Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Music Business 2008: The Year in Review...

Paul Resnikoff, publisher of Digital Music News, sums up the year that was 2008 in the music business....

Survived 2008 okay? The year proved difficult for an already-disrupted industry, though "accelerated transition" could be the best description of current forces at work. As in previous years, consumers continued their shift towards digital formats, and free continued to beat paid. But a widespread economic downturn appears to be intensifying a long-running disruption.

The complete article has been posted at

Monday, December 22, 2008

Major Labels Ending Lawsuits Against Individuals.... Now What?

Just posted a new article/commentary by Paul Resnikoff of Digital Music News at .

A good analysis of the recent announcement by the RIAA that they would no longer be bringing lawsuits against people sharing music on the Internet. They are taking a different approach to the problem, by working with ISPs to limit the account usage of copyright infringers.

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Monday, December 01, 2008

The CD Goes into Steep Decline...

This morning, a new article posted at Digital Music News quoted Nielsen Soundscan as stating that the forth quarter of 2008 is "shaping up to be the worst decline in the history of the CD" in terms of sales. "In response, Wal-Mart has been driving the price of CDs southward, often below $5, and shrinking shelf-space aggressively. 'We suspect other retailers will follow Wal-Mart's lead and reduce CD floorspace significantly in 2009, as the format loses interest with consumers and ceases to be a traffic driver on 'new release' Tuesdays,' research analyst Richard Greenfield stated.

Overall, CD sales are down about 20 percent from just a year ago.

You can read the full article at . Good reading. Sign up for their newsletter while you're there. It's terrific.

I still think there is a place for the CD. There are a lot of folks of my generation (born in the 60's) and earlier who will never buy an iPod and who really aren't into the whole "digital music download" thing. If there's an album out there we really do want, we'll buy the CD. The problem is, there aren't that many albums we really want that we don't already have. Everything we were interested in "owning" we purchased years ago. And one of the things about getting older is that while we still enjoy listening to music, owning it just isn't as important anymore. The music we listen to doesn't "define our life" like it did when we were kids.

So my generation still enjoys CDs, we just buy less of them... a LOT less of them.

Remember getting those offers from "Columbia House" in the mail where you could get 13 CDs for a penny if you agreed to buy just five in the next year? That whole concept seems like a joke today. And you know... I haven't seen one of those offers in my mailbox in a really, really long time. Hmmm.....

Frankly, I don't know what I'd do if someone handed me a stack of CDs like that. I'd never listen to them. Tell me I could have any 13 CDs I wanted from a stack of 1000 and I'd walk away. It's not worth my time to even look. Why? Because I'm listening to music online now. Between Internet Radio, Pandora, and my Rhapsody subscription, I'm set for life. I can listen to whatever I want, whenever I want. No physical CD necessary.

Yea, I still buy CDs... maybe one a year. Maybe two. Three would be a lot. But 10 years ago? I probably bought two or three a month.

Record companies, there's a big part of your declining market.

The kids are aren't buying CDs because their going completely digital, buying downloads, putting them on their iPods, trading with their friends.

The mature generation isn't buying CDs because we already own pretty much everything we ever wanted. And when we do listen to "new" music, we get it online.

I probably buy more CDs as gifts for others than I buy for myself. Oh wait, that was LAST year! I didn't buy a single CD as a gift for anyone this year.

No one wanted one.

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Monday, November 24, 2008

Satellite Radio is Dead...

I know I keep harping on this subject. Not sure why, except that it fascinates me.

Great article by Mike Elgin posted at
that echoes my post on this topic from just a couple days ago.

Check it out if you're interested.

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Just Released: 2009, 10th Edition of the Indie Bible...10% off

Just released the 10th edition of the Indie Bible by David Wimble.

Available at

Now priced at a 10% discount....

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Declaration: Music is My Freedom of Choice...

The bleeding at Sirius XM continues... down to .16 cents a share. An all-time low for the company.

Here's the thing... we don't really need to Satellite radio anymore. As "plugged-in" as people are these days, we tune into whatever we want whenever we want without the commercials. We can listen to our own song selections, anytime. We don't need to be "force fed" our music. We are no longer cattle being led to the musical trough. A music listening experience is not a one-way event anymore. It's interactive. We choose/make our own "radio."

