News & Views

Another One Bites the Dust... 

The big drawback to depending on social media platforms is that sometimes they just go away. I remember when MySpace faded and I found myself having to rely more on Facebook and Twitter. Then there was a site called About.me that in its heyday, allowed me to garner 1 million views in two years. And then it was gone, at least the social platform that I knew. So I’m looking for something to replace it and I come upon CoPromote. It looked pretty good so I signed up and got to work promoting others so that they could promote me. And for a time it went very well, but then suddenly one day it was, for all intents and purposes, gone. I had accumulated 25.5 million reach credits and it was all gone in one day. Initially, the company said that they were having server issues, but after a while, it was apparent that this was just a way to put users off so they could just walk away. 

So now I am finding myself having to come up with new strategies. The one thing that is clear to me is that no social platform is too big to fail. While I don’t see Facebook going anywhere, and since they own Instagram, I don’t think that’ll go away anytime soon, but I am starting to have some serious concerns with Twitter. In all these years, they still aren’t making money. While I don’t use Snapchat, I do know that they are hemorrhaging money big time. Other less well-known sites come and go on a monthly basis. 

So, what is the takeaway from all this? Spreading out your risk to many different platforms only makes sense. Always be on the lookout for a backup platform if you can find one. Remember that there is only one thing that you can truly own, and that is your email list. Make it a priority to build it up. I know that I am going to the trouble of creating a small group networking group for people using Twitter, too. It won’t take up too much of my time and I hope will be a big help to many users who got stung on co-promote as well as others. You can learn more about it here http://ow.ly/EwE530crmob While things like this will continue to happen, we all have to keep moving forward anyway! Be successful in spite of setbacks!

The Beatles are on Spotify.

My first thoughts to finding out that the Beatles are actually on Spotify was that it was “A Long and Winding Road.” All puns aside, it's been a long time since I have heard much at all of the Beatles music. What has struck me indelibly is the amazing songs that these guys wrote. It seems that today that there are fewer really good songs but the songs that are coming out have much better production values. The first album I listened to was Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Having not listened to it for many years I was absolutely taken aback by what was considered at the time state-of-the-art recording techniques. If I am not mistaken, and correct me if I'm wrong, the album was recorded on a four-track tape unit. That's it. Unlike today's digital audio workstations, where 100 tracks or more of material can be recorded, I am amazed by the creativity that was used to create that album. Yes, I know that sometimes the electric guitars sounded a little thin and harsh and it sounded like poor Ringo was playing his drum kit out in the hall with the door having been left open. But unlike today where nine or more microphones can be placed at various points to record a modern drum kit, I am confident that he had to settle for one or two microphones for the whole set. Of course, it was also common to put the drums on one side of the stereo image and vocals and other instruments on the other side creating a kind of lopsided effect that we don't hear much of today. While production values did get better with the White Album, it really wasn't until they put out their Abbey Road album that they began to approach modern production values. Irrespective of all this, the Beatles have a lot over many current top artists. Their songwriting was out of sight. Absolutely incredible. Song after song after song. Ultimately, extraordinary songwriting and exceptional creativity are what makes the Beatles as great as they ever were.

An Open Letter to the “Losers” of The Voice. 

There was a time when being on a show like the voice would either make or break your career. These are not those times. Now while I don't know what the exact arrangements that you have with The Voice television show are, I think that if they give you this bump with no strings attached, you are very blessed! What I do know is that “winning” and getting a major label record deal is not always what it's cracked up to be. Every year musicians are signed to record deals that will never go anywhere. That's because the music business is just that, a business. So often, artists think that once they get the deal that the record company will take care of them. They will take care of you as long as you are making money for them. Ultimately the only person who has your best interests at heart is you and those who truly love you. 

We live in an era where is entirely possible for an independent artist to make a decent living without having to sign a record label deal. You have received an amazing amount of exposure for yourself and your music that would take you years or maybe never to obtain on your own. The winners of vocal competitions don't always do well after their initial brush with fame is over. And there are others, the “losers” of the competition, who go on to have very respectable careers. There are thousands of artists here in America that will never be known to the general public but will have successful and satisfying careers nonetheless. 

This happens because they recognize that if they create a plan and then work that plan very hard, that they will go a long way to creating their own destiny in music. I myself can only imagine what it would be like to have the kind of exposure that you have had. Facebook, iTunes, Twitter and YouTube accounts full of messages, likes and an immense amount of name recognition and interaction. So the thing for you now is to get busy and maximize this opportunity you've been given. If you are not sure how to proceed I would highly recommend Bob Baker's book Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook. Read the book and fill out the worksheets. Subscribe to blog posts from people like Ari Herstand. Make every contact that you can and you will do just fine. So see, you are a winner after all!!!