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.

Fly me to New York

I've been invited to speak at a music industry event in New York. I'd like to go. Want to help? You've probably figured out by now that I love nothing more than to sit down with a bunch of interesting people and talk about the online media environment, and what that...

Okay… now stop coming to my website

See that big orange button up the top there? Go click it. Then don't come back. My observation that my stats were down yesterday actually caused some people to apologise that they were just looking at the RSS feed, using Google Reader or similar. Let's be clear: I'd...

What do I think?

I've been posting a lot of interviews here on New Music Strategies of late. This time it's my turn to get interviewed. One of the easiest ways to write a good blog post is to get someone else to do it. You tap out a few questions, send them to someone intelligent, and...

Project Studio Network

This week, I'm the (*ahem*) 'celebrity interview' on the Project Studio Network. Go figure. I had a Skype call from Big Al Wagner, one of the enthusiastic hosts of the Project Studio Network podcast -- a regular show with useful hints for home and small recording...

You don't exist

I don't check my web stats very often, but I was surprised to learn that nobody has visited New Music Strategies in over a week. Not one person. When I do look at the statistics on my website, which isn't very often, I'm always surprised to learn that anywhere between...

It's okay when I do it…

I don't pretend to be a journalist, so I guess it's okay for me to simply cut and paste a press release. Just so you know, that's what this is. Dear Andrew Dubber, I think you and your readers may be interested in the Seventh Annual Policy Summit the Future of Music...

New Music Strategies Seminar

You've read the blog, you've downloaded the e-book, now come and hang out with me for a few days at the seminar. Well, Pete Ashton beat me to it, but I'm happy to announce that I'll be presenting a three-day seminar at the end of next month here in Birmingham. It's on...

Simple and brilliant

Simplify Media actually manages to achieve what most music consumers have always wanted: a chance to connect to and enjoy each other's music without the usual problems associated with that. Simplify Media is a new plugin for iTunes on PC and Mac platforms (with later...

On the streets of your town

I'm involved in a research project that will see me going to 13 British cities in 18 days. Maybe we could have a chat. Having just returned from a week away attending a conference in Lincoln, conducting workshops in Wolverhampton and giving seminars in Leicester, my...

Globalised unpleasantness

New Zealand's lovely, isn't it? Just look at that view. And such great music. Why do people have to spoil it all by being rude and unhelpful? No matter where you are in the world, it seems that bullying is now so entrenched in the culture of the record industry that a...

Channel 4 podcast

I've long thought of starting a podcast about online music, but laziness tends to get in the way. I did, however, find a way of doing it without all the effort. Local creative industry consultant and digital media producer Antonio Gould makes a podcast for the people...

Nimbit

When I talked to Gerd Leonhard from Sonific on this blog recently, I mentioned I'd be featuring another widget-based tool for online music distribution. Introducing Nimbit. I've been looking around at widgets that musicians and their fans can embed into their MySpace...

Music for Code Monkeys

Want to go viral and have fan-made videos circulating the net? Talk to the code monkeys. It's a surprisingly little-known fact that if you want to get a song on the radio, you should write a song that mentions or features radio stations and DJs. 'We Built This City on...

V2 on We7 4U

You've probably read about We7 -- the advertising-supported free download music site. Some are calling it the way forward, others see it as grasping at straws. I thought I'd ask. Recently, one of the bigger independent record labels, V2 Music signed a deal with We7 to...

Rockin' all over the world

Forget promoting, distributing and selling music online. Sometimes you have to stop and make the stuff. Might as well use the internet for that too, right? In the latest of my ongoing campaign of getting other people to write my posts for me and then passing it off as...

Freedom, equality and open wifi

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email out of the blue from a man who claimed to have a globally accessible online professional quality recording facility on his kitchen table. The setup had cost him US$20. Pardon? I have to say, this piqued my interest. As an...

Sonific

...And then there are the music services you don't have to pay me to talk about. I think this is a superb idea. I introduced Gerd Leonhard to you the other day. He's the music and media futurist and CEO of Sonific. And I think this is where he becomes most...

Sponsored review: The Music Blogger

Somebody is giving me money to tell you about their website. This is instructive in two ways: first, there are all sorts of ways of making money online; and second, there are all sorts of ways of getting people to look at your website. A while back, I signed up to a...

