Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Myspace.com Artists Concerned About New Mystore Service

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Colin Hayes asked:


Myspace (http://www.myspace.com) is currently developing a digital download store that will be known as MyStore(http://www.snocap.com/join/store/). The company is partnering with web-based music distributor Snocap to create a feature that will let bands sell their music through their Myspace site. Users will be able to buy, download and play MP3s on any device like iPods and the Zune.

Despite tremendous sales potential, some bands find the new technology troubling. Myspace artists are concerned about the unknown profit margin that will be charged and the artistic issues involved in distributing one song at a time.

“Myspace has become a massive online network and viral marketing tool,” says Dan-O, singer/songwriter in the rapidly up-and-coming Myspace band Phoenix Tree from New York City (http://www.myspace.com/phoenixtree, http://www.pheonixtreetheband.com). “The ability to sell tracks on our site will be an incredible new feature.”

iTunes charges 99 cents for each song but Myspace will allow the band to set the cost. Artists using Myspace currently can put up to four songs on their site that users can listen to for free. Some bands allow fans to download some sample tracks as MP3s. While some bands have decided not to offer this option, Phoenix Tree offers all of their recordings as free to download, hoping to find new fans and sell CDs. Given the new option to charge for each download, some bands are struggling with the choice between gaining more fans and earning income from their music.

“If you give out a million songs for free you can have a million fans, or you can sell 2,000 songs for 50 cents and just have 2,000 fans,” says Matt Thornton of the band Motorhome (http://www.myspace.com/motorhome). While the money brought in from each song would be helpful, Thornton says, “The charge could deter fans, everyone should be able to hear it”.

But Jake Espy from the band Roe (http://www.myspace.com/roerock) thinks that MyStore will help musicians. “Any local artist would think an opportunity to put their music out there and sell it is a good thing,” he says. While Roe already sells music through iTunes and CD Baby, Espy says that, “Any new avenue will benefit both the fans and the band. “

Another area of concern is the issue of distributing single MP3s versus full-length CDs. Many online artists complain that selling tracks individually takes away the feel of their album. “Selling just one song is just selling one idea,” Thornton from Motorhome says. “I don’t personally think it’s enough. You have to make people think about the whole thing and get them involved in it.” He says Pink Floyd’s The Wall in one instance of a concept-album that would not be possible under the MyStore business model.

Bands are also worried that owning actually CDs will become obsolete. Jason Larson of The Piggies (http://www.myspace.com/thepiggies) thinks that MP3 sales through Myspace will take away from the purchase of hardcopy CDs. “Music itself is art, but there’s a lot more to it with lyrics and cool artwork (inside the album cover),” he says. “And you get a much better sounding copy of the songs” Larson also adds.

But even amidst the apprehension, most Myspace artists remain optimistic. “Not everyone is into music the same way as musicians are,” Larson says. He says the music community will keep the traditions of hardcopy CDs alive, while other general listeners will have more accessibility to the songs they want to buy. “You need something for everybody,” he says.

Creative and promotional considerations notwithstanding, the business arrangements posed by MyStore are still alarming to musicians. Myspace hasn’t let the public know how they will arrange the profit structure. Even though Snocap’s chief executive Rusty Rueff told Associated Press that they are trying to keep costs “as low as they can,” bands are hesitant.

Dan-O of Phoenix Tree says the profit margin will be the key issue factor in the band’s choice to offer their songs for sale. “iTunes is very professional and above board in that respect, and Myspace will need to be as forthright” he says. The band gets about 70 cents for purchased downloads costing 99 cents for iTunes customers notes Dan-O.

Although there are many worries among Myspace artists, it seems that most will add music to the new service. “We made an album, spent a lot of money and don’t expect to get it back,” Larson of The Piggies says. “But if we can get money to drive to the next show, then that’s what selling our songs is for.”

Source: http://www.fortcollinsweekly.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=393&Itemid=42

Local bands wary of new Myspace feature, Sarah Bultema, Fort Collins Weekly, undated



Behind Kerchoonz - the Interview Part 2

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Eric de Fontenay asked:


An interview with Kerchoonz co-founder and Scotland-based, singer-songwriter Indiana Gregg (part 2 of 2)

In part 2 of MusicDish e-Journal’s interview with Indiana Gregg, we learn more about Kerchoonz, the site’s multiple features and it’s Choonz origins.

