Identity on the Web: The ‘Nym Wars

Recent headlines detailed the frustrating grapple between writer, Salman Rushdie and Facebook over the write to use a pseudonym on his account rather than his legal name. Salman’s legal name on his passport is Ahmed Rushdie, but he is known by his pen name Salman.

Facebook supports authentic identities. The company prefers that consumers use their actual names on their account. The social media platforms are divided regarding the use of real names and pseudonyms, hence the ‘Nym Wars.

Facebook is the champion of authentic names. The company has plans to enhance the social aspect of site while transitioning to a more app based Internet. In the future, regardless of what name you use, anonymity or public identity will be indicative of what is shared through social media. Be prepared to even more changes to the Facebook platform in the future. The company has unveiled the new user experience, where your wall and profile becomes a snapshot of your entire social existence.

So why should you be concerned regarding the outcome of the ‘Nym Wars? Web identity rights could drastically affect how you use the Internet and communicate through social media. The difficulty with applying rules to the Internet is that it is a global web network and each country will become responsible for their inhabitants. Identity management is still up in the air. Many sites like Google + and Facebook subscribe to the authentic identity school of thought. Others are more open to their users using aliases, specifically Twitter.

Based upon my personal user experience, I think it is important for users to be in control of their web identities. People have different reasons for using pseudonyms and they should be free to either protect their real identities or expose as much of it as they’re comfortable with. Considering that identity management is in the hands of third party providers, it’s necessary as consumers to define our needs in order to ensure our rights aren’t limited.

Many web users take advantage of Open ID, Facebook, or Google Accounts as web passports to allow them to sign into various sites. Considering this and all of the ethical implications regarding web identity freedom, which side are you on in the ‘Nym War? What solutions do you feel would be most advantageous to consumers? Please comment below to share your thoughts.

 

Resources:

 

http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2011/08/the-nym-wars-how-many-identities-are-enough/

http://www.stikkymedia.com/articles/facebook-f8-zuck-dawg-announces-even-bigger-changes

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/technology/hiding-or-using-your-name-online-and-who-decides.html?pagewanted=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

 

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Finding Financial Support for Your Business

Many entrepreneurs struggle to find banking and investment institutions that meet their needs. This article examines two resources for seeking business support and financial funding.

The Opportunity Finance Network invests in opportunities that benefit low-income communities in the spirit of self-betterment and in the interest of creating jobs. Loans and investments range from $100,000 to $3 million and are usually a 3 to 10 year repayment term made to community development financial institutions (CDFIs).

The Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is a nationwide network of CDFIs. The OFN helps support CDFIs in their mission by offering financial services to struggling communities in order to help them participate effectively in the economy.

OFN makes funds available to CDFIs so that they can offer financial products to low-income areas that are underserved or where obtaining financial products from a typical financial institution is difficult or impossible. Individuals seeking funding should contact their local CDFI and qualifications may vary according to the institution. Find a CDFI that could possibly help you realize your business goals here.

OFN recently partnered with Starbucks in an effort to create and sustain jobs across the nation through the Create Jobs for USA foundation. Every $5 donation will result in $35 being made available for financing efforts.

The OFN website is a great tool for researching CDFIs. Their search tool can assist in finding banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital funds that operate as CDFIs.

 

Many banks don't offer financial services to low-income areas. Business owners are often at a loss at where to turn to for funding. The CDFIs were established to encourage and support business owners in low-income communities.

The Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA) promotes small business development through a network offering community development venture capital (CDVC) investing. The CDVCA offers resources for small business owners including equity financing, technical assistance, consulting, and educational training events. The CDVCA administers The Central Fund, which is meant to offer equity to businesses that share the CDVCA’s goal of promoting economic growth in struggling communities by creating jobs and wealth. Additionally the firm has assumed the noble cause of supporting women and minority ownership of small businesses.

For business owners seeking financing, they should be to demonstrate how their business will prosper and ensure high returns while positively impacting the surrounding community. Specific requirements vary according the individual fund. You can learn about what funds are available in your area by starting your research here.

The CDVCA also offers information to business owners seeking business support services. They provide a variety of programs that are in place to support venture capital investors and business owners.