Granted, I sometimes enjoy popping on the 80's channel and going down memory lane, hearing tunes I hadn't thought about for a very long time. Even so, a good third of the songs I hear on the cookie cutter channels are obscure tunes that I could care less about.

If only I had a "skip" button on Sirius XM like I do with Pandora. Oh, Pandora, how I love thee.

Here's what I see happening... within the next five years our cities are going to become even more wired. The time will come, and is already coming, where you can go anywhere and be wired into the Internet - even so far as to be wired in your car as you're on the road driving from city to city. Pretty soon, high-speed wireless will be as common as cell phone reception, maybe even more common.

And then we'll be able to tune into our favorite Internet radio stations, be they Live365, Pandora, or the custom playlists we created on MySpace or Facebook anytime we want. Or we'll plug in our iPods, or Zune, or whatever.

Here's the problem for Sirius XM - while it got into the Satellite radio game on time, it charged more than people were willing to pay for a subscription... and people aren't willing to pay very much... which is why the model has failed. People don't want to pay for music they don't entirely control. If subscribers are going to pay for music, they want it entirely, 100% on their own terms.

Music is no longer passive, it's active, changing, exciting, moving, aggressive... and we, the people, are in control. Music is one of the few things we truly have freedom of choice over as individuals. We listen to what we want, when we want, and how often we want.

Music is anarchy. And it is love. And it is passion. And our choice of music makes us feel like there is at least one thing in this crazy world that we can control.

And right now, I want to listen to "Grace Under Pressure" by Rush.

So there.

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Corporate Music Industry is Shrinking...

Lots of stories out today about music biz organizations really struggling financially.

I blogged a couple days ago about Sirius XM being over 1 billion dollars in debt and struggling to stay afloat. One of it's (minor) competitors WorldSpace has filed for bankruptcy and has been delisted by Nasdaq. See for info on that.

eMusic just laid off more people - 10% of it's staff - to try to strengthen it's financial situation in this economic downturn. See

And quarterly losses have widened significantly for SonyBMG, who lost 57 MILLION this last quarter! Earlier this week, EMI posted a 1.2 billion loss for the year. Holy smoke. See for details on that.

Which all goes to show why it's good to be indepedent. Who needs a record company. Seriously. Do it yourself! You might want to review my recent post on making a living doing just music at

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Monday, October 27, 2008

Will Sirius XM Survive?

A billion dollars in debt and shares trading at lower than .30 cents. Will Sirius survive?

From Digital Music News...

"After a long, painful merger approval process, Sirius Satellite Radio finally joined forces with XM Satellite Radio this summer. The marriage was largely motivated by difficult finances, as both companies were swimming in baths of debt.

Fast-forward a few months, and a serious debt overhang threatens to submerge the freshly-merged Sirius XM Radio. The company is staring down at least $1 billion in short term refinancing obligations, a situation that comes against a bone-dry lending terrain. That situation, coupled with a serious financial downturn, has pushed shares of SIRI below 30-cents in recent trading.

It has also raised questions on whether Sirius can survive the financial storm."

More at

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sivers Sold CD Baby for 22 Million

Hey readers. I've been touring most of the fall, which is why I haven't been posting here too much. Will continue touring through November. After which, I'll get a bit of a break. At least, theoretically.

Anyway, for those interested.... Derek Sivers solo CD Baby for 22 million... but he didn't see the dime of the money, instead having the funds put directly into a trust that will go to musicians when he passes away...

Here's the text of the post where this is reported on Digital Music News....

"Derek Sivers earned $22 million from the sale of CD Baby, according to an interview surfacing Thursday. Sivers sold the company to Disc Makers in early August after a seven-month closing process. "I knew that was about the right price," Sivers disclosed to Venture Voice. "We actually didn't bicker or negotiate over the price one bit, I just set a price and they said okay."

According to Sivers, CD Baby pulled annual, top-line revenues of roughly $100 million at the beginning of this year, a fourfold increase over a three-year period. The company employed 85 people at that point, though Sivers rarely visited the office. "I really started letting go in 2002," Sivers shared.

