Compulsory License

effrey Brabec, Vice President of Business Affairs for the Chrysalis Music Group, talks about compulsory licenses. Compulsory licenses are an exception to copyright law in regards to songs. They allow anyone to re-record a song without the permission of the music publisher, provided the person pays the statutory rate and the song has been recorded and released. Brabec points out that the license takes a monopoly away from the writer and publisher. This is beneficial because it demonstrates songs can go into a number of genres.

Advertisements

What is Work for Hire & How Does it Affect You As an Artist?

Maggie Lange, an attorney and Professor of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music, discusses the “work for hire” provision of US copyright law, and how it affects — and does not affect — sound recordings made under a recording contract


Protecting Your Work: Understanding Publishing, Copyright, and Work For Hire

Russell Rains, Director of the MBA Program in Digital Media Management Program at St. Edwards College in Austin TX, explains what a work for hire deal is in the context of a recording or songwriting contract, and why its beneficial for artists to control their own copyrights instead of entering into a work for hire arrangement.


Work for Hire

Jeffrey Brabec, Vice President of Business Affairs for the Chrysalis Music Group, talks about work for hire. Work for hire occurs when a writer or composer writes a song for a film, television show, or commercial. However, the publishing company becomes the legal author of the work. Brabec points out that the songwriter or composer still receive writer royalties. There is a royalty schedule in all agreements. He also stresses that there are no reversions. Songwriters cannot take advantage of getting their song or score back. The future litigation of 2013 is covered as well. Brabec explains that the songwriting business will be the area of controversy.


Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians – Part 2 of 3: Album Launch BY: Ariel Hyatt

The first piece in this 3 part series discussed steps you should take before you start promoting a new album, such as having your online presence all in order. In Part 2, I will go over some basic elements for, yep you guessed it, promoting a new album.

Album Pre-Sale

A great way to build excitement amongst your fanbase leading up to the release of a new album is to organize a pre-sale campaign. Hold a contest, where everyone that makes a pre-sale purchase is entered in to win a prize. Prizes could be additional merchandise, tickets to the CD release show, or if you really wanted to get crazy, offer to write and record a song about the winner. From your online store, you should have a few different pre-sale packages at different price points available. For example: – Tickets to CD release show and digital album – Autographed CD and tickets to release show – Autographed CD, T-Shirt and tickets to release show and make sure everyone who purchased the album during the presale gets their purchase by the release day (that’s the point of the pre-sale!), so mail out any packages a week beforehand and send them a digital download of the album by release day or better yet, the day before.

Press Campaign

A big component when promoting a new album is the press campaign, working with either a PR company to handle your press outreach or going the DIY route. I talk to many independent artists who don’t see the point in a press campaign for their new release, usually because either an artist they know, or they themselves, had spent thousands of dollars on a PR company in the past with little to no results. I definitely feel for artists here, but ignoring press completely is not the solution. When hiring a publicist make sure your music is a good fit with their existing roster and that the publicist has a well thought out plan for the campaign, and most of all, honestly likes your music. An expensive campaign with a PR company that has some major label big name clients is not by any means a slam dunk that you will get “tons” of “great” press for your independent release, and many times will be the exact opposite. Try contacting boutique PR firms that can offer more personal attention or PR companies that are focused on independent artists. A PR company will work with you on making sure you are prepared and will handle the press outreach, but if you’re going with a do-it-yourself approach here are some tips and strategies for an effective campaign:

Pictures Make sure you have at least 3-4 great press shots. And variety is very important, so try and have both landscape and portrait options, and some that are in color and also some that are black & white. Taking the photos in interesting locations or while dressed in “wacky” outfits are good to have, too to help make you stand out, but you should also have some simple and more straight forward shots.

Bio I know I said these were all “DIY” tips, but I’d suggest hiring a professional writer to write your bio. Even if you are a great writer, it can be hard to write about yourself or your own band. A professional writer will be able to write a compelling bio and one that can effectively convey all the important details while keeping in mind the audience, which in this case is press and music industry folk.

