We’re back for the late afternoon session of MidemNet, kicking off with Artists Without A Label (AWAL)’s Denzyl Feigelson, talking about ‘finding tribes’. Interesting how much of the focus today has been on connecting artists (and labels) with fans, and building communities around that. Kinda established practice in the Web 2.0 world, but still the Hot New Thing in the music industry.Anyway, Feigelson kicks off with a nice upward graph showing AWAL’s monthly revenues growing. And he then talks about how one of the most important assets to any campaign – for band or brand – is the person who’s always on. Either a band member or an intern at the management company.”We recommend that somebody for the camp is completely wired 24 hours a day,” he says. “In the old days, it was quite simple – bands aspired to have a record deal, labels created marketing plans involving radio, touring, video, some indie promo, and then some plastic round things were shipped to stores, and hoped people would go and buy them. And it worked really well.”But the new model requires artists, bands or brands to “be everywhere, and the challenge is to find the relevance in that everywhere. Blogging is so important, reading, learning, social networking, social media – it’s quite daunting how much there is out there. An endless stream of things that we do, and that artists have to do these days.”He brings up a slide at this point of all the different sites, services, stores and digital touchpoints that bands can appear on, from artist sites to blogs to online radio to mobile firms to viral marketeers.But the overall theme – everything is connected to the internet now. “What makes artists and fans communicate with each other?” asks Feigelson. “Artists need to create compelling sites and killer apps so that fans can enjoy what they’re doing.” he says, pointing out that half a billion iPhone apps have been downloaded already (apparently this was announced yesterday).AWAL has also been experimenting with iLearning courses online, where bands can talk to fans and find out what they’re looking for.Some case studies: Ingrid Michaelson, a US artist discovered on MySpace, and had four songs featured on Grey’s Anatomy in the US, and then self-released her album only into iTunes – after which it got onto radio, was picked up by Old Navy for a jumper commercial, sending it into the Billboard chart. Now she’s sold more than 250,000 albums and 800,000 downloads, without a record deal, and without distribution outside the US.”Now she has this lucky seed of ‘do I sign? Can the label move the needle even further for me?’”He says it’s coming back to the idea of real career development. “If artists can find their tribe, they can find everything they need within that tribe… We’re getting back to an era of authenticity which leads to profilic, fearless creativity. And that generates trust from your audience, after which you can do anything.”Case study two: Jack Penate, who posted lots of videos on his website for fans, and also putout a limited vinyl release that encouraged every buyer to photograph themself with the record and upload it to the site to ‘claim’ it.Feigelson also says people should learn from Barack Obama’s campaign, and also that bands should be using services like Kyte and Flixwagon, generating video from their mobile handset. “I look forward to the day when a band can hold a Skype chat with all their fans,” says Feigelson. He’s moving quite fast, apologies for the stream of consciousness nature of this post!Case study three: Thom Yorke, for whom Beggars did the marketing for his last album, getting people to sign up for his maliing list, then releasing basic information on the album itself, put up a site with mysterious links to the album tracks, then did a video podcast that attracted 14,000 listeners, then… no, sorry, it’s too fast to type down. But lots of stuff, as you can tell.Now Jill Sobule, and her Jill’s Next Record website raising money from fans, on which she’s raised $89,000 already.Now Feigelson recommends a company called MagNet from the US, which involves a skinnable scalable widget that has images, texts and ads, can be embedded on the web, offers instant messagng, location-based stuff, email and RSS feeds, and viral functionality built into it. That sounds good.And he’s out of time. UPDATE – no, it’s no use, I just get kitchens and fridge ornaments when I Google MagNet. Can anyone supply the URL?

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