Friday, 19 September 2014

Check out Unsold great rising Hip Hop talent.


Sunday, 14 September 2014

"Hip Video Promo rules check them out.

Sarah Jaffe Lights Up Chicago

SARAH
Kirtland Records MVP Sarah Jaffe has been on tour in support of her acclaimed new album, Don’t Disconnect, and she’s been making fans by the hundreds. Check out this awesome review of her show recent at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, Illinois with Astronautalis via Mezzic.com. She’s on her way toward becoming a household name. Just watch.
“Jaffe commands the stage in the same sexy and magical way Astronautalis does. She doesn’t hold back, and throws her entire self and emotion into her performance. Jaffee played many songs from her new album, Don’t Disconnect out of Kirtland Records. The set was full of everything from sexy synth to Jaffe taking center stage to sing “Don’t Disconnect” acapella. This was stunning, simply beautiful. It was such a lovely takeaway, to see the softer and more vulnerable side of her. So much so that it gave this viewer the shivers.”
- Mezzic.com

HEADS UP: The Fall Four “Siren Song” on MTV HITS Monday 9/8

fall
We’re stoked to announce MTV Hits will be airing fast-rising Chicago-based pop/rockers, The Fall Four‘s killer new video for their infectious new single, “Siren Song,” this Monday, September 8th. You can catch it three times: 11am, 7pm & 3am, so don’t miss it!
Be on the lookout for a lot more from these dudes in the coming weeks/months.

The Dirty Lungs WIN mtvU’s The Freshmen!

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Congrats to The Dirty Lungs for winning this week’s The Freshmen!
Their video, “I Suck In Bed,” will now be added into regular rotation over at mtvU for  weeks to come, and that most certainly makes our day.
Don’t sleep on this great band y’all, or their amazing label, Communicating Vessels for that matter!
Thanks to each and everyone who voted!
FIST BUMP.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Importance of Music Video Promotion "Hip Video Promo"

https://soundcloud.com/jesse-cannon-2/jesse-cannon-talks-to-andy-gesner-of-hip-video-promo



The Importance of Music Video Promotion

Hipavatar_400x400Jesse Cannon of Musformation.com talks to Andy Gesner of HIP Video Promo.
The following is a transcript of their discussion.

Jesse:  This interview is rewarding for anybody who’s an artist or in a band and wants to see some of the hidden gears of how a music video secures exposure. I highly suggest reading the whole interview; Andy’s incredibly insightful, and you can check him and his company out at hipvideopromo.com

CLICK LINK TO LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW ON SOUNDCLOUD.

 http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/07/the-importance-of-music-video-promotion.html#more




Jesse:  How long ago did you start HIP Video Promo?

Andy: The beginning of the millennium; October 26th, 2000.

Jesse: Wow… And what made you want to start doing this?

Andy:  Well, I had just made a commitment to myself, friends, and family that at the end of 1999 that I would be doing music and nothing else. I think when you get to a certain age you realize that you’ve got to follow your dreams and let what comes, come.  At the time I was working at an audio mastering studio in Tenafly, New Jersey, and by playing bass guitar in bands from 1980 up until that point, I knew the one thing that I could do is help my fellow worthy independent musical kindred spirits get to the next level.  Of course in the year 2000, the music video programming landscape was entirely different. Viewing music videos on the internet was still in it’s infancy, and back in those days, music videos were sent on three quarter inch tapes to primarily terrestrial television outlets. Now in 2014, all music videos are delivered digitally, or on a digital disc.

Jesse:  Let’s go off on that tangent. So, back then there used to be a lot of fees to get duplications done on the various tape formats.  How is that changing? Is it getting cheaper to promote videos because you don’t have to duplicate it onto so many different video formats?

Andy: Yes! Not only that, but closed captioning software has become less expensive and easier to use.  Being that all terrestrial television music video programming needs to be closed captioned, the costs that we need to pass on to our clients has decreased dramatically. Thankfully with digital delivery, there are no Beta SP machines and/or DVCam machines to deal with. But with that being said, with many of the national outlets that we service, we are required to use a digital delivery service (DMDS) that costs money per delivery. So although those costs don’t add up to what would be the cost if you had to duplicate everything onto a hard format, there are still costs involved with digital delivery dissemination. Still there are programmers who prefer getting a digital disc, so there’s still the cost of postage in some instances. But, thankfully if a new client has a compelling, intriguing video worthy of our video programmer’s attention, the price of admission into our promotional tent has come down drastically.

Jesse:  That’s great. I wanted to take a moment to explore your background in independent music. You decided to commit to music full time. What advice can you give somebody for the struggle?  Obviously you have left one job and went into another. It’s not always the easiest thing. I think back when I took a job at Guitar Center and I walked in for three days and finally said, “I can’t do this, I’m going to make sure I’m a record producer full-time.” I had to cut back drastically on some of my spending and really take my time to go out and invest in meeting new bands. What did you have to do and what advice can you give for somebody looking to make that commitment that they’re just going to go full steam ahead in the music business?

Andy: Success is largely a matter of hanging on when most people would have folded up like a cheap lawn chair! Being in numerous bands in the 80’s and 90’s, I was no stranger to disappointment and feeling underappreciated, or criminally overlooked, and living each day quite frugally.  It’s been said that “experience is a hard teacher, she gives the test first, and the lessons afterwards”. So going into the music video promotion business I realized that along with securing clients like Virgin Records, (we promoted the first 30 Seconds To Mars video in 2002), or Elektra (We were there when Jet came out with their first big single “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”), we realized that we were going to have to find independent clients, talented bands and artists that had no label affiliation at all.  As long as they had a good song and a great video, we were ready to do battle! I learned from nearly twenty years of fighting the good fight playing bass guitar in bands how extremely difficult it is get to the next level in the music Industry, and how difficult it is to find promotional partners who are trustworthy. Hunter S. Thompson once said that this business is a “cruel shallow money trench, a plastic hallway where pimps and thieves run free, and good guys die like dogs.  Then of course there’s the negative side.”

Jesse:  I love that quote!

Andy: So for me it was all about really making the clients feel they’d made the right decision when it came to their music video promotion needs. Also, being available to them whenever they needed a question answered or a moment in depth consultation. Certainly with up and coming independent artists, they sometimes need to be reassured, because for any new undertaking there’s a lot of trepidation. Thankfully we were blessed to work closely with some of the top bands and artists back in the day before they made it big.  Whether it was Barsuk with Death Cab for Cutie or Polyvinyl back when no one knew who of Montreal was, or Daptone securing HIP to introduce Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, or Fearless Records when they brought us The Plain White T’s, or Saddle Creek when they brought us Bright Eyes, or Fueled by Raman when they brought us Paramore, or even when Octone introduced us to a relatively obscure new band called Maroon 5, we realized that in every instance we had the golden opportunity to be in on the ground floor of something extraordinarily special, and make a difference as trusted artist advocates. Nowadays we live in such a video-centric world, all the new research is saying people don’t listen, they don’t read, nor do they have any interest in listening to the radio, they just click on the TV, the computer, or the phone, or the iPad, and they watch music videos.

Jesse:  One of the reasons I was excited to talk to you was because when I talk to my friends that have worked with you, they always say great things about HIP and unlike a lot of the music video promotion companies out there, HIP Video Promo doesn’t have any unhappy clients. Not everybody’s always happy with their video promotion.  Also, not all of them end up seeing a palpable result, but I keep seeing people who are very happy with HIP when I talk to them. It’s also very random. To give the audience a background, we’ve known each other for 15 or 16 years, but we don’t talk very often, and I’m still always hearing great things. So I wanted to ask how you approach your music video campaigns compared to other video promotion marketers.

Andy: I am a big proponent of the old adage, “treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.” As a musician, I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty shabby, called in promotion.  I’m fully aware of the pitch of the dodgy promo guy; they talk a good game upfront, they collect the money, and then three weeks later you’re calling the guy, and all of a sudden he’s gone AWOL.  Well AWOL is not good if you’re looking for results and needing updated information about your campaign. So for us it’s a mantra; “you’ve got to be there for the client”. We have a strict rule here at HIP Video Promo.  If a programmer or client calls and they want to chit chat (keep in mind it’s not always about videos, it’s sometimes about their daughter’s soccer game, or the problems they’re having with the wife), you can never be the first person in the conversation to say “not for nothing, I’ve got to go, I’ve got work to do.”  You’ve got to stay with them for the duration, because it’s the personal relationship that really makes the difference. It could make the difference between a video programmer being on the fence about a new video you’re championing or actually hopping down onto your side. So I think that, coupled with the fact that a lot of other promo people out there do nothing more but submit music videos, with no follow up, that’s what makes HIP Video Promo different. If you go to our website you’ll see that every single video we’ve promoted, and we’ve done over 1700 of them, each one gets a professionally written, compelling one sheet text/press release, which gives the programmers all the reasons why they should pay attention, minus the insufferable empty hype and the false accolades. And our tenacious follow-up is second to none.

