Friday, March 30, 2018

The fear

One of the fears for artists is that the record label will change them or change their music or style. In reality is not that common, sure it happens but most of the time are the artists doing something that is good and you keep it and try to build on that. And you don't change stuff just to change it.

What is more common is that artist comes up to the record label with ridiculous recording or market plans. Their suggestion that they should use producers that cost more than the salary of the whole 8 person staff for a year. Printing of merch items that is mainly because the artist wants them (hell all people that want o print double vinyl on the all the remixes that just has streamed 1000 times). And their best friend with no track record can easily do a video that cost more than all the videos you should do that year together. And to be able to book a tour they really need a tour bus.

You ask can't you book a tour an then when you have the dates we fix the bus? That question is never good to say you just get the killer look from the artist.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The reason why Spotify is not that interesting anymore.

I found a tipoff from Daniel Johansson blog in Musikindustrin (a really cool blog in my mind, unfortunate just in Swedish).


It's really interesting reading about how Spotify doesn't want to be the gatekeeper but still act as the gatekeeper. Also that it's still just 1% that makes the money as artists.

The perspective I have is that most money actually comes from the live side. In fact, it's 50% is live and 25% is master and 25 is publishing in simple terms. So this 1% is mainly on the 25% master side. It comes down to a pretty low number. And I bet you that these artists that are in this 1 % are daily touring artists touring quite heavily.

In reality, that means to break an artist will be in the live section. Especially when the master side will be challenged by AI made songs that can pump out quite much music in big quantities (it's already here and yes they will do good music, no doubt about that).

When Universal also sold Ingrooves you know that distribution and master side is not something they look as being big. At the same time as many others are doing painfully mistakes trying to lure percentages from smaller artists thinking that would build artists to the 1%.

At the same time, a totally new breed of gatekeepers is forming around the showcase festivals. I 'm seeing it written on the wall that it's here the next 1% is being built. Spotify is just a tool to bring in one of several income streams. It will be not the major one and not the gatekeeper they think they might be, that race is already over.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Poor artists on this label

Dumb and dumber, yes that what I would call the conversation I had with a record label today. I have been sending out how it works with showcasing to the Swedish record industry. we have just opened some cool stuff for Swedish bands on Live at heart and you can get a serious scholarship if you are nominated. Of course, the only way to even have a chance is to play on the festival. So I wrote a newsletter about it and explained how you should do it and some tips and stuff.

I sent it out to the list of all the record labels who are members of the different organizations, mainly the official address, and some personal. I was standing talking to a label that got this email and she was very happy to read it and was discussing it how it could benefit her artists.

Another guy that I know came up to us and heard about the things and started to ask questions since he thought it would really suit his artists. After a while, he asked why he didn't get the newsletter with this information. I was sure he was on there and asked if it was this address, and yes it was the right address. I thought it was a bit odd. But I forward the link to him to read.

A bit later I checked my computer and checked his email in our newsletter system. Yes, he was on the newsletter list but had put off the subscription. I meet him a bit later and told him that he had unsubscribed to our newsletter.

- Oh, there was a letter earlier that didn't contain any good information for me so I unsubscribed.

I guess how stupid can you be. So every newsletter should contain information totally suited for your interest and that you should make some good insights from it. That is just so I didn't want him to get the news at all.

- How do I subscribe again?

- You click on the bottom link in the link I sent you, I answered.

Poor artists that missed info just because this bozo thought one letter was boring. I looked and saw several shootouts that really he would have some benefit from. I guess if they are not smart enough to change from his label I guess they deserved it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Clouded judgment!

Music taste, what is it? Really I have just been through a lot of bands applying for different things. To my help, I have several people with different music taste. Sure you have some preferences what you like and don't like but you have to set these aside when it comes to going through applications. If it is for a festival, just because you don't like jazz music doesn't mean that the audience will think the same and love jazz music. If it is to work with an artist, just because they do cheesy music doesn't' mean you should not work with it.

