Welcome to Songeez. It’s a serendipitous time for us to meet. I’m right at the point of launching a campaign to sign up sponsors for our content. I've got a complete Patreon page set up but have yet to promote it to our mailing list or Facebook page.
I also have a backlog of content ready to be added (maybe 15-20 videos), but want to get the branding right, and try to get sponsors lined up first.
I totally get and appreciate what you’re doing with Standard. It makes it possible for people like me to do what we love, and for the people we serve to be served.
Your website says "We offer production resources, design guidance, mentorship, sponsorship, analytics, and the strength that comes with scale." A big "yes" to all of that. I've enjoyed researching your clients and seeing how well sponsored content can be done in 2018.
Also, I've enjoyed your "Here's the Bad Version" and "How Much is Music Worth" videos. Great stuff. Make more!
Our Story So Far:
I used to be a Madison Avenue copywriter. At age 36 I left advertising and went to school in Boston to study songwriting and music production. I began writing songs, mainly for kids—catchy, original stuff.
From 2007 to 2012, in Atlanta, I wrote and produced about 80 short songs and videos for kids under the name Readeez. I developed a following. I also made friends in the indie kid-music scene, and produced videos for a few other artists, including 2 Grammy-winners.
In 2010 I wrote and produced a 5-song video collection called "Money Math." These songs are still quite popular on YouTube. Cumulatively they’ve been streamed more than 2 million times (generating zero revenue, since I don’t allow ads on my channel). The songs are used in many classrooms, based on comments I’ve received.
If you Google the terms “penny song,” “nickel song,” “dime song” or “quarter song,” my videos are the #1 result. Also, my Presidents song is the top result for the term "U.S. presidents song."
In 2013 some fans suggested I write songs using bible passages as lyrics. Being a songwriter, I rose to the challenge. I also thought there would be a market for the resulting songs and videos. What I didn’t think of (and should have) was that by putting them on YouTube as "Bible Readeez," if they became popular (they did) the Readeez brand would be forever linked in the Internet's mind with “bible.” Not what I wanted.
So in 2017 I started Fully Conscious Media in Portland and introduced a new brand, Songeez, which would have no religious associations. The older Readeez content is now being rebranded as Songeez.
DIGRESSION: A key issue I’m facing is how best to monetize these bible songs and videos. They've got a ton of value in them I’d like to exploit, especially given that I spent about $10K and six months of my life producing them. But I don’t want to be the public face of the project. My songs of the Lord’s Prayer, Beatitudes and Psalm 23 have all been popular on YouTube. People have written asking me to use the songs in their weddings. My "Books of the Bible" song has been streamed more than 2 million times and I’ve sold over a thousand copies.
To me, the point of the "money math" the "bible" examples is that I am a proficient songwriter. That's what I want to get back to doing—making songs and videos, rather spending my time chasing revenue.
What will I do with sponsorship money?
1. Create a Songeez app for iOS, Android and as many other platforms as possible, giving me a direct channel to my audience and giving parents a safe video source for their kids. The app could be sponsored in its free version, with a paid unsponsored version available.
2. Invest in getting to know my audiences and how I can serve them better. I have a lot of ideas in this area, for example I'd like to set up parallel channels for ESL learners, with text in their native languages, using the same English content. I'd start with Spanish and Chinese.
3. Make better recordings and videos. Get some great musicians and spend more time producing music and hire a better engineer.
4. Eat and sleep a little better, maybe.
• Existing Videos and Songs: 80-100
• Current Audience: 11K YouTube subscribers, 8.2M views, MailChimp List 2K
• Live Show: I've been experimenting with a high-quality live-streamed music show
• Brand Identity: New Songeez logo; White space-and-frame design
• Characters: Julian & Isabel Waters; Sugar (their cat)
• The Indie kid music community: I know a lot of artists who will cross-promote with me; appear on my show, etc.
• Media contacts in children's music
• Audio and video equipment: Good stuff (like, fetish-good)
• My commitment to show up every day and create and engage with the world for the next 20 years or so
Dave, I see my songs as memes and I want them out there in the world, replicating and mutating and becoming part of a shared lexicon for the world's children.
I don’t want to be just a YouTube brand. I want to make art prints and stickers and clothing and all kinds of stuff. I want to have more of a one-to-one relationship with my audience. Most of all I want to make friends in the real world with real people in real time. Friends being musicians as well as listeners, young and old.
Almost done. Regarding my songs: I am seeking to license my music catalog through Marmoset music here in Portland. For that reason, I put together a web site focused on my songwriting. You can listen to about 60 of my songs here: MichaelFromTheFuture.com. Many of my better and newer songs are not available on the Songeez YouTube channel or at Songeez.com.
Lastly: I've been enjoying Airplane Mode. I think your tastes and mine overlap quite a bit. A few of my tunes that may be up your alley: