Daily Archives: January 12, 2010

Free Music: Response to Reddit

On December 28th, 2009 Music Without Labels & Beat-Play asked the public (using reddit), “What needs to happen in order for music to become free and the artist still get paid?” This is a very controversial topic right now seeing as piracy is one of the leading issues in the music industry today. Here is what some of the social media world and redditters had to say about this topic:

-Jigsus States:

Musicans should make money in one way only; Concerts! If a musician writes a song, then he is entitled to be paid if some other band plays it in a concert.”

Musicians will continually reach out for money in other areas rather than limiting their income to shows alone. The artist is always deserving of profit based on the quality and popularity of the music, along with making money from merchandise sales. The artists do not have enough promotion to stay alive without being under a major label. This system can be beaten through modern technology online, where new music is heard at all times based on the interests you have in the music world. The music will be pumped out to new listeners at all times, doing exactly what any musician could ever want to promote their music, while giving them the percentage on music sales that is rightfully deserved.

-Guitarbuddy states:

“Most musicians supplement their music income with teaching and other non-music jobs. I am surprised by how often the ‘music should be free’ crowds rely on corporate products such as cigarettes, junk food, and mass produced beer.”

Artists today do not have an engine or any other outlet that allows them to produce the large amount of publicity found with the record labels. These promotional advantages found with the labels are greatly paid out with a large majority of the income paid back to the label. Therefore, most independent artists do not really excel on sites such as iTunes, barring in mind that they also lack in the fan base to produce a livable income.

-jmnugent states

“We have to break away from this ‘MTV cribs’ culture… The music industry is a victim of the same ‘cancer’ that is affecting lots of other parts of modern culture. We’ve developed this insanely resource-hungry ‘middle-structure’ that is greedy and unnecessary.”

The lavish life-styles expected are still foreseeable in a business model such as the one discussed above. The only difference is that the fans themselves finally determine the outcome of the artists’ success, rather than who is under the best label with the largest contracts. This way we won’t be forced to see the same musicians all the time when there is always an influx of extremely talented artists out there at all times, waiting to be heard.

-beefjerkier states:

“There needs to be an increase in the cost of online advertising.”

I believe the cost will go up with perceived value of a product (artist popularity). There also needs to be a system set up where artists have multiple ad streams, for example; they can track the visits to their profile, video plays, radio plays, blog views, ect… These all can be tied to a specific ad model, while being factored in with shows (which artists can begin to charge for tickets to online streams) and merchandise.

The push to create a model for music to become free and the artists to continue to make money is very popular right now. Here at Music Without Labels & Beat-Play LLC, we have the answers to the Music Industry problems today, and we are coming to you with the first online engine for independent musicians of its kind.

Written By: Mark G. Valente | Director of Operations | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play LLC

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The Future of Social Networking

Google’s approach at creating a better online social strategy is creative with the notion that they will now use all the data gathered from individuals, such as the things you like, the people you talk to the most, and most other online habits, to constantly connect an online community in a much larger scale, with a greater impact on finding information. With this technology people will soon have the ability to remove the idea of having to search for information. Everything you could ever be interested in will now come to you based on your past. (Sounding more like ‘real-life’ online)

When someone writes a blog or article, they are asked to add tags to the page that best describes that specific article when people are searching. This idea of tagging is not yet obsolete, but more one sided in the case that only the article is tagged itself. Why not the individual as well? When signing up for a specific social network the user could then be asked to provide a certain number of tags they would use to describe their interests.

With this strategy, the individual can now be connected to the things he/she is looking for without the searching aspect involved. Constant media, news, and peoples will be connected to you with similar tags, enabling you to see new information all the time while meeting new people with similar interests to your own. This idea takes the large but very small social Internet and gives it the power to develop into the main global source for learning and sharing information.

Google is on the right track with harnessing the data gathered by their users to make a more personalized online experience, minus the underlying problem with telling people that you are keeping record of what they are doing. Once this becomes more apparent to the public, you will see a rise in concern. Personalized tagging is safer for the user to connect with people of similar interests while keeping the privacy of what they are viewing online.

Written By: Mark G. Valente | Director of Operations | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play LLC

The Invention of the Toolbox, and How it can Save Music

What came first, the toolbox or the tool? This is not a trick question, it’s obviously the tool, and we have proof. However, with the emergence of more tools, and more applications for these tools, it became apparent that another tool, a tool’s tool, was needed: the Toolbox.

It is no different for the current state of the music industry and all of it’s awesome web tools. I see the future of music going in one distinct direction in order for it to flourish the way it naturally should. It may sound cliche, but the only way true, good music(like the old days) will live on, is if the surviving community of great music decides to unite as one. This may sound like an empty gesture, but with today’s standards, uniting is as easy as selecting and supporting ONE universal music social network online. It’s almost as simple as a mouse click these days to organize collectively toward a common goal.

Once a single platform is established, the possibilities for collaboration and integration of all of the awesome sites and tools that are out there are opened up increasingly, and can benefit the users way more than the current set up. Third party apps can be integrated with the social network to expand the capabilities of the site and its users.

Also, a huge part of this platform should include an effective ad model, that is unobtrusive and that sponsors the content. Artists can track ALL of their plays, vid views, profile views, merchandise page views, shares, ect, and if they give their music away for free, they could then gain ad revenues based on popularity. The downloads on this network would also be very safe, putting an end to crashing computers and lawsuits.

Bands could be able to perform live streaming concerts and sell tickets on this platform, as well as their merchandise, and they can have their updates sent directly to their fan’s profiles. Band members could even eventually practice with each other from across the world if this system is created, leaving even the opportunity for new bands to form, where it would have been impossible before.

Having one music platform would open up the doors to a more efficient way of artist promotion as well. There could be a system where users follow people they share a taste in music with, and then the user’s radio pulls songs from their friend’s playlists when they press play. There could be many ways for users to control this. What this really means is the best free promotion an artist could get (and currently can’t). For example, if my friend likes a song enough to playlist it, then it will get sent to me, and if I like it enough to playlist it, it gets sent to everyone who’s following me, creating an automated word of mouth system that makes the music itself completely viral, as long as it’s good.

There’s currently no term for this, but it can be described almost as a 2-way status update, where a user not only receives the content, but passes on the content that they like. This amazingly simple, but innovative system. will have incredible implications, not just for the promotion of music, but eventually for any product.

Basically, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have ONE platform online for music, and a million and one reasons why we should. It doesn’t mean the end of all of the current music sites, it would just mean the integration of them all together, performing the role of a toolbox for all of the cool web tools out there. Imagine, before tool boxes, people only had access to a limited amount of tools at a given time; but with the toolbox, the options became almost limitless, given the tools. I see the future of this spreading generously throughout many facets of our lives.

Also in the future, along these same lines, could eventually be mobile hardware, as well as mobile apps that are universally accepted for music distribution. Then, of course, I hope we would do the same thing for TV and Movies, which would be to essentially free the industries, in almost every sense of the term. This system is inevitable and I am certain it will happen in this decade, just as sure as the invention of the toolbox was after the introduction of numerous tools. Organization is key!

Written by: Dante Cullari, Founder & President, Beat-Play, LLC

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