All posts by mike

Recommendations Work Better Than Facebook Alone

A new study posted today by our friends and Goldman Sachs concludes that recommendations are a stronger driver of sales than social media alone. 27% for recommendations vs 5% for social media alone. Search engines, and recommendation engines have a much greater influence.

Please see the chart below:

This study shows something we see all the time at Headliner: recommendations are more powerful than posting info directly to your Facebook or Twitter pages. Having other bands recommending your music to their fans is best way to get the word out about your music.

Why Headliner?

“Why” did we create

Headliner helps make marketing and promotion on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace better for all artists.

Facebook’s why is “helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”

And Twitter’s why isthe best way to discover what’s new in your world.”

Headliner takes the best of what Facebook and Twitter have to offer and puts it in the hands of all artists through collaborative marketing — artists helping artists

Technology has made creating, selling and sharing music simple and easy. Thanks to tools like Protools, Tunecore, CDBaby, Bandcamp, TopSpin, Soundcloud artists can do more now than they could at any other time in recorded music history. With that said, we saw that no one was addressing a very important need of all artists how to reach new fans?

Once you posted an awesome new track or get a show booked, how do you promote it? What tools can artists use to promote themselves?

Most social promotion tools are based on artists using their current fans to spread the word about their music. Those tools are awesome, we love them, but they can’t help you promote your music to a lot of new fans unless you have a lot of fans already. We thought how do you help artists break this chicken and egg problem and came up with a simple idea: The best way for artists to reach new fans is through each other’s fans.

The idea of an artist recommending one another is very powerful and it’s something artists have been doing all along. From the days of Motown, when Diana Ross introduced the Jackson 5 to current where artists like Diddy, Dre and Jay-Z have built their labels and empires around this style of promotion. Before, artists promoting other artists only worked for the well connected. There are over 15 million artists on Facebook,Twitter, MySpace and YouTube who have over 400 million fans. Imagine a world where artists of all sizes can connect and in under a minute, reach a large group new fans! This idea makes us happy. =]

We built Headliner to help artists of all sizes connect with new artists and reach new fans.  Find out more here check out our Artist Guide.

Followers and Fans vs Influence

I wanted to repost this chart from today’s New York Time as I feel it is relevant to how artists think about building their fan base on Facebook and Twitter.

Below please find the reposted chart of the top 10 most followed and top 10 most infulential people on Twitter.

10 Most Followed People

1. Lady Gaga

Followers: 7,941,444
Influence: 41

2. Justin Bieber

Followers: 7,032,265
Influence: 67

3. Britney Spears

Followers: 6,652,470
Influence: 59

4. Barack Obama

Followers: 6,531,868
Influence: 83

5. Ashton Kutcher

Followers: 6,261,483
Influence: 68

6. Kim Kardashian

Followers: 6,032,559
Influence: 81

7. Ellen DeGeneres

Followers: 5,745,455
Influence: 67

8. Katy Perry

Followers: 5,283,350
Influence: 50

9. Taylor Swift

Followers: 5,020,965
Influence: 38

10. Oprah Winfrey

Followers: 5,013,218
Influence: 40

1o Most Influential  People

1. Rafinha Bastos

Followers: 1,690,817
Influence: 90

2. Chad Ochocinco

Followers: 1,651,070
Influence: 89

3. Conan O’Brien

Followers: 2,367,928
Influence: 88

4. Stephen Fry

Followers: 2,188,395
Influence: 87

5. Ryan Seacrest

Followers: 3,880,840
Influence: 86

6. Snoop Dogg

Followers: 2,536,996
Influence: 85

7. Barack Obama

Followers: 6,531,868
Influence: 83

8. Rainn Wilson

Followers: 2,168,826
Influence: 83

9. Kim Kardashian

Followers: 6,032,559
Influence: 81

10. Huck Luciano

Followers: 2,663,202
Influence: 77

As you can see from the chart there is a big difference between followers and influence and as an artist influence is what you want. Influence means your fans care, they are engaged, listening to what you say and willing to spread the word about your music ,buy a track and or a ticket to your next show. This idea supports an older post I wrote regarding the number of fans or followers you have is not necessarily correlated to your influence.

So how do you gain influence? One of the ways the article suggested is by having other people, artists and fans talking about you. Headliner is all about this. Headliner is about artists supporting other artists via talking about them to their fans. Artists can help other artists gain influence on Twitter and Facebook by using Headliner.

You can check out the full NYT post here:


New Music Seminar 2011 LA February 14th 16th awareness builder.

Last week in LA Headliner participated in the New Music Seminar a list of the other speakers and participates can be found here: I wanted to post up a recap for bands and artists who did not make it out.

