OFF THE RECORD 011: COMMERCIAL METAL

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Bands That Write The Same Album

  • The Dangerous Summer and Rise Against versus Brand New.
  • Personal experiences.
  • Reinventing yourself, by The Gaslight Anthem.
  • From the producer’s perspective.
  • From the blogger’s perspective.
  • From the fan’s perspective.

The Merch Gap

  • What does merch actually cost?
  • Merch cost versus vinyl cost.
  • Price matching.
  • Type of tour versus type of venue versus genre.

Earplugs 

  • Do you wear earplugs to shows?
  • Why you should be doing so.
  • Jesse’s ears are pretty important.
  • Zack has hearing loss.

Vinyl Habits

  • Do you budget yourself?
  • How do we decide what to buy?
  • The collection.

Recommendations: Jacob The Rabbit by ParkThe Talk Show with guest Ben Thompson, The Internet’s Own Boy.

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OFF THE RECORD 010: I THOUGHT IT WAS EASY TO MAKE GOOD MUSIC

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Follow-up: Vinyl reissues

  • How to contact a major label for a reissue.
  • If you need to be an S-Corp to get in touch with labels.

Viral Hoaxes -> Good vs Cheap Marketing

Conflict Of Interests: Jesse and Zack are doing some more stuff

Making Good Music

  • It’s really hard. Jesse has a great hypothesis.
  • From the perspective of the: Producer, manager, label.
  • The Klaxons got sent back to the studio.
  • Full circle with the identity of your band or image.

Recommendations: The Jade Tree catalog.

Sponsored by: 

  • Get More Fans: A 700 page, extensive guide with the resources and methods to promote your band. Detailing everything you need to know to get people to listen to your music and the art around it. Now with 20 more pages including a bonus chapter on the daily habits you can do to get fans for your music.
  • Bad Timing Records: Check out Bad Timing for new Park and Knuckle Puck releases in addition to Acceptance, Valencia, and Mansions reissues.

Franchise Launch “Mobile Tour”

NJ band Franchise has launched what it has dubbed a “Mobile Tour” where they will do targeted advertising in a different city each day to try to have fans encounter a live set they filmed at a local studio. Below is a brief explanation of the idea behind the tour and in the above video you can check out what the band is doing.

“Sometimes, dropping everything in your life and going on tour is simply a bad business decision,”

drummer Corrado Rizzi said. “Is that what we’d love to do for the rest of our lives? Of course it is. But

we weren’t willing to sacrifice our ethos of always making good business decisions as a band to take

such a massive risk in an increasingly murky and unstable music industry. On the flip side, we know

our music deserves to be heard around the world. That is where The Mobile Tour came from.”

When a new band heads out on the road for the first time it’s really tough to grab the attention of

promoters in other states let alone getting people to come out and see a band they never heard of. There

are thousands of bands who share the same dream of being on the road and we wanted to find a way to

stand out, a way for people to give this band a chance. “Im not claiming myself a seasoned veteran in

any way or a road dog of sorts. I did a bunch of DIY tours along with some tours backed by labels and

larger booking agencies and had the time of my life but, from a business perspective it wasn’t exactly

ideal no matter the situation and no matter “who had our backs”. It was never about the money until

the student loans, rent, car payments and other responsibilities that come with getting older started

pouring in” Costa said. “I started to be observant with how many people came through the door when

we stopped in a new city (minus members of the other bands) and I noticed that on a good night maybe

10-15 people came to see their friend’s band and we just happened to be on the bill? That’s 10-15 new

potential fans. Now, why couldn’t we have the same effect reaching these 10-15 potential new fans by

successfully using social media and digital advertising in a smart/creative way?”

For 32 days Franchise is set to target 32 different cities bringing their live show to smartphones and

computers of potential fans. Through digital advertising the band is able to distribute their live set

to these potential fans, who share the same interest in style of music within a 25 mile radius of the

targeted city of that day. “Digital Advertising can be a very powerful tool for musicians, if it’s used

properly. It’s all about knowing which audience to target and how to target them. Through conversion

pixels we even see who is watching us and who likes what we’re doing. This confirms which audience

is delivering the most impressions deeming that individual ad a success or failure,” Costa said. With the

power of social media, Franchise is also getting interest from individuals in other markets across the

country. “Just by using hashtags on twitter and Instagram related to whatever city we are targeting that

day we are getting positive responses from new fans even promoters in these other markets which is

huge for this project,” Costa said. The band isn’t expecting a million views on their video either. “If we

get the 10-15 new potential fans to check it out each day, it’s a success in our book, it will just prove

that this works,” Rizzi said. The Mobile Tour was put in place to build a fan base in other markets

before the band physically gets there. The goal is to be able to prove to promoters that there are people

in their area who are interested in the band and that the draw could be promising.


