Posts tagged: Music

Free Doomtree MP3!

By admin, October 18, 2011 12:52 pm

Doomtree’s new album No Kings doesn’t drop until November,

but you can get a sneak peek.

logo

COPYCATS is handling the CD manufacturing for this album,

and Wired.com is premiering Doomtree’s single The Grand Experiment now.

You can download the track for free, and get a sample of what’s to come when this amazing album drops.

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of the disc!

Rock Band Game Platform Opens to Indie Music

By mvt2412, July 22, 2009 12:13 pm

The popular video game “Rock Band” is letting indie artists submit their music to be used in the game, but is it really worth it? Check out the article here.

Many indie artists are desperate to get their music out to the public. Is Rock Band the way to do it? Let’s weigh the pro’s and con’s.

Pro:

  • If you manage to get music on Rock Band, it becomes visible and accessible by every single owner of Rock Band.
  • Adjustable price for your music. Anywhere from $0.50 to $3.00.
  • 30% profit from every sale.

Con:

  • $99 charge per year, with no guarantee that the music will actually sell.
  • The process for submitting music is lengthy, with no guarantee that the music will be accepted.
  • Only 30% profit from ever sale, as opposed to 70% on iTunes.

In my opinion, putting your music on Rock Band is a risk. However, the most that you can lose is $99 and a few hours of your time. If an artist has the time and is willing to take the risk, then why not? But for many indie artists, their time would be better spent getting their name in the public eye in more effective ways.

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Michael Tuschman

COPYCATS Media Marketing Intern.

Weird Ways to Distribute Music: Do They Work?

By mvt2412, July 20, 2009 2:15 pm

I came across an interesting article over at wired.com about new ways that artists are marketing and selling their music. Check out the article here.

According to the article, teenagers are less frequently downloading music and more frequently using online radio sites like Pandora. To combat this trend, artists are trying to find more creative ways to market and sell their music. Some of these are a bit absurd, and range from offering a free music download when you purchase a can of soup, to selling music in older formats (8-Track anyone?). Some artists are even offering t-shirts that include a download of their album. The question is “Is any of this effective?”.

It’s anyones guess which, if any, of these things will catch on. However, I’m willing to bet that at least a few of them will NOT catch on. Especially the ones that use older media formats…

cassette-tape

While selling music on a cassette tape would certainly make you different, I don’t think it would necessarily increase sales. I doubt that the current generation of iPod users would trade their iPod that carries multiple thousands of songs, for a walkman just to listen to one cassette. In fact, check out another article on that subject here. The same is true of artists who are offering their music on the now ancient 8-track.

Some of these methods, on the other hand, have great potential.

remixable

Some artists are offering iPhone apps that allow users to not only listen to their music, but remix it as well. In my opinion, something like this could really take off. It can be downloaded instantly, used wherever you are, and is compatible with an iPod. I can fully imagine many teens using something like this, where I cannot with something like an 8-track version of an album.

Make sure to check out the article here.

Michael Tuschman

COPYCATS Media Marketing Intern

Before iPods, There Was The Walkman

By copycatsmedia, June 29, 2009 3:02 pm

Old Sony Walkman Cassette PlayerThere was a great article over at BBC News written by a teenager who trades in his iPod for a classic Sony Walkman for a week.  It may not seem like that big of a deal to a person like myself who’s in his mid-twenties, because I used to tote one of these around when I was a kid.  It’s funny listening to him marvel at the device, but being that he is a teenager and born after 1990, he’s probably never actually seen or used on before.

It’s a good article to read not just because of the nostalgia, but also because he points out a couple advantages of the Walkman.  It’s funny that Apple has yet to add such simple features to the iPod.  I’m not going to switch back to using a Walkman just for multiple headphone jacks or a built-in AM/FM radio, but it sure would be nice to have it in an iPod.

Musical T-Shirts?

By chrisbrummund, June 18, 2009 10:49 am

I came across this post at USA Today by way of @artisthouse’s Twitter feed.  It highlights an interesting idea dubbed as “The Music Tee.”

