This is the third week we’re featuring awesome Presskit.to users that rep their projects and our new theme, Gray Steel, the best! Each week, we ask these talented creators one question: “What Drives You?”
Click around the Big D and the Kids Table’s Presskit embedded below and then scroll down to see what drives lead singer, Dave McWane!
With a nearly twenty year tenure up their sleeves, Big D & the Kids Table have earned their stripes and remain one of the most relevant ska-punk bands in popular culture. They’ve toured with the Vans Warped Tour six times and have now released nine studio albums, the most recent of which was a double album, Stomp and Stroll, released on June 11, 2013. And they aren’t planning on slowing down any time soon with a busy 2014 ahead of them.
"What drives me; what inspires me?
I would say there are two angles for this answer with me: Artistry + Society.
With artistry, it is my addiction to music. I believe there are people who want to be in a band and then there are musicians. People who want to be in a band have goals set to achieve success within the music business and if they don’t reach those goals, they have the ability to walk away from music and try something else. Musicians are infected with music so deeply that not even poverty will stop them from creating and playing music. I am a musician: I have an inability to stop.
With society, I would say fear drives me. Many people will work 8 hours a day for someone else. I believe that the fear of spending my life always working for someone else’s dreams to come into fruition is dreadful. I believe if you do have a job that eats up, 8 hours + commute = 10 hours a day, then you have to try your best and spend at least half that on your dreams each day. As an artist you must be productive during your productive years.
All in all, persistence is my gift.” -D
Explore what’s going on with Big D & the Kids Table by checking out the Presskit above!
Tweet at @Presskitto with your Presskit URL and the hashtag #GraySteel to let us know about your ‘kit and get a chance to be featured next week!Tweet your #GraySteel Presskit!
Better late than never! This is the second week we’re featuring awesome Presskit.to users that we believe are repping their projects and our new theme, Gray Steel, the best! Each week, we ask these talented creators one question: “What Drives You?”
Find our second pick embedded below, and then check out the very bottom of the post to learn how your Presskit can be featured next week!
Planting roots in the Pacific Northwest, The Horde and the Harem are an indie folk-rock band whose whimsical, upbeat music perfectly matches their mystical, creative music videos. Their debut LP, A Long Midwinter, was released in February 2012, and after being picked up on KEXP’s radar, The Horde and the Harem performed at a number of festivals including Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party and Northwest Folklife. According to their official website, “Throughout the years, the lineup has changed but some things remain constant – devotion to their craft as musicians and a lust for creation. This craft and creation put the Horde back into the studio in the winter of 2013 to make their new EP.”
"What really inspires us as musicians to continue moving forward each day with what we do is imperfection and instability. Love and loss. The timbre and colors of music and our dreamworlds.
We live in a fiercely beautiful, dynamic part of the world, and that environment drives our lifestyles and the music we make. The dreary clouds of winter, Lake Union sparkling in the summertime, Mt. Rainier, and a heightened appreciation for vitamin D keep up our fight for the life energy we put into, and receive from, music.
We remain committed to our art in the midst of human imperfection and change. We are a community, friends, and ultimately, a family, and we depend on each other constantly to continue working at our craft.” -Hanna, Ryan and Justin - The Horde and the Harem
The Horde’s next EP, “Fairweather Friends” will be released on April 12th at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, WA. Make sure to check it out and keep your eyes on their tour schedule for a show! In the meantime, have a listen to A Long Midwinter in the Presskit above or on iTunes, Amazon MP3, or Spotify.
Tweet at @Presskitto with your Presskit URL and the hashtag #GraySteel to let us know about your ‘kit and get a chance to be featured next week!Tweet your #GraySteel Presskit!
A brief recap and some insight from my first trip to MIDEM
Now in its 47th year, MIDEM continues to be the place where leaders in the global music & entertainment industry meet to conduct business, show off their country’s musical heritage, pitch opportunities they have in their markets, and stay up late for VIP parties and networking at the Majestic Barriere or Carlton.
