Archive for March, 2014

The Rate Court judges ruled that Pandora will pay ASCAP 1.85% of annual revenue. Music Rights stakeholders including Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier and ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento have commented on the verdict, calling it a major defeat for songwriters and publishers. The rate remains the same rate that has been effective since 2011, however the Judge Cote ruling did not allow for the rate to decrease to terrestrial level rate of 1.7%. Later in the week, Pandora announced that it will raise its monthly fee from $3.99 to $4.99 and get rid of the annual fee of $36 altogether due to the increase in licensing cost.

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Downtown Music Publishing announced the opening of a new London Office. After successfully opening a new office in LA last summer and Nashville earlier this year, the rising music publishing company is expanding overseas. Appointed as their London A&R Manager is Tom Graham who has helped develop the songwriting careers for artists such as Ellie Goulding, Kid Harpoon, and The Kooks. Downtown also announced the signing of 311 to their first worldwide Publishing Administration deal this week. The Multi-Platinum selling band released their latest album “Stereolithic” on March 11th of this year.

SONGS Music Publishing has signed a deal for the exploitation rights to George Gershwin’s catalog from the Godowsky family and Heyward Memorial Fund. The deal includes compositions from Broadway productions such as Porgy and Bess, Shall We Dance, A Damsel In Distress and The Goldwyn Follies. Along with classical songs like “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “Summertime.” SONGS plans on starting a marketing campaign for Gershwin’s catalog focused on placing his songs in television, film and advertisements.

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image from www.dittomusic.com
[SPONSORED POST] – It doesn’t matter how accomplished your music is; if you don’t promote it, it simply won’t get the recognition it deserves. Starting out in the music industry requires know-how, experience and a network of contacts, which you’re unlikely to have if you’re an amateur recording artist. However, by tapping into the wealth of expertise available at Ditto Music, you can take those first, tentative steps to success.

Getting your music played on the radio

image from www.dittomusic.comWhether it’s a traditional radio station or one that broadcasts solely on the Internet, having your music played on the airwaves can accelerate the journey to success. But that can be incredibly difficult if you don’t know who to speak to. In the case of radio play, it is definitely a case of who you know – and not what you know. Ditto has working relationships with industry ‘pluggers‘, and they are the people who get the latest unsigned music played by radio stations. By entrusting your career with the experts at Ditto, you can greatly improve the chances of giving your music an international audience.

Finding public relations that will advance your career

Despite the relative ease with which recording artists can now releases their material, making a success of your career will require a considered and comprehensive PR strategy. Whether you want to get your music onto Hypetrak-registered blogs or plan an album launch that will entice the press along, expert PR is a necessity. At Ditto we can put you in touch with some of the very best people in the business. We will assess your budget and your music genre before teaming you up with the best PR agent for your specific situation.

Adding a professional gloss to your recordings

image from www.dittomusic.comIf you have recorded your own tracks – whether it was in your bedroom or a converted garage at your friend’s house – they may lack the professional polish that comes from a producer’s influence. Ditto Music works with producers from all over the UK, and many of them have fantastic reputations within the industry. So, not only do you get professionally produced music which you can sell via music stores online, your association with leading producers could put you on the radar of the major recording labels.

Creating impressive music videos

One of the major contributing factors to a successful music career in the 21st century is the music video. Sites such as VEVO and YouTube have helped propel the careers of several recording artists onto the worldwide stage. However, if you have a substandard video representing your best work, releasing it could be a counter-productive move. Ditto Music has close working relationships with some of the best video directors in the industry. Depending on your budget and your artistic preferences, the music experts at Ditto will introduce you to the directors that best match your requirements.

Music promotion packages from Ditto

If you want to sell music on iTunes as well as tapping into the promotional expertise of Ditto music, there are several promotional packages that will point your career in the right direction. Whether you want help dealing with the press, creating a distinctive image, devising a social media campaign or managing a cohesive marketing strategy that encompasses all areas of the music industry, Ditto has a range of off-the-shelf products to suit your needs. The music industry is more competitive than ever, so having the opportunity to call upon extensive experience and a network of contacts for a fixed monthly fee could be invaluable during the early stages of your career.