Front of music t-shirt, worn by skinny, pretty people

Front of music t-shirt, worn by skinny, pretty people

The concept is simple; purchase a band t-shirt that has a website URL and special code on the tag for you to download the album.  The innovators who thought of this idea are going through a fancy-pants clothing company, so the shirt listed here costs $60.  Zoiks!  I understand paying a little bit more for the shirt and the downloads, but my Midwestern sensibilities tell me that is too much.  I think $15-$20 would be a more favorable price, and I’m sure there will be some artists who will sell at that price.

This would be something any artist could do.  COPYCATS Media offers download cards that work on the same principle (give a unique redemption code for consumers to enter online and receive downloads).  An independent artist could print up T-shirts and tag download cards to them.  The only downfall is production cost, since T-shirts cost a lot more to print than CDs.  You could enhance your merch stand by still selling CDs along with the T-shirt/Downloads combo.

Back of the t-shirt with the track listing

Back of the t-shirt with the track listing

There’s also a good opportunity to cross promote items.  If you are an independent artist or label, try to partner up with a local clothing designer to package downloads with their clothing.  The designs wouldn’t necessarily be promoting the band or label, but they could still include a sampling of tracks from them.  This would help get your music into nontraditional retail outlets.  Just an idea.

Turn the Radio Off and Start Your Own Channel

By chrisbrummund, May 19, 2009 1:58 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

I found a great article over at Music Think Tank that outlines an interesting idea for distributing and promoting new music in the future.

Turn The Radio OffAs a musician, you may develop a “survival-of-the-fittest” mentality and see other bands and artists as your competition.  Instead of fighting against your fellow musicians, the article suggests uniting together and forming your own internet radio station based on the particular niche market you serve.  Get a concentrated group of artists to join in and form a co-op of sorts, then start building a channel for like mined fans to follow.

You can read the article in full to get a better idea about what this author advocating.  But I’d like to just focus on this excerpt:

It’s essential to find unencumbered songs (no strings attached - any deal is possible) that squarely appeal to the niche you are targeting. Each song will have to meet a quality threshold and you will have to monitor your traction analytics (plays, skips, session ends, downloads, etc.) to determine when it’s time to say goodbye to certain songs. You will also have to set all politics and personalities aside when programming your station. Death occurs for a proposition like this when you start spinning songs and featuring videos because you like the person more than his or her music.

 This paragraph puts the emphasis on quality.  You need to play good music to build credibility as a trust source of *insert genre here* music.  Analytics are suggested to determine which songs should go and which should stay.  But won’t this make your new music channel just like the commercial radio stations and big record labels we were supposedly fighting against?  If you boot off the least popular songs and artists, you’re left with playlists that spin the same popular artists constantly.  It’s no different then your typical Top 40 radio station.

As a channel manager, you’d be in charge of finding new music to keep your playlists fresh.  This would involve quite a bit of hustle.  Sure, there are plenty of bands out there, but how many fit within your niche channel?  And how many of those bands are willing to become an active participant in your channel?  Finally, how many of those bands are good enough to be on your channel?

This is where it gets fun.  It’d be a lot of work to make something like this happen, but I’d imagine it gets a lot easier once you have a large group of solid artists to work with.  So who’s ready to give this a shot?

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Is Technology Good for The Local Music Scene?

By chrisbrummund, May 11, 2009 4:25 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

In some ways, music seems to becoming more localized with technology.  That doesn’t seem right, does it?  You would think the internet, with it’s file sharing and streaming capabilities, would be making all the music out there more global.  But with so many artists emerging a pushing their stuff online, music consumers have to start making choices.

I came across this little news bit about the rising hip-hop scene in Nigeria (complete with a video clip from CNN).  The article cites computers and cheap recording software leading to better sounding music recordings.  The music fans there have begun to choose home-grown music over imported tunes from the US and Europe.  Is this starting to happen over here on the city or state-wide levels?  I think it is.

Here’s my reasoning: just signing up on MySpace and befriending a couple bands will lead to daily friend requests from musicians all around the world.  They are all going to be asking you to “check them out.”  I believe a typical music consumer would tend to pay more attention to bands that they have a chance to see perform, and those bands are more likely going to be local.

Consumers will still be influenced by traditional media channels when choosing music.  If you subscribe to Rolling Stone or Spin magazine, you’ll likely check out the bands that they write about.  You’ll still check out songs that you hear on TV, movies, and commercials, too.  But when navigating the vast seas of social media, I think local music will have the advantage.

