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From Music Think Tank:

Though it may sound like fan fiction, Kaplan and Haenlein’s article “The Britney Spears Universe” is a deconstruction of the pop singer’s use of social media to impact the viral marketing scene around her 2011 album “Femme Fatale.” The album was generally considered a hit with its first week sales moving her into third place for the most number one albums by a female artist, behind Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. Much of this success is attributed to the marketing team’s use of integrated communication and viral market techniques.

What are the techniques?

1. Starting Before The Beginning
Viral marketing is self-perpetuated, created in such a way that social users become responsible for the delivery of the marketing content. Great content is one of the things that you will need for a viral campaign to work. As Henry Ford put it, “First job is to make good product.” But brilliant content on its own isn’t enough to persuade users to hit the share button. Every viewer needs to share the content with a minimum of two people who also distribute a share for the viewership to grow. Think old Faberge commercial from the 80s where the consumer “told two friends and so on and so on.” That is the basic nature of viral marketing.

Marketing researchers now know that the exponential growth in viewership is dependent on the right core group, called “the seed.” The best seed group will have a large number of people in the network and will have multi-directional communication. The first makes sense intuitively. If you’re going to get your content out to as many people as possible, you want your seeds to know a lot of people. The second part, multi-directionality, is less commonsense. People who pump out content but do not have a dialogue with their network, do not work as good seeds. Instead of these hubs, you want your seed to be people that talk with their network and their network talks back. Seeding takes time and starts long before introducing your content.

Continue reading here for more tips

All of the sales from the downloads of the album go toward Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. I’ve been the national spokesperson for them for about five years now. That’s really important to me that that’s being funded. And it’s been funded to the extent of something like $200,000 dollars with the sales from this project. As you know, that’s all donations. People can pick it up for free, but the fact that people are inspired by what it’s really for and what it’s championing, that’s a great sign that our hearts are in the right place.

I’ve been involved in ending hunger for about 30 years now. It started out being concerned about world hunger, and we formed an organization called the End Hunger Network, which was made up of folks in the entertainment industry and folks that were involved in the media. Once I learned that what was keeping hunger in place wasn’t that we didn’t have enough food or money or not even that we didn’t know how to end it – everybody knows how to end it – but what’s missing is the political will to do it. Making it a priority.

In democratic societies our politicians are supposed to represent us, the individuals so it finally gets down to “What am I willing to do?” Now that I know the facts, am I going to ignore those and just go about my business, or am I gonna look into my own life and see what part I might play in turning that around? [I wanted to do that] rather than just making a gesture, like giving a few bucks to something and scratching my guilt itch, you know? That could actually be part of the problem, because the individual feels like they’re off the hook now, they’ve done their part, and the problem persists.

So I wondered, “What could I do that I could keep doing until the problem is solved?” The most natural thing seemed to be doing something like what I’m doing with you now, spreading the word. That’s what I do making movies: tell stories and spread the word about those stories.

Then about 20 years ago the End Hunger Network shifted its focus from world hunger to hunger here in the United States, because some of the programs that were [combating hunger] weren’t being properly funded. We couldn’t be telling other countries how to do it when we have one in five of our kids struggling with hunger. Then about five years ago I got in cahoots with Share Our Strength and their No Kid Hungry campaign.

– Jeff Bridges, in an interview with Aquarium Drunkard

Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story—a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll, written with the lyricism and haunting beauty of Patti Smith’s Just Kids.

Often described as aloof, Kim Gordon opens up as never before in Girl in a Band. Telling the story of her family, growing up in California in the ’60s and ’70s, her life in visual art, her move to New York City, the men in her life, her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, her music, and her band, Girl in a Band is a rich and beautifully written memoir.

Gordon takes us back to the lost New York of the 1980s and ’90s that gave rise to Sonic Youth, and the Alternative revolution in popular music. The band helped build a vocabulary of music—paving the way for Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and many other acts. But at its core, Girl in a Band examines the route from girl to woman in uncharted territory, music, art career, what partnership means—and what happens when that identity dissolves.

Evocative and edgy, filled with the sights and sounds of a changing world and a transformative life, Girl in a Band is the fascinating chronicle of a remarkable journey and an extraordinary artist.

This is part one of five exclusive clips, to be published every day this week at 5pm GMT.

KIM GORDON: GIRL IN A BAND | 1. Chapter One by Rough Trade on Mixcloud

It [has] to do with two things. One is economic urgency. I just never made enough money to say, “Oh, man, I think I’m gonna get a yacht now and scuba-dive.” I never had those kinds of funds available to me to make radical decisions about what I might do in life. Besides that, I was trained in what later became known as the Montreal School of Poetry.

