Welcome to EvO:R Entertainment
The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
A brief and humorous look at a couple of common,
and irritating, marketing schemes in use by many independent electronic musicians.
So...as if I didn't already have enough problems in my life: people thinking my
name is Gabrielle and not Gabriel, figuring out how to cook anise so that
it doesn't make my whole family puke. My problems are only compounded by finding
all of this annoying junk in my inbox. Good with the bad, I've also discovered
how much about a person you can tell just by empathizing with their motivations.
This is an essay,
a description, of a void I recently discovered. A place in mental space and
time that is filled with a wicked silence, a vacuum of rational decision,
a place that lies between the moral and philosophical distinctions of right
and wrong. An ethical void, in the universe of rationality. This void affects
us all, it is a crucial border between two answers to a question that every
musician must ask when they move forward in their endless quest for intellectual
respect, financial success, and self-valuation. The question of marketing.
pondering an existing scenario for a very long time: some of the best music
I have ever heard, the true "thinkers" of musical sculpture, have often been
produced by bands I have never heard of; and some of the most generic and
uninspired music I have had the displeasure of listening to, has been created
by bands I cannot seem to stop hearing about. Is this a question of subjective
taste? A question of marketing prowess? A question of public interest? I believe
it is a combination of many factors, and I propose that it is important for
all musicians to explore the nature of the promotional beast, to understand
its primal motivations, to help them to survive the journey through the moral
by examining moral rationale as it applies to marketing. All musicians, especially
the ones who are not brain dead, understand that the path to success is paved
with the ears of thousands of listeners. These same enlightened artists know
that every person they encounter, every single breathing and self-aware entity
on this rotating rock that we live on is a potential ear to pave our way to
success. This metaphor is further enhanced through the promotional and financial
programs developed by the various free music sites that most of us rely on
to gain our listenership. MP3.com happily provides us cold-hard cash based
on the number of unique listeners we can bring to them in a single day. Payback
for playback, as it were. A wonderful cash cow for themselves, almost holy
in a Hindi/Ayurvedic way, as they are paid back for every view and every click
of every banner ad they display on our artists pages. A mutually beneficial
symbiotic relationship with their musicians and their advertisers. This metaphor,
this marketing approach, however, only provides a blank canvas that all artists
must sit and stare blankly at, pondering a creative approach to paint a picture
that answers a question: how do I get more people to click on those blue links
and listen to my music.
in fact all artists, must explore their own motivations before they can truly
understand the nature of their work. Am I interested in making a commentary
on the web of modern politics? The human condition? Maybe I learned something
important in my life I would like to teach to other people. Maybe I have a
talent and I need to use it so I can eat and drive things like cars. Maybe
I just want to have fun with a hobby. Maybe I just want to be stinking filthy
rich. Perhaps I even hate the way I look in the mirror, and the only I way
I can stand to exist is if I know that other people find value in something
understand your motivation, it not only shapes the creative approach you will
use to make your music, but it also defines the way you will insert your idea
into the minds of others. I often receive various marketing materials for
many artists who are hitting it big in the payback program and even those
that are not. It would seem to me that artists wear their heart on their sleeve
not only in the sounds they create, but how they promote themselves as well.
Consider the case of what I will call, "zombie marketing", or the infamous "form letter"
(spam). Every day, millions and millions of these letters are sent to flood
the world's post offices as well as every email provider on the net. The letter
itself is like a zombie from those old black and white horror flicks, an unstoppable
army, mindlessly and ferociously focused on a single simple goal, to eat your
brains. They prey on the weak minded, the lonely, the slow. These letters
talk to you as if you were the sender's personal friend, but in reality they
are simply mathematic formulas:
Hey X, my name is soandso, and I have been a fan of your music for some time. You are
an effing genius, and I am so honored to know you. I've pinned your picture
to the ceiling above my bed and I go through several bottles of lotion a day
looking at that picture. Hey, I just loved your tune Y, I graduated from lotion
to electronic devices when I heard it. Come check out my tune Z, I would love
your opinion! Your endless loyal best friend, soandso. (X = target musician's
name, Y= song title at top of target musician's list, Z= latest tune released
Zombie marketing relies on sheer numbers, send this thing out to say 10,000 people, assume
that perhaps 2,000 will not trash it, and 1,000 people will actually click.
It makes a distinction between "quality fans" and "mindless fans." A quality
fan is a person who likes you, your music, would listen again, and who will
spread your name around to others as if you were a saint and they were an
apostle. A mindless fan is someone who was gullible enough to go click and
found themselves horribly disappointed, with teeth marks in their skull, that
will go around and hatchet your name into teeny-tiny pieces to all of their
friends. Solid vs. hollow. Your motivations. In the void, it's up to you to
decide which kind of fan you want. Do you think that a person who sends unsolicited
form letters pretending to be your friend respects you very much? Do you think
they care who you are?
Think you are super-intelligent and immune to this stuff? Think again. I am an effing
genius and even I fell for a unique marketing technique that I have dubbed,
skin sales. You know the old saying: "the oldest profession in the world?"
Well, it's true and it invades our little group of independent online musicians.
The people who use this technique have added another tool to "zombie marketing",
and have aimed it at the one weakness that 99.9% of heterosexual men have:
breasts. Just go browse around the top charts at MP3.com, if you click on
the right name, you are subjected to images of breasts, lousy music, and breasts.
Pretty smart technique, if you ask me, after all I *did* go look and was subjected
to some of the worst noise to assail my aural sense since the album: "Kenny
G. plays the greatest industrial hits." I considered using this technique,
but somehow I don't think that pictures of me half naked would get me quality
fans. Again, you're in the void, you decide. Do you think that a person who
markets themselves in this way has much respect for themselves? Do you think
they care who you are?
I don't know,
I hate this kind of advertising but I also want people to listen to my work
plus a little fame wouldn't be bad either. Maybe the trick to being successful
and fulfilled in this artistic profession is to screw trying to get rich and
have fun, but then again, maybe you are one of those few people that needs
to eat and keep warm, and this is what you do best. Then you have to decide
if you want a quick buck, or long term respect. Money sure does motivate,
doesn't it? ask yourself if you want to expend limited intellectual and creative
resources on developing the next major multilevel musical marketing scheme,
or writing an evocative, emotional, high-quality song that would make Kenny
G. cover it on the next "Kenny plays your favorite goa and big beat hits."
I think that maybe it's hard to do both. Then again, maybe I'm just not as
smart as I think I am. So I float in the void, between good music and sales,
writing this article hoping maybe someone can give me the answer, and maybe
send me a good anise recipe.
know, maybe you'll get the next form letter from me? Braaaaaaaaiiiiiiins!!!!
All content © 2001 -2007 EvO:R Entertainment