Music Marketing Interview: L.A. Music Manager Michael Haddad (Part 2)

This 7 part interview with Michael Haddad is an astounding look at the state of the music industry today.

TheRealMusician Recommends:

If you want to take marketing your music to another level, then I can't recommend enough John Oszajca's music marketing manifesto. My favorite aspect of his complete program was his stance on email marketing, where he really leverages the that "1000 true fans" philosophy.

His website is a bit hokey (Flaming guitars? Seriously?), but his program really shows independant artists how to get a leg-up on signed artists.

Learn about how you can promote your band from this incredibly deep and experienced look at the inner workings of the music industry. Be sure to check out all 7 parts, as the whole interview gets quite intense (especially nearing the end!)

It's a Must-Read/Hear for any band looking to make it in the world of music today!

You can see Michael's LA B-roll website here.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Read The Words While You Listen To The Audio

Andrew:
It seems that you just naturally progressed into Music Management rather than the "I want to be a Music Manager for a living" kind of attitude.

Michael:
I did consciously think about it, and talk about it prior to that. But I didn't know how I was going to go about it.

I didn't want to work with too much pop, since my passion was more for Indie or Alternative music. I just thought, I can do that. I already have the background to do what it takes.

And then when I started doing all the video work, and the production, and getting really involved with that, it really developed into something much much greater than I originally anticipated.

And I didn't think about it that much then, because I was having so much fun. And we could see results, we could see hard data. We could see when we posted a great video on Tuesday, and by Friday we had 250,000 hits. And that was 3 or 4 years ago!

Andrew:
What do you think contributed to the success of something like that, getting 250,000 hits in just a few days? Was it more subscribers? Or how did that happen so quickly?

Michael:
Part of it is just because you have a lot of fans and bloggers, and that much activity that you are now able to pull on to your website and the sites you have linked to and so forth.

The content is good, that is the bottom line. I see a lot of bands that choose to do a lot of live footage of them playing in some crappy bar, and then they say "We want everybody to see us live!"

Well unless the video sounds phenomenal, then don't post it.

Andrew:
I really agree with that. For example, one band I'm a big fan of (Extra Life), finding great live footage of them is really difficult. The only video that is actually there is really frayed and awful sounding, and I'm thinking "Where the heck is all your high quality live footage? People would be all over your show!"

Michael:
They really are hurting themselves, rather than helping themselves, by putting up terrible content.

I think the luxury I had, which was very educational, was that I was able to work with a Major Label, which was Universal Interscope, who the girls [the pussycat dolls] were signed with.

And it wasn't that the budgets were bigger, although the video budgets were monstrous, I mean they were huge. When I was shooting the making of those videos, and when you have someone like Joseph Kahn behind the camera, and the best possible crew and lighting; you can bet it's going to look really stellar.

So I was really really fortunate, and you take that (+5 super-hot girls), it was really pretty hard to go wrong; so my timing was really good.

At first I really wasn't quite sure, but then people started coming to me and saying "We love the footage, we don't understand how you are getting footage that is that good. How are you able to get them to trust you to do that?"

And I realized then, that it was all about having a personality that the artists were really comfortable with. And then it morphed into me saying "Well I can act this way around others bands as well" because other artists were wanting to work with me as well.

So I thought, well this just means that I'm sure I could be a music manager. And I just figured that, hopefully, I would be with enough people; often enough, that I could find some music that I was really really true to, and I really loved, and I wanted to be a part of, and that possibly they would let me be their manager.

Andrew:
It seems that the world is shifting from the old model that was "I hope a million-to-one chance that I can get a record deal" to "You make your own success as an artist, you are in charge of the distribution and recording and marketing, because the tools are now available to you to do so".

What is your impression of where the music industry is shifting for musicians?

Michael:
I think that it's not that it is shifting, it's that it has shifted. People have been saying for the last 5 years, "The Music Industry is changing".

Well here's a surprise for you, it has changed. It changed quite a long time ago when most of the major labels were putting their head in the sand and denying it, and the independent labels started to have their lunch.

I don't know if there's any real magic in it, but it's forcing bands to go back to the basics because the odds of them getting "lucky" are just becoming less and less.

But by the same token, they also have a lot of opportunity to do so much on their own, that they've never been able to do before, and with less investment than ever before.

They can gain a lot of success and build a story that can hopefully get them recognized.

Lets face it, the model that you are talking about was this: "Make some demo's that were really really great." That one thing has never really changed; there is one constant: The music still has to be great.

That has not changed.

There is a lot of bad music, but for some reason a lot of people like it.

A lot of bands an artists have so much opportunity to do so much on their own, and we can get into that a bit later.

The new model is this: make great music. Then, create a plan; then build a story. Build a story about you and your band, create that story; and then make that story your reality by creating a buzz and getting people to talk about it.

Get people to talk about your live performance, and songs that they've heard. If you can spend all day, and just put your music on site-after-site-after-site, you can get a hell of a lot of content out there.

There has to be interest now.

The old model was, make really good music, submit some demo's on your shoestring budget (or whatever you've got), and hopefully you get lucky.

Well now nobody really wants to listen to a demo. No record label accepts unsolicited demo's.

Now, Labels want to see you doing something. They want to see established bands. They want to see that people are talking about them. The label now has to talk about these bands, and find out why people are talking and blogging about them.

Andrew:
So instead of, "I hope you listen to my music", now they have to.

Michael:
You have made it, you are making it, and they have no choice but to listen to your music.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

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My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

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