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!

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Nigirian letter - driveby

Yes, we are still on Nut job week! This one is partly fool, partly nutjob, but also a language barrier. Okay, it's not easy to learn the language and I'm really not good on either spelling or getting the grammar right. I'm not making fun of his spelling but it adds on the confusion.

Still, it feels like those Nigerian letters you get where they have this huge treasure that needs to be moved and you are getting quite much percentage to help them.

Of course, this is a guy that added me on Facebook out the blue and after five minutes this conversation starts.

Ali Mohammed - Bonjour

Peter - Hello

Ali Mohammed - How are you?

Peter - Good and you?

Ali Mohammed - Fine I am a musicien blue, I have a song to sell you cheaper

Peter - How much cheaper?

Ali Mohammed - You want me to tell you the price, us to have contract?

After that, he tries to call me on messenger. But hey I have no time to spend on the phone on this.

Ali Mohammed - 1000 to 700 euros

Peter - Why is the song worth that?

Ali Mohammed - I can decrease you but the song is very nice if you buy you can sell

Peter - So it not given out?

Ali Mohammed - oui oui ce nouveau, it's a new song

Peter - So why should I buy it and sell it. Why don't you sell it directly to the person that should have it?

On this, he doesn't answer so I add on

Peter - How many hits have you written before?

Ali Mohammed - I had a lot of songs if you want you can buy I sign you the contract

Peter - Has anyone bought your songs before?

Ali Mohammed - Yes, but the one I came to sell you this new, he has never been to the market

Peter - I would get a 100% of the Song?

Ali Mohammed - Yes no problème, you have to be coward and I sign you the contract, I want to sell you the song

So far I haven't heard the song. I don't really know what language it's in. So just to see what he answers I go for something totally crazy.

Peter - Is the Song in Norwegian?

Ali Mohammed - No she's touareg it's blue touareg

Then I get it. Since we are publishers I assumed that he was trying to sell a written song. No, he is trying to sell a single with an artist. A master deal not a publishing deal.

Peter - Oh it's an artist attached to the song?

Ali Mohammed - Yes of course ?

He tries again to call me. Of course, there is no point to discuss this on this stage.

Ali Mohammed - How much are you going to buy the song?

Peter - You are try sell an artist. How successful is blue touareg?

I don't know what the artist's name is. I try to look up his name, get up nothing. So my guess here is that he has a female artist called Blue Touareg. Well, it's nothing on that name, and on google yes you get a lot of pictures of the car Touareg in blue.

Peter - Does recording and mastering include in the price? Are video and pr photos included?

Ali Mohammed - no there are no photos and video this audio only, do you want to buy the song?

Peter - I can't find anything about an artist called Blue Touareg online has she released something before?

Ali Mohammed - don't worry if you don't want to buy it but it's a very nice song

Peter - I need something to compare with if the price is right

Ali Mohammed - The price is correct but as you are my friend I can decrease you must tell me your price?

I love this, it's like buying something on the bazaar in Cairo. Too bad, we can't have tea and discuss it like they do. Then I can use a Fez in my Fez collection.

Peter - A new artist has a value of zero. If it's nothing done, just a song it's a huge investment.

Ali Mohammed - it not me the new artist me I am an artist since this song which is new? I have a lot of songs

Peter - So do you have any songs on Spotify or Youtube?

Ali Mohammed - Yes, I send you the song to listen and after you buy or else?

Peter - No send the old songs first

Of course, I want to see the stats of the artist. You never know they can actually be famous in theri own country. So I wanted some numbers to look at.

Ali Mohammed - I don't understand? do you want to buy the old sound or else?

Peter - No I want to compare the numbers you have on the old song, that will show the value

Ali Mohammed - the old sound is 500 euro

Peter - okay does they already gained that amount?

Ali Mohammed - Yes several time even, Do you want to buy the old song or new?

So the old songs must be out on the market. Now I just need to get him to send a link to one of those to look at.

Peter - So where have you released something online, do you have any songs on Spotify already?

Ali Mohammed - YouTube daily motion, Do you want to buy the old song or new?

Peter - what is the things on youtube, do you have links?

Ali Mohammed - Do you want to buy the song or? I can send you song to listen or?

After like two hours messing he finally can send a link.

Peter - I don't want to buy the song if you can't send anything that you released before on Youtube or Spotify.

Ali Mohammed - type in Ali Mohammed song on Youtube.

Finally, I find something on Youtube. It's a song done with another artist so it's featuring. The sound is kind of nice. But can't really be used outside his country.

Ali Mohammed - listen and you tell me your choice

The funny part here is that I just have one song that is already given out. But though the name I managed to find and album in another spelling that was also on Spotify. The Youtube numbers were not taht bad 100 000 streams the Spotify was just 2000 to 3000 a song but it was twelve songs. Still if you taht add up it's not more then a 100 euro in streaming worth.

Peter - The streaming numbers just add up to 100 euro. I have to pass, nice video, but I won't earn the money on it.

Ali Mohammed - are you going to buy or else?

Here I'm off on another call so he becomes impatient.

Ali Mohammed - How much do you buy the song?

It has all taken six hours to get this far, so I called it a quit.

Peter - No I won't buy the song.

It all reminds me of a Nut job in the subway in Stockholm that was standing there screaming "you want to buy cassette, cheap cassetts" he was standing there all in 2000:s when I was traveling to work. Don't know what was on those cassettes. I should go back and see if he still sells the cassettes. in the end, I haven't heard the song, maybe it was a hit of a lifetime.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Welcome to the nut jobs

I guess the desperation is going through the roof right now with the people in Corona lockdown. I usually get a nut job a week. But right now they just come from everywhere. They are the reason why most people don't answer artists. In one way they are fun, but if you are in a lot of work they are not fun to have in your inbox. So for not encourage them you just don't answer. But of course, I'm always against the grain...

So this morning I just open my social media and there they are. First, a real nut job that I just follow because she is totally in outer space. This morning she gave up to pursue that she could trademark a pink cross. Last time I checked the cross is a symbol that the guy in Rome with the funny hat has a copyright on. Seem he had it for almost 2000 years. So make it pink and illuminate it doesn't really go for a trademark. And then she saw that The Weeknd had that in the video Starboy and went off to try to sue them. What do you say, are you doing the art, or are you just in for being a querulant?

I guess she reads this so she probably will unfollow me.

Then my phone starts to light up as a x-mas tree. It's the Cashbox Instagram. Some guy is ranting on. So every line here is a new message.

- Hello there I am Indie Artist **** on Soundcloud please play my hit ******

- This song has been submitted to Donald J Trump as a potential jingle for Coca Cola advertising campaign and hopefully will be used for reading $$$ to fight the cure for Corona Virus

- I am being followed by the US House of Representatives and Smithsonian Entertainment on LinkedIN

- I am also a Candian Citizen originally from Burlington Ontario and ran my own music studio in Acton Ontario 2002 to 2017.

- I am currently remarried to a US Citizen living in Queenstown Maryland USA

-  The song addresses both Corona Virus and Coca Cola.

- I am all over social media platforms mostly USA platforms.

- I have Facebook and old LinkedIn in Canada

- I moved to USA august 2018 and remarried July 2019

- Almost through the US immigration process here

- Aka Mark of Virginia

Here I get a chance to intervene. So I reply: We play songs about Virginia like this one

But Mark doesn't really give up he keeps up his claim of fame.

- My song is about raising money for Corona virus

- I am being followed on Soundcloud by The Lazy Comic and also Eileen Carey, Jim Carey's wife or ex wife

- Jim Carey is also from Burlington Ontario

- ***** is a very catchy tuneful and everyone that hears that song loves it

Of course, now I had to hear it. I guess I'm alone on the planet to dislike it. Then I liked on all the pictures with him half-naked in leather gay outfits. It was like Tom of Finland but when reality hits in. And while doing this John keept on:

- Music Promoters from Cunningham Piano and Music are also following me on Soundcloud they are from Philadelphia

- They own the Cunningham Piano and Music Company

 Then I got a chance to answer: Good that you have so many friends. Go on to and listen, maybe someday you hear your song.

