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    Exclusive survey on what impact music has on businesses in public places

    Myten om musik besannad

    To better understand the impact of music on consumers and to learn more about the attitudes towards music being played in businesses in public places*, as well as music played in the workplace, Heartbeats International has conducted a survey on 1000 Swedes between the ages of 16-64. We asked them questions about the impact of music on their everyday lives, public places and at work.

    The survey results are published in Swedish, Myten om musik besannad: En undersökning om musikens betydelse för verksamheter i offentlig miljö (Uncovering a musical myth: A survey on music’s impact in public spaces).

    * Public places has been used as a generic term for businesses such as shops, shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, transportation services, sports stadiums, gym and workplaces.

    Download your copy

      (Note: the full report is in Swedish)

    Topics covered in the report include:

    • The importance of music for people in their everyday lives
    • The impact music has on businesses in public places
    • The impact music has on employees and workplaces

    Five truths about the impact of music:

    • People rank music as more difficult to live without than sports, movies and newspapers
    • Playing the right music in your business makes customers stay longer
    • Music played in your business affects your customers’ opinion about your brand
    • Music enhances wellbeing amongst employees in workplaces
    • People think it is important that artists, musicians and songwriters get paid for music being played in public places

    Brands showcase a music and culture extravaganza at Coachella

    Although this year’s lineup didn’t match the likes of previous year’s according to many festival goers, Coachella still managed to sell out within a few days and draw a crowd of 70,000+.

    Produced by Goldenvoice (part of AEG Live), it was organized in the Empire Polo Fields in the Coachella Valley, idyllically surrounded by mountains and palm trees, a half-hour drive from Palm Springs and a few hours from Los Angeles. In scorching heat and on beautifully kept lawns, it must be the most vacation-like and tasteful looking festival in the world.

    Besides the immense lineup (more than 60 acts during three days), the festival also included an impressive display of huge art installations mainly pioneered by the Creators Project; an honorable contribution to Record Store Day with nearly the complete lineup (!) signing records at the ZIA Records Tent; and a chance to spot anyone from Los Angeles celebrity scene, whether it be Kirsten Dunst mingling at parties, Usher hanging out poolside or Danny DeVito singing and dancing (!!) backstage to Robyn’s performance.

    As for the brand perspective, Coachella’s location among vacation homes and chic hotels gave rise to numerous offsite-events; this being why Coachella has become just as much about what goes on outside the festival, as inside. Each day was packed with countless parties and most people went through the whole weekend without having to spend a dime. For the brands this meant competing about doing the best event, having the most notable guests, and booking the coolest talent. For some brands this meant hosting over-crowded parties of pumped up people nervously posing by a pool, and dishing out an abundance of (useless) free products, or, for others, trying to achieve the most excellent experience and perfect brand event, where the branding was subtle yet creative, and the production was so professional that anyone and everyone walked away as a huge brand ambassador.

    More specifically on how to get this right, this often meant teaming up with the right creative partner and to give them as much creative freedom as possible, as in the case of Adidas partnering with Jeremy Scott, The Ace Hotel and their collaborations with various labels and creatives, and the Stones Throw x Brainfeeder x Badu day party with DipDive and BlackBerry , which easily brought in better performers, unexpected guests and general good times than any of the two brands could have done on their own.


    By Eric Welles Nyström, member of the Heartbeats Movement


    Coachella Top Lists

    Eric Welles Nyström, member of the Heartbeats Movement and our man at this year’s Coachella, gives you his ‘Top Lists’ in regards to bands and brands performing at the music festival in California.

    Best Brand Investments

    • Adidas & Jeremy Scott… Following last year’s success at Frank Sinatra’s old house in Palm Springs, this year’s party was by far the most anticipated and desired of all offsite events. Starting with a secret shuttle transportation from Palm Spring’s Museum of Art (another renown piece of architecture in the city) the party was hosted at Elvis Presley’s old estate (!!!), the night went down with Robyn DJing, Kanon Organic Vodka drinks and an installation of Jeremy Scott’s Teddy Bears that made people go nuts at the end. In short, the perfect brand event, put together by LA agency People’s Revolution.
    • teddys
    • The Creator’s Project, sponsored by Vice and Intel… By far the biggest and most complex initiative of any brand-related events at Coachella, it was executed just as well onsite as it is communicated online. Besides numerous impressive art installations across the festival grounds, the initiative also featured onstage collaborations with Animal Collective, Interpol and Arcade Fire, and incredible visual work beside the stages. On top of that, they even booked a number of young and yet equally cool bands from China and Brazil.


