Posts Tagged ‘business’

Growing Into Real Auckland Marketing Agency Business

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Hi this is matt from kurb, we offer marketing services, including online marketing, online video marketing and more right here in Auckland New Zealand!

KURBPROMO@GMAIL.COM

We’re also looking for interns to join us in our rise to full fledged advertising agency status – if you have the artistic, creative or generally organised kind of skills to work with us get in touch!

I think there could be some good opportunities for me starting a proper online marketing agency in the future, bringing in serious clients for projects worth five figures or maybe more.

It’s about bringing together loose strands that I’m working on already.

If I’m already offering cheap video production;

If I’m already developing my talent agency;

And I already have online marketing systems and techniques in place

And I plan to get a space where presentations and meeting with clients can be hosted

I’ve pretty much got all the elements in place, it just comes down to my ability to play Don Draper and come up with concepts that will helpmy clients sell more stuff and bringing that to life through youtube, facebook, twitter etc.

It’s not just social media, it’s strong creative video, copy and art direction, which is then distributed through social media, seo, advertising online, video, and community management projects that capture attention, engage, receive permission and then sell, or otherwise, enhance the brand.

If I could collect $200,000 a year in contracts and pay one creative, artistic guy to do design and video, and pay another to be organised and look after the clients and the contractors, and do everything I would otherwise do, then I could pay them $50k each, and be the creative director guy who just gets paid 100k to do detailed pitches and run the show.

Of course as I said the talent agency would be in house.

But the reason I’m drawing attention to this is now, for the first time, I can make my own ads for kurb and start putting a lil creative pep into them so it might get to the point that these ads are not just advertising small business marketing but also video marketing and production and general management of online marketing, viral marketing, and iteractive social media management.

Because people will start to see them and they will wonder if I can put that sort of quality of work that is funny and interesting and well executed together for their campaigns.

For me, it might be that I’m just beginning a long journey of chipping away and extending my reputation, it make take years of making stupid videos before I start to get attention.

How much would I charge for such a campaign, including a website a series of funny videos, social media an advertising campaign, art development, all of that kind of thing?

That already sounds like a job that would $10,000. 4 funny videos, a blog, a facebook and twitter presence, design plus advertising . . . definitely $10,000. But I need to come up with a package that would cost $5000 which would probably just be a funny video and some extras.

But that’s the thing any idea would need development. I guess initially I’d charge $5,000 until we were doing 10 a year then, I could start putting my prices up, just like the music marketing services – wait until it reaches a point that I’m too busy and then raise the prices gradually.

Man I just realised I could provide music as well. Brilliant.

I think the idea is to use the same strategy I’ve used in building my promotions with kurb, starting with really stupidly low prices and big promises founded on a significant trial period practicing this stuff for myself, and then waiting for the market to react, obviously producing a little bit of friction as growth kicks in, but ultimately getting to a point where I can do 10 x $20,000 campaigns and

In fact I’m thinking my project with reality compound, if I did secure sponsorship, could cover one $50,000 campaign and then the next year I would turn around and ask for $100,000.

I’m liking this already, it may take me 5 years, but hey, 5 years ago I was just bumming around on myspace the whole time not really knowing what was up yet and had just done my first tour. 5 years is a long time to get this done.

And all it really means is making more money, but hey, thats okay. I’m sure I’ll find something to spend it on.

The Concert, Touring and Gig Promotion Business

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Check out Kurb’s Gig Promotion and Music Marketing Services

This from Lefsetz

“The major labels create a culture that isn’t based on music, but on celebrity.”

Wait a second, I’ve got another one almost as good!

“…if in 1994 you’d wanted to understand what our lives would be like right now, you’d still be better off reading a single copy of Wired magazine published in that year than all of the sceptical literature published ever since.”Clay Shirky in the “Guardian”: ‘Paywall will underperform – the numbers don’t add up’

And the reason I quote Mr. Shirky is because in the above article he says:

“Everyone’s waiting to see what will happen with the paywall — it’s the big question. But I think it will underperform. On a purely financial calculation, I don’t think the numbers add up.”

And the reason I quote this is because most of the “Wall Street Journal”’s articles are behind a paywall, and therefore the newspaper has little impact on societal discourse, especially regarding music. Mr. Shirky says that the Web has unlocked social desires in the populace that have heretofore been dormant, lacking an outlet. And now people are exchanging information, playing along, investing their time for free. Boiling it down, if you want to get paid first and foremost, you lock yourself out of the equation. Only by allowing your information to be freely traded are you relevant in today’s society.

I’ll make it very simple. Those deejays that are never featured in TMZ or PerezHilton, they make light years more money than all those acts that believe it’s about publicity.

It ain’t about publicity, but music. A great deejay can make $20 million a year. As for his expenses… Let’s see…there’s no U2 mega-stage, no flock of roadies, no buses, just a first class airline ticket and a laptop, maybe some turntables too.

The Electric Daisy Festival had more attendees than Coachella. Think about that. Electric Daisy got a fraction of the press. Sure, everybody there was on drugs, it was about being there as much as the music, then again, isn’t that EXACTLY what blew up music in the classic rock era? You had to go to the show!

Do you really have to go to the shed to see has-beens or rip-off artists while you overpay for parking, beer and…

The stars?

Only known by the audience. Like in the sixties. Your mother knows who GaGa is, but David Guetta? Deadmau5?

Remember when music wasn’t mainstream, but an alternative culture? That’s the electronic music scene.

Quote number 3:

“How do you inspire them to come?”

Read the article to see who said this, but it’s the essence of our future. You don’t inspire people to come by offering lawn tickets for ten bucks, certainly not by offering service fee holidays. Then you’ve got a business proposition, and as long as you’re in that mode, you’re destined to lose. Commentators constantly chide Apple for overpricing its products. But the public seems to have no problem paying premium prices for iPads and Macs. The Apple Store is a temple with low pressure salesmen that glide you through a purchasing process that leaves you elated.

How can we create music and gigs so enthralling that people can’t help but want to come? Oldsters lament the loss of marketing tools like MTV and the decline in power of radio. But if you’re looking backward, you’re missing the future. Success is about creating a scene, something that isn’t in your face, but draws you to it. Whether it be Bowie in the seventies or Deadmau5 today.

