Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can Apple Reinvigorate The Ringtone Market?

Earlier in the month, Apple announced that they will start selling ringtones directly on the phone for $1.29 each. Currently, there is an estimated 30 million iPhone owners around the world that have access to the 30-second audio clips that can be downloaded directly to the phone. Considering statistics and research (SNL Kagan's), mobile music sales have declined, marking the first time for any mobile content category. Ringtone sales shrank 24 percent to $541 million in 2008 from $714 million in 2007. Previously, Apple charged 99 cents to convert songs from already owned iTunes music into a ringtone. With the new experience, which is integrated in iTunes on the phone, its suppose to be better and cheaper. In addition, Apple has a number of advantages. First, the ringtones will be integrated into iTunes on the phone and it will also be tied to the user's Itunes account. Convenience and price is are key factors in Apple's re-birthing of ringtones. As stated in the article, in the early days, the prices soared mostly because consumers were willing to pay more, and because they had now way to convert songs they already owned. Ringtone prices have stayed high because ringtone royalties paid to artists have been set higher than full-track royalties. Is $1.29 a bargain? Overall, Apple's involvement in this ringtone revival is crucial. In opinion, with Apple's image behind this movement there will be an increase in ringtone sales. However, this increase will be short lived. Ringtones are constantly battling third-party software which allows users to quickly and easily make ringtones of their favorite songs at little to no cost. However, it will be interesting to see how Pandora and other music streaming services respond to this. With projections of 5.5 billion by 2013 in revenue from streaming mobile services, ringtones have a bright future. However, this is all dependent upon how convenient and cheap Apple or any other mobile music service makes ringtones.

-Ryan Dolan

Diddy Signs Bad Boy Label Deal With Interscope

It was stated that last Tuesday Sean "Diddy" Combs signed a deal with Universal Music Group's Interscope Geffen A&M label. In the deal all of Diddy's future albums will be released and it will also create a new Bad Boy/Interscope joint venture. Interscope, which is headed by Jimmy Iovine, has a long history with hip hop. In fact, it is home to labels like rapper 50 Cents' G-Unit Records and Eminem's Shady Records but also pop artists like Lady Gaga and Nelly Furtado.

I think Diddy and his artists who are signed to Bad Boy will fit in great at Interscope. I can only hope for Interscope's benifit that Diddy is 100% focused on his album and not another MTV band. His new upcoming album "Next Train To Paris," will be the first release on this deal. I am excited for the album to drop, it is said to be electro-hip hop soul funk. Diddy is collaborating with hit-making producers The Dream, Tricky, The Neptunes, Mario Winans, T-Pain and Rodney Jerkins. 

I am ready to see and hear again the "artist" Diddy not the "business man" Diddy!

~Rachel August Millas

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

3OH!3 wants to be a millionaire

Recently, the band 3OH!3 was featured as a question on the television show Who Wants to be a Millinoaire? The question read, "The musical duo 3OH!3 takes its name from the area code where the group first formed, encompassing what U.S. city?" This question is marketing the band 3OH!3 to a different demographic. Normally 3OH!3 would be featured on television networks such as MTV, VH1, and FUSE, shows on theCW, abcFamily, etc., attracting a younger audience. Audiences tuning into Who Wants to be a Millionaire typically are older, potentially the parents of 3OH!3 fans. It's the new Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy for our parents generation. How is marketing the band on this show affective? Parents are the ones giving their kids money to buy albums and/or purchasing tickets and taking their kids to the concerts. If the parents are hearing about the bands, the kids are or will be as well.

~Laurel Zevitz

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thrice fans still show support after early leak of new album...

I have been following this story for the past couple months just to see how it plays out and have just recently found some results.  Albums being leaked has been a problem way before internet downloading, I can remember buying a Bad Religion album off ebay a month before it came out because someone got a copy, burned it, and was selling it online.  Now, with internet downloading, this process of getting leaked music is faster, more available, and most importantly... free (unlike the album i had to purchase off of someone when I was 15).  This recently became a problem for a band that I like called Thrice.  In early August I saw a posting that their album was leaked online over 2 months before the release.  Most of the time when I see an album is leaked, it's usually only a couple of weeks prior to the release date and the band or musician continues on as planned.  However, with this leak happening two and a half months early, Thrice had a major problem as to how to handle this situation with affecting album sales.  The album was leaked around late July and had an intended release date of October 13th.  The band scrambled to find a solution since they obviously did not want to have people steal their music but also because the copy that was released was stolen through Vagrant Records computers which had a voice over on every track, stating something along the lines of how the album hasn't been released yet.  As most of us know, there are many things that go on in those remaining months between the actual album being finished and the physical release date.  This situation threw off all the plans they had on how to market this album and we're faced with a new challenge of how to get people to still purchase their record and when.  To settle, they ended up releasing a digital copy of the album on August 11th available for purchase and also had it streaming on their myspace.  The physical release date was bumped up to September 15h and in an attempt to encourage fans to purchase the album, it came with a free digital download card that contained 5 B-side tracks that were not on the original release which included unreleased songs along with covers.  The interesting thing about this is that despite the leak and free streaming, the band still managed to come in at 47 on the billboards top 100.  This was the main reason I was following this story, mainly because I wanted to see how loyal fans can be in situations like this.  With the rapidly changing music industry it is interesting to see how fans and bands respond to situations like this.  Thrice had to market their album in a whole new direction to encourage fans to purchase their album and in this case I believe was still a success.  Below are several articles on the story you can read dating from their responses to finding out about the release, to the billboards report just recently.

Trevor Kay

Music Videos

One article I read this week discussed the deal that is being finalized between Warner Music Group and Youtube to finally allow them to play Warner Music Artists videos on youtube again. I think it is important for Warner to make a deal because youtube is the most popular video sharing website, and a great marketing tool. Also included in the article was an explanation of Vevo. Vevo is a new music video website that is being created. Below is a clip from the article.

"Music industry insiders say that Web videos are catching up with radio and music television as one of the most important music discovery tools for fans.

They say Vevo would create a more sophisticated way to experience music on the web, describing a site that would be the music industry's version of Hulu, the popular U.S.-based online TV service backed by NBC Universal, News Corp (NWSA.O) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N). NBC Universal is 80 percent owned by General Electric Co (GE.N) and the remainder by Vivendi."

