Article: Active vs. Passive Fans: Why Radio & TV Still Rank Tops For Music Discovery by Hisham Dahud

The data presented in a recent  found terrestrial radio and syndicated television among the main influential sources of music discovery (60% and 49% respectively). With all the new avenues for music discovery out there, why are the majority of people still choosing to shape their musical tastes through premeditated and controlled media sources?

By assessing the data, it leads one to believe that the majority of music consumers are not taking full advantage of this new media age we live in. Personalized services like Pandora and other social-based discovery outlets, allow us to find music we’ll enjoy based on how it will cater to our unique individual tastes, as opposed to what we’re told we’ll like via the mainstream and  radio, or through .

If terrestrial radio and passive television still sit atop the music discovery food chain, does this must mean that people haven’t quite caught on to the ease and usefulness of personalized music discovery, or are they just lazy and don’t want to go through the trouble of shifting their paradigms?

used the term “active” music fan – which seems to mean anyone who goes out of their way beyond just passive media to find the music they think they’ll enjoy. This again leads one to believe that the majority of the population must be passive music fans. The study also found that online radio and web videos were the top ways that “active” music fans discovered new music. Both of these occur outside the conventional means of passive media consumption, and while they require a little more effort, their rewards are much more intrinsically valuable to the listener.

These days, we have more of a choice than ever to opt out of passive media recommendations, yet the majority of us continually choose to accept them. Perhaps once we better integrate personalized music discovery and consumption into the places where it already happens most passively (the car, the living room, etc), “active” may become the new “passive” and our paradigms will again shift.

What do you think? Are “active” music fans really the minority? Why do you think the majority of people choose to go with the herd? 

This post is by regular Hypebot contributor, musician, and independent music business professional - Hisham Dahud ()



Article: Artists – Change Your Thoughts. Change Your Mind. Change Your Life BY: Brian Thompson

A lot of musicians are nerds.

There. I said it.

Or should I say… were nerds. Their exterior may have a new shine to it now; calm, cool and collected. But on the inside, well that’s a different story.

Let’s face it, many of us became musicians to try and break free from those nerdy chains that bound us. We were introspective, overly shy and awkward kids, not quite knowing our place. But then we found something we loved, music. We embraced a niche that suited our passions, latched on to it and poured everything we had into truly being a part of it.

You grew up. You became cool. You played in a bunch of bands and experienced a modicum of twenty-something success. In fact, you even had a few groupies. But deep down inside, those insecurities still lurked, buried beneath layers of cool.

And then when you wanted success the most, you just couldn’t take things any further. You couldn’t get out of playing the same old house parties. You booked club shows, but no one really showed up. You bought boxes of t-shirts, only to sell a handful. Perhaps you had some internal band fights, lost a couple of members and had to start the long and arduous task of searching for new players.

And that’s when it happened. The Inner-Nerd reappeared. The self-doubting pessimist. The why-is-the-world-against-me, shy Nerd. And guess who he brought with him? Mr. Negativity.

And so began the the fight within yourself. You became your worst enemy, constantly telling yourself that no one cares, no one will ever listen to your music, no one will ever visit your website or go to your shows, no one will ever book your band for a cool festival appearance… no one with any clout in the industry will ever want to work with you. But you kept on going, because that’s all you knew… despite being totally consumed with negative, self-loathing thoughts that made you bitter towards everyone and everything.

But here’s the thing that most people don’t realize; those crazy, self-doubting and fearful thoughts are biological. They happen to all of us. In fact, they’re actually left over evolutionary relics from the ancient lizard brain that still resides within our thick skull. Seriously. I’m not kidding. It’s the oldest part of your brain, and it’s called the amygdala.

Your Emotions Attract Reality. Negativity Attracts Negativity.

These pesky thoughts must be changed in order for you to move forward with positivity and success in your life. But believe it or not, those dark thoughts can be easily duped and reprogrammed. You can trick your amygdala into making those feelings disappear!

The first step is to simply be conscious of them. When you catch yourself thinking crazy shit like this, just tell yourself to snap out of it and knock it off. Now, that may be easier said than done, but just being aware of them is half the battle.

Once you’re aware of these old lizard brain thoughts, use positive affirmations to reassure yourself, “I’m happy, positive and full of vibrant energy! I am master of my universe! Nothing can stop me from achieving my goals!”

Think of the most fantastic, exhilarating, or happiest moment of your life. Got it? Now multiply that times a thousand, or ten thousand. Or a million. Be ridiculous. The more extreme and exaggerated your thoughts and imagery are, the better. You CAN change your emotions. And when you do this, it causes automatic sensations of pleasure and peace of mind… allowing you to move on with the important task at hand; achieving your goals.

If you can control your perceptions, you can control your reality.

Chances are that if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, it’s due to the negative energy you’re consumed with and are putting out into the world. I’m not saying those feelings might not be valid, but they certainly aren’t doing you any good. They’re standing in the way of you overcoming a temporary situation. After all, if you’re filled with self-doubt you clearly won’t be concentrating on your goals. And if you’re filled with negative emotions, they will undoubtedly affect others around you… who in turn may not want to work with you because of your shitty vibe (or at the very least, won’t be inspired and they’ll have zero motivation because of your blah attitude).

Be conscious of your thoughts. Focus on positive energy.
Change your thoughts, change your mind, change your life.
You are what you think.
Manifest your destiny!



Article: Distributor Pulls 234 Labels From Spotify, Napster, Rdio After iTunes Payments Drop 24% by Bruce Houghton

Electronic music distributor STHoldings has pulled all its distributed labels from streaming music services Spotify, Simfy, Rdio and Napster.  “Despite these services offering promotion to many millions of music listeners we have concerns that these services cannibalize the revenues of more traditional digital services,” the company said. “These concerns are confirmed in our own accounts and a recent study by NPD Group and NARM.”

The NPD NARM study concluded that music streaming and other free or low cast online music services “are more likely to cause listeners to continue to stream songs, rather than buy them”. To date just 4 of the 238 labels distributed by STHoldings have asked to remain on the streaming music sites. The reaction of one of their labels reaction was, “Let’s keep the music special, fuck Spotify”.

Distributor Offers Some Scary Stats

Several other indie labels and artists have left Spotify in recent weeks, but this is the most extensive exodus to date. UK based is also the first to share hard data:

  • In the third quarter of 2011 – the first full quarter that the distributor supplied content to these services – ST’s digital revenue fell for the first time in its history, down 14%.
  • iTunes revenue in the same quarter fell 24%.
  • Spotify, Simfy, Rdio and Napster accounted for 82% of all ST tracks “consumed” in Q3 but only 2.6% of that quarters Q3 revenue.
  • Spotify paid £2,500 or $3376 USD for 750,000 streams in the quarter.

