The New Music Strategies Archive

NMS has been around for 13 years and in that time has changed, grown and adapted. We don’t talk very much about MySpace any more, for instance. But in contrast to a lot of websites that have removed or deleted old and dated content, we’ve decided to archive it all – just in case there are still any gems in there.

Proceed with caution. The advice may be past its use-by date, but give it a quick sniff to see if it’s still fit for consumption before throwing it away.

Coming out of storage

Hi. It's about time... We're dusting off the website and getting ready to launch all new materials, resources, programmes and calls for participation in exciting projects happening all over the world. If you want to be part of it all, head to the front...

#MTFLabs: Blockchain

Blockchain technology has received a great deal of media attention recently. It's a technology that's been at the core of new and innovative startups, and has been championed by Imogen Heap, Benji Rogers and others as a way to make the music business more fair,...

Music Beyond the Digital Age

I was in Stockholm today presenting at a course run by SOM - the Swedish association for independent music. A group of record label owners had been assigned my book to read, and I was invited to come and talk to them for a couple of hours. By all accounts, not only...

The festival of music ideas

A lot's happened since I last wrote. Life can be pretty interesting. Changing career and moving to another country is just the tip of the iceberg. The great thing about this is that I now have the opportunity to dive back into something that was always really...

Putting events online

I'm currently working on a project that brings together musicians from areas of conflict around the world and has them collaborating, rehearsing and performing across the UK over a number of weeks. I'm working remotely on this project, in an advisory capacity, since...

Podcast 10: The death of ‘the death of music’

Dubber and Steve talk about the death of music, the stories we tell ourselves, experimental pragmatism... and there is pizza. Stuff we mention along the way: Guardian article: Music has died. DIED I tell you Hypebot article about why the internet is a bad place to...

Podcast 9: Numbers

Dubber and Steve talk about statistics, paying attention to your numbers - and whether you might not be better off just not bothering.

Podcast 8: The 360 Deal

A shorter-than-usual podcast to promote our new and exciting project: The 360 Deal. Available from Friday, it's an ebook that brings together a whole bunch of great advice for people just starting out on their life in music. Proceeds to a wonderful music charity in...

Podcast 7: What is music for?

We ask the question 'What is music for?' and then go off in many "well, it's complicated..." tangents - in our usual way, as you'd...

Advice for Danish jazz musicians

I spent last week at Vallekilde, about an hour outside of Copenhagen, at an annual event called Summer Session. It's an intensive retreat for jazz musicians hosted by national agency Jazz Danmark. They invite world-class artists to come along and work with the...

The 3 types of music industry blog

I've taken what you might call a professional interest in the writing of 'new music industry' bloggers and pundits over the past decade, and while there is a great deal of disagreement among them, they all have certain similarities about their approach. Or rather -...

Podcast 6: The Internet

In which Dubber and Steve go to great lengths (55 minutes, to be precise) in order to attempt to explain the internet, how it works for musicians, and how to make sense of it. In this episode we mention: Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Flickr, Vimeo, Youtube,...

Podcast 5: Record Labels

In which Dubber and Steve talk at length about their own record labels from the past, record labels in general, the idea of signed versus unsigned artists, their motivations for starting a record label that will sign absolutely anyone, and the surprising...

Twitter for musicians – revisited

Three years ago, Steve & Dubber talked about Twitter as a conversational medium, how it had been misrepresented in the mainstream press, and what its potential was for independent music. Recently, we revisited that conversation, and thought we'd try and bring it up to...

We started a record label

I've lost count of the number of times people have suggested that we start our own record label. And I've also lost count of the number of times I've explained to people that the concept of "unsigned" is an unhelpful one. If you're not signed to a record label, you're...

Write your own internship ad

This is what we look like when we quietly, and benignly, judge you. UPDATE: This post has now been filled. We got some great applicants - and we now have somebody doing all this stuff. Hooray. Hi. Want to work with us? Take the following ingredients and assemble them...