Jesse:  It’s true; well I think a lot of people don’t know how to find the best way to write about a band in a compelling, intriguing way. So, that’s a skill that takes a lot honing over the years, and I’m sure after 1700 campaigns you’re pretty masterful of it.

Andy: Well here’s another thought. At least 60% of our business is repeat business. So that puts a big focus on that first music video campaign. Because either you’re going to sink or swim; thankfully for us we usually swim. The ultimate goal of any first music video campaign is to secure a very solid, sturdy foundation moving forward out there on the music video programming landscape. The idea being is that the first time out, you’re a brand new entity to the video programmers. Here at HIP we do our homework, and take enormous care and pride in pitching the client’s video thoughtfully, and make the video programmer realize that this artist or band is truly something special they definitely want to get in on the ground floor with. Thankfully for us we’ve built such a stellar track record of presenting new clients to programmers for the first time when they’ve never heard of said band or artist, and then that band or artist goes on to become huge in the music industry….

Jesse: Yes, and HIP has racked up a ton of them….

Andy: It gives you instant street cred that you’re not some kind of, dare I say, “shit merchant.”  You know those promoters that will just take on any project for a paycheck.  They don’t have any interest in whether or not it’s going to interest anyone else. We have the complete opposite view at HIP; we’re the antithesis of that.  For every one video we get presented to us that we’re excited about and want to move forward with, I have to say no to three or four.  I just don’t say “no, your video sucks”, I call the people and say, “not for nothing, I know you put a lot of time and effort into this video that you’ve made, but in my professional opinion, promoting this video nationally could potentially hurt you.  The reason being is that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and if the first impression is just average or okay, then when programmers do get a future, follow up video, they’re not going to take you seriously. So you really have to be cognizant the first time out that the primary goal is to catch people’s attention and create exposure.  You really need to have something riveting and worthy of further examination.

Jesse: I think that’s really interesting that you sometimes tell the band that the video they’ve presented you is not worth promoting. I even have the same thing happen a lot of the time. I get mixes or masters back and I say, “guys, you’ve got to do something else because what you’re talking about doing is never going to happen.”  That’s so great to see that you do that with sub-par music videos. So that leads me to ask you, what do you see are the common trends or common traits of a video that actually works and is worth promoting?

Andy: Get to the point. If you’re making your first video and thinking you’re going to be clever and do a kitschy 45 second opening, I would suggest you scrap that idea. All I can tell you is that you don’t want to waste time. You want to get right into it and certainly if you’re thinking you’re going to make a 5:45 video masterpiece right out of the box, you might consider 3:30 your best traveled route.

Jesse: That’s a great point.  What about style wise? Are there certain types of video you have an easier time promoting than others?

Andy: Well, let me speak briefly about the live music video. The live music video works fine if you’re Pearl Jam, or Elvis Costello, but it doesn’t work too well for an up and coming band. What you’re trying to do with a music video is you’re striving to come up with something that hasn’t been done before. It’s tough! Almost like trying to pick a band name in 2014.  Ever thought about how easy it was to pick band name in 1967?

Jesse: Oh yeah… It’s hilarious. I managed two bands that have had to do name changes and it’s the worst part of the job.

Andy:  So, with the video, you need to find someone who shares your musical and visual vision. The thought being is that your video director is going to make or break this video. They should come to you with a treatment. If the treatment seems kind of “blah,” that’s not the video you want to move forward with. You want to create a video that when the viewer is finished watching the video, there’s nothing they want to do at that moment other than watch the video again. That is the desired result. And whether it’s an animated clip or it’s a video where you do something that you think might be a bit risqué or irreverent, I think it’s important to realize that you’re trying to catch people’s attention and people have a very short attention span. I don’t think there’s any tried and true method to going about making a memorable, captivating video, but, with that being said, to any artist or band who’s reading this now, you’re going to have to think about your music videos almost in a way that back-in-the-day record labels used to think of as a first, second, and third single. Two years ago when Jagjaguwar came to us with Bon Iver, it was the end of the summer and they said, “We’re going to have a video in February, then we’re going to have one in May, and then we’ll have a third ready for you in September.” The label already realized they were going to need video presentations all throughout the year and all throughout the album cycle.

