Thursday, May 8, 2014

What People Listen To At Work

Benefits of music at work image
Did you ever wonder about the musical tastes of the people you work with? Spotify recently did a study of what people listen to at work and why, and the results are fascinating. According to the study:
  • 61% of people listen to music at their desks, and say it makes them happier and more productive
  • 36% said it helps them through their day, specifically from 9AM to 1PM and 2 to 4PM
  • 20% said music alleviates boredom
  • 16% use music to drown out annoying co-workers
But it was the tastes of listeners at work that was most interesting.
  • 34% gravitated to pop and chart toppers
  • 29% preferred rock
  • 22% played indie
Who were the artists that most listened to?
  • Adele - 16%
  • Arctic Monkeys - 14%
  • Rihanna - 13%
  • Mumford & Sons - 13%
  • Bruno Mars - 12%
  • Beyonce - 12%
  • Katy Perry - 12%
Remember that this study is based around what people listen to on Spotify, and doesn't necessarily apply to any other distribution medium, but it's still interesting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5 Tips For A Killer Artist Website Design

Website builder image
Thanks to online website builders like WordpressWix, Weebly and Squarespace, it's now incredibly fast and easy for an artist or band to set up a website. That said, just because it's easy to do doesn't mean that what you'll come up with will be visually appealing. Since so much of website engagement is built around how the site looks and feels, not to mention how it affects your Google search ranking, the first and foremost thing is that your site is easy to read.

Here are 5 easy to implement tips from the Designing Your Website chapter of my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book that will ensure that your site not only looks attractive, but invites engagement as well.

"The look of your site has to reflect your brand. What that means is that there’s no sense making it dark and menacing if you’re a pop band, or making it flowery and colorful looking if you’re an EDM artist. That said, here are a number of basic points to consider with your design.

1. Use the screen real estate wisely.
  • Keep the most important content "above the fold," or at the top of the screen where the reader doesn’t have to scroll down.
  • Watch out for clutter. Achieve a balanced layout by designing no more than three focal points by using the "big, medium, small" strategy.
  • Provide enough white space around elements so that they’re visually distinguishable, but don't leave big areas of blank screen. 
2. Specify fonts that are designed for the screen.
  • Sans-serif fonts (those without the little tails on some of the characters) generally works the best (Verdana, Tahoma, Arial), although some serif fonts work okay (Georgia). Stay away from Times as it’s designed for newspapers and can feel dated. Use any decorative font you want in a logo image, but stay away from browser decorative fonts (Impact, Comic Sans) that draw more attention than the copy itself.
  • Only use two font families per page or site at most, and then only to contrast headings to text, or sidebar to main content.
  • Format paragraphs and other content for the best readability
                 - Use text-align: left for blocks of text.
                 - Use text-align: center occasionally for a page heading or a special effect. but never for text blocks.
                 - Use text-align: right to connect form labels with their data entry boxes or to connect left-hand captions to their associated images.
                 - Use text-align: justify only if the column is wide enough so that it doesn’t leave blocks of white space down the middle. 

3. Avoid using fonts smaller than 10 point (depending on the font). One of the things that site visitors hate the most is having to zoom in to read something.

4. Fit the color scheme to the purpose of the site.
  • A good bet is to select your colors based on your logo or an important image on the page.
  • Like fonts, use one main color and one secondary color for a page or site; a third color might provide emphasis or contrast.
  • Check for sufficient contrast between text and background, and also check that the contrast works for any color-blind visitors.
  • Never use color alone to provide information.
5. Design For Mobile
Be sure that your site is built to display on a mobile browser. Don’t forget that the world we now live in is a mobile one, and it’s going to be even more so in the future. Make sure that your site looks good on a phone or tablet before confirming it as complete.

  • Check the layout to be sure that everything shows up where you expect it on the screen.
  • Check the readability of the text to be sure that the information on the site is useful to the visitor."
To read additional excerpts from Social Media Promotion For Musicians or my other books, go to the excerpts section of You can also download a free chapter by filling in the form on the right.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

We Still Listen To Radio

According to what you'll read in most places online, you'd think that radio is dead, especially when it comes to discovering new music. That's far from the truth, according to a Statista infographic made up from stats from Edison Research. It turns out that radio is still the major way Americans 12 years old and up discover music, even after all these years and new technology.
Infographic: The Good Old Radio Trumps Online Services for Music Discovery  Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Monday, May 5, 2014

Taking The Collecting Out Of Music

Record Collector image
Everyone collects something. It might be clothes, shoes, baseball cards, bottle caps, coins, cars or an exclusive subset of these and thousands of other items. Regardless of your income strata, its a sure bet that there’s something that you collect, sometimes even without realizing it. Collecting allows people to relive their childhood, connect to history, relish the thrill of the hunt, or sooth some emotional urging that they may be totally unaware of. 

For most of the history of audio recording, people collected music too. Many fans amassed massive vinyl and CD album collections that covered broad music categories, while others concentrated just on the recordings of a particular artist, or even just the songs they particularly liked. A “record” collection was something that in many ways defined who you were, because your collection was shaped exclusively by your musical taste.

Your Collection As A Window Into Your Soul
Think back to the time when music consumers purchased physical products, be it vinyl or CD. What was one of the first things that you did when you went to a friend’s house? You’d inspected their record collection, if not right away, the first chance you got (it was a great way to pass the moments when the friend went to the rest room or the kitchen). After all, it was a window into the person’s heart and soul. A collection based exclusively around one genre might label you as intense and focused, while one that spanned genres and styles might mean that you were open-minded and free spirited, at least from a quick glance. At the very least, it gave you both some common ground.

When music consumers transitioned to digital music downloads in the early 2000s, music began to lose that unique collectibility. Sure there was still a hint of it left, but the definition seemed to change as it became more about the number of songs on your iPod, or how much of your CD collection was converted to digital. The problem was that music collecting at that time seemed to become more about quantity rather than quality. Read more on Forbes

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Vine Migrates To The Web imageVine, Twitter's answer to Instagram, has released it's latest version complete with some new features that may be of interest to artists, bands and fans. Vine is known for its 6 second videos, which is a lot longer than it seems and can be used in surprisingly creative ways.

Until recently, the network was only available through the Vine mobile app, but the service has now launched a website that allows browsing through a desktop computer. The new website ( also features enhanced search functions that weren't previously available, allowing the user to browse the entire network for specific videos, all without having to register.

The user can search by not just by video title, but by location, user name or tag. The site has also divided its content into "channels" that are very specific, such as animals, places, people, trending, most popular, and more.

The one thing that you can't do from the site is upload a video, which is still reserved for the mobile app.

Vine can be an interesting tool for an artist or band, enabling brief video snippets of shows, behind-the-scenes, back stage, rehearsals, studio recording, and more. Some find that Instagram has more features, but Vine's proponents say that it's simpler to use.


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