Category Archives: indie record label
Using iTunes Pre-Order to Build Buzz: Digital Distribution
How a Professional Music Video can Make an Artist: Creation & Promotion
A remarkable music video has the power to get an musician’s name out and be seen by the masses in a short period of time. It shows audiences who the artist is, how they perform, and how they want their craft to be portrayed. In addition to making a top-quality video, it is key to have a team that can promote your video to major labels, television networks, music blogs and potential fans. Without the right targeting, even the most professionally made videos can go unnoticed. That’s where we come in! Pro Music Records can not only write, produce and direct your next customized video, but push it to MTV, BET and VH1 amongst hundreds of broadband video companies and shows worldwide. Leave it to our team of experts to help you create a top-quality video that gets you noticed and recognized as a legitimate artist.
Business Strategies: Translating Social Media Popularity into a Career
The 3 C’s Of Effective Artist Branding
What does branding have to do with you as a music artist? In a word: everything. Your brand extends far beyond the logos on your website or merchandise items. Branding is about awareness, both of yourself and the public’s mental positioning of you. Being aware of what you are subtly and unconsciously conveying to the public is key to controlling the magnetism of your brand. But before you can begin to develop brand awareness, you need to adhere to what are the 3 C’s of branding.
Be clear about who you are, and who you are not. You need to understand your unique promise of value, and how this sets you apart from others. This first step is critical because it forces you to see yourself as others do. Once you’ve made it clear about what you are all about, you will soon attract and build a more targeted fan base that will better resonate with you because you’ve taken a position.
You don’t want to be all things to all people, especially when you’re just starting out. You do want to be the leader a particular tribe based on what you believe individually, and thus express artistically. A good brand taps into emotions, and emotions drive most, if not all of our decisions.
So ask yourself:
“What makes me distinctive? And how do I communicate that?” Remember to be authentic, and always true to yourself.
Clarity then extends to your logos, your social media topics, and even the diction you use when talking to your fans. Are you more formal and write in proper grammar, or are you more laid back and talk as though you are chatting or texting? Do you care about what’s going on in politics, or do live life more carefree?
Either way, try to choose a position and stick with it. Branding is all about trust, and if you constantly change what you’re all about, people can become confused and eventually tune out.
Consistency is what gives the public faith in your abilities and your delivery. It creates expectations. Once you’ve taken a position, you need to remain consistent with it.
From a digital standpoint, all your web properties should be aligned with one another, and you want to make it perfectly clear that someone has arrived at your official web property. The branding elements from your website should fickle down to all your other web assets (such as your Facebook and Twitter) so that they are all consistent in look and feel. Think of your website as the mother ship, and all the other web and social assets as smaller ships conveying the bigger message.
Once you’ve defined who you are and what you’re all about on a consistent level, you want to ensure that you remain active in conveying this. This doesn’t mean constantly bombarding fans with promotional messaging. What it does mean is being there on a constant basis to engage and interact with your audience, but only to the degree where you’re not overwhelming them and also not leaving them out in the cold.
Fans want to interact with you, but they don’t want to be spammed with how great you are or why they should spend money on you. Think of your web engagements as your own reality TV show or soap opera: if the story continues with regularly scheduled programming, people will tune in. They don’t, however, want to see commercials running the entire time.
Once you’ve employed these 3 C’s to your brand, you can begin positioning it. Once you’ve defined it, seek out all opportunities to better position your brand. Find those who will be most receptive to what it is that you have to offer and focus on them.
Building a brand takes a lot of time and effort but once you put in the work to build a good, consistent reputation, it will continue to pay dividends into the future.
20 Reasons Why Musicians Get Stuck at the Local or Regional Level
Ever wonder why some talented local musicians never get that elusive record deal? Or why the careers of some signed artists or American Idols stall out just past the starting gate? It’s not just “bad luck.” Here are 20 common reasons why some artists never make it to the next level:
1. Poorly-defined goals. Even if they’re too modest to say so in public, successful artists have a solid answer for the question: “What are your goals in the industry?” (Need help with goal setting? Check this out.)
P.M.R & Entertainment Media Services
2. Band members with different goals. In order to succeed, you have to be on the same page. It’s tough to stay on track if some band members know what they want and others want different things or don’t know what they want at all.
3. Lack of musical focus. Creativity is good, but in the mainstream music industry, only artists with multiple past successes have leeway to gravitate toward other musical styles. Here’s why: Different musical genres involve different networking contacts and working methods. Artists whose styles are too diverse have difficulty achieving consistent contacts and working methods…and it takes consistency to break a new artist. (Newsflash for artists who think playing a lot of different styles makes them unique: it doesn’t. We see artists with this “unique” talent all the time. In fact most artists can play or sing in more than one style, but publicly they focus on one they do best.)
