Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Record Store Day Declared Big Sales Success

According to the Nielsen Soundscan, recorded music sales surged during America’s third annual Record Store Day on April 17th. In comparison with the previous week, overall U.S. album sales in the independent sector increased 12% including a big 19% vinyl sales jump for the weekend and 529% growth in vinyl single sales.

Several artists including Black Keys, Soundgarden, and Bruce Springsteen were among those who released exclusive vinyl singles, part of the nearly limited vinyl and CD releases offered in the U.S. for Record Store Day. Eight hundred stores in the U.S. (1,400 total worldwide) participated in Record Store Day and saw a 7% increase in record sales. While on the whole, album sales were up 3% on a year-over-year basis.

Honestly, these statistics sort of surprised me a bit. What they suggest to me is that the Compact Disc is still thriving somehow in a world that has been overpowered by the Internet and illegal downloading. I still believe the CD is going to eventually become extinct, however. What I think is keeping the CD sales alive right now is the older, less technologically-inclined generation who grew up on cassettes and CDs. Eventually, this generation is going to die out and the people to replace them are going to be those who grew up on stealing from the Internet. I guess only time will tell what's really going to happen though.

- Samantha Bruno


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trade Your Fans is a social networking promotion site which allows bands to share their fans. If your band has a show coming up or is releasing an album, you can send a request to another band through and ask them for a promotion. If they accept your request, your advertisement will be published on their social networking sight and sent to all their fans. Since the promotion is coming from a band they are a fan of, they will be more likely to take the promotion into consideration than had you blindly sent it to them.

This is a great way to promote because bands can help each other out. If you know of a band that sounds like yours, you can easily reach out to their fans and expand your fan base. From a fan's perspective, anything that is promoted through is okayed by the band promoting it, so you can trust it. If a request is sent and the band doesn't think they relate to it, it can be denied and their fans won't get bothered by it.


by Rebecca Weyhrauch

Monday, April 26, 2010

Are CDs A Lost Cause?

Universal Music Group just announced that they're going to lower the prices of their CDs to $10 or less. This effort is being made to see if people will be more likely to buy new releases on CDs if they cost less. In an age where anything can be downloaded for free, lowering the prices for the almost forgotten about CD can't hurt. It is, however (in my opinion), too little too late. Downloading music for free has been going on for about 10 years now, and record companies are just now deciding to lower the cost of CDs to compete with downloads? The kicker in this situation is that the price reduction isn't even permanent-- it's just a "pricing test" to see how consumers react to lower prices. The beginning of this temporary price reduction does not have a start date, but it is rumored to begin in the second quarter of this year.

Like I said, this can't hurt, but I do find it a bit humorous that it took someone this long to figure out that lowering prices on CDs may help sales. My predictions for the test: it probably won't help too much. Most young adults don't even buy CDs anymore because they grew up with music downloads, so they probably won't jump on this. Older adults may get into this deal because they're not as tech savvy and many still buy CDs, but we have to remember that the sales will be on new releases. A lot of older people like to buy CDs of artists that they grew up listening to, so the sales may not be on items that they want. Again, I feel as if this attempt is too little too late.

-Ashley Stokvis


Rhapsody Allows Offline Streaming

Rhapsody has announced an upgrade to their iPhone app that will allow users to stream music through the app even when the phone is out of wireless range. This will be the first music app with this feature that will be released in the United States. However, there are some things it can’t do just yet. Right now, users can only stream playlists they have created themselves. The ability to stream albums and songs offline will not be available until June.

Despite that, this is going add a lot of value the Rhapsody’s subscribers if they can stream the music even when their device is offline. As no iPhone gets service 100% of the time, this is going to be really great for those who use Rhapsody to listen 24/7. No matter what, they can access all of the music on Rhapsody, and that means you’ll have a lot of music at your disposal, even when you are in the middle of nowhere with no wireless connection. I think that’s pretty cool.

Although this app is currently only available to the iPhone, they say they will have one available this summer for Android devices.

Rhapsody said that their current app has been downloaded 1.5 million times, so it will be interesting to see if that grows with the addition of this feature. Of course, you first have to subscribe to Rhapsody in order to really get the full use of the app, but if it means you can now access a huge collection of music anywhere at anytime, it might really be worth your money.

-- Ashley Snider


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Launch of NimbitPro

Nimbit, a direct-to-fan services provider, recently launched nimbitPro which is an improved suite of tools and services designed “to allow artists and their teams to manage their direct to fan marketing and sales efforts via a unified dashboard.” NimbitPro allows artists, managers, and small labels to capture and communicate with fans, execute marketing campaigns, generate direct sales across multiple storefronts and distribution channels, and to measure their efforts. According to Nimbit co-founder, Patrick Faucher, “we’ve now delivered an end-to-end platform designed for long term, profitable fan relationships and music careers.”

With nimbitPro, artists can distribute their music to iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Rhapsody, and Napster in addition to selling their digital music on Facebook, MySpace, and on their own website. The dashboard also offers real-time sales analytics and reports in addition to a multitude of other fan management tools. At only $25 a month, nimbitPro seems like a reasonable investment for any artist hoping to expand and engage their fan base.


-Emilia Segatti

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cloud Computing (Reality or Fiction)?

