MusicLinkUp will debut on June 30, and the new networking site is being compared to LinkedIn, a site where professionals can connect with journalists and experts. MusicLinkUp bills itself as “creating economic opportunity for every member.” The aim seems to be to enable musicians to connect with those who provide services covering the gamut from graphic design to playlists and gigs.
There isn’t an in-depth FAQ or ‘about’ section on the MusicLinkUp site, but it looks like this will be a resource for musicians who may need a publicist, booking agent, manager, PR firm, or other services. A pinned Tweet said:
“Get unlimited access to professionals in every sector of the Music Industry. #Publicists, #BookingAgents, #Managers, #Producers, #Attorneys, #GraphicDesigners, #Artists, #Engineers, #Publishers and more. The Future of Music Networking. http://MusicLinkUp.com “
As a performer expands reach, the business side of art tends to require more attention. I speak from experience. When my daughter first began to perform as a solo artist, the goals were simple and obvious. Get more gigs. Get better paying gigs. Pay your bills. Above all, touch the hearts of potential supporters with your music. As she grew her brand (and her band), she and her sister who joined a couple years later needed some help with nuts and bolts. I once joked that, courtesy of their career path, I became a barfly and roadie.
If your brand grows beyond a hobby or Friday/Saturday gig, media will come calling. All manner of professionals will seek you out. I forget how many ‘recording’ and representation contracts they’ve been offered. While the many come calling, the few will be welcomed. The business is full of predators and the single most significant lesson we’ve learned is to never put your name on a document that specifies “perpetual rights.”
Beyond that, as a brand grows, there will still be equipment to maintain (including a sound system and a backup), your vehicle maintenance, website(s) updates, social media, community involvement (charity shows), and the asset most young musicians completely overlook—the value and shelf life of printed material.
It appears MusicLinkUp will address these needs by giving musicians and other talents a means of connecting now that technology has in one sense spelled freedom—you no longer have to move to a city like Nashville to build a following and your brand.
In our case, at times, the whole family has been involved in helping Jennifer and Rebecca to grow their brand and meet their goals. My husband and I enjoy helping them, trying to use the professional experience we gained in the media and corporate sectors. I think the most successful bands often have this kind of support from someone. You can build your fans without that kind of support, but the work itself will intrude on your music pursuits because a working musician is always putting time into new songs, new covers, new recordings, getting better at your instrument, and special performances.
At the Music LinkUp site, you can sign up for notifications. I’ve done that, and I hope to learn more about the site once it debuts. MusicLinkUp is a subsidiary of JCM Holdings, a privately held company with “seven primary brands”. Among those brands is Sirius XM.
I’ve messaged MusicLinkUp to ask if there’s a fee to join. I’ll add the response, if I get one, to this column. Meanwhile MLU’s Twitter page is active, and you can see what others say about it there.
(Kay B. Day/June 14, 2018)