Earl Patrick McNease, better known as Praverb the Wyse, passed on September 17. I didn't start checking out his DIY industry blogging until this summer and I was late to the news of his passing as well. But the response on Facebook and in the hip hop press makes it clear how deeply he touched the lives of many different people. Here are a few of those responses followed by links to some of Praverb's writing for DIY musicians.
A new report on safety, crowd control and brand protection during SXSW is now adding additional heat to ongoing discussions about how best to address the incredible growth of the festival's ecosystem which includes many unofficial events. The report not only suggested that SXSW might move if not satisfied but proposed what has become known as a "Clean Zone" approach to the festival. SXSW says that's not what they're looking for but changes need to be made. So how about splitting up SXSW into three separate events?
I’m in the process of updating the Solveig & Stevie EPK (electronic press kit) for our new album release. I also have several friends and clients who have just released albums or EPs, and are sending them out for review or airplay consideration. As usual, I thought perhaps you, my dear readers and fellow musicians, might benefit from my learning process. I’ve also included links to more resources at the bottom of this post.
asQme is bridging the divide between Japanese fans and English-speaking artists in the first stage of what has the potential to be a very successful site. asQme takes an "Ask Me Anything" aka AMA approach across language barriers with Steve Aoki the first artist on tap. It will be a chance for fans to ask questions in Japanese and have the English language response translated into Japanese. Variations on that theme are planned suggesting possibilities that are much bigger.
So Thom Yorke, famed early adopter, dropped an alpha-stage BitTorrent Bundle with some free stuff and some stuff you pay for. The new part was that instead of trading an email address for the stuff that wasn't free you now pay real money for it. What's the big deal? With BitTorrent Bundles, BitTorrent, the company, has created direct access for all sorts of artists to a large community that uses the BitTorrent protocol and includes a significant portion that spend money on music. Not only that, but BitTorrent intends to seek RIAA certification so that sales count on the charts. It's all win.
When social media first appeared and spread around the world several years ago, it was billed as a fun way to keep in touch with family and friends. In the decade or so since, however, it’s taken on a life of its own. Social media has become incredibly important for everyone, whether it's used for up-to-the-minute news on Twitter, companies communicating with their customers, or bands promoting their shows. Like it or not, social media is inescapable, and staying on top of your game is paramount.
Hiring a publicist can be a daunting task - especially in the music business. There are infinite agencies and independent professionals who will quickly over promise and under deliver simply because they're unfamiliar with the industry. Knowing what to look out for and what questions to ask could make all the difference in the quest to get coverage. Do you know what artist to publicist ratio to seek when making agency inquires? Or what information to seek up front before making a commitment? Let us help clear things up.
Live Nation has announced that Prince and his band 3RDEYEGIRL will perform live on the Live Nation Channel on Yahoo for 'PlectrumElectrum and ArtOfficilAge,' as part of an exclusive album release party. In addition to the live stream, fans will get an exclusive behind the scenes look at Prince's Minnesota studio complex and lair, Paisley Park, where Prince has recorded many of his most recognized musical creations.
Some people are reasonably upset about fans paying good money for a Lauryn Hill show that was disappointing. That sort of thing is always upsetting. But at least two of them have turned that disappointment into an attack on Lauryn Hill. Talib Kweli weighed in with an extreme take along the lines of Lauryn Hill's given us so much that we cannot criticize. But it's a simple situation. Lauryn Hill has a history of unpredictability so buying a ticket is a roll of the dice. You already knew that so why the drama?
Ello. If you haven't heard of it yet you would have without my help. The media needs a new social networking topic and Ello is perfect. It's ad-free, anti-Facebook and cool with drag queens. Does that mean it's time for musicians to get on board for an ad-free, non-Facebook social media experience? That depends on a lot of things but there is a lot of energy moving into Ello at the moment and there is an opportunity to be an early adopting musician with a lot of new friends and music to share.
An article in today’s Guardian caught my eye: “Ello might or might not replace Facebook, but the giant social network won’t last forever.” To save you the hassle of actually reading the article, Ello is a relatively new social network (an ‘anti-Facebook with a conscience’ apparently – given that it’s funded by venture finance capital, I won’t hold my breath about the conscience bit); it is growing at a rapid rate and might one day replace Facebook as the world’s dominant social network (or not).
