How is the Music Industry going to make money?

From the very beginning of the “Record Label” we know that a label made money by SELLING and distributing records. Plain and simple. The very minute the world went digital there has been a devestating collapse in revenue specifically in selling records. Spotify, Pandora and other streaming services are usually considered the bad guys. The industry blames them for the lost of revenue. Times magazine calculated in November 2014 that an artist’s stated payout range is $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream. Before Taylor Swift pulled her music off Spotify her chart breaking hit “Shake it off” streamed 46.3M times with only a pay out between $280k-380k. Sounds ridiculous but consider this, although an artist such as Taylor swift is making peanuts through Spotify services, there is a gain elsewhere. The terabytes of specific data being collected through Spotify is unfathomable. Spotify now knows that Sarah Smith currently lives in San Diego, CA, 25 years of age, in a happy mood and on her afternoon jog is wanting to listen to “Shake it off”. At Taylor Swift’s level of success this information is automatic but for a DIY band out of Boston now can promote, market and shape their tour around this information. If the Boston based band is getting the most streams out of Chicago at the age demographic of 18-20, performing a concert at a university in Chicago could be a very valuable show.

Which leads me to my next point. The industry’s last hope of survival is live performance. The EDM scene seems to be getting it right. Music Times calculated the Calvin Harris will walk away with $400k per gig in his New Hakkasan Deal. EDM festivals such as Tomorrowland, Electric Daisy Carnival, or Sensation bringing in hundreds of thousands of fans have shown huge strides in changing live performance. Selling albums is no longer the main focus but selling tickets at a bare minimum of $100 is top priority. In order to do this, millions of dollars needs to be invested into a production of  a live performance that is so monumental and life changing to an attendee that it could never be reproduced in any other form. On the other hand a website called Sofar is a live performance/streamed based platform shifting live shows into a more exclusive setting. Once you join the free membership, hundreds of exclusive  shows all over the world are now available to purchase tickets. Choose the city you are in and see the next show; the only catch is that you don’t know the location until the day before nor the artist you are seeing until the day of. This platform is a genius way to help people discover new artist in a social setting that can be just as impactful in their lives as a mega show but without the millions of dollars being invested into a production for one night. How amazing would it be to see one of your favorite artist perform in a living room big enough for maybe 20 people?
Until the next best thing, the way I see musicians making money in an industry as loved but taken for granted as this one, is innovating a live experiences so spectacular, big or small, that it will never be forgotten.

“Country 2 Country” or the country music expansion in Europe

By Luca Balbo

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Carrie Underwood. Jo Hale/Redferns

Two days after Carrie Underwood’s live streaming show at the iTunes Festival in London, the news came. She will headline the Country 2 Country festival at The O2 Arena (London biggest venue) in 2016 . The rest of the performers will be revealed on October 6th. This is an incredible news giving the fact that Carrie Underwood has a big reservoir of fans in UK and Europe, more than the other american country singers. This is a great opportunity to promote her upcoming album “Storyteller” (To be released October 23rd) around the kingdom.

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Country 2 Country, created in 2013, has become the largest country festival in Europe. Last year 50,000 fans attended the event at the O2 Arena. This is an incredible audience comparing to the other little country events around Europe.

Uk and Ireland are the best gates to introduce country music in Europe. Indeed, besides the fact that the language is facilitating the process, there are a lot of people already involved in folk music (Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, ..) and this is making them closer and more sensible to american country music.

in 2012, Carrie Underwood’s album “Blown Away” reached the #11 position in UK charts. Last year, Brad Paisley’s “Moonshine in the Trunk” reached the #34 position. And finally, Luke Bryan’s last album “Kill the Lights” got to the 47th position this year. We can see that country superstars can find their way in the very competitive UK music market despite poor and insufficient local appearances and promotion.

It’s important to mention that Norway and Sweden are also attractive markets for country singers. Country Music is relatively successful in those areas. Country 2 Country festival was exported to Oslo and Stockholm this year featuring Luke Bryan and Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley did a proper tour in those cities two years ago.

We cannot talk about country music invasion but we can’t deny that its european presence is improving thanks to internet and streaming platforms. Country remains a very particular style associated to deep american roots and therefore it cannot be easily successful among the other genres in Europe but there are more people than we think that could be superfans and involved in that expanding style. There is an opportunity for the country music industry to generate income in selling records and touring if they think properly of a new way to promote it by analyzing the european’s sociology and behavior. It’s a matter of making the marketing and A&R choices. There is potential.

C2C website

Carrie Underwood’s news 

Coachella Highlights: Part II

Here’s the 2nd round up of a few clips of some great performances during the last weekend of Coachella! Enjoy!

Pharrell & Co.

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Pharrell allowed festival attendees to take a trip down memory lane while bringing out a variety of special guests (inc. Usher, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Busta Rhymes and T.I.) Check out the vids below!!

