SoundCtrl’s 2010 Internet Week Event

14 06 2010

Thursday was a blast.  My full recap is on the SoundCtrl blog.  However, I gotta give a big thanks to my friends Gabe, Vanessa, Hannah, Alex, Justin, Lisa, Jon (who also wrote this awesome guest post), Scott, Natalia, Julian, Michael, and David for coming out.  And another shout out to my neighbors Karri and Brian for making it too…it was quite the surprise.  I truly appreciate the support from all of you!!!

avner and tommy

photo by: Erica Gannett

Rewording Marketing

25 02 2009

When I think of the word marketing, I have two images:

1) The corporate asshole who works 12-hour days plotting ways to sell his brand’s flavored sugar water, fast food, or cigarettes.

2) The wacky “think out-of-the-box” guy who has a private consulting company in San Fran or Boulder.

These images have gotta end and the best way to do that is redefine what marketing means by changing the word itself. To me, to market is to expose. Marketers expose people to new ideas or new products through creative means across various mediums (print, radio, TV, internet….). Expose has a lot of more positive connotations to it, with the exception of a sketchy old guy only wearing a bathrobe, but hopefully you get my point. It’ll help people focus on fulfilling services than just trying to get people to buy shit.

And it is no shocker for me to say that the music industry needs to change the status quo. We can’t think in terms of CD’s, record labels, ringtones, or 360 deals because none of them will create sustainable levels of income for musicians and if they’re not making money then music will no longer be an industry.

A good salesman, just like marketer lives by the code Always Be Closing whether it’s directly through sales or indirectly through marketing campaigns, which is why music has been on a decline. They’re thinking about closing before analyzing whether or not people want their goods or services, so my suggestion is get back to the drawing board and find unique ways “to expose” music to people. The industry needs to keep the sources of their product (musicians) and the sources of their income (consumers) happy before the whole system collapses. People won’t go to concerts that cost $100 plus $35 in fees when they can burn the concert DVD that will inevitably come out before the band’s next tour and they sure as hell won’t buy the $10 download when they learn how to download a torrent for free.

Guest Blog — How applicable is Obama’s marketing campaign to music?

18 02 2009

To get a good understanding of how my intern Ryan thought, I emailed him a document describing how Obama used social networking and I asked him to apply it to music. This is what he said (completely unabridged):

I have been studying a lot of Obama. He masterfully did to the American people what every musician should try to do: built a loyal tribe (as much as that word has been overused into oblivion by hypebot, it’s still the best way to describe it). I think those principles can be applied without even changing them, although for it to make sense I quickly have to explain that most if not all of my business plan for my band is based off how Tucker Max has run his company. Tucker Max masterfully used a message board to support him for years with ad revenue, and I think message boards could be huge for musicians who know how to use them.


– Personal/Social/Advocate: A personal level: listening, be our friend on facebook/other social networks, commenting on the songs, participating in message board discussion. Social: posting videos/pictures of concerts, being a high volume poster on the message board. Advocate: someone who would help advertise our concert by putting up flyers around school, perhaps getting us in contact with the school radio station, hosting an afterparty for the band to interact with fans, and maybe even housing the band (an idea I thought might work: a private hour total concert split over 2 half hour sessions in return for housing a band for a night). I think empowering super users such as making them moderators or having them help with the publicity for a given show goes along with this as well.

– Source material: maybe not on such a level as Trent Reznor, but I think this definitely means having tons of videos and pictures up, all for free download for fans. Whatever (reasonably appropriate) media we have should somehow be available for the fans.

– Going where people are/making it easy: this means being on all the popular sites, having our material on MySpace, Facebook,, ReverbNation, etc etc. Also having an interactive and clean website is important.

– Analytics: Google analytics is great, and I’ve heard about something called band metrics that apparently is supposed to be good. I would say that geographical metrics are more important for bands than most, as then you can see where you can tour the best.

– Picking the right team: I’m not sure this is super applicable to bands as you’re pretty much on your own for the first few years, but picking a team that has your best interests in mind and can complement your faults the best, and that understand the future of media are all extremely important when picking a label or manager or whoever else you choose to hire.

Ryan made some very valid remarks. However, he floated around a couple extremely key points. Although Obama is an Ivy Leaguer just like Bush and most presidents, he used his story and his character on top of the substance of his beliefs to win the hearts of minds of (most of) America. They got to know who he was to supplement what he believed in. In addition, he was dead on about the role of his supporters; by getting them involved, they become even more passionate about the cause and this raw passion conveyed from one person to another means more than some guy in a suit saying, “Vote for Obama”. AND by taking these tactics off the street (ie the annoying door to door bullshit) to various online mediums, the scope of Obama’s reach magnified and his various beliefs become a movement. THIS is how a band gets fans; substance alone doesn’t win fans and sure as hell doesn’t win presidencies.


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