Bands with the Same Name (blog)

This  is a quickie blog. I just want to sing the praises of one of the best indie music businesses out there. CDBABY!!!

 

Yes, with services like Bandcamp you can sell your CDs directly to your fans and that is wonderful. But, it also helps to have your stuff on the major download sites like iTunes because a lot of people just prefer buying from a big name. If you are an indie artist, you have to go through a music aggregator to get on iTunes and that’s where CDbaby and services like Tunecore come in. Great for us! But, here’s the problem. What if you or your band have the same name as another artist or band? Confusion in the store! (see pic below) The last thing you want to happen is to have all your hard advertising work go to waste when customers seek you out only to download someone else’s music. It happens! 

I have this issue.

Oneofthese

 

Now, I actually went to the trouble to have my name legally trademarked so, technically, I could start proceedings against the other artist to keep them from both selling CDs and performing under the name “Laura Marie”. But that seems like a bit much, right? I don’t really want it to come to that. But, as it turns out, for this issue, that won’t be necessary. Yay! for both of us. 

Because my music is distributed to iTunes through CDBaby, all I had to do was call them up (just login to your account and hit “contact”). CDBaby customer service, as always, was super helpful and I was told that all they had to do was submit a ticket to have my works separated from the other Laura Marie in the iTunes store. For now, that’s all I really wanted. 

They say I should be hearing from Apple within the week. I’ll let you know how it goes. Just know that if you have the same problem, you have to contact the content provider that submitted your music to iTunes. Here is a list of all those approved by Apple for indie artists: MUSIC AGGREGATORS. They’ll have to log in to your Apple artist account on your behalf and submit a ticket. If you are with CDBaby, just call them up and ask for Patrick. ūüôā

Pass it on! This info could really help some artists set themselves apart. 

 

Sweet! – Laura Marie

 

P.S. I have a NEW WEBSITE and it’s awesome. Check it out and let me know what you think. I’ll be blogging about how easy it was to put together very soon…

 

For the Indie Do-It-Yourself-er

The following are helpful tools I presented to Elite members of the GoGirls in one of our “secret” meetings at Folk Alliance in Memphis this year. This is a list. It is only a list. If you need further help or have questions about any of these, please post in the comments below. I’ll share my experience as best I can.

These are just some great places to start if you don’t have a team around you and are working on a limited budget. And, yes, you should have your own “.com”. A Facebook fan page will not suffice. And, if you are a band and have a Facebook profile and are using it as a fan page…stop it. Now. Please. 

 

Helpful Tools for Indie Artist

 

Easy and affordable DIY websites: Hostbaby.com and Bandzoogle.com

Both sites now have customizable templates that are affordable and allow you to update your pages and sell your music with very little hassle.

 

Most affordable iPhone app (and Droid to come…): getsoundaround.com

Now owned and also available through Reverbnation.com. Price cannot be beat!

 

Update all your social networks at once: Hootsuite and Ping 

Both of these services allow you to update your social networking sites and FACEBOOK FAN PAGES from your computer and both have iPhone apps for your convenience.

 

Landing pages for your Facebook fan page: Rootmusic.com and FanBridge.com 

Social Networks 4 Musicians has a sweet deal for custom pages but, if you have some DIY skills check out Rootmusic. And, if you are already using FanBridge, they’ve made it easy for you. 

 

DIY CD Sales: Bandcamp.com, Tunecore.com and CDBaby.com 

There are benefits to each. If you haven’t checked them out, do it now.

 

Credit Card sales at your shows: CdBaby.com and Square iPhone app 

Securely swipe credit cards on your iPhone and get direct deposits or get the affordable swiper through your CDBaby.com account.

 

Get your music on the radio: Airplaydirect.com

Get professional and beautiful download cards: Dropcards.com

Get royalties: Soundexchange.com (lengthy application but, do it. If your music is streaming anywhere online, you could have money waiting for you)

Get songs licensed: Pumpaudio.com (They are pretty selective about the music they choose so, be prepared with professional quality recordings of songs as well as instrumental versions. Some people hate the terms so be sure to read them over carefully. All I know is that I’ve received some pretty nice checks without having to shop my songs on my own.)

 J

 

  -Laura Marie

 

Up Next:

Bands: Social Networking No-No’s #2

Myspace is killing me…

For so long…

For so long I said I wasn’t going to complain. 
I was going to refrain from making public complaints about the atrocity that Myspace has become. 

It is beyond ridiculous and gets worse with every passing moment. Where can I start? 

The endless spam emails. The “friendships” that consist of some band adding me without me knowing because I don’t have an option to approve or disapprove after so many connections, that band publicly thanking me for supporting their music or being a fan (still, no idea who they are) then endless posts with their music players or gig flyers regardless of where in world they happen to be in relation to me. The new layouts that make absolutely no sense. The new “news feed” that now brings the dreaded auto players and gig flyer posts right to your home page. Great.

Yup. I can’t even check my myspace mail (not that there is ever anything worth reading there) without having some unwanted music go off on my page. You know what that reminds me of? Those obnoxious people who drive around with their radio blaring so that you can’t hear yourself think. Closing your windows doesn’t help. Nothing helps. Until, you drive away. Just like Myspace. 

I’m not sure the people who run myspace even use it. You’d think that if they did, they would make it less annoying for users. Who is really using myspace these days? Clearly, a zillion musicians are on it promoting, promoting, promoting at a feverish pace, seemingly taking all their tips from some “how not to promote you music online” manifesto. 

But, yes, it is true. We must keep our Myspace profiles. As musicians, we need a page that music industry contacts recognize as a place to easily access our music. Music accessibility on Facebook is only as good as the app you choose but, you have to know which apps to choose, how to use them and how to direct people to them. And, just like our own websites, they aren’t uniform and searching beyond a few clicks can get tedious for contacts.So, for those reasons, Myspace is necessary. Increasingly frustrating but necessary. Does anyone read the bulletin board anymore?

If only there was some other site that offered free streaming music in a pretty much uniform format that music industry professionals could recognize as an easy place to hear the music of whatever artist they’re considering. 

Hmmmm:

Reverbnation – Not just the music but bios, show info, pics, fan info, etc. etc. and easily searchable too!!! Musicians have no excuse because the basic page is FREE!

Bandcamp – just the music but, again, free and free streaming. You are guaranteed to hear the tunes when you visit an artists Bandcamp page. 

Sonicbids – yeah, despite my recent beef with the ‘bids, their EPKs have all the standard stuff. Though, searching the website can prove problematic without a direct link to your press kit. 

All this to say that I’m going to keep my Myspace page. I’ll probably also keep bitching about it but I’ll likely keep the grumblings to myself until some new feature makes me blow a fuse. 

On that note, can anyone tell me what will happen if I connect my Facebook to my Myspace? I’ll try a lot of things just to share the experience with you but, the longer I can keep my Facebook page from becoming like my Myspace page, the better. 

 

Laura Marie