jill haverkamp

Des Moines Register Feature on Jill and On Pitch

A special thanks to The Des Moines Register and Todd Ezren for the article about On Pitch, picking DSM over LA, and my career path. I’d also like to thank all of our clients over the years and of course, Hillary Brown and Zoey Miller for making On Pitch a success. Another special thank you to Amedeo Rossi and Zachary Mannheimer for their very kind words in the article. I’m very fortunate to work with these gentleman that are reshaping Des Moines. Read the feature and watch the video.

DSM Magazine feature on 80/35, On Pitch, DMMC, and Poison Control Center

A special thanks to DSM Magazine, Chad Taylor (writer), and Dan McClanahan (photographer) for the “Music Makers” feature on 80/35, On Pitch, Greater Des Moines Music Coalition, and The Poison Control Center!

Music Makers

If you’ve lived in Des Moines during the past five years and have somehow managed to completely avoid the 80/35 music festival, I don’t even know what to do with you. 80/35 (July 6–7 at Western Gateway Park) has quickly built a national reputation, drawing acts from across the country, and has helped put the capital city on the musical map. Read more.

Read more about the awesome portraits Dan created for the article in this blog post.

Landing A Music Panel at South by Southwest

Last week I moderated a panel called Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country at the SXSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas. Jill and I submitted the idea for the panel last June, and after months of planning and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the big day, we were excited to finally come together with our rock star lineup of speakers to conduct the panel.

We’re happy to report that the panel was a huge success. Attendance was great, with about 70 people joining us for the discussion. According to the poll we took during the panel, our audience was about 50/50 musicians and music professionals.

We’d like to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the panel, including our panelists: Sean Moeller, Scott Booker, Shawn Crahan, and Amedeo Rossi, who provided invaluable advice and insight on the topic of how to launch a music career in any region.

From Sean Moeller’s desire to record and write about music on his own terms, which has ultimately led to a revolutionization of online music through Daytrotter, to Slipknot founding member Shawn Crahan’s innate need to unleash his creativity since he was a young child, there were a few consistent themes throughout the panel. All of our panelists exuded innovation, fearlessness and motivation – they have truly carved their own paths while creating their own unique and successful music careers right here in the Midwest.

All of the panelists also have a higher purpose and vision of creating a better tomorrow for the music industry. From Amedeo Rossi’s vision to foster a cultural landscape that encourages up-and-coming artists to stick around in Iowa through the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition, to Scott Booker’s innovative career path leading him to cultivate and educate future generations about every aspect of the music industry at ACM@UCO in Oklahoma City, the speakers have not only impacted the music scene and industry in their communities, but they’ve influenced movements that will ultimately impact the music industry as a whole.

Their stories and advice were inspiring, uncut and raw – the kind of stuff that SXSW is made of.

Listen to a podcast of  “Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country” here.

Check more photos from the panel on our Facebook Page and some recent press coverage below.

Silicon Prairie News PrairieCast
Radio Iowa
Iowa State Daily

On Pitch: One Year Later

Exactly one year ago we officially launched On Pitch at SXSW Music. It’s been quite a year for us. We’ve been busy working on a variety of projects including managing publicity campaigns, coordinating event sponsorships, collaborating on website launches, scheduling advertising buys, executing online marketing pushes, and the list goes on.

Over the past year, we have worked on projects for the following clients:

In June we submitted to host a panel at SXSW, which ended up getting accepted. Hillary moderated Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country yesterday alongside panelists: Shawn Crahan (Slipknot), Sean Moeller (Daytrotter), Amedeo Rossi (Des Moines Music Coalition), and Scott Booker (Hellfire Ent./The Flaming Lips manager). Listen to Radio Iowa’s feature on the panel here.

As you know, On Pitch has been a passion project for Hillary and I outside our full-time positions at Lava Row and Olde Main Brewing Co. This month I am excited to announce that I’ll be transitioning into a full-time role with On Pitch. Moving forward, we hope to continue to grow our music and entertainment client base locally, while  expanding to take on more projects and work with clients regionally. Thanks to all of you for your continued support. Be sure to follow our blog, Twitter, and Facebook for future updates.

Meet the speakers participating in our SXSW panel

Tomorrow we host Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country at the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas. We are honored to feature such an accomplished group of professionals with successful music careers in “flyover country.”

From a Grammy-award winning musician that maintains his home base in Des Moines, an entrepreneur that carved his own path opening a music venue and launching a major summer music festival, a record store clerk turned manager for major recording artists that cultivates his music community, and a blogger whose website not only revolutionized his city, but the entire indie music scene.