[Eric de Fontenay] The site is jam-packed with features and interactive areas. What other ways will you be attracting fans to the site?

[Indiana Gregg] There is a big online gaming area, video, live chat, TV, radio, news dig, and a lot of other stuff to have fun and be creative with. There will be a music discovery and recommendation engine to help fans find new music as well as a chart system for the various genres.

Hopefully, a lot of people will benefit from the free & legal model. Our focus is on helping artists get compensated for their work. But, we’ve made it fun for fans too. In fact, you don’t even need to be a fan to find your “niche” at Kerchoonz. And fans are actually financially supporting their favorite artists without it costing them a dime.

Artists can track downloads and streams of their music. They will know what region or even city their fans are coming from. So, it can help to better target their audiences and plan their gigs. We’re hoping that artists and labels potentially earn more through Kerchoonz than they may have done with traditional CD sales in recent years.

[de Fontenay] Word-of-mouth marketing is today’s holy grail. What tools does the site provide to empower fans to support their favorite artists?

[Gregg] One way is through the use of “KWIDGET,” interactive widgets that help spread the word. The “referral KWIDGET” promotes the site by allowing users to paste a banner on forums, other sites and in emails. For every band or pro member that joins the site through one of these referral kwidgets, the user who pasted it receives $5.

Users can help support their favourite musicians too. If a user from our site pastes an artist’s music elsewhere on the internet by embedding one of our music players, the artist still gets paid for their streams when other user’s click and listen or download a song through a kwidget. If they login and register for a band or pro account, the user who pasted the kwidget again gets $5. So, even the public can earn real money by referring bands and creative people to Kerchoonz. It’s spreading the word with a fun and financially interesting motivation.

[de Fontenay] What role will the Industry Pros play on the site?

[Gregg] As we are going to be adding two additional “User Types” - Label & DJ - Industry Pro type users will be expected to be Publishers, Management Co’s, Music & Media law firms, Engineers, Producers, Video Production Co’s, Hire Co’s, Accountants, Design Co’s, etc.

[de Fontenay] Do you handle differently artists with a large discography or labels with a catalogue?

[Gregg] Yes, labels will be allowed to upload more media and create more Sub-Profiles than a regular ‘Artist/band’ profile. Also, there are Gold and Platinum upgrade packages available to all users types offering more facilities relevant to each user type.

[de Fontenay] What role does video play in Kerchoonz? Will video creators also be compensated for the use of their works?

[Gregg] Yes, if it is a music video and the video ISRC is entered into the Video ISRC field, the play counts and revenue will be reported back to the Video Performance Limited (VPL) body in the UK or local equivalent.

As the site develops, it is our intent to include licences with non-music genre broadcasters for their content.

[de Fontenay] How will Kerchoonz attract artists who currently sell on retailers such as Amazon or iTunes? More importantly, how will it attract fans that love music but are primarily using file sharing to acquire music?

[Gregg] We aren’t competing with Amazon or iTunes. So, if an artist doesn’t want to give the music away as a free download, they can simply turn that function off. They can direct their fans to any online store they choose. However, they will still get paid if someone listens to their music through Kerchoonz. The streams are encrypted, so they can upload the full song without worrying about someone simply “stealing” it. If they change their mind or just want to give away a few tracks, they can do that too. Kerchoonz is flexible this way. We want to give artists, musicians, labels, bands and filmmakers interactive tools and let them choose how they want to use them.

People who use file sharing to acquire music may want to listen to the music before they download it. So, by listening to the music on Kerchoonz, they will have helped benefit the band/artists before they decide whether they want to download it or not. We hope that if they like the music, they might go ahead and support the band by downloading it either through Kerchoonz or going ahead and buying it elsewhere. If they don’t like it, well, they might not want to download it anyway. But, at least they have a safe and legal way of accessing it that helps the artists and the people who were involved in creating it. This helps give bands and artists and even labels the finances that they need to continue creating. And that’s what Kerchoonz is all about.

[de Fontenay] Since you mention “what Kerchoonz is all about,” where does the name come from?

