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Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper
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Virginie Berger: Music content strategy Wrap-Up - midem exclusive white paper

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1.Music marketing: why do you need a website? …

1.Music marketing: why do you need a website?
- Why would you need a website if you are an artist?
- The artist’s website
- Building the website


2. The fundamentals to set up your digital content strategy
- Optimising content on a website?
- Video streaming websites (with a focus on Youtube)
- Why use audio streaming websites?

3. Key learnings
- The essentials of your website
- Optimising your content and defining your editorial angle
- YouTube/video channels: an essential broadcast channel for music
- Optimising streaming within my development strategy

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  • 1. Digitalmusic content strategy A wrap-up report
    By Virginie Berger, Founder and CEO of DBTH, a strategy, development and management firm, dedicated to artists and creative industries (France)
  • 2. Table of Contents
    Introduction – Music marketing: why do you need a website?
    Why would you need a website if you are an artist?
    The artist’s website
    Building the website
    The fundamentals to set up your digital content strategy
    Optimising content on a website?
    Video streaming websites (with a focus on Youtube)
    Whyusing audio streaming websites?
    Key learning
    The essentials of your website
    Optimising your content and defining your editorial angle
    YouTube/videochannels: an essential broadcastchannel for music
    Optimising streaming within my development strategy
    2
  • 3. 1.     INTRODUCTION - MUSIC MARKETING: WHY DO YOU NEED A WEBSITE?
     “Five yearsago, wethought of the web as a new medium, not a new economy.”Clement Mok
    Well-used, a website candefinitelybe a good backup for the artistwhowants to spreadhis/her music, and develop the fan-base as well as revenues. An artistcan use digital tools to develophis direct relationshipswith the audience in multiple ways.
    Millions of artistscoexist on the Internet. And billions of different contents. How can an artistavoidbeing falling victim to brand-switching, and manage to beseen and recognised? You need to keep in mindthat the public has the choice, toomuchchoice. It is important to askyourselves the right questions from the beginning. Whereshouldyoube to beseen? Whatisyour message? What do youwannasell?
    Withan eye to start more concretelythisseries of white papersdevoted to digital strategies, itseems important to go back over the marketing and promotion basics.
    Marketing allowsyou to optimizeyour music strategy and applyit the best possible way. It doesn’t interferewith the artisticcreation, its objective is to help broadcastingyourmusic. There are manyways to develop a music strategy:
    • Use social networks to promoteyour music everywhere and make the most of your fans as distributors
    • 4. Use emails, Twitters, etc… to marketyour music directly to your fans
    • 5. Collectinformation, gatherthem and organise the necessary data in order to developyourrelationshipwithyour fan
    • 6. Createa linkwithyour fans to develop the life span of yourrelationship
    Nevertheless, withoutanyupstream music strategyadapted to yourartist and tailored to yourneeds, all these actions will not be of any use.
    3
  • 7. a.     WHY WOULD YOU NEED A WEBSITE IF YOU ARE AN ARTIST?
    Everything moves so fast on the World Wide Web. What’s trendy an instant, could become really quickly out of fashion.
    Once upon a time, MySpace was supposed to revolutionize music. These times are gone: we are now in the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter area. A few years ago, it was essential for you to own your MySpace url, i.e. MySpace.com/nameofyourband. Now the soufflé MySpace has gone flat and Facebook attracts all attentions. What will it be in a few years, even in a few months? What about augmented reality? We hear about the « cloud » all day long, but what exactly is it for?
    We will, in the present white paper, focus on the fundamentals of websites and social networks. How can you build your presence on the Internet? What are the appropriate formats and what feedback can you expect from each of them?
    It is easily believable that Facebook can replace a personal website. So once you have a profile on Facebook, why would you need a personal website?Why launch into building a website while you can potentially reach 550 millions users on Facebook? You will not be able to reach 550 millions visitors through a website.
    On Facebook, you can already integrate everything you do outside Facebook like your YouTube videos or your Twitter account. You can also welcome new visitors with a landing page, where they can find all information about your current activities. On Facebook, you can already sell your music but also create events, invite your friends, develop your event, publicize it…
    On flickr, you can upload your pictures, share them, create albums… You can also create folders on Facebook – it actually is the most used application on Facebook.
    4
  • 8. On YouTube, you can aggregate all your videos to create a channel that you can customise to your colours
    On Facebook and YouTube, you can analyse the traffic on everything you do. It tells you the number of visits, the number of friends, the number of comments…
    But all these websites cannot replace your own website. They just are the periphery.
    Why would you need a website if you are an artist?
    We live at the digital age. For years now, artists use MySpace, Facebook and many other websites to promote their music to everyone everywhere. Some service websites are still on the web and have become real powerful. Others have not been so lucky. And while MySpace was seen as a revolution for musicians, this platform has now clearly lost its strength and influence. Who’s next?
    It is important not to place yourself on only one service website because if it were to disappear, your profile, your music and your community will vanish with it. This is the reason why your website should be at the centre of your online strategy. MySpace, just like Facebook, will never replace your website. You will never create a real relationship with your fans while staying on MySpace, or any other social network. But social networks complete your website perfectly, you do need them both.
     
