Sunday, November 05, 2006

World Music Promotion

Although America is the number one destination for many recording artist, there is a whole world and numerous markets where your non-American music can thrive. There are also fans in America (ex-pat's etc) who would love to have your music in their CD or MP3 player.

The key to selling to the world music market is being authentic and giving your fans the experiences that provides nostalgic inspiration. We know many artist who try too hard to "Americanize" their sound to appeal to the American music market. The key to success in the world music market is being authentic and appealing to the life-group that you want to be your fans.

A life-group is a group of people who share similar interest. Music is definitely an area where many people of diverse backgrounds and experiences share an interest in various forms of music. For instance in America there are many fans of artist like Irish Singers Maura O'Connell, Luka Bloom and many others.

The task is to market and promote your music to World Music Fans. To do this, you'll need to:
Define your target life-group
  • Find ways to get those in your music life-group involved with your music
  • Communicate the benefits of your music to those in your life-group
  • Convert those people from specators to fans
  • Convert your fans into customers

The best way to do achieve all of the steps above is to get your music out on the Internet where people will be able to listen to your music. There are many music submission sites that will allow you to showcase and sell your music around the world to fans who are willing to buy your music.

The Succeed In the Music Biz Staff has a list of the best music submission sites for you to upload your music to start getting your fans involved.


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Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm on the fence. DRM (Digital Rights Management) doesn't seem to be the monster that everyone is making out to be. Sure the have been bug's and even some screw-ups with some DRM sofware, but all software has some bug or glitch when first deployed.

I don't see why those who oppose DRM do so. The DRM opposition hasn't made a strong case. They simply state "DRM is wrong". Why is it wrong to protect the rights to your creative works? From the beggining of civilizaton artist would use their creative imagination to produce timeless works of art and get paid for it. Many aritsts support thier families using their creativity and talent. Artist at every level should be able to get paid for thier work. If some data can be embedded into the work, whereby preventing someone from stealing that work, I'm definately down for it.

At this point, I'm waiting for a DRM supporter to give me vaild reasons why DRM is as evil as it's sometimes made to seem.


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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

K. and I were watching Akeela and the Bee recently and I heard a quote that I had to track down and share with you.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?

You are a child of God, small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of god that lives in us. It is not in some of us, it is in all of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others."

- Marianne Williamson in Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles Wishing you success,Jeronimo BlackSucceed in the music biz with

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Success in the Music Business Requires Strategy

If you are an artist, musician, producer, singer, songwriter, manager or producer you need to keep two things in mind to be successful. Strategy and tactics. Strategy is the destination and tactics are the moves you make to get to your destination. The secrets of an effective strategy are the tactics. The most successful music acts that I’ve seen have had some sort of strategy that guided them to the success.

Recently, while listening to Janet Jackson’s latest release, 20 Y.O., I noticed the tactics that Janet, “Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty” uses as part of her chart topping strategy.

1.) Have at least two radio friendly cross-over singles

2.) Have at least two club friendly singles

3.) Have a couple of slow Jams

4.) Provide personal / political interlude’s

Janet Jackson publicity tactics are as follows;

1.) Take provocative pictures for magazines

2.) Conduct limited interviews and provide few details of her personal life. Thus leaving the press to speculate and gossip which generates awareness for Ms. Jackson’s Brand.

Any recording artist or music business professional can utilize the same tactics and strategy as the major music stars. The secret is to first, define your strategy then determine your tactics. As a music producer in the mid 1990’s I recorded a group that had a great strategy. This group booked a recording session with me to record a demo for them.

The demo was to showcase their ability to play live at Night Clubs. In our three hour session, we recorded and mixed a cover of “Before I You Go” by Blackstreet. After recording the demo, the group sent their demo to club managers across the U.S. Their tactic was to use the demo to be heard and their strategy was to play live in Night Clubs. The last time I spoke with them they were making a living by playing cover songs in Night Clubs all over the U.S.

The thing that impresses me most about successful artist in music business is how they apply their tactics to make their strategy successful.

Strategy has always separated the music legends from the one hit wonders. In the 1940’s through the mid 1980’s one of the tactics often used by recording artists to get airplay was to make radio friendly hits. By the mid 1980’s recording artist were making MTV friendly music video’s.

Just as successful artists in the past recorded radio and video friendly singles, today’s recording artists must include tactics to get noticed on the Internet. As an artist you should ask yourself the following questions;

1.) Do I have a YouTube friendly single?

2.) Do I have a compelling Myspace presence?

3.) Does my story / bio endear me to fans?

Outlining your tactics will help you develop a solid strategy. Having a solid strategy will bring you that much closer to success in the music business.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

All You Need To Succeed In the Music Industry
Part one
Jeronimo Black

I declare 2006 as the year when the Internet took over the music business. Website’s like Myspace, YouTube, and Soundclick among others have become the “go to” sites for fresh hip musical experiences. Gnarls Barkley, a collaboration of Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and Cee-Lo (Thomas Callaway), had outstanding success with the single Crazy.

Gnarls Barkleys’ promotional success in the music industry started on the Internet. Once Crazy was one of the top downloaded songs on sites like iTunes, the mainstream media took notice. Eventually the song jumped from the Internet to multiple radio stations in various formats. Urban (Hip-Hip & R&B), Top 40 and even some Hot Adult Contemporary stations started spinning Crazy and the rest is history from their debut project CD St. Elsewhere.

Panic at the Disco has suffered through an enviable year of radio and T.V. spins. The band's video of I Write Sins Not Tragedies is among YouTubes’ most-viewed videos, having been streamed more than 5 million times. The song I write Sins Not Tragedies got so many spins on MTV’s TRL, that the band feared fans would view them as mainstream – a tragedy that no Indie-artist would wish on their worst enemy.

DJ Webstar most recently has found success in the music business with his single Chicken Noodle Soup. At last count, the single had over 49,000 streams on YouTube. Radio stations and music video channels are now playing the single. There was a time when the Internet was only an extension of an artists marketing strategy.

