#054: Roundtable – Finding Frequency

How often do you post a new song, demo, album or blog post? In the web 2.0 universe artists are competing for the attention of an increasingly distracted audience. Keeping your fans engaged often means frequently and consistently producing dynamic content. How does an artist do this without compromising the quality of their product? In this roundtable episode, the podcasters are joined by special guest, artist manager and Portland PR person, Ryan Wines, who wrote an intriguing post on his blog about releasing music with frequency in mind.  Do you have a music promotion strategy that involves releasing music on a frequent basis?  If yes, we want to hear about it!  Read Ryan’s blog here –  Petmarmoset.net

  • Fun episode 🙂 I’ve been trickling out bits of my next “album” as MP3 singles on my website since last summer. I haven’t really decided how to re-package them as a collection.

  • On the single issue, the old days were a very different thing. Singles were not on the final album. Today, singles are taken from the album. A huge distinction.

    As for what it means, the reason people buy the single is because it’s what they are familiar with. True fans, buy albums.

    Are we about building true fans or singles buyers? What’s the point if the latter is your goal?

    That mindset is what got us to where we are today. 1 good song out of 10.

    Chris mentioned the Beatles, excellent point. EVERY Beatles song is a great song. That should be every artists goal, not the quick buck single.

  • I’ve noticed on my blog that the entries that seem to get the most participation so far are the ones where I’m saying something like, “Here’s a little chunk of music I’m working on, but I’m not sure whether or not to use it. What do you all think?”

    People really seem to respond to that, probably because they know that they are participating in the creation of the music.

    I think there’s a real drive out there for authenticity. Certainly this can be taken too far, but it helps to become a real person seeking real input.

    – Chas

  • Chas- you are on the right track and are miles ahead of other artists by simply finding a way to involve your audience.

    Fans want more than just music… They especially want more than music being presented in a one-way dialogue. By opening things up to interaction and participation, you’ve given your tribe something that they can actually be a part of and believe in. And what fans truly want is something to believe in. Excellent work! What else have you tried?

    Scott Andrew – I applaud your effort to share your songs with your fans on a more frequent basis. Regarding how you will “package” your record when it’s complete, more than anything, don’t over think it. Getting it out there and making it accessible is the most important consideration.

    Equally as important is to ask what kind of story are you conveying to your fans. How are you empowering them to participate? What are you giving them that they can grab onto and believe in?

    Robert King – Great call on The Beatles. The are the ultimate case study to strive for… as long as you don’t kill yourself trying to do it. Remember they had two full-time and two part-time songwriters. Three of them widely considered to be some of the greatest songwriters ever.

    To your point, the focus shouldn’t be on the singles or on how you package your music. What’s more important is inspiring and involving your fans in what you’re doing. They want to participate. How are you interacting with your tribe? Aside from your music along, how are you inspiring them?

  • Catching up on the podcast, Good stuff in this episode. got me thinking from a fan’s perspective again. Thanks Ronnie

  • Heather

    I’m wondering if there is any evidence that this strategy of frequent releasing works to grow an audience long-term (ie: over 5-10 years) or if it’s long term effect is to burn out fans permanently faster.

    Conventional wisdom has always been that it’s GOOD to disappear for a while and let your fans move on to other things. Then when you come back with your killer new album, which you took time to do a really good job on, they return with fresh enthusiasm.

    Let’s not forget that U2, who you seem to criticize for not releasing often enough, has had a brilliant 25+ year career. Who wouldn’t love U2s career?

    Constantly flooding the market with *anything* devalues it.

    Releasing music of less than A+ quality also risks messing up your rep with critics and concert promoters.

    Have any bands or artists successfully done these things and built a sizeable following of say above 5000 fans?

  • This, to me, raises the question of “song” vs. “album”. In the 1900s, the “song” was king – the album format is relatively new. And we’ve all been burned by albums with two good songs and ten filler.

    I don’t see anything wrong with sharing a clean “demo” of a new song at a reasonable interval (I’ve seen 4 to 5 years between out-of-pocket indie releases for some artists I like), so that fans are encouraged to check back to the website or recall I exist – few here suffer from the hype of a major artist; I’m certainly not followed by paparazzi. If I threw a new piano/vocal/accordion demo down every 3 months, would it help or hurt?

    I don’t see that the album is going away entirely – but there is nothing less “respectable” about being a good “song”writer vs. “album”writer. And to me a good song can shine when it’s just a guitar/vocal demo.

  • gillwire

    “funner” – a totally acceptable word