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CHECK OUT JAYS BLOG for an update and peek into the studio. Don Moen is creating his new album! 

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The new Madonna video premieres today! April (4) 4th. 4 minutes to save the world…nice. If you are a fan of pop music, this is an exciting thing. Madonna, who is 50 years old, has one of the big songs of 2008 on her hands and has been wise in choosing producer and guests for her album to keep her in her core demographic…POP LISTENERS! And to think, Dolly Parton is like 10 years older (maybe 12) and looked like a shell of the performer she has been on Idol this week (awful…even with the Jesus tie in it was bad. And do not get me started on the Clarck Brothers). Madonna is bringing her A game to make this record work.  

Enter WBM! You tube is FULL of video uploads that have been removed to avoid “copywrite issues”. People are BUZZING about your product. Viral marketing is alive and well. Peer to peer marketing is what every marketers wants, and having the ability to share your new favorite thing with a few hundred, or thousand friends via a blog is amazing. But no….lets make sure we protect the pockets of the label so that the fans can not enjoy sharing the actual product with others who might be impressed with it and actually go BUY A FREAKING RECORD (thus really filing the pockets of the label)! Rather than cutting out youtube, which really is cutting out the fans, why not have your interns FLOOD youtube with video and messages that will help you sell the record TO MADONNA FANS! Why wait on MTV to play it 3 times today since they do not even play music anymore!

Here is a small snapshot of how hard it is to break a record in just the Christian world: 

Almost 15,000 titles released last year via distribution systems.

10% sold 20 units or more.

1,213 albums can more than 200 units.

only the top 93 units on a given week on soundscan (on average) sell 100 or units or more per week. This equates to almost 1 unit per store.

Before you release your album, sign your deal, etc, find out what your expectations are and if they can be met. Is it necessary to create a hard product for retail? Maybe a digital release makes more sense. How many units do you need to sell to pay for your album? How do you get this done? Just some thoughts.

I just did an interview for PrayersForBlowOuts.com. I will let you know when it goes live. This is a cool site.

A few months back I posted a text about Leona Lewis here. Well its time for an update. Billboard states that the amazing success of the breakout album is going to keep her working this album and start working a new album in 2009. Look for Leona to hit the streets and tour in 2010.

Leona is an amazing example of working a great song very hard. 1.6 million albums in 3 and a half months. JAY JAY JAY JAY JAY JAY JAY JAY JAY JAY JAY and I saw a bumper sticker today that said: “it all starts with a great song” the story of Leona is just starting. She will be in America soon. Get ready. Until then, enjoy this tasty number from Feb 20 @ the 2008 Brit Awards:

My friend Jay has a statement that he makes: “At the end of the day, it’s all about the songs.” Today, we had a product planning meeting for 09. It’s all about the songs. 

Think about the power of a song. If you are a pastor, it sets the atmosphere. If you are a worshipper it takes you someplace you can encounter God. If you are a music fan, it can transport you to a different place or time. We all have songs that are etched in our memory that makes us remember a time, person, place, thing, smell, experience. Songs are a few minutes of bliss or pain that become bookmarks for our history.

The reality is, everything we do in the music business is about the songs. All the gimmicks, marketing plans, strategies, tours, whatever…it comes down to songs. For worship leaders, do your songs lead people to the Lord? Are your songs connecting people to the father? If you are writing for congregational worship, are your songs singable? If you write prophetic worship, are you delivering a call to action or a word from heaven?If you write pop songs, do they have amazing hooks? It is so very important that the songs are there.

The other day we had a meeting about an artist. We had 7 songs and listened through them all. All good songs but there was not a KILLER song in the mix. A few day later one of our Artist Development guys came by with a new CD. We put it in and low and behold, the first song, from the same artist BAM! there IT WAS! THE song arrived. Radio said we have a single. Ideas started to flow. Plans could be made. People started to buzz, talk tours, managers, booking agents…We had the song that made the record.

A great example is Mat Kearney. Mat had a song. When Nothing Left To Lose hit radio and VH1 people stopped and took notice. Nothing Left To Lose was being put on movies, tv shows, radio..it was everywhere for a minute. An even bigger example is Rhianna’s Umbrella. Song of the year for sure (if not that Rehab, either one you can not miss).

What is the soundtrack for your life? Where can you use music to enhance what you do or make a bigger impact. The music “business” might be in trouble, but do not fret, music will never die. It is our job to find out how to distribute new memories in the form of songs to the masses.And it still will be all about the songs…

Today I had the great pleasure of talking with Ben Arment. Ben is a good friend and one of the bright minds in the church today. I really have enjoyed my relationship with Ben and I know God is positioning Ben for something really really great. 

Ben and I talked about church, music, strategy, conferences, marketing, and blogging. And this is how my conversation with Ben relates to you, the end user of this here little blog project. For over a year I have felt blogging was therapy for me, but that there had to be more that this blog could accomplish. Today Ben pointed out to me how this blog could be very unique. There are a ton of music and marketing blogs, but my blog could be more of a behind the record industry scenes type of blog. I dig the idea. At the same time, some of the revelation, inspiration, type thoughts I have are the items that have received the most comments. SO…without a relaunch, or a flashy marketing plan, or anything significant, lets watch the new direction take its course. Yes, some of you will now stop reading. It’s cool. Thanks for the few years we had together. Others will join, welcome, hope you enjoy it..

Look for new music, new ideas, new strategies, and behind the scenes looks at what it takes to make it in the music biz, with some additional inspiration and thoughts that I have to wrestle with from time to time

This should be fun. Focus is so important. I have been preaching it before I left Calvary and since I arrived at Integrity…now it is time to practice what I preach…enjoy

Ciao…

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