Protect your music and data - K-Tune Blog

Cybersecurity: How to protect your music online.

Being a music producer is not an easy task. You have to focus on music, performing, marketing, and branding – and all of that simultaneously. While doing all of that, you naturally have no extra time to think about cybersecurity and how the lack of it can affect your music career.

 

But let’s say hackers found a way to access your professional social media account. Someone posted inappropriate content for everyone to see, or someone hacked your Spotify account together with your banking info that was linked to it. In the first case, you lose your credibility, while in the second one, you lose access to your account, music, and payments.

If you don’t want the first or the second scenario to happen, it is your duty as a music producer to acknowledge the importance of cybersecurity and spare some time to protect your music.

 

So what is cybersecurity?

 

Cybersecurity refers to protecting networks, systems, devices, programs, and data from digital attacks. Digital attacks can come in many forms and kinds, but most common ones are:

 

  • password cracking
  • credit card information phishing
  • spear-phishing emails asking access to crucial information
  • social media attacks
  • malware viruses

 

According to recent statistics, digital attacks happen every 39 seconds. This means every 39 seconds there is a chance that a hacker can not only hack your Spotify but also harm your music producer’s reputation in general, together with bank account savings and earnings, damage your software, and compromise your music.

 

Sony Music Global and cybersecurity. SMG Twitter account got hacked.
Sony Music Global Twitter account got hacked and posted “RIP Britney Spears” (Source: Security Affairs).

 

While there a lot of smart technologies, thieves are smart too. That is why you also need to be smart about protecting yourself, your data, music, and brand.

 

1. Use complex passwords

Nearly every password is not strong enough. For example, most passwords are not unique and are used for more than one website. Almost every one of them contains personal information that is easy to guess. Most of them are also build with words and combinations that everyone uses in daily life.

What you can use instead is a password of at least six characters long, with numbers, symbols, upper and lowercase letters. Don’t use simple words, but instead create a new letter combination that has no meaning and has less chance to be the word other people can use in their speech.

 

2. Download up-to-date antivirus program

This is obvious, but in the world where 300,000 new malware is created daily, it is crucial to make sure your antivirus programs are up-to-date and running smoothly.

 

3. Beware of suspicious emails

Phishing emails will most likely end in spam folder anyways, but spear-fishing ones will not. These will look like they are partnership requests and collaboration opportunities but will be asking for more information than any partner would ever need or have suspicious links in the email body. Make sure to double-check how trustworthy the sender is before submitting files and clicking links.

What you can also do is to look for partners on platforms that are designed specifically for collaboration and networking.

 

4. Back up everything

Start to back up all the contents you create, whether it is work in progress or already released tracks. Even if hackers delete them in the digital attack process, you will still have the sources, so the damage won’t be as hard as it could be.

 

5. Choose reputable streaming services

Hackers choose to target streaming services more often than you think. And it is not only about Spotify. According to research by Akamai Technologies, on average, per year, streaming services data gets breached over 30 billion times.

What you can do is to rather than just clicking “agree” on terms and conditions, cookie, and privacy policies; you can take time to read them and understand how these policies can help you if your data gets compromised.

 

6. Protect your name and your music

It would be best if you trademarked your artist name so no one else will be using the same one. It helps with the legal process after the music is stolen, whether due to cyber attack or piracy. This is especially helpful when someone released your music under a different name or is using your name to promote their music.

 

7. Use platforms with multi-factor authentication and identity verification.

Even though there is no perfect technology, these are the biggest hacker obstacles to this day. Multi-factor authentification is way harder to fool, and services encrypt identity verification data in a way that requires the most profound knowledge for decryption.

Such processes as KYC or Know Your Customer help verify users’ identity and are a bright example of AML – anti-money laundering that is one of the distinctive features of the blockchain.

 

Whether you are a new music producer or a professional with many years of experience under your belt, it is crucial to take cybersecurity seriously. Make sure your music, accounts, and payments are fraud-free so it won’t harm your career in the long run!

 

 

Fanbase growth hacks. K-Tune blog.

How to grow fanbase from casual listeners to true fans.

Fanbase is something that every musician strives to achieve. It says a lot about success, recognition, and affirmation that you are doing the right thing. It is also a source of powerful support that goes a long way in establishing your image as an artist.

 

An excellent example of music fan loyalty is Justin Bieber’s fanbase that is the most devoted fan base in the world according to People Magazine. Being the most loyal fandom, his fans make sure his albums and music videos stay top trended on Twitter as soon as they got released.

It is undoubtedly great to have thousands of views on YouTube, but not everyone, who lands on your page, or clicks your YouTube video, automatically joins your fanbase. It takes several steps that come before that. We call it the music fan engagement cycle. Knowing the steps of this cycle will give you more ideas on how to get fans.