    5
  • 9. 6
    b. THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE
    Create your own website is fundamental to develop your career. You need to own your own website with a url (www.myname.com), so that no matter what happens to the social networks, your website will still be there.
    That means that your public will always know where to find the artist he wants to contact. There will always be an address. The websiteshouldbeseen as a base.
    What constitute the advantages of a personal website?
    • Easyterms to monetize
    You can sell your music directly through your website, an option that some social networks don’t authorize. Some software and services enable you to sell music directly through digital downloading from your own website. The advantage it presents is that it is possible to keep up to 100% of the profits (depending on the banking intermediaries).
    • Customisation and personalisation
    With Facebook and Twitter, you can only customise a few aspects of your page. That could become frustrating when you wish to spread your image.
    You can customise and personalise your website as you wish. On top of that, numerous programmes on the Internet let you manage the design without specialist skills.
    • Loyalty
    The websitewillalwaysbethere. No matter what happens to the current social networks, your website will be running, and the mailing list will still be accurate. That means that the website helps you centralise your fan base.
     
    Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and MySpace are key elements to build a community and to broadcast your content, but the website also allows a personalised communication with all of your fans.
     
  • 10.
    • Differentiation
    It is difficult to set yourself apart on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone is on Facebook, just like everyone was on MySpace. No one’s unique. While, on your own website, you can be unique.
     
    • Professionalism
    A website also allows you to address professionals, by highlighting contact, music, pictures, press releases, technical requirements… That way, booking agents, managers and producers will know who to contact according to their needs.
     
     
    Does that mean you should abandon all social networks? No. Social networks are essential to build your fan base, increase your visibility and broadcast your information.
     
    Thanks to social networks, publics can stay in touch with the artist. The more people are in contact with the artist, the more people will know what he/she’s been up to. And the more they know, the more they can go on his/her website to listen to other tracks, watch new videos, become fan and buy his/her music. Everything is intrinsically linked.
     
    Digital sales, just like digital promotion, become more and more important in the artist’s career.
     
    7
  • 11. 8
    c. BUILDING THE WEBSITE
     
    Before planning on the new website, you need to establish a few points.
    What are the objectives of the website: Getting your name across? Sellyour music? Turnvisitorsinto fans? Increase the mailing list? Attract new fans? You need to prioritise your objectives.
    Who will actually be involved in the development and follow-up of the website: the artist or the close entourage? Who will be in charge of building the website: friends, contacts, connections?
    What will be the story told on the website? Which editorial angle will you adopt?
    Who is this website aimed at: Everyone? Potential fans? Former fans? Mass Media? Bloggers? Record labels, booking agents, managers?
    What will be the promotion strategy enforced to help publics finding the website?
    What about regularity? How often do you plan on posting?
    How to make sure the website will be well ranked by search engines?
    Will the website be universally accessible? Will it be available in different languages? Can the design be displayed under different browsers?
    How much will this website cost?
    If you wish to sell through your website, what is the volume of revenues you want to generate? What will be the consequences if you don’t achieve your target sales?
     
    As long as these questions are not answered, you cannot start building anything. A website should follow a specific problematic, offering functionalities and a content that fulfils your needs.
     
    You cannot launch into the building of a website without a precise idea of what should be done, the posting frequency and the addressee. Until you determined this line of actions, you will have to content yourself with a profile on social networks.
     
