Friday, April 8, 2016

New Social Media Tools For More Efficient Posting

Social Media Tools imageIf there's one thing that we all know, it's that the more social media platforms you're on, the more time it will take to check and post to them. That's why the latest social automation tools can be so valuable, as they save time and make engaging your audience so much more efficient. Take a look (many thanks to Smallbiztrends).

DrumUp allows you to curate content to multiple accounts so you always have something new to post even when you don't have any new original content. It finds content based on your keywords, then provides content recommendations, feeds, scheduling and re-posting. It also supplies a suggested list of hashtags when you post. And it's free.

IFTTT stands for "If This Then That" and is a social media automation tool that lets you create “recipes” that make apps work together. For instance, if you post to Facebook, you can create a recipe that also posts to over 292 other services, including music services like SoundCloud, Deezer and Spotify. Very cool.

RiteTag works across 14 major websites but is most useful as a Twitter tool in that it allows you to add images, hashtags, GIFs, emojis and customized CTAs on all your shared links. That said, one of its best features is the ability to recommend hashtags, including the most used, trending, and least popular. There's also a free version to get you started.

Managefilter is a tool that lets you keep track of your Twitter followers, your reach, and provides some advanced analytics. Perhaps its best feature is to show you the best time to post for maximum reach, but the group Unfollow and Follow feature can be valuable, as well as the search feature to find influencers. A free starter plan is also available.

These tools are only valuable if you use them, so I recommend that you try them one at a time, spend some time with each, and see if they fit your needs. Chances are at least one of them will make your social life easier.

(Photo: Per Erik Strandberg via Wikipedia)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

9 New Rules For Success In Today's Music business

9 New Rules For Success In Today's Music businessWe've gone through a mighty change in the music business over the last 10 years, and it keeps on morphing and evolving every day. Since these changes are constant, many of the old school rules pertaining to success in the music business no longer apply.

Here's an excerpt from the latest edition of my Music 4.0 book that outlines some of the new rules for success, as well as a few that may never change.

1. It’s all about scale. It’s not the sales, it’s the number of YouTube views (at least at the moment) you have. A hit that sells only 50,000 combined units (album and single) may have 50 million YouTube views. Once upon a time, a sales number like that would’ve been deemed a failure, today, it’s a success. Views don’t equal sales, and vice-versa.

2. There will be fewer digital distributors in the future. It’s an expensive business to get into and maintain, so in the near future there will be a shakeout that will leave far fewer digital competitors. Don’t be shocked when you wake up one day to find a few gone.

3. It’s all about what you can do for other people. Promoters, agents, and club owners are dying to book you if they know you’ll make them money. Record labels (especially the majors) are dying to sign you if you have have an audience they can sell to. Managers will want to sign you if you have a line around the block waiting to see you. If you can’t do any of the above, your chances of success decrease substantially.

4. Money often comes late. It may not seem like it, but success is slow. You grow your audience one fan at a time. The longer it takes, the more likely the longer the career you’ll have. An overnight sensation usually means you’ll also be forgotten overnight. This is one thing that hasn’t changed much through the years.

5. Major labels want radio hits. They want an easy sell, so unless you create music that can get on radio immediately, a major label won’t be interested. This is what they do and they do it well, so if that’s your goal, you must give them what they want.

6. You must create on a regular basis. Fans have a very short attention span and need to be fed with new material constantly in order to stay at the forefront of their minds. What should you create? Anything and everything, from new original tunes to cover tunes, to electric versions to acoustic versions, to remixes to outtakes, to behind the scenes videos to lyric videos, and more. You may create it all at once, but release it on a consistent basis so you always have some fresh content available.

7. YouTube is the new radio (but it may include Facebook soon). Nurture your following there and release on a consistent basis (see above). It’s where the people you want to reach are discovering new music.

8. Growing your audience organically is best. Don't expect your friends and family to spread the word, as they don’t count. If you can’t find an audience on your own merits, there’s something wrong with your music or your presentation. Find the problem, fix it, and try it again. The trick is finding that audience.

9. First and foremost, it all starts with the song. If you can’t write a great song that appeals to even a small audience, none of the other things in this book matter much.

Finally, remember that making a living is the new successSuperstardom is more difficult to come by than ever, and the artistic middle class continues to shrink. Today, if you can make your living strictly from making music, you've accomplished a lot and have a lot to be proud of.

Bkstg Connects Artists Directly With Fans

Bkstg appThere are many direct-to-fan platforms available for artists these days, but that doesn't prevent new ones from launching. Bkstg is a new app that lets artists own the entire experience of connecting with fans in one place. This includes posting videos and photos to selling tickets to selling merch.

In many cases, 5 to 10% of an artist's fan base drives 80% of the revenue, but the artist usually has no direct way to identify and directly connect with those fans, especially when using most social platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

The Bkstg platform allows an artist to see exactly who's buying tickets, engaging with content. and consuming exclusive content so they can be further targeted.

The platform also utilizes geo-fencing so that an artist on tour can send out a message about ticket or merch specials just to those fans attending the show.

Bkstg is starting with some heavyweight artists like Aerosmith, Justin Bieber, Usher and Maroon 5, and the app is free to use for both artists and users.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

$38 Script Let's You Set Up A Spotify-Like Site

YouTubifyIt seems that pirate music sites are getting easier and easier to set up these days.

Apparently there's a script that you can buy for just $38 that will let you set up your own cross between Spotify and YouTube. It's illegal, of course, and will get shut down in no time (especially if you live in the United States), but if you're really into it, it is possible to launch your own instant music site.

The script is called YouTubify and allows almost anyone to set up their own music service without breaking too much of a sweat. For now, it's available on one of the biggest coding sites frequented by hackers.

Wefre was a fee music distribution site that recently popped up using the script, and although users loved the look and feel of it, it was forced to shut down shortly after launch.

And fortunately for artists, publishers and labels everywhere, this is what's going to happen in most of these cases. Just because you can easily launch a music distribution site, it doesn't mean you should.

Sites like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Apple Music and every other music streaming site that you can list have all paid millions of dollars in licensing fees and pay monthly royalties to artists, labels and publishers. Even if the music is offered for free by one of these hacker sites, it still violates copyright laws (it's a form of piracy, after all).

Reportedly there are dozens of sites using this script that yet to be shut down, but luckily, none have received much attention or gotten traction.

It's tough enough trying to make money in the streaming music business without a plethora of free sites popping up everywhere.

Monday, April 4, 2016

YouTube To Introduce A Live Streaming App

YouTube Connect imageWhere once we lived in a world of pre-recorded video, that's changing rapidly as millennials increasingly show how much they love live streaming.

For instance, Periscope has posted more than 100 million broadcasts since its debut in March of 2015, and Snapchat Live Stories has as many as 100 million users per day, which has lead Facebook into the same space with Facebook Live.

And Facebook Live has been successful in just a short time, with some creators pulling in over 100,000 viewers per broadcast.

All this has lead Google to decide that perhaps it's a good idea to enter this side of the online video business, and as a result, you'll be seeing its new stand-alone app called YouTube Connect in the coming months.

The service is said to have chat and tagging features built in, as well as a newsfeed that displays videos from friends and brands that the user has subscribed to.

YouTube is beginning to feel the pressure from Facebook when it comes to short form video, and Connect is its way for trying to get back in the game.

Too little too late? Users are fickle, but they usually go where their friends are, so don't be surprised if many don't even sample a new offering, even from market leader (for now) YouTube, at least until the next update of their favorite platform upsets them.


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