Monday, November 30, 2009

The Remix Phenomenon

I’ve noticed a trend popular with indie musicians recently. It is what I’d like to call “the remix phenomenon”. Remix albums have been around for quite some time, but I’ve been noticing this trend resurfacing lately. The way this works is a band will release an album, then they will have other artists remix tracks from that album, then they will release an album of remixes of that previous album. For example, Phoenix released Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix May 26th and less than five months later they released the remix collection on October 13th. This collection of remixes features artists including Passion Pit, Yacht, and Devendra Banhart. Bloc Party did this with their album Intimacy earlier this year and Kings of Leon is reportedly releasing a remix album to follow their latest Only By Night sometime in the near future. I can see some potential marketing benefits in doing a remix album. It gets people excited about the album again. What I mean is that it stirs up they hype again. Phoenix got a lot of attention with their Wolfgang album. After a few months, the storm settled, and the release of their remix album got people talking Phoenix again. Also, there is the benefit of expanding their fan base. The artists who remixed Phoenix’s songs weren’t just some Joe Blows, and therefore fans of say Devendra Banhart may not know Phoenix and may buy the album because of the Devendra remix. Both parties in this case have the opportunity of sharing their fan base.
Another example of a remix project is Chicago’s Hey Champ who just released a remix album of remixes they did other artist’s songs. This is the reverse of what Phoenix did but equally as beneficial for an artist that isn’t as widely known. I’m assuming that we will see more of these types of remix projects in the future because the music consumers are getting harder to please as time goes by, therefore exclusivities and rarities such as these remixes will be sought out by music lovers.

Erin Schwaba

Chicago Music

I found this pretty cool article through the Chicago Tribune that discussed Chicago artists and traveling. Songs are handpicked and played through Chicago terminals.

"A project dubbed Terminal Tunes puts music exclusively by Chicago-area artists, as well as artists on Chicago labels, on a continuous loop through the terminals at O'Hare and Midway airports."

The playlists are also put online so that if people hear a song they enjoy, they can go a step further and discover what the song actually was. I think this is a unique and cool idea, and something that can be done in other states and countries. I think it promotes music from Chicago in a great way, and help to flourish our large music scene. It also promotes the city. It also gives smaller local bands a chance to get some airplay.,0,6104510.story

- Valerie South

Artists Making More Money

This article I found off of graphs out music industry revenue in London over the last few years since 2004. What is shocking is that in the state the music industry is in, artists are actually seeing an increase in profitability. Revenue from both live performance and recordings has gone up dramatically in the last five years. Not surprisingly the labels profits have diminished pretty rapidly, but as the last year shows it looks as if it is leveling off. Hopefully this is a sign that labels will be able to continue to stay afloat and that artists will finally be better compensated as a whole for their work.
The article can be found here:
Steve Smith

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Xbox Live Music

I found an article explaining Xbox Live's recent decision to integrate Zune, Twitter, Facebook, and into its platform. Users are now able to create playlists on through their Xbox consoles. This opens up a slightly wider audience for bands, and also offers an opportunity to give users the unique experience of enjoying a particular song while playing a video game. Having the connection between a band's music and a separate form of enjoyment from a user is a good way to build loyalty in a fanbase.

The only thing that may be an issue is the fact that artists can be "featured" during a game without licensing their music to the game companies. Publishers may be wary of this new idea, but otherwise, this could open up many opportunities to creatively market music for gamers.


-Bill Ross

Rihanna: Fiercely Introspective

I read an article written in the New York times today that discusses Rihanna's new Album "Rated R". For those who stay in tuned with music gossip (who doesn't these days), Rihanna went through a traumatic experience with her boyfriend at the time, Chris Brown. The perfect, young, hip hop couple's image was destroyed after Chris Brown violently turned on Rihanna. That event was followed by a brief, but not lasting, rekindling of their romance. "Rated R" is a reflection of Rihanna's feelings and emotions at that dark time in her life, and her feelings on how she feels as a person today. The album is much edgier, and it is clear that Rihanna has taken a step in a different direction when it comes to her image.

This brings me to the main point. Image. I think it is very important to remember how powerful of a marketing tool image is for a musician or band. Their image can define who they are. Just their look can send numerous messages to their audience. Rihanna started out as a young teen singing pop music. With her in shape body and exotic look, it was easy for her to be the sweet pop star who was breaking into american music. Now, several years after making her presence known, she has gone from sweet innocent pop star, to a fashion setter with attitude, to a edgier "badass" who isn't afraid to push musical boundaries based off her personal life. Stars like Rihanna have a strong following, and for the most part, very loyal fans. It is risky for someone in the spotlight to change their image, because there is always that risk of losing a group of fans, but there is also the possibility of reaching out to new ones. However, the reasoning behind the change is what can really make or break your fan base. Rihanna's story is well known, and most people saw her as a victim. Her change is more accepted than someone like Britney Spears. Rihanna is using her experiences as a reflection off her image, which is going to help her sell herself as well as her music to the public.

Lyndsie Klott

Saturday, November 28, 2009

iTunes Music Prices

iTunes may be lowering their prices according to an article I came across. A new service called "TunesPro" has launched, and it offers single songs for $0.19 and albums for as low as $2.00. With the current prices on iTunes, many hit songs are $1.29, that is over 2/3 the price of an entire album for TunesPro.
While this new service might make Apple investigate as to whether or not they need to modify their business structure in any way, I highly doubt it will result in more than a slight reduction in their prices. Their market share is not likely to dwindle in the digital downloads market. They already have a dedicated following from average music listeners, Apple fanboys (and girls), and other consumers.
Similar services like TunesPro seem to pop up ever few months and then fall apart quickly. It will be interesting to see how long they stay in business. To see what the level of quality is in their services that they offer will be another thing to watch as well.