  • 12. 9
    2.     THE FUNDAMENTALS TO SET UP YOUR DIGITAL MUSIC CONTENT STRATEGY
    a.     OPTIMISING CONTENT ON A WEBSITE
    THE VITAL ELEMENTS OF YOUR WEBSITE
    Wehave seen above whyitwas important for an artist to own a personalwebsite. Wewillnowtake a look at how to optimize the content on yourwebsite.
    Beforestarting to publish on yourwebsite, itis essential to defineyoureditorial line, thatis to say the topicsyouwant to communicate on. Rememberthatquality and regularity are way more important thanquantity.
    Manyartist’swebsites do not offer a real ‘experience’ to their fans and visitors. More oftenthan not, theirwebsites are static and rarelyupdated. And yet, youneed to seeyourwebsite as a broadcasting and distribution channel. Throughyourwebsite, youcan enter in contact withyour fans, get to know them and interactwiththem.
     
    You need to update yourwebsiteregularly, sothatit matches the image youwant to project. You alsowant to give: give of your time, give of yourself in beingpresent, givepictures, videos and music.
     
    Your fans and visitors have decided to come to yourwebsitebecausethey chose to meetyou. If you’re not there, the experiencewill not seem conclusive.
  • 13. First of all, yourwebsite must display thesedifferent vital elements:
    Music shouldbe central. It mayseemobvious, but manyartists’websites do not offer music directly on the land page. A few titlesshouldbeeasilyavailable for listen.
    • A biography
    • 14. A calendarwith the concert dates to come
    • 15. Pictures, official and non official
    • 16. You need to payparticular attention to the pictures. On artist’swebsite, the picturegalleryisusually the mostvisited. It actuallyis a universaltendency: 2,5 billions pictures are uploadedeverymonth on Facebook. This iswhyyouneed to offer official and personalpictures.
    • 17. You canalsoallowyour fans to sharepictures of the band on the website
    • 18. You need to find a happy medium and regularlyoffer new pics thatwillbespeciallydisplayed. You cancreatefolders by picturetypology: on tour, backstage, etc.
    • 19. Videos: yourvideo clips, your concert or studio videos, videopresenting the team (you and your band withyour music…). Yourvideosshouldbeeasily accessible, everywhere and by everyone.
    • 20. A contact page: yourvisitorsshouldbe able to contact youeasily. It maybethrough a contact form, an email address or in leaving a comment on a wall…
    • 21. A professional area withyourbiography, a professionalpicture, technicalrequirements… Wewilldevelop the professional area in details in the nextchapter
    • 22. Authorizeyour fans to upload and import theirownvideos, pictures, remixes, comments, etc.
    10
  • 23.
    • You canalsooffer a sale page, using a toolsuch as Bandcamp#. It willallowyou to directlysellthroughtheirwebsitewhilebeing free to charge the pricesyouwant (youcanfind more information about Bandcamp in the paragraph about monetization).
    • 24. You canalso use Paypal, a toolthatwillallowyou to accept online paymentsthanks to a simple email.
    • 25. Check yourwebsiteveryregularly to reply to comments and post new content. It isbetter to post content everymonth, than to adddozens of pictures, videos and commentseverythreemonths.
    YOUR PROFESSIONAL AREA: YOUR PRESS KIT
    Wesawthis point earlier, yourwebsiteallowsyou to project a professional image. You canthereforeoffer a dedicatedspace, whereprofessionals have access to all the necessary information.
    This press kit, or EPK (ElectronicPress Kit) is essential. It is a fundamental part of your content strategy. You canofferthispress kit on yourwebsite, but on anyother format as well, like on a USB key or by email.
    Yourpress kit must beready for any occasion. You shouldbe able to presentitanytime.
    Yourpress kit shouldcontain a few documents:
    • Text: yourbiography, yourdiscography (list of your albums or titlesreleased), yourpress releases, you concert dates, quotes (frompress articles about you), collaborations or partnerships, technicalrequirements…
    • 26. Audio: links towards streaming of your music. Withdownload on demand.
    • 27. Pictures: professionalpictures, picturestakenduring concerts, press book
    • 28. Images shouldbeavailable in low and highresolutions, for web and print usage.
    • 29. Videos: links towardsyourvideo clips, live and backstagevideos, interviews
    • 30. Links: towardsyourFacebook page, yourotherwebsites
    • 31. Contacts: your email and/or emails of yourbooking agent, manager…
     
