Throwback Thursday: Artist Management Contract Terminology
WRITTEN BY AIDAN RUSH.
There have been enough publicized horror stories of bands signing terrible contracts it’s a surprise bands sign any type of contract at all these days. However, while there is an argument to be had as to whether or not record labels are still necessary, it’s this writer’s opinion that artist managers will always be necessary. That’s not because you, the artist, can’t necessarily navigate your career by yourself, it’s because there just aren’t enough hours in the day for you to get it all done. Yes there are rare examples of independent musicians making a killing by spending 20 hours a day doing it all themselves, but they are the exception that proves the rule. If you ever plan on working with a personal manager (as opposed to a business or tour manager), it would behoove you to familiarize yourself with the basic artist management contract terms defined below!
Throwback Thursday: Making a Stage Plot
Written by Mike Harmon.
Stage Plots and Input Lists make EVERYBODY happy.
If you’re an artist that has a gig coming up, you should provide the sound engineer with a stage plot and input list at least a day before you get to the venue. This will give the engineer important information about your band’s stage setup, instrumentation, and how they’ll organize inputs into the PA. If you don’t provide the sound engineer with a stage plot and input list beforehand, you may run into a few snags with equipment, stage layout, or even how the front-of-house mix will sound.
Throwback Thursday: There’s More to a Free Music Campaign than Free Music…
Written by Jem Bahaijoub
You’ve done it again. You’ve given away a free track from your latest album. It’s on your website. You’ve talked about it on Facebook. Job done, you think. Well think again.
There’s no doubt about it. Free music is a powerful marketing tool. However, the music industry has become so over-saturated with free music that we’ve become desensitized to the process of consuming, promoting, and thinking about the importance of free music. This age-old debate has become, well, old.
I was lucky enough to revitalize my thoughts on the topic recently when I met the artist Derrick N. Ashong who launched the “Million Downloads Campaign” earlier this year. The aim of the campaign is simple - To give away one million downloads of songs and remixes from the new album AFropolitan by Derrick N. Ashong & Soulfège by Christmas 2012. So far the campaign has been such a success that Derrick witnessed over 20,000 downloads in one month.
"How?" I hear you ask. Well, Derrick did something a lot of artists are forgetting to do - he planned, strategized and philosophized over the process beforehand. So take a step backwards, and consider the following….
Define Your Purpose
Before you even contemplate giving your music away for free, you need to define your goals. We know you want to increase your fan base and drive awareness to your latest musical offering, but you need to be MORE SPECIFIC. How many downloads would you like to achieve? By what date? If your fans know your goal and timeline they may be more willing to help you spread the word. Use your previous download statistics as a benchmark. You can also try something like “If I achieved 5,000 downloads by my 30th Birthday it would be the best b-day present ever!!” You’ll be surprised by how specifics motivate people.
Throwback Thursday: I the Mighty SXSW ‘12 Bus Session
Last year at the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX, we had the pleasure of hosting several phenomenal acts from across the country to perform on our Tour Bus. We coined the intimate, stripped down videos our SXSW ‘12 Bus Sessions.
For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’d like to feature one of our favorite sessions from San Francisco based band I the Mighty. Check out their performance of “Cutting Room Floor,” and be sure to visit http://presskit.to/SXSW to tune-in to what we’re doing this year!!
Throwback Thursday: The Music Placement Process Explained
Written by Anishka George
Music placement in film, television, and advertisements has quickly become a significant revenue source for musicians and the music industry. Most importantly, it has become a new platform for A&R and allows the opportunity for relatively unknown artists to break. Any genre of music has a place on film and TV, but the most “licensable” music tends to be of the indie, electronic, rock, singer-songwriter, and pop varieties. But how does this side of licensing work exactly? What’s the process? Few people know the extent of detail involved in film and TV licensing, but after this article, you won’t be one of them! Keep reading to get a better understanding of how a synch license comes to fruition, from the initial song choice to that final signature on the licensing agreement.
Anishka George holds a B.S. in Music Industry from Northeastern University, specializing in Music Licensing, Intellectual Property & Copyright Law.
