Thursday, July 3, 2014

How Teens And Young Adults Stay Up To Date With Music

Here's an interesting infographic from Edison Research that looks at how 12 to 24 year olds keep up to date with music. The dynamics have shift from a year ago, but not all that much.

As you can see, YouTube is the primary way that kids learn about new music, followed by Pandora and word-of-mouth from friends and family. Radio is still a big source of music, and to a lessor degree, so is Facebook and iTunes.

What's surprising is how low both Spotify and Music Blogs are in the process. We've all been led to believe that they both have much more influence than they apparently have.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Which Part Of Your Website Is A Gig Magnet?

What part of your website is a gig magnet?
If you're an artist or band, hopefully you have a website. If you do, you're probably wondering if it actually helps you to get gigs. By itself, a good artist website can be a good introduction to any promoters checking you out, but there's one section that's more important than all others that's usually overlooked by more artists - the booking section.

Here's an excerpt from the artist website chapter of my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book that covers the essential parts of the booking section of a website that gives it that extra punch to make it a gig magnet.

"If you’re generating some buzz in your local scene, make sure that if an agent or promoter does check out your band that you have pertinent information available on your website for them. Create a “Bookings,” “Book Me,” or “Book My Band” section on your website, which can be similar to an online press kit, but instead includes specific additions like: 
  • Statistics about the number of newsletter subscribers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers you have. Remember that your social media presence is now taken into consideration by most bookers and promoters, as it’s a vital part of their marketing too.
  • Average attendance for your shows. Are you regularly selling out 50 ,100, or 500-seat venues? Make sure to include it.
  • The markets and venues that you play in.
  • A photo gallery with lots of quality live photos, including any that include crowds in packed venues.
  • Good quality live videos meaning good video quality, good audio quality, packed rooms, and minimal audience talking. Audience sing-a-longs are always worth including as well.
  • A stage plot of how your gear is normally set up.
  • A typical set list, if you’re a cover band.
  • Quotes from the media that mention your live show.
  • Quotes from venue bookers.
  • Quotes from fans about your live shows.
Other than that, you should always blog and tweet about your live shows, which we’ll discuss in Chapters 7 and 8. Post about the turnout, the crowd reaction, and post plenty of pics and live video whenever you can. All of this will help create the impression that you’re a hard-working band that takes their live shows seriously."

You can read additional excerpts from Social Media Promotion For Musician (and receive a free chapter too) and my other books on the excerpts section of

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Songza Feature That Google Couldn’t Resist

Songza Login Screen feature curated playlists
In a deal rumored for weeks, Google has finally acquired the music streaming service Songza for a reported $15 million. There appears to be no immediate plans to change the service, according to a post on the Songza site, except to “make it faster, smarter, and even more fun to use.”

But what’s the real reason behind the acquisition? Certainly Google has the cash to buy either Pandora or Spotify, market leaders in the radio-like non-interactive and on-demand categories of the music streaming market. The fact is that even though both of those services have the largest user bases in the sector, they actually bring little value in terms of what Google needs. The company’s Music Play All Access service doesn’t have the kind of subscriber numbers it wants, but that could be just a matter of time, considering that YouTube (which it owns) is the number one online source for music discovery and access already. And the company already has a large catalog of licensed songs, so a purchase with that in mind is redundant.

What Songza specializes in is music curation, a feature that Beats Music used as its primary lure in its purchase by Apple. While Google may be the king of the algorithm, it’s been proven time and again that computer generated playlists can’t come close to the musical taste of human. It’s been reported that Pandora’s Music Genome Project, which many contend is the heart of the service, is already 10 years in the making. Google has the resources to bump that timeline up, but the way the streaming market is heading, time is of the essence. Google needs a similar feature right now. Read more on Forbes.

Monday, June 30, 2014

YouTube Announces Yet More New Creator Features

VidCon 2014 keynote image
About a month ago I posted about some of the new creator features that YouTube was working on. The company officially announced those features and more at the VidCon conference over the weekend. While the features aren't yet launched, you should see them very soon.