     
    11
  • 32. Yourbiographyis an important element of yourpress kit. Pay attention to the style: badlywritten, itcould lead yourreaders to looseinterest in your music. If youcan, ask a journalist to writeyourbiography or a blogger, withquality content, wholikesyourwork.
    If youdecide to writeityourself, don’tforget to mention whatyou do. Whatis the style of music yourplay, who are the artistsyoufeel close to, where and who do youplaywith? Talk about your music and your actions.
    Concerningpictures, an official picturedoesn’tnecessarilymean a picturetaken by a professional. You need a picturethatrepresentsyou, a clean picture, i.e. clear, visible and not blurry. Askaroundyou, your network and your fans can help you.
    Offerthispress kit on yourwebsite, in yourprofessional area. This professional area shouldbeeasily accessible, by everyone. A press kit doesn’tcontainconfidentialelements, sodon’tlose a potential contact in locking the professional area by a password.
    You canalsooffer the press kit via USB key to hand to professionals. You cansendit by email in shrinkingyour document into .zip folders. The zip is a compression format thathelpsyoutransformanyfolder (images, music, etc.) in shrinkingitinto a more portable file. In your email signature, youcanadd the URL of yourpersonalwebsite and those of your profile on social networks.
     
    12
  • 33. 13
    YOUR BLOG
    A blog is a very important communication toolbecauseithelpsyour fans feeling closer to you. It helpscreating a loyaltyrelationship, and thereforewill help attracting news fans.
    A blog cannotbeyourwebsitethough. It cannotbecomeyouronly online strategy. It canonly serve as a complement.
     
    On yourwebsite, youdeliver a professional image through musical content, pictures and videos, yourbiography and yourcurrentactivities.
    On a blog, you express yourself in more personalterms. You do the talkinghere. Once again, a blog helpsyougettingcloser to your fans in posting information, comments, links towards music youlike… Your blog allows a smoother and more personal communication.
     
    You candirectlycreate a blog on yourwebsite, in opening a blog section – or yourcanseparateyour blog and yourwebsite in opening a dedicated blog via Tumblr# for instance.
    Tumblris a platform of micro bloggingthatallowsyou to share more or lessraw information (in the wayTwitterdoes) with simple functionalities. Withoutanywordprocessing and an easyintegration of contents, Tumblr has been conceived for spontaneousblogging. But becareful, yourTumblrdoesn’tbelong to you, thatis to say if Tumblrdecide to close your page, youwill not be able to retrieveyour data. Yourwebsiteis a platformthatoffersmany more possibilities (configuration, hosting, tools, and personalisation) even if the content staysbasically the same (images, links, text, videos, etc.). If youwish to clearlyseparateyour blog and yourwebsite, youcan use Tumblr. You canalsodirectlyintegrateyourTumblr blog on yourwebsite. Indeed, Tumblrallows the integration of yourTumblr page on yourwebsitethrough an application thatyouwillfind on yourTumblrdashboard.
  • 34. Whycreateyour blog ?
    Through a blog, people canreadyourtexts, followyouveryclosely, and enter your world. You canalso post content thatwilldifferfromyour music. A blog being more personal, you encourage interaction withyourfans.
    By followingyour blog through a RSS feed, your fans have a reason to come back on yourwebsiteregularly. You canintegrateyour blog on all of yourother social networks, like on Facebook and Twitter. That way, youstay in touchwithyourentire fan base.Italsohelpsyoucreating and definingyour image
    Web SearchEngineslike blogs becausetheycontainwrittentext. Therefore, a blog helpsyouoptimizeyourranking.
    Whatcanyou blog about?
     
    A blog couldbecompared to a ‘scrap book’, these photo books, in which people stick bits of their life: a cinema ticket, a picture, a flower. A blog shouldbeapproached the sameway. Nevertheless, youneed to defineyoureditorial line beforehand. What do youwish to write about, but more importantly, whichtopicswouldyouratheravoid?
    You don’tneed to write long texts, youjustneed to post and put forwardsignificant content. Pictures, videos, texts, etc. Don’t over-thinkwhatyou’regoing topublish.  
     
    For a start, youcan blog about the sametopicswementioned in the chapter on regularity: anyelementlinked to your music or anyother bands, pictures or videostaken on the road, in the studio, etc., youcanshare anecdotes thathappenedduring the tour or the recording sessions at the studio, or any of the topicsyou’reinto…
     
    As one goesalong, people willgetinterested and willstartasking questions. And youwillcertainlyfeellike sharing more details. Your blog canbebrief, as long as you update itregularly and thatyoustay honest.
     
