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Shadesofsolveig
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Waaaah (sp?). I can't record anymore and direct upload my podcasts using my iPhone. I'm disappointed. I pay for the space with my Premium account, what is the issue? That direct record/upload feature was nice for podcasters using SoundCloud as their primary hosting platform and not doing a lot of post-production. Also, for recording and hosting ambient sounds and sharing them.
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This is a great analysis. "Music downloads are monetized CRM for Apple, a means of enhancing the device experience." So true. And while music is tied to device sales, device sales also underwrite a streaming music service, a service which is not currently profitable standing alone. Much as cellphone service was viable only as a bundled service in it's infancy, so is streaming. This will end up an industry with only a few players, those with a diversified portfolio and deep pockets (Google, Apple...).
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A bold and interesting move forward in the inevitable consolidation and vertical integration of streaming music. I wonder if any other streaming services are considering acquiring music crowdfunding sites like Pledgemusic, distributors like CD Baby, or performance sites like StageIt or ConcertWindow.
Toggle Commented Mar 4, 2014 on Beats Music Acquires Topspin Media at hypebot
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As you point out, it's refreshing to see financial transparency in an industry that seems to have a bias against sharing information. It would be even nicer to see more financial information shared by labels and publishers, who I think (but I can't be sure) still make the lion's share of money in the music industry. If and when the entire supply chain revenue becomes more transparent, I think it will become even clearer that artists have never been the ones who made most of the money. It's the middlemen (and women). Keating is that rare musician who has succeeded, after many years, in making a reasonable living from her music, and she does it by going as directly to her fans as she can. On the subject of YouTube monetization, perhaps Keating is deliberately choosing not to monetize there. Someday musicians may be complaining as loudly about Google not compensating artists fairly as we do today about labels and PROs. At least with labels and PROs, there's more than one. Google is effectively a monopoly.
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Or ironic, depending on how you look at it. Bottom line is music IS like water now: free, everywhere, and much of it non-potable. Berklee will continue to pump out the music school grads.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2013 on The Cost of Free at hypebot
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Great article, Clyde. I agree with everything you are saying. Twitter, in particular, and cable news, have transformed both the delivery and definition of news. I know I get all my music news now from Twitter - for example, Lou Reed's recent death. Yet, what I wanted was more than just the 140 character news of his death, I wanted a link to read more about his life. For that, I went to the website of a more traditional news outlet, which in turn, relied on the official statement given in a press release. For album releases, I think the press release serves the narrower function that you outlined - it's a one stop shop for journalists to get all the links they might need to write their story. So it's a critical component of any musician's release strategy and marketing, but it doesn't drive the story. The back story has to be larger than just the music release to be newsworthy these days! If the press release can compellingly describe that back story, it can be very valuable (see Shelby Earl's video release on Rolling Stone today as a great back story example well-executed).
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Thanks for mentioning my article, Clyde! This is a helpful summary and now I'm off to read Chris' article...
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I think David touches on the real issue: were Reznor's DIY marketing efforts less than successful because he is not willing to work hard enough, doesn't have the marketing expertise to do it himself - or because the music wasn't that good and didn't appeal to fans (old or new)? Musicians today have to constantly keep producing and innovating on BOTH musical and marketing fronts because it is a highly competitive landscape. Established artists are not just competing with other established, label-supported artists (like Swift, Timberlake and Jay Z with their massive marketing budgets), they are also competing with quirky one-hit YouTube viral sensations. Not to mention that if you want to hear really innovative new music, Soundcloud has a lot of it. The field is wider, the competition more fierce, and attention spans shorter. Relevance and longevity have always been tough to master in the music industry.
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Every other industry has figured out how to standardize and manage sensitive data: medical, retail, government, financial, supply chain management. The music industry needs a standardized metadata protocol and standard APIs for passing the attribution information. The issue is not data security - that is technically solvable. If you want to know where the roadblocks lie, look to who currently profits most from the lack of transparency. Accounting is not a technical issue, it's a political issue among the stakeholders who make the money.
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I think David is right spot on. This is a waiting game and the infrastructure players can afford to sit back and let the VCs spend their money trying out different interfaces and subscription models, and when the money is gone, they will scoop up the best technology and either use it or kill it. It's hard to see Google challenging Apple successfully on streaming music - they have the existing huge paying customer installed base with iTunes, they know mobile customers well, they know tablets, they have great software engineers. Unless they are thwarted by the labels through overly onerous licensing structures, it's their race to lose.
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This is a great post and rings so true for me as an musician, and also seems to ring true for many of my musician friends. We make music because when someone walks up to you after a performance (as I experienced this very weekend) and says, with tears visible in their eyes: "That one song, it really moved me," or "I'm inspired to buy an instrument and be creative," - THAT's what makes it all worthwhile. We do make music to connect. We make music because it speaks for us and to us in a way that words cannot.
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Hey the Twitter share button doesn't work on my Windows 8 machine.
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Hey Brad - Thanks for the comment! Just keep doing it - it does get easier and easier. For sure I will be writing about my Tom Jackson workshop later this year, I have a feeling it will be great writing fodder!
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Hey Chick - Thanks for the question. I did not have to pay Universal anything for the license. It's important to note, however, that I made it clear to them that I am not looking to make any money from this video.
