Archives for February, 2011

Sales Ahoy! More Lessons from the Pirate Sphere

February, 22nd 2011 15:38

Last week, intrigued by the ‘Pirate Manifesto’ that hit the web, we trawled the turbulent seas of digital piracy and learned that there’s much more to piracy than blatant theft.

Computer = new version of pirate ship?

We know that record labels can get caught up monitoring sales performances with online stores like Juno, iTunes or even last.FM. We also know that the recording industry has been blaming pirates for so long, that we have overlooked their innate use.

As both potential customers and competitors, pirates remain in the unique position of being able to show us the voids in our digital distribution strategies that need to be filled.

Our first five lessons, gleaned from piracy, showed us what countless graphs and surveys have showed us: that pirates are reasonable people, they are still willing to pay (reasonable amounts) for music, they just don’t want to have to wait six weeks until they can finally own a song.

This week, we present our final five lessons, that we hope will help record labels to maximise the digital music sales experience:

  1. Where possible, avoid staggering international release dates. Similar to on air/ on sale, if tracks are not available in certain countries on legal services, people will find alternative ways to acquire them. This means that releases should be staggered as little as possible, with licensing issues and territorial restrictions being accounted for BEFORE the release to ensure that no countries are left out in the cold.
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Sales Ahoy! Piracy Inspired Lessons for Labels

February, 18th 2011 12:52

Quite recently, a loose collective of online pirates issued a manifesto that outlines what copyright holders need to do in order to stop piracy.

Pirated Music

Some reasonable conditions appeared on the manifesto, including convenience (they would like purchased content to be immediately available, free of advertising), transparent use terms and global release dates.

Reasonable or not, should copyrights holders negotiate with pirates? Piracy costs quite the pretty penny, both in legal fees and misappropriated property. However, digital pirates potentially wear two hats, that of customer and competitor, this means that they should be carefully observed.

Whatever your stance on piracy, be you pro-piracy, a secret supporter, or a proud online peg leg wearer, anyone interested in online sales can learn from piracy.

  1. Gratis is good. If one thing is apparent from piracy, it’s that freebies have potential. Circulating free tracks is a great way to be heard and to gain exposure online. We suggest exchanging freebies for email addresses, in order to connect better with fans.
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Observing 2011 Grammys: Implications for Indie Labels

February, 15th 2011 15:47

This year, more than half of the Grammy nominations went to independent labels and artists.

In the 50 plus years since the Grammys’ started, ‘indies’ have never received this many nods of approval for their work. Hence creating a real shock effect on the night when it turned out that these nominations were more than mere nods – many of those independent nominees actually won their categories.

Shock aside, congratulations are in order to all the winners, especially the independent contingent, which includes Arcade Fire, La Roux and Esperanza Spalding.

We believe that these wins are, if anything a sign of the times and proof of the strength of digital distribution. In this age of music discovery and sharing, everyone has the chance to be heard. Justin Bieber’s quick ascent to superstardom last year is proof of social media power as much as any study. With further examples of social media power being Lady Gaga having more followers on Twitter than US President, Barack Obama, and subsequently breaking new records with her recent release Born This Way, which ascended to iTunes number one slot within five hours of being released.

The Grammy Awards also highlighted the new music industry’s desire to stay on top of technology and how it is subsequently evolving and taking steps in the right direction by embracing social media and apps in 2011 in their entirety.

The Social Media Rock Star Summit, held during Grammy-week, for example,  which featured rapper Chamillionaire and American Idol contestant, Adam Lambert, discussed the concept of  Social Media Rockstars.

The 2011 Grammy’s signalled the dawn of what could be a new era: the age of independent labels, driven by tech.

So get online, connect and take your chance to be heard.

This post is by Believe Digital Social Media Manager Shanni Elcock @shandogspeaks


Making Music? Top 5 Apps For Music Creators

February, 10th 2011 15:30

EMI’s been taken over by Citibank, Newscorp is trying to sell Myspace and music sales are down. Everywhere we look there are signs of the decline of the music industry.  And the media blood-hounds won’t let us forget it.

The worrying daily headlines ignore one thing: music itself is neither dead nor dying.

While it may seem that technology kick-started the deus ex machina of the music industry’s decline via digital downloads and file sharing, the fact remains that technological innovations have made massive contributions to music.

Damon Albarn’s revelation that the Gorillaz’ newest album The Fall was made using about 20 apps on his iPad brought on a major epiphany: Apps!

Okay, we admit everyone’s always known about apps and that the epiphany was more like: ‘Wow, they make brilliantly efficient brilliant mini-studios!’ Digressions aside, we present our list of our favourite 5 apps for on-the-go music producers and creators.

  1. Nanostudio
  2. Music creation app Nanostudio

    Music creation app Nanostudio

    Blip Interactive’s Nanostudio has lots to offer to a producer on-the-go. Described by one reviewer as ‘GarageBand Pro for your iPhone’, this app not only allows you to create tracks using its four synths and drum/machine sampler, it allows you to wirelessly transfer sound files to your computer.

  3. Filtatron
  4. Filtatron App

    Filtatron- Mobile Studio

    A mobile analogue synthesiser created by Moog, the Filtatron allows you to manipulate any song in your collection, including original music, with FX and an oscillator. Filtatron efficacy is furthered by a settings panel which allows you to set the sample rate, audio latency and control response rate.

  5. Uloops
  6. Uloops Music Composer

    Uloops Music Composer with FX

    Uloops offers quite a range of features to music creators: voice recording, synths, drum kits, modulator and FX. More than that its cloud based architecture has evolved into a thriving community of producers and remixers, allowing you to share music with the community and adapt the work of others.

  7. MooCowMusic range
  8. PianoPro

    MooCowMusic's Piano Pro

    MooCowMusic has a range of apps, each centred on a different instrument: Pianist, Pianist pro, guitarist, bassist, band and organist to help you create. Useful as musical notepad while away from the studio or as your instrument while jamming with friends, MooCowMusic’s app range also support MIDI output to desktop apps.

  9. FingerBeat
  10. FingerBeat

    FingerBeats Mobile Studio

    Similar to an older version of FruityLoops, FingerBeat is easy to understand and simple to use. With features ranging from downloadable sound packs, a MultiTouch Mixer and voice recording, FingerBeat, balances out its functionality by allowing you to export your creations to hard disk or email them to yourself.

Although a high majority of these apps are for Apple products (the office is filled with Apple geeks), music making apps have reached the Android sphere with apps like Christopher Souvey Musical Pro, mob-dev Hit It! and niko twenty ReLoop. So get downloading and you can make music anywhere.

This post is by Believe Digital Social Media Manager Shanni Elcock @shandogspeaks

Believe Digital Inks Deal with YouTube

February, 6th 2011 10:59

Good day,

Believe Digital is pleased to announce a new agreement with YouTube that will vastly improve everyone’s online musical experience.


We share an audio-print of your catalogue with YouTube enabling them to find all videos using your work, thus delivering the following:

–          Identification – The artist’s name and title of the song are automatically added on all videos (official or not) containing your work.

–          Affiliation – Direct buy links to iTunes, Amazon and eMusic are added to the videos containing your work, leading potential buyers to your whole catalogue on those Music Stores.

–          Monetization You receive a percentage of advertising income generated by the audio part of the videos. You will find details for those incomes in the tab Streaming Video, which just appeared in your BelieveBackstage.

Best of all, you don’t have to do a thing. We’ve taken care of everything.

Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook or email Shanni Elcock on uk (DOT) youtube (AT) believedigital (DOT) com

All the best,


This post is by Believe Digital Social Media Manager Shanni Elcock @shandogspeaks

New music start-up enables users to create personal music sharing platforms

February, 5th 2011 12:56

Omp3 has created a site that allows anyone to start an online music sharing service or store.



Powered by Grooveshark, Omp3 allows users to monetize the software by setting up advertising and affiliate tie-ins.

Omp3  believes that their service will help combat piracy by allowing a high number of websites to create their own music sharing sites and stores.

The website outlines the following goals and aspirations:

–To promote legal social sharing of music.

–To partner with existing innovative music providers who are making contributions to new industry standard.

–To encourage webmasters to become a part of a new idea of monetizing their websites through add revenue and affiliate downloads.

This post is by Believe Digital Social Media Manager Shanni Elcock @shandogspeaks

Optimising the BelieveConnect Email Grabber

February, 3rd 2011 13:00

We’ve spotted good use of our Email Grabber and decided to share it with you.

Seen below, Debonton has designed a white label Email Grabber, which fits perfectly to their website, offering a free download in exchange for email addresses.

Exchange Tracks for Emails

Additionally, they have communicated with Facebook, blogs, and all their networks to announce this operation.

Results ?

30 emails within 30 minutes. It’s viral, and it works !


New Features to Improve Your Connections From Believe

February, 1st 2011 10:30

We’ve been making changes to the BelieveBackstage to help you optimise your connections.

First, we’ve tweaked the contact exporter, giving you the ability to export contacts in two different ways:

  1. As an entire database.
  2. Filtered by pre-selected categories.

Exported contacts will be added to an Excel file which contains all the information that corresponds to each email address (age, gender, zip code etc)

We’ve also added new customisation options to our e-mail grabber tool. As always there are three methods to grab contacts:

  1. Believe Digital Player
  2. BelieveBand Profiles – which allows you to offer a free track in exchange for an email address.
  3. Blog compatible email grabber – which allows you to customise widget colours, in addition to exchanging free tracks for addresses.

Stay tuned for more Believe Digital news.