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Monday, February 21, 2011

Music Experience Part 3: Exciting New Services!

This is the final post of a 3 part series titled "Music Experience". This last post will focus on exciting new music services that have changed my music experience.


To read the first 2 posts of this series, select one of the following:
Music Experience Part 1: Death of the Music Industry
Music Experience Part 2: Music Artists and Social Media


All day today I was excited to make it home and write this post tonight. There is a long list of new music services that have invigorated my sense of sound. To really sum it up, the following list of services are really what puts the juice behind this website and I have the urge to share it with everyone. I want to start with the music service that changed the way I listen to music completely, Grooveshark. I have found no equal to what Grooveshark can provide with on-demand music streaming of any band, any song (full length), at any time. Before I found out about this site I had little interest in discovering music outside of what was fed to me on the radio. If someone suggested a new artist to me I would have little motivation to go to YouTube and wade through all the mash-ups, covers, and re-mix knock offs of the original song I was looking for. Nor did I want to listen to 30 seconds of their music on iTunes or 1 out of 5 songs on Pandora. With Grooveshark I am making my own playlists of music that I can listen to at anytime and then also be able to share that music with others with ease. Never before have I been so interested in discovering new music and it has allowed me to re-discover the sound I like to listen to without commercials, imitations, or delay. The site has gathered quite a following as well from looking at the heat map provided above (in green). It shows that the music streaming site is now utilized just as much as Last.fm.

After using Grooveshark for a short period of time I inevitably found a lot of music from independent artists that I really liked. This led me to search for where I could purchase their music so I could have it with me when I travel. Along the way however I found some fantastic new music services that really provide a unique experience for the fan.


I first stumbled upon Pledge Music after frantically searching for more information on when the next Damnwells album was coming out. In all of about two hours while I was watching the movie "Chaos Theory" (that features many Damnwells songs) I purchased all of the albums that they have put out as well as a documentary about the band. A few days later I discovered that they're next album was going to be produced with the assistance of Pledge Music.

The site gives fans the opportunity to pledge money toward a band so they can create/produce/release a new album. I was eager to pledge money towards The Damnwells new album because I wanted to support the group. After experiencing how the site really works, I was BLOWN away by the service that Pledge Music provides to connect the fans to the artists throughout the making of their record.

To quickly sum it up, by pledging $25 dollars towards their album I will receive an early digital download of their album and a signed CD and T-Shirt. Also since I pledged, I received access to 73 posts from the band that featured 20 images and 8 videos of the production process during the making of their album. Not only that, the band also released 25 previously unreleased tracks and rough-cuts of their new music for pledgers to download! After that initial shock and bewilderment settled, the lead singer Alex Dezen and his wife Angela were flat out awesome enough to provide two live Ustream concerts from their own home to pledgers of their new album. Where else can you get an experience like that?! And at what other time has something like this been available to the fan?! It truly is exciting. The Pledge Music site speaks for itself, and it has raised the bar for the fan experience. Oh and they also give a portion of your donation to charity. You're probably going to think this is a fantasy until you check it out for yourself at PledgeMusic.com. You can also read more about my experience from one of my earlier posts here: Pledge Music: Support what you Love.


KickStarter is another site that seems to offer very similar services as Pledge Music. I have not pledged on their site yet, but I have found some of the bands I follow that have used their site to fund their music. My biggest following that is featured on the KickStarter site is Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. They have an excellent new album that has just been released. The band has also recently sent out postcards to all of the supporters of their album. Pretty Awesome. (See them on KickStarter).


There is also a site called NoiseTrade.com that takes a different approach to supporting music artists. It provides a site for artists of all genres to freely distribute their music to anyone willing to listen in return for your email address and zip code. That's right, free downloads for music at no cost. This is of great benefit to the artists because it provides a way to connect with the fans and determine where there fans are at so they can plan their tour stops appropriately. It also allows fans to donate money towards a bands music venture if you feel so inclined (strictly voluntary). Noise Trade introduced Jordan and I to the sweet sounding tunes of Green River Ordinance which has thoroughly piqued my interest in seeing this band live and buying their next album. See our reviews of Green River Ordinance and links to download their music below:
Tune In To Green River Ordinance: Free Album
A Second Opinion of GRO

These are just a few of the services that have changed the way I interact with the music I follow. The best way I can define their contributions to music is to say that it has bettered by ability to listen and share the music I dig. Never again will I only be satisfied with the molded radio sound made for mass appeal. I now have the ability to listen and interact with the sound that gets me moving.

To sum this series up, the major music labels and the big money CD sales are now giving way to artists of all kinds as they distribute their music as needed. Through the use of social media, big label promoters aren't necessary to reach your fan base. Videos, pictures, Tweets, blogs, streams, Likes, and others are being broadcast 24/7 to anyone wanting to find you. And it has given me the ability reach out to something different for a change. The money, the interest, and support are all still there and in a big way. They just don't all show up on the same charts. It will be interesting to see where the money flows during the next few years but it doesn't concern me much. There are many a great band out there thriving through their fan base. And there is a lot more music that needs to be heard. I'll to keep you posted.....

To read the first 2 posts of this series, select one of the following:
Music Experience Part 1: Death of the Music Industry
Music Experience Part 2: Music Artists and Social Media

Resources:
blog.groovshark.com
grooveshark.com
pledgemusic.com
kickstarter.com
noisetrade.com


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