Q & A with Driven Music Conference Organizer, Dominick J. Centi - Part 1 of Driven Music wrap-up
My Daddy Warned Me It Would Be Like This In The South, or Father Knows Best...

What Every Musician Needs to Know According to the Driven Music Conference Part II

By Joy A. Kennelly

I attended the Driven Music Conference recently and was blown away by the level of expertise of the panelists, many who had flown in from out-of-state to participate. California too, can you believe it? Who knew they made music there?:)

Seriously though, I hear that about Georgia all the time and it's crazy because there is SOOOO much music here! And so many big names have huge homes and studios here too. Why are people so ignorant when so many huge bands and individual artists have come from Georgia? I don't get it....

But I digress. Back to the Driven Music Conference. Recognize any of these panelists? 

Michael Brandvold/Michael Brandvold Marketing; Bram/Indiehitmaker; Heather Badower & Steven Weber/BFM Digital; Tony "Bravo" Buttitta/XtremeRadio.com; Bryan Calhoun/SoundExchange; David Codr/MusicPage.com; Isaac Heyman/Leverage Records; Kevin Lyman/Vans Warped Tour; Omar McCallop/Full Circle Entertainment Group; Mike Mowery/Outerloop Management; Lou Plais/ReverbNation; Steve "Stevo" Robertson/Atlantic Records; Neil Sheehand/Standby Records and more...

Panel Panel2 Panel3 Panel4 Panel6

Well, they're all my new best friends. Just teasing again, but on a serious note, many have agreed to be part of my upcoming book on social media marketing which bodes well for my readers and what you will be able to learn when you pick it up once it's published.

What I liked about this conference is that although it was small, it was powerful. I was able to sit through all the panels and heard a variety of topics like music licensing, guerilla marketing, promotion and more. So many panels were so full, it was often difficult to hear each person's perspective there was so much information to disseminate. 

The ONLY recommendation I would have for future events is to train whoever does moderating to not interject their opinion so often as it made it difficult to hear all the speakers and it became like grandstanding after awhile. Moderators have that tendency for some reason...

Otherwise, the Driven Music Conference was fantastic.

Wish you were there. Seriously.:)

Learned there are a variety of ways for musicians to make money off their music which I had no idea about before and am sure many other musicians do not also which is why I want to give you a little insights based on this newly found knowledge.

Did you know you can "sync" aka license your music for film and TV which above and beyond the misc. background music played, or the soundtrack itself, also includes music libraries, buy-out libraries, main title, opening and closing credits, source cue (my favorite - did you know musicians get paid when their music is played in a car in a film? I didn't realize even this minute detail is paid and could be pitched. Silly me.), and live performance (another one I didn't realize could be similar to product placement and would be great to see more indie bands try to get into.)

One of the reasons I believe Greys Anatomy has done well as a show is their inclusion of various new music artists people have never heard before. I used to enjoy hearing all the new music and the show in general, but haven't watched it in years. Just a great example that came to mind while writing and was in my notes.

Now the other bit of information I picked up that I believe many indie musicians would benefit from is taking advantage of the free service the non-profit, SoundExchange, offers to musicians to collect their rates and royalty fees on behalf of copyright owners. 

"SoundExchange is the non-profit performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as SIRIUS XM), internet radio, cable TV music channels and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings.  The Copyright Royalty Board, which is appointed by The U.S. Library of Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the sole entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties on behalf of featured recording artists, master rights owners (like record labels), and independent artists who record and own their masters."

All you need to do is register. Simple, eh? Check SoundExchange out and let me know if you do it. They will help track your music when it originally airs, reruns, where it plays, etc. Apparently they distributed 250 million dollars thus far and there is a lot of additional money waiting to be claimed, but since musicians haven't registered, it's just sitting there.

What are you waiting for? SIGN UP!

Now if you decide to work with BFM Digital, they will also do it for you. I had the pleasure of sitting with Heather Badower of BFM Digital to learn a little more in depth on what they offer clients. 