Jesse: In other words, try to keep the momentum building…

Andy: Absolutely! It’s gotten to that point now where you’re only as good as your last video and you always want to keep trying to raise the bar. I’ve had many instances where first time clients have come to me, the first video is gripping and powerful—it’s the kind of video you know you’re going to have a great campaign with, and you do have a great campaign with it. So, they get to work on the second video and someone gives them bad advice, and the video kind of goes awry. After all of the time and effort to make that second video, “the important follow-up,” they drop the ball and the video’s a dud! As their video promoter, I have to be cognizant and say, I’ve got to be honest with these people.” I’ve got to say to them, “This is going to be a sophomore slump if I’ve ever seen one.” Maybe do some promotion online, but you’ve really got to follow up an excellent first video with something more excellent, or equally as excellent, or you could lose some momentum.’

Jesse: That’s really great advice. I think that that’s one of the big things that we don’t see bands do. It’s that they don’t have a plan of how you sustain an album cycle anymore. You know the big thing everyone says these days is, “Okay, I’ve put up my video on YouTube and Facebook today and then the next day no one cares.” So one of the things you’re talking about is this idea that, yes, there is going to be like a little bit of a shorter life to the video, but what’s nice about exposing the video on all of these different platforms like you do, like getting into Journey’s, Fitness Centers, etc. and then following that up—that’s the way to keep a sustainable momentum. So you’re saying that, what you really have to worry about is a quality control aspect of the videos and planning out that you’re going to have three videos to last you about nine months, at one video every three months or so. Is that correct?

Andy: That would be your best plan of attack with the thought being that every single new person who sees your video and you catch their attention, you’re going to want to basically stay in front of them—“out of sight, out of mind”, so to speak. With music videos, whether it’s on terrestrial television, the Internet, or on the blogs, or social media, or YouTube and VEVO, it’s like that old Shampoo commercial from the 70’s where “you’ll tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on”. The only way you’re going to get to the point where a music video spreads like a wild fire out of control is if it’s truly organic… people talking about your music and your cool new video. We’ve have enormous success with our highly effective social media campaign that we include in most of our music video promotions, helping connect our clients videos with hundreds of thousands of eyeballs that may have not become aware of the band or artist otherwise. And our YouTube campaigns are the real deal, utilizing only “white hat” tactics and savvy, thoughtful marketing that won’t “break the bank”. We are also a VEVO partner, so if you need or prefer exposure on VEVO, HIP Video Promo is the company to contact.

Jesse: Are there trends as to when it’s best to release a video? Should you put your video out the day it’s released? Should you put it out the day that you’re doing a pre-order? Do you see any trends of what works best?

Andy: I’ve seen most clients releasing a video as the first volley, so to speak. The idea being is that if you can catch traction with a video, and you’ve got a good story, by the time street date comes, you’ve generated the kind of excitement and buzz that’s really going to help you right out of the box. There are others that like to set up the video premiere right on the day of release. Certainly, getting a premiere for a video is not for the weak of heart. Lots of people will come to us and they’ll say, “We want to do the campaign, but we want to have a big, high profile premiere.” That’s kind of hard to do if you’re a new, up-and-coming artist. High profile internet outlets are going to want to do the video premieres with the folks that are already well known—just another reason why you really want to make that first video visually stimulating. These programmers are known to have a “passion play” for something new and unknown every couple of weeks, so you just want to make sure that it’s your musical group, or it’s your artist, that secures the “passion play.”

Jesse: Those are phenomenally great points, yet again—

Andy: A quick anecdote; in the beginning of 2012, we started working with a label called Dualtone. I had not heard of Dualtone. I mean, we had done a lot of Nashville stuff…. we promoted the Johnny Cash “Hurt” video, we worked with Lost Highway, MCA Nashville and Mercury, but Dualtone came to us with what I guess we thought at the moment was a Folk/Americana band and they were basically unknown, but when we saw the video, it was the “Ho-Hey” video by The Lumineers…

Jesse: That’s just what I thought you were going to say…

Andy: We realized that we had something special, so, you know, immediately we went to CMT, and they were kind of like, “This is pretty cool.” But when we went to MTV… it was a passion play! They fell in love with The Lumineers over at MTV, go figure! All of a sudden MTV is all over this Lumineers’ “Ho-Hey” video. What happens? CMT is all of a sudden interested. How did that happen? Hmm, I wonder.

