Sunday, August 24, 2008


Def Leppard proves once again they are pioneers not only in music, but now, as leaders in the digital age, through a strategic partnership with Mobile Marketing Firm Ace Marketing & Promotions Inc. On August 23rd at the group's concert in Detroit, MI at the Joe Louis Arena, Def Leppard will introduce their "ROCKZIMITY MARKETING," a Bluetooth & Wi-Fi proprietary marketing technology, only from ACE Marketing & Promotions Inc.. Ace Marketing will power the delivery of exclusive content direct to the fans of Def Leppard, via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled "Hot Spots" at the show.

For the first time ever in an arena environment Def Leppard fans will be "Welcomed to the Sparkle Lounge" upon walking through the main entrance of Joe Louis Arena. They also can get a message that enables them to "Win A Trip To The Sparkle Lounge" after the show. Fans will also receive select discounts on merchandise adding a third layer of value for the Def Leppard fan.

Def Leppard lead singer, Joe Elliott, said of the program, "You have to differentiate your music in today's industry and how you introduce things to your audience. This is the direction for the future of the way fans connect with artists, it also adds another dimension to our live performance by getting the fans involved from the moment they walk though the door -- literally."

Matt Gaines, Sr. Vice President of Marketing for Ace Marketing & Promotions, stated, "We are proud to partner with Def Leppard on this ground breaking initiative. We love firsts, this is a first for Rock music and a first for the fans of Def Leppard. It doesn't get any better than this. So come to the show with your Bluetooth visibility enabled, and experience 'ROCKZIMITY,' you could win a trip after the show to meet Def Leppard in 'The Sparkle Lounge.'"

Def Leppard's "ROCKZIMITY MARKETING," will be activated at key HOT SPOT locations in and around Joe Louis Arena. Upon arrival at the venue, signs will direct fans to enable their Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signal on their mobile device. Once fans are visible to the zone, they then will receive a message from the band. Upon accepting the message, fans will instantly begin receiving exclusive content from Def Leppard. There will be no cost to a fan, data charges or minutes of service incurred for content.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Warner looking for bigger video game payout

Click image to enlarge.
Click image to enlarge.

Warner Music Group boss Edgar Bronfman Jr. wants a bigger cut of the booming business around video games like "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band," setting up a showdown over money with their makers Activision and MTV.

Bronfman yesterday threatened to stop issuing song licenses for games that allow users to pretend to be rock stars if the revenue-sharing model for the games doesn't improve for the music business.

"The amount being paid to the music industry, even though their games are entirely dependent on the content we own and control, is far too small," he said. "We need to be very careful that [we] do not allow an ecosystem to occur where we are not properly compensated."

Bronfman - wary of creating another Apple or MTV - told analysts yesterday he wants higher royalties both for the use of Warner songs in the games as well as for what Warner collects in the sale of songs downloaded to video game consoles, calling the fees the label currently receives "paltry."

Bronfman's comments come as Activision's "Guitar Hero" has blossomed into a $1 billion franchise, and "Rock Band" is anchoring the game ambitions of MTV Networks, which owns Harmonix, the game's developer.

"The industry as a whole needs to take a very different look at this business and participate more fully and in a much more partnership way," he added. "If that does not become the case, as far as Warner Music Group is concerned, we will not license to those games."

Activision did not return calls for comment. MTV declined to comment.

Sales of the latest edition of Guitar Hero, "Guitar Hero III," total more than 8 million units, while "Rock Band" sales are north of 2.5 million.

"Rock Band" has also sold more than 18 million additional song downloads for the game at $1.99 each.

Sources said while the issue is unlikely to impact the licensing of songs to "Guitar Hero World Tour" and "Rock Band 2," both due later this year, Warner is likely to withhold music it controls for uses in any artist-branded versions of the games in development.

In a new trend, Aerosmith recently released its own special branded version of "Guitar Hero."

A number of other classic bands, including Warner acts like Metallica, are reportedly in talks to do similar deals.

Music-industry sources complain that while video-game makers have been discussing revenue-sharing deals with artists for their names and likenesses - including up-front advances in some cases - labels have not been offered similar participation opportunities for song licenses.

Meanwhile, Warner yesterday said third-quarter revenue increased 5 percent to $804 million, while it narrowed its loss to $9 million from $17 million.

Digital revenue grew 39 percent to $166 million, representing 20 percent of the company's total revenue.

