February 27, 2012

The face of the digital marketplace

 I'm going to be doing a series of blogs on the face of the digital market place. if you have any interest in being a part of the music industry, this is a must! We are so fortunate to be living in this age. There are opportunities that did not exist  10 years ago, even  5 years ago.

It is not only important for your career. to understand the marketplace. but it is a must! Our goal at AMP (ASSOCIATION OF MUSIC PROFESSIONALS) , is to help you realize your goal, and knowing your business is your business. Don't be the guy with the dear in the headlight look. You want to be successful? It's yours for the taking! So take it! Get to work! Learn your business! Help someone else!

This series will begin with an overview of  the vehicles available to distribute your products. This is a blog not an exhaustive list.


Advertisement-based services offer music free of charge to the consumer, while funding is derived from advertisement. The model is widespread as seen by the success of AOL MusicYahoo! Musicand YouTube (multimedia provider). Many of these services are internet radio stations, as they offer continuous streaming music, while others are not continuously streaming. Many of these services offer multimedia or additional services. For example, MySpace(owned by Fox Interactive Media) offers social-networking as its flagship service. comScore reports the top 10 in internet radio viewership in the United States:
Unique Visitors (000)
July '07July '08 % Change
Total Internet: Total Audience180,078189,134increase5
AOL Music15,28423,884increase56
Yahoo! Music23,07518,725decrease-19
Clear Channel Online10,6979,394decrease-12
Pandora Radio2,5514,834increase89
Interactive One5123,515increase587
CBS Radio3,4693,240decrease-7
Citadel Broadcasting Corporation1,3731,885increase37
Disney Music1,7211,598decrease -7
Other sector players:
YouTube (owned by Google Inc.) is the premier site for finding music videos for both independent bands and mainstream bands that have released their music on CD or digitally, while also being useful for finding rare songs.[29] YouTube is a multimedia provider, so it is difficult to say how much entertainment it has provided to music consumers, however it did provide about one-third of all 11 billion online video views in the US in the month of April 2008.[30]
The site is also testing three new landing pages dedicated to the popular categories of news, movies, and music. Each page will be populated with the most popular content on the site related to that category.[31] Some have even hailed YouTube as being the "digital successor to MTV"[32] as they seem to be positioning themselves in that manner. Currently, they have mixed relations with labels as evidenced by their icy relationship with Warner Music Group[33] but more optimistic relationship with Universal Music.[34]
MySpace (owned by Fox Interactive Media) is also a key player and Rolling Stone reports that it hosts more than 70 million users monthly and that “visitors to the site can hear both Bob Dylan’s or The White Stripes' entire catalogue”. Unlike many services, MySpace has been successful in making copyright deals with the RIAA's "Big Four", which is Sony BMGWarner Music GroupUniversal Musicand EMI,[35] in September 2008. In January 2009, MySpace made partnerships with the following independent labels: Nettwerk, INgrooves, Iris Distribution, RoyaltyShare, and Wind-up Entertainment.[36] In March 2009, CNET News reported that there are more than 5 million bands with music on the streaming-and-discovery music service, and more than 100 million playlists have been created.[37]
Pandora Internet Radio is distinctive from both YouTube and MySpace in that it offers consumers continuously streaming media rather than non-continuous music, which makes it highly similar toterrestrial radio or television. However, it can be contrasted with radio in that it offers music recommendationYouTube is similar to Pandora in that it also offers recommendation, but is distinct in that content is user-generated.
A new type of service that has also become popular is sites that allow consumers to pay what they wish or pay by advertising on social networking sites. Sites like Noisetrade.com and comeandlive.com are examples of sites that sponsor artists and allow users to download music in exchange for advertising for the artist. Music is essentially free to users essentially costing only the time it takes to post information about the artist downloaded on facebook, Twitter, or email. Another example was the release of the most recent Radiohead album In Rainbows in which users could download the album and name their own price. The idea of pay-what-you-want music consumption is new, but catching on with users and growing.

