VIDEO: Rob Potylo talks with Presskit.to
Below, Rob talks about his experience in the Boston music scene, filming season five of Quiet Desperation, his new show on WEMF Radio, and the artist & musician community he represents.
What To Expect From The MIDEM Conference
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.
In a nutshell, MIDEM is:
- A place to develop strong professional relationships.
- A place to learn about what other music markets are doing to grow their economies.
- A place to network with like-minded people dedicated to contributing something great to their industry.
- A place to discover new trends and talent in developing markets.
- A place to make things happen.
Advice for 1st timers:
- Search through the MIDEM directory of attendees and panelists before you go to make a “hit list” of people you want to meet
- Reach out with enough time to introduce yourself and set up meeting times or locations while in Cannes
- Bring more business cards than you think you need - and make them nice - don’t go cheap or single sided - make them stand out. In fact, you should make a Presskit and include your URL on your card!
- Dress is business casual. It’s Europe so nobody judges anyway. Be comfortable and confident - that’s more important than anything.
- Take notes - write down names and why they were relevant to you at the time. This will make you more effective with follow-ups later.
- Play nice - we’re all in the same industry so leave your ego at the airport.
If you have any questions or would like to share your own experience at MIDEM let us know in the comments below!
Announcing An All New Presskit Theme: Gray Steel!
To our amazing Presskit.to users!
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.
Introducing Gray SteelGray Steel brings many slick layout changes to the Presskit that you can see first hand on Gentlemen Hall’s Presskit embedded below. SAY WHAT?! A fully-functional Presskit embedded into a blog post? Hot damn. That’s kinda cool…
Switching your Presskit to Gray Steel
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!
Exciting New Features
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!
THE EPK Management Solution for Creative Business
The result is what we call Presskit.to for Business, a talent asset management solution designed to centralize the creation, organization, management and distribution of EPK’s and other promotional assets across an entire talent roster. It’s a fully complementary service to Presskit.to’s current offering for individuals, and will now be referred to as the company’s flagship product. And here’s why…
We Saw A ProblemThe use and popularity of EPKs have grown faster than the ability to manage them. This is particularly true for music labels, management agencies, and other companies catering to multiple creative professionals. They have multiple artists, with multiple assets, being managed by multiple departments and staffers. The result is a fragmented and chaotic state of affairs which we aim to solve.
How We Solved ItWhile the larger major labels might have an antiquated, proprietary system in-house for managing all this, smaller independent distributors, labels, or management firms typically rely on email, Dropbox, and Facebook. This is what Presskit.to for Business addresses. It gives managers, marketing staff, and others responsible for promoting talent the tools to centralize these assets into one system, resulting in better communication, quicker approvals, and more efficient promotion of their artists.
With Presskit.to for Business, companies of all sizes can build as many electronic press kits as they need, and:
- Organize Presskits in our new Business Networks built specifically for teams
- Assign access and permissions to multiple administrators
- Collaboratively collect, review, and approve talent assets
- Create standardized EPKs with custom branding options
- Easily share clients’ Presskits with the media, retail, venue bookers and intermediaries
A Music Company Use CaseFor instance, let’s say a music distribution company has signed a legacy act who just left their label deal. This agency is charged with distributing and promoting new music from this act, but there are several challenges in doing so. First, the lineup has changed over the years. There are multiple bios for the band, outdated promotional shots, a mashup of official and unofficial social media profiles, and all kinds of YouTube videos and SoundCloud streams scattered across the Internet. Second, charged with pulling all this together are multiple divisions within the new distribution company. There’s the digital marketing group, the radio promotion group, the retail and product management group, the tour marketing group, and consumer press/publicity. All need to work from the same collection of assets approved for use, but in many cases have little exposure to the activities of the other, so there’s always a concern that one group is working with different assets than the other.
Launching with Caroline MusicAs proof of the need, we’re pleased to announce that Caroline Distribution, one of the largest independent music distribution companies in the world, as our launch client. They’re not only using Presskit.to to create EPKs for all their distributed labels, they’re using Presskit.to for Business as the talent asset management system on the backend. It’s an honor to be working with them and we’re looking forward to seeing the long term results of them using our system.
One of the more interesting things about the Internet is that for every problem it solves, another is created. It’s why so many startups have emerged to “disrupt” this industry or that; and it’s why each disruption inevitably leads to the need for another solution. EPKs disrupted the process of artist promotion, and in doing so created the need to bring order to the decentralized environment that resulted. We feel we created the best, most sophisticated cross-platform EPK platform available in Presskit.to. Presskit.to for Business is the next logical step.
Make it happen!
To learn more about Presskit.to for Business and how it can help your company or to ask any questions, please contact Aidan Rush at email@example.com or by phone at (303) 638 9450.