“As a distributor we have to do what is best for our labels,” states the company. “The majority of which do not want their music on such services because of the poor revenues and the detrimental affect on sales. Add to that, the feeling that their music looses it’s specialness by it’s exploitation as a low value/free commodity.”



Article: Jay Frank On How To Create Hits & Building A Next-Gen Record Label [VIDEO] Bruce Houghton

Former CMT, Yahoo Music executive and author Jay Frank has just launched , a new model independent record label. Frank, interviewed here by Ian Rogers on , is a music loving data geek who sees patterns in fan reactions and believes he can harness them to build hits. He’s creating DigSin as a song focused label with artists signed to short six track deals. Fans who sign up get new releases free of charge.

“DigSin is the result of years of examining the new ways music fans find and listen to music,” according to Frank. “We are committing ourselves to expose new songs in a targeted, organic way that enables us to be a trusted filter to music fans.” Frank is releasing a second book “” in late January.



Article: Songkick CEO Ian Hogarth On How Social Media Is Changing Live Touring [VIDEO] by Bruce Houghton

The live music industry (promoters, club owners) has, in my , been slow to adapt to the new realities of marketing. Ineffective strip ads and radio campaigns are finally being replaced by more nuanced marketing: targeted email, social media, even GroupOn. by ticketing companies like and have proven that social media sells tickets. In this video from Billboard’s recent Talent & Touring Convention, Songkick CEO Ian Hogarth shares his vision of modern live music marketing. WATCH:

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Glossary: Music

Songwriter,Composer, Lyricist:

Is a person who composes music or writes song melodies or lyrics. A songwriter can also be a recording artist, but that role is completely separate from a copyright standpoint. Composers and lyricists own their music at the time of creation, but if their music is well known, chances are good that their copyright is held by a music publisher.

Article: Lawsuit claims Grooveshark workers posted 100,000 pirated songs by Greg Sandoval

(Credit: Screen shot of Grooveshark’s Web site.)

In a copyright lawsuit filed today, Universal Music Group says it has obtained e-mails and other records that show Grooveshark’s leaders led an effort to post more than 100,000 pirated songs onto the music service.

“[The business records of Escape Media Group, Grooveshark's parent company,] establish unequivocally,” Universal’s lawyers wrote in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, “that the sound recordings illegally copied by Escape’s executives and employees, include thousands of well known sound recordings owned by UMG.”

Grooveshark has long said that it is not liable for copyright violations committed by users because of the protections provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor. If Universal’s allegations prove true, however, Grooveshark’s DMCA protection could be in jeopardy. The safe harbor only protects Internet service providers from liability for infringing acts committed by users. The law does not protect service providers from their own acts of infringement.

(Update) Paul Geller, Grooveshark’s vice president of external affairs, said in an e-mail that the company had yet to see the complaint and could not comment yet.

Universal Music, the largest of the top four record companies and home to such artists as Lady Gaga, U2, and Elton John, has asked the court to issue a permanent injunction against Grooveshark, which if granted would shut the service down.

The label is also seeking the maximum in monetary damages of $150,000 per infringing act. If at least 1,000 of Universal’s songs were infringed, the total in damages could be well into the hundreds of millions.

Universal obtained the documents through the legal discovery process as part of the label’s previous copyright suit against Grooveshark. Last year, Universal sued Grooveshark in New York state court. For that case, Grooveshark was compelled to turn over the database that stores information on uploads.

The label says it found evidence that Samuel Tarantino, Grooveshark’s CEO, uploaded at least 1,791 copyrighted songs. Geller allegedly uploaded 3,453 songs, and Benjamin Westermann-Clark, another VP, is accused of uploading more than 4,600 pirated songs.

Universal’s complaint is likely to generate a lot of attention in the music industry. Numerous artists have complained for a while about the ineffectiveness of sending Grooveshark takedown notices.

For a service provider to qualify for safe-harbor protection a company must quickly remove infringing material once notified by a copyright owner via a take-down notice. Some in the music business have been skeptical about the speed with which songs previously flagged for removal reappear on Grooveshark.

In Universal’s complaint, the label pointed to the comments section of the blog . In a October 13 story titled “King Crimson Can’t Get Their Music Off of Grooveshark,” an anonymous writer claimed to be a Grooveshark employee and offered “information from the trenches.”

“We are assigned a predetermined amount of weekly uploads to the system and get a small extra bonus if we manage to go above that (not easy),” the person wrote. “The assignments are assumed as direct orders from the top to the bottom, we don’t just volunteer to ‘enhance’ the Grooveshark database.”

“And, to confirm the fears of the members of King Crimson,” the anonymous poster wrote, “there is no way in hell you can get your stuff down. They are already tagged since you sent in your first complaint. The administration knows that you can’t afford to sue for infringement.”

Universal did not say in the complaint how it knows the post is legitimate.

The heat has been turned up on Grooveshark in recent months. The blog TorrentFreak reported that a Danish anti-piracy group this month has to block Grooveshark’s site in that country. Also, earlier this year, Google from the .

Correction This story incorrectly stated what country the anti-piracy group that filed court action against Grooveshark was from. It was Denmark.



Article: Billboard Magazine Declares That Discounted Music Doesn’t Count

In new rules issued this week,  Billboard Magazine declared that unit sales for albums priced below $3.49  will no longer be eligible for the Billboard charts and won’t be counted in Nielsen SoundScan sales data during their first four weeks of release. EPs and individual songs must now also sell for $.39 or more per track to be counted. The new rules may be in response to Amazon’s Lady Gaga 99 cent sale, but also serve to discourage artists and labels from using price as a marketing tool.

As the most widely read charts in the world, Billboard and Nielson Soundscan once set the standard for measurement of music sales and airplay success. But broader metrics from Big Champagne and others, along with specialty charts from niche music services like Beatport are successfully challenging Billboard’s dominance.

Billboard’s New Pricing Policy, Effective November 21, 2011

Unit sales for Albums priced below $3.49 during their first four weeks of release will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts and will not count towards sales data presented by Nielsen SoundScan.

  • The rule also applies to reissued titles.
  • New Holiday/Seasonal titles must meet the minimum threshold through the final week of the calendar year.
  • Unit sales for albums or EPs with 8 or less tracks will not be eligible for charting if the retail price is less than the sum of the tracks on the release, multiplied by $0.39.
  • Minimum pricing for a multi-disc album (not a single disc with extra tracks), where the extra disc is audio content, will be $3.49 times the amount of discs being made available.
  • For digital-only deluxe editions, any extra content exceeding nine tracks would be considered the equivalent of an extra disc. Each additional 10 tracks thereafter would be the equivalent of an additional disc.

