You Can Pay Important People To Listen To Your Music

Phish At The Forum: A Teachable Moment For Every Band

How To See Your Listener Data On Pandora

No Deal Is What It Is

This Company Will Print, Label And Ship Tour Posters

How To Get More Mailing List Subscribers

8 Things You're Forgetting To Do On Show Day

How To Easily Rent Gear On The Road

Drop Your Ego And Book A House Concert Tour

Why I Will Never Return To Best Buy

Tour Booking Will Never Be The Same After This

How To Write a Press Release (And Get Press)

10 Social Media Mistakes Bands Make

9 Reasons Your Band Isn't Getting Press

Get Ari's Take On Your Album At The Next Meetup

Top Music YouTubers Reveal Their Secrets At VidCon

How To Get Your Band Info Synched Everywhere At Once

7 Ways To Crack The Musical Gatekeepers

6 Types Of Emails You Should Never Send

How To Make Money From Your Music On An Ongoing Basis

How To Get Songs Placed On TV And In Movies

How To Hire Freelance Musicians

Why Music Managers Just Don't Cut It (The NEW Team)

How To Be A Classy Self-Promoter

When Paying For Music Works

Why Are People (Not) Coming To Your Shows?

What Musicians Can Learn From The Olympics

Network Like A Music Pro At The First Ari's Take Meetup

What I Learned From My $12 Cup Of Coffee

How To Submit To Pandora (Without a CD)

Why I Hate Downloading Music

Don’t Be Late. Ever.

How To Copyright All of Your Songs For $35

How To Act Completely Unprofessionally

CD Baby, Tunecore, Ditto, Mondotunes or ReverbNation

8 Ways To Get The Best Deal For The Gig

How To Make A Killer Promo Video

Carry Your Instrument On The Plane - It's The LAW

10 Steps To Sell Out Your Show

Your Gear Will Get Stolen

Why Retweeting Compliments Is Not Bragging

Yes, You Need T-Shirts

How To Record Your Album

How To Network Like A (Music) Pro

My Response To An LA Pay-To-Play Promoter

Should You Pay To Play

9 Reasons Why You Have No Twitter Followers

You Don't Find A Manager, A Manager Finds You

CD Baby Pro vs. TuneCore Publishing (The Full Report)

Don't Try Out For A Singing Show...

This Is How I Got A Licensing Deal

The One Thing Musicians Should Never Admit

How To Kill a 30 Year Career in 5 Minutes

The Art of Asking

Skip The Party Tonight, Become a Rockstar Tomorrow

How To Pimp Out Your CD Release Show

You Should Try Out for American Idol (The Relatives)

Free Bird! (Covers vs. Originals)

What's a Publicist and Should I Get One?

Copyright Your Song or GLEE Will Steal It

How To Setup A Headlining Show

What Every Musician Needs To Know About The Sound Guy

Interview with founder of Indie On The Move

Your Music Doesn't Matter

Booking Your Own Tour: A How-To Guide

Fuck Facebook... In the Face

Technical Difficulties ARE Your Fault

50 Is The Magic Number (Book a Headlining Tour)

Always Do This When Giving Your CD To Someone Important

How I Made $13,544 In A Month (on Kickstarter)

Smash Your Shitty Guitar

Are You In The Right City For Your Music

The Hardest Part About Being Your Own Manager

Buy My Music Dammit (Spotify vs iTunes)

How To Be A Great Opening Act

Rockstars Are People Too

What Do You Mean We Don't Get Paid? (The Confirmation Email)

How To Be A Better Performer

It Doesn't Take a Web Genius

How I Got To Play The World's Largest Music Festival

Does This Mustache Make My Ass Look Fat?

Our Tour Page Is Totally Full (of empty shows)

Don't Be Afraid Of The Phone

I Think You're An Asshole, So I'm Going To Tell You, Asshole

Don't Be A Dick

How I Got 250 To My Debut CD Release (Getting Started)

Can I Open For You? Maybe. But Probably Not

How I Reduced The Ari Herstand Hate Club By One

Double Your (Merch) Income... No Really

Beauty School Drop Out (The Backup Plan)

Shows Sell, Events Sell Out

I'm A Tool and I Have Accepted That

Allocating the Duties

Friend Fatigue

Gatekeepers
Ari's Take

You Can Pay Important People To Listen To Your Music

5

It's always been one of the biggest difficulties for an independent musician: how to get their music heard by 'important people.' Influencers. Industry people. Celebrities. Bloggers. Radio DJs. Music supervisors. Promoters. Booking agents. Managers. Labels.

