I attended UnConvention in Manchester (actually, it was just around the corner in Salford) as a speaker and an enthusiastic participant, back in early October. It was one of those events where the buzz lasts well beyond the programme. There should (and will) be more like it.

Here’s a taste:

How can I get a music video?

rock video

One of the best ways to promote your music is through the use of video. While not all of us have the massive budgets sometimes at play in the world of MTV, not of all of us are happy with the results of a handheld camera in the rehearsal room either.

And there’s something inherently viral about a great, clever, funny or surprising music video. How many times were you sent The JCB Song, Here It Goes Again, Pork and Beans, or I’m Lame?

So in order to get something up on YouTube or Vimeo – something that can then be embedded on the band’s webpage, Facebook or MySpace profile – something that looks really professional but doesn’t cost more than a house… where do you turn?


How can you sell mp3s at gigs?


I’ve had this question in a number of forms. The most common one is the artist who doesn’t really sell many CDs through retail, but every time they perform live, they go through 20, 50 or even 100 CDs over the merchandise table. The question is – if I make the leap to mp3, who’s going to buy that to take home as a souvenir?

A similar question is the one about music as a gift. The simple fact is that it’s quite difficult to gift wrap an mp3. CDs have long been a great present to buy. Simple, personal, and always well received. Buying someone downloaded music doesn’t have the same give-ability.

I’ve even heard this question as ‘I’m essentially a busker. But I make decent money selling my CD wherever I play. Should I change what I do?’. These are all essentially the same questions: when the physical characteristic of the recorded medium is the main point of the purchase (ie: tangible souvenir, presentable item), how can digital files replace physical products?


Like magic cornflakes

I did a Strategies For Success seminar in Plymouth today for the Musicians Union, and I did it along the the theme of the ‘Questions I Keep Getting Asked About Music Online’. I managed to get some of it recorded, which has allowed me to experiment with the fact that Flickr now has video.

Since Flickr only (inexplicably) does up to 90 seconds, here’s a very brief snippet from today’s seminar.

How much should an mp3 cost?

There are some other bits of video that are longer, and if you’re interested, I can post them as well. I really like the look of the Flickr video, and I’ve been reasonably happy with Viddler – but can anyone recommend The Best Video Sharing Site in terms of clean presentation, interface, picture quality and usability? Flickr’s the best I’ve seen so far – but the 90 second limit is unhelpful.