The 360 Deal

A collection of genuinely helpful advice for people starting out in the music industry.

An incredibly diverse range of people with a lot of experience in music and the music business each give the best possible advice they can think of to pass on to someone just starting out on that journey… and all the proceeds are going to an amazing music charity in India.

The book will grow over time with automatic, free updates as more advice from musicians and music business professionals from around the world are collated and added to the project. We’re working towards 360 contributions.

Buy The 360 Deal here for $3.60 – or more if you prefer.

Find out more about The 360 Deal.

Radio in the Digital Age

The changes to the medium of radio since the advent of digital technology call into question what it is we even call radio anymore. Radio may now be different in terms of its production processes, the kinds of jobs radio professionals do, whether professionals are even involved in its creation, the method of transmission, the devices we use to listen, the kinds of programmes we hear, and even how we behave as audiences and participants.

Radio in the Digital Age was published in November 2013 by Polity Books. Here’s their blurb:

Radio’s influence can be found in almost every corner of new media. Radio in the Digital Age assesses a medium that has not only survived the challenges of a new technological age but indeed has extended its reach. This is not a book about digital radio, but rather about the medium of radio in its many analogue and digital forms in an age characterised by digital technologies. The context of the digital age reveals new insights about the nature of radio.

In this important addition to the world of radio scholarship, Dubber provides a theoretical framework for understanding the medium – allowing for complexity and contradiction, while avoiding essentialism and technological determinism. Introducing radio as a series of practices and phenomena that can be understood through a range of discursive categories, this book explores the relationships between radio, music, politics, storytelling and society in a new and thoughtful way.

This book will make essential reading for students of media, communication, broadcasting and the digital industries. It offers a timely and comprehensive introduction for anyone who wishes to understand the role of radio in today’s media landscape.

Buy it here or get it on Amazon UK or Amazon US

Find out more about Radio in the Digital Age.

Music in the Digital Age

Music is both culture and commerce. Those two things are inextricably linked. Just as the changes brought by the Electric Age were profoundly disruptive to the musicians, businesses and fans of music when it first came along, so too are those brought by the Digital Age. My aim is to help you understand and adapt to those changes.

I am writing Music in the Digital Age right now – but you can buy this book as a work in progress — which means that you get to read it as I write it. And you can pay whatever you want for it.

Buy Music in the Digital Age here.

Understanding the Music Industries

This book is designed as an overview and introduction to the music industries for undergraduate students, college students and interested observers. Chris Anderton, Martin James and I focus strongly on the changes in the contemporary environment, and the influence of digital technologies and new innovations on studio production, copyright law, distribution methods and independent music business strategies – as well as the concerns of the major music businesses across the sector.

Published by Sage (2012), the textbook is already widely in use in universities and colleges around the world.

Here’s the blurb:

Everyone knows music is big business, but do you really understand how ideas and inspiration become songs, products, downloads, concerts and careers? This textbook guides students to a full understanding of the processes that drive the music industries. More than just an expose or ‘how to’ guide, this book gives students the tools to make sense of technological change, socio-cultural processes, and the constantly shifting music business environment, putting them in the front line of innovation and entrepreneurship in the future.

Packed with case studies, this book:

– Takes the reader on a journey from Glastonbury and the X-Factor to house concerts and crowd-funded releases;
– Demystifies management, publishing and recording contracts, and the world of copyright, intellectual property and music piracy;
– Explains how digital technologies have changed almost all aspects of music making, performing, promotion and consumption;
– Explores all levels of the music industries, from micro-independent businesses to corporate conglomerates;
– Enables students to meet the challenge of the transforming music industries.

This is the must-have primer for understanding and getting ahead in the music industries. It is essential reading for students of popular music in media studies, sociology and musicology.

You can buy Understanding The Music Industries on Amazon.

The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online

The original New Music Strategies e-book is still (almost) as relevant and useful today as it was when it was released over five years ago. It’s now available for Kindle and iPad as well as a PDF version. The newer work, Music in the Digital Age (above) refers to and updates this book – but this one’s still available if you’re interested.

