Archive for December, 2010

WaTunes: How To Avoid Failure In Your Social-Media Campaign

Source: Hypebot

<img class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a0111683c7a25970c0147e0e8aecc970b" title="image from www.penn-olson.com” src=”http://a4.typepad.com/6a0111683c7a25970c0147e0e8aecc970b-150wi&#8221; alt=”image from www.penn-olson.com” style=”margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;” /> 50% of social-media campaigns will fail. That prediction comes from Gartner. From the perspective of interactive marketer Adam Kmiec, "Social media has become a self-propelled hype factory." Every day another new social platform is released. These bright, shiny objects are chased. The Kool-Aid gets drunk. Then, a day later, the next big thing comes along.

It aims to replaces our current obsession and we're left wanting more. For every social media success story, there are 1,000's of failed initiates. Why? Here's my take on Kmiec's insights on how to avoid failure in your social media campaign:

  1. Don't Think of Social Media, As MEDIA. If you're an artist that's thinking of taking up social media, you need to understand that while Facebook and Twitter are great for engaging and updating fans, ultimately, what you're creating is a social business. Your social media goals need to be tied to reality. As in, what you're doing on Twitter needs to tie into your career as an artist. If you're an artist that just happens to have social media and you're expecting it to be a driver of business. Then it needs to be interconnected to your social business – not a haphazard add-on. 

  2. Don't Hire A Social Media Expert or Guru. "The amount of snake oil salesmen out there is immeasurable and everyone is trying to take your money," Adam Kmiec explains. "The minute you outsource in a hands off approach to one of these gurus you’re starting down a slippery path to social failure." Unfortunately, this is true for artists too. There are quite a few experts running around this space that would be more than happy to sell you their social media deluxe or premium fan engagement package. Stay skeptical. Now, there's a big difference between a self-proclaimed social media expert and someone that has been marketing music since before you were born. OK, maybe they aren't always the best bet either. Point is, if what someone is trying to sell you sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. No one turns into a professional musician overnight.

  3. Don't Copy Another Artist's Social Strategy. We know. Great artists steal. However, as Kmiec puts it, "Your business, your category, your culture, your product, and your budget are unique to your company. Copying another organization’s model in theory sounds smart, but in practice can set you back months, if not years." Years might be an overstatement in this case. If you copied what another artist is doing, without understanding WHY they're doing it, this is where artists are more apt for failure. Doing the same thing as another artist and expecting the same results is insanity. As artists do, it makes sense to take little inspirations from everywhere and synthesize these insights into a broader strategy. But don't try to be Corey Smith if you're not Corey Smith. What he does, works for him. That doesn't mean that it will work out for you.

  4. Don't Entrust Your Campaign To An Amateur. On the other side of the spectrum, while you may not want to hire an expert, you certainly don't want to entrust your online strategy to a Digital Native that says they understand Facebook and Twitter just because they happen to use the sites. Growing up in the social space and understanding how to market music in it are two different animals. Above all, don't choose between the intergalactic social media marketer and a desperate college grad with a Bachelors degree in Internet Marketing. Artists need to have a grasp on what they're looking to do and pair up with the partners that are capable of helping them grow their social business. Pick the right people; they'll help.

  5. Don't Limit Your Campaign To The Big Three. Social is so much more than Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Depending on who your fans are, "the product you sell, the category you're in and your competition, you may find that a site/platform that you’ve never heard of is the best place to invest your social dollars," writes Kmiec. There's dozens and dozens of sites. They range from FourSquare to Gowalla, Groupon to Scavngr, Facebook to Genie, says Kmiec. Artists must reach beyond the traditional venues and determine where else their fans are. Be where your fans are, but don't let the big numbers that Facebook and Twitter have prevent you from engaging fans on emerging platforms. The early adopters of those social spaces may be exactly the audience you desired to reach.
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December 31, 2010 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

WaTunes: How To Time Your Updates To Match The Natural Rhythms Of Social Networks

Source: Hypebot

Inside a Facebook study of 1 million status updates from U.S. English speaking users, are indications that when you post may matter if you want to have the maximum impact.  Social networking users write about certain topics at certain times of the day and if an artist's posts – particularly the more personal musings often shared on Twitter – match those moods, they are more likely to go viral. For example, waking up at 3PM may be typical rock star behavior.  But it also might be annoying to someone stuck in ther cubicle for 2 more hours.  Want fans to flock to a show? There are times when "leisure activities" get the most action.

