Virtual Reality And Live Music Seem Like A Marriage Made In Heaven

virtual reality live musicOne of the downsides of live music is that only so many people can experience it at any one time. Whether it’s a club, concert or festival, attendance is limited to only the people that are able to make it to the venue, even though many more may desire to do so. Live video feeds and broadcasts changed this somewhat, but haven’t caught on to the level that was expected, mostly because the experience is fairly limited from a viewership point of view. It’s not all that realistic, after all. This could all change thanks to virtual reality though, as was recently pointed out in an NBC post.

VR, even if it’s cheaply created and delivered, is a much more enjoyable experience as it gives you the feeling that you’re actually in the venue. Turn you head to either side and you see the people in the crowd. Turn to the rear and you see the bar. Turn forward left to right and you either see the individual band members on stage, or the expanse of the DJ booth. Look up and you see the ceiling, lighting and sound system. Look down and you may see a lighted dance floor. For all intense and purposes, you are there and you have the best seat in the house.

The picture portion of VR is way ahead of the audio however, which is the missing link in the experience. There’s not enough attention being paid to the this aspect and it’s the final piece of the puzzle for a truly live experience. The tools are available, but the integration with those high quality tools isn’t seamless at the moment, and it adds a level of expense that many club owners don’t want to absorb, although the bigger the venue, the less this becomes an issue.

Make no mistake about it, virtual reality may become a significant revenue source for both artists and venues in the future as soon as the kinks are worked out. That said, there’s a fear among venue owners that the experience can potentially be so good that it’s actually better than being present live in the venue. We’re not close to that yet, as VR is still in it’s infancy, but look for it to make its mark on live music in a big way in the near future.

December 7, 2016

An Overview Of A Day On YouTube

YouTube A Day In The LIfeA recent look at a day in the life of YouTube by Pexeso is extremely illuminating. First of all, it’s not as music-centric as it was previously, with only 5% of its videos now dedicated to music. Those amounted to 11% of total views, which comes in 4th behind gaming, entertainment, and people and blogs. Another eye-opening stat is that more than 93% of the videos are in English, and that the 3 major labels rank 2, 3 and 4 among the number of take-down notices issued.

Here’s an overview of the data. You can find a very nice infographic here.

Brief overview of statistics of 1 YouTube day:

  • YouTube receives roughly 300,000 individual video uploads each day, amounting to 80k hours of video and 24TB of data.
  • 8am PST is the busiest time of day for video uploads, whereas 12:36am is the least busy. Approximately 10x more videos are uploaded during the busiest time comparing to the least busy.
  • The average video uploaded to YouTube is 15 minutes long and 86MB in size.
  • 93.5% of videos uploaded to YouTube are in English.
  • The People & Blogs category receives the highest volume of uploads, accounting for a whopping 41% of videos uploaded everyday, followed by Gaming (14%), Film & Action (10%) and Entertainment (8%).
  • Although the People & Blogs category accounts for the most video uploads each day, Gaming is king, receiving the most attention.
  • Static videos — typically spammy videos containing just a static image whose purpose is to lure people outside of YouTube — account for unbelievable 7.5% of all uploaded videos.

What happens to videos after they’re uploaded?

  • Only 35% of all videos uploaded will be claimed by rights holders. 26% will be monitored or monetized by the copyright holder; the remainder will be taken down.
  • A whopping 32% of all videos will end up removed within the first 24 hours.
  • 5% of videos will be deleted by users.
  • 18% will be removed because the user had their account terminated.
  • 9% will be taken down due to copyright infringement.
  • 0.4% of all videos are made private by the users in the first 24 hours.
  • 5% accounts that uploads videos in any given day get terminated for violating YouTube’s TOS.
  • Terminated accounts upload around 20% of all videos every day, 6x more than a typical account.

Any perceptions of YouTube as a platform that’s dominated by music are shattered by this study. Indeed, video does account for 74% of all Internet traffic, but music is just a small piece of it.

December 6, 2016

Engineer/Producer Josh Gudwin On Episode #138 Of My Inner Circle Podcast

Josh GudwinThere are stars, then there are superstars, then there’s Justin Bieber, who seems to shine brighter than the rest. On this week’s podcast, Justin’s studio partner Josh Gudwin will discuss what it’s like recording, mixing and even producing one of the biggest names in the entertainment universe.

On the intro we’ll take a look at how Instagram might be the best social platform to find music fans, if you have what they want. I’ll also discuss the latest in the DAW world, as so many of us look for an option to Pro Tools.

You can listen to it at bobbyoinnercircle.com, or via iTunesStitcher, Mixcloud or Google Play.

 

 

December 5, 2016

12 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Make That Post

12 questionsAs I’ve said many times here and in my book Social Media Promotion For Musicians, just being on a social network doesn’t mean that you’re using it effectively for promotion. There’s a mindset that’s need before you can use any network as a promotional tool. Here are 12 questions to ask yourself (thanks to this Time article) before you post to any social network that will help you focus your content for greatest impact.