Today the Internet is the marketing strategy. Still, many recording artists are using old school music promotion tactics.

The formula for success in yesterday’s music business was;

1.) Produce commercially viable music
2.) Make it widely available (record stores, music clubs etc)

3.) Use radio and T.V. ‘spins’ to promote the music

Yesterday’s music business required a substantial promotion budget and established relationships with key decision makers in radio and T.V. Yesterday’s music artists would spend years touring, shaking the hands of key influencers in the music business and praying that they would be able create mass awareness and sales.

Today an artist can produce music that my not sound commercially viable or be widely available but still find an audience with thousands or millions of fans. The formula for success in today’s music business is;

1.) Produce music

2.) Make it easily available (music submission sites, YouTube, Myspace etc.)

3.) Make people aware of your music

In 2006 and beyond, all you need to know to succeed in the music industry is how to effectively use the Internet to make people aware of your music.

All You Need To Succeed In the Music Industry
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Ugly Truth about Music Management

Are you an artist who thinks that if you just had a manager to guide you music career you would "make it in the music business"?

Well if you are, smack yourself.

Just as there is no magic bullet to success in the music business, there is nothing a Music Business Manager can do for you that you can't do for yourself.

Let's look at what a manager does:

A manager is primarily responsible for building your Music Business brand. A Music Business Manager also handles the organizational and administrative aspects of your career in the Music Business. Back in the day, it good Music Business Managers could charge their percentage based on the fact that they had "connections" with A&R Reps, Entertainment Lawyers, Media Outlet's etc.. That was back in the day. Sure, there are still home high-powered Music Business Managers out there, but they are a dying breed.

Today's best Music Business Managers are often the artists themselves. Many artist's, in the Music Business book their own shows, sell their own products and market themselves way better than any manager (with a long client list) could do.

The Ugly Truth About Music Business Management is: If you are not your own Music Business Manager, you are shooting yourself in the foot with it. In TODAY'S Music Business, you must be able to wear a creative hat as well as a business persons hat.We've all heard horror stories of Music Business Managers ripping their artist off.

The most famous recent example is Ruben Studdard. I was reported that Rubens' Manager [allegedly] ripped the R&B Teddy Bear, off so bad that Ruben couldn't afford to buy a home of his own. I also have a friend who who booked Ruben for a concert in 2005.

As the story goes, the deal was done, Ruben even flew coach to make the show happen. When Ruben got off of the plane his manager hadn't secured any money in advance. Of course, Mr. Studdard didn't perform and my friend lost a great promotion and multiple thousands of dollars.If you are your own Music Business Manager, you'll most likely have the best client and the best manager.Wishing you success in the Music Business,Jeronimo!! BlackDiscover the secrets of success in TODAY'S Music Business at

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Ugly Truth About Passion

"Give me the song and I'll sing it like I mean it. Give me the words and I'll say them like I mean it."

- The Feeling : "Sewn"

One day it hit me like a flying microphone - blam. I finally understood what makes the greatest artists great. What made Tupac Shakur, Elvis Prestly, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Dizzy Gilespe, Ray Charles, Bob Marley and others superstars? Passion. Fans of the late-great artists (and some living artists) have a passion for the stars ability to make the fan feel. Any feeling will do.

Tupac Shakur introduced us to Thug Passion. Rod Steward even made fans feel sexy at one time. Mick Jagger, John Mayer, Bille Holiday, Nat King Cole, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Ladysmith Black Mambasso and others have made fans feel something.

Rock fans feel the energy, R&B fans feel the music, Folk fans feel the meaning, Hip-Hop fans feel respect, Country fans feel admiration but, all fans feel somthing.

Fans will spend two days pay (often more) paying to be near an artist who makes them feel something. It's like going on a date and never being able to talk to the date. I wonder if that's why concert shows are often referred to as tour "dates"?

Any way.

The ugly truth is that passion isn't always pretty. Passion isn't always in style. But if your passion is real, people will feel "something".

As former radio station Music Director, I've seen hundreds of packages for artists. One of the first things I listened for, in artists, was passion. If there was no passion there was no airplay.

When I managed my college radio station, I was able to build an entire an entire format of songs that college kids where passionate about.

If you have passion then you will have fans.

I'm wishing you success in the music business.

Jeronimo!! Black
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Monday, September 04, 2006

Songs and artists that are currently selling are not the only thing that will sell. You say "duh", but most get on the current bandwagon with the same old tired sound and song structure and then wonder why they cant get a record deal or get their songs cut or wonder why people arent buying their music.

You will have to learn to think outside the box. Think back through the music era as of late and look at all of the styles and how music has progressed from big band, to the Beatles to the many 70s rock bands to Boston, to the new Chicago (David Foster) albums to the slicker pop artists of the nineties with the barrage of improved keyboard sounds to today.

Now I know that we could list hundreds to thousands of bands here, but for the sake of time I think you get the idea.

Are you really thinking about the next layer of the musical cake? What will that sound like? What are you currently doing to write not just off the wall music and productions to sound different, but music that will be the next level of the music era that people will look back at as a turning point in music history?

There are numerous outlets on the web that most everyone is familiar with where up and coming acts can review and contact the writers or artists to obtain permission to record their music. The flood of sites available is astounding. As a writer or singer, comb through these sites and listen for not only valid recording material, but for ideas and ways to steer your next production close enough to mainstream marketable music, but close enough to the edge where your music and production sound fresh and new. See, its not that easy. Its easy to write it here as a valid idea, but significantly harder to put into practice.

As we close, I will offer a few suggestions, and I am well aware that many claim to have the answers, but I will just remain confident that you are building your career, making career corrections as needed along the way and are practicing your craft, not merely as an art, but as a way to get a recording contract or plain get your songs cut by a major recording artist.

