Music Business

05 Essential Elements for Your Band’s Website Contact Page

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One of the biggest frustrations for industry and media can be trying to get in touch with a band. Social media is great for many things, but for “official” communication and logistics, not so much.

When doing website reviews at Bandzoogle, we tell people that if there’s one place online where people should be able to find your full contact info, it’s on your website. Not only should it be on your website, you should make it as easy as possible to find it by making your “Contact” page part of your main menu.

So what information should you include on your Contact page? Here are 5 essential elements to have on there to make sure that you’re not missing out on any opportunities to connect with the industry, and with your fans:

5 Essential Elements for Your Contact Page

1. Band Contact 

First and foremost, you should have a general contact for the band. Some bands only put booking info, but fans should be able to reach the band directly as well. Many people simply include a hyperlinked email address, but we strongly suggest using a contact form to avoid spambots.

2. Booking info

This could very well be the same contact info as the general band contact, but make it clear that bookers should also contact you in that way. If you have a booking agent, you should put their contact information and/or a separate contact form for them, and include a phone number if possible. Sometimes last-minute gig opportunities come up and you’ll want a booker to be able to reach you as quickly as possible.

3. Media Inquiries

Same thing goes for a media contact. Even if it’s the same as the general contact, make that clear. You could say something like, “For booking, media inquires or to show the band some love, use the contact form below”. That way your fans, bookers and media people know to use the same contact.

However, if you do have a publicist, put their contact information on your Contact page, and again include a phone # if possible. Having a phone contact is especially important for media, who might need some info in a hurry to meet a deadline. It could be the difference in getting featured, or not getting featured.

4. Mailing List signup

You should also include a mailing list signup on your Contact page. Since a fan might be clicking on your Contact page to try and reach out to you, why not offer a simple way for you to stay in touch with that fan? Plus, if you offer an incentive like free exclusive content in return, you’ll give the fan no choice but to hand over that valuable email address, which you can then use to let them know about future albums, upcoming shows, etc.

5. Social Media Links

Having your social media links on your Contact page is a good idea so that all of the ways people can connect with you are in one place. Some bands create a dedicated page on their website for their social links, but it’s not necessary to take up a valuable main menu spot for your social links. The two main places on your site that should have your social links are your Homepage, and your Contact page.

[Al Lindstrom]

0News: Indie Labels Grab Record Market Share

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According to Billboard SoundScan mid-year numbers provided by A2IM, report, indie labels hit a record high with 34.4% of the overall market share based on master ownership (not distribution). That’s up from last year’s mid-year mark of 32.9%. Top selling independent label artists so far this year include:

 

(noted in album/TEA sales)

 

Mumford & Sons – 1.1M albums (Glassnote Records, combined album totals for all their releases)

 

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – 670k albums (Macklemore, LLC)\

 

The Lumineers – 660K albums (Dualtone Music Group)

 

Taylor Swift – 635K albums

 

Jason Aldean – 310K albums (Broken Bow)

 

Vampire Weekend – 275K albums (The Beggars Group)

 

Alabama Shakes – 250K albums (ATO Records)

 

Queens of the Stone Age – 150K albums (Matador Records)

 

[Al Lindstrom]

 

0SoundExchange Paid Out Record $149 Million in Q2

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Signaling the strength of Internet and satellite radio, SoundExchange paid out a record $149 million to record labels and artists in the second quarter of 2013, 55% increase over the same period in 2012.

SoundExchange is the non-profit organization that collects performance royalties from digital music services and distributes them to record labels, performing artists and non-performing artists. Services that use compulsory license established by U.S. copyright law — Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio et al. — pay to SoundExchange.

“SoundExchange’s most recent distribution is yet another positive indication of where the industry is heading, said Michael Huppe, president and CEO, SoundExchange, in a statement. He added that SoundExchange’s 4.9% administrative fee for 2012, down from 5.2% in 2011, put more money into owners’ and creators’ pockets. The organization takes the fee before distributing money to labels and performers.

The size and growth in SoundExchange payments underlies the current public debate over performance royalties. The most recent $149 million distribution was preceded by distributions of $117.5 million, $134.9 and $122.5 million in the first quarter, fourth quarter and third quarter, respectively. That’s a total of $523.9 million over the last four quarters. Distributions have grown considerably since the second half of 2011 when SoundExchange doled out $88 million and $89.5 million in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

[Billboard.biz]

 

 

 

 

0Business Matters: What iTunes Radio Will Actually Pay

itunes-logo-1A close look at the iTunes licensing agreement for indie labels shows iTunes Radio royalties have limited downside and strong upside. The minimum royalty calculation ensures labels will be paid a decent royalty until iTunes Radio becomes effective at generating revenue. iTunes Radio could be very valuable to labels if Apple can convince listeners to buy downloads at a healthy clip.

Even if Apple generates no revenue, labels will be paid 0.142 cents per stream under the minimum royalty. The contract defines the minimum royalty as 45% of net advertising revenues or $21.25 per 1,000 listener hours in the first year and $22.25 in subsequent years. In this case, $0.2125 per listener hour works out to 0.142 cents per stream, assuming iTunes Radio will stream 15 songs per hour with an average of four-minute songs.

 

The standard royalty kicks in once Apple becomes better at generating revenue. In the first year, the standard royalty is 0.13 cents plus 15% of net revenue. In subsequent years, the standard royalty is 0.14 cents plus 19% of net revenue.

 

Once iTunes’s revenue-generating ability is 39% as effective as Pandora, the standard royalty of 0.142 cents (barely) exceeds the minimum royalty. For these calculations, I use Pandora’s revenue per listener hour of 0.3 cents. The company had 4.18 billion listener hours and revenue of $125.51 million in its quarter ended April 30.

 

If iTunes Radio becomes extremely effective at generating revenue against its listener hours, it will share its success with labels. The minimum royalty will exceed the standard royalty when iTunes becomes 171% more effective at revenue generation than Pandora is right now. In other words, the event iTunes Radio revenues go through the roof, labels will not be stuck with a small share of the revenue. (Here I use terms applicable after the initial year because I assume iTunes Radio will not generate that much revenue in its first year.)

 

None of these calculations take into account skipped songs or songs that are in the user’s collection. iTunes Radio can play up to two songs per listener hour royalty-free if the song comes from the user’s iCloud collection, is a Complete My Album track (a promoted track that has not yet been purchased) or a “heat-seeker play” (a track that received promotional consideration from Apple). I also ignore the fact that iTunes Radio will not pay any royalties during the initial 120-day beta period.

 

Adjusting for royalty-free streams reduces the effective per-stream royalty. Taking away two royalty-bearing tracks every hour would turn a minimum royalty of 0.142 cents into an effective royalty rate of 0.124 cents, or slightly above the 0.12 cents Pandora is paying this year for ad-supported streams. (Streams from its Pandora One subscription service have a royalty of 0.22 cents.)

 

iTunes Radio’s impact really soars when download purchases are taken into account. The radio service will have a “buy now” button to allow the listener to purchase a song at iTunes while it’s playing on iTunes Radio. Since a single download is worth far more than a single stream, purchases can have a huge impact. And because Apple will stream promotional tracks to encourage purchases, it makes sense to adjust the iTunes Royalty to account for these incremental revenues.

 

Purchases’ impact on the effective royalty rate depend on how often people buy a track they hear. If listeners buy one track for every 100 songs heard on iTunes Radio (one track every six hours and 40 minutes) a 0.142-cent royalty turns into an effective royalty of 1 cent — a 661% increase from the standard royalty rate. If listeners purchase only one out of every 1,000 tracks heard (one track every 66 hours and 40 minutes) the effective royalty would be 0.232 cents.

 

Labels will find iTunes Radio royalties falling within a comfortable range. The per-stream royalty won’t be lower than the 0.12 statutory rate received from pureplay webcasters (as part of the Webcaster Settlement Act). If Apple can get just one download out of 1,000 streams, labels will get at least nearly twice that statutory rate.

 

[Billboard.biz]

 

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