That seems pretty clear, doesn't it? Well, it's not clear when you are out there working I will tell you that. The whole day has been a long race with people that can't make these differences. Their personal taste has taken over and clouds the judgment what is really best in the situation.

Right now I think about myself and hope that I'm not in the same way. I guess it's hard to see it when you are in the middle of the whole thing. I try to be as open as possible in most cases, but I guess I'm clouded as well.

At least I have found out one thing and that is that the artist applying is not making it easy for these people to make a decision. Instead of getting the right stuff to the audience they tend to give whatever they think is cool themselves.

So music taste, what is that?

Monday, March 26, 2018

P4 Nästa nagelfars är det värt att ställa upp?

Another one in Swedish since this is only for Sweden.

Jag vet inte men P4 Nästa känns verkligen inte som ett plus i kanten för en artist. Tävlingen verkar inte heller leverera speciellt mycket heller. Okay radio är inte lika inflytelserika idag som de har varit, men det här känns väldigt nödtorftigt. De lockar med en plats i melodifestivalen, men som alla vet att göra melodifestivalen utan kunskap i ett stim av amatörmässiga personer i musikbranschen är aldrig ett bra val. Det här känns mer som en genväg som blir en senväg.

Helt enkelt vi kolla in vad som hände med de vinnare som kom just från P4 nästa eller Svensktoppen nästa som det förut hette.

2008- Camilla Wallin - "Vid sidan av dig" - Ingen joker utsågs till Mello
2009 - Martin Häggström - "En väg tillbaks" - Ingen joker utsågs till Mello
2010 - Staffan Stridsberg - "Black Crow" - Ingen joker utsågs till Mello
2011 - Manuel Fervenza  - "The Lucky One" - Ingen joker utsågs till Mello
2012 - Terese Fredenwall - "Drop the Fight" Femma i deltävling på Mello
2013 – Eko - "Yellow" - Åtta i deltävling på Mello
2014 - Kalle Johansson - "Den där dan" - Sexa i deltävling på Mello
2015 - Michael Fannon  - "Kommer tid, kommer råd" Blev inte joker utan Smiling Swedes blev joker med låten "Weight of the world" - Femma i deltävling på Mello.
2016 - Noomi Thorstensson -"Intoxicated"- Blev inte joker utan Les Gordons "Bound to fail" - Sexa i deltävling.
2017 - Stiko Per Larsson - "Kumpaner (Vi är som)" – Sjua i delttävlingen.

Statistiken talar sitt klara språk. Ingen låt någonsin från P4 Nästa har tagit sig ens till andra omgången inom gruppen. Alltså inte spelats två gånger i TV ens. Alla har direkt flyttats till artist sophögen trots att de fått kontrakt med majorbolag. I princip bolagen har plockat upp dem för att få procent i tv framträdandet men inte för att lägga några som helst pengar på artisten eller utveckla deras karriärer.

Vi kan titta på Spotifys streaming. Man räknar att man bör bara med exponeringen få runt en miljon streams eftersom man automatiskt hamnar på en massa mello listor. Dock en hit ligger mer runt 4 till 5 miljoner streams. Vi ser även vad singeln efter mello drog.

Terese Fredenwall - "Breaking the silence" 1,4 miljoner streams, singel efter mello  Drop the fight under 4000 streams.

Eko – ”Red”  - 710 000 streams lyckades inte släppa något mer trots signering till Warner.

Kalle Johansson – ”För din skull” – 1,6 miljoner streams, andra singeln ”Inte ge dig mera” 258 000 streams. Signerad till indie bolaget PAMA.

Smiling Swedes (bytt namn till Smilo) – 3,6 miljoner streams, andra singeln  ”Young again” 558 000 streams trots signering till Universal.

Les Gordons – Bound to fail” – 691 000 streams, andra singlen “Let the music speak” 11 000 streams trots signering till Capitol Music.

