'Tweet For A Track' and top up your iPod

We are loving ‘Tweet For A Track’ here at Headstream, I have already loaded up my iPhone with some gems. This tactic for sharing music is a great way for artists to promote their work and is growing in popularity amongst the ever-hungry file sharing public. Music is one of the most mentioned and discussed topics on Twitter so it only makes sense to be able to use the platform to pass music around as well as chat about it. And unlike most other file sharing tactics, this is totally legal and at the discretion of the artist. The PR tactics employed by most musicians and bands on Twitter is often in the form of a link to a MySpace or Facebook page, however, as many new artists know, the key to getting something to spread virally beyond your existing fan base is far from easy.

Tweet For A Track offers a launch pad for this and the free online tool is quickly growing in popularity. The way it works is by the artist uploading a song and then tweeting the download link to their followers. When fans click on the download link they need to send a tweet to get the download code. More people see the tweet and do the same. You can see it in action by searching for the hashtag #TFAT

Similar to the ethics of Sound Cloud, and a cheaper version of Culture Jam, this service is not only an effective way to engage with ‘new’ fans but also a process that allows music to spread virally, making it seem like a steal to whoever receives it.

More and more independent artists are successfully going it alone and this should be a core tactic they employ when looking at marketing their music. Underground hip hop artist Akala, recently tweeted “real supporters last forever and they do the marketing for you anyway, so in the long run a real connection is the best business.” Further to that, marketing tools such as Tweet For A Track can be invaluable when trying to expose your music to a new fanbase, as well as allowing existing fans to spread the word. Unless you’re Lady Gaga – you need to be doing this. Plus, I need a few more tracks for my ‘Free Stuff’ playlist!

With the demise of industry-leading digital platforms such as MySpace, services such Tweet for a Track and Sound Cloud are welcome additions for people to share music quickly and of course virally. Particularly as My Space announced last week that they were further integrating their services with Facebook , meaning users can easily create highly personalised, entertainment-focused streams based on their Facebook profiles.Doing so will port the likes and interests they have listed on their Facebook profiles to MySpace, where they will get a stream of entertainment content based on these interests. This will be followed by the addition of Facebook’s “Like” buttons across MySpace.

MySpace has conceded that it is no longer a social network but a social entertainment destination – think MTV for the Web 2.0 generation. To this end, the company recently overhauled its website to give its mostly young audience more ways to consume music, videos and celebrity gossip. CEO Mike Jones said that the users’ initial response to the redesign is “very, very positive.”

Dave Berry bags Breakfast show at Xfm!

Here at headstream, we’re really pleased to be working with Xfm (104.9 FM) on the launch of Dave Berry’s new breakfast show which starts on 18 January! The London lad is moving from his drive time slot to entertain you and get you out of bed with his cheeky wit and great sense of humour every morning! Listeners outside London can listen on digital radio, online at xfm.co.uk or via the iPhone application. 

So, what can you expect from Dave’s show? The man himself describes his show as ‘a steady mix of a croaky voiced South Londoner, bloody good music and three grown men making fun of each other all morning. Oh, and lots of special guests too!’.

Dave Berry’s breakfast show begins on 18 January 2010 from 6.30 – 10am on 104.9 FM. For more information about the new show, head over to Xfm’s site. 

You can become a fan of Xfm on Facebook, or follow them at Twitter. 

Want to know more about Dave? Watch this video which is part 1 of 4 to get to know the new breakfast show DJ!

Jack Johnson uses Twitter for new album

I’m loving Jack Johnson’s innovative use of Twitter to promote his new live album, En Concert. If you visit his website, http://twitter.jackjohnsonmusic.com, there is a premade message which, if you tweet out, will entitle you to a free MP3 download from the new album.

This is a fantastic example of how you can create a buzz on Twitter very simply and encourage other people to spread the word on your behalf.

 jack johnson

Jack Johnson’s label clearly sees the value in using Twitter and may have based their decision on the back of the success of The Streets’ free Twitter downloads in April this year.

With a number of individual artists already present on Twitter, it makes perfect sense to tap into their current fan base and grow their following to a new audience.

This is a great development for the platform, with more and more music industry professionals realizing the potential for rewarding, engaging and growing the number of fans. I’ll be interested to see how this platform develops in the future and further integrates with the entertainment industry.

