Thursday, September 17, 2020

Social media gives away your knowledge.

Since I hold a couple of gateways to different things, I get a lot of requests on social media. Most people are of course people I never have met in real life. There are fake accounts so the first thing you look after if the person is real. If we have common friends is a sign that the person is real, not just one common friend but a couple.

Now these common friends also give away a bit what level you are on in the industry. Almost like a fortune teller, I can read what you want and what will happen with your friend’s request. I have been playing with my staff here in the office to see if my theory is right and so far, I have been better than the fortune teller machine Zoltar in the movie “Big”.

One example is when an unknown artist is making a friend’s request. You can see that they are new to the industry, there are few friends and the ones they have is usual local heroes in the area they are from. I usually say yes, and my guess is that that in the first 48 hours I will get a message with a question that they can send a song for me to listen to.

The fun part is that since they are an artist I just go into their accounts and check out what they have so when the question comes, I have usually already seen and heard it. It only takes a couple of minutes. I like those in one way. The problem is usually that they demand a lot of feedback which I really don’t have time to answer on. Unfortunately, my work time is limited to helping you with your new song that is already released.

Then you have a certain area. You get friend’s requests from local industry professionals and you can easily see that all the friends are from an area or a specific country. These usually just say hello and hope that they will meet me on some convention later that are held in their area. The strange part is that they never offer their services or do an exchange thing?

Then you have the bragger. These are usually older people ask for friendship and immediately start boosting about names they have worked with. The main problem with these is that the names they are throwing around are generally not in the industry any longer, a lot of “has been”. The question comes down to that they seek a job or something that we can hire them for. The problem here is that the friend's list gives away that your “best before” date is long overdue and several of the same friends have done the exact same request.

Then you have the spies. The ones that just make a friend’s request. You can see that they hold quite many interesting contacts. These usually just never send you a message. Instead, they are in for keeping an eye on what you are launching and what you are telling. This is the reason why I stopped telling who I meet or when. The only time I do that is if something is already made a decision on and I want to brag.  During on showcase festival, we made the whole page crazy by taking pictures with big companies and posting them on social media and everybody though we did deal with them.

Another cringy one is the artist that runs around like a headless chicken befriending everyone and ask for favors. There you can see that they end up with a list of who is who along with the shady people in the industry. In those cases, I more or less just avoid them. In the end, they will never make it.

This is of course just for fun. The list, later on, can grow and can reveal when a person is getting to a place where they are an influencer in the industry. Still in many cases, if your friends are only bearded men that plays the flute, I know what level you are on. 

Yes, everything can be read in the numbers on the internet.  Still, we can’t seem to get an accurate top chart?


Thursday, September 10, 2020

If you had an opportunity to sit down with an industry executive what is the one question you would ask?

 This week has been so much stupidity that I think I just want to shoot myself. But you must think on the bright side. Use it in your blog and explain the stupidity. So yes, I got a lot of new stories to write.

We start with a Facebook friend of mine asked this question: Artists, if you had an opportunity to sit down with an industry executive what is the one question you would ask?

Kind of interesting what the artist would answer. Of course, this was not a stupid question the stupidity in my life will come later in other chapters. My guess was of course they will be aggressive and start accusing this person because they haven’t succeeded yet. Like that would be this person’s fault? Okey in the old industry there was gatekeepers. That is long gone, everything is really open. The fact is that nowadays it’s not hard to sit down and discuss with even the biggest industry executive.

I stole some of the questions here and try to give my answer on them. I guess you can say I’m one of those industry executives, of course not the biggest one. The biggest one is only hired to build up the company. Most of the time these people are heads over just a company that doesn’t really matter what it is. They recruited from any type of business since it’s all the same, their job is for the company to make more money. Of course, the artist they work for matters, that is like a product that is important for a company. Nowadays though few of them are in the process of choosing the product when they take it it’s already popular. Let’s go back to the questions.

-          I would ask him/her how do they plan on competing and staying relevant in the age of streaming services becoming the modern era record labels.

Good question. The major record labels are NOT developing artists, some smaller do, the big ones are mainly taking on artists that are flashing through social media channels or apps like TikTok. Their job is to develop that artist with a fanbase to get more revenue and of course they take a percentage out of that revenue. The problem the majors have is that these careers and platforms change so rapidly that the careers is only available for around a year. Another problem is that the money is not that big and a lot of cheating so most artist on the platforms is not signing up with the label since they can’t afford to share that percentage. This is though much safer to earn some money on an artist for a year then develop an artist for five years and then might get slightly higher revenue. For the companies, this is a safer way to go.

That they are relevant, that can be discussed? But yes they still give sweet deals to a big artist like Talyor Swift, so they won’t disappear in that kind of sense. The streaming services are not acting like record labels, they tried early in their things but realized that they can’t predict anything anyway and all their attempts fail. A reason modern attempt was trying to break Ava Max through Spotify, she has the numbers, but not the fans.

-         -  I would ask, why don't they give back to up and coming artist, who is extremely talented, but don't have a way, or the knowledge to capitalize on their gift.

I guess we already took this one. It’s too much of a risk!

-          - What are you guys actually looking for right now?

I guess I got that one there as well, an artist that already has a fanbase they can capitalize on.

-          - How do I get paid if I am not in charge of Production or Producing my own Material.

Then you are a boyband that is hired as an actor is hired in a movie. You get a salary. If you do your own material, you own it you can then license parts of it to get a better reach. The days when companies invested in recordings and stuff is way over.

-          Get you a lawyer that knows something about the music industry let him ask a question.

That is really the wrong thing. I have met many lawyers that have no clue how the new music business works. Better to let them see the papers when you have them on the table. They are usually good to intemperate the law. Most of them are really lousy to be updated or even have the knowledge inside the industry.

There were more good questions but I will stop there and might come back to them another day.



There were more good questions but I will stop there and might come back to them another day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The headless chicken game!

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust….

Yes, you can hear me like crone that Queen song when I bump into artists or industry professionals that play the headless chicken game. This phrase was invented by an intern many years ago around the behavior of a couple of artists that had screw him over.

“They just run around like headless chicken screwing everyone or screwing each other” he screamed in frustration. And the whole office just laughs out loud.

We all knew what he meant; we all knew the behavior he was trying to set words on. After that, it became the headless chicken game.

So, what it is when a person just runs around and try to use everyone they meet as a steppingstone. At the same time, they try to be friends with everyone. They don’t understand that a lot in this business is about trust and network and friendships. So try to climb the ladder on several different places will be the end result that everything crashes down.

I just bumped into a fresh case of this. A person that I invited to my former festival. This person really doesn’t have anything in the industry to brag about. I merely just gave the person a chance. As soon they got into the festival the person just went for the CEO and started to just groom him. Thinking that the higher up you are the better it is. The problem here is that the CEO is as bright and good as Basil Fawlty. Of course, with that when we left the festival, we took all network with me and just left the person with the CEO. Suddenly all the opportunities that this person usually got were gone.

