Friday, July 3, 2015

A Look At The Crowded Streaming Marketplace

Apple Music launch this week moves it into an already crowded streaming marketplace. This Edison Research survey (the chart was put together by Statista) shows that Pandora has a commanding lead in the US over all other streaming services.

It's important to remember that Pandora isn't available in most of the rest of the world, so Spotify basically has matched its user numbers if you look at it globally.

Apple Music hopes to be at the top of the food chain within a year though, and actually has a shot at it despite the tepid launch thanks to its hardware user base and the 850 million credit cards currently on file.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio Pros And Cons

Beats 1 Radio image
Now that Apple’s new streaming music service Apple Music has officially launched, perhaps the biggest question remaining is how much the Beats 1 global radio station will add to it. If you haven’t checked it out yet (and you probably haven’t since it just live yesterday), Beats 1 operates 24/7 from Los Angeles, New York and London and is said to eschew the commonly used radio consultant data used by just about every terrestrial radio station these days in favor of the tastes of the DJs playing the music.

So what does that mean exactly? If we look at the big picture for the success of the station there are a number of possible pros and cons.

Beats 1 Pros
  • Both terrestrial and online playlists are so tightly controlled today that you basically hear the same songs anywhere you go. Beats 1 can break this logjam with some fresh new music that can make listening to radio an adventure again as it was before consultants ruled.
  • Beats 1 is free and available to everyone. You don’t have to be an Apple Music “member” to access the station, which is great for both exposure and an introduction to potential new customers for the service.
  • It differentiates Music from the rest of the streaming pack. At least at the moment, there is no other streaming service that offers a similar feature.
Beats 1 Cons
  • The big one is actually more of question as it’s the great unknown - Do people really care about curated content and music discovery from a non-interactive stream? And, do they care enough about it to make a difference? Read more on Forbes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

12 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Post On Social Media

As I've said many times here and in my book Social Media Promotion For Musicians, just being on a social network doesn't mean that you're using it effectively for promotion. There's a mindset that's need before you can use any network as a promotional tool.

Here are 12 questions to ask yourself (thanks to this Time article) before you post to any social network that will help you focus your content for greatest impact.

1. Is the message educational or entertaining? Stop if it doesn't fit these categories.

2. Is the voice correct? Remember to stay within your brand and not get too personal.
3. Is it too long? Shorter posts get more engagement.
4. Is the URL correct? You did remember to include a link, right?
5. Should I target a speciļ¬c audience with this message? Sometimes it's better to just address a specific portion of your audience or fanbase.

6. Did I use the right keywords and hashtags to maximize exposure? Keywords and hashtags are still important.
7. How many times have I already posted something today? Too many posts in the day may mean that this one could be ignored.
8. Did I spell check? Something that people notice immediately.
9. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this? Stop and rewrite if you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable.
10. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out? If you're angry, take an hour to calm down before you post.
11. Did I make the most of visual content—images, video, slides? Visuals increase engagement on almost all platforms.
12. Did I make the most of my update text—headline formulas, polls, quizzes? You only have so many chances for attention so make the most of them.

The best way to use social media as an effective promotion tool is to post great content. Follow these 12 questions and you'll always be sure that you're in the ballpark.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

An App That Inflates Spotify Streams Disabled

Eternify image
Musicians are a clever bunch when it comes to gaming the system sometimes, as evidenced in inflated MySpace followers way back when, to todays Facebook Likes, YouTube views, and Twitter followers.

While artificially inflating view counts can work for a time, the industry soon catches on and either begins to ignore a certain metric altogether, or find a way to disable it.

That's what happened with an app called Eternify, which allowed an artist to stream endless loops of a song for 30 seconds on Spotify in order to increase the stream counts. However, the company announced that it put a stop to the app's API (application program interface) so that it can no longer game the system.

The app was created by a New York-based ambient act Ohm & Sport, who might have continued to use it for their own music without much notice had they not released the app to the world.

Of course, you don't have to create an app to do something similar, as an artist can just put his album on repeat on Spotify for 24 hours with no app required. That works, at least for now, but you can bet that the streaming service will be keeping a close eye out for anything that tries to game the system in the future.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Former EMI Records President Rupert Perry On My Latest Inner Circle Podcast

Rupert Perry image
I'm very pleased to have former EMI Records president Rupert Perry on the latest episode of my Inner Circle Podcast.

Rupert spent 30+ years at the highest levels of EMI, working as the head of A&R for Capitol Records for a time, then moving on to heading the EMI label operations of America, Europe and the UK.

He was also chairman of both BPI and IFPI label trade associations, and was awarded a CBE (one step below knighthood) by the Queen for his excellent service to the British music industry.

In the intro I'll take a look at the uproar over Apple Music's free trial period and the real truth behind Beats headphones.

Remember that you can find the podcast at, or either on iTunes or Stitcher.

A Look At Label Exec Salaries

I bet you always wondered exactly how much those label execs at your record company are making. Here's an interesting chart thanks to Billboard that gives some real-world numbers. Caution: if you're in debt to your label, you might not like what you see.


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