One App Generates 10 Percent of Digital Music Sales


Are you in a band? You should probably make sure Shazam has your music in its system, because according to the company’s figures, it generates one out of every ten digital song sales on the planet. If you add other popular music identification apps such as SoundHound, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to estimate that at least 15 percent of global digital music sales stems from song ID apps.

Who says technology is about musicians losing money? That’s 15 percent of sales that wouldn’t exist without apps that help people figure out which song is playing.
In preparation for a Berlin Music Week panel next month, I chatted with Shazam music partnerships manager Jon Davies this morning, who mentioned that Shazam generates over $300 million in digital music sales — about ten percent of the entire digital sales pie.
Of course, for many of us, “collecting” music doesn’t mean buying it anymore; it means adding a song or album to our music subscription’s collection, rather than downloading. To that end, Shazam integrates with Rdio, so far, so that any time you tag a song, you have the option to add it to your Rdio collection.
However, some songs, particularly newer ones or those from up-and-coming bands, cannot be recognized by Shazam.
For them, Davies recommends sending their music to Shazam so that it can be entered in the company’s database.
This is probably a good idea. To do otherwise would cost the average band ten to fifteen percent of its digital sales, plus untold plays on subscription services.

12 Ways to Get Your Band More Press

If you don’t have a publicist, you can still send out a press release or create a guerrilla marketing campaign about the story. Some topics that could be considered “press worthy” could be large changes, such as:
  1. Releasing a new album: Don’t just sell the music, sell the story behind the music.
  2. Releasing a new music video: You might contact music magazines or blogs, asking for an “exclusive” (you premiere your music video on their website before releasing it to the general public).
  3. Embarking on a tour: If you have sponsors/partners, ask for their help in promoting this.
  4. A change in your band’s line up: Who could resist a good break-up story or introduction of a musician with a following?
  5. A controversial situation or battle: Always a press favorite.
  6. Invited to a prestigious show or music festival: You want to leverage any momentum you can, especially when the press is hungry for stories related to a hot event.
  7. A fundraiser or major charitable effort: Get the organization to and their donors/volunteers to help with this. Chances are, they have some great contacts.
  8. Winning an award: A story in of itself. If you’re creative, you could get something about losing the award too.
  9. A new partnership or sponsorship: Not all press has to be strictly music. Local chambers of commerce and business journals might be interested too!
  10. Signing a new agreement with a booking agency or record label:If anything, PRWeb might be a good way to promote this event.
  11. Receiving press coverage in a major media source:  Press begets more press. You’d be surprised how incestuous media content is.
  12. Anything that could be seen as “major” news: Look at your favorite media sources and detect a pattern for the kinds of stories that they feature/deport on. If you have something that would fit in, you can contact editors/reporters and pitch your story.

What You Can Learn From Nirvana’s First Recording Contract

SubPop Records was awesome enough to share the original contract they signed between themselves and Nirvana. While this contract is super primitive and would probably receive a good chuckle by people who call themselves “professionals”, there are some very smart practices in it to be learned from. The contract is based off of years of support they will give the artist and each year carries a financial burden for the label that grows bigger and bigger. While it may be laughable that for the first year the label only had to give the group $600, this showed they were testing if relations would work with minimal consequences if they didn’t. If after a year things were working they agreed to offer twenty times the amount of investment and then 40 times that first investment for another year.
In our book, we argue that contracts with clear incentives for both parties are best so that everyone knows what goals are to be reached and if they are not reached, both parties can easily bow out. This contract illustrates that practice very well and is a thought to consider before ever signing any contract in your music career. This practice obviously worked out well for all parties involved and is one you should seek to employ.

Game SXSW Panel Picker Polls

Vote for your favorite gaming-related panels
The SXSW PanelPicker polls are now open! We received so many wonderful game-related ideas for our 2014 season, and now SXSW Gaming needs YOU to help us pick the very best. So, please go to the Panel Picker page, sign in, and start voting! Use the search function (at the top of the interface) to find the exact ideas you want to find — first select “SXSW Interactive” under conference, then select “Gaming and Game Development” under theme. We want to know what you think and what you feel about all of the great entries for the 2014 season. Help us create a unique story for this season, and to make it one of the most exciting ones ever! Remember that the SXSW PanelPicker polls close at 11:59 pm CST on Friday, September 6 — so vote early and vote often!