Shares in Warner fell 17 cents, or 2 percent, to $8.27.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

CD Baby Sold To Disc Makers

From Hypebot:

Derek Sivers has sold online indie retailer CD Baby to CD manufacturer Disc Makers. According to Sivers' blog:

Cdbaby " projects are exciting me so much that I decided to hand over CD Baby to someone that’s going to make it better than ever for you. I chose Disc Makers as the new owner because their president Tony Van Veen has been one of my favorite people for years..."

"The CD Baby staff, location, name, and everything else will stay the same, but I think you’ll start to notice more attention given to improvements that help you sell more music."

Sivers revolutionized how d.i.y. artists sell music simply by charging then fairly and paying them weekly. It's not clear exactly what Part II for Sivers will be, but its sure to be both music related and interesting. There are some hints here. My personal favorite is Muckwork. It's "Four Hour Work Week" meets the music business and I'm already on the waiting list.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

ReverbNation Lets Musicians Add Press Clippings to Any Website

ReverbNation, the leading Marketing and Promotion Platform technology for Musicians, Labels, Managers, and Venues, today introduced the ‘Press Widget’ to over 215,000 Musicians and Bands that use ReverbNation applications to enhance their social network pages (MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, etc), homepages, and blogs.

The ‘Press Widget’ allows Artists to aggregate accolades from the media or fans into one place, and then deploy them to all of their other sites. Artists can add an unlimited number of clippings, with each one containing a link back to the original source for fans to read more. The deployed widget can be customized to match the color of any webpage, and will update in real time when the Artist adds, edits, or removes old clippings. The widget has smart word detection, which rotates clippings at a slower speed for long quotes and a quicker speed for short quotes, timed with the fan's ability to read them. Typical of all ReverbNation widgets, the 'Press Widget' can easily be shared by fans or made the object of 'Street Team' missions that incentivize the most rabid fans to spread it virally.
“Reviews and peer opinions are incredibly important for musicians. Often times, a well-placed quote from a credible source can be the difference between a potential fan actually engaging with the music, or just passing by,” said Jed Carlson, Co-Founder and COO of “But all the super reviews won’t mean anything if they aren’t actually seen by fans or potential fans. The Press Widget can’t get you good reviews, but it can help you showcase the ones you do get.”
The Press Widget is FREE for any Artist, Label, or Manager to setup, and only takes seconds to deploy it to other sites. ReverbNation tracks the Press Widget, reporting back to the Artist how many times it has been viewed, clicked, and shared.
For more info on the Press Widget, and all ReverbNation widgets: ReverbNation Widgets

CD Sales Down - Releasing Digital Projects Only - The Future

Faith Hill's Mozes-Powered Listening Party

Mozes (, the service that connects people to what they love from their mobile phones, is powering a mobile listening party for five-time Grammy(R) award winner Faith Hill. The mobile campaign lets mobile fan club members get an exclusive preview and offer feedback on cuts from the multi-Platinum-selling country star's new Christmas album "Joy to the World," which will hit stores on September 30th.

The "Christmas in the Summer" campaign makes one new song from the upcoming album available exclusively to members of Faith Hill's "mob," or mobile fan club, each week. Fans can listen to the cut and call Faith's Mozes line at 615-823-5605 to leave messages with feedback about the music. The campaign has run since June and will continue right up until the album's release date. The album's first single, "A Baby Changes Everything," will be the final song that mob members hear before the album hits stores.

"When it came to deciding how we would promote Faith's new Christmas album, we realized that getting fan input right from the beginning would be crucial to creating early excitement about the new release," said Genevieve Jewell, New Media Manager at Borman Entertainment, Faith Hill's management company. "The listening party has given us a chance to connect fans directly with Faith and her music, all through a service that fans can trust to be spam-free and totally permission-based."

Faith Hill is among several leading artists from a wide variety of musical genres, including Wu Tang Clan, Teddy Geiger, Danger Radio and others, who have made Mozes listening parties an important part of their pre-release marketing strategies. Mobile listening parties give fans exclusive access to new artist content and have led to explosive growth in mobile "connections" by means of the Mozes service.

"Listening parties like Faith Hill's are an excellent example of how mobile is changing the way that artists interact with their fans and generate revenue opportunities," said Chad Schultz, director of business development at Mozes. "Our trusted service gives fans a feeling of exclusive access to new artist content, while giving bands and labels easy-to-use tools to create engaging mobile experiences for their audiences."

Listening parties are just one example of the many features that bands, brands, sports teams and others are integrating into their Mozes campaigns. Trivia contests, exclusive mobile-only concert tickets, mobile scavenger hunts and rich media exchange are some of the other innovative approaches that marketers have created using Mozes.