- Derek Jenkins

Friday, November 27, 2009

Live Nation & iTunes To Offer Concert Downloads

The article that I'll be discussing is about Live Nation making some of their concerts available for download on iTunes. It's described as a smart piece of brand extension & it debuted this past Tuesday. So far exclusive performances from OK Go, Jesse McCartney, Saving Abel, A Fine Frenzy, Duffy, Ziggy Marley & Plain White T's have been released this week, with more to follow.

Personally, I think this is a GREAT idea. This is something that I think should of been done quite some time ago. As a fan of live shows, I may use this feature to catch a preview of upcoming shows that are coming to my town or shows that aren't coming to my town or if I happen to miss a local show, hopefully it'll be there on iTunes for me to catch. I really see this being a success for both parties. Live Nation is really showing that they're on top of their game this year.

-Marcus Hall

Fair Play? A Million Spotify Streams Earned Gaga $167

Many believe that Spotify is the solution when it comes to online music streaming services. However, there has been speculation surrounding Spotify's business operations. According to Swedish paper Expressen, Lady Gaga (arguably one of the most listened artists in the world) and her songwriter Redone made just $166.56 in songwriting royalties from one million plays of her hit Poker Face. Spotify stresses that it pays "not only collecting societies, but also publishers and record companies". They also stressed that the $167 is from "way before we'd established ourselves as a music service and built up a large user base". Some believe that digital platforms should give artists the same ratio of rights revenue they get for CD sales. However, the main issue that is prevalent in the news, is the labels stake in the service which is rumoured to be that they are getting paid twice. Overall, there is still fear even with Spotify, which has received alot of spotlight for its business model. Spotify's freemium model is down to a mistrust of free music and has failed to establish a significant number of paid accounts. These services are doing a great job of bring exposure to main stream artists but we are slowly seeing that these services have no effect on P2P piracy, and are not helping indie/underground artists like we all thought they would.

-Ryan Dolan

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tommy Lee "Crowdsourcing"

The article I read is about Tommy Lee's new album "Public Mayhem". Tommy Lee reached out to fans all over the world, and made it possible for them to download a number of tracks from the album, and submit their own parts to the songs. He says that at first he was worried that this would not work, but has quickly come to realize that there are many talented people in the world.

Lee notes. "These days you've got to have some way to involve their fans so it's an experience, not just another record, and involve your fans. This just seemed like a perfect way; you can download the tracks for free, get involved, take some ownership, tell your friends about it, maybe be in an album. And the enthusiasm is overwhelming. I've never experienced anything like this."

I think this is a great marketing tool. There is nothing like getting fans involved one on one in a way with the artist. It really gives them a chance to try and experience what it is really like to be a rock star. If they are even talented enough they may end up being apart of the song on the album. I think artists and marketing teams need to realize that just putting an album out there isnt going to sell itself anymore, you have to be unique and creative and form your own strategy to draw fans in again and again.

- Valerie South

Legally Downloaded Music Cheaper Than Dirt!

The site is making some waves in the music community. They are selling music at a fraction of the cost of other sites like iTunes and Amazon. Individual songs are being sold for only 19 cents. There is a price break for buying entire albums which start at only $1.88. The site was taken down over the weekend with speculation that the site was not authorized to sell music by many of the labels. Apparently they do indeed have permission from the labels to sell music at that price and they were back up and running after only a short time.
This is a limited time promotion though since the site actually loses 39 cents a song. The promotion is expected to last the next 2 or 3 months but no absolute date has been set yet. They are hoping that they can get customers by practically giving away music rather than spend millions on promotion and advertising. I personally have signed up for this site and searched their catalog. So far I have found everything I have been looking for. My one complaint is that the file is downloaded in a compressed zip file that has to be extracted and then added to iTunes or whatever player you are using, but saving about 8 dollars an album I can live with the extra two minutes of work.
Steve Smith

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Band =/= Brand

I was intrigued by something that I read on Hypebot concerning the "band as brand" idea. The article, aimed at up-and-coming bands, urges bands to focus their attention not on getting sponsorships but on word-of-mouth style marketing. The author constantly compares music to religion in this sense. The first major word of advice put forth is to "[q]uit running your band like it's a Proctor & Gamble product, and start running your band more like a church". Essentially, the article advises bands to spend time building relationships with fans and less on building a brand out of themselves. As the author puts it, "Give your fans what they want – a message, a community, a reason to support you, believe in you, and come back to you over & over – and they will." It is a very interesting article, and I recommend reading it.


-Bill Ross

MySpace Music Overhauls Charts

With Facebook adding a music application, it would seem that MySpace would be worried over the competition that they are now going to face. However, they have added more to their site in order to keep them in the game. MySpace music has been around for much longer and already had a solid reputation, and probably a good number of loyal users. Although the popularity of Facebook in social networking compares to Google as a search engine, there are still many people who are more comfortable using familiar technology instead of having to learn something new. Facebook music will definitely attract many users, but I don't think that MySpace has counted themselves out yet.

One of the new features that the new MySpace music has is a new "movers" section that highlights fastest rising artists contents across the network. Alike iTunes, they are offering something more to the users other than a library full of music. It order to stay in the competition, these websites have to keep on growing with their users to keep the attraction, and thus far, MySpace has made a pretty good attempt.

