Tag Archives: music industry

Berklee Presents American Master’s Award

Nashville Music Icons Honored to Mark 30th Anniversary

by Shantell Ogden ‘05

In an intimate backstage event at the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday, March 17, Berklee College of Music presented its first American Master Awards to Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager; Eddie Bayers, drummer on more than 300 gold and platinum records; and Curb Group CEO Jim Ed Norman. The award was timed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Berklee’s Nashville student trip, a trip that each of the award recipients have played a key role in cultivating throughout the years.

Left to Right - Jay Kennedy, Pete Fisher, Pat Pattison

Left to Right – Jay Kennedy, Pete Fisher, Pat Pattison

“This is a monumental year for us and we wanted to recognize some special people who have made this Nashville trip possible for students at Berklee,” said Jay Kennedy, vice president, Academic Affairs. “Tonight we are honoring industry leaders for their openness, generosity, and deep commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of young musicians, providing them opportunities to grow as artists and leaders. Pete, Eddie and Jim have been leaders and succeeders in the music industry and we applaud them for their contributions.” Continue reading

Music Business Seminar – The Japanese music industry

Berklee Valencia Benny RubinStudents Ryan O’Leary, Danel Illarramendi, and Fernanda Gomez from the global entertainment and music business master’s program reflect upon the ninth of the Music Business Seminars, where they had the chance to learn more about the Japanese music industry with guest speaker Benny Rubin.

Japan has established itself as the world’s second largest music market. Despite its evident power, the Japanese market remains predominantly domestic. A dismal 20% of the music consumed in Japan comes from outside markets. To a foreign musician, the cultural and societal differences of Japan can be intriguing and intimidating. Regardless of these inevitable obstacles, countless musicians continue to take their talent to Japan. The evolution of Japan’s music industry has been punctuated by trends of foreigners gaining success and esteem. Launching a successful career in Japan is far more complicated than simply being popular in your home country or having a unique sound. Instead, there are identifiable patterns and methods that are congruent to surviving in Japan. The three demands that must be met by a foreign trying to infiltrate the Japanese music scene are: pre-existing demand, overspill demand, and satiated demand.

Pre Existing demand: When an artist has a momentum in their home country or some kind of event has escalated their career, Japanese market might have heard of it. This makes the foreign artist create some demand for a market and style that hadn’t existed before.

Spillover demand: Lady Gaga, One Direction, Madonna, Katy Perry…These are A-list artists that have acquired a massive global demand. Their popularity will inevitably spread to
Japan. The spread of their popularity will be intrinsic upon Japan’s rapidly progressive culture of technology.

Satiated demand: Japanese music consumers are constantly exposed to a diverse and eclectic music scene. In Japan, only 20% of the music consumed is foreign. This allows the Western musician to maintain a sense of novelty and mystique in an otherwise domestic market.

Berklee Valencia Benny Rubin2Berklee Valencia Benny Rubin3

Japanese record labels have historically struggled to adhere to a business model that properly creates a demand for new talent. However, this is a music industry that thrives in its ability to expand its popularity of an already popular artist, relying on the early adopters, the trend setters and opening the artist from there.

Japanese record labels have historically struggled to adopt a business model that embraces foreign talent. However, this by no means signifies that there is no hope for foreign artists. Japanese music market thrives in its ability to a musician into a celebrity, and a celebrity into an icon.

All this is due of the nature of Japanese culture as a trend-centric society. The culprit of success is often popularity. Consequently, a substantial amount of music sales are intrinsic upon what is “cool” at the moment. An artist trying to break into the Japanese music scene must adhere to the principles of this trendsetting society. Doing so, the artist can reach listeners that would never have reached without that cultural affiliation.

All of the above discussed, is focused on mainstream artists with record deals. But how do you account for the independent artists trying to make it in Japan? What path does an indie artist need to set forth? The indie artists should direct their attention toward niche markets and sub genres. The demographics and geography of Japan provides hope for the indie artists. Japan is a small country with an extremely dense and urbanized population. These factors mean that an indie artists can garner attention from a large population that easily accessible.

