Table of Contents Executive Summary Introduction Artist Mission Statement Artist Vision Statement Music Industry Overview Band Biography Band History Key Players Audience Graphics and Branding Recording Project EPK Merchandise Pre-Release Promotions CD Release Party Booking and Touring Plans Media Strategy Fan Base Development
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Website / Technology Distribution / Retail Strategy Special Events Partnerships with Other Artists Video Production Songwriting Sponsors S.W.O.T. Analysis Goals Conclusion Appendix A: Interview Questions Appendix B: Business Cards Appendix C: Logo and Album Cover Appendix D: EPK Appendix E: Merch Designs / Pricing Appendix F: Booking Log Appendix G: Talent Buyer Letter Appendix H: Booking Proof
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Executive Summary Tyler Rice is a Chicago, IL and Kalamazoo, MI based electronic artist. He has created works previously under a pseudonym but has made the decision to begin a completely new project using his own name. This decision to begin anew allowed for a great deal of development and planning. The overall goal of Lauren as Tyler Rice’s manager is to grow Tyler’s fan base both locally in Chicago and throughout the Internet, developing wider spread fan base that will ideally facilitate touring in the future. The initial three-month plan to achieve the overall goal focuses on the smaller steps that Lauren and Tyler felt were the best ways to grow Tyler as an artist. These steps included recording an EP set for a Summer 2014 release, building branding that includes a personalized logo and EPK, and developing a social media presence that will be used in the upcoming months to promote the new EP. • • • •
• • • •
The EP was successfully recorded, though a producer has not been found to master the tracks. Promotional photos were taken. The album artwork was designed. The logo was developed in multiple forms, settling finally per Tyler’s request, with a simplistic signature that will be used on all future branding. The social media presence was developed resulting in 54 Facebook Fans and 8 Twitter followers. Merch was designed for production closer to the time of album release. A brief promotional video was produced the features a minute long clip of the title track from the EP. A house show was booked to help Tyler grow his fan base as the EP release approaches.
Introduction Tyler Rice has worked in both Kalamazoo, Michigan & Chicago, Illinois creating electronic music. His process involves writing lyrics based primarily in the folk tradition and then transitioning them into electronic pieces. All of the work that goes into the creation of Tyler’s music is done entirely by Tyler himself. Currently he is putting the final touches on an EP entitled “Anxiety” set for a Summer 2014 release. In the mean time he can be found around the Chicago-area playing house shows to a constantly expanding fan base. Lauren met Tyler through several mutual friends and chose to work with him because of his obvious passion for his music. She saw the potential to expand Tyler’s career to a wider audience and manage the business side of his career allowing Tyler to focus on the creative. Lauren hopes to build Tyler’s fan base through the promotion of his new EP. (See Appendix A: Interview Questions)
Artist Mission Statement To create a unique sound that is able to convey meaning to a wide audience.
Artist Vision Statement To create a brand that has a wide reach and a lasting affect on the music community.
Music Industry Overview Two very important genres within the current 20-something generation are electronic and folk. Tyler Rice creates a unique blending of these two genres that makes his sound stand out from typical electronic artists. Electronic music began with the dawn of recording technology in the late 19th century. Through out the years however this genre has changed and developed along with the new technology. Today creation of electronic music is possible straight from the musicianâ€™s laptop. Because the creation of electronic music is so accessible the popularity of this music has skyrocketed in the 21st century. Folk music has been in existence for centuries. Gaining a massive popularity in the mid 20th century during what is referred to as the â€œfolk revivalâ€?, this music severed as a great influence to many musicians who came after. The modern folk movement regained popularity with artists like Bright Eyes, who inspired a new wave of indie folk artists. Tyler has successfully taken his influence from both these genres and created something that holds something for fans of electronic and folk.
Band Biography Tyler Rice is an electronic artist originally based in Kalamazoo, Michigan; but currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. Tyler writes folk songs that he then transitions to electronic pieces. This combination not only makes Tyler stand out from the modern electronic musicians but also makes his music more accessible to a wider variety of fans. On any given weekend Tyler can be found around the city performing at parties to an ever-growing fan base. When he is not playing, he is working on his EP, Anxiety, that is set to be released Summer of 2014.
Band History Tylerâ€™s love of music began at the age of eight when he started playing guitar. He then ventured into electronic music at fifteen and has been combining his love of his two styles of music ever since. Tyler has worked in the electronic genre previously under the pseudonym Babalapse. However in 2012 he decided to begin writing and eventually recording music under his own name. To date Tyler has only performed at house parties, but with the release of the upcoming EP the future holds room for a much wider reach.
