Tag Archive for 'Music Distribution'

Kid Koala Releases New Album As Mini Gramophone

Time and time again we stress the importance of getting your fans involved with your music. Whether you host a remix contest, make an iPhone app or generally think out of the box when promoting your music. Here is a great example of a creative way that Canadian DJ, Kid Koala, released his music with his fans. He made the CD packaging for his recent record “12 Bit Blues” into a DIY mini record player with a mini record inside the CD box. Extremely creative, innovative, and a memorable event for any casual fan. Beyond this particular record, Kid Koala has made his past concert experiences interactive as well.

More power to you Kid Koala! Share your creative ways of interacting with your fans below!!

BFM Digital and MobBase Partner to Bring Custom iPhone Apps to Thousands of Artists

BFM Digital, a leading digital music aggregator and distributor of independent music, has partnered with MobBase to provide affordable and cutting-edge iPhone applications to its clients. MobBase makes it easy for artists and labels to create, launch and manage their own, custom iPhone applications. MobBase was built by MixMatchMusic in an effort to give artists the tools they need to cultivate and engage their fanbase. MobBase is a low cost way for artists to share music, photos, videos, tweets, news, information about shows, merchandise and more with fans on their mobile devices.

“BFM continually strives to offer the latest marketing tools to our clients through a suite of services. In today’s DIY environment, access to new and affordable technologies is a vital part of any independent artist’s career, and mobile marketing through such applications are quickly becoming a must have for artists. MobBase and their easy to use, affordable way to build an iPhone app make them a perfect addition to our suite of services,” says BFM’s CEO, Steven Corn.

BFM is also launching their own discovery and promotional iPhone application through MobBase. The application will showcase featured artists and releases from BFM’s extensive catalogue, and is launching with albums from Beach Boy founder Al Jardine, all-star charity compilation album Aid Still Required, which includes tracks from Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Maroon 5, and up and coming pop starlet Julia Michaels. BFM’s official application can be downloaded for free via the iTunes store here.

About BFM Digital
BFM Digital is a global digital music company committed to serving the independent music community and delivering quality music, spoken word and video content to leading online BFM DIGITAL Page 2 August 5, 2010 retailers worldwide. Representing a diverse catalog of indie labels, artists and publishers, BFM distributes to all of the major music services including iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, eMusic, Napster, Walmart, Nokia and many more. With an unparalleled commitment to personalized service, BFM works closely with their content providers from around the world to ensure maximum exposure of their catalog by customizing marketing efforts and building strong relationships with BFM’s digital store partners.

IRIS Announces Partnership With MobBase To Create iPhone Apps For Indie Labels & Artists

We’re happy to announce that IRIS Distribution, the digital music distribution and marketing company that represents many of the world’s leading independent record labels, has partnered with MobBase to provide affordable and cutting-edge iPhone applications to its labels and their artists. MobBase is the new service that makes it easy for musicians and record labels to create an iPhone app.

“IRIS is always looking for new ways to help our labels get music in the hands of fans, and to enable artists to build audiences and careers,” said Bryn Boughton, chief marketing officer. “Mobile applications are quickly becoming a ‘must have’ part of the label and musician tool kit, and MobBase provides one of the best, fastest and most inexpensive ways for our labels to create a custom iPhone application.”

MobBase, a service of MixMatchMusic, is a low cost way for musicians to share music, photos, videos, tweets, news, information about shows, merchandise and other content with fans on their mobile devices.

“IRIS presents labels and their artists with a fantastic array of tools and services to help them connect with fans,” said Charles Feinn, CEO and co-founder of MixMatchMusic, MobBase’s developer. “A custom MobBase iPhone app is a perfect complement to these tools and services – it will help labels promote their acts and help artists engage fans and ultimately, get their music heard and tickets to their shows sold.”

Mobile music marketing
MobBase gives artists a mobile, interactive fan club, storefront, merchandise table, and more.  The MobBase application is highly customizable, so artists can pick and choose the content they offer to fans and also the way that content is presented.

A custom iPhone app for as little as 50 cents a day
MobBase is priced to be accessible to any artist. It costs just $20 to get going and many artists will never pay more than $15 a month to deliver music, photos, videos, tweets, info about gigs, merch and more to hundreds of fans.

About IRIS Distribution
Founded in 2003, IRIS is the only remaining independent digital distribution company in the US. The company operates a wholly owned branded entertainment and music marketing agency, BlinkerActive.  IRIS boasts a strong roster of leading independent labels from all genres and distributes to over 450 digital outlets in 85 territories around the world.  Distribution and marketing clients include Ninja Tune, kranky, K Records, Palmetto, Scion A/V, CMH, BYO, Surfdog, Chemikal Underground, Metropolis, EMI, Projekt and more. The company is based in San Francisco and New York City.

