Industry News Courtesy Of Hypbot                   

City Of Austin Advised To Reign In SXSW-Related Events and Traffic In Evaluation Report 

City of austin logoUnofficial events occurring during SXSW, especially the "Spring Music Festival" portion, can expect closer examination when requesting permits next year if the recommendations of a report to the City of Austin are taken up. Celebrities may also be under greater scrutiny and new curfews and traffic restrictions could be in effect. While this might sound a bit repressive the main ideas sound like reasonable suggestions given the challenges faced by Austin during SXSW including the growing influx of visitors to both official and unofficial events.

Early this month an evaluation by City of Austin staff was released with recommendations for future events and traffic control during SXSW.

According to Chase Hoffberger at The Austin Chronicle, City Manager Marc Ott was tasked with the evaluation of "Spring Music Festival" delivering the report a bit late possibly due to the complexity of the situation.

This Year's Problems and Tragedies Were Symptomatic

Multiple incidents incited by individuals occurred this year:

Tyler, The Creator and riot instigator

Rashad Owens, who killed 4 people and injured 20 after driving through a barricade in a busy area of the festival

Lady Gaga, whose mere presence led to logistical difficulties

Suggested changes that can be related directly or indirectly to the above events include rigorous evaluation of permit requests for unofficial events, new traffic restrictions and closer attention to events involving "internationally-known" celebrities.

Other suggestions are simply tightening up the situation such as being able to close a venue, I assume for the evening but possibly not, "where representatives or performers are observed inciting actions that compromise public safety."

The City of Austin Faces Real Problems

While some of the suggestions appear to be reining in unofficial events that's not necessarily a surprising or repressive turn.

SXSW has been doing this for a long time and has found productive ways to move forward working with the City as what is now an important Austin institution. Unofficial events are often organized by folks dropping in for SXSW who may be working with local landlords and agencies but without a sense of place.

Unofficial events, which speak to the incredible vitality of SXSW, impact the situation in unexpeccted ways including the use of nontraditional spaces. In addition, unofficial events logically want to be up after official events shut down so that leads to obvious problems with noise.

Austin also has to figure out how to deal with celebrities at every level from official to unofficial to just popping in to see what's up. There's only going to be more of that for the foreseeable future which adds an unpredictable crowd issue.

It's an interesting situation from outside given the complexity but no doubt a real challenge for those who have to deal with both the short and long-term consequences.

And, with this year's tragic deaths and injuries, the consequences are quite sobering.

City of Austin: Press Release and Downloadable Report

More:

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

Music Biz Conferences: Hard Working Class Heroes and Creative Belfast Presents Output 

Hwch14Two Irish music industry conferences are coming up in October. Hard Working Class Heroes is both a music festival and industry conference happening in Dublin in early October. Later in the month the one day only event, Creative Belfast Presents Output, takes place in Belfast in Northern Ireland. Output will combine a daytime biz conference with evening music showcases. Both events are free.

Hard Working Class Heroes

Dublin's Music Scene - A Golden Age

Hard Working Class Heroes takes place this year October 2 through 5 in Dublin.

One of the organizers, Jim Carroll, says all events are free and shares some of the panels he thinks are especially outstanding. You can find the conference schedule here.

He also says there will be about 100 bands in the showcases. You can find the schedule here.

Videos of some of the panels from 2013 are also available.

Creative Belfast Presents Output

OUTPUT-web-banner

Creative Belfast Presents Output is a one day event on October 16 in Belfast.

The daytime business conference will include a full array of speakers, panels, discussions, workshops and speed networking.

The evening "will feature up to 50 bands and artists in 12 venues."

Output is hosted by the Belfast City Council.

Industry participants:

"Speakers at the Output conference will include Andrea Madden, music supervisor on Made in Chelsea; Hugh Platt, deputy editor of Thrash Hits magazine; Tom Robinson from BBC 6 Music; artist, performer and motivational speaker Andrew WK; ‘The X Factor’ finalist, Janet Devlin; BBC Young Folk Musician Of The Year Aidan O’Rourke; composer and cellist Peter Gregson and Niall Byrne of leading music blog Nialler 9."

