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A recording artist's best weapon is their intellectual property rights.  Many assume this pertains solely to copyrights but in actuality it refers: copyrights, right of publicity and trademarks.  Trademarks are lethal in negotiations and in today's market of 360 deals using your trademark as leverage is essential.  You MUST own a registered trademark, and if you do, you can own the label as opposed to a label owning you.

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Lately there has been a ton of controversy since Century Media has pulled their roster from Spotify and other streaming sites. Bob Lefsetz has posted an awesome takedown of this logic and is a must read for anyone who fears this new medium. Check out a great synopsis of a debate we will be continuing to hear for much of the future.

MUST READ: YouTube's Creators Playbook

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YouTube has made a very informative and interesting book on how to grow your audience on YouTube. If going viral is part of your strategy to get your music noticed this is a must read. Check it out here.
Tight Mix Blog has updated it's totally awesome and FREE E-Book How To REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs, which contains some amazing tips and is a book anyone looking to do online music promotion should check out. Get it and read up on it here.

To Google+ Or Not To Google+ For Bands

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Right now 10's of millions of people are flocking to Google+. This means many musicians are wondering how you can market your music on it. Google is telling bands, brands and musicians to hold off on making accounts since they will be making their version of Facebook Pages soon enough. That isn't stopping many bands though, and if you have a Gmail account for your group you can start adding fans to them and later on when Facebook gives us its solution for Pages you can direct your fans there.  UPDATE: Looks like it may be a bad idea. If you are hearing this and moaning about how you can't stand the idea of updating another social network Lifehacker has an article up that will tell you how to make this painless!

Presented without comment.

The always awesome Tight Mix Blog has up a great article with some great ideas on how to bring the physical album experience to the digital world. A great read when planning your next release.
Now that Spotify is available in America, how do you promote your music on there? This question has been dogging our inbox and we figured we should start to answer it.

The first way to share your music is to link your artist page on your various social networks. As people go to discover your music, you will be able to get paid when they listen and check you out (even if it is less than a penny, these things do add up). This will also make it so that your new fans can go to a place where they can add your music and get locked in to a lasting relationship with your music, if they star your music. You can get this URL by clicking the share button located on your artist page (note: you need to have uploaded your music to Spotify first) and copying the URL in the tweet you would send out. You can put this URL as a link with the Spotify logo on your website or anywhere else you would like to promote your music.

RootMusic has announced an exciting new addition to their service. Teaming with Songkick, Bandsintown and SonicLiving, they are now able to give your tour dates a more social feature set that can help get you more fans and higher concert attendance. Fans can now go to a band's RootMusic BandPage to see which of their friends are attending a show; creating the ability to RSVP for the show which then adds the event into their friend's news feeds. This can drive much more awareness for your gigs and really up your chances of having a successful show. By partnering with three of the best services in this game it makes it so it is easy for you to add this into your Facebook page and do less updating. Very exciting!
If you have looked on the Internet today, you know that Spotify has launched in the US today. This means Americans now will know what all of us with press passes and most of Europe have known for a while - this is a game changing music service.

When something makes this big a splash you obviously want your music there. In order to do so you can do some simple things. Both TuneCore and Reverb Nation aggregate to the service. To get your older records there you can simply add Spotify as one of your stores or change your plan. We have seen the royalty payments on Spotify and for some groups we work with they are right behind iTunes as the place our groups are making the most money from. Get on there and make sure people are sharing your music and you are making money from it!
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Mashable has up a fantastic article on how to maintain your group's Facebook presence. While much has been written on the subject this guide is one of the better bits of advice on an always changing landscape. Check it out here.

When Silence Is The Best Press

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The Atlantic has a great article up on recent trends in NOT pursuing press. While it goes against much of the advice we give on this site, it is an interesting read and strategy that may be right for your music. Check it out!