Music Business Seminar – Mythbusters: Music Industry Edition

Students Aimée Jogou and Louis Pratt from the global entertainment and music business master’s program reflect upon the sixth of the Music Business Seminars, where they had the chance to listen to Scott Cohen, co-founder of The Orchard, give his talk “The Future is not How it Used to be”.

Scott Cohen Berklee Valencia

On Friday November 21st, students of the GEMB program were honored to receive a
visit from Scott Cohen, co-founder of the Orchard. The Orchard is currently the largest
global digital distribution platform, present in 30 countries worldwide. Scott is also a
famous public speaker and lecturer. He travels the world, teaching about new business
models, current trends, and future predictions about the music industry in the digital age.
He is also a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University, and sits on the British
Phonographic Industry Council. Moreover, Scott manages artists, including as the
Raveonettes and the Dum Dum Girls.

For his stop at Berklee Valencia, his lecture was wisely and paradoxically titled: “The
Future is not How it Used to be”. Before jumping into his visions the future, Scott began
by addressing his past. As an entrepreneur, he battled to overcome extreme adversity
before finally succeeding. At one point, he was almost homeless, living out of his office
in order to keep the dream alive.

Some of the most compelling pieces of knowledge he conveyed were focused around his
struggles. Interestingly, his business struggled not because he had the wrong idea, but
because he was groundbreaking in his field. He started to create, with his partner Richard
Gottehrer, a digital distribution platform for a digital market that didn’t exist! This skill
of anticipating the future was crucial, and the success of the Orchard today demonstrates
how well they could see past what was going on at the time.

Scott was determined to persevere, because he strongly believed that the digital era would
come up. As he explained, he was full of fear, but knew what was coming, and his
forward thinking allowed him to rise to the top of this emerging sector.
Next, Scott captivated the class by unraveling the truth behind some myths about the
music industry. The reality is actually not what it seems to be. Four of the most
significant lessons were:

-Everybody can become famous. Actually, there is better chance to win the lottery than
to make a hit. There isn’t enough room for everyone to achieve greatness.

-An artist can succeed by himself thanks to the digital era. No, DIY is dead. The
market is too sophisticated to go it alone.

– The success of an artist can be measured in terms of number of views: In fact, video
streaming companies don’t take into consideration the number of views but rather the
time one spends on the channel. 1 million views is a tiny number.

– Being entrepreneur is a risky choice. This myth was one of the few that Scott
confirmed. He explained that the riskiest thing he could have done was to be an
entrepreneur, but in the long run, it turned out to be the safest choice he made.

Doing what he does best, Scott concluded his talk with his vision of the future. He
concentrated heavily on a concept called “The Attention Economy.” He elaborated that in
today’s industry, the most valuable commodity is the attention of the end user. In line
with this idea, he framed the importance of developing an audience, and using micro-content
to keep that audience addicted to your product. The bottom line is, music is a way
to grab peoples attention, and therefore, a way to make money.

Scott also revisited the importance of forward thinking in the music and entertainment
industry. For him, the emerging Latin American market is one of the most important
developing industries. He encouraged the class to be trailblazers, to seek out and seize the
emerging opportunities. Scott felt strongly that in order to succeed, students should be
ready to do the work that nobody else wants to do, and go places where others aren’t
ready to go.

Overall, Scott was one of the most well received guest speakers to date. Students
connected easily with his familiar and easy going style of presenting. They found
inspiration and hope through his personal anecdotes, and left feeling empowered to go
out and do exactly what they wanted to do. Students were willing to stay long after the
session had to conclude, ready to pick Scott’s brain for every piece of knowledge it could
provide. With Scott’s help, the GEMB class of 2015 feels a bit more ready to take on the
future with confidence, and fight the good fight in order to succeed in today’s dynamic
music and entertainment industry.

