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Sunday
Nov082009

What are you listening to when it comes to music?

What music did you listen to today? Was it one of your favorite songs, albums or compilations? Was it something you listen to often? Once you’ve got that figured out, ask yourself a few more questions. Beyond practicing your instrument, writing your music and managing the business side of things, how are you nurturing your ears and your inspirations? Just as you needed books in school to provide you with a vocabulary that would allow you to write, you need to listen to music in the same way. It’s about connecting with what you like but also listening to where it comes from.

In some ways it’s like vitamins—musical supplements. While you might prefer big band jazz, it can be educational to listen to other styles, like pop, country and Latin, to name a few. Even crooners like Frank Sinatra listened to and even covered artists like the Beatles. It’s about understanding what inspires you, but also about being a student of music, which means listening to as much as you can, even the stuff you don’t like.

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Thursday
Nov052009

Photo and Video Release

When I had live video shot in the past, we hung large, dated signs up that clearly declared our ownership of the video.  The signs also strongly suggested that anyone that did not want to be included in the video should please leave.  We also had our camera crew shoot the signs right into the footage as ‘evidence’ if needed.

Here’s a video and photo release (below) you can use when you believe it really matters.  Get an attorney to check this for you.  Always try to get verified (check an ID) addresses and phone numbers on these releases.

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Thursday
Nov052009

Keep Shooting High-Definition Music Video and Related Material

Here’s another reason to shoot high-definition video that’s connected to your music-related ventures:  Demand for short, interesting, compelling, non-explicit, music-infused, high-quality, high-def content is going to be driven by the digital signage industry.

I have been doing some work for a venture that’s focused on digital signage. Here are some stats to consider:

  • Digital signage is going to be an explosive growth (exposure) opportunity - with over 500-million connected screens predicted to be in the market by 2013.  
  • The combination of all the impressions generated by all the connected digital signs - already makes digital signage one of the largest impression-generating networks on earth.

Since the average exposure (time) to digital signage is relatively short, music videos are perfect for digital signage loops.  Expect new mass-exposure opportunities to grow out of the digital signage networks over the next twenty-four months.

Question:  Do any MTT readers have high-quality music videos that they feel are under exposed?

About Bruce Warila


Thursday
Nov052009

Start Your Own Scene

I hear a lot of people complain that their band can’t really get anywhere because there’s not much of a scene where they live. However I don’t see a lot of people doing anything about it. If there’s going to be a scene, someone needs to have the vision and initiative to start it. So if you don’t have a booming scene where you live – start your own! Here’s how: The first thing that you need to do is to scout out at least one good venue. What you want to look for are venues that are:

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Wednesday
Nov042009

What are music fans willing to pay for?

I’m not a musician. I’m a fan. And from my perspective, it’s clear that fans do want to support artists that they like. Here’s a list of things that fans will pay for, even if they can get your music for free:

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Sunday
Nov012009

Posting and announcing your gigs. 

So you have a show and you want to promote it. Many artists take this pretty simply. They post on their website, announce it on Myspace, share it on Facebook, sometimes list it on Craigslist and then maybe send it to a local music magazine. There is this idea that people will just make the effort to find out about you. Now in some cases that can be true, but with each gig and show it is much more effective to pull those that already know you, reach out to those that might be some what familiar with you and connect with people that have never heard of you before.

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Saturday
Oct312009

Email 101 for Artists

Email is an essential part of the fan relationship equation for artists, labels, and managers. While it is difficult to say the exact value of collecting any individual email address for musicians, marketers from other industries peg the generic value of getting an email at about $1 each.   But it’s all about what you do with it once you are given the great responsibility of owning it.  We have seen Artists generate as much as $10 per email address on their list, when used properly.

Email has some interesting attributes going for it, like:

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Friday
Oct302009

MTT launches the Indie Maximum Exposure 100 Blog

As of today, you will find a new menu item in the Music Think Tank menu that is simply labeled 100.

The Indie Maximum Exposure 100 blog was created by a team of industry experts and by artists that are making a full-time living from their music. 

