MusicTech Summit 2008

At the beginning of November Crandall’s Corner (that’s me) attended the MusicTech Summit in Seattle, organized by the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Grammy’s. Let me tell you, it opened my eyes even more to the career possibilities for musicians today who know how to use the power of the internet. As Barack Obama said to Joe The Plumber “spread the wealth around”. This is exactly what is happening with the collapse of the music industry as we knew it; making room for a new class of musicians, that some refer to as the Musician Middle Class.

Of course you have to do more than just posting MySpace and Facebook pages. Here are the top recommendations that I garnered from the conference:

  1. Your music has to be good and unique. This is super important so develop your sound and make it your own, otherwise you won’t stand out from the noise.
  2. Know who your fans are and where they hang out on the internet and engage them.
  3. Communicate with your fans regularly varying the means. Fan communication can be through multiple channels: blogs, emails, SMS text messaging, polling, etc. Make sure you follow spam laws.
  4. Learn about all of the tools available to you online. You don’t need to do the wallpaper approach (see what sticks), but it’s important to choose the right places for your audience.
  5. Be careful about giving away licensing rights; it’s easy to do without knowing it. Consult an attorney.
  6. Create multiple lines of revenue to extend your brand beyond just Mp3 music (limited edition albums/artwork, t-shirts, coffee, etc.).
  7. Register on Sound Exchange (www.soundexchange.com). It’s free and you’ll be sure to receive any revenue if your song is played on digital cable satellite television, and internet and satellite radio.

In summary: The traditional record label is fading more and more. Don’t worry about going after the record deal or getting a great review in major press. Develop a relationship with your fans and build your base, as this is where you can get the most support. And with all of the tools available today you may be able to build to a point where you do get a record deal or a great story in the press that propels your music career forward even more. Until that day focus on creating your own marketing strategy and gather team of support if you can’t do all of the work. Hire someone like me.

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