Filtering by Tag: music

Facebook Fatigue

Thought we’d take a few minutes to update on the marketing of @DrasticJo and reflect on a recent Facebook campaign. Jo has an album coming out in November and we’re tasked with finding the people who would like it and developing a relationship with them so that they will buy it. Peacemaker by DrasticJo - check out more artwork here on Flickr

Tommy Silverman recently made the case in Wired magazine that 80% of the music out there currently is crap – that the signal to noise ratio is so bad that it’s practically impossible for the good acts to break. Clearly one’s definition of good is purely subjective – but it does mean that the value of a personal recommendation becomes even greater.

As part of Jo’s campaign we built out a new Facebook page and wanted to let her friends know about it. We hijacked her personal account – put in a new profile image and sent a message out to all 500+ of her friends asking them to sign up for the mailing list and become a fan of the new page - You can see a copy of the message we sent here

The result: 25 new likes on the fan page and 1 new email address. Even better – one of her friends commented on her wall that they felt the message was Spam. Not exactly what we were going for.

The takeaway for us is that unless the message is personally tailored to each individual recipient – then it gets classified as band spam. Sure we could have spiced up the text – added more of a giveaway – thrown in a video etc, but I don’t think it would have made much difference. We were banking on Facebook friends having a deeper connection and being willing to help – but ultimately it felt like a MySpace campaign and is not something we’ll be repeating.

That’s not to say that we’ll be giving up though – we still believe that it is better to deepen the existing relationships than it is to develop more shallow connections. The value of a true fan throughout an artist’s lifetime cannot be underestimated, it’s apparent that we need to invest more in them at this stage than just a cut and paste form message.

We’ll let you know how well the next approach works out.

Turning Fickle Fans into Friends

Just got off the weekly skype call with one of our artists – Drastic Jo – she has a release scheduled for November 13 and we’re busy developing the direct to fan marketing plan.

Typically one of the most important parts of such a plan is the acquisition stage – this is where you set up the digital platform in order to reap as many email addresses, Twitter followers, Facebook and MySpace friends as possible. Figures show that the more people you have on your “lists’ the more dough you make.

However, over recent months there has been a lot of discussion around the importance of developing a deeper relationship between the artist and their existing fans. Having been out and about this week, it was interesting to hear one established management firm state that “Fans suck – it’s all about Friends” – and he wasn’t talking about the digital ones.

With the exploding number of bands and tracks now being marketed to the same audience – an artist not only has to grow new fans and convert them to friends, she has to look after her existing friends in order not to lose them to a competing artist.

Current Direct to Fan marketing is still based around a traditional release date – it makes sense on many different levels; having a specific event and a date allows both artist and fan to focus on each other at the same time. How then does the artist engage the fan and deepen that relationship outside the period of a specific release?

There’s a longer post brewing here – but here’s the short version.

Up until recently the people behind the music were strange mysterious creatures – beings that had this amazing ability to create stuff that changed our lives and made us feel. We assumed that ‘cos we liked their music we would like them – prior to the last decade the only exposure we had to artists were either on stage or through corporate controlled media channels.

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder - though we had their music in our heads every day – the artists themselves were distant figures and we loved them. Compare that to nowadays: bands are encouraged to Twitter their every move – it’s hard to distinguish between your favorite artist and your favorite social media douche.

As the dust settles on the new music marketing revolution one thing is clear – artist’s lives are no more interesting than yours – and considerably less interesting than your immediate friends. If absence made the heart grow fonder then familiarity clearly breeds contempt – just ask John Mayer.

The only reason I am interested in an artist is because they create music – or in Jo’s case not just music but killer art as well. Once I’m beyond the initial rush of having complete access to who they are, the only time I want them to push out to me is when they have something new.

We think artists and bands need to think about how they release their music. We think a combination of specific release date combined with a monthly release of individual tracks allows for dedicated acquisition planning as well as looking after and deepening the relationship with existing fans.

Things have changed – no shit – but things are changing faster than the experts can write about it. A fan will move onto the next new thing – the next free download – the next photo opp or scandal. A friend will stay with you, will open your email, will come to a show and bring a friend. If your marketing plan purely deals with getting fans, you might want to hang on to your day job.