Writers do get significantly better with their writing and productions over time keep doing it. Dont be afraid to admit it when either your music or production isnt working, but keep looking up, because there is hope in your admitting it and moving forward and learning how to better you productions. Dont have an attitude about your music or the ability to change it, but dont necessarily change it at every beckoning, because someone else claims to always have the superior idea.

Lastly, just hang in there, keep at it and dont be afraid.

Wishing you success in the music biz!

Jeronimo!! Black

For more free tips on succeeding in Today's Music Biz log onto

Mr. Gauger is a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency and founder of You may contact the author at Free e-books The Jingle Singers Guide, and Secrets To Great Song Demos, may be downloaded at

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Are You Ready to Get A Record Deal?

Getting a Record Deal can be a real challenge but it's not impossible . If you really want a Record Deal you must be able to answer these questions first.

Are You Talented?

You don't need any talent to get a Record Deal, but not having talent will guarantee that you won't sell many records. Talent comes in many forms and you don't need to be able to sing, rap, or play an instrument like a virtuoso, but you do need some form of talent.

Talent Defined (Key Term):

We define talent as "the ability to get people to pay you for what you do". Many people are critical of popular artists like Brittney Spears, Madonna and a lot of today’s rapper's. Some wonder how these so called talent-less individuals ever received a record deal. One thing all artists with record deals have is talent. The artists who have record deals have some form of talent. You must be talented to get a record deal.

Can You Entertain?

In today's music biz, the ability to entertain beats the ability to sing. If you want a record deal you have to be good at entertaining. Record Companies are looking for people who can compel fans to buy the artists music, attend shows, and conduct compelling interviews in the media.

Definition of Entertainment:

We define entertainment as "the ability to provide value to those who pay attention to you". There are a many comedians who can't sing, but they fill venues that seat thousands of people because they can entertain. As an artist, if you can entertain you can get a record deal.
Value is anything that produces positive a result. What is your value? What positive results does your music or brand provide?

To get a record deal, you’ll need to have proven results. The days of record companies signing talent on the hunch of an A&R rep are over. Today, getting signed is about the value (in dollars) that your music brings to the record label.

Talent isn’t a value unless it produces a positive result. I’ve seen many people talk about having talent and I almost believe them – until I see or hear them perform. More importantly, talent isn’t talent unless someone will pay for it.

Can you make your fans feel your emotion? Do your fans get excited when you are around? Do your fans get turned on when they see a photo of you? Can you look good on T.V.? Can you relate to a specific market? Do your fans ‘bob’ their heads when they hear your music? Do your fans find your lyrics cleaver or inspirational? These are all values, because they present a positive result for your fans.

What is Your Fan Conversion Rate?

Do you have a huge fan base? How many of your fans have purchased your music?
In [music] business, numbers and ‘conversions’ (the amount of consumers that actually pay for your product) are the new name of the game. In the music business your fans are your potential consumers. You have to convert your fans into paying consumers. More importantly, you have to have proof of your fan to consumer conversions. Once you have a high fan conversion – or sales rate, you’ll in be ready to get a record deal.

Keep records off all of your sales to fans.

Keeping a record of your sales will help to keep your music business career honest. You may be able to inflate your sales numbers, but it can also ruin your credibility. Know how many people are listening to your music and then buying your music. For a record label the ability to ‘forecast’ how well your music or band will sell in the marketplace is based on prior results. Business always looks backward to plan the way forward. In the music business, your past success is a prediction of your future success. Assure the record labels that their investment in music or brand will be successful and you will get a record deal.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nobody Said The Music Business Was Going To Be Easy

It truly is a jungle out there -filled with: snakes, rats, rabid carnivores, sharks…well, you get the picture. In the course of your musical journey, there will be confrontations, arguments, misunderstandings, and miscommunications. You’ll get jerked around, screwed over, ripped off and disrespected.

So, you want to be a rock star? Welcome to your nightmare.

But this is also a business of good people, who’ll give you opportunities and chances and help you out when you least expect it. That’s why it’s so important that you, as musicians and as a band, act professionally and respectfully regardless of the behavior of those you encounter. You don’t have to be a pushover and of course, you have a right to defend yourself against the questionable actions of others, but the music community can be a very small town and the behavior you exhibit will follow you throughout your musical career.

On the flipside of that, there are musicians out there who, either knowingly or unknowingly bring negativity on themselves through their own actions. Short temperedness, egocentricism, brazen entitlement, compulsive lying and just plain old psychotic behavior can brand your band as troublemakers and deprive you of important opportunities that you need to move forward in this business.

So, how can you make sure that you’re doing onto others as you wish they would do onto you? What can you, as musicians do, to eliminate aspects of your personality that may be causing bad blood between you and the people you run across on your way to superstardom?
The following are a few tips that may help you to make sure you’re exhibiting professional behavior at all times:

1.) Be Timely And Courteous
Whether you’re playing out live or emailing booking inquiries from home, there is never a substitute for courteously or timeliness. At gigs, show up when you’re supposed to, be friendly, treat others with respect, set up quickly, end your set on time, break down quickly, be mindful of other bands on stage, compliment those around you and don’t forget simple things like, “please” and “thank you.” When you leave a positive impression in people’s minds, you’ll be high on their list when it comes time to fill an open booking slot, recommend a band for a review, etc.

2.) Make Sure Your Actions Match Your Words
It’s such a simple thing but you’d be surprised how many musicians seem incapable to doing what they say they’re going to. If you book a gig, show up and play. If you say you’re going to bring twenty friends and fans to your gig, do it. If you reserve an ad in a local music magazine, pay for it. If you write a check, make sure that it doesn’t bounce. If you say you’re going to send out a press package or a CD, mail it. It is true that many people in the music business are distrustful of bands that they don’t know, and with good reason in many instances. Build your good reputation in the industry by proving that you will do what you’ve promised. Start small. Once you’ve gain people’s trust, you’ll see more and more doors opening up for your band.

3.) Take The High Road
It may be tough but there’s nothing to be gained from returning someone’s improper behavior with a heap-load of your own. That doesn’t mean that you need to let every industry slime-bag from New York to LA ride roughshod all over your music project but there are ways to deal with the negative behavior in this business without branding yourself with a label equally as negative. Sending firm yet professional letters, making intelligent and informed phone inquiries and, if need be, taking legal action against those who have acted inappropriately are ways to handle unpleasant situations without drawing negative attention to yourself. Public scenes, yelling and screaming, long-winded and ranting emails, threats and accusations and spiteful actions may make you feel vindicated but it may chase away the good people as well as the bad and that just sets your band back.

4.) You Can’t Undo What You’ve Already Done
It’s much harder to undo past bad behaviors, or reverse negative reputations than it is to foster positive ones. It’s best when starting out to avoid acting rash as a rule. If you have a band member that is incapable of keeping his or her cool, perhaps it’s time to rethink his or her place in your group. The entertainment industry has a long memory and a spiteful tongue. Make sure when people speak of you, they’re speaking well.

This may all seem like such common sense that it isn’t even worth mentioning but you’d be surprised how many shows, interviews, tours, and record deals have never materialized because of burned bridges.

You may have talent and great tunes, but if your attitude sucks you’ll get passed over time and again. No one wants to work with rage-aholics, egomaniacs or crazies. Don’t let anyone think that’s what your band is about. Sure it’s important to be creative geniuses but if no one likes you, you’ll be performing your masterpieces in the garage for grandma and her Pomeranian. Get smart and treat people right and you may find yourself rockin’ all the way to the bank.

Sheena Metal is a radio host, producer, promoter, music supervisor, consultant, columnist, journalist and musician. Her syndicated radio program, Music Highway Radio, airs on over 700 affiliates to more than 126 million listeners. Her musicians’ assistance program, Music Highway, boasts over 10,000 members. She currently promotes numerous live shows weekly in the Los Angeles Area, where she resides. For more info:

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Jeronimo!!! Black

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Ugly Truth About Radio Airplay

This is a real post, from a real DJ. It was ripped from a popular radio insider website:

"Our PD has recently told us that we must only play songs in the mixes that are in the station's rotation. It seems that they are automatically assuming that if we are playing a song that is not in rotation then it must be payola.

I'm simply trying break new songs. I dj at several clubs and get mad response on several cuts that I'm not allowed to play in the radio mixes. I don't stray to far from the playlist, I might introduce one new song per 20min mix. What is wrong with that?

I know that payola exists. What has me puzzled is what or who determines the music rotation and why can't new songs be introduced by none other than the PD? especially when the PD is over 50yrs old and does not have a ear for this so called music that is out today.

Our station plays a lot of unheard of artists that do not have hits but yet when we try to introduce a hit during the mixshows we are not allowed. So, my question is, who is really getting paid for play? I realize the PD is the boss but I don't understand why the playlist is so tightly controlled, especially when we are in a market without competition. "

** Moral of the story** don't waste your time trying to get radio airplay. There are too many other outlets that you can use to expose your music and they don't require paying some 50 year old, out of touch PD (Program Director) who is only concerned with keeping his job.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

My Suggestions for Bio Writing

LOL...Ok, so, I'm clicking around the web checkin' for hot new artists and something that never fails to make me laugh are these bio's written in the third person. These insanely funny Bio's usually usually go something like this:

"Hailing from somewhere between sonic decadence and inspired writing is the artist known as Stupid Bio Writer . Stupid Bio Writer started his career in the back of the classroom with a pointed dunce cap on. As a little boy Stupid (as he would become known as) always knew that he would one day do something so important that he could afford to talk about himself in the third person. Because his music is mediocre, he feels a need to make himself seem bigger than his fans, who he provides no inspiration..." Bla Bla Bla

When I was Music Director, at numerous Radio Stations, I would always make fun of the idiots who wrote, or allowed, someone to write a Bio for them, that spoke in the third person for the artist.

Here's my suggestion, do not write your Artist Bio in the third person. Fans want to feel like they know something about you - not about your publicists writing ability. If you are an aritst, you must write your Bio, in a fashion, that allows those interested in you - to learn about you.

Try something like this: "I was born and raised in Detroit. My musical influences are wide, because I grew up listening to every kind of music from Classic Rock to Disco to Motown to early punk and new wave. As I grew up I fell in love with Hip-Hop and have been producing beats every since..."

The key with writing Bio's is, truth trumps creativity. Keep it real with your Bio's and your success at impressing people will greatly improve.

Jeronimo Black
PS. Check out this hot new artist:

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Using Your Heart To Sell More Of Your Music To Fans

Public Relations (PR) in the music business seems to be dead. The days of red hot recording artist warming the hearts of fans have been frozen in time by cold yet ubiquitous marketing tactics.

Artists used to stay at the top of their fans hearts by doing really cool things for their fans. Artists used visit fans in the hospital, dedicate songs at concerts, to fans who were sick or dying, and artists used to actually meet the President's of their fan clubs.

If artists are going to differentiate themselves and sell more records to fans, they are going to have to start what I call "Heart Marketing" . Heart Marketing involves touching the hearts of fans - or, more importantly, showing the fans that the artist has a heart.

For example; Ludacris went to the school of one of his[female]fans to perform at a pep rally. "Luda " did this just as the media was starting to bash him for his lyrics ("move bitch..."). Needless to say, Luda's critics all fell silent (for the moment) after this great show of heart (PR). Oprah Winfrey (one of Luda's most powerful critics) even had Ludacris on her show, as a panelist for the movie Crash.

Most major labels and artists have ignored the fact that fans are more than money. Fans have feelings and can be moved to buy more units with Heart Marketing. Artists can turn fans into artist advocates and walking talking advertizements with one act of kindness.