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From There to Here

By copyzac, May 6, 2009 10:45 am

Posted by Zac Boyd

I’ve grown up around music. Somehow, it has always been a big part of my life. My folks got caught up into the scene that the 70’s had a tendency to produce. Everything was all about the booze, the drugs, and the rock n’ roll. They lived their lives the way you see played out in movies like Almost Famous. Having kids didn’t change that aspect. Up until the time that I was seven years old, there was always some sort of booze, drugs, and all sorts of rock n’ roll records around the house. That was the norm for our family.

Things changed drastically once my Dad decided to change around his focus from all of the latter mentioned vices to religion. He came home one day and dumped the booze down the drain, flushed the drugs, and burned every rock n’ roll album that was in the house. The lifestyle was to change. He felt that he had to replace his life, with a completely new and different life that only involved religion. To him, rock n’ roll was of the devil.

After the change over, my Dad would soon become an ordained minister. He became a Pentecostal pastor for a church and the music in the house went more downhill. Instead of rock n’ roll, we were listened to Praise and Worship music that was to be sung in the church. This of course is not to be confused with Hymnals (although by the time I was out of the house, I pretty much knew all of those like the back of my hand as well).

The problem, though, was that my Dad decided that the churches where he preached needed music to accompany the sermon. To enhance the services he led every Sunday morning, he gave a drum kit to my brother, a guitar to me, and then proceeded to teach us the basics so we could be his band. We caught on pretty quickly to our respective instruments and played the services every Sunday morning.

The problem with handing instruments to us eager children, is that we had a tendency to grasp onto the instruments and their background when it’s something as cool as a drum set or a guitar. Being so enthralled with the guitar and the different sounds that I could make, I started to listen to music that was not allowed in our household. My parents refused to let us listen to anything that had distortion on it, or didn’t play into the Christian scene.

Like any warm blooded child would do, we did exactly the opposite of what our parents wanted. I would snag any sort of record from kids at school that had guitar licks on it. They blew my mind. I was starting to listen to older records like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and was blown away by how amazing the guitar riffs and tones were. It was a great distance away from the typical music I listened to at home.

It wasn’t until after my parents found my hidden stash of records that I decided to start to look into other avenues of music. If they didn’t like the music they confiscated, they were bound to hate the music I brought into the house shortly thereafter. Keeping the records and tapes hidden again, I found myself trying to dig into music that I felt was evoking more emotion than what I was listening to before.

I wanted something that was completely new to me and everyone else at that point. I started picking up CD’s at record stores that none of the other kids at school were listening to yet. I’d pick up CDs they would probably never even hear of. It made me feel like I was scouting out new music. I remember walking into a record shop and buying Korn’s self titled debut, Deftones’ “Adrenaline”, Tool’s “Aenima” and the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.” These were all discs that I wasn’t familiar with and that I knew no one in my school was listening to yet. These albums have become milestones in my youth. I still listen to each individual disc from time to time.

I was never really good at hiding my records, or maybe my parents were just that good at finding them. Once I got out of the house, it was open game for whatever I wanted to listen. Every pay day I would find myself at the CD store. Directly after work I would leave and end up spending hours digging through disc after disc. I picked up obscure CD’s, but would also try to stay up with the latest mainstream music that was on the radio. I always enjoyed finding a band before they became popular on the radio. It always made me feel as though I had discovered them and everyone else jumped onto my bandwagon of enjoyment.

I would pick up anything from pop to the heaviest metal you could find. I loved it all. Even the music that I hated, I loved to hate. The nice part about it, was that I loved or hated it for a reason. It wasn’t because someone was telling me to love it or forcing me to hate it. I don’t segregate when it comes to the music I listen to.

Fumbling through my CD collection these days, you can find music like Alison Krauss & Union Station and discover a Dillinger Escape Plan album directly behind it. I’m in love with music. If it has a great beat, or a crazy guitar riff that sounds more difficult to play than to listen to, I love it.

So to conclude this little history of my musical upbringing, I’ll include the top 10 albums that have made the soundtrack to my life (in no particular order):

1.) Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine

2.) Zao - Liberate Te Ex Inferis

3.) Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

4.) Sigur Ros - can’t pick just one album

5.) Deftones - Adrenaline

6.) Dashboard Confessional - Swiss Army Romance

7.) Coheed & Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: III

8.) At the Drive-in - Relationship of Command

9.) Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence

10.) Far - Water & Solutions

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Music Services: Pay-per-download or subscription?

