This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes
- 1-shot vids
- Analysing videos
- BBFC age rating vids
- Blog setup
- Conventions: DB playlists, posts etc
- Coursework overview
- DB doc
- Depeche Mode case study
- Digipak vids
- Elberse: Blockbusters book
- Eval overview
- Eval Q1a CONVENTIONS
- Eval Q1b REPRESENTATIONS
- Eval Q2 BRANDING
- Eval Q3a AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT
- Eval Q3b DISTRIBUTION
- Eval Q4 TECHNOLOGIES
- Female acts
- Final Cut Pro X
- INDUSTRY summary
- Interactive vids
- Mag ad
- Mag ad audiences
- Pixies case study
- Planning docs
- Shoots tips
- Simulacra: Weezer, Weird Al
- Student vids/blogs by year
- TechTips blog
- Twitter feed on blog
- Vodcast playlist (DB)
- WEBSITE in steps
- Websites I've analysed
IN THIS POST: A breakdown of how to research websites, what to look for, and an example of an overall 16-step process, plus a list of some...
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
Monday, 19 February 2018
I was looking for some info on the 1D GCSE exam case study but spotted a number of great articles on here. So here's a few pointers based on the site.
You can find a bullet list I previously did summing up some key music industry points (with many links to posts) here.
AS CDS DISAPPEAR TOURS ARE JUST THE TICKET: 1D EXAMPLE
A point I make many, many times: the traditional music industry model has been through disruption from digitisation (though it hasn't rebalanced the competition in favour of Indies; see Anita Elberse's fascinating analysis of how big 3 acts utterly dominate Amazon sales, making the 'long tail theory' seem absurd), so labels are looking for new revenue sources. Merchandise is a key factor - when I went to see The Wedding Present (UK Indie band) in Luxembourg last year, I got to chat to the singer after the gig, who was at the merch stall signing his own comic book range alongside the usual tee-shirts etc.
The likes of 1D aren't going to do that. They did sell VIP packages for gigs - something else I saw at a Depeche Mode gig, with multiple tiers including a basic that simply allowed you into the venue earlier to hear the soundcheck. I've blogged on Taylor Swift and Katy b Perry doing this, with fans paying a lot for a selfie opportunity. [meet-and-greets post]
The basic breakdown is clear though - most major artists (Indies too) will gain more from tours than album sales. Even combined with streaming (which is now bigger than physical sales and download sales combined) that remains the case. Getting onto TV ads, film/game OSTs are also potentially lucrative.
Here's that 1D breakdown:
One Direction’s latest album, Made In The AM, was a big success, selling just over 1m copies across the UK and US in 2015 after being released in November.
Judging by the 2014 calendar year performance of its predecessor, Four, it’s a fair bet that the newer album sold around 3.2m units across the world before last year was finished.
At an average US sale price, you’d therefore expect it to have grossed somewhere around $36m – although that is without streaming revenue.
Being generous, adding in streaming and single sales, let’s round it up to $50m.
The fact that this total is approximately one sixth of the size of 1D’s 2015 tour gross probably tells its own story.
The fact it’s less than half of the band’s secondary ticketing gross alone tells another.
Remind us again: what’s an artist’s core product – and what’s their ‘ancillary income’? [article]
GOOGLE IS COMING...
YouTube has had a subscription option for a while (launched Oct 2015), but it seems there will soon be either 2 options or a renewed, rebranded option.
YouTube Red is its current $9.99/month option, offering:
- no ads
- video downloads
- exclusive content (which they're expanding)
- the ability to continue playing YouTube when switching to other apps
The clear categorization of Youtube Red as a music-first platform comes at an interesting juncture: YouTube is widely expected to reveal a new Spotify rival, currently codenamed Remix, in the coming weeks.
‘Remix’ looks likely to supersede Google Play Music, and has reportedly been made possible by YouTube’s recent deal renewals with the likes of Universal, Sony and Warner. [article]
Thursday, 8 February 2018
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
The idea is simple. As is legally required of professional shoots, where companies are legally liable for employees' well-being/welfare (the whole coursework is designed to reflect industry practice), your company needs to evidence its consideration of possible risks from the shoots ... a risk assessment.
Under the UK syllabus you also have to evidence requesting permission from the rights holder to use the track audio, but this is not a CIE requirement. You could address copyright nonetheless (up to you).