We look forward to part 2 of this series! Please leave a comment. Tell us what you would like to hear. We will do our best to accommodate you. Thanks J.Grady


February 25, 2012


  I often speak to professional groups as well as local craft associations. I'm frequently asked, are the labels really hurting? The answer is a definite, yes! Going back to 2004 sales where approximately 36 to 40 billion globally, from 2009 to 2012 they have plummeted from 14.5 billion to 6.3 billion , and it's not going to get any better.
  Here's the good news! The money is still being spent, and your share is waiting, if your willing to do the work. The Digital age is here!  The biggest reason the record labels have lost so much, simply put, is their arrogance. They got complacent, and thought the gravy train would never end. Well it did, and they're  paying dearly.
  I thought it would be interesting to look at the big four. Just image based on their percentages of the market how it is affecting them. Their lying in their neatly made beds, and you no longer have to get into bed with them!
  It's your turn now! Join the digital age! Get to work! Learn your craft! Kindle your passion! See you at the top!!!!!

US music market shares, according to Nielsen SoundScan (2005)
Nielsen SoundScan reported that the big four accounted for 81.87% of the US music market in 2005:[21]
and in 2004, 82.64%:
  • Universal Music Group—29.59%
  • Sony Music Entertainment—28.46% (13.26% Sony, 15.20% BMG)
  • Independent labels—17.36%
  • Warner Music Group—14.68%
  • EMI Group—9.91%

World music market sales shares, according to IFPI (2005)
The global market was estimated at $30–40 billion in 2004.[22] Total annual unit sales (CDs, music videos, MP3s) in 2004 were 3 billion.
According to an IFPI report published in August 2005,[23] the big four accounted for 71.7% of retail music sales:
  • Independent labels—28.3%
  • Universal Music Group—25.5%
  • Sony Music Entertainment—21.5%
  • EMI Group—13.4%
  • Warner Music Group—11.3%
Prior to December 1998, the industry was dominated by the "Big Six": Sony Music and BMG had not yet merged, and PolyGram had not yet been absorbed into Universal Music Group. After the PolyGram-Universal merger, the 1998 market shares reflected a "Big Five", commanding 77.4% of the market, as follows, according to MEI World Report 2000:
  • Universal Music Group — 28.8%
  • Independent record label|Independent labels — 22.6%
  • Sony Music Entertainment — 21.1%
  • EMI — 14.1%
  • Warner Music Group — 13.4%
Note: the IFPI and Nielsen Soundscan use different methodologies, which makes their figures difficult to compare casually, and impossible to compare 

February 24, 2012

I'm a star! Why should I need a blog or website?

My music should be enough

I'm not going to beat this topic up!  Here's the deal.  Get a website, start blogging and you might succeed.  Don't and you are guaranteed to fail!  You can trust this approach or not.  If you decide not to; let me know how that works for you.  The only person you have to believe about this topic is everyone who is or has been successful in the last ten or so years.  Here are some basic tips to help you get started.  So roll up your sleeves and get to work!!!!!!

Search marketing is key to creating awareness for your website, business and/or product. 
Two major types of search marketing exist: natural (or organic) and paid search.  Natural 
search refers to search engine results that are unbiased and chosen solely based on how 
relevant those results are to the original query.  Paid search can refer to a number of ways in 
which you pay every time your site or page is included in the search engines, listed or clicked on.

Natural Search 
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, send out automated “crawlers”  
to scour the Internet, link by link, and gather information about the pages 
and sites they visit.  Next, the crawler indexes the site, recording all kinds of 
information: content, images, inbound and outbound links, page title, description, 
keywords, language, and more. 

Crawlers are completely automated and run 24/7, reporting back to the search engine what they find online.  All the collected information is written into a database.  When you search, search engines are really searching their own databases, which they update continuously.  Search engines will visit your site anywhere from daily to monthly, but they all check back with your site on a regular basis to see if you’ve added new pages or content.  Learn more about all of the major search engines and directories at www.SearchEngineWatch.com. 

Paid Search 
Pay per click and paid inclusion are two different types of paid search options. 
Consider the following: 
■ How much is each visitor worth to you? Knowing this cost is crucial to your spending. 
■ How are your ads performing? Test different copy and see which ads users click the most and which ones lead to the most sales. 
■ Which search engines perform best for you? Depending on your business and audience, one engine might be better than another. 
■ Which keywords are most profitable for you? The phrase “baby toys” may be too expensive and “baby development” might cost far less, leading to higher profitability. 
■ Are you geo-targeting your ads? You don’t want to show up for a nationwide search of “landscaping” if you only provide that service in Houston. 
Keeping track of your return on investment is vital to the success of your paid search campaign. Paid inclusion products are offered by most major search engines. Search engines are unable to crawl your entire site.


Music -- Brown -- Rihanna -- Message ?