Key Players Lauren Barlow - Manager Lauren Barlow was born and raised in a small town near Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2011 she relocated to Chicago, Illinois to pursue a degree in Arts, Entertainment, & Media Management at Columbia College Chicago. Over the course of her seven years working in the Arts & Entertainment Industry, Lauren has been involved in both theatrical house management at local Cincinnati theaters and the personal management of musicians. Lauren is well versed in the day of show operations of live performance venues, particularly box office operations. Through her time personally managing singer-songwriter Shaun McGyver, she gained first hand experience developing an album from the writing process and producer selection to album artwork and merchandise marketing. Last year she also spent time aiding in the incubation of ArtistEcard, an online EPK and Ecommerce portal for musicians, adding to the marketing background that she had from time spent in Columbiaâ€™s Marketing program. Lauren is currently managing electronic musician, Tyler Rice. For management inquiries, contact Lauren Barlow at firstname.lastname@example.org (See Apendix B: Business Cards)
Audience Based on visual analysis at Tyler Rice’s house party performances, he has proven to have a college-aged fan base. Consisting of majority male fans but the divide between gender is not vast. His fan base is primarily located in Chicago, Illinois and the majority attends or has attended Columbia College Chicago. He also has a fan base in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he first began creating music. These fans tend to be college aged with what appears to be some expendable income. Considering this target demographic, Tyler and his management have decided to focus out-of-home advertising mostly in the South Loop of Chicago, with smaller focuses in the areas of Lakeview, Wicker Park, and Logan Square, as well as downtown Kalamazoo.
Graphics and Branding There were several concepts for logo discussed. Nick Emig, graphic designer and friend of both Lauren and Tyler, was hired to create the logo and branding that will be used for the promotion of the new EP. Initially one logo was designed but the decision was made to go with something more simplistic. Tyler chose the final design of the logo, a very simple, stylized, handwritten combination of his initials. The decision regarding the album cover was to continue with Tyler’s handwritten style in the execution of his name displayed on the album. Tyler gave Nick the concept of a photograph of woods in his hometown of Kalamazoo. Lauren and Nick travelled to Kalamazoo to capture the image. Tyler had also stated that he wanted the cover to be “dark”. Taking these orders, Nick edited the photo to appear almost hand drawn to stay consistent with Tyler’s branding. The album cover was finished with black bars at the top and bottom to make room for Tyler’s name and the album title. Upon finishing the design the Facebook and Twitter were launched, using the edited photo of the woods as cover photos, and promo shot of Tyler’s choice as profile pictures. (See Apendix C: Logo and Album Cover)
Recording Project Tyler began the writing and mixing of songs to be performed under his own name in 2012. The decision to release these songs was not made until early 2014. Carefully going through previously written songs and editing lyrics into new pieces, Tyler has decided on the tentative track listing and now is in the process of finding a mastering artist that he feels comfortable with and that is within his budget. All recordings were done by Tyler himself. The EP is named and the cover is completed, and as soon as the tracks are mastered it will be ready for release in Summer 2014.
EPK Tyler Rice did not have any form of EPK. Lauren created an ArtistEcard page to serve as a website that doubles as EPK. Though Lauren also wanted a simpler page where everything was in one particular spot. The decision was made to use ReverbNation as the platform for Tylerâ€™s EPK. The EPK still has some gaps to fill but overall is looking good. As of now it includes a biography, photos, the release of the album cover, and a sample of the title track. (See Appendix D: EPK)
Several merchandise ideas were discussed between Tyler and his management. Ultimately however it was decided that the purchasing of merchandise at this time is not feasible. The merchandise designs were created but will not be printed until a mutually determined date, hopefully within the next three months. Several different companies have been researched to find the best deal so that when the decision to print is made there will be no additional work needed. These companies include ooShirts, LuckyPrints, and OneHourTees. The general price for production is around six dollars a shirt. The shirts would be offered in a personalize ecommerce store featured on Tylerâ€™s ArtistEcard. (See Appendix E: Merch Designs and Pricing) 9
Pre-Release Promotions “Anxiety” is set for a Summer 2014 release; the specific date has not been chosen because the mastering artist has not been found. The promotion plans include developing strong social media presence, as well as creating flyers and posters that will be located in the South Loop, Wicker Park, Logan Square, and Lakeview neighborhoods of Chicago, and Kalamazoo. The social media promotions will include slow release of information to build discussion and interest. Initially the album cover and name will be released, a small clip of a song, and ultimately a single. The flyers will be handed out outside shows of similar artists so the target market is properly hit. They will also be handed out around Columbia College Chicago’s campus. A street team of Tyler’s friends and fans will be utilized to distribute these flyers. Posters will also be hung up by the street team and will be mostly posted in record stores, coffee shops, and venues.