So, what to do? Well then, the person runs to the next one asking for favors. And this one thought it was ok since the person was in my network. Not long after they realized that this person had gone above them and was now grooming their sponsor. That lead of course them coming back to me asking about the loyalty of this person. I just told them what had happened, and they realized it was not good to have this person in their network.

All doors closed at the same time. The person was suddenly banned from quite much and really didn’t understand why or how.

Same with an artist that was trying to have a manager. As soon the manager gave him a contact, he just grabbed the contact and tried to squeeze the new contact to be him, the new manager. He then did the mistake by playing on the club that the old manager booked of course making the new manager kind of pissed off. Of course, the audience that the artist promised to the old manager was the work of the new manger that really didn’t want to promote the old mangers club. The artist just saw it as another gig. In reality, he pissed off both mangers and the career was kind of over.

No, you shouldn’t run around like a headless chicken and try every opportunity there is. Quite many carers both for artist and industry people have gone down the drain because of that. Don’t forget who brought you in.



Thursday, September 3, 2020

The format is not your enemy, it’s free to break the rules but know why.

Many artists follow all the rules and advice that are given to them at conferences, online or in workshops, etc. One rule seems though hard for them to understand, format.

Format is how the general audience listens and is presented to music. You have every artistic right and freedom to not follow these format rules. You need to be aware that you are excluding yourself from a lot of listeners. No, you cannot change people. Either you change for them or you accept a smaller range of audiences. Either way is the right way for you, it's your choice. Right now however I have too many people that have chosen to leave formats and then doing PR and efforts that are in a format world, and then complaining that they don’t get the same chance as other artists and that the world is to shallow.

What are the format rules? It varies, but I can take an example. I got in a demo from an artist. Every song was over six minutes long and an album of ten songs. Me working on the radio know that you need to make a really good exemption to play songs over 4:30 minutes. Why this rule? Studies have shown that the audience starts to change the channel if there is a song playing for too long that they don’t like. Of course, there are exemptions like Don Mcleans, American Pie that is eight minutes long. But then they usually fade it in the middle. And if you look at online radio, fading is not that easy to do, so you rather stay in the format of three minutes to four minutes. This is that the audience hangs on. Playing long songs is risky for me as a radio producer. If you then do songs that don’t fit that it’s my artistic freedom to choose to not play them. It’s your artistic freedom to release longer songs because they should be that way. You take a bigger chance though by leaving the format that I will play it.

Same rule that you should release it on a Friday. Friday is the official release day of music in the world. Many blogs, magazines, and stations has built up their release systems around that. Their working schedule is put that way. Many algorithms are programmed that way. You can release on a Tuesday you have to full right to do that. Don’t expect that all these people should change their schedules just because you don’t want to stay in the format. You can release it on a Tuesday but take a chance that you are not picked since it won't fit the editor's schedule.

A lot of complaining I seen the past weeks has just been around this. Either the artist didn’t know or understand that they broke a format rule, or they just wanted to be cool and different and think that would help them to reach an audience. The choice is simple. You lock your self inside the format and try to be creative inside that. Or be totally outside the rules. Whatever you do don't try to do it halfway that just gonna make people take things off.

If the things you release is mediocre, well then it doesn’t matter if you follow the format or not. It won’t fly. It’s only if it’s great and you follow the rules you might have a bigger chance if you also follow the format.

It’s no rules, it’s a choice but don’t complain about the system or if people mark it out.



Monday, August 31, 2020

Why music lost value.

 It seems like we need to know what value things have. Salt had huge value in the middle ages. Today you can buy salt pretty cheap. Things that used to have value might lose it. That is how to look at recordings. Just thirty years ago recording was expensive. You needed quite much financial backup to do a record of a lot of money involved. And then you also thought twice what to record.

Today I could just go down to the local electronic store buy a kind of cheap microphone (or just take the microphone that is built in a laptop) and just record a song. And then just put it on any social media channel in seconds, and even get it out on Spotify in 24 hours.

The problem here is that many think that the value of that recording is the same as the recordings of The Beatles on Abby Road. It’s not. Technology has given us to have better equipment to record then The Beatles had just dreamt about when they recorded on Abby Road. With that came though the price that everyone thinks they can write a song like “Yesterday”.

Since the price is so low to produce things then the value of the product also sinks. But there is a problem with music. The recording is just part of the product. There is a difference in skills to write songs. Skills of writing lyrics. To be honest “Yesterday” is still a great song even if I would mistreat it in a recording with a mic on my laptop. Also, I believe that the Beatles would record the song great through the mic of my laptop.

My recording though doesn’t have much value, only as proof of that, I should not be recording Beatles songs. But the recording of “Yesterday” original is worth millions.

Just because you have created something it’s not worth the money you think it’s worth. The value is decided on how many people that is prepared to pay for it. Today also the time, money, and effort that is put in behind a song are many times a lot less then it was 25 years ago. The whole process has made that music has lost value.

No, it won’t be better if people started to put time and effort into the songs. Today’s climate demand that we should give out music at a fast speed. The artist that tries to do real songs is in jeopardy that they are forgotten between the releases.

Are they? I’m not sure I think it’s time to stop listening to social media. It’s time to invest in songs and taking back the old saying “writing is rewriting”

With good technology, we can do cheaper recordings, but we still have to do the handicraft of a good song. A good song holds off on a bad recording a good song is not holding up on a super good recording. If music wants to get back it’s the value we need to create things that have value.



Monday, August 17, 2020

The production capitalism is destroying the artist!

 We all know that we are consuming too much for the planet we have. A third of all food we produce is thrown away as waste. That is 50 000kg or 110231lb a second thrown away as waste in the world and as Greta Thunberg has pointed out it’s not sustainable.

In an interview not long ago Marcus Ek from Spotify told that artists need to release more content when he the question that Spotify paid out to low to artists.

I just feel that we are doing the same stupid mistake in the music business as we do in the food consumption. The new streaming economy is just one click and then forget. Same as the food we produce a mountain of apples so you can have one. The same here we produce a mountain of songs for you to listen to one. Of course, this will affect the quality. To be able to produce a mountain you start to give fertilizer to the project, and you need everything to grow faster. Yes, you will get a decent product but it is not that perfect product that you had before.

During the pandemic now people suddenly got more time to grow their own things. Even I bought a greenhouse and now the harvest comes. Yes, my slow grown tomatoes, cucumber, and chilies taste much more and better than the ones I buy in the supermarket. Probably also that I put in quite much love into growing these vegetables. I have been out there every day watering and cutting off bad leaves and stuff. The end result is better then if just had grown a thing in less nutrient soil and just gone for fertilizer to grow it fast to just consume it.

It feels as the new space for creating music are more and more going this way. But why is that necessary? Easy the music that you create and produce is driving the systems. You are not an art creator you are a content creator. We if we stopped feeding posts on Facebook and Instagram. Stopped put up videos on Youtube and TikTok and music and pods on Spotify. They won’t exist. They need all people to give them free content.

Also, they are feeding on you in a very strange way. If you have a fan base on these sites. They only let around 10% of these fans see that you have released a new song in the mountain of songs the expect you to produce. If you should reach more you need to pay. Funny thing it’s like the apple producer to grow the apples then after that when they sold 10 apples has to pay extra fees to sell more apples. At the end that just leaves you to produce with less quality or just leave the whole thing since you won’t be proud of what you produce.

Question, do you really need these sites? In a way yes streaming music is around 25% of the economy of the music industry. The live side though has been 50%. We don’t know what happens after the pandemic. But I can easily say that music won’t die and the live scene won’t be replaced by streaming content. We have a great opportunity to build up the new live industry, so it benefits the artist that just release every third year. The ones that want slow quality music should have a chance here to perform quality art. the ones that want to leave the hamster wheel of social media.

We know for sure that even if you have millions of Spotify streams don’t mean that you will draw thousands of people to the concert. Almost the opposite around. We can easily see that the mass consumption of music in just the form of a post on social media is just fun for the audience in a couple of seconds. A concert is something that contains fun for hours. You might meet up with good friends before.  You go out and eat and then go and listen to quality music. That might be a whole evening to sustain your mind. Not just ten seconds click.

I have a good hunch that the stress and mental illness around the music community have two things. One is that we start talking about it. Witch is really great. The other is that stress of making content for a non-stoppable social media. I start though to see artists that more or less leave the race. And I think they are right. I don’t need a post from my favorite artist every day. But I need a function so when you release a song, I would be certain to see that post. Yes, that could be done by social media sites. Or I would love to get the knowledge that you play live close where I am so I can see your performance. We need that kind of system too.

I guess this will never happen. We just have to look at how we restart the live industry and start to build it so the artists can have a chance to write and record quality music and have time to rehearse a great live show. My mind needs more of that quality, the same with this planet. We need more sustainable plans.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Future

 It’s a very uncertain world we live in right now. On one hand, the music industry feels so far away right now. It’s summer and no shows and more or less no releases. At the same time, the whole machinery is going on under the surface. Negotiations with new clubs, festivals, and other outlets. The difference is that you might now if it will happen the dates you are talking about. It will happen, just witch time?

I guess it is all one's death other one's bread. I just got several jobs during this crisis. Probably because people that didn’t make it want over to another business. I guess this is the time where we see who has to be on the stage as a living and who are just there because they think it’s a fun hobby that they just keep up.

The changes will be quite severe. And in many cases in unfavoured for an established big artist that is not in the top 50. Many that are semi-famous or live out of an old career will find themselves in a totally new world. A world that changes in a much more rapid way then we are used to.

Just a simple thing like the American election can change quite much. If Donald Trump gets re-elected. My guess the country will go deeper in the rabbit hole it’s already in. More debts and now with the crises in full swing and china that are in a position to market shares. What would that have for the music industry? Quite an easy choice USA would be the last market to enter. The restrictions would hold on longer and the crisis will prevail and be quite uninteresting to invest money in a career there. Instead, we would go for more secure territories to start invest in.

But USA has the infrastructure you say? Not even developing areas are more interesting since the whole infrastructure is crashed we all have to start all over again.

What happens if Joe Biden becomes president? Then you have a guy that is forced to clean up the mess the former president made. At the same time probably release quite many rescue packages which will tear on the economy. The result is almost the same. It will be kind of hard to invest in USA on a new artist career.

In Sweden we have a saying that however, you turn you always have your ass in the back. Already now I’m looking at witch new territories that are waking up first and also give the money in a smart way to build up a new infrastructure for the live industry. There is where the money will be. That music dies is not even an option. It just will develop but not in the areas we might be used to. 

Don’t even get me started with UK that just left EU and now has to handle the crisis as just one country.

The only good thing about this is that these changes will open up so many new opportunities. The question are you connected enough to grab these opportunities?



Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Social media might not be the way for an artist.

I have seen some really smart new things that bigger artists are doing. They just quit the social media frenzy that is going on. I can really see this breaking through in the lifestyle after the pandemic.

As it has been for the past ten years record labels and managers and others have told artists that they should own their fans and a lot of the success has been how many followers you have on different social media accounts. Right now it seems like all the bigger labels have a race to pick up things form TikTok. It has been this way in all parts of the music industry except the live scene.

Why not the live scene. It is here the falseness of social media is shining through. Take an easy example. In the takeout of the Eurovision song contest in Sweden, they started to invite influencers that had music into their social media channels. They hoped that the influencers with their massive accounts could get more viewers to the TV show. Since Eurovision in Sweden has the votes from the audience many artists became nervous to get up against these massive social media account since these people could just send a message and get a lot of people to vote for their song. Over a period of three years, they tried to get these influencers in. None of them even went to the final. Usually beaten by a new artist with no social media followers at all when they entered the stage.

Another thing is also that stars that have a big following also are beaten by a smaller artist with fewer followers. You can fast conclude that the following on social media doesn’t really matter in these cases. It’s still about the performance and the song. People in social media really don't care to vote or do things for artists. They just follow for the posts not for the art they are making.

Same phenomena when a friend of mine signed the third biggest Youtuber in Sweden to his company and started to release music. Yes, the first single became a media frenzy that this Youtube would release music. So many went in and took a listen to it and today it has a bit over five million streams on Spotify. The second single, then people knew that he was releasing music. But with over a million viewers on his channel each mouth my friend calculated that people would still listen. Today that has two million streams. The third single has today just 20 000 streams. My friend, later on, singed more Youtubers but came to the conclusion that the first is always going well, the next will have fifty percent then the first one, then the third will have half of the half. In the end, if they release things they more or less go backward then a normal artist that gains fans on each release.

This was influencers though that did something else and then was given songs. We see the same though on artists that are artists in their channels on the live side. Artists with millions of followers that are praised for their music won’t sell any live tickets. Many of the booking agency went into that trap in the beginning. Now it’s almost like a bad word telling people that they have a good social media account. The only thing the booker looks at is the ticket sales from the last concert in that area. same here people liked the songs in the posts but wouldn't see them live. It's two different media situations.

I get the feeling that influencers are more or fewer artists in their own field. A bit like in the 80:s when either artist would do an acting career that never went off, or the opposite when actors should do an artist career. They were good at their field, stick to it. Same here stick on to what you good at.

Of course you need to use your social media. When you release something it’s a good way to spread the word. The problem is when you start to use the account like the influencers. Suddenly you are more busy making updates then doing music. Your fans will read more about your cat and what you ate for breakfast then what they really came to know about you. My feeling is that also all this posting makes the stress level on the artist really high. In the long run, it prevents the artist's top focus to write a really good song. In the middle of your inspiration ( what happen to me right now) is that your phone makes a beep and you pick it up to see the latest message or point these systems give out. And gone is the inspiration!