[Gregg] Well, the name of the site came from the Choonz. Choonz are little purple people from a far off land who frequent the earth and bring us ‘ideas’. The Choonz wanted to help us find a solution to the recent crises that the music and film industries have been facing on the blue planet. On their visit, the Choonz told us that they know music makers and filmmakers have been getting ripped-off and that we must do something about it for the sake of future creativity. To avoid wars and crusades, they were able to find a peaceful solution several thousand years ago on their own planet, Kerchoonz.

Choonz believe music should be free and accessible to everyone, and so they showed us the light and helped us create a way where music can be free to the public while enabling musicians and creative people to earn a living from their streams and downloads. We wanted to help out, so, out of respect for their wisdom, we named our social networking site after them: “Kerchoonz.” At Kerchoonz, we think that the future of music won’t work if musicians aren’t compensated for their work. So, that’s us, the purple website called Kerchoonz.

Go Choonz!

http://www.kerchoonz.com



The Future of Music: Music Games

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Josh Grossman asked:


Music labels continue to search for new ways to make money in the face of declining cd sales. Digital track sales, such as those from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, were up 27 percent from 2007, breaking the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2008. But, according to Nielsen Soundscan, only 428 million albums (including LPs, CDs, and online albums) were sold - down 14 percent from 2007. As recently as 2005, 619 million albums were sold.  Meanwhile, there are more choices than ever to hear free music online, including MySpace Music, Imeem, Last.fm, and Pandora. It seems clear that music on demand is heading towards the day of free streaming whenever and where-ever people want to listen, and labels and artists will need to find ways to create music experiences for their fans that they are willing to spend money on.

What people have always been willing to pay for is a unique experience where they can engage with an artist’s music in ways that cannot be copied for free. For example, fans love to see live music because they cannot replicate that experience at home. Ringtones have been popular for over a decade. People are still willing to pay to join fan clubs because of perks like a closer relationship to the artist.

One of the most promising areas for music revenue growth is combining music with games. There have been over 30 million downloads of songs in Rock Band because fans to want to rock out to their favorite songs in game play. Guitar Hero has had over 40 million downloads and is now a $2B franchise. What is remarkable is that players have shown a willingness to pay for individual songs for use in music games despite them often costing double the price of a normal digital download. In fact, Aerosmith claims to have made more money from licensing its music to Guitar Hero than from any of the group’s previous recorded albums. Even digital holdouts, The Beatles, will be releasing a Rock Band version of their own. More music games will be coming soon, including Band Hero (for family gaming) and DJ Hero which offers turntable and record scratching games in a battle for victory in a virtual nightclub.

Other popular music games include Dance Dance Revolution, Jam Legend, and Tap Tap Revolution which is one of the best selling iPhone applications. SingStar is a competitive karaoke video game series which requires players to sing along with music in order to score points. Loudcrowd offers a constant stream of music set to a connected series of music-themed games. Through game play and interaction with others, users can earn or purchase a variety of virtual goods including apparel for their character and music tracks that can be collected for play and competition within the site. Best selling artists Fall Out Boy created an artist themed game on FriendsorEnemies.com. Even lo-fi games like lottery tickets are jumping on the music bandwagon. For Aerosmith’s summer tour, fans can win backstage passes, front-row seats, and maybe an extra few million dollars playing Aerosmith branded lottery games.

With the rise of popular casual games on sites like Facebook, Addicting Games, and Miniclip, along with the universal appeal of music, it’s a natural fit for the two to come together. Music games give labels a new way to earn revenue that users have shown a willingness to pay for. It seems clear that more will follow.



28 Essential Music Sites To Promote Your Music

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Mark Stone asked:


If you have good music, people will listen and buy your music. But they need to find your music. I’ve done all your homework below and give you the 28 Essential Music Sites To Promote Your Music which will increase your income.

The sites below are broken down into categories to help target your music exposure needs.

Artists Bare Essentials

1. GoDaddy.com - Every band or artist needs their own website URL. There is so much you can do with it (I will cover it in a future post) to compliment your marketing efforts that it is well worth the $8.99 a year. GoDaddy is the best company for URLs with great customer service and cheat prices. I have used this company numerous times.

2. BandZoogle.com - This is a website that have band/artist templates for your music. You do not have to know how to build websites. They have it all for you. You can even sell your own music on the site among other services.

3. Bravenet.com - This company offers many free services and premium services that can help you build your marketing efforts. Most importantly, they have many interactive tools you can add to your own site or add to your social networks. It has a FREE email list tool to start collecting your fans emails. This tool is invaluable and I will post about the importance of email lists in the future. I have used this company numerous times.

