Thursday, May 15, 2014

An Overview Of Email List Services

email logo image
There's no shortage of posts here about why an email list is so important for an artist or band, but determining which email list provider (ESP) to use can be confusing. Here's an overview taken from my Social Media Promotion for Musicians book that provides a number of ESP alternatives.

"Here’s a list of email service providers to investigate. Each has their pros and cons, so it’s best to check every one out thoroughly before you commit. Since most of them also have free 30 day trials, you can try before you buy to see if a particular service is what you’re looking for.

TIP: Some email list providers are free if you only have a few hundred addresses. Even with a volume that low, it's so much easier to use an ESP than your own email client. Try it. You'll wonder how you ever got along without one.

As stated above, all of them have a nice selection of professional-looking email templates, but how they’re customized is slightly different, so be sure to check that out. Of course, if you already have a web designer that can design a good looking HTML newsletter, the templates won’t matter as much to you as the other features.

These are only just a sampling of the popular ESPs available, and you can also find a number of email list review sites that will give you a ranking and allow you to easily compare services. 

TIP: Even if you compare ESP features carefully, the best way to really find out which one will serve your needs is to use it for a bit first with the free trial they all offer."

For what it's worth, I've at least tried most of these on the list. I used Constant Contact for a long time, but recently changed to Aweber, mostly because it tightly integrates with a variety of shopping carts and 3rd party apps, and because each list can have it's own set of autoresponders. That said, sometimes a provider has a single feature that's important to what you're doing, which will make it the obvious choice.

To read additional excerpts from Social Media Promotion for Musicians and my other books, go to the excerpts section of

Check Out The Latest Inner Circle Podcast

Bobby Owsinski's Inner Circle Podcast logo imageThe latest Inner Circle Podcast has just been posted, and this time the guest is 16 time Grammy Award-winning engineer Benny Faccone. Benny, who's won most of his Grammy's while working with Latin superstars like Mana and Ricky Marin, talks about the differences between American and Latin music, among other things.

Commentary includes a discuss on the need for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a look at some of the new recording consoles and why they don't include DAW control.

If you've missed other episodes of the podcast, they include:
  • Show #1 - Engineer Dennis Moody, who discusses the difference between mixing in the studio and live.
  • Show #2 - Omnia Media COO Thom Kozik, who talks all about making money on YouTube and Multichannel Networks.
  • Show #3 - LA session bassist Paul ILL, who discusses about what it takes to be a studio musician.
  • Show #4 - Publisher/producer Richard Feldman, who talks about how the world of publishing has changed because of digital music.
You can access the Inner Circle Podcast at either or on iTunes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Scamming Spotify To The Tune Of $20,000

Who says you can't make any money on Spotify? An enterprising Los Angeles band named Vulfpeck figured out how to make $20,000 from it by doing absolutely nothing. That's actually not totally true, but they didn't make the money from their music.

The band wrote a completely silent album they called Sleepify and asked their friends to stream it while they slept. The group only has a fanbase of 1,000 or so, but soon all those plays started to add up.

At a rate of $.007 per stream, each fan generated about $4 while they slept. Before long the band was owed about $20k, which they intend to use to fund their next tour.

Spotify eventually caught on and removed the album, citing a violation of the platform's terms of service agreement, but you have to hand it to the band for thinking outside the box. On the other hand, why couldn't they just ask their fans to stream their real albums all night?

Here's their video that explains what they did.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Reasons Why Your Merch Doesn't Sell

All artists and bands today depend on merch sales for a good portion of their income, yet many find that the merch they depend upon doesn't sell like they expected. There are a number of common reasons this might happen, as outlined in the video below from my Selling Music Merchandise video course on

Check out more videos from this course and my other video courses with a free 7 day subscription.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Facebook's Surprising Reach With Young Adults

We've been hearing a lot about Facebook's influence with teenagers dying, but according to the Harvard Institute of Politics, it's still alive and well with young adults by a long shot. In fact, Facebook has almost a 2 to 1 market share over the next nearest competitor Google+, which is yet another surprise.

There are a number of other surprises as well, with Snapchap and WhatsApp having only 23% and 9% penetration, while being far more widely used by teens.  Check out this infographic by Statista.
Infographic: Facebook's Reach Among Young Adults Is Still Unmatched | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Why The Apple - Beats Deal Makes Sense, And Why It Doesn’t

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine of Beats Electronics image
Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine
Rumors are flying about the imminent purchase of headphone maker and streaming music service Beats Electronics by tech giant Apple for a reported $3.2 billion dollars, which has caused a lot of head scratching in both the tech and music communities. Should this deal come to pass, a number of questions come to mind.

Why is Beats a fit for Apple?
Apple sees music downloads from its iTunes store diminishing, and if it reads any of the reams of research on the subject, knows very well that downloads may be more endangered than the CD. Apple dipped its toe into the streaming waters last year with iTunes Radio, which seemed like a half-hearted effort at the time and even more so now, as the subscription numbers have never really taken off and have been stagnant for the last two quarters.

That said, a non-interactive service like iTunes Radio doesn’t appear to be where music’s future lies, at least financially. Pandora already has a huge lead in this part of the market, but relatively few paying subscribers. It’s thought that eventually most users will want to move to an interactive service like Spotify where they get more choice over what they’re listening to, which is where Beats Music is and iTunes would eventually like to be. 

Beats Music service provides a ready infrastructure for Apple and already is integrated with mobile partner AT&T. Plus, if it’s true that the company already has between 10,000 and 20,000 subscribers (which can’t be verified since Beats doesn’t report these numbers), that’s actually a huge jump over every other service already in terms of paying subscribers. Even if the subscriptions aren’t quite to that level, it’s still pretty good for a service that only just launched and is yet to be available outside the US. Read more on Forbes.


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