Does the Internet Harm or Benefit the Music Industry?

Music_IndustryThe onset of digital age was met by a lot of criticisms by industries that felt tremendous backlashes in profit. One of these industries is the music industry. In its formative years, the Internet has been a nesting ground for piracies and illegal downloading of songs. This caused huge loss in profit.

The shock and bewilderment of distributors and artists, however, are slowly being smoothed out. They have now come up with various ways to earn through the Internet. They have come now close to the reality that the Internet is a fruitful market ground that can rake in bucks if used properly and strategically.

The World in 2014 published a report last 2013 that predicts the good times ahead for the music industry. According to this report, 2014 will be a year of profit and new business ventures. The main thing to get excited about is subscription services like Spotify and Deezer. These services allow users to stream music for one month for a small fee. They can also choose to listen to advertisements in exchange of streaming music.

Online radios such as Pandora and iTunes Radio will also shape the market. Replacing the physical radio so many of us still keep around for old time’s sake, online radios will introduce new songs to listeners. It will be bridge to connect up and coming artists and listeners. These services will widen the fan base of bands and artists, thus increasing album sales.

Mobile apps and online sites that promote concerts and sell tickets are also going to be good news for the industry. For example, sites like MusoTickets that sell Imagine Dragons tickets offer concert details and ticket options that make it easy for the consumers to choose, plan, and go to live performances.

To say the least, the Internet will be a huge help to promote new music. Starting bands and artists can benefit largely if they use the Internet to distribute and promote their songs.

There will also be an increase in efforts in fighting online pirates. Music industry rightholders are going to do new measures to curb piracy such as pressuring Google to demote pirate links in search rankings, forcing ISPs to block listeners from accessing piracy sites, and trying to hamper the ad revenues of the pirate sites.


How Spotify Can Help Save The Dying Industry Of Music

Spotify, a desktop music payer and mobile application, gives registered users immediate access to their library which contains millions of songs. It has been founded on April 2006 by Daniel Ek with Martin Lorentzon, his fellow Swedish entrepreneur. Together, they formed this application to obtain a single objective: to create an online platform that allows users to access their vast catalog and create a legal substitute to piracy and hopefully improve on the music industry.

Both creators admitted that they are obsessed with music and they want to improve everybody’s music experience. They do not only target the immediate consumers, but this app is also for artists and producers to have an enjoyable experience in the business.

Currently, because of Spotify, users are able to listen to music they haven’t yet before. Though, they have instantaneous access also to the music library, some songs have a premium value and would require payment. Though many people have the mentality of not wanting to pay for music, Spotify has changed that and users are more than willing to pay since for a small price, they are able to redefine and renew their love for music.

Spotify also improves the music industry because users support artists more. It would give a positive boost to the industry since consumers will be more willing to attend to concerts or other events. It would dramatically improve sales say for example, 2Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, or Blake Shelton tickets.

This music app has also featured success stories for starting rock bands that only had a few Facebook and Twitter pre-Spotify. Then, they were featured and the unexpected exposure has proven to be a great help for their emerging careers. It gave them new fans and boosted their digital album sales.

Spotify has been thought to be a game-changer in the music industry. Some even consider it as a beacon of hope since the problem on massive piracy kills the industry little by little. It aids it by making the people rekindle their love for songs and melodies. Lastly, more than serving millions of their consumers, they keep the best interest of artists in their minds and extend big help to them to further their careers.

The Science Behind Taking a Break

All work and no play dulls even the world’s brightest and richest business tycoon. Yes, there’s truth to that saying, and the science behind it has spoken for itself. In fact, more studies have proven this one same point over and over.

In a study of some 400 workers in a certain company, performance dropped with a decrease in their sleeping hours, leading researchers to conclude that amount of sleep is one of the best indicators of work-related burn-out. In another study conducted by Harvard scholars, it was found that US companies lose around $63 billion each year in terms of productivity.

