Latest Indie News

  • UPDATE: EMI Nears $4.1B Split Sale To Sony, UMG

    Nov 11

    image from Several major media outlets are confirming that Citigroup has chosen Sony and Universal as winners of an auction that totalled $4.1 billion for the publishing and recorded music divisions.

    The sale of EMI's two divisions to separate buyers is nearing completion, according to several sources. On the publishing side, a Sony led consortium has reportedly closed a needed deal with GSO, the credit arm of Blackstone, to finance $500 million of the $2.2 billion rumored purchase price. Unless, BMG trumps the offer at the last minute, a deal could be announced as early as today.

    The Sale Of EMI's Recorded Music Division:

    Vivendi’s Universal Music is also expected to announce that it has agreed a $1.9 billion deal for EMI’s recorded music business, according to the Financial Times. The deal, which would be a huge win for new UMG head Lucian Grainge,  was reportedly struck after owner Citigroup agreed to take on EMI's pension liabilities.

    NOT SO FAST...

    But even before the ink is dry on any deal, opposition is already mounting in Brussels, as EU regulators encouraged by indie trade group Impala, worried that Universal is getting too big and too powerful. Some pecuslate that Vivendi may even have to sell of some of its new assets to gain EU approval, as well as, to assure credit rating agencies that the company is not over extended.

  • UK Drops Controversial VAT Tax Loophole

    Nov 11

    image from UK government has announced that they are closing a controversial loophole in the Value Added Tax (VAT) code that allowed mail order retailers on the Channel Islands to undercut independent retailers on everything from music to cosmetics.

    According to the Guardian, retailers such as and The Hut Group took advantage of the loophole, which allowed them to sell goods under £18 from the islands of Jersey and Guernsey without being subjected to the VAT, putting retailers in the UK at a marked disadvantage.

    The exception, known as the value consignment relief (LVCR), put retailers out of business and cost the U.K. more than £140m a year in lost tax receipts. Because of the exemption, goods were often shipped to the Channel Islands in order to be reshipped to customers.

    "This round tripping mail order industry, whilst popular with consumers, has destroyed or damaged scores of viable job-creating businesses on the UK mainland," Richard Allen told the Guardian., Allen started campaigning against LCVR when his own online music business failed, due, he claims to VAT free competition.

    The Value Added Tax is a form of consumption tax levied on the value added to an item or service. The "value added" to a product by a business is the sale price charged to its customer, minus the cost of materials and other taxable inputs. - via CelebrityAccess

  • Executing Your Ideas

    Nov 7

    10 out of Tenn

    10 out of Tenn

    All “talk”, and no “do” makes Jack an interesting boy…but just a talker.  The problem with people who have great ideas and no execution is that their ideas either get stolen by others who hear them, or their ideas get dusty on top of a metaphorical shelf full of past ideas.

    Everyone’s got dreams they want to make happen…but often times artists feel their dreams are too big and don’t know how to even start. The key is to scratch the surface and allow yourself to act “irrationally” every once in a while.  Here’s what I mean…

    What’s the Worst that can Happen?
    If you read the “What’s the Worst That Can Happen?“ post from January, you’ll realize that every possibility has two answers – either yes or no. But that’s about it.  It seriously can’t get any worse. You won’t be black-listed for asking to open for John Mayer. If anything you’ll probably just be ignored.  That email or phone call will most likely not be returned :)   That’s a “NO” just in case you were wondering.

    But it doesn’t hurt to ask. Lets say John Mayer is playing at your college.  It really isn’t that bad of an idea to ask if your band can open up for him since you’re students at the school (assuming you don’t suck).  The University of Pittsburgh does that every semester for “Bigelow Bash”.  They have a local band (that has a least one Pitt student) open up for the featured performer.  Pitt has welcomed Jason Mraz, Ben Folds, Lifehouse, Gavin DeGraw, and others to their semi-annual event.

    Time & Fear – the two great inhibitors
    Most people use the excuse of having time, but if things were to pick up with your music, would you make the time to accomodate the success? Heck ya!  But how can they pick up if you don’t take the time to make them grow?  There’s always a way to find balance between what you love to do and what you have to do.

    Fear. It’s a bigger problem than time. You and I both run into people all the time who are afraid to do anything with their music. The problem is, most people don’t realize that it’s fear holding them back.  Fear of not being able to make money. Fear of getting rejected. Fear of failing. Fear of succeeding.

    Learning to act big
    If thinking big isn’t hard, why is acting big such a huge problem? I recently came across a group called Ten out of Tenn (TOT) that is doing just that. What it if you could tour without forking out so much $ for gas, promotion, sleep arrangements…etc.  TOT is doing this in the most clever of ways. They’re 10 singer/songwriters out of Nashville who have rented a huge tour bus, and travel around sharing each others’ fanbases and communities. They act as each others’ band on stage too. They’re at the point now where they’ve got Corporate sponsors like Toms Shoes, and American SongSpace (a branch of American Songwriter Magazine).  And they also have a compilation CD.  With sponsors, ticket sales at shows (which is usually around$10) and sales from their CD, they’re trip is easily  funded and everything else is pure profit. Just like that!

