Business Matters: Bands Can Now Sign Up for Google+ Pages
Business Matters: Bands Can Now Sign Up for Google+ Pages

Google+ Pages + Your Band = Your Band In Google Search Results
-- Google has opened up its social network, Google+, to brands and businesses and made it easier for individuals to immediately connect with them. Google+ Pages is the business side of the social network. So if you're an artist who doesn't think Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter are enough, now there's a fourth option.

Page creation is easy yet tailored to specific types of entities. During the page set-up process, the page owner can choose from a number of entertainment categories such as album, concert tour, music band, music chart, record label, playlist and radio station. Companies and organizations

Google+ Pages has two things that its peers can't match: Google's dominance in search and a new feature called Direct Connect. Google says it will include Google+ pages in search results. That's hardly a surprise, but what remains to be seen is how prominent Google+ pages will be in search results. This seems like a lawsuit waiting happen after Google's social network competitors complain about the anticompetitive nature of favoring Google+ pages over their pages.

A new feature means users don't even have to see the search results to find a Google+ page. Direct Connect will allow Google search users to immediately find a Google+ page by typing "+" followed by the page of interest. For example, typing "+ Pepsi" will take the searcher directly to Pepsi's Google+ page without listing the search results. As a result, the consumer follows a shorter path to the brand or business's page. Google says there are currently a "limited number of pages" that work with Direct Connect (like +Google, +Pespi and +Toyota) but "many more are coming."
( Official Google Blog)

UK Film and Music Companies Want BT Telecom To Block Pirate Bay
-- As U.S. lawmakers consider PROTECT IP, a proposed bill that aims to reduce Americans' access to pirated digital material hosted outside of the country, businesses are ratcheting up the pressure to cut off U.K. Internet users from infringing sites.

A group of music and film companies have requested that British telecom BT block access to popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. According to various reports, British music trade group BPI wrote a letter to BT on behalf of the coalition and asked the company to comply voluntarily with its request or consent to a court order. The request comes just weeks after a court ordered BT to block access to Newzbin 2, a members-only site that collects links to copyrighted material. BT began blocking the site last week, although Newzbin 2 claims it has a workaround that allows its members to access the site. Newzbin 2 surfaced after Newzbin closed for legal reasons and relocated from the U.K. to the Seychelles.

A BT spokesperson confirmed to The Guardian it had received the coalition's letter and is "considering its response."
( The Guardian)

#1 Reason To Follow Brand, Company, Celebrity: Dinero
-- Social media followers of a brand, company or celebrity (BCC) are most interested in discounts, according to a Nielsen survey of consumers around the world. In North America, discounts and special offers are the primary reasons for following a BCC for 45 percent of consumers surveyed (the global average was 34 percent). Thirty-three percent follow a BCC to show their support.

Unfortunately, Nielsen did not break out artists from other celebrities - there could be a difference in motivation for following the two groups. Since discounts from artists and labels are more rare than they are from, say, a fast food chain, one might reasonably think people follow artists to get news and updates. Or maybe not. Nielsen says just 9 percent follow a BCC in order to be among the first to get news and updates (the global average was 18 percent).

With gift-giving season approaching and the economy on consumers' minds, Nielsen suggests brands and advertisers should take advantage of social media users' desire for incentives. The company's research shows "U.S. adults online who follow a brand or celebrity on social networking sites are 52 percent more likely than the average adult online to download an online coupon and nine percent more likely to shop online."
( NielsenWire)

How Bandcamp Is Like Tower Records On A Saturday in 1997

-- Not only did Bandcamp redo its homepage, the company added a feed that lists just-sold items and gives the artist, title, album art, sale price and country of purchaser. What's really cool is that an item will include a note if the buyer paid more than the minimum price of a pay-what-you-want product. You might be surprised how many people are paying $15 or $20 for albums with no minimum price.

"It's a bit of a firehose at times (particularly Tuesdays around noon PST), but it turns out that "someone just paid money for this" plus "this cover looks cool" is a great filter. It's kind of like lurking at the checkout counter at Tower on a Saturday in 1997, and the line has three switchbacks and the clerks are ringing people up as quickly as they can, but in this case the Tower is at least three times bigger, you can listen to everything that's being bought, and the customers are from every corner of the globe."

Bandcamp is the most quiet of direct-to-fan music services but has built a popular and effective product. As of Monday, artists had made a total of $10,781,872 and $827,953 in the last 30 days.
( Bandcamp blog)