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Posts Tagged ‘musicians’

Emerging artists use new tools for success

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The growing number of social-networking sites aimed at bringing aspiring musicians and loyal music fans together,  gives way to greater control of an artist’s career, while entertaining music lovers everywhere.

Encouraging the emerging artist to connect with fans, and promoting music is the purpose of sites such as Ourstage.com . Among its many partners,  Ourstage has joined with MTV for the Emerging Artist Program.  Sonicbids.com brings the artist and promoter together, and is a place where any band from any genre anywhere in the world, can come to find and connect with any type of music promoter, licensor or broadcaster — easily, effectively, and quickly.

As technology advances at such a rapid pace, so goes the advancement of innovative ways to meet the challenges of music promotion and the business of making music.  Unlike the new frontiers of days ago big band Radio, and major labels, this new wave of Music Business done better sets out community guidelines that its independent members must agree to:

“We like to think we’re in this together, meaning we provide the platform to showcase your talent, but we need artists’ help too.  Keep your profile updated, keep uploading into our channels, make friends, recruit fans—help us help you.”
Ourstage Community Values

When the “help them to help you” gets overwhelming, there are professionals like Pro Soul Alliance to assist artists while allowing them to keep in control of their career.

Booklet deals – the Monetization of Mimi?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

mariah_careyIs matching bands to brands with advertising on CD booklets a well thought out campaign to hedge the downturn in record sales?

Hypebot.com fueled a debate and asked its readers whether Mariah Carey’s “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” released on Sept. 15 – should include as part of Ms. Carey’s Album packaging a 34-page mini magazine, with ads from Elizabeth Arden, Angel Champagne, Carmen Steffen’s, Le Métier de Beauté and the Bahamas Board of Tourism?

Is this a questionable practice? Is the corporate cog digging music even deeper into the dark pit of advertising? Is the musician’s art being vandalized by the addition of paid sponsor ads littering the CD booklet alongside the liner notes and lyrics? Or, will this brainstorm idea makeup for lost revenue – and as one reader commented: “I see a trend here….. free = comes with ads, no matter how you slice it. I’m okay with that if it keeps the music free. We’ve had it good for too long and I’m not against getting the Artists paid.”

No doubt, corporate Mariah is getting paid, but alas so will “Mimi” – and if paid ads could help the independent artist pay for marketing, producing, and retailing their music, it might be a very interesting and useful concept. Again, time will tell.

Mariah Carey’s CD is gaining attention not only because of the ad controversy, but seems her beef with Eminem is heating up again. After the video for Obsessed featured Carey dressed as a deranged stalker and word has it was meant to portray Eminem – the rapper came back with a heated rush track “The Warning” – and if you’ve followed any of the music gossip out there, you’ve heard the whole story. This is buzz, the best in Viral Marketing – all publicity is good publicity, and the beef is brewing nicely between two of music’s biggest hitters: at the exact precise moment in anticipation of the CD launch!

Image source: www.topnews.in/people/mariah-carey

A brave new era of music self release…

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

According to NewMusicStrageties.com some artists still believe record labels are the best way to get their music out to the public. Artists believe there is security in being signed to a record label. The idea is that a major label provides people in the music industry that know what they are doing, they understand marketing, they have things like connections, promotion strategies, radio pluggers, PR, graphic design, branding, distribution, chart registration, bar codes, licensing, finance, and deals on pressing all sorted out – they are the corporate caretakers of the music business, and 20% of something is better than 100% of nuthin’. Their experience and advice, the guidance and navigation through all the decision making, is worth giving up the 80%.

There is substantial benefit in having a major behind you to advance studio money, and cutting the checks for the cost of promotional events to market your image – but, being “signed” to a major label is not the only means of getting your music to market. Its now common for an artist to be without major label backing, and he/she/they are no longer considered “unsigned”. Known as an “Independent”, modern technology has delivered the brave new era of self-release. The independent artist has the tools to record, release, distribute, promote and make money from their music on their own terms, keeping the profits and rights to their intellectual property.

The question is when should you begin marketing and selling your music online? In the old days of music publishing, the finished recording was the minimum standard for releasing material to the general public. Without the professional guidance from a seasoned music executive, how will you know when to start letting people hear what you’re working on? Well respected author and consultant Andrew Dubber says, depending upon whether you’re a beginner or a pro, and how confident you are in your professional abilities, “There can be a strong case made that encourages musicians to let audiences get a glimpse behind the curtain and see the music in development.” By and large and after all consideration, the answer can only be when you are ready. When you have prepared yourself mentally, emotionally and your song speaks to you and tells you that you’re ready. Not to worry, if you do need some solid advice, there are professionals who can help you master the era of self release.

giving back to the independent community…

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

It now seems that major labels Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music no longer have a firm grip on the artist or the industry, and the old model of doing business their way is a thing of the past.