I came across an interesting article on Yahoo!’s Associated Press speaking about the cloud and how many companies like Rhapsody have been using it for streaming music over the internet and on mobile devices. Associated Press gave some insight on why the cloud is beneficial for some music listeners, especially the ones who have a wide variety of musical tastes, and consume new music daily. At the same time they focused on why the cloud hasn’t crossed over to the mainstream. One point AP makes is that the cloud hasn’t been marketed well enough to the masses to make them understand why it’s better than buying music in stores or online. Also, many consumers do not like the idea of having to pay a monthly bill for music. Along with these issues for the consumers, record labels are hesitant of moving to the cloud because it hasn’t proven itself as being a strong way to generate revenue from music streams.

I think the cloud is still something that needs to be developed. I’ve been researching this for the past few months, and it sounds like a great concept expect there are a lot of issues on the legal side that stand it its way (read this article). So, I can understand why many labels are wary of joining. Given more time, I think the cloud could be the thing that reinvents record labels, and make them work within the digital era of music.

Submitted by: Jarvis R. Smith


Friday, April 23, 2010

FYS Yourself with Four Year Strong

Four Year Strong's newest album, Enemy of the World, was recently released and in order to help promote it, they've come up with an amusing/unique web site.

I saw a few of my friends tweeting, "FYS yourself like I did" with a picture of themselves containing various cartoon-y graphics such as clothing, tattoos, piercings, etc. that they added to their picture. Curious as to what that meant, I clicked the link and it brought me to a page in which I could upload a picture of myself and add different kinds of graphics to it. This page was also continuously streaming 4 songs from Four Year Strong's new album [as I added things to my picture]. At the bottom left of the page is a link to a contest in which you can enter the picture you've created with a chance to win the "Enemy of the World Package" which includes a skate deck, vinyl, CD, tickets, and more. At the bottom right of the page were various links to follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube.

This is like the culmination of everything we've been talking about in class. I thought this was a really smart way for Four Year Strong to get some of their music out there for free in order to promote their new album. It was mentioned in class that it's not really a good idea to give away ALL of the music for free, which FYS didn't do. In my opinion, they put up just the right amount of songs up to give the listener a good preview of the album. The thing I really liked too was that they were getting people to come to the Web site through these funny pictures that people were creating of themselves. Initially, I didn't click the link wanting to hear the band's new music, per se. I just wanted to make a goofy looking picture of myself because I was bored. While I did so, however, I found myself to be digging the music as I had fun turning myself into a scene kid with the "Fys yourself" game. This led me to tweet my picture which in turn, probably got some of my followers to click the link and hear some of the songs as well.
Unique move by this band in my opinion. They didn't force the music down your throat, you had the option to pause it if you wanted and you also had the option to enter the free contest. And even if this doesn't lead to people buying the album, they may still check out the band's Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace page and buy tickets to see them in the future.

If you're bored like I was, I recommend you go "fys yourself" and maybe listen to the music too. Personally, "Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)" was my favorite song.

- Samantha Bruno


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Facebook meets Pandora....?

I mean, we all knew that Facebook was going to get a better music player sometime because frankly, Facebook's music pages SUCK, but did anyone think it was going to be PANDORA? I remember when Facebook first started having artist pages, remember iLike? If you've never experiences iLike, let me just tell you, it rarely worked, sometimes only had 30 seconds of a song and was rarely updated. With Facebook on the rise and myspace declining, it was only a matter of time before music companies jumped on the Facebook bandwagon.

I've had a Facebook since 2005 and before that I was an avid myspace user. Anytime I wanted information on any band I listened to, I'd go straight for myspace, but now, in 2010, I just search on Facebook or Google and it pops right up.

Basically, the Pandora link to Facebook is just like the Twitter link to Facebook. The purpose? to make it simple for your "friends" to see what Pandora stations you're listening to and what bands you like the most. It makes your Pandora profile link with your Facebook profile- your friends list moves over, along with your profile picture- thus "linking" the two sites.

Personally, I think it's pretty cool, but at the same time, it's odd to think of Pandora as a social networking site.

Hopefully, you're not listening to anything too embarrassing...because from here on out, everyone's going to know.

-Samantha Corrie Schulman


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fans Choose Songs For New Devo Album

Trying to think of a creative way to catch the public's attention with your new album? Be prepared to be jealous of Devo's idea. The band wants their fans to decide which songs are going to make it on their album. Devo has 16 new songs, but only 12 will make it to the album. Not only is this a good way to grab the public's attention, but it will also make an album that the fans like the best. There may have been a few songs that were not so great, but this gives fans the chance to decide "ehh...I am not digging this song. It definitely doesn't belong on the album." I personally would be super excited if one of my favorite bands did this. Fan interaction is an amazing way to build hype around a product. Something that this reminds me of is how currently, Muse has a thing going on where the fans can pick the set list for some of their upcoming shows. I cannot stress enough how awesome I think this is. So many more people are going to want to buy Devo's new album now because they feel like they had a hand in creating it.

-Ashley Stokvis


Chain Mail Music

Everybody has that friend who sends chain mail religiously, as if they really would have "7 years of bad luck if you don't send this to 10 friends." If you aren't that friend, most likely you find it annoying when you receive these kinds of emails and texts, but what if it was music being sent to you?

