Thursday, December 22, 2011

UMG Does Their Own Takedowns

YouTube logo image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
One of the hard things for most people to realize is that they don't automatically have the right to use a song in a video, even though it might be as simple as your six-year old singing "Happy Birthday" or a bunch of school kids singing "Rudolph The Red Nosed Raindeer" at the school Christmas play. The copyright to these songs are not public domain, therefore you have to pay their respective record labels and publishers for their use, regardless how trivial that use may seem.

But still millions of people put videos on YouTube every day of themselves lip singing to "Born This Way" or "Party Rock Anthem," but the publisher and/or record label has the legal right to ask YouTube to take these videos down. In fact, most record labels now have teams that do nothing but scour the Internet for just these sorts of copyright violations.

That said, YouTube is very good about complying with a takedown request, as evidenced by numerous videos that are here today and gone tomorrow. YouTube is not actually liable as long as they don't upload the videos themselves. If someone else does, they're in the clear.

Even though YouTube is very liberal with takedown requests, they seem to have given Universal Music Group unusual leeway by allowing them to directly remove any video that they don't like themselves. According to an article in, there's "an agreement between the company and YouTube that allows UMG to use a “Content Management System” that can remove or “file block” certain videos on the site if it finds them objectionable. The agreement in question is not public, meaning that no one outside of those companies knows exactly how long UMG’s reach within YouTube actually is."

Here's the scary part. Does UMG have the right to control what videos YouTube allows on the site, even if no copyright infringement is occurring? Does that mean it can block it's competition if it wants to? Does that mean it can take down a video even if it has nothing to do with UMG? What happens if it makes a mistake?

As an artist myself, I'm all for protecting copyright, but I find it disconcerting that a major label has this kind of power. YouTube is already very good about acting on any copyright violation request, and they do it fast (I've done it myself). But UMG's new powers can be deadly in the wrong hands.

There's more to this intrigue as UMG and the cloud site Megaupload continue in a battle over just this issue, so it will be interesting to see what the new year brings.

Happy Holidays everyone!

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Social Technographs Ladder

Even back in the Usenet/Newsgroup days of the Internet there were two kinds of people online; joiners and lurkers. As we've grown in sophistication in social networking, so has our ability to more finely discriminate between the types of people that we network with. Now Forrester Research has come out with their "social technographs ladder" which divides Internet users into 7 basic types. Take a look.

Social Technograph's Ladder image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog

If you take notice, the ladder adds up to more than 100%. That's because most people fall into several categories at the same time, depending upon their level of comfort in an area or social circle. I expect the ladder to become even more finely delineated as we go forward. Which categories to you fit into?

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Measuring Your Social Media Exposure

Music 3.0 book cover image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
It's all well and great to be active online, but simply having a lot of likes, followers and friends isn't always the true gauge of your presence. That's why it's important to be able to more closely measure your true social media exposure. Luckily, there are now multiple ways to do this, as evidenced in this excerpt from the 2nd edition of the Music 3.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age. This excerpt comes from Chapter 8 on "Social Media Management."

"How many people have you reached with your message? How many could you have reached? In social media, there are some measurements about as reliable as a print magazine’s circulation, but knowing your potential audience does have value because it represents your potential sales lead pool.

Unfortunately, as of the writing of this book, some of these metrics have to be accounted for manually, so you’ll have to balance the level of effort to track the metrics versus the value you’ll receive from them to determine their importance to your overall strategy.

A good example of where there can be unreliability in social measurement is when isolating unique users for each of your metrics. You want to avoid counting the same person twice in the list below, but realistically it’s difficult to do.

These measurements highlight the number of people you’ve attracted to your brand through social media. To mitigate the potential for duplication of users, track growth rate as a percentage of the aggregate totals. This is where you will find the real diamonds.
  • Twitter: Look at your number of followers and the number of followers for those who retweeted your message to determine the monthly potential reach. You should track these separately and then compare the month-over-month growth rate of each of these metrics so you can determine where you’re seeing the most growth. A great free tool to use for Twitter measurement is TweetReach.
  • Facebook: Track the total number of fans for your brand page. In addition, review the number of friends from those who became fans during a specified period of time or during a promotion and those who commented on or liked your posts to identify the potential monthly Facebook reach. Facebook Insights provides value here.
  • YouTube: Measure the number of views for videos tied to a promotion or specific period of time, such as monthly, and the total number of subscribers.
  • Blog: Measure the number of visitors who viewed the posts tied to the promotion or a specific period of time.
  • Email: Take a look at how many people are on the distribution list and how many actually received the email.
Social Media Measurement Tools
Measuring just how successful an artist’s promotional campaign is (the artist’s buzz) and all the data that surrounds an artist is a top issue for M3.0. This was impossible in M1.0 and 1.5, somewhat available in M2.0, but now much more widely available and easier than ever to use in M3.0. With so many new avenues available for music discovery and promotion, knowing where the buzz is coming from and how to utilize it is more an issue than ever.

Here are nine tools to help track your buzz:
Band Metrics ( - band and song tracking
Google Alerts ( - Sweeps the web and delivers buzz to your inbox.
Twitter Search ( - Track your buzz on this popular micro-blogging service.
Who’s Talkin ( - Social media search.
Stat Counter ( - statistics about who visits your site and blog
Tynt Tracer ( - traces images and text that’s been copied off your site.
Next Big Sound ( - shows the number of new fans, plays, views and comments
Music Metric ( - provides social network tracking, P2P network analysis, radio and sales data, and fan demographics.
RockDex ( - collects data from blog posts, fan connections, pageviews, tweets, song plays, and spots viral trends and tracks progress over time."
You can read more excerpts from Music 3.0 and my other books on my website.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

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

Monday, December 19, 2011

Google Updates Google+

We knew it would only be a matter of time before Google began to implement some of the requests that its Google+ users were asking for, and that time has come already, as the company has announced a number of new enhancements for the service. Here are 4 new features that you can begin to use now.

1. One of the new features is called the “Volume Control” (which has nothing to do with audio level), that lets you fine-tune your streams and decide whether you want to see more or less items from a particular circle in your main stream.

2. Google+ Photos have been upgraded with a new lightbox that boasts improved navigation and photo-tagging. The new lightbox also puts more emphasis on the actual photos, with the navigation elements mostly being tucked out of the way (as seen in the video below).

3. Google+ Pages have also been updated with a couple of new features. Artists or bands using Pages can now delegate up to 50 people as administrators for a Page. Furthermore, these designated managers will now be included in all the activity that takes place on a Page, making it easier for them to follow what’s going on.

4. Finally, Google has redesigned the notifications in its Google Bar, which appear as red icons on the right side of the Bar. Click on the little red box, and you’ll see snippets that make it easy to see what’s happening on your Google+ profile, including all the +1s and shares you’ve recently received.

While Facebook shows no sign of massive defections, Google+ is coming on strong. The fact that they're able to add new features so early in the service's life cycle is definitely encouraging.
You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How Musicians Use Facebook

Here's an excellent infographic from regarding how the top 250 musicians used Facebook in 2011. It's a real eye-opener in that it shows how powerful music still is, regardless of the doom and gloom that you might hear or read. Example? Rihanna has far more views than the most popular actor, television show, or the 5 top athletes. I also found it interesting that rock was the leading genre, just slightly ahead of pop and more than twice as much as hip-hop.

How Musicians Use Facebook image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

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


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