POST TITLE: Risk Assessment
The idea is very simple. Go through each location, including transport to and from and any catering (food/drinks), think through the possible risks, and briefly state how you will minimise or counter these risks, including communication to cast/crew/public. Below you can see a few snapshots of student examples:
Monday, 15 January 2018
Useful industry context here for your digipak, which is almost certain to be a best of. The point is NOT to abandon that format but rather to show awareness of the declining commercial prospects of it, and why this is.
For every convention there are always exceptions, and here we can see re-recorded Best Ofs thriving, with the Elvis collection, freshly cut with a new orchestral backing track, the top-selling such comp in 2017, a trick Kylie has also used in the past, and one hit wonder Sophie Ellis-Baxter is set to in 2018.
The death of the best of: why Rihanna will never get her greatest hits https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/12/playlist-curation-killing-off-greatest-hits-album-rihanna?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger
Monday, 11 December 2017
This strikes me as intriguing but wretchedly deplorable, a harbinger of cultural implosion. All the world's a (nearly) 6 inch screen Shakespeare famously quoth.
Such gibberish might fit well on Poppy's channel, home of vapid vids and now smatterings of music. Millions watch her wordlessly eat candyfloss, repeat a 2 word mantra. Can't wait for her scratching an armpit video, that ought to rake up a few million sugar glazed eyeballs.
Spittle-flecked horror, oppobrium for this virtue vacuum, is an instinctive response - but ... then there's the claim this is a meta, pomo, deconstructionist take on online culture. It's hipster to be squared.
Poppy is a very slim Caucasian blonde female. So was Buffy, but she had a great script.
No, I'll stick with Poppycock, but still suggest this is an interesting case study of a carefully constructed YouTube identity/brand being slowly spun out into pop, rather than using YouTube to boost an artist's brand and fanbase.
A decade ago it was the likes of Lily Allen brought to the fore by viral take-up of her MySpace warblings. Heartwarming story, aside from the expensive Sony campaign that actually underpinned it.
Poppy and her svengali sidekick director dude may be smart cookies, but sugary temptation offers empty calories. Calling the fans Poppy Seeds - smart touch; maybe Gaga is a more apt comparison, the pop queen of cyberspace connection is perhaps going to be looked on as the step before such Tubers established the next multi-platform media marketing miasma.
Poppy is a disturbing internet meme seen by millions. Can she become a pop sensation? https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/11/poppy-youtube-meme-pop-sensation-titanic-sinclair-moriah-pereira?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger
Friday, 8 December 2017
I kid you not... (think about it...) Pramtera?!
When you're looking at a website store, you should spot some examples of baby and child merch. I've given several examples before, so add this legends of thrash metal merch to the list.
For legacy or established acts like this it makes perfect sense. Pantera broke through in the early 90s with the classic Cowboys From Hell - caused my hair to reach out to others many's a time!
Therefore much of their fanbase are mature adults, often with families - and they continue to attract new fans despite being a defunct act.
Monday, 4 December 2017
Tuesday, 28 November 2017
|This is how Sainsbury's announced the launch|
Thursday, 23 November 2017
Part of an in-depth series on the music underground, this is a great article for getting your head round the central concept that digitisation has created opportunity for artists to succeed without relying on record companies for production and distribution - or even on physical sales of recorded music.
This is exemplified most in 2017 by Chance the Rapper – Forbes estimates he made $33m (£25m) this year without the need for a label or even to sell physical music. But, before him, the dubstep and grime scenes in the UK saw a new generation of artists using YouTube for distribution, broadcast and community.
'We could build something revolutionary': how tech set underground music free https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/nov/22/we-could-build-something-revolutionary-how-tech-set-underground-music-free?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger
Friday, 10 November 2017
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
See Lifewire, Wiki for simple explanations, and look into your own artist for Vevo links.
They're the major music industry force behind the Tory attempt to enforce age ratings on music videos, voluntarily engaging in the BBFC scheme. See this Guardian Music tag for more on this.
Thursday, 19 October 2017
|Not performing IN a bar but ON the bar top!|
Once you have green screen footage - especially if it incorporates full body movement (as opposed to the maximum MLS dictated by using a single sheet unless you're very careful) - you have incredible creative freedom over how you use it.
LAYERING - which isn't always through green screened footage - is one of the fundamentals of music video, a very common device but not one seen much in TV drama for example.
