A blog for musicians and music industry people. It is a free educational resource and it is also the way I advertise my music consulting services. I am an entertainment professional with deep roots in the music industry. Throughout my music career I have been a major label A&R representative, a music supervisor, an artist manager, a reality show producer, a bass player and the head of a digital record label.
Posts Tagged ‘Breaking artists’
Apple announced that the first version of iRadio will arrive on September 18. Also, Yahoo! Music revealed how legacy artists are keeping money flowing in the music industry. And a music supervisor talked to Rolling Stone about the realities of TV music placement in today’s industry.
iRadio Launching September 18
Apple’s long-anticipated streaming music service iRadio will finally make its debut with a preview released on September 18 as part of the iOS 7 system update. And according to The New York Times, Apple’s power to put the app on millions of devices will immediately give it a large audience.
Apple initially met with some challenges getting licenses from major labels, but now many are excited about the opportunities the new service could provide. Executive vice president for digital strategy at Warner Music Group Stephen Bryan said, “It’s a huge opportunity on a global basis to accelerate the transition of radio listeners and advertising dollars from terrestrial to digital.”
Experts have speculated that Apple’s entry into the Internet radio business will most threaten Pandora, the current industry leader. However, music and advertising analysts have said that this threat might not be as severe, because Apple is entering the game so late and Pandora has established a very strong hold on consumers.
Clark Fredricksen, vice president at marketing research firm eMarketer admitted it will be “tough” to see Pandora “getting killed” if Apple succeeds at overtaking it: ““At this point Pandora is one of the leading recipients of mobile advertising revenue, and is one of the most popular apps, period, across devices.” Both Pandora and iRadio provide ad-supported streams of music customized to a listener’s taste. As of August, Pandora had 72.1 million active users, mostly in the U.S. streaming 1.35 billion hours of music.
Record labels and music publishers are hopeful Apple’s marketing skills will help bring in advertisers and spread Internet radio worldwide. iTunes Radio will initially only launch in the U.S., but will likely be available in some of the other 119 countries that have access to iTunes soon.
Glenn Peoples, Billboard’s senior editorial analyst said that while Pandora has definitely helped give Internet radio a huge head start, “iTunes Radio can help it grow and can change the impressions of it in the minds of advertisers and sponsors.”
The iRadio feature labels and other music companies are most excited about is the highly-visible button it will have that allows users to buy songs from iTunes as they stream. Those that pay $24.99 annually for iTunes Match will also gain the ability to sync purchased songs and any other songs in their library and will get an ad-free version of the iTunes Radio service.
Apple struck a deal with labels to give them .13 cents for every song streamed on iTunes Radio during its first year in existence. This is one cent more than Pandora’s rate. Apple will also be paying music companies a portion of advertising revenue earned.
Legacy Artists and Their Fans Keeping the Music Industry Flowing
Legacy artists and their fans – many who still buy music primarily on CD and vinyl – continue to bring in big money to the music industry, and Yahoo! Music last week featured the top 13 older acts that are still selling big in physical formats, despite a shift towards streaming and free music.
Below are the Top 5 “Old People” that continue to be big sellers from a larger list of heritage artists and their works compiled by Yahoo! contributor Rob O’Connor .
- Metallica’s Metallica Through The Never continues to sell well and offers up a live album that features a collection of older hits and rare concert footage.
- Pearl Jam’s older albums are still top physical sellers, even though the band continues to put out new music and play frequent live shows. The band’s newest album Lightning Bolt will release in mid-October. The single “Mind Your Manners” has already been selling well on iTunes.
- Despite Sly Stone’s highly-publicized financial struggles and inability to make a real comeback as an artist, Sly & the Family Stone continues to sell music. And the group’s first-ever box set Higher is expected to sell well among the band’s rabid fan base.
- The Beach Boys catalog continues to be a popular buy for physical album collectors, and, according to O’Connor, this could be because the group has released more mixes, re-mixes and re-masters of their music than almost any other in history, regularly giving fans new ways to hear the same music.
- Van Morrisson’s Moondance has been a popular seller for years. And Van Morrisson is an artist that has not released new music in years, keeping his popularity largely by continuing to reissue older albums.
Will TV Placement Bring Real Opportunity for Artists?
An interview with music supervisor Chris Mollere in Rolling Stone last week asked, “Can TV music placement save the music industry?” He talked about how bands are gaining more exposure through popular shows he works on like Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries and others.
Mollere said the music industry is “crazy” and the world of television “moves quickly.” The work for two teen dramas he oversees alone has him reading scripts, working with the crew to show them where music goes in the show, selecting the songs, clearing rights and sticking everything in, then moving along to the next episode.
And Mollere got into music supervision for film, advertising and TV about the time when music placement in television got particularly hot and indie artists were first finding an audience through the medium, in great part thanks to shows like The OC. His first gig was for the teen-oriented sci-fi show Kyle XY. The show offered cuts from indie artists like American Analog Set, Mates of State and Earlimart.
Mollere said the early 2000s was the time when he actually started noticing music on television: “The OC was where music really jumped out at me on TV … Easy Rider was one of the first movies to have a song soundtrack, but The OC was the show that changed that format on television and showed that you could do things like have a song with lyrics play during a scene with dialogue. Before The OC, that was not an accepted thing. The OC also broke bands like Death Cab and the Killers. A placement on that show took bands to another level.”