OFF THE RECORD 009: BLOGGER? I BARELY KNOW HER

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Net Neutrality

  • The principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication (via Wikipedia).
  • John Oliver destroys the FCC.
  • Cable companies attempting to create unequal playing field for internet speeds.
  • Netflix: It uses a massive amount of data, so an ISP might throttle it’s service, like if you have an unlimited data plan, and use it for gbs a month and then throttle you. Netflix might be incentivized to pay Comcast for better streaming to their customers to keep relations high, but what about if Netflix was just starting today and didn’t have capital. They wouldn’t be able to pay for the “fast lane”
  • The FCC wants to hear from you.
  • There should only be on internet. Not fast, not slow, not anything in the middle. Just, one.
  • Cable providers spend millions of dollars per year in lobbying. Small companies cannot lobby
  • Music Freedom: T-Mobile will not count streaming services in Spotify, iTunes Radio, etc against data gaps. Sounds great, but it’s a slippery slope. Everything is not the same with this. Arbitrary free and fast and normal lanes.
  • Lawrence Lessig’s MayDay PAC.

on music, blogging, and the horrific intersection of the two

  • Drew Millerd, Editor at Noisey.
  • A man quits rapping because bloggers didn’t love him.
  • What came first, the blogger or the egg?
  • Bloggers don’t make people popular, people make people popular.

How royalties for small and big labels work. How royalties for reissues work.

  • Reissues: in relation to Bad Timing Records and Acceptance.
  • Royalties: 50/50 or PPD.
  • Rise Records versus Run For Cover Records.

Recommendations: White LungVoice & Verse Podcast.

Sponsored by: 

  • Get More Fans: A 700 page, extensive guide with the resources and methods to promote your band. Detailing everything you need to know to get people to listen to your music and the art around it. Now with 20 more pages including a bonus chapter on the daily habits you can do to get fans for your music.
  • Bad Timing Records: Check out Bad Timing for new Park and Knuckle Puck releases in addition to Acceptance, Valencia, and Mansions reissues.

Check out Steven Rennie’s CreativeLive Class On Breaking Into The Music Business

Music industry veteran and Renman Music & Business founder, Steve Rennie (aka “Renman”), will return to the CreativeLive stage for the course, “Dream It, Do It: Breaking Into The Music Industry,” on Wednesday, July 2 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. PDT (12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EDT). CreativeLive classes are always well produced and contain knowledge you don’t get anywhere else. Check out the course description below.

Breaking into the music industry is the dream you share with pretty much everyone else on the planet. And there is whole infrastructure designed to keep you out. But you don’t have to obey the gatekeepers. Steve Rennie is here to show you how to carve your own path to success.

With over 30 years in the music business as a concert promoter and former manager of platinum-selling rock band Incubus, Steve draws on his experience to coach and mentor the next generation of artists and music pros. In Dream it, Do it: Breaking Into The Music Industry, Steve is going let you in on what it takes to get your foot in the door and where to go from there. You’ll learn how to find a way over, around, or through anybody, or anything standing in your way. You’ll get straight-shooter insight on what separates winners from losers to how to strike when the iron is hot.

Talent is common, but having what it takes to make it in the music biz is an entirely different set of skills. Steve is here to teach you them.


OFF THE RECORD 008: PAY TO PLAY FOR MY HEART

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Follow-up: Amazon Prime

  • Amazon Prime costs $99/year not $99/month (duh).
  • Amazon launched the Fire Phone.

The legal necessities for starting your own label or band

  • LLC or S-Corp.
  • Taxes are scary, but don’t forget about them.
  • Find a lawyer.
  • Find an accountant.
  • Be realistic with your goals and needs.

YouTube will block videos from artists who don’t sign up for its paid streaming service

  • The gist: Those who don’t opt in to YoUTube’s ad-free streaming service and are indie artists will have their videos blocked.
  • YT’s Head Of Content’s reasoning: to ensure that all content on the platform is governed by its new contractual terms.
  • Affects Jack White, Adele, Arctic Monkeys on large scale

Our goal is to continue making YouTube an amazing music experience, both as a global platform for fans and artists to connect, and as a revenue source for the music industry. We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind — to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year. We are excited that hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us.

How YouTube’s Subscription Terms Will Hurt Indies – No Content Removal Required

  • “Their negotiations with indies is heavy-handed at a minimum and might be illegal at worst,” they said the executive. “YouTube and Google always do what they want, because that’s how they operate.

Repeat After Me: I Will Not Pay To Play Shows

  • What is pay to play?
  • Is there any good from it?
  • Should this stop?
  • Maybe more bands should be doing shows on their own.
  • Bill Gazzari’s pay to play controversy.

Recommendations: Obvious ChildRe:WorkThe Grand Budapest HotelWar All The Time by Thursday. 

Sponsored by: 

  • Get More Fans: A 700 page, extensive guide with the resources and methods to promote your band. Detailing everything you need to know to get people to listen to your music and the art around it. Now with 20 more pages including a bonus chapter on the daily habits you can do to get fans for your music.
  • Bad Timing Records: Check out Bad Timing for new Park and Knuckle Puck releases in addition to Acceptance, Valencia, and Mansions reissues.