"Organisations and companies taking part in the conference programme include PRS, Polar Patrol Publishing, Sentric Music, PPL, MCPS, IMRO, Liverpool Sound City, The Great Escape, MCD Promotions, Body and Soul, Norwich Sound and Vision, Go North, SESAC, Raygun, The Thin Air and Wicksteed Works, Independence Festival and Facebook."

Scroll to the bottom of this page for more industry events in Belfast.

More:

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

How To Promote Your Music Using Google's Hangouts On Air 

Hangouts-on-airBy Yannick Ilunga from CD Baby's DIY Musician.

When it comes to online promotion, there is a social media that is often ignored by musicians: Google Plus.

While its potential has been recognized and utilized by many entrepreneurs around the world, for quite many musicians Google Plus is still unexplored territory.

However, while it is true that it may be trailing behind Twitter and Facebook in popularity and usage, Google Plus offers incredible opportunities for promotion and music marketing through the so-called Hangouts on Air.

What makes Hangouts on Air so cool is the fact that they can easily be broadcasted live on YouTube and on artists’ websites.

Here are some creative ways of using Hangouts to promote your music, increase your fan base, and boost engagement:

1. Streaming Gigs

How nice would it be to stream your next concert live? Guess what, you can do that with Hangouts. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection and a microphone. Obviously, the faster your Web connection and the higher quality your mic, the better the video.

You can set up your gig as an event on Google Plus and invite your followers to watch the streaming. There is also the option to invite extended circles, which are your fans’ circles. This means that you can even reach people who are not part of your circles on Google Plus.

They will be able to enjoy your show, which, in addition to YouTube, can also be embedded and streamed on your site.

2. Masterclasses, Online Workshops and Webinars

Why not expand the audience of your upcoming workshop or masterclass by broadcasting the event using Hangouts on Air?

This is a great way of reaching more people, sharing your talks and resources with them, and even driving traffic to your website. Streaming masterclasses with Hangouts can also help you get more email subscribers, as you can easily direct them to your newsletter.

And if you are into hosting webinars, Hangouts on Air can also be an alternative to the various other streaming services: GoToWebinar, Ustream, etc. If you would like to learn more about using Hangouts on Air for webinars, I recommend Mary Jaksch’ article The Ultimate Guide to Using Hangouts on Air for Webinars.

3. Private Lessons

Do you enjoy teaching? If so, are you giving private lessons online? While it is true that nothing beats a face-to-face interaction, you can still provide plenty of value by teaching online.

Some do that with Skype. However, if you are preparing a class and want it to be accessible to a group of students, you could easily do that with Hangouts on Air.

4. Q&As With Fans

Put yourself in your fans’ shoes for a second. How much you think they would love to have the chance to personally ask you a question?

By having a series of Q&As – for example, once a month – with your fans, you will definitely increase their engagement. In addition, they will probably do some great word-of-mouth promotion for you, as talking to their favorite musician is something they are likely to share with others.

In all likelihood, this will bring more people to your Q&As and will strengthen the connection you have with your fan base.

5. Behind-the-Scenes Looks

Similarly to Q&As, giving loyal fans special behind-the-scenes looks will increase their engagement.

Why not set up a computer and webcam and stream your rehearsal or the studio recording of your new song? Or perhaps you are about to perform and would like to show fans what is happening backstage before the gig?

Another exclusive kind of content your fan base is interested in is interviews. Are you about to be interviewed by a publication, blog or podcast? Well, why not giving your fans access to it by sharing the streaming of the interview on YouTube and your site?

—–

These are some of the things you can do with Hangouts on Air that can really help you promote your music and build – and grow – a loyal, engaged, fan base.

And, in case you are wondering yes, Hangouts on Air are free.

Can you think of other ways musicians can use Hangouts on Air? Leave your comments below.

Author bio:

Author Yannick Ilunga writes about music business at The Jazz Spotlight and talks about jazz and the music industry with artists, best-selling authors and experts on The Jazz Spotlight Podcast.

