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Pro Soul Artist “Out to Lunch”

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Pushing the depths of the underground jazz scene, cutting edge New York City-based Out to Lunch will be releasing its third album, No One Left Behind, creating a sound that hits both the mind and feet. Out to Lunch has not only established itself as a mainstay on the New York scene, but has toured extensively through North America and Europe. Billboard magazine has called Out to Lunch, “a distinctive brand of funk…expanding the range of the listener’s experience,” while the Village Voice has hailed Out to Lunch as an, “ambitious and funky groove-prov octet.”

This five men band is made up by: trumpet, flute and guitar player Josiah Woodson; New York-based pianist & keyboard player Walter Fischbacher; bassist, composer and DJ Zack Lober; drummer Jason Kruk and founder and leader: Canadian-born multi-instrumentalist David Levy, who has released three albums with Out to Lunch, Excuse Me While I Do the Boogaloo, Melvin’s Rockpile and No One Left Behind. David plays bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, bansuri flute and Ableton Live.

We really enjoy working with Out to Lunch, Pro Soul is making their career better by creating a whole new website for them that allows the band members to update easily with no coding knowledge, and it interconnects with all their social networking and features a number of other cool things that help them connect with fans and sell music.

Spotify: What is it, and why it’s US launch is significant to the music industry

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Though users in Europe have been reaping the benefits of Spotify since 2008, music lovers in the United States got their first taste for the first time a few days ago, when it officially became available in the U.S..
Created in Sweden, At first glance, Spotify must appear like yet another overtyped streaming music service, but upon further investigation users will find that it could very well be the future of the music industry.

It’s not that Spotify is unique, it just blends some of the best features of several competing streaming media services. Like Google Music, it uploads music you own to a cloud library, and like Qrocity allows you to stream full albums and songs from a database of millions of songs to a wide range of devices. Like Amazon Cloud Player, you can even access it from a wide variety of devices, including your PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone. But most important of all, it’s like Pandora in that it’s free, subsidized by ads.

Basically, it’s the ultimate way to get, discover, and listen to music.

The foundation of the service is the computer software player, an iTunes like portal that is attractive, powerful and flexible. The interface feels good, presenting songs in an organized list, with a side bar that displays your library and playlists, playback controls and artwork.

When you first start the software, all you’ll encounter is the music you already have localized on your computer, but there is a much larger cloud library that you can explore…

Unlike digital marketplaces like iTunes or Zune, however, Spotify doesn’t present the cloud database as a storefront, but relies on search, an listing of most popular songs and albums, and social interaction amongst users for new music discovery.
The Top Lists present 100 of the most popular songs and albums on the service, which can be filtered by locale (U.S., U.K., Spain, etc.), and a New Releases panel shows off the newest additions.

But what really drives the service is social interaction and search. Spotify integrates with Facebook, which allows users to find friends who use the service, and share public playlists with each other. It also allows users to copy direct links to their custom playlists, which can be shared publicly (to users who sign up for Spotify)

Browsing custom playlists from friends is a great way to find out their tastes, but using the search tool to dig into the larger database is the best way to expand your library.
Spotify has built a library of over 15 million songs, with 10,000 new tracks added every day. Currently the site’s foremost publishing partners include Sony Music, Universal, EMI, Warner Music, and many others.
In searching for music on Spotify, we’ve found most or all of the tracks we’ve been looking for, with only a few limited instances where we couldn’t.
The biggest names in music? They’re there too. Most have their entire catalog available.

Adding songs to your personal library is as simple as dragging them to a playlist, and there’s no limit.
Once you’ve built a large library, you can take it on the go using the Spotify mobile app for iPhone, iPod touch, Android smartphones and tablets, Windows Phone 7, and WebOS.

Of the various versions of the app we tried, all had surprisingly speedy high-fidelity playback, even over 3G. Browsing music using the mobile UI was also pretty intuitive, though obviously browsing thousands of songs is preferable on your desktop or laptop.
The one catch, however, is that only users who pay a monthly subscription fee will be able to stream their complete music library on their mobile device. While the app will allow free users to browse the Spotify library, only premium users will be allowed to play tracks, and flag songs to be cached for offline playback.