A Music History Primer

The music “industry” has always been an extremely dynamic field that has paralleled the steady evolution of technology, business and society. The industry as we know it is more appropriately referred to as the record industry that began in the early 20th Century with the invention of the gramophone. But, the emergence of modern music is a relatively new development, as for the majority of its history, music was neither considered a form of entertainment nor a secular art.

Music (in some form or another) was an aspect of every ancient civilization, but was used in connection with religious rites/ceremonies. Similarly in medieval times, music was almost exclusively affiliated with social and religious rites and ceremonies. The secularization of music did not commence until the Renaissance, which began in the 14th Century and lasted until the middle of the 17th Century. Yet, until the 18th Century, the process of composing and printing music was mostly commissioned by the royalty and the church. In the mid to late 18th Century, performers and composers began to be commissioned by members of the aristocracy, thereby giving them commercial opportunities to market their music and performances to a more secular part of society. As such, music came to be viewed as a secular source of entertainment, evolving with the tastes of the public. As society grew to become more and more secular, so did music.

The industrial revolution of the 19th Century also greatly affected the music industry, shifting its focus from live performances to the exploitation of sheet music. While the printing press was invented in the 16th Century, the technological improvements of the steam powered press and the rotary printing press made it much faster and cheaper to print. Moreover, the industrial revolution created a middle class of society, which provided a wider consumer base for the exploitation of music. The industrial revolution also made it much cheaper to manufacture pianos, which lowered the price so that more people could purchase pianos. Because of this musicians could truly take advantage of the benefits of the printing press because not only did more people have the means to buy sheet music, but they have the ability to play the notes written on the sheet music at their homes. This lead to the proliferation of parlor music in 19th Century society.

Towards the end of this period of industrial growth, the Pianola was invented. The Pianola is a player piano that mechanically plays songs, thereby eliminating the need for any person to actually render the service of playing the music (this is where mechanical royalties entered the mix). Composers were thus given a much larger consumer base because people no longer needed to know how to play the notes on the sheet music. Rather, the notes would be played for them mechanically through the pianola. This caused for the sweeping rise of the sheet music industry, culminating in its dominance of the 19th Century music industry. This is the point where music fully became a product and no longer a service; the majority of money to be made was now in the sale sheet music, and not in the employment of the artist’s services. However, this was only the beginning of the productization that would dominate the business models of the music industry for the next 150 years.

In the late 19th Century, the advent of the phonogram launched the “record” industry and concluded the dominance of the sheet music industry. The gramophone was invented in 1887 and enabled people to listen to a sound recording of a performance without having to be at the performance. This was far superior to the player piano because it embodied a musician’s actual performance, instead of mechanically reproducing the notes written on sheet music through one single piano. An audience could hear an entire orchestra play a composition in exactly the way it was intended to be heard. The fact that the gramophone was cheaper to purchase than a player piano (and took up much less space) also contributed to its popularity.

The popularity of the gramophone became fully realized with the boom of radio in the 1920s. Radio became the primary source of entertainment in society, and as such, it became the primary marketing tool for the selling of records. Via the radio, a listener could constantly be exposed to new music that could be purchased for the gramophone. Musicians could now, for the first time, market to the general public, as since most Americans listened to the same radio stations. Phonograph recordings completely replaced sheet music as the primary source of revenue for musicians and forever changed the concept of music from a dynamic and interactive entertainment experience to a fixed product.

The original phonographic cylinder was soon replaced by a succession of new mediums, namely vinyl records, beta tapes, cassette tapes, and finally compact discs. In the 20th Century, music has become synonymous with the medium in which it is delivered. As technology improved, the recordings grew in quality and the devices needed to play these recordings lowered in price. As such, the notion of music as a product was easily spread throughout the world, and large profits were earned by the greedy labels.

In the 1980s the industry began making a transition from analog technology to digital, beginning with compact discs and culminating with digital formats distributed online. Digital technology has now been perfected and much like the gramophone did, it has completely revolutionized music creation and distribution. Although the digitalization of the industry has caused ramped piracy and copyright infringement, the Internet and the digital form is an enormous source of revenue and an extremely powerful marketing and distribution tool. In the last few years, digital sales have continued to rise, while CD sales have continued to plummet.

Many argue that the digitalization of the music industry, the latest trend in a long history of industry changes, has caused the retransformation of music from a product back into music as an entertainment service, much like it was before sheet music. The digital form has enabled music not to be tied to the media it is played on, and by separating the music from the product, it can be argued that music now exists as content, or rather a service.

So what do you think? What will the music industry look like in the next 10 years? How about in the next 50?