The band Skybox has embraced filesharing by its fans and are encouraging it through chain mail. What the band is asking it's listeners to do is pick their favorite song and send it to 10 friends (without any threats for bad luck). There are even "share" buttons on their website music player to make it easy for fans to send. This benefits the band because it increases the amount of people hearing about Spybox, listening to their music, and the band also has access to the email addresses and can send other information (tour dates, release dates, etc.) directly to their fans.


by, Rebecca Weyhrauch

Monday, April 19, 2010

Apple May Also Be Creating a Concert Ticketing System

So, MySpace has just launched their concert ticketing system, and it seems like Apple might be jumping on the bandwagon too.

Although this ticketing application may not actually be realized, the system would be used on iPhones and Apple computer users. The system will allow users to get to concert tickets from their iTunes, buy them, and then the ticket would be sent to the user's iPhone or computer to be used to get into the concert. There would also be other bonus features, such as the chance to buy live recordings of the event, or get discounts on food or merch. There will be more exclusive content as well.

This system, if it actually happens, would make use of smart phones and the mobile market, and I can see this application being very popular with iPhone users, simply because you can buy tickets and have them stored on your phone instead of making sure you have them stored somewhere you remember and that you don't forget them when you head out to the show.

If this application actually happens, I think it would be successful because of its convenience and the exclusives that it will offer.

- Ashley Snider


Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Stimulus Package

In an age where the CD has basically become obsolete, rapper Freeway’s latest release, The Stimulus Package, with its exorbitant packaging seems completely illogical. When you purchase the CD, it comes as a folded wad of oversized paper bills with the face of either Freeway or producer Jake One on one side and liner notes on the other. The actual CD comes inside a wallet that also contains a black credit card with a code to download the instrumental version of the album.

Even if the packaging is a little extreme, it’s a nice change from the lackluster album art that seems to have resulted from the digital age. Hopefully, this will encourage other artists to follow Freeway and Jake One’s lead and create unique packaging.

However, The Stimulus Package has more to teach other artists than simply being more creative with their album art. Freeway was once a part of the Roc-A-Fella clique but in the last few years, he has been struggling to find an audience and his reputation had steeply declined. His last two albums failed to gain much press and his career seemed to be grinding slowly to a halt. This changed with The Stimulus Package. Even though a lot of the buzz and write-ups are simply about the packaging, it has still gotten Freeway and his music mentioned on NPR and all sorts of blogs. So perhaps the lesson to learn from this is that if the way you package your product is interesting enough, people will talk about it regardless of what the actual product is.


~Emilia Segatti

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Your Favorite Musician is A Sellout! (Who Cares?)

I came across an interesting article on speaking about musicians, and if it's possible for them to sellout within this decade of music. The author (Matt Rosoff ) spoke about how many bands have been getting that extra push from corporations to get their music out to the public and generate a stronger stream of revenue from recorded music. Mr. Rosoff spoke about a band he discovered (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes), and how he really enjoyed their single “Home”. Then when he saw that Microsoft was using this same single as the theme music for the launch of their new Smartphone “Kin”. He lost interest in the band because now the song he enjoyed for the artistic value is being used as a tool to sell a product. Mr. Rosoff goes on to ask the readers whether this makes him a dinosaur for believing that this makes a band a sellout.

I thought this was interesting because we spoke about this a little bit in our class, and how many bands have linked up with corporations (Mountain Dew, Red Bull, etc.) to have their music associated with selling a product, and whether this was an appropriate move for a band to make? I think it is because things have changed dramatically over the past few decades, and with CD’s becoming irrelevant musicians need to find other ways to make profit from their work instead of just touring and selling merchandise.

To me it all boils down to what the product is, and what its sellers are trying to say to its consumers by using a musician’s song. The Wilco and Volkswagen collaboration we spoke about is a good example of this. So, the issue of selling out is becoming a dated thing to say about a musician when they are limited to the ways they can profit from recordings. In the end, music is an art and that should never be forgotten, but at the same time it’s a business, and that can’t be overlooked . Especially when you’re trying to make it your career.

Submitted by: Jarvis R. Smith


Thursday, April 15, 2010

MySpace Launches Events and Ticketing Platform

So in an effort to stop the flow of traffic to Facebook and Twitter, MySpace has been coming out with a number of new additions as of late. And the latest addition may give artists and music marketers a reason to keep their MySpace profiles more up to date.

MySpace recently launched MySpace Events, a calendar and ticketing platform that allows artists and fans to create and share events. Each event appears inside the user's MySpace calendar, including any from Facebook. The events can be shared on a users' MySpace Stream, Facebook pages, Twitter, and via tiny url. Advertisers who want to promote an event can now also purchase a new special ad format that displays sponsored events directly inside the social calendar.

Marcus Womack, Director of Events and Ticketing for MySpace explains, “Ultimately our goal is to create a destination that allows users to manage their entire social calendar online through MySpace. Also, we’re providing artists with advanced tools to help connect with fans and promote their shows while conversely enabling fans to quickly and easily discover, share and purchase tickets to those shows.”

I logged in to MySpace to check out this new MySpace Events feature, and it was actually kind of cool. Right away it showed me recommended shows in my area with a link right next to each event where I could find tickets. Then there's a "browse" button where you can explore events on a categorical basis- concerts, festivals, art, sports, nightlife, etc. There's also a list on the side of the top ten most popular events in your area. Like most people, I'm tired of MySpace, but I have to admit I liked this Events page. I'm really lazy when it comes to looking up shows and events, but this is a spot where I can browse through every event all from one place. I know I'm not going to go so far as to create my own event using this feature (since I rarely login to this site anymore), but still I'd say the events page is worth checking out whenever I do occasionally stop at MySpace.

