If you’re a modern band with a strong connection to your fans, why not get them to do some free work for you? Like remix your new single, or create a video for it, or provide footage for your website or DVD by filming themselves covering your songs. The user-generated content (UGC) fan contest is increasingly a core part of music marketing campaigns. Here’s some of the ways to do it.Remixable stemsForget paying a superstar DJ a fat fee to mess with your masterpieces. Increasingly, artists are making their songs available for fans to remix. Radiohead’s release of individual instrument ‘stems’ for Nude through iTunes is one of the most famous examples, but Franz Ferdinand did it for Ulysses via Beatport, and Erykah Badu and Linkin Park have both done it. A couple of artists – K-OS and Third Eye Blind – have made their tracks available for remixing before the actual albums were out, with K-OS promising to include the best ones on the album itself.Cover versionsFans covering their favourite bands’ songs on YouTube used to be a spur for takedown notices. In many cases, it still is. But other artists are actively encouraging fan covers. Oasis gave away sheet music of new songs with music mag the NME and asked fans to upload their performances recently, while Colombian superstar Juanes asked fans to send in video covers, and found 30% doing it via their mobile phones. Of course, there’s also the option of miming: the new series of Flight of the Conchords was promoted via a contest for fans to lip-synch to Hophopopotamus vs Rhymenoceros, while Guns’n’Roses got people to perform their widdliest air guitar solos to the title track to Chinese Democracy.Video productionSome artists have looked beyond fans playing or miming, and asked them to get more creative and come up with ideas for videos. Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails launched contests in the same week last March, with the former asking for animations based on In Rainbows tracks, and the latter asking for videos for all 36 tracks on his Ghosts I-IV album. Marillion offered a

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