Support Unsound

“I’m a musician, not a t-shirt maker. I believe my music is worth something. Musicians have very simple goals…we want to make our music…and have it support us.”
-Zoe Keating

Zoe Keating, Cut Chemist, Tycho and more are highlighted by Count Eldridge in Unsound, his film focused on the 99% of musicians struggling to make a living – and a life – supported by their creativity in the age of the internet.

He shines a light on all aspects of the modern music landscape, including streaming services, illegal downloads, touring, merchandise and fan support. Eldridge includes interviews with editors, authors and copyright experts in addition to perspectives from musicians of all kinds.

Take a look at his extended cut trailer:

Unsound: extended trailer rough cut from Count Eldridge on Vimeo.

Learn more about musicians in the age of the internet and help Count complete his film.

“You can’t be a fan and not support the band.”
– Vernon Reid

Double Your Photo Activity to Double Your Fan Engagement

Are you on Instagram? Do you post photos to your Facebook Page?

Recent studies have shown that Facebook posts with photos get 53% more likes than posts without imagery.

We’ve seen a bunch of musicians successfully use visuals to up the excitement level, turning fans into superfans. It also brings other fans into the mix, giving them a taste of what they could take part in next time.

After each Anberlin Meet & Greet with their fans, they posted a group photo from the Experience and tagged each person they were hanging out with. Amazing follow up and post-Experience activity to really solidify the relationship with your new superfan. Check out the nearly 1,000 likes!

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Easton Corbin posted a Facebook album of his kayak tour with 5 VIP fans in Chicago, making a lasting memento for fans, long after the Experience was over.

In case you aren’t convinced yet how photos benefit your fans’ experiences, here are three reasons you should incorporate more photos into your daily social activity and experience with fans:

1) Your fans will engage more with your content across the web.

2) It’s a chance for you to build a better relationship with fans and create more lasting memories.

3) If you’re tagging fans that were there with you at the Experience or at your show, it’s great content that they’ll share with their social networks.

Get started with your own custom Experiences today – just email us to access to the beta.

Breaking News! BandPage Partners with Xbox Music and VEVO

As of today–and for the first time ever–any BandPage artist can now interact with tens of millions of fans they couldn’t reach before thanks to the new partnerships with Xbox Music and VEVO.

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Content you update or add to your BandPage profile will immediately go live on the various platforms where VEVO and Xbox Music displays. So be sure to log in and add any new tour dates, images or other content you have.

“Musicians lose revenue when there is a wrong ticket link to their show or when it’s not even listed. We can’t engage our fans if there’s an outdated bio or photos,” says superstar DJ Rusko. “Now I have the ability to change or add that information and that makes a significant impact to our bottom line. With BandPage the days of reaching fans by putting up a poster on a telephone pole are done.”

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Partnerships with Xbox Music and VEVO continue our mission to provide artists with a central profile to control all their information across the web. We’ve already integrated with WordPress, Twitter and Facebook to help artists actively engage fans with up to date information like new songs, tour dates, photos and more.

Today we expand this network, further empowering your ability to increase fan engagement and sales across the web.

Festivals Galore: Engage Fans on the Ground

We’re in the midst of the magical music festival season and amped to see the creative ways musicians are using BandPage Experiences to engage with festival-goers and fans.

Last week, we saw the Sunset Strip Music Festival in Hollywood providing a venue for Street Drum Corps to have blast with fans – from side-stage access to face painting with the band.

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With Outside Lands coming up in San Francisco, a few bands are taking the opportunity to meet and greet fans at the PayPal Patio. To top it off, they are offering proceeds from this Experience to benefit local charities like the San Francisco Rock Project.

There are still a few passes left – they are going quick so head over and grab one to get access to this awesome Experience this weekend!

Make pre-releases count

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More and more we’re seeing pre-release orders out in the wild, packaged in ways to encourage customers and fans to support their favorite musicians.  If it’s good enough for Jay-Z, it’s worth a try.

BandPage Experiences is the perfect platform to add and track pre-release options to your fans and their friends.

Here are a few tips in lining them up:

Offer a variety of pre-release packages
From digital downloads to limited-edition posters, give your fans a mix of packages to choose from at a variety of price points.

Get crafty
Try hand lettering your posters, including signed swag or creating cool one off items to make the packages extra special and worth the early buy in.

Partner up
Obviously not everyone can swing a multi-national corporation to support your release, but maybe a local friendly merchant will throw in your favorite snack or a cool accessory.

Get the word out
Set up a simple outline to post across social networks and your mailing list, and be sure to mention pre-orders in interviews.

Spread the fan love
Encourage your fans to spread the word too – sharing images or reviews of your newest release. Like, re-share and comment on their posts. Virtual high fives everywhere!

What are we missing? We know there’s some major knowledge out there on making the most of pre-releases. Let us know in comments!

BandPage Partners With Ning To Help Musicians Build Fan Communities

BandPage is pleased to welcome Ning.com to our growing family of Content Syndication Partners.  Used by artists like Linkin Park and Plain White T’s, Ning.com is a community-based platform that makes it easy for musicians to launch their very own social network site in the matter of minutes.

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BandPage teamed up with Ning with a single goal in mind: to deliver a number of robust community site features to those musicians that are ready to go beyond Facebook, a static website or blog and let their biggest fans take center stage. Unlike other social platforms, Ning lets bands and fans connect, converse, and create content together through tools such as band- or fan-led blogs, forums, photo sections, and more.  Plus, Ning gives musicians complete ownership and control of their branded online communities where they can nurture, cultivate, and empower their loyal followers.

Our new BandPage/Ning integration makes it easy for you to pull all of your different social networks and properties together under one roof where fans can follow your various social feeds, stay up to date with your latest blog content as well as participate in fan forums with other fans.  And instead of building your site from scratch, any musicians with a BandPage Account can automatically shift and syncing their BandPage content with their Ning site using our “BandPage Connect” technology.  Connecting your BandPage account automatically syncs all of your BandPage content, including your music, tour dates, photos, videos and About info to your Ning-powered site.  You can then choose to alter the design of your site by uploading your own header and background images and making the necessary adjustments to the font and color.  It’s that simple.

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For those of you who want to engage with their fans on a deeper level, you can take advantage of the power and flexibility of Ning 3.0 to add features and custom pages on the fly: fan photo section, individual band member blogs, a private street team forum, contests, and more.  Dada Life’s Ning-powered site, Dada Land, allows Citizens (fans) to climb the member ranks and become Dad Land Ambassadors by completing a certain number of missions. The possibilities are endless.

Our very own Chris Wiltsee, Sr. Director of Business Development, had this to say about our unique partnership, “bands want feature-rich flexible social networks and are eager to integrate their unique content into those networks. Ning is clearly striving to meet this need and BandPage is pleased to welcome Ning into its growing base of content partners.”

Check out just how easy it is to quickly incorporate your BandPage profile into your Ning social site in the video below and try it for free by going to www.ning.com/bandpage and clicking the BandPage Connect button.

Connect Your BandPage Content with Ning from Ning on Vimeo.

YouTube Playbook Guide (The Cliffs Notes)

Last week YouTube was nice enough to release a 40 page “creators guide” for musicians advising them on the best ways to leverage YouTube to build a loyal and engaged fan base.  In case you don’t have the time or energy to dig through all 40 pages we were kind enough to create our own bulleted list of what we considered to be some key takeaways.  For those of you who want to dig a little deeper, you can check out the rest of the guide here.  Enjoy!

Optimize for Better Discovery

1. Get Your Metadata Working for You:  First things first, don’t forget to lead with the song title, artist name [your name] and album title in the title of your video.  And be sure to include heavily searched terms as well.  If you have a famous guests on the song, be sure to include their name.  If you cover a song, be sure to include the name of the artist whose song you covered.  Remember, most people find music channels through search results, so optimizing your videos for discovery is key.

2. Tag Tag Tag: Tag as many terms that are relevant to your video as you can.  Use both general and specific key words.

3. Use An Intriguing Thumbnail:  Be sure to choose a thumbnail that is compelling.  You want people to want to know what is happening in your video so choose something that invites curiosity.

4. Descriptive Description: Take advantage of the real estate under video description to include calls to action like “click to buy here” or “view new video here.”  Be sure to include new album release date, up coming concert dates, links to socials, digital store, etc.

5. Take Advantage of Annotations: Annotations have a few important uses.  First, you can add annotations to your older videos to direct fans to your newest video.  Or you can add an annotation to a new video encouraging fans to check out your other videos so they can get to know you as an artists better.  On top of that, you can use annotations to promote your licensed merchandize directly in your videos.  Just don’t forget to leverage your top performing videos!

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6. Choose a Layout that Meets Your Needs: A single channel layout makes it easy for you to target announcements to specific groups of fans and encourage fans to help shape your content.   A single channel layout will include all of your curated content, live performances and official videos on a single channel.  A multi-channel layout allows you to separate your content into different channels.  You can upload official music videos onto your main channel and your favorite music, live performances, funny videos, etc to a different one.  This makes it easy for your fans to find exactly what they are looking for.

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Releasing an Album or Song

7. Not One but TWO Videos:  If you are going to use YouTube to release a new song, they highly recommend you create both a lyric and an official music video.  Lyric videos are easier to make and will help build buzz for when you do drop your official music video.  Lyric videos also help your fans connect with your music by getting them more acquainted with your message and words.  For many people, lyrics can make or break a song.

8. Leverage the Community: Get your fans to particpate in this intimate process with you.  Ask them for their feedback and thoughts on your song. Enourage them to comment, share and subscribe to your channel.  You can even ask them to create re-mixes or covers of your song and share them with you.

9. Use Data: Be sure to pay close attention to the regions that are driving the most traffic to your channel.  Examine your traffic sources.  Are there any specific blogs or sites that are driving a significant amount of traffic?   Use this data to help determine where to hold live events, interviews, reach out to the local press, etc.

Engage With Your Fans

10. Exclusive Perks: A great way to keep your fans engaged is to offer them exclusive perks.  Give your fans and subscribers first crack at new tracks, behind-the-scenes video clips or even concert tickets.  Leverage  annotations and/or your video descriptions to help promote them.

11. Q&A: YouTube recommends dedicating one day a month to holding a live Q&A or Google Hangout session with your fans.   Take questions, talk about new projects you’re working on and just hang out.   Your fans will appreciate the opportunity to spend quality time with you and you’ll continue to gain new YouTube followers in the process.  A win-win.

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