Why Sprint and Tidal Are Hustling Music Together

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Tidal needs a financial partner. Sprint needs new customers. The two businesses just took a step toward addressing each other's needs. Sprint has announced a 33-percent stake in Tidal, which will "give Sprint’s 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else," according to a press ...

Snapchat and Ed Sheeran: 21st Century Radio

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The phrase "music distribution" sounds boring. And yet music distribution is where brands inside and outside music can learn about innovation, as Ed Sheeran and Snapchat have demonstrated. A new Snapchat lens makes you appear as though you're wearing a pair of blue sunglasses while listening to a clip of one ...

Rihanna and Samsung Create an “Anti” Moment

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Rihanna's Anti went platinum in 15 hours. But before you think, "albums are back!" bear in mind a big caveat: Samsung bought one million copies of the album and gave them away. For Rihanna and Samsung, Anti going platinum is not about record sales -- it's about creating a moment ...

Meet the New Music Moguls

Monday, January 4th, 2016

How do the world's highest-paid musicians make their money? Not by making music. As shown in the Forbes list of the world's highest paid musicians of 2015, elite stars cash in from touring, forming endorsement deals with brands, and by launching their own business ventures. Consumers just don't buy enough recorded ...

Hey, Beyoncé: Let’s Call a Fraud a Fraud

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Photo source: Wikipedia. This file was derived from: I Am... Tour 11.jpg Beyoncé has been busted again. Nineteen months after being criticized for lip-syncing during the presidential inauguration, she was caught lip-syncing at a recent concert in Paris (and doing so badly). Look, I understand why Beyonce or any artist lip-syncs in concert. ...

Apple Pays Dearly for U2’s “Free” Music

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP Let's get something straight: U2 did not give away its new album, Songs of Innocence. To be sure, if you have iTunes, on September 9 you received a free copy (without asking for it) of Songs of Innocence. But Apple paid U2 an undisclosed amount ...

Can Wu-Tang Clan Save the Record Album with “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin”?

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

When I first heard that trailblazing rap collective Wu-Tang Clan intends to release just one copy of its new album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, I stopped what I was doing and had to learn more. And therein lies the point of  Wu-Tang Clan's strategy: create intrigue for a ...

How the Grammys Help Fans Create Visual Stories

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards sparked laughter, controversy, eye rolling, and a lot of conversation in our living rooms, pressrooms, and social media worlds. Beyoncé’s risqué performance raised eyebrows, and Lorde's dance moves caused some serious head scratching. Pharrell's gigantic Smokey the Bear hat generated instant parodies and its own ...

5 Customer Experience Lessons from Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Live Acts Now

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

If you want to improve your customer experience, read the recently published Rolling Stone overview of the 50 greatest live acts now. The best live acts do something all brands aspire to do: create an experience that make their fans want to come back for more. It's a simple formula ...

Music Streaming: The Haves and the Have-Nots

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

In recent days, I have blogged about the vast divide between the music industry elite and the have-nots. Last week I focused on the music elite via my post about Jay Z's relationship with Samsung. (Jay Z responded defiantly by removing the hyphen in his name.) Yesterday my post about ...