All posts by Jacqueline Rosokoff

See What’s New at TuneCore Music Publishing

August brings much to report from our Music Publishing Administration office!  Find out who joined our songwriter community and which compositions have recently been featured in film and TV…

Songwriter Highlights

Kthe-clarksnown amongst fans as the best kept secret in American rock, TuneCore Publishing Administration is excited to administer The Clarks ninth studio album titled Feathers & Bones. In their nearly thirty years together, Scott Blasey, Robert James, Greg Joseph and Dave Minarik have appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, sold over 300,000 albums and continue to sell-out venues with seats in the thousands.

Norwegian-born film composer Johannes Ringen and American Johannes-Ringen--James-Craft2writer James Craft teamed up to create the sensational “Dreams Fade to White” in early June of this year. The accompanying video What’s On Your Mind? premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has since gone viral with nearly nine million YouTube plays to date. TuneCore Publishing Administration is proud to represent the composition as well as distribute the sound recording.

Sam-OutlawSelf-described neo-traditionalist country writer, Sam Outlaw creates music in the vein of fellow TuneCore Publishing Administration client Country Johnny Mathis and living legend George Jones. His latest release, Nobody Loves, is produced by Delta Spirit’s Kelly Winrich and features the compositions “Country Love Song” and “Keep It Interesting”.

Recent Licenses & Placements

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Launch Social Campaigns in Minutes with TwitMusic

Twit_logo_name_dotsWhen you have new music to release, you want your fans to know about it.   And because so many music consumers use social media, promoting your new album or single on Twitter and Instagram can have great reach.  Here’s the problem: setting up these marketing campaigns can be difficult (and pricey) without the support of a big marketing team behind you.  Well…not anymore.

Introducing TwitMusic!  TwitMusic helps artists launch social campaigns on Twitter and Instagram quickly.  We’re talking minutes.  Engage your fans, capture fan data and drive revenue across your social channels.

We’ll break it down…

Engage your fans.

Get fans excited about your new album by setting up a campaign that lets them tweet to unlock never-before-seen album art.  Or connect with fans by engaging them in contests and participatory showdowns.  Generate buzz and get connected with music consumers.

Capture fan data.

Collect fan emails, gender/location demographics and audience reach.  Track results on follower acquisition and engagement.  Your analytics update in real-time and you can export the data to use in marketing and presentations.

Drive more sales:

Include purchase links in your campaigns, linking fans to iTunes, Google Play and other digital stores.  Did you know that intent to purchase increases +64% when fans come through a social experience?

And here’s the best part of it all: TuneCore Artists get an exclusive offer!  Save 15% on any annual subscription. Offer ends September 30, 2014.

Sound good? Get more info and start your free trial.

New! Reach More European Fans with TargetMusic

Tmusic-logo_color-copyright

Last month we introduced Neurotic Media as a new distribution outlet for your music.  Well, here’s some more news to help you pick up more fans around the world…

We’ve got a new distribution partner on our list: TargetMusic.  In case you haven’t heard of it, TargetMusic is the leading digital music provider of music platforms in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Check out the top reasons why you should add TargetMusic to your releases:

Greater revenue opportunities.  Music consumption is on the fast track in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and we see that reflected in TuneCore Artists’ revenue.  The combined revenue growth for the three countries grew 72.5% in 2013 vs. 2012.

Discovery by retail & brand consumers.  When top businesses and brands in the region (like The Voice of Holland, Radio 538 and Top40 App) need a music platform to drive business, they turn to TargetMusic’s platforms and their vast music catalog.

Get in on it.  Add TargetMusic to your releases today.

How Nashville’s Sonia Leigh Is Gaining Traction as an Indie Artist

Nothing beats the Tuesday blues better than a live show from Nashville-based country singer/songwriter Sonia Leigh.  She stopped by our Brooklyn office yesterday to play a few tunes and chat with us about her journey as an independent artist.  Check out our interview with the successful and incredibly down-to-earth musician, in which she shares how she got to where she is, a little advice on getting radio play,  and how TuneCore is part of her team…

What does being independent mean to you?

To me, being independent means being the captain of your own ship.  It means you work your ass off for what you want and believe in.  Build your empire and team by hand.  It means you make your own rules.  There are wonderful things that come with being on a major label, but I honestly see the upside to both.

What’s the indie artist community in Nashville like?

There are a lot of people hustling in Nashville.  With so many resources via social media and the Internet, it’s possible to gain awareness and build your fan base.  I think for the most part (for people signed and unsigned), Nashville seems to have a very supportive community.

