Industry News Courtesy Of Hypbot                   

Can Music Careers Be Jumpstarted On Vine? 

Vine-logoVine's an interesting phenomenon. The 6 second limit on video length seems to inspire creative acts that may not translate into longer formats but it does create a proxy for measuring first glance marketability. While the early wave of musicians getting the most attention on Vine were already well known elsewhere, a growing number appear to be building real followings on Vine. But whether or not Vine will ultimately be more than a place where major labels discover or stage discoveries remains to be seen.

I don't keep up with Vine enough to make any real historical claims but it seems like early coverage of musicians on Vine was all about mostly well-known acts doing things that simply contributed to their off-Vine brand.

In the last year Sean Mendes' discovery by major labels led to additional off-Vine development which set the stage for strong success with his initial EP release.

But what we're not seeing in the same way as we're seeing on more established sites like YouTube are the emergence of musicians like Lindsey Stirling and Peter Hollens. Both established themselves independently with YouTube as an initial base, releasing music and making money with digital tools and approaches that allowed them to make the choice of continuing independently or, in Hollens' case, signing to a major label.

So one of the biggest differences between Vine and YouTube is that you can monetize your presence on YouTube. Vine isn't built for that.

Vine Success Does Not Translate Easily

Nick Summers discusses two Vine musicians who've developed strong followings on Vine but have substantially smaller followings elsewhere.

Both 80Fitz and Eric Nakassa have 100's of thousands of followers on Vine yet, from what I saw of their social media accounts, that following hasn't translated well beyond Vine.

However in neither case do I see strong evidence that they're attempting to build beyond Vine so at most we could say that Vine success won't translate elsewhere on its own.

Using Vine to jumpstart a music career seems doable. People are getting attention for doing great things on Vine. And Nick Summers includes a few tips for creating better Vine videos.

But the reality is that you have to translate that success into longer forms on other venues.

Shawn Mendes is an interesting example of someone who was also posting cover songs on YouTube and since many have the stats available you see a sudden rise beginning in late 2013 and early 2014.

So though Mendes got his early attention on Vine, translating that into sales of his recent EP only came after he was also established elsewhere. And his manager said he found his Vine videos via YouTube videos. Not that he's lost that Vine audience but we're not still talking about him because he's a star on Vine.

Vine itself isn't designed to do much beyond Vine. Mini-profiles don't have links out. You can put a bunch of Vines together to make a YouTube video but it just doesn't have the same affect though aggregators are making some interesting moves with large compilations of Vines.

Vine does allow some people to express their creativity in a different way and gives them a chance to catch that initial flicker of attention. That's a powerful thing. But for most of those wishing more, the transition will not be an easy task.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

Brian Felsen Joins YouTube Multi-Channel Network AdRev As President 

Brian-felsenBrian Felsen, former President of CD Baby and its associated publishing service Book Baby, is now officially President of AdRev. Described as the "world’s largest YouTube music administration service," AdRev has "grown from humble beginnings as a Content ID admin and digital media licensing service to a multi-channel network generating over THREE BILLION monthly views." Though Felsen led many digital initiatives at CD Baby, he's now firmly in the digital age at AdRev.

AdRev was founded in 2011 focusing on Content Id and digital licensing. They've grown into a multifaceted business that includes a YouTube MCN but also includes Content ID services for everybody from indie artists to major publishers.

You can find out more about their MCN aka Talent Network here.

Brian Felsen was Director of Business Development at Disc Makers until they acquired CD Baby in 2008. He then went on to become President of CD Baby and BookBaby. Felsen left CD Baby in February 2014.

AdRev CEO Ryan Born welcomed Brian Felsen as the new President:

"Brian is a trusted and seasoned leader who consistently delivers results. He’s uniquely qualified to take the helm with his understanding of the space...I’m confident in Brian's intuitive feel for the needs of artists, publishers and labels, and in his ability to leverage our technology to create exciting new revenue opportunities for rights holders and content creators.”

And Felsen says he's glad to be with a company at the center of current developments:

"I’m extremely pleased to be joining the AdRev team - to be a part of the second fastest-growing media company in the U.S....After years of helping hundreds of thousands of independent musicians and authors distribute their works, I’m delighted to now work at the nexus of music and YouTube, which is where the industry is going and where I can best help content creators get paid doing what they love."

Inc. named AdRev the #2 fastest growing media company in 2014. AdRev handles a broad range of music including the:

"production music libraries of Universal Publishing Production Music, Warner/Chappell Production Music, Extreme Music (Sony/ATV), Selectracks (BMG), 5 Alarm Music (Imagem); master recordings of Universal Pictures Film Music, including Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”; songs recorded by bestselling artists Eminem, T.I., Creedence Clearwater Revival, Imagine Dragons, Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Wu Tang Clan, Two Steps from Hell, Celldweller, Dino Merlin; and YouTube stars Kurt Hugo Schneider, Mack Z and comedian Kat Williams."


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

Start Building Your Music Career By Focusing On Regional And Niche Music Publications 

Small_media_outlets_music_careerBy Jamie Ludwig from the Sonicbids Blog.

Many independent musicians dream of playing their favorite late night TV shows, landing interviews in iconic magazines, and receiving top-score record reviews on the most notorious music websites. Sure, these are great press aspirations, but obsessing over and chasing after big-name media rather than adopting a comprehensive plan across various types of outlets can actually undermine your career goals. For the majority of early-stage music artists, regional and niche publications are equally, if not more, essential than the majors when it comes to positioning oneself for long term sustainability in an increasingly competitive market.

Here are three examples of how balancing expectations for coverage early in an artist’s career can help lead to the next levels of success. And in the name of balance – and to show this isn’t just a journalist glorifying the full spectrum of the publishing sphere – I’ve asked some music publicists (who face this subject every day) to share their perspective as well.

1. Grow an audience of dedicated fans

What’s one thing every emerging musician needs? Die-hard fans. Outside of your immediate circle (well, hopefully your friends and family dig and support your art), a fanbase takes considerable time to build – even longer if you’re not constantly touring. Coverage on small blogs and niche sites can help you tap into a worldwide community of potential listeners who live and breathe your style of music.

“Niche listeners who read niche-focused websites are the ones who are most likely to actually buy your niche records,” says Dave Halstead of Canvas Media PR, a longtime publicist who currently works with independent artists including Speedy Ortiz, Ava Luna, and A Sunny Day in Glasgow, among others. “I see a lot of bands these days who try to skip the ‘building a fanbase’ portion of their career and want to go straight for ‘internet famous.’ That only lasts so long without real fans.”

2. Be a big fish in a small pond

In mainstream media, your band is one of nearly countless artists in huge pool of talent, and it’s all too easy to get overlooked. In your local papers or on niche websites the situation could be quite different – your band may grow a cult following, become a local-circuit darling, or at least a familiar name with regular coverage. These disparate framings may start with the press, but the results play out elsewhere – for example, the live music community. There are plenty of bands who get coverage in genre-focused outlets and draw large crowds in other countries but can’t command a sizable audience at home. On the flipside, a favorite local band who regularly pops up in regional alt-weeklies and podcasts may be hard-pressed to book shows far beyond city limits. And then there are new bands who do get a nod from mainstream media, but without the support from regional press, they have a hard time attracting concertgoers while on the road (this may go double for weeknight gigs!). See where I’m going with this?

It’s also worth noting that sometimes the actual “size” of a media outlet isn’t what it seems. “The big impressive glossy music magazines have dwindling circulation numbers,” says Halstead. “I know plenty of regional weekly publications that actually reach more readers than the magazines you might buy at Barnes & Noble.”

3. Leverage early coverage into new opportunities

Along with reading press materials and listening to sample tracks (or with any luck, catching a show), one of the first things music journalists do when considering an unknown band for coverage is run their name through an internet search engine. In this case, the tables can turn when it comes to common perceptions of the value of “big vs. small” media outlets. Niche and local publications are often the earliest adherents of new music, and many cover independent artists in the types of lengthy features and extended reviews that are oft-coveted, but harder to wrangle in larger outlets. These, in turn, help journalists place bands in a context and find story hooks for future articles.

