Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pussycat Dolls added new group members!

Robin Antin told MTV News today, that when the girls do return from their hiatus, there will be some "new faces" joining frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger. She didn't reveal who might be leaving, saying, "It's Nicole and a few ... a couple new faces. Some of the girls want to go and do their own thing. We're moving on. We're excited. We're looking at new girls. It's phase three of the Pussycat Dolls because we did our first album, our second album and now we're going on to our third. We're touring ... a lot is coming up."


As for the group's lineup, she said, "Nicole is going back in the studio. We're working on new music right now. There will be a few new faces in the Pussycat Dolls. I've been really putting that out there. I'm really excited about it. Inside every girl, inside every woman, is a Pussycat Doll and I always want to bring in new faces to really show there are so many Pussycat Dolls out there. It isn't about one forever. So I'm excited about that."

~Rachel August Millas

Susan Boyle's 'I Dreamed A Dream' the biggest album of the year

The UK native story is about a voice that captured the world's attention and a modern day success story where a rare talent has captured the imagination of music fans.  She showed that there is no need for gimmicks or controversy to make people want to hear your music- you just need to have a voice they want to hear! With that in mind, Susan Boyle continues her record setting ways this week.

 Her first album released by Columbia Records dominates the charts holding down the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 for the third consecutive week with 581,966 copies sold. Also, YouTube announced today that Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed A Dream” from “Britain’s Got Talent” is their most watched video of 2009.

 In addition, 'I Dreamed A Dream' made history two weeks ago as the largest-ever debut for a female artist on the Billboard 200 in the Soundscan era, and marked the highest first, second and third-week sales for any album in 2009.

~Rachel August Millas

Leighton Meester...a music star!?!

Leighton Meester may be best know as the star of “Gossip Girl”, but her music’s about to take center stage.

The actress was recently cast as a country singer opposite Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw in the upcoming movie, “Love Don’t Let Me Down”, and her still-untitled solo album is reportedly set for release in February or March.

Meester ’s first single, “Somebody To Love” hit the airwaves in October.

Fans can expect a mix of sounds. “I have a million influences,” she said. “There’s definitely faster, more rocked-out stuff, and then of course there’s slower stuff. It’s a variety for every taste.

~Rachel August Millas

ABBA to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

ABBA made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, reported Los Angeles Times. The group will join Genesis, the Hollies, the Stooges, which had been nominated to the Hall of Fame on seven occasions, and Jimmy Cliff in the New York induction ceremony on March 15. The group will also be playing at a reunion performance at a ceremony. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts artists who have released at least 25 years before being inducted into the Hall. ABBA had been nominated in previous years but failed making it into the final cut.

~Rachel August Millas

Apple Strikes Deal to Buy Music Start Up Lala

New York Times- December 4, 2009- Brad Stone- San Francisco

Apple bought LaLa (based in Palo Alto, CA) as an alternative means to attract new customers to buy their digital music. Lala lets people play music they own from the internet-commonly referred to as "cloud-based streaming". If Apple introduces this new form of streaming to itunes, it's consumers who buy digital music will never have to download music they purchase or synch up their music with portable computers and mobile devices. Bascically, Apple is out to rule the world, at least as long as EVERYONE in the world has a super speedy internet service if you want to listen to any of YOUR music. Lala on the otherhand seems to be an up and commer in the business world with this Apple business, the Google agreement to let "GoogleMusic" easier for consumers to find, and another with facebook to allow its users to give free songs to your friends as gifts. My internet is extremely shitty when its even working, so it would probably be a nightmare for someone like me to buy into this but, still....pretty cool.
By: Erik Anderson

