Charity Tuesday: Interview with Fender Music Foundation and Hellogoodbye

This is the first blog post from the bi-weekly series highlighting the Music For Good charities and their spotlight artists. Subscribe to our blog (enter your email on the right) to get a new blog post every other week!

SEE ALSO: What is Music For Good and how do I get involved?

We got to speak with Moriah Scoble (upper left), Executive Director of Fender Music Foundation, and Forrest Kline (lower right), of the pop band Hellogoodbye who is supporting them through Music For Good

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Founded by the former Guitar Center CEO Larry Thomas in 2005, Fender Music Foundation‘s (previously named Guitar Center Music Foundation) is a public non-profit organization with the mission to assist music programs in schools, prisons, community centers, and retirement homes by providing instruments to their aspiring musicians. Since then, they estimate they have reached over 187,000 people through the foundation’s music grants.

SUPPORT FENDER MUSIC FOUNDATION: Click here to sell or buy music

We had the opportunity to catch up with Executive Director Moriah Scoble and Forrest Kline, the organization’s Spotlight Artist and the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist of the power pop band Hellogoodbye. We talked  to both of them about their involvement with Music For Good, their goals and what they have to say to their supporters.

Moriah, why did Fender Music Foundation (FMF) decide to participate in the Music For Good program?

Teacher helps students with instruments donated by FMF

Moriah Scoble: Music For Good sounded like a fantastic program. I mean, this could be how we achieve a really lofty goal of getting more instruments to the music education programs. Because we’re  a public non-profit foundation, we’re always looking for ways to fund our work so I was really excited about Music For Good. I think it’s a great idea to connect music sales with a platform for artists. We work with a lot of emerging artists as it is, and any way that we can all work together to enhance the industry, the better.

How about you, Forrest? What was it about FMF that attracted Hellogoodbye’s support?

Forrest Kline: Picking a charity is tough because there are so many great causes to support, but music is particularly close to my heart.

“I think music is so important because it’s not just entertainment, it’s educational. It pushes you to use your brain in different and interesting ways and gives you a different way of thinking about all sorts of problems. That isn’t to downplay the entertainment side, it enriches and fulfills peoples lives and gives them lasting connections all over the world.”

Have you guys done any charitable work with your music in the past? Can you tell us a little about it?

FK: We’ve played many a benefit concert, when schedule allows and the cause demands. A month ago, we played in Pomona to raise money for a family in need, we raised money to build schools in Panama and when the earthquakes hit Japan, we sold wristbands on our webstore donating twice the proceeds to the Red Cross. Music is a wonderful way to do these things because you can occasionally do something of value for little more than some elbow grease, like put on a show or write a song, and are able to give more directly to a cause.

Moriah, through Fender Music Foundation, over 187,000 people have received grants of instruments to music education programs. Tell us why that’s important.

Kids enjoy the guitars donated by FMF

MS:  It’s important because it satisfies the needs of many different types of people: music can help children form connections to their brains. It helps them with language, math and science. It can be a way for them to escape a difficult home life. It can just give someone peace and help give them social skills so that they can interact with their peers. I mean, there are just countless benefits to music and it kind of depends on the type of organization in which the benefits are gonna be most seen.

“Music therapy can be a lot of times a escape for people who are dealing with pain, to just kind of distract them from all that and let them focus on something else.”

Tell us about what you’ve noticed since joining the program.

MS: It’s been great! I’m shocked that we’ve has over 10,000 artists choose to donate to us. That’s very exciting! We’ve also seen a huge boost in traffic. We see a lot more interest in our website and social media, and people are definitely reaching out to us. Music For Good is, though, the best way for emerging artist to get involved with us.

“Emerging musicians have reached out about working with us in another ways but Music For Good makes the most sense. The biggest way they can help us is by selling more music.”

What would you both have to say to the artists and fans who have chosen to support Fender Music Foundation through Music For Good?

FK: It means a lot for anyone to go out of their way to support anything, so I’d like to thank them for taking notice and helping. They obviously also know how important music is to the world and its youth.

MS: We are so grateful for your support! I think it says a lot that all of these artists see the power of music and want to give more people that opportunity. I think it speaks to how important we all know music is.

