Ahhh  the glories of self promotion  well, almost.

Dec 1, 2000

I am in the midst of a significant learning curve right now in my life. It is called all of a sudden being required to have a working understanding of online music promotions. Very snappy business this promotion thing and one in which, thankfully, there are emerging some very talented people, who I hope to introduce you to here.

I just recently got my first "on-line" cd up on MP3.com. Now, in and of itself, this is no major accomplishment. To the best of my very limited knowledge, there are over 700,000 songs on MP3.com and they tend to run the artistic gamut from incredibly bad to phenomenally profound, from independent artists recording in their living rooms, to very expensively and professionally produced recording masterpieces for some artists.

Nonetheless, I made the investment of time, money and energy to do so, because as a musician I have to have other people hear my music. Itís in the nature of the genes or something I think.

Well great. Now that the cd is up on MP3.com, what do I do with it? It is not going to just jump out there and become a top 5 song on itís own, right? I mean, itís not like a nationally promoted single being played on some local radio station. There are literally millions of people who go onto MP3.com to download and buy music.

If this were the world I know, Iíd go on the road and promote that way, stopping at any and all radio stations that might have an interest in playing music from an independent artist, playing in every out of the way hole in the wall flee trap club out there.

But there is no road on which to travel on the Internet Ö in a manner of speaking. Whereís the stage, the lights, the people? There arenít any. So, what good is it then to put so much into the music only to have it sit there, getting no listens, making no money?

Fortunately, someone at MP3.com was very smart. They created a virtual A&R (artist and relations) program called the NMA (New Music Army). As I understand it, someone can sign up as an independent promoter under this arrangement. They receive 5% of the revenue generated by the listens your song achieves, as well as cd sales. The artist receives 50% and MP3.com receives 45%.

As a result of this program there has emerged a new group of people dedicated to getting your songs on as many virtual radio stations as they can as well as help you get more hits, etc., on MP3.com. Smart deal this.

One such entity is C.M.A.P., Colorado Musicians Allied Promotions, headed up and created by Bobby Bensley. The site can be found at http://www.folkrockcity.com.

Bobby is an MP3.com folk rock artist who managed to get to number one, even over a song featuring Bruce Springsteen on one of the many many charts within MP3.com. He achieved this by tenaciously promoting himself to others who frequent his site on MP3.com. He did artist trades, where artists buy cd from each otherís sites and download each othersí music. He did it by participating in chats and discussions, meeting new people in cyberspace as he went.

Because of his success at promoting he started out the C.M.A.P. as a way to represent artists from around the world on the Internet. From this site, Bobby mentors a roster that sits at 47 artists now and is growing.

What Bobby and others like him are doing is taking the independent artist, who until recently had no avenue for his / her music and leading the caravan down this as yet undeveloped road, stopping at every radio station and flee infected performance hall there is in this virtual world.

This road is every bit as rocky as the one on which I plant my feet every day. There is no guarantee of success. But, because of people like Bobby and organizations like C.M.A.P., I managed 118 hits in less than 48 hours and a live radio station in Belgium has requested a copy of my cd to play on one of their programs. Having never been here before, this is all pretty exciting for a newbie like me Ö

That is until I see performers getting hundreds of thousands of hits, and making upwards of $15,000 per month!! And then I realize, without help navigating I ainít gonna get to where I want to be.

Take advantage of the places that offer help out there Ö it is worth it, especially if youíve never been here before.

PS .. if youíd care to visit my MP3.com site, the url is http://www.mp3.com/alienchris Ö Ďpreciate it.

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