On the other hand, a researcher from Stanford University, Cheri D. Mah, discovered that male basketball players who slept at least ten hours every night are more likely to dramatically improve their performance, as proven when the players improved their three-point and free-throw shots during practice by 9% each on average.

In yet another study, it was found that taking naps during the day can also have positive effects on performance. In the research, air traffic controllers who worked in the night shift were allowed to nap for 40 minutes each. After sleeping for an average of 19 minutes, the employees scored higher on tests that looked into their reaction time and vigilance.

And it’s not just about sleeping more, of course. In a study conducted by accounting giant Ernst & Young of its own staff, they found that for every ten hours added to their workers’ vacation time, their year-end performance ratings went up by 8%. Furthermore, it was shown that those who often took vacations were less likely to resign.

The point is obvious here – everybody needs their own personal time away from all the stresses of work, if only to perform even better in their jobs. If you’re worried about the costs of vacationing, who says you have to? It doesn’t have to be a trip to the Bahamas.

The important thing is to give your mind a break. For all you know, it can be about digging that secret cougar crush you’ve always had on one of those hot, young  artists today. Do Justin Moore tickets sound interesting? Or maybe you’ve always fantasized about meeting Katy Perry. That girl’s got tons of events you could crash, too! The information you need is all online.

It’s all about giving yourself some ME time. Something to relax that brain and give it a little candy, so when it’s time to get back to work, you’ve got everything all refreshed and energized. After all, that’s when you’re likely to be the most productive.

Financial Management Strategies for Families on Budget

When economy takes a downturn, many families suffer from budget constraints. Some of them may be forced to make sacrifices such as cutting costs on food, fuel, utilities and education. It is a pity, really, to see people suffering from the effects of poor economy and people are compelled to give up some necessities of life. Nonetheless, with certain methods, financial limitations can be managed successfully.

Financial management

You can pick up useful advice on financial management from reading business materials, or you can enroll in financial management classes to learn more about effective measures in coping with a tight budget. You may watch self-help videos online where you can listen to talks from financial managers. However be careful not to fall to traps from posers who pretend to be financial advisers but turn out to be scammers. The indication that you are being lured to scam is when the offers are too good to be true but you are not really receiving direct and concrete help regarding your situation.

Budgeting strategies

In this age, people are mostly enslaved to their credit cards. If you are among those who maintain more than three credit accounts, it is wise to discard the minor ones and maintain just one or two. For the rest of your expenses, use cash. By using cash when spending, you see the actual flow of your money. You also witness how quickly money slips from your hand whenever you purchase something. This will have an effect on your psyche and you will then become more conscious of your spending practice. It is easy to just swipe your credit card when shopping because you do not see the money you are spending. However with cash, the exchange of goods with your money happens right before your eyes.

Cutting down on travel expenses

It is nice to travel for leisure and fun. But in times of austerity, you need to limit your mobility expenses. Also, try to take vacations in places near your area to avoid more spending. One way to cut down on expenses without necessarily compromising the quality of time and money spent is taking the chance to watch a comedy show for entertainment. Contact Daniel Tosh Tour through its website.

Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs from Business Icons that Started Small

What do Amazon, Apple, Harley Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, and Mattel, have in common? Among other things, these companies all started in a garage, and they all show that enterprises with humble beginnings can become global corporations. These businesses and the people who started them have valuable lessons that all young entrepreneurs would do well to pay attention to.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Amazon chief Jeff BezosAt the age of 30, as vice-president of a Wall Street Firm, Jeff Bezos had a career that many would kill or die for, and yet he gave it up and relocated to Seattle in pursuit of a dream. Herein lies a four-letter word that expresses the first of many lessons from the founder of Amazon, the world’s largest online retail store: guts. It must have taken a lot of guts to give up what would seem like a dream job to many, but without that first plunge Amazon wouldn’t be what it is today.

Bezos understood from the beginning the importance of a brand name when you are building an online business. He chose the name Amazon for several reasons – because this was the name of what he believed to be the biggest river in the world, and he wanted his store to be the biggest online store. One other reason was the fact that, along with everything that begins with the letter A, his company’s name would be on the top portion of any alphabetical listing.

