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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

An Interesting Proposition – a record label for free music

Once in a while you come across a catch that you just don’t want to let go off. You’ve seen it before, and you know what it is, but because what your seeing is so different to the rest of what’s out there that you can’t bring yourself to not liking it. Cut Records has one of those catches, and the catch is this – it’s a free music record label.

Right now, there is so much free music available online – more than you can poke your proverbial stick at. So doing something different definitely helps you to stand out.  What Cut is doing is pretty smart – get a quality product (music) catalogue together, make sure that the sound of each individual release matches the overall label’s feel (brand), wrap-it-up in a nice stylistic package, and then make it available for the consumer to digest. But with expectations of the product being free, can one still gain a reward? I believe you can. Radiohead did. Now I know that they had a bit of a head-start because of their name, but what In Rainbows did show us was that people were (and still are) willing to pay for music, even when it’s out there for free. And as years went by, I realised that the idea of having music on a physical medium is not dead – it actually seems to be gaining feet. I’ve noticed that the latest trend in the indie/underground music industry is to release both digital and vinyl versions of each release, with some labels going as far as giving the mp3 away for free with every vinyl purchase. This strategy is catching on, as more and more consumers are willing to fork-out the extra dosh for the vinyl simply because of what the vinyl does. Someone said that people buy cars not so much for the ride, but for the perception that the car will create in peoples minds about the driver – a classic product personality association. The same is happening with vinyl – it’s the medium of choice for anyone that wants to be perceived as a music lover. Digital music is worthless; it’s just data that is sitting on a hard-drive. It can disappear as quickly as it came. A physical release on the other hand is something that is a bit more tangible – you can show it off to people, you can create a physical (turning into emotional) bond with it, and achieve pride in owning it. The fact that most of today’s vinyl comes in limited pressing ads to the aura of the product being “special”.

With this hunger for the physical growing, Cut could very well move into the physical/vinyl product sphere. Their product is great, generating very positive press. The free pricing model is certainly affordable (the “Pay with a Tweet” option is fantastic – let the consumer spread the word about the label/product to their friends), and the overall presentation/packaging of the product/brand is well executed. As more fans jump on the label’s bandwagon, offering limited edition paid vinyl/CD or other physical medium versions of the free digital music could be a profitable proposition. In the meantime though, let the music keep on coming.

Cut is definitely onto something here.

Dubstep and the LA beat scene; Music that is defining our culture

If you are a fan of underground music, then this is not new to you at all – dubstep and ‘beatacism’ is taking over the club scene. What started off as young producers and DJ’s making music that they (as opposed to the rest of the crowd) liked and playing it among themselves, quickly escalated into a musical movement that’s sweeping the globe. Embraced by the few that keep their ears to the ground, it is now slowly filtering into the mainstream. And these new genres of music have grown in popularity thanks to the one tool that the music industry has been fighting to curb for years – the internet.

The impact music has on our culture is undeniable – just think of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, et al and the effect their songs had on the peace/anti-war movement of the 60′s/70′s. Music is a contagious symptom of beliefs that can spread quicker than the flu. A musical movement is not just a bunch of catchy chords and melodies sung and danced to by a few people – it’s also a map by which they live their life by. And it’s those that latch-on to what is perceived to be the “new sound” that usually have the social power to influence those around them. And not just musically, but also in what to wear, eat, watch, read, follow, believe, how to act, and how to behave. Smart marketers/creatives/strategists know this very well, and tapping into the trend-setter can be a very lucrative proposition. It can also back-fire tremendously if done in a “distasteful to the cool peeps” way.

Here  are two short documentaries that talk about the evolution of dubstep; how it started, what are its beliefs, and where it is heading. There is a an interesting talk about how the internet has helped the genre and its artists to spread their sound beyond their small city borders, and into the wider world. It also talks about the old adage of “underground vs mainstream” – they listen to this music to differentiate themselves from the crowd, but the further they push their sound, the more people pick it up, which then the mainstream latches on to it, and then the movement dies and evolves into something else; a never-ending musical life-cycle.