My guess right now is that a real artist must make a choice. Are you communicating with music and songs, then social media should not be acted out as a big influencer account! If you are communicating through an account and people like it that way, well you are then an influencer, not an artist. And not just that you find a good producer and songwriter to co-lab with makes you an artist. Don Johnson is still just and acter though he wanted to be a rock star.

The problem in the industry has been that the live side hasn’t had a major changeover in the past 50 years. Now we see the big leap and in that leap, my guess is that your live performance will be more crucial than ever. You will not have time to make corrected posts. Instead, you need to be great at writing songs and perform them in an amazing way for a real live audience. The changes in the live industry will be with new venues, new networks and that will be a career of its own, With or without social media number.



Thursday, July 30, 2020

I put a lot of hope on my musician friends

I actually had the time to clean out the old shed that or on our backyard. That is the last thing you really cleanout. I can’t even remember if I have ever cleaned it out since we moved here thirteen years ago.

I also had time to sort out my comic book collection and put the ones with value in plastic sheets. You know when you have time to do things like this you really have too much time on your hands. Lockdown was not fun, but right now my house looks as best as it ever did, I even had time to build my greenhouse.

But now I feel the time really has gone too far. I have my projects rolling, many though standstill because of the holidays. I finally feel kind of bored. I was thinking to myself, why do I feel bored? You have all these small projects that never end, and you are not in stress. First, I could not pinpoint what it was. Then it hit me.

I am not exposed to any new music. With the whole thing of Corona, I have been less and less exposed to new music. No, I don’t sit on any digital channel and flipping through songs just to find something new. It’s too much crap music for doing this. Instead, I have been listing to music that already knows. After been listing to that, I feel tweel I have heard this so I’m fine with it and started to cut down with listening without thinking about it. I just checked for the past week I haven’t listen to music at all. I have done some playlisting on the radio station, but that has just been old hits that I knew from before. So not just that I’m not exposed to new music I’m really not listening to music anyway.

And with the new numbers that come out from different places you can see that I’m not alone on this phenomenon It seems most people are getting off from the music. It’s not that they feel like they can enjoy the silence. My guess is that music is something you on a large scale do together. No party music since you are in lockdown and don’t really have any parties. You don’t put on party music with yourself. Same with concerts and other things the music is where you gather people, not so much alone.

I see many of my friends has turned over to audiobooks. They had a lot of time listening to books they haven’t got time for before. Same here you would never go to a party and listen to an audiobook that is something you do when you are alone.

But now I feel empty. I have done the things that I was behind with. Now I want to get exposed to new music. Sure, there is a lot of showcase festivals that are online. But to tell the truth, see live streaming by myself is not an option to bury this empty feeling. We just must wait until the world is ready again. Then I will meet all my friends and indulge in some new great music. I just hope my musician’s friends have prepared a lot of it during this time. I put a lot of hope to them.



Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Tik Tok death

Another clickbait headlines. Yes, I have been experimenting with things like that. But the whole new world that we see after Corona starts to be interesting.

I'm in a secret forum with other people in the music industry and there the chatter right now is much how low Spotify still is in their payment per stream. At the same time, Spotify just launched that you could have one account for two people to the price of one. That will not get more money into Spotify to raise the other. And as many had said the streams are going down during the crisis since people have stopped listening to music to work and from work, since they’re not traveling that much.

The other thing I have seen a lot is how the major companies have embraced Tik Tok all of them have employed you people that are experts on this new app. We can also see that they are cheating for artists on there. Saw moderate Swedish artists that no one knows about and is average a couple of hundred streams on Spotify (with extra help from the recordable wink wink). Suddenly her American label has put in, so she has over 2 million followers on Tik Tok, though she really has done nothing new. 

Another big label builds special camps for their artist to go and learn from Tik Tok stars and of course make collaborations. And yes Doja Cat is one of the stars that come from this new fun app.

It all feels like okey 2020n is here, let's get rid of the old stuff. Facebook is for old people. I mean people. Instagram is for the hipsters taht think they’re cool but now is actually too old. Twitter is just going down and just alive for celebrities. No, the young generation that you can fill some shit music on is Tik Tok. 

Still, will it come back and bit their ass? Just a few days ago India just banned Tik Tok and a couple of other apps. They said they were dangerous. Instead, it's more to get with the incidents in Himalaya where India and China are not that good friends. Suddenly this app becomes politics. Even Trump considers banning Tik Tok a guarantee that he will have two million small kids in front of the white house threatening to kill his whole generation. And what about that he should close twitter just a couple a weeks ago, has he forgot that?

Now to the point. Okay there no proof that Tik Tok is sending data to China. No proof that Spotify does it either. Neither that Zoom does it. I had a meeting with some Chinese record label people and nothing that secret or and political stuff. Mainly a trading thing with festivals. But all of them declined to have the meeting on Zoom. Instead, they use a whole other app. an old one that I have forgotten but still exists. In my third meeting, I had to ask why they did not go for Zoom. The answer was simple if you talk china does not do it in the chine partly own apps. They will get the data.

I guess right now the big labels are in turmoil and just seek out short-lived careers. Who blames them fast money seems to be the thing! But when they invest so hard in this app and then suddenly it gets band or even the Chinese get the info to use against them. Yes, what can they do against an artist that uses the freedom of speech, yes let them sink or disappear on the channel they have their fans? Or they can use blackmail to tell how the company has cheated or prove fake numbers, even if they are not fake numbers.

Yes, the channels have now become political bats, and that environment and artists should be edgy, good luck with that.



Monday, July 6, 2020

Businesses without new knowledge and network will go under

Imagine that you are going on a hike to climb a high mountain like Mont Blanc. You have got in some cool friends and you have a great team that has a good chance to actually reach the top. All people in the team know what to do and how to do it, they are specialists in their own way. 

Then suddenly your old dad calls you up. By mistake, you had posted on Facebook (only old people use Facebook) that you are about to climb this mountain. Of course, old pap really wants to join in on this climb. In the hight of his career, he claimed mountains. Mont Blanc was one of them. But that is back in the days and the routes he took are not available any longer. You are taking a totally different route. The equipment that is used is different. On top of that old dad is walking with a cane and will just start nagging around things he did over thirty years ago.

Now you face a dilemma. Sure, you want to have your father on there, but you also know that he will just be a burden. He can't really supply anything to the team. This mission also must be fast. It's really not a wonderful vacation. It's a mission that you need to get to that point. He walks slow. The info he got is outdated. Still, you feel a bit like in the song "Cats in the cradle", you have grown up to be just like him.

The problem is just how you break the ice. How you move forward. Whatever your decision is, it will be the wrong one in his eyes. 

Of course, this story has nothing to do with age. It has to do with ability. Sure, with age, there is a lot that changes, and some ability is no longer there. I started in the music industry noticeably young. Right now, I'm standing with one foot in the new world. The world that will be totally new after the Covid 19 crisis. One foot in the old world where many of the people that have been my mentors and my friends will see their enterprises and empires just crumble to ashes.

