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OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS   PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC
Beginning of 2007: - You have a new album, that you own entirely - An 80's legacy (revived by YouTube and Hit Me Baby One ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  2006-2007  Making of the album  Corpora...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
Yes, it could be 1760 people watching 100 times each… YouTube lessons for us…  - Legacy/heritage/nostalgia market – people...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>Strengths of Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Very clean, cool design – 'older' f...
<ul><li>Weaknesses of Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Application Spam&quot; (but this can be controlled on Pages) </li><...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS  PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC ...
PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC NING: THE MAGIC KEY Advantages of Ning -- A decent content management system – allo...
PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>NING: THE MAGIC KEY </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages of Ning </li></ul><ul><li>...
PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Once started footering about with Ning, it was clear that we'd found our platform t...
 
PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Since joining in November 2007, been developing Ning ever since -  A graphic design...
PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>… and HISTORY CITY - our version of ‘Fans Reunited’ - every gig we’ve ever ...
PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>How to make money from all this activity?  </li></ul><ul><li>- One thing we...
PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>How to make money from all this activity?  </li></ul><ul><li>- Ning promisi...
BUT… as Bob Lefsetz says, &quot;these days you have to leave some money on the table&quot; in your relationship with the f...
So you have to build a relationship with fans based on openness and generosity of spirit – such that when you do ask them ...
OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS   PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC...
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Ourselves, Online: A Musician's Quest To Find A Business Model In The Age Of Networks

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Three years ago, Pat Kane - one half of Scottish pop duo Hue And Cry - started a search for the best way to sell their new album Open Soul, in a tumultous time of free downloads, fan-driven social networks, and the revival of live gigging. Here's his story... for more go to www.patkane.com, and www.hueandcry.co.uk

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Ourselves, Online: A Musician's Quest To Find A Business Model In The Age Of Networks

  1. 1. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC
  2. 2. Beginning of 2007: - You have a new album, that you own entirely - An 80's legacy (revived by YouTube and Hit Me Baby One More Time) - An ability to play live - An awareness of the power of networks - A range of productive digital skills (not just music-making, but platform-adaptation and some html. video-making and production, prose-writing) - 1300 recent names on a database … What do you do next?
  3. 3. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC April-May 2005 - Hit Me Baby One More Time (ITV 1 Talent Show) – e-mail from the blue Seen by a few million on two immediately resulted in:- - More venue gigs, but also corporate and private/’mogul’ gigs – ways of staying alive musically without seeking major deal - A desire to write new music again, in terms of what looked like a kind of popular audience demand – strong songs not jazzy experiments - A new post-majors-era management, keen to exploit the new disintermediated landscape of music distribution and promotion - Hue And Cry.co.uk and MySpace.com/hueandcryuk sites created for Hit Me Baby – between them they gather 1200 newsletter names on database.
  4. 4. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS 2006-2007 Making of the album Corporate performances, occasional gong (music lifetime achievements!) … And rise of our presence on YouTube: not enormous, but instructive
