A clip that appears to be gan cartel’s blinged out guns, gear and cocky logos.
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I logged onto RDIO tuesday at work, and saw a new Gorilaz album in the first featured new release slot. At first I though it had to be just a song (maybe another tribute for japan?)
Didn’t they just have a new album? I just used an app on my ipad that was a game from plastic beach. How could a new Gorilaz album come out, and not ONE marketing impression reached me? I know someone is working hard to market it, so its probably my media buble thats to blame. It’s niche world when it comes to my infosphere – mobile operating system blogs out number music blogs by in my feeds.
I band I like. A band who’s app I just played (from the last cycle, with no mention of the new album, that was a miss…) Another reminder of the radical new world of marketing music. But a positive look into the future of subscription services, where the music is first. RDIO was a great backstop. I’ve never found out about an album from an artist I really like at the exact moment i was hearing it for the first time. Making something old a new experience. It got to me just in time, i didn’t miss a beat.
Gorillaz. Just click play. Its sounds awesome.
SXSW interactive is a real world early adopter laboratory that gives you a preview of how social technologies could work when adoption reaches critical mass. Because so many at sxswi are early adopters, attendees experienced early versions of the addictive and powerful nature of 4 square and twitter years before they became mainstream. This is one of the best aspects of SXSW!
Emerging technologies also reveal their drawbacks at sxwi, and 2011 challenged my belief in QR codes. The codes were added everywhere, on flyers, and shirts of hundreds of new companies and bands trying to stand out.
With enthusiasm, I tried the first three QR codes that caught my eye, but was quickly disappointed in each experience. Several bands used the QR code to simply link you to the same band website printed on the flyer (duh). One QR code promised an “Awesome” prize if i scanned it, but then the qr code lead me to a form where I needed to fill out a lot of info to enter to win something. Not ideal standing on a busy street corner in Austin.
Enthusiasm turned to frustration after a few bad experiences and after just a few hours, I had QR code blindness and for the rest of the trip, I didn’t try another code.
A QR code requires more attention than a passive promotion. Mobile is a harder medium to work with. It takes your potential fan or customer time to open the app, scan the code, and wait for content to load, so it better be worth the extra time. Your contest, website, or free download is not any better because you uses a QR code to get it to me!
Think of it this way – a qr code is a light switch and your consumer interaction is the lighting! – focus on the perfect light, not thw switch! The QR code will simply turn it on. If QR codes are going to get adoption marketers and advertisers need to establish thems as a true value creator.
Here are a few guidelines from my experience creating QR codes for Artists and using them as a consumer.
1.) Its not a shortcut! QR codes require planing, context, and rewards.
2.) The “power” of the QR experience is unlocked when the qr code triggers a reward or value quickly
3.) The “magic” of the QR code experience is unlocked when you combine this instant reward or value with something that is context and location aware!
4.) Use the QR code to take advantage of mobile devices power (camera, gps, other apps, location). Dont try to use it to duplicate traditional internet only (unless the content the code turns on is absolutley AMAZING)
5.) “Good enough to share” is the litmus test for your offer. Build in Share. Anyone who takes the time to use a QR code, and is pleased, will share. Most of your views will come from the shares, not the QR code scans.
With no quality control and a few bad experiences under my belt, Im going to think twice about taking action as a consumer. As a marketer, I’m still intrigued. Put in some extra thought and planning, and we’ll all benefit!
Watch it here, but head over to mashable to see and touch the interactive version of Devo’s video!
Always honored to work with and for Mr Young. New Project coming soon!
Youtube creativity never ceases to amaze me. My favorite moment of Rebecca Black Yet!
Cool use of a QR code tied to Josh’s tour announcement!
The new Radiohead album The King of Limbs is out. Direct to fan only. With only a few days notice the pre-order went live!
For this release, Radiohead ditched the “pay what you want” model. Digital offers include compressed MP3 format for $9, or higher quality WAV files for $14. Get either digital formats with the pre-order of the high end physical newspaper edition. Fans were delighted when it was even delivered direct a day early! A nice touch.
But does it feel like something is missing?
There was certainly discussion. In recent years Radiohead has drawn more attention for their delivery of music and business model than their music. On this release, the public at large, and the fans, seem not quite sure quite what to make of it all.