What are we saying ?
We all remember it well. Three years ago, right before the Grammy awards, Rihanna was brutally and viciously attacked by her former boyfriend, Chris Brown.  Horrifying images leaked onto the web of the bloodied and bruised pop star that sent a shock-wave through the music industry.  Now, this past Monday the two released two songs featuring each others voices, and have ultimately sent a very strong message out to impressionable young fans.  Which brings up a question many celebrities battle on a daily basis - does living in the spotlight mean having to make decisions based on public perception?  Do stars have to be role models?  Personally, I think the answer is simple: yes.
To start off I just want to say that I’m all about forgiveness.  When I was a kid growing up in church some of my favorite stories were the ones where people who were terribly victimized found their abuser and forgave them.  At the end of the day, no matter how awful someone has hurt you, I truly believe that until you forgive that person, you’re only doing yourself more harm. That being said, do I think it was a good idea for Rihanna to start being seen publicly with Chris Brown, to tweet him candidly, and to now release two songs with him? I think the only thing that could be more devastating would be her stepping back into a relationship with him, and I honestly don’t think that’s an unlikely scenario.
In response to criticism being thrown their way this week on Twitter, Brown tweeted, “Let them be mad!!!! We make music. Don't like it, don't listen!”  He has a point.  He does make music, and if his private life offends people, then they shouldn’t buy his music.  But this is also coming from the man who threw a tantrum in a Walmart in 2009 (the same year he attacked Rihanna) for not carrying his newest album.  Soon after he blew up in a local store he tweeted, “im tired of this s--t. major stores r blackballing my cd. not stockin the shelves and lying to costumers. what the f--- do i gotta do...WTF... yeah i said it and i aint retracting s***. im not biting my tongue about s else... the industry can kiss my a--.”  
I’m sorry whaaaaat?  A humble and apologetic attitude goes a long way in the public eye when you have a “slip up” like sending your girlfriend to the hospital.  For me, Brown’s weak apology given after the event is completely negated with statements like this.  Someone who truly understands the consequences of such actions would understand that their music career is surely going to be affected.  
But in 2012, the Grammy’s extended a shockingly lenient hand to Brown, not only allowing him to perform, but awarding him his first Grammy award in the same night.  It seems all is forgotten as Rihanna herself has taken the next step and recorded with Brown.  The interesting part about this story is that Brown has a girlfriend currently and they are reportedly very happy together.  So what does this all mean?  I’ll tell you what it means.
Rihanna’s decision to publicly make amends with Brown has sent one HUGE message to fans and impressionable young girls: its acceptable to let a man hit you.  She can deny it all she wants, but ultimately she is playing the role of the typical woman caught up in the cycle of an abusive relationship, constantly returning to the source of her own pain.  We’ve all seen it before, whether it be first hand, or through people we know.  This message she’s sending is probably not intentional, but its still there.  It's still reverberating through the sound-waves as fans race to purchase these two songs.  Its a faint whisper in the mind of the young girl from Barbados who idolizes Rihanna for representing her country on a worldwide scale.  It's numbing the pain of the woman debating whether or not she should leave her abusive husband.  It's repeating the message to the teenage boy who sees his father beat his mother that all women forgive, all women return, all behavior is acceptable in relationships.  In 2009 Rhianna was the victim of a terrible attack that included Brown punching her multiple times in the face and even biting her.  After being hospitalized and recovering, she was provided a unique opportunity to use her global platform to tell women that this was unacceptable, that once is enough, that physical abuse is a 100% deal-breaker.  But she didn’t.  She never said a bad thing about Brown, she never really made an attempt to speak to women who have been through similar trauma, and now she is happily stepping back into a friendship with the man who sent her to the hospital three years ago.  
When Rihanna signed on the dotted lines to become an international pop star, she also signed up for the paparazzi to follow her every move.  She signed up for critics openly bashing her live performance vocals.  She signed up for fans analyzing her life under a microscope.  And whether she likes it or not, she signed up to be a role model to young women.  Like I said before, I’m all about forgiveness.  I love that Rihanna has clearly forgiven Brown for what he did. But rekindling their relationship is far too dangerous- not only for herself, but for the countless women who will likely do the same.  Being a role model doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but it does mean you have to be responsible.  Only time can reveal how this story further unfolds, but lets hope and pray that it doesn’t end up the way it did back in 2009.
-J. Burton