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.

Ten quid website upgrade

Changing or upgrading your website can be a bit challenging and frustrating -- especially if you're trying to do it on your own, or on a laughably tight budget. I've managed to get the site at least looking presentable, and I thought I'd tell you how I've done it,...

Nuala on the 20 Things

It's not just for rock bands and rappers, you know... I was presenting at a 'getting into the music business' seminar today, and in the break I was approached by Nuala Pinson who had managed to get hold of one of the (now quite rare) print copies of the 20 Things...

Excuse the mess

Image by Photog Phillip The website, as you may notice, is not looking its usual self. I've been talking about a site overhaul for months now, and it's time I got to work on it. So this weekend, I'm going to give it a go. I've upgraded to the latest version of...

Phoning it in

Photo by Tobias Munich I've been on the go quite a lot recently, and so the way I've been keeping the internet updated is through my mobile phone (that's cellphone for non-UK readers). And while I've been doing some consultancy for a couple of people who are putting...

Spam trap

Sent me an application to write for the new blog? Cool. Please send it again! Photo by freezelight It's been brought to my attention that some of the submissions from people wishing to blog about the online music environment in different parts of the world have ended...

Join the team

Photo by Jared I'm involved in a start-up project for which I will need writers. It's a commercial project -- separate to this site -- and I'm in charge of recruiting the bloggers. This new site is about the music industries, and what's going on in the world of music...

Sometimes it works

Image by Brian Solis I get sent a lot of press releases. I have a really good filtering system for them too. I glance at them, see if there's anything I need to know anything about, and then I bin them. But although I must be one of the hardest (or at least one of the...

Interview in Leeuwarden

Erwin Blom, one of the experts at Lopend Vuur over the weekend, filmed an interview with me for his blog. Seemed appropriate to repost it here. He filmed it on a Flip camera - and I was pretty impressed. Might buy one of those... Andrew Dubber over New Music...

Lopend Vuur pitch

I'm in Leeuwarden in the north of Holland today to make a keynote presentation at the Lopend Vuur pitch. Lopend Vuur literally means 'walking fire'. It comes from a Dutch saying about how rumours are spread - in English we'd probably say 'like wildfire'. Over a...

Thanks for playing – here's your prize

Well, whatever you make of the Aqua vs Radiohead thing, it's fair to say (as Maurice points out in the comments) it's a dead end that, had it been a promotional exercise for Sebastiaan's band, it would have been one that "would give Krusty the Clown an integrity...

Fake plastic Barbie

I was going to walk away from the Radiohead/Aqua thing, because it didn't seem particularly important, but I had a quick look at the Ridinghood site, where Sebastiaan has been giving it a bit more thought and it raises for me a few questions I can't answer on my own....

Subscriber music

I said I'd do some short blog posts, so here's one. I signed up to eMusic in January. Love it to bits. £8 a month, give or take, and I get around 3 or 4 albums (30 tracks). Used up my first 80 downloads (50 freebies to get me on board, plus the standard 30) in the...

Aqua > Radiohead

In response to a comment that Sebastiaan from the band Ridinghood made elsewhere on this site today, that "the cultural significance of Aqua far outweighs that of Radiohead"... It's an assertion that warrants a lot more careful consideration than the typical and...

Not understanding the internet

I'm amazed at my own capacity for stupidity. Since the beginning of the year, I've been writing long blog posts, pretending that New Music Strategies is not a blog, but is instead something larger, or more weighty. And it's given me the opportunity to work through...

What is this internet thing?

I've made the observation in the past that the internet can be thought of as being like electricity, and all of the different things that can plug into it are like appliances. Web browsers, email software, instant messengers, media players and so on. I've also made...

Like theatre for television

When we say 'the music industry has changed', what we really mean is that the music industry is changing. And the ways in which that change takes place means that the idea of the music industry, as we understand it, is becoming redundant. I'm not predicting the death...

First principles part 3: Music + Online

So that's what they mean separately. What do they mean when you say them together? You'll remember that when I say 'music', I am not only talking about recordings of music. I'm talking about the whole medium of popular music and all of the stages of its production,...

First principles part 2: Online

I thought that Music would be the easy one. Popular Music = Media. Job done. But there's been some debate there, and it's taken a bit of working through. But now for the tough one: Online. Just to remind you where we're at, we're starting at the very beginning. We're...

First principles part 1: Music

In order to talk about Music Online, it's probably helpful to actually start from the beginning and consider what those two words mean, both separately, and when put together. I have no intention of trying to 'define' music other than to say that I think I know what...

