During a concert Tuesday night in Phoenix, Arizona, Kayne West shared who he felt about not being nominated in for a Grammy Awards for Album of the Year. "I’m 36 years old and I have 21 Grammys-- that’s the most Grammys of any 36-year-old. Out of all of those 21 Grammys, I’ve never won a Grammy against a white artist."
"So when the Grammys nominations come out, and Yeezus is the top one or two album on every single list, but only gets two nominations from the Grammys, what are they trying to say? Do they think that I wouldn’t notice? Do they think that, some way, that I don’t have the power to completely diminish all of their credibility at this moment?... People come to me and congratulate me on those two nominations. F--k those nominations!"
Tyler Hayes recently wrote about "The Revolutionary New Music Apps You Missed In 2013." I guess he means they're kind of obscure but Hypebot's covered seven of the nine and the other two, Mindie and Upbeat, were on my list. So today we complete our coverage of "The Revolutionary New Music Apps Other People Missed In 2013." One allows you to combine a song clip with a video you make to create a short looping music video and the other gives you the opportunity to share and vote on SoundCloud tracks to create Internet music charts.
They provide the music. You provide the cinematography. The result is a 7-second looping music video.
Tyler Hayes has high hopes for Mindie stating:
"From a big picture perspective it’s also conceivable that Mindie is a chance for artists and fans to redefine the modern-day music video. Instead of needing to share the whole song, sharing the song’s hook along with some visuals may be all an attention-starved generation needs to discover new artists."
For my part, I found it so easy to start making videos that I'd begun before I quite realized what was happening. The only thing I found confusing was how to get past the first video in the feed to see what other people were doing.
Thanks to Whyd co-founder Gilles Poupardin for putting Mindie on my radar.
Upbeat: The Internet's Music Charts
I confess, Hypebot heard from Upbeat back in October but I slept. Or maybe that was the cause of my sleep disruption issues but I won't hold that against them.
Tyler Hayes doesn't sound so revolutionary when he discusses Upbeat:
"Upbeat finds a pleasant way to rank user-submitted music. Laid out in three simple columns, Upbeat is exactly what you might hope for in a music chart for the Internet age."
"You can queue tracks, save them, and purchase them on different services. If you’ve been in a new-music funk and need something to shake it, chances are you’ll find some new songs on Upbeat."
I found Upbeat to be a nice discovery tool. All the tracks are from SoundCloud so you get to listen to the whole thing if you wish. And if you want to get more involved you can suggest links from SoundCloud or vote on the worthiness of individual tracks on Upbeat.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is building a writing hub at Flux Research. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.Related articles Twitter #Music Launches Charts Do Music Charts Still Matter? [Upward Spiral Deep Dive #3] Music Marketing Firsts and Refirsts: From A 24 Hour Music Video To A Digital Box Set App
New On Hypebot's Music Industry Jobs Board: Surefire Agency, Babygrande, PledgeMusic, Evergreene & More
New on Hypebot's Jobs Board is an opening for an agent at U.S. based international booking agency the Surefire Agency. You'll also find boutique Babygrande Records looking for a label manager, PledgeMusic hoping to hire a Marketing Manager and world music label Evergreene Music on the hunt for a senior exec. Details on these opportunities and more are on Hypebot's Music Industry Jobs Board.
HIRING? How To Post Your Job For Just $29:You can post a job here for just $29 for 30 days.
YouTube announced its 2013 Top Music Videos as well as its Top Trending Videos which included a bunch of music. While Psy took the top spot with "GENTLEMAN M/V," Miley Cyrus had both the second and third spots cause this really was Miley's year for viral madness. In the top trending category, Ylvis's "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" is the top trending video. However the "Chatroulette Version" of "Wrecking Ball" came in 4th reminding us that, yes, this is Miley Cyrus's year. Deal with it.
YouTube shared the exciting news of who won 2013. But there are no surprises here because who understands humans and what they like? I certainly don't.
But here's what we all created together despite our best intentions:
YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?
