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July 07 2011

11:26

Amazon fires back at Google & Apple with unlimited cloud music storage

Mashable :: Amazon Cloud Player, the online retailer’s cloud-based music service, is striking back at its competitors with unlimited music storage and a web app for iPad. The changes affect all new purchases of Cloud Drive storage plans

Continue to read Ben Parr, mashable.com

May 27 2011

18:36

What's next? - Facebook strategy: share music, TV, news, and books

New York Times :: Forbes told us that Facebook has partnered with Spotify to launch a new music service in two weeks. New York Times now delivers a reason: Facebook is developing features that will make the sharing of users’ favorite music, television shows and other media as much a part of its site as playing games or posting vacation photos.

Continue to read Ben Sisario | Miguel Helft, www.nytimes.com

May 25 2011

19:24

Facebook Spotify partnership: new music-streaming service in 2 weeks?

Forbes :: Facebook has partnered with Spotify on a music-streaming service that could be launched in as little as two weeks, sources close to the deal have told Forbes. The integrated service is currently going through testing, but when launched, Facebook users will see a Spotify icon appear on the left side of their newsfeed, along with the usual icons for photos and events.

Continue to read Parmy Olson, blogs.forbes.com

March 13 2011

22:43

Divine Music

Jordi Savall - Lamento Della Ninfa (Claudio Monteverdi)

Tags: LOVE music

January 18 2011

19:21

6 Predictions For the Music Industry in 2011

The music industry had a wild ride in 2010. Companies came and went, layoffs hit every sector, rapid growth delivered opportunity, and Spotify still didn't launch in the U.S. This year, 2011, should be no different.

Here are some predictions and thoughts about what 2011 may hold for the music industry.

1. A Major Label Shakeup

Screen shot 2011-01-17 at 10.33.20 AM.pngDespite all the talk about the major label system collapsing at any moment, it doesn't seem likely. However, 2011 may finally see a restructuring of assets and brands. EMI has no shortage of financial issues, and the current discussion points to Terra Firma handing them over to Citigroup in the near future. The big assumption is that EMI will be broken up and sold in pieces to the other three majors (Universal, Sony and Warner Bros). Of particular value is EMI's publishing division, and if the piecemeal sale does happen, there may be a fight for this asset. Of course, the other three majors aren't having the smoothest time with cash-flow either, so it remains unclear exactly who can buy what. At minimum, EMI will not look the same at the end of 2011 as it does now.

2. Indie Label Opportunity Grows

All music companies will be focused on streamlining their efforts in 2011. This involves smarter processes, innovative policies, and keeping overhead low. Independent labels typically have had to function with these elements in place from day one; their ability to stay nimble will allow for continued growth opportunity. As business partnerships continue to solidify between content owners and brands, smaller labels will be able to adapt quickly and profit at lower revenue thresholds. This creates a strategic advantage that, if managed properly, will see upward trends on indie label balance sheets.

3. Streaming Services Reach Critical Mass

spotifylogo.pngIn 2011, someone will become the Apple of streaming -- perhaps Apple itself. Consumers are getting closer and closer to accepting renting over owning content. Companies such as MOG, Rdio, Spotify, and Rhapsody are poised to capitalize on this. With good timing, savvy marketing, and clear messaging that succinctly communicates the benefits, a streaming music provider can easily take the leading role in this race. The safe money seems to be on Apple (in part thanks to the Lala acquisition), but the other contenders are quite serious and finding the level of funding necessary to compete. This sector is also making major moves into mobile and car audio; these additional distribution avenues only strengthen the push toward widespread adoption.

4. Free Continues Moving Upwards

"Free" has been a highly debated concept. One side states that the awareness and data capture free provides can be converted to sales over time. The opposition feels that free devalues content and sets the wrong precedent. The truth may lie somewhere in the middle, but it is clear that with the volume of free content (legal and otherwise) one has to be giving something away simply to stay competitive. This line of thinking is nothing new, but it has finally permeated the companies and artists at the top. The majors and superstars have relaxed their policies on free (especially when paired with data capture) and that trend will continue. This will happen in parallel with efforts to find techniques to convert free to paying -- a critical element to make this model work.