- Samantha Bruno


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yeah, I wrote this paper for another class, so what? I don’t see anyone else using proper Turabian (or whaterver) formatting on their blogs! What now?

EMI v. Grooveshark

Initially launched in 2006 as a peer-to-peer music sharing network (somewhat similar to Napster), Grooveshark left it’s peer-to-peer ways and morphed into a music “stream on demand” site[1]. Built far away from the major record labels, Grooveshark was funded “primarily by friends and family.[2]” Unlike Napster (who claimed to not be responsible of its users content) or Myspace (a network where bands can legally only upload their own music), Grooveshark was breaking all the rules without finding any loopholes. Go to, type in a song title, and listen to whatever you want. The website idea, simple design, and ascetics are similar to an online jukebox that has every band and never costs a dime.

For consumers, this concept sounds great. Why buy an album when you can listen to it for free? Plus, streaming music doesn’t carry the same virus risks that downloading does. Finally, when streaming from Grooveshark there is no transfer of files; so no risk of lawsuit. Seemingly closer to tuning into the radio than stealing a CD, Grooveshark is a music consumer’s dream. For some copyright holders, Grooveshark seemed more like a nightmare.

In judging if the use of copyrighted material is “fair use,” a question a lawyer might ask is -- “Does [the infringement] affect the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work?[3]” Grooveshark’s motto is “Play any song in the world, for free![4]” This gives strong implication that Grooveshark not only has potential to hurt the market for music, but that Grooveshark is seemingly designed for such a purpose.

Because of the free and versatile nature of Grooveshark: it resembles neither a new way to buy music (as iTunes does) nor a new way to listen to radio (like streaming radio stations do). Grooveshark represents a new way to get any song at any time without paying any money. Perhaps this is what frightened major record companies like EMI, the holder of so many valuable copyrights.

On May 8th of 2009, EMI sued Grooveshark for copyright infringements[5]. According to many sources (including Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital), Grooveshark was actually working with EMI to reach a legal agreement when EMI decided to go to court instead[6]. Nothing has been announced as to what Grooveshark had on the table, but considering their limited income from a few advertisers featured on their website, it was probably nowhere near the ten or twenty dollars EMI expects to make per album. In examining the case EMI v. Grooveshark, it seems that the law is undoubtedly on the side of EMI. Not only was Grooveshark proudly disregarding copyright laws, it announced no legal defense to the public save attempted “negations” with EMI. Apparently, Grooveshark thought it could figure out the copyright licenses after it put up the copyrighted material.

In addition to constitutional law being on the side of EMI, there are also several cases that can serve as precedent to EMI v. Grooveshark. Most famous is Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) v. Napster in 2000. When at the federal appeals court, the law sided with RIAA (the copyright protectors) instead of Napster (the copyright violating website)[7]. In what many consider the sequel to RIAA v. Napster (MGM v. Grokster) the courst also sided with the copyright holders (MGM) and forced Grokster to pay damages of $50 million[8]. The Grokster case particularly concludes that not only is it illegal to offer a service that allows its users to violate copyright law, that service itself (Grokster or Grooveshark) can be held responsible for damages.

Though the law seemed to be clearly on the side of EMI, it seems that the public was largely on the side of Grooveshark. When Rolling Stone magazine covered the EMI v. Grooveshark story online, consumers from all over the world logged on to blog about their frustration with EMI. Comment after comment on the Grooveshark case grouped EMI with “the major labels,” calling them, “fools,” “greedy,” and “two faced.[9]” A blogger identifying himself as “EMI Sucks” argues, “I can’t believe EMI would stab them in the back like this. Grooveshark was on THEIR side by asking them permission for their music, and EMI turns around and accuses them of copyright violation?[10]” Although it seems these bloggers are confused about the fundamentals of copyright laws, they are also clearly music consumers. Who else would take the time to comment on a Rolling Stones post?

Even though it appears EMI had a foolproof case against Grooveshark, they decided to negotiate instead of pursue the lawsuit. According to an October 2009 article in Wired Magazine, EMI struck a licensing deal with Grooveshark and dropped the lawsuit[11]. Luckily for Grooveshark, because the case was a civil dispute instead of a criminal prosecution, Grooveshark came out relatively unscathed.

Today, Grooveshark stays true to its motto and continues to offer any song from its huge catalog for free. Supported by companies targeting music lovers, Groovesharks users pay for the music with their viewing of advertisements instead of cash. Blending a business model called “freemium”, Grooveshark also offers a premium account (even though basic use is free). The premium service costs $3 a month, removes the advertisements a customer would normally see, and allows the user additional features like saving playlists[12].

EMI v. Grooveshark is an especially interesting case because it marks the music industry’s digression from enforcing copyright laws. Even though the law was on EMI’s side, the music consumer was not. Working with Grooveshark instead shutting it down is part of a new strategy to embrace free music for fear of alienating customers.

[1] Peter Kafka, “Another Music Start Up Sued” All Things Digital by The Wall Street Journal. (June 17, 2009) (accessed April 9, 2010).

[2] Peter Kafka (accessed April 9, 2010)

[3] Raymond P.Schmitz Jr. J.D., “Copyright: Infringement, Fair Use, and Licensing ” (lecure, Columbia College, Chicago, IL)

[4] (accessed on April 9, 2010)`

[5] Peter Kafka, “Another Music Start Up Sued” All Things Digital by The Wall Street Journal. (June 17, 2009) (accessed April 9, 2010).

