Beatriz Luengo rocks the house at our RCA Music Showcase

Beatriz Luengo at RCA Expo Neurotic Media ShowcaseBeatriz Luengo and crew gave an amazing performance at last week’s RCA Expo Neurotic Media Music Showcase. Thank you Beatriz for the entertaining and fun performance and great music!  RCA members continued to praise your performance for the duration of the conference!

We want to also thank Sony Music US/Latin (especially Carla, Yvette and Phil) for supporting the event; RCA for facilitating the opportunity; and Sprint for co-sponsoring the evening at the Las Vegas MGM Grand’s Tabu club.

Steve Berry President and CEO of RCAWe are including a few images from the show – including Steve Berry, President & CEO of Rural Cellular Association (RCA) introducing Beatriz to RCA members.

Beatriz Luengo and Chip DamatoAnother picture shows Beatriz joined by Inland Cellular’s Chip Damato on the dance floor – her music truly moved the crowd.

Having gained Triple Platinum status for digital sales in Spain with 2008’s Carrousel and record sales of over 1 million albums in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain, it’s clear Beatriz’s music transcends borders.

Her new album, Bela Y Sus Moskitas Muertas, will be available to the public THIS WEEK – released 9/20.

Beatriz Luengo at MGM Grand's Tabu clubThe second song Beatriz performed for us last Wednesday is her new single, Como Tú No Hay 2 – an exciting blend of pop, reggae, and hip hop that is unlike most pop songs being played on the radio today. If you liked the song, give your local radio station a call and ask them to play it for you again. And watch for more Beatriz tour dates later this year.

Thank you for joining us for this second Music Showcase and we look forward to seeing you in the next RCA Expo.

RCA Expo Neurotic Media Music Showcase September 2011

Move Subscribers To Spend More

I’m fascinated by the way both music and technology drive consumer behavior, and my own behavior for that matter. Growing up, I’d hear a song I liked on the radio, go buy the record and bring it home to listen to in my room. The music was a powerful driver of purchase. The record player was the technology of choice. Life was simple back then.

Shachar OrenThings have changed quite a bit with emerging technology. Consumer behavior has changed in kind. The other day I wasn’t surprised to read that 34% of people play music on their phone (Pew, 2011). Mobile devices have become so accessible to all of us – I myself download and sideload entire playlists to my phone. I have hundreds of songs on my phone – my 8GB chip is maxed. With such drastic change between what I do now with music and what I did back then, I’m curious to know what people like me will do next as technology evolves again. Recently, I’ve had my eye on HTML5. It looks like HTML5 – a new markup language for mobile browsers – is going to be in everything. I’ve been watching it lately because it could have important implications to the way our consumers behave and the way our industry works.

For starters, there is a shift brewing within market leaders to use HTML5 to reach independence and control over mobile engagement and commerce. In a recent article in Business Insider, Facebook co-founder Roger McNamee is quoted to have stated that HTML5 is going to change everything: “In HTML5, an ad is an app, a tweet is an app, everything is an app; it is a blank sheet of paper, and creativity rules again.”

As if to echo this sentiment, both Amazon and Wal-Mart just announced HTML5-driven experiences that allow consumers to interact with their cloud services (Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader and Wal-Mart VUDU). This allows both companies to bypass Apple’s app store selling restrictions. 

Brands and consumers alike would benefit from more choices and less restrictions on what they can do on the mobile web and how they can monetize their businesses. HTML5 helps make that possible. It supports software-agnostic interoperability of websites and services, which in turn can drive usage up.   

Combining music and HTML5 is beneficial for brands: It provides a software-agnostic distribution channel for the universal power of music. Neurotic Media’s mobile HTML5 music sites can be used by any consumer on any smart-phone with sufficient HTML5 support – iOS, Android, RIM, Win7, etc. This is a great value proposition for many brands – especially for carriers who seek to increase ARPU with a lift in smart phone purchases and data plan subscriptions. To see an example, visit one of our mobile stores by scanning this QR Code with your smart phone. Remember that the template you see is easily customizable for your needs.

Let us know how we can we provide Music That Moves your brand strategy forward. (by Shachar Oren, Neurotic Media CEO).

An end to new music?

