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 – and New Music Strategies is becoming something new.

Today in a city called Groningen in the north of the Netherlands, I brought together a small group of some of the finest minds in music and culture in Europe (who also happen to be some of my favourite people), and together we formed a new company under the New Music Strategies banner.

We are equal partners in the business, and we all have different skills and expertise. We’ll introduce the members of the team soon, but I thought this would be a good moment to explain who we are and what we do.


Belfast on Friday

I’m going to be speaking at this event this week:

Music: It’s The Business
Friday 27th June 2008, 1pm – 3.30pm

Blackbox, 18 – 22 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA

This seminar will cover the changing shape of the music industry and the ways in which independent artists and entrepreneurial music businesses can transform the ways in which they work through using new tools for collaboration, networking and organisation.

The emphasis will be on how creative professionals can make the most of the technologies available to customise their activities to their audiences and consumers.

Andrew Dubber, one of the UK’s acknowledged experts on the internet driven music economy, will present this seminar event in Belfast on Friday 27th June from 1pm until 3.30pm.

To book your place contact


Incidentally, my domain is now transferred. It’s just a matter of plugging it in. I reckon by end of business today, New Music Strategies will be online again at its rightful home.

20 Chinese Things

20 Things in Chinese

My free e-book, The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online is finally available in Chinese.

It was translated months ago. I was the bottleneck. I was quite nervous about formatting and laying it out, and so I put it off for ages. For which I apologise.

It’s a bit of an epic. 120 pages. The English version comes in at 96 pages. I had professional layout assistance with the original. I’ve had a go at the new version myself in true DIY style. My guess is that I’ve introduced some errors along the way, not reading Chinese and all…


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 predict the future, and talk about what the industry will be like. You’ll notice that I’ve avoided that, pretty much at all costs.

As a result, much of what I’ve discussed to date has been descriptive and reactive. Here’s what’s going on, here’s a way of thinking about that, here’s a strategy to deal with or maximise the possibilities inherent in the current environment — and so on.

In fact, the whole idea of this blog, the e-book and the seminars and workshops I’ve been presenting has been to understand the contemporary music environment as it is, rather than preparing for some hypothetical future that awaits us just around the corner.

New year, new approach.

No, I’m not going to start writing science fiction, engaging in crystal ball gazing and imagining the way things are going to be. I’m not going to start making wild claims about some new business model that will fix or change everything. That’s not what I do.

But there was a point to getting our heads around the contemporary music environment. It wasn’t just out of interest. It was Phase One.

The future is not something that’s going to happen to us — it’s something we can make happen. Now that we understand the new music environment, it’s time to take control and start shaping it.

This is Phase Two.

You heard me. In 2007, we learned about the new music business environment. In 2008, we claim it, take the reins and start driving it in a direction that suits us. It’s a direction that’s good for consumers, good for artists, good for entrepreneurs and good for music. It uses the new technologies, but it is not subject to them.

Technologies are tools, not rules. We decide how and when to use them. They don’t decide what happens to us. Best of all, we can get new ones made as and when we think of them. To our specifications.

In a couple of days, I’ll be writing the New Music Strategies New Years Resolution. It’s something that with your help, I want to fashion into a new Manifesto.

We’re taking 2008. It’s our year. There are going to be some pretty radical changes — to this blog, to my role, to the online music environment.

But this time, we’re driving the bus.

What is it exactly that you do?

Okay. Let’s start with what should be a very simple question:
What do you do?

Relaxing“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 your job. I asked what you do.

Let’s not even think about the question “how do you make money?” yet. That’s not step one. Step one is just, very simply, “what is it that you do?”

Get out a piece of paper or open a new text document and just see what you come up with.