Thursday, April 12, 2007

Creating A Channel On YouTube

Creating a channel on YouTube provides a band or label with far more marketing potential than simply uploading individual videos. Fans can subscribe to your channel and receive notification whenever a new video is uploaded. You can also customise your channel and decide which video is featured at the top of your profile. Subscriber profiles are also displayed and can post comments providing much more of a “MySpace” type experience.

It is apparent not many people know about this facility since there are currently very few artiste or label channels. However it’s very simple to do. When you’re logged in to YouTube go to My Account, and you will see your channel settings. Here you can name your channel, decide on a colour scheme and select which category you are featured in (‘Musicians’ is our obvious suggestion). Check out these examples.

Placebo Official
Good Charlotte
The Editors

Monday, April 09, 2007

Marketing: The EMI 'DRM' Announcement

What does the EMI announcement - that they are prepared to drop DRM albeit in return for an increase in price - mean for labels, artistes, brands, retailers and consumers?

  • For labels, it will make little difference unless this move leads to a significant increase in the market value as a whole. The vast majority of Indies already supply in MP3, and those who don’t may now be convinced. The remaining three Majors are already under pressure to drop DRM and if EMI's sales rise, are likely to follow. This will be due to their marketing and sales departments finally gaining the upper hand against the restrictive instincts of their Legal and IT departments who currently control Digital policy.
  • For artistes on EMI labels, this move means they can sell MP3 tracks from their website or supply music via Bluetooth at gigs. It is currently very difficult to incorporate DRM into small scale solutions, and this obstacle is now dropped. Music must still be licensed from EMI but there are many more distribution opportunities.
  • Advertising brands can supply EMI music in far more campaigns and consumer-friendly promotions. For example, “Music giveaways”, where tracks are bought in advance, can be implemented without the need for complex DRM solutions. By giving away music in MP3 brands can be assured of the hitting the widest market.
  • Retailers will naturally be clamouring for the new format from EMI. The major players, iTunes, Napster, Musicnet etc, will rapidly adopt the new format and variable pricing models. Perhaps more exciting however, is that ‘niche’ retailers like Bleep, DJ Download and can now begin to sell dance, jazz or classical content in MP3, dramatically increasing the quality of their catalogue.
  • Consumers will be able to buy music from a wide range of stores and play it on their digital player. Although the announcement was made with Apple, it may be iTunes that suffers most since they continue to supply tracks, not in MP3 but in un-protected AAC. This means music bought at iTunes works in far fewer players than an MP3 track bought at, say, HMV or Napster.

Million has long campaigned for labels to drop DRM in it’s current restrictive form. We therefore welcome this move, although are disappointed EMI felt it necessary to increase the price. Ironically, Million feel an increase in price is justified for tracks with more DRM not less, the crucial difference being it must be a new form of DRM that protects the consumer, not restricts them.

Friday, April 06, 2007

What Is eListening Post?

elistening Post allows artistes to use the facility within Windows Media Player and Real Player to limit the number of times a music track can be played before it stops working. In the past this meant having to buy a license from Microsoft or Real since the Digital Rights Management (DRM) had to be inserted into the file. eListening Post have cleverly exploited this (unsurprising since one of the founders worked at Real) and offer the DRM function for a monthly subscription fee. V2 and Independiente have signed up, distributing their artiste tracks to and Drowned in Sound and allowing fans to hear the track five times before it expires – at any point fans can buy the track or send it to friends where the same rule applies.

We like the principle – labels get to feel like they’re promoting their artistes by allowing fans to hear the music and artistes feel protected. The achilles heel is what the fans think of it? I never use Windows Media Player and avoid WMA files. I especially don’t like downloading a track and having it expire, when at any point I could go to a P2P site and download the MP3, or visit eMusic and download the track legitimately. However, the service is to be applauded and offers a decent alternative to giving away an MP3 or a stream.
Tell us what you think.

Top Artistes According To

The top artistes according to are:

1 Red Hot Chili Peppers 61,021
2 The Beatles 59,613
3 Radiohead 53,994
4 Coldplay 47,818
5 Muse 46,663
6 The Killers 42,298
7 Metallica 41,400
8 The Arcade Fire 41,050
9 Nirvana 40,021
10 Pink Floyd 38,795
11 Death Cab for Cutie 38,701
12 System of a Down 37,678
13 Green Day 37,642
14 Fall Out Boy 36,948
15 Modest Mouse 36,812
16 Bloc Party 36,499
17 Placebo 33,871
18 Led Zeppelin 33,272
19 U2 32,890
20 Incubus 32,535

The obvious lesson for artistes? Write classic songs.