DIY Houses Prove to be Savior for Smaller Music Acts

ChicagoTalks- by Nick Tallid - Feb 23, 2009

The article starts out by stating that before DIY houses started arising, the underground scene was looking pretty non-existent. Touring musicians referred to Chicago as a "Black Hole" of the midwestern circuit, causing many good bands to skip it altogether. Basically he contributes this to a lack of motivated action on the listeners part who in his words "were stuck at home with nothing to do but blog about it." This lack of musicians coming through Chicago has nothing to do with a lack of venues, there's plenty of top-dog rockstar venues where bigger bands can come make a fortune; but not a lot of room for the less known underground bands. At the very least these venues require an impressive full press-kit to even be considered. Playing live shows is the key to collecting a following, but if the "Big Venues" that Chicago often boasts about will only take bands with tracks on the Top 100 lists it leaves little or no room for the talented small timers.
DIY established venues are made with the help of the common people's basements, living rooms, and loft areas; for bands whose self-promotion is realistically limited to a Myspace pageand a trip to kinkos for CD covers. These spaces help to open doors between the average local underground music listener and the small time artist without the expensive drinks, bands that all sound like creed, and hundreds of screaming, jumping 12 year olds with their dads watching from the minivan across the street from the venue. The article goes on to mention the Go-Go Town, and Castaway House which are two of the main and most widely known spaces in Chicago. (Though I'm pretty sure niether of them are functioning today) All in all an interesting read about the less profitable, but no less talented bands who come through Chicago.
by: Erik Anderson

Google Closes the Loop on Music Search - by Eliot Van Buskirk - October 29,2009

So, I guess Google announced its newest addition to its search engine that apparently makes the steps of searching for an artist and actually hearing the on the internet easier. The new "OneBox" search feature displays a pop-down box of streamable search results that will direct the user to whatever track they want. This new development was made possiblewith the help of other online music radios and DL sites like Lala, Myspace's new "iLike", Pandora, and Rhapsody.
Although this application seems somewhat useless (because anyone who knows how to work the internet can find the music they want, probably free), I feel that it will certainly prove as a useful marketing tool for the named download/stream subscription sites who feed off of the less internet savvy music listeners of the world. As a whole I'm sure it will make the more mainstream bands easier to get to through Google and will definetly help both the search engine and the music providers to develop more online hits/users.
By: Erik Anderson

"Every Band in the USA" by The Fold

Chicago band, The Fold, recorded a parody of the current hit song "Party in the U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus. They rewrote the lyrics and titled it "Every Band in the U.S.A." The song is hilarious and makes fun of bands. To promote the song, the recorded a music video on an iPhone 3GS, and uploaded it to YouTube. After the video was posted, word spread and within 24 hours of releasing it to the public, the video had reached 100,000+ hits. Currently the video has almost reached 200,000 views, three weeks after its release. The strategy with this parody is to promote the band, as well as get people to purchase their actual music. At the end of video, there are instructions as to how to get the song for free. It tells viewers to visit their website.

Once viewers visit their site, in order to get the song for free they must first purchase The Fold's new album Dear Future, Come Get Me. This strategy is great because if the viewer took the time to go to their website they want the song bad enough. Since the album is priced low, it is reasonable that they will purchase the album to get the free song. This is an excellent way to increase album sales, and based on the number of YouTube hits, they should be getting a fair amount of exposure.

~Laurel Zevitz

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

SellaBand Just Ain't Working For Public Enemy

SellaBand, a music website that allows artists to raise the money from their fans, was on the tip of everyone's tongue this October when Hip Hop greats Public Enemy announced that they'd be funding their upcoming album through the website. The group's goal of $250,000, which would go to recording, marketing, and promotion, would be achieved by offering incentives to those who gave to the cause.

...And then they fell flat.

To date, Public Enemy have raised just over $70,000, just 28% of its goal, and the new year is fast approaching.

What does this mean for Public Enemy and SellaBand? This certainly confirms that Public Enemy are no longer a relevant group. As time has passed since their heyday in the late '80s to early '90s, the group has faded as hypeman Flava Flav has experienced success as a reality TV star.