The issue has always been, these important people, let's call them Influencers, get inundated with unsolicited music on a daily (hourly) basis. There's no way these Influencers could possibly get to all of the music and the few they pull out of the pile to sample, usually suck. It only reinforces their policy of rejecting all unsolicited music.

But what if there was a financial incentive for these Influencers to listen to the music that came through the door?

Enter Fluence.

Fluence is a new service, co-founded by one of the co-founders of Topspin, Shamal Ranasinghe, and William White, CTO of Fluence and former employee of Yahoo! Music and AOL.

Fluence connects artists (they call them "promoters") with "curators." Why they chose "curators" and not "influencers" eludes me. Probably to encourage curation of the submitted songs. Or maybe they are energy curators. Or maybe because curator is a fancier word. But moving on.

Promoters can send a song or music video to a Curator as an "audition." Promoters pay Curators a price per minute (which the Curator sets).

Promoters can browse Curators to find the Curator that makes the most sense for their style of music. A metal band should not submit to a Radio DJ with an acoustic program. Similarly, a singer/songwriter should not submit to a blogger who exclusively reviews EDM.

+10 Social Media Mistakes Bands Make

Every Curator's profile explicitly lists what she is interested in and her places of expertise.

Curator's are encouraged to leave feedback on the submitted song or video. Feedback can be anything from a single sentence, immediate reaction statement, to (my approach) a full-fledged song review with specific areas to improve. Promoters then rate the feedback on usefulness. I take my critiques very seriously and don't hold back. Luckily the two bands I've reviewed have rated me positively (even though my feedback wasn't completely glowing - but I guess it was helpful!)

"While I was at Topspin, it was really hard to see these incredible artists who should be playing and selling to audiences 10 times what they had," Shamal Ranasinghe, Co-founder, Fluence

I'm a new Curator on Fluence and have listened to and reviewed a couple songs to try the platform out. I spent much more time on my critiques (feedback) than I was paid for, but it's important to me to give artist's the kind of feedback I'd want to get if I submitted my music to someone.

Fluence charges Promoters the Curator's rate plus Fluence's 20% cut. So if a Curator's rate is $1 a minute, the Promoter would be charged $1.20 a minute and the Curator would be paid their full rate. Part of Fluence’s technology tracks how long the Curator listened to (or watched) the song (or video) and pays out accordingly.


Some artists located thousands of miles away from LA, NYC, Nashville or London are currently using Fluence to get industry professionals to give them guidance and honest feedback on new songs, demos or official tracks. Startups have used Fluence to get the word out about their product videos. Others are using Fluence to get 'important people' out to shows.

Jay Frank, band manager and Future Hit DNA blogger, used Fluence to submit music to influencers in cities on his bands' tours. Frank mentioned that his showcases were packed and they received positive blog coverage and that "several music supervisors have expressed interest in placing the music as well. "

Fluence is a valuable new platform that gives musicians a direct line to some of the most influential movers and shakers of the industry.

Are you killing it in your home town, but unable to gain traction amongst the greater industry? This is a way to reach the industry. This is something I would have loved when I was in Minneapolis selling out 800 cap clubs, but had zero ties to any industry people.

Other companies, like Taxi, MusicXray and Sonicbids, have a similar model in that they charge artists to submit music for opportunities or for review. The biggest difference is that on Fluence you know exactly who you are submitting to and who the person is that is reviewing your music. On Taxi, for instance, the critique you get is from a faceless Taxi employee who may or may not be into your kind of music. Fluence doesn't promise or promote any concrete opportunities. They encourage relationship building.

There are some pretty impressive Curators currently on Fluence including bloggers, radio DJs, music supervisors and musicians.



Ranasinghe highlighted a relationship made via Fluence between the producer/engineer/DJ Brian Hazard and a 15 year old, Nick O'Brien, living thousands of miles away. Hazard liked O'Brien's work so much that he actually asked him to remix one of Hazard's tracks for his upcoming record.

Fluence is still very new (officially launched in Beta on October 28th), but over 700 Curators are already on the platform.

Curators must be approved or invited by a fellow Curator. They can request an invite here.

Curators can submit their material to other Curators as well – fostering a respectful community of fellow artists and influencers. I'll probably try this with my new album.

Any artist/promoter can sign up here.

Like these tips? Become a patron of Ari's Take.

Need more help? Signup for a consulting session with me.

I'm playing a show at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood on Saturday, Nov 22nd. Get tickets.

Listen to my new album, Brave Enough, on Spotify or download on BandCamp

 

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