It’s no secret that word-of-mouth advertising is still an extremely effective marketing force for musicians, and nothing has been more potent than the traditional street team. The music technology company Jamplify developed a platform that allows artists to harness that power on the internet by rewarding fans who most actively spread the word with “Scratchbacks,” premiums unique to each artist.
Listen as founders Andy Pickens and Moses Soyoola talk about how they first met while surreptitiously watching an Olympic Soccer game on Moses’s laptop while in economics class. Months later they began creating a platform that focuses on the gamification of sharing an artist’s content online. They discuss how clients like Lynard Skynard and Bruno Mars have leveraged their platform, and of their plans to expand Jamplify beyond one-off marketing campaigns and into a database of influential fans that can be capitalized on time and time again. Exclusively on Between the Liner Notes.
Founded in 1990, New York-based Razor & Tie Records is one of the fastest growing independent entertainment companies in the United States. John Franck, senior vice president of marketing, believes that rock is truly here to stay and has the statistics to prove it. While the majors have been shying away from signing hard rock acts, the innovative Razor & Tie has taken the opposite tact and doubled down on them.
Listen to this one-on-one interview as Franck discusses signing acts like the Grammy-nominated metalcore band Hatebreed, his marketing strategies in the digital era, how Razor & Tie got it’s unique name, and where the label is heading in 2013. Hear this and more, exclusively on Between the Liner Notes.
Stepping away from radio promotion to attend law school, George Gilbert began a record label with the intent of licensing out-of-print R&B titles from Atlantic Records. When financing fell through, George began working on the musical reunion of Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman that would eventually result in the release of the multi-platinum ‘Bat Out of Hell 2′.
Listen to part two of Gilbert’s interview as he explains how he convinced label executives that despite having four consecutive flops, Meat Loaf was still as popular as ever. He also tells of how the key man clause in Whitney Houston’s contract lead to the creation of J Records; why musicians are often afraid to audit their record labels; and how the upcoming battle over copyright termination rights is going to be one fierce fight. Hear this and more, exclusively on Between the Liner Notes.
Correction: The copyright act referred to in this interview went into effect in 1978 not 1979. Also, Meat Loaf was signed to Cleveland International not Philadelphia International.
Syracuse University’s WAER-FM, with a history of on-air personalities including the young Lou Reed and sportscaster Bob Costas, was one of the few college radio stations in the country reporting their playlists to Billboard Magazine in the early seventies. As such, music director George Gilbert became a key target of promotions departments at every record label, big and small. After graduation, George used his network of industry contacts to procure the newly-created position of Radio Promoter of Southern New England at Elektra/Asylum Records.
Listen to part one of George Gilbert’s two part interview as he discusses the advent of the AOR format, learning to use leverage to convince disc jockeys to play albums, and rising to become one of the top radio promoters in the Northeast. Exclusively on Between the Liner Notes.
Jerry Rubino is a radio man who has seen the broadcast industry from every angle. Landing his first job on commercial radio at New York’s WPLJ, then moving to producing/hosting shows for Z-100 & WLIR (two of the largest rock stations in the nation’s largest radio market), he then went to Bar/None Records where he learned the promotion side. Moving to indie giants Rough Trade, Chrysalis, and Radioactive Records, Rubino experienced the alt-rock explosion from the inside, seeing how the industry reacted.
Listen to this exclusive interview as Jerry tells about hanging out with the Ramones, promoting Live’s first album, getting in on the ground floor of satellite radio, and the state of radio today. Only on Between the Liner Notes.
Tom Lehman (left) Mahbod Moghadam (center) Ilan Zechory (right)
One October night in 2009 Mahbod Moghadam, Tom Lehman, & Ilan Zechory found themselves deep in an analytical discussion about some verses by rapper Cam’ron. That night they brainstormed an idea to widen the conversation beyond the living room to the internet and created RapGenius.com, a unique website that allows users to annotate specific lines of lyrics with explanations, graphics and videos. Filling the void left by the swarm of inferior, pop-up ad-riddled lyric sites and creating a new model, Rap Genius surged in popularity and soon caught the eye of superangel venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, investors of Twitter. Discover how Rap Genius plans to use their fifteen million dollar underwriting to grow the company beyond rap lyrics to include other genres and disciplines such as art, poetry, law, religious studies, and politics — turning Rap Genius into the world’s primary repository for information and the net’s most heavily trafficked website. They’ve got 99 problems but lack of ambition ain’t one. Listen to the exclusive interview, only on Between the Liner Notes.
Although Larry Mills has worn many hats in the music industry, his career has always focused on the success of independent artists. At age 22 he founded Atlanta based Steam Records which issued early releases by Lisa Loeb and Rusted Root. He then expanded his reach by founding Autonomous Records, helping bands like Sister Hazel and Creed penetrate markets throughout the southeastern United States. Next, he entered into music licensing as VP of Marketing and Partnerships for the trailblazing music licensing company Pump Audio and later becoming the first-ever VP of Strategic Marketing for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Mills’ current company Music Media Advisors works with We Are the Hits to monetize user-generated content on YouTube. Listen to this exclusive interview as Larry discusses his experiences in the industry trenches and shares the valuable insights he has gleaned from running two indie labels, empowering indie artists to license their music, and helping YouTube teen stars earn an income from singing cover songs in their living room. Only on Between The Liner Notes.
From his humble beginnings of working in the mail room of Capitol Records to hanging with Willie Nelson in the back of his tour bus, Mantis Evar’s career in the music industry could be a movie script. Hear Mantis describe how his knowledge and love of music, musicians, studio gear, and marketing took him from the mail room to co-founding the innovative online musician’s community Indaba Music.
Evar tells of singing songs with Kenny Loggins and Arif Mardin in the Blue Note offices, of how leaving an anonymous note on label head Bruce Lundvall’s chair turned the company around, of introducing Willie Nelson to a then new and unknown artist named Norah Jones, and much more. Exclusively on Between the Liner Notes.
In 2006, on a rare sunny day in Dublin Ireland, BalconyTV co-founder Stephen O’ Regan and his flatmates cleaned off their under-used balcony to begin staging live music performances there, sharing them via their website. The clips went viral and soon emails arrived from all around the world with requests to produce balcony performance videos in their home cities. 6 years, 7,600 videos, and over 30 million views later BalconyTV has spread to 35 cities across the globe, with artists ranging from Mumford & Sons to regional phenomena-gone-platinum like Dublin’s The Script. Listen to this exclusive interview as Stephen O’ Regan tells the story of how BalconyTV itself became a phenomenon, and what he sees for its future. Only on Between the Liner Notes.
After witnessing many artists get scammed by the music industry, Moses Avalon withdrew from his lucrative career as a music producer to reinvent himself as an artists’ rights advocate. Skipping the often vague legalese, he penned the groundbreaking book Confessions of a Record Producer explaining the intricacies and pitfalls of the music business in language musicians could understand. Moses is now one of the leading industry experts in the world.
Listen to this exclusive interview as he shares his outspoken opinions about the state of the record business, the longevity of the compact disc, 360 degree record contracts, the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills, and more. Only on Between the Liner Notes.