-Lyndsie Klott

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Music Videos and Concerts Coming to Hulu

Electric and Musical Industries Ltd. has reached an agreement with Hulu to begin offering concerts and music videos on the media streaming site. Some artists have already had their own sections or channels added on Hulu. Hulu seems to be taking off as of late, and they seem to offer higher quality streams over YouTube in my opinion. I wonder how long this will last, as they obviously do not receive the same volume of users as YouTube does at the moment. Either way, this seems like a great move for marketing artists. Not only can people view their artist videos on YouTube and a bunch of clone-YouTube sites (sites that "leech" YouTube streams), but they can now view them on Hulu. To me, the added bonus is that they will be offering concerts on Hulu. Of course, you can find concerts on YouTube at the moment, but so many of those videos are of terrible quality or are taken from cell phones.
Anyway, if you are an even remotely interested reader, I suggest that you head on to Hulu and take a look for yourself.

- Derek Jenkins

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dr. Dre To Anchor Best Buy 'Club Beats' Sections

Best Buy has teamed up with Monster Cable and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones to launch its new in-store "Club Beats" area. The giant retailer is adding a new section in all its stores where customers can sample the latest audio, music, entertainment and technology products including DJ equipment, mixing software, turntables, headphones and laptops.

To help promote the new Club Beats, Best Buy will host a series of events featuring appearances from top music artists including Lady Gaga, and Dr. Dre. It will promote the events through local radio and newspaper advertisements. According to the Nielsen Company, the retailer spent $213 million on advertising in 2008 and $142 million in the first eight months of 2009.

It seems like Best Buy is starting to notice the new trend of in DJing, and also with the concern for the sound quality of music. Beats by Dr. Dre was selected because of its commitment to giving the average listener a professional-quality listening experience through their headphones.

Best Buy sees this DJ-focused offering as something brand new for mainstream retail. "It may not be simple to find these products in a mainstream environment-either you have to know what you need, or you have to talk to someone who is in the industry," said Wendy Fritz, svp of merchandising for mobility for Best Buy. "What we're trying to say is 'hey you can do this,' and when they come into the store our Blue Shirts can say 'these are the three or four products you need to get started.'"

Seven stores will feature a full "experiential" Club Beats area, with a spectrum of products while 300 stores will features an "interactive" area, with similar options but slightly fewer products to try out. All remaining stores will include a "core" Club Beats area, with a product selection, merchandising signage and customer service assistance but less of a focus on interactivity.

-Woody Ellis

Music: Too Expensive to Be Free, Too Free to Be Expensive

Recently, a rumor has been released in the music business regarding MySpace business operations. According to the article I read, MySpace is on the verge of purchasing the free music streaming site imeem, which has been struggling to stay on top with payments with music copyright holders. However, this problem is spreading to similar licensed free music services, according to a top News Corp executive. There has been speculation that advertising revenue is a poor business solution to cover costs of licensing music, which has lead to illegitimate free music sources continuing to prosper. MySpace has been losing money and could soon add a subscription option due to payments obligated to music companies. On the other hand, YouTube remains the only licensed, free, on-demand music service that promises to break even. This is mostly due to the visual nature of the services which makes users more likely to encounter advertisements on the site. Furthermore, when the labels launch their Vevo (YouTube spin-off) they expect to bring in more money in ads than YouTube does. An interesting perspective that I found interesting was geared towards Googles' new music search service. This music search service allows to users to listen to a song once for free through LaLa or MySpace's iLike service. As mentioned in the article, "If Google can't figure out a way to support something with ads, it arguably cannot be done." In conclusion, advertising was suppose to be the golden opportunity for music fans to get free music while at the same time contribute to copyright holders. This vision seems to be gone, and music enthusiasts will likely head back to file sharing networks.

-Ryan Dolan

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Words With Friends...and album advertisements

One of my favorite games on my iPhone recently is "Words With Friends." It's an app that allows you to play scrabble against your friends either on one phone while passing back and forth, or from different phones, anywhere in the world. And if you dont have a friend to play against, you can select to play a random opponent. Anyways, this app is extremely popular. There is a free version (which of course has all the advertisements) and a version with no advertising for a small fee. Well, most people don't mind the occasional ad pop up, so they go with the free version. Since this app is very popular, bigger companies (toyota, axe, netflix) are placing there ads in the rotation.

While playing recently, I noticed there were several advertisements for newly released albums. What made this advertisement different than the ones i've seen in the past, is there is the option to be directed to your iTunes on your iPhone to download the album if you are interested. The ads pop up quite frequently while playing. So the player sees them often. Even if they dont purchase the album, it raises awareness that the album is available.

The market surrounding this app is also very broad. People from all ages, locations, and backgrounds play. Advertisement placement throughout this app is brilliant.

~Laurel Zevitz

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lady Gaga on Gossip Girl

None other than Lady Gaga will be performing on tonight's episode of Gossip Girl. Although her fan base probably already connects with the viewers of the show, she still has an opportunity to attract new fans. She is also being associated with a very popular show for teens and young adults. This is also a chance for Lady Gaga to expand her market, and show people if she can act or not. Which in the future could be something she benefits from if the taping goes over well. It will be interesting to see if this appearance strengthens her fan base.

