Viral Marketing For Musicians and Bands

Question: How can we get our fans to encourage their friends to come to our shows, or even listen to our music?

Answer: The term “viral marketing” is being thrown around the music industry and for very good reason, it’s one of the most effective ways of building your audience!

Built-in Trust Factor
When friends tell friends about something that they like, a buzz begins. They usually trust each other with information about new things that each discover and music is no different from a great burger place, a great tv show, or movie. The fact that a friend says, “you should listen to this band” makes it a lot more likely that you’ll want to listen to a new band rather than, “Hey! You should listen to our music!” (coming directly from the band through their marketing). This is often how people find out about new music. Matter of fact, viral marketing (word-of-mouth) is one of the main ways we hear about “great things”. When you think about how much advertising of poor products are directed out you daily, it’s no wonder the trust-factor simply does not exist when we initally hear about something new coming from the mouth of the advertiser (in your case, you, or your band). This is why it is so important that you enourage positive word-of-mouth and do your best to stop bad word-of-mouth. Make sure that you always do things in an honest way…it’s that powerful!

Guerilla Marketing for Musicians
Marketing yourself by viral, or word-of-mouth means, is inexpensive because it is usually so easy to implement. Doing the right thing (integrity) and going out of your way to make your fans’ experience with you amazing, while creating great music, will ensure that your fans help spread the word about you and your band!

Make Your Music Viral
Here are some great ways to get word-of-mouth circulating about you and your music:

Post videos of your band on YouTube.
Get your music on MySpace and other social networking sites.
Include a “forward this to a friend” link on your site and email communications.
Encourage your fans to bring their friends to your next show!
Offer two-for-one deals on ticket sales.

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Guerrilla Music Marketing Suggestions

Make Fans a Birthday Card! 
Remember your fan’s birthdays by creating a musical birthday card you create yourself. Email them the card that is imbedded with an mp3 file of a birthday song you wrote. 

Use old school psychology, (if you can afford it) send a real birthday card to each fan that has a simple chip attached to it with a sound file that begins to play when you open the card. (the technology is now available, such cards are now in many retail stores).

You will obviously have to have your database setup to include a place for your fans to give you their birth dates, but after that, at the beginning of every month simply sort out who has a birthday coming up and mail them off. Be sure to do this at least a week before the beginning of each month. 

Think of how appreciative your fans will be for having been thought of, and as your career and goes on and gets more established, your past musical birthday cards will become valuable collector items.

A Sticky Way To Be Remembered 
Print up promotional “sticky notes” using the Post-It note method for upcoming gigs and send or pass them out to music fans attending live shows. Have your latest shows printed up on them, so fans can use them as reminders to attend your shows and can put them up on their home bulletin boards or refrigerators. You can also use this idea for reminders to buy your latest CD or merchandise you have for sale at your website or live shows.

Be The Musical Entertainment 
For Your Favorite Local Record Store

Work with a local record store that carries your genre of music and ask them about participating in a special “after hours” party and special sale where you get to be the band or artist to supply the music for the event. Have them put your CD on sale at a special price during the party only. Take time to sign autographs, and get the customers to sign up on your mailing/database list. The store can add whatever added incentives they want to make the event a special sale and you get to go along for the ride.

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How the Music Industry’s Transformation Is Paving the Way for Monetization Opportunities

Fundamental changes in the music industry are paving the way for future monetization opportunities.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff called it a “catfight between two rich companies” on November 1, when the controversial multibillion dollar lawsuit filed by Terra Firma Capital Ltd., and its chairman Guy Hands, against Citigroup Inc. (C) and its banker David Wormsley was finally brought to a conclusive end. Rejecting Hands’ claim that Wormsley had deceived him into overpaying for EMI’s acquisition, the jury in New York has thwarted Hands’ futile attempts in holding on to EMI. Now, Citigroup will have no problem in breaking apart the British music giant and selling it off in pieces, since it had initially provided over $4.8 billion in loans to finance the acquisition of EMI by Terra Firma.

