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.

Concerts In 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 houses. But the idea of an intimate, at-home experience with a professional touring musician is quite an appealing one — especially when you can easily book one through a dedicated website that will make all the arrangements.

Fran Snyder, a touring artist with more than 500,000 miles on the clock set up Concerts In Your Home, a service to connect acoustic musicians with the owners of living rooms keen to host them.



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 eye on these guys.

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 Glasgow, Newcastle and Oxford, York, Leeds, Edinburgh, Cardiff and half a dozen other cities and towns all over this sceptred isle.

New Zealanders who, like me, come to work in the UK — but who only ever see London — have not been to Britain.

That said, I have a couple of messages for the hospitality industry:

1) Stop microwaving pastry. Do you not like food?
2) Room temperature is not a cold drink. Fix your coke fridge.
3) Give me broadband wi-fi or I keep walking, suitcases and all.

It’s not just the record business — it seems that other industries think that the way to make money is to act like you’re the only game in town, charge whatever you can get away with and prevent your customers from doing whatever they want to do.

When I’m travelling — or actually, even when I’m not — I will pop into a cafe in the hopes that I can sit down, collect my thoughts, relax with a cup of coffee and a bite to eat, and catch up with my email and other communications.

Here’s what I won’t do: pay £10 for the privilege.


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 tell, this is the best yet. Why not make what you do available to a non-Anglophone audience? There’ll be the odd embarrassing misuse of words, but short of paying a real translator, this is an easy way into accessibility to more potential fans/customers…

For instance:

New Music Strategies translated

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 people I knew that might be interested. Every day or three, I’d send them an email that simply contained the article heading, a quick sentence that explained the content of that article, and a link to where they could find it online.

As communication strategies go, it was fairly unsophisticated, but it seemed to do the trick. People read the articles that sounded as if they might be of interest, and sometimes they forwarded the email onto other people that might appreciate receiving them. A network of networks, if you like.

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.

KoopaThis 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 disbelief as they actively use that success as leverage to get themselves indentured to a record label, rather than create for themselves a sustainable career as independent artists.

When we first started putting music up on the Internet, back in the early 1990s, there was something liberating about the promise of the great level playing field the online world provided.

The old was something of a revolution for artists who wanted to connect with a global audience. The site allowed you to upload your own music, gave you a page to direct people to, and even provided a way whereby you could sell CDs to order. They even did fulfilment.

The major record labels didn’t like it. It represented something of a threat to the business of making, selling, distributing and promoting a carefully selected roster of stars. But actually, it was pretty much untouchable, rights-wise.

And then started to get competition. Serious competition. Other websites that promoted ‘unsigned’ artists started popping up. There was obviously a huge untapped market here just waiting to be divided up.

And divided up it was. Websites started springing up all over the world that supported the cause of the poor unsigned artist. Some were defined geographically. Some by genre. Some catered to particular kinds of community. Some tried to be all things to all people. But by the year 2000, the gap that filled in its glory days simply did not exist anymore.