Tinderbox Music (Aug-Oct 09)

Posted by:  Tinderbox Music


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Tinderbox Music is a Minneapolis based promotions firm specializing in independent and label opportunities for music. They pursue press, tour support, music licensing and distribution for hundreds of acts each year and focus on servicing and tracking radio station airplay./n/nTinderbox Music is a Minneapolis based promotions firm specializing in independent and label opportunities for music. They've been working deep inside music for well over a decade. Tinderbox Music pursues press, tour support, music licensing and distribution for hundreds of acts each year. Fundamentally however, the company focuses on servicing and tracking airplay on over five hundred college and community radio stations. National airplay soliciting typically last eight weeks and are fully supported throughout the campaign. Additionally, the company acts as a liaison to, and as a charter service for, many independent labels and digital music aggregates.

Tinderbox is preeminently hired to service the music directors captaining radio stations with music (a CD, yes still) that they'll embrace. Their goal is to find three to four best acts for each weekly radio station add and represent them to both college and community radio. With the merging of corporate commercial radio there are not a lot of choices for independent artists anymore. Factor in that even the majors now aggressively service (CMJ) stations and it's quite crowded. That's where enlisting Tinderbox's help makes a lot of sense. Why does airplay matter for burgeoning artists? Because story and buzz matter (yes, they realize how cheesy those words are). Thanks to technology, the number of people making broadcast quality music has swelled. However, it's the sale of the CD that's waning, which coincidentally is where the majors hung the hats for so many years. That means with everyone offering up bytes of their music - the better acts need to build awareness like never before. A national radio campaign can take a regional band from Denver, Chicago, or Charlotte and make them appear to be breaking nationally. Thus this buzz can open doors for a publicist to garner press nationally on an act.

Additionally, Tinderbox Music has placed nearly five hundred songs in the past seven years to the television industry. It is much easier to pitch the TV and film folks for licensing when there's a story. Music supervisors in reality TV for example are trying to use music that's "breaking" and "affordable". A simple hotsheet conveys this quickly and effectively. That said, even a successful radio campaign can be little more than fluff without proper vision. Tinderbox's staff uniquely looks at each of its acts individually and strives to build opportunities beyond radio play. Is the act ready for NACA representation, perhaps even tour support or do they simply need their first booking agent? What level of distribution does a particular CD qualify for? Would the act prefer to build a starter press blitz themselves or speak to some qualified publicists? Is it a record label, a producer, a publisher, a performing rights organization? Becoming a good connector of people, resources and music is why and how Tinderbox opened its doors. Services vary and fees can be based on availability.

So why does this service cost money? We’re like a lot of other things in the music industry. If you go into a studio, you’re going to pay for them to record your disc and for their experience. Getting discs made? You’re going to have to pay for them to be made. And having someone promote your disc to radio, press, licensing, etc… that actually has experience and will do a good job is going to be the same case.

So why does it cost $4 to submit to Tinderbox Music? Tinderbox wants quality music that's ready for what we do. You'd prefer timely feedback of your music and strategies to make it successful. Respectfully, when you pay a little to get noticed, you deserve just that. They're committed to listening to your music as a staff and offering you a reply within seven days. It would cost $4 to send them a physical press kit anyway. Save the trip to the post office until someone asks for a disc. While their roster is always changing, you can check out their curren