Archive for May, 2014

You’ve booked your tour, you’ve practiced your songs, you’ve packed the van, but you’re feeling like something’s missing. How can you get more people to come out to your shows? With gross ticket revenue up nearly 30% worldwide and touring having eclipsed record sales as the main source of artist income, Bandsintown’s Artist Platform has become an indispensable promotional tool for alerting fans when you’re on tour.

Over 10 million concert-goers use Bandsintown to discover shows, buy tickets and share tour dates with their friends. It automatically generates alerts for your fans through email, mobile notifications and Facebook notifications, and if you use Auto Promote or Twitter Sync, Bandsintown delivers alerts to your fans there too. Today Bandsintown powers the tour dates for over 215,000 touring artists, ensuring their fans never miss another live show.

Bandsintown provides a wide range of tools that artists can utilize to engage with existing fans and reach new concert-goers, so it’s understandable you may not know all of the ins and outs of the platform. This post highlights four things you can do right now – for free – to get the most out of Bandsintown for your band.

1. Add Tour Dates To Bandsintown

There’s no reason your tour information shouldn’t reach as many fans as possible, and through Bandsintown, your fans will find and share it. As soon as your tour dates are confirmed, add them to Bandsintown. You can easily do this by adding the Bandsintown Artist Platform app on Facebook and adding all of your tour dates using the unique template Bandsintown offers.

2. Sync Your Shows Across The Web

Bandsintown will sync all of your tour dates across the web – on Google Search or YouTube for instance. Be sure to add the Bandsintown widget to your website or blog to automatically index your tour dates across the web. Adding Bandsintown links to your YouTube videos and descriptions can’t hurt either.

3. Tell Your Fans To Track You On Bandsintown

With the number of concert-goers using Bandsintown rapidly increasing by the day, there’s no argument that a great deal of your current fans are already using the app. However, many of them may not have Tracked you on Bandsintown.

Building Trackers is a great way to connect with ALL of your fans, not just a certain percentage. Think of Trackers like an extension of your mailing list. Every time you have a new a show in their area, your Trackers will be notified. It’s important you let fans know how to never miss your shows!

Invite your fans to Track you by posting Bandsintown Track links to all of your social networks. Want to know how many Trackers you have already? Justvisit: www.bandsintown.com/yourartistname

4. Share With Your Fans

Your fans want to hear from you all the time, and Bandsintown is there to help. Your artist profile enables you to connect with fans by sharing tour info – and live videos and photos from your tour. Not only is this a rad addition for everyone out there who loves your music and live shows, but it will help drive RSVPs and ticket sales for upcoming shows. And having more money in your pocket is always a GOOD thing!

Happy bands, happy fans. That’s what Bandsintown is all about. Questions? Send them to us at biz@bandsintown.com.

Facebook-logo

Being an up and coming musician can be both a delightful and dreadful gig. You’re always writing music, recording, performing in bars and/or clubs, and trying to sell yourself on social media platforms. Selling yourself also means shooting a music video for your best song. You can always just upload the video to YouTube and engage with trolls, or upload to Vimeo and engage with trolls. But you want to, not only sell your music video, you want to engage with your growing audience and earn more fans. Facebook is the answer for that.


Create a Page

It seems like a no brainer to create a page for your music video but most musicians seem to overthink it. You’ve encountered pages on Facebook before but they’re usually for products, films, or some cause to have you donate money to. You can create a page for yourself (or your band) to garner an online following and inform people of events, concerts, and more. Creating a page for a music video seems kind of redundant but it’s a great step forward for you.

For a music video page, go to 'entertainment' and locate 'music video'

Like a film, a music video is a story with an arc and a message to tell but set to music. It’s not a novel idea since music videos have been around for about forty years but you need to treat each one of your videos like a huge premier set to be seen by millions. The process of creating and maintaining the page is just the same as maintaining your musician or band page; you can update on the filming and editing of the video.

When your music video is complete you can upload it directly to the page and inform those followers. The uniqueness of the music video page is that you can round up more than just fans of your music. I mention before that music videos should be treated like movies because, in a nutshell, that’s what they are. By posting behind the scenes clips and updating on the status video itself will generate a whole new audience. It’s all about the music video to help you sell it and all about how you sell it to generate likes.


Utilize Your Page

Another no brainer; you have to utilize your band page in order to let your audience know about your new entry in your video catalog. You are not just selling your music video to fans but you’re also reestablishing your persons as a musician and your product (music). After the editing of your music video has completed, then it is time to post the work of art to your band page. The process here is the same as your music video page. Sell, sell, sell.


Ads

You can quite literally sell yourself on Facebook and take out an ad to be seen by millions, or to who ever your genre of music appeals. Ideally, you would want to create an ad from your music video page. The reason: it makes the time spent on crafting the ad much simpler. All the time you spent crafting how you want to showcase you impending music video can be ‘transferred over’ into an ad. Just find the ‘Build an Audience’ button at the top of the page.

When you initially create an ad, you can set up the underlying goal. Here I chose to obtain more page likes.

You can customize the ad the way you like, like the name, the description and demographics. You’ll want to narrow down your target audience and demographics. Only you know what your demographics are and it isn’t everyone. You don’t want to have your campaign reach be too broad nor too specific; you run the risk of not reaching the people you need or not reaching enough people. If you make hip-hop songs about 1950s classic noir films, then you can choose the lifestyle and interests of your fans.

File out your demographics and be honest about who you appeal to.

Ads can become very expensive if you don’t know how they work. Most people try to wrap their heads around it and try to buy ads and it ends up costing them more than they could afford. You’ve identified your campaign name now you need to establish a budget. You could make use of a daily budget or a lifetime budget (you also have control over the duration of the schedule). In addition to this you also have bidding and pricing or ways to utilize your budget to its maximum potential.


This is your money and ultimately, you have to manage it. Set a specific budget plan for your ads.

You can bid for page likes, for clicks, and for impressions. If you select Bid for Page Likes then you will be charged every time someone sees your ad, yet you’re restricted by the amount of cash you put in for your budget. If you select Bid for Clicks, then you will be charged for every time someone clicks on your ad (with the same restrictions on budget aforementioned). Lastly, if you select Bid for Impressions, you will be charged every time someone is shown your ad per every 1,000 impressions. I recommend Bid for Clicks but it depends on your strategy.


Create an Event

Why not channel Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve and make a countdown for the world premier of your new music video. Like I mentioned before, music videos are like movies; movies have events to mark the premier of said film, you can emulate that notion. When you schedule out a shoot, you should have a release date in mind on a specific date, more or less. Do not sell yourself short and create an event on Facebook to hype up your work. If you think you’re the next big musician, treat yourself like you are.

Just fill out the credentials like you normally would. Just add, for location, the Facebook URL or the site to where the music video is to be hosted. You can edit the events details even after it’s been created.

These are just a few tips to how you can sell your music video on Facebook. However, you shouldn’t be using Facebook for all your needs. You need to be using multiple social media platforms to sell yourself and your music.

How To Effectively Promote Your Music Video on Facebook

 

In and around Ontario, the war on internships rages on. It’s been a hot topic in the press as of late since 2 Canadian magazines (Toronto Life and The Walrus) dismissed their interns after the provincial government questioned the ethics behind unpaid youth employment. This isn’t the first time internship drama has made an impact in the media – there was the Fox ‘Black Swan’ lawsuit that created quite a swell of excitement in September 2013 and it’s got me thinking.

As an intern you have an opportunity to prove to a company why you deserve to be hired over anyone else. In J.J. McCullough’s article for the National Post titled ‘Why Internships Should be Illegal‘, he likens unpaid internships to “something [that] can be very good for business yet still ugly and immoral.” He even goes as far as to educate young internship victims (eyeroll) on “9 tips for ending your internship on a positive note”. As a business owner who employs unpaid interns, I regularly come into contact with many people who agree with McCullough’s point of view on a practice that is a personal career choice many young professionals make. A wise career choice, if you ask me.

