MARC EIMER - Music Business Professional
Here are some of the highlights of my career on the business side of the music industry...
I’ve always had a great sense of “community” throughout my life and felt it was imperative that this brand stand for more than just a building that provided quality services for a fee. In turn, I devised and executed short-term and long-term marketing plans that would enable us to maintain an active presence in the Philadelphia music community in order to grow our business and help others achieve their goals. I had a very minimal marketing budget to work with, so this was really our best bet, aside from what I was able to accomplish with my internet marketing skills. One important aspect of this plan was to take on sponsorship roles for weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual on-site live events with Range Recording Studios as the title sponsor. Our long-term involvement with one of the city’s best venues, World Cafe Live, began when we became involved with their weekly “Philly Rising” Open Mic event at the beginning of 2007. This soon led to sponsorship opportunities for additional events at the venue and around the city.
Featuring approximately 80 wooden booths and timber houses lined with lights and trees to create an outdoor holiday market reminiscent of a medieval European village, attendees were introduced to a wide variety of European foods, beverages, holiday gifts, ornaments and crafts for sale. In addition, there were free daily performances by choirs, brass ensembles, big bands, string ensembles, cultural dance groups, singer/songwriters and artists across various musical genres including jazz, soul, R&B, blues, and acoustic rock. Christmas Village in Philadelphia was featured on all major television stations and in all major news publications in Philadelphia, attracting thousands upon thousands of people throughout its duration.
I headed up the artist selection and scheduling process for the singer/songwriters, blues/jazz groups, R&B/soul singers, and the acoustic rock acts, while the event coordinators from German American Marketing, Inc. handled the choirs, brass/string ensembles, big bands, and cultural dance groups. Since the event took place every single day from Thanksgiving to Christmas, there were over 125 performance slots that we had to set up, with usually four to five acts each day. The fact that the artists played outdoors in cold weather (there was a heater on stage though) after trekking down to the heart of center city with their instruments in bad traffic without getting paid was something I really appreciated, especially since some of them were also clients of mine at the studio. Most of those artists played the event the following year when the event coordinators invited me to participate again in 2010.
I worked with the band to develop an exciting live show and high-quality recordings, with select songs garnering international exposure and several million impressions to date. This includes a song placement in the soundtrack of an MTV Latin America/Sony Pictures Television production (aired in South America, North America and several European countries), as well as two songs available on the Rock Band 2 and Rock Band 3 video games for Xbox360, PlayStation3, and Nintendo Wii. In fact, Bojibian was selected as one of 100 bands to be included in the national launch of the Harmonix/MTV Networks-owned Rock Band Network initiative. I had put together an aggressive marketing campaign for their second album All Night, All Day, for which I was also the Executive Producer. We were really fortunate to have garnered the interest that we did, considering I had to act as the publicist and radio promoter, in addition to everything else I was doing at the time. This includes many high-traffic websites (Philly.com, LehighValleyLive.com, etc.), indie music blogs (TheFrontloader.com, IndieRockCafe.com, etc.), local/regional publications (Main Line Today, MetroMix, On Tap Magazine, etc.), on-air radio interviews (WSTW, VoltaRadio, etc.) and radio airplay on over two dozen terrestrial radio stations (WMMR, WYSP, WSTW, Y-Rock on XPN, Radio104.5, etc.) We were also successful in obtaining promotional licensing placements for multiple songs in widely-viewed videos by WMMR’s Preston & Steve Morning Show. As if I wasn’t wearing enough hats as is, I was also the band’s booking agent and set up regional tours spanning some great venues across the Mid-Atlantic region and even some festival appearances.
Throughout my time working with Bojibian, I did my best to educate them on the ever-changing music industry landscape and how to treat their band like a business in order to grow. Many new bands end up incurring a good deal of debt when they play the music industry game, but I maintained strict budgets for our operations, implemented multiple revenue streams, and made it a profitable venture. Part of that had to do with that fact that I declined any and all payments to myself that a manager typically makes. It was important to me that all revenue went back into the project for future growth. When it was time to move into the next phase of the project towards the end of 2009, the band members began to face creative differences that they could not overcome in the end. Even though they were only in existence for just under two years, the impact that these guys made is something that still lives on to this day, as their music continues to sell and gain them new fans, whether it be through iTunes, Pandora, or video games. Some of the guys have formed a new band that they are just getting off the ground now, called Shark Tape. It’s a really exciting and unique project that I encourage everyone to check out.
We built a professional recording studio and launched an independent record label to develop, produce, and regionally market bands and singers from the Philadelphia area by means of in-house band management, booking, retail/venue sales and promotions. It was my job to facilitate the generation and production of album artwork, promotional materials, merchandise, apparel, photo shoots, music videos, online music profiles, press kits, street teams, mass mailings, and other necessary items. The majority of the artists I dealt with were rock bands and I acted as the liaison between the artists and the company. I really enjoyed working with these bands and learned a lot in the process. Since physical product was still the main revenue stream for music sales in the industry at the time, I was able to develop and maintain great relationships with several local Tower Records and Sam Goody locations, as well as several independent record stores.
By 2006, my employers decided to take the company in new direction, dropped the currently-signed acts, and fired the staff…except for me and an assistant audio engineer. We were the young guys and really didn’t know what to expect at this point, but we turned 100% of our focus to launching our studio as the Range Recording Studios brand to maintain a constant flow of revenue while the label end of the company was being restructured. Instead of sitting still and waiting to see who would be replacing our former supervisors and mentors, we took the reins and kept moving forward. It was this initiative and business management potential that led my employers to make me the Label Manager of their next venture, a nationally-distributed (Ryko/WMG) independent record label focused on niche-oriented album projects within the blues and jazz genres, as well as a charity album for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.
Whereas I had never been involved in projects on the national level by that point in time, I was definitely excited for the opportunity. Fortunately, I had access to successful music industry veterans who kindly advised and encouraged me along the way. Between 2007 and 2009, I coordinated and executed multiple album release campaigns with our A&R Director, distributor, retail marketing reps, publicists, radio promoters, synchronization licensing agents, media outlets and other third-party entities nationwide. These campaigns resulted in press/radio features on NPR (All Things Considered), WXPN, WHYY, and the Philadelphia Inquirer as well as several dozen articles and reviews published by Allmusic.com, JazzTimes Magazine, SingOut Magazine, Downbeat Magazine, Sounds of Timeless Jazz, Martin Guitar’s “Sounding Board” and several other music publications, periodicals, and blogs. Selections from albums received airplay on 150+ terrestrial radio stations with one title peaking at #22 on the Living Blues radio chart; the same title reaching the #1 sales spot for the traditional blues and acoustic blues subgenres on Amazon.com.