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Dysfunctional Mariachi / Blog

Spotify's 2013 Financials: What You Need to Know

The release of Spotify's 2013 financial information (via an article at The Guardian) comes amidst heavy criticism about the company's freemium business model and the amount of royalties it pays to rights holders -- especially from its free tier. Although the numbers have little to say about the fairness of royalty rates, they provide good insight into Spotify's business model and growth. Here are the main takeaways. 1. Spotify got a lot bigger in 2013. Spotify increased its revenues 73.6 percent last year, down considerably from 128-percent revenue growth in 2012. This growth is the reason the company's operating loss has increased to €93.1 million ($116.1 million) from €21.9 million ($27.3 million) in 2010 (the year before it launched in the United States). But more importantly, revenue gained was larger last year: Spotify's revenues grew €317 million ($395.4 million) in 2013 compared to €240 million ($299.4 million) in 2012. 2. Losses aren't necessarily a bad thing. Growing Internet companies lose money. Growing Internet companies seeking the largest share of a new, growing market lose money. A market-leading company that's part of a massive shift in consumer behavior should have a high tolerance for losses. 3. Spotify isn't losing money everywhere. As previously reported, the company turned a profit in both the United Kingdom and France, both countries where Spotify launched early. The story is probably different in many other markets. It launched later in the United States and other big markets like Brazil, and it hasn't even launched in compact disc-loving Japan yet. 4. The freemium model shows signs of success. In theory, Spotify's two-tiered, freemium model works by luring large numbers of free users, some of whom will later become paying customers. As people upgrade, Spotify should get a greater share of its revenue from subscribers. This is exactly what has happened. Spotify got 90.9 percent of its revenue from subscribers in 2013, up from 87.1 percent the prior year. 5. The bottom line is actually many bottom lines. Spotify's financials are a mix of mature, more financially successful markets and less mature, less financially successful markets that will become more stable over time. It's a mix of countries that quickly took to the subscription model and countries that will undoubtedly have a slower transition from CDs and downloads to subscriptions. As a result, the operations of more successful markets like the U.K. and France are aggregated with operations of new markets like Mexico, Brazil and Italy. 6. Does Spotify have good growth or bad growth? Determining the level of Spotify's operating leverage is difficult. In this context, a business exhibits operating leverage when it decreases losses as it increases revenue. In other words, a company should become more efficient as it gets bigger. This didn't happen. Spotify's operating loss grew 16.4 percent as its revenue grew 73.6 percent. But this is hard to interpret because Spotify's financial statements are an aggregation of dozens of markets in varying stages of maturity. As mentioned above, Spotify has turned a profit in at least two markets where it launched early. Those profits are being weighted down by the costs of launching and growing in other markets around the world. 7. Spotify is burning cash, but we don't know its burn rate. The reports of the company's earnings don't include the year-to-year change in cash. Knowing its cash position would also provide hints on the company's future financing needs. Spotify's last known raise was $250 million in November last year. Spotify's 2013 earnings have something for everyone. Critics can point to deepening losses. Supporters will point to growing revenue and subscribers. An objective look, taking into account both numbers and context, will see a company with a "go big or go home" strategy that hasn't blown up and could end up working.

12 Things You Should Never Say To A Musician

1. So Are You Trying To Be A Musician I am a musician. Not trying. Trying to be a musician is watching the first YouTube video on how to hold a guitar. Not what I have done for the past 15 years. That is BEING a musician. 2. You Sound Like… I know you’re trying to be nice by putting me in good company, but musicians want to feel original. We don’t want to hear we sound like everyone else. That we’re unoriginal. It’s fine for you to sell your friends on listening to someone new by comparing them to well known artists, but when talking to a musician, the best compliment is “you sound like YOU and it’s awesome.” Unless you’re talking to a pop producer, then yeah, “it sounds like Katy Perry” is probably the best compliment you could give. 3. You Should Try Out For American Idol I will slap you. 4. When Am I Going To Hear You On The Radio? When your radio plays better shit. 5. You Should Be On The Voice Because that’s a career builder. Right Jermaine? 6. You Must Love Karaoke No, actually, I hate karaoke because I have to listen to you sing. 7. Can I Get On The List? Plus 1? You don’t have $10 to support my music, but you have $50 for the round of shots you just bought everyone? +This free new tool will show songwriters and artists what their true royalties look like (Royalty Exchange) 8. What’s Your Real Job? It’s this little field called music. It’s way more real than those TPS reports you put together for the Bobs. 9. What’s Your Backup Plan What’s yours? 10. It Will Be Great Exposure Meaning, it doesn’t pay. No thanks. 11. I Have A Great Idea For A Song And I have a great idea on how you can fix my faucet better. But let’s keep these things to ourselves. 12. Free Bird That stopped being funny in ’97.