[6] Peter Kafka (accessed April 9, 2010)

[7] CNN, “Justice sides with recording industry on key issue in Napster court fight” (September 8, 2000) (accessed April 10, 2010)

[8] John Borland, “Last waltz for Grokster” CNet News (November 7, 2005) (accessed April 10, 2010)

[9] Daniel Kreps, “EMI Sues Music Streaming Site Grooveshark” Rolling Stone (June 18, 2009) (accessed April 10, 2010)

[10] Daniel Kreps, (accessed April 10, 2010)

[11] Eliot Van Buskirk, “EMI Drops Suit Against Grooveshark Music Service, Licenses It Instead” Wired (October 13, 2009) (accessed April 9, 2010)

[12] (accessed on April 9, 2010)

- Ian Gollahon

Redefining The Digital Music Market, One Phone At A Time

Nokia, the world's leading mobile phone supplier and manufacturer of mobile telephones, furthered increased its global domination of mobile music service. 'Comes With Music' is a cell phone-based, Digital Rights Management-free unlimited music download service. Already in 30 countries, Comes With Music is innovative to China as being the world’s first DRM-free unlimited music download service.

Although the service has had a slow start in its other countries (approximately 107,000 subscribers), the market for China, and soon to be India, is a combined potential of 2.5 billion people. That is more than one third of the world’s population! Seeing the potential for millions of would be customers, the service will include catalogues from the four majors: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Music and more than 70 local independent labels. 50% of the catalogue is expected to be local artists as well.

Besides being the world’s most populated country, what sets China apart from the rest of Nokia’s markets is its current dominance of China’s mobile market. Eight of Nokia’s phones are already available for the service and 80,000 retail stores around the country are carrying the supported devices. Liz Schimel, Global Head of Music, Nokia claims that "This launch delivers a truly mass market music offering from China's most loved mobile brand. Our broad range of Comes With Music enabled devices and the high quality, DRM-free catalogue form the perfect legal download recipe for the world's biggest market for mobile phones."

One of the biggest obstacles Nokia and the music industry face in China is piracy. "Establishing legitimate online music services in emerging markets is imperative for the music industry's ongoing effort to remake itself," says Mike McGuire, Research Vice President, Media IAS Team, Gartner. The success of Comes With Music would be a win for artists, labels, publishers and consumers alike. American artists, labels and publishers now have the opportunity to profit from their catalogue legitimately being in the hands of Chinese music fans. Conversely, Chinese music will be available to the rest of the world with the expansion of the service.

- Steve Jordan

Source -

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Music Streaming Service Teams Up With The Golden Arches

Deezer, a French on-demand streaming service has partnered up with McDonald's. 1,161 McDonald's locations will have access to an application that streams playlists customized by Deezer. In a statement from McDonald's VP, Nawfal Trabelsi said, "this new original and targeted music offer brings an answer to the needs of our consumers looking for an experience beyond catering." Deezer's goal is to create targeted sound environments for brands.

This reminds me of a partnership that iTunes and Starbucks entered around 2007 where Starbucks gave away free song downloads for iTunes and then anyone with an iPhone or iPod with internet access could get free wifi from Starbucks. In addition to that, the user could log into their itunes and find out which songs were playing over the Starbucks speakers and instructions on how to buy the songs. I'm not positive if this is still going on because I don't go to Starbucks, but my guess is that it is.

Teaming up with a retailer is a great way to reach an audience, because consumers hear music most places they go, whether they realize it or not. When a good song or playlist comes on though, the customer will notice it and want to know who the artist is and what the song is called.


-Ashley Stokvis

Promotion Through Music Videos

Brightcove and TubeMogul did a study on trends of online music video watching, and the results could help artists get viewers to watch their videos.

It was discovered that, as we could have guessed, most music videos are found through Google searches. Google is responsible for 76% of views to be exact.

If it's longevity you are looking for, your best source is Twitter. Viewers that find videos off people's tweets watch about a minute more of the video than someone who found a video through other means. If a music video or song is good enough for someone to tweet about, then there's a good chance their followers will take the time to watch it.

If you want your video to be delivered when someone searches the internet to watch it, VEVO is your source. In just one month, VEVO has had 226 million views, where label and artist websites had only 25 million. Sites such as VEVO or YouTube are good for getting hits to your video because while watching one video, a bunch of others are listed to the side that the viewer might enjoy as well. This could also be beneficial in reaching a new demographic.


By Rebecca Weyhrauch

Monday, April 12, 2010

UK Passes Anti-Piracy Act

The U.K. has pushed a bill called the Digital Economy Bill through one section of the British government this week that seems to be trying to get a hold on piracy on the Internet and stop it.

What this bill says is that those who are suspected of illegal downloading will be sent letters by their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) notifying them to cease their actions. After a year, the regulators tracking this activity can decide if this letter impacted the file-sharing of the user or not. If it did, they can decide to take no further action. However, if it didn't, they can take technical measures that could lead to possible suspension of their use of the Internet. There are other aspects to the bill that include blocking all copyright-infringing Web sites, which makes me curious about what they'd do with YouTube.

While the bill is not fully approved just yet, it seems that people of the music industry in the UK think the bill is a good idea, and want to work with ISPs.