Bezos started with a list of what he believed would be the 20 items most saleable online and moved on to an essentially unlimited virtual inventory. Today, Amazon sells practically everything from baby food, to equipment, to cloud services, and it makes an annual profit of around $270 million.

So there you have it. Bezos of Amazon risked a very cushy job to pursue an iffy dream; he combined his lofty vision with pragmatism, and he started pretty small. When he put up his business it was initially slow on profit, but solid. He challenged the limits real space imposed by building a store housed in cyberspace instead of brick and mortar.

Steve Jobs and Apple

jobsSteve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started their company in the garage of Job’s childhood home in 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, California, and their first break came with the sale of 50 computers they hand built with the help of a small team. This drives home the point about being “hands on” when you start a business. You want to build an enterprise with an unlimited future? Know your product inside out; it’s the only way you will know how to improve it.

Most people subscribe to the idea of not fixing something if it’s not broken, but this was not the way Jobs thought. He introduced one innovation after another, constantly keeping the company in the lead and the public in suspense.

There are numerous lessons young entrepreneurs can learn from Steve Jobs and Apple, but being hands on and improving one’s product constantly can certainly count as among the most important.

William Harley and Arthur Davidson of Harley Davidson

William Harley and Arthur Davidson started their business in 1902 in what was actually more of a shed than a garage. It took them all of two years just to build a viable bicycle that could be powered by a motor, and this first model looked more like an ordinary bicycle that the Hogs that now cruise highways all over the world. The history of Harley Davidson tells every entrepreneur that some products need to evolve constantly, and you have to be ready to make adjustments where they are needed to achieve perfection.

Harley Davidson today is well known among riders as the company that allows them to create a custom-built ride. This identity has allowed it to survive two wars, the Great Depression, and numerous other challenges. Today, Harley Davidson ranks 449th in the list of Fortune 500 companies. This rank is admittedly nowhere as stellar a rating as Wal-Mart’s or Ford’s; still, the company earns $40 million a year just from licensing its brand and logo.

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard of Hewlett-Packard

The garage where Hewlett-Packard had its beginnings is now referred to as the birthplace of Silicon Valley. With $538 as their start-up capital, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard set up shop in the garage of Packard’s residence in Palo Alto. Their first product, an automatic indicator for bowling alley foul lines, didn’t sell. Their second product, an audio oscillator, sold all of a measly 8 pieces to Walt Disney. Here is where most young entrepreneurs can learn that many so-called successful companies actually cut their teeth on failure.

Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler of Mattel

The company name Mattel is actually a combination of the names of its founders, Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler of Mattel. When they first began their business, they produced picture frames. However, seeing that so much material was going to waste during production, they began to use scraps to make dollhouses. Pretty soon they were getting better sales from their dollhouses than their frames, and it was only a matter of time before toys became their main line. From this company entrepreneurs can learn the value of resourcefulness and keeping avenues open when it comes to developing new product lines.

Their Common Denominator

A close look at these five companies and their founders shows the presence of several common qualities. Their founders started small and learned the business like the backs of their hands. They worked hard, came up with a good and novel product, welcomed innovations, and they never tired of improving what they had. They earned every bit of success that came their way.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Reasons Why Backpacks are Hot Items on Sale Again

shopIf you are in the retailing business and you have tried selling backpacks, you might realize that your sales have increased recently. Well, you are not alone. In fact, a lot of business owners selling backpacks also felt the same. There is a drastic increase in the number of people buying backpacks. Yes, these items are always useful and so many people buy them. However, they are even more popular now. There are a lot of reasons behind it though.

Backpacks are for kids of all ages

When it comes to backpacks, you might easily associate them with schooling. You remember when you were still young and you have to go to school carrying your favorite bag. It was loaded with heavy books and other important items. Yet, you are still happy about it. However, when you started working in the corporate world, you are no longer using those bags. You start using briefcases or more formal bags. Well, it is no longer the trend these days.

