Tag Archives: Fan Base

How To Sell And Market Your Music Using The Latest Research BY: CATHERINE HOL / MTT

If you keep an eye out for the latest research on music consumption habits, you can use these statistics to help guide you in creating an effective sales and marketing plan for your music releases.

After all, that’s how the marketing department of a major record company would operate – basing their plans on the latest market research.

If you’re despairing at the idea of having to add market research to your “to do” list, don’t worry – there’s an easy way. Just google for Google Alerts, and set up a few alerts such as “music consumption research”, “music consumer survey”, or “music market research”. The latest research will just appear in your email inbox.

Then, all you have to do is choose the studies and surveys relevant to your own music market, and ask yourself how these statistics could shape your music sales and marketing plan.

You don’t have to go into too much detail here – taking note of the general trends will guide your strategy quite effectively.

Take the following example of worldwide music consumption statistics in 2010, courtesy of Midem.com:

A global survey of music consumers by Nielsen (Sept. 2010)

Nielsen (one of the most highly regarded market research firms) conducted a global survey of 26,644 people in September 2010 on their music purchasing and listening habits. It surveyed people’s music consumption for the previous 3 months.

What can we musicians learn from this research?

  • We need multiple ways to reach music consumers worldwide: The survey found that there is considerable diversity in music consumption habits globally, and that no single channel dominates.
  • We need to make videos: Watching music on video is the most popular way to consume music. 57% of those surveyed had watched music videos on computers in the preceding 3 months. 44% watch internet videos several times a week.
  • Giving away some of our music as free downloads is likely to be a good promotional strategy: Downloading a song without paying for it was the second most popular form of music consumption. The survey did not distinguish between “legal” (free downloads – often promotional) or “illegal” downloads (pirate copies), so many of these free downloads could have been obtained legitimately. Obviously there is still a great deal of interest in downloading music, and people like to get it for free … legally or otherwise.
  • People aged between 21 and 34 are the “core digital music audience”: People in this age range have a generally higher level of music-related activity. They watch the most music videos (on computer or TV), download more songs (both paid and free), and stream more music.
  • It’s worth selling digital downloads; particularly if aimed at a younger audience:The survey found that just over 20% of people under the age of 34 had paid to download a music track to their computer in the preceding 3 months.
  • We need our own artist website, with our music readily accessible for streaming and buying: About 18% of people surveyed had accessed music from an artist’s own website in the preceding 3 months.
  • A Facebook fan page is worth having: 35% consume music via social networking sites. Check out the usual suspects – but also keep an eye out for niche social networks that relate to you and your music, for a more targeted audience.
  • Streaming services are worth factoring into our promotional strategy: 36% stream music via a computer. The survey doesn’t go into details about this streaming figure, so it’s an amalgamation of all the different ways someone could stream music these days. However, it tells us that services such as Spotify, Pandora, Last fm, Jango, etc, are a viable option for getting our music heard.
  • We should look into the sales and marketing potential of creating our own music apps: 30% listen to music via their mobile phone, and 20% of respondents had downloaded or used music apps on their mobile.
  • We should promote our music on internet radio: Just over 30% of those surveyed say they listen to music on web radio several times a week. The vast array of genres and sub-genres catered for by specialist radio shows online means that, if we take the time to investigate, we are likely to find the perfect audience for our own music.

Creating a realistic music sales and marketing plan

You can see that, just through interpreting the statistics of this one study, we can lay out the basis of a sales and marketing plan that is rooted in the realities of the here and now.

It would be best to take note of a number of different studies, of course, for the greatest accuracy. And it is important to update your information regularly. But thanks to Google Alerts, this is not the time-consuming chore it used to be.

I hope this is helpful to those of you who are confused about which of the countless marketing strategies to adopt, and who have precious little time available for trying to figure it all out.

References:

Nielsen white-paper for Midem.com: Digital music consumption and digital music access published January 12 2011. http://bit.ly/fhz3BO

Nielsen Music (www.nielsen-music.com ) is a division of Nielsen ( www.nielsen.com ), the leading global market research company.