Rascal Flatts, while accepting a Country Music (CMA) Award, in 2006, sent a shout out to a woman who was not doing well in the hospital - that's Heart Marketing. Country Music has Heart Marketing down to a science. Other formats should really consider Heart Marketing as part of it's overall marketing strategy.

Heart Marketing is a win win for everybody. All labels need to consider that fans look to artists for more than just music. Fans look to artists for many things including; inspiration, style and the ability to stir their emotions.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Ugly Truth
About gifts and airplay

I'm really pissed. As I was clicking around the web today I came upon a blog that suggested that an artist can get airplay by sending pizza or some other gift to a radio station - WTF?

Providing a gift of any kind to a radio station is considered Payola - Plugola. A radio station employee (Program Director, Music Director, Air Talent etc) cannot accept any gift, from any artist, or record company in exchange for promotional consideration or airplay. No radio station (nor any smart DJ) will take the chance. Between the fines, the possible criminal record, the embarrassment and possibly ruining their career, no smart radio employee will accept your gift (or money).Don't waste your time trying to get radio airplay. I know that game and it's stacked against Indie Artists - in favor of Major Label Artists.

All the best,
Jeronimo Black

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Monday, July 24, 2006

What is more important in today's music business?

A.) Having a great sound?
B.) Executing a great marketing strategy?

If you chose "B", you may be on your way to stardom. In today's music business, having an effective web marketing strategy can make the difference between you being a local, national or international music star.

A key element in your web marketing strategy should be the selection of your bands name. Why? Because your bands name will also become your bands keyword on the Internet.

I'm sure you've heard of references to AOL Keywords, but AOL isn't the only place where people use keywords for search. Google, Yahoo, MSN, ASK and many other search engines use keywords to help millions of people find what they are looking for on-line.

If someone is looking for information about your band on the Internet, they are most likely, going to type your bands name into a search engine. When the search engine returns the results, you'll want your website, or your myspace page to be in the top of the listings.

My suggestion is to choose a crazy (or very creative) keyword. A crazy band name, when used as a keyword, will help your listings in search engines beyond your wildest imagination.

For example, let's examine two keywords for two music acts - "Panic At the Disco", a rock band and "Algebra" a soul and r&b group. When I Googled Panic at the Disico, Google returned 10,300,000 results. On the first page of Googles search results, every listing led me to information about the rock band, Panic At the Disco.

The very first Google listing, for Panic at the Disco, was for the bands video "It's Better If You Do". The second listing for Panic at the Disco was their bands website, The third result was Panic At the Disco at The fourth result was Panic at the Discos' myspace page. Fith was Panic at the Disco lyrics.

Get the picture? The first page in Googles' search results were all Panic at the Disco. Panic at the Disco is on an Indie Label.

Now let's briefly look a Algebra, a R&B Group on a Major Label.

I Googled Algebra, and you can guess my results. The term "Algebra" returned 86,000,000 results in Google. Algebra, the R&B Group wasn't listed anywhere in the first 10 pages of results. Most people doing searches will not dig past page two - in any search engine. The likelihood of the R&B Group Algebra, having any success on the Internet (from a marketing stand-point) is very slim.

So the lesson to be learned here is: choose a crazy or creative keyword and band name. With a crazy keyword people can find you easily on the Internet and that can improve your on-line marketing efforts by over 100%

To learn more about succeeding in today's music business, visit my website,

Wishing you music success.

Jeronimo Black

Click Here to Discover the Secrets of Success in Today's Music Business. Or log onto

Thursday, July 20, 2006

If you are a Hip-Hop Artist, then you should know Wendy Day, founder of Rap Coalition.

Below is a great article broadcast yesterday on NPRs' MarketPlace.

All the best,

Click Here to Discover the Secrets of Success in Today's Music Business. Or log onto

Monday, July 17, 2006

While chillin' with my son today, he casually said to me "Man I just want to get a record deal so I can get my music out there.." When he said that, I would have pulled out my hair if I hadn't shaved it off this morning.I told my son "it isn't really difficult to start a record label..." He then replied "I don't think I have the money to start one..." Now, I'm thinking about pulling out my eyebrows because he obviously hasn't been to my website. I have a free article that basically gives away the information on starting a record label.I informed my son that "...starting a record label only cost about $500 - max. Of course, I encouraged him to check out my website and read the article Start Your Own Record Label. I hope he checks out the article and I hope you do to.All the best,Jeronimo!!

Click Here to Discover the Secrets of Success in Today's Music Business. Or log onto

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Women: Band Together to Re-tune the Sound of Today's Music
by Jeronimo Black

If you're a woman in the Music Business, I know you're tired of talentless 'Fem-bots' and their pop drivel. I know you're tired of the music charts being stacked with artist who amount to lip-gloss and boobs on legs. If you're a woman in music, you must be sick of truly compellingly emotive lyrics being ignored, while bubble-gum limericks top the music charts.

You may ask yourself, "how is it that my songs reach deep into the soul of every woman, but I can't reach more than a few?" If you've asked [or your close friends] this, the answer is inside of you.

What organizations are you a part of? There are many Women in music organizations that can help you with your music. From songwriting, to music promotion, there are many organizations that serve Women in music. To get started, check out Browse around and join some of the Women in music groups.

In the Music Business, a woman's need for individuality, and the need to be 'the one', is only reinforcing the sonic glass ceiling in the Music Business. The sonic glass ceiling the invisible organizational barrier that prevents many women, in the music biz, from attaining the results, they desire from the Music Business.

The women who do succeed in the Music Business, use their leadership abilities to force cracks in the sonic glass ceiling and burst into the stratosphere. This article provides some tips that Women in music should consider in order to dance in the stratosphere.

Click Here to Discover the Secrets of Success in Today's Music Business. Or log onto

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Digi-Indie Label: The New Sound Wave of the Future

The Major Labels have been known to be unfair to artists. Many Major Label artist are now speaking up about, Major Label shady accounting practices, non-disclosure clauses and delayed payments.