5. The Essential Toolkit Solidifies

Screen shot 2011-01-17 at 10.35.31 AM.pngDigital marketers have an almost endless supply of new technology and techniques to try. However, over the past 18 months, many have faded away or a best-of-breed front-runner has emerged. In 2011 we will see this continue as it becomes more clear which technologies and techniques provide real value. In 2010, it became easy (and essential) to track true performance metrics; marketers now have multiple tools to evaluate effectiveness based on conversion, data capture, sentiment, and engagement. This analysis is helping define where to focus efforts -- and that is helping digital music marketing become a more precise practice.

Companies with momentum in the digital marketing toolkit space include Topspin, Bandcamp, Nimbit, Rockdex, NextBigSound, Rootmusic, SoundCloud, Buzzdeck, Artistdata, Mozes, and the ever-essential Google Analytics. Let's also not forget the mainstays -- Twitter, Facebook, and email-marketing platforms such as ExactTarget, Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

6. The Net Neutrality Debate Continues

The positions and arguments haven't changed much, but the Net neutrality discussion (particularly at the government level) has accelerated. In late December, the FCC approved rules that enable mobile carriers to regulate application use. Many members of Congress have already stated they will fight this by creating a new law. This debate is still far from over; expect heated discussion all year long.

In many ways 2011 won't look much different than 2010. The music industry is still suffering from steep declines and is still building strategies and systems to counteract this. The key words moving forward are innovation and experimentation; most people have accepted the fact that we cannot force consumers to behave as they did in the past. Instead, we must seek to better understand our audience, foster stronger communication, and be willing to take leaps of faith on a regular basis.

*****

What predictions do you have for the music industry in 2011? Please share them in the comments.

Jason Feinberg is vice president, direct to consumer marketing for Concord Music Group. He is responsible for digital and physical direct-to-fan solutions for CMG's frontline and catalog including the Rounder, Fantasy and Stax labels. Recent campaigns include Paul Simon, Allison Krauss, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Carole King/James Taylor, and Crowded House. Follow Jason on Twitter @otmg

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January 17 2011

15:27

December 23 2010

17:16

Special Series: Year in Review 2010

It's holiday time, and that means travel mania, less work and yes, year-end roundups. Yes, they are the lazy way to finish out the year for journalists and bloggers around the world, the ultimate in traffic catnip. But we thought we could take a different approach, doing year-end roundups for each niche we cover at MediaShift, giving our correspondents the space to talk about important trends that happened in 2010, and pointing us toward what we might expect in 2011. And in one case, for the Top 10 MediaShifting moments, we even collaborated with our audience using iEtherPad. Happy reading, and happy holidays!

All the Year-End Posts

> The Social Network, Streaming Boom Dominate Film in 2010 by Nick Mendoza

Coming soon

Top 10 MediaShifting Moments by Mark Glaser

The year in magazines by Susan Currie Sivek

The year in online free speech by Clothilde Le Coz

The year in important legal issues by Jonathan Peters

The year in e-books and self-publishing (and some predictions) by Carla King

The year in digital music by Jason Feinberg

*****

What do you think about our series? Did we miss anything? What were your top media moments of 2010 and where do you see things heading in 2011.

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

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July 23 2010

20:59

July 01 2010

15:00

From Bryan Adams to Neil Young: Canadian Music Wiki

Wondered what Neil Young’s been up to lately? Or k.d. lang? Or Avril Lavigne?

If so…meet Canadian Music Wiki, the collaborative site dedicated to, yes, Canadian music. The project, the brainchild of the Vancouver-based j-school student and music journalist Amanda Ash, adds a new dimension to the crowdsourcing-of-information ethos behind projects like Wikipedia: It’s crowdsourcing culture. “This project,” the site explains, “is dedicated to using collaborative and social media to enrich Canada’s music scene by creating a comprehensive guide to Canadian music. We welcome your contributions.”