Press Outreach The first people to target should be local press and press outlets that have written about you in the past (if applicable). When contacting blogs make it personal, say Hi and their name, and then start off by saying how much you liked a recent post of theirs, before launching in about the new album. Include a download link to a song from the new album that they can give away for free, blogs love to offer free music to their readers. Follow up about once a week and if you’ve received some press since the last time you contacted them, make sure to include a link and press quote in the follow up email. Then as I touched on in Part 1, plan ahead so you will have content for multiple press releases for the months after the album comes out, such as a new music video and tour dates, as you don’t want to just keep sending out the same message about the new album over and over, but you do want to keep contacting press and drilling it home that you are someone who deserves to be noticed.

Launch Timeline

Plan some milestones starting from two months before the release date to at least one month after the album comes out. Here is how this could look:

Two Months Before Release – Release a single, a great way to get the fans excited and also to get some current press quotes to include when contacting press about the full length album – Announce to your fans that tickets are for sale for the CD release show

One Month Before Release – Press campaign begins for new album – Announce pre-sale campaign through your newsletter, and social networks including Facebook and Twitter – Set up a Facebook invite for the new release, send it to all your Facebook friends and post on your Fan Page

Two Weeks Before Release – Keep the excitement going, hold a contest to win a copy of the new album or tickets to CD release show

Release Day Activities – Write a news post about the release on your official website – Send out a Newsletter to mailing list – Update Twitter and Facebook with an “album out now” post and link to where they can purchase it.

One Month After The Release – Service press with official music video and announce tour dates. Again, the more activities you can plan leading up to the release will help build the excitement with your fans, and the more press points you can arrange for after a release will enable you to keep contacting press with new content, while at the same time reminding them about the new album. Also, don’t forget to ask your family, friends, and fans to write reviews of your new album on iTunes and other digital retailers the minute it becomes available. Studies have shown that albums that are reviewed at iTunes actually sell more than albums with little to no reviews posted. In the next and final post, I will talk about supplying content while you’re in between album cycles, as a means to stay relevant and fresh with your current fans, and to increase your fanbase as well.

SOURCE:
Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians – Part 2 of 3: Album Launch


What Should a Publisher Be Doing For You?

Todd Brabec, Executive Vice President of ASCAP, discusses what a publisher does for an artist, from aggressively exploiting an artist’s catalog to collecting and dividing revenues properly. He also describes a few alternatives to traditional publishing deals.


Ovation: Sell Live Recordings Right After The Show by Clyde Smith

Offering fans the opportunity to purchase live recordings right after a great show could be a powerful future revenue stream for musicians, and Migratory Music is offering the Ovation Tower as one solution. Their kiosk allows fans to purchase a recording of the show and download it as an MP3 or have a download link sent to their email. DETAILS & VIDEO:

The kiosk approach obviously limits this solution to venues but I’ve heard of at least one DIY web-based solution for bands that will be in easy reach. No announcements yet but this is a space that is long overdue for attention.

The Ovation Tower

Migratory Music’s digital music kiosk Ovation Tower is installed in music venues as the customer-facing solution to delivering recordings of live events immediately after the show. As you can see from the above video, the ability to take credit cards and deliver the goods is what one would desire.

Ovation Tower is powered by services from MediaNet, Abbey Road Live, SeePoint Technology, Aderra Media Technologies and YCD Multimedia.  The kiosks themselves also sell additional digital music and have space for physical advertising.

Migratory Music recently secured venue placements via Nederlander Concerts and with The Roxy Theatre under the Ovation brand.  Pricing is currently for live albums “no more than $20, while other albums are under $15.”

Though the process of making such technology or lighter web-based services available is still emerging, this should be an inportant long-term ecommerce option for bands and promoters.

SOURCE:
Ovation: Sell Live Recordings Right After The Show


Monetizing Music Videos & Live Shows With Evinar & Gyroskope by Clyde Smith

Gyroskope-bonnie-prince-billyBoth Evinar and Gyroskope are services that musicians can use to monetize streaming video. Evinar focuses on livestreaming via Facebook while Gyroskope features videos for which customers pay to stream as often as they like. Neither service is exclusive to musicians but both seem potentially useful to musicians attempting to diversity their revenue streams.