  5. 5. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Numbers as of 26th June, 2008 1) 48,155 Labour of Love – original pop video – Sept 16, 2006 – Burdlow 2) 36,281 Looking For Linda – orignal pop video – Sept 23, 2006 – Burdlow 3) 14,305 Ordinary Angel – original pop video – Sept 23, 2006 – Burdlow 4) 12,686 Labour Of Love (Live Jazz Version) – Jan 25, 2007 - from STV's Boxed Set – Graham106 5) 10,372 Mother Glasgow – live performance clip from BBC Scotland arts show in 80's – Jan 9, 07 – Jimbro360 6) 9,438 I Refuse – original pop video – Sept 23, 2006 – Burdlow 7) 6,201 Strength to Strength – original pop video – Sept 16, 2006 – Burdlow 8) 5,389 Sweet Invisibiility – original pop video – Sept 23, 2006 – Burdlow 9) 4,622 She Makes A Sound – original pop video – Jan 9, 2007, Jimbro360 10) 4,026 Stars Crash Down – Jan 25, 2007 – from STV's Boxed Set – Graham 106 11) 3,112 Last Request (Paulo Nutini) – Sept 6, 2007 - live performance –– Retrofest – Hitztelevision 12) 2,994 I Refuse (Live Version) –- original pop video - Sept 23, 2006 – Burdlow 13) 2,966 Remote – C4 'The Big Day' live coverage - Jan 10, 2007 – Jimbro360 14) 2,925 Once in a Lifetime - Jan 25, 2007 – from STV's Boxed Set – Graham 106 15) 2,438 Stars Crash Down – fan-video of Oran Mor acoustic concert – June 9, 2007 – Graham106 16) 2,303 Labour of Love – fan-video of Oran Mor acoustic concert – June 9, 2007 – Graham106 17) 2,210 Crazy In Love - fan-video of Oran Mor acoustic concert – June 9, 2007 – Graham106 18) 2,097 Back To Back – fan-video from ABC gig, Dec 3, 2006 – Jimbro360 19) 1,900 Labour of Love – fan-video of Darvel Music Festival – Oct 17. 2007 – pureminted 20) 1,847 I've Just Seen A Face - C4 'The Big Day' live coverage - Jan 10, 2007 – Jimbro360 Total views since Sept 16, 2006: 176807 Types of video: 80's Pop video: 8 (7 out of top ten) Broadcast TV clip: 6 (all live band performances) Fan videos: 5 (live performance) Event video: 1 (live performance) Number of uploaders: 4
  6. 6. Yes, it could be 1760 people watching 100 times each… YouTube lessons for us… - Legacy/heritage/nostalgia market – people reliving their 80's enthusiasms – is big (seven out of top ten are old promo videos; four separate videos of Labour of Love, two each of I Refuse and Stars Crash Down) - Live performance is very important to audience (12 out of 20 clips are live performance) - High-quality, professionally-produced audio-visual is the preferred upload material – but fan-generated footage is also significant (5 entries in the bottom 10) - We should try to expand community of 'super-fans' – those who had the willingness to get promo videos by any means, or have retained their own 80's videos; can solve the technicalities of video-to-digital conversion; are willing to endure upload waiting times... (Graham106 built previous fan sites, hueandcry.info) YouTube is an interesting sample of user behaviour around the Hue And Cry brand – how might it structure what we do online? PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC
  7. 7. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Apart from building up a 'friends list' and putting in promotional content (songs videos)… Limitations of MySpace - Very standardised design and layout – adaptable, but very awkwardly so - Very chaotic user input via bulletin and general comments page – and vulnerable to all kinds of spam - Artist engagement with fans and users very muted, or diffuse (blog posting not prominent, bulletin service a vehicle for spam) - Management of fan base not direct (no access to emails, etc) 2007 - Year of discovering what other social networks are relevant…
  8. 8. PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>Strengths of Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Very clean, cool design – 'older' feel </li></ul><ul><li>Can 'ride' on applications like iLike (where we discovered our songs had been shared 800 times, you can 'multiply publish' news bulletins, you can easily distribute iTunes and other selling points) </li></ul><ul><li>With establishment of Pages, much more focussed (Musician) and brandable sites </li></ul><ul><li>- Pages provide much better management of content (using Notes, HTML/You Tube Boxes) </li></ul><ul><li>Much better engagement with fans through Pages – can create particular Discussion Forums, use iLike's multi-media FanWall. Even a limited data-analysis function. </li></ul><ul><li>- FB is a 'tool for convivality' – with lots of opportunities for sharing and discussion content – a very congenial environment for music appreciation </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Weaknesses of Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Application Spam&quot; (but this can be controlled on Pages) </li></ul><ul><li>Long vertical scroll to see everything – not a very organisable or usuable interface </li></ul><ul><li>Still a generic social-network platform, with the plusses and minuses of that </li></ul><ul><li>… .if FB is popular enough, then you're a stall in a public agora/marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>… .if it's too popular (like MySpace), no-one sees you properly </li></ul>- Still no direct access to fan e-mails (only Facebook emails, to the extent that these haven't become 'Spam Boxes')
  10. 10. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC SOLUTIONS, SOLUTIONS, WE NEED SOLUTIONS… Article in Fast Company magazine Feb 2007 Way behind the Music – John Legend and Music Today Article completely gripped me – but raised a few questions - Who's doing this in the UK? And if it was a manager and his band (Dave Matthews) that forged it, should we be doing this ourselves? - What is the actual service like?
