Get Schooled

a No Earbuds guide to supporting your faves at any price: PART TWO

November 4, 2019

Last month, I introduced a new limited series here called A No Earbuds Guide To Supporting Your Faves At Any Price. It's the brainchild of myself and my first-ever intern Olivia Keasling, and the idea is to help educate you, the fans, on ways you can support your favorite bands and artists for any amount of money. We already went over some of the stuff you can be doing for free, so now let's move into some ideas for what you can do for around $10.

__________________________________________________________________________


USE YOUR STREAMING SERVICES WISELY


Technically some of the stuff I'm going to mention below can be done for free on some streaming services, but I'm putting it into the $10 category because for the most part, they generally cost around $10 a month.

Now, whether you use Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, Tidal, Deezer, or whatever the heck else is out there these days, there is almost always an option to “follow” or “subscribe” to your favorite band or artist. Do that! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to listen to a band I love and realized I’m not already following them, or how many times I've talked to a fan who doesn't understand how valuable that follow or subscription is to the band.

Here’s why it matters –– for a lot of these services, the follower count directly correlates to various algorithmic playlist opportunities they may be up for, as well as contributing to their overall stats and data behind the scenes. Yes, I know, this is gross stuff to talk about, but it's the reality of promoting music in the streaming age; an age where independent artists and bands lose out unless they take things into their own hands.

When someone, whether it’s a prospective record label, booking agent, writer, or playlist editor, goes to check out a band and they see a high follower count, it signals to them that it’s worth diving deeper. Now, to be clear, low follower counts don’t necessarily mean people won’t pay attention, but it certainly helps to see that there are real fans engaging with the band on the platform. And yo, how easy is it to just click "follow" when you're listening to a band?

__________________________________________________________________________


MAKE A PLAYLIST

obviously they're missing option E which is the No Earbuds playlist, duh

Another hugely important thing you can do to help your faves on streaming services is by adding their new music (or old music.. or ANY music, honestly) to your playlists. Whether it’s the ones you keep private just for cleaning up around the house or getting stoned, or it’s something you share with friends on social media and update regularly, I can’t stress how important and helpful this can be!

Not only are you naturally generating more streams for the artist, but you’re also signaling to the algorithmic powers that be that there’s something worth checking out here. Again, gross, but we're working with what we've got! A lot of times, seeing how a song performs on a user-generated playlist can help these streaming services figure out what other playlists the band may be a good fit for.

And worst case scenario that is actually the BEST part of creating and sharing your own playlists? Regardless of if you have 2 or 2000 followers, those are all people who may have never heard of a particular band or song before if it weren’t for YOU sharing it on your playlist.

__________________________________________________________________________

BUY STUFF!

Most albums these days cost around $10 on Bandcamp, which is the ultimate platform to listen to music on especially if you hate all things streaming services. And while you're there, add the album to your collection and leave a review! When I worked at a record label and was considering signing a band, I always read the fan reviews on their Bandcamp for prior releases. Something about seeing all that natural support really helped paint the bigger picture for us during the A&R process. Plus, it just makes the band feel good to know what songs and aspects of the record their fans are gravitating towards.

CDs/cassettes also generally run for around the same or less via band and label web stores. Sometimes they have really dope sales on merch, too, so remember what I said back in the first part of this series about signing up for mailing lists and following on social media to stay up to date on this kinda stuff.

And that's all just online... a lot of DIY/independent shows cost less than $20 to get in, often times with CDs and other pieces of merch for sale for around $10 or so. So if you’ve got some extra money to spend, picking up physical music or merch is a really helpful way to support your faves, whether it's by the click of your mouse or an IRL hang at a show.

__________________________________________________________________________



CONTRIBUTE TO CROWDFUNDING EFFORTS

Sometimes you’ll see a band share a GoFundMe or Kickstarter type of thing where they’re crowdfunding an upcoming release or tour. Don’t judge them for this; instead, help them! If buying physical music or merch isn’t an option for you, or you simply just don't have a need or means to purchase CDs or whatever, donating your $$ directly to the band can obviously be super helpful.

Unfortunately it’s a very shitty reality that a lot of bands get robbed while on tour. So ifyou see this happen or hear about it through social media, first things first, something you can do for $0 is to make sure you help spread the word. And if you do have the extra money, donating something is an extremely helpful way to get them back on their feet and on the road.