MIDEM is “the most important event for the world’s music community” http://www.midem.com

SOURCE:
How To Sell And Market Your Music Using The Latest Research  


Want To Make $50,000 a Year In Music? Start With One Dollar a Day. BY: CHRIS SETH JACKSON

Photo by Glen Edelson

A big part of my blog, How To Run A Band, is to figure out how to actually make money with music. However, I’ve been talking about giving music away for free, buying fancy tablets, and paying for web hosting. If you look at my “financials” page, you’ll notice a downward trend in money for my guinea pig band Shiplosion.

How does a musician make money? Honestly, I don’t know for certain. But, I think I have a couple of ideas. However, these ideas are based more on the individual musician, and not the band as a whole. Why? The individual can make more money and have more control over their finances than an entire band.

Start Earning One Dollar A Day

Photo by rychlepozicky.com

Every day, grab an acoustic guitar and head down to the street corner. Start playing songs and singing with the case open to take tips. Don’t stop until you have at least one dollar.

There you go. $365 for the year.

Are you a drummer? Grab some drums and set up shop on that street corner. I’ve seen kids playing with buckets busking for money. There’s no reason a drummer with a minimal drum kit can’t do the same. (Even though we all know drummers are “special”…)

“$365 a year? That sucks!”, you say.

Yep, that does suck. But that’s $365 more a year than you were previously earning. Being in a band over a 6 year period, I’ve lost way more than $365. Busking every day will earn you more than my band that was playing multiple cities in multiple states 3 days a week for 6 years.

But earning a dollar a day is not the end goal. Once you can successfully earn one dollar a day, how much effort will it take to get to $2 a day? Maybe busk at one additional location? Do some cover tunes? Play for 30 more minutes?

“But I feel like a hippy dumbass. Isn’t this for homeless drug users and not the awesome caliber of musician that I am?”, you ask. (Okay, I asked but pretended it was you.)

If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, don’t do it. However, there’s money on the table that you are ignoring. If you are on tour, busking could be the deciding factor for being able to afford dinner or gas money. Or, more importantly, beer money.

Busking also gives you the coldest, most disinterested crowd on Earth. What better way to learn how to be positive and entertaining regardless of the situation? And if you think you are too great of a musician to resort to busking, I’d say it’s about time you learned some humility. If you’re not completely self-sufficient as a musician, there is plenty of humility yet to be had.

Sweeten The Deal

Photo by Clyde RobinsonYou are now comfortably earning a couple of dollars a day. Now it’s time to turn it up a notch. Create an acoustic CD to sell with your busking.

Don’t go crazy on this. In fact, I’d argue you record, mix, and master it yourself. As cheaply as possible. Your busking isn’t your main musical career, but an additional revenue source. Use CDBaby to print out a limited run of CDs.

With the addition of CD sales, you are now making $5 to $10 a day. You also have an extra CD to add to the merch booth of your main band.

See the pattern?

Start small and constantly add value and content. Don’t overlook small price points. 25 cents from a few thousand people adds up. There is no purchase too small.

Do it every day. Daily. Every day is an opportunity. It’s yours to have or not.

YouTube Busking

Photo by codenamecueballPhysically busking in one area is limited to only that one city and the people only walking by at that particular time. YouTube is global and timeless. Record yourself playing your music daily and throw it out to the world on YouTube. Hell, record yourself while you’re busking on the street.

At the end of your YouTube busking, add a call to action. Give a link to your website and ask for 25 cents. On your site, provide people a way to donate a small amount of money to you. PayPal has options for micro transactions. Use it! The good ol’ long tail theory could net you a bit of cash over the life of this YouTube post.

On top of the daily busking, this additional outlet “could” provide additional revenue. It’s not guaranteed it will, though, so be prepared. However, make your videos interesting enough, you can gain a large following. At that point, you can become a “YouTube Partner” and earn money through ads.

Breaking Down The Numbers

So, doing the above, you’re going to be earning about $5 to $10 a day. You’re going to bitch and whine that that’s impossible to live off of. What you’re not realizing is that I just taught you how to make around $1825 to $3650 extra a year on your music.

It’s not glamorous. It’s not sexy. But it’s money in your pocket.

But, I know you are not satisfied. You want to quit your job. I’m with you on this. I wish I could quit mine. I’m not there yet. However, we need to know the numbers that we need to achieve to quit our day jobs. For me, I’d like $50,000 a year. I’ll use this number to calculate what it would take to be a financially independent musician.

