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Business

Music Business Seminar – Pablo Langa, Technology in the Music Industry

Wesley A’Harrah and Martin Erler, students of the global entertainment and music business master’s program, reflect upon the first of the weekly ‘Music Business Seminars’ where they had the chance to listen to Pablo Langa, Business Director for Blackboard International, talk about his presentation “Does your next million dollar business idea need a mobile app?”.Nomophobia-Berklee-blog

Are you one of the many individuals who suffer from nomophobia? In their 2012 study, a technology company called SecureEnvoy found that roughly 67% of their research population believed they had this strangely named condition. So what is nomophobia, exactly? Macmillan dictionary states nomophobia is “the fear of not having or not being able to use a cellphone.”

Pablo Langa – a specialist in global mobile-app development and strategic technological marketing – provided our music business Master’s class with some insights on drivers of powerful, innovative technological advances in today’s web-based environment. His presentation “Does your next million-dollar business idea need a mobile app” introduced us to six critical factors in creating a successful mobile application to meet the needs of today’s challenges. These six factors are the following: scope, pricing, knowing your audience, creating a platforming roadmap, promotion and the decision to build or buy your app.

When you think of versatile tools, a Swiss-army knife is likely among the first few things that come to mind. In the case mobile-apps, versatility often presents itself in a different form. Apps that claim to offer numerous functions are often less effective than competing apps with specialized functions. Simplicity is key: less is more, and more is less. Make sure your app is fast and performs well, and you’ll be much better off than having a slow app that can do many things.

When it comes to pricing a mobile app, it is crucial to understand the devices from which your target audience will utilize your app. Take into account the following average amount users will spend for an app on the following devices:

Android phone – $0.06
iPhone – $0.19
iPad – $0.50.

If fail to build your business model according to your audience, you can easily find yourself falling behind projected profit margins.

One of the more difficult aspects of app development is accounting for interfacing needs of your audience. An app needs to account for culture, language, location and Internet accessibility. For instance, some languages require text to read from right-to-left. Naturally, this can heavily influence the visual layout of your app.Pablo Langa Music Business Seminar

The average platform operating system (e.g. IOS 8, Android 4) will go through 25 updates each year. To remain relevant and functioning properly within a specified platform, it is mandatory to stay on top of these changes. There’s no easier way to convince users to delete your app than letting your app become incompatible with their operating system.

Remember Flappy Bird? This app was a pioneer in effectively accruing large numbers of ratings in short time-spans. A recent article from Business Insider revealed a major aspect of Flappy Bird’s path to success. Because of Flappy Bird’s app design, almost every user would quite quickly click on the “rate this app” button, effectively promoting the app within the app store. This is one of many possible methods of promoting an application.

If you’re absolutely set on having a top-ten app on the Apple app store, take a look at the following formula and see how you can break it:

App Store Ranking = (# of installs weighted for the past few hours) + (# of installs weighted for the past few days) + REVIEWS (star rating + number of reviews) + Engagement (# of times app opened etc.) + Sales ($)

While there is no definitive answer to whether you should build or pay someone for your app, there are some things to consider when faced with this question. If you want to have total control of your app then it is almost necessary you develop your own app. It’s relatively easy to create a clean, effective app through the use of app-creation websites (Appmachine, Phonegap, Xamarin or Goodbarber) and it is becoming more and more frequent for people and companies alike to manage the creation of their apps. If you’re terrible with technology, though, outsourcing your app creation is always a viable option. Keep focused on what you and your team are good at, and supplement these skills however you need.

Remember: if you want to reach as many people as possible, your app must be able to connect across various platforms, devices and audience demographics.

Want to learn one last thing? You know how your phone’s camera still makes that old-time camera sound? That sound is an example of something called a skeuomorph. Go Google it!

 

Alexandre Perrin, Associate Professor of music business at Berklee’s Valencia campus.

Alexandre-Perrin-Berklee-Valencia-campus-faculty

Alexandre Perrin teaches Music Business Finance, Project Management for Artists, Economics of Global Entertainment, and Global Leadership and Management at the Valencia campus.

After eight years of teaching, researching and managing program in several European business schools, I joined Berklee’s Valencia campus to help students decode and anticipate the evolution of the Entertainment industry. When it comes to music biz, our students compete with a global workforce of young or experienced graduates. My job is to prepare them to hit this highly competitve job market or to ignite their passion for entrepreneurship or management.

