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How to Make the Most of YouTube: Think Inside The Box

September 13, 2012 Industry Trends, YouTube No Comments

YouTubeThere have been a lot of conversations about how to use YouTube to earn money but I want to discuss how to use YouTube as a part of a social media strategy; specifically, how to best take advantage of the description box below videos. Let’s start with this: YouTube is the place people go to discover music. It is often the first stop on the customer journey. It is the #2 search engine after Google and the #1 search engine for music. So what should you do with this information?

Let’s look at a basic customer journey that starts with interest, leads to becoming a fan and ends with a paying customer. People discover music on YouTube. They hear about an artist and search for them on YouTube. It doesn’t matter if it is a new artist or a new video. It is new to the person searching. So what do you want to say to them? They just discovered you.

This is where the box comes into play. You know there is a text box under every video. How you fill that box with information is critical. This is your first direct contact with a potential fan. Do you leave the box empty? Do you fill it with the name of the video director? The copyright information? Label name? Sadly this is the common use.

Instead this could be a welcome message. A little info about the artist, links to social networks, websites or other videos. Or what about lyrics? Or links to tour dates? If an artist is active, shouldn’t they update every video regardless of how old it is with current tour dates? Shouldn’t all the older videos also mention newer videos or new albums? In fact, updating that box should be at a minimum a weekly function. If you are not updating the box you are essentially ignoring all the potential fans. If you were a retail store it would be like ignoring every person that walked into the shop — and not even displaying any of the new merchandise.

The key is to message appropriately. A new potential fan should get information that assumes they don’t know anything about the artist. That is how you should use the box. A person that has been converted to a fan that follows an artist on Facebook or Twitter gets different information. And the most engaged fan that has given an email address and might purchase directly gets yet another level of information.

So don’t just think outside the box. Work inside it.

There Can Only Be One Master… and It’s Not Bruce Willis

September 6, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

Bruce Willis vs. AppleThe illusion of digital ownership may (or may not — it’s been debated) have been unwittingly shattered by an outraged Bruce Willis facing his own mortality.

Indeed, there are moments in any struggle when all hope flags. When recourse to any sanctity in human decency has failed. A man’s viable choices left reduced and reduced, until finally “The abyss stares back into you.” Fully then we commit ourselves to passive despair.

This obstructive control is, of course, a reference to iTunes and their inheritance policy. Long nights I have wept against the truth that my children will not inherit my extensive .m4a catalogue. Long nights I have wept for my progeny, damned to the futile task of re-buying Blonde on Blonde.

In these moments I understand my legacy flawed.

There are some despairs from which a man can pull himself free, and some men are more adept at this than others. As Max Weber states, some men can possess “[a] certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which [they are] set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, … the individual concerned is treated as a leader.”

Such an individual can galvanize the masses through passionate oratory and mobilize people into action for their cause. Thank you John McClane.

The force of social change has awakened. I sat this morning beneath a new dawn, between a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud, and I heard as it were the noise of thunder and I looked, and beheld: THIS.

Perhaps I am getting a little carried away… So let us move on.

By the time I die, (I hope) Apple’s inheritance policy will be of little consequence. By then, we will be listening to music through the microscopic chip implanted in our brains, streaming on a 7G wireless network. Speeds will be so great that even the notion of ‘streaming’ will be forgotten, and the concept of ownership of digital content will be nothing but a brief, naïve moment in history.

Songza… A Music Mood Ring for Every Occasion

September 5, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

Songza LogoAs a new Android owner, I quickly discovered a new music application called Songza that seemed to stand out. Songza is a free music streaming and recommendation service that first launched in 2007. What makes this app unique is its “concierge” feature,  i.e. the music it recommends depending on your mood (sleepy, party, concentrating, wake up, etc.) and activities during the day (commuting, working out, in the office, etc).

Songza not only has a collection of genres, artists and songs like other music apps but it also offers playlists based on era, interests and themes such as “Fashion Week,” “80′s New Wave Party” or “Songs Featured in Apple Commercials…” Cool, right?

