Music Related

Nashville Music Business Meetup - This Thursday (9/26)

Music Marketing - Mon, 09/23/2013 - 16:08

I'm doing a music business meetup in Nashville this Thursday. Bob Baker, author of Guerrilla Music Marketing, will be there. Rick Barker, Taylor Swift's former manager, will be there. And we'll have other surprise guests as well...

This is a free event. There is no "agenda" and nothing is for sale. I've set this up so musicians and other music business professionals can meet each other and share information as well as a meal. 

Here are the event details...

Date: Thursday, September 26
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: The Cookery, located at 1827 12th Ave S (view map)

Whether you're a full-time musician or want to be full-time, you're welcome to attend. Feel free to bring your music business friends, too. There is plenty of parking in the gravel lot behind the venue.

Not in Nashville? Find (or establish) a similar event in your city.

Categories: Music Related

Music Marketing Podcast #13 - How to Start a Record Label

Music Marketing - Tue, 09/10/2013 - 11:31

The traditional record label may be on life support, but this is a great opportunity for enterprising musicians and music business professionals to redefine what a record label is and jump into the record label business.

In this episode, I answer a listener question about how to start a record label. I share advice from my own experience as a record label owner as well as ideas on how to start your record label on a budget and make it a win-win experience for you and the artists you work with.

Whether you're an artist interested in leveraging your music business knowledge and releasing music other than own or already working with other artists and looking to grow your music business, increase your income, and make the most of your music marketing skills, this episode of the Music Marketing [dot] com Podcast will give you options on how you can be successful in this exciting and lucrative side of the music business.

This episode was inspired by a listener question via Facebook on how to start (and run) a record label. If you have a music business question or something you'd like us to cover on a future episode, you can also contact me via Twitter

You can listen below or subscribe via iTunes

Categories: Music Related

Music Is Your Business - The Book

Music Marketing - Sat, 09/07/2013 - 19:03

Christopher Knab has worked in the business side of the music business for over 40 years. In the 1970s, he owned Aquarius Records in San Francisco. He was the co-founder and VP of 415/Columbia Records. He was the Station Manager of KCMU in Seattle during the "grunge era."

Needless to say, Christopher knows the music business from many different angles. In his latest book, the 4th Edition of Music Is Your Business: The Musician's FourFront Marketing and Legal Guide, he shares this wisdom. 

This is a "hands-on" guide with lots of great content and I feel it does a great job of walking the reader through the traditional music business as well as the quickly-changing online and independent sides of the industry. Although you get a solid, step-by-step approach for music business success, the book is more than a "procedure manual." When you're done reading, you'll have a good, "big picture" understanding of how the music business works that will allow you to easily navigate new technology and other changes that will come along in the future.

Music Is Your Business: The Musician's FourFront Marketing and Legal Guide is co-authored by attorney Bartley F. Day of the Portland-based law firm of Day and Koch, LLP, who himself has been involved in various aspects of the music business for over 25 years, including film, computer games, and television projects.

This book isn't for everybody and it may not be for you, but I encourage you to find somebody in your organization who enjoys "the little details" of the music business, because a person like that will really thrive with this information and you'll greatly benefit from somebody taking care of these things for you. For example, you get examples of a professional marketing plan, details on exactly what you need to do in order to legally record and release cover songs, a plan to get your music on radio, and more.

You'll get a step-by-step plan for putting your press kit together, including bio, fact sheet, cover letter, quote sheet, and press clipping examples. You'll get a sample band tour and work schedule. You can model and modify all of these and use them to develop something that will work for you and your music.

Music Is Your Business: The Musician's FourFront Marketing and Legal Guide is 343 pages and covers a lot. Even if you don't read it cover-to-cover, you will find something inside that will help you with your music business career. Because of this, I highly recommend getting a copy and putting what you learn into action.

Buy this book at Amazon.

Categories: Music Related

Why Musicians Should Care More About the Live Experience They Provide

Music Marketing - Tue, 09/03/2013 - 14:59
This is a guest post (submit your guest post) by Maël Roth of Lovable Marketing, who holds a MSc in International Marketing and whose work focuses on music, event, and online marketing.


Photo Courtesy of

In the 1970s, futurologist Alvin Toffler predicted that in the future, people would be chasing experiences more than they would purchase products. Marketing music events is tricky, because there is a paradox. You can't be successful if your product (the actual music) is bad, but it has been proven many times that people attend events primarily because of the experience it offers, more than the actual content. Music turns out to be a hedonistic product i.e. a product which is consumed for the pure pleasure of it. So stop bothering with rational marketing tactics. What you want to sell and market is emotion.

In my research project on music event marketing, I wanted to explore this topic and find out what ratio of festival goers actually attended the event only because the particular band was playing and what ratio of visitors saw the experience design as being a necessary condition to their ticket purchase. I found out that the majority of them attended not only because of the band, they were very sensitive to the concept of the event! This does make sense since people are less ready to pay for music, because the perceived value of digital formats is very low. The only ones ready to pay for your music are loyal fans. But you probably want more loyal fans, right?

What does it mean for marketing and planning your event?

After analyzing the results of my survey and series of interviews I planned with festival visitors, my research results revealed two major factors, musicians can build upon for their marketing:

  1. Providing an outstanding, surprising and particularly entertaining show is not only more likely to make the experience memorable, by extension it also means that you can build a community of fans and promote word of mouth. Because what music fans end up sharing isn't only the music, it's the experience which music provides.
  2. You can plan your marketing actions according to the acknowledgement that you are really marketing an experience, not your music. Put more time into planning your show and putting it all together. Build in surprising elements with e.g. visual effects, humor etc. Because you cant them to remember and share your show.

My advice to you: acknowledge the concept of experience-based differentiation and make the bet that the more time and effort you will put in building your community by delighting them and connecting on an emotional level, the more they will be loyal to you and help you making it to the front page.

Categories: Music Related

Music Marketing Podcast #12 - BMI Venue Shakedown?

Music Marketing - Fri, 08/30/2013 - 20:11

Remember when ASCAP threatened Girl Scouts of the USA with lawsuits over summer camps that sang ASCAP's copyrighted works without paying licensing fees?

Could similar situations in your town be responsible for the decline of live music venues?

In this episode, listener Gary Martin asks about how to deal with a venue owner who is fearful of BMI and won't hire bands to play original music. I give my advice on his situation as well as ideas on how any musician can turn something similar into, not just a positive, but a potentially new income stream.

If you have a music business question or something you'd like us to cover on a future episode, contact me via Twitter

You can listen below or subscribe via iTunes

Categories: Music Related

Miley Cyrus VMA Performance - A Lesson for Musicians

Music Marketing - Tue, 08/27/2013 - 16:34

Miley Cyrus is not Hannah Montana. Hannah Montana is a character. Miley Cyrus is an artist.

It's disappointing when expectations don't match reality. For an artist who wants longevity though, sometimes it's better to completely break from what's expected than try to bend things.

Miley Cyrus is best known for her work as a teenager, but she's not a teenager anymore. She can't just dress in "high heels" or whatever more sophisticated artists do, because you'd ignore that.  So she has to do something that will completely destroy her previous work and give her space to be who she is now.

And she's doing just that -- with her music videos, with her VMA performance.

Good artists could play it safe, but they choose not to. They are not here to make us comfortable, they are here to push boundaries and express themselves.

What kind of artist are you?

Categories: Music Related

Did This Musician Get Screwed by Fox News?

Music Marketing - Mon, 08/12/2013 - 17:09

I love old school, big ego rock and roll. I find it a lot more interesting than the super-polished stuff that Disney cranks out.

To me, rock and roll isn't about being polished -- it's about raw, primal emotion. It's sex, intensity, and power. It should make some people uncomfortable.

It takes a certain amount of ego to do music, even if you're not in the "rock and roll" genre. How else could you write songs, record them, and get on stage to perform them?

With that said, some musicians go way overboard when it comes to thinking they're the center of everything. That's what this post is about.

I don't watch the news, especially cable news networks such as Fox. In general, I find it to be similar to junk food -- high calorie with little nutrition.

Still, as I was in the gym last night, with Fox News playing on a television above the weight room floor, I couldn't help give it a little of my attention when I looked up to see a musician in front of a Marshall half-stack with the headline "The Great Food Stamp Binge." When they cut to a scene of him buying sushi and lobster with food stamps, I made note to look it up when I got home.

Here's the story...

Part 1:

Part 2:

What was this guy thinking?