SUPPORT FENDER MUSIC FOUNDATION: Click here to get involved!

To learn more about Fender Music Foundation, please visit their website

To buy music from Hellogoodbye and help support Fender Music Foundation, please visit their ReverbNation profile.

JustinCharity Tuesday: Interview with Fender Music Foundation and Hellogoodbye
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SXSW 2013: Through the eyes of independent bands

Delta Rae shares their excitement for being at SXSW through Vine, Twitter’s 6-second video app. It seems that bands are using Vine just as much as they’re tweeting!

Many, many incredible musicians are at South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, TX, right now. Bands of all genres, ages and corners of the world.

Check out the SXSW social media diary of 4 amazing emerging bands!

Sure, there are plenty of big-time performers there (Dave Grohl, Snoop Lion, Paramore), but the artists we’re really interested in are the under-dogs, the emerging bands that  DIY’ed their way into gigs and music festivals like SXSW.

This is the day-by-day diary of a few of our favorite bands, as told by the bands themselves via social media! Tweets, Instagram pictures and Vines… head out to our >> Storify page << to see them all in one place.

The bands: Delta Rae (Americana from Durham, NC), Vinyl Thief (rock band from Nashville), Congo Sanchez (drummer of Thievery Corporation and See-I, from DC), and Andy Suzuki and The Method (acoustic pop from NYC).

Vinyl Thief (obviously in the wee hours of the morning): “Hey, hey, HEY! Serious time.”

Vinyl Thief goes bowling the minute they arrive in Austin, as shown by their first Vine of their SXSW trip.

Andy Suzuki and The Method ran into Jared Leto (of 30 Seconds to Mars) in Austin. No big deal.

Delta Rae plays in front of an awesome crowd at the Nikon Warner Sound stage!

There are plenty of other fun pics and videos on our Storify page! Check it out: http://storify.com/ReverbNation/sxsw-2013-through-the-eyes-of-independent-artists

JustinSXSW 2013: Through the eyes of independent bands
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VIDEO: More Than 50,000 Bands Join ‘Music For Good’ Downloads For Charities Program

What is Music For Good and how do I get involved?

This video will answer that and other questions:

Music For Good is the world’s first ecommerce platform that allows musicians to sell songs directly to their fans and designate half the proceeds to a charity of their choosing. Since the program’s beta release just eight weeks ago, over 50,000 artists around the world have signed up for Music For Good — making it one of the fastest growing philanthropic initiatives in music history.

www.musicforgood.com

Where the idea came from

Do you remember Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and their celebrity friends singing to “We Are The World” to create awareness about poverty in Africa? Who doesn’t, right? Twenty eight years later, that song still has the power to move us to do good in this world.

But we believe philanthropy is not only for the rich and famous — independent and emerging artists can do it too.

With more than 2.7 million artists on our site and with advanced technology in our hands, we realized we had the power to facilitate things for philanthropic artists, especially the independent ones. That’s when Music For Good (#MusicForGood) was born.

We created a platform where musicians, fans and charities can come together, every day, every hour to hear music and support the causes they love. Charity concerts are great, but Music For Good is what artists do the other 364 days of the year.

Music For Good is for musicians

Whether it’s a country band from Tennessee or a hip hop act from Canada, Music For Good offers something for every artist that wants to get involved.

Zac Brown


Southern Ground Artists, the label founded by GRAMMY award-winning country star Zac Brown, already supports the initiative. Zac elected to have his charity, Camp Southern Ground, sign on as a launch partner.

Toby Lightman

Toby Lightman, who has been featured in countless movies and network TV shows, is selling her new single “Holding a Heart” through Music For Good, splitting the proceeds with Half The Sky Movement.

Who’s next? If you’re a musician, it could be you! Sign up takes just a few seconds.

Just go to www.MusicForGood.com and click on “Artists Sign Up”

Music For Good is for charities

Charities involved are Beat Making Lab, Camp Southern Ground, CARE, charity: water, Every Mother Counts, Fender Music Foundation, Half The Sky Movement, Heifer International, Keep a Child Alive, Love Hope Strength, Oxfam America, Sweet Relief, and World Vision.

