Let’s talk about YouTube.
We could talk about VidCon, which sold out 12,000 tickets a month in advance. We could also talk about the over-dramatized and sensationalized YouTube vs. indies misinformation war. However, it’s so much more constructive to focus on growing your audience, serving your audience and monetizing your audience. Not only is YouTube is the largest streaming music service in the world, it allows you to use video to connect directly with your fans in almost any way you can imagine.
I hear you: “But I’m on YouTube and I’m not getting any views!” Here are five of the most common reasons why your YouTube videos may be getting ignored:
There are many articles out there telling indie musicians about all the cool ways they can make money in today’s music industry. However, all that money that you could potentially make probably won’t equate to very much if you don’t have an understanding of personal finance and budgeting. Without a sense of finance you could see your hard-earned cash going down the drain as a result of impulse buys, unstructured saving, and over-spending for your projects and tours.
If you’re far enough along in your career, your manager or accountant may take care of budgeting and finance, but, especially in today’s industry, most musicians starting out may only have a friend or classmate acting as their manager. With all the stuff you need to get done, something as mind numbing as finance tends to get pushed under the rug in favor of more glamorous activities like recording, writing, and talking with fans on social media. But the fact of the matter is, it’s not glamorous to throw money away. And that’s exactly what you could be doing with poor budgeting and finance.
So how can you get a better handle on your finances and get the most money out of your music? It’s actually a lot easier than you would think - no boring accounting lecture necessary! With just 5 quick fixes, you can be more organized and make more money.
All the rage, at least with regards to income from digital music distribution, has been centered around YouTube monetization. However, the problem is that many artists are misinformed on even the basic strategy about obtaining more views and subscribers, which ultimately leads to more income.
We stumbled upon a very informative case study from Flight Drummers on how they were able to build their YouTube subscriber base and capture 500,000+ views in a 10 month time frame.
Check out the entire article below and see if you can adapt some of their strategy to help improve your results!
As an avid marketing blog reader, my inbox and Feedly are constantly filled with fantastic marketing techniques on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.
Although I use these social media sites heavily, I’d like to bring in another extremely powerful (often overlooked) marketing platform to the table—YouTube.
At the beginning of 2013, my business partner and I decided to attempt a different marketing tactic for our (slow) growing drumming education company, Flight Drummers.
We constantly used Facebook and Twitter as our prime marketing resources, but it was soon apparent that the dream wouldn’t last long if we didn’t pick up more traffic or make more sales.
That month, we studied our competition hard and realized that Youtube was a rare marketing commodity in the drumming industry. Sure, a majority of drumming education companies had Youtube channels, but the view count, subscriber count, and interaction was minimal.
Seeing as this was a difficult marketing strategy for competition in our niche, we decided to capitalize on their weakness by filming some Youtube videos.
The following month, we geared up, filmed, edited nearly 70 videos, and began harnessing the true power of Youtube.
Within three months, we had accumulated more than 100,000 Youtube views with 1,800 subscribers, and by month 10, had generated 500,000+ views, accumulated a Youtube subscriber base of more than 8,400 people, and established paid members in 14 countries—primarily through Youtube.
Despite our current success with Youtube marketing, it wasn’t until we began following these eight steps, that we began to experience 2,000-3,000 views per day (5,000-7,000 views on release days) and a highly interactive subscriber base.
According to Billboard SoundScan mid-year numbers provided by A2IM, report, indie labels hit a record high with 34.4% of the overall market share based on master ownership (not distribution). That’s up from last year’s mid-year mark of 32.9%. Top selling independent label artists so far this year include:
(noted in album/TEA sales)
ARTISTS/LABELS: Need to get your music out to the masses? Look no further than ONErpm’s digital distribution packages, servicing 80+ global stores!
Source: Hypebot (by Bruce Houghton)
Though seldom discussed on most music industry blogs, college radio is an important part of the landscape for indie music acts. Though some stations are seeing hard times, others are thriving and music is often a key element in their success. Here are three stations that have made music news in 2013.
Boston Phoenix Closes, WTBU Seizes the Day
Alt newsweeklies are also important to indie musicians so the shuttering of the Boston Phoenix was bad news. However students involved with Boston University’s WTBU Radio saw an opportunity in the empty Boston Phoenix newspaper boxes scattered around the city.
So they started a zine and began distributing them via Boston Phoenix boxes.
“‘We have always promoted the alternative scene in Boston, but as a radio station, we focused on doing that through music,’ said WTBU General Manager and junior Deanna Archetto…When designing the zine, Archetto says the goal was to then draw on WTBU’s strength, largely its ‘punk aesthetic,’ to create content that is ‘in-your-face, informative, honest and fun.’”
Hard to say how long this can last but it’s nice to see old school tactics being revived.
Check out the first issue here.
Kbeach Radio Launches at Cal State Long Beach
As Radio Survivor’s Jennifer Waits noted, 2012 was a “Mixed Bag for College Radio.” These days most things music-related are a mix of good and bad but 2013 has seen at least one high point with the launch of Kbeach FM at Cal State Long Beach.
The station has been online only till now:
"Among the dignitaries in attendance was station founder Mike Soultanian, who was presented with the KBeach founder’s award. He spoke of KBeach’s humble beginnings in his dorm room in 1995. ‘When we started, there was no way to get onto FM or AM,’ Soultanian said of the online approach. ‘It wasn’t about listenership, it was about learning how to do radio.’"
KSUA Wins mtvU Woodie for Best College Station
Informed during SXSW that they were one of the final five contestants, KSUA staffers started prepping for an mtvU interview:
"KSUA general manager Rebecca File said they were fixing their hair and checking each other’s teeth in the reflection of their sunglasses, trying to look presentable. Then an mtvU film crew popped up and asked, ‘How does it feel to win an mtvU Woodie Award for best college radio station?’"
I bet it feels pretty darn good. Congratulations!
mtvU is planning a visit to Fairbanks to tape a College Radio Countdown at KSUA.
Source: Hypebot (by Clyde Smith)
DEBATE: Is the Indie Music Machine Slowing Down?
This past decade has been great for nerds. Everywhere you look, pop culture memes praise the rise of geeks and dorks alike in every phase of entertainment, and the same goes for music. The explosion of “indie music” blew up with the appraised definition of music nerd/hipster, so much that you couldn’t separate bands like Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective from guys in chucks, plaid shirts and bed hair. Now, as Hipster Runoff points out, academia that used to power indie music is starting to get swallowed up by the saturation and mass commercialism of indie music. Thanks to corporations looking to tap into youth markets and MTV-like brands struggling to remain relevant, indie music was adopted from the underground circles, and is now being liquifided into mere marketing placenta.
It was only a matter of time when die-hard mp3 bloggers were beaten out by the SEO-demons of the web, and cutting edge indie music would be over-circulated because bloggers in the end want to overshare music that people already know about and bring traffic. You see this already happening with Buzzmedia purchasing all of the longer-lasting blogs like Stereogum, and now even SPIN. You can’t blame traffic-focused bloggers to be obsessed with SEO-tactics, but it kills the academic foundation indie music was built on. And when you kill the academia, then the smaller musicians lose and so do the music fans.
Does this spell the end of indie music? Hell no. You can’t turn off the desire to seek out new music and not stay on top of the of the scenes. It doesn’t work that way; it’s a nature, not a movement. However, it means there’s going to be a new wave of academics rise from below to beat out the bloggers that drank the SEO kool-aid and save the intellectual sect of music. It’s going to require the effort on behalf of new writers and new readers to read the new writers. If we all give into the bought-out blogs, then it’s going to be a long recovery.
We don’t believe music can ever be intimidated and coerced. New music will continue to re-shape and grow in it’s own way, but it’s going to take the music fans and new curators to help give the discussion new validity and meaning. One day, the nerds will go back to the bottom of the social food chain, but the music nerds will still be consuming music the same way.