FAQ - MUSIC MARKETING
1. How long has SmoothJazz.com been innovating Global Music Marketing?
SmoothJazz.com Founder, popular California radio personality and concert promoter, Sandy Shore purchased the domain smoothjazz.com in 1995, before the brand name was popular in contemporary jazz and before the Internet was a resource for music streaming.
In 2000, the small team of music industry professionals launched the world's first Internet jazz station and in fact, we were one of the first radio stations to ever broadcast exclusively on-line, without an FM frequency.
The company's mission was to level the playing field for radio listening and for music airplay... we wanted to open the gates to give all recording artists equality opportunity to receive airplay and career development, and not limit our audience to major label artists only. In addition, we wanted to free artists of having to make music for commercial radio as defined by industry gatekeepers. Many core, format artists were being cut from commercial radio playlists in the mid 1990s, despite new releases, they were not added to rotation.
From the moment we began broadcasting, we began receiving submissions from international jazz artists and began discovering a world of new music and what followed was an amazing outpouring for help with branding, development and guidance.
SmoothJazz.com's staff of radio programmers, music promoters musicians, designers, producers and marketing experts have over 30 years of experience each in our industry and will be your team to help you strategize the bold moves required to make your music and brand stand out.
2. How big is SmoothJazz.com's audience?
We have over 20,000,000 listeners and visitors in over 200 countries annually. Our audience includes jazz fans, music enthusiasts and music industry professionals including artists, radio promoters, managers, booking agents, event producers and talent buyers.
3. How will SmoothJazz.com's audience discover my music?
Your music will be front and center with consumers and industry professionals alike, through a combination of highly visible marketing, music industry promotion, PR, and social media, SmoothJazz.com will elevate your brand when you join our world-class artist client roster.
4. My funds are limited... How important is marketing my music really?
SmoothJazz.com's Global Music Marketing is priced for artists on an Independent budget, in fact 90% of our client roster is Independent of a recording label. We know that you would never make music without the objective of people hearing it, that's why you're considering our services.
Marketing your music is as important as making your music. Which is why tech industry billionaire, Bill Gates said, "If I was down to my last dollar, I'd spend it on P.R."
SmoothJazz.com provides a hybrid of Marketing and Public Relations (P.R.) that targets your music to industry professionals, such as radio programmers and talent buyers who book live music events and jazz festivals, plus to worldwide consumers and social media followers who purchase new music!
We are committed to building your brand as an artist so that you will stand out from the pack and see a return on your investment as quickly as possible.
5. Do artists make money when they're played and featured on SmoothJazz.com Global Radio?
Artists do indeed get paid when we play and feature them on SmoothJazz.com Global Radio! Every time we air your songs, we display your cover artwork on our website, media player and mobile app with links to on-line distribution for quick, purchasing opportunities.
Our massive global audience discovers new music everyday on SmoothJazz.com Global Radio and you're sure to see an immediate bump in sales from consumers all over the world!
Our advertising artist clients also make money above and beyond our Playlist, when we feature their music videos on our website and social media platforms, which can be monetized on YouTube to increase your revenue streams.
6. I spend a lot of time on Social Media... Isn't that Marketing enough?
Spending time on Social Media is not marketing, it's Public Relations, that is the maintaining of one's public image with fans and followers. It's great to keep your followers updated on current career content such as live performances, new single and video releases, etc.
However, too much time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snap can look like you have a lot of time on your hands and may backfire on your brand!
We've learned that hobbyists are networking on social media platforms... professionals are practicing, recording, touring and utilizing their Artist Development team to strategize their branding.
7. I've had others tell me that they can help me market my music like SmoothJazz.com, how do I decide whom to work with?
SmoothJazz.com is ranked #1 when searching 'Smooth Jazz' and #2 when searching 'Jazz Festivals' on Google!
We are literally in a class of our own. There is no other music industry outlet that serves as a multimedia, music lifestyle platform for a massive audience of consumers and industry professions. Anyone who tells you that they can do the same thing that we do for music brand development needs to be vetted.
SmoothJazz.com has had a handful of imitators over the years... often they are run by hobbyists following their passion. Sadly, we've seen artists spend good money after bad with discovering our resources.
Don't let this happen to you! We recommend that you inquire about music career experience and then check their credentials and website ranking on Alexa.com.
We will be happy to help you vet other on-line properties asking you to advertise with them or pay for their services.
8. Do I need a Publicist and P.R. for my music and career or will SmoothJazz.com be enough?
SmoothJazz.com Global Music Marketing campaigns include artist publicity and music industry Public Relations (P.R.). We focus on the publicity of your brand with our marketing assets (radio commercials, banners, social media posts).
The publicity we create for you during your campaign is designed to attract the attention of consumers, radio programmers and talent buyers. Meanwhile, the PR piece of your marketing campaign will focus on long term saturation, sending a strategic message through combined media to appropriate audiences in the hopes of making an impact.
We also offer you tools to purchase such as professionally crafted bios and press releases for your website and social media About sections.
We recommend that you try our bundled music marketing first before spending thousands of dollars on P.R., who reach much of the same audiences we reach.
FAQ - RADIO PROMOTION
9. Is radio airplay more important than marketing?
Radio airplay is an important achievement for recording artists. It is definitely a milestone in your career, however it is often a RESULT of successful marketing and promotion.
We help our artists achieve airplay on radio stations all over the world as part of their artist development and new music marketing campaigns.
Standing out from the crowd requires strategic brand development. Radio receives dozens of new albums a week... you will benefit from SmoothJazz.com's endorsement, as our radio partners consider our reputation to be sterling and our clients get heard and carefully considered for airplay.
10. Is Radio Promotion the same as Global Music Marketing?
No. While we do incorporate radio support in all of our music marketing campaigns, SmoothJazz.com's focus is on Artist Development and music career advancement, which does include supplemental radio promotion, as well as our proprietary blend of marketing saturation including P.R., imaging and design, advertising, social media, fan and brand building, charting, international distribution, consumer sales, live booking networking and more!
There is no other music industry marketing company (in any genre) that offers such concentrated support to recording artists at every level of their career than SmoothJazz.com Global. VIEW VIDEO
11. What are the key differences between Radio Promotion and SmoothJazz.com's Global Music Marketing?
As a SmoothJazz.com Artist client, you will be surrounded by an entire team of music industry professionals committed to your career, working together on your behalf to raise awareness of your music and brand through resources and services that are designed to leverage today's modern platforms to target jazz fans and industry professionals.
Radio Promoters are industry specialists, hired to take your music to radio stations and influence programmers to listen to you. It is important to find the right promoter for you... we can help with that.
There are no guarantees that the stations will add you to their playlists. Your chances of being heard by radio programmers are increased when you hire a promoter, however, it's important to align your expectations that even if you are added to radio stations, your music sales are not likely to increase despite your chart position.
We recommend Radio Promotion with industry leaders and in conjunction with other branding efforts. We believe that the most important marketing goal for a recording artist is to connect with their audience (consumers) and we help you achieve this by using professional design, audio production, creative writing and social media saturation.
12. Does SmoothJazz.com's Artist Development and Music Marketing work with Radio Promotion?
Absolutely! As budget allows, we highly recommend blending your targeted radio promotion with our worldwide music marketing.
SmoothJazz.com will partner with your promoter and support in the following ways :
- Increased Airplay ('Spincrease') on SmoothJazz.com by reporting your music campaign radio features in addition to song spins.
- Digital Delivery of your current single to our reporting panel of Radio stations (SmoothJazz.com Weekly Top 50 Chart) via our popular 'GreenStream' email delivery method.
- Contact List of Radio Reporters (SmoothJazz.com Weekly Top 50 Chart) with current programming staff and their email addresses and phone numbers for personal follow-ups.
Radio Promotion and SmoothJazz.com Global Music Marketing are a perfect combination to reach radio and a global audience of consumers and industry professionals. VIEW VIDEO
13. Can SmoothJazz.com recommend specific Radio Promoters?
Yes! SmoothJazz.com partners with Preferred Radio Promoters, including Gorov Music Marketing, Peer Pressure Promotion and ASL Media. We also offer our own in house Radio PR service at a discount to our Artist clients.
FAQ - BOOKING
14. I'm looking to be booked at Jazz Festivals, will SmoothJazz.com get me and my band live gigs?
SmoothJazz.com Global partners with over a hundred major events worldwide... Festivals, cruises, concert series and more in the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean and beyond!