The acquisition sounds like a windfall, though Sivers actually channeled the money into a charitable trust. Sivers is now drawing interest from his Independent Musician's Charitable Trust, though the principal goes to artist-related causes when Sivers passes away. Currently, Sivers is investing his efforts in Muckwork, a company that aims to offer an "army of assistants" to musicians struggling to promote and distribute themselves. "

And for more details on the trust, which is interesting, see

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Friday, September 26, 2008

MySpace Music: So, How Does it Look?

Paul Resnikoff of Digital Music News just posted his first impressions of the new "MySpace Music" platform....

As Paul is a contributor to Music Biz Academy, I've posted his comments at

For starters...

"If music started and ended on the internet, then MySpace Music would be the end-all, be-all solution. Of course, music is enjoyed everywhere - on iPods, mobile devices, CD-Rs, automobiles, and laptops, and music fans demand transferability between different environments. They have also grown accustomed to free acquisition - and for some younger fans, music has always been free. That makes the MySpace Music proposition a bit incongruent with current listening and acquisition habits, though the concept still breaks some ground."

Read the rest at

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Disc Makers Already Making Improvements to CD Baby...

The new "Buy" links CD Baby has created for artists to link from their web site to CD Baby are very much improved. Very cool looking....

Check out the new link maker at

And for the latest post on the new changes, see

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy


How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet

MySpace Music Goes Live; All Majors On Board

From Digital Music News at

MySpace Music is now opening its eyes to the world, the beginning of an aggressive experiment by labels, artists, and the social network. The early-morning launch includes participation from all four majors, including EMI Music, an eleventh-hour partner. As expected, those majors will carry an equity stake in a joint venture structure, and receive payout percentages on related advertising and purchases. The independent collection is far less complete, at least at launch. The Orchard is among the early participants, though discussions with other groups remain ongoing. More at

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 Launches New Service Thursday...


"News Corp’s MySpace launches a new online music service on Thursday, aiming to loosen Apple’s grip on the US music industry and challenge all other online rivals. The service, MySpace Music, also aims to come to the aid of a music industry reeling from the continued slide in CD sales. MySpace Music is viewed by the music industry as an alternative to prior partnerships, most notably, its pact with Apple’s Steve Jobs. Label chiefs have long grumbled that Apple’s iTunes service is primarily designed to funnel profits back to Apple’s iPod and iPhone devices at the expense of the music industry. But so far, no contenders have managed to dent iTunes.

More at

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What MySpace Music Means to

Hey everyone,

It's been 2-3 weeks since I've posted here.... but I've been on concert tour. When I'm on tour, much of my time is spent on the road playing concerts and just trying to keep up with the "must-do" daily business stuff. Don't get as much "free time" to post newsworthy stuff here. I'm sure you know how it is, music biz minded readers that you are.

But here's a little article that came across my desk this last week that I wanted to share with you. As you may know (or perhaps you don't), MySpace is about to start streaming entire catalogs of music from SonyBMG, Univeral and Warner Music. And when people hear music they like on MySpace, they'll be able to create playlists, share them, and go right to to purchase the tracks for personal use. is hoping to start cutting into a bit of iTunes digital music dominance.

Here's the article: What the MySpace Deal Means for Also found at

See also MySpace Music Seeks to Amplify Listening Experience at

Happy reading!

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy


How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet

Friday, August 22, 2008

Must Pandora Die?

Kurt Hanson of RAIN (The Radio and Internet Newsletter) posted a GREAT Blog today about the current webcasting royalty situation that is forcing Pandora radio to seriously consider pulling the plug.

Kurt suggests that if Pandora does fold as a result of the new webcasting royalty rates, it will be the "tipping point" that either (and I quote) "(1) triggers a consumer backlash against the RIAA, which, if expressed in the form of a boycott, as some bloggers have proposed, could cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars in record sales, (2) leads to belated reasonable negotiations from SoundExchange, and/or (3) spurs Congress to pass the Internet Radio Equality Act."