$50,000 divided by 365 days = $137 a day.

That’s it. Earn $137 a day, and you can quit your day job. You are a fraction of the way there using the above techniques, but you will definitely need more money per day to accomplish this task. This figure shows why you can’t entirely rely on your band by itself to generate the income you need.

Your Band Won’t Make The Dough

This point I know you will rail against. “My band will make it! We will become famous.” That’s your ego talking and not your brain. Your band will most likely, by itself, not produce the money you need to get by.

WhiteI was following one of the members of GWAR on Twitter. I was surprised to find that he is a bartender after the GWAR tours end. GWAR packs an awesome crowd at venues and has been doing so for 25 years. Still…bartender. One of his tweets was “I always wanted to be rich and famous. I have one of the two.”

Here’s the breakdown. Let’s say your band plays every weekend, twice a week. That’s 104 shows a year. For you, personally, to make $50,000 a year, you’d need to make $481 a show. Now add your band mates that also want to make $50,000 a year. Total, the band would need to make $1924 a show. Yikes!

Even if you played every day of the year, your band would need to profit $548 per show for everyone to get paid. For every additional person in your band, that is another multiplier to the base salary and profit considerations. That 8 piece Ska band doesn’t sound so thrilling now, does it?

The point is, relying solely on your band to make you a financially independent musician is not feasible. The band is just one more revenue source for you. You need multiple, musical revenue sources to get where you need to be.

You Are Your Own Income Stream

On nights your band isn’t playing, you could hit up open mic nights. Bring your CDs along. Perform and sell. Give lessons for your instrument. I think the going rate for a half hour lesson is about $30. Giving a lesson a day at this price will get you over $10,000 a year. Add the busking, and you are approaching $14,000 a year.

Exclusive Merchandise

Instead of all this daily working, what if you had some merchandise to sell that could do the trick? Easy. Get 365 avid fans. For them, make 365 items that cost $137. These items should be limited edition and never, ever hit the market again. There’s your $50,000.

Fan Base

Or, in the above example, just get 365 fans that are willing to pay $137 on you over the course of a year. Expand that to the popular 1000 True Fans model, and you would need to have each fan pay $50 a year. Do you have $50 worth of content, merchandise, or shows for the year?

This is why growing your e-mail list and treating e-mail like money is so important. Giving away a free CD for an e-mail can net you a positive income flow over a few year period. That network of fans can give you what you need to be successful. If you can grow that e-mail list to 50,000 people, all you would need is $1 a year from each person to quit that day job.

Exhaust All Possibilities

Busking. YouTubing. Lessons. What else can you do? Guitar tabs for 99 cents. Adsense for your free songs. PayPal donations.

What else? Do you have ideas on what can generate money on a daily basis? I think my ideas above could get an artist up to $10,000 a year. What would push it to $50,000?

SOURCE:
Want To Make $50,000 a Year In Music? Start With One Dollar a Day.


What Do Music Fans Want To Own, and Why? BY: CHRIS STONEMAN

I’ve spent my teenage and adult life obsessing over my music collection. Meticulously arranging hand labelled tapes and CD’s was FUN, but when the same job arrived for mp3’s, it became a massive chore. But I still felt compelled to own something, and so I continued for many years, wasting hours arranging an mp3 collection I’d not paid for. I passionately argued that I’d always want to own what I listened to, until the Spotify mobile app made that notion extinct.

I now have no need to own every piece of music I listen to, but is owning nothing enough? Who wants to own music, and what does ‘own’ really mean anyway? Nobody ‘owns’ TV shows, so why do some pay Sky £50 / month? If nobody’s going to own anything, what are people going to pay for?

PART ONE : WHAT DO WE DESIRE?
To answer these questions, we need to identify three key ways in which we desire music. Individually we are a mix of all three, with differing quantities of each.

Easy Music
The overriding desire in everyone is that we just want to listen to the music with as little effort as possible. For most people, the strength of this desire means their needs are met by switching on the radio, and purchasing one CD a year in Tescos or Walmart. Others may be more committed to spending far more effort and cash, but the want for easy music remains no matter how obsessive the fan is.

