Friday, April 29

A Picture Says A Thousand Words...

And it might even generate 1000 fans if it's done well.

It used to be that a picture of an artist was your first and maybe only clue as to what their music would sound like once you got that record home and onto the turntable. You would walk into a record store, dig through the bins, look at posters on the wall and buy what looked the coolest to you. There were no online previews, Youtube, Amazon etc. Artists had to look right and have the music to back up the look...and you know what, it's still the same today.















Let's take this photo of Johnny Cash for instance. This image endeared him to a whole new generation of Punk Rockers who identified with him as a rockabilly rebel. His management even used it for an ad in Billboard Magazine in 1996 after he won a Grammy for 'Best Country Album' to say 'thank you' to the Nashville establishment who had all but forgotten him.



















And what about this guy, is that Urkel from 'Family Matters' all grown up? No, wait a minute, that's Kanye West, arguably one of the biggest Hip Hop, if not Pop stars around today. Where's the gold chain, the baseball cap and the over sized puffer jacket.


















You'll have to excuse the quality with a few of these images but I'm trying to make a point. Maybe I can make two points as picture quality is also very important, especially online where everything gets copied, edited, resized, compressed etc. Just remember, it's always best to start with a hi-res image and size down for your needs. (I wish I had the originals of these photos)

But my original point is that this image was originally shocking. The Beatles made this cover and the label decided in the end to scrap almost a million copies of the jacket and cover over many of them with a new sticker. Original copies of 'The Butcher Cover' can now fetch over $10,000.

Of course this was shocking in the 60's when Vietnam was at it's height, but this would never be shocking to anyone today...or would it ?





























So even today promotional photos are an extremely important window into what an artist is all about. They need to be engaging and expressive of the artists identity and worldview.

Especially online, attention spans are short and there's always so much to look at, click on or tab over to. On Jango the artist image in the player is 200 pixels by 200 pixels. On iTunes it can be as small as 100 x 100. That's a lot different than a 12" record jacket from the glory days of vinyl.

You just have to wonder if The Beatles 'White Album' would fare as well today with that cover.

Tuesday, April 26

Is Your Targeting On Target?


One of the most common questions we get here at Airplay HQ is...'How do I get more fans?' The answer to that question, more often than not, can be found in the 'Targeting' tab in your Jango Airplay artist dashboard but it's not always staring you in the face.

It's obvious to most that if you're a heavy metal act then targeting fans of ABBA isn't going to do you any favors. But did you ever think that if you're a metal act that targeting Metallica might not do you any favors either? Probably not, that just doesn't make sense...or does it?

Think about it this way; Metallica has tons of fans, many of which aren't even heavy metal fans. Maybe for these fans Metallica is the ONLY metal act that they like at all. Then you look at the 'Realtime Listener Feed' in your dashboard and see that 75% of your Airplays are going to Metallica fans because they are that HUGE...Ooops...time to re-target.

Another perfect example could be targeting The Beach Boys. Of course you want to target The Beach Boys, they are your biggest influence and summertime is just a round the corner, your bound to load in the new fans that way...or maybe not. Did you ever think that most of the people who listen to the Beach Boys on Jango are baby boomers and not twenty somethings looking for that next great band? Here's an idea...what other new bands are also influenced by The Beach Boys? Fleet Foxes? The Drums? Both young bands with young followings. Or maybe continue to target The Beach Boys, but add in demographic targeting so you only hit their fans that fit the age group you're looking for.

And here's my last example...The Beatles; But I'll just let you think about that one for a while and decide for yourself...there's times it makes tons of sense, other times not, so take a moment and think deeply about your targeting, check your 'Realtime Listener Feed', your stats, and do some planned out re-targeting and watch those fans double up.

Just a little insight from the Jango Juggler

Jango Airplay Top 10

Here's this week's top 10 artists on Jango Airplay. An amazing group with some new faces popping in to play. Check them out!!!

#1: Aron Seals
Aron Seals is a rock/fusion guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. His music is heavily influenced by film scoring, and makes use of midi guitar to play various stings sounds while accompanying the solo guitar.

Click to hear Aron Seals:
Fearless
#2: The Alter Kakers
The Alter Kakers (pronounced Alta Kuckers) are one of Toronto's most popular roots rock bands. Their sound is a mixture of styles including rock, folk and country, fueled by the traditional singer-songwriter mentality.

Click to hear The Alter Kakers:
Hole In The Head
#3: Sad Alice Said
Urkainian septet Sad Alice Said play a distinctive blend of gothic metal with elements of doom, decorated with a symphonic wrap and multifaceted semantic filling.