- That is awsome thank you so much!

- I've also connected with Rosie O'Donnell

Okay this is a nut job. But really I have people in the industry that are sane ( well at least they acting somewhat sane) that does this as well. Just throwing names that they claim to know through social media.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

You must love the fools

Right now I get up to ten friends adds on Facebook each day. No, I don't count the girls with fewer clothes that always are alone home and need a male companion. Those are just listening to bad Britney pop and has a bad music taste my girlfriend tells so I erase those. I don't want people with bad music taste in my feed. The ones that are adding me are real people. It's not that I'm popular either. I guess I'm listed somewhere.

Anyway, part of these is what I call drive-by shooters. People that just add you and then five minutes later send you a song to listen to. Just reminded me of that I got one of those girls with fewer clothes playing ukelele the other day, oh well back to the subject, they send you a song but never tell you what to do with it. Okay, listen to it but what then? I have never encountered that any of them has been any good.

Then you have the ones that actually tell you what to do with the song. And sometimes it's hilarious conversations you have with them. At the same time, this is why you have professional people talking to radio as the PR person, the record label as the manger. The risk to do it by yourself is that you blew the opportunity by just open your mouth. This one came into my Cashbox radio facebook account today.

"Hi Cashpoint Radio, we’re like you, we’re also sick of corporate radio, we want radio how it used to be, so if you fancy a listen to our debut album ‘The Noise is Beautiful’ by my new band Tinkers Lane then the links are below, if you’d like the MP3’s then I’d be pleased to send them to you, just let me know. Stay safe and well
Links to
Appel/Itunes "

Sending links to sites where I have to pay for the music doesn't really attract me. My guess that I would go out of business in just one month to buy strange songs that not fit the station is overwhelming. The thing I love the most is that it's to "Cashpoint Radio". Still, I admire that he needed to get into the station to get our brand " How radio used to be" to be able to write that. he made a real effort. In a way, it's just writing slip. To help along I sent back

"Thank's, we actually have done a show for you. It's here and you can listen to it straight from the site. 
While you listen to that we will listen to Thinkers Bane."

To say the truth I didn't follow any of the links, Instead, I went for Youtube and found a hilarious video with rollerskating as one of their videos. The band is ok, but just because it gave me a laugh I have heard their song three times now. And started to like it, maybe I should just play that on the station anyway?

The more terrible ones are this that also got in today. Straight into my personal Facebook after adding on five minutes.

"Hi Peter, I hope you are well! My name is **** and I'm drummer of ******, alternative rock band from London/UK. I want to ask you how we can have airplay on your radio and is it possible to put our songs on daily rotation Thank you and stay safe! Link to song"

"Hello ****. Thank you for sending the song. The style is ok, but the song is not in radio format. It has a 1,12 intro is 6.06 long and are slow. That might work in playlists on Spotify but not on radio where you need quick attention. But hey feel free to send new songs when you release them."

I was, of course, trolling after a dumb answer. My guess was that he would send me another one. Of course, when I looked on the first one I quickly listened to three others they all had the same fault. The risk he had a song that fit was none. But here I took the thing that they could write a new one. I made a deal with myself to eat my girlfriends chocolate bar she left and told me not to touch, if he came back with a song that could be aired. I just felt, make my day, punk! Some normal day edge. Like just passing a fart after three days of diarrhea, normal life on the edge.

"Thanks for your message, Peter! I'll send you our debut album, 12 songs. If you like some of them for the radio I can send you mp3. A link to Spotify"

I love the fools, they really make my day, but they don't get me chocolate.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The bogus Record labels are as necessary as like fish needs a bike!

I just came out of a meeting for record labels. Yes, record labels have organization meetings as all other business organizations. I have been a member for the past 25 years, so it was fun meeting people that actually do the same things like your self and really indulge in record label nerd talks. Before the meeting, I meet up with another label that used to be active in this local organization but now is in the bigger worldwide organization. 