Unit sales for Digital Tracks priced below $0.39 during their first three months of release will not be eligible for inclusion on Billboard’s digital songs charts.

If a retailer offering a title for less than the above stated prices is a daily reporter to Nielsen SoundScan, units will be removed for charting purposes solely for the dates in which the title was priced less than the minimum.

  • If a title was priced under the minimum during a portion of the day, all sales for that title on that day will not count towards the Billboard charts unless accurate transaction data for that title during the specific sales hours can be provided to Nielsen SoundScan for verification.

If a retailer offering a title for less than the above stated prices is a weekly reporter to Nielsen SoundScan, all units for that title sold by the retailer in the week will be removed for charting purposes unless accurate transaction data for that title on the sale date(s) can be provided to Nielsen SoundScan for verification .

Please note that the minimum pricing rule would not apply to any store-wide music liquidation sales.




Article: Not Posting Videos On Facebook? New Data Shows You’re Missing 60 Million Viewers by Bruce Houghton

New comScore data shows 84 million U.S. Internet users watched online videos in October for an impressive average of 21.1 hours per viewer. The total U.S. Internet audience viewed 42.6 billion videos, an all time high. Google sites, driven by YouTube, ranked #1 with 161 million unique viewers and 20.9 billion videos viewed. But Facebook, which was barely a blip on the video viewing charts just a couple of years ago, came in at #2 with 59.8 million viewers.



Article: Movie business strikes back at Google By Peter Voskamp

IOL pic nov17 google music serviceAssociated Press

The film industry came back swinging on Wednesday, calling recent claims by tech companies including Google that online piracy legislation will destroy the internet nonsense.

Related Stories

Washington – The film industry came back swinging on Wednesday, calling recent claims by tech companies including Google that online piracy legislation will destroy the internet “nonsense,” while also labelling those assertions as an effort to “gin people up.”

Speaking at a phone briefing with the media, Michael O’Leary, senior executive VP for global policy and external affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), said that the scourge of online piracy “is only getting worse” and that proposed legislation in Congress would go a long way toward combating the problem.

He argued that the recent outcry from Google and other tech companies against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) had more to do with economics than with concerns about civil liberties.

Opponents of the bill, including many public advocacy groups, say it is fraught with potential unintended consequences that could censor free speech and smother innovation.

Speaking alongside O’Leary, Kathy Garmezy, associate executive director for government and international affairs for the Directors Guild of America, pointed out that 75 percent of film earnings typically come after theatrical release, thus the industry’s long-established revenue stream is particularly vulnerable to illegal online distribution.

If producers can’t recoup their investments, Garmezy said, then fewer films will be made – something she said the industry is already experiencing.

Also at the conference, Scott Harbinson, international representative of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employee’s Union, said the fact that his organisation, which represents workers “behind the camera,” is on the same side as the studios points to the severity of the problem for the industry.

He said piracy “erodes from the bottom up,” and affects those who toil at the less glamorous end of the industry such as grips, electricians and hair stylists. He also pointed out that most of the industry’s pension and health plans are funded through residuals, which are being decimated by online piracy.

The MPAA says that $58 billion is lost annually from the theft of movies, music and videogames and that one-quarter of all internet traffic is copyright infringing. It points to a study that found that 77 percent of “sites that commonly link to or host infringing film and television material get more traffic from Google than any other site online.”

O’Leary said Hollywood and Silicon Valley should be working together for their mutual survival. He suggested the piracy rift between the two industries stemmed in part from a ”beltway” mentality seeking to profit from conflict.

Still, O’Leary had strong words for Google, which he said had provided little more than “rhetoric” in its professed efforts against online piracy.

He mentioned that a Google representative had no answer at a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing when Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) asked why tech giant still allowed access to an infringing website called Pirate Bay.

He could not say whether efforts by MPAA president Chris Dodd had made any headway in efforts to find common ground with the tech companies.

The Obama Administration has yet to take a position on the legislation, but O’Leary said that both Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made statements supporting copyright protection.

The MPAA offered pages of written arguments rebuffing many of the critiques of SOPA, saying that it would not pose a threat against free speech or usher in censorship.

Similarly, the MPAA states that the law would not require online entities to police their own sites; rather, it only asks them to cooperate with authorities when a rogue site is identified. – Reuters



Article: DJ Premier Talks About His Dream Cypher.

Premo explains why Marley Marl and Rick Rubin are his favorite producers and why he’d want Dre and Rakim for his dream cypher.

 the legendary DJ Premier  to talk about his production influences. During the interview, Premo talked about why Marley Marl and Rick Rubin are two of his favorite producers of all time. The Gang Starr beatmaker said that he especially connects to Marley’s music, and that in his opinion, the Juice Crew producer can do no wrong.

“Production-wise, really, it’s a tie, because I’m a Marley Marl fanatic and I really love what Rick Rubin did with Def Jam as far as production [being[ a guys that was just intrigued by the culture and knew how to make it sound like he made it sound with LL [Cool J] and the Beastie Boys, and to even have the balls to sign Public Enemy,” he said. “But Marley Marl just did it for me. It didn’t matter what he did; like when Big Daddy Kane said, if he’d fart on a record it’d still sound good. Marley could do no wrong. It didn’t matter if it was Kool G Rap’s album Road to the Riches, if it was In Control Vol. 1, I don’t care if it was MC Shan’s Down By Law, if it had ‘produced by [Marley Marl]‘…Marley Marl is just the God to me.”

As the go-to selector for the Cypher series of BET’s annual Hip Hop Awards, Prem also discussed his dream line-up of emcees. Amongst names like Rakim, KRS-One, Nas and Bumpy Knuckles, Premier said that he’d like to hear Dr. Dre jump on the mic. Although he admits that he knows that Dre looks more to ghostwriters for his lyrics, Prem says the California emcee’s delivery simply kills it.

“Definitely Rakim, definitely KRS-One, even though he’s done it before, but in my ultimate cipher, definitely Chuck D. Ice Cube, even though he’s done it, but again, [this is] just excluding the whole BET thing,” he said. “I’d like Dr. Dre in a cipher. I know he doesn’t really do the writing, but he’s so dope when he delivers and he knows how to put the right attitude [on the words]. Everybody from the D.O.C. to [MC] Ren to Ice Cube, whenever they write for him, he completely turns it into Dre, where it feels like the entire lyrics are his. I like to see Jay-Z in a cipher, Nas, of course, and Bumpy Knuckles. Guru would’ve loved it, Guru loved to rhyme, so he’s automatic.”

source: hiphopdx.com

Article: Today is Napster’s last day of existence by Julianne Pepitone

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Napster, the music-industry scourge that blazed a trail that led to modern digital music services, is about to head off into its final good night.