To be honest, I'd forgotten about PSY but he took the lead and we must acknowledge that despite Miley wiping his memory from our minds.
1. PSY - "GENTLEMAN M/V" by officialpsy
2. Miley Cyrus - "Wrecking Ball" by MileyCyrusVEVO
3. Miley Cyrus - "We Can't Stop" by MileyCyrusVEVO
4. Katy Perry - "Roar (Official)" by KatyPerryVEVO
5. P!nk - "Just Give Me A Reason ft. Nate Ruess" by PinkVEVO
6. Robin Thicke - "Blurred Lines ft. T.I., Pharrell" by RobinThickeVEVO
7. Rihanna - "Stay ft. Mikky Ekko" by RihannaVEVO
8. Naughty Boy - "La La La ft. Sam Smith" by NaughtyBoyVEVO
9. Selena Gomez - "Come & Get It" by SelenaGomezVEVO
10. Avicii - "Wake Me Up (Official Video)" by AviciiOfficialVEVO
I understand what "top trending" means on a daily or weekly basis but for a whole year? Nothing trends for a whole year so what does that mean?
But according to Hollywood Reporter these are the "top trending music videos and channels gaining the most followers in 2013." That's still confusing but since I didn't get the memo, whatever.
1. Ylvis - "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" by tvnorge
2. "Harlem Shake (original army edition)" by kennethaakonsen
3. "How Animals Eat Their Food" | MisterEpicMann by MisterEpicMann
4. "Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball (Chatroulette Version)" by SteveKardynal
5. "baby&me / the new evian film" by EvianBabies
6. Volvo Trucks - "The Epic Split feat. Van Damme" by VolvoTrucks
7. "YOLO (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar)" by thelonelyisland
8. "Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise" by CarrieNYC
9. "THE NFL : A Bad Lip Reading" by BadLipReading
10. "Mozart vs Skrillex. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2" by ERB
Want more? See YouTube Rewind 2013.
- Top 23 Musicians To Watch In 2014
- Top Earning Dead Musicians In 2013
- Macklemore & Lewis Top Spotify World Streams, Imagine Dragon and Drake Top U.S. Charts
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is building a writing hub at Flux Research. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.Related articles 10 Most Viewed Music Videos 2013 On VEVO
By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Please, if you drink during this holiday season, it should goes without saying that you shouldn’t drink and drive, drink and text, text and drive, or do all three at the same time, especially near bicyclists.
But if you are drinking during the holiday season, the kindly tipplers at Drinkify might have just what you need to keep the conversation flowing at your holiday shindig: a magical cocktail recipe book that knows recipes to go with every band — and how to give it a holiday twist.
Originally created in hours at a Music Hack Day, Drinkify became a smash-hit a couple of years back, garnering interest from men’s magazines and alcohol brands alike. Its creators, Matt Ogle and Han Donovan (whose day job is This Is My Jam), have remade it for holiday season 2013.
Enter any band name into holiday.drinkify.org, and the web app will offer up the perfect cocktail to accompany their music over the holidays. As you read the recipe, the site plays you music from that band.
For example, you might try The Jolly Javelin:
Do you have another favorite holiday music maneuver people should know about this year? Please, let us know.
WED. NEWS BRIEF: Beasties Countersue GoldieBlox, Led Zep To Spotify, R.I.P. Jim Hall, Google Play & More
Music Business News & Views From Around The Web
Updated Continuously @ Hypebot's More News Tab
UPDATE 2: Read full coverage of the event here.
