Great content, and nice technique for success:
How IKEA’s ‘Easy to Assemble’ Broke 1.9M Views (Without Cheating)

New product idea from the people:
World’s First Multimedia SF Novel on a QR Code T-shirt.
Buy it via ebay!

Devo is Back – I was there!
These guys are still unbeliveable!

“one of the few truly original rock acts of the last 40 years.”

San Jose Mercury news

Devo fans find `Satisfaction’

MUSIC POWER SHIFT: We All Get Along at Digital Hollywood 2009

I participated in a fun panel last Wednesday entitled “Music Power Shift: Artist, Label, Technology, Management” at LOWES Santa Monica for Digital Hollywood 2009.

Digital music panels are no longer the hot and heated arguments between old and new that they used to be! Everyone seems to get along and agree on most of the issues.

I elaborated on three main points throughout the panel and I think most panelist agreed with these main concepts

They key to 360 rights holders is connecting them effectively. From a fans perspective, all of an Artists projects are connected. You need the best team in each area, and if they can all be on one team, you can generate real results. Data collected from a download of the new single, is used to make touring decisions, and update merch lines. Art from a new shirt in the web store keeps the fans active, and bridges gaps between songs. When they all work together, behind an artist’s vision, the sum is much greater than each piece and it ends a great fan experience. 360 is not just about getting more rights, it’s about the ability to connect them together effectively.

Make the right decisions, then give them chance to work. Allow new ecosystems need time to develop. Direct to fan campaigns that rely on commerce generate maximum results after the’ve been optimized, and correctly run for a few project cycles. Invest in the time of running things correctly to truly reach your potential. Trent Rezonr’s direct to fan approach and success didn’t happen overnight or begin with that one piece of product everyone wrote about!

My closing point was about Artists that are learning to create art 2.0 – this is when a musical artist makes great music and inherently knows how to tell their story, and vision in a multi media art/message – across you tube, iphone aps, twitter etc. When the vision is there, these 2.0 tools and networks become more than communication channels, more than new ways to sell direct. They combine and connect to form true extensions of the music experience. The Artists who truly understand this will drive the exponential evolution of music into completely new forms!

Thanks to the other great panelists!

Christopher Allen, COO, Napster
Michael Spiegelman, Head of Music, Yahoo!
Phil Sandhaus, MemBrain LLC
Jeremy Welt, SVP New Media, Warner Bros Records
Sam Wick, SVP of Monetization and Strategy, MySpace Music
Gary Brotman, Sr. Director, Marketing & Artist Services, Topspin
Kelli Richards, President, The All Access Group,


The Facebook party is winding down, and LIGHTS blew away an always tough industry crowd. It was hard to resist her energy, even if you missed the announcement that LIGHTS launched what could be the first ever artist site using facebook connect.

It was more than an industry showcase! Convincing Artist’s to take a chance on new technology can be tough (thats a big part of my job!). They need to have an understanding of where things are going to truly apply new ideas to their art. Its often a riskier proposition than people realize. But when an Artist has a vision for new music AND new media – you can create the perfect storm of innovation the music business needs.

The “Connect” technology is amazing – and it has that feel good moment when you log into LIGHT’S site with your facebook account. But it never would have happened if the Artist didn’t have a strong enough vision for herself to try something new.

LIGHTS is the future, as much as facebook connect is the future!

Thanks to LIGHTS, Ethan Kaplan, and Raquel and Dave at Facebook, for making the show, the art, and the tech happen! When they work together, things evolve.


Ill be speaking at the “state of the digital union” panel at Digital Music East next week. The site says “This panel of industry experts will discuss the hot button issues of day, including the debate over digital music pricing, online and mobile music product offerings and business models….”. Thats the agenda – curious to know any topics you’d like to hear discussed?


I found out about ratatat through some random surfing. I dont know much about him, but hes a producer and remixer and I like his style!


But what really caught me were these videos on his site. They both have a very simple effect added to the exsiting clip, repurposing it into somethign startling, and bizarre.

I recognize the paul simon video, but not the first one.

And from his myspace, you findAudio Dregs, a record label and DIY music and art collective with a myspace page worth checking out!


Mixed in with the year end spin on numbers, NIN is back as the poster child for free music. Lots of interesting stories about how the free NIN album was top of Amazon sales charts.

Digital Music news says “perhaps a more fine-tuned example of how free often leads to paid in the modern music business”.

Its so easy to go to this oversimplification on one example as the “new model” for the music biz. I wish it were as easy as free leading to paid! The NIN “free” model is not scaleable for most and lets not forget – they are Nine Inch Nails and the new record was GOOD! NIN’s music at one point was the most revolutionary sound to appear in years. That’s the model! Innovative music and great songs lead to “paid”.

See Digital Music news Story Here
Read my post on Free, and some great links to the debate over free music


Several posts on some of my favorite digital music blogs talking about free music on the internet and what you can really accomplish by just giving it away. (links below).

Working at a major label, I have to balance the business side that wants to monetize everything, with the pressure of free music on the net and the need to market new music. There are no absolutes, and one advantage I have is that I work on a lot of projects and get to test things big and small.

