Shannon just got back from exhibiting us for a week at the SxSW music and film show, and posted her update on things for our musicians. There are a bunch of interesting things in here, so I'm reposting it, with a few confidential things bleeped out:
Hello Magnatune artists!
Ever been totally exhausted and yet completely energized at the same time? I just returned from more than a week at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas where Teresa, Joel, and I promoted the heck out of you, your music, and Magnatune in general. Particularly focused were our efforts among filmmakers, with whom we networked tirelessly to let them know how easily they can license your music for use in their projects.
One particularly instructive experience was a panel session entitled "Choosing Music for Your Film" during which a panel of accomplished directors, producers, and music supervisors told an audience of young filmmakers -- many from University of Texas -- that if music licensing were surgery, "it would be brain surgery" and advised them to "just hire an entertainment lawyer" or "just hire a music supervisor" to oversee music for their films. This was *after* it had been ascertained that most of audience members were working on film budgets of $10,000 or less. During Q&A, I spoke up about Magnatune and got *a lot* of interest from filmmakers after the panel ended.
The panel experience made crystal clear what John has been saying for some time -- that there's a real opportunity here for Magnatune to become *the* licensing resource among creative professionals who want high quality rights-cleared indie music for use in their projects. This is a message we'll be putting out there for some time to come: that on Magnatune, music licensing is an outpatient procedure. ;)
Other SXSW highlights included watching Maganatune artist Tom Lewis of Five Star Fall (formerly Fluid) perform to a full house, and then later in the week the fabulous Drop Trio at the Elephant Room. At that show, we met one of the band's most avid fans: a sound engineer and producer whose personal discography reads like an issue of Billboard. Teresa introduced us to the nice guys at WXPN, the influential Philadelphia radio station home to one of radio's most beloved syndicated programs, World Cafe. Through Joel, we also got to meet Vic ***** of BBC Radio 1, an incredibly likable fellow with a passion for music that he wears on his oh-so-Scottish sleeve. While I was there, I also met with a senior producer at Austin's biggest post production facility -- winner of several Cannes Lions awards and others -- who says he's always on the lookout for good music for their projects and was excited to hear about the automated licensing feature on Magnatune. With these folks and hundreds of others, we talked about you, put your music into their hands, and generally networked on your behalf. We did manage to see some fantastic live shows in between all the networking too, including Charlatans UK, Echo and the Bunnymen, Neko Case, Riverboat Gamblers, and Goldfrapp -- who are *incredible* live.
And speaking of live performance, I bought myself a Sleater Kinney CD online yesterday. So what? Well, consider that I have known and loved Sleater Kinney's music for about a decade and have never once before bought one of their CDs. Not even after I got the movie soundtrack to All Over Me and realized that their track was the best of the lot. I just never got around to buying a Sleater Kinney album. And then the other day, I saw them perform live at South by Southwest, and suddenly they felt much more like "my band." I connected to their music in an entirely new way. For most bands, I'm told, an active performance schedule is key, although I know there are genre-specific variations to consider (electronica is a different ballgame than rock, for instance). But consider that even artists with household names generally need to tour when they release an album.
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this, and want to mention that I'm now keeping artist-only office hours on weekdays. Although you are always welcome to call me at *any* time, I've decided to keep the hours of 8 to 10am PST on weekdays free for any on-the-fly discussions that Magnatune artists might want to have on an ongoing basis. I've learned a lot about your needs from you over the last few months, and it's really helped to bring certain things into focus -- particularly how we can be supporting you in the process of promoting your work. I want to keep the conversation going so that we can keep good things flowing. My number is ***.***.****.
Next, you may have noticed that since I took over artist relations at Magnatune, John has been forwarding to me many of the questions that he would have previously fielded himself. This is so that he's free to use his time to work on a windfall of new Magnatune features and projects, and here are the blog entries he made both about and between them. If you have any questions at all about this, please drop me a line.
Finally, a big shout out to the new artists on this list: Beight, The Seldon Plan, Marginal Prophets, Psychokinetics (our first two hip hop bands!), Ensemble Vermillian, and Mountain Mirrors. Welcome to Magnatune. We're thrilled to have you.
Next month: some of Magnatune's top selling artists' tips for self-promotion.
Be well and keep in touch!
Full text searching added to Magnatune
Why do 63 percent of our visitors leave right away?
Don't make me think!
Experimenting with featured artist on home page
Location of artists now given at Magnatune
Unreliable audio streaming hopefully fixed