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Bubbling in the desert #hov @pharrell

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Nas

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(Nas and Lauryn Hill at Coachella 2014)

Nas celebrated the 20th anniversary of “Illmatic” this weekend.  It was twenty years to the day of its release.  He performed each track from his critically acclaimed debut album.  One of the most epic moments during his set was when he brought Lauryn Hill onstage and the duo performed “If I Ruled The World.” Lauryn also performed “Ready or Not” from The Fugees repertoire.  Damian “Jr. Gong”appeared as a special guest and the two wowed the crowd with a performance of “Jamrock” and “Road to Zion.”

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Sekkle sekkle sekkle

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(**Images and videos are courtesy of the Instagram community**)

Why invest in Culture?

The answer seems obvious: an educated and cultured society understands, respects and coexists better.  We might even say that culture is the path to a healthy, well-adjusted and happy society. If we take a closer look at music, the benefits shoot up. Not only does music stimulate the brain, isolate stress and strengthen one’s health, but it also helps to work at a full capacity, sleep better and be optimistic, working as an emotional medicine. Should these advantages not be enough to convince someone about the importance of investing in culture, lets take a look at the economic benefits.

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Based on the French notion of the Parable of the Tuileries, there are three economic principles we should know about and understand.

The first is the concept of Positive Externalities, meaning a benefit that results from an activity and that affects an otherwise uninvolved party who did not choose to incur that benefit. There are activities which basically affect others in a positive way, so the benefit to the individual or firm is less than the benefit to society. An example would be France’s cultural image and how it is perceived by the world. This causes a call-effect of investment from other parts of the world, as well as tourists who are attracted and keep consuming more. Although things in Spain are changing due to economic cutbacks, the amount of music festivals Spain has to offer can still be taken as an example of positive externality.

The second principle is the multiplier effect of culture-based investment. Investing in music obviously benefits musicians, technicians, venues, record labels and many other players in the music business. However, if we take a step further we’ll notice how other industries are also taking advantage of these investments.  Just imagine a Friday night: You take a cab to go to a concert, but first dinner at your favourite restaurant. You arrive and buy the concert ticket but before entering the venue you have a beer or two. When the concert’s over, you’re so excited you buy the band’s t-shirt and album, have the last drink at another bar and take another cab home. Next morning you wake up, run to the drugstore and buy some Ibuprofen. Music has just generated benefits for different sectors which at first, had nothing to do with the music industry.

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Last but not least, there is an inspiring and unique principle known as  Diminishing Marginal Utility. What does this actually mean? Lets start by explaining each term. Utility is what consumers obtain –value– when consuming products or services, and by marginal we understand the gain from the last unit. Marginal Utility is therefore what the consumer gains when consuming the last unit. A Diminishing Marginal Utility should now start making sense.  The first unit of consumption of a good or service yields more utility, more satisfaction than the second and subsequent units, with a continuing reduction for greater amounts. Consumers normally get a positive utility when they purchase and consume a good or service, although this satisfying feeling decreases each time as the consumer becomes bored of the product.

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You’ll probably understand it better with a real life example. Imagine if you eat paella –or something you really like– every single day: on the first day your level of satisfaction would be really high, and so would the second and third. Now imagine how you would feel ten days later, ten days eating just paella. You would probably still like the good (paella) whereas the level of satisfaction decreased. You wouldn’t enjoy it as much, would you? Now think about a whole year eating paella… The level of satisfaction might even become negative!

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Nowadays, this theory can be applied to almost every product. Remember, almost! All forms of culture, and specially music, have the magic quality of generating the opposite effect.  The more you listen to music you like, the greater the pleasure, generating a desire to consume other types of music and leading to a never-ending cycle. We’ll be more passionate about music each time, broadening our music preferences.

Debussy’s Clair de Lune has been playing in my parents house since I can remember. Probably, the first time I heard it I didn’t pay much attention, or none at all! But after listening to it several times and seeing my mum perform it, I really started appreciating its value. Now, each time I listen to it I get goose bumps. In other words, Clair de Lune provides me with more satisfaction each time I consume it.

Maybe now we understand why the main affected by cultural cuts is, in fact, society.

Just in case you still don’t understand why investing in culture is important, take a look at this video about the Parable of the Tuileries.

Parable of the Tuileries

By the way, tell me about your song, the one which will move you more each time you listen to it!

2012 Rainbow Bay Festival goes Rock “n” Roll

“If I quit rock “n” roll, would you still love me?”  – Theme for the second annual Rainbow Bay Festival (2012). The aim of this year is about encourage rock bands not to give up their rock & roll dream and educated audience what is rock & roll !!!

“It is very hard to keep a rock band going — I discovered this from experience. There’s turnover one day, income issues the next. So we really want to encourage rock bands to stick it through to the end and do that thing they want to do,” said festival coordinator Lee Ming-chih (李明智) of Da Da Arts Promotion (大大娛樂).