Briefcases are good and useful. They also look elegant. However, their purpose is limited. You can’t put a lot of items inside them. Aside from a few documents and supplies, the rest can’t be accommodated anymore. As a result, you end up using more bags and carrying more wherever you go. Of course, many people don’t want this. Hence, backpacks became popular again. No one cares anymore what kids of bag you bring to the office. Even if you are just carrying a backpack as long as it looks fine and it can hold everything that you need, then you are good to go.

Office workers, teachers, people working on the field and many more are using backpacks these days. They find it more comfortable. These bags also have a lot of compartments where they can easily organize the items that they needed to bring. They are also sturdy and can last for a long time. The best part is that no matter how heavy the things are inside the bag, you can’t feel that much.

The advantage of a military backpack

Of all the hot backpacks on sale, military bags are among the most popular. To begin with, they look so cool and trendy. Anyone who wanted to look tough can use the bag. They are also filled with small and huge pockets. Therefore, if you wish to organize things of different sizes, it is very easy. They are also meant to last for a long time. Just imagine the actual bags used by military men. They are the made of the same materials. Thus, even if you think like you are going to a war every day, you won’t have anything to worry about. If you really want to use a Military backpack, then check out the best military bags.

Take advantage of the opportunity

If you are running a business or you intend to open up a business, this is the best time for you to make the most out of the popularity of military bags. You can invest on these bags and sell them. You can open up a store that offers military backpacks of different sizes or you can simply open an online shop.

The first thing that you have to do is to study your market and make sure that they will buy what you offer. It also helps that you listen to the trend as there might be other styles of backpacks that will be more popular in the future. Most of all, you have to get the word out there. If you have decided to launch a business, it is important to make others know about it. Put up posters, send flyers and buy a billboard space if you really want a huge business. If you are to run a simple business, then advertise online. Maximize the use of social media. Open a Facebook page to advertise your product. Advertise in blogs, forums and other opportunities that you can find. As soon as you get the word out there, you can expect orders to come flooding.

It is here to stay

You might think that just like any other trends, military bags too will fade. However, it is not necessarily the case. To begin with, they really are useful items. They are sturdy and they are worth the price. Therefore, a lot of people will spend their money to buy one. There are items that are meant to last long if people understand their importance.

Is Property Investment a Financially Wise Decision?

Row of Typical English Terraced Houses at London.

Given the global financial crisis, a lot of people say that it is not wise to make any investment at this point in time. With Greece crumbling down given its international debts and China’s economy plunging by several percent, it is indeed a risk to make any investment. Is it?

Though these international financial crises affect countries around the world in one way or the other, the truth is that it really depends on how you deal with your finances. If you think that you are doing things the right way, then you have nothing to worry about. If you know exactly what to invest and where to invest, then you can feel safe and confident with every move you make. You will only start to feel worried if you venture into something that you know nothing about.

What if you really want to invest?

Any form of invest, especially property investment, comes with a risk. You can gain a lot more or lose what you have invested in the end. However, you can brace yourself for all the challenges ahead. The first thing that you have to do is to learn the ins and outs of the investment that you are going into. Make sure that you study the details and learn everything about it. When you are knowledgeable, you will feel more confident with your venture.

You can start by asking friends who have tried property investment before. Seek for an honest advice from them. You can also attend seminars or crash courses related property investment. When you have prepared yourself for this challenge, the rest will be easy to deal with. It won’t guarantee your success by 100%, but it will at least boost your confidence before entering into an investment.

Once you have studied the basics and even the advanced details about property investment, the next thing that you should do is to try with something small. When you get the hang of it, then you can go for something big. You will feel confident this time if you already know how to play the game.

What if you lose?

When it comes to property investment, there is really no such thing as losing. Your property does not have to be sold for now. If you put it up in the market for a specific price and it is low, you don’t have to worry. You can just sell the property later. Take note that as long as the property is there and it is under your name, you can keep it. You can sell it later once the value increases. If it is situated in an area that is of great potentials, then you just have to wait for a few more years to see the positive results.

