Wednesday, May 23, 2012

tate music group...promotion that makes sense

My team found an interesting article this week about the state of our country's media in regards to the music industry - TV, Radio, etc. I will post the link below...but the basic idea is that media availability has decreased dramatically because of dominating control by a select number of players. One statistic from the article is that over the past 25 years, media input and control has decreased from over 50 to just 6 major players. That means that you have less opportunities to get your music in front of anyone responsible for making decisions in the media...and even less of a chance of those same people giving you the time to even listen to your music. We know this is the case for radio...since you have one program director (who is usually responsible for multiple stations) playing the music he HAS to play from corporate...and trying to squeeze in some that he actually likes and thinks his audience will like. As an aspiring artist, you have to be willing to put aside the traditional understanding of what "works" in the music industry and be realistic with your expectations. The truth is, these aren't the only hot spots to go to. You can find actual opportunities through many other avenues...if you are willing to think outside the box and be willing to be more organic in your growth as an artist. Since Tate Music Group started...our focus has been to stay ahead of the changing industry and look at new, effective ways to work with our artists and promote their music. There have always been (and will probably always be) the traditional promotion tactics for artists in the upper echelon of the music industry. However, those avenues are rarely open for the new, aspiring why spend much time and resources there? Across the board, it is imperative that we look at ways to promote music to the people who want to hear it. I think the numbers speak for themselves...and I think artists have more opportunities for exposure and promotion than ever before. They just need to embrace the new norms. That is where our focus is here at Tate Music Group...and we are seeing incredible numbers and opportunities that confirm our correct approach!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

tate music itself

Videos are such a great tool for promoting your music...whether traditional music videos or those that are more 'off the wall.' We are such a visual culture and in today's new is so easy to share video and connect to new fans. Not every video will go viral. In fact, few will...but they are still a vital part of the promotion of an active artist. As an artist, you should make time to study, create, and share videos...and if you aren't...the only question I can think of is, "Why?". With all that in mind, I wanted to share this video from Tate Music Group artist, Robin Lees. Her music has a great message and she has such a good sound! Check out this great new video and listen to more of Robin's music here:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

tate music group...that's what we've been saying

One of the most important (and most common) discussions we have with the artists we work with focuses on the business aspect of music. It makes sense...since this is called the "music business." The thing we most commonly stress is that the music is just the introduction into the industry - the business is what keeps you there.

Like any business, the product being introduced and promoted rises and falls on its quality and the ability of its creator to sell it to the consumer. The music business is no different. As an artist, your music is the product...and the quality of that music is very important. However, even more important is your ability (as the artist/creator) to promote and sell your product - in this case, your CD. You can have incredible songs and share those with an audience - completely captivating them. If that audience, though, isn't able to get your music and similarly recreate those feelings they had when hearing it live...they will forget about you and your music and move on to the next option.

This is why we (TMG) stress the importance of artists having lots of product and merchandise on hand for all your shows and events. It is not only your best point of is a way to engage with your audience again...and continue to inspire them by providing your music for them to listen and share over and over. That is both great promotion of your art and excellent business strategy - since a $10 CD at your show will end up as $6-$8 directly to you. Multiply that by 60 fans...and again by 50-60 shows per year - and you're starting to make this a career!

Of course, as you can see, the other aspect of selling your product is your ability to engage and captivate your audience. You have to put on a good show and give your audience something to not only be excited about at the time...but talk about to their friends the next day, week, month. This is how you, as an artist, are really just a salesman with a guitar (or piano, or microphone, etc.). I know that doesn't sound very appealing to most artists...but it is the truth about all business. Having the best product means nothing if you can't sell it to your audience. Time and again, I see incredible artists with no fan base and nothing (financially) to show for their work...because they aren't willing to do the 'salesman' role that is needed for this line of work. On the flip side, less musically talented artists can be some of the most popular and highest grossing artists because they have accepted their sales role and actively engage and inspire their audiences to action - which always involves buying their product (CDs, shirts, hats, etc.).

This is foundational to Tate Music Group and our goals for working with artists. We have been saying this for years and we see the most success from our artists that embrace music not only as an art but ultimately as a business.

Here is a video from Tom Jackson (a major promoter in the music business) stressing these same principles.

Monday, March 26, 2012

tate music group...who is your audience?