Please take a moment to get to know the Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country speakers.

Scott Booker

Scott Booker started as a clerk at Sound Warehouse in Midwest City, Oklahoma. After enrolling at the University of Central Oklahoma, Scott simultaneously managed Rainbow Records. After Scott met The Flaming Lips in 1990 he quickly became – and still is – their manager. In 2001 Scott formed Hellfire Enterprises with his wife Jennifer, helping get the word out about bands like Sigur Ros, Devendra Banhart and El-P. Currently CEO at the Academy of Contemporary Music at UCO, Scott’s focus is helping cultivate and educate future generations about every aspect of the music industry.

Find Scott on Twitter: @scottdbooker

Sean Moeller

Before revolutionizing online music, Iowa-native Sean Moeller was working full time as a sports and entertainment writer for the Quad-City Times and freelancing for various music magazines across the country. While out on a run one morning, Sean came up with the idea of having touring bands drop by a studio in Rock Island, Illinois, and play an impromptu set on borrowed instruments. Now considered one of the most popular indie music blogs on the internet, Daytrotter allows for free music discovery and is home to a host of creative music, writing, and artwork.

Find Sean on Twitter:

Shawn Crahan

Shawn “Clown” Crahan is one of the founding members of Des Moines-based metal icons Slipknot. His resume includes seven Grammy nominations and one win, 14 million albums sold world-wide, and tours spanning the globe. Shawn also performs with Dirty Little Rabbits and is currently preparing for the release of the debut album from his latest Group The Black Dots of Death. He continues to maintain his roots in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.

Follow Shawn on Twitter: @MShawnCrahan

Amedeo Rossi

Iowa native Amedeo Rossi’s goal is to foster a cultural landscape that encourages up-and-coming artists to stick around. After years of corporate human resources, Rossi shifted his focus to Des Moines’ budding arts and entertainment scene and collaborated to open indie music venue Vaudeville Mews in 2004. Rossi helped found the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition and has led the development of the annual 80/35 Music Festival.

Follow Amedeo on Twitter: @amedeo10

Panel Details
Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country
Thursday, March 17
Room 11AB

If you can’t attend, watch for updates on Twitter: @OnPitch.

Photo Credits: Scott Booker via ACM@UCO. Shawn Crahan via Brian Leli.

In case you missed it, our feature in the Business Record

Did you catch the article about On Pitch in the Business Record earlier this year? In case you missed it, you can read the feature here. A special thanks to Todd Razor for sharing our story!

Successful online music marketing case studies

Connecting with fans is imperative in today’s music industry. It’s that connection that can give them a reason to buy and support your music. Utilizing social media and having a strong online presence makes connecting with fans much more achievable. Below are some good case studies of bands that found success through an online campaign. I encourage musicians to review these examples and pay attention to the elements that made them successful. Then think about how to implement those strategies into your own marketing plans.

  • Arcade Fire – Interactive Music Video Using Google Street View
  • Watch the video

    Arcade Fire utilized HTML5 to create an interactive music video for “We Used to Wait.” Users are prompted to enter the address of their childhood home at the start of the video. While watching the video, scenes from your old neighborhood are pulled in using Google street view.  The elements of new technology, interactivity, nostalgia, experimentation, and personalization all aided in making this video a huge hit. Think about those factors for your next campaign.

