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Monday
Mar192012

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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Saturday
Mar172012

MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: First Impressions Count & more

Friday
Mar162012

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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Thursday
Mar152012

Ariel Hyatt's 2012 Guide to SXSW

Having attended every SXSW for the last 16 years, and being an active member of the SXSW Accelerator advisory board, I’ve seen it all. The following are some tips on how to successfully navigate your through the most overwhelming music conference of them all.

Envision What You Want Before You Arrive

My first bit of advice: Arrive prepared. Know who will be attending and create some goals before you get there.

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Wednesday
Mar142012

First Impressions Count. The Importance Of Brand For Your Band

Without doubt, the biggest challenge any new band or artist faces is getting their music heard. So it’s important you give yourself the very best chance of cutting through. Sadly, just having great music is not enough. Bands frequently spend months writing and recording new material and then rush it out before considering the importance of presentation or brand.

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Tuesday
Mar132012

Who wins the race for investment money, the artist with the epic song or the software developer with the snazzy iPhone app?

The problem with the “fuck copyrights, you can make money from live performances” argument is that this thinking limits an artist’s ability to scale to: his or her capacity to perform (live) on a consistent basis.  If music (for example) is consistently stolen borrowed or free, where does the capacity to scale through minimal additional investment come from?  T-shirts?
 
One might argue that if you reach the top tier of the profession that the capacity to generate easy, incremental income scales far beyond the income generated via performances.  However nobody wants to invest in a business or an industry where the only way to obtain a financial exit is to hit a home run.  There are far too many investment alternatives where you can pile up rewards by hitting singles and doubles…while preserving the opportunity to hit a home run also.

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Monday
Mar122012

Why Play on the Facebook Freeway? Meet Me In My Inbox Instead.

I live in my inbox. Don’t you?


It’s like this. I sit down at my computer, or I pick up my smartphone. First thing I do? I check my email. There I go. I just went into my inbox. I’m at home and I’m greeting people or sending them away.
I like to keep my inbox clean and tidy, just like my real home. Okay, there’s a bit of dust and some dirty socks kicking around. But generally, I keep the place in order because I live there.

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Saturday
Mar102012

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Bandzoogle: "Your website should not be a blog"

image from www.musicthinktank.com

Where

The Music Industry

Thinks Out Loud

Wednesday
Mar072012

Exactly how NOT to use an email list

I was thinking recently about what to write about next, and lo and behold, this beauty arrives in my inbox. I don’t know why I was on this email list, as I never signed up for anything of the sort. This alone annoyed me. Yet, in any case, the subject immediately caught my attention.

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Tuesday
Mar062012

5 Critical Things To Add To Your Monthly Newsletter

So – as you know I am a newsletter evangelist!

I believe it is the NUMBER ONE thing that will help you create a career in the music industry; communicating with your fan base regularly and consistently. 

If you do not already have a schedule mapped out for sending your newsletters – get your calendar out NOW and pencil in 12 dates – 1X per month (I suggest you send your newsletter 2X per month but start with once a month and grow from there). 

Studies show that the best days to send newsletters (for the highest open rates) are Wednesdays and Thursday so make sure to send them out mid week.

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Monday
Mar052012

Bandzoogle: “Your website should not be a blog”

Bandzoogle is one of the most effective platforms for musicians to build their website and manage their direct-to-fan marketing and sales. Their platform is one of oldest web hosting tools available for musicians and I have created a few websites through them myself.

Bandzoogle sites are very easy to create, stylish and they come with some great built-in features.The service is free to try, and offers affordable monthly subscriptions plans, with great customer service. Below is a brief Q/A that I recently had with Bandzoogle’s CEO David Dufresne.

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Saturday
Mar032012

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Facebook's Timeline & More

Friday
Mar022012

What Can We Learn From Indie Band Pomplamoose?

Having been hearing about the growing success of the band Pomplamoose many times now, I decided to check them out and listen to their music/interviews and watch some of their videos to get a feel for who they were-both as artists, and see what we could learn from this independent band who have carved out a living with STRICTLY their MUSIC, using a 99% web-based business model. Listening to them in the first interview with Tech Crunch’s Andrew Keen, Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn answered several very basic questions, of which, although the interview could have been hosted better to get down to some more insightful questions, the resulting insight I continue to find the more I learn about this powerhouse duo remains consistent with the very simple mantra this band has so very successfully modeled for us as independent musicians in our brave new music business. Pomplamoose, who have now turned down all of the “big three” major labels – are in fact making enough money to live in a fully paid for house, primarily off iTunes revenue, and don’t see the need OR the strategic advantage to sign with a major record label. The bottom line is that Record labels today - are more like general contractors who hire other companies to do things for the artist, (when, with a little knowledge and ambition one could go hire that company directly) and decision makers for those who don’t want or don’t know where to start with building their own business model. Perhaps not as extreme as “the powerful praying on the ignorant and powerless,” but something close to that, is what perpetuates most of the unknown yet talented and intelligent signed acts that you’ve never heard of.

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Wednesday
Feb292012

Musician's Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools & Sites - Facebook's Timeline

It’s a big day today, folks, and the office is all a buzz about the exciting new Facebook developments. What Facebook developments, you ask? What!? You haven’t heard??? Timeline has arrived in full force and is now available for brands! Timeline has been received with resistance by some users (but what Facebook update isn’t?), so this may not be music to everyone’s ears. But as far as bands and brands are concerned, this is a powerful move. I tend ramble on a lot at the beginning of these posts, but I’m pretty excited about Timeline, so I’m jumping right in here.

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