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Audiokite is joining ReverbNation!

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Audiokite is joining ReverbNation!

  Dear Audiokite artists, customers, supporters, and friends – I’m thrilled to let you know that Audiokite has been acquired by ReverbNation, among the largest platforms for musicians in the world. For the last 10 years, ReverbNation has been an active leader in artist services, pioneering a number of technologies around direct-to-fan marketing, distribution, and curation-at-scale. Personally, I remember using ReverbNation as a young artist in high school, when I made a profile for some music I’d hacked together in GarageBand. It would be impossible to say that my experience with ReverbNation back then wasn’t at least some part of the inspiration behind Audiokite many years later. We’ve had a vision for Audiokite from day one: that the wisdom of the crowds can be leveraged to even the playing field for all musicians. During our conversations with ReverbNation about powering Crowd Review, it became clear we were aligned in this vision. The infrastructure available to musicians today is allowing the production of an historic amount of music; it’s never been easier to go from an idea, to a DAW, to mastering, to distribution worldwide. This means it’s more important and more challenging than ever to make sure deserving talent isn’t overlooked. ReverbNation has over four million artists, tens of millions of fans, an array of best-in-class artist tools, tens of thousands of songs added by musicians every month, and a viable program to scale the career advancement of exceptional artists. The math was easy. The important stuff: Your reports will not be affected, and Audiokite.com’s operations will not change for the time being. Soon, we will be sending further announcements regarding the integration of the Audiokite platform and accounts, but your data is safe. That is to say – we’re joining the ReverbNation team, and Audiokite isn’t going anywhere. We’re already hard at work building an incredible product with ReverbNation that I’m certain will be even more valuable to musicians and industry, at every career stage. If you have additional questions about this transition, please refer to this blog post or send us an email at help@audiokite.com. Finally, I have to express my deepest gratitude to the people who believed in us from the beginning, even when it was hard to: Stuart and Ben Sklovsky, Jon Merkin, Karen Allen, Dave Marcello, Wren Werner, Brian Hazard – and many more. Yours, Alex Jae Mitchell Co-founder...


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Audiokite Joins ReverbNation – FAQ

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Audiokite Joins ReverbNation – FAQ

  We recently announced how excited we are to officially be a part of the ReverbNation family! We’ll have more details soon, so keep an eye on your inbox for more updates – but for now, here are a few answers to questions you may have: FAQs Can I still purchase song reviews on Audiokite? Absolutely. Just check out our Reports page and choose the report that best fits your needs you. What will happen to the reports I’ve previously purchased through Audiokite? Nothing changes for now. Your reports are still available through the My Reports page, and will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. Do I need a ReverbNation account to purchase a report on www.audiokite.com now? You can continue to purchase Audiokite reports here for the time being, though we highly encourage you to head on over to ReverbNation, make an account, and check out all the powerful tools available to help manage and grow your career. I already have a ReverbNation account. Will I need to make a new one to use Audiokite reports? Nope! We’re currently in the process of developing a method to seamlessly integrate your Audiokite reports into your ReverbNation account. More details will follow, so keep an eye on your email. How will the ReverbNation partnership affect Audiokite? What we can say with absolute confidence is that the service Audiokite provides will be better, faster, and more robust than ever before thanks to our work together with the ReverbNation team. We are already developing new reports with even more advanced insights that we’ll be able to launch much sooner than initially planned thanks to this partnership. What if I have specific questions? Please shoot an email to help@audiokite.com and we’ll make sure the right person on our team gets back to you as soon as we...


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Make Better Music By Watching Me Skateboard Poorly

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Make Better Music By Watching Me Skateboard Poorly

You probably don’t ask “Why?” enough in your life. That’s my bet and I’m going all in on it. “Why?” is the bridge between problem and solution, question and answer. While it can certainly help you make better music, an investigating mindset is applicable to any part of your daily existence. To prove this theory – and also embarrass myself – allow me to share a recent discovery that has to do with my skateboarding hobby. [Not sure how to begin asking questions? Download THIS free 22-question worksheet for musicians.] The Question I skated a ton back in my younger (and thinner) days, even getting good enough to be sponsored by a local shop in Providence, RI. As I got older life took over, as it has a habit of doing, and I didn’t touch a deck for a good fifteen years. For some reason I decided to give it a shot again (early-mid-life crisis?!) and found myself needing to learn the basics again. I started with standing ollies and could not land them for the life of me. It wasn’t very pretty: “What am I doing wrong here?” It felt like all the parts were there, everything happening in the correct sequence. The nose of the board was getting good height and my jumps were jumpy enough for the board to get air. But the results just weren’t there. Up to this point I had focused on proper back foot placement and “push off” when snapping the tail down. I assumed this was my issue all along, but needed to validate that assumption. The Analysis Had there been a skating buddy present (nobody wants to roll with a thirtysomething n00b), I would’ve asked him for advice. It is 2016, however, and unlike the world when I was a young, good skater, it’s very easy to video record yourself and instantly have access to the film online. With my GoPro set up against the curb, I took a bunch of video and headed home to analyze it. I edited screenshots of my ollie and compared it side-by-side with screenshots of a real skater with actual skills: The Answer Looking at the first two pictures, I’m in pretty good shape with both feet. I’m “popping” the tail with my back foot and sliding my front foot towards the nose of the board, all while maintaining good height with my jump. That’s when it all goes to crap. In the third picture, you can see that I begin to push my front foot down on the board to even it out so I can land the damn ollie. In the fourth pic it is clear that I’m not going to land it,...