    14
  • 35. B.     VIDEO STREAMING WEBSITES (WITH A FOCUS ON YOUTUBE)
    15
    VIDEO PLATFORMS
    Accordingto a study published by Nielsen on midemblog: “Online, music ismostlylistened to on videoplatformssuch as YouTube or Dailymotion. 57% of Internet users have watched music videos online in the last threemonths, a figure thatexceeds by far the proportion of Internet userswhobought an mp3 over the sameperiod (under 20% of people surveyed). This figure alsoexceeds the number of Internet userswho have downloaded one or more tracks ‘withoutpaying’: 48% - withstrongdiscrepancy contingent on the country (and withoutany distinction betweenillegaldownloading and works in the public domain).”
    Videoplatformssuch as YouTube have become an essential broadcastchannel for music to the general public.
    On YouTube, a user willwatch on average 96 videos a month (source: Comscore). YouTuberepresents more researchrequeststhan all of those on Bing and Yahoo.
    Nine out of the tenmostresearchedvideos on YouTube are music videos. Besides, 60% of the traffic on YouTubecomesfrom an embeddedplayerthatenables to watch the videooutsideYouTube. That meansthat a YouTubevideoplayercanbe host externally on a blog, a website or anyother medium.
    BigChampagne, a websitespecialised in analysing web traffic and the media’s use on the Internet, published a comparative studybetweenstreamedtracks (trackslistened to directly on the websitewithoutbeingdownloaded) on MySpace and the sametrackswatched on YouTube. Thoseresults show profound changes in the consumer’s habits as well as in the volumes consumed.
    By way of example, they chose the artistRihannawithher single ‘Rude Boy’. Rihannarankednumber four in bothYouTube and MySpace charts.
  • 36. 16
    Over a givenperiod of time, ‘Rude Boy’ has been streamed 732 014 times on MySpace but the video has been watched over 4.3 million times on YouTube.
    BigChampagne alsoanalysedthat, over the same time period, while the ten first videos on YouTubegenerated over 57.3 million views, the top ten in the MySpace chartsonlygenerated 7.5 million listens.
    It confirmsthat music consumptionnowalsoinvolves images. In January 2010, Vevo, the music platformlaunched by YouTube in partnershipwithUniversal Music, Sony Music and EMI, has been crowned the most important music platform in the world.
    It istherefore essential to use YouTube as a channel to broadcastyour music. To that end, youneed to optimizeyour content in order to bewellpositioned on YouTube. The betteryourvideoappears on YouTube, the betteritwillberanked by Google (YouTubebelongs to Google).
    I deliberately chose to discussYouTubebecause I thinkit’sbetter to know how to properly use one websitethanbeing on dozen of websiteswithoutanyupstreamSearchEngine Optimisation research on eachwebsite. If no one knowsyou are available, no one will look for you. YouTubeis the thirdmostvisitedwebsite in the world and the first among the 15-25-year-olds. I alsofinditeasier to use thanDailymotion. But youcan of course use the websiteyoufeel the mostcomfortablewith.
  • 37. 17
    OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEOS
    Optimizing a video for YouTuberequiresonly basic skills. To that end, youcanfollow the same content optimization techniques thanthoseused for searchengines.
    The goal is to make sure thatsearchengineswill position your content in the top results. To that end, wewill use the SEO (SearchEngineOptimization).
    The aimis to optimizeeachYouTubevideo page to makeiteasilyidentified by a searchengine. Indeed, YouTubevideoscannotberead by SearchEngines. Why ? Because a searchengineis a machine. It only scans text and cannotrecognize a video. Being a machine, itcannotrecognize images and thereforewill not readthem. You understandherethat a searchengineonlyreadstext, itcannotguesswhatyou’redoing. Once youassimilatedthisfact, youwillbe able to seewhyyouneed to optimize the written content of yourvideo.
    On YouTube, if youwantyourvideo to climb up the ranking, youneed to work on the title of yourvideo, its description and your annotations.
    Title: yourvideo’stitlewillbeyour first contact point.
    • Integratethe mostadapted keywords in the name of yourvideo.
    • 38. Integratethe keywordsthat correspond to yourvideo, the one youwant to besearched on.
    • 39. Understandthat the titleis the most important information that the searchengineowns about yourvideo. Integratealso the word ‘video’ in yourtitlebecause in most cases, people whosearchvideosincludethisword in theirresearch. It will help youclimb up in the resultsranking.  
    • 40. Don’tforget to includeyourname and the title of yourvideo in the list of yourkeywords.
    • 41. Use a catchytitle, itwill help youbeingspotted by yourtarget audience. Don’thesitate to mention your music style or the artistyoufeel close to in yourtitle.
  • Description: Don’toverlook the description box of the video.
    • For eachvideo, mention keywords thatreally correspond to yourvideo, your band, your music.
    • 42. The description box is the little box under the video. It allowsyou to describe the video. You canonlysee the first line, but if you click on the arrow, youcanread the entiretext.
    • 43. Integrate a URL in your description box. This URL shouldlinktowardsyourwebsite, Facebook page or other…
    You need to position this URL at the top of the description sothat the userscanseeit straight away and go on the website. After the title, the description of the videois the best source of information.
    Annotations: Make the most of the annotations directlyon the video.
    • On yourvideo, youcanadd notes, subtitles, descriptions, direct links…
    • 44. Atthe moment, only links towardsotherYouTube pages are working.
    Reminder of the characters limitation:
    Title: 120 characters
    Tags or keywords: 120 characters
    Description: 5000 characters
    18
  • 45. 19
    SHARE YOUR VIDEOS
    Thanks to an embeddedplayer, youcanauthorizeyourvideos to bedistributedoutsideYouTube, on externalwebsites. For instance, someonewholikesyourvideocan post it on his/her blog. Then, visitors of this blog canwatchit and repostit on their blog – or go watchit on YouTube. This will lead them to yourwebsite or Facebook page becauseyou have placed the URL in the description box. This way, youdevelopedyourvisibility and yourbroadcasting.
    You canwatermarkyourvideo (i.e. place a translucentlittle logo in a corner of the video). That way, no matterwhichwebsitepublishyourvideo, your brand willalwaysremain. You can for instance use software like Windows Movie Maker (free software to editvideos).
     
