“Enough, I’m sick of you.”

First, Whitey encouraged people to re-blog this facebook post:


And then:


[via indieloop]


Now Available on Apple TV

It may not be the biggest music festival in the world, but it’s probably the longest and most accessible.  From September 1 – 30, 2012, you can catch the iTunes Music Festival on your computer, iOS device — and for the first time this year — through an Apple TV app.

Performers include Jack White, Deadmau5, Norah Jones, The Killers, and Muse.  If you are lucky enough to be near the Roundhouse in London, you can enter to win tickets to the live events. Otherwise, you can watch the performances in the same countries where the iTunes Music Store is available (subject to legal restrictions).

The iTunes Festival is coming back in September 2012. We’re inviting more than 60 artists to perform 30 consecutive nights of brilliant live music at the Roundhouse in London. Be sure to check back—we’re adding new artists to the line-up on a regular basis. Every ticket to the iTunes Festival is free—you can apply to win tickets to any performance.

If you can’t make the gig, watch the shows live or view them afterwards for a limited time on your computer with iTunes, or on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the iTunes Festival app. To watch on your big screen, use Apple TV and click iTunes Festival from the main menu, or use Airplay to stream gigs wirelessly via the app.


iTunes Festival London 2012 - iTunes


MMT Featured Artist Zoë Keating updated her Spotify spreadsheet with some deep thoughts today, and not much has changed since we checked in around a year ago.  Despite reports about big increases in Spotify payouts, the average per stream appears stuck at a fraction of a penny.

Spotify Accounting: October 2001 – March 2012

Below she compares her earnings from other platforms over the same time period that she received $281.87 from Spotify.

It’s comparing apple to oranges, but I for the same time period (Oct 2011 to March 2012), I received, net (i.e. after fees):
– $46,477.77 from iTunes
– $25,000 from Bandcamp
– $8,352.45 for physical sales on Amazon
– $2,821 from Amazon MP3

Deep Thoughts

I think Spotify is awesome as a listening platform. In my opinion artists should view it as a discovery service rather than a source of income.

The income of a non-mainstream artist like me is a patchwork quilt and streaming is currently one tiny square in that quilt. Streaming is not yet a replacement for digital sales, and to conflate the two is a mistake.   I do not see streaming as a threat to my income, just like I’ve never regarded file-sharing as a threat but as a convenient way to hear music. If people really like my music, I still believe they’ll support it somewhere, somehow. Casual listeners won’t, but they never did anyway. I don’t buy ALL the music I listen to either, I never did, so why should I expect every single listener to make a purchase? I think that a subset of my listeners pay for my music, and that is a-ok because…and this is the key…..there are few middlemen between us.

My financial picture would be worse if I was on a record label. Some people say that if I was on a record label, I’d have a larger reach and therefore would be making more money. To this I’d like to point out that I make instrumental cello music. There is about as much chance of my music becoming mainstream as there is of me being elected President of the USA (hint: not possible, I was born in Canada and there are naked pictures of me at Burning Man). While it is probably true that the right label could help with the reach part, I don’t think they could help me enough to offset their cut, and you know what….no label has ever approached me and the ones I’ve approached said no, so I’m guessing they think the same thing.

I’ve said multiple times what my issue with Spotify is: fairness. I care about making the playing field level for all recording artists: signed or unsigned. Let it be a meritocracy. Also, I wish Spotify would do more to facilitate the connection between listeners and artists – i.e show that the artist is playing nearby, or add links to buy music. It’s early days, so maybe this will happen eventually.

~ Zoe Keating

p.p.s. I’d like to be known for my music more than my tendency to stir up controversy, so I probably won’t say much more on the subject because I have some music to make….;-)



MOG released their first iPad app today, and it’s a good one. Purpose-built for the iPad and the new Retina display, it features smooth scrolling, intuitive navigation and controls, and dazzling full-screen album art.  Combine all this with Wi-Fi and AirPlay streaming at 320 kbps, and it’s easy to see why Josh Constine at TechCrunch calls it “The Best iPad Streaming Music App“.

