Put a Ring on her Finger- The Social Web & Music Marketing are Married  
March 10, 2010
Guenter Bergmann in Artist Development, Digital Music Marketing, Future Of Music, Music Industry, Music Industry, Technology, Web 2.0, independent music marketing, music, music business, music marketing, social media for musicians

I recently read the Internet being compared to the innovation of the internal combustion engine and correspondingly described as the connection engine.  The comparison additionally claimed- as the original engine forged the industrial revolution, the web gives us the everything revolution.   Coincidence that I ‘heard’ this voice via the micro-blogging phenomena twitter, I think not (thanks @Rishadt).

The world is moving at a faster pace than ever, and technology is the cattle driver of the modern world taking us all to magnificent new lands.  Innovation is changing the way we live our lives on what seems like a daily basis.  The landscape for which/where/how we do business is in constant motion.  The challenge is no longer ‘how do we get there’ its ‘teach me how to drive.’  I am a heavy enthusiast for the marriage between tech and business.  If something can get me to where I need to go faster and better you can bet I’m going to be the first to jump on board. 

Today I can sit at my desk in Austin, TX USA and do business all over the world, in real-time!  While I’m conducting extensive market research for, yes, the technology industry and mapping just where my company is headed in the coming 12 months I can also chat with my business partner in Denver without picking up the phone.  And as I design a web page with my Colorado colleague as if we were sitting in the same room, I can answer a call from an associate on an entirely different project and discuss where our marketing campaign will take us today.  As my Californian counterpart and I synchronously edit the pending press release for the public launch of an amazing new technology I can talk with my brother at the University and simultaneously spearhead market penetration to the student body.

Simply, technology is awesome.  I am truly amazed by the boundaries (or the lack there of) that we operate today.  So as I digested the twitter proclamation above, it struck an unusual chord with me for my normal morning scan of recent posts.  Maybe it was the 2 cups of coffee I had already consumed at 7 am but as this statement resonated in my mind it provided significant clarity to my Wednesday morning fog.  It dawns on me that not only does this statement carry some heavy implications it is very true.  The Internet can present the opportunity for revolutionary change in every industry and technology is the vehicle that will take us there.  

The reason this message has such an impact on me is due to a technology I was introduced to recently by two of my college roommates.  The platform that their company, Webceleb, released last week (March 3, 2010) is so perfectly described by the twitter message above.  It now made sense in a whole new way.  The technology Webceleb unveiled presents the music industry a revolution if they so choose to embrace it.  Webceleb has realized the Internet as the ‘connection engine’ and has applied revolutionary concepts in providing a technology that has the potential of reshaping the music industry, as we know it.

Webceleb gives us an answer to the highly controversial music piracy debate.  It bridges the gap and finally offers the music world a healthy and viable solution for the acquisition of music.  By financially incentivizing the purchase and download of music a whole new community has been built.  The Webceleb system offers listeners who legally buy music the opportunity to make their money back plus some.  Briefly, how it works is this: fans purchase a song for a dollar and receive a “slice” of that artists future earnings.  The artist gets 50% of all purchases and Webceleb takes a 10% transaction fee.  Here’s the gold nugget- the remaining 40% gets split evenly amongst the fans who have a “slice” of that artists pie.  You are probably asking yourself ‘what?’ right about now but I don’t want to get into detail about the system itself (if you want more info go here www.webceleb.com).  The important part to pull from this methodology is that the fan now makes money from the purchases he/she makes, AND the more popular the artist is the more money they stand to make.

So not only is this a completely new system that presents potentially game changing revenue streams, I see the pending revolution transpiring from the implications this system has on interpersonal connections and community building.  Similar to other networks the Webceleb technology offers musicians the opportunity to market themselves and connect with fans via the web.  Webceleb is not the innovator of musician-to-fan web interaction, however to my knowledge no other social network offers a music store.  What does this mean to us?  For the first time musicians can connect with the fans that purchased their music.  What I’ve have already witnessed is musicians reaching out the individual who purchased their song(s) and personally thanking them.  The mutual respect/appreciation is exchanged and a relationship is built.  The emotional ties to this type of interaction are generally unfound in the music biz.  Additionally, and most significantly, the fan is now vested in the musicians they have purchased from.  Fans are now motivated to promote their musicians because they stand to benefit [financially] from the popularity of the artist.  What we have here is a marketing force like nothing else in the music industry. 

Business leaders have been searching and struggling to find a way to harness the power of viral media on the web.  What Webceleb has is a system that does just that.  The Webceleb technology leverages web-connections to build communities and by way of financial incentive creates powerful marketing forces.  The network of connections drives transactions and since everyone gains the economy thrives - how’s that for a stimulus plan.  All I can say is: WOW, this is truly a marketers dream and definitely a revolution in a number of ways.  In closing I would like to say that thanks to technology business is getting easier and more exciting.  I look forward to the future and I highly suggest checking out Webceleb.com if you like music or are involved in the music industry in any way.


…About Webceleb (Taken from various copy on their site)
Webceleb is a next generation social music store where everyone can get paid to download music. People are free to make their own decisions as to whether to pirate or purchase music, that’s their choice. But by allowing fans and musicians to make money together, we believe we can create a positive global impact through a community that embraces legal downloading. Our mantra is to help musicians earn a living and make music discovery more social, while never undervaluing the role of the fan. Go to http://www.webceleb.com to find out how legal downloading pays.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/).
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