Perhaps the loss of Pandora Radio (loved by millions) would be the very thing that would finally bring about some real significant action and resolution to the issue. But I hope, I truly hope, Pandora doesn't become a casualty of this.

Read Kurt's blog at .

And also don't miss the follow up blog at .

Why should YOU care about this? Because Pandora is giving significant radio exposure to thousands of unsigned artists. I know that I, personally, have sold a bunch of CDs as a result of having my music played on Pandora Radio.

If we lose Pandora, I would suggest that it is a worse tragedy than when we lost the original to Vivendi Universal back in 2001. I've sold far more CDs from exposure on Pandora Radio than I ever did back in the days of Michael Robertson's Why? Because, for the most part, the people who paid the most attention to were the very musicians who were promoting themselves on it. In contrast, Pandora's audience is comprised of everyday people who just simply love discovering new music. was populated mostly by musicians and music promoters.
Pandora is populated by music lovers and music buyers.

Anyway, read Kurt's comments.... and while you're there, subscribe to the RAIN newsletter. It's a great way to stay informed on what's happening with the radio industry.

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Music Industry Internet Radio Smackdown...

In response to my last post, "Pandora Ponders Pulling the Plug," a reader asked me whether the corporate music industry was using the new, high-priced webcasting royalty rates to deliberately kill off Internet radio.

My answer was... it sure seems that way. If the Copyright Royalty Board sets royalty rates so high that only corporate controlled companies with millions of dollars in the bank can afford to pay those royalties, then smaller, independent webcasters (like Pandora) either have to shut down or risk being sued. Most will shut down. And that will mean the only webcasters out there playing music will be those the music industry WANTS to leave intact.

Sounds like conspiracy-theory craziness? Yea, maybe a bit, but I'm not the only one who sees it that way. Just saw the new article at Pollstar today called "Internet Radio's Royalty Misery."

To quote the article...

"...There's also the underlying suspicion, first voiced last year when the CRB announced the new rates, that the music industry does not want to see Internet radio thrive. Or that it doesn't want to see as many players as the field contains, and that a smaller, more robust Internet radio industry would be more to the record labels' liking.... A 'thinning of the Internet radio herd' could result in more major-label music being streamed over the remaining Internet stations to the detriment of artists on independent labels."


Read the article in its entirety at

And then do your part to Save Internet Radio at

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pandora Ponders Pulling the Plug...

Anyone else out there love Pandora radio? Uh, yea, a zillion of us.... it's one of my favorite services on the net. Not only as a music fan (you truly can create your own radio station of music YOU like), but as an ARTIST....

Many, MANY people find my music on Pandora radio. It's been a fantastic way to target listeners who are into my style of music. The last time I checked, almost 400 people had created "David Nevue" stations or created stations featuring my music. Pretty cool. I sell quite a few CDs from that exposure...

And yet Pandora, as recently as this week, announced it may soon have to shut down. Why? Because of last year's royalty hike for web radio. Remember that? You don't hear about it much in the news anymore, but it's still a very big deal. You can read more about that at Please do.

What it comes down to is that the very folks who claim to want to help and protect artists (SoundExchange in this case) are, by their very own actions, shutting down some of the few avenues independent artists have for getting radio play on the Internet.

SoundExchange means well, I think. I mean, they send me my royalty checks and I'm grateful, very grateful. But on one hand they send me a check, on the other they threaten to take away a great source of income and exposure for me.

For those of you who are interested in following all this, I really recommend you sign up for Kurt Hanson's Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN). You can subscribe at . Kurt's team will give you the latest info every day on what's happening with Internet radio. It's interesting reading.

As for Pandora, Tim Westergren, Pandora's founder, was just quoted as in the Washington Post as saying that Pandora is nearing a "pull-the-plug" decision as to whether to continue. The new "royalty fees" will absorb 70% of their revenue.

Read about it in the article, "Giant of Internet Radio Nears it's 'Last Stand'" at

And join with me in doing everything possible to Save Net Radio. Visit

Post your thoughts below....

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Disc Makers offers "Elite Artist Services" to Former Major Label Artists

Fresh off of acquiring CD Baby, Disc Makers is now offering "Elite Artist Services" to former major label artists.

