**Note to reader: I refer to Electronic Press Kits and Digital Promos as the same thing**So, you have a fresh slab of music from your newest Artist that you are positive the world will love. You know that with the viral nature of the webzine/blogsphere, every review and writeup you get can compound over time and give your music great exposure. Your Artist has a MySpace page and now you are ready to take your pre-release promotion strategy to the next level. Traditional methods of promotion, like manufacturing 1000 CDs with branded cardboard sleeves, printing 1000 information sheets and then all of that postage from mailing the packages out to the media is way too expensive and time consuming. You heard that many record labels are beginning to go digital with their press kits. What's that all about?Let's start out by agreeing that your Artist worked really hard on their music and Journalists work very hard on publishing good content. Music-related websites, magazines and radio stations can't survive without fresh music to talk about and at the same time you depend on their publications for exposure.With a good electronic press kit, there needs to be a healthy balance of security and easy consumption so that both sides feel fullfilled.So what goes into an electronic press kit that has successful returns?1. Journalists have said the biggest benefit from getting a physical promo in the mail, is the fact that they can page through the CD booklet, read the lyrics and look at the pictures. Your electronic press kit should support photo and video galleries. Take a few minutes and scan that CD booklet in so that Journalists can get a good sense of the total package.2. Even though most electronic press kits have an area on the webpage for a "general description," attach an information sheet to the promo. Information/bio sheets can easily be printed and if they are branded professionally, it shows the seriousness of the Artist as well as adding weight to the total package.3. If your press kit supports streaming only, don't expect to get a big return. That's like giving a Journalist an appetizer to taste, when what they really need, is to eat a full meal and let it digest properly over time and away from the dinner table.4. Going along with #3, your press kit should have multiple methods of consumption. That includes, streaming, zip-file album download, individual track downloads and podcasts. Give the Journalist some options based on their personal preference.5. Make your press kit easy to find. Most likely, you will be inviting the media to view your press kit by way of email. Make sure their login experience is as painless as possible and make the download links easy to find. Let them download the music without too many hurdles to jump over, eg. requiring a rating or review before they can download. Give them the music fast and let them go off and do their thing; every Journalist consumes and reviews differently.6. Now onto security. Record labels, in this day and age, you would be foolish not to watermark your tracks. There are high-end watermarking technologies out there that are not only inaudible, but very hard to get past when re-encoded. Inaudible watermarks have a 0% interference factor when listening to the music, yet they are powerful enough to contain data that can pinpoint a leaker. Watermarking should be as common as the locks on your house's front door.7. Efficiency is much easier with a digital promo versus mailing out discs to the media. Your promo administration software should support tracking and reports. Use the tracking capabilities to be aware of who is and isn't writing about your artists. If you find Journalists that are downloading the kits but not holding their end of the bargain, confront them about it or remove them from your contact list all together. This sure beats the traditional method of mailing out the promo and then wondering if it made it to the destination.8. Last but not least, if a Journalist received an early email invitation to download an album, they were in and out of the download process within painless minutes and after tracking, you found out they put time into a writeup (good or bad), send them a quick email and thank them. A little praise goes a long way, and you can bet they'll be in line to consume your next electronic press kit.
Tags: electronic press kit, digital promo
With our latest website design, I took a slightly different approach. When I began the process, which was about a week ago, we had a Crowdspring logo project being worked on parallel to the website design.As the logo was being created, I started out by looking at random websites on the net. Like a sponge, I wanted to soak up as many ideas as possible and convert that to inspiration, which I could then mix with my own expertise. After about an hour of browsing, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. I grabbed a fat black marker and a piece of paper. I slid the keyboard to the side and started sketching. At this point, it's semi-high level design.
As I was sketching, I changed my mind on a few things, hence the scribbles. This sketch literally took no more than ten minutes and then I was ready to jump into Adobe Fireworks and start mocking this thing up.Although we were pretty strict with the color combinations we wanted, a few artists submitted logos with alternate choices and at first, they influenced my design. We never used red before, so I gave it a try with a rough logo that a designer submitted at Crowdspring. I wanted to see if his logo would work with our design. Here is what I came up with.
From there the team here discussed each area of the design. We ended up cutting a lot of stuff out and adding a few new things at the same time. After sleeping on the color red, we had second thoughts and went back to our original color scheme. After a few more mockups and discussions, we ended up going with this design and logo. The logo took about a week to get designed and the website was done in about two to three days. The third day, I sliced up the design and wired it up in an ASP.NET MasterPage with CSS driving layout.