4 Important qualities of a band manager

The comes a point in every musician’s career where they hit the proverbial brick wall. Their career has stalled, panic starts to set in. It’s seems as if the fame they had always envisioned isn’t going to happen. The most common problem is the inability to realize; A. Where they are at the moment. B. Where they want to be and to build the bridge that gets them from point A to point B. Artist management is usually the missing piece to the puzzle. So what do musicians need to consider when choosing a manager? How do I know if a certain manager is right for my career? These are questions all artists must ask themselves in the course of the music journey. Below is a list of four qualities important to look for in a band manager. 1. Tenacity and reliability - You need a manager who is going to follow through and is prepared to stick by you. There are very few overnight successes in the music industry. You need someone who won’t give up just because the first label says “no” to your demo. Someone who understands you might get more than a few “no’s” before getting that coveted recording contract. 2. Experience - What success has the management company had managing other acts. At the end of the day, the music business is a business, and your manager needs to be deal with people and sell your product. 3. A mind for business - You may consider a manager with limited experience in music, but be careful about working with one with limited experience in business. The ideal manager will be one with experience as an entrepreneur in the music and entertainment industry. 4. Connections - What connections does the management company have in your genre? Do they work with similar type artists? If an band manager doesn’t have connections in the industry, they aren’t much use to you. A good and experienced manager will have established connection to labels, promoters, booking agency’s, etc. All things you as an artist need to kick down the doors to a bright future in your music career. Too many bands jump at the first offer they get from a band manager. Often they are taken advantage of by band managers who don’t know what they’re doing. Don’t let that happen to you. Take the time to look into any band management company before signing on. Your success as an artist depends on building a team of qualified, hard-working, and trusted people. Hiring a music manager or artist consultant is a great step in the right direction.

10 Things You’ll Never Understand About Musicians

We musicians are a unique breed of human. Whereas happiness to you is settling down with a family in the ‘burbs, happiness to us is an excellent monitor mix. We’re easy to please. Within reason. If you ever wondered what makes us tick, here are 10 idiosyncrasies that will hopefully help you understand why we chose this elusive and unstable profession. 1) We Aren’t In Music To Get Laid Well, most of us got into music for that reason. I know I picked up the guitar in high school because my girlfriend swooned a little too hard for my best friend when he serenaded the party on his guitar. But those of us who have stuck it out past the infatuation stage and have settled on making this our career are actually very serious about our art. 2) Not Being Famous Is Actually Ok For Us There are many more reasons to be in music than money and fame. Like, doing something we love for a living. Fame may come as an occupational hazard, but it’s not the end game or the goal. Musicians whose goal is to be famous have all the wrong intentions and will fail. 3) We Are Artists. Artists Are Weird Ever wonder why we’re the only ones at Thanksgiving with weird hairdos, ‘scary’ tattoos and wearing clothes that seem a couple sizes too small for your tastes? It’s because we are artists and like to express ourselves creatively in every aspect of our beings. Hair style and clothing are just a couple of those ways. Want to know some others? Be careful what you wish for. 4) Music Isn’t A Dream. It’s A Way Of Life The “dream” of music was, sure, a dream for us when we were adolescents, just like being an astronaut was for you. But, for us, it’s not a dream anymore. It’s a reality. 5) Just Because You Haven’t Heard Of Us Doesn’t Mean We Aren’t Successful Don’t ask “So are you trying to be a musician?” or “When am I going to hear you on the radio.” It’s insulting. It belittles what we are accomplishing. Success for us is the same as it is for you: making a living, supporting the lifestyle we want. +12 Things You Should Never Say To A Musician 6) Don’t Hate Us Because We Do Something We Love That’s the only reason we’re in music. Because we felt we deserved to be happy. And we’d rather spend 10 years struggling doing something we love than 40 years financially comfortable doing something we hate. 7) Keeping Time Means Something Very Different To Us We’re awesome at counting to 4. Even 6. Sometimes, we can get all the way up to 12. But let’s not push it. We’re great at keeping time with our music. However when it comes to appointments, keeping time is as hard for us as listening to Nickelback. I don’t condone this. And I’ve fought it my whole career. But for some reason, musicians, more-so than any other profession, have a hell of a time showing up on time. 8) There Are Many More Levels Of Musician Than “Starving Artist” and “Chart Topping Superstar.” American Idol has given the world a skewed view of what it takes to be a professional musician. The average Joes and Sallys believe that everyone goes from barista to superstar thanks to The Voice and American Idol’s backstory montages. Believe it or not, there are thousands of musicians around the world with very substantial fan bases touring packed clubs who aren’t superstars and aren’t starving. 9) “Listening To Music” Means Something Very Different To Us You know why you never see musicians “listening” to music through laptop speakers, or gasp!, iPhone speakers? It’s because that hurts our soul. We know what went into the production of creating that piece of art and want to appreciate, respect and enjoy it through our headphones or immaculate (car) stereo system – when we can afford that. Some people go to church to get spiritual, musicians put on headphones. 10) You Can Take A Musician Out Of Music But You Can’t Take The Music Out Of A Musician

How To Get Your Music Published

Getting your music published is usually one of the first goals an artist looks to accomplish in a developing music career. However, lots of up and coming musicians are lost in the dark when it comes to understanding how to get their music, instrumentals and beats published. What we decided to do for those who are in need of this information, is layout the basics of getting your music published in today’s music industry. First and foremost, you will need actual recorded music to make this whole thing possible, so if you’re not at that stage in your career, that’s going to be the first thing you need to complete. Once you have recorded music the next logical step is making sure those recordings are protected from copyright infringements by registering them with the library of congress. This step protects your recordings for basically your entire life plus 70 years, so make sure you don’t miss this step. Once you have your music, instrumentals and beats protected by the library of congress, you’ll want to then create a spreadsheet where you can add in all of the music publishers that you’re going to be researching. Once you have the spreadsheet created, the next step is going to be researching music publishers who work with your style of music, instrumentals and beats. When researching publishers for your music it’s important to note things like non exclusive or exclusive deals that they offer to their artist. This is a very important step that you don’t want to miss because it can possibly have a major effect on what you would like to do with your music in the future. Ideally, finding more non-exclusive deals is the best possible option for most new independent artists. When you have your spreadsheet filled up with at least 100 music publishers, you’ll need to create an email template that you can send to all the companies listed on your sheet. Make sure the first email you send is somewhat short and to the point. All you should try to accomplish on your first email is permission to send another email with an MP3 attached or a link to your music for them to consider for their roster addition. As you start getting responses back, make sure you’re noting them on your spreadsheet and also responding back with all of the information that they are asking you for. In some cases, they’re going to request you send them a physical CD. If you have one, send it. If you don’t, just be honest and let them know that you only have digital recordings of the songs that they’re requesting, however you have no problem getting them on a physical CD if needed. One thing to keep in mind is that as long as the music publishing deals you’re signing are non-exclusive, you can always look for and work with more publishers for those same songs. However, if the deal is exclusive, it’s going to be a guarantee that the publisher you signed the contract with is going to be the only one who can work with the songs that you signed with them. Once you get this down, the only thing left is to repeat this process over and over as often as possible. Like most things, with more people out there that are working your songs the more likely you’re going to start getting placements on a consistent basis.