- Val South

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Beatles Merchandise

The Beatles seem to be the only band that can continue to sell records in a large quantity. 9/9/09 which was what can only be called "Beatles Day" marked the release of their entire remastered catalog as well as Rock Band Beatles edition. Both the game and the albums sold incredibly well. With that in mind EMI has opted to release more another piece of merchandise that is sure to send Beatle geeks scrambling for their wallets. Set for a December 8th release date, a Beatles apple logo with removable USB features the bands entire catalog as well as documentary's album art and some other goodies. The initial pre-order was set for thirty thousand units priced at $279 but it looks as if they have already increased the number of units. I'm not a huge Beatles fan and I find myself desperately wanting one of these. I can only imagine that the Beatle freaks will buy these up every time they are released. More info on the apples can be found here:
Steve Smith

iTunes Variable Pricing selling fewer songs, but still making more money?

Earlier in the semester I posted on a story stating that iTunes raised the price by 30 cents of some of their hottest singles. While sales have dropped 6%, some of the more popular songs are still selling at a normal rate. Because of this news, Apple can more than likely declare this as a victory.

To me, this shows that Apple can probably get away with raising single prices in the future if marketed right. They didn't raise the prices of every song, just the hot sellers. I would assume that they know that people are going to get the song they want given that the price isn't ridiculous. Raising the price 30 cents shouldn't ruffle the feathers of too many people. I know they don't ruffle mine.

-Marcus Hall

Downloading Vs. Music-Streaming

Despite the popularity of music-streaming a recent survey of 10,000 students showed that 75 percent of students prefer downloading music. These students would rather use sites like iTunes for example to download and keep music on hard drives or MP3 players. There is a growing demand for cheaper downloads. seems to be the front runner in meeting this demand. They have already lowered prices when they launched 3 months ago. The price was lowered and hopes of attracting younger customers. Those hopes were met TunesPro said “We have seen a huge surge of younger people using our site as more and more of torrents and P2P files contain viruses, so our pricing must be competitive enough for the younger students with perhaps less disposable income than professionals. We keep our prices low and concentrate of making money through volume sales. Currently we charge 19c per song and offer a further 10% when a whole album is purchased. We believe this will attract the younger users away from iTunes, which charge almost 6 times more than we do."

This sounds great for music lovers I. My question to you guys is do you think that sites like TunesPro will bring an end to iTunes or at least make them change how they operate as far as pricing goes. Also, I would like to know if you guys preferred either music-streaming or downloading.

Trevion Martin

New Weezer CD + An Official Snuggie Only $29.99!

Music has now taken over the SNUGGIES. Everyone knows what a snuggie is, especially from their tacky commercials. Snuggies have even come out with a size for dogs. But who would have thought that Snuggies would be used to promote and sell music? Well, they do now. Weezer is now giving their new CD away if you buy a special edition "WEEZER" Snuggie. I know that many bands have used this strategy in promoting and selling their music, however I'm not sure how effective it will be to use a product such as an oversized blanket to try and get people to listen to your music. I think that it would be more effective if the CD came with any snuggie that is purchased, rather than only giving it away to those who buy the Snuggies that say WEEZER on the chest. Watching the commercial for this product made the CD seem tacky as well as the WEEZER snuggie. I personally like snuggies, I think they're a good product that many people would enjoy. However, I think some products mesh well with music, and some don't.

-Lyndsie Klott

Devo Designer Art-Rugs

Recently, the new wave band known as Devo kicked off a new U.S. tour along with a line of Devo rugs. Yes, rugs.

A blog on Wired explains a little bit about Devo today. Four of the five current members are part of the original line-up from 1973. Mark Mothersbaugh explains that the band plans to give fans an exciting experience by performing full albums during shows on the tour. The band is also planning on several plans for the near future. A new 2010 album will feature a "number of great minds" providing covers and "subtle remixes". Also, another tour next year will be feature a new off-beat multimedia show. And of course, there's the "art rugs".

Mothersbaugh has designed over 60 rugs that all seem to be consistent with the "de-evolution" idea that incited Devo's popularity back in the 1970's. Many of the rugs contain subtle references to songs and albums from the band. Some pretty crazy looking stuff indeed.

This is a great example of a band creating a brand of themselves. The full album shows, multimedia shows, and the strange rugs all fit the image that Devo has always been known for: off-the-beaten-path, anti-pop-culture style that sits in a realm all its own. For fans of Devo, all of this is a fantastic treat that brings back memories of Devo's heyday in the late 70's-early 80's. This ultra fan-based marketing is great for established bands that are potentially looking for a new surge of popularity.


-Bill Ross

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lala and iLike Traffic Increased Since Google Partnership

Lala and iLike better be thanking Google! Ever since the new Google music search debuted, traffic for the two music sites has jumped dramatically.

When one searches for an artist on Google's new music search, it is possible to immediately listen to a snippet of any song by any artist, with an option to buy the song on the spot. The search utilizes various music services such as the up-and-coming Lala, as well as iLike, which just merged with Myspace.

Looks like things are on the upswing for these companies!

Alex Katz

Myspace likely to start charging for music...

Recently it has been announced that myspace will in fact start charging for their free streaming music. The question is, however, will anyone actually pay for this? Myspace has been declining in popularity it seems more and more while sites like facebook seem to be trying to trying to integrate music into their services. According to sources, Techcrunch reports that myspace spends 20 million a month on artists royalties for the free streaming music. So it seems only a matter of time until they decide to start charging for their services. I, however, don't really see anyone paying for myspace for several reasons. One, people already wont pay for a lot of their music and myspace was one of the ways they didn't have to. Also, with it's steady decline in usage, I really don't see anyone signing up now. If anything they would of had to start charging a while ago to get any sort of feedback. Now, with all of the competition these days it seems as if myspace is on the verge of ending in my opinion.