Geoff Taylor, a music industry executive says the bill " will not eliminate all piracy, but will go a long way towards reducing illegal freeloading and will help to build a more sustainable ecosystem for content on the Internet." He also expressed his understanding of what some music fan's may think, but assures them that the industry will continue to offer legal services on the Internet to fans that also get artists money.

It's interesting to consider how this might impact the industry for better and worse. I'm also wondering how the ISPs feel, now that they may have to issue countless amounts of letters to the many people who download illegally.

--Ashley Snider


Sunday, April 11, 2010

SoundExchange Payments Increase by 25%

SoundExchange, the performance rights organization that collects and distributes royalties from satellite and online radio play, mailed nearly $52 million to artists and copyright holders in the first three months of this year. That’s about a 25% increase over any other previous quarter.

John L. Simson, the executive director of SoundExchange, said that the higher payout resulted from “more and bigger radio stations simulcasting online, the growth in streaming services like Pandora and a recent increase in satellite radio subscriptions aided by rising car sales.” He went on to add that SoundExchange has registered thousands of artists who had not been in the system and they have also done a better job of figuring out which songs are getting played.

With this increase of people listening to both online and satellite radio and the resulting jump in royalty payments, it seems like it’s more important than ever for artists to get their music on online radio stations and streaming services like Pandora as well as on satellite radio.


~Emilia Segatti

Saturday, April 10, 2010


D.R.M., three letters that caused controversy within the music industry, and made many record labels become public enemy number one in the eyes of consumers who were legally buying music online. What DRM (Digital Rights Management) was; was a access control software that enabled copyright holders to put restrictions on how many times a user could copy, transfer, and reproduce an MP3 file on another device. Consumers weren’t happy with these restrictions, and once DRM began to give consumer's computers viruses (due to the faulty technology) they were fed up with record labels BS, and wanted this technology gone.

In the end, labels eventually got rid of DRM, but according to a recent article in TechCrunch record labels have found a new way to watermark MP3’s without people noticing. The new “Dirty MP3’s” now collect information about the buyer and the music transactions they’ve made. According to an anonymous source TechCrunch spoke with, this is how it works:

“During the buying process a username and transaction ID are known by the online retailers. Before making the song available for download their software embeds into the file either an account name or a transaction number or both. Once downloaded, the file has squirreled away this personal information in a manner where you can’t easily see it, but if someone knows where to look they can. This information doesn’t affect the audio fidelity, but it does permanently attach to the file data which can be used to trace back to the original purchaser which could be used at a later date.”

If that doesn’t rile you up then here’s the real kicker. According to the anonymous source Apple and Wal-Mart are alleged to be using this watermark on their MP3’s.

What does this mean for all of us? Well if Apple and other online retailers succeed in creating “The Cloud” then we might have another DRM situation on our hands. It’s alleged by the anonymous source that record labels will want this new watermark embedded on all the music streamed on the cloud. I hope this isn’t true, but if it is then DRM will be making it’s return in a major way. Yikes!

Submitted by: Jarvis R. Smith


Friday, April 9, 2010

Never Shout Never Promotes through television

The band, Never Shout Never, who is also the headlining band on the AP tour is going to make their television debut on Last Call With Carson Daily and will play their two singles off of their album. This is an example of what we read about on how to promote the product to the public through television. Although we've had discussions in class about bands playing as the musical guests on shows like this one or saturday night live not being as successful in promotion as it has in the past, I still think that having the opportunity to be a musical guest on a television show is still a great way to promote an artist. I know that personally I have watched some of the late night shows who have had musical guests I've never heard of; like when I first heard The Airborne Toxic Event, I immediately went on itunes and downloaded their album. On the contrary, there have been bands that i really didn't like or pay attention to, I think it's a hit or miss risk to take. Either way I think that music guests are going to pull at least a few hundred more fans by playing on television shows that apply to their target markets.
-Abby Goldstein

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Trick Out Facebook Band Pages for $1.99 a Month

Using the free and basic app called BandPage, Facebook previously only allowed for a band to have pretty limited options in setting up a profile page for themselves. Things have changed, however, with the creation of the upgrade to this app called BandPage Plus. With the new upgrade, fans are now actually able to listen to a band’s music via a Soundcloud player while looking at photos and viewing the rest of a profile that includes a tour schedule, photos, biography, contact information, Facebook wall, and Twitter Feed. Bands don't have to have any design experience because now for just $1.99 a month, they can create a custom BandPage with the help of a "click & customize" visual editor.

Here's a short video of how BandPage Plus works:

The first thing that sprang into my mind when I read this was.."oh there's another nail in MySpace's coffin." Now people won't even have to be directed to a band's MySpace page in order to hear their music! They can find out the basic information that they need to know right on the band's Facebook page AND listen to their music at the same time. I know that personally I've been invited to check out dozen of bands' fan pages on Facebook, and while I may look at it for a minute, most of the time my short attention span leads me to click out of the page rather quickly. I'm usually too lazy to try to find a link to the band's music, and I'm sure there a lot of people out there that are the same way. The Soundcloud player changes everything because now I can immediately check out the music as soon as I click onto the fan page, which would definitely help to spark my interest in a band.
For newer and lesser known bands, BandPage Plus seems kind of revolutionary.


- Samantha Bruno

Is EMI going down?

EMI - OK Go + Lawsuit /w Gorilaz + Lawsuit with lots of other people = the least of EMI's problems.

