SweetWater

 

This Holiday season, I’ve spent a good bit of time reflecting on how proud and thankful I am of the entire Neurotic Media team. With their hard work and dedication, we have accomplished so much this year. 2015 was another year of growth for us and our customers. We successfully launched our mobile-first, device-agnostic hosted services, and we completed our move to the cloud with the move of our DBs into Azure, so we are now 100% cloud-based. As a thank you, my wife Melissa and I though it would be fun to treat everyone to a tour of our local SweetWater Brewery, followed by an authentic Italian dinner at Alfredo’s.

BreweryBundled in our warm coats and holiday sweaters, we were taken deep into the heart of the cool brewery to see the inner workings of the brewery machine. The beer tasting was great, but we saw a billion times more than beer. This operation was a total beast. Huge machines, massive pipes, the most passionate people working around the clock to deliver beer of the highest quality. They were constantly moving, doing, checking, expanding. Their lights were always on. Heaters, coolers, freezers, bubbling machines from floor to ceiling and gears. We were in awe of the scale of this operation, humbled too. As we passed by a stack of about a million cans waiting to be filled, our tour guide invited us to take a few as souvenirs. Apparently the empty cans make good pen holders for desks before they put the lids on. I reached out to give one to my wife, and she turned to me and said, “Wait, this is exactly like a music download.”

Suddenly the whole place looked different to me. This was so much more than a brewery tour. We had traveled deep into the heart of a machine much like our own. We were looking right at the guts of what we do every day.

When you lead a technology company, it is often hard to explain to people the complexity of what you really do. Our offering puts much of the complexity behind a curtain. We make our client’s lives simple. That’s the point. That’s what we’re selling. But the truth is, much like this brewery, we own and operate massive machines, we have to constantly keep our eyes on these gears and valves. We are full wall to ceiling of music downloads just like each and every can in the brewery. We are the passionate people who work twenty four hours a day to ensure quality. We are constantly moving, doing, checking and expanding. Our lights are always on.

On a local brewery tour, I was able to more deeply appreciate the value of my team, their hard work and dedication, their commitment to our success and all that they do. I am grateful to the entire Neurotic Media team, for our customers, for our partners, for our investors and for every friend and family member who has ever supported us in our journey. Thank you for keeping our future bright and wishing you a prosperous 2016.

— With Gratitude, Shachar Oren, CEO.

 

SweetWater Cans

 

NM at SweetWater 2

 

SweetWater sign

 

Company Holiday Dinner 2015

Hope is UniversalI had the pleasure of attending last night’s City of Hope gala in Santa Monica. This yearly event celebrates the music industry’s involvement and contribution to a wonderful organization that is breaking ground in the fight against cancer every day.

As the event’ honoree, UMG’s Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, stated in his Spirit of Life award acceptance speech, the music industry normally “punches above its weight” when it comes to humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors such as this. And indeed, last night’s event – boasting about a hundred companies and about a thousand participants – raised over $6M for City of Hope.

HopeIt was a wonderfully produced gala, and I enjoyed catching up with several colleagues whom I have not seen for a few years. The speeches were thoughtful and moving, and the food and music fantastic.

The night closed with an amazing surprise live performance by Sam Smith (pictured below).

Neurotic Media is proud to have contributed to City of Hope this year.

As a result of our modest contribution, we are listed on the 3D installation created for the event, which will now reside permanently on the City of Hope main campus.

I can’t imagine anyone in this world that has not been touched by cancer, at least by seeing family members or friends struggle with it or die from it… If you are passionate about making a difference in the fight against cancer, please visit cityofhope.com to learn more about their work, and contribute if you can.

(Shachar Oren, Neurotic Media’s CEO)

 

Hope NMIMG_20151105_190931~2

 

 

Starting on July 10th 2015, all new music will be released worldwide on Fridays. This includes both physical and digital releases. New music is scheduled to go out at 00.01 a.m. local time on Fridays, according to newmusicfridays.com. This is a significant change from the scattered national release days of the past.