Before there were prizes, before there were grants, before there were even girls who cared about what I did. We would meet, a loosely defined group of people. There were no prizes, as I said, no rewards other than the work itself. We would read each other poems. We were passionately involved with poems and our lives were involved with this occupation…

We had in our minds the examples of poets who continued to work their whole lives. There was never any sense of a raid on the marketplace, that you should come up with a hit and get out. That kind of sensibility simply did not take root in my mind until very recently…

So I always had the sense of being in this for keeps, if your health lasts you. And you’re fortunate enough to have the days at your disposal so you can keep on doing this. I never had the sense that there was an end. That there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot.

What a beautiful testament to the creative spirit and its true motives, to creative contribution coming from a place of purpose rather than a hunger for profit. – Leonard Cohen in Paul Zollo’s book, Songwriters on Songwriting

Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it would be “making page likes more meaningful” by nixing inactive accounts. So if your page had 10 million likes, 1 million of which were from inactive accounts, you dropped down to 9 million. Facebook follows Instagram, who just did a cleanup last December where Justin Bieber, Tyga, and others lost more than 3 million Instagram followers by elimiating inactive accounts.

Social media analytics platform CrowdTangle tracked more than 80,000 pages from March 11th, when the purge started, through this week. This doesn’t necessarily mean they had fake followers, but many artists below had fan bases who might have fled to other social media networks like Snapcast, never again to look back at Facebook. Who lost a slew of followers? See below.

In the celebrity category:

1. Rihanna: -7,986,973 (9.8% of likes)
2. Shakira: -6,855,640 (6.8% of likes)
3. Katy Perry: -5,632,634 (7.8% of likes)
4. Lady Gaga: -5,470,021 (8.9% of likes)
5. Michael Jackson: -5,063,200 (6.7% of likes)
6. Beyoncé: -4,937,853 (7.9% of likes)
7. Lil Wayne: -4,817,374 (9.3% of likes)
8. AKON: -4,615,180 (8.7% of likes)
9. Selena Gomez: -4,540,000 (8.0% of likes)
10. Avril Lavigne: -4,417,463 (8.3% of likes)


1. YouTube: -5,796,122 (7.2% of likes)
2. Coca-Cola: -5,000,475 (5.6% of likes)
3. MTV: -4,064,977 (8.5% of likes)
4. Texas HoldEm Poker: -3,719,075 (5.5% of likes)
5. Disney: -3,467,508 (7.4% of likes)
6. Converse: -3,207,291 (8.5% of likes)
7. Red Bull: -3,197,328 (7.5% of likes)
8. Oreo: -2,621,539 (6.6% of likes)
9. Starbucks: -2,489,603 (7.0% of likes)
10. Skype: -2,430,956 (8.0% of likes)

The movies and TV shows:

1. The Simpsons: -5,220,767 (7.5% of likes)
2. Harry Potter (the movies): -4,772,742 (6.7% of likes)
3. Family Guy: -4,474,455 (8.6% of fans)
4. SpongeBob SquarePants: -4,348,905 (8.0% of likes)
5. South Park: -3,952,825 (8.4% of likes)
6. The Twilight Saga: -3,773,484 (8.4% of likes)
7. Titanic: -3,493,285 (6.2% of likes)
8. Avatar: -3,445,217 (6.9% of likes)
9. Toy Story: -2,623,388 (8.0% of likes)
10. House: -2,478,546 (6.0% of likes)

Via The Verge

From Prescription Music PR:

When a new fan joins your mailing list– either at a gig or via your website – there are probably a few things you want to let them know about: for example, where to find you on social media; the URL for your merch store; and forthcoming gig dates. Rather than send out emails manually to every new subscriber, use autoresponders (provided by tools such as Getresponse or Mad Mimi) to schedule these in automatically – i.e., so that X number of days after signing up to your a mailing list, your new fan gets email Y. For example, a subscriber could get an email immediately upon sign-up with details of your Facebook and Twitter pages; a week later they could receive a link to an online store full of delightful t-shirts and so on. All this saves a lot of time.

Additionally, if you know that you are going to need to publicise various activities at specific points in the year, you can also schedule in e-newsletters to go out on relevant dates with relevant information. This saves you having to panic about sending tour-related e-newsletters when you’re in the middle of a rehearsal for said tour – it will go out automatically in the middle of that slightly-too-long guitar solo.

