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How to post an update on Apple Connect (Apple Music’s new social network)

By Chris Robley
July 1, 2015{ No Comments }

How to post updates on Apple Music through Apple ConnectConnecting with your fans on Apple Music

I just posted my first update on Apple Music using Apple Connect, the streaming service’s social networking feature, and I figured I’d share some step-by-step instructions.

Before you can use Apple Connect, you’ve got to:

* get your music onto Apple Music,

* claim your profile,

* download Apple Music onto your device, and

* familiarize yourself with this new streaming service.

From there, sharing content with your fans on Apple Music is pretty easy.

Here’s a quick tutorial with screenshots on how to post an update on Apple Music

1. Open Apple Music on your device, go to “Connect,” and click the compose icon (to the left of the magnifying glass search icon). Read more »

A strolling tour of Apple Music

By Chris Robley
June 30, 2015{ No Comments }

Apple MusicI’ve been looking forward to the interactive streaming aspect of Apple Music with excitement for a while now.

As for the radio (Beats 1) and social networking (Apple Connect) features of the new service? Well, I suppose you could say I’ve been a skeptic in advance, BUT… Apple Music is finally here, and I’m sold on ALL of it.

To trot out some jargon: Apple Music is robust, intuitive, and personal.

Walk with me, won’t you?

Apple Music: the new music streaming service at a glance

First, you’ll need to access Apple Music (which requires iOS 8.4 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch). Here’s some instructions on how to download Apple Music onto your device.

Next, let’s take a peak around. Read more »

Apple Music has launched: how to download it!

By Chris Robley
June 30, 2015{ No Comments }

How to download Apple MusicThe 3-month free trial of Apple Music is now available

Apple’s new music streaming service is here, but in order to start listening, you need iOS 8.4 on your device or the latest version of iTunes on your computer.

To download iOS 8.4, or to access Apple Music through iTunes, read the instructions below from Apple:

Before you update

Back up your device to iCloud or iTunes.

If you use your device’s Personal Hotspot for your computer’s Internet connection, update your device wirelessly or connect your computer to another network.

Read more »

6 music networking tips nobody tells you

By Guest Blogger
June 29, 2015{ No Comments }

Networking tips for musicians[This article by Amy Sciarretto originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.]

Networking in the music industry is an art more than a science. There’s no rule book on how to network, but there are some tips that can make navigating the act of schmoozing more effective for you. Chances are that no one has ever taken the time to tell you the following tips – likely because some of them might seem like common sense – but pay attention, because they can be the critical element that turns a potential contact into a solid one!

1. Don’t crash the party

People will tell you to be persistent but not annoying. They will warn you to not cross that invisible yet all-too-important line. I don’t want to crush your spirit or discourage you from trying to network, but don’t annoy people by talking too much or too loud. And want to know the one thing you should never, ever do? Don’t crash the party. That is, don’t walk up to a conversation and insert yourself boldly. If you take over a previously existing chat to introduce yourself or hand out a card, the people you’re trying to connect with are not going to silently praise you for “confidence” – they’re just going to be extremely annoyed that you interrupted their conversation. Read more »

The dark side of life on the road: what has touring cost you?

By Chris Robley
June 26, 2015{ 2 Comments }

The dark side of touring: what has life on the road cost you?

One of the valuable things about this blog that might not be evident to casual readers is that its comment section is a forum for musicians to communicate and help one another out.

Every week, as I moderate comments, I see artists thanking other artists for their contributions to a particular discussion. It could be something as straightforward as troubleshooting the Apple Connect signup process. Or it could be about something more weighty, such as aging in a profession that favors youth.

But either way, it’s always encouraging to see musicians helping their fellow musicians with concerns both big and small. So… after reading a recent article from The Guardian called “Insomnia, anxiety, breakups,… musicians on the dark side of touring,” I thought I’d try to open up a discussion here about the negative effects of life (or stretches of life) on the road.

The psychological dangers that touring musicians face

Read more »

How to write a pop song

By Chris Robley
June 24, 2015{ 2 Comments }

What do you get when you put the hits of Justin Timberlake, Kesha, Psy, Mumford & Sons, Carly Rae Jepsen, and The Black Eyed Peas in a blender?

Something like the pop music instructional shown above!