As Media Partners with some of the most prestigious jazz happenings in the world, we have influence over their line-ups and are often called upon to recommend performing artists.
In addition, our event partners utilize SmoothJazz.com to discover and follow new artists for their bookings and many consider us an important resource in their line-ups. VIEW VIDEO
FAQ - AIRPLAY AUTHORIZATION
15. How do I benefit by signing the SmoothJazz.com Airplay Waiver?
By authorizing SmoothJazz.com to play your music royalty-free you gain global exposure to a large, consumer base that will not only hear your recording(s), but will see your cover image on our Website, Media Player and Mobile App including convenient buy links to your on-line distribution. This Direct-To-Audience sales model was invented by SmoothJazz.com in 2001 and helps artists and labels all over the world generate sales.
Additionally, you will benefit by SmoothJazz.com's influence on radio and industry professionals including, but not limited to, talent buyers. Radio stations around the world have looked to SmoothJazz.com as the leader when it comes to discovering and breaking new artists. Our endorsement can translate to airplay and more.
16. Is the SmoothJazz.com Airplay Waiver exclusive to SmoothJazz.com Radio?
Yes. The Airplay Waiver here is dedicated to SmoothJazz.com music streams exclusively and does not represent any other radio station regardless of their affiliation as contributors to SmoothJazz.com Music Charts.
Waivers are an agreement between individual broadcasters and the music copyright holder.
17. What exactly am I waiving?
SmoothJazz.com does not recognize the statutory license of Sound Exchange. We do direct licensing with artists and labels. When you sign our airplay waiver, you waive your digital performance royalties.
18. How much money is that?
Music copyright holders (artists, labels) earn .0017 per song spin per listener or .17 cents per 100 spins per listener. The average spins per week for new music on Smooth Jazz Radio Stations is 15, so the gross revenue earned would be approximately $1.50 per month per Internet radio station for every 100 listeners on a song in current rotation!
Our position is that artists and labels may be better off agreeing to license-free airplay for Chart reporting Webcasters who offer click-to-buy links to your on-line distribution to foster sales. In some circumstances, this model far exceeds royalties that might be earned and paid quarterly when you reach the minimum royalty accumulation to receive a royalty payment from Sound Exchange.
19. Does Sound Exchange allow me to sign your waiver?
According to the Sound Exchange website, "The statutory license was created as a benefit for service providers to ease the process of operation and allow open access to musicians' full catalog of creative work. That said, it is completely within your rights to negotiate directly with webcasters should you decide that is best."
20. Do you discourage recording artists from becoming members of Sound Exchange?
Not at all. We encourage artists to monetize however possible. For more information on Sound Exchange : soundexchange.com/generalfaq We do believe that there may be some opportunities in the current landscape of on-line broadcasting, whereby an artist may actually benefit greater from on-air exposure with "Click-To-Buy" music distribution on popular, Internet radio stations that are not able to sustain the Sound Exchange fee infrastructure.
21. What happens if I don't sign?
Nothing. Literally. You will not receive airplay from SmoothJazz.com Radio and therefore will not receive Playlist adds, on-air spins, Click-to-Buy sales links or exposure on our Global music platform.
22. Does Sound Exchange impose fees on FM Radio?
No! Terrestrial radio (FM/AM) is currently exempt from Sound Exchange fees. FM broadcasters are not paying Sound Exchange. You currently make no money from your airplay on FM radio from Sound Exchange!
23. How are Internet Radio Stations (webcasters) charged for airplay and by whom?
Internet broadcasters in the U.S. are charged royalty fees by three publishing agencies (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) and one digital performance consortium created by the R.I.A.A. (Sound Exchange), the latter recently created to recoup from catastrophic digital download sales more than a decade ago. It would appear that Internet radio has been targeted as the scapegoat for Napster's bad behavior of giving away music for free. Despite many appeals to Congress, the fledging medium has been levied tremendous tariffs while terrestrial radio has been left virtually unscathed.
Sound Exchange imposes fees based on listenership, not revenue, which is why more and more webcasters are signing off. The current charges are .0017 per song per listener, or .17 cents per 100 spins per listener. While that may not seem like a lot, let's do the math... if there are 1000 listeners per day, and on average a station plays 250 songs per day, the daily rate would be $425 with a monthly fee of $13,175 ($158,100 annually)! Most small Internet radio stations do not make anywhere near this kind of money.
