Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Band Pages,,,, the list goes on and on.  If you're looking for a web page to host your band, who do you choose?  The answer is, you can't choose just one.  In today's competitive music industry, an indie musician needs multiple sites and pages, since each one serves a different purpose.  Rather than explore the hundreds of potential websites that cater to musicians, this article will discuss the Big 4 that you simply can't live without.  They may seem a little bit obvious, but many musicians only utilize one or two of these tools, and just go without the services that the other sites offer.  Here is a discussion of what these sites do and do not offer.

FACEBOOK.COM   Do we even have to discuss this?  Yes, because many musicians have a personal profile for themselves, but don't have a page for their band or music.  Facebook's greatest strength is the ability for pages to go viral, and the simplicity of direct communication to fans that it offers.  Of course there are dozens of apps that a musician to use, but many websites offer these.  The best way to use Facebook is a daily update on the band, including performances, contests that the band has entered, and other tidbits that your fans will find interesting.  Keep the updates casual, as this makes the fans feel closer to the band, and keeps them thinking about you.  If they have an update everyday that interests them, they will stay involved and keep listening to your music.

MYSPACE.COM  Often unfairly called Facebook's trashy older sibling, myspace nonetheless offers valuable tools for the independent musician.  In its efforts to survive in the shadow of Facebook, Myspace has customized its services to the point that it has many more tools for musicians.  Because of this, music reviewers and industry insiders often prefer Myspace over the fancy press kits that other websites offer, because of its simplicity.  The ability to quickly access music, videos, and bios is not only valued by time-pressed music professionals, but by potential fans as well.

REVERBNATION.COM  There's not much that this website doesn't offer for the independent musician.  It offers hundreds of tools not only for musicians, but for record labels, management, venues, and fans.  The unique format allows a fan to search their local area for a specific genre, and browse local artists for just the right style of music.  Unlike Myspace and Facebook, Reverbnation is solely about music, and it shows in the multitude of tools (some free, some not).  This is the place for the musician to make money.  From putting your music on sites such as Pandora and I-Tunes, selling band merchandise, selling CDs, connecting with labels and venues, advertising shows, blogging, syncing your Myspace, Facebook and Twitter accounts, building websites, networking with other musicians, setting up mailing lists, and much more, this is a resource that the indie musician simply can't live without.

YOUTUBE.COM  One word: virality.  Post a video of your band playing a bluegrass version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" on Monday, and boom, you're on Oprah explaining your success by Tuesday.  Think Justin Bieber folks.

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