The 2017 Grammy Awards ushered in the future last night. Another year of music, another year of trend setters and another year of an evolving industry.
There were a few performance highlights for me this year. The Weekend showed the world that he can seriously sing! While I miss his sculpted hair, I’m glad it proved not to be his source of stardom. Ed Sheeran showed us how to perform solo but sound like a band without it feeling like karaoke. Side musicians could be in trouble? I was super impressed with Lukas Graham and Kelsea Ballerini. Lukas immediately earned space on my Spotify playlist. Guy Clark Jr and William Bell owned the night with their performance of “Born Under A Bad Sign!” It was great seeing Morris Day and The Time as they reminded everyone where Bruno Mars draws much of his musical inspiration. And speaking of Bruno Mars, he absolutely slayed the Prince tribute performance of “Purple Rain.” The Lady Gaga Metallica pairing was brilliant and added serious rockdom to the evening. But the most memorable 2017 Grammy performance moment will be when Adele stopped mid-performance, let a few explicit words fly, and re-started her George Michael tribute in the correct key. While I’m glad she found the right key, it felt somewhat like the redo I grabbed during my first piano recital at six years old. Sans the explicit lyrics of course.
The one big take away for me from this year’s Grammy Awards is that independent artists can find their way to the top of the music industry food chain. Chance The Rapper walked away with three Grammys without the backing of a record label. To top it off, his winning album Coloring Book is a streaming-only release. And that my friends signals a seismic shift in the music industry. That future we have been hearing about for the last few years just arrived.
Marketing Music in 2017 is more attainable than ever yet more difficult than ever.
Marketing attainability is greater than ever as the playing field has been leveled. Digital music services have made it possible for any artist to release music in key worldwide retail stores including iTunes, Spotify, GooglePlay and Amazon. Social networks have made it possible for anyone to market music at a very low cost.
Marketing is more difficult than ever as there are so many vehicles to choose from. Knowing where your target audience is hanging out is only the starting point. Due to accessibility of releasing music being made easy, an enormous amount of digital noise surrounding the mountains of music releases creates a crowded marketplace. Waining attention spans combined with the overcrowded marketplace makes it extremely difficult to harvest the clicks on your content.
So How Do You Market Music In 2017?
- Make incredible music!
- Spotify playlist are the holy grail. If your music isn’t featured on playlists you are invisible. Some playlists are owned by Spotify but many aren’t. Figure out how to get your music in front of playlisters. It is possible and your success depends on it
- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Find your customers and spend a little money to get in front of them.
- Make videos, make more videos and make even more videos. Youtube is the current generation’s MTV. The big difference is now anyone can play in the video space. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to advertise your videos to similar successful artists. It will reap views and exposure. People can’t connect with your music if they aren’t exposed to your music.
- Spend time with young people 16-23. They know whats new, where people are hanging out and how to navigate new technology and the new frontier. Listen and learn!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. October 7, 2016 —Curb Records releases new Ryan Corn digital single, The Pressure. Available immediately at all digital outlets including iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Playand AmazonMusic, The Pressure introduces a new grittier Corn. Best known for his Billboard® charting radio single, Wonderful Things, a song that logged 4 million+ Spotify listens establishing Corn as one of Curb Records’ top streaming artists. Listeners are sure to feel The Pressure while getting a taste of what to expect fromRyan Corn’s forthcoming record.
Self-producing Ryan Corn delivers the familiar thought provoking lyric style that listeners have grown to expect from him but Corn’s new production approach reveals a grittier sound with a hint of throwback. Enlisting the mixing skills of Grammy Award® winning Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys ) and vocal producing skills of Ben Shive (Colony House, Dave Barnes) brings a new feel to the singer songwriter’s sound. Corn shares “I’ve never been more proud to put my name on a project! With the help of some amazing people (Vance Powell, Ben Shive, Richard Dodd) I’ve made the record I’ve always strived for.”
Corn is currently featured on The Gray Havens college tour where he is introducing new songs from the forthcoming record at universities across the country. He will be performing at Napa’s Live In The Vineyard event this November and currently finalizing a spring college/club tour.