This would have happened anyway. I know that but this crisis will be a catalyst that will propeller things much faster. Things that would take years now will go in one year. In a panic, I get these "dads" calling me up and want to join in on my next event. What they don't understand is that this has been planned in several months, even before the crisis. Also, some of them were invited but uninterested since they were relying on their empire to just keep doing the same. My project was a bit too small for them. Suddenly my project is a great threat to them.

The fact is that I can only carry people that will bring something for the team on this mountain trip. It's about surviving, and the music industry is not like the Green Beret where no one is left behind. The music industry is much more a jungle. it's eating or be eaten. We can't carry any dead weight on this journey.

But knowledge doesn't weigh anything. No, it doesn't. But old wrong knowledge can lead to the wrong path and is a burden. Sorry to say, but the new network of the music industry was started to be planned already two weeks after shutdown. If you didn't get the invitation or where part in the secret zoom meetings. That is a good indicator you are not in the teams that are now starting to climb. Businesses that were already weak will go under. Businesses without new knowledge and network will also go under. I think it's time for you my friend, to stop pretending that you are a movie star like Harpo sang in your golden age.



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Friday, July 3, 2020

This is the worst song ever!

Yes, you who wrote another song around Covid -19. No there is NOBODY who wants to hear your feelings around Covid -19, sorry. Writing in the intro text that the song is about that is just begging the intake on anything to just put it in the trashcan.

In the past days, I have already got fifteen of them. And most is a smelly cat* or smelly dog* crying how lonely they are. Yes, I know that you should be writing stuff about things that you really know. The problem here is that everybody has their own version on Covid -19. And they are so busy that they won't take in what you are singing about. In the truth, we really don't want to be reminded about it either. So my suggestion goes back and writes a happy tune seeing and meet people because that is what people are longing for. Another song that we should come together and break walls, stand up be courageous, been there done that.

If you are a small artist it is even worse because so many famous artists have got together and already done this. And to be honest the famous ones can't even make this a hit anyway. You need to be first. Like Bob Geldof when he did "Do they know it's Christmas" well after that many tried to do the same thing. Okay America with USA for Africa made it a good second, but who remembers the Swedish Hardrock initiative, or Band Aid II or all the others doing the same thing?

Too many are just dead fishes following the stream. If everybody is doing live streaming then they all jump on. Same with topics and release plans. The most amazing is that the artist that always claim to be one of a kind or special in one way are the ones taht are the hardest to convince that you need to get out of that box to be able to get something new. Like everything else, you need to create and be there from the beginning to be able to get something out of it.

So every new thing that comes around in sites, it's only, in the beginning, you have a chance to be there. Like Tik Tok if you think now it's new you are out of your mind. Now it's over, the artists on Tik Tok is already gone and done. We are chasing the next thing.

But the majority of the artists are in that way they are slow they are still on the playlist things on Spotify not realizing that Youtube just got Googel play into Youtube music and slowly like a giant prepare to crush the green bug. Will it happen? We have to wait and see. My guess though is that many "famous" artists disappear. Their fame is just a base on an algorithm on a certain platform.

To be famous in a real way, you have to break out of that box. Try things and fail and then learn from them. It takes time and you have to be doing it over and over. So forget that Covid 19 song and that you are gonna live stream it. That is almost half a year ago.


*Smelly cat or dog is an expression on our A&R teams for bad sing and songwriters, a cat is a sad girl on guitar and a dog is a sad guy on guitar. Hailing from the TV series "Friends" where Phoebe got a hit with the song smelly cat 


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Don't underestimate the people you pass on your way up.

When I do consult missions with different artists, I usually get claims and dreams from them that are from the past. Things that are no longer relevant. I usually say that the audience that is really young and update is in front run the people inside the music industry that are on conferences are one or two years behind what is really happening. People that are working in the industry and not going to conferences are usually four to five years behind. Artists are around ten years behind. The general public many times over twenty years behind. Of course, this is individual, and all is about how interested you are.

So, what do I mean by being after? I had a conversation with a friend that I the general public, he is middle age and fairly interested in music. One of the artists I work with just had released a new album and he asked when the CD was out. I explained that you didn't do CD: s any longer. But in his world when he was a young witch is in the 90: s the release is not real until you have a physical copy. On top of that, he also claimed that the big artists like Taylor Swift released her music on CD!

And they do that! Big artists have such a big fanbase they even release cassettes or minidiscs, but it's in small quantity and it's just to satisfy that part of the audience that is even beyond twenty years. Still this I can see in artists over thirty just using Facebook, they always ask about releasing on CD, but since CD is really out they also go back and try to do vinyl since it has a better and warm sound. Vinyl has that if you have done the recording in that way. Unfortunately, these people have a budget recording done on a computer with extremely poor mics and with a sound engineer that is totally used to work to get the music on to the digital channels. In the end, the vinyl will sound crappier than the song on Youtube. No, the pressing is because the artist is still in the world that if the product is not in something that you can hold in your hand, then it's not finished.

It's about dreams, I guess. If your dream and picture in your head have been to hold a printed record in your hand, exactly like your childhood artist-hero. You haven't fulfilled your dream buy just putting your new song on Soundcloud.

Here we have the newer generation the artist that is twenty-five and up. The ones that are laughing reading the text above. Their goal is to get the song on Spotify and get many streams. If your song has a hundred million streams, you’re a star. This is proven wrong time after time and the industry in the front has already left this number-crunching because of the new statistic tools. But the artist is still there, looking at how their idols during 2010 just went online and got a million streams the first day. That it was all cheating and that it was just one platform they don't want to hear. When you work with them the only thing that matter is how many streams they get. They are also very centred around Spotify. That you can compare numbers against Youtube or that Apple is already bigger than Spotify in USA goes by deaf ears.

I had a funny conversation with a young punk band. First, I was commenting on that their music sounded like in the beginning in the 90: s. They were very flattered because they really embraced all those punk bands from that era. I explained that those band had developed the punk sound from the late seventies. And they need to update their sound to today instead of trying to sound like some 50-year-old dude that is still up there doing punk songs from the 90: s. 
Nope, they wanted the whole package. The next goal was to play on CBGB: s. I just had to explain that CBGB: s had closed several years ago. It was like killing their dream. They had seen themselves going into CBGB: s and play. I just had to tell them that the early punk bands didn't play on CBGB: s because it was cool. It was the only place they could have a gig on. Then they made the whole thing cool. When I spoke about CBGB: s with these bands like Ramones, Television and Blondie they were looking out and wanted to go beyond CBGB: s. 

This is part of the problem I have when I consult. In many cases, the dreams can't be matched. Today you as an artist must create the new CBGB: s if it's online or in the physical world. The problem is to have clear goals since the industry is changing very quickly. Right now, for some of us, it looks like Spotify has been there forever it just ten years. Ten years ago, we had MySpace and you think that is old. 