A letter from the future

If you were looking for further reading after having finished my 20 Things e-book, head directly to Gerd Leonhard's page. He's written you a letter. I've just finished reading Gerd Leonhard's excellent Open Letter to the Independent Music Industry and I have to say...

Case study: A decade lost in Argentina

As global as the internet might be, it's not very international. As part of my series of case studies of the online music world, I thought a visit to the land of Tango might be in order. I was recently talking online with Federico Novick, proprietor of record label /...

So… no more FM, then?

Modest British online music service Last.fm was recently bought by American corporate giants CBS. Did something bad just happen? I've long been advocating that artists and record labels submit their material to Last.fm as a way of connecting with the kinds of...

Taking copy out of copyright

In amongst all of the comments I've received recently in response to my dialogue with Paul Birch, there's been a number of interesting points that deserve pulling out and discussing further. The first of these is from Paul himself. In response to the recent New Music...

Back online

While I wasn't thrilled to get shut down for 12 hours, I'm determined to salvage some sort of lesson for independent music business out of all this. That's what I do. Well, I'm not sure what caused the suspension of my account overnight, but it happened outside of the...

Just do three things

Let's walk before we can run on the whole time management thing. For now, just pick three things that you need to get done, jot them down -- and then do them tomorrow. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to implementing a new time management system from scratch (apart...

An IFPI & BPI Board Member Writes…

In the context of a blog about the online music world, I thought you might be interested in an email exchange I've had this evening with a board member of both the IFPI and the BPI. I've had an email conversation with Paul Birch of Revolver Records this evening....

Case study: Indonesian Hip Hop

The internet may be global, but geopolitics still make a tremendous difference to music business. In this connected world, the nation state still exerts its influence over the popular song. Here on New Music Strategies, we've looked at quirky geek-pop from a country...

How to pay money for my free e-book

I've had a lot of email about the free 20 Things e-book. Mostly people saying nice things. Some wanting to pay money for it. I've received quite a few emails about the book, asking if it was available in print. It wasn't -- although there's a cut-down booklet version...

Hometracked interview

As a follow up to my 20 Things e-book, Hometracked were nice enough to do a follow-up interview. Canadian producer/engineer Des asked me some probing questions and then edited my responses to make them look like sense before putting them up on his website. If you're...

Time management for music business

Now that we've talked about what to do and why to do it, there comes the inevitable and more difficult question: when can we fit it all in? I had an email from a friend by the name of Rob, whose title, when asked, is "former label manager now working with Birmingham...

E-book launched

As promised, The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online is available for download as a pdf ebook. Get yours now. I am so absolutely stoked to be able to make available the 20 Things as a free PDF ebook. Adam Williams, who did the layout and design, did a...

Reminder: the sky is still falling

Every time there's a new technology, the music business changes. Every time the music business changes, those making money out of the old model claim the sky is falling. The player piano is an entirely mechanical device, invented in the latter part of the 19th...

Librarians revisited

A follow-up to my case study of independent New Zealand artists Haunted Love, whose Librarian song is rightly doing the rounds at the moment. I received an email from Rainy from the band Haunted Love this week. With her permission -- and because of the interest they...

Case Study: UK Jazz distribution

Less than 5% of all of the music ever produced is currently available for sale in any form. Of the music that is available for sale, much of it is hard to find. Here's one example. I took a trip down to London the other day with Professor Tim Wall (seated) in order to...

Moving to the Island

You knew there'd be a punchline to that 'Thousand RSS Feeds' thing, didn't you? One of the characteristics of the online environment is that it has the capacity to take over your whole life. Don't let it. My last blog post about the desert island discs of RSS feeds...

Interview

Pete Ashton interviewed me yesterday for the Digital Central site. Warning -- contains scary close-up.

Desert Island Feeds

In response to the emails of suspicion, disbelief and concern over my admission of the 1000+ RSS feeds, I've decided to imagine what it might be like to go nearly entirely without. I had a fair bit of response to my last post, about the 1000+ RSS feeds. While some...

1000+ websites over breakfast

After I've made myself a cup of coffee and a piece of toast, I like to sit down and spend half an hour or so reading around a thousand websites and newspapers. I like to stay on top of what's happening in the world -- particularly in the field of online music...

E-book Nearly Ready

I've finished the final draft of the e-book, looked over it with a tired and blurry eye, sent the text off to the designer, and await the results. Shouldn't be long now.

Do Follow

For the technically inclined, it might be interesting to note that I have installed a Wordpress plugin that removes the 'NoFollow' tag from the comments, so links to your websites will be crawled by search engine spiders. Why should what I have to say be more...