CD Release Party No venues have been contacted about hosting the CD release party as Tyler and management agree that there is not enough material prepared to submit to venues, and the official release date is not set. However, one of Tyler’s close friends has a house in which Tyler has played shows before and they have offered to be the host of the CD release show and party whenever the date is officially decided. The goal is a late July release but as the mastering process has come to a halt there is no official date. The ideal turn out would be 75 to 100 and will feature a bundle of t-shirt and CD at a 15% discount.
Booking and Touring Plans At this time Tyler is not prepared for a venue show. Discussion of doing a house show tour has been put on the table, but no official plans have been made as a result of the album release date not being set. Upon the setting of the date this conversation will resurface and scheduling will begin. Tyler was however booked for a performance at a promotional party for a local Chicago fashion company. The process of booking this performance was fairly easy, as Tyler has worked with this company at a previous event. The decision to not pursue venues at this time was not an easy decision, as the desire to begin that segment of his career is definitely there. But ultimately the decision seemed to be the best as it allows time to practice the new set and be able to have merchandise ready to purchase at the show. (See Appendix F: Booking Log; Appendix G: Talent Buyer Letter; Appendix H: Booking Proof)
Media Strategy Tyler and his management agree that media is not a reality at this time, due to lack of content. However, when the single is debuted discussions with local Chicago and Kalamazoo music publications will begin. Ideally media coverage will begin with the release of the single and build as the EP is released.
Fan Base Development Management has created several new social media outlets for Tyler. These include Facebook and Twitter. The hope is that current fans will share these sites with new fans. The social media is obviously not at the state management would like it to be because there is no music accessible on these sites. In total since the social media platforms were created, Tyler has gained 54 Facebook likes and 8 Twitter followers. In an effort to make sure that the social media sites were as professional looking as possible, promo photos were taken by Nick Emig. Tyler chose his favorite to be used consistently as a profile picture. The decision was also made to have consistent cover images, using the photo featured on the album cover. In addition to the traditional social media outlets, plans are being made to develop a “mini-show” that Tyler can put on for people on sites like Omegle and Chat Roulette to gain fans from a wide range of locations. Traditional advertising is also going to be used in the form of flyers and posters that will hopefully engage people who are strangers to Tyler. The poster designs are currently being finalized and the least expensive printing method is being researched.
Website / Technology The website for Tyler was designed using ArtistEcard. The site features Tyler’s bio prominently on the front page, next to one of his promo shots. Other tabs include Photos, News, and Contact. As more music is released and videos are created, tabs that enable streaming of both will be made available. The ultimate goal is to open an Ecommerce store on the site where merchandise can be purchased.
Distribution / Retail Strategy The EP will be released online in Tyler’s ecommerce store on ArtistEcard. Price is still being discussed, but will likely be in the twelve to fifteen dollar range. Eventually the album will hopefully be released in physical form, but that decision is being postponed until initial album sales reports are analyzed and demand is determined. 12
Special Events Tyler recently performed at the Plastic Fresh promotion party with several other electronic artists. The event had an attendance of about 120 people. Beyond this event Tyler has not played any special events. Festivals have only been lightly discussed, as they would not be relevant in the 2014 season, the preparation is just not there to make a bid at this year. Looking forward to the 2015 festival season, there may be opportunities worthy of discussion, but currently that is not the case.
Partnerships with Other Artists Tyler has worked with several other electronic artists in Chicago and Kalamazoo, however none of these artists create all of their own music and in billing a show Tyler would like original artists exclusively. That does not mean there is not room for influence and collaboration, Tyler constantly surrounds himself with fellow artists that he will “jam” with or write with. Though none of these pieces have ever gone further than their conception.
Video Production Tyler’s management just released a “sneak peak” video clip that will serve as an advertisement for the EP. In this clip a one-minute preview of the title track plays with the album artwork as the background. Live performance videos are in planning but this will not be until the album is closer to release. These videos will be made available on Tyler’s YouTube channel, his Facebook, Tumblr and ArtistEcard. We hope to make his YouTube a popular space where fans come to see everything from live performance clips, song releases, and simple Tyler video diaries.
Songwriting Tyler writes songs in the traditional way, beginning with guitar riff and writing lyrics. He is constantly writing lyrics and recording ideas on his phone that he uses in later songs. After the basic structure is created he plugs the acoustic song into his computer and figures out the tempo and chord progression needed to transition it to electronica. He then begins altering the song into its final electronic form. Tylerâ€™s lyrics are exclusively his own and copyright will be obtained up receiving the album in its mastered form.
