Thursday, June 5, 2014

We're Spending Less On iTunes

One of the things that might have hastened the purchase of Beats by Apple is the fact that spending on iTunes is dropping rapidly. According to data supplied by Morgan Stanley, the average user spent $1.90 on iTunes in the first quarter of 2014. That's down from $2.90 from a year ago, and $4.30 from two years ago.

Apple doesn't care about this revenue source declining as much as the fact that it shows that music fans are getting their music from somewhere else, and that may be taking a toll on iPhone sales.

At its core, Apple is a hardware company that makes software to facilitate hardware sales. If the software isn't popular, then the hardware sales suffer. Beats Music may or may not prove to be a wise decision over time, but it does show that Apple is acutely aware of the the ultimate affect of music sales on its bottom line.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Ideal Length For Everything Online

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you know that there's quite a science to posting, regardless of the online platform. Various studies have determined everything from the ideal tweet length to the best number of words to have in a blog post headline. The problem is that you usually have to search around the Web to find the specific information that you need to take advantage of any given service.

Until now, that is. A great article on the Buffer blog (thanks Dushyant Pandit for the heads up) puts all the information in one place and even provides a nice infographic on the subject.

You'll notice that my headline is the 6 words and fewer than the 60 characters as recommended, but this post is far below the 7 minutes 1600 words (1000 with graphic) that's been known to achieve the most interaction. Frankly, if I had to write 1000 to 1600 words, I couldn't post more than once a week because of the time it takes (my Forbes blog posts are usually around 750 words and that can take up to 3 hours to create), so like in everything, there's some tradeoff.

That said, in terms of the general guidelines suggested by the infographic, I've personally found them all to be effective.

If you're just posting personally, none of this applies to you. If you're posting in order to promote your brand, product or music, take note, because the numbers in graphic really work.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Peek At The Upcoming YouTube Mobile Features

Google is becoming more and more sensitive to YouTube video creators and has been hard at work developing new features to make posting more efficient. In this video preview of the upcoming YouTube mobile tools, you'll see some of the things they're working on, including:
  • a community captions feature to help make a video more accessible overseas
  • more royalty-free music available
  • a way for artists to collect money from doing cover songs
  • its own way of crowdfunding video creators (you can now link to Kickstarter and Indiegogo via annotations)
Musicians are receiving more and more of their income from YouTube videos, and anything that makes it more lucrative is most welcome. The real key is that you have to use the tools, including the existing ones, and not enough people are doing that yet.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Apple Beats Winners And Losers

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine image
Now that Apple has officially announced that it’s acquiring Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion, the media speculation engine can finally begin to wind down. While that happens, let’s take a quick look at the prospective winners and losers in the deal.

Apple: In Beats Music it gains the infrastructure it needs to move away from music downloads into streaming, in Beats Electronics it gains an entry into a market segment where it had no presence (high-end audio accessories), and by adding Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine to the executive team it adds some sorely needed vision (see my previous post). 

Beats Music: It gets saved from swimming against the current of more established music services like Spotify and Pandora, which have a considerable head start. Although the company had some relatively deep pocketed investors in billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries and the Carlyle Group, that’s still not enough to compete with Apple, Amazon and Google in the long run when they enter the market.

Beats Electronics: Gets purchased at its peak or just beyond, so it’s saved from having to worry about market attrition. Plus it now gets to take advantage of the engineering and manufacturing expertise of Apple.

Tim Cook: Makes an attempt to fill a hole left in the company after the passing of Steve Jobs, which makes him look somewhat visionary himself.

Jimmy Iovine: Makes the leap from the music business to big-time tech while cashing out from Beats. Now he’ll get to have a say in the direction of the tech giant, which may be the ultimate in industrial glamour these days.

Dr. Dre: Raises his status in the urban community by cashing out to become the first near-billionaire hip hop artist/producer, and is able to escape the music business if he wants. Read more on Forbes.

Call Me On The Flo Guitar Enthusiasts Show Tonight

I'll be appearing on the Flo Guitar Enthusiasts radio show tonight at 8PM PST, so feel free to call in with any questions on the music business, social media for musicians, guitars or recording guitars. Also, enter to win a signed copy of my new Music 4.0 book. The call-in number is (323) 203-0815. You can find more info at

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Billboard Twitter Launch Realtime Charts

Billboard Twitter Trending 140 image
Billboard Twitter Trending 140 Chart
Billboard has now officially launched its new Twitter real-time charts that rank popular songs shared on Twitter in the US.

The first chart is called the Trending 140, which shows up-to-the-minute ranking of songs share on Twitter in the US over the last 24 hours. The chart also has a weekly summary called the Twitter Top Tracks.

Another chart called the Twitter Emerging Artists chart ranks the songs shared by new and upcoming artists. Songs on the charts are measured by:

  • the inclusion of a link on a tweet to listening platforms like Spotify, Vevo and iTunes.
  • the use of hashtags like #nowplaying or #np or the artist's or song's name.
  • the use of terms that signify a song such as "music," "song," "track," or "listen."

The Billboard Twitter charts are the latest in Billboard's transition from sales to social media to determine its charts. Other charts based around social media include the Social 50, On-Demand Songs and Streaming Songs. With music sales waning, this is perhaps the only way for the magazine and service to remain relevant.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...