Moving the Needle: Creating Enough Momentum
There are two main schools of thought about Big Labels/Big Management. It's either the 'they're corrupt dinosaurs and we don't need them' or 'I need someone to back me and make me a star'. If you believe the latter, how do you move the movers and shakers? How do you get on the radar of the star makers and power-brokers? Answer: move the needle. Learn about the practical ins and outs of building enough career momentum and earning the credibility to make it happen.
Katy Kirby is a community builder, early adopter of social media, music technology advocate, Nashville fan, art nerd, and creative instigator. As the Director of Digital Media for the independent music marketing, distribution, and management company Thirty Tigers, she works on a daily basis to give artists a strong voice in the ever-changing digital media landscape. With fifteen years of experience in the entertainment industry and almost ten years working in interactive and experiential marketing, she has worked behind the scenes with several nationally recognized brands and companies including Live Nation, BMI (Landmark Digital), The Daily Show, Associated Press Television, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Compass Records, Pepsi, and General Motors.
Bram has always had the quintessential mash-up career. With one half of his brain steeped heavily in the music industry and the other half working the daily grind in technology, both careers finally collided with the inception of Indiehitmaker (IHM). Part of the new music industry, IHM offers a music service once unavailable to the masses of artists who are still selling music in today’s market. Backed by PolyPlat Records, the label he co-owns, and powered by Blue Mountain Technologies, his software development company, IHM is helping independent artists establish and advance their careers by allowing them to report live venue sales to SoundScan, a service once only available to signed artists. The real magic here is that they are leveraging technology to make it available, affordable and easy for every one of the 300,000 plus independent artists currently touring and performing in the United States a way to leverage the only industry-accepted sales metric, SoundScan, and get on the Billboard Charts. IHM is proud to have serviced over 100 artists since it’s inception, with twelve of them charting on SoundScan and Billboard and one even hitting number one on the coveted Heatseekers album charts.
Bram’s music industry experience started thirteen plus years ago as the drummer for Soup, a well-known regionally touring act across the east coast and Midwest. Soon after its disbandment, Bram started SoundArt Management to help other independent artists (Pepper’s Ghost, Dr. Dan, Fashion Bomb) make the jump from indie to signed. SoundArt Management then focused on tour management heading the Virgin College Mega Tour for four years in a row, until he met Atlanta indie rockers State of Man with whom he soon partnered to bring Indiehitmaker to life.
It was Bram’s extensive knowledge and expertise in technology over the same time span that created the missing piece to complete the IHM vision. All while touring, playing 150 plus shows a year, Bram was the marketing & creative director, UI designer and usability expert for CompeteNet Inc., a technology development company servicing clients such as IBM, HP/Compaq, Northrop Grumman, DOD (U.S. Army), Xerox, Unisys, Sun, EDS, and Scottrade with web-based competitive intelligence, simulation training and distance learning solutions. With his extensive work in bleeding technologies, he soon left CompeteNet and started Blue Mountain Technologies with the company’s CTO and lead developer. Today they are providing cutting edge, cross platform technology solutions for software development across the web, cloud and mobile devices.
Following past successes of his panels “How to Profit from Technology Online, Offline and on the Road” at SXSW Interactive 2011, “Is It Music or Is It Business?” at Driven Music Conference 2011 ATL & 2012 FLA, moderating “Make The Major Leap to Pro (and Do It Right)” Driven Atlanta 2012 and producing the Panel Series “Finding Success In Today’s Music Industry – Leveraging Your Live Performance” for the first ever Virtual Music Conference brought to you by IndieConnect, Bram is headed to SXSW 2013 to sit on the panel “Moving The Needle” and looks forward to bringing his unique perspective and success stories to more music conferences around the country.