Latest Indie News

  • REPORT: What The Second Decade Of Digital Music Will Look Like [SLIDES]

    Oct 17

    image from www.google.comGlobal marketing and communications giant J. Walter Thompson works to keep major brands like Bayer, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Shell and Unilever ahead of the curve.  In a new study, they concluded that in 2011 "we got a clearer glimpse of what the second decade of digital music will look like - and it’s quite different from the first in many ways." The result is a broad and insightful report: "Things To Watch: Music Edition"



    "We’ll be accessing, discovering and sharing music in new ways, changes that are happening just as listening gets suddenly more social," according to the new JWT report. "Meanwhile, engaged audiences have new expectations, and artists have new tools at their disposal." Take special note of the contributions from several of those you see featured regularly on Hypebot and MusicThinkTank like Kyle Bylin and Bruce Warila.

  • inBloom Mobile App Makes It Easier For Touring Bands To Stay Green

    Oct 17

    InBloom_List_View copyinBloom is a location-based and eco-conscious mobile app that was originally designed to make it easy for musicians to find affordable and healthy food, green hotels, and bio-diesel filling stations while on tour.

    "As a touring band, you see those golden arches off the side of the highway and it's extremely convenient and cheap to buy food from companies you know exploit people, animals, and promote unsustainable farming monocultures,” says inBloom co-founder Oren Eytan. “The question I started asking is 'how do you make it just as easy and affordable to find healthier alternatives?'"

    Eytan is also the founder of Musician's Energy Conservation Alliance (MECA), which runs a variety of programs to help musicians save money while touring in an environmentally friendly way. MECA currently has nearly 1,000 musician members including OK Go, The Antlers, DeVotchKa, Kevin Devine, An Horse, Nicole Atkins, Free Energy, Murder By Death, and A Rocket To The Moon.

    Quickly realizing that the app had a wider potential audience, inBloom now focuses on the sustainable food movement and includes listings for restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, Community-Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and Co-Ops, green hotels, thrift shops, green supply stores, and retail businesses powered by renewable energy.

    On October 22nd, a separate veriosn of the app will be released for MECA members that focuses on major cities, music venues, and highways typically traveled by bands. The wide-release edition of inBloom, geared to non-musicians, will be available as a free iPhone app in the iTunes store on November 15th.

    This post is by regular Hypebot contributor, musician, and music marketer Hisham Dahud (@HishamDahud)

  • Win 1 of 5 FREE Passes To Billboard's FutureSound Conference Nov 17-18

    Oct 17

    image from www.google.comThe Billboard FutureSound Conference will be held November 17-18 at the Terra in San Francisco. This inaugural gathering will focus on bringing music industry, tech and finance leaders together to to define "the future opportunity of the digital music market for the artist, entrepreneur and rights-holder alike." Because of our media sponsorship of the event, we have 5 free tickets to giveaway.  Here's how to win:

    Submissions must be prior to 5PM ET 10/18/2011. 

    In the comments section below, tell us what development - good or bad - in music industry during the last decade has surprised you the most? For example:

    The death of the album? The rise of Apple as a music powerhouse? Ian Roger's being nominated for an MTV O Award for  Hottest NILF?

    If you want to comment and can't attend, just let us know in your post. We'll include all the best answers in a future Hypebot story.

    What development - good or bad - in music industry during the last decade has surprised you the most? 

  • AM BRIEF: CMJ Starts, Cull.tv, Twitter Soars, Music For Steve, Getty + Atom Factory, New Jobs & More

    Oct 18

    HypebotFaviconCMJ starts today in NYC and cranks up as the week progresses. One of the "must sees" is the music tech CantoraLabs SmartLounge on Wed. & Thurs. Patrick May from our Hypebot/Skyline Music team is on the ground. But we also want to hear from you. What are your "must sees" at CMJ 2011?

    • CULL.TV: I've been experimenting with Cull.tvI like what I see and will be writing about creative ways for artists and labels to use it. In the meantime, as Eliot wrote on Evolver.fm, "Cull TV Isn’t the First to Turn YouTube into ‘New Music Television,’ But It’s Pretty Neat".
    • Twitter Has 100 Million Monthly Active Users; 50% Log In Every Day (Mashable)

    MORE:

    • Steve Jobs' memorial service featured performances by Bono, who sang Bob Dylan's "Every Grain of Sand," and Joan Baez, who performed "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."
    • Getty Images has announced an agreement to license and distribute the catalog of Atom Factory, led by Troy Carter of Lady Gaga fame.
    • WHAT JOB SHORTAGE?
    • Pandora has hired its first chief marketing officer, Simon Fleming-Wood, formerly a marketing executive at Cisco Consumer Products and Pure Digital Technologies / Flip video.
    • Google has finally killed Google Buzz.
    • VEVO has hired Jim Macnie as Editorial Director.
    • Hollywood Records named Robbie Snow Head Of Global Marketing. He's held marketing posts and MCA (remember them?) and RCA.

