Streaming music provider Rdio has just launched its services in 20 new countries, making for a total reach of 51 different international markets. That’s more than rival Spotify, for those counting, which used to rival Rdio by exactly one after launching in four new countries back in September, for a total reach of 32 global spots. Rdio has seen its monthly active user growth from countries outside the U.S. grow from 30 percent at the start of 2013, to 57 percent by the end of the year.
The new countries in that group of 20 include much of Latin America, as well as parts of Europe and Africa, and members who sign up as new users in those markets will get free access to Rdio on the web for six months, and two weeks free trial on mobile. The service provides access instantly to Rdio’s library of over 20 million tracks, which features new releases every week. Rdio also recently launched greatly improved Rdio radio stations, which can be created from an artist, genre track or based on your collection.
Rdio has been facing challenges with its business lately, and laid off staff recently, including closing its regional Canada office entirely. Then in early December it named Amazon vet Anthony Bay as its new CEO. Bay took over for Drew Larner, who announced his intention to step down from the chief executive role earlier this year.
It’s been a long while since Rdio has announced anything in terms of subscriber numbers or MAUs, and the percentage increase reported today manages to tout some success without actually saying much, except for the fact that international growth appears to be what it considers a key element to its future success. Rival Spotify had about 24 million MAUs as of last count, and that Rdio rival is announcing something at a special event kicking off at 10 AM ET today, which we’ll be covering. That speaks volumes about the timing of this expansion announcement, which is likely designed to take some wind out of those Spotify sails.
Here’s a full list of the new countries where Rdio is launching today:
Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
ARTISTS / LABELS: Distribute your music directly to Rdio for FREE with ONErpm!
Source: TechCrunch (by Darrell Etherington)
Oftentimes, musicians tend to overlook the fact that their fans can be just as creative. Use this creativity to your advantage! For example, check out the fan-made video for Systemshock’s “You’re Fake, I’m Real”
Now, as music industry gatekeepers hold less power and the Internet rules over music sales and buzz, the quality of your recording — your actual product — determines your success more than ever.
In a time when anyone can convert their home into a studio and a single song gaining traction on Spotify or Rdio can spin a few hundred fans into millions, releasing well-produced, well-executed, high-quality tracks is critical to success in the industry. Good music is a natural, viral marketer. No amount of promotion, touring, or record labels will get you as far as a tight, finished song that makes people feel good.
Recording good music requires a lot of hard work and a fair amount of planning. Although this seems pretty obvious, throughout my career as an album producer, recording musicians for 300 days a year for over a decade, I’ve seen good music go bad, and could-be-good music never take off due to poor planning and decision-making. Below is a compilation of my Do’s and Don’ts for recording in the music biz.
Unveiled 1878 audio on Edison invention features world’s first recorded music, blooper. It’s scratchy, lasts only 78 seconds and features the world’s first recorded blooper.
The modern masses can now listen to what experts say is the oldest playable recording of an American voice and the first-ever capturing of a musical performance, thanks to digital advances that allowed the sound to be transferred from flimsy tinfoil to computer.
The recording was originally made on a Thomas Edison-invented phonograph in St. Louis, Missouri in 1878.
At a time when music lovers can carry thousands of digital songs on a player the size of a pack of gum, Edison’s tinfoil playback seems prehistoric. But that dinosaur opens a key window into the development of recorded sound.
"In the history of recorded sound that’s still playable, this is about as far back as we can go," said John Schneiter, a trustee at the Museum of Innovation and Science, where it will be played Thursday night in the city where Edison helped found the General Electric Co.
The recording opens with a 23-second cornet solo of an unidentified song, followed by a man’s voice reciting “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Old Mother Hubbard.” The man laughs at two spots during the recording, including at the end, when he recites the wrong words in the second nursery rhyme.
OK, so the first thing you can do to promote your music better isn’t actually something many musicians associate with actually being a form of promotion. Collaborating with other musicians can actually be a great way to get out there. Making songs with a well known act can actually mean you can get in front of their fans. It may also mean that you gain a higher perceived value for working with that act, and it can be a good note on your CV when looking for other music related work and opportunities.