So the site’s not fully comprehensive yet (Justin Bieber’s not in there, for example, which means that the site is both incomplete and tasteful) — but, then, it’s also young. It came about as Ash’s masters thesis, part of the arts and culture journalism program at the University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism; the wiki was one aspect of a broader examination of public media’s new mandate in the digital world. (The digital journalist and UBC professor Alfred Hermida was Ash’s — and the project’s — adviser.) In August of 2009, Ash received a $15,000 grant from the internship facilitator MITACS Accelerate to develop her idea for a music wiki into a full-fledged, public site, in conjunction with CBC Radio 3. In September, she began her internship with Radio 3, working with the network to develop the wiki into a site that would become both a resource and an outlet for music fans in Canada and beyond.

The wiki had its public launch just over a month ago, in late May. Since then, it has generated around 14,000 page views, Ash told me, and — probably a more meaningful metric for a wiki — 2,300 pages of original, crowd-sourced content about Canadian music (everything from albums to songs, labels to venues, stores to studios). Ash and Hermida attribute that response in part to the wiki’s topic itself: Music is one of those things that, whether you’re into Broken Social Scene or the Crash Test Dummies or Shania Twain or even Justin Bieber (the hair, the hair, we get it), people tend to feel strongly about — and committed to. “It seems like people are happy to have a resource out there where the average fan can contribute,” Ash says. The wiki adds an extra element of democratization to music culture. “It’s kind of this two-way dialogue.”

That puts the wiki on the receiving end of one of the most sought-after resources in journalism: engagement. One mystery for news organizations — and, if solved, probably the closest we’ll come to a financial silver bullet — is how to leverage the interests, and the passions, of the crowd. And, yes, if there’s anything people tend to be passionate about, it’s music. But not just music, the product, tellingly — but music, the community: the concerts, the camaraderie, the shared knowledge of a group’s history and sensibility. Music is “one of those niche topics that people can create communities around,” Ash says. And while there’s no shortage of online outlets that serve those communities — MySpace, Pitchfork, and on and on — what a wiki offers is centralization by way of information. “MySpace is fragmented,” Hermida points out; and, on the other side of the scale, much of traditional music journalism focuses on pushing content out rather than pulling communities in. A wiki is a kind of middle ground: it gives and gets at the same time.

In that, the Canadian Music Wiki — a resource for journalism, more than a strict product of it — puts a culture-specific spin on the Wikipedia effect we’re seeing in journalism: It hints at a future of news that marries content with context, information with conversation, old news with new…all in a single platform. A wikified approach to music “flips the broadcast model on its head,” Hermida says. But it also fulfills a broader, and perhaps even more relevant, mandate: It “helps Canadians express themselves.”

April 21 2010

09:06

Paywalled Rolling Stone brings readers closer to music

Rolling Stone magazine set its relaunched website live on Monday introducing new subscription packages to its ‘Rolling Stone All Access’ section, greater access to the magazine’s archives and new navigation.

The changes to the site are explained in a post on the website, but one feature worth highlighting is the ability to listen to any piece of music that a visitor reads about on the site. Coupled with the option to buy albums reviewed by the mag, this is the kind of one-stop offering that could increase stickiness – the amount of time a reader spends on the site – for the new-look site.


Similar Posts:



March 22 2010

01:43

Ben Folds + Chatroulette = homage to Merton

"Ben Folds has connected, feel free to talk now." The alt.pop piano composer pays homage to internet improv artist Merton, in this hilarious video taped at a live show. He's even wearing Merton's slouchy hoodie! Video contains cussin', but thankfully all the anony-wieners have been edited out.

Chatroulette Piano Ode to Merton.m4v (YouTube, thanks to the many, many readers who suggested this)



March 17 2010

07:01

YouTube Expanding Partner Program for Musicians

AUSTIN -- YouTube is making a big push to pull musicians to YouTube to build audiences and monetize their videos.  

We caught up with YouTube's Sara Pollack this weekend in Austin at SXSW for this update.