Has your sound changed over time?

Absolutely, and I think it’s supposed to.  I believe music itself is constantly changing, and that inspires me as an artist, so in turn my music reflects that.  I think what you put in your ears definitely affects what comes out.  I began writing country music as soon as I learned to make chords on the guitar, and at the age of 10 I wrote my first song, and that began a catalogue that is uncountable.

As I grew up, I became exposed to rock and roll, the blues, alternative, pop, hip hop, dance and EDM etc… I have always been the kind of person to want to write in every one of those styles.  I went to Spain when I was 21 and tried to learn Spanish because I wanted to write a Flamenco song.  It’s just the kind of writer/artist I am—I am inspired to do it all.  So for me change is necessary to stay creatively fresh.

Sonia Leigh playing live at the TuneCore Brooklyn office.
Sonia Leigh playing live at the TuneCore Brooklyn office.

What are some of the challenges you faced early on, and what (or who) helped you get past those? 

 I was barely 17 when I left home.  I had $50, a garbage bag filled with clothes, and my guitar. The truth is, my father and I had a falling out and I left.  A good friend of mine let me rent a room at her house for $50 a month.  I had to quit school, which I hated, but I needed a job and the only one I could find was making sandwiches at a local place in town.  I joined a band and we rehearsed across the street from where I worked.  I didn’t have a car but my bass player Jake picked me up every single morning and drove me to work and we met afterwards across the street for rehearsal.

One thing led to another and I moved out of that small town and met a couple guys who wanted to make a record with me. I recorded my first record by the time I turned 18.  My manager at the time, Steve Stevens, believed in me and put money into developing my career.  He really helped me get started in music—we were a team.  We started making some waves in Atlanta.  I remember opening for a band Jennifer Nettles used to sing in, called Soul Miner’s Daughter.  That’s how we first met.  I still stay in touch with Steve and he is thrilled for my success.  My father and I are extremely close now just for the record.

I had a lot of hurdles to get over in my musical journey, but I keep my faith, hope and I hustle even when it seems impossible.  I hope that inspires someone out there to keep going and hold on to their dreams. It requires hard work and dedication.  You get out what you put in.

How is TuneCore part of your team?

I’ve used TuneCore for years.  I released my first independent record called Run Or Surrender through TuneCore, and everything else since.  It is such a wonderful way to cover all your bases.  I feel Tune Core is the best place to distribute music digitally and they provide a friendly way for independent music to be heard.

Do you use the trend & sales reports in your account to learn what’s working and grow your career?

Yes!  This has been extremely helpful especially with the release of my latest single  “Put It In Your Pocket.”  It was added as a highway find on Sirius XM Chanel 56 The Highway.  They monitor how many downloads are generated to determine whether to continue to spin highway finds, and if you generate impressive downloads you will be added into regular rotation spins.  The trend reports help me and my team see what we are doing right as far as promotion and social media.  When we see a spike in sales due to certain strategies, we’re doing something correct.  It is a wonderful tool to have as reference.

You mentioned your new single “Put it In Your Pocket” has been getting great play on SiriusXM.  Do you have any advice for indie artists looking to get radio play?

I will say this until the day I die:  it starts with your fan base.  Your fans are the most important people in your career.  Play as much as you can and serve your fans.  Be good to them.  They will be your chariot to everything else, I promise.  They can be a louder voice for you than any magazine, radio DJ, or TV show.  They can turn heads for you and get you on TV and in those magazines and on the radio because they are promoting you, buying your records, wearing your shirts, requesting your songs, and coming to your shows.  They are the real rock stars if you ask me.

What about tips in general as far as how to grow their careers?

Play as much as you can, work your social media, be good to your fans and make music that YOU love to make.  Be true to yourself as an artist.  I know this seems old school but one of the most important things is to put some sort of email sign up list out at your shows and on your website.  Merchandise is a really good investment and also a good way to help generate income.  It’s a source of promotion that keeps working for you.

So, what can fans look forward to next?

I am working on a new EP that will hopefully be out by the fall.  I’m growing so much musically and as a writer.  I ‘m so excited to get this music to your ears, and you can bet Tune Core will be the first people to know when it’s done.

6 Lessons Learned in Crowdfunding

Midas Whale turned four chairs on NBC’s The Voice and leveraged their popularity to raise $36,442 through crowdfunding upon their release from the show in May 2013.  The folk duo created their debut album Sugar House in 2013, thanks to their beloved backers who are like family to them.  After the incredible success of their last campaign, they’ve launched a new one for their side project Deep Love.

