Justin

Charting the Course: A Radio Promo Discussion – Dave Cool of Bandzoogle

This post originally appeared on the Cyber PR® blogCyber PR® is a digital PR and social media management firm located in Brooklyn, NY who specialize in niche marketing for musicians and the music industry.

This interview with our Director of Artist Relations was part of a seven-part series about radio promotion. In a past life, Dave was actually a radio promoter/tracker for indie artists, so he has some experience in this field. We hope you enjoy the interview!



Welcome to the third of our seven-part interview series ‘Charting the Course: A Radio Promo Discussion’.

The purpose of this series is to explore the world of radio promo, with insights from 6 people who work in and outside of the realm of radio promo, but all of whom have dedicated themselves to advising independent musicians.

Today we hear from Dave Cool, Director of Artist Relations at Bandzoogle!

1. Why should artists try to get their songs on Radio?

Radio has proven itself to be a resilient medium for music discovery. Even in the age of social media and streaming music, many people still look to radio for music discovery and trusted radio hosts who curate their content.

2. Which format is best to try to get if you are an independent musician?

I’d say definitely College & University radio. They’ve always been on the cutting edge of indie music and most open to new music, so it’s a great place to start. Of course, if we include Internet radio, then there are also countless stations that also play indie music.

3. Do independent musicians have a shot at getting their songs to break on commercial radio in 2012?

I’m not totally sure. Because of increased media concentration, with only a few companies owning the majority of commercial stations who then control the playlists, my sense is that it would be very challenging to get onto commercial radio. Unless you have a verifiable hit on your hands, chances are you’ll be frustrated trying to break into commercial radio.

4. How do you know if your radio campaign is successful?

It all depends what your goals are.

You’re not likely to chart or get onto heavy rotation on each and every station you send music to, but if you’ve sent music to 10 stations, charting on 3 or 4 might be a good goal to have.

Or maybe your goal the first time around is to simply raise awareness about your band to the Music Directors at stations and get added to their playlists.

Or it could be measuring the hits on your website coming from cities where you’ve sent music to radio stations. If you’re getting increased traffic (and hopefully newsletter sign-ups and/or music sales), chances are the radio campaign is working. Same for new likes on Facebook and new followers on Twitter. Looks at your stats and see where those people are from. There can be a lot of ways to measure success with a radio campaign.

5. How do you make a radio campaign last or have a future impact once you begin to slip back down the chart (assuming you already are up the chart)?

You can of course ask fans in that city to request your song to keep it high on the charts, you can do an interview at the station, or coordinate a giveaway with the station for CDs, tickets, other merch, etc. After that, you just need to make sure to have kept track of your highest chart ranking and add that information to your digital press kit and on your website so other industry people (and fans) can see how well you did, which might help open up doors for other opportunities.

6. How can you best leverage social media to work with your radio campaign (or is this not possible)?

It’s definitely possible to use social media to complement a radio campaign. You can ask fans on social media to request your music at specific stations, you can team up with radio stations on social media contests/giveaways, update your fans on your chart progress at stations. And if you’ve done any radio interviews, you should of course post the audio to your social media profiles.

7. What advice would you give an artist who calls you looking to spend money on a radio campaign?

I would advise them to shop around for experienced radio promoters/trackers, and preferably people who work specifically in their genre. Chances are those people will have relationships not only with music directors, but also with specific hosts who program music in your genre.

Secondly, I’d advise artists to work with their radio promoter on setting goals for the campaign, so each is clear what the expectations are. And any good promoter will keep you updated on a regular basis on the campaign’s progress, so you can see how things are going and make adjustments if necessary.
Posted by Justin on 10/29/2012 | 0 comments
Dave Cool

Producer Website Love: Dave Goetter

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.

Who: Dave Goetter
What: Producer/Engineer
Where: Boise, ID
Why his website rocks: Hey, producers need websites too, and we love Dave Goetter’s. When you land on his website, you get a clear description of his services at the top, simple and easy navigation on his menu, and a great big professional photo of Dave. When you scroll down the Homepage, he also has a Featured Artists list that brings attention to some of the artists he has worked with. But maybe our favorite aspect of his site is his Discography page, where he displays all of his credits, organized by year. Impressive!

