By Wallace Collins from Wallace Collins Entertainment Law Blog
By Wallace Collins from Wallace Collins Entertainment Law Blog
Direct marketing is the process of bypassing intermediaries to communicate directly with fans, build awareness, and generate sales. Emailing tour dates, texting announcements about contests, posting website links to your fundraisers, even phoning reminders and mailing postcards about your record release are all direct marketing methods. In all cases, the most important ingredient needed to ensure success is persuasive content. As they say, “Content is king.” Here are nine brief tips that can help make sure your fans follow your lead and fulfill your marketing goals.
I wanted to have as many high points this last week at Hypebot as possible. Closing with a piece on Josh Urban is about as high a point as I could reach even though most of you probably haven't heard of him. He's taking some basic ideas, using them to fuel interactions with the public and finding unique ways of building community through music. Urban's projects include online community participation and he wants you to know that you're invited to participate in this year's Kindness Exchange.
Hannah Donovan is co-founder and design director of This Is My Jam a music service for sharing song you are into the most right now. Before starting Jam, Hannah led design at Last.fm and has been working at the intersection of music, design and technology for the last decade.
While wrapping up my final week at Hypebot I've been preparing Crowdfunding For Musicians for a return to action. The music crowdfunding landscape has gotten a lot more interesting and certainly deserves a dedicated site. In addition, I updated Music Biz Blogs including adding a number of new blogs. But there's room for a few more that meet certain requirements if you contact me soon.
There's so much noise separating the world from you and your music. So much so that free giveaways are a major form of music marketing. That means finding new ways to cut through the noise and build a listening audience are always worth considering. Here are three opportunities that I think are underexplored and that are worth closer investigation: marketing alliances with tech startups, collaborations with classical and country musicians and working with choreographers.
Today, with all the new technology and different ways to reach your fans, there are more ways to release your music than you can count. As cool as it may be to have all these options, it’s sometimes hard to decide which release strategy is best for you and your music career. After all, not everyone can successfully release a secret album like Beyoncé – it requires a certain fanbase size and dedication.
Starting today, select SoundCloud creators can use Twitter audio cards to share music and audio right in their followers’ Twitter timelines on iOS and Android by hitting a play button within the Twitter app. Other audio programs will be added and the new feature rolled out to all Twitter users "shortly."
As independent musicians, there are many times when we have to work second jobs to make ends meet, and after you factor in the costs of recording, manufacturing, marketing, touring, and other legitimate business expenses, not to mention sharing any profits you may receive with your co-authors, managers, agents, labels and distributors, the fact remains: independent music does not always turn a profit.
Every band knows having a Facebook page is essential to reach new fans and have a healthy online social presence. For many, their Facebook page even replaces an official website. Beyond the lure of accumulating likes, the platform can be a powerful tool if you make it work for you. Here are seven oft-ignored features that bands need to use, now.
Steve "Renman" Rennie is likely best known as the music manager for Incubus who he's worked with from their initial record deal. Lately more are getting to know him through his online educational activities teaching new comers about the music business. I spoke with Rennie yesterday and found out that his interest in education isn't just a hobby but is set to become the third major chapter in his life story. He was kind enough to answer my very basic questions as he's been more than happy to do for all sorts of emerging musicians.
If you're venturing down the road of becoming a DIY Musician but fear that means going it alone, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Do it yourself does not, and especially in the music industry, should not mean doing it by yourself. It is true that when you're first starting out there are logistical limitations that create obstacles in your path. It is hard to hire the good help you need when your budget is breathing down your neck, but with a little balance between learned self-sufficiency and knowing when to reach out, you'll be on your way in no time.
Direct to fan platform Bandcamp continues its impressive evolution with the addition of a robust HD video feature to its PRO subscription plan that includesmultiple options to display videos on artist pages. The company is also testing yet be be announced Patreon-style artist subscription options, with at least one example currently live on the site.
