Tag Archives: Record Industry
Sign Me To Roadrunner

The Music Industry Gets Crowded

This morning’s post is really more of a “Hey, did you know about this?” post than my opinion; although, it does follow up my recent suggestions on how radio can use crowdsourcing for better content.  I’ve just read about three or four relatively new start-ups from the A&R side of the music industry that should be interesting for both artists and radio.

1.)  My Major Company is a British venture that provides a destination for bands to generate funding to release their next record, co-owned by their own fans.  Originally started in France, the UK version will select 12 musicians in whom fans may invest.  The artists selected must raise about 162,000USD to release an album, go on tour, and market their music.  The fans in turn own 40% of profits generated by the project.  The band gets 20% and the site owners retain the reaining 40%, which they may choose to reinvest in the artist’s next project.  My Major Company plans expansion to other countries quickly.

See also:  Crowdbands, Sellaband, and Kickstarter … all with similar artist-driven business models.

2.)  Sign Me To Roadrunner Records is a project of American rock label Roadrunner Records.  In this concept, fans rate music submissions alongside label-employed A&R representatives.  Fan Users browse unsigned artist submissions and rate them as if they were a “scout” for the label.  The more a user participates, the more influence they have over the charts.  The artists can earn certain “badges” as their profiles are reviewed and rated more frequently.  And, while there is no guarantee, presumably the better submissions have an above average chance of getting a shot with the label.  There have already been more than 12,000 artist submissions and more than 40,000 “scouts” have reviewed music on the site.

3.) Spins.fm is a social media request line.  Fans visit the site, search participating artists, and can then request the artist on radio station’s in the user’s listening area through Facebook and Twitter.  Registration is currently free for artists.  At the moment, a majority of the artists are unsigned or on independent lables; however, Jive Records has committed their roster to the project starting with Britney Spears.

Honorable Mention:  Better Than The Van is a three-year old project with a newly funded site re-launch.  The community allows fans to provide touring musicians a place to crash on the road instead of sleeping in their van or a crowded cheap hotel room.  Participate at your own risk 🙂  And, feel free to add your own jokes here.



Related Articles

Guster Turns Video Production Over To Fans

GusterPop/Rock band Guster are helping promote the October 5 release of their new CD Easy Wonderful with a fan-produced video contest.  The band is producing a video for all 12 songs on this release and posting to the video page of their website … well, except for the video for Track #6, “Bad Bad World,” which they’re leaving up to their fans. 

This is a great way to get their fanbase interested and involved with their new music; however, by instructing would-be-music-producers to just email their video for the band to privately judge, Guster has missed out on a fantastic marketing opportunity with potential exposure to a new audience previously unfamiliar with the band..  User Generated Content such as this can be a very powerful marketing tool, and great additional content to drive web traffic.  In the case of Guster, simply by allowing fans to determine the contest winner instead of behind closed doors … Continue reading

Who needs a label?

Sister Hazel and Collective Soul are just two bands who have proven they can be successful without the support of a major record label. They have continued to sell out venues and generate CD sales from a fan base developed over the years.

Radiohead offered their latest CD as a download, asking fans to pay only what they felt it was worth.

Jill Sobule, best known for her song “I Kissed A Girl,” is the latest to join the list of artists released new music through non-traditional streams. However, in her case, she has generated more than $58-thousand without a finished record! Continue reading

Education is the answer, but for labels.

Yesterday, my blog shared research indicating consumer education might be the answer for music’s battle with illegal downloaders.  Apparently, the ones who really need to be educated are the labels.

A senior executive from Universal Music Group made this suggestion at the Mobile World Congress:  “If an artist has just delivered an album from studio, we could potentially deliver it to a limited number of users for a higher price.  It’s something we’re quite keen to develop, for example, through our own B2C channels … artists’ web sites.

Yeah, that’s a great idea.  Why download it (illegally) for nothing when you can pay even more to get it?  It makes perfect sense!  It certainly seems more logical than producing quality material at a lower price with value incentives through modern channels.

The only redeeming quality to this ridiculous concept is the idea to let consumers stream the entire album immediately upon release.  If consumers are given a chance to sample the product, I would bet more would buy the songs they like.  And, if there’s a better value to buy the whole project, sure!

Since we’re on the subject, why has the industry not mandated a sliding scale for purchasing music online?  I’ll pay a couple bucks to get the Foo Fighters “The Pretender” while it’s hot and maybe the entire CD for ten; but, if I get the urge to hear an old Hootie & The Blowfish tune, I’m more likely to buy it for a quarter than 99-cents.

That’s my 2-cents for the day on this subject … coincidentally, the same amount I’d pay to download something from ABBA.

More bad news for the Label business.

TERRA FIRMA, the parent company of EMI MUSIC GROUP, which in turn owns labels such as Virgin Records and Capitol Records, announced major restructuring plans for the next six months on this mornings webcast. CEO Guy Hands has set up EMI/NA under President Roger Ames with separate heads for their foreign divisions saying, “We have spent a long time looking intensely at EMI and the problems faced by its Recorded Music division which, like the rest of the music industry, has been struggling to respond to the challenges posed by a digital environment … make EMI’s music more valuable for the company and its artists alike.” Specific changes announced for the label group include:

  • Repositioning EMIs labels to ensure they will be completely focused on A&R and maximizing the potential of all their artists.
  • Developing a new partnership with artists, based on transparency and trust, and helping all artists monetize the value of their work by opening new income streams such as enhanced digital services and corporate sponsorship arrangements.
  • Bringing together all the groups key support activities including sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution into a single division with a unified global leadership.
  • The elimination of significant duplications within the group to simplify processes and reduce waste.

What does this mean to artists, the field staff, and radio?

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: