Published Sep 26, 2009Chris Budd is a Toronto-based music publisher whose company Bearsuit Publishing licenses independent music to advertising, film and television. He launched Indie Music Filter (www.indiemusicfilter.com) in January 2006.
What's the best way to get your attention?
Getting bloggers excited about your music is about trying to figure out first who is going to enjoy it ― by, for example, finding similar artists who sound like you. When it comes to approaching these blogs, a good press release that has a little bit of a story and a link to your MySpace and a link to one or two of your best songs that I can listen to immediately. Bloggers are always looking to grab pieces of a press release and make it into a post ― so anything that makes the writing process easier is more appealing. I don't need a five page bio. I'd rather have a paragraph that tells me all the important stuff that I can stretch into a posting on a band or even turn around into an interview. If you're touring, get in touch with the local music blog and see if they want to come out to the show or feature the show ahead of time. Working with a publicist is a good idea because a lot of publicists have a database of bloggers ― they don't just concentrate on print media anymore. More and more they are reaching out to mid-sized blogs that they think can help drive interest in your band. Who knows if it helps sell records but it's part of the plan as much as working it to radio or touring.
How big an operation is your blog?
I say "we" but it's really just me and a few people who write for me. But the blog has grown over the years. We have the main site, plus a site that's optimized for iPhones called Indie Music Filter Mobile, and then there's Indie Music Filter TV, a channel for all the music videos that you're never going to see on MuchMusic.
How does writing the blog dovetail with your day job in publishing?
I treat them both as if they are jobs although the blog doesn't make any money. I have ads that give me beer money each month. I like putting the time in there because [as a music publisher] there's an added benefit in listening to new music and finding what the trends are. I have actually found publishing clients from press releases I have received as a blogger, where I had written about their music and eventually thought I should approach them and see if we could get some work in the TV and film end of things, and start working together. It's worked out on a couple of occasions.
Who's better at getting blog love, bands or labels?
There are some really smart bands out there that have that strong DIY aesthetic. Approaching a blog is a simple thing, it's not like starting a radio campaign with a huge mail-out and follow-up calls ― it could be a simple email with a link that turns into some good press for the band. Some bands are really good at figuring out where to put it. Then again some labels are really good at it. I trust certain labels who have provided me with quality content and I have discovered great new bands that way.