The 20 Things Revisited – Five Years On

It's been five years now since the original publication of the book that was born out of this blog - The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online (above left). A lot has changed in the last five years. To reflect that, my new book Music in the Digital Age (above...

Podcast 4: Digital Cities

An Unconvention panel we recorded, in which Steve, Dubber & Andrea and special guest Jez Collins from the Birmingham Music Archive talk about ways in which cities are, can be, and should be...

Updating the book

We've talked about this in the podcast, but I thought it might be good to mention it again anyway: I'm writing a book called Music in the Digital Age, which you can download and read as I write it. Apart from the subject material, which will be of interest to readers...

Podcast 3: Money

In which Dubber and Steve talk about their newfound wealth, experiments with pricing and the economics and sociology of music (and other things) online. Mentioned in this podcast: Steve's New Album: Believe in Peace Dubber's new book: Music in the Digital...

Podcast 2: Reviews

Steve and I were on a train to London and thought it was a nice opportunity to have a podcast-style chat. After tossing a few topic ideas around, we decided to chat about reviews - which was topical for both of us for one reason or another. Hope you find...

Podcast 1: Spotify

Steve and I got together this evening for our usual glass of wine, to play each other our favourite new music discoveries and to chat about stuff concerning the internet. As you do. This time, we decided to record some of it and put it out as a podcast....

Spotify, File-Sharing and Incomplete Statistics

Since Spotify finally launched in the US, the discussion has reignited about what the benefits of it are for musicians. One recent conversation has involved people quoting diametrically opposite statistics about the influence of Spotify on file-sharing in Sweden. Some...

Fair trade music

At New Music Strategies, we've been thinking about an idea that we believe would be really helpful for music marketing, would contribute toward ethical and sustainable practices for musicians and music businesses, and which we believe consumers would get behind. We...

AmpNMS is live

Welcome to AmpNMS - the live, online music knowledge event by New Music Strategies, powered by Amplified. To join in go straight to the AmpNMS page (shown above). Here's the link: http://newmusicstrategies.com/ampnms Then enter your name to join the chat and press...

Welcome to the first ever AmpNMS event

Here at New Music Strategies, we're bored with the same old conversations about whether or not the internet is a good thing for musicians and for music. It's a brilliant thing for music. Best thing that's happened to music since microphones. So now what? Well, for the...

NMS Meets Amplified, To Talk About Things That Matter

Photo by Tracy Apps I love it when I get to combine different parts my life. Whether it's playing music combined with teaching it, or doing fun online conversation things a la Amplified and at the same time helping musicians understand what the web makes possible for...

Monkey on the Roof

Today we helped launch an online music project we're very proud to be involved in - Music Basti's 'Monkey on the Roof' album. Monkey on the Roof by Music Basti In essence, Monkey on the Roof is an album featuring recordings of Delhi street children singing songs with...

The Dean Rodney Singers

People often ask us what we do. It's hard to say. It has to do with music, new ideas, consulting, partnering and working on things we think are interesting. And the things we think are interesting tend to be about making the world a better place. We think music's...

How the Awesome works

I mentioned last week that we've been planning some awesome, and that it will be coming soon. Essentially, it will be built around a very simple system, allowing us to have a really collaborative and very involving online event, that will capture lots of really useful...

Impending awesomeness

Here comes awesome... (Steve arrives to meet Dubber in London) As you may have come to know, these days New Music Strategies is a loose collective of five individuals in three countries who team up in different capacities according to what we jokingly refer to as our...

Information wants to be free – so we’ve set it free

Photo by Chris Metcalfe It must have seemed quiet here at New Music Strategies for quite a while. We haven't been blogging, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy. In fact - kind of the opposite. We've got some big news coming up, and some really exciting projects...

Clapping exercises

When people ask me about my favourite music video, I'm going to be tempted to point them towards this clip. It's not a famous band singing a popular song, and nor does it have any amazing special effects. This was filmed as we were setting up to record a song at a...