To quote the web site...

"Elite Artist Services offers major artists who go independent virtually all of the manufacturing, distribution, promotion and ecommerce infrastructure support required to release your own project - profitably. From CD and DVD design, mastering and manufacturing, to downloads, custom merch, distribution, ecommerce, print and digital marketing and more, Elite Artist Services offers you the services the record label used to – without the record label constraints. In the rapidly changing music business, Elite Artist Services takes care of your business, so you can focus on your music. You work directly with the manufacturer, and all the profits go to you."

Disc Makers offers virtually everything an artist could want. Manufacturing, distribution, content syndication, traditional retail distribution, promotional services, custom merchandising, warehousing and fulfillment, e-marketing and press kit development and print marketing advertising. Everything under one roof. Wow, sounds great!

Unfortunately, the service is only being offered to artists who "qualify." Again to quote the site....

"Not every artist qualifies to be a client of Elite Artist Services. Why? Because the level of logistical, business, and customer support you'll get from Elite Artist Services can't be offered to artists who have not yet achieved a higher level of success. Our clients don't just dream about succeeding in the music business – they already have."

Here's the web site...

So Disc Makers now has CD Baby for "unqualified" artists in one hand and Elite Artist Services for "qualified" artists in the other.


David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How to Build a Following on Twitter...

Twitter is a fantastic marketing tool - a terrific way to spread your message to many people at once - in an instant. But to do that, you need to build a following, you need to "find" other people who will, in turn, find you interesting enough to follow.

How do you do that?

Jim Spencer answers that in a terrific article I ran across this morning called, "Is Twitter for the Birds?" Jim puts forward, in a very simple way, how to grow your army of Twitter followers.

You'll find the article at


David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy


How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sirius XM in Perspective: Winners and Losers...

New article posted to the Music Biz Academy...

Sirius XM in Perspective: Winners and Losers by Paul Resnikoff.

The freshly-combined Sirius XM Radio shifts the radio landscape somewhat, though the broader impact on the music and media terrain will be modest. The days of four TV channels and ten radio stations is over - consumers now have more options than they can possibly handle, and that makes it difficult for any one company to dominate. And now that approvals have been granted, there are more winners than losers.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sivers Says.... Bye-Bye, Baby!

Read Derek Sivers announcement regarding the sale of CD Baby to Disc Makers on his blog at .

I can't help but be saddened by this just a bit. It feels like the passing of an era, although Derek does indicate that he "hasn't worked at CD Baby since last year" and has "hardly been there" since 2002. Even so, he has always been the "face" of CD Baby.

I very, very happy for Derek. Well-earned, my friend! It does seem inevitable to me though that CD Baby will start to look and feel a bit more "corporate." I can't help but wonder how long it will take before I and other CD Baby artists start receiving email ads from Disc Makers? Not long, I bet.

Still, I can say one thing for sure. I love the new look of the CD Baby home page. That right there is an improvement.

And, truth be told, if anyone was going to acquire CD Baby, Disc Makers is probably one of the best-positioned companies to do it.

Here's to Derek. Cheers! Thanks for CD Baby. Looking forward to seeing what you invent next!

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Networking on Twitter? Then Heads Up...

Malware hunters at Kaspersky Lab are seeing early signs that Twitter is now clearly big enough to be a distribution mechanism for malicious software....

A heads up post on ZDNet this morning. For more, read the blog post Twitter being used to distribute malware at

The Lessons of Vinyl

It won't save the recording industry. But the recent resurgence in vinyl is happening for a reason. The numbers aren't jaw-dropping, but they are difficult to ignore. Just recently, Boston-based Newbury Comics pointed to monthly vinyl sales of more than $100,000, and other independent stores are also reporting gains. Majors are also taking notice. That includes EMI, which recently started offering vinyl versions on a select number of titles. The major pointed to an 80 percent jump in vinyl sales last year. And the RIAA pegged 2007 sales at 1.3 million, a 36.6 percent increase from 2006.

Read more in the article The Lessons of Vinyl by Paul Resnikoff.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Making a Living from Just Your Music....

