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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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Wednesday
Feb082012

Unbundling the Album: A Business Case for Releasing Single Songs

There are many examples of the benefits of working in harmony with nature. When first venturing out beyond home a child is taught to walk with traffic. A carpenter achieves a cleaner result by going with the grain rather than against it. In sports a team succeeds by taking advantage of what the defense gives them, and there are countless other examples that express why it is better to work with the flow rather than push against it.  For the past ten years the recorded music industry has ignored this strategy, and stubbornly clung to a business model that is no longer in harmony with they way people consume music by predominantly releasing albums in a single song economy.  

According to Nielsen Soundscan, in 2011 there were 1.374 billion digital transactions last year. Of those only 103 million or 7.5 % were for albums. This means that approximately 1 out of 14 times a consumer went to buy music online last year they were purchased an album. First with Napster and MP3s, then iTunes and the iPod, and now with streaming services like Spotify and Turntable.fm—the music consumer has repeatedly demonstrated that they prefer single songs to albums. Despite this fact, nearly 77,000 albums were released last year.

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Tuesday
Feb072012

Hear-Like-Buy: Why Spotify Is Marketing, Not Commerce

You can’t read an article in the music press without tripping over somebody complaining about Spotify royalties. You’ve heard the chorus: Spotify is destroying what’s left of the CD market. It is cannibalizing iTunes. It is ripping off indie artists. And so on.

So, you think. Spotify must be pretty bad.

But is it?

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Monday
Feb062012

The Science Of Email Timing

Your email list is one of the most powerful marketing tools that an artist or band (or a business or brand) can have. Recently some data courtesy of Dan Zarrella and Pure360 has shown that there is a definite science behind the timing of sending your emails, just as there is for posting on Facebook and Twitter. Here are some tips and tricks for getting your email timing just right.

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Thursday
Feb022012

The Difference Between the Music Industry & The Recording Industry

After publishing Why You Should Give Your Music Away for Free here on Music Think Tank, I have been inundated with articles, comments, and other assorted replies decrying that the new digital music business models are killing the music industry. It got me thinking about a crucial distinction that is being overlooked, and the consequences of doing so are preventing many from seeing the opportunities that are abound. It boils down to one main concept.

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Tuesday
Jan312012

The Musicians’ Guide To Google – Hot Tips To Maximize Your Google Experience

Google, in my humble opinion, is the most amazing invention since anything else I can really think of. And Google is not just a big search engine, although it would still be awesome if that’s all it did.

Google has been offering a suite of incredibly powerful tools for years; way before ‘in the clouds’ become the next big thing for companies like Apple and Microsoft. And to make it even better, Google has recently created a platform for musicians that offers even further tools that will help independent musicians all over the world to thrive in the digital world.

Google is, quite simply, a portal that truly puts all of the worlds electronic information at your fingertips – there’s a good reason why the word “Google” has become synonymous with searching online.

Here are 9 Hot Tips designed to help you through all of Google’s awesomeness and use it to your benefit.

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Monday
Jan302012

A Response to SOPA: Free Pays(More)

So as we know, if a song reaches a certain level of popularity these days, there’s pretty much a guarantee that someone, somewhere is going to pirate it. This is now a fact. Should it happen? Some say yes, and some say no, and there will probably never be a consensus. Regardless of the answer to that question, the unrelenting truth of the matter is that it DOES happen. The smartest response in this case then is to stop arguing about the should’s or the why’s, and simply accept the fact that this is happening. The ground is shifting below our feet, and we need to act or we will all get sucked under.

To me it seems pointless to even bring up the prospect of a subscription service, or even a pay-as-you-go model as a viable solution for a future sustainable industry model. This is because the internet, now the basis of content consumption, is like a huge river of information. A paywall is like a little pebble being thrown into it. The water in the river has no trouble getting around the pebble. Paywalls will never solve the piracy problem, and damming up the whole river, as we’ve seen with SOPA, will not be easy, and most likely will never happen.

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