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Posts Tagged ‘time’

DIY takes more time than many think

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Imogen HeapBuilding a successful career in music on your own terms and with your own two hands is a difficult task – the business side and the art of self promotion, may rain on the “rockstar” parade.

Your reaction may be – is it all worth it?

Another successful example of the wonders of social media and the marketing genius behind a talented DIY (Do It Yourself) artist, describes Imogen Heap as she tweeted us through the 2 years leading up to the release of Ellipse. Yes, she has a major record label, and when she began promoting Ellipse she already had a committed fan base – a host of films and TV shows featuring her music.  But with Ellipse Heap has expanded her reach exponentially thanks to her determination.  She refinanced her house to fund recording, and with over 1 million twitter followers, she communicates constantly with her fans. ” I’ve been tweeting about making my new album, Ellipse (out 24th Aug). Now… I guess I’ll be tweeting about how it gets from my studio to your ears.”

Using Twitter to allow her fans a glimpse into the world of a “rockstar” with a few lines of text en route to a Berlin airport, or while preparing for a video shoot –  responding fans RT or reply, just as friends would, and as the relationship grows – so grows the fan base and eventually trickle through revenue.

So, is it all worth it – considering the artist/fan relationship is the “expected” in today’s music marketplace and that relationship also takes a lot of time and energy to maintain – and with every successful relationship, takes time to nurture?  Being ‘all about the music’  is being about your career, and there are many other responsibilities vying for your attention.  Depending how deeply you feel your passion, and what sacrifices you’re willing to surrender in order to manifest a dream into reality – is the hard work, commitment and dedication really worth it – time will tell.  Join as many music networking sites as you possibly can, and build your Twitter profile, and may be the most important in your arsenal of social media tools.

And if you need a hand, don’t forget – There is professional help, that’s what we’re here for!

The New “Press Kit”

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The “Press Kit”, which typically includes a demo, photos, printed reviews, the artist or band’s biography, etc., is now available electronically, and artists are using the electronic press kit (EPK) and artist profile to replace the traditional method. Either in digital or online format, an EPK is available to anyone at all times, and is a far more cost effective way to present your music. Tim Sweeney, one of the music industry’s most sought after experts and consultants, says: ” Get rid of your Press Kit. Finally focus on creating an Artist Profile that will best represent you to radio, retail, press, clubs and online.”

According to Ariel Hyatt’s Music Think Tank article, The ugly man behind the curtain in music publicity…the cost of submitting a traditional Press Kit equals this: 500 Press Kits in the Mail = $2,500, a publicist’s 3 month retainer = $9,000, Extra expenses = $1500, a whopping total = $13,000. The article is written to expose music publicity’s “dirty little secret”, the resale of promo CDs distributed to music journalists on the promo list. The unethical practice revealed in this article, adds to the already growing mistrust in the old way of doing music business. “40,000 CDs come out every year and that means hundreds of thousands of CDs will be mailed out for review consideration.” According to LAweekly.com: finding anybody in the music business to actually talk about this vast and ever-fluctuating underground economy is tough….. Ask a publicist what he does with unwanted promos and there’s usually an awkward pause, as though you’d just asked after his porno collection. Few are willing to go on the record regarding their income stream for fear of being blacklisted…..“Everybody sells them, let’s be realistic,” says one prominent L.A. music publicist.

The ever more acceptable DIY music career allows artists greater control, and spares the monetary and emotional expense of using a traditional music publicist. Tim Sweeney also offers this piece of advice: “Throw away your press kit and one sheet that “supposed” publicists and radio promotion people think is right (but only signifies you as a non-priority that people can ignore) and create an Artist Profile. One that talks about who you are as an artist and what your music is about.

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

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.

Pro Soul artists get best website hosting in the world

Monday, April 27th, 2009

We’ve talked about the importance of using social networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Myspace, but without a reliable website, which is where your career magic begins, successful exposure may be dealt the back space card should a fan have to wait for slow page loading, or reach an error message when landing at your site.

We’ve experienced firsthand unreliable web hosting – from our artists websites being down for days at a time and being unable to access their site, to not reaching our hosting providers for explanation and resolutions. After much research and through our own valuable experience, we have taken the appropriate measures to insure our current web hosting service provides a strong Network Uptime Guarantee.

We offer a solution for all our artists that uses Rackspace technology, for the best hosting in the world. Absolute reliability, redundant server backups, fanatical 24/7 support, and a leader in the global community, Rackspace technology’s “Company” is socially aware and offers “A Greener Way of Doing Business”. From cost-effective green servers to company-wide conservation programs, they are dedicated to doing business in an eco-friendly way.

Pro Soul is constantly aware of the things that artists need to take care of. The last thing an artist needs to worry about is their hosted web site, the hub of their music career.