The Keys to the New Kingdom

Whoever is reading this, needs to read THIS.

It is possibly the most succinct summary of what it takes to survive as a troubadour (or band, or just about any kind of artist..) in the era of the Celestial Jukebox.

Apparently the skateboard is a big party of Ian Rogers shtick.

The link takes you to the summary of a presentation at the New Music Seminar last week in Los Angeles by Ian Rogers, the CEO of a company called Topspin.

Here’s the money quote:

First and foremost, your marketing plan needs to be an extension of your art, it needs to fit the image and brand of your band. What’s good for Miley Cyrus isn’t going to work the same for Danzig (I hope). But I do believe the above bit of advice, “Do Something Small Weekly and Something Big Monthly”, is universal: to put a simple plan together to make sure you have more fans tomorrow than you have yesterday, get out a calendar and start mapping out the next few months or even the year.

One little thing every week. One big thing every month. That much sounds simple enough… or, well, maybe it isn’t. Too many people I know or talk with about music and business are still locked into the old “release an album once a year” model. Hell, one group I know has been so nose-to-the-grind-stone focused on recording a whole album that they have done nothing over the past year to actually cultivate or communicate with their fan base.

This presentation was accompanied by the announcement that Topspin will soon be throwing their beta platform open to the music world at large, in the manner of, say, Nimbit, Bandcamp, or Reverbnation. Where before you had to be or know somebody in order to get in, starting in a few weeks, anybody who wants to will be able to use the Topspin platform.

This is probably good news, since Topspin is mostly a very robust platform. I say mostly because I’ve spent enough time with it myself to appreciate its more powerful features, but I have also found it extremely challenging to use. In particular I found their e-mail listserv function to be nearly unusable. Ironic, since gathering and utilizing e-mail addresses is the core component of any Topspin campaign.

So I suppose its fitting that the announcement of this new open platform is also accompanied by the announcement that Topspin is hosing a contest that will award “$5,000 plus help executing the campaign to whomever submits the best plan.” Because unless the new version of the software is dramatically different from the old one, it’s going to take a $5,000 budget and all the help you can get to navigate the Topspin platform.