Photo Credit: The Explosion in the Alchemist’s Laboratory, Justus Gustav van Bentum - Chemical Heritage Foundation, Flickr

Digital Music News

If you’re thinking of your band as a business – (which we sincerely hope you are by now) then there is another read that you might want to incorporate into your daily routine: Digital Music News.  Written by Scion of the business Paul Resnikoff and his team out of Los Angeles, the Daily Snapshot is delivered to 20,000 subscribers every morning around 5 AM and has everything you need to negotiate that fat 360 deal with the label.

Let's not allow the fans to kill the music

I met Paul at the 2nd Bandwidth conference in San Francisco a few years back; for a journalist who operates in such a turbulent market he was one of the most positive and enthusiastic guys there – you can tell that he eats, sleeps and breathes the music world.  I’ve been reading DMN for 4 years now and if I had to choose one industry publication over all others – this would be it.

Aimed at Industry executives – the snapshot’s content tends to be data driven (which is reassuring!) backed up with thoughtful analysis in digestible bite size paragraphs.  Relevant ads from companies whose services you might actually want to use as well as the latest conference dates and industry jobs makes it a great top level start to the day.

Myxer - Free Ringtones & More

There are many ways to get ringtones out to your fans but by far the easiest way is to hook up with Myxer.    You can upload tracks, images even your videos and use the platform to get the content distributed straight into the hands of your most ardent followers.  Check them out here:

Myxer - Download Ringtones and More

I first came across Myxer a couple of years back when I was on the Kelli gig and looking for a ringtone solution.  It was late 2007 and Twitter was just starting to kick off, nobody real got it – least of all the team I was working with, but I found it to be an incredible way to access information.

Having gone through the traditional Google search for ringtone providers I ran an early Twitter search for anybody tweeting about ringtones and came across @sass. Jeff Sass is one of the nicest guys you can meet – he’s been working in entertainment and tech for most of his life and for the last 3 years has been the VP of Business Development at Myxer.  A few swapped tweets and phone calls later Kelli was the featured Country artist of the day and we shifted several thousand ringtone downloads before the tour bus even rolled.

What I like about Myxer is that for a big company they are very focused on the Indie artist - if they can help you out they will.  Mobile still has a way to go in terms of over the air track downloads and general usability – but it’s coming.  Companies like Myxer can get you into the game for free and if you’re not there – you’re missing out.

Jeff writes an insightful blog on all things industry and tech over at sassholes – check it out - there’s plenty of good information can help you to reach your fans in better and smarter ways – and who doesn’t need that?

One Track Mind - Music Discovery Made Easy, One Track at a Time

For the next couple of weeks in support of the #FreeChaos competition, we’re going to be writing about music sites that we dig and that offer resources to independent bands / artists / DJs.  One of my favorite sites for music blogs is: One Track Mind - music Discovery Made Easy - One Track ay a time

One Track Mind – Music Discovery Made Easy, One Song at a Time.

The idea of the Music Blog has been around many years – getting featured on Pitchfork or even The Hype Machine can do you a lot of favors – but those gates often have ”Industry” keepers – so what’s a band to do?

Well – you could of course sit down with The Hype Machine’s List of Music Blogs and contact every single one of them or – you could contact One Track Mind.  In keeping with their tag line they sure make it easy to discover new music.  Sign up for the daily email or get the track delivered to your RSS reader and every day you’ll get a song that you can stream immediately and download with a knowledgeable write up that delivers useful information about the track and the artist.

Go to the actual site and you can see that Danny (the rather accomplished site owner) grades the track on three scales: Originality, Repeat Listen Potential and Overall Verdict.  Which I initially thought was a little weird but over time has really started to make sense.  You can rate each track on a scale of 1 to 10 and of course leave a comment if you’re so inclined – and the most popular tracks are promoted to the community – genius!

Whether Danny has some Scandinavian roots I’m not sure but he sure does dig northern European bands and my music library has some great music I would never have come across – check out this track from Friska Viljor – “Wohlwill Strasse” – if it doesn’t make you want to get up and move to Stochkholm right now – then I’m a Dutchman.

Of course – couldn’t let this post go without acknowledging the hip to one of my new favorite Scottish Acts – Malcolm Middleton – check out Red Travellin Socks - the build to the final chorus push at 4:20 is one of my all time favorites. I immediately went out and bought Waxing Gibbous as a result – who says the music business is dead?

Finally – if you’re in the Denver area and are looking for a photographer – check out the amazing work from Danny’s partner – seriously good work – Nina Barry makes normal people look like Movie Stars.

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