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Posts Tagged ‘distribution’

Pro Soul officially launches in Beijing, China

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Chinese flag We’re excited to officially announce something we’ve been working on for over 2 years now, launching Pro Soul Alliance in China.
China is a huge, emerging market for the music industry, but currently in it’s infancy, and immature. Professional assistance is desperately needed due to crippling discouragement for artists attributed to the pervasive downloading of music. There is also a huge lack of ‘official’ presence for foreign artists who are becoming very popular in China. That means huge opportunity for those willing to support, develop and nurture this challenging market.

At the end of 2011, We announced a new world class recording and production studio in Beijing as our first step. Now we are offering promotion, marketing, sales and distribution both within China and outside to our existing artists and Chinese artists through our local office in Beijing. Unlike other companies offering music services in China, we are based within China, and our local office is staffed with bilingual locals who know the market and culture, and have experience working with Chinese and international artists here.
Our company has been legally registered as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise in China under the name ‘敬真堂(北京)文化咨询有限公司’ Which translates to ‘Respect Truth (Beijing) Culture Consultancy Co. Ltd.’ (This was as close as we could get to our english name given the language and cultural differences. We kind of like how depending on the translation of our Chinese name, it can mean ‘Church of Truth’)

Because China is a complex and daunting market for a foreign company, we are starting out with the following basic range of services:

For Chinese artists:

  • Focusing on getting Chinese artists who are ready exposure internationally
  • Getting international distribution and sales for Chinese music (iTunes, Spotify, Nokia)
  • Promotion and marketing for Chinese artists overseas by connecting with interested markets and fans

For International Artists:

  • Digital distribution for international artists in China (including essential mobile stores China Mobile, Unicom, Telecom)
  • Promotion and marketing in China focusing on key social networking sites like Weibo, Douban, Youku
  • Collaboration with Chinese artists and recording traditional Chinese instruments with local professionals

As we continue researching the industry and experimenting with new techniques for promotion and marketing music in China, we will also be offering licensing for Chinese music internationally in Film, TV, and online, expanding their revenue sources. We will also assist Chinese artists who are ready create their own business and develop music career in China to maximize their profit and control. Of course we will also be able to assist international artists book shows and organize tours in China in future.

We have already begun assisting international artists Elika Mahony, and Hart as well as Chinese artist Abominati get exposure in China.

You can sign up right now for promotion, marketing and  distribution in China with the ‘Professional Artist Management and Consulting Asia’ option on our Get Started page.
For artists within China, we have a new website entirely in Chinese with a helpful blog focused on the local market.

For more information, please contact our China artist services manager BeiBei Lei

Watch for our next post with more about why China is an important market backed up by the latest statistics.

Spotify: What is it, and why it’s US launch is significant to the music industry

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Though users in Europe have been reaping the benefits of Spotify since 2008, music lovers in the United States got their first taste for the first time a few days ago, when it officially became available in the U.S..
Created in Sweden, At first glance, Spotify must appear like yet another overtyped streaming music service, but upon further investigation users will find that it could very well be the future of the music industry.

It’s not that Spotify is unique, it just blends some of the best features of several competing streaming media services. Like Google Music, it uploads music you own to a cloud library, and like Qrocity allows you to stream full albums and songs from a database of millions of songs to a wide range of devices. Like Amazon Cloud Player, you can even access it from a wide variety of devices, including your PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone. But most important of all, it’s like Pandora in that it’s free, subsidized by ads.

Basically, it’s the ultimate way to get, discover, and listen to music.

The foundation of the service is the computer software player, an iTunes like portal that is attractive, powerful and flexible. The interface feels good, presenting songs in an organized list, with a side bar that displays your library and playlists, playback controls and artwork.

When you first start the software, all you’ll encounter is the music you already have localized on your computer, but there is a much larger cloud library that you can explore…

Unlike digital marketplaces like iTunes or Zune, however, Spotify doesn’t present the cloud database as a storefront, but relies on search, an listing of most popular songs and albums, and social interaction amongst users for new music discovery.
The Top Lists present 100 of the most popular songs and albums on the service, which can be filtered by locale (U.S., U.K., Spain, etc.), and a New Releases panel shows off the newest additions.

But what really drives the service is social interaction and search. Spotify integrates with Facebook, which allows users to find friends who use the service, and share public playlists with each other. It also allows users to copy direct links to their custom playlists, which can be shared publicly (to users who sign up for Spotify)

Browsing custom playlists from friends is a great way to find out their tastes, but using the search tool to dig into the larger database is the best way to expand your library.
Spotify has built a library of over 15 million songs, with 10,000 new tracks added every day. Currently the site’s foremost publishing partners include Sony Music, Universal, EMI, Warner Music, and many others.
In searching for music on Spotify, we’ve found most or all of the tracks we’ve been looking for, with only a few limited instances where we couldn’t.
The biggest names in music? They’re there too. Most have their entire catalog available.

