Thursday, December 31, 2009

Subscribe or DIE!

Well here we are just hours away from 2010. What will the new year enlighten us with in terms of a new music business? From my stand point, it would seem that every year it gets increasingly more difficult to successfully have a career playing music. Now sure, there are some exceptions I imagine, but I am just speaking generally.

I do not have all the answers. Anyone that claims they do is totally full of shit. All any of us have are simply predictions. So, why not, here is mine.

Subscription based band websites. Yes, I know this is not a new idea and I am not claiming to be Columbus of music biz 2.0. When I say "subscription", I am not referring to Napster, Spotify etc. I am talking about individual bands having their own living and breathing sites full of fresh, constantly updated content that simply caters to the fans and their requests, needs, wants, etc.

The one thing that is for certain, looking at the NIN and Radiohead models for example, is that not every band will see rewards from similar strategies. Bands will have to be willing to experiment and expect to do a substantial amount of trial and error.

For the cost of a CD, I would probably be more than willing to subscribe annually to my fav bands and artists if in return I received MP3's, exclusive content, 1 on 1 interaction, exclusive merchandise, concert ticket pre sales, etc. The list of options is endless. Is this also of interest to you? How about from a band perspective. Would your fans be into something like this?

Anyway... I will leave you with a quote from Bob Lefsets that I stumbled upon today that was somewhat of the inspiration for this post:
"Really, think about this. In a world of unlimited options, that’s just what you are, another option. You’re a speck in the firmament. You’re making less money not because people are stealing, but because you just can’t get enough people to pay attention. That’s what you’re fighting for, ongoing attention. With the emphasis on "ongoing". If it’s momentary, it’s meaningless. Stunting is worthless. You’ve got to campaign endlessly, slog ad infinitum. Continually release music, continually engage your audience."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hello 2010!

~ As you enter into music industry 2.0 you WILL need a plan of action. No longer can you just write songs, play some local shows, get a record deal and have the label do all the work. If that is how you think it works, get out now and do not look back. However, those that are willing to take their career into their own hands as we enter 2010 please read on, enjoy, debate and once again, most of all... good luck! Go here for the full article originally penned by Ariel Hyatt:

Here are my tips to you and a roadmap to follow for planning your 2010 (and beyond) goals

TIP # 1:

Musicians tend to be perfectionists – I know this because I have spent my entire adult life working with musicians. My dear musicians take note: Goals are never written in stone and they are not the word of the almighty! They should be looked at as beacons and guiding points for you to keep yourself on track along your musical journey.

I would not recommend changing them every week but the music industry is changing so rapidly it’s hard to know what goals are reachable in this landscape. So if the course of the year your goals change its OK to cross one off or modify another or start the game again and write new ones down as you go.

TIP #2:

You will have your days where you may get frustrated, and you may start to crucify and criticize yourself when you are not achieving goals as fast as you want them. (sound familiar?)

Self-criticism will interfere directly with achieving your goals and dreams. So, the next time you are making yourself wrong for the fact that only 20 people showed up at your last gig or railing against yourself because your couldn’t hear yourself in the monitors try to turn that around immediately, Take a step back and acknowledge the good, and instead celebrate your wins, no matter how small.

TIP #3:

I’m inviting you to write down five little victories a day for this entire year. I learned this powerful technique from T. Harv Eker, who says that you should write down five positive things you do every single day. Once you start getting into this habit, you are training yourself to put the focus on the positive and get your brain to stop being so self-critical.

So put a notebook in your gig bag or next to your bed.
Each day write down 5 things. Make one or two of them music or band related.

Here are some examples:

1. Went to gym.
2. Started writing lyrics to a new song
3. Called three clubs for potential booking.
4. Did laundry.
5. Reached out to a music blogger who will love my music.
6. Made dinner for my boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband/kids/ friends (etc).

Right now, stop what you’re doing and write down five tiny successes you had today and yesterday.



Here is a list of some areas you may want your goals focus on.
Skip the areas that do not resonate with you and start by identifying what areas your goals will center around.

Think big, be unreasonable, and don’t hold yourself back.

Building Your Brand:
Honing your unique selling points
Color Scheme
15 second pitch
Photo shoot
New website
New album
Video creation
Personal health so your performance is better – exercise, eating etc.

What will you do this year for your overall marketing plan?
PR – Traditional print media
PR – online media
PR – TV and videos
Radio campaign
Have friends or family members help you

How many people should be added to your e-mail list each month?
monthly newsletter

Social Media Strategies:
MySpace page reskin
Twitter stream
Facebook Fan page
Facebook ad campaign
Photo sharing
YouTube channel
Linkedin profile
Artist Data profile

Local gigs
Number of people at your next gig
Touring regionally
Touring nationally
Touring internationally
Opening for who?
Getting a booking agent
Getting a college agent

Releasing Music:
Are you recording an album this year?
Who are you writing songs with?
Full Length vs. EP ?
Live album
Who is your dream producer?
Where are you recording?

How much money you would like to earn?
What will you spend?
Buying a new instrument?
Number of CDs you would like to sell
Film and TV placements.
Number of downloads you would like to sell
Getting a manager

Here’s to your success in 2010!

Goodbye 2009!

~ Here are some excerpts from an article I found on the Creative Deconstruction blog. In some ways this is a good summary of 09, as well as, some positive and motivating insight into the future of the biz in '10 and beyond. Hang in there, and most importantly GOOD LUCK! You can read the full article here:

2009 may not have lived up to everyone’s expectations, but there remain so many reasons to stay positive as we enter the new year. 2009 was transitional, as every part of the music industry struggled to find new footing.

Artists appear to growing frustrated with a lack of success relative to what they feel they’ve been promised by the Music 2.0 gurus.

Where are my 1,000 True Fans? I’m killing myself on countless social networks – why am I still not making any money?

I get the frustration, and I sympathize with you. The business of extracting revenue from music is not easy, and it takes a whole lot of work. DIY promotion is not a silver bullet. Hopefully neither I nor anyone else have led you to believe that it is. Signing a lucrative record deal would possibly be a lot easier (assuming you aren’t neglected or dropped unexpectedly of course.) But independence can be much more rewarding, and even more profitable than signing your rights to the majors.

Hang in there. Success doesn’t happen over night. Independent artists are small business start-ups. Any entrepreneur will tell you that most new businesses go 5 years before leaving the red. That scenario isn’t for everyone, but fewer and fewer alternatives are left. It’s important that you know what you’ve signed up for.

The DIY movement is one of those unique opportunities that only appear every generation or so. Music is leading the charge into modern, technology powered, socially connected business. This transition will only accelerate as other related industries begin to follow down the path of creative deconstruction. It’s the perfect time to establish a new career and make something happen. There is still room on the ground floor, but space is becoming limited.

2010 is going to be the year of execution for many – whether artists, new services or start ups. My advice? Do whatever you have to do to make sure that you are one of them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Top 10 CDs of '09

Well it's not exactly the end of the year, but it's close enough for my top 10 of the year.

9. GOATWHORE - carving out the eyes of god
8. DOOMRIDERS - darkness come alive
7. THE CASUALTIES - we are all we have
6. ALICE IN CHAINS - black gives way to blue
4. BARONESS - blue record
3. MASTODON - crack the skye
2. SLAYER - world painted blood
1. GALLOWS - grey britain

All in all I feel like this was a pretty good year for heavy music!
What did you all get into this year? Did I miss anything? Hit me up!