Each publishing agency has its own formula to collect from Internet broadcasters, BMI and SESAC have converted recently to the Sound Exchange model of basing their royalties on listenership regardless of earnings, while ASCAP charges a percentage of income for usage of their artist's music... so that annual feel could potentially be quadrupled to satisy all four agencies for one webcaster.
24. Is the current royalty rate hike affecting on-line broadcasters? How will that affect me as a recording artist?
Yes, as noted above, the current royalty rate with Sound Exchange, and two out of the three publishing agencies adopting the same, listener-based rate structure, has made internet broadcasting unsustainable for independent Webcasters who's listenership exceed their revenue.
Since recent private deals were cut with big box, music streaming services such as iTunes, Sirius XM, and Pandora, the burden to bear these hefty royalties is left on the thin shoulders of internet broadcasters, many of whom, unfortunately, are not able to even afford proper legal representation when appealing to the U.S. Congress.
25. How did music licensing become unsustainable for independent Webcasters?
As a pioneer of internet radio, SmoothJazz.com was the first internet jazz station in the world. We signed on the "air" in March 2000. At that time, we appropriately contacted music licensing agencies with payment, based on a terrestrial (FM) fee structure, only to have our money returned as they were not yet prepared for non-terrestrial broadcasting.
Soon after, the agencies were organized and initiated revenue-based fee structures whereby an income percentage was imposed upon Webcasters, thus allowing independent internet radio stations to grow and pay more as earnings increased.
Sound Exchange, (a group spun off from the Recording Industry Association of America to handle royalty collection) introduced a game changer for Webcasters in 2003. According to TechDirt.com : "Royalties being set by Sound Exchange in the summer of 2003, were pretty clearly designed to put smaller, independent webcasters out of business. From the RIAA's point of view, this is perfectly typical. They still view the world (especially the internet) as a broadcast medium. Therefore, they want a small number of 'professional' content producers who create the content for everyone else." This placed SmoothJazz.com, an independent internet broadcasting outlet, run by radio industry "professionals," in jeopardy of signing off, until we discovered an alternative to Sound Exchange's untenable royalty structure, which was to pursue private licensing arrangements with artists and labels. We contacted hundreds if not thousands of artists and labels to request independent airplay licensing agreements arguing that airplay on our global platform offering exposure and consumer support was better than receiving no airplay at all from our on-line stream.
To date, we've received cooperation from several thousand independent artists and labels so that we are able to stay on the air, all the while sustaining one of the most vibrant genres in the music business, developing new artists and garnering a younger listener base all over the world.
26. How is the SmoothJazz.com Global Music Marketing business model different than standard radio advertising?
Traditional radio stations are monetized by commercial advertising from a random assortment of business and services who buy airtime to increase exposure to their brand, thus making conventional, commercial radio stations, advertising outlets. Hence, paying a percentage of revenue to air licensed music makes sense, as the argument goes, people are listening for the music, and advertisers are buying airtime for the listeners.
Conversely, SmoothJazz.com does not sell conventional advertisement. We do not earn revenue from airing radio commercials for non-music lifestyle businesses. Our entire radio station playlist is derived from mostly current music by SmoothJazz.com recording artists and clients. These artists and labels utilize our resources and employ us as their global media partner for brand development, organization and increased exposure inside and outside the music industry.
27. Why should I use SmoothJazz.com Global as my media partner?
SmoothJazz.com Global has created an International hub for consumers, music enthusiasts, industry professionals including recording artists, music labels, radio stations programmers, festival producers, and talent buyers. Our massive audience is diversified across a number of platforms such as social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), audio/visual media distribution channels (YouTube, Soundcloud), music related websites (SmoothJazz.com, SmoothLounge.com, SmoothTravel.net), streaming mobile apps, email subscriber base, weekly published airplay charts, etc.
The SmoothJazz.com music marketing model is one that integrates artists' unique brand (sound, style and imaging) into our entire, diverse global platform through airplay, visual design, audio production, and social media branding. Our suite of campaigns incorporate support with consumer sales by taking new music directly to a worldwide audience of consumers with convenient click-to-buy links. In addition we offer assistance chart status, gaining radio airplay with our 70+ reporting radio stations, and help achieve visibility with festival/event promoters and talent buyers.