I know this video is from last summer, but I saw it again last night and then this morning I heard a few current Top 40 songs in the car and thought, “Hmmm, filter sweeps? 4 on the floor? Gang vocals? Not much has changed in a year (or five)!” Read more »

The importance of watch time and subscribers to your YouTube Channel

By CD Baby
June 23, 2015{ No Comments }

YouTube: the importance of watch time and subscribers[This article was written by Gray Gannaway. To make the most money from your music and videos on YouTube, check out Illustrated Sound.]

Watch time is one of the most important but misunderstood concepts that affect the health of your YouTube channel and videos.

While many video creators focus exclusively on their view counts, YouTube prioritizes watch time (and not view counts) when it’s deciding how favorably to treat your video in search results and featured placements across the YouTube platform.

Because YouTube view counts can be so easily gamed by misleading thumbnails, automated bots, and other illegal services that promise to artificially increase your video’s views, YouTube now measures the total amount of time a viewer watches your video (and any videos they watch after your video). They call that metric “watch time,” and it’s the total minutes and hours that a viewer spends watching videos.

YouTube states that watch time is “the most important method for measuring success on your channel and videos”, and it is the primary influence of all major search and discovery algorithms across YouTube.

Watch time isn’t about the length of your video

Read more »

8 things every musician should know about Global Release Day

By Chris Robley
June 22, 2015{ No Comments }

What musicians should know about Global Release DayWhat will Global Release Day mean for YOUR music?

All over the world, the music industry is shifting towards a unified “Global Release Day” in order to deter piracy, avoid fan confusion, and help coordinate marketing efforts across multiple territories.

Instead of album and single releases coming out on Monday in the UK, Tuesday in the US, and so forth — new music will now be released worldwide on Fridays.

Here’s a few things to note about Global Release Day:

Read more »

Apple Music WILL pay artists during its free 3-month trial period

By Chris Robley
June 22, 2015{ 17 Comments }

Four kinds of royalties you can earn through Apple MusicOver the past couple weeks, indie artists, distributors, labels, and label groups (such as Beggars, Merlin, A2IM, etc.) have been voicing concerns over Apple Music’s 3-month introductory trial period, during which rights owners would NOT be paid for the usage of their music.

Well, we’re very excited to share good news with you: on Monday, June 22nd, Apple announced it has reconsidered, and it WILL pay royalties to artists, labels, and publishers during the trial period.

How did this all unfold? Well, Apple has been paying close attention to the voices of independent rights holders (both publicly and privately), and the conversation culminated with a now widely reported exchange between Taylor Swift and Apple Music’s Eddy Cue.

First, Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple Music asking them to reconsider their policy regarding payments during the trial period.

Her letter concludes:

We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.

Her fans went nuts, sharing her letter tens of thousands of times, and adding their voices to the discussion too.

Apple’s Eddy Cue responded: Read more »

How to hack sync licensing and make more money with your music

By Guest Blogger
June 22, 2015{ 6 Comments }

Sync licensing for cover songs

If you’ve ever watched a popular TV showsat through a great trailer, or enjoyed a film and wondered how to get one of your own songs onto the soundtrack, you are not alone. Many artists, from singer-songwriters to rappers to post-rock bands, dream of a plum song placement in a prominent television show, film, game, or advertisement. After all, a sync license (short for “synchronization license”) is a means of earning several thousand dollars without ever having to unload a drumkit from a van.

Getting an indie band placed in a hot TV or film property is, for the most part, a matter of nuanced networking, negotiation, and marketing. Even though music supervisors are often some of the most passionate supporters of independent music, most soundtracks do not solely consist of great original tracks from eager, deserving, and totally unknown indie artists. A recognizable song or artist is often a necessity or more justifiable spend for projects that use the song for a historical reference, reference the song as a cultural touchpoint, or just benefit from the recognizability of an iconic or hot new song.

That said, even when an iconic song is the right fit, the corresponding iconic recording of that song might not make it into the final cut. Sometimes a director will decide that the well-known song is overused or, often, not worth the price tag. Sometimes the song is perfect, but the original recording seems dated or not quite right for the ad campaign: wrong genre, wrong style, wrong decade, wrong gender of vocalist. In those instances, sometimes someone from the crew (i.e., the music supervisor) will gently suggest a compromise: license a cover version of the iconic song. Read more »