    Finally, youcan use YouTube Insights, the analysing and external monitoring tool by YouTube. It allows all userswith a YouTubeaccount to display the detailedstatistics about the videoshe/sheuploaded on the website (popularity, geographical zone, readings…).
    To obtainthis Insight data for yourownvideos, connectyourYouTubeaccount and click “Insight” under “Account” > “MyVideos” > “Insight”.
  • 46. WHAT IS STREAMING?
    Is it music’s Promised Land or Pandora’s Box? Streaming fascinates and creates debate in the world of music. But what is it exactly? Is it profitable? Should we follow the flow?
    What is Streaming?
    First of all, a definition: streaming designates the reading of an audio or video flux without prior downloading. In music, there are two types of streaming websites, audio pure players such as Deezer and Spotifythat just announced its entry to the US market and video streaming websites such as Youtube.
    Since its apparition, streaming won its popularity. With the Internet connections’ omnipresence and streaming’s easy use, it has become one of the Internet users’ favourite practice. The cloud computing (distant storage of the user’s data) tools are also based on the streaming technology. And in view of the craze for these new devices, streaming is there to stay…
    20
    C.     WHY USE AUDIO STREAMING WEBSITES?
  • 47. When it comes to streaming, the main question remains the same. Will the streaming access to my music curb my sales and the development of my content?
    Two schools of thought confront meagre arguments.
    In the pro-streaming camp, a legal practice is defended, advocating discovery before buying. Arguments used are the decline of P2P and pirate websites practices by streaming websites users and the affiliation scores of the streaming websites towards the downloading platforms. For instance, Deezer declares being the first iTunes affiliate in France (without giving the figures).
     
    The opponents of streaming denounce a depreciation of the content. Why would the Internet user buy a title he could listen to for free on a streaming website? Arguments lie on the pauperization of the revenues linked to the exploitation of online content, the streaming ‘s low revenue results, and these dangerous non profitable websites imposing themselves thanks to price slashing and a free listen.
     
    Don’t worry, this paper will not be the umpteenth judgement of the streaming effect on music. But a few things are for sure.
     
    Both camps are probably right and all arguments are valid. This new practice, streaming, has virtuous and harmful effects. Remains to learn how to properly use this new broadcast channel in order to optimize its development.
    The debate cannot be based on a dichotomous pro or contra streaming fight, simply because it exists now for the publics since the creation of YouTube… in 2005! It’s just impossible go backwards now.
    The question now is to optimize streaming within my development strategy.
    21
    STREAMING TO CURB MY SALES?
  • 48. 22
    IS STREAMING FOR EVERYONE?
    Should we go?
    A streaming strategy should be tailored to your position and situation. Either you follow the tide of History, stick to your choice and adhere to a new digital practice; or you take the opposite view and deliberately stay away from this new broadcast channel.
    Whether you go or not also needs a bit of thinking before signing. Should I be available on every website? The streaming’s economic model hasn’t been validated and is not perennial yet. Be careful who you’re signing with. Making your music available on an exclusively free streaming website – with extremely low revenues – might not be pertinent.
     
