Archive for May, 2009

What Digital Downloads Can you Sell on a Website?

Sunday, May 31st, 2009
Dan Parks Sydow asked:


Modern website builders make it fast and easy for even a novice computer user to set up an online store. With your own web store you can sell just about anything online. You can sell tangible goods - items you ship to buyers such as collectibles, crafts, stamps and coins. Or you can sell intangible products - electronic files available for downloading such as e-books, videos, digital photos, and music files. Most online stores sell only shippable products. If you would like to stand out from the crowd, try to think of a type of downloadable file to sell online. In this article I will provide you with several examples of downloadable files you might choose to sell. Based on your own areas of interests or expertise, you may be able to think of other download files you can sell.



When it comes to electronic media, “a file is a file.” That means you can sell any type of file including videos (avi, mp4, mpg), music (mp3, wav, aiff), text (doc, txt), pictures and graphics (gif, jpg, bmp), Adobe Acrobat (pdf), programs (exe) and more.

What files should you sell? That depends on your hobbies, interests, or line of work. The following are several ideas of downloadable items you might consider selling from your website.

Authors - Want to be an author? Write a pamphlet, manual, or book on a topic you know well. Save it as a Microsoft Word file (doc) or Adobe Acrobat file (pdf) and sell it online. What to write about? Whatever you know or do best. Write a “How To” manual about cooking, photography, sewing, drawing, painting, woodworking, exercising, dieting, self-help, or computer programming.

Musicians - A local band with no label does not have many options for selling their songs. You cannot sell your songs through iTunes, and producing and distributing a CD on your own is expensive. You can, however, record your songs in a popular music format (such as mp3), then sell the songs from your website. Sell them individually, or bundle several songs together in a zip file to sell for a higher price. You can even include lyrics (as a Microsoft Word file) and/or digital photos of the band (as jpg files) in the bundle.

Photographers - There are stock photography selling sites that let you upload your photos, then pay you 25 cents to one dollar per download sale. Why not upload as few or as many of your photos as you want to your own website and set the price per photo you want?

Trainers - If you know a topic well enough to train others, then you certainly know enough about that subject to write a training manual, tutorial, or educational courseware and save it as a Microsoft Word file (doc) or Adobe Acrobat file (pdf). Supplement your training income by selling these files online.

e-Book Distributors - The Internet offers thousands of e-books written by other people - e-books to which you can freely or cheaply obtain the rights to redistribute. Upload as many as you want, add your profit margin to the price of each, and make money from the work of others.

Resellers - The Internet is a rich resource for royalty free files such as clip art and other images, website templates, and more. Gather it up, bundle it in an archive files (zip) and sell the packages from your website.

Software Developers - If you are a programmer who has developed a program, consider uploading your application to your website, set the price, and start making money from your many hours of programming.

In summary, either give some thought as to what you do best and turn that interest into a file, or search the Internet for existing, royalty-free files, and upload the results to your own website and start making money!



Illegal Music Downloads And The Law

Friday, May 29th, 2009
Samantha Gilmartin asked:


Ever since broadband was set up and made readily available to the general public, illegal music downloads have gone through the roof. Today, approximately 95% of all downloads are illegal and some 6.5m broadband users illegally download music on a daily basis.

Earlier this year, the music industry decided that enough was enough and that this multi million pound purge needed to stop. Discussions with John Hutton (The Business Secretary), Andy Burnham (The Culture Secretary) and major internet service providers (ISPs) resulted in tough new proposals governing the illegal download scene.

At this point, it is perhaps worth outlining the law when it comes to downloading music. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) is the current UK copyright law and gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the right to control the ways in which their material may be used. These rights cover broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public. By downloading music files illegally, you are in breech of the copying part of this law.

ISPs have been pressurised into clamping down on persistent illegal downloaders and in June of this year, Virgin Broadband (one of the largest ISPs in the UK) agreed to take steps towards culling downloads. Virgin expect to send out more than 12,000 letters over the course of the summer to internet users warning them to stop their illegal downloads or face restrictions on their service.

So what does this mean for internet downloaders? Well, Virgin are keen not to punish their users, they would rather ‘educate’ them on the wrongs of downloading illegally. Sounds like a cop out and a good way round enforcing the law, but they might not have much choice on this in a year’s time.

Huttin and Burnham, along with bosses from the music industry want tighter rules surrounding illegal downloads. One of the proposals includes placing a 30 GBP annual charge on people who want to download files. This would give users unlimited access to download files from anywhere on the net, without the worry of facing up to law. 30 GBP may not sound a lot, but as Peter Jenner stated; “If you get enough people paying a small amount of money you can turn around the wheels of the music industry.” The funds from these fees are worth almost 1.2bn GBP and would be channelled back to the industry and distributed proportionally back to the relative rights holders.

