5 Predictions for Independent Artists in 2014

By Chris Mooney
TuneCore Sr. Director of Artist Promotions and Strategic Relationships

As the new year approaches, people around the world are making lists of resolutions—hit the gym more than once a month, replace some of the takeout with home cooked meals, make smarter financial decisions—the list goes on.  While we too are putting together our list of resolutions, we’re also thinking about where the music industry is headed for independent artists in 2014.

This year we saw incredible growth in streaming music and ever-increasing revenue for independent artists, especially for songwriters from publishing royalties.  So what’s next? Here are our five music industry predictions for 2014…

1. Artists focus on monetization.

Artists will turn to Publishing Administrators to secure new sources of revenue with a focus on collecting money from YouTube for both their sound recording and composition. In doing so, artists will focus even more attention on YouTube as a social network and place for engagement, contesting, and announcements.

2. More artists start promotion early with pre-orders.

Pre-orders will no longer only be the territory for high-profile artist releases. More artists will embrace the ability to include a link to purchase on iTunes during the marketing period leading up to release date. It is easy now to offer fans instant grat tracks with their pre-order purchase. Plus, all of these pre-order sales register on release day, helping albums rise up the iTunes charts.

3. Management is the new indie label.

Managers assemble hand-picked teams to support their artists, hiring the publicist, selecting their distribution partner, connecting bands with a booking agent, contracting special marketing companies… and based on their success, the band and manager have a real choice to maintain their independence or they also have a much more valuable story to bring to a major label when considering a deal.

4. Streaming radio becomes something to watch.

iTunes Radio is extremely convenient for users, and while it still needs to improve on its discovery suggestions and listener experience, with a few adjustments, it will usher in a fierce challenge to competitive streaming services.

5. Market through video.

Vine and Instagram video will grow in importance for marketing by bands and artists. The video elements allow creative messages with music to fans. These posts are much more capable of “going viral” compared to a Facebook post.

What are your music predictions for the new year?  Let us know in the comments…

Looking Back: The Top 10 TuneCore Blog Posts of 2013

Did you think we weren’t going to jump on the “Best Of” bandwagon as this year comes to a close? Think again.  2013 was an incredible year for TuneCore Artists, and we showcased their accomplishments and tips for others navigating the music industry independently on our blog, along with some exciting TuneCore developments.

So without further ado, check out our top 10 blog posts of 2013 that give you just a little taste of what our community’s been up to…

9 Tips for Running a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Singer/Songwriter Ariel Rubin lets us in on how to approach and get the most out of a crowdfunding campaign.  And she should know, she ran two successful campaigns in the past two years.  Here’s one of her tips: Plan out the arch of days and figure out your strategy for the expected lull of activity you’ll hit during the campaign.

Music Download & Streaming Royalties: Are You Getting Your Fair Share?

Royalty collection can be a confusing subject, because if you’re  a songwriter and your compositions are downloaded, streamed and used around the world, there are certain types of royalties that you don’t get without the help of a publishing administrator.  To make sense of it all, we took a look at the royalties generated by your music and what you need to do to collect what you’re owed.

Social Media Isn’t a Megaphone, it’s a Place to Create a Conversation

This year we asked several artists, managers and others in the music industry how they’re using social media, and what tips they’d give to independent artists looking to grow their social channels.  One of our favorite guest posts about this topic came from digital marketing company Sneak Attack Media, who talked about how important content is when it comes to social media marketing.

Grit: How to Survive and Thrive in the Music Biz Today

Award-winning Canadian Jazz artist and songwriter Laila Biali has experienced the ups and downs of being an independent artist in an industry that’s hard to break through.  If you’ve gone through this, or you’re going through it now, check out Laila’s guest post about how social networking and technology have democratized the industry, taking the jobs away from the gatekeepers.

7 Game-Changing Ways to Get Press Without a Publicist

For many indie artists, it can be challenging to get attention from the press when you don’t have a big marketing team behind you.  TuneCore Artist Jennifer Paige (of Paige & Palermo) took the time to share some great tips on getting publicity when you don’t have a publicist, plus she includes a few artist resources worth checking out.

Get Out of Your House & Into Theirs – Booking a House Concert Tour

After ending his relationship with a small booking company, singer/songwriter Mikey Wax was forced to think outside-the-box in order to grow his fan base around the country. It was then that he came up with booking house concerts.  In this guest post, Mikey has great information about how to get started booking a house concert tour, how to execute the concerts, and what to do post show.