  • Believe Digital & Absolute Marketing Announce Strategic Partnership

    Oct 18

    image from www.google.comIndie digital distributor Believe Digital has announced a strategic partnership with label services firm Absolute Marketing. This new agreement will give Absolute Marketing & Distribution access to Believe Digital‘s worldwide digital distribution network and will provide Believe with a diverse range of new and catalog content.

    With offices in Europe and North America, Believe Digital has become a distribution powerhouse in several EU markets. According to figures from the IFOP, in 2099 Believe ranked as the number one digital distributor in France with a 27.11% market share, ahead of Sony with a 22.72% share.

    image from www.google.comBreaking the old label model, Absolute Marketing & Distribution offers marketing and business management services for independent record labels, single-artist labels and brand-owned music labels who retain full rights to their work. Past and current clients include Melanie C, Shirley Bassey, Herbie Hancock, Marillion, Hall & Oates, Boy George and Imogen Heap.

  • Sean Parker: "I'm Not Sure Why You Would Sign With A Record Label" [VIDEO]

    Oct 18

    image from rww.readwriteweb.netdna-cdn.comAt Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Sean Parker, venture capitalist and co-founder of Facebook and Napster and Spotify investor, sat down to talk about his take on the future of the music industry. "I'm not actually sure why you would sign with a record label," quipped Parker. On Spotify, Parker says its "an attempt to finish what I started at Napster".  WATCH THE VIDEO:

        Most of the music discussion happens from 9-18 minutes, then the discussion turns to what's wrong with Facebook and the glut of information.

  • ChatWithTheBand Facebook Video App Now Available for Musicians' Pages

    Oct 18

    Chatwiththeband-logoWe recently offered early admission to artists who wanted to try out ChatWithTheBand, a Facebook app that powers live video chat and listening sessions, and the app is now available for all artists to add to their Facebook pages. It's still under development with more features to come but the basic functionality seems solid and offers a nice way to deepen your presence and connect with your fans on Facebook.

    Chatwiththeband-controlpanel

    ChatWithTheBand Artist Control Panel

    I spoke with Dan Peachey about his newest project ChatWithTheBand which musicians can now add to their Facebook pages via the ChatWithTheBand website. You can see a demo video on our previous post announcing the service.

    Mr. Peachey has a rich background in music tech including being Director of Engineering for Peter Gabriel's project The Filter. He "conceived, designed and built" ChatWithTheBand.

    I interviewed Mr. Peachey via ChatWithTheBand in the role of artist. It's a fairly simple interface and each of the links you can see in the above screenshot leads to basically one action though the actual broadcasting has a couple of options.

    ChatWithTheBand gives you, the artist, the ability to broadcast live via webcam, to chat with one fan while other viewers check it out and to play tracks to which all viewers can listen. Currently you're viewable while the music is playing but the option to have a privacy screen will soon be available.

    Eventually you'll also be able to record broadcasts and, if you wish, publish them in archival form so fans can come back and check things out. This also means that fans that chat with you can relive the delightful experience!

    Currently fans can click through and buy tracks played during listening parties using a link you provide. Upcoming features will include the option to organize a charity event with a donate button, more advanced options for ecommerce and tools for moderation including options to block troublemakers.

    Long term Mr. Peachey said that, in addition to improving the Facebook app, they intend to develop these capabilities on their website with additional options like profiles, more ecommerce possibilities and premium services.

    If you have an active Facebook presence or want to get your audience more involved via Facebook chats and listening sessions, ChatWithTheBand strikes me as a great option for so doing. It is also clearly a project to follow as they improve the app and develop the website.

    Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He maintains a business writing hub at Flux Research and also blogs at This Business of Blogging. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

  • Digital Music Sales To Triple In 4 Years To $20.1 Billion [REPORT]

    Oct 18

    image from www.google.comThe digital music industry is set to double from $7.4 billion to $20.1 billion in 2015, according to a new study. That's a compound annual growth rate of 22.1% over the period. Subscriptions will be the fastest growing segment, growing at a compound annual rate of 60.8% to 2015.

    In terms of digital music market value, the US, Japan, UK, France and Germany are the key digital music markets, together accounting for 79.5% of the global market in 2010. India, China, and Mexico are the upcoming digital music markets, which present strong growth potential, according to the report.

    On fact driving the growth, according to the study, it that globally, ISPs are entering the battle against music piracy, primarily driven by the collective efforts of music companies and local governments. In 2010, France, Ireland and South Korea took steps to curtail music piracy, while others including the UK, New Zealand and Malaysia are aiming to do so in 2011.

  • Danny Bennett On Managing Tony Bennett, Alternative Marketing & Digital Music [Part 1]

    Oct 18

    Tony-amyDanny Bennett has been instrumental in the career of his father, Tony Bennett, yet he's received relatively limited public attention over the years. I recently spoke with Danny about his career, his marketing approach for Mr. Bennett and his longtime desire to push the music industry towards digital music and the web. Though this is a two-part interview, I could easily see doing an extended series on Danny's perspectives and experiences.

    Danny-bennettDanny Bennett (Photo: Kelsey Bennett)

    I'm taking the liberty of calling Danny Bennett by his first name since we are discussing two Bennetts. Danny grew up in a very musical household and has experience as both a performer and studio engineer but he seems to have found his true place in the music industry as his father's manager. Not only has he done an excellent job for Mr. Bennett but he has offered an example to the music industry of the success possible when one embraces change intelligently.

    Danny began managing Mr. Bennett in 1979 at a time when he and similar acts were watching their aging audience "literally dying", spending way too much time performing in Las Vegas and not adjusting well to changing times. Danny's insight was that younger audiences might respond to Mr. Bennett if given the opportunity, something that would have been almost impossible in the 1960s and unlikely in the 70s. In fact, he says that both he and Mr. Bennett questioned the industry's emphasis on demographic boundaries wondering, "do you have to be a certain age to listen to Beethoven?"

    Danny began to seek out a younger audience for Mr. Bennett with college tours and performances on David Letterman. He also connected with Bob Guccione, Jr. at SPIN which led to a fashion layout in the magazine and a performance in LA with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This approach resulted in a deal with Columbia Records and the 1986 release of "The Art of Excellence" putting Mr. Bennett back on the charts.

    This album was also distinguished by being what Danny believes was the first totally digital album made using hard drives for recording. In keeping with the transition to CD's, Danny also made the break with cassettes. From this point on, Danny would urge his major label partners and contacts to make the shift to digital music and then to the web in the 90s while leading Tony Bennett into the future of music.

    During this period Danny continued his alternative marketing approach with such moves as working the college radio scene in the late 80s and getting a Tony Bennett music video on MTV's Buzz Bin in the early 90s. The latter led to Mr. Bennett's appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1994 and the subsequent album release led to a Grammy for Album of the Year.

    This revival of Tony Bennett's career circulates around three themes:

    • Continuing Tony Bennett's approach to music and performance that has earned him the reputation as a classic artist.
    • Finding a young audience by taking his act to their territory without buying into major label demographic assumptions.
    • And not just keeping up with but diving into changes in the music industry driven by technology.

    In Part 2, to be posted tomorrow, I will focus on Danny's work promoting Tony Bennett's latest album "Duets II" as well as his advice for young artists.

    Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He maintains a business writing hub at Flux Research and also blogs at This Business of Blogging. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

  • Only 3-4 Digital Music Services Will Survive Next 12 Months, Says Digital Exec

    Oct 18

    image from www.google.comLet the culling begin. There is only “room for three or four” digital music services, and we’ll see a number of them close in the next twelve months," according to Deezer UK’s Managing Director Mark Foster. Since launching in the UK in September, Deezer claims 1.4 million premium subscribers, in large part thanks to a bundling deal with mobile provider Orange. So, what about his competition?

    Twelve months seems a short time for so many companies to call it quits.  But after factoring in the cost of all of the free streaming happening on Facebook and elsewhere, the price-tag for staying open looms larger.  Then there are antsy rightsholders who may want bigger, not smaller payments when contracts come up for renewal.

    “We’ll be one of (survivors), no question. Whether we’ll be bigger than Spotify, I don’t know," Foster told Music Week. "There’ll inevitably be a shake-out – as with any market where you get a lot of people coming in with great ideas – over the next twelve months, you’ll get four or five big players coming out of the pack. Some will fall away. That’s market dynamics”.

    What do you think the next 12 months will bring? Who will survive?