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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).

Saturday
Jul192014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: 16-Point Band Website Assessment Checklist

Thursday
Jul172014

How To Reach The Best Music Business Contacts. Period.

Lately I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of subscribers and it’s been a very cool process. So many of you have had some success in the music licensing world, or are getting approached by companies to sign agreements and have your music represented in third party catalogs. But the most common question I see is:

Who do I reach out to in the first place?

And while this answer depends on your main goals (do you want to pitch music yourself or work with a company? Are you looking for a major label deal or trying to get into a music library?) the process for finding your key contacts is the same.

Imagine that you no longer feel like you’re sitting and waiting for something to happen. You’ve invested time, energy, and probably a good amount of cash into your music but you can’t help but feel like you need to do something to get noticed.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul162014

16-Point Band Website Assessment Checklist

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

When reviewing websites for musicians, we generally break down the reviews into 3 categories:

  • Design
  • Organization & Navigation
  • Content


For each category, there are certain key things that we look out for. We’ve decided to share our checklist so bands can assess their own websites!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul142014

What They Really Mean: The Musician's Guide to Industry Speak

You email your heart out to target industry people and you are probably used to not getting many responses. This is the life of a hustling artist. Don’t hate it – embrace it. I always tell my bands – if you feel like you’re doing it wrong, you’re not! You’re doingsomething proactive; therefore you’re doing it right.

First things first – don’t get discouraged by rejection (you can read my other blog here with more info on that). Sometimes you might not get any responses. But when when you do, they are seemingly cryptic. As a fellow industry person, trust me when I say we aren’t trying to make you rip your eyes out. We are talking in industry speak. We are moving quickly, managing a million things and sometimes the idiosyncrasies can get lost in translation. Sometime we are too short and a more elaborate answer could help, we know.

It takes that one email sent in the right moment to the right person to change everything. Hopefully this blog helps to navigate some of our answers and feedback.

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Saturday
Jul122014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Swimming Upstream

Wednesday
Jul092014

Swimming Upstream

Since releasing my first digital album back in 2002, technology has played a crucial role in the distribution of the music I create. At that time, CDs were still the way folks listened to music but sales were definitely well in decline. Napster had scared the crap out of the music industry and was shut down for good. Mp3s were all the rage and there were these things called iPods that were changing the way people consumed their favorite songs and albums.

Thanks to archive.org and Creative Commons, I was able to distribute my music free of charge to my listeners without fear of the music being used for commercial purposes. I’d release a concept album that could be downloaded and enjoyed around the world. At the time, this was a novel idea for an independent artist.

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul072014

6 Artists Who Are Amazing At Twitter – And What You Can Learn From Them

Let’s not beat around the bush: tweeting is easy. Even the most cursory glance at the Twitter feed of just about any celebrity will prove this point. For example, it probably didn’t take Ashanti very long to come up with her classic “Hey yalll!!! What do u think about face book??” So it’s true that tweeting is easy, but using Twitter as an effective tool to engage with your fan base and build your career - is hard. Lucky for you, there are a few musical artists who have Twitter figured out so why not learn from them and see what you can apply to your own future tweets.

 

You could choose to forgo basing your Twitter identity on your music at all. Seems counterintuitive but some people make it work for them, like Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. He tweets almost nothing about what he sings about, but tirelessly about political and social issues he cares about.

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Saturday
Jul052014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Tips From Jack Conte: 6 Keys to Success

Tuesday
Jul012014

Can LANDR Replace Your Mastering Engineer?

Drag-and-drop online mastering is here, and it’s free to try. LANDR provides unlimited 192 kbps mp3 masters of your tracks in seconds.

If you like what you hear, you can pay for uncompressed 16-bit .wav masters. Pricing is very reasonable at $9 for four or $19 for unlimited masters per month. Paid users also get to select the “intensity” of the mastering: low, medium (the default), or high.

Their algorithms were refined over eight years of university research, and they even have a resident astrophysicist. An astrophysicist!

Guess this mastering engineer is out of a job, right?

To find out, I selected tracks from three recent mastering jobs, to compare my results with LANDR’s.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun302014

Tips From Jack Conte: 6 Keys to Success

The new music industry is really about finding your own path - one that is unique to your music and career. That’s exactly what Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn did with Pomplamoose and it is the foundation on which Jack’s new endeavour, Patreon, is built. Pomplamoose and Patreon may not be names you see plastered all over billboards and flashy advertisements, but Jack and Nataly have made a sustainable career for themselves, and that is something all musicians should strive for.


Recently, I talked to Jack Conte about some of the tips and strategies that have gotten him to where he is today - living comfortably as a musician and CEO. He gave me some really great advice that you could be incorporating into your music career right now. Here’s a few tips, but we’ve got a full hour of information for you that you can check out in this free webinar.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jun282014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: What I Learned From Releasing Monthly Music Videos for a Year

Thursday
Jun262014

What I Learned From Releasing Monthly Music Videos for a Year

Over the last year, people have been responding to me differently. They view me as someone who is a famous, successful musician… People want to be part of a winning enterprise and they are star struck because they have watched my content on-line and know that many others have as well. I can command more a higher fee for concerts becasue people’s perceptions of how much I am worth as an artist has changed.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun242014

YouTube is NOT removing music! Well... probably not yours anyway.

For the past 3-4 days, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing from artists and local labels asking why YouTube is going to be removing their music. For those that haven’t already heard, YouTube (owned by Google) is planning on launching its own subscription music service soon. It has been in negotiations with the 3 major record labels and the independent labels to set a rate for their music used in the new service. The details of these deals has been kept very quiet, but apparently the Big 3 have already signed on, as have most of the independents. Only a small percentage of indies are holding out for better rates. 

The big swirl of confusion started a few days ago when the Financial Times website posted a story quoting YouTube exec Robert Kyncl, stating music could start being removed in a couple of days. This sent “the internets” into a frenzy, and is what began my phone ringing.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jun212014

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: How One Generation Was Single-Handedly Able To Kill The Music Industry

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