While the term "fan" may be a bit vague at times, "superfan" is not. Superfans might not be as plentiful as those who simply like some of your music, but they're worth their weight in gold. They're the ones who don’t hesitate to spend a month’s rent for a VIP experience or purchase every T-shirt in your online store. Last year, Nielsen concluded that while only 14 percent of fans in the music industry are "superfans" of an artist, they're responsible for 34 percent of music-related purchases.
Op-ed by David Lowery of The Trichordist.
It’s not that streaming can’t work. It can. It’s that Spotify is a bad business model that has unsustainable economics and exploits artists because it is a wall street financial instrument and not a music company.
Kevin Andrews is a Nashville-based choreographer and movement coach who works with country musicians on their stage presence in addition to such activities as choreographing music videos. He's focusing in on a specific niche but what he's doing is a good example of what a lot of solo acts and bands need. Some artists have difficulty adjusting to the stage imagining that somehow just "being themselves" will make them look "natural." But the stage is anything but a natural place and a movement coach might be just the thing you need.
By Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.
Increasingly, music producers are looking for State tax credits before embarking on a project. While this has been a big part of television and movie production for some time, music is now seeing the light in how cost-effective it could be to go somewhere besides Los Angeles and New York to make a new record. And since it's easier than ever to record just about anywhere, the tax credits now loom large for many a budget-minded producer.
Don't get me wrong, mailing lists are important, especially optin email lists of your fans who really want to hear from you regularly. But lists of people, whether fans, writers or influencers, can give one a false sense that your public relations all come down to distributing a regular email. Brian Solis and Hugh MacLeod recently released a free ebook, "What If PR Stood for People and Relationships?" [instead of public relations.] It may speak most directly to people in corporate settings but the cartoons, in particular, remind all of us to develop human relationships that go deeper than automated marketing can ever do.
Like a lot of artists, Grimes has learned about business on the job. She's also young and female which can create challenges especially when people assume those facts tell them something important about her ability to take care of business. Though the artistic/entrepreneurial journey never really ends, Grimes has reached a point where she has some important lessons to share about being the boss of your own music and your music business.
Musical genres are divided for a lot of understandable reasons including the fact that complex societies like the U.S. are divided. But in a time of rapid change such as we're currently undergoing, essentially the digital edition of the late 1800s, the danger for musicians is not just in being left behind aesthetically. Not keeping up with business developments across genres is much more dangerous as revenue streams shift and/or dry up.
Six years ago, Ethan Diamond co-founded Bandcamp to offer musicians an affordable way to stream and sell their music directly to fans. By starting small and determined to stay independent, Bandcamp has built something uniquely pure and useful for both artists and fans. Already a profitable company, Bandcamp pays out $3 million monthly to artists and small labels - over $80 million since launch.
By Mike Baumgarten of the Shore Fire Digital Team
If you've perused Instagram (or have seen Instagram photos on Facebook) you've probably noticed that some of the photos are rectangular, flanked by white space, instead of the default square image. If you've ever wondered how to fit the entire photo into your Instagram post here's how:
Music licensing rarely gets the press it deserves when it comes to potential revenue streams. Music supervisors are constantly looking for the perfect song to pair with whatever project their working on, and if packaged and presented correctly, your song could fit the bill. Knowing your genre of music and which audiences it speaks to will help you determine appropriate targets to set and reach out to. Making your pitch personal and strategic is way more important than blasting out an emailer to thousands of aimless contacts. How do you do this?
By 2ndLine Co-founder & CEO Stephen Backer.
Your goals as an artist are to make music, to share your music with fans, and to support yourself with the proceeds. But, in an era of slumping album sales, often-negligible streaming revenues, and constant competition for listeners’ attention, it’s grown increasingly difficult to make a living unless you have a blockbuster hit on your hands.
Whether you’re an emerging artist or a seasoned professional, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of online resources out there these days, all claiming to be the best way to either engage with your fan base, reach new audiences, or make money. The virtual concert is a relatively new concept, but one that is growing rapidly and is proving hugely successful on every level.