How To Create A Radio Station With provides simple code to embed a radio player into a web page which plays a station based upon your selected artiste. The player below is based upon Hannah, an Estonian artiste promoted by Million. Since the playlist is created dynamically based upon's users, it's a nice embed for fans of the music. Moreover, because the music is licensed the artistes actually gets paid (albeit not much) for each track played. Visit to create your player.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What Is Twitter?

Twitter is rapidly taking off and may soon become as familiar a term as ‘blog’ or ‘Instant Message’. It’s a combination of the two, with some RSS thrown in – you get 140 characters to say “What Are You Doing Now” but of course, anything goes. Your friends can see your comments appear on their feed or blog. Its advantage over IM is that it can send IM-like messages to hundreds of friends, since you can’t send an IM to 000’s of people. And because each post is limited to 140 characters Twit feeds can be added to a web page or blog without fear of super-long posts screwing up the design.

Obvious uses for artistes include tour diaries, daily chatter and studio updates. However you’re going to need to be a fairly gregarious person to constantly want to update fans on what you’re up to. Labels could naturally use it as a very simple way to feed news to fan sites and venues can post new dates. Some enterprising programmers have already tapped into the BBC news feeds to offer them as Twit feeds and obviously, publishers such as NME could create their own.

Phone Sherpa

Phone Sherpa has just released it's new version. It's aimed at artistes who want a simple way to create ringtones and presents them in a neat, widget format. At first glance it's fantastic, with a very simple interface, an easy-to-use widget for customers, global coverage and seemingly reliable. However, a word of warning - the pay outs are poor and do NOT include publishing.

  1. Typically an artiste or record company will receive between 30% and 40% of the net revenue paid by the customer for a ringtone. However, Phone Sherpa deduct the operator fee first, then pay out 25%-50%, meaning only 14%-30% is paid out in comparable terms.
  2. Of most concern to EU artistes is the fact Phone Sherpa do not pay publishing and place the emphasis on to the artiste, contrary to current EU law (bare in mind Phone Sherpa are a US company where this is legal). To illustrate, let's say you record a version of a Beatles song. You upload the track to Phone Sherpa and receive a payout. However, Lennon & McCartney are also entitled to a share of your payout and if you don't pay PRS-MCPS then you could be held liable. Be cautious!!
  3. I'm also unsure how artiste copyright is protected since the only thing preventing people making money selling Robbie ringtones is by assuming users have read the legal terms and conditions which state the content must be owned by the person uploading it - like that's gonna work!

If these issues can be overcome then we see tremendous potential in Phone Sherpa since it puts bands and labels in direct control of their mobile content without the need for a middleman. btw, do not buy the ringtone below- it's only for demo.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Top Music Blogs

According to Hype Machine the most visited music blogs right now are:

stereogum (US)UK indie/Pop
3hive (US) alt.pop
Music (For Robots) (US)
brooklynvegan (US) alt.indie/acoustic
Fluxblog (US) pop/disco/80's
Largehearted Boy (US)indie/rock/style
said the gramophone (PL/CA) alt. indie/rock
WFMU's Beware of the blog (US) indie/rock
aurgasm avant pop/alt indie
My Old Kentucky Blog (US) pop/indie/general

Submitting music to these blogs is relatively easy although you should ensure the music you're submitting is in tune with their music policy and in MP3 format. A picture (JPEG) and brief description is helpful. Generally they post a disclaimer to say the MP3 music is for preview purposes only. Most upload the file to a free host such as Fileden. If you don't agree to this then don't submit your track.

If you want further information please contact us.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Million Taken On By Snowdog

Million are delighted to say we have been hired by Snowdog to run their entire online marketing and website planning. The first artist we will be working with is Hannah, a beautiful & highly talented singer-songwriter from Estonia. We will be running her online marketing campaign, starting with building her MySpace site and a profile. A 10 week promotion campaign will start in April, beginning at the filming of her video. We have signed Snowdog with The Orchard for global digital distribution and will work closely with them to promote Hannah on retail store pages. Please visit Hannah's website to hear her music.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Million in Hungary

I have just spent three days in Budapest with Community Music, a charity I work with. We were there to oversee a new project which aims to assist Romano Gypsies learn music production and studio skills. A four day workshop was followed by a gig at the A38 club, a floating venue in a boat moored on the Danube. The hope is that local trainers will launch a full time course and students from UK and Hungary can work closer together. One current plan is for a gig to be held on London’s South Bank on June 16th featuring Czech artiste,, who played an amazing set in A38 backed by local gypsy band Romano Drom – an incredible fusion of traditional gypsy tunes and hip-hop.