Oxfam“We’re frequently asked by musicians for advice on how they can use their songs to help us make positive change, and Music For Good is something we can point them to.” – Oxfam America

Keep a Child Alive“With Alicia Keys as our Global Ambassador, music is part of Keep a Child Alive’s DNA. KCA is excited to be working with emerging artists at Reverbnation who understand the healing powers of music.” – Keep a Child Alive

Beat Making Lab“Music For Good is really the future of how so many of us want to interact with buying music — we get songs we love, get to discover new artists, and at the same time, we can contribute to a much bigger story.” – Beat Making Lab

Love Hope Strength“We have been blown away by the response from artists!” – Love Hope Strength Foundation

 

Music For Good is for fans

It’s even easier for fans to get involved! Just follow the heart whenever you see one on our page www.reverbnation.com.

If you’re a music-lover, just look for the heart on the site to buy the music you support!

 

 We guarantee at the end of the Music For Good experience, you will have music that is good.

JustinVIDEO: More Than 50,000 Bands Join ‘Music For Good’ Downloads For Charities Program
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How to Tour Without Losing Money

In this guest post, full-time DIY musician Ari Herstand gives you tips on how make a profit while touring. Ari has opened for artists such as Ben Folds, Cake, Joshua Radin, Matt Nathanson and Ron Pope. His songs have been featured on TV shows like One Tree Hill and various Showtime and MTV shows. His latest studio album debuted at #11 on iTunes singer/songwriter charts. He writes an independent music business advice blog, Ari’s Take.

I’ve played over 500 shows in 40 states. I’ve played every possible venue imaginable from arenas and theaters to living rooms and high schools. Every tour I go on is still a combination of all sized venues (well, not quite arenas as consistently as I’d like).

Once I quit working at Starbucks years ago, I made the decision that I would find a way to make a living with my skills and talents that didn’t include knowing the proper amount of foam on a caramel macchiatto. I hit the road and since then I have learned how to make every tour financially successful. Let me say that again. Every tour that I have ever done, after expenses, has been profitable.

It blows my mind that musicians tour and LOSE money. This is totally avoidable, but I hear many musicians just accept this as a reality of the road. Don’t. If you want to be a professional musician, you have to figure out how to actually make money with your music.
+Book Your Own Tour: A How-To Guide

Follow these tips on the 8 basics of touring. If you can think of anything else, leave me a comment below!

Booking shows

Every show needs a purpose for the tour. Too many bands think that at every show the CEO of Atlantic Records’ brother will be in the house and he’ll make one phone call and turn them into superstars. That doesn’t happen. So once you accept that this is a business and it’s a slow grow and not a quick dash to play in front of “the right people,” it will change your mentality on the purpose of your tours.
+Shows Sell, Events Sellout

The purpose of every show should either be (or a mix of):

a) To help fund the tour (and your lives)

b) To gain exposure and build a fanbase.

Every show I play I still put to this test. For the shows with the biggest amount of exposure (for merch sales), I’m willing to accept a smaller guarantee. The shows that won’t offer much for exposure, merch sales or career advancement, I need a much higher guarantee.

But don’t get into the trap of convincing yourself that every show you’ll sell hundreds in merch and DON’T take free shows from restaurants or friends of your parents promising a big crowd and “you can sell your merch.” This is a trap and it almost never is as worth it as you think it will be.
+Our Tour Page Is Totally Full (of Empty Shows)

Play house concerts! These are some of my most profitable shows. If you’re a singer/songwriter it’s much easier. The promo is done by the host and most of the people that come (even just 20) buy lots of merch. Charge the host a guarantee of about $350 (but ask them to charge their guests $15 and if 24 people come they get a free concert). Every tour I include a few of these.

House concerts or living room concerts can be very profitable.

Of course most of your shows will be a percentage of the door — so you need to promote each show in each town heavily!
+50 Is The Magic Number (Book A Headlining Tour)

Once you have a tour made up of a healthy balance of (more) money shows and (less) exposure shows then you are ready to begin.

Who to bring on tour

Only bring people on the road who are absolutely necessary for your operation to work while still making a profit. If you can’t afford a sound guy at this stage, well, then don’t bring one. Even if they agree to do it for free, it’s not free. You’re gonna have to feed them, lodge them and once they see all the money coming in from the door or merch they’ll make it uncomfortable enough where you’ll get guilted into throwing them something.

Selling merch

Learn more about >> 4 Reasons Fans Buy Your Merch <<

Merch is your #1 income generator on the road. Believe it. Some shows you’ll make next to nothing from the door, but hopefully you’ll be able to leverage those in the house to buy some merch.

Make sure you always have someone manning your merch table from when the doors open to when people leave. If you can’t afford to bring a merch person on the road find a friend in that city (post status on Twitter and Facebook to request help) to run the table in exchange for free entrance to the show (or even a small % of sales). It’s worth it.

Especially if you’re on a bill with multiple bands or are playing for hours, most people won’t stay until the end of your set. If they like what they hear (even after one song), but have to take off early and they want your CD, if no one is at the merch table to sell it to them, you just lost a sale. Get a credit card swiper (like Square – it’s free). I nearly doubled my sales with this.
+Double Your Income… No Really

Saving on gas

Gas can kill tours. Don’t tour in a larger vehicle than necessary and don’t pull a trailer unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. I know 5 piece bands that can fit all their gear and merch in the back of their van.

Or you can buy a super economical veggie oil bus and drive coast to coast on less than $100 like the rock band Blameshift:

Routing

The best way to save on gas is to make sure you’re not driving out of the way. No huge tour routing will ever be perfect, but keep the backtracking to a minimum (if ever).

Lodging

Don’t get hotels until you’re making serious money. And even then try Priceline “name your own price” (not getting a kickback but I SHOULD) — I get $45 4 star hotels that way. It’s a nice little mid-tour perk to get off of the beer stained couch for a night. Invest in an air mattress and sleeping bag so you can keep your lodging portable and all you’ll require is floorspace.

Blowing money

You must (as a band) make a decision early on if you want this project to be just for fun or for profession. If everyone is on the same page that you want to be a professional outfit then you must act like it.
+Double Your Income…No Really

Most venues will give you drink tickets. Don’t ever buy drinks at the bar you’re playing — it’s a waste of money and you don’t need it (BUT always tip your bartender on free drinks).

When you stop to fill up you don’t need the $2 bottle of water or soda. Those add up. Get a water bottle and fill that up.

Saving on food

If you’re out for awhile, go grocery shopping as a band. Buying in bulk obviously saves and if you bring a cooler along, you can spend more on ice and less on Subway.

The road is a mix of saving money and making money (as is life), but it’s magnified when you’re on tour. Always keep coming up with ways to make more money (merch combos, house shows, PLAY COLLEGES, better targeted promo to get more to show up). Don’t tour to just say you’re going on tour. Tour to grow your base WHILE making money.

If you’re still stuck and need more specific ways to get your tours to become even more profitable or want to embark on your big first tour, let’s Get Specific. 

And if you have questions or want to share your touring experience, leave us a comment below!

Ari can be reached on Twitter and Facebook, and you can find his music hereSign up on Ari’s Take Newsletter: http://aristake.com/signup.html

JustinHow to Tour Without Losing Money
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Music Industry Predictions: Labels, Concerts, Licensing and More

This guest post is written by Jeff Rabhanartist manager, music-industry executive and international consultant. His clients have garnered twelve Grammy Awards, sold more than one hundred million records and generated over one billion dollars in global receipts. Rabhan currently serves as Chair of the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Fire up the crystal ball folks because it’s time to look and see what the future holds for many areas of the music industry and ultimately for many of you who are pursuing a career in the business. We’ve seen more change in the last decade then the previous 50 years combined, leaving many of you befuddled and wondering what tomorrow will bring.  While there’s no such thing as a sure thing in the music business, read on to see how today’s unanswered questions get answered tomorrow…

The Future of Record Labels

Can you imagine a major record company that only has a roster of 10 international superstars instead of 60 acts in various stages of development? It might not be so far-fetched.

Record companies are adept at doing three main things: getting songs on radio, effectively distributing records to countries around the world simultaneously, and marketing worldwide successful artists on a grand scale.