Introduction

I promised a radical change for New Music Strategies in 2008. Here you go: it's not a blog any more. In 2006, I started a blog called New Music Strategies. I started writing about the rapidly changing media landscape, and how that was affecting independent artists and...

Newest Music Strategies

New Music Strategies will be different in 2008. Here's what we have to look forward to. There's been a constant thread running through New Music Strategies in 2007. You probably haven't noticed it, but it's been there all along. It has to do with my reluctance to...

2007: Year in Review

It's that time of year when we reflect, make lists, and look back before we look forward to the oncoming year. In short: best year yet -- and the next one looks to be even better. Kiwi Music Business Experts It's been an incredible 2007. You helped me to get to New...

To what end?

Now that you have a catalogue of activities, here's the important question: why? When you do all of these things that you do, what is it you are trying to ultimately achieve? Why do you do what you do? So you're working on an album? You're writing songs? You're...

What is it exactly that you do?

Okay. Let's start with what should be a very simple question: What do you do? "We're a record label" or "I'm a distributor" or "I'm a singer/songwriter" or any similar kind of variation on that theme is The Wrong Answer. I didn't ask what you are, or how you describe...

Newer Music Strategies

Things are changing pretty fast around you. But your needs as a music business are comparatively constant. Let's spend a moment looking inwards, shall we? Just back from a few weeks in New Zealand and trying to get my head around where we're up to in terms of the...

Will work for shares

I've been doing a bit of consultancy with independent labels and new online music startups recently. Very few of them can pay me - and actually, that's fine. Generally speaking, I've done my consultancy on a day rate, on a half day rate, and (in exceptional...

Best. Software. Ever.

Need to Get Things Done? Go hang out on your Thinking Rock for a bit. Strategies for promoting and selling online are not the only things that technology can help independent music businesses with. Efficiencies, workflow and time management are often just as critical....

Get a gig in my house

Sometimes going out to see a live act just smacks of effort. Put the kettle on, and invite one into your home. This is a sponsored blog post. The idea of in-home concerts is not necessarily a new one. People have been playing music in houses since people have had...

I like Bruce Warila

There are some people on the internet inventing clever new music business models. Let me introduce one of them. I've made it reasonably clear to you (I hope) that I distrust new music business models for the music business. Not that I think there's no future for the...

How's this for a new model?

Suburban Home Records, when faced with the complexity and unpredictability of online consumer behaviour, have thrown their hands up and said 'Oh go on... just download the album already'. Sometimes the adaptation process takes a bit of a leap of faith, and it looks...

This year's model

I'm forever being asked what I think the new 'model' for music business will be. The trouble is... there isn't one. One of the most common questions (upon which there are many variations) asked by musicians and independent music companies concerns what the new...

So… this internet thing

Let's take it back to first principles: the internet is not a promotional tool for music. Nor is it a retail platform. It's not even a method of distribution. It's electricity. One of my main points over the past few years, when talking about how musicians, music...

Artist Data Systems

What do they say it is? Artist Data Systems is A way for artists to simultaneously update all of their online information across all social networks, websites, and profiles with their mp3s, tour information, release dates, etc. Rather than laboriously go to each one...

PukkaProfiles

What do they say it is? Pukkaprofiles offers you the ability to easily promote your myspace profile for as little as £1, which, lets face it, is hardly going to break the bank. Your image and the accompanied link to your profile will be in front of those actively...

Globalised localism: Fat Northerner

I gave a seminar presentation this week about the ways in which local identity can be leveraged to promote music on the world stage. The following day, I received an email from someone who was already doing that. This is a sponsored post. Fat Northerner is a record...

Ignore this – it's just an ad

You can buy advertising on New Music Strategies. You can sell it too. I'll be straight with you: I'd like to make a little extra money for running this site. It's competing with other things that occupy a lot of my time and focus, and I'd like to give it the attention...

How to use the internet

Replace 'mp3 blogs' with 'the internet' and it still sounds daft. The Hype Machine's Anthony Volodkin did a bit of judicious editing on the 'MP3 blogs are killing music' article in the Guardian blogs that I mentioned the other day. He replaced the words 'mp3 blogs'...

Announcement

I have some things to tell you. Press play to listen. [audio:Announcement.mp3] 1. Podcast coming soon... 2. Seminar audiobook in the pipeline 3. Theme music competition 4. New Music Ideas 5. Download the ebook

Knowledge is Power

It's great that you read this blog. But sometimes you need something with a bit of meat to it. Something with a couple of hundred pages, and that you can read in the bath. There are dozens of books out there that can help you make your way in the modern music...

Now Play It

What do they say it is? Now Play It is a new and exciting way to learn and play your favorite songs. This unique video service features real music and real artists all backed by real learning techniques. It has been developed to help offer a more instant and direct...