Ok, that probably didn't actually make sense, but my point was EMI is not looking so good. News of EMI's financial woes have long been public, but some information (not sure how accurate) as to why they are so so screwed is starting to surface. Here's a few quotes from about EMI problems.

Exactly what's going on at EMI varies by one's sources, but clearly the company is in a messy struggle for its survival. As of last Wednesday, EMI has just 90 days to raise $183 million to make an overdue loan payment and present a viable plan fir its future to creditor Citi.

Now that talks to license EMI's catalog with Universal have broken off, Sony issaid to be back at the table. Formal negotiations between Sony's finance director Kevin Kelleher and EMI's executive chairman Charles Allen could begin in May, if advisers can agree on an outline agreement over the next few weeks


The contracts of some of EMI's best selling acts could be the reason that the label group has yet to make a catalog licensing deal that would provide much needed cash. The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Coldplay and Norah Jones were named by Showbix411 as having contracts which prevent EMI from licensing their recording to another label.

If true, EMI's extensive catalog would be significantly devalued. "Sources say that when the UMG folks realized this, they pulled out at the last minute," according to the blog. "EMI then went to Sony, almost made a deal there until that gang asked the essential questions." Other media sources suggest that Sony may still be willing to continue negotiations.

- Ian Gollahon


Aggregated story at:

The Daily Swarm collects a few articles on the Labor Department cracking down on “unpaid labor.” New York Times, New York Magazine, and The Daily Princeton all have articles on this recent phenomenon.

Thinking broadly, they ask a valid question – “What would happen to the music industry if it had no inters.” Many think it would fall apart. But, for me, the real question this article asks is a more personal one – “Why am I buying a $20,000+ degree with ‘Music Business’ in the title?”

-Ian Gollahon

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Has Bieber Fever become the Plague?

Twitter is taking over the world, I mean, even for this class we are required to check it regularly. I know that I myself, use twitter for posting frivolous things, most of the time complaining about being tired or some other meaningless issue. But when did twitter become a reason for arrest? Scott "Scooter" Braun, the manager of Justin Bieber was arrested a few weeks ago for, strangely enough, NOT TWEETING?!

The arrest was based off of a November mall appearance on Long Island. Apparently, the crowd of young girls got a little too rowdy for police to handle and Braun was asked to tweet to calm them down and that the event was being cancelled. Bieber, due to safety issues never even stepped foot out of the car. Prosecutors are now arguing that Braun took too long to tweet and he is now being charged with reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance.

Braun is pleading not guilty, but if convicted could face up to a year of jail time.

Personally, I think the entire thing is ridiculous. Charging someone with reckless endangerment for not tweeting? What is next?


-Samantha Corrie Schulman

Lollapalooza Announces Lineup, Wheel of Fourtune Style

Lollapalooza announced its lineup today, with headliners including Soundgarden and Lady Gaga. While the official roster is undoubtedly exciting for fans of the festival, last week's teaser bill was just as fun. As fans and blogs were making their prediction as to who would play this summer's festival, Lolla organizers released the image above: a Wheel of Fortune style list with only the O's filled in. This piqued interest of the individuals who had been guessing, either confirming or confusing their predictions, as well as those people waiting for an official announcement. It's an obvious gimmick, but still a good way for the festival to build on the internet buzz that Lollapalloza had already gained.

--Katherine Wood

Fan Funding

While all artists rely on their fans to buy their music and merchandise, and to come see them in concert, some rely on fans to provide the opportunity to make their music. Fan funding is when fans of a particular artist donate money to that artist in order for them to pay for recording and such necessities to release their next big thing. Although its success has been rocky, UK rockers, Gang of Four are using Pledge Music to fund the release of a new album.

What's the incentive to pledge money? Not only do you get to hear another album from one of your favorite bands, but if you pledge, you are eligible for signed albums, broken guitars, and a custom mix. If you are a fan of Gang of Four, you better not wait, because they only have 56 days left to raise 96% of their funds!

Could this be a way of the future? Instead of fans paying for the music that has already been made, they will pay for the making of music they want to hear. This could be a way to make money when fans are downloading for free, rather make them pay for the music to be created for them to download.


by Rebecca Weyhrauch

$10 All-You-Can-Listen

Rhapsody, an all-you-can-listen music subscription site, has cut it's prices from $14.99 to $9.99. This fee allows users to listen to Rhapsody on their computer as well as one other device, such as an iPhone or MP3 player. This price cut has come at the same time that Rhapsody became independent from RealNetworks, a Seattle-based technology company.

The reason behind Rhapsody's lowered price is that they have been listening to their customers. "They wanted it to be more affordable. We’ve made it more affordable. They wanted the service on their mobile device. We added Android. BlackBerry is next. We’re offering our customers the ability to listen to all the music they want, wherever they want, whenever they want." said Jon Irwin, president of Rhapsody.