Overall NMS was very well orchestrated and has its heart in the right place. The main themes of this years NMS were about the current state of the music industry as well as where it is  heading, our as they call it (the evolution: revolution of the music industry) all from a bands or artists perspective.

Some of the keynotes I felt where standouts were from Nimbit who presented newly updated features to their platform, Bandzoogle’s who also presented newly updated features and TopSpin’s new open to all platform. All of these companies are best of breed and what they do so it was a great to hear each CEO and founder speak about their business.

Each presenter spoke about the importance of social media and fan engagement. What was interesting to me is that all of them presented some form of the same type conversion funnel. I have added a picture below from Ian Rogers presentation of Topspin because I think it is a great example of how bands and mangers should think about building their fan base using social media.

Topspin’s Conversion Funnel

Ian made several other great points regarding how bands should think about their fans.You can check out the full monty here:

Headliner presented as well. I will post up my presentation shortly.

I agree with all of these companies about the process of converting new fans to engaged fans and then to paying fans as well as what the funnel looks like.

I also realized as I sat there and listened that Headliner can help all of these services and many more by increasing the amount of awareness at the top portion of the funnel .You can see from the above conversion funnel an increase in awareness will mean an increase in connections and finally an increase in conversions.

Below see a pic of how Headliner can be used to drive conversions on various different direct-to-fan platforms

In the next few months we look forward to working with many of these companies more closely to help artists get the most out of these platforms as well as make building their fan base awesome.

Sorely missing from the NMS were:

1)   Soundcloud (who we love)!!!!

2)   Indaba ( who we also love)

3)   Fanbridge ( who are awesome)

4)   Pledge Music  (not available in the US)

Hope to see you guys at the next NMS.

One Big Hairy Music Prediction for 2011

Like or not it’s that time of the year when you look back, check in and see where you have been and where you are heading. With this annual check in comes an almost endless list of Top 10 pontifications for the year ahead; many good, many funny and many just plain wrong.

For this reason, and to decrease my odds of predicting the year ahead, I’m offering One Big Hairy Prediction For 2011. I would even go as far to say it’s less of a prediction and more of an observation of the prior year.

My Big Hairy Prediction for 2011 is that bands and artists will discover and unlock the value of collaborative social marketing and promotion.The basis of my BHP is that bands and artists have historically been the early adaptors of new technology and behaviors that directly benefit them. Bands are also innately collaborative. Think about touring: nobody plays a show by themselves. Bands were using the social web via MySpace before Facebook existed and viral marketing, which brands are just starting to see the value of, has been used by bands and artists for over 30 years ( street teams then digital street teams ..etc) as a highly effective way to generate buzz.

To clarify my BHP I think I would like to provide a definition of Collaborative Promotion:

Collaborative Promotion is the process of reaching new fans by cross promoting with other artists to reach their fans.

You are now saying to yourself why the hell did I read this dude’s BHP? Cross-promotion has been going on in the music business since Diana Ross introduced Michael Jackson or Eminem introduced 50 Cent.

You are right for thinking this BTW, but that’s not the part which is new or what my BHP is. You can cross-promote on Facbook, Twitter, MySpace, mobile devices, in real life, and via touring currently but it is hard to do.

Think about this. I’m a band and I think the best way get new people to check out my music is to get bands who sound like me to recommend my music to their fans.

How could I do this in 2009? a) search my local venues, b) check out Myspace music for similar bands  c) pester my manager or label..etc.

Now, once you find a band that is a good fit, you have to work out the collaboration. Who will do what, for who and for how much. In the past cross promotion has been very effective, but laborious and a inconsistently used tool.

Everyone knows cross promotion is a great way to reach new fans, but why does it only happen when there is a ton at stake, or when the bands involved are already strongly tied together?

Now move forward to 2010 being that I’m the CEO and co-founder of I don’t think I need to mention what company is making collaborative promotion easier and more effective.

What did not exist until 2010 was a platform which allows bands of any size to execute scalable, repeatable, collaborative promotions.

My BHP  for 2011 is that Collaborative Promotion will change the game for bands and artists like digital distribution, social media, online ticketing and online merch have done already. It will be the final disintermediation of the of the old music model: production, sales, and now the final leg promotion and marketing will be in reach and accessible for all bands.

The best part of my BHP is that all bands of every size will benefit from collaborative promotion directly. This is awesome if you ask me.

2010 was an amazing year for Headliner. I would like to thank all of the bands and artists for checking us out as well as my friends, family and co-workers. I look forward to 2011 with great enthusiasm and with a mission to make the online music scene better for all bands and artists.

I would like to hear your  thoughts about my BHP as well as how Headliner is working out for you in your are a band or artist.