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The State Of The Independent Music Industry In 2013

by John Oszajca on January 21, 2013

music player displaying 2013This past Thursday, my compadre Scott James (from websitesforrockstars.com) and I, held a live music marketing summit / webinar / coaching call / whatever-you-wanna-call it, to discuss the state of the music industry in 2013. More importantly we opened up the phone lines and discussed YOUR music careers and the various obstacles many of you are facing while you’re out there in the trenches, trying to succeed as independent musicians.

Well, the event was a blast. Over 300 of you attended and nearly 200 questions were submitted. With that said, many of you were unable to make the live event and we’ve received dozens of requests for a replay link. We listened.

The audio replay is now available and you can listen by clicking the play button below or if you’d prefer to download the file to your computer you can do so by subscribing to the Music Marketing Manifesto Podcast on itunes.

A few notes about the audio* 1) The recording is nearly 3 hours long and the file is fairly large, so please allow a few moments for the file to download. 2) For the first hour or so of the call there were issues with my audio and at times you will hear it cutting in and out (it wouldn’t be a live webinar if there wasn’t one technical issue or another) . . . apologies for the distraction. The issue was rectified halfway through the call and audio quality improves dramatically from there on out.

Without further ado…

And if you feel like doing me a solid, head on over to itunes and leave a review. Those darn things really help.

Furthermore, if you were unable to attend the live event but have a question of your own, which you would like answered, just leave it below using the comment form. Let me know what problems you’re facing in your career, or what questions you have about marketing your music I’ll be coming through over the next few days and answering everything.

UPDATE: During the webinar I mentioned that the price for a membership to the Insider Circle was recently increased from $27 to $47 per month. It seemed unfair to drop that on you guys without any warning and so for the next few days I will be offering a 40% discount which essentially allows you to lock in the original price of only $27 for life. However do keep in mind that this discount will only be available for the next few days. This discount may end without warning, and once it’s gone it’s gone for good and the price will permanently be raised to $47/per month. You can still get the discount here <==

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy listening to the discussion and you’ll be able to apply many of the answers to your own career.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

TRD February 3, 2013 at 4:24 am

John,

First of all, I’ve been a follower for I think almost
two years now, and your teachings are the best
there is. If it wasn’t for you I would probably have
no leads, lost, and no idea of where to focus my
efforts on. Not only you have helped my band make
sales, but you have been a great example on how to
communicate with fans and treat them well.
Many thanks to you, and God bless!

Hope you’re still tuning in because
I want to shoot you a question:

How would you send a free song for a
mobile campaign targeted on smartphone users?
I believe the opt-in part is basically the same as
a regular email campaign if you optimize your
squeeze page to be mobile friendly. Or by getting
a contact to send a blank email to a trigger address.
But most people are not able to extract zip files on
their smartphones, and sending a direct link to a
mp3 file will let them listen to it but not necessarily
download it on their device.

Exchanging contact info for a free ticket to a live show
would be easier (and I am experimenting on this with
offline advertising), but like the guy on the podcast,
some musicians don’t tour or play live often and contacts
will pass on the offer if they had other plans on event date.
And that would be a waste of traffic.

Thanks again, and hope you can answer the question.

Reply

John Oszajca February 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Hi TRD,

Thanks a lot for the kind words. Nice to hear that you are getting results from what I’m teaching. You made my day :-)

The mobile download issue is a factor but there are many apps that allow people to download MP3 files. That being said, there are apps for opening and downloading MP3 or zip files mobile devices, so I really wouldn’t worry too much about it.

Here is one example but there are many: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mp3-music-downloader-free/id470101678?mt=8

(I haven’t personally used that one so I can’t vouche for it).

I’d go and find the one you like for iphone and android and then simply ad some text to your download page that says because mobile phones do not support mp3 downloads you you will need to use —— app to download the track to their phone.

For a mobile specific campaign you might skip the zip file and go with the MP3 file so at least people can listen to it without hassles.

You can also provide instructions in your welcome email.

Thanks again and let me know if I can ever help with anything else.

PS – By the way, you mind if I use that first paragraph on the testimonials page? If so, shoot me link to your squeeze page and I’ll share that as well. No pressure though.

Reply

TRD February 4, 2013 at 4:48 am

Thanks so much John!
That all makes sense. ” Add instructions” – So simple!
Well, I’ve noticed a good percentage of my subscribers
are not clicking on the follow up free downloads because
they’re opening the emails on their phones.
I just wanted to know how you would approach the issue.
I’ll look into what kind of apps are suitable.
Maybe you could invest on creating an media player
app that musicians can customize, and users can download free with pre-loaded songs and videos (and additional uploads as well). Also included with a simple
news feed or some kind of communication tool to stay engaged with them.
I would definitely buy a tool like that!

Thanks again, and I’ll contact on you about the testimonial.
Have a great day!

Reply

John Oszajca February 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Happy to help. I’m pretty positive what you are describing exists. I’m sure a little searching in the app store for “download mp3″ or “download zip” will get you what you want.

