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Friday
Mar022012

What Can We Learn From Indie Band Pomplamoose?

Having been hearing about the growing success of the band Pomplamoose many times now, I decided to check them out and listen to their music/interviews and watch some of their videos to get a feel for who they were-both as artists, and see what we could learn from this independent band who have carved out a living with STRICTLY their MUSIC, using a 99% web-based business model. Listening to them in the first interview with Tech Crunch’s Andrew Keen, Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn answered several very basic questions, of which, although the interview could have been hosted better to get down to some more insightful questions, the resulting insight I continue to find the more I learn about this powerhouse duo remains consistent with the very simple mantra this band has so very successfully modeled for us as independent musicians in our brave new music business. Pomplamoose, who have now turned down all of the “big three” major labels – are in fact making enough money to live in a fully paid for house, primarily off iTunes revenue, and don’t see the need OR the strategic advantage to sign with a major record label. The bottom line is that Record labels today - are more like general contractors who hire other companies to do things for the artist, (when, with a little knowledge and ambition one could go hire that company directly) and decision makers for those who don’t want or don’t know where to start with building their own business model. Perhaps not as extreme as “the powerful praying on the ignorant and powerless,” but something close to that, is what perpetuates most of the unknown yet talented and intelligent signed acts that you’ve never heard of.

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Wednesday
Feb292012

Musician's Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools & Sites - Facebook's Timeline

It’s a big day today, folks, and the office is all a buzz about the exciting new Facebook developments. What Facebook developments, you ask? What!? You haven’t heard??? Timeline has arrived in full force and is now available for brands! Timeline has been received with resistance by some users (but what Facebook update isn’t?), so this may not be music to everyone’s ears. But as far as bands and brands are concerned, this is a powerful move. I tend ramble on a lot at the beginning of these posts, but I’m pretty excited about Timeline, so I’m jumping right in here.

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Wednesday
Feb292012

The Twitter Trolls: How to Deal with Criticism Online

It’s impossible to be liked by everyone. No matter what you say or do online you risk the potential of offending someone (or even just rubbing them the wrong way). But for a musician, writer, photographer or anyone in the creative arts it can get even worse. Your soul, your art, is on display… available for anyone to rip it to shreds.

Enter the world of The HatersThe Trolls. The Vociferous Nerds hiding in their parent’s basement behind a bag of half-eaten cheese doodles, whose job is to make everyone they encounter online feel worthless.

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Tuesday
Feb282012

The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Promotion

Dave Cool is the Community Manager for musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle. Twitter: @Bandzoogle | @dave_cool

The “Four P’s” is a term used to describe the traditional Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Well, I’m going to borrow from that expression and talk about the Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation, Promotion, Performance, and Post-Show. This series of blog posts will cover the things that you can be doing as a live performer to maximize each show. Part 1 was all about preparing for your show, and in now in Part 2 we focus on promotion.

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Monday
Feb272012

The Next Music Format Case-Study: Twisted Music

This contribution is by Bas Grasmayer (@Spartz), head of information strategy at Zvooqthe leading music-streaming platform in Russia & CIS.

Recently music industry analyst Mark Mulligan presented his plea for a serious adoption of a new music format. He claims that most new business model ideas in the music business are retail innovations, but not format innovations. In short, he argues that the new music format should be Dynamic, Interactive, Social and Curated (DISC). For the full vision, check out his speech at midem 2012, or read his full 15-page ‘manifesto for the next generation of music products’.

In my thesis about marketing music through non-linear communication, I wrote a case-study about a record label called Twisted Music and their remarkable adoption of an excellent business mentality for the digital age.

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Thursday
Feb232012

Mobile Marketing for Independent Artists: Tools

So this is it. The final installment in my series on mobile marketing for independent musicians (sob!). We’ve discussed the reality. We’ve established the importance of strategy. Now it’s time to talk tools! So exactly what tools are out there for the average, hard- working DIY musician? Are the all-singing, all-dancing mobile marketing campaigns of established artists totally out of reach?

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Wednesday
Feb222012

Marketing OneOH!One: Break On Through To The Tangential Side

[Originally written for the Berklee Blog created for their Intern Program way back in January of last year, when Greenberg obviously had a lot of time on his hands, somewhere before going to sleep and those dark hours after midnight.]

When I interview interns for the Ted Kurland Associates program, which I oversee here at TKA, more than a few want to know if they are going to work directly with the agents, or with management, as if the marketing side of it were tangential to their education, not only as an intern at TKA, but as a whole to their career. Of course, working with the artists is more interesting than working with the pictures of the artists; getting into the thick of the business of music is really the key to their understanding of the booking process. I know that, which is why I try and give them face time with the agents.