Trevor Kay


Shazam Encore recently debuted on the iPhone. Apparently, Shazam Encore is a music discovery application that allows people to "learn more about their music." It also allows people to find music that is similar to the music that they already like. This new version of Shazam features some improvements and new functionality. Shazam also can apparently detect what a song is if you put your iPhone or iPod touch close enough to the speakers. This means that it will tell you who the artist is, song name, etc...
With this new release, the app is being considered a premium program, meaning that you need to pay for it now. The free version of Shazam will still be useable and downloadable. However, new users of the free version are limited to five Tags per month.
This seems like a neat program, although I have yet to use it myself. It also helps in introducing people to new music and would lead to at least some increased sales. Apparently it features Twitter and Facebook integration of some sort, so I am sure that there is some additional marketing opportunity in that functionality.

- Derek Jenkins

Friday, November 13, 2009

Youtube gets social savvy.

The folks over at youtube, have added new socialization tools to their website. Even though Youtube is the worlds largest video sharing community, the website has apparently decided to stay relevant with web 2.0's massive social networking trend becomes even more in depth. Details and traffic figures are a bit scarce as of now but the article I read on it offered some interesting data..
- Over One Million users are now using youtubes autoshare options that allows users to seamlessly share their favorite videos on google reader, facebook, and twitter.

-With every auto shared tweet, YouTube is gaining on average 7 new users.

-YouTube now has a friend suggestion feature, based on the users Gmail address book.

I think that this is a great endeavor for YouTube to pursue. It is no secret that the website has had a bit of trouble finding a way to become profitable, and I've always thought that the lack of "personality" on YouTube has hindered it in the past. For instance, I don't know of any underground band that's Internet presence relies solely on YouTube; while most of the have an account and videos on YouTube, often times they use YouTube as a way to embed these videos on their other websites. Most bands have much less traffic and user activity on YouTube than they do elsewhere.
This could be a good thing for YouTube, and if they continue to improve, upgrade, and develop new ways to stay "social" on their platform alone, the situation I described above may start to change.
-Eric Hart

Thursday, November 12, 2009

4 Ways Live and Digital Music are Teaming Up

The 'new' live concerts are becoming more popular to music fans because one can save costs without paying for expensive tickets and convenience fees. Music webcasting has shown promise for over a decade, but the stage is set now for an online live-music revolution. Recently, YouTube broadcasted its first ever live full-length concert. U2 was the performing band which brought in 10 million viewers worldwide in addition to the 100,000 attended in person. Overall, this event was seen as YouTubes biggest event in the site's history. The audience for live online music began first at the Tibetan Freedom Concert which drew 36,000 viewers in 1996. Today's users who are accustomed to social networking want entertainment and information in a real-time environment. Billboard Live, is increasingly becoming more popular. This service let fans choose between four high-bandwidth Microsoft Silverlight streams, using partner OWLive's technology. IPhone users can watch a particular show in near-real time through an app using iStreamPlanet's first-ever bandwidth-adaptive HTTP stream of live music. Most importantly, from a band's perspective, they are seeing these services as great opportunity to extend their presence beyond the venue they're in. The next step is for fans viewing a concert remotely to interact with a show within a venue, putting messages on the stage or even sounds in the speakers. Deep Rock Drive which has been experimenting with his concept stated in the article, " Instant participatory engagement is becoming key to the consumption of online entertainment, and the only way to do that is to make sure it's live." On the other hand, Sony Club Dates is developing an experience where fans can watch prerecorded shows directly to movie-theater screens. The company plans to beam live shows to theaters by satellite, selling tickets and sponsorships. Mike Fidler, Sony vice president of digital cinema solutions and services said in the article, " We've converted [theaters] to a digital platform, using digital projectors and a connected environment as we move into the world order that exists today." A valid statement almost made by Mike was the fact that theater's demographics are really aligned with music demographics--close to 70 percent of the people attending theaters are under 30. Finally, show goers can buy professionally recorded concerts as they exit a venue on USB stick, CD, DVD or as a digital delivery. EMI is generated this idea to offer fans the ultimate encore.

--Ryan Dolan

2009 Vinyl & Digital Music Sales Through The Roof...

Sales of digital music are reaching new milestones in 2009, Nielsen Soundscan reported today, while an old-school format is enjoying a big new lease on life. Total purchased album downloads are on pace to top last year's figure of 65 million, the research firm says. With 2009 figures already at 63.9 million, the new record could come by next week.

Last year, Rihanna sold 9.9 million tracks online to set a calendar-year record. That number has already been bested in 2009 by four artists: Michael Jackson (11.3 million), Lady Gaga (11.1 million), The Black Eyed PEas (10.3 million) and Taylor Swift (9.98 million).

Sales of vinyl albums, meanwhile, have topped the 2-million mark, besting last year's 1.9 million -- tops since Soundscan began tracking music sales in 1991.

Digital sales and vinyl records could not be more different. For all the efficiencies of digital music's distribution and supply chain, vinyl counters with an equally expensive and inefficient process. Yet, the two are on the rise, which is very exciting news for me, or anyone involved with the music industry for that matter. Just when things started to seem hopeless, there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! There is no doubt digital formats represent the future of recorded music. iTunes is just the beginning. New types of digital services promise to change how people get their music.