The fee for unhindered access is actually pretty reasonable, however, at $9.99 a month, which grants you unlimited offline mode playback on both your PC or your mobile device, as well as higher audio quality and the ability to remove ads.
Of course, nobody likes paying monthly subscription fees, but the beautify of Spotify is that the core service of unlimited access to the larger streaming library is free, so if you decide you don’t want or need a premium account, you don’t lose any tracks you’ve organized. For six months, the free version of the service will offer unlimited playback, but after that it will limit users to 10 hours of playback and only 5 plays per song each month.

For those who don’t care about mobile access and offline functionality, but loathe ads and want unlimited access, there’s a separate option called Spotify Unlimited that costs $4.99 a month and eliminates ads.
If you’re cheap like us, however, you’ll want to stick with the ad-subsidized version. The ads really aren’t that bad. Over the span of two hours, music playback is usually interrupted around twice, and the ads are less than a minute. They were actually not annoying at all. The audio ads either advertised functions of Spotify or played a sample of a song available.
There were also banner ads built into the player, but we hardly noticed them.

What does all this mean for the music business and the future of music?
If you used Spotify, we think you would know the answer, basically it fulfills the need of the music lover that has existed ever since the release of a $18.99 CD with one good song on it. It’s quite simply, the legal solution to music piracy.
Music fans want their music when they want it where they want it without restrictions and limitations, or a hard drive of files that gets filled up and won’t fit on your phone iPod…
And best of all, the music creators all get paid!

If your a music fan, get on Spotify now (let us know if you can’t because you don’t have an invite, or your in a different country, we can help…)
if your a music creator, contact us if you want help getting your music on Spotify.

Artists – are you wasting your time on Twitter?

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

We talk about Twitter a lot in relation to artists and promoting music. That’s because Twitter is still the top resource for getting awareness for your music next to Facebook and Youtube.

We’ve had great results for our artists who are using Twitter effectively, increased sales, followers who share the artists music with their friends and their followers, artists getting hired to perform on other artists albums around the world, and more fans, web traffic and general awareness about the artists’ music.

But as we’ve been observing artists Tweeting habits, we’ve seen that like many Twitter users, many of you are just literally tweeting ‘what your doing’ at the moment, or doing blatant self advertising…

However this is not an effective way to really use Twitter. It’s not enough to make your tweets cut through the noise of the heavily updating marketers, and millions of other Twitter users out there…

Instead of “get my new music here” “I ate something I shouldn’t have”, or “sick of work, this job sucks”. or “when is it going to get hotter?”, Try things like, “I just came up with a new melody for a folk pop tune”, or “just tried out a new guitar I’m thinking of getting” or, “rehearsing for my next show where I’ll be playing some new songs about….” or even, “what do you think a fair consequence would be for this oil spill?”

Be interesting! You all lead interesting lives and do highly intriguing things every day! Tweet about them! People want to know these things, your a creative, talented musician for God’s sake! Why are you tweeting the same stuff as everyone else? Your better than that!!

AND, very importantly, if you don’t know what to tweet that is interesting, you should be RETWEETING interesting tweets (look for them amongst your followers), and REPLYING to people’s tweets that you have any kind of response for. This creates reciprocal communication and connection with other people that if replied to, can get you exposure to hundreds if not thousands of followers! Our artists have had thousands of visitors to their website in one day by using this technique.
This may be even more important that tweeting what you are up to! It is very important and easy to do.

Lastly, write the same way you would talk to a stranger in person.
Would you walk up to someone and say “hi stranger, go buy my CD here”? NO! So don’t do it online, be a human being when you write anything online.
Using these techniques you can make the most of the time spent on exposing yourself to new fans. And doing it with a free power Twitter tool like Hootsuite can really make life easier, and allows you to manage large follower lists more easily and effectively.

And if you are having trouble getting time to fit Twitter into your schedule, contact us about setting up tweeting via text messaging from your phone so that it updates all your social networking profiles and your website, and how this can be a very powerful tool for your music promotion!

What progress have you made with Twitter using these techniques or others?

Happy New Year! Our top blogs of 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Our first year has been great so far despite the economic times we live in, we’ve been working with a total of 9 fantastic artists!

Here are some of our top blog posts of 2009 in order posted:

Tips from a successful DIY indie musician…

Music and the Mobile Phone

Automatically posting your blog feeds to Facebook etc.

How many ‘active’ fans do you have?

The new music business model – Connect With Fans!

Is Music for free really a good idea?

The 10 Commandments of Music 2.0

A brave new era of music self release…

How to get people to come to shows

DIY takes more time than many think

Thank you to all the artists we work with, you have made this a great year, helping us take the music business into the future!
In return, we hope expanding your career to new heights has made this a great year for you as well.