    Imagine if you had all the money in the world to pursue your dreams. What would you do?  Check this past post called “Thinking Outside the Box” and follow the lead of  TOT. Thinking outside the box isn’t hard. Doing outside the box shouldn’t be either.  And…if you act on your ideas, they’ll be mimicked instead of stolen. Check out “4 on Tour“. Its a new group following the lead of TOT.

    “I don’t want to hear people’s ideas. I’m not interested until I see their execution.”

    -Derek Sivers
    (“Ideas are just a multiplier of execution“)


    ***Subscribe to Grassrootsy    


    Originally posted 2009-08-26 12:17:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

  • test

    Nov 11

  • A Crash Course in Band Promotion (PeelPost Interview)

    Nov 10

    I just did an interview with Peel Post, a new band promotion tool that posts your flyer across the web. Here’s a snippet where of the interview where I talk about where I am with my band and what I feel are some essentials to getting your band going. Hint: it’s not using social media.

    Can you tell us a little about your band? How has your audience grown since you started your blog?  

    My band’s name is Shiplosion, party metal for your face! I came up with the idea about a year ago, but only recently got a drummer and guitarist. We’ve been practicing and writing music constantly for the past few months and plan on having our first show soon.

    So, we don’t have an audience, yet, which is perfect for my blog. I learned a lot from my previous band, and this time I’m going to do things right with fan engagement, promotion, and just being way smarter with how we record and get things done. Just the few experiments we’ve done with YouTube and have received great feedback, so I’m hoping for good things.

    My blog will chronicle the steps I take with Shiplosion to promote and get more fans. I hope it turns out successful, but, even if it fails, I’m going to share that on my blog. Sometimes, what not to do is just as important as what to do.

    You can find Shiplosion at All the ways you can follow us are on the right hand side of the site.

    You said you started your blog because you read a lot of blogs and books about music marketing, but you weren’t seeing real world results.  What are some of the pieces of advice that you read about that are huge waste of time?  What is the biggest mistake you think bands make in trying to get fans and new people to their shows?

    This is a loaded question! I’ll give a small example. Recently, the service OneSheet was all over the place, and every music marketer was all over it. I checked out the service and was completely underwhelmed. All it did was aggregate various social networks and allow you to post one song or video on its front page. Hey, I have this thing called a website! It does all of this and more!

    That’s just one example, but it’s endemic to the music marketing community: we jump all over the bright new shiny thing without knowing if it will bring real world results for a band. I’ve been guilty, too, of posting elaborate schemes for social media without having real world results. Hopefully, though, I’ve labled them as experiments that need to be tried, and a band must measure the results to see if the investment in time is really worth it.

    All social media is simply a way to talk to your fans and engage with them. Before sites like Facebook, bands relied more on talking to fans one on one and even sending them something in the mail. Social media makes the process way easier, but bands are making the mistake of not drawing fans into a deeper experience.

    Instead of concentrating on the bright new shiny media thing, concentrate on making your fans happy. Make your music GREAT first! No amount of social media savviness will cover up shitty music. Then, concentrate on making your show something unforgettable. After those two things, then concentrate on your social media strategies.

    If you look at the marketing being done by Shiplosion at the moment, it’s nearly non-existent. That’s because we’re still trying to make GREAT music. We could easily waste our time with a million other media gimmicks, but that won’t help us with great material.

    I’m sure I’m straying off point, but the biggest mistake I’ve personally made as a musician is not doing one thing GREAT first. Instead, I’ve tried to do a million things half assed and got nowhere. Booking shows, making fliers, updating Twitter, playing with HTML design on my website, on and on and on. The whole time, my old band didn’t get our album out. We were so consumed by the million and one things going on, we couldn’t focus on the most important.

    And back to your question, the biggest mistake  when it comes to getting people to shows is not making fans happy and not meeting new fans at each and every show. Instead of grabbing a drink from the bar and talking to your buddies after the show, go meet new people! Give them something for free. Joke with them, learn their name and something about their life. Make genuine connections and DON’T BE A ROCK STAR. Winning a new fan for life is way more valuable than selling a CD or t-shirt.

    People go to shows to be entertained, and not only for the brief time a band is on stage. How can you make their experience magical?

    Read the rest over at Peel Post by clicking here.

  • NEWS UPDATE: New WMG EVP, Kindle Music Apps, Rumblefish + Majors' Catalog & Midem Savings

    Nov 10

    HypebotFaviconWarner Music Group has named Brian Roberts as EVP and CFO. He will succeed Steven Macri who is leaving the company. Roberts is currently an executive at Warner/Chappell Music. There were big changes at WMG Int'l.