-Woody Ellis

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Broadway Goes Punk Rock

The play written around Green Day's "American Idiot" is officially going to be on Broadway. A casting notice was released on Monday November 9th confirming what many have been hoping for since the show premiered. No dates have been set and the theater is not confirmed but preparations have begun. The play was renewed by the theater in Berkeley, CA for three weeks before it was even premiered based off of ticket sales. The article can be found here:
Steve Smith

TuneCore Partners With eHealth

I dig TuneCore. The third party digital distributor is the reason that my music is on iTunes and countless other digital stores for the world to see...and buy.

But now, they've taken my love for them and multiplied it many times over. "What have they done?" you may ask. Well, folks, TuneCore has teamed up with eHealth, the #1 online service to compare and buy affordable health insurance, to offer a search engine for health insurance options, and a dedicated hotline just for musicians to find out information.

Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? In an industry where a great deal of professionals are not covered, it's important to educate them about options for health insurance.

In their press release, TuneCore stated, "Our goal at TuneCore is to provide musicians with the information and education they need to do everything it takes to be a musician including things like mic'ing a guitar, distributing their music, learning about copyrights, marketing and promoting themselves on-line and - now having the basic information they need to understand health insurance,"

Keep it up TuneCore!

Alex Katz

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FREE Song From Anarbor Brought To You By Amazon

Amazon is giving away a free song by Anarbor. The song chosen for this promotion is their acoustic version of "You and I." This promotion is beneficial to Anarbor to get their music out to those who have not yet heard of them before, but are curious of their sound. For the most part, it seems more beneficial to Amazon. Upon visiting the link for Amazon featuring the free Anarbor song, consumers will click on "Get MP3". Once clicking on that link, it will take you to a new page, asking you to sign in if you are already an Amazon customer. If you are not (and this is what Amazon is hoping for), it asks you to sign up with Amazon, providing them with an email address and billing address (but not asking for credit card information yet). Once becoming a customer, it takes you to a screen where you can download the song. BUT FIRST, Amazon makes sure you have their Mp3 Downloader program. It's a free program that allows consumers to download music which will automatically send the downloaded tunes to your iTunes or Windows Media Player. Amazon is hoping consumers download this program which will download the free MP3 from Anarbor. Once downloaded, consumers are able to download the free song.

The only downside to this promotion is the number of steps required for one song. However, each step is quick and easy, so as long as the consumer is willing to do it, they'll get the free song they want. I think it is a great strategy on Amazon's part, and a good opportunity for Anarbor to be apart of it.

~Laurel Zevitz

Who wants to become the new singer for Aerosmith?!

Guitarist Joe Perry said that he and his band mates are "positively looking for a new singer to work with," following front man Steven Tyler.

Perry made the announcement on his Twitter page Monday, in which he referred to Tyler simply as "one of the members." Perry denied Aerosmith would break up, saying the band was playing "hotter than ever."

What has caused this unusually public feud with his songwriting partner of 40 years? Just recently Steven Tyler has said he wants to concentrate on solo endeavors, a claim he has made in the past but never followed through on. He also stopped communicating with the rest of the band several months ago, and hired his own manager. Also, stirring up emotions is that reportedly Tyler has refused to write a song with Perry for over a decade. More recently, Perry said that the last time he phoned Tyler, the singer hung up on him.

To my amazement, the band has still managed to perform concerts, but a summer trek through North America was cut short in August 2009 when Tyler fell off the stage and broke his shoulder. None of his band mates accompanied him to the hospital.

As a backlash, Tyler told Britain's Classic Rock magazine, in an article published last Wednesday, that he is going to focus on his own projects, "Brand Tyler," as he dubbed it. His band mates were less than enthusiastic about being sidelined. In the same article, guitarist Brad Whitford raised the possibility of bringing in a new vocalist. Tyler was "one of a kind," quoted Whitford as saying. "But if somebody was willing to do it and the chemistry was right, why not?"

Lets start warming up our singing voices. I hope auditions are soon! :o)

~Rachel August Millas

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kenny Chesney 3d

Sony Pictures will bring Kenny Chesney to movie theaters in April in a limited-engagement concert film, "Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D."

Director Joe Thomas shot footage during Chesney's recently concluded Sun City Carnival concert tour. The film will be released through Sony's new business unit, the Hot Ticket, established to bring cultural and entertainment events to digital theaters.

Chesney has sold more than 35 million records and notched 19 No. 1 hits, including "When the Sun Goes Down," "Beer in Mexico," "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven" and "Anything but Mine."

I think this is an excellent opportunity for Chesney to gain more fan base, but also connect with his current fan base. People who may catch the concert at the movies, might be more likely to attend a concert after seeing this, or vice versa.

- Val South

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Lost In A Sea Of 100,000 iPhone Apps"

As discussed in our previous classes, many musicians/bands are starting to take advantage of the popular use of an iPhone. There have been apps created that can connect their fans directly to their information and music which has been successful thus far. However, Apple announced very recently that they have created over 100,000 apps. Not all of those apps are connected to music, but with the overwhelming number of that the iPhone users have, the numbers for music apps that are downloaded are lower than you would think. Apple has created an outlet for music through their apps program, but what happens when the number becomes overwhelming large? Since there are so many to choose from it becomes hard for the cell phone user to sort through each one to decide what they want. I think it is more beneficial for the hard core fans who will go looking for their favorite bands app, and it will allow them to feel more connected. But in terms of it being a way to find out about new music or bands you haven't heard of, I don't think it will be very beneficial.

--Lyndsie Klott

Rihanna and Nokia

In an article from Brandweek, I read about the ad campaign for the new Nokia X6 phone known as the "Nokia Play 2010" campaign. Nokia will be teaming with Rihanna to promote their new product, as well as Rihanna's new album "Rated R".

