Tag Archives: social network

How Much Brad Paisley would have Made on Beat-Play

Co-Host of this year’s 44th Annual Country Music Awards, Brad Paisley has reportedly sold over 10 million albums. Yesterday I did an estimation of How Much Eminem would have Made on Beat-Play(there’s a “b” in there). Since the Country Music Awards are tonight, I figured I’d do another estimation on Brad Paisley.

Brad Paisley has released 14 albums all together, with a total of 148 tracks. That gives him an average of about 11 tracks/album. On Beat-Play, if each on of those 11 tracks were listened to only 3 times by each of the 10 million people who bought a copy, Brad Paisley would have made $4,950,000 dollars, at $15/1000 plays (ad space price).


However, Brad Paisley has 148 tracks. If all of those tracks were available to listen to for free, all in one place (the conditions on Beat-Play) and each track were listened to only 3 times by 10 million people, Paisley would have made $66.6 million dollars at $15/1000 plays. The truth is that Brad Paisley probably has more than 10 million fans total, since he has 10 million that are willing to actually pay for his music, and I’m sure each of his tracks has been listened to more than 3 times on average by all of his fans.

Paisley is only estimated to be worth $22 million dollars right now, and that includes touring and merchandise money. The $66.6 million on Beat-Play was just music. Look at the difference! Beat-Play not only will distribute and promote the music for free by allowing it to naturally spread throughout people’s social networks, but it will give the artists the control over their income that they deserve, and give them the opportunity to make the kind of money they should be making, without dishing out huge portions to record labels.

Beat-Play will be released to the public as a social radio Facebook app in several months. If you would like to help us test our radio, please email me directly at Dante@musicwithoutlabels.com. We hope to hear from you!

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


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It’s About Time Advertisers Started Being Useful

This was the Aircel ad in Mumbai with an real inflatable boat attached to it, the Slogan was “In case of emergency, cut the rope.”

July 15, 2009 there was flooding in Mumbai and people did exactally what was written on the billboard ad, they cut lose the rope

Big brands and advertisers need to offer their customers something in exchange for doing the marketing for them. It’s time ads were actually useful at least.

Word of mouth is the single biggest spreader of anything, hands down. If you don’t believe me, check out this quote I found in Seth Godin’s book, Idea Virus: “You cannot sell a man who isn’t listening; word of mouth is the best medium of all; and dullness won’t sell your product, but neither will irrelevant brilliance.” – Bill Bernbach, former dean of American Advertising. I don’t think this quote could be any more true, even though it’s over 20 years old.

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The Beat-Play Experiment Entry #6


Just got off the phone with my lead developer. We are still in beginning stages of internal beta, and next Tuesday we’ll be finally uploading to our server, which is a Rackspace server, the same company Youtube used before they got bought out by Google.

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Linkedin A New Class???

Linkedin has been an increasingly successful business network of over 65 million users, connecting them to exchange information, ideas, and potential business opportunities. This network allows users to connect with other professionals within three degrees of separation (a friends, friends, friend). This gives those who don’t know you the ability to see some of your posts, activity, or ask you questions.

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The Beat-Play Experiment – Entry #5


So we’re finally in internal beta for Beat-Play! We are just working out some minor workflow and design changes, but nothing serious.

We should have the main social network engine up on our servers and ready to use in a couple weeks. We’ll have playlist capabilities, videos, blogs, user updates, alerts, calendars, and all the other standard social stuff.

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5 Tips for Advertisers to Better Engage Their Customers


In the world of real-time updates, and endless barrages of information, it’s more important than ever for companies to engage with their customers. Online marketing is one of the best ways to do this. This means keeping a couple of things in mind.

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The Beat-Play Experiment – Entry 2

This is an exciting time for the crew. We’re finalizing all of the little bits and pieces of Beat-Play. By the time we’re ready to launch, hopefully in May, we’ll have everything we need in place to help our beta testers begin the journey of successfully promoting their music online, and independently. It’s coming..

We are very busy, but it’s a lot of fun.

We’ve been going back through all of the amazing designers that we interviewed in Colombia. There were 18 total. Honestly they are some of the most talented artists I’ve ever seen and I want to use all of them!

They’ll be doing work for the backgrounds of Beat-Play, which change every time you refresh the page, and they’ll also be doing the ads, which aren’t your standard everyday annoying banner ads. We’re all about the art.

We just had an awesome interview with MWL artist Lisa Lavie. She’s had incredible success on Youtube, being the #34th most subscribed of all time, with millions and millions of views. She talks a lot about her career, and her views about the industry. She’s madd cool and epitomizes Music Without Labels. The interview should be up sometime this week.

