ARCHIVE: Music Industry

May 21, 2008

New Napster Mp3 Store; COO Interviewed

Napster continues to involve...from ground-breaking file sharing network, to music subscription (streaming) service, to MP3 download store.Napster recently launched a DRM-free MP3 store to join the likes of Amazon, Zune, Real, and Yahoo.  It claims to have 50% more music than... Read More

January 07, 2008

Music Lessons from Seth Godin

Another one of my favorite authors, Seth Godin, wrote a fantabulous post today of music lessons for the music industry (i.e. for major labels).  Definitely a great read -- here's a lesson summary, but be sure to check out the full... Read More

January 06, 2008

Andrew Dubber and Online Media Ecology

Andrew Dubber's New Music Strategies blog is one of my favorite reads in the music space, especially when I need a philosophical infusion of online media ecology (his term, not mine). Well, he's decided to start 2008 by transforming the... Read More

November 16, 2007

RCRD LBL Launched by Engadget Founder

Peter Rojas, founder of Engadget, Joystiq, and Gizmodo, launched a new biz LBL.  (Vowels?  We don't need no stinkin' vowels..!)  Imagine a cross between the mp3 blog Large Hearted Boy and editorially-leaning publication Pitchfork, then remove the unbiased commentary,... Read More

September 26, 2007

Amazon Selling DRM-free MP3s at the AmazonMP3 Store

Cool -- Amazon just launched a public beta version of AmazonMP3, their new music download store selling DRM-free MP3s.  iTunes is great in terms of user experience, but all purchased music is iPod-bound.  Cool things about AmazonMP3:Launched with 2 million +... Read More

September 05, 2007

Rick Rubin and the Columbia Records TurnAround

Check out this great article on Rick Rubin in the NY Times.  Rick is simply an amazing producer with an incredibly gifted pair of ears on his head.  Think artists such as L.L Cool J, Red Hot Chile Peppers, Johnny... Read More

June 24, 2007

12 Great Music Social Networks

Mashable put together a nice little run down of what they think the 12 best music social networks are:Flotones, Mercora Radio, MOG,,'s iLike, JamNow, MusoCity, Haystack, Sonific, Midomi, iJigg, Sellaband.There are simply too many of these to keep... Read More

June 13, 2007

BurnLounge Gets Burned, and I'm Relieved

BurnLounge is basically the Amway of digital music.  Its customers run digital music stores and make money in one of two ways:  1) selling music downloads, and 2) recruiting other people to become store owners.  This kind of business model... Read More

March 28, 2007

iTunes Charts Bum Rushed, Unsigned Band Makes It

So, an update on the "Bum Rush the Charts" campaign that took place last week (where a group of podcasters tried to launch a currently unsigned band (Black Lab) into the iTunes "top song" charts):The song "Mine Again" reached #11... Read More

March 22, 2007

"Bum Rush the Charts" Campaign Launches

Man, the RIAA hasn't been making many friends, lately.A bunch of podcasters have been touting a "Bum Rush the Charts" campaign for weeks, calling on everyone to visit iTunes on March 22nd (i.e. today) and buy a track called "Mine... Read More

March 19, 2007

Create Digital Music Interviews Pandora Founder

Two great posts from Peter at Create Digital Music -- if you're a Pandora fan or just love internet radio, they're a must-read:Interview with Pandora Founder: Royalty Rate HikeInterview with Pandora Founder: How Pandora Works... Read More

March 06, 2007

Internet Radio Gets Royalty Rate Smack Down

Ouch.  The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) announced its decision decision to adopt the "per play per customer" royalty rate proposal made by SoundExchange (the RIAA-created digital music fee collection service).  As a result, webcasters will have to pay, retroactively:2006   $.0008... Read More

February 21, 2007

The Death of Albums and Dominance of Singles

It's always fun to read one of Bob Lefsetz's tirades about the music industry.  His latest rant can be summarized -- focus on great singles, forget the album: Yes, the iPod has killed the album.  Technology has changed the format... Read More