Stiko Per Larsson – “Titta vi flyger” – 476 000 streams, andra singeln har inte kommit än men är signerad till BMG.

Vi kan lugnt konstatera at en medverkan inte direkt leder till någon karriär om man hamnar i mello sammanhangen. De andra då

Camilla Wallin – inte ens över 1000 streams
Martin Häggström – finns inte ens ute
Staffan Stridsberg – 22 000 streams
Manuel Fervenza – 342 000 streams har dock inte lyckats släppa något mer.
Michael Fannon – 581 000 streams signerad till indie bolaget Starlab.
Noomi Thorstensson – Låten finns inte ute men en annan på 2000 streams.

Vi kan väl inte direkt säga att det är lysande karriärer. Michael Fannon har lite på G men det har han fått senare av Starlab.
Vi kan med enkelhelt säga att det är större chans att få en karriär att spela på en showcasefestival  i sverige än att ställa upp i sådan här talangtävlingar. Ändå tycks artisterna gå på det här gång på gång.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Mastering the Music Business in Romania

Another conference done. And I feel I get so much more done with these smaller ones. In this case, it was Mastering the music business in Romania.

Since it's small everyone who is there is carefully selected and usually a person with a jack of trades. This gets a smaller group of people with a fascinating network. Since it's small you also get time to talk to all and find a business opportunity that you thought never existed. I guess I just opened the doors to at least five new territories just on this.

The bigger conference like SXSW is more to update already existing contacts. It's the small who creates new opportunities. I'm really excited to visit at least five more this year. Right now I'm really glad that I got the opportunity to be on #mmb2018.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Follow the tastemakers

One of the things I have seen when going to the new music landscape is that music lovers are more and more pushed out.

Look on Austin. In the beginning, it was a cheap town to live in with old run down bars where live music was the main ingredient. This attracted many musicians. Suddenly Austin was hip and had a great selection of entertainment. That attracted big companies that sought a cheap place but cool to attract young employees to hire. Suddenly the prices went up and the bars disappeared and with that the musicians. Right now the last phase of this ongoing. I wait and see where the new Austin is going to be.
Right now Austin just becomes a technical mecca with nerds in suits. Okay, more money but it will fast die. These yuppies will soon kill the slogan "keep Austin weird".

Same I feel around the conferences that are going down. First, it was music lovers they become replaced by startups and tech since it's more money. But that makes these tastemakers to leave and just leave an empty fair with no soul. I guess what happened to Midem. Just it companies no music and suddenly all people with taste disappeared. SXSW is heading there and I can see several others too. The new game is to follow the tastemakers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Update sxsw 2018

And I wait for my Uber to take me to the airport. It has been a good SXSW. A lot of business and good stuff. Of course some of the usual problems with backline and visa but nothing that was not solved.

My reflection tough is that SXSW this year was a bit calmer. In my mind it's better you get more chance for networking and don't have to wait in ridiculous lines. Still, I can see that the competition from many new festivals takes its toll.

Also how the festival has spread out. 6th street has become a giant hip hop scene where the rappers stand on the street rapping the same song for 4 days. Don't get me wrong it's not that it sounds the same, they do the same song since it's so many people passing.

The rap scene has then taken over the east side of 6th. The export people and brands have moved to Reiny street and are in the shadows of the new skyscrapers.

South Congress has spread out and far far away is the folk and country.

The hard rock is nowhere to be found. I managed to find a stoner fest in the north far away from it all where old guys with no hair but a lot of beards were doing "Iron Man " in different versions.

Still, it is the largest one and you do things here. They have to change to keep that momentum.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Was that me?

Was that post about me? I get that question quite often. But no it was not. I change quite many scenarios in different ways so it's impossible to tell what it was. Also I add and take off. The core might have a person, but the story is added and changed.

