Give the Music Press What They Want

Girlie Action music publicist Music promotion in the Digital Age is all about speed. Websites are all in a big race to see who can get up the news story first, who can get up a new song or video from the hot artist, who can “break” an upcoming band first. (And fact-checking has in many cases gone out the window!) Most writers and editors have little time to talk to you about a band anymore. I can’t blame them, because of the amount that gets thrown at them every day, but the lack of feedback nowadays can be frustrating. Read more.

Building A Career in Music

Build a career in musicThe first thing that musicians should do is take an honest self-assessment. There are a lot of people that run out and say, “I need a manager. I need an agent. I need…” When you’re starting from zero with one album, there’s no business; there’s nothing to manage, and no reason for a nationwide tour. There is a lot involved between making an album and establishing a real career in music. Read more.

Using Google Plus To Build A Global Music Audience and Community

I really wanted to use Google+ to reach out to other musicians, because I just thought it would really be cool to start conversations with them and build a global network. So, I started an “open-mic” hangout and invited other musicians so we could share our music. It has built a real community, and I really would refer to that as the biggest mark I’ve made on the platform. I’ve played shows with musicians I’ve never met in person. And now I know that if I ever have the money to do a European or world tour, I have friends to gig swap with. Read more.

Independent Success – An Interview with Sean O’Connell of Music Allies

Be great and be honest with the connection that you’re making. You’ve got to hustle and make your own destiny. But my biggest piece of advice is, team up with someone passionate to work with you. And that doesn’t mean someone from the music business. When you look at a lot of people I’ve worked with and look at who their managers are, they started as enthusiastic young people who didn’t have training in the music business… Read more…

Music Piracy: A music industry insider talks illegal downloads, new laws, and 10 billion iTunes downloads

Whichever side of the fence you’re on in regard to the issues of music piracy, as artists creating music for public consumption, it’s a topic of special concern. Here, Alex Jacob of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) talks about the music industry, illegal downloads, and some of the causes the IFPI champions. Read more…

Artist Booking Essentials: College concerts and the military market

What advice would you give a DIY artist that wants to get into the college circuit? The college concert market is ruled by two entities: the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) and the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA). These two organizations are working in a cohabitative nature, but I would say to some extent they are also competitors. They both set up the infrastructure for schools and their programming boards to come together to one place. Agents and artists come in on the other side of the fence and work to find a way to book the entertainment onto the campuses. Read more…

Five Reasons Your Emails Aren’t Being Returned

I am a big believer in doing as much legwork on your own as you possibly can before reaching out to music industry executives. That being said, there comes a time in every artist’s career where you’re going to have to approach someone in the industry to get to that proverbial "next level." Let me assure you that there is a right way of doing this and several wrong ways of doing this. Sadly, many artists repeatedly write emails that go right into the trash because of very basic mistakes that can be easily avoided. Read more…

Top 5 Music Business Mistakes of 2010

I’ve never been one for top 5 or top 10 lists, but I have seen these mistakes so many times in the past year, I figured they needed to be documented. #1 Waiting. You may want to reconsider. With replication costs low and mailings that can be made for little more than the cost of a stamp, putting your message on disc may be the smartest way to tell your company’s story and interest new and existing customers in your latest offer. Read more…

A&R and the Shifting Major Label Landscape

If you talk about mergers and acquisitions, there’s a philosophical shift that happened, where the big euphemism became branding. Sometime in the mid-2000s, branding became a business and an approach. It became a noun and a verb. When that shift happened, bands started to think of themselves as businesses, and labels started to look at bands as businesses just as they were looking into buying smaller labels that had a niche and could provide them acts that had a sales base and a fan base and could give them credibility with an audience that you can’t have as a major label because you serve every kind of consumer. Read more…

music photography

The art of music photography

Jason Gardner is a professional photographer who primarily shoots musicians. He has photographed such artists as Manu Chao, Gogol Bordello and Antibalas and captured live performances by notables like Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson and Neil Young. His photos have appeared in numerous periodicals, including Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Magazine and Time Out, among many others. Read more.

More Music, Less Marketing

I am sitting at the edge of the Grand Canyon with a teaspoon trying to fill it in. That’s what marketing and self-promotion can feel like in the digital age or at least, that’s the way it feels to me.

I walked into a cavernous Barnes and Noble a few months ago. They opened another location by me on East 86th street in New York. I can’t begin to describe how big it is. I’ve lived in Manhattan my entire adult life so I do a double take when I see wasted space- but this? This place is ridiculous. It completely freaked me out. I felt a primal fear that I haven’t felt since Sylvia Rhone (former CEO of Elektra) used to scream at me- but that’s a whole other blog post. Read more…

Finding a Manager – Part 1

“How do I find a music manager? How do I find a booking agent? I just need to find someone to get my music to the next level.” I’ve heard these questions and statements before, and fifteen or so years ago I sounded exactly like this. As it turns out I wound up on the industry side of the fence and traded in the crowded smelly van for a record company desk job but I do have some answers for you. Read more.

What Does the Web Say About You?

Recently I was approached by an artist through my website who wanted me to listen to his music. His pitch was that he had thousands of fans but just needed help “getting to the next level” with his music. I was kind of perplexed by email because quite frankly if someone has thousands of real fans – they don’t need a music business consultant and they won’t have any problems getting a qualified manager and agent on board if they want them. Read more…