In a perfect world, the quality of your music would be enough to gain you recognition and an income from doing what you love. In reality, however, forging a successful career in music is extremely tough – and the odds are stacked firmly against it. However, you can give yourself the best chance possible by turning to Ditto Music for expert help and guidance.

Vann Alexandra Daly goes by Alex but she’s also known as the “Crowdsourceress” for her role in raising millions of dollars via Kickstarter for numerous films. Her reputation led Neil Young’s people to recruit her for the Pono Music campaign on Kickstarter which she has led past $5 million and counting. These days Alex Daly is also sharing tips and spreading the word about crowdfunding with the support of the Knight Foundation.

I met Alex Daly at the MIA Music Summit where she was a panelist on the Alternative Funding for Artists panel I moderated.

You can check out the MIA Music Summit panels for yourself but our attempt to share some tips got crunched at the end of a wide-ranging discussion about music and crowdfunding that also included PledgeMusic’s Benji Rogers and Juan Pablo Capello, cofounder of Idea.me.

Fortunately Alex Daly (LinkedIn) is in much demand for her views on crowdfunding, as well as her skills at crowdfunding, and she can easily be found on the web sharing insights or at various spots around the country as a Knight Foundation representative in support of crowdfunding.

Secrets to Crowdfunding with Vann Alexandra Daly from Knight Foundation

Marika Lynch came up with “Six secrets to crowdfunding campaigns” from the above video for the Knight Blog.

Crowdfunding Tips from The Crowdsourceress

“Give your video extra TLC”

“Secure early donors”

“Consider stopping your campaign if it’s not going well”

“Have fun with rewards”

“Keep donors in the loop”

“Be wary of the timing of your campaign”

Mobilize Your Support Before You Launch

These are pretty basic tips but they’re also quite solid. In particular, it’s worth considering her suggestion to “secure early donors.”

Alex Daly’s campaign tend to be with people who already have a “built-in audience.” The Pono Music campaign, which is at $5,135,397 with 15 days to go as I write this, is a perfect example.

Neil Young’s involvement made it easy to reach out to all sorts of well-known figures and involve them in promo videos and the like. It also makes it easier to find early donors.

Lining up visible supporters is the complement to lining up early donors but that doesn’t mean you need to know a bunch of famous, rich people to succeed with your campaign.

Whatever level of fanbase you’ve developed and whatever additional support is coming your way, make sure that everybody knows well before you launch what’s ahead.

And in that process find advocates who will be willing to take some time and provide early marketing support, by appearing in your video or tweeting regularly, as well as solid pledgers who will pledge in the first couple of days, ideally on day one.

For more from Alex Daly, see the Knight Blog and check out:

Alex Daly at Big Think: The Crowdsourceress

Interview: Crowdsourcing with The Crowd Sourceress:

 


Vevo-logo
Vevo has done quite a bit to break away from its primary association with YouTube but, oddly enough, it can’t seem to break away from MTV comparisons. Vevo’s success seems due to combining old school and new school approaches taking high quality, proprietary content and making it available as widely as possible. In addition they’ve developed their own tv-style channels for lean-back viewing which gives them more options in terms of programming for tv apps and other outlets. But their gradual development of non-music video programming may forever tie them to MTV comparisons even as they move beyond YouTube adjunct status.

Vevo recently announced that in 2013 55 billion Vevo music videos were viewed globally. For MTV, back in the music video days, that would have all come from broadcast tv. For YouTube, such numbers would come from plays on their platform as well as on pretty much any site that decided to post an embeddable video.But a quick look at the last year or two’s headlines and one can see that Vevo’s diversification strategy has given them a broad presence from deals with everyone from Yahoo to Apple TV and even plans for paid cable.

Their core web and mobile sites have seen redesigns as well. Their overall development over the last couple of years has been impressive and steady.

In mentioning viewership numbers they don’t break out how many came from such venues as Roku and Apple TV but they do emphasize the growth in both mobile/tablet viewing and viewing on connected tvs.

Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff made it clear that Vevo has a lot of interest in pushing towards a more traditional viewing model. He noted that 40 to 45 per cent of Roku and Apple TV views come via their linear channels and that people watch more minutes of video on those channels.

In fact, Caraeff stated “that Vevo plans this year to pursue more apps, countries, platforms and original programs” such “The Collective,” an “hour-long variety program [featuring] music and pop culture, with Jennifer Lopez on board as a producer.”

Which is interesting news alongside such developments as weekly American Idol previews that are gradually moving Vevo away from its early identity as a source for music videos. Kind of like MTV!

It seemed to be a widespread conclusion that the Twitter #Music App was essentially dead long before the announcement that it was being pulled. Though critics continue to address the topic from time to time, focus is now moving on to Twitter’s future plans. According to two writers for WSJ.com and their sources, Twitter will roll out a new music strategy this very week. It’s claimed they also met with Beats Music, want to work with SoundCloud and are adding music videos from Vevo.

Also: Billboard Partners With Twitter To Create Real-Time #Music Charts 

As Twitter explores new ways to clutter their platform, they’re also busy getting ready to announce a new music strategy that will add additional content. At least that’s what sources for WSJ.com are saying:

“The short-messaging service is preparing to roll out a fresh music strategy this week, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

“The company plans to shelve the idea of a stand-alone app all together, another person said, setting a new strategic course centered on music conversations and content on the Twitter service.”

“Twitter met with Beats Music in San Francisco this week, proposing a partnership that would promote subscriptions to the music-streaming service, according to a person familiar with the matter. It is also looking to partner with music-sharing site SoundCloud for the new strategy, this person said.”

“Vevo LLC…is working with Twitter to offer bite-sized music videos, according to people familiar with the matter.”

It sounds like Twitter is adding music videos in some form that will be more targeted, curated or forefronted than music videos already are so therefore perhaps more monetizable.

Expect some sort of ad campaign on Twitter by Beats Music.

And the SoundCloud piece sounds interesting but what’s missing here is what form all this will take.

Given that they you can now add up to 4 pics per tweet via Twitter mobile apps, this next change will likely increase noise even without autoplay.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is currently relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

By Dave Kusek of online music business course New Artist Model.

Today, social media is the cornerstone of your music career. It’s what lets you stay in touch with your fans and easily notify them with exciting news. With all the social media guides out there, you’d think no one remembers one of the key behavioral aspects to being human – socializing. I know, it’s hard to find a balance between social and promotional – afterall, you still need to sell your show or record. Here’s 10 secrets to help you find that social media balance.

I’d like to know what problems you’re facing with social media. Let me know in the comments below.

1. Listen!

Socializing is, by nature, a two-way exchange. Try holding a conversation with someone with your ears plugged. Social media is talking with your audience! There are other tools out there for talking at an audience. Make it a habit to read comments and @messages. You’d do the same on your personal accounts, wouldn’t you? By listening to your fans you could also get valuable information like what new song they are digging the most or what they liked about your show last night.

2. Leverage online and offline.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. While some artists, like Alex Day have managed to build their career on one channel, most of us need to find a balance of online and offline. Maybe you leverage Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and some local shows in your area. The key is to think about how you can send fans from online to offline and visa versa. You need to create a flow.

3. Write posts yourself.

Don’t completely outsource Twitter or Facebook to a third party. Fans can tell the difference. Keep it real and learn. If you have a band, have members sign their posts with their name so fans can get to know everyone’s personality.

4. Be conversational.

On Twitter, make your tweets two-way. If you just make a statement, there’s no where for the conversation to go. Think about how you would approach starting a conversation in real life. Instead of saying “We have a gig tonight at this place,” try “We have a gig tonight at this place. What songs do you guys want us to play?”

5. Be genuine.

Talk about your life and what you believe in, as well as your music and career. Open yourself up, so that people can get to know you. It’s amazing how much interaction you can generate by posting a funny picture of your dog.