4. FanBridge.com - This is an artist-specific company that helps build your fan base with email list tools. There is a free service and premium service. Use the coupon code MARKSTONE for a free upgrade.

Getting Your Music On iTunes & Other Sites

1. Tunecore.com - This is the premiere site to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and other valuable sites. Tunecore has just merged services with Amazon and will now print your CDs and open up merch stores for your music. This service will start on July 1st. But for now, get your music on iTunes. Over 70% of people use iTunes for their digital downloads than other sites. I personally know unsigned bands that make over $5,000 a month off iTunes alone. There is an annual fee for each album you download. But you get to keep 100% of your royalties while other sites take a percentage. You can also get 30% OFF your fee’s by using the code beheard30.

Social Networks

1. MySpace.com - This has been the mecca for all bands and artists. MySpace even has its own label called MySpace Records. They sign artists in all genres and they usually sign bands that create a big buzz on their site. Registration is free.

2. Purevolume.com - This site has better streaming features than MySpace (MS streams have ads and randomly don’t work). This site is free to register and includes all genres but mostly caters to rock bands. They actively scout good music on their site to feature on their front page. This site gets over 10,000 visitors a day. There are social networking features available as well.

3. Twitter.com - This is the latest social networking phenomenon. Fans can see what the band and each individual member are doing throughout the day. Direct fan-to-band interaction takes place which is HUGE in building a core fan base. This is free to register and is a must in any musicians marketing plan. I will post about Twitter and your music marketing plan soon.

4. iLike.com - This site helps announce any new songs, new shows, new blogs or new pictures that you post up. Anyone who has iTunes (which is about 70% of the music population) get automatic updates on their iTunes player if they have your music in their iTunes. iLike has a sidebar that you can download attaches to your iTunes. Once you register for iLike, tell your fans about the sidebar so they can stay up-to-date on your bands every move.

5. Lastfm.com - This is another site that intergrates with your iTunes player. When you open a free account and download the Last.fm Scrobbler, everything you play gets registered by Last.fm. They use all that data from everyone’s iTune players to give you top played lists and stats on your songs. This is a good tool to see what songs are most popular on your albums. You might think you know what song is your most popular but Last.fm will tell you what your fans listen to the most.

6. Facebook.com - This is largest social network site in the world (2nd in the U.S. behind MySpace). It is starting to improve its music applications so this is definitely a site that you need to register for.

Artist Press Kits

1. SonicBids.com - This site offers EPKs (electronic press kits) for artists but also helps “book and license your music,” according to their site. I have never used their services but I know it is very reputable in the music industry.

2. PowerPressKits.com - Again, I have never used this company but they offer free press kit building. They even have different templates for you to use.

Websites For Your Music Reviews

1. AbsolutePunk.net - This website caters to anything in the rock genre and will cover hip-hop/rap. The crowd here can be tough on artists but getting any exposure on this site helps. The staff is rather huge so it is easy to get one or more of them to respond to your emails. If you have the stomach, get your music reviewed on this site. Music industry people are on this site multiple times a day.

2. Pitchfork.com - This site is the mecca for indie/singer/songwriter music. The owner was even listed as one of the Top 200 most influential people by Time Magazine. Again, this crowd can be tough.

3. PunkNews.com - This site caters to the true punk crowd and, again, can be a tough crowd. If you’re a punk band and what street cred, get posted/reviewed on this site.

4. Stereogum.com - This site caters to the singer/songwriter/indie band crowd.

5. BrooklynVegan.com - This site caters to the NYC music fan. Covers more than music and even has a Sirius satellite radio show.

6. TheDailyChorus.com - A smaller blog that has a lot of music industry attention. This blog covers music mostly in the rock genre from hardcore, emo, indie, punk and “scene” music.

7. GlobalGrind.com - This caters to the hip-hop culture and is more of a social network for hip-hop artists and fans. There are unsigned hip-hop features.

Sell Your Merchandise Online

1. BigCartel.com - This is a very popular e-commerce site that will sell your music merchandise (T-shirts, etc.) on their site and handle all the payments for you. You simply collect the orders and ship them out. This gives you full control of the shipping process. You can create a store or use one of their templates.