February 12, 2007

Steve Jobs, Michael Robertson, and Public Letters Re: Mp3s

Hooray.  Industry leaders throw their weight around:Steve Jobs' Thoughts on Music - (Apple head) Steve states his case for why the music industry should stop selling DRM-protected songs (ie Digital Rights Management-protected). Is he just deflecting the criticism and complaints... Read More

January 18, 2007

2007 NAMM Show Kicks Off Today - Loads of Gear

The 2007 NAMM Show kicks off today in Aneheim, CA with funky music gear galore designed to suction funds out of poor suckers like us.  Check out the coverage at Create Digital Music.Speaking of gear, Brad created a modified version... Read More

November 08, 2006

Artists Only Conference Panel Has no Panelists

The big, bad Digital Music Conference is taking place next week in Miami, FL.  Most of the session titles sound like the same recycled subject matter that reappears every year.One observation -- all of the panels had anywhere from 10-15... Read More

October 23, 2006

Recording Studios Adapt to Home Recording

While some big-time recording studios fall in the wake of do-it-yourself home recording project studios, others have begun to adapt, and even cater to, the home recording artist.Check out Talmage Music, a recording facility which positions itself as an extension to... Read More

October 12, 2006

Tower Records is Kaput, Sold to Liquidator

Ya hate to see it happen.  Tower Records was sold last week to Great American Group for $134.3 million dollars, beating out Trans World Entertainment by a puny $500,000.  What's the difference?  Great American Group will liquidate all Tower Records... Read More

October 10, 2006

NextCat - Entertainment Industry Focused Social Network

Like me, I'm sure you were thinking, "There just aren't enough social networking sites."  We're all in luck.  Fortunately, some manage to differentiate somehwat to offer a little more value than just a "me too" ripoff.NextCat is a professional network focusing on the... Read More

September 18, 2006

Fans Fund Band Album Production Through Sell-A-Band

I love novel business ideas like this one. SellABand has developed a model allowing fans to finance the production of a band's album, and benefit from the album's (hopeful) success thereafter. It works like this: 1) Band creates a profile... Read More

August 07, 2006

The Music Industry and Good Causes

It's nice to see a number of charitable and environmentally friendly efforts being made on the part of various facets of the music industry.  Here are few that were recently brought to my attention:International Day of Peace Concert - Garson Entertainment... Read More

August 02, 2006

Indie Bands and Net Neutrality

A growing number of artists and internet personalities are contributing to the effort to prevent Congress from abandoning Net Neutrality.The gang at Save The Internet has a music video which includes Tron guy, the singing hamster, and a host of other internet... Read More

July 19, 2006

Yahoo Music Survey Considers DRM-free MP3s

Interesting - Yahoo! Music recently surveyed subscribers about whether they'd be interested in buying DRM-free MP3s.  The questions were:If Yahoo! Music offered an unrestricted MP3 file format for music downloads, how likely would you be to use it?Would you consider... Read More

June 30, 2006

Happy Birthday, A2IM

That's right, July 4th marks the one year anniversary of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM).  Among its none-too-shabby accomplishments, according to the press release, are:* A2IM challenged and redefined the perception that the indie sector comprises 18% of... Read More

April 06, 2006 Takes a New Spin On Old CDs

This is kind of interesting. is starting up a new business involving the trading of used CDs.  Basically, you send in an old CD using their 'starter kit' along with $1 (plus $0.49 for shipping), and select the used... Read More

March 17, 2006

The Music Biz 101 Contest

If you're between the ages of 18-26, and are interested in working in the music industry either as an artist, publisher, label manager, technology manager, or whatever, check out this contest:25 college kids will will win an all-expense-paid trip to NYC to attend... Read More

January 10, 2006

Muze & Gracenote Hook Up

Muze and Gracenote announced a partnership to offer a solution that combines music identification technology and services, metadata, album cover art, album reviews and artist biographies in one unifed system.  Muze is contributing the editorial content, and Gracenote's covering the music... Read More

Music at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Last week was insane, with CES 2006 taking place, etc.  As you may have been able to tell, I spent more time reading about newly launched music services and hardware than I did writing about it.  So be it.Seamless mobility... Read More

December 21, 2005

Google Music Search

For anyone that missed it, Google stepped into the music space last week by offering enhanced music search results including artist info, album art, reviews, lyrics, and store links.  Google announced it here, and CNET talks about it here.Nothing huge, but it will... Read More

