Monthly Archives: November 2016

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, 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.

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingTo all my friends and readers, I wish you a happy holiday. I truly appreciate your support and I am humbled and honored that you take the time out of your busy day to read my musings.

It’s a good day to take some time off, eat a nice meal, have a cocktail and watch some football, but don’t forget that it’s also a great day to see some live music as well!

If You Want To Reach Music Fans, Go To Instagram

Instagram logoNielsen has just completed a study analyzing the habits and lifestyles of U.S. music listeners on Instagram, and the results show that if you want want to reach music lovers, that’s one of the best platforms to use for promotion.

What was determined? First of all, Instagram users are huge music fans, and show it with their wallets. They spend 42% more money on music and listen 30% more than the general population. In fact, the typical Instagram user spends a surprising $269 per year on music.

What do they listen to? 41% listen to pop/Top 40, 39% to rap and hip-hop, 33% to R&B, 30% to rock, 23% to country, and 13% to EDM.

When it comes to music consumption, a whopping 90% of Instagram users stream music, and they’re more than twice as likely to pay for it too. And where do they get it from? 49% get it from YouTube, 44% from Pandora (a surprise), and only 29% from Spotify. They are also 3 times more likely to use Soundcloud or Apple Music.

Instagram users are also frequent live events like concerts and clubs, and are especially drawn to a club with a DJ. What’s more, during live music event, Instagram is the #1 platform and is used 83% more for sharing with concertgoers, artists and fans than any other platforms. They’re also more likely to use smartphones for activities than the general population. This includes purchasing music that they hear at a concert, visiting a performer’s website or social presence, calling friends to let them hear the concert, or sharing videos of the event.

For sure, Instagram shouldn’t be the only social platform in your promotional arsenal, and you certainly can’t ignore the others even if most of your fans live here. That said, the study shows is that the platform can be very important for reaching either your current fans, or potential ones.

November 22, 2016

Jay Clark Of EarPeace, Vinyl Piracy, And THX For Tours On Episode #136 Of My Inner Circle Podcast

Jay Clark EarPeaceHearing protection is important for everyone, not just for us in the music business. We’re constantly assaulted by damaging sounds, and too frequently don’t have ear plugs when we need them.

While there’s a lot of great protection products out there, Jay Clark felt there was something missing and come up with EarPeace, a new hearing protection product that has a number of features that are very appealing.

EarPeace is now endorsed and branded by some of the biggest music festivals and clubs, brands like Red Bull, and bands like Metallica. I spoke with Jay about how he came up with the product, and the difference between EarPeace and other brands.

On the intro I’ll look at piracy today, thanks to a huge bust of several tons of vinyl and CDs, as well as What.CD being shut down, and why THX is getting into tour sound.

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

November 21, 2016

Metallica Reverses Course And Uploads Its New Album For Free On YouTube

metallica hardwiredcdWell, this may seem odd. Metallica has uploaded all 10 songs of its latest album Hardwired….To Self-Destruct to its YouTube channel. That means that fans can get the album online for free.

Wasn’t Metallica the band that lead the charge against Napster way back when, making a case against free online music? And isn’t the band’s management, Q-Prime, one of the leaders in railing against YouTube as “the devil,” stating that “If someone doesn’t do something about YouTube, we’re screwed. It’s over. Turn off the lights.” Yep, one in the same.

So did a record label upload the songs against the band’s wishes? No, that didn’t happen either, since the band owns this album outright and released it on its own label called Blackened Recordings Inc.

The fact of the matter is that the band and management is just being pragmatic and understands that the music game is now played differently in 2016 than it was way back in 1999. If the band didn’t upload the songs themselves, then within 10 minutes of its release the fans would’ve done it anyway. At least this way Metallica has at least some control over the situation and has a chance to monetize the videos. Sure, it’s not at a rate that anyone wants, but at least doing it this way allows them to maximize the little they’ll bring in. Plus, they’ll incentivize fans to continue to visit the band’s YouTube site and other online properties, which will be valuable down the line for marketing tours, mech and other releases.

