Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Music Industry’s Ongoing Revolution

This announcement to start with: “Berklee and the Harvard Business School are offering a $50,000 award for the best new music business model.” (Read Harvard’s Media Berkman Blog).

One way to assess this, is that this industry’s traditional business model is weak. It is weak because, it might only take $50 000 to change it yet again (think Napster, Torrents and iTunes to mention but a few successful challenges to the model).

Gone are the days when big labels could rest on the laurels of their existing library. Need a hike in revenues? Here are three simple ways:

1) just re-edit the an album previously published on a cassette-tape (what’s this?) or LP (and that?) into a Compact Disc.

Copy and paste to CD

2) Publish a best-of album of an artist and find a reason not include one of the artist’s best song. This works because it is mostly aimed at the casual fans of the artist (the groupies will have bough all the 45’s and LP’s). Once lured, the casual fan realises that if he wants to own that tune that he hums all the time in his mind, he will need to spend yet more money for one song…

3) This leads us to the last easy way to print money: turn a one-hit-song record into an album.

The music industry missed several opportunities to keep being in control. It only needed to do one thing: have the courage to change its model when it was time.

When Napster appeared, the industry should have focused its energy and money in “Napstering” Napster; that is, copy its model and best features.

When AOL and Time Warner merged, it was yet another opportunity to change the model. The company owned both the content, the conduits (AOL and Time Warner cable) to offer pay-per-download and/or subscription based services.

The last blatant opportunity that the industry missed, was to come-up with something akin to iTunes. You might say that this is a retrospective analysis, but I will retort that by that time, there had been plenty of warnings; technology (broadband, wi-fi etc…) weren’t simply going to kindly dissapear and restore a pre-digital age.

The latest mass-market chapter of this on-going revolution is “ping” of Apple’s iTunes. The service helps users to discover new music by allowing them to explore what artists, actors such as Elena Satine and other members of the public listen to. For instance, if you read about “Oprahs favorite things 2010” you might be interested in what Oprah listens to as well.

Next chord?

So if you think you know how to write the next chords of this never-ending tune, you might be considered for a $50,000 award.

Would you like some suggestions?

1- Mobile-delivery: (condensing and extracting files, editing on the go, streaming new artists)

2- Music editing and publishing (make a better myspace, algorythms that will take any piece of music and transform it into something new, create a platform where people from different backgrounds (lyricists, pianists, drummers etc…) and countries can link-up online and create music.

3- The business side (micro-financing: allow fans to financially support new music and bands, online booking for venues).

Let me know if you need more insight into any of the above, contact me be leaving a message below.

Social Media Middle East Survey

Updated 10/May/2012.

Recently, thinkmedialabs published a survey of the most active Lebanese politician

…as well as the most active Lebanese singer on twitter (picture on the right).

On the politician side, Mr. Nicolas Sehnaoui leads the pack with 217 tweets but Mr Saad Hariri boasts more 130,000 followers.

As you can see from the infographic on the right, the top two singers each have more than 200,000 followers.

Meantime, if you are from Lebanon or other parts of the middle-east, please take part in the following survey.

The questionnaire aims at producing the first comprehensive report of Social Media usage in the Middle-East.

What do you get from participating? Leave us with your email address, you will get a complimentary copy of this survey.

The report will include the following content:

– Comprehensive market data, by country, industry and company size.

– Understanding of how companies in the Middle-East use social media

– Which are the most popular social media platforms

– Who are the thought-leaders in this space

– The challenges faced by companies in the Middle-East using social media

– Strategic overview and insight List of participants who opted to make their profile public.

Find the survey here (outside link will open).

Please contact us below should you have any question.

Wahyd Vannoni