Jumping trends though never work. Right now, everybody is talking TikTok. At the same time, we see the stars of Snapchat dying. Also, each platform contains its generation. Facebook is for people over forty. Instagram for people over 25. TikTok for people just become a teenager. Then you have Twitter which is only if you are famous in some other field. So, jump from your fanbase at Facebook to TikTok, nah it won't work.

It's all about the dreams that you have in your head. The older you get the older the dream becomes, or should I say expectations. In reality have the dreams it's what keeps you going. Still have in mind that the things that you create will be someone else's dream. This crappy gig place or festival might later become legendary. No CBGB: s or Woodstock was not cool when it started, it has built its legacy.

So, to be able to make it you need to see the smaller outlets as the next thing. That blog, that radio station might be big in a year or two. Don’t just aim for the big shows or the big outlets, that is already done and are reserved for the big ones. Don't underestimate the people you pass on your way up. And don't just do the things that you think is cool. It's a big chance that what you think is cool is already out.




Friday, June 26, 2020

The mega festivals are over!

Another message from a tech firm that promises me that I can find the next artists by looking at different numbers on different outlets. Outlets, well they seem more just stats from social media and streaming platforms. As I have written before that is just 25% of the artist's career. It really doesn't give any accurate picture of what is really going on. 

Sure, you can get some sales figures from these numbers, at least some pinpoint, but not what is coming, just the past. When the numbers start to reach critical levels someone has already discovered this artist and that is why you have you have those numbers.

In another email, I got a tip-off about a new sing-songwriter that just got picked up by a bigger label. And the numbers were not that special, but they were in the range where a label would pick up and start to try to market a new good artist. Still, I need this inside information to know to have an eye on this artist. It will be another year before she will enter the numbers game and if it will light up on the tech firms list and by then it's too late for me as a whatever I work as a manager, booker, or recordable. the reason the number is there is because of the work someone else already did.

Another thing is how these numbers should go over to real fans? I just read about an artist I know pretty well. Hasn't done anything really bigger. Given out some songs on a major label where we can see that they have boosted some Spotify numbers with some kind of suspect major record labels playlists like Topsify. Around 16 000 followers on Facebook and 130 000 followers on Instagram. 
Ok numbers, but with a closer look, the average Instagram post har around 7000 likes her twitter has around 30 likes on each post. Then she has gone over to the big new thing TikTok where she has a staggering over 2 million viewers, each post is around 200 000 views. There are people watching this. My knowledge though as a booker knows that she wouldn't even draw 100 people inside Stockholm. she is not a name that the bookers fight around or even talk about. 

The tech company thinks then I can see this on their stats. But you can't. Yes, you can see on Spotify she has the most listeners still in Stockholm even tough the audience on TikTok is not from Sweden. Has she bought the numbers? Not really, maybe her label has put in some extra boost ( looks like it) for TikTok not so much buying instead getting her on different lists and asking people to follow.

Here comes the crucial thing. People that follow really don't convert to fans. that just click of a button that says it's it interesting for me. We know this from the live industry that these numbers seldom can be converted. In the Eurovision song contest, they have taken several YouTubers, Spotify phenomena, and such to try to break them. This is prime time TV in Sweden. Still, most just don't even make it to the final round. The staggering numbers on social media won't even vote for the artists even though it's free. It's to much work. Imagine then to get someone out of their home to be so terminated to see you live. Yes, a much harder work. at the some time a must if you are going to access the big money from your fans, the live industry is 51% of the money going around in the music industry.

Or wait, it was. We don't know what is going to happen after Corona. One vision I  see several times and is quite keen on is that the mega festivals time is over. These are not environmentally friendly (if it's not set one construction that is already there like Summerfest) and is not good for artists. One effect from the corona will probably be that smaller venues get together to get touring for the artists. Likely these venues have an audience that is regulars, and the booker of the venue will be the tastemaker. Then the numbers really don't count, it will still be a person that promotes the stuff to the audience on a small scale, the way it used to be.

No, I deleted the email about the help I could get help to see an artist's stats. The stats don't tell me if they are good live, or even can do a live show. Just singing in the camera on TikTok will not make a big career. And I think Covid 19 just killed most of the fake artists as well. Suddenly a network of real people not bots is the way you need.

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Monday, June 22, 2020

If you would like to have a chance to be successful you need this!

I sat in a meeting with quite many indie labels. It was a crash course on a new playlisting tool. Of course, some of the labels started to ask questions about how you pitched to playlists around the world. Because Sweden was not big enough. Also, they complained that it was very hard to get any results.

The labels that really did this, I actually usually get their press releases since I also work with media and radio. I can easily say that all of their press releases are not in the standard to be brought outside Sweden. They don't contain the right info or the right assets. Of course, they don't get any attention to sending a shitty press release around the world. It doesn't really make any sense. Reality struck my guess is that they don't have any success in Sweden but still blaming the Swedish press and radio for not cover their music and releases. Going abroad will not make it easier!

That is not what is actually failing. It's the number one fail that 99,9% of the artist do wrong. If you would like to have a chance to be successful you need this!

A good song!

Yup, here is the truth. 99,9% of the music that comes in is shit. No, it's not that I'm snobbish or anything like that. Things that I would call decent in my A&R job is at this level fantastic. These songs should never have been given out. Given out is, okay, never promoted more to say. When you promote a song you are up against the best of the best. Your song has to be as good as U2 songs. It has to be as hit worthy as Talyor Swift or Ed Sheeran. And your things are compared with both Beatles and Queen. 99,9% is not.

This is the bottom line, your song has to be good. Unfortunately, today's artists are testing music straight out. It's like the inventor of the bulletproof west just put it on themselves and tried the first test with bullets with themselves in the west. You see before the artists tested the songs first on the audience. They cut parts, checked how they reacted, and so on. That gave them the blueprint to go to the studio and record something that was already tested. Then they took that out and promoted it.

Today it seems you go out and party, come home write a song while drunk, record it while drunk, and then the week after giving it out on Spotify and then promote it.

If that was a terrible song it would be ok. A song has to be great or really bad. Everything that is just ok is the worst thing. It has not peace in this enormous brown wave of shit that is poured over us. The songs that come to my desk here is 95% just ok. You can listen to them but lose interest in 25 seconds. In today's attention world you need to be able to keep the audience for at least two minutes. And that is hard.

Problem is that the artist today have a hard time to take on criticism. When you do it live and they start to throw tomatoes you can just stand there calling for your mother to come and help you. Today's artists are mainly after that the intakes on radio and press just should answer that they love the song. They don't even understand that the worst we can say is that the song is ok.

So to have a chance to be successful you need a good song. Yes, you need to rewrite, you need to write with others, and in some cases, you might not bee good enough, then you buy the songs from the people that are experts on songwriting. Trying to break with a crappy song has never worked, will not work either.

And don't go to the people I mentioned, in the beginning, the reason why these small labels are giving out such crappy stuff is that they usually are failed artists and can't really see a good song if it painted itself purple and jumped on their desk screaming "a good song is here". They still think they are misunderstood. In reality, they really don't have the ear to get a good song. That you need training for. So don't go to your closest friends and mom and dad to ask if the song is good. Go to someone you suspect would hate your music. That day that person likes the song you have it.