On the forefront of an ever-changing music industry, is Brian Message, manager of the alternative band Radiohead. Brian Message along with co-founders, Adam Driscoll, chief executive of the British media company MAMA Group, and Terry McBride, founder of the Vancouver-based management firm Nettwerk Music Group and former manager of Barenaked Ladies, have united to form the new business venture, Polyphonic. Polyphonic will look to invest in new and rising unsigned artists and then help them create a sound relationship with their audiences over the Internet. Artists will operate like start-up companies, record their own music, and choose outside contractors to handle their publicity, merchandise and touring. The Polyphonic founders plan to invest $300,000 in each band. The firm will then guide the musician and manager who will function a little like the band’s chief executive, to services that will help promote the artist’s online presence.

Polyphonic and similar firms are seen as a risky investment by private investors. For the founders of Polyphonic, giving back to the independent community, and mentoring the new artist or band appears to outweigh that risk. Success is all about giving back. Witnessing the dedication and commitment to the independent community by those that go before you is a valuable lesson in filling the gap between artist and label – a practice we should all remember!

Source: New York Times, 2009/07/22

Youtube still unplugged in the UK

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The Google owned video sharing site YouTube is blocking the UK from accessing music videos on their site after negotiations with the country’s Performing Right Society (PRS) for Music failed.  A statement from the owners of YouTube reads:

“Our previous license from PRS for Music has expired, and we’ve been unable so far to come to an agreement to renew it on terms that are economically sustainable for us. There are two obstacles in these negotiations: prohibitive licensing fees and lack of transparency. We value the creativity of musicians and songwriters and have worked hard with rights-holders to generate significant online revenue for them and to respect copyright. But PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before.”

The YouTube statement continued: “The costs are simply prohibitive for us–under PRS’ proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback. In addition, PRS is unwilling to tell us what songs are included in the license they can provide so that we can identify those works on YouTube–that’s like asking a consumer to buy a blank CD without knowing what musicians are on it.”

PRS is claiming that the owners of Google are not willing to pay enough for licensing fees. In fact, PRS is outraged that the owners of Google would “neglect” artists and songwriters in this way. A report from the BBC states the changes were to take effect March 9, 2009.

YouTube pays a licence to the PRS which covers the streaming of music videos from three of the four major music labels and many independent labels.

Last week, PRS music, likely realising how many millions of dollars they are losing due to their stubborness, agreed to half their royalty rates from youtube. Smart move considering the site contributed 40 percent of PRS members’ plays!

I wonder if anyone will ever come up with an accurate analysis of just how much money artists with major representation are losing due to the lack of foresight the big music corporations have regarding the internet? It’s no wonder major artists managers are telling artists to go out on their own.

Top feature to use on Twitter: @replies or ‘mentions’

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

We recently blogged about the importance of Twitter for artists, and connecting Twitter to your other social networking profiles. But if you don’t use Twitter effectively, it doesnt do much good…

In addition to tweeting at least a couple times a day, we wanted to share our top pick for the most important feature to be using on Twitter: @replies or ‘mentions’ as they are now called.

Using @replies is simple: always @ People you like!
This is a public message that everyone in your network, or who search Twitter, will see.
To comment back at things you would like to react to or to connect directly with someone just tweet: @ and then their username. So if you want to say something directly to prosoul (our Twitter ID) type @prosoul – this will turn up in the @ Mentions in our Twitter dashboard and we will see your comment, and here is the key, so will everyone in your network!

Here is some detail on how @replies/mentions work:
http://blog.twitter.com/2008/05/how-replies-work-on-twitter-and-how.html

Create relevant and interesting tweets, and people will reply, thereby creating curiosity about your original message, and revealing your Twitter ID to their whole network, which is great exposure, especially when some of your followers have thousands of followers!

Many of our artists have had great success using @ replies/mentions, getting a few thousand people listening to their music within a few days of Tweeting!

We also highly recommend sending an @reply to all the cool people that follow you after you follow them back to show your appreciation, but NOT to those MLM and Internet marketing people! (direct messaging is not the best way to do this as too many people using automated direct messages now)

Use Twitter incorrectly and your announcing ‘I’m a clueless rookie’ to the world! Contact us if you want assistance using Twitter to promote your music more effectively.