Archives
some of my favourite songs:

Archive for the ‘music 2.0’ Category

Producer as artist manager

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

I’ve been so busy lately that it’s been very hard to blog, not only because of the time issue, but because I have so much to blog about it’s hard to know what to choose…
Right now I’m in Beijing working on 3 different music projects and doing some other music business meetings.
As I’m working here not only as a music producer, but artist manager through my record label, Pro Soul Alliance, I’ve been thinking about this dual role I play.

In the past, it was considered a conflict of interest to be a music producer and artist manager, but it has always made sense to me because you would naturally want to see success for something you worked on and are invested in. With more and more artists taking the ‘Do It Yourself’ method, a traditional manager may not only be unnecessary, but also impractical for many artists.

I think in the internet age of the new music industry, more than ever, with the right person, this is a practical solution for artists.

More thoughts on this can be found in the article here:
www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2008/08/the-producer-as.html

I’ve launched a new video on ProSoul.com featuring myself talking about what were doing for artists, but given my schedule, it still needs a lot of work…

Where is the music industry going?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

I’ve been hinting at a big venture I’ve been involved in and working hard on with my partner Roshena Huang for some time now, even though haven’t said much lately, but i’m ready to start talking more about it. It’s the relaunch of my record label, Pro Soul as a totally reinvented company… more on that later. First though, why exactly did we have to reinvent the company? Because the music industry is drastically changing as is more than evident these days.

So where is it going? Well, no one can really predict the future, so we can really only guess. As Andrew Dubber has said, Anyone who says that they know where the music industry is going is either a liar or a fool. Either way, ignore them.

We DO know what the future of the music industry WON’T be. The future will not be the past.

That means if you’re doing what you were doing ten or even five years ago, you are simply not relevant in the music business! If you are not undergoing an aggressive period of radical change, completely redesigning your business from scratch in this industry right now considering where things are going, then your in trouble, just like the big guys.

So that is what were doing with Pro Soul Alliance – aggressive, radical change and complete redesign. And it’s a lot of work, but it’s also very exciting and different, stay tuned!

Much Music VMA TV broadcast screw up

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Felisha was watching the MTV Video Music Awards yesterday, broadcast in Canada by Much Music, who censored a lot of dumb things, like the song ‘I kissed a girl‘, and the word ‘balls’. She called me for help because she was getting some weird audio problems…

I avoid awards shows and other such drivel like the plauge, and the VMA’s are no exception, it’s just one big ad for the dying MTV channel, and artists with a ton of money behind them to compensate for their minimal talent. Do you know that they don’t show a single video during the ‘Video Music Awards’? What a joke.

Anyway, I went to investigate and found there were two audio tracks playing when Felisha was watching the show. She had recorded it with our PVR, a digital video recorder that is also a DVD player with an optical 6 channel cable feeding into a surround amplifier. Boring technical mumbo jumbo aside, I found out that when the Amp dvd input was in auto rather than analog, it was getting TWO audio feeds from the TV station, and one of them wasn’t supposed to be broadcast, and had nothing to do with the show we were watching!
Here’s a sample of what we heard in the left speaker:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

We found out that this was a behind the scenes feed from a video shoot in progress at the Much Music studios during the airing of the VMA’s for a show called ‘Fashion File’, according to Felisha. It was complete with personal comments of the event film crew, cussing and all, and this was being broadcast with the regular cable signal! We have also had the same thing happen with other TV stations like CTV. Seems kind of careless and unprofessional that this stuff gets broadcast to the public, but not so surprising  from a slowly dying medium, a lot like the blunders we’re seeing in the music industry…

Death Of TV

Data proves that free or shared music files are not lost sales

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

For some time now I, along with many others in the music industry, have been going on about free music not representing a lost sale, but a gained listener.

Frequently, many music industry professionals suggest that an increase in legitimate sales must necessarily coincide with a commensurate reduction in ‘piracy’, as if this were a fact, yet, the research company BigChampagne has made no such consistent observation in nearly a decade of analyzing online data about music. Rather, it finds that piracy rates follow awareness and interest… The biggest selling albums and songs are nearly always the most widely pirated, regardless of all the ‘anti-piracy’ tactics employed by music companies.

Wired magazine talked about the factual data supporting mega rock band Radiohead‘s decision to allow users to pay what they wanted for their latest album.
All of the torrenting/free downloading of Radiohead’s of In Rainbows album contributed to the album making such a big impression on a listening public that’s bombarded with an ever increasing amount of information. Without it having been so widely traded, BigChampage’s data report says that Radiohead’s album wouldn’t necessarily have shot to the top of the charts and their worldwide tour wouldn’t have been such a smashing success, and I have to agree.

Applying economic principles to digital music, BigChamagne found that “the challenge of achieving popularity (or attention) when the old rules of scarcity (of product) and excludability don’t apply (to information goods) the way they used to, changes the monetization game completely.”

BigChamagne came to the undeniable conclusion that the music industry needs to stop thinking of shared files as lost sales, and start treating them as an aspect of reality upon which they can build part of their businesses.