Obviously looking for the toughest penalties for repeat offenders, industry bosses are calling for a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy, similar to the scheme currently employed in France. Persistent offenders would be warned and banned if they didn’t stop. Other proposals include preventative filters which stop the possibility of any illegal download activity or, illegal downloaders’ details being given directly to the music industry for punishment.

Sites like Napster brought illegal downloads to the masses and were relatively untouched by officials for many years until they realised just how much impact illegal downloads were having on the music industry. In 2001, the company were forced to shut down after being found guilty of copyright infringement laws.

Today, Napster is a legitimate trading company and sells downloads instead of offering them for free. iTunes are the biggest players in this market and dominate the scene with a 70% share of legal music downloads. It took less than five years to reach 1bn downloads, and keen to show that legal downloads are the way forward, the company rewarded the downloader, Alex Ostrovsky, with a brand new iMac, ten iPods and a 10,000 USD (5,700 GBP) iTunes voucher. Not a bad return on his 99p investment.

In 2006, the download market really came up trumps when Gnarles Berkley had a hit with Crazy. The song hadn’t even been released on CD when it hit the top spot in the UK charts after Zane Lowe championed the song on his New Music Show.

So will pressure from the industry actually have any effect on downloads? ISPs have already cleared themselves of any wrong doing as they are merely ‘conduits’ of information - they don’t personally hold the files.

Illegal downloads will inevitably continue as new methods of file sharing are discovered and employed. At the end of the day, rules are there to be broken and problems are there to be solved. As long as CDs cost as much as they do, downloaders will see no reason to stop what they are doing. If a CD costs less than 1GBP to produce, the question remains: Why are we charged the earth to purchase them?



Watch Music Videos Online That Have Been Created By “You”!

Friday, May 29th, 2009
Brooke Hayles asked:


For anyone living in the civilized world, must have by now seen the newest fad to hit the Internet. Google is among the first to offer this newest tool, and in doing it has come with a huge price tag. This newest fad allows you to watch music videos online and short videos as well.

A music video is basically as the name states. It can be a short or full-length video that is set to music. The subject of your music video can be anything from a band playing or practical joke or stunts done in front of a camera.

What you can do with a music video is limited only by your own imagination. With this newest tool, you can watch a music video online that you have created.

If you have merchandise that you want to sell online you can also create a music video to promote it in a creative manner for everyone to watch.

If you ever had the desire to learn how to play an instrument, it is now possible to watch music video on the Internet and receive step by step instructions on how to play any instrument you desire. For some having a visual aide is more productive than just reading or listening to the instructions.

There are many places to watch music video online, doing a simple Google search will yield thousands of links including itunes where you can buy or share music videos. Napster.com is another very popular site for music videos.

If you want to have others to a watch music video online that you created, you can research google video or myspace.com both have an extremely large online community.

Another site that has gained popularity is YouTube.com. This site has become such a huge success that even though Google paid an outrageous price of over one billion dollars, they feel they can still make a profit by offering the service allowing the consumer to watch a video online.

Of course MTV, the people who brought music videos to television, and created music awards is also involved in online music videos. These sites offer you the choice to upload or watch a video online.

Although you can watch videos online and even upload your own for others to view, there are still certain things you cannot do.

You cannot take your favorite movies and videos and upload them on a free share site for all to view. This is highly illegal and most likely you will be prosecuted. Also, you cannot take your favorite CD and share it on a free site. These are considered to be copyright infringement and it is illegal.

When you want to purchase movies or videos, visit reputable online stores or conventional stores. Downloading movies video and software is illegal.

If you want to watch music video online that you create yourself, there are plenty of places where you can upload them. This is legal because you own the rights to the videos you create. You can do what you want with them. Sites like Amazon and Ebay are companies that are established and have reputations of excellence.

Summary:

Living in today’s technology-based world has the advantage of being able to try the newest, latest, and coolest new tools and devices. You can watch music video online that you create and share with your family and friends.



Music Download Industry News

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Kelly Liyakasa asked:


The music download industry keeps evolving, as more players enter the game and alliances are formed within a blink of an eye. We’re all aware of AT&T partnering with giant Apple Inc. to promote the iPhone, which of course uses iTunes for its ringtone capabilities. As more mobile phones encompass multimedia functions, the music and telecommunications industries are realizing their unfolding opportunities to meld together.

AT&T and Napster, one of the original music download services, are joining together and providing direct download capabilities, according to CNNMoney. In an effort to avoid mobile-to- PC connections to transfer music files, direct downloads are growing in popularity. More mobile phone owners are using their cell phones as MP3 players, not to mention the added benefit of using downloads as ringtones.

Similarly, in Australia, Nokia is stepping up to the plate in music downloads, providing free Wi-Fi zones for Nokia Nseries customers. They plan to launch a music download service of their own sometime this year, and with their free Wi-Fi campaign, more and more Australian-based Nokia users will be more apt to try it out come launch time.