We also have some other awesome interviews in the works including a video interview in Spanish with a hot Colombian artist Lilith, an English video interview with one of the leaders of an awesome independent movement going on in Medellin, Colombia, and a written interview with a really talented indie artist over in South Korea who calls himself Silvercord.

He used to live in Cali but now lives over there. I met him on thesixtyone.com and he actually did a little bit of mastering work for me and my friend. He’s going to talk to us about the music scene over there to try and give us a wider view of the situation for indie artists as a whole, around the world. I’m really excited for that.

Also this week we’ll begin filming a new online show that we’ll be starting called Beat-Play Harmonics. It’ll feature indie music videos, interviews, live performances, industry discussions, and a lot more. The first couple episodes will mostly just include music videos, kinda like MTV when they first started, except strictly independent/unknown artists, and we’ll never lose focus on the music. We have some awesome music videos lined up for that.

We also have Jasmine Sacarello, an up and coming actress who has conducted interviews for us before, doing some video blogs for us. We figure she’s more interesting to look at that us, and videos are a better way to get the information out. Definitely look for these posts coming up in the near future.

On top of all of this, most of us are starting to take some classes on the side. We’re all over the web doing constant research, and we’re on literally a couple thousand social networks as a whole, including a lot of smaller independent music based ones. We also go out to shows and take pictures and video and help the bands promote themselves. If you click the picture at the top it’ll take you to the most recent show pics, which will be updated again soon, and if you click the second pic it’ll take you to that band’s website..they’re an awesome laid back reggae band from CO named Apex Vibe.

Most of us have non-profit stuff we do on the side too. Dave Botero, marketing and ad sales, runs a handball program for kids in our area with the YMCA, called Hope in Handball, where a bunch of mentors play with the kids before and after school. He’s always looking for donations.

Right now I’m helping a friend of mine with a cool project. He’s actually an artist I met at a CD release party, Nashon Walker. I’m helping him put together a preview video of a TV show he’s trying to pitch.

It’s a combination reality show/flash back show that goes through the details of his rough past, from being abandoned, to parents on drugs, stealing, dealing, and jail, to going to college, marrying, getting a good job, having two kids, and starting his own mentorship programs and non-profits to help kids who have been through similar situations, and he’s not even 30 yet.

The reality part of the show follows him on his quest to bring real change to inner cities, and the other part shows flashbacks of his past acted out to show the contrast. It’s an awesome project I’m really happy to be working on. If you want to be involved, he’s looking for donations as well right now.

On top of that I’m still keeping track of the development process of Beat-Play which is moving along at a great pace, and I’m continuing to talk weekly to lawyers who are schooling me on copyrights and licensing.

Every once in a while I’ll even get some time to write some lyrics, and I’m planning on recording a mixtape pretty soon in my studio, which is about 30 ft from me right now, but I really haven’t had the time to put it all together yet, though the material is all there.

We’re also hammering out the ad model right now, which will be the main way that artists get paid on Beat-Play. We’re thinking there will be a set flat rate that we charge to advertisers, and if an artist reaches over a certain number of views, their ad space goes up in value, and we then give the artists 95% of the increase to their ad price..that’s on top of the flat fee.

There would be different levels, or brackets the artists would get placed in based on their views, and that would determine the price of their ads. The cool thing is the artists would get the majority of the money generated specifically from their views, after hitting a certain threshold, which Beat-Play’s promotion makes a lot easier to do. I would love to get feedback on this from some artists out there.

Also this week we marked the 250th artist to sign up to beta test on MusicWithoutLabels.com

That’s pretty much the full update of what’s goin on here at Beat-Play from our end. A lot of exciting stuff to look forward to, and great content to watch out for. We’re pretty stoked over here.

Ideas, comments, disses, encouragement always welcome. We’ll keep you posted.

Peace!

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

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The Beat-Play Experiment – Entry #1

I’d like to introduce to you the 1st entry of a new experiment we are proud to be starting.

You may have noticed this blog’s name has changed to The Beat-Play Experiment. This blog, in addition to everything it has represented already, will be dedicated to telling the story of Beat-Play, as it progresses. For more information on what Beat-Play is, go here.

The experiment is almost like a professional baby book for Beat-Play, keeping log routinely of internal problems, successes, plans, events, breakthroughs, overall progress, and looking to the readers for their input. We want to share this journey with our users.

It will also be used in an effort to stay completely transparent, and keep everyone who supports the Beat-Play/Independent movement on the same page as the people running the show. Feedback from posts will be a huge asset to us, and the community, moving forward.