The program is titled "Musicians Wanted." Here's a report in the Los Angeles Times and more from Wired.com.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

February 25 2010

06:53

Blowin’ in the Wind

The BBC brings you Folk America, a three-part documentary series on American folk music, “tracing its history from the recording boom of the 1920s to the folk revival of the 1960s.” We feature above the third segment, Blowin’ in the Wind, which takes you straight to the 1960s, when Bob Dylan and Joan Baez hit the stage. The other two segments that make up Folk America include Birth of a Nation and This Land is Your Land.

via Metafilter

Blowin’ in the Wind is a post from: Open Culture. Visit us at www.openculture.com

Related posts:

  1. Dylan and Baez Sing Blowin’ in the Wind
  2. Bob Dylan Goes a Little Commercial
  3. When Bob Dylan Went Electric: Newport, 1965


Tags: Music

February 05 2010

18:00

Rent vs. Own: The Streaming Music Debate Continues

The exponential growth of Internet bandwidth combined with the ability to significantly compress digital audio has impacted the music industry in numerous ways, for better and worse. Just as file trading created a massive network of pirated music, the ability to stream audio in real-time has allowed for a number of innovative content distribution and promotion methods.

napsterlogo.gifDigital music streaming services have been around for over a decade. Companies such as Rhapsody, Napster, MOG, and We7 have experimented with various business models and user experiences, with mixed results. The traditional streaming model was based on an all-you-can consume subscription offering, occasionally supplemented with a very limited amount of downloads. Adoption has rarely met expectations, and long-term sustainable profit has been elusive for most companies.

Now, a new wave of streaming services such as Spotify are emerging. Can they succeed where others have failed?

Changing Consumer Behavior

The lack of adoption of music steaming services has been attributed to a number of factors. First, a culture of ownership based on decades of purchasing physical media has locked many fans into a set way of thinking about music consumption. There are millions of music fans that correlate paying to owning, not just listening.

Then there is the illegal downloads issue. Convincing someone to pay to listen is difficult when they can freely own all the digital files they can find. Recent IFPI numbers estimate that 95 percent of all digital downloads are still illegal.

In addition to having to change consumer habits, logistics have also been an obstacle to user adoption of streaming services. For the majority of the past decade, most services were only available via a computer, thus limiting the number of settings and situations in which a subscriber could use the service. Most streaming platforms have now begun releasing iPhone and Blackberry apps, which adds portability into the equation. Until recently, devices were not able to capitalize on the functionality that these services offer, but thanks to 3G and WiFi networks, the bandwidth finally exists to take streaming music almost anywhere.

imeem.jpgSubscriptions are not the only business model being used to monetize streaming. A number of ad-supported platforms have come and gone, such as imeem, which was purchased by MySpace late 2009. Imeem and similar sites (including MySpace itself) attempted to use the traditional media advertising model: Provide content for free, but surround it with marketing messages. Typically, this took the form of banners, sponsored promotions, and in-stream audio advertising. This model has also proved difficult to sustain long-term, due to the fact that royalties and bandwidth costs often exceed advertising revenue.

The New Wave of Streaming Services

Currently leading the charge in ad-supported streaming is Spotify. It has combined peer-to-peer streaming technology with in-stream audio advertising. Advertisements also appear on the user interface, raising the likelihood of user engagement. For users who wish to use the streaming service without advertising, and to have the option for higher quality audio, Spotify offers subscriptions in various configurations.

Due to licensing issues, Spotify is only available in a handful of European countries. Founder Daniel Ek previously expressed a desire to open in the U.S. by the end of 2009, but did not succeed. As discussed in a recent article on paidContent.org, the barrier to expansion seems to be licensing concerns, one of which is that U.S.-based labels are no longer satisfied with ad-supported free services and are only looking at subscription models. The most recent numbers show Spotify has 250,000 paying subscribers, compared to a free user base of six million.