Click to hear Aron Seals:
Open Your Eyes
#4: The Plastic Believers
The Plastic Believers are an experimental pop/rock duo from Minneapolis, MN, who wrap beautiful melodies in a sense of impending doom. Their debut album "All The Things We Carry" was released at the end of last year.

Click to hear The Plastic Believers:
On The Beach
#5: Cantalouper
Cantalouper is an alternative band from the midwest with a love for guitars, reverb and big sounds reflecting the expanse of their home. They recently began working on their first full-length release.

Click to hear Cantalouper:
Blurry
#6: DelCity
Born Bamidele Citizen of Nigeria, Delcity's music blends the consciousness of rap, the swing of reggae and the international flair of his background into a melange of emotion.

Click to hear DelCity:
Bamidele
#7: Philadelphia Slick
Philadelphia slick are a hip-hop band who blend funk, soul and jazz with less common influences: classical, tango and techno music, among others. What results is a sound that is "both retro and futuristic in equal doses."

Click to hear Philadelphia Slick:
Everything Must Go
#8: Earl "Guitar" Williams
Bluesman Earl "Guitar" Williams plays with a strut, wink and a nod. His taut, gravelly voice spits lyrics in perfect compliment to fine guitar work.

Click to hear Earl "Guitar" Williams:
My Boo
#9: Jahmings Macccow
Anguillian reggae guitarist/singer-songwriter Jahmings Maccow rose from that quiet island to the ruff ghettos of South Bronx, in the process becoming one of New York City's tuffest acts.

Click to hear Jahmings Macccow:
Horizon Train
#10: The Tadcasters
The Tadcasters were formed to blend & experiment with bluegrass, jazz, rock and blues. After a couple years of gigs and the addition of instruments like bass & banjo, the group began releasing original material to warm critical and audience reception.

Click to hear The Tadcasters:
Barroom

The Glut of New Music...In 1930


A great little article over on Digital Music News got my attention this week. It highlights how things always go in cycles and everyone crying about 'the sky is falling' never helps things move forward. From the invention of sheet music, to player pianos, the gramophone, radio and even the 8-track cassette we're just moving forward and there's nothing you can do but jump on that train.

The article quotes George Gershwin in 1930 naively saying...'Never, in all our history of popular music, has there been such a plethora of composers - professional, amateur, alleged - as we have today. Responsible, of course, are those two fresh hotbeds, the coniferous cinema and the radio.'

You can read the rest of the quote HERE , it's quite thought provoking

Tuesday, April 19

Jango Airplay Top 10

And now for the Jango Airplay Top 10 from last week. Great stuff here coming in from all over the world in all kinds of musical styles. Check them out and show your support in the comments section below.

#1: SIDS
New Mexico's SIDS, short for "Same Image Different Soul," is an emcee & producer making modern music with a traditional purpose, to spread the Gospel.

Click to hear SIDS:
Victory
#2: Charley Pride
Becoming a country music superstar was an improbable destiny for Charley Pride, considering his humble beginnings as a sharecropper?s son in Mississippi. But with perseverance, he managed to parlay his talent into a legacy of hit singles & tens of millions in record sales.

Click to hear Charley Pride:
Except For You
#3: Aron Seals
Aron Seals is a rock/fusion guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. His music is heavily influenced by film scoring, and makes use of midi guitar to play various stings sounds while accompanying the solo guitar.

Click to hear Aron Seals:
Fearless
#4: Sydnee B.
From Racine to Milwaukee, WI rapper Sydnee B. has been making his presence known in the underground rap world. He recently established his own independent label - Tippy Top Entertainment.

Click to hear Sydnee B.:
Too Loud
#5: The Plastic Believers
The Plastic Believers are an experimental pop/rock duo from Minneapolis, MN, who wrap beautiful melodies in a sense of impending doom. Their debut album "All The Things We Carry" was released at the end of last year.

Click to hear The Plastic Believers:
On The Beach
#6: The Avant-Garde Metallic Orchestra
Minnesota's Avant-Garde Metallic Orchestra plays sophisticated metal instrumentals with a heavy symphony-orchestral backup. Their compositions are a fertile blend of building momentum and grand moments.

Click to hear The Avant-Garde Metallic Orchestra:
The Trooper
#7: Toy Horses
Toy Horses are one of Wales' brightest indie gems. After airplay in the UK their music came to the attention of KCRW starmaker Nic Harcourt who put them on radio & stages in the States. Their debut album is expected in early 2011.

Click to hear Toy Horses:
And It Was You
#8: Bankers Hill
Shifting from fast, energetic rock to slow, melodic grooves, Bankers Hill takes a fusion approach to punk rock. Verses get you singing along, and choruses keep you humming for days.

