Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The important day!

Tomorrow is a really important day. Well, when you read it it was yesterday and I will know the outcome.

If everything goes as planned I'm about to start a couple of new festivals around the world. My already crazy schedule will be crazier than ever. I don't know what to feel about it. I would love to have some time off just one day a week (I sit and write this on Sunday night, try to be quick since I need to get up really early tomorrow). I guess though I have the right mental state. this is what I want to do. I love my job, and it's the results of years of testing and trying things out.

I have written it before, you need to catch the opportunity.

If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?

Yes, it's the lyrics from "Lose Yourself" with Eminem. Tomorrow is that day where everything can change. It's time to try to catch this opportunity, time to move ahead.

When you stop to take the chances is the day you reach your peak. Tomorrow is not my peak ....I have come to drop the bombs!

Monday, December 17, 2018

The problem with updating on DIY.

The biggest problem with DIY is that you are always very late to get the latest news and smart things to do. Things that go around in the industry actually comes down to the artist level it's almost one year old. Even with an artist signed to labels we still see that the info of what is going on is not that updated.

I can just compare when I got Spotify in 2010. I got the Beta version and could try it out. I was excited and told all my artist back then around of this new system. they really never cared, the only thing in their head back then was Itunes, in the worst cases, they were still into My Space. It took at least four years before the artist was up to date with what Spotify is and they started to be interested in the new thing. That is four years too late, by then Spotify was already divided and DIY was not in the priority.

Just got a message from one of my friends in the industry explaining to one of our bands that the first hours on Youtube is the most critical one. So hide a video and then do it visible is not that good for the algorithms.
Things like this are the stuff that DIY need to know to be able to make a good release. I guess when this info reaches them it's already out of date. and this one is very small we are talking about hundreds of tricks like this to make things happen.

Many think this info is accessible online. Yes, it is but it's also drowned in thousands of posts of other DIY people with the most strange ideas which are not correct. Finding what is good and not good here is impossible.

I have said it before that DIY is dead. Right now I feel it's more dead then ever. The industry is moving so far ahead that it makes it impossible to do it DIY as an artist and reach any bigger level. Even starting up a new record label and try to fit in the information stream has become really hard. It's all down to the team nowadays.

Friday, December 14, 2018

This is what you need to focus on the live from your music.

I got one of those "set your mind to it" where they start by explaining that all that you do is overwhelming and takes time and what should you focus on?

Most artists fall for this. Maybe you fall for the headline I wrote?

I mean we all have that question. This is not just the artist asking this question all the time, the professionals have the same doubt. Everything is overwhelming and the day only has 24 hours, and you need to sleep and eat. But even with a team with 100 people doing all that stuff that should be done, it's still not enough. When you get to that point you tell the world that you would need 200 people to make the task, why? Well, the more you do the more gets in as opportunities.

In this video, they talk about your goals, that you need to know your goals and stick to that than running around like a chicken. I agree to keep the goals and yes stop running around like chicken. You need to focus where you find it good to be. For example, I don't spend any time on Twitter. My post goes up there just if someone that likes twitter wants to fins me. Same with Linked in my posts are there too but I don't follow that much. I used to do a lot of Facebook. The new algorithm though has destroyed the good part there sop I had to go over to make a business account, still, Facebook only let through 10% so right now I focus more on e-mail. See when I change that, depends on the outcome in six months which is the time period I want to test out.

In a way, though nothing of this is important. The real importance is the mindset. The reason I'm in the position I'm is totally mindset. I want to work behind the scenes in the music industry. I don't have any desire to be on the stage, but I'm deeply interested in the business around it.
And I wake up every morning to just work with that. That curiosity is what drives me and make me go places. The people that fail are the ones that just do a bit of this. It's fun to work but you go home 5 a clock to your family and treat it like a 9 to 5 job.

An artist like Ed Sheeran was doing the same. I bet there are thousands that are better than ED Sheeran out there. But few have the determination like Ed. And keep going all the time is the key factor that took him where he is. He created the luck that got him there.

The problem is that many do a lot very fast. Suddenly they releasing a lot of music, posting a lot and are in your face for six months. Then they just cool off. And then they do the same race three years later. Like I said so many times it's a marathon not a sprinter race. You just have to do things all the time. And some periods of the year you do certain things like right now is high time to seek out festivals for the summer. So contacting those would be a good mission right now. Still, to contact them you need a good story why they should have your band so planning in a release later in the spring must be done at the same time. And on top of that don't forget the other stuff you were doing before.

Suddenly it's overwhelming. Then you think it over, take the things that work, keep with those and drop the stuff that doesn't. But with the right mindset you will come quickly up with new stuff to do so when it's overwhelmed it's temporary.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Active or passive listners? How to detect fake numbers.