Not a week goes by where I don’t hear some young artist knock a major label for not developing artists. It’s not what they do anymore so why blame them? It’s like blaming a shoe store for not selling underwear.

It’s on you to build a story for yourself that makes you appealing to them if that’s your goal, and a catchy song is no longer enough to grab their attention.

What does this mean?

You will see label rosters shrinking down to their core. Look for labels to “specialize” in certain genres or styles of music. Imagine a Sony Music that only releases female pop records like Beyonce, Adele, and Shakira. Or an Interscope that becomes a hip-hop only label.

One thing is for sure: if it isn’t fit for radio, chances are you will not find it on a major label roster in the next five years. Which creates an opportunity for… independent labels.

Independent labels grabbed 32.6% of U.S. album sales in 2012, according to Soundscan stats.

Indie labels are experiencing a resurgence of visibility within the marketplace, mostly due to a successful recipe of mixing a clear vision, likeminded artistry, and a tight geographic radius, in a way that’s very similar to the success of labels like Sub Pop, Matador, and Mammoth Records in the early 90s.

The new normal is to be the big fish in a little pond and success continues to come for those labels with laser focus.

Bottom line is that there’s a lot of good music out there and most of it is not right for major labels anymore. There used to be a time when consumers bought releases from particular labels simply because the releases were so heavily and successfully curated that fans felt an allegiance and a belief that that label’s brand stood for quality. The best example of this was Def Jam in the early days. In the next several years look for indie labels to continue to pop up, grow their fanbase, and happily own their little piece of the world.

What does this mean for artists looking for a record deal?

Continue to think global but start by acting local. Take a look a the labels in your area that may be a good fit first and truly assess if you belong on a major label. Chances are you don’t in the new world.

The Future of Live Concerts

It’s no secret that most popular artists are making most of their bucks from concerts and brand partnerships. But what does the future of concerts look like and will this affect the artists as well as the fans?

Newsflash: we are already experiencing a shift in the way we see concerts. All of you are buying tickets to a show online — soon the hard ticket stub will be a thing of the past as you simply swipe your phone and go about your merry way. It’s not just concerts — we already use the same technology to get many other goods including movie tickets, airline flights, and many others.

That’s not news, you say! That’s just technology making the purchase easier.

You want to know what happens to that fan experience? You know, when you’re standing so close you can feel the artist sweat? If you are one of the lucky few to be that close, you probably waited all day and stood on your feet for hour after hour for that prized spot.

But many fans no longer want that live experience, especially in the cases of larger arena and stadium shows. I get it — by the time you buy the tickets, shlep to the venue, park your car, and buy your beer and t-shirt before finding your seats fighting the sea of other people doing the same thing all along the way, your wallet feels empty and the experience has lost its luster.

Festivals like Lollapalooza already stream live shows on YouTube. Image: Mashable.

Look for major growth in the streaming of concerts, especially for those aforementioned arena shows for two reasons: first, many fans would rather enjoy the show in the privacy and comfort of their own home and, next, because it gives artists another income stream.

Festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza are already on board. Couple that with technology advances (holographic Tupac performances??) and you’ve got a movement. Look for YouTube and UStream to continue to lead the pack.

The live show is coming to you and you can decide just how you want to see it and wear your pajamas if you so desire.

What does this mean for the up-and-coming touring act or artist interested in touring?

Make technology your friend. Posting flyers to get the word out and making tickets available only at the venue hurts your chances of reaching maximum fan potential. Work with your venue to sell tickets online or experiment with streaming shows for a small fee either live or after the fact. Get creative with your YouTube channel and make live content a bigger part of your fan experience. It will build your buzz and bring more bodies to the venues and online events as your reputation builds a live band with surprises. Reverb Tip: Meanwhile, it doesn’t hurt to play live gigs while you get acquainted with live streaming. We recommend you try the free Gig Finder, which will connect you to the best venues in any town. 

The Future of Radio

Terrestrial radio is still the #1 way that people discover music, but that may be changing as we speak.

Local radio vs internet radio: which is better for indie artists?