Jesse: Ah, that’s interesting!

Andy: Nobody wants to take a chance off of something until they see others have embraced it.

Jesse: It’s true. How long after you have a video in hand, how long do you usually need to get it so that it can be set up properly to begin promoting it?

Andy: It doesn’t take a long time! Once the video is delivered to us and now, since we no longer have to transfer it onto a Beta SP, you could just send it directly to our Drop Box or FTP. What’s important to note is that when we get a video delivered to us here at HIP Video Promo, we basically treat it like a little piece of gold in that you’ve got to take what they give you and you’ve got to do the entire process. Keep in mind there are at least three dozen places in the process where if you don’t have a keen attention to detail, or you’re not paying attention, you can make the entire campaign a buzz-kill because obviously if a video programmer receives a video and there’s a technical issue, whether it be a video hit or an audio glitch, or many of my programmers complain that they get a butt-load of videos that are in mono, not Stereo, you’ve got a big problem.

Jesse: As a mixing and mastering engineer, I can’t tell you how often my heart is broken when the video premieres and I see that the video editor bounced my mix in mono, or bounced it quiet, or something really dumb and it’s just so heart breaking.

Andy: How many fans did the band or artist just lose because of a slight oversight? A ton! In video promotion, unlike the radio promoter or the publicist who gets the music, basically write up the nifty one sheet and they are off to the races, we have this insane quality control that goes down here at HIP in that not only does the video aspect have to be right on the money, the audio aspect has to be right on the money. Not only that, the closed captioning needs to be correct because a national outlet isn’t going to program a video if the closed captioning is completely off the mark. You have to be really tenacious in your preparation because all it takes is one little oversight or mishap and you’ve got a problem. I think that’s why a lot of people come to us. It’s almost as if we’re their “scrubbing bubbles”, we’re going to do all of this mind-numbing work so that they don’t have to. And it’s probably best because when people try to do this on their own, chances are nine times out of ten they’re going to drop the ball, waste a lot of money, and not get any traction at all.

Jesse: I think that’s one really underestimated fact about video promotion is that you need to be focusing on so many mind numbing details. Because you could make a pretty good video, but if the bitrate is really bad and your editor used an Mp3 that they downloaded that’s just terrible, a lot of times that might be what discourages programming opportunities for you… When is a band too small for video promotion to help them?

Andy: We have a mutual friend, he’s just one guy; and he lives right here in Central New Jersey. He came to us with this incredibly memorable video—just the kind of video like I mentioned, you want to watch it over and over and over! And, I mean, he didn’t have a whole, big resume of things that he’d done musically. But once again the “passion play” came into play. He caught the attention of the folks over at mtvU, they decided to put the video on The Freshmen, and he won The Freshmen competition! All of a sudden A&R people, management people and venues are reaching out to him, and it’s a game changer. It’s a real game changer. When those kinds of things happen with decidedly under-the-radar kinds of bands and artists, I know it literally lights a propane torch under their buttocks to really strive to get to the next level. With that kind of wind at your back, you’ve got no choice but to keep trying harder and harder.

Jesse: That’s really interesting that you could see that much of a result from a good video and a good song. One of the things I see that kind of seems like it’s a truth in the music business is, let’s say there are ten rungs on the ladder of fame: you can’t get anybody, aside from your girlfriend, to a show, on up to Metallica/U2. A good publicity campaign can only get you up one or two rungs on that ladder, at best. Usually it might only be a quarter or a half of a rung. Do you feel that way, or do you actually see things like what you have just described being somewhat able to be replicated on a semi-regular basis?

Andy: We replicate it all the time! When people come to us I know they’re a bit apprehensive or they’re a bit tentative because the price of admission into our promotional tent, though it’s not a huge amount of money, it’s still a significant investment. I think a lot of people on the playing field these days have been burned before. When people go into situations like this, they’re hoping for the best. I never like to tell clients that they should be ready to manage their expectations. I don’t like to approach things like that.

Jesse: So I have a couple of clerical questions I want to get to… How many different outlets do you guys aggregate to and push videos to?