Several analysts have said that the case has simply been Guy’s last attempt at getting his own hands out of a poor business deal. Recently, negotiations between Citigroup and Hands on restructuring EMI’s finances had been underway – a deal which will clearly be swept to the wayside now that the lawsuit has come to an end. With losses totaling more than U.S. $800 million in the year that ended March 2010, EMI had evidently not been performing nearly as well as its other music industry brothers such as Sony Music Entertainment (SNE) and Warner Music Group (WMG). With cost cuts instituted by Hands leading to the accelerated departure of EMI’s top talent, such as QueenPaul McCartney, and the Rolling Stones, EMI continues to have a difficult time in achieving previous levels of profitability, especially when it remains particularly vulnerable to global trends that continue to leech revenues away from the music industry.

Music Digitalization and its Challenges

Although EMI may have been hit the hardest as of late, the other giants of the “big four” in the recorded music business are likely to face the same challenges in the wake of vast changes in the industry. Technological innovation has brought an insurmountable degree of change to the music business, change that presents both opportunities and threats to its future economic outlook. Although new opportunities have rapidly evolved alongside innovations of digital distribution channels, such ingenuity has not resulted in proportional market growth. The global music market has declined a staggering 30% from 2004 to 2009, despite digital sales having increased a total of 940%, accounting for more than a quarter of record companies’ revenues for the first time in history in 2009. Evidently, although digital sales of music have experienced unprecedented growth during the last decade, such growth has not offset the sharp decline in sales of physical formats. Imperative for the future growth of the music industry is the realization that music consumption will continue to ebb away from the physical world and into the digital realm, as seen by statistics provided by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Therefore, seeking monetization opportunities of digital music consumption will be fundamental for the survival of the music industry in the future.

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The Future of Music and the Music Business

Most of what we take for granted in the music business today is brand new. A decade ago there was no iPod, YouTube, Myspace, Facebook or Apple iTunes store. A decade from now, the industry will be very different than it is today and anyone seeking a career in music needs to learn to adapt and exploit the trends that are shaping the future of the music business.

Now in its 5th revision, this best selling music business course is about discovering successful strategies for the future. This course is essential for all artists, songwriters and music business people seeking successful careers in the music business.

This course is packed with insight, facts and examples from artists and business people creating the future of music. The discussions, interactive exercises, and interviews with music industry leaders, will get you to challenge the conventional thinking about the business of music, and explore new ways of creating, financing, promoting, and distributing it. Each week, we will examine an aspect of the evolving music industry, reflect on changes that are affecting it, and evaluate how these changes, technologies and powerful trends can directly impact your career.

The music industry has been utterly ripped apart by the impact of technology and social media and will never be the same again. New structures and strategies for driving revenue and opportunity are forming and new approaches to the business of music are working more successfully than past approaches. Find out about what is happening and will happen in the music business and how to apply that to your future.

The Future of Music online course lets you examine scenarios for the future from the perspective of both the creative aspect and the business aspect. Together we will look at the landscape of artists, writers, managers and publishers sitting in the center of an entirely new digital ecosystem.

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Billboard Adds Streaming Music Services and Digital Sales to Several Major Music Charts

music sales represent a significant portion of most musicians’ incomes, but until recently, digital downloads weren’t part of Billboard’s highly influential country, rock, rap, R&B and Latin charts. Recent updates to these charts add in Nielsen SoundScan digital download data, and many artists have seen a noticeable jump in chart rankings as a result of the changes. However, some music listeners and critics see immediate problems with the new additions.

Adding the digital data was a “perfectly logical” move according to Billboard, the top music sales tracker in the United States. However, crossover artists whose songs appeal to fans of more than one genre seemed to get an especially notable boost from the changes. Some analysts argue that this dilutes Billboard’s genre designations by raising the profile of these crossover artists.