So cool that Songza is now one of the most popular music apps our there. It saw over 1.15 million downloads in 2012 with an increase of up to 112,000 daily active users. Ever since the app launched last June, it has been listed among the Top Free Apps on iTunes for the iPad as well as the iPhone, and it’s not stopping at that. Songza plans to integrate deeper with Facebook users as well as offer compatibility with other wireless players and streaming devices.

I personally like the wide variety of music Songza offers while still being very specific with playlists. I can pick and choose the songs I likes but also the style/mood I’m in at a specific point in time. Maybe I’m “brooding,” “angsty,” or “visceral” or I’m doing a particular kind of activity, like a “shopping at a vintage store,” “reading in a coffee shop” and of course, hosting an “ultimate retro party.”

Go try it out! You can download the app in your app store or visit their website to find out what they’re cooking for how you feel right now!

Music Makes the (Olympic) World Go Round

September 4, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

London 2012As the Paralympics enter their final week, the whole London 2012 team can be congratulated for many things: excellent venues, great game makers (the army of volunteers), fabulous venues and amazing atmospheres. One thing that they might not be applauded for by many was the amazing variety of music that both games have utilised.

Having been lucky enough to attend both the Football and Boxing in the Olympics and the Athletics in the Paralympics, I was blown away by how great the use of incidental music was. Watching on the TV, you saw snippets of tracks being used between natural pauses in all sorts of games. In Hockey for example, artists such as New Order, Blur, Kasabian, The Sex Pistols and The Clash were played whenever goals were scored. Even walking to and from the venues, music was everywhere. Be it from piped public address systems or (in the case of the Olympic park itself) a plethora of live musicians performing their own original music to eager crowds.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics were a smorgasbord of British talent from the past 50 years with live performances from The Who, Paul McCartney, Kasabian, Spice Girls, Beady Eye (Liam Gallagher), Mike Oldfield and even The London Symphony Orchestra. It was an excellent mix of the new and old with something for everyone, and given the high speed of the show if you didn’t like one track chances were it was quickly replaced by one you did. There was real mixture of genres with Rock, Alternative, Grime, Classical and Dance music all seamlessly rolling into one. The comedic element of Eric Idle performing “Always Look on the Bright Side Of Life” in the Closing Ceremony fit excellently into what had been quite a fun two weeks. Even the choice of using Vangelis “Chariots Of Fire” for the medal ceremonies added an uniquely British touch to the proceedings.

… Continue Reading

Downloads, Watch Out! Streaming Is Where It’s At

August 30, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

streaming, Europe, U.S., Global Recorded Music ForecastAs the digital music landscape continues to grow and change, streaming and downloads are duking it out for a majority stake. Of course, we hope they’ll find a way to live happily side-by-side — like cats and dogs perhaps? — but right now, they’re still feeling each other out.

Watching the arena closely are Strategy Analytics. According to their Global Recorded Music Forecast, global revenues from streaming will skyrocket in 2012 to increase by 40% to $1.1 billion. Now that’s a growth spurt!

Let’s not mourn downloads just yet however. In the report, the U.S. researcher predicts an increase in global digital revenues of 8.5%, grossing a total of $8.6 billion. And according to them, the main income will still come from downloads which will total $3.9 billion.

On the flip side, and as expected, it’s not all sunny skies for physical sales. Strategy Analytics predict a decrease of 12.1%, with 61% of physical sales still taking up the bulk of 2012 global sales of recorded music. That should remain steady until 2015, when the researcher expects that worldwide digital sales will surpass physical.

Another conclusion the study makes is that streaming is better established in Europe than in the U.S. (see chart). What is striking in the statistics is the development between the U.S. market and Europe. In the U.K., researchers expect streaming income to rise to 42%, and even more so in the rest of Europe, to 48%. The predicted increase for the U.S. is only 28%.

While downloads still constitute 80% of digital music revenue, Ed Barton, Director of Digital Media at Strategy Analytics, says it’s saturated. Gazes are turned to streaming services like Pandora or Deezer, who are expected to be the main growth driver in the next 5 years.

The argument remains: access is what it’s all about these days, rather than ownership.

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