, August 24, 2010

5 Indispensable Twitter Tools

There was a good article the other day in the Social Media Examiner regarding the 5 most indispensable Twitter tools. I don't know how indispensable they are, but it's a good idea to know about them.

Here they are:

1. Blast Follow - indispensable for finding people in your niche (and beyond) and mass-following them with a single click. Good for research.

2. Tweepi - allows you to unfollow those who do not reciprocate. If you use this, you're using Twitter wrong.

3. twAitter - allows you to schedule your tweets in advance. Good app if you're using Twitter to broadcast blog postings. Not so good if used mostly for personal tweets.

4. Tweetdeck - allows you to organize your followers and keep an eye on the really interesting ones in separate groups. It also allows you to post to Facebook and Linkedin at the same time, and to schedule your posts as well. I use this one all the time.

5. Tweetchat - allows you to isolate the conversation based on the hashtag. If you don't know what a hashtag is, take a look at this past blog post.

For more information on each of these tools, see the original article.

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Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Social Media Analytical Tools

As social media becomes more sophisticated, so does the measurement tool requirements to determine both your impact and branding possibilities. Three new methods of analyzing social media data have shown a lot of promise, but it might be a bit too early in the learning curve to completely trust the data. Still, it's good to know about what's on the horizon.

Sentiment analysis is a process that tries to determine the attitude of a speaker or a writer with respect to the topic they're writing about. If you actually read a blog or posting, you can tell the writer's sentiment immediately, but this analysis method tries to define and measure it as points of data.

Cluster analysis tries to analyze how certain words are gathering (or “clustering”) relative to a search topic. It finds the words that are mostly likely to be associated with your search word, which may provide unexpected insight into what’s being said about you and even predict sales before they happen.

Semantic analysis is another measurement tool that strives to understand what words mean in context to one another. Once again, it's something that we do for ourselves as we read, but this tool puts a number to it.

All of these tools are trying to measure what we can immediately see for ourselves empirically by just wading into the social media pool. They put a number to something that we can feel.

New measurement platforms like Sysomos and Radian6 are said to be using these tools to provide a more precise look at how you or your brand integrates with the social world.

If you need data for a meeting, to sway an investor, or appease a boss, these tools are important. If you're a marketer on a very high level, you might find the data immediately useful. If you're a band or artist just trying to make the next sale, the next gig, or make it through the next day of social media management, you'll find them interesting as best and parlor tricks at worst. But while these tools may be cutting edge today, you never know if they'll be an essential part of your marketing toolbox tomorrow. Stay tuned.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

10 Best Digital Music Startups

Since we looked at the 10 worst music industry disasters a few days ago, lets look at the 10 best Digital Music startups, according to Billboard Magazine.

1. The startup of the year is, a new site that offers $5 a month, all your can stream over the web or $10 a month on mobile.

2. is a new video portal owned by Universal Music, Sony and Abu Dhabi Media (a strange combination), and hosted by Youtube and Google. allows you to organize and track your favorite bands and track concerts and dates. 

4. is  a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers, and just about anybody else.

5. is a music discovery and recommendation platform.

6. is another band page site, although it does have the ability to submit songs to radio stations around the world.

7.NEXT BIG is a music analytics site that allows users to track mentions of their favorite bands and musical artists across a variety of major music websites: music plays on and MySpace, fans on FacebookiLike,, MySpace and Twitter, band page views on MySpace, and band page comments on MySpace.

8. offers free MP3 music downloads and streaming while the artists still get paid by matching brands to artists and listeners.

9. HELLO acts as both a filter and a traffic manager, placing good music with partners such as Yahoo! Music and Getty Images. 

10. MY is a technology company that develops cloud computing software solutions to optimize copyright ownership identification.
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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