Spotify is promising a big announcement today, Wednesday Decemmber 11th at 10 AM ET; and Hypebot will be covering it live. some of today's likely reveal - an major expansion of their free music service to mobile - has already leaked. But we're expecting more. We'll be posting a quickly as we can on Hypebot, but for up to the minute updates, be sure to follow @hypebot on Twitter.Related articles Spotify To Expand Free Mobile Music Service On December 11th Will Spotify's Transparency Lead To New Demands From Artists? No Beats or YouTube Streaming In 2013, Spotify Plans Big Announcement 12/11 Spotify to take on iTunes Radio with 'free mobile music service'
The rumor mill got it right this time. Spotify has expanded its free music service to mobile devices in all countries. In an innovation that I've not seen on other music streamers, when free users chose an artist station, Spotify shuffles through tracks by that artist only without adding 'related' music. CEO Daniel Ek also announced launches in 20 more countries, and the exclusive addition of the Led Zeppelin catalog to the music streamer.
More from today's announcement:
- Spotify has 1.5 billion playlists
- 1.5 million playlists are generated on Spotify daily
- the free service now includes access to shuffle play of all playlists
- 300 million Spoitfy follows
- the addition of 20 countries brings Spoitfy's total 55.
Spotufy "blew passed $1 billion in payments quite awhile ago," says Ek
- 70% of revenue to rightsholders
Spotify Connect is shipping on audio products by Phillips, Bang and Olsen and others
What Does This New Age Mean For Indie Artists? Listen Below.Related articles A Look At The Numbers Behind Spotify Payouts Will Spotify's Transparency Lead To New Demands From Artists? Spotify To Expand Free Mobile Music Service On December 11th 4 Million Songs On Spotify Have Never Been Played (STATS, INFOGRAPHIC]
Vinyl's shaping up to be a big Christmas gift item and there are lots of interesting option available for the vinyl lover you're seeking to please. I went through a group of suggested gift lists, including The NY Times, Pitchfork and MetalSucks, and gathered some possibilities. And if my special selections do not suit, consider them brainstorming ideas or dig deeper into the retailers and suggested gift lists!
The Vinyl Word has a guide to online vinyl retailers with a reminder to buy direct from labels and artists when you can.
The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records
Pitchfork recommends an oversize release from Jack White Records called "The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932, Volume 1" ($400).
"Housed in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder" this collection includes 6 vinyl LPs and a bunch of other stuff addressing part of the history of Paramount Records. It's pretty wild that this is only a first volume.
Both The NY Times and Pitchfork recommend "Houston Rap" by Peter Beste. The Deluxe Bundle ($150) includes not only the book of photographs but a DJ Screw/Fat Pat 7" and a DJ Screw "All Screwed Up" double LP. Plus more cool stuff!
Dokken "Back For The Attack" Vinyl LP Wall Clock
Finding Light In The Darkness
If you've got a music/maker munchkin around the house who has a strange fascination for industrial sounds or rhythmic screaming or just likes to solder things together, consider a dose of Pharmakon on vinyl ($15). And remember that even in the darkest times light can be found!
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is building a writing hub at Flux Research. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.
By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
As of 2013, it’s official: The wacky, amateurish, off-kilter sensibilities that characterized much of the early web have been reverse engineered, and now constitute part of mainstream culture.
Examples of this are everywhere, and they started appearing before 2013. But this is the year that Psy made millions on YouTube with “Gangnam Style,” and Miley Cyrus made everybody lose their mind with an intentional twerk scandal. More importantly, 2013 gave us arguably the most engineered-to-be-viral song ever created.
We are referring, of course, to “What Does The Fox Say.” Music fans have spoken with our clicks — and what we’ve said is that we want precisely this:
“What Does The Fox Say” represents a new pinnacle of virality as music format. There’s no tour, there’s no record, there’s no band rehearsing in a garage — there’s just a Norwegian comedy duo called Ylvis with a perfect understanding of what makes a music hit these days, and their slick, “omigod I have to share this even before I’ve seen the whole thing” music video.
If you still think “What Does The Fox Say” is fringe-y, outsider-y, and quirky, consider that the song’s PR agency (yes, it has one) emailed to let us know the following:
- The video now has over a quarter of a billion views. That’s almost as many views as there are Americans.
- Ylvis performed it live on Dancing With The Stars.
- The cast of Glee sang it during last week’s episode.