However, if you really felt like you didn’t earn that much, then try to evaluate what you have done. Study what you did wrong and try to improve the next time around. You can always do better. The same thing is true for businesses anyway. It does not mean that you are a total failure once you failed the first time. You can always give it a try.

What about the global crisis?

Let bigger financial investors worry about it. Take note that in 2010, the US was also on the brink of a financial collapse. However, the country managed to turn things around and improved the overall economy. If the other countries are suffering economically for now, it is just a temporary thing. They will still recover and rise above it. If your country is hit by a serious economic problem, then you don’t have to invest right away. However, as soon as everything starts to get better, then you can immediately make your move.

Property investment is really serious and it entails a lot of money for investment. However, the returns are massive. If you know how to play your cards right, you can benefit immensely from it. For now, you just have to study the options and learn about the details. You can also study other forms of investments. It is better that you know a lot more about these financial issues so you can be more confident once you delve into it. To top it all, you have to think about the future of your family. Do not let these international financial issues affect you in your decision making. You have to somehow take the risk if you want to see positive results in the future.

Simple Tips to Improve Small Businesses

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing business alone or with partners. The need for improvement to become profitable is the  main goal. Your business can either go down or go up. There’s no static mode even for small businesses. It’s a good choice to create strategies to improve your business. You only have to balance your time and choose the right area that impacts your profitability. Check out these tips that can help you in improving your business.

  1. Keep Score: Keep your cash flows updated. You can even hire an accountant to do it for you if you don’t know how get the job done. It’s amazing how business gains by keeping the daily, weekly and monthly financial trends. It’s the most basic thing you can do especially for newly started businesses.
  2. Set Your Business Goals: The importance of setting your goals is as important as keeping a score. Your objectives are substantial for future success. For example, you have to determine the future goal of selling the best ice cream maker in your area.
  3. High Impact Marketing: Make sure that you don’t waste your money on some ineffective marketing strategies. Acquire the knowledge of using low budget but high-impact marketing that your business needs.
  4. Good Business Presentations: You should know the power of excellent business presentations. It will help improve business to a different level that you can’t even imagine. It’s best to know the secrets to a great business presentation to increase profit.
  5. Keep Up With Trends: The ever changing market trends can affect your business’ performance. To avoid problems of operating in a vacuum, you need to stay currently updated on business trends and issues.
  6. Intensify Your Selling Skills: Remember that you can only gain profit if you know how to sell your products. You need to therefore improve you sales function. It doesn’t matter if you’re managing a sales team, the most important is the focus on sales improvement.

Don’t forget your limitations. Even the most successful business-owners like Bill Gates knows their  limitations. Knowing the type of entrepreneurship approach will help you improve areas of weakness.

Thai Coup: What’s the Economic Impact?

The continuing clashes of Thai government and anti-government protesters have a great impact on the economy. Protesters want the current Prime Minister and its members to resign. Chaos left Thailand practically a no-go district for tourists, with shopping stores,  restaurants and hotels closed.

Some shopping stores close their businesses because of protesters occupying the area last month. This seems to be unstoppable and could harm Thailand’s growing economy and scare foreign investors and tourists. This is more than drug addiction that needs inpatient drug rehab. Chaos like this will bring damage to the entire region.

Tourism contributes a lot to a country’s economic development. But given the Thailand situation, tourism is expected to decrease in rate. This is bad news because 6% of Thailand’s economy depends on foreign visitors. Tourists are now advised by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to rearrange their flight schedules or cancel it.

Clashes between protesters and soldiers left hotels with a 20% drop down on their income. If this problem will continue, it’s predictable that businesses will shut down and economy will be affected. Some shopping stores are bothered by the red shirt zone since the protest began.

Economists are forecasting a 20%  lower economic growth if the crisis will not be stopped. The country’s economy mostly depends on exports and surely, the performance this year will be highly affected. Exporters want business assurance and it will not be given to them if the current situation will not be resolved.