And Mollere is trying to continue this trend of helping to break lesser-known indie acts. He used now-popular band Florence and the Machine in a Vampire Diaries episode months before the band was filling stadiums and has been helpful to the career of Temper Trap and Airborn Toxic Event. He has recently been making indie bands MsMr and Telekenesis more visible by giving them multiple spots on the shows for which he is music supervisor.
And now, networks’ push towards creating weekly “soundtracks” online is helping artists even more. ABC Family publishes a “weekly roundup” of songs on its site blog and Mollere also personally tweets the song lists for both Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries. And he said that the music in TV shows is becoming more like the playlist of an indie music fan. And that type of soundtrack is not always possible in film: “It’s cool when I can work on projects that I can feature music that I’m listening to at the time … On a lot of projects that isn’t the case, but on TV the turnaround is so quick that we can feature a song even before it’s released.”
Mollere also said he feels that television offers music supervisors and even fans a real opportunity to support emerging artists and move the needle on their sales: “I started as a music fan and musician first … so when we hear that artists are getting bumps in sales after we feature them on the show, that’s great, especially because no one is buying records these days … My big goal is to keep artists as artists … I don’t want artists to be working in a coffee shop or selling real estate. They need to be making music. If they can be working as musicians that means there will be better music out there for everybody.”
He concluded, “The music industry is in limbo right now… And I think film and TV placements are a really important part of the solution. Music supervision is going to be a very huge part of the music industry. We need to allow creative people to be creative and by using their music in television shows, everyone benefits.”
Tom Silverman responds after returning from MIDEM:
If you missed parts 1-3 check out the interview that started here
Parts 1-3 were discussed here and mentioned on:
It occurred to me that part of the reason I may have been misunderstood by some in last week’s MusicianCoaching interview is that many people may have missed the third installment that I wrote on January 20th in response to so many people wanting to know who the few artists that broke the obscurity line in 2008 were.
In that response I mentioned that there are other indicators to the escape from obscurity besides album sales including concert ticket sales and singles sales and there are certainly others such as being featured on a huge TV show.
When the flamers came to the party, I had already donned my asbestos suit. Their outrage at the analytical results that I uncovered is not surprising but shooting the messenger does not invalidate the message. In fact, I felt the same way that they did when I first began delving into the numbers. I thought there would be many more than 225 artists out of 1515 albums that sold over 10,000 and I was sure that nearly half would be DIY artists. The fact that almost none of the 225 artist breaking 10,000 albums for the first time in 2008 did it themselves was hard for me to believe but it is true nonetheless.
What upset me most about the reaction to the data was that some thought I was being pessimistic on the future of the music business or at least the DIY artist part of it. That could not be further from the truth.
Dave Lory and I brought back the New Music Seminar again out of dedication to the artist community and a belief that music and artists should be able to rise to their maximum potential regardless of gatekeepers or investors. That was the original promise of the web and I still believe it is possible. On Tuesday, February 2nd, in Los Angeles, the architects of the next music business will convene at the Henry Fonda Theater to discuss new ways and even some old ways that artist can break through. Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify, the streaming service that has taken parts of Europe by storm will talk about what Spotify will be doing to help artists get exposed. Michael Doernberg from ReverbNation, Derek Sivers founder of CDBaby, Ian Rogers of Topspin, Bruce Houghton of Hypebot, Christina Calio of Microsoft, Alexandra Patsavas of Chop Shop, Producer Rodney Jerkins, Jason Bentley of KCRW, Kevin Lyman of the Warped Tour, Corey Smith manager Martin Winsch, the ever popular Martin Atkins of TourSmart, Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons and many more will all be trying to come up with solutions to artists trying to build manage and monetize a fan base in this new era.
The record business has an inflation-adjusted value equal to that of the late 60’s and it is still dropping. Anyone getting in the music business now is clearly not doing it for money. Anyone getting into the music business now is doing it for passion and that is the right reason. Labels have always invested in artists and still do, although they invest much more cautiously due to the compromised risk/reward ratio that currently exists and that reduction in new artist investment has certainly contributed to the reduction in new artists breaking out of obscurity. At the New Music Seminar, we hope to uncover new business models that enable music labels to increase their investment in new artists and give more artists opportunity.
I am more than optimistic. I know that within five years that number will no longer be 12 DIY artists a year breaking through but 50 or 100. The overall number of new artists breaking out of obscurity will be over 500. I believe that we are on the cusp of a golden age of music. We finally have come to understand that it was never about records, it was about the passion of the artist and the passion of the fans for music and their favorite artists. Finding new ways to track fan passion for artists and empower those fans to spread their passion are some of the tools that NMS will explore with cutting edge technologies.
What unites us all is our love for music and artists a quality that even Shakespeare mourned the lack of. In the Merchant of Venice he wrote.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
How can you not embrace anyone who loves music and shows passion for the business of music? I love what TuneCore has done for artists and the paradigm shift it has contributed to and I adore Jeff Price’s passion. Anyone who has seen Lefsetz veins pop out when he is speaking knows that passion is at the core of his being and whether you agree with him or not, you gotta love him.
There are no bad guys. There are just artists and fans. Artists have to learn to serve fans better and the rest of us have to learn to serve artists better. And we will. You can count on it.
If you will be in the L.A. Area or willing to travel to the L.A. area you should check out the New Music Seminar on February 1st and 2nd. Readers of MusicianCoaching.com can get a two for one discount by going to www.newmusicseminar.biz. and entering the code “nmsla2”.