The Nokia X6 phone is described as "an entertainment device ideal for playing music and video, as well as its pay-per-track Nokia Music Stores and unlimited Comes With Music service". The partnership consists of exclusive content from Rihanna, as well as a live streaming concert. An exclusive version of "Rated R" containing a bonus track, a remix, and a Rihanna mobile application will be available to X6 users.

Nokia will also be streaming videos of the performance taken by attendees who record the concert on their X6 devices, creating an opportunity for other X6 users to enjoy the live music experience from their homes.

Nokia claims that the Nokia Play 2010 will continue to run for a while, opening up chances for other artists to be featured at different times. This program sounds like an efficient way of marketing two products at once. By being a part of this campaign, artists gain the benefit of Nokia's marketing, as well as exposure in new technologies and forms. I believe that this campaign could go a long way in bringing some positive attention any artists that decide to associate themselves with it. By kicking off the campaign with Rihanna, Nokia shows the intent to make a big impact with the artists they team with.

Article here

-Bill Ross

Friday, November 6, 2009

Can Technology Predict Hit Songs?

I recently came across an article that talks about this new music technology that supposedly tells you if you have a hit song.
Apparently, the way this software works is that it analyzes the audio using mathematical algorithms (real smart people stuff!) to interpret the patterns of the music. After that, it gives you feedback. The service will not only tell you if you have a hit, but it will also tell you about what markets the music would successful in.
Gathering from the colorful pictures on the service's website, it seems that it also will show you where these "hit clusters" are in your music. Your song may also get a Gold or Platinum Audionaut Award if it is good enough. It will also compare your song to current song trends, so it will let you know if your song will do well in the current or future market.
While the service may seem like a neat idea, I highly doubt it works. If there was actually some way to predict hit songs, I think that this service would be more well-known. I remember hearing about this back in 2008 or 2007 I think, and if it has not caught on by now, it probably does not work too well.
Anyway, take a look at the links if you are curious.

- Derek Jenkins

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chinese site to steer users to legit music source

Associated Press reports that China's largest search engine will sends users to a music that plans to offer free song downloads. The free service, Qtrax, has licensing deals with all the major recording companies and their publishing units. The company plans to fund its royalty payments to artists and the music industry through advertising. Qtrax launches Thursday in Australia and New Zealand, which amounts to a world debut after several aborted launches and a 90-day U.S. preview in April. Under the deal, users of some entertainment and music pages operated by China's leading search engine,, will see a button allowing a download from Qtrax when they search for a song or artist that is in Qtrax's catalog. Overall, it will be very interesting to see how well its business model will work. Qtrax must pay royalties each time a song is played, but it gets revenue only on advertisement shown when a user is downloading a song or transferring it to a portable media player. The company has resisted putting audio ads in the song files themselves. Recently, Hulu announced that some of their content is going to cost money which raises the question of how effective online advertisement is when it comes to offering free services? On the other hand, I do believe this service is the best solution to slow down piracy use. Personally, I think the best business model for a free music services is to continually engage users even through interactive mediums.

-Ryan Dolan

Springsteen Announces More Full-Album Shows

Bruce Springsteen is dusting off his catalog once again, as he and the E Street Band have announced two more full album performances this coming weekend at Madison Square Garden. On Nov. 7, the group will play the 1973 album "The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle" in its entirety for the first time; on Nov. 8 they'll do the 1980 double record "The River" from beginning to end for the first time.

Bruce and his boys have been playing their albums in full for their fall 2009 tour and it has been a huge success. I watched their performance at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN and I was literally blown away at how hard that guy still rocks!

We as a city are actually the ones that convinced the band that it was worth doing albums in their entirety as a live show, according to Springsteen's manager, Jon Landau. "The audience was so supportive of the concept that it convinced us to go ahead with this" Landau stated.

Springsteen and company are in the midst of a fall tour that wraps up on Nov. 22 in Buffalo, N.Y. The band appeared last weekend at Madison Square Garden as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert.

According to a report in the New York Post, Springsteen is also working on his autobiography which is expected to fetch a multi-million dollar publishing deal when it goes to auction.

I think this is a great marketing tactic because they are playing music that their fans are already familiar with and probably miss to a certain degree. It's a great concept that not many acts do, and I think it sort of adds a nostalgic element to the live show, that wouldn't necessarily normally be there otherwise. It brings the audience back to the time when that album may have been one of their favorites.

-Woody Ellis

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NEW MOON: All or Nothing

Remember back in the day when the only way to purchase a certain song off of an album was if it were a released single in addition to the album? Back when digital mp3's werent popular or even heard of. If it wasn't released as a single, tough luck, you have to purchase the whole album. Well, one thing about the New Moon soundtrack is in order to purchase some songs, you have to purchase the album as a whole. The only songs available for single purchases are by Death Cab For Cutie, Anya Marina, and Lykke Li (all signed under Atlantic Records, the distributer of the soundtrack). All other tracks on the soundtrack are sold only through purchase of this album. In a way this is a smart technique, especially marketing lesser known artists/bands featured on the album. In order for someone to purchase Muse's song from the soundtrack, they need to purchase the whole thing, and by default they'll also be purchasing Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Alexandre Desplat's song from the album as well. So fans who may have never heard of them, will be exposed to new music, and possibly become a new fan of those artists/bands. It's like going to see Death Cab For Cutie at a concert, and seeing an opening act you have never heard of. It's a great way to expose new artists to new fans.