So, have a look and see what the ‘cool kids’ are into these days. It’s just a matter of time before every brand and medium picks these genres up, and milk them for their “cool”.

Future Sound – An Underground Electronic Music Documentary

Dubbed Out In Bristol – Dubstep Documentary

Unfortunately I am not aware of any docos about the hip-hop ‘LA’ beat scene, but have a read of the link in the first paragraph (it discusses how this genre started in the parking lot and a boom-box, and moved on to every part of the world within a matter of a few years), and this one here. And while you’re at it, make sure you listen to the music too – it really is something new.

Reflective Web Media Creation: The Pitch – Web Media 507

Click on the image to download the assignmentThis is a copy of my pitch for the “Izquerda de la Copia” Reflective Web Media Creation assignment for Web Media 507. The assignment asked to present an idea for a web medium that would illustrate an issue from the unit in a way that anyone can understand and engage with it (meaning: in layman terms).

I wanted to create a funny, yet informative, video on the current copyright and illegal file sharing debate that is doing the rounds at the moment. Inspired by the “Downfall” internet meme, I created my own “foreign language” parody; I took scenes out of the Spanish-dubbed Oceans 11 movie, added my own English subtitles, flipped over the storyline, and created a trailer for a movie about a man trying to change the current music and movie industry stance on copyrighted material.

The lecturer loved the idea. However, at the time I didn’t have the script ready (I just visualised it in my mind), so the final grade for the pitch was 78%.

The final video/project can be found here.

“Izquierda de la Copia”: Reflective Web Media Creation – Web Media 507

The following video is a trailer for a movie that doesn’t exist. The movie tells a story of a man who came-up with an incredible scheme on how to revolutionise the way people consume and engage with videos and music. He believes that by easing up on intellectual property rights and copyright law enforcement, and by allowing people to share information and media products among themselves, the media and music industries present themselves with a far better chance of prosperity and long-term success.

Although his friends agree with his beliefs and views, they don’t believe that the established media organisations will listen to, and adapt his approach. Even more, they think that his scheme is in fact crazy – crazy enough that it just might work…

 

Link – www.youtube.com/user/mnapora

This video is part of my Web 507 unit at Curtin University.

The video was inspired by the works of Lawrence Lessig (his podcast series, episodes “Freeing Culture” and Tedx Talk) , Henry Jenkins, Gerd Leonhard, and the hundreds of youtubers, pirates, and bloggers who reckon that it’s time for organisations to accept that the Internet has changed the way we behave and interact with media content, how we consume it, and how we interact with each other. It’s time to embrace the revolution…

 

A media futurist on the future of Social Media

I stumbled across this talk by Gerd Leonhard while looking for inspiration on how our future will change thanks to the role that social media play’s in our current daily lives. He has some very interesting views and opinions on how we, as a society, will change the way we communicate, receive information, interact with each other, and trade in the near future. He covers a wide range of topics, from the music industry, television, communication, social behavior, public relation, marketing, and more. It’s worth a look.

A few musical numbers from yours truly

If I feel the urge and have some spare time, I like to make beats.

These two came about while being really inspired by a load of great music coming from L.A., U.K., and France. At the time, their music made me feel that one can really achieve and do something special. With that in my mind, I decided to make these, rather than my university assignments. It’s pretty much a hurrah-optimistic form of procrastination…

Enjoy!

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/8209179" params="show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=de00eb" width="100%" height="81" ]

 

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/2725025" params="show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=de00eb" width="100%" height="81" ]

Businesshead: “The King of Limbs” and its early promotional success

It’s been less then a week since the release of the latest Radiohead album, The King of Limbs. As a Radiohead fan, the first 24 hours have been very analytical, and no matter how excited I was about hearing the new material, I just couldn’t help myself to reflect back, and think about “In Rainbows” and what the album meant to me and millions of other fans worldwide. “In Rainbows” wasn’t just the music; it was a social experiment that flipped the script on how people buy, interact with, and consume music. It achieved both critical and commercial success, at a time when artists and labels were accusing the internet of hurting music sales, with profits from physical mediums dropping due to rampant piracy. What “In Rainbows” showed was that people are still willing to pay money for good music, and the internet is a very good tool for reaching those consumers. The key was to let go of the traditional music sales model, and embrace a new concept. Radiohead were able find that magic formula, and with it, the cult of “In Rainbows” was born. (more…)