Andy: There are approximately between 140 and 170 different outlets. They include the national outlets that we all know, like MTV, MTV2, VH1, and LOGO. There’s Much Music up in Canada. There’s the French version of Much Music, which is Musique Plus. We’ve had a ton of our videos featured on Palladia, which is Viacom’s HD portal. You’ve got REVOLT TV coming into the fold now; they launched back in October. Then you’ve got Video On Demand outlets, like Havoc TV,  Music Choice, or Fuse On Demand, as well as Retail Pools, Content Providers and Regional and Multimarket outlets all over the country.

Jesse: It’s a phenomenal point. Just having a video that gets on one of those On-Demand channels in a certain market, means it’s now a new potential touring market for an up and coming band or artist.

Andy: That’s true! Look at Havoc Television. They’re in 53 million homes. If you’re a band like Title Fight or PUP where you definitely have that more punk-rock aesthetic going, Havoc TV can be a huge game changer for you.

Jesse: That’s a great point because when I go back to my parent’s house and they go out to the supermarket or something, I start flipping through Havoc TV. I’ve learned about a lot of my favorite bands that way. I’m living proof that that works.

Andy: Sure, and with the aforementioned regional outlets like JBTV in Chicago, or California Music Channel in Oakland, a lot of people will say that terrestrial television is dead. I’m here to tell people that television is a time-tested medium. Television is not going away. There are still going to be music fans out there that don’t want to have to pick what it is they watch next; they would rather just have it served up to them like, “Surprise me.” A lot of these regional outlets are super important because over the years they’ve earned the trust of their rabid and loyal viewership due to their expertise in exposing the biggest names in music long before anyone else. We also spoke about the retail pools. Obviously if it’s a heavy metal video with blood and guns and salaciousness, you’re not going to be seen in a retail outlet like Foot Locker or Nordstrom. Music videos are showing up all over the place. I got a call last week from a client who said, “I just got a call from my sister and she’s on a cruise to the Bahamas, and she swears she saw my video in the ship’s night club.” And I said, “Yeah, let me guess, it was the Caribbean Cruise Line.” He was like, “Yeah, how’d you know?” “Because Promo Only supplies the video content to Caribbean Cruise Lines.” People are just dumbfounded. Like, “Wow, I can’t believe she saw my video on a cruise ship. How cool is that?” I talked about the retail outlets, the regional outlets, and then there’s the Internet. We have so many great Internet partners who love to get and give our videos the exposure and attention they deserve.

Jesse: Can you go into detail? Who are your Internet partners? My last question was going to be tied into this… Is it your responsibility or the traditional PR person’s responsibility to secure a premiere on Metal Inside, or Stereogum or Pitchfork, or Absolute Punk, or something like that? Who does that and what are the video outlets that you promote to on the Internet?

Andy: That is a great question because just this morning I had a phone call with a PR person; this is for CMT Edge exposure. We haven’t done a lot of country videos here at HIP, but this woman has been a part of that whole “good ol’ boy” network in Nashville for many years. She’s tight with a couple of the people there at CMT that I’m not tight with. So we talk it out and we figure out, okay, “maybe the best person to reach out first would be you, Kim, since you have the great relationship with Craig.” Because we’ve secured programming for some of our videos on CMT Edge, like The Lumineers, or Good Old War, or Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, we’re prepared to do a follow-up if he’s not feeling it right off the bat after the PR person pitches it. At places like Alternative Press, NPR and American Songwriter, we pitch to them quite often, and quite often they come to the table, likewise with Baeble Music. These are some of the best curated portals out there on the internet, but certainly they’re not going to be programming your video or doing a premiere if they’re not feeling it. Yes, we’ve had video premieres on The Huffington Post and AV Club, and we’ve had videos premiere on mtvU, MTV Hits, LOGO, REVOLT TV, and MTV Buzzworthy, but if you’re an up and coming artist just be cognizant—you’re probably not going to be getting these great “first looks” because, unless people at least have a vibe of who you are and what you’ve done, your best off going for something maybe a little less high profile.

Jesse: Starting off somewhere that’s less high profile doesn’t mean it can’t get increased exposure. One of the examples I always use is my partner Todd who I wrote my book with started off on a site that was kind of small, like Big Stereo, and then Pitchfork picked up his video from seeing it there. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if you start off on a small site, there’s not room to go upwards.

