Monday, March 31, 2008

Labels: Target Mindshare - Not CD Sales

Kill the album, not the label. Couple days ago Mike Arrington over at Techcrunch blasts the music labels for their newest scheme of creating a music tax. He's right, it’s totally stupid but he also argues/predicts the death of the music label. I think labels can save themselves, not by dying but by changing their roles and intellectual capital. I blogged about 10 Things Labels Can Do To Save Themselves here but the main thing is to ditch the album process and start a campaign of securing consistent mindshare with fans. With so many great off the shelf tools for publishing audio, video and textual content, building a mind-share strategy has never been easier.

Instead of releasing a album every so often, commit to releasing a song every three months. A consistent river of songs, communication, video, rants etc will help a band maintain and increase mindshare with their fan base over the long term. Increasing mindshare through a more consistent multi-channel form of entertainment will lead to many more touchpoints for the band/label to monetize.

Here are some potential touchpoints that labels can monetize in a mindshare strategy;
• Live event ticket sales that are not album driven but crowd driven
• Involve fan base on some creative decisions and content
• Licensed remixxing of tracks to fans for re-purposing
• Merchandise sales that are personalized and targeted by region, event etc.
• Mobile sounds and content that are personalized or on limited availability
• Sell VIP access for fans to access communication from the band, videos, special releases and access to new releases before they are public/free.

If you think about monetizing the mindshare of the fan base through touchpoints, then labels may find a more profitable model. They may have to shrink some, hire some new talent from the Internet world but they do have a chance. That aside, I do think there is some great opportunity here for the right entrepreneur to disrupt the current process by targeting the *album* and its shortcomings.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Presenting at b5's blognetwork camp @ SXSW

I am excited to be delivering a presentation to a great group of industry leaders in the blog network space at SXSW next Monday night. Jeremy Wright from b5 media was kind enough to invite us (Outbrain)to sponsor the event and we gladly accepted. The focus of my presentation will be how blog networks can leverage ratings and content recommendations to their advantage. Being a fan of Mexican food and libations, I am looking forward to sampling some of Austin's finest at Cantina Laredo. If you are at SXSW and want to join us, you can rsvp here. Gracias Amigos!