Take a look at the chart and share how you might time your social networking differently?

December 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm Leave a comment

WaTunes: 3 Reasons Why Soulja Boy’s 2.5 Million Twitter Followers Netted Only 13,000 In First Week Sales

Source: Hypebot

image from cdn.thebeatofphilly.com The theory that Twitter can help sell music suffered a body blow recently when Soulja Boy's 2.5 million Twitter followers bought just 13,000 copies of his new album in it's debut week. "The DeAndre Way" sold 2,000 digital copies and 11,000 physical in the U.S. according to SoundScan and Billboard in the week following its release. His last album, "iSouljaBoyTellem" sold 45,000 the first week. Three factors helped contribute the low tweet to sales conversion.

  • As Billboard's Antony Bruno points out, "Soulja Boy is very much as singles artist. "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)" was the 14th best-selling digital song of all time with more than 4.6 million downloads. But even the first single from "The DeAndre Way" – "Pretty Boy Swag" – didn't stack up, with 590,000 downloads since it first went on sale in June. Track sales from the new album total 718,000."
  • Twitter is by nature an easy medium to ignore and it's almost impossible to keep up with a constant string of tweets from various sources.
  • Soulja Boy's "call to action" was weak. Soulja tweets 15-20 times a day, but asking fans to buy a new album in a track driven genre is obviously no longer enough.  Perhaps the response would have been different if his Twitter fans were offered an exclusive "I Do It The DeAndre Way" t-shirt with a download code attached for $15?  Or if Soulja had tweeted a series of private concerts where having a copy of the new CD was the only way to get in.

December 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

WaTunes: iTunes Dominance Of Digital Music Growing

Source: Hypebot

<img class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d83451b36c69e20147e0ca5451970b" title="image from www.onedigitallife.com” src=”http://www.hypebot.com/.a/6a00d83451b36c69e20147e0ca5451970b-200wi&#8221; alt=”image from www.onedigitallife.com” style=”margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;” /> Apple's iTunes dominance of digital music sales continues to grow according to a new NPD Group study.  The market leaders share of online music sales rose to 66.2%, from 63.2% in the the third quarter of the year while Amazon's share rose to 13.3% from 11%  a year earlier. But record labels say the real numbers may be much worse…

Distribution executives at major record labels told the Wall Street Journal that the disparity between iTunes and Amazon is often wider. Amazon accounts for just 6% to 10% of digital music sales on many weeks with Apple closer to 90%.

Deep discounts on Amazon, like the $5 Daily Deals are having some impact.  But Pete Baltaxe, the director of Amazon's digital music store, wouldn't comment on how the promotion works.  "If you look across the board, we have been very competitive on price," said Mr. Baltaxe. The daily deal is "a great way to get people excited about trying Amazon."

Some artists and others in the industry see Amazon's discounting differently. "Been working for nine months on something that will sell for 3.99 on Amazon MP3," the independent rock group Fleet Foxes wrote last month on its Twitter feed. "That's about the price of a whoopie cushion."

December 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm Leave a comment

WaTunes: Alex Luke Leaves iTunes for EMI!!!

Source: Hypebot

<img class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d83451b36c69e20148c6ce2cff970c" title="image from www.vegansoapbox.com” src=”http://www.hypebot.com/.a/6a00d83451b36c69e20148c6ce2cff970c-200wi&#8221; alt=”image from www.vegansoapbox.com” style=”margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;” /> Alex Luke really must want to be an A&R guy. Luke just left his senior position as Director of Global Music Initiatives for Apple's category dominating iTunes to become the Executive Vice President of A&R at struggling EMI's Capitol & Virgin Label Group. During his seven years at iTunes, Luke has been responsible for music programming, music content acquisition, and artist and industry relationships.

In his new role, Luke will be responsible for finding and developing creative talent, reporting to Dan McCarroll, President of Capitol & Virgin Label Group. He will be based in Los Angeles, and will start in January.

December 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

WaTunes: Grooveshark Rises In Popularity – So Now What?

Source: Hypebot

<img class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a0111683c7a25970c0147e0a0cfbe970b" title="image from www.blackweb20.com” src=”http://a6.typepad.com/6a0111683c7a25970c0147e0a0cfbe970b-150wi&#8221; alt=”image from www.blackweb20.com” style=”margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;” /> Grooveshark proudly announced on their blog yesterday that they made it onto Google's annual Zeitgeist – a roundup of the most popular search terms on the web throughout the year. They made the list of the Top Ten searches in the United States. Strangely enough, as far as regional of interest goes, the United States is actually last on the list. That's right. Out of ten regions, they're far more popular is places like Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, UK, and Australia. In Argentina, they're ranked third, beating out Twitter and just behind Justin Beiber.

