Archive for December, 2007

The first reviews

Today the two first reviews were published for the CD:s we sent 1,5 weeks ago. They were really great. Tree full of people gets a 3 and a 4 out of 5, and The Modesty gets two 4:s. It is a good start and a way to market the bands for gigs in the regions/cities where the magaziens are read. After new years eve, we will start marketing the bands for lots of live gigs. Here are the reviews, but only in swedish, unfortunately:

Tree full of people, NT:
http://www.nt.se/noje/artikel.aspx?articleid=2936062 
The Modesty,  NT:
http://www.nt.se/noje/artikel.aspx?articleid=2935958
Both bands in Corren:
http://www.corren.se/archive/2007/12/19/jic23mitwvu7hau.xml

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Solutions to the piracy problem?

In my country, Sweden, a report was just released, called (in translation) “The pirate problem can be solved”. It compares the swedish rules – which are a bit unmodern in the writers view – to seven european countries, which have implemented newer rules to stop piracy on the web.

The main tools are to let the artists/creators get access to the internet providers logs, to find who has illegaly copied their content and distributed it. This way they can prosecute the people who share their music, programs or other digital material. Also, the Internet providers can close down the pirate’s connection if it is used for piracy. The providers get a larger responsibility here, to make sure no illegal business is transfered. According to this report, the “Internet piracy” in Finland has decreased significantly since their new rules were implemented in 2006.

Hmm… What do I think of this? A car owner can get his car confiscated if he uses it in illegal matters. A gun owner can get his gun confiscated if he uses it in illegal matters. So I suppose that a closing of the web connection is logical.

Where do this lead us? One very good and insightful mening in this report is that “If we in Sweden thinks it is important to have a living creative sector in the future, it is crucial that the creators get paid for their work”. This is of course very true. And as Richard Florida’s claims in his book The rise of the creative class, a creative sector is the tool for welfare in a society, innovation and economic growth. And the audience can not expect good music from people who lives on air and passion. At least not for more than a few songs.

But is the consequense of these laws that the creators have to become hunters, and track down their audience for prosecution? That would be a very sad development, and would render quite sad relations between artists and fans.

How does these laws work? If anyone in these countries read this blog, can you please tell me. The countries are Finland, Denmark, Norway, UK, Holland, Belgium and France.

New ways to earn money

The record companies are of course looking for new ways to earn money, since the music doesn’t give much any more. So  merchandise, touring and sponsor deals are the new ways to get it. Iron Maiden just signed a new deal where they share their income from these kinds of business with the record company. I have heard of more bands doing the same kind of deals. Its logical for the record companies to widen their economic base and to find new areas of work. So this is a good first step. A bunch of “artist companies” dealing with the whole spectrum of the artists careers could be the future of the record industry. Or maybe they just need promotors with an innovative angle to their comprehension of music business.

Universal stops full songs

These people never stops to amaze me. Now Universal has decided to stop full songs on the Internet, because they want to sell more…  An artist called Colbie Caillat was the first to reveal parts of this policy, as her Myspace site was not allowed to use full songs anymore. And if there are some full songs from their company, they will be interrupted by commercial breaks. Haha! It is a wonderful way to kill themselves. It’s like they try to put analog thoughts in a digital mind. And how can they work against Myspace? That is the one and only place that has helped music business for the last 2 years. 

Very sad, but we will see much more of these matters.

Music business 2.0

I will now reveal a new expression, that has formed in my mind. The thoughts are not all clear, but here is a start. In my day job I work with these issues all the time, so I have some insights on the culture, technics and communication.

 When speaking about the new western culture in media, communication, marketing and sales, it is more and more common to use the expression “2.0”: Web 2.0, Politics 2.0, Travel 2.0, Banking 2.0, and more. All in an attempt to explain what is happening with our culture: Before there were a few that had the power to publish to the masses, a few held the tools for business, marketing and communication. Deciding how people should interact and how to gain access to the tools and channels of our culture. Static products and tools.

A new culture is rising where the masses can publish, interact and take control over their own culture. Highly individualized, and highly technical. The communication culture has already changed massively. We communicate in ways we never thought of 10-15 years ago. The marketing culture is also well on the way of a permanent change, where individuals can make statements that are regarded as seriously as the large companies. The same thing is about to happen in politics. Personal blogs and Youtube-movies knocks president candidates to the floor. Also more dynamic products and tools are being used. The creators only making the frames, and the users putting in the content.

Music business has got a lot of attention in these cultural discussions, being slow to pick up on whats happening. My thought is this: We need to rethink how music works, and will work in the future, because this development is not going take us back to the eighties, when records were sold in amounts that the business only dream of today. We need to see what is coming. And I think this is coming:

– A close connection between audience and artists, with few or no middle men.
– Huge amounts of small music publishers, cooperating in selling, marketing and distribution.
– Digital media working in new ways. The MP3-culture is just a static start on this. We will see new technology, more interaction and more innovation.
– Cheaper and easier recording facilities, where music is made by anyone that has an idea.
– New copyright laws that permits or stops attempts of innovation.
– Even more artists than today, but short lived, because they can not make a living from music.
– A larger live scene, both physical and digital, as more bands try to find their channels and their audience.
– New ways of creating and regarding music, not as a static, finihsed expression, but as an ongoing work that changes, interacts with the audience and never gets finished.
– Associative ways to find new music, working with metadata and more advanced ways of searching for it.

 These are my first thoughts in this matter. More will certainly come.

The Modesty are here

The debut album of The Modesty, called Heads in our hands, arrived from Czech republic last week. We sat on sunday to post packages to critics, radio, TV and the shops that we have deals with. It wil lbe very intersting to see how it is recieved.

The distribution so far

Now the TFOP album has existed for two weeks. 60 are sent to critics, newspapers, radio and TV. About 70 are out in the shops right now. There has been a few sales, but I dont know exactly how many.


Gramtone

Gramtone är musikutgivare och bas för ett gäng musiker och låtskrivare, baserade i Norrköping. Vi äger bolaget och studion tillsammans, folk med olika bakgrund och olika smak. Två dussin är vi, som ställer allt vi äger i ett rum och säger: varsågoda. Ett kollektiv av individualister har vi kallats, och varför inte: Grammisar har vunnits, stipendier har fåtts, medan somliga är kända för helt andra saker. Alla spelar roll, men inte nödvändigtvis rock. En driver ett enmansprojekt, en annan är med i fem band samtidigt. Några är runt 20, några har fyllt 50. En fick pris för årets bästa museum. Någon ligger bakom Softubes banbrytande pluggar och någon har fått utmärkelse för, hör och häpna, bästa fotbollslåt.

Gramtone satsar på en liten, spännande utgivning av ostyrig, vacker musik. Lyssna där du vill, vi finns i alla de vedertagna kanalerna. Vissa spelar live, andra spelar in. Några älskar att skriva låtar, andra spelar gitarr så fingrarna blöder. Gramtone är en plattform som används av varje band och artist som det passar dem bäst. Ibland är vi en lekplats, ibland kreativt nav, affärsyta eller en trampolin för musikkarriärer. Vi blir planterade och uppodlade av varandra, och vi gillar't. Vi tycker att musik gör tillvaron större och vill man att något ska finnas, då ska man också skapa det. Tre dussin utgivningar hittills, och mycket på gång. Titta in, lyssna in, och häng med.