December 14, 2005

CD Baby Partners With Best Buy

Way to go, CD Baby. Best Buy found that a growing number of customers were asking for independent music not carried by Best Buy, so they turned to CD Baby to deliver. The relationship is only online, currently. If you... Read More

September 22, 2005

Austin City Limits Music Festival vs. Hurricane Rita

I’m heading to the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend. While completely psyched to see an incredible lineup, we’re a tad concerned about the pounding Texas will receive from Hurricane Rita… Austin is about 200 miles offshore, so it... Read More

September 21, 2005

PROMONET Offers Pre-Cleared Music, Videos, More

The Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) launched Promonet today, a promotional distribution network providing “qualified” podcasters, bloggers, internet radio stations, and other music sites with thousands of pre-cleared music tracks, videos, artwork, and more, from over 750 independent labels. Qualification... Read More

Store’s “Buy It, Burn It, Return It” CD Offer

The Wall Street Journal wrote an excellent story about how independent record stores are combating declining CD sales. Scotti's Record Shops has a “Buy It, Burn It, Return It” policy that lets customers do just that. The website reads: Load... Read More

September 13, 2005

The Future of Music Conference

Speaking of music industry conferences and forums, Paid Content has been providing wrap-up posts regarding the Future of Music conference going on this week. This panel sounded particularly interesting: Is Digital Distribution a Good Deal for Artists?. Billboard does a... Read More

"The Music Upfront" Forum is Today

The Music Upfront forum is today. According to the ad, "Don't miss this one-day, high-level forum for marketers and music labels to connect and build partnerships." It's taking place at B.B. Kings, and Teddy Geiger, Rhymefest, and Ne*Yo will be... Read More

September 01, 2005

Cordless: Update On Warner's e-Label for Indy Music

Remember Warner's e-Label announcement last week? Dawn C. Chmielewski at Mercury News provides additional info in this article. Apparently, the tentative name for the album will be Cordless, and will offer song downloads exclusively via the Internet or through mobile... Read More

August 29, 2005

MTV Music Video Awards Wrap-Up

The MTV Music Video Awards took place last night. In case you missed them (like I did), here are a few quick highlights: * Green Day cleaned house with 7 awards. * Fat Joe and 50 Cent's respective posses almost... Read More

August 25, 2005

Stellar Biz Model: Warner's CD-Free "e-Label"

Warner Music's chairman and CEO, Edgar Bronfman Jr., talked about their new, experimental music distribution model that relies on digital downloads instead of CDs. Warner Music's e-Label: * Artists will release clusters of songs every few months, instead of entire... Read More

August 17, 2005

GorillaPop, Community Music Discovery Site

GorillaPop is a community music discovery site in development that contains a library of music submitted by independent artists. Users can search, play, rate, and create playlists for music, while music matching algorithms are used to connect users with similar... Read More

August 04, 2005

Sound Lab Re-Opens, Announces New Partners

Sound Lab announced a grand re-opening of its subscription-based audio recording facilities, as well as new partnerships with Warner Latin and AMP3. From the press release: NYC Sound Lab is proud to announce its new partnership with Warner Latin; one... Read More

July 28, 2005

$$ For Indie Labels: iTunes and Microsoft Up Royalties

Viva la music revolution!! You know conditions are improving for independent labels and unsigned bands when major music retailers are offering to pay artists MORE. Get this: iTunes USA raised their wholesale payout to 70 cents (from 65) per download... Read More

June 29, 2005

No More MGM vs. Grokster Headlines!