 

The music fan engagement cycle

 

Think of that as friendships. First, you meet someone and communicate with them. Then you see how much you have in common, and usually, that lays a foundation for friendship. After that, you go to school and parties together, i.e., you share the experience.

A similar thing happens to your fans when they are evolving from your one-time listener to a loyal supporter. They connect, they receive, they relate, and elevate.

 

Here is what you need to do to make that happen.

 

Reach

 

It all starts with a connection. You need to find the right place, time, and way to connect with your listeners. This is when you create a catchy music video, engaging ad, or appealing message on social media. The goal of this stage is to get attention.

When the goal is completed, the result would be either video view, ad click, or a bunch of likes under your posts.

An excellent example here is how Coldplay connected with their fans through Instagram Stories during the Coronovirus crisis.

 

 

“Woooow”

 

At this stage, you deliver your product to your customer (listener). Your product can be your music, performance, or any other content you want to share with your audience. This is when they listen, reflect, and relate to what they hear. This is the stage when your listeners usually decide to know you better, so they need to receive your message well and be wow-ed by it.

If the goal is reached, you will get YouTube subscribers, Instagram followers, new sign-ups for your email newsletter, or new follows on other platforms.

 

Do that one more time

 

At this stage, you need to make your listeners like you enough to repeat their actions. To do that, you need to continuously provide the content your listeners fell in love with in the first place. This stage is essential because of its memorizing effect.

The goal is to provide enough value so your content will get shared with the possibility to attract more attention from similar-minded people. If your listeners share content, it means they relate to your music. This means that they are one step away from the last phase of the fan cycle.

 

Elevate

 

This is the last stage that converts a listener to a true fan. It is the time when your musician-listener relationship reaches a new level. At this stage, you need to show your listeners appreciation. This is usually when free giveaways and contests happen. They allow listeners to get rewards for being loyal and tuned to what is happening in your music career.

For example, Machine Gun Kelly asked his fans to design a new logo and received over 3000 suggestions back.

 

Machine Gun Kelly Twitter logo contest - K-Tune blog
These four stages show how to get fans and lead to ultimate fan loyalty. Loyal fans purchase your music, tickets to your concerts, merchandise, and support you in many other ways. While it takes time to build a loyal fanbase, the result is worth waiting for. Make sure to keep this cycle in mind for your next music marketing strategy!

 

 

Music making fears of musicians - K-Tune blog

Music-making fears and how to fight them.

Having fears about your life is natural, having fears in music-making is no different. Fear keeps us alert of what might happen and helps us to prepare for that. The crazy part starts when it takes all our thoughts and keeps us awake at night. Once it gets there, it affects all aspects of your life, including the music-making process.

 

Of course, fighting fears is easier in theory than on practice, we know that. But here we are to face seven the most common music-making worries of every music producer anyways. If you a professional, you probably can confirm that you’ve been there, done that. If you are amateur and semi-professional, you most likely can relate to some problems listed below.

 

Fear 1: Not being good at what you are doing

 

To all our fellow perfectionists, being as good as -insert your all-time favorite artist’s name here- and being not good at all are two different things. Your favorite artist or music producer has years of music-making behind their shoulders. It is not about any unique superpowers that allow learning everything in one week, month, or even a year. It takes time and a lot of it. For example, it took Chief of K-Tune Masters, Sinsadong Tiger, 20 years of hard work to become one of the top South Korean producers. The point is, we all start somewhere. Enjoy the ride and learn on the way!

 

Fear 2: Investing more money in music-making than getting back

 

Investing your money in music making software, music production tools, and other creative tools is inevitable. We live in a digital world, and spending money on digital services is a new norm. Since the music is progressing in a digital direction too, it is only reasonable to invest in services. It enables your music growth and keeps it up to date.

“What if I will end up investing without getting anything in return?”

We can hear your fear talking in your head. 

The fear is reasonable. Imagine investing everything you have into music-making. You would expect it to be working but instead, it brings no revenue.

With the paid services, however, you will know precisely when you pay and how much you pay. That helps you plan your budget ahead and never subscribe to something you can’t afford. Also, at first, you don’t need that fancy software because everyone else is using it, you need the one that is working for you. Learn first and then upgrade.

 

Fear 3: Hitting plateau

 

Just like in workouts, there is a point in your music-making journey when you hit a plateau, and it seems like you can’t figure out where to go next, and how to grow further. It is usually the point when you create this one song that is “the one,” and no other song is keeping up to it. 

“I wrote that one song, and everything else couldn’t compare to it.”

And here you are, thinking that nothing else you produce will ever be as good as this song. But this is not true and is proved by many music producers out there. What you need to do is to find new ways of producing, for example, you can collaborate with others to bring new elements to your music. 