Warped Tour's Kevin Lyman To Teach FREE Online Class plus Win A 1-on-1 Mentoring Session 

Kevin lymanKevin Lyman is the founder and producer of the hugely successful Warped Tour; and he's sharing his knowledge later this month via a free Creative Line online class "The New Music Biz: Bands, Brands, Managers & Tours."  As a special gift to Hypebot readers, Kevin's also offering one lucky winner a free 1-on-1 mentoring session and a ticket to any stop on the Warped Tour. More details on both the class and the contest here.

From Our What-Were-You-Thinking? Dept: Clear Channel Rebrands As iHeartMedia 

IheartmediaAm I the only one who has always thought that the name iHeartRadio sounds dated and... well, just silly?  The folks at broadcast behemoth Clear Channel apparently loved the name so much that, in an attempt to put their digital media front and center, they've just rebranded the whole company as iHeartMedia. From a revenue standpoint, its the slowly growing digital tail wagging the aging radio dog.  But hey, why not?

The corporate name of the publicly-traded company will still be Clear Channel Holdings.

“iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices,” Chairman-CEO Bob Pittman said in a statement announcing the branding.

The Growing Power Of Internet Radio 

Dash-twoFrom Dash Two.

Did you know that more than half of Americans listen to Internet Radio? Of this population, 39% choose personalized radio, 27% prefer streaming live, and 18% is into on-demand music. As more and more innovative tech start-ups jump into the game for a piece of the American music business, we might be witnessing another powerful takeover in the already-crowded industry.

Historically, we have moved from expensive Vinyl records to affordable cassettes, from loving cheap, convenient CD albums to worshipping mp3 files. The fact is music consumption has been and is going through a significant phase change—similar to when we abandoned the classic Kodak film for digital cameras in the 2000s—and its evolving trends continue to re-establish the basic structure of the music industry.

Aside from the powerful iTunes, which revolutionized the way Americans buy their albums, internet radio services such as Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, and Rdio have begun to own a significant part of the music consumer pie. As the third most popular way that Americans use to discover new music, Internet Radio has outrun even giant networks such as Amazon, YouTube, and Facebook, despite their larger and ever expanding ecosystems.

Each with its own unique services, internet radio startups swiftly compete with traditional radio stations not only in distributing popular music and audio content but also in serving local and national advertising messages to their users. Within nine years, Pandora has established itself as a major radio network with 77 million listeners and more than 9 percent of total U.S. radio listening as of May 2014. Similarly, Spotify and TuneIn are also taking over the streaming music market and growing their own empire of subscribed users and loyal listeners

In a deal signed between Merlin’s 20,000 plus indie labels and Pandora, the internet radio service committed itself to helping their newer artists get discovered, using Pandora’s discovery techniques to increase exposure to fans and relying on playback data to decide on set lists and tour locations (Engadget). On another note, TuneIn is trying to connect traditional radio stations, artists, and podcasters with their fans (Digital Trends) and create a platform where hosts and listeners can communicate directly. The competition is getting stiffer and stiffer for traditional radio stations while other newcomers such as iHeartRadio are eagerly joining the race.

Although the convenience of being able to choose your own genre or playlist to listen to is already attractive enough on its own, the true irresistible power of streaming services comes from mobile usage and the mobility of these apps. Consumers have grown accustomed to bringing their personal music wherever they go–except this time it won’t be in mp3 format but streaming smoothly via the internet. This takes the pressure away from having to download all of your favorite music before a trip and free up storage space in your devices. While the shuffling option offers a taste of the classic radio streaming-not having to choose what songs to listen to, consumers still control song choices and playback order. It’s important to note that 63% of internet radio listeners own a smartphone and 83% of smartphone owners have some types of internet radio apps on their mobile devices.

Due to their advanced technology nature, internet radio services offer a very ideal and competent environment for advertisers and brands looking to connect with their consumers. There are the appeal of associating a brand with a particular artist or genre of music representing certain lifestyles, the extent of readily available ad inventory, or the appeal of non-skippable in-stream commercial that run relentlessly. More importantly, services such as Pandora and Spotify require certain user registration data such as musical preference, zip codes, ages, and genders, which translate into valuable targeting tools for marketers and advertisers. With more focused targeted ads and a good knowledge of user demographic, internet radio platforms certainly enjoy an advantage over traditional radio stations. Research firm eMarketer even forecasts that digital advertising in the radio market will more than double by 2018 to about 21 percent of total audio advertising revenue.

