Getting Your Music Featured on MySpace

One of the most popular articles on is Getting Your Band Featured on MySpace, which was posted to the Industry Wiki several months ago. The original article is an excerpt from an ebook by Nick Jag, who runs a site offering marketing tips on social networking sites. 

Because things change quickly online, I’m not sure whether these suggestions are still relevant or useful. I wanted to link to the article here and hopefully start some discussion in the comments to see whether anyone has ideas to contribute to the topic. 

Essentially, it says that the four ways to get featured are:

  1. Contact Customer Service and ask that your profile be considered
  2. Find a MySpace employee to put in a good word. This can be done via google searches or social networking
  3. A MySpace employee happens to come across your profile and recommends it 
  4. You pay money 

I’m not sure how practical or effective it is for unknown artists to pursue a MySpace feature, since the competition is probably very stiff. If anyone has thoughts or experience, please share it with us in the Comments…

Things Heard this Weekend…

“Everyone is a musician these days…”

“You should write some songs with three chords and make a shitload of money. Sell out.”


Today on the bus ride back to Manhattan I was digging up some old classics on the iPod, and spent some time admiring the brilliant counterpoint at the end of “Coma” from GNR’s Use Your Illusions I. Slash’s guitar line interacts beautifully with Axl’s vocal melody for the last couple of minutes of the song.

Political Ambition Inversely Related to Musical Integrity

A recent study by’s “Data Analysis and Electioneering Center” has revealed a strong inverse correlation between “musical integrity” and “political ambition”, which you can see from the graph below:

Many in the music community are not terribly surprised, given the historical association between teen pop and political campaigning. Richard Nixon was known for his New Kids on the Block impressions, and Andrew Jackson once auditioned for American Idol.

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Music Licensing Success with Rumblefish

Welcome to Day Two of our look at Rumblefish, the music licensing and sonic branding company.

Yesterday we reviewed the essential details of their licensing procedures, contracts, and some great things about their model. Today we look at some ways that the Rumblefish CEO, Paul Anthony, suggests artists approach music licensing.

What Licensing Pros Are Looking For

Rumblefish sells emotions, not music. Clients are looking for themes and moods to mirror or inspire what they want people to experience.

Pros look for three things:

  1. Does the song convey an emotion? (happy, sad, tired, bored…)
  2. Does the song convey a situation? (Breakup, arrest, party…)
  3. Does the song portray a specific character? (girl in love, rejected lover…)

Up-tempo and happy songs are harder to find. There are many more sad songs written than happy songs. So, if you write great happy songs, push those. You have an advantage. (In my experience, this is true; it’s taken me years to learn to write a good happy song. I think they are much harder to write.)

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Music Licensing and Brand Marketing: Rumblefish

Rumblefish is a web-based company that connects artists and labels to companies looking to license music. Last week I had a great conversation with Paul Anthony, CEO of Rumblefish. Today and tomorrow we are covering the company and sharing Paul’s tips for licensing success.

Rumblefish Licensing Contract Details

  • All licenses are non-exclusive
  • By submitting music you are agreeing to a 1-year term
  • There are no submission or membership fees
  • You retain 100% ownership of your rights
  • You retain 100% of back-end performance royalties
  • You receive 50% of net licensing fees
  • They pay out quarterly

How Artists License Music with Rumblefish

  1. You submit music to Rumblefish with a completed application and tax forms
  2. Your music is approved (hopefully)
  3. Your music is added to the Rumblefish catalog
  4. People and companies that need music find your tracks on Rumblefish and pay a licensing fee based on what they’re going to use it for
  5. Rumblefish splits the licensing fee with you
  6. You move out of your cardboard box and onto a friend’s couch
  7. Repeat these steps, until you own your own couch

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How to Build an Independent Music Career

We recently interviewed Rachael Sage, a talented singer, songwriter, poetess and all-around musician.

She’s living the dream: making music, playing gigs, and supporting herself 100% through her music. Her experience will inspire you to work harder, write better music, and take more risks. So pay attention! When you’re done reading her mind, check out her website, MySpace page, and buy her music.

How long have you been at this game of writing music and sharing it with people?