By chrisbrummund, April 30, 2009 12:21 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

I started writing up this post for another site, but then I thought, “This is related to music.  I’m going to use it for my work blog and then I can just take the day off.”  I’m kidding about taking the day off, but the rest of it is true.

I came across a good article touting all that is good and great about Rhapsody’s music service. I tend to agree with most of this article. Rhapsody gives you on-demand access to an extensive music library for $15 per month.  That’s about the same as buying 1 or 2 CDs a month.  The only other “cost” is you have to put up with their rarely-updated, buggy software.Rhapsody Logo

This article and it’s accompanying reader comments inspired me to resubscribe.  I actually had a subscription but ended it about a month ago. It wasn’t intentional. Well, it sort of was. My credit card on file had expired and I didn’t update my account with a new number. They e-mailed me a couple times before shutting down my service, but I decided to hold off on submitting payment. I thought I’d use this as an opportunity to explore some other services.

I again tried to get into iTunes. I really dig their store and the software is fairly easy to use. Unfortunately, iTunes does not offer subscription services for their music. That’s kind of a deal breaker for me.  I absolutely love the subscription model and think it’s the best choice for music fans.

As a music fan, I like to go out and explore all types of music. Rhapsody gave me an entire catalog of over 6 million tracks on demand. I could listen to them streaming online, download them to my hard-drive to listen offline, and transfer them to my MP3 player. If I wanted to burn a mix CD, then I would pay the obligatory $0.99 a track. This is perfect for music fans like myself. Unfortunately, music fans like myself are in the minority.

There’s a reason why iTunes is so incredibly popular, and it’s not just because of the iPod’s complete and utter dominance of the MP3 player market. The reason is that the $0.99-per-track model is perfect for the majority of music consumers who have a narrower listening preference. Most don’t care for full albums, b-sides, and live tracks. They are happy with just purchasing singles they hear on the radio.  Most consumers may not hear more than $15 worth of new songs in a month.

That’s perfectly fine for them, but not me.  I want the whole enchilada (sometimes with a side of rice and refried beans), and a subscription service delivers that at the most reasonable price. I wish Apple and others out there would start offering subscription plans. More competition for this market will lead to better products and services for us all.

Some people have said to me, “Wouldn’t you rather own your music?”  Ultimately, yes I would.  But due to my budget limitations, I would never be able to purchase as much music as I listen to through the subscription service.  Plus, if I am to “own” some music, I’ll go out and purchase the CD to get all the added frills.

So what say you?  How do you purchase and consume your music?  Pay-per-download?  Subscription?  Streaming online?  CDs?  Vinyl?

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Hagen’s Hardcore Heroes

By copycatsmedia, March 25, 2009 11:02 am

Posted by Jeremy Hagen

When I was about 13 years old I had a subscription to Columbia House.  As we all remember, you could get like 12 CD’s for a penny or something like that. My parents weren’t very strict at all.  They let my brothers and I pretty much do whatever we wanted and listen to whatever we wanted, which I thank them for.Sick of It All - Scratch The Surface

Music is a huge part of my life and I feel it has shaped me into the person I am today. I grew up listening to Def Leppard and Warrant and all the other bands in that genre. I soon got tired of that and at the same time started to get into skateboarding. My older brother then started listening to Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, etc., so I of course would hear this and like it. I’ve always been drawn to fast heavy music.

So when I joined Columbia House, I got to pick my first batch of CD’s. I pretty much read the description, looked at the album cover art, and based what I wanted off of that. One of the albums I got was Scratch the Surface by Sick of It All. This is the album that is responsible for getting me into hardcore music. Most people just hear noise and screaming, but to me it has a ton of passion behind it and the lyrics are for most of the part very positive.

That album is what started it all for me, and Sick of It All is one of my all time favorite bands. They have been around since the 80’s and are still putting out albums and touring the world to this day. In my opinion, their live shows are some of the best out there today. There is so much energy going on and all around fun. So go check them out if you are not familiar with them. Here is the video for “Step Down” off the album Scratch the Surface. This pretty much shows you what hardcore is all about: just having fun and being yourself.