In the battle to promote videos, YouTube users are increasingly buying views to increase their view counts. Unfortunately, these bots and gamer clicks don’t translate into real fans. At the other extreme, if you want to get your video into rotation on MTV or VH1, you’ll need to pay a video plugger significant cheddar. You’ll also have to have your video close-captioned, and mail physical DVDs and cover letters to stations, claims Dae Bogan, founder of Los Angeles-based ChazBo Music. His 30-day-old, beta platform for cloudcasting music videos to TV displays in retail stores aims to solve the problem of getting humans to watch videos. But is it yet another pay-to-play venture that takes more from artists than it gives back? Not according to Bogan.
“We are a marketing and promotions company, so yes, you are paying for this service. But I’ve worked for years in music. Trust me, big name artists are paying all kinds of fees for promotions like this,” says Bogan.
After being laid off in April 2012 from his position as Vice President of Marketing for Shiekh Shoes, a nationwide retailer of high fashion, street-smart styles most associated with urban youth, Bogan launched his music tech startup — and sold it back to his former employer of four years as a replacement for their expired in-store music video exclusivity with Universal. Now in beta, ChazBo Music is cloudcasting on ShiekhTV to 32 stores in Southern California malls and others in Chicago and Detroit, with plans to expand to the Bay Area and nationwide in the weeks to come.
Currently, the service shows music videos that have been accepted for promotion for one month, in a rotation with a maximum of 100 videos. Videos are played anywhere from one to four times a day, but with the foot traffic in Shiekh stores, Bogan claims that translates to thousands of impressions per month. An interactive map gives the artist information about which stores are playing their video.
“I’m originally from the Midwest,” says Bogan, who ran music projects at Shiekh such as a talent searches, indie artist mixtapes, artist shoe deals and events in the Bay Area, Seattle, Houston and elsewhere. “I used to collaborate with a colleague at Live Nation hosting a monthly music showcases at a Live Nation venue. I’m third-generation music industry — my dad used to manage artists and own a concert hall and my grandfather was a musician. I get it from the artist’s standpoint. You’ve got to use it in a way that’s going to maximize what you’re doing. I’ve personally spent thousands of dollars for artists I was managing on flyers, backup dancers for shows, touring, music videos and CDs and you’re not seeing that return. That’s why I priced it at $10 per store per month.”