How to get your exclusive invite at the bottom of the page…
Myspace is making a comeback – but fear not, it’s nothing like as camp as the word “comeback” implies. Thankfully, Myspace’s reincarnation is more classy exhibition of artistic maturity than desperate attempt to explode colourfully back into relevance. Myspace has grown up – which is lucky, because so have the people who once used it and may use it again.
The new site looks super sleek and is obviously designed with creatives in mind, with full page cover photos on profiles and the side scrolling providing a stream of glossy pictures – you’re never short of something pretty to look at. It’s not exactly photo focused though (although you can attach pictures to posts) in that you’re probably not going to be uploading pics from last year’s holiday to Tenerife – pictures are there to complement the music.
There are some nifty little features, like being able to start typing on any page to begin searching – but it’s the music streaming and ease of sharing that separates it from the rest. The streaming bar at the bottom of the page means that you can browse while your music continues to play – something that wasn’t possible on the old Myspace without opening a pop-up window. And sharing music is easier than ever too – attach a song to a post, add to a playlist or mix or send to someone as a message.
You have the option to claim your old Myspace account – but if you can’t bear to face your teenage self, it’s perhaps best to start again with your new mature outlook, a bit like Myspace have done.
Dizzyjam are offering you the chance to be one of the people with exclusive access to the beta version of the site. Just send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and they’ll get you set right up. And don’t forget to connect to us on Myspace once you’re signed up, and tell us what you think!
What do a singer/songwriter, a man who makes music from games consoles and a master mixer of music and video have in common? If your answer isn’t “they all played the Dizzyjam stage at Swn Festival and were all awesome”, you weren’t there and, well…we’re not angry, we’re just disappointed. Your absence is your own punishment. Alternatively, you were there but don’t remember it (well done for making the effort) or you answered correctly (congratulations and we hope you continue to make excellent life choices). If you’re unsure if you attended, the photos may help you to figure it out.
If you have no idea what we’re talking about, Saturday 20th saw our long awaited Swn Festival event at The Moon Club, right here in lovely (if currently slightly dreary) Cardiff. We were looking forward to being part of Swn again, especially since they’d decided to trust us with our own night. There was a pretty good turn out in the intimate room at the Moon, which we Dizzyjam-ified with a few well placed posters, a hanging banner (which was definitely put up within health and safety guidelines) and a brilliant moving image projected to the back of the stage, which we hope served as a subliminal message that left people waking up in the morning/afternoon trying to figure out what a “dizzyjam” is.
All three of our artists have shops with Dizzyjam so we were pretty excited to see them. It’s great to see just how diverse our sellers are and these guys just scratch the surface. We kicked off with Esther, who started the night in a simple, but no less fantastic, fashion with just her voice and a guitar. She gently eased everyone into the evening – or maybe not so gently – and got them nice and warmed up. Then we turned it up a notch as Alone took to the stage (probably to about nine or ten, so there was still room for Hexstatic to turn it up to eleven). Alone won our competition to play Swn Festival earlier in the year – so it’s a good job he delivered (if the whooping was anything to go by). Hexstatic was our headliner, who gave us not just music, but video too – two for one! If you weren’t captivated by Hexstatic’s feats of audiovisual display you’re probably someone who’s very easily distracted. The room filled up with curious Swners wandering in to check out what was happening and – well, basically everyone had a smashing time, is what we’re trying to say.
A huge thank you to Esther, Alone, Hexstatic and others who DJ’d, as well as to Swn volunteers (especially for making the t-shirts look so good), staff at The Moon Club, any and all miscellaneous people involved with Swn and our event – and of course to everyone who came to watch, listen and dance. See you at the next one!
Photos: Above: Hexstatic; below: Esther (left) and Alone (photos courtesy of James and Neil)
Update – we’ve launched a special site just to make it SUPER easy, and even cheaper, to buy great quality t-shirts in bulk. Just head to RampTshirts.com, where you can create your shirts, get data-driven recommendations about the sizes you should buy, and check out, all in under three minutes.
