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Google’s Music Locker … All it’s Cracked up to be? Or Just Cracked?

In a recent interview with Michael Robertson, the CEO of MP3tunes and DAR.fm, we spent a lot of time speaking about music lockers, clouds, and whether Google and Amazon would enter the arena – and if so, what could that mean to the music industry as a whole.  The timing for that Q&A was amazing and spot on.  Earlier this week, Google entered the race with a cloud locker service – and a promise to respond to the biggest question IN this space, that of copyright.

Music Beta by Google went live with more details about licensing and features on May 10th of this week. VentureBeat’s review said it was, “a web of confusing programs without a lot of instruction as to how to actually get to the music you want to hear.” Further, Business Insider said one of its early testers spent over two days to upload 1,000 songs to the service.  When asked about potential piracy and copyright issues, Google said to Gizmodo, “We will respond to requests by rights holders who feel their rights have been violated.”  So are they, in essence, waiting for the fire and lawsuits?

I’d love to hear what you all think about this topic.  Feel free to comment on my blog at https://allaccessgroup.com/blog/ or on my Facebook Group Page.

 

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

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Venture Beat: “Google’s Music Beta first look: it’s miserable
Business Insider: “Google Music … Label Cooperation Would Make It Better
Gizmodo: “Google Might Not Let You Store Copyright-Infringing Music In the Cloud

 

 

3 Best Practices for Digital Distribution & Audience Building in an Ever Evolving Online World

Over the last decade, the shift from physical media to digital distribution is a trend explored literally in front of us every single day. From the music industry, videos and movies, to information and gaming, television and radio, there’s no aspect of the media world that has not been completely transformed. An ancillary trend to this has been the increasing reliance upon service-centered business models over stand-alone content sales. Increasingly empowered consumers, who not only have greater choices than every before, are also actively creating their own content – their own music, videos, films and games – further revolutionizing an industry already under pressure to reinvent itself almost daily.  So what is an artist to do to continue to remain vibrant and build their audience in an era when even the audience itself may become a competitor on any given Sunday?  Here are 3 Best Practices for digital distribution and audience building in an ever evolving online world: Remember your ABC’s.

A. Audience Building. No matter what tactic you’re taking in your distribution, remember that your overall goal is audience building.  You might think it’s sales, and yes, of course that’s true.  But if your audience is constantly, consistently growing, your sales will be also.  If your sales are there, but your audience remains flat, sooner or later, they’ll definitely be pulled in one of the endless other directions available. Remember, even the amateur entertainers are eating up market share (Justin Beiber anyone?).  So be engaged in finding and embracing new fans and friends in as many directions as you possibly can.  To take a more in-depth look at one very powerful aspect of audience building (social media), get my comprehensive 50-page ebook.  If you would like to be on the waiting list to receive this ebook and be offered a special discounted cost, please register here. (Select eBook Pre-Order)

B. Basics. Don’t forget that for every great new idea that comes out, you still need to have your basics in place.  Wanting to go for every new option that comes down the pike (and believe me, they are almost endless right now) can easily become what I call *shiny new object* syndrome.  With all of the possibilities out there in digital distribution, don’t forget that tangible distribution still sells and builds audiences.  It’s the reason we all love souvenirs when we visit someplace new (or even someplace old).  Holding something in your hands creates an experience. So along with the endless digital opportunities, definitely be handing out CD’s, DVD’s, USB Wristbands, and amazing merch every chance you get.  That might mean at concerts and tours, or it might mean contests and giveaways on your website and social media venues.

 

C. Constant Creativity. There’s no way to stay on top of the ever-changing world of digital distribution without having a team member, mentor, or advisor in place who can keep you abreast of all the opportunities available to you, as an artist.  Digital downloads, podcasts, mobile apps, Itunes, Amazon, Virtual Worlds, YouTube, StageIt, GigMaven, EnConcert, Rhapsody, Gigswiz, and the list goes on and on. This is one of the principal reasons that I produce this newsletter each month, because sharing the best practices out there is a vital part of what we do at the All Access Group, and quite simply, bringing that knowledge to a wider audience is exciting to me.

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a note at info@AllAccessGroup.com.

To your success, Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

Michael Robertson Talks about DAR.fm, MP3tunes, Amazon and the Cloud Music Industry…

Excerpt of Kelli Richards’ Q&A with Michael Robertson, the Bad Boy of the Digital Music Industry. Michael Robertson is a longtime provocateur of the music business and the founder and former CEO of MP3.com, one of the most popular Internet music sites ever. His newest startup, DAR.fm, is a centralized Web-based TiVo for radio. Users can search the programming schedules of over 600 music and talk-radio stations and schedule DAR.fm to record up to 4 hours of any broadcast. Robertson sees this as the savior of the radio industry, and he may be right.

Michael Robertson has fought more high-profile battles with the record industry than anybody in technology, and his experience in digital music is nearly unmatched. Over his career he has raised more than $100 million in private capital and orchestrated transactions with a combined value of nearly a billion dollars. This is definitely one of the best fireside chats in a great series of impactful interviews. (To hear this entire interview, visit the Resources Page on my Website.)