I vow not to add another MGM vs. Grokster post to the many, many great articles that already exist everywhere. Except this one. P2P file-sharing certainly won't stop. And it's still a good way for indie artists to get... Read More

June 24, 2005

Long Tail Economics and Digital Music

If you haven't already read Wired Magazine's The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, you really should. The 5-page noodle-cruncher's title has become a favorite buzz word for anyone dealing in ultra-niche, unsigned/independent, digital content. To summarize: Forget squeezing millions... Read More

June 23, 2005

Savage Beast Technologies, A Music Recommendation Engine

Savage Beast Technologies is yet another company developing a music recommendation engine to connect listeners to music they will enjoy. Many companies play in this field, including Amazon, ChoiceStream, Yahoo, and Polyphonic HMI. Savage Beast's model is closer to that... Read More

June 10, 2005

Indie Labels Form New Trade Group

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) was formed last week by a group of 125 independent record labels to give them more leverage with the four major music labels, John Borland reported. CEO of TVT Records and member of... Read More

eMusic Offers 100 Free Downloads in Trial Music Subscription

eMusic is currently offering 100 free mp3 downloads [Note: the offer was updated to 25 free songs] as part of a trial subscription to their enormous library of independent music. Pretty cool; if nothing else, it's a great way to... Read More

June 06, 2005

GarageSpin Spectacular iPod Accessory Awards, June 2005!

It always amazes me how the iPod single handedly created an entirely new industry, that of iPod accessories and services. Below are two that recently grabbed my attention: The winner of the GarageSpin Spectacular iPod Accessory Award for June 2005... Read More

June 05, 2005

Roadcasting: The New Road Rage

Car-To-Car Streaming? As I embark on a 13 hour drive from Kalamazoo, MI, to Harrison, NY, I can only wish that the technology being developed by Carnegie Mellon University graduate students was already on store shelves. The technology (dubbed "Steer-To-Steer"... Read More

June 03, 2005

Magnatune, Indie Label With a Revolutionary Business Model

Magnatune's tag line is "We Are Not Evil." I love it. Magnatune is the first for-profit record label to adopt Creative Commons' copyright licenses into its core distribution strategy. Anyone can listen to all of their music at no cost.... Read More

June 02, 2005

Remix Trend Expands as Record Labels Jump In

Adam Pasick writes in Reuters about the record labels' 180 degree turn regarding master recording licensing for "mashup" use. Over the last couple years, labels have become increasingly willing open their vaults for use by DJs and Remix artists: Amid... Read More

May 26, 2005

Record Labels: Indies vs. Majors

There's a nice Cliffnotes-ish comparison between the potential paths that can be taken by artists, i.e. the choice between going the indie label route or the major label route. Though a little outdated -- there's little or no mention of... Read More

May 18, 2005

"iPod Tax" to Combat Online Piracy

What an asinine idea. A new law is being considered in the Netherlands, the so-called "iPod tax", that would be added to the cost of purchasing any digital music player. The assumption is, some music on every portable MP3 player... Read More

"iPod Tax" to Combat Online Piracy

What an asinine idea. A new law is being considered in the Netherlands, the so-called "iPod tax", that would be added to the cost of purchasing any digital music player. The assumption is, some music on every portable MP3 player... Read More

May 16, 2005

IODA Named "Breakout Company" by Fortune

The Independent Online Distribution Alliance was named one of Fortune's "25 Breakout Companies". If you're unfamiliar with the company, they provide services to independent record labels and musicians similar to what The Orchard provides, but focus on digital distribution: IODA... Read More

May 11, 2005

Yahoo Launches CHEAP Music Subscription Service

Big news from Yahoo, which launched Yahoo Music Unlimited. Dave Goldberg, vice president and general manager, Yahoo! Music, stated, "For a great value, users get to listen to as much music as they want, while utilizing superior innovations in playlist... Read More

May 01, 2005 Lists GarageSpin as One of Top 5 Music Blogs

Julian McBrowne at About displays excellent taste, listing GarageSpin as one of the Top 5 Music Blogs. ;) Also listed were Music Thing (#1), Create Digital Music (#2), Engadget (#3), and Gizmodo (#4). GarageSpin brought up the rear at #5.... Read More

April 28, 2005

Rumours of Online Radio's Death Greatly Exagerrated

Om Malik from Business 2.0 and Rags Gupta from Digital Music News (and Live365) recently duked it out over the future and/or death of online radio. Granted, their definitions of “online radio” differ. Rags includes thinks of online radio as... Read More

April 27, 2005

Top 10 Independent Albums from Soundscan

You can see a list of the top 10 independent albums on BillboardPostplay.... Read More

