Live@NMS: Beyond MySpace, Facebook, Twitter

The stats have been glaring participants in the face – so many bands, so little success, so much noise.

Is it possible to break through?  Yes, but not just through the typical weaponry.

‘Third Movement’ moderated by LA Times journalist Jon Healy.  Others: Alex Patsavas of Chop Shop; Corey Denis of Not Shocking, Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby), Greg Estes of Mozes.

  • Just get me into a TV spot!

Patsavas: One spot on a show doesn’t necessarily become a ‘Snow Patrol moment’.  It doesn’t.  Snow Patrol had a team that was ready to capture that opportunity.

One recommendation is to have a really good synch agent (person who reps music to a producer).  Also, it’s important to research what type of songs are being used on specific shows, and make sure you control the rights to a song.

  • Just get me into a game!

Microsoft’s Christina Calio: The creators of games are very particular about the type of music they want in the game.  “They’re like their own A&R,” Calio said.

Most popular game-related music is usually male-oriented – hard rock, goes with shooting, etc.

  • Pitching an artist with fact-based ammunition. 

Sivers: Let your distributor know what your impressive facts are.

  • Using mobile to collect, organize, and target fans.

Mobile lists. Greg Mozes encouraged bands to gets fans to join a mobile list.

Greg Estes has a white paper on the best techniques for mobile-based fanbase building.  (Get the paper by texting ‘nmsgreg’ to 66937).

Once you have a specific mobile number, “that’s where the magic happens”.  Some level of action to get people to text, sign up, etc.  Narrowcasting allows targeted messaging, even based on where the person originally signed up.

Voice, not just text, can also be very powerful.  Justin Bieber triggered a very successful campaign using voice only.  “And it was really his voice,” Greg said.

So, once you have the fan list?  Don’t hammer them over the head with purchasing offers.  “Give stuff away, it will come back to you tenfold in the long-run,” Estes urged.

  • What about scarcity?  What about the music?

Sivers says less is more. “The way to really make yourself valuable is just to turn off your computer, and practice,” Sivers said.  Urged attendees to make “a shockingly good song,” “your music itself has to slice through everything,” “your music has to say things that hit hard,” and “if you focus on developing your music that strongly, the doors open a lot stronger for you.”

Sivers asks a great question.  What would happen if the Beatles started in 2010?  Would they start posting half-baked songs onto the internet?  It would never have developed in the same way.  So, don’t spend money until the product is ready, and fans are reacting.  “Stay in development,” Sivers urged.

  • So, what doesn’t work?

Patsavas: Lots of extra, expensive packaging.  Just focus on the music, and good labeling.

Denis: MySpace bots and other automons are not useful.  And, be selective and don’t spam.  “If you send your stuff everywhere, you’re wasting your time,” and “know the blog,” “stop spamming“.

  • The importance of tapping outlets that are not oversaturated.

Sivers talks about a full-time sailor that sold her music through sailing magazines, targeting real sailors.  “Marketing doesn’t require money,” instead it’s “creative ways to reach fans that are considerate,” “novel and unusual” methods for making a connection.

  • And what about the human interest angle?

“If you did get on Oprah, why are you interesting?” Sivers poses.  This is about more than the music.

  • Play the marketing game, play an active role.

Denis: If you don’t want to play the marketing game, and play an active role in what you are doing, “you might be in the wrong business‘?