Indie Ambassador is a Boston-based media & technology company building software for the music entrepreneur. Check out our first web app, Presskit.to!

Posts Tagged: music industry

A while back, we wrote a piece aiming to answer the most common questions musicians have about copyright. Today, we’re going to do the same for copyright’s cousin, trademark! Continue reading to learn about the difference between service marks and trademarks, how you acquire the right for a name, what happens in the event of a dispute, how to register, when the cost is worth it and more!

Read the full article on IndieAmbassador.com

A while back, we wrote a piece aiming to answer the most common questions musicians have about copyright. Today, we’re going to do the same for copyright’s cousin, trademark! Continue reading to learn about the difference between service marks and trademarks, how you acquire the right for a name, what happens in the event of a dispute, how to register, when the cost is worth it and more!


Read the full article on IndieAmbassador.com

It’s LIVE!

Presskit.to is here! 
As we pull into Austin for SXSW, we are very pleased to announce the launch of our app presskit.to

It’s LIVE!

Presskit.to is here! 

As we pull into Austin for SXSW, we are very pleased to announce the launch of our app presskit.to

If your band is based in any city, let alone New York, rehearsal space is an absolute must and unless your label is picking up the tab, it doesn’t hurt to exercise some frugality when selecting a practice studio. Remember, though most of these studios offer full equipment backlines, it’s best to call ahead to check the specifics of what comes with the room, should you want to bring your own amps or pedals, or any instruments the studio may not carry. It’s also always a good idea for your drummer to bring his or her own snare, kick pedal, and cymbals. Though this list is by no means comprehensive, these studios represent the best in location, providing equipment, and pricing. Here are Indie Ambassador’s top five NYC rehearsal spaces for a band on a budget!

If your band is based in any city, let alone New York, rehearsal space is an absolute must and unless your label is picking up the tab, it doesn’t hurt to exercise some frugality when selecting a practice studio. Remember, though most of these studios offer full equipment backlines, it’s best to call ahead to check the specifics of what comes with the room, should you want to bring your own amps or pedals, or any instruments the studio may not carry. It’s also always a good idea for your drummer to bring his or her own snare, kick pedal, and cymbals. Though this list is by no means comprehensive, these studios represent the best in location, providing equipment, and pricing. Here are Indie Ambassador’s top five NYC rehearsal spaces for a band on a budget!

Getting your music blogged about is one of the best ways to help your band grow on the Internet. Believe it or not, bloggers are some of the most powerful and influential people in the music industry. Sure, some of them are reclusive nerds slouched over glowing screens in their parents’ basement, but an increasing number of bloggers are producers, managers, A&R guys, and musicians themselves. Even if they are nerds in their parents’ basement, their influence can be extremely crucial to the success of your band. Find the top 5 ways to improve your chances of being featured on blogs here

Understanding everything involved with music publishing can be difficult, but don’t worry! This article marks the first installment in a series on the topic, the aim of which is to educate musicians on how the publishing system works, and how you can make the most of it! Continue reading to get a better hold on the basics of music publishing and licensing.
Read the rest of the article here

Understanding everything involved with music publishing can be difficult, but don’t worry! This article marks the first installment in a series on the topic, the aim of which is to educate musicians on how the publishing system works, and how you can make the most of it! Continue reading to get a better hold on the basics of music publishing and licensing.

Read the rest of the article here

MOBILE MARKETING FOR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS: TOOLS
by Jem Bahaijoub

So this is it. The final installment in my series on mobile marketing for independent musicians (sob!). We’ve discussed the reality. We’ve established the importance of strategy. Now it’s time to talk tools!  So exactly what tools are out there for the average, hard- working DIY musician? Are the all-singing, all-dancing mobile marketing campaigns of established artists totally out of reach?
 

Well the good news is there are an increasing number of affordable tools that allow indie artists to get mobile. You just need to know where to look. Here’s a handy list based on the assumption you have either NO DOUGH in your pocket, or a budget of LOW DOUGH…..
 
Read the full article here
 

MOBILE MARKETING FOR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS: TOOLS

by Jem Bahaijoub

So this is it. The final installment in my series on mobile marketing for independent musicians (sob!). We’ve discussed the reality. We’ve established the importance of strategy. Now it’s time to talk tools!  So exactly what tools are out there for the average, hard- working DIY musician? Are the all-singing, all-dancing mobile marketing campaigns of established artists totally out of reach?
 
Well the good news is there are an increasing number of affordable tools that allow indie artists to get mobile. You just need to know where to look. Here’s a handy list based on the assumption you have either NO DOUGH in your pocket, or a budget of LOW DOUGH…..
 
Read the full article here
 

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written by Sean Robinson

All music blogs are different, but one of the best parts about them is that, due to the restrictions of their full time jobs, most bloggers are music lovers that only have the time and desire to write about the music they love. Whether you’re coming in on tour or are a local, getting featured on a Boston-based blog is a great way to expand your fan base, release new music, and promote your upcoming shows. Check out the list below to find out about some of the best Boston blogs and how you can submit your music to them.