- The video was an instant hit, breaking 20 million views in the first week, and around 100 million views in the first month.
- Ylvis performed the song at the MNet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong, receiving the International Favorite Artist award.
- They appeared on MTV Music Awards Europe and and the BBC.
- The video was made not by a pair of demented amateurs with mysterious access to a decent budget, as one might assume, but to promote an already-popular Norwegian television show, Tonight with Ylvis, whose creators have been performing together for 13 years.
And then came the book deal.
Just in time for the holidays, Simon & Shuster will publish a “beautifully illustrated children’s book” on December 10 called “What Does The Fox Say?” to be accompanied by a US television promotional tour. That should be easy to set up, because Ylvis has already appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, and Saturday Night Live.
The lesson here, for musicians and those around them: Viral videos, especially if they feel somewhat unintentional, are the new road to fame and riches. Unlike the earlier, more innocent days that saw true outsiders like Tay Zonday of “Chocolate Rain” fame hit the big time, the new viral videos are decidedly part of the mainstream. Just ask Kim, Kanye, James, and Seth.
[Thumbnail image via jans canon.]
Have you ever walked into the studio with no inspiration and bashed out a song just because you know you're supposed to? Let's be real - so has everyone else. You probably didn't like if very much and bet your fans wouldn't either... but before you went into the studio, did you think through your desired end result?
Join author Shaun Letang on MusicThinkTank.com and take note of how to write hit songs - whatever your goal! Join the conversation and share your favorite methods!
"Do the kind of songs you’ve been writing match the aims you have for your music career? Depending on what you hope to achieve, the way you write and structure your songs should take a certain path."How to Score the Next BIG Hit: 5 Marketing Tips From Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" Hit Songs Deconstructed - The Right Chord Music Interview How to Improve Top Charts On Spotify
Spotify may have a big announcement scheduled for later today, but Rdio started Wednesday with a surprise of its own. Just days after naming a new CEO and major layoffs, the music streamer launched in 20 more countries. That brings it's total to 51, making Rdio the second largest music subscription service in the world in terms of countries serviced. Deezer has launched in 180 countries and Spotify in 28.
Countries receiving Rdio service for the first time today include: Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela.
New subscribers in these regions will receive free, metered access to Rdio web for up to six months and a 14-day free mobile trial. Launched in August 2010, Rdio is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by Janus Friis, the co-creator of Skype.
Related articles Rdio Names Anthony Bay New CEO Rdio Launches Free Mobile Music Streaming in US, Canada and Australia CONFIRMED: Deezer To Launch In U.S. Rdio Cuts Cumulus Deal For Content, Ad Sales To Launch New Free Music Service Breaking: Rdio Laying Off Staff, "Huge Percentage Of Rdio Is Gone and Me With Them" bop.fm Partners With Deezer
If you’ve been making music for a while by now, you probably already know how to write a song. If not, you’ll want to check this beginners guide to songwriting before you go any further.
Now I’ve a question for you: Does the kind of songs you’ve been writing match the aims you have for your music career?
Depending on what you hope to achieve, the way you write and structure your songs should take a certain path. For example, if you’re a rapper who wants to appeal to the underground rap scene, your lyrics and beats will need to be different then the ones you’d use if you was aiming to create a more commercial pop song. Most likely your lyrics would need to either be very technical or witty, the song wouldn’t necessarily need a chorus, and you’d need to have a simplistic or thumping beat to spit over. As a broad example.
If however you’re a rapper who’s aiming to release a song into the charts (with the aim of doing well of course), the type of song you’ll need to write would be very different. Instead of your lyrics being too technical, you’ll most likely want them to be easy to understand. You may still want them to be witty, but in a different way. You’ll definitely want there to be a chorus in there, but you may want a singer to do it instead of you. And the backing track will likely be a lot more ‘commercial’ in nature.
While this is just a brief overview of some changes you may want to make depending on the aims you have as a musician, hopefully it shows that different paths you may take will require you to take different actions.
