Author Archive

A strolling tour of Apple Music

June 30, 2015{ No Comments }

Apple MusicI’ve been looking forward to the interactive streaming aspect of Apple Music with excitement for a while now.

As for the radio (Beats 1) and social networking (Apple Connect) features of the new service? Well, I suppose you could say I’ve been a skeptic in advance, BUT… Apple Music is finally here, and I’m sold on ALL of it.

To trot out some jargon: Apple Music is robust, intuitive, and personal.

Walk with me, won’t you?

Apple Music: the new music streaming service at a glance

First, you’ll need to access Apple Music (which requires iOS 8.4 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch). Here’s some instructions on how to download Apple Music onto your device.

Next, let’s take a peak around. Read more »

Apple Music has launched: how to download it!

June 30, 2015{ No Comments }

How to download Apple MusicThe 3-month free trial of Apple Music is now available

Apple’s new music streaming service is here, but in order to start listening, you need iOS 8.4 on your device or the latest version of iTunes on your computer.

To download iOS 8.4, or to access Apple Music through iTunes, read the instructions below from Apple:

Before you update

Back up your device to iCloud or iTunes.

If you use your device’s Personal Hotspot for your computer’s Internet connection, update your device wirelessly or connect your computer to another network.

Read more »

The dark side of life on the road: what has touring cost you?

June 26, 2015{ 2 Comments }

The dark side of touring: what has life on the road cost you?

One of the valuable things about this blog that might not be evident to casual readers is that its comment section is a forum for musicians to communicate and help one another out.

Every week, as I moderate comments, I see artists thanking other artists for their contributions to a particular discussion. It could be something as straightforward as troubleshooting the Apple Connect signup process. Or it could be about something more weighty, such as aging in a profession that favors youth.

But either way, it’s always encouraging to see musicians helping their fellow musicians with concerns both big and small. So… after reading a recent article from The Guardian called “Insomnia, anxiety, breakups,… musicians on the dark side of touring,” I thought I’d try to open up a discussion here about the negative effects of life (or stretches of life) on the road.

The psychological dangers that touring musicians face

Read more »

How to write a pop song

June 24, 2015{ 2 Comments }

What do you get when you put the hits of Justin Timberlake, Kesha, Psy, Mumford & Sons, Carly Rae Jepsen, and The Black Eyed Peas in a blender?

Something like the pop music instructional shown above!

I know this video is from last summer, but I saw it again last night and then this morning I heard a few current Top 40 songs in the car and thought, “Hmmm, filter sweeps? 4 on the floor? Gang vocals? Not much has changed in a year (or five)!” Read more »

8 things every musician should know about Global Release Day

June 22, 2015{ No Comments }

What musicians should know about Global Release DayWhat will Global Release Day mean for YOUR music?

All over the world, the music industry is shifting towards a unified “Global Release Day” in order to deter piracy, avoid fan confusion, and help coordinate marketing efforts across multiple territories.

Instead of album and single releases coming out on Monday in the UK, Tuesday in the US, and so forth — new music will now be released worldwide on Fridays.

Here’s a few things to note about Global Release Day:

Read more »

Apple Music WILL pay artists during its free 3-month trial period

June 22, 2015{ 17 Comments }

Four kinds of royalties you can earn through Apple MusicOver the past couple weeks, indie artists, distributors, labels, and label groups (such as Beggars, Merlin, A2IM, etc.) have been voicing concerns over Apple Music’s 3-month introductory trial period, during which rights owners would NOT be paid for the usage of their music.

Well, we’re very excited to share good news with you: on Monday, June 22nd, Apple announced it has reconsidered, and it WILL pay royalties to artists, labels, and publishers during the trial period.

How did this all unfold? Well, Apple has been paying close attention to the voices of independent rights holders (both publicly and privately), and the conversation culminated with a now widely reported exchange between Taylor Swift and Apple Music’s Eddy Cue.

First, Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple Music asking them to reconsider their policy regarding payments during the trial period.

Her letter concludes:

We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.

Her fans went nuts, sharing her letter tens of thousands of times, and adding their voices to the discussion too.

Apple’s Eddy Cue responded: Read more »

“Apple Music could be great for indie musicians”

June 19, 2015{ 1 Comment }

Apple Music for independent musiciansTracy Maddux, CD Baby’s CEO, wrote a piece for Billboard about the positive impact Apple Music could have on the independent music economy.

Tracy makes some good points in the full article (check it out HERE), but the part that interested me most was his take on what success for Apple Music would look like in terms of subscriber numbers:

Apple and more importantly artists don’t need all 500 million iPhone users or 800 million iTunes users to buy to make this a huge success. If only 5 percent of iTunes users tune in, subscribe to a trial period and sustain their $10 per month, the results will be industry changing. Apple Music will have attracted 40 million paying subscribers paying $4.8 billion dollars per year. That’s double what we estimate iTunes sold in downloads last year. Astounding. It’s also double Pandora and Spotify’s gross 2014 sales… combined.

For more about Apple Music’s impact on independent musicians, check out:

1. Podcast: What Artists Need to Know About Apple Music

2. How much of Apple Music’s subscription revenue is being paid back to rights owners?

3. Four kinds of royalties you can earn from Apple Music

4. What effect will Apple Music have on the music industry?

5. How to claim your Apple Music artist profile through Connect Read more »

What if digital isn’t forever?

June 19, 2015{ 2 Comments }

The future of YouTubeYouTube, like the universe, is constantly expanding.

Every single day, 432,000 hours of video gets posted to the Google-owned platform. I’m no math wiz, but I think that’s about 50 years of footage uploaded every 24 hours.

As NPR’s Alexis Madrigal said in a recent segment on Fresh Air:

[YouTube has] become a stunning record of our current civilization, global in scope but intimate and personal at the same time. Future historians could have unprecedented access to the daily lives of all kinds of people. Of course, that’s if Google commits to preserving this incredible record; and that’s a big if. There are reasons to believe that such a massive digital archive will not be profitable for Google to save for future generations. As my friend Dan Cohen, head of the Digital Public Library of America, likes to say, Google is not in the forever business.

Read more »

100 years of rock history in less than 60 seconds

June 15, 2015{ 4 Comments }

100 years of rock historyWatch the evolution of modern music, on fast forward

No matter how you define “rock,” this fun animated infographic will probably interest you.

It shows the cross pollination that occurred between many popular genres and sub-genres throughout the 20th Century.

The whole thing will take you less than a minute to view (unless you click on any of the individual genres to explore the musical categories in more depth).

Check out “From Gospel to Grunge: 100 years of Rock in Less Than a Minute.” Read more »

Ever do something on stage you wish you could take back?

June 15, 2015{ No Comments }

Bad SingerHave you ever gotten caught up in the moment and done something you’d later regret during a concert?

Thanks to smartphones, those moments can now live on forever!

Check out the embarrassing tirade from Smash Mouth’s lead singer in the video below.

Then let us know: what’s your worst on-stage moment? Read more »