Taylor Swift, for instance, writes songs that qualify for both the country and pop charts. Because Swift’s digital singles are extremely popular with pop music listeners, her numbers on the Billboard country charts increased substantially as a result of the inclusion of digital listening data.

However, many Taylor Swift fans wouldn’t consider themselves country music fans, and digital listeners are arguably more likely to listen to single tracks from crossover artists like Swift without spending much time listening to other artists on the Billboard country charts. Critics argue that crossover artists working in popular genres can quickly rise to the top of charts with smaller listener bases.

Billboard now counts listens on services like Rhapsody, Spotify, Xbox Music and others. Many of these services work on a subscription-based format that favors singles over albums, which might also impact the Billboard charts. Some bloggers and industry analysts see these changes as artificial and problematic.

This is not the first time that Billboard has included digital downloads and listens in its charts. The popular Hot 100 chart already counts digital downloads, and two other charts, Social 50 and Digital Songs, track digital listeners specifically.

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Amazon and iTunes dominate the $14.8 billion-per-year digital music market, but Google is trying to make a big impact on the industry with its Play store, which is available on all computers and Android devices. While Google Play is certainly a contender, a new infographic shows a rapidly changing, highly competitive industry. Google will need some serious advantages to succeed, and the Play service is definitely making some smart moves.

Google Play does have seamless integration with Google Plus, a growing but limited social network. While this is certainly an advantage for the Google team, there’s a question as to whether it’s a big advantage; the G+ network has 400 million users, and about a quarter of those users are regularly active. Google makes it easy to share and play tracks using Google Plus, but the infographic does not show any sales statistics directly related to social networking.
For many users, Google’s excellent cloud integration is a major feature that could drive future growth. Google Play can download music to a phone or computer from virtually anywhere, completely free of charge, while iTunes and Amazon MP3 both charged for their initial cloud service offerings. Google Play is therefore a simple, flexible option for anyone who wants to download music to multiple devices on the go.
The Android mobile operating system is perhaps Google’s biggest advantage in the digital music wars. For every one iPhone sold, four Android handsets are sold. Many of those Android devices come with Google Play preinstalled, and Android’s market share is growing; Apple’s iOS mobile operating system actually lost 1.1 percent of its market share over the last year. If Google keeps its service attractive, moderately priced and easy to use, we could see a new leader in digital music in the next few years.

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Buma/Stemra wil embedlicentie met muziekblog

Buma/Stemra wil embedlicentie met muziekblog

Vandaag viel brief bij site op de mat

  • Ingmar Griffioen 
  • 17 januari 2013
deel / embed
buma stemra fair play
buma stemra fair play

Buma/Stemra schrijft blogs aan die muziek embedden om een een licentie af te sluiten om “auteursrechtelijke toestemming regelen voor het muziekgebruik”. Dat blijkt uit een brief die bij 3voor12 in bezit is. In de brief staat: “Er is hier sprake van openbaarmaking van streaming muziek en daar is een streaming licentie op van toepassing.” Die conclusie lijkt gebaseerd op de recente rechterlijke uitspraak tegen radiostreamingportal In de 3voor12 Talkshow op Noorderslag zei directievoorzitter Hein van der Ree dat Buma/Stemra aan licentiemodellen voor embedden werkt, maar ook: “Iemand die een blogje heeft en daar een filmpje op zet, is niet het eerste waar we aan denken.” Buma laat nu in een reactie weten dat het om een enkele brief gaat en geen campagne betreft. Ook zou de brief ‘helemaal losstaan van de rechtszaak’. “Het beleid verandert niet.”