Meanwhile, brands and advertisers need to develop a deeper understanding of how each internet radio service differs from one another, ensuring that our advertising dollar will be used wisely to reach desired groups of consumers. There are some concerns in satisfying Internet Radio’s minimum spending and how to track delivered impressions, which is extremely important in measuring the success of your campaigns. Although advertising on internet radio is not the cheapest option, it is still much more affordable than traditional radio advertising and, if utilized strategically, can achieve highly desirable results.

 

Merchbar Launches with Curated Merchandise From 3000+ Top Music Acts 

Merchbar 2Merchbar launched today as a centralized online destination to purchase authorized merchandise from 3000 top music acts including The Beatles, David Bowie, The B-52s and Beck. Along with the launch, comes an iPhone app with curated collections of merch, a chart of top selling merch and a personalized feed of merchandise based on each user's music library. Co-founder Edward Aten also created and sold social music network Swift.fm.  

MerchbarWith Merchbar, Aten worked with leading music merch companies, artists and managers to offer a single destination for 100,000 items of official licensed merchandise.

The e-commerce friendly app uses the fan's music library and preferences to to create a personalized feed of merchandise from the bands they love. A Merchbar editorial team also evaluates items and features the best. Tweets, posts and images of fans appear along side product listings.

The startup hopes to "reinvent the way fans buy merchandise from their favorite bands, Aten told Hypebot. "Merchbar is the only company to sign exclusive partnerships with every major music merch company creating the first and only place for fans to discover and buy official gear from nearly every one of the world's top bands."
 
Ambitious perhaps, but also overdue.

Robert Sillerman Sells Real Estate As SFX Entertainment Buys Awakenings Festival 

Awakenings-logoThough Robert F.X. Sillerman is selling six properties I doubt there's an issue related to SFX Entertainment's spending spree though it's hard to stop my brain from associating the two. Sillerman's still got plenty of real estate and SFX Entertainment still has lots of things to buy as was the stated plan. In fact, just yesterday they announced the purchase of Monumental Productions B.V. who produce the Awakenings Festival among other events.

There's More Where That Came From

The Wall Street Journal reports that Robert F.X. Sillerman is getting shed of some real estate as a "step towards simplifying our lives."

The man who actually deserves the title "mogul" has put six homes on the market for $107 million. The properties are located in the Hamptons, Manhattan and Anguilla.

Additional "holdings that are not on the market [include]: four other Hamptons properties, a parcel of waterfront land in Anguilla and a Manhattan townhouse on 72nd Street that he bought in 2013 for $12 million."

SFXE Acquires Monumental Productions B.V.

Yesterday SFX Entertainment announced the acquisiton of Monumental Productions B.V. who produce the Awakenings Festival and "other world-class techno music events under the brand Awakenings."

"In 2013, Awakenings hosted nearly 100,000 fans across eight events in the Netherlands. The Awakenings Festival expanded in June 2014 from a one-day event to a two-day event, hosting over 60,000 attendees."

Founder Rocco Veenboer says that we can expect to see the Awakenings brand extended beyond Amsterdam "into the U.K., Australia, and beyond."

More:

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

U2 BE GONE! Apple Offers 1 Click Removal After Complaints Mount 

U2The hipster uproar after Apple downloaded a free copy of U2's new album to all iTunes accounts, apparently reached Cupertino.  Or perhaps it made it to Ireland were Bono and U2 demanded a response.  Either way Apple has created a web page that facilitates one-click instant removal from your iTunes library. The instructions read:


U2If you would like U2’s Songs of Innocence removed from your iTunes music library and iTunes purchases, you can choose to have it removed. Once the album has been removed from your account, it will no longer be available for you to redownload as a previous purchase. If you later decide you want the album, you will need to get it again. The album is free to everyone until October 13, 2014 and will be available for purchase after that date.

Those who want U2 out of there iTunes library for good should click here.

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