Marketing promo of January 2011 – Flying Lotus ‘Augmented Reality’ app

On January 12, I received an email and noticed a Facebook notification from Warp Records about their new Trigger Webcam app for the Flying Lotus ‘Cosmogramma’ album. To complement the release, Warp decided to give away some of the album’s out-takes and remixes for free. It rewarded those that bought the original album (on vinyl, CD or mp3), as the only way of obtaining the free material is by ‘unlocking’ it through an app using the album’s original artwork.

Since the whole experience is rather fun, you just can’t help to think how awesome FlyLo and Warp is. Not only is this app encouraging fans to purchase physical and legal downloads of music, it also encourages people that already have the album/product/brand to pick it up, hold it in their hands, and spend some time with it. Pure genius if you ask me…

Anyway, I was so impressed with the positive feedback that this app generated, I decided to save the Facebook announcement and it comments as a pdf – it’s three days of users going nuts and sharing info/download tips with themselves (you can download the pdf here).

Check out the app website and the app developer’s blog to see how it all works.

BBC News – Are record clubs the new book clubs?

A growing number of music-lovers, unhappy about the way album tracks are enjoyed in a pick-and-mix fashion, have decided to take action. Not content with the “fast food music” download culture, they decided to start a club where the rules are simple – no talking, no texting, and you must listen to every song on the album.

BBC News – Are record clubs the new book clubs?.

Article Review: Beat Happening – International Marketing 615

This is a copy of my article review assignment for International Marketing 615. The assignment asked to choose a recent newspaper/magazine article that describes a situation that could possibly impact organisations from a marketing perspective.

I chose an article that described the current hip-hop scene in Los Angeles and how the changes and trends that are taking place in that community are slowly spreading and being adapted by the rest of the world-wide hip-hop scene.

Final mark for this piece was a distinction – not too sure what was good/bad, as the lecturer did not provide any feedback (I took this unit on-line – never again. Online feedback by Curtin for this unit was useless, ie non-existent). Anyway, hope it helps you out. And no copying! :)

XLR8R Magazine

It’s the place to go if you want to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the so called “underground” music scene. After all, music is a huge influence on our culture, so it’s good to know what occupies the hearing space of people out there.

Link – XLR8R.com

Stones Throw Records and the Resource Advantage Theory – Competitive Marketing Strategies 563

This is a copy of an assignment I did for my Competitive Marketing Strategies unit that’s part of my coursework. The assignment asked to choose a current marketing strategy and how it fits in within Sheth’s Resource Advantage theory. There’s quiet a few references in there, ranging from hip-hop sales figures, the R-A theory, co-branding references and Brainfeeder and Stones Throw articles/interviews. Could be a good starting point for any assignment that deals with hip-hop and/or the label (love their music btw).

Ah yes, final mark for the assignment was a High Distinction, so yeah, very happy with it.

And it goes without saying – say no to plagiarism! I’ve put it up here mainly because of the reference list. Don’t use it as a free pass from doing work.

It’s nice to be suprised…

I want to share a very positive brand experience that I encountered the other day. I’m a keen vinyl collector (a physical music collection is so much better than a whole hard drive of mp3’s, but that’s another story) and as any collector knows, missing out on an item is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to you – a collection is not complete if you do not have the full set of whatever it is that you collect. So, to make sure I will get my hands on the new Jneiro Jarel EP, I emailed the online store that I usually make my purchases with, Bleep.com.

The response I got was more than expected; not only did they offer to email me when they receive the vinyl in stock, they also thanked me for my loyalty (see below).

Very well played Bleep – you got yourself one happy customer.