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Wednesday
Jan132010

More evidence that the major labels have you by the nuts and bolts...

In a nutshell (no pun intended), this research reminds us that even if someone could find (for consumers) all the best (not rubbish) new independent music, those exposing new music to consumers must utilize established major label content to create a satisfactory listening experience (for most people).

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Tuesday
Jan122010

Food For Thought - 2 Warner Music Execs Share $14 Million

Monday
Jan112010

7 Steps to Reaching Your Music Career Goals in 2010

People who succeed at greater levels don’t have some secret code and aren’t immune to the everyday obstacles we all encounter. What they do have is a different mindset and a different approach compared to the masses that get lulled into accepting stagnation as a way of life.

Since this is such a widespread issue (and one I wrestle with myself), I wanted to share my version of the Cycle of Success

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Monday
Jan112010

Avoiding Avoidance

Do you ever dodge your creative work? Say, your practice time arrives, and you race off to do some chore. It might be a chore that you detest, but now it calls to you. Then, instead of refining your music, you start cleaning the house or doing whatever. If that scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Artists of every sort contend with avoidant behaviors. Why do we sidestep doing what we love? The answer often stems from the nature of creativity.

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Wednesday
Jan062010

High margin digital music products that won't be stolen...

It’s easy for me to imagine high margin digital music products that can’t be stolen (as they will be infinitely attached to some server somewhere).  If you have not seen this already, take a look at the Sports Illustrated’s tablet edition (concept video below).  Start planning your digital music industry future now.  Like all things internet, this stuff will eventually be accessible to everyone.  And, here are eight things I would put into one of these products…

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Wednesday
Jan062010

Reconsider promotion. The faders are coming. The faders are coming.

If you have not tried MOG’s new streaming music service, then take a few minutes and watch the demonstration video.  MOG’s streaming music service features a fader that enables music fans to simply adjust the flow of new (relatively unknown) music that’s inserted into any MOG music stream.  I believe Echonest powers this feature.  Enabling music fans to completely control their music experiences is no longer a pipe dream, it’s now a must-have feature that will appear everywhere over the next twenty-four months.

Quality faders will change the promotion game.
I think it’s relatively easy to enable consumers to control just about any part of their musical journey, but what about quality?  Quality is subjective (or maybe it’s not?), however with artists creating over a million songs a year, the absence of a quality fader (filter) reduces the flow of new music to a trickle (the new music fader stays pinned to the left), as no music consumer wants to be burdened with the need to sift through a truckload of poorly written or poorly produced songs.  (Note: I believe Echonest is already (somewhat) filtering for quality (hotness)?)

In my opinion, a quality filter-fader that everyone can trust - changes (ends) the promotion game for everyone.  When we get to a point where quality, combined with other attributes, can be faded in and out, the entire industry will terminate the marketing department and hire a gaggle of people that can improve quality (subjective or not, it will me measurable).  Promotion will become something you (possibly) do after you measure “quality”, not before.

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Monday
Jan042010

The musician enablers

Support and help can be a funny thing. If some one offers to help someone, most would hope that they are helping to get that person moving forward to a better place, closer to success. Or perhaps delivering some of the tools or resources (including, yes, money) that will lead to bigger and better things. However, there are those that become enablers. Their intentions are good, but they may end up hurting more than they help.

Everyone has heard the old joke, “what do you call a drummer with no girlfriend? Homeless!” It’s funny but also, in a number of cases, true. There are numerous aspiring musicians are supported by their family, their girlfriends, their boyfriends and plenty of others when it comes to money. That is not always a bad thing. If communication is good, if expectations are clear, and the guidelines for support are set in place before a dollar changes hands, that help can be worth its weight in gold. That help can bring the artist to the next level if they are struggling. It can make things a little easier. It’s not a golden ticket, it’s not a back door from paying dues and learning invaluable lessons. It simply makes a long hard road a little easier for a few miles.

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Wednesday
Dec302009

In Defense of 1,000 True Fans - Part IV - Kelly Richey

Kelly Richey has been described as “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out.” That’s an apt appraisal of the Lexington, Kentucky native who’s now based in Cincinnati for many years. A working musician since her teens, she began her professional career as a member of the Arista Records group Stealin’ Horses; in 1990 she formed The Kelly Richey Band, with whom she has become both a national and international touring artist.

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Tuesday
Dec292009

The global self-promotion license application - it's a fake!

Numerous readers have emailed or questioned my post pertaining to artists needing a Global Self-Promotion License.  The post was a fake.  It’s not real.  I was trying to be funny. 

I should have waited until April Fool’s day, but the world changes so fast that I didn’t want the post to be outdated.  The thoughts arrived. I wrote them down. I clicked the post button.  Sorry about the confusion.

Tuesday
Dec292009

No One Has the Answer, But Sivers Told Us That

If there’s any doubt about the disarray and desperation afoot in the music business, just check out the Internet’s affect on the media business – music, print and broadcast – overall over the past decade. A recent article in the New York Times covers the waterfront on this issue quite well.

While the devastation of digital democracy vis-à-vis the Web made its first blitz through the belly of the music biz, the print media was next in line, and the battlefield there rivals Antietam.

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Monday
Dec282009

Eight things I plan to put into our new music-related website…

When digitized, all of the photos, images, text, comments, sound, video, songs, lyrics and any media that’s posted on a site - represents the sum of the values, interests and desires (the V.I.D. DNA) of a web site’s contributors and users (this is true for any website where humans have a voice).  Google repeatedly indexes this media, and then makes it easy for humans to find humans with similar V.I.D. DNA.  This is how people find and form communities on the Internet, not by demographics but by shared V.I.D. DNA (learn more).  I believe we will shape the process of forming our own V.I.D. DNA by trimming around the edges, but eventually the community will dominate (and grow) the brand, and this exactly what we want to happen.

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Monday
Dec282009

The case for online-only promotion

I promote to establish and nurture a genuine relationship with my fans. I measure my success by the number of subscribers to my mailing list. Notice I said mailing list, not Twitter followers or MySpace “friends.” I’m talking about the people who grant me permission through a double opt-in process to email them directly on a regular and consistent basis. Right now there are just over a thousand, but there are plenty more out there who might love my music if they heard it. So how do we reach those potential fans?

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