Please let us know what you think about these options in the comments. And please consider answering this question, what are you looking for as a musician seeking to monetize video on the web?

Evinar – Monetize Live Concerts on Facebook

Evinar offers the ability to sell tickets and livestream concerts via Facebook. Evinar takes a 40% cut of ticket sales but you can also offer concerts for free.

The process seems pretty simple from setting a date and ticket prices to using their dashboard to invite your friends and fans via social media. Viewers can buy tickets ahead of time via the Evinar Facebook tab which will display a stage image with a live countdown.

In addition to broadcasting live via your webcam, you can also upload images and videos as part of the show and text chat with viewers during the event. The chat feature includes moderation so, if fans get out of hand, you can moderate what gets posted. You can also appoint additional moderators to help with the event.

Charging people for livestreaming events comes down to whether or not your audience wants that. My only concern would be with how comfortable your fans would be making a purchase on Facebook given a recent AP-CNBC poll finding that 54% of respondents “wouldn’t feel safe using the platform for financial transactions such as purchasing goods or services.”

Gyroskope – Monetizing Video Streaming

Gyroskope is an ad-free service designed to monetize video. It’s not exclusive to music but that is one of the areas on which they’re focusing.

The basic concept is that artists pay a monthly fee, set their own prices and upload videos and previews. Gyroskope handles the rest including payments. It appears you can also offer video viewing for free though that’s not emphasized.

Pricing starts at $19 a month for hosting 5 videos. In addition, there’s a 2.08% plus .35 charge for payment processing. It’s unclear how much bandwidth you get but, at a certain point, you either upgrade your account or start paying $30 per 100 GB.

Viewers pay per video and can watch them at anytime via the Web including free use of Gyroskope iPhone and Android apps. However, they aren’t initially purchasing the videos but rather the right for relatively unlimited streaming. Once they hit 500 views of an individual video, viewers are then asked to download the video.

There’s clearly some math to be done here to figure out what you should charge based on bandwidth usage and account costs but the bigger question will be whether or not you’re able to entice fans to pay for a viewing experience of media that they can’t initially download. Given that videos have such a long history of being used as promotional tools, Gyroskope may require the creation of special content to entice music lovers.

Janet Morrissey, writing for Fortune, shares a bit more about the company including some comments from founder Todd Smith. She also rounds up some questions raised by livestreaming video company reps who are future competitors since Gyroskope is planning on adding such capabilities in the future.

To see who’s using the service, you can browse or search Gyroskope’s current inventory.

Note: Opening thumbnail is from the Gyroskope account for Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

SOURCE:
Monetizing Music Videos & Live Shows With Evinar & Gyroskope

& Gyroskope

Gyroskope-bonnie-prince-billyBoth Evinar and Gyroskope are services that musicians can use to monetize streaming video. Evinar focuses on livestreaming via Facebook while Gyroskope features videos for which customers pay to stream as often as they like. Neither service is exclusive to musicians but both seem potentially useful to musicians attempting to diversity their revenue streams.

Please let us know what you think about these options in the comments. And please consider answering this question, what are you looking for as a musician seeking to monetize video on the web?

Evinar – Monetize Live Concerts on Facebook

Evinar offers the ability to sell tickets and livestream concerts via Facebook. Evinar takes a 40% cut of ticket sales but you can also offer concerts for free.

The process seems pretty simple from setting a date and ticket prices to using their dashboard to invite your friends and fans via social media. Viewers can buy tickets ahead of time via the Evinar Facebook tab which will display a stage image with a live countdown.

In addition to broadcasting live via your webcam, you can also upload images and videos as part of the show and text chat with viewers during the event. The chat feature includes moderation so, if fans get out of hand, you can moderate what gets posted. You can also appoint additional moderators to help with the event.

Charging people for livestreaming events comes down to whether or not your audience wants that. My only concern would be with how comfortable your fans would be making a purchase on Facebook given a recent AP-CNBC poll finding that 54% of respondents “wouldn’t feel safe using the platform for financial transactions such as purchasing goods or services.”

Gyroskope – Monetizing Video Streaming

Gyroskope is an ad-free service designed to monetize video. It’s not exclusive to music but that is one of the areas on which they’re focusing.

