Music Conference about replacing the Major Labels
Got back yesterday from O'Reilly's DIGIFOO conference where about 150 Video, Photo and Music people got together for a self-organizing conference.
Most of the attendees were from the video/photo world, with about 10 people from music (almost half of them from Microsoft -- though Sumit, from Microsoft Research showed some very cool tech for automatically mashing two pieces of music together, adding a drumbeat too a beat-less track). O'Reilly's publishing a bunch of photo/video books, which explains the emphasis the DIGIFOO.
Robert and Lucas and I decided that a conference dedicated to "what's going to replace the major labels ?" is sorely needed, and we could gather all the various wacky Internet-music ideas together, do some networking, come up with a game plan, and plan for world domination. (grin). The 3 of us are making initial plans, getting a location secured and a date (in January/February). It'll be a weekend 2 day affair, in the style of CodeCon, very low cost (so that poor starving webmasters can attend).
More news on this Replacing-the-music-industry convention as we settle it...
Magnatune now selling physical CDs
Magnatune is now selling physical CDs of all the albums on the site. People can choose to purchase a download or a physical CD. If you want to see what our CDs look like, go here http://magnatune.com/artists/buy_cd_example
Another company takes care of making the CD and artwork, and postal mailing the package. They charge us $4.97 USA ($7.97) which is what I'm charging customers extra to get a CD. I deduct this amount from the total, and Magnatune and the artist split 50/50 the money paid for the music itself, which is the same price as the download.
All artists will now see a "fmt" (format) column in the sales detail reports, which shows "dl" (download) or "cd" (physical CD) so they can see what people are ordering.
Selling CDs and downloads from other web sites:
I would very happy if people offered "buy now" links on their web sites to albums they particularly like, pointing to the 'choose' page at Magnatune (the first step in buying).
To get the proper URL to go directly to buying, visit the artist page at Magnatune, and then copy the link on the 'buy' text next to the album.
Artemis in Concert
They've added a cello player to their live set, as well as a multi-instrumentalist who played an interesting (chinese?) harp-like instrument, but with the strings rounded around a central master, kind of like a very narrow cello with lots or strings.
Artemis have a new album coming out that I'm *really* excited about, as they're so incredibly talented and I'm hoping to get the iTunes folks excited into featuring them.
Be sure to note that Artemis is wearing her oh-so-fashionable Magnatune "we are not evil" tshirt!
September Magnatune Report
- Physical CD sales should start next week. I have a pile of test CDs sitting next to me, and after a few small tweaks, I'll be turning on the "order a physical CD" option at Magnatune. I have high hopes that this will really increase sales.
- Magnatune is advertising on webjay (at www.webjay.org) to get people both to listen to our music, but also add our music to the shared webjay playlists, which will then have a lasting impact of exposing new people to the music.
- We scanned in about 100 album covers, made PDFs of them, in preparation for our music being on iTunes. I'm getting ready to start making covers for the 100 or so albums (1/3rd of the total) that don't have any covers. I'll only be sending music to iTunes which has album art.
- Koodoo http://www.koodoo.fr/ - a great French online mp3 site, will soon be selling Magnatune's music.
- European currencies -- when people buy an album, they now can choose the price in Dollars, Euros or British Pounds. These are converted back into Dollars in our system. This gives non-USA buyers a more familiar currency to think in.
- Sales are back up to pre-summer levels. After a slow summer, sales in the past 2 weeks have been up 30%, to what they were before the summer, so this business is definitely seasonal.
- New artists (and albums) are going to start appearing this month -- I have about 25 new albums ready to go up in October.