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Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).


MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: 5 Money Management Tips for Indie Musicians


Top Five Must-Have Music Apps for 2014 

In this age, nothing brings more music to our ears than a mobile music app.  We apps can listen to our favorite songs and find new tunes whether at home or on the go.  Stephanie Falvo of Echno Nest says that, “We as consumers are beginning to expect more from our music services.  Not only do we want a place to catalog our music, but we want to use platforms that cater to our music tastes.” However, no two mobile music apps are the same, and the vast number of music apps available for can be overwhelming.   This list of the top five mobile music apps will ensure that you have the best listening experience to keep you jamming to your ears’ content!

  1.     Spotify (FREE for Android, Apple, Blackberry, and Windows Phones/$9.99 a month for ad- free listening):

Spotify is essentially the app of Playlists.  This popular music streaming program available on desktops enables you to access the playlists from your computer on your mobile device.  Not only will the app shuffle these songs, but new tracks similar to the original playlist content are also included in your original playlist.

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5 Money Management Tips for Indie Musicians

There are many articles out there telling indie musicians about all the cool ways they can make money in today’s music industry. However, all that money that you could potentially make probably won’t equate to very much if you don’t have an understanding of personal finance and budgeting. Without a sense of finance you could see your hard-earned cash going down the drain as a result of impulse buys, unstructured saving, and over-spending for your projects and tours.

If you’re far enough along in your career, your manager or accountant may take care of budgeting and finance, but, especially in today’s industry, most musicians starting out may only have a friend or classmate acting as their manager. With all the stuff you need to get done, something as mind numbing as finance tends to get pushed under the rug in favor of more glamorous activities like recording, writing, and talking with fans on social media. But the fact of the matter is, it’s not glamorous to throw money away. And that’s exactly what you could be doing with poor budgeting and finance. 

So how can you get a better handle on your finances and get the most money out of your music? It’s actually a lot easier than you would think - no boring accounting lecture necessary!  With just 5 quick fixes, you can be more organized and make more money.

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: How To Get Gigs That Make You Money


5 Things They Don't Tell You About Being A Booking Agent

You can read all the articles you want (even from us), and talk to every agent under the sun, but you will not really understand what it is like to be a booking agent until you actually do it. It’s a completely different


1. Being a booking agent requires a lot of time.

I’m not talking 2 hours a day. I’m talking about your entire day spent at the computer working and sending out emails. Facebook, email, phone calls. Rinse, repeat. For hours and hours a day.

I have spent days just researching local promoters in certain areas just to get turned down in the end. Booking a tour can take 3 months of 8 – 12 hour days of just researching, e-mailing, messaging and networking.

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How To Get Gigs That Make You Money!

As many will agree, getting and performing gigs are an important part of most musician’s music careers. Aside from giving fans the opportunity to meet you in person, live shows can be a good source of additional revenue from your music.

That said, not all gigs have the same earning potential as each other. Some gig types have a few revenue sources you can tap into, while others tend to be hard to make money from. So today I’ll give examples of which gigs you should and shouldn’t get booked for if your main aim is to make money from them.

P.S. This guide doesn’t look specifically at how to get gigs, but more at which ones you should be aiming for if you want to make money. I’ve written a guide detailing the steps to get gigs, so if you’re after the actual process, you’ll want to check that out as well.

Some gigs are better for making money than others, so choose wisely - Tweet This

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Self Publishing on YouTube


13 Topics That Musicians Can Easily Blog About

There are plenty of reasons for musicians to blog on a regular basis. First and foremost, blogging is one of the best ways to drive people to your website. Every time you create a new blog post, it’s an excuse for you to invite fans to check out your website.

Blogging also shows that you are active in your career. If a potential fan visits your site, enjoys your music, and then sees that you have months of regular blogging under your belt, they might click on a few posts to get a better sense of your personality. If they really like what they read, you might have a fan for life.

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Self Publishing on YouTube

Everyone knows how important the YouTube platform is for indie musicians. It’s a great way to get your music out to fans, grow your fanbase, and provide your fans with great content from music videos to vlogs. There are plenty of musicians out there who have become successful mainly because of their YouTube channel, with Karmin and Pomplamoose being two of the most successful examples. They grew their audience by targeting young teens with covers of popular songs. Other musicians, like Alex Day, have based their career entirely on recorded music sales and a YouTube channel featuring music videos and hilarious vlogs.

However, there is another aspect of YouTube that is vastly underutilized by the musician community on the platform - publishing. You don’t need a publisher to get your music placed in YouTube videos. You just need to be proactive with social media and reach out to YouTubers you think would be interested in using your music with their creative content.

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MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: How To Get A Wikipedia Page For Your Music


Is YouTube a social network, or something better?

I’m sure by all relevant definitions YouTube is – and by far the most popular. It allows people to have followers and subscribers and share content, comment and all of that, but for some reason I put them in a different category than other social networks for 1 key reason – income participation.

All truth be told, I’m not a massive social media guy – I certainly engage with it and use much of it, but I’m certainly not as savvy as the average teenager. What I do know is that major corporations and content creators are approaching social networks in 2 ways – marketing and revenue.

Most of these networks start in the marketing/sharing space and then work on how they can transition to the revenue part – we’ve seen that with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and even YouTube.

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5 Types of Managers You Don’t Want Managing Your Band

Choosing a manager will be one of the most important decisions you make as an artist. Who you let represent you to the outside world is a direct reflection of how you handle your business, and a great manager can do magical things for your career. More often than not, you come across the not-so-great managers that are slowly putting your band’s career in a dank, dark corner one email at a time. The wrong fit can quite literally sink you. Here’s some common manager archetypes we recommend steering clear from if you’re looking to grow a long and steady career in the music biz. 

#1 - The Too-Busy-To-Call-You-Back-Ager 

We know… they’re busy and ‘important’. Being a busy manager is usually a good thing, but not taking time to hear their artists’ needs, cater to them, and collaborate with them will often cause fractures in the relationship. Beware the chronically-busy manager. As the artist, you need to be able to reach your manager at any time for advice and late night strategizing. A constant dialogue is essential; after all, your manager is out on the industry front lines hustling for your career.

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How to Get a Wikipedia Page for Your Music

This post originally appeared on the Bandzoogle blog. Dave Cool is the Director of Artist Relations for musician website & marketing platform Bandzoogle. Twitter: @Bandzoogle | @dave_cool

Bandzoogle just implemented Google’s new Knowledge Graph format that allows our members to get their upcoming shows listed on the main search page when a fan does a Google search for them.

Though we provide the information to Google, we’re not in control of who they add to the listing. In their documentation, Google suggests that having a Wikipedia page will increase the chances of being listed.

Now, getting a page on Wikipedia isn’t a straightforward process, and there’s no guarantee of being able to get one. But if you follow their guidelines, you’ll give yourself a very good chance.

Here are the most important things to keep in mind when trying to setup a page for your band or music on Wikipedia:

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What Artists Should Know About ArtistLink

ArtistLink started as an extension of the Topspin Media platform, so that non-Topspin users could add content to the MTV Artists site. It’s well on its way to becoming the control panel for the music industry.

I encourage any artist with a release on Spotify to sign up for ArtistLink. All essential functionality is free.

As of this writing, ArtistLink is basically four services rolled up into one. I’ll go over each, starting with the coolest.

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