Jump The Turnstyle - Born in 2008, Jump the Turnstyle is Boston’s go-to blog for Hip Hop and Rap oriented content. It regularly features new music, news, and whatever else the dudes find funny on the Internet. They don’t have an official submission policy, but their contact tab throws you directly to their email. Be warned, though, it is occasionally NSFW.

Boston Band Crush - Boston Band Crush has a variety of unique aspects that set it apart from other blogs. Being one of the few blogs entirely dedicated to the vast diversity of Boston bands, they also write advice articles for artists, release compilations and gladly accept submissions. They cover releases as well as live shows and claim their “purpose is to inform, not to criticize,” so no worries if you have an off night.

Boston Music Spotlight - Updated daily, the self-proclaimed “leading source of music news and concert information in New England” might be considered affected if their claim wasn’t so close to the truth. Featuring news, reviews, and a variety of other content, their posts range from mainstream artists on tour in New England to spotlights on upcoming local artists. They have no official submission policy, so reaching out to them may be worth the effort.

Ryan’s Smashing Life - A problem that often faces blogs that highlight both national and native talent is the balance between them. The way in which RSL is able to harmonize the two are one of the reasons it’s long been one of the most popular. Scroll down on the RSL homepage and you’ll find RSL’s Soundcloud dropbox with which you can submit to their indie-minded contributing writers. 

Bradley’s Almanac - While they are, for the most part, an mp3 blog, Bradley’s Alminac is unique in that it posts a lot of live and rare mp3’s legally. The only way he’ll post commercially available music is if he gets the go ahead from the artist or management and likes it. When you reach out, make sure to include your tie to Boston, as he gives preference to locals.

Allston Pudding - With a heavy focus on the diverse Allston live music scene, Allston Pudding consistently puts out great concert reviews and mp3 downloads. Combined with their mixtapes, and open submission policy, AP’s earned a reputation as one of the best and even garnered them the Best Music Blog award at the 2011 Boston Music Awards.

Dysonsound - This popular Jamaica Plain based blog features both national and local acts in a variety of genres. While you’re never sure what Dyson’s going to be into, his strong opinions and recently launched podcastmake the submit worth your effort.

Sleepover Shows - Whether you’re on tour or from Boston, one resource worth hitting up is Sleepover shows. Filmed in unique and strange settings, the offer was always to play a short, 3-song set in exchange for a place to stay overnight, though more frequently they just shoot before or after the show. Mostly focused on indie and alternative acts, they give contact information, but nothing about their submission policy.

Music Savage - Kyle at Music Savage gets back to what blogs are all about: sharing a love of music. His blog primarily calls attention to new indie and lo-fi music and encourages artists to submit music.

I Heart Noise - The moniker says it all. These guys are into underground metal, electronic, and other varieties of music that make a lot of noise. In addition to regular content, they also release mixtapes and interviews and provide contact info for submissions.

Profile with Green Line Inbound on Residencies, Cover Songs, and Managing Band Expenses

Read the full article here

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There’s no way musicians in search of advice have the time to read through all the new, helpful content published online every day. We’ve pulled our five favorite articles from this week and posted them below so you don’t have to find the best articles yourself! This week our contemporaries on the internet covered press kits, licensing, songwriter income, google for musicians, and the difference between the recording industry and the music industry. 

Digital Music Licenses and Royalties:
A breakdown on how songwriters receive royalties for digital music sales and the rules digital music services must follow. (Tunecore Blog)

Press Kits:
Clyde Smith gives us creative and cost effective ways to get your press kits noticed. (Hypebot)

Sources of Income For Songwriters:
Jon Ostrow shares 30 different ways to earn songwriter royalties and fees other than album sales. (Hypebot)

The Music Industry vs. The Recording Industry:
Did you know that there’s a difference between the Music Industry and the Recording Industry? Jeremy Belcher breaks it down for us. (Music Think Tank)

Musician’s Guide to Google:
Ariel Hyatt gives us 9 awesome tips on how to use Google to its full advantage. (Ariel Publicity)

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While established musicians are able to break out into acting, fashion, and owning professional basketball teams in New Jersey, up-and-coming bands often require flexible day jobs to supplement their income when they’re not on tour.

Written by Dan Ellis and Sean Robinson

Making a living as a touring musician almost seems like an oxymoron nowadays. Unless you are fortunate enough to have family or friends who will pay your share of the rent, you are going to be constantly hustling to scrap together enough cash to keep your extra clothes, cases, gear and mattress off of the sidewalk in front of your place of residence. If you want to spend most of your time on the road, you need to accept the fact that your life at home will be stressful and always on a tight budget. The tradeoff is worth it if your heart is in it. I have spent the past six years balancing travel and work and although I have hit some low points, I have always managed to keep my head above water, sometimes just barely.

The hardest part about maintaining a job and going on tour is having that job there for you when you return home. Typically any office job or ‘career’ job will only afford you a week or two off per year, which is obviously not going to work for you. That being said, you can pretty much toss out the idea of a job that makes you over $25,000 a year. Jobs that are flexible in schedule tend to be in retail (Urban Outfitters, Gap, Record Stores….wait…) and service industry gigs, (waiting tables, bar tending etc.) Not every place is going to be particularly sympathetic to your aspirations and you may be leaving your job as you leave for tour. The good thing is, as long as you work your butt off and have an ambitious attitude, it won’t be hard to pick up another one of these gigs.