The time has come: It’s ‘Quit Myspace Day’!

Photo by captain simon's mandolin Exactly one year ago, I wrote a blog post about the fact that Myspace has failed musicians and fans alike. Recently, after speaking to the Head of Music for Myspace, I wrote another blog post explaining that Myspace is not just ugly,...

Music Basti – A warm arrival

After a long series of flights, we eventually arrived in Delhi and went straight from the airport to the gorgeous farmhouse we were staying at. There was some initial excitement when the local monkeys decided that they wouldn't let us near the swimming pool, and...

Introducing the Music Basti project

Back in July, Ian and I went to India with Jez Collins from Birmingham City University to work on a project with an organisation called Music Basti. Music Basti is a youth-run charity that organises music workshops in homes for street children. The music workshops are...

Myspace – now with glitter

The first thing you should know about the Product Manager for MySpace Music is that he's an independent musician. He's in a band called Big Kid. That's him playing the drums. He also writes most of the songs. I found that both encouraging and surprising. Myspace Music...

New Music Strategies in Berlin

Saskia and Steve dispensing wisdom at All2gethernow Four out of the five of us made it to Berlin for All2gethernow this past week. In fact, Andrea was one of the event's key organisers and she did an amazing job of pulling such a brilliant event together. It was great...

Frome and away

Ian, Saskia and I went to Frome in Somerset for the Being Human Weekend. Lovely town, and we met some fantastic people and listened to some great electronic and experimental music. And for the record, you actually say "Froom", so the pun in the title of this post...

Unconvention Factory: all kinds of awesome

Ian, Saskia and Andrea at the Unconvention venue as the bands set up The New Music Strategies team was delighted to be invited to Unconvention Factory in Macclesfield this past weekend. For a start, it looked like it was going to mean an opportunity for us all to be...

Un-Convention Factory

Un-convention Factory from Un-convention on Vimeo. Calling the UKs best creative talent. Get involved in a music first… As part of a larger event called Unknown Pleasures, celebrating the life of Ian Curtis on the 30th anniversary of his death, Un-Convention has been...

Mind the furniture

Photo by theothegrey We're doing a bit of remodelling around here at New Music Strategies. In fact, remodelling is the wrong word. This is the online equivalent of moving into new premises, getting new desks and phones, ordering new stationery, and setting up for...

Brian Eno on records and blubber

This coincides nicely with a lecture I gave this evening at Westminster University to a group of MA Music Business Management students. In an interview with Paul Morley, Brian Eno says: "I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a...

Introducing… New Music Strategies

The team at New Music Strategies For the past few years, New Music Strategies has been a blog about music on the internet. And the need for me to do that has changed as time has gone on. As I've hinted over the past couple of months, it's time for a transformation -...

Just checking in to say hi

Hi. How's it going? I've been getting some emails recently from worried New Music Strategies readers. Some of them asking after my health (there's nothing wrong with my health - but people assume the worst), and others prompting for a return to the blog so they can...

This Is Islet: The making of a fan site

Islet live. Photo by @edhombre I'm at Un-Convention in Swansea this weekend. Lots of talk with lots of interesting people about the independent and grassroots DIY music sector. It's held in a cafe/bar called Monkey in the central city, and in the evening, bands play....

The Broken Record series

Goldsmith University MA students Nicolle Smith and Stefan Peters have just finished work on a short web-documentary series called Broken Record. They interviewed me for the series, and there's a lot of stuff in here that is pertains to my Music As Culture interests...

You’re looking at it wrong

This great data visualisation from the NY Times comes to us via a really fascinating website called Information is Beautiful. It represents the sales in billions of today's dollars of the various music formats over time. They claim it represents the dwindling death...

20 Things video podcast

The university I work at has put together a series of videos about my free e-book The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online. This is not a video version of the book per se, but rather me talking briefly about each of the different sections of the book in turn....

