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The Importance Of A YouTube Lyric Video

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If you begin to get a fanbase, what will inevitably happen, is fans will share your songs as YouTube videos. If you get an even bigger fanbase, you will want to become one of YouTube's content partners and make money from your popularity. While it is common knowledge you should post all of your songs to YouTube with at least a single frame video, what is not common knowledge is that you should also give your fans a better experience than that if you want to get them to watch your YouTube videos instead of the other one's out there. One way to do that is by making a lyric video, since most fans wont put this amount of effort in. You can also add together quick live footage or behind-the-scenes pictures that fans wont have access to. All of this can make it so that your YouTube's are what the fans go to.

TopSpin Media Is Now Open To The Public

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Ian Rogers - Interview for WEarePANEL from We are PANEL on Vimeo.

The moment many of us have been waiting for. TopSpin Media is now open to anyone with enough cash flow to use it! Go check out their website and start learning some of the best tools in the music business!

SoundCloud-Premiere from Lee Martin on Vimeo.

In what looks to be a clean way to debut (of for that matter stream it anytime) your album on Soundcloud has announced Premiere. Read up here and watch the above video!

One of the things that some bands will never get is that when they litter their pages with EPKs, press photos and a bio listing their achievements is it says a lot about you. You are a band looking to impress the music industry, not a band concerned with growing their band's fanbase. What that also says, is you are more concerned with someone scooping you up for stardom, rather than someone who is willing to work to build a fanbase (aka someone no one wants to work with). Make your social networks a useful place for making new fans, not a place to brag about having opened for Puddle of Mudd's reunion tour and other not-so-glowing achievements.
One of the biggest time wasters in managing your group is to have to send emails to parts of your team asking for passwords, addresses, press clips, bios, etc. One way to solve this is to make a wiki in Google Docs for your group.

With this wiki you can store all of the regularly used information and share it with the members of your team who often need it like band members, management, label and booking. A well done wiki can not only save countless hours of useless fetching and email writing, but it helps keep information that can easily be forgotten in one easy place. Simply invite the members of your team who should be a part of it to the doc and start storing information. Easy!

What Is SoundExchange? In Their Own Words

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wholenote.pngOne of the details that often gets ignored in song composition is the length of notes in your melody. Keep them consistent and finding the right place to let go of a note is one of the most important things you can pay attention to make your melody work. The Secrets of Songwriting blog has a great discussion of this, check it here.
Last week we talked about the importance of getting your tourdates on Songkick since they aggregate concert dates to countless outlets, increasing fan awareness of when you are touring. Today they announced a partnership with Soundcloud so that you can now see your dates on your Soundcloud page! Read more here.

Geo-Target For Better Show Promotions

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We all know that raising awareness for your shows is one of the best ways to get a big turnout. But when you have a national fanbase, annoying your fans about the big local show can be a quick way to get your messages ignored. So, what is the solution to the fact that you want to increase your show turn out without annoying your fans who live nowhere near your upcoming shows? Geo-Targeting! Follow me to the jump and I will explain further.

We, know, we know, we know. Our comments system has always sucked. We now have our comments through the service Disqus. Which means commenting will be easy and fast from here on out! Enjoy and sorry it took so long!
MOB Song kick.pngOne of the most important parts of getting fans out to shows is to make sure they know you are coming to town. One of the most under utilized tools for this is to link your Songkick profile. By linking this page fans can sign up to get updates when ever you are in town for the duration of your career. This insures they will be aware of when you come around. Songkick shares concert listings with Bandcamp, Yahoo, YouTube, Hype Machine, BBC, Mobile Roadie, etc., so more people can find out about your gigs. If your gigs aren't showing up on Songkick learn how to make them do so here.

QR Codes are becoming all the rage! Last week, we saw Odd Future Use a QR Code as their album cover on The Jimmy Fallon Show. Now this week we see the group Glasser using QR Code's to unlock a secret site. Cool things are happening!
musformation_blogbanner1.JPGThe good folks at Jango are always updating us on their cool new features.  One we were really excited to hear about was the Realtime Listener Feed.  This dynamic feature allows further interaction of artists, songs and listeners as it happens.  If you're already a Jango user you can log in to your Airplay account and see exactly who is listening to your music (including what song they're currently hearing, why your song matched their station and the listener's location).  From there it's easy to click on your listeners and learn more about them and their music habits.  When listeners became 'fans' they show up in your feed, allowing you to email them directly.  It also shows you what songs you have in rotation that are generating the most fan activity. Overall a very useful feature that can sharpen your marketing focus. 

To help promote this new feature, the folks at Jango are offering Musformation readers 100 free spins when you sign up for the first time.  Click on the image above to get started.  Very generous offer from a very useful service that is quickly getting better and better. 
We all know that bands are starting their own labels every day. Paste Magazine has a list of all the saavy artists who are doing so and why they are doing it. A nice read on a trend that will only continue to grow.
boomerang if i dont.png
Wow! If there has ever been a life changing email tool it is Boomerang. The script allows you to schedule emails and now has one of the coolest functions I have ever seen - the ability to have your email service email you back if the recipient doesn't email you back! It takes one minute to install Boomerang and can save you a lifetime of problems of remembering if everyone you asked to do something actually did it. Amazing!

Enable Community On Your Tumblr Blog

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disqus2.jpgWe all know Tumblr is one of the best ways to promote your music on the Internet today. In order to get it to reach its full potential it is important to make sure you are using all the tools that allow you to grow your community and let your fans bond with one another.  Some of these tools are explained below.

Ask Me Anything And Bond With Your Fans
The Ask Me Anything function can be a great way to bond with fans. This puts a button in your profile where fans can interact with you and you will answer questions publicly in the timeline. While this function can be a great way for your fans to see you are a real person, it can get really annoying if you are clogging up everyone's Tumblr timeline with answers all day long.