Ron Pope: Finding Success in Independence

2013 has been a great year for Ron Pope.  The talented rocker celebrated over 1.5 million downloads of his TuneCore-distributed songs, and he continues to grow his fan base as an independent artist (he used to be signed to a major label).  We were lucky enough to speak with Ron about where he started, where he sees himself now in the music industry, and how TuneCore is a part of his team.

How to Make a Budget-Friendly DIY Music Video

When it comes to her music videos, emerging independent experimental folk artist, Mree, wants to have complete control over her artistic vision.  And she knows that making videos that carry out her vision doesn’t mean she needs to have an unlimited budget.  Check out her tips to help you make a great video without emptying your wallet.

Amazon MP3 & Spotify Trend Reports Now Available for TuneCore Artists

We were thrilled to introduce many new stores, services and other features for our artists this year, and one of our most exciting accomplishments was offering enhanced Daily Trend Reports.  Now, in addition to giving all artists daily trend reports showing iTunes sale activity, we also provide trend data showing sales and streams in Amazon MP3 and Spotify.  This article looks at the new and improved reporting, and breaks down how to use your trend data to further your career.

10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your YouTube Channel

If you’re looking to make money from your music on YouTube and grow your viewers, it’s really important to have a well-developed channel.  TuneCore Music Publishing Administration President, Jamie Purpora, outlines some best practices designed to increase your YouTube channel’s appeal and effectiveness.

#TCVideoFridays – December 27th 2013

Just a few music videos to enjoy as you’re basking in the holiday spirit…


Andrew Belle, “Pieces”


Pentatonix, “Angels We Have Heard on High”


SaraBeth, “Miss You Anywhere”


Kasey Roar, “Steal the World”


Casey Desmond, “Bad Habit”


Shel, “Lost at Sea”


Intended Immigration, “La demoiselle du fonque”


Hearts of Saints, “The Shepherd’s Song (God With Us)”


The Superions, “Batbaby”


Tiger Lily, “Sinking”

Do you have a video of a song you distributed through TuneCore? Tag us on Twitter (@TuneCore) and use the hashtag #TCVideoFridays with a link to your video.

 

Get in the Holiday Spirit with TuneCore Artists on Spotify

Colorful lights, relatives crowding the house, delicious aromas coming from the kitchen…it’s holiday time.  But there’s one more key thing that really makes it feel like the holidays: music.  Radio stations keep the classics coming, families gather around the piano, and the digital stores are packed with new albums and singles from talented artists, many of whom are in the TuneCore community.

To really get ourselves in the holiday spirit, we put together a playlist packed with holiday music from TuneCore Artists.  You’ll hear some original tunes as well as the classics.

So crank it up, and have a happy holiday filled with music!

 

TuneCore Holiday Music Tracks

“Sleigh Ride” – Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band

“Bring My Baby Back (For Christmas)” – Poeina Suddarth

“Christmas Smiles” – Kate Diaz

“Home for Christmas” – Colt Ford

“Winter Lullaby” – Lily Mae

“Let It Snow” – Daniela Andrade

“Holiday Love” – Adolphus & Bridget

“Christmas Tree (*T-Ran)” – Pettidee

“I’m Scared of Santa Claus” – Ava Kelley

“Happy Hanukkah” – Matisyahu

“Grown-up Christmas List” – Anthem Lights

“Christmas Party” – Haley Deakers

“Blitzen Blitz – Country” – Laurel Crown Music

“Carol of the Bells” – Pentatonix

“California Christmas” – Brooke White

“Thrill of Hope” – 714

“This Christmas” – Marty Neary

“Jingle Bells” – Tyrone Wells

“Hey Santa” – Jason Reed

“Beachfront Holiday” – Matt Irie & Ty Bru

“Me Gusta La Parranda” – Los Cantores de Bayamon

“A Light” – The Brilliance

“Our Little Christmas Tree” – Tommy Busby

“Silent Night” – Donna King

“Christmas Medley (Instrumental)” – Brandon Gilliam

“Come Back Home (This Christmas)” – Chris Johnston

“You Know It’s Christmas Time” – Mide Houlihan

“Christmas Means Nothing Without You” – Gerald J

“Mazinka” – 11 Acorn Lane

“Snowed In” – Mindy Smith

“Joy to the World” – Jay Hagy

“Home for the Holidays” – Due West

“In the Bleak Midwinter” – Marian Grace

“Find Your Voice” – Sarah McLachlan

“Found Each Other” – Cameron Mitchell & aprilemade

“Go Tell It On the Mountain” – Katie Basden

“What Child Is This” – Starfield

“Xmas in New York” – The Rosebuds

“My Favorite Time of Year” – Jackopierce

“Santa Gonna Be Happy” – Chance Geving

Wrapping Up the Year with a Spotlight on TuneCore Artists

It’s been a stellar year for TuneCore Artists. Our artists were on iTunes top seller charts week after week, they competed on The Voice, garnered Grammy nominations and awards… the list goes on and on.

So, as we start to wind down and settle in to enjoy the holidays, let’s give a congratulations shout out to our spotlighted artists.

spotlights

iTunes Chart Leaders* – Around the World, Across All Genres

> The Roots and Jack Johnson – “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Live from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)” is on the Holiday chart. 
The Jungle Giants – Learn to Exist debuted at #7 on the Australian Digital chart.
The Voice alumnus Michelle Chamuel’s new song “Go Down Singing” hit the Top Ten on the Pop chart. She’a also in the Top 20 on iTunes Pop chart in Canada.
Star of High School MusicalAshley Tisdale, has a new song “You’re Always Here” that’s a Top 50 track on the Pop chart.
The brand new group The Specktators are Top 5 on the Hip Hop chart.
Chelsea Sorrell – #17 on iTunes Country Album chart.
The Texas Tenors – You Should Dream is a Top 25 Country album.
The Maine – new EP Imaginary Numbers hit Top 10 on the Alternative chart, Top 100 overall.
On the Pop Top 200 Chart: Rebecca Black & Dave Days’ new single “Saturday” is a Top 200 song as well as Shane Dawson’s new single “The Christmas Life.”
> The Pretty Taking All Fades viral hit “Boss Ass Bitch,” is a Top 100 iTunes Hip Hop track.
Twiggy Ramirez, Shooter Jennings, & Jamey Johnson’s new single “You Are my Sunshine” has been a Top 100 iTunes Country song since its release.
N.A.S.A’s “Hide (Tropkillaz Remix)” is the #1 song on iTunes Electronic chart.
>“Viral Song” from Toby Turner & Tobuscus is a Top 5 Comedy track.
Leading the Singer/Songwriter Charts: Ben Rector at #14 & #34, Boyce Avenue at #40, Gungor at #46, and Cody Canada at #50. Gale Franklin’s new single made the Top Ten chart.
Soundtrack Charts – the release Pokémon X & Pokémon Y: Super Music Collection from GAME FREAK is in the Top Ten, Angry Birds Go! (Soundtrack) is in the Top 20.  Jeff Williams‘ RWBY, Vol 1 is in the Top 50, and “Happy” by Pharrell Williams from the Despicable Me II soundtrack is a Top Ten Song.
* The rankings are from 12/12 -17, 2013.

eMusic Top 200 Albums of 2013

#46 Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities
#37 KA – The Night’s Gambit
#29 Holly Williams – The Highway
#15 Torres – Torres

More Commercial Music Placements

TuneCore Artists using our Music Publishing Administration service are getting some high-profile  sync placements. Recent TuneCore administered compositions include Kinect Sports: Rivals video game – Person L, “Goodness Gracious;” and The Bag Man theatrical trailer – Mobley Band, “Witch Me Well.”

2014 Grammy Nominees

Pretty Lights, The National, Nine Inch Nails, Dailey & Vincent, Milk Carton Kids, Beth Nielsen Chapman,The Civil Wars, Steven Curtis Chapman

TuneCore Artists Sited as “Tops” and “Best”

iTunes Best Albums of 2013: The Master Musicians of JajoukaThe Road to Jajouka
NPR Top 2013 Albums: KA – The Night’s Gambit
Spotify 2014 Top Artist Predictions: Jungle
Spotify Top 10 Viral Tracks: Jamie Lynn Spears, Pentatonix
American Music 2013 Top Airplay: Holly Williams – “the Highway” #10,” Drew Holcomb & Neighbors – “Good Light” #40

Whew! And this is just a sampling. Stay tuned for more “spotlights” in 2014. Also, keep us updated on what’s happening with your music!

 

#TCVideoFridays – December 20th 2013

And now for your weekly round-up of TuneCore Artist music videos…


Jeff Campbell, “Save Me (on Jimmy Kimmel Live)”


Jack Johnson & The Roots, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (live from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)”


Payton Rae, “Gone Girl”Pawz One, “The Luv (feat. Masta Ace & Ariano)”


Molly Hunt, “Bleeding Out”


Pawz One, “The Luv (feat. Masta Ace & Ariano)


Earl Dean, “Beautiful”


The Icarus Account, “Iris”


T. L. Williams, “Days of Our Lives”


Acoustic Truth, “Time”


Terra Naomi, “Someday Soon”