Sarah Sharp on Licensing, Marketing Tactics, and Standing Out in Austin, TX


Sarah Sharp is a talented songwriter, music supervisor, and the lead singer of the Austin-based Jitterbug Vipers. I chatted with her about music licensing, marketing tactics, and standing out in Austin’s crowded music scene. [Read more...]

How Do Mobile Music Apps Stack Up Against The Rest?


How much time do iOS users spend in different kinds of apps? Flurry, a mobile app analytics company, released a report that reveals how music, media, and entertainment apps stack up against the rest. While mobile music apps aren’t isolated from other entertainment apps, there are still strong takeaways for the music business.

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How to Ace Your Music Business Meetings


The following is a guest post for Bandzoogle, a platform for website building, direct-to-fan marketing, and sales.

If you’ve ever had a corporate day job, you know how terrible meetings can be. The worst meetings can be mind-numbingly boring wastes of time. Just because the music business tends to be on the creative end of the spectrum doesn’t mean it’s immune to bad meetings.

Given the swift pace of the industry, no one can afford to burn time on an unproductive music business meeting. You may land only 15 minutes in front of an important decision maker, so every minute counts.

But don’t stress. There are three components of a successful meeting: preparationthe meeting itself, and the follow up. Here’s how to pull off each one so you’ll ace your next music business meeting.

Continue reading at Bandzoogle.

Social Media Is Not Your Band’s Saving Grace

Social media isn't a silver bullet.

Social media isn’t a silver bullet.

In a guest post for AT&T, Brian Solis drops a bomb:

“Hostess baked over 400,000 likes on Facebook and yet the iconic American brand is now shut down.”

Social media gurus/ninjas/mavens hail the power of social media to radically change a business. They write e-books, produce blog posts, and use their own networks to amplify that viewpoint.

Let’s look at the bigger picture. I love social media, and I think it plays a role in any musician’s career. But that role has been grossly inflated.

[Read more...]

The Justin Timberlake School of Landing Pages


Today, Justin Timberlake released his first song as a lead artist in almost 7 years. That’s right; 7 years! To turn this release into an event, Justin and his team at The Uprising Creative made a gorgeous landing page. I think it’s a stellar example of everything a landing page should be.

Let’s take a look at how the landing page dresses up the release of “Suit & Tie.”

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Fuel Your Fans & Feed Your Career: An Interview with CyberPR’s Ariel Hyatt


Ariel Hyatt is the founder of CyberPR, a New York based social media PR firm. Her Cyber PR ® Campaigns and books Music Success in Nine Weeks & Musician’s Roadmap To Facebook & Twitter help connect musicians with new media makers and coach them to create authentic relationships with fans. She is an incredibly knowledgeable person, and I respect and look up to her tremendously.

Ariel is running her own crowd funding campaign for three huge resources. She is releasing two books for musicians, showing them how to dominate social media. A third book is for anyone who wants to build a healthy social media presence.

Here is our chat about how these resources can enhance your career and how to handle the uncertainty that comes with fan funding campaigns.

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Action and Music: Cause-Driven Touring with The Blind Woods


We’ve all heard about musicians playing concerts for charity. Boston’s own The Blind Woods takes that idea to the next level with a charity tour.

I spoke with vocalist and frontwoman Andrea Belanger about how The Blind Woods combines touring with cause advocacy and volunteerism on their Action and Music Tour.

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How to Solve Any Music Business Problem


The following is a guest post for digital music distribution company Ditto Music.

The music business is a tricky industry. There are plenty of career hurdles that lack easy, clear answers. Countless musicians get lost in the woods searching for answers, and many never find the formula for success. No music success story is the same, after all.

But you’re dedicating your life to music, and you’re not going to quit without a fight. Good! That’s the attitude you’ll need. I’m not going to hold your hand and lead you down the path to prosperity, though. I will give you a big, sharp machete to clear your own way.

Continue reading at Ditto Music.

Concert Ticket + Album Download Bundle: Already Doomed?


There’s a trend emerging of artists bundling album downloads with concert tickets. After purchasing a show ticket, the fan receives a download link with their receipt.

Seems like a great value add, right? Well, yes and no.

The first time it happened, I didn’t expect it. The surprise made me feel special. Like the band appreciated my commitment to see them live and support their art.

I also see how bundling downloads and tickets can enhance the live experience. By giving the latest album to fans in advance, the audience will know the new songs better. Instead of being bummed an artist didn’t play a track from the last album, more people will be glad to hear new favorites.
So this sort of bundle is a pretty cool thing. Here comes the wet towel.

For me, streaming music makes offering these bundles the equivalent of getting a gift card to a restaurant I never go to.

I sincerely appreciate the thought. Really. I do. I just never go to that place anymore because it’s out of the way, and I already have plenty of other great places to eat across the street from my home.

This is frustrating, because the marketer in me loves the concept of packing extra value into the live experience. But as a consumer, album downloads are starting to fall flat because of streaming services.

Is there anything that can keep the concert + music download bundle alive? I’m not sure. Perhaps if artists offer rarities or provide live recordings of events after their conclusion. As innovative as the ticket + album download bundle seems on the surface, it looks like its days are already numbered.

Summer NAMM Public Day Offers Networking, Retail, and Educational Opportunities


The Summer National Association of Music Merchants convention took place in Nashville, TN July 12-14. NAMM conferences are member-only events to show off the latest music retail and technology, but July 14th was open to the public.

NAMM Public Day is well worth the $15 price of admission for independent musicians. Make no mistake: this is a trade show focused on music manufacturers. Musicians can still benefit from plenty of networking opportunities, gear sales, and educational sessions.

Continue reading at Music Think Tank