Adding songs to your personal library is as simple as dragging them to a playlist, and there’s no limit.
Once you’ve built a large library, you can take it on the go using the Spotify mobile app for iPhone, iPod touch, Android smartphones and tablets, Windows Phone 7, and WebOS.

Of the various versions of the app we tried, all had surprisingly speedy high-fidelity playback, even over 3G. Browsing music using the mobile UI was also pretty intuitive, though obviously browsing thousands of songs is preferable on your desktop or laptop.
The one catch, however, is that only users who pay a monthly subscription fee will be able to stream their complete music library on their mobile device. While the app will allow free users to browse the Spotify library, only premium users will be allowed to play tracks, and flag songs to be cached for offline playback.

The fee for unhindered access is actually pretty reasonable, however, at $9.99 a month, which grants you unlimited offline mode playback on both your PC or your mobile device, as well as higher audio quality and the ability to remove ads.
Of course, nobody likes paying monthly subscription fees, but the beautify of Spotify is that the core service of unlimited access to the larger streaming library is free, so if you decide you don’t want or need a premium account, you don’t lose any tracks you’ve organized. For six months, the free version of the service will offer unlimited playback, but after that it will limit users to 10 hours of playback and only 5 plays per song each month.

For those who don’t care about mobile access and offline functionality, but loathe ads and want unlimited access, there’s a separate option called Spotify Unlimited that costs $4.99 a month and eliminates ads.
If you’re cheap like us, however, you’ll want to stick with the ad-subsidized version. The ads really aren’t that bad. Over the span of two hours, music playback is usually interrupted around twice, and the ads are less than a minute. They were actually not annoying at all. The audio ads either advertised functions of Spotify or played a sample of a song available.
There were also banner ads built into the player, but we hardly noticed them.

What does all this mean for the music business and the future of music?
If you used Spotify, we think you would know the answer, basically it fulfills the need of the music lover that has existed ever since the release of a $18.99 CD with one good song on it. It’s quite simply, the legal solution to music piracy.
Music fans want their music when they want it where they want it without restrictions and limitations, or a hard drive of files that gets filled up and won’t fit on your phone iPod…
And best of all, the music creators all get paid!

If your a music fan, get on Spotify now (let us know if you can’t because you don’t have an invite, or your in a different country, we can help…)
if your a music creator, contact us if you want help getting your music on Spotify.

Indie artists, get six months of free management and promotion

Monday, October 5th, 2009

THANKS TO ALL THE ARTISTS WHO ENTERED OUR CONTEST – WE WILL NO LONGER BE CONSIDERING CONTEST SUBMISSIONS. BEST OF LUCK TO THE 2 LUCKY MUSICIANS. WE WILL BE POSTING OUR DECISION DECEMBER 1ST!

Pro Soul Alliance artist contest banner

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Receive 6 months of professional management and promotion to take your career to the next level!
Services and support selected artists will receive include:

• professional phone consultation and education with CEO of Pro Soul Alliance on the artists development *and career
• a professional blog based website they can edit and update, complete with hosting by Rackspace, one of the best in the world, with artistsname.com
• Professional bio and press copy writing, blog development and updating
• Search engine optimization for effective search ranking
• Graphic design, photography and image assistance for promo materials
• Social networking configuration and integration, connecting with fans (ReverbNation, Facebook, MySpace, Blip.fm, Twitter, Youtube, Ourstage etc)
• Offline & online marketing assistance, radio airplay, follow up, and tracking
• Product development, design, CD production and digital distribution through major online retailers worldwide including ringtones and mobile phone
• Licensing and song placement; electronic licensing options online
• Scheduling of show dates for live performances
• Video Production; Youtube promo viral marketing videos

To narrow down the 2 winners, Pro Soul Alliance will be choosing the artist that is the most marketable, and has already shown commitment, and dedication to their career.

Contest ends October 30th. Details, entry information and music submission can be accessed here: http://www.prosoulalliance.com/contest

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The New “Press Kit”

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The “Press Kit”, which typically includes a demo, photos, printed reviews, the artist or band’s biography, etc., is now available electronically, and artists are using the electronic press kit (EPK) and artist profile to replace the traditional method. Either in digital or online format, an EPK is available to anyone at all times, and is a far more cost effective way to present your music. Tim Sweeney, one of the music industry’s most sought after experts and consultants, says: ” Get rid of your Press Kit. Finally focus on creating an Artist Profile that will best represent you to radio, retail, press, clubs and online.”