And assuming you’re cool with it, just send the link to support@musicmarketingmanifesto.com ad I’ll throw you up on the testimonials page: http://musicmarketingmanifesto.com/testimonials

Cheers.

Reply

Shyma January 24, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Hi John,

I haven’t listened to the podcast yet but I have a question – I’m already a member of the insider circle and I just wanted to check that the price for existing members will continue to be be $27.

Thanks,
Shyma

Reply

John Oszajca January 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Hi Shyma,

Yes, all existing members are already locked in. The price will never be raised on you once you become a member. It has simply gone up for new members, aside from this last chance discount that I’m currently offering.

Sorry if that wasn’t totally clear. Thanks and all the best.

Reply

Md ZestRock January 24, 2013 at 12:27 am

John we really need to setup a standard music company here in Warri, a city in Nigeria_ Africa_this street of warri is flooded with a whole lot potentials n raw talents but with no or lesser opportunities for the talented one’s, yet the top music market in Lagos don’t want d the bomb ticking rappers/singers in the city of Warri to major up. “…they shouldn’t be scared we don’t bite, or maybe they’re selfish like wanting all d bread but our’s is gifted we nor buy!” I begin to feel like there’s some politiking in the music industry in my country Nigeria -John u’re welcome to know me am Md ZestRock a producer/recording artist/ graphix n video editor u may call me mutimedia fanatic or even a digital freak …seriously? Yeah men ain’t kidden! what more can I say have a nice day friend here’s my bbm pin 29FA40CF pls add n share _ phone +23407069275837 thanks for ur time holla back

Reply

John Oszajca January 24, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Hi Md ZestRock,

Thanks for the comment. You may be right about the politics of the music business. I’m not experienced with the industry in Africa, but I will tell you that the strategy I’m teaching doesn’t really include the labels in the industry.

In fact this strategy is more about you connecting with your fans, using your own mailing list that you control and building a relationship with them. Eventually, as you build that relationship, you simply ask them to buy. There are also some time-tested direct response triggers you can use, to knock people of the fence and into buying.

As a general rule, your sales number will be in direct proportion to the number of people on your list.

As your list grows, so will your sales. You might find that some of the labels will be more inclined to deal with you if you can show them that you can sell music on your own, without them.

Thanks for your interest and let me know if I can ever help with anything.

Reply

sherwin kaufman January 22, 2013 at 2:50 am

Thank you, John, for the privilege of asking questions. Mine is:
Where can I send my many gospel and inspirational songs?
Gospel/Christian singers do not accept unsolicited material. (This
even applies to members of the American Gospel Association,
which I tried in the past.) While I’m at it, can you recommend
other venues for this particular genre?
Keep up the good work!
Sherwin

Reply

John Oszajca January 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Hey Sherwin,

My area of expertise is really selling to the consumer. I sort of stopped focusing on the kind of thing your referring to simply because it requires someone else’s support, approval, help, etc, in order to be the artist I’d like to be. So instead I focus on building a subscriber base and selling my music directly to them.

If you’re looking to get other artists to perform your songs, it sounds to me that you may have to just get out there and do some old fashioned networking, and perhaps (dare I say it), get a manager or agent to represent you.

At the very least I’d recommend you explore selling the music yourself. That way you can be a success regardless of any of those other factors that are so difficult to control.

Thanks for submitting your question.

Reply

Rosalinda (Crimson Rose) January 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Thanks for sending the link to me! It was highly-informative and encouraging. I would have asked these questions of you, myself. :-)

Reply

John Oszajca January 21, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Thanks Rosalinda, glad you enjoyed it.

Reply

`TerryLee WHETSTONe January 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Hello, First Scotts site for web site for musicians? I am oon CDBaby and been there for years. I question being on all these online radio programs such as Pandorea letting people listen to your music for Free Free Free, question why would they buy if they can listen to it for free all the time? Understand giving away a track or two for signup but where is the line of what to place out for listening for free vs sales? hank you again for your two knowledge. TerryLee

Reply

John Oszajca January 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Hi Terry,

Yes, Scott’s site is websitesformusicians.com. is that what you were asking?

As for giving away music for free, I think the goal needs to be to use some of your music to get people into your sales funnel. IE, on your email list. Once they have subscribed your job is to build an authentic relationship with your subscribers and eventually sell some product. I don’t personally pursue much of anything that doesn’t serve that fundamental process. Assuming you do follow that process there is no real need to give away much more than a few tracks to help get people acquainted with you, and the odd track here and there to keep existing fans engaged.

But on the other side of the coin, I wouldn’t be too afraid of giving music away because with teh direct response marketing model, the sales triggers are based much more on the bond you have with your list than any specific perceived monetary value of the tracks themselves.

Hope that answers your question.

Reply

nick108 January 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Thank you very much indeed John, lets pray this is THE year. ROCK FOR RADHARANI.

Reply

John Oszajca January 21, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Sounds like a plan. Thanks Nick.

Reply

Tanya Howell January 21, 2013 at 10:54 am

Thanks for sharing this John. I missed the call because I had to work. Really stoked that you released the replay. Rock on!

Reply

John Oszajca January 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm

My pleasure Tanya. Enjoy the recording.

Reply

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