Archive for July, 2008


revenue model for newtunes

If NewTunes is going to make it, it’ll need to generate revenue. Sure, if 100,000 of you (if there are that many of you… reading this, I mean… and I happen to know there aren’t, but anyway) decide to register on and use NewTunes religiously, we’ll be doing pretty well.

But our plans to stay alive and generate revenue are 99% centered around advertising revenue. In other words, we’re going to sell advertising on our site. This will allow us to provide useful services to musicians and bands for free (in fact, hopefully at a profit, for them, if they can sell their music).

It is my belief that the right advertising in the right context equals useful context. When I read the Onion, the ads for the Barrymore, Annex, High Noon Saloon, Majestic, etc (all local venues for touring and local bands) are all useful content. If they werent’ there, I’d either look for a publication that had them, or call the Onion and tell them to get them.

We want useful advertising. We won’t take a hearing aid ad (although, for some of you frequent concert goers, it might BE useful content), but we’ll take ads more in line with who we think you are (new music releases, for instance).

This discussion has led us, in-house, to whether or not to take Google ads. Money IS money, and we will need it to stay alive. However, the problem with Google ads is that anything might come through, although it is my understanding that there is an ability to control it to some degree – but who can predict what one may put in an ad that would get through your filter.

Recently, someone at Hypebot put an anti-record label ad on Columbia Records site (they take Google ads):

Major Labels Are Obsolete
R.I.P. or learn and thrive.
Music. Tech. The New Music Business

Click here for Hypebot’s take on it. But I agree with them that the small cut we get may not be worth the messages that will appear on our site. We’ve yet to resolve which way we’ll go with this, but I thought this was a good argument against…


greatest music venue ever & a challenge to the record store owners

This is The Allen Room at the Lincoln Center in New York.

OK, I haven’t actually been there… yet. But how could it not be? Look at how open this space is. Check out the backdrop. That’s TWO stories of window overlooking Central Park in Manhattan. And can you imagine the acoustics in that place? The sound there is probably as clear as any venue in the U.S.

I’ve been thinking about The Allen Room because I recently saw that the Willie Nelson/Wynton Marsalis shows from early 2007, the recordings for which – Two Men With The Blues – were recently released on disc by Blue Note.

If you missed it, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis paired up to play what I’m sure what a classic set of shows on January 12 and 13 of 2007. The show was set against the backdrop of the Allen Room’s view of New York.

It’s not often when two absolute legends pair up to play live. It’s less often when two absolute legends from two completely different areas of the music spectrum get together. Willie Nelson is arguably on par with the legend of Johnny Cash, and Wynton Marsalis may be the greatest living jazz legend. To have them together, live and on that stage could be one of the great pairings of our generation.

So, in 2008, as musical genres continue to blend – much like the ethnicities and cultures of our country – in what section will this recording from these shows be placed? Country? Jazz?

The increasing inability to classify music is one of the founding principles of NewTunes. No band is defined by one sound anymore. And there are so many bands out there that are fighting for exposure.

We’re hoping our search engine is a way for music fans to cut through the clutter and use one of their favorite songs as a launching point to discover other songs that sound similar. In finding those songs, they’ll hopefully be exposed to an entirely new world of bands they’d otherwise never heard of.

There’s a huge to do list for me in this post. I’ve got to get to The Allen Room. I’ve got to get a copy of the Marsalis/Nelson team-up. And I’ve got to (with the help of my partners) put the finishing touches on our site so we can share our vision with other music fans. I’m hopeful that you’ll join me in these pursuits (well, not literally… but you get the idea).

In the meantime, here’s a promotional video for the Nelson/Marsalis combo…


these modern socks

It’s amazing to me how many one-man bands there are these days. And unlike the one-man bands of the past, very few have the cymbals between their knees.

Corey Palmer, out of Minnesota, wrote and recorded an entire album in his home under the band name These Modern Socks. After enlisting the assistance of four other musicians, with whom he had worked in previous bands, he started playing live and sold out all of those albums.

So, he began work on his second album – Picking a Lock At the Speed of Light – which was released two months ago.

The sound is a clever blend of acoustic meets electronic, and I think this band has a solid chance of “making it.”

They have no videos to speak of, but here’s the title track, “Picking a Lock At the Speed of Light,” courtesy of My Big Mouth Strikes Again – a music blog that does an excellent job of finding new bands.


can anyone keep up with the internet?

Someone just sent me the Where the Hell is Matt? video. Matt is a guy who, courtesy of Stride gum, traveled all over the world doing “his” dance on video. It’s yet another submission in a long line of viral videos.

It’s apparently been around for a few years, but I’d never heard of it. Which takes me back to the “man, how uncool am I” soul-searching.

Since I’m way behind the curve on this one, I’m trying to figure if it is at all possible to keep up with the Internet.

Is it possible that anyone is on the cutting edge of every video, site or song fad happening on the Internet? Has the Internet actually leveled the “cool” playing field? If everyone misses some “cool” thing happening on the Internet, doesn’t that make us all, essentially, uncool (or cool, in absence of uncool)?

Anyway, if you haven’t seen this, you are less cool than me – so how does THAT make you feel?


get the most out of your ipod

While at NAMM last January, I had a meeting with the people from Samson Audio. While waiting for our appointment to begin, I had a chance to check out the StudioDock 3i.

I had almost forgotten that I tested it until I saw this announcement that the product was just released to the market.

Basically, it’s a set of speakers with an iPod dock that allows you to charge and play your iPod.

There are many speaker sets for the iPod, but I found this one to be superior in sound and range to any others that I’ve tried.

The sheer volume alone that you can generate, while still maintaining the integrity of the song (no mean feat for MP3 players, in general) is quite impressive. You can certainly maintain a groovy backyard party with one set of these speakers.

They’re retailing at about $150 on every site I’ve seen (Madison-local Full Compass has them for $149). If you’re looking for speakers for your iPod, I can’t recommend these strongly enough (well, given time… I probably could… but you get the point).


wait… what does selling out mean, again? ask 50 cent

50 cent is suing Taco Bell for using his image in their ads without his consent.

Taco Bell has very reasonably agreed to donate $10,000 in his name to the charity of his choice if he simply changes his name to 79 cents, 89 cents or 99 cents and raps a food order at one of their branches.

Sounds entirely reasonable to me. Surprised he didn’t think of that himself.


matc is m-a-too-cool

Developer Jim recently sent me a song link that I just got around to listening to.

Turns out it’s actually an ad for Madison Area Technical College. It is slightly (only slightly) less painful and embarrassing than the JC Penney’s ad in theaters around the country.

My question is, was this purposefully lame as to be a joke, or did they intend to “connect with the young people.”

Either way, it hurts.

Check it out here.

July 2008
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