Heather West, founder of Western Publicity and handles PR for Riot Fest, boutique vinyl label Cricket Cemetery, and independent bands including Dead Fingers and Archie Powell and the Exports, agrees that coverage in smaller publications is crucial to building momentum for future media opportunities. “Bands have to start somewhere,” she says. “Podcasts and smaller publications are a great way to start building a press kit so when you reach out to larger or more significant publications, they can see that there is a body of work in praise of the band.”

Bands can also make use of those clips on their own, by including snippets of those accolades in their press kit. “It is simplistic, but the general idea that someone paid attention to your music sort of reinforces the notion that it is worth paying attention to,” says West. These clips can be leveraged into opportunities beyond the press as well, by boosting your perceived viability to music retailers and concert promoters.

So, when it comes to press strategy, early stage bands should continue to shoot for the stars – so long as they think “universe,” not “solar system.” Balanced press expectations enable artists to take more power over their careers and have more appreciation in the results of their efforts.

Jamie Ludwig is a veteran music writer and editor who has worked in various facets of the music industry. She is currently the editorial director of, a not-for-profit website focused on regional and touring music of all genres; a contributor to Noisey (Vice) and Wondering Sound, among other titles; and has spoken on a number of industry panels.

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25 Most Buzzed About Music Festivals and What The Fans Discussed Revealed By Eventbrite 

Eventbrite-logoToday Eventbrite released a research report on music festivals in the U.S. Working with Mashwork, they analyzed online conversation to identify the "25 Most Buzzed About Music Festivals" and what the fans were talking about at the time. Many of the social media conversations occur before and after the events and a surprising number involve people not at the events. Clearly a lot to consider if you're interested in the relationship between social media and real world events as well as the growing music festival scene.

The joint research project from Eventbrite and Mashwork is available for free download.

The report drew on social media activities of "9,000 Twitter users who had discussed at least one music festival" and then dug into a "full year’s worth of social media conversation surrounding music festivals across Twitter, public Facebook, blogs, and forums."

54% of social media conversations took place before the event, 17% during and 29% after.

A significant amount of conversation involved people not at festivals:

"Roughly 1 out of every 4 posts about music festivals came from people participating remotely via live streams or other forms of engagement."

However the focus of discussion varied by festival (click for larger view):

Festival Conversation Breakdown

And here are the 25 Most Buzzed About Music Festivals:

● Bonnaroo
● BUKU Music + Art Project
● Brooklyn Hip Hop
● Burning Man
● Coachella
● Electric Daisy Carnival
● Electric Zoo
● Forecastle
● Gathering of the Juggalos
● Governors Ball
● Gulf Coast Jam
● Hangout
● HARD Summer
● iHeartRadio
● Lollapalooza
● Moogfest
● Mysteryland
● Pitchfork
● South by Southwest (Music)
● Spring Awakening
● Sun City
● SunFest
● TomorrowWorld
● Ultra
● Warped Tour


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

How to Release Your Album Successfully (Even If You Don't Have a Record Label) 

Connected-graphics_1086300aPartience is a virtue... and it is absolutley necessary when efficiently releasing your newest music. As eager as we all know you are for people to finally hear the music you've been working on for days, months, or even years, you must be sure to take the time to get the most mileage with your material. A successful album release requires planning - and a lot of it. If you're releasing albums as soon as they hit your front porch now would be a good time to do your homework. 

In order to achieve maximum outreach it is imperative that you give yourself enough time to proactively establish promotional opportunities. Ideally, you want to give the media 3-6 months notice to get in their rotation. Commit to researching the best avenues to create buzz prior to releasing your album. If you're not sure where to start, head on over to where Janelle Rogers walks us through several key practices for a successful album drop. 

"If you want coverage on blogs, offer at least one mp3 through Soundcloud for their readers. This is a great way to build press early to increase both fan and press interest, thus increasing your chance of a successful release."

[Continue Reading]


Spotify Connect Turns 1, Adds Multi Room Playback, New Partners 

spotify connectOne year ago Spotify launched Connect, which allows Premium users to play tracks through their speakers controlled wirelessly from the Spotify mobile apps. Today, the music streamer announced the addition of Bose, Panasonic and Gramofon to the platform. Also added is multi room playback allowing multiple users to listen to the same or different tunes across multiple speakers.

Phillips TVs will be the first Spotify Connect-enabled Smart TV, according to today's announcement.

Since launching a year ago, Spotify Connect has become available on more than 80 speakers and home audio systems, Before the end of the year, that number will rise to over 100, according to the company.

image from

“Our mission with Connect was to give people a better way to listen at home, and we have delivered exactly that for music fans all over the world in just one year,” says Sten Garmark, VP Product at Spotify. "We wanted to offer a broad range of devices, and our partners have delivered an incredible range of innovative Multi Room systems, receivers, radios and dongles for every budget.”


Why You Should Revive Older Social Media Content 

Betty2By Hugh McIntyre from the SonicBids Blog.

When it comes to social media, content is king and should be thought of as a highly valuable asset. Creating content takes time and effort, and you want to get as much out of it as possible. For bands and artists, there is often a lot more content created in what you are doing alreadysongs, music videos, live recordings, photos (both promo and live), merchandise, blog posts, and so much morebut using all of this to its fullest potential can be tricky.

While some advocate against it, something I always suggest to bands, artists, and even companies is sharing already used content from a while back. I’ve heard people say it’s tacky and feels forced, but there are so many ways to do it well, and there are a number of great reasons why resharing content can be a good practice. Just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s no longer useful!

Look back at all the things you’ve shared (or, possibly haven’t yet) and it’s easy to see that much of it can and should be shared again. Musicians should know above almost all others that a song is a song, and its power and worth doesn’t really go away with time. The same can be said (perhaps to a lesser extent) about the rest of your content as well.

While you may have an established fanbase that’s been with you since the beginning, you’re likely also getting new followers and fans all the time. Someone who just started following you last week may not know about that awesome song from two albums ago, so why not share it again? You’ll introduce new things to those just joining the party, and the fans who already know it aren’t likely to be angered by revisiting old favorites.

Also, sometimes situations or events arise that allow you to seamlessly share older items. For example, if you’re going to release a new single, why not do a countdown using older singles? It hypes up the new item coming in a meaningful way, as opposed to you simply mentioning it with text every day.

If you’re going to be playing a certain city, share a live photo from the last time you were there, showing how much fun you had. These are fun ways of getting people excited for something and showing you care, while at the same time grabbing more views, shares, and likes for things you thought you’d already exhausted.

Even reposting a link for someone to buy your year-old album or a T-shirt with your band logo on it isn’t shameful. Again, some fans may have missed the link the first time, and if you were able to poll everyone who followed you, you’d be surprised at how many of them didn’t know you had a limited edition vinyl for sale in your online store, even if you’ve advertised it.

Lastly, people aren’t always in the same stage of being a fan, so sharing things at all different times can truly be beneficial. Personally, I’ve experienced this when I discover a new band. When I first heard of pop singer Betty Who, I liked her well enough, but didn’t give it too much thought. As time went on and I listened more, I fell head over heels in love. As she reminds everyone she has tickets on sale and a merch store, I now buy something almost every time, though I certainly wouldn’t have a year and a half ago.

The tricky thing with social media is that you always have to have something to say or something to share. Coming up with new things all the time can be exhausting, and frankly, unnecessary. Don't be afraid of saying something twice if it's really worth saying.

[Thumbnail:Betty Who resharing an older live performance to make sure everyone sees it.]


Ratings Fall Sharply For PG-13 MTV Video Music Awards Broadcast  

vmaRatings for a shock free MTV Video Music Awards fell sharply on Sunday. According to Nielsen surveys, the awards telecast was down 18% to 8.3 million viewer. Simulcasts on MTV, MTV2, VH1, and Logo TV along with all repeats delivered as total 13.7 million.

This year's VMA's delivered more tweets than viewers: 12.6 million.

Some attribute the drop to a relatively tame broadcast devoid of moment like last year's Milyey Cyrus twerking extravaganza.

How PG-13 was the broadcast?

Conservative watchdogs the Parents Television Council shared that “MTV seems to have toned down” the show.