Can it be done? Can it really be done?

The answer is yes. I've been doing it. I've been making a living from music for the last seven years now. Living the dream. Doing music full time.

An artist friend of mine (Catherine Marie Charlton) forwarded an email to me from Michael Laskow of TAXI. He's seeking out musicians who are making a living doing just music and nothing else. To quote the email...

"Have you made any significant money selling your music digitally online or using the Internet to sell CDs? I'm truly curious, and thinking about adding a person or two (if I can find one) to a Road Rally panel on the subject this November. What do I mean by significant money? Enough that you were able to quit your day job. We've all been bombarded by the hype surrounding the DIY career path, but as I've said in previous rants, I haven't seen much evidence of SIGNIFICANT success. Has anybody on this list made enough money that you can, or already have walked away from your day job? Please send emails to"

So I sent Michael an email. I'll be interested to see if I hear back.

I'm sure many of you skeptical musicians are out there going... "yea, right... how much is this guy REALLY making from just his music?"

When I responded to Michael, I added it all up. I was quite surprised. It was more than I expected.

If you include CD sales, digital download sales, sales of my sheet music, concert ticket sales, performance fees and royalties, I made over $100,000 in the last 365 days. That's over 100K just doing music in the last year. That *doesn't* include income from sales my book, How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet.

Now, lest you think I'm sitting here rolling in the dough, you need to realize that my EXPENSES ate up half the income I made last year. It takes money to make money. But when all is said and done, I'm making a decent living just doing music.

Now you're thinking, "wait, his expenses were over 50k just to make that 100k? Well, I don't have 50k and there's no way I can do that!"

Actually, yes you can. You see, I started out promoting my music online back in 1995 with NOTHING financially. All I had was a web site and a couple CDs to sell. My only ongoing expense when I started out was the cost of hosting my web site. I started from there and built my music business a little bit at a time. The more money I made online from my music, the more money I had to invest back into my career. So it was a very gradual thing. But, by 2001, just six years after I started promoting my music online, I was able to quit my day job working for Symantec Corp (SYMC) and start doing "just the music."

Here's the kicker... most people think you have to be a ROCK STAR to make a good living at music. Not true. Guess what I do? I'm a pianist. Just a simple piano player. I write and arrange simple, beautiful piano melodies. You can see my web site at or visit me on MySpace at if you'd like to hear that.

So I spend my days promoting my music online. I'm here at home with my family. I get to see my kids all day. Get to practice basically whenever I want. I book my own tours all through my mailing list and so I get to travel and perform about four months a year as well. I am blessed beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. Just doing music. Just living life. Thank you Lord!

So yes, you can make a living doing music.... providing that your music is music people want. That's one of the key things you must have that you can't get around. Your music must be music that people fall in love with - music they want to own - music they want to invest in.

Now you might be saying.... "David, tell me all your secrets to making money with music!"

Well, there aren't secrets. Just common sense and a basic understanding of Internet marketing. And before you ask... no, I don't do consulting. You know, a lot of people have offered me huge sums of cash to help them with their own music careers. But I always pass on doing that. Why? Being a consultant isn't what I want to do with my life. I'm a musician. I have no interest in spending my days on the telephone!

I'm a musician - a professional musician. That's what I do. That's who I am.

Although I don't offer consulting for artists, I do keep up the Music Biz Academy web site. There are lots and lots of music business articles here written by not only myself, but many others in the industry that I respect. And there's my book, "How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet" for those who want a step-by-step guide to how I do what I do. I wrote that book - a labor of love - for all of you. Anything I would talk to you about in a consultation is in there.

So go out there, work hard, make music, do what you love what you do. And if you're making a living doing music full time, drop Michael Laskow of TAXI an email at . He wants to hear from you, too.

Have a great day...

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Twittering Your Music, Google Alerts...

As most of you know, I'm the author of the book How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet. I've been marketing my own music online for what, 13 years now (since 1995)?

One of the aspects of Internet marketing I'm working on for the next edition of my book (the 2009 Edition) is the impact of social media on marketing music. Now, every year there is inevitably a "buzz" about the this or that - some big new something that is the rage in online marketing. Well, right now it's social media. And so one of the things I have been exploring is the viability of using social media to promote ones music. And one of the tools I have just started using is Twitter.

