Archive for the 'General Music Business' Category

Oct 19 2012

SXSW Music Accelerator

Working at a few startups over the years, and now hiring them/employing their technology, I’ve learned the same lesson many times over. A solid product takes much more than a good idea. It needs fuel in the community, brilliant execution, and the occasional dose of right place/right time.

SXSW Accelerator looks to give the right forum for music startups to get past development and get in front of those that can help or need the product. If you are unfamiliar, the details can be found at At minimum it’s a good opp for feedback, exposure, and possibly bragging rights!

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Jun 12 2012

Passion > Almost Everything

The single most consistent lesson I’ve learned in life is that if you find passion, dig in with all your might. Be relentless, be ambitious, contribute more than what your job description defines, never accept what you know to be false, wake up early and go to sleep late – whatever it takes to keep it bolted to your foundation.

I’ve been fortunate to make a career out of applying my passion to those in need of my skills. My dad teaching me to hack an Apple IIe when I was six, coupled with music being equivalent in importance as air and water made the path clear. But as we learn daily, most people never get to take music beyond a hobby – at best it becomes a spectator sport if you chase it.

In 1994 I set out on a path that started in college radio, took me through three record labels, my own digital marketing agency, contributing to industry organizations, a decade of speaking engagements all over the country, and now to a company I’ve admired and followed since I was a young teen.

I’ve enjoyed almost every job I’ve had – all the way back to rocking the photo department at Sav-On in 1993. There’s only one job I had that was so far removed from my true self that I ran out the door screaming, cloud-of-dust style. Three days later I was employee number six (thirteenth ever) at a software startup in the basement of a downtown Seattle bookstore. I went from utter discontent to a feeling of zen in a weekend.

That was a long time ago, and it taught me a very valuable lesson – knowing what you don’t like is usually more important than having a rigid definition of what you’re after. We can’t all have careers that would impress our 14-year-old selves, but as long as wherever you find yourself is infused with passion, you’re doing it right.

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Jan 30 2012

The Sky Is Rising

Interesting report published on TechDirt (with great analysis over at Hypebot):

  • Entertainment spending as a function of income went up by 15% from 2000 to 2008
  • Employment in the entertainment sector grew by 20% — with indie artists seeing 43% growth.
  • The overall entertainment industry grew 66% from 1998 to 2010.
  • The amount of content being produced in music, movies, books and video games is growing at an incredible pace.

More info here:

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Mar 24 2011

Sheer Brilliance

…It breaks down like this: developers signing up to use the Echo Nest platform will have the option to access the IDJ catalog without having to contact the label in advance for permission. Developers simply agree to the terms of service agreement and then are free to create any app they like using the label’s catalog with no upfront cost to license the music.

Under the terms of service, IDJ becomes the publisher of any app created as a result (meaning they still control the distribution) and will split the revenue of any commercialized app with the developer and the EchoNest. IDJ will also market the app and administer payments to music publishers when applicable. At least initially, apps will be limited to U.S. distribution only.

This is a groundbreaking deal for several reasons. First, it addresses the primary complaint music app developers have, which is that securing meetings with labels to obtain licensing right is far too difficult, not to mention expensive. For smaller, independent developers, it’s damn near impossible…

Read More

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Oct 18 2010

10 Truths About the Modern Music Business

Yes, I haven’t posted here in ages. That’s one part due to a job (or three) that are insanely demanding. But it’s also in part due to all the other places I write for. Including this one – PBS Mediashift, where I just posted 10 Truths About the Modern Music Business.

Full article at that link, but here’s the start…

I’ve been covering the digital music business for MediaShift for more than 18 months, and in that time I’ve chronicled new services and examined key trends and news. Below is a look at 10 things that I’ve come to believe are true about the modern music business.

1. The “DIY Revolution” has Been Relatively Ineffective

Although going it on your own was all the rage in 2009, reality has shown that the majority of artists still need a team around them to reach any substantial level of awareness, sales, and revenue. However, this team doesn’t necessarily need to resemble the traditional record label department structure. For many artists, surrounding themselves with a few tech-savvy friends and some seed money can generate the momentum necessary to fuel a moderate indie career. To reach far and wide enough to live off of one’s art, the task list is simply too long to tackle alone. In reality, DIY can work just fine if you modernize the traditional definition of the term.

2. Tech Can Replace/Enhance Some Functions

Technology has removed many barriers and allowed almost anyone to play the game. It has also removed the need for some of the team members that have always been needed. Recording, mixing and mastering music can be done faster and cheaper than ever before. Distributing the output digitally is near instant and inexpensive. Anyone can create digital tools that collect email addresses, stream music, sell tickets, and engage with fans. Just remember that with technology, “build it and they will come” is pure fantasy.

Read the rest here…

2 responses so far

Mar 01 2010

Remarkable Internet Stats


- There are 1.73 billion Internet users worldwide as of September 2009.
- There are 1.4 billion e-mail users worldwide, and on average we collectively send 247 billion e-mails per day. Unfortunately 200 billion of those are spam e-mails.
- As of December 2009, there are 234 million websites.
- Facebook (Facebook) gets 260 billion pageviews per month, which equals 6 million page views per minute and 37.4 trillion pageviews in a year.

Learn more by watching this video right here:

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from Jesse Thomas on Vimeo.

7 responses so far

Feb 25 2010

A Smart Musician’s Playbook for 2.25.2010

Some of the most powerful resources you have in the music industry have nothing to do with music.

I read plenty of music biz news sites and blogs, and it helps keep me aware of what’s on most of my colleague’s minds. But if it’s in those blogs, people are already talking about it and you can’t do it first.

What I care about is figuring out what’s next. Finding more efficiency. Creating something that hasn’t been done before. Taking an old concept and applying it a new way.

The best wisdom often comes from sources far from obvious. Find the tools you need, combine them with the wisdom you can find, and create something bigger than you thought.

Read Seth’s Blog to get perspective.

Use Evernote to boost productivity.

Fire up Chat Roulette for creative purposes instead of just showing people your junk.

RSVP for every single SXSW party, but don’t get there before me and take my spot.

2 responses so far

Feb 24 2010

Useful Links 2.24.10

A good mix of productivity, outreach, and social media management links…

What Sort of Checklist Should You Be Using?

How To Create the Perfect Facebook Fan Page

Marketing to Mommy Bloggers: When Bad Outreach Goes Good

HOW TO: Deal With Negative Feedback in Social Media

Can One Bad Tweet Taint Your Brand Forever?

Branding 101: How to Write a Positioning Statement

One response so far

Feb 08 2010

Rent Vs. Own – The Streaming Debate Continues

I’ve posted my newest article for PBS Mediashift, titled Rent vs. Own: The Streaming Music Debate Continues

I basically sum up the current state of the debate, the players, and what it will take for mass adoption. A quick and hopefully informative read to catch you up on where things are at in the streaming/subscription world.

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Jan 26 2010

NARIP Marketing Panel in Phoenix Tomorrow

A quick note to let you all know I’ll be in Phoenix, AZ Wednesday January 27th, speaking on the NARIP panel “How To Create A Grand Slam Music Marketing Plan”

Get a music marketing plan started in one session. Boost the effectiveness of the plan you already have. A great marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated. A good one can be just one page long. Spreadsheets, graphs and numbers are not necessary.

But you NEED a plan. Lack of a good plan destroys more careers than lack of talent. Good marketing is simply getting your work to the largest number of people at the lowest possible cost.

Three music marketing experts give you the facts you need to take your artist to the top in this special NARIP session.

More Info:

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