I have been writing about fake numbers, here and here before. So how do you check fake numbers? Many artists just ask for certain things but if you fake one thing it shows on other things.

Normally I don't hang out bands, but in this case, I have to. Nothing wrong with these bands, probably they don't know it, it might be done by their label, management or something. But to learn how things work I have to do it.

The artist KIDDO, it's a Swedish artist, pretty few have her of her before. I would guess most of my friends would say KIDDO who?
I just looked on her Spotify numbers. KIDDO has 323 463 listeners a month on Spotify Her first single trouble has 500 000 streams, her second single 1,8 million streams and her new one released 7 of September 3,5 million streams.
Good numbers and this is what many artists thinks that we should focus on. It looks really good with three singles and that many streams.

Yes if you are an amateur booker or people not from the industry it looks perfect. But right now the whole industry is learning how to look into this fake numbers, because yes they are fake. Or not fake, they are passive streams. Passive means that it's used as background music, like music in the roof of a store. Active is when you go in and type in the song you want to listen to.

To check the streams you just sweep to another channel to see if these numbers collaborate with Spotify. So we check her facebook page. And here you easily find that she only has 1136 people following. Yes, all these streams are coming from passive listening on playlists on Spotify. The real followers are more like this number on facebook and that is what a normal new beginning artist has. Clearly, someone has pushed something just for Spotify.

Then we have Instagram, she is young so she would have more here, 2398 followers, but only 61 posts, so she is not very active.

Then we go to the real killer, Youtube. It used to be the cheating channel but it's harder to do it now so it has become a check tool to Spotify. Only one video out, but it's the last single that had over 3,5 million streams. Here you got a 54 000 and only 73 comments since September. Usually the mistake is that they only go for one channel, in this case Spotify, then forget the other channels. With real fans, the numbers actually go up on all channels at the same time.

I was on a panel on Viva Sounds this weekend and they were discussing this and the biggest booker said. Yes, they might have many streams but that doesn't indicate that they are a good live. KIDDO don't have any live videos! Booking this artist could be a really big gamble, and many have lost a lot of money by test the numbers out. In reality, KIDDO is just a small artist on her way up. But if you look on just Spotify she would be a top 50 artist.

So how did she get so many playlists (a thing artists always ask for), well, one thing her social media reveals is that she is part of a Spotify program for female producers. That can help, I'm not saying that is the reason. Also, some bigger lables has put in their playlists just to pump numbers. Still, they just put on playlist where we know there are fake accounts just listen to the list over and over. And the Spotify playlist she has is mainly the ones where people use it as background music. The active listeners are revealed in the other social media numbers. So the numbers are probably pumped by her record label and maybe also her connection to Spotify.

Many artists wish that they had a company pumping numbers. But look out for what you ask for. The booking industry will be harder and harder that the numbers make sense, so if your company cheat like this it might cost you other stuff. Just good numbers on one site is not good enough. It has to be on all platforms.

Another example is Noëp from Estonia. He was signed to Sony music in Sweden. He released a couple of singles there. "Move" with 8,1 million streams, "Rooftop" with 5,1 million streams and "New Heights" with 1,7 million streams. The rest of his catalog have a couple of hundred thousand streams each. But these three sticks out. and yes those are the one released of Sony. It's pretty evident that Sony pumped the numbers.

Also here you can easily see how Sony went for streams on the first one. Of course, it was massive but Sony also knows that the streams are passive listeners. They test out if the audience like it. But it seems no they didn't. I guess it actually cost Sony more then they got on these 8 million streams, they try one more with the second one and you can see that the third one they just add it to some smaller one.

After that, they seem to have dropped the artist? All releases after that are on the artist own label. Here you can easily see that they just go up to a couple of hundred thousand which is the capacity for Noëp. This match his Facebook following of 17 000 people. Or does it?
I guess he has cheated here too. Yes, he has 17 000 followers but on average all post he does just get around 60 likes or interactions. yes, another tool is to check the interactions on posts.
On Instagram, he has 15 000 followers with an average of 1500 interactions, better and more likely and actually fits with a hundred thousand streams. A good key point is that the interaction should be 10% of the followers.

Then we go to Youtube and it gives it away, the channel only has 7000 followers. The videos are around 25 000 views each. Then "Move" stands out, the single Sony bought numbers on and that has 1,2 million views, still far from the 8 million on Spotify.

Of course like I wrote nothing bad about the artists and in many cases we see that they're not in it. Still by doing numbers and it can be so easily checked and now is the trend that you can hunt that on live side. The live side is now taking over just because it's more money there and harder to cheat. So be careful what you wish for. Get real fans that is what will keep you alive in all weathers, even on Spotify.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Can I borrow you network?

I'm going to this place, can you set up some meetings for me?