I think that the idea of Vevo is a better way for people to stream music videos. It is sometimes hard to find an official music video on youtube, so this site would hopefully solve those problems. It would also be interesting to see how else they could link music sales to this website.

- Valerie South

This article covers the sales of the Beatles remastered albums which have done incredibly well. It raises the question that maybe music sales are not quite as bad as some think. My personal opinion is that maybe music these days just is not as good as it used to be. Much of the popular music today does not have anything of importance to say, most of it lacks any real artistry and originality. The Beatles sales show that if there is a product out there that actually has quality, consumers will buy it. If there were remasters of other influential bands I'm sure they would have similar success. I think record labels today will put out a record that has a few songs that will have success on the radio because they are catchy and think that that record deserves to get a million sales even though the song has the same format as every other song on the radio. The songs say nothing of importance, and lack any real artistic expression. A song that has a catchy chorus and a beat that people will dance to will no longer get you a platinum record, but maybe if you start saying something in your music you can have a little success.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Streaming Live Concerts Online!

Let's talk about streaming live videos.

In the past few years, we have seen a number of artists utilize the technology of streaming live concerts to their fans on the internet. Radiohead did it. The Dave Matthews Band did it. And more recently, many lesser-known bands have been catching on to this trend. And hey, you can even watch concerts on your iPhone.

Many sites are available for artists of all kinds to create their own live concerts. DMB used Hulu to broadcast their concert at Beacon Hall back in June. In August, Apple provided a concert from electronica band Underworld for iPhone users. But these major outlets are not the only sources for this kind of event. Websites like UStream, which is known as a site utilized mostly for live podcasts, could be used to record any band performing live for their fans anywhere in the world.

Now, depending on the popularity of a band, this may or may not prove to be a useful marketing tool, but if worked correctly it could get a band or artist out onto the internet live, giving fans and "passersby" the opportunity to experience a concert as it happens. It surprises me that something like this has not been made popular before now. It is quite simple to record a performance at a professional venue, or anywhere else a performance could take place.

This idea can help to reach out both to fans who are not able to attend certain concerts due to distance, as well as allowing new fans to discover a group in an easy, interesting way. Bands could potentially utilize this technology for more than just concerts; live updates from band members during recording sessions, tours, or any other time could also give people additional opportunities to connect with the band.

So what we see with this seemingly new idea is the possibility of getting music "out there", as well as reaching out to the public and giving fans more chances to enjoy a band's music. I would suspect that this will begin to catch on even more in the next year or so. I would not be surprised to see Apple, Hulu, and other major video-streaming sites to start providing live performances on a regular basis.

Here are some links that relate to this:

-Bill Ross

50 Cent: "P2P is Part of Music Marketing

50 Cent recently appeared on CNBC to promote his new book, "The 50th Law". During the interview the rapper/business mogul brought up some intriguing points on P2P and how it is affecting the music business. He pointed out that because of declining sales in physical products, the marketing money that record companies used to dish out is far gone. He also said that P2P was actually filling in that void and because things have changed so rapidly, P2P should no longer be looked at as a bad thing. He said that it is an extremely effective promotional tool and even pirates of music, still go to concerts, buy t-shirts, an occasional CD, etc. These pirates will still fall in love with the music even if they steal it and will end up at the concerts.
I think that P2P is and should be viewed as a promotional tool. We, as an industry, should be less focused on physical and digital sales and start focusing more on live performances and merchandise. This P2P is such a powerful tool to getting an artist heard, helping them expand to more then just the target audience. If something is good and free, then it is going to spread a lot faster then the old way ever did. This simply gives an artist more of an audience, but still not as much sales of CD's or digital sales. This is where it get tricky. We now have to really question what we are actually selling and become more creative with the product we are selling. If this means throwing a t-shirt with a digital sale of a CD, then so be it. If this means we have to focus more on live performances, then I'm all for it. We of course are already seeing this, but to really embrace P2P as a form of promotion is the best way to go about things. P2P will decrease certain sales, but will double promotion to the point, that if played right (if we address the right products), should increase fans, making up for what we are now lacking in profit.
The product is turning more and more to the artist and not so much the album. This means we need to be more creative in how the artist/labels can make money off the popularity of the artist as an entity. Either way, no matter where the industry goes, music fans can't steal the feeling/experience of a live performance and this will always be one solid way to make money for music artists.

By: Andre Rodriguez

"I Ain’t Gonna Cry Tonight: Streisand at the Vanguard"

Two weeks ago I blogged about Jay-Z and the surprise concert he put on to help promote his latest album.  I discussed the impact it had on the marketing, and how strategies like that can be very beneficial if it is put together the right way.  This article relates to Jay-Z because like his strategy, music legend Barbara Streisand did the same thing. "Seventy-four fans have won free tickets as part of a promotion for Ms. Streisand’s new album, “Love Is the Answer” (Columbia), which comes out on Tuesday."  This article was short, but it makes a very interesting point. 

"World leaders spoke at the United Nations; movers and shakers from politics and entertainment discussed weighty topics at the Clinton Global Initiative summitU2 broke Pope John Paul II’s attendance record at Giants Stadium. But perhaps the most coveted ticket in town is for a downtown basement that probably wouldn’t fit half of U2’s road crew: Barbra Streisand is singing tonight at the Village Vanguard"

Just by making a comparison between Streisand's concert and the United Nations shows the impact that music marketing/promotion can have over a community.  Granted that may be disappointing to some people who don't even think a concert and world speakers should be thrown together into one category, but the bottom line is that they are.  There are many people who surround their lives around music and devote their time and energy to things like concerts instead of the news and politics. I am not one to say if that is right or wrong, its just a fact. 

The concert was for only 74 people, and yet there was a still a line the day of the concert in hopes for a chance to watch the show, even though the extra tickets didn't even exist. If your promotional concert can take away the attention from the United Nations and create a mob of people outside the show who know they don't have a chance of getting in, you've gotta be doing something right.

--Lyndsie Klott

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Game: Battle Raps for Promotion

Let's face it. The Game will never sell as many records as Jay-z. But thanks to one line by Jay-z, dissing the L.A. Rap kingpin, a full "beef" has begun, and The Game's name is on the rise once again.