Positive attitude and an outgoing personality are the most important qualities you can possess if you want to find and keep jobs while you’re on the road. If your boss sees that you work hard, show up on time and show yourself to be an asset to the business, they will often allow you to come and go within reason.

In bigger cities like New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Miami there are thousands of musicians, artists and actors trying to do the same thing that you are: make money while doing what you love. These are the areas where the best opportunities exist to make a good amount of money for simply being the performer that you are. Event marketing, catering, street promotions, guerrilla marketing and hotels offer high hourly rates, flexible schedules and are usually chock full of performers and artists. Not only can you skip town for as long as you want but you are networking with co-workers every day on the job and expanding your rolodex (look it up, kids.) Freelancing and temping are a great way to have a home and still be an active musician. Check out craigslist under “events” and start applying!

One must keep in mind that not only will you not be working for the time you are away but you will not be making up for that time when you return to work. In other words, the money you earn when you go back to work doesn’t apply retroactively to the days you missed, you simply start making money moving forward from the day you return. This is why it is important that you look for jobs that pay well. Making $9.00 per hour for 30 hours a week isn’t going to cover your rent, food, recreational activities and Netflix and Spotify subscriptions. Now quit complaining and go get that money! Ask a rapper, it’s all about gettin’ that money, son.

-Dan

Here’s our list of jobs that are conducive to hopping in a van for weeks at a time, but feel free to add more in the comments!


1. Server/Bartender: Maybe it’s stereotypical, but there’s a reason this line of work is popular for aspiring entertainers. While often grueling, the flexible hours and high turnover rates in these establishments make it easier to come and go. Avoid being a bouncer. The last thing you need is to punch a guy and not be able to play a bar-chord for 2 weeks.

Notable example: The eccentric Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips enjoyed being a cook at Long John Silvers before being able to front the psychedelic rock band full time.

2. Instructor: There are a variety of ways to go about teaching lessons, and income will depend on if you go through a music retailer that offers lessons or go about getting students independently. If you can successfully line up students yourself, you will have more flexibility and won’t have to split the cost with the retailer. Remember you’re not only going to be dealing with kids, but their parents. The more heads up you give about being out of town the less wrath you are likely to face.

Notable example: Nearly every musician ever.

3. Graphic Designer: While it takes a level of skill and training, the benefits of graphic design work far outweigh the negatives. Whether you freelance or work for a company, it’s a good paying job that can be done from almost anywhere and you can finally put those long hours in the van to good use.

Notable example: Scott Devendorf from The National still runs his own graphic design business while touring the world with the Indie rock group.

4. Painter: After the purchase of basic supplies, being a painter allows you to organize jobs around your touring schedule. Small, non-commercial, jobs can often be acquired by contacting real estate companies or putting an ad in the classifieds.

Notable example: Before Chris Martin painted everything a bright color as the front man for Coldplay, he painted signs.

5. Mover: Although it’s tough work, the moving business is flexible and it doesn’t hurt to burn a few calories before your next tour.

Notable example: Real Rock N Roll Movers is a Los Angeles-based company that was put together specifically to offer musicians a flexible part time job for when they aren’t on the road.

6. Event promotion / Marketing: There are a variety of opportunities available to those who can use craigslist. Companies are constantly looking for help in promoting and running events. This can include catering, street promotion, and being a brand ambassador. Work hard enough and it can often lead to future gigs.

7. Session musician: With a surge in the amount of artists and small studios, session work is a great way to make money and develop your network. However, it is highly competitive and opportunities are mostly contained to large cities and metropolitan areas. Better practice your sight-reading.

8. Function band: Put together a cover band to play weddings and corporate events. There are worse ways to pay the bills than having to play “Shout” for uncoordinated, champagne induced, dancers.

Notable example: Jeff Tweedy had a covers band he performed with while in the pre-Wilco band Uncle Tupelo.

9. Temp: Freelancing and temping are a great way to have a home and still be an active musician. Check out craigslist and contact local Temp agencies about your situation. The kinds of jobs vary, but can get you temporary employment anywhere around the world.

10. Figure Modeling: Often overlooked, but as long as you’re comfortable with stripping down for a class of art students, figure modeling is easy and pays well. Contact the art departments of all the colleges and art groups in your area. You don’t have to be good looking.


A few more options: Barista, roadie/tech/merch guy/fill-in, tour bus driver, screenprinter, copywriter.

Jobs to avoid: Construction, body shops, and illegal activities. There’s only one Rick Allen (one-armed Def Leppard drummer), and it’s hard to tour from jail (just ask Lil’ Wayne).


Dan Ellis is the Musical Director for Shontelle (Universal/Republic), touring musician for Cody B Ware, Exes of Evil and Taylor Greenwood and is a freelance street marketing field manager and brand ambassador.

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