 

Fear 4: Investing a lot of time and effort and fail anyways

 

This fear somehow derives from the worries above and usually presents itself as a “total failure,” when you feel like whatever you do doesn’t bring the results you expected to see, but brings the feeling that you fail at everything at once. What happens is you are making high demands of yourself. Your (and no one else’s for that matter) music-making journey doesn’t have a fixed and definite timeframe, and it is not a trip from point A to point B either. While some things you can plan like graduating from your music-related major within four years, other accomplishments might take longer than that. Even though there is no way to control everything that might or might not happen, what you can do is to be ready for ups and downs, and not to be too hard on yourself.

 

Fear 5: Your music will get lost in millions of other tracks on the internet

 

Thousands of music files are being uploaded daily on YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes – you name it. Feeling like your track will go straight to nowhere, and no one will ever find it, is quite common. But what you can do is to focus on another side of the coin. The uploaded track will be in the open for everyone to see, which increases the chances to get discovered. It is also will be there forever unless you delete it manually and sooner or later will find its listener. You can also help and speed up this process by following music marketing tips, which can significantly increase your music visibility and contribute to your fanbase growth.

 

Fear 6: No one will ever like your music

 

First of all, you should be your number one fan and liking your music. Even though appreciation of others and connecting with your audience is an essential part, without loving your music first, you will end up thinking that no one will like your music either. Winning your listener’s love might take time, but if you are consistent with what you are doing and distributing your content where others can access it, you will find your listener. It is also worth mentioning that tastes differ and if one person doesn’t like your music doesn’t mean that others won’t either.

 

Fear 7: No one will ever take you seriously

 

Are you very excited about what’s next to come for you in your music-making journey but have this one friend or family member who thinks that you are wasting your time and should be doing something else instead? You are not alone in this. This negative influence often comes from people who do not value music the same way you do. While we can’t stop talking to everyone who is not sharing our life views, we can change the way it affects our lives. Just do your thing and make sure someone’s judgment is not the only feedback you get.

Different phases lead to different fears that sometimes are hard to fight. Feeling that you will never succeed is only human, but it doesn’t mean that it will happen. It doesn’t have to define your music. Just keep your goal in mind and it will help you overcome the difficulties. Channel your fears into creating everyone’s next favorite music!

 

 

Music collaboration for amateurs and professional music producers

Music collaboration is an art. Be a part of it.

Music collaboration is an essential step in everyone’s music journey. Whether you are a self-starter who is slowly but surely engaging with the music industry or you are a professional with many years of experience, music collaboration can help you to grow further.

 

Music collaborations happen for many reasons. They also bring many benefits to the artists involved. While some of them are obvious, like “getting work done,” there are also hidden perks that can help you evolve as a music producer. We gave it a thought and listed three main situations when music collaboration would be helpful to both: amateur musicians and absolute pros. 

 

Hitting a dead end.

 

Music collaboration is, first of all, a creative process. It is a mix of inspiration and ideas of several artists. However, once in a while, we all hit the dead-end when the muse is not around. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is quite the opposite – you are not a machine, so producing high-quality content non-stop is impossible. That is why it is essential to get the inspiration back when it’s gone. There are many ways of doing that, and music collaboration is one of them. 

Here is why.

When collaborating with other musicians, you connect with like-minded people who most likely have been through a similar experience. There is a good chance that they will recommend something that will help you to get your creative spark back or at least will charge you with their vision that can be that one push to move you forward. 

 

Searching for the next career step.

 

We have all heard that networking is everything in the music industry, and without it making a career is pretty much impossible. But even knowing that, finding ways to connect with the right people is still hard. 

The Internet is slightly changing this paradigm, though. Music collaboration platforms, online songwriting camps, and music collaboration contests simplify networking making it easier to find the ways how to collaborate with music artists and take your career to the next level. By joining them, you will have a chance to work with professionals, make a real input to future songs, and get feedback about your techniques. 

As we all can agree, honest, professional feedback is as crucial as other elements of career development. But, most of the time, it is our friends who are the first to listen to our new music. They usually don’t want to hurt our feelings or discourage us, which makes the real feedback hard to find. But look no further – music collaborations are here to solve this problem.

 

Finding the sound.

 

Finding your style and primary focus in the world of diverse music, genres, and trends is challenging. While you don’t always need to label your music and define it by the single style only, growing in a more specific direction can help you evolve and find new ways on how to collaborate with music artists within your niche.

Music collaboration with those who share similar styles, inspired by the same artists, or interested in the same genres, is an experience that will make you grow. Engaging with the industry pros will allow you to learn new techniques and find your musical vision. What is also essential it will introduce you to a new audience that will appreciate your sound. 

Needless to say, you also find long-term partners, friends, recognition, enlarge your fanbase, and it all through work with others. For what we know, teamwork is rewarding in many industries, but music collaboration goes to a whole new level. Try it and see for yourself!