Kelli Richards: Let’s jump right into present time, Michael, because it’s so compelling – later we’ll go into your remarkable background in digital music. Although it could be a big competitor to MP3tunes, Amazon’s choice to enter the “locker” business is huge. Let’s ask two questions about that. First, would you talk about the basic structure of MP3tunes and how it changes the digital music world – why it’s a better product than what Amazon’s launching – and finally, explain to our audience why, in this unique case, Amazon could prove to be more of an ally to MP3tunes than a competitor.

Michael Robertson: Amazon recently launched a sort of personal cloud music server that, on first glance, is very similar to what we’ve been doing on MP3tunes for years – in that it lets people store music online.  But there are some really big differences that consumers should know about.  One of which is that MP3tunes lets you put your music in and get your music out.  Amazon will happily store your music, but it’s kind of a sinkhole.  So if you get a new computer or you want to download your music to an iPod, etc., it’s almost impossible to do with Amazon. They literally make you click on every single song to get your music down.  With MP3tunes it’s quite different.  We literally give you software to get your music out in one click.  We’re not holding you prisoner. I believe it’s YOUR data – whether it’s your music, photos, whatever – and that should always be in full control of the consumer.

Another important difference is that we have an API. What this means is that you can connect to your music in a myriad of ways.  With Amazon, today, you can only stream your music to Android.  So maybe they’ll make an Apple IOS application and maybe they won’t, but you’re completely at the whim of Amazon. With MP3tunes it’s the exact opposite.  We publish to the whole world how anyone can make an interface to their library. What this means is you can use your Android Phone to hear your music, or your iPhone, or a Windows 7 phone, or your Palm App, or even Internent Radio – Logitech or Audiovox – stuff like that.  So we’re really trying to build an open approach – an open platform that isn’t controlled and dictated by any one company.

On the legal side, while MP3 and Amazon may be competitors on the consumer mindshare front, on the legal side they need us to win.  We’ve been a lawsuit for nearly four years with EMI music that says we’re in a state of copyright infringement when a consumer stores their music in our application.  Obviously, I disagree.  Like us, they don’t have licenses either; Amazon is an un-licensed application.  So in this regard, they are likely to be more of an ally than a competitor.

Kelli Richards: Michael, what do you think happens with Apple and Google in this niche – now that they’re said to be jumping into the cloud / locker mix?

Michael Robertson: I think that the really fascinating part of where the industry is at, is that there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of stories about what Apple and Google are going to do, but neither has done anything so far.  I think for sure they’re working on it on some level.  I’m fascinated by the state of the industry.  What I mean by that is this: Amazon has basically flouted the industry and said, “You know what, we’re not going to get a license, we’re just going to launch a service.” So the industry is now in a tough spot.  If they don’t take a legal stand against Amazon, why would Apple agree to pay them a licensing fee?  Why would Google agree to pay a licensing fee?  Let’s put this another way: Imagine two competitors decide to have a lemonade stand.  Imagine one guy gets all his lemons for free.  And the other guy wants to compete, but if he has to pay for his lemons, his lemonade is going to be more expensive and he’s not going to be able to compete.  And that’s sort of where the industry is.  If I’m Google or if I’m Apple, well, the music industry is very onerous. They want up-front money, guaranteed.  They want restrictions and limitations and regional restrictions and things like that.  And you don’t get any of those if you go for an unlicensed structure… So the music industry is really in a perplexing situation.  If they don’t take a legal stand with Amazon, they’re going to see a big response in the industry.  A lot of companies are watching this and will be over the next six to twelve months, to see if they move toward a licensed or unlicensed approach.  If I were the industry, I’d wait and see what the consumers wanted.

(To hear this entire interview, please visit the Resources Page on my Website.)

 

*To get your own 2 GB of online music storage at no cost, visit https://www.mp3tunes.com

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

Peter Rafelson – A New Chapter in a Long Hollywood Legacy

When you talk to Peter Rafelson, whether you know him or not, you cannot help but feel like you’ve been friends for years. His open demeanor and easy going style just feel warm and familiar. That laid back nature is a strong irony, of course, when held up to his long list of achievements in the music and film industries. For those of you who don’t know, Peter Rafelson is from some pretty good Hollywood stock. The Rafelson family has an amazing legacy in Hollywood – beginning with Samson Raphaelson, who wrote The Jazz Singer in the 1920’s. Peter’s father, Bob Rafelson, was among the first catalysts of the independent film movement of the 1960’s (and the Producer of cult favorite, The Monkees).

Growing up surrounded by Hollywood royalty, like Jack Nicholson, The Beatles and Bob Dillon, and being immersed in the renegade, independent film business of the 1960’s, Rafelson was blessed with a myriad of artistic role models. He shared this thought with me in a recent interview, “Growing up in that environment, it was very hard to distinguish between dreams and reality. For me, seeing people in my living room and then watching them on TV that night didn’t seem unnatural. Because of that, I was encouraged to and supported in pretty much anything I wished to pursue.”