As far as SellaBand goes, this doesn't look great for them. However, I don't believe that Public Enemy's fanbase is that of the website's demographic. I see SellaBand as catering to much more "contemporary" acts.

Alex Katz

Green Day Join the Rock Band Family

As games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero continue to find success with each new release, a new trend of making games based around a single artist or group has become increasingly popular (and lucrative). The Beatles did it. Aerosmith did it. The latest to hop on the bandwagon? None other than Green Day.

Harmonix, who own the Rock Band franchise (and are owned themselves by MTV) announced at Spike TV's Video Game Awards that in 2010, Rock Band: Green Day will be released. This sounds like a great venture for Green Day, as they have a built-in audience of older fans, as well as those who have discovered their newer records by playing the songs in Rock Band.

Alex Katz

Tunecore Partners With Myspace

Third party aggregator TuneCore has been pretty busy these days. After a complete overhaul of their site, an a new partnership with eHealth, the company has now announced another partnership, this time with Myspace. As a result of the deal, TuneCore artists can now share in the ad revenue generated when their songs are streamed on MySpace Music.

This is great for artists like myself who release their music through digital retailers with TuneCore's help, because it opens up another revenue stream. The details, however, I a bit fuzzy at the moment. TuneCore has not fully explained how the revenues will be calculated, and for most artists, save for the biggest on TuneCore, royalties may be a long way down the road.

Alex Katz


I found an article discussing a new site called VEVO. Vevo is said to be like music's version of Hulu. You can go to vevo and find clips of videos by some of today's hottest artists.
"The sound quality is superior, the videos, even though they're not currently available in HD, look great, and Vevo comes with some music-specific features. The ability to make a play list and save one's favorite videos for repeated viewing is handy, especially if one wants to use the computer as a sort of virtual jukebox and key up a number of clips. Links to Amazon and iTunes are convenient, and the promise of embedded lyrics is a great one."

Vevo sounds to be an interesting addition to the music world, allowing fans to finally be able to go to one spot to find all their music video needs. I think it will once again allow artists to use videos to promote themselves better, since MTV barely plays videos now a days. It will be interesting to see if it stays free, or if a fee will be added later on.

- Valerie South

Monday, December 14, 2009

Daytrotter is cool

This week I’d like to share with you one of my favorite websites to discover, listen to, and download new music. It’s called It’s a unique music blog that offers free mp3s. Daytrotter is based out of Horseshack Studio in Rock Island, IL. They invite touring bands to stop by the studio between shows and record alternative versions of old songs or unreleased tracks. These recordings are very casual and are all live with no overdubs. A different band records four to five songs each day, everyday since May of 2006. The website has a very attractive and artsy layout. The main feature on the home page is that day’s session along with the sessions from the previous three days. There is a column of recent sessions as well as top sessions. Each artist’s session is accompanied with an illustration, a short bio of the band and current news, and four to five free downloads. You can browse the session archives and come across amazing recordings of artists such as Andrew Bird, Grizzly Bear, Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon, and Mew amongst thousands of others. This website serves as a wonderful promotional tool, especially for lesser known or newer bands because the website is perfect for discovering new music because the downloads are free!

by Erin Schwaba

Thursday, December 10, 2009

MySpace Sews Up Deal for Imeem Music Site

Just as Google has purchased Lala, Myspace has now taken advantage of the services that Imeem has to offer. Overtime, MySpace users will be able to stream music from the Imeem website. Imeem offers a mobile phone application that streams music to Apple's iPhones and other devices using Google's Android operating systems. Now, MySpace is working on migrating these aspects of Imeem with MySpace so that MySpace users can benefit from Imeems services. Imeem is a free music business that was trying to make money off of advertising. Although they have struggled in the past, creating a relationship with a large, well known site such as MySpace will probably benefit them in the future. Those who visit the Imeem website will be directed to the MySpace Music page, which is good marketing for MySpace. Both websites can use each other for further promotion and hopefully be able to adapt their services to provide more for their users.