Analogy

Thought of the day: The BPI and the RIAA claiming they represent the Music Industry is like the lions and the tigers claiming they represent the Zoo.

A good start

John Blyberg wrote a nice follow-up post to the piece I wrote about Haunted Love. That's got to be a good bit of exposure for them - his site is ranked by Technorati as being in the top 500 blogs on the planet. I'd call that proof of concept...

Case Study: Advice for hopeful Librarians

A contact of mine in New Zealand has a band on his hands that might just be interesting enough to get a bit of traction on the world stage. It's niche, it has 'geek chic' written all over it -- and he needs a few pointers. Let's be helpful. I thought it was about time...

Music is the Universal Language

Google have launched a new translation service, so you can make your music business website available to a whole new market. Google Translation launched today. It's not the first off the block, and there have been web translation services before -- but as far as I can...

BPI wins £41m from CD WOW

New Music Strategies reader and BPI board member Paul Birch reports: "Hard to believe but we (BPI) have been awarded £41M in the High Court in the BPI case against CD WOW. CD WOW had ignored the High Courts injunction preventing them from bringing in parallel...

Shiny and new

Like the attention deficit teens that inhabit it, the internet finds it difficult to sit still for any length of time. Surprise -- it's new again. Just when you think you're getting a handle on the internet, it goes and changes everything around on you. You have it...

Really Pimp My Space

I'm not a great fan of MySpace. But with 150 squillion members, it pays to have a presence there. Here's a new way to make it look nice. This is my MySpace page. At least, that's what it looks like at the moment. I've been trying out the new free MySpace profile...

Free book: The 20 Things

I've just written a book, and I'm giving away free copies. Here's how to be in first to get yours. For the past couple of months, I've been running a blog series called 'The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online'. It's now being developed into an e-book that I'll...

Composers for a fair deal petition

Simon Scardanelli writes: The PRS (The Performing Right Society - collects royalties from radio and TV etc) is proposing to double the royalties paid out for "Prime Time" TV broadcasts of music (helping the rich get richer) and - get this - HALVING the rates for music...

Ego Search

Want to know who's talking about you? There's a new service that will create an OPML feed of search results across 22 different search engines. Lifehacker has step by step instructions about how to use Monitor This.

Thing 20: Forget product – sell relationship

There have been several major phases in the history of music as a business. All of them have quite different models of monetisation. Welcome to the newest one. While there are still transcribers and publishers of sheet music, they are no longer the dominant force in...

Copyright extension – again

It turns out that UK parliamentarians have either not read or not understood the Gower report. Seventy MPs have now signed an Early Day Motion calling for extension of copyright despite the report's recommendation that "The European Commission should retain the length...

Thing 19: Make it viral

We've talked at some length now about how to get your customers to come and visit your website repeatedly, and engage with you in some economic form through your internet activity. Now it's time to get them to bring their friends. To: Everyone I've ever met From:...

Sell downloads at your gig

This is a great idea: Bridging the divide between digital and physical, DiscRevolt provides a tangible solution for selling digital media. Artists upload songs to DiscRevolt's website and design their own artwork for a plastic download card. The cards are then printed...

Thing 18: Frequency is everything

It's not enough that people come to your website. You need them to come BACK to your website. And they're only going to do that so many times unless there's something new to see when they get there. It's important to have a good looking website with great content....

Dubber starts Tumblelog

I've started a Tumblelog in the last week, and it's been a fascinating process. This is perhaps the simplest form of blogging: more a scrapbook than a journal. And Tumblr is a great service. I recommend signing up and having a play. It might seem counterintuitive, but...

Thing 17: Reward and Incentivise

Let's face it, there's a lot of choice on the internet. No matter what you're offering, there's an alternative somewhere else that will do just fine. I've said before that people hear music, then they like music, then they buy music. It's important to realise that you...

Thing 16: Accessibility

Not everyone has a fast computer or high speed access. Not everybody has the gift of sight. Make everything you do online accessible. There's nothing that irritates me more than a website with a purposeless landing page. Especially ones with complicated animation,...

Read the Manifesto

If you hadn't spotted it, I've just posted the New Music Strategies Manifesto on the site. It's a list of 10 core principles that underpin everything you'll read on this site. Read the Manifesto.

