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!
The music streaming race gets a little more interesting with the today’s announcement from Youtube. Youtube announced the release of their music app for IOS and Android. I’m just downloading the app so no opinion from me yet on its functionality, however, I’m sure it will quickly move to the top of every music marketing plan. Upon hearing the news, I found this amazingly produced video that Youtube made to introduce the service. Interestingly I was the 50th person to view it so I wanted to share with those of you who haven’t seen it. After watching this video, I’m stoked. How about You?
As we approach the launch of Apple’s new streaming service, Apple Music, streaming is front and center on the agenda for anyone connected with the music industry. There are theories, analysis, pros, cons, fear and excitement regarding music streaming services. Spotify, Apple Music, GooglePlay, Tidal and Rdio are the major players vying to win the customers but there are others quickly jumping in to set up shop. I thought it would be interesting to do a little different post today and let you do the talking. Leave your comments with any thoughts or feelings you have regarding how streaming will affect the future of music. Go!
Many artists hire someone to create their websites but there are many Do it Yourselfers who take advantage of the user friendly platforms like WordPress and SquareSpace to create their websites. Fortunately, I caught wind of a change the Google is rolling out that could potentially make your website invisible to those using Google Search. Google has decided to penalize websites not set up to be mobile friendly beginning April 21 which is only 7 days away.
Thankfully Google has provided a link where you can check your website to see if it measures up to the standards they will be looking for. I would encourage everyone to check your site via this link https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/? If you website fails the test, you should put some changes in place to make your website mobile friendly. There is a free plug-in that I discovered on WordPress called WPTouch which solves the issue fairly quickly. You might also check with a website designer for additional help.
One might be inclined to ask “why would a new recording studio in the Nashville area be big news?” Owners Mark Lange and Chris Brush would respond by describing their new PlethoraTonestudio as a giant candy store for those in search of that special tone. The new studio is loaded with a plethora of unique vintage guitar amps, guitars, bass guitars, keyboards and drums which promise to bring extreme joy to those in search of that special tone. There are even a few unexpected instruments for those looking to explore something unique.
Mark Lange has spent his career in Atlanta, Seattle and Nashville producing, engineering and pioneering one of the first Midi/tech stores in America in the early 80s, Micro Music.
Chris Brush, a Dallas Texas native moved to Nashville in 1999 to tour with various artists in Christian, rock, pop and country genres. Brush now spends his time as an in-town session drummer, mix engineer and producer.
PlethoraTone was designed for tone and acoustic excellence while offering a private, comfortable and creative environment as top priority. Producers, engineers and musicians will experience an incredibly unique and friendly environment amongst a plethora of possibilities for tone.
Branding plays a key role at Artist Garden Entertainment in both our music marketing and as artist managers. Building a devout tribal following is always our objective as it is the “Holy Grail” of great marketing. I believe two companies, Apple & Dyson, do it best.
A few weeks ago, I received the email below from Dyson. As an owner of the Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner & the Dyson Air Multiplier, I am a huge fan of their products and game changing technology. Fireworks of curiosity were exploding in my mind. There was so much anticipation that I began budgeting for this new product without knowing what it would be or what it would cost. A couple of weeks later I received a second email with a video revealing the Dyson Airblade Tap. While I’m not sure I will rush out and buy it just yet as it appears to be more for commercial use, I have proselytized to many.
As a music marketing professional, I like to explore all things new on the horizon and especially when it comes to social network marketing. When I first heard of Pinterest, I avoided joining due to the reports I was hearing that its primary users are women trading recipes and craft ideas. Afraid of losing my manliness, i decided to hold off joining. To my surprise, news recently broke that Pinterest is now ranked the #3 social network behind Facebook & Twitter. That definitely got my attention! After attending Podcamp Nashville and listening to a panel on Pinterest, I knew it was time to join. One of the panelist, Daniel Bear Hunley, talked about the explosion of Pinterest and how he had picked up 2 million followers in just a few months. That excited me and made me realize its okay for men to join. I am now the proud owner of a brand newPinterest Account.
Up till now, the music industry hasn’t found a way to maximize Pinterest as a platform to drive sales. I am sure we are minutes away from some new artist exploding due to a clever way of using Pinterest. I of course would like to be the person to figure it out, so I am madly attempting to master the technique of being a great “Pinner”. This past weekend, I uploaded and pinned a photo I took of a beautiful door in Nappa. Within five minutes, I proudly had 20 re-pins from total strangers and my door photo appeared on the main page of Pinterest! Wow! The adrenaline was pumping. Through my experimenting, I discovered that food, gardening, architecture and fashion are huge items of interest. We just have to figure out how to sneak music into those buckets.