28. Is airplay on SmoothJazz.com "Pay for Play"?
No. Not all of the music you hear on SmoothJazz.com is from our clients. SmoothJazz.com receives hundreds of submissions per week from artists all over the world. We listen for music that fits our global vision for the current sound and future of Smooth Jazz. Our mix on SmoothJazz.com is a popular, proprietary blend of music that is hand-selected by founder Sandy Shore and her programming team.
As an aside, our highly esteemed artist and label clientele are not paying for music airplay... they are investing in surrounding services on SmoothJazz.com's global marketing platform.
29. How does Internet Radio measure their listening audience and analytics?
We imagine that most Internet broadcasters use the extensive tools that Google Analytics provide for website visitation.
At SmoothJazz.com we have many audio streams for our global audience to listen to... from 32k mp3 to 64k AAC+ on our mobile app, to 256k high def, therefore it is a challenge aggregating all of our streams and listeners. However, in an effort to deliver accuracy, we have recently migrated all of our bandwidth to ONE bandwidth provider who will be able to provide us with an aggregated accounting of our listenership. Coming soon! VIEW VIDEO
FAQ - EVENT MARKETING
30. How will we see a return on our event marketing investment with SmoothJazz.com?
There is no other way to reach a massive, global audience of jazz enthusiasts for less than the price of a print ad in a national jazz magazine! SmoothJazz.com has a multimedia platform that utilizes radio, video, social media, direct email, mobile app, large website banner graphics, and more.
For $40 a day, we will connect your event to the world through masterful marketing to an audience that trusts our recommendations. That would mean that one or two tickets sold per day will help you achieve a break-even on your SmoothJazz.com investment. It is our experience that SmoothJazz.com is capable of helping events achieve sold out audiences all the while building your brand. VIEW VIDEO
31. How can we track ticket sales through SmoothJazz.com?
We offer a customized, trackable URL, or you can provide one, so that we may include it on all of your marketing assets (banner, event listing, email blast, etc) to keep track of our referral links.
In addition, you can keep tabs on your website analytics, such as Google's free metrics and you can add a tracking system that includes SmoothJazz.com on your ticket page to inquire about referrals.
We recommend that our event partners check their event website stats prior to launching their SmoothJazz.com marketing campaign, and after to determine the impact of their bundled, multi-media advertising.
32. What is the benefit to partnering with SmoothJazz.com as opposed to, or in addition to jazz magazines and/or our local radio station?
SmoothJazz.com Global has become a valuable resource for jazz festivals and events around the world, introducing and promoting live music events in the International spotlight to jazz and music enthusiasts in over 200 countries with an audience of over 20 million annually.
In many cases, our festival partners have doubled and tripled their audience size within the first year of their media partnership with SmoothJazz.com, by targeting jazz enthusiasts within our global community who make a lifestyle of traveling to music destinations.
SmoothJazz.com marketing assets offer click-through opportunities that lead directly to your ticket page, including on our mobile app. Print and radio is not capable of this technology.
In addition, you have access to an experienced music marketing team who strategize with you in real time to update your campaign and keep the buzz going on our multimedia platform including radio, video, social media and email blasts.
33. Does SmoothJazz.com 'geo-target' event marketing to reach a specific geographic?
We do not Geo-Target our SmoothJazz.com JazzBlasts because we know that this music format is a lifestyle and our audience loves to travel, so we send custom blasts to our entire VIP Subscriber list of 50,000+ and include the Blast on our social media platforms. Your dedicated Blast will reach over 100k and that doesn't include Shares or Forwards!
SmoothJazz.com has a global audience of 20 million annual listeners and site visitors in over 200 countries... we do not believe it to be in our event partners' best interest to limit the reach to just one region when we have research supporting that jazz enthusiasts have the desire and means to travel the world to attend events where their favorite artists are performing. !
After you review our geo-metrics and discover SmoothJazz.com's listenership in your city and surrounding areas, you will be pleased to know that it doesn't cost you anymore to reach the rest of the world... let's invite everyone to the party!
34. What is SmoothJazz.com's demographic breakdown?
We are finding that our audience is getting more youthful due to our selection of music and our technology and design, however, we are attracting a wide demo ranging from mid-20's to mid-60s... with an emphasis on 25-54 year olds, evenly split between men and women.