  • Jason Parker – Name Your Price Using Bandcamp
    You may recall this example from our previous blog post: Pay What You Want Model: Does it Work? Jason Parker is a Seattle-based jazz musician that has found a lot of success utilizing Bandcamp, a site for bands to sell their music and merch. After deciding to allow fans to name their own price for his music, revenue increased from $15/month to $300/month. Pay attention to what Jason is doing on his social networks. He knows how to connect with fans and give them a reason to buy. He says the majority of his sales from Bandcamp are directed from Twitter, “I see a direct correlation between how much I converse on Twitter and how many downloads I sell. It’s a no-brainer.” Read more about Jason Parker and how he utilizes Bandcamp and social media in this Techdirt article.
  • Josh Freese – Crowdfunding and Miniature Golf
    The one size fits all product days are gone. Having something for the casual fan to the super fan is a great way to be able to sell more and put additional money in your pocket. One way to utilize this method is through Kickstarter, an online funding platform for artists, musicians, inventors, filmmakers, etc. Josh Freese decided utilized Top Spin (a similar site that becomes available for all artists next month) to help fund an upcoming album. The thing I like about what he did was the creative “product” offerings that fit his personality, including:
  • Lunch with him at Cheesecake Factory or PF Chang’s
  • A round of miniature golf
  • Josh washes your car or does your laundry
  • He joins your band for a month
  • A private drum lesson
  • Take three items out of his closet
  • Josh writes a song about you
    See the full list of packages and items Josh made available, which ranged from $7-$75,000. Check out Kickstarter to see how you can use it creatively to fund your next project. Just remember to do something that fits your band’s personality. If you make it the right fit and support it correctly, it can work.
  • Amanda Palmer – Turning the Power of Twitter into $11,000 in 2 Hours
    Amanda Palmer is widely known for her social media expertise. Advertising Age said, “Palmer is more sophisticated than almost anyone on the internet — musician, brand or otherwise — when it comes to gathering her audience around her and keeping the conversation going.”
    On a boring Friday night, Amanda managed to rake in $11,000 in just two hours. It all started with her tweeting about how she was alone, again, on a Friday night sitting in front of her computer. Others started chiming in and began claiming how “we are all losers.” Dialog continued and grew at a rapid pace. A faux organization was started called, “The Losers of Friday Night on their Computers.” Amanda created the hashtag #LOFNOTC and thousands joined the conversation.
    A follower suggested the group create a t-shirt. Amanda quickly decided to run with it. She took a sharpie and made a t-shirt design. A website was thrown up that night with the t-shirts available for $25 a piece. 2 hours later… $11,000.
    What can you learn for this example?
  • Interact with your followers and don’t just mass broadcast.
  • Be personable and share a variety of things with your fans.
  • Always be on your toes, ready to act quickly when opportunities arise.
  • Matthew Ebel – Subscription Site for the Super Fan

    The packages range from $5/month to $15/month, as well as annual options.  He offers a wide range of perks are including members-only parties, VIP seating at shows, access to new music as soon as he creates it, new live concert recordings every month, broken apart tracks ready for remixing, behind-the-scene sketches, drafts, and ideas, and many more. View the full list of packages and perks here.
  • The Poison Control Center – Tumblr Tour Blog
    A special shout out to Iowa’s own The Poison Control Center for their awesome tour blog. The band uses Tumblr, a simple and free blogging platform, to regularly update their fans from the road. After each show they share pictures, videos, and posts about their experiences, even down to thanking the sound guy, door person, bartender, and of course the fans. They do it right by updating frequently, providing a wide variety of content, and always remaining authentic.
  • Gossip Grows on Trees – Building Your Email List with a Fortune Cookie
    Email is one of the best ways to directly reach your fans, but sometimes it can be difficult to grow your subscription list.  Gossip Grows on Trees from North Carolina executed a creative way to gain more email addresses at live shows.
    They created a download web page that gave visitors a free music download in exchange for their email. At shows they walked around and handed out custom fortune cookies with the URL of the download page and a short message from the band. This gave the band an opportunity to spark conversation and develop relationships with fans. Plus, a lot more people visited the download page and provided their email address because they were approached in a memorable way.

All of these online music marketing case studies have a common theme of musicians connecting with fans. It isn’t enough to put your music out there and hope people will gravitate towards it. You have to be willing to push it out there and utilizing online mediums is a key element.

If you know of a successful online music marketing case study, please share it with us in the comments.

Essential content for your band's website

If you’re a musician or in a band that’s trying to get your music out to the world, your website is a valuable marketing tool. Your website helps your fans, bloggers, and journalists find out who you are, what you sound like, and where you’re playing. It’s important that your website contains content for all types of visitors, from fans – current and potential – to booking agents and media outlets. Below are ten essential elements that every band’s website should have.

  1. Relevant information.
  2. If you have an album out, include easily accessible info about when it came out or will come out, the track list, and the label. Post a tour calendar with upcoming shows so fans can see when and where you’re playing, how much it costs, and where they can buy tickets. Be sure to include links to the venue website, ticket sales, other bands who are playing, and your Facebook Event.

    Roxi Copland displays news about her new single and upcoming shows on her website.

  3. A current bio
  4. Your bio is your opportunity to tell your story, share your history, and talk about your influences and accomplishments. Press and bloggers often refer to band bios when writing features and reviews, so it’s important that your bio is current, interesting, informative, and versatile. Can your current bio be used on a venue website to promote an upcoming show? Does it convey the message that you want to your fans? If not, it’s time to refresh your bio.

  5. Reliable contact info
  6. If journalists or bloggers have questions, they expect to easily find reliable contact info on your website. If you have a PR/publicist contact, list who it is and how to contact them. If you don’t have a PR contact, list who to get in touch with and how.