~Laurel Zevitz

(Note: most of the songs were recorded exclusively for the album, which is one reason why for this).

BEST BUY is moving forward...

With all the talk we have been having in class about how online is going to make a shift in businesses all over, I thought this post was only appropriate even though it is not music based but visual based. Early this morning Best Buy, the giant electronics retailer, announced a partnership with Sonic Solutions' service to deliver first-run DVDs streamed online directly to consumers.

Best Buy sells a lot of DVDs, so to have their consumers pay once for a DVD and then play it on any device is brilliant! The new service will be a Best Buy-branded offering, available starting early next year. “We’re going into this business in a big way. Our goal is to have broad availability in the marketplace, across multiple devices, said Chris Homeister, senior vice president for entertainment at Best Buy.

In the article, analysts say that Best Buy has the clout to press both movie studios and consumer electronics companies to adopt a one-time payment model and ensure that movies play on many devices. This has me thinking that many people will be dropping movie channels from TV and Satellite services. It sounds like it will be cheaper and easier to access all over.

~Rachel August Millas

A Timber Timbre Halloween

I am on the Arts & Crafts email list and about a week ago I received an email that I think is a great example of marketing and using the free model to release an album. The email was to inform me that the band Timber Timbre was releasing a self-titled album that day and for one week only the album would be available for free on Timber Timbre’s website. The email gave a very brief yet informative profile of the band and what their sound was like. Also, the email mentioned some of the band's credentials such as being nominated for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize and included their upcoming tour dates. The most interesting part of this email was how they presented this album: “Timber Timbre takes on the topic of love but presents it in a cloak of macabre beauty that is perfect for the Halloween season. Songs full of eerie sounds, dark imagery and ghoulish lyrics will make for a spellbinding session on Morning Becomes Eclectic." It’s great how they used the Halloween season to help describe the album as well as promote it. Because people are in the Halloween spirit this time of year, they will be more willing to get an album that is described as dark and spooky, rather than an album described as bright and cheery. It is a smart tactic to compare your product to something that everyone can recognize and relate to. Also, since this album was free for the week leading up to Halloween, recipients of this email will visit the bands website, download this album (because who can resist free?), see that they are playing a show in a near-by city, go see the show, buy some merch, buy their previous albums, and the list of possibilities goes on. This is an excellent way to reach out and develop new fans, heck, it won me over.

Erin Schwaba

Monday, November 2, 2009

Help Make The Rocket Summer's New Video

I found a news link about the band The Rocket Summer. The link talks about how fans are encouraged to make there own personal videos to one of the Rocket Summer's new song. Certain videos are to be included into the main music video.

I think this is a great way to not only market the next single, but also the artist and the new album. It will give fans the opportunity to have a more unique experience. Fans that haven't totally connected with the band will now have a chance.

The Rocket Summer's fans get an opportunity of a lifetime, be in the next TRS video!

Pull out your flip cam and start filming! Play guitar, bass, drums, piano or just sing along to "You Gotta Believe", and submit footage to For further information and details log on watch this video where Bryce and video director Randy S will explain it all!

- Val South

New Study On Illegal Downloads

A new study in Britain shows that people who download music illegally are the same people who actually still purchase music, buy band shirts, go to shows and really do anything music related. The people that have been under attack by the music industry are in actuality the ones helping to keep the industry afloat. It looks like the RIAA should find something else to focus their attention on.
Steve Smith

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Facebook continues to prove its worth to advertisers through its immense growing traffic. "Facebook now accounts for 6% of all U.S. internet traffic and continues to grow." Twitter's traffic is only a fraction of that and is now stalling.

This shows the strength of Facebook and its potential for continued success and longevity. Twitter, which is more of a micro-blogging site, is losing ground, which in contrast shows more of a depth in Facebook and the roots it has grown. I think part of the future of marketing on the internet will be through mastering promotion on social networks, mainly Facebook. Discovering new approaches on how we plug in music and allow it to be spread on Facebook will be very valuable in the future.

By: Andre Rodriguez

Making Mixtapes

This week, I found an article on Wired concerning online playlist-building sites. The piece features a "Top 8" list of these kinds of sites. It is widely known that lawsuits have prevented many sites such as these from operating. Copyright infringement and violations of RIAA regulations have helped record companies prevail in cases against sites such as Muxtape and others. Lately, however, we have seen various playlist-building sites start to gain more popularity.

Sites like Grooveshark have begun to reach out to record companies and other major music industry giants in order to maintain their businesses. Some sites have been reworked and redesigned in order to comply with various rules and regulations, resulting in more support from the major labels. The article outlines 8 of these sites, as well as a few honorable mentions. The popularity of these sites is hard to ignore, so the idea of offering music to be utilized by them is one that should always be considered. Playlist building/sharing has been around since the times of double cassette decks and continues to thrive in the music industry.

8 Best Ways to Share 'Mix Tapes'

-Bill Ross

Lil Wayne Cake

This is top 10 favorite things ever.

Following my blog post last week on Wayne's guilty plea on gun possession charges, I stumbled upon this gem right here. That's right folks, it's a cake of Weezy's head.

Made by Rosebud Cakes of Beverly Hills, this masterwork was commissioned for the birthday of Ireland Basinger-Baldwin, daughter Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.

With accurate tattooing, licorice dreads, and a Wayne's grill in all of it's glistening splendor, this may be one of the defining works of our time.

Could this catch on? You betcha! I, for one, can only hope to be immortalized in cake before my death.

Alex Katz