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MARCH ➋🄋➋➀

Anyone else feel absolutely overwhelmed by the last few weeks? Between the Grammys, SXSW Online, NFTs and Clubhouse exploding, Daft Punk breaking up, and signs of live music returning, I feel like the industry overall has an energy that I haven't felt since...well, last March. I'm optimistic that things are changing.

There's no way I can capture everything in this one newsletter but here are the stories I've been most interested in based on their marketing implications. Also, I'm on Clubhouse holding music marketing meetups! More talks will be announced soon, once I sleep for two days. 

To the audacity of hope, 

The tech biggies are creating more revenue options
I am so thrilled to see how the major tech platforms are thinking about independent artists and/or creative ways musicians can make money using their services. Here are some of my favorite recent announcements: 

- Clubhouse promises its accelerator participants either brand deals or $5K per month during the program (TechCrunch) Note: Deadline to apply is March 31st!

- Spotify announces beta launch of audience development tool for artists, self-serve Marquee ads (Yahoo! Finance) So stoked to see that they are opening up Canvas (the tool that creates those looping videos you see attached to songs) to everyone! 

- SoundCloud is about to revolutionize streaming payouts, launching user-centric royalties for over 100,000 indie artists (Music Business Worldwide) SoundCloud is rolling out "fan-powered royalties" meaning a user's subscription or advertising revenue made on the site will be distributed directly to the artists they listen to. 

- DistroKid teams with Twitch to help indie artists earn money from live streams via Twitch Affiliate Program (Music Business Worldwide) To qualify for the Twitch program, DistroKid users must demonstrate "a level of dedication and success in music." 
Marketing takeaway: Go try one or all of these! Throw your hat into the ring! Sí se puede!
(image via Twitter)
No I will not stop talking about wellness apps and music
I'm sure you're like ok Alison we get it, wellness apps and music are a thing. I'm going to keep repeating this though because I see so much potential in this unsaturated space.

Of course, like Calm's newly announce Sleep Remix Series, a lot of these initial opportunities are for major artists but the inspiration is there. With many fitness studios and companies still offering livestreamed or digital classes, they need to keep their music fresh and new - and that's where you come in.
Marketing takeaway: Is your music hype enough for your local spin studio? Mellow enough for a YouTuber who leads meditation sessions? Pitch them. These folks are not like reporters and others who are inbox-bombed constantly. The opportunity for "placements" and reaching new fans is huge. 
(full credit for this joke via twitter)
⬆️ Me trying to understand NFTs
I am no crypto expert and I'm not going to try to tell you the ins and outs of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). There are people far smarter than I that I will point you to for that (here, here, and here).  

But! What I can talk about is how the artists playing in this space are promoting their usage, as recent NFT sales in music garnered a total revenue of $25 million in just the last month alone.

One case I've found really intriguing involves Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. In February, Shinoda auctioned off an NFT for $30,000 called "One Hundredth Stream," which featured a 37-second long animation alongside music he wrote. The money made is amazing, especially since it went to his scholarship to benefit art students in need of financial help. He has since been offered collaborations by blockchain platforms like Zilliqa and Harmony. However, he did face criticism from fans for attaching a monetary value to something that could have been given away for free.
Marketing takeaway: In a great move, Shinoda took this criticism as an opportunity to educate fans and position himself as a thought leader in the space of not only NFTs but also what "value" can mean in a digital market. This is a strategy I would offer you, reader, if you do enter a new space and experience blowback (which will always come). Hear the feedback, understand it, and then use it to transparently communicate and put yourself in a leadership role. This will calm not only your critics but will also have media and others coming to you first as the new field expands. 
Before You Go
This image of SZA from the "Good Days" mv lives in my mind rent-free. Happy Women's Day, Month, Year, Millennia.
Alison Clancy is a marketing and community manager for music and tech companies. Learn more about Alison at or say hello on Instagram at @_alisonclancy_
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Copyright © 2021 Alison Clancy, All rights reserved.

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