Tags: haulix, design, mockups, fireworks, crowdspring
In celebration of our new website, we are offering 1-month of FREE services to anyone who registers between now and July 2, 2010.Combined with our 30-day free trial, you will get 2-months of free service total before your first payment is due. Cancel at any time.To sign up, visit our price plan page and select a plan. Upon registering, enter the coupon code HAULIX2010 for the 2 months of free service.Cheers!
I'm not going to name names, because all we really care about, is making our easy to use software and bending over backwards for our customers.Labels, when researching digital promo services, please use caution:An "Industry Leader" in media delivery charges $1.95 PER RECIPIENT for digital promos. You gotta be fucking kidding me! We've got customers who have 2,500 media contacts. So, that would make one digital promo going out to all contacts $4,875?!At Haulix, you can send promos to an unlimited number of recipients, as long as you are within your bandwidth quota.Isn't one of the main reasons for going digital, to save money you would normally spend on physical CD mailings? There are services out there that are overpriced and overrated at the same time. Research wisely my friends.
Tags: digital promos, plaympe ripoff
Here is a great primer on getting your music on blogs, written by Alan Khalfin:http://evolvingmusic.mixmatchmusic.com/2010/05/26/how-to-get-your-music-on-music-blogs/
Tags: music blog
We've got a review on Discovering Startups. If you've got a minute, check it out and vote for us.http://www.discoveringstartups.com/haulix-com-easy-promo-distribution/
We keep a close eye on the music industry and it's blatantly obvious to us that DJs and Heavy Metal labels are the majority adopters of digital promos. My theory on why that is goes like this:1. DJs tend to be on the more tech savvy side.2. Metal Labels (like everyone else) got hit by the downward economy and like a big wave, they realized the value in going digital with promos and how much money could be saved. (We're wondering when other genres will catch on.)3. As more and more albums are being sold in digital format, it makes sense that digital promos would be a natural byproduct.4. Many DJs and Metal labels operate in small teams. They are lean and can make quick decisions and strategy changes. The larger labels have the corporate bloat that makes turning the ship a much bigger endeavor.We're curious to hear your thoughts. Why are DJs and Metal labels the early digital promo adopters?
Tags: digital promos, djs, metal labels
Although digital sales are on the UP, piracy is still a huge problem in the world."Music companies are investing over US$5 billion a year in developing and marketing artists...""Physical sales fell by 12.7% globally.""Digital music sales rose by 9.2% to US$ 4.3 billion, more than ten times the digital market value in 2004."http://www.ifpi.com/content/section_news/20100428.html
Tags: music sales
These guys haven't even launched yet...
With a writing staff of 18 people, 40,000 unique readers per month and non-stop physical promos coming in the mail, the adoption of digital promos was hard at first for the ezine giant, but has now become a smooth and essential part of the review publication process.Here is how digital promos fit into the equation:Traditionally, promo packages would come in the mail in homebase Woodbury MN. Hundreds of those packages would then get mailed to Goshen KY, where they are entered into the system database by a staff member. A normal box of 100 promos costs approx. $250-$300 to process from mailbox to database and then to published review. There is also a 3-4 week timespan for this processing to take place.Now introduce digital promos. Staff member in Goshen KY gets an email invitation to download a promo. Staff member downloads it and inputs the album information into the database. Part of this information, is a publicist contact email address. A journalist staff member logs into the system, views a screen that displays all albums in queue that are ready to get reviewed. Upon the journalist reserving the digital promo that just got entered, he will see the contact email address. He then emails the publicist and requests an invitation. The publicist replies with an email invitation and the journalist downloads the album.The record label feels safe in knowing that all tracks are watermarked and the journalist gets instant gratification in being able to download the album and transfer it to their iPod immediately. Time spent mailing out a physical package is eliminated, processing money is saved and hail the "green" movement, there is no physical waste. Even with the journalist spending a week listening to the downloaded promo (taking it with them wherever they go), the review publication turnaround is must faster.The journalist reads the promo's biographical information sheet, views the photo gallery which has images for each page of the CD booklet that ships with the final product, and watches an attached teaser video. They have had the entire album for a week now and with all of the combined information, they feel good about writing their review. They submit their review to the system and it goes into a holding tank. A staff editor gets an email notification that a review was submitted, logs in, and proofreads the review. The review is then published to the world and an automatic email is sent to the record label's publicist and the artist, informing them of the newly published review.REPEAT.
Tags: digital promos
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