One of the things we’re tracking at Music Ally is how artists and labels are using mobile and online to promote music. And since we’re tracking it on an ongoing basis, we thought it was worth rounding up some of the notable campaigns for last month.Not all are straight digital marketing campaigns – some are more distribution deals – but we think they give a snapshot of what companies are up to. See what you think.1. AC/DC Excel video (above). Sony BMG turned the new video from the Aussie rockers into an ASCII-art video, embedded into an Excel spreadsheet. The idea: fans would be able to email it round workplaces without fear of getting carpeted by bosses. Watch It2. Pink branded iPhone application. Sony released a free branded iPhone app for Pink’s new Funhouse album, with 30-second previews of tracks, as well as photos, news and a discography. Cleverly, it had direct links to buy the songs on the iTunes Store. Download It3. Ben Folds The Sounds Of Last Night. Another wizard-wheeze from Folds, who’s one of the more digitally-savvy artists around. He’s recording one track a night on his US tour, and releasing it the next day on iTunes as a digital download. It’s a distro deal, then, but also a great way of promoting his music. More Info4. A Cursive Memory cameraphone codes. Cameraphone (or ‘QR’) codes are popular in Japan, but pretty much unknown in the rest of the world. However, US band A Cursive Memory is using the technology through an app called ScanLife. Codes are placed on posters for the band’s new album, and when photographed using a ScanLife-equipped mobile, the user is taken to a WAP site to get free wallpapers, watch a video and buy ringtones. More Info5. Dido Nectar compo. UK loyalty scheme Nectar has recently launched its own digital music store, and to promote it they’re holding a competition to win a trip to the US to Dido’s album-launch party. What Dido gets out of it is an enormous mail-shot to Nectar’s UK customers – and prime placement on their music store too. More Info6. Zune artist podcasts. Microsoft is launching a series of artist-focused podcasts for its Zune player, branded as ‘The Green Room’ (isn’t that also the name of Nokia’s music TV show?). It’s kicking off with Common, Oasis, T.I, Dierks Bentley and Seun Kuti. More Info7. Asylum Records online games. Hip-hop label Asylum Records teamed up with web games firm PopJax to launch a series of online games based on its artists. They take the form of customised quiz games with video and trivia questions, to be hosted on both companies’ websites, as well as on MySpace. More Info8. Nick Harrison in The Secret World of Sam King. Universal Music Group has been breaking new artists in Bebo’s online TV drama The Secret World of Sam King – for example, singer/songwriter Nick Harrison, whose video fans of the show were invited to appear in. The show was getting 100,000 people tuning in a day at the height of its run. More Info9. Tool getting creative with Guitar Hero World Tour. Rock band Tool didn’t just want to license tracks to the new Guitar Hero game – they asked if they could be involved creatively, and ended up designing a virtual venue based on their artwork and videos. More Info10. Britney Spears joined Twitter. In fact, Britney’s post-insanity comeback is pretty Web 2.0 savvy on all fronts, but Twitter is the one that’s got most publicity. It started badly, with pure promotional messages, but has since evolved into a more conversational feed. You can laugh at the idea of signing up to updates on what Spears has been up to with the kids, but Britney’s people are clearly getting the hang of this new fan interaction thingy. Read Her Tweets11. John Legend Spotify exclusive. We’ve been hearing pretty universal praise for new streaming service Spotify in recent weeks, but the company isn’t resting on its laurels. It bagged an exclusive pre-release stream of John Legend’s new album Evolver for its Swedish paying users, who got to listen to the album the weekend before its release. More Info12. E-postcards from Ricky Martin. Nowadays, Livin’ La Vida Loca means paying $3.99 to send a personalised Ricky Martin video greeting to your friends over the internetweb. No, really. Ricky is the first celeb on board Postcards From The Stars, a Puerto Rican venture. He recorded greetings for 100 Spanish and 100 English names, 100 city names and 50 special occasions – and these are then strung together for the e-vid-cards. More Info13. Nokia’s Comes With Music benches. How to promote your new Comes With Music service (apart from splurging on radio and TV ads, obviously)? If you’re Nokia, you send some colourful benches travelling around the country, which when sat on, allow people to listen to some of the UK’s favourite tunes. Nifty, even if one of those tunes – Hey Jude – isn’t actually available on Comes With Music). More Info14. REPO soundtrack on BitTorrent. Less of a marketing scheme, more of a hopeful piracy deterrent, this. Film director Darren Bousman (of Saw fame) urged fans to upload fake versions of the soundtrack to his new film REPO to BitTorrent, to foil pirates. It probably won’t work, but drums up awareness of the film nicely. More Info15. Christina Aguilera iLike video exclusive. Christina is the latest star to sign up for some exclusive marketing on music site iLike. In her case, she debuted the video for her new Keeps Gettin’ Better single on the site – and iLike said she was the first major artist to do so. We would say iLike is the new MTV, if there weren’t 18 other music sites also claiming to be the new MTV… More Info16. Snow Patrol also get a branded iPhone app. It came out the same week as Pink’s, which in our book makes a HOT TREND. Anyway, Snow Patrol’s took a more arty approach, getting users to unfold coloured paper to discover lyrics and videos. It was free, and has apparently been going great guns on the App Store. Download It17. Nokia’s N-Gage Dance Fabulous game. Okay, this doesn’t come out until next year, but it was announced in October, so counts. It’s a mobile game for phones with Nokia’s N-Gage platform on, and is a music rhythm game. However, the marketing angle is that it’ll feature a new artist, Cindy Gomez, whose songs will be in the game, as well as her avatar. Ex-Eurythmic Dave Stewart brokered the deal, as part of his ambassadorial role with Nokia. More Info18. Queen + Paul Rodgers’ virtual world listening party. You might think that artists doing stuff in virtual worlds is so 2007, but that didn’t stop Queen from commissioning a warehouse-themed virtual world to hold a listening party for their new album. Visiting fans could stream the album, watch archive videos and buy merchandise. More Info19. Pepsi Maxcast on MySpace. Pepsi has rounded up a bunch of ‘tastemakers’ to curate collections of their favourite music, to be streamed to users via embedded players on MySpace. Among the initial batch of curators are indie frontman Carl Barat and dancebloke Sam Sparro. The site will also include interviews and video profiles of the curators, as well as a section for unsigned bands. Have A Look20. Tap Tap Revenge: Nine Inch Nails version. iPhone game Tap Tap Revenge has been around for a while now as a free download, but there’s now a premium version featuring songs from the last two Nine Inch Nails albums for users to tap along to. It costs $4.99 in the US, and ties in with a competition for NIN gig tickets and a signed guitar. Download ItPhew. If you’re a label, artist manager or anyone else running campaigns you think should be in November’s list, do contact us. Music Ally covers these stories and more in our subscription service, which includes a daily email bulletin and a fortnightly PDF report. For a free two-week trial, click here.

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