Allow me to add a personal spin. Internships are something I feel very passionately about – at the age of 15, the indie record label Wind-Up Records Canada gave me my first internship opportunity. I remember driving from Barrie to Toronto to be interviewed in their office and being totally amazed. It was in that moment I knew I was exactly where I needed to be and that this opportunity was a great chance to prove myself and start my long career in music. Three months later I was hired on a contract basis to coordinate Lifestyle Marketing, and from there I continued to weave my way into the fabric of the company. I started my own company three years later (at the age of 18), and Wax Records (ex-Wind-Up) has been one of my longest standing clients. I am not saying there aren’t bad internships out there, and with them bad experiences, but as a young professional it is your responsibility to decide if you are getting what you need out of an internship and leave if it is not something you enjoy doing. At some point as a young adult you are are going to have to learn how to navigate a good or bad opportunity! It will get easier the more of both kinds you come face-to-face with.

Later on, when I sat down to build the strategies I would run my own company with, I knew interns would be a crucial part of the team. At all times we have 4 to 8 interns each working 2 to 3 days a week. More than 50% of my staff is made up of past interns, each having persevered their way into full-time positions.  For the right people it’s an opportunity to prove themselves in a place where they can have a direct impact on their own success as well as the team’s. We do not pay our interns, but there are many perks to the position. Our interns show up with smiles on their faces every day!

When I hear the Ontario Government enforcing a loose-y goose law like this one and journalists like McCullough picking a war on a practice that is a personal career choice for each young professional it makes me question their appreciation for freedom of choice and their understanding of the market. When I hear young people rolling their eyes at the practice it just comes across as complain-y and entitled. And typically in my career path I’ve been fortunate to learn that complaining, making your problems about the system, and avoiding the basic act of putting your head down and working hard will ensure you’re the only one left frustrated. I’m a big believer in the idea of natural selection in terms of hard work. The world is made up of natural selection. You can say that the opportunity wasn’t fair (and you’re right) and you can say that everyone should be equal (but they’re not) but none of that matters. If you can work hard, and I mean really truly hard, you can overcome any set backs and make a difference. You can be successful. And isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day? By whatever standards we choose to define success, that is.

What I do love about the music industry though – and I know everyone wants to whine that it’s corrupt (more complaining) – is that there is a great sense of natural selection. Those who work hard, write great songs, and have a great strategy usually rise to the top. They are usually rewarded for their talents while the complainers sit back in their basements making their issues about everyone else except themselves. Time and time again the people who put their heads down and stay focused all of the sudden find themselves towering over the rest. Sure there are flukes and exceptions but I have no time to worry about those.

Reporter Andrew Coyne at The National Post, who has been considered an “apologist” by McCullough, raises some great points in his article “Government Crackdown on Unpaid Internships Hurts Interns the Most“. He states, “The [internship] programs are always oversubscribed, to the tune of 10 applications for every one accepted. The government claims to have been acting “on a complaint,” but it sure didn’t come from the interns. Rather, it appears to have come from somewhere in the NDP-union-activist complex, and with an election coming… No one puts a gun to the head of the people (interns).”

I agree with Andrew’s viewpoint here 100%. With laws like this we are going to lead ourselves to an even bigger problem – young “professionals” who actually don’t know how to work hard and prove their value in an increasingly competitive market. If you find a company you like and you can see yourself building a career there, then it’s up to you and only you to rise above any obstacles and make yourself an indispensable part of their team. The interns or volunteers who can do this probably won’t be interns for long. I’m not saying that becoming successful requires working for free or being ‘taken advantage of’. I am saying it takes a lot of hard work, and as a young person given the opportunity to prove yourself, don’t get hung up on semantics and work hard.

Learn to work the system to your benefit, or instead of strategizing your way into a successful position you can sit around and complain about unpaid internships. Meanwhile success is passing you by.

If you ask me, the only consistent and honest thing you can really believe in is hard work. I made this decision at a very young age. I mean HOURS of head down – weekends, late nights at your desk, writing, executing, calling, fighting for what you believe in, and strategizing. To clarify – this is what I mean when I say ‘hard work’. If you love what you do and feel good doing it money should be far from mind.

