YouTube, Universal Plan Premium Music Video Hub (swipe)

March 9, 2009

Direct swipe from

YouTube and Universal Music Group are contemplating an alliance by which the former would build a music video hub for the latter.

According to The Wall Street Journal, YouTube will also provide ad sales support and a platform to distribute Universal video content to other sites.

The pending project’s been tentatively dubbed “Vevo” and has been underway since last year. People familiar with the matter claim it is in advanced stages of production.

Financial details of the potential liaison were not revealed, but the partnership represents another attempt by YouTube to step up its premium content offerings.

It would also avail YouTube a fresh opportunity to monetize music videos. In January it broadened an existing ecommerce effort that enables users to buy tracks featured in a video they’re watching. They typically have the option to purchase direct from a record company, from Amazon or iTunes.

This is interesting for quite a few reasons. Universal was the first of the major record distribution companies to strike a deal with YouTube in order to get paid for their content. In these trying industry-times, many record labels are trying to find any way possible to make a dime.

Years ago, Yahoo! used to be a very popular site for fans to go watch promotional music videos. Yahoo! used to use the music videos and then run commercials between viewings. It was Universal Music Group, upon realizing the ad-revenue Yahoo! was making, that decided they should get a portion of this money that Yahoo! was making. Taking a fraction of a cent per video-stream, this became a profitable (and important) venture for Universal, and other majors shortly followed.

Taking a similar approach with YouTube is important not just to major distributors, but to artists as well.

At this time, indies are kind of having to bite-the-bullet and this profit-sharing system isn’t available… but hopefully that will change for all in the near future.

This actually produces an interesting question: are music videos driving traffic to these websites, OR are these websites helping to sell downloads / CDs by having these music videos available for viewing? Who’s helping who more?


VTech – the greatest company in the world

March 3, 2009

vtech_logo1Let me explain my bias first: Tom @ VTech does a lot for hip-hop.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way… the people over at VTech are fans of good music. They’ve put together some truly amazing events early in 2009. They’ve already put together two outstanding events with Mochilla, the “Timeless” concert series… peep the video from the Dilla event here:

Now… let’s just skim the surface on what VTech does outside of this amazing concert series. First, they helped sponsor the dopest showcase I attended at SXSW (Austin, TX) last year: the Duck Down Records / Stones Throw showcase. That shit was EPIC.

Look what they have on tap for SXSW in 2009:


PLEASE support VTech, as they are one of the few companies to support truly dope music.

I’m out, I gotta get some sleep…

OH, before I go, did I mention that VTech got A-Side a 2-hour gig at the House on the 19th of March? Please make sure you RSVP HERE

Lessons Worth Learning from Twitter’s Success (full swipe)

February 25, 2009

I’m just going to do another full-swipe and post the entire article… some of this is common sense, but it’s all good info.


This How-To was syndicated from Rohit Bhargava’s Influential Marketing Blog. Mr. Bhargava is the SVP at Ogilvy PR and author of Personality Not Included.

By any measure, the growth and popularity of Twitter has been phenomenal. To say that Twitter has hit mainstream isn’t really the right metric to use. It’s more powerful to note that for a large group of Twitter enthusiasts, to spend even a day without using it would be as bad (or perhaps even worse) than not having email. It has become just that necessary.

How did the site get to this point? And what are the lessons that any entrepreneur might be able to learn from how it got there? Here are a few thoughts on the real secrets behind Twitter’s success:

1. Focus on real time. For the socially connected online, there is little use for yet another place to talk to friends. If anything, we all have too many of those to start with. But a site dedicated to RIGHT NOW stands out. It’s useful in a way that none of the other sites we use are.

2. Skip the extra step. Approving every friend request can be a lot of work – even if you’re not the most popular of people. It does make sense on most social networks, but when it comes to posting updates on Twitter, if you do it publicly, anyone can follow you without approval. The result is that any user’s audience on Twitter can grow exponentially without barriers.

3. Force your customers to do less. If you have ever heard the saying that “less is more” – Twitter is the ultimate proof of that. The forced 140 character messages have made us all refocus on brevity, and as a result of this volume decrease, those of us that are constantly overcommunicated look to the site as the one place where we can still feel that we are on top of the flood of communication that rules our lives.

4. Build enough evangelists to compensate when things go wrong. One of the most well known facts about Twitter is that the service was notoriously unreliable and crashed frequently. Though it is much improved from those days, the site still goes down or loses functionality relatively regularly. Yet it has managed to build up enough power users and evangelists, that people forgive their down times and keep coming back.

5. Integrate with the most popular competition. The single most useful feature I personally uncovered from Twitter was the ability to integrate it into my Facebook page so that my Twitter updates also become my status on Facebook. This demonstrates a fact many entrepreneurs already know – by integrating with your competition where your “customers” currently are, you make it easier for them to migrate over to your site.

6. Launch where your influencers are. A big reason for the early success of Twitter was its launch at the SXSW Interactive festival two years ago. It was a place where all the influencers that matter for Twitter were already going to be, and putting the site in front of them allowed them to become word of mouth ambassadors for the site following the event.

7. Offer a public ranking or authority. The final element that helped Twitter to succeed is that it has a built-in authority ranking with the number of followers you have. This is located right beneath your username on the site and its high visibility means that it is easily the ultimate metric for anyone using the site. And you can’t help but want that number to go higher.

Article from MarketingVOX

Rhymesayers’ POS steps the packaging game to new heights…

February 25, 2009

The good buddy, Wes (Athletic Mic League) from Colorblind Creative sent over this really dope video of POS‘ packaging for his new album Never Better.

Peep the video below of the extremely dope packaging:

I can’t lie like I was extremely familiar of POS before Wes sent over the videos… but I think he said it best: “This is what cats are doing in ’09“… Get creative people!

Oh, before you go, you might as well check out the music video for his track “Drumroll

This Indie Did It… Why Can’t You? — Finale (Detroit)

February 23, 2009

For those who aren’t familiar with Finale, you should be up on this dude. He’s a talented emcee who is getting ready to release his solo-debut through his independent label, iM Culture. I found this dope video-game (marketing promotion) over at the homie Kenny Fresh’s site.

If you play and beat Super Finale, you also get a free download of one of Finale’s tracks from his new album “A Pipe Dream & A Promise“, which comes out April 7th.

This is a very cool (and relatively simple) promotion that Finale’s label set-up… and it worked, because I spent some time playing the game just to get the download!

Report: 1 in 10 Adults Has Microblogged (swipe)

February 19, 2009


Wow. I saw this article today in an email from MarketingVOX and… well, I was shocked. Apparently 11% of adults in the US say they have used Twitter or some similar service. Hell, I sure as hell caught the Twitter-bug (look over to the right!). And we all know that Twitter is basically just a constant update of the “status” bar that Facebook has…

Better yet, with my Blackberry, I’m easily able to access and update my info for both the aforementioned sites from my mobile phone. You don’t even need a smartphone to do that! (Yes, I know I could do it for MySpace as well… but I’m tired of Tom’s shit — too much clutter / advertising for my eyes)

Here’s some info directly taken from the article itself about Twitter users:

Younger Users Tweet More

The research also found that younger internet users lead the way in using Twitter and similar services. Nearly one in five (19%) online adults ages 18-24 used Twitter and similar services, as have 20% of online adults age 25-34.

Use of these services drops steadily after age 35, with 10% of 35- to 44-year-olds, and 5% of 45- to 54-year-olds, using Twitter.

The decline is starker among older internet users; 4% of 55-64-year-olds and 2% of those 65 and older use Twitter.

Given the youth of most Twitter users, it is not surprising to find online Americans in lower-income households are more likely to use Twitter than more affluent Americans. Some 17% of internet users in households earning less than $30K annually tweet and update their status, compared with 10% of those earning more than $75K…

Check the link below for more information. But, based on the article… since you’re reading my blog, you probably are a Twit (like myself). So why not follow-me?

Peep the full article on here

News: Artists move to YouTube and other new media

February 11, 2009

Major labels have definitely taken note of how powerful of a driver YouTube can be for their artists. Because music videos are such a huge driver of traffic to YouTube, a deal was worked-out with major labels and distribution companies such that they would be compensated for their content. Hell, if YouTube gets advertising revenue for the traffic they see, why shouldn’t artists and labels get compensated for their content being used, right?

Below is a good article that outlines how artists and labels are utilizing social media and websites such as YouTube to get signed to deals, as well as a way of promoting their work. In this day and age, independent artists should find ways to use this new cost-effective technology in order to get their music heard. Don’t rely on a major-label deal, nothing is owed to you. Build your own fan-base, and use what you have in front of you.

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) — Musicians and managers are turning to BlackBerry phones and YouTube videos to solve a problem that just won’t go away: illegal downloads of digital tracks.

At a time when 95 percent of music downloads are pirated, with few signs it will let up, artists are finding alternative ways to profit from music online, sometimes bypassing music companies such as Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group.

Check out the rest of the article here:
“Lavigne, Radiohead Move to YouTube as Illegal Downloads Persist” (taken from