It’s different than any other industry festival I have attended; everything takes place in the Palais de Festivals during the day and is then split between two hotel bars at night with shows sprinkled in between. It isn’t crowded like 6th Street in March or spread across a giant city in October; it’s nestled in the small French Riviera town of Cannes. You can develop strong relationships with other conference goers and find time to squeeze in a demo or impromptu meeting, a crucial opportunity to get things done and take advantage of the time you have here.
Not only is MIDEM a great place for developing actionable relationships, its attendees represent the world’s vast music markets. Sponsorship managers from brands like VW & Red Bull, music supervisors from Bollywood, record label heads, marketing execs, distributors, innovators, and non-profits looking to promote their talent to a global market, are all there. It was an awesome experience and really excited me on the prospects of working with more artists and companies outside of the States.
I was fortunate to attend this years MIDEM as an official speaker after years of failed attempts due to timing & budgetary concerns (afterall, we are a startup). Through sheer luck, I was invited by our friend Marcus Taylor of Venture Harbour and the fine folks at MIDEM to give an hour-long lecture at Midem Academy.
“Midem Academy provides you with concrete and practical skills through courses on entrepreneurship, new business models and marketing to truly help you accelerate your career and boost your business.”
I chose to host a talk called “It’s Not All About Likes - Effective B2B Communication in a Direct-To-Fan Economy” which touched on the importance of improving the communication streams between artists and decision makers, brand managers, sponsors, agents, publishers, the media, and the like. In today’s social media world, it’s crucial to keep up on ways of better communicating your art to those who can move it forward, and we at Presskit.to are committed to helping talent and their representatives do just that - move their careers forward. We plan to share a recording of my talk in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that!
I saw incredible speakers, workshops, panels, and startups pitching their ideas for new revenue streams in the industry. It was an honor to be in attendance and on top of that, be an official speaker. I highly encourage this conference to anyone seriously looking to build or maintain a sustainable career in the music industry. The festival producers and staff were incredible. Everything ran super smoothly, and I’m looking forward to attending and (hopefully) speaking at it again in 2015.
If you have any questions or would like to share your own experience at MIDEM let us know in the comments below!
Starting today, we’ll be featuring awesome Presskit.to users that we believe are repping their projects and our new theme, Gray Steel, the best! Each week, we’ll ask these talented creators one question: “What Drives You?”
Find our first pick embedded below, and then check out the very bottom of the post to learn how your Presskit can be featured next week!
This Boston band has only been around since 2011 but they’ve already released an album, performed at SXSW, and won Song of the Year at the Boston Music Awards for their single “Ogunquit, ME.”
"Not long ago after one of our sets a girl came up to me at the merch table and told me that she had just moved to Boston from Montana. She went on to tell me she left someone special behind when making the move and when she heard us play "Dancing With Earthquakes" that night it moved her to the point of tears.
That little exchange made every long rehearsal, every late night drive home, every not so great show, each callus on my fingers and every other little thing worth it. It reminded me why I ever picked up a guitar in the first place.
Music is a cool thing and that raw emotional connection you can create with a total stranger is was drives me.” Doug Orey - The Field Effect
Check out their debut album, “Cartography” available everywhere! iTunes Amazon Spotify
Make sure to tweet at (@Presskitto) with your Presskit URL and the hashtag #GraySteel to let us know about your ‘kit and get a chance to be featured next week!Tweet your #GraySteel Presskit!
On January 21st, the already crowded world of music streaming will be bursting at the seams with the launch of Beats Music, a premium streaming service brought to you by Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, Luke Wood, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Ian Rogers, and other major players in the music industry. With about 20 million songs lined up in its archive, Beats Music is right on par with top competitor Spotify. However, there are some differences that could make or break the newcomer.
Unlike Spotify, Beats Music will not have a free option for its service. They’ll offer a 7-day free trial and then apply a monthly fee of $9.99. This could seriously limit the amount of users, but according to their press release, Beats Music pledges to bring, “an unparalleled personalized and curated listening experience that answers two important questions: ‘What should I listen to?’ and “what song comes next?’”
The clear focus that Beats Music is pushing is the pure superiority of their playlists. “Beats Music combines the emotion only a human created playlist can give you with the best personalization technology can deliver, ” said Ian Rogers, Beats Music CEO. “With this you get not just the music experience only a talented DJ or music expert can deliver, but also the right one for you right now.”
EmuBands, the low-cost digital music distribution service that allows artists and record labels to get their music on the world’s leading digital retailers like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3 and many others, for just a simple, one-time fee, will soon be adding Beats Music to their repertoire. EmuBands Founder & CEO, Ally Gray shared his thoughts on Beats Music with us in a quick interview below.
“It looks to be a good service – they are placing a lot of importance on human recommendations, along with some nice technology like the ‘Right Now’ feature – it’ll be interesting to see how it works in reality. I think their success could come down to their marketing – for example, the human-curated playlists are possible on other streaming services – you can ‘follow’ a DJ / curator whom you trust on Spotify, and therefore get personal recommendations that way. Spotify also have their ‘Discover’ feature, and Deezer have their ‘Hear This’ feature, allowing fans to discover new music. But, whilst Spotify have had to battle on behalf of the streaming industry against some high-profile attacks, like the one from Thom Yorke, Beats Music seem to be focusing their marketing efforts on some of the specific features within their offering and comparing themselves to other services. With another great streaming service out there, I think it can only benefit the music fan as each service seeks to continue evolving and improving.”
Beats’ marketing efforts have been notably robust. With the hashtag “#ClaimYourName” Beats Music has been peaking the interest of fans from every genre as nationally known bands and artists, as well as other celebrities, are showing their support through the Beats Music YouTube channel.
Unique to any other service out there, Beats Music is also offering an exclusive deal through a partnership with AT&T. With a family plan of up to 5 members and 10 devices, the service will be available for $14.99/month. They will also receive an extended 90-day free trial.
After all the marketing fluff and partnerships, the real question is if Beats Music will survive in this realm. Ally from EmuBands offers some wise closing remarks:
“I’m sure the Beats Music team will have done their research, and wouldn’t be launching if they didn’t think they could survive. But, ultimately it will be down to the music fan – if they think Beats Music’s service is worth migrating to from another service, or if it entices new customers into the streaming space, then it can survive – if it can’t do this, then it won’t survive. I do think people will like the personal recommendation features, and I think digital music services are going down that route in general…the question is, can technology ever replace a DJ, and if so, who is going to develop the best technology to do so?”
If you have a new project coming out and would like to distribute to Beats Music, iTunes, Spotify, and more, check out our partnership with EmuBands to get a 15% discount. And if you already distribute through EmuBands, you may opt in to Beats Music for free.
We hope you had an awesome holiday and New Year! You’ve probably noticed that things have been a bit quiet around the Presskit.to camp over the last two months. That’s only because we’ve been catching up on some final updates before we were ready to formally announce a few exciting bits of news!
First off, if you visited the blog within the last month or so you may recall our blog post announcing the soft launch of our brand new Presskit theme, Gray Steel. Well, we’re very excited to OFFICIALLY announce that Gray Steel is available to everyone!! You can read more on the Gray Steel page and the blog post, but if you’re on the Classic, SOLO, INDIE, PRO or PREMIER plan you can now switch your Presskits over to the brand new, shiny, beautiful, mobile-friendly, super embeddable, Gray Steel theme. You might even catch a glimpse of our friend Derek Zoolander while you’re at it!
In that same blog post we also mentioned that we were changing up our pricing plans slightly. The shuffle came when we launched our new business networks, which we refer to as Presskit.to for Business.
I wanted to take this opportunity to outline the changes in a bit more detail and reassure you that we’re committed to making Presskit.to as affordable as possible while providing real value so that we can charge enough to stay in business! Our guarantee to you is that we will always have our free Starter plan and that we will never raise the price of the plan that you are currently subscribed to. Basically, as long as you stay subscribed to your current plan you will not pay more if we increase the price of that plan level. You’ll be grandfathered into the original price that you signed up for.
On that note, below we’ve put together some additional info on the new plans and pricing as well as links to the complete feature descriptions.
