“Can we get in Pitchfork?” I’ve been asked this question by many artists who are just starting out, and of course, there is always that chance. However, there seems to be a looming expectation attached to the question that has some troubling residue. One artist advised me that he would accept interview requests from publications like Pitchfork or Rolling Stone, but I would have to get his permission for “smaller publications”. Do you see the issue here?
A recent article by Last Stop Booking highlighted the fact that touring is now more important than ever. If you have the time, I highly suggest reading through the article to get a basic feeling for how you should be planning your tours as a band.
I’d like to add some tips/ideas to that post by going farther than just giving ballpark numbers and touring radiuses to go off of and instead dive into a profitable tour itinerary that just about any new indie band can use as a template.
Whether they ever choose to regain some of their former financial stature and growth, record companies, majors and indies alike, along with unsigned and unknown independent artists, too, must cultivate and create, as quickly as possible, a SINGLE new digital marketplace. Here competition will flourish and some semblance of reasonable choice and control over the discovery of new artists with original new music will be exercised by whatever is left of the music listening mainstream audience. In this brave new world, record companies will need to collaborate and combine forces with each other and with independent artists at large. They will need to move quickly to consolidate into one place a dynamic customer base made up of the depleting record companies’ sales bases along with the ever increasing independent artist fan bases. The passionate members of the music listening public will ultimately choose to gather in this one place and make quick decisions about new music and new artists.
Recently, I received an email with two commonly asked questions about sponsorship that I’d like to address:
1) How much can you ask from a sponsor?
2) My project costs X dollars, should I mention that in my pitch?
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
- Hoyt Emerson: Major Labels Still Invest in Music (Kinda)
- Simon Tam: Where You Should be Touring/Performing
- Levi James: 5 Kickstarter Killers Your Band Should Avoid Like the Plague
- Shaun Letang: Music Marketing - The Ultimate Guide For Beginners Part 2
Hello again my Think Tank friends, and welcome to part two of my beginners guide to music marketing. If you haven’t already seen part one, I suggest you check it out before going any further (Link opens in a new window). Part one looks at what music marketing is and why it’s needed, the power of leveraging established platforms to get your music out there faster, and types of online and offline platforms you could use to market your music to targeted fans of your genre.
Great news! According to Kickstarter, 54% of all music Kickstarter campaigns are successful. The bad news is that 46% FAIL. How can you avoid these terrible odds?
Over at the Launch and Release blog we’ve interviewed over 60 bands who’ve launched Kickstarter campaigns to help us collect and analyze data that we’ll be releasing in the coming months.
I’ve also launched multiple pre-order campaigns prior to Kickstarter opening it’s doors and I’ve launched multiple successful Kickstarter campaigns in the last two years for my two bands.
When it comes to touring, I find more musicians focused with the “How,” “When,” and “Where” aspects but not enough of the “Why.” Of course, touring can be an incredibly important step in most artists’ careers but you should definitely take some time out to create solid goals and a definitive strategy before you decide when/where you want to hit the road. Why do we pick the target areas for touring that we do? Is it because we want to travel there? Because they are big cities? Because that’s what everyone else is doing?
In the graphic below you’ll see how major labels are currently advancing and promoting acts, primarily pop acts, in order to break them to the general public. It’s an interesting refresher in how much major labels are still able to put towards music, albeit music we may not care for. Their options are minimal and their expectations are high. With this still hefty investment, it makes you wonder how successful they could be pushing smaller, touring groups instead of putting all their eggs into one basket.
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
- Mark Doyon: Pandora: A Change in Priorities
- Tom Dennehy: You Bought It, You Own It, You Should Be Able to Do What You Want With It.
- Ariel Hyatt: Cyber PR® Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools & Sites – Tweepi
- Music Think Tank: Join the Music Think Tank Thanksgiving Networking Party!
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are enjoying good food and conversation! Speaking of which, come join the Music Think Tank Online Networking party!
Feel free to comment and introduce yourself and network with others in the Music Think Tank community.
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Twitter offers one of the most widely used APIs (application platform interface)) in the world, allowing other businesses to create apps that will heighten the experience of using the Twitter platform. Among these apps are games, tracking apps, picture apps, and also apps that will better your chances at engaging a larger pool of people.
There is an app out in the ether right now called Tweepi. It has been around for a little less than a year and is still evolving, but it has found a place as the Twitter janitor and also the Twitter stat machine.
The US Supreme Court is hearing an appeal that could change your ownership rights to music.
If you purchase music as physical media or license-free downloads, you are protected by the so-called First Sale Doctrine of the US Copyright Act, which gives people the right to lend, resell, or give away the works that they’ve bought, even if those works contain copyrighted elements.
But the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, currently being heard by the US Supreme Court, could undermine First Sale Doctrine, making ownership feel more like licensing. How could you be affected?
So you’re an independent recording artist, casting about everywhere you can for airplay and exposure. Pandora, the internet-radio service with the taste-smart music library, has just accepted one of your original recordings for rotation. Great, right? Pandora provides access to your music on one of the most talked-about music platforms out there. It’s a step in the right direction, a win.
Except it isn’t anymore.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)