On Thursday, Napster will be merged officially with Rhapsody, the largest on-demand music service in the U.S.

Rhapsody announced that it had struck a deal with Best Buy to purchase Napster subscribers and other assets in a bid to boost its user base. As part of the deal, Best Buy (, ) — which acquired Napster in 2008 for $121 million — will receive a minority stake in Rhapsody.

Financial terms of the Rhapsody deal were not disclosed, but the merger is expected to be finalized on Wednesday.

It’s the end of a tumultuous road for Napster, a controversial but iconic site that has blinked in and out of existence over the past decade.

Napster launched in 1999 as a peer-to-peer file-sharing service tailored for swapping music files. It quickly became a hotbed of copyright infringement, and it survived only two years before it was shut down by court order. During that time, the Recording Industry Association of America and other trade groups railed against Napster — and filed hundreds of lawsuits against users who downloaded content illegally.

A lawsuit eventually took down Napster, but “the Napster effect” rippled through the music industry even after the file-sharing ceased.

The fracas highlighted a supply-and-demand disconnect: Consumers were fed up with paying $20 for a CD when what they really wanted was only one or two songs. They also demanded an easy, inexpensive way to get digital tracks — and made clear that if the music industry wouldn’t provide one, they’d go the illegal route.

It took several more years to cobble together a solution that worked for both sides. Shaken by Napster, the music industry grudgingly accepted that it had to change — and out of the ashes came services like Apple’s 99-cent-a-song iTunes.

It also cleared the way for streaming services like Rhapsody, which lets users download as many songs as they like for $10 a month. Founded in 2001, Rhapsody now has around 800,000 subscribers.

But Rhapsody is now being , a European-based rival with a similar business model that recently launched in the U.S. .

At a tech conference in October, Napster co-founded Sean Parker reflected on the massive changes the music industry has undergone in the 12 years since Napster launched. He sees the field as having finally come full circle.

“Spotify is an attempt to finish what I started at Napster,” said Parker, who is a Spotify investor and sits on the company’s board. 



Article: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Truth About How Twitter Is Making Money by Kamelia Angelova

Here is the that matters. The company’s chief revenue officer explains:

• How sponsored tweets really work.

• How is making a boatload of money from promotions, advertising campaigns and organic user interests.

• How advertisers are planning their Twitter campaigns.

• Why has a lot of time on his hands.

CEO & editor-in-chief is asking all the tough questions about Twitter . Watch below the full 30-minute interview that kicked off the first day of our conference.



Article: Sheet Music Direct iPad App

Do you want immediate access to more than 100,000 high-quality scores from the most respected music print publisher in the world, right from your iPad and your computer? Are you tired of lugging a bulging binder of sheet music to your gigs? Then look no further…
the Sheet Music Direct for iPad app is for you!

This all-in-one sheet music viewer, score library and music store is loaded with excellent features to help you find and have fun with the songs you are looking for, and keep all of your music well organized. Current Sheet Music Direct customers can download the free iPad app, sign in to their account, and synchronize all past purchases automatically.

New customers can create a Sheet Music Direct account right from within the app, and be able to view and synch all of their purchased sheet music from their iPad and their computer. All in-app purchases will automatically be backed up on the website.

Digital sheet music iPad app preview

Click or tap images for a larger view

iPad Sheet Music Library

The Library allows you to easily view, sort and search all of your sheet music. We’ve even included 15 free songs to get you started! Tapping on a song will open it in the Music Viewer. Features include:

  • 2 Library Viewing Modes – List View and Browse View
  • 3 Sorting Options – By Title, Artist or Notation
  • Archive – Move songs into your Archive if you prefer not to view them in your active Library
  • Set Lists – Create, view and edit set lists on the fly
  • Preferences – Customize your Music Viewer paper type and backgrounds

iPad Sheet Music Viewer

The Sheet Music Viewer lets you to view your songs, with these cool features and tools:

  • Interactive sheets offer playback controls, a multi-track mixer, transposition and a transposable melody line
  • Metronome
  • Tuner
  • Zoom in on the score
  • Set Lists
  • Sharing via Facebook, Twitter and Email
  • One-Touch Page Number Navigation lets you quickly jump to different pages of the song
  • Hands-free page turning using Bluetooth pedals.
    (The Sheet Music Direct for iPad app supports the PageFlip Cicada and the AirTurn BT-105.)


Click or tap images for a larger view

Sheet Music Direct iPad Mobile Store

The Sheet Music Direct Mobile Store gives you access to over 100,000 high-quality titles. Search, browse and even preview the first page of the song in the Music Viewer to make sure it’s the arrangement you are looking for.



Article: Inside Record Labels: Organizing Things by Christopher Knab, Fourfront Media & Music

There is a lot of work involved with signing, recording, promoting, publicizing, and selling music. The following introduction to the way major labels and independent labels setup the business of music marketing is broken down by departments. As you will see, the larger record labels have the luxury of having many different departments and dozens of employees to carry out the many responsibilities involved in running a label. And, the smaller companies, that have the same work to do, have to be quite creative and energetic to get all that work done.

Major Label Departments
What are the key departments at a record label, and what are those departments responsible for? Let’s take a look.

For starters, the CEO of a major label will generally oversee the business affairs of all the affiliated labels under their corporate umbrella. Each major label will have its own President who is responsible for all the label activities. For example, at Warner Brothers, there is a president for Warner Brothers Records, a president for Reprise Records, a president of Atlantic Records, etc.