--Lyndsie Klott

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FREE Download of New Single by EMPIRES

Empires has always taken the free approach in their careers. After finishing their first album, they released it as a free download for all. Their strategy is to acquire as many fans while they are local, just to build a name for themselves. The band announced recently on their website:

"We’ve got some exciting news so I’ll get straight to the point…

It’s been a great year touring and recording for Empires, and within this time I know many of you have patiently been waiting for the release of new material. Well, I’m happy to say that wait is finally over…and to say thanks we’ll be giving away our brand new single ‘Bang’ for free beginning next Tuesday, December 8th at (sound familiar?)

‘Bang’ is the title track to a series of digital singles we’re putting out in the new year. This January and February we’ll be releasing ‘Digital 45s’ - which are basically old school A Side / B Side singles. In March, all 5 tracks (plus additional songs and bonus content) will be available as BANG: Deluxe Edition (in both physical and digital formats).

More details coming shortly, but here are the scheduled release dates:

December 8th (Digital Release No.1)
January 12th (Digital Release No. 2)
February 9th (Digital Release No. 3)
March 9th (Bang Deluxe Edition)

Keeping it in usual EMPIRES’ fashion, everything was created by our own hands (writing, producing, mixing, artwork, and releasing). In these cases things take a bit longer than expected, so we hope the extra-fine tuning and wait will be worth it to you. We’re very excited to shed light on where we’ve been and where we’re headed. The thought was to ring in the New Year with a “bang”.

Onward and upward,
tom & empires"

By simply submitting your email address to join their mailing list, you instantly begin downloading their first new single. No waiting for it to be sent to your email or provide a link to another site, this one is instant and easy.

~Laurel Zevitz

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another Band Trying The "Pay What You Want" Option

The band Punchline recently released a b-sides album digitally through their website and chose to give the "pay what you want" idea a try, but with a little tweak. You can get the entire 20 song album for a donation of $6. Any donation less than that will get you the first six songs off of the album. You can also opt to get the first six songs off of the album for free. They have essentially eliminated any donation under $6 as you would have to be crazy to donate 3 dollars for only 6 songs. I think this might be a mistake on their part. Why not make the whole album 5 dollars. Better yet make it 4, the less the better. Your hardcore fans will pay the 6 dollars for the album, but anybody who has enjoyed just a couple of your songs will probably opt not to get the album. Lets say they have 1000 fans who will pay the $6, and 10,000 who will only opt for the free six songs. If the album were 3 dollars, maybe 3000 more people would buy the whole album. I'm very interested to see how this pans out. I think they just let some money slip away from them.
To donate and download the album go here:
Steve Smith

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Apple Purchasing Lala

So apparently Apple has purchased Lala. The deal is either done or "pretty much done", according to Hypebotm, The New York Times, and All Things Digital. Apple's main interest seems to be in Lala's "cloud" technology, which essentially refers to the use of the internet as a mass storage unit, as opposed to personal computers. An article on Wired speculates that this could lead to a cheaper experience with iTunes, consisting of both streaming and downloading capabilities.

The whole cloud idea is gaining more steam; we are frequently seeing products and services based on the internet as storage space. iTunes working with Lala suggests that users' libraries will be available through the service itself (Lala users who use iTunes already have this capability). With the heavy focus Apple has been placing on the iPhone and iTouch, this move makes sense. People will soon have access to their entire music library without having to actually have it stored on their units. This could possibly lead to a huge increase in digital forms of music, due to the constant increase in distance between a physical product and listeners' main source of music. We are seeing less and less steps and components necessary for people to have their music available. I'm sure there will be more to come!

Wired article
Hypebot article

-Bill Ross

As Labels Struggle, Is Artist Income On The Rise?

This article has valid points that most in the music industry are already aware of... but they still important to consider. Clearly, with digital downloads on the rise, CD sales have lowered, and the industry has recreated itself. Artists and labels have both adapted to the demand of digital music, and have been working on staying successful, especially with music being exposed to download illegally without purchase. But, it is important to remember there is still money to be made. Live performances and touring bring in the money, and with do-it-yourself marketing and promotion on the rise it cuts out many of the middle men. There are many bands out there that have a good local and even global following, and have achieved that without the label giving them large sums of money for marketing and promoting their performances, or even the band themselves.

With the knowledge and new technology available today, many bands and musicians have been able to make a name for themselves on their own. The article points out that there is a good possibility that mid-level artists income may increase... and although there will always be those few stars that take the spot light... at least these other musicians are still getting their chance at making music and making money. With all the negativity going on through the music industry through the past few years, it's nice to know that these musicians are taking advantage of what's in front of them, and even though they might not be attached to a big label and have a platinum record on the wall, they can still perform their music, please their fans, and make some money at the same time.

--Lyndsie Klott

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Redeye Distribution D2F

Redeye Distribution has recently entered into a new type of marketing. Direct to fan marketing (or D2F) is being used in a service called 11spot. Through this service, a dedicated staff member will help their artists and labels target their fan. This service is supposedly very user friendly as well, allowing the customer to purchase physical, digital, and other merchandise products all in one stop.
The article also mentions an artist who used the service. For the artist, Redeye posted announcements to social media sites like Facebook and Myspace. That is all the article described about that story. Posting to social networking sites like that is pretty easy these days, so in my opinion I do not see how this service is very effective. Maybe I missed something in this article, or I am really tired. It seemed that this article was full of fluff to advertise a service rather than show what it could really do.

- Derek Jenkins

Friday, December 4, 2009

Myspace music UK launches

After months of Rumors, myspace music has officially launched for the United Kingdom. The commercial for the launch hails myspace music as "the definitive online music experience", but it seems half of the articles on hypebot, and similar sites have been about the death of myspace lately.
I think that the developers at myspace have developed the closest thing to the full package, when it comes to online presence for bands, but with are so many other social networking platforms out now, myspace has gotten lost in the shuffle. With a fresh launch in a huge music market, myspace could really improve its traffic, with the right marketing strategy. I thin the first ad does a real good job at promoting it, if they continue with strong marketing effort behind the launch, it could turn things around for myspace.

-Eric Hart

Thursday, December 3, 2009

30 Seconds To Mars Recruits Fans For 'War'

Wow, this article is a MUST read, especially since we are in the market we are in at this point.

Jared Leto and his band came up with a brilliant marketing idea in my eyes. For their new album, "This is War," the band took to actually recording the fans singing in the audience at live shows and using those recording on the final product. They had fans send in pictures to the band that they then used for the album artwork included with the CD. This seems like the perfect way to get consumers to actually want to purchase the album as opposed downloading it for free, but as I am writing this, I am realizing that almost all the pirated albums that you can download, actually come with the album art in the form of jpegs. This seems like yet ANOTHER attempt at overcoming dropping album sales that is probably going to fail. Let's keep out fingers crossed!

-Woody Ellis

Filmed Concerts Come To iTunes In Live Nation Deal

This is a really cool article I found about iTunes selling concert footage of live shows that they record. I love all the new ideas companies are coming up with to earn more money since CD sales have gone down so drastically. I myself love watching live concert footage, but the problem with a lot of the stuff on YouTube is that the quality is lacking. I am sure ITunes records the shows in HD, and to get to see the whole show from start to finish is a great way to make up for not having been able to be there. My only concern is that live shows are [almost] as easy to find online as albums are. What is going to stop consumers from doing that just as much as they download full albums for free?

Live Nation hopes to gain a new revenue stream on Tuesday when Apple Inc's iTunes begins to feature downloads of some of the live concerts it promotes.