  11. 11. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Experience of both the John Legend Network, and the Dave Matthews Music Today site – not impressive (especially for $35 layout!) One crucial experience with the John Legend Site – 'rehearsal video’ Idea is that fans are &quot;allowed behind the velvet rope&quot; – not as part of the extensive/ expensive DVD package, but right now – was SO badly done …. In terms of competitive advantage – the strict templated-ness of Music Today – with fan management and community functions, but essentially a retail front – is a disadvantage. Suits big, busy bands who have an already large constituency who interactions just &quot;need managing&quot; (towards the cash register, mostly…)
  12. 12. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC So mid 2007, start to look around for &quot;what could be built, so that they might come…&quot; And the question behind it all was – in this environment of a free-for-all of access to content – what might you be able to get people to pay for? **Open Soul – Open Source route Interesting question of the level of expertise required to make an open-source solution work… which we didn't have, or it was too expensive to keep (PHP developer walking to a new job…) So looked at CMS platforms like Joomla – and basically bounced off, baffled and intimidated .
  13. 13. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Also looked at more digital music selling outlets that are more open to access by independent musician Tunecore – access to iTunes and Napster directly – though not timed to release dates, a fuzzy &quot;it'll be up in around about six weeks&quot; Nugs.net – recorded and live music sold directly from artist to fan (Phish)
  14. 14. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Friends Reunited –> Fans Reunited? -- where people reconnect with each other using their attendance at gigs and concerts, in the same way that they do in Friends with schools, workplaces, etc (and with Facebook) Venue databases - inaccessable through data protection… but idea of a vast named constituency of people who'd been motivated enough to pay money for a ticket to see you… how would you reconnect with that audience, individual by individual – and then give themselves a tangible memory of &quot;having been there&quot;?
  15. 15. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Terry McBride – boss of Nettwerk (manages Avril Lavigne, Bare-Naked Ladies) … . Idea of a band selling a range of &quot;assets&quot; through their networked relationship with fans – not just songs, but tracks of songs, ringtones, merchandise, direct access to band in various environments – but all within one tight company, that can make instant decisions and retain all intellectual property rights.
  16. 16. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>AUTUMN 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>The model that's beginning to emerge in our head </li></ul><ul><li>-- we need a &quot;Live-Digital&quot; strategy, in addition to someway of getting our precious album out </li></ul><ul><li>- the importance of Live performance and access is tied to a Digital/networked framework. </li></ul><ul><li>A rule of thumb gained from a web guru JP Rangaswami </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;you use what is ubiquitous&quot; (music and digital content) &quot;to drive people to what is scarce&quot; (the unique performance of the artist) </li></ul><ul><li>– and whatever is scarce, becomes potentially something you can monetize… </li></ul><ul><li>(The new enclosure movement is the live gig…) </li></ul><ul><li>So somehow we had to create content that reinforced the 'live' experience – but in a quality way. </li></ul>
  17. 17. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>NOV 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>What's the content-and-network platform that will help us to do this? </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t have any hard-cash capital, at all – though lots of intellectual, reputational or sociable capital… so let's spend that… </li></ul><ul><li>Started calling round… </li></ul><ul><li>Old friend from the nineties, with whom I worked on a music website for Microsoft called Blizzard – Flash rich in the age of 9600 baud or maybe ISDN bandwidth, a nightmare… asked whether his company would be up for it </li></ul><ul><li>… .and he suggested we look at Ning.com… </li></ul>
  18. 18. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC NING: THE MAGIC KEY
  19. 19. PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC NING: THE MAGIC KEY Advantages of Ning -- A decent content management system – allowing you to upload good quality video, audio and photos, and control the level of public access to that content (choosing between download and streaming) -- Sophisticated forum and groups options (one of which could easily be turned in to a content channel) -- Very rich 'fan' system - each fan with their own webpage, given a clear identity throughout the site - many opportunities to comment on whatever content is on site, and to upload their own material *as* comment - For artist/management, direct access to emails, or at least ability to download them as a data file (csv)
  20. 20. PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>NING: THE MAGIC KEY </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages of Ning </li></ul><ul><li>-- Virality built into Ning's features </li></ul><ul><li>- videos/music/photos can be flash-embedded in other sites, like YouTube, and every item has a 'Share' option </li></ul><ul><li>- Integration with Flickr, and ability to create Facebook apps that drive people to the Ning site </li></ul><ul><li>-- Much more adaptable and customisable than any platform we'd seen so far, both in terms of interaction design and graphics/colours/font [show drag and drop], and easy generation of new HTML pages </li></ul><ul><li>-- A great development hinterland – across the road from Facebook, down road from Google, launched by Marc Andressen (Mosaic and Netscape) </li></ul><ul><li>And FREE (other than the Google ads, and other premium options) </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages? - Can’t do a Music Today (no e-commerce) - bit template-y </li></ul>
  21. 21. PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Once started footering about with Ning, it was clear that we'd found our platform to manage the process Gregory came up with the idea of a 'Hue And Cry Music Club&quot; – a place for members to come and privately appreciate their favorite bands music. I thought about the different elements of the site that might be themed to give the club a programme, based on the kind of content that we could (and would want to) generate And so….