4. Poor work ethic. The old saying that harder you work, the “luckier” you get is true.
5. Waiting to be discovered. People who are “discovered” make it happen instead of waiting.
6. Ineffective artist management, or not listening to good management. It sounds simplistic, but it’s where many artists go wrong. In order to be effective, your management has to know what they’re doing. And if you have good, experienced management but don’t follow their advice, they can’t help you.
7. Working with people who don’t have contacts in the industry at the next level. Ideally, the people you start with should be constantly building better skills and contacts along the way. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll need to work with people who have contacts at the next level.
8. Signing with a label with inadequate funding or poor distribution. If you want a record deal, the goal isn’t “a record deal.” The goal is the record deal with the most potential for long-term success.
9. Lack of a live following. Especially in rock and country, no draw means no deal.
10. Artist “settles” too much; recording quality, image, stage presence, photos, and demo packaging, and overall presentation are all just “OK.” Successful artists are more than just “OK” and never settle. Nor do their managers.
11. Poor networking skills. Successful artists constantly seek new networking methods and know how to use them.
12. Hanging onto ineffective band members. Many artists have trouble separating business and friendship, at the cost of their careers.
13. Dated musical style. (Sounding like 1990’s Pearl Jam or ‘NSync probably isn’t going to cut it.)
14. Dated image. If you still dress the same way you did 5 to 10 years ago or have the same hair style, it’s
time to freshen up. If you’re fond of the clothes, wear them on your own time–not when you want someone to invest money in your music being the hippest, happening thing since sliced bread.
15. Lack of radio-friendly songwriting (or lack of access to radio-friendly original songs). No hit potential, no deal.
16. Bowing to peer or family pressure not to change. Doing the same thing, the same way, brings the same results. So in order to improve something, change has to occur; it literally can’t stay the same. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing: if you put icing on a cake, the cake changes but is still the same underneath. If it’s bad icing or you do something stupid when frosting it, the cake falls apart. (Fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often.)
17. Drug or alcohol issues. Many artists with easy access to drugs, alcohol, and groupies at the local level have the distorted impression that they’ve “made it” and lose motivation to go any further.
18. Spouse / child obligations. Putting together an entertainment career is expensive and requires a major time commitment. The same is true of spouses and children. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it’s definitely more difficult.
19. Impossible to work with. Being impossible to work with doesn’t always mean the artist isn’t a nice person; we know one very nice artist who has had seven managers in the past ten years. We like this artist just fine as a person, but in order for a team to become successful, it needs time to gel. With a rotating litany of band members, managers, and agents, that’s not likely to happen.
20. Not understanding how the industry works. You have to know how the game is played in order to move the right pieces.
you want to be a successful musician, you need to check out the
New Music Economy NOW!
Are you Chasing A Dream??
Are you chasing that elusive creature called success in the music industry?
bands latest album or traveling to perform at your next gig only to
find you have boxes of unsold CD’s to pack up at the end of every
show and just enough profit to pay for your dinner on the road?
Are you tired of this routine yet?
If so, you are probably ready
to quit being a hobbyist and start being a career musician, you
just haven’t found the secrets to that cross over yet. I can help
you by sharing one of the most important secrets of successful
One of the biggest things most musicians miss when they are trying
to make the change from the proud but broke owner of a music hobby
to the successful career of the professional musician is music
marketing. Right now, I need you to stop everything else. Sit
quietly and read the next few sentences.
Music is a business.
Just like any other business, we have a product that we sell, our
music. In the same way that other businesses must use some form of
advertising to sell their products, the music business demands that
you do a bit of marketing to be successful.
Did you catch the message in those three sentences? If you
haven’t been seeing the success you want to have, then you haven’t
been marketing your music in the right way.
To help you succeed in marketing your music, I have put together
Tip #1 – Get the attention of your audience
If you have ever been to a carnival, you have seen what they call a
“barker”. This is the guy who sits along the sides of the main
travel route and loudly yells to the passerby about the game or
show they are hosting. You know the game is there but this guy
feels the need to yell it across the road at you. Why? Experience
has shown them that sometimes people see right thru things with a
sort of tunnel vision. We are focused on the Ferris wheel or the
concession stand and we walk right past everything else to get
there. The barkers job is to get your attention, even if just for
a moment, and try to redirect you to his booth.