Sponsors Tyler and management agreed that there is not enough material backing Tyler at this moment to attempt to reach out to branded sponsors. He would consider eventually attempting to create sponsorship deals but that is in the distant future. The thing that was discussed for the near future was the creation of a Kickstarter that enables fans to donate and enable Tyler to keep creating music, and ultimately tour and create merchandise. This has not yet been acted upon however because Tyler and Lauren agree that it would likely be more successful once the EP is released and fans have a better idea of what they are supporting.
S.W.O.T. Analysis Strengths • Experienced in creating music and songwriting • Dedicated to creating music • Has the personality for fan interaction • Knowledge of what is required to put on a successful performance • Fan bases in both Chicago and Kalamazoo Weaknesses • Insecurity that holds him back from fully expressing himself • Indecisiveness that may hold him back from fully succeeding • Lack of artists to collaborate with • Uncertainty about remaining in this genre long-term • Lack of strong interest in playing venue shows (as a result of insecurity) Opportunities • Create relationships with fellow artists to enable collaboration • Build confidence to eventually play venue shows • Apply to music festivals that have a more relaxed feel and less individual pressure than venue touring • Reach out to media to build fan base by promoting the new EP • Branch into other genres that may become more satisfying Threats • Competition from similar artists • Financial struggles that may prevent the ability to stay on top of the newest technologies used in this genre • Potential fading interest in this style of music • Lack of venue interest • EP not selling well enough to encourage the creation of subsequent albums
Goals 3 Months • Write EP • Develop logo and branding • Take promo pictures • Develop EPK 6 Months • Title EP • Create album art • Find someone to master the album • Release the album information on social media • Create a “sneak peak” clip of a song 9 Months • Release single • Set album release date • Release EP • Schedule a CD release show 1 Year • Print merch • Perform in at least 5 venue shows • Begin applying to festivals • Begin writing of second EP 3 Years • Have played at least 20 venue shows • Have a confirmed festival booking • Release second EP 5 Years • Be a household name among electronica fans • Have been on a successful tour • Be working on a full-length album
Conclusion Overall the goals of Lauren and Tyler were met. Longer-term objectives that they hope to achieve include booking an EP release show at a venue in Chicago, as Tyler currently only performs house shows. Management had hoped to book a venue show within the initial 3 month period, however due to delays in album recording and mastering, submitting tracks to venues for review did not feel like the best decision to properly represent Tyler as an artist. Lauren and Tyler both agreed that nothing would be presented until it is in the best form possible. As a result the promotional techniques being used include staggered release of information regarding the EP based to keep fans interested and engaged.
Apendix A: Interview Questions
Are they (artist) at the beginner, intermediate or advanced level of their trade (singer, songwriter, producer, etc)? What work will be required to get them ready to market? •
What market demographic are they trying to reach? 8-12 year olds? 1832? An ethnic market? What do you perceive their marketing angle to be (i.e. how will you market them to that demographic? • •
TYLER: The demographic would probably be 18 or older. No specific ethnic group is targeted. LAUREN: Tyler is a Punkstep artist (a mixture of poppunk and dubstep) which has the greatest appeal to 18 to 30 year olds who are very interested in music, typically in college, with a decent amount of expendable income. We will market Tyler as a more universally accessible artist so that he does not get lost in the elitism that can happen within these pigeonholed genres. We will do this through open mics and collaborations.
What are their goals? (3 months, 1 year and 5 year) Will you be able to achieve those 3 month goals with them or are you in over your head? Are you on the same page and heading in the same direction regarding their goals? • •
TYLER: They are at an intermediate level of their trade. They have been making music for fun for a while but recently started taking it seriously. The required work will consist of finishing an album and preparing a live show along with the details needed to drop the album. LAUREN: In addition to what Tyler mentioned, we will need to better develop an internet presence, build a brand (logo, EPK, bio, etc), merchandising to support the album and draw interest to the merch table at shows.
TYLER: The goal is to play multiple shows and to get the album out to as many people as possible within 6 months or so. LAUREN: Creating and releasing and album in three months is an extraordinary task to take on but I believe we can work well to make the album near ready to release and be entering promotion time by the completion of this course. We can certainly be getting his name known throughout the city during that time however.
Do they absolutely love what they do? Are they doing what they do for the love of it or do they want to make a million dollars and live in a mansion on the hill? Either way, can you handle it? •
Do they have any existing deals (management, productions, spec, recording, recordings)? Will any of these deals conflict with or complicate your involvement? Can they legally move forward with you or do you have to buy somebody out, co-manage with somebody else, help get the artist out of an existing contract, etc? •
TYLER: They live in the city right off of the Belmont stop. We will be in contact via email about once a week.
