Friday, May 1, 2015

Instagram @Music Community Tries To Succeed Where Twitter Failed

Instagram @Music image
Instagram has announced a new community dedicated to music and musicians called @Music, in an effort to leverage the platform’s user interest in the topic.

Unofficially, music has always been a large part of Instagram, accounting for an estimated 25 percent of all the platform’s activity. Recognizing this, Instagram executives have instituted this official music category as well as a number of subcategories as well.

For instance, #LocallySourced is designed to cover unsigned artists and bands (which will be handled by a team of curators), #15SecondLessons will include short music performance lessons, and #DoubleTrack covers musicians interests outside of music. 

The account, which was announced this morning on the Instagram blog, will update six times a week with an emphasis on unsigned acts. This might be deemed an unusual tactic as the music portion of Instagram is currently driven by music superstars like Beyonce (with 30.8 million followers and the platform’s most followed artist), Arianna Grande (30 million), Selena Gomez (28.9 million) and Taylor Swift (28.2 million). Read more on Forbes.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Record Store Day A Big Hit

Record Store Day 2015 image
The annual Record Store Day was held last Saturday and, as always, it was a big hit, setting a 12 year sales high.

Indie record stores recorded 532,000 album sales for the day, which represented more than 21% of all physical sales and almost 12% of overall sales.

It was an almost 50% increase from the week before, and many record stores reported that this one day was equivalent to 2 weeks of normal sales. Many stores even said that it was their best sales day ever.

Half of the vinyl chart slots for the week were occupied by records released specifically for the event, such as The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan in the #2 spot, and Bob Dylan's The Basement Tapes at #6.

That said, the best selling release wasn't a vinyl record at all. It was Metalllica's cassette-only release No Life Till Leather, which sold 3,000 units.

While the heyday of the record store probably won't ever return, there is still some enthusiasm for physical formats and the stores that sell them. If only every day could be like Record Store Day, the music business would be in a much better place.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Some Interesting Names Are On IFPI's Top Global Recording Artist List

Pink Floyd still on the list image
The IFPI recently released its yearly sales report and among the things it revealed was the top global artists for 2014 in terms of aggregate sales and streams. This includes all of the artists releases in every format from CD sales to YouTube video streams.

Although the usual hot music properties make the list (Taylor Swift is #1, followed by One Direction), what's interesting is the names in spots 4 through 7.

There you'll find some "classic" artists that you wouldn't expect, namely Coldplay, AC/DC, Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd.

Here's the list.


1Taylor Swift
2One Direction
3Ed Sheeran
6Michael Jackson
7Pink Floyd
8Sam Smith
9Katy Perry
What this means is that many of the legacy artists still have a lot of sales life left in them, but it also makes a statement about some of the current music, which looks like it's not filling some obvious holes in the market. That is, progressive rock, hard rock, r&b and prog rock.

There are plenty of current acts that fit the bill, they're just not being discovered at the rate that they probably should be. Then again, these legacy artists are some of the best of all time and their music still endures.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why Do I Need To Use Hashtags Anyway?

Use hashtags image
Hashtags can be a confusing issue to artists and bands who are new to using social media as a promotional tool. I've posted a lot about how to find the best hashtags and the perfect number for different platforms, but it's time to get right down to basics. What's the big deal about hashtags anyway?

There are 3 great reasons why you should use hashtags whenever you have a chance.

1. Hashtags make it easier for people to find and follow discussions that are relevant to them.

2. They allow you to track the performance of an event or promotion.

3. The engagement of a post increases significantly when hashtags are used. For individuals it can be as high as 100%, while for brands it may go to about 50%.

Of course, this applies only when the right hashtags are used. When you make one up like #ihatetheservicehere, you probably won't get anywhere near the level of engagement as when using one that's trending or has been in use for while.

Either way, a post without a hashtag is like getting on stage without a sound system. A lot fewer people are going to hear what you have to say.

Monday, April 27, 2015

2 Tests To See If Your Site Is Affected By The Google Algorithm Update

Google mobile search algorithm image
Here's something that could be a big deal to those artists, bands, musicians, producers, managers, labels and just about anyone in the music business that has a website. Google now rates your site on how friendly it is when viewed on a mobile device.

The reason why this is important is mobile friendliness is now a big part of the algorithm that ranks your website during a search. That means that if you have an older site that didn't take this into consideration and doesn't look good on a phone or tablet, it's going to fall in the search engine rankings.

It's difficult to keep your site updated with timely information (which Google also looks at), but it's even more so to keep up with the latest technology. That said, if you haven't updated your site for a while (more than a year), it's not only time you do so, but it's important as well or it will be harder for your fans to find you.

How do you know if your site is mobile friendly? There are actually two quick tests.

1. Bring your website up in your browser, then grab the right side of your browser window and drag it all the way to the left until it won't shrink any more. If everything is a jumbled mess and you can't read it, it's probably not mobile friendly.

2. The second way is much better in that it comes from Google itself. Go to this test site and insert your site URL and click "Analyze." Google will then analyze it and tell you if it's mobile ready or not. If it's deemed not-ready, you'll not only be told why, but how to fix it as well.

The good thing is that sometimes the fix doesn't take much, but sometimes it does mean you need a total update in the case of a site built using older programming techniques.

Either way, do the test now so you can keep getting the most people to your site.


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