The real question facing radio is: will it all become digital or will good ol’ AM/FM still have a presence? We know that if you aren’t driving, don’t have a car, or live in a major urban center like New York City, YouTube has become the destination for listening to music. Pandora and Spotify both have fairly robust internet radio presences, yet there are few things to consider as we look forward.

For those of you paying attention, have you been following the Internet Radio Fairness Act?  The IRFA wants to reduce the royalties being paid by internet music streaming services like Pandora.

On the other side, record labels and artists feel that the act will deprive rights holders of deserving income. The bill hasn’t been passed and my crystal ball tells me it won’t when nicknames for the bill include the “unfairness act” and the “paycheck reduction act.”

When the majority of the music community is against something, clearly there’s an issue, but it brings up many questions that will impact the future of radio.

Currently there are several ways that people use Internet radio services. From niche playlists to sites dedicated to discovering new artists.

Internet radio has the potential to break even bigger barriers than it has; yet copyright laws are hindering this evolution. Also keep in mind that in over 85 car models there is some form of Internet radio service integrated into the cars entertainment system. This issue needs to be figured out ASAP. Internet radio operates under a completely different rate than other forms of digital radio and everyone is taking notice.

Bottom line: There will always be radio, yet the way we access it will continue to change as wireless gets better and networks like 4G have more power.

Look for smarter recommendation-based software and more interactive and personalized experience — a theme that will repeat itself over and over in the growth of digital media and the technological advances that accompany it.

What does this mean for new artists looking to get exposure on the airwaves?

Don’t get your hopes up unless your music is ear candy for terrestrial radio and you’ve got a major label promoting your song. The sea of artists found on Spotify makes a breakthough difficult and new artists are rarely “discovered” via recommendation-based software platforms like Pandora. Look for local radio, specialty shows, college radio and a strong, creative Internet presence to get your music out. Reverb Tip: We recommend two great ways to get your music heard by more people: 1) Submit to opportunities — everything from festivals to online radio play; 2) Run a Promote It campaign on top music sites.

The Future of Licensing

Before you lament all of the changes or fear the demise of the traditional business, hold onto your hat because the future of licensing looks bright.

The opportunities for artists to get their songs placed on other outlets such as television, film, and video games are exponentially increasing. TV and film license fees have been decreasing and video games are allowing artists to make up for that loss. Video games are giving artists what’s known as performance-based royalties, which allow them to reach a new type of audience.

How does this impact the ever growing and evolving Internet?

Internet outlets are getting smarter! They’re creating exclusive content and licensing music for only online usage. Artists can now have their songs placed on everything from a Hulu original series to a series on Netflix. It used to be extremely difficult for new artists to get placements on TV/film. Now with all these new outlets, artists have many more opportunities to get heard and seen.

And when you speak about online content, you must bring YouTube into the conversation.

Will it remain an outlet for fly by night, flavor of the moment quasi-stars to reach critical acclaim, or is the future of TV at stake?  YouTube is undergoing a giant makeover within the next few years as premium content and niche channels are about to take over. YouTube has the potential to become the go-to platform for building business media in the future. They aim to develop channels that are topic specific and interactive — meaning viewers will get exactly what they want. The company has already invested 100 million dollars in developing premium channels that range from education to fashion.

This will also allow YouTube to form deeper integrations with the other companies and products like Google. Count on YouTube to remain on top and in control.

What does this mean for you?

Put down the guitar for a minute and get your fingers working on the computer to develop lists of outlets, shows, gaming properties and online networks to pitch music to. Unsigned, up-and-coming acts regularly get placements on networks programs these days and that trend is going to continue. Make music licensing a centerpiece of your story.

Welcome to the future!

JustinMusic Industry Predictions: Labels, Concerts, Licensing and More
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VIDEO: ReverbNation 2012 Year In Review

Thanks for making 2012 absolutely amazing!




2012 was a great year for us and for you, independent artists! This year, 2.5 million of you…

  • Topped 15 million in songs uploaded.
  • Logged more than 5 million shows.
  • Had over 1 billion monthly views on YouTube.

On top of that, ReverbNation…

  • Reached 1 million of Likes on Facebook and over 160,000 followers on Twitter.
  • Opened a new Twitter channel for finding @Gigs.
  • Hired 25 new employees.
  • Moved to a new office space.

