Thursday, July 19, 2012

Breaking Up EMI

EMI logo image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
As the sale of EMI to Universal Music gets further down the line, more and more interesting details come out, many of which look to have an affect not only on Universal, but the music business in general.

First of all comes word comes that Universal may have to sell off at least Virgin Records and EMI Classics in order to appease European regulators so they will allow the purchase to stand. There are several things in play here:
1. Virgin Founder Richard Branson has indicated that he'll be amongst the bidders to buy back Virgin Records. This could be interesting in that Branson has always been on the cutting edge of technology, and what he might do with a present day record label would hopefully be good for the entire industry for the entire industry.
2. Universal's stock price is at a 9 year low. They desperately need this purchase to happen in hopes of giving the stock a boost.
Now the thing about the purchase that's interesting is that Universal assumed all regulatory risk in the purchase, so they're going to need the deal to be approved or the sale is essential worth zero to them. Also, if the regulators ask them to sell off more of EMI in order to get approval, then they'd probably have to sell at a low price to get the approval sorted ASAP, which wouldn't help their stock much, since any such sale would probably be at a lower than market price.

Then on top of that, Universal has to pay 80% of the purchase price to Citi by September, regardless of whether it's approved or not, which means that they'd pay for it, but not really own it. It would be like buying a car yet not being able to drive it.

The only thing this sale really has going for it in Universal's favor is that it increases their market share in virtually every territory, with their global share increasing to about 40%. It's higher still in some territories.

Obviously this sale isn't great for the music business as there's so much power consolidated in one company's hands. The only thing that gives some hope is what Richard Branson might bring to the business again.

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, July 18, 2012

3 Common Mistakes Made By Independant Musicians

Typical merch image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
CD Baby's DIY Musician blog always has a lot of good tidbits for those still struggling in the musical trenches, which I know is most of you. You can read this entire article regarding the "3 Most Common Mistakes Made By Independant Musicians," but I'll summarize the major points made in the article about the 3 mistakes here with my spin.
1. You don't monetize your live shows. If you're just starting out, you need the stage time to get tight so this point won't matter, but if you've been playing for a while and have built at least a small fanbase, it's time take advantage. Make sure that you have something to sell, either T-shirts, hats, CDs, flash drives with your music, but make it affordable. The money is cool, but the free advertising by the fans is better.
 2. Don't focus on getting signed. First of all, why would you want to in this day and age? Second of all, even if you do, your best bet is to develop as big an audience as you can. Remember the following because it's really true: Labels don't sign you for your music, they sign you for your audience. They really don't care how good you are, but if you have a line around the block, they'll come knocking at your door and you won't need to contact them. 
3. Treat your music like a business. Why do you think they call it the "music business"? You have to have fun with your music or it's not worth doing, but you have to consider the business of what you're doing as well. There are loads of places to get advice on this, but since you're reading this, check out the archives of this blog for lots of business tips. It's also a good idea to watch this Henry Rollins video over on my Big Picture Production Blog for some inspiration.
There's my take on the DIY article, but you should check out the original post as well as it looks at the 3 points from a different angle.

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, July 17, 2012

Chili Peppers Follow The Music 3.0 Strategy

Red Hot Chili Peppers Logo from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Anyone who's either read my Music 3.0 Internet Music Guidebook or has been reading my blog for a while know that I've advocated a new release schedule where there are more single releases on a timely basis instead of waiting until 10 songs are finished then releasing an album.

There are 3 reasons for using this strategy:

1. We now live in a singles world. The majority of people, especially those under 35, now consume their music a song at a time. That's how they like it, so there's no use fighting it.

2. Releasing 10 singles actually gives you 11 events to promote, not just one. You can promote each single as a separate event, then put them all together for an album release, which is the 11th. Which do you think gets the artist more exposure?

3. And maybe even more importantly, releasing just a single focuses the fan's attention on just one song at a time, instead of picking out only 1 or 2 from an album and listening to just those (which is what usually happens).

Now The Red Hot Chili Peppers are taking a page from the Music 3.0 notebook and releasing a song a month for the next 9 months beginning on August 14. This is on the back of their new album I'm With You, which has already been released.  It seems that the band recorded 50 songs for I'm With You, and didn't want to wait for the normal album cycle in order to put the songs out that were left off the record.

Each single offers a number of value-added items to each release. Each song will be released on both vinyl and digital, and each single will contain a different piece of artwork that will only be complete with the purchase of all 9 singles.

