The Bandwidth Music and Technology Conference is an annual gathering of music, digital music and media leaders who gather to explore the ever-evolving music industry and how people discover, purchase, and interact with music. The sixth annual Bandwidth conference took place in San Francisco on August 19th and 20th.
The aim of the conference is to bring together the brightest minds in music and technology. This year, it was especially interesting because most of the major music labels attended the conference. Interscope, Geffen A&M Records, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Hollywood Records, Sony Music and Warner Bros Records all participated in the conference. In addition, super tech savvy music distribution companies were there. The biggest names in the music tech field like Cisco, Wal-Mart, HP and Twitter also mixed it up with both old and new players in music.
Since the conference took place in my area, I thought I might like to attend the two-day event. Then, I found out that the fee for the two-day event was almost $700. Instead, I have been reading reports of the conference on the Internet…………FREE!!
The latest on Twitter…
• # of tweets, daily: 70 million
• # of tweets, monthly: 2 billion
• # of registered users: 145 million
• # of account sign-ups, daily: 300,000
• @amazonmp3 followers: 1,489,543
• Michael Tilson Thomas followers (@mtilsonthomas): 1,754 (famous orchestral conductor.)
(Source: Matt Graves, Communications Director @ Twitter. AmazonMP3 and Thomas followers sourced directly. )
The latest on photos…
• # of photos uploaded onto Facebook, monthly: 2.5 billion
• # of photos uploaded to Facebook, annually: 30 billion
• # of approved photos typically needed by a band, 2000: 6-9
• # of approved photos typically needed by a band, 2010: 300-400
The latest on YouTube:
• #2 search engine in the world (of all engines, separated from Google)
• # of videos rotated by MTV, during its 80s prime: 30-40 per week
• # of views for Tyler Hilton’s cover of “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon: 748,099
The latest on apps:
• # of downloaded apps, App Store: > 5 billion (as of June)
• # of artist apps typically downloaded: < 100,000
(Source on YouTube, photo and apps data: Jeremy Welt, SVP of New Media, Warner Bros. Records. Total downloaded app statistic from Apple.)
In the new media space, an artist’s presence in Twitter is deemed more important than having a Myspace page. About three years ago, a Myspace page was required for any self-respecting band or superstar. Today it’s about how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends a band can get. This change from Myspace speaks to the speed of change in both the music and technology world.
The discussion that followed the presentation of all this data was, according to those in attendance, lively and full of heated discussions. The different ideas and concepts of what the data means were pretty much dictated by old and new “players” in the music business field.
Another topic discussed during the conference was the decision by Universal Music to pull its music videos from MTV. Instead of putting it’s videos on MTV.com, Universal will show its music videos exclusively online at vevo.com. The change will happen after the Video Music Awards on Sept 21. Vevo.com is the No. 3 video site on the web with 43.7 million viewers in June.
It was only a few years ago that in order to launch and promote their artists labels, managers and agents had to negotiate and sometimes beg MTV for slots. It certainly isn’t that way anymore. It seems the labels don’t even care about it anymore. For Universal and its artists, being exclusively on-line is just fine.
According to reports from the conference, the music industry seems to be excited and looking forward to the positive changes in the field. Despite the uncontrolled decline of CD sales and the rise of online and offline counterfeiting, legitimate sales of digital music is continuing to grow. According to Yobie Benjamin at the San Francisco Chronicle:
Artists, managers and agents are no longer under the thumb of radio or music TV program directors. They don’t have to pay payola for airtime. Today it’s about your Twitter feed, your social networking creds and your relationship to the music bloggers. SPIN Magazine and Rolling Stone used to be the holy grail of music stardom… Not anymore…
Agents do not waste their time trying to get the programming director of some rock and roll radio station to return their calls any more.
Mass media is being replaced by pin-point precise media. Music today is more focused on the audience of one rather than getting on some shock music jock’s playlist. And why not? A single person on Twitter can have 10,000 followers so the multiplier effect is astronomical. Hitting the right fan returns far more results than being on a Sirius satellite channel or a mention on Billboard magazine.
Besides being interesting, there is a reason for putting this information in a blog about Clay Aiken. It seems to me that we need to see these numbers and their meaning and realize that we can support Clay more by being a viable force on the Internet sites. FaceBook and Twitter are now more important than ever. If we truly want to support Clay, we all need to become familiar with these great sites instead of relying on our younger fans to do it all. There isn’t one of us who cannot get a FaceBook account or be active on Twitter. Yes, it will take a bit of time, but the rewards are worth every minute.
* Eminem has 1,416,455 followers
* Lady Gaga has 5,754,535 followers
* Adam Lambert has 613728 followers
* Kelly Clarkson has 346,611 followers
* Glee has 250,242 followers
* CANN (that’s us) has 2,302 followers
Do you know how many followers Clay has? Well, why not look it up? I think you will be surprised!
What do you think? Can we help each other and get more facebook and twitter support for Clay?