On the track, "I'm So Wavy", The Game hits Jay with such lines as "No one on the corner got swagger like you? That's cause no one on the fucking corner is 42."

...And Jay hasn't responded.

Due to Jay-Z's recent release of Blueprint 3, the rap icon is having no trouble getting press these days. On the other hand, The Game, whose last release was 2008's The Doctor's Advocate is just getting geared up to release The R.E.D. Album this November.

Let's be real: battle-rap and beef have been promotional tools for many years (Biggie/Tupac, 50 Cent/Ja Rule, and *ahem* Jay-z and Nas). But there hasn't been a lyrical attack this fierce's been awhile.

What I'm getting at is that in modern rap's mixtape culture is the perfect breeding ground for a strong marketing campaign grown out of this vicious, vicious attack.

Get it Game.

Alex Katz

This week I decided that I wanted to write about what I feel is an overlooked web service site for musicians. The site is called "Isound." While the site is increasing in popularity, it is not used nearly as often as, myspace, or youtube.
If you are unfamiliar with Isound, it is very similar to the sites that I listed above. Like myspace, it gives you four free slots to use for different songs. If you wish to increase the amount of music that you are allowed to put on the site, you can become a "LOUD Artist." The LOUD service allows you to upload one hundred songs, it also enables a blog, more photographs, occasional front page recognition, and top placement in searches throughout the site.
Another thing that I like about Isound is that it offers accounts for people whom are not musicians. These accounts are called "Listener" accounts. Listener accounts act much like Artist accounts, except that you cannot upload your own music. Instead, you select a playlist and stream it from an artist account. I feel that this allows people whom are not necessarily musicians to feel like they are involved in the community as well. The other sites that I listed do have such accounts, but I believe it is a nice feature to have for such a site.
At the moment, I feel that this site is not the best site for marketing. I do believe that it would not hurt to have a presence there either, especially if you are an artist or a label. At any given time you will see that there are usually a few hundred to a thousand listeners online, and ten to one hundred artists. Despite these small numbers, I do believe that the site receives a lot of unregistered traffic that is unaccounted for in the front page statistics. My account had a song with six thousand plays, yet I only had four hundred friends. I highly doubt that my listeners listened to that particular track that many times even though it is quite nice. You are guaranteed to appear in searches in this site, and it is quite efficient, unlike myspace's search. There are several ways to search for artists, just like any search engine. You may search by name, genre, first letter of the name, and location. For the most part, I think this would be an effective (and affordable) way to reach a niche audience. If you want more exposure, or a professional website of your own would be a better choice, in my opinion.
I had been introduced to this site a few years ago through one of my music theory teachers. From personal experience, I found the site to be an enjoyable use. I landed a composition job through having a presence on here. I compose for gaming developers on occasion. I also found the account management tools to be very straightforward and efficient.

- Derek Jenkins

Friday, September 25, 2009

Buying Music Downloads Could Cost Even More

Earlier this year Apple increased the price of songs from three major labels (Sony BMG, Warner & Universal.) If ASCAP & BMI have their way, prices may be going up regardless on what label the song is from. The two associations are looking to congress to make it mandatory that anyone who sells a download must pay performance fees. The two organizations are also looking to bank off of movie & television downloads as well as still trying to bank off of the 30 second samples that iTunes allows for.

I think if this were to happen, it could come back to hurt iTunes. In the article it states that after the price increase earlier this year, sales dropped noticiably in the following weeks. So if it dropped after a slight price increase, just imagine how much more they would drop after a bigger price increase. At the end of it all, I think it comes down to how much the consumer is willing to put up with, because if they aren't...It'll be a not so bright future for iTunes.

-Marcus Hall

Who Says CD Sales Are Dead?

Within a week of "Beatles day" (the release of their remastered catalogue, among other Beatles related releases) The Beatles had yet again set numerous records across the world, with roughly 2.25 million copies world wide in a week. Before I get to my point, let's look at a few staggering sales figures....
- On Billboards Comprehensive Albums Chart, The Beatles had 18 titles listed, 5 out of the top 10, and nine out of the top 20.
-In Japan, all 14 remastered titles made Japans top 25, including seven of the top 10.
-In Italy and Belgium, The Beatles have 17 titles in each countries top charts, a record for both countries record sales.
-The Beatles hold 16 out of the 17 slots on Korea's Hottracks album chart.

Now I'm not saying that this is proof that CD's are still completely relevant, and I'm definitely not saying that many (if any) bands have the ability and pull to do even close to what The Beatles have done this month. But I do think that The Beatles make the case for the continuance of strong marketing plans for physical copies of music.
I would venture to guess that almost everyone who will read this was aware of The Beatles big release day well before the ninth of September. While that has a lot to do with The Beatles being The Beatles, I think that the facts above help make the case for the physical release.
Perhaps marketers should put a little more effort into pushing the CD's that are wasting away on the record store shelves; It seems that every ad I see for a new release has the iTunes logo on it somewhere, and while iTunes is a huge way of revenue, Beatles day proves that if people think that a record is worth it, they will wait, and they will pay for it.
-Eric Hart

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is Spotify Spot On?

The new buzz in online music services is Spotify. As discussed in class, Spotify is only available in certain countries in Europe. Daniel Elk, the co founder, promises it will soon come to the U.S. after negotiations with the major music labels. The negotiations should go smoothly considering the popularity of this on-demand music service. Currently, there are seven million users that are mostly in the U.K., as well as Germany and Sweden. Surprisingly, these numbers reflect business operation in under a year.
Consumers will have to download a simple software that will let users listen to music instantly. According to the article, "the true appeal is the quick ability to build an eclectic online music library and discover new songs without having to spend a lot buying tracks". This has proven to be a very effective marketing tool for the company and artists. Allowing users to explore and discover music with hassle free services builds exposure for both sides.
Spotify mainly generates from advertisement and monthly service fees. The benefit of paying a monthly service allows users to dodge advertising. In addition, Spotify makes money from users downloading songs and by spurring physical sales. Overall, the popularity is there to drive investors to pour money into this company, which is why an estimated $250 million has gone into this company already. Spotify declares that their business model is an alternative to piracy. Ninety five percent of music users get their music illegally and this business is targeting this audience with precision. Ultimately, Spotify wants to provide users with the largest music catalogue in the world. If they are able to continue without losing any licenses and label cooperation, they should have no problem becoming the most popular free music service.

