check out Musicplasma

A colleague of mine, Jon Yeo (alas, no blog yet), points me towards Musicplasma, a graphical variation on the very useful theme of connecting you from one musical artist you like to another similar artist. I'm not sure yet of how accurate its reporting is... Lou Reed is placed next to Emerson, Lake, Palmer?? But I haven't yet spent a lot of time checking it out, so I defer my review until a later time.

You know how the RIAA justifies the margins record companies make on CD sales by pointing at how much it costs to record, promote and distribute an artist's work? Well we all know the downwards pressure Moore's Law is having on the cost of producing music. And we all know that there are new and proven ways beginning to emerge for the distribution of music to the marketplace. So that's two out of three down. What about promotion? Are services like Musicplasma the future of promotion?

On the flight back from the USA last night I watched “School Of Rock”. There's a funny scene early in the film with Jack Black's character ranting to his students:  “Give up, just quit, because in this life, you can't win. Yeah, you can try, but in the end your just gonna lose, big time, because the world is run by the man. The Man, oh you don't know the man. He's everywhere... in the Whitehouse... down the hall -Ms. Mullens, she's the man. And the man ruined the ozone, he's burning down the Amazon, and he kidnapped Shamu and put her in a chlorine tank! And there used to be a way to stick it to the man, it was called Rock and Roll, but guess what, oh no, the man ruined that too with a little thing called MTV! So don't waste your time trying to make anything cool or pure or awesome cause the man is just gonna call you a fat washed up loser and crush your soul. So do yourselves a favor and just GIVE UP!“

I don't watch a lot of music TV, deliberately don't have cable, so I learn about new music from word of mouth or by hunting it down, either live or online (like at AllMusic, one of my favourite sites). So I'm keen to find new ways of discovering music I might like.

Comments (7)
  1. Jon Yeo :-) says:

    What you are referring to is viral marketing. I have actually seen active marketing of this technique in a documentary. People in the US get paid to do this!

    The technique used above is memory mapping. There used to be other sites that did this online (alas no more) but check out It is based on how the brain remembers things but thats another story 😉

  2. I think Hotmail set the standard for viral marketing. I remember when we were putting on 100,000 new Hotmail customers a week or something ridiculous like that. But yeah, I guess viral marketing for music or other digital entertainment-related IP is something that I am yet to see take off. It’ll be interesting to see who really grabs that monkey by the horns.

  3. Jon Yeo says:

    I stand corrected. is working (if you have java on your machine). Its hard to tell initially. 🙂

  4. Luis Francisco Silva says:

    MusicPlasma seems cool, although sometimes it appears to end up making some odd associations of artists. I have a rather wide taste in music (from The Cure and New Order to Metallica and Slayer to Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers, passing through some south american rock bands) so it was kinda cool seeing how bands on totally different music genres were just a few clicks away from each other.

    One method I have used before to discover new music/artists I end up liking is using suggestions (based on other people’s purchases). Although sometimes it’s rather obvious (it’s very likely that if you’re into New Order music you may have heard Monaco), there’s always the chance you discover a grest artist you weren’t aware of.

    Regarding the music industry, you may find this interview with Apple’s Steve Jobs quite good. It provides some insight into how record companies operate and the challenges behind changing music distribution methods.

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