For the rest of this article, we’ll mainly be talking about how to write songs that could potentially do well commercially. It’d be impossible for me to go into all the needed things you should be implementing to write successful songs in all genres and non commercial scenes, at least in this one blog post. That said, as the formula for writing a commercial song is quite similar no matter what type of music you make (not exactly the same, but there are things which work well across the board), we’ll focus on this. Ok, so let’s get into it! Important Note: Even if you write songs which could potentially do well if they entered into the charts, that won’t mean your song will get released and end up charting. You will of course need to mass promote your music, either independently or though a record label. This guide won’t cover that side of things, although I’ll point you in the direction of some marketing related resources at the end.How To Write A Song With The Aim For It Going Commercial
So let’s start looking at some of the things you’ll probably want to implement if you’re aiming to create a popular chart song. While there are of course exceptions to the rules and musicians who have done well commercially without following these strategies, if you’re new to the charts and want to increase your chances of doing well, you’ll probably want to implement them:1. Your Song Chorus Will Have To Be Catchy
This is probably one of the biggest factors you’ll need to learn when it comes to writing a popular song. If you want to give your song the best chance of climbing up the charts, you’ll need to write a catchy chorus.
The reason for this is simple; you’ll want it to stay in people’s heads. You want people to hear your song through once, and even if they’re not fully paying attention, have that chorus go over in their head for the rest of the day. That is the power of a strong and catch chorus.
But how does this help you? Well not only will it help you in terms of having more people singing and talking about your songs, it also does two other important things:Makes your music more appealing to a younger audience.
While it varies from genre to genre, the younger audience (think school kids under 12 years of age) are a market you’ll want to be targeting. Young kids love catchy songs, and are very good at getting their parents to go out and buy these songs for them.
If you can get these songs sung throughout schools up and down the country, you have a good chance of making more sales and climbing the charts.Increases the chances your song will be used for other uses
If you can write a very catchy chorus which takes off well and has ‘everyone’ singing it, your song will automatically become more attractive to big budget companies with a product to sell. They may want to license your song for use in their latest commercial, website, TV program or computer game. If this happens, the amount of money you make from this song will be a lot more than you would have made from chart based sales alone. You can see more about music licensing here.
While some would disagree, I’d go as far as saying having a catchy chorus is the biggest factor you need to get right when writing a pop song, no matter if it’s ‘rock pop’, ‘rap pop’ or other. You’re a lot more likely to find songs which do well commercially with a strong chorus and just above average verses, than you are to find a song with a just above average chorus and really good verses. You should be aiming to make all of your song top quality of course though.
I doubt you’ll find anyone knowledgeable about the music industry who would say catchy choruses don’t increase your chances of creating a hit pop song, so be sure to spend time making sure yours is just right!2. You Should Try And Write In Some Memorable / Sing-Along Parts
As well as writing a powerful and catchy chorus, you should also aim to include additional catchy parts within your verses that people will easily remember and sing along to every time it comes up.
I know you’ve been in this situation before: you and someone you know are listening to a song. Nether of you know many of the words, but when it comes to a specific line, you both suddenly start singing that line. This is because it’s catchy, it’s easy to remember, and fun to sing along to! That’s the kind of line you want to include when writing your songs…
One of the best ways to make a line or two of yours more memorable is by making it stand out from the rest of your lyrics. So you may have written your lyrics to all be at a similar speed, then suddenly slow it down or change it up in some way so people’s ears instantly pick up when that part comes on.
Another way you can do this is by changing up the flow of the stand out line, and saying something that is also stand out. This can be in the form of you saying something cheeky, or by you making a powerful statement which sums up the whole song.
If people can relate to the line, even better. Which leads me onto the next factor which you should be implementing in your lyric writing:3. You’ll Need To Write A Song With Lyrics People Can Relate To Or Envy
Next up, let’s look at the type of song subject you should be going for. While a wide range of song subject can do well commercially, whichever subject you pick should usually fall into one of two categories:
Lyrics about something people of your target market can relate to, or
Lyrics which people in your target audience can aspire to.