Here’s the blurb:

You’re always hearing that the music business has changed. That’s not quite true. In fact, it’s changing – and that’s quite a different thing.

Facing that change, and negotiating it as it happens, is one of the biggest challenges for independent music businesses. the best way to navigate in such interesting times is to really understand what’s going on around you, so you can adapt and respond appropriately.

You don’t have to be a computer whiz – you just have to understand some basic principles. I reckon there are about 20 of them. If you understand these, and apply their principles, you’re off to a good start in the new media environment.

They’re in no particular order. They’re all important. I’ll start by listing them, and then I’ll go into each in a bit more detail.

You can download your copy of the book and pay whatever you want – including zero.

The LPFM War 2004

New Zealand is the only country in the world where anybody who wants to can simply buy an FM transmitter, switch it on and start broadcasting. You don’t have to ask anyone. You don’t have to pay for the frequency. But there are some rules.

It creates an interesting situation, and its one that other countries (especially Britain) could learn from. You can gain a lot by letting go of some of the restrictions on the spectrum. That said, it’s not without it’s problems. And these problems came to a head in May 2004. Tempers were high. Extreme measures were being contemplated. Sabotage was occurring pretty regularly.

But like many problems, these are the sort that can be addressed by getting a bunch of people in a room and talking about it. What started as something of a war became something of a delicately held peace through cooperation, collaboration and the willingness to compromise in order to make it work for everyone. Because a worse thing than losing a bit of valuable ground is having it all taken away from you.

This is a series of blog posts I wrote at the time that explains what happened, and what I decided to do about it. I’m not taking credit for the work that’s been done. Not by any stretch of the imagination. All I did was put the right people in the same room with each other. A catalyst, if you like. Right person, right place, right time.

But the fact that the Low Power FM Association of New Zealand still exists, meets and solves these sorts of problems ten years later is something I’m very proud of.

Get The LPFM War 2004 here.

1001 Whiskies You Must Try Before You Die

This is a book that my friend Clutch and I co-wrote with dozens of other whisky writers from around the world.

Don’t worry – we didn’t go through and taste more than about 50 of them. But what it does mean is that we have now gone from being “whisky bloggers” to “whisky authors”. Must remember to change that on the bio.

I’m looking forward to seeing this one in print. Looks like a lovely coffee-table book and might be a nice one for Christmases and birthdays.

Interestingly, it was edited by my nemesis.

You can buy this on Amazon for £10 at the moment. That’s half price. Bargain.

Warning: Actually trying 1001 whiskies (especially using the serving size suggested on the cover of the book) will pretty much ensure that you do die – unless you plan to spread it over, say, a decade or three.

30 Ideas in 30 Days: An Experiment in Everyday Innovation

This is a series of blog posts from March 2010. I had hit upon the idea of undertaking a series of thirty day projects rather than do a grand ‘New Year’s resolution’. This thirty day project was simple: have an idea, tell people the idea. One a day for thirty days.

There are some great ideas in here. There are some not so great ideas. Some of the ideas have been made into real projects. Most haven’t. But I thought the project was an interesting one, and other people seem to have thought so too. I’ve been interviewed on radio, in newspapers and featured on other blogs about it. People seem to remember it and I do get asked about it.

I thought I’d collect it all together and turn that into an ebook so that anyone can download it, read it, share it around and do whatever else they’d like to do with it.

Get 30 Ideas in 30 Days: An Experiment in Everyday Innovation here.

How to Make Wishes That Come True

This is a book about doing, getting, being and contributing what we really want in life. In this book, you’ll learn practical, proven steps that you can take to achieve your goals – or, as I prefer to think of it, make your wishes come true. Nothing mystical – and not just the sort of wishes that pop into your head from time to time – but REAL wishes. Wishes that reflect your true hopes, dreams and aspirations. And then you’ll learn how to make them come true – reliably, systematically and beyond all your expectations.

You should buy this book.

Find out more about How to Make Wishes That Come True.

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