Still sometimes several people does the same mistake at the same time and I mix these together, and people get upset thinking I write about them. At the same time when they get upset they might see it in a different light.

The best is when I write and disguise it so good that the person that the post is about is comment that it was a crazy thing to do, when the post is about that person.

So why I don't write about good stuff? I do but then I usually write out the name. The errors is easier though to write about.

Don't take it personally. But if you do there might be something to think about.

Ba ett exempel hegge.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Don't worry about things that won't happen.

I had the funniest conversation. A person that runs a management contacted me on Facebook. Okay saying that it is a management is maybe too much. It's totally new and I have never heard of it or any of the bands. Well, they just wanted to ask a question so I answered to ask the question.

They asked if we took submission on our label. Kind of stupid question since if you go to the home page there is big section how to send music. If you don't bother to do the simplest research you look kind of stupid.

After sending the link I got another message:
-I just sent the song to you, when do I get an answer?

I wrote back that it might take a couple of weeks and that we will be in touch if it's something. Then came:
- Ok, I really don't know what the label has done. Maybe you are not the right label. We are not accepting a deal over 50%.

There are no worries. Right here I know there's no point of listening to it. We won't get deals with people really don't know what they are doing. So worry that we will offer you a bad contract is just not worth it.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hopeless showcasing

In speaking of hopeless showcasing (see yesterdays post). I see quite many stupid artist projects showcasing as well.

First of all. No, not really that someone will just pass by your show and discover you. Their stories are fabricated. You can quite often read that The Magnettes was discovered on SXSW. In reality, we did a quite big job talking to people beforehand and we had several leads. In the end, Digsin took it, sure it was the first time they saw them. But they had been nagged on for at least a year before.

Then you need to have your team there. A showcase is so big that you need to spread out to get things done. Just sending your artist and not be there yourself is just stupid. Then the artist has to refer to a person that is not there. You can send to smaller sometimes but like SXSW is just a waste of time. In our team, we are around 3 to 4 people not counting the artist.

Just because you get the business card of a big shot means that the deal is sealed.

Drinking with just people from your own country is rather stupid, these you can meet home. No, you are not cool just because you see each other abroad.

Look into what kind of time slot you have and work hard.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Failed projects

Since I'm on SXSW this week I see a lot of hopeless projects showing off in the Texas sun.

One of my favorite things is to be at the booth where companies are showcasing new ideas. I usually go around and collect t-shirts from companies that have a 99% fail rate. I usually come from there with quite many T-shirts. My favorite one the past years is Gloumper. An app that was quite the same as Instagram but had a few more filters. Or the company that built an app that you can hum your tune to the app and the publishes it online.

First, you can use the recorder. Second, why would I want other people to hear my humming? I can understand you want to have it to remember something to write on, but not give it to the rest of the world. Third, what was this company business model? Of course, they didn't know. I took my t-shirt and just added to my collection.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Like reading about having sex.

Reading about starting your own business is like reading about having sex, the sign in the subway in NYC said. I agree, most of the stuff I have done has been by doing mistakes and learn by doing. What's keep it up is passion and persistent work.

In an artist career, it's also the same. Every career is unique and really can't be copied.  In a way, you have to take your own path. Do your own mistakes. Minimize the mistakes by getting advice, but still evaluate this advice to your own path. In the end, there is no right or wrong it's just hard work and like we say in Sweden "you have to like the situation".

Actually, the sign in the subway after said "in doers, we trust" yes there you have it.

Monday, March 12, 2018

You want to get rich.

I just went to one of the world's largest casinos. It's total madness and people are sitting in front of a slot machine and just press a button. You know you can win the big jackpot and become rich, that is the driving force.

It's the same mechanism that you have your artist career. You want people to recognize your piece of art. Discover your expression. And like many says, make a living off your music.

There is a big difference though between the two. The slot machine is a very low entrance. You just get there and sit down in front of the machine put in your money and press the button. At the same time, you are at the mercy of the machine. You can't predict when and where it releases its gold.

