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Time Is Running Out: 5 Music Business Tasks To Complete Before End Of The Year

2017 -2018As the final days of 2017 tick down, here is a quick rundown of some important tasks that you need to take care of before year's end. Several are now are never to do's.

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Guest post by Dae Bogan of Dae Bogan Music

2017 is coming to an end. Here’s a quick rough rundown of some things you can (and some that you must) accomplish before the end of the year:

1. GET YOUR GROOVE MUSIC MECHANICAL ROYALTIES BEFORE ITS FORFEITED. Microsoft is shutting down Groove Music on December 31, 2017. Legally speaking, they are not required to pay mechanical royalties to songwriters and publishers who have not registered their copyrights with the United States Copyright Office. Therefore, in theory, on January 1st, 2018 Microsoft could expunge any unclaimed mechanical royalties. Royalty Claim shows you how to find your songs and begin the process of unlocking any accrued mechanical royalties.

2. GET DISCOUNTED CONFERENCE PASSES FOR 2018. If you’re thinking about going to music industry conferences in 2018, you should know that many of them offer early-bird discounts now. These savings really add up when you attend multiple conferences in one year. SXSW is currently offering lower rates that end on set dates. The next rate increase will be on Nov 17thNAB is offering a variety of packages at more than 50% off through Nov 24th (including a FREE pass for the Exhibit floor). There are more offers out there such as Music Biz Expo with discounted rates through March and ASCAP’s “I Create Music” Expo with discounted rates through the end of the year.

3. RELEASE A HOLIDAY COVER SONG LEGALLY AND SUBMIT TO BLOGS FOR END OF YEAR EXPOSURE. It’s not too late to record and release a holiday song this season and leverage the exposure from blogs and background music services. I breakdown how to do this in my piece “5 Tips For Making, Marketing And Monetizing Holiday Music This Season”.

24. GET OR RENEW YOUR GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC MECHANICAL LICENSE. If you distribute music to Google Play Music, you may be earning mechanical royalties that you have not collected. Mechanical royalties are different from your master use royalties (paid to labels, distributors, and aggregators) and performance royalties (paid to performing rights organizations (PROs) such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and GMR in the United States). Mechanical royalties are royalties paid for the distribution of the underlying musical work embodied in a sound recording — that is, the “song.” Mechanical royalties are owed to songwriters and publishers and is not paid to labels, distributors, aggregators, or PROs. To enter into a direct agreement with Google for your Google Play Music mechanical royalties, you can do one of two things: (1) Sign a direct deal with Google Play Music, whereby you will be responsible for data ingestion as well as ongoing account management. Please reach out to indiepublisher@google.comshould you like more information about the direct license; or (2) Opt in via the Harry Fox Agency, whereby they will manage your content on your behalf. You can do so by logging into your HFA account at harryfox.com and click the “Authorizaions” link located in the “Licensing” box. If you do not have an HFA Online account, you can fill out a Request for Administrator Account form at https://secure.harryfox.com/public/forms/online-account/form.jsp. You do not need to be a member of HFA to pursue this option. You can easily streamline and expedite the delivery of your song registrations to Harry Fox Agency (and Music Reports Inc., Loudr, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SoundExchange, and many others) using the affordable music rights and metadata management platform TuneRegistry. TuneRegistry was built to empower the independent music company and DIY musicians who self-publish.

5. CLAIM / VERIFY YOUR ARTIST PAGES & SOCIAL MEDIA. Go into 2018 with a tight marketing infrastructure by making sure that you control all of your presence across the top DSPs and social platforms. Symphonic Distribution breaksdown how to claim your label/artist page on DSPs and music marketing agency View Manic can help eligible artists verify their profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

***BONUS ITEM – DUE IN EARLY 2018***

16. PREPARE AND SEND FORM 1099s. Did you hire a publicist or digital marketing consultant to work your campaign this year? Did you book a photographer for a photo shoot? Hire a graphic designer to overhaul your website? Got a new music video from a production company or indie video director? If you hired freelancers or independent contractors this year, make sure to prepare and send them a Form 1099. This form is required (few exceptions) to be sent to non-employees when you’ve paid them $600 or more for services remitted. The information for the form is gathered from payments you’ve made and the contractor’s information, which you should also collect on a Form W-9. Contractors must receive the 1099 by January 31st, 2018. Read more about 1099s here and W-9s here. In the past, I’ve used Track1099 to easily generator and file 1099s. Check them out or others on the market.