Spotify's Grand Plans

Today Spotify kindly gave up their time to talk us through the service, how it can help those in the communications industry and what their plans are for the future.

For those of you who haven’t jumped on the Spotify band wagon, the site basically allows you to listen and share millions of music tracks for free over the internet. You can build your own playlists and send them to your friends and as the service is paid for by advertising it means it’s free!

For anyone in the communications industry there are a wealth of opportunities available, not only in terms of simple advertising, but for partnership work and video seeding – check out an example of how Sky partnered with Spotify to stream updates from The Ashes.

With over two million people in the UK already using the service, what is next for the music sharing site? They did let us in on the news that they have developed an application for the iPhone which is still in the approvals process.

With that, and a rumoured Facebook app on the way, I’m interested to see how explosive this service is going to become over the next few months.

Festival Fever … Friend or Foe?

An interesting article, newly available on Tourism Insights looks at the real value and impact of music festivals on tourism and queries what they bring to their local community other than inconvenience, noise, scandal and pollution.

The piece considers in detail Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Sonisphere, T in the Park, Latitude and our local favourite, the Isle of Wight festival. Weighing up the evidence on the contribution these events make to the local and national tourism economy, key opportunities for festival organizers, tourism-based businesses and local authorities are also identified.

The scale of some of the most popular festivals is huge with all kinds of businesses involved. The amount of money brought in locally can be vast and the Isle of Wight Council estimates a cool £10 million spend from festival visitors alone!

The article concludes that these festivals are one of the good news stories for British tourism and the wider economy as long as the local community and the festival organizers work together proactively.

Over the summer we have been working closely with one of our clients, Red Funnel, to do exactly this by securing coverage for Red Funnel in conjunction with the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival. Using a number of PR tactics including publicity, competitions, Twitter and Facebook we have built awareness of the festivals online and helped to drive traffic to the Red Funnel site where consumers can find lots of useful information and purchase tickets for the many events taking place on the Island.

10,000 Nights

headstream’s very own ‘pet’ pop-outfit alphabeat have a new single out as of next monday (18th may). emi’s colourfully camp sextet can be seen mincing around with balloons, bicycles, balls and each other in what looks like the industrial zone in the crystal maze. you can take a look at their ridiculously catchy little number right here.

From The Crows Nest…..Dollars, dollars & more dollars.

As I whittered on last week of all the social media music ‘love-in’ that has occurred over recent weeks, I failed to mention Nine Inch Nails contribution to the latest buzz of attracting a larger fanbase online. Several weeks back, NIN gave away a bundle of tracks available for free from their ‘Ghosts I-IV’ series as a teaser for the remaining tracks available for a tiny fee of a few quid. As it turns out, doing away with your record company and giving away most of your material ‘gratis’ doesn’t seem so daft after all. Approximately 800,000 transactions in the first week have generated $1.6 million in revenue. Lead singer Trent Reznor himself urged his fans to freely exchange and distribute the album via P2P. Ultimately, this merely highlights how getting fully behind online activity is starting to pay noticeable dividends for those forward thinking artists.

Not to be drowned out from rock’s online interaction, BMW this week stepped up a gear and announced their intention to drive it’s digital strategy onto the social networking highway courtesy of the much loved vehicles of Facebook, Myspace and Bebo (sorry, i’m clearly driving down the wrong road with this rancid bloody pun nonsense) The motor manufacturer plans to target car buyers in 2008 who frequent such sites. There is also a bit of chat going round about BMW launching a channel on the internet TV service Joost aimed at creating a viral buzz for the brand.

Elsewhere, British pioneer and inventor of our lovely ol’ web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee this week told the BBC that he has browsed over Social Networking sites and thinks it may eventually “be more for the old than the young.” The Millenium Technology prize-winner also spoke briefly of his views towards User Generated Content “It’s great that UGC is taking off – but why aren’t more people doing it?” Our thought’s exactly Sir Timmy B.

What would you do with $850m? AOL decided they were feeling flush this week and bought themselves Bebo. Randy Falco, AOL’s big cheese said “What drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user-base, its vision of a truly social web, and the monetization opportunities that leverage Platform-A across our combined global audience.” Look’s like they’ve acquired a bargain then.

 We’re all off to make bonnets and enjoy a well-deserved cuddle with the Easter Bunny. Toodlepip!