RSS (Rich Site Summary / Really Simple Syndication) is a feed from a website that another website can use to publish content…and it’s your friend. If you have a blog on your site, for example, you can use its RSS feed to trigger e-newsletters, meaning that when you update your blog, your fans receive the latest content from it in their inbox. You can also use your RSS feed to send your content automatically to your social media profiles, meaning that when you add new posts to your blog, or images to your gallery, your Twitter followers see a relevant tweet as soon as the new content is live. And, if you make your RSS feed publicly accessible on your website, your die-hard-technically-savvy fans who naturally use an RSS reader (a ‘news aggregator’) to stay up to date with the music scene can enjoy news from your site in the list of publications they follow.

Google Alerts allow you to monitor the web for new content about topics of your choosing: in your case, the ‘topic’ is whatever your band happens to be called. Google Alerts is very easy to use: you just enter your act’s name and pick when you’d like to receive updates regarding any online mentions of the band (as-it-happens, daily or weekly). This means that whenever an influential blogger is giving your band a bad review, you’ll get a notification. The other thing that Google Alerts is good for – and I’m slightly reluctant to tell you this – is for keeping your music PR company on their toes, because you can use it to see how well they are doing with your online music PR campaign…

Read more band hacks here

Early on, before rock ’n’ roll, I listened to big band music: Harry James, Russ Columbo, Glenn Miller. But up north, at night, you could find these radio stations that played pre-rock ’n’ roll things — country blues. You could hear Jimmy Reed.

Then there was a station out of Chicago, played all hillbilly stuff. We also heard the Grand Ole Opry. I heard Hank Williams way early, when he was still alive. One night, I remember listening to the Staple Singers, “Uncloudy Day.” And it was the most mysterious thing I’d ever heard. It was like the fog rolling in. What was that? How do you make that? It just went through me.

I managed to get an LP, and I’m like, “Man!” I looked at the cover, and I knew who Mavis was without having to be told. She looked to be about the same age as me. Her singing just knocked me out.  This was before folk music had ever entered my life. I was still an aspiring rock ’n’ roller. The descendant, if you will, of the first generation of guys who played rock ’n’ roll —  who were thrown down. Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis. They played this type of music that was black and white. Extremely incendiary. Your clothes could catch fire.

When I first heard Chuck Berry, I didn’t consider that he was black. I thought he was a white hillbilly. Little did I know, he was a great poet, too. And there must have been some elitist power that had to get rid of all these guys, to strike down rock ’n’ roll for what it was and what it represented — not least of all it being a black-and-white thing. Bob Dylan, AARP magazine

From Songtrust:

Submit your Songs into Songwriting Competitions:

Yes, there are scams out there, but don’t let that stop you. Many songwriting competitions can help your songs gain exposure to top music industry executives. They can also help you meet other writers which may lead to potential new collaboration opportunities. The International Songwriting Competition has a panel of judges ranging from Grammy-Winning artists and songwriters to CEOs of major record companies. We also recommend Song Of The Year, The U.S.A Songwriting Competition, and The Great American Song Contest.

Schedule a Co-Writing Session:

Working with others may sound daunting, but collaborating with other writers can sometimes be the best way to come up with fresh ideas you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Not only could your co-written songs end up better, but the more people you collaborate with, the more people will be actively playing and advocating for your songs. Don’t be scared to reach out to well established artists and songwriters about co-writing sessions – It never hurts to ask! Always remember that 1% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Join a Writer’s Round or Open Mic Night:

Writer’s rounds are great places to network with other writers and try out your songs in front of a crowd. If you have stage fright, performing at these places can also give you invaluable experience playing in front of people. Artists like Michelle Branch and Ian Axel (of A Great Big World) started at New York Songwriters Circle, a monthly songwriter’s circle at The Bitter End in NYC. Open mic nights are everywhere and also great places to get exposure to new people.

Read more advice here.

Nielsen SoundScan’s Canadian Operations Director, Paul Tuch pulled more data for FYI Music showing the week following sales for Juno winners and performers.

The data conclusively show significant strengthening of sales around key artists in the post-period, spanning March 15 -22. As follows:

  • Leonard Cohen – album up 200% from 279 to 838 copies sold
  • Arkells – album up 19%, Come To Light track up 63% downloads and up 31% streams. High Noon album went from 916 to 1,092.
  • Hedley album up 34%. Wild Life went from 373 to 499 sold
  • Kiesza album up 59%, Hideaway track up 51% downloads. Sound Of A Woman album jumped from 357 copies to 570.
  • Lights album up 89%. Little Machines went from 192 to 361 sold.
  • Magic! album up 25%. Don’t Kill The Magic LP went from 627 to 786 sold.
  • Shawn Mendes – Life Of The Party track up 18% downloads, up to 2262 copies
  • The Weeknd – Earned It – up 12% downloads
  • Bobby Bazini – Bubblegum – up 72% streams
  • Deadmau5 – Seeya up 24% streams