Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nielsen's New Social Media Measurements

Multi-Screen image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blogNo matter how much influence television continues to lose, it's still the top advertising medium and will be for some time to come. That said, more and more people watch television along with a computer or tablet - the so-called "second screen." Now the powerhouse ratings service Nielsen (who recently bought their long-time competitor Arbitron) has acknowledged the fact by announcing that they'll be instituting a new metric called the "Nielsen Twitter TV ratings" that measures the social media activity of a TV show audience.

A while back Nielsen acquired a company called SocialGuide, and it's their technology that will be used to track the Twitter activity for more than 36,000 programs. The trick is that it's even capable to identify tweets that are associated with a specific show, which seems to be no easy task. The company didn't provide many details on how the service would be implemented, but did say that it would begin for the Fall 2013 season.

The second screen is becoming more and more of an issue for all marketing. Google recently did a study where they found that over 90 percent of people who owned multiple devices tended to use them simultaneously, but it's not necessarily only for social media. Plain old Internet search is also a major second screen activity when watching television.

I have to admit that I won't watch TV without an iPad anymore, but most of the time I use it to search for background information on what I'm watching. Regardless of the reason you use your second screen, advertisers see this as a major marketing opening. The problem is how to do it, which no one has figured out yet. In the meantime, enjoy watching both your screens.


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 19, 2012

Top 10 Touring Acts Of 2012

Madonna on stage image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
We're coming up on the close of 2012 and it's always interesting to look back to see who was hot. Billboard recently tallied the top 25 touring acts of the year, but I'll give you just the top 10.

1. Madonna - 72 sell-outs out of 72 shows, $228 million

2. Bruce Springsteen - 54 sellouts out of 72 shows, $199 million

3. Roger Waters - 51 sell-outs out of 71 shows, $186 million

4. Michael Jackson "The Immortal" by Cirque du Soliel - 9 sell-outs out of 183 shows, $147 million

5. Coldplay - 56 sell-outs out of 67 shows, $147 million

6. Lady Gaga - 65 sell-outs out of 65 shows, $125 million

7. Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw - 9 sell-outs out of 23 shows, $96 million

8. Van Halen - 9 sell-outs out of 46 shows, $54 million

9. Jay-Z and Kenye West - 15 sell-outs out of 31 shows, $47 million

10. Andre Rieu - 2 sell-outs out of 99 shows, $47 million

What's really interesting here is the percentage of sell-out shows that each artist did. Both Madonna and Lady Gaga sold out all of their shows, while Springsteen, Waters and Coldplay sold out the majority, but the others weren't nearly that successful. That said, others in the top 25 played to fully sold-out shows like Taylor Swift (25 for 25), Barbara Streisand (12 for 12), and Jason Aldean (59 for 59). Justin Bieber came close with 28 for 29.

It should also be noted that Springsteen actually played to the most people in 2012 (2.165 million to 1.635 for Madonna), as he made an effort to keep ticket prices down.


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 18, 2012

6 Music Business Holiday Gift Ideas

If you read my Big Picture Production Blog, you've probably seen my 13 Holiday Gifts For Musicians posts a few days ago. Here's another gift guide, but this one concentrates just on music business and social media.

Music 3.0 book cover image

1. Music 3.0: A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age
You know that I'm biased about this, but I really believe that if you're looking for one book that best outlines the new music business, Music 3.0 is it. With lots of great traditional and social media tips to help you market yourself successfully and efficiently, the book is currently used in music business courses in colleges and universities around the world. You can read some excerpts of the book on my website, as well as my other books.

Musician's Roadmap To Facebook and Twitter image

2. Musician's Roadmap to Facebook And Twitter
Ariel Hyatt is the queen of social media PR and her Cyber PR company has been a huge help to hundreds of artists. Her Roadmap picks up where Music 3.0 leaves off. If you just don't get how Facebook or Twitter can help you as an artist, you need this book.

All You Need To Know About The Music Business cover image

3. All You Need To Know About The Music Business
This is the 7th edition of LA music attorney Don Passman's excellent book and there's a good reason why it's been popular for so long. Let me put it this way, if you're in the music business, this book is essential reading, since it outlines just about every business scenario that an artist might come up against. The best part is that it's written in plain English so that even complex ideas (and there are lots of them in the music business) are easy to follow. Highly recommended.

Music Contract Library book cover image

4. Music Business Contract Library
Everyone wants to save a buck, and while you're always better off hiring a music attorney, sometimes you just don't have the dough. This book comes with a disc that has 125 of the most commonly used music contracts in editable Microsoft Word format. Any agreement is better than no agreement, and the Music Business Contract Library is a good place to start.

The Future Of Music book cover image

5. The Future Of Music: Manifesto For The Digital Music Revolution
This book was published a number of years ago but it's still surprisingly relevant. Dave Kusek and Gerd Leonhard nailed so many things, and have predictions that we've yet to see. It's a very provocative book that's an interesting read. logo image
6. Video Courses
Lastly, you'll find all sorts of great business and software courses on, the absolute best portal for learning on the Web. If you're into Mixing, Recording or Mastering, you'll find some of my courses there as well, but just about anything else you can think of that revolves around tech or business is available there. Here's a free 7 day trail pass.

Each of the above makes a great holiday gift, but don't forget to treat yourself to a present as well!

