Category Archives: Digital

Meet MMBE tutors at PPL / FAC event

MMBE tutors and representatives from Gateshead College will be attending this event, so if you’d like to come along and talk to them about the course, register for the event by via the link below.

Venue: The Sage Gateshead,

Date: Tuesday 30 October, 2012

Time: 5.30pm

Do YOU get all the money due to you as a performer or record company?

How do you know if you’re missing out on YOUR share of the pot?

PPL collects money when records are broadcast or when artists perform on recorded music.

But you can only receive that money if YOU are registered.

The money is collected FOR YOU and distributed EVERY YEAR. All you have to do is register – which is FREE to do.

PPL are holding a special event in Gateshead in October to meet performers and labels.

To ask the people at PPL just how it works and what’s involved and hear how easy it is to join, come along to the FREE PPL event at The Sage at 5.30pm on Tuesday 30th October.

You’ll meet:

  • Keith Harris, PPL Director of Performer Affairs
  • John Smith, General Secretary, Musicians Union & PPL Performer Board Member
  • Hal Ritson, FAC Board Member, musician, record producer and DJ.

The event is completely free and open to anyone involved in a band or label.


Registration starts at 5.30pm and the session starts at 6pm promptly finishing at 7.30pm when there will be an hour’s food, drinks and networking.

Any general questions about the session, please email

The Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, NE8 2JR

Speaker Biogs

Keith Harris started in the music industry in 1974 working for Transatlantic, a small independent UK label. In 1976 Keith joined EMI Records where he initially worked for several in-house EMI labels in the promotions department. These included Rocket where he worked on the Elton John album ‘Blue Moves’, Fantasy, Ariola and EMI International. He then joined Motown becoming General Manager working with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. He left in 1978 to work with Stevie Wonder and became Operations Manager for his companies. Keith joined PPL in 2006, is a former Chairman of the MMF, the managers’ trade body, and he is the Chairman of Musictank.

Hal Ritson has performed on or produced over 200 dance or urban records over the past few years, with credits including artists such as Nas, Dizzee Rascal, Lil Wayne, Newton Falkner, Jessie J, David Guetta, the Black Eyed Peas, Lethal Bizzle, Estelle, Laidback Luke, Steve Angello, Taio Cruz, Tinchy Strider and many more. His main personal project is as leader of the London-based electronic mashup collective The Young Punx.

John Smith: After studying at the Royal Academy of Music, John became a freelance musician based in London. In 1974 he joined the orchestra of English National Opera and remained there for almost 20 years. He’s been a full time MU official since 1994 and has negotiated trade agreements with UK broadcasters and audio visual producers. John is a Performer Director for PPL and also a member of the Live Music Forum.

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Filed under Course News, Digital, Record Labels

MMBE Student Grant is a Fiend for Digital Marketing

Regular readers of the MMBE blog, may remember Grant Brydon who passed the first MMBE course at Gateshead College. In our previous catch up, he talked about the benefits of the course and how it had “opened his eyes”. We were pleased to hear that Grant has gone to put his new-found knowledge into practice and has launched a new digital marketing company, Fiend Digital.


Here he talks about his new venture…

“Fiend Digital is a digital communications and online public relations company for musicians, labels and managers. We focus on building up artists fan-bases by implementing bespoke strategies formed on a case-to-case basis.

We believe that in today’s ever competitive marketplace it is becoming increasingly important for artists to build their own brand and fan base to back up their talent before approaching labels, publishers or other external platforms for release, and run an affordable range of services to assist artists in doing so.

Our services include:

Strategy: Helping to timeline and plan a marketing campaign, whether this be specifically targeted to the release of a single/mixtape/album or just ongoing fan base building.

Online PR: Writing press releases and compiling press packs for content and then delivering to blogs and websites. Mailing lists for releases are compiled specific to the artist and their work, based on which sites their target audience will identify and where they are most likely to receive positive results.

Social Media Services: Assistance in the running of social media accounts for artists, advising in how best to utilize and grow these vital online avenues. This can include anything from social media strategy to looking after accounts and updating on the artists behalf, depending on the preference of the client.

Digital Content Creation: Helping to identify suitable content to assist an artists campaign that will interest their target audience and help to keep fans engaged both on the run up to, and between, releases.

We are currently operating with a very varied roster of artists nationwide including Trafik, Barzin, Verbal Contact, This Ground Moves as well as clients such as Triptik Records and Bad Taste Cru, and we also act as management for Distinction.”

Grant has a background in urban music journalism, and has been running his own internationally respected hip-hop blog,, for the past few years, as well as contributing weekly columns to SB.TV (‘Mixtape Mondays’ and ‘Ones To Watch’) covering a wider variety of genres, and industry tastemaker blog ‘The Tipping Point’ run by Generator.

For more information please head to / or contact

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Filed under Case Studies, Course News, Digital, Management

So, You’d Like To Sell Your Music?

As the debate rages on as to whether Spotify is in fact the Devil, it is safe to say that income from it is nominal at best and it should probably be viewed simply as a promotional tool. This handy infographic demonstrates exactly how much an artist can make digitally and how. Encouragingly, it seems that the DIY method serves best, good news for all struggling musicians! However, the highest returns come from vinyl. If an artist can afford the initial layout and the consumer actually has the means to play it… could (or should) this signal a return to the much-beloved medium of wax?

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Filed under Digital, Record Labels, Uncategorized

Time to Face the Future

When Facebook launched their new Timeline for pages I think we were a little caught up in the excitement of it all. But now we’re a month in and our love for it is starting to wane. Sure we like having a cover picture and the more sophisticated feel but is it really the best layout for pages never mind emerging artists?

There’s been a few outcries from those who aren’t exactly happy with the change (isn’t that always the case?) and with the enforcement of the Timeline on all pages from the 31st March what impact will it have for artist pages?

Today we stumbled across this presentation from Nimbit at SxSW – and it’s not all doom and gloom!

As you may have noticed Timeline for pages has erased the ability for artists to use their customised apps/tabs for their landing spot. Instead users are taken directly to the Timeline.

This move away from bands relying on apps could be the start of a better artist/fan relationship. Being less ‘like’ driven means that artists will have to focus on their relationship and engagement with their fans.

In other words: Let your fans ‘try before they like’.

Sure traffic to apps will drop but fear not – customised apps haven’t completely disappeared – infact they can now be found as a tab at the top of a page and can be easily ‘prioritised’ to show your more frequently used apps.

But our favourite Timeline feature is the cover photo which is an ideal space for artists to place the spotlight on their new EP or tour dates.

What do you think? How do you think Timeline is going to impact your artists or business’ page?

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Filed under Digital