Throwback Thursday: Navigating Radio Placement as an Independent Artist
Since the beginning of its era, radio has been the driving force of music discovery for most people. Whether a major label is pumping millions of dollars into a nationwide radio campaign for the next big hit or a college student is playing their friends’ band during their 1-hour radio show once a week, radio has become ingrained in the music industry’s business model. And even though radio doesn’t make or break an artist like it used to, there are still a number of people out there who don’t discover music on the internet, and rely solely on the radio stations they’re familiar with for new tunes.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the worlds of Internet and Terrestrial radio, looking into the characteristics of each, determining when it’s smart to submit your music for airplay, and how to prep the necessary materials to submit. Although there is no true test for how one’s music will get airplay on the radio, this article can serve as a simple guide to independent artists seeking some info on the medium.
Throwback Thurs: You Have 5,000 Fans on Facebook… Now What? Exploring Your Facebook Strategy, Part 1
Written by Laura Maxwell
So you’ve got 5,000 fans. Congratulations! Your friends, family, and first hardcore fans came out to represent on Facebook. To get to this point, you’ve very likely asked everyone you know to “like” your Fan Page, posted awesome videos from shows, and even given away some free CDs. So how do you up the ante?
Industry folks are using social media presence more and more to identify up and coming bands. Aside from the quality of your music, your engaged fan base and the rate at which it is growing is increasingly being used as an early indicator to your potential and marketability as an artist. Showing up online and getting your fans to show up there too only helps your future as a full time musician. Getting to this milestone is a first huge step in spreading the word about your music. Your current Facebook strategy could be nonexistent, dwindling in effect or still working well but it never hurts to figure out where you want to go from there. Some bands take years to hit 5,000 fans, others have done it in less than a year. Either way, it’s time to evaluate and build on the momentum you’ve created.
Evaluating starts with defining your goals as a band. Do you want to be a household name, become a respected niche artist, or just continue playing music in your basement as a release from your day job? If you want the latter, 5,000 fans is pretty awesome for someone with no desire to make a career from music. Stop here. Want the former? You’ve got a ways to go…
These three steps will help you start thinking about how you want Facebook to work for your band.
1. Choose an artist that represents the social media presence you would like to emulate. This should be based on their content sharing style and level of engagement from fans.
- Sharing Style: There are many different styles of communication on Facebook. You could be funny, playful, serious or just a grounded, easily relatable musician. Whatever fits most with your image. Are you a glorified rock star, a bashful singer-songwriter, a lovable hipster, or a down-to-earth guy or girl next door? Decide how you want to be perceived so you can show who you are through everything you do.
- Engagement: How do you want your fans to engage with you? Think about the quality of information that is shared through your example artist’s page and what the response is from fans. Are they getting a bunch of likes on their status posts? Comments? Analyzing this isn’t so you can copy them, it’s so you can get an idea of the themes that attracted you to them. Your well-executed strategy should do the same for your potential fans.
Throwback Thurs: Capitalizing on a Branded Session
Written by Mike Harmon
Whether you’re an artist that has done a branded video session before, or are planning a session for the coming weeks, it’s important to know how to make the best out of your session. Several labels, studios, and other music brands are making use of live-in-studio videos with high quality audio to benefit both the brand and the artist, maximizing exposure for both. Some companies hosting session videos with bands include our friends Audio Tree, RAWsession, Sideshow Alley, TourStop, and even non-music related brands such as Converse Rubber Tracks and Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sound.
Oftentimes with these sessions, both parties win in the case of good promotion; Artists get additional exposure through a new network, and the brand benefits by having artists with a large fanbase attracted to their content. Here’s a list of a few promotional methods we’ve found work well when promoting your branded video sessions.
Showcase Unreleased Material
Playing an alternate live version, a deep cut, a b-side of your album, or an unreleased song is a great way to take advantage of your session. This offers your band the opportunity to showcase material that your audience might not see otherwise, or promote upcoming music before it is released. Hosting videos of this type in your Presskit is a great way to grant advance, private access to press outlets for early reviews of new material.