August 2007


Quick update here for you to look forward to things to come at musicnuvo.  We’ll be making a few developments to the site over the next several days to make a more complete offering to independent artists.

 Developments on the way:

  • Integrated listing of both digital AND physical albums in the Music tab
  • Creation of a new Merch tab, allowing artists to sell T-Shirts, Posters, Coffee Mugs, whatever…
  • Inclusion of product information listings (so you can include an album description in your product listing)
  • Addition of an Artist Bio page so artists can include a short biography, photos, and web links directly from their musicnuvo store
  • Digital / Physical audio product setup will remain free; All other physical / merch product setup fees will be REDUCED to $5 per item

As before, musicnuvo offers the lowest monthly hosting / service rates in the industry at only $8 per month (compare to industry standard of $10-$12).  Also, we start you out at a royalty of 70%  for digital download product – you can increase this up to 100% through artist referrals.  And finally, you get 100% of retail for all physical product you sell through the site – that includes CDs and all merch products.

Ultimately, we want musicnuvo to be the ideal online retail location for indie artists, allowing them to sell all of their content from one place.  If you have new ideas and suggestions for the store that you want to share, or if you have questions about what we offer, drop a comment below!

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Put to use the most powerful online store for independent artists and start selling all of your content from one place! Visit www.musicnuvo.com to learn more.

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I view the vast expanse of the internet as a giant toolbox, and there are tons of effective “e-tools” out there to help you communicate, interact, and build your online presence. From time to time I want to introduce some of those tools as they make sense for the indie artist.

ShoutMix PreviewEnter ShoutMix. I’ve been working with an independent artist recently and in the development of his new website we want to make it possible to post previews of new songs as he’s working on them in the studio, and then allow fans to comment and provide feedback on those previews. I suppose typically you would post an MP3 of a song, require fans to download it, and then if you wanted feedback just list a line and your email address soliciting comments. I suppose a few people would write in, but it sounds like a lot of steps… follow through would be minimal.

I wanted to find a comment tool that fulfilled four key things:

  1. Allows fans to post comments for the world to see directly in the webpage you are listening to the song on;
  2. Allow you to post the tool on multiple webpages with the same comment thread live and active on each one;
  3. Must be free;
  4. Must look slick, have no ads, and work bug-free

OK, I guess that’s six things… but ShoutMix does / is all of these things. To explain #2 a little more… say you’ve got your song preview on your website and your myspace page – I want people to comment on the songs in both places, but I also want the people on my website to see the comments being left through myspace, and vice-versa. It’s real-time interaction across multiple sites.

There are several different implementation options through ShoutMix. On your regular website (where you control 100% of the content), you can implement the tool as an IFRAME. MySpace and other social networking sites don’t allow IFRAMES, so they also offer a Flash based embed option. For the very tightly controlled sites that don’t allow IFRAMES or Flash (like this blog), you can simply link off to your Shoutbox like this.

All in all, this is a pretty cool feature and would come in handy for a lot of bands looking for some immediate and integrated feedback from their fans. How are the rest of you getting fan feedback? I would love to hear of some of the tools everyone else is using!

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Put to use the most powerful online store for independent artists and start selling all of your content from one place! Visit www.musicnuvo.com to learn more.

I was talking with a friend today about the music industry, record labels, bands, etc. and it became very evident that, as much as the major labels want to talk about being “quick to change” and “embracing the age of the internet”, it’s far from the truth. There is an old guard running the labels that still tries to protect this nostalgic way of doing things that’s dripping with money and involves a lot of arm wrestling with radio stations and back-room deals with distributors.

This is simply not effective, nor economical, for the indie artist.

You know as well as I do that we’re now in the age where you can cut a quality album from your bedroom using your personal computer, and we’re now certainly to the point where you can distribute it internationally without hardly moving a muscle. I would argue that you can just as successfully market and distribute yourself today as an independent artist as any given developing artist on a major label.

I’m not saying it will be easy – in fact, it will take a significant amount of work on your part. But after all, it’s your career, and it’s something you’re passionate about, and the nice thing is that you’re in control of how to guide the ship towards your own success. Here’s a few simple ideas to keep in mind as you consider the “big picture” of your career:

  • Embrace Your Niche: The major labels spend a lot of time on the “shotgun” approach… lets just throw this ( and this, and this, and this…) at the wall and see what sticks. You don’t have time for that. Figure out your audience and what makes them unique, then determine how to get to them. You need pinpoint accuracy to be able to quickly and effectively get your message out to your target audience.
  • Collect The Names: Every time you perform and on every web page you’re on, have a way to quickly and easily gather fan information for your mailing list. Make it simple – get their Name, Email, Cell Phone, and Zip Code. Zip code is important because you need to be able to target your fanbase (e.g. – you’re playing Dayton, OH on Friday night… you need to be able to let the people within 40 miles of Dayton know you’re coming). Cell numbers are important for the increasing ease (and affordability) of mass text messages… plus the fact that no one is ever without their cell phone.
  • It’s All About Community: You have got to stay in touch with your fans – regularly and often.  Use your mailing list diligently – you need to have a monthly newsletter with the most recent news.  Your website should be informative AND, more importantly, interactive.  You need to give fans a reason to come… maybe it’s entertaining YouTube videos that you’ve created on the road, maybe it’s a fan photo submission contest… whatever it is, you need to get the fans involved.  You need to have a blog – talk about life, being on the road, the recording process, and make sure you set your blog to allow comments.
  • Distribute Internationally: PayPal is an easy way to collect money from people all across the globe… in a matter of minutes you can set up a rudimentary store for your physical CDs. CDBaby is another great resource that I particularly like for their digital distribution service – service your core products to them for distribution to the major digital accounts (iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, Zune, etc). CDBaby’s royalty rates for digital are fair (64% of retail), but their physical rates are a little on the high side ($4 per CD)… you can do better through PayPal. Our service, musicnuvo, offers you the ability to sell digital downloads direct from your store (70% of retail commission) and process transactions for physical CD sales (100% of retail commission).
  • Never Stop Touring: Three things to remember when playing shows… 1) Do them as often as you can. 2) Consistently play the same markets to build and strengthen your fan base up. 3) Push yourself each month to expand into a new market, and add it to your regular rotation.

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Put to use the most powerful online store for independent artists and start selling all of your content from one place! Visit www.musicnuvo.com to learn more.