Start with your goals
It’s too competitive to think just “giving away music” will advance your career and too many bands start and end with just wanting to give it away for free. Think harder.

Free may be a starting point if you’re a new act, but established artists have very different goals. Is a free download or stream designed to grow the fan base or reward your fans who may have already purchased from you?

First Goal: Establish a relationship with fans
Make the long term plan for you and your fans. If you are offering downloads, or streams, Make sure you have a community plan in place to capture the momentum new music can create. Collecting basic info fans can be a fair trade off for giving something away. If your an established artist, look beyond just giving your music away- there may be other ways to keep your community active. Give fans a place and incentive to extend the experience of your music and share their feelings with others. Are you strengthening the bond between existing fans? Adding new ones? Find the mix that makes sense and keep in mind there are bands serving thousands, and hundreds of thousands of streams on myspace, with very few fans. It take alot of dedication and great music to keep fans engaged.

What Can You Sell?
Fans are willing to pay. It’s the blend between quality and art that must be respected. I’ve successfully seen bands drive revenue, and keep fans happy by debuting new music in itunes for 99 cents.

Genre of music
Understand your scene and what is expected by fans of that genre. Culturally, fans of different genres have different expectations when it comes to sampling music.

What is the body of work?
is it a concept or collection of singles? Stream the album vs a download? Depending on your art, protect the best way for fans to sample and purchase.

What else are you trying to sell, tickets Merch? Your plans should tie this all together.

are there other things for you happening in the marketplace?

Where to stream?
There are many sites for major labels and some indies where its free to consumer, but you can get paid – imeem, myspace, lala, are a few emerging partners that allow artists to stream, and monetize.

Majors vs. Unsigned
Don’t assume this debate is about the majors vs indies or the unsigned acts. Colleagues at several major music services tell me that independent musicians are often much more concerned and protective about their music than signed artists and major label policies.

Its clear the early days of digital music are fading into a new reality – from bands, to new digital music services that are struggling to monetize, there is more to it than free. Some great links for further reading:

Experimenting With Free by David Harrell

Hypebot: free music only has value if…

More thoughts on the ‘Music as Free’ Debate
Posted by Mark Mulligan

Why Music Can’t ‘Just Be Free’

Mark Mulligan under ‘Music as Free’: Solutions

digital audio insider

NEW MUSIC PLAYLIST, upbeat and moody, Imeem vs LALA!

New playlist heading into the Thanksgiving holiday. Its upbeat and moody, with nice ups and downs all mixed into a nice flow. Make the most of it, listen twice, and try the new widgets from Imeem and LALA.

I like LALA’s site, and their interface has some nice improvements over Imeem. The first thing you have is their web credits business model. You can stream anything once for free, then you have to use credts to add to your streaming library. The site gives you 50 credits when you sign up, so I made this playlist for free. Their library had everything I was looking for, good interface, easy search and playlisting tools. The LALA music player is at the top of the page, and keeps your music going on the top of the site so you can navigate, and not lose the music while your surfing around making your playlist. On Imeem If you don’t “pop up” the player you lose the song your listening if when leave the page, which is annoying and tends to happen a lot. As for the widget, my users will only be able to listen to this playlist once, and then you’ll get :30 clips. Thats a real drawback!

THANKSGIVING – Dark but catchy

The new Imeem player has a slightly updated look and feel, and they seem to be runnnig text adds now on some playlists. guess I’d rather have that then only one listen (although I fear to make these models work, well need both plus audio adds!). The widget has somewhat better player controls (loop and shuffle).

The Imeem playlist tool, once my favorite, seems to be falling behind. No images in the playlist search, and no ability to filter our some of the junk. For example the version of Cracker’s “LOW” on this playlist is different that the album version I love but I couldnt tell that when I was putting it together. Imeem and myspace use images, and better descriptions to help you when your adding content.
But the fact that this version was in there is cool. Imeem does retain the user and community elements much more than LALA. There is much more content on Imeem, and you get some rare gems from user uploads. The Imeem playlist has an extra Copeland song I found only on Imeem. I also like the download and ringtone links on the player – make it easy for me to continue to explore the music in other channels.

How does the music sound so far? The quality seems better in LALA. Agree?

Will i continue to use LALA if I have to pay 10 cents a song to hear it over and over? My users will only be able to listen to this playlist once, and then you’ll get :30 clips. Thats a real drawback, and while I support trying to monetize this and get everyone paid, it feels too restrictive and its a surprise when it happens the first time.
I am sticking with IMEEM for now, but I am seeing the LALA widget appear on more and more blogs, so my unofficial surfing tells me that the LALA player is gaining traction.

Happy Thanksgiving. Share your thoughts on these widgets, and new playlist

My You Tube Channel Shut Down

I need to fix all the links here as You Tube deleted my account! Why? Who knows! I think it was my clip of Stephen Colbert at the Webby Awards. Viacom is crazy with the take downs – it wasn’t the colbert SHOW, just him accepting an award!

I am now angry at big media! Stay tuned, I’ve found all the source clips and I will get the channel up soon!