1. Is the message educational, informational, or entertaining? Stop if it doesn’t fit into either of these categories.

2. Is the voice correct? Remember to stay within your brand and not get too personal.

3. Is it too long? Shorter posts get more engagement.

4. Is the URL correct? You did remember to include a link, right? Make sure you check that it’s working

5. Should I target a specific audience with this message? Sometimes it’s better to just address a specific portion of your audience or fanbase.

6. Did I use the right keywords and hashtags to maximize exposure? Keywords and hashtags are still important.

7. How many times have I already posted something today? Too many posts in the day may mean that this one could be ignored.

8. Did I spell check? Poor spelling is something that people notice immediately and it detracts from the message of the post.

9. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this? Stop and rewrite if you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable about something in the post. Follow your gut on this one.

10. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out? If you’re angry, take an hour to calm down before you post. A quick reactive post is how flame wars start.

11. Did I make the most of visual content—images, video, slides? Visuals increase engagement on almost all platforms.

12. Did I make the most of my update text—headline formulas, polls, quizzes? You only have so many chances for attention so make the most of them.

The best way to use social media as an effective promotion tool is to post great content. Follow these 12 questions and you’ll always be sure that you’re in the ballpark.

You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 12/2/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 2nd, 2016. We’re still in Holiday Hangover so news is light again this week. The fact of the matter is that activity drops off substantially from Thanksgiving through about the 2nd week of January. There is some news to report though, so let’s get into it.

iHeartRadio is releasing its new music service. It’s pretty innovative in that it allows you to replay any song you hear from a radio station in the app. There’s also a Save button that allows you to save a song to a playlist to listen to latter. Just $4.99 per month.

Pandora hasn’t launched its interactive service yet, but it’s trying hard on the non-interactive side. The problem is, will anyone notice or care?

Soundcharts is a new service that measures music consumption across 2600 charts. This includes streaming services and radio stations across the world. The first month is free, but they have plans down to the artist level.

Music can make us sick. This is a paper on the surprising number of artists and musicians that suffer from depression or similar mental illness.

The impact of social media on the music industry looks at the obvious, but it’s still a worthwhile read. The problem is that it looks at exclusively on big names, when a little down market focus would have been nice.

Autonomous cars are coming, and the music industry should take notice. We’ll have a lot more time to concentrate on listening when we don’t have to worry about driving.

Artist’s are making a lot of money from Spotify plays, and this article shows you just how much. Go to the bottom and check out the list of the top 25.

Some public radio powerhouses have banded together to launch VuHaus. It’s a non-profit video streaming site filled with music performances. Seems like a great idea.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

The Streaming Music Price Wars Have Begun

streaming music price warsIt was probably only a matter of time, but it now looks like the first of many streaming music price wars has truly broken out. In a reaction to Amazon entering the streaming market with its Music Unlimited service, Google has extended the free trial period for its Play Music service to 4 months, making a new subscription average of about $6.66 over the course of the first year.

In response, Spotify reintroduced its offer of just $0.99 for the first 3 months of premium streaming access. This deal was previously offered during the summer and resulted in about 2 million new subscribers per month. The problem, of course, is keeping the paid users after they subscribe, and as noted in previous posts, as many as 25% of streaming subscribers jump from free plan to free plan when their trial period is up. In order to counter that, Spotify has also introduced a $9.99 for 3 month play to lapsed users in order to entice them to reapply.

Apple Music is the only service that hasn’t deviated from its normal plan of a free 3 month trial period before the user is charged $9.99 per month.

This pricing war started last month when Amazon introduced it’s service at $7.99 to Prime members, and $3.99 if locked to one of its Echo devices. The catch, of course, is that you need a $99 per year Prime subscription, so it was really more expensive than the other services, but the perception by the public was that it was cheaper on a per month basis.

The trial period is the only bit of leeway that the streaming service actually have to play with, since the monthly price of $9.99 is locked in by their agreements with the major record labels. Despite many in the industry calling for a decrease in the monthly price in order to attract more paying subscribers, the labels have refused to budge. We’ll see if the current round of deals is enough to boost the subscription rate to the anticipated level, or just leads to more price wars down the road.

How We Listen To Music In Our Cars

music in carsOnce upon a time the only way to hear music while driving was through the radio. Of course you were at the mercy of the station of what you were listening to, but thanks to the 8 track tape, cassette tape, and then the CD player, you could personalize your listening experience. Today there are many more choices for music listening available in the car, and a new study by Music Biz Consumer Insights and LOOP gives us more details into not only the technology choices, but the listener ages as well.

Interestingly, 75% of respondents said they still listen to AM/FM radio, while CD listening came in second at 38%. Digital music files had 18% and streaming Internet radio had 15%, while podcasts were at just 6%.

