The future of music is on the Internet, right? Amazing tips for promoting YOUR BAND and music online from major labels, superstar agents on leveraging social media marketing & digital music

April 20, 2010

The future of music is the Internet and social media, right?

Adapt to this new model and see your music career take off (i.e. every myspace band that’s gotten huge) i.e. Owl City

Don’t adapt to this model and die off (see major labels…)

I recently attended a panel with A&R executives from major publishing companies, the CEO of eventful.com, a few other new media experts from major labels and tech companies and tech. experts from major talent agencies like ICM/William Morris/CAA – as well as a popular DIY band here in Hollywood. Here are some of the tips of what they had to say (I’m not using anyone’s name as I don’t want to misquote them…)

This is AMAZING information here!!!


-Do a blog about your band

-Get Perez Hilton to post your song

-Give away a free song on your web site (but only if you collect fans’ email addresses in exchange for the free song)

-Tell fans, if you leave a comment on my youtube page + give me your username, you get a free song

-One popular local band licensed their songs to HBO + Verizon

-They also optimized their web page so it comes up high in Google search – so when you type their song lyrics into Google, their blog comes up


Use eventful.com to get a booking at a club. One band couldn’t get a show and faxed a page to the club’s booking agent saying “Look we have 285 fans who want us to play in your city” – they got a show as a result where they couldn’t before


A&R executive – success in your home town ISN’T impressive – but success in SURROUNDING cities IS (unless you’re drawing 3,000 in your home town)


-If you aren’t spending time ENGAGING your fans, you’re missing the boat

-Twitter – don’t use just to promote your shows but TWEET “Happy Birthday” to your fans personally, etc.

-Engage and INTERACT directly and PERSONALLY with your fans on a PERSONAL level

-Do a remix contest – this is interesting to kids


-As an artist, your job is to CREATE demand for your music/band + CONVERT that demand into sales (concert tickets, CDs/downloads, t-shirts, etc)


-Be INTIMATE with your fans

-Do CLEVER things

-Use SEO (search engine optimization) – with your song lyrics


-When you have new fans on facebook or twitter FIND OUT WHERE THEY ARE COMING FROM!!!

-Ask them 1) How did you find out about us?

2) What’s your favorite song, etc.?


A&R at major labels – it comes down to HIT songs

-Everyone tries to get on music blogs – like Pitchfork & Stereogum, etc.

-A&R doesn’t care about a lot of myspace or facebook or twitter followers (after the panel, others disagreed with this statement) but this is perhaps why some major labels are floundering?

-A&R is more interested if bands are asking fans what they want, who they are, etc. than simply amassing lots of followers who may be fake or not


-The best way to get recognized is to MAKE GREAT MUSIC

-Labels / A&R / etc. KNOW you can hire companies to bump up your myspace numbers & plays but if the music is crappy, no one will care


-A&R says if you’re an up and coming band, songs are obviously the MOST important thing but SOMEONE in the band needs to be doing the business side

-Major labels still have relationships that can push you out to the most eyeballs


Indie artist perspective (from an indie artist):

-Labels are signing less and less artists these days

-Artists used to want to get signed

Major label perspective (from a major label executive):

-Still, if you want to be a superstar, you need DEEP POCKETS at a major label

-Even for mid-level success, you need some kind of label


-Use tunecore.com to get direct digital distribution for your music on iTunes

-The drummer always seems to be the “tech guy” (why is that?)


-Artists, managers + agents are smarter now.

-Maybe the artist has a clothing line, etc.

-You need to look at ALTERNATE revenue sources (like a clothing line) these days



-If you can get a budget, you can hire the same radio promoters and publicists that major labels hire!!!

-Artists may not want to sign 360 deals

-But some artists will sacrifice revenue for fame!?! (why??? That’s pretty stupid, isn’t it?)

-Some artists rather have a larger chunk of a small pie rather than a sliver of a huge pie (this is probably the future?)

-What if Apple starts Apple radio? Will regular radio matter?

-Labels will want less songs on CDs if they are sold for $10 so they pay less mechanical royalties


-Labels are downsizing liking CRAZY

-Even if you have a label deal, you can still do things on your own to promote your music (and may, in fact, NEED TO!) i.e. OK Go YouTube videos.

-Labels are lacking human resources do all the work that needs to be done at labels right now

-Artists can go out on their own and make a living on their own – using social media

***CREATE a ONE-ON-ONE relationship with your fans – now it’s not just about facebook and twitter!


-Use ustream.com to broadcast live

-Geo-target to fans

-Give your fans 1st access to things (Selena Gomez did this with her movie – she shared it with her millions of online fans before anyone else)


-Devo put up 16 tracks on their site

-They said “Pick the 12 you want on the album + tell us which song should be the single?”


-Involve your fans in your artists and career

-Fans are becoming a PRODUCT, if that makes sense

i.e. YOUR FANS CAN BECOME YOUR MARKETERS!!! So then, who needs a label if your fans are marketing your music and often times more passionate about you/better at it than a label?

-Building your social media network is a means to an end; maybe not a direct end

i.e. you can make money from your social media network if you do it right


-Look at an app. (iPhone app) as a way to engage your fans

-Trivia games for bigger bangs like Pearl Jam i.e. giving away content in an app with information that you can get elsewhere is silly and you’ll alienate your fans if you make them pay for an app. that has no special songs or information


-Respect the relationship with the fan becaue if you lose them, it’s HARD TO GET THEM BACK!

-The tricky thing is to “monetize” your fans

-Remember that when you are online you’re only getting a certain demographic of fan

i.e. many fans/people don’t have iPhones, etc.


-Foursquare is being used by venues and record stores to promote themselves i.e. check in once at the Roxy, get VIP, 2nd time, get a free drink

-Maybe you can find a way to use it also


-Tell fans to check in at a show – it shows up in their facebook feed and you may get new fans this way checking you out

-Reward fans for multiple-check ins if they come to several shows.


-Panel’s prediction – the next “big things” will be foursquare or ustream.com

-Ustream – a great social utility to connect with your fans

-Micropayments will be HUGE – i.e. pay a few pennies for access to an article online or for liking a song


-Myspace may be bigger in rural towns vs. Facebook in cities?!?

-Nobody cares about what you’re eating for lunch or when your single is coming out – don’t use twitter for these things- ENGAGE your fans!

-Use your twitter to ENTERTAIN people + social network i.e. tell jokes, etc.

-A lot of people follow tweets but don’t tweet themselves – remember than when tweeting!


-YouTube – for every 1,000 viewers you get $ .60

-How to monetize YouTube? Make a cool video (of anything – like film the Sunset Strip + imbed your song in the video’s background) = you can make money this way!






Need help promoting your music? We can help! Email us if you need any help promoting your music and let us know what your budget is!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda


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