There are many institutions designed to help small business owners be successful and positively impact their community’s economy. When seeking alternative financing keep in mind that equity is not a gift, it’s a debt to be repaid. Investors willing to provide financing will take a direct interest in all aspects of the business and its operations. Realize that they are more than just a resource of funding and have a vested interest in providing support in other areas of business administration to ensure its ultimate profitability and healthy operations. Not all funds com with support, and your business’ financials could be tied to an anticipated growth schedule. It is important to set realistic projections in order to prevent getting in hot water with your investor if your income statement doesn’t reflect the promised profits. Tell me about your business plans in the comment area below. What are your experiences (or frustrations) in seeking venture capital funding? Feel free to contact me for further resources or information.

 

Sources:

 

http://www.opportunityfinance.net/default.aspx

http://www.cdvca.org/

Applying Business Plan Advice From the Experts (Follow-Up Post)

This post is a follow up to the previous entry where I researched business plan advice from two professionals, Angelo Meneguzzi and Barbara Corcoran.

Read the previous entry: http://www.jazzpixie.com/2011/09/business-plan-advice-from-the-experts/

For the business plan that I’m developing, I’m taking Angelo Meneguzzi’s advice by demonstrating experience in the field of the industry I plan on entering. My business plan idea is to establish a public relations firm that caters to indie rock artists that are up-and-comers. I’ve worked for the last year and a half as an intern with Angie Ema Deruelle and her small business, EMA Public Relations. Angie is currently contracted by 3 pop-rock-reggae artists; The Supervillains, Ballyhoo!, and Mike Pinto. I’ve gained a lot of proprietary experience while working with Angie and I intend to make that clear when establishing my credibility throughout my business plan.

I truly have a passion for publicity work within the music industry. I love all aspects of managing a publicity campaign; writing press releases, sketching out project time lines, researching potential media contacts, interacting with the bands, and coordinating press coverage. Barbara Corcoran stipulates that any business plan worth investing in should be backed with an entrepreneur endowed with a passion for their business and a will to succeed.

Despite all the uncertainties in life, I feel I have a flair for working in public relations. I truly enjoy every aspect of the work, even the tasks that would seem tedious to an outsider. Determined is my middle name, and I convey my will to succeed in the positive (but realistic) tones of my business plan writing.

Based upon Angelo’s and Barbara’s advice, I even revisited sections of my business plan that were complete. I took time to edit them to ensure that every section is infused with my personality, passion, and will to succeed.  Regarding the nature of my business and the fact that PR is a service based industry, investors aren’t buying into a business, and they’re buying into me. I’ve kept that in mind and have made an effort to persuade them I’m more than worth the risk based on my character, proprietary knowledge, and work ethic.

When an investor reads over my business plan, I consider the Management & Organization, Industry Analysis, and Target Market sections to be the most critical in persuading them to invest in my business. These sections are where I get a chance to convey to them my passion, knowledge, expertise, and dedication to success. I’ve spent a great deal of time ensuring these sections are informative, but subtlety persuasive. For investors that may see the music industry or the public relations industry as a high-risk investment, these sections are where I get a chance to prove myself and convince them otherwise.

I’d love to hear what you’re working on if you have a business plan in the works. Let me know what you think are the most important parts of your business plan by commenting on this post.

References

Bischoff, D. (2011, April 14). Interview with a Shark: Barbara Corcoran Lays Down 6 Rules for Entrepreneurs. Retrieved 2011, from Lendio: http://www.lendio.com/blog/interview-with-a-shark-barbara-corcoran/

Corcoran, B. (2011). About Barbara. Retrieved 2011, from Barbara Corcoran: http://barbaracorcoran.com/about/

Gossage, B. (2003, January). High Priority. Inc. , pp. 21-22.

Meneguzzi, A. (2011). Purchasing an Underperforming Business. Retrieved 2011, from Business Plan Help & Small Business Articles: http://articles.bplans.com/buying-a-business/purchasing-an-underperforming-business/19

Meneguzzi, A. (2011). Where to begin writing a business plan. Retrieved 2011, from Bplans: http://help.bplans.com/where-to-begin-writing-business-plan/42/

Mengeguzzi, A. (2011). I’ve finished my business plan; no what? Retrieved 2011, from Bplans: http://help.bplans.com/i-ve-finished-my-business-plan-now-what/1426/

Business Plan Advice From the Experts

Many people have that business idea stewing on the back burner. Some have even written a business plan. For those of you seeking some business plan help, this is the blog for you. I’ve researched two professionals, Angelo Meneguzzi and Barbara Corcoran. Read more below to see what advice they have to offer for would-be entrepreneurs and people interested in polishing their existing or in-progress business plan.

Angelo Meneguzzi

Angelo Meneguzzi is a jack-of-all trades at the professional level. He’s worked in the fields of marketing, public relations, product development, branding, and strategic corporate development. Companies on his resume include everything from the fledgling tech start-up to Disney and ABC.

Angelo makes it clear that proven experience is a necessity in developing an effective business plan. The entrepreneur behind in the plan must be well versed in the industry they are planning on entering. An insider’s perspective is reinforcing support to the business plan itself and establishes credibility with potential investors.

Angelo advises that one the plan is complete; it is best to offer it to trusted professionals for critique. Two sets of eyes are better than one, cliché, but true. Having others help check the business plan over gives you a chance to gauge how the future audience of potential investors will grade the pitch.

Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran had humble beginnings. She was the opposite of a stellar student and high school and college. Barbara wandered through around 20 jobs before she was halfway through her twenties. $1,000 loan became the seed money for The Corcoran Group, which became a leader in the real estate industry. Barbara sold the firm in 2001 for $66million. These days she’s one of 5 venture capitalists on the panel for the edgy ABC hit reality show, Shark Tank.

According to Barbara, any business plan worth investing plan should be supported by an entrepreneur with true passion and a spirit determined to succeed. The presentation of a business plan is equally important as its content. A successful business plan needs to be supported by an entrepreneur who looks the part, communicates effectively, and is wholly confident in the potential for success.

Any business plan should contain the recommended contents, but the information needs to be communicated in such a way that captures the potential investor’s attention. The job of any professional behind a business plan is to prove to the potential investor that they’ve done everything in their power to make the business successful and profitable.

References

Bischoff, D. (2011, April 14). Interview with a Shark: Barbara Corcoran Lays Down 6 Rules for Entrepreneurs. Retrieved 2011, from Lendio: http://www.lendio.com/blog/interview-with-a-shark-barbara-corcoran/

Corcoran, B. (2011). About Barbara. Retrieved 2011, from Barbara Corcoran: http://barbaracorcoran.com/about/

Gossage, B. (2003, January). High Priority. Inc. , pp. 21-22.

Meneguzzi, A. (2011). Purchasing an Underperforming Business. Retrieved 2011, from Business Plan Help & Small Business Articles: http://articles.bplans.com/buying-a-business/purchasing-an-underperforming-business/19

Meneguzzi, A. (2011). Where to begin writing a business plan. Retrieved 2011, from Bplans: http://help.bplans.com/where-to-begin-writing-business-plan/42/

Mengeguzzi, A. (2011). I’ve finished my business plan; no what? Retrieved 2011, from Bplans: http://help.bplans.com/i-ve-finished-my-business-plan-now-what/1426/

 

Rush Unveil “Time Machine 2011: Live in Clevand”

2-CD Set Recorded During Legendary Trio’s Recent World Tour; Band Simultaneously Release Live Version of Landmark Album “MOVING PICTURES” on Vinyl; “TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND” and “MOVING PICTURES: LIVE 2011″ Will Both Be Available November 8

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – Sep 20, 2011) – Legendary rock band Rush have announced details for the first offerings through their recently announced partnership with Roadrunner Records. On November 8, Anthem/Roadrunner will simultaneously release a two-disc live album entitled “TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND” as well as “MOVING PICTURES: LIVE 2011″ on vinyl and digital formats.

Captured in April at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena during the renowned trio’s extensive Time Machine World Tour, “TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND” marks the band’s first live album recorded at a U.S. show, a deliberate nod of gratitude to the first city to support Rush on its radio airwaves. The wildly popular tour featured a set filled with classic hits, fan favorites, and a glimpse into Rush’s forthcoming 20th studio album “CLOCKWORK ANGELS.” As a centerpiece for the concerts, the band performed their landmark album “MOVING PICTURES” in its entirety — a first in the band’s long and illustrious career. Rave reviews of the tour included The Hollywood Reporter’s declaration that “the current Time Machine jaunt is nothing less than a must see… for nearly three hours, with intermission, Rush proved why it remains among rock’s elite live acts.” Full track listing for “TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND” attached below.

“MOVING PICTURES: LIVE 2011″ marks the first live recording of the band’s most successful album to date. Originally released in 1981, this year marks the 30th anniversary of “MOVING PICTURES,” which features some of Rush’s most well-known songs like “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight,” and “YYZ.”

