Twitter and its Movement Towards Music Integration

Twitter has been everywhere lately, from Lyor Cohen announcing its partnerships with the social media to its recent announcement with Billboard to deliver release real time music charts.  In other twitter related news (f you didn’t know already), the platform has recently announced its plan to reveal its new music strategy in the coming days.  After the demise of Twitter music Twitter has mead with an array of companies; Beats, Soundcloud, VEVO,etc all in the hopes a developing a strategy that successfully integrates music onto their platform. Clyde Smith over at Hypebot.com had some insider information on what this new music strategy might entail.

“The short-messaging service is preparing to roll out a fresh music strategy this week, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

“The company plans to shelve the idea of a stand-alone app all together, another person said, setting a new strategic course centered on music conversations and content on the Twitter service.”

“Twitter met with Beats Music in San Francisco this week, proposing a partnership that would promote subscriptions to the music-streaming service, according to a person familiar with the matter. It is also looking to partner with music-sharing site SoundCloud for the new strategy, this person said.”

“Vevo LLC…is working with Twitter to offer bite-sized music videos, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Clyde seems to think that Twitter is going to integrate some sort of of “targeted, curated or fore fronted” version of a music video.    We won’t know what this will all look like especially with the information about partnerships with Beats and Soundcloud on the table, but one thing is clear Twitter seems to be striving to cement its self as a player in the industry.  It might seem logical to them since a lot of their traffic comes from the big name celebrity acts that have developed  huge followings on the platform.  They are putting their hands in multiple facets of the industry; creating music discover data with Lyor Cohen, developing in time music charts, and now developing some sort of new strategy to fully integrate music in their service.  The first step of this process has already been announced with Billboard but there is more to come.   So how will this effect the industry, I guess we’ll find out in a dew days when everything behind this new strategy is revealed.

 

Sources

http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/03/twitters-new-music-strategy-vevo-music-videos-beats-music-ads-soundcloud-partnership.html

A Big Bag of D’s: Unveiling 300

A Big Bag of D’s: Unveiling 300

Disrupt, disintermediate and disseminate—these terms seem to permeate the forefront of an already eclectic wheelhouse of buzzwords used over the course of this past week’s Midem. What does it all mean? About as much as intrapreneurs, T-model employees, and bleeding-edge tech. This has aptly led to the title of this blog series: A Big Bag of D’s (inaptly creative, but will probably help with SEO).

Midem 2014 was highlighted with the unveiling of 300, a Google-backed “music content company devoted to the discovery and development of the artists of the future.” The keynote itself was as expected: riddled with poor jokes and photoshopped images, with a couple of hidden gems that you’d expect from an old colleague.

What we’ve learned:

Twitter Partnership

A twitter algorithm for discovering artists will never work, just as we’ve seen it through the failure of music curation. It can’t listen, it doesn’t know what’s cool and it can’t connect. By the time significant or shareable content is aggregated through a mass web of hashtags, retweets, bots and purchased followers, it’s already been discovered. We’re already onto what’s next.  If you want to discover an artist first, you have to be immersed in the culture. It’s the people who breathe, eat and sleep the digital world—it’s your friends who are the tastemakers. By the time they have gone to twitter, they’ve already shared it on Facebook and they’ve subscribed to the artists’ Youtube channels.

The Business Model

Low overhead, skilled workers, autonomy and experience. That’s a solid business model. If 300 can stick to it, it should succeed. Where 300 will run into trouble is artist development. Labels used to do this until it became too expensive. They want what’s ready; they are interested in making money now.

How will 300 be any different?

Perhaps it’s culture. The concept of “fraternity,” for whatever reason, was left out of all the articles I’ve stumbled upon. This is what resonated with me. Perhaps I wanted to hear an affliction in Lyor’s voice, but this is what it’s all about. A dedication, a strive, a passion for music, collaboration, colleagues and artists. It’s the culture, it incubates and drives success on every level, eliminating the negativity, adapting and evolving. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?

Closing Remarks

“Sign stars, don’t dust bums.” – Lyor Cohen

Maybe we need to redefine what “stars” are, because lately they’ve seemed to become one in the same.

