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Contemplating the Business of Music

I’ve been contemplating the business of music a lot lately. It is still not clear what will emerge from the chaos we know as the music business but I realized this weekend that I need to start a dialog going with both artists and fans. As a typical ADD-male-problem solver, I keep looking for real solutions that will create income and testing them both online and at gigs. What I could really use is some feedback on where YOU are at with your music biz trials and tribulations.

02/27/12-Where are we going? The next decade of the music business will be all about originality and exposure. Until some kind of new paradigm emerges from the chaos know as the “music business” I believe artists need to protect and expand their individuality,  spend extra time identifying what they want, face their fear of failure, learn how to sell themselves (in a way they believe in), own their relationship with their fans and create direct income streams they can count on.

Over the next few weeks, I will be expanding this posting one thought at a time in hopes of getting your input and feedback.
Please comment below.

02/28/12- Fans. Fans have no idea that the business of music is in complete disarray. They have access to music and can consume it in so many interesting ways. Fans are people who dig what you do. They are believers in your dream and may actually believe in it MORE than you! They naturally assume you are doing great. Most fans I talk to think we’re doing just fine. After all, they are listening to our music, it’s for sale all over the place, it’s so popular you can find it on sites for free, we have a youtube video and we gig a lot… That means we must be making tons of money, right?   What they do not know is that, in most cases, very little money gets to the artist. Do you think for a minute that your fans know that if your song gets played on Spotify 100 times you might collect a whole .13¢? As much as you’d like fans to think of you as a rock star, they should understand that if they pay $5 to see you in a club and 200 people show up, you are not making $1,000! (Yet that’s often the perception.) So it is important to me to figure out a way to engage our fans so that they understand where we are on our journey, how to support us and how much we appreciate it.

03/06/12- Every night I’m out playing, I’m transfixed on figuring out how to create an ongoing natural supportive relationship with fans without it feeling like begging. (ie: make friends, sell music) It turns out that the “begging” feeling is all MY problem. I believe that we’ve all made too many assumptions about what our fans know about our business as well as what they perceive about our careers! What I’m discovering is that most fans want to know about the “business” and NEED to know about the business in order to know where to direct their support! (Support = Money, Telling Friends, Bringing People to Shows, Telling their Sister who works at this cool place called Sony Music Publishing…) You can never assume that fans know how much you appreciate that they are at your show and how buying music at your show directly supports your career. You can’t assume they know you care, because, believe it or not, many fans really don’t know how much you appreciate them! You have to individually connect with your fans and, if possible, in person and let them know how much you care about their support. How many times have you said from stage that you have an album for sale and then when you walk off stage everyone asks you, “do you have CDs for sale?” as if they had no idea! That’s because they have no idea! It serves me well to believe that fans are connecting with us through your music. And they don’t necessarily linger on your every lyric and certainly on every word said between songs. Fans need a break between songs so they can tune out. In just about every situation, I’ve found that making a direct connection with as many fans in the room as possible has created rewarding sales and fostered a supportive relationship. Not surprising to me, about half the amazing artists I know have a lot of trouble with this entire concept of creating a supportive fan base, yet it is what most artists want! The whole process starts by believing that your talent and music have value. That seems like an obvious start but it looks more and more to me that it’s the first big hurdle most artists have to get over so they can start changing the game.

 

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ASCAP on Nimbit and the "I Create Music Expo"

Our friends over at ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) shared some very kind words recently about Nimbit and our Ultimate Guide to Selling and Promoting Music on Facebook blog post.

…Nimbit isn’t just one of the crown jewels of our Member Benefits program – it’s also staffed by kind, forward-thinking folks who sincerely care about turning Nimbit customers into savvy web marketeers.

We wanted to shout out a big thank you to ASCAP for the kind words. You can see everything ASCAP had to say on their blog.

The ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO

We were also looking to take a moment to let you all know about The ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in LA on April 19-21, 2012. The EXPO provides a unique opportunity for songwriters, composers, publishers, producers – and those in the industry that support them – to come together in an unprecedented way to share their knowledge and expertise. The innovative programming includes celebrity Q&A’s, master classes, songwriting and composing workshops, publisher and business panels, One-on-One sessions, DIY career building workshops, showcases and performances, song feedback panels, state-of-the-art technology demos as well as leading music industry exhibitors.