    Streaming is a new form of music consumption, less onerous for the listener (free or bottom price subscription) but less lucrative for the producer (even in terms of number of listeners reached, streaming pays more than radio….). Streaming is not a simple practice linked to music, but a practice at the heart of the Internet culture involving instant consumption and sharing.
    Depreciation of content lead by this practice change reaches all types of contents. In other words, whether you choose streaming or not, your content value is on decline because it is easily accessible, and this, almost for free on the Internet. The most coherent strategy is to optimize your streaming presence and to do it before someone passes you and puts your content on YouTube!
     
    Is streaming for everyone?
    Contrary to popular belief, niche market music has its place on streaming websites. Is it pertinent to make them available though? Two possible answers:
    - Yes, because my music will benefit from this further broadcast channel. I add access channels to my content and allow an association of my music to other artists via playlists: this tool that let users create their own sequence of tracks, can represent a real plus in terms of recommendation. The special display on Deezer can be a real audience ratings boost in streaming as well as in downloading.
    - No, because streaming is not enhancive for my music or my content. It could be based on the case of the harpsichord that doesn’t bear the streaming, or the case of read texts for which streaming brings only little strategic interest and could represent a real danger for the sales. For instance: if I’m about to by the CD of a conference by the philosopher Michel Onfray that is also available on Deezer…
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    IS STREAMING PROFITABLE?
    Streaming to curb the downloading?
    Here again, there are no ready-made answers. Streaming presents virtues and defaults. Being available on streaming is being sure to be listened to promptly and legally by someone looking for you. It allows you to gather information about your audience in terms of volume, but also to quickly estimate the impact of a promotional campaign, or after a show on TV or radio. The impact on downloading cannot be globally measured.
    Increasing your broadcast via the streaming channel will therefore increase the value and visibility of an artist.
    For all that, would the streamers have bought the content?Impossible to give a ready-made answer. Streaming impacts on your visibility and thus, can positively (downloading) or negatively (no purchase) impact your music. But your music has been heard, paid and your content has found an audience.
    Is it profitable?
    Let’s be honest: it won’t be with streaming revenues that an independent artist will buy a new instrument or finance the next studio session.
    To be fairer, the artist will probably be - in most cases - able to buy a croissant, or pay for a nice restaurant if he starts to become famous…
    Of course, streaming revenues are proportional with the number of listens and on the website offer (free or charged streaming) – that way, a famous artist will be able to buy a car by the end of the year.
    In more concrete terms, how much doest pay? Revenues* on a free website varies between 0.001 and 0.01€ per listen. For charged options, variances are bigger, between 0.003 and 0.5€ per listen.
     
    In this article, we also talked about YouTube. Let’s be clear: yes, YouTube can pay the legal claimant of the audio part for all the viewings of a video. It is a slightly technical process that is for the moment reserved to auto productions with a geek sense and to professionals (including the digital distributor). In terms of revenues, YouTube is near 0.0025€**.
     
  • 50. What should we deduce? It is impossible to evaluate the streaming revenues, rates are in constant evolution, just as much as Internet uses and subscriptions to premium accounts. Besides, many variables, such as musical genres and types of publics targeted, make it difficult to measure the results.
    What you need to keep in mind: streaming listens and revenues are in constant increase and should not be neglected.
    There is no unique and universal way to be available on streaming. This broadcasting channel has become an almost indispensable norm for a developing artist. Actually, it is present in the main promotional tools online, on My_____ , Noomiz, Youtube and even on Facebook.
    So?
    Ideology versus pragmatism: the revenues point is crucial. The balance between a profitable (reliable economic model for the streaming actors) and fair service (right payment of the legal claimant) is to be found together. Should it be by the installation of a collective management or by more transparency on the streaming revenues – this tool is a centrepiece of the digital distribution.
     
    If streaming doesn’t have the vocation to replace revenues linked to the content sales, it becomes indispensable in the interaction between the artist and the audience. Streaming is a first step towards new consumptions of contents.
     
