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    Hand-picked tracks for indie lovers

    While music services typically bombard users with millions of songs to choose from, a new worldwide music retailer, WeeklyIndie, has opted for a curated subscription model, delivering hand-picked indie songs to subscribers each week.


    What sets WeeklyIndie apart from many other services, is that independent artists are invited to submit tracks. Submissions are screened each week and after selecting the tracks WeeklyIndie like the most, distribution deals are signed with the artists. Subscribers then receive a link to listen to the 10 chosen tracks on a weekly basis. With services like this, consumers are able to discover new music, and musicians get exposure and payment for their work.

    We’ve seen similar services before this though, e.g. the quite un-known Ramen Music which hand-picks new tracks from independent & underground artists and delivers online issues every 2 months. Also, the more famous music service Songza has offered curated music lists under the name Songza Sets, now integrated into the new version of Songza.

    The idea of offering curated music isn’t that new. When CDs rocked we got to see plenty of compilations offering a selection of what’s “best”. Now we can find these kind of compilations online (Hôtel Costes, just to mention one example). However, what’s new with WeeklyIndie is that there is no record label between the artist and service. Any artist can submit a track. Then it’s up to WeeklyIndie to choose what to send out to its subscribers, based upon WeeklyIndie’s preferences of what’s good indie music.

    Certainly, there is an abundance of good music online, but at the same time there is a lack of high quality. But what is it that guarantee us that services like WeeklyIndie knows what’s best, except that people will quit subscribing if the service isn’t delivering? Also, do people want curated lists like this, or do many still prefer to discover music by reading about it, searching the web, or getting tips from friends and people whose taste we trust?

    As mentioned, there’s nothing new about curated music lists, or curated subscription, except that it has moved online. I though believe it is here to stay, however in new forms with more interactive solutions, where music e.g. is selected by professionals together with subscribers as ourselves. What do you think?

    Written by: Sara Zaric


    Coca-Cola Happiness Trucks delivering doses of happiness

    Check out the latest initiative in Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness campaign. Below are two clips of Coca-Cola trucks converted into happiness machines on wheels, dispensing balls, surfboards, frisbees - and, of course, refreshing Coke - on the streets of Rio de Janeiro and in the streets of Marikina in the Philippines.

    Where will happiness strike next?


    POGO Remixing the World

    You’ve probably heard of Nick Bertke, better known as Pogo in the music scene. We’ve come to know him through his movie remixes such as Alice, Upular and Skynet Symphonic. Recently Pogo has embarked on an adventure of remixing the real world. We want to share this interesting project with you.

    Pogo has worked for studios such as Disney Pixar, Showtime, Oprah’s Harpo Studio’s, Art Basel in Miami and many more. He has performed for YouTube Play at the Guggenheim Museum. He further shares his creations and visions on his YouTube Channel, with more than 25 million views (still counting). Now Pogo is remixing the world. In this new project, Pogo will travel the world in search of sights, sounds, voices and chords, and use them to compose and shoot a track and video for each major culture of the world.

    The world remix project is going to employ a unique method of funding: every remix will be financed by pledges at KickStarter, funds made by the remix before it, and by prepayments for the next upcoming remix. The music will be released worldwide on CD, DVD, and at PogoMix.net.

    Joburg Jam, a remix of sights and sounds filmed around the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, marks the beginning of Pogo’s World Remix project. Next stop is Tibet.

    “Making music out of wild animals sounds, ice in Antarctica, gongs in temples, voices in tribal Africa - this is what the world remix project is about!”


    World’s Most Innovative Music Companies

    FastCompany has listed the “World’s Most Innovative Companies“, not surprisingly Apple appears at the top, followed by Twitter and Facebook. Listed as well is Top Ten by Industry, including the following:  Advertising, Biotech, Design, Fashion, Mobile, and, last but not least, Music.


    FastCompany’s editorial team have evaluated thousands of global businesses to create the complete ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’ list, with a goal to highlight companies that “dare to be different, emphasizing not just revenue growth and profit margins but also progressive business models and an ethos of creativity.” The music category is broadly defined to include major brands who use music creatively, alongside artists and traditional music companies. No record labels made it to the chart, but the inclusion of Hello Music and Songbird in Top Ten Music is an affirmation of their contribution to the latest iteration of the evolving music industry. The winner of the whole category is Pandora, for “bringing its custom-curated music mix to a new venue: cars”. Two brands that stand out are the first runner-up, Coca-Cola, and Converse, who made it to seventh place. Converse for “building a recording studio that’s also a goodwill-generating machine” (Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn), and Coke for its “daring marketing model that redefines the relationship among consumer brands, record companies, and artists”. Neither of these brands are considered as traditional parts of the music industry. Below is the Top Ten in Music list.