Some of the biggest names in music, both on the creative and business side, have participated in the ASCAP EXPO. Keynote interviews have included legendary songwriters like Lindsey Buckingham ( interviewed by Sara Bareilles), Quincy Jones (interviewed by Ludacris), Justin Timberlake Bill WithersJohn MayerAnn & Nancy Wilson(Heart), Jeff LynneJon Bon Jovi & Richie SamboraJackson Browne, Steve MillerRandy Newman and Tom Petty.Nimbit will also be participating in the Expo so it would be an excellent chance to get to meet some of our team in person.

Nimbit users who register will receive deep discounts so register now! 

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ASCAP on Nimbit and the “I Create Music Expo”

Our friends over at ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) shared some very kind words recently about Nimbit and our Ultimate Guide to Selling and Promoting Music on Facebook blog post.

…Nimbit isn’t just one of the crown jewels of our Member Benefits program – it’s also staffed by kind, forward-thinking folks who sincerely care about turning Nimbit customers into savvy web marketeers.

We wanted to shout out a big thank you to ASCAP for the kind words. You can see everything ASCAP had to say on their blog.

The ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO

We were also looking to take a moment to let you all know about The ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in LA on April 19-21, 2012. The EXPO provides a unique opportunity for songwriters, composers, publishers, producers – and those in the industry that support them – to come together in an unprecedented way to share their knowledge and expertise. The innovative programming includes celebrity Q&A’s, master classes, songwriting and composing workshops, publisher and business panels, One-on-One sessions, DIY career building workshops, showcases and performances, song feedback panels, state-of-the-art technology demos as well as leading music industry exhibitors.

Some of the biggest names in music, both on the creative and business side, have participated in the ASCAP EXPO. Keynote interviews have included legendary songwriters like Lindsey Buckingham ( interviewed by Sara Bareilles), Quincy Jones (interviewed by Ludacris), Justin Timberlake Bill WithersJohn MayerAnn & Nancy Wilson(Heart), Jeff LynneJon Bon Jovi & Richie SamboraJackson Browne, Steve MillerRandy Newman and Tom Petty.Nimbit will also be participating in the Expo so it would be an excellent chance to get to meet some of our team in person.

Nimbit users who register will receive deep discounts so register now! 

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Hypebot Expands on our Ultimate Facebook Sales & Promotion Guide


Earlier this week Hypebot wrote an article expanding upon our Ultimate Guide to Selling and Promoting Music On Facebook.  Within Hypebot’s article they take the time to elaborate on the main points of our guide.

The Main Points:

  • Be Ready to Sell Today!
  • Engage… Don’t Advertise
  • The Virtual High-Five
  • Reward Fans Then Ask Them to Reward Their Friends
  • Advertise Yourself to Fans of Similar Artists
  • Get Creative [And Switch Things Up]
To check out the Hypebot article click here, if you still have not seen our Ultimate Guide to Selling and Promoting Music on Facebook check it out now.
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Hypebot Expands on our Ultimate Facebook Sales & Promotion Guide


Earlier this week Hypebot wrote an article expanding upon our Ultimate Guide to Selling and Promoting Music On Facebook.  Within Hypebot’s article they take the time to elaborate on the main points of our guide.

The Main Points:

  • Be Ready to Sell Today!
  • Engage… Don’t Advertise
  • The Virtual High-Five
  • Reward Fans Then Ask Them to Reward Their Friends
  • Advertise Yourself to Fans of Similar Artists
  • Get Creative [And Switch Things Up]
To check out the Hypebot article click here, if you still have not seen our Ultimate Guide to Selling and Promoting Music on Facebook check it out now.
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Nimbit Adds Shine to Spotlight for Facebook

Recently we introduced Nimbit SpotlightTM the absolute best (and FREE) landing page and store for musicians on Facebook.  The feedback we’ve received has been outstanding: you guys love the way we’re uncomplicating the process of connecting with your fans, but you  wanted a few tweaks.   So today’s update was designed to give you what you want:

Today’s Spotlight updates include:

  • Better implementation of the embedded video in the header
  • Improvements to how your bio is displayed
  • A more obvious Share button to encourage fans to promote you
  • Improved controls for the  music player on your featured product

If you’re new to Nimbit Spotlight, install it on Facebook now to take advantage of the rest of its features including:

  • Create a clean landing page for Facebook to Spotlight your new release, your next gig, personal messages to fans, and your back catalog (why use separate apps?)
  • Sell music, CDs, merch, and tickets without the need to send fans away from Facebook or to other applications
  • featured product promotion
  • A video player for promo videos or personal messages to your fans
  • An audio player for your featured track or album
  • Custom header image and bio
  • Next gig notification
  • Fan Rewards, such as a free track for email
  • Social Sharing: fans can leave Comments, Like, and Share products to promote artists to their friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter
  • Tracks can be shared and listened to via a Facebook Ticker, Wall and Timeline Player
  • You also get a Nimbit Spotlight Store on NimbitMusic.com, can add it to your website, and it integrates into the new FanBridge Fan Page for Facebook and your PledgeMusic funding campaigns.
Already a Nimbit user?  Log in to the Nimbit dashboard and go to Stores to set up and turn on your Spotlight today.
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NIMBIT ADDS SPOTLIGHT TO STOREFRONTS

Create The Ultimate Facebook Store for Your Band

There are some really exciting developments here at Nimbit.  We have just enhanced our FREE storefronts for Facebook, nimbitmusic.com, and websites with a new promotional feature page called Spotlight.

The Spotlight page enhances Nimbit Stores with:

  • featured product promotion
  • A video player for promo videos or personal messages to your fans
  • An audio player for your featured track or album
  • Custom header image and bio
  • Next gig notification
  • Fan Rewards, such as a free track for email
  • Social Sharing: fans can leave Comments, Like, and Share products to promote artists to their friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter
  • Tracks can be shared and listened to via a Facebook Ticker, Wall and Timeline Player
  • Seamless integration with the Nimbit store to allow sales of music, CDs, merch, and tickets without the need to send fans away from Facebook or to other applications
  • NEW! Now optimized for Facebook’s full-width Timeline view
  • NEW! Now drive fans to your store with our new Facebook Promo Tools

Spotlight Page Examples:

Vertical Horizon

The Spares Jim Allchin
Fairfax Fishtank Ensemble Barbara Kessler
Urban Assault Thisbe Vos Jane Bordeaux

Get Started!
The new Spotlight page is now available to users of any Nimbit plan, including NimbitFree. First install the Nimbit Store app on Facebook , and then log into your Nimbit account to get started.

Click here to Install Nimbit Spotlight on Facebook

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Nimbit at CMJ 2011

Nimbit was out in full force at this year’s CMJ last week in New York City. On Friday Nimbit CEO Bob Cramer participated in the Direct to Fan Strategies Panel with other executives in the direct-to-fan space to share strategies, and give advice to independent musicians and their teams. It was one of the best attended panels at CMJ and featured…

  • Moderator: Nic Adler, Owner, The Roxy
  • Rick Camino, President, Hello Music
  • Bob Cramer, CEO, Nimbit
  • Bob Moczydlowsky, VP Product & Marketing, Topspin
  • Benji Rogers, CEO, Pledge Music
  • Armine Saidi, Founder, Viinyl

We were tweeting from the event to share some of the best tibits, here’s our takeaway:

“The Van Halen II album changed my life, probably the way that Grease changed yours” Rick Camino, Hello Music LOL

“The old industry focused on retailers as customers, the new music industry is fan-focused, all music is ultimately fan funded” @BenjiKRogers

“You are now empowered to create a direct emotional connection with fans, but that’s a big responsibility” Rick Camino @hellomusic

“build an emotional connection with fans, then give them an opportunity to support you” @cramerbob

“Spend at least 20 minutes a day on social media engaging your fans” @BenjiKRogers