Back in the 70’s, when I was around the age of 10 or 12, I remember hearing a story on the news that we would soon be reaching a point where no new music would be composed. Supposedly, an “expert” had way too much time on his hands, got out his calculator, and boldly determined that every possible combination of notes and words would be achieved in the near future. 

Gary EatonFor a kid that was moved by music early on and started his first band in the 6th grade, this was horrible news. I was crushed… devastated actually. Was I seriously going to be stuck listening to the same music over and over again for the rest of my life? Would I have a chance to write a decent song before we ran out of notes and words?

Seems rather silly now – and I’m wondering if this “expert” ever retracted his prediction. But it goes to show how important music is to many of us, how deeply it moves us, especially during our formative years.

Not too long ago, I saw research that claimed that by the time the majority of adults reach age 40, their listening habits primarily consist of songs and artists they already know.  So, the expert was wrong – but for a large segment of people, his prediction still came true. Ironic, isn’t it?! Well, when we reach 40, we’re often just too busy to discover new music.  This has historically been a huge challenge for the music industry (informing established fans of established artists’ new releases). However, technology provides us with many great solutions for this challenge. People can discover new music that moves them using Recommendation Engines.  We here at Neurotic Media use our database of millions of transactions to recommend what similar shoppers liked – i.e. “other people who like this also purchased the following…”.

There’s no shortage of good new music that moves people, emotions and actions. Keep listening. Keep discovering. (By Gary Eaton, Neurotic Media VP of Sales).

Steve Jobs

The announcement came yesterday. Steve Jobs retired. 

I still have the first iPod that I ever bought.  It’s a big, old 30gb early generation version – and you know what?  It changed my life. I have to admit, I was initially resistant to making the transition, but that didn’t last long. I already had a huge music collection – literally thousands of CD’s. After I bought my iPod, I spent enormous chunks of time ripping my collection into iTunes. Having access to an enormous collection of music everywhere I went was, and still is an absolute joy. 

It’s easy to take for granted the impact that Apple has had on pop culture and society at large. iPods and iTunes have become so much a part of the landscape that we don’t even notice them anymore. 

Steve Jobs and Apple changed the world, turned industries upside down and delivered products that were easy and fun to use. Thank you for your leadership, vision, innovation and inspiration Mr. Jobs. My world – and so many others is a better place because of you. (Gary Eaton, Neurotic Media VP of Sales)

Goodbye Hot Milk and Warm Eggs!

Shachar Oren as KidHot milk and warm eggs. Yuck… When I was five, my Mom went through this phase of feeding me that for dinner. And at that period, my Dad was listening to Elton John’s music. And as a result, every time I hear “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” I am immediately reminded of hot milk and warm eggs – I get this flashback to the imagery and the flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I love the song otherwise! But it always reminds me of a crusting glass of hot milk. Well hey, food for champions, I am 6’4” after all so maybe Mom was on to something… You can check out the song here: http://bit.ly/qp5kFR. (Shachar Oren, Neurotic Media CEO).

Is the future of music in the clouds?

Shachar Oren’s article was originally posted here: http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/is-the-future-of-music-in-the-clouds.html

Every year there’s a rush in the music marketplace after one trend or another, and in the past year it’s been cloud services and the concept of ‘music as water’ subscription services.  While the notion of selling music subscription like cable TV may be appealing at first glance, it is proving hard to monetize on for both the companies that launch such services and the content owners who participate in them. There are several reasons why I have always been very skeptical about the future of all-you-can-eat subscription services and cloud service models:

First, consumers don’t consume music like they do TV programs. On TV you are likely to watch a show or a movie once. When you really like a song or an album, you want them with you for a long period of time and for repeated use – potentially for life. Indeed, look at the past decade of digital music sales: The mass market is buying and downloading music ala carte. Subscription services have found it very hard to climb into seven figure subscriber bases – sure, recurring revenues from 700,00+ subscribers are nice, but if after ten years you can’t move the needle much higher, then the market is telling you something.

