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Facebook is one of the best social networks for artists and bands, but execution is everything in order to take full advantage of it. Here are the 10 best practices for artists and bands to increase your engagement.
1. Reach out to other artists. Ask a band whom you’re tight with to post your new music video/track/album art to their wall with a link back to your Facebook Page, and then return the favor. This is one of the best ways to use the network to expand your audience.
2. Take your fans backstage. Everyone loves to see behind the scenes, but fans are especially interested. It might seem insignificant to you, but any kind of backstage access is a big deal to them.
3. Go beyond the music. Your music is your marketing, but don’t forget to make any merch or touring info available as well. That said, don’t try to sell to your fans, just make these things easily available if they want it.
4. Ask for input from fans. Communication is a two-way street and fans love to be asked their opinion on just about anything. Besides, they’re your fans so they know what they want.
5. Be as visual as possible. Music is an aural medium for sure, but either still or moving pictures add so much to the entire package that you can’t ignore them any more. Besides, it’s so easy to take pictures these days or make short videos with your smartphone, so you can’t use gear or expertise as excuses anymore.
6. Make everything an event. This is one of the secrets of multiple singles releases rather than full albums. Every release becomes an event. You can expand upon that idea in just about any direction, from gigs or giveaways on your birthday to your best fan’s birthdays, to making every gig a special occasion. Use your imagination.
7. Give as much as you take. Once again, communication is a two way street. Don’t just ask for things. You give some and you take some and vice versa. If you ask for information, give something away for free. This goes a long way in keeping your tribe happy.
8. Don’t forget the basics. Bios, press kits, pictures, and logos are still important, so be sure to have links to where people can get them if they want.
9. Offer exclusive content. The way to a fan’s heart is through exclusive content. If a fan can get exclusive mixes or movies that no one else can get, that legitimizes his or her fandom and makes them want it even more. Alternative mixes, outtakes, interviews are all inexpensive and easy to make content that any fan would love to have.
10. Use some tools. Make sure to take advantage of everything that Facebook has to offer, but also check out apps like Reverbnation for their event, sales and music plugins as well.
Following these 10 best practices will help to increase your Facebook fan engagement and your audience.
You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.
Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week ending on April 21st, 2017. Spotify was much in the news this week, but there were a lot of other significant news stories as well. Let’s get into it.
Is the end of the free streaming tier near? It might be coming soon, especially if the music industry has its way.
Now indie labels can window releases too. Universal Music got its way with holding back star releases for the paid tier only, but the indie association Merlin just signed a similar deal with Spotify.
You’re the real product when you consume free music. It’s really your data that Spotify and other streaming services want.
Spotify had $2 billion in revenue last year, but still lost a bunch. And that’s why investors want that IPO as soon as possible.
YouTube is making it hard to be an artist on the platform. It’s shifting algorithms are really hurting creators, especially the outspoken ones.
Universal may go back on its deal with the Prince estate. Apparently the company doesn’t feel like it’s getting its money’s worth.
The nature of the music business has changed. It used to be major versus indie, but now it’s “quick versus slow” according to this interview.
Facebook’s Instant Articles may end up being a flop. Publishers are pulling out, saying that they get a better rate of return with direct links to their sites.
Believe it or not, the “golden age” of UK radio is upon is. There are more listeners than ever before, proving that radio doesn’t have to be old and stogy like in the U.S.
LiveNation is partnering with Mercedes for a VIP ticketing program. I guess it’s smart to go where the money is, but this won’t make concert tickets go anywhere but up.
That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!
Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of March 17th, 2017. There’s lots of interesting speculation on new services, and not a mention of Spotify for once. Let’s get into it.
Facebook trying to solve “social music.” No one else has cracked it, but the company is taking music very seriously.
Will AI and chatbots disrupt the music industry? AI is already being used for streaming recommendations, but there may be other places for it as well.
Ed Sheeran claimed 9 of the top 10 chart spots in the UK. And 16 of the top 20, and that’s worrying a lot of people. Are free streams are screwing up the charts because they’re weighted the same as paid streams? Apple’s Jimmy Iovine has a lot to say on this.