The Path to Profitability

Content is key to the success of a streaming site, but adoption is still the ultimate issue. If consumers are focused on owning content, be it physical or digital, paid or illegal, streaming services will continue to have a major uphill battle.

lefsetz.jpg

In a recent Bob Lefsetz article, he addressed this issue, providing a detailed look at the obstacles standing in the way of mass consumer adoption. He also looked at how other industries have used bundling and focused marketing efforts to influence consumer viewpoints on renting content versus owning. Lefsetz states in his opening sentence that, "The recorded music business must switch to subscription, it's its [sic] only hope of economic survival."

His rationale for this belief is that iTunes and other a la carte purchase options are a losing battle regarding long-term revenue. Selling music track-by-track may be better than illegal downloads -- but it's still a poor economic model. By removing value from the album format (and losing its higher price point), the music industry has allowed customers to spend very little money. This means the business requires a much higher number of transactions to be profitable.

Lefsetz argues that by requiring users to pay one amount for massive amounts of music -- essentially bundling content the way the cable companies do -- the music industry is able to charge a much larger amount of people a higher amount of money. In exchange, these customers get all the music they can consume, across any device they want to use. Instead of paying $10 for storing 10 tracks, they can pay the same amount and have access to millions of tracks.

The continually dropping cost of bandwidth and massive connectivity available has set the stage for a profitable model in subscription-based services. The biggest challenge is to now convince consumers this is the best method for experiencing music. This job falls to the streaming companies and to the labels and artists that license the music. It also requires that the technology continue to offer more and more choice and convenience. In addition, a massive number of free users must be shown the value of converting to paying for listening, through higher quality audio and an ad-free experience.

As with almost everything in the music industry, the optimal streaming business model is still being figured out, but the emerging success of companies such as Spotify is showing a growing level of consumer adoption.

Jason Feinberg is the president and founder of On Target Media Group, a music industry online marketing and promotion company. He is responsible for business development, formulation and management of online marketing campaigns, and media relations with over 1,000 websites and media outlets. The company has served clients including Warner Bros. Records, Universal Music Enterprises, EMI, Concord Music Group, Roadrunner Records, and others with an artist roster that includes Har Mar Superstar, Flipper, George Thorogood, Steve Vai, Robben Ford, Chick Corea, and many more. You can follow Jason on Twitter @otmg

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December 05 2009

15:56

My High School Film about Love, Alienation and Weed is a Mash-up Hit on YouTube

 

After 40 years, it is gratifying to connect with so many young people who are watching and commenting on my high school film in a new, mashed-up form.  

There have been 150,000 views, with over 500 ratings, and 250 comments with more added daily.

The mash-up was done by a YouTube member who calls herself Sara "Adorkable," she says she is 19 and likes to do parodies.  She first uploaded this version last December. Traffic and comments have spiked recently.

Sara did a nice job in editing the video from its original 10 minutes to just over 4.  Beautiful new soundtrack.  The music is the song "Tiny Vessels," from the band Death Cab for Cutie, which Sara admits on her YouTube page she doesn't own.

I wrote, shot and edited "Page 2" back in 1969 with a Bolex 16mm camera borrowed from the football coach.  It was autobiographical story about my life of love, alienation and easing the pain with a little weed.  

I uploaded my film to Google Video about three years ago  and posted it to YouTube more recently.

Back in the early 70's, the film was distributed by the American Psychiatric Association to parent groups to help them understand those crazy young people.  Not sure if it was useful, but the film sold well and provided some helpful income during my college years.

I've pasted the Sara's mash-up on the top of this page, and my original version below.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer


November 26 2009

16:20

Native American Indian Music

Native American Music. The music of the Native American Indians consists mostly of songs and dances. They have songs for games, children, love, work and social dancing. But most of their music is associated with some kind of religious activity.

RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES
Before 1900 the Plains Indians performed the ghost dance. It was supposed to drive away the hated white men and help the Native Americans get back their land and buffalo. It consisted mainly of singing and dancing. Although the Native Americans do not do the ghost dance anymore, they still sing the songs.

read more

July 06 2008

12:18
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11:51
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Promo - Piccola Bottega Baltazar
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