Hopefully Berklee-ites…As this was first written for Berklee’s intern blog, I needed to address them head on. But you know, for all those who did not get into Berklee, got into, but could not afford Berklee, go somewhere else less fanatically music-oriented, or just answer “uh…Berkeley?” when asked about the Boston Music School, you can insert the name of your own school where-ever you see that moniker; making this as close to a real one-on-one with me — as that is less and less likely to happen the busier I get in this race to the finish — instead of the usual impersonal read you get off a blog like this one.

So, let’s start this again. Hopefully (Insert Your School Name Here & add the “ites” or just add, “all the young dudes and dudettes”) reading this will have a career where they can afford to shave off a nice percentage for a manager; one who understands all this tangential business kind of stuff and can honestly oversee the marketing. For nowadays, you need the right kind of marketing crew who knows how to use all the bleeding-edge tools-of-the-minute in order to shoot your career into the stratosphere, and, even more important, keep it there. Before you do, there is one basic term you need to understand. It’s not too hard to get, though I am perplexed when starving artists don’t even have this tool tucked under their belts. Perhaps that’s why they are starving?

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Tuesday
Feb212012

BACK TO BASICS: COPYRIGHT(S)

1.  Introduction.

Any artist hoping to break through in the digital age has a fundamental decision to make; embrace wholeheartedly a DIY pathos and work ethic, or throw in the towel now and reconcile oneself to hating on those whose perceived ease of success masks tireless work, focused dedication, and strategic planning—don’t think Skrillex deserves his meteoric success?  Let’s see you make a commitment to your fans to try and play 322 shows next year! (www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/record-labels/skrillex-on-how-he-got-5-grammy-noms-we-1005601152.story.)  

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Monday
Feb202012

Great! You've Got Their Attention - Now What?

Everyone wants attention. You want it too, right? Of course, you do.

In fact, that’s the first crucial step in marketing: getting people (specifically, your ideal fans) to simply notice you among all the noise and chaos of their busy lives.

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Thursday
Feb162012

The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation

The “Four P’s” is a term used to describe the traditional Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Well, I’m going to borrow from that expression and talk about the Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation, Promotion, Performance, and Post-Show. This series of blog posts will cover the things that you can be doing as a live performer to maximize each show. Part 1 is all about preparation.

The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation

We’re going to start with the assumption that you’ve chosen a venue and confirmed a date with the venue booker. For tips about getting booked, see one of my previous posts 5 Ways to Impress Venue Bookers and Get More Gigs.

Once the gig is confirmed, here are some things you will need to prepare for the show:

Who will the opening band(s) be?

I guess the first question really is will there even be an opening band? The answer will almost always be yes, as the benefits are clear. An opening band can warm up the crowd, hopefully bring their own fans to the show, and help with the promotion of the show. So when choosing an *opening band, a few things to consider (*and if you happen to be the opening band, much of this advice can still apply):

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Wednesday
Feb152012

Three Steps on How to Become a Record Producer

A common misconception of a record producer is someone who has the money to finance expensive recording projects. While some producers are really the one that finances the project, this is only the tip of an iceberg in knowing the detailed job of the record producer. If you like to become a producer, the four steps outlined below is a big help. Let’s get started..

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Tuesday
Feb142012

If Your Music Career Was Like a Food Cart

I often like to compare business practices of other industries and to take the lessons learned to apply it towards a music career. The other day, I was thinking about the food industry and it was so much like our world in music. I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family and started helping my parents’ restaurant business when I was still in elementary school so many of these lessons came quite early in life.

Here in Portland, OR, most people are starting their food business in the form of a food cart. It’s less expensive, there’s less risk, and you’re often grouped together in a “pod” of other food carts so often times you’ll just get crowds of hungry people who would like some food but are unsure of what they’d like yet (or you can be exposed to the customers of other carts). Picture yourself as a chef who wants to make a living doing what they love for a living: cooking. Not much unlike the music industry isn’t it?

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Monday
Feb132012

7 Burning Social Media Questions

Ariel Hyatt Gets The Answers From Corey Denis

Corey Denis is a woman I admire deeply. 5 years ago, and I hired her as a consultant when I took my traditional PR firm to digital and she was instrumental in helping me to get my head around how to think differently and embrace social media (Yep, even I hated it at first too). Here is just a sampling of Corey’s brilliance:

Ariel Hyatt: Why is it important that artists participate in social media?

Corey Denis: At the very least, using social media as part of an over all marketing strategy has a direct impact on Music Discovery Optimization and Search Engine Optimization, creating exposure which increases the chance of sales. In the digital environment, artists have a new chance to interact with, and sell to fans surrounded by unlimited shelf space and unique experiences online and off. Authentic participation in the “social media” space is a lot like going to the merch table after a show and selling your own merch, signing record albums or cds or shirts or USB drives…

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Thursday
Feb092012

What Artists Should Know About Headliner.fm

Headliner.fm is a platform for trading recommendations with other artists on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. You “buy” recommendations using a virtual currency called band bucks, which can be purchased outright for real money or earned by recommending other artists.

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