Category Archives: Music Marketing

Video: ‘Stil Leven’ or ‘Still Life’ by Goslink

I dig this promo movie for the album ‘Stil Leven’ (or ‘Still Life’) by Dutchman Goslink Harm Kuiper. In the video, he shows a wide variety of instruments that he has built. You get to hear some of the album and see part of a live performance.

Goslink’s website in Dutch
Goslink’s website translated into English via Google Translate

Hat tip to my Dad for sharing this with me.

How to submit your CD track/song information to Gracenote using iTunes

I’ve got a quick tip for independent musicians who are marketing/promoting their commercially produced CDs.

On Wednesday, May 26th, I was at an Austin Music Foundation event called “Tips for Success from Inside the Music Biz” at the legendary Stubb’s Bar-B-Que. The discussion was moderated by Paige Maguire, music editor of She rocks.

The panelists were:

  • Mike Locke – Director, Independent Label Liaison, Rhino Independent, Warner Music Group
  • Maggie Martin – EMI Music Publishing
  • John Nicholson – Regional Director of Promotions and Marketing for Hollywood Records

The panelists were very interesting and the group held a wide-ranging discussion. One tip I picked from the panel relates to the Gracenote Media Recognition Service, which according to Gracenote’s website, is:

“…an Internet-based service that we license to software and hardware developers for use in their CD players, CD burners, MP3 players and encoders, catalogers, jukeboxes, cell phones, car audio systems, and home media center applications (among others). The service allows these developers to display artist, title, tracklists, and other music-related information automatically and instantly in their applications.

For example, when you insert a music CD into your CD ROM on your computer, the software player application on your computer uses our service to first identify the CD, and then display the artist, title, tracklist, and other information. Most commercial music CDs do not contain any of this information on the CD itself.”

The sense among the panel was that if you send off your CD to a music reviewer, radio station, publishing company, etc., without entering the information into Gracenote, your CD is less likely to receive any attention. It might even get tossed in the trash. I’m pretty sure that industry folks receive tons of CDs and this is one easy fix that might help you get noticed.

I went home after the panel and entered my band’s CD “The Sunday Best” in Gracenote. Here’s how I did it.

NOTE: The following steps assume that your computer is connected to the Internet.

NOTE2: The following steps (which I have abbreviated) are taken directly from this InformIT posting. To see the original post, click here.

1. Insert your CD into your computer and fire up iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, you can get it here.

On the left side, click on your CD under Devices. In the list view, you should see Track 01, Track 02, etc.

2. Edit your track information

Select all the songs on the disc, then either choose File, Get Info or right-click and choose Get Info from the context menu. Make as many changes as possible for all of the songs (Artist, Album, Composer, Genre, Year as applicable to your situation).  Next, follow the same process for each individual track so that you can enter the Name of each song. Make sure everything is spelled correctly. Click OK when you’re done. Confirm that the fields are all updated to reflect your changes.

3. Submit CD track names/songs to Gracenote via iTunes

Choose Advanced, Submit CD Track Names. iTunes will connect to Gracenote, check the available categories, and submit your information. A few days later (typically) your information will be available to everyone in the world that is using Gracenote (including that important music industry contact that you just sent your CD).

Till next time.

MySpace, Facebook, Twitter: Which is best for building your band fan base?

If you have a band, the expectation is that you have a MySpace page (here’s mine). I started that page in a fit of patriotic fervor on July 4, 2006. My band’s MySpace profile has had 4,395 views and I’ve got 76 friends. The MySpace site feels really static to me and my friend count has remained basically the same since everyone switched over to Facebook.

I set up my band’s Facebook page (here it is) and became a “fan” of myself to launch the page among my Facebook friends on December 11, 2009. I’ve got 97 fans as of January 10, 2010. The growth in my fan base on Facebook has been really fast with about half of my friends becoming fans. I’ve also had some friends of friends add me too, which has been great.

I am not crazy about the tab set up in Facebook. I really like the way MySpace has the music player and comments on the same page. I think it encourages plays and interaction with a focus on plays. In Facebook, you have to choose whether the “Wall” or “MyBand” tab is the start page for visitors to your band page. For now, I have opted for the “Wall” because it feels more social. I will keep an eye on how many people actually play the music on MyBand and may switch it up in the future.

I’ve also got a Twitter account for my band (here it is). As of January 10, 2010, I’ve got 177 “followers.” Twitter has been an incremental way to build fans, but probably 10 percent of my “followers” are spammers (and that’s after culling “followers” who were clearly spammers).

To me, Twitter feels like I am shouting out into the wilderness. For example, I tried to give away a free copy of my album on both Twitter and Facebook. The copy I offered on Facebook was snapped up in minutes. The Twitter album has yet to be claimed (as of this writing).

Which is best?
Based on my personal experience, Facebook is the better of the three for building a fan base. I am experimenting with a variety of other sites and will write more about marketing in upcoming posts.

My new album–Songs in the Key of Divorce–is available for digital download

“Songs in the Key of Divorce” was recorded at home between 2004 and 2005 during and after my divorce. The songs were written and recorded as first takes, with few exceptions. Now for the first time you can buy Songs in the Key of Divorce here!

This album goes well with a Jack and Coke. Share with anyone who’s been through the big D!