Tag Archives for " Pitchfork "

December 12, 2016

5 Tips To Get Bloggers Interested In Your Music

5 tips to get bloggers interestedIt used to be that just one good review in a magazine could sell loads of albums. Even a bad review could be really good for business if it was in a publication like Rolling Stone. That’s all changed since magazine reviews have become pretty irrelevant as the music world has moved online. Now its the music blogs like Pitchfork or Stereogum that can make the difference not so much in sales, but visibility to a new audience. Sometimes those larger blogs are tough to break through, but the smaller bloggers still provide more of a one on one chance to state your case.

But how do you approach bloggers in the first place? There really is a right and wrong way to do it, and I’m writing from experience when I offer these 5 tips to get a blogger interested enough in what you’re doing to actually post about it.

1. Read the blog for a while to become familiar with the theme and feel. You can turn the blogger off completely by sending something cold without knowing the backstory of the blog.

2. Make some post comments without any overt marketing. Just try to move the conversation along on a few posts. The idea is for the blogger to recognize you as someone who contributes regularly and adds to the conversation.

3. Only after the blogger becomes familiar with you is it safe to reach out about what you’re doing. If you’re a regular reader and contributor, the blogger is much more likely to read a press release or take a listen to your music.

4. Sometimes asking a question about your project gets a response. While many bloggers are too busy to answer every email, many go out of their way to accommodate a regular reader and contributor. As a result, it’s perfectly okay to follow up after you’ve sent something to the blogger and there’s a good chance he’ll answer.

5. Never hard sell, just inform. Hard sell is a turnoff in general. Don’t do it. It’s okay to state the relevant information, but keep the superlatives like “Best band ever!” out of the equation.

As a blogger who gets hit on multiple times per day by PR people, record labels,  artists and startups, I can tell you that if you follow these 5 tips, you’ll have a much better chance of getting bloggers to pay attention to you and your music.

If you want additional tips and tricks about promoting yourself or your music online, check out my Social Media Promotion for Musicians book. You can read excerpts at bobbyowsinski.com.

Warners Stops Selling To Small Record Stores

Small Record StoresIn another blow to the mom and pop music store, Warner Music has cut off more than 100 accounts that do less than $10,000 in business per year with the company, according to a post on Pitchfork. That means that in order to have a direct account with Warners to get the best pricing, a store must now do a minimum of $10k per year.

Small stores that can’t hit that limit will still be able to sell Warner products, but it will cost them more, as they’ll now have to purchase from a third party instead. This extra cost will inevitably be passed on to the customer.

The music business, especially the major labels, have always undervalued small retailers, favoring large chains back when they ruled, to the megastores of Walmart and Target today. That said, the lifeblood of the industry has always been the small local retailer, where many artists get their starts with their self-made products.

Today the local record retailer is mostly in the vinyl business, as CDs have fallen deeply out of favor. That said, not all of the accounts shuttered by Warners sold vinyl, and according to the company, about a third hadn’t ordered any in about a year. The company also said that not all were record stores and that some, in fact, were museum gift shops.

Many small record stores who made the cut are nonetheless shaken, and fear that the minimum sales level will continue to rise. If that’s the case, it would put many stores out of business, an ironic self-fulfilling prophecy where the industry complains about not enough sales, but willing buyers can’t find a place to browse product and make the purchase. The same thing happened with the CD, which could have had a much more gradual decline than it’s experiencing had there been more stores with available product. The same might happen again in the vinyl world.