Take a look at the screenshots below: both show what is displayed for New Releases while a song is playing.

You can see that MOG has made excellent use of the extra real estate on the iPad, providing easy and obvious access to all features.  The first thing you will want to do is tap Settings, and set High Quality Streaming and High Quality Downloads to On.


  • Built-in AirPlay support.
  • Unlimited, one-click mobile downloads for offline listening.
  • Stream or download in 320kbps – the highest quality listening experience.
  • Editable play queue for maximum control.
  • Charts, Editor’s Picks, Featured Playlists, and New Releases refreshed every week.
  • Automatic sync between all platforms for “playlists” and “favorites” created in the desktop app and on the Web.

If you’re ready to give MOG a try, you can support My Music Thing by signing up for a 14-day free trial here, or downloading the new iPad app here.  Thanks!

Free HD video production and global distribution for your music

If you’re making music the world needs to hear, and your best concert footage was captured on a flip-phone, you should check out Founded by brothers Chris and Nick Hansen, works with emerging artists to capture performances in HD video and high-quality audio in their San Francisco studio, or at music festivals and venues around the world. For free.

The typical deal results in 5 videos: one goes to the artist for promotion and distribution through whatever channels they choose. In exchange, has exclusive rights to distribute the remaining videos through a network with an estimated reach of 15 million people in 150 countries. Net profit will be split 50/50 with the artists.

I spoke with co-founder Chris Hansen, and he expects BAMM will break even in early 2013. But they plan to start paying bands some money before then, in part to test out their payments system. Once they are profitable, artist payments will be based on their percentage of plays on the network.

BAMM continues to sign up distribution partners, which currently include Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom, a global deal with Samsung to include a app on all of their tablets and smartphones, and Flingo, which provides video content to over seven million smart TVs. They are also working on an iPad app that will help promote the participating artists, with a $1,000 cash prize for the “Artist of the Month” and other sponsored promotions.

The future of music and artist compensation

Last September, we wrote about the Future of Music Coaltition and their Artist Revenue Streams project, which they describe as “a multi-method, cross-genre examination of how US-based musicians’ revenue streams are changing, and why.” The project has spawned a new website, and the 29 streams have spread into 40 (or 42, but who’s counting?).

We’ll dig deeper into the ARS results for an upcoming report, but why has has gone out and created a 43rd revenue stream?  According to Chris:

I don’t think any business model that’s solely reliant upon revenues from copyright and publishing rights is going to survive long-term. The only way forward is providing access to experiences that can’t be downloaded on torrents, and the only way to do that is to ease the grip on traditional rights that made a lot of sense in the 20th century but are long outdated. Spotify seems to be the labels’ collective acknowledgement of this fact, but I still think they have a long road ahead.

First of all, the $100 million raised seems to have gone straight to the labels, and the next mega-round of funding is just around the corner. I look at the unfavorable terms toward streaming services and lack of transparency as well as the mounting cost structure as major competitive disadvantages for Spotify and other streaming services that rely on major label licensing.

On scaling and superstars

So far, has worked with around 150 bands, and they’re preparing to add to that number with a return trip to SXSW. Although Bay area artists are disproportionately represented, BAMM uses Southby and other festivals to catch up with bands they have been tracking from around the world. They are also looking at adding some sound stages in SF, and recently rented a studio in Amsterdam to produce videos for European acts.

There will always be limits on how many acts can participate, so curation is an essential part of their work.  Happily, they appear to be comfortable traveling outside of the mainstream for talent, as evidenced by the diverse selection of artists in the YouTube playlist above. Artists that are interested in working with can submit their information here.

Chris is upbeat about the future of, and looking for innovative ways to get artists paid. In our Music 2.0 series, we have seen that the future of music can’t be just one thing, and the new business models are unlikely to emerge from the entrenched players. may succeed in part because they can side-step the obstacles that have been built up by the labels and license holders over the years.

