zero// blog – Making Contakt by Minus

In 2008 the Minus bandwagon embarked on a tour of proportions previously unheard of in electronic music. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Richie Hawtin‘s genre-defining label, the CONTAKT tour visited nine cities on three continents over the course of a year.The exceptional series of events not only featured the label’s most prominent artists, such as Magda, Troy Pierce, Marc Houle, Heartthrob and Gaiser, but also an impressive array of cutting edge technology, pioneering new methods of collaborative performance as well as audience participation via RFID chips and mobile devices.


Social Media Tips from Musicians @ SXSW via CNN

While it would seem instinctive to offer up some netiquette wisdom from the tech set down in Austin (they packed the Texas capital for SXSW Interactive), we decided instead to pick some band kids’ brains from last weekend’s music fest. After all, musicians nowadays have to be much more plugged into the digital realm than their predecessors — even if they are just spending a goodly amount of time stream-of-consciousness tweeting (coughKanyecough). Without further ado, here are 10 tips from acts both up-and-coming and better-known, and an accompanying soundtrack to see you through the learning.…

More music doesn’t mean less good music

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie? The Supply of New Recorded Music since Napster
Joel Waldfogel
The Carlson School and Department of Economics
University of Minnesota and NBER
January 3, 2011
In the decade since Napster, most observers have concluded that file-sharing undermines the protection that copyright affords recorded music.  What matters for consumers, however, is not  sellers’ revenue but whether the diminished appropriability will reduce the availability of new recorded works.  The legal monopoly created by copyright is justified by its encouragement of the creation of new works, but there is little evidence on this relationship.  The file-sharing era can be viewed as a large-scale experiment allowing us to check whether diminished appropriability stems the supply of new works.  Using a novel dataset on the supply of new recorded music derived from retrospective critical assessments of music such best-of-the-decade lists, we compare post-Napster album supply to 1) its pre-Napster level, 2) pre-Napster trends, and 3) a possible control, new song supply following the iTunes Music Store’s revitalization of the single.  We find no evidence that recent changes in appropriability have affected the quantity of new, acclaimed recorded music or new artists coming to market.  We reconcile a stable flow of new works in the face of decreased demand with evidence on reduced costs of bringing works to market and a growing role of independent labels.
Full Paper:

Study finds file sharing has no effect on sales

The economist Jordi McKenzie of the University of Sydney published the first study on the impact of music file sharing on music sales (physical and digital) in Australia. His article in the Australian Economic Papers entitled “Illegal Music Downloading and Its Impact on Legitimate Sales: Australian Empirical Evidence” is based on a working paper from August 2009 and was published in December 2009. With a similar methodological approach to Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf (2007) he came to the conclusion that  the evidence suggests no discernible impact of downloading activity on legitimate sales. More details on his approach and his findings are given here:…

How Dance Music Producer/DJs Connect With Their Fans | Techdirt.

What these guys are doing is building a very strong connection with an influential part of their fanbase. Personally, I prefer the phrase ‘ecosystem’ since fanbase suggests a distance between fan and artist, whereas an ecosystem places an artist right in the center of it. They are not just “connecting with fans”, as Mike would put it, but they are participating in their own ecosystem. As said before, when you have a strong ecosystem, that’s when business opportunities start presenting themselves.

Some call it a tribe, others say 1,000 true fans, but it all boils down to one thing: finding original ways to engage with the most valuable people around you… your fans.

Good examples.

Mike Glicksohn (1946-2011) – File 770

Mike and I felt that zines which either start as amateur zines and grow into something else (or start as something else) provided unfair competition to those who wish to remain amateurs (in the best and original sense of that word, doing it strictly and only for the love of doing it without any thought of making at least part of their living doing it) should be able to compete on a level playing field, competing only with like-minded fans.

The scifi fanzine Glicksohn and his then-wife wrote in the early 1970s won a Hugo in 1973. An interesting obituary with much about attitudes toward fandom.