Curb Records artist and Missouri native Ryan Corn is making music that hits on every level. It’s infectious, brimming with hooks and style. Corn is also a producer, so he knows how to craft songs that bend genres and eras to full effect while injecting heart undergirding the formula. It’s a reflection of the soul of an artist whose desire is not just to get a song stuck in someone’s head, but to get it stuck in their heart, too.
For further information, visit ryancornmusic.com or contact Artist Garden Entertainment.
Artist Garden Entertainment
Why did Sonicbids kill Artistdata? A question I’ve been pondering since receiving the kill letter on Friday.
New internet tools for bands appear on the scene quite often. Some offer great innovative solutions while others merely clone other services. Tunecore, Bandcamp, CD Baby, ReverbNation, Fanbridge, Sonicbids and BandsInTown are among some of the elite survivors. Working as an artist manager leads me down the path of many of these services only to be disappointed and frustrated by limitations. One service I stumbled upon seven years ago, Artistdata, proved to be an incredibly useful tool. Finally, there was a service that offered one place to enter show information that would then magically appear on multiple sites. Artistdata created something pretty special for artists and the best part was that the service was free! While there were some growing pains along the way, Artistdata worked tirelessly to improve their service. As I began to dig in deeper with our artists, I discovered even more great features being offered to artists. One of my favorites is the Daysheet & Tourbook feature. Originally, those two features required a premium monthly subscription which came with a fee, but for a heavy touring band it was well worth the minimal fee. One day, the premium fee disappeared. Could this be real? That should have been a sign that something was cooking up in the back room. Indeed something was cooking as the announcement followed that Sonicbids had purchased Artistdata. Of course Sonicbids promised the purchase would only make Artistdata better.
Last week I received the disappointing letter that Sonicbids is decommissioning Artistdata.com on Oct 14 2016. Of course, the letter states that I should subscribe to Sonicbids and move all data to take advantage of Sonicbids’ great services. The only drawback is there is a substantial monthly fee and I don’t see the daysheet, tourbook and other services listed. I would imagine the founder of Artistdata, Brenden Mulligan, now has a garage full of Ferraris but right now I’m wishing I would never have been exposed to Artistdata as it is so painful to see it disappear.
If anyone has any suggestions on sites that offer the daysheet and tourbook features, please leave a comment!
Well, its June, and as usual, many folks are getting married or attending weddings. Nothing makes a wedding more special than a beautiful wedding song. While some lean to old favorites, millennials tend to look for something new and fresh. The Gray Havens have served up just the song for those millennials and hipsters at heart with their new song, “Band of Gold.” The song was produced by Ben Shive (Colony House, Andrew Peterson, Rend Collective) and the video was filmed/directed by Evan Bourcier at Valo Visuals. This new wedding story video from The Gray Havens is sure to stir some emotion and draw a tear or two from even the tough guys!
Seth Godin’s favorite new album is remarkable. An album that stands out amongst the plethora of new music being offered. Something with an independent spirit that raises the bar for future music offerings. Songs written with intelligent lyrics causing one to think and ponder. Unforgettable melodies that linger long after a single listen. An album that allowed the producer freedom to create outside the rules of the normal radio establishment. Seth Godin’s Favorite New Album is impossible to ignore. Its an epic experience that begs for a complete listen. His favorite new album is significant.
The Gray Havens have recorded a new album, Ghost Of A King. The new album holds many of the traits Seth’s new favorite album would most likely hold. The Gray Havens have been intentional about making music that stands out among the rest. Scribing lyrics that attract those who enjoy reading and weaving them into infectious melodies that can’t be forgotten. The husband/wife duo have created something quite remarkable with their new album Ghost Of A King. The Gray Havens’ devoted tribe of music loving book readers will not be disappointed with this new collection of songs.
When significant albums comes down the pike, readers of this blog generally want to be in the know. You will want to experience The Gray Havens Ghost Of A King .
Could an album trailer have similar impact on a music release as a movie trailer has on films? That is a marketing question I have been pondering over the last year.