The 100 is an essential read for all artists; it’s a clear and concise guide to 100 important things every artist should consider.  Check out the Indie Maximum Exposure 100 on Music Think Tank.  Here’s a category list:

The Entire List (100)
Fostering Relationships (13)
Making Money (12)
Mindset/ Who You Are Being (16)
Online Resources (Where to Submit) (20)
Recording and Releasing Material (8)
Social Media/ Internet Strategy (16)
Touring/ Live Performance (15)

 

Wednesday
Oct282009

In Defense Of 1,000 True Fans - Part II - Matthew Ebel

In part ii of my 1,000 true fans series I chose to interview my friend Matthew Ebel. I have known Matthew for a few years because he runs in the same geeky podcasting circles that I proudly run in.  Matthew is the type of artist I refer to in my book as a “Builder” meaning Matthew is constantly pushing his career forward using not only musical innovation but also technology.  

What I find most striking about this interview is the fact that Matthew makes 26.3% of his net income from just 40 hard- core fans.

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Monday
Oct262009

Ending agreements in the beginning for bands. 

Many musicians feel like the band they are in is destined for success and that the group will never break up. Even after being a part of a number of bands, there is still that glimmer of hope—which is not a bad thing, but often times it can set you up for problems further down the road. Imagine that things are really starting to take off, money is coming in, you have forward motion and momentum. At this point, things feel good, everyone is happy, decisions are made fast, and quite possibly, never formalized in writing.

Now fast forward two years. For some reason, whatever reason, someone is leaving. The band is breaking up. If there was already fighting going on, it escalates: arguments over who gets what, who is owed what, and who has rights to what. Everything is twice as challenging and twice as hard. In a lot of cases, people hate each other, the fights get louder and harsher. This is not an atmosphere in which any equitable decisions can made.

Simple Solution

It really comes down to a very simple solution: In the early stages, while the band is new, while things are getting ready to happen, and most of all while everyone is happy and friendly, work to set up your end agreements then.

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Sunday
Oct252009

‘It’s tough to beat up a guy that never quits’

Babe Ruth mouthed that ungrammatical gem, and a slumping Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees just invoked it at a critical moment in his career.

Hang with me a moment, and you’ll see what this has to do with us music artists. Swisher made the last out in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series the other night. It was a frustrating moment, since a hit in that spot could’ve finished off the Angels and put the Bombers in the World Series.

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Saturday
Oct242009

Happy 'Quit MySpace' Day

Everyone uses MySpace - because everyone else uses MySpace.

But the site fails to recognise or make use of the fact that they have what could well be the greatest asset on the internet: EVERY FRICKIN’ BAND ON THE PLANET.

We all have our complaints and issues with MySpace. It isn’t all it could be - and while it’s improving in increments, it’s not good enough. This article is a call to arms. It’s time for a revolution. Either they start doing independent music right - or we ALL walk.

Let’s give them one year - then we’re gone. Here’s why.

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Tuesday
Oct202009

The primary job of a manager is to take care of your lazy artist…

When a westerner (an American for example) walks by the office of a co-worker, and the co-worker is quietly sitting there doing nothing, the westerner’s first reaction is that the co-worker is lazy and probably slacking.  On the other side of the world, when an easterner (someone from Japan for example) walks by a co-worker, and that co-worker is doing nothing, the easterner’s first reaction is that the co-worker is most likely engaged in deep thought whilst grinding away at a solution to some problem…

I want to say two things in this post: 

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Monday
Oct192009

What happened? A rant about the work ethic of many musicians

What ever happened to true effort, the desire to learn and develop ones ability? What happened to the problem solvers? What happened to the ones that could look at a problem or at something going wrong and continue on in the mode to make it right or at least better? What happened to the hunger that was followed with the effort to do that extra work, take that extra step or go just a little more above and beyond? When did the laziness set in, the complacency, and when did the expectations grow to the point where some think it should simply come their way and they deserve all they want with as little effort as possible.

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