Here's the list of features, directly from YouTube's own press release.
  • YouTube Creator Studio: Did you know that after Rebecca Black uploaded “Friday,” she went on a school trip, not knowing for several days the video was going viral? To help you manage your videos on the go, the new YouTube Creator Studio app lets you see analytics, manage your videos and more. The app is available now on Android and launching on iOS in coming weeks and you’ll see some redesign of the Creator Studio on desktop too.
  • Audio Library, now with sound effects: You’ve used the hundreds of free songs in the Audio Library on millions of your videos. But until now, you’ve had to go through extreme lengths to make your own zombie screams and fighter plane sounds. To make your lives easier and videos better, from today you now have thousands of royalty-free sound effects at your disposal. We’ve also added more tracks to the Audio Library.
  • 60 (yeah, six-zero) frames per second: Your video game footage with crazy high frame rates will soon look as awesome on YouTube as it does when you’re playing, when we launch support for 48 and even 60 frames per second in the coming months. Take a look at some preview videos on the YT Creator Channel. Make sure you’re watching in HD!
  • Fan Funding: Your fans aren’t just watching your videos, they’re also helping support your channel through services like KickStarterIndieGogoPatreon and more. We’ll be adding another option for you, where fans will be able to contribute money to support your channel at any time, for any reason. 
  • Creator Credits: Collaboration is a key to great videos on YouTube. You’re already giving your collaborators shout outs in your video descriptions. But what if those text-based shout outs were tags that let viewers click through to their channels, or let you search for a collaborator based on their work and location? That’s our vision for Creator Credits, stay tuned for more. 
  • Subtitles contributed from fans: More than a billion people watch YouTube each month, but not all of them speak the same language and some are deaf or hard of hearing. Automatic speech recognition and automatic translation on YouTube can help, but your fans can do an even better job. In the coming months, your fans will be able to submit translations in any language based on the subtitles or captions you’ve created, helping you reach even more viewers. You can try this out now on Barely PoliticalFine Art-TipsGot Talent Global and Unicoos
  • Info Cards: Annotations are useful, but not as ridiculously good looking as say, Blue Steel. In the near future, you’ll see our new interactive information cards with a clean look, which you’ll beable to program once to work across desktop, phones and tablets.
  • SiriusXM & YouTube: We love supporting artists, and so do our friends at SiriusXM. That’s why we teamed up to launch “The YouTube 15,” a weekly show on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 hosted by Jenna Marbles and featuring the biggest names and rising stars in music from YouTube. 
  • More ways to playlist: Along with playlists analytics we recently added to analytics, expect to see more ways to create playlists, so that all the time you spend building them translates into easier discovery for viewers and better results for you.
While there's no exact timetable for the launch of these features, YouTube say's they will be available "in the coming months."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

T-Mobile Jumps Ahead Of The Music Curve, And No One Noticed

T-Mobile Music Freedom image
Thanks to the latest Net Neutrality ruling by the FCC in May, the companies that control the digital pipes can that we all use now can begin to charge content providers for providing their customers with higher speed pipelines. 

AT&T’s new Sponsored Data Service is a good example, where content distributors pay for the privilege of their customers having no data restrictions so they’re able to consume more product without having their speed capped or charged extra. Of course, in the end this means that the end user will ultimately be penalized, since they’ll either have their data service throttled down by their provider if they breach their data limit, or charged a higher price by a music service to cover the cost of the sponsored service.

Last week T-Mobile launched their Music Freedom service that flies in the face of that idea though, as it provides no data limit for consumers accessing a number of major streaming services, including Pandora, iHeart Radio, iTunes Radio, Spotify, Slacker and Milk Music. This means that a T-Mobile subscriber can listen to an unlimited amount of music from these services without the fear of going over a monthly data limit.

Of interest is the fact that a number of music services weren’t included, at least in the initial announcement, the largest being Google Play All Access. This could ultimately be a distinct disadvantage for services not in the plan (especially smaller services without the deep pockets to make them competitive), but it’s not entirely clear if any of the services left out will be added as time goes on.

Studies have found that as much as 77% of all music streaming is done via smartphones, so it’s possible that whatever service provider offers the best mobile music deal will also get the most subscribers in the end. That’s why T-Mobile is out ahead of the curve with Music Freedom, while its competitors seem to look at the music part of their offerings as just another feature. Read more on Forbes.


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