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I don't often see "Jimmy Iovine" and the term "artist empowerment" occurring in the same article. I think you are right about what is missing from current streaming music platforms, but I don't see Daisy as focused on the artist. I think Iovine is good at catering to consumers, but "artist empowerment"? I think not. We all had hopes that the new MySpace would do just that, but it has disappointed. There is a vacuum. A service that builds artist-fan communities, facilitates indie music discovery, empowers artists and their brands - and still makes money - would be welcome. I don't see that happening with Daisy.
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Shadesofsolveig is now following Clyde Smith
Feb 23, 2013
I am actually very excited about the karaoke as well, Clyde. I am really looking forward to this agenda of speakers - it looks like an amazing lineup.
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Interesting thought. Certainly Chirpify has a lot of growth potential - and has some very visible users in artists like Amanda Palmer. Artists need tools like Hootsuite and Chirpify to both identify and market to their fans online.
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Great, glad you like it so far - there's a lot to explore.
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Great additions, Chris. The Hootlet is one of those great little apps you forget is there because you use it all the time! I've been using auto-schedule, too, although I am not clear what the algorithm is (is it generic or personalized?) But Hootsuite is a great tool with some super features.
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My pleasure, Connor! I'm glad you liked it.
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This is a really good, common sense article, Clyde. Sometimes the things that sound simple aren't, but I think you really cut through a lot of the marketing fog here.
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I'm not sure who was launching who with the Myspace and Justin Timberlake collaboration. It seemed like something their respective marketing people thought would be mutually beneficial from a co-branding perspective. I think the actual content and execution behind both brands (Timberlake's Suit and Tie and Myspace's) did not live up to the hype, which, unfortunately, no amount of flashy marketing can make up for. Check out the new Beck/Bowie endorsement for Lincoln Motor Company: Yet another musician co-branding/endorsement extravaganza. They actually spent big bucks on a 15x22" pullout PAPER poster of Beck in this week's New Yorker Magazine - ugh. I guess at least they have the demographics right - but Beck, Bowie and Lincoln in the same breath? Kind of like Timberlake and Budweiser - I thought Timberlake had a classier brand image than that. At least Alicia Keys and Blackberry seems to make some sense from an image perspective, although, again, you can't put lipstick on a pig (the pig being the Blackberry, not Keys) and sell it as something suddenly desirable. What surprises me is that these artists' labels don't seem to consider the possible negative impact of these product endorsements on the artists' images. The Beck/Bowie/Lincoln ads: http://now.lincoln.com/2013/02/beck-says-hello-again/
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"It makes one wonder if new business people will emerge that can work with the needs of DIY pop musicians just as they have in other genres such as hip hop and indie rock." An intriguing idea. Scott Borchetta of BMLG (at least from the articles one can read about him and his label) claims to allow his artists creative freedom, he marks them really well, and he is having significant success in pop with Taylor Swift with a model that is perhaps somewhat less controlled. Maybe. I can't see Columbia controlling Trent Reznor. Although I'm not sure he's pop, exactly. But maybe the labels are finally getting the message that controlling and exploiting pop artists doesn't work in the long run. Hmmm. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and their New York manager The Agency Group's Zach Quillen, about whom I know you have also written, have definitely taken the collaborative approach. They have a group of business people around them who market them - it seems very much a team effort. Mackemore has talked about the growing pains of a "small" business - it's clearly a challenge working outside the label structure, but he chooses not to give up control in exchange for a smoother growth path for his business. After all, it really is just like starting a business to start a music career. I would love to see more freelance music business professionals have a way to identify and come together around emerging pop musicians - provide marketing support, merchandising, PR, management, and even raise capital as needed - just like in the tech startup community. There's an idea - Shark Tank for musicians... Oh, I guess that's been done (The Voice, American Idol...) Seriously, an angel investor startup business model that matched musical talent and music industry business savvy would be so welcome in the indie pop market, and so much more functional than what happens today. We might get better pop music, too.
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Firstly, organizing musicians is a lot like organizing migrant farm workers. Most musicians are too busy trying to keep their heads above water financially and keep their creative spark alive to be political. The organizing movement needs a dynamic, articulate and visible figurehead. I don't think David C. Lowery is it. Much as I respect his passion, he is too angry to be an effective Cesar Chavez. Somebody smart and diplomatic - who is an actual musician like Lowery - must step forward bear the standard for working musicians, champion their cause. Musicians unions have not been effective in working the licensing, compensation and technology issues. I don't believe representation is currently happening effectively in the halls of Congress -witness the strong condemnation by some artists groups of the IRFA. Why were these constituents not at the table when this bill was being written? Why was their input not solicited earlier in the political process? Broken process. Second, the technology and platform providers (read: every company involved in writing software that has anything to do with creating and distributing music, from Avid to Google to Spotify) need to get together and hammer out an API that effectively allows the exchange of relevant metadata so the product (a song) can be tracked from cradle to grave - from production to consumption. It's byzantine how the system works now. This is a standards creation problem, it's been tackled before in the tech community (from telephone service to operating systems and application software). It certainly wouldn't be easy, but it is possible for key stakeholder company engineers to get together and map out flowcharts and design a software system that works so money can flow semi-transparently from consumer back to creator. Of course, the business model needs to work, and that is the problem. Many of the current players have competing financial interests, but perhaps everyone will see eventually that we all lose if nothing is done to create a better technological solution: artists, technology platform providers, consumers, and the labels/middlemen.
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2012 on An Empowered Future For Musicians at hypebot
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