Every department at a major label is usually run by a Senior Vice President, in charge of one of the following:

  • The Business Affairs Department takes care of label finances; bookkeeping, payroll, et al.
  • The Legal Department handles all contractual issues and other legal responsibilities.
  • The A&R (Artists and Repertoire) Department locates and signs new talent. They work with the artist in song selection, choice of producers, recording studio selection and they communicate with the label’s Business Affairs Department to make sure all the paperwork and accounting issues involved with the actual recording of an act’s record are setup properly. In short, The A&R Department can serve as a liaison between an artist and all the other departments at the label.
  • The Art Department supervises all product design jobs, (CD, Tape, Vinyl cover art etc), trade and consumer press advertising, retail sales posters and flats, and other needs of the print media.
  • The Marketing Department is responsible for creating the overall marketing plan for every record the label is releasing. They are also involved in coordinating all the promotion, publicity, and sales campaigns that the label is committed to.
  • The Publicity Department arranges for any feature stories, interviews, or record reviews in local and national newspapers, magazines, web-zines, as well as the broadcast opportunities for such coverage on radio stations and television. They may also co-ordinate any of these publicity opportunities with an artist’s own Publicist.
  • The New Media Department produces and promotes the music videos for the label’s artists that are shown on MTV, VHl, etc. This department also oversees some promotions and marketing opportunities on the Internet that use the audio and video technologies available from online hardware and software sites that support music..
  • The Artist Development Department usually oversees the career planning of artists signed to the label. This department coordinates a consistent marketing and promotion presence for an artist throughout their career with the record label. The Artist Development Department has changed over the last decade. Many labels no longer have such a department. Others have changed the name to Product Development and concentrate more on “breaking,” or promoting artists quickly in order to try to speed up the return on their financial investment. The pressure to return a profit to shareholders has changed the face of the music business dramatically in recent years, so the emphasis has been more on Product Development, and securing a hit as fast as possible.
  • The Sales Department oversees all the retail activities of the label, and concentrates on building relationships with the key record store chains and other mass-market retailers. The Sales staff coordinate their efforts with the major label’s distribution company, as well as communicating regularly with the Promotion and Publicity departments at the label.
  • The Label Liaison is the person who coordinates the business of the major label’s distribution company with the needs of their parent record labels. Street dates, (the date that a new release goes on sale at music retailers), must be approved by the label’s distribution company
  • The Promotion Department’s primary goal is secure radio airplay for their company’s new releases. These days that means not only traditional FM radio stations, but select Internet stations and satellite radio as well. Their ability to get songs played on the radio is central to the success of the whole company. The Promotion department is closely connected to and constantly communicating with other departments within the label to make sure that all strategies being used to market and sell an artist’s record are working together properly. Soliciting videos to MTV, VH1 and other music oriented television networks and programs may also be the responsibility of this department. At some labels this job is a separate department, or part of the New Media department.

Every department at a record label plays an essential role in the success or failure of the company. They are team members, working together toward the goal of selling their records and CDs as one lean, mean machine.

Inside an Independent Record Label
Independent record labels come in all sizes and shapes. The large, well-funded indie labels are organized by departments much like the major label operations described above. The more money a label has the more they people they can hire to handle the various responsibilities of a label. Smaller, grass roots or garage labels organize the work of promoting, selling and publicizing their releases by wearing as many different hats as they can. These smaller labels have an awesome task marketing their records because there may be only two or three employees, including the label owner, doing the A&R scouting, calling radio stations about airplay, working with a distributor (if they even have one), checking with the music retailers, and coordinating the publicity and new new media efforts, as well as dealing directly with their artists and bands helping them find gigs and put tours together.

Running a record label is a very expensive and time-consuming job. One of reasons so few independent labels succeed is related to the issues I have just outlined. It takes a lot of money, and a lot of time to operate a legitimate record label. The more research and planning a young label does before jumping into the world of music marketing, the higher the likelihood that they will survive, and perhaps even prosper in a very competitive business.

Note: This is an edited version of a longer chapter from my new book available NOW from the Music Biz Academy .
Christopher Knab is an independent music business consultant based in Seattle, Washington. He is available for private consultations on promoting and marketing independent music, and can be reached by email at: chris@chrisknab.net



Articles: Music Sales Up For First Time Since 2004

What’s the biggest surprise in the music industry this year? Music sales are actually up for the first time since 2004.

Music lovers are doing something they haven’t done in years: They’re buying more albums.

The number of albums sold this year has increased for the first time since 2004, led by deep discounting and releases from the likes of pop priestess Lady Gaga, British singer and songwriter Adele and rapper Lil’ Wayne. That’s an accomplishment in an industry that’s been in steady decline, even though total revenue is still slipping.

The trend may signal a brighter future for the music industry, according to Jean-Bernard Levy, chief executive officer of Paris-based Vivendi SA. The company’s Universal Music Group on Nov. 11 agreed to buy the recorded-music assets of EMI Group from Citigroup Inc. in a deal valued at 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion).

“There’s a clear rebound in music sales this year,” Levy said in an interview in New York before news of the deal. “We don’t want to claim victory. But the music industry may be at a turning point.”

Industry wide, sales of record albums, which include digital downloads, compact discs, some vinyl LPs and cassettes, are up 3 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the music industry’s sales tracking system. A total of 255 million albums have been sold in the U.S. so far this year, compared with 247 million this time last year. At this point last year, overall album sales were down 13 percent from the previous year.

In addition to the sale of a traditional album compilation of songs, either on a CD or through downloading, the industry now also counts what is called TEA, or a “track equivalent album.” One TEA is counted for every 10 single tracks that are downloaded, even if it’s the same song downloaded 10 times. When TEAs are factored in, album sales are up 5.2 percent over last year, according to SoundScan.

Hitting Bottom?

Record companies are benefiting from new Internet music outlets, from Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. to streaming-music services such as Spotify Ltd. and Rdio Inc. At Vivendi SA, whose assets also include the Activision Blizzard video-game business, the Brazilian broadband business GVT, and the French pay-TV operator Canal Plus, digital music sales increased 13.5 percent during the first half of this year, the company said.

The improved sales are a sign that the record industry, which in 2000 saw album sales in the U.S. peak at 785 million units, may have finally hit the bottom, said James Donio, president of the National Association of Record Merchandisers, the New Jersey-based trade group that represents retailers, record labels and distributors. “We are hopeful that we will end 2011 up.”

One powerful factor driving album sales are lower prices, said Levy. Consumers who over the last several years rejected album prices of $14 to $15, and purchased singles instead, are now coming back to albums at lower prices.

“There is a significant market for the download of a total album for $9.99,” he said.

Lower Price Strategy

The lower pricing strategy is getting more music into the hands of consumers, though revenue from album sales remains lower than a year ago, according to Eric Garland, chief executive officer of BigChampagne.com, a Los Angeles-based music and media metrics firm.

Levy and other industry executives see the pricing strategy as an investment. By making it easier for customers to buy albums they hope to gain market share and generate more interest in the music, eventually allowing them to profit from sources such as digital music platforms, merchandise, and concerts.

Music buyers are also rediscovering the appeal of listening to an artist’s work in the form of an album, Donio said.

“The album format in digital form has taken a little time to migrate and this is a very significant year for that,” he said.

Concept Album

Adele’s “21,” for example, has so far sold 4.3 million copies in the U.S. this year, more than any other artist.

