More goes into impressive merchandise sales numbers than meets the eye. For one, there’s the marketing research that needs to be done beforehand so that you have product fans actually want to buy. After that comes the effectiveness of the person selling the merchandise; getting your band’s gear into fans’ hands is harder than sitting behind the table and letting them come to you.
“I wanna get signed!”
How many bands or musicians say that? Perhaps not as many as in past years. These days, an independent musician has access to tools that allow them to self promote through a giant web of online resources and then sell their music through the same. Certainly some musicians have no desire to sign to a label contract – their musical style is one that may not be saleable to mainstream audiences, or they prefer the self-control of handling their musical career independently. Some major artists were label signed, and having already gained a large audience share, they feel their own team can now market and sell to those same fans, without the controlling relationship certain labels may offer.
I hope everyone survived hurricane Irene this weekend. Now that natural disasters are out of the way, it’s time to get back to rockin’ the music world! This week in Musician’s Arsenal, I’d like to talk about something most musician’s don’t like to think about. Rights.
So much of what I write comes from my life experiences; either having worked with bands or from my being a fan and consumer. Life is full of many great lessons. Here is a lesson that hit me over the weekend.
As I made my way back from Los Angeles, I started to think how many talented young artists out there have made the wrong decision when it came to their personal manager? How many of them had an attorney present when signing their management deals? How many of them involved a sunset clause? How did the contract say the manager was paid? Gross revenue stream or would the manager be dipping into “restricted areas”?
I love the fact that my sample library is enormous, the presets are wide, varied and bountiful, like Harrods at Christmas time. I can press just one key and a whole world of beautiful sound comes pouring out of my monitors, and every time I use it I always think; ‘wow, I could do something really interesting with this’. And then I don’t. I might spend a few hours mucking around with Omnisphere, but when it comes to working and finishing my projects, I don’t use it. And that’s nothing to do with Omnisphere itself, there’s nothing wrong with it, I genuinely think it’s the best software synth yet devised. But it’s vast; I haven’t had the time to get to know it well at all.I find I always return to the instruments I know well to get the job done.
Kurt Cobain blew his head off, even Martin Mills has a Maseratti and Amy Winehouse’s blood is not on Island Record’s hands.
The music industry is a strange thing. Full of a lot of mushy stuff that just loves being squished into its tight little cubicle alongside all the other mushy stuff.
James Blunt is the suburban front lawn of artists – there’s a song, there’s an album a cover, there’s a hit, there’s a car.
Most great artists are like the annoying neighbour that ignores your invite to the neighbourhood barbecue, the one that keeps letting his garden grow slightly wild, the one who ‘doesn’t care’ (but really does).
How many times have we been inundated on Facebook with “spray and pray” wall messages from “friends” promoting their music or tagged in photos and videos that bear no relevance to us? How many times have “Tweeple” tweeted us to watch music videos that we didn’t ask for and don’t have an interest in. It’s annoying isn’t it?
This happened to me recently (again) whereby I received a charming rock video that involved all kinds of torture, sex and death imagery (evident within the first ten seconds you could see where it was going … no major label deal for this band!). They were a follower of mine on Twitter. This video however, was unsolicited and not to my taste. Consequently, I blocked them.
Theoretically, we have permission so why do we find this kind of thing so irritating? Surely, by default, we are fans of our friends’ and followers’ musical endeavours? This got me curious why we feel this way and got me back onto a marketing strategy I am working on based on trust.
Growing a Crowd for Your Music Through Engaging Stories: FanBridge Co-Founder & CEO Spencer Richardson Shares Thoughts on Engaging Influencers One Chapter at a Time
FanBridge Co-Founder and CEO Spencer Richardson says, “When you can tell your story through your voice… instead of trying to do the spinning plates trick, where you try to keep everything up at once, you develop a momentum and synergy through your narrative. It starts with a story, and the channels are just a reflection of the story. The strategy becomes much easier.” Continue reading to learn more about leveraging the power of the crowd and best practices for engaging with the press.
Embedding your music in another product - a mobile app, for example - is going to be the way to sell music in the future. Consider this article, published just 5 months ago in the New York Times. It highlights the major labels’ mad dash to get into the mobile app market. Bjork new album will be a collection of apps rather than a list of songs. UMG is creating an app for Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. And it makes sense. Just last month news surfaced that Apple has now sold more apps than song downloads - even though iTunes had a nearly 4 year head start on the App Store.
I was recently asked to create a list of all the digital services and tools an artist can use for social media, as it’s often overwhelming to comprehend all the tools online when you’re trying to focus on making good music. So here it is.
It amazes me that after being in the industry long enough to be considered a veteran by many that I have come to respect over the years, that there are some artists and companies industry related out there that think they are going to “GET TO THE TOP” by backstabbing or undercutting other musicians, agents, managers, producers, etc. That being said, they are “Playing Games” in our Industry!
Hello again and welcome back to Musician’s Arsenal. This week I’d like to present to you, Visibli. A good friend of ours, Jordan Walker (@jordanwalker), came by the Cyber PR® office a few weeks back for some after hours drinks, and as our conversations usually do around here, the talk quickly turned to the music industry, specifically effective technology for independent musicians. In no time Jordan was on the computer showing me all the ins and outs of this great new tool and I’ve been chomping at the bit ever since to write this post.
I’m filling in on bass for a band that’s gearing up to release their new CD. When filling in for a band, I try to take a back seat on the band’s business. However, I sometimes just cannot keep my big mouth shut. In this case, the guys were discussing details of their upcoming CD release, and I had to chime in. Here’s a rant based on both my experience with my former band and quite a few drunken conversations with various bands over the years.
Recent Popular Content
(Updated April 6, 2015)