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Ariel Hyatt Of Cyber PR Looks Back On 2014

Panel LogoAriel Hyatt of Cyber PR joins us today on the Hypebot.com year end virtual panel. Hyatt notes a dramatic shift within her business demographic over the past twelve months. She says "I felt a palpable downturn in the attitudes of my clients as many saw their bottom lines slip even more in the past 12 months. Many of my clients do everything right: great music, a good tribe, solid social media but the problem is the things that used to pay them don't pay what they used to. Things like licensing and even live performance amounts slips. I wouldn't dare mention music sales (oh wait I just did) but... yeah that too." Continue reading for more from Ariel Hyatt.

1) Do you see the current debate questioning the effect of ubiquitous free music online leading to real change, or is the Taylor Swift rift just a short term distraction?

I'm afraid the genie is so far out of the bottle at this point it's to late. I think Taylor made a bold move by pointing out the reality of how streaming has effected artists and their incomes. So, I feel like it's not really a distraction, more like a reference point... Like HEY average music fan... Please understand what this is costing artists and those who support them.  And I hope Taylor at least sparks some awareness.

 However sadly we are passive about this and our culture wants fast and cheap (See: Wal-Mart, Amazon) so it doesn't register.

2) How important is the entry of YouTube Music Key and the expansion of Beats Music within the Apple ecosystem? Will they lead to a much larger streaming audience by the end of 2015, or just fragment a steadily expanding user base?

Beats and YouTube are prevalent and have a solid presence in the mainstream, I think about how many Beats headphones I see in the airport and on the subway for example, so this will definitely drive more users but I think a more fragmented base will result. But of course as platforms become more accessible and easier to access expansion is inevitable.

3) What big shift or story took place in 2014 that will have a major effect on your business/sector in 2015? How will you feel and field the effects?

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.16.16 PMI just attended the Mashable media summit 2014 and it was a great way to end the year and get a summary of the current digital media perspective. There were 3 main takeaways for me:

1. Think mobile first!  That is how everyone is consuming now – on the go

2. No matter who you are and no matter what you do it is essential and critical that you build your platform online.

3. Stories are essential. They connect us, they unite us and if you aren't telling stories online that resonate with people / users/ fans / friends / your tribe you won't resonate.

 How this impacts anyone who is running a marketing, promotion or PR agency that supports musicians is you need to ask yourself: Is my work helping my artist to tell stories, build a tribe or help my clients get more mobile? If not you better think about how to integrate what you offer to satisfy these needs. I'd be remiss if I did not mention some things that struck deep chords for me this year.  

I felt a palpable downturn in the attitudes of my clients as many saw their bottom lines slip even more in the past 12 months. Many of my clients do everything right: great music, a good tribe, solid social media but the problem is the things that used to pay them don't pay what they used to. Things like licensing and even live performance amounts slips. I wouldn't dare mention music sales (oh wait I just did) but... yeah that too.

We did see some bright spots - some successful Crowdfunding campaigns, some deep smart niche targeting that resulted in successes and some amazing social media moments. 

Ending the year by reading Jack Conte was a tipping point for me.

Here's an artist who bravely shared all he did financially in a transparent manner. Whether or not you agree or disagree that he wanted not to sleep in a bed with his band members by booking 4 hotel rooms per night, or whether or not that it pissed you off that he shilled (which he did).

What I'm talking about is the tear down, the complete evisceration that he received. Here's an artist that made a decision to present his art the way he wanted to by spending on musicians and comfort.  I’ll point out that because of his creative innovation there is now in existence a whole new platform that generates millions of dollars for independent creators... Think people: is he really that dumb / awful.

I think we should take a moment to look at Jack's contribution to the artistic community as a whole and thank him for it.

 

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