The basic concept is that artists pay a monthly fee, set their own prices and upload videos and previews. Gyroskope handles the rest including payments. It appears you can also offer video viewing for free though that’s not emphasized.

Pricing starts at $19 a month for hosting 5 videos. In addition, there’s a 2.08% plus .35 charge for payment processing. It’s unclear how much bandwidth you get but, at a certain point, you either upgrade your account or start paying $30 per 100 GB.

Viewers pay per video and can watch them at anytime via the Web including free use of Gyroskope iPhone and Android apps. However, they aren’t initially purchasing the videos but rather the right for relatively unlimited streaming. Once they hit 500 views of an individual video, viewers are then asked to download the video.

There’s clearly some math to be done here to figure out what you should charge based on bandwidth usage and account costs but the bigger question will be whether or not you’re able to entice fans to pay for a viewing experience of media that they can’t initially download. Given that videos have such a long history of being used as promotional tools, Gyroskope may require the creation of special content to entice music lovers.

Janet Morrissey, writing for Fortune, shares a bit more about the company including some comments from founder Todd Smith. She also rounds up some questions raised by livestreaming video company reps who are future competitors since Gyroskope is planning on adding such capabilities in the future.

To see who’s using the service, you can browse or search Gyroskope’s current inventory.

Note: Opening thumbnail is from the Gyroskope account for Bonnie “Prince” Billy.


Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians – Part 1 of 3: New Album Preparations BY: Ariel Hyatt

Chris Hacker here, I create Marketing Plans for artists at Cyber PR® and really enjoy working with my many clients. I’ve noticed a huge problem though. Artists call the Cyber PR® offices all the time looking for us to promote their new album, totally fine of course, but the problem lies in that many of these artists call us when their albums are coming out the next week!! It completely baffles me that an artist or band will work so hard on an album, spending hours and hours writing songs and practicing these songs and then spending large sums of money recording, mixing and mastering, to only rush the release with no plan in place! Not planning enough lead time for a press campaign isn’t the only issue, but many people we talk to try to release their album when some of the basic music promotion elements aren’t even in place, for example a website where you can sell the music!

In a three part series I will discuss some basic components of a marketing plan to help properly market you and a new release. This first blog post in the series can eloquently be called the “getting your sh*t together” phase. Here I’ve laid out 5 areas that need to be addressed before any official announcements should be made about a new album coming out.

1. Digital Distribution

Figure out how you’re going to digitally distribute the album, and a physical CD only release or selling the CD and mp3’s strictly on your website is not the way to go. You need to make your music available everywhere digital music can be streamed and bought, such as on iTunes and Spotify, and the best way to do that is work with a digital distribution company like CD Baby or Tunecore. With that said, I talk to people all the time who then take this one step too far and sign up with multiple distribution companies because they think they are covering all their bases this way. Which they are not. All that does is put multiple copies of the same album on iTunes and the like, which looks silly and can cause unnecessary confusion. And if you plan on working with a PR company to promote the release don’t set the release date until AFTER you have talked with them first.

2. Online presence

Make sure your online presence is complete, effective and contains all the necessary promotional tools. There are lots of places online that artists can have a presence, here I talk about three of the most important sites: Official Website, Facebook and YouTube.

Official Website – Your website should have a place where people can easily listen to and buy your music (but not a player that plays automatically when a person enters the site, can’t stress that enough), a homepage that has a news section where people can read the latest happenings with your career, and a newsletter sign up form, one that offers an incentive for signing up such as free music or discounts on merch. Plus it always surprises when I go to an artist website and can’t find any contact information or links to their social media networks.

Facebook – Just as important as your website is your Facebook Fan Page. On the new timeline there are three tabs that are on display; one tab should be a band profile that at a minimum contains a music player, tour dates and press quotes. Next is a newsletter sign up form, and again, this should offer an incentive for signing up. And the last visible tab should be a Store.