“An album like Adele’s is a concept album, enjoyed when the songs are not disaggregated,” Donio said. “She is doing well selling individual songs, but in cases like hers, the album is a work of art.”

Sales of singles, which fell off in 2010, have also been increasing according to SoundScan. Single track sales are up 10 percent to 1.055 billion so far for the year, compared with a drop of 0.4 percent this time last year. This increase has come as prices for singles have gone up. After Apple Inc.’s iTunes for several years sold downloaded singles for 99 cents each, the music industry last year gained more control over iTunes pricing, boosting the price to $1.29 for many singles.

New promotional platforms are also pushing sales, according to Garland of BigChampagne.com. These include online retailers such as Amazon.com and television shows such as “Glee,” which airs on News Corp.’s Fox and drives sales when characters perform their versions of songs.

Gaga Overwhelms

When Lady Gaga released her second album, “Born This Way,” in May, Amazon.com held a one-day 99 cents sale that was so popular it overwhelmed the company’s Web servers. Released by Universal Music Group, Lady Gaga’s album has now sold 1.9 million copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan.

Consumers also discover music through the growing popularity of services such as Rdio and Spotify. Though consumers can get music for free from these platforms, the services engage consumers and encourage them to make purchases, making them less likely to take part in illegal downloading, according to Donio.

Converting Pirates Into Purchasers

Spotify, which has 8 million users worldwide for its free, advertising-supported service and is also embedded into Facebook Inc.’s social network, has grown rapidly, generating licensing and advertising fees for record labels. Since its launch in the U.S. in July, Spotify has also reached a total of 2 million subscribers who pay $5 to $10 per month for a premium service, according to Ken Parks, chief content officer for the London- based company.

The Spotify service, Parks said, is helping to turn one- time music pirates into paying consumers.

“What Spotify has done is re-energized the base of music lovers,” Parks said in an interview. “Data shows that in all of the markets where Spotify operates, digital music sales have grown. We’re generating a lot of revenue for the industry from a generation that wasn’t buying music.”

Written by Rick Schine and Peter Elstrom

Article: Why Is It So Hard to Give a Record Label My Money? by MICHAEL BRANDVOLD

Lauri Ylönen The RasmusI updated the original article I posted on October 19th.

Maybe I am missing something, maybe I don’t understand why territory restrictions still need to exist. I guess thinking of the world as the territory is wrong.

Maybe my feeling that fans will buy music if you make music available the moment they want it, at a fair price on whatever device they use is just wrong. But right now trying to buy music actually can drive a fan to steal music.

I am a fan of the band , from Finland, and I am trying to buy a digital download of New World the solo album by  the lead singer. The album was released overseas earlier this year. I don’t want to buy the cd and pay for shipping and wait, I want the music now and I want to pay for it.

Guess what, I can’t buy it. The album is available in iTunes Finland, but not the US. That is the problem.

Consumers don’t understand or care about territories, regions, license agreements… the internet broke down those barriers, it is just the world now. The album has been released and I want to buy it. This is what every musician wants, someone who wants to by their music. I am surely not the only person who has encountered this problem, not the only person ready to buy some music, but is told you can’t, we don’t want your money. What do you think that sort of action results in? My guess is the fan then begins to look for any option to get the album, including illegal download. A quick jump to Google and you can locate a download. Hey record labels you are driving them to do it. I have posted on Twitter and Facebook as well as emailing Lauri’s management asking if someone can help me buy a digital copy. Within 12 hours I heard back from Lauri’s management…

As Lauri’s album is distributed only in a few territories in Europe, iTunes US doesn’t let you download it. We have the same problem with a lot of US stuff here in Europe…

They did go on to say they would send me a CD.

Two weeks later I ran into this exact same problem again. I read that Gene Simmons’ record label in Canada was signing the band  so I was curious to hear what they sounded like. A video clip I found was not bad, so I decided to track down their debut album, pre Simmons Records. My first stop was iTunes. No results. Next stop was Amazon. They have a import CD available for $31… sorry, no way am I that curious. Then I hit the band’s website. They have a iTunes link so I click it, it takes me to a iTunes Canada page and since I am in the US I can’t buy the album. Really, again! I am ready to buy some music and because I am in the US I am not allowed to buy. Nothing like making the purchase process a pain in the ass. Guess what, I can do a quick Google search and find the album to download… for free.

Is this Apple’s fault? It is the fault of the record labels and their license/territory agreements. A record deal signed in Finland or Canada does not allow the music to be sold in the US. When will they stop making it difficult to buy music? When will they realize the internet has made the world one single territory. I don’t suspect the artist is saying, I only want to sell my music in one country, I don’t want my fans around the world to buy this. I am sure they would love nothing more than make their music available to everyone. Another case for releasing your own music and avoiding a record label.

This all seems so simple to me:

1. Music is released.
2. Fan wants to buy music.
3. Sell the fan the music.

As with any commerce purchase, if you put a road block or obstacle in the way of that purchase you risk killing the sale.

Record labels don’t want you to steal the music, they want to sell it to you. They will even go as far as trying to sue you if you steal it. But when you want to buy the album they won’t take your money because of the country you live in. But, don’t go steal the music.

What is a fan supposed to do? Why is it so difficult to buy music? Is this the fault of the fan? No! We just want to support a band we like.

Posted By: Michael Brandvold (Michael is a 20 year music marketing veteran who has worked with unsigned indie bands and international superstars. Michael owns  a site dedicated to providing tips and advice for musicians.)



Article: Auto-Tune Your Phonecalls for the First Time



We’ll spare you the T-Pain reference () and cut to the chase: lets you call your friends and sing, whoop, or holler at them with the magic of the actual Auto-Tune technology from . It runs on an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

This is the same technique used by many pop stars to dance as they sing without going out of tune. It could also be a fun way to call people — especially because this is the first app ever to do this. Chances are, it will be the first time anyone has ever called the lucky recipient of your calls using an auto-tune plug-in. Granted, you only get one setting, whereas the stars can pay with the severity of the effect, but it could still be a hoot. And besides, an app like this doesn’t have to be rocket science.

As early commenters have noted, this app doesn’t come for free in more than one sense. You get 30 minutes of free call time after buying the app. Today, that costs $2. After that, you have to pay to make calls — $1 for 20 minutes or $5 for three hours. Your regular iPhone voice service does not suffice.

On the upside, calls take place over Wi-Fi (using a VOIP or voice-over-IP network) or a 3G wireless cellphone connection, with WiFi delivering better results. It also means the app can make calls from an iPad or iPod Touch (the models that have microphones, or with a mic accessory).