A boutique agency, they've been around for 7 years and provide digital distribution, PR & marketing for over 500 indie artists and labels to such places as Rhapsody, Pandora, Spotify, 250 digital stores and more. Heather explained their approach is very individualized and personal to each artist which I liked. The split seemed fair too: 80/20.

I asked her about all the musicians you hear just giving away their music and she said, "Don't give away your lead song during the first week of release. It's ok to give it away once the first wave dies down." Now, on the other hand, urban music is completely the opposite according to Neil Sheehand of Standby Records who said you need to develop streed cred first and music is given away for free more in this genre. 

She had many other great suggestions for artists like bundling items through BandCamp which helps you sell your music and merchandise too; post something an artist is doing in the studio across all the social media platforms, and one thing that was repeated often, get a team to help you develop a strategy.

There's more, but you'll need to contact them because I have so much other information to cover from the conference I must move right along. Just call them though. It will be worth your time to check BFM Digital out in more detail. They look for great music, an artist who is driven, has a willingness to learn, good fan engagement and appreciation, performs well live and has great audience interaction. If this is you, contact them to see what they can do to help you!

One thing anyone can do instantly to improve their success potential is make sure when you're submitting yourself anywhere, whether it be the media, a venue, a music library, or anywhere you want people to consider your music, is to make sure it's properly labeled. This was also repeated quite often. Include the name of the song and all contact info - name, address, phone and email on everything you submit to make it easy for the busy person receiving it to respond to you.

A new site which is becoming popular is called One Sheet. Since you're probably not much of a reader, here's a video to make it easy to learn what it's about and how easy it will simplify your life as a musician on so many levels:


Don't you agree? Simplify your life and use technology because that's what it's there for. 

Back to the Driven Music Conference....

Dave Codr of Musicpage.com had a lot of great guerilla marketing tips for indie musicians to employ, but one of the first both of us recommend is listing yourself in his music directory/community. Based on some of his suggestions I would highly suggest tapping into his wealth of information in this regard. Unlike most musicians I've personally met, he's "Mr. Sales" and had all kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle ways to build relationships with fans. 

Can you imagine calling fans to personally thank them? Neither can I, but apparently he's done it for clients and it works. Just one example.

Did you know 60% of all indie music is sold at a show and 75% is sold immediately after a set? That's why it's crazy when bands retire to the green room and don't take the opportunity to press the flesh with their adoring fans before the next set goes up. Scary, I know, but what do you have to lose by meeting people who actually like you and your music up close and personal, right?

And the cool thing is, did you know IndieHitMaker will track your live performance sales for SoundScan to raise your "Industry Accepted Metric" when labels want to know your viability as a musician and which the Billboard Charts are based on?

I didn't know that, but Bram and Tony "Bravo" Buttitta want to help you. Tony runs Xtremeradio.com and they have over 400,000 listeners on his online radio station. He is constantly looking for new music and artists to showcase so what are you waiting for? Contact both of these guys! Tell 'em Joy sent you, but don't expect using my name is going to guarantee you play with Tony.

I do believe Bram will take of you though since there is a small fee, but what price fame right?:) MTV, VH1, CMT & all major media regularly use Nielsen SoundScan data and IndieHitMaker legitimizes your sales. Sounds good to me!

Stay tuned. I still have more to share, but don't want to overwhelm you. Plus, I want to go hit the Candler Festival to hear some live music before it closes, or hit an Oktoberfest Fundraiser for City of Refuge which I'm leaning towards so there you have it. Had a really fun day with new Fusion friends at Taste of Roswell. Southern men are so hilarious!

More, I promise and sooner too now that I know how I want to present this information. For those of you who don't write, sometimes it takes awhile to wrap your head around what, and how, you want to write about something. This conference was so full of information I couldn't decide where to begin, but now... I'm in the flow.

Have a great night! More soon! Promise!



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