One of the first things you need to do as an artist - perhaps even before you begin to put pen to paper and write those hit songs - is to identify who you are writing the songs for. In other words, know your audience and direct your art in that direction so as to capture their attention and their money. That shouldn't come across as too harsh, I hope, because it is ultimately what every artist has to focus on...since every artist I talk to has it in their mind to play music for a living. Making money, then, is essential to that goal.

Knowing your audience (understanding what they are looking for in music) is one of the principle and foundational rules of marketing and branding. Very often we talk to artists who will say "my music is really for everyone." Wrong! It isn't...and it shouldn't be. It should be for the specific audience that will be drawn to its style, writing, music, and cadence. Music is diverse - like fruit; you are going to like some of it...but not all of it. Stop wasting energy and resources trying to sell apples to banana people! The key is finding the people who have the same tastes as you and targeting your time, money, and effort to making sure they have many chances to hear and experience your art (and buy it!).

Once you have identified your target audience, you will be able to focus your efforts on the things that will help connect them with you and your music (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, music downloads, events, etc.). There will always be bleed-over from those you are targeting...because good music will be shared and heard by people you never specifically focused on - which is a great thing! That just gives more opportunity for you as an artist to sell your music...and possibly branch into new targeted territory.

Friday, February 17, 2012

tate music group...retail and promotional events

When promoting your is imperative to have live interaction events. These can be performance based events - concerts, gigs, tours, etc. Or they can be hybrid events that deal with the promotion of the album through interaction (and possibly some performance) - CD signings, retail/niche promotional opportunities, media appearances, etc. Both are important to the promotion, publicity, and overall sales of the CD!

Every artist wants to focus on the former (live performance events)...and they should be focused on that. However, the latter (retail/promotional/media events) can often be even more effective from a sales and networking standpoint because of the people you have a chance to interact with. We get notes all the time regarding great niche/promotional events that turn into major performance or media opportunities. I want to share one we received this past week from an artist in Texas:

"Here's a story for ya: I had a CD Signing at Hastings in Victoria, TX the end of January. I sold and signed several CD's. Met some great people and made new fans and friends. Thru this signing I picked up a radio interview from a radio station in Granbury, TX which is about 300 miles from Victoria. The program manager just happened to be there that day. We had the interview and he said check back in a month or two and let him know how it is going, and we'll do another interview. My music is being played on his station. Also thru this signing the store manager asked me to start up an open mic night at the Hardback Coffee Cafe on Thursday nights. I've done this for 3 weeks and they ask me back every week. I've sold several CDs thru this event and I'm gaining friends and fans. Last night I was asked to perform for a Recovery group at a Large Church in Victoria. I've also made other contacts for future gigs.

I want to thank You and TMG for taking an interest in me and my music. You are right, the CD signings aren't like performing; however, we really enjoy them. We've made some great contacts and get to talk about our Ministry and Music. A lady professor from Baylor University asked me to perform at a Memorial Service in the future. I sing Amazing Grace in Cherokee and that's what she wants for her Husbands Memorial... What an honor.

We request to be set up at the entrance of the store. When customers walk in we make eye contact and smile. Our music is playing and we hold out our business card and a refrigerator magnet with Heart of Grace Ministries on it. We don't sell a CD to everyone but we give them something of ourselves every time. Some people ignore us and refuse the grace we extend to them, but they are few."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

tate music group...34 Bliss 'learn to fly'

Check out the above Tate Music Group video featuring new TMG artist, 34 Bliss. The video was shot in downtown Oklahoma City and really showcases the attitude and energy of the band. Also, check out this link to read a recent article written about 34 Bliss - from The Blue Water Traveler.

For more info and links, go to our TMG News page.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

tate music group...#2 on iTunes

Hard work, great fan support, and strategic planning are the key elements to the early success Tate Music Group and Tiffany Alvord have had with the young YouTube star's newest album, My Dream. Tiffany's album was much anticipated by her more than 600,000 YouTube fans and subscribers...debuting at #2 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart.

As her label, Tate Music Group is very excited for Tiffany! We are all well aware, however, of the hard work that really begins now. Tiffany is already in the middle of the promotion and publicity of her new album...including a recent trip to China to appear on a Chinese national television program...and perform as part of a major concert in Shanghai.

Read more about Tiffany's music and her iTunes debut at #2 here. And make sure you go here to check out and buy her new album, My Dream.