WE LOVE THIS WORK
A MODERN APPROACH WITH A PASSION
Sundial Media Group, based in Orange County, CA serves independent musicians in the jazz, americana and adult contemporary genres. Using a strategic approach that follows modern trends and analysis, we build stunning websites, manage social media, set up your digital distribution, recruit, organize and communicate to your fan base, encourage streaming opportunities and promote your live shows.
We have built our reputation as a one-stop-shop for all of your music marketing, branding, website, social media and radio promotion needs and we are relentless in our approach to handle everything so you can create and perform your music.
Best of all, we do all of the above for a reasonable monthly fee and we get started with no money up front. If you hire us, we'll show you what we can do before we charge you a dime.
A MUST READ FOR THE MODERN MUSICIAN - CLICK HERE!
some straight talk
Sundial Media Group is a forward-thinking, design-centric agency that embraces changing technology and consumer trends. We are realistic when it comes to music promotion and we understand that we're dealing in genres that exist on the margins. Our methodology is built upon research, discovery, trial, error, success, and failure. Today, the market is oversaturated and there are countless numbers of "musicians" putting out low-quality product. No company can promise a great return when marketing music and it's not always true that the best music rises to the top. However, people will always listen to music and musicians will always create it. That's where we come in.
- The music industry brings in more revenue now than ever before.
- Music is more easily accessible and available to more parts of the world than ever before.
- The general population listens to more music now than they ever have in history.
as an agency working in the music industry, this is what guides us:
- Why do you make music? By the very nature of our business, we are on social media frequently and we see it all - the joy, the sorrow, the shared excitement and the frustration. And of course, we come across a number of musicians that constantly complain about how they're treated or underpaid - by labels, promoters, radio, venues, streaming services...etc. and they sometimes compare what they do to those in other skilled professions. Many of these musicians think that they're owed a living simply by selling their art, without the need for another source of income. The truth is, an overwhelming number of musicians don't even cover the costs of making or performing their music. And as much as it hurts to say it, that's as it should be. A comparable analogy is the sport of baseball. There are 12 total levels of professional baseball in the United States with several hundred teams and tens of thousands of players. Even though these players are considered elite level athletes compared to the rest of the population, only those that are in the Major Leagues (about 750) and the top minor league players are making a living. Only a very small percentage of players make enough to sustain them for the year. Many struggle to make rent, take a bus from game to game, and need a second job in the off season. Keep in mind, there are 2 Million musicians on Spotify and only 75,000 of those generate 95% of the streaming revenue. Today it's all about making quality music, gaining exposure, presentation, and playing live.
- About streaming: today, 65% of music is consumed via streaming. This number will continue to grow and by 2021, physical music will all but cease to exist. Vinyl seems to be trendy with the pop and rock crowd but even so, it accounts for a very small percentage of consumption. CD's make even less sense. Who wants to hang onto a fragile plastic disc that takes up space and doesn't have the coolness factor that vinyl offers? If you last made an album 3 years ago and are getting ready to release a new one, feel free to cut your physical production by half and be prepared to have leftovers. Even in genres that are slow to adopt new technology, we're finally seeing the last nail in the coffin. You might sell some CD's at live events but that's about it. And digital downloads? Those make even less sense than physical discs. Why download a track for .99 cents when you can have digital access to almost every song ever released for $10 per month? On a related note - don't offer FREE downloads of your music in exchange for an email address. Computers are getting slimmer, faster, and foregoing local storage space in favor of cloud storage. Nobody wants to store .mp3's on their local drive. If you want to collect email addresses (good idea), just ask nicely.
- What about the poor streaming revenue for creators? It's true that each stream from services like Spotify, AppleMusic, GooglePlay, Tidal...etc. only pays on average about .007 cents. That seems incredibly low - but here's some food for thought: when fans used to buy a CD, they would pay a ONE-TIME fee of $15.00 to $20.00 and the artist would be lucky to see $4.00 total. And for that release, the artist would likely never receive another dime from that one buyer, even if that buyer listened to the disc every week for the rest of their life. By comparison, let's say that I stream your ten track album once per week for the next 5 years. That's 10 tracks played 52 times each year times 5 years (2,600 streams). If each of these streams generated .007 cents, you will have received $18.20 from those plays alone. And .007 cents is the average. Your rate could be higher depending on multiple factors like if you're on a label or if you split publishing. Make no mistake, streaming revenue is perpetual. It's for life.
- Labels offer little to no value in today's market. There is nothing a label can do for you that you can't do yourself or with a small team. This is especially true if they're not going to finance your record. In fact, they can hurt you in today's stream-happy culture. Do not under any circumstances give them ownership of your songs. Many artists that complain about a low return on streaming are tied to a bad label deal.
- Presentation is important. Today, you have no excuse not to make your brand look good. There are many inexpensive (or even free) tools that will do an amazing job on your graphics, cover art, pictures...etc. Yet, we still see some incredibly bad artwork and concert graphics out there. Either by default or by design, some of it's just plain tough to look at. If you're not capable, hire someone. If you want your music to be taken seriously, your music needs to be presented in a serious fashion.
Want more? Call (949)371-9093 and let us help you.
Robert began developing websites and promotional campaigns for jazz artists Steve Oliver, Will Donato and others in 1999. He was part of the team when Steve hit it big with his legacy hit "High Noon" and has been working behind the scenes ever since. After spending more than a decade in corporate operations and project management, Robert founded SMG in 2015. Music is a passion in his life and he is convinced of its' power to heal.
A seasoned disc jockey, zine author, and pop culture enthusiast, Ken's team is responsible for creatively maintaining the social media channels of SMG's artists. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of music history, an eclectic record collection and he knows a hit single when he hears it. He's a voracious writer and his experience in print and online media is an asset to our team.
Tessa's got the eyes and ears to be the perfect creative consultant for our firm. Her favorite music has always leaned more to the contemporary side and she's acutely aware of our market. For her money, nothing beats a tune with strings and a trumpet solo. Having been involved in the creative arts for much of her career, she makes sure we color inside the lines.