Pandora's new #ThumbMoments campaign may be awkwardly named but it's a pretty cool effort to delight individual fans. Basically a fan hits the thumbs up like button on an artist's song and they're surprised with a FaceTime video chat and personal concert by that artist. The program kicked off with Lindsey Stirling surprising some of her fans who then had a couple of ways to participate while Stirling played so they didn't just sit there. What a great #ThumbMoment!
When it comes to coverage, "lead time," or the amount of advance notice a publication needs to assign an article before its run date, is an essential consideration for artists. While it may not seem necessary for a baby band to employ the same lead time strategies as record labels and more established artists, remember that everyone is competing for the same resources as everyone else.
Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters is claiming that it is now the world's number one seller of vinyl records. According to a report by Forbes, the claim was made by Urban Outfitter’s Chief Administrative Office Calvin Hollinger during a conference call with industry analysts. “Music is very, very important to the Urban customer … in fact, we are the world’s number one vinyl seller,” Hollinger said.
When fans were buying tickets to select Belgian festivals this summer, they were asked to add their favorite song to special Spotify playlist. Upon arrival at the venue to claim their tickets, they were identified and a hexacopter drone deployed to follow them while flashing it lights and playing their favorite song as they entered the festival area. The stunt was sponsored by mobile carrier BASE, which offers subscribers discounted access to Spotify Premium. WATCH:
By Yannick Ilunga from The Jazz Spotlight.
When it comes to the online world, having an email list is one of the most important features a website can have. While having a lead magnet such as a free giveaway (e.g. free song, ebook, etc.) is an excellent way to attract people into subscribing to your newsletter, there are a few tricks that you can use to increase the number of your subscribers.
Creating a music video that stands the test of time is tough, but not impossible. (In fact, narrowing this list to only four is almost as difficult!) Having a hit music video can sometimes make or break a song, so it's helpful to study legendary videos for inspiration. Here are four distinctly different styles of iconic music videos, and how you can apply the same winning techniques to your own videos.
Every band has to start somewhere. Many groups playing the world’s largest stages today started in small clubs in and around their hometowns. But sometimes, it’s difficult to even get that far. When you're at the very beginning, with no fanbase or connections whatsoever, how do you cut through the noise and get people to notice you?
ToneDen has come quite a ways since launching out of beta in February. The site offers a number of features like EPKs and artist profile pages plus tools like embeddable music players. In August they added community features including a social feed and then followed this month with a "follow on SoundCloud for free download" feature.
If you're music is readily available to streaming websites, odds are, you're getting air time you don't know about. In that air time, you may be reaching new fans you wouldn't know about unless you were assessing your exposure and reach through digital analytics. Next Big Sound provides you with the platform and the tools to track your growth on streaming services and social media. While it may not fully encompass the full span of digital media, the information you'll have access to is more than worth the time it takes to acquire.
By Yannick Ilunga from The Jazz Spotlight.
This is probably old news to you: social media is a great way to build and grow a fan base. When looking for a platform to promote their music, many artists turn to the various Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
When it comes to social media promotion, it is important to have a strategy and goals in mind. There are many different ways social media can be used for promotion.
By now, you surely know the importance of keeping up with the Joneses online, updating all of your profiles religiously, and how to interact on social media (if not, check out my last post!). But as your band gets more well-known and more eyeballs turn toward you, I can't stress enough how important it is to master the the delicate balance between being relatable, oversharing, and incriminating.
Tunecore is adding a new artist service. You can now have your music submitted to Facebook audio recognition which will recognize your music in the background and offer the opportunity for listeners to post about you. Tunecore also added a members' discount on TwitMusic services so you can now do more with both Twitter and Facebook.
If you're an actively performing member of any type of band, odds are, you'd love to get signed. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. Differentiating yourself visually, audibly, and professionally is a must when pursuing a record deal. First, you must have music that sets you apart from your competitors. This is not the time to try everything - it is the time to hone your craft and use it to your advantage. Record labels receive countless demos a week, so how do make yourself stand out from the rest of the musicians submitting tracks?
By Yannick Ilunga from CD Baby's DIY Musician.
When it comes to online promotion, there is a social media that is often ignored by musicians: Google Plus.
While its potential has been recognized and utilized by many entrepreneurs around the world, for quite many musicians Google Plus is still unexplored territory.