On the postitive side, Major Labels have a great promotion and distrbution structure. This means that if your project is released, the the chances of it being properly promoted and makes money increases greatly.

Although, many talented artists signed to a Major Label, have had projects put on hold, or, "shelved". It's been reported that Alicia Keys was shelved by her first record company because the A&R staff couldn't hear a market for her material(WTF!??).

Major Labels are not the way to go (IMO).

Many Indie Labels fail within the first three years (like your average business). Although Indie Labels are dedicated to the creative proccess,they often lack the capital or connections to compete with and beat the majors at selling records.

There is a third way - a better way that allows you to control your own works. I call it a Digi-Indie Label. A Digi-Indie Label is an Independent Label that is digital based.

A Digi-Indie Label has it's headquarters in your inside of your computer. With a Digi-Indie Label, you can record your material, manage the administrative, promotion, marketing, distribution and sales of your material all from your computer.

I personally think that the Digi-Indie Label is the next wave of the music business.

Click Here to Discover the Secrets of Success in Today's Music Business. Or log onto

Friday, July 07, 2006

One Reason Why Radio Won't Play Indie Music
And What You Can Do About It

by Jeronimo Black

As I clicked on a popular music business forum, I was greeted with a question. The question was posted was "why won't commercial radio play music by Indie Artists?"

My reply to this person was as follows:

"As a former Operations Manager and Music Director on both the Comm and Non-Comm sides, Let me break the reason down for you.

Commercial Radio needs ratings to get paid from advertisers. Most advertiser's, on radio, are ad agencies. Ad agencies base their "buys" (sponsorships) on a Cost per point ("CPP") basis. CPP is based on how many thousands of listeners a radio station can capture in a 15 minute period (or cume).

Many commercial radio [Program and Music] don't want to put thier ratings at risk, by airing an 'untested song' on the air. So what these commercial radio directors do, is, air music based on the national charts provided by Radio and Records, Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) and Billboard.

These charts are mainly influenced by the major labels via promotions and strategic alliances.

Your best best is to do like Knarles Barkley. Knarles Barkleys' single "Crazy" went #1 on the internet and radio couldn't help but to get them the single on the air.

Get your music on music submission sites, make some noise on the net, and get a account so you can get your music on iTunes and start promoting.

I suggested this because the music business is going digital. Clear Channel has a partnership with where they will feature a certain amount of new artists every week in on their website. Since Clear Channel is the biggest and most innovative broadcaster in the music business, it's just a matter of time before the other cowardly copy-cat broadcasters will follow suit.

Log onto my website to learn more about how to get your music to music submission sites.


Click Here to Discover the Secrets of Success in Today's Music Business. Or log onto

Thursday, July 06, 2006

7 Rules of Successful Myspace Music Promotion

In a very short time, has become the hottest music promotional tool available to anyone. Here are the 7 rules of successful myspace music promotion, brought to by Succeed In the Music Biz.

Get a music page.
Getting a music page is free so there is no reason not to have one.

Make sure your page is user friendly.
Many music business professionals have myspace pages that take too long to load. If your myspace page loads too slow, you could be losing potential fans. Mega bandwidth graphics and images will prevent your page from loading quickly. Your myspace page should take no longer than 20 – 30 seconds to load.

Many artists on myspace use layouts that emphasize their creativity but are a nightmare to navigate. To prevent your friends from living a waking nightmare on your page, refrain from using dancing cursor’s, raining text, and distracting images on your myspace music pages.

Other myspace artists have 'about me' blurbs that go on forever. Keep about me blurbs short (no more than 1000 words), if people want to know more about you, they will ask.

Have your music on your myspace page.
Don’t put someone else’s music on your myspace page unless you were involved in the creation of the music. How can you be discovered if your music isn’t on your page?

Reach out for friends.
Networking on myspace is one of the most powerful tools you can use to build your fan-base. Take advantage of the opportunity to reach people with like interests. Never ignore or decline a friend request. You never know who can help your career.

Treat your Myspace friends like friends.
Common courtesy applies on myspace just as in real life. Be willing to thank your friends for adding you as a friend. Respond to friend’s emails (if appropriate). Never post your ad as a comment on someone’s myspace page without acknowledging them. Limit the size of your “ad comments”.

Promote yourself in appropriate ways on Myspace
Noteworthy career benchmarks, or new music added to your page are good reasons to promote yourself on myspace. List your performance dates on your page and use bulletins to let people know where you are performing. Limit the number of bulletins you post. Posting irrelevant bulletins, or posting bulletins too often, will force your friends to ignore you.

Let people know about your page. Putting your unique address on your website and business cards will make it convenient for you to build your network and fan base faster.

Provide ways for people to purchase your music from your myspace page.
If you sell your music anywhere online make sure there is a direct link from your myspace page to the location where people can buy your music.

Click Here to Discover the Secrets of Success in Today's Music Business. Or log onto

Monday, June 19, 2006


As a "performing artist", you want to come accross to your audience and other music business professionals as being reliable, and professional in your work. To do this, it is important to maintain a business ATTITUDE throughout all your stage shows, and when communicating with venue owners and staff.

1. Where possible, issue written contracts or letters of agreement in advance. Check with your employer or agent the week before the show, to make sure no details have changed.

2. If you are booked to play at a venue that you've not been to before, try and visit on another band night before your gig. This will enable you to check access for the equipment; where the stage or playing area is located; where to position your mixing desk and speakers; whether your cables need to be flown over fire exits; what volume levels are tolerated, and what kinds of music the regulars enjoy most.

3. Always arrive at the venue in plenty of time to complete a full soundcheck BEFORE the public arrive.

4. Always carry spares of things like fuses, cables, backing tracks, strings, or any other small item that could mean the difference between doing the gig or not.

5. Always take along an extra long mains cable in case the nearest socket is broken.

6. Safety first! - Buy yourself a mains power polarity checker (such as a "Martindale" Ring main tester) and a set of circuit breakers for all your backline amps. No matter how badly your guitarist played tonight, he didn't deserve to die!