Interview with HIP Video Promo’s Andy Gesner

I have covered the music business for the last 6 years and in that time I have done nearly a hundred interviews but none was more informative about the realities of how getting your video to spread works. For the last 15 years Andy Gesner at HIP Video Promo has been helping the smallest of DIY acts on up to huge acts like The Pixies, Paramore, Jet, The Lumineers and tons more get their music video on the air on the modern era.

Some of the great points Andy makes during the interview is how important it is that he is honest with everyone he works with. Unlike any other video promotion service I have seen, when Andy gets a video he knows he can’t pitch and won’t do the band any good promoting, he is honest with them about this and doesn’t just take their money and work with them. Instead he is honest with the group and coaches them through what they need to do in the future to accomplish their goals.

So what does a video promotion company do? Well HIP is a bit different, they don’t just put a bot on your YouTube video, instead they pitch it to the appropriate outlets for your music. This could be anything from video networks that play inside mall stores to MTVu, CMT, Fuse on to other emerging video technologies. I strongly urge you to listen to this interview, since I learned A LOT from it and I have been in this business for a long time. This part of the business is greatly misunderstood and it is great to hear from someone who does it for DIY acts as well as some of the biggest in the game. After you’re done be sure to check out HIP’s website. 


Hi-Art Allows Musicians To Sell Fans Emoji Stickers

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 2.34.33 PMHi-Art is a really cool service that allows musicians to sell fans emoji stickers of logos and other fun designs around their music. The platform already has designs from Wu Tang Clan, The Misfits and many more as well as tons of famous graffiti artists designs. Musicians are able to sell their fans cool, fun emoji that they can text their friends ( even if they don’t have the app installed) and spread the word about their music with. Check out this great new service here or email info@hi-art.me to work with them.

Also, check out the cool write up Pitchfork gave them for more examples of the cool things you can do with the service.


Off The Record Podcast Ep. 7 Yo Yo Mosh

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Follow-up:
1. Bandcamp

  • Name Your Own Price tool.
  • Bands get emails from supporters, unlike on Facebook.
  • Older labels like Jade Tree, Deathwish, Polyvinyl taking advantage.
  • The Last.fm of today?

2. Amazon Prime Music

  • Free for all Prime subscribers at $99/year.
  • Has 1,000,000 songs to start.
  • No Universal Music Group artists like blink-182, Jay Z, New Found Glory, Lady Gaga.
  • Web app is clunky, iOS app is useable.
  • Serves Amazon, not the artist.
  • An Amazon Smartphone may be coming.

One Year Or I’m Out

  • Bands needing “one year” to see if they’ve gotten enough popularity to make it worth continuing on for.
  • Geoff Rickly on Worst Gig Ever.
  • Often the first year ends up just being needed groundwork.
  • Fans must support those bands like Spraynard or Algernon before they’re gone.

Yo Yo Mosh

  • You Mosh, You Crowd Surf
    You Get Hurt
    We Get Sued
    No More Warped Tour
  • In relation to EDC and PSAs.
  • What’s the end game?

Warped Tour’s Woman Problem

  • Only 20 percent of the 120-plus acts include at least one female.
  • If you count the female population of the bands on an individual level, women make up only 6 percent of the tour.
  • Kevin Lyman’s quotes hurt the point of the article itself.
  • 6 women on Alternative Press cover in 3 years. 2 out of 5 times have been Hayley Williams.
  • The business of Warped versus the business of a magazine, and their duties.

Recommendations: Hey AnnaCreativity, Inc.

Sponsored by: 

  • Limited Run: An easy to set up direct to fan solution for labels and artists. Look into Cart Limiting, Digital Street Date, and more.
  • Card Included: The only self-service download card service around. Need download cards? There shouldn’t be another option for you.

OFF THE RECORD 006: I’LL GIVE YOU $100 TO LIKE MY POST

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The Evolution of Streaming

  • Last.fm’s failed potential and streaming.
  • The gold rush hasn’t happened yet.
  • Pandora’s slow decline.
  • Rdio: Recent Activity, Top Charts, New Releases Recommendations.
  • Spotify: Top Lists, Discover, Browse.
  • Spotify has 10 million paid US subscribers.
  • Beats and Apple might be the mainstream push needed.

The Decline of Facebook Page Engagement

Anniversary Shows and Tours

  • Thoughts on ten year tours versus “year seven” anniversaries.
  • Emotion versus money grabs.
  • Young bands playing their albums in full.
  • An older band’s set list responsibility.
  • Brand New does it right.

Recommendations: Ryan Holidays’s The Obstacle Is The WayMatter Of Time by Kevin Devine, Everything In Transit by Jack’s Mannequin.

Sponsored by: 

  • Limited Run: An easy to set up direct to fan solution for labels and artists. Look into Cart Limiting, Digital Street Date, and more.
  • Card Included: The only self-service download card service around. Need download cards? There shouldn’t be another option for you.