DigABand Empowers Independent Musicians To Boost Their Online Presence

Gonna have to try this out and keep an eye on it. I’ve been waiting for just this sort of platform for the “1000 true fans” model…

DigABand, which just launched in private beta, is hoping to help independent artists manage their online presence easily and through and single platform.

DigABand Empowers Independent Musicians To Boost Their Online Presence

Forrester Article: “Music biz needs radical overhaul to thrive”

In the “no duh!” file…

This Ars Technica coverage of a new Forrester report states what seems to me to be stupendously obvious:

“The music industry needs a “radical overhaul” to its products if it wants to revive sales, and that overhaul revolves around actually catering to consumer needs. That’s the argument in a new report from market research firm Forrester, which says that the music business needs to give up being obsessed with itself in favor of letting users create their own music experiences with ease. “

And here’s the clincher:

Needless to say, doing all of this involves the true death of DRM as we know it—or, as Forrester says, a makeover of DRM. Instead of keeping users from doing things like mixing and sharing, it should “primarily be an enabler of the consumer experiences, creative processes, and sharing.”

Forrester Article: “Music biz needs radical overhaul to thrive”

Zoe’s Incredibly Interesting Blog: Deep thoughts on my music career

A great interview of Zoe Keating where Zoe discusses (among other things) why she didn’t want to sign to a record label:

“I’m not trashing record labels. They perform a useful service for many artists. But I don’t think the model works for me. I think of recording contracts as very, very expensive bank loans. In the future, if I need extra money to make an album, I’m more likely to try and raise it by appealing to my fans.”

She also talks in some depth about how she makes a living being a completely self-funded artist. A very interesting test case for the future of label-less artists…

[Thanks again to Adina Levin for the link]

Zoe’s Incredibly Interesting Blog: Deep thoughts on my music career

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…