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Music Think Tank Open

Anybody (no really anybody) can contribute anything relevant to this page…All mp3s should be posted on the MTT radio page. If you cannot find your post here, your article may have been moved to the MTT homepage.

If you would like Music Think Tank to publish your contribution, please read our posting guidelines and our posting advice.

Tuesday
Aug312010

How NOT to Social Network

Myspace, as a medium for social networking, is useless. The signal to noise ratio has plummeted so low that there is essentially no point in trying to reach fans through MySpace. It’s all comment spam, automatic “friending” programs, and bots. Most myspace comment boards look like this:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug312010

15 Awesome iPhone/iPad Apps for Music Lovers

It should be no surprise that your iPhone/iPad is a great device for the music lover in us all, even beyond the iTunes/iPod capabilities that come standard. There are tons of apps available for a variety of music lovers. This is the list of the 15 must-have iPhone/iPad apps for music lovers to discover and listen to music, share the awesome music they love, and enjoy live music:

DISCOVERY

1. Last.FM

When it comes to preference based radio players, the two big names are Last.FM and Pandora. Last.FM uses the preferences of other users in the community who have similar tastes in music to recommend songs to you. You can like and dislike tracks all the while adding to the “preferences” that the app uses to suggest new music to you. One of the key differentiators for Last.FM is the unlimited number of skips. If you don’t like a song, skip it. Other apps limit you to a certain number of skips every hour which can be annoying when exploring new genres and artists.

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Monday
Aug302010

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Conversations about whether musicians should use social networks tend to be completely polarised, and usually take no account of the fact that there are about as many different motivations for writing music as there are people writing it.

In this recent article, we see Universal Music suggesting that they are disinclined to work with acts who aren’t knee-deep in social media tech…

“There may be some indie hipper-than-thou artists who want to let the music speak for itself. They are probably not for us. We believe an artist has a responsibility to communicate with their audience…We embrace the world of technology and the vast improvements in communication”.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug302010

10 LP's vs.10,000 mp3's

On a recent road trip, my wife and I were listening to music from an iPod I have stuffed with thousands of songs and discussing the devaluation of the song in recorded form.

Old School

I was recounting the days when my friend Javier worked at Bart’s CD Cellar and we would take our hard earned 50 bucks and camp out at the Cellar for hours, each come up with 10 albums, race home and spend the next 8 hours listening to our treasures, arguing over who fared better, and reveling in the sounds coming out of the speakers.

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Monday
Aug302010

iDreamTM Studios and The Day Studio Music Rose Again

Since writing “The Happy Decline of the Music Industry” this summer, iDreamTM Studios, Inc, has been pleased to find many other music industry visionaries spreading the good word.

BJ Jansen writes in The New Artist Development Model: Growing your Brand from the Ground Up that there “is a [music industry] road map that begins in extreme complexity and ends in strong monetization like any other successful business.”

Jansen also argues in The Future Record Label Model = Brand Marketing Collective “that the new successful [music industry] models will revolve around collective brand marketing.”

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Wednesday
Aug252010

Copyrights, Publishing, And ASCAP....What's The Difference?

I get asked a lot “I’m with BMI/ASCAP, aren’t they my publisher?” The simple answer to this is no. As Artist/songwriters, you need to know and have a basic understanding of copyrights, PRO’s (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC), and publishing companies…..That is if you ever want to get paid for your work!

    Let me explain. You write your hit song. You’re ready to press up some CD’s and get down to the local radio station so the world can hear your voice. Your time is NOW!!!!!! But WAIT!!!!!!!! There are a few things you need to do first….like protect your work. Under copyright laws, the second you write down your lyrics or record your song so others can hear it, you are protected under copyrights. End of story. BUT…..how do you prove that you did it first? That’s where the Library of Congress comes in. They keep track of who wrote what song, and when. However, in order for them to do this, they need to know when you have a new song. This is when you fill out the copyright form PA and/or SR. Once this is done, you are safe to play your music for the world.

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Monday
Aug232010

The Credit System: A Possible Relief to the Corruption which has scarred the Industry

What happened to the entertainment industry?  Well, simply put, it was piracy, but before that little Napster man reared his ugly head in, was the industry actually fair to its musicians and consumers?

The big four ran a cartel on the industry, preventing competition, charging far too much for albums, and ripping off their hard working musician clientele. Hypebot researched the traditional record deal to see which involved parties benefit. Of total revenue, 63% went to the record label, 24% to the distributors, while only the remaining 13% was awarded to the hard working artists.  The 13% awarded to musicians must then be allocated to their respective managers, agents, attorneys, etc.

Signing a deal with a record company was once a status symbol.  Musicians, signed with one of the big four record labels, could be sure to at least have their music heard.  Now these labels are, in desperation, trying to reformat the traditional record deal into what is now known as the 360 Deal.  It seems foolish to allow these companies to force musicians into unfair contracts; contracts compromised by unchecked industry power and control.