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Music Critiques Put to the Test

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What exactly makes a song “real”? Was Vulfpeck’s Sleepify album “real”? What about a song-turned-meme with over 4 million listens? More importantly for our work here at Audiokite is the question: Does the average music listener notice, or even care, how or why a song was made? Remember Beck’s famous hit song, Loser? Well, it was actually a joke between friends. We decided it was time to let the people have a voice on this issue and found two songs with two very different creators to test out using our community of listeners. This is one music critique you don’t want to miss. A Comedian & A Robot Walk Into A Studio The first song, “Salsa Tequila”, is a high-energy dance pop song written and performed by a Norwegian comedian in Spanish.  He utilized accordion and saxophone mixes, noting their popularity in several hit songs of the time. The comedian, Anders Nilsen, produced the song as a bit of commentary on current day music, viewing it as a parody of club songs (“summer hits”) and believing that a song could become a hit even if the lyrics do not make any sense. To that end, he basically smashed a bunch of incoherent Spanish phrases together to make the lyrics: “uno, dos, tres, cuatro / Tony Montana / guacamole jalapeno Salma Hayek Ricki Martin.” “Salsa Tequila” was released in 2014 by Sony and reached as high as #1 on Norway and Netherlands top charts. The second song we tested might be even more interesting (/scary), considering it was created mostly by robots. “Daddy’s Car” is being pitched as the first song composed by Artificial Intelligence through Sony Music’s research lab. Though it was primarily made using computers, a French composer arranged the final track and wrote the lyrics. Still…robots. Music Critiques: Newbies vs. The Averages We ran 250-listener Commercial Potential reports for each song to gauge the first impressions of music fans upon hearing “Salsa Tequila” and “Daddy’s Car.” Of particular interest was 1) how each song measured up against Audiokite averages, which includes millions of data points for entirely “real” songs, and 2) if listeners picked up on each song’s quirks. Here is a visual recap of each song’s performance against the Audiokite average. I’ll break down the most noteworthy results below.     Overall Impressions “Salsa Tequila” (in red) came through with a 6.1 General Rating, which is a measure of overall listener music critique, tied with the Audiokite Average. “Daddy’s Car” (in blue), on the other hand, scored .4 lower than the average General Rating. That’s a theme throughout this research project, as “Daddy’s Car” was found to underperform in nearly all categories....


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Case Study: Indiehitmaker

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Case Study: Indiehitmaker

By Dave Marcello, Head of Artist Growth Here’s a story we tell at every single opportunity because, quite frankly, it’s amazing. Alex (our CEO) and I were hanging out at one of the hundreds of label parties going down on a Saturday night in Austin at this year’s SXSW. Late that evening we wander outside the show to get some fresh air and this random dude walks over and begins chatting us up. Right off the bat I can tell he has some stories to tell; he’s got the classic veteran rocker look going on that says he was at one point a big Twisted Sister fan and has probably logged significant hours pushing around road cases and plugging in cable after cable after cable. He asked us what we do and after bumbling out a few words that included “consumer sentiment” and “music industry” he replied without hesitation, “Oh, so you guys are similar to Audiokite?” That dude turned out to be Bram at Indiehitmaker, an Audiokite power user and one hell of a resource for the indie artist community. When we told Bram that we were, in fact, actually Audiokite, we all had a big laugh and group hip hop hug. Before we knew it, Bram had his phone out to show us the detailed twelve-step plan he provides to his artists, on which Audiokite appears not only once, but twice! Man, do we love serendipitous meetings like this. We asked Bram to share his experiences in helping independent musicians systematically advance from song creation to topping the charts.   Removing The Guesswork Bram and his team help artists successfully release and sell their music for as little as $10 a month. But the process is not as simple as “start here, end here” and that’s what makes their approach so enticing. It’s a tune we sing at Audiokite all the time: you’re either knowing or you’re just guessing. “There is not enough time or money in any independent artist’s career to leave anything to chance or luck. They must think like entrepreneurs. We take a lot of the guesswork out of the business side.” Making music is but one piece of the puzzle, folks, that’s just the reality of this business. And yes, it is a business. The Indiehitmaker process begins with asking questions and investigating the “Why?” of an artist’s brand, audience, and product to accurately assess each individual situation, and that’s where Audiokite plays a key role. “Only after you align this vision with your goals and budget can you properly start to plan your release.” No More Winging It Bram utilizes Audiokite as a music insight tool to help his artists avoid the trap of fruitless efforts. Nobody wants...