Music Business Seminar – Pablo Langa, Technology in the Music Industry

Wesley A’Harrah and Martin Erler, students of the global entertainment and music business master’s program, reflect upon the first of the weekly ‘Music Business Seminars’ where they had the chance to listen to Pablo Langa, Business Director for Blackboard International, talk about his presentation “Does your next million dollar business idea need a mobile app?”.Nomophobia-Berklee-blog

Are you one of the many individuals who suffer from nomophobia? In their 2012 study, a technology company called SecureEnvoy found that roughly 67% of their research population believed they had this strangely named condition. So what is nomophobia, exactly? Macmillan dictionary states nomophobia is “the fear of not having or not being able to use a cellphone.”

Pablo Langa – a specialist in global mobile-app development and strategic technological marketing – provided our music business Master’s class with some insights on drivers of powerful, innovative technological advances in today’s web-based environment. His presentation “Does your next million-dollar business idea need a mobile app” introduced us to six critical factors in creating a successful mobile application to meet the needs of today’s challenges. These six factors are the following: scope, pricing, knowing your audience, creating a platforming roadmap, promotion and the decision to build or buy your app.

When you think of versatile tools, a Swiss-army knife is likely among the first few things that come to mind. In the case mobile-apps, versatility often presents itself in a different form. Apps that claim to offer numerous functions are often less effective than competing apps with specialized functions. Simplicity is key: less is more, and more is less. Make sure your app is fast and performs well, and you’ll be much better off than having a slow app that can do many things.

When it comes to pricing a mobile app, it is crucial to understand the devices from which your target audience will utilize your app. Take into account the following average amount users will spend for an app on the following devices:

Android phone – $0.06
iPhone – $0.19
iPad – $0.50.

If fail to build your business model according to your audience, you can easily find yourself falling behind projected profit margins.

One of the more difficult aspects of app development is accounting for interfacing needs of your audience. An app needs to account for culture, language, location and Internet accessibility. For instance, some languages require text to read from right-to-left. Naturally, this can heavily influence the visual layout of your app.Pablo Langa Music Business Seminar

The average platform operating system (e.g. IOS 8, Android 4) will go through 25 updates each year. To remain relevant and functioning properly within a specified platform, it is mandatory to stay on top of these changes. There’s no easier way to convince users to delete your app than letting your app become incompatible with their operating system.

Remember Flappy Bird? This app was a pioneer in effectively accruing large numbers of ratings in short time-spans. A recent article from Business Insider revealed a major aspect of Flappy Bird’s path to success. Because of Flappy Bird’s app design, almost every user would quite quickly click on the “rate this app” button, effectively promoting the app within the app store. This is one of many possible methods of promoting an application.

If you’re absolutely set on having a top-ten app on the Apple app store, take a look at the following formula and see how you can break it:

App Store Ranking = (# of installs weighted for the past few hours) + (# of installs weighted for the past few days) + REVIEWS (star rating + number of reviews) + Engagement (# of times app opened etc.) + Sales ($)

While there is no definitive answer to whether you should build or pay someone for your app, there are some things to consider when faced with this question. If you want to have total control of your app then it is almost necessary you develop your own app. It’s relatively easy to create a clean, effective app through the use of app-creation websites (Appmachine, Phonegap, Xamarin or Goodbarber) and it is becoming more and more frequent for people and companies alike to manage the creation of their apps. If you’re terrible with technology, though, outsourcing your app creation is always a viable option. Keep focused on what you and your team are good at, and supplement these skills however you need.

Remember: if you want to reach as many people as possible, your app must be able to connect across various platforms, devices and audience demographics.

Want to learn one last thing? You know how your phone’s camera still makes that old-time camera sound? That sound is an example of something called a skeuomorph. Go Google it!


Hallo aus Berlin!

13473322795_2358efe49b_mBerklee Blogs checks in with Kate Fogler, an 8th semester Music Business/Management major interning at  live-music event discovery startup, frestyl. In today’s blog, Kate tells us about some of the responsibilities that come along with working in a music technology startup. 

Hallo aus Berlin, Deutschland!  Hello from Berlin, Germany!

I am interning at an all-women, live music event discovery startup working to connect live music event organizers directly with fans.  As a fan, I can log into frestyl on my iPhone using Facebook or my personal email account to check out shows in Berlin and get ticket, drink, or merchandise specials exclusively for frestyl users.  Continue reading