Tag Archives: Music Business

The Music Gym is Closed! WTF Mate?

Okay read this description and tell me this doesn’t sound like the sickest place ever:

The Music Gym and Lounge is a unique music venue where musicians, producers, artists and fans all come together to share resources and express themselves through music, art, film and dance. Each location has media production stations and music rehearsal studios that all surround a central lounge and performance area.

The equipment and rooms are all communal and promote a thriving creative co-op-style community. Musicians come here to practice and record. Fans come here to listen and to dance with friends. Video producers come here to use our production stations. Students come here to take one-on-one classes. Some come here just to hang out and enjoy a nice cold beer in our lounge while mingling with others. Continue reading

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Alphabasic – Awesome Letter to the Fans

[Read on original site]

Hello listener…downloader…pirate…pseudo-criminal…

If you can read this, then you’ve more than likely downloaded this album from a peer to peer network or torrent.

You probably expect the rest of this message to tell you that you’re hurting musicians and breaking just about every copyright law in the book. Well, it won’t tell you that.

What I would like to tell you is that my record label understands that a large portion of people pirate music because it is easier than buying it. CDs scratch easily, most pay-per-download sites have poor quality and shitty DRM protection, and vinyl is near impossible to find or ship without hassle.
In many cases I wonder why people buy CDs at all anymore. A few like the tangible artwork, some haven’t adapted to MP3s yet, but most do it because they have a profound love for music and want to support the artists making it. Kind of restores your faith in humanity for a moment eh?

So, now what?
Like the album? About to go “support the artist” on iTunes?
Well, don’t.
Alphabasic is currently in a legal battle against Apple because NONE of our material (Sublight Records included) receives a dime of royalty from the vast amount of sales iTunes has generated using our material.

Want to buy a CD just to show your support?
If you don’t particularly like CDs, don’t bother.
Retailers like Best Buy and Amazon spike the price so high that their cut is often 8 times higher than the artist’s. Besides, most CDs are made out of unrecyclable plastic and leave a nasty footprint in your environment.

If you do particularly like CDs, buy them from the label (in our case, alphabasic.com). After manufacturing costs are recuperated, our artists usually receive over 90% of the actual money coming out of your wallet.
In addition, all of our physical products are made out of 100% recycled material.

Want to show your support?
Go here and browse our library of lossless, DRM-free downloads.
Already have that?
Then feel free to donate whatever you want to your favorite artist. 100% will go directly to them.
Hell, you can even donate a penny just to thank the artist.

If you really like ‘The Flashbulb – Soundtrack To A Vacant Life’ and want to show your support without it going to greedy retailers, distributors, and coked-up label reps, then click the button below.
If you send us your mailing address, Alphabasic may occasionally send you various goodies (overstocks, stickers, even rare CDs) in appreciation and encouragement for your support.

[Donate]

Thanks for reading.

Who knows if my little business plan here will work to fund new releases, but even failure is better than the crappy label/distributor/retailer system musicians have suffered from for over 50 years.
We hope you enjoy the music as much as we do releasing it.
Finally, if you plan on sharing this release, please include this file. The only reason it is here is to show the listener where he can support his favorite artists!

Benn Jordan
CEO – Alphabasic Records

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Anti-Piracy Lesson #1: Free Pays


Think about it, if a song reaches a certain level of popularity these days, there’s pretty much a guarantee that someone, somewhere is going to pirate it (or copy it).

To me it seems pointless to even bring up the prospect of a subscription service, or even a pay-as-you-go model, as a viable solution for a future sustainable industry model. I just don’t see that going down. If you don’t know why, ask a pirate..there’s probably one in the room with you.

The answer instead, to me, seems pretty obvious. The whole reason Piracy has even derived is because of the existence of pay walls. If you get rid of the pay walls, you get rid of piracy…like I said, seems pretty obvious.

But if fans don’t pay, how then can the artists make money? This, it turns out, can be solved with a concept I like to call reciprotive marketing. Basically, it all starts with the long established basic cable ad revenue model. The viewers would watch for free, but they were also being exposed to ads, and so the content providers were still justly payed.

This model works okay, but it often times can lead to media networks selling out to the point where they are willingly subjecting their viewers/listeners to incredibly interruptive messages and breaks in programming, often at the most crucial times.