Let’s look at option number one first; you’ll want to write lyrics which talk about things which people can relate to. This could be because they have been through similar things themselves, or could imagine themselves feeling the same if they were in a similar situation.
This is an extremely powerful song type to write. If you’re writing from your own personal experience, than chances are there are a lot of other people who have felt the same before, and will more likely be interested in what you have to say. When people can relate a song to them, they’re more likely to remember that song, or more importantly buy it. A song about how you feel after you’ve just come out of a roller coaster relationship for example, that’s something a lot of people could relate to.
But what if you want to write a song about something which only a small percentage of your target audience have experienced? Well, if that subject is something that people in your genre generally aspire to, than this could be ok.
An example of this is the talk of money. Some musicians who start making a lot of money often talk about their new found riches, and make that the subject of many of their songs. And while a lot of their audience maybe can’t personally relate to living the same lifestyle, they may want to eventually live that life, so listen to and buy these songs for motivation.
Again, while there are exceptions to these rules, if you want the best chance of writing a good popular song, you’ll want your lyrics to fit into one of the above two categories.4. You’ll Need A High Quality Backing Track
The last main point I want to make about writing a song which has the chance to be received well commercially, is about the backing track you use to put your lyrics on.
While the kind of instrumental you use will depend on your genre of music, I will say this:
You want your backing track to be high quality!
There’s nothing worse than having a song with great lyrics, but a poor quality instrumental. It’s such a let down, and one that will show in terms of your sales figures.
If you’ve taken the time to write a high quality song, be sure to also get a beat that will match that song, both in terms of theme and quality. Doing any less will lessen your chances of climbing higher in the charts.How To Write A Pop Song Conclusion
So there you have it, some of the main things you need to implement when writing lyrics for a tune you want to do well in the charts. These are by no means the only things you need to bare in mind when writing lyrics for a commercial song, but they are among some of the most important. Feel free to let us know your thoughts of important factors in the comments section.
Before I go, I want to remind you that writing a top song alone won’t be the only thing you need to do to enter and do well in the charts. If you don’t properly market that song, either independently if you have the budget or thought a record label, you will have no chance of making your song chart.
So if you want to learn key skills to marketing your songs, you’ll want to read up on how to market your music properly. I’ve written a big guide on promoting your music here, as well as a guide on what to do after you’ve recorded a single. You should check out both as well as the other guides on Music Industry How To for help on promoting any songs you write.
I hope this guide has been useful for you, if it has please share it around. Thank you.
Sidestep is a new mobile app to make it easy for fans to get music merch via their smartphone with the option of picking it up at the show or having it delivered. It's not a totally new idea but I'm finding that other such dedicated music merch apps never launched or have gone back into development. I spoke with CEO and founder Eric Jones yesterday about Sidestep's progress and where they're headed. Currently Sidestep is working with a small group of acts including Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco and Toby Mac.
He launched Sidestep this summer and has released a minimum viable product for iOS and Android. Chris Cornell of Manhead Merch is a big source of support as strategic advisor, initial funder and even director of the below video.
Hello from SideStep
As Jones explained, he recognized that merch sales were still fairly antiquated at events, with long lines and other difficulties. And he came up with a solution not unlike those described by other appmakers who do not currently have products on the market.
Fans can buy tour merch from a band via the app. When they buy it, they can specify that they'll pick it up at the show or have it delivered. This means both people who make the show and those stuck at home can get tour merch that may or may not be available via the band's own ecommerce store.
The app is fairly simple and, at the moment, features just four acts, Dir En Grey, Toby Mac's Hits Deep Tour, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. Jones says that everyone involved with the app has a lot of industry contacts and that shows with such a high-profile list for a beta product.
Jones claims they've had 15,000 downloads with around $50 in sales per individual that uses the app. That may involve some impulse purchasing since they're buying more than those at the show who face long lines and related difficulties.
