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Bandize - Dashboard from Bandize on Vimeo.

Yesterday we told you that Bandize has left beta! The above video shows some of the inner workings of the dashboard inside Bandize. This dashboard shows some of the potential of this platform as an organizing tool so that you can get more done.

The ReverbNation App for Facebook can up the very limited Facebook Band/Musician pages into something much more usable. The above video will show you how to navigate the always more complicated than it should be interface of Facebook.
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OK, I know a lot of you have been not reading full articles lately and I can't blame you since business data is quite a snooze. All the headlines you saw that the iPod is dying do not mean we have hit some revolution where people are standing up to MP3's, a economic slowdown or that people are buying Zunes. Apple sold 5.5 Million iPhones in the last 3 months THOSE ARE STILL TECHNICALLY iPODS! Apple and their portable music format isn't slowing down it is gaining momentum still. They have obsoleted their own product. So let's stop the twittering because this one took more than 140 characters to explain.

TopSpin Reveals The Bigger Picture

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I know, I know we talk about TopSpin like every day right now. But this is exciting news. Digital Music News is reporting that TopSpin's recently announced partnership with InGrooves will be a beta test of their future platform that will allow a self serve aspect to the company amazing platform. What does this mean in English? Smaller artists could soon have an amazing tool to be used to market and sell their music online! We will keep you posted.
You may have heard through the music industry grapevine that the band Thrice - an influential indie prog metal band - had their record leak nearly three months before it's release date. The release was available for streaming to a few music industry insiders and even had a voiceover track on the top of it to water mark it. This did not stop a web proficient hacker from going into Vagrants server and snatching it up.

What now? The band just released a statement that they will be releasing it digitally ASAP but the album artwork isn't even finished so there is no chance to get it out in it's physical form. Obviously this will have a huge impact on potential sales from a band with a large and rabid fanbase who has been at it for years.

What is the record industry to do about this? It is time for us to forget this pissing contest and first sales week garbage. Join the Internet age and realize the first second anyone can stream a song they want it and are used to getting it. Do not make the songs able to be heard until you can release it. For further reading:

following.pngThe 2000 Follow rule is the bane of every group's existence who is trying to market themselves by adding tons of followers who may potentially like their group. We have been doing a ton of experimentation with the Musformation Twitter as well as some of our friends bands. After the jump I will explain our findings about how to follow people on Twitter in a smart way, how great our results have been by numbers and some of the common mistakes people make when they do this.

Bandize Leave Beta Launch New Features!

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We have already told you about Bandize a virtual band manager that boasts features like:

  • Tour Management including mapping, show contacts, financial tracking, etc.
  • Easy to use accounting facilities
  • Social network syncing for many of the popular sites (Myspace, PureVolume, with Facebook and Last.FM coming later)
  • Merch Management
  • Contacts list
  • Pivitol Tracker so everyone knows what needs to get done
  • Keep track of reviews, logos, designs, art etc.
They have left Beta you can see they have priced themselves for $15 a month (you can try a 30 day trial) unless you are a label and adding more than 5 bands. They also added a few new features:

  • Import existing shows from Myspace to avoid entering them all into Bandize.
  • Import existing contacts from Outlook, Apple Address Book, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, CSV, and vCard.
  • Ability to download and print a PDF day sheet and/or tour book.
  • ICS calendar feed for syncing dates from Bandize to Google Calendar, iCal, Entourage, Outlook, etc.
  • Email integration using BCC to auto associate and notate external emails with existing Bandize contacts (basically a log of conversations without having to manually log them in Bandize).
Looks like a great service every band should check out for better organization and efficiency. Check it out!
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On Thursday Myspace will be rolling out a a new feature that everyone should take advantage of before someone else snatches up their name. Despite Myspace's death it would be better to grab this and have it than letting someones else grab it in case Myspace makes a comeback. PaidContent has the deal:

"The News Corp (NYSE: NWS). social network, like competitor Facebook, allows messaging--a much-used service--but this will give them their own addresses "" in what was described to me as a "logical extension of that relationship."

The launch will be soft and low key, with a slow build toward a full roll out well before the end of the year. Some members already have access as part of the company's testing and it is being adjusted with their feedback as part of an iterative process that will be ongoing. MySpace needs to be careful; if they turn on the hose too fast, they could wind up with a huge problem should something go awry. MySpace declined comment."

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The Music Think Tank is thinking out loud again today. They want to know whether and it is more important for an artist to Invest in live show gear or invest in making a better record? A great question getting some good answers over in their comments. They have also added a radio station that any artist reading the site can upload their music to. Great idea you may be seeing from another website soon... Who could it be?
Fuck England011.jpgFrom ARS Technica:

"According to Telindus' survey of 2,000 UK adults, a full 50 percent of men who download various media said that they never paid for content online, compared to 38 percent of women. Don't get too worked up over this battle of the sexes, though--neither number is particularly good for content owners. Three out of five (60 percent, for those keeping track) adults said they didn't believe musicians should profit from their music and videos being downloaded online, and more than two-thirds said the same of TV and filmmakers."