What I like about BAMM’s business model is that our competitive disadvantage is upfront and obvious: we don’t get to work with superstars. After that, things start looking pretty good for us. Our variable cost is extremely low. Our license is straightforward, global, perpetual, and allows us to remix, sample, synch, make derivative works, etc. Therefore we can make deals with OEMs, telcos, MSOs and other service providers at will, and we can afford to commoditize the music product to an extent that the major players cannot.

I hope we are able to demonstrate in the coming months that the choice between piracy and Spotify is a false dilemma. There are other models that work, and we’re quietly pursuing a few that I’m very excited about.

~ Chris Hansen,

The year of Apple, artists, and unanswered questions

As we reflect on 2011 through the lens of MMT statistics, it’s not surprising to see that Apple dominated the year from multiple angles.  Apple’s iCloud service was the subject of this year’s most popular post, and 6 of the top 11 stories had ties to Apple services, apps, or devices.

With the introduction of Spotify in the US, and the integration of multiple music services into Facebook, 2011 was a breakout year for streaming music.  And even if you get your streams from MOG or Spotify instead of iCloud, chances are good there will be an Apple computer, tablet, phone, iPod, or other device in the mix.

Another topic high on the list is artist compensation.  Apple shows up here, too — whether they are being praised, thanked, blessed, or cursed.  Steve Jobs keeps popping up in our Music 2.0 series, where Pete Townshend expressed a desire to cut off his balls and Jon Bon Jovi personally blamed him for “killing the music business“.

In a few hours, 2011 will slip away — just like Steve Jobs, Napster and a disheartening number of artists.  Thanks Steve, thanks sleepy cat, and thanks to all of the musicians who left us their songs, compositions, and performances.

  1. I want my iCloud!: a step-by-step guide to iTunes in the Cloud
  2. Circle of Fifths Part II: The Inner Circle
  3. Mega Music Meta-Battle: MOG vs. Spotify Reviews
  4. Zoe Keating on Spotify, Apple and Independents (and lettuce)
  5. Best of NAMM, Part II: 2BOX DrumIt Five
  6. Handpan Roundup & Reviews: HAPI, HALO, Hank, and Hang
  7. 15 Must-Have iPad Music Apps for the Professional Musician
  8. How to Hang A Didgeridoo on The Wall
  9. 11 tips for getting the most from MOG and Spotify
  10. Practice > Scales and the Circle of Fifths
  11. Animoog: Editor’s Choice – Best Synthesizer App for the iPad

Thanks and Happy New Year to all our MMT readers, and special thanks to guest authors Zoe Keating and Chris Taylor for writing the #4 and #7 things on our list for 2011.

Zoe KeatingPhoto: Jeffrey Rusch

Survey still says: musicians have little love for Spotify

December 4, 2011

Spotify may be aiming to win the hearts and minds of app developers, but they still have some work to do when it comes to musicians.  We reported the early results of our Spotify survey here, and can now announce that the final results are…well, pretty much the same.  Once again: When asked how they […]

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Google Music stays free – adds music store and artist pages

November 17, 2011

    Google just launched their music store in the US, and sent a message to Google Music beta users (excerpted below): Dear Music Beta user, We’re excited to announce that Music Beta by Google is officially graduating from beta today! Google Music will remain a free service, and you can continue to store up […]

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Are Subscription Music Services a Sustainable Business Model?

October 10, 2011

Or, how will musicians pay the rent in the 21st century? There was some spirited discussion around new business models and artist payments from online services at the Future of Music Policy Summit last week.  We will take a closer look at these issues in an upcoming article.  First, this analysis from Frank Woodworth of […]

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Why you should buy your music directly from the artist

October 4, 2011

A closer look at online earnings (and losses) per platform (originally published September 27, 2011) If there’s a lesson to be gleaned from the recent kerfuffle over Spotify and artist payments, it is this: fans of indie music should buy directly from the artist whenever possible. The dust-up started when Uniform Motion posted earnings from […]

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