You Don’t Have to Hug Your Fans

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

  Building fan love doesn't mean pandering to your audience. Radiohead, which dropped its new album A Moon Shaped Pool digitally May 8, builds fan devotion by challenging and even confounding its audience, which is the right approach for a group whose music has always been one step ahead of everyone. Radiohead's actions in ...

Will the Music Industry Enjoy an “Adele Effect”?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

When Forbes publishes its annual list of highest-earning musicians in December, Adele's name will surely be on it. Her astronomical album sales, even surpassing the standards of the pre-digital era, will be a large part of the story. Within its first seven weeks of release, 25 had sold 15 million ...

Millennials and Old People Rule the Music World

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Music fans have always reserved the right to identify with the popular artists of their time while harshly judging the tastes of the generations that follow them. Those who came of age during World War II had Frank Sinatra, and they recoiled in horror when children of the 1950s embraced Elvis ...

Will the Women of Country Music Flourish in 2016?

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Country music produced several big moneymaking superstars in 2015, but none of them were women. To wit: in December, Zack O'Malley Greenburg of Forbes published his annual list of the world's highest-paid musicians. Of the 30 names on the list, seven were country stars, and, boy, did they make some ...

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 ...

Adele and Taylor Swift: The Diva and the BFF

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Adele and Taylor Swift succeed by writing and performing personal songs that connect emotionally with a fan base consisting mostly of women. But they have pursued markedly different approaches to building their personal brands, demonstrating that superstars can write their own rules. Taylor Swift, who turned 26 December 13, is all ...

#Kanye2020: Brilliant Branding, Bro

Friday, September 11th, 2015

The Kanye West brand is like a Ferrari careening down a highway. Sometimes you want to watch the spectacle. Other times you want to get out of the way. And then there are times when you wish you were in the front seat. Kanye's recent presidential election announcement makes me ...

6 Predictions for Music Streaming

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Forget Taylor Swift's futile Spotify boycott. The real news emerging from the music industry this week was the launch of YouTube's streaming service. The new service consists of YouTube with streaming functionality (as opposed to being a new product with a different name, thus benefitting from YouTube's brand reach). On ...