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my career tips  


Yan and Boris host this bi-monthly series.

my career tips is about web 2.0 artist image and communications management.

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are you the next big sound?
dashboard facebook fan management media myspace nextbigsound social soundcloud stats video

Artist: Fichtre

Ten months ago (time flies, huh?) I reviewed a social stats platform called Next Big Sound (NBS). Firstly, I am happy because it is still around. Secondly, its bosses must be happy to have classy partners and users such as Billboard or Topspin. Finally the industry and some (self managed number crunching) artists should be happy about the release of Premier - NBS's premium offer - enabling even more counting and crunching.

First things first though. What's the basic purpose of NBS? As we all know, the world has changed. Selling music has changed. Sharing music has changed. Talking with fans has changed. As an artist or record label, you have to maintain several social media profiles on top of having your good old website. You might have a blog, a myspace account, a facebook page, a playlist, a youtube channel, a sound cloud. It all depends on your will, your time resources and your social media strategy (we'll be coming to that sort of things in later posts).

And there you go : you post, update, friend fish, tweet, share, accept requests, blog, webcast, comment, submit, stream and so on and so forth. And then what?

That's the time when you realize that - in the end - some stats might be useful. When did people comment and view a lot? Was it after you tweeted a nice reharsal picture? Or when you posted this very long text telling the tour bus story? Or maybe was it about this quick and dirty concert video you shot with your phone? Stats are useful not only regarding the number of plays, views or fans (although we all agree about the basics), they can also be a useful help in detecting what kind of interaction your followers prefer. And thus help you define your priorities when producing the (non audio) content that nurtures your social media presences.

So that's what NBS enables you to see in an friendly and comfy way: stats. The site enables you to follow up to 16 of your social media profiles and generates time graphs picturing the evolution in number of fans, plays, views and comments, be it on a combined basis or platform per platform. Nice.

Now, for the true businessmen, the Premier option is THE dashboard, enabling you to have the complete view on an artist online activities : blog mentions, iTunes album sales, P2P activity, radio plays, geographic and demographic fan base breakdown. Definitely worth a look if you're an artist manager.

It may sound a bit geeky but trust me, it's full of information if you ask yourself the right questions.

myspace or not myspace
fan fans media myspace reverbnation social soundcloud stats website

Artist: Adam de la Mare

It was in the news today, Myspace is laying off 500 employees, nearly half of its staff. That's quite rough, although predictable. The platform already had a major round of layoffs in mid-2009 and face an uncertain future. One must remember that News Corp. bought it for US$580 million in mid-2005, so the thing has to bring back money.

And there we are. The once leading social media site has lost the mainstream fight. Everybody is facebooking, tweeting, tumbling, youtubing or instagraming nowadays. Myspace changed its logo recently and no one cared. Lame. The platform has been deemed ageing, useless, conservative, clueless and mainstream. Even in the music world, bands are now using other ways, such as bandcamp, soundcloud or big cartel to store and share their tracks (these platforms will be covered in later posts).

More and more, artists or bands ask me if it's still worth to keep their myspace accounts up to date ("it takes time", "the new interface is not friendly", "I prefer Facebook", etc.). Time being a scarce resource, the question is worthy.

However, as Michael Doernberg - CEO of Reverbnation - says : "MySpace is still the de facto music destination on the web. If you want to go to single place to see a comprehensive presentation of a band, MySpace is still the biggest." Just think about it. What do you do (maybe not if you're a scene insider) to give ear to a band or artist? And, more importantly maybe, what do bookers, festivals and clubs artistic directors, radio DJs or journalists do in order to get quick and dirty information and sounds about prospects? They go "band name" and "myspace" on Google. As simple as that. They do that for four reasons :

  1. one is never sure to get songs in a simple and clear way on an artist's website

  2. there is a lot less artists on the other above mentioned platforms

  3. you don't go 1 + 2, given all the uncertainties (and given you've got 100+ bands or artists to review), if you can go Myspace instead

  4. and then, if you like what you found in 3, you digg and go 1 and 2 

Moreover, Myspace may be slashing employees, it still has a lot more cash than its competitors, which makes it easier to pass deals with Google. The specifics of the deal are kept secret, however one can assume that it might help search engine optimization. Oh, and the former place for friends also recently - and finally - launched Fan Management Tools.

In short, keeping an updated profile and using it as an entry door to your other online presences is still a savvy time investment.

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