Five Factors to Break Into the Music Industry As an Unsigned Band

I have previously worked as a music journalist for a music magazine, reviewing local gigs, as well as new releases and upcoming talent. For this job, I was based in a small cramped office in Leeds producing a semi-weekly magazine and maintaining an online blog.

Firstly, I should say that Leeds is an absolutely amazing place to work and I found all my time working there very enjoyable; however Leeds is a markedly expensive place to live, as rents are increasing and there is a lack of supply for young professionals.

Listed below are my top tips for breaking into the music industry and becoming successful, without worrying about the age of the band, current popularity in the scene or history of gigs.

5. Sign up to a plethora of online blogs and magazines NME and Kerrang are generally thought of as the best magazines to keep up-to-date with music news; however there are a number of alternative magazines with unique stories in which you can retrieve news and get a lot of information from. Online blogs written and published independently can also provide up-to-date information before any magazine can publish; you should however check that the writer of the blog is using reliable sources. Using this information, you can help to improve your band and increase publicity.

4. Make use of Last.fm to get your music out there and promote your band: Last.fm can become a very powerful tool in band promotion as you can build a band page for free, upload any personally recorded demos and stream them for free, as well as linking to music stores, netting you a small profit. Whilst other social-networking sites allow you to create band pages, using Last.fm is the most generally recognised way to get your band out there.

3. Blog about it: You might think that displaying writing prowess is a waste of time, however it is a highly effective way to boost SEO ratings and publicise your band name. An important determining factor of band popularity is Google and an intelligent SEO strategy can be highly effective – however you should try to write blogs on music news or industry activity instead of personal information, as this will engage the reader more.

2. Pay attention to newsletters, small bands and attend a number of festivals: Whilst not attracting as much popularity as others, small bands are the perfect way of latching onto the potential popularity of the other band and improving yours through osmosis. Support acts will also become easier to obtain within this partnership. It is very helpful to build a localised fanbase in your own region before breaking out. My time in an office in Leeds has given me a lot of access to regional bands and into the future of music.

1. Make friends in the industry Akin to working in a young, small company, a great deal of your prosperity will depend on business relationship and contacts. It can be highly beneficial to attend music industry networking events and speak to professionals within the industry. Even an e-mail address or telephone number can be a highly effective way to breaking through.

Music News – The Magazines That Shaped the Music Industry

Music news as we know it today developed out of the early magazines that caught onto the growth of the popular music industry early on in the 20th Century. Melody Maker was one of the first, introducing itself in 1926 (around the same time that the first electric guitars and amplifiers began to emerge) and targeting musicians. However, as music became more and more popular the music magazines of the day began to target the general public and the introduction of new, rival magazines hit the shelves.

The 1950s is when the real battle started with Melody Maker going head to head with the new kids in town, the NME, an amalgamation of previous titles Musical Express and Accordion Weekly by new owner and music promoter Maurice Kinn. Previously more interested in jazz, Melody Maker was a late convert to the advent of rock and roll, but as the sixties swung in favour of bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the ground was set for big readership figures for both publications.

The 1960s also saw the coming of more politicised voices to the publication of music news with the launch of the Berkley Barb in 1965 and Rolling Stone in 1967. Criticism of the Vietnamese war, the publication of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the counterculture revolution of the 1960s sat next to The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morrison cover stories.

This political edge to music publication didn’t reach the British music news until the late 1970s with the dawning of the age of punk. However, the early 70s saw the introduction of a new rival, Sounds, which quickly became one of the three music weekly magazines to generate good levels of readership. It’s edge came from its ability to see the credibility of new musical movements like Punk early on.

The 1980s would see a mixed bag of journalism in the music industry, with the hip-hop wars affecting the NME and a more populist standpoint reigning at Melody Maker until its intellectual renaissance in 1986. However, it would be the 90s that would see the story of modern British music journalism come to a head. The rise of Britpop and the introduction & success of monthly magazines Q (1986) and Mojo (1993) left Melody Maker without a clear audience or direction, and so in 2000 is ceased publication, merging with its long time rival NME, while Sounds bit the dust nearly a decade earlier in 1991.

The 2000s were left to NME and despite its ropey start to the decade, it would eventually find its footing again with bands like White Stripes, The Strokes and The Libertines. However, with readership dropping fast to just over a tenth of its hey-day 300,000 circulation, publications like NME have pumped significant investment into their online music news to compensate.

How To Submit Network News Video Clip Footage In 3 Steps

Has this ever happened to you? You’re standing on a busy street corner, minding your own business, when all of a sudden a masked gunman comes running out of a nearby bank with the cops in hot pursuit. Luckily, you have your video cell phone and capture the whole scene on video. But how would you submit network news video clip footage like this to ABC, CBS, NBC, or Fox?

Being in the right place at the right time armed with a video cellphone when something newsworthy occurs means you could potentially reap some financial rewards. Did you know that news organizations pay handsomely for exclusive video like this?

So what do you do now that you’ve captured some great video or picture with your cell phone? There are basically three steps to take if you want to get paid for the video footage you have shot. Edit, upload, and announce it to the media.

Most video cellphones come with movie editing software built-in (or packaged with the phone). Even if the bundled software is sub-par (which it usually is) there are many off-the-shelf software solutions that can enhance the quality and reduce the file size of the video you have captured.

Remember, you do not want to manipulate the video extensively, since this will jeopardize the ‘man on the street’ quality that the news networks are looking for. Besides, the news stations have much more sophisticated software than you could probably afford to massage your video into the desired format, length and content.

You probably don’t need to do much to your raw video footage except reduce the length of the clip to the smallest size. This is important because you don’t want to pay to upload your video and the free video hosting services only give you so much storage space that can quickly run out if you are uploading large files.

Next, you need to upload your video to an online video sharing service. There are bunch of these available, some offering a meager amount of free storage and charging extra for larger portions of space. Other services limit the amount of bandwidth your video can consume. This means the number of people that can watch your video at one time is limited.

After choosing a suitable place to host your newsworthy video, you need to tell the news broadcasters about it. In whatever city you live in, there are local news affiliates that are part of larger news organizations like Fox News or ABC. You can easily determine which news stations are in your area by turning on a TV and seeing what the call-letters are for your local broadcast news stations.