Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good article in Wall Street Journal about indie artists achieving success online

Here's a good article which ran in the Wall Street Journal about independent musical artists finding an audience for their music through the internet, and then signing with indie labels. Much thanks to reader Andres Rosado for bringing it to my attention.

Musician Finds a Following Online
Word-of-Mouth on Blogs and Other Sites Attracts Fans -- and a Record Deal


In late 2006, Justin Vernon, a musician in Eau Claire, Wis., recorded nine songs while staying at his parents' hunting cabin in northern Wisconsin after a breakup with a girlfriend and his long-time band. He used just a desktop computer with recording software, a three-piece drum set and a guitar.

A few months later, Mr. Vernon posted the songs on his MySpace page, hoping to get some listeners and feedback. He also printed 500 copies of a CD with those songs to sell to friends and fans and send to music bloggers for review.

He got that and much more.

Thanks to the buzz his online tracks generated on music blogs and social-networking sites, Mr. Vernon has played at numerous venues and appeared on the "Late Show With David Letterman." He signed a record deal in October 2007, and his first album, "For Emma, Forever Ago," sold about 87,000 copies through mid-December, with about half of those downloaded online. With a band he formed early this year, called Bon Iver, Mr. Vernon is now playing sold-out concerts across the U.S. and abroad.
Complete article

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Media Pioneer: Jason Tippitt of Mental Nomad Podcast and Pod Across America

New Media Pioneer: Jason Tippitt of Mental Nomad Podcast and Pod Across America


Mental Nomad Podcast: Eclectic music podcast. I play almost every sort of music, though geared a little more toward singer-songwriters.

Pod Across America: Also an eclectic music show, but each episode focuses on one American state at a time.

Q: How long have you been broadcasting?

A: The Mental Nomad Podcast started in March 2007; it was initially a
twice-a-week show but has been weekly for about a year now, with a few
exceptions. The show's eclectic, with an intention toward including
music from outside the United States and music from female vocalists
in almost every episode.

Pod Across America started in October 2008 and will be two episodes a
month, usually one episode per state. I started in Delaware, the first
state, and will go through Hawaii, the 50th state, in order ... a few
states will get two episodes just due to the sheer number of musicians
from those states.

Q: In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

A: To me, a good song is one that gives me some sort of emotional
reaction ... thrilling to the highs, coasting through the lows,
laughing at a clever turn of phrase or feeling my stomach churn over
some emotional conflict that rings true to me.

A song can be really simple and yet really powerful: Bob Dylan's
"Tomorrow Is a Long Time" and Queen's "Bijou" are contain very short,
very simple lyrics but the mix of the lyrics, the vocal delivery and
the music turns them into something magical.

Most of the music I really enjoy has lyrics, and usually the lyrics
are in English. I do listen to some instrumental music, and I do
listen to some non-English-language music, but the instrumentalists or
vocalists really have to soar above and beyond for me to really engage
the music.

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

A: Attorney and writer Andrew Vachss has observed that "blues is truth,"
and I agree wholeheartedly. Blues gets down to the core of the human
experience, the raw truth of emotions laid bare. It's naked and
honest, and even when the blues singer engages in bragging, the
exaggerations point the way toward his or her insecurities.

More broadly, music that tells a story is what really gets my
attention. Blues, certainly folk music, certain rap and rock 'n' roll,
the cabaret storytelling of a Tom Waits or the deeply emotional jazz
of Jimmy Scott ... music with personality.

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc., have
affected you most?

A: I feel unqualified to answer this question. I haven't paid a lot of
attention to the legal issues, whereas I probably should pay more
attention. In early episodes, I was a lot quicker to download a song
from MySpace and play it, then ask permission after the fact. I
wouldn't dream of doing that now.

Using a content provider such as the Podsafe Music Network and working
with publicists such as the folks at Ariel Publicity -- where the
music is pre-cleared and podsafe -- is the smart way to go, I've
found. I'd rather be able to find new music I might not have heard
before and play that than risk getting sued for playing a U2 song that
everyone's going to hear all over the place, anyway.

So the limitations put in place by respecting the law challenges me to
look for the next Bob Dylan, the next Tom Waits, the next Emmylou

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in
generating album sales; do you feel podcasts have that power?

A: I haven't personally experienced any huge revenue surge from doing
podcasts and the blogs associated with them, though I do include links
to both the music I play and, to a lesser extent, to the videos that
strike my fancy from artists podsafe and non-podsafe.

That said, I have absolutely discovered new music that I've
subsequently bought through blogs and podcasts. Blogs and podcasts
offer a great way to sample a lot of music that I wouldn't hear on
heavily formatted local radio or even the music channels on digital

Podcasts come to you. Blogs come to you, if you syndicate their feeds
through a reader. They require less effort than logging into MySpace
or Facebook, slogging through the many pages of contacts you have, and
noticing when a particular band has updated the profile. So yes, I
think podcasts are a more forward-thinking way of marketing a band --
it's letting other people be your street team, rather than trusting
people to find you.

To find more interviews and New Media tips for musicians please visit: www.arielpublicity.net/blog

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Premiere: Sound Advice TV

Premiere: Sound Advice TV

To view the premiere Webisode of Sound Advice TV with Derek Sivers click HERE:

This vodcast is just one of 16 installments featuring Derek Sivers

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you do not miss a single episode!


Don't want to wait 16 weeks to get all of Derek and Ariel's knowledge


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cyber PR 2008 Holiday Fundraiser

The Holiday Season is upon us and Ariel Publicity/Cyber PR are thrilled to announce our
First Annual CYBER PR 2008 Holiday Fundraiser

1. You ask your fans to make a difference (it's tax-deductible for them).

2. We reward you with a free PR Campaign and gifts to help you get ahead in the music business.

3. We all make a difference together!

As our way of celebrating the holiday season, we want to work with you to raise money for musicians in need, and contribute to the future of creativity and music.

Soon, I will be launching a full PR campaign announcing our CYBER PR 2008 Holiday Fundraiser featuring every artist that is participating. If you have holiday music recorded I will promote in exchange for your participation in the drive.

This is an opportunity for you to get extra publicity from us by simply participating in the CYBER PR 2008 Holiday Fundraiser.

Here's how it works:

1. You send out your e-mail newsletter (or a series of newsletters) to all of your fans and friends wishing them a happy holiday and requesting that they make a donation to any charity of your choice (I have supplied a list of 5 musician-oriented charities to consider).

2. Your fans e-mail you their proof of contribution email or a screen shot that they donated.

3. You report it back to us to qualify for complimentary prizes that will help you grow in 2009.

Donation Levels:

Silver Tinsel - $75 to $250
Raise between $75 to $250, I will send you a copy of my brand-new Sound Advice DVD featuring Derek Sivers – 82 minutes of our best marketing and PR tips.

Sparkly Lights - $250 to $500
Raise between $250 to $500 I will send you my “Music Success In 9 Weeks” book and a the Sound Advice DVD, plus you will get full access to my closed private online Mastermind website for life.

Shining Star - $1,000 to $2,500
Raise between $1,000 to $2,500 I will give you my Musicians Web 2.0 Boot Camp, plus the “Music Success In 9 Weeks” book, the Sound Advice DVD, and the private online Mastermind website and an invitation to attend one of our digital press conferences where you can get exposure to bloggers podcasters, Internet radio stations and new media makers. Our digital press conferences take place several times a year in New York City.

Holiday Angel - $2,500+
Raise $2,500 or more and I will give you everything above plus a complimentary full Cyber PR Headliner Campaign: Three months of online publicity, to new media outlets and a personal strategy consultation with me.

The Rock Star Extraordinaire – Grand Prize
The artist who raises the most money gets the all-access grand prize, which includes everything Ariel ever created plus a full four-month Rock Star campaign!

How To Participate:

1. Select the charity you would like to donate to. Choose from my list of 5 or select one of your own.

2. Send out your newsletters with full instructions on how your fans can get involved and donate. (I have written a sample newsletter for you below – all you have to do is cut, edit, paste and send)

3. Report your donations to us via email as they come in, we will track them on our holiday fundraising blog. E-mail the receipts as they come in to holidaydrive@arielpublicity.com

We will report all of your progress on our blog!

By Participating You Will Receive:

* Features in both of our newsletters. Sound Advice and Pre Cleared and Podsafe, which go out to a total of over 18,000 subscribers.

* We will promote your holiday track as a participating artist to our network of over 10,000 bloggers, podcasters, Internet radio stations, zines, and social media makers (You must supply your holiday song with a public service announcement promoting our charity drive.)

* A chance to connect with your fan base this holiday season AND make a difference at the same time.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain – while we all make a difference together this season.

Here’s How to Signup:

Send an e-mail to holidaydrive@arielpublicity.com


1. Your name

2. Your e-mail address

3. Your band's name

4. The charity that you choose

5. If you have a holiday song that you would like us to promote attach it as an MP3

Let's make a difference together this season.