-Ryan Dolan

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

After his interview with Jay Leno on the debut of the new Leno Show, Kanye West announced that he would be flying under the radar for some time because of the mishap at the VMAs. According to his blog, that doesn't seem to be the case. There, Kanye has posted an incredibly provocative promo clip to promote his upcoming Fame Kills tour with Lady Gaga. You can find the clip here...

This tour is obviously being marketed as a scandalous and sexy tour, which is obviously what sells in the music industry today. It goes right along the lines of the popular rap videos with all the scantily clad women and such. It is well known that both of these artists are over the top performers, and this video shows that it will be much of the same from them, but on a higher level. This marketing campaign is quite different from previous efforts... when was the last time you saw something this provocative? This...

and this...

immediately come to mind. They were both hugely popular and created a resounding buzz. Kanye's marketing approach may be ripping off of old methods, but I don't think it's going to make it any less successful.

-Woody Ellis

taxing free music?

It seems as if musicians today will never stop trying to plead with their fans in an attempt to get them to continue to buy their records.  You can almost hear the tears coming from Lilly Allen's response as she begs her fans to continue buying artists music, though I am sure she's doing just fine financially.  However, Muse singer, Matt Bellamy gives an actual logical solution that may be a step in the right direction to this on going consumer/artist battle.  He is calling for a tax based system on ISPs for using copyrighted material.   Basically what this means is that depending on how much a person downloads per day, he/she will be taxed a certain amount and that money will go back to the copy right owners.  Stating how these internet providers are profiting from the millions of people who subscribe to the internet, yet they don't have to pay anything in return.  Bellamy at least is recognizing that the internet is the new form of music broadcasting, however his ideas are still semi flawed.  The problem with this is how will you monitor what it is that people download?  Pirating will always find a way around this.  So if you simply tax users based on their usage, is that really fair?   People transferring large files are not always pirating and downloaded music, often times one has to send video, music, or images as a part of their job.  Is it really fair to tax them because of this?  In a situation like this it seems like the ISP's will start to loose major profit, which will then increase subscription cost and make things harder on the individual user.  So while I believe Bellamy has a unique idea and is recognizing that file sharing is unstoppable, it's still an flawed solution.  Yet, it is a step in the right direction and it seems as if record companies are starting to recognize that they can not win this battle.  Since it may be impossible to monitor what exactly an individual downloads and tax them accordingly, maybe record labels should look at a new way of marketing their music completely for free.  Because lets face the facts, if a user wants an artists music for free, odds are they can find it online and labels may not want to except this, but they are going to have to at some point.  However, maybe they can maybe come up with some sort of catch to create their own downloading system like limewire or bittorrent, where they can monitor exactly what people want in their own form of a torrent downloading program and impose a small tax on an individual using that.  They would have to include some sort of benefits or extras to draw users and market themselves apart to make someone want to use this instead of the already existing programs out there, but it is possible.  A solution like this will not win over everyone but may get some people and that would be a small battle won.

Trevor Kay

A new single from Michael Jackson called "This Is It" will be released on Oct. 12. The song features some of Michaels brothers doing backup vocals, and it is part of a 2-disc album that is being released around the same time as the "This Is It" film which documents his final days rehearsing for his comeback concerts.
The double album will be released 2 days before the film hits theaters on Oct. 28. The album will have 2 versions of the single, and it will also feature more previously unreleased versions of Jackson classics.
They are marketing this album to go hand in hand with the film, which obviously has mass appeal because people are interested in seeing Michael soon before he passed. The music landscape has changed drastically since Michael last put out a record, but that shouldn't have any effect on this marketing campaign. People loved Michael for all of his classics, and those same people, plus a younger generation, are interested in his legacy. To me, something like this release is automatically marketed towards the older fans, but with the new music that is being included, it will appeal to the younger audience as well.
-Woody Ellis

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Miranda Lambert Starting A 'Revolution'

Miranda Lambert first exploded onto the scene as a finalist in the 2003 season of the "Nashville Star" television series. She didn’t win – a result she has described as a blessing. “I was hoping not to win,” she once said. “The winner had to go in right after the contest and make a record in a couple of weeks, and I wasn’t ready.” Some would think that is big talk from a small-town Texas girl. But six years later she is about to release "Revolution" on Tuesday, September 29, which is one of the most highly anticipated country releases of the fall.
"Revolution," from a song or a lyric; instead, the country-rocker is a bit more philosophical about her new work. "To me, that's an exciting word, that something new is happening. I sort of reinvented myself musically on this record," Lambert tells 
Her Marketing and Promotion team has this girl extremely busy getting the news that the album is about to drop in stores near you. This coming Thursday she is set to sing "Revolution" start to finish  at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, has TV appearance's back to back on September 29 going from Good Morning America to The Late Show with David Letterman. Also, the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on October 1 and from there, she will fly to Los Angeles to tape the Ellen DeGeneres show on October 5 and the next day the Bonnie Hunt show.
I may not be a country fan but I am excited to see and hear what all the buzz is about!

~Rachel August Millas

The article I have posted below explains how the ringtone industry, just a few years old, has already begun to decline. Citing new mobile phone technology as one of the main reasons for the decline in sales, people are now able to purchase entire songs for a dollar off of iTunes rather than pay a few dollars for a few seconds of the song. I understand this thinking, but I don't necessarily agree with it. I think the novelty of having your favorite song play has started to wear off, maybe even become annoying. I remember in 2003 I was happy to pay ten dollars for 3 monophonic ringtones because it was a statement I could make anytime somebody called me. Now I have 1 ringtone and to be honest, I wouldn't care if I didn't have it anymore. I don't think the price has much to do with the decline in sales, afterall, people are still willing to pay as much as 2 dollars for a song to play on touchtunes at the bar and once that song is over, so is their money. I think the ringtone was simply a fad that took off unlike anybody had predicted, and now the fad is dying.

The music ringtone market is continuing its steady decline, according to a new study from industry research firm IBISWorld. The company forecasts that revenue will decline for the second consecutive year down 15% to $750 million from its $880 million peak in 2007.