Of course, it’s a certainty that being surrounded by a successful family tapestry can go either way. It can create a weight so heavy that it weighs down its subject – or it can become like wings, moving a person to even higher achievements. Thankfully for Rafelson, and for us, it’s always been the latter. Believing he could create his own legacy, he went into the music industry at a very early age and began a long, long success story that continues to be written.

As a songwriter and musician, Peter has worked with industry giants like Jackson Browne and Sir Elton John. He’s written a long list of successful songs, including Madonna’s # 1 single “Open Your Heart” (with 27 million sold) and top 10 singles for Stevie Nicks and Britney Spears, among others. In fact, Rafelson has had more than twenty #1 songs. (In addition, he has acted in over 10 feature films, including fame.) In his current life, he’s signing and producing artists for his own label, RM Records, as well as developing projects for film and TV – and he recently traveled to Southeast Asia on a diplomatic mission to develop business relations for the entertainment industry. He’s also the President of Rafelson Media, which produces and consults for new technology and media companies, and his client list reads like the Fortune 500, including industry giants like Microsoft, Apple and Toshiba.

None of this defines who Peter Rafelson is as a person, of course, and how the rich tapestry of the Rafelson legacy affected his life. Before going into legacy further, be assured that Peter Rafelson is, quite simply, one of the good guys. He’s gracious, talented, extremely smart, inspiring and a thought leader in the world of technology and media. And he’s always up for a new challenge and a new project.

As a Producer and the CEO of the All Access Group, one of my passions has always been to produce a series of legacy artists who come from Rock and Roll Royalty or film royalty and how that impacts how they live their lives. So this question of legacy is one I take very seriously. Asked about this, Peter responded with his typical, uncanny honesty.

“It was intimidating. My heart goes out to anybody who has a legacy to live up to… It’s tough, because expectations are higher, and the bar has been raised substantially. The caviat is constantly comparing yourself to family members and not being discouraged and trying to find your own identity and establish and position yourself apart.”

Luckily for us, establishing his own identity was only the beginning for Peter Rafelson. A visionary, an artist, a writer, and a friend, his is a story that is surely to be continued.

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

To hear my entire interview with Peter Rafelson, see my Industry Insider Interviews at https://bit.ly/AllAccessQandA

Google kills SEO – Stay Alive with Social Media

3 Best Practices for Social Media in a Changing SEO World

 

I don’t know how many of you saw the news, but Google is changing how SEO is formulated.  What?  Yes, they’re tossing the algorithm out the window and writing a new recipe for how page ranking works.  While some of the formula will remain as it is, a huge new piece will be based on what they’re calling a “social media grid.” What that means is if you are looking for digital video cams, and I recently tweeted or posted to Facebook about digital video cams – if we are connected on either network, my post will come up in your search. This is one of the biggest changes to online marketing to come in the last decade, and definitely ramps up the importance of social media.

To that end, I am sharing with you all three best practices for underused social media avenues. This is a very brief look at a topic I’ve covered comprehensively in a 50-page ebook.  If you would like to be on the waiting list to receive this ebook (and be offered a special discounted cost), please register here . (select eBook Pre-Order)

BlogTalkRadio

 

When it comes to social networks, one of the most underutilized but amazingly useful is BlogTalkRadio.  BlogTalkRadio is effective and easy-to use as you share your expertise, to build your fan base and increase your branded recognition. It can take a little time to build a following for your live broadcasts, but the fact that you can build a library of your recordings (at no cost) is huge. It has the added benefit that your shows can be produced live, and easily downloaded to podcast for listeners to enjoy later (so don’t be disheartened if you have no live attendees the first few times you broadcast).  Listeners can call in live or conveniently listen online.  Depending on the strength of your already-existing platform of fans, BlogTalkRadio could be a super win, as far as audience participation and brand building are concerned.

This is one platform where you will need to do the tutorials so you can run the back end, but trust me, it’s an easy system to learn and use.  If you plan to run the “one-man” show, you don’t even need to use the back end – simply calling in to the host number will broadcast you live.  If you have a guest, or wish to take audience questions or comments, however, this is essential, so definitely invest the time to create a knowledge base and comfort level.  You can even have a live chat session going while you broadcast – another way to engage your audience.

Profile

 

Like all of your online spaces, be sure to set up a complete and compelling profile. This is how people will find you and your band; it’s also good for SEO purposes, sending your audience to your website, product pages, MySpace, and other social networks.

Go to https://www.BlogTalkRadio.com to get started. Once you’re on the site, click Register (on the top right hand of the page).  As you set up your profile, you’ll see that you can choose a “Display Name” – this is vital. Be sure to choose a name that identifies you and / or your band or music.  This cannot be changed, so be sure you’ve given this a lot of thought. Consider using an email address that you set up just for social media purposes. Check the “I want to host my own show,” as well as YES for the BlogTalkRadio newsletter. Once you have confirmed your registration, you’ll have an opportunity to add your other social networking sites and a description for your show.