In related news, Rush is also releasing “Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland” on BluRay and DVD formats on November 8 via Rounder Records in the U.S. and Eagle Rock Entertainment abroad. VH1 will be airing a 2-hour concert culled from the footage as part of their annual “Rushashana” program on September 29. This fall, Rush will be returning to the studio to resume work on their highly anticipated 20th studio album, “CLOCKWORK ANGELS” due out in 2012.

With more than 40 million records sold worldwide and countless sold-out tours, Rush — Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart — is not only one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, but remains one of the most popular. The RIAA has certified Rush for the third most consecutive gold/platinum studio albums by a rock band, topped only by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Rush’s vast catalog includes such classics as 1974′s self-titled debut, 1976′s “2112,” 1981′s “MOVING PICTURES,” 1996′s “TEST FOR ECHO,” and 2002′s “VAPOR TRAILS.” Rush’s most recent studio album, 2007′s “SNAKES & ARROWS,” debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, marking the band’s highest chart debut since 1993, as well as their eleventh top 10 album in the U.S. In addition to their commercial success, Rush has also been recognized with a number of Juno Awards and multiple Grammy nominations, including one for the acclaimed documentary “Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage” at this year’s gala event. Enjoying a recent pop culture renaissance, Rush made a rare television appearance — their first in over 30 years — on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and a memorable cameo in the film “I Love You, Man.” A career-chronicling Rolling Stone feature summed up the renowned rock trio’s continuing artistic vitality by observing, It’s true that Rush doesn’t mean today what it did in ’76 or even ’96. It may mean more.”

(TRACK LISTING BELOW)

RUSH
“TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND

(ANTHEM/ROADRUNNER)
Available November 8th

DISC ONE

1. The Spirit Of Radio
2. Time Stand Still
3. Presto
4. Stick It Out
5. Workin’ Them Angels
6. Leave That Thing Alone
7. Faithless
8. BU2B
9. Free Will
10. Marathon
11. Subdivisions
12. Tom Sawyer
13. Red Barchetta
14. YYZ
15. Limelight

DISC 2

1. The Camera Eye
2. Witch Hunt
3. Vital Signs
4. Caravan
5. Moto Perpetuo (featuring Love For Sale)
6. O’Malley’s Break
7. Closer To The Heart
8. 2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx
9. Far Cry
10. La Villa Strangiato
11. Working Man

For more information, please contact:

Glenn Fukushima
(Rush)
818.238.6833
Glenn.Fukushima@atlanticrecords.com

Julie Lichtenstein
(Roadrunner Records)
212.274.7561
Lichtenstein@roadrunnerrecords.com

###

This press release is republished from: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/rush-unveil-time-machine-2011-live-in-cleveland-2-cd-set-recorded-during-legendary-trios-1563409.htm

Frustrations in the Public Relations Industry

I have been interning with EMA Public Relations for a little over a year now. EMA Public Relations is a sole proprietorship based in Orlando that handles publicity for various rock-reggae bands. Currently, EMA is handling 3 artists; Ballyhoo!, Mike Pinto, and The Supervillains. Law Records is another client that the company occasionally does work for, plus they are close associates since The Supervillains are signed to the label.

I have learned a great deal from my time with EMA. I’ve helped the company determine its internal processes. I’ve made many mistakes, but they only helped me find solutions to hindering problems.

A great deal of time is spent researching and contacting people within our network, usually media gatekeepers. Web research takes a great deal of time. Between conducting research for EMA’s media contact databases and interacting with promoters, media gatekeepers, and booking agents, I’ve noticed a few things and become aware of some frustrations in the public relations industry.