And I’m gonna let you in on a secret hiding in plain sight. Both Deadmau5 and David Guetta have deals with EMI. Sony, trumpeting their success with Susan Boyle? That’s an evanescent inspirational story, that’s not inspirational music. But these deejays, it’s not about fame, but what comes out of the speakers, the entire environment. Hell, it’s public knowledge that these two deejays are signed to Terra Firma’s company, but you’d be fascinated by the details of the deals…

Final quote:

“Sales aren’t an accurate measurement of popularity, he told me. ‘My fans are all computer literate. For every album I sell, it’s passed on to 30 other people.’”

Passability, not sales, that’s what’s important. Pay attention to BigChampagne, not SoundScan. How do you create something so good people want to steal it, need to turn others on to it, that’s the question you should be asking, not HOW DO I GET PAID!

As we can see by the electronic music scene, there’s plenty of money extant, you’ve just got to drill down and create irresistible music.

Furthermore, these electronic music festivals aren’t cheap, tickets are nearly a hundred bucks, but that’s no impediment if you’ve got to be there, if you’re trying to have the time of your life!



THIS FROM GAWKER – WHY PEOPLE AREN’T GOING TO CONCERTS

Ticket sales for all the concerts in the country combined has dropped to a new low, and many big-name acts are under-performing. How could this happen? Maybe because all the bands are old and no one wants to see them.Don’t feel too bad for the concert industry: They still grossed $965.5 million in the first half of 2010, although that’s down 17 percent from the same time last year. Some of the acts who didn’t do as well as expected might be to blame. Who are they? The Eagles (old), the Jonas Brothers (ancient in tween years), and the American Idol finalists (old the week after they were voted off). Some bands have canceled their tours like Limp Bizkit (old), the Go-Gos (old), and Christina Aguilera (washed up), and the Lilith Fair (old back in the ’90s) scaled back its scheduled dates. Do concert promoters know what decade they’re living in? Guess what, guys: the Flock of Seagulls/Men Without Hats double bill probably isn’t going to do big business either.

Some of the acts that made scads of money were Lady Gaga (still new and drawing record crowds), Taylor Swift (fresh out of the box), Justin Bieber (young, but approaching middle age in tween years), and James Taylor and Carole King (both youn—say what?!). OK, some nostalgia acts performed well, like the Taylor/King gang up (really, can your mother resist a good rendition of “I Feel the Earth Move”?), AC/DC, and Bon Jovi, but mostly the bands that tanked seem to be a bit stale.

Pollstar, the trade publication for the concert biz, says people “may be turned off by piggish top-tier prices, resentful of ticket add-on fees, and downright angry when they hear about discounted tickets after they have paid full price.” All true, but people will suffer through all that to see a band they really love. So maybe this isn’t “the economy” or horrible ticket monopolies engaged in price-gouging and just a batch of bad acts.

So Hows Business? Surviving Hard Times

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Hi this is Matt Turner from Kurb Promotions, Auckland, New Zealand!

EMAIL: kurbpromo@gmail.com / CALL: 027 684 8250

We offer marketing strategies in small business, music promotion and video marketing to clients around the world that are comprehensive, affordable, and delivered with minimum wait and fuss.

You can also check out Auckland and New Zealand promotions services including

– dvd and cd copying printing and duplication – cheapest prices, and fast, efficient, helpful service

colour copying and colour printing – a6, a5, a3, a2, dle – glossy, matt or on card we offer a great service for fast turnaround and delivery within auckland

Well I’ve spent a couple years riding pretty high in my business and there are always quiet periods, but what happens when it gets too quiet? Deadly quiet?

How we all fear the silent deadly that will knock your business dead, that one day the leds will just simply dry up.

It was so easy to blame the recession.

How would you dare make the mistake of slashing your marketing budget when it’s what you depend on to continue making sales?

Do you increase your marketing budget when times get tough?

You’ve got to always be aware of where your customers are moving and what they’re doing when they’re looking for the service that you offer.

What are they doing the moment before the realise they need your product or service? Do they know you need their product or service?

Who is your customer are what are they naturally inclined to use as a reference point when they decide they require what you offer, or they need to find the solution to their problems which you provide.

These are the questions you have to ask when sizing up your marketing budget because you can’t cut back on marketing when you’re in trouble, you just have to try something different.

I’m in favour of anything that can be done that can be measured, but you won’t have anything to measure if you don’t isolate your customer base.

So many products and services are searched for online on google so it’s so important to get proper advice and ongoing support in pay per click and search engine optimisation strategies.

It’s important, and really excellent step long term to get a blog going for your business, just like this one. Not only can you share and work through ideas for your business, but the more you write and contribute, the more your blog becomes regard as authritative by google and you get higher rankings for ever diverse ranges of keywords and phrases related, obviously to the business you do.

The effects are cumulative also, it means, the more you write, the more opportunities you’re going to find as people come through your blog.

So my main strategies are going to be increasing my advertising budget as well as writing labouriously on my blog to keep my search rankings bouyant.

That seems to be working but I think the real problem is that the presentation of my site is not at a standard that is encouraging and reassuring for my customers, so rehauling the site form scratch is a big thing for me.

And because I’ve been going through a fairly dry patch, it means not only do I have plenty of time, but I don’t really have the budget for it so, it’s in their with my sleeves rolled up doing the dirty work myself! This is also a great opportunity to pick up new skills so that even when you recover, you’ll have much better knowledge of the work that’s required for some thing technical, but ongoing, such as web design.

Small Business Marketing Strategies and Music Models for Auckland Pirates

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Kurb promotions:

small business marketing  and strategies // promotions // video

online marketing strategies for musicians and entertainment providers

AND PIRATES!!! AAARGGHH!!!

kurbpromo@gmail.com   /// 027 684 8250

I am still really interested in building up my business doing Auckland children’s entertainment.

If you’re interested in having a children’s entertainer come to your kids birthday party than check out the options at Pirates of Auckland for pirate birthday party fun and children’s party games and adventure.

If you’re interested in marketing in entertainment, small business marketing or services offering marketing to children and kids in Auckland, read on.

I’m not only a pirate entertainer but with hands on experience in services marketed to kids, children and their parents, but I’m experienced in over 5 years building my own business kurb promotions specializing in cheap marketing services for small business including internet marketing and social media,

So when it comes to small business marketing, well it’s kind of what I do for a job here at kurb promotions, so the marketing isn’t really an issue, I don’t feel I have to be bringing in massive amounts of leads in order to call it successful.

Why? Because a solid marketing strategy only works for a sound business model. Why would you want to rush into creating and marketing a small business if you hadn’t already optimized the ultimate model to make you the most money for the least work?

That’s why I gave up for now on my Graphic Design services – too much hassle for not enough money. If I have the marketing in place why would I put that into something that’s going to create stress to provide and grow?

When it comes to Pirates, the main limiting factor is that there is one of me. Sure I can make $200 p/hour but only 2-4 times p/weekend. But there is so much going for the business model as it exists that I am now trying to innovate around those challenges.

Hiring is not a realistic option. It’s a possibility, but it takes a special kind of person to do the job, with an amazing skill set.

I shouldn’t really raise that barrier – If I get some one well all the better but I can’t depend on it.

But let’s look at the pluses I see with the children’s pirate birthday business as it is:

– broad appeal, the market and the demand for what I provide is vast. All kids love fun, they can’t get enough and there’s a lot of kids out there.

– highly motivated target – parents are happy to spend money on their kids, and I believe they scrutinize less when they rationalize that they are spoiling their kids.

– I have a high value product.

– Competition exists but as I said you need a high level of skill to perform in my niche, and in broader terms, the market for kids entertainment is so vast that that there is always wiggle room to increase your competitiveness and innovation and make incremental gains to slice of the pie.

And that’s what I’m doing now, wiggling my way to the next level!

My small business marketing strategies are already in place to serve me well:

– article marketing ensures long term high ranking SEO results for sepcific terms
PPC Adwords Management ensures visibility amongst the most highly qualified of your audience
Video promotion, blog promotion and affordable design provide engagement experiences for customers / consumers / clients.

These are all services offered by kurb promotions, the umbrella group for my business developments, feel free to contact me if you need any marketing services tied in with our promtoional offers for your own project.

What  I need to do now is discern how to take the pirate business to the next level.

There’s a number of limiting factors I mentioned – mainly that there is only one of me and that the job itself is demanding.

But this is what it comes down to, how can I tap the tremendous amount of goodwill i receive to extend profitable propositions in other directions?

My main strategy up until now was add ons an upsells including

– party filmed by us
– projector + movie show
– decorations and paraphenalia such as detailed props

But all this is just going to complicate the simple process of turning up, playing pirates for an hour – no more – and then collecting my money and taking off and what’s more, the upsell takes place before I’ve established value.

The whole reason I’m thinking this way is I see the mums at the party impressed with what they’ve seen and the kids are happy and theyre in a heightened state of being keen to give me money.

As I leave, they want more. How do I get more, how do I make more available for them to buy?

I think it comes back to the music marketing strategies I employ with the majority of my marketing clients who are musicians and provide much insight into the nature of modern promotion based around content.

The content itself – that is me and my ability to relate to the kids is not of value in itself as media. Media such as DVD’s, CD’s etc are borderline commodities – the effort of manufacture practically makes them only useful for one thing: building my brand.

But – also as my main business afterall is CD and DVD reproduction it means the value can be leveraged – for example, perhaps I wouldn’t sell many DVD’s if I did go to the effort of making one, but the DVD would be a complete advertisement for my brand and I could say every kid gets a free copy and bump my fee up to $250.  That would make it worthwhile.

I even just realised I could conclude the presentation with a semi-serious ad for both my duplication and my online marketing and small business marketing services, therefore embedding extra promotion into a media [a DVD of pirate stuff for kids] that has far more chance of spreading and receiving attention from parents when the video production concludes.

But as I said, the main value is having my brand provide proof of higher value in my personal performances for a start . . .

This is similar to a musician who builds a following with online music marketing giving away music for next to nothing and then benefitting from selling more tickets and bigger venues.

But then I’ve got this brand to deal with. I’ve got to use the trust I’ve created to sell something else and just like a bandm the idea of t-shirts and mugs is not . . . modern. It’s affiliate marketing and the manner in which you can parley your trust and authority with the audience

So that’s where I see partnering with brands as a key.

When you’ve got a profile with a market that’s demonstratable, then you’ve got the power to sit down and be real about the kind of visibility you offer the brand through your media.

That’s the problem with bands, they’re not demonstrating this kind of thing. What kind of performer do you have to be to great the magnetic demand that kids have to go crazy playing pirates on their birthday?

So I think it’s time to wrap up with a list of business strategies that signal long term opportunities

– using online media to give exposure to either my other businesses or brand partners

– promoting affiliate products

Maybe it’s hard to see it as simply being that but really, the future of media is converging online, and as a media content provider of any sort, it’s an array or advertising partnerships whether brand oriented or direct product endorsement monetized through commissions on sales.

The possibilities of performances and ideas like merchandise seem relevant, but that’s at the tall head of the scale.

These are what I imagine is your best options for business with more modest expectations in a new media environment.

Auckland Models

Kurb Auckland Business Services Update: Recession is Fleeting

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Alright time for a Kurb business update – from kurb promotions providing exciting promotions and marketing services in Auckland, New Zealand – and I would say the recession is over.

It feels like the recession is over. My feeling was that I was managing growth mainly because although it had slowed down it was still growing at a manageable rate and I was able to feel comfortable, but as we come out of the recession, all that latent business is surging to life and I’m back doing the same juggling act albeit with an extra ball in the air.

My business is likely to come under another push to meet rising demand and I have to be prepared for that,  for my own sanity if for nothing else.

Especially my music marketing services they’re likely to really take off once the US economy comes back.

That’s why right now I’m doing heaps of planning for expansion and new staff and how to smoothely transition through a more intensive growth stage. I can see I will have to raise my prices on some services but I also need to be able to match the value as the prices of those services rise to meet demand.

So maybe the recession is over? Or well it’s kind of over because I have been having consecutive weeks of significant business, and I haven’t even been advertising that much or doing much marketing activity becauseI’ve been so busy but the rate of work coming in hasn’t slackened.

We’re alsostarting a fleet!!

We’re going to be getting a staff vehicle so I don’t have to do all the running around, and with employees mobile, man I just realised how much I could decentralize move offsite large amounts of tasks in a specific process.

Especially where cd duplication and dvd duplication jobs overlap with our printing services and the colour copying we offer in auckland, and the delivery of masters etc. can be all through one decentralized unit in a more efficient system.

A vehicle for staff means that as long as staff had access to the equipment and could pick up supplies and deliver the finished result – that leaves very little for me left to do except make the sales and issue the invoices.

The same works for the poster stuff as well, all the auckland printing jobs. As soon as we confirm the sale, I can send for print and then have my staff arrange pick up and delivery.

Graphic design is an option we can make available but not something I’ll be pushing right now as I mentioned, because the margins are just to low for the level of service required.

But I will definitely still be pushing the video services we’re making available right now – and aswell as getting back into my own video blogging as a way to push the business I’ll also be using my video guys to do different things that will be valuable in terms of online video promotion.

The margins that you can offer on cheap video produciton are still worthwhile and when combined with video marketing you’ve got a real service that will be invaluable as online advertising continues to burgeon, and a traditional approach to advertising becomes accessible to smaller budgets who also need advertising and branding services when developing campaigns for youtube or general use of online video for business purposes.

What’s Going On With Kurb’s Online Promotion Services, Auckland

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Alright just delivering another fresh update to the blog.

I am seriously thinking about taking on more staff to cover some of the work we’re doing here at Kurb.

That is, the work we’re doing here in New Zealand.

Most of our core business still revolves around CD and DVD duplication service, Music Marketing services which we offer worldwide, and the various print jobs we’re involved in doing.

Of course there are other Online promotions services we provide, but they are very specific business services that we add on to our marketing services for both musicians and small business marketing. We do those often and I guess we’d be looking for someone who can facilitate and administer the production  and delivery of both the CD duplication and the DVD duplication service.

Another part of course is providing the artwork for both the CD/DVD production and the printing and colour copying services we offer.

The artwork has to be taken from the clients file and check to see if it is consistent with the standard of print quality either for CD printing and DVD printing or colour printing jobs such as printing posters, or printing flyers, before it is sent away for printing.

This also includes the printing of CD and DVD covers and other packaging.

Then once the printing has been completed, it must be picked up and either posted or delivered to the client unless it is CD or DVD packaging that must be compiled.

Sometimes, clients will require graphic design services which is great because we provide cheap graphic design. Someone working here with us would again have to co-ordinate between the graphic designer and the client and provide instructions and delivery online.

Finally, co-ordinating the music marketing services we provide making sure that the campaigns for the music artists we work with are on task and progressing, again co-ordinating workers overseas such as graphic designers, web designers, advertising people, co-ordinating social media etc.

Kurb provides a range of online music services. Check out

Our Music Marketing Blog

For more information, tips and advice on music promotion, management and music marketing online.

Other services we provide are:

Gig Promotion

youtube marketing

music video production

Qualities of A Music Artist and Business Entrepreneur

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

I invited a guest speaker to class the other night and he showed a video about entrepreneurship. It was structured around the eight characteristics of an entrepreneur:

• Wants to work for themselves, doesn’t want to work for someone else
• Can communicate and is organized about it
• Isn’t afraid of taking risks
• Sees opportunity and takes it
• Understands the need for innovation and innovates
• Overcomes adversity, doesn’t take no for an answer
• Knows how to sell themselves and their ideas
• Ready to fight for what they believe

In academia this is called “entrepreneurship”. In the language of business and government, it’s also called “small business development”. In the language of art, it is called “artist”.

Who possesses every one of these characteristics? How about every musician and every artist we know? You can’t be an artist or a musician without these characteristics.

1. Artist and musicians work for themselves even when somebody else is paying them for their individuality. They are inner driven, inner directed, self-inspired and value-driven. We live in the DIY world because everyone CAN do it them selves. There are no barriers to entry in the music business. Any kid with a laptop and a guitar can be a record company and a publisher. There is a perfect match between these opportunities and the character of the musician and the artist. There is a perfect match between the tools of creation, marketing and distribution and the fact that the musician and artist can create “content”, songs, books, paintings, and all other types of intellectual property, out of their imagination.

2. The whole point for the musician and the artist is communication. They are compelled to write something, to create something, to play gigs, to perform music, to display their work, to broadcast it, share it, post it, build it, dance it, and otherwise communicate it to other people. They CRAVE performance, the stage, and communication, and they can certainly organize themselves to achieve it.

Musicians and artists are organized because they have to be organized in order to perfect their craft and their skills. The practice room is where the musician makes a beeline approach to achieving a specific goal. Musicians and artists understand method and problem solving. They may not be organized in ways that their friends and family fully appreciate, but at what they do, they are naturally organized. If they weren’t they’d never make any progress. That’s why they make good lawyers – they understand method and they can define goals and devise ways to achieve them, and they don’t stop until they do.

Like music and art, markets are conversations, especially suited to the applications of technology and the personal platform provided by the Internet. Therefore, musicians, as natural communicators, are natural marketers. But do they think of themselves as this? No. Many might even frown at the mention of the word. That’s not their fault, nor is it the word’s fault. That would be the fault of ignorance, and easily remedied. Let’s start by changing the name to “sharing”. How’s that? Better? The point is, its all part of the same person, one person who’s natural abilities make them good at music along its ENTIRE journey, not just the expression of it.

3. Risk? Musicians and artists take risks every time they walk on stage, perform a new work, write a new work, or display a new work. They are taking the ultimate, personal risk, and they do so full-throated and with abandon. If they make a mistake, they make it loud. And since they know what it is to prepare for a performance or a display or a book, they are not reckless so much as fearless.

4. Opportunities to musicians and artists are everyday occurrences because they create their own. And they are members of a community that they create and that offers them opportunities as individuals. The opportunities of community come from the very nature of the artist’s work. Artists create fans and followers. They create virtual communities and the communities of public performance. They join existing communities and they connect to them in multiple ways. And these communities offer opportunities to the artist and to the musician in terms of affecting and changing these communities in a cultural sense as well as the economic sense: selling them something! Seizing opportunity for artists and musicians comes naturally. It’s how this action manifests itself that is the question, and usually where the business training comes in.

5. What is music and art if it isn’t innovation? Innovation is the whole point. Originality is an essential character trait for an artist and all artists struggle to seek their own “voice”. And it is with that voice that they will create. And the drive to create is the drive to go deeper, to understand more, and innovate on the most basic and human levels. Creativity is just another word for innovation. It is another word for life.

Innovation is the sine qua non of the entrepreneur, and musicians have this in their DNA. Musicians may not think of themselves as innovative in the business sense, but innovation is something that creates value and attraction. It is a business for someone. There are two consequences to the innovation of the musician: creative and artistic progress and advancement as an artist, and new businesses and products based on monetizing intellectual property rights.

6. Artists and musicians live with adversity and often with opposition to what they do; without appropriate recognition or financial remuneration. They not only accept adversity, they are able to deal with it day in and day out. And they will not stop. You cannot prevent them from doing what they do or being who they are. You may as well tell a leopard to change its spots. Artists and musicians do not take “no” for an answer and they are generally quite stubborn. But they have the work ethic and creative output to back it up. The inability to take “no” for an answer defines the musician just as it defines the entrepreneur.

7. Artists and musicians are selling when they walk on the stage, sing a song, show a painting, publish a book, or design a building. They are keenly aware of their markets because often their markets are sitting right in front of them. And if those markets don’t like what they’re hearing or seeing they will let you know. And if they do, they will let you know that too. They will clap, criticize, sell, buy, sing your praises, boo, carry you on their shoulders, throw crap, hate your guts, and steal everything you put out.

Artists and musicians walk that thin line of pleasing the market and leading the market, of ignoring the market and changing the culture. They are astute in this sense, whether they choose to abide by the market’s decision or not. And when they don’t, they apply for a grant, engaging a whole other market to please, and much harder to influence (better to have fans). In the long run it is much harder to talk people out of money than it is to make it by selling something.

8. Artists fight the fight daily and although they might not be ruthless about it and fiercely competitive with one another, they are certainly ruthless and fiercely competitive with themselves. Artists fight the battle of self-improvement, self-doubt, of creating the new, of balancing their egos and psyches on the foundations of the timeless masters of the past. In that sense they are fighting history to make history. Artists are genetically driven to produce, reproduce, survive, create, and fight. Like a mother to her cub they are to their art. And if you’re not careful, they will bite your hand off.

Need any further convincing? Can we agree that musicians and artists are natural born entrepreneurs? The word “entrepreneurs” describes the character of a person; it sums up their personality. An entrepreneur is a type of person. But entrepreneurship is also a business discipline, a structure of rules and experientially derived formulas and doctrines. And that is the side of it that musicians and artists don’t get. Entrepreneurial acts (“look ma, I made my own CD!”) are a good thing, but running a small business is another.

We must show artists and entrepreneurs how they can apply business doctrine and the discipline to their natural character. An entrepreneurial approach involves setting goals and making plans to achieve them, including a way to measure the progress of this process. An entrepreneurial approach involves defining what excellence is on every level of what you do and devising a way to achieve it.

An entrepreneurial approach involves constant improvement in not only your art but also your business. You’re always looking for ways of doing better, of improving and innovating in your business just as you do in your art. An artist or a musician can use their creativity to bear on the way and what they create and on the way and what they do in relation to that creation. It’s all the same. Musicians are not two people doing two different jobs, they are one person being who is already entrepreneurial and a creator of intellectual property. The only thing that separates them from realizing their fullest potential in both respects is information. But once they have that, they are good to go.

Business is divided into disciplines: management, marketing, finance, economics, and international, and there are many subheadings: strategic planning, statistics, human resources, decision-making, accounting, etc. When you think about the activities of a typical musician who plays gigs, or an artist who shows her work in a gallery, or author who gives lectures and goes on promotional tours, you will see all of these elements present in some form. But artists do not think or know that they possess these essential business abilities and sensibilities. Let’s tell them! Let’s draw them a picture: idea committed to medium (write it down!) creates a copyright creates business. And it’s automatic.

“You didn’t know till I told you, now I told you, now you know.”

There’s another side to this equation as well. As luck would have it, in addition to being a born entrepreneur, the musician and the artist can also create an endless flow of intellectual property to which the exclusive rights of copyright attend. And these rights, the right to make copies, to distribute them, to publicly perform and display the work, the right to make derivative copies and control the digital transmission, create businesses, almost all of the businesses of the entertainment world. They create record companies, publishing companies, performance rights organizations, and printing presses. They create radio stations and libraries, and they create YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc.

The songwriter becomes a business by writing down the song or recording it on their cellphone. There’s no box to check or form to fill out. The act of creation creates the rights, the act of registration creates the remedies.

We must each our young musicians to “register” their copyrights and we might also tell our legislators to get in the game and make this process extremely cheap, easy, and online. That would be one way to encourage respect for intellectual property: make it easier to be officially recognized.

Interesting confluence of circumstance: entrepreneur creates own renewable product line out of thin air. That’s a license to print money, folks. You not only have someone with the perfect character for the job, they can create their own intangible property with very tangible results, including profits and revenue in multiple ways.

So what are you waiting for? Monetize those rights! Maybe you should start by making a list of them and the “goods” or “services” that are inherent in what you do. There’s a market for everything. “The Long Tail” tells us that. All you have to do is have as many products as you can reasonably handle and reach those people who might care about them. And that is a matter of finding communities of the shared values and planting yourself right in the middle of it. Connecting with people of shared interests and values is not only a great virtue of the Internet, it is a great opportunity, including a marketing opportunity.

It’s all about who knows you, not who you know; it’s about connecting personally with people who care about what you do. It’s about social networking, the virtual community, the live performance, and the detailed attention to all of the opportunities available to you as one who holds all of the cards. And that is one long list of opportunities.

Make your list!

The New Music Label: Fan Driven Music Industry Strategies

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Another excellent article on new music marketing i’ve saved for my reference:

The people formerly known as the audience (TPFKATA) are doing more than just fact-checking newspaper stories, time-shifting TV shows and capturing breaking news on their cameraphones. They are also helping run their favorite bands, designing and voting on concert T-shirts, mixing studio albums and even voting on which cities should be included in a band’s tour.

At the vanguard of this movement of crowdsourcing music and putting the fans in control is Nettwerk Music, a record label and band management service in Vancouver, BC, that has become synonymous with digital music and alternative revenue streams. The label completely revamped itself in 2002, putting digital music and Internet promotion at the forefront and downplaying physical CD sales. Fans have been able to remix albums by Barenaked Ladies and rapper K-OS — even before his new album comes out — and Avril Lavigne has racked up millions of plays and possibly millions in revenues on YouTube.

The driving force behind the digital makeover of Nettwerk is CEO Terry McBride, a man who has helped pay legal fees for people sued by the RIAA for sharing music online. After McBride took such a strong stance for digital music — and away from CD sales — he started speaking more at conferences and talking to the media to spread his vision for a “digital valet” service. He thinks we will all end up paying $5 to $10 per month for access to all music, TV and movies, with a digital valet that knows our tastes and finds media for us.

While most music labels have been squeezed by the shift to digital music, Nettwerk has had growing revenues, McBride told me, and he expects 80% of the company’s 2008 income to be from digital and alternative revenues — and not CD sales.
Terry McBride.jpg

Terry McBride

“In 2007, about 70% of our sales on intellectual property was all digital, and this year it will be around 80%,” he said. “A lot of physical sales comes from our bigger artists and we do print-on-demand for our smaller artists, for their mail order or for touring…My stance on file-sharing did not match what my brethren in the music industry believed. I remember giving a keynote speech three or four years ago, and having a lot of pissed off people.”

The following is an edited transcript of my phone conversation with McBride, as he explained the revamping of his label, and the push for crowdsourcing music and having bands run their own labels.

When did you realize how important digital music would be vs. physical music and CDs?

Terry McBride: We started our whole change internally in spring or summer of 2002. We did it really quietly. We had one of these executive team summits. We looked at where everything was going. We looked at the fact that 25 million [CD] sellers would be 5 million sellers. The fact that million sellers would be quarter-million sellers. And how our existing model would work within that. Would we take the same stance, to protect the castle and fight, or was there a different way of doing it?

The interesting thing then was that we had the initial digital data to look at. We saw a lot of what was happening. And we said, ‘Where will all this be in five years, and will we be ready for it?’ There was a conscious decision made at that meeting to get out of the physical music business. So we decided to retool our whole company and over the next two years, that’s what we did. For a company that had had an attrition rate of 1% or 2%, a company of 120 or 150 people, over the next three years we had a turnover of almost 25% a year as we changed almost everything.

Rather than have a marketing team with marketing meetings, and promotion team with promotion meetings and sales team with sales meetings, we got rid of all that and created silos. We created three teams that had everything from Internet to traditional marketing to sales to IT to promotion — all in one group, and got rid of the meetings. So everything you needed for an artist was in that group. There was no heads of marketing. We shifted from 12 traditional marketing people to 3 traditional marketing people and 8 or 9 Internet marketing people.

Then we aggressively went after every DSP [digital service provider] that was interested in music that we had, and we set up a team to deal with the programming of metadata behind what we were actually doing…All of our marketing is not around albums but around bands and brands. Our marketing is about understanding the social elements of songs, of music, of emotions.
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Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend video has more than 109 million views on YouTube

Fortunately we’re a growing business right now. We didn’t protect the castle. We also made the switch at a very good time to make the switch. Avril had broken, Coldplay had broken, Dido was doing amazing, Sarah [McLaughlin] was doing amazing. The Barenaked Ladies were doing amazing. We were flush with cash. If we made those changes now, it would be very very difficult because money is much more tight.

You have been pushing many bands to start their own labels. How did that start?

McBride: That came from a point of view of how do we get collapsed copyright. How do we get an authentic relationship between the artist and the fan? How can we remove everything that we possibly can from the relationship — or between the relationship — of the artist and the fan. Artists owning their own copyrights and being able to be in direct communication is a far more authentic relationship.

There’s a risk and reward to that. If an artist is signed to a major label, then the manager has no risk, but then you’re only getting a commission from publishing and master royalties combined, maybe a maximum of $2 [per CD sale]. With an artist [label], we had to finance it, but we were commissioning off a $5 or $6 net [per sale]. So obviously we get a much better commission, but it’s a much higher risk. With these artist imprints, it takes two to three albums for them to work.

We’ve found in the digital space, that you will sell anywhere between 25% to 50% of your volume from your catalog upon release of any new albums. So you are layering intellectual property. In the digital space, where you don’t need to buy shelf space, if you create the right metadata behind what you’re doing, and market it in an effective way — you’re not marketing the new album, you’re marketing the brand. By the time you make it to album three, you are selling as much of the catalog as the new album, but you don’t have the cost with the catalog and everything starts to make sense.

So I had to get people here to believe in this, and stop people from having a heart attack over the equity we were tying up, which we had no ownership in. But proving the model that you have have an artist like State Radio, which is a great example of an artist who makes a couple hundred thousand dollars a year from intellectual property, which will help finance the next album.
state radio live.jpg

State Radio plays Hartford, CT

Chad [Urmston of State Radio] just played to 2,800 people with a $25 ticket price in New York on the weekend. He’s marketing a brand, he’s not just marketing intellectual property. Now it all makes sense. He’s happy, he owns his future, his audience has grown with him really well. Now everything makes sense to him, where initially he was unknown and had to work from the ground up.

The Internet marketing team and his manager did a spectacular job of understanding who his tribe is and would be. Out of the eight artist imprints that we launched, seven of them are very profitable, but it took time and selling the managers on the fact that there were no commissions to be made to a certain point. If they signed an artist to a major label there was instant commissions. And it took the lawyers years to get their heads around it because they just didn’t believe in it. It’s taken time, but now the managers are looking at a very steady cash flow, and the artists aren’t fighting for their creative freedom but actually using their imagination — and those are two very different things.

For the marketers of music these days, how has their job changed? It used to be about talking to radio and retailers. Now is it about search engine optimization (SEO)?

McBride: Search engine optimization, the ability to write basic code, understanding how social networks and blogs work together, how to connect that interaction back to the sale of music or monetization of behavior or crowdsourcing music. It’s understanding all of those things, and having a very imaginative marketing plan around the artist vs. around a product. It’s really brand marketing. What are the artists’ causes? Are there cause alignments? Are there other brands we can hook up with to align our causes? And if the other brand is bigger, can we give them free music and get exposure to their audience because it’s like-minded tribes?

It’s basically social marketing. It’s understanding social tribes and peer-to-peer interaction that the social networks have taken from a small group of 20 of your peers to 250 of your peers. And not focused on recommendation engines, but the social aspect of recommendations. So it’s not a computer making the recommendation, but social groups doing it. Looking at the technology but not using it for what it was meant for. That’s what the creative arts do. The technologists build something with a certain purpose in mind, and then the creative people take what the nerds have done and take it in a completely different direction than what people saw coming.

You’re doing a lot of crowdsourcing of music, where you put out pieces of music and let people remix them. Is that about engagement and interaction more than business?

McBride: Well it’s both. We started initially with T-shirts. We found out that the T-shirts that the fans designed — even if the artists didn’t like them — the people who went to shows liked them more than the ones that the artists designed. That was consistent whether it was Barenaked Ladies, or Avril or Sarah — the fans’ T-shirts always sold more. The fans would do the designs and vote up the ones they liked, and filter them to the top, and we would take the top 3 voted designs and put them in production. And they were consistently the top sellers out there.

In 2005, we took it a step further by releasing Barenaked Ladies songs in stems [pieces of the music tracks]. That sparked the idea for the guys who created Rock Band. That was more of a remix. Now I’m more about the mix; to hell with the remix! We have an artist named K-OS, and we released all of the stems two weeks ago, and the fans have not heard the album. It’s not due out until March, so they are actually mixing the album. So we will release physically and digitally the artist version and the fan version. And when we go to radio, we will service the artist version and fan version. So we are taking it the rest of the way.

You can even take it beyond that. With K-OS, we’re thinking about having the audience vote on which 10 to 12 cities he plays in Canada. We might even take it one step further: pay as you go not as you enter. And maybe when you leave you get a copy of the fan mix for your donation, so there’s karma pricing on the exit. Let’s take this whole tribal/social interaction the whole way. Everyone including Nettwerk has dabbled with it. We have probably dabbled more than any company with a wide assortment of artists, so we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t work. But with K-OS it’s the first time we’ve gone all the way with it.

It’s almost as if the audience is running the band.

McBride: The audience is the record company…It took a long time to educate the artist, and change the company and educate the managers. It wasn’t like you have to do this. There are still managers at Nettwerk that like signing artists to major labels, but now there are other options. And they are viable options.

If the audience becomes the record label and the artist is gaining more control, where does that leave you? Some people question whether there will be a need for record labels.

McBride: I think it depends. Artists are not going to start companies and do all the business parts of it. They just won’t do it. It would take away from their creative time. There has to be some kind of infrastructure that markets, promotes, and disseminates the intellectual property so the consumer has easy access to it. But as for which companies are going to be doing that, I think that will change. There’s also a generational aspect to this. An older audience still likes to buy CDs. Radio still plays certain artists, so if that’s the kind of tribe you’re a part of, then that’s the road you will travel.

What do you think about the ad-based service like what SpiralFrog tried to do?

McBride: It’s another model, I don’t personally think it’s going to work. It’s a business model and not a consumer model. And it’s definitely not a psychological model. This is about monetizing consumer behavior and not about trying to control where they go. So SpiralFrog is trying to create a destination, but I think you have to have the destination first and then monetize their behavior and not the other way around.

To me, the future of music is really simple. It’s cloud-based servers that have all of the music, TV, movies — whatever it might be. Very rich application-driven PDAs, whether it’s the iPhone or whatever else comes up, that has applications that I have yet to see. Like digital maids or valets, which go out and knows what your musical tastes are and your 20 friends, and finds that music and organizes it — not the actual music but the metadata so you can pull it when and how you want it. You would have a $5 or $10 per month fee for pulling it down. And that’s how it will all end up, because business cannot drive business consumption.

How free loses out is the applications and metadata that makes it really easy. I call it the “hassle factor” — for $5 to $10 you get all the music you want without the pain of having to find it. So you get the new Killers album without even knowing the new Killers album is out, and it’s automatically in your weekend listening folder because your digital valet got it for you. And if you want to know what your buddy Ken’s listening to, then the valet checks out his playlist and copies it over for you.

How did the cases turn out where you were helping legal defenses for fans being sued by the RIAA?

McBride: The latest one just settled. What was key to me was that someone started pushing back, someone pointed out that this is not good for the music business. It wasn’t a battle about copyright because I believe in copyrights. But suing your customers is the worst idea that the RIAA has ever had. And I’m a member of the RIAA, and I think that their actions hurt our business, and I was really upset that they did it. Now I think they would even say now that it wasn’t the right thing to do.

Is the concept of the Long Tail playing out in music, or are these tiny, tiny niches not really viable?

McBride: I call it a squirrelly tail, because the tail is influenced by things happening in the now. It’s not like you leave something and then 18 months later it goes down the tail. Things that you do in the current affect it and move it up the tail, so that’s why I call it the squirrelly tail. The bottom line is that if you have great metadata behind the copyrights that you put out there, and make it easy for people to find, then you can have a very vibrant catalog. If you have a new artist that has some catalog then you can squirrel that tail. You get a song placed on a TV show or movie or videogame, you can squirrel that tail. We have a team that’s all about squirrelling the tail. Digitally, the world is flat; economically, niches work.

When we signed the Weepies five years ago, people were looking at me like ‘Why are you signing a folk-rock band. We cannot get folk rock anywhere, we’ll have to buy shelf space and it will be in the back of Tower Records.’ I was like, ‘You’re not understanding what’s going to happen. Niches become flat. Instead of L.A. becoming a niche for a band, the world is becoming the niche. So if you market them right, niches can be very profitable. If you look at Old Crow Medicine Show and the Weepies, those were the first two artists we signed with that mentality, and we do great with both of those artists. They are both making an amazing living, and they are niche artists.

So it’s not about artists being in a geographical niche, but more of a niche that people like all over the world.

McBride: You know what? Sign the music you love, not music you like, not music you think will sell, because that never works. Believe me, I’ve tried that. When you sign stuff that you love, even if you think no one else will buy it, if you love it, if you work it right, you will find tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people who will buy it.

We don’t have any A&R people, because we’re not out there trying to find the next big thing. People come to us. And if we find something we really love, we go after it. But chances are they came to us first. We stopped having A&R people about five years ago, and helped them find jobs somewhere else. It’s not about finding the next big thing for us; it’s about releasing music that we love, and getting out of the mindset of doing music we like that we think we can sell. We’ve gone from four years ago releasing 15 to 20 albums a year to, I think next year we’ll release close to 60. So you get an idea of what has happened here once we made that mind-shift.

Cheap Online Video Production and Marketing Services

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

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Cheap Online Video Production and Marketing

Email: kurbpromo@gmail.com to talk about your online video production and video marketing requirements! Our service is cheap but still professional, get in touch today. We also specialize in youtube promotions

Alright just a little announcement going on from Kurb as we continue on our mission to give artists and small businesses branding and marketing support that is affordable enough to be worthwhile.

That’s why we’re presenting this dirt cheap online video production and marketing package – because in the beginning, you don’t want to spend heaps on your music videos, you just want to have one.

US$150: 1 of basic dirt cheap videos

US$250: 2 basic dirt cheap videos

US$500: 2 videos + some video marketing

US$600 2 videos and full 3 months video marketing

What do you need?

– Photos

– Titles: A list of titles you want to appear (such as your website etc. – often you might want to have your website visible on the screen throughout the video)

– Footage compressed for the web if you can supply
– Music or other audio content: if you are a musician we’ll want an mp3 to use, if you are a business or other organisation, I am happy to provide music from a pool of legitimate sources free of charge

Payment: Is through Paypal (which accepts Credit Cards) or we have the option of Moneybookers

With Social Media and so much of Web 2.0 technology either you’ve got something up your sleeve to exploit some loophole in the platform or you’re just playing it clean and leveraging as much from your content as possible.

I was talking about using content as promotion in itself; Internet marketers talk about “owning more of the net” creating more online “frontage” and opportunities to be found and connect.

Also, video is a great way to take your website to the next level if it’s still pretty static – by using short online videos to introduce certain products – in the case of musicians this could

One great idea for such a video as I’m describing is to simply serve as advertisement for a product you’re launching – especially an audio product where you can edit the audio yourself to present snippets of your songs, and we can easily work with the material you send us to put corresponding visulas, photos, footage, titles to the music.

Online, it’s worth putting together the kinds of modest video productions we offer simply just to be more visible. If you don’t have a youtube at all, this is a great way to get involved NOW, not months later while you’re preparing the album and juggling a whole lot of creative stuff, put that pot on simmer NOW to get things started and heating up.

FINALLY: We can also set up video portals now too, that is websites like youtube that are awesome if you have a lot of videos you like to upload and present it means we can now add video galleries to sites.

Another cool way to present your content.

New Future Music Business Model Trends

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Do you need music marketing services? I offer a comprehensive service covering all your online needs. it will only cost you $600 but in most cases it will take us AT LEAST 3 months to put a platform together and begin a campaign. If you want a personalised and comprehensive service that is affordable . . .

3 month online music marketing package // $600

Email, me Matt @ Kurb it’s kurbpromo@gmail.com

INCLUDES:

Myspace + Social Media Marketing
Web +Graphic Design
Online Promotion

Youtube Promotion

AND MUCH MORE! Get in touch today!!!

A trend is often most fascinating when it is counter intuitive to an industry’s traditional ways of thinking.

In the music industry, up and coming artists are finding great success by doing the exact opposite of traditional practices. Instead of selling their music, they are giving it away — completely free — on the Internet.

The music industry has been looking for ways to deal with music being distributed via the Internet for almost a decade. During the majority of this time, most of the bigger record labels held a strong stance against placing music on the Internet for any purpose — be it sales, marketing, or promotions.

All efforts put forth by these companies were focused on shutting down websites and software companies that were making music available. Most of their efforts ultimately proved to be in vain, as they could simply not keep up with the rapid pace of Internet growth and expansion.

Smaller record labels had varied strategies in managing their music online. Some attempted to embrace emerging Internet technology by making their music available, while others shied away from using the Internet for anything more than simple web pages.

As more and more companies began assessing the opportunities the Internet provided, many players in the industry began to realize that combating the issue of music being distributed online was a futile fight. Music fans were storing, sharing, and buying music online at an exponentially growing rate. There was no way to avoid it — the industry simply had to devise a way to control it.

At this point, it was quite clear that consumers wanted their music on their computer and portable devices; it was also becoming evident they were quickly adopting new technology and distribution methods. From this arose a tremendous opportunity for musicians that were not yet under contract with any of these record companies.

Instead of forcing consumers to pay for the rights to own and listen to an artist’s music (the traditional practice), independent musicians began giving their music away for free with the hopes of creating awareness of their art and increasing exposure for themselves.

Websites such as MySpace and MP3.com began offering a centralized location for artists to distribute their music for free. These sites have proven wildly successful. MySpace has over 12 million users and is growing rapidly. Sites such as these have provided independent artists an avenue to reach potential fans that was previously only available to those signed to a record company that had a marketing and promotions budget.

The ultimate benefit to these self-financed artists is that CD sales created by this business practice have a significantly higher profit margin than a structured record label would make. Labels spend tremendous amounts of money marketing, promoting, and distributing their product, all of which eats away at their profits.

Typically an artist signed to a record label might net one dollar (US) per CD sold — and that is only after the label has recouped its expenses. An independent artist using free promotion techniques can see as much as twelve dollars (US) profit per CD.

It is this simple math that has inspired many musicians to completely ignore the traditional route of signing with a record company in favor of doing everything on their own.

As record labels rush to develop new ways to both fight and embrace the Internet as a music distribution tool, independent artists continue to capitalize on the new trend of free self-promotion. As more and more Internet sites devote themselves to creating exposure for these artists, an entirely new business model for the entire industry is being developed.