The world is a buzz about Turntable.FM and having fun taking turns DJing in cool little social media enhanced rooms. This is an amazing way to bond with your fans, play them cool music and also sell music. Whether it is you DJing with fans, inviting friends from other groups to come DJ in your room, you can announce to fans you will be DJing and get a crowd going and enjoying music. There is also links to buy on iTunes, Amazon and also to stream on sites like Spotify and Last.FM. Get your chat room going and don't miss out on one of the coolest things to come to the Internet in forever.
42556.jpgOne of the fastest growing revenue streams for bands is by unloading a backlog of concert posters.  Many groups are banking more with effective poster designs as opposed to selling music.  However, concert poster designs are packed full of legal red-tape, where bands may find themselves getting taken to the cleaners instead of receiving a bag full of cash.  

Read about the issues, as introduced through legal analyst Martin F Frascogna

Using Instagram To Promote Your Music

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Instagram is fast becoming a social network sensation. If you watch Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook you would think everyone has become an amazing photographer in the last few months. The service allows you to take photos with your iPhone, customize them with exciting filters (which make you look like a competent photographer) and share them on a wide variety of social networks. Mashable has up a great article that has some tips on how this service can grow your fanbase and make your fans happier. A must read for any band with an iPhone!
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I am sure you are seeing it or even having to delete it all the time. Some lame band asking your fans to listen to your page on your wall or even as comments on your pictures. All of a sudden you feel like you are in a time machine back to 2006 and on a site that people used to congregate on called MySpace. Most of us know this is lame and very uneffective.

The sad thing about seeing bands do this is that they could be spending their time doing things that will actually make them fans instead of this time wasting effort that yields little to no results. Here are a few ways you could spend your time better:

  • Write to some blogs
  • Comment on the blogs or message boards where you would like to be covered with a link to your group
  • Go out and meet fans of your group where they congregate in public
  • Work on writing better songs!
  • Make sure all of your websites are optimized and up to date.
  • Build relationships with people you would like to work with.

If you are trying to get your band's content shared by as many people as possible your life just got a little easier today. Two essential tools for your website have been launched on the same day. The first being Google's +1 button which will help make you come up higher in SEO results when friends Google your website content. This can be crucial in making sure your website comes up higher than your MySpace page in Google results. You can get the button by going here or watch the above video to see what it's all about. The second tool comes from Twitter which now has a one-click follow button. This means fans can now skip a click and immediately be following you on Twitter. You can get your's here.
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One of the cool tricks that has been popping up all over Facebook is that you can use an extra long vertical picture to do some advertising on your Facebook page. This means you can do a call to action with a great graphical look and yet your Facebook icon when you do updates can still just be one part of it that the news stream doesn't see! Simply adjust the view for the newstream when you make it your default pic. Check out Man Overboard's Facebook page to see the trick in action!
One of the silliest things bands still do in 2011 is to use their websites and social networks as a place to brag about who they've opened for, the venues they have played and where they have gotten good reviews. These are usually the same bands complaining about not having enough people at their shows, lack of a success promoting online and that no label is interested in them.

The fact is you could start to solve all of these problems by just focusing your strategy on giving your fans info they are interested in and a good experience on your website. By talking to your fans and giving them information they are interested in and a story about why they may relate to you, their is a greater chance you will gain fans and opportunity. After all the music business solves bands who already have a fanbase. Instead of posting whole reviews, tell the stories that inspire your songs. Instead of posting all of the bands you have opened for tell stories of experiences with these bands. Focus on making new fans instead of impressing the business people and life will get much easier.
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With Root Music and ReverbNation releasing features on their Facebook Apps that mandate you must Like the band's page in order to stream a track, many people are excited to take advantage of this new opportunity to create Facebook Like counts. However, there are some hidden pitfalls of this new feature that can prevent your music from being discovered by as many people as possible. Many people can be annoyed by the idea of they need to Like you in order to find out whether they actually like your music or not. If all of your tracks are set up that you need to "Like" your page in order for someone to decide if they do indeed actually like your music, you may be turning off potential fans who never click the button and find out if they actually like your music and want to become a fan.

While the temptation of growing your page's Like's is a tempting lure, ultimately what you are trying to do is get as many people to discover your music as possible. If you make all of your tracks a trade for this Like you are never going to make new fans who refuse to take part in that trade. One solution is to post many tracks to your page and for those people who are actually your fan and have listened to a few tracks, you can then make them Like your page in order to listen to more tracks. Doing this after the third or fourth track can ensure that these people are fans enough to get through a couple of your songs and in fact give them the reminder to Like you. As MySpace dies Facebook will become an even stronger tool for fans streaming and discovering groups making sure everyone who is interested enough to check out your music actually hears it is a crucial channel you need to maximize. Don't close off the gate to fans who are unwilling to say they Like you before they know that they actually like you.

5 Facebook Fan Page Screwups!

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When many people think about SEO and Facebook shares all they can think of is the big results they will be seeing. Eli Pariser gives a great talk that will show you that SEO is not an absolute and just cause your friend liked it on Facebook, doesn't mean someone else will see it. Amazing!

When do you get management?  When do you get an attorney?  When do you approach labels? As this posting is almost guaranteed to get me fired, use the information to your advantage and know when to listen, speak, and revolt.

Bandcamp Enables Pre-Orders

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Bandcamp has exciting news for everyone who uses their service. they now have a seamless pre-order system that allows fans to be automatically sent downloads of the music they purchased. Check out the other exciting features on their blog.
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It is no secret that online radio is one of the best ways to promote your music. With services like Pandora, Last.FM, Jango, Blip.FM and other services not only can you get your music before the ears of listeners who like the type of music you make, but you can also get paid for your plays as you begin to dominate the online radio airwaves.

It all comes down to this. As you come down to entering the studio and then recording your songs you are now tasked with one of the most difficult balancing acts ever known to man (ok... well maybe to musicians). We have written countless articles on how to avoid many of the pitfalls many musicians fall into when they go to capture their material. Read on and make something great for us all to hear.

With everyday, as the gatekeepers die and the major labels lose power it becomes more and more about just having a great song. This being the case you better start brushing up on your skills! We have assembled a lot of advice and tools for you to use to write better songs on the other side of this link.

When trying to break your music out of your circle of friends and out to the whole world, you are inevitably going to have to take on the hat of doing some publicity for your own music. As you begin to take on this large task there is numerous bits of advice that you may have overlooked on how to do this effectively. We have assembled numerous articles on how to take over the world of music and get it out there.

Now that you actually have songs recorded you need to get them out to the world to be heard. With every day that passes more and more amazing tools become available for artists to do this without the help of a label. We keep an up to date guide of everything you could ever want to know about what you should do in order to make the right choice on how to get your music out to the world.

Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Tumblr, YouTube all become more and more important everyday (well maybe not Myspace, but contrary to much chatter it is still important to know the most up to date ways to make Myspace feed your other pages). We keep musicians up to date with the most current ways to use all of these social networks to promote your music. If you are not reading our guides to social networks you are missing out on the crucial knowledge of how to promote your music with the most up to date techniques.

What separates the winners and losers is how well you handle playing live and then getting your show on the road. Playing live and touring may seem easy but there are countless pitfalls that one can encounted over time. We show you all the new tricks of the trade as well as wise advice that has been passed down over the years.

Managing a group of people and keeping everyone on the same page and motivated is one of the biggest make or break factors of any sucessful group. There are many emerging tools that can make this easier and we sort through them, all the while dispensing valuable advice on how to deal with your members with minimal chaos.

Getting covered by blogs is fast becoming one of the things that everyone wants to figure out. Sadly, there is not a lot of information out there on how to do just this. We have quite a few articles with the techniques we use to get the bands we work with on to some of the top blogs out there.