We’ve got big plans for you in 2013! Stay tuned…
– The REVERBNATION Team

JustinVIDEO: ReverbNation 2012 Year In Review
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Calling all bands: Hard Rock Cafe wants to break the next big band and send them on a world tour! Enter for free.

Think you’re the next undiscovered worldwide rock star? Here’s your chance to find out. Hard Rock Cafe is searching for inspiring local bands to compete in Hard Rock Rising 2013, a high-stakes global battle of the bands competition.

ENTER HERE

Why compete?

Hard Rock Rising is presented by Hard Rock Café, so you know it’s legit. Additionally, the prize package is ridiculous: play a World Tour, make an album and video with Hard Rock Records, and win new gear valued at $10,000. Entering is FREE!

Here’s what Hey Monea!, winner of last year’s Hard Rock Rising, had to say before opening for Bruce Springsteen in London:

“We open the door of our trailer and John Fogerty is right outside being interviewed by a camera crew. There are literally five video cameras following us to the stage and photographers snapping pictures of us and I’m as excited as I’ve ever felt in my life. Wired. Butterflies. Everything. My brain wouldn’t shut off.”

Credit: The Repository

You want in!? Here are the guidelines to enter:

  • You need a ReverbNation profile. They’re FREE!
  • Each band/artist may enter through no more than ONE Hard Rock location—there are 96 participating cafes worldwide!
  • You or one of your bandmates must live in the same country as that location.

Here’s how it works:

  • Phase 1: First round winners are determined by fan downloads on participating Hard Rock Facebook pages. One download equals one vote.
  • Phase 2: Top vote getters play in a series of live competitions and one winner from each location will be crowned by their peers. See locations below.
  • Phase 3: The 96 winners from Phase 2 will then battle it out in a global download contest on Facebook to gain the most votes.
  • Phase 4: The Top 25 highest vote-getters will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges and music industry VIPs to select the last band standing, along with two runner-ups.

The first place winner will experience the ultimate rock star treatment — a World Tour to experience cities including Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Chicago and Honolulu, the opportunity to make an album and video with Hard Rock Records, and an insane amount of band gear.

So what are you waiting for? The deadline for entry is January 21. 

Here’s the list of participating Hard Rock Cafe locations. If you see a city that’s close to you, click on it and read the details and full rules. It won’t cost you a dime, so don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime­! Enter today!

United States & Canada

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Biloxi, Mississippi

Boston, Massachusetts

Chicago, Illinois

Cleveland, Ohio

Dallas, Texas

Denver, Colorado

Destin, Florida

Detroit, Michigan

Foxwoods, Connecticut

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Hollywood Blvd, California

Hollywood, Florida

Honolulu, Hawaii

Houston, Texas

Indianapolis, Indiana

Key West, Florida

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Louisville, Kentucky

Memphis, Tennessee

Miami, Florida

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Nashville, Tennessee

New Orleans, Louisiana

New York, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

Orlando, Florida

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Phoenix, Arizona

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

San Antonio, Texas

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California

Seattle, Washington

St. Louis, Missouri

Tampa, Florida

Toronto, Canada

Washington, DC

Just participating in Hard Rock Calling could mean new fans, new friends and a lot of local publicity for you and your band. Here’s what some of last year’s participants had to say:

“This is a brilliant platform for amateur bands like us to get recognized. Thank you for the opportunity and we hope you will continue this competition for years to come.”

“Cheers to ReverbNation and to Hard Rock Cafe for putting on such a vast competition that puts local talent in the spotlight.”

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to participate and perform in this competition. We would also like to again thank everyone involved from ReverbNation and Hard Rock for their help and support in enabling us to participate. More venues should support original music as this competition did. Allowing bands to showcase their own music and style is something we need more of!”

“It was an awesome and innovative experience for us. Looking forward to more associations like these. Helps us to know the true caliber of our music.”

JustinCalling all bands: Hard Rock Cafe wants to break the next big band and send them on a world tour! Enter for free.
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Top 3 things musicians need in 2013

Hey musicians, what are your resolutions for 2013? Want to release a new album? Find new fans? Help others? Make it big or just pay the bills? If you’re like a lot of Reverb artists, it’s probably all of the above.

