Dave Kusek is the founder of the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers, and songwriters. He is also the founder of Berklee Online, co-author of The Future of Music, and a member of the team who brought midi to the market.
In this episode Mike and Blasko explore the points laid out by Dave Kusek in his article “The Art of Using Cover Songs to Grow Your Audience”. He writes:
Many artists may have conflicted feelings about cover songs, for although they can be fun to play and offer an easy way to connect with your audience, it can also be irritating when cover songs are all an audience wants, or when they get more attention than original compositions. Here we look at the best way to make cover songs work for you.
Best way to get people who hear your covers into your original music? Put your own unique spin on every song you cover. That means bending the songs stylistically to fit with the kind of music you play and write.
There’s this fascination with “viral” videos in the music industry. But a ton of views on a cover aren’t worth much on YouTube unless you can get in touch with those people again. We’ve seen a lot of musicians hit it with a crazy viral video only to release an original music video on deaf ears.
So instead of thinking, “How can I get 10,000 views,” get yourself in the mindset of, “How can I get as many viewers as possible to subscribe?”
Setting up suggested videos or playlists on your YouTube channel can be a great way to get people to continue watching, which increases the chance they’ll actually subscribe.
And that leads us into the next point – utilizing call to actions. So what exactly is a call to action? It’s basically just you directly asking your viewers or listeners to take some further action. Maybe it’s watching another video, or subscribing to your channel, or entering your contest, or clicking the link in your description box.
If you’re releasing covers on YouTube, you can easily use “cards” to suggest other videos your viewers can watch next. As you upload your video, you’ll be able to add cards in the “Cards” tab across the top of the upload screen. Use cards to suggest other cover songs or even original songs when people reach the end of your videos.
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