RealNetworks Launches Rhapsody To Go

There you have it, my hunch was right. Rhapsody To Go was launched by RealNetworks, along with a few other options: Rhapsody® Unlimited access to over 1,000,000 songs. Get a free 14-day trial now. Rhapsody To Go Take a million... Read More

April 26, 2005

Hit Song Science Software Predicts Big Singles

One of many gloomy predictions made in Orwell's 1984 was that all popular music would be computer-generated without human input. Orwell might say we're one step closer to proving that prediction true. Polyphinic HMI's Hit Song Science (HSS) technology, in... Read More

April 21, 2005

"Indy," Music Discovery Program

The "Google of Independent Music"? According to the makers of Indy: Indy is a music discovery program that learns what you like, and plays more of it. And it's free. Indy uses an advanced collaborative filtering system to predict what... Read More

April 20, 2005

Is "Rhapsody To Go" The Big Real News?

I received another version of the teaser email from RealNetworks CEO, Rob Glazer. This one was directed towards current and past Rhapsody subscribers, and includes a little more info regarding the "announcement": I also want to share some exciting news... Read More

April 19, 2005

Big News From Rob Glazer of RealNetworks

But what's the news? I was flattered by a personal and reminiscent piece of spam from Rob Glazer himself, with the subject line, "An important message from Rob Glaser, CEO of Real". It contained the following teaser: On April 26,... Read More

April 12, 2005

P2P Good or Bad For Local Musicians?

The fate of the major record labels in the presence of file sharing technology is largely in debate in the press and in the courts. A similar debate is taking place among local musicians. Shawn Macomber reports opinions expressed by... Read More

April 03, 2005

The Do-It-Yourself Digital Revolution in Movies, Music, and Art

Byron Acohido of USA TODAY wrote a good article about the increasing economic and artistic force that is the new digital, do-it-yourself artist: [A] combination of accessible tech tools and pervasive Internet usage has touched off a do-it-yourself revolution in... Read More

March 31, 2005

INTENT MediaWorks Intros Family Friendly Music P2P

Mediaworks recently announced its release of the "first Family Friendly peer-to-peer (P2P) software" that only includes authorized copy-written music and videos. With the Grokster case hitting headlines lately, this announcement was well timed. Many consumers new to the world of... Read More

March 29, 2005

Online Music World, Independent Music Forum and Blog

There has been a lot of discussion here lately regarding the development of new musician community sites. On such expanding community is Online Music World, which includes a musician's forum as well as an online music news blog. The forum... Read More

March 27, 2005

Another Microsoft DJ Site, With Coke?

Ok, we're beginning to see a pattern. Microsoft launched another co-branded DJ site, the Scenario, with Coke. I just wrote about their launch of Crossfader, the DJ/Mixing community site (see post here). The two launches were a day apart. See... Read More

March 24, 2005

Breaking News: Crossfader Beta Launched by Microsoft

The new Microsoft DJ/Mixer community site, Crossfader, was released in beta today. Member forums, member blogs, music uploads, and an integrated music/video player are all included, making for a pretty impressive package. I think this may be part of Microsoft's... Read More

February 17, 2005

Subscription Services Good For Indie Music, and Film, Too

Home recording studio musicians and indie film makers face a similar challenge: getting their work seen and heard by the public. In my last post, I argued that music subscription services help indie music by facilitating discovery of new bands... Read More

February 15, 2005

Napster, iRadio, Satellite Radio - Great For Indie Artists

The explosion of portable music subscription offerings is good news for home recording studio musicians and indie labels.Napster To Go, XM and Sirius satellite radio, iRadio, and MusicGremlin are all included. An iPod owner buys music he or she already... Read More

February 14, 2005

Web-Only Distributed Jazz Recording Artist Gets Grammy

Maria Schneider, jazz composer, may be the first artist ever to win a Grammy for an album distributed solely on the Web. Using ArtistShare, an Internet-based music delivery service, Maria actually funded the cost of her original budget before she... Read More

February 10, 2005

Majority of Musicians Embrace Online Medium Despite Piracy

So says a Pew Internet survey. So what? Well, it's significant considering many musicians' views 5-10 years ago, which were cautious or unfamiliar with the term (as was the music industry). Results indicate most US artists and musicians now embrace... Read More