Community And Comments

If you do start to clog up your Tumblr timeline with Ask questions you can add a comment section to your Tumblr using the social commenting service Disqus ( This will allow fans to comment on your Tumblr posts and allow fans to converse with one another as well as you. Make open threads or question threads. You can even start conversations with fans.

Tourbinder To Launch At SXSW

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Tourbinder Intro from Tourbinder on Vimeo.

Tourbinder is an ultra-cool service that finds bands fans via their social networks and routes a tour through the cities where they have the most fans. It helps bands book, budget, and manage the best tours possible.

Why Arcade Fire Deserved The Album Of The Year

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Arcade Fire The Suburbs Synchronized Artwork Version from ian rogers on Vimeo.

As you may have heard, a major-label-praising, marketing executive by the name of Steve Stoute, took out a full page ad in the Sunday New York Times (at an estimated $40k price tag), lashing out at the fact that The Arcade Fire took the Album of the Year over more mainstream artists like Eminem and Katy Perry. In short, he lamented the fact that the music industry didn't work in the usual corrupt, "payola" ways and did not reward the.artists who spend big bucks on their popularity. Stoute argues that, "Using Eminem's, Kanye West's or Justin Bieber's name in the billing to ensure viewership and to deliver the all-too-important ratings for its advertisers," should then mean they also receive awards for this draw. A puzzling notion for most of us egalitarians, who are enthused that the music business is shifting in a way where corruption and money doesn't buy merit and reward. The letter reinforces the notion of major-label-fat-cats and ad execs who are disappointed when their money doesn't buy them the results which they feel should lead to trophies on their shelf. 

Stoule's leading hypothesis reads that, "I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture." An idea send most of us into a cackling laughter, since we felt this way for years until the events of last Sunday night. For some time, most of us have lamented the bizarre ways the Grammy's have determined who they award their prize. Instead of focusing on which artists made the relevant contribution to the musical community, they instead rewarded an "old boys club" of familiar names and legacy artists.

Famously, rock dinosaurs Jethro Tull beat Mettalica's Black Album for Metal Album of the Year, subsequently sending smoke out of many music fan's ears. When one of the most important albums in a genre's history was trumped by a group that hardly fell into the category, it showed the flaws in the Grammy's merit system. This error was a telling illustration that which ever group had a familiar name with an aged musician demographic took the prize. Allowing out-of-touch music veterans to vote on musical genres they do not appreciate or participate in often led to mind-boggling outcomes like the Jethro Tull incident. Flaws that Stoule points out, but saw it more as a snub to mainstream artists who had earned the award by buying their way into pop culture relevance.

This year we saw a new pattern emerge. The Grammys choose to honor an album that will have a cultural impact for years to come. When The Arcade Fire won, we finally found the The Grammy's getting it right for the first time in decades. While I do not personally enjoy The Arcade Fire's latest album (though my 60-year-old Mother does) it cannot be argued that they did not create a record that will shape culture for years to come, much more so than Eminem's, Katy Perry or Lady Antebellum (I can't bring myself to disparage Lady GaGa, since there is no doubt that she has stepped out of the box and shaped music in her own way, but was heavily awarded for the original version of her record at the 2010 Grammys).

To understand why The Grammy's decision was so smart you need to understand what The Arcade Fire's The Suburbs did different. In the above video you can see the use of Podcast multi-media technology merged into the popular Apple iTunes album format, which changed the digital album experience in a way no one has in a long time. By embedding Wikipedia links and the lyrics to the record in a unique and new fan experience, the group gave listeners a new way to understand a lyrical message behind the record. The group also employed an interesting method of mastering the record by pressing the record to individual 12" singles to capture the character of vinyl and releasing that as the digital version, so that all of their dans would experience what the sound of the LP format would bring to the record. Not to mention also employing, interactive videos that push boundaries that none of the other artists up for this nomination were doing (GaGa aside). All the while doing this on an indie label budget and using countless outside-the-box marketing techniques to get noticed and debut at #1 on the Billboard charts.

True music fans like to think the artists who are going to get these awards are going to be artists who are remembered for years to come. The Grammys took a leap of faith that Justin Bieber will probably go the way of Tiffany, Hanson or The Backstreet Boys, aka groups who exist as nostalgia. History will be the judge of this, but what we can say is that no one made a more groundbreaking, memorable and challenging album experience in the mainstream this year than The Suburbs. The Grammys rewarded that, rather than another artist who will fade into reality TV obscurity or become a Where Are They Now? factoid. We should be taking out ads in praise of this institution finally refining their system to reward innovation and bold vision, instead of trying to restore the corrupt days of gatekeepers rewarding those with financial advantage and brand name familarity.

Turn Used Gift Cards Into Guitar Picks

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DSC05114.JPG Let's be honest gift cards can be quite an annoyance. You may also have countless Dropcards laying around from a past album that is no longer in demand. There is now a cool service that will turn your used cards into Guitar picks. The possibilities are endless! (via The NJ Underground)

An Interview With Bandcamp's Ethan Diamond

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A List Of Useful Facebook Search Engines

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As Facebook seems to keep becoming one of the most important marketing tools a band can use it is important to know the search tools available for it. All Facebook has a great article on the various search engines you can use to search Facebook that you should make yourself aware of in order to market your music better

Making Money From Covers

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We all want to make money making music rather than sitting in an office. The Music Think Tank has up a great article on how to make money by making covers. Check it out for some inventive ways for added income.

Headliner.FM Ups Its Analytic Game

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Headliner.FM has come out with some awesome new analytic stats so you can now make your campaigns all the more effective. If in the past you wanted to learn how to hone in your campaigns and walked away disappointed, check back in and see some awesome new ways to help promote your music.
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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.