RouteNote Launches To The Public: Welcome!

Welcome to RouteNote. RouteNote has launched today into public beta, with its distribution offering.

What RouteNote offers:

  • Retain 100% Ownership of your tracks
  • Non-exclusive
  • Worldwide Exposure
  • No Signup Fees
  • Receive 90% from all download sales
  • It wont stop you from signing up to a record label in the future
  • Forward looking partnerships and marketing expertise

It only takes about 5 min to sign up and you can have all your music heading over to some of the worlds largest online stores.

Scandinavian Experimentation – TDC Denmark in ISP funded music model

TDC Denmark Logo

The whole industry is aware that traditional, physical music sales are threatened by new mobile and internet methods of music consumption, and lot of suggestions for the way that music will be paid for in the future have been discussed. One such is the idea that ISP’s and other big service providers could be made responsible for the music that their clients download, charging a flat premium on their service contracts to be passed on to the music copyright owners.

Danish company TDC have teamed up with Warner, Sony/BMG and EMI to take a step in this direction with their new Play package delivered in co-operation with multi platform cable provider YouSee (Danish language). Their ‘Nordic’ users can make unlimited, DRM protected downloads from a catalogue of approximately 1 million tracks, including REM, James Blunt and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“When our customers wake up tomorrow, we will have changed their everyday lives. They will experience that through PLAY they are suddenly able to download all the music they wish as a part of their subscription from TDC or YouSee, legally and without extra charges,” says Jens Alder, President and CEO of TDC. (from TDC press release).

I’ll be very interested to see how this innovation works out, and I think that it’s only by a process of learning from what users do and don’t adopt from new packages like this that the new model of paid-for music consumption will evolve (obviously with RouteNote at the forefront of development:).

Music Licensing Income

Bob Kohn, the founder of eMusic (which he has since sold) hosted this session, in which he shamelessly plugged his new enterprise, RoyaltyShare.com. This is a site that deals with splitting the revenue from performances, digital sales and the licensing of music between the parties with an interest in the work. They’re aimed mainly at bigger record labels who have a lot of content to manage and can’t keep up with the millions of small transactions that their catalogue generates through ecommerce.

As well as promoting himself, Kohn discussed the increasingly popular view of music as a service, something like satellite or cable TV, saying that this was his favoured model for the future, and that providers would essentially be competing on user experience and content availability as much as on price. His opinion is that the bigger infrastructures involved in the industry will continue to fall away as the market value of music drops, but that more of the revenue will end up in the hands of the people who make the music, as more direct links between artists and retailers are made, as by CD Baby, Snocap etc.

Press and Publicity

Nick Bailey (Shore Fire Media) and Kandia Crazy Horse (Bluegum journalist) dropped a short intro before opening up to questions – top tips for artists starting out were to consider getting a booking agent before anything else and play gigs as much as possible (but remember to tour smart!), and to realise that the press guys want to hear your stuff. Be brief, friendly and don’t hassle them too much. If they like your stuff they’ll write about you, if they don’t then pestering them is only going to piss them off.

The Best Online Resources

This was a great panel: Brad King of Northern Kentucky University kept a tight leash on some big names from web innovators Bebo (Angel Gambino), Last.fm (Matt Ogle), Sonicbids (Panos Panay – who looks like Roger Federer, btw), iLike (Ali Partovi), and Myspace Records (Jon Pikus).

The consensus from this panel was that ubiquity is a good thing, bands should get themselves up everywhere they can on the web, but remember to try and get maximum return on their investment of time. iLike is a site that offers syndication of your gig schedule and other updates across other platforms like myspace and facebook, and seems like a great time saving tool for self promoters, as it also has a facility for sharing music with friends with particular tastes in music quickly.

The panel recommended that self promotional material strike a balance between viral entertainment value and a marketing or promotional message – creativity is always key in this area, as is frequency of updates for whatever material you’re putting out; keep the momentum up. Make sure that tracks posted to the web have proper ID3 tagging, so you can see when and where they’re being played. For the rest – remember that everyone else is trying to get online too, learning some search engine optimization basics and apply them to the content you’re putting out will help you stand out from the clutter that web 2.0 stuff generates, and just like touring, plan your attack on the web carefully; don’t just splurge stuff randomly onto the web and hope it will get attention.

Tour Smart

Panel: Martin Atkins (Public Image drummer/Invisible Records), Eddie Spaghetti (The Supersuckers) – Martin Atkins took quick and charismatic control of this session. His advice to bands comes from 25 years in all aspects of the music industry. He advocated the idea that before anything else, a band planning a tour should form a coherent strategy, and plan all the stages of their rise to fame before embarking on random thrusts that seem like a good idea at the time.

This was a session full of sound practical advice – Atkins and Spaghetti both agreed that there was no substitute for hard graft, taking responsibility for every aspect of your band’s and your own development. Someone needs to do publicity for the gig? Don’t assume the publicist (if you’re lucky enough to have one) is going to do all the promotion you might think necessary; get those promo cd’s printed yourself – stand in the street yourself, handing them out, get the edge over the competition not through strokes of genius, but by being creative and working to make the most of every opportunity. Oh, and if you’re touring in the USA, 80% of the major markets are in the East of the country, so unless you like spending time in the van, smelling your band mates and spending your gig receipts on gas, stay right of Chicago…

Simian Mobile Disco Live at SXSW

Austin proper doesn’t seem to extend further than 40 blocks square on the north side of Ladybird Lake, but it’s packed with venues – 75 on the official programme and more doing their own thing on the fringe of the event. Despite this seeming superfluity of stages, even the delegates who’ve got official SXSW badges have trouble getting into the popular shows. Top tip if you come here is to pick a venue and stick with it if you don’t want to be stood in a queue all night.

That said, I caught some of the fringe bands last night, and while the talent was of varying quality I was mostly impressed. Simian Mobile Disco are a personal favorite, and their set in Antone’s was very well attended and recieved, despite their early (8pm) slot.

Heading to SXSW

Two things particularly struck me about arriving in Texas for my first SXSW – the first was the extra-wide wheelchairs waiting at the airport to ferry the extra wide Texans through the airport, and the second is the huge milling crowd of musicians with regrettable haircuts, skinny jeans and a stack of guitars on their luggage trolleys.

South By South West has become one of the largest events in the music industry’s calendar over the last few years, and list of delegates shows the festival/convention hybrid’s appeal. Everybody from eMusic to Billy Bragg is here (including some guy from AutoTrader magazine), playing music, pitching their services and giving away free beer to each other.

Beggars Group Sign Up To The Amie Street Music Model

Over at Crenk, they have posted an article about Amie Street and how they have just signed the Beggars Group to their catalog. The Beggars Group consists of labels such as XL, Rough Trade, 4AD, Matador Records and Polyvinyl Recording Co. This means a further 15,000 tracks to the Amie Street catalog.

Here at RouteNote we have had Amie Street on our radar for over 6 month, but it is hard to determine if DRM free Mp3s are in the best interest of the record industry or not. I realise they are totally in the best interests of the consumers, but will signing up to a service like Amie Street mean we arent able to sell as many mp3s, because all the consumers are deliberately heading over to their site. Thus, they know they only have to purchase the track once and then can share it.

These are the types of questions that are very hard to answer at this point in time!

Limewire Signs Redeye Distribution To Their New Online Store

Limewire has just announced that they have signed Redeye Distribution to their new online store. Redeye have joined Ingrooves, Nettwerk Productions, IRIS and RouteNote in the new online store from Limewire.

The deal adds 20,000 tracks from over 200 labels, including their own in-house labels, Yep Roc Records, Eleven Thirty, and Bonfire. Redeye’s catalog of tracks by established artists such as Lisa Loeb, Donna Lewis, Martin Sexton, The Apples in Stereo, Widespread Panic, Afroman, Chuck D of Public Enemy, The Donnas, and 2008 Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale is complimented by titles from newer, developing acts such as the Billionaires, Liam Finn, T.H. White, Malajube, and Bell X1.