If you want to find ways to get out of working hard – whether it’s complaining about interning, inflicting laws or opinions to influence the youth of today and their internships, or any other distractions you deem worthy in your life – no one is going to stop you. But rest assured no one is going to look back to help you when you are left feeling frustrated and undervalued in your career and life.

Or perhaps – if you’re one of these people who feel entitled to a great job but don’t feel like doing much of the work needed to get there – may I suggest a relocation to France. They have inflicted a ban on work related web browsing and emails after 6pm. You can soiree while the rest of the world gets ahead and makes important decisions when they’re needing to be made.

Do yourself a favour and start to do whatever it takes. Prove your value and the rest will fall in to place. Hard work speaks louder than any of this.

Call me an ‘apologist’, sure, as long as it’s second to ‘successful’.

Sari Delmar is the Founder and CEO of Audio Blood, Canada’s leading creative artist and brand marketing company. Through unique PR and promotional packages, Audio Blood continues to be on the cutting edge of music marketing and promotion. Their client roster includes the likes of Pistonhead Lager, PledgeMusic, Iceland Airwaves, Canadian Music Week, Riot Fest, Beau’s All Natural Brewing, The Balconies, Ben Caplan, and more. At the age of 24, Sari leads a team of 10 out of the company HQ in Toronto, Ontario, has spoken at a number of music conferences and colleges, and sits on the Toronto Music Advisory Council. Read more from Sari at SariDelmar.com

By Larry Butler from http://www.itallstartswiththemusic.com

 

 

“The industry is both the enemy and the best friend of the artist. Trouble is, they need each other.” – Chrissie Hynde

 

Is there anything more uncomfortable or awkward than an artist meeting a radio programmer (as exemplified by the photo above with Bono and The Edge at KTIM-FM in San Rafael CA in 1981)? In the world of music marketing and promotion, it’s an essential piece of the puzzle that is intended to lead to airplay. It’s the artist bearing his or her wares to the marketplace by way of a pitch, a smile, a kind word, a thank you – some sort of person-to-person exchange of pleasantries. It gives meaning to the music and the musician, way beyond anything that a cold, faceless, piece of plastic (or WAV file) can summon up.

 

No matter how many fans, FB friends, record sales or website hits they have, musical artists (and the industry behind them) still need radio, one station at a time, to make it into the ears and the minds of the general public. Nothing has changed in that respect.

 

The Internet has not replaced the valuable face time between artist and radio programmer.

 

This strange bedfellow thing is not a recent development. Sinatra reportedly hung out in radio station studios with all-night deejays hawking his latest releases.  Murray The K deemed himself the “Fifth Beatle” when he befriended the quartet upon their first visit to New York and played their records non-stop and back to back on Top 40 powerhouse WINS. I myself spent 20+ years at Warner/Reprise hauling singers and bands into radio stations and backstage meet and greets – almost 5,000 such events by my count – so I know a thing or two about the execution, dynamics and purpose of this ancient rite.

 

PURPOSE: There are many self-serving purposes for the station:

1.) Programmer meets and talks to and “bonds” with the rock star one-on-one.

2.) Rock star endorses station and programming staff as great friends.

3.) Contest winners meet their idols and get some sort of tangible takeaway.

 

There is generally only one purpose for the artist:

1.) More airplay – which is a very nice thing to have, thank you very much.

 

DYNAMICS: Let’s start with a general overview of artist types:

1.) Recalcitrant / slacker / jerk

2.) Shoe gazer / introspective / difficulty with full sentences

3.) Those unaware or misinformed about the station, its format or relative market status

4.) Those who ply the Don’t-you-know-who-I-think-I-am on stage and off

5.) Appreciative / informed / conversational / personable

 

The trouble begins when anyone of the above-listed art forms runs directly into a programmer who is:

1.) Over the top

2.) Speechless (rare)

3.) Unaware / misinformed / nonchalant about the artist and the music

4.) Also a Don’t-you-know-who-I-think-I-am type

5.) Appreciative / informed / conversational / personable

 

EXECUTION:  Other than the rare event when two #5’s listed above are actually involved, it’s always easier if there’s an genuine purpose behind the visit – an on-air or taped interview/performance, a fans/winners meet and greet, some station sponsored event or charity function to drop by, or the like. If no such situation exists, then a delicate mating dance begins.  Of course, the artist may come to the station but may not end up on the air due to some “miscommunication”.  Or the programmer may come to the show, which can be thwarted by a production hassle that takes the tour manager out of the equation and nothing happens.