Well, listening to you (and a couple of million other musicians around the world) we’ve boiled it down to three things:

  1. Get more fans
  2. Sell more music
  3. Save money

Am I right? In that case, ReverbNation’s got you covered. Follow our advice below to start the new year off right:

1. GET MORE FANS

Think about it. You already spend money on instruments, on food and gas when you’re touring, on beer when you’re gigging. You should be thinking of promotion as just as important as putting gas in the van, just as rewarding as a cold one after a show.

I have a friend who spent almost $10,000 on his new album, but then he didn’t do anything to promote it. Does it sound familiar?

Maybe it’s not the investment that’s holding you back. A lot of bands just don’t know where to begin. That’s precisely why we developed Promote It. We’ve made it drop dead simple to create custom ads to promote your music on all the sites music fans flock to:  Pandora, YouTube, Facebook, Billboard, MTV and hundreds of others. Trust me when I say, you WANT to be where they are. Plus, it’s completely affordable — campaigns start at just $5/day. And if you’ve never tried Promote It, we’ll even let you run your first campaign absolutely FREE.

“With Promote It, I can get the same type of promotion as a major label and still be on an indie budget. Promote It is such an easy and effective way to get new fans for my music.” 

Whatever you’ve got going on — a new album release, a new song or a new video (coming soon) — we know that Promote It is the best and easiest way to get the word out there, get heard and gather in new fans. If you can think of any better way, let us know in the comments!

Try Promote It now. Free trial available for first time Promote It customers >>

2. SELL MORE MUSIC… WHILE HELPING OTHERS

Have you heard? We’ve just launched a new program called Music for Good and we couldn’t be more excited! For the first time ever, you can now choose to sell your songs directly from your Reverb profile.

Artists choosing to participate select a charity they’d like to support and for every $1.29 song they sell, half the proceeds go to their new non-profit partner.

Music For Good is the new way to sell music.

We’ve never done anything like this before, but it’s really a natural. We know that musicians like to support good causes — whether it’s an indie band playing a local fundraiser or a major celebrity effort for disaster relief. Musicians have influence, they have power. Can you imagine what 2.5 million ReverbNation musicians can do?? Together we know you can have a huge impact fighting disease, hunger, poverty and more — all while spreading beautiful music.

PLUS — and this is very important — we believe this partnership will help every artist sell more music. It gives people a reason to pull out the credit card on music again. It kicks piracy in the butt!

The way we see it (and we think you’ll see it too), the Music For Good program accomplishes two things: it supports charities AND it gets fans to spend money on music again. It’s good for charities and it’s good for your wallet. As a bonus, it’s good for your soul.

Are you an artist, but not on Reverb?

Already on Reverb?

Music fans: Want to buy some music and help a charity?

3. SAVE MONEY

This one’s a no brainer. If you already use one of ReverbNation’s premium services (press kits, digital distributions, newsletters, etc), or even paid services from another site, the smart thing is to switch to the Pro Bundle.

For less than $20 a month, you get ALL of the core marketing services you need to manage your career and more. Yes — digital press kit, email templates, a mobile app, widgets, plus digital distribution that expands every year — while the price stays the same. Holy smokes. That’s less than topping off your gas tank, buying Starbucks lattes for your friends, or getting a large 3-topping pizza in New York!

The Pro Bundle costs less per month than a large 3-topping pizza from Domino’s in NYC.

You’ll save mega bucks AND because it’s all in one spot, you’ll save time. I mean, if you prefer, you could go to Sonicbids for your press kit, Tunecore for your digital distribution, and FanBridge for your newsletter, Mobile Roadie for your mobile app, etc etc… but why go through the trouble of logging in at eight sites different sites when you can use just one? Plus you’ll get the added bonus of having just one super great support team to answer any questions. Like I said, it’s a no brainer.

Start marketing your music now >>

That’s it, folks. We truly believe the tools mentioned above will help you achieve your marketing goals in 2013. Our mission is — and always has been — ARTISTS FIRST. Now go out and make some awesome music!

And let us know what your 2013 resolutions are in the comments below.

JustinTop 3 things musicians need in 2013
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