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Friday
Aug202010

Unsigned Acts and Drawing Fans - Part 2

The 2nd main reason it’s hard to draw new fans revolves around the word “Perception”. Perception includes, in part, the Artist’s perception or view of their “job”, and how it affects the potential fans perception of the “Unsigned Artists Scene”.

Now, let me say here, the problem of perception and the answers to this problem do not lie totally on the Artist’s shoulders, but also fall on the Artists’ Managers, Venues, Promoters and Fans, which I will also cover later and throughout…

It should be made clear here, that Artists should still care about attracting both the over 21 crowd as well as the younger potential fans. For everyone, even those over 21, there is still the need to discover something new and different, something “to do” that people will know will at least be a lot of fun; an escape. 

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Friday
Aug202010

4 Social Media Resources You May Not Know

We all spend so much time on the same sites that we sometimes never venture out to sites that are not on our day-to-day list, and we miss some really good nuggets of new information. I try to to make it my duty to check out some of the tech sites to see what’s new out there. This week I put together a small list of some awesome social media resources that may be new to you, that can help with streamlining your social media efforts

  1. Facebook Username

Facebook Username allows you to now create a Vanity URL for your Facebook Fan Page that you can use instead of the long words/numbers URL that Facbook automatically churns out.

Just login to your Facebook account and click this URL http://www.facebook.com/username/ and it will take you to the page where you can create your facbook.com/(yourbandname)

Just makes it much easier to send a smaller URL to someone than a bulky longer one

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug172010

Grooveshark’s privacy policy has a “soul” clause

While reading through Grooveshark’s privacy policy the other day, 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.

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug162010

Why All Musicians Should Have A .com Website

I’m sure by now you know how useful having an online presence is. Having a website can mean fans have a place to listen to your music and interact with each other. It’ll also give potential fans to hear what you’ve got to offer and buy your music.

One thing that’s surprised me though, is the amount of musicians that don’t have their own .com website. By a .com website, I mean a website where people will type in www.YourMusicianName.com and come across your page. But why is it important to have your own website? What’s wrong with having a Facebook fan page or a Twitter account?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug162010

The Music Industry: Wagons, DeLoreans and Love

History: Current business model for the music industry is a dinosaur; Challenges: Changes, advances and increasing options have left artists with no straightforward solution, there is no guiding hand; Situation: Systems and tools currently offered are not particularly innovative, useful, or fun to use; Solution: Aligning industry stakeholders, automating that which can be automated, eliminating waste, and creating a connection movement that strengthens bonds- particularly those between artists and fans

History Until the 1950s, the major deliverable of the music industry was sheet music.  The introduction of the record significantly changed this dynamic, as music could be consumed in an entirely new way.  Record labels became dominant players in the music business. The LP further strengthened their position, and recorded music became the most consumed product in the industry.  The growing popularity of CDs and digital music in the late 20th and early 21st centuries enabled recorded music to become even more portable, and vast libraries of music became accessible regardless of physical location. However, these improvements in the experiences for the consumer brought obsolescence to old models; ironically, the growing popularity of digital music killed sales of digital music.
 

Despite this reality, the traditional producer-consumer dynamic has remained largely unchanged since records were first introduced to the market. The biggest entities in the modern music industry (mid 20th-early 21st century) continue to rely upon the sale of compositions, recordings, and performances of music as their primary sources of revenue.  Physical and digital recording sales remain the primary component of income.  Recent gains in digital recording sales and other unique, primarily artist driven initiatives have been promising.  However, this boost has not been sufficient enough to make up for the nearly fifty-percent drop in income from physical sales since 2000.

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Wednesday
Aug112010

What digital distribution means for (especially) female artists

As a fan, I’ve been excited for the rise of digital distribution and for the direct interaction of artists and listeners because it means I’m more likely to hear great music that I like. It means that I get to decide what I want to listen to, rather than having a slew of A&R folks and radio programmers make the decisions for me.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about how record labels are not only gatekeepers for the music itself, but also for the visual image of artists.

I get it. Artists are performers, and looks matter.

But it’s pretty clear when you look at Top 40 artists that the standards for successful female artists and successful male artists are not the same. Music industry executives are predominantly male, and their professional tastes are, frankly, boring. So female artists have to be conventionally attractive, but male artists can look like Nickelback—middling-attractive guys (whose videos are then stuffed full of women in bikinis).

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Tuesday
Aug032010

Fighting Piracy Without Alienating Your Fans

Okay, so I know people’s view on combating or embracing album leaks goes all over the place.  But I thought I’d share with you the letters I’ve been sending with a good deal of success when it comes to download links.  Of course I find out where the download links are through Google Alerts.  I think the parts you’d need to change are obvious.

Here’s the letter I send to the site/blog where I find the link:

______

Subject: Thanks from Silber & Aarktica
______

Hello,

Click to read more ...