We will be reporting all of our progress on this blog: http://www.arielpublicity.com/blog

The drive ends on December 31st.

CYBER PR 2008 Holiday Fundraiser Rules:

In order to participate, you must:

1. Submit your entry via e-mail by December 10, 2008.

2. E-mail us proof of all donations using receipt numbers or screen shots from your fans. You will e-mail us on Friday afternoons and only once a week and we will tally the donations on weekends.

3. Submit all donation notifications by December 31st, 2008. We will announce the grand prize winner the first week of January and all of the winners along the way.)

Sample email letter to send to your fanbase:

CYBER PR 2008 Holiday Fundraiser
Musicians Working Together To Make A Difference

Dear Friends and Family,

Happy Holidays from [Your Name / Bands Name].

This year [You can add some of your 2008 highlights here]

This holiday season we are participating in the CYBER PR 2008 Holiday Fundraiser by raising money for [Name of Charity] which benefits [who it benefits]

[add the name of the charity with a blurb about what that charity does]

We are inviting you to make a difference this season by donating [suggested amount]

We are inviting you to make a difference this season by making a donation.

As a thank you we will send you [ A complimentary MP3, a free CD, or another bonus gift of your choice]

Click here to donate. [this links to a donate link]

Simply email us proof of your donation by forwarding us your confirmation email or send us a screen shot as a proof of your donation, and we will send you your free gift!

For our collective efforts we will be rewarded by Cyber PR, a music PR firm that will send us DVDs, books, and audio courses, to help us get ahead in the music business.

So you are not only helping make a difference in the world for other musicians, you are also directly be making a difference for us.

If we raise $2,500 or more we get a complimentary full cyber PR campaign that will expose us to thousands of online resources. Please click here to donate and have a happy holiday!

Warmest Wishes
[Your Name Here]

If you don't want to give away free MP3s, CDs, and downloads – that's OK! Just remove that part of the letter.

Here are some additional giveaway ideas for your bonus:

1) CDs / A holiday EP
2) Leave a personal message on their voicemail.
3) A signed holiday / Christmas card
4) A signed poster, t-shirt, hat, et cetera
5) A live video of you personally thanking your fans who donate
6) A personal song written for the person who gives the most

To see the list of the Charities please visit:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This Week's Featured Artist

Daydream on Autopilot
Genre: Rock, Pop, Alternative
High-energy shows, goosebump-inducing vocals, and songs you'll want to sing again and again are just a few reasons why you'll want to hear Daydream On Autopilot. High-energy shows, goosebump-inducing vocals, and songs you'll want to sing again and again are just a few reasons why you'll want to hear Daydream On Autopilot.

Ryan Calhoun
Genre: Acoustic, Pop, Rock
“Of the new project, Ryan says, “I’m not trying to save the world. I’m just trying to make music that matters to me and finds a place in other people’s lives. I draw from my experiences in life, my relationships, fears, struggles, faith and everything that surrounds me.”

Monday, November 10, 2008

Podsafe Artist Val Emmich on Ugly Betty

Podsafe Artist Val Emmich on Ugly Betty

Val Emmich
Genre: Pop, Alternative, Rock

Podsafe Artist Val Emmich has joined the cast of Ugly Betty as a recurring character. Val will be playing "Jesse," Betty's love interest in this week's episode on Ugly Betty. Val as "Jesse" will be serenading Betty. Watch below to see the preview for tomorrow's episode.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Musicians Twitter Roadmap

Musicians Twitter Roadmap
By Ariel Hyatt (@CyberPR) & Laura Fitton (@Pistachio)

I recently interviewed my friend Laura Fitton AKA Pistachio (that's her twitter handle) and I asked her to walk with me through creating a musicians roadmap for Twitter. It answers the question: If you wanted to create a community to promote yourself as a musician on Twitter and you didn't really have a lot of technological "social networking know how" How do you do it?

The full interview can be found on my blog here: http://www.arielpublicity.com/blog and I encourage all of you to please go to my blog and leave your feedback.

Step One - Think About Your Brand First
Set up and account and use your brand name, your band, whatever name it is that you want people to be able to find using Google. That's very important. Don't just pick a name you like. Whatever name you choose on Twitter it becomes very Googleable.

So the thing you want fans and prospective fans to find you as. If you're just starting out, you might use a generic like singer/songwriter or something. But choose something you're comfortable with, that you want to do well in search results and that's the name you want to get out there.

Step Two - Sign Up
Go To: http://twitter.com to sign up.

First: You may want to watch the video that gives an easy-to understand overview of Twitter - It's right on the homepage - just click the button that says Watch a video!

Second: Twitter will take you through a few sign up steps and you will enter your username and your password and your email

Third: Twitter will help you search your email address book to see if anyone you know is already on it. You may be surprised at just how many people you know are already using it. You will also have the option of sending email invites to your friends.

TIP: Take some time and set up your profile properly. Think about it this way: You probably had a website made for your music and that either involved spending a bunch of money or hitting up a friend for a favor. You put a lot of thought into it and you really worked it out. Well, here's a chance to have a free website. It's not going to be as souped up as your own website, but put a little bit of time. You can set up a static electronic image as your background, just single image, maybe an album cover, maybe a candid of you on the road. Put up a good profile picture. Tha's the little, tiny square picture that goes next to all your messages. If you're in Twitter, you'll see what I mean. Write a couple things about yourself. Make sure there's a link to your web page. Just get it all nicely set up so it looks cool when you get there.

Step Three - Link Your Mobile Phone
You should enter your cell phone number (it is up to you if you want to accept tweets via texts) this depends on your text messaging plan and your tolerance to loads of texts hitting your mobile constantly. You will have the option of receiving tweets to your phone from individuals so you can have only a few select people tweet straight to your phone.

TIP: To text from your phone send messages to: 40404 and they will immediately go to your Twitter feed

TIP: To message friends that follow you from your cell phone you can type d (for direct) then their username.

Step Four- Search Keywords
Next go to the search page: http://search.twitter.com

On this page, start searching key words, words that are important to you, topics that you like to write about, words about the music you play, whether it be the genre or the instrument. And f you want to really bond with other musicians just to start, you can even search the brand names of your band equipment. Like your amplifiers are from so-and-so, you search that keyword, you're going to find a bunch of other people who've made remarks about that word. That gives you a jumping off point.

You can click in each of their profiles. Remember how I said reading one to four pages of someone's Tweets gives you a surprising accurate sense of their personality? Just find random strangers that way and start following them and see if you have anything in common. If you don't, you just stop following. That's the way to find people with common interests.

Step Five - Link Twitter To Update Status At Facebook
Next go here: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2231777543&
b&ref=pd and you can link your Twitter page directly to your Facebook and you will be able to update your status on Facebook by using twitter from your phone

Step Six - Follow At least 100 People
Twitter does not work in a vacuum (OK - unless you are Dave Matthews!) But even Dave is directly responding to people and really connecting with his fans - It's amazing to see.

Here are some people to check out and follow:

TIP: Take the time to look at each persons profile to get to understand them more deeply



Musicians Who Twitter

Music Industry Thought Leaders

Music Bloggers & Podcasters & Zines

Web Thought Leaders & Brilliant Marketing Peeps

The Superstars Of Twitter

News Feeds, Celebrities & Products

People Who Work At Ariel Publicity/ Cyber PR

Step Seven - Tweet 3x A Day
At first it seems really weird - just keep answering the question "What are you doing?" It will feel strange to just broadcast what you are doing at first but soon it will all make sense!

TIP: Don't Over Hype Yourself If you set up a Twitter account and every day, every Tweet just says, buy my album, buy my album, you're not going to get any audience there.

Step Eight - @ People you like!
To comment back at things you would like to react to or to connect directly with someone just tweet: @ and then their username. So if you want to say something directly to Derek Sivers type @Sivers - this will turn up in the @ Replies in Derek's Twitter dashboard and he will see your comment.

TIP: This is a public message that everyone on Twitter will see.

Step Nine - Connect Directly
To send someone a direct and private message - go to your dashboard homepage at Twitter and click on the right where it says "Direct Messages" and then choose the person you want to send a message to from the pull-down menu at the top of the page

TIP: This is a private message that only that user will see.

Finally, please read the full and in-depth interview with Laura which will give you useful strategies and insights about how to best maximize Twitter!

Join Us on the Blog - All issues of Sound Advice are waiting for your comments!

You can view past issues of Sound Advice; New Media Interviews; Ariel's Random Thoughts about the Music Business, Web 2.0; and more! All on our blog.



Saturday, October 25, 2008

Interview w/ New Media Pioneer: Jeff Skonieczny of Imagine Echoes Blog

New Media Pioneer: Jeff Skonieczny of Imagine Echoes Blog


Q: How long have you been blogging?

A: Ironically, I've been blogging for exactly three years today.

Q: In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

A: I believe a good song needs to display some form of true emotion. It's typically pretty easy to see when a band is truly pouring their heart and soul into what they are doing. Now the difference from a good song and a great song is, it needs to be fleshed out. It needs to be like a story, it needs a beginning, middle and end. The best songs are ones that have the ability to build up to a great climax, for instance songs like King Crimson's "Starless" and Pink Floyd's "Echoes". Lengthier songs seem to accomplish this with more ease, but plenty of shorter songs do this as well. But in the end, the most important characteristic of a song is for it to be true to itself, the band/artist must have a personal connection with what they're doing.

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

A: Pink Floyd would rank as my favorite band. They consistently threw new and creative things at their listeners and nearly every album turned out to be an amazing experience. Albums like "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Wish You Were Here" are practically flawless. David Gilmour's guitar work is so iconic and soulful, every note seems to carry as much weight as the previous. The song writing from the band is absolutely unforgettable, they had the ability to take the listener on a journey which surpassed just listening to the music. They were one of the few bands that made progressive rock more accessible, and they certainly helped to propel the genre to new heights.

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc. have affected you most?

A: Personally I haven't run into any problems with the law when it comes to broadcasting my blog. Although I must say, I try to avoid posting samples of music in fear of infringing on the law.

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel that that is a true statement?

A: While I don't participate in social networking sites such as MySpace, I do believe it is a great thing for music. It allows for lesser known bands to get their music heard, and nothing is more important than that. On the other hand however, I can easily see how blogging has generated more album sales than MySpace. By creating hype around an album, people will take notice. Every band can have a MySpace, but not every band is lucky enough to have their music actually heard and critiqued. The most important thing for a band, other than their music, is to create some buzz, and to have people talking about their music, blogging is the ultimate source for just that.

To find more interviews and New Media tips for musicians please visit: www.arielpublicity.net/blog

Friday, October 17, 2008

The New Facebook - A Musicians Guide

The New Facebook - A Musicians Guide
by Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR

Several months ago I wrote an article on my 6 favorite Facebook apps. Since then Facebook has relaunched with a new design and now as a musician you can create a band / musician page.

Here is an updated version that explain how to set up a page from scratch and my favorite apps for you!

Getting Started & Ariel's Top 6 Facebook Apps For Musicians

Facebook is here to stay. I know a lot of artists who are already overwhelmed with MySpace tend to feel daunted by the whole concept of introducing yet another social network into their lives. On September 4, 2008 Facebook launched "new" Facebook and the new interface is easier to use than before.

You won't believe how many people who you never saw around MySpace are on Facebook. All of a sudden you will be back in touch with your babysitter from grade school, a ton of old friends, and even the drummer from your first band. And, if you have been resisting because you think Facebook is just for kids in college, you are mistaken. The largest demographic on Facebook is over 25. It's the 4th most-trafficked website in the world and it's the number one photo sharing application. Read the full stats here: http://www.new.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

With over 110 million active users it’s here to stay so my advice is DIVE in (if you haven't already).

Here is a quick rundown for newbies on how to create a page as a band / musician and my favorite apps for Musicians when pimping out your Facebook profile!


STEP ONE: Create a Band / Artist Profile
Go Here: http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/create.php

STEP TWO: click on the third button down, it will say: Artist, Band, or Public Figure

STEP THREE: Select Band or Musician After you select it, a pull down menu will pop up. Select band it if you are a band, or musician if you play solo or want to create a solo-page (you can create as many as you want so you can create one for you and one for your band).

STEP FOUR: Enter Your Name Name your page and select create page. You are now off to the races!

The rest is pretty self-explanatory & you will upload your photo for your main user icon, your bio, band members and photos and details.

STEP FIVE: Click Create Page Now you are live and ready to add Apps! What is an App? It's short for application and it is simply a cool additional tool that you can add to your page so that you can display features such as music, photos, and videos.

Facebook has a great page that explains how to help you with apps. FAQ's are here: http://www.new.facebook.com/help.php?page=25

And the whole list of available apps is here: http://www.facebook.com/apps/

Here are my top picks for musicians and links to where you can download the apps for your own profile.

1. Music By Reverb Nation
Play Your Tunes
http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=6452028673&b= &ref=pd_r_c

Musicians and bands can post unlimited songs for streaming or download, add bios and band photos, sell your music and have your friends add your music and share with their friends (viral marketing for you!). This app also includes links to your homepage and you can add up to 30 of your songs (full-length) to your Facebook Musician Page. And the best part: great stats track song-play activity.