How-to cash in on music licensing

One rapidly developing area of the music industry is music licensing. So, what is music licensing? Music licensing is the licensed use of copyrighted material. Music licensing is intended to ensure that the owners of copyrights on musical works are compensated for certain uses of their work. It turns out that music licensing is happening every day, all around us. When you listen to music on the radio, that music is licensed. When you hear music in a commercial or on a sitcom, that music is licensed. And that music you here playing during the credits of your favorite movie? You guessed it, that music is licensed. Music licensing, if done right, can be an extremely profitable endeavor. Global revenue from sync licensing is said to be close to 3 billion annually. As profitable as this niche industry can be, it is important to point out, that in the past few years this industry has become crowded and complex as many artists and labels are trying to get their music licensed. So how can you cash in? Although this area of the music industry is abundant with opportunity artists need to realize that they are effectively running a business. Only with a good understanding and knowledge of the way music licensing works, will artists see lucrative results and be able to explore new ways to take advantage of it. Before you venture into this exciting corner of the music industry, it is crucial that you understand some of the basic things to remember if you’re going to be successful. Does your music sound good? If it sounds like you recorded it in your bedroom at home, no one is going to give you the time of day. Your music should be highly produced with quality instruments. Keep in mind, licensing professionals will generally listen to the first 10 seconds of your song and if it doesn’t sound good right off the bat, they ditch it. Keep in mind that music that gets licensed for medium and large tier opportunities hits mainstream audiences. So it should be well produced, well mixed, and well mastered. Give your music an honest assessment, if it’s not up to par, fix it. Make sure all songwriters involved with your songs are registered in a PRO (performing rights organization) and that your songs themselves are registered. If your songs gets picked up by a commercial that airs on TV worldwide, you will be earning substantial performance royalties from your PRO. So set yourself up for some big money. If your aren’t familiar with the lingo and structure of the publishing world, do your career a favor and educate yourself. They want to know and will ask: Who owns the master / sound recordings? Who owns the underlying composition / publishing? Have this information with you at all times. Next you will want to make sure you have both instrumental and clean versions of all songs you submit for sync opportunities. As many as 50% of all syncs are the instrumental versions of the track. By not having an instrumental version of your track, you are potentially missing out on half the opportunities for landing a sync. It is also important to have clean versions of all your tracks. Many networks will not broadcast songs with expletives, and artists who don’t have a mastered clean version of their track often lose out on syncs because there are expletives in their songs. Finally, be easy to reach. A lot of artists lose licensing opportunities because they make one major mistake: They are unable to be contacted or are unresponsive when contacted. Be sure that your info (name, writer, contact info) is embedded in every file of your song that you send out. Make sure it is easy to find on your website and social media pages. Check and update those frequently. And for the love of god, if someone contacts you, make sure you respond as quickly as possible.

How to buy Diamond Rings

Shopping for diamonds can be very exciting, but if you have no idea on what to look for, it would be a challenge to choose the perfect diamond. Aside from your personal style and your budget, there are other things you need to consider when buying diamonds. There are four major characteristics to which you can evaluate the quality of a diamond. These are carat, cut, color and clarity or what experts call as the 4Cs. As a symbol of everlasting romance, diamond rings will always be the perfect choice for engagements and weddings. They are not just beautiful but classic and timeless too. But aside from being one of the nicest gifts of love, diamond rings can be fashion accessories as well. For whatever reason, it is always a joy to have a diamond ring. This entry was posted in Fashion, Products and Services, Special Occasions and tagged cheap diamond rings, diamond rings for sale. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Good Pearl Drum Sets

Among the most used drums kits around are Pearl drums. Started in 1946 by Katsumi Yanagisawa, Pearl is one of the pioneering manufacturers of drum kits and drum hardware. In the beginning, the company was only making music stands and other non-drum related items but it was the drum and percussion hardware that really gave the company the boost. Until more and more factories were opened producing drums which are now famous and available worldwide. The first Japanese drum manufacturer to penetrate the US and UK market was the Pearl Musical Instruments Co. Its continued popularity paved way to other Japanese drum companies such as Tama and Yamaha. To stay in the competition, Pearl continues to invest millions on research and developments. A good Pearl drum set is indeed a great investment. This entry was posted in Entertainment, Music and tagged good pearl drum set. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Epiphone acoustic bass,

A feted instrument of modern music, the bass guitar works practically in any genre. It is true that the electric bass has the visual appeal and it does provide a distinctive stage presence but the need for amplification could be a disadvantage. This is when you appreciate the eccentricity of the acoustic bass guitar. Just like an old-fashioned acoustic guitar, the full hollow body of the acoustic bass can provide amazing sounds even if you don’t use an amplifier. Your acoustic bass can provide the same versatility that your bass guitar has to offer. There are different body shapes and styles that you can find and each looks great on its own right. One of the most famous brands is the Epiphone acoustic bass, just look for the acoustic bass that appeals to you and most importantly, works for you personally. Posted in Entertainment, Music | Tagged epiphone acoustic bass | Leave a comment

2014

Still here, writing and recording a lot of new material. Can't wait to share it with you all. Stay tuned, DM Natives!