Second, the complex offering model that subscription services offer makes them harder to sell: The consumer has to understand various DRM rules and deal with their implications. Additionally, the consumer has to deal with a lifetime commitment issues – after months of working their way thru a catalog of streams, if they decide to discontinue the subscription or switch services, they lose all their work, all their cached playlists and repositories. Also, the market still can’t offer consumers reliable connectivity on the go – even with pre-caching, it’s not a perfect picture. All these elements combined have rendered subscription services a niche that is best suited for tech-savvy taste makers (Pandora is different because it is more akin to Radio than to ownership-type consumption).

Enter cloud services… in a world where one can back up an entire hard drive – music, movies, e-mails, pictures, documents, programs – onto affordable backup/restore services such as Mozy, Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc., will there really be room for dedicated music-specific cloud services for additional money? Sure, there are some bells and whistles that Amazon, mSpot and others are adding to create unique value for the music user, but is that enough to drive a mass market adoption for such content-specific concepts? And will consumers pay for more than one account? Or just choose one major backup hub (Google, Microsoft, Apple), park their entire PC on it (including music), and be done?

The last frontier in this battle for a winning “all you can eat” music offering is the speed in which affordable storage space is increasing. Imagine a world in which you can purchase a 100TB storage chip for your smart phone (and PC) storage card slot.  Imagine a world where this card can either come pre-loaded with all the music you could care about, or you could load it up w/ critical catalogs, by genres, from many Bit Torrent sites for free. When this becomes reality in a handful of years, how appealing would it be for the consumer to pay for a music subscription service or a music-specific cloud storage service? If music in the clouds is free AND easy to grab in bulk, how can music cloud services be monetized on?

An affordable, large solid-state memory market may beat 4G+ networks to the punch in providing consumers an ideal way to access all the music they want on the go. This will re-focus consumer services on the new music “discovery” market (like Pandora) – this is the section of the market that will represent opportunity moving forward. In a market where access PLUS ownership becomes even easier, ubiquitous and affordable (or free), the industry should focus on building value around new releases – focus on the quality of new releases and the packaging that comes with them. This means an ongoing, strong a la carte business, avoiding the inclusion of hot new releases in cheap subscription and cloud services that devalue them. And indeed, this future spells trouble for those in the catalog business. The catalog business may not exist within a decade…

So, where does this leave the music industry? The progress made this week by content owners partnering with ISPs to prevent illegal downloads should be just the tip of the iceberg. The industry should now move to capture revenues from the “new distribution routes” of content – the disruptive companies that replaced the traditional physical mediums of distribution: Chip manufacturers and device manufacturers. If each device and storage system was taxed to compensate for the abuse it helps create – taxed in similar fashion to how content owners for years have been compensated from the sales of blank media such as cassette tapes and CD-Rs – then a strong multi-billion revenue stream should emerge, compensating right owners for the loss of control over pre-existing catalog sales. It would only take a handful of dollars from each $299 smart phone sold or any other computer. It would make little impact on the electronics industry – but would save the music industry.

We had a great NARM 2011!

 

Neurotic Media visits with Annie Lennox

We want to thank our wonderful clients and partners for the great meetings, fun greetings, and ongoing support.

It was great seeing everyone and catching up.  And we walked away with a lot of exciting action points from all meetings.  The lobbybar service, we give them 7 out of 10 in customer service and in mixing capabilities.  Was “ok”.  NARM staff: 110%!

Thank you UMG for the opportunity to meet with Annie Lennox. In this picture, Lennox with Neurotic Media’s Becka Hardy and Shachar Oren. (We tried to meet Manillo and others but the lines, the lines! And we had to run off to another meeting. Maybe next year!).

Thank you to all who attended the panel Shachar Oren moderated Wednesday, “How To Use Music To Drive Online And Offline Customer Behavior.” We enjoyed engaging audience participation, and the panelists were wonderful – thank you Abdoulaye Diaw (GAP), Brian Hirsh (PlayNetwork), Dax Kimbrough (EMI Music) and Gene Zacharewicz (Universal Music Enterprises) for participating.

NARM 2011 panelShachar Oren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dax K.

Motopony joins RCA Neurotic Media Showcase

Join us for the first-ever RCA Neurotic Media Music Showcase!

SECOND BAND ANNOUNCED TODAY: Motopony!