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 17, 2012

8 Search Engines That Access The Invisible Web

The Invisible Web image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blogI'm not sure how this directly applies to music, but it sure is fascinating on many levels. We think of the Web as everything that Google can find, but did you know that there's a huge amount of data that's not indexed or searchable?

It's estimated that the size of the searchable Web is at 167 terabytes (a terabyte is 1024 gigabytes) worth of data, while the so-called "Invisible Web" or "Deep Web" is more than 91,000 terabytes!! Wow, that's a lot of data that can't be easily found.

Why isn't this data available via Google? Google sends out spiders to regularly index websites, but there are some that require a password that just won't allow that kind of access. These include private networks and library sites, which have huge amounts of information.

There are a number of ways to access the data of the "invisible web" though, and here are 8 search engines that are expert in just such a task, thanks to a great article on MakeUseOf. I'll give you a brief overview here, but see the entire article for more detail.

1) Infomine has been built by a pool of libraries in the United States. Some of them are University of California, Wake Forest University, California State University, and the University of Detroit. Infomine ‘mines’ information from databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other resources.

2) The WWW Virtual Library is considered to be the oldest catalog on the web and was started by started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web. So, isn’t it strange that it finds a place in the list of Invisible Web resources? Maybe, but the WWW Virtual Library lists quite a lot of relevant resources on quite a lot of subjects. You can go vertically into the categories or use the search bar. The screenshot shows the alphabetical arrangement of subjects covered at the site.

3) Intute is UK centric, but it has some of the most esteemed universities of the region providing the resources for study and research. You can browse by subject or do a keyword search for academic topics like agriculture to veterinary medicine. The online service has subject specialists who review and index other websites that cater to the topics for study and research. Intute officially closed in July of 2011, but will remain available online for 3 additional years, but without any updates or revisions.

4) Complete Planet calls itself the ‘front door to the Deep Web’. This free and well designed directory resource makes it easy to access the mass of dynamic databases that are cloaked from a general purpose search. The databases indexed by Complete Planet number around 70,000 and range from Agriculture to Weather. Also thrown in are databases like Food & Drink and Military.

5) Infoplease is an information portal with a host of features. Using the site, you can tap into a good number of encyclopedias, almanacs, an atlas, and biographies. Infoplease also has a few nice offshoots like for kids and Biosearch, a search engine just for biographies.

6) DeepWebTech has a product called Explorit that gives you five search engines (and browser plugins) for specific topics, but for a price. The search engines cover science, medicine, and business. Using these topic specific search engines, you can query the underlying databases in the Deep Web. There's a trial so you can get a feel for it and see if it's worth paying for.

7) Scirus has a pure scientific focus. It is a far reaching research engine that can scour journals, scientists’ homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional intranets.

8) TechXtra concentrates on engineering, mathematics and computing. It gives you industry news, job announcements, technical reports, technical data, full text eprints, teaching and learning resources along with articles and relevant website information.


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 16, 2012

6 Tips For Marketing With Social Media

Merch image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
If you read this blog often you know that I'm always on the lookout for good information that I can pass along. Most of it, especially when it comes to marketing or social media, comes from outside the music world, so I try to adapt it so it's beneficial to musicians if I can. A recent post of that nature recently came from called "6 Tips For Marketing With Social Media." I've taken their great points and adapted them so they're more appropriate for music, as you'll read. Here's what they suggested.

1. Start with a product with a high potential. Some merch has a higher marketing potential than others. For example:

T-shirt with a logo - low potential because every artist has one
Limited edition vinyl released signed by the artist - high potential

A t-shirt is so common that it doesn't give you much to talk about in social media, while something that's more limited does.

2. Define your target audience. Your entire fan base may not be your target, since there is fragmentation within it that you might not be aware of. Are you trying to reach your true fans who will buy anything? Are you trying to reach just the female part of your audience? Are you trying to reach just the ones in cold weather climates? Try to define your target audience as precisely as possible.

3. What do you want your audience to do? Think about this before you launch a campaign. Do you want them to:

- simply discover the product
- explore the product and learn about it
- create and share content about it to amplify the product's reach
- purchase the product

You're probably saying, "I want them all," but sometimes just defining a single goal makes your marketing job easier and more likely to succeed.

4. Choose your social network wisely. Not all social networks are capable of delivering the same results, and in fact, some are better than others at certain activities. For instance:
  • Facebook's Timeline makes it ideal for product-related posts.
  • Pinterest works well with collections and product-related content, but be careful because your audience might not be there.
  • Twitter Cards bring images and details from a product page that now make it better at social merchandising, but be careful because it can also be considered SPAM.
  • YouTube is great to tell stories if you're good at creating great video content.
  • Instagram and Tumblr are great for user-generated and organic momentum.
5. Use as much visual product content as you can. Social networks today are a lot more visual than they were even last year. Get the best images that you can to gain the most attention, especially in mobile environments.

6. Take note of your process so you can reuse it. You'll be a lot more efficient if you think about what you're doing along the way in terms of using it again at a later time. As with everything, keep what works, but don't necessarily ditch the things that don't until you're sure they're not working for you.

Marketing takes some thought to be successful, but it's more about thinking about your audience rather than the rocket science aspect of it. All it takes is some time.


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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