After the app verifies your iOS device, you can dial numbers or select someone to call from your phone book. A practice mode lets you see what your voice sounds like, and both your test recordings and calls get saved to a library so you can play them back later.

As the included tutorial suggests, this works best if you sing — and better if you switch slowly between notes that are far apart, to maximize the Auto-Tune effect.

It’s neat. Still, some users will never get past the fact that they can’t make calls with this thing for free forever. They should reconsider: If they like Auto-Tune Phone enough to use it for more than 30 minutes of auto-tuned singing and conversation, they probably like it enough to pay for more talk time.



Article: Google Just Dropped Two Gigantic Bombs on the Music Industry… by paul

Here’s the snapshot of what Google presented in Los Angeles on Wednesday.



There’s a download store.  But who really cares if Warner Music Group wasn’t on board?  Paid downloads have always been a sideshow for consumers, anyway (though perhaps this means slower WMG uploads, let’s see).

There’s a social component.  But who knows whether we’ll be sharing purchased tracks on Google+ a year from now?  I’m still trying to ‘get’ Plus; friend me on Facebook in the meantime.  Sure, Google is excited about the ability to share full-length songs to your Plus circles.  Sounds interesting, but let’s see how that evolves… it’s an experiment.


These, by contrast, aren’t experimental – they’re real game-changers .  And Google Music is now shocking the industry with two giant prods:

(1) Google’s music cloud is free for up to 20,000 songs; and

(2) their ‘Artist Hub’ allows anyone to directly upload, manage, and sell music, without the need for a DIY middleman.

These are not only game-changers, they could quickly provoke responses from Apple, Amazon, and others, while also potentially creating disastrous ripples for the entire DIY middleman space.

Meanwhile, the big-boy clouds are just launching, yet the game’s already changing overnight! While Apple is limiting iTunes Match to 25,000 uploads – and making you pay for the privilege – Google is giving it to you for free.  And, forcing Apple to revisit its strategy – tonight.


Then there’s the DIY play, which has the potential to aggravate a long-silent faultline.  If you had told me on Tuesday that Google was getting into DIY, I would have yawned.  It’s such an overcrowded space!  But this is totally different, especially from someone as hefty as Google.

Their just-launched ‘Artist Hub’ is all about direct-uploading, with one upfront cost.  And you don’t need Tunecore or CD Baby, you just hop on board.  ”This is a bit of a new experience for a digital retailer,” said Google’s .


The action is happening at , where Google is asking for a one-time, $25 startup fee.  That sounds modest, though we’ve been impressed with how disastrously broke – and reluctant to pay – many artists can be.


The bigger question is whether another giant – ie, Apple or Amazon – now decides to do exactly the same thing.  After all, why not create something equally artist-friendly, and create greater affinity to your ecosystem in the process?  It’s a threat that’s been dangling for years, and a huge consideration given the lopsidedness enjoyed by the iTunes Store.

Let’s see if Google just caused a DIY earthquake.



Music News: Music Industry Veteran Joins SoundExchange as COO by

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — SoundExchange announced today the appointment of Jonathan C. Bender to the role of chief operating officer (COO). Jonathan will assume responsibility for the organization’s operational structure, including oversight of distribution and account services. He will also oversee repertoire management and the organization’s database for tracking, collecting and distributing music royalties on behalf of artists and record labels.

“As we move SoundExchange into its next chapter, we’re fortunate to have Jonathan’s deep level of operational, industry and technical expertise,” said SoundExchange President Michael Huppe. “Jonathan has a solid reputation, most notably for pioneering digital content development for some of the world’s leading record labels, and a track record in growing and transforming organizations.”

“I am pleased to join a group of individuals who are passionate and committed advocates for recording artists and rights owners,” said Jonathan. “Together, we have the potential to truly shape the future of music. I look forward to creating innovative and forward-looking operations that can help do just that.”

Jonathan brings more than 20 years of music industry business and management expertise to his position at SoundExchange. Over the years, Jonathan has served in senior operational roles at Concord Music Group, Universal Music Group, and EMI Music.

Jonathan was senior vice president, operations, IT and digital development at Concord, one of the fastest growing independent label groups in the world. In this role, he designed and managed a consolidated digital infrastructure to host and distribute the artist catalogs of the three combined companies: Concord Records, Fantasy Records and Telarc International. He also led the integration of all physical product operations and revamped all of the group’s online properties. Before joining CMG, Jonathan spent seven years with Universal Music Group, most recently as vice president, digital asset management and logistics. In this role, he served as team leader for building of the music industry’s first e-commerce distribution infrastructure, and converted production operations from physical assets to digital, savings millions annually.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Additional information on SoundExchange’s management team can be found on the company’s website at www.soundexchange.com .

About SoundExchange

SoundExchange is the non-profit performance rights organization that that represents the entire recorded music industry. The organization collects statutory royalties from satellite radio, internet radio, cable TV music channels and other services that stream sound recordings. The Copyright Royalty Board, created by Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the only entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties for featured recording artists and master rights owners. SoundExchange has paid out more than $800 million in royalties since its inception. For more information, visit www.SoundExchange.com .



Article: Universal Music Sees Recorded Music Business Near Turnaround By Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter

Top executives of Vivendi’s Universal Music Group on Thursday said the industry was nearing a turnaround for the recorded music business, which has continued to decline in recent years.


During an analyst meeting in Paris, which was webcast, Boyd Muir, global CFO of UMG, said: “We are approaching the inflection point for the recorded music industry.”


While he acknowledged that it is not here yet, he predicted it would arrive sooner rather than later. Pressed by an analyst for a more precise forecast, he predicted the inflection point could come towards the end of 2013, although “it might be a little bit sooner” or a bit later. Particularly signs from the big U.S. market are encouraging, Muir said.


As the CD business has halved over the past eight years, digital growth has not been enough to offset the drop, he highlighted. That has left the recorded music business a $15.9 billion industry, down 32 percent since 2003, while music publishing has been “much more stable,” he said.


But now, the rate of decline of the CD is slowing, UMG’s investor presentation highlighted. First-half 2011 global recorded music sales were down 7 percent, compared to a 2010 drop in 14 percent. And the U.S. is down only 4 percent year-to-date, Boyd highlighted.


In the investor session, which was webcast, UMG management also discussed its plan to acquire EMI Group’s recorded music business for $1.9 billion. The companies had announced the deal on Friday.


UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grange said in Paris on Thursday: “I’m extremely excited about the opportunity.”