Does your music career feel that way sometimes? You know that
people have heard of your band but it seems they pass you by to go
to the bigger shows. Why? Because you aren’t catching their
attention. While you can’t send a barker out to draw people into
your shows, there are things you can do to get the attention
focused on your band. Try performing at a couple of charity gigs.
Get your current fans to spread the word about your next gig to
their friends. Arrange to open for a few popular bands. Try
anything and everything that will show your band in a good light
and gain the attention of as many people as possible.
Tip #2 – Invest a little bit.
Whether it’s your time or your money, you need to put a little
investment into marketing your music. Investing money is the
simple one. You can buy business cards, put up billboards, pay
people to promote your music and any number of other things in the
name of music marketing.
Investing your time, however, requires a little more thought. Time
is precious and you don’t want to waste it on things that don’t
work so here’s a few music marketing investments you should be
putting your time into:
· Online Forums – The forums are a great place
to market your music to people with similar interest. Find several
good music forums and be a regular participant.
· Press Releases – Everyone loves a good
story. If your band is playing at a charity event to benefit kids
with cancer or the animals effected by the BP oil spill, then write
a press release about it and distribute it to the media.
· CD Release Parties and other fan functions –
People like to feel close to the musicians they like. Make
yourself available to your fans and you will find that they grow in
numbers and your merchandise sales will skyrocket.
Marketing your music doesn’t have to be difficult. These are just
two tips for helping your music make the leap from hobby to career.
If you really want to know the most closely guarded secrets of
successful musicians in the industry, you need to check out the New
Music Economy at this link:
I was able to see what I wanted to do, I could see the opportunity,
even when others could not, and I stay committed to doing it and
doing it well, no matter what. – Magic Johnson
you want to be a successful musician, you need to check out the
New Music Economy NOW!
The Emergence of The New Music Industry
It’s Global, Generates A Lot Of Money & Is Based On Six Copyrights
These six changes are:
1) Music fans now buy and listen to music from digital music stores and services.
2) There is unlimited shelf space where everything can be in stock at no detriment to anything else.
3) For no up front cost, there is unlimited inventory always available on demand as a perfect digital copy.
4) With the launch of www.promusicrecords.com, there is no gatekeeper to placing a song on Apple, Amazon’s etc store or hard drive.
5) Distribution of a release is now global and not restricted to just one country.
6) Artists can market directly to their fans.
Instead, with self-distribution and access to marketing, the artist is now: The Label, The Performer, The Publisher and The Songwriter. While wearing all of these “four hats” at once, artists are now uniquely positioned to profit from the best possible contractual distribution terms and highest revenue generation via the sale, use, or streaming of their music. The challenge is that many artists don’t know what these rights are, or how to collect the money they’ve earned from these revenue streams. A comprehensive, streamlined, and completely inclusive infrastructure does not yet exist that enables every artist who is owed money to easily collect it. However, there are solutions out there for artists, and it’s imperative that you understand these.
THE SIX COPYRIGHTS YOU MUST GET TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND
The entire music industry is built on six legal copyrights.
The six copyrights are:
- Derivatives & Samples
- Public Display
- Public Performance
- Digital Transmission
Money is made from music by either selling, licensing or using it –the sale of the music is the one that gets talked about the most. The others also generate a LOT of money for artists, performers and songwriters. This money is made based on the USE of music as opposed to just the SALE of the music – in other words, music does not necessarily have to be sold to make the artist, songwriter, performer and label money. Much of the money from these six copyrights is collected by entities located on every continent around the world called Performing Rights Organizations (PROs). PROs tend to be not-for-profit or government controlled and/or mandated. Their function is to collect and distribute money owed to songwriters, labels and performers. The amount of money the writers are paid comes from federal laws in those countries that mandate entities MUST pay them for the USE of music. This has become increasingly important now that the music industry is global – with one click your music can be distributed, sold, shared, tracked and marketed around the world.
As one example, unless the songwriter agrees not to be paid, every single time a song is streamed legally for free on the Internet, money is owed to the songwriter. This money is paid to the PROs and sits there waiting to be claimed.
As another, every single time a song is played on the radio (either via the Internet or broadcast from an AM/FM transmitter tower) the songwriter, label and performer must get paid. As an interesting twist, and to make a point, there is an exception to this rule – everywhere in the world the songwriter, performer and label get paid when a song is played on AM/FM radio EXCEPT for the United States. In the U.S., only the songwriter gets paid. This means from radio play, there is money sitting in other parts of the world with a PRO for the label and performer. If the label and performer are based in the U.S., they are not able to collect this money UNLESS there is someone in another country working on behalf of them to collect it.