2. DistrictLines.com - This site not only makes custom stores for some artists but they print your merchandise as well. They cater to bands in the rock genre but also have pop-culture icons as clients.

Companies That Make Your Merch (CDs, Tshirts, etc.)

1. Discmakers.com - This company is one of the kings in the CD duplication business. Their rates are very competitive and they also do a lot more than just CDs. You can get your Tshirts, stickers, buttons and a host of other things printed.

2. DistrictLines.com - They will not only make custom merch stores for you but they will also handle your printing needs.

Other Merchandise Companies

1. LoudBytes.com - This site allows you to purchase download cards, stickers or buttons with a code on each. This code can be redeemed on their site for your music. You can sell these items at shows without ordering physical CDs. You sell the cards to your fans and they will download your music off LoudBytes. They even have hangtags for your Tshirts. If you have physical CDs and want to sell a couple of B-sides, this is the most economical way to sell a song or two.

2. Dropcards.com - This is also a download card website that embeds a code into each card.

Music Discovery Blogs

1. Kings Of A&R.com - This site is heavily scouted by music industry people. This site covers all genres of music and if you feel like your music is good enough to be featured on the site, email Dean, the owner of the site.

2. TheDailyChorus.com - Another music discovery site that is scouted by the music industry. This site mainly covers music in the rock genre. The staff of this site is a lot bigger than KOAR so it’s easier to get the staffs attention.

I will explore many of these sites in greater detail to show you how you can improve your music marketing plan to obtain new fans which will increase your revenue.

Did I miss any valuable sites? Leave a comment and let me know or email me at:  markstone424@gmail.com!



Mick Jagger Made My Day

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Claudia Jonze asked:


www.marmeladesquest.com

This is the news from Times today:

"Sir Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones are preparing to follow Sir Paul McCartney and Radiohead and abandon EMI, the crisis-stricken British record label.

The likely defection of the world’s most commercially savvy rock band is a further blow to the credibility of EMI’s new owner, the venture capitalist Guy Hands, who is striving to cut costs amid an artists’ revolt. Sir Mick met Mr Hands during the negotiations over a renewal of the band’s existing EMI contract, but the financier whose best man was William Hague, did not make enough of an impression to persuade him to commit to a new deal."

The music industry, as we know it, is changing right under our noses. How many people buy CDs? Well, a lot more than three years ago, and to blame is, of course, the digital music outlets, like iTunes and Napster and of course, the illicit file sharing. Now, I love to buy a CD, to go to the store, take a look at all the offers, check the cover and the playlist on the back and ultimately take it home, tear the cellophane wrap and put in in the CD player. But when was the last time I did it?; that’s right, almost one year ago. Because when you have iTunes installed on your computer, and you have all the music in the world so accessible and eager for you to download it, that you just want to skip the foreplay and go for it right here and right now. Also, who carries CDs with them any longer? Because once you buy it and you add it to your music library for your mp3 player, the CD it’s just a nice piece of decoration on your dusted CD rack.

Now, what’s that got to do with Mick Jagger, you may ask? Well, a CD is inevitably the product of a record company deal. They sign you up, help you produce the album, promote it for you, sell it for you and ultimately pay you the royalties. Does Rolling Stones need all of these? Nada. They can do it easily all buy themselves and sell the music digitally, like the savvy people from Radiohead did it before them. So, basically, companies like EMI lost their negotiation power with their artists, because they have nothing much to offer them. So they need to change their optics, and you what, I’m glad, because so much shitty music I have listened, whether I wanted it or not, just because the people from EMI and the likes pushed it and pushed it on the commercial radios to promote their "stars". Well, apparently they can’t do that any longer now, in the peak of the digital era, people can’t be so easily manipulated. Because you have so many sources to procure your music. The music that you truly like.

So this poor Guy, hehe, landed in the music business in the worst possible moment. Until six month before, when he bought the company, he owned a successful financial company. But I guess he got tired of it, and he wanted to be cool, to hang out with cool people, like Thom Yorke, Macca and Mick Jagger, but they just didn’t accept him. Bummer.

I’ve seen Rolling Stones live, and trust me, they don’t need anyone to start them up.



How Can Indie & Unsiged Bands Find Airplay?