Strategy: Inbound

Patrick…

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I’ve known this character since high school – he’s been one of my best friends of all time. We’ve been through a lot; we’ve spent entire weeks in beach cottages, occasionally leaving the brightly painted, two-room shack to go mini-golfing dressed as formally as our resources would allow. At one point in high school, we spent an entire day excused from classes with school administration defending our actions in fear of impending suspension and a noticeable blemish on our otherwise faultless school behavioral records. Patrick – like all the best artists – kept me on my toes, entertained me, and made every ounce of my participation in the friendship worth each successive moment of time spent.

(thanks buddy. this one goes out to you)

AHEM! There’s a big lesson to take in here! As an artist, you need to be like my good friend Patrick.

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I’ve said it before. Seth Godin has said it before. We know it by now – you’ve got to be something special! You’ve got to have that charm and that little something that can’t be found anywhere else. Patrick has that. He’s incontrovertibly been and will always be that guy. In addition to his unmistakably characteristic personality, he has yet another integral factor of success. He’s got the right kind of actual, physical, not-even-figurative presence.

Keep in mind; I’m not necessarily saying he was always around. That’s actually a mistake many artists make – overdoing it (Yes, there’s a possibility that posting a link to your latest “Work In Progress” on Soundcloud and urging me to forward it to my entire network more than once in an hour could be considered too much.) In fact, Patrick was usually late to arrive and would consistently get himself lost during group outings – requiring that my friends and I take the time to find him whenever he got distracted and wandered off. Instead, he had presence in that I always knew where to find him, he was always there when I needed him, and he was always wholeheartedly down for whatever adventure happened to be on the agenda for the day.

You see; Patrick remains (to this day) rather conveniently unlicensed and thus legally precluded from operating a motor vehicle. This means that whenever a friend or I wanted to see him, we knew where we could find him – his house.

Here’s where some of the teachings lie. As an artist, you should be just like him; be consistently available, always be energetic and excited for even the most mundane trips to CVS for allergy medication, and bring that characteristic personality only when I come to you – when you know it’s what I know I’m getting myself into.

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In marketing terms, this is called your inbound strategy. It’s to be coordinated with your outbound efforts (which include your overt, publicly promotional actions – more on this some day) to contribute to something called Integrated Marketing Communications, or IMC. Successfully integrated one’s inbound and outbound communications is like giving a body to a voice. It’s means that behind the shouts of publicity, there’s a stable foundation to back it up. It (most concretely) means that when people are looking for your music, your bio, your pictures, for you, they can do so easily. Seeing as we’re all living and breathing the Internet – yup – this pretty much means social media.

You’ll hear from some people these days how important it is to be “on social media.” Some of these will stress how you should be ubiquitous (everywhere) online so people can find you; I don’t really consider that true. You just need to be where you’re expected to be. This depends a lot on your particular situation, but your portfolio of online personas could include anything from an instagram account to a reddit account. I don’t doubt that you have the clarity to know your fans well enough to know where they hang out online!

While you’re racking your brain – here’s a few tips.

Buy the Domain Name Already.

If you haven’t already…

Even if it’s just for posting songs with a nice Ken Burns slideshow of pictures, YouTube is great to be available on.

Do you have a nice e-mail address?

Do your fans use Pinterest? Be on Pinterest.

Learn to use hootsuite.

MySpace integrates well with a lot of other services these days – give it a thought, but it’s not too necessary. 

——–

What you say about yourself isn’t nearly as important as what people say about you. Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep quiet and let the dialogue flow. Although content is king, your posts are mini forums for conversation – not a dumping ground or an obligation.

———

One last thing. Respond to people.

Why Twitter is Necessary in Today’s Music Industry

Twitter

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… a completely irrelevant thought that sounds like a diary entry!  Yes, that’s Twitter to the common eye.  Believe me, for the longest time I thought that Twitter was the one of the lamest things to ever hit the music industry.  I couldn’t wrap my head around it.  Why?