 

Additionally, it’s best if the event can be memorialized with a photo for Twitter, Instagram or the trades and/or a video for You Tube or that station’s website. Getting to that smooth place where all the right elements come together to make for a memorable experience and lasting relationship is the trick when the two most important elements in the equation could easily be at loggerheads.

 

Nothing difficult is ever easy.

 

What’s missing these days is the presence of an intermediary to pull the whole thing off. Historically, enlightened record companies (when they could afford to) sent out Artist Relations reps to travel with the bands and make these things happen smoothly and professionally. However those loss-leader, non-recoupable departments were the first to feel the ax when the precipitous drop in physical record sales began over a decade ago. The same goes for the drastic cutback (or elimination) of local promotion field staffs to cover shows and artist appearances, also due to the unfortunate convergence of record company big overhead and falling revenue.

 

Now it’s up to the artist and the programmer with some incidental help from the otherwise way-too-busy tour manager to make these things happen – scary at best and disastrous at worst. As a result, these forced hangouts end up being difficult, awkward and often damaging to the artist’s future in the marketplace. That’s the problem: to make the event run smoothly, you need a professional go-between to set it up, pull it off, and do the follow up.

 

There is a solution.

 

Recently a few independent radio promotion companies have sprung up, some of which are comprised of experienced marketing professionals who serve as promotional representatives for artists and record labels that no longer have the luxury of an in-house field staff.  One such company, The Artist Cooperative, has people in the top seven strategic markets all over America, each of whom have cultivated personal relationships with radio programmers over the years in their regions. What makes the TAC staff different is that they also attend shows of the artists with whom they are working and provide excellent artist relations skills to each event, melding the recalcitrant artist with the over-the-top programmer.  The all-important station visit and/or backstage meet and greet between artists and programmers is alive and well and safe once more. We can all rest more easily knowing that.

 

“Even though I have delusional notions about myself, I know that I’m not doing anything all that important. But, then again, neither are you.” – Gene Simmons

Larry Butler – http://www.diditmusic.com

 

This post by Jamie Davis-Ponce originally appeared on Sonicbids.

Festival preparation for musicians goes beyond renting the van and finding a place to sleep. For instance, are your songs copyrighted? Did you know that you should be getting paid royalties for your performance? Here are four things you should do to secure your intellectual property before you pack your bags this summer.

1. Copyright Your Songs

  • Write or record. Copyright is born at the moment you fix the song in a tangible form – so before you get to the festival, write down your songs or record them to secure copyright. If someone else fixes your song in a tangible form first, he or she is technically the copyright owner! Make sure you’re always the first to write down or record your songs to ensure that you own your work.
  • Keep files. Keep dated files with the recordings and sheet music of your songs in case you ever have to prove that you wrote them first.
  • Label your work. Always label your recordings and sheet music with a notice including © (or ℗ in the case of recordings) followed by the year of publication and your name. For example: © 2014 Jamie Davis-Ponce
  • Register for greatest protection. Although you don’t need to register your songs with the copyright office, registering offers you much more protection in the event that someone else tries to claim your songs as their own. Visit the U.S. Copyright Office website to register songs, and read Copyright and Your Band Part 1 for more details on copyright for musicians.

2. Report Your Setlist to Your Performing Rights Organization
If you’re playing any songs at the festival that you or your band wrote, then make sure you get performance royalties for it! Performing rights organizations (PROs) are pretty good at finding out when songs get performed, but notifying your PRO of upcoming performances of your songs will ensure you get paid. See my post on PROs for more details.