This is where the reciprotive marketing fits in. There needs to be a shift in advertising and marketing as it is practiced today. As Seth Godin so enthusiastically preaches, interruptive marketing is NOT the solution.

Instead, I propose a way of marketing which will benefit all parties involved, and then some. There is a unique opportunity in the mass media industry right now, one that everyone, including fans and consumers, can cash in on.

My proposal: Artists give away their songs (preferably trackable streams) for free, in one place. Fans would no longer have to bother with getting viruses on torrent websites, because they could come right to you instead. Now the artists can (for the first time) track not only all of their fans, but all of their actual plays.

These numbers can then be used as leverage to negotiate the price of an artist’s ad space. The more popular the music, meaning the more it’s being shared, or, currently, often referred to as “pirated,” the more money an artist can actually make.

The difference is in the ads though. No longer can ads be obtrusive to the user’s experience. No longer can irrelevant messages be blared in your face seemingly at random. This is not a sustainable model. Instead of the advertisers taking something from the viewer/listener (their time), the roles should be reversed.

Brands need to be willing to give something of value to their prospective customers. A great way to start is to sponsor the music or content that their demographics love and care about. The fans would be getting their music for free, and they would (even if subconsciously) know who’s responsible. We do this with what I call the postage stamp ad.

It’s basically a little icon ad that sits up at the top of the screen at all times. It doesn’t flash, or jump out at you, or even do anything to try to interrupt you. Instead it just sits there quietly, but there is a lot more to it. If you happen to click on this ad, the advertiser gives you yet something else of value. It could be a game(p2p), an app or an exclusive music video. It could really be anything, as long as it fits into 1 of the following 3 categories: Fun, Useful, and/or Beautiful/Appealing.

The end goal of these ads is to add to the user’s experience. These ads are designed so people will actually want to click on them. This encourages authentic engagement with the brand. Mix that engagement with the already established cred from giving away the music for free, and you’ve got the epitome of reciprotive marketing.

The end result – (picture a cycle flow chart) – The artists release their music to the world, the fans consume and share it for free, the advertisers tap into those fans and utilize the artist’s momentum, the artists get paid justly with full control over their rate negotiation, the advertisers gain significant cred amongst their demographics, the fans gain a more relevant, more useful ad experience with no needed interruption, thus a better overall user experience….and did I mention that the music would be free!

LET THE MUSIC BE FREE!!  In every sense of the phrase!

If you like this idea you can help us achieve this model by staying updated on what we’re doing. We’re rapidly developing this software right now, along with some other really amazing promotional tools for artists, so that they can gain all of those needed views and plays. Find out more about us and our innovative new promotional methods on our about us page on this blog. We will be open to the public and fully operating VERY soon. We are very much looking forward to it! Until then, patience is a virtue, and making great music is still the name of the game.

Also, for right now, we’re all about promoting independent artists for free in any way we can, until our software comes out and is capable of doing it way better than we can. If there’s anything that we can do for you now, let us know!

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

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Multi-Mastering – Sweet Concept

I discovered this notion on a site called http://www.freemastering.com/ where it turns out, they’re giving away a free mastering if you refer others. Could be pretty cool. Their stated goal right now is simply to spread the service and the idea.

I pulled the following info about multimastering from their real site – Soundops.com – I really like the concept

What makes multiMASTERING different than traditional audio mastering…

Usually, when you send a CD to a traditional mastering house, only one engineer works on it.  He’ll do his best to improve your sound and send you a revision.  This happens one or two more times and you’re done…But multiMASTERING is different.

This is what happens when you send your music to SoundOps:

SoundOps receives your audio tracks either by mail or across the Internet.  Each file is converted and stored in our Digital Vault where the first stage of specialty production begins.

The first part is more about listening than making changes.  Your files are checked for errors, and your mixes are evaluated to make sure they are ready for the mastering process.  If we notice anything that should be adjusted, we’ll let you know instead of just rushing your project through to the end.  Once we’re sure your tracks will respond in the best possible way, the primary mastering process can start.

This is the biggest difference between multiMASTERING and traditional audio mastering:  our entire team of engineers has remote access to master each track with different combinations of equipment for more than one unique finished sound.  Mastering can begin on your recording project in several studio environments simultaneously.

Because there may be more than a dozen preliminary masters created during this phase, a small team led by our head engineer will select the best 3 editions of your project for polishing.  While the finishing touches are being applied to these 3 versions, their engineers will make notes about the particular techniques they used and give detailed feedback for you about your masters. Continue reading

Grooveshark’s privacy policy has a “soul” clause

While reading through Grooveshark’s privacy policy yesterday, you could say doing some “research,” I stumbled upon this phrase that seemed a little odd to me:

This information may also be kept longer than 6 months by EMG if a user is found by EMG’s soul judgment to be suspect of carrying out illegal, unlawful, or dangerous actions with or in this service.

Soul Judgement? For a second I thought it was just me, so I had to google it. Turns out I’m not the only one who’s asked this question before:

Q: Which saying is correct ‘sole purpose’ or ‘soul purpose’?

A: The saying that is correct would be sole, being the only one. Soul, is the immaterial part of a person. Thank you!

I thought so! I guess Grooveshark judges the immaterial part of you when you use their site. I thought it might just be a typo so I just kept reading. Until I found another one!

EMG may allow 3d parties to place cookies and other tracking technologies, such as web beacons, clear GIFs, web bugs, tracking pixels on the Site for the soul purpose of allowing that 3d party to record that a User has visited the Site and/or used the Service.”

That’s pretty messed up. I wonder what other websites are judging our souls right now!

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The TENORI-ON

The TENORI-ON 16 x 16 LED button matrix is simultaneously a performance input controller and display. By operating and interacting with the LED buttons and the light they produce you gain access to the TENORI-ON’s numerous performance capabilities.
The TENORI-ON provides six different performance and sound / light modes for broad performance versatility, and these modes can be combined and used simultaneously for rich, complex musical expression.

The Six Modes

More Here

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The Music Industry Is Dying, But That’s OK – Sick Article

Pretty sweet article by MDavid Low

In 1999 Napster almost killed the music industry. Apple’s iTunes appeared and finally got people to start paying for digital music downloads, but it wasn’t unveiled until four years after Napster.

“That four-year lag is where the music industry lost the battle,” says Sonal Gandhi, music analyst with Forrester Research. “They lost an opportunity to take consumers’ new behavior and really monetize it in a way that nipped the free music expectation in the bud.”

Now, eleven years since Napster, the music industry is worth half of what it was in 1999. According to Forrester Research, the total revenue from U.S. music sales and licensing plummeted to $6.3 billion in 2009, that is a $8.3 billion drop in revenue since 1999.  On the converse, Forrester is also saying that CD sales will be declining at about the same rate that digital downloads are growing. Continue reading

Amazingly Cool New Technology for Musicians – Record & Collaborate over Long Distances!

It’s called Digital Musician. I’ve been talking about something like this being integrated with Beat-Play for a while now. It’s really cool to see that people are already developing this kind of technology. It is almost as if we’re building two sides of the same bridge and we will meet in the middle. Very cool stuff.

From the site: We are a community of creative people from around the world connecting and collaborating, hiring each other for commercial projects, and inviting each other to work on our personal projects. It’s also a place to promote your personal creative growth by discovering new influences and finding fresh inspiration. Join me and thousands of my fellow members now and take your creativity to new levels.

connect…

  • With musicians, producers and recording engineers from around the world
  • Establish new international contacts
  • Discover new influences and find fresh inspiration
  • Promote yourself and your work
  • Learn and share recording techniques

Collaborate…

  • With musicians, producers and recording engineers from around the world
  • Get hired and earn money from your talents
  • Create commercial and personal projects Continue reading

The Problem With Music – Awesome Rant by Steve Albini – independent and corporate rock record producer most widely known for producing Nirvana’s “In Utero”.

Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed. Nobody can see what’s printed on the contract. It’s too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody’s eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there’s only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says “Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim again, please. Backstroke”. And he does of course.

Every major label involved in the hunt for new bands now has on staff a high-profile point man, an “A & R” rep who can present a comfortable face to any prospective band. The initials stand for “Artist and Repertoire.” because historically, the A & R staff would select artists to record music that they had also selected, out of an available pool of each. This is still the case, though not openly. These guys are universally young [about the same age as the bands being wooed], and nowadays they always have some obvious underground rock credibility flag they can wave. Continue reading

Move over iTunes – Mozilla’s Songbird is Here

Great article that highlights the features.