How to use mp3 blogs

There's a 'Sky-Is-Falling' article in the Guardian's Blog about how mp3 bloggers are wiping out independent music. Here's how to be part of the massacre. A friend of mine sent me a link to Louis Pattison's Thursday post on the Guardian Unlimited Arts blog. In it,...

Speaking in Tongues revisited

I mentioned the other day that I've been translated into languages I don't speak or read. Well, I've been investigating language learning and ways in which to try and do that with some speed. It took me five years of weekly lessons to get to be this bad at French. It...

Oomix

What do they say it is? Oomix allows musicians to make and sell music collaboratively online DRM free. The site also features a lot of social networking elements to allow musicians to talk and work on creative projects. Join free as a musician, a band or a record...

Net, Blogs and Rock & Roll

Long overdue... but better late than never. Looking to fill your brain with helpful stuff about music online? Go read this man's book. David Jennings, rightly happy with his efforts I met David Jennings at the Music Tank event on Monday night. It was the first time...

Jango

What do they say it is? Social Internet Radio -- Personal radio that learns from your taste and connects you to others who like what you like. Jango is all about making online music social, fun and simple. Just type in what you want to hear - and they'll play your...

Building a Business on Free

I was part of a Music Tank panel about new strategies for music in London last night. Apparently people are just giving the stuff away! I was invited to come and speak at an event in London, organised by CIDA with assistance from Music Tank. I'd taken issue with some...

Speaking in Tongues

I've been translated into half a dozen languages now. Shame I can't read any of them. I just received an email from Rasmus Ardhal from Danish Website MyMusic.dk. The interview he did with me has been translated for a Danish audience. This is what I look like in a...

Robin Valk on New Radio Strategies

From Adrian Goldberg's The Stirrer: Robin Valk on local radio strategies for local music promotion. A Birmingham-centric argument in favour of local radio promoting local music -- from the perspective of a local music radio legend -- but pretty much universally...

Hooray for the music biz!

I went to the Gigbeth conference on Thursday, and met some very nice people who had a range of things to say about the music business and technology -- ranging from the insightful to the hilarious. Peter Jamieson (BPI) celebrates the record industry's future Gigbeth...

Swindon says hi

Welcome to Swindon, where the future will be happening soon. Hi. We're the music people of Swindon. Let's talk. One of the things I've noticed about different towns and cities that I've visited is that there are (as you'd expect) so many of the same concerns and...

Living Jazz Podcast

One of the highlights of my New York trip was to meet and spend time with legendary jazz pianist DD Jackson. You can eavesdrop. While in New York, I was interviewed by jazz pianist / composer D.D. Jackson (pictured right) for his Living Jazz podcast. I was losing my...

Music Like Water revisited

Music may be like water -- but it's not water. Applying a tariff for all users of digital devices misunderstands consumers, music, the industry -- and water. One of the debates I get dragged into quite regularly is the Music Like Water thing -- the idea that if...

An aside about travel

I've got a fair bit to report after a very enjoyable CMJ Music Marathon. But if you're interested in the peripheral travel story, this might interest you. I had a bit of an ordeal coming home from New York after the CMJ Music Marathon (for which, incidentally, thanks...

Let's test that theory

Will Hodgkinson says Radiohead's recent efforts make it harder for independent artists to do well. I hereby offer to make his day by proving him wrong. In today's Guardian Music Blog, Will Hodgkinson has opined that the recent efforts of Radiohead and Prince (to name...

Many thanks

I thought I'd get this off my chest. I have a lot to report from the CMJ Music Marathon (halfway through as I type this at the NZ Music Stand), but first I wanted to say thanks. This is the shirt I wore yesterday at the panel session I co-presented about the 'future...

This week, New York

I'll be in New York this week. I suspect it'll be a busy time, so apologies if that interferes with the speed of my email responses. I'm off to the CMJ Music Marathon. Here's what I'm going to be doing: _________________________________ Through the Looking Glass: The...

Scaring students conscious

The NYT reports on an unintended consequence of the filesharing lawsuits brought by the RIAA against students: political activism. In this article from the New York Times (may require free registration), the group 'Students for Free Culture' is introduced as a...

Music Tank do standup comedy

It's often scary when an industry education-focused organisation starts to simply spout the corporate PR. But it can be funny too. I receive emails from the Music Tank people, and I occasionally go to their seminars. So naturally, I also get their mailouts. They...

Not a rubber ducky in sight

I gave a seminar for the Musicians Union in Bath today. Wave to the nice NMS readers, South West musicians... I'd never been to Bath before, though I'd visited Bristol, just 20 minutes up the road. Nice town. Great houses. I was there for a seminar that the Musicians...