What's also interesting is that when you click on the United States, revealing regional interest, the popularity of Grooveshark gets broken down into states. They're the most fashionable in Tennessee, Maine, Delaware, Utah, and get this, North Dakota. Why is North Dakota significant? Well, because for a majority of my life, I've lived there. So why in the world are people in North Dakota taking interest in Grooveshark all the sudden? I don't know. That's what perplexes me.

The iPod Problem

Save for the tech-savvy bunch, in the more densely populated areas, it's not exactly the place where people are walking around with their iPhone or Android, streaming music through MOG or RDIO. File-sharing is prevalent, perhaps, not because people are immoral or because they don't care about musicians being paid, but because it's likely the only way they know how to realistically fill an iPod with music. Somehow, I don't picture teenagers or college-aged students debating the merits of getting a Zune Pass over a Thumbplay Music account.

They're probably not aware that those services even exist. This isn't to say that ignorance is an excuse to file-share, but if people aren't aware of other options, they can't use them. And if buying songs one by one at $1 or more doesn't make sense to them, they'll do something else. So where does Grooveshark fit into this picture? Not everyone around here is looking to fill their iPod with stolen songs.

Most of the time, they just want to hear a song. Whether that is while doing homework or things around the house, the only real reason they have songs on their computer is because they want to listen to them – not own them. These people don't have "the iPod problem." They have the "I just want to hear some songs that I like and not have to buy them, download them, or queue them up video by video on YouTube problem." Enter Grooveshark. It solved the music problem that they had. None of them wanted to buy songs and collect them or waste space on their hard drive, they just wanted to hear the Ke$ha single and get on with their day. Are these people lining up to pay for Grooveshark Plus or Anywhere? Probably not. Why not? Because they could care less about the ads on the player and don't own a phone that can play music anywhere, anyways.

Enter The Funnel

What about the conversion funnel you say? That is, if like me, you have Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman's voice in your head. In a recent conference call, he said, "The question has always been how to ensure that free-to-consumer models which are generally supported by advertising and offered to attract consumers are effective at converting consumers to paid subscriptions." Alright, so this isn't to say that Grooveshark won't be successful at switching my fellow North Dakotans over to paying users. What I'm saying is that they view probably Grooveshark as being free like YouTube and Pandora are free. The good news here is that rather than getting their song fix through LimeWire, they're getting it on Grooveshark.

Now they're hearing music with the option of buying it. Instead of sitting there, at their computers, with the MP3 already downloaded. They're standing next to the funnel. One day, when they do have the play music anywhere problem, they might upgrade. Rather than raising all this concern about how services must be "effective" at moving fans through the funnel maybe we should be excited that they're standing next to the funnel. Are they paying? No. But they're closer than they were before. They can be marketed to now. They can see your ad on the homepage of Grooveshark. If it's really easy to buy the thing that you're selling. They might. Yes, it's important that these services convert. The record industry needs money. Maybe, having users stand next to the funnel, listening to music for free – with the option of buying it – is better than them not being there. At all.

December 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

The Convenient Way To Buy Music Is On Facebook?!

In recent years, we've had experiences where users can discover new music contents on Facebook. From iLike (acquired by MySpace Music) to LaLa (acquired by Apple), Facebook is surely becoming a cornerstone to stream and share content. But what is a good way to purchase music on Facebook?

The most convenient way to discover and purchase music on Facebook is our very own application: Music Store

So what is Music Store?

Unlike iTunes, Music Store enables 500 million of Facebook users to discover, stream, and buy high quality MP3s. With licenses from all four major labels as well as independent distributors, Music Store has a stamped catalog of over 10 million songs. Users can also chat and talk with friends while discovering new content as well as sharing contents on their Facebook Wall.

What's the best way to share?

With Music Store, you can share music to over 50 other social platforms including MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, and more! Its a great way to provide easy access to the content you want, On-Demand!

So how do you get started?

Check out Music Store at (http://www.facebook.com/mstores) and give it a try. Discover and buy your favorite albums without ever leaving your friends on Facebook!

December 9, 2010 at 1:50 am Leave a comment

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