__________________________________________________________________________

MAKE SOMETHING

In the words of Michael Scott, you are creative. You're damn creative, each and every one of you. You are so much more creative than all of the other dry, boring morons that you work with.

So use that creativity! Honestly, for less than $20, you can go to an art supply store (or Michael's, or whatever the equivalent to that is in your town) and get to work. Sharing fan art online can always be free, too, but maybe you're trying to get into cross-stitching, or you want to make your own flyers for an upcoming show, or maybe you're planning to create your own fan zine and need to spend a little money on making the copies. These are all seriously cool and helpful ways to spread the word on your favorite artists!!

My one suggestion is to make sure you're incorporating whatever you create physically with your social media... aka, post about it when you're done! Post a PDF of the zine online or collect addresses of people who want copies, share a photo or a time-lapse video of you creating whatever it is you're creating and be sure to tag the band, etc. Just make sure you're putting it out into the digital world, too, so that other fans or likeminded people can see it. You never know... maybe a friend of yours has been meaning to check that band out for a while and seeing YOUR enthusiasm for them is the exact tipping point they need to finally listen.

__________________________________________________________________________


Do you have other suggestions? Tweet them to me @noearbuds!

And stay tuned for Part 3, the last in this series, to learn about what you can do for $20 and up.

Get Schooled

a No Earbuds guide to supporting your faves at any price: PART TWO

November 4, 2019

Last month, I introduced a new limited series here called A No Earbuds Guide To Supporting Your Faves At Any Price. It's the brainchild of myself and my first-ever intern Olivia Keasling, and the idea is to help educate you, the fans, on ways you can support your favorite bands and artists for any amount of money. We already went over some of the stuff you can be doing for free, so now let's move into some ideas for what you can do for around $10.

__________________________________________________________________________


USE YOUR STREAMING SERVICES WISELY


Technically some of the stuff I'm going to mention below can be done for free on some streaming services, but I'm putting it into the $10 category because for the most part, they generally cost around $10 a month.

Now, whether you use Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, Tidal, Deezer, or whatever the heck else is out there these days, there is almost always an option to “follow” or “subscribe” to your favorite band or artist. Do that! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to listen to a band I love and realized I’m not already following them, or how many times I've talked to a fan who doesn't understand how valuable that follow or subscription is to the band.

Here’s why it matters –– for a lot of these services, the follower count directly correlates to various algorithmic playlist opportunities they may be up for, as well as contributing to their overall stats and data behind the scenes. Yes, I know, this is gross stuff to talk about, but it's the reality of promoting music in the streaming age; an age where independent artists and bands lose out unless they take things into their own hands.

When someone, whether it’s a prospective record label, booking agent, writer, or playlist editor, goes to check out a band and they see a high follower count, it signals to them that it’s worth diving deeper. Now, to be clear, low follower counts don’t necessarily mean people won’t pay attention, but it certainly helps to see that there are real fans engaging with the band on the platform. And yo, how easy is it to just click "follow" when you're listening to a band?

__________________________________________________________________________


MAKE A PLAYLIST

obviously they're missing option E which is the No Earbuds playlist, duh

Another hugely important thing you can do to help your faves on streaming services is by adding their new music (or old music.. or ANY music, honestly) to your playlists. Whether it’s the ones you keep private just for cleaning up around the house or getting stoned, or it’s something you share with friends on social media and update regularly, I can’t stress how important and helpful this can be!

Not only are you naturally generating more streams for the artist, but you’re also signaling to the algorithmic powers that be that there’s something worth checking out here. Again, gross, but we're working with what we've got! A lot of times, seeing how a song performs on a user-generated playlist can help these streaming services figure out what other playlists the band may be a good fit for.

And worst case scenario that is actually the BEST part of creating and sharing your own playlists? Regardless of if you have 2 or 2000 followers, those are all people who may have never heard of a particular band or song before if it weren’t for YOU sharing it on your playlist.

__________________________________________________________________________

BUY STUFF!

Most albums these days cost around $10 on Bandcamp, which is the ultimate platform to listen to music on especially if you hate all things streaming services. And while you're there, add the album to your collection and leave a review! When I worked at a record label and was considering signing a band, I always read the fan reviews on their Bandcamp for prior releases. Something about seeing all that natural support really helped paint the bigger picture for us during the A&R process. Plus, it just makes the band feel good to know what songs and aspects of the record their fans are gravitating towards.

CDs/cassettes also generally run for around the same or less via band and label web stores. Sometimes they have really dope sales on merch, too, so remember what I said back in the first part of this series about signing up for mailing lists and following on social media to stay up to date on this kinda stuff.

And that's all just online... a lot of DIY/independent shows cost less than $20 to get in, often times with CDs and other pieces of merch for sale for around $10 or so. So if you’ve got some extra money to spend, picking up physical music or merch is a really helpful way to support your faves, whether it's by the click of your mouse or an IRL hang at a show.

__________________________________________________________________________



CONTRIBUTE TO CROWDFUNDING EFFORTS

Sometimes you’ll see a band share a GoFundMe or Kickstarter type of thing where they’re crowdfunding an upcoming release or tour. Don’t judge them for this; instead, help them! If buying physical music or merch isn’t an option for you, or you simply just don't have a need or means to purchase CDs or whatever, donating your $$ directly to the band can obviously be super helpful.

Unfortunately it’s a very shitty reality that a lot of bands get robbed while on tour. So ifyou see this happen or hear about it through social media, first things first, something you can do for $0 is to make sure you help spread the word. And if you do have the extra money, donating something is an extremely helpful way to get them back on their feet and on the road.

__________________________________________________________________________

MAKE SOMETHING

In the words of Michael Scott, you are creative. You're damn creative, each and every one of you. You are so much more creative than all of the other dry, boring morons that you work with.

So use that creativity! Honestly, for less than $20, you can go to an art supply store (or Michael's, or whatever the equivalent to that is in your town) and get to work. Sharing fan art online can always be free, too, but maybe you're trying to get into cross-stitching, or you want to make your own flyers for an upcoming show, or maybe you're planning to create your own fan zine and need to spend a little money on making the copies. These are all seriously cool and helpful ways to spread the word on your favorite artists!!

My one suggestion is to make sure you're incorporating whatever you create physically with your social media... aka, post about it when you're done! Post a PDF of the zine online or collect addresses of people who want copies, share a photo or a time-lapse video of you creating whatever it is you're creating and be sure to tag the band, etc. Just make sure you're putting it out into the digital world, too, so that other fans or likeminded people can see it. You never know... maybe a friend of yours has been meaning to check that band out for a while and seeing YOUR enthusiasm for them is the exact tipping point they need to finally listen.

__________________________________________________________________________


Do you have other suggestions? Tweet them to me @noearbuds!

And stay tuned for Part 3, the last in this series, to learn about what you can do for $20 and up.

Get Schooled

a No Earbuds guide to supporting your faves at any price: PART TWO

November 4, 2019

Last month, I introduced a new limited series here called A No Earbuds Guide To Supporting Your Faves At Any Price. It's the brainchild of myself and my first-ever intern Olivia Keasling, and the idea is to help educate you, the fans, on ways you can support your favorite bands and artists for any amount of money. We already went over some of the stuff you can be doing for free, so now let's move into some ideas for what you can do for around $10.

__________________________________________________________________________


USE YOUR STREAMING SERVICES WISELY


Technically some of the stuff I'm going to mention below can be done for free on some streaming services, but I'm putting it into the $10 category because for the most part, they generally cost around $10 a month.

Now, whether you use Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, Tidal, Deezer, or whatever the heck else is out there these days, there is almost always an option to “follow” or “subscribe” to your favorite band or artist. Do that! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to listen to a band I love and realized I’m not already following them, or how many times I've talked to a fan who doesn't understand how valuable that follow or subscription is to the band.

Here’s why it matters –– for a lot of these services, the follower count directly correlates to various algorithmic playlist opportunities they may be up for, as well as contributing to their overall stats and data behind the scenes. Yes, I know, this is gross stuff to talk about, but it's the reality of promoting music in the streaming age; an age where independent artists and bands lose out unless they take things into their own hands.

When someone, whether it’s a prospective record label, booking agent, writer, or playlist editor, goes to check out a band and they see a high follower count, it signals to them that it’s worth diving deeper. Now, to be clear, low follower counts don’t necessarily mean people won’t pay attention, but it certainly helps to see that there are real fans engaging with the band on the platform. And yo, how easy is it to just click "follow" when you're listening to a band?

__________________________________________________________________________


MAKE A PLAYLIST

obviously they're missing option E which is the No Earbuds playlist, duh

Another hugely important thing you can do to help your faves on streaming services is by adding their new music (or old music.. or ANY music, honestly) to your playlists. Whether it’s the ones you keep private just for cleaning up around the house or getting stoned, or it’s something you share with friends on social media and update regularly, I can’t stress how important and helpful this can be!

Not only are you naturally generating more streams for the artist, but you’re also signaling to the algorithmic powers that be that there’s something worth checking out here. Again, gross, but we're working with what we've got! A lot of times, seeing how a song performs on a user-generated playlist can help these streaming services figure out what other playlists the band may be a good fit for.

And worst case scenario that is actually the BEST part of creating and sharing your own playlists? Regardless of if you have 2 or 2000 followers, those are all people who may have never heard of a particular band or song before if it weren’t for YOU sharing it on your playlist.

__________________________________________________________________________

BUY STUFF!

Most albums these days cost around $10 on Bandcamp, which is the ultimate platform to listen to music on especially if you hate all things streaming services. And while you're there, add the album to your collection and leave a review! When I worked at a record label and was considering signing a band, I always read the fan reviews on their Bandcamp for prior releases. Something about seeing all that natural support really helped paint the bigger picture for us during the A&R process. Plus, it just makes the band feel good to know what songs and aspects of the record their fans are gravitating towards.

CDs/cassettes also generally run for around the same or less via band and label web stores. Sometimes they have really dope sales on merch, too, so remember what I said back in the first part of this series about signing up for mailing lists and following on social media to stay up to date on this kinda stuff.

And that's all just online... a lot of DIY/independent shows cost less than $20 to get in, often times with CDs and other pieces of merch for sale for around $10 or so. So if you’ve got some extra money to spend, picking up physical music or merch is a really helpful way to support your faves, whether it's by the click of your mouse or an IRL hang at a show.

__________________________________________________________________________



CONTRIBUTE TO CROWDFUNDING EFFORTS

Sometimes you’ll see a band share a GoFundMe or Kickstarter type of thing where they’re crowdfunding an upcoming release or tour. Don’t judge them for this; instead, help them! If buying physical music or merch isn’t an option for you, or you simply just don't have a need or means to purchase CDs or whatever, donating your $$ directly to the band can obviously be super helpful.

Unfortunately it’s a very shitty reality that a lot of bands get robbed while on tour. So ifyou see this happen or hear about it through social media, first things first, something you can do for $0 is to make sure you help spread the word. And if you do have the extra money, donating something is an extremely helpful way to get them back on their feet and on the road.

__________________________________________________________________________

MAKE SOMETHING

In the words of Michael Scott, you are creative. You're damn creative, each and every one of you. You are so much more creative than all of the other dry, boring morons that you work with.

So use that creativity! Honestly, for less than $20, you can go to an art supply store (or Michael's, or whatever the equivalent to that is in your town) and get to work. Sharing fan art online can always be free, too, but maybe you're trying to get into cross-stitching, or you want to make your own flyers for an upcoming show, or maybe you're planning to create your own fan zine and need to spend a little money on making the copies. These are all seriously cool and helpful ways to spread the word on your favorite artists!!

My one suggestion is to make sure you're incorporating whatever you create physically with your social media... aka, post about it when you're done! Post a PDF of the zine online or collect addresses of people who want copies, share a photo or a time-lapse video of you creating whatever it is you're creating and be sure to tag the band, etc. Just make sure you're putting it out into the digital world, too, so that other fans or likeminded people can see it. You never know... maybe a friend of yours has been meaning to check that band out for a while and seeing YOUR enthusiasm for them is the exact tipping point they need to finally listen.

__________________________________________________________________________


Do you have other suggestions? Tweet them to me @noearbuds!

And stay tuned for Part 3, the last in this series, to learn about what you can do for $20 and up.