We’ve introduced two new plans under the new Presskit.to for Creators category. These are the SOLO and INDIE plans. We listened to your feedback and we now offer one full-featured Presskit so you can get the most of Presskit.to without needing to sign up for an account that allows you to build multiple Presskits. Our new INDIE allows you to create 3 full-featured Presskits and unlocks access to our growing partner network and our Presskit101 service, which we’re currently in the process of revamping. More info on Presskit101 to follow!
The free Starter plan will always be available so you can try out Presskit.to to see if it’s right for you. We also offer a 30-day free trial on all of our paid plans. Just as a note though, Gray Steel isn’t available on the normal Starter plan. To unlock Gray Steel you can either upgrade to SOLO or INDIE or purchase a license for a one time $5 fee which allows you to use Gray Steel with your Starter plan. More info on the one-time fee can be found at the bottom of the Gray Steel page.
With Presskit.to for Business, companies can build as many electronic press kits as they need, and:
It has been a little over a year since we released Presskit.to into public beta and we couldn’t be happier with how far we’ve come in such a short time. With your help, we have grown to over 4,000 creative users who are building & distributing Presskits to promote their initiatives. We’re also working with some really top level names in the industry, from chart-topping artists like Karmin, to fine arts institutions like Berklee College of Music and label service legends Caroline Distribution (UMG). My team and I have heard some incredible success stories of how our ‘kits have helped users get professional representation, press or blog coverage, sponsorships, gigs, jobs, scholarships and new customers, and it’s an honor to have played a role in these developments.
One of the coolest things we’ve discovered is that musicians aren’t the only creators using Presskit.to; Actors, comedians, producers, directors, authors, voice-over artists, public speakers, app developers, and even street performing contortionists are building ‘kits to promote their creative talents. I’ve already been a professional carnie, musician, tour manager, marketing director, label exec., session player, and now - an aspiring tech entrepreneur. It makes perfect sense for us to create a tool that caters to the greater Creator community, which is why I’m extremely excited to announce our new theme that we’re calling “Gray Steel”. It’s a little more gray than blue, but it’s still really, really, really ridiculously good looking.
Doug, our fearless CTO and our Dev Wizard, Mr. Steve Callan have been working their butts off on this new look and functionality after numerous discussions we had with musicians, actors, directors, and publicists looking to have a “Media Spotlight” section at the top of each ‘kit. This addition allows actors to put their reel front & center without making people go to the videos section of the media tab to view it, or for musicians to highlight a new track or video.
As we roll out the new theme it will be included with all Classic or paid plans (SOLO, INDIE, PRO, PREMIER, etc.) but we’re also offering it to Starter users for a limited time for a one-time purchase of $5 because we really think everyone should use it!
Learn more about all of our new plans in this blog post and learn more about the theme and how to purchase the one time upgrade on our Gray Steel page.
Along with releasing Gray Steel, we snuck in a few new features that have been some of our most requested yet. You can read more about them and watch quick little videos on the Gray Steel page, but we’re excited to give you personalized background images for each of your Presskits, "Wimages", which allow you to accompany your Wins with press clippings and related artwork, and most importantly a new Media Spotlight section so you can easily call attention to your newest or most important song (or playlist), video or image. We’ve also added a ton of new link icons for services that you’ve requested.
Thank you all for being with us as we continue to grow and develop tools to help advance your career. We care deeply about helping artists of all disciplines find ways to build sustainable careers in the arts, and we couldn’t do it without you and your feedback. Please let us know what you think of our service and request the new theme when you have a second. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Make it happen!
Wait, where’d summer go? We’ve had our heads down since May and it looks like we missed a beach day or two… On the bright side, we’ve made some exciting progress and continue to improve Presskit.to on the reg.
Over the last few weeks we’ve quietly released some improvements that definitely deserve some excitement! On the heels of our Facebook app and Songkick integration, this release makes it much easier to manage the media in your Presskits. We’ve also been busy laying the foundation of our Partner Network which we announced yesterday.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I want to publicly welcome the amazing Steve Callan who officially joined our team back in May. He’s been involved with Presskit.to since the beginning, but we’re extremely excited to now have him on board in a greater capacity.