I joined a meet-up group consisting of those who spend their time making films. The group includes, writers, directors, marketers, and actors. My desire is to glean marketing wisdom from the group in addition to finding film homes for some of the music we represent. While the music industry struggles with bringing the masses of the past and excitement to release week for new records, the film industry continues to deliver big box office numbers for release week of films. As I began to study the film industry, I noticed one thing that has remained constant since I can remember. The movie trailer is the key marketing tool for every single film. Where they place the trailers in the marketplace may vary, but they always use a trailer. The movie trailer builds excitement and anticipation for whats to come. Often times the trailer proves to be better than the movie. How many times have you seen a movie trailer and instantly made the decision to make plans see the movie during release week?
While working on marketing plans this year, I decided to try creating song and album trailers as a test. We hear from analytic experts how video content is king and people are more apt to click on a video than anything else marketers present so it seems like an obvious avenue to test. Of course, we don’t have the big film budgets, but video technology has advanced so rapidly that one can edit video fairly easily and cheap. The response to the the trailers has been quite nice compared to other ads we post. Its a bit early to determine how much of an impact the song and album trailers will have on street week, but they are definitely creating a buzz.
Below is a trailer we created for The Gray Havens upcoming April 8 release “Ghost of A King.” We decided to keep the trailer at 30 seconds to coincide with the public’s short attention span. Its a simple quick way to tease the viewer while leaving them the desire for more.
After you view it, leave your comments and how it stirred your interest for the release?
Something I often hear in Christian circles, is a common distaste for the overall sound of Christian radio. Many in the industry listen to Christian radio in short stints as a necessity for work but their personal preference is found in mainstream music. The complaints I hear are generated from college/young adult Christians, artists, producers, songwriters, record label employees and even some who work in radio. Reasons heard from those complaining include 1) the music sounds the same as what was being played ten years ago 2) every song sounds similar 3) radio plays the same handful of artists on repeat 4) the production isn’t relevant to what is being made in the mainstream. While some of those reasons may ring true, who is serving up solutions? Who feeds the music to radio?
I would argue that the radio playlists lie in the hands of the creators. If the artists, songwriters, producers and record company A&R teams refuse to feed radio the same formulaic music, wouldn’t radio be forced to change? When something new begins to work, what if creators resisted the urge to jump on the copycat bandwagon and instead chose to lead with even newer sounds? What if record companies refused to put so much stock into what radio research is asking for and instead fed radio with nothing but innovative music? Imagine radio playlists chocked full of innovative artists like Switchfoot, For King & Country, Lecrae, Future of Forestry, John Mark McMillan, Social Club and The Brilliance. Radio might just sound a bit different.
Join the conversation, share your thoughts and stay tuned for Part 2 as we explore even more.
The Gray Havens End 2015 On High Note
CCM Magazine, JesusFreakHideout and NewReleaseToday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. January 4, 2016 —Artist Garden Entertainment artist, The Gray Havens, end 2015 on a high note with top rankings on multiple industry Top 2015 album lists. The independent, Chicago-based husband/wife duo found their way into the hearts of top Christian media with Fire & Stone, produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Mitch Dane (Brandon Heath, JJ Heller)
CCM Magazine’s Andy Argyrakis ranked The Gray Havens Fire & Stone #6 on his Top 10 Albums list for 2015 stating “this full-length debut is an enthralling and enlightening start to what’s sure to be a fruitful career.”
Fire and Stone ranked #6 on JesusFreakHideout’s Overall Staff Picks for 2015 making The Gray Havens the first independent artist to ever appear on the chart. In addition, the duo ranked #1 on several individual staff picks charts.
Christian music discovery site UnderTheRadar ranked the record #4 on their 2015 Top Gourmet Album Picks.
The husband/wife duo released a new song, At Last, The King, in December which became NewReleaseTuesday’s top downloaded Christmas song of 2015.
The Gray Havens enter the studio this week with producer Ben Shive ( Colony House, Andrew Peterson) to begin recording their next record currently scheduled for a spring release.