So on the surface, this might seem like a sellout (as was the band’s recent return to Napster after 17 years), but the fact is that they’re doing what every artist should be doing today, and that’s maximizing its social authority and keeping fans in the right places, rather than have them scattered around online.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 11/18/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of November 18th, 2016. Lots on the legal front this week, and streaming news is back strong again. Let’s get into it.

The Justice Department wants BMI to collect fees in a different way. It asked for “full work licenses” where all songwriters must agree to a license, but lost the argument in court recently. It has now announced that it will appeal. Not good for the publishing business if it wins as licensing will get a lot harder if there are multiple songwriters involved.

A long list of music industry associations have asked the US government to support European copyright actions aimed at YouTube. They’re hoping that the royalty payout from YouTube ultimately rises to that of Spotify or Apple Music. This is a long shot at best, but certainly worthy of continued discussion.

Some insiders think that Trump might be good for business. They site the close ties of the Obama administration to Google. Good luck with that one.

Prince’s estate is suing Tidal. It says that the streaming service has been illegally streaming a number of the superstar’s albums without a license. This could end up being the death knell for the service.

Google Play Music rolled out some new features. Improvements to the user interface include contextual song recommendations, which are garnering kudos all around. This could end up being a big deal, as Apple Music is generally thought of as clunky to use, while Spotify as a little stodgy in its UI.

Amazon launched Amazon Music Unlimited in Europe to much fanfare. It’s now available in the UK, Germany, and Austria. And the service rolled out a Family Plan as well.

More than a quarter of all music streaming subscribers hop around. They go from service to service on the free plans with different email addresses, according analyst Mark Mullligan. Not good that they can’t be converted.

Spotify now driving concert ticket sales. It’s now sending out emails to subscribers with ticket offers.

BMG going all in with Alibaba in China. It had signed a 2 year deal to supply music to the Chinese giant, and now extended the agreement for 3 more years.

Metallica’s music returns to Napster. 17 years after the group had a collective thrombo over the music service, their music is back on the platform. We’ve come full circle on that one, haven’t we?

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

Music Industry Wants To Ban Concert Ticket Buying Bots

Concert TicketHas this happened to you? You’re one of the first in line to buy a ticket to a concert by your favorite artist only to find that all the choice seats are already gone, or you go online at the exact second that the sale for the concert opens up only to find that all the good seats are nowhere to be found. Yeah, that’s a drag, and the reason is that the third party ticket brokers are using an automated system of bots to get the best seats before the rest of us have a chance. There’s been lots of talk about doing something about this in the U.S., but not much has come of it, but things might be different in Britain, as the music industry is making an uproar.

Members of Parliament have recently been brief by a wide array of music industry representatives on how harmful the practice is considered to be, with the primary concern being that the price for good tickets is artificially inflated thanks to the use of the bots. Both artists and managers testified against the practice and voiced their frustration at not being able to do much to stop it unless there was some sort of government intervention.

Wile consumers frequently rail against the huge Ticketmaster as the main offender, the fact of the matter is that the service is a primary ticket-selling website, getting the tickets directly from the promoter and venue. The real culprits are the secondary services that bid up the price for the best seats after their bots buy them at face value.

While artists are said to be implicit in the price add-ons like service charges from Ticketmaster (which enables them to artificially keep the face value of the ticket low while charging more), fans probably wouldn’t mind so much if at least they had a chance at buying a good seat in the first place. The fact of the matter is that once the secondary ticketing agency gets involved, pricing is completely out of the hands of the artist and venue, with the agency charging what the market will bare. Of course, the prices can really skyrocket at that point, and neither the artist nor the venue or promoter is able to benefit, and of course the fan is left paying far more than what he believes to be fair.

Similar hearings have been held in the past with no movement towards a resolution. Perhaps this time things will change, and cause some change in the U.S. as a result as well.

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