    01 Pandora
    For bringing its custom-curated music mix to a new venue: cars

    02 Coca-Cola
    For a daring marketing model that redefines the relationship among consumer brands, record companies, and artists

    03 Big Champagne
    For developing a more modern business measurement that factors in social media

    04 Arcade Fire
    For turning the music video into an individualised user experience

    05 Terra.com
    For a multipronged, and profitable, music-focused content model

    06 Hello Music
    For helping aspiring artists concentrate on their art without losing out on the business side

    07 Converse
    For building a recording studio that’s also a goodwill-generating machine

    08 Sonos
    For making one of the easiest-to-use, best-sounding, affordable wireless audio systems

    09 Songbird
    For creating an open-source music-management platform that’s way more personal than iTunes

    10 Weezer
    For customising its own business through unusual record and marketing deals


    Alicia Keys and HP Launch “Everybody On” During the 2011 Grammy week

    Yesterday HP announced a new marketing campaign with the theme of “Everybody On”. It’s a global campaign that “celebrates how people around the world are using HP technology to pursue their personal and professional passions.”

    “Everybody On” embraces music, fashion, community activism, business, and more, according to HP. It is supported by an integrated campaign featuring print, broadcast, online, and social media. The launch will kick off with a minute-long TV spot featuring Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”. The first in a series of TV spots will be launched during the Grammy Awards featuring Alicia Keys.

    Alongside Alicia Keys, the commercial also features HP laptops with Beats Audio. Not surprisingly, HP is also a sponsor of this years Grammy Awards, taking place in L.A. on 13 February.


    The campaign itself was created by HP’s own Personal Systems Group, and build on its “The Computer is Personal Again” campaign.


    New service connects bands and brands

    fanatic.fm is a music sponsorship platform where brands and bands can find each other in a new way. Instead of paying for advertising spots on music destination sites, brands set up a pool of funds for a branding campaign and “invite” musicians that they feel best portray their brand values and image. Then it’s up to the invited musicians to accept or refuse the invitation (yep, you’re right! It works just like a friendship request on Facebook). A band and brand relationship is formed only when mutual consent is reached. Pretty cool! Don’t you think?

    But, what’s in it for the artists?

    The branding fund is allocated among the invited musicians based on the number of plays. Both parts have the incentive to engage their social media network to drive traffic to the newly formed relationship, creating a win-win scenario for both the band and the brand. Musicians take 70% of the total sponsorship revenue and fanatic.fm takes 30%. And then musicians and fanatic.fm donate 2.5% each to charities that musicians select to help them change the world.

    Yesterday Samsung started its first campaign on fanatic.fm, sponsoring Sydney Wayser’s album. This however doesn’t close the opportunity of other musicians to upload their songs and suggest sponsorship to Samsung as well.

    Ian Kwon, co-founder of fanatic.fm, comments on the service, “More and more brands are playing the role of content curators and music is great content to express a brand identity. We wanted to create a platform for those needs. The platform also provides a good way for bands to monetize their music streaming.”



    The international version of Sounds like Branding is licensed by publishing company A & C Black Publishers in UK, and Acorn Publishing in South Korea. In South Korea it will most likely be released in June, in Europe, US and the Commonwealth in July.


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    The guilty conscience of those who made it, or “how to sell $50 000 cars to a guy who’s watching his neighbor get evicted”

    Depending on the type of product you market, and the type of market you work in, you will be more or less inclined to take risks. It’s no surprise that the car industry have been among the more conservative industries, given that each new product launch is quite literally “make or break”, and the marketing cost per sold vehicle can approach $1000.

    With that said, things are starting to change, out of necessity. With the climate change debate and more recently the financial collapse, premium car brands have found themselves in a situation where ever so soft leather interiors and exotic woods just isn’t as appealing as it used to be.

    Customers still expect all of that of course, but they also expect to feel good when they spend money on a car. Premium car brands have to show not only that they’re environmentally sustainable, but also socially. With outsourcing being a constant threat to the well-being of western communities, it will be increasingly important to show that you’re a constructive part of not only your country of origin but also the markets you want to sell your cars in.

    Below you’ll find some examples of campaigns where horse power and shiny exteriors have taken the back seat and left the front seat to “softer” values and, believe it or not, some social commentary. Take a cue from Chrysler, BMW and SAAB.