RCA Neurotic Media Music Showcase

April 18, 2011, 7:45PM-8:30PM at the MGM Grand Exhibit Hall

Featuring:

WMG recording artist Tony Lucca – watch and listen at www.myspace.com/tonylucca 

SONY/TinyOgre band Motopony – watch and listen at www.myspace.com/motopony and http://snd.sc/eGygkQ

Plus, surprises…

MEET US AT RCA!

Neurotic Media would like to meet with you at RCA’s 19th Annual Expo to explore how we can help you escalate the growth and profitability of your Smart Phone and Data Plans business.  We’d like to show you our MP3 store services for online and WAP deliveries, social media tools, and more. Contact us at hello@neuroticmedia.com.

RCA Neurotic Media Music Showcase

Lets meet at RCA in Las Vegas!

Just announced:  The first-ever “RCA Neurotic Media Music Showcase” to take place April 18, 2011 at 7:45PM at the 19th RCA Annual Expo, Las Vegas MGM Grand Exhibit Hall.

Featuring: WMG recording artist Tony Lucca.  Tony will play for about thirty minutes and meet and greet RCA members.  Some more surprises are in store so don’t miss this event!

Note: You must be registered for RCA’s 19th Annual Convention and Innovation Expo to attend this event.

About the Artist:  Tony Lucca’s 6th studio album, “Rendezvous With The Angels” (released mid 2010) spans the musical genres as he has throughout his career. Influenced by the jazz/pop era of Steely Dan’s Aja and the “Laurel Canyon” style created by Joni Mitchell & Jackson Browne, but yet maintaining a consistency of texture and tone, this album is purely Tony Lucca. In 2009 Tony toured as direct support for Sara Bareilles, and has been building upon this visibility with a mixture of headlining and support touring since.

o  You can visit Tony’s MySpace page to listen to his music at www.myspace.com/tonylucca 

o  Key markets include: LA, SF, NYC, Atlanta, Nashville, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Birmingham, Austin & Dallas

o  Major online fan base, with a Twitter following of over 600,000: @luccadoes

Contact Us at hello@neuroticmedia.com to set up a meeting or call Shachar Oren directly at 404-248-1600.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Pre-Orders, Recommendations, more added to Neurolinq

Neurotic Media recently added several new features to its open API methods. The new features are now listed in the Developer Lab Forum page with links to specific Guides & Documentation regarding features such as Pre-Order with Instant Gratification, Recommendations, Digital Compilations and more.

Registration to Neurolinq is free and exposes you to detailed guidelines and tutorials about how to tap into Neurotic Media’s services thru API methods on the back end.

We moved!

We completed our move to our new digs today, and we are very excited about our new offices at the Stove Works building in Atlanta’s Old Forth Ward ‘hood. A bit more room, nicer colors on the walls, brighter atmosphere, new eateries and watering holes to explore… Directions are posted here. We will need a few more days to settle in, and will put together a warming party in early January.

Join Our Webinar (two options!)

Please join one the the following sessions:

1. Using Music to Acquire New Customers

Date:                    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time:                    2:00 PM – 2:30 PM EST

Space is limited.  Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/120876481

2.  Using Music to Increase Revenue

Date:                    Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time:                    1:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST

Space is limited.  Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/394572993 

Presenters: Meredith Marconi, SVP Sales & Marketing; Shachar Oren, CEO  

“Brands are quickly realizing the only thing that can live beyond the life of an ad is music,” said one insider at the Billboard and Adweek Music & Advertising conference last year.  When consumers associate their favorite music with a particular brand, both the marketer and the consumer win.  It’s not surprising to see more and more savvy marketers utilizing the power of a la cart music download sites to dramatically increase customer acquisition and capture consumer data in a variety of creative ways – including:

• On-pack/In-pack Product Incentives

• Retail Spending  (for example, spend X get Y)

• Consumer Acquisition via Registration Incentives – website/social media

• Rewards/Loyalty programs

Join us to review case studies that will show you how marketers have developed rewarding relationships with consumers through music in ways that far outpace traditional methods.

Animated JQuery Feature Controls

We are pleased to announce the deployment of “Animated Feature Controls” for Hosted Store clients.  Below is technical information about what these new controls are about, and some examples. You can view a live example of these controls in use at http://musicdownloads.borders.com. If you are interested in adding these controls to your Hosted Store, please work with your Neurotic Media Account Manager on the specifics.

