Myspace music is a fun, easy and free way to create playlists. Yes, there are the familiar flaws in the overall myspace interface, but the music features are getting better, and the fact that myspace has most of the content from major, indie and unsigned Artists, makes it worth exploring as a serious playlist destination. Listening does not require log in (yet) but you must be a member to make a playlist. So dig out that old account and log back in to get started.

The best way to start playlisting is surfing Myspace the way you always have: Profiles. All profiles can now tap into the myspace music player and the player has a “+”button next to most of the songs throughout the site.


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,


Multiple press outlets picked up a piece about the campaign for Ashley Tisdale’s new album “Guilty Pleasure”. I’ve been working on the music side of Ashley’s campaign since her first album in 2006. She is hard working, and cares about her fans! One of the highlights of this campaign has been her use of Twitter. Ashley took to it right away and she understands how important it is to communicate direct.

The key is it’s all her. And that’s why her Twittering is generating lots of buzz and traffic to her site and store! Even a star as big as Ashley needs to understand the first key principle for successful twittering – authenticity.

This article from Reuters poked a little fun at her Tweets, and it somewhat diluted my point about the importance of Ashley’s’ communication with her fans:

“Tisdale is an especially avid Twitterer, with more than 750,000 followers.

“She’s very protective of it in terms of it sounding authentic,” according to Warner Bros. senior VP of new media Jeremy Welt. “There have been a couple of times where we’ve said to her, ‘Hey, why don’t you mention so-and-so?’ and she’s told us, ‘I wouldn’t say that.'” (What would she say? One recent Tweet read, “Happy fathers day!!! Goin to dinner with my family and the most amazing dad ever! I love you daddy!”)”

You may not see the connection in Ashley Tisdale twittering “happy fathers day”, but her 940,000 followers do. The series of seemingly simple tweets provide basic insights into her life (She’s subtly letting her fans know family is important to her), and it all adds up to a lot for her fans. They peak into the everyday activity. You don’t see overloaded shameless promo, or re-purposed press releases. It is exactly this type of communication that makes it Authentic, and why Twitter itself has grown so fast.

Check out the full interview here:


Capturing Some important concepts from the discussion, presentations, and panels at DME 2009.

1.) Music in the Background – increasingly music is a background activity (while surfing, while playing video games). Online activity and music fuse into a “new” “combo” state of mind between communication and music. Important to understand this context.

2.) Hard Drives are filling up? Russ Crupnic from NPD floated that some stats may indicate people are loaded up with more music than they can handle on their computers and devices. If Hard drives and devices get full, watch the change in acquisition behavior. I think this was the first i’d heard people discussing the reality of this concept in 2009.

3.) Power of Radio – still massive motivator of top downloads and social net discussion of music. Shows up as top source fro music discovery in many demos. Traditional radios power is a reminder that no matter where you are in digital music, online strategy must take into consideration all media. Online radio’s untapped potential – people like radio as a medium if done right. Explosive growth could be starting.

4.) “It’s a fact of life: If your business model depends on controlling or getting paid for copies of zeros and ones, you may need to look at a new business model” (Jim Griffin).

Increased discussion about charging at the isp level from Jim Griffin (transcript here) , and The Isle of man project.

5.) Sometimes when it comes to music, you just have to get lucky in the studio (Richard Gottehrer, CEO of the orchard digital service, and a songwriter whose hits included “My. Boyfriend’s Back”)

If you twitter search Digital Music East, you’ll get a good sense of what everyone else there was thinking!

Ted Cohen’s intro was brief but accurate, and the presentations were all interesting.

My panel “The State of the Digital Union” was after the first hour intro. The twiiter feed from the audience was streaming behind us, and I made sure to watch it a few times during the panel. Problem was no ATT service at all in the room, so I couldn’t participate later on.

Hyebot posts a recap of the panel and my Metalica example – some liked it some didn’t!


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?


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


File under 60% of all stats are correct 50% of the time.