Friday, June 12, 2020

Why the industry is not answering.

I read a great article on a site that sells email lists. They wrote that they got a lot of complaints that their lists didn’t work. People didn’t get answers they sent to over 1000 emails and only got two answers. The site explained that you really need to check out the blog, radio station, record label, etc before you send it to them. Not just send an email. Yes, this takes time. It’s quite easy to just put into the emails into an email list and just send a generic e-mail. The problem is that it never fits everyone. The generic email almost never fits anyone.

You have to go into each site to see what’s it all about and adopt your things. So instead of sending 1000 emails in one hour, you are down to be able to send 30 emails a day if you are working good.

Why don’t people answer? Here is a mail that came into one of the festivals we work with. On Facebook not even on the official email that goes to the bookers.

Dear,

Hope you're ok.

We contacted you before, last year, about a concert of ******** from USA, blues, bluesrock.

We got the news that it is possible again to give concerts, with smaller capacity. So we started to plan a July-tour in Sweden.

Because of the situation, ***** will go solo.

We would love to perform at your place. We want to listen how you work with live bands or artists. ***** has an own ticket system, so we can work this way too.

Please let us know if you have availability in July.

And hope we can work something out.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

*** e presskit ***

*** Youtube link ***  [3/11/2012]

Kind regards

***

First, as I wrote. It came on Facebook, the person that handles the social media for the festival is not the booker. It’s not even interesting for this person to send this along. Why I saw it is that I was in there looking for something else. Since it clearly says a lot of instructions on how to reach the festival team on the homepage we can directly see that she hasn’t even been inside.

It’s a festival. She assumes it’s a gig place. Just that should be avoided by a quick look on the Facebook page.

The festival is held in September. She is asking for dates in July! Also easy checked on the Facebook page and the homepage.

She got the news that you could do smaller capacity shows? That is more than I know. Sweden has not opened up like several others and is still in 50 person capacity. And it looks like we will keep that over July as well.

She wants to discuss how we work with artists. We really don’t have time to discuss that even with the artists we book. Anything that says that I need to explain or discuss things is a big no no.

Having an own ticket system. I really don’t see the point. If we where a venue we would have a ticketing system. As a festival, we have that already. And to be honest there are so many ticketing systems out there so getting one is as easy as getting spam mails. Another question that arises is if we used the artist ticketing system how safe is that we ever got the money that we sold for?

Then in the end. Sending a YouTube link of a show done eight years ago is kind of strange. I would like to have something that is closer in time and something on the solo act since this link goes to a full house concert.

Why not writing this back to her? No, then you get a full email with excuses and other stuff. We are not paid to clean up the booking agents’ mistakes. Already here we don’t have any possibilities. We don’t have a show in July, and we are not opened up for more than 50 people and that can change if a second wave would happen. Finally, we are not interested to work with a booker that is not knowing anything around our event and having an error in each sentence they write. We just have to explain everything over and over again, things that already are presented on our homepage.

Instead, you just don’t answer. Leaving the person to make the same mistakes over and over again. Meet them later on a music business conference where they complain that it is so hard to get an answer from the music industry.

More and more also people are just talking to professionals that they know can deliver what they need. They don’t need the fuss.


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Artists are the scumbags of the musicindustry!

I got a call from a manager that I know on messenger. We usually talk once a week and especially now in the Corona lockdown. 

- He dumped me! Was the first thing she said. After five years he just dumped me!

I knew exactly, it was her favorite artist that she had been working with for five years. She had told me that the artist had been a bit "off" not answering on things and didn't want to take meetings. Still, she thought it was the Corona lockdown that made the artists depressed.

Now she told me that suddenly she was disconnected as manager from the artist Spotify account, she thought it was odd, but since they weren't releasing anything right now she didn't think of it. Then she was thrown out as admin on the Facebook page then she knew something was up. 

Then she got a short email from the artist saying that he was thinking of releasing in another way now and taking care of his own business.

- He just dumped me! Artists are the scumbags of the music industry! She kept going. Not even my worst boyfriends have dumped me in this way, with just a short note in an email. Like five years I have put in my heart and soul into his project and his music. And suddenly it's not worth a shit! Not a call. Just a damn e-mail like "this is not your fault, it's me that is wrong".

I knew exactly what she was talking about. You put in so much energy, free work and you're to build opportunity for a person and their art. In the end, it becomes like a relationship so when it ends in this way, yes, it feels like a breakup from a normal relationship. And I have been talking to a lot of mangers that felt exactly this, but it's never really discussed openly in the industry. Instead, the artist just moves along and the manger is just left there. I guess that is why usually parents manage, its harder to just cut them off, oh wait no Beyonce even sued her dad!

Two weeks later I got a message from the artist. He had been working on a new release and now wonder if I could help him with things to spread the word around his music. Before I have done that to help my manager friend. She would do the same work for my artist in her part of the world it's like you exchange favors. Here was more can you work for free since you have done it before. Clearly, the artists never understood that the contact is through the manger and swapping services. I had no desire at all to do free work for an artist that just dumped probably the only good person that they had in theri team with just a crappy email. In the end, what was in it for me? The shady part was also that the artist was not mentioning that they had left the manger. He just continued on like nothing had happened. So if I didn't know the situation I might have just done him a favor thinking that I was helping my manger college. I wrote back to him to take the quest through his manger and I could see what could be done. What I got back was just a - Ok thank you!
Nothing that he didn't work with the manager any longer, nothing. More it looked like he was still working with the manager. 

Of course in the network, we all let know to each other that this artist was going around trying to get free services. He approached several people. Just that they should do him a favor, several of these are working also as PR people he had could be smart enough to try to hire them, since that was what the manager had sometimes invested in, with her own cash. I guess the artist never understood that. Then the release happened, of course, the release was a disaster. Even if the manager only managed to get some small stuff (mainly because the artists wasn't good enough, and also didn't fulfill all assets), you could easily see that with the small things gone it was really down to nothing.

Then in one of the digital showcases that were ongoing this spring, I got the artist in a private chat. He was still asking if I could do some favors to get future gigs and PR and Spotify. I asked if the new release went well (of course I had seen it didn't). He complained that the new person that he got was not good enough and with that, he revealed that he didn't work with my manager friend any longer. I asked why just to be curious. He felt that it didn't go as fast as he wanted and that he needed new blood.

He was acting like a person that just bought a new house and want to make a new style. Throw everything old away and just buy new stuff. It's nice but after a month even the new becomes old. And that good sofa you throw away, you just miss it.

This is the reason why the more you work in the industry the more you lean not working with artists. I just got a tipoff from a very experienced and successful person in the industry. She just said, Peter tell your friend to work with companies instead, artists just come and goes and you put into much time and to gets payout is so uncertain if not impossible. 99 % is just waste of time.

