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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Why You Should Be Using Instagram as a Musician (And All Its Dirty Secrets)


3 Predictions for the Over-Hyped Music Streaming Business

Music streaming is beating out music downloads, and has made piracy a non-issue.

Companies are jumping on the streaming bandwagon ever since Nielsen's consumer research showed that 68 percent of U.S. consumers reported streaming music during 2013. The U.S. music industry then published its review, showing that streaming consumption grew 42 percent in the first six months of 2014, compared with digital albums sales which decreased over 10 percent year on year. With Generator Research stating that the current 767 million worldwide music subscribers (36 million paying) are set to explode to 1.7 billion (125 million paying) by 2017, there is potential for a $2.9 billion revenue increase in the music streaming business.

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Why You Should Be Using Instagram as a Musician (And All Its Dirty Secrets)

I have spent the last months learning the ins and outs of Instagram. I took a couple of lessons from a New York marketing firm, read endless blogs, and, through trial and error, found the right ingredients to grow my Instafanbase to just over 3,000 real followers. I have had a lot of new fans buying my music, coming to shows and sharing my music, and unlike Facebook, I have not had to pay a cent for it!


Getting Started—An Effective Profile

Here’s the first counterintuitive rule. Increasing your fan base via Instagram is 20% about having 20 to 30 great pictures and 80% searching hashtags. I will explain this further but for now, all I am saying is you don’t need to post photographs every day to grow your account. In fact, that won’t help new fans discover you at all. 

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: The Taylor Swift Factor


The Taylor Swift Factor

Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, is my jam this month. As an independent musician, studying The Swift is like a study in everything a musician can do right on a grassroots level. The weird part? She’s arguably the biggest pop star in the world at the moment, and she just sold 1.2 million albums this week…in a year when NO ONE ELSE has gone platinum. In fact, her first week sales numbers have consistently gone UP when it’s trending downward for everyone else. Let’s examine this, shall we?

Swift Factor No. 1: Be a social media phenom
Taylor has openly admitted to stalking her fans online, and they know she’s lurking. Her Tumblr is hilarious and a peek into her sense of humor. She reblogs fan posts, artwork, and the occasional embarrassing middle school photo. She’s just like us, trolling the internet late at night when we can’t sleep. On Twitter, she’s been re-blogging photos of fans with 1989 albums in hand. Most pop stars try to seem a little bit untouchable, which is a tactic that actually works sometimes (hey, Rihanna). Taylor’s approach of accessibility has made for a very loyal crowd in her demographic. The selfie is the new autograph and the re-tweet is the new high five.

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How to Legally Use Music to Enhance YouTube Videos

Quick: go to YouTube and do a search for the song “Little Red Corvette” by Prince, one of his biggest hits ever. You'll find a few results, but click to play them and all you'll get is a muted video. That's because Prince, for lack of a better term, despises the Internet and those who share his music without permission. He not only has any and all uploads of his music removed or muted by YouTube, but recently filed a lawsuit in federal court against 22 individuals for sharing bootlegged copies of his concerts.

Laws and regulations surrounding copyrighted materials changed forever when the Internet became mainstream in the late 1990s. File-sharing platforms like Napster, Limewire and Kazaa were all either ordered to shut down by federal judges or completely reconstruct their sharing models in the last decade because of copyright violations. It's important for musicians, marketers and others who use YouTube to promote a product to understand 21st century copyright laws and how it can effect them if they do not follow certain procedures.

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: 4 Tips for Creating Shareable, Watchable Video Content


Understanding and Getting the Most out of the Artist/Manager Relationship 

It is easy to forget as a busy artist or manager the large and very important differences that make artists artists and industry industry. We work together closely every day, but to truly maximize the greatness of this partnership it’s important we all keep in mind the very real differences.

Who is an Artist? 

Artists operate from a place of creativity. Great artists find what they need to do their best work and aim to spend the majority of their time creating and sharing their art with others. This beautiful vision of a life of art does not usually have a huge monetary payoff. It is pure and peaceful and has a lot to with the genuine ability to create and share something magical so that it has positive effects on those around them. Most artists start making art because of this feeling. Sometimes they need to be in a dark place in order to extract that greatness. Sometimes they need to go away for months and turn off their phones, sometimes they don’t. Whatever they do is necessary for the benefit of the art.

