Have Music...Have Technology...Will Travel
Crossdogs.com connects “indie” musicians to a myriad of legitimate gigs
NASHVILLE (February 7, 2006) --- Ever wondered what it would be like if, through a few clicks of your mouse, you’d have access to a hundred legitimate, paying gigs for talented musicians? There’s no need to simply wonder. Crossdogs.com, an online service catering to independent artists, enables musicians to use modern web technology to connect with the very venues and gigs where they would most like to perform.
“We act as a kind of virtual agent, giving tons of great artists access to marketing machinery in order to get their names and music into the right hands,” said Crossdogs.com co-founder and music industry veteran Gary LeMaster. “The technology our web site provides helps musicians address such fundamental issues as finding relevant places to perform, and receiving appropriate reimbursement for their time and travel.”
LeMaster, an indie label artist with a background in gospel and contemporary Christian music, toured for 17 years. His partner and Crossdogs.com co-founder Brant Christopher Menswar, is part of the indie band Fort Pastor, which is currently on the road and performing full-time to audiences across the United States. The two have tapped into their own considerable experience and resources, as well as utilizing trade shows, mail-outs, and cold calling – just about every marketing tool there is – to cull an exclusive list of legitimate venues. The list, as well as the innovative, yet simple to use technology necessary to create unique online press kits, is available to an ever-increasing Crossdog.com membership.
“Using the technology we provide through Crossdogs.com to promote your band, and organize your search for gigs, alleviates the frustration of repeatedly knocking on doors, and getting nowhere,” explained LeMaster, whose “A-list” for musicians includes promoters, churches, coffee houses, Christian colleges, and music festivals.
Typically, artists waste a lot of time assembling and blindly mailing out press kits. According to LeMaster, the average traditional paper and CD demo press kit costs between $5 and $9 to put together and mail out, or have delivered. And it is usually necessary to make contact with at least 20 venues in order to garner one booking. Conservatively, that’s a cost $100 to confirm one single gig – at a venue that may not pay enough to actually cover the $100 it took to find the gig.
“We have created a product that looks better than most paper press kits, and aesthetically it is the best online press kit on the market for a fraction of the usual cost,” said LeMaster. “Once you have created your Crossdogs EDT™ (Electronic Dog Tag™) and have uploaded all your information, you have the ability to e-mail that EDT™ as much as you want, as often as you want – all for less than $50 a year.”
It takes approximately 20 minutes to create an online press kit at Crossdogs.com. Promotional materials, photographs, musician bios, as well as audio and video demos highlighting songs or band members, are all uploaded to the site. It’s as simple as going to Crossdogs.com, clicking the sign up button, and choosing a template for an EDT™. Musicians choose the “skin” for their EDT™ – the color scheme, font, graphics, layout, and style for their press materials – from six available aesthetics. LeMaster plans to add one new selection per month, for a planned future total of 20 EDT™ choices.
“Once you upload and select the ‘skin,’ you can start using your press kit immediately,” explained LeMaster. “Musicians can create and e-mail from our web site, sending mass emails out to venues from their ‘My EDT™’ page. It’s an unbelievably easy promotional tool.”
For computer geeks interested in how it’s all put together, the interface Crossdogs.com members use to create their online press material is a combination of HTML and Flash 8. The loading script used to transfer information into EDT™, and then stream any audio or video is XML. And the database is ColdFusion sequel. All audio and video is converted via XML in order to stream through Flash.
Crossdogs.com continuously and actively seeks new venues and opportunities for musicians. According to LeMaster, the venues, promoters, festivals, and contests Crossdogs.com partners with have signed on solely because they need talented musicians for their popular venues. It is a free service for the venues to list with Crossdogs.com.
“All our venues are pre-screened for our artists,” said LeMaster. ”It’s crucial to know how many events the venue typically has each year, as well as their current remuneration schedule.”
Crossdogs.com has easy to understand submission fees for artists. The rates are determined by how much a venue pays. If, for example, remuneration is between $100 and $249, the submission fee paid by the artist through the Crossdogs.com website is $4. That fee is then split 50/50 between Cossdogs.com and the venue. A gig that pays between $900 and $1199 generates a fee of $20 paid by the artist. Submission fees for venues paying over $1199 are determined on a case-by-case basis.
“It’s easy for a musician to keep track, and the higher the opportunity, the higher the pay,” explained LeMaster. “The system is also a screen for the venues. Higher paying gigs don’t have to beat the bushes to attract good artists. And most musicians who are willing to pay $20 are extremely talented.”
Although Crossdogs.com is a secular-friendly service, the fact that their particular niche is catering to a Christian market makes the focus win-win for both the venue and the indie artist. And with Christian music sales topping 43.5 million units last year, there is clearly an unprecedented interest in music from the spiritual genre.
“But the artists represented by those figures are not the ones who need us,” said LeMaster. “The folks who need our services are bands that are just on the edge of really making it. Or the guy who sings twice a year at his local church and is hoping to expand his horizons. We’re here for the independent artists who are just as good as all those big label guys. We’re here for people who are really trying, and working very hard, but getting doors slammed in their face.”
Crossdogs.com provides a unique service for producing online press kits complete with slick audio-visual presentations of a band’s music. The kits are both affordable to produce, and easy and cost-effective to deliver to the inboxes and computer screens of relevant promoters and concert venues where there is a serious interest in hiring bands.
“We are a full service virtual agent,” said LeMaster. “Our competitor has nearly 30,000 members, but only 10 percent of them consistently use the submission system, and mostly they just want to produce a press kit. We want to be more involved, and as much as we are able we lend support to both the artist and the venue folks, so we have created a superior product, using an interface that really helps an artist to stand out. If you could buy a Porsche for the same price as the Cavalier you’re driving, which would you buy?”
To find out more about the services Crossdogs offers, visit www.crossdogs.com.
- Contact Information
- Susan Zahn
- Contact via E-mail
This news content may be integrated into any legitimate news gathering and publishing effort. Linking is permitted.
News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.