We’re now offering an easier way to request a bulk order of your t-shirts. Whereas you could previously order in bulk, it was a slightly longer and more complicated process. Now it’s all sorted in one short form. Currently this special offer is only for t-shirt orders of one colour (one shirt colour and a design consisting of one colour) and you have the option to order either 50, 100, 250 or 500 shirts. Anything else, just drop us a line for a quote. You can order a combination of men’s and women’s, as well as different sizes – either let us choose the numbers we think are best or choose your own. If you let us pick your sizes, we’ll send you 80% men’s shirts and 20% women’s. We’ll use great quality Gildan t-shirts that look and feel great, and are very durable. Once your artwork has been approved (we’ll check to make sure it will print well) we’ll send you an invoice with your charges. The more shirts you order, the better the value – ranging from £250 for 50 shirts (£5 per shirt) all the way up to £1750 for 500 shirts (£3.50 per shirt).
This past month Dizzyjam HQ added two new members of staff to the mix, giving us a chance to increase our level of creativity and productivity to phenomenal levels – and possibly lowering the average age in the office by a few years. Designer James and marketing assistant Laura were both hired through Jobs Growth Wales, which aims to create 4,000 jobs for people aged 16-24 in Wales each year. With the added hands on deck Dizzyjam can continue to expand and let the music industry know that we’re here to provide a quality and much needed service to music makers and promoters around the world.
We’ve already got them working hard, with James filling requests flying in for our free design service and Laura spreading the word about the offer and our Swn Festival event. They’re not just here to make the tea (although they won’t be not making the tea) – they have the chance to grow with the company and be part of Dizzyjam as it gathers force and steamrolls its way onto the scene.
Over the coming months the new team members have a chance to show what they can do, and to help Dizzyjam show the world what Cardiff start-ups are made of. They’re not quite as strange as they look.
Our good friends at Zimbalam are offering all Dizzyjam users a very special deal on their great service. Their site lets you sell on iTunes and other platforms for a simple one off fee (£19.99 for a single, £29.99 for an album).
And we’re giving one lucky Dizzyjam band a month a completely free release with them! Just tag yourself in this Facebook picture, and we’ll select one person a month!
And for those not lucky enough to win, we’ve got you 20% off any Zimbalam prices! Just head on over to their site and enter “Zimbalam12” to get your discount. You’ll be selling your MP3s on iTunes, Amazon, Juno etc in no time at all.
Here at Dizzyjam we’re really proud of the big steps we’ve made towards making it much easier to make money from merchandise for anyone who makes, plays or promotes music. To start making money from merch with us, all you need to do is sign-up for free, upload your design or logo, and create a product that you can share with all your fans.
But there’s still a big gap in the process. Not everyone has a design that they can use to put on their merch. We’ve found that over 75% of bands don’t have a logo or design that would work on a t-shirt or mug. And most of those just can’t afford to employ a professional designer. And that’s where we come in!
Neil Cocker, one of the company’s directors, said “Here at Dizzyjam HQ we’ve decided we can do more to help. So for a limited time we’re going to be offering a completely free, no-strings-attached, design service for anyone who needs it“. All you need to do is fill in the form below and one of our design team will be in touch. They’ll find out more about your music, influences, and design preferences, before going to work. And when they deliver you your free design, you’re free to use it in any way you see fit.
This offer has now ended.
At Dizzyjam we’re undertaking a really exciting crowdfunding project to raise funds to help us grow. But unlike most crowdfunding, you’ll actually get to OWN SHARES in our company. That’s right – you’ll be a shareholder and will be entitled to a share of our future dividends. We’re expecting these shares to go very quickly, so don’t hang about.
We’ll be using every penny to grow Dizzyjam into a world-beating company, helping millions of bands, artists and DJs across the globe, as well as building more tools and features to help you sell more merch to your fans.
To find out more you can download the investment brochure here.
And we only receive your investment if we reach our target of £100,000 pounds. So if not enough people invest you’ll get all of your money back.
It’s an easy process, so register with Crowdcube here to find out more about our company and how you can be part of this exciting startup!.
We’ll shortly be employing two new members of staff, thanks to the Jobs Growth Wales fund.
If you’re between 16 and 24, currently unemployed, live in Wales, and want to work for Wales’ most exciting startup, then we want to hear from you. The wages are basic, but the opportunity is phenomenal. It’s six months to begin with, but hopefully permanent after that. We’re growing quickly, and have some incredible plans. We’d love to have you join us for the amazing ride!
The standard working week for both jobs will be 10am-6pm, Monday to Friday, from our base in Fairwater, Cardiff, but we are open to some flexible working.
Marketing Assistant – Apply here now (deadline 31st Aug, not 24th as stated on this link)
Dizzyjam is seeking an enthusiastic, entrepreneurial and energetic marketing assistant to join our team and help us continue to build Wales’ most exciting startup. You’ll be smart, and inquisitive, and willing to come up with great ideas and then go and implement them.