She just said I don’t care any longer about the local chapter. It’s really too low quality on the members to be even considered as working in the music business. In reality, they are worse than the artist themselves on their job. It is mainly a junkyard of people that are employed by organizations to give out music in a really bad way. My belief is that the artist would do it much better themselves then being pampered by these bogus so-called record labels.

And now when I write this it popped up on my social media feed, adds on a supervision company marketing that suddenly you can also add your song for distribution on their platform. I guess placements didn’t go that well? And then a company where you can create songs and collaborations with others just added on taht you can also publish the songs by them. I don't know would you feel okay that your real estate provider worked out of a hot-dog stand?

Yes, there are too many people and companies that just offer a bad version of what a real record label should be able to offer. Sure you can use any of the public distribution services for DIY artists. They are not great. If your goal is to have the song on Spotify they work fine. It’s not for professional releases with real marketing but you can say to your friends that you are on Spotify. But to be middle hand for those sites? That is not okay!

Releasing today is not to get the song on to Spotify. That is easy. The hard part is the PR part where you have to work against the social media bubble to try to break into new bubbles and have every algorithm against you. That is the reason why no one is not discovering your music when you put it up there. It has nothing to do witch way it came in. It's about how you market it. No marketing and the chances of being discovered even to the lowest playlist is almost zero.

Here is the service a real record label actually can provide. If it is a real label! Right now I see too many people acting like middle hands for artists to even do the simplest of stuff. Like a government organization opening up a record label for artists that uses their rehearsal rooms, using a DIY distributor. What is the point? You fool the artist thinking that they got a record deal? In reality, you just move their files to someone else that distributes it to Spotify. Then the artist thinks you are great just because they are on Spotify. In reality, you just broke every chance to market the stuff. 

Not the organization has no clue about marketing. Nor has the supervision company or the collaboration company. I can’t imagine they have staff working with all the strange songs that are in the making all the time. They don’t have any intention to even spend money on any marketing. Instead, it’s just another of these 99 % of the 40 000 tracks that are uploaded to Spotify each day. A good question would be how even there are handling things like ISRC codes or even simple matters like information around who wrote the song. Things that actually is crucial for you as an artist to get paid!

Back to the meeting with the local chapter I was visiting. It was horrifying when you looked onto who was actually claiming they were a record label. 60% were artists that were giving out themselves, and none of them are successful and probably would need the advice from a real label around song quality, PR, and stuff. 35% were those middlemen that are failed musicians that now work for organizations claiming to be a label. Then you had three real labels, run by old people. In reality, their prime time was over 20 years ago. One was asking what TikTok was, just saying. I got only one “real” label in the meeting that knew what they were talking about.

No there was no good time to chat about the industry. The knowledge was not there. The real people had moved on to the worldwide organization. I guess real record labels are on extinction. There are a few ones left and if you work with them, they are great. But they act on a really high level. 

Like the plastic destroying the oceans the bogus ones are spreading out fooling artists to use a service to go to another service and the DIY can’t really promote either. In the end, the artist is stuck with a bad deal with no one telling them what they do wrong or how to improve. 

Like the fish in the sea that will be gone of our pollution, the artists and talent will die by fake hopes to get their music heard.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

The IQ and EQ in the music.

Just to have a high IQ is not that good. I was just watching a game show on TV and the contester was in MENSA (a club for people with high IQ) and had a high IQ. Lost almost on the first question on how many legs a spider has. IQ shows how good you are on logical things. Don’t really say if you are smart or successful.

Also, this contestant, you really felt that she was not someone you really wanted to have a conversation with. What she was lacking quite a lot is EQ. Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them, and how to work cooperatively with them. So, having one of these is good but you can perform badly on other things. Like you are super smart but friendly like a venomous snake. Or you get along with all people but not really see when people take advantage.