I would encourage all artist to join Pinterest and start building your platform. That brilliant idea of promoting music on Pinterest is just around the corner. I look forward to hearing any ideas you may be trying?
While most Apple fans have been caught up in anticipation for the iPhone 5 and Apple TV Set, the top innovator in the world announces something totally unexpected, the iCar.
When Walter Isaacson stated in the Steve Jobs biography that he had “figured it out”, Jobs wasn’t talking about TV like previously believed. Jobs had apparently hired award-winning Japanese car designer Autosan Makertz in 2011 to create the ultimate driving machine, the iCar. The iCar will be sold at Nissan dealerships until Apple finalizes construction of their free-standing stores which they plan to call Apple World. The stores will serve as both a car dealership and a location to sell their electronics products. The Apple World stores will contain service centers for the new iCar which will be a brand extension of the Genius Bar. Initially two models will be available: White 4 Cylinder and Black 6 Cylinder. The cars begin shipping to US Nissan dealers in July.
– powered by i10 Apple Cells (charged by solar panels)
– iDashboard has the look and feel of an iPad
– Gorilla Glass Windows
– touchpad steering wheel
– Beats by Dr Dre Stereo System
– Quad core exhaust
If you enjoyed this April Fools story, tune in to the Music Gardener weekly to hear about great new music!
Something I hear regularly from people around the world is how they feel the Christian Radio station in their home town is lame. They complain that the stations play too much old recurrent music and the new music they do play is limited to a handful of “core” artists. If you ask the radio stations why they program their stations in that manner, they claim that testing shows their listeners want to hear old and familiar music. That bodes the question “who are those people Christian radio stations use in their testing?” The answer is pretty simple. The people chosen for the testing panels are either un-adventurous, Christian sub-culture “church ladies” or the testing really isn’t an accurate method for determining programming. No offense mom 🙂
Fortunately, we are seeing more internet radio start-ups like Pandora who offer alternatives to terrestrial radio . While Pandora is a great alternative, I’m not convinced their algorithms work so well. Pandora requires that artists have physical distribution through Amazon.com before they will add the artist to their system leaving out many independent artists who are making great music. I’m in no way knocking major label artists as many of them are making great music. However, I would like to hear the other great music that the Christian terrestrial radio establishment ignores.
I recently discovered JamTheCity.com and JamTheHype.com, a couple of Christian internet radio stations that are programmed by a human who formerly worked as a programmer at a large Christian market station. The programmer makes a great effort to find music from new and existing artists whether they are on major labels or operate independently. No “church lady” testing is done! They just play great music. I highly recommend these stations for those Christian music listeners who want to be exposed to great new artists and music they may not otherwise hear. Listeners can tune in via the website or they can grab the Live 365 app to listen from an iPhone, Android or iPad. Click on the links below to check out these two great stations.
JamTheCity.com plays a great mix of major label and independent Christian music. Their slogan is “Playing Christian music you won’t hear anywhere else”
JamTheHype.com plays Christian Hip Hop music which is a format that is virtually non-existent at terrestrial radio
As a music marketing professional, I find it interesting to watch the new & old marketing techniques unleashed by retailers during the biggest selling season of the year. For the last few years, media & analysts have been proselytizing the end of the physical newspaper. Many newspapers have closed their doors while others are finding their digital niche. Personally, I prefer to read national papers like USA Today on-line because they do such a fabulous presentation for the iPad. However, I still subscribe to the physical version of our local Sunday paper, The Tennessean. My main reason for subscribing, is to see, touch & feel the sale circulars. A few years back, I developed the habit of watching the Best Buy, Target and Wal-mart ads religiously. I couldn’t wait to see the ads that I had booked for new music releases along with competitors’ ads each week. The circulars served as a barometer for the level of marketing support behind select music titles and the level of support the retailers were giving the releases. Those tiny little pictures of CDs in the Target, Best Buy and Wal-mart Sunday circulars cost record companies $25K-60K each with that price doubling during November/December. I would feel like a king on Sunday as I viewed my ads in the circulars knowing my artists were viewing the same ads and getting their egos stroked! Then I would pray that Wednesday’s Soundscan numbers would justify the ad spend, which it very rarely did.
One of my favorite sales circular weekends is Thanksgiving. I never venture out to shop on Black Friday but I do get a rush viewing the ads. This year, one ad in particular caught my attention. Low and behold… there was an Amazon.com circular advertising Cyber Monday in the physical newspaper. Really? I had to slap myself a few times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Exactly one week later, there was another Amazon.com circular in the physical version of The Tennessean. The biggest on-line retailer in the world now running physical ads. Could what once appeared as the runaway digital revolution now be back peddling? Has the digital age found consumers’ threshold for letting go of physical? Did Digital & Physical finally collide to make the perfect storm?
What unusual marketing are you noticing this holiday season?