It's pretty obvious that release times between records are shortening, but The Chili Peppers move signals the new Music 3.0 release reality is finally here.

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, July 16, 2012

Louis CK And The Off-Air Radio Game

Local Radio image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
As I posted a few times before comedian Louis CK does things his own way that many consider cutting edge in terms of marketing and distribution. Recently he embarked on a tour that bypasses ticketing giant Ticketmaster and charged fans a flat rate of $45 for any ticket. Here's a great interview with him posted on AVclub where he discusses the little-known game that radio plays with touring artists in a quid pro quo for promotion.
"I like to try to see if something can work. It’s really satisfying to figure out, “What if we try it this way? What if we made it way more pleasurable and cheaper to come see me? Or to watch my show online? And if we do this right, how much benefit were we getting from the giant companies?” The first time I ever toured in theaters—the first time I toured, really. You do comedy clubs, it’s just working clubs, but the first time I went on a tour in theaters—they were like 500-to-700-seat theaters, my agent asked me some blanket questions, like, “Here’s what’s going to come up,” and he said, “What is your radio tolerance?” That’s what he asked me. He said, “What presence are you willing to let radio people have at your shows?” and I said, “Give me an example.” And he goes, “Well, here’s all the things they will ask for in every city: Thing one is that the radio personality gets to come onstage and introduce the show. And the second thing they’re going to want is a van outside, broadcasting from the show. Then they’re going to want a banner onstage, with the name of the radio on it. Then they’re going to want a table out in the lobby with bumper stickers.”
He just made a list of, “Here’s the things that they will want.” Another one was meet-and-greets. They get to give away tickets, and the DJ introduces you to the contest winners who won the meet-and-greets. Ten minutes with you alone in a room where you take pictures and stuff. So they said, “What of these things are you willing to do?” And I said, “Let’s say no to all of this.” [Laughs.] One hundred percent of it. As a professional courtesy, if a radio DJ wants free tickets, he can come to the show. He can’t come backstage. He certainly can’t come onstage. They may not have their logo on any of the shit on the stage, anywhere near it. I want people to come to the theater and feel like they’re just coming to see this; they’re not being promoted to. I don’t think there’s anything more obnoxious than when someone has paid to be somewhere, to be promoting to them. That they’re paying to be advertised to is really annoying to me.  
I said to him, “Let’s do none of it.” And he said, “Well, here’s the thing: If you let them do these things, then they talk about your show all the time. They talk about your show on the air, and you get more free promotion from radio stations. If they get to say, ‘I’m going to be there,’ they’ll get more into it.” And I said, “Well, first of all, I don’t want people at my shows that are there to see the DJ. I just don’t want them to come.” And I said to my agent, “Let’s find out if this is a huge mistake. Let’s find out. I’m willing to sacrifice my first theater tour and have the places empty and identify that it’s because I wouldn’t let the radio people participate. But we also might find out that it didn’t make a difference and that I never have to do it.” [Laughs.] Because you can’t roll that shit back once you’ve started. Anyway, the obvious story is that it didn’t make a fucking difference. It didn’t matter."
Of course, most artists just trying to make it would gladly do anything radio asked, but does radio really have that much influence these days? The point is, just because something has also been done a certain way, that doesn't mean that it's the right thing in our new Music 3.0 world.

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, July 15, 2012

Women Singers Dominate Highest Paid Under 30

Taylor Swift Speak Now cover image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Forbes has recently posted their highest paid entertainers under 30 list, and it's probably no surprise that so many women make up the list. The interesting thing is that so many of them are singers. Here's how much person on the list made in the last year.

1. Taylor Swift - $57 million. Her concerts now bring in about a million a night.

2.  Justin Bieber - $55 million. He's also a venture capitalist, with investments in Spotify, Stamped and Tinychat.

3. Rihanna - $53 million. She gets big money from endorsements and sponsorships.

4. Lady Gaga - $52 million. But down from $90 mil last year.

5. Katy Perry - $45 million. Still hot even though her film bombed.

6. Adele - $35 million. 21 is still on the charts and going strong.

7. Kristen Stewart - $34.5 million. Film stars still do make money.

8. Lil Wayne - $27 million. The bulk of his income comes from live shows, earning about $600k per.

9. Taylor Lautner - $26.5 million. Twilight was bigger than we thought.

10. Robert Pattinson - $26.5 million. Again, Twilight was far bigger than we thought.

It should be no surprise that the audience for most of those on the list was teen and pre-teenage girls. What is a surprise is how much spendable cash they have.

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.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...