Not a member of a PRO? Join one now so that you can start getting paid every time your songs are played in public. In the U.S., you can choose among ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. However, most countries outside of the U.S. that observe copyright only have one PRO, so do a quick Google search to find out what your country’s PRO is.

3. Update Your Press Kit and Web Presence
If you don’t already have a press kit, then now is the time to create one. Tell your band’s story, and make it easy for people to contact you and find you online and in social media. As with your recordings, affix a copyright notice with the © followed by the year and your name to any song lyrics and artwork that are included in your press kit.

4. Make Sure Your Band Isn’t Someone Else’s Brand
While you’re at it, make sure your band’s name doesn’t infringe on any existing trademarks. You can start this process by simply Googling your band name, but it’s also a good idea to search the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System. If another band or media-related company shares your name, it could cause you legal headaches later on. Just one more reason why your band name should be unique!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Jamie Davis-Ponce is a professional musician and graduate of Northeastern University’s Masters in Music Industry Leadership program with a concentration in entrepreneurship. She has been a music lecturer at Ithaca College, and is deeply involved in Boston area arts and music organizations, having worked with ArtsBoston and held internships at Handel & Haydn Society and Boston Symphony Orchestra. You can view more of her writing on her blog on Music, Business, and Creativity.

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 Wikipediapage 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:

The page must be neutral

Wikipedia stresses that the article or page must be from a neutral point of view. So although writing the page entry yourself might be the quickest way to get onto Wikipedia, chances are that it will get deleted very quickly for not being neutral.

A Wikipedia article is not meant to be a promotional page for your band, but an unbiased documentation of your band’s music and career. So it would be best to find someone who already contributes to Wikipedia to write the entry instead. This could very well be a fan or friend of the band, but make sure it’s not an obvious conflict of interest, which Wikipedia also frowns upon.

Information must be verifiable

Information about your band or music must come from a verifiable source. So even if the information is factually true, Wikipedia insists that it must be verifiable before you can add it to the page.

If a friend is writing the entry for you, be sure to collect all links to reviews, articles, mentions and information online about your band. That way the person writing the entry can cite outside sources for information about your band so that it can be considered verifiable.

Information must come from reliable sources

The next thing to keep in mind is that for any articles or sources that are cited on your Wikipedia page, they must come from reliable, independent, 3rd party sources. So it’s better if the author cites an article in the media, rather than the band’s website, or something the singer’s mom said on her personal blog.

Your band/music must be “notable”

This might be the most important point: your band or music must be notable in some way. Meeting Wikipedia’s notability requirements might be the difference in your page getting deleted or not.

Being “notable” is subjective, but here are some criteria that Wikipedia specifically mentions would help a band to be considered notable:

  • Having multiple newspaper/magazine articles (or online equivalents) covering your band that are not simply reports about upcoming performances, track listings, etc.

  • Newspaper/magazine article covering an international tour, ornational tour in a sovereign country

  • Having a single or album in a national music chart

  • Being a prominent representative of a particular style/sub-genre of music

  • Winning or getting nominated for a prominent music award

  • Winning or placing in a major music competition

  • Your music was featured in a notable television show or movie

  • Your music was placed on rotation nationally by a major radio or TV network

  • You’ve been a featured subject for a segment broadcast nationallyon radio or TV

Other things that may help you to be considered notable:

  • Your band was involved in a controversy or political movement

  • You’ve worked with notable musicians and bands

  • Performed at major festivals/venues, etc.

The more information with reliable sources that you can provide, the better.

So as you can see, getting an entry in Wikipedia takes some effort and preparation, but it can be done. Big thanks to Bandzoogle members Enter the Haggis (Wikipedia page) and Delaney Gibson (Wikipedia page) for their insight. We hope this article will help you get a page on Wikipedia as well.

 

Rapid growth in revenue from streaming music is forcing players in almost every sector of the music industry to rethink both their short and long term plans. For proof, one need to look no further than Apple’s rumored $3.2  billion purchase of Beats.  It’s likely not the only reason for the acquisition, but a Beats buy would jump start Apple’s come-from-behind effort to get into the streaming music game. This chart from Statista tells it all:

image from static4.businessinsider.com