Ringtone chart

Growing demand of downloads, worth an estimated $1.94 billion, are the reason behind the eroding mobile ringtone market according to the study. Early ringtones were bought via text and cost consumers up to $5 a song. Today songs can be purchased for less than a dollar.

“Music ringtones practically boomed overnight, but with two consecutive years of decline it seems the industry is exiting just as rapidly as it entered,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “And with the ringtone market already reaching its decline stage, its life cycle is only expected to last about 15 years.”

“Mobile Phones are now truly wireless Internet devices and allow consumers to download full songs for ringtones rather than the 30-second versions available in the past,” said van Beeck. “Providers like iTunes and have revolutionized the way we buy and use music, driving consumers to hang-up on ringtones.”

Steve Smith

Incentives for album sales

As album sales decrease, record labels and independent artists/bands think of innovative ways to sell as many albums possible. Some album releases will have the option of a deluxe edition which may include a DVD, bonus tracks, etc. Others may include a free limited edition t-shirt with the purchase, or a special combo price for a CD/EP package. With the competition of itunes and illegal downloading [especially], some consumers need an incentive to purchase an album digitally and/or physically.

Often during the pre-ordering stage of an album, there will be an incentive to purchasing an artist or band's album in advance. This is also a great marketing tool for the album. "Pre-order [album] and receive [this] with your purchase."

Sherwood [MySpace Records] will be releasing their album, QU, on October 13th. Their album is being sold in three different packages. The digital package includes the digital album with artwork and an additional 3-track digital EP with purchase to download instantly, at a normal price of $11.99. Package One includes the album, 3-track digital EP, and an album logo air freshener for $15.99. Package Two includes the album, 3-track digital EP, album logo air freshener, exclusive pre-order t-shirt, canvas grocery bag, an autographed poster, and skull candy headphones to the first 400 orders, for a low price $49.99. Also included with pre-order purchases is entry to a contest for the chance to win 4 Meet-and-greet passes to see Sherwood on their upcoming tour with Hanson and Hellogoodbye.

As the industry is growing accustom to music being attainable for free, marketing techniques such as these are being used more often. Eventually I can this happening for every release in the future, except [the only difference is] the digital download of an album will be available to download legally for free. The other packages will also be available to those who prefer a physical copy or "more" with their purchase.

~Laurel Zevitz

Monday, September 21, 2009

It’s Time To Get Excited About the Pumpkins Again!

Or, at least this is what Billy Corgan wants you to think with his new promotion strategy for upcoming album he and the others who call themselves the Smashing Pumpkins are releasing in late October. Radiohead were the pioneers of releasing an album for free on the internet last year and many other artists decided to follow their lead. The Smashing Pumpkins have put a new twist to this idea. Here’s the idea; 44 tracks, each track released separately within a few days from the next, all songs under the album entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope (which will later be divided into 11 four song EPs), and, best of all, all songs will be free. On the Pumpkins’ official website, Corgan stresses that the songs will be 100% free and that, “free means free, which means you won’t have to sign up for anything, give an email address, or jump through a hoop”. After all 44 tracks are released for free online, the album will then be divided into EPs which will be available for purchase individually or collectively as a mini-box set.
I think that this is a great and exciting approach to getting Pumpkins fans, old and new, pumped for the new release. The idea is new and fun, and will give the consumer a sense of anticipation and involvement. On the other hand, by releasing these 44 tracks for free (and not even giving the consumer an option to name a price like Radiohead), the Smashing Pumpkins could be taking a risk. I don’t know too many die-hard SP fans but I’m assuming many have not been as loyal to the band since the line-up changed quite significantly, this album leaving Corgan as the last remaining original member. Their only profit will be made from these highly limited edition EPs and box sets, which I am assuming will cost a pretty penny. How many die-hard Smashing Pumpkins fans will actually be interested in the new album, let alone purchasing the EPs and box sets? Time will only tell for the success of the new album. So get ready for the first free download of the series of 44 around Halloween time, I’ve already marked my calendar!
-erin schwaba
article referenced:

Album Experience

The article I found is about U2 and Blackberry teaming together to help listeners be able to experience album booklets once again. I remember growing up I loved looking at the CD booklet for lyrics and pictures of the band. With digital music so popular now, many fans no longer get the same experience. However, U2 and Blackberry have designed a free application for Smartphone users to be capable of looking at the CD booklet right from their phone. The app allows users to view photos, interviews, videos, news, lyrics, and samples of music from U2's most recent CD " No Line on the Horizon." Users of this application can also find links to purchase music straight through their Smartphones.

I think this is a pretty cool idea. I know when you purchase CD's off iTunes they provide a CD booklet, but this will enhance that feature. More people may be inclined to purchase music if one of their favorite artist's did the same thing.

- Val South

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Record Labels Develop a Taste for Vampires

Even if you're not a fan, you have heard or know of Twilight. Promotional materials for the books, movies, and even soundtracks are everywhere. What once started out as a popular series for young teens, has now turned into one of the most popular topics of conversation in entertainment. I'm sure having a good looking cast that people thrive for doesn't hurt, but what really took me by surprise was how the music industry took advantage of the open door for the promotional opportunity that was there for the music.

I have personally found some of my favorite songs and artists through movie soundtracks, and viewers really do make emotional attachments not only to the movie itself but also to the music that is chosen for the movie. This articles discusses how soundtracks may be overlooked, but can be very beneficial for music promotion.

Twilight is probably the best example considering its popularity and the fact that people are already waiting to see the rest of the movie series and to hear what music will be showcased. As much as people say the music industry is suffering, which may be true, it is important to remember the outlets such as soundtracks. Although they may not take first row to promotional strategy, it could be just as important and beneficial.

-Lyndsie Klott

Live Nation Extends Discounts To Clubs

Live Nation is one of the leading ticket sellers around. They sign artists but predominately are concert promoters and therefore are seen as one of the biggest forces in promotion. I found an article regarding recent pricing strategies used by live nation which shows how they've been combating affects of this economic recession. Live Nation has been experimenting this past summer with a series of one day sales and dropped ticketing fees. Their strategy this summer proved to be very effective, striking excitement in fans across the nation.