I’ll start off by giving you an update of our status up to this point, and by introducing everyone involved.

First, my name is Dante Cullari and I am the Founder and President of Beat-Play, LLC. I am an independent artist; a lyricist, and a producer. After researching and realizing that there were no solid alternatives for indie artists to promote and distribute their music, without losing their rights to a label, I decided to create my own alternative where artists could maintain full control over their careers, including pricing, song selection, promotion methods, merchandise, ect, and they could do it all online from their home.

I am Beat-Play’s architect. I don’t do any coding myself, though I have a little experience doing it. I however, design the functionality and the interconnectedness of the site, and guide the user experience. I have a very clear vision of what’s best for independent artists, and I do my best to translate it to everyone around me. Every decision I make for Beat-Play has a good reason behind it, and when making decisions, I am always thinking about what’s best from the user’s perspective.

It’s been 3 years since I had this dream, and now, it’s just a few short months from launching. We have the designs done, and the back-end mostly done. Now we are just waiting while the two are being merged together into one functionally incredible tool for artists. If you want to learn more about what our beta version will include, you can check out the Beat-Play Beta Overview.

I’d like to now introduce everyone else responsible for making Beat-Play become a reality, and a sustainable platform for independent artists to share, promote and earn money from their music.


First and foremost, we have my Mom, Kathi Cullari. She is the CEO of Cullari Communications Group, a public relations company based out of Pa, and she is the VP of Beat-Play. She is an incredibly innovative and smart woman, and she has taught me almost everything I know about business. Everyone that works for her, with the exception of 1 person, is a female, and they all work from their homes. She has people in almost every state. Though she is located in Pa, she has created a network of people all throughout the country, allowing her business to reach much farther. She is my primary investor in Beat-Play, (and she also happens to have an AMAZING voice). She is where I get my love of music, and she really believes in this cause. I am so lucky to have her. Not too many people would have so much faith in their 21 year old son, but she’s smart, and I get it from her.

The Team:

Boris Mosesyan

Boris is our Creative Director. I’ve been good friends with Boris since High School, when he would show me the beats he was making and we would make songs together. He doesn’t make beats so much anymore, but he does a LOT of design work for us. He is responsible for our Myspace page, our Blog Header, our T-shirts, our Twitter page, our forums, a bunch of Beat-Play backgrounds, and a lot more. He does awesome work, with a lot of passion, and he’s a character. He never fails to make you laugh.

Dave Botero

Dave has had many titles. Among them are director of business development, account executive, media coordinator, national sales assistant, HMFIC (head motherfucker in charge) and he now he calls himself the Sous Chef of Beat-Play. I met Dave when he was at a different company and he came to me with some of the most ridiculous, and creative marketing ideas I had ever heard. We developed and maintained a relationship despite us not using his company anymore. Then about a year later Dave and I started working together again. This time Dave was the HMFIC of his own company, Livid. I was Livid’s biggest client and eventually I just had to snag Dave all to myself. He is an incredibly creative and connected individual and we’re lucky to have his expertise on this team.

Mark Valente

Mark is our Online Marketing Director. I actually went to high school with Mark as well. We’ve been friends for a very long time, and both share a hunger for knowledge that drives us to learn about anything and everything we feel can make a difference in our lives, and the world. He is the social butterfly of the group, reaching out on hundreds of social networks and blogs to spread the message of better alternatives for indie artists. He is our online ambassador, and if you found this blog through another website, it’s probably because of him. He’s also a pretty dirty drummer!

Jimmy Iles

Jimmy is our Director of Operations. He has a strong background in sales, having worked for a major food wholesaler for a number of years before Beat-Play. Now he is the one responsible for making sure the rest of us don’t fall off a cliff. I have actually known Jimmy for a long time. He is my mom’s best friend’s son. He is an amazingly diligent and organized person to work with, and he is also a great guy to hang out with. He’s based in Colorado, right outside of Denver, while the rest of the team is in Harrisburg, Pa for the time being. Jimmy is our connection to the real world at times, but even he’s a bit of a dreamer, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He is a crucial asset to our team.

Dan Lineaweaver is the President of Skyward Thought, the development team working to make Beat-Play into a reality. Dan is also a drummer in a metal band. He really believes in this project and understands it better than most people I know. He is the best possible guy I could have ever hoped to build Beat-Play. The name of his company exemplifies his process. He was one of the first people on board with Beat-Play, and he has proven to be an amazing addition, throughout the whole journey. He’ll be adding more info about his company here in the future.