YouTube – Another important piece of your online presence is YouTube. I’m always curious how people listen and discover new music and time and time again the response I hear back is YouTube. It’s critical to have videos up on YouTube for every song of the new release by the release date or soon after. Not saying these have to be well produced music videos, but just the songs themselves. To do this some artists just put up an image of their cover and leave it at that, but people are much more inclined to listen to your music if there are scrolling lyrics they can read as they listen or if there is a slideshow to watch. Taking free archival footage and editing together to make a music video is another relatively easy and inexpensive way to create a video for your songs, and can be a lot of fun too.

3. Newsletter

This is real simple. Have one. And contact your mailing list once a month with news. Don’t cut corners on this either, a newsletter is where you’ll see the greatest impact on sales. All the tweets and facebook posts about a new album out for sale won’t equal the results of a well crafted newsletter, so spend money on a mailing list service provider that can help you design a rich looking email and provide analytics and tracking capabilities so you can measure the effectiveness of your newsletters and make adjustments where need be.

4. Touring

Ideally you’ll have a tour booked immediately following the release, which greatly helps a PR campaign. A local blog or local newspaper will be much more inclined to cover a new album for an artist if a show is booked in town. And not saying this has to be a month long tour, just a few regional dates will help with your press efforts. Now timing can be tricky here, just like setting a release date too soon, you don’t want to book a tour and then not have the album ready or press plan in place. So wait until you have a better idea of what that will look like and then start booking a tour, and if the tour doesn’t happen until a month or so after the release that is quite alright.

5. Merchandise

Pretty much everything in regards to your music career takes longer than expected, from making the album to creating the artwork to booking shows, and this definitely applies to any merchandise you want to have available to sell with the new album. And merch isn’t limited to T-Shirts and tote bags, handmade items can make for great unique offerings. Here’s a tip, at your merch booth bundle your music with these items cheaply and easily through download stickers from MerchMusic.com, where 120 codes will cost you just $10. Even though people aren’t buying CDs much anymore, they are still interested in supporting artists they love so give them lots of different ways to support you and purchase your music instead of just having a CD and leaving it at that.

So remember, plan early so you can have these items when you’re ready to release a new album, which I will be getting in to in more detail in the next blog post where I will discuss some basic principles for an effective pre-sale and album launch.

SOURCE:

Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians – Part 1 of 3: New Album Preparations


13 Step Guide To Building A Cult Of Superfans by Clyde Smith

Michael-jackson-superfansWhile reading a recent set of tips for turning your fans into superfans, I was struck by how the list and related explanations made it sound like they were describing how to build a cult. If that sounds a bit too sinister, perhaps thinking of turning your fans into superfans by treating them like insiders will make these tips work for you.

Unified Manufacturing recently dicussed how to Transform Fans into Super Fans in a post that’s well worth reading.  And it does suggest an approach to fanbase building focused on turning fans into superfans by treating them as insiders. A recent Hypebot post on FanCulture: Building A Fanbase As A Lifetime Relationship shares some related perspectives as does the Orchestra Of the Age of Enlightenment’s attempt to put fans center stage.

But a joking remark in the post, “You want to create a semi-cult, right?”, got me thinking about the aspects of fanbase building that are similar to building a cult and I realized there’s a lot of crossover with the following points from Unified Manufacturing. And that starts with giving your fans a name so they “feel like they’re part of an exclusive organization.”

Building A Cult Of Superfans:

1. Give Your Fans a Name

2. Tag Fans in Your Panoramic Concert Photos

3. Give Approaching Fans Your Undivided Attention

4. Always Have [Cheap] Merch Handy [For Free Giveaway]

5. Share Dark Secrets on Your Blog

6. Send Special E-mails

7. Develop Shared Symbols

8. Use Loyalty-based Apps to Connect to Your Fans

9. Play in Smaller Venues

10. Stay on Your Merch Table

11. Conduct Live Webcast

12. Showcase Them In Your Music Video

13. Post [Photos of] Their Gifts on Your Website and Social Networks

So the core idea seems to be that you name your fans, give them your attention and share secrets, develop shared symbols, and build a shrine to their offerings. I guess I was a little nutty thinking of this as a way to build a cult, right?

SOURCE:
13 Step Guide To Building A Cult Of Superfans


%d bloggers like this: