Online Video Distribution: Getting More YouTube Views

 

This post that I found on Trackhustle.com gives some tips on how to appeal to a wider audience on YouTube. The videos in the article all succeeded in reaching a large audience and you could learn a lot just be viewing them. These tips are very timely because I am shooting a video this weekend and am hoping to reach a wide audience through a strong viral campaign on YouTube. The video is for my song The One Who Got Away, and has been in the works for over a month now. One of the key takeaways from the article on Trackhustle that I hope we will achieve is to “do something that is so awesome that people have to show their friends.”

Emmett Adler, the director, and I have developed a pretty great story line that follows closely with the lyrics of the song, but takes place at a halloween party. The song is about the regrets of lost love and missed opportunities so it is a universal theme that a lot of people can relate to. The setting of a halloween party provides the setting for something that couples tend to do together and can show loving moments, yet also provides the setting for betrayal and alienation with strange looking people making the girl feel alone.

Stay tuned for the video coming soon…

Here is the Full Article on Trackhustle.com

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MUSICIANS LEARN HOW TO GET A MILLION YOUTUBE VIEWS

Lots of people have videos on Youtube that reach a million views, but getting a million views based on musical talent is rare. It is important to showcase your musical talent in the videos because that’s what you are promoting. There are a handful of Youtube Stars that understand this principle and continuously get millions of views on their Youtube channels. Here’s how you can do it.

BE CREATIVE
Find creative ways to showcase your music. Do something that is so awesome that people have to show their friends. There are some really cheap video editing programs that do special effects. Experiment with a green screen and see what cool ideas you can come up with.

BE CONSISTENT
Don’t post one video and get mad when it doesn’t hit a million views in the first week. The most popular Youtube Stars post videos on a regular basis. You really don’t know which video will go viral so just post quality videos and build your fan base.

BE STICKY
Ever wonder how these Youtube Stars views are so high on all of their videos? Its because after fans discover their Youtube channel, they watch multiple videos. If the videos have similarities, they watch another video. Soon, they’ve watched all the videos on the channel. Have a central theme to your videos. Consider covering popular bands’ songs or accepting musical challenges from your viewers.

PROMOTE YOUR CHANNEL
This is pretty self-explanatory. Promote your videos on social networks to get people to watch your videos. This is not limited to the internet. Make sure all your friends and family watch the videos you post. Youtube also has several built-in features that allow you to promote your videos to other Youtubers.

SPONSOR A VIDEO
If all else fails, you could approach a Youtube Star that is already established and sponsor a future video of theirs. This does not necessarily mean pay money either. Try writing a song for them or send them some of your music and merchandise to give away.

Check this video of Mike Kalombo making a beat for Shane Dawson

BE CONNECTED
Contact people that you admire on Youtube by sending them a message. Introduce yourself and tell them what you like about their videos. By befriending other Youtubers, you can learn more tips for success. You could even collaborate some time down the line to cross promote each other’s Youtube channels. Don’t be afraid to reach out to top level Youtube Stars for advice.

BE PATIENT
There are a lot of undiscovered musicians getting millions of views on Youtube. Don’t be discouraged if your great content does not get a lot of views at first. Once more and more people discover your channel your views will eventually increase.

Remember, you are aiming to get millions of views to gain millions of fans. Don’t chase the record labels and major corporations. Make them come to you. Once you build your audience, they will approach you to work with them to expose their brands to your fan base.

Check this video of DeStorm jumping on board with a Pepsi campaign and gaining awareness for himself at the same time by bringing a lot of positive energy.

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The Bitter Truth: Artists Must Sacrifice to Find Success

This is a very well-written, painfully truthful, thought provoking story about the hardships of life as an artist. I found it on Digital Music News and it is written by Paul Resnikoff. He offers some advice for all DIY artists: unless we are prepared to sacrifice the luxuries of a “normal” life, we most certainly will not find success as an artist because it won’t simply come to us. With the vast array of tools available to us through the Internet, and affordable recording options, success may seem just within our reach. Because it is so easy now to look and sound like the big boys, we get comfortable with mediocrity. We get excited when new fans are added on our various social media sites while losing site of the big (money making) picture. “Pretending to pursue a professional career – while actually living the life of a hobbyist,” Resnikoff argues, “is a tragedy.”
Having recently graduated from college last May, there is a tremendous amount of pressure to get a “real job” and have the security that comes with it. Many friends of mine have gotten jobs in finance, accounting, marketing, etc. and they all work long hours that leave absolutely no time for something like music, even as a hobby. All of them tell me the same thing when I say that I am pursuing a career in music: “Stick with it! You don’t want to be where I am!” Your 20’s are your most creative years, and I don’t want to see them pass by as a slave to some company that doesn’t appreciate my talents because of my age. I have faith that I am talented enough to make it, so now it is a matter of getting others to agree. I will fight until I find success or it becomes impossible. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself later in life if I didn’t give it a full shot.
Here is the Full Article from Digital Music News
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Want Serious Success? Then Start Losing Everything, Right Now…

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What will we be laughing at five years from now?  The notion that somehow, direct-to-fan connectivity means that fans will care or connect.  That somehow, just having a straight fan connection is more important than writing incredible music.  Or, the idea that millions of other artists aren’t getting the same exact memo on direct-to-fan channels.

The idea that skipping a label and giving $50 to Tunecore is what makes a career.  Not even Corey Smith believes that.  Do you?

The numbers are telling a completely different story, over and over again.  So which is better, a fairy tale or a realistic assessment of the terrain?  “I feel like there are a lot of people in my position frankly – in the software space – who just said ‘yeah, you’re going to make it,’ and it’s definitely statistically untrue,” Ian Rogers recently told an artist audience in Santa Barbara.

How untrue?  Rogers himself revealed a stat showing that less than 30,000 artists are actually making a living.  Soon thereafter, the UK-based Musicians’ Union revealed that 87 percent of its members are making less than $25,000 a year.  Earlier this year, Tom Silverman found that roughly a dozen DIY artists (if that) were selling north of 10,000 albums.

If you’re a hobbyist, then enjoy the considerable fruits that come from musical composition, performance, and direct distribution.  Music is one of the greatest pleasures in life, whether performing, listening, mashing-up, or discussing.  But pretending to pursue a professional career – while actually living the life of a hobbyist – is a tragedy.

So if your statistical chances of making it are close to zero, what’s the better approach?  It’s not a romantic, DIY, Long Tail-inspired game plan.  It’s slogging it out on the road for 200-plus dates a year, sleeping in the van, getting your stuff stolen, finding it again, getting ripped off by the club owner a day later, fighting with your bandmates.

It’s sitting in a room for hours writing incredible music.  And recording, performing and perfecting that music every day.  Even on Thanksgiving.

It’s saying goodbye to comfy nights on the couch with your girlfriend, a round of beers with your buddies, or two-week vacations.  And the same thing goes for the team, which needs to be equally committed to sacrifice and total success.

Why not just get a real job?  It’s also explaining to everyone – including your family – why you’re barely surviving, why your art takes precedence over everything else in your life.  And this is not a modern-day reality: artists have struggled for centuries to make ends meet.  The numbers have always been stacked against musicians, internet or not.

And then, when all of those sacrifices are made, when you cut out all the comforts you think you’re entitled to… then what?  You get a lottery ticket, to possibly become self-sustaining and even wildly successful.

And if your number comes up, what happens then?  If you actually get substantial traction, if you can fill 200 rooms a year, then you’re now ready to work some more – a lot more.  To expand the base, structure partnerships with professionals, distribution partners, management agencies, and even labels.  Because even total control needs to be sacrificed at some point.

Thoughts by Paul Resnikoff, Publisher.  Written while listening to Mozart, Sepultura, Daft Punk, Icepick, and Hatebreed.

Fan Engagement – Creating Behind The Scenes Content

This article I found on Weallmakemusic.com says that it might be worth documenting more aspects of the creative process. Fans want to be as intimate as possible with their favorite artists (without being creepy), and creating content that gives an inside look at the processes of writing, rehearsing, recording in the booth, shooting video, etc. can bring your fans closer than ever. So many artists have only live performances and music videos available and don’t offer more of an inside look at who the artist is behind the scenes. More fan engagement means a stronger bond to you and your music, and can directly translate to more money in your pocket.

Just the other day I was on my facebook and photos from MSTRKRFT’s most recent tour popped up on my feed. There are a bunch of behind the scenes pictures of the backstage chilling, the limo ride to the show, and the post performance tiredness. You wouldn’t believe the feedback that MSTRKRFT got from those behind the scenes photos.

Full Article on Weallmakemusic.com

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Get More Mileage Out of Your Projects By Bringing Your Fans Into Your World

by ADAM SISENWEIN on NOVEMBER 17, 2010 · VIEW COMMENTS

The David Crowder*Band and friends give a behind the scenes look of how they made their latest music video

There’s a very good reason people do things like take pictures, write journals (or, these days, blogs), and collect souvenirs. We want to capture a moment in time and hold on to it, reflect on it later and possibly share it with others, make them feel like they were there.

The David Crowder*Band have just released a great example of how bands should do that, too.

It came time for the group to make a music video for their song “SMS (Shine)” and it soon became clear that it would be a pretty big production. The video would involve a very elaborate stop-motion animation sequence involving many Lite-Brite boards, plastic wrap, and many intricate banners made of tissue paper.

Knowing that making the video would be an experience in and of itself, the band decided to film the entire process, setting up cameras that rolled for hours, capturing the hard and tedious tasks involved with the project. Each band member also filmed interviews that went over what inspired their creative decisions and what the whole process was like.

The end results include not only a music video to promote the single, but the series of making-of videos that promotes pretty much everything David Crowder*Band-related and further showcases their talent and relatability.

In other words, whenever you are writing, practicing, recording, touring, or undertaking any big creative project, document it somehow: take pictures, record video, write about the events. Create a path that allows your fans into your process. Logistically, the edited result of your extra works may become exclusives for fans of your Facebook page or e-mail list, while there are also bonus materials to entice potential new fans.

Your music and work is an extension of who you are. Your fans may feel a closeness and attachment when they hardly even know you as a person. For a musician to share an experience with their fans regarding their creative process is something very special, and can be even more insightful than only a song or music video.

Making Money – 7 Merchandising Tips from DJ Shadow’s US Tour

The fourth installment of Michael Fiebach’s blogs while on tour with DJ Shadow was posted to Hypebot the other day. Michael offers 7 good tips about merchandising while on tour. The major takeaways from these tips are that you must really know your fans and you should take extreme care in planning out what type of merchandise you sell and how you sell it. As a fan, I have seen a whole range of displays for merchandise, from a few t-shirts lying around to a whole wall of different items like hats, signed posters, cds, sweatshirts, frisbess, etc. The degree of organization of merchandise is almost always in direct correlation with how professional the band or artist is (and how much they sell). So merchandise offers two pretty important opportunities – 1. An added revenue stream that can be extremely lucrative, and 2. A reputation booster.

The Full Article on Hypebot

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On The Road With DJ Shadow Part 4: The Merchandising Approach

by Michael Fiebach
image from www.djshadow.com
Michael Fiebach is the Project, Marketing and Merchandise Manager for DJ Shadow. As they’ve crossed North America on tour, Michael has offered an exclusive look inside how they market and stay connected to fans.(Read Part 1Part 2 and Part 3)

Only 2 more shows.  I cannot believe it is almost over… I have never worked in a traditional retail store, but I am an entrepreneur and salesman by heart.  As a kid (we’re talking, like 8 years old) I used to hold Yard Sales in front of my parents house.

They still love to make fun of the fact that I would wake them up with my 8AM “YARD SALE!” screams as curious people walked along Delancey Street in Philadelphia.  Some people stopped to simply humor this crazy kid, and some actually stopped to buy some hand-me-down clothing, or an old video game.  Approaching music merchandising, is, in my opinion, the same as approaching product sales in ANY arena:

1) Demonstrate Product Value. This comes down to the music itself, and the packaging.  Make someone want to shell out the $10-$15 for a CD, even though they can easily get the same music online for free.  Don’t just press single sleeve jewel cases; make the packaging interesting, and most importantly, the music MUST SOUND GOOD!

2) Present The Products Professionally. Whether it is on your online web store, or at a merchandise booth at a venue; the products should be displayed in an organized and visually pleasing manner.  This is the reason large retail stores pay specialists for product presentation; there is a big difference between a nicely presented product space, and a sloppy one, and it will show in the sales figures.  I will admit that in terms of tour merchandise, I am not the best at making a nice product presentation, but I have been working on it, and I think  it has improved as the tour has gone on (and the sales have improved along with it!).

3)  Offer Products That Cater To Your Fanbase. For Justin Bieber, teen-sized tees and tank tops work.  For DJ Shadow, 180-gram limited press vinyl, and hand-stamped and assembled accessory packs work.  The point is, shape your product offering around what your fans want.  Don’t try to be something you’re not in terms of the merchandise (or in anything for that matter).  Not every fan-base is full of collectors, and not every band has 12 year old fans; create accordingly.

4). Create a Product Line. Again, whether it is for tour, or for online sales- I believe creating product lines is a good approach for music merchandise sales.  A tour tee, a tour accessories pack, a tour CD, and a Tour hoodie, and then maybe a bundle packaging all of those things together, with a bonus CD.  The latter (bundle), is something we opted out for this time around, but we have done it in the past, and it can certainly work.  Either way, create a line of products with a cohesive theme.

5).  Array of Pricing Offers. I mentioned this before, but just to reiterate: create offerings that fans of any sub-demographic will be able to purchase.  Everything from the $10 CD, to the $15 tee, to the $50 hoodie, and finally to the $100 bundle, or special product.  Not only is this about catering to budgets, it is also catering to fan segments (Casual, Regular, and Super-Fans).

6). Tee Shirt Designs. I think it is smart to have some straight-forward designs with just the band logo, and maybe a simple back-print, but also to have 1-2 abstract tees that don’t necessarily shout the band name.  Most bands just go for the former, and have a few different designs with their band name plastered across the front of the tee, but I have found that sometimes people like a more artistic approach to their band merchandise.  Having both options is a good idea if you can afford the up front tee manufacturing costs.

7)  Create A Genuine Shopping Experience.  Again, whether it is on your web store, or on tour; buying merchandise from your band should not be much different than buying merchandise from Gap, Amazon, or iTunes, etc. Strive for merchandising greatness, just as a large company would!  For Tour merch: bring shopping bags, maybe even brand the bags with your band logo.  People don’t want to carry vinyl or tees around with them the whole show.  Having a bag gives them something to carry their merch in, and it also encourages larger buys.  I have seen this work time and time again.  Here is an example of a typical tour-merch interaction:

Fan: “I want to buy a bunch of vinyl, but I don’t want to carry it around all night, you guys don’t have bags, do you?”

Seller: “Yes, we have bags!  You can either walk around with it, or check it at the coat check.”

Fan: “Wow, great, give me 1 of each vinyl, and you know what- throw in the tour tee shirt in size L as well.”

That is NOT embellished, that exact interaction has happened way more times than I can count.  Most people are very surprised that we even have bags.  This is an example of going the extra mile, and spending a few extra bucks to make a genuine shopping experience, and the return has far exceeded the investment.  Our acceptance of credit cards using Square has also contributed to the genuine shopping experience, and has also encouraged larger buys.

Making Moves week 5 (pt. 2 – The Nitty Gritty Numbers)

The Nitty Gritty Numbers:

Facebook

  • I now have 120 “likes” on facebook. The rise in likes has slowed lately. I can still get a lot more out of my core group of friends, though. I have only really reached out with a personal message to about 20 people that I knew I could count on. There are many more that would be willing to do something- the initial market I reached out to is by no means saturated.
  • A stat that Facebook just recently calculated for me is my daily post views, which is now up to 637
  • 288 unique visitors look at my page each month

Trevor the Trash Man YouTube Channel

  • People have visited my channel 352 times
  • None of my 3 videos have struck any sort of viral gold – they haven’t reached any further than the original fans I shared them with.

Myspace

  • People have viewed my Myspace profile 338 times
  • Oddly enough, the traffic that was randomly viewing my page has now stopped abruptly. But I haven’t changed anything. The first few weeks I gained at least 100 views per week, yet this past week I had 0 profile views. Go figure.

Twitter

  • I began following a lot more people and that in turn has led to me getting more followers myself. I figure that if I follow hip hop artists I admire and other entertaining tweeters I should be getting followers that are at least interested in hip hop music.
  • I have 15 followers now, and I post new tweets about every other day. I don’t want to flood the channels with too much

ReverbNation

  • After weeks of steadily rising on the ReverbNation charts for hip hop artists in Brooklyn I have leveled out at around 950 (I started at around 6000). I’m not sure if the charts are based on song plays, or the number of fans I have or some combination, but either way it is a reminder that my fan base has stopped growing as fast as in past weeks.
  • My profile has been viewed 588 times, my songs have been played 332 times, and people have used my widgets placed on various pages 180 times. I have 11 songs and 10 photos on my page.

Making Moves Week 5 (pt. 1)

This week involved a lot of writing, which was great because I felt like I’d been devoting too much time to promoting my music and working on the Chi Guy Entertainment Blog. Now that the blog has been up and running for over a month and there is a decent amount of info available on the site, I don’t need to spend as much time on building it each day. At this point, the average person could come across my blog and get a pretty good feel for what it is in a matter of clicks. I’m not saying that I won’t be updating it whenever I use a new service or come across an interesting article, but I can now move on to the next phase of my plans for Chi Guy Entertainment. I recently wrote a post about a site called Trackhustle.com and it has some of the features I want to implement over the next months such as the ability to accept music submissions, offer access to music industry contacts and give more guidance in general. Before I do anything drastic, though, I want Chi Guy to be on its own domain.

I’m still working on getting more photo and video content, but I have had trouble getting my lazy friends to get out of the house and shoot this stuff. The promotional campaign still features me in a garbage man uniform that gets more and more splattered with blood as I “take the trash out.” Also, for my upcoming mixtape, The Classical Movement (pt. 2) I am going to set up a photo shoot with a very high class scene: me in a room surrounded by fine books and rich mahogany, in a smoking jacket with a tobacco pipe in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other. Classy is my middle name, but you can call me Trevor.

The next step in my journey, once I have more promotional material at my disposal, is spreading that material around New York and specifically Brooklyn. At the same time, I will focus on getting some live shows around Brooklyn and the rest of New York. The other thing I would like to do soon is set up my own website in time to release the full version of my upcoming mixtape. The mixtape will include a few bonus tracks that won’t be released prior to my website release and it will be free in exchange for email addresses. I want to send the mixtape out for review to blogs and magazines, but from my previous experience working at Republic Media (a public relations music company in London), most journalists don’t accept submissions from artists without representation from a public relations company. So, I might have to look into teaming up with a public relations company for this release (I have no idea which companies specialize in hip hop PR or if it is even affordable for artists who aren’t on a major label budget).

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Services: Tadcast (Paid Placement in Online Videos)

This looks like an interesting service, and something that I will look into as a possible service to build my fan base. Advertising has become more affordable so that even an independent artist like myself can afford it. But before I actually put money into an advertising service I need to work on my promotional campaign, create more video content and finish my mixtape. Before I resort to paid advertising I will explore my free options such as word of mouth, and submitting my music for review at magazines and blogs.

The Full Article is on Hypebot

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Tadcast: Would You Pay To Get Your Music In An Online Video?

image from t3.gstatic.comPaying to find fans has been around as long as there has been music and advertising. Once that meant a billboard on Hollywood Blvd, but with the net has come options that put advertising within reach of developing artists as well. Targeted Jango and and Facebook ad campaigns, for example, have proven worthwhile for some. But should artists pay to place music inside videos from the viral internet’s video stars rather than be paid for music use, as in the traditional model? Tadcast thinks so and has created a marketplace to facilitate it.

Details & Video Demo:

Artists upload music to Tadcast, which has provided a similar service to traditional advertisers for some time. and offer it for inclusion in online video productions. Producers include a link to anywhere the artist wants, like a music store or their website. Artists pay for this exposure on a per view and pay for click model much like Facebook or Google ads. Of course, unlike a banner or text ad, placement in a video means that potential ads actually get to hear your music.

How Tadcast Helps Musicians! from Tadcast on Vimeo.

Question: Could Tadcast be a worthwhile investment for some artists that leads to more fans and more income? Or does Tadcast eliminate yet another source of income for artists?

By Bruce Houghton

 

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