I make it a point to surround myself with geniuses. Everyone on the team operates at a higher level. We think big, and act. There is nothing we believe we can’t do. That is why for us, solving every single problem associated with the music industry today is simply another goal to be reached, and we are relentless. We feel like we will make major contributions to the welfare of independent music as a whole, and we will continue refining our methods as long as we are here.

We are getting EXTREMELY excited for the launch of Beat-Play into beta, which hopefully will be out of the lawyer’s hands and online by May. This is a big moment in time for independent artists. Stayed tuned for another entry shortly.

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

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The Problem with Song Recommendation Engines, and How they could be Better

I thought I’d talk a little bit today about song recommendation engines, as far as where we are currently with the technology online, and how it can get any better.

First of all, we’ve all heard about Pandora’s Music Genome Project. They actually have a very dedicated staff that goes through each song for about 10-15 minutes and reports on a list of many different musical variables. The results get fed into the algorithm and BAM, there’s your playlist.

Last.fm does something very similar, but they use different variables, and many sites, like thesixtyone.com, use a “similar” function that introduces you to music with similar variables.

So how do you tell which one works the best? You’d almost have to go through and look at the variables they use to tie music together. It would be almost impossible to tell if the site could have played you a better song than the one it did. Streaming music seems to be the way to go, but right now I believe the biggest factor in people’s choices between these different websites may be the design appeal and ease of use. That, and the lack of anything better.

There are several problems I see with this picture. Number one is that it never seems like a good idea to use a tool that has no clear distinction between it’s competitors. There’s gotta be one that’s better, but in this case it’s too hard to tell, or would take too much effort. This most likely has a lot to do with the fact that these concepts are no new, and no one has really settled on one ultimate solution, yet people do have their favorites of the moment.

That brings me to the second problem with this picture, which is a fundamental one. The current song recommendation engines all use the song’s variables to tie the songs together, and then tie you to the songs by entering a song or artist you like. This a pretty cool, but your control over your music ends after you enter your favorite artist or song.

Music is such a social thing. It seems to me that our playlists shouldn’t be controlled by similarities between songs, but similarities between people.

There needs to be a system where I can follow people that I share a taste in music with(my friends, favorite band members, ect). Then anything in those people’s playlists will get sent to my radio player, at random, or at my control. This not only ensures that you’ll hear only the best music, but also it will automatically update you when new songs are out, and it doesn’t bind you to one genre, or one sound.

If you’re like me you could listen to 4 or 5 different genres, back to back. This system would also allow for filters on things like genres, moods, tags, ect, and could create a much more custom listening experience.

Also for new bands, this would almost take the place of promotion, because it is basically automated word of mouth and is the epitome of viral. With this model, who knows, you could be the one to discover a band for your whole generation.

I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds a lot better than trusting variables and algorithms. This model will actually be out soon. It will be included in my website, Beat-Play, coming out in beta this April, 2010. It will be undergoing many changes early on in the beta process, but we hope to get it all fleshed out by June.

When it comes to the internet and all of the crazy, complex, and really cool tools out there, it’s best to keep this thought in the back of your mind: “Is this the experience I want?” If the answer is “I don’t know”, then there’s usually a problem somewhere, and also a void waiting to be filled.

For more info about the Beat-Play beta check out the BeatPlay Beta Overview

And to sign up to beta test, visit: http://MusicWithoutLabels.com

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

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Kids Ruling the World? Open Wide for the Jumbo Jet..

Sounds like not much would get done..but it could be more fun. In today’s smart phone social culture, information is more readily available than ever before. As of now, no one really knows the full repercussions of this on our society, but some signs have already begun to pop up.

Probably the most obvious is Mark Zuckerberg who is now 25 going on 26, and was only 20 when he started Facebook in 2004. 6 years later his website has over 350 million members and even old lame people are forced to jump on. Why is this? Because Mark came up with a better way to use the web as a tool to communicate than was previously in place. In my opinion, this could have only come from a younger person.

Being born in 1984, the exact year 29 year old Steve Jobs and Apple Computers launched their most famous product ever, the Macintosh, Mark Zuckerberg had grown up with computers. He was even programming in middle school; something which a decade before would have been reserved for only the most experienced hardware and tech nerds, and something which may not have happened if it wasn’t for people like Jobs and Woz.

For my father(58), to have seen the transformation from black & white photos and TV to all of the ridiculous gadgets made available today, like 3d printing and color multi-touch phones, just to have had email would have been sufficient. Email works soo much better than what he was used to growing up, that imagining better is made much harder, and seemingly useless in his eyes.