Featured photo by aiden marples on Unsplash

FRI. BRIEF: Top Grossing Tours Of 2017 • New Year's Eve Event Security • 2017 Bandcamp Stats • More

LIVEFRIDAY 12.29.17

Music Business News From Around The Web

 Updated continuously under our More News tab

10 Most Read Posts Of 2017 On Hypebot

HypebotFrom Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran to Spotify and Facebook, here are the 10 most read stories on Hypebot last year. We've taken the liberty of eliminating a few pieces that would seem dated, like a list of 2017 Grammy winners; and what's left offers an overview of the stories and issues that shaped the new music industry in 2017 and beyond.

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In reverse order:

10. Scientific Study Identifies Most Important Member Of Every Band, And It Is...

9. One Look At Ed Sheeran's Spotify Earnings Could Change Your Mind About Streaming

8. How To Get Music On Spotify’s Playlists

7. Why You Can’t Put The Music Industry On A Blockchain

6. Taylor Swift Paddles Outside Streaming To Bridge Value Gap

5. The Best Days Of The Week And Times Of Day To Post On YouTube

4. Facebook Tests Change That Is CATASTROPHIC For Music Marketing

3. Facebook Testing Option To Link Groups, Pages - How It Works

2. The MP3 Is Dead, Long Live The MP3

1. Pop Artist Shelita Burke Uses Data Science, Blockchain To Her Advantage

Developing A Gig Reminder Email Strategy

Download (2)For anyone involved with putting on a show - be it artist, promoter, or label - notifying a fanbase that the show is actually happening is essential, and one email usually isn't sufficient. Here we look at how to develop comprehensive, effective strategy for emailing gig reminders.

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Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

Artists, bands, record labels and anyone doing a show needs to make their fan base very aware of when they’re doing a gig. You can’t rely on just a single email to get the word out, it takes a more comprehensive strategy. Here’s an excerpt from the second edition of my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book that outlines such a gig reminder strategy that has proven very effective in getting people to your show.

“Gig reminder emails fall into a different category in that they can be a lot shorter and a lot more frequent. While the email sequence below may seem like a lot of emails, remember that for true fans, you’re doing them a favor by keeping them informed, and you’re marketing yourself for other things at the same time. A potential reminder strategy is:

  • The day a show is announced or tickets go on sale. As soon as you know that you’re playing at a venue, send out an email. This could be to the entire list if it’s announcing a tour, if it’s the monthly schedule for a cover band, or if you believe that people will travel to see the show.
  • A week before the show. Send out a reminder but concentrate more on the band, regarding a new part of the show, new songs, a music video, or something that you want to the fan to see.
  • 3 days before the show. Send out a reminder and include more information about the club and who else is playing.
  • 1 day before the show. Once again, remind the fan about a a different feature of the show or the music that’s unique and won’t be seen or heard any other way than attending. You can change the headline to “You don’t want to miss this,” or “See our new show tomorrow night.”
  • The day of the show. Send out a short reminder in the late morning to just the portion of your list in the general area of the club. Use a headline like, “Can you make it tonite?”, or “Last chance to buy tickets!”
  • The day after the show. Send an email with backstage pictures, pictures of meet and greets with fans or just fans in the audience, as well as links to videos. This is a nice shout-out to those that were there, and a prod for those that weren’t not to miss you next time you’re in town.

1Of course, if you’re lucking enough to have sold out your show, you won’t need to send as many reminders. That said, you might send one headlined “Sold Out!” that either announces another gig or another way for the fan to hear your music or buy your merch. A contest for two last minute tickets (put them on your guest list) also works well.

TIP: In every reminder be sure to include all the pertinent gig information, including the name of the venue, the full address, the phone number, the time you’re going on, and other acts on the bill. Consider including a map or a link to one as well.

Artists and bands are sometimes timid about sending out so many gig announcements, but fans that ordinarily would attend really do forget. Remember, you’re doing them a favor by reminding them.