Note that about 75% of their sales are for delivery and much of that is coming from people not at shows. So featuring tour merch in an easy to use format for such folks already appears to be a driver of extra sales.
Sidestep Is Off To A Good Start
Sidestep is facing the classic problem of the two-sided market, you have to attract both bands and fans to use the product.
At this stage Sidestep is off to a good start attracting bands. The difficulty is getting fans to use the app especially given that they don't have to use it at the show to buy merch and, as bands continue to get more savvy about ecommerce, won't have to use it to buy merch for shows they miss.
However, as more bands come on board, fans will also be attracted especially if the band starts promoting the app. That's a doable if not easy goal. In fact, the difficulties may well be reflected in the absence of such dedicated apps.
Right now, WillCall 2.0 is the main app featuring music merchandise but it's part of a more complex offering that includes local event suggestions, artist tipping, merch and VIP packages. WillCall is a potentially strong competitor but they're limited by location and by complexity.
Sidestep is very simple at this point. You find a band, you select merch, you buy merch. Over time it will get more complicated as more bands are added but additional planned features should help users with that including geotargeting, push notifications and iTunes library access to help identify relevant acts.
The next version will initially launch solely for iOS around SXSW-time.
Sidestep's Long-term and Longer-term Goals
Jones' goal is to have at least 100 bands on board in 2014 but that will still be a curated process. Long term goals include scaling the app so more bands can get on board. That's a lot to take on but his longer term goals are even bigger with the intention of becoming the app for selling things at events.
Sidestep's strength is that it addresses an actual pain point for both bands and fans. Its solution makes sense, is relatively easy to explain and should benefit all involved. Fans have expressed positive response to an app featuring lots of bands and the Sidestep concept of a merch table that never closes.
Sidestep is definitely a startup to watch in a space that could use some practical innovation.
- How To Make The Most Of Your Music Merch
- Basic Truths: "The Road Is Fuckin' Hard"
- WillCall 2.0 Adds Tipping, Merch & Ticket Bundles To Concert Discovery App
Google's hit $35 digital streaming device, Chromecast, just got two new music channels. Curated streamer Songza and music video site VEVO both announced today that they are available on Chromecast via updates their sites and apps. And to help you deck the halls, along with the update Songza has added not just 1, but (count 'em) 75 curated Christmas playlists. A sampling:
The Goal: A Drunken Christmas Party
Whether you're getting booze, coal, or nothing at all for Christmas, sometimes four chords are just what you need to help you celebrate the season... or kick those Christmas blues in the face.
Yup, there’s rap for Christmas too. Deck the club with this eclectic mix of Xmas hip hop, with an emphasis on the old school classics from back in the day.
These hard rock and hair metal tunes will fill your air-guitar-loving friends with the holiday spirit. Bang your head and raise the (reindeer) horns to these hard-rocking Christmas classics.
The Goal: A Down-home Christmas Party
Throw on your green and red Christmas cowboy boots and play some country Christmas favorites.
The Christmas song tradition goes way back in country music, and today's hottest country artists are keeping it alive and well, with help from some Nashville veterans who aren't about to stop tending that Yuletide flame anytime soon.
Travel back to an era when outlaw country artists rubbed shoulders with country-pop crossover kings and queens to create some of country music's most lasting Christmas tunes.
The tree is trimmed, the stockings are hung, the presents are perfectly wrapped. Now the final holiday touch: a seasonal soundtrack of Christmas tunes by the biggest names in contemporary country.
The Goal: A Funky Christmas Party
This Christmas, Santa’s got a brand new bag. Get down with your bad self and one of these soulful Christmas party playlists.
A roaring fireplace isn't the only way to keep warm during the holidays; get down with these sultry blues and soul songs from R&B legends like James Brown and contemporary soul-revivalists like Sharon Jones.
Soulful versions of Christmas classics from the '60s and '70s. You never knew the holidays could sound this funky.
Contemporary R&B and soul Christmas classics guaranteed to win the Smooth Contest.