Andy: Likewise, the mutual friend we were just speaking about from New Jersey who won the mtvU Freshmen competition, sometimes, like I said, you just have to go down the list. In his case, we were able to secure VillageVoice.com, which seemed to work well, and secured a lot of eyeballs. You wouldn’t expect that for an unknown band, but you’ve got to follow every lead and you can’t just throw up your arms and say, “Oh, they’re too big, they’re not going to be interested.” Sometimes you’re happily surprised. Sometimes, though, they’ll come at you and they’ll say, “Well, there’s not enough buzz on this.” As a promoter you’ve got to realize sometimes the sale actually starts when the customer says, “No.”

Jesse: Ha. That’s great! I always ask at the end of the interview, is there anything else that we didn’t touch on that you think would be helpful for bands and artists when it comes to music video promotion?

Andy: Just to pimp our services, please know that music video promotion is the only thing we do. It isn’t just one piece of a bigger promotional entity. We specialize in music video promotion and nothing else. My thought is, be good at one thing and stick with it. I’m also blessed to have the best staff in the business. The entire crew of hard working, passionate individuals I work with are all musicians themselves, so they’ve lived the indie struggle first hand and know how much time, thought and hard work goes into creating a buzz. At HIP Video Promo we are all about complete and total saturation of your video wherever it could potentially connect with new eyeballs. By combining terrestrial TV, Internet and blog buzz, retail pool exposure and social media awareness, it’s the complete promotional package. Just know that in our world, it all starts with a potential client giving us a phone call. In fact, we encourage you to give us a phone call since being a bit older and somewhat “old school”, I prefer to speak directly with people on the phone or Skype. It’s important that a new client feel a real, solid basis of relatedness with the company they’re considering to hire to help them. Of course it’s the video, too. After all, it’s the video that does the talking. Just know that if you send us a video and we don’t think it’s the first, great impression that you need to get to the next level, we’re not just going to take your money and do a poor job. We’re going to tell you right up front that it’s in your best interest to go back to the drawing board. I think for every one person who has said to me, “What are you trying to tell me, my video sucks?” I’ve had ten people who have said to me, “I don’t believe it. You’re actually being honest with me. You’re giving me your honest opinion that in this scenario, it would be in my best interest to hold off promoting this video nationally and go back to the drawing board and make something more compelling. You’re one of the first honest men I’ve found in this business.” Sure enough, six months later I’ll get the call saying, “Remember me? You told me six months ago my first video I sent you wasn’t very good. Guess what? I have a new video.” Sometimes people need to hear the truth, it’s the best and only way to do business.

Jesse: It’s true, and I think you get a better workflow and end up promoting better videos overall.  Just because that video didn’t work out doesn’t mean that they can’t put it on their YouTube and then try to promote something else later. Can you give everybody your socials and where they could find you before we finish this up?

Andy: Absolutely! Please visit HIPVideoPromo.com to learn more about what we do. I encourage you to check out our blog for the most up to the minute information about all of our cherished clients. On our social media, we have the full boat—Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Reverbnation, and Pinterest. Lots of great, compelling stuff! Remember, my staff and I’ve been doing this for fourteen years, so we can put up old photos of me with Jared Leto from 30 Seconds to Mars from 2002 or with James Mercer from The Shins in 2003. We just started putting up a whole bunch of our old video interviews. So far we’ve posted Bloc Party, Of Montreal, and Minus the Bear from back in the day when few music fans knew who they were. Definitely check out the little button on our website. It says, “Click here for a price quote.” Reach directly out to me whether you have a video ready to go or if you’re just curious about what it would cost. Just remember it’s a video-centric world out there and if you really want to catch people’s attention nowadays, you’re going to have to combine them - the visual and the audio - together. Please consider us. We’re always available. If you call and I’m not in the office, the staff will give you my cell phone because I’ll want to talk to you straight away. I encourage everybody to visit our website, or check out the HIP Video Promo blog and all of our social media. All of the videos we’ve promoted are featured on the artist pages, and we have a complete list of all of our services and what we do. Unlike some of the others out there that do what we do, we really try to make it as easy as possible for our clients to get the full overview of what we’re able to bring to the promotional table. It always engenders a much more successful campaign.

Jesse: Awesome. Thank you so much for being on and I hope to have you back in the future!

Andy: Jesse, it’s been a pleasure. I really enjoyed it and thank you for the opportunity.

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