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Thursday, October 16, 2008


Dazzled by the direct-to-fan possibilities of the internet? Get over it, because serious campaigns require serious strategies, and often, dedicated teams to get the job done. That was just one of several messages at the You Are In Control symposium in Iceland on Wednesday, a small gathering of mostly European artists and industry professionals.

Against the backdrop of glaciers, geothermic baths, and a chilled Reykjavik, attendees traded tips on touring, marketing, publicity, and jamming through an economic crisis. The discussions predictably included digital and mobile formats, an overwhelming terrain that demands smart strategy and healthy experimentation. "There's a long way you can go and a lot of outlets," said Laura Seach, head of Digital for Ninja Tune. "But digital campaigns require focus."

During a case study presentation for the Roots Manuva album Slime & Reason, Seach described a strategy that starts with research into the digital profile of the fanbase. "I need to know how they consume digitally, where they consume digitally, which sites they're on, how old they are, if they are streaming or downloading," Seach offered.

Sounds logical, though even with extra bodies and cash, spreading content across the web requires a fair amount of syndication. In that light, Seach initially started creating channels that could be ported into a large number of social networks and sites. "I know that if I have ten social networks and I set up a channel... then the fans don't have to sit there waiting for information," Seach described.

Syndication and channeling means widgeting, though network add-on iLike was also mentioned as an expansion mechanism. Other tools include Kyte, a video-focused channeling tool tapped by a broad range of artists. Those tools are part of a totally interconnected campaign, one that considers a typically-dispersed and floating fan. "Everything in my campaign syncs together," Seach offered.