    3 Best Performances

    • Robyn and her non-stop, breathtaking live performance… robyn.com
    • robyn
    • Nosaj Thing and his incredible visual show… nosjathing.com
    • Magnetic Man, who’s tight video and audio performance blew everyone’s mind away (including bystanders), in similar style to Nosaj Thing. myspace.com/magneticman

    3 Best artist styles

    • The one and only Erykah Badu…
    • erykah61
    • Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr…
    • Chromeo and their backup singers, in wonderful Robert Palmer tradition…
    • chromettes


    3 most interesting new products

    • IMakeMyCase and their futuristic, on-demand case-making robot… custom.case-mate.com
    • Mutewatch and their touchscreen watch, which saw love from a number of DJs, stage engineers and artists stylists… mutewatch.com
    • mutewatch
    • Native shoes and their perfect festival shoe, which was as light and comfortable as the so hated Croc, but as elegant as any sneaker… nativeshoes.com


    3 not-so-surprising surprises

    • Kanye West and his ego, which harshly cancelled all rumours of Coachella finishing in an epic manner of guest appearances by Daft Punk, Jay-Z and Rhianna. Alone onstage for almost the whole performance, Kanye’s show also lacked live instruments and live back-up vocals
    • Ariel Pink and his mental state, which lead to a break down at the end of his set…
    • Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig popping in on Chromeo’s show, to perform their great new track ‘ Wouldn’t It Be Nice’

    Tunecore CEO Jeff Price Responds: “When Artists Become The Product”

    Last week we published a post, “D.I.Y. Music - When Artists Become The Product” by William Gruger, first posted at Hypebot. The post questioned the value of the growing “online industry dedicated to earning money and exposure”. Tunecore CEO Jeff Price recently responded:

    The challenge with articles like this is they imply some sort of “magic wand” which, if waved, allows musicians to have instant fame and success. This is just not the case.

    The secret to success for a musician is in the art itself. If a snake oil salesman comes asking for money, promising, “Kid, I’m gonna make you a star”–it’s most likely utter bull. A case in point: 98% of what the major labels released and promoted failed. They spent billions of dollars over the years pushing music they hoped would cause reaction, and 98% of the time they failed and the artists still had to give up their rights ending up worse than when they started.

    Music needs to cause reaction. In other words, the thing that propelled Nirvana to superstardom was Nirvana’s music. If people didn’t react to the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” it wouldn’t have mattered how often they heard the song or seen the video: it was the song itself that caused the fame.Music needs to cause reaction. In other words, the thing that propelled Nirvana to superstardom was Nirvana’s music. If people didn’t react to the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” it wouldn’t have mattered how often they heard the song or seen the video: it was the song itself that caused the fame.

    Read the whole response by Jeff Price at Hypebot, here. Please, join the debate and let us know your opinion!


    D.I.Y. Music - When Artists Become The Product

    This article was first posted at Hypebot. The writer, William Gruger (@wgruger), brings up some bold questions and starts an important conversation. We don’t say that Gruger is right about everything he writes here.  Some of the things he says about  companies we highly respect are a bit controversial. But Gruger still highlights some major concerns worth giving an extra thought or two.

    It seems like there is an Internet outlet that allows individuals to be whoever you want to be.

    People who think they’re writers start blogs, photographers or fashionistas start Tumblrs, and people who think they’re film makers make YouTube accounts.

    For prospective musicians, however, there exists not just a smattering of sites, but an entire online industry dedicated to earning money and exposure.

    There has been endless press about how ReverbNation, TuneCore, SoundCloud, Kickstarter, etc., have innovated the landscape by crafting the tools to turn musicians into efficient and effective music businessmen, allowing everyday people to become full time musicians, or so it seems.


    However, this new type of exposure doesn’t necessarily lead to fans opening their wallets and, it certainly doesn’t mean it’s worth it for artists to invest any amount of money into online marketing.

    Anna Rose Beck, a folk singer/songwriter from North Carolina who first started with YouTube videos, was able to garner an audience and begin gigging in the area after heavily investing in a mix of these online tools. Her web efforts were effective in helping build an audience, but less so when it came to covering her first album’s production costs (the album is set to be released this April).

    Despite raising over $2,100 with a Kickstarter campaign, her Myspace and ReverbNation exposure failed to lift her out of the red.

    “Relatively nobody knows who I am, but if I’m going to start charging people online then absolutely nobody is ever going to know who I am.” she says.

    Devin Fry, a musician from Austin, Texas agrees. “You have to make convincing music, and lots of it, and talk about it, and give it away. If you’re a D.I.Y. musicmaker or bandleader and you’re worried about the lost revenue of someone downloading your songs for free, you’re ignoring the bigger picture.”

    Devin and his band Salesman play what Denver Thread describes as “What would’ve happened if Jeffrey Lee Pierce hadn’t died, and instead invested in a little voice coaching? Or – maybe a lot of voice coaching.”

    “I’m fed up with band self-starter programs, as you succinctly call them. Because they come at you trying to sell you shit you don’t need, promising to ‘increase your fan base,’” Fry says. “Insidiously enough, they’re targeting modest, broke, D.I.Y. musicmakers and bandleaders, people exactly like me.”

    Indeed, ReverbNation claims that a budding musician will accrue more fans with “an arsenal of free viral marketing tools for Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and your homepage.” As if a broadened fan base weren’t enough, musicians can profit directly by using the Reverb Store to hawk “T-shirts, CDs, downloads, hats and ringtones directly to fans on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and your home page or blog.”