You can download a detailed paper on this topic here. I haven’t studied it in detail yet so I would love to hear your insights.

Help Me Help Your Music.

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Are you a musician / artist?

I’m wondering if you can spend a minute to help me help artists like you.
I am trying to gather some anonymous research data from artists on what is an affordable amount of money per month for them to spend to obtain assistance towards a successful music career.

I have been in the process of trying to restructure my company, Pro Soul to be able to assist artists. We are exploring various monthly subscription based packages that will provide artists with consulting, services, and resources they need to develop a strong healthy career and fan base depending on what they need and can afford.

All you have to do to assist and state your opinion is fill out 2 short polls:

WWW.jarome.com/poll/

Pro Soul’s new mission is twofold: To provide music fans with great music by diverse International artists and to affordably assist artists in developing their career in a changing music industry to build a strong, long lasting audience they have a close relationship with that will create financial rewards that far surpass those possible with simple CD sales.

The new music industry is drastically changing, moving away from major record corporations and back to independent artists, moving away from physical product to digital media. Economics will bring in $4.8 billion in revenue from digital downloads in the US alone in 2012.
I blogged about the changes in the music industry more here:
the-end-of-the-music-industry-as-we-know-it

In this receding tide, Pro Soul’s aim is to assist artists to clear the path of discovery and purchase of music by enabling artists to more easily connect with their fans, and enable fans to purchase and access music more easily than they ever have before.

Pro Soul will consult artists with information provided by the worlds most knowledgeable experts in the future of the music industry, and provide virtually every aspect of what an artist will need in their career, performing those duties the artist does not want to take on themselves. We will provide the latest innovative techniques and services that have been proven to work to bring paying, dedicated fans to artists.

Key individual behind Pro Soul will be myself founder, music producer, audio engineer, and composer for over 17 years, Jarome Matthew. I achieved early acclaim with gold dance tracks on top 40 radio and a number of major label compilations in the early 1990’s and now produce and consults artists internationally and teach these things at a local college.

Although expenses and financial goals will be important in the first year, focus will be on assisting clients to become successful in generating enough new fans for them to see the signs of a successful long term career in the industry.

Right now all of this is just an idea developing. Based on the results of the poll and other research and consulting I am doing, and financial analysis, hopefully this will all be a great asset to artists and help me finally achieve my dream of really being able to help them.

Visit again to keep updated on how it’s going.

The Future Of Copyright

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Today in Vancouver, the front page of the newspapers was a proposed copyright bill in Canada.
‘Is your iPod breaking the law?”

Once again, the government in it’s ignorance has caved to corporate industry, having no real idea what is going on with the future of copyright or music. The paper article quotes: “Rather than building a made-in-Canada proposal to help musicians get paid, the government has chosen to import American-style legislation that says the solution to the music industry’s problems is suing our fans”
Once again, Canada seeks to copy America’s ways with it’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act even though their efforts have failed miserably.

When are individuals, corporate America, religion, and government going to start independently investigating truth before making rash decisions that hurt the most vulnerable?
I talked about some of these decisions in this post that hurt content creators…
Backlash against the bill was swift and strong as this article details.

This bill does little to support the content creators and mainly seeks to continue compensating corporations who have become too lazy to market and promote using innovative techniques required in the digital internet age. Luckily it is still on the table and can be challenged.

What is really required is a complete shift in our direction about copyright based on our changing culture and society away from corporate interests, focused more on the content creator as Entertainment Lawyer and Stanford professor Larry Lessig details in his excellent speech, “How creativity is being strangled by the law” here. (also available at the end of this post)

Ultimately, change in copyright will come from the content creators (Most corporations own copyrights to works they themselves did not create!). So if you create content, lead the way by copyrighting using Creative Commons licenses.

Fear is the mindkiller! The resources and TRUTH are available to you dear readers! Please research things for yourself before believing the media, your friends, politicians, or religious clergy!
Let’s get back to instinct, and common sense, reality.

Entertainment Lawyer and Stanford professor Larry Lessig’s speech: “How creativity is being strangled by the law”

The end of the music industry as we know it

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Last year I blogged about how the music industry is changing along with a lot of others…
Recently, A very detailed 18 page report has been published by renowned technology and market research company, Forrester. I don’t have access to the entire article, as that would be expensive, but here is the essence of it:

  • Half of all music sold in the US will be digital in 2011 and sales of digitally downloaded music will surpass physical CD sales in 2012, reaching $4.8 billion in revenue by 2012, but in 2012, CD sales will be reduced to just $3.8 billion.
  • Media executives eager to stay afloat in this receding tide must clear the path of discovery and purchase, but only hardware and software providers can ultimately make listening to music as easy as turning on the radio.
  • The average MP3 player is only 57 percent full, suggesting that the devices are underutilized (correct in my case)
  • DRM(digital rights management copy protection)-free music enables every profile page on MySpace.com or Facebook to immediately become a music store where friends sell friends their favorite tracks
  • Cable TV style subscription music services will show modest growth, reaching just $459 million in revenue in 2012, while experiments in ad-supported downloads will be silenced by the powerful combination of DRM-free music and on-demand music streaming on sites like imeem.com
  • It is now very clear: Digital Ownership IS The Music Model For The Future
  • Forester’s recommendation to the ailing music industry: Solve The ‘Discovery Of New Music’ Problem Consumers Have First, Then Get Out Of The Consumer’s Way!