Everyone wants to be Radiohead

Now Oasis and Jamiroquai want to give their music away too. But do they actually understand what's going on? It's amazing how many massive acts are currently without record deals at the moment. Oasis and Jamiroquai are just the tip of the iceberg. But they've had a...

NMS Newshounds

Having had an encouraging response to my request for virtual interns, I've put my top applicants to the task of reinvigorating the Newswire. Here are some things that struck me about the people who applied for the 'position' (not a job, as such, as I'm not offering...

Moby music for your indie film

Radiohead may be pushing the boat out on retail music, but Moby lays out the new territory when it comes to synch. One of the best ways to make money from music, if you hadn't figured it out yet, is to get your tunes attached to moving pictures -- be they television...

Jamendo: your take?

There's an online music service I've recently been made aware of, and while it's an interesting model, I'm not really sure what I make of it. So I'm setting you guys on it. Jamendo is a membership site on which artists can upload their own music, and audiences can...

Situations Vacant: Virtual Intern

Okay, so there's no such real job as a "virtual intern", but I'm just going to pretend and see what happens. New Music Strategies is at the point now where it needs to expand a little. I'm looking for a volunteer worker to do a bit of research and information...

Bookstore reopening

In the spirit of making money from music online (which, after all, is why we're here), I've rediscovered a way of making money online through talking about making money from music online, online. A while back, when I was messing around with the template of this site,...

5. Music is like water – but it's not water

I don't know what it is about Dutch people in the music and media business -- but if there's one idea they're antagonistic towards, it's the notion that music is like water. If you spend any real time investigating music online, you come across the idea that we are...

Don't you hate ads?

Now that there are ads on New Music Strategies, I'm looking around for the pros and cons. There's an unexpected consequence that might just make it worth keeping them there. Okay, so the reason to have ads on a website is pretty much just to make money. But they can...

Wait… are those ads?

Yup. There are ads on New Music Strategies. No... those aren't them. I did this once before. I tried putting ads on New Music Strategies. It was an experiment to see how difficult it was to set up, what sort of revenue could be gathered by drawing an audience and...

Bits and Pieces of Radiohead

I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't weigh in on the whole Radiohead album thing. Fortunately, I've had some thinking assistance in this regard. Ever have one of those conversations that are like playing tennis with someone who's slightly better at it than you? You...

Failure to comprehend

I'm sorry - I really try and understand the internet properly so that I can explain it to you - but in this case, it's going to have to be the other way around. This is going to sound really stupid. Especially coming from somebody who is supposed to be some sort of...

4. Where you're from is interesting

However ordinary you think your environment might be, you're exotic to somebody. Use that as a selling point. Deepest, darkest Pakuranga I'm from New Zealand. I can't think of anything more mundane than growing up in Pakuranga and spending the vast majority of one's...

Serialised hubris

Gerd Leonhard is releasing his new book in weekly chapter installments. It's called 'The End of Control' and you'll be able to get it free from his website before it's out in paperback. Leonhard, if you're not familiar with his work, is behind another book entitled...

DIY album art

Canadian label ARCTIC develops the Make-It-Yourself CD insert, and saves the planet in the process. NMS reader Kirsten writes: I thought you and your readers might be interested in learning about some of the strategies we're using to promote our new release. As...

3. Your history is interesting

One thing that really impressed me, of all the things I discovered about online media in the hands of the Dutch, is how seriously they treat their past. Like Radio Caroline and Radio Hauraki, Veronica started life as a pirate radio ship at sea. These days, apart from...

Novatunes

Pay attention. Things are changing. Crazy busy week, but before we return to our regularly scheduled programme, I want to hold up a flag and let you know that this is going to be quite something. I've seen what's under the lid and I am really rather impressed. Keep an...

Miss September

I'll get back to the things I learned from the Dutch shortly. Some things are just interesting, and deserve your attention. This turned up in my email inbox this evening... Hi Andrew, I'm a big fan of your New Music Strategies and I wanted to tell you about a website...

Giving back my press pass

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programme to explain a decision I've made about this website and its purpose. I've been told by a lot of people that they read New Music Strategies to get their news about what's happening with music business in the online...

2. Hierarchies don’t really matter

When the boss sits down with the intern, both of them get better at their job. One of the things that struck me in Holland was an air of mutual respect. I was impressed by the fact that the newest junior recruit at one of the companies I visited dined at the same...