I get this from my own bands as well as professionals around me. It seems kind of easy to just share your network and help someone out, but it's not. I used to do that, and it is an idea of that yes you can work as a group sharing things.
The problem that arouses is that in many cases it's personal contacts. It's a personal relationship. In the bottom, you actually put your personal brand on the line by doing this. In some cases when I have done it the person screws up the relationship because they say the wrong things or ask for the wrong stuff in the meeting.

One example long ago was when I got a really big Japanese label to Sweden. They were in Stockholm and an artist had nagged me to meet them. I didn't have time to take that meeting so I let the artist go by themselves. Then after that meeting, the label was a bit weird to talk to. Of course, the artist had been totally crazy and just went into the meeting demanding tours and stuff in Japan thinking that everything was easy to demand. In the end, it took me two years to get the trust back from the Japanese company.

Sure you can get my network, but I rather do the introduction when you are around. that is my principle right now. Then, of course, the people I have a super connection too I can give you.

And the problem is that networks are personal. You can easy her stories how an artist gets signed to a label and a month later that person leaves the company and the artist is stuck in limbo since the contacts that should be used for that artist went the person that was leaving.

Then you have to give something back. I built up a network for the past twenty years and paid quite much to get into things to get this. Sure I want to help you out but it is a give and takes. So for an artist, it's harder, they usually don't have much to give. Sure we are in the same boat and try to push your music forward. It's better though if you go for your own network and we use both then you tapping into mine so we both have the same.

Another thing is also that music professionals talk differently when they speak to an artist. They don't want to be rude so they really just be positive to all that your a saying. When you are in other terms you get a whole other story from them.

This is also why artists can't really do showcases by themselves. First, they are too busy playing and do what they should do. On the other side, it's hard for them to pick up your contacts and also know how to work them.

I get the contacts are a tool, a tool that you don't borrow out just like that.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

The hard work is after the signing!

Never strikes wrong, when you leave an artist since they mainly just sit on the sofa and sends you messages like " how is it going" they start to work. Suddenly they do these things they should have done all along, these smaller things that the professional can use to leverage to the second level. Now they do the small things and there is no one to take it to a next stage.

All the time when I speak with professionals they have experienced that they sign an artist that is really active and things are starting to happen. they take a chance and get the artist signed and suddenly everything stops. The artist is just expecting for you to pick up where they stopped and start doing all these smaller things they were working on. And you actually can't really do these smaller things. Okay yes in the artist's eyes these things are bigger, but in reality to get small blogs writing of you or update your homepage and get out and seeking fans is the smaller stuff you should really do on a daily basis. But these small things are the petrol we need for the engine to make the bigger stuff.

So then they come off again as active and someone else steps up and thinks, oh here is something happening and signs them. And suddenly they are back on the sofa sending messages "how is it going". Been there done that.

The thing is that when you get someone interested you actually have to step up all that work you're where doing before ten times. I guess many just expect that they should take over and you can just follow along, but that is totally different. The only time you do that is when you have a smaller manager that is new that is taking care of everything, I rather call these managers butlers then managers though. The problem with that is that these managers can never leverage anything since they are preoccupied to do all the things that the artist should do.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

I want artistic freedom!

-We are signed to a label that is run by artists for artists, a place where we can have our creative freedom.

The line is from an artist asking me to help them professionally to get forward in their career. I looked into their things and realized yes they were just standing still. All their efforts where merely crazy small attempts to do things that have already been proven to not work (things like fundraising campaigns, just releasing on SoundCloud, do their own tours in their own places). Then I checked out where everything was released and found the label with that saying in the top.

It's a nice thought that you can get together as a collective and do that. Sharing all your contacts ( a thing that never works, I hope to write a piece on that later next week). The problem with these things is that they just do the mistakes that have already been done. To be honest, the artist has their creative freedom even on normal labels, is just that someone is saying no to the most stupid ideas like sending a 10 minutes long song to radio and pay for PR doing it.

The problem is that it seems easy to release music. well, it looks easy to have a restaurant as well. You just cook food that people like and then you make money, right?
Of course not it's all the things having contacts to market the restaurant, getting the right suppliers of the ingredients to cook with. Having the right staff, and be very very persistent.
Imagine that 5 different home chefs open a restaurant doing exactly what they want. That menu would be something to see! Should they have different styles in the restaurant, ohh I want a table in the Mexican part far away from the rustic Swedish food section?

Of course, it could work out over time when they find common mistakes and agree on things, but then they are just like any other restaurant just taking some detour doing mistakes.

Back to the artist seeking us out. The funny part here is that now suddenly they seek out this professional side and think we can help out on these ideas we already know doesn't work. You have taken a path that you want all control, all the money, but also all the freedom. That really can´t be totally teamed up with someone that will say no to crazy ideas, already have a kind of strategy how to get you forward. To be able to work with professionals you have to be very open and very curious to try new things and be very very persistent.

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