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The Viral Power of Fan Communication: A Case Study On Fleet Foxes

It’s always exhilarating finding stories like this that validate the lessons we so often, teach, learn, and debate here on MTT. This story in particular, highlights the power of conscientious direct-to-fan (D2F) communication on the part of Fleet Foxes’ front man, Robin Pecknold.  

If Grammy awards were given to artists DIY’ing it each year, Pecknold would win the award for “Outstanding Performance In D2F Communication”. Pecknold’s proclivity for treating fans like friends recently went viral when a fan of his enthusiastically wrote the following post on reddit:

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New Ways to Think About Facebook Timeline for Bands

The Facebook timeline requirement for pages has been looming for a while and now that it is a requirement, many artists have been wondering how to take advantage of the new features. While I won’t go into the detailed steps about it (there are plenty of other blogs that do that), I did want to offer some unconventional advice. Creating a niche marketing approach through a unique experience for your fans is the best way to grow your audience organically. 

Here are some of my tips:

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Mar312012 Weekly Recap: 10 Sales Tips For Artists and more


Ariel Hyatt: 7 Questions For A Real Live Music Supervisor Sarah Gavigan of Get Your Music Licensed

I’m kinda obsessed with how artists make money mostly because artists constantly ask me how they can make more of it.

Several weeks ago, we proudly blogged in support of The Future of Music’s incredible undertaking Artist Revenue Streams, which is a must read for any artist looking to monetize their music.

The FMC has begun to release the results of their in-depth study and they have identified 42 ways artists can earn money.

Numbers 5 & 6 on the list are:

5. Composing Original Works for Broadcast (an original jingle, soundtrack, score, or other musical work for a film, TV or cable show, or an ad agency…)

6. Synch Licenses (Typically involves licensing an existing work for use in a movie, documentary, TV, video game, internet, or a commercial).

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The Successful DIY Indie Artist Series - Project

There’s too much back and forth about who’s finding success and why in the DIY independent artist scene, so i’ve decided to go out and do some deep investigative research to pull all the info i can together, and focus on deep patterns and strategies across several facets of how successful DIY’ers have put their career together, what they’re doing, how they manage it, and hopefully uncover what some of the underlying reasons why it’s all working for them, are.


Purpose = Going beyond “surface level” exploration, research, and interviews, on the successful indie artists and bands that are thriving today. Cluster and define correlations and key strategies that are common and prevalent, as well as highlight the business models that are working today. Get candid and get to the “core” of what actually is THE THING that is making some people succesful today and why as Independent artists in the new music business…


There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there… There are a lot of skeptics, naysayers, and doubting thomases out there that perpetuate a vibe of hopelessness in regards to the DIY movement… This is not only unhealthy but destructive, and it ain’t where or what we should be focusing on.


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10 Sales Tips For Artists

When it comes right down to it, we’re all selling something. Every day, we’re selling our products, services, brand and our personal selves over and over again. As an artist or band, you have to be aware that sales are a big part of your equation for success. Here are 10 sales tips that can help you not only increase your revenue, but your fan base as well.

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Buzz: There's More to a Free Music Campaign than Free Music...

You’ve done it again. You’ve given away a free track from your latest album. It’s on your website. You’ve talked about it on Facebook. Job done, you think. Well think again. There’s no doubt about it. Free music is a powerful marketing tool. However, the music industry has become so over-saturated with free music that we’ve become desensitized to the process of consuming, promoting, and thinking about the importance of free music. This age-old debate has become, well, old.

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Mar242012 Weekly Recap: Five Bucks and more

image from


The Music Industry

Thinks Out Loud


Ariel Hyatt's Social Media Food Pyramid


With social media growing at such a rapid pace, I decided it was a good idea to revisit my social media food pyramid and update it for 2012.


Here’s Your Social Media Food Pyramid

It happens to me all of the time when I teach artists social media.The face goes blank, the frustration begins to settle in and then the artist says it:

“I just don’t have anything interesting to say.”


I’m shocked by this every time.  You are an artist; you do things we mere mortals are totally enamored by: you PLAY MUSIC, you write songs, you perform them in public!

So PUHLEEASE, do not tell me you have nothing interesting to say. I ain’t buying it.

All you are missing is a System for Social Media Success.

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How To Sound Better Live

Live shows are what a lot of our careers center around. Whether we’re in a band, manage a band, or run sound for a band, one thing is for sure, the better the band sounds, the better the show. After reading this post you’ll be able to implement some changes that will help you gain more fans, sell more merch, and have people leave with happier ears.

For the Band

“What could we do better?” is the number one question I am asked by bands after a show. Without fail, this is the answer I give them:

“Improve your tones”

Here’s what I mean: Say you are a singer songwriter. You play by yourself, your vocals and your guitar is 100% of your sound. First of all, record yourself playing, and listen back to that recording. What is the tone of your voice? Deep? Boomy? Nasally? Harsh? Thin? Full? Listen with an open mind, and see if there are things you can improve on. Next your guitar. How does the pickup sound in comparison to how the guitar sounds when you play it unplugged? Does the pickup add low end or sound too harsh in the highs? Spend some time listening to how your instruments sound, and make them sound as best as they can.

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Fan Friction - How The Internet is Failing Artists by Adam Bernard

The internet has a million ways to communicate, and a million ways to sell things, but it’s failing when it comes to creating fans. The reason for this is that there are very few fan experiences on the internet.

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Five Bucks

I met up with a group of music industry professionals this afternoon, and as we were chatting, we got on the topic of the problems that exist in the area of live shows.  I’m not talking about soft-seater or stadium shows, I’m talking about gigs in small, local venues.

It’s clear that there are lots of different opinions on what works and what doesn’t, but right as we were wrapping up, I made a comment that I think warrants publishing, and it’s this:

There’s nothing that bothers me more than shows that cost $5 to get into.

Five bucks, in my mind, is WAY too low.  When I played in bands in my early twenties (about 10 years ago), shows cost five bucks THEN. You know what else cost five bucks? A pack of cigarettes. Try finding a store that sells you smokes for under $10 now. (Note: I’m in Toronto, Canada, so your prices may vary depending on where you live).

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Mar172012 Weekly Recap: First Impressions Count & more


3 Reasons Spotify May Never Be the OS of Music

So, most of you are probably aware of the recent changes that Spotify has made in regards to opening up its platform for developers to build apps upon. In March, the social music service will be opening up an app store to help app developers get paid for their hard work. Last week, I read a really interesting article on the Gaurdian titled Spotify: ‘We have to turn ourselves into the OS of music’.

As a heavy user of the free version of Spotify :) , I really love what they are doing for social music but there are few major problems that I feel will prevent it from becoming the OS of music.

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