    (*) Revenues quoted here are those received by the producer, for a signed artist, the percentage negotiated in the contract is applicable in order to calculate how much he will actually receive… In addition to that, these figures do not take into account the revenues linked with copyright.
    (**) Median price in 2010 on revenues generated by YouTube, excluding copyright and part related to the distributor/ aggregator.
     
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  • 51. 25
    3.     KEY LEARNINGS – WHAT YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ON...
    a.     KEY LEARNINGS: CREATING YOUR WEBSITE
    Your website should be at the centre of your online strategy. MySpace, just like Facebook, will never replace your website. You will never create a real relationship with your fans while staying on MySpace, or any other social network. But social networks complete your website perfectly, you do need them both.
    Create your own website is fundamental to develop your career. You need to own your own website with a url (www.myname.com), so that no matter what happens to the social networks, your website will still be there.
    That means that your public will always know where to find the artist he wants to contact. There will always be an address.
    The websiteshouldbeseen as a base.
    A website should follow a specific problematic, offering functionalities and a content that fulfils your needs.
     
    You cannot launch into the building of a website without a precise idea of what should be done, the posting frequency and the addressee.
  • 52. b.     KEY LEARNINGS: OPTIMISING YOUR CONTENT ON YOUR WEBSITE
    Beforestarting to publish on yourwebsite, itis essential to defineyoureditorial line, thatis to say the topicsyouwant to communicate on. Rememberthatquality and regularity are way more important thanquantity.
    Music shouldbe central. It couldseemevident, but manyartist’swebsites do not offer music directly on the land page. A few titlesshouldbeeasilyavailable for listen.
    Check yourwebsiteveryregularly to reply to comments and post new content. It isbetter to post content everymonth, than to adddozens of pictures, videos and commentseverythreemonths.
    Yourwebsiteallowsyou to project a professionalimage. Your EPK (ElectronicPress Kit) is essential. It is a fundamental part of your content strategy. You canofferthispress kit on yourwebsite, but on anyother format as well, like on a USB key or by email.
    On yourwebsite, youdeliver a professional image through a musical content, pictures and videos, yourbiography and yourcurrentactivities.
    A blog helpsyougettingcloser to your fans in posting information, comments, links towards music youlike… Your blog allows a smoother and more personal communication.
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  • 53. c.     KEY LEARNINGS: VIDEO PLATFORMS
    Videoplatformssuch as YouTube have become an essential broadcastchannel for music to the general public. Nine out of the tenmostresearchedvideos on YouTube are music videos.
    To that end, youneed to optimizeyour content in order to bewellpositionedon videoplatforms.
    On YouTube, if youwantyourvideo to climb up the ranking, youneed to work on the title of yourvideo, its description and your annotations.
    Thanks to an embeddedplayed, youcanauthorizeyourvideos to bedistributedoutsidevideoplatforms, on externalwebsites
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  • 54. d.     KEY LEARNINGS: AUDIO STREAMING
    First of all, a definition: streaming designates the reading of an audio or video flux without prior downloading.
    This new practice, streaming, has virtuous and harmful effects. Remains to learn how to properly use this new broadcast channel in order to optimize its development. The question now is to optimize the streaming tool within my development strategy.
    Streaming impacts on your visibility and thus, can positively (downloading) or negatively (no purchase) impact your music. But your music has been heard, paid and your content has found an audience.
    Of course, streaming revenues are proportional with the number of listens and on the website offer (free or charged streaming) – that way, a famous artist will be able to buy a car by the end of the year.
    Streaming listens and revenues are in constant increase and should not be neglected.
    So, Ideology versus pragmatism: the revenues point is crucial. The balance between a profitable (reliable economic model for the streaming actors) and fair service (right payment of the legal claimant) is to be found together
    Streaming is a first step towards new consumptions of content.
     
    28
  • 55. 29
    About the author
    Virginie Berger, more than 12 years of experience in the media and music industry, is the former marketing and content director of MySpace France, and now reader for IMM, Nanterre university, Irma and author.
    She is the founder and the CEO of DBTH, a strategy, development and management firm, dedicated to artists and creative industries. She also wrote the book “Music and digital strategies”.
    She is also the publisher of “Don’t believe the Hype”(http://virginieberger.com), a website dedicated to musicians, artists, bands and people from the music industry. It gives them the tools, resources, expertise and guidance to help them take their music career to the next level.
    Twitter @virberg
    Email vberger@dbth.fr
    This report isbrought to you by MIDEM
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