Well for one, I always thought that Facebook was a more varied version of it.  Why should you be limited to 140 characters to post, not have thumbnail displayed photo previews, why not have extra pages like downloads or band pages, and why not just freakin’ have some privacy?  I mean, what ever happened to the mysterious rock star?  The icon that was either so DIY or so busy that the only time you could see them and hear them talk was that magical hour and a half on stage?  That was a rock and roll icon to me.  They were a mystery until you had to go out to their live show.

Unfortunately, I got slapped in the face with reality when I found out that this is 2012, and the Backstreet Boys are way past the Backstreet Men phase, making me one old bastard for the times.  It came time that I had to embrace this fancy new technology of the youth, and I fumbled for a while until I figured out it’s pure gold in today’s industry

You could say I have no clue what the @#$% I'm doing.

You could say I have no clue what the @#$% I’m doing.

1)  Twitter maintains your relevance in every day.  We live in a generation of instant-gratification.  If you can’t appease your blood thirsty shirt-ripping music-pillaging hounds of fans, you can sure bet they’re going to go and feast on the next target they see since you’re clearly not putting out.  Before you know it, your fans forget about who you are just because you’re not updating them on a day to day basis.  You’d be surprised how true it is.

2) You can create a short statement swift to the point that’ll be immediately received by all.  While 140 characters seems constricting, it actually aids you, the reader, or your fans.  How often will your fans stop what they’re doing to read that giant Shakespearean essay you posted on Facebook?  Most likely, they’ll just skip through it; in fact they probably won’t even see it.  Twitter guarantees your tweets will appear in the streams of your followers (Unless they’re following an insane amount of tweeters), whereas Facebook posts actually have never reached more than an average of 15% of their fans.

Don't worry, we're not "liking" your photo of breakfast because we hate you, we just don't give a shit about you enough to show up in our feed.

Don’t worry, it’s not that we’re not “liking” your photo of breakfast because we hate you, we just don’t give a shit about you enough to have you show up in our feed.

3)  Searching buzzes on Twitter is more effective than using Google.  Please re-read that so you don’t assume I just said Twitter is better than Google for information.  I said searching for buzzes: do you know how many people tweet about the silliest things you can’t find on Google?  When Facebook was down, Google wasn’t telling me anything.  But all I had to do was search “Facebook” on Twitter; and I’ll tell you, Twitter exploded about it.  It’s not that Google fails or anything of the sort, it’s just that the way the search engine is configured, Twitter sifts through much less  and more relevant information to produce its Tweet results as opposed to Google.

4) In addition to #3, you can create the buzz yourself.  Trends and re-tweets are very helpful in that the fans do some of the promotion for you.  Let’s say you’ve got 900 followers, and one of them re-tweets your post to their 300 separate followers.  You’ve opened your chances of getting seen from 1/3 more of your own followers, and from one fan.  It’s extremely helpful, not to mention if your fan base is loyal enough, you can even trend your product locally for everyone to see on their home page.  Remember, this is ALL free.

So, to wrap this up, I found that Twitter isn’t the enemy.  It’s helped me keep up very closely with the DIY bands that I really like without having to go through an intense effort to get updates from them.  At the same time, it’s helped me stay in contact with a lot of people.  Of course there’s people on Twitter that tweet 100% bull-shit or re-tweet philosophy because they think they’re the next Confucious to their 2 followers.  Stuff like that exists on every platform: there’s really no escaping that one person eventually, but hey, you can always un-follow them.  Personal Twitters can be great when you want to establish that artist-to-fan relationship.

Oh dang!  Eric had eggs for breakfast again! BIG @#!$#ING SURPRISE.

Oh dang! Eric had eggs for breakfast again! BIG @#!$#ING SURPRISE.

So start now: You don’t even need to start tweeting or anything of the sort.  It’s just very helpful to get your domain set so that you can use it any time in the future.  Just remember that it just could be that helpful edge you get down the road.  And hey, as far as that mysterious rockstar thing goes, most professional Twitters of the big stars aren’t even running their Twitters: it’s usually just a social media promotions guy taking control of it.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve always signed off with my name, so don’t think this is some advertising, it’s just habitual.  Til next time

– @NishadGeorge