1. Treat People Like VIPs

I was well treated in Holland. Very well treated. And it got me to thinking about the kind of consumer behaviour that follows VIP treatment. Not only was I very well looked after last weekend in the Netherlands, I was also introduced to some online music products and...

Ten things the Dutch taught me

I was in Amsterdam this weekend, talking with people far cleverer than me about music online. Along the way, quite a few of them have made some real sense. I spent the last few days in Amsterdam (and nearby media capital Hilversum) having a thoroughly wonderful time,...

Gigbeth plug

I'm speaking at a conference here in Birmingham in November, put on by the Learning and Skills Council. But the real drawcards are the free iPods -- and Ruby Turner. Click on the flyer for more info.

Outsourcing

One of the unfortunate things about the internet is that there are always people that can do what you do cheaper and better. Fortunately, that's also one of the great things. A while ago, I read Tim Ferriss's book 'The 4-Hour Work Week'. You can see why the title...

My other blog is just a blog

Other than at New Music Strategies, I can be found online at a number of other places. Today I rationalised a little. If you read New Music Strategies, that's probably the only interaction you really need to have with me. You're in and around the music business, and...

Three conversations about music

In which I speak to three different (semi-fictional) characters to try and look at the problem of selling music online from several different angles. Steve Jobs hammers home the £1 per track dilemma 'How do you make money from music?' is an increasingly complex...

The Midas touch

By way of follow-up, I thought I'd talk to Midas's manager about the band's expulsion from the charts. Here's what he had to say... David Kuczora runs Midlands-based Melting Ice Management, and is responsible for pop/rock band Midas who were kicked out of the UK...

Situations Vacant

I give up. I need help. I'm looking for a part-time PA, and if you know the right person for the job, then I'd be very grateful if you sent them here to read this message. Hi. I'm Andrew Dubber. That's me there. Yes, I'm tired and could do with a bit of a hand. My job...

More stuff that's still true

5) The charts are rubbish While there is a certain degree of cultural significance accorded to the fact that Michael Jackson had the most number one singles off one album -- or (let's say) that Madonna was the only woman to ever knock herself out of the top ten on a...

This is also still true

4) Musicians like to play music / Audiences like to hear music Gas Giant live in Newcastle. Me enjoying it not pictured. This might seem a rather stupidly obvious thing to say -- but the more I investigate the online music environment, the more I realise it's about...

Another thing that's still true

3) Music is both an immersive and a companionable experience We like to have music on while we [insert verb]. It's a secondary and companionable experience that accompanies our daily lives. Radio's quite good for that, as is streaming. When it's on in the background,...

Something else that's still true

2) Songs travel in packs When people say that the album is dead, you can smile to yourself and have that nice feeling you get when you know you're smarter than somebody else. While it's undeniable that iTunes sells a lot of single tracks, I think it's fair to say that...

Something that's still true

Music online is different. It's not just 'new format' different -- it's 'new ballgame' different. But some rules still apply. It's a whole new world. You know that and I know that. Digital music is not like the change from records to CDs. It's the change from printed...

Take a deep breath

I was out of town the same week Skype fell off the radar for a couple of days. But that wasn't my main communication issue. Somewhere that gets it, Glasgow Let me say this and get it out of the way: I love this country. In the past few weeks, I've been to Belfast and...

Now free with a free bonus free thing

The booklet version of the 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online has arrived from the printers. It's free, and it comes with a giveaway free thing. Thanks to the lovely people at Digital Central, my free e-book that you can download as a 96-page PDF has been...

Incredibly useful site of the day

Less accounting? Sold. I've been doing a bit of a hunt for accounting software recently. I'm getting the odd bit of work over and above my lecturing job. A spot of writing, the odd seminar -- that sort of thing. So I need to keep track of invoices and receipts....

The Crimea on Five Live

Interesting interview on BBC Radio Five Live on giving away an album away for free as a way of making more money. Sadly, not interesting for the right reasons. The Crimea, whose song 'Lottery Winners on Acid' is one of my favourite pop tunes, have released their new...

Thanks so much

Well, I'm delighted to report that thanks to your generosity, I'll be at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York this October. A combination of some cheaper air travel deals found through the internet (thanks, Valerie), an incredible amount of financial support from around...

Charity case update

I'm more than halfway towards the money I'll need to get me to the CMJ Music Marathon in New York. Er.. Big Issue anyone? I'm absolutely overwhelmed by your generosity and I'm incredibly grateful to every person that has donated via Paypal to the fund that will see me...

Embedding RSS for jazz pianists

This is a shameless namedropping exercise, cunningly disguised as helpful information about how to embed an RSS feed into your website. It's not just teenage indie bands who are coming to terms with the online environment to connect with audiences and communicate...