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5 Steps to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan

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5 Steps to Creating an Effective Music Marketing Plan

This post by Jon Ostrow originally appeared on the Bandzoogle Blog. Bandzoogle makes it easy for musicians to build a beautiful website and manage direct-to-fan marketing and sales. The all-in-one platform features powerful design options, a commission-free music and merch store, mailing list management, detailed fan analytics, integrations with social networks, and more. Oh, and they’re one of our favorite Opportunities partners here at Audiokite!   Whether you’re a brand new musician establishing yourself online for the first time, or an already established band with a dedicated fan base, there is one thing that love it or hate it, all musicians will have to do. That, my friends, is marketing your music. So what is marketing? Marketing is a way of generating fans and awareness for your music. This can be done through a variety of different tactics such as content creation / curation, offering unique experiences, developing a sense of community, and yes even paying to reach fans (new and old). But marketing needs to have a purpose. Marketing your music is not simply just posting music online, liking statuses on Facebook, and retweeting people on Twitter. The first step in effective marketing is creating a marketing plan for your music. This is a comprehensive understanding of your audience, the marketplace, and a plan to accomplish whatever goals you’ve set for yourself. So before we move any further, ask yourself: Why do you need to create a marketing plan? And what exactly do you want to accomplish? Are you just getting started with an online presence and need to reach new fans? Are you ready to head out on tour and need to sell tickets? Are you already on tour and looking to sell more merch? Do you want to double the size of your mailing list? Are you putting out a new album and need to re-engage fans to generate awareness about your new project? All of these, and many more, are valid reasons to get started with your marketing efforts. So let’s dive into the 5 steps to creating an effective music marketing plan: Step 1: Define the audience for your music Read this next statement carefully, and read it twice: Knowing your fans is the key to success. With this understanding, you’ll be able to identify where your fans exist and engage online (note: everyone is on Facebook, but not everyone uses Facebook to engage as a fan). You’ll also know how to effectively communicate with your fans, and most importantly, you’ll know how to offer value to your fans to keep them happy and coming back for more. You should ask yourself some questions to...


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How live streaming is transforming the music industry…and why that might scare you

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How live streaming is transforming the music industry…and why that might scare you

By Dave Marcello, Head of Artist Growth Growing consumer demand for unscripted, real-time performances requires an entirely new skill set for up-and-coming musicians. Picture this: A musician takes a seat, does a quick mic check, tunes her guitar strings one by one, organizes various other instruments and gear around her, then slowly looks up at the audience to begin her performance. You’re probably envisioning a small theatre or maybe a local coffee shop with a crowd of music fans facing the stage, ready to sway and move to the beats. But it’s 2016, and the lines between in-person and online entertainment have become significantly blurred. This isn’t a live performance in the traditional sense; instead of a stage, the artist is in her apartment bedroom, and instead of theatre seats, the audience members are on mobile phones and laptops. Digital video is completely transforming the way we view and interact with the world, from communicating with friends and family to keeping ourselves entertained. Mobile video now accounts for over half of all mobile data traffic and experts anticipate that number to increase toward 75% by the year 2020. A relatively new video format — live streaming — is quickly gaining popularity as it redefines the relationship between creators and consumers. YouNow is a live streaming platform on which anyone with a webcam or smartphone can broadcast themselves to a massive audience. The site and app boast over 100 million user sessions a month and 50,000 broadcast hours a day. At any given time, you’ll find broadcasts of teenage twin sisters doling out makeup tips or a voice-impressionist-slash-comedian taking requests from his audience as he attempts new impersonations. Unsurprisingly, many of the most popular broadcasters are musicians, and YouNow features a real time chat environment where these artists and fans are connecting in unprecedented ways. With some musicians making $10,000 a month and others getting signed to label deals thanks to their exposure on YouNow, live streaming clearly offers opportunity for artists to build and engage their fanbases in a unique way.But can live streaming platforms like YouNow really move the needle for musicians? Is it just a fun activity or can it become an essential part of an artist’s marketing toolbox and actually create revenue for the industry? The YouNow team enlisted Audiokite Research to explore these questions and more in a first-of-its-kind study of live streaming’s impact on creators and consumers. Musicians have always understood the importance of developing songwriting skills, instrument mastery, performance abilities, and even promotional know-how. But to be successful in this world of direct and real-time connection to their audience, a new set of skills is required. The findings from...


