Category Archives: Uncategorized

A critical look at Spotify’s deal for musicians

Not a glowing review of how Spotify deals with the artists who aren’t represented by big labels. Here’s one example:

“On Spotify, it seems, artists are not equal. There are indie labels that, as opposed to the majors and Merlin members, receive no advance, receive no minimum per stream and only get a 50% share of ad revenue on a pro-rata basis (which so far has amounted to next to nothing). “

A critical look at Spotify’s deal for musicians

What Will Record Labels Look Like in the Future?

An interesting introductory article from Jason Feinberg, summarizing the challenges facing the music publishing industry:

The pioneers of the music industry couldn’t have seen this coming in their wildest dreams. When publishers were selling sheet music in the late 1800s, the idea of people privately sharing their product, independent of location and physical constraints, would have seemed ridiculous. But now record labels have been decimated by the digital shift, and are rethinking their entire business model to survive.

What Will Record Labels Look Like in the Future?

Vintage Music Collective

San Mateo County’s own Vintage Music Collective, playing really tight reggae and blues. And performing all over the place (Little Fox, San Mateo County Faire).

From their Facebook page:

Personal Interests: Making you dance. Being funky

Vintage Music Collective

The New Breed of Record Labels: Helping Bands Help Themselves

Polyphonic will invest in bands, who in turn will operate like startups, dealing mostly with contractors to handle various aspects of a band’s work, such as merch, tours, publicity, recording etc. They will share profits from their music and tours, but – and this is the really important part – they get to keep copyrights and master recordings. It’s about royalties, of course, but it’s also about controlling what happens to your own music, something that has troubled many artists, such as Tori Amos, Trent Reznor or Radiohead, when they dealt with major labels.

Now, that sounds interesting… its about time entrepreneurial spirit met music in an artist-friendly way.

The New Breed of Record Labels: Helping Bands Help Themselves

Music Labels Reach Royalty Deal With Online Stations

There’s been a lot of concern among in the community of fans of small and innovative music webcasters like Pandora about royalties being set by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board – fees were set at rates which would have potentially put companies like Pandora out of business. With this new agreement, however, it looks like the industry folks have have relented a bit.

Details are in the NY Times article, but this pretty much sums it up:

“This is definitely the agreement that we’ve been waiting for,” said Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora

UPDATE: Tim Westergren’s summary is here. I really like those guys!

Music Labels Reach Royalty Deal With Online Stations

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Musicians: Do you have 1000 “True Fans”?

In this 2008 blog entry, Kevin Kelly wrote posits that it should be possible for artists to survive on a modest (1000) number of “true fans” who would spend enough money per capita on their favorite artists to support each artist. The exciting idea was that this would make it possible for artists to focus on their art, even if it weren’t popular, and not live like a pauper.

A followup blog entry, “The Case Against 1000 True Fans” presents some sobering results: apparently such an artist doesn’t exist.

But is that still true? Are social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc allowing musicians to reach down the long tail and find the 1000 true fans among the hundreds of millions of music fans? That is, in part, what motivates me to write this blog. I see the potential micro-celebrities to become self-supporting simply through social networks and I want to highlight success stories, tools, best practices, and other advice for aspiring “1000 true fan”-style musicians.

So my question to readers is whether or not they are, or know of, musicians supporting themselves (either partially of fully) through a “true fan” model? Are you a true fan supporting a musician that you like? Do you know of resources for artists wanting to build a “true fan” network?

[Thanks to Adina Levin for the links]

Musicians: Do you have 1000 “True Fans”?

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Breaking News EXCLUSIVE: Hope Squad Becomes “The Shebangs”

With a mere tweet, @keikotakamura, the lead singer (and chief conspirator) of Hope Squad announced that the group has renamed themselves The Shebangs. Which this author finds a little funny since the band is 50/50 male/female — doesn’t that mean the group should be called “The Theybangs”?

And yes kids, The Shebangs are on Twitter and Myspace.

Back to your regularly scheduled beatslacking…

Vibe Magazine Shutting Down Immediately

Is this:

  1. A sign of the general economic times
  2. A sign of the decline of print media
  3. A sign of nothing in particular?


Vibe Magazine Shutting Down Immediately

Jason from West Seattle Pleasure Club

Just saw Jason from WSPC live at open mic at Angelica’s. Check out his band here.

Jason from West Seattle Pleasure Club


B is For Bob (full album online)

I’m probably not in the habit of discussing individual releases, but as a dad, this one is a special exception. I grew up listening to my dad’s Bob Marley albums, and now my kids get to hear the same songs, made perhaps a little more appealing for them (at 6 and 8). Definitely a must-have — and the songs are available to listen to for free online right now:

B is for Bob is a collection of original Bob Marley songs re-imagined for kids and fans of all ages!!
The international musical legend’s eldest son, four-time Grammy winner Ziggy Marley, executive produced the album, which bridges the gap between the timeless Bob Marley and a new generation of kids.
Bob Marley’s music touches people of all ages. With children in mind, Ziggy has transformed 8 of his father’s songs while leaving 4 of Bob Marley’s other masterpieces untouched.
Released just in time for summer, this is the perfect album for the entire family to enjoy!

B is For Bob (full album online)

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