According to TraNews, Rainbow Bay Festival is the grandest music festival in Asia 2012 that held in Kaohsiung , Taiwan, a two-day outdoor mega-concert at 27,28/10/2012. To build up lively atmosphere, the organizer has used 1200 of mirrors to make the biggest mirror ball. The mirror ball will be above the surface of Love River 10m. Strong beams will transmit from different aspects and reflect on the mirror ball. By then, the harbor will be the brightest spot all over Taiwan.

The mayor of Kaohsiung would like to promote not only Kaohsiung but also the abilities of Taiwan musician to the world and it success as this year, there are about 60 artists (include indie artist and bands) and estimated 32,000 people participated in the festival 2012, which include 52 concerts, 9 lectures and fair.

Every year, there will have different theme so the festival not only limited for a particular type of music. For instance, the theme for 2011 is about “creation” of musician work and invited 9mm Parabellum Bullet (band from Japan) be one of the guest. Beside the local artist or band, Sratch Bandits Crew (France DJ band) had also performed and provided a talk/ seminar to audience this year so this is a festival not only for music lover to enjoy music but also a educational festival for people to learn about music and enjoy music!! By the way , it also provide a stage for  indie artist or band to have opportunities to build their fan base and increase reputation!!!

I believed more artist around the world will be invited to participate in this festival at the following years to attract more people listen to music. The city government aimed to inspire talented people to go into the music industry and increased the participation of people in the pop music festival.

 

Reference:

http://www.rainbowbayfestival.com/html/front/bin/ptlist.phtml?Category=355817

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/art/2012/09/07/353553/2012-Rainbow.htm

http://www.tranews.com/Show/Style200/News/c1_News.asp?SItemId=0271030&ProgramNo=A000203000001&SubjectNo=3257016

Kenting Music Festival- Spring Scream

Once a year, an epic adventure of art and audio aspiration hits the island and drags everyone to the Kenting Light house for amazing vacation of music and arts and life.

The music festival will be detailedly introduced at the below statement, participants of this major event are not restricted by age or ethnicity. Music lovers fly halfway across the globe just to support local performers in Taiwan. Music bands take advantage of this opportunity to release, promote and exchange their works, and at the same time exhibit their individual styles and affluent creativity. Each year, the organizers invite many foreign composers and independent bands in Taiwan to perform. Artists may also register to perform at the event, making the Spring Scream Festival more universal, diverse and radiant.

Since the first Spring Scream in 1995 up until today, 17 years have passed, making this the longest running major music festival in the history of Taiwan.  Spring Scream is also the largest scale and most widely known international music and arts festival in Taiwan, setting new records time and time again.  With over 200 domestic and international bands performing over the course of a 4 day festival, to this day no one else can compete.  Spring Scream’s roots are planted deep in the heart of Taiwan, and it is praised as an established cultural asset to the region.
Innovation promotes diversity in the local creative music and performance arts scene.
Through support and encouragement, an opportunity to perform and participate, and through independent promotion and a mutual exchange of ideas, Taiwan’s local performers, bands, artists, and a multitude of dedicated fans are challenged to expose their abundant creativity, utilizing the festival to let themselves shine.
Competitions are hosted by the festival for short films, art films, documentaries, and animation. There is a stage dedicated to the broadcasting of music or art films, short films and animations. Various arts and crafts booths are set up for installation art, graffiti, action art, and handcraft market, as well as booths for self-created brands, food and cuisine, sports and leisure, self-designed clothing, handmade products, creative markets, and custom art clothing.

These ideas originate from the event’s founders and their love for art and music. Not only does the event provide a stage for local music bands and artists to perform, many foreign individuals and bands are also given the opportunity to participate in this arts and music feast. Furthermore, music enthusiasts are exposed to a wide range of music genres. This unique southern Taiwan music hall attracts thousands of people each year.

Music lovers from all corners of the earth, embrace the natural environment, share, support each other, create harmony in the surrounding community, encourage and engage in environmental protection, protect those less fortunate and support women and children rights groups, care for homeless animals, and show compassion for community public welfare movements!

[  Origin ]

Spring Scream started small in 1995 by Wade and Jimi… “It’s just gotten bigger and better.”  Last year of the Rabbit 2011 should see over 200 performers on 7 stages.  Emphasis is on music, but we strive to make it a place where art meets life and artists live together in nature for a couple days.If we could go back in time to 1995, Kenting was still a simple and innocent place.  It was the 6th year of the Golden Melody Awards, the best male singer was Jonny Yin, best female singer was Stella.  The best Taiwanese singer was Jacky Wu.Back then, Taiwanese society thought the words “independent band” sounded strange, and had no idea what a “music festival” was.

By 1999, the number of bands applying to play at Spring Scream had increased to over 100 bands.  Nearby restaurants had unlimited business, and other separate festivals using the same name started popping up.  You could say, people started to get mixed up about which was the original Spring Scream Music festival.

Any Berklee Student or their band wanna participate on it?! Just book a ticket to Taiwan for Spring 2013!

Sources:

http://www.springscream.com/sample-page

http://www.taiwan.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=66288&CtNode=2953&mp=10002