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Posts Tagged ‘music business’

Music company Pro Soul officially launches in Beijing, China

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Chinese flag

I have some big news. I have merged my music production work with my music marketing and promotion company, Pro Soul Alliance.
And I’m excited to officially announce something we’ve been working on for over 2 years now, launching Pro Soul Alliance in China.

China is a huge, emerging market for the music industry, but currently in it’s infancy, and immature. Professional assistance is desperately needed due to crippling discouragement for artists attributed to the pervasive downloading of music. There is also a huge lack of ‘official’ presence for foreign artists who are becoming very popular in China. That means huge opportunity for those willing to support, develop and nurture this challenging market.

At the end of 2011, Pro Soul announced a new world class recording and production studio in Beijing as our first step. Now we are offering promotion, marketing, sales and distribution both within China and outside to our existing artists and Chinese artists through our local office in Beijing. Unlike other companies offering music services in China, we are based within China, and our local office is staffed with bilingual locals who know the market and culture, and have experience working with Chinese and international artists here.
Pro Soul has been legally registered as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise in China under the name ‘敬真堂(北京)文化咨询有限公司’ Which translates to ‘Respect Truth (Beijing) Culture Consultancy Co. Ltd.’ (This was as close as we could get to our english name given the language and cultural differences. We kind of like how depending on the translation of our Chinese name, it can mean ‘Church of Truth’)

Because China is a complex and daunting market for a foreign company, we are starting out with the following basic range of services:

For Chinese artists:

 

  • Focusing on getting Chinese artists who are ready exposure internationally
  • Getting international distribution and sales for Chinese music (iTunes, Spotify, Nokia)
  • Promotion and marketing for Chinese artists overseas by connecting with interested markets and fans

 

For International Artists:

  • Digital distribution for international artists in China (including essential mobile stores China Mobile, Unicom, Telecom)
  • Promotion and marketing in China focusing on key social networking sites like Weibo, Douban, Youku
  • Collaboration with Chinese artists and recording traditional Chinese instruments with local professionals

As Pro Soul continues researching the industry and experimenting with new techniques for promotion and marketing music in China, we will also be offering licensing for Chinese music internationally in Film, TV, and online, expanding their revenue sources. We will also assist Chinese artists who are ready create their own business and develop music career in China to maximize their profit and control. Of course we will also be able to assist international artists book shows and organize tours in China in future.

Pro Soul has already begun assisting international artists Elika Mahony, and Hart as well as Chinese artist Abominati get exposure in China.

You can sign up right now for promotion, marketing and  distribution in China with the ‘Professional Artist Management and Consulting Asia’ option on our Get Started page.
For artists within China, we have a new website entirely in Chinese with a helpful blog focused on the local market.

For more information, please contact our China artist services manager BeiBei Lei

This means you will see less posts on my blog about music business, promotion and marketing, and music production as more of those posts will be featured on the Pro Soul Alliance blog so please check it out and subscribe for some great information like how to earn money licensing music on youtube, and my latest news and projects!

My meeting with Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Last may I was at a music conference in Singapore called Music Matters, focused on the future of the music industry, particularly in Asia.
(Thanks to the talented Michael aka Mobidextrous & Miss Melody for helping making this happen!)

Although I didn’t hear too much that I hadn’t heard before, it was great to gain some insights into the music scene in Asia, where Korean Pop is becoming like Beatlemania, and Mainland China is still no where to be seen…
Amongst many industry leaders and respected professionals, I had the pleasure of spending some time briefly with the busy Troy Carter, manager for Lady GaGa.

Troy Carter with Jarome Matthew of Pro Soul Alliance
Troy Carter. Lady Gaga’s manager and I

We discussed the importance of Asia for Lady GaGa despite difficulties in places like Indonesia with pressure from Islamic groups causing cancellation of her show there this week.

Troy confirmed that China is an important place for the future of Lady GaGa, but given the undeveloped state of the music industry there and various other challenges for foreign artists, they will take some time to plan and prepare for an official presence in Mainland China.
Ga Ga however sold out 4 shows in Hong Kong recently, with many mainland Chinese attending.

I was happy to hear Troy confirm that building a relationship with fans is the most important thing an artist can do, even for a major success like Gaga. he also talked about the importance of being comfortable with using social media and other technology to connect with fans, as important as touring was 20 years ago.

I look forward to helping out when China is ready for Lady GaGa’s appearance in the near future!

Troy Carter, manager, Lady Gaga

Warner Music Group axed our video

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

I blogged recently on Pro Soul Alliance about Warner Music Group removing all their content from youtube rather than earn millions per month in royalties in it’s ever increasing number of one terrible business decision after another.

We’re now a victim of this decision, having received a removal notice from Youtube for Laura and my video ‘Enjoy The Cylons‘ since we did a remake of a Warner track by Depeche Mode. The band of course has no say in the matter as they don’t own their music.

I decided to allow the video to stay on youtube, I would replace the audio with licensed content. Unfortunately, youtube doesn’t let you use your own selection…
We would have gladly paid a royalty to release this video, but Warner is not interested.

The fact that Warner is not only missing huge promotional opportunities for their artists, but throwing away income for them in doing this is a sure sign that it is now a very bad idea to do business with a major record label.

Pro Soul Alliance music 2.0 insights

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

I haven’t had a lot of time lately, especially since I’ve been blogging over at Pro Soul Alliance as well…

Check out some of the insightful music 2.0 posts over there to learn more about what’s going on in the new music industry if you haven’t already…

www.prosoul.com/blog

China trip and the launch of Pro Soul Alliance

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

I’m back from an amazing and productive trip to Beijing where I got to meet and work with some fantastic new artists as well as the immensely talented Elika Mahony. I blogged all about it on the new Pro Soul site, where I will be posting a lot of my music business entries from now on: www.prosoul.com

Yes, that’s right, Pro Soul Alliance, the new innovative 21st century record label is now live and ready to take on the artists of a new music industry! It’s a very exciting accomplishment, and we’ve put countless hours of research and effort into creating a truly ground breaking solution for artists everywhere.
We’ve assembled an amazing international team that is consistently expanding to provide an incredible range of services and research to assist artists of all genres from all over the world to connect with their audience and monetize their music in new ways that reflect the changes in the way people want to hear music.
There is really nothing like Pro Soul out there for artists and you will undoubtedly be hearing more about it in the near future! Would love to hear your comments and feedback.

It sure has been an exciting year, and things are just getting going! Hard to beleive it’s almost December.

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!

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

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.