This has been one of our most requested updates. You can now add entire SoundCloud sets to your Presskit! Just head over to your Presskit’s control panel, click the Connect with SoundCloud button and you’ll be able to add any of the sets that you’ve previously created on SoundCloud.
Not sure what a set is? No problem! Click the ‘Learn more’ link below to check out our new SoundCloud tutorial that covers everything you need to know.
Create specific albums for press photos, live shots, album artwork, and press clippings. We let you choose the name & thumbnail and you can organize them however you like.
This feature is currently available for Classic & PRO users.
Adding images to your Presskit is now as easy as copying & pasting a URL. Whether you host your hi-res images on flickr or a clumsy FTP (yuck…), you can now paste the URL into your Presskit, give your image a title & description and we’ll handle it from there. Your image is then transferred over to our secure media server and will be preserved in full resolution for future downloads.
We’ve made it much easier to download images from your Presskit with a dedicated download button on the thumbnail and inside the image viewer. Just click the button and the app will start the download process. The functionality works a little differently depending on the device you’re using but we’ve outlined the process below.
It’s now extremely easy for people to download a PDF version of your bio, one sheet or resumé right from the Biography section of your Presskit. Just upload a PDF file in the Files section and check the “Allow download from Bio” box.
This feature is currently available for Classic & PRO users.
We’ve made a few improvements to the calendar UI. In addition to a new event address section you can now select the type of event you’re adding in order to clearly show what kind of event it is.
We’ve had live chat on the homepage for quite a while, but now you can ask us questions from anywhere on the site, including the dashboard and our new help docs. Whether you have a question about a feature, need to report a bug, or just want to say hey, we’re only a click away now. Our team should always be online from 9am to 6pm Eastern, Monday through Friday but you’ll probably catch us online more often than not.
We’ve also been adding a bunch of tutorials and quick tips to the control panel. Keep your eyes peeled for the (?) and Learn more links while editing your Presskit.
We’ve made it easier to follow along with updates to Presskit.to. Just click the ‘What’s New?’ link at the bottom of the dashboard to stay up-to-date with all of our feature releases, updates and bug fixes.
As always, we love feedback. We have a pretty good idea of what features are needed to make Presskit.to the standard in press kit and portfolio management for creative professionals, but your input is the most important part. If there’s a feature you can’t live without or an update to a current feature that you’ve been thinking about, please let us know on our community board or hit us up on chat.
Until next time!Chris
Building a sustainable career in the music & entertainment industry means collaborating with a lot of great people, partnering with like-minded companies, brands, and opportunities to elevate your efforts, and finding ways to save money while doing so.
This hits close to home for all of us at Presskit.to, so we decided to reach out to some friends to launch the Pk Partner Network! This is just the beginning of what will grow into a thriving network of offerings that add additional value and awareness around your projects.
All of our partners are hand-picked to make sure we’re offering legitimate opportunities that aren’t taking advantage of artists. That’s why we’re so happy to announce our first official service partner, EmuBands!
EmuBands, based in Glasgow, Scotland, provides independent labels and bands with a simple-to-use, affordable digital music distribution service. For a one-time fee they’ll service your audio and video releases to pretty much every major digital retailer, like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3, Rdio and many others. Say goodbye to per-sale fees and recurring annual fees! They offer a tremendous service to artists for distributing their music, and are offering all Presskit.to PRO & Classic users a 15% discount on the distribution fee!!
Likewise, all EmuBands customers can get a 15% discount on a Presskit.to PRO account. Click the button below to learn more & to get your discount code. If you have any questions about the deal or anything else be sure to send an email to email@example.com!
A couple of weeks ago, we laid the foundation for a ton of sweet new features with the introduction of Presskit.to v1.1. This week we’re rolling out the red carpet for round one of those new features and we’re inviting you, our most excellent Presskit.to users, to come check them out!
Like MySpace profiles of yore, Facebook Pages have become the first line of contact with the professional industry. That’s why we’re extremely excited to announce our new Presskit.to Facebook app! Now, with just 2-clicks, you can add a Presskit tab to your Facebook Page.