I’ve been writing music at the piano since I was in kindergarten…and I think I started sharing it with people “officially” at summer camp. I was nervous, but it was exciting and definitely a milestone! After that I began to play my own songs at the weekly talent show, which was a pretty big deal for me since I was not popular. It felt like I was finally discovering something about myself that other people might appreciate.

Before that I’d played mostly for myself, my family and occasionally before dance class for my fellow dance-students, before the teacher arrived. So I’ve been doing this a while!

What have been some of the milestones in your career in terms of growing professionally?

Lilith Fair was a huge learning experience, and I still draw on many of the elements I observed as both a performer as well as an audience member, attending the rest of the concert after my own set was over. I was an enormous fan of so many of the acts performing on the bill including The Pretenders, Suzanne Vega and Sarah McLachlan, so it was nourishing musically just to be able to watch and listen to them all at close-range. But beyond the sheer thrill of sharing a stage with my idols, I learned so much about about how I wanted to engage with younger, emerging artists myself, as I evolved in my own career. Everything about Lilith Fair and Sarah’s vision was inspiring, positive and classy on so many levels, yet it was also brilliant from a business perspective, and a successful venture economically. So I learned one of my favorite lessons, in essence: with the right combination of persistence and talent, it is possible to be compassionate and community-minded, and still be successful in the music business.  It might not be easy…but it is possible!

Another milestone for me was opening for Eric Burdon & The Animals in Europe. A friend of a friend ultimately hooked me up with that gig, and I was petrified to say “yes – I can open for a rock/blues legend in a foreign country for audiences that barely speak English, of up to 10,000 people!”  But I didn’t hesitate to accept when the opportunity arose, and it forced me to really get my act together as an artist, at the time. Musically it was very daunting to open for Eric, when I wasn’t sure if his audiences would like me at all; but once I stopped worrying about how I’d go over and committed 100% to the band and the songs themselves, the shows really gelled and the connections with each audience became stronger. I think I learned a great deal about what it feels like to play a show with beginning, middle and end, and not just a “set”. Just by doing it over and over every night for two months, I got a feel for how much to talk, how to transition between songs, how to project to the back of a large venue and ultimately, how to amplify my personality beyond the songs themselves. I guess I learned showman(woman)ship!

Do you support yourself entirely through music, or do you still have a “day job” like so many of us?

Yes, I do music full-time and have for a number of years. My last official day job was also music-related, I was a jingle writer at a music production company and worked crazy hours – sometimes all night – composing and recording 30 and 60 second spots for every conceivable product and service you could imagine. Since then, I’ve continued to do some freelance graphic design for peers and the occasional commercial music commission, but I’ve been touring full-time for about 6 years, and haven’t looked back.

Have you ever had your music licensed? If so, how did that come about?

Yes, I have had several songs featured in indie films as well as on television. I’ve banged my head against the wall over and over trying to get to the right supervisor or director, but in all honesty, anything significant I’ve ever placed has been through some type of personal connection, thus far. For instance, I knew a director of a Lifetime film who was already a fan of my work – so when she requested my material for a made-for-TV movie of course I was amenable and the negotiation was easy.

And as recently as last week, an engineer who worked at the mastering facility I used on my last album licensed a song from an older album of mine for a film he produced years ago that is finally about to be released.

This month my new album “Chandelier” was licensed by MTV, but we’re not 100% sure what songs they’re going to use where yet; supposedly it’ll be featured on “The Hills”, which I’ve never seen, but I understand is a very big show. I don’t even have cable – but plenty of my friends do so hopefully they can TIVO it if we determine my music will actually be used!

Continue reading “How to Build an Independent Music Career”

Give Your Music Away for Free?

Here’s an interesting post at the Music Think Tank about giving away all of your music for free. While on the surface this seems like an insult to artists everywhere, the point is that most artists (me included), stress out over selling a few dollars worth of CDs, and that the reward of actually making a few bucks here and there isn’t worth the mental energy.

Some bands will hit the magical ride to popularity, but for the rest of us, most music just won’t be bought. This is my experience. With my first EP, I ended up just giving them away because I had no use for boxes of them in the basement.

Here’s the lovely conclusion: “…you’re almost more likely to get a blowjob after a gig than sell an MP3.” Which is clearly evident from one of ZRock’s recent episodes. Give it a read and check out the massive discussion in the comments.

You just might find yourself liberated…