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Live Streaming For Musicians Is Not About Entertainment

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Live Streaming For Musicians Is Not About Entertainment

By Dave Marcello, Head of Artist Growth If you break live streaming down into its core components – a performer, an audience, and a camera in between them – the fast-growing method of communication looks an awful lot like a source of entertainment. Why else would 100 million people go online every month to watch someone play a video game? But I’m here to tell musicians looking to find success through live streaming that it’s NOT all about entertainment. We recently completed a custom study for YouNow to find out exactly what kind of impact live streaming has on both creators and consumers. You can read the full results here, which include a “playbook” that highlights eight tips for musicians to thrive on platforms like YouNow, Twitch, Periscope, and the newly launched Facebook Live. After I personally watched over 30 hours of music-related live streams and wrapped it all up in my head with everything I’ve seen happening to the artist-fan dynamic over the last ten years, I’ve come to one stark conclusion: Live streaming is finally fulfilling the promise that social media first made but never followed through on. Back in the good ol’ heyday of Facebook and Twitter, when the idea of telling everyone on the internet what you had for brunch was a novel one, we were all told a tale of global intimacy in 140 characters. “You’ll be so close to your fans they’ll be able to wipe the sweat off your brow!” they said. “Build your community from the comfort of your couch!” they yelled. And you know what, it was pretty damn cool there for a while, wasn’t it? But then algorithms started algorithming and advertisers started advertisering and we were left with only a minuscule number of our followers actually being able to see what we shared. Social media was supposed to kick down walls and open up a direct line of communication between fan and performer. This was our chance to get a glimpse of the off-stage, real-life version of our favorite artists. Instead we got account managers and craptastic product placements. Fear no more, live streaming just might save the day. I present to you Clare Means, a Santa Monica street performer and shining example of the lengths a deeply ingrained and authentically connected fanbase will go to support their artists. Let our friend Ari at Digital Music News tell you more: Last September, she decided to prop her phone up against her tip jar and Periscope her street performances. She included a link to her website (for CD purchases) and a PayPal.me link for tips in her Periscope bio. Initially, she only had a few people tuning in for her scopes for the first...


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Tiffany Trump’s “Like A Bird” Pop Song Reviewed

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Tiffany Trump’s “Like A Bird” Pop Song Reviewed

Apparently Tiffany Trump, The Donald’s youngest daughter, released a pop song called “Like A Bird” in 2011 and it has recently resurfaced online. Since we’re always exploring the public’s reaction to different types of music, we ran Tiffany’s song through Audiokite to see what our reviewers thought of it. Have a listen below and then check out the results.     Tiffany Trump – “Like A Bird” (featuring Sprite & Logic) We ran the song through a Commercial Potential report with 250 total listeners targeted to the Pop genre. Let’s jump into what we learned in the final analysis. “Like A Bird” is not likely to be a commercial hit. Less than a third of listeners expressed interest in purchasing or streaming “Like A Bird”, and only 40% are likely to seek out more of Tiffany’s songs.    Digging a little deeper, the song seemed to evoke abnormally high “Not Likely” ratings in the Commercial Viability section. [Note: the inner circles in the charts above represent Tiffany’s song and the outer circles represent Audiokite averages.] When asked how likely they would be to listen to the song again, seek out more of Tiffany’s music, and recommend “Like A Bird” to friends, the number of reviewers who chose “Not Likely” was three times that of the Audiokite average. The song did not exactly light the world on fire.   Three of the top four feelings Audiokite listeners associated with this song were not positive: Disinterested, Irritated, Indifferent. The number one physical environment in which listeners could imagine “Like A Bird” playing is in a shopping mall. The lyrics left a lot to be desired. Not too surprising, lyrics and songwriting were the lowest rated elements for the song, both coming in below a 5 out of 10. We’ve analyzed millions of data points for the music industry and those numbers have shown a consistent and strong correlation between low general ratings and low scoring in lyrics and songwriting. The interesting stuff about “Like A Bird.” Maybe it was the name “Tiffany Trump” or perhaps it was the actual sound of the song, but several reviewers likened it to the works of two other famous blonde songstresses: There is a clear point in the song in which listeners began to drop off, right around the 1:50 mark. What happens to cause such a drastic dip in listening time? At 1:48 a rap verse begins: Finally, the song’s comment rate was higher than average. You wouldn’t necessarily expect a low-performing song to garner such interest, but it follows a trend we’ve seen over the years: Polarizing music elicits reactions, not simply “good” or “bad” songs. Listener comments – highlights and lowlights. “I honestly...


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