- David Reeves | Is it ever OK to work for free in the music industry?
- Lisa Occhino | 5 Quick Email Etiquette Tips for Bands (and Everyone Else)
- Olav Christensen | Are you out selling your music or are you selling out?
As a musician, your creativity is the your most valuable asset. However, creativity can be stifiled when the realities of life start of come in. There are bills to pay. There are things that have to be done. Suddenly, it seems that creativity is placed on the back burner and the demand to conform to the status quo is front and center. Olav Christensen understands this as an artist and in this article he gives his take on the balance between selling your music and selling out.
The music industry is one of the few industries that most people learn all of the tricks of the trade outside of a classroom. However, most of those insider tricks are learned through unpaid opportunities of internships or even playing gigs for free. In the midst of working hard for little to no compensation, you may begin to question what the balance is for giving free labor in exchange for experience and exposure. David Reeves shares the trade-off and potential challenges when trying to work in the music industry for free.
Email is one of the most common forms of communication. Because of that, the way we communicate can often be informal. If you are, however, a musician attempting to communicate with professional contacts, formality is key in presenting yourself as a professional. In the midst of the emails received, Bobby Borg, gives tips on how to make your emails professional and stand out from the pack.
Public Relations is tough business that requires a tough skin and tenacity. For those D.I.Y musicians working 24/7 to keep your music career afloat, public relations can often fall at the bottom of the list of things to do. This is where a music publicist can help. A publicist can be a great asset in navigating the highs and lows of a PR campaign. But do you have what it takes to deal with those highs and lows. Janelle Rogers knows these challenges very well as a seasoned music publicist. This article explores common challenges musicians face when considering hiring a publicist and gives tips on how to approach your PR strategy.
The world of media has expanded into a myriad of outlets that can seem overwhelming. However, as a DIY musician, having a proper PR strategy is an essential tool in your branding arsenal. But what makes you stand out as a band in the sea of pitches presented to media outlets everywhere? Music media veteran Carla Jean Whitley sheds some light on the world of music PR and gives tips on how your band can stand out when reaching media outlets.
Today it seems like artists come out of a music factory. They are the product of a generation's worth of thoughts, habits and likes all rolled into a neat package that appeals to the masses. While it seems like there are many artists today that seem to come pre-fabricated, a lot of work and planning goes into making an image for any artist. Some artists exude authenticity and it carries over to all aspects of their being: their appearance, their personality and how that translates to the music they create. Music industry veteran Max Snow shares from his wealth of knowledge the importance of building an image around your music.
Subscription-Based business have met the demands of binge media consumers by making a vast amount of movies and music for a nominal fee. As much as services like Spotify and Netflix have curbed the appetite of piracy, subscription-based companies are still in their infancy and still have a lot of unknown territiory to discover. Cherie Nelson has had her finger on the pulse of the subscription-based business world and gives her take on how businesses can better their services.
At last month's SF MusicTech Summit, a panel including Dave Cool (Bandzoogle), Zack Greenburg (Forbes), Kristin Thomson (Future of Music Coalition), Wade Metzler (SoundExchange), J Sider (BandPage) and Amy Dietz (INgrooves) discussed where the money is for artists in today's music industry. Being a self-sustaining artist a hard row to hoe - as Dave Cool pointed out, some of the best advice he ever received and took himself was to go get a day job to sustain his day dream - but just because it's hard doesn't mean it's impossible. Give yourself a leg up with these career tips from SF Music Tech's "Where's the Cash For Musicians Today and Beyond" panelists.
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The music industry is a world of many opportunities that any budding aficionado would love to jump into. However, finding your way to get your foot into the door can be a challenge. While most career paths are clearly marked, those that dare to work in the music industry are normally forced to forge their own path. Anita Ginsburg shows in this article that there are many jobs in the music industry that are great options for those wanting to make a career in music, making the path a little easier to walk.
We live in an age where feedback can be garnered easily for musicians. Artists can post a song on YouTube and ask people to comment, rate and subscribe. Artists can send out tweets to check out a new song and get intstant feedback. But how do we quantify feedback on those platforms? How do we make sure that our songs are being heard by the right people that can give the best feedback? Brian Hazard has done leg work to give a comprehensive look on websites designed to give musicians the feedback that they are looking for in their music.
Audio recordings can easily be distinguished by their quality. If you have the same person record the same thing in two different setttings, the end result can be drastic. External factors like outside noises can harm the recording. In addition, if an audio engineer does not have the correct skills to make the recording sound as best as it can, the final product can be unpolished and unprofessional. Chris Meloni has learned a thing or two about this and shares his knowledge with us today on MusicThinkTank.com
Touring is essential to a band's success. In an age where music is easily pirated and consumers have shorter attention spans, going on tour can be one of the best ways to reach your fans and stay relevant. However, most musicians do not have the luxury of having personal assistants keeping their lives afloat while they are playing gigs every night. In most cases the little details of life can fall through the cracks when you are on the road. Cherie Nelson understands this plight, and gives practical ways to help streamline those tasks.