New Media 4Casts

Antonio Gould's running a podcast for Channel 4 about how creative industries can use new media to make money in the online environment. Pay particular interest to episode 1 about e-commerce. It's available at New Media 4Casts.

Write a music photography book

My friend Mark Roach is publishing a photography book of live New Zealand music. Mark's one of the top people in the biz there and has backstage access to everyone who is anyone. But first, he wants you to write the words. His photography book is a wiki. Go contribute...

Shutting Pandora's box

Despite the fact that there's been a bit of a reprieve on the internet radio royalties front, Pandora has announced it's shutting its streams off to all but its American-based users.

Thing 15: RSS

RSS is quite simply the single most useful technology to come about since the invention of email. If it hasn't already, it's going to change everything about the way you use the internet. If you had the time and energy, you could locate hundreds of useful news and...

eBay To Go launched

If you use eBay as a part of your online music retail strategy, you'll be interested in a new service they've launched today. Called eBay To Go, it allows you to embed a highlighted auction into your website, MySpace page or blog.

Digg that code

The anti-DRM tipping point might be happening over at Digg.com, where users are defiantly posting the decryption key for HD DVD for all they're worth. Strong signals for the music industry...

Last.FM takeover

There's a rumour that Viacom have made a $450m buyout offer of Last FM. If so, then worries about increasing royalties for web streaming on the other side of the Atlantic might be the last thing on their minds...

Letter to Warners chief

You should go sign this letter to Warner Chairman Edgar Bronfman asking him to reconsider his current opposition to Digital Music free of Digital Restrictions.

New online music service

Reader of the blog Jaz writes to let us know of an innovative new online DRM free, cost free music site: We7. The site offers free, legal music to consumers in return for embedded, but short-lived adverts, and invites unsigned bands to upload tracks, and fans to rate...

Thing 14: Permission and personalisation

This is very basic stuff -- the stuff of etiquette and ethics, rather than of technology and innovation. There is a special level in hell reserved for those who spam. I don't need to tell you the importance of permission marketing. One person who has asked you for...

Thing 13: SEO — My top 10 tips

You've got your website. Now all you need is for people to find it. You can email links to people till the cows come home, but the way most people are going to find you is through a search engine. Spend any time trying to do business on the internet, and you'll come...

Thing 12: Distributed Identity

From a PR perspective, you are better off scattering yourself right across the internet, than staying put in one place. Memberships, profiles, comments, and networks are powerful online marketing strategies. Who you are online -- your internet 'identity' -- needs to...

Thing 11: The Death of Scarcity

We're halfway through the 20 Things You Must Understand About Music Online -- and it's time for one of the most important concepts of all: the Internet breaks Economics. I studied Economics at school when I was 15. And I remember that there was one fundamental,...

Thing 10: Professionalism

If you want to make a living from music -- online or off -- you need to be appropriately professional. More than anywhere else, the web is where you can manage perception and leave an impression that says 'Let's do business'. You might not have a terribly impressive...

Thing 9: Fewer Clicks

The fewer clicks required to do anything at your website (say -- like give you money), the more likely your visitors are to take that action. Exponentially. You might notice a spot of redesign on the New Music Strategies website. I'm taking my own advice here. Things...

Thing 8: Cross-promote

Your online stuff is not a replacement for your offline stuff, and nor does it exist independently of it. Figure out how to make the two genuinely intersect. This one's not rocket science, so I'll try and keep it brief. Everything you do -- online and off -- should...

Thing 7: Connect

It might seem an obvious thing to say about using the internet, but if you don't connect, then you might as well not bother switching the damn thing on. A friend of mine once made the very sensible observation that making a webpage, putting it online and expecting...

Thing 6: Web 2.0

Your website is not a brochure - it's a place where people gather and connect with you and with each other. No? Well, it should be. The internet is in phase two of its existence. The old version was about documents, and the way that we talked about it was in terms of...

Thing 5: The Long Tail

The economics of the internet are different to the economics of the offline world. The ways in which it's different are still being shaken out, but the most well-established principle is that of The Long Tail. Originally an article by Wired Magazine editor Chris...

Introducing Newswire

Before New Music Strategies was a blog, it was an email with a list of links to articles about music online. Now it's that as well. I started New Music Strategies by sending out a bunch of links to articles about music business on the internet to a small bunch of...

Thing 4: Customise

All this talk about the music industry online overlooks one simple fact: there isn't one. There are many. One size does not fit all. You've seen the website. It has a landing page with a photo on it and a little bit of blurb. There may be one or two things that move...