TIP: When sending out multiple emails in a short space of time, be sure to continually change the headline and the email contents.” 

Gig reminder emails may be the most important tool you have to get people to your gigs, and this strategy is a way to improve your audience numbers.

You can read additional excerpts from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

How Musicians Earn Money From YouTube

1While there's plenty of controversy regarding YouTube's role in the music industry, as one of the most popular sites in the world, it still represents a huge opportunity for artists to make money through their work. Here we look at how.

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Guest post by Jorge Brea of the Symphonic Blog

YouTube is one of the most popular websites in the world. Millions of videos are uploaded each and every day covering a million different topics. There are pros, cons, and controversies associated with YouTube (as with many websites), but there is also a hell of an opportunity for many individuals that have a YouTube account with original material to make revenue.

Here’s how to make money on YouTube:

Content ID

The first and simplest way to begin to earn revenue is to upload your material via our dashboard the SymphonicMS. Once that is done, we will upload into YouTube’s CMS system that operates “Content ID“. Their system will go ahead and finger print your music and then scan the rest of YouTube to find and search any videos that contain your song and/or songs. Potentially if you have a hit song that is being displayed on thousands of videos, it could add up pretty quickly to get you some solid additional income.

Create a YouTube account

2Once you have a YouTube account, upload your videos and songs. With this piece, we always want to recommend that you upload material that is fully owned by you, the user, and that is able to be monetized and claimed all over the internet. If you upload material that is not rightfully yours and claim it (unless you have permission to do so), you open up the potential for issues arising from your uploads and for you to be potentially removed from YouTube.

Register your Channel

Once you’ve done those first two steps, you register your channel with a Content ID partner. Of course, since we’re writing this, we’ll be a little biased and recommend that you register with us by visiting our YouTube Monetization service.

We will monetize your videos and if deemed appropriate additionally enable “Content ID” on them for YouTube’s system to get to work. The Content ID technology will compare your videos against other videos uploaded on YouTube. If it finds a match, we’ll be able to claim and monetize each one of those videos. In some cases, we can even take the videos down to ensure that anyone who does not have the ability to upload the videos flat-out doesn’t upload the videos ever again. Even though YouTube’s technology is quite sophisticated, there is still a manual process involved to ensure that any matches that are not picked up (such as audio or visual) are found and properly claimed which is why our staff spends time daily to find and match any videos not located. This is a lot of tech language but basically, you upload your videos, we monetize them, and then we go after monetizing other accounts for you.

Feeling stuck on your YouTube journey? Check out these simple and effective YouTube tips.

If you didn’t know about this aspect of the industry, we encourage you to take advantage and register your YouTube account for Content ID and/or upload your assets through our management system to ensure your rights are protected.

Reddit Users Report Multiple Spotify Hacks, Streamer Responds [UPDATE]

Spotify HackedUPDATED: Multiple Reddit users are reporting that their Spotify accounts were hacked, and several point to more than one hack over the last 10 days. Multiple users on Reddit say they have received emails from the music streamer that their usernames or passwords were changed without authorization. Spotify has issued this statement in response:

"Spotify has not experienced a security breach and our user records are secure." 

"We do however pay attention to breaches of other services, and take steps to help our users secure their Spotify accounts when those occur, because many people use the same login and password combination for multiple services. Therefore, we review sites such as Pastebin and others for leaked user credentials which might be used to access Spotify."

Reddit user Keoft first reported a new alleged Spotify hack:

"It was posted about an hour ago and I got an email from haveibeenpwned. You can type your spotify email on that site to see if your email and password showed up in that paste, or possibly others. Sure enough my own email and password show up there and now I have to change a ton of passwords on other sites and I'm very angry about it. I won't link the paste as it has thousands of emails and passwords and I am reporting them. "

Reddit Spotify

A search of Pastebin and other sites that are often used pass along stolen passwords do show multiple Spotify emails and passwords apparently stolen 6 days ago.

Bandcamp Shares Impressive and Strange 2017 Stats

BandcamplogoIn a year end post filled with the usual irreverence and a deep-in-its-DNA love of music, Bandcamp Engineer Ben Walker shared impressive and unusual 2017 stats for the popular indie platform.

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image from bandcampblog.files.wordpress.com

2017 on Bandcamp

  • 500 bands set up a Bandcamp page every day
  • 36,000 bands and labels used their new app.
  • Their servers sent out about 42 billion images
  • 17,872 tapes were released on Bandcamp
  • Artists sold 22.6 years of cassette-based audio on the platform. 
    • "That’s 17,076km of beautiful, crunchy tape. You could wrap it around the moon and still have enough left over to spool gently off the back of a raft as you travel the entire length of the Amazon River. "

2017 Band Names

“Atlas” is the most popular band name on Bandcamp (still – 77 and counting!) I’ve been intrigued by common band names. They’re always words that are short and generic enough to be statistically probable names, but still somehow meaningful to the bands using them. Here are the top 10 names of bands who published their first release in 2017:

  1. Apollo (13)
  2. Grim (10)
  3. Bloom (9)
  4. Indigo (9)
  5. Nova (9)
  6. King (8)
  7. Void (8)
  8. Milk (7)
  9. David (6)
  10. Smith (5)

Apollo, Bloom, and King were in last year’s list and are still rising in popularity. 

2107 Album Titles

This list of popular album titles features almost exactly the same titles as last year, but we’ve lost Time and gained Bloom

  1. Home (130 albums released in 2017)
  2. Lost (71)
  3. Memories (71)
  4. Void (71)
  5. Waves (71)
  6. Reflections (70)
  7. Blue (64)
  8. Dreams (62)
  9. Bloom (58)
  10. Love (54)

Read the full post here.

Why You Should Be Using Instagram Polls

Download (2)Polls are experiencing their moment in the social media spotlight, and are providing artists with a fun and interesting way to find and reward superfans, give fans a chance to be heard, and even conduct market research.

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Guest post by Jenn Schwartz, Senior Manager, Interactive Marketing at The Orchard from The Daily Rind

Polls are having a huge moment in the social media spotlight. Instagram even launched Story polls this past October in reaction to a sudden wave of interest. You see, over the summer, teen poll / compliment app TBHand Snapchat poll app Polly became the app store’s runaway successes unbeknownst to adults. The platforms empowered high schoolers to seek peer feedback without fear of bullying – something that other, comment-reliant social platforms hadn’t exactly perfected yet. Now, as part of Instagram’s platform, the format has taken off with more than just adolescents.

The benefit for musicians and brands is the same as it is for teens. With the ease of a tap, fans can be heard. Trolls and cyberbullies, on the other hand, have no place in a poll, where you control the language. Creators also needn’t spend precious time reading hundreds of comments every time they pose a question. A poll distills feedback into a few neat categories, freeing you up to do what you do best – create.

Haven’t tried it yet? Here are some fun polling ideas to get you started:

1. Find (& Reward) the Superfans

Those who respond to your polls are different from the rest of your followers. Not only do they engage enough to see you in their feed, but they’ve also taken the initiative to interact with a time-sensitive post. Consider them a sort of remarketing list, and DM them something personalized or exclusive to convert them into lifelong fans.

2. Give Fans a Say

2If, like many creators, you lack the time to get back to each fan individually, polling is one way to let fans know they’re being heard without spending countless hours reading comments. Let fans decide on things as big as upcoming merch, tour routing or your next single by polling them. Ask what they’d like to see you do in your next Story. And most importantly, let them know they influenced your decision!

3. Conduct Market Research

Ever wonder who your most engaged fans are? What they believe? Whether they collect vinyl or would rather stream playlists? Poll them. This can help guide decisions on the best content to put out there. Most social platforms offer insights into your audience overall, but none offer insights segmented by your most engaged followers – until now.

4. Get Trending

Everything happens on social media, whether it’s a holiday celebration or breaking news. Now that Stories are included in Discover and search, use this opportunity to engage fans around a trending topic, and get extra exposure at the same time. Just stick to one or two very relevant hashtags to keep posts fun, not spammy.

Let’s get polling!

 

THU. BRIEF: MTV Unplugged Co-Creator Killed • Instagram Shifts Algorithm • Bose, Sonos Speakers Hacked • More

image from www.tuffgnarl.comTHURSDAY 12.28.17

Music Business News From Around The Web

 Updated continuously under our More News tab

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