By Hugh McIntyre on Sonicbids Blog
Social media has become more than just a fun leisure activity or way to keep in touch with friends and family; it's become everything – and the only thing – that matters in many cases. If you're a musician or band, I'd be willing to bet that these days no one cares about your newsletter, but they do follow you on Twitter and Facebook. Twitter is especially great, as it can be very different things for different people, depending on where they are in their careers.
By Faza on TheCynicalMusician.com
For the benefit of everyone who hasn’t gone outside recently – and folks checking in five years from now (happens more often than you’d think) – a quick recap. Taylor Swift’s new album – 1989 – has gone platinum in its first week of sales. No small feat, given that no other artist has had a platinum-selling album this year and that doesn’t look likely to change. The album wasn’t available to stream on Spotify – which is just as well, ‘coz now Swift and her label, Big Machine, have pulled all of her music from our favourite streaming service. To the best of my knowledge, Swift’s catalogue remains available to stream on other services.
When the music industry and the law are placed in the same sentence, it is usually accompanied with the word "unfair." It began in the late 90s with illegal file sharing on sites like Napster and Limewire. Then, in 2005 YouTube busted the door open on the unwavered use digital copyrighted material when millions of users posted videos of their favorite music. Legislation such as the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) have laid the groundwork for how digital media can be regulated used on the internet. However, there is still a lot of unchartered territory on how digital property can be used and shared by consumers. Thankfully, in the midst of all the legal jargon, Cherie Johnson gives simplicity to using music legally to liven up your next YouTube video.
Social media has become as ubiquitous as radio play and touring when it comes to an artist making themselves known to the public. However there is a certain finesse that comes with using social media in music. Social Media success comes with being multi-faceted in your approach. Taylor Swift seems to have accomplished that with her last album, 1989. While album sales in the music industry have been on the steady decline in recent years, Taylor Swift has managed to sell 1.287 million albums in her first week. Jana Pochop explains the main factors that have contributed to her success.
[UPDATED] By Cortney Harding on Sonicbids Blog
A few weeks ago, the New York Times ran a profile of theAudience, a firm that connects big brands to social media influencers. Gone are the days when a big ad spend or tons of radio promotion was required to break a band – now, a kid with a big Tumblr following can move the needle just as much as a spot on TV. But for artists who are just starting out and can’t shell out the big fees that firms like theAudience charge, reaching influencers can feel like an impossible task. Don’t despair, though – here's how you can connect with the person who might give you your big break.
Songkick has added ticket sales to its concert discovery platform; and just a few months after launching in the UK, says its selling tickets for 25% of all London shows. This momentum has motivated the startup to want to spread their ticketing service elsewhere. But there's a catch, particularly in the U.S. Exclusive venue deals with Ticketmaster, Ticketfly and others that prevent additional sellers like Songkick. Undeterred, Songkick CEO Ian Hogart is on a mission to change that.
The relationship between an artist and their manager is the most vital relationship in the music business. The joys of having a manager or managing an artist can be amazing. It's why some choose to work in the music industry. However, the lines can be easily blurred between the artist and their manager because the nature of the relationship can be unorthodox at times. Like any other relationship, clear communication and definition of roles and responsibilities are the key to making the most the artist/manager relationship. Sari Delmar gives amazing insight on how to do that.
In the world of live music, all of its key players have very distinct interests. The venue wants to use live music as a way to drive their bottom line in food/beverage sales. The musicians want to increase their fan base and be compensated fairly. Fans want to see an amazing show in an atmosphere that enhances their musical experience.
When it comes to social media content, viral videos create the biggest buzz, translating into profits tenfold for the companies that create them. However, if you are new to the world of social media strategy then creating the right video content can be a daunting task. What should I post about? How often should I post? How much is too much? Your answers to these questions can be the difference between a social media campaign that is succesful or......unseen. Hugh McIntyre explains in his article all of elements of great video content.
In parts one and two of The Cyber PR Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan, Ariel Hyatt highlighted the importance of having a sound online presence and went on to give us the best practices for a new release launch. Today, she shares what to do in the time between albums to keep the connections you've made while continuing to grow your fan base.
Separating your cover band from the pack can often be a difficult task. In a sea of cover bands playing everything under the sun, how do you tell people, "I exist and my band plays awesome cover music"? When you are not playing original material, the way you distinguish yourself and build contacts can be the difference between success and failure.