Age has a lot to do with how we listen however, and the younger you are, the less you rely on traditional in-car technology. The study found that 29% of ages 20 to 24 listen to digital music files and 26% listen to streaming Internet radio. That’s almost the same for the 25-34 group, which come in at 28% and 29%, respectively, while teens aged 15-19 posted 23% and 22%. Digital music files were somewhat common for the 35-44 group as well, as 26% listened to digital music files, but older than that dropped below 20%.

The traditional auto CD player seems to be falling by the wayside as 60% had an in-car CD player, but it really depends upon the age group. CD player ownership was most common for the 25-34 group and older, while ages 16 to 19 had just 38% CD player ownership and the 20-24 group reported 41% ownership. Just 31% had some sort of in-car phone audio connection, such as a wired or wireless aux input, and millennials are most likely to own phone adaptors at 43% for the 20-24 age group and 44% for ages 25-34.

But here’s the thing, even though CD players in autos are somewhat common, they aren’t regularly used. Just 23% said they use their in-car CD player daily, compared with 48% daily using their phone audio connection.

The study also looked at Sirius XM’s satellite radio use. Just 17% of all respondents said their cars could stream Sirius XM, but 76% of those listen to it at least once a week and 54% listen daily.

The bottom line: music consumption in our cars is slowly changing, even for the older age groups, and it won’t be long until we’re in a two choice world – radio or digital.

November 29, 2016

Engineer Jordan “DJ Swivel” Young On My Latest Inner Circle Podcast

Jordan DJ Swivel YoungIf you listen to music on the radio at all, you’ve surely heard The Chainsmoker’s “Closer,” as it’s been #1 for a number of weeks. Jordan “DJ Swivel” Young mixed the song and he’s going to talk about that mix and much more on Episode #137 of my Inner Circle Podcast.

Jordan has also worked worked with mega-artists Jay-Z, Kanye West and Fabolous, and was Beyonce’s engineer and mixer for a few years as well, all of which we’ll discuss. This is one of the longer interviews, but I guarantee that you’ll find every moment is interesting.

On the intro I’ll look at the streaming price war that’s taking place, and the 50th anniversary of the venerable Shure SM58.

You can listen to it at bobbyoinnercircle.com, or via iTunesStitcher, Mixcloud or Google Play.

November 28, 2016

4 Rules To Avoid Your Fans Wrath On Facebook

Facebook logoIf you’re an artist or band and you’re on Facebook, you want to make that audience grow and keep them engaged. The problem is that there are right and wrong ways to do this. Choose the wrong way and you either look like a schmuck or even worse, anger your fanbase. Here are 4 rules to follow on Facebook that will keep you out of trouble with those fans. They’re simple and easy, all you have to do is follow them.

1. Don’t Like your own post. This just looks bad and doesn’t serve any real purpose. It won’t help your Like count and it just feels like you’re patting yourself on the back for how smart you are. You’re not like that, so don’t do it.

2. Don’t post or tag photos of fans, crew or venue employees without their permission. You might think that the people will be flattered, and that may be true for most, but there’s always someone that’s there discretely and wants to keep it that way. Just ask permission first. Want to be even safer? Get written permission with a short release form.

3. Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to you. This one personally steams me the most. I just hate it when someone tags me in a photo that I wasn’t involved with in an effort to get me to check it out. It’s just bad form, doesn’t accomplish the task, and angers your followers, so don’t do it.

4. Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Share. This one is sort of borderline in that there’s an acceptable way and an unacceptable way to do it. First of all, it’s against Facebook’s terms to ask for a Like, although people do it all the time. A better way to do this, and also keeps it within FB’s terms of use, is through through a Facebook promotions company like Woobox. This allows you to set up contests or giveaways that hopefully will result in more Likes or Shares. You pay for it, but it’s a much more elegant and legal way to accomplish the same thing. As for Comments, the best way to get more is to ask more questions. Works every time.

Follow these 4 rules and you’ll not only stay out of trouble with your fans and followers, but look a whole lot more professional in doing so as well.

You can find more social media tips and tricks from my Social Media Promotion for Musicians book.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 11/25/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of November 25th, 2016. It’s the beginning of the holiday’s, so this week’s news is a bit light. Let’s get into it.

10,000 radio stations sue Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights company. GMR is charging stations separate license fees from ASCAP and BMI, so artists are making more. Radio isn’t too happy with that.

Universal Music’s market share has actually dropped since it acquired EMI. No one saw that one coming as reality as defied expert predictions once again.

Vevo is the #1 music video platform, but do you even know you’re watching it? Everyone thinks they’re still watching YouTube, but in the end, does it really matter?

The music industry is set for its best year since 2009. That said, the predictions is based on some iffy measurements that might be meaningless in today’s streaming world.

Bank of America is pessimistic about Pandora. The company claims it can hit 15 million subscribers soon, but analysts at the bank don’t buy it.

An explanation of streaming money. I’m not so sure that this infographic isn’t more confusing than helpful, but it’s worth checking out.

More on breaking an artist in the streaming age. Record labels seem to rely on the viral, quick hit, but artists careers that have lasted have always been built slowly, so this strategy seems at odds with what’s been proven to work.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

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