2. Vod:Pod
Display Your Videos

I am a big advocate in creating small casual videos to share with your fans. Videos are an excellent viral marketing tool. This app is the easiest way to show your videos and your favorite videos. This is a good place to display backstage moments, live shows and of course your music videos

3. zuPort
Show your Flickr photos

If you are a Flickr user zuPort automatically imports your public Flickr photostream so you can show off even more photos to your friends. zuPort: Flickr keeps your sets, collections, tags, comments and everything else linked so you only have to update only once.

4. Twitter
Tweet Away and Have It Synched!

This app allows you to update your status on Facebook straight from your mobile phone. So you can be on the road but your facebook page can be updated from your van! Pretty cool eh?

5. Facebook Mobile
Bring Facebook on the go

This app allows you to use Facebook on the go. With it, you can quickly to upload photos and notes from your camera phone straight to Facebook. You can also receive and reply to Facebook messages, pokes and Wall posts using text messages, or use your phone’s mobile browser.

6. iCast By iLike
Tell your fans your news

Send bulletins to fans with iCast, the best bulletins system on Facebook. You can send multimedia or mobile bulletins, or just plain blogs. Your bulletins will show not only to Facebook fans, but also via iLike across 10 different networks. They are the go to app for communicating your music to your fans.

7. iLike this Artist
Show off to your fans

Musicians, you can show off your fans on iLike on your artist page. This will add an "iLike this artist" button on your page, and will show your (larger) fan count across the entire iLike network.

Happy facebooking and please find me and join our group which features loads of free tips for musicians:

Sign up for our bi-weekly musicians tips newsletter Sound Advice here: http://www.arielpublicity.com

For music, pix, video, and more info, go here

Friday, October 10, 2008

Interview w/ New Media Pioneer: Steve Springall of Cybster TV

New Media Pioneer: Steve Springall of Cybster TV


CYBSTER TV is an Internet TV show presenting Independent artists and bands in a format similar to MTV, Rage and Video Hits. We are always on the lookout for great content and would like to invite the artists you represent to contribute their professionally produced music videos to be on the show.

Q: How long have you been broadcasting and doing the Cybster DJ video channel?

A: I discovered podcasting in mid 2005 and saw it as an opportunity to play music to more people than those in a venue. It also meant I could enjoy playing music that I liked without having to be booked for a real life event. CYBSTER TV began 2 years ago once I was able to source quality music videos from independent bands and artists.

Q: In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

A: To me the most important thing a song needs is a good melody and persistent beat. Without these things a song is merely a poem.

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

A: My all time favorite band is AC/DC. Other favorites include David Bowie, INXS, MC Hammer and Michael Jackson... (I taught him the Moonwalk... haha). So whilst I obviously enjoy Pop and hard rock, my favorites Genre is electronica... house and trance especially... it just connects with my soul.

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc. have affected you most?

A: I have only been able to use material that I have express permission to use. I obtain this directly from the artists, or from networks such at the Podsafe Music Network, Ariel Cyber PR, PromoNET and GarageBand. Licencing in Australia is very strict and too expensive to use mainstream music in my shows. I don't mind anyway, it's a thrill to help independent artists get exposure around the world; we help each other.

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel podcasts have the same power?

A: Definitely, most podcasts have a show notes page for each show with direct purchase links to the artists website or iTunes. It makes it real easy for those who enjoyed the song to get a copy quickly. I've used this myself plenty of times. I'm so lazy I like it when things are made easy for me. :)

To find more interviews and New Media tips for musicians please visit: www.arielpublicity.net/blog

For music, pix, video, and more info, go here

Monday, October 6, 2008

Book Review: The Indie Band Survival Guide

Book Review: The Indie Band Survival Guide by Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR

A few weeks ago, I threw a book launch party for my friends, Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan to celebrate the launch of their new fabulous book, "The Indie Band Survival Guide," published by St. Martin's Griffin here in New York, and I was honored to be interviewed and prominently featured in the PR chapter. Weighing in at 329 pages, it is jam-packed full of incredible information.

"The Indie Band Survival Guide" is a book that all artists, independent or not, need to own.

Randy & Jason are founding members of the Chicago based independent band Beatnik Turtle, and this book started out as their blog where they chronicled their personal experience releasing a whopping 18 albums, touring, building a formidable following, and writing music for film and TV. This book was not motivated by money or a desire for fame. It came from the 12 years of experience as independent artists that they achieved directly by releasing albums, and as they learned along the way, they wrote it all down. As their lessons and experiences grew, so did their blog, and because of their blog a literary agent approached them, and they got a publishing deal.