And the MOST important finding of this whole article in my opinion is:
“The industry has to redefine what its product is, said analyst McQuivey. Music executives have spent years tracking CD sales. But the ARTIST is the product not just the source of it.
New forms of revenue will come from unexpected sources. For example, the industry has failed to capitalize on the growing popularity of video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In a market where musicians are happy to sell a million copies of a CD, a video game market where titles can sell five million copies is enough to motivate even the most depressed music executive.”
The Forrester report is based in part on a survey of more than 5,000 consumers in the US and Canada.

I found it particularly interesting that way back in 2001, Forester did a study that the industry essentially ignored that proved digital music sales to be the future of music.

More here: www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9874319-7.html
Forester document: www.forrester.com/go?docid=43759

Canada proposes new music tax

Monday, February 25th, 2008

In the ongoing fight for the music industry to try and maintain the control they *used* to have, Canada is proposing a new compulsory music tax in addition to the digital download taxes, levy on digital music players, and the levy on blank CD’s. I kid you not, we are talking about billions of dollars collected here, and do you think I will get compensated when my music is downloaded? Nope. But Celine Dion will!

You can read the propaganda that the music industry has sent the media here.

I say propaganda because much of the information in this article comes from the music industry and is very misleading, such as the statement “More than 80% of Canada’s musicians earn less than $15,000 annually.”
This is not because of illegal downloading, but because of things like the lousy music that is released that people won’t pay for, artists who don’t promote themselves, and the fact that most artists go bankrupt because the retail stores, label, and distributors take over 70% of the profits from CD sales. Remove those people from the food chain and you have the new music industry, where the artist is back on top. and THAT is a proven fact.
(I get into this more in this post about the massive changes in the industry)
I’m really getting tired of media being too lazy to research this stuff before publishing, aren’t you?.

The incredible thing is this new tax, much like the levies mentioned above would be charged to everyone who uses the internet in Canada, not just those who download music, creating in total billions in tax and levy revenue for the music industry. How things like this get passed as law in a supposed democracy is beyond me.
What’s interesting is if it does become law, it will essentially make downloading music legal, along with burning music, which is essentially also legal now because we are paying dearly for it.
And that means that everything will change forever in the consumption of music. I only wish it could be done fairly, you know the good old way, where the industry gives the consumer what they want and get compensated for doing so, rather than by force.

Massive changes in the music industry

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

I have been consulting a great deal with people and the artists I work with about the massive changes in the music industry lately. It is long overdue that I make an official blog post about it.
But how do you sum up what equates to declaring the death of gravity to a physicist in a short blog entry? It’s a challenge, however, now we know enough to confidently make some bold statements about where the music industry is going and I will very briefly summarize them here:

  • The music industry is moving away from corporations and back to the artist/musician where it should be (this is a very good thing for you, the artist, but more rights and control means more work and responsibility)
  • Giving music away for free and digital downloading doesn’t hurt music sales, it is in fact the only way music is purchased, and essentially has been for a long time. (The myth that downloading is hurting sales is propaganda that corporations have spread in attempt to retain control they are losing over the music industry – see first point)
  • Music as an emotional commodity has become about building and selling relationships, NOT selling a product. Build a strong following and fans will support you in all your efforts. This will soon become a philosophy for all business in the near future in my opinion.
  • The Internet now fully into it’s web 2.0 phase is the way that artists can independently build a strong business without corporations or other companies due to it’s many resources. (This is covered in detail in Andrew Dubbers’ free eBook which I blogged about here, and links to some of these can be found in my blogroll/links page
  • Blogging and social networking is one of the most important ways to accomplish the above and embrace the new music industry and start building your audience.

So these are some pretty drastic changes, I mean, telling artists they need to give their music away in order to sell it when they have been told that is stealing and will cost them sales? Well, I have started to do it myself as mentioned here, and many professionals, industry experts and artists have proven these points to not only be true, but very successful, artists like Jonathan Coultan. He may not be famous enough for you to know him, but he’s an independent artist making a living from his music using these very techniques. There are articles about it all over the internet. Major artists like radiohead have been starting to make changes as well, selling their music by donation, and a lot of people not only think they’re crazy, fellow artists think they are ruining the music industry. But those people haven’t studied the proven facts about where music is going.

I have been researching this for some time now, particularly for a course I teach at a local college as part of the full time music program. I also offer artists consulting on effectively using these techniques. I don’t have all the answers because no one does yet, things are still changing and progressing. But I can see where things are going, and it is a good thing.

My massive page of amazing links

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

I just posted a new massive page of amazing links that I use in my music business 2.0 class and that I often recommend to clients I am working with. Most of these links I have tested and or use myself, and they are some of the best resources I have found. So take advantage of my hours of research and enjoy!

Jarome’s recommended links for Multimedia,Music Business, and Web 2.0 applications