Now, for those of you who don't know, Twitter is, essentially, a micro-blog. You have just 140 characters to type in what you're doing right now, your comments, capsule reviews, link recommendations and so on. People who like you and who are interested in you (say fans, friends, your mother-in-law) can "follow" you and watch your every move, your ever public thought, and whatever else you want to put out into the micro-blogosphere.

Is Twitter good? Is it bad? I don't know, but it's kind of fun. And it's a bit addicting for some strange reason. Can addictions be good?

Another tool that I use regularly is Google Alerts. I use this to monitor certain keywords., and Google notifies me whenever the search engine indexes a keyword or phrase that I'm monitoring. Of course, one of the keywords I'm watching is my name, David Nevue, because I want to see who's talking about me and what they are saying. Usually, this is a good thing. Sometimes it's not. Do you really want to know what people say about you when they think you aren't listening? :) I'm always listening. What can I say, I'm a control freak. It's part of why I'm successful (because of my dogged do-it-myself determination) and also, unfortunately, why I can't sleep at night.

At any rate, I am notified by Google Alert whenever anyone posts any page anywhere that includes my name and Google indexes it. It could be a blog mention, a CD review of my music, a playlist, or someone giving away my MP3s illegally. If it gets into Google, I know about it.

I mention this because of a pleasant surprise I discovered with Twitter this morning. Now, I've only been on Twitter for a week or so. I probably should have been involved with Twitter sooner, but the reality is, there are a zillion things going on out there on the net and I can only investigate so many and still keep my business running (plus I am first and foremost, a musician - there is this thing called practice and performing I have to do!) So I only want to spend my time on the marketing opportunities that are here to stay for awhile. Well, Twitter has, in my opinion, become one of the biggest successes of the new "Web 2.0" social networking experience. It has become so successful, in fact, that it's actually had a number of technical problems keeping up with it's popularity. Remember how unreliable MySpace was in it's first couple of years? Well, MySpace has gotten a lot better, hasn't it? Well, Twitter is going through those same growing pains now.

Here's the point of all this (my, I'm taking a long time to make my point!), I've been on Twitter for just a week now and I've got about two-dozen people following me. Hey, it's a start.

Someone Twittered about me yesterday and guess what? Already that Twitter has been indexed by Google. I know this because of my Google Alerts account. Someone mentioned me yesterday and boom, there it is a day later in the Google search engine results for my name. I was shocked at how quickly that happened.

What this means....

Everything you type in Twitter gets indexed (or has the potential of getting indexed) by Google into their search engine results. That makes Twitter a VERY useful marketing tool for those of you who are search-engine aware. If you enter specific keywords into your twitter communications, those Twitters may be found by people searching Google on that particular keyword.

So, for those of you using Twitter, be aware of this. When you Twitter anything about your day, be as specific as you can and use keyword-rich content. If you're preparing for a concert gig, for example, when you mention that on Twitter, include the name of the gig venue, so that when someone searches for that Venue name in Google, there is the chance that they'll discover you.

There are so many ways you can target Google searches using Twitter, and then draw people to your own Twitter page and then, hopefully, to your music. Just ponder this, and then, as you twitter, consider ways that you can get specific so that your Twitter messages might benefit you on the search engines. This is NOT to say that you should use Twitter as a spam machine (if you do this, no one will bother following you on Twitter), but just that, as you post your daily routine, think of ways you can include specific keyword text that people may be searching on.

There are so many things you can twitter about and then relate back to your music. Popular movies you see, celebrities, artists who sound like you, books you read, political events and so on. The key with Twitter is that you have just 140 characters to do it! That can be a challenge. But it's a fun one - sometimes fitting your thoughts into 140 characters feels very much like solving a crossword puzzle.

One another thing...

This blog should be the perfect reminder that EVERYTHING you type ANYWHERE online is being archived somewhere, permanently. So for those of you with privacy concerns, this is yet another heads up. Watch what you say. Nothing you do online is truly private.