Click to hear Bankers Hill:
Pound Push
#9: Wayward
Wayward is a pop-rock group from Reno, Nevada. They formed in 2008 and have released two EP's since: 2009's Self-Titled & 2010's Without a Light. Their latest single "Maybe I" recently debuted on iTunes.

Click to hear Wayward:
Maybe I
#10: Earl "Guitar" Williams
Bluesman Earl "Guitar" Williams plays with a strut, wink and a nod. His taut, gravelly voice spitting lyrics in perfect compliment to fine guitar work.

Click to hear Earl "Guitar" Williams:
My Boo


Are you thinking outside the box?

I recently came across an article about a South African artist, DJ Mujava, who, frustrated with the fact that South African radio was only playing international artists decided to take things into his own hands. He burned CDs and distributed them to as many taxi and mini van drivers as he could so they would play his music which would then be heard by the passengers. After a couple weeks the drivers we're asking him for copies of the CDs so they could sell them to their passengers. DJ Mujava generated enough buzz for himself and was signed to UK label Warp Records , home to Grizzly Bear, Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Flying Lotus & More.

The story made me think how Jango Airplay is similar to this in that we break the mainstream radio lockdown and give artists a chance to break through the noise. But it also made me wonder how many other ways there are to reach listeners where they listen to music the most.

So, Airplayers, what's the best 'outside the box' promotion scheme you have come up with? And how did it work, what were the results? I'm sure you all have a lot to teach and a lot to learn from one another so here's your chance again to tell your stories in the comments section right here and on our Facebook Page.

Tuesday, April 12

Jango Airplay Top 10

Here's the Jango Airplay Top 10 Artists from last week. As a reminder, the top 10 each week get 1000 bonus play credits to continue their Airplay campaign...who's next ?

#1: Kev Rowe
Kev Rowe is a folk-pop artist who's been writing, recording & touring for more than a decade. He recently released his third album, recorded with producer Danny Kadar (Trey Anastasio, My Morning Jacket).

Click to hear Kev Rowe:
Walk Through Town With Me
#2: The Avant-Garde Metallic Orchestra
Minnesota's Avant-Garde Metallic Orchestra plays sophisticated metal instrumentals with a heavy symphony-orchestral backup. Their compositions are a fertile blend of building momentum and grand moments.

Click to hear The Avant-Garde Metallic Orchestra:
The Trooper
#3: Aron Seals
Aron Seals is a rock/fusion guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. His music is heavily influenced by film scoring, and makes use of midi guitar to play various stings sounds while accompanying the solo guitar.

Click to hear Aron Seals:
Fearless
#4: Richman Music
Richman is a Christian rap artist and minister. He poses the question "Is the life I am living truly what life is all about?" as listeners experience a high-energy, high-impact performance.

Click to hear Richman Music:
Apostolic
#5: Loculus
Loculus was founded by Northern Virginia guitarist Steve Miller with one goal in mind: to create unadulterated, skull-crushing death metal! The music is focused on being technical & brutal, but without sacrificing hooks & killer riffs.

Click to hear Loculus:
Ocular Extirpation
#6: Christopher Caouette
New age music bland? "Not if I have anything to do about it!" retorts composer & multi-instumentalist Christopher Caouette. As heard on his many releases, his music is a fresh mix of celtic & new age music, heavily influenced by the film industry.

Click to hear Christopher Caouette:
Sun Dance
#7: Lu Dubb
Lu Dubb is a street emcee from Miramar, Florida. Having gotten his start winning small rap battles, he's now focused on giving his story to the world one ear at a time.

Click to hear Lu Dubb:
Mind On More Cash
#8: The Plastic Believers
The Plastic Believers are an experimental pop/rock duo from Minneapolis, MN, who wrap beautiful melodies in a sense of impending doom. Their debut album "All The Things We Carry" was released at the end of last year.

Click to hear The Plastic Believers:
On The Beach
#9: Guymon Ensley
Composer/trumpeter Guymon Ensley formed his band, "GEQ" (Guymon Ensley Quintet) in 2001, taking the Detroit area by storm. Through the years, GEQ has performed Guy's arrangements of works written & performed by the legends of jazz, as well as his own compositions.

Click to hear Guymon Ensley:
She's On Her Way
#10: Liam Jones Band
Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Christopher Hiers fronts the melodic, hard-rocking Liam Jones Band from Woodstock, GA. With his wife Beti on drums, Christopher is currently recording a debut album, "The Great Divide," full of classic rock & blues influences.

Click to hear Liam Jones Band:
Every Now & Then