What if music students could still learn how to write music by hand, but quickly turn that into computerized notation? The people at @ThinkMusicTech say this is very real thanks to a new app that we don’t have many details for just yet but more updates are coming soon. Here’s a preview — we’ll keep an eye on the developments but we are interested!
We have to admit a few years back Pandora was our go to streaming music choice. Some of us have been evangelists ever since. We loved the fact that we found a lot of great new artists and songs based on the crazy algorithm that determines what you may or may not like. Then, probably while listening to Pandora, they made some major news. And all they had to do was make the musicians who use and the support the service, very unhappy. According to an article in The Register:
The leading backer of a bill passing through US Congress that will slash musicians’ pay by 85 per cent, as well as effectively outlawing them from bargaining collectively with their paymasters, has been selling stock worth $1m in his own internet company every month.
If that’s not yucky enough for you, Hypebot announced Pandora is suing ASCAP for lower licensing fees on behalf of ASCAP songwriters. Execs cash in while suing songwriters is not going to win you any PR awards. What do you think about what Pandora is doing of late?
There may be no other group of people as gear obsessed as musicians. We buy guitar pedals, replace tubes, get the newest drum skins all in our quest for having the coolest sound. The last 10 years have been fascinating as the merging between computer technology and music gear has married happily.
Recently Fox News ran a great piece on some of the newest gear out there. Check out the Ipad drum set shown in the video. We love the idea of being able to travel with a real-life practice pad. As any drummer knows lugging your “kit” around is one of the few downsides of providing the rhythm. Now if your band needs to run through a song all you need to bring along is your Ipad!
Click the image above or here to view the video.
According to Soundscan, “Overall U.S. music sales rose 6.9% in 2011, as album sales increased for the first time since 2004. Indies accounted for just 12.1% of U.S. music sales last year.” These stats are promising since many of you release music on your own, with independent partners, or on an Indie label etc. What it truly means is that even with all the talk of internet and Indie artists ruling the world the major label musicians are still moving the most product. But don’t be discouraged. What this study doesn’t account for is other revenue streams – Touring, Merchandise, Ringtones, DVDs, and anything else you can think of! Plus don’t forget The Arcade Fire (on Indie label Merge) took home “Artist Of The Year” at The Grammys! Some of the most exciting music is being created on the indie level — with smart promotions, pr, marketing and social media, you could leverage the tools available today into a long term career.
It’s not called the music business for nothing. As great as it is to know about music in general, if you aren’t following the business side of things, you are losing out on a lot of helpful info. A music subscription service called Spotify, that took Europe by storm the last few years, has now arrived in the States.
Spotify is a Swedish DRM-based music streaming service offering selected music from a range of major and independent record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal. What separates it from other current streaming services is that their catalog is supposedly extensive, the software is excellent, and you are able to sync it with your smartphone. It is completely free to use Spotify on your computer, but the company makes their money by charging for the premium accounts which have smartphone sync. Monthly subscriptions range from $4.95 to $9.95.
We’ve heard from friends that the free catalog available to the US, for the moment, is rather limited unless you are a premium member. But the industry speculates a game changer for a long-suffering music business that has been searching for a new way to make money off of music. YouTube has shown us that the way of the future is streaming. You can think of Spotify like the music version of Netflix Streaming, which has been incredibly popular.
You can sign up for Spotify today if you buy a premium subscription, but free invites have been trickling out and you can request them by going to the spotify.com or searching Twitter for a myriad of free invites from popular musicians and tech services. In fact Lady Gaga gave out a thousand invites over her Twitter recently. Same with Foursquare.