  7. Hi-Res PR photos
  8. Journalists (bloggers, web editors, print editors) who want to cover a band usually accompany any given post with a photo, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out which photos are for the press. Be sure to have high-resolution photos available on your website for journalists and bloggers.

    Chicago-based artist Dick Prall has his promotional photos clearly identified in the EPK/Press section of his website.

  9. A way to showcase your music
  10. Your music is your art, and anyone visiting your site is going to want to hear it, so make sure you have a way for them to listen and sample it. You can share your music on your website with a music player, embedded tracks, or MP3 downloads.

  11. Merchandise
  12. If you have merch and music for sale, let your fans know where they can purchase it. If you have an online store (iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, Amazon) that’s separate from your website, be sure to link to those online stores. Also, if your music is for sale locally at coffee shops and/or local record stores, be sure to list those addresses too.

  13. Sharing features
  14. Think of your website as your home base and all of your other digital presences as extensions of that presence. Each social network potentially has a unique audience, demographic, and benefit for your fans (with some crossover). That’s why it’s important to integrate, or at least link off to all of your digital touch points from your website.

    You also want your fans to be able to share the content on your website with their friends. Social bookmarking plug-ins to allow your fans to easily share content from your site on their favorite social networks. With over 500 million users, a Facebook Like Button, Like Box or Activity Feed is a no-brainer. Want to keep your fans in the loop on what you’re working on? Be sure to add an RSS button or “subscribe via email” widget to your site, so that your fans can subscribe to your posts.

  15. Newsletter signup
  16. Even if you’re not regularly sending out a newsletter (yet), you should have way for your fans to sign up for one. Newsletters are a great way to directly reach your fans and create a more personal connection with them about new releases and upcoming shows. We recommend MailChimp, Constant Contact, or FanBridge.  In addition to having a newsletter sign-up on your website, you should be collecting e-mail addresses at every show.

  17. Videos
  18. The key to getting your music heard is always building more fans and attracting new people through creative marketing. Music videos are just another form of creative marketing for your band. They allow you add another layer to your artistic capabilities and capture the full attention of your audience by combining your audio with visuals. Music videos also make your band look more legitimate and professional, help you stand out, provide your fans a sneak peek at what they might experience at your live performance, and give any prospects a more personal look at you as a band.

    Parlours’ video for “I Dream of Chicago,” shot and directed by David Poyzer

  19. Google Analytics and Feedburner
  20. Want to know where your fans are coming from and find out what parts of your site are getting the most traffic? Google Analytics can provide this information. Using such analytics can help you measure your website performance, help you drive traffic to your site, and cater to your fans’ online behavior. FeedBurner’s services allow publishers who already have a feed (RSS) to improve their understanding of and relationship with their audience. Once you have a working feed, run it through FeedBurner and realize a whole new set of benefits.

Hey, I'm Andrew.

Well hey there.

The title says it all. To say I’m incredibly pumped to be interning with the On Pitch team is an understatement. I’m currently an electronic media major at Drake University, but music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether it be singing in my grade school Christmas concerts, playing saxophone for a year in middle school, or touring with my men’s acappella group in high school, I’ve been involved in music for almost two decades. At the moment, I’m a part of the Drake Choir, a select touring ensemble on campus. I’m also a specialist at the Apple Store in Jordan Creek.

I’m a Des Moines transplant by way of St. Louis. Working in restaurants and clubs during high school afforded me opportunities to work closely with both local and national artists. I love all types of music – I’ll listen to anything twice – and discovering new music is a favorite hobby of mine. I’m relatively new to the indie scene, and I hope to learn a lot about the inner workings of the music industry. I’m excited to help organize 80/35 and to work closely with local bands to get their music to the world by using social media tools and brainstorming creative ideas to get the word out.

I can’t say that I specialize in any particular area, but I love utilizing the power of social media and other emerging tools to communicate and inform. I’m really excited to learn about social media and music marketing from Jill and Hillary, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a blast.

Feel free to connect with me:
Twitter: @andrewpeters88
Facebook: andrewpeters88
Email: andrew_peters88@me.com

We Recognize Her! Hillary Featured on SXSW.com

Our very own Hillary Brown was featured on the SXSW website yesterday in the Music Panelist Spotlight. Read to find out what our “Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country” panel will cover, as well as Hillary’s advice for SXSW newbs, favorite SXSW memories, and top 5 albums.

The panel planning is coming along great! We have some rockstar panelists lined up (literally). We can’t wait to announce!