You’ll also have superpowers that allow you to work in a cool environment, while drinking lots of tea and listening to ace music.
Designer – Applications now closed, sorry.
Dizzyjam is seeking an enthusiastic, energetic and talented designer to help us keep up with the demands of the bands and DJs that use our service, and to help us continue to be Wales’s most exciting startup. You’ll be used to using Photoshop, and be comfortable designing for tshirts. If you have any digital skills (CSS, HTML5 etc) that will be a bonus.
Here’s a great guide from our friends over at Radar:
Radar helps independent labels and DIY artists everywhere find and commission the best music video directors for their budget, and helps promote the best new music videos to music journalists and fans worldwide. We also publish useful articles.
Here’s four supercharged tips from “The Ultimate Guide to Getting The Most From Your Music Video”.
Research the kind of video you want
(from ‘Preparation, Preparation, Preparation – how to commission a great video’)
These sites find and feature the best music videos on the internet, use them for inspiration:
(from ‘Presenting Your Video – Publishing platforms and the art of encouraging people to click on your links’)
Thumbnails are the MOST important aspect of presentation and by far the biggest reason someone will click to view your video or not – particularly if they don’t know you and your music. If the pre-selected thumbnail isn’t excellent, without question you need to change it.
Most sites allow you to choose thumbnails – YouTube partners and Vimeo users can upload images. Dailymotion allow video scrolling and frame selection. If you’re not a YouTube partner, the pre-selected images you’re offered are taken from the beginning, middle and end of the video. Ask your director to end the video with static footage of the thumbnail you want, so you can be sure the thumbnail will be included in the three pre-selected images offered.Ideal images include a close-up face with eyes looking to camera.
Simple, strong, colourful images also work well. If you’ve got a few thumbnails to choose from, half-close your eyes and note which image stands out most.
Use your video to pull potential fans into your own networks.
Include a call to action and a link in the first sentence, preferably in the first 65 characters – this is how many characters you see in Youtube’s preview, +/- a few.
If you’re concerned calls to action and links smack of hard sell, consider instead that it’s good manners to help people find your links easily.
Example calls to action are “join our newsletter”, “follow us on Twitter”, “like us on Facebook” or “buy on iTunes”. Always follow up with the link.
A good, short story about the video or the artist in the rest of the text encourages comments and helps your video turn up in Google (also known as SEO, search engine optimisation).
Pay for an advertising campaign
(From ‘How to spend money promoting your video’)
This is about getting direct access to potential fans. You’re buying access to the right people and enough repeated visibility to get your message across.
How many times do you need to see an ad before you act? Here’s what people on Quora suggest: http://b.qr.ae/w3Q1at
Advertising includes Google Ads, Facebook Ads and adverts on music blogs and newsletters.
Do a lot of small advertising campaigns on different platforms and testing different messages. Always have a call to action and measure the success of each campaign relative to the cost.
The complete “Ultimate Guide To Getting The Most From Your Music Video” and much more is available by signing up for a free account, which you can do here http://www.radarmusicvideos.com/join/services
Commission and Promote great music videos worldwide through Radar
We’ve learned about a brilliant scheme from the Arts Council to enable young people to get their hands on musical instruments more easily and cheaply.
Take It Away aims to make musical instruments more accessible to children and young people by providing interest-free loans of between £100 and £2,000. Through a network of over 300 participating retailers across England. In the past two and half years, over 50,000 individuals have used the scheme to purchase instruments worth over £50million.
It seems you can get a loan of between £100 and £2,000 towards the cost of a musical instrument as well as additional items such as sheet music, a gig bag and even tuition (if the shop offers it) to make sure your child has everything they need to get playing.
This extension to the Take it away scheme will enable Arts Council England to make musical instruments more accessible to children and young people, supporting them as they first develop their musical talents and interest, when access to good quality instruments is essential to their progression.
The scheme will continue to be open to 18 – 25 year olds applying in their own right, supporting young people post-education when they may need some support with making their own instrument purchase.
How does it work?
If you’re an adult using the scheme to buy an instrument for a child under 18, you’ll need to do this in person at one of our 300+ participating music shops across England.
The shop staff will help you complete the loan application form in-store which includes a credit check being carried out on you. If you’re accepted you’ll need to pay a minimum 10% deposit and then pay the rest back in 9 monthly instalments – completely interest free.