Outside the Box at Un-Convention

Steve, Amran, Abi, Stef & Caro in a church hall in Salford Outside The Box @ Un-Convention Salford 2009 by Un-Convention This is the audio recording of the panel session I chaired at Un-Convention in Manchester last month. It was about music that falls outside the...

Tour Smart Top 5

Martin Atkins, drummer from Public Image, Killing Joke and Nine Inch Nails wrote a book called Tour Smart. He does a good bit of public speaking, and we're on the same wavelength about a lot of stuff. In fact, people have described him to me as "New Music Strategies...

Un-Convention roundup

Un-Convention Salford was, of course, a great experience. All the more so because it brought together some of my favourite people from all over. In fact - there were so many cool people at Un-Convention, it was hard to get around them all and spend as much time as I'd...

Lies Like These

I'm in Manchester at a music industry conference called Un-Convention. It's one of those events where you know quite a few of the people involved, and the ones you don't, you get to know quite quickly. After the last band played last night, a bunch of us went across...

Unconsultancy wrap-up

Unconsultancy in Manchester went well, I think. I certainly had a good time meeting some amazing people. Thanks to Andy from Indielab for organising it, taking me out for dinner, and letting me sleep in his house. Brilliant job all...

Applying for your first job in the music industry – 7 tips

This is a guest post by my friend Dave Haynes, UK Manager of Soundcloud. They're on the lookout for great people to work with them, and it's inspired him to write this really useful and quite inspiring post. If this whole lecturing, research and consulting thing...

See you at Un-Convention

My music industry conference calendar highlight of the year is rapidly approaching. It's a small, affordable, independent and DIY music conference and mini-festival held in Salford. Follow the link below for a 15% discount. Un-Convention 2009 is a not for profit...

Sonic Museum

The Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of my favourite places in the world. It's an amazing building full of everything you'd like a museum to be. Interesting and engaging, but at the same time hushed, marbled and reverent. And while it's appropriately austere, it's...

A round of applause

A quick round of applause, please, for the Herculean live-blogging efforts of Mr Steve Lawson. Steve came along as an invited guest to today's Fresh on the Net seminar for London Songwriters Week and captured the whole thing - Tom Robinson and I presenting, the...

Put It On

I haven't asked you to review a site for a while, so I thought I'd get your take on this one. Put It On claims to be a home to the World's Undiscovered Artists, which, depending on your point of view makes it either sound like a treasure trove, or a creative ghetto....

I'd wear your t-shirt

This is a follow-up post after yesterday's piece about who you should send promos to. While we're thinking along those lines, I thought I'd also get you thinking about your other possible points of influence. It's a great idea to send free promos to your friends and...

Who to send promos to

As a result of the Humphreys and Keen thing over the past week, I've been thinking a fair bit about promos - free copies of albums sent to people in an attempt to find and build an audience - with the end goal of selling some records. When I ran an independent jazz...

Getting into retail

Bright Shining Star by Humphreys & Keen You could reasonably argue that there have been better times to get into music retail. All the same, I've taken a very small step towards that this week on behalf of some New Zealand friends of mine who have recorded my...

Help

I have a new page here on New Music Strategies, which outlines some of the ways I can help musicians, and independent music businesses. Naturally, I've called it my Help page. I was trying to think of a suitable picture to put at the top of that page, and I had a song...

My latest speech. Soon.

Interviewed by Studenttelevision.tv. Photo by Lykle de Vries. I give a lot of speeches, presentations and talks at music industry events and in educational institutions. I'll generally talk about whatever I'm asked to talk about, or whatever I happen to think is...

Un-Consultancy in Manchester

Andy from Indielab tells me that the Manchester Un-Consultancy is all systems go. An un-consultancy is a bit like a normal consultancy, but more grass-rootsy. A while back, I wrote a blog post that explains the origins of un-consultancies and the idea behind them....

