I love Ariel Hyatt and Cyber PR: Goddess of music PR 2.0

by Matt @ Kurb on June 8, 2008

I’ve been meaning to write about Ariel Hyatt and Cyber PR for a bit, she had some great notes from a seminar with top manager label guy Terry McBride of Canadian management firm Nettwerk.

Ariel’s specialty is web 2.0 artist promotion, and I just had to do this post after checking out her audio interview with Bob Baker online, because this is exactly the kind of stuff I’m doing with artists and I was REALLY excited to hear someone talking more deeply about the kind of approach to online promotion I’m into.


Well it’s not really exactly the same thing, it’s the more the same approach, you see Ariel is a publicist, that means her main bag is as far as I’m aware is getting your music exposure through media channels, except her service is completely online. Here’s what it says on Ariel’s site.


Our Affordable Music Publicity & Internet Music Promotion Campaigns place you on Internet Radio Stations, Social Networking Sites, Podcasts, Online Magazines, Blogs, Vlogs, Audioblogs, Zines, Music Directories, Video Sites & Lifestyle Sites. We also handle tour publicity for artists on the road.


Publicity, I don’t really do much of at all, my strategies tend to be directly related to building fans and revenue. Logistically it’s a bit of a task to manage all those contacts. But I’m getting there! Usually I encourage artists to research their niche and find those where there’s a fit with your sound or what you’re doing, that’s where you’ll find your target audience. I also mention looking into http://radiodirectx.com and http://musicsubmit.com but more recently I’ve been looking at this other company to outsource all that work to – but they don’t look authentic at all!!!


When these people say they’ll submit mp3’s to 600 music blogs, e zines and internet radio stations for $20, eyebrows get raised here at kurb.


So I first heard about Ariel with the launch http://musicthinktank.com site when I read her short bio and was struck by this statement:


“Ariel started Ariel Publicity, a traditional music PR firm in 1996.  After 10 years of supporting mostly indie artists (1100 of them) she took the company 100% digital and renamed it Cyber PR, slashed her rates to 1/10 of what she used to charge and quadrupled her client base – and has been having a blast ever since!”


And to me that showed innovative, forward thinking, putting digital concepts into new music business practice and creating value in new ways.

See, in the old days if you were uh “lucky” enough to be signed you’d have access to publicists who spend up grands of your cash to get your song on the radio or a review in some magazine. Now you got people like Ariel and myself, who have a good understanding of how the internet can connect artists directly with people who are interested in their music.


So basically if you’re thinking of spending money on using the internet as a promotional tool – and if you don’t have a top 40 sound then online promotion is assuredly your best investment – check out Ariel’s interview with Bob baker.


This is talking all about web 2.0 and using it to promote your music. I really loved this audio because here’s Ariel, this publicist from New York, who was talking about everything I’ve been thinking, and shared my outlook in a way that really resonated because it’s not just about having the tools (myspace, blog, twitter etc.) it’s about using them. This stuff works if you do it right, it doesn’t just happen overnight though. You can spend a lot of money on a real fancy lawnmower. But you still have to mow your lawn and weed your web 2.0 garden!!! 





And here’s some excerpts from Ariel’s report on Terry McBride from Music think tank.


I had a distinct honor and privilege to be in the audience where I saw the unflappable music business icon Terry McBride of Nettwerk Music Group (Avril Lavigne, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies), be interviewed as the keynote for the Le Recontres conference in Montreal last Thursday.

On why Nettwerk was structured the way it is:
“Artists are inherently lazy, so we had to do everything for them.”  

On the 360 deal & The Barenaked Ladies:

“At first with Sarah we had a 360 deal, but as she grew, we gave her publishing back, and she owns half of her merchandise company. There is no business without the artist.”  

Barenaked Ladies started their own label called Desperation. They own the masters and publishing, and so far they’re on $10M in sales using only Nettwerk as their label and management firm – Nettwerk’s team manages all of the aspects of their career and leverages them through their own management company and connections.  

Bands are brands and emotions

With the advent of the CD and computer, we went from pushing to pulling, and it created a change of behavior with having the “repeat” button on all CD players and listening to the same track over and over, which was something that was not possible with cassette tapes or LPs  

Music is free
Terry has always believed that music is free. Back in the 1930’s, music companies were terrified about radio and it took an act of Congress to get music played on the radio. His question is: How do you monetize free now that the fan owns the song, and the fan is part of a tribe?

Wherever there is fear, there is always opportunity
You will never change the behavior of tens of millions of teenagers, but you can monetize that behavior. If you shut down one avenue of dispersing free music another opens. Terry asks: “How many tens of millions of songs are being sent via IM?” and points out that we are so focused on suing the kids that we forget that they’ll just go around us, and I’m not about that type of negativity. Litigation is an awful thing to do. 

The consumer does not understand copyright. They never have and they never will. So, educating the consumer on “why it’s wrong” will get us nowhere.

Bury the suing paradigm and figure out how to monetize.

The new paradigm = more profits
A CD in the old paradigm of traditional printing and distribution used to cost something like this: $3 for the disc, $2 to get it on the shelf, $1 for marketing, $1 for the publishing royalty, and maybe $2 went to the artist, then you get 20% to 40% of those CDs returned on top of all of this.

In digital, there is no manufacturing, no distribution, and no return. The profit on digital is so much higher. When you go digital, you will be more powerful and more profitable.

Digital profits are currently up 300%.

Controlling intellectual property worked for between 30 and 40 years, and it does not work anymore.

If a share of the profit from cable companies could go directly to artists
music industry profits would double overnight

Terry is always looking at who is making money from this and are they sharing it?  Cable companies, tool manufacturers like Apple and iPods, blank CD manufacturers.

Terry also thinks there should be a compulsory license, and if there was, the music business revenue would double overnight.

So where is the music business in 10 years?
Terry thinks music will be available everywhere. You won’t pay for it
10 years from now, music will be in the clouds. You will be able to audit one company to get all of the numbers. It’s not going to be Bell, it may be Google. Consumption of media knows no borders.

I believe the price of music has to come down. The millennium generation looks at value, and the value of music is not 99 cents a track.

Music is the connective glue between the fans and the artist.

We must ask: What causes that artist is related to? What causes is that artist supporting? What does that artist stand for? Who is this artist? Using those pieces of information, we can put ads on websites and links on websites to monetize the fans’ behaviors. Everything you do around or about needs to be directed back to a lifestyle and back to that artist.

Last Advice?
If I were a long-term investor, I’d buy servers and the buildings that all the servers are going in.  The millennium generation does not care about ownership. They go where the data is.

And, if you have been living under a big rock and did not see the article on Terry Mcbride in Wired:


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