“Don’t leave your cds in the van, always have something to sell or the ability to capture a fan email after a gig” @BenjiKRogers

“Try to find a way to put a product in front of fans, but don’t do it as a sales pitch” Armine Saidi @Viinyl

“If you’re playing a gig in chicago, don’t email fans in new york” bob moczydlowsky @topspinmedia

“One of the ways you can engage your fans, and I love this, is ask them questions” @BenjiKRogers

“Everyone should buy the book marketing secrets of the grateful dead, it’s a direct to fan bible” bob moczydlowsky

“1 thing every artist should do is hand an email signup list down from the stage & promise the fans a free track for signup” @BenjiKRogers

“Or hand down cards with promocode cards from the stage, fans want a piece of anything that comes from you on stage”@cramerbob

Directly above is Nimbit CEO Bob Cramer (right) and PledgeMusic CEO Benji Rogers (left) hanging out after the Direct to Fan Panel.  They had a lot to celebrate, because that morning we also announced the PledgeStore powered by Nimbit.

Earlier in the week on Nimbit Founder Phil Antoniades participated in a panel called ‘Making Free Music Pay’, click the link to read the coverage from Billboard.

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Nimbit at Belfast Music Week 2011

Belfast Music Week (October 30th – November 6th) is a celebration of local bands and venues, as well as the wider music industry and community. This year, there will be more than 150 live music performances, workshops, seminars and networking events featuring some of the most knowledgeable and experienced people in the international music industry. Our own Phil Antoniades and Carl Jacobson have been invited to host a workshop of their own entitled “Taking your Music Direct to Fans, Real World Sales and Marketing at Work.” Carl will also be participating in Chandra Lynn’s “How to Start (and Grow) Your Direct-To-Fan Business” workshop.

Taking your Music Direct to Fans, Real World Sales and Marketing at Work

This workshop will outline a complete direct-to-fan strategy, along with a discussion of real world applications, motivations, and concepts that will be applicable to all attendees.

Speaker: Phil Antoniades and Carl Jacobson
Date: November 2nd
Time: 10am – 12pm
Venue: The Black Box

To register for this event, fill out the online registration form

How to Start (and Grow) Your Direct-To-Fan Business

This workshop will cover the fundamentals of building a direct to fan business, including key concepts, a review of the tools and services available, and the basics of fan acquisition and audience growth.

Speaker: Chandra Lynn
Date: November 3rd
Time: 11am – 12pm
Venue: Ulster Hall

To register for this event, fill out the online registration form

Meet Up With Nimbit

Can’t make either event? tweet @nimbit and let us know if you want to meet up to discuss how to best use Nimbit to get your music out there.

More At Belfast

The events at Belfast will look at a wide range of subjects, including music journalism, recording and production techniques, licensing music for film and television, publishing, marketing and technology.

Other high profile speakers holding workshops are:

Mike Crossey and Chris Sheldon, world famous producers, who are best known for their work with bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Razorlight, Keane, The Black Keys, The Pixies, Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro and Anthrax;
Jonathan McHugh, former Senior Vice-President at Island DefJam, and Amine Ramer, who commissions music for networks and companies such as HBO, Lions Gate, Comedy Central and NBC;
Thomas Golubic, the Los Angeles-based DJ, music supervisor, and twice Grammy-nominated record producer, whose music supervision credits include the television series `Breaking Bad`, `The Walking Dead`, `The Killing` and `Six Feet Under`, and the film `After The Sunset`, among a number of other film and television projects;
Chris Lakey, of Kobalt Music, who has worked with the likes of Gwen Stefani, Lionel Richie and Moby, who will be talking about music publishing and licensing;
Jason Spitz, who, while working for Rhino Entertainment, oversaw direct-to-consumer E-commerce for The Grateful Dead, and developed the web store for the Frank Sinatra estated, who will be addressing why fans will pay for valuable products and how to add value to the fan experience;
Chandra Lynn, Marketing expert who has worked with artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails, Sting and companies like Live Nation;
Tim Self, from Propellerhead Software, the Stockholm-based developer of computer tools for musicians, and Bil Bryant, one of the pioneers of the commercial sample industry;
Sara Griggs, Los Angeles PR consultant specialising in pro audio, music technology and artist relations, and A&R guru Kim Nieva, a music industry professional whose experiences range from music licensing, artist development, and label management.

 

All events are free, but advance registration is essential, as places are limited. Full details of all the events can be found at http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/musicweek

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PledgeMusic Gives Fans More Ways to Support Artists with Nimbit-powered PledgeStore

Free storefront gives musicians the ability to continue generating support from fans after their PledgeMusic campaign has ended

New York, NY – October 20, 2011 – PledgeMusic, a leading international direct-to-fan platform for raising funds for musicians to record and tour, and Nimbit the premier fan commerce and promotion solution for the new music business, today announced the PledgeStore for the PledgeMusic Platform. This store, powered by Nimbit, has been designed to give PledgeMusic artists the ability to provide their fans with more music from their catalog and to generate additional funding after their PledgeMusic Campaign has ended.

PledgeStore Powered By Nimbit

The PledgeStore as seen on Firehorse's PledgeMusic Page

“This PledgeMusic & Nimbit partnership makes total sense and ultimately puts more power into the hands of the artists that we work with and their management teams.” Said Benji Rogers founder of PledgeMusic. “With direct experience of working with Nimbit stores for the artists on our label it was a no brainer to extend their power to artists across the platform. Together a PledgeMusic campaign into a Nimbit store offers the complete direct-to-fan solution.”

PledgeStore Features

  • Sell digital singles, digital albums, and eTickets
  • Flexible pricing:  fixed price, pay what you want, or reward fans with free tracks
  • Fans can easily promote and share music on Facebook and Twitter
  • Automatically appears as a tab on the artist’s PledgeMusic profile once their goal is reached

Fast & Free Setup

PledgeMusic artists can signup for the free PledgeStore, from right within their dashboard.  After providing basic information and uploading the music they wish to sell, their store will be ready to go.  As soon as artists reach their campaign goal the store will appear on their PledgeMusic page to provide fans with more ways to support the artist and access to more music by the artist.

Nimbit artists who are interested in launching a funding campaign can sign up for PledgeMusic here.

Additional Features

As part of the signup process, PledgeMusic artists will get a Free Nimbit account to administer their store.  This free account also provides additional features including:

  • Customizable storefronts for Facebook, Nimbitmusic.com and artist websites
  • Distributed Fan comments/reviews: a fan comment made on any Nimbit Store appears throughout all your Nimbit storefronts as well as a posting on Facebook Newsfeeds to all of the fan’s friends
  • Detailed sales and fan activity reporting and grouping, with fan mapping to understand geographical hot-spots
  • Integrated Next Big Sound reporting to monitor fans, followers, plays, views, and comments on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, & Wikipedia

About PledgeMusic

PledgeMusic was founded by musician Benji Rogers to give artists a DIY option for pursuing and augmenting their careers. The company was designed to be transparent and open, while benefiting artists and fans. Artists will get the funding and promotional support that they need, the fan will get the music and artist interaction that they want at the price that they want to pay, and charities who have scant fundraising resources will receive a percentage of the money raised.

For more information, please visit www.pledgemusic.com. PledgeMusic media inquiries: Victoria Rierdan Hurley, Helicon Public Relations, victoria@heliconpr.com, 310 993 1840.

About Nimbit

Nimbit is the industry’s premier fan commerce and promotion platform for today’s music business. Nimbit provides the easiest solution for self-managed artists, managers, and emerging labels to take their music direct to the fans that love them, and to give fans more ways to support their career.

To learn more about how Nimbit can help you succeed, we invite you to visit www.nimbit.com.

Nimbit media inquiries please contact: Carl Jacobson press@nimbit.com or 603-661-2275.

PledgeMusic, PledgeStore, and the PledgeMusic Logo are trademarks of PledgeMusic.com Limited. Nimbit is a registered trademark of Nimbit, Inc. Other trademarks mentioned are held by their respective owners.

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