We’ve got some fantastic new things planned for our artists in 2010, and were looking forward to a great year!
Happy new year to all of you, all the best for the year ahead.

Director Jarome Matthew, and the Pro Soul Alliance Team

Year End Special for artists: Professional management and promotion!

Monday, December 21st, 2009

It’s the end of our first year providing record label representation, and professional management and promotion to artists worldwide, and to celebrate (and because we’re feeling generous) we’re having a year end special!

Pro Soul Alliance is offering artists who have some professionally recorded material:

• professional management and promotion to take your career to the next level!
• the latest tips, techniques and tools to help you build your audience, connect, and give them reasons to compensate you
• professional phone consultation and assistance with CEO of Pro Soul Alliance on your development and career
• professional bio and press copy writing, blog development and updating
• mailing list setup and integration, with fan capture into database for website and social networking profiles
• search engine optimization for effective search ranking
• graphic design, photography and image assistance for promo materials
• social networking configuration and integration, connecting with fans
(ReverbNation, Facebook, MySpace, Blip.fm, Twitter, Youtube, Ourstage etc.)
• offline & online marketing assistance, radio & podcast airplay, follow up, and tracking
• product development, design, CD production and digital distribution through major online retailers worldwide including ringtones and mobile phone
• licensing and song placement; electronic licensing options online
• scheduling of show dates for live performances
• and much more as we explore exactly what you need right now for your music career to thrive!

Limited Time Special: $100 US per month! Click here to subscribe now!

Cancel / upgrade any time! No contracts required! No rights taken! No profits taken!
[make sure you choose the 'Basic Label' $100 subscription option after completing your submission form!]

Also on special:

• a professional, blog based website you can edit and update with basic word processing skills, upgradeable with hundreds of plug ins for all kinds of functionality, and different design themes you can choose from! Complete with hosting by Rackspace, one of the best in the world, with yourname.com

Limited Time Special: $350 US! Click here to order your website now!

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Do you have an artist on your gift list? Imagine giving them these as a gift!

These specials will only be available until December 31st, 2009! We can only handle so many artists, so if response is high, offer may end early.

Find out more about Pro Soul Alliance and why we’re the best solution for your career.

Please Contact Pro Soul Alliance if you have any questions or would like more information.

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How to get people to come to shows

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Tim Sweeney, one of the music industry’s most sought after experts and consultants, offers this advice….

A few weeks ago a new artist called me and asked how he can get more people to a new venue he wanted to play. The booker told him as the opener he had to bring 25 people. Not an overwhelming number by any stretch. The only problem was he was averaging 5-10 people per show.

I asked him what he had done to promote his previous shows. He sent me copies of his emails or should I say, “show announcements.” He discovered about 2 percent of his mailing list responded to his emails and he wasn’t sure if anyone was ever coming to a show. With that in mind, I told him let’s start with a basic idea, go through your mailing list and make a list of fans you feel you can count on to really support you. He came back with a list of 57 people who lived in the area of the new venue. I told him to start calling each one. For the people he didn’t have phone numbers for, simply email them a note asking them to call him, nothing else.

We talked in great length about what his conversations should be about and also we wrote a new email to go out to the rest of the list. While he first complained about the amount of time it would take to call everyone, I reminded him of the joy of playing to an empty venue.

To make a long story short, 39 people came because of the phone calls and another 16 came from the new email. Then as life goes, he learned some other important lessons that night at the show.

As the “opener” he brought 55. The person who played after him brought 10 and the “headliner” brought 4. Not only did the booker get mad at the other artists, he gave their money to my guy and told him he would pay him double if he played there next month as the headliner! The other artists asked him how he got so many people to come. They said they had sent out emails like they always did and didn’t know why people didn’t come.

The comical ending to the story is that the artist sold 21 CDs to the people including fans of the other artists and even one to the writer from the newspaper who always ignored him. The writer told him he was there to review the headliner but came early because he really liked my guy’s email about the show. Good thing he called all those people and connected with them more personally then an email!

The moral of the story? Most likely you got someone’s email address from talking to them in person. You had a connection with them for them to give it to you. Pick up the phone whenever possible and continue the relationship. You call the bookers to get a show, the press for a story, industry people to see if they reviewed your music, call your fans!

- Tim Sweeney (www.TimSweeney.com)