Sia explaining how she writes with Mikkel and Tor from Stargate, in particular the inception of Diamonds, which would go on to be a billboard number 1 hit for Rihanna.
The world’s leading global communication and measurement company, Nielsen, just released their newest report, State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012. While the continued growth of social media is no surprise, there are several new trends that musicians should be aware of.
First, there is the idea of “the global living room” or “social tv.” TV-watching has transformed into a new immediate and shared experience. Over 33% of Twitter users actively tweet about TV-related content, making it a shared experience on a larger scale. People especially love to engage real-time during broadcasted events. TV programs are responding by not only taking in the immediate feedback, but writers are adjusting scripts based on what trends, TV shows promote hashtags for viewers, and they sometimes broadcast live tweets (if appropriate for the program).
Second, social media is transforming customer service. Over half of U.S consumers are communicating with brands through social media. One in three users say they prefer social media to the phone for customer service issues.
Third, more people are shifting towards mobile and more sites integrate social features.
Finally, social media is continuing to impact marketing in a number of ways. Not only are customers more proactive about interacting with other customers, but they are also better informed than ever. Some customers don’t mind seeing ads tailored to them based on their profile information in social media sites now.
It’s important that any business (including your music business) learn about consumer trends because it affects your career. As consumers are becoming more mobile and more social, we need to be able to meet them there. Consider the following suggestions:
- Mobile compatible website: You might not have a website just for mobile users, but you should definitely have something that loads quickly and is to scale for mobile users. The amount of traffic coming from smartphones and tablets will only continue to grow and if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, people will look elsewhere.
- It’s all about engagement: I can’t stress this enough. The content on your website and social media should create engagement. Talk about things that interest your target audience. Give them a call to action. Don’t just post a link, but create some conversation around it.
- Make your own global living room: Try scheduling live “tweet-ups,” where you and your fans can interact. It can be using a hashtag and talking about your new album or it can be about a tv show/film that you all enjoy. Get creative and get them talking. Consider having a dedicated hashtag for your show or tour and promote it!
- Use listening tools: TV programs are using social media tools to listen and you should be, too. You can use free services such as Google Alerts, Icerocket, Social Mention, Topsy, or Hootsuite and search for posts about you/your music. See what people are saying and interact with them. If you see good ideas, learn from them.
This is your music career so you should be investing the time, energy, and money into making the most of it. Marketing yourself in a way that your target audience appreciates and understand is just a part of that picture. Check out the report on Nielsen and see what ideas you can come up with!
Props to Music Think Tank [AlLindstrom]
Trudy Green, a manager with HK Management, talks about being a manager and an artist in the music industry today. Trudy Green is an artist manager with HK (Howards Kaufman) Management. She personally manages Aerosmith, Perry Farrell, and Mick Jagger, and has worked with Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Heart, and Stephen Bishop.
This video offers a sneak preview of Ableton Live 9, through the eyes of Berlin-based electronica artist Robert Lippok.
In addition to checking out the new features in 9, check out Lippok’s use of a variety of controllers.
Ableton Live 9 is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2013.
Robert Lippok is known for his expansive sounds and innovative beats, both as a solo artist and as part of To Rococo Rot. Robert invited Ableton to his home studio to share his thoughts on his favorite new enhancements to Live 9. [Synthtopia]
Last month, Internet radio service Pandora ramped up their campaign encouraging listeners to lobby Congress to reduce their royalty rates. Utilizing a dual strategy that has continued into October, Pandora has showcased the significant revenue they are apparently delivering to artists and record labels while claiming that their growing royalty obligations, which are government mandated, are unsustainable and may ultimately put them out of business.
Yet, one constituent – the songwriter – is largely left absent from the dialogue. And with good reason: the ratio of artist to songwriter royalties that Pandora pays is the lowest of any income type in the music business. According to figures provided by the National Music Publishers Association, for every dollar that Pandora pays to artists and labels, they pay just 8 cents to songwriters and their music publishers.
Compare this to other popular digital services such as iTunes downloads or Spotify streams, where songwriters and publishers receive 15 cents and 17.6 cents to the dollar respectively. With YouTube, the ratio is at 42 cents and satellite radio comes in at 50 cents on the dollar. These numbers clearly illustrate why songwriters aren’t singing along to Pandora’s new tune.
Why aren’t songwriters getting a better deal? Quite simply: leverage.
Read the rest after the jump! [AlLindstrom]
Pandora has two content costs: a license fee for the sound recordings (paid to artists and record labels) and a licence fee for the underlying compositions of those sound recordings (paid to songwriters and music publishers).
The first license, relating to artists and record labels, requires Pandora to pay a ‘per track’ rate to SoundExchange, a non-profit organization that represents artists and record labels. These rates are determined by the Copyright Royalty Board.
The second license, relating to songwriters and music publishers, requires Pandora to actually negotiate a royalty rate with three US performing rights organizations: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. However, ASCAP and BMI, the two largest, are bound by a consent decree entered into with the U.S. Department of Justice that prohibits them from withholding rights to their song catalogs–irrespective of how happy they are with the rate Pandora wants to pay.