The bar with the younger generation is being set way higher, and we can expect this trend to continue exponentially. Another point to make is the rate at which change and innovation in business online can occur. Computers and the internet make everything amazingly easier to edit, update, change, delete, recover, and so on. This new medium has the potential to implement changes on a society scale much faster than was ever possible in the past, and increase our societal advancements exponentially as well, to follow along with the trend of doubling microchip capacity every 1-2 years.

Another reason for the breakthrough successes of many younger entrepreneurs may very well be their “naive” outlooks on the world. They seem misaligned with reality’s crushing sting and unfazed by thoughts of the many hopeless boundaries awaiting. However they’re amazingly successful..how could this be? Check out this excerpt from an AOL Small Business Blog titled A Teen Millionaire’s Three Principles to Success

“I’ve been fortunate enough to make my first million before graduating from high school and buy my own house at 20. At 21, I’ve now put away enough in savings and other investments that I could practically retire today . . . if I wanted to. But of course, that’s the last thing on earth I’d want to do. I just enjoy it all too much. Not to say the money isn’t important, but frankly, it’s not why I do what I do. I do it because I love it.” – Cameron Johnson

I can hear the passion in his voice just reading his words. Is this naive, or relevant? Actually, the answer to this question is a bit peculiar.

We are in the middle of a strange paradigm shift where the technology created by the older generation has effected society so much, that most of the problems that they faced in the past can be solved by this new technology. This doesn’t mean however, that the problems have been solved, because the older generation has somewhat failed, or has been slower to realize, that this is possible. Now though, It does mean that many members of the younger generation are beginning to realize these solutions that the internet and computers provide, and we’re beginning to implement them at tremendous paces.

Here’s a great analogy:
It’s like if the inventor of the light bulb was blind, and couldn’t really see the potential for his invention, so it sat idle; until one day another thinker with sight comes along, sees the potential, and installs telephone poles to carry the light around the globe. Now with this first invention of the light bulb, any innovator after will be able to see and work much longer, increasing the productivity for these potentially younger generations, solving potentially many problems at once, that would not have been solved if the potential of the lightbulb had not been realized. It wasn’t enough just for the invention to be created, but the potential had to be reached. Younger generations will always find new applications for great inventions. Thomas Edison would have never imagined 3D Imax Movie Projectors, or LEDs.

The internet’s progress has almost been put on hold compared to how fast it could be moving, because of the failure of the older generations to realize the true potential of computers, and especially the net. The main problem right now is that all of the best innovators are mostly too young to afford to maintain a start up, and only the most savvy, or lucky ones, actually make it.

This reminds me of a story. I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Doug Herzog, the President of Viacom. This is the same Doug Herzog who was president of Fox a while back and decided to cancel Family Guy..a mistake which the younger generation would haunt him with until he eventually left a year later. He was also featured in an episode of South Park that wanted to show a picture of the Prophet Muhammad, but Doug decided to censor it, which earned him a place in the show.

We met to discuss my business plan for Beat-Play. (BeatPlay Beta Overview) I won’t get into that right now, but one of the first things he told me was that he really had no idea what was going on at MTV on the “ground level.” He said he was just “so far separated from it.” After explaining my model to him, he couldn’t understand how Beat-Play was any different than iTunes. He couldn’t see how a completely free website that could solve piracy, promotion, and revenue problems for independent artists all over the world, was different than paying 99 cents for mostly artists heard on the radio. Me being 19 at the time, and him being unwilling to be schooled by a “kid”, I thanked Doug for his time, and strolled out.

This was one of the first signs of this “Senior blindness” that I had encountered. The truth is, iTunes doesn’t even begin to solve the problems the music business is still plagued with, but I guess being able to download music onto a mobile device you fit in your pocket is far enough away from old 45’s and 8-tracks that it’s easier to settle for the current circumstances. It may be better than before, but that doesn’t make it good! Also, a problem that still occurs to this day is that the problems with the music industry have been around so long that it’s not even feasible for many people that they could actually be solved..probably because before the internet, they couldn’t be..

This is a great quote from Inc Magazine blog titled A Portfolio of Young Business Owners

“Only five years ago, two enterprising teens might have mowed lawns to earn spending money. Today they can start a company on the Web. That’s how it worked for the co-founders of Switchpod, Weina Scott and Jake Fisher. And, oh yeah, they live 1,440 miles apart–she’s in Miami, and he’s in Rochester, Minnesota.”

Now wait until the younger generation reaches the full potential of the internet. Imagine how many other problems will be solved by more efficient organizational structure embedded into our societies.

Dare I say this is the first time in history that the younger generation may actually know better than the ones before it. Well..isn’t that what you would hope for? Things have changed..now it’s just up to people to realize it.

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

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