7. Always create a "set list" for every show. This can be taylored to the type of audience that you now know frequent this venue (See tip no. 2). If you have rehearsed well, you will know exactly how long your set will last. Don't go on stage late and overrun your contracted time. The venue owner's license will depend on all music ceasing at a certain time. You don't want to be the one who gets the venue closed down!

8. Play your set without long gaps between songs. Only communicate to the audience what REALLY needs to be said. A slick presentation and tight performance shows how well rehearsed you are, and keeps your audience on the dance floor.

9. Rehearse a polished entrance and exit. There is nothing more unprofessional than a bunch of musicians meandering onto a stage carrying the remains of a sandwich or pint, then spending several minutes chatting to each other, tuning up, playing along with the record on the disco, jamming, smoking, adjusting their clothing, answering a call on their mobile.... The list goes on! Believe me, I've seen it all

Wait for your performance to be announced, then march briskly onto the stage and launch straight into your first number. At the end of your performance, the reverse should be observed. Don't hang around trying to encourage the audience to shout for an encore. Leave the stage as quickly as possible and wait to hear whether the audience wants more.

10 .Never be seen on stage in the same clothes as you were wearing in the soundcheck, or whilst mingling with the crowd.

11. If you are hiring a PA system, take your own can of telephone cleaner/sanitizer. Rented microphones are rarely cleaned!

12. Rehearse in your own time, not in the soundcheck!

13. Practice, the show thoroughly, but always leave a "breathing space" of a few days between the last rehearsal and the gig. Over-familiarity can make you complacent.

14. Always be pleasant and business-like when dealing with staff at the venue. Especially with the person who is paying you! Don't automatically expect gratuities such as free food and drink. These are bonuses unless stipulated in your contract, where they then become part of your "fee".

15. Respect the venue's fixtures and fittings. Don't damage their furnature or wall coverings with your speakers and gaffa tape. Ask permission first! They will often be glad to fetch you some beer crates to stack your speakers on, rather than using their tables.

16. Don't get drunk, or high on illegal substances before, or during, the show.

17. Don't hang around the venue for longer than is necessary after the show.

18. Don't stop playing a number whenever a small problem occurs. Never re-start a number if someone in your band makes a mistake. You should be sufficiently well rehearsed for these mistakes to go unnoticed by your audience.

19. Don't play any louder than you absolutely need to. Not everyone in an average venue will be there to listen to you. Don't try to fill the whole venue with loud music. Just the area or dancefloor immediately in front of the stage will do! People will want to be able to hold a conversation in other areas, such as at the bar.

20. If you know you have a good mix and a member of the audience wants you to turn down. Pretend to turn a knob in order to please. The chances are, he just doesn't like that particular song. On the other hand, if the venue owner or bar staff tell you to turn down ... DO IT!! They know when it is too loud, after all, they are there every night!
Finally... Your bonus tip No. 21. If you have released CDs. Make sure they are on sale at every gig you do. Employ a friend, or one of your fans to set up a table with your merchandise. It is also a good excuse to get new people to sign up to your mailing list. After the show, you can even go out front and sign a few autographs!

The Succeed In the Music Biz Staff are radio, record marketing, promotion and new media experts. We have worked directly with national, local, indie and major label artist. Our mission is to show you how to succeed in today's music business. Log onto our website at Succeed In the Music Biz!

Find out more about our artist services and recording contracts at
Learn all the Internet marketing techniques that will help you be successful as a recording artist at
Learn how to acheive a residual income as an affiliate to support you whilst you are building your music business at

About the Author
Lynn Monk has experienced over 30 years in the music business as a musician, concert sound & lighting engineer, DJ and record producer; and is now the proprietor of Wobbly Music. An indie record company dedicated to supporting the "Mature Independent Artist". Lynn can be contacted at lynn at wobblymusic dot net

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Music Mastering Makes Records Sound Like Hits

Music mastering is an essential part of every hit record. Yet, few new (and even some "established") musicians have a good understanding of what mastering is and why they need it.

This often leads to many selecting the wrong mastering studio... and making many unnecessary mistakes in the recording and music mixing phases (which affects the mastering later on).

This is why below are the 5 most frequently asked questions about music mastering:

1. What exactly is music mastering?

Mastering is the final phase before your CDs, Vinyls, DVDs or MP3 files are produced. It's the last chance to get the sound right... and for errors to be fixed.

Mastering transforms your music from a "raw" sound into a professional, "radio-ready" sound. It gives your tracks punch, loudness, clarity, and completes your final vision.

2. Why is it so important and do I really need it?

All major labels have their artists' records mastered before they're released. But, often many independent artists/labels wonder if they should go-ahead and get it done.

The answer is a big YES! If you want to make the right impression, then at a minimum you need to get your demo professionally mastered.

Because just think about when your demo hits the A & R managers' desk, what's going to stand-out... the professionally mastered demos (yours) or the poor quality ones?

By having your music mastered, then you're going to increase your chances of getting signed and creating loyal fans.

Moreover, the single biggest advantage professional mastering offers are the "fresh" skilled and independent ears put to your music.

Because after working on your music for long hours in the studio, you often become too close to your work. And, as a result, your ears can't help but get used to mistakes.

Your ears begin to hear mistakes as normal. It´s the same effect as when you are living near a heavy-traffic street - after living their for a few weeks, you will not wake-up anymore at night because your ears get used to those sounds and blends them out.

With the mastering engineer's help, you make sure you don't have any major errors in your music and gain advice (from an experienced professional) in what needs to be done to help get the perfect sound!

3. How much should I pay?

Mastering studios charge a wide range of fees. You can pay anywhere from $5 a track or up to hundreds of dollars per hour for the most well-known engineers.

The reason there's such a large amount of fees is that there are many "budget studios" that have arisen online. These studios are often a single person who does all his or her work on the home computer.