A career is harder to make an entrance. You have to practice and test things. But the biggest difference is that you can affect your career by doing things. You can market, talk to people and in various ways effect that you are going forward.

Still, I feel people are more or less acting like they are front of a slot machine, sitting and waiting for the machine to release its gold.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

There is no control

No, I really don't know what color it is on the amp on the stage. That was my last answer to a barrage of questions that an artist with over control need had.

The funny part is that I know the artist has this need and had sent the most information I had got. Still, it is not enough for the person with control anxiety. The problem is that the last question the artist had was, are you making sure the right people will be on the show? Well since most of my time is going on to find answers that are not that relevant I guess I need to stay quiet on that one.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

What to say to the best band in the world.

I'm speaking with a band and of course, they are selling themselves to me. The argument though is that they are really good. And by this time I haven't heard the music. But on and on they tell me that they have really great songs and are good live.

Some days pass and I manage to listen to the music, in fact, I get a hold of a live video from 6 months earlier. Let's just say this is far far away from the best band in the world. The live show is not even up to a local talent show.

Then they call again and after a couple of minutes they go for the same argument, we are the best band in the world.
The problem is that they really think they are. Maybe not the best but really good. You can easily figure out that they have some friends telling that to them, maybe also parents. How the hell do I break to them that the reason they are not progressing is since they are not good enough? In a sense it's like telling the guy in the subway that shouts out that Jesus loves me, sorry Jesus is fake Buddha is the real thing. It will just be an endless conversation about two different views.

I guess I will just move along and tell some advice to the band. Still knowing the error and that the advice is fruitless unless you are good enough. The sad part is that I know they will get back to me in six months telling me that they don't feel they have progression and don't understand why since they are the best band in the world.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Make it harder

Damn got a severe eye infection and writing messages on the phone is really difficult. Usually, just the time is hard to do it and all autocorrections and small buttons. This takes it to a new level. Well, at least I'm in NYC.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Going to USA

Finally at the gate for the plane to the USA and some meetings in NYC. Right now I have been delayed for more than 48 hours with planes and weather and canceled flights.
Also with a bad eye infection that slows me down. But hurdles are for getting over.

I guess when this is posted I'm in USA.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Another meeting.

Is this meeting really necessary? Many times we get so many calls about meetings with artists. And the only question is what should we do next? And what happens this summer?

You know what? You should do as much as you can next there is no way you have done everything that should be done, and I have no clue what is going to happen this summer. I guess if you get some summer festivals we will market those.

So many of these meetings are really nothing to talk about. Its most of the time guessing stuff that needs to change anyway because of different reasons. Yes, I would do much better use to do some work instead of sitting in these endless meetings about nothing.

So before you start asking about meetings, can you also provide a list what we should talk about, and agenda would be nice.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The next step! Mc Donalds style!

I think this has been on the blog before. But I can take it again since it always comes up. Most artists (and people around) seems to think the music industry works like a job ladder. No this is not Mc Donalds where you start on the floor as a cashier and then move up to make burgers than to be a team leader, then somewhere in the line, you might get to be a restaurant chef.

In these situations you can always call on that you have done certain hours and that is your turn etc. In the music industry, it never works like that. If we take it in the Mc Donalds style. We would count the money. Yes, you would be upgraded not to your hours instead of many burgers you sold. And when we needed a new team leader then we would just go out and hire a new person.

Here it is no marks or goal you can set up in that kind of way. You have to be darn good and then things come along. It's not about time or how many streams you have what will take you forward. Is how many burgers you sell, or in this case how many fans you get.

I see so many bands comparing themselves to other bands. We started the same time as they did, we should also play on that big festival. We have this many streams we should be on TV not them they have much fewer streams. This is the utopia the industry wants to build. Still, music is the ears of the beholder and it can't really be done. The only thing that matters here is hard work, you can only compete with yourself.