However, now that the summer has come to an end, for a limited time, Live Nation is selling club passports for $50 bucks a pop plus ticketing fees. The passport would basically get you into any participating club of your choice, such as house of blues, for any non-sold out show at that particular club for the remainder of 2009.

The Rules

"Beginning today fans can go to and purchase a Club Passport. A list of participating shows will be immediately available. Every Monday thereafter, Passport holders log on to or follow LiveNation on Facebook or Twitter to see the list of participating club shows in their city and to reserve their ticket. The Club Passport holders just bring their Live Nation Club Passport number and photo I.D. to the club’s box office and get in with no extra charges."

This member/pricing strategy is very clever, especially in light of the economic situation we're in right now. This is extremely attractive to music fans who already go to many concerts. Now they only have to pay a one time $50 dollars and ticketing expenses and get to enjoy a lot more shows then they would've before, for nearly the same price. This also creates more impulse buys for the music fans who have purchased the passport but wouldn't normally go to as many shows. One can quickly see how calculated this strategy is, when looking at purchasing behaviors of music fans. Most of the time ticket purchases are dependant on not only knowing if your favorite artist is playing, but the cost and location. If one purchases a passport to a specific club he is familiar with and enjoys then not only will he be updated as to all the shows taking place there, but the cost is so low now, that the passport holder will be most likely tempted to experience shows he normally would not attend. This is boosted promotion not only for Live Nation, but for the venues and artists as well. Short and simple, this is going to fill more seats.

In all, the marketing strategy at Live Nation is very effective because they are always keeping current and evolving. Consistently staying on their toes and never becoming complacent. As Bruce Lee once said, "One must be like water" and adapt not only to the buyers behaviors and economy, but technology as well.

By: Andre Rodriguez

Get paid to download albums

Now days everyone is looking for ways to make their music more affordable for the consumer. Lets just take a min to think about what if we was paid to download albums. This idea could work for the more established artist who are mostly interested and people hearing their music rather then just becoming rich. I'm talking about big name artist such as Jay-Z, Lady GaGa etc. This is something new, and eye catching. To explain more, lets say that you were awarded a dollar for downloading a album with only 500,000 available to receive a dollar off of. The promotion would only be available for one week with only 100,000 copies being giving away a day between afternoon and evening hours. After the 100,000 copies are out you would have to pay regular price instead of receiving a dollar. Some may be thinking that the artist would be out of 500,000 dollars. Here is the good part similar to Radiohead the MAJOR artist would set up a website where the album could be downloaded for the first week of sales. Now due to the popularity it would be great anticipation build up around this idea of getting paid a dollar to download a album. Many Businesses would take notice of this and would flock to buy advertising space on the website. Some may even want to sponsor the promotion and put the 500,000 dollars up themselves and exchange for an free subscription to their service which will get the consumer's information from whoever downloads the album. The idea of an artist doing this is risky but for the right artist this can work. It would put the spotlight on the artist and the profit from the advertising space sold on the website could make up and possibly exceed the 500,000 giving away. And since it will be digital that cuts out the distribution cost up front. Of course this is just a thought but what do you guys think?

Trevion Martin

Here is a link from Radiohead that is similer to my post execpt you could pay however much you wanted for their album.

Apple's Future in Online Music

Apple, the largest music distributor in the world, seems to be shifting its focus away from music and into the direction of iPhone apps. Experts worry that with this new strategy, Apple may begin to cut back on new ideas for iTunes. The company hopes to increase interest and stability by potentially marketing their products to a larger audience with their apps, but the power of iTunes will not likely be taken over by this new trend.

This issue leads to another interesting topic of discussion- the effect of alternative services on the music industry. While free music services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, and iLike has proven to encourage their users to actually purchase music, there have been doubts concerning their impact on music sales. The suggestion is that rather than causing users to purchase music or concert tickets, they simply create purchases that would have occurred with or without the programs.

With this information, the importance of iTunes in today's music market becomes much more evident. The possibility that iTunes could lose attention from Apple is a scary one considering that no other music service comes close to offering as many opportunities to artists and customers. Sure, if iTunes lost users to other services, online music would still continue to flourish, but how would the landscape of free vs. purchased change? From a marketing perspective, we should hope that Apple continues to focus on new ideas and strategies for its iTunes product. This software is an incredible tool for artists, and its constant debuting of new features keeps it in place as the online music giant that it is. Losing iTunes is losing the largest music purchasing platform in the world, and while it does not appear that we are too far into that danger zone, we should hope that Apple does not abandon the creative possibilities that lie in the soul of iTunes.

I referenced these articles in writing this blog post:

-Bill Ross

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Marketing Music On YouTube

In recent years, a video streaming site called "YouTube" has recently become nearly as popular as the company's search engine that obtained them. With millions of individual visitors each day, this site was bound to eventually become a source for marketers from all fields.
Have you ever tried searching for music on YouTube? These days many people smuggle tracks onto the site, usually these are accompanied by album art or some other visual. Despite this, what you will find to be more prevalent are promotional videos. Many record labels have "Channels" on the site that they use as a base in order to distribute their advertisements. Often times you will also see banners on the site that show advertisements for music releases as well. The most amazing thing is that other than the banners, the advertising is free.
To me, I would think that such a site would be a dream to any marketer whom was looking for some place in cyberspace to advertise. The cost is about as low as you can get, you can directly reach your target audience, and the demonstrations are potentially unlimited. Many promotional videos have well over one million hits within the first week of their placement on the site as well. Television can reach a similar amount of people, but is much more costly if you intend to do so.
With the rise of YouTube, the iPhone, iPod, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other similar sites or devices... One can only imagine what the future will bring. In less than ten years, the playing field has changed drastically for marketers. With sites like this to help get the word out, I can only view the existence of YouTube to have a positive impact on the success of marketing ventures.

- Derek Jenkins

Below are some links that are related to my post:

The Reverb Store: A New Platform for Artists

In October, Reverbnation, a leading online marketing platform for nearly 500,000 industry folk (bands, managers, labels, etc.) will debut its new site known as The Reverb Store. This project is the result of a partnership with eCommerce leader Audiolife.

The Reverb Store lets any artist sell numerous types of merchandise. Items are produced per order, so there is no inventory to pay for upfront. It works directly to Reverbnation, allowing bands to promote and generate revenues together seamlessly.