  1. None of our bands are well known. We are constantly updating their press kits. EMA must share these press kits with media gatekeepers so that they can get an idea of what the band is like. We’ve tried various techniques, but due to technical issues, none have been 100% reliable. It’d be great if the industry could decide on a standard for sharing electronic press kits (EPKs). It’d make it easier to ensure that publicists include necessary content, the content is easy to access, and the tech is reliable.
  2. Commercial radio stations make it impossible to find their contact information-on any platform. Now that media conglomerates own most radio stations, they are less likely to feature up-and-coming artists and they are more focused on top releases. Radio stations are no longer the tastemakers they once were, and this nearly kills almost all chances for indie bands to get in in the broadcast studio. Stations that may be open to promoting independent artist make it impossible to get in touch with them.
  3. When researching media contacts, usually we will ask for the event promoter or venue to share theirs with us. EMA has created a structured database using Google Docs spreadsheets to organize our information. When looking at an address book, a spreadsheet makes sense. Often, we receive contact information lists in the form of a word document. Usually these lists lack adequate information and require further research before a relationship can be initiated with any of the contacts. Someone, the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) should standardize what constitutes a media contact list and publish templates that function with the Microsoft Office suite and Google Docs.
  4. When reaching out to new contacts and trying to pitch an artist, don’t lie to me and say you’ll get back to me on that. If a media gatekeeper isn’t interested in the wares I’m peddling, I wish they would just politely tell me so once I finished my piece. It’s frustrating to call some one, get back burner-ed, and then send them an email that never gets a reply.

I understand that in the music industry, not everyone is trained or familiar with project management and professional tools. As the industry involves, it is evermore important to have a clear standard for communication over specified channels. College radio stations are usually pretty good at making this clear.

The best way to simplify things for now, would be for media gatekeepers to clearly state what they want from a publicity pitch and the channel to communicate with. If companies weren’t open to publicity pitches, it would save everyone a ton of time if they would simply not publish any contact information.

If they must encourage emails, then I really appreciate when a company has a truthful auto-response in place, “Thanks for contacting us, we may or may not get back to you. If it’s been more than 2 weeks, forget about it.” That’s just an example, and I don’t mean that’s exactly what the auto-response message should read, but I’d like to know how long I should wait before assuming I’ve been ignored.

I have many frustrations in the music industry, but despite it all, I love working in it. Perhaps I’ll solve all these issues in the future and start standardizing the public relations process for music industry professionals. Frustrations in the public relations industry are the reason many projects are abandoned, but also they can become inspiration for evolution.

Tell me about your industry rants, ideas for the new music industry, or internship experiences by commenting below.

 

Resources

  1. Brown, D. (2011, July 17). You Know What’s Wrong With The PR Industry? . Retrieved September 13, 2011, from Insights: http://dannybrown.me/2011/06/17/you-know-whats-wrong-with-the-pr-industry/
  2. Dietrich, G. (2011, January 10). The (Wrong) Image of the PR Industry. Retrieved September 13, 2011, from Spin Sucks: http://www.spinsucks.com/communication/the-wrong-image-of-the-pr-industry/
  3. Pillai, S. (2011, March 27). Giving the PR industry an image makeover. Retrieved September 13, 2011, from Daily News and Analysis India: http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/column_giving-the-pr-industry-an-image-makeover_1524836
  4. Public Relations Society of America. (2011). Code of Ethics. Retrieved September 13, 2011, from About PRSA: http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/CodeEnglish/
  5. Social Media Club. (2011). Facebook’s PR Faceplant: Industry Standards Exist for Good Reason. Retrieved September 13, 2011, from Social Media Today: http://dannybrown.me/2011/06/17/you-know-whats-wrong-with-the-pr-industry/

New Digital Format for Albums: Amanda Palmer Presents, The Kaiser Chiefs New Concept Album

Trolling through my RSS feeds, I came across an interesting headline, “Let Us Consider Together The New Kaiser Concept Album.” I sat there perplexed, wondering why Amanda Palmer was commenting on assumedly Russian politics. As I read on, I found out that Amanda wasn’t at all interested in Russian politics, but was commenting on a new experiment in the music industry being conducted by the UK band, The Kaiser Chiefs. The band has created its own new digital format for albums.

The Kaiser Chiefs are offering their new album; The Future is Medieval in a new digital format as sort of an experiment in the music industry. The focus is on customization. The bands released 20 tracks that it is allowing consumers to preview, so that they might select their top 10 and purchase the album in whatever configuration they see fit. The selection system is very interactive and altogether an artistic experience–one you should check out for yourself.

Once the consumer has selected their 10 tracks for their custom version of the album, they are forwarded to another pane where their 10 selected tracks appear next to an album artwork customization thingy-ma-bob. Once the artwork is complete, the final invoice is creatively displayed for final inspection. If all is satisfactory, the creator can choose to purchase the album for £7.50. Basically, each user gets to create their own original concept album.

