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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).

Monday
Aug152011

How Middle Class Musicians Navigate the Nodes on the Network: Topspin Media's CEO Ian Rogers Says "It Just Takes a Long Time"

I recently asked Ian Rogers, CEO of TopSpin Media, about the role of the press in music careers in the new era of the music industry. Topspin Media is a direct-to-fan marketing and retail service, so Ian observes a lot of bands stepping through the stages of development from unknown to known. Here’s what he had to say:

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Thursday
Aug112011

Artist Advice: How to Make Money through YouTube Ads

I was at a digital music event earlier this year, and was shocked to find out how many people had not heard how easy it is to monetize your YouTube channel through Ads.  YouTube will pay you for doing what you already do! Take your money!

Here’s how it works…..

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Wednesday
Aug102011

Top 10 Rules For Better Songwriting

I am a songwriter. I typically work from home using a small studio set up and have been fortunate enough to have written, co-written or produced many songs that have been commercially released.

I am also the founder of Audio Rokit, which is a song submission platform helping bands and artists get their music heard by top industry professionals. http://www.audiorokit.co.uk.

I thought I could share some of my own personal song writing tips and tricks. These 10 rules have helped me and I hope that they help you also. Please feel free to add to my list!

 

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Tuesday
Aug092011

Can Indie Bands Use Lady GaGa's Example For Originality & Controversy?

Indie bands and musicians - What can we learn, if anything, from the viral marketing techniques employed by the world’s biggest pop star (except Justin Bieber of course), Lady GaGa? If at this point you’re grumbling “Not my thing” or “I hate pop music” you’ve quite possibly closed some of the potential doors available to you and sorely missed out as a result. Let’s also forget the obvious point that GaGa has millions of followers anticipating her every move. I plan to use this individual simply as a conversation starter on the topics of controversy and originality, which are becoming ever-more important in today’s music industry.

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Monday
Aug082011

DIY Promotion, Songwriting and Pricing w/ 3OH!3

When you think of DIY bands, chances are the acts that come to your mind are not on the billboard charts. At least not yet. When we first reached out to 3OH!3 for an interview, we had our doubts as well. However, as you will see below, 3OH!3 was born and raised in DIY ethos and continue to move forward with the same mentality even today.

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Thursday
Aug042011

How to Sell Out Properly

So you’ve got it in your head that you must be signed to be happy. As you know, I am very much against labels as they are 95% of the time a terrible financial decision. However, you don’t care. Cool, let’s work with that.

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Wednesday
Aug032011

Why No One is Reading Your Newsletter

A little over a year ago I read a chapter in Ariel Hyatt’s book Music Success in Nine Weeks on newsletters.  After reading it I felt like I had made many many mistakes with how I was writing my music newsletter.  I began a journey in salvaging whomever I had left that was reading them to use a new format to re-engage them in my music career.  One in which I feel many musicians will have to do based on what I am going to say below.

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Tuesday
Aug022011

Google+ is for PEOPLE, Not Bands

There has been a lot of talk about Google+ recently, and rightly so. When the Goliath of the internet launches a new product, we’d all be wise to pay attention. And while I agree that it can be a powerful tool for musicians to share their work, everything I’ve read in the music blogosphere has missed the point. So far, the articles I’ve seen have focused on the eventual addition of “brand pages”, or pages that are attached to a band rather than an individual. But Google+ is for people, not bands.

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Friday
Jul292011

Approaching Music Journalists

Part of being a DIY artist is marketing yourself like an entrepreneur or small business owner: You’re presenting the brand of “You, Inc.,” comprised of all the unique things about your music and you as an artist. And while putting some tracks up on social media platforms like Facebook and Myspace or on your own website is an important part of your larger portfolio of marketing tactics, you can’t just leave it at that and hope that someone will eventually stumble across you.   A very important part of your PR campaign as a DIY artist is presenting yourself well to blogs, podcasts, online music communities, music websites and magazines. It’s a given that if you’re at the stage where you’re ready to approach the press about your music, you should have at least two things: a professional-sounding collection of your songs – whether that is in the form of an LP or a full-length album – that represents you at your best; tangible proof that you are playing whenever and wherever possible, working hard at providing an engaging experience for your fan base – who essentially act as your paying “clients,” buying albums and coming to your shows – and to turn new people onto your music. Assuming you have both those things going for you, what comes next?

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Thursday
Jul282011

Let's Talk About Google+ For Artists

You would be hard pressed to NOT have heard of Google+, the newest social networking and sharing tool from Google which after one month of existence boasts around 18 million users. Artists are already bombarded with a plethora of tools to help them connect with their fans, but Google+ truly adds some unique features which have great potential for integration into a musician’s marketing arsenal.

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Wednesday
Jul272011

7 Ways to Bring Back the Physical Album Experience in Digital Music

I’ve been meaning to write this article for a looonnggg time, and I am finally finding the time to get around to it. It really irks me whenever I hear somebody say they are dissatisfied with digital music. It doesn’t have to be some boring, robotic thing, people! Despite what some industry folks may tell you, there are still tons of music fans out there that prefer the experience that a physical music item can provide. I am one of them. Believe it or not, there are ways that artists can bring some of the physical album experience to digital music. Some of it is common sense, and some of it takes a little “out of the box” thinking, but it is indeed possible.

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Tuesday
Jul262011

Question: Can there be another "CD Baby"?

Derek Sivers revolutionised the way music is distributed when he created CD Baby. Since then many others versions have popped up. Is there scope now for another CD Baby-esque venture?

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Monday
Jul252011

How I Got 96 Album Cover Designs for $145 (and why I'll never do it again)

Quality graphic design is expensive. I paid $500 just to license the cover image for my last album, plus $600 for the rest of the design. That’s fine every couple of years, but now that I’m releasing songs individually, I need a cover design every month or two. I decided to give 99designs a try, and the results far exceeded my expectations. For $145, I got 96 custom designs from 33 different designers. Sure, some were amateur, but a solid half were usable, and a handful were excellent.

Sound too good to be true?

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