I'd welcome your suggestions (as blog comments) on useful examples to add to this post from your own knowledge/research.
Here's a simple example from a Thai dance-pop artist.
Monday, 16 October 2017
Thursday, 12 October 2017
This might turn out to be a highly irritating Grauniad exercise in uber-hipsterdom, proudly proclaiming awful bedroom acts adored by some London clique as artistic giants ... but it could also be an invaluable discourse on the still evolving disruptive force of new technology and how it impacts music marketing and artists' relationship with audiences and industry alike....
In the coming weeks, we’re going to run a series of articles examining what, if anything, it means to be an underground artist in 2017. We’ll be exploring whether it’s possible to find a meaningful audience for your music while avoiding the glare of publicity, the complex relationship between art and commerce, how technology assists and impedes artists who want to find new routes of promoting and disseminating their music, what the value of remaining underground is, and whether Britain is host to any thrilling and vibrant music scenes that exist entirely off-grid.
Where is the musical underground in 2017? https://www.theguardian.com/music/ng-interactive/2017/oct/09/where-is-the-musical-underground-in-2017?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
BBC3 and BBC4 (often replaying BBC2 content) are worth keeping an eye on through iPlayer as they often feature some great music docs. This is a good example, a thorough grounding in the evolution of the Indie genre - a genre which has both some easily identified stereotypes and such a wide range of music that it becomes a very, very loose concept. Further complicated by the Americanism of alt-pop or alternative rock, which is essentially the same. In both cases, there are acts seen as Indie who are signed to major record labels, while many on independent labels are having their work distributed by majors so even the original linkage is debatable.
Thanks to Richard for the link - I'd mentioned this specific doc series many times and he spotted it on YT.
You need to approach this simple detail of your work with caution - and thoroughly back up your decision with multiple examples.
Here's a simple (its far from precise on CD length, quite inaccurate on that!) pointer from Dave Taylor - as the saying goes, if Dave says its true, it probably is...
Atomic Kitten example) have even gone the extra mile and created their own lyrics for these new tracks to include in a digipak lyrics booklet!
- Websites are routinely updated to centre on the latest album release
- Bjork, The Pixies and many more are trailblazing a growing trend of creating videos for ALL album songs, not just the singles, recognising this boosts revenue-gaining YouTube hits ... but the importance of additional videos (unwrapping, lyric, live, UGC etc) is growing faster still, and Suede's "album sampler" is a good example. It would have Vernallis jumping up and down screaming I TOLD YOU SO given its narrative-free (is that possible?!) nature
- Its another reminder of the convergence between film and music video - bear in mind that the 1964 Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night [Wiki] is widely considered as having created the music video template (archetype) with its video-like scenes ... and MJ's Thriller! While you will generally be creating youth-targeting productions with bands' existing (older) audience now the secondary target for you, Suede are possibly reinforcing their mature adult appeal with an entire feature-length arthouse movie released with their album. Its nature might also suggest an oddly upmarket (ABC1) audience for an Indie band. Read more here.
Saturday, 7 October 2017
Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Friday, 29 September 2017
Thursday, 28 September 2017
Monday, 14 August 2017
Short and snappy overview here from Wired of how 'social first', trying to seed interest and stimulate sharing and UGC before paid-for campaigns kick in, has become the industry norm.
Some contrasting examples of 'organic' underground successes and notable failures by the likes of Katy Bloody Perry - hit or flip the common key is some degree of replicability, whether dance or ... spraying water on your face (KBP).
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
LAMAR + NIK is a joint name you may have seen from your research into video examples, and nofilmschool here compare them to Michel Gondry, high praise indeed.
The specific stop-motion technique they use here isn't necessarily what you might take away as an inspiration - look at the seemingly mundane mise-en-scene they add these stickers (you should be thinking greenscreen to achieve a comparable effect) to: stacks of coins, 'checkers' chips, cheese slices, all quirky and interesting when shot in tight close-ups.
No need for a narrative in a video as entertaining and visually busy as this, though the likes of Sledgehammer manage to incorporate this.
Tuesday, 8 August 2017
The conglomerate giant doing fine, artists less so...
Ed Sheeran’s Divide puts Warner Music’s streaming income on track to cross £1bn https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/08/ed-sheerans-divide-lifts-warner-musics-streaming-income-to-1bn?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger