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A Brand Story is necessary to
establish any substantial rapport in the music business. It is almost as essential as the music that is produced. It is the additional component needed, allowing the fan to thoroughly indentify with the musicians. A brand story properly communicates the vision of an organization, as well as fully divulges what the organization stands for. This portion of a marketing strategy is so instrumental because it is what facilitates the interaction between client and "musician" (in this case).The musician can use this portion of their marketing to branch out and separate themselves from their competition. If this is carried out in an efficient manner, it can lead to awareness, which leads to consideration, then trial, and ultimately the buying of the product, as well as the "brand':
A Brand Story should be -Clear (Easy to understand) -Chic (it should possess a flair that draws the audience in)
Eclectic personalities give ytay to eclectic sounds, Funk, Jazz, Rock; and Hip Hop' are all genres that' make up ILL DOOTS.
ILL DOOTSis a Philadelphia based hip hop band which started in 2009 between a few passionate musicians and has since then evolved into a 12 piece live band. The musical force of the ILL Doots began in the fall of 2009, at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The "Doots" began with Jordan McCree and Scotty Ziegler, who met through a mutual friend at the Merriam School of music. The pairs acquaintance led to late nite jam sessions, in which they recreated live versions of the late producer J. Dilla's beats. At an open mic held by the University, Scotty heard Anthony Briggs perform a spoken word piece. He enjoyed Anthony's piece so much that he extended an invitation to a Jam session. Briggs who possessed great rapping ability but little musicality jumped at this opportunity. The jam session was so fruitful that Scotty decided to send Briggs one of his beats titled "impossible" Briggs came to the following jam session with lyrics that fit perfectly with Scotty's musical energy, and thus the "Doots" were formed. The name originated from Briggs and longtime band friend Nick Parker attempting to describe Scotty's beats; "its like some Dilla Shit, some Roots shit ....it's some Doots shit" It was not until four songs into their first album that MC Kirschen Wolford (Tex)was introduced into the group. Tex, a friend of Anthony's, had been at countless Jam Sessions as an observer, but never stepped forward to contribute until the group recorded" Fuckwitable" a song which was done for a school project. Not only did it getTex into the group but it also got Scotty a job in the music tech office, giving him access to the recording studio the band currently uses. Since the groups formation they have released 2 albums, Meteor Music (2010)& Eclipse on the concrete front (2012).They are currently working on their 3rd studio album, which will be comprised of live in-studio instruments. ILL Dootsr'By the people, for the people. Whatever people. We all people" 3
There are several reasons to having a thorough Market Analysis. Whether you are a new musician just starting out, or a well established musician with a large fan base, a Market Analysis is key in the evolution of your career. A Market Analysis will help you further understand the industry you are in and assist you in identifying the different factors that may have an effect on your organization. In the case of musicians, some of these factors are Music Venues, Digital distribution, and Band Merchandise. Depending on the stature of your organization it may be more suitable to hone in on specific regional trends of the market as oppose to National data. This may be more efficient in trying to elevate your organization in whatever area your are in.
Music venues and music performances are how most organizations sustain themselves economically. The key information to have when it comes to music venues is the capacity of the venue, and also their payment methods for artists. Below is a list of the payment methods for some venues specific to the Philadelphia area, that deal with live performances of Rock, Jazz, and Hip Hop bands such as the ILL Doots.
Flate Rate Danger Danger Raven Longue Triumph Jose Pistolas Table 31 M restaurant Le Cochon noire Blockely
Cover Share Little Bar The Fire Chris Jazz Club Dawson Pub The Grape Room The Walnut Room Sprinkle Kingdom *Milk Boy
Tickets North Star Bar Connie Ric Rac TLA Union Transfer Electric Factory World Cafe Live Trocadero
Venues usually pay Musicians by flate rate, Cover share, or tickets. Flate rate is when the artist is paid a flat unvarying fee. Cover Share is when the venue gives the artist a portion of the revenue from the cover charge. Tickets are when the venue gives you a portion of the sales made from the ticket revenue.
Capacity for Venues ILL Doots has played
600 500 400 300 200 100
North Star Bar Triumph
Capacity for Venues ILL Doots wants to play
1200 1000 800 600 400 200
World Cafe Live
Capacity of Venues are important because you can normally gauge your fan population based on how big of a venue you can fill. Though is may cost more, A band who wants to be successful and gain more awareness would aim to fill a bigger venue such as World Cafe Live. Not only are bigger venues indicative of a larger fan base but they also usually draw in bigger revenue stream. 7
In recent years with the advancement of technology & internet boom, the distribution of music has taken a dramatic shift from physical retail to digital. In 2008 the RIAA reported that digital downloads represented approximately 12.8% of music industry revenue. As we are in the height of the internet boom, that number has more than quadrupled in the last 4 years. Currently the digital consumption of music accounts for about 52% of Music industry revenue. Even as general music revenue begins to flatline, Digital music continues to rise in sales. This year music sales increased a marginal .2%, while in steep contrast digital music sales rose 8%.This can be attributed to the popularity of online music stores such as Apple's itunes and the rapid use of P2P's. P2P's is an abbreviation for the phrase peer-to-peer. It is essentially a network of computers that facilitates a file sharing network. One of the most famous P2P'swas Napster, a company shut down in 2001 due to copyright issues. Though Napster ran into legal issues with distributing music, there are plenty of file sharing networks which have adopted a similar model and been able to sustain themselves. Organizations such as Lime Wire, Bear share, and blubster through music pirating put a damper on digital music sales, but they also offer a powerful tool to the up and coming indie musician. Though many musicians and record labels have negative opinions about the digital distribution of music because of pirating, it can reap many benefits for musicians. An artist's song is now more accessible than ever before because of the internet. Instead of relying on publicity from radio stations, or record labels, an artist can use these digital constructs to create awareness for themselves. Band songs can go viral in a matter of hours, if one uses the proper channels. Sites like youtube, pandora, facebook, myspace give the independent artist a whole new arsenal. It can even be more helpful in cases such as the ILL Doots who possess a very minimal fanbase, and are looking to expand.
ILL DOOTS vs LP STILES
ILL DOOTS LPSTILES
established is indicative
The above graph is an comparison you can see that there is a dramatic of the amount
the III Doots and in numbers. This chart
Jazz/Hip Hop indie band LP Stiles. Looking at this chart, difference of fan support behind each band. The A stronger larger venues.
online presence of LP Stiles is what a band of ILL Doots stature needs to work towards in order to become more successful. presence online means a bigger fan base and a bigger fan base leads to a bigger draw, which can help a band in booking repeatedly playas The online presence and draw that LP Stiles has allows them to a house band at World Cafe Live (see Music venues), like to play. a venue the ILL Doots would
Per song Spotify Deezer Amazon Itunes Band camp .0004 cents .009 cents 70% of sale 70% of sale Per Album .042 cents .075 cents 70% of sale 70% of sale Subscribers 3 Million 1.5 Million 66 Million 225 Million 250,452 bands
88% of sale
88% of sale
The hassle of trying to sell physical copies of albums and Ep's can be daunting for a band that is just getting off the ground. Though there are avenues online where a band can release their music for free, there are also sites which will generate revenue for musicians. There are online music stores such as Amazon ,Itunes, and band camp, which will give you a percentage of the sell from your album or song. Then there are online music streaming services such as spotify which will pay the artist based on the amount of plays their song or album gets.
Cd's, Hats, Posters, stickers, buttons, especiallyT-shirts are major factors when discussing independent musicians. Merchandise can be a productive revenue stream for any artist. There was a point in time where an artist could sustain themselves based on their album sales but in this digital age even major artist can't rely solely on profit from their music. A merchandise table should always be set up at whatever venue the band is playing because fans will be more inclined to buy band items after performances. In many cases the merch table can lead to a more profitable gig.
Now that we have gone over two key elements of the business of music (Brand Story and Market Analysis), we can go over Marketing strategies that can be employed in order to maximize a bands fan base, and profit. It is essential to have a plan of action when trying to establish yourself as an organization. In this portion I offer tips and guidlines which benefit Independent Musicians. The following examples in this section are from alternative Hip Hop band ILL Doots, who used some of these strategies at my direction.
Strong Online Presence
In order for any band to be successful, they need to have a strong online presence. This can only be done by hitting as many digital avenues as possible. Prior to meeting me, the ILL Doots released most of their music through the site Bandcamp.com, which is a site that a lot of bands use to distribute their music. They strayed from using too many sites to distribute their music because they wanted their fans to be able to get all of their material from a central location. We bypassed that issue by using a platform that could connect to multiple sites while still possessing all the bands material, Tumblr. This way we were able create and connect the bandsYoutube, Twitter, Facebook, Bandcamp, Vimeo and Itunes account.
Be Consistent Artist can lose fans just as easily as they can acquire them. One of the easiest ways for a band to lose fans is to be out of touch with them. Not releasing new material frequently enough can cause a band to not be relevant, and when a band isn't relevant people tend to forget them. The material doesn't always have to be music, it can be a commentary on a new song, a video on a venue the band may have played, or even a blog post. One of the ways the band and I tried to sidestep this problem was by having a weekly cypher. A freestyle rap session, where the two MC's of the band would rap over instrumentals created by the bands producer. To keep it fresh every week, the band would bring on a new guess, either an new MC or new producer. This was very successful in the sense that it became somewhat of a show for the bands fanbase to look forward to. They also served as advertisement. Watching the videos could lead people who haven't heard of the ILL Doots to look up their music
Sell Merchandise This may be apparent to most bands but not every band has material to sell. They may not have the funds or the creative means to produce their own merchandise. In the case of the ILL Doots, they really didn't have either. The only thing they had were stickers that they were giving away for free to broaden their fan base. So with some human ingenuity and favors from friends, we were able to create items for them. We knew that we really didn't have any money, so a lot of the material would be created by hand. Screen printed Posters, T shirts, and CD's in packaging made from butchers paper didn't come off cheap but conveyed a sense of DIY which aligned with the bands music.
Give it away People often underestimate the power of giving. In an industry where Album sales are in the toilet, many artist have been giving their music away. Most people aren't willing to buy music from bands that they don't know. Giving music away won't hurt band profit much, plus if they like it then you may have acquired a fan who is willing to pay to come to live shows and buy merchandise. Not only did we give away ILL Doots music but we also gave away merchandise to create more buzz. When people saw their friends with a shirt, poster, or sticker they wanted one too, so they could feel like they were apart of the band.
Document Show people what they missed. Record performances, video or audio based and put them online so people can experience it virtually, giving them an idea of what your show is like. This may influence them to come out to your next show. Documentation of the ILL Doots performances was a great help to the band because it showed that their concerts are more like parties and possess a lighthearted fun element.
Before and after applying strategies
.--. Video Hits ---
.____ Plays per month
Downloads per month
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