Friday, 30 December 2011

Wrapping up the year...

Aside from saying “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from (Insert Artists Name Here)” at this time of year, it can be tough finding stuff to post online to keep you fans engaged during this time of year.

Something easy to do is simply post your Top 10 CDs of that year. By doing this, you’re not only keeping you online activity active during this time of year, but you’re also sharing some information about yourself with your fans. Seeing similar artists listed in your Top 10 might help new fans get a better idea what you’re music is about or maybe help someone just checking you out for the first time get a better understanding about what you’re about. You may give your fans something to talk about if your picks are completely different from what your music is. The most important thing is you’re staying active and interactive online and that helps to build fan engagement.

And in the interest of “Actions speak louder than words” here’s my Top 10 CDs from 2011. I’d love to hear your comments on my picks or feel free to leave your own Top 10 picks from 2011. To add a little additional enticement for you to post a comment, everyone who posts a comment about this BLOG or their own Top 10 CDs from 2011 will be entered to win a copy of the 2011 Edmonton Music Awards CD (featuring Wool On Wolves, Colleen Brown, Jezibelle, Jeff Morris and more…)

Here’s my Top 10 of 2011…

Danny Fournier (founder of Oddball Productions and The Edmonton Music Awards) Top 10 CDs of 2011
1. Sixx A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt
2. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming
3. Pearl Jam – Twenty
4. Destrophy – Cry Havoc
5. Burn Halo – Up From The Ashes
6. Steel Panther – Balls Out
7. The Poodles – Performocracy
8. Adelitas Way – Home School Valedictorian
9. Trivium – In Waves
10. Jezibelle – Victus Mortuus

Monday, 19 December 2011

Tis The Season For Giving...but should you REALLY give your music away...

There has been a lot of discussion and opinions shared about the impact of an artist giving away their music for free.

Benefits - great way to get your name out there, build a fans base and potentially get people to come out to your show, maybe even sell some merch. That’s the dream anyways…

Draw back – you RARELY see the return on your investment. I don’t care how you argue it, giving away your music for free is a loss leader. You can argue that it’s more important to build the fan base that will potentially pay to come see you play live or buy a t-shirt at your show, but in the end when you give away your music, you are devaluing your music. I personally feel that when you give away your music, you devalue music as a whole.

Let me give you an example. Facebook. Facebook is free, but if they started charging a fee for it tomorrow, would you still use it?  Even if you said “Yes, I’d pay for facebook” how long would you continue to pay for it once you realize that no one else is on facebook anymore because it is no longer free. 

Another example…free samples at Costco. How often after trying something at one of those booths do you turn around and buy whatever they are sampling. Or let me ask you you remember what you tried the last time you were at Costco. How big of an impact did that free sample have on you?

Now at the same time, every once and a while when you try a free sample at Costco, you or someone else does end up buying the product. I know I have. Just like when someone download’s your track for free, they may turn around an buy your whole album or decide to go to a show, maybe buy a t-shirt. I know I have. 

Building an audience by giving away music is a gamble. If you are going to give away your music for free, be smart about it. Give away a track or two…not your whole album. Do it for a limited time, not an ongoing free give away. The longer it’s free, the less valuable it will become. Know WHY you’re giving it away and what the goal is. Make people earn it. Don’t give it to them…make them ask for it.

I could keep this going, back and forth about the benefits and drawbacks of giving your music away for free, but in the end I think the argument that will always win is that good music is good music. Doesn’t matter if it is free or not, people want to listen to good music, music that appeals to them and if they have to pay for it, they will.

Recently, Forbes magazine published a list of the “Best Free Albums of 2011” which I found interesting for two reasons. The first, Forbes is a recognized business oriented magazine and they’re even weighing in on the benefits and draw backs to giving away your music for free. The second, somewhat proofing one of my points as to why you shouldn’t give away your music for free…I don’t recognize the name of any of the artists on this list…

CLICK HERE to see Forbes list of the "Best Free Albums Of 2011"

Please feel free to argue, agree or post your own thoughts on this subject. 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

More Growth In Listening To Online Radio


Okay, so these are American figures, but I'd bet that the numbers for Canada (where high-speed Internet penetration is higher) are the same if not higher. This is from today's RAIN (Radio and Internet Newsletter):

While most news sources focused on the report's dire predictions for print media ("Most print newspapers will be gone in five years"), kudos to Inside Radio for digging a little deeper for this tidbit: 22% of study respondents report "going on the Internet at least weekly" to "listen to online radio."

While that figure was outranked by online activities like general web-browsing, online banking, social networking, and gaming -- it's interesting that 22% isalso the share of respondents who pay bills online. Also keep in mind that the "to listen to online radio" response was distinct from the "to download or listen to music" response (38%).

Here's another point the Annenberg summary made that should be of interest to broadcasters and webcasters: Over the next three years the tablet computer (e.g. Apple iPad) will become consumers' primary tool for most online/computing activities. Use of the trusty desktop will drop to 4-6% (laptops too!). "For the vast majority of Americans, the tablet will be the computer tool of choice by the middle of the decade, while the desktop PC fades away," the research summary reads. Food for thought.

Interesting, no? Read the rest of the study here.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

7 Tips to Get Your Music Selling This Holiday Season

300px Juletr%C3%A6et Top 10 Tips to Get Your Music Selling This Holiday Season1. Email Your Fanbase

It seems simple enough, but often gets overlooked. Gently remind your fans where your music is available for purchase. It always seems less “sales-y” if you can include this info as part of a larger email announcing shows, new videos, albums, special Holiday singles, etc.
2. Record a Holiday Single
It might sound like a hokey idea, but hell, the Beatles did it and it certainly didn’t hurt their career. You could also make it an exclusive track on your website, give it away, or email it as a special offer directly to people who purchase your albums. Fans will get a kick out of it and they’ll be reminded of your music in general, thus planting the seed for gifting your albums.
3. YouTube Videos
You don’t have to be Bing Crosby or Aimee Mann to make compelling Holiday videos. With affordable camcorder and iPhone technology you can easily create a video for your holiday song. Or simply refresh your regular video content with some updated material. Link viewers directly to where they can buy your music.
4. Change Out Those Tired Old Links
If you’ve been using the same graphic hyperlink images forever, maybe it is time to enliven your websites and social networking profiles with a new look. You could even enlist your design-oriented friends to help you make some holiday-themed images for your links, or to upload as the banner image for your MusicStore on Facebook. Also, make sure all of the links you’ve got out there on the internet are still active.
5. Download Cards Make Great Gifts
They’re small, light, and come customized with your album art — perfect for stocking stuffers! Also, there are a number of promotional uses for download cards. You could do a Twitter contest and use them as prizes to generate excitement for your music around the holiday season. Give them to particularly awesome fans. Or bundle them with your regular CDs so the buyer can share your music with someone new.
6. Leverage Social Networks
Social networks are the perfect place to get people talking about your music. Share some of your own personal picks for the season. Stir a little excitement with a giveaway contest. Encourage fan involvement. Remember, social networks are most effective when you converse with your followers, so don’t just shout at them like a desperate street vendor.
7. Run a Limited-time Holiday Sale
Announce to your email list and social networking friends that from now until the Holidays you’ll be selling your discs for a reduced cost. Offer a buy one get one free deal, encouraging people to buy a disc and give another one to someone as a gift. 
(Thanks to Chris R. from CD Baby for some of these tips)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Help support independent music during this holiday season...

Looking for a way to help spread the word about some of your favorite local bands?

This Christmas season give the gift of music. Local music. If there is a local artist that you are a fan of, that you believe more people need to know about, then help spread the word and give their CD as a gift this holiday season.

By giving CDs by local artists as Christmas gifts, not only are you helping spread the word about those artists, you’re supporting them by buying their CDs. Whether you’re looking for that special gift for a music fan or just something to give as a Secret Santa gift, a CD by a local artists is the gift that gives twice.

Support your favorite local artist by helping spread the word this holiday season. Give that artist’s CD as a gift.

You can find some great CDs by local artists at or at Permanent Records (just off Whyte Ave).

Another way you can help support local independent music is by sharing this note or reposting it. Just a thought...