December 22, 2009

Apple buy music streaming service Lala

Lala screenshot
I’ve always liked Apple. They may not have invented digital music, or the portable digital player, but they fine-tuned them and distributed them to mass markets to perfection. More music is being heard by more people in more places than ever before, and for that, we should be grateful. (Figuring out how to strategize and monetize these new markets is a different matter.)

It seems that iTunes has ruled the mp3 generation, but times and trends are moving ever faster, and there’s now a whole new generation of consumers that may never even own an mp3. Streaming is big business these days. Enter Lala, one of several successful (read: popular but not entirely profitable (yet?)) online music streaming services that has established itself with the non-owning and mobile music markets. Being able to listen to music through a web browser is something that gives music fans greater freedom, and access to their collection from any computer, smart phone or other mobile device, and is something that Apple lacks within iTunes.


Imeem is now Myspace Music

Imeem logo
MySpace has recently completed a deal to acquire music streaming service Imeem, and is in the first phase of integrating certain assets into its Myspace Music network. Although the sum of the deal remains undisclosed, sources report a total deal worth around $8m. (CNET shares, "The News Corp.-owned MySpace has agreed to pay $1 million in cash, but the total figure also includes money for accounts receivable and employee earn outs".) These figures fall wildly short of the $30m+ that had been invested in Imeem during it's 6 year development, and point towards, essentially, a fire sale.

Imeem is one of several sites that have recently gone bust or sold for next to nothing. Pressure from both major labels and large indies in the form of 'infringement payments' have helped smother another promising start-up, although the Imeem team had the relatively simple choice of selling up or packing up.


Spotify Royalties Under Fire from Artists - Should You Expect Income from Streaming?

Lady Gaga poker face

For many members searching for jobs in the music industry, each little bit of income helps, and streaming seemed to offer hope of another revenue source to help make a living from music. However, Spotify, the streaming application that is immensely popular in Europe (and due to launch in the US soon, has come under fire along with the performing rights societies about the minuscule amount that artists actually receive.

Hypebot recently reported that Spotify paid Lady Gaga just $167 For 1M Plays:

Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” was one of the most popular tracks for 5 months on Spotify; being played more than 1 million times. But according to reports this weekend, the Swedish Performing Rights Society only paid her $167. If true, it confirms other complaints from other artists like those of Swedish musican Magnus Uggla who pulled his music off Spotify declaring, "I'd prefer to be raped by Pirate Bay than played on Spotify".

When an artist starts out with earning no income from their music, they are quite happy to give it away for the exposure it may create. Obviously it is easier for a small band to offer a free mp3 and say "we may have lost a potential $1000 in order to gain some new fans", than it would be for Universal to do it with a Lady Gaga single and consider losing (potentially) a lot more.


December 08, 2009

ArtistData - Helping Independent Musicians Remain Creative!

artistdata logo
ArtistData is an innovative tool for the independent musician and can certainly help music job members seeking to make the most of their time and efforts. They build solutions to help an artist save time with the "monotonous updating" of their online music profiles, Myspace calendars, Facebook and Twitter updates, and the endless stream of concert calendars and gig websites. Being able to enter the data once, to the ArtistData website, then allows more time for being creative - something that is at the core of every musician.

Named a "Top 10 Indie Marketing Tool" by Hypebot, the Chicago-based ArtistData has created a lot of buzz recently. Rian Rochford of Universal Motown / Universal Republic says "ArtistData has provided a priceless tool enabling us to provide accurate and up to date artist info in the most efficient way possible", and the site has also been awarded a Chicago Innovations People's Choice Award.

Founder Brenden Mulligan was interviewed by Tim Jahn for part iof his Beyond the Pedway creative businesses series. Here he speaks about the about starting of the company, and also how artists and startups are alike.

Watch the video and

December 01, 2009

Lee J the DJ Nov’09 - Funky Thang / Chart-y Thang / Gig-gy Thang

Funky Thang
Any day now sees the release of Chemars’ Funky Thang single, which also comes with a remix by yours truly. I’m a fan of Chemars’ music: it was great to work with some smooth jazzy samples, and I was able to really put my stamp on this release. Give it a listen here...

Chemars - Funky Thang (Lee Jarvis' Sneaky Thang remix) (320promo) by Lee Jarvis

Chart-y Thang
I was asked to compile a chart for online digital store Stompy. A great opportunity to share some great tracks that have been doing it for me recently, and spread the love about some very talented producer and label buddies...