Shows

Be prepared with the date, time and vital information when you go to set up your first show. A few tips, be sure to click on and change the duration button, as it defaults to 15 minutes. I recommend that you keep your shows to no longer than 45 minutes – the shorter the show, the more people attend and download. (In fact, the free version of BlogTalkRadio allows only for 30 minute broadcasts.)  You can upload start music for your show if you like, but I recommend NOT doing so until you have the hang of things. It’s easy to start talking once your show begins and forget to wait for the music to queue. Remember, choose a date and time you can do WEEKLY to build a following. NOTHING works as well as consistency.

You are here to build a great presence and you probably have more to share than you might realize. Holding guest interviews to half an hour is not necessarily easy either, so if this is a format you love, consider using the pro version. Do take the time to script your show, at least loosely – this can mean literally writing down every word you plan to say, or it can mean simply making a cheat sheet of things you want to share in case you go off topic or lose your place. If you’re really not sure what to start with, go through old blogs and use them as a guide or a script, or simply have a great intro and three songs that you want to share, then ask for audience questions or remarks.  Have a few friends “planted” to ask questions the first time, just to be safe.

Having guest speakers builds a closer relationship between you and your guest, so if you want to collaborate with a great musician or songwriter or producer, this is one way to begin that discussion.  Be sure to get permission from your guest to use the show for marketing purposes and even to download into a product. (It’s polite to allow them to do the same, of course.)  Other reasons you would have a speaker are to mix up your content, make your show more interesting, and especially to create joint venture opportunities.  After all, your speaker will want his or her audience to hear the show also, so it’s fair to expect them to promote it to their various lists. This provides you much-needed exposure to new audiences. Do be sure to have an approved set of Q&A in place at least a day before your call, and if they’re a musician also, you can upload their music as the lead-in for the show.

I’m going to be more technical here on the “how-to” than I have on other networks, just because BlogTalkRadio’s a somewhat of an undiscovered treasure.  I strongly suggest you take the tutorials available, but this will give you some quick “get started” instructions. When you’re ready to host your show, simply log into BlogTalkRadio and click the MyBlogTalkRadio button at the TOP right hand corner of the page. Then click the MyAccount button. (This is also how you will add new shows, or edit those you have coming up at a future date, should you need to.)  On the left side, you will see a button called My Switchboard. Once you go in there, it is fairly obvious how you will conduct your show. Some things to keep in mind are that you need to call in five minutes early. Your call-in number and HOST CODE are on the right of your switchboard. You can unmute (and mute) callers on the right by clicking on their microphone symbol. Keep in mind that if you intend to have a guest call in, you will want to know their phone number. If you will be the only speaker, you don’t even need to be near a computer, you can simply call in by phone, enter your host code, and voila!

You can also click Start Chat Button to have another facet to your call. This is where callers can type in questions and you can either type your response, or announce their question (and your answer) on the broadcast – a very sexy feature for your audience connect-ability.

 

Friends, Fans and Followers

 

BlogTalkRadio actually has a spot on their home page for helping you to promote your show. Simply hover over the HOME button on the top of the page and click HELP. This will give you a page featuring BLOGTALK 101, FAQs, and MARKETING, as well as some other useful pages. Allow yourself an hour or so to surf this info and do the tutorials involved.  I realize you maybe be overwhelmed creating great content and working with your team and running your gigs – but if you’re not also a marketing maven, then you’re missing the end game.

If you really embrace BlogTalkRadio it is one of the most interesting, easy and fun ways to build your brand. Remember to also send an email announcement to fans for every show. You can also create an “Event” on your other social networks (such as Facebook, Linkedin, etc., etc.) as well as an announcement on your Blog and Twitter page with a link to your Show. Remember to use a shortened Bit.ly link so that you can track its effectiveness. https://bit.ly

Once you’re on the air, feel free to ask business partners and / or clients, etc., if they would like to sponsor your show. This can be a very good source of revenue for you. It is also a way to create a Joint Venture – simply ask ANOTHER BlogTalkRadio host to swap sponsorship with you. That would mean that they announce you and your show at the top of theirs, and you do the same for them.

Finally, after your show has been broadcast, you can push it out onto your various online portals, such as your Facebook Profile and Fan Page, your Blog, Twitter, etc.

You can also put them up again and again, as your subject matter or music becomes relevant to various groups of people or current events and issues. After a time, these shows become a long-standing library that your audience and client base can refer back to.  Finally, you can easily download your audio, use one of many easy software options, like Jing to add a slideshow, and post it to YouTube also.

 

 

Meetup Groups – Social Media Network AND Live Networking

Meetup Groups is a very cool idea, a great social network and a terrific way for an artist to engage a fan base both virtually and in real life.  In fact, for artists and musicians, I would take the risk to say this is the most important network for you to be on.  Here’s why.  Meetup is an online portal where participants actually meet through live local, regional events (for instance, gigs, meet and greets, merch events, rehearsals, etc., etc., the list is limitless).  Let your fans and followers know about this opportunity for them to meet each other face-to-face and build their community.  In fact, SoundCloud (a great resource for bands and artists) has its own Meetup page and over 70 Meetup groups globally.  https://soundcloud.com/pages/meetups.  This is a way to encourage their users to exchange tips, answer questions, create collaboratively and learn from the success of others.  You can also run virtual events – inviting fans and members to tune in for a live BlogTalkRadio broadcast of you and your band rehearsing (for example).  (There is a fee to own a group, but you can do it for about $15 or less a month.)

