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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tips For Sustaining Your Career

I was honored to read that cyberPR expert Ariel Hyatt (who has written a number of great social media books) mentioned my Music 3.0 book as her #1 favorite music business book. She said, " This book is wonderful as it explains the CONTEXT of what in the heck happened in the music business and why. But Bobby doesn’t stop there. He next lays out a clear concise plan about what you need to know about to set yourself up for success. His philosophies are very much in alignment with Music Success in Nine Weeks and our books mention a lot of the same theories (1,000 True Fans) and suggestions (use the Internet or die in obscurity)."

Many thanks for the kind words, Ariel!

This seems like a good time for an excerpt from the book, this time from Chapter 6 entitled "The M3.0 Rules Of Survival," which also discusses the 1000 True Fan Theory. You can read more excerpts on my website.
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Sustaining your career in M3.0 has changed significantly from previous eras of music. The formula is simple; maintain your connection with your tribe. This could mean by frequent releases, blog posts, email blasts, tweets or anything else in social media, but you’ve got to keep your fan base engaged on a consistent basis. While long periods of time between releases (like 6 months or a year) are not recommended, they can be overcome by constant interaction by the artist. It’s only when communication grows cold that the tribe begins to dissipate.

A typical consistent communication schedule might be something like:
  • Tweets - a few times a day or every other day.
  • Blog posts - once or twice a week.
  • Email blasts - once a month with tour schedules, release schedules or just general info.
  • Music release - once every 6 to 8 weeks.
Online communication isn’t the only way to stay in touch with your tribe. Touring will always be a part of being an artist, and it’s an especially important ingredient to not only sustaining your fan base but growing it as well. The more you have contact with your fans, the more opportunities there are to reach out and touch them. Don’t forget some of the items mentioned in Chapter 4 like meet and greets, after-show parties, backstage passes and the like. Online and offline contact must all be part of the same strategic plan.

The “1000 True Fans” Theory
The 1000 True Fans theory by Wired Magazine’s “Senior Maverick” Kevin Kelly states that all an artist really needs is 1000 true fans (the members of his tribe) in order to maintain a fruitful, if unspectacular career relieving the artist of the need for some of the nastier things in life like a regular job. True fans are sometimes called “super-fans” or “uber-fans”, depending upon whose theory we’re talking about.

While the total number of True Fans actually required may be in question to make the theory work (is it 300 or 1000 or 4000?), the idea is that you need this hard-core group in order to sustain your career. Whatever the number that you’re lucky enough to develop, be sure to take care and nurture them, because they truly want you to.
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Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Turn Your "Likes" Into Gigs

Wouldn't it be great if you could harness the power of your fans to score some gigs? Now you can with an interesting fan management platform called WHOOZNXT, which rewards performance opportunities to the artists that amass the most fans during any given time period.

WHOOZNXT is part of a new platform from NXTM, a service responsible for the digital presence of acts such as Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake that was founded by former MTV executive Jeff Yapp. It debuted at this years SXSW, offering bands the chance to play on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as well as slots at Rachael Ray’s SXSW events.

According to an article on Mashable, bands can sign up for free and connect their WHOOZNXT profile to all their social network pages and profiles. The site then presents the band with analytics, courtesy of PeopleBrowsr, showing how many fans they have, how that number has changed over time and the band’s sentiment score. Artists can also see their most influential fans so as to connect with them accordingly.

Bands are then assigned a bracket based on how many fans they have, which determines what kind of opportunities they might receive. The top Platinum Tier includes artists with a total fan count more than 25,000 fans; the Gold Tier fan count is 5,000 to 25,000; and the Silver Tier is for artists who have fewer than 5,000 fans. Each month, artists are entered into a pool of opportunities and those who amass the most fans during that period are eligible for said gig opportunity. Just because you amass a lot of fans doesn't necessarily mean that you automatically get booked, since the venue involved has the final selection.

The site also provides artists with tools to help grow and manage their fanbase, including a band website builder, an e-store builder, a “publish everywhere” tool for all your content and a widget builder to create media players.

WHOOZNXT certainly has good intentions, and if it works as stated than it could be a boon to artists that are really increasing their social footprint. That said, ideas like this have a way of getting sidetracked along the way. Let's see how it works out.
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Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on music, engineering and production tips and tricks.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Amazing YouTube Statistics

Here are some additional YouTube fun facts from their press page. To me, some of the most impressive are the ones regarding monetizing content.
  • 2 billion video views per week are monetized.
  • Hundreds of partners are making six figures per year.
  • 94 of AdAge’s top 100 advertisers have run campaigns on YouTube.
  • The total number of advertisers using YouTube has increased 10-fold in the last year.
  • YouTube’s automated system that serves as a copyright-violation watchdog scans 100 years’ worth of content every day.
  • Over 5 million people have found and subscribed to a friend’s channel using YouTube’s friend-finding tools.
  • Every auto-shared tweet results in six new YouTube.com browsing sessions.
  • More than half the videos on YouTube have been rated or commented on by users.
  • Over 4 million people are connected and auto-sharing to at least one social network.
There you have it. Is it any wonder that it's as big as it is?
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Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Monday, April 18, 2011

12 Amazing YouTube Facts

YouTube has become much more than a site where you can watch amusing videos. It's now a major distribution point for music, and its value as a taste maker is now unparalleled. In fact, the site has such amazing statistics that they've dedicated an entire page to it. Here are must some of the more interesting stats.

1) 35 hours of video footage is uploaded to the site every minuteA staggering amount to be sure.

2) Over 13 million hours of footage was uploaded in 2010. I guess it's safe to say that no one watched it all.

3) More video is uploaded every 60 days than the three major US television networks produced in 60 years. 

4) Each week, YouTube receives the equivalent of 115,000 full-length feature films in uploads

5) 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S. This one's a surprise as we tend to think of YouTube as more of a United States phenomena.

6) YouTube is localized in 25 countries across 43 languages

7.) The base age demographic for YouTube is 18-54. This skews a lot older than people tend to think.

8.) Over 2 billion videos are viewed every day. Again, a staggering amount considering that there are only 5 billion people on the planet.

9) YouTube Mobile gets over 100 million views per day. This seems like a huge amount (and it is), but it's still only 5% of the total number of YouTube views.
10) In 2010, there were over 700 billion video playbacks

11) A full 10% of YouTube videos are in HD

12) There are 7,000 hours of full-length movies and television episodes available on YouTube
 Yes, there's more, so tomorrow, Part 2.
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Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on music, engineering and production tips and tricks.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Credit Cards Transactions For Bands Made Easy

More and more we're living in a cashless society. People are more likely to make a purchase with a debit or credit card when they want something, especially if they're short of cash. Of course this can be a drag at a gig when you're selling CDs and merch and have to rely on the green because of the hassle of taking credit and debit cards.

If you've ever looked into taking credit cards for merchandise purchases at a gig, you know  what a hassle it can be. First of all you have to enter into into a long term contract with a bank, then pay for the card reader, and in many cases pay a monthly subscription fee. Then after a purchase you have to wait for the money to hit your account, with the bank taking their piece through processing and transaction fees that are like the phone bill - lots of small fees for each transaction that no one can seem to explain.

But this has all changed over the past year or so as a service called Square Up has slowly but surely made a big impression on large and small touring merchandising entities alike. With just a $10 reader that attaches to any iPhone 4, iPad or iPod Touch (there's a $10 rebate so it's actually for free), you can now have your customers easily pay by the card of their choice. What's more, it's paperless. You swipe the card, the customer uses a fingerprint to sign to the purchase by touching the screen of your IOS device, and the customer receives an email receipt later. Square takes a flat 2.75% transaction fee, which ends up being at a better rate than most traditional credit card processors.

The novelty of signing with your fingerprint is so cool that many acts report that their sales have increased just by the fact that people want to try it out! The best part is that you can now get the Square reader from the Apple online store, and it's reported that it will be available soon from their retail stores as well. The transaction software is free.

I think the best part of this is the fact that you don't have to deal with a large bank. They make too much money from us already, so anything that can take even a small piece of their action can only be a good thing for you and your customers. You can check out the app here.
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Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

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