In music it is the same. Let’s compare the IQ with skills. You can play the guitar as fast as possible with great tunes. EQ is the ability to write songs and harmonies. In the first you have Yngwie Malmsteen, yes, he can play guitar fast like hell. But he can’t write a decent tune. Then you have Per Gessle from Roxette who is average on guitar but writes hit songs as easy as he makes a cup of tea.
The problem I have is that some genres only goes on the IQ part. And on top of that, they think since they are “smarter” they look down on the EQ ones. On the other side the EQ ones make all the money and have the audience. IQ just survives on government aid.

This shows off quite easily. Classic music has not had a hit in almost a hundred years. The last hit was Wagner. The style is popular among the audience, but not the new things, only the back catalog. Why is it so impossible for classical artists to make something good today? My guess is that Wagner, Mozart, and the other were EQ people, but they had to enter the classical world. Today there are all sorts of other ways. And by that it is impossible to tell any classical schooled artists too write a good song. They really do not have the skills. They can only play advanced. But the advanced just sounds terrible. And most schools are just encouraging them to play right not do things that are great.

Same with Jazz, okay had a few hits later, but hey when did a jazz song really hit the charts, especially the kind of improvisation jazz? No, it’s fun to play, but listen to is as fun as watching a game of curling. Yes, there is a reason why curling is not a big seller on the TV menu.

From time to time I meet people from these sections coming and want a real career not just pennies from the government. I just tell them, write a hit, if you can’t buy one. And they don’t really understand. They rather want me to change the audience so they should understand the technical skills. And that will never happen. Also, these people tend to just be around each other. A bit like the mad scientists that only hang together and tell algebra jokes.

So just because you can say horse in nine languages when you should ride you buy a cow. You really need both sides to be successful.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Say no to play for free!

You always get artists complaining that people think they should play for free on parties, pubs and other things. Usually, with the saying, it’s good for promotional for you. I have seen artists ranting long things around how stupid people are, and that they are worth being paid, etc.

At the same time, I get this all the time. Okay, I’m ranting about it right now. And the reason for that is because I had several people talking to me about this problem that are professional people in the business. Right now since there is a lockdown and releasing music seems to be the only way to get something done it just comes in double than usual.

Just as annoying as people asking for an artist to play for free. As a professional, it’s equally annoying with an artist that thinks I should do them favors for free. I just got this message:
I’m releasing a new single next week. Though if you know some good outlets that I should send it to?

I’m working with PR. So yes I have full email systems and connections with people that are the people you are looking for. That though is my tool. As well as your instrument and songs are your tools on that free concert, mine are these built up lists of people and relationships.

It’s equally wrong asking for these contacts at PR firm. Same as the free concert you don’t really want to be the a-hole that says no. the gig will be fun but you know your work and all the time you have to put into it. Same here, I don’t want to be the a-hole saying, pay me. The truth is that these contacts I have paid for in both money and time digging into systems and going on showcases, talking to people. It’s just like your free gig. It’s a big investment and I don’t want to give it away.
When I talked about it to my PR friends that were nagging around it. I also reminded that they gave me free contacts and such sometimes. Though that was different since they did something for me, I could give them something back from my system. That was a trade. Unfortunately, they didn’t want a free concert by any of the artist that was asking them for contacts.

One of the persons was a manger. She had the reflection also that managers where more in the spotlight of this then my PR agency. When artist do contracts with managers they of course also get into the network. The manager uses this tool to spread the artist's music. The problem is that the artist just sees this as something that just comes along. There is no real value to the network that the manger has. Many times, also the artists treat the contacts badly. She had done a full interview for the artist with a blog. When the interview was released the artist didn’t even bother to share the links, they didn’t think that was important enough. In that of the back, of course, the manager didn’t look good in the eyes of the blog.

A reason also why you can’t just give away contacts. Suddenly someone comes back and tells you that the artist has behaved like an arrogant prick and is not happy, and you recommended them.
Another thing I also get a lot is people coming up with a whole album and think I should listen to them and give feedback. The same thing, what’s in it for me and why should I spend almost 2 hours for just a thank you.

Before you do this. Ask if you can hire people to do it. If you are low on cash what can you trade with? You don’t like when people ask for free shows. Don’t do the same mistake.