We constructed this optional service using Jquery technology instead of Flash or Java because Jquery today provides the most ubiquitous support (PCs, Macs, iPhones, Androids, iPads etc.), so your store will not show up with “empty windows” in it on consumers’ portable devices. It is also “light” for our servers to render out and for the consumer’s browsers to display.

Our new animated controls allow you to enrich your store visually and make it more entertaining and engaging. It also allows you to merchandise a lot more product on each and every page. Setting up these controls takes some skill (graphic designer / web master) at the get go, or you can inquire with your Neurotic Media Account Manager about using our help to do so. Once each control is set up, re-using it on various pages and adding products into each control on a regular basis will be similar to our static controls which you are already familiar with.

We created three animated feature controls that you may use to add to or replace existing, static feature controls in stores:

1. Animated Slideshow Banner: You can compose slideshow banners of any size you wish for any column of the store that you wish, and place those on any page that you wish. The slideshow can contain multiple JPEG slides (we recommend 3 to 5), and each image slide can be tied with a URL to a specific page in the store, such as a specific Product Page or Artist Page. This feature is perfect for announcing new releases on the home page of your store and on your genre pages or special theme pages. You can also control the “timing” of the slide show, how many seconds between each automated flip-over between the images. You may also provide the consumer with buttons and arrows to move between slides on their own. Additionally, you have the option to overlay a bar on top of each image with copy and transparent bar, separately from any copy you may have included in the JPEG itself when composing your banner. Note: Often times if you aim to compose an exciting new banner for a new artist release, we can ask the record company to create the banner for you, to spec. We’ll submit the dimensions you decided to go with in your slide show, and record companies normally can turn around a nice banner w/ your requested artwork and copy within 3-4 business days.

2. Animated Horizontal Feature Control:  You can replace static horizontal product feature controls (used in column 2) with animated ones that contain more than just the 3-4 album images that normally would fit into column 2. The animated control has left/right arrows and a “page position” toolbar, and you can basically have multiple “pages” of featured products in it. For example, a control that you normally set up with 4 albums horizontally can now have 16 albums in it. Only 4 show at a time, and you’d scroll left and right to see the rest.

3. Animated Vertical Feature Control: You can now replace static vertical product feature controls (used in columns 1 and 3) with interactive, tabulated feature controls that can contain 2-3 tabs in the same feature control. Each tab can display a different list type of products (songs, products, artists). You can control each tab’s naming and the design of the entire control (uploading tab JPEG, creating colored padding for it etc.).

In summary, your entire page can become 100% Jquery driven, leaving only deeper pages to still use static controls. Your entire store can become more fun, interactive, “animated” and rich with moving visuals and arrows. You don’t want to overwhelm consumers of course, so we do recommend you use these new features wisely and consult your designers and web masters with how to put them to use in a measured way that is not too confusing for the consumer.

Have fun!

Pre-Orders With Instant Gratification

We are pleased to announce that we now support album pre-orders with instant gratification download, or “IG” as the record companies call it.  This is a feature that has only been offered by iTunes until now. It involves your ability to pre-sell an album 2-4 weeks before its street date (depending on when the record company makes this available), while providing the consumer a track or two as instant gratification reward on the day of purchase. The rest of the album is then made available to the consumer at midnight on street date (from the “My History” page), and an email is sent to the consumer that day to remind them to come get the rest of the album.

Our content partners claim this feature drives nice sale spikes, so we look forward to working with you on deploying such promotions. While “pre-order” capability is likely to become a common practice on digital albums this Holiday season, a “pre-order with IG” involves specific promotions for very specific titles, where the record company goes out of its way to provide you with the IG opportunity, may it involve the single from the album or even some exclusive B-side track or video that other merchants don’t have.

Neurotic Media will work with you to bridge between your needs and interest and the record companies, and can help present you with special opportunities on a regular basis from record companies who are interested in promoting such special sale events to your unique demographics.

You can view a live example of pre-orders with IG at http://musicdownloads.borders.com. This feature is available for both Hosted Stores and API stores. API clients will have to code their system to accommodate a few specific changes to the Product Data, which we provide in a separate technical manual for your IT department.

Please work with your Neurotic Media Account Manager on the specifics involved in receiving such promotions from record companies.