In order to succeed and compete with competitors, it is important to listed to your target market and what they want, then give it to them.


by Rebecca Weyhrauch

Monday, April 5, 2010

More Interactive Music With The iPad

Saturday marked the release of the iPad. We've all heard of it by now--it's that awkward gadget that functions like a computer, but is way smaller. It looks like an over-sized iPhone. There is, however, an advantage of the huge touch screen-- some people thing it will benefit the music industry. While I'm unsure of the future success of the iPad, I do agree that music has the ability to be way more interactive with this new gadget. How? Apps are already being created to work nicely with the iPad's large screen. For example, the free Rj Voyager iPad app allows the user to to modify an artist's music like a DJ or a sound engineer. Users will find that apps can be way more detailed because of the extra space on the iPad screen. In the Rj Voyager app, the bigger screen means more knobs and different features for the user to modify the song.
According to one of the creators, Michael Breidenbruecker, “the Rj Voyager is not only playing back samples. A scene can consist of synthesizers, drum computers, effects and filters, sample playback, and — most important for us — Reality Modules [grabbed through the microphone]. Attributes that can be tweaked can be everything from cutoff frequencies to synth patterns to the high hat [volume] level to the sensitivity of a reality module … it can literally be anything, depending on the artist who created the scene.”
Wow...that sounds like one cool app. I think there will be many more awesome iPad apps released, but the problem will be getting consumers to actually buy the iPad. I don't personally see the point in the average person buying one when chances are they already have an iPhone, iPod, and macbook or iMac. I'm not quite sure who the iPad is marketed towards, probably computer people as well as business people, and they may be interested in a different kind of app. Bottom line, it seems like the apps will be really cool for the iPad, but the average person who would use them probably isn't going to be buying the iPad in the first place. Only time will tell though!


-Ashley Stokvis

Searches of "record store" may mean big success on record store day

Google Analytics has released some statistics showing which search terms related to music are on the decline or increasing. It's pretty interesting.

Record store day is approaching on April 17th, and searches of the words "record store" have increased to show that this year's Record Store Day just might be huge. In the article, there is a chart that shows that searches of the phrase "record store" have been decreasing since 2004. However, in 2008, there is a little spike, which just might be where Record Store Day came around, and in 2009, the spike shoots up double what it was before. This shows that since Record Store Day began in 2008, the popularity of it is growing, and looking at the spike in 2009, I can only imagine how much bigger this year's might be.

Another interesting statistic was searches for the words "live music" and "concert." Although they pretty much mean the same thing, "live music" has shown a decline over the past five years, while "concert" has remained very consistent. This might just mean that more people think to write concert in their search, or maybe it means that people are looking for more specific concerts as opposed to, say, bars around the neighborhood that play live music.

Overall, it seems like record store day may be an even bigger hit this year if these search stats don't lie.

-- Ashley Snider


Sunday, April 4, 2010

How Did Justin Bieber Get So Popular?

I think we’ve all noticed that Bieber fever has taken over the minds of many teens and tweens. With the release of his new album, “My World 2.0,” it’s estimated that Bieber will have grossed around $15 million in total recorded music sales in the United States without the help of a Disney show. So how exactly did he get this successful this quickly?

The answer seems to be in how often Bieber releases content. Since April 2009, three official videos have been released, two albums, and three singles – that’s a total of 18 tracks within nine months. I think that this is something all artists can learn from.

Music listeners (and people in general) have ever-decreasing attention spans and to be successful, an artist needs to keep a constant presence in the minds of their consumers. These days it seems like the focus is more on singles like it was in the sixties when artists were active all the time. So if there’s one thing that Justin Bieber can teach us, it’s that success comes in large part by constantly giving your fans new content.


~Emilia Segatti

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Don’t Sleep on Geolocation

A few posts ago I mentioned how SPIN magazine teamed up with Foursquare to host a musical scavenger hunt for SXSW . A recent post on Hypebot analyzed the use of Foursquare and other geolocation services during SXSW. The point they were making was how useful these geolocation services are in terms of attracting crowds to events. Also, for using it has as a tool to market your business or band to a larger audience.

I thought this was interesting because these services play an important role in tracking where your audience comes from. Also, these services offer new ways for bands to interact with their fans, and gives them an opportunity to host special contest using geolocation to get people involved with an event. Overall, these networks are still new to the social media market, but with more bands and businesses finding creative ways to use them. I’m sure we’ll see more innovative marketing strategies to come into play.

Submitted by: Jarvis R. Smith



CD’s don’t sell anymore and record labels are getting tired of the same old song. Therefore, they’re trying new ways to lure customers back into the record stores. According to an article that I read on ColoradoDaily, Universal Music Group is looking to set a new standard price for selling new releases. This pricing strategy is called “Velocity”, and this model suggests that record stores should reduce their profit margins for top selling artists CD's from 25 percent to 35 percent, which will make new CD’s cost less than $10 dollars. Many record store owners are worried about this pricing strategy because they’re afraid it won’t allow them to bring in enough revenue to stay in business. At the same time they fear that by not adapting to this pricing system they will be alienating customers from buying CD’s from their shops.

I think this method will only increase sales by a small amount, but it won’t stop the steady decline. I still don’t believe that the compact disk can be saved, but I can’t blame UMG for trying new ways to make buying CD’s appealing. It will be interesting to see how well this model does within the months to come, but I don’t believe there will a significant change. As one commenter made within this article: “There's nothing special about a CD anymore”.

Submitted by: Jarvis R. Smith


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Summer Obsession Free EP

After their 3 year hiatus, The Summer Obsession is finally releasing their new album entitled Believe Nothing, Explore Everything. To promote this album they are allowing fans to download their ep for FREE at As a personal fan I know that getting their free ep will make me want to buy their whole album. Also, their link on takes you straight to their main website where you can download the ep and can download their full cd when it's finally released. Much like the article we read about "free" being successful, I think The Summer Obsession is using their free ep to their advantage to maintain their fan base that they had 3 years ago as well as grab the attention of new fans.

-Abby Goldstein