Lemme put it to you straight.  You need an album to make money, but you need money to make an album.  You are stuck in a paradox; trapped in a vortex between two alternate realities, neither of which actually exists without the other.  Well, what if I told you that the only way to break a paradox is to create one of your own? Yes, I’m here to tell you it’s possible to make money from an album BEFORE it’s even created.  It’s called crowdfunding—a distant cousin of crowd surfing.  And just like crowd surfing it can be a risk to your health, but if done correctly and with commitment, it can change your life in ways you never thought possible.  Ready?  Let’s begin.

What is Crowdfunding?

Essentially, crowdfunding is fundraising.  You get people jazzed about your project (could be an album you’re planning, or maybe you’re trying to build a time machine—doesn’t matter), and then you collect other peoples’ hard-earned money in order to execute your project, providing some form of incentive for pledging ($25 gets you a basic trip in the time machine, $50 lets you hunt a dinosaur, etc.).  There are many crowdfunding websites out there, the most popular of which is probably Kickstarter (the platform we used to fund a $30,000 project).  Choosing your platform will depend greatly on what your project is.  Some websites are specific to music while others might be geared toward things like agriculture, investments or app development.

Remember this: just because you wish to collect money for a project doesn’t mean you can’t create it before asking people to fund it so that you can create it (another paradox).  Most successful projects have a prototype created already so that potential backers can see for themselves how badly they need it.  In the case of a musician, maybe you are trying to recoup money you have already spent on a great album.  As long as your backers get something in return, they will be happy.

So how can I make my crowdfunding a success?

There is good (and some bad) advice on this topic all over the Internet.  The best advice we can give you is to learn about the pitfalls before you begin your campaign.  In other words, you’ll have to read a lot.  Remember that there is no set formula; each project is unique and will require a unique approach.  Here are a few things that we feel made our own project a success:

1. Set a high (but attainable) goal.

After calculating the minimum of what you would need for a project, go ahead and double it.  If you’re treating your project like a full time job (which you should), you will find that your time will be worth the extra money.

Tip: Don’t forget to research platform fees and back-end expenses (like shipping).  Fulfillment WILL kill you if you don’t plan for it.  Trust me, I’m dead.

2. Have a fun video.

Do you know anyone on the Internet who shares long, boring videos? Make yours a joy to those who watch it, and don’t forget to make it concise.  If it’s good, they will share it and the money will never stop coming in.

3. Release new content constantly during your campaign.

You can sit there all day sharing and resharing a link to your project on Facebook, but very soon people will get annoyed and secretly start wishing your project will fail.  The best alternative is to release new content (videos, music demos, etc.).  You will find that even a simple video can improve your public image and keep your fans’ passion going strong.

4. Organize a telethon.

Although we had funded our project a week before our deadline, our friends insisted we throw a party and broadcast it through Ustream in a last ditch effort to raise money.  We invited everyone to join us in this event and encouraged people to increase their pledges, as we would write their name on a t-shirt and give them shout-outs, sometimes responding to requests to do stupid things.  The turnout of backers was amazing, we had a party, and we managed to raise several thousand dollars during that event alone.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

5. NEVER do a project over 30 days.

You will understand why about 10 days into your own project.

6. Accomodate as you can.

Backers are special people and will often ask you directly to accommodate their special circumstances (some people might need big shirts or want songbooks in braille).  Feel free to go out of your way to make them happy, but remember your promises and KEEP A LOG as a testament of what you have and haven’t done.

In summary, time travel is dangerous.  Warp responsibly.

-Midas Whale

New Music Tuesday: Aug. 5, 2014

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

LimpBizkit

Endless Slaughter
Limp Bizkit
Rock

JessPenner

Building Heaven
Jess Penner
Singer/Songwriter

JonNeufeld

Burn Bright
Jon Neufeld
Christian/Gospel

Choppa

She Bad
Choppa
Pop

CrypticWisdom

X’s & O’z
Cryptic Wisdom
Alternative

TheMurderCityDevils

The White Ghost Has Blood on Its Hands Again
The Murder City Devils
Rock

BrinleyAddington

Middle of Nowhere
Brinley Addington
Country

LeraLynn

Out to Sea
Lera Lynn
Singer/Songwriter

TimHicks

5:01
Tim Hicks
Country

StuBasham

On My Way
Stu Basham & The Aviatrs
Pop