Improve Your Live Music Show – Get Visually Creative

Your songs don’t sound the same, they shouldn’t look the same when you perform your live music show

Be visually creative in your live music show
If you watched a video of your live music show with the sound muted, would it be hard to tell which song you’re playing? Does every one of your songs look the same when you’re performing?
I ask this question everywhere I teach, and usually I can hear a pin drop in the room. The most common response I get is, “What are we supposed to do?”
First of all, I believe your live music show should be as creative as your music. One of the keys to a great visual show is to keep the integrity of the song. The music will tell you what the song should look like. There should never be movement just for the sake of movement! The song, in a sense, is the script.
From a musical perspective, the reason you sing different melodies and lyrics, have different rhythms, change tones on a guitar, and switch instruments is to capture the essence of a song. Musically, it’s a no-brainer. But visually, it’s a huge problem for almost every artist I see.
I always wrestle with how (in a short article) to give you things you can take away and start using, but here are five things you can work on to get started with being more visually creative on stage.
1. Intentionally move to different places on stage. Own the area you’ve moved to and don’t be in a hurry to leave it. In other words, don’t wander. When you wander, you lose authority.
2. Singers, use the right mic stand and learn how to use it. If you’re a front man/vocalist who isn’t playing an instrument, there is no reason to use a boom stand.
3. Singer/songwriters, when playing your instrument and not singing, take a step to the side of the mic stand and engage your instrument. This will direct the audience’s attention to what you’re playing and set up anticipation for your vocals.
4. When asking an audience to clap along with you, put pressure on them. For example, say “help me out” or “put your hands together,” step forward, and look them in the eye. And if you’re in a band, everyone who is not playing should be clapping, too – otherwise you’re telling your audience it’s OK not to clap.
5. Guitarists, do your solos from different spots onstage. Don’t stand behind your pedals to play the entire night; don’t even go to the same spot when you move. Find another spot or two to play your solo on the other side of the stage. Not only will this change pressure on the audience, but the people on the other side of the venue will feel connected to you, too.
I hope these ideas help a little. I’m really just scratching the surface with ideas and fundamentals that need to be a part of your live music show. Let me know how they work for you!
Tom Jackson gives advice to improve your live music show
Performing guitarist image via
Tom Jackson, world renowned Live Music Producer, author of the book Tom Jackson’s Live Music Method and the All Roads Lead to the Stage DVD series, is a master at transforming an artist’s live show into a magical experience for the audience! Tom has worked with hundreds of artists in every genre, including major artists like Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Jars of Clay, and more. He also shares his expertise as a highly demanded speaker at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

Read more: Get Visually Creative and Improve Your Live Music Show -Disc Makers

Listening To Music On Smartphones Explodes [STUDY, CHARTS]

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1 in 5 Americans listen to music on smartphones, according to an eMarketer study. Listening to music on a hones is now a regular activity for 70 million in the US with double-digit growth predicted to continue through 2015. The stats combine phone users who stream music via Pandora, Spotify or a digital radio station with those who download music to their phone.

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eMarketer’s forecast does not include listeners who only sideload music from their PC to their phone.

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eMarketer based its estimates of digital music listening on the analysis of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic and socioeconomic factors.

Bandcamp Now Allows You To Print Labels Inside Their Site

Shipping labels and packing slips

If you’re selling merch on Bandcamp, and good gracious are there ever some excellent reasons you should be, you can now print out mailing labels and packing slips right from your orders page.
Just go over to Tools, and click the link to manage your physical orders:
merch orders link on tools page
Then, on your orders page, you’ll see all your pending orders, special instructions from your buyers, controls to mark items as shipped, and a new “Packages” dropdown that lets you filter your orders by a specific item. Click the new “print shipping labels and packing slips” link:
merch orders page
Now choose your paper size and label layout, click “Generate PDF,” and print away. You can even generate packing slips, and mini packing lists to help you get everything going to the right place:
print shipping labels
Oh, and if you weren’t already aware: you can easily grant a fulfillment partner or underemployed brother-in-law access to your orders page. Look for the link at the top that says “Click here to give a fulfillment partner access to this page.”

How Do I Get Radio Play?

Getting Radio Play is hard. Every artist wants to be heard and radio airplay is the way to do it. Unfortunately getting your music is incredibly hard…and it only gets more difficult with each passing year. But here are some tips we have for you.


Determine the local indie station in town (if your city has one). Reach out to their Music Director and send her a copy of the album. Do what you can to get your stuff played in your hometown first before trying to venture out.
We recommend calling the station to ask who packages should be sent to before sending anything over. Even better, we recommend visiting the station’s website, getting the email of the Music Director and shooting him/her an introduction email before sending your album. Keep it short, professional, and to the point. Ask them if they prefer a digital download or hard copy. In most cases, stations still prefer hard copies. Just imagine how flooded their inbox would be if everyone were sending them audio files.

Why Twitter is Better Than Facebook for Your Music Career

iStock 000019515239XSmall 300x194 Why Twitter is Better Than Facebook for Your Music CareerPromote your music on Twitter: it’s immediate and FREE!