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
Ian Dougherty asked:


Promotion and marketing can do a lot for bands but let’s be honest, don’t make it your first concern. Spend time honing your craft, write good songs and lyrics, and build up a local fan base first before you start becoming concerned about reaching out to new people.

There is an argument that if you are good enough, word of mouth will spread and people will flock to you anyway. That is not how it always works in the real world, but if you promote yourself heavily when your music doesn’t deserve it, you will eventually get found out. So the first rule should always be: be as good as you can be.

After this, you can really start to consider how to promote yourself and spread the word about your band. Securing radio airplay sounds like the great option, but how possible is it to do?

Radio airplay for Indie & Unsigned Bands

If you are a new or small act with no budget or following, you are not going to get on commercial radio. If your song is amazing and instant classic you may but if this was the case, you’d also likely have record companies pounding down your door as well. Commercial channels need to sell advertisements and they draw people in by playing songs that a large number of people know and like, it’s a business and they are only doing their job, even if it is not great for you.

However, the advance in digital technology and the internet has improved matters and there are areas you can make work for you.

The Indie 500 and related options

If you have not heard of this option, the Indie 500 is a collective that will allow you to load up three of your tracks and they will make them available to 500 college, internet and public broadcast radio stations for free. It’s no guarantee of success but if you believe in your songs, it can be a good opportunity to gain exposure for your band. The site has a forum and community links so you can further promote your music and chat to others in a similar situation.

MadeLoud Indie Music Community

MadeLoud is another indie music community dedicated to helping bands reach more fans by allowing unsigned artists to sell direct on their site verses taking more time to get approved on sites such as CDBaby or iTunes. MadeLoud allows bands to keep 80% on music and merchandise. Currently there is no charge for signing up and artists can upload an unlimited amount of songs. Similar to Indie 500 there are also message boards, blogs, music reviews, videos, and personal profile pages.

CDBaby & iTunes

While it does take more time and effort, promoting your music in all music communites possible is the way to go. In order to get approved by CDBaby you have to submit and wait a couple of months.

Moving forward by taking advantage of situations provided by communities like these are a great tool for up and coming bands to increase awareness about themselves without costing any money. Just think you have the potential to reach all of these groups and people without buying blank CDs or mailing them around the country.

Many of these sites will offer features like having an artists page where you can write a bio about yourself and offer more contact details or perhaps list upcoming gigs. A lot of focus is given to social networking sites, but using sites which allow you access to radio stations can bring in further benefits and project your music to a more captive audience.

The beauty of it is lies in the fact that it does not take too long to set up which means you should be able to undertake many other promotional campaigns at the same time. A new act should not place all their hope on particular channel and having a spread of campaigns will increase your chances of reaching new fans.



Coldplay Mp3 Music

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Lissette Robaina asked:


Who in today’s world is not familiar with the Superstar band “Coldplay”. Coldplay is and alternative rock band formed in London England. This band is comprised of vocalist and front man Chris Martin, lead guitarist Johnny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion. Coldplay has sold over 35 million albums and are known for their hit singles such as the Grammy- award winning “Clocks”, “Yellow”, “The Scientists”, “Speed of Sound”, and “Viva La Vida”.

 The band’s fourth studio album was released in June 2008, “Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends” Coldplay has been listening to the needs of their fans and aware of revenue pressures. Coldplay is a very people conscious band. They know that due to inflation, some of their own 16 year-old base fans will not be able to afford their CD.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin has rejected commercial selling tactics for his latest album. They have saturated the internet with free downloads of their latest single “Violet Hill” at Coldplay.com, and their entire album at Iheartmusic.com. Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends” album has racked up the biggest and most successful pre-release in iTunes history and is outselling the top 40 bands combined. The title track to Coldplay’s new album had set a new record for the most downloaded album ever. The band is busy already working on their future album which will be ready to be released in 2009, just one year after their last chart-topping mega album “Viva La Vida”



Music Distribution Companies For the Independent Music Artist

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
Marius van Dyk asked:


Online music distribution has come a long way since the early days of the web. In this article I briefly introduce you to music distribution companies and the services they offer you as an independent music artist.

Digital music distribution over the web now makes it possible to get your music into the main online music retailers and marketplaces such as…

iTunes Rhapsody Napster MusicNet eMusic Sony Connect GroupieTunes / imvu / SonicTap Amazon MP3 Lala.com ShockHound Amie Street LimeWire Store

Now, you don’t want to try and submit to each of these stores individually and for this reason I suggest you make use of the services offered by web music distribution companies.

These services will get your music into the main online music retailers marketplaces for a fee and/or a commission. This saves you a lot of hassle and time because it streamlines the process of digital music distribution for you.

TuneCore, ReverbNation, Nimbit and CD Baby are a few examples of web music distribution companies you can choose between. These companies all offer music distribution for independent artists with slight differences in how they charge and operate.

I recommend Tunecore to the independent artists I work with as I’ve found it to be a reliable service at a good price, and it has a great team of people behind it. It has never been easier to get your music distributed at a low cost than right now so when you are ready I suggest you take a look at the services I mentioned in this article.

Remember however that having music on iTunes doesn’t mean you’ll sell music on iTunes, in other words…

…just because you can make your music available doesn’t mean people will find it and buy. You have to direct people to your music and ask them to buy through your promotion efforts on your web site and social network profiles such as MySpace, Twitter and Facebook.

Be sure to check out the links to further articles in my bio below should you want to find out more about how to get your music distributed through the main online music retailers such as iTunes and Amazon MP3.



Boost Your Music Sales in 6-8 Weeks

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
Josh Reed asked:


I’m sure most of you have heard of iTunes. If you have not, iTunes is a free application for Mac and PC. It plays all of your digital music and video. It syncs directly with your iPod, iPhone and Apple TV. Most importantly it is the most popular online store for purchasing music. All artists should be taking advantage of iTunes. I have sold digital downloads on iTune without even trying. There are several other company similar to iTunes that have established themselves as a trusted digital distributor. They are Amazon, Rhapsody, and eMusic, just to name a few.

You can not sign up with iTunes directly. You must go thru a middle man to get your music posted. The best web site to use for this is Reverbnation. The cost is $34.99 and you get 100% of the royalties! This rate is better than Tunecore or CDbaby. Once you have signed up and submit your music, it takes 6-8 weeks to get your music posted for distribution. Your music will also we be submitted to Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster, and eMusic. I experience the best results with iTunes and Rhapsody.

Before you start selling your music, you should always plan and setup your infrastructure before you begin marketing. Setting up a proper distribution channel is very important. People will not fork over a credit number if they do not feel that the process is safe. The best way to ellivate this problem is use trusted digital distributors with a recognized brand.



Behind Kerchoonz, the Story of an Indie Artist

Friday, July 17th, 2009
Eric de Fontenay asked:


An interview with Kerchoonz co-founder and Scotland-based, singer-songwriter Indiana Gregg (part 1 of 2)

Imagine working for years developing your music career. You’ve released several albums, signed with an indie label, inked licensing deals, and received love from the press and radio, all while you’ve toured the country. An indie artist’s dream! That is until you find out that your latest release has been illegally downloaded over 250,000 times off of major pirate sites like The Pirate Bay.

This is the nightmare Glasgow, Scotland-based, singer-songwriter Indiana Gregg faced about 18 months ago when she released her album “Woman at Work.” The level of piracy was actually threatening the financial viability of her independent label Gr8Pop. So Gregg decided to take matters in her own hands and fight back. She contacted the UK-based Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI), as well as contacting the various websites linking to the illegal copies of her album. While nearly all the sites complied with the link removal request, file-sharing website The Pirate Bay responded with a “cyber-bullying” campaign, publicly releasing Indiana’s email that resulted in a malicious deluge from the site’s supporters.

Instead of getting mad, Indiana - with her manager and husband Ian Morrow - decided to get even on behalf of all artists. To accomplish this, she has set out to create a site that would pay artists for every stream of their music; and even pay when the artist would want to offer their music for free download. Slated for beta launch later this month, Kerchoonz.com has already attracted the attention of media outlets like the BBC and Digital Media Wire, as well pirate forums such as TorrentFreak and suprbay.org.

MusicDish e-Journal sat down with Indiana to find out more about Kerchoonz and how it might just tilt the music industry balance in favor of musicians.

[Eric de Fontenay] Where did the idea behind Kerchoonz originate?