But the debate seems to be about who this album is for. Structurally, whats the “meta” statement here? and is king of limbs “the album”? or the leak before the “real” album. The project or the marketing..
Musically, The King of Limbs is more on the obscure side, less song structure, more howling. That side of Radiohead, combined with a quiet, free of hype release cycle, made “Kings of Limbs” feel like a let down…. or a teaser!
Part of me was looking for that context.
How does the method of release, the channels used, the art and buzz surrounding a release, all effect the perception of music itself? It does for for me somehow, I know it does or others. The music purist can examine from a critical point of view, but for the rest, it is all tied to culture in some way.
How does the promotion and investment and fandom drive some ‘perceptual difference in the music?
The retail channel used to give us some of these cues. Itunes only ep releases, direct live downloads from the artist site, home made cd’s sold direct at show. You knew when a release was for the fans, not the ones who just came for radio, but for those who lived a little deeper. But when Radiohead is now all d2c, it creates an incredible new dynamic, one where mysteriously, it seems hard to tell whats what.
The King of Limbs. This isn’t music that’s asking for a ton of attention. It almost feels like the lead-up to a “bigger” release
A great executive said there are good indies and bad indies, good majors, and bad majors. I was proud of the job the WBR team did on the new IRON AND WINE release. Artist direct has a great review of the new album, and a nice compliment to Warner Bros. Nice to see it shows how passionate we are about working hard for our artists!
On paper, it’s a contradiction to align the sanctity of non-corporate rock wit a major label, but WBR is brilliant in its handling of these types of bands. One needn’t look any further than the likes of Built to Spill and The Flaming Lips for examples of indie rock’s royalty who’ve enjoyed long careers untouched by “major label sell out” fingerprints. Given that information and track record, Iron & Wine—the namesake of Sam Beam—have graduated to Warner Bros. with the release of Kiss Each Other Clean.
Some moments on Kiss Each Other Clean are fragile and vulnerable and others are not of this planet and are unpredictable.
A great piece flagged by community dominate brands – CIO: Google’s Eric Schmidt: Top 10 Reasons Mobile Is Always #1, an artcle I havent seen hit my normal feeds. Two of my favorties include “The relentless march of technology, and Google Goggles and the power of magic”. Nice Read!
Good to be back to work after a great MIDEM. Lots of good meetings, people, ideas, and work. I Thought I’d have more time to see cannes, but as it was with most people i talked to, I didn’t leave a 5 block area and was mostly inside at meetings!
I spoke on a panel that was very early on the first day, and I enjoyed all of my panelists. The panel never quite found its groove, although there were moments.
10 billion apps downloaded from Apple, vs 7 trillion txt messages sent in 2010. Which is more powerful? Which gets more hype? How should you talk to your fans on mobile?
The app store hitting 10 billion downloads is impressive, and it happened fast. There is no denying apps have been the story of 2010, and probably 2009. So its no surprise when most bands and managers ask me about mobile, it is about an iphone app.. But lets take a look at the big mobile picture.
MAKING A PLAN: THE NUMBERS
This info is widely available but I’m pulling my core stats from a great in depth article on year end stats over at courtesy of Communities Dominate Brands. (A blog you need to read if your involved in mobile).
The CTIA site also has good us numbers for the US market:
Globally SMS reaches 79% of mobile users. The US is closer to 70%
4.2 Billion active users of SMS text messaging worldwide. In the US, 12 months ending June 2010, more than 1.8 trillion text messages were sent and received (or 4.9 billion per day).CTIA stats
26% of mobile users world wide access the mobile web. In the US it’s 38%. This translates to 1.2 billion people worldwide, close to 100 million in the US.
APPS vs MOBILE WEB
1.2 Billion mobile phone users surf the web on their phones. 500 million use apps. Mobile web has more than twice the reach globally.
But its closer in US according to comscore:
In August, 2010, 75.6 million mobile subscribers ages 13 and older used downloaded applications, with Smartphone users representing 60.4 percent, up from 43.6 percent in August 2009. For the same period, 80.8 million mobile subscribers used their browser, with Smartphone subscribers comprising 55.5 percent, up from 41.4 percent a year ago.
So how do you make a plan?
