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Using Online Movies to Promote Your Music Career
By Jarid S. Johnson

Isn’t it your dream as a musician to make music, but also your goal to have a music career? If you are not deriving an income from the music you create, than you do not have a career.

You likely use a variety of methods to promote your music: email lists, a website, word of mouth, MySpace, Facebook, and any number of other social networking sites.You probably put your music online, write press releases, supply a bio, provide photos, or create an electronic press kit combining all of these.

All are effective and necessary ways to promote your career. But are you harnessing the power of online movies to promote your music? In order to stay ahead of the competition, many businesses are using online movies as part of their online promotional strategy. As a musician, there is no reason you can’t do the same to build your music career.

Using online movies as part of your overall promotional strategy has many benefits:

  • Improves search visibility for your website
  • Holds viewers on your website longer
  • Enhances your recognition
  • Increases your fan base, enhances their experience, and creates relationship
  • Generates income for your music, merchandise, and tickets

Movies placed on your website, Facebook, or any number of online video sites can increase your exposure immensely and boost your career. But, maybe you think video is too complicated, expensive, or doesn’t provide a return on investment. Certainly, if you think of your band as a business —and you should if you want to make a living playing music — then return on investment is important.

Sample Movie for Musicians clip from AMPsf: Gaby V. "Let Me In"

Before you talk yourself out of using one of the most powerful tools to promote your career, this article will provide some reasons why you should use online movies as part of your marketing and promotional tool chest. 

But first, a few astonishing statistics from comScore:

  • 84.8 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video in May 2010.
  • 144.1 million viewers watched 14.6 billion videos on YouTube alone, that’s 101.2 videos per viewer.
  • The consumption of online video news and information clips in the U.S. has doubled to 565 million video views in May 2010, up from 277 million last May.

The question is - are they watching your online movies? So now that you know your potential audience size, let’s look at the benefits of using online movies…

Online movies create a more personal interaction between you and your fans than other means of promotions. Using both sound and visuals is an effective way of gaining your fan’s attention. In today’s fast paced world, it is much more efficient for someone to click on a movie link than it is for them to read a page of text. Your fans want fast, easy, entertaining information about you, your band, and what you are up to. Online movies provide that.

Having fans share your movie through email and social networking sites is one of the best methods for creating buzz about your band, your music, and your tour. But if you don’t have a movie for your fans to pass around, then you are missing out on a grand opportunity to really turn up your promotions. Furthermore, if your online movie doesn’t have high production value and quality content, your fans won’t be even be interested in watching it, much less passing it on to others.

You provide your fans with quality music recordings and quality live performances; why not do the same with your online visual presentation? Hiring a professional to produce your online movies ensures they meet the same professional standards as your recordings and live shows.

With a quality visual approach on the internet, your fans, and potential fans, are more inclined to watch your movie than to read the details on your website. Online movies bring your band to life and allow fans to know you more intimately. Movies build your band recognition and convey a personal touch that separates you from the clutter.

Another advantage internet movies have over other forms of promotions is that they leave a lasting impression on your fans. If your fans remember your movie, they will be inclined to want what you are offering. That may be your latest music or back catalogue, merchandise, or tickets to your next gig. If they are informed, entertained, and excited by your movie, they are motivated to share that excitement with their friends, amplifying your exposure.

And that’s were return on investment comes into play. According to the Marketing Zen Group…

“On average, 12% of people going to a site that uses video to market it’s products or services…will end up buying from that site. By comparison, the “normal conversion rate” for a text-only site hovers at around 1%. So how is this huge jump in sales possible? While 65% of people watch online videos to completion, less than 10% will read a text-only site to completion. And the longer you can keep people glued to your message, the better your sales will be.”

As you consider marketing and promoting your music career with online movies, realize that there is a slim chance they’ll go viral. Instead of hoping to go viral or not using online movies at all, keep your eye on the real goal: improved communication with your fans, the opportunity to build band recognition, and increased music, merchandise, and ticket sales.

In addition, when you put your movie online, at sites like Facebook, You Tube or Vimeo, it’s easy to know how many views it’s getting — they count them for you. With a movie on your website, Google analytics can track how many viewers are seeing it and how long fans are staying on your site; the more views, the more exposure for your band. The more exposure for your band, the more you sell!

Creating online movies isn’t complicated or expensive either, especially when you rely on professionals like AMPsf, a company that has extensive music production expertise and knowledge of social networking.They work with you through every step of your movie’s creation, helping shape your story to create a movie that brings your band to life in the most compelling way possible. And because they are a self-contained production company, their services are surprisingly affordable, offering you incredible value and return on your investment.

In Summary, online movies are a great tool for spreading buzz about your band through social networking, email blasts, and on video hosting sites, driving traffic to your website. Online movies allow you to effectively reach out to fans, creating intimate relationships, and fan excitement ultimately boosting your music, merchandise, and ticket sales to increase your overall revenue.

Isn’t it time to turn your dream of playing music into a full time career, or if you are already playing music full time, then turning that career up to 11?

Jarid S. Johnson runs Artist Media Production, AMPsf, a full service company providing musicians with the tools to increase their income using the power of online movies. More information at

He has been making images of musicians since first taking his still camera to the Allman Brothers NYE show in 1973. DVD credits include Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Phil Lesh, Incubus, Los Lobos, Joe Satriani and many other artists.

Jarid has directed and shot live music at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA since 1989. For Bill Graham Presents, he has documented large music events including Lollapalooza, Laguna Seca Days, Squaw Valley Summer Music Festival, WOMAD, the Tibetan Freedom Concert, and others.

Jarid attends live shows regularly and loves merging the craft of storytelling with the art of music.

Note: This article was informed by information culled from ByteCaster, VA Business Coaching Blog, comScore, and The Marketing Zen Group.

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