Plex, RealPlayer Cloud, Post.TV, RedbullTV, Revision3, BeyondPod and Viki were alsoi part of today's major Chromecast update.Related articles Songza Raises $3.82 Million For Curated Playlists Google Adds Soundcloud, Songza, Slacker & Deezer App Activity To Search
Jon Platt has been promoted to President, North America, Warner/Chappell Music. He will take on any expanded leadership role, overseeing teams across WCM’s offices. Platt most recently served as Warner/Chappell’s President, Creative - North America.
He joined Warner/Chappell in September 2012, He has also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the MusiCares Foundation, and sits on the Board of the Living Legends Foundation
n November, WCM was named 2013 Music Publisher of the Year at the 51st Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards. Earlier this year, WCM songwriter Kacey Musgraves won New Artist of the Year at the 2013 Country Music Awards, while Kendrick Lamar received the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards’ top honor, the Vanguard Award. WCM was also named Music Publisher of the Year at the 32nd Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards. In February, Warner/Chappell songwriters won a host of awards at the 2013 Grammys, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist.Related articles Warner/Chappell Named Music Publisher of the Year at ASCAP Country Awards CHANGES: RIAA, Warner Music Group, Universal Japan, Warner/Chappell Signs Dave Mustaine Warner/Chappell Music Names Strang New CEO
Tiësto is a major figure in the current EDM explosion and he's got a lot of fans. One way he stays connected to those fans is via smart use of Instagram. A recent post at JustGo takes a look at what Tiësto's doing on Instagram and it's surprisingly simple and basic. In fact, you don't have to have millions of fans to find Tiësto's approach to Instagram worth emulating.
In "How Tiesto Uses Instagram to Engage His 18 Million Strong Fanbase" Katie Harris checks out Tiësto's Instagram account and describes an approach that relies on certain basics:
5 Lessons From Tiësto On Using Instagram
1. "Take a diverse range of photos"
2. "Share, share and share"
3. "Don’t shy away from hashtags"
4. "Think outside the box"
5. "Remember it’s not all about YOU"
In particular, Harris notes:
"A quick look at Tiesto’s Instagram account shows us that he uses it to post a variety of different images: photos of himself DJ-ing on tour, cityscapes of places he visits while touring, tour-date posters, beautiful women and his music equipment. Plus the pictures themselves are high-quality: simple, interesting, colourful, focused and well-framed....By posting a combination of striking images, funny captions and asking questions, Tiesto engages his followers in conversation via Instagram."
One thing that strikes me about the photos is the consistent style and self-branding that comes across. The subjects may sometimes range widely but taken together they seem to be parts of a whole.
For more on Tiësto's approach head on over to the JustGo blog.
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New on Hypebot's Jobs Board is established indie boutique Babygrande Records looking for a label manager. Also PledgeMusic is hoping to hire a Marketing Manager and world music label Evergreene Music is lon the hunt for a senior exec. Details on these opportunities and more are on Hypebot's Music Industry Jobs Board.
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2 year old music discovery site Plug.DJ has received $1.25 million in funding to fill the void left by the closure of Turntable.fm. The seed funding round for the previously bootstrapped startup was led by Javelin Ventures, and will be used to expand their team and fund development.
The Plug.DJ site has the look and feel of of Turntable.fm including roons with a DJ and avatars in the audience. But this crowd appears to be actively engaged in the music and the community surrounding it. “It’s not a novelty to them,” company CEO Alex Reinlieb told TechCrunch. “It’s a very, very sticky experience.”
Engaged & Expensive
The site claims regular users "in the millions" spread over 190 countries; and they spend over an hour during most visits, averaging 5-10 hours per week. If the trend continues as more users discover the site, that's a very engaged audience.
But how will Plug.DJ pay for all of this streaming? For now, the startup only offers vague answers; and that's the hurdle that Turntable.fm ultimately could not overcome.
PLUS: Listen to the lastest epsisode of the Upward Spiral podcast:Related articles Turntable.fm To Shut Down