It was very hard not to write a hundred page review of this bookÂ… Randy & Jason share exactly the same philosophies and opinions about the realities of the 'new' music business and their insights are striking and very important to understand to stay ahead during this wild west time of the music business.

When I started Ariel Publicity in 1996 there was ONE conversation that took place at all music festivals like SXSW and in my office and anywhere you went where there were musicians present. That conversation was: "How am I going to get signed?"

The first key point this book makes is: Back in the day when getting signed was the principal goal of all artists, the entire game was all about winning over just a few key record executives in the business. Today, the rules have completely changed and this is no longer true at all. It's now the sole responsibility of the artist to take on what an entire staff used to do, and there is a lot to take on.

This book begins by reminding artists that you don't have to do it all alone, and that technology is wonderful and helps empower artists, "but it's not the technology that will get your music listened to, booked, distributed, played, seen, and publicized." It's people. People make things happen for musicians...

Here are some highlights that struck me:

- Randy & Jason take you through the myths and realities of old-school music business versus the new music business, including how commercial radio works and why independent artists will have to spend between $20,000 and $100,000 to get commercial radio airplay

- Why signing to a major label makes no sense in this day and age

- Why networking is key and how it doesn't have to feel icky

- How to use your fans to help you network and get the word out about you

- People who have met you or seen you play live are likely to be in the minority of people who will listen to your music now that the Internet is the number one medium for music delivery

- The importance of a good website and why just having a MySpace page is a big mistake and how to plan it soup to nuts and how to make people return to your website over and over

- A complete guide to blogging and micro-blogging and the benefits

- The ins and outs of social networking

- How to create a CD, home studio versus pro studios, everything about CD manufacturing and merchandising with a complete bulleted list, which they provide so you don't even have to think. You just have to follow the list and get your CD released

- Copyright laws and trademark your rights to the songs and recording in a handy flow chart that breaks down every aspect, from sampling to who pays you to trademark

- Why multi-tasking is totally necessary for artists in this day and age and why having multiple income streams is what will make you money in the long run.

- The death of the big splash - The new approach for releasing albums is slow and steady wins the race

- How to get booked at clubs and house concerts, charity events, festivals, college gigs and weddings

- How to get your fans to help you get the word out

This book is an indispensable goldmine and a must-have for every independent musician's library. No matter what level you are at in your career, you need to own this fabulous book, The Indie Band Survival Guide.

Here is a free preview on their website: http://indiebandsurvivalguide.com

Don't miss out on a chance to change your music career for $14.95 - buy this book today!

Amazon Link:

Check out photos from the release party on Flickr!

For music, pix, video, and more info, go here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interview w/ New Media Pioneer: Michael Butler of Mevio and the Rock and Roll Geek Show


As the premier social media community, Mevio is the only network providing single-click access to the best in new media in audio, video, podcasts, and music to be delivered to your computer, iPod, mobile device, or television.

Q: What is the background story of how Mevio came along?

A: Mevio was originally Podshow. The company was founded by former MTV VJ Adam Curry and his business partner Ron Bloom.

In 2004 Adam had been messing around with audio blogging, before the term podcasting existed. He and Dave Winer were experimenting with adding enclosures to rss feeds and podcasting was born. Soon, podcasters were starting shows and shortly after, Podshow was started. They signed some of the early producers including my show (The Rock and Roll Geek Show), Dawn and Drew, Yeast Radio and some others.

Back then, people were playing whatever music they wanted on their shows. Then people started getting worried that the RIAA may not like that so Adam and some other creative minds started a place for bands who actually wanted to be heard on podcasts to post their music and The Podsafe Music Network was born. Shortly after, Adam and Ron asked me to quit my job as a house painter and work with artists on the network. 4 years later, it is THE place for bands, record labels and content creators to connect.

Q: What do you see the future of Mevio being?

A: I can't speak for the entire company, since I only work on the music network but my goal is to have every record label, band and aritst on the network. I want independent content creators to have as much power in the music business as radio stations had in the good old days. It is my dream to have back catalog available to podcasters. I can't speak for everyone but as a content creator, I want to play not only up and coming independent artists but also bands that were a part of the soundtrack of my life.

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

A: I am partial to 70's rock and punk because that is what I grew up listening to. My favorite bands are still Cheap Trick, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Ramones and Joan Jett.

