Friday, March 27, 2015

7 Tips For A Great Facebook Video

Facebook video image
Facebook is really pushing video these days, wanting it to be a major part of the platform and maybe even compete with YouTube before too long. Here are 7 quick tips  from Jackie Cohen at AllFacebook on how to optimize your videos just for Facebook. I've adapted them a bit more for artists and bands.

1. Limit the video footage to 5 minutes or less (way less). The shorter the video, the more plays you'll get. A long video can scare off people who might ordinarily check it out.

2. Create a good thumbnail image for your video. A good thumbnail is like a good cover of a book. It helps get an impulse "buy."

3. Create a catchy or unique title. Just like with a book or magazine article, the title can sell the product. Of course, this is just the same on YouTube.

4. Check out the keywords for similar videos. For example, if your song has a drum solo, you might want to check out what keywords other videos other songs with drum solos use as well.

5. Allow people to share your work. This sounds like a no-brainer, but many artists actually limit the sharing of their video. Let them embed your video on their blog and website if they want. That's how you go viral.

6. Encourage people to rate and review your video. Don't directly ask for a Like, since that's against Facebook's terms of service, but you can ask for comments or a rating.

7. Upload to other video sharing sites. Use OneLoad to post your video on all relevant video sites. It's the quickest and easiest way to do it, and you'd be surprised the number of people who might find it that wouldn't otherwise.

Keep the above tips in mind the next time you post a video on Facebook. They don't take much time but can make a big difference in the number of views that your video ultimately receives.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

4 General Social Media Rules

Social Media Rules image
If we were to look at the various social networks available, we'd find that each is unique enough that the technique for using it is different.

That said, there are a 4 general rules that work across virtually all social networks.

Rule #1. Space your posts out during the day. Regardless of the social network, people hate it when one poster dominates their feed, even for a few minutes. The one exception to that might be during a breaking news event, but even then its best to leave a bit of time for others to be able to post as well.

Rule #2. Respond to comments as quickly as you can. This isn't always possible, but commenters expect and appreciate a timely response.

Rule #3. Understand proper hashtag use. Limit your hashtags to 2 at most. More than that not only make your post difficult to read but is has been found to be ineffective as well.

Rule #4. Entertain and inform your audience first. It's important to promote and market to your audience, but doing it too often turns followers off and will just lead to fan attrition. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule where you're never promoting more than 20% of the time (and even that can be too much).

These are very simple rules to follow, but sometimes the simple ones can be the most important. Social media is essential to your marketing strategy so be sure to use it to your best advantage.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Look At The American Listening Audience

The Infinite Dial
Edison Research and Triton Digital recently released their annual Infinite Dial survey on American media consumption.

As usual uncovered some very interesting data about the audience that hopefully listens to your music. Here are 7 takeaways.
1. 71% of all Americans now have a cell phone, up 10 points from last year. More and more, people consume their media on this platform. 
2. Embattled Pandora is still the leader in music streaming with 54% of online radio listeners. The runners-up are pretty distant, with iHeartRadio at 11%, Spotify at 10% and iTunes Radio at 8%. 
3. Facebook is the most used social network at 65% of those who regularly use social media. 
4. Facebook is even big in the age group that's seeing the most attrition - ages 12 to 24. 43% in that group still use Facebook, handily beating Instagram at 18%, Snapchat at 15%, and Twitter at 8%. 
5. 63% of Americans use YouTube to watch music videos and listen to music. 
6. That number increases to a whopping 90% ages 12 to 24 years old. 
7. 44% of all Americans listen to music online in some form every week.
Media consumption has changed drastically in the last 5 years and continues to change right before our very eyes. One of the keys to your online promotion strategy is knowing your audience, and the above data helps to understand just who the audience for your music is and how they like to consume it.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Labels Hate The Free Streaming Tier, But That’s Not The Problem

streaming music image
From various reports, the major record labels would like to eliminate the free tiers of on-demand streaming services like Spotify, a feeling that’s for once united with their artists as well. According to a post on Rolling Stone, the labels want faster revenue growth and feel that unless some adjustments are made to the freemium model, streaming revenue will never offset the death spiral of the CD and download.

Here’s the problem with eliminating or crippling the free tier though; the genie’s out of the bottle, the horse has left the barn and the ship has already sailed. A whole generation (the very generation that consumes the most music) already feels that music should be free, and they’re going to find a way to get it for free whether the major labels and artists like it or not.

Consider the fact that the computer networks of some of the most powerful corporations  in the world are hacked on a daily basis, and that our own government can’t seem to eliminate the formidable social media presence of ISIS, and you see the problem at hand. Streaming has made music piracy a footnote, but there are lots of clever hackers out there that can bring it back again with a roar if those free tiers are either done away with or severely restricted.

Yes, everyone would like the paid tiers of the various streaming networks to increase subscriptions more rapidly, but that part of the business is growing at a pretty good pace already, having increased 26% in the U.S. last year according to the RIAA.

The fact is, the biggest impediment to streaming revenue growth is because of the price barrier of the paid tier, which hovers around $10 per month or $120 per year for most of the major streaming services. The problem is that the average music consumer is comfortable paying no more than half that, with the average now right around $48. What we have here is a bad price point. Read more on Forbes.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

AM/FM Still The Favorite Car Entertainment

Car Entertainment System image
Despite the inroads made by various streaming services, AM/FM radio still has the hearts of more than 90% of drivers in America, according to research company IPSOS.

In fact, most drivers say that they still like the traditional buttons and controls on a car radio as opposed to the virtual controls on the car's electronic interface.

According to the study, AM/FM radio still dominates as the top listening platform, with 84% of consumers using it, followed by 64% using the CD player, Sirius/XM at 22%, Pandora at 18%, iHeartradio at 8%, HD Radio at 7% and Spotify at 7%.

What's more, drivers used their CD players 3 1/2 times more than digital radio services.

If you think that this looks like digital or internet streaming is not taking hold in the car, it may be a case of the data leading you to a faulty conclusion.

For one thing, the people most comfortable with digital technology and streaming music, those of driving age between 16 and 24, aren't as car-centric as the generations before them. Many don't see the need to have a license, let alone a own a car.

This will eventually change as they marry and start families, at which point we'll see a big boost in auto digital services.

Also, the fact that digital services aren't integrated into the vast majority of cars on the road yet has a bearing on the results as well.

I bet if this survey is revisited in 3 to 5 years the results will be dramatically different.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.


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