Category Archives: All Things Digital

Relating to developments and issues revolving around the digital scene.

The Imposters – Spotting the Pretend Record Label

If you happen to be in the market for a label deal, or you think that’s on the horizon for you in the not-too-distant future, you might want to keep the following in mind as you pursue all the options. (more…)

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The Artist Personal Manager in the Digital Age

For many emerging artists today, “partners” has come to be a lot less about traditional conduits to the masses – i.e., terrestrial media and, most importantly, record companies – than about Internet and mobile-based allies and services. This is due in part to the inability of the label pool to absorb the torrent of acts now spilling onto the music scene, and also because an increasing number of artists see digital media/technology as a viable alternative to relying on the industry machine, especially in view of the evident difficulties various high-profile record companies have had adapting to life on the digital frontier.

In this regard, some people in the industry no longer see it as the manager’s responsibility to be concerned, short term or long term, with actively trying to get their client signed to a label. (more…)

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Record Deals: The Website Grab and other Label Shenanigans

There are some important digital-related property rights that should remain with the artist but which a record company may want thrown into the deal, perhaps hoping they will slip under the radar. (more…)

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Streaming Music Services – The Gift That Just Keeps Giving?

About three years ago I wrote a blog titled “Whither The Ad-supported Free Music Sites?”, in which I made mention of the streaming service Spotify that was struggling to establish itself in North America. I seriously questioned the viability of its business model at the time, but then I wasn’t privy to just how far the company would go to curry favour with the major labels. (more…)

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Bitcoin, Then and Now

This month I decided to add Bitcoin to the forms of payment I accept for the consulting and career coaching services I offer music artists and others in this business. I also recently made my first purchase of the digital currency–1.06847855 of it, to be precise–at the sole Bitcoin ATM, located in downtown Vancouver. The procedure was quite easy, actually, and I was able to instantly deposit it into my already-created digital wallet.

If you have no clue what I’m talking about, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick and dirty primer of sorts on Bitcoin. (more…)

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Digital Music Distribution – Choosing An Aggregator

This spring, SOCAN published on its website “A guide to digital music platforms”. The subject of distribution and retail in the online sphere is an important one to a lot of independent artists and I applaud Canada’s performing rights organization in its efforts to assist recording acts with this kind of information. However, when it comes to choosing a digital distributor (“aggregator”) (more…)

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Crowdfunding – What Every Music Artist Needs To Know

Sometimes referred to as fanfunding, hyper funding, micropatronage, or other such terms, crowdfunding can be defined as the activity of raising money from the public through individual contributions that are facilitated by a fundraising campaign hosted on one or another Internet website. A handful of third-party fundraising platforms have garnered most of the attention these days, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but (more…)

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Some Basics About Internet Marketing for Music Artists

I recently moderated a workshop locally on Internet marketing (IM) that was geared specifically for music artists. I don’t consider myself an expert in the field, but I’ve learned a fair bit from private work with a top IM coach as well as extensive research and countless seminars, webinars and teleseminars I’ve attended.

I was pleased to have the opportunity to be part of this workshop because I think it’s essential for independent artists to gain a much better understanding about what this IM thing is really all about and why so many aspiring acts aren’t getting much traction with their online promotional efforts. We heard from a guest speaker about the social media management part of it, but I had a few things to say myself about some other key elements of online marketing that I’d like to summarize here. (more…)

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Score One For The Independent Artist Against The Big Boys

On July 12, Canada’ supreme court did independent labels and artists out there a big favour.

In a landmark decision, the court ruled that the copyright board had erred in classifying paid and unpaid downloads as “communications” (a.k.a. “broadcasts”), entrenching technological neutrality as a copyright principle and, thus, putting the kibosh on Socan’s efforts on behalf of publishers to collect a performance royalty every time part or all of a song is downloaded from the Web. The court also ruled that streaming (more…)

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Google Music Launches In U.S. – Look Out iTunes?

After a lot of hoopla and much anticipation, on November 16 Google finally launched its Google Music download store with a launch event in Hollywood, California. I haven’t started using it yet, because it’s currently only available to people in the U.S. and I’m based in Canada, but I’d like to pass on some interesting tidbits I’ve found out about the service. (more…)

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