In addition, The Reverb Store works on Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, and has a widget that can be placed on the pages.

While I do have a Reverbnation account, I do not actively use it as a promotional tool. With this new platform, I will definitely be giving it a try. The widget for other social networking sites is a simple, but good aspect of The Reverb Store. More importantly, the ability to have each product produced per purchase is a truly great idea.

Check out The Reverb Store when it launches in October

Alex Katz

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Steady Decline of Myspace

I found this article, once again on hypebot. The post cited a report credited to Alexa measurements, which showed facebooks steady increase of unique users to the page over the past year, and myspaces just as steady decline in unique users.
The long and short of it is this: myspace, despite it's huge corporate advertisers and repeated layout revamps is losing steam due to emergence of facebook and (the article doesn't state it, but I think the same could be said about) twitter. myspace used to be THE place to promote yourself as a person or as a band, but as the article shows, there may be better outlets to market your work as an artist...
I think that today's fans are used to the super personal touch that seems to be more prevalent with applications such as facebook or twitter, that combined with myspaces outdated layouts and facebooks more user friendly set-up has really hurt myspaces popularity; And as an artist who has used both facebook and myspace for promotional purposes, I can see why. In my opinion, myspace needs to do a near complete overhaul to stay relevant with today's artists/marketers.


Eric Hart

Songwriters REALLY want to get paid.

I've come across an article where it's discussed that songwriters would like to earn more performance royalties. I know, not a problem right? But here's the thing...they want royalties from the preview clips of songs that can be heard on iTunes. Yep, every time someone double-clicks to preview a song, songwriters want money for it.

I'm all for musicians getting paid, but even I must admit this seems like a little much. I'm not saying Apple will call their bluff, but just imagine if you couldn't preview songs before you bought them. Would you still buy the songs or the album? I do think that a mutual agreement will be made but if one isn't, what could possibly come of this new proclamation by musicians.

-Marcus Hall

Thursday, September 17, 2009

5 Apps Tap the Internet's Infinite Playlist

This article talks about the new music services that are battling over on demand Internet streaming music. Even though the sound quality is not the greatest, the free music and large music libraries keeping attracting users. Some services that are emerging with Imeem is Fizy, Muziic, Songza, Spotify, and Twones. Each of them have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, imeem lets users creates, share and discover user-generated custom playlists, video channels , photo slideshows, and blogs with other members who share similar tastes in music, video, art and pop culture. Imeem is able to provide fans with free on demand music and video streaming with costs supported by advertising and also having a partnership with all four major labels. In addition, thousands of artists and independent labels and music distributors offer their music and videos on the site as well. The social networking environment in these current times have proven to be a great marketing avenue for artists. This environment welcomes users to discover and share new music. On the other hand, it also opens the door for these programs to develop new strategies and products that will help introduce a more vibrant marketplace to the social networking environment.

-Ryan Dolan

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's a Personal Music Player not a Cell Phone!

I disagree with this article. Simply, because I think that people are more focused on the fun gaming apps than what Microsoft is actually trying to have available for their serious music listeners. 

Yes, I do love and own a iPod but I only have music on it. No fun apps,  just the preloaded games. I do not think that Microsoft bombed a huge marketing opportunity with up-to-date software services on the new Zune HD. And even if they did, in November, Twitter and Facebook apps and some 3D games will launch giving them a competitor edge. Some of Zune's buyer's have said that, "The Zune 4.0 software is a better music/media management program; outshining iTunes in its overall user experience. Small feature’s like quick play and a Smart DJ that accesses not just your collection but the entire Zune marketplace collection (if you have a Zune pass) make accessing a large music collection and discovering new music easy.

I just believe that is article is talking about two different devices...if you are going to make strong pro's and con's, be sure you are doing it fair. "Apples to Apples not Apples to Oranges!"

Overall, I am proud to see a product that its priority is music!

~Rachel August Millas

Video Game Sales
A new article reveals that music is not alone in dwindling sales. Video game sales are dropping quite a bit this year. Sales for this month compared to last year are down 16% and are down 14% year to date. This could be relating to the poor economy as many industries are down especially in the leisure department. Relating to the music industry, video games have become one of the more prominent sources for sync licensing. Not only are the soundtracks for these games fairly large, they also highlight the artists and songs, hopefully igniting an interest for the gamer to go and purchase the song. Just more dismal news in the music industry.
Steve Smith

Monday, September 14, 2009

They Might Be Giants Market To A Younger Audience

They Might Be Giants is striving for a broader fan base. This alternative rock band which formed in 1982 in Brooklyn are generally known amongst a mature audience for their experimental sound and abstract subject matter. On September 1st they released their 14th album entitled Here Comes Science which is geared towards children. It contains 19 audio tracks and 19 videos all relating to science. This collection of songs touches topics such as astronomy, paleontology, chemistry, anatomy, and evolution. Currently on tour, They Might Be Giants can be found playing two shows a day in one town, a “family show” to promote their children’s albums and a “flood show” to promote their adult albums.
I think that this is a very creative and wholesome way to expand their fan base and a great way to get their name out there to everyone. Also, now parents who are alternative/indie rock fans don’t have to suffer listening to Hannah Montana or Alvin and the Chipmunks! There is a potential that this marketing could have a detrimental effect on the adults without kids that don’t already know the band. It could give them the reputation of being a children’s band. Either way, it gets the band’s name out there to spark an interest. You don’t even need to be 9 years of age to enjoy these songs, this one is my new jam… lol.
-Erin Schwaba

Will Fans Punish Kanye West?

I am sure like myself, others are already sick of hearing about the Kanye West incident that occured at the MTV Music Video Awards last night, but I thought it would be a great topic any way. The incident I am referring to (for those of you who don't know) is when Kanye jumped on stage when young Taylor Swift was accepting her award for Best Female Video.

After this moment the question is will Kanye lose a lot of his fans, or will he continue to make tons of money? Will he also be dropped from any current or future marketing campaigns? I found an interesting article pertaining to this very question.

I think Kanye will be in the clear. The fans he already had will continue to support him, but he did upset quite a number of people last night. Twitter went crazy after the VMA moment with over 293,024 tweets being sent out in the single hour after West's meltdown. Which is probably exactly what Kanye wanted. The only other question left: Was this all staged by Kanye and MTV, you can decide for yourself on that one.