The big question is, why the change?

Kayla SchmandtFirst, having a uniform release day will build anticipation and hype among consumers. This will create regular buzz for the new content as well as help artists to streamline their promotional efforts, particularly through social media, and to reach their fans when they know they are preemptively looking out for their releases. And a lot of shopping naturally takes place on the weekend.
The second major benefit to a global release day is the hope to cut back on piracy. Prior to this switch, different countries were releasing new music on different days. This posed a problem given how easily connected international consumers are today. The U.S. for example released new content on Tuesdays. If an album is released a few days prior in another country, what’s to stop a U.S. consumer from finding that album instantly online rather than waiting for the U.S. release? Ideally, having a global release day will cut some of this “instant gratification” stimulus for piracy, and fans all over the world can be satiated at the same time.

Most stakeholders in the music business are on the same page in support of a consistent global release day, though some are skeptical of the decision to designate Friday as the regular day. This hesitation is largely from those distributing physical content. The greatest challenge here for physical distributors comes in the form of anticipating demand for new albums. Weekends will pose a challenge for restocking albums that sell better than anticipated when released on Friday. Physical distributors have concerns that these supply obstacles may end up costing them sales if would-be customers turn to digital options for immediate access to new music.

At the end of the day, only time will tell how this global release day will actually impact music sales. However, skeptics can take some comfort in the examples set by other countries that have had Friday music release days for years. Germany, for example, has successfully adhered to a Friday release day for the past ten years – and physical sales in Germany are booming. Consumer focus groups also yielded results to support the decision for the U.S. market – those who cared to voice an opinion expressed that they preferred to buy new music on Fridays or Saturdays.

In the ever-changing music industry, updates and advances are commonplace. Each modernization brings its own rewards and challenges. We can all eagerly anticipate the changes that this global release day will stimulate over the coming years, for both digital and physical music.

Kayla Schmandt, Director of Accounts at Neurotic Media, comes from a background in physical music and retail promotions. Her current work with digital accounts at Neurotic Media has given her insight to provide a diverse perspective on the upcoming implementation of a global music release day.

Salsa Lesson 1

Thanks to our incredible clients and staff, we had another stellar year at Neurotic Media!

We decided to take one evening to celebrate our brand. We knew it would involve the obligatory, quality wine & dine, and wanted to add some activity to it to make it extra fun – but what? Well, we came across an exciting idea: What better way to celebrate the Holiday Season than with music and motion, which are in line with our own slogan, “Music That Moves”? So here’s what we did this past Friday:

We started the evening at the Academy Ballroom with Jen from Salsambo. After a brief round of Tequila shots (you know, just to loosen up the legs), we hit the dance floor for our Salsa 101 entry level class. And well, we thought it would be easy to learn just a couple of moves, but an hour into it, we had to all admit this dancing stuff is not simple! Doing a basic combo with two spins while not stepping on each other’s toes was not easy. Yet we practices and got it, and had a lot of fun with the challenge.

Eclipse Di Luna 1We then proceeded one block north to Eclipe di Luna – where we reserved a room for our company meal and hit the bar and some quality Tapas… And since on Fridays they have a band playing in the main room, we continued to enjoy Salsa music while savoring the mesmerizing dishes they kept serving us and enjoying talking to each other and our spouses, which don’t get many chances to socialize like this during the year.

So off we go now to our respective homes – to spend time with family and friends for the balance of the year (don’t worry, some of us are still here, and we are all always available, as needed – an internet company never really “closes”). And our new year resolution: To have these sort of shindigs more often!

Toast

 

All of us at Neurotic Media wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year. We want to tell you how much we appreciate you and thank you for your business and support. We are here thanks to you!

 

Happy Holidays, friends!

Savi KnightGrammy Camp. It’s been a week since I got home and am still at a loss of words to say about this wonderful experience.  On Monday, the third day of camp, everyone looked at one another with the same dreaded look, “Its only day three and we still have a week to go. What have we gotten ourselves into?”…  By the following Sunday night, we were looking at each other with a different understanding.  The look was now full of gratefulness and sadness, a look that acknowledged the end of an amazing camp – but the beginning of our dreams and the start of the best friendships ever made.

I was one of eight students accepted to be part of the Music Business Track for Grammy Camp L.A. 2014.  To apply, you simply go to grammyintheschools.com and begin the application process. For me, getting to go to this camp meant the world, which, of course would stress out anyone, but especially a person who was about to graduate from high school and just now figuring out how to make it big in the music industry.  After a long day of trying to sound like I knew what I was doing, and filming a very basic video of why I should be chosen, I sent it all in hoping and praying I would get in. A few months later after work I was sitting on the deck at my cousin’s house as she was about to Skype her mother – and I got the text, I got in.

Fast forward to July 10, when I flew to Los Angeles, California with my mom – to be joined by my aunt and cousin. As they relaxed for the two days before camp, I became more and more anxious about it. I’d never been this far away from home for this long, especially knowing that my family would be leaving soon. The morning of July 12 flew by in a whirlwind, and before I knew it I was saying goodbye to my aunt, cousin, and my mom. I was now surrounded by the people I would be spending the next ten extraordinary days with learning my trade. I moved my way to the window seats and immediately met my first friend – she would be in the songwriting track. After everyone had been dropped off we all sat in Carson Television Center, the heart of Grammy Camp. We were all separated into either Jason’s Combo, Leslie’s Combo, Larry’s Combo, Matthew’s Combo, Audio Engineering, Video Production, Music Journalism, Electronic Music Production, Vocal Performance, or Music Business (all of the combos were instrumental including two guitarists, one bassist, one drummer, one keyboardist, and one hornist). Fourteen counselors supervising seventy-five kids, split into twelve groups led by twelve amazing instructors, coupled with numerous guest speakers – all lined up to talk to us.

Each day was run on little sleep, and interesting to say the worst cafeteria food, but it was all worth it. The day included mostly instructions with some panel discussions from music industry leaders.  I can’t say what happened in every track, but for the Music Business Track we had some of the best guests, from funny non-mother-selling agents to one of the most powerful women in the music industry come and talk to us. The group panels had guest everywhere from charities to Colbie Caillat. Everyone brought new information to the table or some kind of advice as if just being in their present wasn’t enough.

Wednesday involved a double field trip day for Music Business. Our track got to take a tour of the Staples Center where we got to see everything! Locker rooms, suites, clubs, game center (where the announcers sit), the video room (where everything is recorded and put on television and also where the replays are seen), we even got to take pictures on the court. Here’s a fun fact – once the ice is put down, it stays there throughout hockey season; so when there’s a concert or basketball game there is ice under the floor they put over the ice in order to keep it cold. Later that day, everyone got one three buses to go have lunch at the Academy, the place where everything that goes on in the Grammy world is held. We were split into groups and talked with people that worked there and learned some of the behind the scenes. My group got to take home tickets from the 2014 Grammys. After that, we headed out on our special field trips. Bus one had the privilege to go to Revolt Studios and watch Revolt Live being filmed along with being filmed ourselves. After the show wrapped up, it was time for dinner and we split up again. My group headed to the Hard Rock Café, where we reveled in good music, good company, and even better food. Sadly after dinner it was time to head back to the USC campus.

After Wednesday, the real work began. We had three days until the showcase and all of the groups were busy working on their projects. Music Business would run the show, while half of the group was chosen to pitch an idea for an app. Music Journalism was busy writing the script and the rest of the camp was recording and competing for a spot in the showcase. Those three days passed in the blink of an eye and before anyone knew it, it was show time. I had the honor of stage managing the most incredible show I’ve ever seen with some of the most amazing young talent!

The after party was bitter sweet, even with the upbeat music the EMPs were playing. It was the end of camp. The next day we would all be going home, but not to our normal lives but new inspired lives. I loved camp and I love all the people that I met. We are the next generation in music and we’re ready to take our places. GRAMMY CAMP LA 2014!

(Savi Knight, Intern)