Since these people usually don't have much experience, they often miss important problems and don't know what to look for (every track has its own unique problems). Additionally, they don't have tools a professional mastering studio offers to do it right.

This is compared to the more expensive engineers who have years of experience and know-how in creating a "hit" sound.

4. How important is the mastering equipment?

Professional mastering studios spend thousands of dollars on their equipment. The equipment gives them full flexibility in making a wide-range of adjustments.

However, when looking at the equipment a studio has, you should not focus too much on it. Instead, and more important, you want to look for an engineer who also has experience with it.

It takes years for an engineer to feel fully comfortable with all of the equipment and the adjustment it allows. This is especially true when learning how to adjust for different genres of music.

For example, the equipment is often used differently for Rock music than Classical.

5. Should I use an online or offline mastering studio?

Online mastering is a recent phenomenon. It has only been in the last few years that it has really begun to take off. In fact, some of the most famous and well-known engineers have now moved online.

Online mastering offers many advantages over offline studios. These include the speed at which you can transfer your music and communicate with the engineer. You aren't stuck with the time-limitations a booked session in a offline mastering studio has.

Additionally, you also don't have to deal with weeks of waiting to go back and forth with the engineer using "snail mail" or booking several times in the studio for revisions. You can also get access to the engineer anytime using email.

In an offline studio when working via snail mail, it may often be hard to get a hold of the engineer to share your ideas.

Moreover, an online mastering engineer has experience with more international music. In offline studios, the engineer often only works with a certain type of music that's popular in the area.

The Succeed In the Music Biz Staff are radio, record marketing, promotion and new media experts. We have worked directly with national, local, indie and major label artist. Our mission is to show you how to succeed in today's music business. Log onto our website at Succeed In the Music Biz!

About the Author

Musicians! Get the edge by giving your tracks the "Big label" sound with professional mastering! Get the full scoop on what mastering is, why you need it, and where to get it without getting ripped off by visiting: right now!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Getting a record deal can be easier with proper planning.

There are many experienced professionals in the music biz who will tell you that the music biz is all business. I agree. With any business, proper planning is the key to success in the music biz. This article describes some simple steps to plan your success.

Think of your career as a business. Have you assembled your business plan? How do you plan to market? What is your mission statement? Are you going to start your own record label to be distributed by a major, or are you going to use the full service resources of a major label? These are all important issues that you have to have in order to really succeed in the music biz. A music biz plan helps you resolve these issues well in advance.

A lot of recording artists enter the music biz with one big goal “to make it”. These artists see themselves on a big stage in front of thousands of screaming fans, but often that is as far as the planning goes. Artists rarely conduct the planning that it takes to succeed in the music biz.

I’ve yet to speak to an artist who has a business plan. In my experience if you don’t have a business plan, then you shouldn’t plan on being in business. A good business plan will cover your business and legal structure, your marketing model, financial projections, goals, benchmarks and finally what you’ll do after the your career is over.

I’ve met many recording artists who treat the music biz like a glorified hobby. They often don’t have business cards, a website or in many cases, a valid email address. Many more artists don’t have the marketing structure in place that will allow them to get the attention from fans or record labels. Remember that the music biz is all business. If you treat your music career as a hobby then you might as well just play your music for friends and family and be content with people pretending to take you seriously.

Getting attention and interest from record labels is easy if you are on the radar. Many Artist and Repertoire Representatives (A&R Reps) agree that if an artist is making it happen on for themselves (by selling a couple thousand CD’s locally or selling out a 2,000 seat venue) they will get on the major label radar. You can’t get on the radar of the record labels (or your fans) if you are flying by the seat of your pants and living on a prayer.

As a wise person once said “failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Music Business Past vs. Present

In the past, the music business was controlled by the major record labels. The record labels controlled everything in an artists career from start to finish. The record label would control and artist image, airplay, access to audits, likeness, royalty rate, success and everything in between while under the record label contract. When the artist career was over, the artist often didnt have anything to show for their hard work and creativity.

Back in the day, the record label would finance artists project up front in the form of an advance. The advance usually amounted to a loan which the artist had to repay. The record label would finance the recording, distribution and promotion of the artist project and then recoup the money after the project started selling. Although it seems fair on the surface, the record label would charge the artist for much more than what the record label provided. The record label would not only bill the artist for the things mentioned above, but they would deduct artist royalties for damaged goods, record club discounts and a wealth of other expenses. In addition the record label would take these deductions from the artists gross earnings.

Although the record label would allow an artist to audit the record companys books, many artists didnt conduct any audits. Artists were generally afraid of angering the record labels by asking the record labels to show the expenses and deductions in writing. This justifiable fear kept artists in their place under the record labels control.

Today with digital technology, the power is shifting into the hands of the artist

theres a new trend in the music business that has record labels sweating in the boardroom. This new trend is called Do It Yourself (D.I.Y.). With Digital Technology anyone can start a record label and have a personal studio on their computer. There are a number of free or (very inexpensive) studio recording software applications that allow an artist to record and distribute their own material without the help or control of any other record label.

An artist can easily promote and sell their CDs and MP3s online at thousands of internet sites. In addition there are many new web hosting services that allow an artist to have a website dedicated to promoting their and selling their music to the growing online community.

There are hundreds of artists making a living selling their music online. Think about it, if you sold 20,000 CDs online at $10, youd earn $200,000. If you sold 20,000 for a record label youd be in debt and youd face the risk of being dropped from the record label.

By recording, distributing, promoting and selling your music yourself, you control your destiny. Today an artist can control their expenses, track their deductions and not live in fear of any record company.

Today the power is in the artist hand of the artists.

The Succeed In the Music Biz Staff are radio, record marketing, promotion and new media experts. We have worked directly with national, local, indie and major label artist. Our mission is to show you how to succeed in today's music business. Log onto our website at Succeed In the Music Biz!