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Boston indie rocker Amanda Palmer has been called “the social media queen of rock and roll has raised $250,000 in one day on Kickstarter. In fact, she has surpassed $437,000 from 7,300 backers in just 72 hours. She has more funds for a record a release than a new artist on a major music label.

“Palmer asks people for money, “to promote, mix, manufacture and distribute” her new release. She offers fans incentives for contributing to her effort — like a $1 digital download of her album, limited editions, signed art books, special invites to “backer parties,” even dinner with Palmer and her band. Oh, and hand-written thank you notes, too”. (WBUR)

“Palmer launched her Kickstarter campaign Monday. In the first seven hours it brought in more than $100,000. By day’s end the total was a quarter million, making it the most funded music project on Kickstarter ever. And now the effort is approaching $500,000.”

“I don’t want people to just know me for my clever internet marketing skills and all that,” Palmer said. “I want to focus people back on the music and back on the art that these people are making.”

“The people Palmer is referring to include the members of her new band, the 30 artists who made original works for her world tour, and everyone it will take to pull it off. She has to pay all of them. The entire project will cost a ton, according to Palmer. Likely more than the $400,000-plus raised on Kickstarter so far. Then she added, “We probably haven’t broken even yet.”

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When you walk into a movie theatre you will see rolling credits listing the most important members of the production as well as the cast and crew involved in the project.  Music services like Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon along with others  do not list credits of those who were involved.

“That’s the basis for a metadata movement being spearheaded by producer, mixer and engineer Count (aka Mikael Eldridge), whose ‘credits’ include artists like DJ Shadow, Radiohead, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, New Order, No Doubt, Galactic, Zoe Keating, and Tycho. ”
(Digital Music News)

Count wants his name included in these artists’ digital works – just like physical formats – which is why he’s pushing to properly credit performers, producers, and engineers on all online music services. He offers a solid case as well.

“If Led Zeppelin had only sold albums digitally when they started, it’s very unlikely that many people would know who Jimmy Page or Robert Plant are because the digital music files you purchase for download or streaming can’t show you who played on them.”

(1) Better credits make better user experiences. For example, if I like Radiohead or the Roots, I would want to know who produced them, what other albums they’ve done, and who’s performing on the recordings.  Chances are I might like their other work.

(2) This is Marketing 101. It’s an opportunity for these companies to share and sell more music.

(3) Hollywood does it, so why don’t we?  The Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild, and Writers Guild along with the studios would sue if the credits were not there.

(4) This is not about egos. It’s about survival. Producers, engineers, and musicians need these credits in order to survive in this business. Nobody knows the producers work without credit.

(5) It’s an easy fix. Internet distributors to simply require the following info for all releases: list all performers, producers, engineers, mixers, and mastering engineers for each song and provide their preferred web link. Without this data, the release simply shouldn’t be accepted by distributors.

Click here to ‘Like’ the campaign to credit performers, producers, and engineers on all online music services.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable that I can go online and instantly have access to Roger Federer’s obscure tennis stats but I can’t even see who is singing a song on iTunes or Pandora.” – Count

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Pop duo LMFAO are facing a $7 million lawsuit from their former managers.

The stars, uncle and nephew Stefan ‘Redfoo’ Gordy and Skyler ‘SkyBlu’ Gordy, have been sued by bosses at personal management company RPM GRP, who claim the band signed a deal with them in 2008 but later ditched the contract and hired two of the firm’s former employees to manage them instead.

The lawsuit, filed at Santa Monica Superior Court in California, accuses the duo of breach of contract, tortuous interference and accounting.

The papers state, “LMFAO has thanked the managers who took them from ‘0 to 60’ by throwing them under the tour bus (i.e. firing them). Instead of hiring new managers, LMFAO then poached two employees of the original managers, hiring them on a salary instead of paying a commission to the original managers.”

Gone are the days when artists and managers have a 20 years relationship like U2 and Paul McGuinness. Other artists such as Metallica as well as Britney Spears also enjoyed long lasting business relationships with their managers. The rock band Kiss has been managed by Doc McGhee since 1996.

Veteran management team DAS Communications demanded $14 million in damages after they were fired from Pop star Ke$ha who they described as “a very young and inexperienced artist whose ‘star’ may not continue to rise.”  According the papers filed she has made an incredible amount of money in a very short period of time, in large part due to DAS efforts.

Taylor Swift’s former manager also sued country singer for millions of dollars, arguing she owes commissions from a contract she signed with him in 2004, according to RollingStone.com. In July 2005, Swift’s father Scott fired Dan Dymtrow and the singer signed with record label Big Machine. Dymtrow claims he was fired because Swift’s family didn’t want to pay his commission after he helped the singer’s music career take off.

The artist and the manager generally begin on good note. In most cases, the manager will find an opportunity or negotiate a deal that will set the stage for success. The probabilities are low, but if the song reacts with the public and finds it self on top 40 radio, the artist is set to make several million from publishing and performances.  Managers are generally paid a percentage of the band’s income, often 15% to 20%.

The manager makes more money as the band popularity grows since the income of the musicians is directly tied to the income of the managers. According to several seasoned managers in the music business the band begins to look at management as an expense rather than something of value. Instead of paying a manager 2 million dollars to manage a multimillion dollar business, the artist will hire salaried employees for half the cost.

In some cases,  artists have hired family members only to find themselves in a financial disaster. For instance, Beyonce fired her father as her manager. Live Nation told Beyonce that Matthew Knowles had taken money from her that he was not entitled to as her manager.

 

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Dick Clark, the music industry maverick, longtime TV host and powerhouse producer who changed the way we listened to pop music with “American Bandstand,” and whose trademark “Rockin’ Eve” became a fixture of New Year’s celebrations, died today at the age of 82.

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The X Factor is turning into a flop and when it returns for its second season expect major changes.

“When “The X Factor” returns for its second season in the fall, the show will have undergone some major changes, including the possible addition of Britney Spears to the judges panel. But Wednesday on “Good Day LA” (weekdays, 7 a.m. PT on Fox) L.A. Reid revealed that the new personnel won’t be the only difference between Season 1.

“One way of raising the bar of the talent we’re looking for, is that we allow contestants to come in who already have managers and agents. Last year they wouldn’t have qualified. This year they do qualify. The whole idea here is to raise the bar for the talent we’re going to find,” he explained.” (Huffington Post)

According to sources, Simon also wants to add a Disney star to the mix like Demi Lovato or Selena Gomez to reach a younger demographic.

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