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Promoters Promote & Musicians Invite. 

Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and remind ourselves what we want from live music. Mark Knight is the founder of Right Chord Music, a company set up to bring the discipline of brand marketing to band marketing. In this article Mark critically examines the way grassroots live music is promoted. Mark identifies the roles of the key stakeholders and suggests how they could work together more effectively in the future.

Let’s start by reminding ourselves what is important.

What musicians and managers want from live music:

  • An opportunity to grow their fanbase

  • A chance to showcase their new material

  • At atmosphere conducive to great live music; sound, lighting and staging

  • An appreciative and respective audience who want to listen to their music

  • Fair compensation for the entertainment they provide and / or opportunities to sell their music


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4 Tips for Creating Shareable, Watchable Video Content

These days on the internet, it’s all about content. Companies pay big bucks to people who craft everything from blogs to tweets and Facebook posts; forward-thinking brands even shell out thousands for Vine videos and fun Instagram photos. Having interesting, relevant, and most importantly, shareable content is key these days – the more you have, the more eyeballs go to your site, your social network profiles, and your brand. Content is the new advertising, and the world isn’t looking back.

Big brands and Fortune 500 companies aren’t the only ones who should play the content marketing game – anyone looking to keep an audience engaged and entertained (certainly something a band or an artist can identify with) should pay attention. Before you start spending time and money creating content, though, think about what kind you’re going to make. Are you the kind of artist that’s going to be huge on social media? Will you write blog posts? Or, will you create videos that show who you are and what you’ve got going on?

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: How To Book Your Own Gigs


The Cyber PR Guide to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan (Part 3 of 3)

In creating an effective music marketing plan, so far we have discussed building a solid and complete online foundation and outlined strategies for a successful new release launch. Now it is time to kick back and relax for a little while before starting to write material for the next album that you’ll release a year or two down the road right…..Couldn’t be further from the truth!

To build off of all the progress you’ve been making up to this point, while you are working on that next record, you will have to keep supplying content on a consistent basis to strengthen your relationship and stay relevant with your current fans, and at the same time this content will also help to increase your fanbase.

Additional merchandise is one content idea, you can make vinyl for the last album or announce a new T-shirt design. Continue to release music videos for songs off the last album is another, for example take footage from the album release tour and edit to create an easy and fun music video to upload to your YouTube channel.

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The 7 Fundamental Steps To Cover Band Success (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second of a two parter. In the first post I ran through the fundamental difference between building a fanbase and getting leads. If you’re in a cover band and want bookings for lucrative private and corporate events then you need leads and enquiries from prospects most likely to want to pay for your performance.
Check out the first post here. In this second post I’ll run through fundamentals 5 to 7…


5. Start thinking about what you thought were costs as an investment.

In general the quickest way to find a client is broadly speaking to put a paid ad in front of them.
Most bands won’t do it because they see it as a cost rather than an investment.
But if I told you that you could spend 50 bucks to secure a booking for 1000 bucks you’d do it all day long wouldn’t you?


Well you can.


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How to Book Your Own Gigs

Every musician has to start out booking their own gigs, but, as you’ve probably realized, this is a lot easier said than done. After all, there are so many musicians and bands competing for very limited performance spots. For promoters, it’s a game of risk management - they want to book bands they know will fill the room - so getting the spot as a new band can be very tricky. There are, however, some things you could be doing that can help you get those gigs!

What is a Promoter?

A promoter or venue owner is someone who buys talent. Depending on the size of the venue, they work independently or with booking agents to book bands and musicians to perform. For local clubs and venues, promoters and venue owners get a percentage of ticket sales and also make money from food and drink sales. As you can see, the business of promoters is really all about numbers - if they don’t fill the room, they don’t make money. This is where you come in. If you want to get the gig, you need to be able to prove that you can bring an audience, therefore lowering the risk for the promoter.

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