[Indiana Gregg] I’ve always believed that art and music should be free and accessible to the people who can perhaps not afford it. However, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the people who create music and film. Since the late 90’s, billions of copyrighted files have been downloaded illegally. Free art is a great concept, but musician’s can’t live on “thin air” and it’s hard to make music without some investment. Music, film and art costs money, time and dedication to produce. We believe that if this continues, nobody will want to invest in new creativity, and we can’t let that happen. Brainstorming took place, and Kerchoonz is what we decided to offer as a solution.

I spoke with my partner/producer Ian Morrow, and we started to put this idea into motion. We began developing the site in late 2006 and in April 2008, we founded a new Scottish-based company, Kerchoonz Ltd. We’ve been working on the site around the clock with developers from all over the world (and every time zone!). You might say we’re workaholics, but it’s actually been terribly creative, fun and exciting despite the long hours we’ve put in. So, Kerchoonz is a site where artistic creators can give their music away for free and still get paid!

[de Fontenay] Obviously, piracy was a driving force behind Kerchoonz’ drive to compensate artists. In what other ways has piracy influenced the site?

[Gregg] To be honest, piracy is only a tiny part of what has influenced the development of Kerchoonz. In the early days, even before social sites like MySpace and YouTube came into the mainstream, we were discussing paying artists for streams and how social networks were using music to draw traffic to their sites. Having millions of people visit my own social networking pages, I thought it would be cool if we were able to pay artists for their streams.

You know, there is a fine line between a band getting “free promotion” on the internet and crossing over to that point where sites are really more or less “freely exploiting” a band’s work. Many sites are making millions in advertising each year from delivering the “goods” (music, film, software, games), however, the creative people whose work is being exploited earn absolutely nothing from these sites.

If a label or musician doesn’t want to give their music away as a free download, they can still be paid for their streams and even provide a link to iTunes or wherever their music is available for sale.

The bottom line is we need to protect the future of art and we hope that people will make the choice to support artists simply by listening or downloading for free.

I believe that on-demand streaming of music will be one of the main ways people access music in the future. Kerchoonz is a site where people can access music and create playlists on-demand at any time they want via the Internet or mobile phones.

So, really, I’d have to say that we’ve developed Kerchoonz primarily to cater to this huge shift in how people are choosing to access music. Was it due to piracy or the birth of social networking? Maybe a bit of both. People are changing the way they access music now and, to be honest, that’s been the strongest influence upon the creation of Kerchoonz.

[de Fontenay] Kerchoonz’ website mentions that Kerchoonz does not use DRM or embedded ads in download files. How does Kerchoonz generate the revenue to compensate artists? Do you feel that DRM and embedded ads will still be around in five years?

[Gregg] Advertisers want to reach specific numbers of people within a specific demographic. We want Kerchoonz to be fun and informative, and advertising is a way of finding out about new products and services. It’s also the way we plan to help compensate artists. But, we won’t be using pop-up ads or ads attached to the downloadable files.

Kerchoonz advertising is done in a way that’s more attractive and even entertaining for the user. We use a system where video adverts are played during downloads but they are not “attached” to them. There are no annoying force-fed ads. However, advertisers get their message, products and services across to their target demographic on the site, and that’s what’s important for this kind of ad-funded model.

Whether or not DRM or embedded ads will be necessary five years from now (or if they are even necessary now) depends upon the future of downloading. I have a feeling we are moving towards an era of ‘on-demand’ where people won’t want or need to actually “own” the files. So, it’s hard to say.

[de Fontenay] Do you feel that the industry’s approach to tackling piracy has been effective? What would you want to see proposed that would help you in developing a revenue channel for artists?

[Gregg] The music industry has suffered a tsunami of change over the past decade. It’s becoming more and more difficult for bands to compete by selling music alongside the huge popularity of “free.”

Has the industry been effective in tackling piracy? I don’t know. I think this is a difficult one to assess. I can only say that from my personal experiences, some of the pirate sites have been rather antagonistic in their approach towards musicians. They say that the industry is trying to force their old model on people. However, those same sites are the ones who are trying to force musicians into accepting “nothing” as an option.

As a result, the file-sharers have been targeted by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). I don’t know how effective that has been. However, recently more ISPs are getting involved and perhaps they will help reduce the problem.

http://www.kerchoonz.com

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Next week, in part 2 of MusicDish e-Journal’s interview with Indiana Gregg, we learn more about Kerchoonz, the site’s multiple features and it’s Choonz origins.