The internet-fueled debate about the pros and cons of Spotify went another round last week, with contributions by David Byrne, Dave Allen, Jay Frank, Bob Lefsetz and Fast Company. I read them all, as I’ve done with the previous public debates about whether Spotify is a good or bad thing for musicians. As an indie record label owner and a long-time advocate for musicians through the Future of Music Coalition, I care deeply about these debates and, more importantly, about ensuring musicians and songwriters are fairly compensated for their work.
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It is one of the most important decisions you will make when it’s time to master and record your music. Your producer is responsible for how your final record will sound so you need to be on the same wavelength, and be able to communicate effectively.
It is important to choose a producer who will let you create your own sound, not theirs so it is important to be confident about what you want and be clear that it is very much your music.
In the early days of the Internet, the curatorial role of music blogs was essential to the music-lover. The overwhelming mass of content online proved difficult to sift through, and the voice of music bloggers provided guidance to listeners, drawing attention to talent.
- Corey Crossfield | The Future of Music Marketing: Direct-to-Device
- Lukas Camenzind | How to Score the Next BIG Hit: 5 Marketing Tips From Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”
- Phosphene Productions | Online Brand Marketing & Social Networking Crash Course
With over 7 million copies sold, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” is one of the highest selling singles of the past few years. But WHY was the song such a huge success? And what can you learn from it if you want to score the NEXT big hit? Here are 5 key insights:
In our current society we are constantly glued to our tech devices and continuously downloading massive amounts of data through both our personal computers and mobile devices. In fact, over 488 million people use Facebook over a one month span with numbers growing everyday. With evidence like this it is no wonder that it is so important for artists to “put themselves out there”. Gone are the days of searching the Yellow Pages for a phone number, or buying a map to plot a course for vacation. These tasks and more are easily and efficiently carried out over the internet.
Digital marketing has only been in its current form for the last decade. Despite the application of digital marketing within various industries, the majority of initiatives and campaigns have focused on the idea of direct-to-consumer (or within music as direct-to-fan). The focus lies solely on cutting out the middleman and reaching consumers directly.
The current conventions of digital marketing within the music industry focus on basic direct-to-consumer tenets but these ideas are now beginning to become obsolete. With the rise of hardware-focused technology such as the smartphone, the relationship between an artist and fan is facilitated through their devices.
The new way to reach fans will be direct-to-device.
- Jason Kane | Digital vs. Vinyl: Where It Makes A Difference
- Corey Crossfield | Apps Are The Future Of Music
- Mackenzie Carlin | Legal Landmine: Playing Music At Your Business
Music offers the perfect audio backdrop for any store or business waiting room, either relaxing anxious customers or injecting energy into the lifeless. The right type of music can set the stage for the ideal purchasing attitude. However, music in the business world can be a bit of a legal landmine, with many seemingly innocent companies finding themselves guilty of stealing licensed tracks. Keep the following in mind as you navigate the complicated world of business and music
The vinyl-or-digital debate rages on and audiophiles of all stripes have strong opinions on one side or the other. Saying anything almost feels like a reopening of old wounds. Technically speaking, sound engineers record modern music in digital, so most would say that digital playback sounds exactly like they engineered it. Since the early 1990s at the latest, oversampling of the digital stream has driven the difference between an engineered, digital recording and digital playback far beyond the range of human hearing.
Applications (more affectionately referred to as apps) are the future of the music industry. Notable failures within the last few months, such as Jay-z’s Samsung fiasco, are just a few in a world of apps that are helping to change the music landscape. By taking into account the changing technological landscape, the industry can take note and this time around embrace technology instead of trying to pummel it.
- Jason Giroux | Being A Music Industry Professional
- Shaun Letang | How To Succeed In The Music Industry On Your Terms
- Mackenzie Carlin | 5 Vital Features for Your Band Website
Disclaimer: First of all, let me make this clear. I’m not trying to say that making it in the music industry is easy, or that everyone who reads this will become a chart success. The aim of this guide is to help you define what success means for you personally, and look at what you’re willing to do to reach your goals. I’ll also touch briefly on creating a business plan to achieving your goals and more.
Hopefully the information in this guide will give you a clearer path, and increase the likeliness that you’ll get where you want in the music industry. Again though, nothing is guaranteed, and it’ll essentially be down to your drive, your level of talent, your marketing and business knowledge, the amount if time and effort you put in and the like.
Your band is rocking up a storm in local venues, and you want to make an attempt at going big. Sure, you're on social networks and music-centric sites such as SoundCloud and Bandcamp, but if you're neglecting your actual band website, you're neglecting key marketing opportunities that only a personal site offers. While some bands rely on MySpace, which hosts more than 14 million extensive musician profiles, a personal website gives you far more control over your image, SEO, traffic, and merchandising. Band websites are as unique as the bands they represent, but some elements are tried and true for a reason.
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(Updated Feb 25, 2014)