Thing 3: Opinion Leaders Rule

How do you know what music to buy? Often, another person tells you - generally in some mediated way. Different media, different people, same principle. Other than hearing, then liking, the most common and reliable way to find out about music is via the opinion leader....

Thing 2: Hear / Like / Buy

There are lots of sophisticated tricks and tips for marketing music, online and off. But if you mess up this one fundamental principle, you might as well not bother at all. Music is pretty much unique when it comes to media consumption. You don't buy a movie ticket...

Thing 1: Don't believe the hype

There's a great deal of discussion about music online in the mainstream press, and there are a couple of predominant threads to that coverage. Mostly, it's not true. It pays to be able to separate fact from fiction and hype from reality when it comes to the online...

The 20 things you MUST know about music online

______________________________ UPDATE: Download and read the whole '20 Things' e-book on this page. ______________________________ I'm making myself redundant here. Understand and implement these simple principles -- and you won't need me any more. I was on a panel...

Hot and cold running music

I understand the draw of the physical purchase. I dig the appeal of the sleeve notes. I totally get the joy of ownership. But I wonder -- how much longer are you going to have to keep making CDs? I'm not a fan of the CD format. I understand why other people appreciate...

Convergence?

There's a word that gets used a lot when it comes to new media. I don't think it means anything. Nicholas Negroponte, quite some time ago, divided the world into old stuff made out of atoms, and new stuff made out of bits (or binary digits - 1s and 0s). In making that...

Onliner Notes

There's one thing an mp3 won't replace for the music fan -- and that's the liner notes. Why the hell not? When people talk about the loss of the physical artefact in online music, they're often talking about the liner notes. The information, artwork and explanatory or...

The real reason Koopa is important

In order to be eligible for the charts, you have to be released by a record label. And yet, here's Koopa -- an unsigned band in the top 40 charts. How can these things both be true? You may recall a story in the press not so long ago about an Essex band called Koopa,...

Kitset innovation

When we last we spoke, I said that customisation was the best approach to the web. Making your own internet out of the tools provided. Let's go one step further. Let's make NEW internet out of the building blocks we find. Making money with music online takes more than...

It's a bit like Lego

Setting up a website is easy. There are templates, models and standard practices that are tried and tested -- so why would you want to do anything different? And what could you do that would be different anyway? Most small business websites have a standard model....

You can't wrap an mp3

Online music enhances the sampling, sharing and impulse purchasing -- but it obsolesces the giving. I was in a record store on Friday, and there was a couple browsing through the shelves. Before long, the woman went up to the counter with the (excellent) Alice Russell...

A message from our sponsor

Paid downloads have helped, but it doesn't look like it's going to be enough to save the record business. Is Britney's next album going to have radio-style ads in it? There's an interesting article in the latest New Media Age magazine. It was brought to my attention...

How much should music cost?

When trying to get to terms with technological shift, often the best strategy is to question the question. I received an email from the nice people at Music Tank -- an organisation that puts on superb Music Industry events, predominantly in London. They asked me to...

Just a bit of Apple on Ry

We all know that professional music production technologies have become more and more within the grasp of those of us on something of a budget. But it might surprise you to learn that a free bit of consumer playback software has become the mastering choice of one of...

There is no gap

You can stop making websites to promote unsigned bands now. There are far too many -- and it's getting to be a problem. This week, we witnessed the first unsigned band to enter the UK top 40. We should pause to celebrate that fact, and then shake our heads in...

Podcasting for fun and profit

In the three or so years that podcasting has been in existence, it has been plagued by two problems: music rights, and profitability. Sort one out, and you can fix the other. Sony recently announced that they will license their music to an organisation called Rock...

Digital music insurance

Hard drive failure, theft and loss are just facts of life. But they are facts that online music business has failed to account for, and that the insurance industry has overlooked. Something needs to be done. I don't know why it happens, and I don't know how I manage...

It's that time of year

It's the end of the year, give or take a week or two. You're going to need to start formulating New Year's Resolutions. Probably best if you do a quick inventory to see what needs to be resolved. If you live somewhere in which the dominant culture celebrates the first...

Free PR / Smart PR

Five sites to help you get noticed and circulate your message, your music and your press releases to a much wider media marketplace than ever before. One of the most time-consuming and expensive aspects of running a record label is the activity of getting noticed....