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc. have affected you most?

A: When I reach out to some of the major labels to try to get their artists on the Podsafe Music Network, some of them still think that posting an mp3 on a website is piracy. The indies have been posting mp3s on their own websites for a few years not but the majors are a little harder to convince. That being said, the majors are now starting new media departments so there may still be hope for the dinosaurs.

The Podsafe Music Network now deals with some of the largest digital music distributors and independent labels in the world and I am really proud of that.

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel podcasts has the same power?

A: I think the labels are slowly realizing that by releasing a song from their artists to blogs and podcasts does more good than harm and can actually help break a band. For example, last year, there was a band from Australia called Airbourne. No one in the US or Europe had ever heard of them. I started playing them on The Rock and Roll Geek Show and listeners seemed to really like them. They emailed the band and let them know they discovered them from my show. Soon after that, got a CD from the band's management and offered an interview with the band. I interviewed the band and continued to sing their praises. Now that band has taken the country by storm and has released one of the best selling independent hard rock records this year!

To find more interviews and New Media tips for musicians please visit: www.arielpublicity.net/blog

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Deni Bonet

Lilith Fair artist, Deni Bonet is a singer/songwriter and world-class electric violinist. She was an original cast member of National Public Radio's premier music show, MOUNTAIN STAGE and performed with Cyndi Lauper, REM, Sarah McLachlan, etc. before forming her own highly regarded band.

For her music, pix, video, and more info, go here

Career Club

CAREER CLUB combines the buoyant melodies of power-pop, the visceral thrills of rock, and the slyness and wit of indie, creating a sound that meshes well with the Brooklyn music scene, yet stands on its own.

For their music, pix, video, and more info, go here


Kalliopi is a pop-rock singer/songwriter from Athens, Greece. She recently completed a single called Around the World including the track Fire and Sea and a rock n roll version of T.Springfield/ C.Westlake song Summer Is Over, originally sung by Dusty Springfield.

For her music, pix, and more info, go here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What does the future hold for musicians?

What's the Future for Musicians?

If you can be at New York City's Public Theater on Monday, October 6th, you might want to sign up for what promises to be a very interesting all-day event, at a very modest $25 registration fee, sponsored by the Future of Music Coalition, entitled What's the Future for Musicians?".

Here's how the hosts introduce it:

Today's music landscape is filled with both excitement and foreboding. With so many new technologies and ways to promote and distribute music, how do performers, composers, songwriters and independent labels know how to participate, who to trust, and what is most effective?

FMC is working with The Public Theater and other musician organizations to program our sixth "What's the Future for Musicians?" educational event, this one in New York City on October 6, 2008.

This seminar will educate musicians and label owners from a range of genres – classical, jazz, rock, folk and hip-hop – about the critical issues at the intersection of music, law, technology and policy, with the goal of better preparing musicians to participate in the issues that affect their livelihood.
The speakers' list includes the following folks, and even more are being added:
Richard Bengloff President , American Association of Independent Music

Michael Bracy Policy Director, Future of Music Coalition

Brian Camelio CEO/Founder, ArtistShare

Ann Chaitovitz Executive Director, Future of Music Coalition

Jennifer Wright Cook Executive Director, The Field

Matthew Covey Executive Director, Tamizdat Inc.

Ken Freedman Station Manager, WFMU

Joel Hamilton Engineer, Producer, Jerk, Studio Owner, Studio G Brooklyn

Dick Huey CEO, Toolshed

Ariel Hyatt President , Ariel Publicity and Cyber PR

Zoe Knight Associate Director/Consultant, Artist Mangement & Publishing

Alex Maiolo Project Director, HINT

Charles McEnerney Host + Producer, Well-Rounded Radio

Marie Ortiz Program Director, Healthcare, Fractured Atlas

hal ponder director of government relations, american federation of musicians

hal ponder director of government relations, american federation of musicians

Jeff Price CEO/Founder, TuneCore

Molly Sheridan Managing Editor, NewMusicBox.org/Director, CounterstreamRadio.org, American Music Center

Marcy Rauer Wagman Associate Professor/CEO, MAD Dragon UNLTD, Drexel University/MAD Dragon UNLTD
Event website

Monday, September 1, 2008

Download Squad lists 35 sites for RIAA-free music

Thanks to Living the Liminal for pointing out "35 Places To Download Free, Legal MP3s - Sorry, RIAA!" published by Download Squad.

We will be adding that to our own listing, Liberated Music.