Meetup works a LOT like an online group.  To begin with, you can message all of your members with updates – and you can have ONLINE meetings or teleseminars too – not just live meetings, as mentioned above.  In fact, be sure to invite your Meetup Group members to all of your events – even if it’s a group you simply belong to, in addition to those you own.  If a group you belong to doesn’t allow you to email the other members, ask the owner if they’d be gracious enough to share your event with everyone.

Profile

Once you sign up for Meetup, you’ll be asked a host of questions to help you define yourself.  Definitely do this and do it well.  Remember, you don’t just want to think about what you want, but what keywords would your number one fans use that would lead them to you.  This is a networking effort, after all.  Where would your audience be?

Joining Groups

Go ahead!  Join a few groups and attend a few events.  (You’ll see a big box at the top left of the page that says “Find a Meetup Group.”) There’s no faster way to create a buzz than to show up at a like-minded event and hand out some fliers to upcoming gigs or meet and greets.  (If you have a team, obviously you can delegate this and spread the love.)  I try to choose groups with large numbers, but even a small group of your best brand advocates (fans) can be a great way to market.  Each group you join will ask you to introduce yourself through their profile, so be prepared with your bio handy.

Friends, Fans and Followers

Here’s the how to on this to make your life easy.  The button to start a group is on the top left of Meetup.com.  They’ll walk you through the whole process.  But do have your group description written before you get there, just so you can have it thought out and effectively written.  The process of filling your meetup is amazing.  You’ll be asked to fill out a few areas of interest when you do your profile – and when you go to promote your meetup, those keywords on other people’s profiles become part of your outreach.  Meetup will basically pass along an invite to anyone who’s used the keywords you choose for your group within your regional area.

One thing you’ll definitely want to do is set up an autoresponder welcoming all new members and pointing them to your website or store – that’s a secondary place where you will provide your basic bio, product and corporate info, and where to find you (other social networks, for instance).   And definitely take it viral!  After you’ve got some momentum going, put the call out in an email and/or blog post to challenge your mob to support you.  Make it a routine to recognize those fans / friends and encourage more people to get involved.

Promote it! Send a Facebook event invite out for all of your Meetup activities and get togethers.  Then, be sure to send a link to join your meetup through all of your other social media efforts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., etc.). Not all of your members have to be local, especially if you are – or expect to be – touring any day soon.  Going to Madison Wisconsin for a gig?  Change the location of your Meetup to that zip code and start promoting it anew to build a vibrant fan base!  Cross-networking is super important by the time you’ve got all of this in place.  For instance, Set up a Twitter hashtag for your meetup group (i.e. @KelliRichards and #OnStage).  Give people a handout at each meetup with the account, the hashtag and all the presenter’s/participants Twitter accounts and ask your members to tweet about the event.

Be sure to send out emails in advance of your meetups that are hand formatted to look different from the one’s send out automatically by meetup. as people tend not to read those. Schedule these with your other emails and newsletters in mind, of course.  Remember, your list is your goldmine – don’t abuse your people & never SPAM them..

 

Mobile Messaging

 

Like I said, there are many options worth exploring in each of these arenas. I’ll be suggesting only one or two, however, in order to simplify this discussion and help you get started.  When it comes to engaging your fans, anyone who’s involved in the direct-to-fan distribution discussion will tell you that getting your fan’s email address and mobile numbers is a huge win.  By collecting contact information from followers through a sign-up form, artists can create very effective campaigns utilizing e-mail and mobile promotions. A cool ancillary program you can attach to your Fan Page to accomplish this is Mozes, a leading provider of mass promotional text messaging.  Mozes powers the mobile marketing of some big, well-known artists, such as Rihanna and Kings of Leon.  It won’t cost your users anything additional to join your “mob” and receive your texts (other than their normal text fees from their carrier), but there is a fee for you – the band or musician, which can be as low as $10 per month for a very simple campaign. You’ll need to actually request a quote through their plans and pricing page.  There are a myriad of plans, but the most simple will allow you to create a self-service platform for engaging fans and driving sales. You’ll also be able to run mobile sweepstakes, distribute mobile coupon codes and broadcast trackable links to online storefronts and sales pages.  There are higher levels of service with more applications and fan outreach options as well.

This is a very brief look at a topic I have covered comprehensively in a 50-page ebook. If you would like to be on the waiting list to receive this ebook (and be offered a special discounted cost), please register here. (select eBook Pre-Order)

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

Join Me for a “Fireside Chat” with the Leading Minds in Tech and Digital Music / Media

I’m pleased to share with all of you that my weekly “All Access Radio” Show has developed a strong and loyal following!  Over 15,000 downloads in only a few short weeks.

I’ve also been graced with some of the top digital visionaries and leading voices in the music and technology industries, including Ty Roberts, Ian Rogers, and Tom Silverman (among others).  That list continues in the upcoming weeks.  I hope you’ll be able to tune in as I interview Media Futurist Gerd Leonhard; the President of Rafelson Media (and well known songwriter) Peter Rafelson; and entertainment technology visionary (and one of the sharpest minds in digital music) Jim Griffin.

Here’s the schedule and some background on each:

Gerd Leonhard – Monday 4/11 – 5pm Pacific Time

Gerd Leonhard is a media futurist, writer, keynote speaker and strategist with 25 years in the tech and entertainment industries in all major markets. Leonhard’s focus is on new technologies in content and media and technological convergence.  You can listen online at https://bit.ly/GerdLeonhard or you can simply call in and listen over your phone (626) 696-8608.

Leonhard’s work focuses on digital content, media, telecom, marketing and communications. He was the Co-Founder and CEO of SONIFIC and in 2010 Gerd Leonhard established The Futures Agency. The Futures Agency offers think-tank and training events, workshops and executive seminars, keynote speeches and advisory services to leading companies in the telecom, media, advertising and tech industries.

Peter Rafelson – Monday 4/18 – 5pm Pacific Time

Peter Rafelson is the President of Rafelson Media, which produces and consults for new technology and media companies – with a client list that includes industry giants like Microsoft, Apple and Toshiba. Peter is a well known writer and musician, working with music greats like Jackson Browne and Elton John. He’s written many successful songs, including Madonna’s # 1 “Open Your Heart” (27 million sold) and top 10 singles for Stevie Nicks and Jane Wiedlin of the GoGo’s. In addition to scoring and composing, he has acted in over 10 feature films, including FAME. You can listen online at https://bit.ly/PeterRafelson or you can simply call in and listen over your phone (626) 696-8608.

Peter is currently signing and producing artists for his own label, RM Records and developing projects for the film, TV. Peter recently traveled to Southeast Asia on a diplomatic mission to develop business relations for the entertainment industry. He is currently a staff producer for 2K/Virgin Records, an EMI record label.

Jim Griffin – Monday 4/25 – 5pm Pacific

Jim Griffin is an entertainment technology visionary and one of the sharpest minds in digital music. Griffin is the Managing Director of OneHouse, a company dedicated to the future of music and entertainment delivery.

Jim Griffin is focused on accelerating the pace of scholarly research thru collaborative tools and open access to knowledge. He started and runs Choruss LLC, incubated by Warner Music Group, and successfully led the team that built a new model for sound recordings: Sharing music with flat-fee access to unlimited downloads for students.

He also ran the tech dept at Geffen Records for 5 years (distributing the first full-length commercial song on-line, by Aerosmith). He is often a keynote speaker or moderator (Internet Summit, Giga Conference, Comdex, CES, Webnoize…) and lectures at business schools (Harvard, USC, UCLA, Berkeley). He also serves as an expert witness in digital entertainment. You can listen online at https://bit.ly/Jim-Griffin or you can simply call in and listen over your phone (626) 696-8608.

So please join me each week as I host an intimate “fireside chat” with some of the leading minds in technology and digital music and media.  You can find my entire library of recordings at https://allaccessgroup.com/articles-and-resources/blog-talk-radio as well as some personal interviews where I share about my own experiences over a twenty plus career in music and tech.  See you there!

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

 

Making a Mark at Digital Hollywood Spring

I’m very excited to share with everyone that I will be moderating a panel session at Digital Hollywood Spring at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey on Wednesday May 4th.  Here are the details on my panel, and some more information on the event itself.

Music Apps for SmartPhones, Tablets & Social Media is one of the hottest issues and opportunities in the digital arena right now, and I’m excited to have an amazing panel of experts to lead in that discussion.

My panel:

Wed. May 4th from 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Track III:  Music Apps for SmartPhones, Tablets & Social Media – Reaching Millions – Monetization

Panel Members include:

Larry Miller, founder – Chairman, ROBA Interactive
Michael Schneider,CEO, Mobile Roadie
Les Borsai, founder, Gridmob
KamranV, CyKiK
Timo Poijärvi, co-founder, Hitlantis
John Rudolph, CEO, Bug Music
Nik Miskov, VP of Business Development, CamUp
Robert (Leo) Rodgers, Sr. VP & Label Liaison, Bungalo Records

The entire event runs from May 2 through 5 and is jam-packed with a schedule of in-depth discussions and networking focusing on the top business issues impacting technology in entertainment today.  The Summit’s unique environment enables attendees to engage, debate and refine the latest tech developments in the entertainment marketplace. With an unprecedented group of opinion leaders, the summit will focus on how companies can capitalize on innovations in technology and is a “must-attend” event for individuals and companies working at the intersection of content, technology and entertainment.  *Attendees will be free to move from conference room to conference room during the day.

If anyone has any questions or wants to make arrangements to connect with me, please reach out directly by email at info@AllAccessGroup.com

Kelli Richards, President & CEO of The All Access Group, LLC
BIG VISIONS * BIG CONNECTIONS * BIG RESULTS

Author of the forthcoming book:
“You Say You Want a Revolution:  An Artist’s Manifesto
for Success in the Digital Age” (due out 11.11.11)

Co-Author of  “The Art of Digital Music”

Jeff Brandstetter – Thought Leader in Digital Music and Entertainment

To hear the entire interview, please visit https://allaccessgroup.com/articles-and-resources/blog-talk-radio.

Jeff Brandstetter is a digital music and entertainment lawyer with over 20 years of experience in film, TV, music, literary, new media and entertainment financing matters. He is also the co-author of the highly acclaimed book “The Music Business Explained in Plain English.” He appears frequently as a speaker and moderator on entertainment law matters and is also the Co-Founder and CEO of IndiePlaya, a revolutionary online film distribution platform optimizing the marketing and distribution of independent films.

Kelli Richards: Jeff, what do you think the future of distribution is going to look like in say, five years, and how much of an impact do you think on-demand digital distribution will have on media?

Jeff Brandstetter: It’s interesting that you’re asking me this question. As you know, eleven years ago I was asked this exact same question on a panel about the future of the music industry. I think people tend to accelerate adoption faster in their minds than it actually occurs. I think the reality is that we well see physical product around for a while, and there will still be revenue around physical product for a long time… I think what the landscape will look like in 5 years is that content creators will fast become the hub. Right now everybody is chasing the distribution outlets du jour… because they see the largest numbers in terms of traffic going in that direction…. Indie content providers don’t need huge numbers of their own content to recoup their production budget, and that’s what they should be most interested in. Where are they going to maximize their revenues? As long as they’re passing their content along to 3rd parties, and essentially giving them all of the rights, wholesale, to distribute it and buying into that sell of, “You know, you’re a content provider. Don’t worry your pretty little head about this. We’ll take care of the marketing, promo and distribution. You just focus on making more content.” As long as they buy into that, there’s no rational reason to believe that the outcome is going to be any different than it’s been up until now – which is that the vast majority of them aren’t going to make any money.”

Kelli: I don’t want to live in the way back machine, but that was one of the main impetuses, as you’ll recall, for Todd Rundgren and I crafting Patronet fifteen years ago. The goal was to really encourage artists and other content creators to take the reins and go direct to their fans with their brands – and to see themselves as a brand and, frankly, to model 80 / 20 where they were making the majority of the money – to a smaller audience perhaps, but with fewer middle men.

Jeff Brandstetter: No doubt about it, it was a good model

Kelli: So, Jeff, how important is buzz? Do you think it’s vital to a label that an artist has a social media platform and following – or is having a great sound still the number one driver to getting signed?

Jeff Brandstetter: I think the two go hand in hand. I want to believe that, on the audio side, having a great sound – or a great product whatever vertical you’re talking about – is still then number one driver. Now if you’re talking about getting signed – getting picked up by a major label – you’re talking about the distinct minority of artists who get picked up by a major. But when it comes to social media, disintermediation is happening on the promo side, but it’s not happening in the terms of the monetization. What I mean by that is just because you’re able to promote your brand using social networking doesn’t mean that you, as the artist, are actually reaping the lion’s share of the benefit of that.

Kelli: Unless of course the only way somebody can buy your CD – or one of the ways – is through your website, where the vast majority of the proceeds are going directly into the artist’s pocket, I think most fans would want that to happen. Given the choice, I think if they knew that they could support the artist by buying direct, more would. And that’s why it’s important for an artist to sell their music and to collect email addresses on their website, in addition to having a social media platform to promote from.

Jeff Brandstetter: That’s exactly right.

You can catch Kelli’s show every Monday at 5pm PST. https://BlogTalkRadio.com/AllAccessRadio.

 

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

The Futures Agency

I was recently invited to be part of The Futures Agency by my good friend and colleague, Gerd Leonhard.

For those of you who do not know, The Futures Agency is the name of Gerd’s company, but he’s also created an online industry think-tank of friends and colleagues. I’m super excited to be part of this think-tank and elite group of leaders in the digital industry. I’ll be writing more about this over the coming weeks and months, but for now, I’d like to invite everyone to *like* The Futures Agency Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FuturesAgency to become part of the growing conversation around creating meaningful change in how data is shared, sold and created.

Here’s a great example of Gerd Leonhard (at TEDx Warwick).  For more information about Gerd Leonhard’s company, The Futures Agency, please visit his website: https://www.thefuturesagency.com

TEDxWarwick – Gerd Leonhard – Friction is Fiction: The Future of Business, Communications and Media
To your success!  Kelli Richards, CEO of The All Access Group

* A few notes: TFA is based in Switzerland and is currently comprised of 15 Associates working directly with Gerd Leonard on an independent basis: Jack Myers, Glen Hiemstra, Ross Dawson, Mike Masnick, Alan Moore, Jonathan MacDonald, Kei Shimada and Didier Marlier, to name only a few of them. Gerd Leonhard will serve as CEO and plans to grow his company into one of the most amazing agencies on the planet, based on 5 key principles: 1. Knowledge grows when shared, therefore we share everything 2. Proudly find elsewhere (PFE) 3. Do what you do best and link to the rest (*Jeff Jarvis) 4. Spend less time being important and more time being relevant 5. The leaders of the future are connectors – not just directors.

Gerd’s free iPhone / Android apps are available here: https://gerd.fm/cvd1lK

An Interview with Dave Kusek, of the Berklee School of Music, and the Co-Author of “The Future of Music”

I recently interviewed Dave Kusek, of the Berklee School of Music, and the Co-Author of “The Future of Music.” Dave Kusek is a digital music executive and is responsible for helping to create the market for digital music as an entity, and in 1980 he founded the first music software company, Passport Designs, which made it possible for musicians to record and produce their music at home with its award-winning software.

The Future of Music is a best-selling music business book, and wildly popular among industry executives and musicians themselves. Dave Kusek also provides advisory services to the music and media industries via Digital Cowboys. He is a co-developer of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) industry standard that opened up electronic music to millions of people. His efforts, along with others, set the stage for the multi-billion dollar digital music market that exists today.

He created a hugely successful online music school berkleemusic.com for the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Berkleemusic has become the world’s largest music school teaching over 15,000 students a year globally.  Kusek has written for or been featured in the NY Times, Boston Globe, Billboard, Wired, Associated Press, MTV, CNBC, Forbes, NBC-TV, Nightly Business Report, NPR, Financial Times, and is a featured speaker at Midem, Digital Music Forum, NAMM, AES, IEBA, MacWorld, Comdex, Digital Hollywood and has been a featured guest on radio and television stations around the world.

 

Here’s a brief synopsis of our discussion… you can hear the entire recording at:  https://allaccessgroup.com/articles-and-resources/blog-talk-radio/all-access-radio-interviews/

 

Kelli: Dave, talk about the future of Digital music if you would. With the role of labels changing almost daily, where do you think the industry is headed?

 

Dave Kusek: I have been working in the music industry all my life. I was one of the first to capitalize on the commercial potential of computers and music and have been having lots of fun in this space ever since. We’re missing a new format.  There’s no new format to monetize, and without that, I think it’s going to be very difficult making music.  Without that new format, I think that business might just go away.  There’s no real indicator that recorded music in any form is going to turn up in any way or become a revenue generator in the next five years.  If we had a new format that was valuable enough and hard enough to come by, then recorded music might come back.  But it may just be that recorded music was an anomaly in time.  Something you could make money at for 70 or 80 or even a hundred years at its end, but only for that moment in time.

 

Kelli: What role do you think direct-to-fan distribution is going to play going forward?Talk about how you think this could create what you’ve called a middle class of musicians, and in that context, what do you think will happen to the big labels, as a result.

Dave Kusek: I do believe the opportunity to make music is there for anyone who wants to do it – and anyone who wants to try and turn that activity into money or a living has an opportunity to do it.  it’s always been difficult, but I think there are tools today to promote and distribute your music and communicate with your fans that are so beyond what we could even think about five or ten years ago.  But if you have a good team around yourself, you can make a good living being an artist.  Good being a relative term.  It’s very difficult to go and make $25 million dollars – but it’s not that hard to make $50 grand or $150 grand depending on how big your team is.  … I think there’s a lot of opportunity – more than ever – for people to make a living in music.

 

If you build a good team around yourself – a business person, a marketing person, someone who understands the web, who understands mobile, who understands cell phone communication, how to build a community, how to build an audience, you can do pretty well.

 

Kelli: You seem to be very active on social media – what role do you see that playing for artists as time goes by?

Dave Kusek: I think it’s a great way to distribute your music and to distribute information about yourself and what you’re up to.  To communicate directly with people if you have the time for that and you have set up a structure that allows that to happen.  It’s a way to connect on a local level with people far more easily than any other way to do that.  Again, direct marketing techniques applied in the modern era.  I mean, I could find everyone in the Chicago area if I go there.  Either Meetup or have a meet & greet, or come to my show, or tell your friends, or have a contest, or whatever.

 

I think the difficult part is doing it all yourself.  As an artist, you should be focused on making music, writing great songs, practicing, playing with other people  – you should have your brother, your cousin, a friend, someone you hire working on the website, focused on the social.  It’s so hard to do it all yourself.

 

Kelli: Oh yeah, that goes back to the discussion about picking the right team members around you. You’ve got to have somebody focused on that around you.  To your point, artists make music. You really need to have some help I think.  With all the things an artist needs to be focused on. But I think we both agree that there really needs to be a presence on social media – that’s really driving a lot of activity and traffic for an artist.

 

Dave Kusek: And it’s so hard to measure the impact sometimes.

 

Kelli: And yet may artists do.   That’s how they fill their shows.  They route their tours and reaching out to their fans directly.  People tell their friends, and you’ve got a full house when you show up out in Minnesota!

 

 

To hear the entire Q&A with Dave Kusek, go to:  https://allaccessgroup.com/articles-and-resources/blog-talk-radio/all-access-radio-interviews/

 

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By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The All Access Group, 20660 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA, 95014, http://www.allaccessgroup.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact