Did you know there’s a special six-week window of opportunity that comes once a year - every year? The sad thing is, most musicians aren’t aware of it or don’t give it much thought.
Will you be different? Will you be ready this year?
FACT: About 20 percent of all annual music sales take place in the last six weeks of the year – during the holiday season! And the demand is there consistently every year. Internet-based holiday sales, in particular, continue to grow … and there are more opportunities all the time to tap into these online consumer dollars.
Many independent artists profit simply because they put a little time and energy into creating annual holiday campaigns that gain momentum year after year.
THE PROBLEM: Most artists never tap into this holiday revenue potential.
Why? Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah come only once a year, and they are short-lived events. It’s easy to justify not putting much effort into them. Therefore, most musicians ignore this holiday music income stream.
That’s a BIG MISTAKE!
ACTION STEP: Now is the time to create a plan to share your music, do good in the world, and profit from the unique way you can help people celebrate during the holiday season.
Do what the smart bands and artists do: Think ahead and create a plan now that will serve you and your fans during the coming holiday season.
Source: Hypebot (by Bob Baker)
With over 7 million copies sold, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” is one of the highest selling singles of the past few years.
But WHY was the song such a huge success? And what can you learn from it if you want to score the NEXT big hit?
Here are 5 key insights:
1. It’s A Single
Did you know Thrift Shop was the 5th in a series of singles released from The Heist?
The first single was “My Oh My” (released December 2010). It completely failed to chart. About a month later came “Wing$” (released January 2011), but it didn’t really catch on either. Then, “Can’t Hold Us” (released August 2011) as the third, and a year later “Same Love” (released July 2012) as the 4th single…
…but it wasn’t until AFTER “Thrift Shop” (released August 2012) blew up in October of 2012, that the previous songs climbed the charts, too.
So what’s the lesson? Release and promote a series of individual songs. And: If it’s not a hit, switch. Don’t keep pushing a song that’s not getting any traction on its own. Keep releasing new songs until one catches on.
Search is going social in a variety of ways as search engines look to social proof to make search results more relevant and users turn to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook for more of their information needs. Google’s dominant role in search and web video, through YouTube, allows them to shape this process by pushing Google+ to the center of the Googlesphere to the degree that Google+ is now an inescapable tool for music marketing.
Google+ has been a growing factor in Google search results since 2011 with mostly confirming studies since though conflicting studies are starting to emerge.
However even conflicting studies can’t cancel out the fact that if Google is now using social proof as part of its results rankings, then Google+ participation would affect those rankings. Even if that were not the case, Google is introducing multiple reasons to convince or even force your participation.
YouTube Comments Will Soon Require Google+ Accounts
Last week YouTube began to introduce comments “powered by Google+” with full rollout by the end of the year. The new system means that comments about videos on Google+ can show up on YouTube, comments can have privacy settings and new moderation tools are available.
Based on additional details, this new system should be an improvement for videomakers and marketers:
"comments from the video creator will be ranked very highly and surfaced more regularly…The system will also push comments from popular personalities on YouTube and people in your Google+ circles higher up the comment chain, as well as highly engaged discussion about the video. Just like before, you will be able to vote comments up or down, too, and those votes will also influence the ranking…"
"YouTube will now also aggregate public comments about a video from Google+ and display them on YouTube….users on YouTube itself will now also be able to have private conversations on the site by leaving comments that can only be seen by people in their Google+ circles or individual users."
Google Authorship Now Requires Google+ Accounts
I’ve been remiss is not discussing the benefits of the Google Authorship program for solo musicians and individuals building their music industry brands but both Roo Raymond and Bob Baker recently addressed the topic.
In the latest version of Google Authorship you connect Google+ to your web content, in particular blog posts and website articles, and then your Google+ avatar appears with a byline next to your first content-related search result.
Google is partnering with multiple platforms including Wordpress (.com I assume) and Typepad which will further simplify the process for many bloggers.
For Wordpress.org users, various plugins are addressing the issue including Jetpack 2.5.
But the biggest recent change in Authorship is that you no longer have to be signed into Google+ to see those avatars in search results.
See Search Engine Land for more on Google Authorship.
What About the Death of Keywords?
So keywords aren’t really dying, they’re just becoming a bit less key to the Googleverse and that means, in the tech world, that they’re dying.
Hyperbole aside, the role of keywords in SEO is changing as search changes. As Google moves to encrypt all searches, analytics results for keywords used on Google will no longer be available. Though other tools can help take up the slack, this is a major step in undermining the gaming of keywords by SEO practitioners.
But if you take a look at these suggestions for post-Penguin SEO, you’ll start to see that the way forward is a move away from tricks and towards engagement, quality content and honest navigation.
Both earlier seo changes at Google and newsfeed changes at Facebook suggest the same thing, doing what’s best for your readers and site visitors will ultimately improve your presence on Google and Facebook.
Key Points for Musicians and Music Marketers
Emphasis is shifting towards engagement and high quality content in search results and on social media and away from tricks and techniques for higher rankings.
Current changes involving Google+, especially Authorship, privilege individuals over groups. Keep an eye on those changes and make sure you have a Google+ page for your band in the interim.
Keywords have never been the biggest issue for musicians beyond making sure you’re found when they search for your name though they have been of use for particular marketing tactics.
Focus on getting your name out there. Make sure you have a broad but manageable social media presence. And be sure your official website’s homepage has your name in the title and in relevant text on the page and you’ll be found.
When in doubt, serve your fans.
Source: Hypebot (by Clyde Smith)
A couple months back when Ad Age’s staff began working on our Music Issue, I started to obsess about the inextricable link between music and viral media. Think of a pop-cultural moment that’s “gone viral,” and chances are pretty good it’s music-related. (Unless, of course, it’s a cat video. Then again, Keyboard Cat was nothing without his Yamaha.)
Was it possible, I wondered, to pin down the most viral moment in music history?
I also wondered about what, exactly, constitutes historical virality. It’s obviously easier in a post-YouTube/Facebook/Twitter world to quantify buzz. But then again, you might argue that in a pre-social world with way fewer entertainment options — and more of a tendency toward monoculture — what we collectively were all buzzing about routinely had a lot more scale (like when the series finale of “M*A*S*H” drew more than 100 million viewers).
TV and radio powered the popular-music-related conversation for most of the modern age. But was media-prescribed, marketing-driven virality automatically less “organic”? Sure, arguably. Or, you know, maybe people just really liked Michael Jackson.
At any rate, as a sort of thought exercise about the nature of pre- and post-internet music culture, I’ve put together a short list of the most viral moments in modern pop-music history — with “modern” starting, for the sake of argument, 50 years ago. Which means the British Invasion of American prime-time TV makes the cut, but not Elvis’ televised (and semi-censored) hip-swiveling in 1956.
I excluded moments that were purely musical — which means no record releases, epochal or otherwise (like, say, the Aug. 8, 1988 release of N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton,” which ushered in the gangsta rap era). And I left out notable births (e.g., the launch of MTV on Aug. 1, 1981) and artist deaths.
What I was looking for, generally, was viral musical moments that had multimedia dimensionality and which rocked the culture.
NETWORKING! For most musicians, this is something that most know they should do but feel uncomfortable with or don’t know how to approach. However, it’s something that can open the doors to better shows, a record label, a new sponsor, or even more fans. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years about networking:
1. The Value You Bring to Others: Many networking events can feel like a shark tank, with people fighting to get business cards out and meeting the right people. It can often be inherently selfish, people seeing who can help them get what they want. However, networking is about building partnerships, so you can often stand out by finding ways to deliver value to other people, whether that is simply connecting other contacts to one another or helping someone solve their problem. That’s far more effective than finding ways to show off or impress others.
2. Ask Questions: Whether you are connecting in person or through email, the best thing you can do is open up communication by finding out what the other person needs. The better you understand them, the better you can build the relationship. That interaction matters more than the pitch you’ve carefully constructed about yourself.
3. The Pitch: That being said, find a way to accurately describe what you do in an interesting way in 15 seconds or less.
4. Be Intentional: Whether it is at an industry event or online, you don’t want to spam everyone about what you do. Instead, identify the people who are most relevant to what you do, what you offer, or what you need. Focus on them. It’s better to have one solid connection than 100 meaningless ones.
5. Stay Alert: This is one of the reasons why I don’t drink; acting tipsy in front of others can be a sign of weakness and lack of self-control. It’s also important to proofread emails before they are sent, both for spelling and grammar as well as content and length. All of these things reflect you and your work.
6. Think Outside the Box: Don’t always focus on record executives or promoters. Sometimes, it’s good to go outside of your industry and just focus on the general needs of your music career as a business. You’ll always need printing (business cards, download cards, posters, etc.), so why not connect with a printer?
7. Make Connections: The best way to meet people is to be the person that connects others. Offer to introduce someone to one of your contacts who can help them. If you’re known as a connector, people will be more willing to connect with you as well as return the favor.
8. Accept Rejection: Sometimes, people are too busy or they are uninterested. Don’t take it personally and don’t fire back some kind of hurtful email. Be careful about leaving bad reviews on sites like Sonicbids, you might be viewed as petty.
9. Get Your Hands Dirty: Remember, the payoff for networking comes when you help others. Offer to donate time or resources, volunteer, offer advice. Some of my strongest connections have come from volunteering for non-profit organizations and meeting contacts who believe in similar causes.
10. Follow Up: Following up is one of the most important parts of building relationships. Emails, text messages, and phone calls are often forgotten about. Everyone can get busy and need a reminder. Other times, it’s just good to check in. Make it a habit to follow up with an important contact every few weeks.
Whether you are heading to a music conference like CMJ or SXSW, or you are trying to connect with others via Linkedin, keep the above 10 tips in mind to help you stand out as a vital member of the community rather than someone who is only pursuing their own interests. Keep your communication short, to the point, and valuable to others!
Source: Music Think Tank (by Simon Tam)
Music videos are no small potatoes for YouTube, and Google’s looking at making them bigger in Google Search results — literally.
As part of Google’s quest to more tightly integrate its different services, the company appears to be experimenting with how music videos appear in Google Search results, according to the blog Google Operating System. The top search result for a music video would be significantly larger preview of the video itself, in the style of a Google Now card, with additional information such as the artist name, song title, album name, and year released.
It’s not clear if the preview will let you play the video directly from the search results list, or if you’ll have to click through to YouTube. It’s also unclear whether Google will be opening this test out to more people.
ARTISTS / LABELS: Monetize your videos on YouTube through ONErpm’s Premium Network and earn more revenue! Get started by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
Source: CNET (by Seth Rosenblatt)
We all knew iOS 7 was arriving today, and with that news we always brace ourselves for a slew of app updates designed specifically for Apple’s latest mobile OS. Some also seize the moment and roll out a slew of new features at the same time. Shazam has done just that.
With its latest iOS app update, users can mention friends and places when they share a tagged song to Facebook.
Also, if you have difficulty remembering the song you searched for last, you’ll now get a reminder of your most recent tagged each time you open the app. Though, as things stand, tagged songs already appear in date order, so we’re not sure what problem this feature is fixing – other than serving as a reminder to buy the song.
While Shazam previously let you buy tagged songs in bulk, you can now do so directly from the Explore charts, meaning you can purchase multiple songs specifically based on where they’re proving popular, such as London or Paris.
In addition to also now being made available in Czech, Polish and Russian, Shazam also sports a spiffing new look – here’s the before and after mugshots for your information.
ARTISTS / LABELS: Distribute your music directly to Shazam through ONErpm! Click HERE to get started!
Source: TNW (by Paul Sawers)
Late yesterday, Deezer sent out a press release announcing the expansion of their services into Turkey. Read more about the launch below:
Today we are thrilled to announce that we have officially launched in Turkey! Now Turkish music fans will be able to enjoy unlimited music on Deezer, along with expert recommendations of the best local and international music from the Deezer Editors.
CEO of Deezer, Axel Dauchez, said: “Turkey has an exceptionally interesting music market, and the evolving digital infrastructures and mobile uptake in the region offer hugely exciting growth potential for our service. Music should transcend political and geographical boundaries in its ability to bring people together. Deezer is about bringing music to the whole world; music for everyone, everywhere regardless of the old distribution networks. This is why I am delighted to finally announce that as of today, Turkish music lovers from around the world will be able to enjoy and share a huge catalogue of international and local songs and artists they love – at home and abroad.
Deezer is a legal service that has secured rights from more than 2,000 labels and rights management companies from all over the world. This is something we take incredibly seriously, which is why we have spent time and resources in Turkey to do things the right way. Today we have finalized the necessary agreements with the right-holders associations. Now we are happy to be operational in a total of 182 countries. I welcome Turkey to the heart of music.”
Selen Zorlu, Deezer General Manager for Turkey, underlined the importance of providing Turkish music fans with a brand new musical experience: “We have been working towards launching in the Turkish market for the past 9 months. Today, following the agreements we signed with MSG and MESAM, we are immensely happy to officially present Deezer Turkey to all music fans in Turkey. We will be serving our ever-growing local catalogue and the music content curated and constantly updated by our large team of editors through our reasonably priced subscription offers. In addition, we are delivering the works of all new artists that are added to our local catalogue into our worldwide catalogue of over 25 million songs, therefore helping them to reach a much wider global audience, without any barriers.”
MSG Board Chairman Garo Mafyan published a statement wishing success for Deezer and added: “As MSG – the biggest representative of popular Turkish catalogue – we are very happy to see Deezer in the Turkish digital music market. We are confident that Deezer will dearly value the catalogue that MSG represents and will pay all royalties. Being sure that the local music market will benefit greatly by this venture, I would like to say welcome once again.”
In his statement, the MESAM Board Chairman Arif Sağ said: “We congratulate the legal digital music service provider Deezer with regards to its launch of service in compliance with Turkish royalties, and hope that this initiative proves beneficial to the music industry.”
ARTISTS / LABELS: Distribute your music directly to Deezer through ONErpm for FREE! Click HERE to get started!
Twitter #Music may not be the hottest music service on the planet but they’ve made some moves that should encourage more listeners to check them out. Recent activity includes creating a new Spotify app and adding playlists to Rdio to allow for listening from within those services. Less noticeable tweaks to their iOS app are a reminder of the social potential for this somewhat maligned service.
When Twitter #Music launched back in April it included integrations with Rdio and Spotify. Then, as now, short previews of songs are provided by iTunes with the option to connect to Rdio or Spotify to hear the complete songs.
Now instead of listening via Twitter #Music, you can listen to Twitter #Music picks from within both Spotify and Rdio.
Last week Twitter #Music debuted a Spotify app that looks much like its web app except for the inclusion of a visible logo from acquiree We Are Hunted that links to the “HUNTED” feature. The #NowPlaying option is not available on Spotify.
They then followed with the debut of genre playlists on Rdio based on Twitter #Music trending charts.
Both offerings are a great way to further develop the relationship with Rdio and Spotify while spreading awareness and accessibility for Twitter #Music.
The social aspects of Twitter #Music were also given a boost on the iOS app with, you guessed it, a stronger tie to Twitter. Each track in the #NowPlaying feed shows the connected tweet:
"When you select a song to listen to, the thumbnail will now expand and identify the user in your following list that originally tweeted about the song…it also gives you the option to reply, retweet and favorite their message."
"Furthermore, hitting the ellipsis icon brings up a basic share menu, either for tweeting about the track yourself or sending it to some[one] else via email or text message."To some degree these all seem like obvious moves but, partly because of that, they have a nice completing the circle quality to them.
Source: Hypebot (by Bruce Houghton)