Check it out at: www.davegoetter.com



Posted by Dave Cool on 10/26/2012 | 1 comment
Dave Cool

Interview: Website Design for Musicians with the CEO of Bandzoogle [VIDEO]

This is a video interview with our CEO David Dufresne that originally appeared on the website PromoteYourMusic.net. Promote Your Music was founded by Chris Rocket, an expert online marketer and obsessed with teaching musicians how to use these cutting edge tactics to level the playing field between DIY musicians and major label artists.

In the video, Chris and David discuss:
  • The most common problems with musician websites...and how to fix them now.
  • Ideas on getting hits using social media and practical steps to drive people back to your site and onto your mailing list.
  • Why it’s vital to build a solid audience of 500-1000 fans before you’ll be able to make much money from your music.
  • David suggests that old school music marketing was just about getting more and more fans because the profit margins were low on CDs...but now with the right subscription business model you could create a sustainable income with a relatively small group of people.
  • How you can start thinking about your fans as “Patrons”, who will be more than happy to provide a little financial support to make sure you can keep making the music they love. (You become like “Leonardo Da Vinci” and your fans are the King paying you to keep the palace full of nice paintings)

Big thanks to Chris and PromoteYourMusic.net for doing this interview, we hope you guys enjoy it:

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/23/2012 | 2 comments
Allison

Bandzoogle Goes West: Manitoba Music Workshop October 24

Our Director of Artist Relations Dave Cool will be travelling west this week to the Canadian Prairies. Manitoba Music, a great provincial music association, has invited Dave to give a workshop about blogging and social media to musicians at their office in Winnipeg. Here are the details:

Be Sociable: Fan Interaction from Blogs to Twitter
Wednesday, October 24
5:30pm


This workshop will teach some the most effective promotion strategies available in the blogging, Facebook, and Twitter world of music marketing. These self promotion strategies will help participants develop an effective step by step strategy for leveraging new opportunities in the digital age. Whether you are building a local following or looking to garner wider attention, this workshop will give you the tools you need to take sure footed next steps.

For more information and to register, click here.


So if there are any Bandzoogle members in the Winnipeg area, be sure to check out this workshop! Also, Dave will be in town that evening and the following day, so if you can’t make the workshop but want to meet up while he’s in town, contact him at dcool[at]bandzoogle[dot]com



Posted by Allison on 10/22/2012 | 0 comments
Dave Cool

Musician Website Love: Sierra Noble

Who: Sierra Noble
What: Singer-songwriter
Where: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Why her website rocks: Sierra’s site is a shining example of how a professional photo makes all the difference for a website’s design. Landing on her website and seeing a great photo as her header image immediately conveys a sense of professionalism. We also love her Homepage, which has all of the essential elements we like to see, but we especially like that she updates the news herself, having a direct conversation with her fans. Nicely done!

Check it out at: www.sierranoble.com




Posted by Dave Cool on 10/19/2012 | 5 comments
Dave Cool

Bandzoogle in Paris: MaMA Conference October 25-26

Our Fall Tour goes international next week when CEO David Dufresne heads to Paris, France for the MaMA Festival & Convention. Here are the details:




Website Demolition Derby
Thursday, October 25
4:15 - 5:15PM


Witness live critiques band websites. Reviewing panelists will be ruthless and leave all diplomacy aside. The website's design, organization, content and functionality will be assessed. How does the website fit with the artist's overall online strategy, how good is it towards achieving certain goals?

Virginie Berger (France, marketing expert and founder of DBTH), David Dufresne (Canada, CEO of website platform Bandzoogle) and Ben Oldfield (head of The Orchard France, Swiss and Belgium) are experts when it comes to artists' online presence. They have been instructed to be ruthless but honest, so it should be a fun and useful session.

If you plan to attend and make sure your site is reviewed, send it in advance to david[at]bandzoogle[dot]com

***

Digital Services Pitch Session
Friday, October 26
11:00AM - 1:00PM


Bandzoogle has been selected as 1 of 10 companies offering a musical internet or mobile services for a professional or a broader public to present their service at MaMA. So, our fearless CEO will have 6 minutes to explain why everyone should be using Bandzoogle to build their website. If you’re attending MaMA, go cheer him on!

***

And speaking of France, stayed tuned for Bandzoogle en français, coming in 2013. We plan to fully translate Bandzoogle into French, and have already taken steps in that direction.



Stay tuned to our blog as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages for more updates about our Fall Tour. Upcoming stops include the TAXI Road Rally in Los Angeles...

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/19/2012 | 0 comments
Dave Cool

Self-releasing your music in the UK

This is a guest post from The Unsigned Guide, an online music industry contacts directory & career guide produced specifically for emerging bands, artists, music managers, producers & anyone trying to make a living from music.

Reaching UK waters with your music is not as unachievable as you may first think! You may not have the funds and resources to journey over in person as yet, but don’t let that stop you spreading your music to further horizons.

Getting your music out to the masses

Thanks to the marvels of the internet it is no longer necessary to have a distribution deal in the traditional sense to get your music onto the likes of iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and eMusic. The major bonus with these digital stores is that you are not limited by territories so your tracks can be listened to across the globe. Find a digital distributor, carry out some research into the stores they can get your track into, enquire about the royalties you will earn and any cut the distributor may take, plus the length of time it will take for your release to be live in the stores. It can take up to 8 weeks for your music to be available digitally but this will allow time for you to orchestrate a campaign to draw the eyes & ears of the UK music industry to your release. This is where the trickier work begins, but it is certainly far from impossible – all you need are the right contacts.


Reaching radio & press contacts

The UK has many radio stations with specialist programmes and shows dedicated to unsigned & emerging music and most will welcome demos; you just need to know the producers and presenters to target. Many UK stations stream their shows live across the internet or have ‘listen again’ options on their website, so it’s always worthwhile tuning in and making sure your music fits the bill. Certain regional radio stations are always very happy to play music from local bands. Obviously, if you’re not from the UK this can be a little tricky but use your imagination a bit. Do any of your band members have links to a particular part of the UK that you could maximise on? If not, you could always make something up!

Although it can be harder getting coverage in the UK press on a national scale, there are plenty of smaller, specialist and well-respected publications you can try. However, an easier approach may be to get in touch with the many new music blogs and websites to get a buzz started. As with contacting radio stations, it always pays to do your research. Scour the blogs for reviews of bands & artists making music of a similar ilk and then see if you can get in touch with the writers and reviewers directly. This method of approach is often more fruitful than submitting your music to a general email contact. If you’ve already had some positive feedback and press quotes in the US, then this could certainly stand in your favour so make sure you include this when you make contact.

Get ur Tweet on!

Ah, the joys of Twitter! Chances are you’re already using social media to the max to promote your music…and if not, why not?! But have you considered using it to help establish some UK music contacts? You could start by tracking down an equivalent band based in the UK with a similar sound and then look through their followers and the Twitter types they are following themselves, to see who is into their music and who they are actively promoting it to. You may just stumble upon some good contacts, and obviously Twitter is perfect for a direct route of communication so you can obtain an email address and get in touch with further information about your music. Once you have gained a few overseas contacts, Twitter is also a simple and effective way to stay in touch, keep them updated with what you’re up to and hopefully create a longer term connection.

How do I get started?

The internet is a wonderful tool to start your research into finding relevant UK music contacts, but if you want to save yourself lots of time and put your effort into your release, then signing up to The Unsigned Guide is the perfect way to arm yourself with all the UK music industry info you need! The Unsigned Guide contains a mammoth directory with over 8,750 UK music contacts from all sectors of the music business. When self-releasing your music, our Selling & Distributing Your Music section will help you track down suitable digital distributors and stores. Our Media section will also be particularly handy as it encompasses contacts for Radio Stations including online stations & new music podcasts, National & Regional Press, Online Magazines & Blogs and much more.

Beyond the contacts, The Unsigned Guide is also packed with useful articles and blogs helping you get to grips with how the UK music industry operates including advice on how to get radio airplay, approaching music companies, self-releasing an album, and loads more, all provided by experienced industry professionals & organisations. Our DIY Doctor is also on call to annual members of The Unsigned Guide, so overseas bands & artists can take advantage of his expert advice to assist with moving their music careers forwards in the UK.
Posted by Dave Cool on 10/18/2012 | 4 comments
Allison

Music Sampling: To Sample or Not to Sample?

You've written a superb song... lyrics and music are flowing but there's just something missing. Later in the day you have an oldies station playing in the car and it hits you. A simple horn lick under the sweet sound of a commanding bellow. You know it would be the perfect compliment to your newly written hit, but how can you get that sound for your song?

Well, here's the quick and easy answer: You cut that piece out of the song (sample) and you get permission to use it (clearance).

(CC)Ethan Hein

We all know artists who take chunks of popular music throw it on their track and say, "What? I changed it enough so i don't need to get permission." According to copyright infringement law, this may or may not be true depending on the final product. I'm not a lawyer so should you want to interpret copyright law you can find it here.

EMusician.com has one of the best articles I've read about "HOW TO" clear a sample. It provides an in-depth step by step on how to obtain the permission you need to add a sample to your song.  You can also check out copyright records here, but may be limited to just the names of writers. Thanks to search engines like Google, you can usually find contact info on the copyright holder pretty quickly. If you have trouble locating the person/company, you can have the copyright office assist you, but at $165 an hour (2 hour minimum) you really need to make sure the sample is worth it!

Beyond copyright law though, one should consider moral law. Some would call sampling flattery, some call it lazy - either way, consideration should be given to the original creator of the music every time. You may get a free meatball sample at Costco, but if you wanted to use that same meatball brand for a dinner party, you will have to pay for it. Bottom line, sampling without proper clearance (permission and payment) is stealing, plain and simple.

Before diving into the magical world of sampling here are a few pros and cons to consider:

Pros
  • The right sound can really add something special to your song. Song creation is like a puzzle with the melody, instruments, lyrics, and vocals. Sometimes the right sample can be just the piece you need to complete the puzzle.
  • If you are trying to recreate an elaborate sound that would require you to hire musicians, it may cost less to pay for sample clearance.
  • If the song contains a popular hook or phrase, listeners will relate more quickly which could boost your songs popularity (if done right).

Cons
  • Sample clearance can be costly. These costs vary widely depending on the person or company granting permission. Roughly speaking you can hire a sample clearance company for around $250 per sample. If you add a couple of samples to a few songs on your EP or album that can really add up!
  • If you decide to add samples to your music without clearing them, you could end up with a lawsuit on your hands. Lawsuits are expensive so word to the wise: Every sample needs to be cleared.

Alternatives
To avoid these headaches, here are a few ideas that may help in the music creation process instead:
  • Sampling music from other indie artists is a great way to not only save money, but find some really great original sounds. You'll generally have an easier time obtaining permission to use the sample, and the costs may be less. This is a win-win for both artists as they will each be promoting the song for their own purposes.
  • Instead of sampling music from other artists you can purchase sample and loop CD's or downloads. By doing a quick Google search for 'sample music' you'll get many results for clearance free samples and loops (many free!) that you can use in your music.
  • One of the most cost effective alternatives to sampling would be to recreate the sound your way. You can sing, play, or program many of the same sounds with home studio equipment. It may not sound the same as the original artist or song, but at least you can say it's all your own. This saves time and money in the long run.

What are your thoughts on sampling?   Do you have any additional pros, cons or alternatives?

Posted by Allison on 10/15/2012 | 10 comments
Justin

Musician Website Love: Patryk Larney

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.

Who: Patryk Larney 
What: American roots singer/song-writer 
Where: New York City, New York 
Why his website rocks: Starting from his hand drawn header image and great font choice, Patryk's site is a testament to great design sensibility. Every aspect of the site, from the colour of the links to his site-wide player, is coordinated, and ties in perfectly with the promotional information for his new album's release. Bonus points for the custom buttons (also using artwork from the new album) that point to each of his sub-pages.
Check it out at: http://patryklarney.com


Posted by Justin on 10/12/2012 | 2 comments
Dave Cool

Band Website Review: Mushy Callahan [VIDEO]

This is the 4th of 5 website reviews as part of the Hypebot & Bandzoogle Video Website Review Contest. This time, we review the website for Mushy Callahan, a 4-piece/4-brother rock band from Toronto, Canada.

Below is the video review of their website: www.mushycallahan.com

Mushy Callahan’s website has a flashy design and is well-organized, but we go over some of the ways they can improve the design by moving away from the flash elements, adding more personal content, and adding a few key elements that will make the site work better for the band.

We hope that Mushy Callahan, and everyone who watches, finds the video review helpful:

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/11/2012 | 2 comments