By the end of this panel, it was clear that the word “explosion” was an accurate way to describe the current state of video sharing. More and more bands are producing videos for their fans these days and even releasing music this way, much like how the Rapture streamed its recently released In The Grace Of Your Love album through an online Vimeo broadcast. But with so much content on the Web and a growing number of platforms to showcase it, what’s the most effective way for a band to get its music out?
Ron Schneier, COO North America of Base79, said that two-way communication between a band and its fans is crucial. “All elements of engagement become crucial” when fans visit a band’s website, he said, before more importantly noting that “Social media is all about community.” Having a video camera and filming yourself does not necessarily mean you’re reaching your fan base. The ticket to community, according to Schneier, is personal connection.
Brandon Martinez, co-founder and CEO of INDMUSIC, agreed. “You need to have that personal interaction with your fan base.” He went on to say that bands should take note of where people seem to be interested in them and reach out to those communities accordingly.
“The most important thing for artists to learn is how to read their analytics,” said Jessica Kantor, head of marketing and content at Livestream. She also noted that having more handlers involved in the video process typically means the sense of authenticity dwindles, and suggested that bands be as involved as possible in their own video-making and sharing systems. She did, however, note that it can be tough to do it all. “Your job is to be a musician,” she said, “not a marketer.” And if you do happen to be a musician but don’t so much know how to turn on a video camera? “Make friends with geeks.”
Alex Kisch, head of business development at VEVO, said that his company acts as a conduit between a band and its fan base, and noted that, “Making money is not necessarily selling out these days.” With more bands licensing their music to commercial pursuits, he says indie bands should not shy away from working with companies just because they fear the “sell out” label.
Still, as cool as it can be to watch a Coachella set from your computer in upstate New York, all of the panelists agreed on one thing: There’s nothing like seeing a live show. David Moffey, the CEO of Baeble who moderated the panel, closed out the discussion by echoing those same sentiments: “Nothing can replace the excitement of live music.”