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The Musician’s Guide to Facebook Fan Pages - Six Apps to make your Artist Fan Page Pop!

Have a Facebook fanpage but still not sure how to make it pop?

Many artists have been asking me about the bext Apps for their Facebook Fan Pages

Here are six Apps that will set you on the right path, help you to stand out from the pack and keep your fans engaged and interested in you on a consistent basis.

Click to read more ...


Honeyboy’s Grammy: A Moment for a Great American Voice

The legendary bluesman David “Honeyboy” Edwards received a lifetime achievement award at last night’s Grammy Awards ceremonies. One of the last of the first generation bluesmen, Honeyboy was a close pal of Robert Johnson and a contemporary of Charley Patton and other blues pioneers.

The 94-year-old Honeyboy was instrumental in establishing a unique American voice, one that was born of slavery and struggle, spirit and magic. It’s a rich history that begat rock and roll and even rap. Artists from Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones to Jay Z emanate from those underpinnings, and many more contemporary artists have paid homage to this field of music from which they came.

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The Flat Earth Conundrum

Here’s a Monday morning riddle for you…

Do you believe crowds of humans will ever (or do now) sway as much control over the rate and depth of media dissemination as the established media machine does now?

It’s easier than ever to make studio-quality songs and great looking videos.

You can easily distribute your music and creations worldwide.

Through promotion tools and strategies, you can continually increase the rate and depth in which your media spreads throughout the world.

However, just as there‘s always someone that’s stronger, faster, smarter or wealthier than any one of us, will there always be entities that can push media faster and deeper into the marketplace than ALL of us (humans) networked together?

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The Song/Artist Adoption Formula - 2010 Update

This in an update to a previous post.

To the extent that a recording artist (versus an entertainer) is the sum of his or her songs, I am going to stipulate that song-adoption equates to artist-adoption.

I effectively use this formula when working with industry startups and artists to concisely communicate (usually on a bar napkin) the challenges that artists face as they attempt to obtain marketplace traction for their songs.

I have updated the formula (below) to recognize the importance of placing unknown songs into a series of songs that are familiar to listeners (the Adjacent Song Factor).

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I Fight Dragons: 1 Band, 1 Year, & 10,000 New Fans - In Defense of 1,000 True Fans - Part V

I had the honor and pleasure of speaking at NAMM last week about how to make money in the music business. Normally when I speak on panels it’s me and a few other Social Media,  Marketing, and PR peeps but this panel which was curated by Tony Van Veen of CD Baby / Discmakers was exceptional because it included an artist who is making it right now…  Brian Mazzaferri, the fearles leader of Chicago’s own I Fight Dragons had incredible insights to share about was his band is doing now to make money in the brave new world of “The old model isn’t quite totally dead yet, but the new model isn’t really proven either.”He took some time to really delve into his thoughts on the theroy and I’m delighted that he shared his insight with me and I know you will be too:

Ariel Hyatt: Do you believe that 1,000 true fans is a theory that can work?

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Rock Band Network for Dummies?

A few weeks ago, Kevin English of eleetmusic got me in to the closed beta of Rock Band Network, which provides the necessary tools to get your songs into the game. When it launches, the RBN Store will sell those songs through the game’s interface, with 30% of the purchase price going back to the artist. Now that the beta is public, you may be eager to dive in, but let me warn you - it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be! Authoring your first song requires a deep skill set and 60-80 hours of focused effort.

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Seth Godin on spreading music and selling intimacy

Reading Seth Godin’s new book called Linchpin, I had some lingering questions on behalf of all the musicians I know.

So I asked him. Here are my questions and his answers:

You say, “the winners are the artists who give gifts”, but many artists I know are feeling like the losers. How would you explain your philosophy of the linchpin economy to a musician who’s making great music, giving it away online, but getting only apathy in return?

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Music Think Tank Notes and Etc.

A new design for Music Think Tank
In case you have not noticed, Music Think Tank is sporting a new look and feel.  Thanks to the excellent work of Kynan Griffiths of Sculpt.  Note:  Sorry, we no longer support IE 6 (Not sure if we ever did?).

MTT Post Categories
Chris Collins, MTT’s intern from the University of Massachusetts has just finished up categorizing all the MTT journal posts (see the left column of the site).  Thanks Chris. 

MTT contributors, especially MTT Radio contributors: please tag and categorize your posts going forward!  It’s one of the best ways for readers to find your posts after they have been pushed off the top page.

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Is Your Wireless Mic Being Banned?

Later this year, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is banning the use of wireless microphones that operate in the 700 MHz spectrum. This post describes when and why the ban is being implemented, provides access to a list of prohibited equipment, and briefly weighs the ban’s economic impacts.

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TuneCore politely smacks down TommyBoy and Nielsen

About 1,500 artists break the “obscurity line” each year. Less than 1% do it on their own.  Not so fast says Jeff Price, the CEO of TuneCore. 

Seems like TuneCore has the success measurement numbers that Nielsen is (completely) missing.  Read Jeff’s latest post.  Quotes below:

Click to read more ...


My first ReverbNation street team mission

I love ReverbNation. I could write a dozen articles on the various tools they provide for artists. For now I’ll focus on one I just tried for the first time: Street Team Missions.

Whenever a fan subscribes to your mailing list, they’re given the option to join your street team. You create missions to direct your team’s promotional efforts on your behalf, and they compete against each other for rewards of your choosing. ReverbNation manages the whole thing automatically by measuring plays, widget clicks, banner impressions, and mailing list signups.

Sound too good to be true? I thought so at first, so I joined several other artists’ missions to get a closer look.

Click to read more ...


It's everything except our music that will make us the most popular place to hear music in the future.

In a recent post, radio industry guru Mark Ramsey (occasionally posts on MTT) offers this advice to the radio industry:

Radio competes in “a world where your music can be duplicated - song for song - by an endless parade of competitors, each more novel (and with better PR) than the next.  It’s everything except our music that will make us the most popular place to hear music in the future.”

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What are the ‘Music Industries’?

The term ‘music industry’ is a misnomer. In reality the ‘music industry’ is not one industry, it is several independent industries. This is an important distinction because if we say that there is a “crisis in the music industry” it suggests an equal amount of misfortune for everyone (musicians, the recording industry, the live-music industry, Internet radio, etc.) and in fact this not true. Misuse of the term ‘music industry’ distorts the reality of the situation. For example:

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About 1,500 artists break the "obscurity line" each year. Less than 1% do it on their own.

January 15, 2009:  Tom Silverman (TommyBoy Entertainment) tells Rick Goetz (Musician Coaching - great blog by the way) that in 2008, 1,500 releases broke the “obscurity line” (sold over 10,000 albums). 

Out of the 1,500 obscurity-breaking releases, 227 artists broke the “obscurity line” for the first time ever.

Out of the 227 first-timers, 14 artists did it own their own; approximately 106 were signed to a major; the rest were signed to indies.

Check out Tom Silverman’s New Music Seminar in LA on February 2nd.


To be completely correct, the title above should have said: “1,500 releases break the “obscurity line” each year.”  No more posting late night for me.  Too many errors and typos.