After years of helping independent artists and playing the music that deserves to be heard on radio without ever charging for it – the time has come where we need your help. This month, July 2010, Fame Games may have no choice but to close its doors and its website if we can’t raise enough bridge capital to continue.
WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP!
There is one way we could keep this good thing going. By asking our artists, reviewers and fans to make a donation ($10 or more) to keep us afloat until some of the deals described here come through. Or – by asking you to purchase one of the excellent products listed on the products page.
Welcome to our brand new newsletter site called “Fair Play For Music”. It’s a domain we registered ages ago. This is the place where you can truly become part of the Fame Games Family – along with me (Paul), Laura (dj crier), Sid, Graham, Lexy, Jake, Ashton, Kristen, Don, Ignacio and others here. Please join us and inspire radio to discover and spin new music. YOUR amazing music!
Before we tell you what’s happening here, a big thanks for all the letters of support through these past few months of Fame Games re-runs. Like so many other good businesses and individuals, our cash flow situation has hit a slump in 2009.
We sustained it up until a few months ago when we had to re-focus all our efforts towards a new and improved funding effort – hence “pausing” production of new Fame Games episodes in favor of a bold, new way forward.
Thankfully, the concept of “Fame Games” – the cause which it stands for and the quality of music discovered on the show – shines through, keeping our spirits alive, the opportunities comin’ and the goal firmly within reach.
WE NEED YOUR URGENT HELP!
But first a quick general overview.
Even though we were syndicated by a major US radio network (ABC) and are now with a large Independent network (Envision Radio Networks), we discovered the hard way that just because the top brass “get it” and love the Fame Games concept, that doesn’t mean that the stations’ program directors (“PD’s”) will get it too.
Bottom line: radio stations everywhere are hurting financially too and if they’re not already in trouble they are for sure playing it very, very safe. This means they’re hell-bent on only airing what is familiar and/or backed by a reliable label… Or – if there’s some kind of a guaranteed return in it for them.
So, we put our thinking caps on, brainstormed with our local affiliates and have indeed come up with a brilliant idea that guarantees returns for stations which would affiliate with us. Best of all, this idea will make money for you as well as for us and them! All that while giving your music the exposure it needs to make you more successful in your music career!
INDEPENDENT MUSIC ON THE VERGE OF BREAKTHROUGH… OR NOT?
We understand more than most what it’s like to worry about one’s very survival. To make matters worse, the market today is at its most volatile in years.
In such a climate, the fact is that anything new, be it a radio show, a new song – or just about anything “new” – if it’s not backed by a powerful entity (e.g. a major label or, increasingly these days, a powerful TV network) it will inevitably be fighting an uphill battle to break through.
And then we thought: “Hey, wait a minute! Aren’t WE – the Fame Games community – a powerful entity?”
Isn’t the very fact that we have 26,000 members, over 100,000 registered fans (none of whom we’ve ever charge a penny for anything), over 6 million unique visits, a U.S. radio network syndicating us, a major label negotiating with us, a cable radio network negotiating with us, a major international sponsor negotiating with us, a firm in China and another one in Arabia wanting to license us – isn’t all that an advantageous situation to be in?
And yet – here we are…!
INSPIRED BY INDIES
Derek Sivers, founder and previous owner of CD-Baby has always been a big inspiration for us. We saw what he did for independent musicians: he broke down the walls of distribution and provided the Indies with an opportunity to sell their music IN-DE-PEN-DENT-LY. This was virtually impossible before he came along.
Back when, we set up our own CD-Baby account and poised ourselves for sales. And we sold – first 5, then 10, then 15 – but still, our gigs sold more. And… if we paused even for a second promoting vigorously online, the sales also immediately stopped.
“We have to get on radio” said Laura finally. And that’s where the Fame Games journey began in earnest.
It didn’t take us long to discover that we weren’t the only ones trying to get on radio either. There were millions of us! Mostly unorganized and clueless.
So over the past six years, we have thrown virtually all our time and effort into getting mainstream radio play for all the Indies because it is so much more exciting, challenging and worthwhile: trying to blast through the “airplay walls” for everyone’s sake!
And then, in hard times like these, when the very survival of Fame Games hangs in the balance, we asked ourselves: is what we have created really serving you? Is it serving the Indie community?
Here’s a typical answer we got to that question:
WHAT ARE WE DOING THIS FOR?
Last year Derek posted a blog saying “Wouldn’t it be great if there was an ethical, well-organized, fair and free open song contest online with big prizes for Indies?“ (http://sivers.org/song-contest-idea). The (huge) response he received gave us clear confirmation that regardless of anything else, we were on the right track:
# John Mayer (2009-02-20) #
… I took part in more than 20 contests and have done a detailed study of over 100 (!) of them over the years, complete with spreadsheets hah! Wanna know my results? Here’s my top-10 based on factors such as “multiple opportunities for multiple winners,” “perceived integrity,” “organization – many entrants doesn’t have to mean songs get lost in the system,” “ability to talk to the organizers,” “transparency of the system,” “people or companies involved,” “cost, if any – note: cost doesn’t have to mean it’s a scam!” and many MANY MANY other factors. And now, three years later, here’s a bit of the definitive contest guide for yall!