Telecommunications companies and mobile phone service providers aren’t the only ones switching up the music download industry. 6StarReviews.com reports that Amazon’s newest service, AmazonMP3, is offering lower prices on individual songs and albums than some of their competitors, such as iTunes.

Their 2-million some music collection stands out in that its music files are DRM-free and iTunes and Windows Multimedia Player-compatible. Though competition amongst music download providers is inevitable, anyone with a mobile phone or MP3 player will continue to be exposed to countless options.



Music-industry Expert Moses Avalon Launches Groundbreaking Portal

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Eric de Fontenay asked:


Leading music-industry expert The Moses Avalon Company announced the launch of an interactive educational portal based on its successful Confessions of a Record Producer live-workshop series. Confessions Workshop On-Line contains 11 lessons, containing subjects ranging from copyright and royalties to new developments in digital distribution, music piracy, and the iTunes model. There is also an extensive library of Q&A compiled from years of live workshops and a link to ask Mr. Avalon direct questions. The only music-business workshop in the nation accredited by the California Bar Association, Confessions Workshop On-Line makes it simple for artists, songwriters, producers, and others to view the program anytime, anywhere.

Superstar producer Rob Chiarelli (Christina Aguilera, Will Smith) describes it as “the most well thought-out, articulate, and comprehensive workshop ever conceived. Absolutely the best”. Other industry pros’ comments have echoed this sentiment. “With so much change in the music industry lately and more artists using unconventional methods to further their careers, Confessions Workshop On-Line is the perfect tool for them to stay informed and empowered about their rights in a contract and their business in general”, says CEO Moses Avalon, “This is like having 24/7 access to a music-industry expert at your beck and call. Considering today’s economy, it’s far better than traveling to a live workshop or spending thousands on a music-industry college class.”

For more information, visit http://www.confessionsworkshop.com.

About The Moses Avalon Company

For over eight years, the Moses Avalon Company has offered a wide array of products and services for those interested in learning about the music business. From platinum-selling recording artists and producers to the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Record-Industry Accounting Practices, countless knowledge-seekers have sought the company’s expertise on the ins and outs of the ever-changing business of music. Services include music-industry contract analysis and consultation, dispute resolution, expert-witness testimony, and the ever-popular Confessions of a Record Producer live workshop, based on Mr. Avalon’s best-selling book. The workshop, the only one of its kind to offer CLE credits to practicing attorneys, is also available online at www.confessionsworkshop.com. For more information, visit http://www.mosesavalon.com.

About Moses Avalon

Mr. Avalon began his career by producing and engineering records for several major and independent labels. After noticing that all the “how-to” books on the music industry were written from a formally-legal perspective and thus inaccessible to musicians, he took a more informal, real-world approach when writing his first best-seller, Confessions of a Record Producer: How To Survive the Scams and Shams of the Music Business. The book is now integrated in over 40 colleges’ curricula and the inspiration for a successful live workshop and online education portal. Mr. Avalon remains an active lecturer around the world, popular blogger of Moses Supposes, frequent guest at Bar Association events, CEO of The Moses Avalon Company, and author of two other books on the music industry.



Why sell music on Itunes?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

With over 6 billion songs downloaded from Itunes, and over 17 million iPhone sales, there is a lot of good reason to sell music in Itunes. Until recently it was not possible to purchase music from Itunes with an iPhone unless you were connected to a Wifi network, but Apple has now allowed iPhone users to purchase music on their phones over the 3G network.

Youtube was previously allowing videos from record companies, so if you wanted to hear a track, you could simply Google the song and the artist and you would find a decent enough version of the song that you could listen to on YouTube. For various reasons, Youtube decided that it didn’t want to have this content anymore and pulled it from the site. So now, if you were to search for a track, you may find a live version or a version filmed on a phone that someone has posted, but it’s really difficult sometimes to find a decent audio version.

Myspace and many of the other sites (last.fm, etc.) can be good places to stream and find the song you are looking for, but sometimes you just cant find the tracks you want, at decent enough quality and also cant easily save them to your computer. All of this seems to be leading many people back to Itunes because they can purchase music quickly and conveniently from a place that they trust.

Some artists don’t want to sell music on Itunes because they don’t like selling single tracks. I recently heard about once band that put up their music on Itunes.  They uploaded approximately 10 tracks and then watched to see what happened. They noticed that three tracks in particular were getting most of the attention. From this, they were able to make the decision to then put money behind those three tracks and start promoting those because they knew that these ones were the songs most liked.

They put together a campaign around the most popular track, releasing it as a single. They made a video and also ran some contests for their fans. I think they bundled the video with some tracks and then sold it on Itunes too. This is a huge advantage of the single-track approach.

You can use Itunes to really get a feel for what people like instead of speculating. This allows the artist to really focus their resources on campaigns that are more likely to be profitable.