When it comes to promoting your music career via social media, there are three big reasons why you should be spending as much (or more) time on Twitter as on Facebook.
1. You can reach everyone for FREE. Facebook’sEdgerank algorithm prevents a percentage of your followers from seeing the content you post — unless, of course, you pay Facebook to promote your updates, pics, videos, etc.
Twitter has no such restrictions. If your fans are logged into Twitter, they’ll see your tweets!
2. You can tweet as often as you want. Unlike Facebook, where your Edgerank score suffers the more frequently you post, Twitter lets you tweet as often or as little as you like without penalty.
3. Engage with your fans right now. Because tweets are like little micro-blogs, Twitter users are accustomed to a social experience where information is being exchanged at rapid-fire pace. It’s the perfect way to spread the news about what’s happening in your musical life at this very moment. 
There are equally loud factions in the Twitter Vs. Facebook debate, but with the changes Facebook has made over the past year and a half (to the users’ detriment, I would argue), it’s easy to see why more and more artists are favoring Twitter as a music promotion tool.

4 Easy Ways Artists Can Stay Relevant

By Dillon Roulet

Keeping up with the times is something almost everyone struggles with.  It’s a challenge to step out of our comfort zone and try something new.  However, in a professional setting, the only way to survive is to submit to the idea of change.  For musicians, progressivism can sometimes be an especially challenging concept.  However, it is imperative that we continue to adapt to new trends, and stay relevant to our fan base.  
 I’ve picked four basic methods every musician can implement to ensure they are ‘with the times’:

Update Your Website

This is something that can make a HUGE impact on the perception of a musician.  No one wants to click on a link to some circa 1999, Windows Millenium-Formatted Web page, that obviously was coded before the rise of  the Macbook Pro.  If people see you haven’t updated a website in a few years, perhaps this will lead them to believe the band has not been active for that time frame as well.  A website is a monthly investment of time, energy and money.  Invest wisely, and hire a web designer.  

Do The Social Media Thing

Social media is one of the easiest ways musicians can stay relevant.  I am in no way a social media expert.  I do not spend my days contemplating my next tweet, or stalking the number of likes on my Facebook posts.  Likewise, I don’t expect my clients to either.  The best way, in my opinion, that musicians can utilize the power of social media is to choose one or two outlets that you are the most comfortable with.  Work within these mediums, but consistently update your content, and interact with other bands, pages or fans.  If you’re an individual of few words, perhaps the Twitter Twatter is a satisfying solution.  If you feel constrained writing less than 140 characters, maybe Facebook is more your style.  Also, pay attention to where you receive the most traffic.  You want to have a virtual presence wherever your fans tend to congregate, otherwise you are wasting your time.  

Brand Yourself Relevant

One of the best ways to ensure your music transcends the concept of ‘eras’ is to gain sponsorships, and partnerships with hip, and modern brands.  I am not talking about limiting yourself to the usual, equipment-related endorsements.  Think outside the box, and look for unconventional, but creative collaborative opportunities with companies and brands.  For Example, the ultra-modern, ultra-trendy New York designer, John Varvatos has recently launched a fabulous new campaign for his line of menswear.  Who does he partner with for the face of this new campaign?  None other than Country Music superstar, Willie Nelson.  At first I was taken back that such a seemingly opposite pair could collaborate in such an awesome way.  But seeing one of my favorite designers and one of my musical idols come together has sparked a new found attention for both parties.  Since the launch of the campaign, I’ve bought multiple JV jackets, and several Nelson albums I previously did not own.  I’m not the only one taking notice.  Partnerships like this can ignite steam for all involved, and benefit musicians in countless ways.  

Youtube Youtube and More Youtube!

I could write an entire article over the importance of Youtube in artist development (and perhaps I will).  Youtube is such an awesome tool that artists can utilize.  Personally, I feel that it should be in a separate category than other social media sites, simply because the nature of youtube for musicians is unparalleled on any other forum.  You have the ability to let your audience see exactly what you want them to see.  You can create vlogs, discussing whatever is on your mind, give updates to your tour, or new career moves.  And, most importantly, visually communicate with your fans.  It is one thing for management to retweet fans on an official account, or respond to a Facebook message.  However, it is an entirely different experience for fans to see their artists proactively providing feedback to fans.  Youtube also provides great opportunities for earning revenue, via the Partner Program, as well as a place to collaborate with other users, musicians, and brands.  It is a great place to highlight sponsorships with companies, and any endorsments you may have accumulated.  Do not ignore the Tube!  Get an account!
I’ve only picked four Ideas for this list, because I personally cannot stand redundant lists of 10+ items, and feel these are the most important for artist development.  If you want to hear my thoughts on anything else, feel free to add me via linkedin and twitter and we can start a conversation!  
Happy Music Making!