Understanding Music
We don’t just want the music, we want to make sense of the music within a wider space, and to understand it. Traditionally this is provided by the artwork, lyrics and credits, or a pricey boxset detailing info on the musicians involved, their backstory, influences, references, vision and its place within a genre. We would then leave this product environment and read books, magazines, and seek public reaction in conversation. Today, their online equivalents (webzines, social media etc) are not as distant from the product’s environment (the internet) as they once were.

Music as a Badge
We want other people to know who we are, and why. Since the birth of pop in the 1950’s, music has given people the opportunity to do just that by offering ways to wear your musical taste as a badge. A shelf of CD’s or vinyl, a Ramones t-shirt, a Justin Bieber pillow case, or a bedroom wall full of posters are common ways people identify themselves. Whilst these will never be wholly replaced by a digital equivalent, there are still modern ways of complimenting them. Ringtones and callback tones, PC/phone/tablet backgrounds, publishing last fm charts, personalised web browsers, and even our list of favoured artists on Facebook are the result of this desire to define ourselves.

PART TWO : WHAT DO WE WANT TO OWN?
So how do each of these desires affect the fans need to own something?

Make Music Easy, and Work Better.
The main reason we want to own music is because it enables us to listen to it with ease. Casual fans don’t necessarily want a CD, they just want to own the right to listen to it whenever they want, and to KNOW it’ll work. Spotify Premium should not be viewed solely as a streaming service, as the offline app allows you to download and store music on your phone within seconds, after which you can listen to it whenever and wherever you like. But how do we, the fans, get convinced? Entice us in for free, then make it work better than a CD.

Combine Gracenote mood info and location based services, so when switching on Spotify in your local gym a random ‘Fast Beat, Uptempo’ playlist will automatically start, with a beat linked to our pace. Likewise, automatically give us party tunes on a Saturday night and chill out tunes on Sunday morning. Don’t ask what we’re feeling because we probably don’t know; guess and get it right. The technology exists, it’s just not worthwhile selling it to the fan yet because there’s no great way to do so. Make music work BETTER and EVERYWHERE, and we’ll pay a premium for it.

We don’t want to own the music, but we want to own the right to listen to it, especially if it works better.

Help us Understand Music
Those that strive to understand music use streaming as the start of a journey that will see them interact with it in a variety of ways. This is not just for music enthusiasts or snobs. Young girls want to “understand” everything about Justin Bieber just as much as a Dylan fan wants to understand his lyrical references. Remove the barriers to this understanding and not only will fans create a deeper bond with the music, but they’ll also come to value the ease of access to it.

Some sites have started on this path. MOG show reviews and user comments whilst you stream songs, and has the potential to be the more legal Hype Machine for the new decade (if they could sort out the site’s usability). Before eMusic lost its way, I was a happy customer for over two years due to the editorial that surrounded my browsing. Spotify have brought downloading closer to the listener by pairing with 7Digital, coaxing the fan to take the next step in their journey. Repeating this approach with physical product (I would buy 10 times more vinyl if I could do so with a few clicks from Spotify) is an obvious step, but we need EVERYTHING closer to the music.

I would pay a monthly premium to have versions of the following embedded in my Spotify, or just one click away : Pitchify (with offline reading options), Songmeanings, LastFM stats, Songkick, any of the Echo Nest apps (Discovr, ex.fm Blogfinder, and many more), any app that tells me what musicians I’m currently listening to and what else they play on, mFlow, links to Amazon eBooks, even a direct link to Google streetview (or better still Historypin) allowing me to stroll down Penny Lane as I listen to it, or through my childhood memories accompanied by music of the time. The possibilities are endless.

We don’t want to own the music, but we want to own easy access to the information that goes with it.

Sell Badges, Giveaway Music.
Fans will always want to use music to identify themselves, so give them ample opportunity to do so. Use streaming to upsell to CD’s, vinyl, t-shirts, gig tickets, pillow cases, duvet covers, pencil cases, posters, and every other conceivable piece of merch, with just a few clicks. The streaming site gets a % of the final sale, and the provider puts its product in front of millions of new fans; the perfect way to combine the Freemium and Upselling models.

But importantly, this also needs to work the other way around. Place value on the badge, and offer the music as a bonus. Music no longer has to come on a CD, with the use of a QR Code there’s now no reason why it can’t come with a packed lunch box, hoody or poster.

We don’t want to own the music, but we do want to own something that helps us define ourselves.

SOURCE:
What Do Music Fans Want To Own, and Why? 


Great! You’ve Got Their Attention – Now What? BY: BOB BAKER / MTT

Everyone wants attention. You want it too, right? Of course, you do.

In fact, that’s the first crucial step in marketing: getting people (specifically, your ideal fans) to simply notice you among all the noise and chaos of their busy lives.

It’s such a challenge to get that fleeting hint of attention these days, you probably put most of your “marketing” focus on that aspect alone. That’s why you celebrate every small gain you make in getting Facebook fan page likes, Twitter followers, email subscribers, YouTube views, LinkedIn connections, and more.

You should celebrate those wins. No doubt. But your marketing efforts shouldn’t end there. As I’ve been harping on a lot lately in my live workshops, what’s really important is what you do with attention once you have it.

Getting it is great. People notice you. You appear on their mental radars for a few moments (or minutes, if you’re lucky). Awesome! But then those good people move on to other things and sadly forget about you.

What’s a self-promoting musician to do?

The answer: Build some sort of interactive element or “call to action” into many of the things you post online (including Facebook updates, tweets, videos, audio clips, images, etc).

One example of how this works can be found in a video that guitarist Walt Pitts published on YouTube recently. (Walt is one of only a handful of musicians I do some part-time consulting work for.)

Walt had an idea for a series of videos he would record at home that featured him playing live using a Boss Loop Station, which allows him to play and layer multiple guitar parts live.

Before posting his first video to YouTube, Walt sent me a sample to get my thoughts. Of course, his playing was great. But I noticed right away that he had positioned the camera to shoot vertically, so there were large empty spaces to either side of the frame.

Walt explained that he did it that way to capture everything – from the hat he wears and the guitars on the wall behind him to the footwork of hitting the effects pedals. This was also a good representation of what Walt does when he performs live.

I understood, but all that wasted space on the screen was bugging me. So I encouraged him to create some text and graphics that would use the empty space to let people know who he was and remind them of how to reach him.

Here’s what he came up with:

If I were to get hyper critical, I might make the text and graphics a little less cluttered. But I love the way the description on the left side explains who Walt is and what he does. And at the top right you find a clear call to action that invites people who need a solo guitarist in the Phoenix area to contact him.

This is a smart way to make great use of whatever attention this video gets.

(I also gave Walt the specific words to use in the title, description and tags of this video to help it get “discovered” in searches, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Compare this video treatment to your own music videos – or blog posts, fan page updates, etc. When a potential fan sees your stuff for the first time, do you make it clear who you are and what you do?

Do you have an “engagement objective” (a phrase I just made up) for every piece of content you publish? In other words, what do you want people to DO after they watch, read or listen to it?

From now on, decide ahead of time what those answers are. Then design the various things you post online to make the best use of the attention you get online and off.

What do you think? Have other examples of effective engagement and call-to-action strategies? I welcome your comments.

UPDATE: Since there are some fervent comments below concerning the design and use of effective calls-to-action, I wanted to share a link to this How to Master the Design of Compelling Calls-to-Action post on Hubspot. Some good advice there.

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Online,” Berkleemusic’s “Music Marketing 101” course, and many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros. You’ll find Bob’s free ezine, blog, podcast, video clips, and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com and www.MusicPromotionBlog.com.

 

SOURCE:
Great! You’ve Got Their Attention – Now What?


Artist Publicity, and Promotion

A publicist is a person that is in charge of your publicity. What does this mean? A publicist is entrusted with the task of generating buzz for an artist’s music and newsworthy information to the public. Publicists write media friendly press releases that directed at many different media outlets for the purpose of announcing something. Press releases are common in the field of public relations (PR). The goal of a press release is to attract positive media attention to clientS of PR professionals and provide publicity for products or events marketed by those clients.

Bob Merlis on Artist, Publicity, and Promotion

Bob Merlis is the owner of Merlis For Hire, an independent publicity firm based out of Los Angeles. In this clip, Bob speaks about different methods of exposure, promotion, publicity and the various services his company provides for up and coming artists.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

Reference:
Artists House Music. “Bob Merlis on Artist, Publicity, and Promotion.” Video. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Jan. 2012. <www.artistshousemusic.org/videos/bob+merlis+on+artist+publicity+and+promotion>.


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