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Site placement can make a dramatic difference to your release’s sales.

Every week, the label management team at Kudos sits down and reviews all our digital releases. We then decide our placement strategy; which tracks we are going to pitch for site placement to which store.

We use a number of criteria to decide which store to pitch a given release to. Some digital stores are very genre specific, others will only feature an artist with a track record and sales history, or a high level of pre-sales. We also look at what additional assets we have, such as an exclusive bonus track, or whether there is an option for a short exclusive sales period.

If you log in to your label portal and navigate to ‘Digital’ and click on ‘Screenshots’ you can select your new release and see exactly what we have pitched for.

list on portal

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If you’re a Kudos distributed record label, then you will be able to take full advantage of our recent new development; K-Shops. If you haven’t set yours up yet, please get in contact with your label manager.

It’s incredibly easy to integrate your K-Shop with your existing websites and Facebook fan-pages. No need to be an expert with html, php and css, it’s simply a case of selecting a few options and then copying and pasting some text!

The first thing you’ll want to do is personalise the look and feel of your K-Shop. If you look at the example below, you’ll see that Freestyle Records have inserted their own header graphic by uploading theirs via the admin panel, and they’ve customised the colours of the various elements to match their own branding.

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If you are thinking of ditching the expensive and often wasteful activity of posting out physical promos copies, and fancy moving across to a digital promo platform, you could do worse than create your own DIY digital promo system.

You can create a pretty effective system using a combination of SoundCloud, Google Docs, Blogger. and Dropbox.  All these services provide free accounts with enough functionality for your purposes. In fact, those nice SoundCloud people are offering discounts on SoundCloud Pro Accounts to Kudos Distributed Labels. You will find the discount code on our label portal (where you get your statements, and complete your metadata)  in the updates section.  Google Docs and Blogger requires a Google Account (if you use Gmail, you already have one of these).  A 2GB dropbox account is free.

1/ Create a Set for your release in SoundCloud.  SoundCloud is very intuitive to use.  Upload your audio (MP3s are fine, SoundCloud can handle most formats).   Complete the details for each track, and upload the cover art.  Before you finish, navigate to your favourite pre-order supporting download store (7 digital works pretty well, as does Juno and Play.com) and provided you have completed your metadata on our digital portal in good time (a couple of weeks earlier), you should be able to find the pre-order link for your release.  Copy this link and paste it into the “buy this set” link.  You can always add this later if the link isn’t available yet.

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Increasing Japanese Support
In addition to our supply of Japanese translations to iTunes, we’re happy to reveal a further avenues for translations. The DDEX metadata format – touted as the future standard for all metadata – can deliver translations for search and display purposes. All opted-in releases will be delivered with translations going forward, and if you selected to translate any of your previous releases they will automatically be redelivered to all DDEX compliant stores with translations added.

Automatic Pre-orders
We are now automatically setting up preorders on all releases sent to iTunes. Preorders can boost sales and help to bump up your first week figures, increasing your chances of charting (both on the iTunes store and in the official charts). However due to iTunes guidelines, we can only set up preorders on products with standard or premium track pricing and a bundle price of less than standard (ie. Budget or Mid-price). If you would like your release to be available on preorder et iTunes, make sure you lower the bundle price accordingly.

We’ve added iTunes real-time reporting to our suite of online tools, allowing labels to monitor iTunes sales as they come in. This augments our existing reporting tools, which include chart and feature monitoring and detailed sales breakdowns.

Kudos are happy to welcome an exciting new unlimited music service to our distribution network.

The good news is that the Kudos Records catalogue will soon be available to all through Rdio!

Amazon Disc-On-Demand

Kudos Digital is now distributing to Amazon’s Disc On Demand service which allows retailers to manufacture products when they receive an order. You supply the parts (audio, metadata images), a customer orders your CD, the retailer makes one and sends it to them. No need to worry about manufacturing costs or over-production.

The service is currently only available in the US but is planned to extend to other territories in the future.

“Disc on Demand is not only making out-of-print albums available once again, but it’s also enabling digital-only titles and international titles that haven’t been released in the U.S. to be made available on CD. Music lovers and artists can now share and discover new music more easily on Amazon.”Peter Faricy, vice president of music and movies at Amazon.com.

Playdio service to launch in early June, with opening shows by Phill Jupitas & Phil Wilding,  Peter Curran, Mark Webster, Dom Servini, TALC. More presenters to be confirmed shortly.

Occasionally, the solution to a problem addresses issues and provides features you weren’t even considering. That’s what we’ve found with Playdio. The problem we were addressing was how to create podcast-type content with fully licenced music. There have been a number of initiatives in the podcasting community over the past few years trying to tackle this very issue including attempts at blanket podcast agreements, or very specific one off waivers. These solutions are very limiting and cumbersome, and in the case of blanket licensing agreements they are also unfair to artists, as the distribution of licensing income usually relies on download and repertoire estimates.

Of course, regardless of the licensing mechanism, the overriding issue for a podcaster or programme maker is this: how do you compensate a licence holder for exploiting their work if the medium you are working in doesn’t even provide the programme maker with an earning mechanism?

By hosting radio shows in a streaming music environment, we immediately solve the primary issues of licensing and earning. All the music is fully licenced AND there is an earning mechanism for the show’s producer. Bingo!

However, the real beauty is the monetisation method… The adverts and subscriptions are completely remote from the program itself.  This ‘indirectness’ frees the programme maker to create the radio show he or she wants, without ever having to consider the whims or motives of a sponsor.  It is one of the few examples of an advertising funded model where advertising pays the piper, but doesn’t call the tune.

The other, almost incidental feature, is the control the consumer has over the show, and the additional richness of the listening experience. Listeners to a Playdio show can accurately navigate forward and back through the playlist, but perhaps more importantly, they can move ‘sideways’, navigating through an artist’s complete catalogue, adding tracks to their own playlist, and buying MP3s direct from the client as they go. Playdio shows are an ideal avenue into music discovery.

Playdio, as an idea, isn’t revolutionary. It’s simple… almost obvious. We certainly wouldn’t claim to have invented anything. In fact, the best we can say about Playdio is that we’ve dreamt up a novel chassis to sit on some very clever wheels. We plan to open the showroom in early June.

Stay tuned…

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