Embedtarieven Buma/Stemra uit brief
Embedtarieven Buma/Stemra uit brief

Reactie Buma/Stemra en tarieven
Dit is feitelijk de eerste keer dat Buma/Stemra terugkomt op de zogenaamde YouTube-heffing, die de organisatie in oktober 2009 introduceerdeen tot in de Tweede Kamer tot een storm van kritiek leidde. Buma/Stemra claimt nu niet met een campagne bezig te zijn. “Er is geen campagne, dit is de enige brief”, reageert woordvoerder Bas Erlings. “Het gaat hier gewoon om muziekgebruik op een website, dat licenseren we al jaren.” Volgens Erlings had het betreffende medium nog geen licentie en is daarom aangeschreven. Het criterium is of een website een Kamer van Koophandel-inschrijving heeft en er geld aan verdient (meestal middels advertenties). “Dit is gewoon een website die een KvK-inschrijving heeft en er muziek op heeft staan.” De woordvoerder ontkent dat Buma nu voor het eerst een muzieksite aanschrijft. Het gaat om de website Kicking The Habit, een muziekblog met een combinatie van geschreven tekst en embeds van o.a. YouTube en Soundcloud. De site heeft zelf geen muziek op zijn server staan. 

Ter illustratie de tarieven in het licentiemodel. Buma maakt onderscheid in Kleingebruik (muziekgerelateerde omzet lager dan € 6.500) en Grootgebruik (muziekgerelateerde omzet hoger dan € 6.500). Die indeling sluit vrijwel geen enkele site uit en past ook op sites die één filmpje en één advertentie online hebben staan. Bij Kleingebruik geldt voor streams tot 40.000 keer een tarief van € 130,-, tot 80.000 keer € 260, oplopend tot een maximum van € 650,-. Hoe het aantal streams vanaf een site gemeten moet worden wanneer de content niet op de site zelf staat (maar bijvoorbeeld bij YouTube) is niet duidelijk. Bij Grootgebruik wordt het tarief berekend als percentage van de omzet: bij streams is het 10% van de omzet, met een mimimum van € 0,0033 per gebruik en een minimaal abonnementstarief van € 0,85 per abonnee per maand. Er zijn aparte tarieven voor onder meer downloads, speelfilms, concerten, beltonen en pre-use. Klik voor de precieze tarieven op het plaatje hierboven en voor de hele brief onderaan.

Rechtzaak en precedentwerking
De rechtbank in Den Haag concludeerde in december dat “linken naar radiostreams neerkomt op zelf openbaarmaken”. De uitspraak in de zaak van Buma/Stemra tegen ondernemer J. Souren, eigenaar van de websites en, volgde na een lange rechtsgang en was opmerkelijk. De rechter achtte bewezen dat Souren geld verdient aan de radiostreams op zijn sites en oordeelde derhalve dat hij een licentie bij de auteursrechtenorganisatie moet afsluiten. Het maakt volgens de rechter niet uit dat de muziek zelf niet op de server van Souren staat.

De uitspraak vormt een belangrijk precedent, want het impliceert dat zo’n beetje ieder muziekmedium en blog dat streamt naar muziek een licentie moet afsluiten, ook als die content geheel legaal ter beschikking gesteld is en in veel gevallen zelfs door band of label ter promotie op YouTube is gezet. Buma-woordvoerder Bas Erlings liet toen aan 3voor12 weten dat het beleid niet wezenlijk zou veranderen. Buma/Stemra zou niet direct de pijlen richten op ieder weblogje met een advertentie. Als criterium geldt volgens Erlings inschrijving bij de Kamer van Koophandel. “Particulier gebruik blijft vrij, voor bedrijfsmatig gebruik is een licentie nodig.” 

Met een muzieklicentie bij Buma ben je er nog niet. “Naast Buma/Stemra zult u ook toestemming moeten vragen aan de eigenaren van de opnames van de muziekwerken, namelijk de platenmaatschappijen en/of labels. Hiervoor kunt u rechtstreeks de desbetreffende maatschappij benaderen, maar u kunt ook contact opnemen met NVPI ( Tot slot dient u aan het eind van elk jaar opgave te doen van de muziekwerken die zijn gebruikt en het aantal gestarte streams dat er heeft plaatsgevonden op uw website.”

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