Monday, March 07, 2011

SETLIST: Apple, Spotify...and my fan club idea :(

Calm Down, Apple Isn't Starting a Real Streaming Music Service - Which of the behemoths will get into the streaming music business first...Google?  Apple?  It's true, streaming subscriptions would eat into iTunes sales.  

Spotify Signs EMI Music to U.S. Deal | AllThingsD - I finally got some proxy access to Spotify (here in the states) far, so good.  Can't wait for it to be official.  

Mozes launches mobile technology to let musicians sell merch at live events | Los Angeles Times

You’ve Got a Fan Club? Network and Mobilize It | New York Times - Great idea...that I had a few months back but was too slow and inept to act on.  I will be interested to see how fan club develop in the digital age.

“Can you put food on the table with music? Probably not. I see music as a really great hobby for most people in five or 10 years. I see everybody I know, some of them really important artists, studying how to do other jobs.”

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SETLIST: Unique Releases (Radiohead, Flaming Lips)

Radiohead Readies King of Limbs, the ‘World’s First Newspaper Album’ | Besides my obsession with the music of greatest band ever, I'm also quite interested in Radiohead as attempt new models of distribution and marketing.  Is the King of Limbs an EP...or maybe the first of a recurring, monthly music subscription (ala a newspaper model)?

The Flaming Lips Release Song via 12 YouTube Videos

Roqbot Is A Jukebox On Your iPhone

Monday, November 22, 2010

Get your MUSIC GroupON

Another day and yet another way to promote digital distribution of music.  Today's Grouponicous Groupon is pushing a full download of Rihanna's new album, "LOUD", for $5 (50% off).  While the record sales may be losing money from the discount, the very popular daily deal site sends such deals via email to millions of subscribers so in essence that money comes out of the marketing budget (see the $11 million Gap Groupon story).  It will be interesting to see how many more album sales this adds to Rihanna's first week.  A similar price-scheme for Arcade Fire's last album on Amazon led it to be #1 on the charts in its opening week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Small Bands & Big Concert Growth

"The great power of digital distribution is that it’s much easier to discover and listen to new bands. Back when we had to hunt down physical albums in stores, our rate of new artist discovery was much, much lower. That means a new band can build a widespread following much more efficiently than back-in-the-day, and can therefore do a world tour a lot earlier in their career, whereas huge, popular acts like U2 and Rolling Stones are already big as ever, and won’t benefit from this additional digital distribution." has started to comb through its user-generated database of over 1.8 million concerts to pull out some interesting data.  I've been a big fan and user of the site to keep track of shows that I've gone to and be alerted to shows when they get announced so it's great to see them point out some interesting trends.  I agree with their point that widespread digital distribution makes it more efficient for small bands to develop a following and to put on a world tour...but I'm sure the devil's advocate might say that these bands are more affected by the piracy of digital distribution and need to do more shows in order to make up for that lost revenue.  Related to this idea of efficiency, GigsWiz is a service that generates social media analytics for bands to see where their biggest followings are so that they know exactly what cities to play in.  Conversely, the service can also be used by venues to book bands that are popular in their area.  Interesting idea...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SETLIST: Kill the Walkman

Sony Kills The Cassette Walkman On The iPod's Birthday  [GIZMODO] - Sony stops making cassette walkmens finally and it turns out to coincide with the iPod's 9th Bday...yeah, I had no idea they were still making cassette anythings.  It was a good 30 years Walkman...I'll never forget you bulky yellow version!

Live Nation to Power Concert Listings, Ticket Sales in iTunes 10 [TECHCRUNCH] - Makes sense that these two massive corporations would get together.  I didn't mention it above but the social network will also have concert listings/recommendations.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We don't need no stinking instruments

What do you do if you all your band's instruments get stolen?  Buy 4 iPhones I guess.  Pretty good song considering the circumstances...

I'm sure they won't be the last to use the iPhone as their instrument but I'm also glad to read about the new Rock Band 3 that's coming out next week and actually teaches people how to play a REAL guitar:
"You're actually playing the real notes, which is amazing in the sense that you can go and play that song after you're done learning it on your console."  [Gizmodo]
Follow the link to watch a video demo of the new 'more than just 5 buttons' guitar.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Belle and Sebastian with the Best Music Promo Ever (so far...)

Inside every copy of Belle and Sebastian’s new album Write About Love is a unique code which you will enter here and then write 300 words about love, in any sense of the word. Why you love. Who you love. What you love. Where you love. Anything. Just write about love.
Then Belle and Sebastian will pick a winner (henceforth referred to as “Lucky”) and Stuart Murdoch will fly out to Lucky’s hometown, hang out with Lucky for an afternoon, and write and record a song about Lucky which will then be released on an exclusive Belle and Sebastian 7″ later in 2011. [Matador Records]
Awesome and creative. I'm sure we'll see more and more bands do things like this to get people to actually buy music.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

How Do You Teach Boy Scouts About Downloading Music? By Pretending It Doesn't Exist

How Do You Teach Boy Scouts About Downloading Music? By Pretending It Doesn't Exist:
"So how can Scouters teach ethical behavior related to music downloading? One way: Set a good example. When you haul around Scouts in your car, for example, only play CDs that you've purchased. If you play CDs that you've burned-even if they're legal-your Scouts may not recognize the difference between those and the pirated CDs friends have given them." [Gizmodo]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Is Video Killing the Concert Vibe? [WSJ]

At most concerts these days, when the houselights go down, the tiny glowing screens go up. As more fans mark the moments with smartphones, cameras and pocket-sized video recorders, a new kind of digital divide is emerging. Music lovers who try to document and share the essence of concerts are squaring off against those who think that just defeats the purpose. The debate is drawing participants from both sides of the stage. [WSJ]

John Jurgensen's recent WSJ article touches on an interesting debate that I've had with myself on a number of occasions.  I love concerts and I love photography, so yes, I'm often one of the 100 people at your show taking pictures and some video of your band up on stage.  Am I the guy that takes a thousand images of the same basic shot?  No.  Am I the guy that takes pictures of himself in front of the band as they play to prove to his friends that he was there?  Definitely not.  Nor am I the guy that takes a picture and then has to show it to all the people around them.  Each of those things is FRIGGIN' annoying...everyone agrees.  But beyond the affect on the people around you, if you are too busy with your camera, you are missing out on enjoying the show.  Mind you, at least in LA, I'd say there are about a good 40+% that aren't there to listen to the band...but that's another post for another time.

In the past, I've found myself so consumed with capturing the moment (for my own memory) that I was no longer enjoying the show for the show itself.  I wasn't living in the moment, I was living in the 10 moments in the future when I'd look at those pictures.  I now realize that's not worth it.  So what I do now...and what I propose to all amateur concert photographers...let's do what the pro's do.  You always see professional photographers for music mags or music blogs (like Sung from LosAnjealous or MySugarSpun) taking their shots for the first 3 songs or so...then they are escorted out of the photographer's pit.  I now limit myself to pics from the first few songs...and maybe 1 video.  Then I put the camera away, and focus on building my own memory of the band, the music and the people and not the aperture of my Canon s90.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Google Instant-ized iTunes

Stephen Ou, a 15-year-old developer from the Bay Area, whipped up iTunes Instant as an alternative, and it's pretty much perfect: streamlined, minimalist iTunes searching and absolutely nothing else.
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