Collaborating on a Music Playlist

Blog, Music, Technology

Spotify PlaylistMy use of Spotify has increased a bit more lately. Although I would describe myself as an ethical user. Artists don’t get paid very much so I usually use Spotify to preview material before purchasing it if I like it. It’s a bit like the listening posts you got at the old style record stores. I’ve had my £10 subscription for nearly three years now.

Recently I’ve started putting together a ‘Relaxing Piano Music’ playlist on Spotify. With the popularity of pianists like Einaudi, it’s something that has quite a lot of widespread appeal. However, when putting this playlist together, I sought the opinions of my followers on Twitter. I found this a fascinating way of discovering new music and let me know what my followers listen to. Some great tracks that were suggested to me were ‘The Blackest Sky’ by ‘Black Elk’ and ‘Human Eyeballs on Toast’ by Peter Broderick. I love discovering new music, so I may do a similar project in the future. In the mean time, I’m still look for more suggestions, so get in touch if you think of anything.


You can listen to my Relaxing Piano Music playlist on Spotify here and you can also subscribe to receive future updates to it.

Spotify Deliver An Anti-Climax

Blog, Technology

What with Apple, Amazon and other big companies regularly delivering press conferences and using them as an excuse to announce new products or big changes to their existing products, the announcement of yesterday’s press conference by Spotify did generate a fair bit of hype before hand.

Top of the rumour-mill was the possible announcement of a new iPad app for Spotify. To be honest, this app is massively overdue and it is really puzzling why this wasn’t available ages ago. Having to use a stretched iPhone version on a 10 inch screen is far from ideal. So it was with great disappointment to the world that yesterday’s press conference did not deliver… instead they announced a new partnership with Coca-Cola.

CD Baby Price Increase – Are they still worth it?


I recently blogged comparing digital distribution companies CD Baby and Zimbalam. CD Baby came out on top for me, mainly because they don’t charge annual fee and also because they can help distribute physical copies of your music.

I recently received an e-mail from CD Baby informing me that the price of submitting an album is increasing from $39 to $49. It’s a relatively small increase but I do have some reservations about it.

Spotify Apps – Get Yourself Prepared


Yesterday, Spotify announced that would be adding ‘Spotify Apps’ a free service allowing you to install add-ons to your Spotify software. This is going to be a pretty big deal for bands and musicians when it launches as it allows listeners to easily extended their listening experience to things like reading song lyrics, check for gig dates and connect to the artist through social networking websites. Although it’s not launched yet, bands and musicians ought to get ready by signing up to the likely partners that Spotify Apps will be incorporating.

Sorry Spotify, You’re not down with the kids…

Blog, Digital Music, Internet, Music Marketing

I’m usually thinking of my band most of the time; ways to acquire new fans, get more people listening and more people to our gigs. One of the things we’ve been waiting patiently for is our album to arrive on Spotify. Spotify is an application not to dissimilar from iTunes in appearance, that allows you to stream music of your choice for free with an advert played every couple of songs. It’s quite a good idea to get people listening to new music without resorting to illegal file sharing. Having music readily available like that is useful when people read about you, see your video on YouTube or read a review somewhere and immediately want to check you out.

As part of my exploration of music marketing, I wanted to speak to those of the younger generation who will ultimately decide the fate of the future of music whether they realise it or not. I wanted to speak to people who were born as cassette tapes were being phased out, high-speed internet became widely available and the music industry entering sticky times; people who aren’t old enough to remember getting all their music news from Kerrang, NME or your own glossy weapon of choice. The kids I spoke to listen to such a broad and impressive range of bands ranging from stuff I listen to like Metallica and Alice in Chains to bands I’ve never heard of such as A Skylit Drive and Hadouken.

What I really wanted to know was, how do they discover these bands? Where do they listen to music and how do they obtain it? The internet has changed so dramatically over the last 10 years I’ve barely kept up. I was awaiting some really amazing responses. Maybe a blog they follow? Maybe some amazing viral internet campaigns?  I found their responses somewhat surprising and yet at the same time not so.

When I asked where they discovered the music they listen to, answers were typically ‘through friends’, ‘my Dad’ and ‘music TV channels’. Eh? What is this, the eighties? People talking to each other about music? Music channels? Surely teenagers only communicate through Facebook and twitter, writing ‘lol’ even when they’re not laughing.

Okay, so how do they listen to music? ‘Borrow CDs from friend’, ‘Torrent’, ‘YouTube’… Do you use Spotify? ‘No’. I asked many kids this question and hardly any of them do.

What seems apparent then, is that even though technology has changed and continues to change in amazing ways, the next generation of music listeners are still just as human as we are. Remember that when you’re promoting your band.