Apple's iTunes will have a section featuring the concerts of about 20 artists ranging from Jesse McCartney to Ziggy Marley when the service begins, the companies said in a statement. They expect hundreds of more shows in the coming months. Prices will start at about $7.99.

Los Angeles-based Live Nation will produce most of the offerings from the more than 20,000 concerts it promotes each year. The company has reached licensing rights deals for live performances with major label owners and artists to enable a smooth launch of the service, it said.

Digital technology has made it significantly more cost-effective to produce and distribute concert recordings through online services like iTunes or

Live Nation did not disclose any financial terms of the agreement, nor did it estimate how much revenue it expects to gain from the venture. But the company's investment risk is expected to be relatively small as it already records many of the show it promotes.

-Woody Ellis

Major Label Messes With the Wrong Guy

According to a news article from, Tim Quirk, a senior vice president at Rhapsody, demonstrates it's "possible to build a big database that accounts for what each copyright holder is owed". Tim Quirk used to front a band that was signed to Warner Bros. Quirk estimated that his band should have earned between 2-5 times as much digital revenue as its four independently-released albums earned. In addition, his band only earned about $12,000 from the independent albums distributed digitally through IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance), but only $62.47 from Warner Bros. Overall, $395,214.71 of the band's advance remains not collectable, which means that it owes that amount against future royalties earned. Quirk believes that his band will ever receive that advance. Most importantly, he claims that major labels are letting all sorts of digital revenue slip through cracks and acquiring sizable upfront royalty advances. In addition, Tim is arguing that since major labels are refusing to update their accounting technology for dealing with revenue from digital streams and downloads. On the other hand, Warner Music Group issued a statement stating that the terms of artists agreements are kept classified due to policy and Quirk's implications to the contrary are flat out wrong. In addition, the comments made by Quirk don't reflect Rhapsody's views on this issue. Overall, there are efforts being made so that accounting is done justly. However, the with multiple parties involved, the issue will continue to be complex. Whats interesting to note about this article is that all music enthusiasts know that the majors are masters at hiding money from artists, but you would think honesty would work to their advantage in the long run.

-Ryan Dolan

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Knowing Your Audience....

It was stated Monday, November 30, 2009 that since the sexually charged performance by Adam Lambert at the American Music Awards, Walt Disney Company which owns ABC-TV will now screen all live broadcasts of performers. This aggressively pansexual performance of the title track from his major-label debut, For Your Entertainment  made big headlines. In addition to drawing more than 1,500 complaints from viewers who took issue with the man-on-man kissing, girl dragging and S&M play, Lambert’s award-show coming out party lost him at least one gig when ABC's "Good Morning America" announced Tuesday (November 24) that it had canceled due to the controversy kicked up by the AMAs.

Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney told Reuters that in reaction to the Lambert performance, Disney was reviewing the steps it takes to vet live performances by getting assurances from artists that their stage shows will resemble their rehearsals, and using contractual obligations to hold them to that. "We certainly don't want to suppress artistry at any level, but we also have to be very cognizant of who our audience is," Sweeney said at the Reuters Media Summit on Monday.

Lambert’s response to this new set of rules for live performances is that he feels as though there is a double standard when it comes to risqué performances by men and women in music, said he felt no need to apologize for his AMA debut.

~Rachel August Millas

Glee Marketing

While watching Glee the other night, I noticed some marketing within the show. This show is overall incorporates a lot of marketing for popular contemporary music, covering songs throughout the series. However, I noticed something else. In one of the scenes when main character Finn was singing in his rooms, there were band posters strategically placed in the screenshot. Such artists are: Dashboard Confessional, Thrice, A Cursive Memory, and Kings of Leon.

Product placement in TV shows, films, etc. are also an effective marketing tool. Viewers of the show will see these posters and want to check them out to further connect with the character, Finn. (If Finn likes these artists, maybe his fans will too.) This is a great way to target new markets for these artists. Millions watch Glee, so it increases the exposure for these artists.

~Laurel Zevitz