Thursday, 8 January 2009

Britney's Twitter gets hacked

Everyone was twittering over the holidays.
From Christmas lunch, from festivals, as they DJ'd, and even as they watched the sun come up while they did the opposite...

In 2008 Britney also got into the twittering. And it seems that the hackers have gotten into Britney's twitter.

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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Music Marketing 2008

2008 was a good year for music marketing.

Gone was the reliance on record labels and huge budgets. Online developments gave artists a mechanism through which they could promote themselves beyond MySpace to existing fan bases, generate new audiences, and push out genuinely interesting marketing initiatives for a minimum spend.

While many in the industry complained about how the internet was ruining artists' livelihoods, others embraced it, and used the internet for their own gain.

For all the creativity, there were of course many repeated ideas. Many struggled with the concept of an idea no longer being new once it has been used. No matter how many different spins you put on it, it will never again be unique.

So thank goodness for the ones that had good ideas, and created interesting content. Some of the artists I think did a great job keeping things fresh in 2008 were:

Radiohead were looking for a way to stop their album being leaked (as the past four albums had been), so they launched 'In Rainbows' at the end of 2007, with a pay-what-you-feel price structure. Seeing a well-established artist give away their music generated tonnes of word of mouth, and getting people talking is one of the best ways to promote a new album.

Plus, they figured rightly that it's got to be better to give away the music yourself, in high quality, rather than allowing pirates to take the credit for your tracks and for fans to hear them sounding like static at a low bit-rate.

Even though the album was available for free, Thom Yorke was sure that fans wanted a tangible 'object' rather than just a download, and he was proven correct after 'In Rainbows' climbed straight to the top of the UK album chart in the week following its physical release... fans used the free download as a 'teaser' before buying the real thing (another interesting article here about free web discovery leading to sales in comic books).

As one downloader put it:
"I paid $0. I'm not even sure I like Radiohead... so I'm taking a (free) punt. Either I'll become a new fan or continue on my way" (Anon, Record of the Day Poll Respondent)

(The success of this campaign led Girltalk to "do a Radiohead" a few months later, which was an interesting move for an indie artist, and led to thousands of people to download the album for free, but no significant chart movement - despite the album being amazing.)

Following 'In Rainbows' came the Nude remix campaign, where fans could download 'stems' of the single, remix it, upload the user generated content to the site, where it was voted for by the audience. It's always hard to get audiences and fans to interact with your brand - even asking them to answer a question in '25 words or less' generally reduces the numbers of entries received, but uploaded to Radiohead's site was 2252 original remixes. The Nude remix was such a huge success that they repeated the competition with their next single Reckoner.

Add to that a blog, which hosts live music performances, and their viral-worthy music videos (including House of Cards which used 3D plotting technology), you can see why Radiohead received (and deserved) a huge amount of buzz online in 2008.

Kanye's blog makes me want to be just like Yeezy (or at least be friends in real life with him).
Instead, I get to keep up to speed with all things that Kanye thinks is cool via his online forum. And, the stuff he posts on their is so diverse, bizarre and flashy, that I keep going back!

This isn't a typical musician's blog. There's hardly any talk about studio time, their latest writing block, or an amazing guitar riff just heard. Kanye posts about design, architecture, fashion and fresh kids (and about Kanye).

In January he blogged about these amazing indoor rocks

In Feb, he introduced me to the magnetic curtain

In March, he posed with Daft Punk

etc. etc. etc.

Amongst all the blogging, Kanye perfectly weaves his own brand self-promotion... "This is not a regular show. I tell people, hey, this show is gonna be crazy and they say, "I bet it is!", BUT THEY HAVE NO IDEA!"

Plus, Kanye knows that music videos get boring fast.
So he created 3 versions of Flashing Lights, directed by Spike Jonze, which were leaked online, although he denies that he did the leaking (ps. Did you know that vocals Sneaky Sound System's Connie feature in this track?).

There are more... but they'll have to wait until later!
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Find your doppelganger

Apple have done it again.

How amazing is this...

iPhoto ’09 introduces Faces — a new feature that allows you to organize your photos based on who’s in them. iPhoto uses face detection to identify faces of people in your photos and face recognition to match faces that look like the same person. That makes it easy for you to add names to your photos. And it helps you find the people you’re looking for — even in the largest photo libraries.

Imagine if this sort of technology could be rolled out onto facebook, flickr, or any other social network where you can upload photos! Or what if you could google search for information on a person by searching for their face on other websites.

Or you could find the other people in the world that look like you.

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