According to Ariel Hyatt’s Music Think Tank article, The ugly man behind the curtain in music publicity…the cost of submitting a traditional Press Kit equals this: 500 Press Kits in the Mail = $2,500, a publicist’s 3 month retainer = $9,000, Extra expenses = $1500, a whopping total = $13,000. The article is written to expose music publicity’s “dirty little secret”, the resale of promo CDs distributed to music journalists on the promo list. The unethical practice revealed in this article, adds to the already growing mistrust in the old way of doing music business. “40,000 CDs come out every year and that means hundreds of thousands of CDs will be mailed out for review consideration.” According to LAweekly.com: finding anybody in the music business to actually talk about this vast and ever-fluctuating underground economy is tough….. Ask a publicist what he does with unwanted promos and there’s usually an awkward pause, as though you’d just asked after his porno collection. Few are willing to go on the record regarding their income stream for fear of being blacklisted…..“Everybody sells them, let’s be realistic,” says one prominent L.A. music publicist.

The ever more acceptable DIY music career allows artists greater control, and spares the monetary and emotional expense of using a traditional music publicist. Tim Sweeney also offers this piece of advice: “Throw away your press kit and one sheet that “supposed” publicists and radio promotion people think is right (but only signifies you as a non-priority that people can ignore) and create an Artist Profile. One that talks about who you are as an artist and what your music is about.

Press Releases – an important part of publicity campaigns

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Using a well-written press release and highly targeted campaign to announce your music-associated event, such as a CD release, an upcoming tour, or a charity concert, can get you more publicity than thousands of advertising dollars ever will – if, done correctly.

A press release (or news release) is used to bring an artist or business “free” publicity. A press release is a simple, to the point release that provides news to reporters, editors, and other media people. The publication of your press release will be free. Writing a good press release is a valuable skill. Preparation involves three key points – When, How and Who (to send it to).

The key focus of your press release is that it needs to be “newsworthy”, after all, a press release is supposed to be news. A writer, or editor has a responsibility to inform their readers. A well written and interesting article is far more likely to make print than one that’s sloppy, and shouts “advertising”.

Typically a press release is distributed to mainstream or national media outlets that receive every industry specific announcement known to man. The idea of submitting your press release to a national publication early in your career may result in it being ignored. Tim Sweeney, the music industry’s most highly sought after expert and consultant in the fields of artist development, recommends specifically targeting the daily music publications in your target markets. There are several music newswire services that offer press release distribution, and for a small fee will distribute your press release to some of the top music websites.

Not to be confused with your Artist Profile or Press Kit, a press release is a quick shot of publicity, used only to announce an upcoming event or CD release to your fans. A good press release will help build your online visibility, attract new fans, and boost your music career. Check our next post for more about Press Kit’s and Artist Profiles.

A brave new era of music self release…

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

According to NewMusicStrageties.com some artists still believe record labels are the best way to get their music out to the public. Artists believe there is security in being signed to a record label. The idea is that a major label provides people in the music industry that know what they are doing, they understand marketing, they have things like connections, promotion strategies, radio pluggers, PR, graphic design, branding, distribution, chart registration, bar codes, licensing, finance, and deals on pressing all sorted out – they are the corporate caretakers of the music business, and 20% of something is better than 100% of nuthin’. Their experience and advice, the guidance and navigation through all the decision making, is worth giving up the 80%.

There is substantial benefit in having a major behind you to advance studio money, and cutting the checks for the cost of promotional events to market your image – but, being “signed” to a major label is not the only means of getting your music to market. Its now common for an artist to be without major label backing, and he/she/they are no longer considered “unsigned”. Known as an “Independent”, modern technology has delivered the brave new era of self-release. The independent artist has the tools to record, release, distribute, promote and make money from their music on their own terms, keeping the profits and rights to their intellectual property.

The question is when should you begin marketing and selling your music online? In the old days of music publishing, the finished recording was the minimum standard for releasing material to the general public. Without the professional guidance from a seasoned music executive, how will you know when to start letting people hear what you’re working on? Well respected author and consultant Andrew Dubber says, depending upon whether you’re a beginner or a pro, and how confident you are in your professional abilities, “There can be a strong case made that encourages musicians to let audiences get a glimpse behind the curtain and see the music in development.” By and large and after all consideration, the answer can only be when you are ready. When you have prepared yourself mentally, emotionally and your song speaks to you and tells you that you’re ready. Not to worry, if you do need some solid advice, there are professionals who can help you master the era of self release.