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Thursday
Mar152012

Ariel Hyatt's 2012 Guide to SXSW

Having attended every SXSW for the last 16 years, and being an active member of the SXSW Accelerator advisory board, I’ve seen it all. The following are some tips on how to successfully navigate your through the most overwhelming music conference of them all.

Envision What You Want Before You Arrive

My first bit of advice: Arrive prepared. Know who will be attending and create some goals before you get there.

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Wednesday
Mar142012

First Impressions Count. The Importance Of Brand For Your Band

Without doubt, the biggest challenge any new band or artist faces is getting their music heard. So it’s important you give yourself the very best chance of cutting through. Sadly, just having great music is not enough. Bands frequently spend months writing and recording new material and then rush it out before considering the importance of presentation or brand.

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Tuesday
Mar132012

Who wins the race for investment money, the artist with the epic song or the software developer with the snazzy iPhone app?

The problem with the “fuck copyrights, you can make money from live performances” argument is that this thinking limits an artist’s ability to scale to: his or her capacity to perform (live) on a consistent basis.  If music (for example) is consistently stolen borrowed or free, where does the capacity to scale through minimal additional investment come from?  T-shirts?
 
One might argue that if you reach the top tier of the profession that the capacity to generate easy, incremental income scales far beyond the income generated via performances.  However nobody wants to invest in a business or an industry where the only way to obtain a financial exit is to hit a home run.  There are far too many investment alternatives where you can pile up rewards by hitting singles and doubles…while preserving the opportunity to hit a home run also.

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Monday
Mar122012

Why Play on the Facebook Freeway? Meet Me In My Inbox Instead.

I live in my inbox. Don’t you?


It’s like this. I sit down at my computer, or I pick up my smartphone. First thing I do? I check my email. There I go. I just went into my inbox. I’m at home and I’m greeting people or sending them away.
I like to keep my inbox clean and tidy, just like my real home. Okay, there’s a bit of dust and some dirty socks kicking around. But generally, I keep the place in order because I live there.

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Saturday
Mar102012

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Bandzoogle: "Your website should not be a blog"

image from www.musicthinktank.com

Where

The Music Industry

Thinks Out Loud

Wednesday
Mar072012

Exactly how NOT to use an email list

I was thinking recently about what to write about next, and lo and behold, this beauty arrives in my inbox. I don’t know why I was on this email list, as I never signed up for anything of the sort. This alone annoyed me. Yet, in any case, the subject immediately caught my attention.

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Tuesday
Mar062012

5 Critical Things To Add To Your Monthly Newsletter

So – as you know I am a newsletter evangelist!

I believe it is the NUMBER ONE thing that will help you create a career in the music industry; communicating with your fan base regularly and consistently. 

If you do not already have a schedule mapped out for sending your newsletters – get your calendar out NOW and pencil in 12 dates – 1X per month (I suggest you send your newsletter 2X per month but start with once a month and grow from there). 

Studies show that the best days to send newsletters (for the highest open rates) are Wednesdays and Thursday so make sure to send them out mid week.

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Monday
Mar052012

Bandzoogle: “Your website should not be a blog”

Bandzoogle is one of the most effective platforms for musicians to build their website and manage their direct-to-fan marketing and sales. Their platform is one of oldest web hosting tools available for musicians and I have created a few websites through them myself.

Bandzoogle sites are very easy to create, stylish and they come with some great built-in features.The service is free to try, and offers affordable monthly subscriptions plans, with great customer service. Below is a brief Q/A that I recently had with Bandzoogle’s CEO David Dufresne.

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Saturday
Mar032012

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Facebook's Timeline & More

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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