Is Taylor Swift getting into the streaming business. She just filed for 9 trademarks for “Swifties,” but all we know is that it’s for a website. Speculation runs high here.
Pandora finally launched its premium tier. The company tries to capitalize on its 175 million users, but is this too little too late?
Alibaba to launch an artist management company. The Chinese company is going global and has committed to spending more than $7 billion on entertainment in the next 3 years. Look out Google, Apple and Amazon.
Airbnb is getting into the music business. It’s launched its “Music Experience” which provides not only accommodations, but prime tickets as well. Now available in 12 cities but soon expanding to 40 globally.
And Amazon is getting into the festival business. No announcement, just a job posting about wanting to dramatically improve the festival experience. Who wouldn’t be for that?
Google Play Music has new audio playback options. You can now change between 4 different levels of audio quality, which suggest some hi-res music in the future. The problem is there’s no explanation about the specs.
You’ll be shocked at the top vinyl records in each state. Classic rock still rules, which is kind of sad in a way. I like the fact that vinyl buyers understand the quality of the musical period, but it’s time for some new blood.
That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!
Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of March 3rd, 2017. A lot went down this week in a few related areas. Let’s get into it.
Good news – recorded music grew by 7% last year. It’s actually up $1.1 billion over last year, which is a heck of a good year of growth.
Indie labels say their share grew by more than 6%. That’s good news for the DIYers out there.
And indie publishers saw their revenue grow by 60%. The business may never reach it’s previous heights, but it’s definitely coming back.
Facebook is about to go after YouTube big time. And that means paying creators for things like music, if the hire outlined in this article means anything. A lot of people in the industry are very excited about this potential new source of revenue.
Artists are banding together to try to influence the US Copyright Office to force YouTube to pay more. Good for them for trying, but I don’t think it will mean much.
There’s over a billion hours of YouTube watched every single day. That means it’s 10 times as popular as Netflix or Facebook video and almost approaches broadcast TV’s numbers.
And YouTube has millions of dollars for artists in an escrow account. If you’re Canadian, you probably haven’t been paid some royalties owed to you, but you only have 3 months to make a claim.
The Austin live music scene is really struggling. Just like in other cities around the world, venues are closing at what seems to be a record rate. The festival scene is still strong, but SXSW now has a problem with not enough venues for it typical showcases.
Radio is not the place to listen to music, according to Jay-Z. OK, he’s biased but what he’s saying is totally true and it’s been something that I’ve been repeating for years on this blog and in my Music 4.1 book – Madison Avenue really runs radio, meaning that it’s all about the advertiser, not the listener.
That said, the number of radio listeners hasn’t changed much. People talk about the technology as being old and obsolete (it is), yet we all continue to use it more than we think.
That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great week ahead!
Well here’s a bit of good news. I know that most of us hate sitting through even the skippable 5 second pre-roll commercials that run before YouTube videos, let alone the 15 second ones that you have to watch all the way through. What’s even worse though, is having to watch a full 30 second ad that you can’t skip and seems to go on forever. It looks like YouTube now agrees with us as it recently stated that it will no longer allow 30 second un-skippable ads as of 2018.
The fact of the matter is that most people grow frustrated after about 10 seconds of an ad and leave for something else, especially if a timer tells them how much time is left. While that might be a factor, most observers feel that this decision isn’t based on users react to being held captive by an ad. They believe that the real reason that YouTube is taking these steps is because it’s fear of Facebook, which has recently revealed that it will soon only allow ads after a video has run for at least 30 seconds. That means no pre-roll ads, which I think will be a big selling point for users watching Facebook videos going forward.
That said, YouTube will still continue to have un-skippable ads, they just won’t be as long as 30 seconds. YouTube’s options for advertisers include ads that can only be skipped after five seconds, as well as un-skippable ads that run for 15 or 20 seconds. It also offers un-skippable bumper-style ads of up to six seconds.
Believe it or not, Google has said that those long video ads deliver results for advertisers even when users are able to skip the ads. Viewers who watched skippable ads all the way through, or for the full 30 seconds, were 23 times more likely to visit the advertiser’s channel and subscribe, and 10 times more likely to engage with it.
So even while they’ve been effective, the 30 second ad will soon become extinct on YouTube. 2018 can’t get here fast enough.
Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of February 17th, 2017. A lot went on in the streaming world, although nothing that you’d classify as major.. Let’s get into it.
Spotify just signed a big new lease in NYC and plans to add 1,000 jobs. The is a curious move given recent rumors about its IPO running aground. Could an acquisition be in the works?
Spotify also made a deal with the New York Times. You now get a free Spotify account with every Times digital subscription. That means the company should break 50 mil subscribers by the end of the year.
Apple Music is “well past 20 million” now. Of course, they didn’t say how much past. The last figure was estimated at 20.9 million paid subscribers.
SoundCloud lost 2 top executives. That’s not a good sign for streaming service that’s the backbone of most indie musicians.
Pandora is really trying hard to become a premium product with paying subscribers. It’s hoping to get to 9 million subs by the end of the year. It might be a futile effort as it has a lot going against it at the moment, not to mention fierce competition.
Facebook ads will now play automatically with audio. Ads used to be muted and you had the option to unmute if you wanted. Now we go to the dreaded autoplay with audio, so we’ll all have noisier news feeds. Why? Facebook says the mobile uses want it that way!?#!
Facebook also wants to steal music away from YouTube. It’s trying to make the labels an offer they can’t refuse.
It looks like big changes are coming to music videos either way. Industry analyst Mark Mulligan points out the many ways this sector is changing.
The movement to have radio pay music artists may be coming to a head. The hope is that the new administration will take the side of the artists instead of the radio industry so artists will finally get paid for airplay (only the songwriters get paid currently).
Prince’s music is back on most streaming services. There’s no reason to hold it back if the estate could be making money.
It looked like Spotify’s strategy was to go public this year, but recent announcements have pretty much put that aside. The IPO (Initial Public Offering) market has changed recently, and tech companies can no longer be assured of the big paydays of just a few years ago. As a result it looks like the company’s new plan is to look for a buyer instead.
Now to be sure, Spotify has over $3 billion in revenue, but it also has been losing money as well. It currently has a lot of investors that want to cash out, and if an IPO is risky, then those investors are going to push for another way to get their money, which is through an acquisition.
Industry consultant Mark Mulligan thinks that a buyer probably won’t be Western. All the deep pocket companies like Amazon, Apple and Google already have their own services. Facebook is a possibility, but still not a good fit. Mulligan thinks that the only reason why Apple might be interested is to use up some of its off-shore cash reserves before it gets repatriated by the Trump administration, but that’s still a long shot. European companies don’t seem to be interested either.
That leaves Eastern companies and there are a number of them that could be potential suitors. China’s Tencent is already the streaming leader in the Asian market and the company has the money and the will for an acquisition. It would give the company an entrance into the West and immediately make it the 800 pound gorilla of music streaming.
There are a number of other Chinese companies also on Spotify’s radar. Alibaba, Dalian Wanda, and Baidu all have pockets deep enough to pull off an acquisition. Mulligan also suggests that a couple of telecommunications giants could also be in the running with SoftBank and India’s Reliance Communications being the most likely, although 21st Century Fox and Liberty Global may also see some synergy with Spotify in the fold.
One way or the other, it looks like Spotify is going to be going through some changes soon. How will that change its service? Probably not much actually. Until the license agreements with the major labels are renegotiated so the company can offer lower prices, things should still remain the same for some time to come.
Facebook may be the largest social network by far, but it appears to be suffering from a severe case of user fatigue in the United States. A recent study found that the satisfaction level of the platform has decreased across all age groups, with ages 35 to 44 decreasing the most.
Much of this has been traced back to the recent election, when more posts became political in nature. As a result, many users began to unfriend and unfollow in an effort to avoid the resulting online social confrontations that would happen. When that didn’t work well enough, many began to visit Facebook less and less, and now many have even fled the platform to other social networks.
Who’s the major beneficiary of this user fatigue? Instagram. One of the top 2 reasons why people use Facebook is to share photos and videos, and Instagram provides a perfect alternative.
The big question going forward is, “Will the number of negative posts decrease as we get further from the election, or will they maintain with the public so divided?” It’s too early to tell, but my guess is that we’re in a new world where the political differences are greater than ever, and Facebook posts will continue to reflect that.
That said, Facebook does have a very sophisticated algorithm that decides what you will see in your newsfeed. While there are reportedly thousands of factors involved in the algorithm, one of the major ones is what you tend to read or view. If you view politically oriented posts regularly, Facebook will gladly serve up more to you, so the simple way to avoid those types of posts is to stop reading them.
Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how the algorithm works and are inclined to react when they see something negative, so this will not work in in their or Facebook’s favor in the future, as more and more people flee to other platforms.
Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of February 3rd, 2017. This has been a big week for social media changes, but there are still some interesting record label-related developments. Let’s get into it.
Sony earned $1.2 billion from streaming last year. It still made more from physical sales, but not by much.
Streaming is changing music consumption, but is that good? Well, the measurements are no different, and this article doesn’t think they’re as fair and equal as they should be.
Investors are putting more money in the music business. That’s because they believe it’s finally coming back, and owning music publishing is an appreciating asset (which it’s always proven to be).
Vevo has now reached 100 million users. The music video network partially owned my Universal Music was seen by 43% of all viewers who watched YouTube in December. The funny thing is, most of them aren’t even aware that they’re watching it.
Speaking of Vevo, MBW thinks Facebook should poach it from YouTube. The article says that it could make approximately $32 billion a year if it did, which sounds a bit far-fetched to me. Still a good idea though.
Soundcloud’s getting deeper into advertising. Users don’t want to hear this, but the company is trying to increase revenue to look like a better acquisition target.
Snapchat is adding augmented reality. A new lense will allow users to identify environmental elements and superimpose digital effects on top. It’s still experimental so we won’t see it for a while, but it’s cool that it’s in development.
Hulu launched its virtual reality show On Stage. You need the service’s VR app in order to get the full effect, but it’s good to see the technology getting off the ground in music.
Facebook is going to start paying for videos. Both up front and revenue sharing from ads will make video content creators happy. It’s also a shot across the bow of YouTube.
People are upset that Instagram now does groups of photos. They feel it’s trying to become all things to all people and losing its focus.
Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of January 20th, 2017. We’re back in the swing of things as everyone hits the ground running in the new year. Here are some of the news highlights for the week.
There’s speculation that Sony Japan is tiring of the entertainment business and might now want to sell out. That means Sony Music and Sony/ATV publishing as well. Could the 3 major labels soon be down to 2?
It looks like Sirius XM is still interested in buying Pandora. But only at the right price. Pandora is in trouble, so that price is sure to be coming down to where Sirius likes it soon.
There are predictions that the US radio industry is going to change big time soon. Back to local and away from big station groups, as iHeartRadio is in big financial trouble that could start the change. This is a good thing.
The long term trends in radio don’t look good. Despite what you might read, fewer people are listening to radio, a figure that looks like it will only decrease. Is it because of the product (too many commercials) or the format? Could a big industry shakeup change the trend?
Norway shuts down its analog radio system. It’s trying to make a clean shift to digital. This is for national stations only though, as lots of independent analog stations will still stay on the air.
Facebook has decided to stop paying publishers for live videos. It seems like this was just a short term deal to establish the format and now it wants to put more emphasis on long-form videos instead. This is no-doubt because it will soon be inserting mid-roll ads after 20 seconds, so the longer the video, the better.
Apple is looking to produce TV content. Could this be Netflix/Amazon envy, or has it just lost confidence in the core product of Apple Music?
The hottest selling metal records of 2016 holds a surprise. Metallica holds 6 of the top 10 spots and is still selling physical product like crazy.
Music streaming now has more paying users than Netflix. Of course, Netflix is only one company, while the more than 100 million music streaming subscribers is across all the streaming networks world-wide.
10 virtual reality observations. Will it be the next big thing? It could be, but probably not in the way you think.