As yet another example, if you are a U.S.-based band and you write your own songs and use Pro Music Records to distribute your music into another country like iTunes Japan, each time your music sells in Japan, iTunes pays the Japanese PRO money for the “reproduction” of your song. This money is in addition to the money iTunes pays for the sale of the song. This money sits with the PRO until it is collected by the songwriter/publisher. After a certain period of time, if it is not collected, it is given to other members of the PRO. It is vital for you to know about all of these potential revenue streams and how to collect on them around the world.
Major Artist Initiatives in 2011
I view it as Pro Music Record’s job to go into the world on behalf of its artists and help them plug into and collect all the money that exists for them. This is a major initiative for us in 2011. Over the next 90 days, we will be providing significant news and updates on how we intend on doing this for this new industry.
Also, in the next 45 days or so, we are rolling out a new accounting system that allows for even more transparency down to the one trillionth of a penny as well as even more advanced custom sales reports and free access to iTunes trending data.
A major education initiative is also being undertaken to provide the knowledge and information every artist should know. To that end, we will continue to post a large amount of specific information on the blog as well as create more PDF booklets for free download. George Howard (former President of Rykodisc, current professor at Loyola) and Jeff Price (Founder of Tunecore) are embarking on a series of free to attend multi-hour seminars discussing in-depth the nuances and information around the six legal copyrights.
If you are attending South By Southwest, please make certain to join them for a free two and half hour seminar on:
The Six Legal Copyrights:
Friday March 18
2:00 – 4:30 PM
Room 8 (Third Floor)
Austin Convention Center
Artists today not only can take the power and control into their own hands, but they must do so. This does not mean that you must go it alone; there are resources that you can avail yourself of in order to create and succeed on your own terms. It is our mission to continue to work with you to further transform the industry and provides these resources. Only by setting it free can the industry grow to its full potential.
Stay tuned for the next transformation…Pro Music Records & Entertainment Media
Casting Call-Project Name: Antoine Carter “World Premiere” Music Video
4735 Sepulveda Blvd. Next to Sherman Oaks Galleria
Sherman Oaks CA 91403
4735 Sepulveda Blvd. Next to Sherman Oaks Galleria
Sherman Oaks CA 91403
Pro Music Records & Ent. Media
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
T: (818) 971-9301
Big Box Retail-Physical CD Distribution is dead!!
By “Big Box Retail” (BBR), we’re really only referring to 2 companies: Walmart and Best Buy. Yes, that’s what the music industry has come to in 2010: Down to just 2 major companies, neither of which specialize in music (nor much care, as CDs are a low-margin item anyway), selling the CDs that used to make record companies, and some artists, very rich…..
Decades ago, Big Box Retail sold music as an afterthought, a loss-leader to get customers in the door and steer them towards bigger ticket items like stereo systems, TV’s, or a washer and dryer. By leveraging those big-ticket items, they discounted the CD to bare-bones pricing. This strategy, combined with the overall decline in CD sales, helped to drive big-chain record stores like Virgin, Tower, and Warehouse music out of business in just a few short years. Now, with no CD stores left to compete against except themselves, BBR are still using CDs as a loss leader, AND they’ve begun shrinking the shelf space that was once reserved for music. The simple formula of Major Record Label to Retail Record Store has all but collapsed.
This new reality has not escaped many veteran artists now compelled to bypass record labels completely and sell directly to Big Box. Artists like AC/DC, The Police, and others have offered their CDs exclusively to Walmart and Best Buy, respectively. And why not? With the state of the physical CD retail business, there is only one other possibility (okay, two if you count Target) outside of the “exclusive” retailer anyway. These artists have opted to skip the label, skip the record distributor, and simply ship CDs direct to one Big Box Retailer hub. Yet another nail in the major record label coffin…
So what’s it mean for music? Unfortunately for indie and emerging artists, this new landscape in retail does not add up to a favorable situation. Most indies don’t have the pull to approach BBR directly. And, with fewer outlets to sell a CD, and less labels and distributors to approach, selling a physical CD at a retail store has become that much more difficult. Despite all this, physical CDs still make up the 60% of music sold in the U.S., and although this percentage is falling every year, there are still a good number of consumers who will always prefer walking in a store to buy the CD. So does this mean in a couple more years you won’t be able to get the CD anywhere? Nah, don’t worry, guess which online retailer will fill this void? It’s www.thegoodzonline.com who will compete with the likes of Itunes.com and Amazon.com, whose tied with Walmart for overall sales (CD + digital) and right on the heels of Best Buy for CDs in the first half of 2010.
-Pro Music Records and Entertainment Media