In an interesting twist, The Kaiser Chiefs are allowing users to sell their version of the album, with the opportunity to make a £1 profit. This is yet another interesting variable in this experiment in the music industry. You get a personalized banner to arm you for your sales campaign, and they track the top 5 best selling versions on the band website. I find this whole platform very intriguing. I love that the system is set up very artistically, the overall experience and aesthetic is extremely pleasing: it is very fun to play with. I’ve never heard this band before today, but with this project (not to mention the cojones it must have taken to persuade their label, Polydor, an imprint of UMG, to allow such mad creativity) I’m an instant fan. The whole platform is extremely novel and Amanda and I are both holding our breath, waiting to see how the experiment turns out.

Breaking Benjamin is Broken

18101

Ben Burnley is duking it out in the courts with former bandmates Aaron Fincke and Mark Klepaski. This unrest is born from the bad blood that bubbled up between them when the fellas allegedly green-lighted a remixed version of the track “Blow Me Away” and other content for a greatest-hits-release on Hollywood Records.

Burnley fired half of the Breaking Benjamin crew via email after learning of the debauchery that was afoot. He is now claiming that Fincke and Klepaski were not authorized to make decisions on behalf of the band. Burnley admonishes that the band’s name has always been his as Burnley is clearly indicated to be the sole founder of the band.

The band is yielding to the blows of uncertain times. In June 2010 Breaking Benjamin went on an open-ended hiatus due to Burnley’s health issues related to his history of alcohol abuse. This latest falling out was the arrow that hit its mark creating an irreparable fissure within the group.

Burnley has filed suite for damages totaling $250,000 and exclusive rights to the band name. In July, Fincke and Klepaski’s lawyers clearly denied Burnley’s accusations and claims. The lawyers are hung up on the validity of a 2009 partnership agreement made amongst the bandmates. They doubt that Burnley had permission and authority to simply terminate members of the band.

Burnley, Hollywood Records, and the outcast bandmates all have a concentrated interest in the outcome of these proceedings. Each party has a huge stake in the outcome of the proceedings. Cases like these prove how imperative it is to have a legitimate and legal band agreement in place that clearly delineates operational standards for the group.

Needless to say, drummer Chad Szeliga is blatantly absent from the turmoil. Perhaps he fears a fate similar to that of Breaking Benjamin’s original drummer Jeremy Hummel. Hummel claims Burnley, Fincke, and Klepaski kicked him out unfairly. The case was settled out of court. The question arises, “Where the reasons Burnley felt inclined to remove members from Breaking Benjamin founded in at least an iota of reason, or is he just trigger happy when it comes to firing your business partners?”

 


References

  1. Gaydos, M. R. (2011, August 2). Breaking Benjamin broken over song dispute. Retrieved August 31, 2011, from Citizen Voice: http://citizensvoice.com/news/breaking-benjamin-broken-over-song-dispute-1.1182879?cache=03D163D03D163Dp%253A%252Fhe3D03Dn63Freporti3D19.11145issed-1.1176%252F%253FparentPage%253D2.1188%253Dfalse%253Fcache%253D03D163D03D163Dp%253A%252Fhe3D03Dn63Freporti3#ixzz1TstSY0ju
  2. Lipshutz, J. (2011, August 2). Breaking Benjamin Singer Fires Bandmates Over Song Dispute: Report . Retrieved August 31, 2011, from Billboard: http://www.billboard.com/#/news/breaking-benjamin-singer-fires-bandmates-1005300892.story
  3. Rubinkam, M. (2011, August 2). Lead singer of Breaking Benjamin fires bandmates. Retrieved August 31, 2011, from Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/lead-singer-breaking-benjamin-fires-bandmates-163847183.html

 

 

Pitfalls to Avoid When Releasing and Distributing an Album

Pitfall #1

Just finished recording an album and now your ready to start promoting it, right?

No. Wrong. Marketing and promoting an album should be started and planned way before the release date approaches. Everyone works differently, but you really need to connect with your fans during the recording process and engineer ways to build anticipation for your release. This means keeping up with your social media on Facebook on Twitter, taking time to interact with fans, and creating content with the purpose of creating interest around your release. In this digital age, it isn’t that hard to put together a professional behind the scenes video between recording sessions and use that content to promote your album.

Take this pre-release time to ensure all your social networking sites are linked up and reflect the most up to date information, news, and content surrounding your release. Ensure your website features the same up to date information. There tools available like Bandcamp, Thrill Call, Tweetdeck, and Reverbnation to help manage all of your published content.

