The event was aimed at giving up and coming artists information and feedback on how they can market themselves and their music. But I think our Canadian Dynamic Duo got their point across that there's definitely something to this wild and crazy blogosphere. Jordan details what happened when the boys took the microphone:
Question period came, and in tandem Ryan and I confronted the issue that Mack was most interested in. As I mentioned, it was geared toward musicians, so our questions were answered as if we were, which was a shame. Ryan's question was something to the effect of: "What kind of plan do you have for using blogs to spread the message?" What followed was an explanation about what a blog was, so I grilled them with the follow-up: "How have you as a label used blogging for promotion; have you focused any of your PR efforts on fan bloggers?" Sadly, I was instructed as to how I would go about doing such a thing, and not given the insider Nettwerk trade secrets. I didn't have the resolve to keep pushing and get into the specifics of 100 CDs for 100 bloggers; it just wasn't the right audience.As I told Jordan, I think their attendance likely helped Nettwerk much more than it helped them. It appears that Nettwerk wasn't expecting bloggers to be in attendance at all, and from the above exchange, it's obvious that the bloggers were not only there, but brought their A-game with them. My bet is that Ryan and Jordan gave Erin and the gang plenty to think about when the dust settled from last night.
Overall, It was great to see a label reaching out to unsigned artists and helping them advance their fledgling careers. It serves as hard evidence that they are striving to reach out to fans and the community to create a conversation rather than "pushing music on them."
As Jordan adds in a comment: "The overall tone in terms of blogging was that they knew they were on to something, it just wasn't the prime focus as yet."
I think last night might have gone a long way toward changing their thinking, great job guys! As I said on BMA, if they decide to have a similar seminar at their Sync office in Nashville, JD and I will take over the cause! And Nettwerk deserves a big pat on the back for reaching out to aspiring musicians and to offer help and advice. It's just another example of how the label is doing a much better job of joining the community than their competitors.
UPDATE: Ryan has now posted an extended recap here. Love this quote from Carter Marshall: "you have to become close friends with your fan base, and allow them to do the work for you. In essence, you want to create a fan for life."
That sounds dangerously close to saying that you have to 'join the community'. And it completely validates everything Jeremy is doing with The Favorites on MySpace.
But the 'allow them to do the work for you' part is where the bloggers come in. Like I told Jordan, I think labels are hesitant to move toward using bloggers to promote their music, because they don't have any examples of anyone really doing it to review. Once a label decides to bite the bullet and see what happens, it will be all downhill.
And seriously....it's a no-brainer. Pick 100 Sarah McLachlan fans that are also bloggers, and give them free CDs. You've just taken fans that WANT to promote Sarah, and have the TOOLS(their blogs) to promote Sarah, and brought them into your marketing plan. And the best part is, every blogger that blogs about getting a free Sarah CD will mean positive publicity for Sarah and Nettwerk aimed at EVERY person that reads EVERY one of those 100 blogs.
And that doesn't even consider the residual affect of links, the network of people that would ultimately be exposed to Sarah and Nettwerk from simply giving away 100 CDs could easily be ten of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands! Let's be honest, the FIRST label that does something as ballsy as giving away CDs to bloggers is going to get a TON of love from bloggers. Many bloggers will blog about this simply because it flies in the face of the 'money-grubbing' mentality that we all have of record labels.
Anyway I am ranting...it just frustrates me because this is SUCH a lead-pipe lock to be a great promotion. Hells bells if an unknown winery can use bloggers to double their sales, I think a label such as Nettwerk could probably be successful with this.