Report: Overall U.S. Music Sales Up in ’08; Albums Down 8.5%

Americans bought more music in 2008 than ever before

2008 CD & Ringtone Sales Fall, Digital Growth Slows

The Numbers are in – Revenue Down

Some of the headlines look misleading, but then again, no one loves the music biz! Obvioulsy people are covering different things here – it seems those covering the “growth” are covering transactions, and those covering the drop are talking revenue.

Here is a good reference point to start the year and disucss new areas of growth:
Some raw data (from coolfer)
Album sales: down 15% to 430 million units
CD sales: down 20% to 362 units
Digital album sales: up 32% to 62.8 units
Track sales: up 27% to 1.07 billion units
LP sales: up 92% to 1.9 million units

Digital gains not making up for cd losses. LP growth small but exciting and an area that is bigger than indicated in units because of revenue.
In 2009 I’ll be working on some very cool things with a new d2c vinyl site. Check out to see the products WBR creates, and stay tuned for a complete re-launch of the site early this year.


As I’m cleaning up and getting ready to go back to work, I’m using Metacritics year end top lists and listening to 2008 one more time!
Metacritic seems to have it all in one place, their own reviews, and many top year end lists from other mags and sites!


Their year end best of lists also go all the back to 2001 which is fun to explore

A few other year end lists that make it easy:

Imeem 08 playlist (log in required – but worth creating an account once)

top 20 albums of ’08 at Bands Under The Radar
Kami has great taste and after hours on Metacritic, I still found a few new things on her list that were amazing!

Webby Connect Conference Excitement

Im at the Webby Connect conference in Dana Point today, and once again The Webby team brought together some great minds in new media and got real discussions going. I wouldn’t normally Blog about a web conference but the panels today touched on some interesting trends in emerging creativity and new media culture.

The discussion was not the “buzz” of the moment typical of web conferences. Top notch panelist explored some deeper concepts and added creativity and honesty to their presentations

here is a quick recap of stuff that excited me:

Internet Dark Arts: The Underbelly
An incredible discussion on the underbelly of viral tricks, wikiedia, spam, and those affiliate programs pushing Viagra!
Virgil Griffith Showed off wikiscanner2. If your new to wikiscanner, check it out here. It shows you who’s editing wikipedia pages with a focus on exposing how things really work behind the scenes of Wikipidea. Companies battle eachother to change info on profiles.

Virigil also showed what he loosely called an “online lie detector”. Essentially taking the transcripts from politcal speeches or testimonies and doing some slick data visualization with common words and terms that would indicate a person is “lying” or more loosely, have something to hide!
Check it out in action here with the Gonzales testimony run through the filter.

Steve Kirsh gave some insight into Spam! Everyone should here this guy speak and I finally learned how it all works.
According to Steve 93% of all emails sent is “spam”!

Check out his site –

Sweeps Week: Every Week Online
I think it was panelist Mark D’Arcy – SVP / Chief Creative Officer, Time Warner Global Media Group.  who made great point after great point

“Television and Online are in Parallel – not separate”
“More people are watching TV than ever before”

A second panelist commented that Face time with “Screens” is increasing overall not necessarily TV viewership. This is a subtle but interesting concept – that more and more of our time is spent in front of some sort of screen. I like starting from that simple assumption as I build out ideas…

“Talent Is Not Increasing”
this is debatable but I think Mark’s point is true. The type of A level talent is not increasing as fast as consumption, and I agree with what I think was his intent – true talent is still a precious commodity.

Designers and Their Elastic Minds

Peter Frankfurt had a lot very creative and interesting things to say about some of the multimedia art/tech projects he’s worked on. I never head of him or his company, but I’d like to learn more! He was very involved in the pre-cog sequences and the visual interfaces for the movie “Minority Report”.

His concept for “New City” is a fresh look at virtual worlds, and he described it as “the world’s first architecturally considered virtual environment”. New City was a featured exhibit at the critically acclaimed show Design and the Elastic Mind at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Watch the video for it here!

Cya Soon!