Boyd reiterated the company’s goal of reaping at least 100 million euros in cost synergies and 500 million euros ($685 million) in divestitures of non-core existing UMG assets. Overall, he said the EMI deal was “financially compelling” and would be immediately accretive to UMG’s earnings.


A slide he showed emphasized the idea of a turnaround of the music business again. It said that the EMI deal comes “at a likely inflection point in the music industry cycle.”


Also at Thursday’s investor meeting, Grainge highlighted that given the business challenges the music industry has seen, his team is focusing strongly on building business and financial success into the creative process.


Margin and profit are “not dirty words,” he said.


Among key business focus areas for UMG are the need to align its cost base to reflect market reality, to accelerate the development of new music business opportunities and to maintain investment in creativity as A&R success and talent discovery are at the core of the business, management said in their presentation.

Among new growth opportunities that diversify business, UMG executives on Thursday mentioned TV (where it has already partnered with The Voice and American Idol), Vevo (which has become the number one music video site for original artist content), strategic marketing partnerships, new businesses such as the Beats by Dre headphones, and international growth, particularly in Russia, China and India.


In the area of new business opportunities, executives also said that UMG encourages the adoption of subscription services, particularly online, as superior consumer alternatives to piracy.


Grainge, who took the reins at UMG in January, also said Thursday that he has in his first year also flattened executive structures to enable the company to act more quickly. He also highlighted that he moved UMG’s head office from New York to LA to be in middle of things.


UMG Thursday also addressed concerns that the unbundling of albums in the digital age were bad for business. “Digital has created a massive singles market that was thought lost,” Muir said. U.S. third-quarter digital track sales were up 10.6 percent from the year-ago to 952 million units. And while CD sales were down 3.6 percent, digital album sales rose 19.8 percent to 74 million units, a slide showed.



Article: The Importance Of Taking (The Right) Action In Your Music Career by SHAUN LETANG


In any industry you go into, there are always two types of people: People that take action, and people that don’t. In fact, let’s not limit that to industries people are in. In LIFE, there are two types of people…

The people who take action are the people who usually end up getting further. They are brave enough to make things happen, and even if they don’t work out as planned, they can always give it another go.

So why am I talking about taking action? Simple, because this is exactly what a lot of musicians fail to do!

Taking Your Music Career Into Your Own Hands

I recently wrote a post about . I can imaging that a lot of people would have opened that article and thought I’d start telling them exactly how to contact record label bosses and A&R people. In fact, what I advised was the opposite. Focus on your own music career, and when you are ready as an artist, they will come to you.

No longer is it as easy as having a talent, sending a demo into a record label, and getting signed soon after. These days you need to prove you can sell units, draw in crowds, and build a fan base that is willing to follow you through think and thin. Only then will record labels start taking an interest.

This article isn’t about signing to a record label though, it’s more about the steps you need to take in order to start moving your music career forward. I call it your music ‘career’ because that’s how you need to see it. Even if you’re not making money this very moment, I’m sure you want to be doing so at some stage? If so, you’re building up your career. If you’re happy being a bedroom musician, then you probably don’t need to be reading this article.

Whether it’s your aim to sign to a record label or not, you have to take things into your own hands to start off with. You need to do everything that a record label would do to get you out there, and you have to do it without any major help. This is the life of an independent musician, and one that can be very rewarding.

There is one thing I’ve noticed about many people in the music industry: They aren’t making as much money as they could! Now I’m not saying there’s a huge amount of money in the music industry or even that every one of you will get rich from it, but I know for fact that a lot of people can make more money then they currently do. Small things that simply aren’t done can be the difference between earning a part time living and earning nothing at all, and unfortunately a lot of the time these things simply aren’t done. But why?

The Reason Why More Money Is Not Made

There are two main reasons why musicians often don’t reach their full earning potential:

1.They don’t take enough action.
2.They take action, but the wrong kind (A lack of knowledge).

Not taking action is a curse that plagues a lot of people in all different areas of life. We often know that doing something will give us a better lifestyle, but we simply don’t do it for what ever reason. Maybe it’s due to a fear of the unknown, or maybe it’s due to laziness. Whatever the case, we don’t always take action when we should. This in effect lowers our chance of growing, and will keep our music career at a stand still.

Taking the wrong kind of action can be just as damaging as not taking any action at all. If you work hard for a year doing the wrong thing, at the end you’re going to realise that your efforts hadn’t come to much. In effect, you will have wasted a year. Learning the business of music can be trial and error without the right guidance, and lead to you wasting a lot of time and money.


If you have dreams of touring and getting your music out there, remember first that it takes action on your behalf. Daydreaming can motivate you and give you a clear idea of what you want your end goal to be, but it won’t help you get there any faster. Wouldn’t taking action and achieving your goals feel better then just dreaming about them? Without taking action, you will never know.

It’s important to make sure you’re taking the right action however. Don’t spend hours every day adding strangers to Facebook and Twitter, instead get in front of people that have a real interest in your music. Is there a specialist radio station that people go to to listen to your type of music? Then get your songs played on those shows! When you play at gigs, make sure you have merchandise ready to sell. Inform people that you’ll be coming round selling your CDs after your set,and if they’d like to hear more from you make sure they get one. That way, even if you aren’t getting paid for the show, you can still make money. Build a relationship with fans via email marketing, and turn them into super fans (Or a ‘true fan’ as has been discussed recently on MMT).

Small things like these can make all the difference, and will allow you to reach your goals sooner then later. I hope you’re the type that takes action, and more importantly the right type of action.

This is an article by myself, Shaun L. I am the owner of the IMA Music Business academy, an  helping people take the right action in their music career. If you want to see some of my other articles, they can be found on my ‘Independent Music Advice’ .



Glossary: Music

Song (a/k/a Musical Work, Melody or Lyric:

A © copyright, which applies to musical compositions and/or lyrics. Songs and musical works are protected separately from the records and CDs on which we find them (to learn why, see sound recordings). When written, they are controlled by the composer and/or lyricist, but song copyrights are usually transferred to a music publisher once the work is released on record or otherwise published.

In the US, the words and music of a song are protected an indivisible whole, unless each was written and registered for copyright separately prior to creation of the song

Article: 50 Cent To Drop 10 Track Project With a Video For Each Song.

50 Cent has announced the release of a 10 track collection of tracks, slated to be released next week.

Fif took to Twitter to reveal the project, which will be released in honor of the 10 year anniversary of his first mixtape 50 Cent is the Future. He also said that he will be shooting a video for every track included on the collection. source: hiphopdx.com

The G-Unit leader last said that his oft-delayed fifth album would release in December, though the LP is currently without a release date.


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