1. Fame Games (my score: 9.65)
2. (…. For the rest of his list: http://sivers.org/song-contest-idea#comment-5321)
Reading what John wrote about Fame Games brought it all home for us. We’re doing this because there is a genuine need for it.
What do artists who take part in all those contests (and win) ever have to show for it? Nada. Zip. Nothing. That’s why we created Fame Games: to give all great undiscovered artists something truly meaningful – airplay on merit.
Radio play gives you a chance to sell your CDs in larger quantity. Radio play gives you a chance to get better gigs. Radio play gives you a chance at a decent living – a chance at a long-term career and a chance to keep the best job in the world – being songwriters and musicians.
YOU CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE… IF YOU ACT NOW!
Keep writing and recording your tunes. Keep sending the music to Fame Games. Keep getting better at your craft, and please support our new, entirely independent funding effort.
We’ve created www.FairPlayForMusic.com not only to keep you informed – and involve you in helping us overcome this impasse – but also to offer you products that may not only independently fund Fame Games (paying for server costs, utilities, studio, rent, new online affiliate initiative, etc…) but also, we believe, will put money in your pocket! Extra income for you while you do what you love to do: music. Extra income to buy a new piece of gear – or like us – just pay the rent!
You can help directly by purchasing one of the special products listed on the products page.
We’ve very carefully selected these services and products, endlessly researching user feedback, and in many cases also purchasing these products ourselves.
We have no doubt that these products and eBooks are worth every penny.
So, if you like any of these products, please order them right away. Time IS of essence. This will be most helpful to us – and also most definitely useful – and potentially very profitable – to you!
Please go through those offers and place your orders using the links on the products page!
Every penny thus earned will go towards our mission to give independent artists a fair chance to break through on commercial radio and to have a long-term successful career in music.
Also, please register on the right side of this page to continue receiving updates from us. (And rest assured that your data will never be shared with anyone.)
After years of helping independent artists and playing the music that deserves to be heard on radio without ever charging for it – the time has come where we could really use your help.
This month, July 2010, Fame Games may have no choice but to close its doors and its website if we can’t raise enough bridge capital to continue.
We have loved working with all of you and it is very sad that it has come to this.
But there’s still a chance. If you act now!
There is one way we can keep this good thing going. By asking our artists, reviewers and fans to make a donation ($10 or more) to keep us afloat until some of the deals described below come through. Or by asking you to purchase one of the excellent products listed on the products page.
If you let us, we will also proudly list your name on the site as a “Fame Games Sponsor” and this unique project will be able to continue for the benefit of all: artists and fans.
To continue what we do and achieve results, we need your help fast and we need it now. It’s the 11th hour1…
Paul & Laura
OTHER THAN THAT…
We are making progress in spite of adversity. Painfully, slowly, but we’re getting there. Here’s a quick recap of the main developments:
We continue working with our two new terrestrial networks. The primary one is Envision with over a 1,000 affiliates around the country (about 1/4th the size of ABC). The team there never stop thinking of new ways to sell this show, they really love your independent music, and recently they’ve even been reporting small victories. They currently have 15 affiliates about to sign the contract for this show. Finally…! Let’s hope they all go through.
Envision is working for us in association with Triton Digital and DialGlobal, who have over 2,500 affiliates around the US. Here too, we’re hoping to see new stations come onboard over the next few weeks/months – if we can somehow overcome their objections to “unknown music!”
Over these past couple of weeks, there’s one more cable-based network which we can’t yet announce, but which looks like an excellent fit for us. If this deal goes through, we’ll finally be on the map – virtually from one day to the next. Our financing problems will also, at that point, start being resolved. Fingers firmly crossed…! Negotiations continue.
Today, between direct terrestrial affiliates, webcasts and all other sources, we currently have around 60 small- to medium-sized non-commercial affiliates around the world. Not bad, but still far short of where we need to be in order to really make a difference in the lives of our artists – and to have a sustainable operation.
This means that even though we remain the largest indie broadcast around in more ways than one… it’s still a drop in the ocean compared to what we need to achieve in order to make a difference!
We’ve been talking to “a major” label for the past few months. There’s serious interest in what we do, and a really good level of appreciation for our A&R process.
We would probably have already closed that deal if we had more (commercial) terrestrial radio affiliates. But as it stands, our negotiations and meetings continue – still unresolved. If we manage to close the above cable deal, we’ll almost certainly do this deal as well.
One of the most critical things we’re working on now is boosting our PR profile.
You can definitely help in this by spreading the word and calling your local stations (demanding to hear Fame Games in your area – and refusing to be brainwashed by mindless rotational airplay of cookie-cutter songs for children!).
But the other key is a professional PR effort, publicists, advertisers – the works. It costs a fortune and only a label partner or an investor can truly help us solve this.
But once solved, this is precisely how we will force the PD’s to finally see the light. When they see a trend – they will follow it… And this is how we’ll make your music known. And, as a result, our radio affiliates will be happy, our artists and fans will be happy, our label will be happy…! It’s all so interconnected.
If you’re able, ready and willing, please support the Fame Games mission in any way you can.
Also, please don’t forget to register (subscribe menu, up top on this page).
Big thanks for sticking with us!
Paul & Laura
MMI / Fame Games Radio