Do they belong to any unions, organizations, associations or guilds? Do they have any contracts that affect your involvement with them? •
TYLER: They do not operate as a company but one of the goals is for him to record other artists and produce music for other artists.
Where do they live? City. How often have you agreed to contact each other regarding this project? And how? (in-person, internet, phone) •
TYLER: No existing deals as of now. Hopefully there will be deals for him in the future. They are able to legally move forward without any problems.
Do they operate as a company or do they own any other companies (production, publishing, design, etc.)? •
TYLER: Yes they love what they do with a great passion. They are doing it because of the love of music and the making the music as a personal expressive tool. The goal is to make enough money to support himself and allowing him to make more music. LAUREN: Tyler makes music for the same reason I manage musicians. He is passionate about it and wants just enough money to feed his needs and one of those needs is to continue making music and that is what I look for in a client.
TYLER: They do not belong to any other associations and do not have any contracts that will affect our involvement.
What assets do they have (copyrights, trademarks, ect)? They do not have to give you personal details like account numbers, serial numbers, etc. You just want to get a general sense of their assets. What debts
(business/band) have they incurred? They do not have to give you personal details, just general debt facts. • None.
What do they believe are their strengths and their weaknesses as an artist? •
Do they have lots of friends or enemies in business? It is better to know soon than later since you may bump into some of these people (good or bad) along the way. You do not want out hear things about your client’ through the grapevine’. What other artist have they worked with? •
TYLER: He has never been on tour or put out any previous records. He has put music online but for free download and with no intention of making money. He would be happy with any venue or gig at this point for the sake of practicing a live show.
Do they currently have: bio, photos, website, social media sites, logo, and merchandise? What are(s) do they feel would be a great advancement to furthering their career. •
TYLER: He has never had a manager.
Have they put out any records or been on tour before? Find out their past booking schedule within the last 1-3 months. Where would they like to see you book them? •
TYLER: He does not seem to have any connections in the business yet. He has just started taking his music seriously so we are at a beginning stage with him. He makes music with his roommates and friends.
Have they had a manager previously? If so, what is the status of that relationship? •
TYLER: He believes in his passion for music and songwriting skills but does not seem to have much confidence in the success of the music.
TYLER: He has a Facebook page and a sound cloud page where he put out his previous music. A good advancement would be a full profile of his music including photoshoots and videos with a legit website for people to access information and music.
From the artist point of view, what do they believe is their mission statement? (What does the artist offer to their audience? what is the
essence of why the band/signer exist? What makes them different from any other actor or dancer out there?) â€˘
TYLER: Itâ€™s as simple as him wanting to make the music he is passionate about. He wants people to be able to relate to his music and enjoy it. It will take some brainstorming to figure out a sort of image for him.
Appendix B: Business Cards
Appendix C: Logo and Album Cover
Appendix D: EPK ReverbNation Link: http://www.reverbnation.com/tylerrice4
Appendix E: Merch Designs and Pricing
OneHourTees $6.98 + Tax Per Shirt
$6.50 Per Shirt for 24 Shirts $4.00 Per Shirt for 100 Shirts
ooShirts $5.45 Per Shirt for 24 Shirts
Appendix F: Booking Log Venue
The Comfort Station Chicag o
2579 N. Milwaukee Avenue 60647
The Whistler Chicag o
2421 N. Milwaukee Avenue 60647
Reggie's Music Joint Chicag o
2105 S. State Street 60616
Moe's Tavern Chicag o
2937 N. Milwaukee Avenue 60618
Columbia College Chicago Chicag Manifest o
Appendix G: Talent Buyer Letter
Dear Maureen, Tyler Rice is interested in booking Moe’s Tavern in the month of July in support of his debut EP release. Ideally this performance would serve as an EP release show and our preferred date would be July 12 th, however we will be available in the area throughout July. Tyler Rice has worked in both Kalamazoo, Michigan & Chicago, Illinois creating electronic music. His process involves writing lyrics based primarily in the folk tradition and then transitioning them into electronic pieces. All of the work that goes into the creation of Tyler’s music is done independently by Tyler himself. Our last show was on March 30th, and we drew 40 people to a house party in the Loyola neighborhood of Chicago. If we play a weekend night, we are confident we will be able to sell out. We are currently in a transition period with our social media, in preparation for the release. However on Tyler’s former SoundCloud he had a fan base of 300. We appreciate your consideration and would be happy to provide any other materials that would help you decide if we are a proper fit for your venue. Thank you! Lauren Barlow, Personal Manager email@example.com / 513.706.0950 artistecard.com/tylerrice
Appendix H: Booking Proof