- Val South

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nimbit's Mystore on Facebook

Nimbit has launched a new feature for artists on Facebook. Before this new platform was introduced, artists' pages on Facebook could only link to third-party stores such as iTunes in order to sell their music and merchandise. The new Nimbit Mystore application provides artists with the ability to sell their music directly to their fans on Facebook.

Along with the ability to sell directly to Facebook users comes the access and exposure to the Facebook community. This platform acts not only as an easy "vending machine" of sorts, but also as a huge marketing machine. By allowing more opportunities for bands' pages to be explored and utilized, Nimbit provides the artist with an incredibly larger chance of being noticed via users' news feeds.

The great thing about this new innovation is the chance for artists and fans alike to have a sort of "one-stop shop" for music, merchandise, tickets, and various other products provided by the artist. Artists can use Facebook to track sales and trends, while users can discover music easier and faster. Overall, Nimbit's new platform seems to be a fantastic tool for artists to connect directly with their fans. The fact that it combines a multitude of services into one place leads me to believe that it will catch on and become more popular as time goes on.

-Bill Ross


Jay-Z Pitches New Album at Free Show

JAY-Z.  His name alone can grab anyone's attention.  Whether you hate him or love him, he has proved he's here to stay.  Am I a Jay-Z fan? I would say yes.  I haven't bought or listened to his new album "The Bluepring 3" yet, but not because I don't want to. I tend to listen to music at my own pace.  But that doesn't mean I can't or don't appreciate the power Jay-Z has. Not only in his music but in his ability to use the power to intensify the marketing and promotions that surround him.  

"For the occasion Jay-Z performed a guerrilla show on Wednesday night at the Gramercy Theater, a 600-capacity club on East 23rd Street in Manhattan, with help from MySpace Music and DJ Hero, a new video game that adapts the Guitar Hero model for hip-hop. It was announced barely 24 hours before, and 250 fans were given free tickets. (The other 350 or so in attendance were assorted V.I.P.’s from the companies involved, and from the news media. They didn’t pay, either.)"

I've gotta say, he knows how to keep the fans on their toes.  Imagine your favorite artist throwing a surprise concert and you have the chance to go watch them for free the next day.... I'm pretty sure it would benefit their reputation, more than the opposite. But okay, so he threw a surprise concert. People do that on occasion.  The best part about this from a marketing standpoint is that he was able to use MySpace and DJ Hero (the new video game) and they were able to use him.  A little give and take... they put the concert together for him... he gives them the time to do a little demonstration of  DJ Hero...everyone wins.  The exposure is the key.  People who come to see Jay-Z were surrounded by the logos of MySpace and DJ Hero.  The link between all three are imprinted in the audiences heads, short term or long term, it works.  

-Lyndsie Klott

OurStage & MTV Join For Emerging Artist Program

MTV has partnered with to help expose new artists. is a platform for new artists to gain exposure through competitions. Fans online are the actual ones doing the voting, pitting song against song, to see whose work will rise to the top. This partnership brings new excitement and hope for 90,000 artists in the OurStage community. This brings new venues and opportunities for these up and coming artists. OurStage has already tapped into mtvU Six Flags VMA Tour and the MTV Video Music Awards this summer. They now have worked out online co-promotions and now MTV has new music to include on TV, which gives much needed exposure for the OurStage community. This partnership works extremely well for both parties. OurStage broadens their platforms and increases their power of exposure. MTV gets a jump on fresh music where artists are ranked by the fans which helps to keep MTV more relevant and just simply adds to their arsenal.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is one of my personal favorite styles in marketing. It is fun, exciting, thought provoking, confusing and creates a buzz surrounding its subject through word of mouth and social networking. When planned correctly, it can be genius! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term 'viral marketing' here is a little background info found at

"The buzzwords viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses."

In the music world, a person or group of people may use this technique to buzz about a new album being released, a reunion tour, or anything that is marketable to the public.

About a year ago, Fall Out Boy's bassist, Pete Wentz, along with Crush Management and Decaydance lead a viral marketing campaign surrounding the announcement of their album being released. During this campaign there were countless threads posted on Throughout the campaign there were several puzzles for victims to find their way through, hoping to reach the purpose. Many others chimed into the campaign, pretending to be involved, simply for their own publicity.

Currently, there is a band conducting a viral campaign. It is still unknown who they are, but eventually the answer will be revealed. If you visit this website,, the page will display a message:

(exhibit A)

The letter is signed "PW" referring to Pete Wentz. Whoever this band is, they either want Pete's involvement or they are using him as a way to increase the number of victims who follow this campaign. Underneath the letter, you find two more things: a downloadable mp3 and a search box with the words "Please Medicate Me" contained inside.

When you download the mp3, the file is titled, "petehatesthepill." When the file is opened, the title of the track is, "The answer is in the pill."

Since I was late entering this campaign, a lot of questions have already been answered. To get to the next step of this campaign you need to type in the search box "Prosopagnosia." This term is a disorder for people who cannot recognize other peoples' faces. How this word was figured out, beats me. After you type it in, however, it leads you to a new website that mimics Pete Wentz's blog site. At a quick glance, one would assume it were Pete's blog, until they notice the url is different. The site, which is also similar to another site owned by Pete When this site opens, it displays the letter [viewed previously] several times. It also has a music player with two songs which have not been heard. Another difference about the fake blog is it is titled, "Change a boys life." Pete Wentz's actual blog is called "A Homeboy's life."

These songs are the purpose to the viral marketing campaign. The people conducting this want to reach out to as many people possible to listen to these songs, and talk about them. Already there is a buzz surrounding these songs, and so far no one even knows who they are. For a moment, people thought they were songs from The Cab'snew upcoming album. That was later confirmed to be incorrect.

This campaign is still occurring, and questions are still unanswered. To read Pete Wentz's point of view visit his blog. More information can also be found at Read threads from staff and comments from those who are also following along.

~Laurel Zevitz

EDIT: So after i posted this, I checked back on It appears that in the thread the band was announced to be Ashbury. We'll have to wait and see if there is more to their campaign.