6. The 80/20 rule.

So exactly what is the balance between personal/interesting content and marketing content? I don’t like putting a formula to something as spontaneous socializing, but a general rule of thumb is that 80% of your content should be personal, funny, interesting, and entertaining, and 20% should be reserved for marketing pushes. Go beyond 20% and people start ignoring you. Keep it social. Keep it fun.

7. Drive interest.

Just like the flow between social media and the offline experience, you should also create a flow between your social media channels and your website. Your website is the hub of your career online. It’s where you make sales and have more detailed information for fans. Link creatively to your website, so that you give people fun and interesting reasons to visit.

8. Don’t over-invest yourself in every social media platform available.

A lot of musicians I’ve talked to find themselves completely consumed by social media. As a result, they don’t have much time left over for their music. You are only one person and can only do so much. Pick a few social media platforms and really focus on creating strong interaction and engagement on those platforms.

9. Pick platforms that are relevant to your image and brand.

If your target fan is a young teenage girl, Twitter and Instagram are your best bets, as these are the platforms where these girls spend the majority of their time. If you are a improvisational jazz band whose target fan is a forty-year-old working man, Facebook and email would probably be your best bet.

strong>10. Make your channels unique. It’s also a good idea to use each social media channel slightly differently. Give your fans a reason to follow you on all platforms. While you can and should push important information out across all your channels, try to give it a different spin. If your announcing a gig try this approach: Take a picture of yourself in front of the venue and push it out to Instagram and use Facebook to drive engagement, asking fans what songs they want you to play. Get creative!

Dave Kusek’s New Artist Model is an online music business course for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers and songwriters. The course teaches essential business and marketing skills that will take musicians from creativity to commerce while maximizing their chances for success. 

JustGo Music offers free social media tools with a unique focus on electronic music artists. They also launched a blog earlier this year that’s turning out to be a great source of tips and ideas for social media marketing with a slant towards electronic music artists and other djs. For example, I’ve been seeing more about marketing with SoundCloud there than I tend to see on other music marketing blogs. So here are some tips and tools for building your presence and promoting your music on SoundCloud that seem relevant beyond the world of electronic music.

I only recently started keeping up with the JustGo Music Blog (via Dotted Music) that launched in February. It’s a promotional effort for JustGo Music’s social media and marketing tools which I have yet to check out though specific tools and features are referenced as relevant in particular posts.

JustGo Music’s blog illustrates that electronic music has particular social media tendencies that lead to emphasizing different tools and approaches than other genres. For example, SoundCloud seems to be a much bigger deal in dj and electronic music circles than in rock or country music.

Recent SoundCloud-related posts include an intro to DiscoRank, a case study of a relatively unknown musician’s efforts and a recommended WordPress widget.

A Beginner’s Guide to SoundCloud DiscoRank

DiscoRank is the catchy name for a complex algorithm that SoundCloud uses to decide which tracks to promote in its search results and on the Explore page.

JustGo Music encourages you to make sure your tags and titles are searchable and be sure to spell check track metadata.

Activity related to particular tracks is also important including “reposting, favorites and follows, and external inbound links from platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr.”

Be sure to coordinate promoting with posting since SoundCloud prefers fresher sounds.

How bedroom DJ ‘Mr. Aker’ got 550 plays on SoundCloud in 24 hours

Mr. Aker featured 24 artists in a mix that was posted to SoundCloud, YouTube and Mixcloud with a tracklist that included links to the official tracks on SoundCloud and YouTube.

He then scheduled tweets throughout the release day targeting the artists with Twitter handle, track title, time stamp for track in the mix and link to the mix on SoundCloud.

The included artists responded well and helped promote the mix.

WordPress Widgets For Your DJ Website

JustGo Music recommends the SoundCloud Is Gold WordPress widget for managing and posting your SoundCloud tracks with the advice:

“This SoundCloud widget will take a simple post to professional grade, but as you enjoy the instantaneous upgrade, let the polish up the ante of your social strategy; use the format to encourage and enable you to package highly effective pieces of sharable content.”

And if you’re new to SoundCloud or to personal brand building, be sure to check out How to Build a SoundCloud Following.

More: 5 Ways To Promote Your Music With SoundCloud

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.