Charlie Rose is and amazing interviewer but he is isn't known for his gotcha questions (probably because he has never interviewed Sarah Palin). However he does ask cutting and important questions at times and when matched with a challenged wit like Chris Anderson's he got him while he dodged his way out of one of the best points about his painfully stupid book, when discussing The New York Times dimly lit future. Never mind when he tried to use Charlie Rose himself as an example of Free working. HEY DIMWIT IT'S CALLED PUBLIC BROADCASTING! PUBLIC AS IN FREE WITH NO ADVERTISING AND MEANT TO BE INGESTED BY ALL! WE PAY FOR IT WITH OUR TAX DRIVES AND PLEDGE DRIVES! It's not to build market share, go viral or promote it is because we the people subsidize it! Breathe from the nose not the mouth!

The NY Times has put up an awesome article on the emerging options for artists to get involved with investors as opposed to controlling label deals. Seeing as selling 80 or 100,000 records is no longer successful to many major labels, this model is becoming more and more necessary as profit margins decrease. Citing Brian Message and Terry McBride's new "label" Polyphonic as an example and outlining their business model. The article also cites the success of Metric who have been successful shunning the use of a label as we have covered much before. Check out a must read article.

We save you the trouble of going to a million websites and just tell you what garbage is worth skimming over.
Further proving my point from yesterday that the idea of making 2 minute "trailers" for songs that will be played on pop radio may be one of the stupidest ideas floated today - we have an article published yesterday on about how the kids of today are listening to their music. As I am sure will come as no shock to any of you who have seen the outside world in the past few years, it is via Last.FM, Jango and Pandora. As the kids state in the article:

"Sam Davies, 16, a student at Needham High School, searches for new iPod tunes on sites like Pandora Radio, an Internet service that streams customized play lists. Turn on the car radio? "Almost never,'' Davies said. "I plug in my iPod. It's got 6,000 songs on it.''
So remind me again how playing 2 minute clips of songs on the radio is going to save the industry again? FAIL!
Leaving a job especially in the music industry is a delicate situation. Thankfully LifeHacker has published a great idea on how to leave any job and keep it civil and professional so there is no bad blood.
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LOOK! Aren't you excited Billboard The Journal of Dead Music Industry Ideas has a new layout! Don't worry it is the same boring major label ass kissing and glorification of their terrible ideas. We have a suggestion for them, change your editorial not your layout and maybe you can save this sinking ship.
Ugh, iTunes reviews. On the one hand it is wonderful that you no longer need to listen to blow hard "taste maker" record reviewer retards tell you whether a record is good or not. On the other hand it gives every moron on earth the right to write the worlds stupidest review. They can be an endless sea of people giving bad reviews to their ex's favorite band and rants about how much a band sucks because their significant other has a crush on the singer and various other equally brain dead reasons to trash a band.

With good reason some reviews are bad, in fact any record that is truly great is going to get both astounding and horrific reviews. The one problem is many people actually read these reviews to see if they should buy a record. I recommended the new Mew record to a friend the other day and he said "It got terrible reviews on iTunes." After I spit out my drink I realized these reviews do matter.

So what do you do about this? Keep an eye on your iTunes reviews! You can say that a review wasn't helpful when someone gives your release a bad review and it will demote the review. Ask your fans to write more reviews of it that promote your record to make the people saying bad things be marginalized.
flickr.pngPart of the job of being your own publicist is the ability to collect and sort things. One of the main things about being a publicist is collecting, saving and neatly labeling your press clippings so they can be used for later. If you are the type of group who is looking to get signed to a label, having all of this stuff readily available is great to be able to show to A&R. If you are going to go it alone having every press clipping, interview, and review readily available can open doors to booking agents, better distribution and opportunities. There are tools you should be using anytime you get publicity these day no matter how big or small.
  1. Screen Capture - If you get a good or even mediocre review online take a screen capture. If you are on a Mac click Shift + Apple + 3. On a PC you will need to use Google and choose some screen capture software. Once you have captured the screen you can either add it to a program like EverNote or upload it to Flickr. If you aren't the type who wants to show the whole world your publicity you can make the Flickr library a private collection. It does come off as cheesy to show off all your press clippings all the time so this is advisable.
  2. Digital Camera - If you get some publicity in a print publication, simply use your phone or digital camera to shoot it and upload it to Flickr. If the print is hard to read take numerous pictures of the same clipping. 
  3. Video Capture - Knowing how to download YouTubes if you get on TV and or getting someone to digitize your videos is super important and uploading it to Flickr or YouTube is an essential skill. There are countless methods used to do this and each situation requires a different set of skills. To download YouTubes use tools like Gazzump.
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For Jimmy Eat World's latest release Clarity Live they decided to give their fans a really cool bonus. On their website is a track by track recap of stories from the recording and songwriting of their 10 year old classic record Clarity. As a fan of their band and knowing many other fans we all were very excited to get a look at what they did to make one of our favorite records. This is also a great idea for any band looking to give their fans bonus content for their next release. Check it out.
TechDirt has an article that is running wild through the Internet based on a simple equation:

Connect with Fans (CwF) + Reason to Buy (RtB) = The Business Model

While it isn't that new and is based on a model that artists like NIN and Metric among others, have been using with for their latests releases and are the basis of companies like TopSpin's service. This idea will be a large part in the future of the music industry. Read more about TechDrit's idea and how they are implementing it here.
Via a deal with IODA there will be two million tracks of independent artists added to Spotify before their US launch. With Android and iPhone Apps on the way Spotify promises to make a revolutionary splash on the industry in the coming months. If you have not gotten your music on to the service yet check out our article on Ditto Music to get it there.

We save you the trouble of going to a million websites and just tell you what garbage is worth skimming over.
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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.