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What I Learned At NMS: You Have 10 Seconds

This post is by Ryan Van Etten (@ryanve), Editor/Producer of; he was our featured corespondent at New Music Seminar in New York.

10 seconds to engage someone—to impress them.

Hanhart Amigo Stopwatch

In his research for Futurehit.DNA, Jay Frank discovered an impressive trend: Shorter song intros lead to better sales. "2/3 of bestselling songs have an intro that's less than 7 seconds." The average intro length for Top 25 songs is 6.6 seconds. "You really have 10 seconds to engage people."

Get to the hook. "Make it impactable."

NMS 0103

NMS NYC 2010 | Day 1 | First Movement: The Next Music Business Unveiled
LTR: Ariel Hyatt (moderator/Ariel Publicity), Jay Frank (Futurehit.DNA), Gwen Lipsky (SoundThinkingNY), Eric Garland (BigChampange), and Mike Doernberg (ReverbNation). On this slide they brought up the issue that a lot of artists are trying to monetize too early. Create, grow, and then sell.

"Don't try to sell something if you're trying to get fans because that's an obstacle when what you want is their attention." – Mike Doernberg, CEO, ReverbNation.
stopwatch: 10 seconds

10 seconds. You already lost me. 28 hours later a different panel, The Creative Conundrum, critiqued the artists who made it to the Artist On The Verge finals. Only half the panel had seen the show the night before and the rest were judging based on a 10-second video clip. Were they insensitive? Yes. They were ruthless. But were they true to life? You tell me.

Top Photo Credit: bjornkeizers/flickr.