Soundcloud celebrate

I met up with Soundcloud's UK manager, Dave Haynes earlier today. He was celebrating a venture capital investment of 2.5 million euros, announced today. I talked to him about how independent music can make the most of the...

Like DRM, only sinister-er?

I've been having conversations today about a 'non-DRM solution' to filesharing. This conversation comes up pretty regularly, actually. I've now been approached by no less than three companies that would like me to examine, and perhaps endorse their own system. Each...

Best conference ever. Really. (Part 2)

Olaf & Tak at Lappi Restaurant. Cool people. Of course, one of the conflicting things about conferences like Is This It is the fact that while cognitively you may be at odds with a lot of the information and opinions being spread around by some of the more...

Best conference ever. Really. (Part 1)

I spent the past four days at a conference in Helsinki called Is This It. 150-odd music industry people charged with coming up with 100 or more new ideas to invigorate and reinterpret the business. A conference that put music back into the music industry. A place for...

The Roy Ploy

If you've never seen it, that's Roy and Moss from The IT Crowd with what should actually be your first step in any computing problem: the unexpected reboot, AKA 'Have you tried turning it off and on again?'. The Roy Ploy. I've been struggling with a computer issue all...

On a lighter note…

Irish artist and writer Tommie Kelly sent me a link to his wonderful web comic Road Crew, and I thought you might be interested. Clearly Tommie has spent time in the company of musicians, studio engineers, and roadies - because the observation is completely spot on....

Coalition for Culture

I love the music business. I think musicians are great. I believe they do amazing things that are richly deserving of great rewards, the lot of them. I think it's appropriate that everyone gets whatever they deserve. It's a hard world, a hard way to make a living and...

Unconsultancy

Here's a repost of something I put up on my private posterous account and also twittered about. I had such a fantastic reaction to it (both online and off) that I thought it was worth posting up here 'for real' on New Music Strategies. As well as my seminars, teaching...

In defense of Twitter

Steve Lawson from Andrew Dubber on Vimeo. You're probably aware that I use Twitter. In fact, I'm a bit of an evangelist for it. I think it's up there with Email and RSS as one of the few absolutely killer online appliances - and pretty much a must for musicians and...

No Tube for you, UK

I don't watch a lot of music videos on YouTube. But I know that a lot of people do. So the dispute between the UK Performing Rights Society and YouTube is an interesting one. In short, YouTube are blocking premium music videos in the UK, because the PRS is demanding a...

What does Spotify mean?

I'm a few months late to the game, but I've finally been trying out Spotify properly and using it to listen to music at home. Many other people have written about this service, most of whom seem to be hugely impressed with the depth of catalogue, the reduced buffering...

When everything becomes available

You've probably already seen this video. It's doing the rounds. I just wanted to underline the key message it has to offer us. A media artefact has a cultural and creative potential that exceeds its own boundaries. That is to say - when media is open and not locked...

Free legal advice

I asked Stuart Price, intellectual property lawyer and Managing Director of Birmingham's Young & Lee Solicitors for his top 5 tips for independent music business. These are some pretty good guidelines that might end up saving you thousands one...

Fail early, fail often

I fail rather a lot. More often, I suspect, than you do. If there's anything I could be said to excel at, it's failure. Now, I don't say that in a self-deprecating way. To me, that's a positive thing. Because I start an awful lot of things. I would explode if all of...

Music Submit

The more astute reader might have noticed that I have retired New Music Ideas - the spinoff site from New Music Strategies. Its purpose was to act as a place to review and alert the readership to sites and services that may (or may not) be helpful. It occurred to me...

20 Spanish Things

Just a quick post to let you know that with thanks to my friend Ismael Valladolid Torres, The 20 Things e-book has now been translated into Spanish. If you know anyone for whom that would be helpful, feel free to pass it around. Like the English and Chinese versions,...

Your website's not about you, you know

The following does not apply to these people I know what's on your website. It's all that great stuff your fans like so much, right? Music, videos, photos, blog posts and so on. It's a veritable goldmine of information, images and media. Anything they want to know...