  22. 23. PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC Since joining in November 2007, been developing Ning ever since - A graphic designer who got to us through our MySpace email made us our logo, which we attached to the site - Greg and I began a program of audio-visual and audio content for the site - A Music Lab and Lyrics Lab for each track on the Open Soul album – two videos per month on that - A Private Stage – where we do a suite of songs piano-vocal – the next batch will have been suggested and voted on by fans – one a month - A Public Stage – where we have the rights to some great live recordings, both audio and audio-visual – one a month. (When we start to tour, we will build up more 'live assets').
  23. 24. PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>… and HISTORY CITY - our version of ‘Fans Reunited’ - every gig we’ve ever done, potentially, over the last 22 years (and the next 22!) with its own website </li></ul><ul><li>Within that site, ability for members to:- </li></ul><ul><li>Contact each other though easy identity icons </li></ul><ul><li>Upload phonecam clips and pictures from gigs, and old visual memorabilia (though screened for quality by us, and featured by us) </li></ul><ul><li>Use ‘reply to’ boxes to review gig, tell stories of old gigs </li></ul><ul><li>Partly our work, partly ‘crowdsourcing’ the information </li></ul>
  24. 25. PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>How to make money from all this activity? </li></ul><ul><li>- One thing we're doing is shooting all of the current channel videos is high-definition video – so that there's a possibility of repackaging this material for a DVD that will provide a fan with a great &quot;lean-back&quot; experience (compared to their interaction on the site as &quot;lean-forward&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>Micropayment (a la iTunes) for certain bits of content is something we will definitely consider at some point. If we're organised enough to record all or most gigs we do from this point onwards, then we will find a way to sell access to those performances to fans (or bundle it with something else – concert ticket). </li></ul><ul><li>This sits ALONGSIDE fan generated content from the gigs – again, we'll be recording our in such quality, that we think it will be worth buying. We have to figure out the widget/service that will speedily help us do that – it doesn't exist within Ning at the moment, or anywhere else we can see. </li></ul>
  25. 26. PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC <ul><li>How to make money from all this activity? </li></ul><ul><li>- Ning promising a subscription system at some point – but hopefully stratified, so that we can create a 'velvet room' level, and keep much of the content open to fans. For an initial strategy, the theory is – get 20,000 in for nothing, than 100 in at £20 a go </li></ul><ul><li>- Great context in which to sell concert tickets and merchandise – we will be using a lot of the US just-in-time merchandising platforms - Blurb.com, Zazzle.com, Lulu.com – when they adapt themselves to UK users. </li></ul><ul><li>And we're doing more conventional stuff – reasonable hard-copy distribution of album to retailers, videos being made for a few songs, media pluggers hired to see if there can be some small degree of 'top-down' traditional media impact… </li></ul><ul><li>But the point of that awareness is to further animate the 'bottom-up' energy of fan involvement – in short, drive people to the websites. </li></ul>
  26. 27. BUT… as Bob Lefsetz says, &quot;these days you have to leave some money on the table&quot; in your relationship with the fan. Or ‘give some to get some’ Reason for that is the digital “Pandora’s Box” is jammed right open – fans know there are alternative ways to consume anything you do that doesn't have to involve the cash nexus
  27. 28. So you have to build a relationship with fans based on openness and generosity of spirit – such that when you do ask them for money, on very specified and special occasions, they're more than willing to give it to you. A great way to build that relationship, in our view, is by doing the stuff that musicians like to do - playing live, create recorded content – and then to give both artist and audience a networked home whereby that experience can be celebrated, elaborated and discussed between us. … Ourselves, online
  28. 29. OURSELVES, ONLINE: A MUSICIAN’S QUEST FOR A BUSINESS MODEL IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS PAT KANE, HUE AND CRY / THE PLAY ETHIC [email_address] www.patkane.com Hueandcry.ning.com www.hueandcry.co.uk www.theplayethic.com

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