REAL WORLD EXAMPLES IN MUSIC
The numbers I’m seeing show more music fans are on the mobile web. I’ve launched over 15 artist apps and have data on over 50 artist sites. The monthly uniques from mobile web beat the total app download numbers for each artist.
For major artists, downloads of 100,000 apps is not a given, but considered good, even when the app is free. I’ve seen the same type of artists deliver over 200,000 unique mobile visitors to their site in just one month. Out of the top 20 artist sites on WBR, most have 20-30% uniques from mobile already.
App downloads vs uniques is not an exact comparison, but it shows the number of fans already using the mobile web is too big to ignore. I’m not surprised many music fans are already getting most of what they need and want from the artist mobile site. New tour dates, photo, classic fan drivers that work perfect on a mobile website, with a fraction of the cost and development.
None of this should stop you from an apps strategy as long as you use the info. Apps need to go to the next level. They need to be more than aggregators or they will simply be integrated by more powerful aggregators.
MAPPING OUT YOUR MOBILE PLAN
Start by making sure your site works on the most popular handsets.
Optimize for mobile. Deliver a light weight mobile specific sites to fans, content optimized for at least the main handsets.
Make sure content tailored for the behavior of mobile users. Less options are better, focus on core news, tour dates, and photos.
Build SMS lists. It’s hard. Start now. Use SMS as a viral mechanism along with your “tweet” this buttons.
Learn what your mobile users want and optimize again. Making the experience tailored to fans is even more important with mobile so make sure your watching behavior.
App upsell – figure out how to use the unique properties of apps to take your fan further down the “path”. Recognize them if you have an app on their platform and push them from mobile web with choice of app “upgrade”. Make sure its worth it if they take you up on it!
Talk to apps – finally – make sure your web site and social networks properly feed mobile aggregators with mobile links (facebook app, rss apps) so you can capture your fans everywhere!
Jack Isquith brings his real world expertise to the digital music blog scene. It is needed. I’m biased as I used to work with Jack, but It means I know this is a very real look at the space from someone who’s been in the trenches. Theories? Yes. Speculation? Yes. But I guarantee it’s coming from someone who’s dealt with the reality of digital music from artist and managers big and small, to the business models of “startups”, down to being responsible and under pressure to deliver real dollars. Your getting the real deal, realer than real, and realer than most others blogs out there.
One of the most popular series on this blog is my experiments with QR codes. Since my first campaign with Green Day in 2009, the use of QR codes evolved. 2010 saw the “official” explosion of smart phones and apps, and the number of innovative and user friendly QR campaigns. These factors combined to make 2010 the year QR codes moved from early adopters to mainstream social users.
Great play on censorship!
VIBE MAGAZINE COVER LINKS TO EXCLUSIVE CONTENT:
See the mobile site the VIBE QR code links to from their cover:
Even the creative nature of code presentation is becoming polished as transmedia art! While this campaign is not technially a pure QR code campaign, it shows the art of the medium:
Universal Pictures Repo Men movie sells organs via bar code scanning
You can see QR codes are happening! And this is a global trend…
But what are the results of these campaigns?
I first deployed QR codes on the green day campaign for 21st century breakdown in 2009 and while it was cutting edge at the time, the results showed a very small with a low number of users activating the code. So I’m out to be innovative in 2011, but also to show the goods worked!
Metrics and benchmarks are new territory for QR Code campaigns. 2011 will be the year of both, with enough adoption for the numbers to justify the expense and targeting.
Ill have more to share in 2011, with at least 2 new QR projects kicking off before the summer!
I thought the Rolling Stone top songs of 2010 made a great mix, and fair sampler of the years best.
Listen for yourself right now via playlist via the new Myspace Music where you can stream almost all of them in order, for free. Click Here!
You just need to log in. No account? Try the facebook connect, its quick and easy, and youll be right and listening in under a minute!
I also made a subscription playlist link for MOG. The superior MOG service is worth the money! Check out the MOG playlist of the top 25 songs here: http://mog.com/playlists/443034
Runaway (Feat. Pusha T) by Kanye West
Soldier Of Love by Sade
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
We Used To Wait by The Arcade Fire
You Are Not Alone by Mavis Staples
White Sky by Vampire Weekend
Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi) [… by Janelle Monáe
The Ghost Inside by Broken Bells
Monster (Feat. Jay-Z, Rick … by Kanye West
Tighten Up by The Black Keys