Though the benefits of negotiating on a collective basis would seem clear, this lack of leverage for ASCAP and BMI leaves over one million songwriters in the US – and their music publishers – at a huge disadvantage. As David Israelite, President of the National Music Publishers Association said: “radio operators can walk in and get a license and then fight for years over what to pay. That can’t continue.”
Many analysts and reporters have commented on Pandora’s recent initiatives to lobby Congress by calling their business model into question. It’s true that, relative to satellite and terrestrial radio, Pandora pays substantially more in overall content costs, but as BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield noted: “The reason why companies such as Pandora pay such high royalty rates as a percentage of revenues is because they severely limit audio advertising to protect the user experience and keep people on the platform. If Pandora ran several minutes of audio ads per hour (the way terrestrial radio does) vs. just a few 15 second spots, the percentage of revenues paid out as royalties would be dramatically lower and would be more in line with satellite radio or cable TV.”
Irrespective of how the business model pans out, one thing is clear: songwriters and music publishers should demand a more equitable split of Pandora’s content costs. One potential path that has been explored is for music publishers to pull their digital rights from ASCAP and BMI and negotiate with Pandora directly. EMI Music Publishing was the first major company to pursue this option and Sony/ATV, which represents the song catalogs of The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga, has signaled their intention to follow.
Without being subject to an overly burdensome consent decree, these rights holders could negotiate with Pandora on a free-market basis. Yet, if tens of thousands of music publishers and songwriters each looked to license direct, Pandora would end up with a substantially more complicated (and perhaps, more costly) licensing process as well as risk having a portion of their catalog withheld.
For Pandora to avoid this fate and for songwriters and music publishers to continue to benefit from the efficiencies of collective licensing, all parties should be lobbying lawmakers to reconsider current regulation and foster an environment that delivers fair compensation to all parties in the value chain.
The latest episode of the SoundWorks Collection series looks at Skyfall, director Sam Mendes’ take on the James Bond saga.
Featured in the short are:
- Scott Milan (Sound Re-recording Mixer);
- Greg Russell (Sound Re-recording Mixer);
- Karen Baker Landers (Supervising Sound Editor); and
- Per Hallberg (Supervising Sound Editor).
PSY’s “Gangnam Style” is now the most-watched YouTube video of all time. The 4:13 clip from the South Korean rapper has earned approximately 803,761,000 views since it was posted on July 15, 2012. Early on Saturday, that total passed the longtime YouTube champ — the music video for Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” which has garnered 803,732,000 views since its February 2010 release.
“Gangnam Style” already set YouTube’s record for the Most Liked video ever posted to the site, with its total now standing at 5.3 million Likes and 323,000 Dislikes. Bieber’s “Baby” clip has 1.4 million Likes and 3.1 million Dislikes.
Bieber’s “Baby” clip enjoyed an impressive run at the top of the YouTube heap, becoming the most-watched video on the site in July 2010. At that time, the clip had collected more than 246 million views to leapfrog over Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”
“#GangnamStyle just became the most watched video @YouTube!! #History,” PSY posted to Twitter on Saturday morning in celebration of the achievement.
Over the four months since the “Gangnam Style” video was posted on YouTube, PSY and his electro-pop anthem has inspired nothing short a pop culture phenomenon. The veteran K-pop artist has performed the “Gangnam Style” dance alongside Britney Spears, Madonna and most recently MC Hammer at the 2012 American Music Awards. In early September, the 34-year-old signed to Scooter Braun’s Schoolboy Records, to become label mates with Bieber.
“Gangnam Style” peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Hot 100, spending seven weeks in the runner-up spot behind Maroon 5?s “One More Night.”
PSY was able to climb to the top spot of Billboard’s Social 50 tally in late August thanks to the viral success of “Gangnam.” Although Bieber no longer owns the top YouTube video, the teen star can take solace in the fact that his personal Twitter account ( @justinbieber) has 30.6 million followers, dwarfing PSY’s Twitter following of 1.3 million. [Billboard.biz]
Speaking to the Sun, the Scottish DJ said that working with the pop megastar “changed absolutely everything” and was the biggest boost he could have given to his career.
Harris will release his third studio album ’18 Months’ next week (October 29) but, despite roping in a list of star-studded collaborators for the LP, claimed he owed much of his success to the ‘Talk That Talk’ singer’s decision to feature on their ‘We Found Love’ collaboration.
“It changed absolutely everything,” he said. “Career-wise it was the best thing that could ever have happened. For example, in America my tune ‘Feel So Close’ came out about three months before. But when ‘We Found Love’ came out, the radio started playing ‘Feel So Close’ like it was the single after. Then that did really well, it charted well and sold a lot of copies.”
Earlier this week (October 25), Harris’s collaboration with Dizzee Rascal, ‘Here 2 China’, began streaming online – you can listen to the track now atCalvinharris.co.uk/18months.
’18 Months’ also features appearances from the likes of Kelis and Florence And The Machine’s Florence Welch, as well as Ellie Goulding, Tinie Tempah and Example. [NME]
Following the release of his memoir, Pharrell lets us tag along to LA’s BOOK MARC store for his meet-and-greet. In the clip, he speaks on the publication and interviewing Jay-Z for it. Purchase it here.