Sola Rosa

The Ace Of Space by Sola Rosa I thought I'd try the Bandcamp 'share' widget right here on my New Music Strategies page for a few reasons. First, I'm doing some advisory work for Bandcamp (Disclaimer!), and I feel like I need to push this thing to its limits - and tell...

Death and resurrection

A quick tour around Real Groovy Records, Auckland Record stores have interested me quite a lot recently. My local independent record store here in Birmingham closed down last weekend while I was away in New Zealand, so to commemorate that fact, I visited a couple of...

Ian Hogarth on live music

I went to the Open Music Media meeting in London last night, and thought you might be interested in a chat I had with Ian Hogarth from Songkick, which more or less summarises the presentation he gave on the night. Kind of impressed with my new Flip Ultra video camera...

Ourstage

Ourstage: "Your tastes will not just generate exciting new music for you to discover, it will also help take deserving artists to the next level of their careers. So go ahead and let your ears decide tomorrow's hit-makers today. " A popularity contest for...

Sonicbids

Sonicbids is an online electronic press kit machine - connecting bands and music promoters. Got a Sonicbids EPK? Working for...

Pump Audio

Pump Audio connects independent music with Television, film and advertising music supervisors. If your music gets used, they keep 50% and you get 50%. No upfront fee. Your thoughts? Have these guys made you any...

Help me write a book

Don't know if you've noticed... but New Music Strategies posts have been pretty thin on the ground of late. In a way, that's been a really great thing, because the comments have come in and taken over. It seems I now write a 500 word post, and 50,000 words of really...

Audiolife

The Audiolife platform allows artists to: • Create their own virtual store with an unlimited number of downloads, ringtones, CDs and merchandise items. • Sell directly to fans on any website, blog or social network on the web. • Have one central place to design custom...

10 Provocations

I gave a guest lecture at the University of Westminster yesterday, for the Innovation & Technology Management module in their MA Music Management. And it occurred to me that this was a bunch of people who were going to have a parade of music industry experts in front...

Amateur nonsense

This is not an ad. Well, yes - obviously it's an ad, but Microsoft have not paid me to place this here. I bring you this just to spark a discussion about the endgame of music performance and production in the digital age. Because although this is absolutely...

Why give music away for free?

I had an email from a musician today who said he was struggling a little with the idea of giving away mp3s. It's a really common issue, and so I thought I'd share my response. 1) You're not giving away music, you're giving away RECORDINGS of your music; 2) Don't try...

Is Cloud Computing the Future of Music?

I received an email over the weekend asking my thoughts on this blog post, in which the author predicts that along with your operating system and your software, your music collection will soon be housed entirely online - somewhere in 'the cloud'. The idea is...

What do you mean by web-presence?

I should have written this post ages ago. I kind of take it for granted, but forget that not everyone is fully conversant with things that I just make assumptions about. I often talk about a musician's or music business's web presence when public speaking or...

Protest this

I received an email from my friend Mark, who runs Iron Man Records. He forwarded me a petition that's doing the rounds, and while I'm usually reluctant to play the 'Forward this on' game - this is pretty important: The 696 Form compels licensees who wish to hold live...

Might as well send it to me too…

After receiving a bit of encouragement (let's not call it nagging) from a bunch of musicians who love the SoundCloud service, I've added a Dropbox to my sidebar. There it is, just under the Search bar. That way, if you want to send me one of your songs, you can just...

A Long Tail British Christmas

I don't normally report the music industry news on New Music Strategies. I have the Newswire for that - and there are other people who do it way better. I generally keep to ways in which independent musicians and music businesses can capitalise on the shifts in the...

UnConvention

I attended UnConvention in Manchester (actually, it was just around the corner in Salford) as a speaker and an enthusiastic participant, back in early October. It was one of those events where the buzz lasts well beyond the programme. There should (and will) be more...