The fear of foreign investors is inevitable due to continuing protest and chaos. Some Japanese clients are already delaying their contract signing because of the risk of sales. Some foreign investors are also planning to withdraw their investment since last month, leaving Thailand’s stocks the cheapest in Asia to date.

The country really needs help in facing this problem. They need allies to resolve the chaos that may bring the people and the nation down. Tourists and foreign investors will not gain the courage to spend money if the crisis will worsen. Remember that this is a worldwide phenomenon that affects even the world economy.  Crippling Thailand’s business sector has a huge impact on economic growth.

Government Assistance for Single Moms

A single mom’s life is full of difficulties. With numerous sufferings and challenges, it can be a lifetime of pain and struggle. However, the difficulties of life can be eased with the help of right assistance program in the sidelines. Seeking help in the time of need is very vital to take the maximum advantage. Putting some time looking for different programs is one good idea to pick the most suitable one. Local government offices can be contacted to help find out details of the program. It’s important to study the eligibility and features of different programs before applying for them.  The Federal government offers Government Help for Single Mothers in a variety of forms.

Rental Assistance for Single Mothers is specifically meant for single mothers who need help in paying their periodic rent. Mortgage loans and housing loans are also available to single moms at a low interest rate. The Government provides facility in low amount for down payment to avail the home loans.

FHA Mortgage Program

The FHA Mortgage program. is an organization that has been assisting single mothers to purchase homes since the 1930s. The FHA insures loan so lenders are able to offer more to single moms seeking for housing, including:

· Smaller Down Payments

· Lower Closing Costs

· Flexible Qualifying Guidelines

The FHA is able to help single mothers in many ways:

1. They can minimize the required down payment to as low as 3.5% of the housing purchase price.

2. Fees and closing costs can also be included within the loan.

3. The loan can be refinanced to assist single mothers with needed home repairs after they purchase the property.

They also help single mothers to purchase mobile homes, whether they’re on land or in a mobile home park. This is good news because mobile homes are usually less expensive than a traditional home prices so it increases the chance for a more affordable home.

Daycare Assistance for Single Mothers is specifically provided to help single mothers who are attending a full time job while taking care of their toddler . Many single moms who are in the middle of a divorce cannot pursue it further because of financial limitations, they can ask for Legal Help for Single Mothers.

Marathons Contributes to Local Economies

There are lots of famous road races around the globe. Boston Marathon is one of them. It doesn’t only invite local participants but foreigners as well. It’s good to join in road races because of its health benefits. That’s why wearing the best running shoes for flat feet during marathons is necessary for a better running experience.

But it’s not only beneficial to your health but to local economies as well. Contribution of road races to the economy is a familiar topic. But you will not know its importance if you don’t understand how it works.  You see GDP’s with dollar signs ranging into millions but without proper knowledge you wouldn’t know what it means.

The truth is that marathon and tourism generates economic activity. Some runners are visitors from different countries around the world. Essentially, they are foreign travelers coming in for vacation. Large races usually benefits from the huge spending these visitors are willing to spend. They will eventually pay their hotel accommodations and meals during their stay and this is a great contribution to the local economy.

It’s undeniable that runners from out of town or out of the country need a place to stay and food to eat. This is the reason why famous marathons like Boston marathon, Chicago marathon generate millions of economic activity. Usually runners participating in these marathons are not from the area but from other from countries.

It’s a way to invite visitors. Runners come for the race but they want to stay for 4 days or 3 nights to experience the city. Exploring the city needs money therefore adding to the local income. In other hand, these races bring out many spectators. Friends and families want to watch their loved ones race and spend more money as they stay to witness the marathon. These large numbers are the GDP plus the average consumption that the event generates.

Another contribution is creation of job and the taxes created during the event. Increase of full time employment is visible in road racing events. Plus taxes generated are higher than usual. These paid taxes are used to continue government projects like road enhancement, school improvement and health care benefits.