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How You Can Contribute To MusicThinkTank

Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).

Thursday
Apr172014

13 Topics That Musicians Can Easily Blog About

There are plenty of reasons for musicians to blog on a regular basis. First and foremost, blogging is one of the best ways to drive people to your website. Every time you create a new blog post, it’s an excuse for you to invite fans to check out your website.

Blogging also shows that you are active in your career. If a potential fan visits your site, enjoys your music, and then sees that you have months of regular blogging under your belt, they might click on a few posts to get a better sense of your personality. If they really like what they read, you might have a fan for life.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr162014

Self Publishing on YouTube

Everyone knows how important the YouTube platform is for indie musicians. It’s a great way to get your music out to fans, grow your fanbase, and provide your fans with great content from music videos to vlogs. There are plenty of musicians out there who have become successful mainly because of their YouTube channel, with Karmin and Pomplamoose being two of the most successful examples. They grew their audience by targeting young teens with covers of popular songs. Other musicians, like Alex Day, have based their career entirely on recorded music sales and a YouTube channel featuring music videos and hilarious vlogs.

However, there is another aspect of YouTube that is vastly underutilized by the musician community on the platform - publishing. You don’t need a publisher to get your music placed in YouTube videos. You just need to be proactive with social media and reach out to YouTubers you think would be interested in using your music with their creative content.

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Saturday
Apr122014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: How To Get A Wikipedia Page For Your Music

Friday
Apr112014

Is YouTube a social network, or something better?

I’m sure by all relevant definitions YouTube is – and by far the most popular. It allows people to have followers and subscribers and share content, comment and all of that, but for some reason I put them in a different category than other social networks for 1 key reason – income participation.

All truth be told, I’m not a massive social media guy – I certainly engage with it and use much of it, but I’m certainly not as savvy as the average teenager. What I do know is that major corporations and content creators are approaching social networks in 2 ways – marketing and revenue.

Most of these networks start in the marketing/sharing space and then work on how they can transition to the revenue part – we’ve seen that with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and even YouTube.

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Thursday
Apr102014

5 Types of Managers You Don’t Want Managing Your Band

Choosing a manager will be one of the most important decisions you make as an artist. Who you let represent you to the outside world is a direct reflection of how you handle your business, and a great manager can do magical things for your career. More often than not, you come across the not-so-great managers that are slowly putting your band’s career in a dank, dark corner one email at a time. The wrong fit can quite literally sink you. Here’s some common manager archetypes we recommend steering clear from if you’re looking to grow a long and steady career in the music biz. 

#1 - The Too-Busy-To-Call-You-Back-Ager 

We know… they’re busy and ‘important’. Being a busy manager is usually a good thing, but not taking time to hear their artists’ needs, cater to them, and collaborate with them will often cause fractures in the relationship. Beware the chronically-busy manager. As the artist, you need to be able to reach your manager at any time for advice and late night strategizing. A constant dialogue is essential; after all, your manager is out on the industry front lines hustling for your career.

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Wednesday
Apr092014

How to Get a Wikipedia Page for Your Music

This post originally appeared on the Bandzoogle blog. Dave Cool is the Director of Artist Relations for musician website & marketing platform Bandzoogle. Twitter: @Bandzoogle | @dave_cool

Bandzoogle just implemented Google’s new Knowledge Graph format that allows our members to get their upcoming shows listed on the main search page when a fan does a Google search for them.

Though we provide the information to Google, we’re not in control of who they add to the listing. In their documentation, Google suggests that having a Wikipedia page will increase the chances of being listed.

Now, getting a page on Wikipedia isn’t a straightforward process, and there’s no guarantee of being able to get one. But if you follow their guidelines, you’ll give yourself a very good chance.

Here are the most important things to keep in mind when trying to setup a page for your band or music on Wikipedia:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr072014

What Artists Should Know About ArtistLink

ArtistLink started as an extension of the Topspin Media platform, so that non-Topspin users could add content to the MTV Artists site. It’s well on its way to becoming the control panel for the music industry.

I encourage any artist with a release on Spotify to sign up for ArtistLink. All essential functionality is free.

As of this writing, ArtistLink is basically four services rolled up into one. I’ll go over each, starting with the coolest.

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Saturday
Apr052014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Crowdfunding the Right Way

Wednesday
Apr022014

Crowdfunding the Right Way

In the past, money was a huge barrier for musicians, and one of the main reasons many were forced to tie themselves to a record label. Today, many musicians are finding their own ways to creatively fund their albums and tours, with the most popular option being crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a huge undertaking, but, if done correctly, you can come out of it with a whole lot more than just money. It also presents dedicated and creative artists a chance to connect with their fans in a whole new way.

Learn how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign with these 5 tips

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr012014

Alternative Money Making Approaches for Musicians Failing to Sell Records

The music industry has undergone a sea of changes since the days of vinyl records and cassette tapes. While the current mobile downloading setup offers plenty of convenience for the average consumer, it can spell financial ruin for musicians and producers dependent on record sales. After all, illegal downloads still eat into profits, with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reporting that piracy caused music industry profits to fall from $15 billion in 1999 to just $8.5 billion in 2009. In order to survive in this environment of piracy, musicians must think outside of the box, taking advantage of social media, mobile technology, merchandising and, of course, live performances. Together, these elements can spell great profit, even in an age of iTunes and illegal downloading.

Offer VIP Packages for Concerts

Critics of social media may complain of young people wasting their lives behind computer screens, but the truth is, music fans still love attending live shows. You still can profit handsomely off of traditional concerts, but if you're looking to amp up returns on your tour, consider throwing in VIP concert options. These could include special meet-and-greets before or after shows, or even private performances for your most dedicated fans. Many will gladly pay two, three, even four times the going rate for your concert if it means getting up close and personal.

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Saturday
Mar292014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Lessons from Macklemore

Wednesday
Mar262014

Is Music Your Day Job or Your Nighttime Dream?

When I think about the professional musician, I like to break down opportunity into day job and night job.  The night job is the dream – rock and roll stardom, touring, selling records, award shows, bodyguards, fawning fans, public meltdowns, etc. 

Being more pragmatic as a person – I have spent much of my career on the day job part of this industry (and that’s not just you giving guitar lessons).

Music Publishing to me is the day job part of the business – regardless of your status as a performer.  Even the big folks love the mailbox money of publishing.  As an independent artist, I think it’s even more important.

Publishing, with all it’s complexities, still has the opportunity to create income streams for artists at all levels – especially if you are up for creating alternate types of content.  All music shown on television and the web around the world earns public performance income.

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Monday
Mar242014

Lessons from Macklemore

It’s the success every musician dreams about - making it big on your own. But you know what? It’s no fairy tale. The career of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis has been a long, hard road - one that a lot of people would have turned away from a long time ago.

 

The duo brought home four Grammy’s in January and, although Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) is helping them with distribution, they’re still not signed to a major record label. So how did they get here?

 

Here are some key lessons to learn that helped Macklemore and Ryan Lewis find their success.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar222014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: How to Use House Concerts to Create Career-Sustaining Superfans