This means your entire Presskit will be at the fingertips of each and every industry professional who’s looking to learn more about your project, without even leaving Facebook.
Just a few reasons why we’re so stoked:
To get started check out the quick tutorial below, then head over to your Presskit’s Share & Embed page and click the blue “Install on Facebook” button!
You certainly know the headaches that come along with touring. “Sleeping” on strangers’ floors, slim jims & combos for every meal and the grumpy, tone-deaf sound guy. But if there’s one thing that every road warrior detests, it’s the mind-numbing task of entering all of those tour dates.
Not even your manager’s highly motivated intern gets a rise out of that chore, which is why we’re brimming with joy to announce our one-click Songkick sync!
A few things to note!
Watch below to see how easy syncing is & never overwork your perfectly calloused fingers again!
Download the Press Release
Just before 11am this morning Presskit.to experienced some unexpected downtime. Our team was able to quickly identify the issue and resolve the problem. The underlying issue was related to a DNS error with our host and as of 1:00pm everything was operational again.
Outside of making sure our community members (YOU!) are smiling, our main objective is to keep the site online. We feel that these two things sort of go hand in hand, though, so we thank you for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience that today’s downtime caused. Please reach out to our community team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any question or concerns.
On a lighter, much happier note, as of the time that the site came back online, we released another update in addition to the one we announced earlier today.
We’re excited to announce that in addition to being able to reorder your Presskit’s videos and files, you can now reorder your project members, contacts, links and photos. To choose the order, all you need to do is click an item’s row and drag it to the position of your liking. Refresh your Presskit and voila!
After a lot of hard work and an obscene amount of caffeine, we’re excited to announce the first of several product updates coming your way. Quietly launched this past Friday, this release includes some really cool stuff as well as a bunch of improvements under the hood that set us up for much bigger updates and new features arriving later this summer.
To start things off, we completely overhauled the control panel to make editing and sharing your Presskit much easier. We also added a new feature that makes it super easy to embed your ‘kit directly on your website or really anywhere that supports HTML. You can read about all of the updates below.
As always, thank you for your continued support as we work toward our goal of providing an awesome web app which allows artists and their teams to communicate more effectively and ultimately, do more business. We’re listening to you.
Control Panel Navigation: Refreshed the nav making it easier to build, manage & share your Presskit.
Embeddable Presskits: Embed your Presskit on any website that supports HTML.
Activity page: We made a few adjustments to the activity page.
Calendar: We took an entirely new approach to our calendar.
Media: This round of updates saw minor adjustments to the media section, but more are slated to launch soon!
Re-order Project Members, Links & Contacts:
Boutique Services: We launched our new services page. Read the announcement here!
Pk General Store: We opened a new online store making it much easier to purchase services & other fun stuff like gift cards & merch.
Up until the time we created Presskit.to, we ate, slept, and breathed artist development and music marketing. While we’ve never regretted our decision to dive into the deep end to create a web app that helps thousands of artists instead of just the few on our roster, we’ve always missed that side of the industry. Now, with our feet firmly under us in the tech world, we’re very excited to announce that we’re getting back to our roots with Presskit.to’s new boutique service offerings.
Whether you need us to build or manage your Presskit, craft a press-worthy bio or pitch, tighten up your branding with a new logo or PDF onesheet, or just want to talk shop and figure out a strategy that’s best suited for the current stage of your project, our team is here to work with you to make it happen.
We’re looking forward to supporting your career in any way possible. Likewise, if you have any questions or specific requests that you don’t see listed on the site, please feel free to contact us.
If we can’t help, we most likely know someone who can!
- Ben, Chris, and the Presskit.to team
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Last Wednesday we held the second installment of our Presskit.to webinar series. We were joined by panelists Chris Bolton of CD Baby and Marcus Taylor of Venture Harbour to discuss using data to really learn about your fans. The duo had some great suggestions on using data to find actionable tactics and strategies such as working backwards by first identifying the question you want answered and then finding the relevant data to draw a solid conclusion.
If you missed the webinar, or want a recap of the presentation, we’ve archived it on both YouTube and SoundCloud.
We hope you’ll join us for our next webinar!