People Angered by Free U2 Album in Their iTunes Music Library

Think of how ridiculous that is. I’ll type it again: People Angered by Free U2 Album in Their iTunes Music Library.

I guess this comes under the category of ‘first world problems'(?)

In summary, Apple paid U2 $100 Million to put U2’s latest album ‘Songs of Innocence’ into every existing iTunes account for free.

A brilliant promotion if you ask me, for both Apple and U2, especially to boost the tour for this new album. Regarding the uproar, at least it’s an obvious lesson that Apple needs to change the format of such a promotion, if done in the future with any other albums, to simply be an option. A little pop up messages states: ‘There’s a new free album available, click here to find out more’

I hope Saturday Night Live does a skit about people being angered about being given something for free. This came just in time for the 2014 fall season of SNL.

by Steven Cravis

Don’t Be Gung Ho, Be Gung No

Recently I learned, through a business experience I won’t detail, that for most of my life, I’ve been a little too Gung Ho about my follow up with places and people with whom I wanted to do business. Recently I learned part of the secret to success is to almost withhold follow up all together, if feeling over enthusiastic. Be Gung No, instead of Gung Ho!


Gung No Coffee

Where did 50% of their income go?

Recently I was advising a friend on how she could submit her music for consideration on Pandora, and when searching her music on Amazon, including the Audio CD (a physical CD on Amazon is required first before being able to submit to Pandora radio), I noticed her label was listed as CD Baby/INDYS. Well a big current plus of getting on Pandora is that Pandora is one of the many entities who pay soundexchange. It’s my understanding that 92% of that pay goes to featured artist and the sound recording copyright owner/i.e. ‘Label’ (Soundexchange), and the other 8% goes to the publisher, composer and songwriter (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, etc.. – PROs). Recently many independent artists who basically ARE their own label had been sharing with each other about how some of the best income they receive is from Pandora, via Soundexchange, while many other artists who get paid by Soundexchange weren’t receiving such big payments from Pandora. Now, of course there could be many factors such as how many actual plays did each artist really receive, and therefore they got paid less or more based on that. But my question are;1. Is the label CD Baby/INDYS receiving from Soundexchange the label portion of payment for all those artists who have their label listed that way on their album distribution? and 2.  If so, has CD Baby kept this ‘label’ earnings or paid it out to the independent artists to whom it was due?  Whether true, intentional, or not intentional, these are just questions at this point, something to be explored.

3D Printer

3D Printer

Today I was fortunate to talk to Gabe and Virginia, at a BART station, about the unusual box they were carrying. It’s a 3D Printer , (yes, a device that can actual render your digital 3D design STL file into a physical 3D object!) created by TypeAMachines. The experience was a little surreal (like talking to someone about a time machine they’re carting through BART). I asked Gabe if he had invented it, and he explained, no, his friend had created this one, and that the technology has been around for 25 years, but a patent was keeping others from making it. Finally the patent has expired and these are being created, for about $1,200 each. Materials are about $34 per kilo.

A Money Generating Paradigm For The Digital Musician

by Steven Cravis

Recently CDbaby announced it’s partnership and automatic send of CDbaby music to Soundcloud. All it takes is for each CDbaby musician interested in this feature to log in to CDbaby and opt into having all, or most of their music appearing on Soundcloud.

The only problem is: They are available as full length streaming tracks. By this I mean, if it is a 4 minute song, the full 4 minutes will be displayed as a streaming track to any listener. The reason I call this a ‘problem’ is that full length streaming in the digital age is similar to giving away the file. I’ve had fans of my music write politely to tell me they could ‘grab’ mp3s from the streaming audio on my web site. Since then, I’ve replaced them with either short audio clips, or audio watermarked tracks.The only scenario I can see this being useful for is if your doing your own direct licensing deal for someone’s film, or tv, or other media project, and you want specifically them to be able to listen through the tracks streaming online, but not everyone else. In this case, CDbaby has an interesting option; checkmark ‘Private’

See Cdbaby’s own wording:

“SoundCloud Private Tracks

When you upload a track to SoundCloud, you have two options for how you want to share it with other users:

Public sharing means that anyone can listen to your track.

Private sharing is exclusive and means you have complete control over who has access to your tracks and who doesn’t.”

But if you’re not using this for private purposes, I don’t think it’s going to help your music income if you publicly give away your full length streams of all the tracks that you also are attempting to sell elsewhere. People can just listen to the whole song online without buying it. Plus, at least in services like Spotify, Rhapsody and Pandora, the full stream plays generate money for the artists who own the content. But I don’t see anywhere that Soundcloud will pay anything for all the streams that will occur on a Soundcloud or CDbaby/Soundcloud account.

So, what will generate money for artists? It’s very simple. Make sure that:

1. Your music displayed on sites (which you could upload directly to Soundcloud and many other sites) is either 30, 60 or 90 second clips of audio, or is watermarked audio. ONLY stream full tracks of audio that you intentionally give away. For example:

2. Your music is iOS compatible. This means that it has code, such as Soundcloud or Bandcamp embedding code which works/displays well on Apple mobile devices; iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch. All Flash-only music players appear as a blank, functionless rectangle. Millions of people are using these devices to view web sites and check out music. It will take a while for all musicians, including myself, to transition our sites to this HTML5 code which is compatible with Apple devices.

3. Put iTunes and Amazonmp3 and/or your own shopping cart mp3 buy links close on the web page to your HTML5 music player.

4. View these music marketing tutorial videos in full screen high definition regarding increasing selling on iTunes, Amazonmp3 and Gumroad:

Also, please take a second to vote YES or NO, anonymously HERE about an OPTIONAL feature I’ve been asking Bandcamp to add to it’s service for years.

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2012 BC

My name is Steven Cravis. Daniel C. Bianchino and I met back in 1991 on the Boston Greenline. I was holding a salad. Bianchino said “That looks like a healthy meal”. I added “You must not be from around here – you notice nobody talks?” The tram was packed…That began our conversation…I told Daniel I compose music but don’t write lyrics and he told me he is a poet and lyricist. We exchanged numbers and the rest is history….formed the band 2012 BC recently and have released our first single on iTunes “I Need a Second Look”.

2012 BC (The Rough Draft Album) is our latest ten song release and includes ‘I Need a Second Look’.

I’m a pianist and instrumental composer, but I am not a singer. I was so ashamed of the vocal flaws in my recording attempts with this album that I hid the recordings from everyone, even from my co-writer Daniel. Daniel was infinitely patient with me about this, and recently I realized 3 main things:

1. The message in D.C. Bianchino’s lyrics are cosmic and good and the songs might help get his messages out.

2. Even if people (especially people who know me well) laugh when they hear the flawed sound of my singing voice, at least they are being entertained, and that kind of joy has some value being that laughter itself can be healing.

3. It was ultimately selfish of me to hold back these unusual recordings from the universe and the benefit of exposing the songs to the universe probably highly outweighs the benefit of protecting myself from whatever criticism will result.

JUNE 21, 2012 UPDATE! I’ve gotten some great singers to re-record 5 of our songs. We’re selling them as singles at iTunes, Amazonmp3 and more. So far we have 5 completed. Check it out at