1. Music biz: a Go game !
Go game is a board game originated in China whose objective is to occupy a specific territory. This business is not anymore a chess game. The objective is to control the digital playground and attract the attention of consumers. The Economics of Attention is an interesting concept related to Go game. It states that human attention is now becoming a scarce resource. When you sell music, you compete with other medias (video, video games, movies, newspapers, kindle…). As content has grown increasingly abundant and immediately available, attention becomes the limiting factor in the consumption of cultural goods.

2. Management of music biz: improvise !
Music and management has always been compared altogether. The jazz metaphor is regularly employed to talk about the future of management. Last century the metaphor was more centered on classical music: management was compared to conducting an orchestra. The manager was a conductor and the collaborators the musicians. An interesting shift has occurred in the last 20 years in management science. Management theorists like Karl Weick suggested the jazz band was a better image for organizations in a world that demanded rapid response and adaptability around some core business competencies. For maximizing learning and innovation, managers need to be ambidextrous: use the partition (process) and create new notes (innovation). This is exactly what we intend to do at Berklee in music business: know the business fundamentals to reinvent the future and create new ventures.

3. Working at Berklee’s Valencia campus: Harder Better Faster Stronger !
Daft Punk’s song depicts pretty well the expectations students have about the classes at a Masteŕs level. As a new faculty member, I can tell you that you are being pushed to innovate and find new ideas. This process is driven by the business itself, your colleagues and the students. This semester I have added an additional dynamic dimension to my Economics of Entertainment module: by using #ecotainment on Twitter I share articles, thoughts and comments on different topics covered in that module such as the macroeconomics of the music industry, the evolution of the value chain or the relationships with video game and movie industries.

Kayleigh Mill: New York Survival Tips

Berklee Blogs follows Kayleigh Mill, a Music Business major and participant in Berklee’s Summer Internship Program in New York City. In today’s post, Kayleigh lets us in on her top tips for surviving and thriving in New York City…

 

Getting Around

#1 – Look up (and figure out) subway directions BEFORE you leave

#2 – Know the difference between going downtown and uptown

#3 – Local trains stop at every station; express trains DO NOT

#4 – The traffic on even numbered one-way streets go East; odd traffic goes West

#5 – The city is a grid, avenues go North-South; streets go East-West

#6 – 30-day passes can only be swiped once every 18 minutes

#7 – It takes longer to get there than you think

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Kayleigh Mill: Work-life Balancing Act

Berklee Blogs follows Kayleigh Mill, a Music Business major and participant in Berklee’s Summer Internship Program in New York City. In a follow up to last week’s post about stress, Kayleigh lets us in on some new realizations about balancing her personal and professional lives…

The majority of my posts are dedicated to sharing my advice from experience and from research, and to expose people to bands that I believe in that deserve to be acknowledged for their music. Today, however, I’m going to talk about my life the past couple weeks in a more personal way, to show a glimpse into how this business can be…challenging.

Although I love what I do, I’ve been struggling a little bit lately to keep my head above the stress of the industry, the difficulty in finding people that I can feel close to, and balancing the two without going crazy.

I’ve always been of the belief that I can do more – that I shouldn’t be satisfied with merely “good enough” – which is motivating, but it’s also disheartening and overwhelming sometimes.  The past two weeks have been non-stop for me, with managing a band for the first time, working 4 days a week, and writing for my personal blog as well as The Berklee Groove. I love everything that I do, but there have been times when I’ve thought to myself “What have I gotten into? What if it’s too much?” all while planning the next step.

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Kayleigh Mill: Dealing With The Stress

Berklee Blogs follows Kayleigh Mill, a Music Business major and participant in Berklee’s Summer Internship Program in New York City. Today, Kayleigh tells us how to deal with the inevitable stress that comes with internships and additional responsibility

There’s no way around it – if you want to be in the music industry, you’re going to face a lot of stress. You’ll be challenged, questioned, and criticized, and unlike high school, no one’s going to be there to hold your hand along the way. This is, after all, a business, no matter how passionate we are about the art. No matter how much you think you can handle, it’s best to be prepared with some tools to release or reduce some pressure, because that pressure can and will break you if you aren’t careful.

In recent years, I’ve certainly seen my fair share of breakdowns, and been through a few myself. Sometimes, we just have to remind ourselves of a few things… 

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