    • Re-configured apps by Songza, Pandora and Rhapsody will join Netflix, Twitter and thousands of other apps on the Kindle Fire.


    • Rumblefish announced a partnership with APM Music, a joint venture of EMI Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing to offer their massive music library to consumers for use in their YouTube and other personal online videos
    • Midem Savings: Sign up before Nov. 15th and pay €650. Artists can register for €295


  • NEWS UPDATE:New WMG EVP, Kindle Music Apps, Rumblefish + Majors' Catalog & Midem Savings

    Nov 10

    HypebotFaviconWarner Music Group has named Brian Roberts as EVP and CFO. He will succeed Steven Macri who is leaving the company. Roberts is currently an executive at Warner/Chappell Music. There were big changes at WMG Int'l.

    • Re-configured apps by Songza, Pandora and Rhapsody will join Netflix, Twitter and thousands of other apps on the Kindle Fire.


    • Rumblefish announced a partnership with APM Music, a joint venture of EMI Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing to offer their massive music library to consumers for use in their YouTube and other personal online videos
    • Midem Savings: Sign up before Nov. 15th and pay €650. Artists can register for €295


  • Hello Music Hits 100,000 Member Milestone

    Nov 10

    image from daily deal platform Hello Music announced this morning that has reached the 100,000 member mark. Hello offers pre-negotiated discounts on limited quantities of instruments and gear from more than 100 manufactures, along with studio time and other services. Founded in 2010, the company says they've had an average of 42% month-over-month growth throughout 2011.

    Membership in Hello Music is free.

    In the last year, Hello has pivoted from providing opportunities for a select group of artists to offering all musicians a broad array of daily deals and discounts. In 2011, Hello Music became part of Elevator Labs, a privately held incubator backed by KGC Capital

    To celebrate the 100,000th user, Hello created this video explaining the company's mission:



  • SoundTracking Scores $4.75M For Social Music App

    Nov 9

    image from SoundTracking, an addictive social mobile iPhone app that creates “musical postcards”, has received $4.75 million in financing. SoundTracking is currently the most shared music service on Twitter.

    The company will use a portion of the funding to expand to the Android platform.

    The financing round was led by Accel Partners, also an investor Spotify, along with True Ventures and SoftBank Capital.

    image from“There are a lot of music services out there that allow people to consume, and then offer sharing as an additional feature,” Steve Jang, the company’s co-founder, told the New York Times. “We are making sharing the core experience and discovery is a bi-product.”

    SoundTracking was developed in San Francisco based mobile app incubator and previously received $1.1M in seed funding from True Ventures, Google Ventures and AOL Ventures.

  • Next Generation QR Codes: From QR Hacker To The Gaga Machine

    Nov 10

    Qr-hackerQR codes continue their scattered advance with a number of creative music related campaigns. Creative uses include greetings cards connected to Spotify playlists, codes for The Gaga Machine, links to a map of Portland music venues and inclusion in an interactive music installation for the Iceland Airwaves festival. Plus, QR Hacker provides a web app for creating personalized QR codes.

    Greeting Cards Lead to Themed Spotify Playlists

    A couple of months back UK-based creative agency Stupid, who are doing some nice work with artistic QR code campaigns, created a series of greeting cards that directed the recipient to themed playlists accessible via a Spotify Premium smart phone app. I have no idea what happens if you don't have that Spotify app.

    QR Codes Feed The Gaga Machine

    On November 21st, Barneys New York will open Gaga's Workshop featuring Lady Gaga's version of Santa's Workshop using all 5500 sq. ft. of the fifth floor. The complex project will include The Gaga Machine that outputs special messages and offers when one inputs "mysterious alpha-numeric codes and QR codes [that] will be strategically placed and released through a variety of digital and outdoor, experiential channels for people to find throughout New York City and online."

    Accessing Maps for Portland Music Venues

    The Portland [Maine] Music Foundation recently put out a printed map featuring local music venues that include a QR code leading one to a "Google map with 30 more live-music venues" since they couldn't all fit on the printed version. The display case for the maps also featured the same QR code so that it would be accessible when the maps ran out.

    Iceland Airwaves Interactive Music Installation

    Two Icelandic telecom companies created an interactive music installation for the 2011 Iceland Airwaves music festival. People's movement to music created various patterns that periodically resolved into a QR code that, when scanned, offered more information about what was happening at the festival.

    QR Hacker Creates Personalized QR Codes

    If you're wanting to experiment with QR codes and are looking for a creative code generator, you might want to take a look at QR Hacker. It's free and allows you to use your own content. QR Hacker has gotten good reviews from Simply Zesty's Lauren Fisher, though she said it had a few bugs, and from Geek Dad's Daniel Danahoo.

    Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.