I guess it's true. The problem we have is that the gap between these successful companies and the artists needs to be bridged otherwise the companies don't have anything. At the same coin, artists need to understand that it's not just switching outfit switching managers. And not act like scumbags in certain cases.

It takes two to tango! The scumbags are everywhere. But when people talk about the evil music industry, this side never almost never discussed. 







Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The technical shortcuts you should avoid!

Yes, every time you see a new superstar they just appear. Or it seems like it. Most of the time they have been around for years. In the industry, you usually hear about the next star a year ahead. Before it was usually three years ahead, but things are going faster without internets no borders. Still, it never happens overnight, and it never happens as fast as you think.

Just a couple of examples. I had a meeting with Avicii:s manger at least two years before he even became big on the DJ market. After he became big there it took at least two to three years before he went on to the normal big pop market. My guess is that I knew the name at least five years before the coolest mainstream started to recognize him.

Halsey, we got from out American record label they where friends with Haley’s manager and they told us she was going somewhere. She just released Badlands and was going well. I guess the mainstream here in Sweden really does not know her yet.

2011 we had a band opening up for our band in New York it was their first NYC gig I think even their first gig out of the state. Really nice people, and now they are famous as HAIM. Took though at least four years after I saw them on in the media.

The new technological things are tempting to use. Right now, everybody is talking TikTok, and yes, they produce a couple of stars. So did Myspace also and Snapchat. Still these new ones are easy since they are relatively easy to cheat on. And cheating is not going to get you a career. There is no way Doja Cat will be as big as the Beatles. My guess Doja Cat is gone in five years.

Why? She came through TikTok, cheating we don’t know it was a new medium and she maybe was really good on it. The Beatles came with “She loves you” after spending two years playing live in Hamburg Germany. They played over 250 nights in the seedy seaport city, and venues often demanded they play four or five hours a night. The shows were not glamorous. That made them live experts and when they got their hit. They knew how to get the audience to listen and also how to make everything work.

Today the average mumble rapper is giving out songs then cheat by buying streams to get to the top chat. Suddenly they get their 15 minutes in the spotlight. They have no live training, no media knowledge and everything they have done can be traced by social media. It is all over before it’s over. You can’t build a sustainable career on these premises. 

But all artists just carve that everything goes that fast. Witch is impossible. Even with a world hit, you cannot be booked to all festivals. There is no way you can schedule that many concerts. To just handle the first success, you are doomed to be out for three years to cover them all. Also, that is hard work if you haven’t toured before and are through upon a big stage there is really no chance that you would do that stage justice. 

These years that you need to do is called the dog years. You need to learn for a small audience when and the technical difficulties to handle the big stages. That is why tv shows like the voice or x-factor seldom work. Here they put them on the big stage directly and then they go back to the small ones. There is no build-up by knowledge on how to handle your fans or audience.

Right now, I see so many artists just looking for shortcuts in the form of platforms or bad tv formats thinking they can build a career. Cheating is a part of that. Yes, Spotify we know that you can stop cheaters. The likelihood that an unsigned criminal rapper for a suburb in Stockholm has 7 songs on the top fifty charts outdoing Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande's new hit with two songs and Drake is not just plausible. And not that guy has never done a live show and will probably never be able to make it.
No, the shortcuts will not make you a star. The digital things are just new tools that replaced the fan clubs.



Wednesday, May 27, 2020

This is why you really can't release DIY

I'm working with The Magnettes new single "American" and I just see all the things that a DIY artist really can't release right. It's not even possible with them knowing what is needed. In fact most are actually out there written out for free to grab. They can't really access all these channels needed.

Sure there is plenty of outlets for the DIY artist to reach Spotify and some other platforms. Why I just say Spotify is more that is the general DIY artist just cares about Spotify and really nothing else. They think as long it's on Spotify it will get discovered somehow.

Since there are almost 40 000 releases uploaded to Spotify each day. So just start with that you need to have the knowledge to release on a Friday when the official release day is. Just this week I have seen at least twenty DIY artists upload and release on other days. Sometimes even on holidays, like someone would take more notation about that. Just that simple thing can make the DIY release to just go wrong.

There are though so much more to the whole thing. The Magnettes releases in two weeks. Still the PR campaign has been going one for already four weeks. For this release we have six PR teams working on different territories. On top of that we have people doing market PR for just one country. In total the whole PR team is 16 people that need to be coordinated. Even before the single was correct mixed and master, demo versions went out to different teams to determine if they were interested to work with it at all.

For a DIY artist you can't even reach these teams. they only work with artists that are released by professionals because they have all their assets together. I just took a non-scientific survey with our release team on the digital distribution and asked them how many artists actually had all their assets together? One out of a hundred was their conclusion. Can it really be that hard?
For a single, you need, single master, press photos five of them, a front cover for the single, a lyric video, a video, and a press release. It's really not that hard. this is the basic. We saw that in the DIY artists out of 100 releases none had the basics covered. Instead we had to go back and ask for basic stuff.

To make this harder. That was just the basics. On top of this you need to update all your social media, homepages with new material, press stuff, and other things. The five photos should be in a way that it's in different formats so it can fit most situations. The video should be ready before the release of the single, not after release. The biography should contain some cool line that makes people want to read about it, not just that you release a new single. It should contain quotes from the artist and quotes from media on your earlier releases.

Then you have all the hidden outlets. On The Magnettes case I have now added them to 25 different upload places for radio, so the song is in the system. I have also presented the new song to over 250 music supervisors so it can be added to commercials, tv series, movies. And for that I need to have even more assets together like right ownerships, instrumental and clean versions. Then I also have been on our special teams that handle Youtube, so the song can be placed with influencers. I also pre-cleared it for use in sports events. Everywhere it's played it counts. I have also set up all the accounts to measure all the PR activities that we are driving to see what is working and not working.

I have a special relationship with our aggregator so I have personally spoken to them to add this release as a priority release. This can't even be done at a DIY artist aggregator. On top of that I have spoken to my contacts on different outlets, so like china speed on the process so it's on their servers faster. I have pitched it to Spotify and added it to Shazam. Updated Wikipedia. I have also cleared the lyrics so any site that handles lyrics has the right version and on that we get paid every time it's looked at.

Also, I have presented the song for over 1000 industry people to find new ways and stuff to get the songs heard in different ways. These contacts are personal so it's very hard for a, DIY artist, or just tap into this vast amount of contacts.

This is just a small part of all the things that a record label a professional manger does around an artist. In the end releasing as DIY artists are impossible. These outlets are not open to the self-releasing community.

No it's not just that your song is on Spotify. In The Magnettes case we also have secured Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, Tencent and more. Things that we have because of our huge network of people. This is also the reason why a full campaign takes almost 10 weeks to go through. The average DIY is mainly put it up with one-week notice and do a couple of Instagram and Facebook posts. No as you guessed that is not enough.

And this is just the basics. We haven't even talked about that your song also has to be good!