And yes, (hopefully), people are following you.

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are You Cuil?

There's a new search engine getting some buzz on the net... Cuil. I've seen a number of stories about it on the net already. Perform a search for yourself on it. It's interesting, but I'll stick with Google.

2008 John Lennon Songwriting Contest (SESSION - II)

The John Lennon Songwriting Contest is open to amateur and professional songwriters who submit entries in any one of 12 categories. Winners will receive: Studio Equipment from Roland, Edirol, Godin Guitars, Audio Technica, Propellerhead, Ableton and Sibelius, an Apple iPod Shuffle and gift certificates from One entrant will be chosen to TOUR and PERFORM for one week on Warped Tour '09. One entrant will be chosen and sent for an all-inclusive trip/performance at The 2009 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. One Lennon Award winning song will be named "Maxell Song of the Year" and will take home an additional $20,000 in cash courtesy of the Maxell Corporation. $30.00 entry fee. Deadline December 15, 2008

Going Digital: Atoms and Bits or Bits Without Atoms?

Just about every artist and label is releasing music in some digital form these days. That's a no-brainer, and I see no reason not to release any new project digitally -- as bits. But many clients are asking themselves if they also need to release in one of the traditional physical formats such as CD or LP -- in other words, as atoms. Such a decision has to be based on the many disparate aspects of a business and will be different in each instance. It all depends on an artist's or label's circumstances. What should YOU do? Read the article, Going Digital: Atoms and Bits or Bits Without Atoms by Keith Holzman to find out more.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

TuneCore Pays Out 1 Million to Artists in January

There are gads of companies distributing artist's music to digital stores like iTunes, Rhapsody and MP3 these days.

But for me, the #1 company to sign up with to distribute your music online has always been CD Baby. They were the first to offer digital distribution for independent artists and they have consistently been the best at it, as far as I have been able to tell. As a CD Baby artist myself, I can tell you that I have been enjoying getting my digital sales bank deposits every week. Most months I do about $1500 in digital distribution sales. That's a nice chunk of change and frankly, it's about the easiest money I make every month.

There are other alternatives to CD Baby, however, for musicians who want other options. The most prominant of those is TuneCore, who just paid their artists over a million bucks for digital distribution last January. One artist, Josh Kelly, is among the most successful. He earned $135,000 in a month. Now THAT is a nice chunk of change.

More on TuneCore's latest success at

Friday, April 04, 2008

IndieKazoo: Create Your Own Web Store to Sell Your Music

Just reviewed at

IndieKazoo is a very clever, easy-to-use "web store" add-on tool for your web site. Create your own personal music store, sell your own music (CDs and/or downloads) directly to your fans and receive 100% of your sales revenue. Sales go directly and instantly to your PayPal account. It's an easy setup, and you are only charged a flat-rate of $20/month. Pay-as-you-go, no contract, cancel at any time. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial to try it out. The store integrates seamlessly between your own web site and PayPal.

It's a great option for those of you who would rather not send your visitor traffic to iTunes to purchase and download music. Also, it's a great alternative for those who don't want to bother setting up their own merchant account or buying expensive shopping cart software to sell their music online.

Monday, March 24, 2008

20 Things to Do While You're Sitting Around Waiting for Your Fans to Show Up....

The link to "20 Things to Do While You're Sitting Around Waiting for Your Fans to Show Up" was forwarded to me recently by an associate. It's an older blog (posted July 2007), but still very "current" in topic and worthwhile reading, especially if you're scratching your head thinking "what now?" in regards to promoting your music online.

Billboard Report: Wikipedia Beats MySpace on Artist Searches

According to a new Billboard report, almost twice as many people perform artist searches on Wikipedia than they do on MySpace.

And when a search is performed for an artist's name on Google or Yahoo, if a Wikipedia page entry exists for that artist or band, people will choose to view the Wikipedia page for that artist twice as often as they will choose the MySpace page for that same artist. Wikipedia artist page results are also selected more often than "official web site" pages.

What does this mean to you? It means you need to create an page entry for your artist or band on Wikipedia to take advantage of this fact.

Get the full story...