In short, he wasn't. When I looked up the name on his shirt, Rattlife, I found a blog entry where he talks about his experience being interviewed...

"Fox National News caught a glimpse of guitarist Jason Greenslate and had to interview him and the band, which turned into a two day 'Day in the Life' affair of surfing, biking, barbequeing, jamming... all round 'Rattlifing'. We had a blast and we're pretty sure they did too..."

Probably not the "day in the life" segment he had hoped for. It's certainly not what I'd want for any of the acts I advise. 

Not all opportunities are good for your music career. Do your research and keep your ego in check for best results.

Categories: Music Related

Your Next Music Video... - Steal This Idea

Music Marketing - Wed, 08/07/2013 - 21:12

Here's an idea for your stage show or next music video that will get you some attention...

You're welcome!

Categories: Music Related

Music Marketing Podcast #11 - Networking Tips and Ideas for Musicians

Music Marketing - Tue, 08/06/2013 - 20:34

"It's not what you know, it's who you know." Have you ever heard that?

It's wrong.

Success in the music business happens because of what you know and who you know. In this episode of the Music Marketing [dot] com Podcast, we talk about how the latter.

The episode is based around a question sent in by Sarah Spencer, a Nashville-based singer/songwriter I strangely enough met at a networking event for musicians.

In this episode, I talk about my general philosophy for getting to know people and give some some very specific examples of how I've done this in the music business. You'll hear how I made the connection that was directly responsible for me hosting Music Business Radio as well as a "random" event that happened just this week which is already on track to be a partnership worth $2.9 Million. And how did Wendy start working for me? We talk about that strange story too...

In addition to stories and my basic philosophy on networking, I also give my top three ways to meet new people in the music business and elsewhere. So whether you're looking for musicians to play with, co-writers to write your next song, or people to help you with your music business, this podcast has what you need to make it happen.

If you have a music business question or something you'd like us to cover on a future episode, contact me via Twitter

You can listen below or subscribe via iTunes

Categories: Music Related

Top 5 Apps for EDM Producers

Music Marketing - Sat, 08/03/2013 - 08:56
This is a guest post (submit your guest post) by 

Brandon Cook, Co-Founder of Topple Track, a leading content protection company that works with artists, labels, and distributors to protect and monetize digital music.

Whether you are an EDM producer or not, you're likely familiar with its recent surge in popularity. Producers like Deadmau5, Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, and Aviici have all become household names in recent years, and it seems that this is just the beginning. Fueled by technology and a widespread acceptance of electronic dance music, the culture shift has enabled any musician with a laptop to give it a go at electronic music production.

With all of the time and energy that goes into marketing and promotion, sometimes we need to put technology on our side. There are a plethora of online tools and apps that could prove useful to an up-and-coming EDM producer, but not all of these tools are created equally. I sifted through hundreds of apps and found these 5 to be the most unique and powerful tools that EDM producers can use.

1. Just Go Music

This tool helps artists monitor Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and Youtube all from one user-friendly dashboard. Cultivating a fan base becomes much easier when you can schedule posts, upload content, and create competitions all from one place. It is an absolutely essential marketing tool for extending your social reach, saving time and money.

2. Legitmix

Making a remix but worried about licensing? Check out Legitmix. This web tool was created to help composers who uses samples in their work sell it legally and legitimately. The service removes the sample from your remix or mash-up and allows fans to purchase your work. After purchase, Legitmix prompts fans to buy the original sampled material and reconstructs your remix.

3. is a social platform for music collaboration. The service currently lets users easily publish their Ableton Live projects for the whole world to hear. Others can browse profiles, give feedback, and even remix your works in progress. is a great place to put yourself on the map as a producer, build your reputation, and network with other like-minded producers.

4. Hexler TouchOSC

TouchOSC is a control surface that lets producers control their production software of choice via iPhone or iPad over a wi-fi network. TouchOSC is fully customizable, allowing you to create your own templates from a variety of controls including rotary knobs, toggle buttons, faders, EQs, and XY pads. This is a great way for producers to keep a "hands on" approach in digital production.

5. Shoutem

If you really want to stick with your fans and extend your reach, create your own app! Shoutem has simple, pre-made templates for artists to create great looking apps. Add music, photos, videos, news, tour dates and more all at a fairly reasonable price. This is a great way to stand out from the crowd and help your fans remember you.

Categories: Music Related
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