    The way these companies phrase their offerings sound completely absurd.

    TuneCore sports even loftier promises that you’ll be able to, “Join Nine Inch Nails, Drake, Keith Richard, Jay-Z and tens of thousands more musicians just like you to get heard, shared and discovered.”

    People are all aware of the marvelously positive impact digital distribution has had for tens of thousands of musicians trying to get their material out there. Never before have music consumers had a better chance to discover artists and niches of flavor that appeal the most, but also never has the amount of noise and clutter been so high. The idea that an internet tool will provide hopeful musicians with the same marketing power as these major label signed artists is extremely over-ambitious.

    “I’ve wasted my time creating Salesman accounts at ReverbNation, Myspace, TuneCore, iLike, etc,” continues Fry, “and I’ve learned that my promotions time is better spent outside flyering. Talking to people and setting meetings with people I want to work with.”

    The bigger picture is gaining exposure, not trying to monetize every move with overcomplicated and cost ineffective online merchandise stores. While it may be true that “being a musician requires so much more motivation than it used to … motivation to be a self-promoter and an entrepreneur and to actually market for yourself” as Anna puts it, it doesn’t mean that musicians should buy into what are often lofty – and false – promises.

    “Baseline: it’s important for a band to have an online presence that looks and sounds the way you want it,” says Fry, “something that gives the flavor of what to expect at a live show. If your show is badass like it should be, you only need one such supplement.”

    And musicians can certainly supplement their online shows for free. Hell, the guys from Odd Future did it with just a Tumblr and YouTube, which are both free to use. Sure, D.I.Y. platforms can certainly increase a musician’s chances of being discovered, but on a mass scale, turning page views and video hits into sustainable income simply is not a reality.

    Are we simply spinning our wheels with trying to make an industry out of manufacturing musicians?


    Will a toy win the battle?

    Bands and labels continue to fight against piracy and the current downturn in the music industry. Some bands and labels come up with innovative and fun ideas in this war of theirs. One example being the Norwegian band Datarock. But is this the way?


    When the indie-disco brothers Datarock released their latest single, they did it in the form of a designer ‘toy’ loaded with a great deal of extra media. The single comes in the shape of a 3 inch soft-vinyl red diamond figure, with arms, legs and a face, created in conjunction with Hybrid Design and Super 7. Concealed within the ‘toy’ is a tiny USB storage drive containing the latest single plus 105 bonus tracks, 1500 photos, 20 music videos, and a 60 minute concert film… But does anyone need this much of a band in their life?

    For existing (fanatic) fans of the band I guess the ‘toy’ might be a preferred way to get the new single. Then I think of ‘New-Kids-On-The-Block-kind-of-fanatic-fans’ (those of you who were there in the late 80s knows what I’m talking about). For the rest? I doubt it. Unfortunately.

    I don’t believe a ‘toy’ will battle the war against piracy and downturn in the music industry. However, it’s a fun and innovative idea, and there’s plenty of inspiration to be taken from bands and labels who try to do something new to survive in the music business!

    By: Sara Zaric


    Hip Hop artist London’s record label: Brands

    Interview Magazine gives us this interview with ‘hip hop’s newest name’ Theophilus London. London has been doing it the way we’ve talked about for a while, i.e. working with brands as the new record labels…


    POLLOCK: When you say your brand relationships, you’re talking about Bushmills and Cole Haan?

    LONDON: Bushmills, Gucci, Cole Haan, Nike, Mountain Dew.

    POLLOCK: What’s it been like working with them and rising at the same time?

    LONDON: It’s such a new idea, because you’re supposed to rise first then all that shit comes. Like, “Oh this song is hot. Let’s put it in a commercial.” But I got these deals before I was a household name to the masses, not just to the progressive people that know me. It’s about the fucking people who are chilling in this pool right now. They get to know me because of a commercial or a billboard in New York City. It’s such a new idea. I’m building a new business model for artists who want to do this after me—artists that haven’t even put an album out yet. I put an EP and three mixtapes out. I didn’t know that was the path I was choosing. And I’m really cool with ladies, so if it’s a lady in charge of the brand, then, yeah, I’ll get the deal. You know, in a business way.

    Read the whole article here.

    Those of you who follow us regularly have probably seen the video of London spontaneously performing ‘The Brand Song’ backstage at SXSW. Those of you who haven’t, check it out.


    Sounds like Branding in paperback edition and more…


    The Swedish version of Sounds like Branding has been reprinted in a paperback edition by Swedish publisher Norstedts, and is available for purchase here. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (A&C Black Publishers Ltd) plan to publish the book in the UK on the 18th of July. The book will also be released in South Korea by Acorn Publishing this Autumn.

    For more info, subscribe to our latest news (up to the right), or just continue keeping an eye on this blog.

    Interested in the English beta version of the book? Subscribe here or download it here.