Pitfall#2

So we just got the master copy finished, I’m gonna rush straight to the nearest independent disc manufacture and order 1,000 replicated copies.

Hold on there Slick. Not the best plan. You do not want 1,000 copies of your release on hand, that’s a huge inventory for an independent artist. Before you go jumping ahead like that, rewind. Before distributing your album to the public, you want to make sure it is protected. Technically a copyright pops into existent the minute the creative work becomes fixed, but registering the copyright renders proof of ownership. Proof of ownership and registration allow you to defend your work from infringers.

Are you affiliated with a performance rights organization? What?! You’ve never heard of ASCAP, SESAC, or BMI? Even if you don’t have a label, it’s a good idea to register with one of these agencies. They manage and collect royalties from live or broadcasted performances for artists. This means that when you go out to play a gig, technically you should be paid a small royalty for that performance as the owner of the copyright, depending upon how the work is published.

In this technology driven age, digital downloads have become greater in demand. You can easily enlist the help of a music aggregator like CD Baby, Tunecore, or The Orchard to manage your digital release in a variety of retail outlets. Additionally Tunecore and CD Baby can arrange print on demand services for your physical release. This saves you the risk of being stuck with an inventory of 1,000 CDs that you’re struggling to sell. These services are great because for a small membership fee they manage your accounting and offer extended services for DIY artists in need of some assistance.

Pitfall #3

Just wrapped up the album release show, now it is time to sit back and watch the cash roll in.

That may work for a few days, but not for long. The best support outside of marketing, promoting, and publicity for a newly released album is a tour. Depending on what stage you’re at in your career, this could mean a tour of the local venues, a tour around the state, a regional tour, or a national tour. Take care in planning your route, but keep in mind that the goal of the tour is to get people interested in your album. Your nights not over when you walk off of that stage. Take time to mingle with the crowd, hang out. You are your own best sales person. Engaging new fans is an investment in your career.

References

Grind EFX. (2009, September 23). How to Release and Market an Album in Today’s Music Business. Retrieved from Grind EFX: http://www.grindefx.com/how-to-release-and-market-an-album-in-todays-music-business/

Jackson, C. S. (n.d.). Potential Album Release Mistakes. Retrieved August 26, 2011, from Indie Ambassador Blog: http://www.indieambassador.com/blog/2011/08/potential-album-release-mistakes/#more-11067

Mizell, C. (n.d.). How To Effectively Promote and Sell Your Music on iTunes. Retrieved August 26, 2011, from Musician Wages: http://www.musicianwages.com/the-working-musician/how-to-effectively-promote-and-sell-your-music-on-itunes/

Interview with Diane Leigh Levison, Esq.-An Entertainment Law Attorney

After doing some research, I found an established and extremely credible in Baltimore, MD. Diane Leigh Davison practices entertainment law through her own firm, Law Gal and is a prominent figure in the local industry. Diane has participated in numerous projects and frequently is asked to lecture on topics relating to the entertainment industry. She was kind enough to donate her time and let me pick her brain.

Diane stressed the importance for any newcomer to a business or industry to educate himself or herself. Knowledge really is power she admonished that education is the primary protection. If you’re an artist, you can’t rely on other people to take care of everything for you. If you have no knowledge of finance, how can you be sure your accountant is doing a good job, or treating you fairly for that matter?

“For any industry you work in, it is important to know the laws that govern it,” states Diane. The more you educate yourself, the more your business professionals will be able to help you. You must also arm yourself with knowledge to protect yourself. Diane could vouch that not everyone is trustworthy and as a responsible professional, you should question others’ ulterior motives.

I have been working on a business plan for a public relations firm to cater to up-and-coming artists. As part of the services I’d be offering to clients, I’d be creating a lot of intellectual property on their behalf. Diane really made me reflect and consider maintaining my copyrights as much as possible by utilizing a licensing based business model. She urged me to think ahead and ensure that my future business has the proper protections in place.

When I asked Diane about how to effectively use non-compete agreements and confidentiality agreements, she was able to give some good general pointers:

  • Have appropriate language in the contract
  • Ensure mechanisms to enforce the contract are in place

Interviewing Diane was an extremely pleasant and valuably informative experience. Once again, I’d like to thank her for taking the time to answer my questions.

Reference

Diane Leigh Davison, E. (2011, August 4). Interview With Diane Leigh Davison, Esq. (K.-L. Read, Interviewer)