What with being a bit of a muso, I was interested to see that two unsigned artists, Jason Damato and Tom Freund will be taking part in a ‘Seven Sites Virtual Tour’ initiative, which will see them ‘perform’ on seven websites over a period of seven weeks.
YouTube, Imeem, iLike, RockYou, DoSomething.org, Daytrotter and Joost are involved and the two artists will get their music through the speakers of a whole bunch of people through the Internet, and simultaneously, an actual live tour.
The idea behind this is a positive step and demonstration to other unsigned acts that the Internet is increasingly becoming the first port of call to grab record a label’s attention. If you can prove you ahve a loyal fanbase and are growing this through the web, a record label will see that you are switched on to trends – always a help.
What it also shows however, is that you don’t necessarily need a record deal to showcase your music to thousands of people. An experiment I ran on Cedar’s Youtube page and mine to drive some new traffic to my band’s myspace worked. Over a series of weeks, with the help of Head Chief of Mischief Elliot Pearson, we recorded a series of videos which were then posted one a week of a gig that I played, coinciding with 4 weeks worth of tour dates that I’d also set up. Ok, so the take up wasn’t spectacular, but we added another 100 people to the Cedar ‘friends’ list on Myspace.
Using social networks and microblogging platforms is a great way of introducing yourself to new fans. What the Seven Sites Virtual Tour gives these artists is a sustained, measureable campaign – you can see traffic to official websites, video views etc to see if the plan is working – and some good exposure to a new audience.
The interest will lie in the results of the campaign and if it increases the CDs or downloads that the artists have or whether they attract video views which are one off and do not lead to any fan loyalty. Either way, it’s something to keep an eye on over the next two months.