The thing is though, it’s very unlikely you’ll get collaborations with big names in your genre (unless you already know them). You see, their time is precious, and they’re not just going to collaborate with every up and coming act out there. The solution? Using the ‘ladder’ method.
What you want to do is categorize any talented musicians in your genre into different levels based on how big they are. Usually, while the biggest acts won’t be willing to work with you at this stage, some of the lower level acts will be - with enough incentive. So what you do is approach those acts which are slightly bigger then you, and do collaborations with a few of them. Not only does this get you in front of their audiences, but it also gets you associated with being at their level.
Once this is done, start looking to the next step of musicians who are that bit more popular then the last group you approached (and are now in yourself). Do the same; collaborate with them, get in front of their audience, and become thought of as being on their level.
Rinse and repeat, each time working with bigger acts and getting a bigger reputation yourself. The good thing is, once people start seeing you’re working with lots of people in your genre, they will want to start working with you too. You’ll be the hip new people on the block that everyone wants to be associated with.
Payola, in one form or another, is as old as the music business:
Labels pay radio stations to broadcast their music, producers pay DJs to spin their records in the club, and promoters ask live bands to pay-to-play at their event.
And it’s always been a hot topic amongst musicians.
So if you’re an artist, should you ever have to pay-to-play?
Here are two ways to look at it:
Do you sometimes feel that your band’s draw is languishing? Are you tired of seeing the same people at your shows and want to play to a new crowd, even in your hometown?
If you’re like most musicians, you know that you absolutely can do better, that you have more fans out there than who actually show up at at the venue, and despite always receiving positive feedback, you don’t know why more people aren’t showing up. Here are some tips on building some momentum back into your tour dates so you can increase your band’s draw:
1. Find a Different Angle for The Show: It’s easier to get more people to show up if it’s your band’s first show, when you’re releasing a new album, it’s a tour kick off, or when it’s your final gig. Obviously, it’s because your fans realize those as special occasions and want to be there.
So rather than making every local show the same, find creative ways to make them more enticing: film a live music video, let fans write the set list, do special covers, play acoustic if you normally don’t (or vice-versa), record a free download of a live track, etc. In other words, give your fans a compelling reason to show up. Answer: Why will this show be different than any other? What makes this exact show special?
Did you know there’s a special six-week window of opportunity that comes once a year - every year? The sad thing is, most musicians aren’t aware of it or don’t give it much thought.
Will you be different? Will you be ready this year?
FACT: About 20 percent of all annual music sales take place in the last six weeks of the year – during the holiday season! And the demand is there consistently every year. Internet-based holiday sales, in particular, continue to grow … and there are more opportunities all the time to tap into these online consumer dollars.
Many independent artists profit simply because they put a little time and energy into creating annual holiday campaigns that gain momentum year after year.
THE PROBLEM: Most artists never tap into this holiday revenue potential.
Why? Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah come only once a year, and they are short-lived events. It’s easy to justify not putting much effort into them. Therefore, most musicians ignore this holiday music income stream.
That’s a BIG MISTAKE!
ACTION STEP: Now is the time to create a plan to share your music, do good in the world, and profit from the unique way you can help people celebrate during the holiday season.
Do what the smart bands and artists do: Think ahead and create a plan now that will serve you and your fans during the coming holiday season.
Source: Hypebot (by Bob Baker)
With over 7 million copies sold, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” is one of the highest selling singles of the past few years.
But WHY was the song such a huge success? And what can you learn from it if you want to score the NEXT big hit?
Here are 5 key insights:
1. It’s A Single
Did you know Thrift Shop was the 5th in a series of singles released from The Heist?
The first single was “My Oh My” (released December 2010). It completely failed to chart. About a month later came “Wing$” (released January 2011), but it didn’t really catch on either. Then, “Can’t Hold Us” (released August 2011) as the third, and a year later “Same Love” (released July 2012) as the 4th single…
…but it wasn’t until AFTER “Thrift Shop” (released August 2012) blew up in October of 2012, that the previous songs climbed the charts, too.
So what’s the lesson? Release and promote a series of individual songs. And: If it’s not a hit, switch. Don’t keep pushing a song that’s not getting any traction on its own. Keep releasing new songs until one catches on.